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I believe we are not by nature flawed. To believe that we are is the ultimate narcissism. It would mean that out of all creation, we, and only we, are inherently broken. Instead, I have come to believe that western culture, beginning ten thousand years ago with communal agriculture, is the thing that is flawed.* When humankind abandoned hunting and gathering, and began to work the land is when it fell from grace. It is when we were expelled from Eden and began our endless search for meaning. When tribes became villages, became towns, became cities, became nations, is when we descended into insanity. The destruction that followed required us to invent laws and wrathful gods to curb the madness. But we are not by nature mad. We were driven to behave madly by a culture we created and then forgot we were in. Which raises the question, what now? A return to foraging doesn't seem like much of an option. The wisdom needed to support that lifestyle took thousands of years to accumulate and is now long forgotten. Perhaps a constructive first step might be to simply acknowledge that the fabric of our existence is badly torn. And that the tear began long ago, when we lost faith in the world. When we decided this miraculous garden would not, or could not, provide. Step two would be embracing the fact that there's nothing inherently wrong with us, that we are masterpieces of biological engineering. And step three... well, that would be a new way of thinking. One that is not sickened by a zero-sum culture. Sadly, if you're reading this, you will not be the one thinking those new thoughts. You probably won't even recognize them when they come. If anything, they will appear as a threat to you. And just to be clear, I include myself in this group. We are all hopelessly shackled to the old way of thinking. Perhaps a child is being born right now who will make the breakthrough. Or perhaps it will emerge from some form of artificial intelligence. In the meantime... gee, I don't know, I guess we watch sitcoms.

* Special thanks to Daniel Quinn.

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1st Aired: 08 Dec 2016