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The Empathic Civilization

June 4, 2010
3 Comments leave one →
  1. Jake permalink
    June 4, 2010 2:05 pm

    Throughout that entire video I feel that there is a strong theme of hope that links all of that 10 minute talk together. I actually stood up out of my chair and yelled “Take THAT Adam Smith!” when the narrator suggested that Empathy is in fact, the invisible hand.

    I think a lot of times it’s very easy to view humanity in a negative, or at least depreciative, light (especially when we’re inundated with the sheer stupidity that Scott highlights here) but I appreciated this video so much because it truly casts humanity in positive, hopeful light.

    I see geography playing a very large role in the suggested evolution of the human consciousness and empathic ability. From blood ties, to religion, to nationalism and (the projected) globalism, it seems that “place” is one of the biggest factors in determining our collective empathy as human beings. Now, call me crazy here, but maybe NASA (or space exploration in general) has a greater role to play in the human experience than we know? Perhaps a broader sense of not only “who” we are, but “where” we are might give us the added perspective to achieve the ends that the narrator in the video hinted at?

    Phenomenal video. And the medium it was presented through (the unique visual stimulation) was a nice touch.

  2. June 5, 2010 10:54 am

    I couldn’t help thinking that Thomas Berry is right when he says the problem isn’t the story, but how we read the story. This does a good job of describing the notion of axial ages and presenting us at the cusp of an axial shift in consciousness.

  3. Maat permalink
    June 8, 2010 1:27 pm

    “Preparing the groundwork for an empathic civilization” cannot be successfully undertaken without full awareness of the psychopathology which which is inherent in about 6% of the human species. This pathology is now known as psychopathy. Those with this condition are genetically hardwired without the capacity to feel empathy.

    Unfortunately, those with this affliction do not all wind up in a cell with JohnWayne Gacy… only the lower awareness types suffer that fate. The higher functioning psychopaths gravitate to power and wind up as doctors, politicians, clergy, media heads, corporate leaders, high ranking military, etc. They are incapable of receiving this transmitted empathy. The best they can do is mimic those with empathy – and fake it, which they do quite convincingly. So much so that they are, for all intent and purpose, currently running the world. Anyone who really, really, really wants to be a president or prime minister should probably never be allowed near the job, or any job in government. As it stands, they are there and they will not go quietly into the night.

    I guess 94% of humanity, all on the same page at the same time, could deal with it, though.

    Great video…

    By the way, watching the representatives of BP, doing their media damage control over the Gulf mess, is a target rich environment for the study of these not quite human creatures.


    The Mask of Sanity – Dr. Hervey Cleckley
    Snakes in Suits – Paul Babiak, PhD, Robert D. Hare, PhD
    Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us – Robert D. Hare
    The Sociopath Next Door – Martha Stout
    The Myth of Sanity – Martha Stout

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