Jordan Hall on Rene Girard, the Gospel Technology vs. Myth
Technologist and public intellectual Jordan Hall joins David Gornoski, host of A Neighbor’s Choice, for a journey through sense-making in 2020.
The conversation starts off with Peter Thiel’s comments on humanity reaching a technological stagnation after the moon-landing mission. Could this be due to lack of innovation in the world of atoms? asks David Gornoski. Along the way, Rene Girard’s mimetic theory is explored in relation to physics, media ecology, and the unravelling of political faith in our time. “Mimetic desire is a real thing,” says Jordan Hall, “but it’s part of a larger complex of psychological, social, cultural, evolutionary, game-theoretic constructs. And if you put your thumb on that scale… you’re going to get a little bit confused.”
On moving into a new era of scientific and technological discoveries, Jordan says: “It’s not so much, I think, that our job is to invent from scratch. I think a lot of our job is to actually rediscover and to synthesize, integrate, redeem, to bring back into right relationship, and to recover.”
Continuing the topic of human progress, David Gornoski proposes what he calls ‘the Gospel Technology’: the movement of the camera away from the oppressors to the victim. Jordan replies, “The first move you have to make is to change the underlying topology of the media landscape. If you haven’t done that nothing else is going to work. Once you’ve done that there’s a lot more to do but at least you’ve got a chance. The second is we have to re-learn how to tell the truth.”
The conversation moves deeper into questions such as: Can we solve the problem of scarcity and end conflict? Where are we heading after the lockdown? How do we bind ourselves together with stories and role models based in voluntary love, rather than coerced submission? What is the difference between the story of Jesus and myth?
Listen to the podcast below:
View Jordan Hall’s work at Medium.com/deep-code
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