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Notes on video lecture:
The Power of Imagined Realities
Choose from these words to fill the blanks below:
powerful, ghost, incorporated, unlimited, liability, dual, entrepreneurship, loan, meum, destroy, primitive, invulnerable, judge, believe, story, lawyer, replaced, countries, factories, cooperate, ruin, owner, economic
it is easy for us understand how                    cultures believed in ghosts and spirits
it is harder for us to appreciate is that our own modern institutions such as banks, governments, and                    function on the same basis
the legend of Peugeot car company
one of the biggest and oldest car manufactures in Europe
began in 1896 as small village in North East France
today it employs over 200,000 people who cooperate so effectively that they make 1.5 million cars per year
what exactly is Peugeot?
it is not the cars, since you could                all the cars, and the Peugeot company would continue on creating cars
it is not the showrooms and                   
e.g. in WWII aerial bombing destroyed factories but companies remained
it is not the people, since they could be                 
this does not mean that Peugeot is                         : a judge can pronounce a few magical words, and the company would disappear, e.g. if a            states that the company broke a monopolistic law and thus must be dissolved
the cars, the workers, the managers are still remain, but the company is gone
so what exactly is Peugot?
Peugeot is a           , Peugeot is a fiction, it belongs to the particular kind of fictions called "limited                    companies". Explaining the meaning of "limited liability company" is more complex and difficult to explain that what a            is, but existentially and functionally it is similar (it is something that doesn't actually exist anywhere yet when we collectively                in it, they have power influence, motivate and control us)
limited liability company
e.g. back in 1300 France, Jean owned a workshop which made wagons, and he had                    liability, a wagon that he made broke down and he was fully liable
if Jean took a          and could not pay it back, all his belongings could be taken away
this unlimited liability was an obstacle to                                 , people were less likely to take economic risks since failure could mean complete          for themselves and their families
to solve this problem, over the centuries people began to collectively imagine the existence of limited liability companies, entities imagined as being legally independent of people who set them up, invested money in them, and managed them
it is not then the            of the company who took the loan, it's the company and it is the company that is required to pay it back, not the owner
over the last few centuries, limited liability companies have become the main players in the                  arena and we have become so accustomed to them that we forget that we invented them ourselves and that they exist only in our imagination, they exist as fictions that we collectively believe in.
when Armand Peugeot set up the Peugeot company in 1896, he did roughly the same thing that shamans and priests and sorcerers used to do in ancient tribes: began telling a story about an entity that doesn't exist yet has power in its relations with people
just as a Catholic priest goes through a ceremony and says "Hoc est corpus         ", members of the church treat the bread as if it were the flesh of God and not just an ordinary piece of bread, when a              goes through a ceremony and puts his signature at the bottom of a decorated piece of paper, a new company is                          and people treat it as if it really exists.
telling effective stories like these of business law or Catholic dogma is not easy since you also have to get people to believe in these stories. Much of human history has revolved around the task of how to convince hundreds, thousands, and millions of people, strangers to one another, to believe the same stories about gods or limited liability companies or nations or human rights. When they succeed, it gives them immense power and enables millions of people to                    towards common goals
scholars call these fictions that people create through these stories social constructs or imagined realities.
they are not lies, a lie is when you say there is a lion at the river but you know there is not, but imagined reality is something else. Unlike lying, an imagined reality is something that everyone believes in and as long as this common belief persists, the imagined reality is a real force in the world.
Ever since the cognitive revolution, human beings have been living a          reality, on the one hand there is the objective reality of rivers and trees and lions, and on the other hand there is the imagined reality of gods and nations and corporations, and as time went by, the imagined reality became more and more                 , that today the existence of rivers, trees, and lions depends on the grace of imagined entities such as gods and nations and corporations.
The Context of History and Our Extended Human Family
How Walking Upright Led to Better Social and Cooperative Skills
The Importance of Fire and Cooking
Why Did Other Human Species Become Extinct?
The Cognitive Revolution and the Beginning of Human History
The Language of Homo Sapiens
How Fictive Language Enabled Larger Social Groups
The Power of Imagined Realities
How the Ability to Tell Stories Enabled Humans to Cooperate in Massive Groups
The Cognitive Revolution and the Variety of Human Communities
Spiritual Beliefs of Early Humans
Politics and Warfare of Pre-Agricultural Societies
45,000 Years Ago: Human's Decimation of Australia's Large Mammals
14,000 BC: Human Migration to the Americas
Agriculture: The Good and the Bad
10,000 BC: Agricultural Revolution
The Origins of Agriculture
The Code of Hammurabi and Other Imagined Realities
Inter-Subjective Reality and Romantic Consumerism
The Human Brain's Outsourcing of Mathematics
Unjust and Imagined Hierarchies
Imagined Hierarchies in History
Culturally Defined Gender
Three Theories of Gender Domination
The Direction of Humankind: Global Unity
The Essence of Money
The History of Money
The Historical Definition of Empire
The Relationship between Science, European Imperialism and Capitalism
Science, Capitalism and European Imperialism
Columbus: Last Man of the Middle Ages, Vespucci: First Man of the Modern Age
European Empires, Science, and Capitalism
How Capitalism is Based on Trust in the Future
On the Interdependence of Science and Capitalism
How Capitalism Enabled Small European Countries to Explore and Conquer the World
The Relationship Between Capitalism, the Slave Trade, and Free Market Forces
Industrialization, Energy and Raw Materials
The Second Agricultural Revolution and its Effect on Animal Treatment
The Ethics of Capitalism and Consumerism
On Limitless Energy Resources and the Hegemony of Modern Time Schedules
State/Market vs. Family/Community
Humankind's Rigid and Violent Past, and Flexible and Peaceful Present
Reasons for Our Current Unprecedented Era of International Peace
Three Theories on the History of Happiness
Psychological and Biological Happiness
Measuring Human Happiness
The Future of Cyborgs and Robots
What Do We Want to Want?