The New Structure of Infinite Possibility | David Eagleman on Impact Theory

Tom Bilyeu: Hey everybody. Welcome to Impact Theory. You are here, my friends, because you believe that human potential is.

Tom Bilyeu: Hey everybody. Welcome to Impact Theory. You are here, my friends, because you believe
that human potential is nearly limitless but that having potential is not the same as actually
doing something with it. So, our goal with this show and company is
to introduce you to the people and ideas that are going to help you actually execute on
your dreams. All right, today’s guest is one of the most
widely recognized names in modern neuroscience and his unique approach to his work and life,
continue to bankrupt my ability to explain him but let me try. He’s the writer and presenter of the amazing
international PBS series, The Brain, and he’s published multiple bestselling books and over
100 academic articles for prestigious journals such as Science and Nature. His work is utterly captivating because his
infectious enthusiasm makes it really clear that he’s filled with wonder by the things
that he doesn’t understand. He’s not a guy that uses science to blind
people who delight in life’s mysteries. Instead, he uses science to become fluent
in the language of nature. His mother said that he was a bit of a weird
child, which doesn’t surprise me. He wrote his first words by the age of two,
was explaining Einstein to her by the age of 12, and he used to memorize 400 item lists
for kicks and then repeat them backwards to test his memory. His prodigious curiosity, ambition, and intellect
have made him an adjunct professor at Stanford, helped him create next generation companies,
and have earned him numerous accolades and honors, including being made a Guggenheim
fellow, being named vice-chair of the World Economic Forum in the area of behavior and
neuroscience and being invited to join the board of the Long Now Foundation. Beyond the awards, however, lies a mind that
is able to synthesize the vast and uncharted duel universes of the macro and micro and
distill them into something profound and accessible to the human mind. Nowhere is that more visible than in his bestselling,
stunning work of literary fiction called Sum: Forty Tales From The Afterlives. It’s been translated into 28 languages and
turned into two different, you guessed it, operas. The ideas he explores in the book, make apparent
a truly beautiful mind, so please help me in welcoming the man whose work has been said
to have the unaccountable, jaw-dropping quality of genius, the internationally bestselling
author of Incognito: The Secret Lives Of The Brain and The Brain: The Story of You, Dr.
David Eagleman. David Eagleman: Thank you for having me. Tom Bilyeu: Thank you for being on the show. I have been a long time stalker, as you know,
since we bumped into each other one fateful evening during the X Prize, which was awesome
and since then I have been utterly obsessed with getting you on the show. Do you know that I have a book list of the
25 essential books everybody has to read? David Eagleman: I didn’t know this. Tom Bilyeu: All right, so I do and Incognito
has been on there from day one, literally when it was only a 10 book list, Incognito
was on that list. I think it’s just super foundational to people
understanding the brain, and, AND I think we have to take the time, in fact right to
my A camera, I will tell you, I must acknowledge. Every time you guys have ever heard me say
that “the thing that makes the brain so profound is that it is encased in total darkness and
yet paints this beautiful world for you,” I got it from this man here, so the theft
finally, fully acknowledged, so thank you for that. David Eagleman: Yeah. Tom Bilyeu: All right. I want to start with a question that normally
I don’t but I think that this is something that people really need to understand, so
for a minute you were almost a stand-up comic, then you were briefly at Oxford, and then
ultimately got into neuroscience. Why the brain? David Eagleman: I majored in British and American
Literature as an undergraduate but my last semester, I took a course on neurolinguistics
and I think it’s because I had taken a lot of philosophy courses, which I loved but I
understood that we really need to understand the perceptual machinery by which reviewing
the world, to answer a lot of these questions and in fact, a lot of these questions would,
sort of, go away or change character if we understood how we were actually constructing
reality, so that’s what go me into the brain. Tom Bilyeu: What began that fascination, and
I ask that with the context of having read Sum, and until I read Sum, I don’t think I
understood you or at least I understand you in a completely different way after reading. It was really surprising. Briefly, just what was Sum, what sparked it,
and wasn’t it the first book that you wrote? David Eagleman: Yeah. Sum was the first book I wrote. It’s a book of literary fiction. It’s 40 short stories, all of which are mutually
exclusive and I was already well into my science career when I wrote that, and I feel like
it’s just a way of using literature to get at the same sorts of questions that science
are trying to get at, that science is trying to get at. It’s just a way of exploring the world. What’s interesting is that they use slightly
different techniques, so science we’ve got reproducibility and double blind studies and
so on. But literature, you get to ask all the questions
where science runs up against this borders where it runs out of its capacity to ask the
question then you can ask those in writing, so that’s what Sum was about. Tom Bilyeu: Give a couple examples of the
types of stories that you tell in that because they are utterly fascinating. David Eagleman: Oh, thank you. Yeah. I’m just asking questions like what if the
universe expands and then when it contracts, the arrow of time reverses, what would it
be like to live our lives in reverse? What would happen if your life was chunked
up so that you lived all of your experiences that shared a quality grouped together? So, you spend 21 days driving the street in
front of your house, and 30 hours of pain, and 56 days sitting on the toilet flipping
through magazines. What if you had to do all of these experiences
grouped together like that? These are all just ways of exploring our life
as we know it by just changing the angle on it a little bit, so it’s 40 stories, and I
think the experience, you tell me, but the experience that I intended for the reader
is to stretch out mentally in directions that maybe they’d never considered before. Tom Bilyeu: It’s interesting. I did get some of that but the real juice
for that book for me was by taking an oblique angle or maybe even an absurd angle on my
life, in that comparison. It reveled absurdities that I’m living with
today, and the one that you were just talking about where you said, “What if you lived your
life in this sequential order?” That was the one I think that really … And
it’s like if not the first story, it’s one of the first stories, and it cuts right to
the heart of, how much time am I doing driving, sitting in traffic, waiting in a grocery store,
and I don’t know how long you labored over which ones you featured, and how many minutes
you assigned each one. But it really felt like a commentary. It certainly became my own commentary on my
own life to think about how much time I spend, so I have this real aversion to email, and
the reason I have the aversion is because of that flash insight like that about how
much time you spend doing things like this. So, it was really really interesting. David Eagleman: Yeah, there’s one thing I
have to deal with, which I didn’t expect to, but there’s some misinterpretation about the
title, Sum, and someone sees the title, they see Forty Tales from the Afterlives, and they
think, “Oh, he’s become religious or something.” But it’s not that at all. What they are, are in some sense, deconstructions
of religious myths, and to me, this seems like one of the most powerful ideas, or stories
to tell is about what it would be like to have created the earth ,and the places where
it’s gone that you don’t have any control over anymore. So, that’s, I guess, that’s one of the themes
I was obsessed without even realizing that it. Tom Bilyeu: Is it intentional for you that
the more you learn, that the more expansive your … You become more open minded, or so
it would seem, from the outside. Is that intentional? David Eagleman: I don’t know if it’s intentional,
but it is definitely what happens. It’s the … This has always been my opinion
about science, at least since I’ve been in it, for decades now is this issue of how science
is really an understanding of the vastness of our ignorance, and so as we move forward
you always figure out lots of little things which is terrific. But, essentially, it opens up new folds in
the possibility space where we realize all the things that we don’t know and every answer
leads to so many more questions, and so it seemed, when your kid and you’re flipping
through science books, it seems like everything’s already known. But when you’re in it as a career, it has
the opposite feel like, “Geez, it’s all uncharted waters out here.” And, obviously we write science textbooks,
and so on, sort of summarizing what we know, and unfortunately, giving the message to the
next generation that it’s all known. So, part of my goal has been really expressing
the vastness of our ignorance. very basic things like how does consciousness
arise? Why does it feel like something to be alive
when the brain is, as far as we can tell, put together out of physical pieces and parts. You have an enormous number of neurons, like
86 billion of them. But it’s still physical stuff, it’s only three
pounds, we got the problem corner, and so the question is, if I make a very fancy computer
program, I can make it super fancy but it’s, or experience the redness of red. It can detect wavelengths and say, “Oh, that
is 560 nm wavelength.” But it’s not going to experience red, or the
smell of cinnamon, or the taste of feta cheese, or something like that. So, that’s the heart of the most fundamental
question sitting right in the middle of neuroscience is, why does it feel like something as opposed
to just being a robotic system of cells that are moving around? We don’t know the answer to that. We don’t even know what a theory would look
like. That’s the position we’re in, and of course
it’s like this in all fields. Like in the physics, what is going on as dark
matter, and dark energy and so on? We’re faced with such massive questions, and
this is why it is exciting to be in science as opposed to the idea of, well we’ve pretty
much got it all figured out. Tom Bilyeu: Yeah, I love that about your approach,
and that’s why I was simultaneously surprised and not at all surprised to see that you’ve
written a work of literary fiction. Which, by the way, I tracked down because
you made an obscure comment in one of your interviews about how fiction was your first
love, and was like “Eh?”. So, then just through like climbing around
the world, saw that, read it, and I literally just paused my research and read the book
straight through, and was like, “Wow.” So, the line in the intro about you synthesizing
the macro on the micro. So, you talk really really cool about that,
and you talk about it in Sum, and you also talk about in some your scientific lectures,
that it’s so hard to conceive of things so grand as the universe, and it’s so hard to
conceive of things so microscopic is existing at the molecular atomic level because we’re
not on that same scale. So, how do we grapple with that stuff, and
bring it down? And the reason I wanted to really belabor
the point of Sum was just that, In all of that exploration, and the thing that I think
has really set you apart from the rest of the world of science is, it seems to be expanding
your [inaudible 00:11:48]. It’s expanding your vision of what the world
is, and what it could be. The more you know, obviously links to a realization
that there’s something even bigger that you don’t know, but if you would share the story
of what’s going on with the Hubble, the deep space exploration that they’re doing and how
it frames things for you. David Eagleman: Oh yeah, that was some years
ago. The Hubble telescope did, what’s called the
deep field observation, where they took a little patch of sky, about a thumbnail size,
of sky and … Tom Bilyeu: Completely blank, right? David Eagleman: Yeah, exactly. They picked a dark spot in the sky, and they
trained the Hubble Space Telescope on that spot, and they collected photons coming in
for, I’m forgetting how long now, but for some period of time. Maybe was twenty days, or something, they
collected a bunch of photons, and when they developed the shot that they had, what they
discovered were there were thousands of galaxies in that little spot there, and of course this
is true of any spot. Any direction that you take anywhere, whole
galaxies ,like one hundred billion stars. Any number of which might have planets rotating
around it. Any number of those might have to be in the
Goldilocks zone, so it’s not too hot not too cold, and have some form of life on it, and
just the fact, to me, that was so revelatory. It was so mind blowing to think that in any
spot, there’s that much action going on, and of course that’s just at the limits of what
we can see now. But at every moment in time, there is sort
of a limit to how far we can see, and there’s stuff even beyond that. I mean physically, just in terms of looking
at galaxies. So, anyway, what we’re facing is this weird
moment in time when we, as a society, are smart enough to think about the size of the
cosmos, and the probability that there exists other life forms. Who the heck knows what the they’ll be. We’re DNA based, but is that the only way
to go? Might there be completely different ways to
construct life? To construct language, to construct societies. So, we’re in this weird place where we know
that there must exist life elsewhere, and yet we we’ve had no contact with anybody right
now. So, we’re still sitting here alone, just waiting
for something to happen. It’s an amazing time. Tom Bilyeu: Yeah, very fascinating, and to
bring it all back together for people from a contextual standpoint. I saw an interview that you did with, he’s
a guru of some kind, mystic, and he … David Eagleman: Sad guru. Tom Bilyeu: Saw Guru? David Eagleman: Sad, S-A-D. Tom Bilyeu: Sad Guru. David Eagleman: Sad Guru. Tom Bilyeu: So, that was … What I love about
that, and this will tie everything up in a bow, why have started with Sum, and why I
want to know why you want to do this, and the notion of being lost in the wonder of
what we don’t understand. So, we’re living in a world today, for me,
where people are trying to, whether it’s business and trying to become an expert, whether it’s
in science and trying to nail everything down and know exactly what is true, and what is
false. There is a narrowing of scope, and as somebody
who one, and will debate this later, I want to live forever. Did you ever read Einstein’s Dreams? David Eagleman: I did, yeah. Tom Bilyeu: Okay, so, we’ll talk about a minute. I want to live forever, and so the thing that
scares me, is my beliefs calcifying into dogma. That my worlds will begin to collapse in on
myself as I believe that I’m an expert. I know something, and we’ll get lost in that,
and won’t be open to new ideas. You talked about how Crick, one of your mentors? Would that be fair to say? Even up until the day that he died, was always
looking for things that disproved the things that he knew, rather than confirmatory evidence,
which I think is really brilliant. But when I saw you in that interview with
Sad Guru, who’s a mystic by the way. You have to imagine this guy, he’s like covered
in robes head to toe, the big beard. He looks like he stepped off the pages of
a cartoon, right? I mean he looks like a character, right? And you approached him with such authentic
interest in his position, and I was like, “Okay, I know you as a scientist. A guy, deep logic, really trying to understand
where the brain is going, and actually trying to push the limits of our sensory perception.” And we’ll get to that, but that you were able
to approach, actually interested in hearing his answer. You weren’t combative. Where does that come from? David Eagleman: It just comes from a position
of feeling like I really don’t know anything. I’m just trying to figure it out. This is the weird part, you’re born, you don’t
remember where you were before you were born. You just have this sense of you’ve always
been here. in other words, you don’t have a sense of,
“Oh yeah, this is when I started.” You just sort of always been here, and then
you’re going to die someday, or maybe you won’t, but we might die someday and then,
presumably, then that’s just over. But everything about our existence is so weird. I just, I find it amazing and cool. Yeah, that’s where that comes from, is not
pretending that we’ve got the answer. It’s funny because, I see that there are two
fronts in science that are going on, in terms of public communication of science, and one
of them is, sort of. this front that the neo atheists have taken. Which is trying to tell people the ways in
which they’re wrong, in the way they’re thinking, and there’s some importance to that because
there are lots of ideas that we can address scientifically, and actually rule things out
of the possibility space. So, that’s really important. Sort of on the other front though which is,
to me, I’m just not that interested in telling people all the ways the wrong. I’m just interested in figuring out the new
structure of the possibility space. So, where new folds are opening up, and this
is all, to my mind, this is all predicated on science. This is the scientific mindset, is saying,
“All right, we’ve got a wide table we can fit a lot of hypotheses on here. Let’s try to figure out the next step, and
the next step.” Instead of imagining that we’ve got it all
figured out. So, that’s the part of the attracts for me. The gravitational pull for me of doing science. Tom Bilyeu: So, my last thing on sort of the
wonderment of all this, and then move on to the highly tactical. But it, to me, the thing that draws me to
science, the thing that makes me so fascinated with the brain, the thing that compels me
to pursue success more doggedly than the next person is this sense of it all being as spiritual
pursuit. That I want to see how far I can push it. I want to see how far I can take the limits
of being human, and where are the edges, and how far can we push that out, and when you
get recursive enough, like the alternate version of this interview which is me being like a
two year old asking you why, why, why, why, why, until you either have a meltdown and
walk off, or we get to some sort of basic fundamental truth. But I think the reality … And for me that
is the, why the humanities and the science, right? Which you have both in spades. But I’d be asking you only to get to a confirmatory
answer that I already believe, which is it’s just beautiful. It’s just interesting, right? And I don’t have anything more than that. But it is, makes me feel alive, right? And so, I think that’s where, and like as
a promise we will go into the tactical, but that’s where this all gets interesting for
me, and that’s where I hope people pick up a study of you. That’s where I hope people pick up a study
the brain, is the wonderment all the things that we don’t know, and to be so thrilled
with the things that we do, and then what that means and how we can push it. So, as an example of that, tell us what you’re
doing with neo sensory, what that ism how it was born, where it goes, and what we can
do. David Eagleman: Yeah, so, I’ve been interested
for a while on this issue of how the brain gets its information. So, as you flagged at the beginning there,
the brain is locked in silence and darkness in the skull, and yet you have this experience
of all the colors, and the sounds, and the touch, and the from touch of your toe, and
all this stuff, the smells, the tastes, and that’s very weird because all this is happening
inside and that I think I’m seeing you over there even though in fact I’m seeing you in
here, and so on. Tom Bilyeu: You just freaked me out with that. David Eagleman: Yeah, I know. Tom Bilyeu: I never quite made that leap,
yeah, okay. David Eagleman: Totally freaky, the whole
thing is … Tom Bilyeu: Now, it’s a really fucking with
me. Yeah, okay. David Eagleman: Yeah, I know, but this is
exactly it. This is exactly the thing about the study
of neuroscience, is that the more you start reaching your arms down into it, just the
weirder and weirder the whole thing, and this is our existence. So, somehow this is the thing to figure out. But what I got interested in was how does
the brain get information in there? So, you’ve got all the senses like your eyes,
and ears, and nose, and fingertips, and so on, and I’ll just speed up to say the conclusion
that I came to, after looking at this problem for years, is I think that these are all just
peripheral plug and play detectors, and they’re useful. So, for example, the range of light that we
see with our eyes that has everything to do with the big ball of fire in the sky, and
the way that electromagnetic radiation bounces off things, and whatever. It turns out that this little strip of visible
light is the most useful, the most information relevant for us to see. So, we’ve developed eyes to see in that range. Hearing, touch, smell, these things or are
useful for our survival. So, we’ve got these things. The theory that I developed around this, I
call the PH theory, which stands for Potato Head, and the idea is that you just plug in
these detectors and you’re good to go, and that Mother Nature developed the principles
of brain operation which took a long time, and once she’s done the hard work of that
then she can plug in any kind of Potato Head thing, and it doesn’t matter. And when I look cross the animal kingdom I
just, I never cease to be amazed at the variety of things that are plugged into different
animals that pick up on very different information than we do. So …
Tom Bilyeu: Give a couple examples. David Eagleman: Snakes have heat pits, or
the Black Ghost Knifefish which has electro receptors, so it can pick up on electrical
signals. Lot of birds, and animals, and insects have
magnetite. So, they can pick up on the magnetic field
of the earth, and so on, and these are all just different input things where they can
take in information that we’re not taking in, and they can do something useful with
that. So, I got interested in this question of,
well if the brain is just a general purpose computing device and you can stick in any
kind of information you want, could you feed a different kind of information stream to
our brain? So, what if you said real time data from the
Internet, for example. Could it develop a perception about that. So, one way to stick new information into
the brain is to do a neurosurgery, and stick electrodes in. But that’s a really lousy way to do, that
I’ll never catch on, And so what I did is I ended up building a vest that’s covered
with vibratory motors, and so imagine that you’re wearing a vest underneath your clothing. So, nobody knows wearing it, but it’s got
all these motors on it, and I can turn any kind of data stream into patterns of vibration
on the torso, and then the question is can the brain come to understand those patterns
vibration and have a new kind of, what flustered call qualia, which is that the feeling of
seeing, or hearing, or touch, or whatever, can you develop a new kind of perception of
the world? So, I’ll give you one example of where we’ve
already done this. So, we’ve done that was deaf people. We put the vests on them, we trained them
up with these little games on the phone, and they can come to understand the world through
these patterns that abrasion on their torso. It’s actually doing exactly what your inner
ear is doing, which is busting sound up into frequencies and sending that to the brain. We’re doing that through the torso, and it
works, and people can come to understand it, and it sounds completely wacky but it’s no
more wacky than like a blind person reading Braille. It’s the same sort of idea which is to say
you can get information in the brain any way that you can get in there …
Tom Bilyeu: And what kind of vocabulary do they have? Like how big? David Eagleman: Oh, infinite, in the sense
that what I’m doing, because I’m capturing the frequencies and putting that on the torso,
they hear everything. They hear the car, they hear the door slamming,
they hear the coffee pot brewing, as well as language, as well as multiple conversations. So, they’re hearing everything exactly as
you do with your ear, even though we feel like sound just some how pipes right into
our heads. In fact, all our ears doing is taking in a
sound wave, breaking it up to do different frequencies, and then sending that via different
lines to the to the brain, to the, sort of, central operating mission control center. So, that’s all I’m doing here. I’m just breaking things up into different
frequencies, and that goes to the spinal cord and up to the brain. It’s exactly the same thing. Tom Bilyeu: How normal is their ability to
conversate through the device? David Eagleman: So, totally normal but, let
me say, were constant changing up algorithms, trying to think, so we’re still in the middle
of lots of studies on that. But the way that it works, let me just tell
you, the way it works is we present, the phone, presents a word to the vest, so you feels
“buzz” and then you have two words that are shown. Was it knee or shop? And then you have to figure out, I need to
make a guess, and you’re right or wrong. This for a deaf person to train up. So, then they get the next word “buzz”, and
they have to guess, was this word, or that word, and so they keep guessing, and so they’re
starting off a chance performance of 50%. But what happens, over the course of days,
is that they get better, and better, and better, and it’s all unconscious learning because
the patterns are too fast to sort of say, “Oh, I know exactly what’s going on.” The signature of conscious learning is where
you have a eureka moment, but that never happens. They just get better, and better, and better,
and also they can watch your lips while they’re feeling that, and also they can vocalize. So, they say something, they feel it. Which is, by the way, how a baby trains up
with babbling. You’re doing motor output and you’re hearing
it, and that feedback loop we’re just replacing it with this feedback loop. So, yeah, so, people can learn everything. They can learn what this sounds like in the
glass and whatever. Tom Bilyeu: And what’s their subjective opinion
on it? Do they love it? Is this like, “Oh my god. it’s like a cacophony
of madness? Where do they fall on that? David Eagleman: Oh, no, they come to understand
what’s being said in the world. So, they love it. The interesting thing that I’ve learned by
the way is that the deaf community, which is 53,000,000, there’s a fraction of the deaf
community that does not want a solution, and so they hate it. But for the people who are deaf and want a
solution this is, to them, something that is a completely new dimension because it’s
a wearable. So, a cochlear implant, which is the only
other solution you, have to get an invasive surgery for it. It costs $100,000. This we can make for a $1,000, and it’s just
a wearable that you put on. So, people really appreciate the solution,
and what I love about this is that I can spread it around the world very easily at that price
point. Most inventions reach the wealthy people first
and then have to trickle down over a long course of time, but this is something go all
over the world. Tom Bilyeu: Wow, and so, what’s the timeline
on that? When will we start seeing it? David Eagleman: We’re about seven months from
rolling off the assembly line. Tom Bilyeu: Wow. David Eagleman: So, I didn’t actually realize
how … What an enormous process it is to build something, start a company, and get
the thing to the point where it’s a product. But that’s … We’re making great progress. Tom Bilyeu: That is a huge undertaking, and
you’ve done another company, BrainCheck. David Eagleman: Yeah. Tom Bilyeu: What are you guys looking for? So, I know you’re looking for early signs
of dementia, or damage, or whatever but what do you do when you find it? David Eagleman: So, with BrainCheck in particular,
so it’s a tablet game, essentially, where, in five minutes, you take these little games
and we figure out 14 different measures of what’s happening under the hood. Reaction time, perception, cognition, decision
making, we can understand a lot about what’s happening. We can get a cognitive snapshot in this short
time ,and it turns out, that so simple an idea but that’s something that hasn’t existed. So, in the medical landscape we go, we get
our blood pressure tests ,we get all kinds of things tested, but what’s happening under
the hood, we never get tested. Like how are you doing cognitively? And people can do this at home. So, what we’re doing now is we’re setting
things up with hospital systems and providers, so that they give the app to all their patients. So, that at home, every two months, you get
dinged that it’s time to take your BrainCheck. The hospital is not doing extra work, and
for the patient they’re getting this continuance of care where they’re getting to see how they’re
doing cognitively. So, you can track through time what’s going
on somebody, and that way we can see when somebody is turning the corner into, for example,
mild cognitive impairment, which is the stage before dementia, and the reason that matters
is because when people are cognitively impaired a bit that’s when all the pharmaceutical treatments
can actually do something. Once they’re fully demented, there’s no help
or hope, and the problem, and I’ve seen this a hundred times, people start getting dementia
but they don’t visit a neurologist until it’s far too late because they have 100 ways of
denying it. They say, “It’s been tough years.” Whatever, “I’m not getting enough sleep.” And so on. They deny, and deny i until it’s too late. So, that’s the idea there. So, as far as what can be done about it, the
the answer is, this is what navigates your medical care. So, that you which way to go, you know whether
something is wrong or not cognitively. Tom Bilyeu: And are there any things that
somebody with normal cognitive function can do to elevate? Like how do we start pushing the mind a bit? I want to do some school stuff. David Eagleman: Yeah, yeah, the general story
about that, is that it’s about seeking novelty, because with the brain it very quickly gets
into, when you’re repeating something, the brain puts less and less effort into it, and
you’re not forming new connections, and so on. But when people push themselves if you novel
things all the time, that forces the new conductivity, and so the best thing that people can do … We
don’t really have to worry about our age, but once we get to a certain point, and you,
when you when you get to 200, the thing you have to worry about at some point is the issue
of your world shrinking, and doing the same little things and not sort of expanding and
seeking new things. So …
Tom Bilyeu: Isn’t there a name for this? Like the default … when you go into autopilot. David Eagleman: Oh, I talk about this as the
unconscious brain which is, essentially, almost everything that you do. So, everything about the way we shift on the
seat as our blood needs it, and talking, and so on. This is all generated unconsciously. But when you enter into a completely novel
situation where you really don’t know what you’re doing, that’s when the conscious mind
has to sort of be a part of what’s going on, and that’s when you form new connections,
and make new pathways. So, that, it turns out, this is a very general
statement, but that is the most important thing for people as they get older is to seek
new experiences, and that’s the thing that often doesn’t happen especially when somebody
has retired. Tom Bilyeu: So, my whole belief about the
meaning of life, it’s not the exact right word, but is to find out how many skills I
can acquire that have utility, then put that utility to the test in service of something
bigger than myself. So, that’s my mission in life. So, what are things that I should understand
about the brain that would allow me to acquire more skills, acquire them faster, put them
to use more effectively. What are either realizations about the brain
or training techniques that I should know about? David Eagleman: Yeah, a big part of this has
to do with the fact that we live our lives mostly on autopilot unless we put a lot of
effort into not doing that, and so … Tom Bilyeu: So, just by getting our off autopilot
I’m … but wouldn’t that … So, that’s ultimately just making new connections. So, examples you give, often time, drive home
a new way, brush your teeth with your left hand, and I certainly do feel the impact of
that. From a stave off neurodegenerative decline
that seems to make a lot of sense, and you’ve talked about the nuns who donated their brains
to science, why? I don’t know but that’s incredible, and all
of them had early stage dementia but they showed no signs. David Eagleman: Not all of them but a much
bigger percentage of their one thought. About a third of them had Alzheimer’s, but
it wasn’t clear when they were alive because they were so called into the active. Because they were doing stuff. They were, first of all, they were embedded
in the social network because they were living in the convents, and so they had responsibilities,
and conversations, and so on, and that made it so that even though the brain was falling
apart with Alzheimer’s, nobody knew it. They didn’t have the cognitive affects there. Tom Bilyeu: And is this at the center of your
upcoming book Live Wire? David Eagleman: Yeah, the theme of that book
is that you can’t really think about the brain as hardware, and you can’t think about it
as software. It’s this weird other thing that I call live
wire, which is that it’s constantly reconfiguring its own circuitry. So, everything that you learn, every little
thing, changes the pattern of circuitry in your brain. So, when you first learned that my name was
David that underpinned by a physical change in the structure of your brain, which is wild. Every single thing that you learned. Tom Bilyeu: I have another question, which
is do you have … so Joseph Campbell said you want to change the world, change the metaphor
,and I’ve long had a suspicion that the metaphor of the computer as like metaphor for the mind
is missing something. Maybe just this notion of it being alive,
and can change itself. But do you have a metaphor that you use to
explain the brain to people? David Eagleman: Essentially, that’s what my
book Live Wire, is about is trying to understand how we can rethink about the metaphor of the
brain because we’ve understood for a while now that a computer is a really terrible metaphor
for the brain, and unfortunately, it’s pretty embedded in the way that the culture thinks
about the brain, and even among neuroscientists they’ll talk about “Okay, well how do you
store memory and how do you retrieve a memory.” And they’re thinking about it the way a computer
does. But of course, that’s nothing the way that
we store memories. What’s special about our brain is that it
takes and lots of information, and then there’s lots of stuff happening under the hood were
bending, and breaking, and blending the information that we’ve taken in and we’re using that to
constantly generate new things. And so this would make a terrible computer
in the sense that, when I put something in my computer I want exactly those zeros and
ones back out, and that’s not what the human brains are. So, this is actually my next book, it’s called
The Runaway Species. Tom Bilyeu: About how we manipulate our own
memories? David Eagleman: Exactly right. It’s about this question of what is unique
about the human species in that, why have we taken over the world? Why haven’t squirrels launched ships to the
moon? Or camels invented the Internet? Or things like that, and this has a little
bit to do with the fact we have opposable thumbs, larynx and blah blah. But that’s not the important part, the important
part is the algorithms that were running under the hood, which are just slightly different,
they’re not much different to the rest of the animal kingdom. But they’re just different enough that as
a species we’ve now taken over every niche on the planet, and we’ve moved to the moon,
or we’re about to move to Mars, and we’ve really rocked this place and the question
is, given that our brains are so similar … Tom Bilyeu: Your delivery is amazing, by the
way. David Eagleman: Given that our brains are
so similar to to all our nearest neighbors in the animal kingdom, the question is why? What is going on differently? And so, I’ll tell you what I think it is. So, first of all, we have more of a part of
brain called the prefrontal cortex. We just have more of that then our nearest
neighbors, and that allows us to come up with possibilities. To simulate what if’s, to generate possible
futures and evaluate them, and so between that and the fact that our memories are constantly
trying things out, and they’re imperfect in a very interesting and useful way. That allows us to say, “Well, wait, what if
I did … Put it that … What would that be like? Oh what if I did this? What if I said this to this person? what if I … ” And what happens is, the whole
civilization ratchets up, such that, when you go to Bonobo chimps in the middle of the
forest, and you look at what they’re doing, and then you come to a city, you come to LA,
or San Francisco, or something, and you look at what’s going on it’s a completely different
ballgame what we’re up to. And it’s because of this thing of saying,
“Well would this work? Would this work?” And most of our ideas suck, and occasionally
one sticks in it and it ratchets things forward a little bit as a civilization. Tom Bilyeu: So, what is it, you said our memories
are imperfect in kind of a weird and wonderful way. What is that? David Eagleman: Imperfect in the sense that
they’re not at all like a digital computer, they’re just, they’re constantly manipulating
the inputs, and so, and this, by the way, goes back to the question you asked about
what are the things to do to to keep it active brain and so on. It’s getting more inputs. It’s because every new thing, every new idea
every, new situation that you see goes into that pot and can be stirred up and you say,
“Oh, that new thing I saw, that’s kind of like this thing, and if I put that together
with that thing, here’s this new idea, here’s this new thing I can …”
Tom Bilyeu: Didn’t you say once that the brain is built on association? David Eagleman: Yeah that’s right. Tom Bilyeu: How is it useful? David Eagleman: So, just to explain it, the
idea is that instead of things being stored like in a computer, instead I associate everything
with other things that I’ve input or learned before. So, for example, when I smell coffee, that
triggers this association of what coffee will feel like on my hands, and the name of the
barista at Starbucks, and the sound of the grinder, and what it will make me feel like. All these things are as big network of association. That’s the secret of how the brain is storing
everything. I think it’s that everything sits in this
giant network, and that’s what allows us to manipulate ideas and think about “Okay, well
wait I know this is associate with that, and that’s associated with that.” So, how do I put these all together to build
something? Tom Bilyeu: And now let’s get to the nice,
sticky one. Free will. So, in one of the episodes of The Brain on
PBS, such a cool one. I know this one really got my wife’s attention. Where you show the puppets playing, and one
puppets trying to open the box, and they’re the puppet’s trying to help it, and then there’s
a third puppet and he comes and crushes the box down, and is mean to the other puppet. Then you give kids, babies, young babies,
the opportunity to play with either the nice puppet, or the mean puppet, and they choose? David Eagleman: they choose the nice puppet. This is an experiment done by Paul Bloom at
Yale and I recreated this experiment for the show, and what this demonstrates is that we
come to the table with a lot of intuitions and instincts about things. Including, because we’re extremely social
animals, we are very good at judging right away whether, for example, this person’s helpful,
or that person is mean, and we associate ourselves with the helpful people instead of the bullies. There’s this debate for many decades about
nature versus nurture but the answer to that question is dead because it’s not either of
those, it’s both of those together. Tom Bilyeu: Yeah, for sure. So, really fast, bring it back to Sum. One of the stories that was my favorite was
there’s heaven and there’s hell, and in heaven they use the same information to reward and
excite that hell uses to punish and condemn, which is the knowledge that free will is nonexistent. Walk me through how was that great for some
people, and so heartbreaking for others? David Eagleman: Well, it’s just a matter of
whether you believe in … Whether you feel like it’s too strange to imagine that we are
these giant, vast creature. Think of the fact that you’re made up of 30
trillion cells, and you’re this huge, giant creature that’s driven around by this three
pound mission control center that’s, sort of, controlling all this through these cables
that come out, moves it all around and so on. It’s very weird to think about maybe that’s
it, about what’s going on. Just like you said, you were freaked out when
I mentioned the thing about vision before. It’s really freaky to think about not having
any free will, and that fundamentally, we’re these very complex robots. Tom Bilyeu: It’s interesting, for me, free
will because I feel like I’m in control, it doesn’t seem to matter. So, where it might get weird is if you actually
could break down exactly what algorithm is firing that. But even then … So, let’s pretend you can
identify the algorithm, here’s the algorithm makes you feel that way, or do this thing,
and then here’s the algorithm that makes you, Tom, not care. That would get a little weird but then it’s
so recursive back to, well there’s something that’s feeding into how I feel about that
exact moment. So, since I feel like I’m in control, it doesn’t
really change. David Eagleman: Yeah, and this, by the way,
is related to that same story from Sum where it’s this issue of, if I were to get out a
white board, we can’t do this in neuroscience. But imagine that I were to say, here’s exactly
why strawberry ice cream tastes the way it does to you, and why it’s so delicious to
you, and blah blah blah. I can explain that, and show the pathways
and the genes where, and it wouldn’t affect your enjoyment of it at all. It wouldn’t change anything about your experience
of it, and so there’s this funny disconnect between what we’re able to do in science and
what it is like to be human, and there’s this gap there in the explanatory framework. Tom Bilyeu: What would you consider success
for you, at the end of your career? David Eagleman: I tell you what is really
on my mind now. So, I mention about neo sensory in this vest. What I’m really interested in is this question
of can we create new senses for humans? So, as a question, think about this question
of, why does vision feel so different than hearing? Which feel so different than touch, or feels
so different than smell, and taste. Given that, it’s all the same stuff on the
inside. If I were to stick an electrode into your
brain somewhere, and listen to a neuron going pop pop pop pop pop pop pop, I wouldn’t be
able to tell you whether it’s a visual neuron, or an auditory neuron, or a somatosensory
neuron. It’s all the same stuff going on there. So, the question is how the heck does your
quality of vision feel such that you would never confuse it with a sound. If I did a sound, you wouldn’t think “Oh,
yeah that looks like something.” So, I have a hypothesis on this. It’s just a hypothesis at this stage, but
I think it has to do with the structure of the data coming in. So, your eyes are to two dimensional sheets. Audition is a one dimensional signal hitting
your ear drums. Touch is a high multi-dimensional signal of
stuff. You’ve got all these very different structure
of these different pathways, and I think that’s what makes things feel different. I think that somehow the feeling of vision,
or the feeling of hearing, or touch, or smell, these have to do with what the data that’s
coming in. So, if I know feed something completely different
in through the vest, the question is are you going to have a completely new experience? It’s not vision, it’s not touch, it’s not
hearing, it’s not smells, it’s this other thing that’s like that, but you can’t put
it in those other terms, and I suspect that this is where things are going. Anyway, this is the thing that’s really interesting
to me is, can we create completely new census for humans by feeding them new structures
of data? Tom Bilyeu: That’s intriguing. I can’t wait to see the results of that. Do you think that your research and your deep
interest in science, in the brain, is affecting the way that you raise your kids? David Eagleman: I thought it would. My wife’s also a neuroscientist. Tom Bilyeu: Talk about doubling down. David Eagleman: I know, we totally thought
that it was going to, but what’s interesting is that as a parent, you’re just trying to
get through every day, love your kids, and have them love you, and so yeah, it’s funny. We had originally thought about doing some
cool experiments but we … Tom Bilyeu: I so wish you had. David Eagleman: the thing about smart kids
is that they are pushing on their boundaries straight away. They’re trying to figure out their own world,
and what they can do to separate themselves from the parents, and go and experience the
world, and that’s why it’s tough. Because, I know my older boy, if I told him
do X, he’s going to definitely do Y. So, yeah. Tom Bilyeu: But with what you know about priming,
don’t you think there’s things that you can do to make him want to do it? David Eagleman: Yeah, the key was being a
parent actually is loving something in your child’s presence. So, if I show that I love chess then eventually
he come over and see that. Tom Bilyeu: All right, so, real fast. We’re running out of time, but I couldn’t
not ask, walk us through what you think the brain is telling us needs to change about
the legal system. David Eagleman: Yeah, this is an area where
I devote about a quarter of my time. It’s called neural law. It’s about understanding the variety in people’s
brains, and how brains are really different, and what we do is a legal system, is you sort
of imagine that all brains are equal, and so when people come up from in front of the
judge’s bench and they’ve committed crime X then they get sentence Y. And that seems to be something that people
like in terms of fairness. But in fact, it’s not all that useful for
running a legal system, and what we have in America is the highest incarceration rate
in the world of any country. We put more of our population in jail than
anybody. So, my goal is to build a forward looking
legal system, instead of backwards, where it says that says you committed this crime,
this is your punishment. Forward looking that says “Okay, look. This person’s got schizophrenia. This person has a sociopathy. This person is tweaked out on drugs.” and so on, and so on, and so on, and here
is the way that we can route people through the system that’s maximally effective for
getting done what we … For helping society. This doesn’t let anybody off the hook. It’s not like we say, “Oh, it’s not your fault
that you did this.” It’s not even about that. It’s just saying, “Here’s the things that
we know in neuroscience.” This is just as an example, but I recently
wrote a paper on all of the rehabilitation methods for drug use that we have, and that
we’re developing as a field. There so much that the legal system could
do in that space rather than just say, “Oh, you were caught with two ounces of marijuana,
we’re going to incarcerate you.” So, this is …
Tom Bilyeu: And what would you say is the goal of your system? You said it’s most effective. What is effective defined as? David Eagleman: The most effective thing is
instead of treating jail as a one size fits all solution, we actually attend to what would
be best for people who commit crimes so that they can become part of society again, and
again, this doesn’t mean that we’re exculpating anybody. But it does mean if you take somebody with
schizophrenia and you lock them up for ten years, that’s not actually helping anything. You don’t cure schizophrenia that way, by
breaking rocks in the sun all summer. So, this is seeking to understand the differences
in people’s brains and how we can help people. Tom Bilyeu: Wow. All right, so, I have one final question,
but first, where can these guys find you online? David Eagleman: is my main website
,and for Neuroscience and Law it’s Tom Bilyeu: How do you spell that? David Eagleman: S-C-I, like science and law. Tom Bilyeu: Got it, very cool. All right, last question. What is the impact that you want to have on
the world? David Eagleman: There are some big picture
things I could say, but I’m actually going to be in this narrow space for the moment
about figuring out whether we can build new senses for humans, just because I think that’s
going to be the thing that opens up so much. Not only in terms of our ability to experience
the world, to get out of the narrow viewpoint that we’re in, and be able to open up to other
things. But it also teaches a lot about how the brain
constructs qualia, and how we how we have our experiences in the world. So, that’s my next goal. Tom Bilyeu: David, Thank you so much for being
on the show. It was awesome. David Eagleman: All right, Tom, great to see
you. Tom Bilyeu: Guys, I’m telling you, I have
had an obsession with him in the things that he’s bringing to the world for a very long
time because he is the most unique gateway into what it means to be human. Somebody who is actually looking at the wet
works between your brain, and trying to figure out how it’s doing what it’s doing, why it’s
doing what it’s doing, how we can harness it, how we can expand it. But he also understands the fundamental beauty
of the human condition, and everything that he does is painted with that, and you get
this. Watch his talks, you get this sense that he’s
amped up, and it’s like he was saying about, when your kids see you love something. I literally wanted to say that’s exactly how
like I’ve fallen in love with it, is watching you fall in love with it. So, guys, it is a world that, I assure you,
you’re going to want to get into, and learn from. He is at the absolute cutting edge of what
is happening in the world of science, and he does it in such a beautiful warm inviting
way. He’s not trying to shut people down. He’s trying to show people just how much we
don’t know, and how exciting that is. All right, guys, you know it’s a weekly show
so be sure to subscribe if you haven’t already, and until next on, my friends. Be legendary, take care. David, man, Thank you so much. David Eagleman: Thanks a million. Tom Bilyeu: That was awesome. David Eagleman: Hey, everybody thanks so much
for joining us for another episode of Impact Theory. If this content is adding value to your life
our one ask is that you go to iTunes and Stitcher, and rate and review. Not only does that help us build this community,
which at the end of the day, is all we care about, but it also helps us get even more
amazing guests on here to share their knowledge with all of us. Thank you, guys, so much for being a part
of this community, and until next time, be legendary my friends.

100 thoughts on “The New Structure of Infinite Possibility | David Eagleman on Impact Theory”

  1. I loveee this episode!! thank you so much for sharing this with us! Read his book and watched some interviews with David and he is fascinating! I like the idea that we are deceived by our own brains and still we fall for it. And that there are different things we cannot notice or observe but they exist out there in the world, the same with our possibilities, they are out there, right now, but we have difficulty noticing them and assume if we don't see them they are non-existent.

  2. I am curious how emotions and feelings are generated by the brain. Why some people are shy and others confident?
    I know that confidence is earned having experience, but is it a shortcut for that? Nowadays is very important to have confidence
    in every area if you want to succeed.

  3. This was amazing ! Tom, My OCD is killing me. Can u please bent the front left leg of your seat back to its original position : D

  4. He thought: All we hear with is vibrations interpreted by our brain, why can't' we hear with our chest. THAT is so… astoundingly, introspectively, creatively, open mindedly AWESOME. Humbled by that ability to see the world and question that which "is"

  5. Aside from the interview itself, I've kept trying to pin down what's wrong with the audio and I believe I figured it out. It's the room reverb – it rings a lot in the mids. So to whoever does the sound, try a dynamic eq that cuts the mids below the threshold (set just below your voice) and that should get rid of the boxiness of the room.

  6. Thanks for sharing!! I was blown away after seeing Eaglemans TedTalk. I'm so glad the internet (and youtube) has enabled people to learn, discuss, and dream about the perceptual utility of our lovely tech.

  7. I have a friend with synesthesia and sees colorful patterns with sounds. He is an exceptionally talented percussionist/drummer/musician. Interesting stuff, this brainy matter…

  8. Forward looking legal/criminal/justice system is an arena with such immense potential for positive impact! Education, same thing. Individualized instruction, restitution…making a better future.

  9. You want to know "REALITY", take a trip with LSD , Heroin, Mescaline.
    Read the book "The Doors of Perception" (Aldous Huxley)

  10. never got this quote until today ," if you want to change the world change the metaphor "an extra I've been eating more fruit and I feel 10 times more sharp

  11. Tom, I always loved your videos. Especially one with Mel Robbin and Tim Ferris. But your comment about Sadhguru made me hurt that Tom who is making a mission to put the nice story to the world, himself making the wrong opinion about the person he does not know. Sadhguru is mystic but he has been a key speaker at UN, Harward, and Ted Talks. Hope you will study the first before comment

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  13. An open-minded rational scientist, it's refreshing. Philosophy and Science are intimately interconnected for sure. The Brain-Mind construct, I think. David seems like a great human being as well, it's inspiring. "Sum" is on my list now, thank you.

  14. I've mentioned about bringing more neuroscientist to the show, but I think you're way ahead of me.  Your show has the best content in all of media.  Thanks.

  15. To see a World in a Grain of Sand
    And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
    Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
    And Eternity in an hour.

    William Blake on Micro Macro

    This interview was awesome, can't wait to read the book!

  16. i saw this episode 7 months after because i found out about Tom Bilyeu recently but what i want to say is that Tom, thanks for this episode. To put it short, this shit is Fu****g mind blowing! over a year ago i decided to change my mindset and noticed that as i did that i had a more open mind. open to discovery and understanding more things and being more curious but listening to David although my mind is pretty open now its still Fu****g closed compared to how much there is to discover! this just pushes me more to learn more and become more! Thanks alot because also even if your guest is an intelligent one, its no good if you dont ask those outstanding questions!

  17. This video literally gave me my driving purpose now is to go to school in this field n get all his books this week! Ty for a warm eye opening view of possibilities of infinite everything

  18. I wish the focus was on eagleman instead of the interviewers experience with eaglemans knowledge. Learn how to interview

  19. Tom, you've mentioned how you do this a few times, but I find it so cool and funny that the shirt you wear is specifically related to the interviewee. It's always fun to try and see how the shirt relates . Sometimes it's obvious and other times , not so much.

  20. as a muslim and scientist, I always am confused about atheist argument in terms of science verses the existent of God.. I don't mean any offence.. I'm just gonna voice out my confusion… so atheists don't believe in God because they can't see God, they can't feel God, and they can't find evidence to the fact that God exist (generally speaking of my understanding of atheism) .. but having studied neuroscience myself and stayed in labs for weeks, we know that many "facts" are believed not based on scientifically proven theories but based on theories only in hope that one day in the future we can "prove" it in labs and then reconfirm what we believe in… So, the way I see it, atheists do believe in things that they can NOT see and they do follow things they can NOT prove they exist because there are some "seen" preliminaries to those unproven facts… As a muslim, and again no offence to anyone different, I believe in God based on the many facts around me and in me (i.e. our brains) that in need of a higher almighty to exist. Without God, the billions stars and galaxies that we can not see, reach, or know nothing about will not exist and without God, our brilliant brains that still as mysterious as thousands years ago will not function with high sophisticated level of accuracy and efficiency, without God, the sky will not be held up and mountains will not protect the delicate shell on the surface of the earth and million other evidence to the existence of God without seeing God … Islam and science have never went against each other because Islam do encourage science which ultimately is the hard core evidence that God do exist …. In Islam we have a huge field about miracles of Quran (a more than 1400 years old book without a change in one letter) that only studies the scientific details mentioned in Quran from volcano, to tsunami, to creation of animals and the position of natural elements on Earth and other planets, as well as phenomena such as pregnancy, death, and ageing.. Of course, such side of Islam is not advertised in media and only the false, biased, and negative views about Islam is advertised but if you look just a little bit closer, you will find many muslim scientists who believe in science as much as they believe in their faith… Anyway, It is still interesting to work and listen to different theories and approach when it comes to science and religion and the unseen and the unproven

  21. humans are mentally a quantum computer we can think about all options given and choose best out of the given options each human interaction i think of like a quantum entanglement when quantum particles interact they become entangled same with humans we get a mix of that other person through thought the things we talk about so on so fourth

  22. If you can get the host to shut the fuck up, you might have something here. Talks for two and half minutes straight, introduces the guest, and keeps fucking talking. SHUT THE FUCK UP. WE WANT TO HEAR EAGLETON!

  23. Your interview was great. But this is the problem with us, your approach towards Sadhguru remained like a scar.

  24. Just something I noticed after watching David's TED talk, and then a few more interviews over the years, is that the cost of the wearable haptic hearing device is rising dramatically. In the TED talk he said it was around $40 (may have meant $40 in materials, but still), in another interview in Australia he said a couple hundred bucks, and here he stated $1000. That's a big difference and will start to exclude the market that could afford it.

  25. I saw David at the Auckland Readers and Writers Festival recently and have been listening to every talk he's given that I can find online since then.I LOVE this guy! He makes my brain light up and my heart sing.

  26. My brother is deaf. Could anybody tell me if the vest he speaks about is available.
    My brother lives in Ireland so any info would be greatful.

  27. Wow fucking wow. i will be in debt with tom forever all of this information i would have never come across any of this, and i love it. Thanks TOM.

  28. Tom, where can we find this 25 book list that you made? I actually have a goal of reading 25 books each year, so maybe I could dedicate one year to your reading pilars:)

  29. Great interview. Glad you guys worked it all out in one interview. found that more enjoyable than the actual interview. Not to say the talk wasn't interesting, it was… Just to see communication on such different levels is great. I wouldn't call it super human, I would just call it human, and it's a step towards remembering who we truly are. That's missing from television where things like that get cut.

  30. Tom … SUCH A GREAT INTERVIEW … YOU 'RE VERY AWESOME AS WELL ?? !!!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE DAVID !!! My brain is always on fire listening to this guy !!!

  31. You know Tom, for someone who says he's decided not to have kids, you sure ask a lot of questions about raising kids…

  32. Fascinating interview! This and the interview with Moran Cerf has opened my mind to the enormous possibilities our brain has. Loving how habits like meditating can be scientifically proven to alter the brains wiring. If you combine the knowledge of how the brain works with a curiosity that leads you to mentioned meditating, cold showers, visualizing and a number of other recommended habits, there seems to really be virtually a limitless potential to yourself as a human being.

    I strongly believe this is only the start of people becoming more self-aware and "awake". In a few decades, using habits to deliberately "program" the brain will be as common as checking Facebook is these days. Its a very exciting time to be alive, and I get so pumped up by watching interviews like this. Loving how there`s this endless spiral of books, theories, research and what have you on how the brain ourselves work, and how they all seem to support each others claims. Becoming addicted to the part of applying all this knowledge sure is awesome! Thank you Tom!

  33. Is there a scientific reason why you have that blue background on the videos/in the studio? It calls to me and the question has come up in my mind a few times and I think there is a reason(s). I had to get the book Sum just from the intro and wow the first story. I'm rethinking how I sit, touch, what I would be happy to do in heaven for hours straight on repeat and what would drive me mad or irritate me or surprise me. Fabulous unconscious message in that story to wake up more neurons of awareness in us. I have watched your interview with Joe Dispenza a few times, and with what Joe Dispenza teaches us, it makes me wonder if, as David says at the end of the first story in the book about 'the joy of jumping from one event to the next like a child hopping from spot to spot on the brning sand', is that a Matrix control, an unconscious – or at least hidden from the conscious mind until David brought into awareness at the end of this story with this line – that this hopping from habit to habit in our days and lives gives us the illusion we are being creative and doing new things and are interesting and all the other things that keep the ego/conscious flattered/happy/sated so we live as batteries feeding the system and refrain from enjoying the truth that to break free from the 'hopping', to embrace the unfamiliar and take moments in time of being our own life-live experiment/constant field trip will show us that what we thought and felt was joy can be exponentially exploded into firing multiple, currently dormant bored cells, to push us past any paradigm we can imagine.

  34. We can actually see the passion and love for neuroscience in Dr. David Eagleman's eyes and voice. That's what makes him so inspiring.

  35. Tom. Off subject…. But if its one reason i love you man. You definetley are beefing up my vocab?i Stay checkin words you use(: lol …cacophony…ty

  36. It's a shame that you (Tom) dismiss the teachings of Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev. He's a really interesting person. The things he discusses is what most of the speakers you have on your show, use as a base for their theories. He might look old fashioned but it's simply because he has put aside his ego and isn't concerned about how others perceive him. I imagine he'd be intimidating to westerners. He sees through our bullshit.

  37. infinite possibility or impact theory. Tom Bilyeu. winnie the pooh makes more sense than you. enjoy youtube for what it is david eagleman is a flawed presence

  38. The scientist is always playing catch-up to the mystic. Be conscious of your own judgement of appearances and meanings. Because they don’t look like your idea of what someone knowledgeable “should” look like doesn’t mean you can’t learn from them.

    A good mechanic can tell you all about the car and how it works, but without a driver, it won't move!

    A good mechanic can tell you all about the car and how it works, but without a driver, it won't move!

    A good mechanic can tell you all about the car and how it works, but without a driver, it won't move!

    A good mechanic can tell you all about the car and how it works, but without a driver, it won't move!

  43. For you who don't know it, or who ignore the bible, It talks about all of these awesome things as God's incomprehensible creation. So many interlocking fields of study, yet it all happened from an explosion? Relativity, quantum, dark matter and energy, magnetism, electro-physics, gravity, light travel, inner space, outer space, sub-atomic- yet it all works together without us. Like a newborn baby, beyond our comprehension and grasp. We struggle to explain it without understanding it.

  44. the reason why some mentally ill are in jails is because they are too dangerous to be kept in a hospital…and do realize that in many states people cannot be forced to take medication

  45. I discovered David Eagleman on TED talks and he is asking very similar questions to what has interested me for ever but he answers them in different and sometimes better ways. I have wondered why just electrical pulses become experiences and how perception builds our world. I really dont recommend this but I have taken a lot of mushrooms in my youth and I have seen sounds coming out of a speaker and I still knew what the music was and I would have been able to see it through soundproof glass and I would have seen the music. I believe it's called synesthesia (probably spelled that wrong) It was very strange and doesnt seem possible now I have typed it and read it but it is a real thing, although i cannot explain it.

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