Encoding and Decoding

Today Dr. Josh Stout invites Jed Zion to speak with us about the implications of understanding writing as a technology and AI as in coevolution with humanity.

Encoding and Decoding

The written word isn't generally acknowledged as a technology

Eric 0:07

Thursday, March 7th. It's still Thursday, March 7th. And this is episode 12 of season 2. And we're doing something a little different today. We're having a interview conversation, the situation with my brother in law and good friend Jed, who we've had many, many good conversation since along many of the lines that Josh and I have been having and thought that this would be interesting for everyone. So, Josh, what's the plan for this conversation? 

Dr. Josh Stout 0:37

Yeah, So I like to think about the development of consciousness over time, what makes us human, what it is to be a human being. And one of the interesting things about being a human is the brains we have and how they work. And they don't always work exactly the same for everyone. And so I've mentioned a few times that I'm ADHD. I'm also dyslexic, and these are severe challenges as you move through the world. And they're also really interesting to experience the world slightly differently than everyone else. You know, I read science differently and I get surprising answers when I when I look at things. But, you know, Jed and I have talked a little bit about the the difficulties of of of living in a world that is not built for us. And I thought it would be just fun to have a conversation on on what it's like trying to produce language and writing. 

Eric 1:32

Hi Jed. 

Jed Zion 1:35

Hello. I am here. 

Eric 1:38

Yeah. So we've we've actually been having some ongoing conversations about, about the issues that Jed you have you have, you know, that we've been discussing about, you know, encoding and decoding and that your, your theory is that language is a, well written language, is a, is a technology. I mean, I guess it's not a theory. It's just something you've been thinking. 

Jed Zion 2:00

Yeah, well, you know, what happened was you know, after 30 years of, you know, trying to write, I finally realized that maybe it's not for me. 

And so I went back in my mind and thought about my school experience, which I just had not really, really thought about that much, where, you know, for a long time, because it was, you know, painful. So you just want to move forward. But I started to think, you know, I was diagnosed with something when I was in sixth grade because I'm really struggling from the time I was in fourth grade, third grade. 

So I started to research that and I realized that I had been diagnosed with something called that they were then calling auditory dyslexia. Okay. Which is not a thing. 

Dr. Josh Stout 2:48

I don't think dyslexia is really a thing. I don't think anyone really knows what any of this stuff is. 

Jed Zion 2:52

Well, I mean, I've been saying for a while now that I hate that term, it should be just codified and that there's really a spectrum of of a facility with codified lexicon, you know, because a lot of people just aren't that good at it. And it doesn't mean that you're not smart. It just means that that's not your skill. 

Dr. Josh Stout 3:15

Yeah, I mean, yeah, I was I was relatively late to read, but when it came to to writing, I still I would say I'm not there. Yeah. 

Jed Zion 3:25

Yeah. And I mean and that's what's so weird and interesting about A.I. is that it really might help a lot of people. Should. It's an auto encoder, right? But should be the fucking solution for a lot of people. 

Dr. Josh Stout 3:39

Yeah. I mean, this is. This is actually something I was bringing up in one of the episodes is that I certainly would never have been able to do anything in school without spell check. Yeah. When I would go into the old storage rooms in the science buildings, I would find these these kits for making standardized graphs. I would never have been a scientist if I didn't have programs that made graphs for me. I was never going to draw a hyperbola that anyone was ever going to hyperbolic function that anyone is ever going to take seriously. Yeah, whereas I can do that in math, you know, how can I write an equation? And they'll they'll show me the graph and I'm wondering if I as I'm going to do that sort of next jump. 

Jed Zion 4:19

Yeah. I mean I would figure. Right like that. That seems that's the point of it. I mean like this idea I've been arguing for a while that the idea that it's natural language processing and or that it's a large language model is not right, that that's wrong because language is spoken, it's an event in time. It's something you do and you do it with your whole body and in in when you're doing it. So I'm a I've been against that. But at the same time, it's like, aren't they trying to get us to a better technology than the written word? Right. Can't we get to a point where we can just speak to the computer and it will encode for us? And that's a good thing? 

Language is spoken, it's an event in time. It's something you do, and you do it with your whole body when you're doing it.

Dr. Josh Stout 5:03

Yeah. I'm wondering about taking some of the transcripts that I have for the podcast and putting them through the AI because I read the transcripts and they're not great. They're all right. You can kind of figure out what's being said.

Eric 5:14

Well it's AI that came up with these transcripts. 

Dr. Josh Stout 5:16

Right. But if I then took that and put it into ChatGPT, it would write it as a real text. Yeah. And it might be something useful. I mean and that's... 

Jed Zion 5:23

But you'd have to work with it. But yeah, but it would still be incredibly helpful. 

Eric 5:27

But it wouldn't be a transcript. 

Dr. Josh Stout 5:28

No, it would be, it would be its own thing. 

Eric 5:30

Right. It would be, it would be a document that was inspired by that conversation rather than a transcript of the conversation. 

Jed Zion 5:39

Well, I'm saying that that's what all written languages. It's all that. Yes, it's it's the symbolic representation of the thing, not the thing itself. The thing itself is still something different. Yeah, no, it's. 

Dr. Josh Stout 5:50

But if you read an article in The Times, it looks like everyone speaks perfectly and never has a problem with their syntax. Yeah. And if you look at the way people actually speak in a real transcription. 

Jed Zion 6:01

It has nothing to do with it. Yes, totally different. Totally different. This is the point that I've been making that, that it's it's completely unnatural to remove time itself and conversation exchange from language that's totally weird for I don't know you're that you knew no more about this than I do but I mean how long of human beings been walking the face of this earth? What we call anatomically modern human beings? It's something like 100, 200,000 years or something like that. Yeah. So until 500 years ago, almost none of them could read and. Right. Yeah, yeah. All of us are descended from non literate people. Pre literate people, every person on earth. Yeah, right. So, you know, this is it. So in order to do that, to drain the actual time and event of, of language from language, you have to come up with all these rules right there. How you have to build the context in pure words in pure lexicon really. I mean yeah, it's enhanced because you do have a punctuation, everything, but still you really word heavy whereas in conversation you point to a gesture and you say leave things unspoken because it's obvious, because everyone's observing the same phenomenon at the same time. 

Eric 7:16

At the same time in the same space. 

Jed Zion 7:17

Because we're together. Yeah, because the only way to speak for 200,000 years was to be in someone's physical presence. 

Dr. Josh Stout 7:23

You know, I think I think it's important what you're saying from the point of view of of the growth of consciousness, which I like to think about, it doesn't generally get discussed just how fast things are moving and that, yeah, you know, we've had language itself in in a written form like for maybe 5000 years, you know, 3000  in most cultures that were, you know, yeah, ancient and just really not much of human history with any writing. And then for everyone to be literate. Yeah, even less than 500 years. 

Jed Zion 7:57

Yeah, but not everyone is literate today. In fact, I think it's probably declining because we have new recording technologies. The crucial thing about language, about language, about what makes it so such an incredible technology is that it was the original recording technology, right? It was the original really. Best technology, you mean? Yeah. You could make pictures of things. Okay, But you see it. But it's much more dynamic than that. But now we have new recording. 

Dr. Josh Stout 8:23

Techniques and there's always and there's always losses, you know, they talk about the ancient Greeks would be able to memorize everyone at a 100 person party and all their seating arrangements in everyone's name. Yeah, yeah. Cause they were coming from a very early society that had writing, but barely. 

Jed Zion 8:39

But yeah, it was mostly oral. 

Dr. Josh Stout 8:41

So everything had to be memorized. 

Jed Zion 8:42

Yeah, yeah, yeah. 

Dr. Josh Stout 8:44

Homer was a a tale that was told and then written down. Yes, exactly. And yeah, that was, that was how everything had been done. Yeah. 

Jed Zion 8:55

And you use meter right. 

Dr. Josh Stout 8:56

And so our memory changed. Yeah. When writing came and you know we were just discussing a little earlier that the same thing is now happening to us. My attention span is terrible, but oh my God. Since the internet, I haven't been able to read books the same way. 

My attention span is terrible, but oh my God. Since the internet, I haven't been able to read books the same way. 

Jed Zion 9:09

Yeah. No. Yeah. 

Eric 9:10

No, I don't know that it's since the internet. I just think it's the since the descent down the golden escalator that's really why. That's the end of my concentration. 

Dr. Josh Stout 9:15

That didn't help. But no, but it was, it was as soon as I was really spending a lot of time reading non-fiction and, you know, finding my information on the Internet. I mean, back even before it was, you know, what we now think of it was more discussion groups. Yeah, I was I was doing a lot of research that way, and I was leaving behind texts already. And then I think what happened with the descent down the escalator, as you put it, was I started reading newspapers every freaking day because I was terrified all the time. And since then I've been much more engaged with the news. 

Eric 9:50

I was. That's interesting. I was brought up in a family that was engaged. My my, my father was listening to news radio. My mother was reading the newspaper every single morning without fail. 

Dr. Josh Stout 9:59

Yes, like that, but not like I do it now. 

Jed Zion 10:02

But yeah, see, for me, because my dad was a newspaper man. Right. And he would make me read all this shit all the time. And then I had to read everything he was reading or as much as as he was reading things I could. 

Dr. Josh Stout 10:14

Write so. 

Jed Zion 10:15

That I could understand what he was referring to. You know, I don't know that it changed my reading that much, although it is true that I haven't read a novel in a lot of years, but I was always reading. And the thing is, if you have, you know, experience growing up with newspaper people, you will know that everything's supposed to be in the first paragraph, right? Because that's all anyone reads. You know, my father used to always admonish me, Don't bury the lead. If you have something to say, you say it upfront. 

Dr. Josh Stout 10:47

Yeah, that was not my ability. 

Jed Zion 10:48


Dr. Josh Stout 10:49

I mostly, I think because of the world of academia, I'm used to building a long argument and then coming up with an answer at the end and it's totally wrong. 

Jed Zion 10:57

This is what I'm saying. Like that is, is entirely different to how we converse. You have to build all this context. You don't have to do that in conversation. 

Dr. Josh Stout 11:07

Right. Right. 

Jed Zion 11:07

And it's it's just your brain can work much faster in conversation, actually. And translating that to the page where you don't have all these tools. And one of the tools especially is each other. 

Eric 11:24

Can change the topic. Yeah. With with no warning and then come right back with no warning. Yeah. And if you're reading that it was completely disconcerting. It's, it. I mean I have to say I loved if on a winter's night a traveler, but the first time I hit that change up, I'm like I was back and forth about what's going on, what's going on here, What's going on here? Yeah. And it's like in reading, it doesn't work, but in conversation, we could just completely change that. 

Jed Zion 11:47

But I think that's part of why I like Calvino, you know? And I can read covers. Well, yes, he's going these is sort of acknowledging that that the actuality is totally different. 

Eric 11:57

Entirely, entirely. But the first time I hit that, I was completely. 

Jed Zion 12:02

Oh yeah. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. 

Eric 12:03

Did it did they paste two books together in the middle? 

Jed Zion 12:07

And that's the thing. It's like, like if you think if you think of literacy, a standardized language, which is what it is. Right. But we're all actually schooled somewhat differently. You know, like I, I grew up reading newspapers, but also novels because I had novels in my house also. And I happened to be into that, you know, But a lot of people especially seems like nowadays we've been overrun with nonfiction and essays, as I like to call them. Yeah, you know, and I don't respond to that as well. Right, right, right. No, like, it just doesn't resonate with me as well. I can't I've never been able to get from Plato. I just couldn't do it. It just I'm just lose interest and I don't care because I feel like it's just this pure sort of abstraction. Yeah, I stopped believing in its veracity. 

Dr. Josh Stout 12:55

I can get through that. But yeah, I what I've, what I've always wanted was a world of much more like of spoken language and much less writing, because it's always been my advantage. I get much better verbally. It's, you know, why I'm doing a podcast is I would argue with my teacher. They say, Why can't we do all of our tests orally? Why can't we do everything? None of this needs to be written down. And they explained to me that everything had to be written down because one is the only way anything is preserved, which is now no longer true. And two, because it's a much faster way to access the material. And I bought that one for a long time that the only way to get information into your brain that fast is reading. I watch I watch my kids and my students watching YouTube at two x speed and it's like words so fast I can't even hear them. Yeah. So they're actually upping the input rate. 

Eric 13:50

But they're getting but they're getting it. You can't hear it, but they can?

Dr. Josh Stout 13:54

If I really pay attention. And really concentrating. But for them it's easy. 

Jed Zion 13:58

But yeah but they. 

Eric 13:58

Grow up just like. 

Dr. Josh Stout 13:59

No Yeah but they grow, they grow up with it. Yeah. No they're training their brain. The way I drive mine to read. I didn't start reading faster than I can speak. I learned how to do it. 

Eric 14:07

Something that I think is very interesting, though, which is which is one of the things that Jed and I have been talking about repeatedly and I think might touch on a more recent concept of evolution is that is that in order for for, you know, what Jed has been talking about this technology of literacy to to really take hold and to grow with us the way the way, you know, we need to be experts in it is that it needs to be with us generationally, that the that the families that have had literacy in the family over multiple generations have distinct advantages. And this is this is a fascinating a fascinating thing that Jed's been talking about that I think aligns to a great extent with a lot of the things we've been talking about with also, you know, the discussion we had with A.I. and how A.I. is changing the way that we're writing. Writing changes the way that we think. 

Jed Zion 14:59

Yeah, yeah. 

Eric 15:00

What does all this mean when we bring it all together? 

Jed Zion 15:02

Yeah, yeah. I also gets really weird when we're in this state of complete flux. I mean, we had the written word for hundreds of years, and. But that was all there was. Right now we have new technologies in. And how, how does that affect us through generations? Like isn't it going to be more difficult as we go forward for literate people using the old technology to communicate with people who actually may not read that well, but they don't have to because they watch video? Basically. 

Dr. Josh Stout 15:36

Yes, they they will have their information read to them. Yeah. And they will have their papers written for them more or less. When when my students used to write, they were not great all the time. Yeah. Particularly if English was the second language and it was a new syntax that they were working with. Yeah. And you would get a sort of word salad. A lot of it, yeah. Yeah. And then they would put them through these primitive programs that would try and fix it and it just made it worse. Yeah. And it would just be even more word salad. But starting about last year, suddenly the papers got really good and I first I thought it was all I just writing for them and I put it for the detectors and they came out as 60% human. And I think that's actually honestly what they are. Yeah. What they're taking is they're taking their bad papers, running it through Grammarly and it's fixing all of the syntax and it comes out well, yeah. And the interesting thing is then when I read when I read their papers that they had or their, you know, their tests, they have to write in class, they can't use grammarly it seems a little better. It seems like they're actually learning the grammar somewhat like even, you know, you and I can can't spell for example. Yeah. Learned a little bit of spelling because spell check is putting on a red line under everything that we spell wrong the same way. Yeah. Yeah. I even now know what words that it's going to fix for me and I know which ones it's going to fix for me. Yeah. So I don't worry about the spelling. It's like I guess I've learned in that way. Yes. Like there's the one that always puts a red line on that. Be careful with. Yeah, I know. Those are the ones that it won't. And I have to be careful with because it's the right word but you know. Yeah. One version of it. Yeah. And there's the ones that I just don't care anymore and I just like... 

Jed Zion 17:13


Dr. Josh Stout 17:13

Throw my fingers at the screen and suddenly it's got a word. 

Jed Zion 17:16

But, but that's, that's a good thing. That's all the. 

Dr. Josh Stout 17:19

Absolutely. Yeah. 

Jed Zion 17:20

Because it's not that people are struggling to understand or even to particularly articulate their thoughts. It's just getting on the page. Yeah, Yeah. Because there's all these rules to it and there's so many norms and you really need to follow. They're important on the page there. Yeah. Yeah. In conversation that they don't matter at all. 

Dr. Josh Stout 17:38

Right. Right, right, right, right. 

Jed Zion 17:39

Throw them out the window. 

Eric 17:40

But there's the science fiction trope of of of a civilization getting to the point where it can't it knows nothing about its machines and it can't fix its machines until it doesn't have the machines anymore. And the cycle that we're talking about here of of literacy actually changing our brains like like the technology of writing changes our brains so that we can use it better. And now the A.I. is actively working to change the way we write. 

Dr. Josh Stout 18:11

It's going to become more standardized. 

Eric 18:12

Which is going to work its way into our heads, even more. 

Jed Zion 18:16

And our conversation. 

Eric 18:18

And suddenly we are now in coevolution with this technology that we've created that is dragging us in a completely different direction. 

And suddenly we are now in coevolution with this technology that we've created that is dragging us in a completely different direction. 

Dr. Josh Stout 18:29

I got two ways before we find out what we're going to do with it. 

Eric 18:31

I hear what direction that is, but that's what you guys are describing. 

Jed Zion 18:35

Yes, I'm I'm still working on this idea, but I'll throw it out there that if if you think of the Bible as a technology because it is. Yeah, right. We've been doing that all along. We just decided that it was sacred. Right? And so what the Bible says, that's just the technology. It's basically I think you mean I mean. 

Eric 18:56

This is in as in like rules to live by. Is that what you mean? 

Jed Zion 18:59

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. We sit around. How much of our society is society's effort is made at at interpreting text? Quite a lot. A lot? Yeah. Like a lot Depends on the interpretation of ancient texts that were written in a totally different context to what we exist in now. Yeah, Yeah, right. But because that technology g at the time of its birth was so powerful, right? Okay. They were wrong about how many cubits the fucking altar has to be, but they were still closer, right? Yeah. And like, it's still a much better guess than they had before, right. Like they could the priests in, in, in, in, in Egypt could tell you very close to when the Nile was going to. 

Eric 19:45


Jed Zion 19:46

They knew they were very close. They it wasn't perfect but it was way better than anybody had. So that's going to come off as God to you. And that's what happened. It became God like the text itself became God. Yeah. I mean, there's a lot of listen to it. 

Dr. Josh Stout 20:00

There's a lot of commonalities of of successful cultures being in favor of not murdering each other and, you know, sharing because otherwise everyone starve to death and then being really mean to the outside cultures. Yeah. And then those things are both, you know, built in. And I think they're built in from sort of the way humans work as, as, you know, groups competing on the Serengeti. Yeah. And so I think a lot of these texts are sort of codifying for society, you know, don't kill, be really nice to each other and you shall have no other God than me. Like, don't read any other texts. Yeah, Yeah. So, so texts that survive are the ones that reinforce themselves. Yeah. The ones that didn't survive, like the scenes might have said. Let's everyone be celibate to the Jedi. Didn't work out. You know, there's a certain evolution of our culture itself. 

Jed Zion 20:48

But but, but, but originally, texts would have been in competition with not text, right? 

Dr. Josh Stout 20:55

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. 

Jed Zion 20:56

With pretextual. Yeah. Right. Or on the base song. 

Eric 20:59


Jed Zion 20:59

Well based God is experience. Yeah. You go party all night until you fucking see God. That's God. 

Dr. Josh Stout 21:06

And you'll you'll you'll know that spring is coming and the animals are coming but the people who actually write stuff down will know to the day. 

Jed Zion 21:12

To the day when. 

Dr. Josh Stout 21:13

That when the sun is coming up in this spot over here and right there. 

Jed Zion 21:17

And it seems like magic. Like they're just with God. Right? Right. Yeah. They know what's going to happen. 

Eric 21:21

Now, of course, you bring Isaac Asimov to mind. 

Dr. Josh Stout 21:23

Yeah. Yeah, yeah. No, but yeah, you know, the AI is starting to be like that in that it is essentially making us idolatrous, because you're right. Yes. It isn't intelligent. It's nothing like an intelligence. 

Jed Zion 21:36

It's nothing like us at all. 

Dr. Josh Stout 21:36

But it's really hard not to say, you know, please, AI tell me this answer instead of just saying, tell me. Yeah, yeah. Thank you AI. 

Jed Zion 21:45

I Yeah, I know. And that's. 

Dr. Josh Stout 21:47

That's idolatrous. 

Jed Zion 21:48

But but the, the impulse to create it in the first place to me is religious in our sense of religion, because it posits that the code is just as good as the non code, you know, like it's still a praise of code itself. 

Dr. Josh Stout 22:04

Yeah, yeah, yeah. 

Jed Zion 22:05

And, and to me that's, that's an issue, you know, because ultimately it's, it's our wits in real time that are important. 

Dr. Josh Stout 22:14

Well this reminds me of the arguments I would have with teachers saying why isn't speaking the most important thing. It's what we do, what we do. Most of the time it is if you don't know something and you have to look it up, you don't really know it. Yeah, it needs to be in your brain. You need to be able to talk about it right away. Yeah. It's what my son argues with his teachers about. Yeah, Yeah. You know, he he says, Oh, I could just watch YouTube. I don't do. The way you teach me with these textbooks. Doesn't make any. 

Jed Zion 22:39

Sense. Doesn't make. Yes. 

Dr. Josh Stout 22:40

And actually isn't as good as what I see on YouTube. Yeah. And he sits there and watches YouTube at two times speed and can watch. Yeah. Really in-depth things. He's learning a ton of history. 

Jed Zion 22:50

A ton of physics. 

Dr. Josh Stout 22:52

Great. You know, nature channel's really in-depth information without the pain of the textbook, but it will never be acknowledged. And that that's another thing I wanted to mention to you was like, how little credit we get for all the work we do. 

Jed Zion 23:08

Yeah. Yeah. And, and that and that's what, that's what's scary and crazy about what's happening right now because the written word isn't acknowledged generally as a technology. Really, people don't really think of it that way. We're now still teaching to the written word. And is that the right thing to do? Shouldn't we be moving on? Shouldn't we be insisting that AI actually is in all classrooms? Because that's the tool that people are going to use. And the more that they know how to use it, the better they're going to, the more they're excel at it. I mean, because that's been the dividing line in history, right? The non literate get fucked. 

And that's what's scary and crazy about what's happening right now because the written word isn't acknowledged generally as a technology. Really, people don't think of it that way. We're now still teaching to the written word. And is that the right thing to do? Shouldn't we be moving on? Shouldn't we be insisting that AI actually is in all classrooms? Because that's the tool that people are going to use. And the more that they know how to use it, the more they're going to excel. I mean, because that's been the dividing line in history, right? The non literate get fucked. 

Dr. Josh Stout 23:43

Yeah. At my faculty meetings, they're literally like Josh don't tell the students about AI. I'm like, oh, okay. They so know, they already know.  

Eric 23:55

Don't tell them? They knew before you did. 

Dr. Josh Stout 23:56

I'm suggesting we use it in our classes to, to actually if you want to write a paper, have AI write you the paper and then figure out how to make that real and not just what the AI wrote. Yeah, yeah, I was, I was voted down on that. 

Jed Zion 24:13

But that's what I'm saying. People are so invested in the written word, you know, and they don't see it as a technology. And it is wholly I mean, that that's that it is the essence of our modern religions. They're all Abrahamic, right? At least here in America, it's all text based. That couldn't have been true a mere few thousand years ago, right? Yeah, I think it's entirely possible that that was true. But we had more religion that the word atheism itself was totally unimaginable in a situation where you only have speech because you really don't know what the fuck's going on. 

Dr. Josh Stout 24:48

No religion was basically a science. It was just it was your story that you told about where everything came. Yeah. How everything worked, how you were born... 

Jed Zion 24:55

And that's what I'm saying... 

Dr. Josh Stout 24:56

Where you went. When you die. 

Jed Zion 24:57

The Bible is, in essence, proto-science. So it's just science before there's real good data, right? So they're saying that the the altar has to be so many cubits high vis you grab this gold and not the other gold for sacrifices. They were trying to reason it out. Yeah. Yeah. You know, it was misguided and insane of course, but they didn't know that at the time. They're still trying to figure it out, you know, And it was an attempt at science. They're trying to do it right, you know? And like I said, it's such a powerful technology overall, and it gives you such a tremendous advantage over people that don't have it, that it's going to come off as God. You know, that makes sense. I mean, that that, you know, it's. 

Dr. Josh Stout 25:41

With with a really high prescription on on you must read this one book and you really should read the others. 

Jed Zion 25:48

Yes. Yes. But again, it's it's to a standard like certainly in Judaism. Right. It's to establish it in the family, because Judaism essentially is a family right before it's a religion that you can be Jewish and not practice Judaism, but still Jewish, you know, And that's what happened, right. That the in Judaism embraced literacy completely. And that didn't happen in the Catholic Church. Right. They really privatized the written word. And most civilizations seem to have prob want to privatize it. Right. Because people don't want to share the knowledge, let's say. 

Dr. Josh Stout 26:22

Yeah, yeah, yes, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. 

Jed Zion 26:24

I mean, the law itself in our fucking world today. Yeah, that's not on purpose. 

Dr. Josh Stout 26:30

Dozens of Latin word stuff. 

Jed Zion 26:31

Yeah. Yeah. And they, they try to import dead words from dead languages so you have to get a fucking degree. Yeah. Yeah. And then they could talk to each other about things and you don't understand what It gives them a tremendous advantage, right? Yeah. So. But that didn't happen in Judaism. Exactly. Like the only reason why there's, there's illiteracy or less. Your functional literacy in Judaism is because simply people were in circumstances where they didn't have enough time and money and resources to educate their children for years. You know, they just didn't have that opportunity. But it was never it's always been looked up to, you know, whereas others resistance, a lot of time for people to transform into literate people. Yeah, yeah, yeah. There's, there's real this is in part because you know that you're, you're abandoning your own culture completely. 

Eric 27:16

It's a complete separation, complete from an illiterate family and you become literate, you're separated from your family. 

Jed Zion 27:23

From person, you're separating. 

Dr. Josh Stout 27:24

And then I'm definitely seeing that in my classroom, that I'm seeing people whose, you know, grandparents are absolutely from the old culture, whatever that is. I Native Americans. Yeah, I Afghan tribes. Yeah. Yeah. But really very much yeah. Where no one has ever been literate. 

Jed Zion 27:45


Dr. Josh Stout 27:46

Yeah. Certainly not women. 

Jed Zion 27:47

No, definitely not women. And, and that's why I'm saying it's cause it's really the most divisive technology in history, actually, you know, And. 

Dr. Josh Stout 27:57

Well, we've got some new ones we have. They're going to be, I think, equally as divisive. And I stuck with. 

Jed Zion 28:02

That really that and that's that was my initial fear when I first heard about it because I didn't know shit about. Yeah, I don't know. I'm not a scientist. I don't know anything about computers, really. When I first heard about a year ago, the first things I thought of was, Oh, this is a way to reprioritize written language. And it's. 

Dr. Josh Stout 28:20


Jed Zion 28:21

Because and that that's that because to me, I think it's probable that the worst time to be a human was before the printing press but after, you know literacy like to live somewhere where you were not literate that other people. 

Dr. Josh Stout 28:35

Oh yeah the 1% the monks Yeah yeah. 

Jed Zion 28:37

Yeah that was not a good time. It wasn't until the benefits of literacy, which are obviously many. Yes. But they weren't really benefits to the many until the many could read and write. 

Dr. Josh Stout 28:50

Right. Yeah. No that's a very good point. That's a very good point. 

Jed Zion 28:52

So and then this is a way to, to, to go back because it's always tempting for the elites to want to, you know. 

Eric 29:00

To keep to get the good stuff to themselves. We can't have nice things. 

Jed Zion 29:04

And the funny thing is, is that they, they, they, they there's still this push to like to, to, to call it heredity, Right. That is genetic in basis. But you wouldn't, you wouldn't know how to read it unless you were talk. Yeah yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. 

Dr. Josh Stout 29:22

Well that's one of the things I'm interested in about is how fast the pace of change is now, how we can't possibly keep up with it genetically, but how we're still adapting what you it culturally. But I think, you know, physiological changes, like you can get bigger muscles. Yeah. I in response to something I think our brains are changing in response to these these. 

Jed Zion 29:42

Definitely but I mean aren't we aren't we always really plastic in the brain. 

Dr. Josh Stout 29:48

Yes. And that's a good thing. And that's why we can quickly adapt new technologies and have in the past many times and they suddenly will change whole civilizations. 

Eric 30:01

And which is, I think, why we're looking at this thinking, oh my goodness, this could happen now. But yeah, this is like printing. 

Dr. Josh Stout 30:06

The other stuff. The story of The Rite of Spring. You know, the first time you played it, there were riots here. A year later, he was carried out on people's backs as a hero. Yes, they got it. They got. And some people think that people's brains sort of adapted in that year, which I don't even understand cause it wasn't even recorded. And most of the audience would have had to just heard about it. 

Jed Zion 30:24

No. Yeah. 

Dr. Josh Stout 30:24

And, but, but the first time it was just so much of a shock that they they couldn't handle it. And then the second time they were like, Oh, this is the best thing ever. Okay, So, so our, our ability to adapt even when we aren't directly encountering the thing is profound. 

Jed Zion 30:41

Yeah, but, but this what I'm saying like it doesn't get to the genetic level, right? Like, yeah, like there's still nobody who, if you don't expose them to literacy, would learn to read. Like if I took the infant child of a sixth generation professor. 

Dr. Josh Stout 30:57

Right now they're right. 

Jed Zion 30:58

And fucking put them in the Orinoco or something. Yeah, yeah, yeah. With the traditional tribe, they wouldn't know how to read. Yeah, they know how they know language and know how to speak. Maybe. 

Dr. Josh Stout 31:07

Yeah, there's, you know, some thoughts on that. 

Jed Zion 31:09

Well, I know that, but if they were in a if they, if, if they were with people. Yes. If there was, if they got saved by a tribe. 

Dr. Josh Stout 31:16

No go. Got it. Right. Got it. Yes. They got south. 

Jed Zion 31:18

By tribe, they would learn the tribal language. 

Eric 31:21

Right. Communication. Communication is something we do. Yeah. It's and language and written language is something we learn. So that's. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think, I think we should wrap it up here. But this has been a fascinating conversation and I hope that you will come back for more. 

Jed Zion 31:36

That was great. Thank you. 

Dr. Josh Stout 31:37

Thank you. 

Eric 31:38

Thank you so much. All right, folks, until next time. 

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