#1151 - Sean Carroll

The Joe Rogan Experience #1151 - Sean Carroll

August 1, 2018

Sean Carroll is a cosmologist and physics professor specializing in dark energy and general relativity. He is a research professor in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. Check out "Sean Carroll's Mindscape Podcast" available on iTunes & Stitcher.

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ladies and gentlemen welcome to the show how's everybody doing I got a lot of Comedy tours coming up comedy tours got a comedy dates coming up on the store that ends basically September 29th September 29th I'm done and then I got to write a whole new act so this is his last chance for romance baby I got August 10th available that is in Kansas City to some tickets available for that September 14th in Columbus Ohio and the 29th in Toronto and that's basically all that is for sale except for very minimal tickets or some of the other shows now if you heard me talk on the podcast for about jeans you know I'm a big fan of flexible jeans this is a new thing and there's a new company that's making them and they're doing after

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and Sean was with his way back at episode 1003 Sean is a cosmetologist and a physics Professor specializing in dark energy and general relativity otherwise known as shit you don't understand but he tries to break it down in as best away as possible and it's still hard to follow but he doesn't amazing job he's a brilliant guy so please welcome Sean Terrell

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The Joe Rogan Experience

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bhupendra like mr. Cairo how are you sir. So now we need people like you out there you are you have like but 7 episode so far enjoying the process by the way his name for those out there in podcast the real the thing to Tilted me over tour doing it cuz like look it's I have a day job right I can't spend too much time doing this stuff but what I realized it was an excuse a license to talk to people who are not just physicists right cuz I got to be delightful interest I can go Way Beyond just what I do for a living and I could not allowed to take seriously anything other than your discipline your job right I'm allowed to be talking about physics but nothing else but so now I can talk to the story ends in Economist and philosophers and psychologist in its great well you could have just

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The Evergreen State and then you can talk about it teaching Professor you could just leave your professor you could teach them dance we have to break out of the system so your podcast you decided this would be a great venue for you to just sick expand on subjects and just get into anything that you'd like the pinions about things and I've never been one who said you shouldn't talk about things unless you're a PhD credentialed expert right I think everyone should be talking about everything but you should know what your level of expertise says you're not an expert you should listen to people you should then make your own decisions but you should first gather the information and so I don't feel quite like I can go I have a Blog doing whatever I want on my blog but I can't really expand on my theories of Economics cuz what do I know about the economics but I can call out but I'm very expert Economist in chat with them on the podcast and both I will learn something and hopefully the listeners will

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so you going to just basically talk about anything stick is sort of an idea right so for the hour or whatever it is I don't have your statement I can't do the two and a half hours just for an hour I know I need more caffeine in an hour and a half and will dig into an idea and try to understand what's going on in for everyday people's language and how it fits into the bigger picture and things like that and kind of mix-up you know good old professors I got some people coming out of left field had a professional poker player I have a movie director coming up a chef and things like that so but basically yeah whatever I want to talk about that's awesome so is this for your own edification or you just using it as I just have platform like I treated like it's from me like I'm not going to do

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best war topics or not do topics because the people say so right life people out there who don't want me to buy anything other than physics at least nothing that involves politics or religion very much should I put I love talk about politics and religion so guess what I'm going to talk about those things and hopefully they find an audience right and so I'm willing to listen to suggestions but mostly I have to treat it like it for me I think it's absurd to ask someone to not talk about things if there were things the commenters saying oh you know of course he's a scientist who knows nothing about politics I'm like you're an anonymous YouTube, please have anybody that's willing to take the time to comment on YouTube what if that's a problem cuz I was like what kind of person does that like who who

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listen to a video on girls wall it's about time that I put it in mine like a real specific expertise and what's being discussed like maybe it's about Auto Repair in like that is not how you replace a transmission here's why if you just asking questions like I don't know like mostly the comments even on my YouTube liked so I send the video I don't do video right I'm just doing audio podcast but you can put them on YouTube with the static image and Rogers some reason people like that people listen to podcasts on you and please overall been surprisingly good cuz YouTube is one of the worst right and overall but it you know people say like I didn't know that or tell me more about this or this was interesting that's great like by all means do it but if you're like don't talk about that I want to hear about this then you know block now go away. It only takes a tiny drop of LSD to pollute a whole bucket of water

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what the deal is with YouTube, it's just that the sheer number of people there the problem is YouTube has a dedicated group of shit heads and trolls for what reason I don't know why I was at platform seems to track some of the worst in people that comment and I'm you know I cannot claim that I'm immune to reading it and then getting annoyed right I know I should just say forget it like there's something fascinating about this new form of communication where someone can send this very just flat text you don't know anything about the background person sending it and there's a style of doing that that's designed the kind of mess with your head just like Pocatello

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register redress the balance here it's great that we have these new ways of talking to each other right and part of glancing we mention the fact that I could even want you to stay in your lane very very much and I think that's a shame and that's why I think that part of the many hidden purposes of my podcast one of them is to dissolve the boundary between science and the rest of our intellectual life right like I'm not going up sometimes and sometimes I won't let me see science as a thing and then like a condom economics and history and political science is another thing that is out there and relevant to the world in science or something that is sort of a form of entertainment for a lot of people and I want to mix it all up I went like the different people talking to each other and so overall by all means, YouTube videos and you keep the conversation going that's good of you that said that's a very healthy attitude in this kind of attitude you have to have if you're putting everything out there just one more

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conflict under conflict averse person like I just want I don't want to argue with people but I do want to say things that are true and not everyone agrees about what is true there's going to be arguments so I put up with that but I'm not seeking it out so I would like this you know Utopia of rational discourse where everyone is talking about ideas and it just passionate and in good faith looking toward moving toward the truth it would be nice if we had like a system like almost like a rating system of for humans like a Yelp for commentators that people are trying that it's not a bad idea in terms of like like you people review your comments on things and enough people decide like like this is just unnecessary up for expertise yeah I mean I think that's pretty we're probably going to move to some sort of a system like that infects some people are actually advocating of that for society to have some sort of

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rating system for people and almost a new kind of currency like a social currency they're doing cuz it's China and you know China is a Trippy place and it's very trippy in terms of its sort of got capitalism going but it's also a Communist dictatorship and the big are also and you know the thing with Huawei am I saying it right people getting mad at me about that Huawei I think it's Huawei it's now the number to cell phone manufacturer in the world and their forbidden to work with us carriers by the United States government does not trust this company so they said you know this company is apparently done some shady things according to them. They're keeping them from selling their cell phone

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AT&T mobile whatever but to the number to manufacturer in the world now they just surpassed Apple cuz I was just very well it's kind of remarkable to me that China has been so stable and successful because there are no people who don't like it there are people who rebelled against the system but even so the government that's what controlling information only what you learn like you can't Google Tiananmen Square if you're there anything like that and companies want to do business there so they'll go along with it and I'm not sure if it's stable but hang out. I talked about this my last podcast with you I'm not sure that democracy is stable either so when when the technological capabilities are changing so rapidly huge abuses and huge changes are on the horizon even we don't know what they're going to be

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wrong people have bad credit you like I mean if this is run by the government you're going to trust them to do it fairly I think I think this last election in the subsequent analysis of the manipulation of the election has been very eye-opening to people and the the Russian troll Farms have you been paying attention to that stuff for seven businesses where people are set up with her hired to just tweet and post things and comment on things and they're all working in some way to try to manipulate with the way people look at the news and the most interesting thing to me I thought I'd like if they were clever they will do this tonight they do it it's not just that they have a policy that they want to push right or candidate they want to play

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disagreement we will take the most radical views on either side and pump them up just so Americans are there was a Radiolab podcast where these people that were Trump supporters detailed being contacted by the Russian troll Farms where they organize these rallies and they organize these these protests they even hired a fake Hillary they thought they hired a fake Trump and they're going to have the Hillary in a cage and they wanted everybody to yell out lock her up and this these Russians coordinate this whole thing right and then once it starts you know it organically takes over right you probably saw it the other day the Trump rally where the CNN reporter was trying to do on camera

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yeah I don't know what that that's bad right okay mean it's bad that the media I wouldn't want that to happen to Fox News I wouldn't want that to happen to people I disagree with Bryant you got to let the people in the media be to me either not the enemy of the people well what he's done is very dangerous you know it's it's very very sneaky and very dangerous and it's very manipulative and he's essentially he's in survival mode and when people in survival mode he's not thinking at all about the importance of the press is thinking about his his situation his stance his position in life preserve that and what's the best way to preserve that when someone's attacking me attack the people who are attacking me out by creating an enemy that everyone can agree on right there's really despite the rhetoric there's never been successful truly multi-ethnic democracy in the history of the world like democracies that have worked at work because one group is the boss

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write any other day give rights to the rest of the people and so forth and try to be fair to some extent but that's changing like I said the demographics of the world are changing we're becoming more of the patchwork that we claimed to be years ago and people aren't quite happy with that they're not comfortable with in this is something that can be used engine up emotional reactions there's people terrified change to the so is this Nostalgia for the for the past and I'm sympathetic you know what the real problem right there real problems with any quality and with Healthcare and with jobs and yellow not just the number of jobs but the jobs are changing not everyone is really tooled-up to be a high-tech office worker and Brian if I take those concerns really really seriously but those concerns being channeled in very unproductive ways does scapegoat people who don't deserve it

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1 things it's fascinating to me this seems he boiling under the surface is the possibility that we might need some sort of universal basic income to deal with the what's happening with a i and autumn autumn atation Auto automation of cars automation of normal jobs that people food preparation things that people will come to just take for granted that humans going to be doing that it's entirely possible that millions and millions and millions of people are going to be out of work within a very short. Of time and it seems to me that it's just it's one of those very sneaky things that might just catch us before ready for it yeah I think they are very far ahead into the future and imagine what Utopia supposed to look like or you know the far technologically advanced civilization why wouldn't be imagined that work is done by robots in machines and human beings are free to be creative or artistic or athletic to sit on their butts if that's what they want to do

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if you believe that that's a possible future than the way to get there is to as robots and machines do more and more make it more and more possible for people to live without working I think it's at is at least I've no idea that works in practice and not an economist I haven't studied it but I think it should be taken seriously as an idea if you looked at it as a pessimist don't have motivation then they behave like rich kids are entitled people or people who won the lottery they blow all the money they don't take it seriously cuz they didn't earn it it goes against human nature yep I get that and maybe does let him do it to tell people that they need to be virtuous pie or any living in some yo job that he may or may not be able to keep for very long like people who say that usually haven't gotten fired from the right and I was feel like the people that are actually ambitious but

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I think if you got it as an adult you probably recognized as a safety net that it is but as if it was during your developmental process you might rely on it as a constant so that might be a problem in terms of motivation I think so and I think that and you see it right I mean I have friends at various levels of in common and class that they grew up in and you can always tell people who grew up in very comfortable environment because they don't have jobs they have projects that safety net you're more cautious you act like you have to have a Fail-Safe a back-up plan and really a worse world I know any trust when people oh yeah

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actually I know some I know some very wealthy people who raise their kids really well and yes trust fund people possible find those people and clone them what was there so they found a passion they found something that they're actually encourage that parents matter when it comes to like if your if you are very wealthy do you feel like you deserve it or do you feel like I should give something back cuz I'm really really fortunate welders cockamamie ideas that come from people that have an earn their money to like one guy came to me with this crazy idea for this project he's doing and wanted me to get involved in and I was I was going over the details about this is going to work like why why this guy so enthusiastic about it and then the more I dug into it from his dad

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Scott Pipe Dreams yeah I mean I guess I feel just to be honest about it you like I'm very lucky not because I grow well because I didn't but because I now have a job that represent what I want to do like what I would do with my life if I were independently wealthy isn't that different from what I'm doing right now right one can do that if that's what they wanted that would be amazing the real question is does everybody have an actual interest and if they don't is it nurture or nature and if they don't do it for them to is that what do we want to do something you love and love is a lot of living raise lot of people who just need to do work because they need to pay the bill that's fine that should be respected that we have right now that's an honorable thing to do

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not everyone gets to just do what they love that's true there are some things though that you can do for a living that you'll actually enjoy like you need to make a living but because of your temperament because your interest you can find a thing with her it's carpentry or we going to what it whatever it is that you find to be fascinating and fulfilling when you're actually doing you're making a living but you're also doing something that meant this is very satisfied maybe maybe that's true I mean it's only truly can be done can it be done for everyone in the world I don't know that's a good question I don't know about China I was in China recently we spend some time in Thailand and we flew to China and want to think you realize about China is they just said it's a different way of like people just walk right through people I mean Dave there's lines if there's a space on a line

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is rude behavior in the cities utterly different walking down the street steps to the country that I didn't receive but I was coming to like literally the week we were there was the first McDonald's was opening in Vietnam so which is not good but at least I meant it was we were there in the pre McDonald's Society right and it was physically very beautiful the food was amazing because all scattershot like that you have people just go crazy on the streets in any direction they want and it was not organized or anything like that but it was very genuine you know it was people were trying to be nice people that seem to be very friendly like that we didn't speak any other language or anything like that and it was just a

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experience overall yeah that's awesome trip it's a really different part of the world I'm scared by China in the sense that I am worried that they will succeed while still being repressed of dictatorship right like I remember reading you this these Memoirs from Bertrand Russell when he visited China and he was rhapsodizing about this is an amazing culture amazing people this is great and I'm like. Does he not know if they're coming to Decatur ship and then my brain kicked in like oh no is 1912 it was not a communist dictatorships at the time and there's a great tragedy and the way that China has been sort of repressed for so long that he was in men's

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potential and promise there but it's also the possibility that they just remain and this autocracy forever and some people lives improve in a lot of people just drudgery for billions people possible it's it's fasting they become this combination of things combination of both capitalism and communism release valve like you couldn't you couldn't be the Soviet Union was going to collapse because it was a terrible system right that new economic Lee Blakely whatever and Chyna found this little bit of balance where they still have the repressive dictatorship but they give enough freedom for people to you know be ambitious and try to get ahead and end at improve the economy and they make some terrible mistakes right there at least you two cities are built no one lives there and he's like Paris I've seen that somewhere and sometimes likes it he likes and Jen like right next to Hong Kong city in 5 million people 30 years ago was 50,000 people write like it just

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they built it in a couple years and in other places I got a little shopping mall here with his mind it's just instantly it look like Detroit the next day there's no one there in the Unknown Known builds anything no one does anything with it cuz it's it's not really capitalism it's still a planned economy and there's pluses and minus with that no doubt one of the big fears about China is there experimentation with the genetics is that they're willing to do things a sickly that scientists in America and lot of parts of the western world are not willing to engage in yet crispr on human embryos and I think it's going to happen in excellent podcast coming with Carl Zimmer who is a science writer just read along book by heredity and genetics and guess what they're going to be doing with the designer babies it's not so

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infection as far as I can tell it's going to happen and put it to hear what it will mean because we're not any good right now it might be like you know that we find something other if you increase if you change this particular Gene Shore you can live twice as long but also you have Parkinson's disease when your bored right like you don't know what the penalties are and stuff like that but but it's coming like I think that the idea that we will be choosing embryos to come to determine be people on the basis of their jeans before their you know implanted in a uterus is a hundred percent that's going to happen and the chance that we're going to be editing them is 99.99% chance and you write China is way more willing to do that and again I'm not really sure that's good or bad I think it's going to come here what I'm more worried about is that you know people figure out if

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system that will make you can have a baby who's guaranteed to be tall and beautiful and smart and live 450 years and o'clock your million dollars

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then that'll be a little bit unfair write an issue that will come up but then isn't it unfair that the rock is The Rock how did he get to be the rock it is but I think it's like a logically it's a retard he also had his own bed right now he was basically that result in a breeding program free like they encouraged his parents were both really tall basketball players to have the baby and you know it worked for him it doesn't always work it says it's a crapshoot but they can work yeah but that's normal breeding that's like. Dog and my dogs are good looking but yes otherwise normal and

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I think it's different it's different psychologically because we think it's different winning the lottery than already being rich and therefore being able to afford something that changes who you are right I think maybe I'm wrong maybe people will think that's awesome and will be people will be you know celebrities and will follow them on Instagram but I suspect people be rub you the wrong way at that kind of access to something that most people can't afford the most certainly well but I think if you look at it objectively if you look at the interactions of the species as you know a car completely outside Observer you would say not always it's inevitable but this is going to lead to some really spectacular changes in what a human being is like think about a big part of what we're concerned with consulent a daily basis is Healthcare right people are very concerned with people that have to deal with debilitating diseases and if we can just eliminate all those yeah why wouldn't you want that

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you don't think you probably will be able to and it will probably happen that I think it was but then so ever almost everyone agrees with that that's not the controversial part and apparently some diseases we already know like right there in your DNA you're going to get Huntington's when you're 40 years old right to eliminate peanut allergies or something like that or we don't know but I think that we uncontroversial if you could just remove diseases from people out of time it's a little bit different if you're choosing their hair color and skin color and shape of their nose and feet and whatever that gets a little squirrely but it's also the idea of it being cost-prohibitive issue what is not the case with almost all technology as it emerges it's very extreme on plasma TVs were like $20,000 for a small television remember I saw them it was only like a 30 inch television

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this is incredible I got everybody has I think I actually just very realistic that maybe we'll be million dollars but then ten years later will be $100,000 instead of sort of be a million dollars first but it kind of just like cell phones like everything else it has to be a really expensive thing and then eventually trickles down like cell phones and becomes available everywhere to everybody they can look at the average person cell phone if you buy a cheap cell phone for like 300 bucks it is way better than an iPhone from 10 years ago

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it's one of the things that's happening like weird still the beginning of Technology right like weird Technologies another podcast gas coming up who is an aging and how we can fix that by messing with jeans a little bit right now this is a real scientist I don't know him that well so I shouldn't say but I think it was an advocate for anti-aging biologist was working on things and discovered something right like that wasn't she's not trying that hard knock out a certain Gene in the certain worm and it looks twice as long and without any Decay right like it doesn't get old because it's fascinating like why do we die why do we grow old and I get to not necessary like you could design an organism that doesn't get older it would die from random bad things

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I'm head with a brick but you don't need to dye the reality is that Evolution programmed aging and death in to us cuz once we have kids or want to do that lived are reproductive lifespan we're not useful anymore so biologies wants us to die and so that that in other words it's potentially fixable you know that might not be easy might be not having a hundred years from now but it could so I think the Aging genetic engineering brain-computer interfaces you all that stuff is going to open the next hundred years totally change what it means to be human being and we're totally not ready for it and I was not that was Biz more less saying what about if I don't worry just know we'll put regulations on it'll be fine and we should think of the absolute craziest science fiction scenarios cuz I want to be prepared right now it doesn't come too fast I want to worry about the least probable things because it might spark something that actually helps us down the road

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everyday figured out a way to shut off whatever it is that causes wrinkles and reverse the process so whatever is causing your skin to get wrinkly in Sag after reversing that process we might be members of the last generation to die of old age like we won't be immortal then if you thought you were a million years would you suddenly become way more cautious start jumping off buildings and Chip does the flying squirrel suit stuff he holds the world truly dangerous if you like even but that's everything possible Right like maybe take it back to back you up and then we have a bill to your clone put you back together like all these crazy science fiction I don't think that's his way harder than people think

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stopping aging is way easier than people think but we'll see I agree with you I went to the 2045 I think they're calling it the conference in New York City a few years back go it's all the Ray Kurzweil Advocates I think you going to download brains into computers and stuff only not that compelling like that that stuff was like what are you going to do what's going to what's going to happen it seems like everybody had this idea of one day we'll be able to do this and will be able to take Consciousness and I'm like yeah I mean maybe anything we can do right now like human brains just not something you can read out my question and this is what they really concern me was what's to keep someone for making hundreds of thousands of versions of themselves like what it said what to take someone from some you know really rich billionaire characters I can afford to do this and say I'm going to do this many many times then I'm going to have my clones make clones

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phone and I'm going to fill up a whole island with me why would you do that cuz you're crazy person but they're not the same person but if you found a 32 Sean Cowell smoking crack and hookers and driving directions if you realize there is a Randomness appraiser a fascinating that would be an excellent episode of black mirror with someone clone themselves and their clones were just fucking crazy very different than them and they were all seem to each other maybe having all those clones somehow or another set something off and then that made them crazy cuz they were in competition with all these other people there exactly like them this is golden

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we should edit this out of the podcast so we can write up this episode. There's a real concern with messing with Biology in a way that's never been done before exactly and I think that thing we haven't quite face up to you tonight and it's really coming it's coming fast and profoundly we're not ready yeah and the possibility of just creating a world that we're not prepared for and would not prepared for the consequences of exactly so that's why I'm all in favor of thinking crazy wondering what it would be like in the answer is no that'll ever happen at least you know be prepared a little bit so I think of all the alarm is crazy scenarios yeah have you really gotten in the crisper have you really looked into that stuff at all much you know I told you applied with the Two Wheel World for my taste but you don't know what you're talking about it's a new technique for editing jeans that was discovered accidentally

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you are examining the effects of the story is amazing I mean there is bacterial DNA as where are genetic information is stored right like you have a little code list of symbols a z GT and their inner Fender but the reality is way more complicated than that because different parts of the DNA do things and different ones down some of them get turned on turned off we have mitochondrial DNA with our DNA we have these little subcells with the Gnostic it carried along for the ride have their own DNA and so crisper is this thing it was invented by Nature right not by human beings these bacteria who were trying to resist viruses so the viruses would come in and attack them and basically the the bacteria learned a way to steal part of the DNA of the virus

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and keep it as like a facial recognition software thing it's like a template like oh this DNA thing is approaching me that's a virus and I should have hack it right like this is something that I do I learn how to fight off and so did you that I need to be able to snap out a little piece of DNA and social scientist biologist learned that they could train this is little bit fanciful they putting it metaphorical but they could train the bacteria to go in their snap out piece of DNA and you can do that for any DNA and you can replace it with something else it's not really very high Precision right now but that's coming and sell in principle this is you know a little way to change in genetic code and then that they figured out some other way that ordinarily right if you have two parents and you have like no brown eyes versus blue eyes and blue eyes a recessive so they both need to have the blue eye Gene to give you if you want to have blue eyes but they figured out a way that you can change the DNA

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automatically with a hundred percent actually gets into all of your Offspring right it's not 50-50 chance or whatever so then you can just propagate a change in the genetic code throughout the species pretty darn quickly human beings take long time to breed but animals and plants at the whole nother world right you can design those very very rapidly and there's already been at least one revision of the process right I think so but I think I just told you everything I need improve on the process and it's really it's really going to be very interesting to see where that goes as that as that advances yeah I think this was a concern with P places like China right they're already doing this they're already manipulating genetics and trying to create super people in the chances of getting a bunch of brilliant scientists that's a lot of it starts in competitive Athletics

► 00:45:01

Netflix right now about it it's really is it kind of a crazy set of circumstances there's a guy named Bryan Fogel he's the director of in the producer of the movie and he was competitive bike racer and he decided to document what he wanted to do was compete in a race a bike race a hundred percent clean and then get a Russian scientist to juice him up now so in the process of getting this Russian scientist to juice him up he stumbled upon a scandal and in the middle of him making shocked because his Russian guys ahead of the anti-doping agency in Russia and it was just sort of informing him how you would do this so he teaches him and forms of how you can do this while this is all going on it turns out that the Russians had completely cheated their way through the Sochi Olympics and it was all document so they were getting busted as of says all going on and he feel

► 00:46:01

Russian guys the head of IT escaping Russia barely coming to the United States and being chased and testifying all the different strategies at the Russians used in order to complete lie cheat on like at least one entire Olympic team like every single athlete was on drugs and they had a record number of gold medals and so then he starts detailing the process and how they did in these forensic test exam in the urine bottles and show that they've been opened even though they were supposedly not openable and really really interesting stop. National pride the saying about national pride and you know that the ability to win a bunch of gold medals and athletic dominance is so important for the morale of of these countries that want to establish superiority all dope Olympics

► 00:47:01

people dancing selves as much as I possibly can and there's an ongoing debate about what about people use Prosthetics right is that fair if you lost a leg and you have a prosthetic leg is good at potentially give you an advantage in a running event or something like that is where is specially good prosthetic categories for what does a sporting event we invented them right then on out there in the world and now we're faced with holy different circumstances so what to do about it but yeah I think that we should do which is hard but there's a question of what's going to happen which is it's all going to happen if you think is going to happen I was talking to this past weekend who's Navy Seal in his friend lost his hand and they gave him a new hand and they're working on this new hand out that's going to allow him to play piano

► 00:47:55

so it took one of the artificial carbon fiber hand with all these different things that attached directly to your nerves and somehow or another he can control it with his arms going to allow him to play piano and you can tell me if you could never play the piano before right now he knows how Frontier than synthetic biology or genetic engineering because there's a really useful things robots are very useful thing yeah human beings are just going to swear to blend in it's not like we're only humans it's we're going to just have everywhere on that Spectrum yeah that's what I'm thinking as well as going to be some sort of symbiotic thing like a chip or you know they tried it with the Google Glasses to try to get people to wear them but they were goofy that I put them on they felt to science fiction e just like the first portable phones were these guys and things like that doesn't mean that's not a long-term forgot the keishin to like lots of

► 00:48:55

lots of people are working on it you'll on my schedule a company that no one knows about that is due now implant under O Lakes write something in your body that sound like the way that sounds Towing place you won't need your phone anymore wow then you went to the back your head everyone goes to the back of the head but I mean like the Matrix everybody goes to the back of the head right now companies that want to make money in the short-term are building these non-surgical non-invasive things we like

► 00:49:55

something on the front of your head or something like that but you can detect frequencies of vibrations in your brain and you can it's very primitive but you can move things around you control drones and write with your brain without touching anything but yeah the if it ever becomes practical which is very far from certain but the thing to imagine the far-out science fiction scenario is cracking open your skull and third thing some electrodes in their closing it back up and now you are part of the super internet without doing anything more than closing your eyes there's also the possibility of enhancing various thought process is to with transdermal stimulation like if they could figure out if you know they're doing that now they perform the series that s where they have people do like certain tasks and they put electrodes in a certain areas of the brain and put an electric charge and that electric charge stimulates various aspects of the brain and it allows them to complete Touch certain tasks quick

► 00:50:55

and more efficiently you know I think this is just kind of uninformed believe but I suspect that the human brain is pretty optimized for what it tries to do I think that rather than improving a brain or stimulating at the way forward it to augment it like hook it up to calculators and internet and whatever you know one thing that I don't see talk about very much but I think we'll be a real game-changer yeah we we talked about phone does it For Cami around phones but we don't mostly use our phones to talk to people on the phone right we check the email check the internet and we take pictures once you really have and again I might not be possible but if you really had a direct connection between your brain and the internet your eyeballs are a video camera everything you see you can record and store somewhere right so and you can lend them to other people or people can subpoena them or whatever like there's literally no place in the world that the human eyeballs are looking at that would not be

► 00:51:55

Jack to later inspection that it's weird and scary in that right it is words caring bad and what if someone comes up with a better eyeball oh yeah and putting some new awesome ones you can record with yeah absolutely I absolutely agree that enhancing it with electronics is probably the way to go and that having some sort of some sort of symbiotic relationship with electronics but I also think that this transdermal stimulation can enhance that process on top of it I think it's going to be a bunch of different things going on at once when you think about crispr being something where someone eventually figures out a way to design various aspects of the human brain that are more open to interface new technology changing various receptors make them more efficient for data to go straight to the Dome

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a long-term truth on the short-term improving are thinking skills indirect ways with stimulation or whatever sounds snow pretty good but maybe you can just do that through beta blockers or some drugs or something like that like I think that that's another thing very plausible that will have safe super-efficient drug someone can taking over the next 6 hours there their way clear thinkers than they were before you concerned with what's the endgame like with the end of the end game is you realize that but yeah you're like no line right here what am I doing with all this challenge is helpful actually in particular if you develop in mortality or killed

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yeah I think the people who envisioned super far ahead science fiction scenarios and especially people who envisioned uploading brains and Consciousness underestimate the importance of our bodies to who we are as human beings right not just that we're in a body but like hunger thirst exhaustion being horny like these are motivating factors that really affect who we are and what we say and what we do if you remove all that if you're just a thinking processor in a computer what's your motivation why do you write like what you doing anything at all like I don't think it'll be anything like the personality artificial intelligence rather like what would we have very specific needs that are addressed by our Ambitions right biological needs the idea of you know transferring your G

► 00:54:43

is keeping your your bloodline going all that stuff is all these survival instincts that we have that you necessarily wouldn't necessarily have if you were an artificial life-form why would you care if someone pulled the plug on you why would you try to survive what do you what's your purpose he write the exact same sort of futile if you're there's a lot of talk in the other day I will risk Community like worrying about artificial intelligence about value alignments like making sure that the AI value the same things that we do like our existence for example right now and but I think a little bit at least what I hear and I'm not an expert but here it seems a little bit off the mark because they're talking about what to program into the AI but if it's in any sense really an AI it can reprogram itself you can change your mind is right you can change your values you can change your motivations artificial intelligence is should be able to do the same thing and in fact they better be able to do that after going to be truly an LG

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if we're going to mimic what human being can do you can't be something where we program them just do it ask cuz that's not intelligent right so if that happens if they're going to eventually be motivated to do if anything like you said like what is your motivation to even do anything at all or even doing this isn't one of the big concerns is that in releasing artificial technology and giving it autonomy that we're going to do is like start a process that some sort of a Perpetual exponential domino effect of technology where this new artificial life is going to create better artificial life which creates better artificial life which expands to Godlike Powers within a very short. Of time and decides where he's stupid and useless and just eliminates us up there

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I do think that we're opening up doors that we never had before I mean between genetical implications of human beings artificial intelligence brain-computer interfaces week we don't have the experience or the capacity to really even ask the right questions about these things were rudimentary idea of the ideas we have of like what is necessary a really based on our own biological needs we have family we want to keep everybody healthy we enjoy our community we want to keep it save we enjoy our Earth want to keep it clean we want to we want to save things for the future generations and all these concerns we have their very biological yeah they were just won't exist for artificial I think that's exactly right and I think that what we're really good at it while we're better at in terms of Imagining the future is taking it already exists and just expanding it right like

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so when people talk about this in the last podcast but when people first started imagining mechanical devices to carry you around mechanical transportation in the late 1800s they imagine the mechanical horse and animals right the flying cars having a beard cuz we didn't what they should have been thinking about it how are cars going to change our cities and the internet they weren't they weren't sure what they were going to do with it and I think that the same thing is true and when if we can imagine blending the barrier between our biological existence and some virtual existence wouldn't even know what questions to ask about that yeah and I think we are getting close to those other things you mentioned though Boston Dynamics is getting really close to artificial dogs and artificial horses I mean

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they have things you can't kick you kick them and they didn't get knocked over a door so they can jump distances incredible Heights there's there's some amazing ones that do acrobatics now if you seen that we're going to replace stuntman and movies that could potentially get harmed with these robot that can do crazy backflips and jump off buildings and the next big war is going to look very very different than that's hopefully it won't happen but if it does yeah it's going to there's a big emphasis on automated things not just drones at physical things that are running around on the ground make decisions episode on remember the name of it the one with the episode on these little robots that are chasing

► 00:59:43

metal fascia Metal Head something like that it's about robots chasing after this lady and it's literally is these little tiny Boston Dynamic robots but they can kill you and they're there on a mission and this is not outside the realm of possibility at all it really isn't we don't even know if it's easy to extrapolate right ahead to hoard of the differences from the episode it's a fantastic episode 2 episodes of Amazing yeah I guess but that that's a concern I mean there's there's a real concern I mean we were doing it right now with drones you know if you talk to people that are really gotta pay attention study drone Warfare and how

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incredibly inhumane it is and how different it is from any of the type of warfare in terms of his ability to rationalize targets when you're not there and you're you're nowhere near and you're just pressing buttons and you decide like old is a very good possibility this person's in here fuck it nuke the building yeah absolutely happy but on the other hand the drones are also delivering pizzas amount of people that have delivered pizzas with drones versus amount of people that have been killed by drones not so good at killing the people that are specific Target Target's but I think there are any places in mind right there so I think that it's going to change like if we if we combine this idea of you know interfacing with computers with this idea of drones doing some drudgery work

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does idea of giving people a basic income everyone is just going to sit in their rooms and then right on the Tumblers all day that's to be the future I don't think we're going to be riding any more I think there's a real possibility that we're going to create virtual reality that's indistinguishable from regular reality and people going to live in there like ready player one one if they make a virtual reality look too much like the real reality there's no reason why virtual reality has Type gravity is no reason why it has to be three dimensional there's no reason why you no limit on how strong you are how fast you are anything like there's no reason why you have to have only one body I mean there's a million different ways in which it could be great if it's something like the tank the float tank that we were talking about earlier and you could climb into that float tank with some sort of apparatus hope these gloves on put this helmet over and literally not be subject to the whims of gravity can feel

► 01:02:36

effects of gravity will be inconsequential because you will feel like you're floating and then from there you'll be able to fly around and do all sorts of things like this weird. Between the year 1900 and 2000 or 2100 whatever is going to be it'll be a weird transitional period in human history where we invented technology and not really put it to work yet and there might be some equilibrium that we read in a hundred or 200 years where the whole mode of life is utterly different than what it is now if you could put priorities in terms of like what you think people should concentrate on first when it went in regards to this kind of stuff what do you think those would be like if someone said Sean you're super smart dude let's get on the ball here figure out what what direction should we take this in any what I do for a living is more like foundational what are the laws of physics kind of right so I'm not the person to speculate on this stuff but this is

► 01:03:36

I said earlier like I think we should be talking to each other cuz nobody is no one person is right like that's why we need to have people from different areas of expertise talk about each other's areas and only been to be corrected right but you have to be open to that dialogue so I think that for example an enormous amount of effort has been put into nanotechnology building tiny little machines I suspect that mostly the real dance that they are not going to be nanotechnology put in synthetic biology where you take bacteria or multicellular organisms that already exist and adapt them for your purpose is to make him do whatever you want cuz biology is already solved lot of the problems that technology is still struggling to figure out so the concept of nanotechnology going to take like almost like a cell size machine right and many of them going to go into your body and find areas that are damaged or babe

► 01:04:36

robots can go in and right now they're at the level where what they can do is sort things so so like if they have a molecule water molecule to scattered across some surface this little DNA robot will go in and move all molecule one to the left all of my legal due to the right and so she says that's the beginning like in the future you'll have your little DNA box and you'll say you know I'm allergic to tomatoes and then it will vent a little machine that will run through your body and fix your allergy to tomatoes right you don't need that anymore with a machine with a DNA robot so it's a wonderful molecule because it is relatively stable but it's not that the crystal right it's not just doing the same thing over and over again so it contains information and can adapt to can you can you know hold on and grab on to certain things and let go and and do things inside DNA is a wonderful testing ground for building little really really tiny things and

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body that will change who you are where is a question is not totally related but you might be a good person for this what is quantum Computing now I'm tearing out this that's one of the big breakthroughs in in computers is going to be Quantum Computing but I'm almost the right guy on computer love average the best but yeah so so quantum mechanics it's going to be something deeply hidden it'll be about quantum mechanics and the gold buckle you make corn mechanics understandable to everybody and convince them to Quantum Mechanics really doesn't fly the existence of multiple worlds were things look very much the same Jeopardy differences and one way of mechanic says is in classical mechanics mechanics have a bit of 0 or 1

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one piece of information in quantum mechanics you have a Quantum bit a cubit they call it very clever so the difference is that instead of it being a zero or one like it will be classically Quantum mechanically it is in some superposition of 0 1 1 and some combination of a little bit dear a little bit one and it's not that you don't know which one it is it might be 90% 0 + 10% one or something like that so take that back number one okay back number to is the quantum mechanics has the thing called entanglement which means that if you have two bits classically so you have 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 right for different possibility so Quantum mechanic says it's not that this one bit is in a combination of 0 1 1 and this other bed is also in a combination of zero and one hits that the two bit system is in a combination of 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 right so it might be

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it is 50% 0 0 and 50% one one so you don't know what either bit is but you know they're the same entanglement to take these two ideas that you have a combination of zeros and ones rather than just one or the other and the different bits can be entangled with each other and then you decide what what is a computer computer or something it takes bits in does manipulations and spits out the answer right you solve problems you that's what literally going on in your computer is a bunch of zeros and ones being pushed around so a quantum computer is pushing out a bunch of cubits right bunch of spinning particles or something like that spin of a particle Decay to be spinning clockwise or counterclockwise is a cupid and so these particles can interact with each other they can become entangled and you invent a Quantum algorithm write algorithms for you know finding the area of a surface or something like that

► 01:08:27

factoring large numbers you know salting the shortest distance between two different points you can do this using the rules of quantum mechanics classical mechanics and the belief is not yet a hundred percent established but we think is true that there are some problems that are really really hard to solve for classical computer which means that you can easily make a problem long enough that would take the light from the universe to solve it on a classical computer which quantum computers consult quite quickly and efficiently and so it's we're not we haven't proven that the thought of mathematical e y so why would they think the quantum computers would be able solid quicker is more information on the computer like if you have two bits 0 0 0 1 excetera there's only four things that can be right if you have it because an infinite number of things that can be because it's any combination of those four things right 10% this 20% bad so there's like to continue on the possibilities it's it's analog rather than digital in some sense

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and so what you what you can do the quantum computer can just sort of take advantage of that extra power to look at me because of this entanglement what this is this is I'm going to get in trouble with my Quantum Computing friends cuz not quite there but roughly speaking rather than manipulating bit by bit because of entangling between the bits the quantum computer can move all the bits a little bit once so let's say that you're you're searching for something in a list write a very Elementary computer science program is I'm giving you a list find an element that is equal to a certain number right it sounds easy but that list is 10 trillion things long that's hard right it's with a quantum computer can do is I take every element the list a little bit towards zero if it's the wrong answer and towards one if it's the right answer and you don't know where it is in the list but you can do that nothing over and over again at the end of the day so you can get the answer much quicker

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It is believed and so things like cryptography privacy writer dramatically Changed by this because it's one of the things that we think quanta computer should be able to do faster is Factor large numbers which is the difficulty in factoring large numbers as the basis for much modern photography but also simulating systems that were just too difficult to simulate you know just took too much computer power to do it now maybe we can do it cuz nature is truly quantum mechanical at the core it turns out to be very hard because the problem is you have all these bits if you touch one of them at the outside world bumps into one of them right like a cosmic ray or an atom hits it the whole entitlement is ruined between everything so it's very very delicate and that's what the right now they're they're working on systems of left a dozens of cubits and Tangled it once you would you would like it to be way more than that you can store in or out of information in these things and

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did if it works is I think it'll be way better at Computing if it works I'm not at all for that quantum computers will be sufficient or cost-effective or anything like that in the near term but you know doing computations faster something a lot of people to be able to do so right now they're working with dozens of cubits and what's preventing them from expanding that or they doing it slow leak sure to make sure that it all works correctly and get a accurate model the problem is if you had a cubit it can be in a combination of 0 or 1 write any combination whatsoever but as soon as you look at it you never see the combination you see Zero or you see one that's it and you ruined you erased this pre-existing combination right if you see Zero now it's in the state Bureau in the state one so if you have a group of many many cubits when I mean by look at is literally anything else in the world bumping into it like if like I said if photons hit it if particles

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are in oxygen or nitrogen bump into the cube it that'll count as an observation and it will collapse as we say it collapses the wave function and all of your Quantum information is ruined so you have to make them less with a very cold very isolated very shielded from external influences in the more cubits you add hard that is to do

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now is there a proof-of-concept this yep they have working quantum computers I forgot there was a joke Scott Aaronson is a friend of mine theoretical computer scientists used to joke that the computers are able to decide that the number 15 is equal to 5 * 3 with very high probability for 3 * 7 with very high probability now but what you would like to say is you have some hundred digit number is the product of two other numbers not able to do that right now now what are they looking at with this and when they when they were there looking in terms of the future the stuff what are they how do they want to implement this

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what's the different ways actually like loving you the actual physical technology that they're using some people using Adams some people using sort of

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features of condensed matter systems like two dimensional systems were electrons are moving slowly and can wind around each other and things like that this is Way Beyond what I actually know about but also sort of side light of this is that the existence of entanglement is kind of a shared information between two different things in a way that classical physics just would not allow and that's interesting and exciting because it opens up ways for you for sharing information that other people can't get to because you have some information your friend has some information but you need both pieces of it to get to it right set another friend of mine at MIT professor said that he was he tells the story where he was in a hot tub with the Google guys right with Sergey and Larry and yelled at the heads of Google the founders and he said I can't really new idea where we can use quantum mechanics build a quantum computer so that a person who does a search

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the Google search using is quantum computer they can do a search and they can get their answer but it is literally impossible for anyone else to ever know what they search for

► 01:14:49

and the Google guys really very excited they went away the next day they came back and said oh we realize this is the opposite of our business model the whole thing with them Google Google Google AdSense website it's Sean's been looking at me now Lenovo laptops around and all your other devices right here cookies in Quantum Computing is there's Quantum money is quantum cryptography eavesdropping things like that so sister it's it's easy to speculate about I would not say the actual Technologies very far in advance right now but I can't tell you how quickly will happen when someone like Google just have to adjust because prior to these Google you never really knew what someone was interested in less they took surveys or unless they had purchasing history or had to be somewhere that you can now that

► 01:15:49

snap detecting off of searches that's what their business model is that doesn't mean you can't come up with a better new business model in the business of making it so effective if they were really smart they would have given $500,000 and tell no one about this ever again a lot of 2/3 of a stormy day what do you think like what will be the first way they try to use something like this they try to use quantum Computing I don't know I think that the people who really interested in now or the NSA in the dod right because secret message are the Royals obvious thing cracking codes and things like that that's like the killer app that we know about right now finish this course when you use it to simulate quantum mechanical system for learning

► 01:16:49

how does a behavior materials like maybe you'll build a better super conductor or something like that right away maybe you'll do better designing of your genetically engineered DNA on the computer thought that you'll be able to do competition faster that's interesting then there's more specific things like if the if the system you're trying to simulate is itself quantum mechanical and stimulating on a quantum computer might be the way to go yeah but most people that just werewolf Quantum is so weird like one of the things that you said earlier you were when you were talking about Quantum you were talking about worlds that are very similar but with very small differences version iguana make sure it's weird because it is by far the most successful Theory of physics ever invented tested it to enormous

► 01:17:49

decision writers zero evidence mechanics Is It Anyway not right but we don't understand it we don't we like. Just people on the street like professional physicist don't know exactly what mechanic says how do you practice it well we have a recipe with a black box right away. I put it in the book is imagine you had a website you could go to and you would say no if I threw a ball with certain velocity in a certain direction how far would it Go and it would give you the answer right away I'm just at the laws of physics you know no black box right is right now if we set up an experiment we can say what the probability of every answer is going to be every outcome but if you say well why what happened we don't know we don't agree to disagree with each other and so this version of Love is different versions that try to answer this question what's really going on beneath the surface right what's what's the deep down story of the world and one of these stories

► 01:18:49

the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics and it would have been if I graduate student whoever the 1950s who was instantly kicked out of his ex is a long history of people trying to think you could go climb mechanics and being shunned in the community for doing so because we've set up this weird thing where I mean there's literally a memo that went around the major physics journal the United States said we will not even look at papers to try to think about the foundations of quantum mechanics we we need to do like real work like shut up and calculate you know we need to build bombs and things not think about the nature of reality which I think is very much antithetical to a physicist should be doing but anyway so what the many-worlds says it looks out what we eat when we do talk we had a cubic meter spinning particle right we have this combination of spinning clockwise and counterclockwise until we call that the wave function the wave function is just it's 10% clockwise 29

► 01:19:49

percent, clockwise or whatever so to every possible measurement outcome you give me a number and that number is basically how I figure out the probability of that measurement outcome coming true and that's the way function for a long time people thought well this is just a trick this is just like some it it characterizes our inability to be precise right we have a probability there's a probability of that but someday they hope Einstein for example I just hope that will have a better Theory I will know exactly how to predict everything with perfect position so whenever it says is known as the other way around this wave function is reality that's the whole world right that's what reality is it is a superposition the combination of all different possible outcomes it's not anyone out come there's no such thing as where the electron is it's all spread out and the problem with that is that when you look at the electron spinning you never see it as a combination of spinning clockwise and counterclockwise you always see one or

► 01:20:49

the other and Everett says that's because you have away function you live this is superposition different possibilities and when you look at the electron what happens is before there was you and there's an electron in a combination of counterclockwise and clockwise afterward there is the electron was spinning clockwise and you saw it spinning clockwise plus that's 10% of the 90% the electron wheel spinning counterclockwise and you saw spinning counterclockwise in both possibilities are real but they're separate they branched off from each other they go on their own ways they're separate versions of the world separate copies of reality that's why it's called the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics possibilities is always a big feature that's the thing that people are constant discussing right what are the possibilities predicting the possibilities and when it comes to human beings this is also randomly discussed because we talked about determinism versus free will

► 01:21:49

we talked about was that what was created what are the possibilities that is created as Sean Carroll and why why do you think the way you think and why you going to say the next thing you're going to say and is it how much of it is biological how much of it is your life experience how much of it is it information that's dancing your head how much it is you interacting with me the last thing that I've said to you yet so I had to be a long conversation about this cuz he is very anti Free Will and I think that I disagree with him but I don't care I think I think it's boring because because there's two questions one question is how does the world work the other question is what words should be attached to how the world works and the first one is interesting second one is kind of boring on how the world works right but I am what philosophers call a compatible list when it comes to free well which which is I don't think that I have some ways of thinking my way in

► 01:22:49

to overcoming the laws of physics right like I'm made of atoms made of particles that obey the laws of physics if I talk about myself as a large collection of atoms and particles obeying laws of physics then clearly there's no free will there's just the solution to the equation and sometimes we function branches in this out to of me but that's whatever it is there's no spark of Consciousness that lets me overcome what the equation size going to happen but guess what that's not a fruitful way to go through your life and I'm talking about human beings when you meet somebody for the first time and you say let you know what he do do are you you don't give you a list of their atoms and say what every atom is doing inside let you let go ahead and sulfur degrees equation to figure out what's going to happen next right you tell us a story you say that you're a person you know you grew up in a certain place to have a certain job stuff like that you dramatically condense the information about who you are into a few Salient points and among those silly and points are I am a person who thinks it makes

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Asians every person in the world no matter how anti-free will they are talks about people as if they make decisions and the reason they do is because that's how people are that the best way to talk about people it's not like it's a compromise like if you don't know the atoms and molecules in somebody's body and you're not infinitely computationally powerful so you can predict the future and it's correct to talk about people as agent to make decisions we called that Free Will I called that free will most philosophers call it free will if you don't want to call it free will be my guest I don't really think that makes a lot of sense I think that really simplifies a very complex issue I when I looked at it and I have had this conversation with Sam as well I totally see his point and I think he makes a hundred percent since it says it is no arguing with it I really think it's it's very rational that approach but I also think that it's very much like

► 01:24:45

we were talking about earlier that it's not necessarily just a 1 or a 0 that it's a combination of these things 3 will did there has to do his some mechanism the chooses to do one thing versus another there is some computation there is calculation there's debate or discussion there's a thing inside of you whatever it is whatever that process is that's causing you to I mean how many times have people stayed up all night going over and over and over certain idea trying to find a rational conclusion all the time though is that is that this is where the it actually becomes interesting to talk about the vocabulary we use right because it becomes very very hard to know where to attach the word for you when you're talking about that psychic we tend to say I made a decision okay that's fine right I decided to have this can of pure caffeine that you put in front of me and drink it

► 01:25:45

could have decided otherwise so that that's the question like it does it make sense to say I could have decided otherwise and if you define yourself as the following list of atoms and particles in a certain configuration then no then the laws of physics said that that was going to happen but I don't know what all that is that's not a useful way you're talkin so is a whole nother way of talking that says I'm a person then I kind of like coffee but I already had a cup this morning and no there's a chance is a probability that I would drink this in a probability that I would not and those are completely compatible but you get the troubles if you mix up those two different ways of talking if you say like I chose to have the coffee because my atoms were in the following configuration or something like that right that's like talking about us as humans and then switching vocabulary stalking about us at Adams and that's where you got in trouble it's a weird reductionist take on what it means to be a person that thinks

► 01:26:45

yeah I'm on board but no one in the world go through life that way right for good reason and I never will all the way down to creativity right like what when someone sits down and write something like where is all that coming from unpacking understand about that right right now the brain is kind of just the mystery box to us and there's so much we don't know about how people make decisions how they remember things so where it matters is how we treat people right like the obvious case is responsibility blame like if if you think about the person makes choices then you can assign responsibility to them for making the choices they made yes that's what we do in the world if someone chooses to rob a bank we choose to put them in jail right and someone someone could come along and

► 01:27:45

Adams laws of physics how can you blame them right right what if you could like put someone in an MRI and a brain scanner and say yeah you know what tomorrow they're going to rob a bank

► 01:28:05

you arrest them is that is that enough fight the fact that their brain was hooked up to to violate the law in the future is that enough to sign personal responsibility to them for that or do you work do the opposite and say well it's going to happen no matter what we can't really blame them well and also if you do catch this thought process is before the actual action takes place isn't it possible to correct that thought process with education or some sort of awareness training or something where you could shift the Consciousness and abruptly sort of disassemble determinism at its most problematic Point kind of interesting set of ideas that are very popular philosophers right now which is the question of moral luck so if you're driving down the street and your Buzz you're drunk right

► 01:29:01

maybe you got home fine maybe someone jumps in front of your car and you run them over cuz you don't have the agility or the reflexes cuz you're drunk right so you are the same person you went home you're drunk and you're driving home but depending on the outside world you ran someone over and killed them or you didn't put in the world we blame the person who ran somebody over we we punish them much more severe bleeding the person who got home safely right that's not their responsibility they sorta got unlucky there in the world so should we blame people who you'll have it the chance of doing it no one knows the answer these questions these are tricky things like we're not very good we human beings that the thing about these probabilistic counterfactual questions yeah that's a good one that is

► 01:29:49

yeah but who are you then are you lucky Oye me on so much it would happen to us in life we don't get responsibility for interfacing with random this every time I step out the door that's right but can you treat people that way consistently is hard and I just figure I'm not getting an answer cuz I don't know I think we're certainly not like if you lived in a world where you thought that what happened in the world was preordained that there was all the great thing out as a master plan or at the very least that there was some sort of karmic influence that made good things happen to good people bad things happen to bad people in the world makes more sense right I don't believe any of that stuff but at least then the world seems as if there's something random you can attach a reason why it happened to seems to be something to Karma in that when you do good things you make people feel better they feel about you better and then they interface with

► 01:30:49

you in a more positive way and that sort of like has this outgoing effect karma that's what it sounds like a smart thing to do is just sort of a western post-enlightenment way of thinking we tend to sort of think about the immediate consequences for our actions for better for worse and in the real world to be good can pay back in good way as but the thing is that we're putting out this good energy and the good energies coming back to us and it's a fun way to look at things although there's no evidence that points to it exactly like if I'm in a yoga class and my yoga instructor is talking about different energy flowing through different chakras or whatever I don't care as long as there's a place a little I'm not going to speak

► 01:31:49

if you want to come up with an excuse to be a good person that's okay it's funny that yoga class is always the base that's always where people go to talk about like where it where comes from yeah yeah it's it's very cuz I've had a few done yoga you know like there's a whole Spectrum right like there's teachers were basically dust physical therapist and there are people who are complete crazy hippies thinking right thoughts you know yeah it's but when people are always searching for some understanding of really complex issues and behavior is very complex issue sure behavior and how you feel like a do you like what do you feel good we will do you feel spiritually enriched with you feel positive about Humanity these all these things are like which always trying to manipulate these states but it was through meditation mindfulness training trying to figure out a way to positively on your face

► 01:32:49

true and goes back to YouTube comments because like I said I do react badly to bed it's stupid internet does magnifying some of our bad Tendencies right and I think that your Mondays and it's like I told myself as a bad it's just so easy to be sarcastic and put people down and see no disagree and sort of dismissive ways I don't think that's good I would like to live in a world where people including myself even when we disagree with people even when we disagree with people who are stupid or not trying to engage them or improve their lives just you know get on with our own lives rather than trying to have a snarky come back like I get that there's a purpose to snort and sarcasm in whatever but it weighs you down right like the other people complain about Twitter and social media like it's so much

► 01:33:49

by reading all these complaints on either side is not a real political bias right like whatever your feelings are someone else is making me feel down on the internet somewhere and it says wait on you there's also weird impulse that people have with weather at Social Milik with her it's Twitter Youtube comments this is reductionist take on things to reduce a person down to maybe one statement or misinterpretation of one position and then have that person be dismissed tough like everything about a little bit I think it was a bad decision that James Caan got fired for example I know if you followed that well those were really bad tweets oh yeah they just weren't funny and he wrote a bunch of them and there are a lot of lot of lot of about pedophilia

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trouble that way but I also think that his response was immediate Incorrect and grown up he said he didn't say like oh I was young and I was wrong and I do think you got to let people grow right like that's what most people in this world have post me do are I have not done when they've been accused of these things they haven't taken responsibility they made made excuses and I think that on Twitter especially you know I love Twitter I think it's my favorite social media but it is too easy. Active it's too easy to be simplistic and in to respond any one of the noise me the most about Twitter is when someone tries to be good and then 20 other people say well you're not being good in precisely the right way up to it myself I'm trying to be better I want to be charitable when I deal with other people I got in trouble on Twitter the other day for defending kellyanne Conway a little bit what did she do

► 01:35:49

alternative facts thing remember when she said they were talking about the inauguration crowd and I don't want to defend kellyanne Conway am not a defender of her in general but I think that she just misspoke that one time I think it's what you was trying to say was there are additional facts that we could also look at right and of course is in a bigger context where he lies all the time and she you know let's other people she is an apologist for other Liars but I you know I think that the idea that the people who I disagree with politically are so divorced from reality that they think they can just make up their own reality no one actually thinks that way like the people who you know the people who disagree with me about politics or religion or whatever it's comforting for me to think that they are you know just cheerfully making up fax in reality by them

► 01:36:49

they don't think of themselves that way they think they're being truthful they think they're being rational Incorrect and so I should at least grant them that that's what they think in their own right well I'm going to disagree with you because I don't think the first of all I don't think that she's granted any sort of autonomous decision-making capabilities and I think this is probably something that was sat down that they sat down with the team of experts are you know are quote experts team of people that were in that you know that you know room whether it's press people or Spin Doctors were they trying to figure out the best way to get out of this and one of the best ways was this concept of alternative facts very similar to the one of the ways where Trump was in that meeting with Putin that very famous off of meeting that happened recently where he said I don't see any reason why it would be Russia that's interfering and then he said afterwards obviously

► 01:37:49

I misspoke I thought it was clear what I meant to say I didn't see any reason why I wouldn't be but it's clear if you watch him say it. It's not what he said I take her the bullshit dangerous bullshit expressing himself and it's clearly he's dismissing it like why would it be why would it be Russia he's not saying why wouldn't it be Russia because he's standing right next to Putin and he would be saying that in a much more measured and you would be you would be choosing did something really bad and he came home and I just had like no we have to fix this looks really clumsy you know incredibly saw they had is also all day.

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actually know what I I didn't really study it very carefully I think that it was just a spontaneous blurting out be my friend too because because I don't think I don't think that's their self conception like people often think that the people they disagree with think false things that's very natural but they also also like uncharitably say they know they're thinking Falls things and there you know they're there happily making up their own version of reality and I think that's very rare I think that happens like if if you just a con man or whatever but I think that more often. We want to admit people are sincere in there very false beliefs right so I just find it implausible that I mean all the time that dude that is not my defensive hurt my defense of hers it was just that she would not go out there and say oh yes but we're making up new facts that's just not the kind of thing but you didn't say it that way

► 01:39:49

is there alternate art there are alternative facts now you got to think that he's playing to the dumbest people in the room all the time and fortunately for him that's a big number and there's a a recent thing where he was defending his behavior saying that anyone can act presidential and he he stood on stage and he did this hold of Life robotic boring walk back and forth and then he started talking in a boring way and mocking it and what's interesting about the videos not just him doing this which is very silly scary but it's also the people behind him thinking it's hilarious these These Nuts can find it there's a video of him saying that he anyone can act presidential this is very very recently and lot of people watch this one what

► 01:40:49

there's a lot of that this is the well he also thinks it's stealth bombers are invisible yeah I see just see that you follow kellyanne Conway's husband on Twitter to know but very vocal anti-trump it's hilarious he's constantly sub tweeting and like you said you're saying is these dummies behind him like why this is happening one of the interesting things about this to me is that his back is to all these people which is very odd right so they're all behind him instead of having a static backdrop you getting to

► 01:41:45

part of the thing as the other people it's not just him it's their reactions

► 01:41:53

yeah it's it's a sense of belonging to a weird group yeah and everyone has that like left us then right is somewhat ever all have this weird belonging but when it's what we have Fox News we have a way to people information that if you fall I follow Fox News on Twitter because I want to see what they're telling people right and it's a weird things it's not like it's all right if there's often lies they're there but it's like a very different mixture of the sex than you would get from the rest of the media and a lot of it is it very clear if you if you follow Fox News like they're they're targeting an older white girls bourbon audience what stories about an alligator popping out of the sewer and things like that like things that are not there they're dead no political agenda but they're just trying to get it was old why people to pay attention

► 01:42:53

golf course they really act like they love those stories right to the alligator on the golf course is my favorite Nationwide and added in there with some cheerleading for this bizarrely dysfunctional Administration in Sean Hannity now the number one watched cable news program at something like that I think it's number one and it's fucking awful they just they just have to pull this goes back to the you know social credit thing they did a poll what is the most trusted news source and function is even number to what's the number one BBC. Makes sense will CNN it's just taking a giant head because it has constant constant berating of them and then you see Jim Acosta you know the whole these all these pro wrestling fans like giving him the finger and screaming at them and it's

► 01:43:50

I do worry that this is a hard thing to come back from because you know once you know the one another thing that Trump said was that you don't believe anything you're told unless you hear from me and funny how he does the same thing though I was sorry Tucker Carlson said the same thing you say that to Trump yeah it's just what and then after listening to this Radiolab podcast about these Russian troll farms in about how they Implement these things got to think

► 01:44:27

what is all of this organic is how many of how much of this is orchestrated how much of this attacking CNN is orchestrated it's part of it is just a little bit of a push talking to someone who is who is Nina posting about how hard did Donald Trump works that like compared to previous presidents he's really just putting in the hours that you can think of that he wakes up lady watches 8 hours a day going to see if you could invent very weird one people just love to find narratives fit what would would be you know acceptable for their opinion so this decide that they've taken exactly right so do you give him credit he gives people the narratives that works for them and does it to cuz CNN they they spend so little time going over Donner Brazil's book about

► 01:45:27

how the DNC it been corrupted and about how they agreed the primaries for Hillary and really screwed Bernie Sanders over this is not a narrative the date dwelled on they didn't dwell on the fact that she legally deleted 30 + thousand emails and said they were about yoga classes it's just as damning against CNN as some of the nonsense at Fox News. Just no one she wore organization of news that's holy objectives adjusted I would I think it's Fox News is special I really do I think it sucks and I mean Fox News was founded by a guy who was a political operative for the Republican party right like there might like individual reporters for most Newark news organizations tend to be liberal but they also sometimes and over correct for that like to try to bend over backwards to be fair like way more Republicans or quote in the New York Times and Democrats ever are there are certainly by Aziz and certainly

► 01:46:27

misrepresentations of reality from all of these different Outlets but I think Fox News is special on the major ones I will concede that but I also think that what one example like the New York Times is different because the New York Times I feel like because of the fact that it's actually writers and it's in text you're not dealing with people that have to be comfortable performing in front of a camera which eliminates a large swath of intellectuals it's a very different medium yeah it's theater it's a different thing and the people like Sean Hannity that if you read his written word I don't think you would stand out for it I worry about what happens next cuz I don't think that Trump will win again I think you will all right I don't think so not really possible he will win again

► 01:47:27

cuz I don't listen to me like that before Donald Trump I was really good at predicting who's going to win the election since I have no ability once he's in the in the game so but I worry that the people who sort of are on his side or going to feel even more disenfranchising disenchanted an angry after he loses again then they do now and that's that's going to be a problem I think that's a real fear and I think that the one of the reasons why I said it's entirely possible and I don't know if he will win again but I don't even know if I believe he'll win again but I think it's a possibility and I think the one of the reasons why I think that is I don't see who's the the big candidate on the other side of supposing him that stands out right now yeah that's a problem there's a real issue with people not wanting the job it's a really scary job you know I mean it it it sucks you dry like a vampire that's hooked up to the back of your neck it's just so even with him with his unique ability to sociopathic lesueur

► 01:48:27

navigate to Waters of accusations and he still looks beaten down by this job but people want it outside who wants it on the left that stands out

► 01:48:49

I mean what I think the bike is at least 50% chance to run Elizabeth Warren's definitely going to run for the whole Pocahontas thing that narrative that is a giant problem the poor the thing that she may have faked whether or not his native American Heritage and she's not willing to take a DNA test and it's this Native American Heritage she claimed as how she got into Harvard and she she use that in order to get special status and that's a problem you know whether or not you should forgive someone for something they did a long long time ago which I think you probably should that the problem is it's sort of in some ways negates a lot of the good work and things that she said because people say I can't trust her she lied about her actual ethnicity yeah it's but what is hard for me to do is to predict how much it will matter right like in 2008 we had a race between

► 01:49:49

Vietnam war hero and a black guy whose middle name is Hussain told me that a few years earlier who's going to win at Sarah Palin we had taken a better running mate it's entirely possible McCain would have been president I think people were really tired of George W and I think that the mechanics not a good candidate I think he's going to lose also Obama was so charismatic and so uniquely intelligent and smooth and relaxed and statesmanlike I think he see fit the bill of what we wanted to present out like he went to Jeremiah Wright's church and things like that right stuff it didn't look at the time it was a big deal and you know who cares they years later right so I don't know about the stuff that's a big no the Pocahontas stuff is a big one cuz it's a personal lie

► 01:50:42

I don't know but again I mean I think Cory Booker's going to run Kamala Harris might run who knows there's a bunch of people and I kind of don't think that he should but he's getting up there and he's alone inside her which is not really what the country wants in 1988 in Boston we used to have Joe Biden night at the comedy clubs and Joe Biden night was the night what we would do other people's material cuz this is when Joe Biden busted with Kennedy speeches he was running for president in 88 right and so we never done very well running for president like he's been several times so I think he was a good vice president of people like him for that and they might not want to do more than vice presidents are great jobs when they only pay attention to you or Siri

► 01:51:42

Rosie's medicine funerals that Trump is so insane that you see very little Mike I don't think you see very little of them but I think that he's trying his best to put in policies behind the scenes well what is this new thing the Jeff sessions is trying to push religious freedom tweeting about this the other day when it when he he he tweeted as he said when I said that I version of sharia law could very well be coming out of this Administration is what I'm talking about yeah it's weird backward thing where you Define religious freedom to be let one of those Christians do whatever they want to do it by law

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It's tricky because

► 01:52:46

yeah I don't know I mean if someone wants to be part of me is a little bit libertarian know when it comes to personal action look at someone doesn't want to deal with you that's there right when whole groups are being subject systematically discrimination like gays are then yeah that's government action to protect him a little bit and I think that's okay and a lot of this is you know doctors don't want to do abortions or you know Health Care Providers Insurance Providers don't want to pay for things cuz of their religious beliefs or or Catholic universities don't want to do certain things and I think that these are legitimate question throwing feces at each other you know in this particular Arena but it's also strange when someone comes up with some sort of a new idea like that that goes against the separation of church and state and it's being promoted by guy who's openly religious and says about a bunch of really Preposterous things and you know generally someone who's not a very Trust

► 01:53:46

for the source of a question about why are Trump's biggest support group you track despite the fact that he is not religious himself that he's a biggest Center ever to be in the Oval Office but they love him, so there's this word of the Strategic questions a lot of it comes down to abortion right they want Supreme Court Justices will overturn Roe v Wade that whoever however they going to get that is good for them but then is a whole much more elaborate apologetics about how God is using Donald Trump as his instrument to you know make the country better even if he himself is a flawed vessel sometimes God works through for vessels

► 01:54:37

well if you position yourself as an ally even if you have previously send the beautiful thing about Christianity is all you have to do is say that's not me anymore I Found Jesus and I saw a pastor on television going on about that and about you when you're talking about Trump you're talking about the Trump before he found Jesus and he's like I don't have a past and he's like I am bored again I do not have a past due you and he was going on about this whole thing about this concept of trump is now an agent of God but I think religion can be infinitely malleable to the purposes of the moment right before he wouldn't have said that about Obama or whoever right you know by teria like I did this once as an exercise for myself there's certain phrases in the Bible or certain passages in the Bible which are sort of unapologetically left-wing in socialist right

► 01:55:37

there are others that are unapologetically right-wing authoritarianism the big buck full of different things for people who don't fall in that side of the spectrum tell themselves about these passages in the Bible says one very famous passage about how it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven right clearly I think that anyone who reads this says this is an anti rich person that likes a lot of people say about this explanation was that sure it's impossible for Camel to pass Through The Eyes Of Heaven needle accepted Jesus helps them

► 01:56:20

if you grind the camel down to the time Jesus said that okay so that's a nice Jesus and if you're rich you're good I don't blame religion most of the time for people's bad actions cuz I think that religion is just sort of the Catalyst lets people find excuses for their bad actions but it's usually the bad actions the desire to bad actions to comes first most of the time do you ever look at religion as a potential almost evolutionary software program that allowed people to sort of a stop morality and impose certain standards of behavior that are conducive to civilization to people talk about that a little skeptical because it sounds like

► 01:57:20

too much of a pet story to tell after the fact right I think we are a little bit quick to a tribute ideas and cultural Concepts to Evolution but certainly no religion was not like just science done badly back in the day right like what religion was with something much more expansive inter inter leaf with your life overall so it was not just how the world was created in and whether God exists it was how to be a good person at a live in your community things like that and you know it disentangling these things is one of these religion is still hanging around right like even after the kind of

► 01:58:01

underpinnings of the religion in terms of understanding how the world Works have been removed by science the other functions are still there and I I'm a big no critic of my fellow naturalist to have not put enough effort into replacing the other functions of religion now that the the the claims about the world are no longer viable yeah and it's it's really a problem when there's so many versions

► 01:58:32

yes 11 one of the many many reasons why I think that it's not really credible to be religious intellectually is because if it in the classic traditional Western religion sense where there's a God and he cares about us right till you do all those questions about where we Define the boundary religion weather Buddhism is a religion or something like that but in the usual sense of Shirley if that were true God would have done a much better job of explaining himself why would God give us his message through a bunch of people in a tiny country who didn't write you know like the New Testament wasn't written down till decades after the event none of the people who wrote it down where I witness is why is it only share their mean God God is God right like he could easily shut up everybody in the world talk to them explain how things were going and let them make their own choices I would have been a much more efficient way of getting the message out and so it's just not really

► 01:59:32

sensible to think that God didn't exist then what you would imagine is it in different countries in different parts of the world in different periods in history people would tell their own stories and they'd all be a little bit different than the adapters are local circumstances incompatible with each other that's exactly what do you speculate as to what the origins of the concept of God are since so many different groups of people all over the world have a very similar idea at least that there's some omnipotent superpower that's controlling the destiny of everything think that the idea of omnipotence was actually somewhat late coming onto the scene right like if you dig into what was happening before 2000 years ago you know the Hebrew God was not omnipotent at the beginning right I mean the Hebrews came out of a polytheistic Society where there were lots of different gods around and you can trace how their God evolved over time and 1st you know be

► 02:00:32

their God right like David this was one God that the Hebrews were you know worshipping in the Egyptians in the Babylonians worship other gods then they started saying will our God is better than all the other ones and we started saying all the other ones don't even exist right news in evolution overtime and omnipotence came late like you would talk about the gods quarreling if you were polytheistic a pagan culture it's actually make more like a lot of world makes more sense if you believe there's a whole bunch of God's out there we disagree with each other right send me lots of aspects of realities let me know come into Focus Supernatural very powerful influences in the idea I think like we're human beings we tend to us our first gas and understanding the world treat the world is the humanist anthropomorphic like if something exists that must been designed must be a reason there must be a purpose things working a certain way cuz I'm

► 02:01:32

made them that way and that we don't see that person hanging around so it must be you know up there in the sky or something like that I don't think it's that hard to imagine that all sorts of different cultures would involve do you think it's also function of us growing up with mentors and father figures and leaders and Chieftains and there's always someone who is the big The Big Kahuna so this is the sky daddy overlooks the big picture I think there's a dad and also the idea of your ancestors and ancestor worship or veneration right which is also very almost Universal you know and then primitive cultures like you don't admit he died right that's the sad thing is to sit through so I don't know I'm sure they're real experts you know a lot about the actual origins of these things but I get but my point is just that I don't take the commonalities between different types of religious beliefs as evidence for anything other than is a very human thing to invent people search for meaning and they take meaning from

► 02:02:32

whatever religion or ideology that they subscribe to and they use it as a sort of

► 02:02:42

a reason why they're living it gives him hope it gives him something it's a very common theme among religious thinkers that if it weren't for the existence of God or whatever there be no reason to live there going to be a good person and so forth and you know I think it's the motivation we have as having bodies versus being a computer like there's plenty of reasons to do different things like in in the big picture of my last book I talk a lot about you know Wheatley it's okay to admit that we as human beings have desires that we there are things we care about that we want to be true I need to know about why that's true From Evolution from biology and whatever but it doesn't matter why we have goals we're not completely on the floor if you want to be friends with people who want to have family whatever does he want to do all that we put together in terms of morality and ethics and meaning and purpose comes out

► 02:03:42

thinking hard and carefully hopefully about how to system at eyes and grow those existing desires that we have into a way of living in the world journal to make that happen we just need to sort of think about where we are already and try to make it better but you as a intelligent person who is also an atheist who thinks very deeply about thanks what do you cling to as a purpose for life do you have one do you have like a when you sitting there like what's the point of all this. I don't have a single one and I have a monolithic purpose I have plenty of intermediate size purposes right otherwise you know why I continue living things I want to do to achieve to experience to share to give to the world right that's a big feature right they give to the world that you are you're in the way you interact with other human beings and your effect

► 02:04:42

are the human beings gives you up gives you purpose and even if I think that when I die I will no longer exist in my feelings don't matter I have feelings right now about what the world be like even if they're not here anymore right so I can still be motivated to make the world a better place in ways that will outlive me even if I think that when I die it's really the end for me

► 02:05:06

and do you get down sometimes do you ever do do you get like these periods of you like you like what is the purpose of all this is especially if you see some ridiculous thing in the news or some horrific tragedy and I'm pretty for her birthday tragedies no I'm just fortunate enough to be pretty even-keeled when it comes to that stuff I don't have I don't struggle with depression or despair or existential anxiety or anything like that when I was a kid when I was first starting think about the universe in and Science and things like that I would start wondering about what is the universe had existed at all what if I wasn't here then that movie lose sleep that night and I think many people that right there is a very definite moment when I realize that I and everyone I knew would die right in that so I woke up crying and my mom had to you know comfort me because like I was like you know

► 02:06:06

grandma is going to die and you're going to die and I'm going to tie you know yeah but you know as a grown up now I think I'm more or less so once again one of the future podcast guests that I'll be next week's podcast will be by a woman who's part of the death positive movement have you heard about this yeah what who don't distinguish don't don't confuse if there is a whole Movement Like an anti natalist move or something like that. They called himself is a whole movement that once human beings not to exist that's crazy but there are people like that the death positive movement is the following like we're going to die we should face up to it we should accept it and we should deal with it in personally and culturally positive way so for example right now especially the United States even compared to Europe or other countries where terrible at dealing with death we put people in hospitals we take them away from

► 02:07:06

families way from their homes we refuse to admit that they're going to die so be treated as if the whole purpose of the game is to squeeze out as many more hours of life is possible to matter what the quality that life is and all that is just rubbish and we should be much more grown-up about it we should plan ahead you know when Obama suggested that in the Healthcare System there should be you know some planning for what happens when you die Sarah Palin came along with death panels that was a very effective rhetorical strategy we don't want to think about the fact that we're going to die we don't want to plan for it if we did plan for it it could be better we could die at home we could die with less pain we might not live as long as we don't like do every single medical intervention possible just to squeeze out a few more breaths but it could be a much more

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life-affirming experience to die because the people around us who are there, across within acceptance of what's going on rather than the feeling that we should just do everything we can to prevent I had a similar situation happened recently with a dog of mine who is a Mastiff it reach 13 years old and for Mastiffs that's very old and we had to put him down cuz he couldn't walk anymore and he was it was brutally painful to watch him try to get up and I fall down and you know but one of the things I was thinking was it at this is my grandfather and not my dog I would have to watch him suffer until The Bitter End I knew this dog wasn't going to go backwards in time and become a puppy again right and new he is days are numbered he couldn't do anything most days he just slept all day until it was time to eat but it was getting to the point where I had to catch

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I am to his food and I knew that it was his no quality of life right now call the dog does he can't talk to them what's going on they can't explain to you what their wishes are so you have to be the responsible one but yeah so everything legally and culturally in the United States is we're not allowed to relieve that pain or that that despair that you have me the end of your life some States including California are passing death-with-dignity laws we're basically it's what used to be called assisted suicide but we don't call it that anymore a doctor is allowed to give you the means to end your own life when you're going to need when you're near you have to be near point of no return but still clearly thinking enough to be able to make that decision for yourself also an issue with our real concern is their fear and their this this experience being this terrifying sort of Step into the great beyond

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there's a tool to mitigate that and the tool that has been shown to mitigate that is psychedelics one of the big ones being single sideband so sorry I've been as a remarkable effect on people that are going through stage 4 cancer and Johns Hopkins is study did this do this quite a few Studies have shown that people when you give them sell side and they they're much more relaxed and much more comfortable with this idea of ending this life of this life you know it's gone through its course and it's inevitable thing and it's really are biological limitations that are terrified and in the end it's sparking up all these intense Primal fears of the end yeah I'm actually a hundred percent in agreement they are my wife Jennifer will I choose a science writer wrote a book called me myself and why searching for the science of self and one of our friends

► 02:11:00

tell if you got to do LSD and so we did and she researched it and it's a fascinating history right and I'll just a short story and took LSD to do exactly this you just have throat cancer and it completely healthy and never fun to die right but it absolutely help ease that journey in a very simple money but just as we are sort of immature society that doesn't want to face up to the reality of our eventual deaths are also very culturally conservative in squeamish about drugs right and so where we don't even let people do research on some of these drunk since I think that yeah we have a lot of growing up to do when it comes to not just living a good life but also having a good day. And also paying attention to actual scientist who study these compounds and really understand what the effects of them are and have research them deeply in a person experiences with them and they're saying what will be

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delicious things have been demonized use to sort of mitigate a lot of real issues that we have whether it's called Shirley or personally with these transitionary times like death is inevitable so now that we know it's inevitable you tell me what the main problem would be with someone taking Scylla syban before they die and letting them he's their way through this but you know it's the same reaction that doesn't want people to have a basic income right there is a sort of moral feeling that your week is you don't struggle against everything and it's silly right now. Very common Universal basic income topic is one of those knee-jerk reaction or topics that I myself my friend Eddie Wong introduce it to me for the first time and I might nishil knee-jerk reaction was I can't do that to people human nature people going to get lazy and then the more I thought

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about it I was like well if you just cover their food and the Rams are they really going to get is it really going to kill their ambition like why would I kill it is our own amp ambition uniquely time to just survival that doesn't make any sense and it's a weird at the same weird thing that people use against you know having progressive tax system like if we have any tax people's money they want to work anymore but you know if you need someone more money like we don't have so much that you have less money too hard you work that's not how it works and I think like what so but but also for the for the universal basic income stop letting people have to reconcile themselves so what if someone wants to just sit around and play videogames all day is that the worst thing in the world like I mean I think that there will be people like that there was other people who want to write poetry and build sailboats in Nino build a spacecraft Etc build artificial intelligence and you wouldn't what if everyone you know could do whatever they want when they were kids when they're 10 years old they were

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they were taught a good programming language and could you make up whatever apps and programs they wanted like they'll be a whole different world then we live in right now and it might be very exciting well creatively it could possibly expand a lot of people's potentials right where they no longer have to have a job so they could do whatever this one thing is they were thinking about doing write a book or screenplay develop something in the short-term I don't know if a basic income works or if I can automatically but I think that if we believe it is more more stuff that can be done by computers ever by robots or whatever automation then it's absolutely something to be taken seriously as I think that this is the whole thing this is great because we can talk to you in a lot of different angles about the fact that the shape of the world is changing in a way that makes what it means to be human changing and facing up to what those changes are the fact that we died the fact that we make up purpose and meaning for ourselves and our lives and the fact

► 02:15:00

what we are physically in terms of bodies and and and machines and so forth is also changing so and then the other part of the team of my podcast I hope is that to think through some of these issues to sort of I don't know the answers I don't have two questions about you know who we are or what we're living what should we should be doing about it could God's not going to give you the answer I think podcast like yours and it mean any podcast where people are really

► 02:15:28

carefully considering issues that I think what's important about them that really didn't exist before is that someone can so to digest these very complex subjects through two people having a conversation about it that perhaps or more informed and have more data and have more experience have more thought about these particular issues so what you can do and what Sam Harris can do in a lot of people can do that are creating these podcast about these really complex issues is you start that conversation and this seed gets planted into someone's hand and maybe they carry with them at work they carry with them carry with them when they're on the subway ordering the commute home and then they become a part of the broader conversation that we have is a culture exactly and that's why I sort of want to not draw a distinction between science and other ways of thinking deeply about the world because I want people to him said this as a joke I want to live in

► 02:16:28

old people work hard in the factory and they go out for a drink afterward and talk about their favor interpretation of quantum mechanics lesbian will I want to live in if you ever run into a quantum mechanics conversation at a bar there far too many people who think they understand something a quantum mechanics and I'm going to explain it to me so that conversation to be a little bit more information informed well it's there's a few people online that someone is charged you got to get this guy on and then I listen to them talk I'm like I'm pretty sure that that guy is full of shit but I can't really point out how I know that a lot of crap but feel free to email me I will help you out if I don't want to bring this one guy up on but I'll talk to you about it off here also respectful people who sound crazy if you don't know too deeply with her what they're saying so what is the final quote right if you think you know Quantum mechanic

► 02:17:28

you definitely don't know quantum mechanics zactly which is the whole point of my book is to overcome that feeling cuz I think what happened is it's true that we don't agree but we know fetishize the fact we don't understand it like it's good that we don't understand like if you try to understand it too hard you're wasting your time and I am I so disagree with that one of you so I think call mechanic is and should be understandable but everybody else squirrely concept it's yeah it's it's weird and that's why a lot of people a lot of people who I know a friend of mine who are professors in philosophy Department because they got a PhD in physics and they realize what they really wanted to do was to think about quantum mechanics at a deep way they would never get a job in the physics department doing that but philosophy would let them do it oh wow yeah but they're doing it in a way that philosophers are happy with him physicist iron

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what year did the concept of quantum mechanics become invented invented and started it started exactly affected the modern version of round 1920s what was the original thought process do you know yeah it's a it was its history is amazing and messy because they didn't have so much weirdness going on it was Max Funk right of plonk radiation if you ever heard of that no German physicist so black body radiation something glows when you heat it up right so basically what happens when you eat something up is all the atoms and molecules started vibrating is a lot of charged particles a Charged particle has an electric field around it and if you vibrated the electric field starts vibrating we call that light or radiation right gravity waves are being emitted so you could in your 1900 you could sit down and do a calculation what should that

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like you know if you heat everything up how much radiation should I give off and there is the problem was it should give off an infant out of radiation at very long wavelength which is obviously false right cuz obviously not how things really work so there was this blatant disagreement between everything we thought we knew and then in the night 19th century in 1800s people really thought in physics that they were close to the answer right they had a picture where there were particles like electrons and protons and then they were Fields like the electromagnetic field the gravitational field in the particles were matter and the field push them together they interacted it you know they were the forces right and this picture was so good and so compelling that people are basically like we're almost done with physics and I we almost have it all figured out and then there were a couple of little things like the black body radiation that you made a prediction with wildly off so they like or what's going to happen so plunks as well maybe when does electromagnetic radiation

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admitted it's not just a continual stream of radiation maybe it's the individual little packets of energy

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did no reason to say that like it's just out of the blue is it pulled out of his butt right so he was just sitting there when you hit the data right there it is and he's like ePub and heated himself like wasn't sure what to make of that seems like I got this idea that gives the right answer who knows that is crazy and was five years later young man named Albert Einstein said well I know what's going on in those little packets of energy or themselves particles that light is not a wave there's particles that are being given off photons with a realtor called right and that's what he was a Nobel Prize for Einstein ever won a Nobel Prize for relativity won the Nobel Prize for inventing photons basically wow and then so there was that so that was there were two tracks going on what member I just said in the 19th century was the world made of particles and field so the first thing that happens if people start thinking about these fields electromagnetic field and Einstein says what

► 02:21:34

something a little bit particle like about it right this is not a hard and firm distinction then separately they looked at Adam's right through you have a electron orbiting an atom orbiting the nucleus of an atom of this picture everyone a scene of a cartoon of an atom write the electron orbiting around again you can make a prediction that that electron moving around the nucleus of an atom should be giving off light it's a moving electron when you when you accelerate an electronic gives off light so it should lose energy and spiral into the middle it should not just stay in the same orbit should be losing energy by radiating an energy away you can calculate for a typical atom how long should it take before the Adams drinks to zero size and the answer is like a hundred billionth of a second so all the atoms that you and I are made of should just go right away from that give off lighting and down to 0 sides that's a problem right that's that's not compatible with the data so Niels Bohr in 1913

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comes along and says I have an idea what if electrons don't do that because they can't what if there's certain orbits that they're allowed to have and they're not allowed to have any other ones again just pulled out of nowhere like I'm no good reason but he says if that's true I predict the following you know spectrum of radiation from hydrogen you look it up it's exactly right it's the date of birth of Jesus and people like what the hell's going on and then it was you so that took it like another 10-15 years before people like Heisenberg and Schrodinger built that up in the saying it's not just that waves of light have a certain particle Miss it's also that particles like electrons have a certain way Venus and there's a wave function and they're going to bed in quantum mechanics and we're still arguing about it to this day well it's such a difficult concept 2

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wrap your head around that it's been distorted right it's especially when I have a fun part of my book I list like 20 titles that came up an Amazon when you type the word Quantum Quantum love Quantum Quantum healing how do you mitigate that write more books at War podcast keep talking right like you know you'll never get rid of it entirely there in as you may have heard there are people who still believe the Earth is flat or I have heard so you never going to completely get rid of the wrong ideas but you can get the right ideas out there more effectively yeah but do you think that it's possible that mean this concept is created invented somewhere around the 1900s is it possible that another theory that's just as revolutionary is is being developed right now and it through things

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take the Large Hadron Collider and it's search for understanding the elementary particles of the universe is it possible that we could develop a new theory in it are there any better being contemplated right now absolutely possible that is what I'm saying fried his best to do right he thought that he could do better than quantum mechanics and he did not succeed the big difference is that when reel quantum mechanics was developed between 1900 and 1927 at every stop it was because there was some dramatic disagreement between the theory and the data right now or theories are good enough that they fit the date of really really well so we're trying to make the time I and others are proposing new ideas to try to understand you know how SpaceTime emerges in quantum mechanics and things like that and you can try to do better than quantum mechanics but it's all just on your principal right on pure like coherence and beauty and elegance cuz we have it.

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data fine and it's so much harder to make progress when you just want to do it in your brain rather than doing it by data so as for right now there's nothing else been contemplating it is nothing nothing like there are people who Stand Out theories that people have sort of I think replacing quantum mechanics reason improving quantum mechanics is because there's no guidance whatsoever from experiments there's not even a for the bleeding thing to go I think they're given right now given the fact that we have quantum mechanics and yet don't quite understand it or job should be understand what we got

► 02:26:15

what what is it what has come out of the Large Hadron Collider I know the date there was some discussion as to whether or not they found the Higgs is it both Center Boston is a boson but bosons with a z

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house with zebra spider dance boson bows on there there was some discussion that they had absolutely proven its existence but then there was also some debate about that so it's actually very Bittersweet Story the Large Hadron Collider like doesn't Promised You a Rose Garden

► 02:27:02

we found the Higgs boson fairly quickly after getting the Large Hadron Collider up to speed we founded in 2012 can read that my other book the particles in the universe but we didn't find anything so did we find the Higgs boson yes it is crystal clear that we found a particle and that particle is exactly what we predicted 40 years before that the Higgs boson would look like it did talk to the other particles in the same way as the right mass as the same Lifetime and all those things but there is a puzzle so this is what we have we don't have blatant disagreement between Theory and experimental we have our puzzles right will we have our mismatches between our informal expectation and what reality is doing so in one way so there's a number which is the mass of the Higgs boson we measured it okay hundred and thirty sometimes mass of a proton

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but there's a guess as to what the mass should have been if if nature natural nature is natural but if our notion of nature will work out the way it was what should the mass of the Higgs boson be and it's literally a quadrillion times bigger than what it actually is okay and he goes on should be enormously Baker by sort of what are intuitive feelings about quantum mechanics and Quantum field Theory saying so there's a problem it's been a long time called the hierarchy problem and so even if we discovered the Higgs we knew it wasn't that happy we knew was much much lighter than what it should be to the hierarchy problem wasn't own thing and people said how could it be truly have to change the theory a little bit you act like that's a new particles or predict some new features of physics going on and many many people myself included were very optimistic that the Large Hadron Collider would find evidence for what was going on would find more

► 02:28:53

pickles in just a Higgs boson and found nothing else maybe would find supersymmetry or extra Dimensions or strings or you know some new kind of combinations of all particles nothing else so now we have a puzzle and no answers right and then that's the most frustrating thing because they're want to say this out loud but here we go again this right the last time particle physicist were surprised by an experimental results from a particle accelerator was in the 1970s

► 02:29:27

since then we found new particles but they were already predicting expected to be there and we've never found a particle since the 70s that no one had anticipated finding long before just the idea of a particle collider as a lay person does a person just looking on the outside like you got to create crashes figure out what's going on with the the the basic building blocks of the universe have to cut out things into each other I know the secret to that is that really the world is not made of particles is given to this so the electromagnetic field for the light coming out of the light bulbs that makes sense we figured out the fields first in a weave on the particles later but it's also true as we were just talking about for the particles like electrons protons quarts in trinos pizza rolls vibrations in fields so what do you think about when you think of colliding particles it's not little pea shaped things are bumping into each other and smashing right it's real

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you like a little vibration into fields that are coming to the same place and overlapping and all the particles that could potentially exist are fields that are out there in the world and usually they're just quietly sitting there not doing anything but when these particles that you made in that Large Hadron Collider hit each other that sets up vibrations in every field in the universe like very faint little Giggles up and down and then you look and you see an auto mechanic says there's a probability will look one way vs. another so the way you make it how in the world do you make a Higgs boson by colliding protons even though the Higgs boson is over a hundred times heavier than a proton write the answer is really you're setting up vibrations in the Higgs field which was always there and then you very quickly actually you can't but the Higgs boson disappear so quickly you'll never see it you see what it decays into you see what it converts into the vibrations in the Higgs field get transferred to vibrations other things and that's what we observe in our detector so if you see if you were able to do the sort of concept

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switch from particles to Fields than the reason why we need an accelerator in a collider to make new particle

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doesn't it it was something that I had read I'm trying to remember it if you're in a room with two pianos and you play one piano the other piano will start vibrating along with it a little bit that's an interesting way to look that's the one field of quarks and gluons in the proton start the Higgs field vibrating a little thing that's all we eventually I'm glad you mentioned gluons that's one of the things that I had read about that they did

► 02:32:05

David Heidi to discover door were able to observe with the Large Hadron Collider was believe it's called quark-gluon plasma which is an immensely dance thing that is the way they describe it was something like something that was a fraction the size of a sugar cube would weigh as much as the Earth itself yet that's right so usually what you try to do with particle accelerators is discovered new particles right so to do that why have you discovered them already usually it's cuz they're too heavy to energy to make them equals mc squared if the mass is big lot of energy in a small as possible Regent that's how you make new particles so to do that you take some particles are pretty when you smash them together and that's how we discovered the Higgs and we're looking for other things but maybe your goal in life is not to discover new particles but to understand the particles are we already know about right in that case

► 02:33:05

do you want to see what happens when you get like you say a huge number of particles together in the same place with a lot of energy and see how they interact with each other and make a plasma like plasma is like what's at the center of the sun right but instead of electrons and photons were going to make out of quarks and gluons so instead of Smashing together protons a proton has three quarks each rank we smashed together the nucleus of a heavy Adam like an iron are lead atom right which as you know dozens of protons and neutrons in it so we get as many particles as we can squeeze together in the same place of the energy is a bit more diffuse but we get to study how they interact with each other cuz that's what conditions were like near the Big Bang lots of particles going on it wasn't just two particles smacking into each other so we're learning a lot about what conditions were like in the very very early Universe what is the mass of this stuff the score glue on plasma like there's there's some insane number that I remember

► 02:34:05

eating guess what my neural implant is failing me so I cannot remember the number right now but we could Google it yeah I don't know it's a bit of a box on the Higgs boson because I mentioned that they hate the lifetime of the Higgs boson already said it disappears very quickly right so I say it's one zeptosecond which is true I'm just like know you was a quadrillion like what is that number and it's at 10:15 but who cares what is a zeptosecond is really short. Of time and everyone laughs it's 10:21 seconds but who cares like if I said 10:28 would that have changed your opinion of the Higgs boson anyway like it I really short. Of time for katrillion

► 02:34:57

what is going on right now with with science that is particularly compelling to you other than things we've already discussed entropy and complexity complex systems there's a wonderful place in New Mexico and Santa Fe just called the Santa Fe Institute which is devoted to the study of complex systems physicist a really really good at studying simple systems couple particles at a time right and there's certain techniques they have that's what this is why we have theories that explain all the data because we're asking questions about the simplest possible things that we can do you have a bacterium or an elephant or an economic system or an Internet fees are very very complex systems with many moving Parts interact with each other and complicated ways and so you can start asking yourself questions about are there laws that govern the behavior of these complex systems that we wouldn't have noticed if we just studied in peace

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peace and the answer is a little bit yes he keep advertising my podcast but we had Jeffrey West on the podcast who is the whole reason of me and then when we were going to have your remember we're going to build a superconducting super collider in the United States this is going to be our version of the LHC Large Hadron Collider but the SSC would have been both sooner and better higher energy and ministration and then Clinton let it be killed by Congress like this my life's work like I was hoping for this to come online I'm not going to see what what else can I do and he he found that in biology there what is known as scaling laws

► 02:36:58

so if you look at different organisms like mammals or whatever right you can plant different quantities like their mass and their metabolism or their lifespan things like that and it turns out that they are related to each other it's not you know if you know how heavy a mammal is you know how long it's going to live you can figure that out and in fact it's really to metabolism also so there's a wonderful so basically the bigger you are the longer you live also the bigger you are the slower your heart beats and they exactly cancel out so that every mammal lives about 1 and 1/2 billion heartbeats on a I read that and I relayed that to my friends that are Runners and I was like you got to think of your an ultramarathon Runner like my friend Cameron Hanes easy runs he's 240 mile runs did that in Death Valley in the bed what I keep saying that ass but it's like the badwater 135 MI

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razor crazy so you got to think like xertion over long periods you tell you juice and up your battery you don't get a finite number of fix number of heartbeats begin with but you know what they do do though it lowers their resting heart rate 100 all this extreme exercise at all you're wasting heart beats but also your heart beat is probably like 78 where is there is a 34 yet another winning overall yeah it totally compensates weird right it's a weird sort of 100 billion and a half is just an average Labrador so why why is it that you know you can't make an animal that's twice as big and little things like what's going on so they actually came up with the theory based on the fact that our bodies are networks write our circulatory system of a respiratory system are nervous system and they all have the same structure like trees right like fractals and the end they are able to show that if

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if the resources that are biology uses travel through these fractal networks in a three-dimensional space right we're three dimensional beings then you get the scaling laws you got the universal behavior and fits the data and now you can extend it to the behavior of things like cities and corporations and stuff like that so when you get people in the city they walk faster rightly people in little small towns Mosey down the street and everyone in the big city walk faster and why is that like what's going on and there's you not be surprised to learn that there are more patents that are generated in a big city than the small town but they're even more patents per person in a big city like living in that dense environment changes the rate of innovation and things like that so they're studying

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not quite as precise as particle physics but silver General robust relationships between these large systems and learn from that how to make things more sustainable more creative more Innovative more livable and things like that so I think all the stuff is very fascinating studies were they put cameras up on streets and they watch people walk by and the amount of footsteps they take per minute they can accurately depict or they can accurately predict how many people live in that City based on half and also how fast you talk yet how fast you talk how fast the line moves in the DMV in the post office in I think it's Dublin and I'm not exactly sure but the picture of Dublin there is this Taurus area until it's both a big city of a lot of people live but it's also a famous tourist destination were foreigners come in and around right

► 02:40:55

the locals who live in a big city and when I get where they want to go became so frustrated with all these moseying Torres they literally made walking lanes for the locals where you have to walk back right you're not allowed to me and I wow that is interesting that's interesting listen. Thank you very much for doing this thank you for being you thank you for this podcast you putting out the books you right it's so important for people like me to have someone like you that can sort of illuminate a lot of these things and I really really appreciate your time my pleasure thanks for being a role-model out and fire me or my pleasure and mindscape podcast. It's available now everywhere probably where hopefully yeah tried beautiful thank you Sean Carroll as gentlemen thank you everyone for tuning into the podcast and thank you thank you thank you

► 02:41:49

to all of our sponsors thank you to cash app go to the cash app in the Google Play Market or the App Store use the reward code Joe Rogan all one word you receive $5 and the cash Apple send $5 to Justin wrens fight for the Forgotten charity building Wells for the pygmies in the Congo thank you also to movement watches ladies gentlemen fantastic watches sunglasses and bracelets for the ladies all done at a price that does not break the bank a fraction of what you would pay if you had to pay the retail mark-up they direct-to-consumer cell and it is of great benefit to you they're awesome watches classic design Quality Construction in style minimalism and I'm a big fan you can get 15% off today we with free shipping and free returns by going to mvmt.com

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► 02:43:45

and I will see you soon thank you preciate you people buy