When More is Not Enough
The Great Simplification #26 with Peter Whybrow - Updated Link
When I left Wall Street 20 years ago, I had an inkling that our environment and energy challenges were primarily due to a mismatch between how we’ve evolved as humans and our modern energy/tech rich environment. I actually started to write my PhD on this, and today’s guest -Dr. Peter Whybrow - was an early member of my dissertation committee. I eventually switched my thesis to “net energy”, yet the centrality of human behavior to explain and constrain our situation has continued to fascinate me. This week, I’m privileged to speak with my friend, advisor, and coach, Dr. Peter Whybrow, who is a neuroscientist and psychologist, the (recently retired) head of the Semel Institute at UCLA, and author of many scientific papers and books, among them: A Mood Apart: Depression, Mania, and Other Afflictions of the Self, American Mania: When More is Not Enough, and The Well-Tuned Brain: The Remedy for a Manic Society .
Today, Peter and I discuss how dopamine, evolution, and modern culture push many of us toward a lifestyle of excess and overconsumption. Peter explains how habits that were designed to be an evolutionary advantage become problematic by making us susceptible to addictions. Finally, we discuss how we can overcome these mental challenges, both as individuals and - more importantly - as a culture.
I hope you enjoy and learn from this conversation with Peter Whybrow.
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In case you missed it…
On Saturday, I released the 4th episode of Frankly, the video series where I give short riffs on topics and concepts relevant to our present day challenges. On this episode, Meeting the Future Halfway, I discuss the choice of the podcast title “The Great Simplification”, and how I think about responses - rather than solutions - to the challenges we face in the decade ahead of us. I outline the framework for the scale and degrees of how we can elevate the chances for a positive future.
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