Page Chewing

Friday Conversation | Ep 101: From Ancient Myths to AI and Modern Consciousness

January 26, 2024 Steve Season 2 Episode 102
Page Chewing
Friday Conversation | Ep 101: From Ancient Myths to AI and Modern Consciousness
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Have you ever considered the colossal power of stories to forge our reality? This episode welcomes a quartet of narrative connoisseurs: Jared Michaud, Carl D Albert, Susana Imaginario, and Jose, as they unravel the intricate web of writing, mythology, and the potent force of storytelling. With each guest bringing a unique perspective from their respective journeys, we examine whether the stories we tell can indeed shift the course of history, and how, when woven together, these narratives sculpt our collective consciousness.

Settle in as we confront the digital age's newest player: artificial intelligence. AI's rapid infiltration into our conversations, particularly in political arenas, stirs a mixture of fascination and apprehension. We share a cautionary tale of AI's role in manipulating public opinion and dissect how memes have morphed into modern-day propaganda tools. The potency of narratives extends into our moral fabric, as we trace the lineage of Western morality back to stories of antiquity and debate how these legends continue to frame our ethical compass today.

Venture with us into the mythical realms where ancient gods and modern dilemmas collide. Our guests, including myth enthusiast Susana Imaginario, probe the omnipresent themes in global mythologies, seeking to discern if they're merely cultural constructs or echo a universal human truth. We challenge the boundaries of morality, exploring its fluidity across cultures and time, and question how today’s myths—emerging from the depths of our collective psyche—shape our understanding of democracy and the modern world. Join us for a journey into the heart of storytelling and its undeniable imprint on the human experience.

Guests:

Jared N Michaud: https://jarednmichaud.com/about-jared-michaud/

Susanna Imaginario: https://susanaimaginario.com/index.html

Carl D. Albert: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/30017647.Carl_D_Albert

Jose: https://www.youtube.com/@JosesAmazingWorlds

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Speaker 1:

Hello friends and happy Friday. My name is Steve and we're here today for the Friday conversation, episode 101. I think I'm going to call it season two. Now, I don't know why. I don't know why I waited 100 episodes to call it season two. I don't get what the season thing is, I don't know. Anyway. So we're here with some guests today. We'll be starting to talk about myth and mythology and we'll kind of see where the conversation takes us, as usual. If you'd like to join us for a Friday conversation, we organize everything on our forums at pageduringcom, so go by it, check it out and join our really wonderful community with a bunch of people who like to talk. So, jared, can you give us an introduction? Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. I'm Jared Micho, born and raised in Wyoming in the USA Least populated state, very small town atmosphere here, and been writing ever since I was gosh like seven. But I finally am publishing my first book in April of this year and after what I'm going on, 39 this year. So it's been quite a journey and my I would say that my interest in is in all sorts of different stories from Westerns, science fiction, fantasy. I go into nonfiction, just about anything I'll read, and my why for writing is what really made me want to come on and talk to you guys today.

Speaker 3:

Awesome. Congrats on the first book. That's. That's really exciting. Thank you, I hear you've got one or yes, so I am Carl D Albert. I just published my first book, actually earlier this year, truth of Crowns. It's an epic fantasy novel and, yeah, I'm a very happy member of the page to inform you to be here.

Speaker 1:

And Susanna.

Speaker 4:

Hello, my name is Suzanne Imaginario. I am a writer right mythological sleepstream and I published my first book I was 36. So don't worry, plenty of time and I have a few out. The next one is going to be out on the 21st of March, so very excited about that. Just had a cover reveal today, so it is on.

Speaker 1:

Awesome Right on Lots of good news today and yeah, I'm Jose.

Speaker 5:

I run the hostess amazing worlds YouTube channel and I am not a writer. I haven't got book published. I would like to, but it's just a dream and it would remain a dream, and that's okay.

Speaker 1:

I will not say anything. I'm not sure what I'm allowed to say.

Speaker 2:

I would say that unless you're driven to it, you probably shouldn't. Writing is writing is not for anyone who doesn't have a particular drive to do it. I would say it's it's. It's a peculiar thing and it's not like a compulsion yeah exactly. Unless you have that compulsion, don't do it. It's not. It's not something for the faint of heart.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, it seems it's it always the more I learn about it, the more I learn about publishing and writing. It's like the more time it must take to and it seems like the list never ends to to publish. On our forum we have a writer's battleground and we're gathering some stories to publish an anthology series, probably late this year, early next year. And just just like surface level, getting into like what it, what it includes, and I'm not even writing anything, I'm just helping like organize. Wow, there's a lot of stuff, yeah, things to consider.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, there are. And then you get into the whole marketing for a new writer, which is once you, once you actually start to dive into what it takes to sell books. That I think that's where I almost, it almost got me.

Speaker 3:

So the marketing is hard. Marketing is really hard.

Speaker 4:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and I think you writers yeah, now very few writers sign up to like want to do marketing. You know it's like it's not, that's not the bread and butter. You know that's not why you're writing books, but unfortunately it's kind of the name of the game If you want anyone to actually read your books.

Speaker 2:

So so it is, so it is, so could I ask a question for everybody, of course.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Okay, so the question would be how much do each of you guys believe a story can change the world?

Speaker 1:

Wow, wow.

Speaker 3:

That's a great question, I certainly believe. Well, I mean, I think it depends on how we're defining story, but I'm going to take it in the broadest sense. I think, please, stories do define the world. All the stories we tell ourselves every day, you know whether it's about. You know our forms of governments, those are stories. You know religions, those are stories. The different, you know moral values we have, these are all stories. So I think, in that sense, every day, you know our world is shaped by stories. At the same time, you know, I mean, do I think like any given like novel will change the world? Probably not. But I mean, you never know, you know. So I guess that's my answer.

Speaker 4:

It's a very good one. I agree. Stories change. They shape the world, they shape our interactions, they shape society, they shape how we think Stories are important. A single novel changed the world. Some of them cause a few waves, few changes. Yeah, it's not radically, but it's a sort of change that happens over time. I think Definitely stories that then go and influence other stories, and so on and so on.

Speaker 2:

So Right, Right. I for what it's worth. I agree with both of you. I think so too. Anybody else want to chime in on it?

Speaker 1:

Either of you two want to go ahead or say take this one.

Speaker 5:

My initial reaction was like hell, no. But then straight away. And then Carl just mentioned that you know any religious texts. You know the Bible, the Quran. You know hell, let's even go there. You know Hitler's Mein Kampf. Those books have shaped history. However, do I think that's likely to happen again and we're going to have another book or another story that is going to have the huge impact that those religious texts have had? I think no. I think the time for that has come and gone, but it certainly happened over time.

Speaker 3:

Why do you think that won't happen again?

Speaker 5:

Well, because I think the age of religion is gone, we are tending towards a more secular society, other than, again, in the Muslim world that doesn't seem to be the case. They seem to still quite cling very strongly to their religion, whereas in Western cultures we're moving away from the, you know, judeo-christian traditional religions. So I think you know that's not going to happen. And then I think Susana mentioned you know, do I think of a particular novel that is going to shape human thought going forward. I don't say it happened in, but then you know, we didn't see the Internet and artificial intelligence coming. And you know, in 10 years time the world is going to be a very, very different place from where it is today, in ways that we don't anticipate. So with the information that I got today, I'll say no, and then I'll be proven wrong in five years time. Yeah.

Speaker 3:

I feel like something I don't know. I don't think the stories that shape us will we're done with him yet, but I certainly agree with a lot of what you're expressing, jose. I mean, certainly, you know secularism in general is on the rise and more and more people although it's still like a small percentage relatively, you know identify as like agnostic or atheist or even you know kind of I guess more people probably are secularly religious. But I don't know. I think if you look at you know just the grand scale. I guess it depends, you know, on, like, how long we exist as a species and what, where we go from here. Certainly, I think the future is difficult to predict.

Speaker 2:

So I don't know, go ahead, steve. I didn't mean to catch up.

Speaker 1:

Oh no, you're fine. No, I think it depends on how you define the world, because if we're looking within ourselves and we, like I, read a book that changes the way I view the world, the world has changed, right, because then I behave a certain way and maybe I influence something else to do, whether it's positive or negative. I can influence other people because of my view being changed, so I. But. So, yeah, I think I think all of you are right, but I think if you kind of look at it from from your perspective, then you're how you see the world. So then, if you, if how you see the world changes, does the world change?

Speaker 2:

You know I play an off of that just a little bit. When I started my Twitter account for this, for this universe I'm creating, this guy posted a tweet and I could I could have kissed him, because it was. It was expressing exactly what I wanted to express. He says some guys choose one story and make it their whole personality. For me, it's Starship Troopers Starship Troopers.

Speaker 4:

The book or the movie.

Speaker 2:

That's a good question. I don't know. To me, though, it just expressed the point right, that the story sort of, whether we realize it or not, they kind of define us, they kind of do. It's like you were just saying, steve, and actually that's almost exactly where I was going with it, though Some each, each of you has said something where I went yes, that, exactly that, that's right.

Speaker 3:

So I love getting into the deep stuff. Already Everyone is really bringing it today.

Speaker 2:

So so my next thought on it, if you guys don't mind, is, as a writer, there are three things I try to do and one thing I try not to do, and I'd love to have you guys chime in as I go here. The first thing, obviously, is to tell a good story, right? Everybody wants to be entertained, and when you're, when you're telling a story, it has to be something that engages people. The second one is to to put something of myself into the characters, right? So it's like my main character is different, wired differently from most people.

Speaker 2:

Most people would say he's autistic, and I did that because there's something of me in that where I have that experience and it's not something people talk about.

Speaker 2:

I don't. I have never read a novel where the main character was autistic and it wasn't just totally focused on that going down that rabbit hole where to me, it's just a part of life and it's something that that has its good things and its bad things, but it's, it's not. It doesn't define me, right, it's just part of life. And then the third thing that we try to do is, at least I think and this is where I would really love to hear what you guys have to say is when, when an artist paints something or a storyteller tells a story, you're looking out in the world and you're trying to pull in something that strikes a chord with everybody else. Right, it's like the. You know, if you're painting a mountain scene, you want something of that to connect with and capture the essence of what you're looking at, to strike a chord with everybody who looks at it. Any thoughts on on that?

Speaker 5:

I'll go first and yeah, and say if that gives people time to process, I'm just gonna. So I think I mean you know I do appreciate what you're trying to do, and then we can discuss about what makes a good story. You know, like this is a, you know the big pine, the sky ideas, you know when I write a good story and what voice a good story, what does it look like, and so on. And I was thinking that a good story is like something that engages me as a reader or as a listener, and I think a few conversations ago we talked about how maybe podcasts are the new storytelling device that we kind of lost in the past.

Speaker 5:

And when I'm listening to a podcast, I've realized that if the people involved are really passionate about what they're talking about, I don't care if I'm listening to an interview with an MMA fighter that I got zero interest in MMA I've never watched an MMA fight or someone who is, like you know, endurance runner or a mountain things I will never engage in. But when you hear people talk with passion about what they do and dedication, you know that transpires and you're like you know I want to hear from from these people Now. Then that's the next big question how do you express that passion into your writing or into your story? You know this. Again, another big pie in the sky. You know. Great story, passion, like great these are the buzzwords is the how to that? I don't know, but I think that's what I would go with with this. That's what makes a great story. I don't have ingredients. I don't know the recipe.

Speaker 2:

Sure, Well, I think in a sense you're right. It's like you say if you're passionate about it and there's something you really care about, you find a way to express that in what you're doing, whether you're writing a book or whether you're just talking about the things you love, whatever they are. So I'm with you. What about you two? You've written books. What do you think? What do you?

Speaker 3:

guys do? That's a tough question to answer. You want to. I find that often the things that engage me the most have a specificity to them in that they speak to something very real for an individual. That can be an individual character, that can be an individual moment in time, I don't know but often the universality and the power of stories often, I think, comes from specifics, and so I often try to channel some of that myself, whether that means pulling from my own lived experiences or finding very specific moments to realize specific kind of complex emotions, I don't know. This is sort of I'm maybe being a little vague talking about specificity, but it's ironically, I don't know. I think there's a lot of different ways. I try to kind of tell a story that connects with people, but it's hard to distill. It is.

Speaker 2:

It's absolutely hard to distill. I think it's like Jose was saying you talk about something you're passionate about and you put something of yourself into it, or pull on something that you find to be really compelling. Right, what about you, cezana? What would you?

Speaker 4:

say I agree with most of it. So I was quiet because my dog is barking, so I had the microphone. He had opinions. I'm sorry, I wish I could translate. I agree to some degree, because a passion by itself is not enough. It can be passionate about something, but if the other people are not going to be able to understand that passion, it's not enough. You need skill, you need to follow certain rules, you need stories have patterns, they need to be understood, not just told. You always have to take that into consideration and you will always fail to some degree because no matter what you do, someone is not going to like or understand what you're trying to say. And yeah, that's also part of storytelling.

Speaker 2:

Part of the human condition, I think.

Speaker 4:

Miscommunication.

Speaker 3:

Yeah yeah, miscommunication Fundamental.

Speaker 4:

Everyone is going to interpret the story as they will, because it's going to be there the moment you told them. It's going to be their story as well, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Well, and we all have a little bit of a different place we're sitting, so things are going to resonate with some people that don't with others, absolutely.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I just had a thought that's a backtrack too much. But if we do agree that stories can change the world in a broad sense, then shouldn't we stop AI immediately? Because I mean, if AI can? Create stories and think it can be. I mean, isn't that like a weapon, if stories can change the world?

Speaker 4:

That's the thing.

Speaker 2:

My answer to that one is no, you go ahead.

Speaker 4:

You need to educate people to tell the difference between story and reality, because most people don't these days. And if they even tell the difference between a story told by a woman, a human, and a story told by an AI, but even that would be enough. But basically, not all stories are true. Just don't buy into everything you read. It's not just AI. I mean. We are inundated with fake news, with fake facts, fake images, and I think we are starting to lose track of what is real, and that is the danger. It's not just AI. People been telling lies to other people since the dawn of communication and we always been able to tell the truth to some degree.

Speaker 3:

I'm curious, steve are you proposing that the AI itself sort of an terminator, something like a SkyNet way, or are you talking like people using AI as like to spread misinformation?

Speaker 1:

Both Because if a story can change the world, if one story can change the course of history, an AI is capable of creating stories. And there is an AI whose sole purpose was to create a story to change the world, whether it's on its own, like a SkyNet, whether it goes rogue or it's told to or it's programmed to, that's its purpose then that's pretty scary.

Speaker 3:

Well, it sounds like a really great premise for a sci-fi novel.

Speaker 2:

But I think there are a few that have been written about that. Go ahead, Jose.

Speaker 5:

No, I was going to say that the problem here is, like everything, it's a tool and it's what use you make of that tool. A gun can be great fun to go out and shoot at guns in the fields. A computer can be a great source of information gathering. Give it to a teenager and it just become a porn addiction tool, isn't it? And AI can be a great tool for some things and in the wrong hands, with the wrong intent, it's just a tool and, like Susana was saying, there's no easy answer.

Speaker 5:

It's a case of education and unfortunately, over the last 30, 25 years and going forward, even more technology is developing faster than we can comprehend and adapt to it. We still got too much of the monkey brain to deal with the fast pace of the changes that we are seeing Probably around the room. I'm sorry to be insulting for everyone but we are probably the last generation that grew up on a pre-internet, pre-technology generation and we sort of struggled both worlds and we still remember what the analog world was like. My kids, you know they've Mine too.

Speaker 5:

I shudder at the thought of having to eventually give my son a mobile phone. I want to delay that for as long as possible because I think it is a very dangerous tool. It is a tool but it's very dangerous. And same with the tablets.

Speaker 2:

My oldest son got a mobile phone this past week because he has a job now and he needs it, and I am so with you on this. I wish I could have put it off for three more years.

Speaker 5:

There you go. Yeah, because they actually like a flay. I don't know, they probably haven't translated it into English, but there was a four part documentary in Spain on Amazon Prime. It's called Generation Porn and it's about how much pornography teenagers consume these days and how early they start, and then they actually sit down the parents and the kids to talk about it and in these conversations that my would never, ever, would have had with my parents.

Speaker 5:

But then again, in my generation, if you grabbed hold of a Playboy magazine every six months and you saw a pair of tits, it was like oh wow, a pair of tits, and it would be like four months until you saw the next pair of tits, whereas now you got 10 year olds with a mobile phone, you know, with no limit to what they can see, and all sorts of problems ensue. And I think AI is similar. I think it's here to stay. I think fighting AI is a losing battle. Then it's a case of educating ourselves on how to use it and how we can control it, rather than the other way around.

Speaker 2:

I'm for myself. I'm a little afraid to answer the question, Steve, because I think I could take an hour and a half just answering that one. Seriously, though, I have taken an hour and a half on the podcast that I do with a buddy, so Give us the 10 minute condensed version.

Speaker 2:

Okay, If you want. First off, in another life, I did a whole bunch of computer programming to the point where I am competent enough at it to understand the, to understand how AI currently works. And as it stands, AI is just an aggregation and sort of averaging tool. You can almost think of it as still being a big calculator. It doesn't have intent of its own today. So trying to what would I say? Trying to say that AI is able to tell its own stories as of now, it can't. It can. It can interpret an instruction that then makes it tell a story, Maybe even one that's we wouldn't assume you would be able to get to from the instruction, because the way it gets there is totally non-obvious to us and we don't understand it, as anybody who, anybody who actually works in AI will tell you. We don't understand how it gets where it's going, but the stories they tell come from an instruction given by a person. Still today.

Speaker 2:

Now there is a pretty serious danger that they can sort of hijack, and I'm going to struggle to put this into words a little bit, but there's a guy I follow on Twitter who is rather a scary character. He actually doxxed me a few months back and, yeah, it was an interesting experience but eventually ended up taking it all down. But he is using AI to as a psychological and political weapon against people he disagrees with now and the way he talks about it. He's done a few interviews where the way he talks about it yes, it could be a very scary thing, especially because I believe stories actually are the defining substance of how we interact with the world. Myself, I think that there are facts, but it's actually the stories about those facts, because we don't actually know a lot of facts.

Speaker 2:

We know a lot of stories about facts and some of those stories are mostly true, they mostly match reality, but some of those stories are more fictional and it can be really hard to tell the difference because we all know right, figuring out what's reality and what's fiction, as Susanna was saying, is actually a very difficult thing, and so the stories that we know when you think about it in the broadest sense, as you were saying earlier, Carl, the stories that we know define how we interact with the world and each other. So AI is definitely a dangerous sort of thing in that sense, I would say, and I don't think it's outside the realm of possibility that AI does develop its own what would you say? Its own initiative at some point, its own ability to decide where it wants to go, instead of just responding to human will, which is a whole other can of worms?

Speaker 3:

What? How was the person on Twitter? How are they using AI specifically?

Speaker 2:

to like impact it, okay, okay, well, let me. Let me lay it out at the basics of it. He runs many different bot accounts on Twitter or has in the past, and the way he, the way he does it is. I don't know how many of you guys are familiar with what happened on 4chan and some of the other posting sites during the 2016 election here in the US, because what happened? People were seeding ideas into the general consciousness by using memes in a way that actually changed the election significantly, and this person caught on to that and he started looking at how he could use that to intentionally change the way people think. So, essentially, what he does is he uses AI to sort of aggregate and think about how people are posting on Twitter and to look at what he would have to put out through his network of bot accounts to change the perspective, usually about political issues, in a way that actually changes the discourse.

Speaker 3:

Through, like memes and things like that Through memes through certain provocations.

Speaker 2:

It's the way he puts it is. It's about finding the pain points. It's about finding the inflection points, the things that if you push this button, it's going to change the way people think. So for anybody who's familiar with Milo Yiannopoulos, he this person, claims to be responsible for Milo Yiannopoulos rise to popularity because of because Milo Yiannopoulos was able to push buttons that changed the way people thought. So he gave him extra momentum at a critical moment to make it so that he could push the right buttons to sabotage a particular political view. And when you actually examine the history of it, that is what happened. Whether or not he was responsible, whether he's lying about that, I couldn't tell you that. That is sort of what happened and if it's true, that's. That's kind of scary.

Speaker 5:

Can I ask a question Because something escapes me? Maybe because I don't partake in Twitter, I don't partake in Facebook, stuff like that. How does a meme change someone's opinion on any hot topic, like, if I've got a stance on whatever you like, whatever abortion, immigration, taxes, healthcare, whatever gay marriage, any of the you know trans issues, whatever if I got my opinion, how's a series of memes on Twitter going to make me change my mind?

Speaker 2:

Um, well, to start out with, when you're oh gosh, I don't know how deeply you want me to delve into the propaganda thing, but but you don't try to change somebody's mind on a strongly held opinion. What you do is you work in the margins, and what I mean by that is if they have, if they have an opinion, that about an issue that is complicated or that is difficult. Instead of trying to get them to think what you want, you try to shift them by degrees away from one thing to another thing. So maybe the meme is making fun of a certain type of opinion and it's polarizing the debate by making people decide they want to fall into one of two camps on something and then from there you know, maybe that maybe the next thing is to introduce an idea that sort of plays off of that polarization and drags things slightly further in another direction. It isn't about usually. It isn't about being able to get people to think what you want.

Speaker 2:

This guy claims that with AI you can do that. With AI, you can get people to think exactly what you want. I don't know if he's right. I have to take everything he says with a grain of salt, because I just don't. I haven't seen evidence of what his claims, so I don't know how far to believe him, but he claims you can. But what I have seen for sure is that it isn't about making people think exactly what you want. It's more about changing the way people talk about a certain issue. And you can do that with memes and especially if you have stories to back that up, if you can find a particular true event to sort of push your point and then spread that through the general consciousness quickly, then you can kind of push a particular agenda in how people talk about something.

Speaker 4:

That wouldn't happen if people just learned not to think for themselves, which I think it's scarier than all these AI and memes. There's no one actually thinks for themselves anymore. There's no base, there's no foundation of education of history. They're raising history, changing everything. Everyone can have whatever opinion, but oh, this makes me so angry, so what?

Speaker 2:

you're saying, susanna, is that you want people to construct their own worldview from the bottom up and to actually understand why they think what they think, so that they defend it internally. How could you? No, I agree with you. I'm not serious, I'm being sarcastic. But yeah, I agree with you. But the fact is most people don't. No, exactly most people don't.

Speaker 4:

They just agree, whatever is shouting the loudest or has the most outrageous comment, or it's a virtual signal left and right, and me, me, me, me, me. Look at me supporting this cause and the other cause and you're wrong, and you're wrong, and I'm right. It's just why. Check the facts, check the basics.

Speaker 5:

I still don't understand anything of what we just talked about. Like I really like I don't know maybe an example like what would be an example of something I may think about, where my opinion maybe suede just pick another note. My wife is black say I staunchly supported racial segregation. How would I change my mind about that, or is that a bad example?

Speaker 2:

Well, you know, I could give you a hypothetical where I maybe it could work. But I don't specialize in this, I just understand the theory on a sort of a broad level. So my opinion is only kind of a layman's opinion and, like I say, I could give you a hypothetical.

Speaker 5:

but gone because I really do not understand what.

Speaker 2:

we're okay, so so actually, when it comes to racial segregation in the United States, what actually, what actually changed the opinion back, you know, over the past two centuries actually kind of was.

Speaker 5:

There was no memes, there was no AI then.

Speaker 2:

Actually there were memes, they just looked different. When you think about what a meme is, it's a brief way of expressing an idea, that that captures people's attention, and we've had that ever since we've had language. Because even if it's just a, even if it's just a short phrase, like a nursery rhyme or what have you, those are essentially memes. Today we have pictures and you can kind of do it in a more subliminal fashion with fewer words, but you're still talking about the same kind of process where you're you're capturing people's attention with a few words and getting them to see things through your particular lens. So I don't, I don't know. You know, jose, I got to admit I don't think very quickly. A day from now, two days from now, I'll go. Oh, I have the perfect example for him. I know how to express this, but right now it's escaping me. I'm sorry.

Speaker 5:

No, no, don't get me wrong, because I think, you know, I do believe that humans can be manipulated. I just I would like to think it's not as simple as all of that, Like the other day.

Speaker 5:

I was watching a video on like the history of heavyweight boxing champions, right, and so I called my son. I said you know, watch it with me. He was watching some crap on YouTube, so watch my crap. And we started watching like the history of heavyweight boxing champions and then we got to Jack Johnson, the first black man that was allowed to fight for the heavyweight champion of the world title, and it was being moved by the crowds and it wasn't allowed. And my son looked at me obviously his mixed race and he said why wouldn't they let him fight for it just because he's black? And I was like, fuck, like how do I explain racism to my eight year old, who has grown up in a mixed race household? Yeah, and I was like, and I couldn't, like I couldn't. And obviously are people racist? Yes, do I believe that he's a truly acquired and learned experience? For sure, because I know kids are not racist. Nobody's naturally born that way. It's an acquired behavior.

Speaker 2:

I think we have a fear of the other, a fear of things we don't understand, and that when you're not exposed to people of other, you know types of other, types of people that you can.

Speaker 5:

that can turn into a sort of yeah, yeah, the greatest fear known to mankind is fear of the unknown. That's right. I totally believe that.

Speaker 2:

Actually, Jose, at some point in the next few minutes, if it's OK. I actually have a story to tell that might speak to your question about how you change people's minds, but I want to make sure that we finish on this topic before I drag the discussion off by the scruff of the neck.

Speaker 1:

I think with with me. I'm sorry, carl.

Speaker 3:

I was just going to say that. I mean, if you want to talk about, like old memes, right, like the propaganda posters you'd see, yeah, like classically you think of, like you know, in America, uncle Sam, like I want you to enlist and all the like Jingoist, you know, posters around World War Two, anything like that you know you could view as a meme. Certainly, the format has changed but it's again going back to just telling stories and so you know you create stereotypes. Those are stories, right, and by perpetuating kind of these stories online, whether they be through memes or whatever you know like, like in you talk about four chance, like I was totally around for that. You know, I was first in high school and then college around the 2016. There you go war posters. I think I'm probably by far the youngest person here and I'm very much in the demographic that was like fell into the you know four chance. I mean I didn't personally, but like my age group right, fell into the four chance, eight chance, I mean it extended up across generations.

Speaker 2:

But you have a view of it that you've experienced it.

Speaker 3:

Right Comedy. I think I love comedy, I think comedy is very important, but comedy can also be used, like anything, as a way to demonize, as you know, a way to weaponize ideas and comedy gets past people's defenses in a way that you can.

Speaker 3:

They think it's not a naturally a big deal. They think, oh yeah, okay, that's just funny or it's just common sense or whatever, and so you start perpetuating these memes. You know, pepe the frog was like one of the big ones who was like started by someone who like basically got really mad because he wasn't you know this like racist and it was starting to be used to make like racist and like homophobic memes and things. And it just gradually it's this, it's not one thing usually. I mean you know it's really interesting.

Speaker 2:

It's really interesting If you look into the history of Pepe the frog. If you want to, if you want to delve into mythology in a very strange way, start looking into the history of Pepe the frog, because it will take you down a rabbit hole you did not know existed. Did you know that there is an Egyptian frog god of chaos named Keck?

Speaker 3:

I'm sure at some point I'd read that, but I'll have to talk my head. No, yeah, not even kidding.

Speaker 2:

This is stuff that we don't. We don't even understand how much our modern communication reaches down into mythology and myth and pulls things up. We don't even know, because we've forgotten the original myth.

Speaker 1:

Hmm.

Speaker 2:

What were you going to say, Steve?

Speaker 1:

And that's why I say with yeah.

Speaker 4:

Educate yourself.

Speaker 1:

That's a good point, I think. With with the memes, I think they're more about planting seeds and mocking things and just kind of starting to. It's not something that you, you see and you say, oh, my mind's changed. It's more of a slow, a slow burn that starts and then people, it kind of gains traction and and it starts to kind of become something else. But I wonder how you mentioned mythology. I wonder how mythology if that's the role it played in its when it was a thing, if mythology was a way of, was a way to control the populace.

Speaker 2:

Well, it still is and it still does yeah absolutely.

Speaker 2:

Now. Now, if you don't mind, I would love to dive down a rabbit hole that speaks directly to Jose's point about changing minds. Is that all right? Go for it, okay. So, first off, the way I define myth and I'm speaking of myth as separate from mythology, it's it's sort of the way Tolkien defined myth, and that is that it's a truth, something that is very true, very deeply true about the world that is put into a story form, and that's just a sort of context for what I'm about to go into.

Speaker 2:

So, back in Roman times, the way people thought about morality, the way people thought about what was good and what was evil and right and wrong, was so totally different that we almost can't conceive of it today. So, for example, let's see slavery. Well, slavery is a perfect example, but but it was all based on power hierarchy. Good and evil were based on power hierarchy. They were based on how strong you were, if you were strong enough and had the power to do something that made it good. So, as an example, back in Sparta, mothers would tell their sons and this is this is recorded in Herodotus, so this is actually an anecdote from that time period Mothers would tell their sons come home with your shield or on it, meaning if you run away from the battle you're not welcome to come home or sex. At the time, the head of a household in Rome could do anything he wanted and it was considered okay. He had not just the power of life and death, but the power to do anything that we would consider degrading today. And it wasn't. It wasn't morally wrong in the eyes of the populace, it was just a matter of them being strong enough to hold the position they held. And if you look at what some of the Roman emperors did and I'm not going to get into specifics because that really would get that would get anybody in trouble I looked into this the other day and I went this is, this is real. It's really really bad. But what they did was crazy and other other societies at the time were kind of the same.

Speaker 2:

And what changed that, what changed the world's view of morality, was one story, and I am a Christian, so that affects the way I look at this. But by the same token, I think that the story itself is. Anybody can see that the way the story affected history is pretty crazy. So we read in the Bible that Jesus's disciples ran away when they crucified. And when the Romans crucified him, right they, they got scared and actually fled. Then by the end of their lives, 11 out of 12 of them willingly died refused to recant their stories about Jesus to the point where they died for it, and the juxtaposition of those two facts is really interesting.

Speaker 2:

But then you look at what the story of what Christ did and who he was and how it changed Western society. It's kind of amazing because the morality we have today that we just consider to be natural and part of our human, you know, part of what is part of what's real at a base level kind of comes from that and I don't I don't know exactly how to express how it happened, but you look at the change between then and now and just the way we look at the world and it's dramatic and a lot of it came from that one story. That one story did more to change Western society than any other story I can think of.

Speaker 4:

Whether you agree that it's true or not, If I may that story is a rehatch of stories that have been told before. What brought the thing, that made it a success at the time was because it appealed the whole notion of the afterlife for the common man, for the slave. Because, you know, there was a lot of people who had no control over their lives and lived miserable lives. So it was the idea that, you know, it didn't matter how hard your life was, that then you would have, you'll be rewarded in the afterlife. It wasn't just the kings and the pharaohs that you know would feast with the gods and that was the thing that took over. And it being just the one god instead of dozens also unites people because everyone believed in something, in some god. You know there were several to pick. You know you just pray to the one who was more convenient at the time and it was fine. It was just unifying. Just don't know, this is the only God. So everyone now was worshipping that God and suddenly they had hope of a better life. And every saying, the basis of the story.

Speaker 4:

Go and check Egyptian mythology, greek mythology. It's all there Now. It's all related with the solstice, with the rebirth. There's been many Jesus before by other name, it's so much ancient and the Romans copied from the Greeks, the Greeks copied from the Egyptians, the Egyptians copied from the Babylonians. We are predisposed to love that story, and the more simplified it is, because before it was all shades of gray. You know, no God was truly evil or truly good. And then now it's clear, black and white. You're saying that morality as we understand now it's not the same 2000 years ago. No, of course not. It's not the same 50 years ago. It's not the same 100 years ago. It's not the same in Africa, it's not the same in many other places on earth. Right now, what some people consider to be good and just and moral, others will not, and that's why it's so important to study history and mythology to gain perspective.

Speaker 2:

You know, there's plenty there that I could disagree with. We could talk for hours about this.

Speaker 4:

I know, I know.

Speaker 2:

But the, the set, well, the, the central point, though, the thing that I, the thing that I'm really what would I say? The thing that I'm really focused on at the moment myself that I think is really interesting is how much those stories have changed us, have changed history, and I don't think that's something that is easily denied.

Speaker 4:

No, I'm not denying it. I'm saying it completely.

Speaker 2:

No, I know what I'm saying. Well, and what I'm saying is just that's debatable Well and and better and worse are. Unless you believe in real morality, better and worse are a meaningless concept. So where do we go with that? But but the point is still that those stories change the way we look at things. And so, Jose, what you were asking about how memes change the way we look at things, it's the same way stories do. It's like these stories, like what Susanna was saying, like what I was just saying the story changed the way all of Western society looked at morality. How did that happen exactly? Well, can we parse that down and say precisely exactly how it changed things? I don't know. We could throw out ideas, but I don't know that I can define it. I don't know that I'm that. I don't think I'm that smart.

Speaker 5:

I just find it very, very, very almost now impossible to comprehend and understand that there is some office of secret intelligence somewhere running bot farms producing memes to shift political discourse of people's beliefs in the world, because the amount of planning and psychology needed to understand and for you know, I'm going to produce this series of memes that are going to get people to react in this particular way and therefore get them to go in the. I don't understand that, but maybe I'm just too stupid and I'm not operating at that level. Go look at the super intelligent people there that can't see that.

Speaker 2:

Look at the YouTube series the Dark Stowa. Go, look up the YouTube series the Dark Stowa, it will. It will at least give you an idea of how that could be possible, because it kind of Kind of gave me a bit of a brain twist when I when I watched it.

Speaker 3:

So two things. One, I think generally when this stuff happens, it isn't coordinated right, like it's not some great conspiracy. That said, there are bar farms that do propagate propaganda. You know, we know. I mean that's how propaganda works, right? People put it out there, they fund it, they send it out into the world and that's true with the Internet, especially now that it's cheaper than it ever used to be. I certainly don't think, you know, I would be hesitant to believe. Going back to the guy on Twitter's claim that he could like single-handedly, you know, reframe a like I hard members. You know a certain amount of people's point of views, but I do think he could probably change some people's point of views, right? And it's really just when you do it enough in mass that it starts to have an impact, right?

Speaker 2:

Right Well, and you have to understand the story that they're living in their head in order to have a hope of under of changing the story that they all live by. There's Right, you can look at the way people live and there are stories that sort of guide each of us. It's like I say I'm a Christian. That means that I have a particular narrative in my head that guides the way I look at the world. And when you find the narrative that people live by and you can find the pain points, the pressure points where you can push on that, then theoretically you could shift things Exactly. Whether somebody is masterminding something, I tend to be a little skeptical myself. I don't know, man.

Speaker 3:

Right. I think what's scary to me and interesting about this is the idea that, theoretically, someday AI could get to the point where they could identify those pressure points, right, by my understanding I mean I'm not going to pretend to be an expert it's not there yet, right, but like you know, when I was, like that would make a good sci-fi novel, like I'm not talking the SkyNet thing, like to me, what's even scarier and seems more realistic is the idea that the AI in some way could identify the patterns enough in how people behave and then they like and the AI would not be doing this, like willfully, it would be human beings, you know, running in through the algorithm, you know, trying to figure out. Okay, like this is, you know where the vulnerable population is. You know this is who we hit and this is what you know, what you tell them. And I don't think we're there yet, but I think it is a terrifying idea. That you know, with how it would probably be really expensive is one thing, because AI is really expensive, yeah.

Speaker 4:

But you know that's a scary marketing. What do you call publicity? That's exactly what we've been doing, that for ages. Right, AI now is just refining and yeah, it is possible and it is happening, yeah. But anyone, well, anyone who is able to sing for themselves can see. I see it every day on X Right.

Speaker 4:

You know, from any side of any argument. There are people trying to manipulate others and people go for it. I've seen them changing their minds and allegiances like back and forth with. That is a problem. It's not AI. We've been selling lives to each other ages.

Speaker 3:

I agree with that, and I think that I mean critical thinking. Can't, just, you don't manifest critical thinking right. It's taught, it's a skill right, it's a skill.

Speaker 2:

I think you either have to self-teach or you have to be taught, but self-teaching is actually probably the more effective thing when it comes to critical thinking.

Speaker 3:

I think that is an important aspect of it, but I think you also have to. Part of critical thinking is being willing to have your ideas challenged, and so I feel like you have to have a dialogue anyway. Like I just feel like fundamentally, it can't be. I mean, I guess it depends how we're defining self-teaching, right, sure, but I feel like a part of it has to be engaging and being challenged, because otherwise, so often all of us fall into, you know, the habits of believing, like. You know, like you were saying, jared, telling our own narratives, right yeah, and just telling our own stories and just retelling them over and over again and then wanting to, you know, find excuses to prove that they're real, that they're true.

Speaker 2:

Confirmation bias anybody.

Speaker 3:

All right.

Speaker 2:

I think I'm going to say this, Jose.

Speaker 5:

Either I'm looking at the wrong places or I'm too cynical. Susana just said that she's seen people on X change their minds all the time. I actually, in my limited experience based on nothing, I don't think people change their mind. Whenever I've seen these big debates, long-form conversations, people don't go into a conversation willing to have their mind change. People go there to tell their story and defend the viewpoint. So does the person on the other side of the argument, but I've never seen anyone walk away with a mind change. It's just an exchange of ideas, that sort of collapse into each other in the middle, but everyone leaves thinking exactly what they thought before coming into the room.

Speaker 4:

No, that was not what I meant, Mr Spitt. They don't very rarely they come out thinking something different. No, and I'm saying that it's like an evolution. Someone says something retweet, yeah, I agree with that. And then another person says something similar between and before you know it, even though it's within the same umbrella of ideas. They don't realize they are contradicting each other at some point, but it just sounds nice, it just sounds like something that you should retweet because others did it and they don't even realize. That's what I mean, Because they are not thinking about what they are retweeting.

Speaker 3:

Right, I want to reiterate too it's not usually one thing. It's not like a public debate. I mean, although you do see that there are people who make up, you want to talk about political debates. There are people voters who watch a debate. There are very few of them, don't get me wrong, very, very few, but who watch it and then decide all right, that's the person I'm going to vote for.

Speaker 2:

But I think we're all going to Even intellectual debates like Jordan Peterson.

Speaker 3:

It's a series of things right. It's repeating dialogues, it's getting the same ideas over and over and or maybe not even the same ideas, but just similar ideas. Actually, that can impact things.

Speaker 2:

Here's a great illustration, Jose. How familiar are you guys with Jordan Peterson and that phenomenon that has happened in kind of the US and Canada? Have you heard the name?

Speaker 5:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, it's a little bit unscapable. If you speak English, it's on your YouTube recommendation, isn't it Okay?

Speaker 2:

So the way, what his story is, and I actually I found this really interesting. I sort of caught on to this early on and I've been watching the whole thing and it's fascinating to watch. He started out by defying a rule that he thought was morally objectionable from his government coming down through his college, and that's how he gained attention. But since then he has tapped into this, this pain point, this place where people are feeling like they're not acknowledged, they're not heard, like there's something that's missing, and in so doing, by being who he is and showing up and dressing nice and telling people to be responsible, he has shifted the narrative in the US in a way that I haven't seen in my lifetime somebody do by themselves. It's a story of a guy who stood up against somebody who was trying to make him say something he didn't like and by then telling people that they need to be responsible and trying to live by it, he managed to actually change the story. He's had a huge effect on culture.

Speaker 5:

Hang on, what was the story before and was the story after Like? What has it changed?

Speaker 2:

What's in the popular consciousness. Before he started talking, when people talked about freedom, they talked about we have a right to do this and we have a right to do that and we have a. You know, it was all about what we can do. He changed the story to where now people are starting to talk about what are our responsibilities that go along with that. And that's in the US. I don't know about in other cultures, because in you know, in Europe, things are different in ways that I'm not familiar with, but in the US. That is how the conversation has changed since he stepped up is now there is a conversation about responsibility and not just freedoms and rights.

Speaker 3:

I would push back on that. I don't think he single-handedly changed it. I think he was really impactful for a particular like group of people within the United States, a group of young men, particularly that he has a relatively for an individual outsized influence on.

Speaker 2:

And I agree with you. I don't think it was single-handed. I think that he found something that where something was lacking, people felt a need Go ahead.

Speaker 3:

I didn't mean to cut you off. I'm sorry, oh no, I, that was the end of that. Okay, no.

Speaker 2:

I agree with you. I don't think that he single-handedly changed things. I think that he was expressing something that a group of people was feeling and didn't wasn't part of the conversation, and he was the right guy to bring it into the conversation. And that's how. That's how you change the conversation, I think.

Speaker 1:

It's funny that we we talked when we started off. We talked about that. We veer off of topics a lot before I wanted to get in with Susanna about mythology and what. What kind of what inspired her to write mythology and what about mythology, susanna, do you love that? That? That prompted you to include that in your in your work.

Speaker 4:

Everything it's, it's how stories like okay, let's go back back back, back back Mids, are stories that we tell ourselves to explain natural phenomenon, to explain human behavior, to explain pretty much everything, how the world works. And those stories, honestly I don't know what came first. There are theories. If we became predisposed to learn that that way, to sing in stories or they, or if stories were just a manifestation of how we think, not, not even going to go into that, but without stories we wouldn't function, we wouldn't understand, we wouldn't, we'd even begin to, to want to, to understand.

Speaker 4:

It's born from this desire to try to make sense of what's around us, to make sense of ourselves, and everything just just came from there, just evolved from from there literature, art, science, music and it's all. It's all part of this desire to explain and communicate what we our understanding of things and teach others. So yeah, and it's, it's fascinating to see how the same teams evolved again and again in different parts of the world, in different cultures, how they adapt, how they evolve, how they pick and choose the you know, the myths that they like to then create their own mythologies, how they then represent how humanity was at the time, how they represent the climate, the, the geography. It's, but it's still at their core. It's the same story, it's the same archetype, it's just, it's how we think, it's what makes us human, so you can create anything.

Speaker 2:

I got carried away.

Speaker 5:

Oh, you're good. You're good, would you say, all mythologies, because I know far less than you, but to me, sort of, the Norse mythologies and the Greek mythologies are very different. Like the Norse gods are possibly the Egyptian, the Egyptian gods are, you know, these all powerful beings, supernatural, whereas the Greek gods are these very human, very flawed representation. So the mythologies are very different in in nature, in different cultures. Think Zeus To my layman's. You know, stupid brain, they look very different.

Speaker 4:

They're not, I can go on. They're not, they're just, they're really not.

Speaker 2:

They're well what we would. What I would say and you know, play on this in on this if you like to. What I would say about how they're different is that they tend to emphasize different characteristics of the stories they're telling, but that the base stories behind them are often very similar.

Speaker 4:

See, so we agree on something. It's great yeah.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, absolutely. We agree on many things. I would say, though, going back to what you had just talked about, that the reason that these same archetypes emerge over and over again is that there is such a thing as real truth in the world and that they're pointing back to it, and that, in my mind, that's because there is a creator who made the world, and he, he, is that truth, and they point back to him. You lost me at truth. So do you think that?

Speaker 4:

that's what I go with the yet laws of nature and physics yes. Truth yes, no. Creator.

Speaker 1:

Do you?

Speaker 4:

go ahead?

Speaker 1:

No, just do you think, you know? Because the bitches said we keep getting these same archetypes and these same stories visit, because we as humans need that, we need something to look up into the stars with, we need something to believe in to, because otherwise what's the point right? So do we keep telling whether we we they're real or not, or we really truly believe it or we don't? Do we just need that there in the background just to? I mean, is that why he keeps getting created over and over again? Or apart?

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 4:

Absolutely.

Speaker 2:

Because, as human beings, we need that truth. I'll go ahead, susan, I'm sorry.

Speaker 4:

Just just myself in this example. I am an atheist. I, I know. I just said I don't believe in creation. Let's, let's say, or just that this, this one God responsible for everything. But I write about God's. You know, I write about creation, I write, I. It's it. I love it, I love the idea of it and I love it. It helps me make sense of the world. I just I never lose track of what is real you know of, but it's, I love, everything about it. I love, I love these stories, I love these characters in all their reincarnations. Let's put it this this way I love, I love the human mind, the psyche, I think, more to the point, something beautiful about it.

Speaker 3:

It can be. Yeah, I mean, I, I think it just speaks to, to things that are, have always been true about our species. You know, and you know that that's we repeat these stories because it all relates to like what we are and how we are trying to like exist. And so you know, whether you want to, whatever lens you want to view that through, right, like I don't know that, Like I, I am also an atheist, but you know, I think it it speaks to, just like truth is an interesting word, right Cause that that that's.

Speaker 3:

I think we all believe in truth in a sense. But it's like, how are we defining truth? You know, if we talk about capital T truth I'm sorry if you see me giggling to you I'm like we're reading the the Prince of Nothing trilogy right now, as far as the page chewing and that's a big thing in it, and like they're always going on about the truth and anyway and truth is truth is a difficult one, right? I just think that there's a fundamental unity, I guess is what I would say. It's the human experience that keeps perpetuating itself through the story. I wonder where that comes from.

Speaker 3:

I would argue with just our nature as a species. Yeah, not necessarily Millions of years of evolution.

Speaker 5:

But what things are common to the different mythologies? What was common to the Norse mythology, the Egyptian, the Native American, the Greek mythology? What things are common there?

Speaker 1:

Good question.

Speaker 5:

Because I, there it is, we're just the good king explanation for natural phenomena. I get that, but I the bit I'm lost out of ignorance is what themes in Greek mythology are common to Celtic or Norse or Native American or Egyptian or Asian Chinese mythology. What are the commonalities there?

Speaker 4:

Well, you always have morals. No, they're quite different. They're quite different in that regard. So we always have the head of the Pantheon in Greek mythology, zeus. In Norse mythology is Odin, for example. They are not the same, curiously, like Thor is more alike Zeus than Odin. I mean lightning. I mean there's always a god of the sky or lightning, there's always a god of the sun, there's always a god of the ocean, there's always a goddess of life or earth or fertility, war, war, let's not forget chaos. So always at least one god of chaos. And yeah, their personalities within, then the stories that are told about them change, their interactions change, but you know, they're always there, in that there's always a god of the dead, god of the underworld god of love.

Speaker 5:

Those are human, those are natural phenomena thunder, seas, the sky, the sun, the moon yeah.

Speaker 4:

And there's always a god.

Speaker 3:

You want to talk of, like. I think that those are themes, some of them, actually a lot of them. I mean, war is a story, certainly, but I think closer to what you're looking for. You know, the return of the good king, right. You see this in like Lord of the Rings, right, but this goes way back. I mean, that's the whole narrative behind like at least partially, jesus, right, is he's like the one to like king of man, and you go back further.

Speaker 5:

But that goes back to the Greek myths and I think we had this conversation in the past where there's only so many stories and we just retell in the same eight main stories and you go back to the Greek classics and it all comes from there in Western societies.

Speaker 3:

So I mean if you're back for that.

Speaker 2:

But yeah, if you're saying that we're always retelling the same eight stories, then why would you say that the mythologies are all different? Because the whole point is that those mythologies are sort of those same stories over and over again, right?

Speaker 5:

That's no, it's because it was mentioned about themes, and what I'm saying is that the mythologies were just explanations for natural phenomena and of course they're going to be the same because we all experience the same natural phenomena everywhere in the world. But I was thinking, when you talk about themes, I'm thinking maybe more, maybe more about moral stories, learnings, and I understand that myth, legend, stories, tales you know the Green Brothers, they are just cautionary tales and sort of you know educate, you know myths, stories, also there for educating and so on. So I get that, but in so far as they are just all explanations to the same phenomena, just in different cultures, and I don't see what the crossover says. I mean, I understand Karl's point there, but I think we just go back to the Greek classics because everything comes from there in our culture.

Speaker 3:

I mean in the Greeks. Where did they get it from Right? I mean, it goes back further than that. But I guess I'm not understanding where you're drawing the line on the themes. Yeah, me either.

Speaker 4:

The Greeks. They were better storytellers or maybe we have more of the stories that survived, so that's why it did. But they didn't come up with mythology. They borrowed for whatever came before. They were just really good at it.

Speaker 3:

Where are you dividing the line, jose? I mean, like on the themes, like I guess I'm just, I feel like you're, you're saying like I agree with what you're saying, but also I don't agree with what you're saying, like I'm not, I'm not, I'm not, I see.

Speaker 5:

No, no, my, it's my, my lack of clarity, I suppose I was in my mind A theme was more like I was thinking more in terms of morality, like I was separating what are natural phenomena, like a god of the sun yeah, I mean, we all perceive the sun and yeah, in Egyptian mythology you got raw and in Greek mythology you got Apollo and whatever, whatever. But I said in my head that was not a theme, that was not like a moral learning and educating point. Like you know, we were talking before about the morality in Roman times as opposed to the morality that the New Testament brought about was a cultural shift. So I was sort of trying to figure out what were the cultural shifts between different mythologies as opposed to just explanations of natural phenomena, if that makes any sense now.

Speaker 3:

I mean, I think there are differences, Like I don't think you're wrong, Like they speak to their individual cultures. But again you have these like. I don't know if motif is the right word Because it's usually related to imagery, but again, the return of the righteous king and resetting sort of the natural order of things. You know. Often mythologies have stories about how once you're dead you're not supposed to come back, Right, Like, whether it like. I mean it's about more than this, but like Oedipus or not Oedipus?

Speaker 5:

Okay, the return of the rightful king. So in which different mythologies do we get different versions of that same story? I'm asking out of ignorance.

Speaker 3:

So well again. I mean one you can look at Judeo-Christian all have their own versions of it. In Greek myth you have, I mean, any number of stories about kings coming back. I mean you have the tragic versions, unfortunately, like Oedipus certainly is kind of you know, the return of the lineage, but tragically. But you're, you know, talking something like oh, what's is it? Is it Perseus who's cast out by his dad? Am I making that up, tcs?

Speaker 4:

as well.

Speaker 3:

And he comes back and he ends up like becoming king, yeah.

Speaker 5:

We keep going back to the Greeks. I mean that same story in other cultures, in radically different cultures China, egypt, native America.

Speaker 2:

I don't know. Actually, if you look at some of Jordan Peterson's work, this is one of the places where I got some of my knowledge on this, because he has a real interest in these archetypes and he delved deeply into Carl Jung, who also had a huge interest in these archetypes. And whether it's Mesopotamian, egyptian, greek, norse, I don't know anything about the Native American, but there are common themes among all of them, in exactly what Carl was just saying. When it comes to the what would you say? The young ruler, the young king who goes down to the underworld to save his dead father, sort of a theme, is one of the ones Jordan Peterson points back to. The God of order and chaos and their interrelationship is another one that he points back to. A lot. There are various themes throughout that do have common what would you say common occurrences in these different mythologies.

Speaker 5:

Yeah, but you keep I say you guys we all keep going back to the same geographical place which is the birth of modern Western civilization, which is the Mediterranean, where Greece, egypt, italy, the Egyptians were at some point they were Greek, like Cleopatra was. The city of Alexandria in Egypt was called Alexandria because of Alexander Macedonians. We keep going back to the same geographical point which is the birth of Western civilization. So of course, all those themes and all those myths are going to have a common ground because we go back to the same place.

Speaker 3:

Coyote and Loki, two different continents, same God.

Speaker 4:

Exactly the.

Speaker 3:

God archetype, like Hermes, you want another Western one, the.

Speaker 5:

Messenger of the.

Speaker 3:

Gold, it's on Wukong. You have these gods who are tricksters, who have to go against their whether. Sometimes they're the antagonists, sometimes they're the protagonist, and they have to go against their natures for the betterment of the community. Sort of sober up a bit, you could say. I mean, I'm thinking of again Western ones, because that's what I'm most familiar with in this case, not Native Americans, although a lot of their myths certainly have similar common grounds.

Speaker 5:

I just feel like I wish we had someone that came from a bit further east to give us a different or not perspective.

Speaker 2:

I gotta be honest, jose, I don't understand exactly where you're drawing any lines either, because it looks to me like we have cultural differences but that the myths all come back to similar themes and what would you call it Motifs I mean that is a good word for it across these different cultures, and whether they have common origins or not, they do diverge more outside of that. But you still get like Carl was just talking about. You still get some of the same things and of course, you have differences. That's part of human culture changing.

Speaker 5:

No, no, no, I get that and, like I said, I understand totally when we were talking about representations of natural phenomena. But when it comes to the morals of things, of the ethics of those cultures, I'm not sure whether they are the same or not.

Speaker 4:

They were what was they are a reflection of what was considered moral and ethical at the time. You can't separate. You know the characters are similar. Let's put it this way it's how you tell the story and it's depending on who's telling the story, where, to what purpose. The story is going to change. The characters are going to change, not at their core. You know that it's still the sun, gods and the prince and whatever. But the narrative around them reflects the society, reflects the geography, reflects what they consider moral or immoral and that's how mythology evolved. But at the core, we can always understand the message, let's say behind the story. I guess it's easy like it has to evolve right.

Speaker 4:

It has to evolve because we evolve and, you know, sometimes we need to add a few more laws or different perspectives on things to fit society as it is. I was kind of getting excited and I don't know anything about Indomitology or Native American. Sorry, I can't draw any parallels there and I find them quite difficult. When I was researching for my work I couldn't find many parallels because it's a completely different narrative Because they evolved so early on so many different ways that it's hard to draw parallels. It's very easy to draw parallels between the Egyptian, greek, roman and Norse Because they're all geographically kind of in the same area. Yes, yes, I know, I thought that's what you were getting at. The differences are minor because society in itself, the way that it evolved, it was they kind of mingled together. It was minor. I mean geographically it's a very, very tiny bit of the world. So but that's why the narratives match, even if the purpose or the outcome of each story.

Speaker 5:

Susanna, you and I come from countries where we've been conquered time and time again by all these different cultures, isn't it? So it just goes to show how, like you said, we're a small part of the world all these stories come from, so of course they're going to have. And then you said that, when you were researching, maybe, indian or Chinese mythologies, that it was very difficult to draw parallels, and thus that was precisely my point In the narrative the same, the same deities are there, but the narrative around them is completely different, so it makes it harder.

Speaker 2:

Hey Steve, do you mind me asking where are you from?

Speaker 1:

I'm from New Mexico.

Speaker 2:

Okay.

Speaker 3:

California, here Gotcha, actually originally Oklahoma, but I have been in California for many years now Gotcha.

Speaker 2:

I was just curious. I assumed US, but I wasn't certain.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's why we usually have these earlier in the day, so Susanna and Jose and some other friends we have on the other side of the globe can join us.

Speaker 5:

Absolutely. It would have been interesting to have had someone like Paramita or Varsha here today. They probably would have been able to give a much I don't know a different perspective from their part of the world.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, I know Varsha is very well versed in Indian mythologies and religions and stuff. So yeah, that'd be great to hear their perspective.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely.

Speaker 5:

It's that crazy community that Steve has created, but apparently Paramita managed to follow most of my nonsense.

Speaker 4:

Even she doesn't know much about Greek or Egyptian mythology, but she managed to follow my story for you also. I think I did a good job keeping the narrative accessible to anyone.

Speaker 3:

That's important yeah.

Speaker 1:

In noblya because I completely failed in.

Speaker 4:

Timeless. I think you need to know a little bit of mythology to keep up.

Speaker 2:

That's the best we can right.

Speaker 4:

Yep.

Speaker 1:

So, susanna, what's your? I know it's Greek mythologies. Greek mythology is your biggest, one of your bigger influences. Is that fair?

Speaker 4:

Yes, yeah.

Speaker 1:

What is your? Which figure or entity you're being is your favorite?

Speaker 4:

In Greek mythology. Ooh, that's a tough one. I like them. I thought, you'd have an answer. I can't say psyche, because that would be cheating, because most of our story actually was written in Roman times. It's complicated. God, I would have to say Hades, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Interesting.

Speaker 5:

Deeply misunderstood character, isn't it?

Speaker 4:

Yeah, I mean, I love writing from his point of view. So, yeah, definitely Hades. What about you?

Speaker 2:

Do you have anyone has a favorite, interestingly enough, if I had to pick one, I would go with Odysseus.

Speaker 4:

We're talking about.

Speaker 2:

God, we just said mythology, true, true, true.

Speaker 4:

I haven't even got to the mortals yet.

Speaker 2:

Hades is still the first.

Speaker 4:

It's still the favorite Mortals and demigods. I just wrote an novel about the Minotaur.

Speaker 3:

If I can just take the whole Trojan War, I think I would just take the Trojan War. A lot of really colorful characters and great twists and turns. The gods are dickheads. As usual, it's got it all it is insane. Frogs rock and roll. It's got it. It is insane.

Speaker 4:

But it's quite sad. I don't know, I'm talking about the Iliad. It's brutal.

Speaker 3:

I would say the whole Trojan War is sad. It really is just a tragedy for everyone.

Speaker 4:

But talk about moral. Talk about moral and motivations. That was insanity. That was such a waste of life. For the sake of let's fight Kindness.

Speaker 2:

As we've been talking about this, one of the things that keeps coming back to me is that we're talking about morals and moral differences. All of these mythologies are just totally brutal. I was saying earlier on about how might sort of made right in morality while in Roman culture. But you look at all of these mythologies and that's kind of a common theme is it's like people do what they can and what they want and there isn't a lot of return to a good or right or moral or anything. The only exception to that that I know is Christianity.

Speaker 4:

The Greek gods were particularly rapey, weren't they?

Speaker 2:

Well, if you, okay, that's like a 90 degree shift here. What I'm saying is that in any of these mythologies there is no appeal to good, there is no appeal to right. Where, with Christianity, there is at least a measuring stick, and they've, you know, as you point out, in the Crusades they fail to measure up, but there is a measuring stick that they're trying to appeal to. Where with the others, they're not exactly. They don't exactly even have a measuring stick.

Speaker 3:

I would disagree with that. I think they do. I think some of their values are different, but there absolutely is a measuring stick. And again, you want to go to the East and Buddhism. The values are somewhat different, but they still value things like peace and any number of their parallel values. I know that there are Chinese myths about how kings must be just or otherwise they have no right to rule. So it's not all you know might make right? Certainly, I think that's a prevailing story, because and I think I would argue it's one that still prevails today Because if you are strong enough, you can make whatever you want. To be true, you know. True in quotes, right, if you're in charge, you know.

Speaker 2:

The victors write the history books.

Speaker 3:

Right, exactly Exactly. Tale as old as time.

Speaker 2:

And I wasn't. Just to be clear. You kind of mistook what I was going for there. I wasn't saying that I was more making an observation of structure than of morality. Exactly what I was saying is that the only one of these where you have a moral, a cohesive moral pointer, a cohesive moral compass, seems to be the Christian one, where the other moralities, just as an observation of structure, they seem to have a lot of different things going on, but they don't seem to be trying to tell a moral, a story with a moral.

Speaker 5:

I think, gerard, the point you're trying to get at, I think, is the Ten Commandments. It's the first time that we get this. You know this code of laws by which to live your life, by the legal standpoint, from a moral standpoint, isn't it?

Speaker 2:

Sort of along those lines, right. It's like elevating morality to the central point of the story seems to be a Christian theme. Where these others are, there are stories and there are what they consider good and bad, but it isn't like they're elevating morality to the central point of their story. That's sort of what I'm getting at.

Speaker 5:

And in the Old Testament, in Exodus, when Moses gets the Ten Commandments, it's all coded there, the things that you should do and you shouldn't do. You know, written down plain. That's the law, and it's the first time that you get that. You know you shall not kill, you shall not steal all that sort of stuff.

Speaker 3:

How are you defining morality? Because all of these stories are about how to act and how not to act, and what's appropriate and what's inappropriate.

Speaker 5:

But that's what morality is, isn't it? It's how to act and not to act, but it's time dependent, because morality shifts no exactly.

Speaker 3:

I'm asking Jared, like how are you? Because I would argue they're all. They all have a moral compass. It's just what is that moral compass?

Speaker 2:

Well, I'm trying to think how to put this into words. I don't easily translate my thoughts into words, I'm sorry. It's a case of to me in the Christian what would you call it? In the Christian story, in the Judeo-Christian worldview, morality is elevated to sort of the central topic of the story in a way that all of the others don't really seem to intentionally do. It's like, yeah, there's stories about how people act and how people are supposed to act, but it's more like these are. These are more stories for their own sake, where the whole Christian thing seems to be wrapped around morality as its central topic or central focus.

Speaker 3:

That's sort of what I'm I just don't think that's correct. I think that these stories are telling people how to act and again go to Buddhism. The entire story of the Buddha is about teaching people how they should act. That's true Enlightenment. It's slightly different, certainly, than the Christian worldview. No, you're right there, that is true. I think even the Iliad is in many ways a cautionary tale and that's not even one of their foundational religious myths. That was a poem, it was a narrative for entertainment as much as anything. So in that way certainly it's different. I agree with you.

Speaker 2:

Well, that difference that you're pointing to there is sort of what I was noticing.

Speaker 3:

Right, I mean, I think it depends on the story we're talking about, because, like, I think there are parts of the Bible you could point to that I think are. I mean, the Old Testament and the New Testament are like different books. Like I just don't know where the line is being drawn here either, because the values themselves to change. So, yeah, I don't know.

Speaker 2:

You've been awful quiet, Cezanne. I noticed you were wanting to vehemently disagree with me there. I want to make sure that you get a chance to say something.

Speaker 4:

I disagree so much I don't even know where to begin Are you familiar with the. Delphi. The Delphi maxims say that Greek mythology has no morality, Very simple morality. I didn't say that I didn't say that, but they don't have like. Personally, that's what I guide myself. It's by the Delphi maxims. If I'm gonna say that I don't have religion but I have that philosophy, Know yourself everything in moderation, etc.

Speaker 4:

And most stories are cautionary tales of things that happen when you don't know yourself, when you don't take things in moderation, when you over commit, when you fight for the wrong reasons, when you just get too greedy. So many stories about just hubris, even amongst the gods.

Speaker 4:

You know that they are there they are not the thing that's in the beginning. They are not simple black and white, because people are not black and white. Humanity is not black and white. Life is not black and white. There's no absolute good or evil and no absolute right or wrong. Circumstances change. You have to adapt Christianity adapted, I'm sure we can disagree. Christianity is always adapting.

Speaker 2:

You actually. Well, you sort of made my point for me there, though, and what I'm?

Speaker 1:

saying by that is that you said there is well, yeah, well.

Speaker 2:

what I was gonna point to, though, is you said there is no black and white, and what I'm saying is that, in most of all of these mythologies we're talking about, of all of these stories we're talking about, christianity seems to be the one that tries to put a black and white, doesn't it?

Speaker 4:

Yeah, tries really hard.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, well, that's what I was speaking to.

Speaker 3:

I would argue it goes before that. So our astrionism, which is where a lot of and the Jewish you know Gnostic texts, I would disagree with that too. I mean, I think, in this same area of the world certainly, you see these religions of dichotomies pop up and it is often treated as a war. But again, like, zoroastrianism existed before Christianity I think it's older than Judaism too, maybe not and Christianity is sort of Christianity, is sort of a continuation of Judaism, in one sense so right.

Speaker 3:

Yes, yeah, so it's not the only one that does it. I think actually it's it again. Going back to what we were talking about, jose, earlier, about how the different parts of the world influence, I interrupted. Suzana.

Speaker 4:

Oh no, I was, I was still writing about.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I know, suzana, go on yeah.

Speaker 4:

And because I was saying tries, but it's still just an interpretation. What is black and white changed so much from, you know, from the Old Testament, what was considered good and right and legal, and from what it is now. And okay, let's, even in more modern times. For example, bigamy is wrong, right In Christian mythology it's made from the power net list, and yet in like countries like Kenya, perfectly fine for the men, never mind, they make allowances, like 100 years ago, 150 years ago, even less, actually, I know less, at least in America, but I'm not even going to go there.

Speaker 4:

Let's, let's stick to, you know, the old kings of Europe. It was perfectly fine, legal and good and righteous to marry at 13 year old to, you know, 40 year old, and now not so much. You know, you kind of frown upon. So right and wrong changes, and and the more when the religion doesn't, the more absolute it is. And to simplify even more all the black and white mentality, though, you know, those religions are the ones that always at odds with each other, that's, that's when wars break out, because they cannot agree in what is white or black, or good or evil, and they are. But they are so sure in that particular moment in time that you know that they will do anything.

Speaker 3:

I think that's a simplification. Yeah, I was going to say the very simplified.

Speaker 2:

But it's not what we aspire to is different from what we do.

Speaker 4:

Oh yeah, that that's. That's, that's the foundation of Christianity. Right there, do what I say, don't do what I do, that's yeah.

Speaker 2:

Well, what we aspire to is different from what we do. I would rather not. I would rather do better than I am doing. How's that? Because it isn't. It isn't a case of me telling you what to do. It's a case of me saying I would rather do better than I am doing.

Speaker 4:

How is that different from?

Speaker 3:

I mean I think it goes beyond Christianity to I yeah like again, I can keep pointing to Buddhism.

Speaker 3:

I mean there have been murderists. You know Buddhist empires like I, which is again hilarious. I mean I think it's funny, you know, in a really dark way, when there are like wildly violent. You know Christian extremists in the same way it's wildly funny. It's like Buddhist extremists like it's when you're you know your prophet preaches peace as one of the primary kind of commandments and then being violent, it's human beings are gonna, are gonna human. I think the often they are just looking for an excuse.

Speaker 2:

That's exactly right and I agree with that 100%. I think that, as as human beings, there are the things we aspire to and there are the things that we admit, as humans, we don't live up to our aspirations. And you know, for myself, I don't. I don't have any, I don't have any designs on any of you guys lives. I just know that I would like to be better than I am.

Speaker 5:

Can I randomly move the conversation in a different direction, please? Sure, so what? What do we get our modern myths from now that?

Speaker 2:

is a really good question. Which myth?

Speaker 5:

Modern myths. I don't know, I don't know. Whatever, whatever. What's your boat, Carl Well? I think I've been more highbrow than the the what?

Speaker 3:

like, like, like democracy, like what? How are we defining myths here? Like what?

Speaker 5:

what a mythical figure. What a new sort of Jesus like figure. Whatever new prophet, what, what, what are we gonna?

Speaker 2:

get how new? Let's take an example. Let's take a couple of different examples. One example would be Lord of the Rings. Lord of the Rings plays on a lot of the Western culture and the mythology that's behind it. It takes a lot of those old stories and it sort of brings them into a more modern context, in in the wider culture. Lord of the Rings is a very big deal right now, even even 100 years and maybe especially almost 100 years after it was created. Then you've got others. You can. You can look to like you were talking Carl about, about what was the the trickster in the Eastern, the trickster God in the Eastern?

Speaker 1:

On Wukong, yeah, some of that, some of the.

Speaker 2:

Eastern stuff is coming into Western society now in ways that we hadn't seen before. So there's modern mythology that my kids are more familiar with than I am from the East because it has been brought into the West right. And then we've also got other things like a while back I read some books by I'm gonna I'm gonna call the wrong author, but he was. He wrote from a Norse mythology sort of basis and a lot of his, a lot of his fiction came out of that. That one isn't as widely known, but we we pull our modern mythology from a lot of different places. We really do.

Speaker 3:

I, yeah, I'm still confused like where we, how are we defining mythology to? Because, like a lot of these are ones we, I think, generally would identify as fictional and myths are frequently believed to be like, in America, the founding fathers. There are myths around the founding fathers, literally to ones we know for a fact or fake, like George Washington and the cherry tree, yeah, but to other, like the ways we talk about them are not actually reflective of who they were. I mean, they were complex individuals and obviously this is very American, centric, right. I can only speak from that perspective, right. But I mean, every nation has right, there are myths, so go on.

Speaker 5:

But would it so, martin Luther King? Would it be a modern myth? Yeah?

Speaker 3:

I think there is absolutely modern mythology around MLK yeah.

Speaker 5:

Jesse Owens, muhammad Ali. I don't know, do we get them from music sports these days?

Speaker 1:

Celebrities.

Speaker 2:

Celebrities? Yeah, sure, there are a lot of those places. I, when I try to define myth, modern myth, the place I go is to the stories that people sort of hang on to, no matter. You know it's like in American politics. Jfk is a huge source of that sort of myth. People held on to stories about him and his sort of well, what he did and what he tried to do and how he was killed, and all of that for a very long time. Compared to other US presidents, abe Lincoln is another one in US politics. You can go back to other. Well, here's a great one. Robin Hood is a myth. That is sort of a modern myth, right.

Speaker 3:

It depends where we're defining modern right.

Speaker 2:

Right, exactly, but. But I'm talking about stuff that's in the last thousand years.

Speaker 5:

I was going to say 20th century onwards, to make it moment Fair enough. Just to put a date.

Speaker 1:

I think, I think Hollywood is absolutely you want to talk about.

Speaker 3:

It probably isn't healthy. I say it as someone who works in the industry but there are myths that permeate American culture that impact the way your everyday citizens live their lives. You know such as and the seeking of fame and fortune. You know the idea that those things make you more moral.

Speaker 2:

The idea or that it makes you somehow, raises you somehow above the rest of the population. Having fame and fortune not necessarily makes you more moral, but somehow elevates you in status.

Speaker 3:

I think both of those are true. I mean, I certainly I don't think anyone here probably thinks that it makes you more moral, but there are definitely people who do and it's unfortunate, but it's yeah, exactly. It elevates you. I mean the status, exactly how we talk about class, you know, and how people are hierarchies, like it's how we explain our societies, right. And then here's another interesting one.

Speaker 2:

What about World War Two? I know that that's bound to carry forward in the consciousness of all of our nations. Yeah, absolutely.

Speaker 5:

I think probably you know you've got the two antagonists there in Churchill and Hiller. Isn't Hiller this figure of pure evil? And Churchill is that sort of British character of resilience and stoicism in the face of major adversity, isn't it? And those? And then Churchill was actually a pretty fucking terrible prime minister and they couldn't wait to get rid of him after the war because he was going to bankrupt the country. He was really good for that period of time between 39 and 45. But afterwards they had to get rid of him.

Speaker 3:

So absolutely no. There's definitely mythology, you could say, around Winston Church. I think World War Two is a great example. That's probably the most impactful war right In the last 100 years, like even more than the First World War, in terms of how people talk about it and think about it. Nazis, you know, syria, or the Nazis, is hugely influential FDR and the US.

Speaker 2:

Yeah Well, and the First World War and Second World War are kind of intertwined in ways that almost makes them part of the same chain of events, right?

Speaker 3:

So yeah, that's definitely true. I mean you could extend that then into the Cold War, because you know those events directly led to the Cold War too.

Speaker 2:

But it's as much as you can draw lines between anything.

Speaker 3:

Right, exactly, yeah, it's. It's a complex web, infinitely complex.

Speaker 5:

I like the whole Cold War thing. I think that brought a lot more because it was in a direct, open confrontation. It was more in the in the common imaginary. You're missing it like the whole witch hands in in the US and you know Red Scare and all that stuff. I think that there's a lot more myth possibly around that Absolutely Sure World War Two.

Speaker 1:

You've been awful quiet.

Speaker 3:

Susana.

Speaker 4:

Oh, I don't know much about modern mates, so I was just listening.

Speaker 2:

Fair enough, fair enough. And you know I actually think that pointing to sports. I'm sorry, go ahead.

Speaker 4:

No, I was just thinking of how because you were talking about the, the witch hands and all that and how mythology can be used for evil to do harm under the guise of of good and righteous and because the gods say so. That's that is the scariest aspect of the human psyche for me. And when people just don't take any responsibility for their actions because you know it's God's will, so I'm just his instrument kind of deal, and so many atrocities have been committed under that protection I'm not just talking about Christianity that many religions do this, they're doing it right now, and that's that mentality really, really freaks me out, because it's even when I write. It's so hard for me to get into the mindset of someone who would think like that. So any thoughts on that, because it maybe it's my neurotypical brain I know, not all there, just on the cost of a million thoughts on that.

Speaker 2:

The question is which ones are useful? I don't know.

Speaker 4:

How, how you justify thinking like that. You know deep down.

Speaker 2:

Well, actually there's. There's a great example in modern that we are currently engaging in in modern society. That is that is really interesting. It's this, this modern mythology, whether it's true or not, of global warming and climate change. And what are we willing to, what are we willing to put up with in order to, to sort of what would you say, solve this problem or deal with this crisis? Are we willing to, or who are we willing to beg? Or how many countries are we willing to make poor? Who, how many people have to suffer for us to do this? This is a real moral question that our world is struggling with right now. Whether you agree with a one narrative or another, it's a moral question that we're contending with. And so I think that, in answer to your question, when it comes to people who, as an instrument of God, would do a thing or an instrument of a God would do a thing, that is, that we would look at as wrong, it's because they're contending with a moral question that the story, the narrative in their head tells them is of drastic importance, and they they come to the conclusion that the only possible answer is this or that or whatever, and it ends up being a very immoral thing If you try to understand what one of the one of the defining stories of my life was.

Speaker 2:

When I was in college, one of my professors required us to read the book Ordinary Men.

Speaker 2:

Ordinary Men is about the death squads in Nazi Germany and where those people came from and how they were selected.

Speaker 2:

And if you ever want to see the dark side of human nature and how that can be brought about, read that book, because it's I'm going to require my kids to read it before they finish high school so they understand just what kind of evil humans are capable of and how the most ordinary of human beings can go to the worst possible places for and what reasons lead them there. In those people's cases, believe it or not, there was no punishment if they didn't do those evil things there was. The only thing they faced was the social backlash of abandoning their, their brothers, their tribe, their, their group, and very few of them were willing to do it. Very few of them were willing to stand up. As you said earlier, susanna, people don't construct their worldview from the ground up. So we end up with these things where people go with the crowd as a matter of being, just being human and they wind up doing these terrible things because they don't have morals that they're convinced of.

Speaker 1:

I've heard that's a really good book. I haven't read it yet, but good is one word for it.

Speaker 2:

It's a very enlightening book. It's it's a very difficult book. It's, I think, the only book that ever gave me nightmares. And then the modern companion ordinary men is the name of the book. It's by Browning, christopher Browning, and then the modern companion to that. If you like podcasts, look up Martyrmade and his anti-humans series. It's a historical examination of what happened in Eastern Europe under the Soviet Union, and it's even worse, if anything Like that one. It took me a week to recover from that and have a view of the world that wasn't just totally dark. I don't do that to myself very often, but if you really want to understand how deeply evil people can get, that's the one that it's sort of reoriented my perspective.

Speaker 1:

That's. I didn't realize we're coming up on two hours, so just understand. But before we wrap up, I want to give everyone a chance to where we can find everyone. So, Jared, work and people find you and learn more about you and your and your work.

Speaker 2:

Okay, so esixuniversecom is where you can find my fiction, my. We didn't even actually really get to talk about that much, but it's basically it's. It's a fun story, it's it's a young adult sci-fi novel and with more coming, couple of short stories on the way, stuff like that. If you're interested in my more nonfiction stuff, modernapocryphacom is a podcast that a friend and I have been doing and you can find me on x at modernapocrypha.

Speaker 3:

Nice.

Speaker 1:

I'm bad with titles whenever I hear a guitar. That's cool, Sorry.

Speaker 3:

I just got a joint Page 2 and he's great Page 2 and he's a great title.

Speaker 1:

It's actually not mine.

Speaker 3:

Okay, we'll shame on you.

Speaker 1:

Well, yeah, I actually did this giveaway for people to nominate titles, because I'm terrible at them, and Pax Panic, a YouTuber, nominated Page 2 and we put it up to a vote and that actually won the vote, and then she tragically had cancer and she passed away about in June or May or June so it's like special to me, yeah, but anyway, not to get too sidetracked, but also working people find you.

Speaker 5:

Especially to my YouTube channel HostessAmazingWorlds, and also on the page 2incom forums.

Speaker 1:

And Susanna.

Speaker 4:

I also around the page 2 in forums that I didn't know. That that's good to know. It's great that she lives on somehow this way. It's nice, and I can find me on Access Chronodendron or on my YouTube channel, den of the Weird, and you can find my books pretty much everywhere. The series is called Timelessness. Have a new book coming out called OVA. It's available for pre-order, so check it out.

Speaker 1:

I'm going to go do that right now, and Carl.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, you can find me on most social media, at Carl D Albert. I would honestly prefer you find me on page 2in, just because it's much less scary than the rest of the internet. And yeah, my book Truth to Crowns is. I mean, if you look it up, you'll find it.

Speaker 2:

Can I just say thank you everybody for the discussion. I enjoyed it. I know I don't have to agree with people to enjoy a discussion. I really enjoyed it. Thank each of you for talking with me?

Speaker 4:

No thank you so much I mean I get carried away. But I love this. I love the different perspectives and I love all mythologies. I could talk about it for hours and hours.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely, and thank you, steve. Thank you so much for having me on and hosting this. Thank you.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, thanks for making time and, of course, thanks everyone for taking time out of their busy schedules. I know it's not easy to spend two hours on the internet just hanging out. So I appreciate everybody, but I hope to do it again soon, and so I'll have all the links for everyone down below in the description. But until next time, we'll talk to everyone soon.

Speaker 4:

Bye you.

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