Humanity’s Greatest Challenges Aren’t Technical – They’re Human | Nichol Bradford


Many people think that Maslow’s hierarchy
of needs stopped with self-actualization. And that’s not actually true. He had another piece that was on top of self-actualization
and that was self-transcendence. He just didn’t publish it widely before
he passed away. It was something he started working on towards
the end and so he published the hierarchy of needs before he finished his work on self-transcendence. He was one of the first people really to track
flow and to track some of the more interesting and advanced altered states that human babies
can get to. Things that you would find the terminology
really similar to things that you’ve heard advanced meditators describe. And so he was working on self-transcendence. And he just didn’t publish it. So there’s actually another level on top
of that hierarchy of needs. And so when I think of human psychology I
really think of human psychology as a spectrum and it’s not a series of islands or unique
locations. It’s really sort of a spectrum. And on one end you have what I call areas
that require human support. So this is when people are facing severe stress,
severe anxiety and depression. And then in the middle is what I call the
human condition. And so that is loneliness, happiness, connection,
empathy. The human condition is where we learn how
to deal with our first heartbreak and the first time that we fall in love. The human condition is where we deal with
sadness and betrayal and loss. Basically all the things that happen to you
as you grow up through life. The full spectrum of human emotion. That is the human condition. And there’s an infinite number of songs
on the radio and poems and art that’s about the human condition. So that’s there. And then on this other side which I think
really maps to self-transcendence and Maslow’s later work is the part of the people in the
world who are really pushing on human psychology and what are the limits? Where are our boundaries? What is the frontier of human psychology? And I think a lot of direction that we get
is from the contemplative communities around the world who really have been exploring and
pushing on human psychology for as long as humans have been organized. And pushing on what it is, what does it mean
to be human. The other day I talked to a guy who now has
three Guinness Book records on endurance sports. And he meditates the entire time. And he just swam the English Channel in a
Speedo and he meditated the whole time. So, you know, people are using mind training,
meditation and other things to push into abilities that right now, today, one could say are limited
to the few. But with the advent of things like transformative
technology there’s the ability, the possibility, the potentiality of these extraordinary states,
abilities and conditions to be available to a much wider group of people. And the reason why I think it’s relevant
is what would make it significant, relevant and actionable is that when I think about
the world today and the challenges facing mankind I don’t think the problems are technical. I think they’re human. So last summer I went to Singularity University. I took time out of everything that I’m doing
to go into their graduate studies program and it was a fantastic program. I love Singularity University. And the way that the program is set up is
that it’s this ten-week program and you’re in class from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. every
night and there’s just a parade really of some of the most extraordinary people on the
planet working either in exponential technologies. So AI, robotics, 3D printing, bioinformatics,
everything you could imagine. And people who are on the frontlines of the
challenges facing mankind. Like the people who are working on the water
problems. The people who are teaching in the refugee
camps. The people who are trying and working legitimately,
sleeves rolled up on the ground. The thinking around SU is it’s the place
where exponential technologies are applied to the grand global challenges that are facing
mankind and that being the purpose and the use for them. So for me when I was there my questions always
centered on what is your biggest challenge to what you’re trying to accomplish. And the answers were not technical. The answers were human. It was about fear, one’s own or the people
around you. They were all human problems and it was interesting
to spend the entire summer there because you definitely walk away with the feeling that
the problems aren’t technical. We always figure it out. We got a man on the moon and we have alternative
energy and there’s so many other things that are happening so fast. Changes coming hard and fast just from year
to year if you see the difference in the quality of the robots at the robotic competitions. It’s dramatic year after year after year. And so really the challenge facing mankind
is human. It’s can we get past the fear, aggression,
anxiety, stress. Can we get past that inner dialogue that takes
us off track, either makes us miss out on game day, not perform, makes us unable to
create collaborations and cooperate with other people. Because we do have very real challenges as
a species and the only way that we’re going to solve them is together. We have some very serious conversations that
we have to have about everything from genetic engineering to what do we do with a lot of
the technologies that are coming online whether it’s algorithmic accountability or a variety
of things. And so the way that I see my work and the
way that I see transformative technology is that if we could use the technology to understand
ourselves better, if we can use the technology to start to deliver and help people mimic
the experiences of meditation so that people can be calmer, happier, understand themselves
better, silence the critical voices inside themselves that stir up a lot of trouble. And if they can also connect to other people
better then we can get busy doing the work that needs to be done to create the future
that we’d like to have for ourselves and for our children and our communities on the
planet. So that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing.

98 thoughts on “Humanity’s Greatest Challenges Aren’t Technical – They’re Human | Nichol Bradford

  1. I have a better to-do-list: 1) Transfer our minds and consciousness to a computer. 2) Become immortal and infinitely intelligent. 3) Colonize the universe.

  2. IDK man the few people i know that medidate are fucking lunatics, It give the impression of : mumbo jumbo for confused people lacking meaning in their life, so they turn to spirituality and religion and whatnot.
    After hearing about secular meditation, and researching for myself, it seems to be mental training of sort with potential huge upsides.

  3. Transformative technologies to mimic meditation? Technology to make altered states of mind available to a wider group of people? Mind training, meditation and "other things"? Is it me or is she talking about psychedelics? If so/not, anything else?

  4. Our greatest challenges aren't technical? So which is more challenging, building a Dyson swarm or understanding the human mind?

  5. Her future doesn't exist. At the rate we are destroying the planet we won't be around for another 80 years maybe much less. All she speaks of can be achieved with a large dose of magic mushrooms. Check out Terence Mckenna he'll actually explain everything for you and won't make it a long unobtainable process. Live and let live do to others as you would like done to you and eat magic mushrooms to understand yourself. Life really is that simple and we managed to make it difficult.

  6. It would be interesting to see her discussing her ideas with people from Venus Project ("All problems are technical") 🙂

  7. problems are actually technical! every human being gets bad and angry because of they don't have houses, or money. and they don't have it because technologies are not spreaded out. let me explain: people die from carcrash, so how to solve this problem? by just building a car that stops automatically if there something on its way. how to solve money problem? by building resourse-based economy.
    That woman says problems are human, and it's fear, agression etc. Fear is not the problem! it's result!

  8. I think this is an advice a lot of people could use. I personally think a lot of modern educations still lack the psychological value and that could be a huge problem when implementing new technologies. If we are not in right mind, we might not be able to perform the task we need to do even with the right tool

  9. I totally agree but it's sad like minded people are so difficult to find in the real world. I try to better myself everyday but there are not many people I no who do it alike or even think about it.

  10. We stand on the shoulders of giants. We gain knowledge of the technicalities involved in science from others, but only we can teach ourselves mindfulness and peaceful thought. Meditation is a product of this state of being.

  11. Vomit- not all females who enter a science related field are studying psychological- it is a fact- please show a better spectrum of female scientific research and discovery. It is beyond frustrating to have a bunch of men that you target, having their argument constantly validated by this channel, that women are too stupid and emotional to be involved with most science.

  12. The problem is actually very simple. People become more anxious and depressed when isolated from each other. This isolation results as a necessary condition from capitalistic individualism. This is just another example of selling a product, in this case meditation, for profit.

  13. I self-Transcended in such a way described in this video quite recently. I have the ability to solve any problem, yet no one believes me enough to give me money. When I explain my solution for ubiquitous nutrition, they are stuck in their linear thinking. This is extremely frustrating for me to be surrounded in real life at my University by people who have never even contemplated the implications of Ubiquitous AI or the impact of Moore's Law. People are so nonself aware it's agonizing.

  14. Until humans can effectively double or quintuple their lifespans (Or more) Experience and acquired knowledge and wisdom will mean nothing. We are a species of animals that have become 'aware' but are still embryonic in thinking. We will die. What is more horrible in ordinary thought than that inevitability? It drives the way that all life has and will progress. No God, no afterlife; just this brief shot at being. The ones that get this lose all sense of ethics and morals, so they enjoy to a ridiculous extent. No aliens have visited us because all life forms figure this out and give the fuck up at being ethical.

  15. Using transcendence to achieve something great falls in the same categories in the lower part of the triangle. Transcendence to me is getting past the need of having needs or desire. Then one just does the task, enjoys the process. The swimmer you mentioned is still in the lower side of the triangle. The warped ways in which meditation is being used, for example The Secret type of self help techniques, is pretty much meditation killer. It will sell books, but thats it.

  16. So, I should kill myself? That is the only way I can transcend myself. My needs, drives, and passions are always going to be a part of me regardless of which stage I am in, so logic dictates: to transcend myself I must go beyond my passions which define me. If I go beyond myself, there is nothing. Therefore, to become nothing, death must occur. brb I am going to test this hypothesis.

  17. SUMMARY:

    0:00 to 3:00: nothing is said, apart from the fact that what we popularly know of Maslow isn't complete (I don't know why I should care about one particular dude's opinion, specially when his hierarchy of needs is, in my opinion, an over-simplified concept only ever useful when learning marketing, and I'm not told why I should care at all).
    3:00 to 4:00: "transcendance" is available to more and more people…No explanation of what that means.
    4:00 to 6:00: repetition of the title. Explanation of what Singularity U is (irrelevant). Repetition of the title. Paraphrasing of the title. Repetition of the title.
    6:00 to 7:00: tech changes fast (no relation with the main point?). Repetition of the title. Paraphrasing of the title. We need to have serious conversations about those new techs.
    7:00 to 8:00: maybe we can use those techs to understand ourselves better (….sooooo….Maybe the challenges are somewhat technical?). If we can connect to each other better, maybe it's cool, because the challenge is not technical.

    Sorry for the speaker, I don't intend to bash, but I've rarely seen a point more badly made in my entire life (apart from politicians). Random trolls on the internet make better arguments with no prior preparation. There is simply no point made in the whole video, just a bunch of vaguely related words, no argument, and no progression of thought. The whole idea is contained in the title, and the video does absolutely nothing to tell me anything new. This is infuriating. There isn't even some name of a new concept one could google to try to understand what it is she means.

  18. Transcendence is impossible for an individual bogged down by reality. If you can't escape your reality, better your situation, or accomplish that seemingly insurmountable task, you will never reach that level of human.

  19. Reaching a meditative state through technology – yeh we've been doing that for thousnads of years luv – its called drugs.

    Just like taking drugs to reach this state though – you will lack the mental discipline developed by studying medatation for years to properly adjust and recognise your altered state, and thus you will have the same dificulties (bad trips, comedowns etc).

    Some things just have to be done the hard way if you want to do them right, altering your mind is definately one of these things.

    The one thing to take away from this discussion piece however is the admited usfulness of meditation, perhaps we should be teaching meditative techniques in schools?

  20. this video is impossible to watch on TV. HER FACE IS MASSIVELY BIG IN MY LIVING ROOM. apparently most videos today are made for 3" screens….

  21. I think mostly everything said in this video is purely rhetoric, but there seems to be a singular point of thought in this typical discourse Nichol is pressuring onto us here: it is that we should never act without sustaining a continous state of transcending the self, the ego, and refusing to adopt this point into our rhetoric repertuar we face a slippery slope of going from harmonious and sublime living, enjoying every moment and so on, we slide to the dark side, we face osbtacles of being faced with potential of being the evil itself, we end up being the cause of disasters and calamity we see people having to struggle with in the bad areas of the world today; we end up being the fake culprits of potential danger from this fake sense of urgency to do something for all the troubles faced in everyday life. And I think this fake spirituality is a very conformist category. It feeds from this inclination towards fiction; wanting something to be real just because it sounds exciting and it rubs our sense of being involved in something bigger than life, and people end up being way too fascinated about all the progress of things around them regarding technology and things with kognitive sciences and so on. These things seem typical with Maslow's "theory" (for it to be called a theory, it should be considered actually scientific, whereas this is prime example of pseudoscience), it all sound good and fantastic, but it really is too good to be true.

  22. Our greatest challenges lie in heirarchy/control, the answer is widespread conscious awakening. The answer is not to merge with technology and allow it to completely take over our existence.

    There has to be a balance with technological adoption when it comes to fundamentally altering our minds & what it means to be human, and Kurzweil and his Singularity nonsense is an extreme view that we give our humanity over to technology, and it's outlandish that even the suggestion(as portrayed in his propaganda Singularity film) that we need to be cautious typically just results in petty accusations that the one saying it must be a luddite.

  23. We have a hierarchy-impeding society. It undermines! Maslow addresses the individual. -In a vacuum? What about the environment in which the individual exists? It seems geared to undermining people, impeding, taking away, when it could be contributing positively. Is there an insidious social engineering afoot? -to manufacture wide spread dysfunction?

  24. Singularity University sounds like an interesting cult. Oh man did I just say cult!? Freudian slip I guess. I meant "class."

  25. She is just right high. Great state to be in when pondering stuff like this…
    We live in such amazing times. What a great day in age to be alive.
    Just like a movie director or screenplay writer is able to change the world/story just like that. We must remember that the game/world we live in today is just that…. It's just a story.. All our history, our present, our future.. It's just story.. A story that we have agreed upon.. And it is subject to change whenever we want.. It's just a story…. We can change the narrative whenever we want..

    The reason we have the society we have in large part is due to selective social engineered behavior throughout the last few hundred years… It all started way back.. When people saw other people coming out from different pussies… And they established the connection that since you came out of that pussy and I came out of this pussy. And you look more alike from the pussy you come from. We can now establish You and me.. Us and them, we and they… It's a story non the less… If we engineered society in a way that it was regardless of what pussy you came out… People would treat you as family anyway.. Already there you would major rewrite human history, consciousness, mind, the works… Instead of last names, family heritage, ect ect ect… Which is all just a story that some of us have agreed upon…

    We actually could be one human family with great control over our destiny.. With a much more fair and harmonic existence.. Not only is it possible and should be done.. It's the only right thing to do if we have the chance to change the story… If we truly are our brothers and sisters keepers. We need to take it on board that the years since silicone valley and until the present is our narrative.. It is our story in motion.. And it is what will get us through the next 100 years.

  26. I think for there I'm high as what did she say hehehe heeheeeiiiittt smoked what she thinks people need to stop trippen and start tripping peace love and lots of sex sex on drugs awesome what she said

  27. Bill Nye is an alien spy. He was sent here to get us used to the idea that maybe someday aliens will come….. Their here no Bill Nye the Science Guy is an alien from …….. Outer space!!!!!!!

  28. I really can't understand what she's pitching, the entire talk was so disorganized and generally loose. A rare disappointment from the channel.

  29. This comment section is a mess. To save everyone else, including the Earth upon which we live, we need to first save ourselves from lower level habits and outdated, messy ways that are cemented in our culture.

  30. you know that's all I hear is all this immortal psycho bullshit about t transcendence and taking technology to mimic human life. how about we all take that same intelligence that you all possess and try to focus it on what's at hand here and that's human suffrage and trafficking of children and adults in the world!! I'm not saying there isn't a place this stuff here, but we need to curb the exploitation of ppl in the world. yes it's hard to do. but if we can figure out how to put a man on the moon, and go to the deepest parts of the oceans,then we can do this. we have to be willing to put forth the effort and really dig deep like we've never done before. Enough said.

  31. You make a lot of sense now that I pay more attention to what you are really trying to say, which I probably missed first time. You see the problem occurred in the positioning of transcendence. It was placed above self-actualization. To me and most other people, self-actualization is the peak of our potential. Saying ultimate happiness can be achieved by reaching a point beyond our potential appears harmful. Transcend the self appeared to mean serving others. In terms of flow, self transcendence is a fantastic idea. It removes the self from worries to a mental state focused on the task at hand. Flow removed from the equation, I see no reason to aim for a point beyond Maslow's self-actualization because it's not possible by definition. I'd categorize self-transcendence as a want. Most people want to focus on other people around them after essential needs are secured.

  32. Thank you for this video, Ms. Bradford. I hope someday we have classes that will aid individuals into achieving self-transcendence.

  33. Whatever this new instant semi-enlightened technology you're talking about is, it's going to be illegal. There already are a few similar things that exist. All of them naturally grown by mother nature. They're all illegal

  34. The question should focus on how to achieve self-transcendence on psychological and kinaesthetic level, rather than relying on technological quick fixes to solve the chaos surrounding humanity. The mess we are in is the very expression of our inner inability to master ourselves.

  35. Transformative Technology Causes Industrialized Mentalities, Problematic to The Human Condition Which Remains Emotional Estrangement. Mental Normalization Can't Fix itself with Technical Processions… imagination creates and restores wellbeing completely

  36. The irony is that most people have this illusion that their primal emotions are what’s valuable to human, instead of unique problem solving objectivity characteristics that humans are superior at.

  37. I think meditation is a natural state of consciousness or perception, we aren't doing it because we're all mentally ill lol. it's my opinion and i have my own model of mentally healthy. which is rationality, goodness, morality, and not using your mind when it's not necessary. but it's always thinking. just because someone is hyperactive or angry doesn't mean it's a mental illness it's made up psychiatry money making method

  38. I bought one of those stick pyramids, set it up on my living room floor, and got inside it to meditate. It didn't work, so I made a tin foil hat. Wow! I was pulling in signals from as far away as Alpha Centauri. Talk about transformative technology!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *