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Transcript Arlene Goldbard: Bottom-up Self-Censorship, Top-down Consensus Reality

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storycon.org H2'ed 7/13/14
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There's a lot of choices, probably many of them work pretty well. If we pursue any of them with conviction we're likely to make something happen, to help actuate some kind of change. But what we really need to do now is work on the operating system. And the operating system is the underlying structure of how we see ourselves as citizens of the world in relation to other people. What we stand for. Who we are. How we want to be remembered. And then vetting the choices, decisions, creations that are done in our name once they live up to the answers to those questions. And that's very simple, right? Anybody can get that.

R.K.: And then you describe discrimination and racism as a kind of malware.

A.G.: Exactly. Which it is, right? I mean on the face of it, this is true, right? The feeling that the superficial differences between different people on the planet shouldn't lead to differential ways of treating them. It's just nuts, if you saw it on the Star Trek episodes you would laugh, right?

R.K.: You know I deal with malware. I deal with malware because I run a website. I work with a programmer designing the software so we have to constantly be on guard for hackers and malware and viruses and what have you and it's a never-ending process. It's not like you fixed it and it goes away, there's always something new that develops and I think that's probably true of people too. There's always going to be some kind of malignant aspect to some people and some behaviors.

A.G.: Yes. We can't live in heaven on earth. We can't perfect the human subject. But for me, it's not so much about perfecting the human subject and you know producing the perfect citizen as an outcome, as strengthening people's ability to uses their own innate capacity to think and feel and do in a way that's congruent with their true values. We just, too many of us feel like that's a gap too large to join.

We find ourselves doing things that aren't right because we can't see an alternative inside this consensus reality. So I am all for poking a pin in the consensus reality, and noticing that we can perfect our own operating system such that we're able to make more, have less compulsion, more choice to see the implications of our choices, to regard our society with imagination, to regard our fellow humans, another living being with empathy, and then I think we open up a lot of possibilities for change.

R.K.: So. To wrap this up. If your book is fabulously successful and the lecture tour that you're doing is fabulously successful, what will happen?

A.G.: Well, one of the things that seems to me pretty important in what I might call intellectual history, although that's not exactly the right phrase, is to give people names for things that they're perceiving but because they haven't yet been named or understood for their full value they're being disregarded.

What we need is to give this paradigm shift the attention that's commensurate with its full value, which I think is critical to the survival of the species and the planet. So what I'm hoping is that I have been able to give people some language, some ways of looking at things that will enable them to say yes. This is really happening and from everything that we know, when a critical mass of people say that, it becomes true.

R.K.: Beautiful. Keep up the work. It's fabulous stuff.

A.G.: Thank you so much.

R.K.: We've got to wrap it up now. I'm going to end the recording now, it's the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show WNJC 1360 AM.

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