The Noble Lie: The (Necessary) Mythology Called Progress, Part II

Aug 23, 2018

TAA 0034 – C. Travis Webb, Seph Rodney, and Steven Fullwood continue their discussion of Plato’s Noble Lie. The conversation moves to the possibility of progress within human history, and whether or not the human race has time to continue to iteratively improve itself.

[music] 
C.T. WEBB 00:18  Good afternoon, good morning, or good evening and welcome to The American Age Podcast. I am talking to Steven Fullwood and Seph Rodney again today. Gentlemen, how you doing? 
S. RODNEY 00:27  Howdy. 
S. FULLWOOD 00:28  Hey, I’m glad to be here. 
C.T. WEBB 00:30  We thought– last weekend, at the conclusion of our conversation, we decided that we wanted to do a Part Two and this was a continuation of the discussion on the “noble lie,” which veered into a more concrete and specific territory, thanks to Seph, on– and provided by Steven, the example of the American Dream. And Steven, Seph, do you– one of you want to– Seph, you had just re-listened to the tail end of the podcast. Do you want to maybe segue us into today’s Part Two? 
S. FULLWOOD 01:00  Well, I think where we left things is that Steven and I had to sort of get over our initial shock when you made so bold as to suggest that, with our deep-rooted skepticism about the American Dream, that nevertheless we are, in some ways, products of it. And that, in fact, the other dreams that we have–or the other noble myth that we pass through on a daily basis, perhaps–are just as fictional, or just as mythological, but we don’t necessarily initially recognize them as such. So Steven was talking about being a gay man and moving from his place in Ohio to find a world of people who he could recognize himself in. And that was a kind of paradise idea. And I talked a little bit about thinking, when I was younger, that if I found a community of like-minded intellectuals, people who were really seekers of truth, that that would be my kind of paradise. And I think the podcast ended with us realizing that all of those are kinds of myths. 
C.T. WEBB 02:23  Of course, yeah. 
S. FULLWOOD 02:24  And none of those things are true and perhaps, for many other people–most other people–they’re never true. So I think the question that we ended on is, “Well, how is it possible to live in a place where you’re not constantly sort of ensconced in myth?” Like at what point do we get to be grown-ups who look at the circumstances of our lives and say, “Okay, this is what we have to deal with. Let’s go.” 
C.T. WEBB 02:59  I’m going to let– I would probably object to juxtaposing adulthood with not living in mythology, but why don’t– 
S. FULLWOOD 03:07  Okay. 
C.T. WEBB 03:06  But I’ll let Steven jump in, so. 
S. FULLWOOD 03:10  Alright. 
S. RODNEY 03:10  That’s exactly it. It was like– it was almost like, you know, now that I’m adult I must put my toys away. Is that– you know, that’s a thing. So I found it– I found that– I was like, “That’s really powerful,” but I don’t know if it’s possible to not live without some kind of myth, some kind of way of thinking that– whether it’s the myth of marriage, whether it’s the myth of, I don’t know, growing older? I mean, that kind of basics. And so when you said that, I was like– this notion of paradise is built upon, obviously, shared language, shared expectations, shared goals, and so forth. And Toni Morrison’s book–I mention her a lot; I might have mentioned this before in a past podcast, that– the first line of the book is– or the first few lines of the books are– of “Paradise” is called– she goes, “They shoot the white girl first. With the rest, they can take their time.” You see, there was this many miles between this land and this land and what she said in interviews was that the least reliable piece of information you have about someone is race. And I take that as a jumping off point to think about the ways in which we think our shared experiences gets us closer to each other and makes us closer. It was something you said before, Seph, in our last podcast about the shared intellectual, honest community that could just be full of people that you loath. 
S. FULLWOOD 04:34  Right. Right. 
S. RODNEY 04:36  Do you know? And so I was just thinking about the myth thing, and I think– I agree with you; I was like, “Oh, I want to find a group of people who are artists and who are thinkers and who care about people and are activists.” And some of these people I have profound, deeply, deep disagreements with. You know, we all share certain myths that we’re looking forward to and kind of serve as a beacon and some kind of glue for our friendships but they really don’t do the work. But I don’t know– in lieu of what? Like what else could we put there? 
S. FULLWOOD 05:11  Travis? 
C.T. WEBB 05:12  Yeah, I– yeah. So I think– you know, I think that the noble lie–the American Dream, the idea that you can have a community of like-minded people of shared principles–I think I basically agree with Socrates via Plato that it’s a necessary fiction, in that it’s not that it’s a lie or–perhaps it’s adolescent in the sense that all of those imagined communities are adolescent and a kind of wish fulfillment–but that they– noble things are born out of them. I mean, could Martin Luther King have led a civil rights movement that did not draw potently on the American mythology of equality for all? Equal for men, you know, and then, you know, reluctantly we add women into that. And, you know, so there’s always a resistance from the people that have the spotlight or the attention or are the anointed ones. They don’t want to give up their little piece of the pie, right? And then the people on the periphery, around the edges, will like, “No, we want our share of this.” But isn’t the pursuit and the belief of that–as flawed and fractured and, in some ways, dishonest as it seems–also produce magnificent things? I mean, just stirring, moving, compelling moments in human history. 
S. FULLWOOD 07:02  Letter from a Birmingham Jail. 
C.T. WEBB 07:04  Yes. 
S. RODNEY 07:04  Yeah. 
C.T. WEBB 07:05  Absolutely. And a long list of other things. And so I think, to take it in a– to try and push it forward a little bit, I think that we were too hasty, as an intellectual community, as progressives, to register a break, a discontinuation from that narrative of progressive equality. So I feel like what was potent about the civil rights movement and, you know, perhaps to a far less extent, because I basically think it was a pretty bougie but kind of the Sixties peace and love move– I mean, in some senses a movement of great entitlement. But the civil rights movement clearly was not that. And I think that instead of seeing that work as unfinished, we have instead made them– or the people like us often have made the move that the work was a lie. 
S. FULLWOOD 08:19  Wait a minute. I want to make sure I understand what you’re saying. So are you saying that when, for example, historians dig up the fact that Martin Luther King Jr. was essentially a kind of serial philanderer–like he slept around a lot–is that the kind of giving up you’re talking about? That they’re kind of saying, “No, that was a lie because we have these flawed leaders and they screwed around and they were dishonest at times and la, la, la.” 
C.T. WEBB 08:54  That’s one flavor of it. It takes a variety of flavors but that is one flavor of it, sure. 
S. FULLWOOD 09:00  Oh, okay. 
S. RODNEY 09:04  Well, I was thinking that your– progressives may have been too quick to give up certain things, but I think at the base of it all there was a critique of capitalism, there was a critique of labor– not of labor unions, of having fair labor practices. There were the other things that were involved there. And so I think when people feel like their leaders have to be perfect, obviously that’s a problem. Because there’s no perfect leader; you can always find something going on with that person because they’re human. What I was exhaust– what I’m trying to figure out is, could the civil rights movement been based upon something other than the American Dream? And as you guys talk, I’m still thinking through it. Could it have been based on socialism? Could it have been based on some other economic system or social system that could have been more of a– could have been less based in obtaining something? 
S. FULLWOOD 10:13  See, I actually– my initial response to that is a really emphatic “no” and here’s why. What I immediately think of, Steven, is that part of the reason that the civil rights movement– actually, the large part of the reason why the civil rights movement worked is, I think, sort of two aspects of the same thing. One is that they were calling upon a dream that rhetorically, at least–basically since the foundation of the U.S. as a nation-state–had been held out to everyone. “We hold these truths to be self-evident,” right? That we all are endowed by the creator with certain inalienable rights, among them life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness. This was the glue, right? This was the promise that was held out to all of us. So basically the civil rights movement said, “You held this out. It’s in your Constitution. You have to give this to us.” And then the other aspect is– 
S. RODNEY 11:16  It was a strategy, yeah. Go ahead. 
S. FULLWOOD 11:19  The other aspect is by bringing- -and I feel like Cornell West here when I do this because he’s always doing that, like he’s talking about– Anyway, by bringing up the violence that was inherent in segregation, by making it– bringing it to the surface, by making it clear to the rest of the world how truly violent this structure is and was, they were also saying, “This is untenable because you can’t live this way. That you cannot live with this violence,” right? 
S. RODNEY 11:52  Right. Absolutely. 
S. FULLWOOD 11:57  So there’s a way in which I don’t think the civil rights movement could have been based on socialism or another system that wasn’t so much about obtaining things because part of what made it powerful was that it was asking for the very things that everybody else had or needed and they recognized that on some level. 
S. RODNEY 12:19  I agree with that, yeah. Foundationally. Absolutely. 
C.T. WEBB 12:22  African American economic prosperity was intimately bound up with the civil rights movement. I mean, you– the sort of economic prosperity that began to blossom in places like Atlanta were fueled– I mean, almost– they could demand their seat at the table, right? Their money spent, as the saying goes. I have– I don’t any longer–I certainly used to–I don’t any longer have the knee-jerk reaction against capital and capitalism that I used to. It doesn’t mean that I think– I’m certainly not a booster for laissez-faire capitalism or anything like that but– Seph and I had talked about this. I don’t think you– I think it was an early podcast, before you– or it might have just been an off week. But to me, people that are unequivocally– that use capital as a short-hand for critique have to deal with the fact that hunger has been significantly diminished since the advent of capitalism. Medicine has exponentially expanded since the advent of capitalism. Slavery as an institution died on capitalism’s watch. These were– I mean, poverty and slavery have been with us since basically fifth century millennia– you know, 5000 BCE, and that has been– that has all but– not disappeared, but– 
S. RODNEY 14:06  Thank you. 
C.T. WEBB 14:07  No, no, no, no. No, no. It’s a– listeners don’t get to Steven’s face, he’s just like, “Whoaaaaa.” 
S. FULLWOOD 14:14  He was like, “Don’t go there. Don’t go there. Not on my watch.” 
S. RODNEY 14:16  You’re approaching the line, you’re approaching the line. 
C.T. WEBB 14:18  So, okay. So I understand the ways in which– 
S. RODNEY 14:22  All but– 
C.T. WEBB 14:23  I– I’m sorry. No, no, go ahead, Steven. Go ahead, Steven. 
S. RODNEY 14:26  No, just– I just wanted you to continue, and it’s almost all but been eliminated on– 
C.T. WEBB 14:31  At least rhetorically, right? You can’t say it unapologetically or without– outside of very closeted communities anymore. It’s definitely true the prison-industrial complex has continued racial segregation and what I sometimes called forced [inaudible], which is that you basically force these other people to do the work that you don’t want your body to do. So I get that, but even that–even that you’ve had to push this reality into the dark corners of society–is a kind of progress that has happened, with all of its flaws, under a system of capitalism. Now I’m not saying– I’m not wanting to abandon the [crosstalk]– 
S. RODNEY 15:25  It sounds like you’re rationalizing it, in a way, and– 
C.T. WEBB 15:27  Well, no. Let me give you this coda and then you can jump in. That’s not saying that I think we can move forward, right? That’s not saying that I think this is– not like in a Francis Fukuyama, like “This is the best system there is.” I don’t mean that. But I do mean that, perhaps a la early Marx, this is a necessary stage; this kind of material prosperity that emerges from a capitalist is a necessary stage of development and is not something to disdain but is something to incorporate and move on from. 
S. FULLWOOD 16:06  Yeah. I’m okay with that argument actually. I do think that most essentialist arguments tend to break down under serious examination. 
S. RODNEY 16:18  Scrutiny. 
S. FULLWOOD 16:20  Yeah. So back to this question, which is still troubling me: So are we– is there a way to live without a noble myth? I think we’re kind of circling around the drain that says basically, “No.” Like it’s not– right? I mean, it seems like we are all sort of saying well, given at least– I think–if I may speak for you for a moment, Travis–I think Travis, what you’re saying, is that–historically, at least–there’s been absolutely no indication that we could do any different. 
C.T. WEBB 16:57  Yeah, that is what I think. Yeah, that’s a fair summary. Yeah. 
S. FULLWOOD 17:01  Wow. Damn. I find that slightly disappointing. 
S. RODNEY 17:07  Please continue. 
S. FULLWOOD 17:10  Well, well, I mean– part and parcel of being a human being is that, of all the animals on the planet, we are the ones that are the most gifted in terms of sheer brain power, right? This was the evolutionary sort of– off the beaten path track, right? Most of the other animals on the planet have some kind of camouflage, some kind of poison barb, some kind of fur, some kind of system of defense and offense. We are the animals that have the most ridiculously long gestation periods. 
S. RODNEY 18:01  Very. 
S. FULLWOOD 18:02  We– right? Like ridiculously long before we’re able to like, kind of make it on our own. And we don’t have any of those tools. So this was the sort of evolutionary– I want to use– not “cul-de-sac,” but like some byway that was a real chance, right? Was a real roll of the dice. And we’ve managed to gain consciousness in a way that makes us sort of masters of this world, right? Like undeniably we control what the fuck goes on on this globe. And yet we can’t figure out a way to look each other in the eye every day and say, “Okay, this is the world we’ve built. It’s really, really, really imperfect. How do we just put our shoulders to the wheel and make it a little bit better?” Like why is there no sort of organizing principle that can bind us to that ethos, to that desire? I just– I’m honestly, every single day of my life, I’m flummoxed by that. I just don’t understand how human beings can look at each other and say, “Yeah, it’s fine that I have five houses on this continent alone and the guy I’m walking over has nothing. I’m really fine with that.” I just– I’m flabbergasted. I just don’t get it. 
C.T. WEBB 19:48  So yeah, I think at that point I think we’re sort of talking about sort of shades of gray, right? Because we probably– so of course that sort of obscene displays of wealth are– I mean, to me and you and probably people we would care to share a meal with, is shameful, right? Is something to be ashamed of. But there are other displays of wealth that we are more comfortable with, right? So probably if you own a house, you know, maybe a house and a small boat or– you know? Like there’s a list of things that we probably– aren’t going to trip that anxiety for us. And there are enormous– that Rohingyan, you know, with all the– there’s 600 thousand people are living in, I don’t know, it’s like 3 or– I mean, it’s more than that, but it’s just a few miles wide. I mean, that’s the refugee crisis there. And of course, I mean– you know, the– I’m not saying that we should– you know what, I’m not saying anything other than it is a deeply imperfect world, is a deeply imperfect system, that we can only iteratively improve. And I don’t think we can revolutionarily improve it. I am deeply afraid of revolutions because terrible things happen in them to people that are more or less innocent and who– And so I am very much a champion of iterative improvement based on this noble lie, based on the myth– you know, I use “lie” because it’s a little bit more provocative, but I would just want to probably call it “the noble myth,” “the noble mythology” that even though it’s not today, that we are– because inherently, as pro-social primates with– that have some sense of “Oh, I want the world inside to comport to the world outside”– that if we keep following that, a hundred, four hundred, five hundred, a thousand years from now the world is going to look a damn sight better than it looks now. Now not in my lifetime or your lifetime– Steven, please, I’m saying a lot so you jump in. Sorry. Are you skeptical of that? 
S. RODNEY 22:14  No, no. It’s just my face. I go, “Will it get better, Travis?” I don’t know. I’m not– 
C.T. WEBB 22:21  Do you really think– do you really think that today the world, for– I can’t even get it out, because I’m not even– I can’t even frame the question convincingly enough because I’m already arguing with myself before I ask it, so– 
S. FULLWOOD 22:34  I can do this one for you. 
C.T. WEBB 22:38  Okay, please do. Please do, please do, please do. 
S. FULLWOOD 22:38  Because actually I think I’m kind of on your side because I– on this one, in that someone– and I was reading The New Yorker, actually, a couple weeks back and the writer–I forget his name; it may have been Adam Gopnik, but I’m not sure–but he made the argument, basically, that these things–and instead of using the word “iterative” he used the word, what was it, “episodic” maybe–but basically he said we do make these inroads, we do make these advances, every so often and then, even though we slip back, we don’t slip all the way back. Like he talked about housing at the turn of the twentieth century. Look at what Jacob Riis documented, right? Look at children working in factories. As we came to the point in the late twentieth century where labor unions were powerful enough that they could guarantee essentially– first, with a high school education, to be able to have a job most of their lives, through which they could save, buy a house, buy a car, and send their children to college. We’ve slipped back now, but we have not slipped all the way back to having 10-year-olds working in factories 18-hour shifts. So there is, I think, something to be said for this notion of incremental progress. 
S. RODNEY 24:05  Iterative, iterative. Okay. Okay, I’ll give you that. Because it’s not happening, that’s true. I think your metaphor, or your thought about it, might have been more poignant if we knew more about housing, right? And if we knew more about the labor unions that are really disempowered right now; they’re just continuously are being pulled apart. But I get what both of you are saying. I just– I am– I’m probably not in a state–emotional, mental state–to say things are getting better when I feel very much like– and feel and also think about what progress looks like. You know, you’re right. The civil rights movement– earlier, Travis, you said it worked. And I was like, “It did?” How did it work? There– on the books, there are laws, but sometimes police, the justice system, ignores those laws. 
C.T. WEBB 25:07  Okay, but look at the color of the New York City police force. Look at the color of the Chicago police force. 
S. RODNEY 25:15  It never was about color. It’s all about blue. I mean, if we’re talking about color, we’re talking about blue. We’re talking about– those people are not there to necessarily be beneficial to the public. I won’t paint all police officers as being evil or pawns of the system, but I will definitely say– I mean, we could just look at the last four or five years of blacks being shot, unarmed blacks being shot; men, women, children. Virtually no convictions. Virtually no– even charges brought up. 
C.T. WEBB 25:46  Not to push back, because obviously you know that I find those instances abhorrent and I think that there is something deeply embedded in the American psyche afraid of black male bodies. I think that is absolutely real, and you know– 
S. RODNEY 26:03  Or black bodies in– black bodies [crosstalk]. 
S. FULLWOOD 26:04  I was about to say– yeah. 
C.T. WEBB 26:06  Yeah, black bodies in general but particularly the black male body, I think, is perceived as– in its figure as a threat to the white psyche. I think– I mean, we could have a podcast– I mean, there’s– I think it’s all over film, really, I mean– in representations in film, but anyway. So to bracket that just for a second: even though I think that is real, I recently– the jury is out on whether the numbers, the actual numbers of shooting deaths by police and numbers of times that weapons are drawn on American citizens– the jury is out whether it happens to African Americans more than it happens to other demographics. There isn’t a lot of good information nationally on what the rates of violence are against African Americans versus whites and the one study that I’m aware of– in the Houston area, it’s about even; it actually looks like whites– white men have the police draw their weapons on them at a slightly higher rate than weapons are drawn on black men. Now that– oh, sorry. 
S. RODNEY 27:29  Does this result in death? And also the point I guess I want to make, just by taking blackness out of it and simply saying when we talk about color on the police force– that I don’t know if that’s a plus or a minus, is what I was saying. 
C.T. WEBB 27:46  Yeah, I get that. I think that’s fair and I understand– I guess I’m going from a– I’m making a more simple claim that is perhaps problematic and flawed, which is that people of– race is the raison d’etre in the United States as far as ingroup and outgroup, or it has been for most of our history. I’m saying that in the twentieth and twenty-first century, more non-white bodies have access to power and corridors of power than non-white bodies had prior to the mid-twentieth century. And that, on American– that, on the terms that we have established in the United States, is decidedly a kind of progress. 
S. RODNEY 28:33  Decidedly. Exactly. But not necessarily real progress if we’re, just simply put, filling in the bodies and filling in the [inaudible] with the same attitudes. Yeah, absolutely. 
C.T. WEBB 28:43  Right. Right, right, right, right, right, right. Yeah, yeah. It’s– you’re making a– I would say you’re making a more trenchant argument against the kind of system that we have, that I’m not actually pushing back against. I don’t– because I don’t– I may actually just agree with you. The reason I hesitated on the question– Seph, go ahead. Seph, you’re about to jump in. 
S. FULLWOOD 29:05  Well, two things, and I’m hesitating because– well, I’ll just say them. You said this to me a long time ago, Travis; you actually may have said it in a podcast but I don’t think so. I think it was a one-on-one conversation. You said one of the categorical differences between now and life– let’s just say pre-1964, because that’s when they passed the Civil Rights Act, la la la. And there was a sort of trio of Acts that were the sort of culmination of the classic civil rights movement: the Fair Housing Act, Civil Rights Act, and the Voting Rights Act. And then I want to make a more simple analogy once I get done with this one. I think that–and this is what Travis kind of said to me in that conversation–he said I think that basically you can look– black people pre-1964 could look at their white neighbors and point at them and say, “There, those are the people that harmed me. Those are the people that used their pickup truck to run over my uncle.” 
S. RODNEY 30:11  Right. 
S. FULLWOOD 30:11  Now that won’t happen. 99 percent of the time, those people down the road will not just, with complete impudence, with complete sense of agency, run your uncle over with their tractor or their pickup truck because they know that there are consequences they will have to face now. That’s a categorical difference. And also I want to make the simple– just a real simple argument: When would you rather live? Would you rather live in the America of the 1950s or 60s or would you rather live now? 
S. RODNEY 30:57  Wow, wow. That is a loaded question. Of course I want to– 
S. FULLWOOD 30:59  It is. It is. It’s not a fair question. 
S. RODNEY 31:02  Yeah, you understand. It’s like, can I not live in either one of those and get a third thing that’s a little bit better than this too, you know? But I get it. I get it, I get it, I get it. It’s just not satisfied with the rate of what we call progression, even if it’s iterative or incremental; it feels very– it feels more talk than action, even though there are the laws, there are the consequences. Not always though. Not always the consequences. 
S. FULLWOOD 31:33  I agree. I agree. I agree. 
S. RODNEY 31:35  And the very things that you mentioned– so housing, voting, what was the third one? 
S. FULLWOOD 31:39  It was the Voting Rights Act, Fair Housing Act, and it was the Civil Rights Act. 
S. RODNEY 31:43  So those are the three things that people are trying to erode right now. 
S. FULLWOOD 31:48  You’re right. You’re absolutely right. 
S. RODNEY 31:50  You know, with– 
C.T. WEBB 31:50  Oh, yeah. We have to win, right? We have to keep fighting. They’re not giving– you know, the people that– there are entrenched power structures that want to push back against those incremental and insufficient progresses. 
S. RODNEY 32:08  Yes. Absolutely. 
C.T. WEBB 32:10  But fuck them. Like we– 
S. RODNEY 32:12  Fuck ’em twice. 
C.T. WEBB 32:13  It doesn’t mean that we’ve been wrong all these years. It means that we haven’t gotten it right yet. And that that’s something to keep working towards. I’m sorry, go ahead Steven. 
S. RODNEY 32:24  Oh no, I just– I apologize for interrupting you. It wasn’t that we were wrong, it’s just that after all of this, there’s still more to do. And I think that that– inter-generationally, I think that maybe that wasn’t passed down enough, or clearly enough. But also the distractions are different, you know? 
C.T. WEBB 32:41  I agree with that, yeah. 
S. FULLWOOD 32:42  The distractions are very, very different. So when I watch– I’ve watched people argue from different generations. I was at a Black Panther film festival once and I’m listening to this guy go to a group of kids, “You know, you don’t know what we did for you. You’re not happy with that. You don’t know what we sacrificed.” And there were two kids just going, “We don’t know who you are, we don’t know what your sacrifice was.” And oddly, both were right and both were wrong. And I was like, “Well, how can I just jump in this and sit with these people for the next 30 years and talk about, you know, here are the things that you guys are missing.” You know? Here are the things you’re missing because people are like, you know, “Shit, I’ve been under generational poverty. What the fuck did you do for me, Black Panthers?” You know, and vice versa. But they’re very– it’s– and it also ignores so many of the things that have put them in that conversation in the first place, you know, in terms of that dialogue, so– but it’s like there’s just so much to do and it’s– like what you said earlier, Seph, about– it’s like, how can people do what they do? And I say, well, it’s just cognitive dissonance, you know, of being able to say, “I worked very hard for what I got. What are you doing?” You know? And that’s part of the American Dream too, that idea. 
S. FULLWOOD 33:56  Yeah, that entitlement. Yeah, absolutely. You’re entitled to– yeah. 
C.T. WEBB 33:58  That entitlement. You know, [crosstalk]. 
S. RODNEY 34:00  So I want to– I kind of want to end on a really skeptical note. I apologize beforehand, but– 
C.T. WEBB 34:09  I’m shocked. 
S. RODNEY 34:11  Here’s the thing that is the sobering issue for me: Yeah, Travis, I think you’re right in that it’s an iterative process and maybe in a hundred years, a thousand years, society will look completely different from where we are now. The problem is, my ex-girlfriend, Caroline, went to visit the CERN site–C-E-R-N–where Hadron Collider– somewhere– yeah. 
S. FULLWOOD 34:42  Sure, sure. Freaking fantastic, yeah. 
S. RODNEY 34:45  Yeah, yeah. And she said that she asked one of the scientists there how long he gives the human race to survive. You know, given all this happening with climate change and the way that we are effectively killing the ecosystem that supports us. He said 50 years. So that’s the thing, right? Like we– our noble myths, our sense of progress, our iterative actions, kind of don’t mean anything if we don’t survive. And really there’s a question as to whether we will. 
S. RODNEY 35:27  If we get to that progress– if we can get to that progress. 
C.T. WEBB 35:31  So the only– so I’ll end on a defiant note. Not defiant, so– so fuck that white coat appeal to authority bullshit. I don’t care what that egghead said about how long we’ve got to live. He doesn’t know. He doesn’t know. 
S. RODNEY 35:45  He doesn’t know. 
C.T. WEBB 35:46  He’s like– he’s playing with subatomic particles, that doesn’t give him special knowledge about the future of the human race. So– 
S. RODNEY 35:52  It kind of does. 
S. FULLWOOD 35:54  Okay. Maybe 
C.T. WEBB 35:55  So gentlemen, thank you very much for being patient with my very poor internet today. 
S. RODNEY 36:05  No worries. No worries. 
S. FULLWOOD 36:05  No worries. 
C.T. WEBB 36:05  And I’ll talk to you next week. Thank you. 
S. FULLWOOD 36:08  Take care. 
S. RODNEY 36:10  Take care. 
  [music] 

 

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