EF40 (S2-E1): Dehumanized: The Search for Self in the Devil’s Looking Glass


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Dehumanized: The Search for Self in the Devil’s Looking Glass

EF40 (S2-E1): Dehumanized: The Search for Self in the Devil’s Looking Glass

PLAY | DOWNLOAD Finding your place in society can feel like being forced to replicate the movements of others in a mirror. Does our technology buy us freedom from conforming, or dehumanize us? And do individuals really need society and culture anyway? More...

The big question driving Episode EF40 is … Do we need society and culture?


Sam, a 16-year-old from the South, organizes a school walkout to protest the technological trends leading society towards an AI-run government-owned by corporate tech royalty. Will this lead to a near future of radical inequality between the transhuman haves and have-nots? Facing backlash from the previous generation which refuses to look itself the mirror to see the truth, Sam learns that social conformity hasn’t changed since at least the 14th-century witch hunts. Instead of getting burned on a stake, will Sam get devoured by cultural pressures where everyone is expected to wear their given mask and mimic one another in the social mirror?

To understand if humanity needs society and culture, we must first understand your ties to society as an individual. Using Edmund Burke’s theory of Social Contract, and what sociologist Émile Durkheim sees as the difference between laws and norms, we will hope to dissect the core of what it means to live in society. More importantly, what are your possibilities, if any, for rewriting the terms of the contract you’re given at birth?

Into The Rabbit Hole

SHOW NOTES: This episode is dedicated to Greta Thunberg. See the EF40 Show Notes for details of the dedication, inspirations, references, selected quotes and more.

ABOUT THE EVOLVE FASTER PODCAST: Everything is changing, yet the questions that drive us remain the same. Will humanity face the absurdity of our collective existential crisis in time? Join Scott Ely as he takes us deep into the rabbit hole with philosophical tales to reboot your mind, upgrade your life and explore your soul. To Evolve Faster is to see the fact that you will die someday as a formidable challenge, instead of a source of immense fear. Create your reality…before it creates you. Isn’t it time for an upgrade? More episodes…

SUBSCRIBE: The Evolve Faster Podcast is written, performed and produced by Scott Ely. Writing and production of each episode of the podcast is a significant undertaking spanning many months—it’s a labor of love, but it needs your help to survive. To help ensure the creation of more episodes, please learn about ways you can support the podcast (register, share, review and subscribe) on the Support Evolve Faster page. Your help is much appreciated.


  • Season One: The journey begins as we embark on 11 episodes on big questions relating to MIND. What is the truth? Can we trust reason? Why do we have emotions? Does happiness define the good? What is identity? What is creativity?

  • (EF42) S2-E3: Civil Individualism: Loneliness Atop Mount Empowerment

  • (EF41) S2-E2: Transhuman Fallibility: The Existential Risk of a Superhuman Future

  • (EF40) S2-E1: Dehumanized: The Search for Self in the Devil’s Looking Glass

  • (EF39) S2-E0: LIFE, UPGRADED: Welcome to Season Two of the Evolve Faster Podcast

  • (EF38) AMA-EF13: Flow, Creative Improvisation and Other Altered States of Consciousness Ask Me Anything for Episode EF13

  • (EF37) BTP-EF13: Where Creativity Comes From and How to Find Your Uniquely Bloody Fingerprint - Behind the Podcast of Episode EF13

  • (EF36) AMA-EF12: Pyrrhic Victory and Finding the 10% of Your Mind that Defines Who You Are - Ask Me Anything for Episode EF12

  • (EF35) BTP-EF12: Cryptocurrencies Gaming and Leveraging Failure to Help Us Define Who We Are - Behind the Podcast of Episode EF12

  • (EF34) AMA-EF11: On Perfection, the AI Alignment Problem, and the Possibility of Quantum Leaps of Creativity - Ask Me Anything for Episode EF11

  • (EF33) BTP-EF11: The Evolution of Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Creativity - Behind the Podcast of Episode EF11

  • (EF32) AMA-EF10: Mind Control Through a Well Chosen Tattoo and the Unlikely Case of Being Happy Enough - Ask Me Anything for Episode EF3

  • (EF31) BTP-EF10: Dharma Modifying Negative Thinking and the Never-Ending Pursuit of Happiness by Embracing Suffering - Behind the Podcast of Episode EF10

  • (EF30) AMA-EF9: Emotional Manipulation Tribalism and Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Think Before you Feel - Ask Me Anything for Episode EF9

  • (EF29) BTP-EF9: Waging War Between Reason and Emotions and the Importance of Leaving Things Unresolved Behind the Podcast of Episode EF9

  • (EF28) AMA-EF8: Drugs, Consciousness Manipulation and Cheating Your Way To a Better You - Ask Me Anything for Episode EF8

  • (EF27) BTP-EF8: Who are You and is it Possible to Upgrade Your Identity as an Adult? - Behind the Podcast of Episode EF8

  • (EF26) AMA-EF7: The Impossibility of Honest Politicians and Protecting Our Kids from The Most Insidious Fake News Ask Me Anything for Episode EF3

  • (EF25) BTP-EF7: The Power of Propaganda and Rhetoric to Divide Us and the Quest for a Better World - Behind the Podcast of Episode EF7

  • (EF24) AMA-EF6: Is Less Really More When it Comes to the Pursuit of Wisdom or is Ignorance Bliss - Ask Me Anything of Episode EF6

  • (EF23) BTP-EF6: Scaling Mount Wisdom Without Suffocating Under an Avalanche of Ego Behind The Podcast of Episode EF6

  • (EF22) AMA-EF5: Defeating Fake News and Critical Thinking as the Superpower the World Needs Most Ask Me Anything of Episode EF5

  • (EF21) BTP-EF5: Should Lying be Made Illegal and the Importance of Figuring Out Why You Believe What you Believe --Behind the Podcast of Episode EF5

  • (EF20) AMA-EF4: The Declining Value of Information and Taking Risks to Determine What is the Truth Ask Me Anything of Episode EF4

  • (EF19) BTP-EF4: Head Transplantation and Finding Inspiration for Speculative Fiction - Behind the Podcast of Episode EF4

  • (EF18) AMA-EF3: The Mystical Allure of Converting to Buddhism and Speculating about Quantum Mechanics Ask Me Anything for Episode EF3

  • (EF17) BTP-EF3: What Am I Supposed To Do Free Will and Other Everyday Problems Behind the Podcast of Episode EF3

  • (EF16) BTP: On Creative Writing, Video Games and the Future of the Evolve Faster Podcast (About Antonio Rozich)

  • (EF15) AMA: Ask Me Anything: About Scott Ely and Evolving a Philosophy for Life

  • (EF14) BTP: Behind the Evolve Faster Podcast - The Making of a Speculative Fiction Meets Philosophical Nonfiction Podcast

  • (EF13) S1-E11: The Bloody Fingerprint of Creativity (Season One, Episode Eleven)

  • (EF12) S1-E10: Wired to Fail: Leveling Up in the Game of Life (Season One, Episode Ten)

  • (EF11) S1-E9: When the Lights Go Out: The Blinding Light of an Artificial Future (Season One, Episode Nine)

  • (EF10) S1-E8: The Road to Happiness is Inked in Suffering (Season One, Episode Eight)

  • (EF9) S1-E7: I Feel Therefore I am: Capsized by the River Emotion (Season One, Episode Seven)

  • (EF8) S1-E6: Without a Compass: All Who Sail the Seas of Identity Are Not Lost (Season One, Episode Six)

  • (EF7) S1-E5: Sleight of Mind: The Black Magic of Rhetoric (Season One, Episode Five)

  • (EF6) S1-E4: Information Mainlining and the Folly of Modern Wisdom (Season One, Episode Four)

  • (EF5) S1-E3: The Truth is Clay in the Hands of a Sculptor (Season One, Episode Three)

  • (EF4) S1-E2: The Decapitation of Reason: A Skeptic’s Guide (Season One, Episode Two)

  • (EF3) S1-E1: All Aboard the Experience Machine: Destination…Unknown (Season One, Episode One)

  • (EF2) Intro: Life is a Near Death Experience: Welcome to The Evolve Faster Podcast

  • (EF1) Trailer: The Evolve Faster Podcast (Extended) Trailer

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