What does the title mean?

Reset Default Settings--what does that mean. Well, default settings are what happen when you do nothing, they maintain the status quo. They’re the things that are chosen for you, if you don’t choose yourself.

Default settings are the prevailing wisdom, common sense, the stuff that everyone knows is true, and the things that everyone is doing. 

But default settings are often wrong. Even when they’re true generally, they’re not true universally. What’s good for everyone else isn’t necessarily good for you, and even that changes over time. Many default settings don’t come about because of knowledge that’s been carefully distilled over generations. They’re arbitrary points of inadequate cultural equilibria, some more recent than others. They’re bad epistemic accidents that people treat as wisdom without much thought. 

By their nature, most people will agree with them. If you find yourself questioning the prevailing wisdom, wanting to reset a default, it will naturally be you against many other people. You might feel like you’re going insane a little bit.

Should you subscribe to Reset Default Settings?

If you grew up reading science fiction and fantasy, but you wonder where all the glory in life has gone, this podcast is for you.

If one of your regular intrusive thoughts is “surely this can’t be all there is,” this podcast is for you.

If you want to know how to identify cultural defaults and inspect them, even as you’re within them--you know, you’re a fish who wants to see the water--this podcast is for you.

If you believe in the power of human agency and individual autonomy, or you want to, this is the podcast for you. 

Who am I

And on that note, who am I? As I said, my name is Daniel. I have an origin story that most politicians would die for, because, before I attended Harvard College, I grew up on a farm in rural Indiana. I used to aspire to law school, but after working in the legal industry I veered right of that road. Since graduating from college I’ve lived a lot of places, currently Manhattan; I’ve worked a lot of jobs, including a coffee shop, law firm, and higher ed; I’ve scattered a lot of sparks, like in book publishing and novel writing, piano, and saxophone; and deliberately sought out the people and ideas that I’m now going to explore here.