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How do I know what my future self wants? (w/ Shankar Vedantam)

How to Be a Better Human


Self-improvement, Education

4.21.1K Ratings

🗓️ 25 September 2023

⏱️ 41 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


How well would you say you know yourself? Do you feel like the same person you were 10 years ago? Today’s guest, Shankar Vedantam, loves these kinds of questions and what they reveal about what we believe about ourselves and how we actually behave. Shankar is a science writer and the creator and host of the podcast “Hidden Brain”. In this episode, Shankar shares why he’s fascinated by the things we THINK we know, uncovers examples of what our brains hide from us, and shares how we can use that knowledge to live the lives we want to be living. For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/BHTranscripts.

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Ted Audio Collective. how to be a better human. I'm your host Chris Duffy. Something that I've been thinking


about a lot and talking about with friends recently is this feeling that I have that I'm not the


same person that I used to be but I'm not quite sure who I'm not the same person that I used to be, but I'm not quite sure who I'm going to become,


that I'm kind of in-between versions of myself.


It's hard to put into words exactly what that feeling is, but I think a lot of us have this sense that so much has


happened in the broader world over the past few years. And also internally, there's been


all these changes and adaptations we've had to make and at least for myself I just feel like I'm not the same as I used to be


It's a hard thing to put into words exactly it's hard to articulate


That's why I was so happy when I came across this talk by Shankar Vedantam,


the journalist and host of Hidden Brain.


In his talk, he discusses exactly this feeling,


and as a metaphor and a jumping off point he uses the ship


of Theseus which is a famous thought experiment that asks whether if you replace all


the individual pieces of a ship whether that is still the same vessel or whether it's something else entirely.


Okay, here's a clip from Shankar's TED Talk where he's unpacking that question.


The people you were 10 years ago are not the people you are today.


Biologically, you have become a different person.


But I believe something much more profound happens


at a psychological level.


Because you could argue, a ship is not just a collection of planks,


a body is not just a collection of cells,


it's the organization of the planks that makes the ship.


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