Welcome back friends! Today’s episode is an audio essay. Those who’ve listened to the show for a while now know that this is a classic Many Minds genre. But we actually haven’t done one in quite awhile. This one takes on a topic that is big, consequential, and above all quite fun: our species’ long-running obsession with our own uniqueness. I won’t say too much more—don’t want to spoil anything—but, like a lot of our essays, this one’s a mix of history of ideas and contemporary science, leavened—naturally—with a bit of speculation. Oh, and some neologizing. There’s a good neologism in here, or at least, a neologism.
One news item before we get to the essay: we’re stoked to announce the new Many Minds newsletter! The first edition is already out in the world—we’ll put a link to that and to the sign-up form in the show notes. For now the plan is that each installment will include brief descriptions of the latest episodes, as well as a curated little link pack—links to 5-10 of the most interesting things we’ve come across recently. Installments will be monthly so shouldn’t burden your inbox too much either. Again, look for the sign-up info in the show notes.
Alright folks, now on to our essay on the quest for human uniqueness!