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.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the show house every but he do in. I got a lot of comedy tours coming up comedy tours got a comedy dates. Open up on this tour that ends basically September 29th September 29th done, Then I got to write a whole new act, so this is last as for romance baby. I got it's tenth available, that is in Kansas City there's tickets available for that September, 14th in Columbus, oh and the 29th in Toronto, and that basically, all that is for sale, except for very minimal tickets. For some of the other shows. Joerogan dot com for all that stuff. This episode of the podcast is brought to you by Rev Town jeans. Now, if you've heard me talk on the podcast for about jeans, you know I'm a big fan of flexible, Means this is a new thing and there's a new company,
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Congo. No more ads are at least Jenner. Let's get to the meat of the program. Today we have a man, who's been on the podcast before the brilliant, an amazing Sean Carroll, Sean CARE girl has a new podcast out. It's called Mindscape podcast and shot when was with his way back at episode. One thousand then, in three Sean is a cosmology list 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 Carroll.
The Joe Rogan experience trying my day, Joe Rogan Podcast, my name all day, Bhupendra Life, Mister car, more sir, very good, very good. To have you so you have a podcast. Now I do. I've joined the ranks. You inspired me. Well, you it's important. We need people like you out there, are you are you have like, but seven episodes so far, seven episodes up a few more in the can gonna try to dribble mail once a week for the first six months or so see how it goes. I enjoy the process. I am mine, skate by the way name for those out there by casting yeah, I'm loving it. You have the the real the thing that told me over toward doing it because, 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 because, like I said this electoral interest,
that go way beyond just what I do for a living and in academia are 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 historians and economists and philosophers and psychologists, and it's great well. You could have just gone to evergreen state, and then you could talk about anything teaching. Professor you could just if you're a professor, you could teach them dance, we have to break out of the system. We have to do it ourselves, yeah man going to break out the system, so your podcast, you decided that this would be a great venue for you to just expand on subjects and just get into anything that you'd like well. You know, I have opinions 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 is. So if you're, not an expert, you should listen to people and they should then make your own decisions, but you should first
the information, and so I don't feel quite like I can go. I have a blog anyway, whatever one of my blog, but I can't really expound on my theories of economics, because what do I know about running omics, but I can call up, but the very expert economist and chat with them on the podcast. Both I will learn something and hopefully listeners well so you're gonna, just basically talk about naming the schtick is Is we sort of try to pick an idea right so for the hour or whatever it is? I don't have your statement. I can't do the two and half hours I know I need more. I need know nitrous caffeine in Maine, but you for an hour hour and a half I'll get someone who's. An expert will dig into an idea and try to understand, what's going on, you know and and sort of everyday people's language and how it fits into the bigger picture and things like that and trying to mix up. You know good old professors, which are my peer group. To sort of I got some p.
Will come out of left field. I 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 a just a platform like what yeah. I think that my like, philosophically I treat it like it's for me right like I'm, not going to do guests or topics or not do topics because the people, so ok, so right right plenty of people out there who don't want me to about anything other than physics or nothing that involves politics or religion. Stay in your lane, Bro very much right, but I love talking about politics and religion, so guess what I'm going to talk about those things. And so, and then hopefully it finds an audience right, and so I'm willing to listen to suggestions, but mostly I have to treat it like it's for me,
I think it's absurd to ask someone to not talk about things if they're interested in those things, people love doing it right like it. I especially love. You know. The commenters saying of you know, of course he's a scientist. It knows nothing about politics unless you're an anonymous youtube. Commenter like life like this in Europe, it means well politics. You definitely can't listen to the pin if anybody that's willing to take the time to comment on Youtube. What that's a problem, I think they had did I had a whole bit about it. 'cause. I was like what kind of a person does that like who listens to a video and gold wall? It's about time that are put in my input, takes of a rare breed unless they have like a real specific expertise in what's being discussed?
about auto repair and like that is not how you replace the transmission. Here's. Why or if you just asking questions like, I don't like colors, like mostly the comments, even on my you to like, so I send the video. I don't do video right, I'm just doing audio podcasts, but you can put them on you too, but the static image and right first. For some reason, people like that people listen to park on you, a lot of that yeah and the comments have actually overall, been surprisingly good. 'cause Youtube is one of the worst right and overall, 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 like, don't talk about that, I want to hear about this than you know. Block. Let go a bit it takes a tiny drop of LSD to pollute a whole bucket of water there. You can That's really what the deal is with you tube comments. It's just the sheer number of people. The problem is Youtube, has a dedicated group of shitheads and
trolls, for whatever reason I don't know, why would that platform seems to track some of the worst and people that comment and I'm? I cannot claim that I'm immune to. Uh reading it and getting annoyed right like I'm, like you idiot. I know I should just say forget it like move on with my life and I'm like damn it. Well, it's it's interesting in a lot of ways. I mean there's, there's something fascinating about this new form of commune patient, where someone can send this very just flat text. You don't know anything about the background. The person is sending it and there's a style of doing that designed the kind of mess with your head. Just like yeah, that's right and and look let's let let me just yeah just to redress the balance here. It's great that we have these new ways of talking to each other. Right and part of you know like a a glancing. We mention the fact that I could email
once you stay in your lane very, very much and I think that's a shame, and so 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 up, sometimes I'll, be talking about science. Sometimes I won't like we tend to silo off Cya once as a thing and then like economics in history and political science is another thing that is out there and relevant to the world, and science is something that is sort of a form of enter. Payment 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 I meant on you two videos and you know, keep the conversation going. That's good of you that sets the it's a very high the attitude and that's kind of attitude that you have to have if you're putting everything out there, yeah and just One, more irony is like I'm not, I don't see conflict, I'm a 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 is this going to be arguments 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 in a dispassionate way and in good faith. Looking toward moving toward the truth. It would be nice if we had like a system like almost like our rating system for humans like a yelp. After commentators that people are trying that it's not a bad idea. It really isn't in terms of like, like people review your comments on things and enough people decide like like this is just unnecessary help for expertise or for commentary in general. Well, all the above. Yeah I mean, I think, that's pretty we're probably going to move to some sort of a system like that. In fact, some people are actually advocating that for society to have some sort of our our like rating system for people, an almost
a new kind of currency like a social currency, they're doing in China, right yeah. This yeah scary for people, though 'cause it's, China, Anne, you know, China is, is a trippy place and it's very trippy in terms of its sort of got cap. Ballism going, but it's also a communist dictatorship and it's a big troll by the government and all the compass These are also- and you know the thing with wow way. Am I saying it right people getting mad at me about that Huawei? I think it's Huawei It's now the number two cell phone manufacturer in the world and their forbidden to work with US carriers, the United States government does not trust this company. So they've said you know. This company is apparently done some shady things according to them, not according to certain tech people say it's nonsense, but there
another keeping them from selling their cell phones with eighteen t and T mobile whatever, but they're the number to manufacture in the world. Now the just surpassed apple designs are subject: yeah China trip yeah. Well, it's it's they know very well. It's it's kind of remarkable to me that China's been so stable and successful because there are, you know, people who don't like it. There are people who rebel against the system, but even so the government's been so enormously successful, controlling information, yelling. What you learned like you can't google to cinnamon square. If you're there right now, yeah you can't get those images or 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 building- and I talked about this- my last podcast with Josh among I'm- not sure that democracy is stable either. So when the technological capabilities are changing so rapidly, huge abuse is an huge change.
Is are on the horizon. Even we don't know what they're going to be. I mean that's, that's my worry about the social credit system, right leg, so, obviously of usable. Yes, I make the wrong people have bad credit, but the people you like have I mean if this is run by the government you're going to trust them to do it fairly? I you know I I'm a little skeptical about well, I think this last election in the subsequent Analysis of the manipulation of the election have been very eye opening to people and farms. Have you been paying attention to that stuff? That is a spy running revelation that there's twenty four slash: seven businesses, where people our setup, with their hired to just tweet and post things, comment on things and they're all working in
some way to try to manipulate the way people look at the news, yeah and the most interesting thing to me. I thought like if they were clever, they will do this and they do it. It's not just that they have a pool. Let's see that they want to push right or a candidate, they want to push. They want to foment disagreement right. It will take the most radical views on either side an pump I'm up. Just so, Americans are tearing at each others through. Yeah and yeah. That kind of works right. That's pretty successful! So far, there was a radio lab podcast where these people that were Trump supporters, detailed, being contacted by these russian troll farms, where they organize these rallies and they uh organize these these protests and they even hired a fake Hillary. They they hired a fake trump, an 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 just the other day. Trump rally where the CNN reporter was trying to do yeah, try to a camera spotting just like got drowned out by people shouting at him, and you know yeah having obscenities and yeah. I I don't know what that that's bad right. Okay, I mean it's said 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 right. You gotta let the people in the media, the media they're, not the enemy of the people in well. What he's done is very dangerous yeah. I know it's it. It's very nice. It's very sneaky and very dangerous. An it's very many given he's. Essentially is he's in survival mode and when people in survival mode he's not thinking at all about the importance of the press thinking about his his situation. His stance, his
mission in life, preserve that and what's the best way to preserve that, will someone's attacking me attack the people who
tacking me any yeah. You you build yourself up by creating an enemy that everyone can agree on right right. What was one of the chilling things that Yasha pointed out? 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 and worked, because one group is the boss right and you know they they give rise to the rest of the people and so forth and try to be fair to some extent. But that's changing like as the demographics of the world are changing we're. You know we're becoming more of the patch work that we claim to be years ago, and people aren't quite happy with that. They're not comfortable with this is something that can be used to gin up emotional reaction. Yeah there's a the people are terrified of change to the sources, nostalgia for the for the past yeah and you know the past. That is not necessarily accurate right. It has today yeah that they that they envision and and it's
and I'm sympathetic, you know with the real problems right there, real problems with inequality and with health care and with jobs, and not just the number of jobs, but the jobs are changing. Not everyone is really tooled up to be a high tech office worker in this day and age, and so I take those concerns really really seriously, but those concerns being channeled in very unproductive ways to scapegoat people who don't deserve it one of the things that is fascinating. To me, this seems to be boiling under the surface. Is the possibility that we might need some sort of universal basic income to deal with what's happening with AI and automation, auto automation, of car automation, of normal jobs, that people with food preparation and things that people have come to just take for granted that a human is going to be doing that
highly possible that millions and millions and millions of people are going to be out of work within a very short time, and it seems to me it's just it's one of those very sneaky things that might just catch us before ready for it yeah. I think that if you, you know extrapolate very far ahead into the future. Imagine what utopias supposed to look like you know the far technologically advanced civilization. Why, wouldn't we imagine that work is done by robots and machines in human beings are free to be creative or artistic or athletic or just sit on their butts. If that's what they want to do, if you believe that that's a possible futures in the way to get there is to as robots in the do more and more make it more and more possible for people to live without working? I think uh at least I have no idea whether it works in practice and not an economist. I haven't studied it, but I think it should be taken so seriously as an idea. If you looked at it as a pessimist mean if you looked at it with a cynical perspective, would say: well people just they don't have motivation, then they behave like rich kid
odds are entitled people or people who won the lottery, they blow all the money, they don't take it seriously. 'cause they didn't earn it. It goes against human nature. Yeah. I get that and Maybe does let him do it? Who am I to tell people that need to be virtuous by earning a living in some job. They may or may not be able to keep for very long people who say that usually haven't gotten fired from their jobs? Recent right yeah, and I always feel like the people that are actually ambitious, but no, the real problem, I think, would be growing up with that. I think, if you you got it as an adult. He probably recognizes a safety net for this, but is, if you it was during your developmental process, you might rely on it as a constant, and so that might be a problem in terms of motivation. I think so think that, and you see it right- I mean I I I have friends at various levels of income and and they grew up in, and you can always tell people who grew up in very comfortable environments because they don't have jobs. They have prod
acts like I'm working on a project because they're, not he worried about the project. Failing. You know like that. If, if you grew up without that safety, net you're more cautious yeah like you have to have a fail safe, you have to have a a back up plan, and but what? If everyone had that backup plan? What if we could all do projects instead of work? Is that really a worse world? I trust fund people, oh yeah, the ones that I know all blow their money. Actually, I know some. I know some very wealthy people who raised their kids really well and you trust fund people, oh yeah, as people who, like now we need to work a day in their lives and they all work really hard that so yeah it's possible, find those people in clone am find out where made the pick. What was there so they found a passion they found, something that there actually seems to. The China issue. That's right and your parents need you, know, sort of encourage that piano. You get like the
parents matter when it comes to like if you are very wealthy, do you feel like you deserve it or do you feel like? I should give something back 'cause. I'm really really fortunate right. Well, there's cockamamie ideas that come from people that haven't earned 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 it, and I was I was going over the details of what I was like. I don't think this is going to work like. Why is this guy so enthusiastic about it and then the more I dug into I'm like? Oh, he got all this money from his dad. Oh there you go this guys. Just he just he's got pipe dreams I mean I guess I feel this to be honest about it like I'm very lucky, not because I grew up wealthy 'cause, I didn't, but I now have a job that represents what I want to do like what I would do with my life safe. If I were independently wealthy, isn't that different from what I'm doing right right, that's exactly, but therefore I kind of think that I would like a world where everyone can do that. If that's what they
that would be amazing. The real question is: does everybody have an actual interest and if they do, is, it nurture or nature, and if they don't do we force them to is that what do we wanna? Do I wanna do that something you love quite a thing but actually I never tell people like, follow your passion or find what you love, 'cause look there's a lot of people who need to earn a living is a lot of people who just need to do work be cause they need to pay the bills. That's fine! line that should be respected, that in the will be having right now, that's an honorable thing to do, and 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 know, to make a living, but because of your temperament, because your interests, you can find a thing with it's carpentry or you know 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 men I this is it's very satisfying. Maybe maybe that's true I mean it's. Certainly true it can be done, can be done for everyone in the world. I don't know, that's a good question. I don't know yeah well, there's so many styles of living to you know when you talk about China, I I was in China recently uh. We spent some time in Thailand and we flew through China and one of the things you realize about China. Is they just the different, totally different way of moving like people just walk right through people, I mean they're lines if there's a space in a line that, like peanut, don't respect that space there all right into that space right in front of you, like oh there's, a space there, they don't even think of it is rude. It's not the style right, yeah just as we went through Southeast Asia for a few weeks, and you know, visited Vietnam and Thailand and they're right next to each other, but just the behavior in the cities are really different. Yeah walking down the street. This is a different culture.
I haven't been to Vietnam. What was that all of the numbers? My favorite was really scared. Everybody says that it's great, I mean I don't know it was there for a few days for items for that. There is depth to the country that I didn't receive, but I was coming to live literally the week we were, there was the first Mcdonald's was opening in Vietnam. So much is not good, but at least amend it was we were there in a pre, make Donald's society right and the it was physically, very beautiful. The food was amazing, it was all scattered out like that. You know 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 who's people were trying to be nice. People seem to be very friendly, that we didn't speak any of the language or anything like that, and it was just a wonderful experience overall yeah, that's awesome, yeah ages, trip
really different part of the world, China is yeah. I've been trying to to its it's that's a trip for a different reason. Right, and you know I it I'm scared by China in the sense that I I'm worried that they will succeed while still being repressive dictatorship. Like I remember reading, you know this these memoirs from Bertrand Russell when he visited China and he was wraps Ising about this is an amazing culture. Amazing people. This is great, I'm like does he not know No, it's a communist dictatorship and then my brain kicked him like. Oh no is one thousand nine hundred and twelve. It was not a communist dictatorship at the time and there's a great tragedy in the way that China has been sort of repressed. For so long, I think is immense. Potential and promise there, but it's also the possibility that they just remain in this autocracy forever and some peoples lives, improve and a lot of people just drudgery for billions of people. Do you have certainly possible it's fascinating that they become this combination of things in combination,
both capitalism and communism yeah? Well, I think that's it yeah. They found a release valve like you. Couldn't you couldn't the the Soviet Union is going to collapse, be cause. It was a terrible system right economically, politically. Whatever and China found a little bit a balance where they still have the impressive dictatorship, but they give enough freedom for people to you, know, be ambitious and try to get ahead and and that improves the economy. And they make some terrible mistakes right there. These huge cities that are built, no one lives there and spooky pictures right so you've seen the recreations of other large cities like Paris. I've seen that yeah and and sometimes like cities like Shinjin, like right next to Hong Kong as a city, my million people thirty years ago, was fifty thousand people right like it just he built it yeah
a couple years and in other places like a little shopping mall here with his and that's just instantly, it's looks like Detroit the next day. There's no one there and you know one makes known, builds anything. No one does anything with it, because it's it's not really, capitalism, it's still a planned economy and there's pluses and minuses that no doubt one of the big fears about China is their experimentation with genetics. Is that they're willing to do things ethically? The scientists in America and lot of parts of the western world are not what willing to engage in yet yeah looting the use of crisper on human embryos yep, and I think so. I have mixed feelings about that. I think it's going to happen in all cultures living we're gonna, do it right. I actually had sorry I
release that podcast yet but stay tuned. I have an excellent podcast coming with Carl Zimmer, who is science, writer, just read along book by heredity and genetics and yeah, so what they're going to be doing with the designer babies? It's not science fiction. As far as I can tell it's going happen and but it's very unclear what it will mean, because we're not any good right now and figuring out how genetics turns it, how your dna turns into a person right yeah, it might be like you know that we find something of that if you increase, if you change this particular gene sure you can live twice as on, but also you'll have Parkinson's disease when you're for crime. Right, like you, don't know what the inter dependencies are and stuff like that, so but but it's coming, I I think that the idea that we will be choosing embryos to come determined the people on the basis of their genes before their you know. Implanted in the uterus is, is a hundred percent. That's going to happen and
chance that we're going to be editing. Them is nine, nine point, nine nine percent chance and you write. China is way more willing to do that and again, 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 a system that will make you can have a baby who is guaranteed to be. You know, tall and beautiful and smart and live for her. Fifty years, it'll cost a million dollars, then that'll be a little bit unfair right, they'll be an issue that will come up yeah, but then is an unfair that the rock is the rock. How did he get to be the rock it is, but I think it's psychologically. I think you work hard, but he also had some benefit right now, Johnny started yeah. He started in the right place. You know the story of Yao Ming right
no so young being the the basketball player right now. He was basically the result of a breeding program really like they encouraged his parents were both really tell basketball players to have a baby, and you know it worked for him. It does always work as as it's a crapshoot but yeah they can work yeah so but that's normal breeding. That's like a dog in my dogs, a good look at our other dog of the same breed. Let's put it together! That's why with human beings, but yes, otherwise, normal yes and it it. I think it's different. It's different like a logically 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, right. I think that I don't know, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe people will think that that's awesome and will these people will be celebrities and will follow them on Instagram, but I suspect people be rubbed the wrong way at that kind of access to something that most people can't afford
the most certainly well. They most certainly well, but I think if you look at it objectively, if you look at the interactions of the species, as you know, uh, completely outside observer. You and say. Not only is this 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 constantly on a daily basis is healthcare. People were very concerned with people that have to deal with debilitating diseases and all if we could just eliminate all those yeah. Why wouldn't you want that? Yeah? I think you don't think you probably will be able to, and will probably happen that I think is yeah, but then so ever almost everyone agrees with that. Like that's not the controversial part right like yeah, we can eliminate an apparent
the some diseases we already know like right there in your dna, you're gonna get Huntington's when you're forty years old. Right, yes, and so those are easy to eliminate peanut allergies or something like that. Other duties are harder. We don't know what causes them so it'll take time, but I think they'll be uncontroversial. If you could just to remove diseases from people have the time it's a little bit different if you're, choosing their hair, color and skin color and shape of their nose and feed and whatever that gets it does get squirrelly, but it's also the idea of it being cost prohibitive issue. Well. Isn't that the case with almost all technology as it emerges, it's very experiment. Plasma TV's were like twenty thousand dollars for a small, televi I remember I saw them, it was only like a thirty inch television or simply there was exorbitant- and I was like this is incredible, like look at it's flat, it hangs on the wall. They different futural, everybody has them and their cheap. You can get more for a few
bucks. It's way bigger and way better than what it was back then yeah, and I think they actually that's very realistic that maybe will be one million dollars, but then ten years later will be one hundred thousand dollars to sort of be a million dollars. First, 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 like if you to the average person cell phone. If you buy a cheap cell phone for like three hundred dollars, it is way better than an Iphone. Ten years ago, yeah you know it's just yes been everywhere yeah. No, I think that that's probably right- and I think that it's one of the things that's happening like we're, we're still the beginning of technology right like where technology is not that advanced compared to where it's going to be. You know I have another podcast guests coming up, who is an expert on aging and how we can fix that by messing with jeans a little bit. We should Aubrey Degray. No! No! This is a real
find at Princeton. You know someone who's just doing experimental scientists. Well he's. I don't know that. Well so, inside, but I I I I think it was an advocate for anti aging yeah, just good, which is cool but the it I'm I'm, but by Cast Coley Murphy's, just like a biologist who is working on things and discovered something right like that: she's not trying that hard right. You knock out a certain gene in the certain worm and it lives twice as long and without any two k right like it doesn't get old, because it's it's fascinating like. Why do we die? Why do we grow old? It's not necessary, like you could design an organism that doesn't get older, it would die from random bad things you get hit on the head with a brick, but you don't need
to die. The reality is that evolution programmes aging and death into us, because once we have kids or one three that lived a reproductive lifespan, we're not useful anymore, so biology is wants us to die and so that that, in other words it's potentially fixable, you know it may not be easy- might be not happened a hundred years from now, but it could so I I think, but you know aging, genetic engineering, brain computer interfaces, all that stuff is going to within the next one hundred years, totally change what it means to be human, be and we're totally not ready for it, and so I was saying this to Carl, he girls, like not that Carl Zimmer is more sanguine about is like don't worry, just you know will put regulations on, it will be fine, and my attitude was now actually we should think of the absolute craziest science fiction scenarios cause. I want You prepared right if it doesn't come to pass. I want to worry about the least probable things, because it might spark something that actually help.
That's down the road yeah. There was a recent discovery. They 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 and sag their reversing that process, we might be members of the last generation to die or of old age. We won't be immortal well, then, if you thought you were immortal, if you thought, let's say that you thought that your average lifespan was a million years. Would you suddenly become way more cautious? It started jumping off buildings and shit. I have a friend of mine who does that flying squirrel suit stuff. He holds world, you don't become invulnerable, you just don't know. Yes, exactly, that is lying schools that is truly dangerous. All it's super danger. Yeah yeah things jump what if they could just fix, you feel it was like. Even though that's separate Yes, that's possible right, like maybe they get back to your goo.
You are wrong, then yeah he doesn't dive as a build. Your clone put you back together, like all these crazy science fiction, sir. I don't think that that's, I think the backing up is way harder than people think, and I think that stopping aging is way easier than people think, but we'll see I I agree with you. I went to the twenty forty five. I think they're calling it conference in New York City a few years back ago. It's all the Ray Kurzweil advocates, think you're going to download brains into computers and stuff on not that compelling that feels like? What are you going to do? What was 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
doesn't violate laws of physics, but it's hopelessly impractical compared. Anything we can do right now is the human brain is just not something you can read out right. My question, and this is was so they're really concerned. Me was what's to keep someone from making hundreds of thousands of versions of themselves like what is the? What to take someone from some. You know we really rich billionaire character that can afford to do this and say I'm going to do this many many times that I'm going to have my clones make clones of clones and I'm going to fill up a whole island with me whi. Would you do that, though? 'cause you're crazy, person. Ok, I mean crazy people are allowed to do crazy things right now. Imagine if you had one hundred Sean Carroll's in your house working on things, but they are not the same person, but if you found out the thirty, the Sean Carroll Smoking Crack, hookers drawing fastly the delinquent correction,
good. Have you realize of that like after a while there there is a random those and yeah you, Sharia is evil. Devo right. Do you have to go up in matters that would be really fascinating if, if that would be a an excellent, app sort of black mare, yeah we're someone clone themselves and found out that a certain percentage of their clones were just fucking crazy or they were the crazy like all the clones were, is the word very different than that when they rolled seem to each other yeah or maybe having all those call and somehow or another, set something off in them that made them crazy because they were in competition with all these other people. The rest act like them. This is golden yeah. We should edit this out of the podcast, so we can write up to seven There is a real concern with messing with biology in a way, that's never been done before exactly. I think that the extent to which it's coming is something we haven't quite faced up to right and it's really coming it's coming fast and profoundly were not ready, yeah and the possibility
if just creating a world that were not prepared for and we're not prepared for the consequences of yeah. Exactly so that's why? I'm all in favor of thing crazy right, let yeah wondering what it will be like. Even if the answer is no that'll never happen. At least you know be prepared a little bit. You know, think of all the alarmist crazy scenarios. Yeah the did you have you really gotten into crisper? Have you really looked into that stuff at all? Not that much She know it'll to apply delivered to real world for my taste, but people don't know what we're talking about it's a new technique for editing genes that was discovered accidentally.
While examining the effects of the store is amazing. I mean there are these bacteria, you know. So we here's the thing we think of DNA as where our genetic information is stored. Right, like you, have little codes little like list of symbols, a c g d and that they're in a in a row and that's it that is handed down from parents to children, but the reality is way more complicated than that, because different parts of the dna do things and different ones. Don't some of them get turned on turned off? We have mitochondrial dna, which are not our dna. We have these little sub cells within us that get carried along for the ride and have their own dna, and so crisper is this thing that was invented by nature, not by human beings, these bacteria who were trying to resist viruses right. So the viruses would come in and attack them and basically
the bacteria learned a way to steal part of the dna of the virus 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've right like this is something that I learn. I learned how to fight off, and so to do that, I need to be able to snip out a little piece of dna, and so scientists biologist learned that they could train. This is a little bit fanciful way, putting it metaphorical, but they could train the bacteria to go in there snip out pieces of dna, and you can do there any dna you want and you can replace it with something else. It's not really very high. The precision right now, but that's coming. And so in principle this is, you know a little way to change a genetic code, and then They figured out some other way that
ordinarily right. If you have two parents- and you have like brown eyes versus blue eyes and blue eyes are recessive, so they both need to have the blue eye gene to give. If you want to have blue eyes, but they figured out a way that you can change the dna and it automatically with one hundred percent accuracy, get sent to all of your offspring right, it's not five thousand and fifty chance or whatever. So then, you can just pray okay to change in the genetic code throughout the species pretty darn quickly and your human beings take a long time to breed, but animals and plants. It's a whole nother world right. You can design those very, very and already been lately least one revision of the process right. I think so, but yeah I just told you everything. I think there are continuing to improve on the process and really it's really going to be very interesting see where that goes. As that advances yeah, I think
who is the concern with PETE Places like China right there already doing this, there already manipulating genetics and trying to create super people, and I think that the chances that gives them a great basketball team or greater than the chances that again a bunch of brilliant phd scientists. Well, that's where it starts, it has a lot of. It starts in competitive athletics. Have if you paid attention, did you watch the documentary Icarus? No, I did not have fasting dot. Memory. That's on Netflix right now about it's, it is a kind of a crazy set of circumstances. There's a guy named Brian Fogel he's the director of in the producer of the movie, and he was competitive bike. Research and he decided to document what he wanted to do was compete in a race, a bike race, one hundred percent clean and then get a russian scientist to juice. Him up So in the process of getting this russian scientist to do some up, he stumbo flip on a scandal and in the middle of him making docked now, but it mean
in a crazy way because his russian guys the head of the anti doping agency in russia- and it was just sort of in for bring him how you would do this, so he teaches him inform how you can do this, while this is going on it- turns out that the Russians had completely cheetah their way through the Sochi Olympics and it was all documented. So they were getting busted, as is all going on, and he films this russian guy, who is the head of it escape in Russia? Barely coming to the it states and being chased and testifying all the different strategy she's at the Russians used in order to completely cheat on like at Lee One entire olympic team, like every see single athlete, was on drugs, and they had a record number of gold medals, and so then he starts detailing the pro process and how they did it in these uh forensic test examined the year
in bottles and showed they've been opened, even though they were supposedly not openable and really really interesting stuff, but that national pride, the thing about national pride and you know the ability to win a bunch of gold medals and athletic dom. This is so important for the morale of these countries that want to establish superiority right yeah, and there are some people who say well, let's just go for it. Let's just have all dope Olympics right, like people enhance themselves as much as they possibly can and there's an ongoing debate about what about people who use prosthetics right. Is that fair? If you, losta leg and you have a prosthetic leg is: could that potentially give you an advantage in a running event or something like that in there, especially good prosthetic? I don't know the answer any of these questions. I think it's a little bit weird. Because we set up these arbitrary categories for what visited a sporting event, we invented them right, they're, not out there in the world
and now we're faced with wholly different circumstances to what to do about it, but yeah. I think that the question what we should do, which is hard, there's the question of what's going to happen, which is it's all going to happen? You know all these things are going to happen. I was talking to a guy this past weekend. Who is a Navy seal and his friend lost his hand and they gave him a new hand and they're working on this new hand. Now, that's good, allow him to play piano It's a completely artificial carbon fiber hand with all these different things that attach directly to your nerve and somehow or another. He can control it with his farm. That's going to allow him to play piano and you're going to tell me he could never play the piano before right now. He knows its program, it's in the it's in the thing. Well, this is what I was saying about the brain computer interfaces. I think that's the real, even bigger frontier than synthetic biology or genetic engineering. Becaus computers are really useful for things. Robots are very useful for things. Human being
it just comes with a blend in its not like rent a in super healthy humans. It's we're going to just have everywhere on that spectrum, yeah! That's what I'm thinking as well is 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 that, but they were goofy that I put him on the felt to science fiction Y it's like the first portable phones, where these giant things right. That doesn't mean right. That's not a long term prognostication tool, lots of lots of people are working on it. Ilan Musk has little company that no one knows about, that they do now. Well, people know about it if they care, but it's not like one of his famous ones right right, to implant. A neural lace write something in your body that reads your brain neural. Ok, so I don't like the way that sounds where is it go? If you wanted more Bachao appointed the back of your head too. Now you open up your skull, and you didn't take of it is largely I was thinking of it is like a mesh seems creepy that it's going to LA
watch on your nerves and improve you neural lady won't need your phone anymore wow and where you went to the back your head, everyone goes to the back, Well, in order, my name is useful for something, but I mean like them 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 where something on the front of your head right, where it cap or something like that which can detect frequencies of vibrations in your brain. And you can it's very primitive, but you can move things around control drones right 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 in the far out science fiction scenario is cracking open your skull, inserting some electrodes in their closing it back up, and now you are part of the super internet without
to do anything more than closing your eyes. Yeah and there's also the possibility of enhancing various thought processes to with is dermal stimulation like if they could figure out you know they're doing that now. They've performed a series of tests where they have people do like certain tasks, and then and they put electrodes into certain areas of the brain, an put an electric charge and that electric charge stimulates various aspects of the brain and it allows them to complete certain tasks quicker and more efficiently is just kind of uninformed belief, but I suspect that the human brain is pretty optimized for what it tries to do. I think that
than improving the brainer stimulating at the way forward is to augment it like hook it up to calculators in internet and whatever you know. One thing that I don't see talked about very much, but I think will be a real game. Changer, you know we we talk about. Phones is a for carrying 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 it might not be possible, but if you really had a direct connect between your brain and the internet, your my balls are a video camera everything you see, you can record and store somewhere right so and you can lend him to other people or people can subpoena. Them or whatever, like there's literally no place in the world, that Hume My balls are looking at. That would not be subject to later inspection. That is weird and scary and bad right. It is words caring bad and what? If someone comes up with a better Ibo,
Yes, do deliveries, scoop out your old doll eyes put in some new awesome once you record with yeah absolutely yeah. I don't think that in this I think I think I absolutely agree that enhancing it with electronics is probably the way to go and that having some sort of is some sort of symbol traffic relationship with electronics, but I also think that this trans dermal stimulation can enhance that process. On top of it, and then there's going to be a bunch of different things going on at once. We need to think about crisper being something where someone eventually figures out a way to design various aspects of the human brain. There are more open to interface with tech. Nology, changing various receptors make them a more efficient for data to ghost
to the dome yeah, and I think that there is a short term versus long term question here lately, even if what I said is a long term truth on the short term, improving our thinking, skills, indirect ways with stimulation or whatever sounds you know pretty good, but maybe you can just do that through beta blockers are some drugs or something like and like? I think that that's another thing very plausible that will have safe super efficient drugs. Some can taken over the next six hours their their way clear thinkers than they were before. Is there any concern with what's the end game? with him so yeah, I hope so. If you're super our advanced the end game? Is you realize that life is not that interesting people like yeah you're like well? Why am I here? What am I doing with all this yeah little challenges helpful actually well, in particular, if you develop immortality yeah, if there's no concern about getting injured or killed.
Yeah, I think that people who envisioned super far ahead science fiction scenario and especially people who envision uploading brains and consciousness, underestimate the importance of our bodies to who we are as human beings right, not just that we are in a body but like hunger, your thirst, exhaustion being horny like these we're motivating factors that really affect who we are and what we say in what we do and if you remove all that, if you're just thinking processor in a computer. What's your motivation, why you going on right, like why? Are you doing anything at all like I don't think it will be? I don't think it will be anything like the personality. The person who you are, if your body is taken away, does the big question about artificial life right or or artificial intelligence, rather like what we have very specific needs that are addressed by our ambition.
Write, biological need. The idea of you know transferring your jeans keeping your our bloodline, going all that stuff is all these survival instincts that we have, that you necessarily would an essay We have, if you were an artificial life, form like. Why would you care if someone pulled the plug on you? Why would you try to survive? What do you what's your purpose here right exactly in sort of few tile, if you're there's a lot of talk in the other AI existential risk community like worrying about artificial intelligence, about value alignments like making sure that the a eyes 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 I'm not an expert, but I hear it seems a little bit off the mark be cause they're talking about what to program into the ai, but if it's in any sense, really an ai, it can reprogram itself. Right like you can change your mind as a human being, you can change your values.
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. If they're going to be truly Intel If we're going to mimic what a human being can do, you can't be something where we program them just do a task as that's not intelligent right, so If that happens there, then you know who knows what they're going to eventually be motivated to do? If anything like you said like what is their motivation even to do anything at all or even to exit Well, 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 opros does that some sort of a perpetual exponential domino effect of technology? for this new artificial life is going to create better artificial life which creates better artificial life which expand turns to God, like powers within a very short period of time and decides
where he's stupid and useless and just eliminates us, and then it gets bored to the cell phone. Yes, because we're doing here so I'm going to burn out- and you know these are the yard. These are hard things to even extrapolate because they're so far beyond our experience, but I do think that we're opening up doors that we never had before right in between genetic modifications of human beings, artificial intelligence, brain computer interfaces. We we don't have that the experience so the capacity to really even ask the right questions about these things. Right we could sort of Ruedemann Turelli were rude, entry the idea that we have of like what is now necessary, are really based on our own biological needs. We have family, we want to keep everybody healthy. We enjoy arkham unity, we want to keep it safe. We George, our our earth, who want to keep it clean. We want to want to save things for the future generations and all
concerns, we have that are very biological, yet they just won't exist for artificial life. I think that's exactly right and I think that what we're really good at or what we're better at in terms of imagining the future is taking what already exists and just expanding it right, yeah like so when people the, I think We talk about this on the last podcast, but when people first started imagining mechanical devices to carry you around mechanical transportation in the late 1800s they imagined a mechanical horse because they knew the horses existed right and the car was a totally different thing and people hadn't thought of that originally. And then, when people did think of cars, they thought a flying cars 'cause they saw, they were flying animals and the flying cars haven't appeared 'cause we, didn't what they should have been thinking about it, how our car cars going to change our cities and our commutes how we live right, people invented 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
can imagine blending the barrier between our biological existence in some virtual existence. We don't even know what questions to ask about that yeah. I think we are getting close to those other things you mentioned, though. Boss dynamics is getting really close to artificial dogs and artificial horses. Yeah, I mean they have things that you can't kick. You kick him and they don't get knocked over open doors. Yes, they can jump incredible distances, incredible heights. There there's some amazing ones that do acrobatics now, we've seen that we're going to replace stuntmen in movies that could potentially get harmed with these robots. That can do crazy, backflips and jump off buildings, and the next big war is going to look at very, very different than very weird right. Yeah. 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 drone,
but physical things that are running around on the ground can make decisions given but today I mean, as you know, do you watch stark Mir. I haven't seen it doesn't make me in, like you there is an insane episode on. Do you remember the name of it? The one with linear, Blackbeard say dark matter, black bean Zen sane episode on these little robots that are metal face, the metal head, something like that. Yeah it's about robots chasing after this lady and It literally is these little tiny, Boston, dynamic robots, but they can kill you and they're they're on a mission, and this is not outside the one possibility at all, nope It really is an isn't like. I said it's don't even know it is easy to extrapolate right ahead to sort of the several differences. There is a certain that's from the app. So it's a fantastic episode two this so
any good episodes of that show black mirror is just amazing yeah. I guess I'll watch it, but that's a concern there's there's a real concern. I mean we're we're doing it right now with drones. You know if you talk to people that are really have paid attention, studied drone warfare and how incredibly inhumane it is and how different it is from any other type of warfare and to service like the ability to rationalize targets when you're not there, and you have you're nowhere near and you're just pressing buttons, and you decide like well there's a very good possibility. This persons in here fuck it nuke the building. Yeah. I would, I think, we're doing that. Yes, it's absolutely happening, but on the other hand, the drones are also delivering pizzas are they, though, I think
pizza with a droning? So if you looked at the amount of people that have delivered pizzas with drones versus the amount of people that have been killed by drones, published killing is bigger. Well, the innocence of the scariest drawer drones are really good at killing innocent people, yet not so good at killing the people that are specific target targets, but I think my my point is just that there are going to be pluses and minus yes right. So I think that it's going to change like if we give we combine. This idea of you know interfacing with computers, with this idea of drones, doing some drug free work with this idea of giving people a basic income, everyone is just going to sit in their rooms and then right on their tumblrs all day. That's going to the future! I don't think they're going to be writing anymore. I think there's a real so 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 well, it will be better kind of thing. I think that the big flaw to me and things like Tron or ready player one is that they make a virtual reality. Look too much like the real reality. There's no real.
My virtual reality has to have gravity right. There's no reason why it has to be three dimensional: there's no reason why you any 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 very, very different. Well, it also could be implemented with something like the tank. The float tank that we were talking about earlier. You could climb in do that float tank with some sort of apparatus hook. These gloves on put this helmet over an literally, not be subject to the whims of gravity can even feel it. The 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 yeah, like this weird period between the year, one thousand nine hundred and two thousand or two thousand one hundred or whatever is going to be. It will be a weird transitional period in human history, where we had invented technology and not really put it to work.
And there might be some equilibrium that we reach in one hundred or two hundred 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 do you think people should concentrate on first wouldn't with in regards to this kind of stuff? What do you think those would be If, if someone said Sean, your super smart, dude, let's get on the ball here, figure out what what direction should we take this? In I mean what I do for a living is more like foundational, one of the laws of physics, kind of thing. Yeah right, so I'm not the person to to speculate on this dominance. Well, I think this is why I said earlier like I think we should be talking to each other 'cause. Nobody is no one person is right, like that's why we need to have people from different areas of expertise, talk about each others areas, if only then to be corrected right, but 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 ISIS
bank that mostly the real advances, they're not going to be nanotechnology, but in synthetic biology where you take bacteria or multi, the organisms that already exists and adapt them for your purposes make them do whatever you want is biology is already solved a lot of the problems that technology is still struggling to figure out. So the concept of nanotechnology you're going to take like almost like a cell sized machine and many of them are going to go into your body and find areas that are damaged or whatever yeah. There's a woman to professor at Caltech, who gave a talk a few months ago about she builds robots out of DNA. So these little dna robots can go in and right now there level with what they can do is sort things so like if they have molecule. One molecule two scattered across some surface. This little dna robot will go in and move all molecule one to the left. All of all you'll do to the right, and so she says: that's the beginning. In the future. You'll have your little DNA Box and you'll say
you know, I'm allergic to tomatoes and then it invent 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 lit so why dna gives you think of. Dna is carrying the genetic code, but dna is a wonderful molecule, be cause, it is relatively stable, but it's not just a crystal right. It's not just doing the same thing over and over again, so it contains information. And it can adapt, can it can. You know hold on grab on to certain things and let go and do things so. Dna is a wonderful testing ground for building little really really tiny things in your body. That will change who you are Well, here's a question is not totally related, but you might be a good person for this. What is quantum computing now I've? I've got. I keep hearing about this. That's one of the big breakthroughs in and computers is going to be cool
Want them computing right, I'm almost all right, I'm not complete. The regular actually did teach a course to cal tech that involved one computing song and are not average death and the best but yeah, so so quantum mechanics. This is the book so I'm writing right. Now, that's going to be a year from now called something deeply hidden, it'll be about quantum mechanics and the goal of the book will be to make quantum mechanics understand, well to everybody and convince them that quantum mechanics really does imply the existence of multiple worlds. Where things look very much the same, except for tiny dick and one waving, a look one mechanic says is in classical mechanics which, looking before climbing can excellent. Let's imagine you have a bit right that is something is either zero or one right. One piece of information in quantum mechanics, you have a quantum bit a cubit as they call it very clever. So the difference is that, instead of it being a zero or a one like it would be classically Quantum Mccann,
Klay. It is in some superposition of zero one one and some combination of a little bit zero little bit one. It is not that you don't know which one it is it's that it really is both might be. Ninety percent zero and ten percent one or something like that. So take that fact number one. Okay fact number two is the quantum mechanics as the thing called entanglement which means that if you have two bets classically, so you have zero zero zero one, one zero one, one right for different possibilities. So quantum mechanics is it's not that this one bit is in a combination of zero one one, and this other bit is also in a combination of zero and one is that the two bit system, is in a combination of zero
zero one, one zero one, one right, so it might be. That is fifty percent, zero, zero and fifty percent one one. So you don't know it either bit is, but you know that the same kinds of that's 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 just say well. What is a computer computer is something that takes bits in does manipulations and spits out the answer right. You saw problems. That's what's literally going on in your computer, is a bunch of zeros and ones being pushed around. So a quantum computer is push not much cubits right bunch of spending particles or something like that. The span of a particle that need to be spinning, clockwise or counter clockwise is a cuban, and so these particles can interact with each other. They can become entangled in you invent a quantum algorithm right, like there's algorithms for finding the area of a surface or something like that.
Numbers solving the shortest distance between two different points: we do this using the rules of quantum mechanics instead of the rules of classical mechanics and the belief which is not yet one hundred percent established, but we think is true is that there are some problems that are really really hard to solve for a classical computer, which means that you can eat, We make a problem long enough that it would take the lifetime of the universe to solve it on a classical computer which quantum computers can solve quite quickly and efficiently, and so we're not. We haven't proven that it's not a mathematic Lee, why? Why would they think that quantum computers would be able to solve it? Quicker is more information in the computer like if you have two beds: zero, zero, zero one, it cetera there's only four things. It can be right if you have a conflict as an infant number things, it can be because it's any combination of those four things right. Ten percent, this
twenty percent that so there's a continuum of possibilities. It's analog rather than digital, in some sense what you, what you can do, the other the quantum computer, can just sort of take advantage of that extra power to look them in because of this entanglement with this is this: is I'm gonna get in trouble with my quantum computing friends, because not quite there, but roughly speaking, rather than manipulating bit by bit because of the entanglement between the bets, the quantum computer can move all the bits a little bit once so. Let's say that your your sir searching for something in a list write a very elementary computer science program is I'm giving you a list. Find element that is equal to a certain number right. It sounds easy, but that list is ten trillion things long, that's hard right, so the quantum computer can do. Is they take every element in the list nudge it a little bit towards zero? If it's the wrong answer in towards one? If it's the right answer- and you don't know where it is-
is in the list, but you can do that nudging over and over again at the end of day, look for where, where is the one? It's are easy to find, so you can get the answer much quicker. It is believed- and so things like cryptography privacy writer dramatically changed by this, because if one of the things that we think quite a computer should be able to do faster is factor large numbers, which is the the the the the difficulty of factoring large. Not. This is the basis for much modern cryptography, but also simulating systems that were just too difficult to simulate. You know just to see it took too much computer power to do it now. Maybe we can do it because nature is truly quantum mechanical at the core. It turns out to be very hard because the problem is, you have all these debts if you touch one of them with the outside world bumps, so one of them right, like a cosmic Ray or Adam hits it. The whole entanglement is ruined between everything. So it's very, very delicate, and that's what the
right now, they're working on systems of let's say dozens of qubits entangled at once. You would would like it to be waived so that you can store an enormous amount of information in these things and if it works, is I think it will be. The way better at computing if it works, I'm not at all sure that quantum computers will be efficient or cost effective, or anything like that in the near term, but doing computations faster or something is a lot of We'll 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 slowly x, sort of make sure that it all works correctly and get a of an accurate model. Yes, so the the one is, if you had a cubit, it can be in a company mission of zero or one right, any combination whatsoever, but as soon as you look at it You never see the combination c0 or you see one. That's it and you've ruined you've erased this pre existing.
Combination if you see zero now, it's in zero see one it's in the state one. So if you, Have a group of many many qubits when I mean by look at, is literally anything else in the world bumping into it so like, if, like I said it photo unseeded. If particles, you know, if, if molecules of of air in oxygen or nitrogen bump into the queue bit that'll count as an observation, and it will collapse as we said, collapses, the wave function and all of your quantum in for ation is ruined, so you have to make them a sort of very cold, very isolated, very shielded from external influences. In the more cubits you add a hard that is to do who knows there are proof of concept of this yep. They have working quantum computers. I forget there was a joke. Scott Aronson is a friend of mine. Is a genius theoretical computer scientist used to joke that the condo computers are able to to say that the number fifteen is equal to
five three, with very high probability, that was the state of the art. I think they're able to say that twenty one equals three seven with very high probability now, but what you would like to say You know some one hundred digit number is the product of two other numbers not able to do that right now now? What do they look hang out with this. So when they're looking in terms of the future, this stuff how do they want to implement this? What the different ways? Actually let let you? The actual physical to knowledge either using some people using Adams. Some people are using the sort of features of condensed matter. Systems like two dimensional systems were electrons are moving slowly in can wind around each other, and things like that. This is the way the what I actually know about, but also this sort of side. Light of this is that this existence of entanglement
we have a shared information between two different things, in a way that classical physics just would not allow and that's interesting and exciting Becaus. It opens up ways for for sharing information that other people can't get to, because you have. Some information in your friend is some information, but you need both pieces of it to get to it right, Seth, Lloyd, another friend of mine, and I T professor, said that he was. He tells a story where he was in a hot tub, with the Google guys right with their gay and and Larry, and you know the the heads of Google, the founders, and he said I can't was really new idea where we can use quantum mechanics, build a quantum shooter, so that a person who does a search, a google search using this 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 searched for.
And the Google guys really very excited they went away the next day. They came back and said we realize this is the opposite of our business model. It's really important to us that we know it is hers yeah right, so that's the whole thing with them. The Google ads yeah do a Google ad sense and you go to another website. It shows you all of John's been looking at. You know Lenovo laptops yeah that yeah they follow you around and all your other devices right, we're cookies, creepy but yeah. So in Quantum, in quantum computing is there's quantum money. There's quantum cryptography, there's quantum eavesdropping things like that, so it sister, it's it's easy to speculate about. I would not say the actual technologies is very far advanced right now, but I can't tell you how quickly, why would someone like Google just have to adjust because, prior to these Google ads really knew what someone was interested in less. They took surveys or unless they had purchasing history, or there had to be some
way the now they just detecting off of searches with their business model is, but that doesn't mean they can't come up with a better new business models. They'll have to adapt but they're, not in the business of making that happen now. Insiders say now so effective if they were really smart, they would have given sat on a thousand dollars and they'd. Tell no one about this ever again. Right is that enough, yeah, we found it with the Stormy Daniels case that right hi thousand dollars as a by a lot of two thirds of a store reading right. What do you think well, they'll like what will be the first way they try to use something. This, they try to use quantum computing. I don't know. I think that,
could really interested in now are the NSA in the DOD Right National Security Agency in the department events, Becaus secret messages are the most obvious thing, cracking codes and things like that. That's like the killer, app that we know about right now. Physicists of course want to use it to simulate quantum mechanical systems. To learn about the behavior feels 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 Quantum computer right. This sort of the generic thought that you'll be able to do computations faster. That's interesting, then, there's more specific things like. If the system you're trying to simulate is itself Quantum mechanical, then simulating it on a quantum computer might be the way to go yeah to most people that just wear WU right over their head. What is these guys? This quantum is so weird, like other things that you said earlier. When you were talking about quantum, you were talking about worlds that have
a similar bill with very small differences right. Yes, so yeah, I forget whether we talk, but this last time, but you know they're, so there's this whole version of quantum make it. Let me let me back up. We have time right for quantum mechanics is weird Becaus among other things, it is by far the most successful theory of physics ever invented. We've tested it to enormous precision right, there's, zero evidence that Quantum mechanics is in any way, not right, but we don't understand it. We don't like not just people in the street, like professional, physicists, don't know exactly what Quantum Mechanics says. So how do you practice it well, we have a recipe. We have a black box right. The way I put it in the book is imagine you had a website you could go to and you would say if I threw a ball. With certain velocity in a certain direction? How far would it go and it will give you the answer right away depending upon is better. You put all details in it. See. The answer. Does that count as you knowing laws of physics, you know no, it is you have a black box right. Well, that's what quantum mechanics is right now. If we set up an experiment, we
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 or we don't agree like different people, disagree with each other, and so, This version of this different versions that try to answer this question. What's really going on beneath the surface right, what's the deep down story of the world and one of these stories is the many worlds interpretation of Quantum mechanics and it was invented by a graduate student, Hugh Everett in the 1950s who was instantly kicked out of physics because really yeah yeah. It is a long run, glorious history of people trying to think deeply about quantum mechanics and being shunned in the community for doing so because We set up this weird thing. Where I mean there's literally a memo that went around the major physics journal in the United States said we will not even look at papers that try to think about the foundations of quantum mechanics. It's embarrassing is terrible like 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 what physicist should be doing, but anyway, so what many world says is what so, what we, what we do, public one mechanic. So let's say we have the Cuban you're spending particle right. We have this combination of spinning, clockwise and counter clockwise, and so we call that the wave function the wave function is just it's. Ten percent clock was twenty, your ninety percent Catholic was or whatever so to every possible measurement outcome. Give me a number, and that number is basically how they figure out the probability of that measurement outcome coming true and that's the way function so there for a long time. People thought well. This is just a trick. This is just like, so it characterizes our inability to be precise right. We have a probability of this, a probability of that. But someday, they hoped Einstein, for example, had this hope that will have a better theory and will exactly how to predict everything with perfect precision so whatever it said
this is known as the other way around this wavefunction is reality. That's the whole world right! That's what reality is. It is a superposition, a combination of all the different possible outcomes. Not anyone outcome. There's no such thing is where the electron is, it's all spread out and the problem with that is that when you look at the Transplanting you never see it as a combination of spinning, clockwise and counter clockwise. You always see one or the other, and ever it says that's because you have a wave function. You live as a superposition, different possibilities and when you look at the Elect RON, what happens is before there was you and there's an electron? and the combination of counterclockwise and clockwise after bird there is the electron was spin.
Clockwise and you saw it spinning, clockwise plus at ten percent. Then ninety percent, the electrons, spinning counterclockwise and you saw it spin counterclockwise and 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 worlds separate copies of reality. That's why it's called the many worlds. Interpretation of quantum mechanics possibilities, always a big feature. That's the thing that people are constant discussing right yeah. What are the possibilities predicting the possibilities and when it comes to human beings, this is also randomly discussed are because we we we we talk about determinism versus free. Will we talk about one of the? What was created? What are the possibilities that is created is Sean Carroll and why? Why do you think the way you- and why are 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 information? That's dancing in your head.
Positive. Is you interacting with me the last thing that I've said to you yeah, so I said I was on the same Harris's podcast beta long conversation about this 'cause. He is very anti free will, and I think that I disagree with him, but I don't care. I think I'm boring to be honest as easy. It's boring room. I think it's boring, because here's why I think it's boring be cause. 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. I see what you're saying I should salmon. I agree on how the world works, but I'm philosophers call a compatibilist when it comes to free will, which is, I don't think I have some ways of thinking my way into overcoming the laws of physics right, like I'm made of atoms made particles that obey the laws of physics. If I talk about myself
as a large collection of atoms and particles, obeying the laws of physics, then clearly, there's no free will there's just the solution to the equations and sometimes the wavefunction branch. In this out two of me, but that's whatever it is, there's no spark of consciousness that let's me overcome what the equation site is going to happen, but guess what that's not a fruitful way to go your life in terms of talking about human beings when you meet so buddy for the first time, and you say, like you know, what do you do? Who are you? They don't give you a list of their atoms say what every Adam is doing and say: let your let's go ahead and sold for two years occasion to figure out. What's going to happen next right, you tell stories they like your person. You know you grew up in a certain place of a certain job stuff like dramatically condense, the infirm. Talking about who you are into a few salient points and among those salient points are, I am a person who thinks and makes decisions every the 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 be cause. That's how people are that's the best way to talk about people. It's not like just a compromise like if you don't know the atoms and molecules in somebody's body and your not infinitely computationally powerful. So you can predict the future. Then it's correct to talk about people's agents who make decisions. We call that free will. I call that for will most philosophers call it free will. If you don't want to call it free will be my guest. I don't really know it doesn't really matter. I agree with what you're saying I think that makes a lot of sense, and I think that really simplifies a very complex issue. I, when I look that it in I have had this conversation with SAM as well. I totally see his point and I think he makes a hundred percent sense. It's as there's no arguing with it. I really think it's it's very rational that approach, but I also thought that it's very much like we were talking about earlier, it's not necessarily just a one or a zero that it's a combination of these things free will there has to. There is some mechanism
who chooses to do. One thing this is another there is some computation there's calculate and there's debate, there's discussion, there's a thing inside of you what it is whatever that process is that's causing you to. I mean how many times the people stayed up all night going over and over and over a certain idea trying to find a rational conclusion. Oh yeah, all the time. Is that right? What is that is that very well is that is yeah. This is for the it actually becomes interesting to talk about the vocabulary. We use right Becaus. It becomes very very, very hard to know where to attach the word I or you when you're talking about this, like you tend to say, I made a decision. That's fine! right. I decided to have this can of pure caffeine that you put in front of me and drink it. I could have decided otherwise. So that's the question like does it make sense to say I could have decided otherwise and if you define your
self 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. I don't know what all that is. That's not a useful way of talking, so there's a whole. No other way of talking that says, I'm a person and I kind of like coffee, but I already had it up this morning and you know there's a chance there's a probability like you say that I would drink this in a probability that I would not and those are completely compatible, though they're different. The only way you get into trouble is, if you mix up those Two different ways of talking. If you say like I chose to have the coffee, because my atoms, or in the following configuration or something like that right, that's like talking, the humans and then switching vocabularies talking about us as Adams and that's where you get in trouble. Yes, it's a weird reduction estate. And what it means to be a person that thanks yeah yeah. I think you know if, if you say like there's no free will in your Adam's, then I'm with you I'm on on board, but no one in the world goes to life. That way right for good reason, and they never will. It's not gonna happen yeah. Well it
He and you could break that all the way down to creativity right like what, when someone sits down and write something like where is all that coming from yeah, so I think again there terminism as well. There is an interesting question about how much we will ultimately be able to unpack and understand about that right now, the brain is kind of just a mystery box to us and there's so much. We don't know about how people make decisions, how they remember things how they come up with new ideas So so where it matters is how we treat people right, like the obvious case, is responsibility Blaine like if, if you think about a person makes choices, then you can assign response. Will do 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. Ok, no one ever does this, but someone could come along and say well, they're, just a bunch of atoms being laws of physics. How can you blame them?
That would be dopey that doesn't make any sense right. But what, if. You were minority report right. What, if you could like put one in a mri in a brain scanner and say yeah, you know what tomorrow they're going around the back. Do you arrest them is that is that enough fight the fact that their brain was up to Bob to violate the law in the future. Is that enough to sign personal responsibility to them? For that or do you work? Do you 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 processes before the actual action takes place, isn't impossible to correct. Thought process with education or some sort of awareness, training or something where you could shift the Concha Nasan abruptly sort of disassemble determinism at its most problematic point yeah. So the there's a whole kind of interesting
sing, a 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 you're buzzed you're drunk right Maybe you get home fine? Maybe someone jumped in front of your car. You run them over 'cause, you don't have the agility or the reflexes 'cause 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 where you didn't, but in the world we blame the person who ran somebody over. We punish them much more severely in the person who got home safely right, that's not their resp. Ability they sort of got unlucky there in the world. So should we blame people who had the chance of doing it,
I no one knows the answer. These questions. These are. These are tricky things like we're, not very good. We human beings that that thing about these probabilistic counter factual questions, yeah, that's a good one that is yeah yeah. What book? Who are you that yeah. Are you lucky? Oh yeah right I mean so much of what happened to us in life. We don't get responsibility I mean we're interfacing with randomness every time we step out the door? That's right, but can you treat people that way consistently it's hard? It's pretty, I'm not giving the answer 'cause. I don't know right yeah. This is tricky 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 playing 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. Then the world makes more sense right. I don't believe any of that stuff, but at least that
when the world seems. If there's something random, you can attach a reason why it happened. There 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 you in a more positive way and that sort of like has this outgoing effect. That's not karma, that's psychologically smart thing to do. I think I think that you're right that we the maybe. This is just sort of a western post enlightenment way of thinking. We tend to sort of think about immediate consequences for our actions. For better for worse and in the real world sort of generally trying to be good can often pay back in good way. As for the comp, the blue will thing. Is that putting out this good energy and the good energies coming back to us and a fun way to look at things, although there's no evidence that points to it, yeah exactly
because I'm in a yoga class and my yoga instructor is talking about different enerji flowing through different shockers or whatever I don't care like it. Doesn't I mean like as long as it takes me. Do that even a little short girl, I roll there's a there's a little there's a little, but I'm not going to speak up. Let's put it that way. Right, of course, you are going to stop class you're teaching bullshit. I would rather have that then. If people want to come up with excuse to be a good person, that's it's funny that yoga class is always the base. It's always where people go It's a talking about like where were wooed comes from yeah yeah. It's it's there, because I've had to give you a if you've done yoga. You know like there's a whole spectrum right like there's teachers who are basically just physical therapists, and there are people who are the crazy hippies without yeah. You know you have to think the right thoughts. You know yeah it's well? People are always searching for some understanding of really complex issues and behavior is very complex issue
sure, behavior and how you feel like like whether you feel good, whether you feel spiritually enriched, where you feel positive about humanity for all these things, which was trying to manipulate these states, whether it's through meditation, mind in this training? Try you figure out a way to positively interface. You know it's true and it goes back to where we started talking about you tube comments because, like I said, I do react badly to bed Stuy, I do too, but you're assuming being well, I'm a human being, but I think- and I think that the internet, does magnifying some of our bad tendencies right and I think bad you know among these, and so I totaly include myself is a bad actor here in the sense that is just so, easy to be sarcastic and put people down and disagree and sort of dismissive ways, and I don't
I 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 and we're not trying to engage them were improve their lives. Just to get on with our own lives rather than trying to have a snarky comeback like I get that there's a purpose to snark and sarcasm and whatever, but it weighs you down right yeah. This is why people complain about twitter and social media like it's so much light. Psychic energy just get sapped by Reading all these complaints on either side is not a political bias right, like whatever your field czar, someone else is making it feel down on it on the internet somewhere, and it does weigh on you there's also this weird impulse of that people have with whether it's social it like whether it's Twitter or 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, yeah and I think and tany asleep yeah, and it's tough like after thinking about a little bit. I think that it was a bad decision that James Gunn got fired. For example, I know if you follow that that little thing guardians of the Galaxy guardians of Galaxy done, those were really bad tweets, so yeah they just weren't funny and he wrote bunch of 'em and there are a lot a lot of lot of about pedophile. So I totally get it right. I I I I'm not shocked that he got in trouble that way, but I also think that his response was it me be it incorrect and grown up. He said he didn't say like oh, I was young was a different time. You said like oh yeah, I did that it was shitty and it was wrong and I take responsibility and I do think we gotta let people grow right, like that's what most people in this sort of
post me: do error have not done when they've been accused of these things. They haven't taken responsibility, they've made excuses, and I think that on twitter, especially you know, I loved what I think is my favorite social media, but it is too easy to be reductive. It's too easy to be simplistic and and to respond any one of the things that that annoys me. The most about Twitter is when someone tries to be good and then twenty other people say well, you're, not being good in precisely the right way. Yeah yeah, let love I I ii, even though you feel up to it myself, I'm trying to be better. I want to be charitable when I deal with other people, I I got into people on Twitter the other day for defending Kellyanne Conway a little bit. What did she do well years ago? She did alternative facts
thing, remember when she said when they got the inauguration Friday. So this was the route and people point out like no, that's just factually incorrect and she says: well, there are alternative facts so, like I don't want to defend Kellyanne, Conway and not a defender for in general, but I think that she just misspoke at one time. I think that's what she was trying to say was. There are additional facts that we can also look at right and, of course, as in a bigger context where she 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 these people who 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 know the people who disagree with about politics or religion, or whatever it's come for and for me to think that they we are just cheerfully making up facts and reality by them selves. They don't
think of themselves that way, they think that they're being truthful, they think they're being rational and correct, 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 on that, because I don't think that first of all, think that she's granted any sort of autonomous decision making capabilities, and I thought this is probably something that was sat down, that they sat down, The team of experts, or you know air quote. Experts team people that were in that. In that you know room, whether it's press, people or spin doctor, is really 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 at very famous awful meeting that happened recently where he said, but I don't see any reason why it would be Russia, that's interfering, and then
said afterwards? Obviously I misspoke, I thought it was clear what I meant to say. I didn't see any reason why it wouldn't be shouldn't say, but it's clear if you watch him say it that's, why it's not what he said was entirely bullshit people shrek dangerous bullshit, but I think so very bull in my in my opinion, yes, it's it's, I mean. Is it e such a lie? Right, it's a it's a! No! I didn't in in context the the with the way he's expressing himself. It's clear 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 could be saying that in a much more measured and he would be clearly, a case where he did some really bad and he came home and all of his advisers said like now. We have to fix this look pending right. They came out with a really clumsy. You know incredibly, but that's all they had it's all ahead right, because I'm so late right, alternative fat
axe is also. Although I don't, I don't well it you might be right. Actually you know what I I didn't really study it very carefully. I think that it was just a spontaneous blurting out number two, because his wife think that that's probably right because I don't think as low as far as a before, I don't think that's their self conception like 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 false things and there you know they're happy, we making up their own version of reality, and I think that's very rare. I think that happens like if you just a con man or whatever, but I think, more often, we want to admit people are sincere in their very false beliefs right. So I I so I just find it implausible that I mean Kellyanne, Conway lies all the time. That is all my defensive. For my defense of hers, it was just that she would not go out Erin, say: oh yes, but we're
King of new facts. That's just not the kind of thing someone, but she didn't say it that way. She said there are alternative. There are alternative facts. Now you gotta thing: 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 recent thing where he was defending his behavior saying that anyone can act presidential and he put on stage- and he did this sort of like robotic boring, walk back and forth, and then he started talking in a boring way and mocking it and what's interesting about video- is not just him doing this, which is very silly, but it's also the people behind him thinking it's hilarious. These is not see this see. If you could find it. There's a video of him saying that he
anyone can act presidential. This is very very recently and a lot of people watch this going what, but he also thinks you need id to buy, groceries, yeah, there's a lot of that is the will. He also thinks the stealth bombers invisible yeah. I just see that you can't see the front back, and I see him because of your right behind it. You can look at it. You follow Kellyanne Conway is husband onto it, even though he is George Conway he's a lawyer and he's like like very vocally anti trump. It's hilarious he's constantly. Sub tweeting and like you, making fun of trump yeah. Oh that's interesting! Wow, that's going to be fun, I'm just so fun household, but this is what gets mean go full screen in this, but It's interesting. Is these dummies behind him like? While 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 into him. Instead of having a static backdrop, you're getting to part of the thing is the other people. It's not just him its their reactions. Yeah it's it's a sense of belonging to a weird grew yeah and everyone has that, like leftists and rightists, and whatever all have this weird belonging, but when it's goes back to the China thing right. Well, we have Fox news. We have a way of giving people information that if you fall, I follow Fox NEWS twitter, because I want to see right it's a weird thing: 'cause, it's not like. It's all lies right. There's there's often lies there there, but it's like a very different mixture of things that we get from the rest of the media and a lot of it is it's very clear if you, if you follow Fox NEWS like they're they're, targeting an older White
rural, suburban audience right. So there's a lot of like weird human interest stories about an alligator popping out of the sewer and things like that. Like things that are not, they have no political agenda but they're just trying to get those old white people. Tension, yeah, well, they're, they're, sending a message that the world is kind of scary and weird, and yet we need to protect ourselves as an alligator on the golf course is really yeah like they love those store right. The alligator. The golf course is my favorite. It's just local news. Yes, the ten o'clock local news, but you know nationwide in added in there with some cheerleading, for this is hardly dysfunctional administration. Well, isn't Sean Hannity now the number one watched cable news program, something like that yeah! I don't know that. I think it's number one and it's fucking awful they just they just there was just a poll. This goes back you know social credit thing. They did a poll. What is the most trusted news source and Fox news number number with the number one BBC dot
makes sense. Will CNN is just taking a giant hit because his constant constant B rating 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 him, and it's what I do worry that this is a hard thing to come back from, because you know once you too, you know like one another thing the Trump said was that you know don't believe anything. You're told right unless you hear from me and try and he says the same thing. No, I was sorry Tucker Carlson said the same thing right. He say that to Tucker Carlson said like yet any other show this one don't believe it yeah look at this, the media he has on the women for Trump at Cyst. Why and then after listening to this radio lab podcast about these russian troll farms in about how they implement these things, you got to think
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 part of it. Is it's just a good bill on itself? All you need is just a little bit of a push talking to someone who is, who is you know, boasting about how hard to Donald Trump works, that, like a court compared to previous presidents he's really just put in the hours. So that's not true the least awful thing that you could think about it. He wakes up. Lady watch is eight hours tv a day. Everyday is like spends all the time at his own resorts. Like all the fantasies, you could invent. That's a very weird one! Well people just to find narratives of fit? What would would be for you know acceptable for their opinions of the this, the side they've taken exactly right, yeah and so he's. You know he give him credit. He gives people a narrative that works for them. Well, see you When does it too 'cause CNN? They spent so little time going over
Donna Brazil's book about how the Dnc had been corrupted and about how they had the primaries for Hillary and really Bernie Sanders over. This is not a narative. They dwelled on that dwell on the fact that she illegally deleted thirty three, wasn't emails and said there about yoga classes like that should have been just as preposterous. It's just as just as damning again CNN as some of the nonsense that Fox NEWS does. There's no one pure, organization of news, that's holy object is not just as damn. I would. I think that Fox NEWS is special, especially damning. I think that I mean, Fox NEWS was founded by a guy who was a political operative for the Republican Party. There might like individual reporters for most news organizations tend to be lip.
But they also sometimes tend to 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, and I think that there are, certainly by season certain the misrepresentations of reality from all these different outlets, but I think Fox NEWS, a special on the major ones. I would. I would concede that in a but I also think that one example like the New York Times is different because they, New York Times. I feel like because of the fact that it's actually writers an 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 uh Three different medium. It's different. They fact check and it's Carnaval. Can actions yeah in a way that the tv does not yeah, it's theater, it's a different thing and people like Sean Hannity that if you read his written word, I don't think
would stand out right and I get it like. I said before it. I worry about what happens next, because I I don't think the troubled with again. I think you well all right. I don't think entirely really possible he'll win again yeah, it would be. But again I did you know when the first night and as such is gonna say. Don't listen to me like that before Donald Trump, I was really good at predicting who's going to win the election since the day. I have no ability once he's in the in the game so, but I I will sorry that the people who sort of are on his side are going to feel even more disenfranchising, disenchanted an angry after he loses again. Then they do now and that's going be a problem. I think that's a real fear and I think that, with 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 that one of the reasons why I think that is, I don't see what will who's the the big candidate on the other side, it's opposing him that stands out right now. That's a problem. I think
there's a real issue with people not wanting the job, The really scary job You know, I mean it sucks. You dry, like a vampire, that's hooked up to the back your neck, it's just so even with him. With his unique ability to sociopath. I think the sort of navigate the waters of accusations and guilt. He still looks beaten down by this job yeah, but people wanted, maybe not the people. We want to uh it right who wants it on the democrat side? Who wants it on the left? It stands out. I mean, I think, I'm not excited by any of the people right now, but no one is, I bet, there's gonna be ten people running at least I mean I think the bottom is at least fifty percent chance to run Elizabeth Warrens definite going to run. Do you think Elizabeth Warren, though she's got that real problem with the whole Pocahontas? thing. Well that whole indian things in her eyes that narrative and then we're going to win right, but that that is a giant problem.
The thing that she may have faked, whether or not she is native american Heritage and she's not willing to take a dna test, and then this native american Heritage, she claimed is how she got into Harvard and she use. That, in order to get special status and that's a Prob you know whether or not you should forgive someone for something they did a long long time ago, which I think you probably should. 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 our actual ethnicity yeah, but it is hard for me to do is to predict how much it will matter right like in two thousand and eight we had a race between Vietnam WAR hero. Anna black, I use middle name is Hussein. If you had told me that a few years earlier. Who is going to win you would've gotten that one? We also had Sarah Palin. I think
actually this is, we don't know had taken a better running mate, it's entirely possible Mccain would have been president. I think that people were really tired of George W an I think that became just not a good candidate. I think he's going to lose them, but I think also Obama was so charismatic and so uniquely intelligent and smooth and relaxed, and statesman, like, I think he fit the bill. But remember people were worried about like he went to Jeremiah Wright's church and things like that stuff that didn't like at the time it was big deal, and you know who cares eight years later right, so I don't know about the Pocahontas stuff. That's now, that's a big one though the Pocahontas stuff is a big one. 'cause it's a personal lie. I don't know, but again I mean I think Cory Booker is going to run. When will Harris might run? Who knows there's a bunch of people. I would not be at all surprised that Joe Biden run and I kind of don't that he should but he's getting up there
in nineteen. Eighty, eight in Boston. We used to have Joe Biden night at the comedy clubs and Joe Biden night was the night. We would do other peoples material 'cause. This is when Joe Biden I got busted with Kennedy speech yeah. Well and Neil Kinnock, the british politician told him too, and this was when he was running for president in eighty eight right and so we've never done very well running for president. Like he's done several times, it's so I'm I think it. He was a good vice president to people like him for that and they might not one and more than the vice president's a great jobs, one known to pay attention to you yeah. You know exactly like being the the the you know, the the costar in a buddy cop movie was the huge super. Few responsibilities go to some funerals, yeah, easy yeah. Yes, you're my fence, where you're trying to make it the handmaid's tale behind scenes. He seems like he's kind of laying back, though, especially over the last few months, like that Trump is so insane that you see ve
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 that Jeff Sessions is trying to push religious free? yes, which means you have to obey whatever the fundamentalist Christians want to do yeah. Well, this is what Michael mouse was between about this the other day. So when he tweeted this, he said when I said that version of Sharia LAW could very well be coming out of this administration. This is what I'm talking about. Yeah yeah, it's a it's a weird backward thing where you define religious freedom to be wet, but among those Christians do whatever they want right, yeah and and do it by law. Yeah yeah, I mean it's, it's tricky because.
Yeah, I don't know I mean if someone wants to a part of me is a little bit libertarian. No one comes to personal action like if someone doesn't want to deal with you, that's their right yeah, but when the whole groups are being subject system radically discrimination like gays are, then the government stepped in 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 or insurance providers, don't wanna pay for things 'cause of their religious beliefs or catholic universities. Don't want to do certain things, and I think that these are legitimate questions and we're not really having a grown up. Intellectual conversation about them were just throwing feces at each other in this particular arena, well. 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 Ann, it's being promoted by guy who's, openly religious and says about a bunch of really preposterous things and
generally someone who's, not a very trustworthy source of of discourse That's right and there's this vacillating question about why white evangelicals are Trump's biggest support group like huge frac, despite the fact that he is not religious himself, that he's the biggest sinner ever to be in the oval office, but they love him. So weird, thing. I think a lot of it comes well. So there's this sort of the strategic questions, a lot of it comes down to abortion right they want Supreme Court justices will overturn, ROE V Wade, whoever, however, going to get that is good for them, but then there's a whole much more elaborate, apologetics about how God is you sing, Donald Trump as his instrument to make the country better, even if he himself is a flawed vessel? Sometimes God works through flawed vessels.
Well, if you position yourself as an ally, even if you have previously sinned the beautiful thing about Christianity is all you have to do say, that's not me anymore. I found Jesus and I saw a pastor on tell I'm going on about that and about when you're talking about Trump you're talking about the trump before he found g Jesus and he's like. I don't have a past and he's like I am born again. I do not have a pass, do you and he was going on about this whole. Thing about this concept of Trump is now an agent of God, but necessarily even think it's Christianity. I think that religion can be infinitely malleable to the purposes of the moment. Right like he wouldn't have said that about Obama or whoever right, you know, they can choose when you apply your criteria like this ones as an exercise for myself, there's certain phrases:
in the bible or certain passages in the Bible which are sort of unapologetic Lee left wing and socialist right. Just like there are others that are, unapologetic, Lee Right wing, right wing, Atarian Authoritarian, the big book full of different things. So I wondered like how did they tell themselves? You know what are people who don't follow on that side of the spectrum? Tell themselves about these passages in the Bible. So, there's one that faint, very famous passage about how it is easier for a camel to through the eye of a needle than for a rich man, to enter the kingdom of Heaven right right? Clearly, I think that anyone who reads this says this is an anti rich person, statement beside like you can google it like. So what do people say about this? So my favorite, the nation. Was that sure it's impossible for camels to pass through the eyes of a needle accepted Jesus helps them.
Or if you grind the camel down to that, that's not what they send dust and they interpret this as Jesus that only through Jesus do we get into Heaven. That's really the only lesson they get oh so that's nothing to do with what we have to do is find Jesus and, if you're, rich, you're good, well. This is why your own you're fucked. This is why I can't, even though I'm an atheist, I'm very happy to explain why I don't think that God exists, but I don't name religion, most of the time for people's bad actions. 'cause. I think that religion is just sort of a catalyst it. Let's people find excuses for their bad actions, but it's usually the bad actions. The desired do bad actions that comes first do you ever look at religion as a potential, almost evolution, a software program. That's allowed people to sort of adopt morality and impose certain standards of behavior that are conducive civilization. So people talk about that
and again, I'm not an expert there, a little skeptical, because it sounds like too much of a pat story to tell after the fact right. I think that we are a little bit quick to attribute ideas and cultural concepts to evolution. But certainly you know, religion was not like just science done badly back in the day. Right, like the religion was, was something much more expansive inter to Inter leafed with your life overall. So it was not just how the world was created and and whether God exists, it was how to be a good person and a living Community things like that and do it disentangle in these things, is one of the reasons why religion is still hanging around right, like even after the kind of under pending of the religion in terms of understanding how the world works have been removed by science. The other functions are still there and I'm a big
video of my fellow naturalists who have not put enough effort into replacing the other functions of religion. Now that the The claims about the world are no longer viable. That's a great way to present it yeah and it's it it's really a problem when there's so many versions yeah. So any 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 religious sense, where there's a god- and he cares about us right to the There'S- also the question about where we define the boundary religion, whether Buddhism is a religion or something like that, but in the usual sense, weird that we grew up with in this country. Surely, if that were true, God would have done a much better job of x.
Meaning himself to us right like? 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 until decades. After the event None of the people who wrote it down where eyewitnesses. Why is it only there there mean- God is: God? Is God right, like he could easily have showed up to everybody in the world. Talk to them explain how things were going and let them make their own choices. That would have been a much more efficient way of getting the message out, and so it's just not really sensible to think that what that is. So if God did exist, then what you would imagine is that 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 and maybe adapted their local circumstances and they'd be utterly. Incompatible with each other, and that's exactly what you find. 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 Omni
ten super power, that's controlling the destiny of everything, yeah so number one. I think that the idea of omnipotence was actually somewhat late. Coming on to the scene, right like if you dig into what was happening before two thousand 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 first, you know became their God right like there was. This is one God the did. The did the Hebrews were. You know, worshipping in the Egyptians and the Babylonians worship other gods, then they started saying: will our God is better than all the other ones and they started to? When will the other ones? Don't even exist, and overtime in omnipotence came late, like you would talk about the gods quarreling if you were Polly Theae, stick a pagan culture. It's
she makes more like all the world makes more sense. If you believe there's a whole bunch of gods out there who disagree with each of her right. Suddenly lots of aspects of reality, such you know, come into focus the idea, there's supernatural very powerful influences in the well. I mean that's just an obvious idea. I think, like we're human beings so we tend to as our first guess in understanding the world treat the world is, Hume this is like a word we're we're anthropomorphic like if something exists, the must been designed to must be a reason. There must be a purpose the is work in a certain way. 'cause someone made them that way and that we don't see a 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 of all do you think it's also function of us growing up with mentors and father figures and leaders and chief wins and there's always someone who is the big, the big kahuna. So this is the sky, daddy, yeah, sky, dad
the overlooks the big picture, I think there's a and also the idea of your ancestors and ancestor worship or veneration right, which is also very most universal. You know in in primitive cultures. Like you don't admit, you died right. That's that's a sad thing to to sit through so I don't know, I'm sure there are real experts who know a lot about the actual origins of these things. But but my point is just that I don't take the commonality's between different sets of religious beliefs as evidence for anything other than there's a very anything, to invent people search for meaning and they take meaning from whatever religion or ideology that they subscribe to and the use as sort of the reason why they're living it gives him hope it gives him gives him something yeah 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 be no reason to be a good person and so forth, and you know I think it goes. Back to the motivation we have is having bodies versus being in a computer like there's plenty of reasons to do different things like in the big picture. In my last book. I talk a lot about. You know it's ok, to admit that we, as human beings have desires that there are things we care about. We want to be true, and you can talk about why that's true from evolution from biology and what eh but it doesn't matter why? In some sense we have goals were not completely endless like we want to survive, want to flourish. We want to be. Friends with people who want to have family whatever it is. We want to do all that we put together in terms morality and ethics and meaning and purpose, comes out of fucking hard and carefully, hopefully about how to
systematize and grow those existing desires that we have into a way of living in the world. We don't need anything external to make that happen. We just need to sort of think about where we are already and try to make it better, but you is an intelligent person who is also an atheist, who thinks very deeply about things What do you cling to as a purpose for life? Do you have one do you have like when you sitting there think? What's the point of all this? Do you do you? I don't have a single one. I don't have a monolithic purpose. I have plenty of intermediate size purposes right Otherwise you know why continue living. I think that there's plenty of 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 work But you are the way you interact with other human beings and your effect on other human beings gives you gives you purpose and even
If I think that when I die, I will no longer exist in my feelings, won't matter. I have feelings right now about what the world we like, even after I'm not here anymore right, so I can still be motive- did 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 and Do you get down? Sometimes do you ever? Do you get like these periods of like you like? What is the purpose of all this, especially if you see some ridicule This thing in the news or some horrific tragedy, and I'm pretty so yeah? I'm 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
the kid when I was first starting to think about the universe and science and things like that, I would start wondering about well what, if the universe, hadn't existed at all. What if I were wasn't here and that maybe lose sleep that night and I think many people there was a very definite moment. When I realized that I and everyone I knew would die right in that, so I woke up crying my mom had had you know, comfort me because, like I was like you know, grandma and I and you're going to die and I'm going to die. You know yeah, but you know as a grown up. No, I think that uh, the know I'm more or less so again, one of the future podcast guests that I'll be Next week's podcast will be by a woman who is part of the death positive movement. Have you heard about this yeah? This is real stuff. So don't distinguish
don't, don't confuse it. There is a whole movement like an antinatalist move or something like that for what they call them, but there's a whole movement that once human beings not to exist, that's crazy, but there are people who, like that, the death. Positive movement- is the following. Like we're gonna die, we should face up to it. We should accept it and we should deal with it in a personally and culturally positive way. So, for example, if right now, especially in the United States, even compared to Europe or other countries, were terrible at dealing with death, we put people in hospitals, we take them away from their families away from their homes. We refuse to admit that they're going to die so we treated as if the whole purpose of the game is to squeeze out as many more hours of life as possible, no matter what the quality of that life is and all that is just rubbish and we should be much more grown up about it. We should play
go ahead. You know when Obama suggested that in the healthcare system there should be. You know a some planning. Happens when you die. Sarah Palin came along with death panels and there 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 life affirming experience to die because the people around us who, who are there come across with an acceptance of what's going on, rather than the feeling that we should just do everything we can to put
I had a similar situation happened recently with a dog of mine, who is a mastiff. It reach thirteen years old and for mastiffs that's very old, and we had to put him down because 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 things I was thinking was that if this is my grandfather in not my dog, I would have to watch him suffer until the bitter end yeah. I knew this dog wasn't going to go backwards in time and become a puppy again right and new. He is his days were numbered. He could 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 carry him to his food. And I knew that it was no quality of life right. No quality of life, in some sense. It's even harder with the dog 'cause. You can't talk to them right. You can't explain,
then, 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 near the end of your life. Some states, including California, are passing death with dignity, laws where basically it's what used to be called assisted suicide, but we don't call it that anymore. You, a doctor is allowed to give you the means to end your own life when you're, when you're near you near point of no return but still clearly thinking enough to be able to make that decision for yourself and there's 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 and. There's a tool to mitigate that and the the tool,
It has been shown to mitigate that is psychedelics, one of the big ones being psylocybe, and so Simon has a remarkable effect on people that are going through stage. Four cancer and Johns Hopkins is studied it there's quite a few stud have shown that people, when you give them psilocybin, they they're much more relaxed and much more comfortable with this idea of ending the slice of this life. You know it's gone through its course, and yet this is inevitable thing and it's really our biological limitations that are terrified and and and and sparking up all these intense primal fears of the end yeah, I'm actually hundred percent in agreement there. My wife Jennifer, will lead to is a sign, This writer wrote a book called me myself and why searching for the of self
and one of our friends said? Oh, if you're gonna write a book about the self you gotta do lsd, and so we did and she researched it and it's a fascinating history right and I'll just Huxley. I don't know, know about how to talk short story and he took LSD to do exactly this. You have throat cancer and it completely helped that's never fun to die right, but it absolutely helped ease that journey. Very simple way, but just as we are sort of immature society that doesn't want to face up to the reality of our eventual deaths, we're also very culturally conservative in squeamish about drugs right and so we're we don't even let people do research and some of these drugs, and so 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 death.
Then also paying attention to actual scientists who study these compounds and really understand what the effects of them are and and have research some deeply into personal experiences with them and saying we will these the this is things have been demonized yeah and their tools that we can use to sort of Medicaid a lot of the real issues that we have, whether it's culturally or personally, with these transition every times like death is an avid so now that we know it's inevitable, you tell me what the main problem would be with someone taking psilocybin before they die and letting them ease 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 you're weak. You don't struggle against everything and it's silly, no sense, but it's very, very common That's so weird that that that that the universe, basic income topic is one of those
knee jerk, reactionary topics that I myself, my friend Eddie Wong, introduced it to me for the first and my initial knee jerk reaction was: oh, you can't do that to people, human nature, people going to get lazy and then the more I thought about it. I was like well, if you just cover their food and their route, are they really going to get? Is it really going to kill ambition like? Why would I kill? Is it the owner? Is our ambition uniquely tide to just survival that doesn't make sense well and it's a weird, it's the same, weird thing that people use against. You know having a progressive tax system like if we have tax peoples money. They want to work anymore right, but you know if you
one more money like we all are so much that you have less money to work. That's not how it works and I think like what so, but but also for the for the universal basic income stuff. I think people have to reconcile themselves. So what? If someone wants to just sit around and play video games all day? Brian? Is that the worst thing in the world like I mean? I think that there will be people like that they will still be other people who want to write, poetry and build sailboats, and you know build spacecraft at cetera, build artificial intelligence and you wouldn't what if everyone you know could do whatever they want when they were kids, when they're ten years old, they were lower, they were taught a good programming language, and could you know make up whatever apps and programs they wanted, like they'll, be a whole different world? Then we live in right now and in my be very exciting, well creatively, it could possibly expand a lot of peoples, potentials right where they no longer have to have a job, so they could do whatever this? One thing is that they were thinking about, doing, write a book screenplay develop something
and the short term. I don't know if a basic income work sort of economically, but I think that if we believe but there's more and more stuff that can be done by computers over by robots or whatever automation. Then it's absolutely something that should be taken seriously yeah. So I think that the whole thing this is because we've been talking 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 die the fact that we make up purpose meaning for ourselves in our lives and the fact that what we are physically in terms of bodies and machines and so forth is also change. So part of the theme of my podcast. I hope is that to think through some of these issues. To sort of I don't know the answers, but I want to ask the questions about who we are, what we're living. What should we should be doing about it? 'cause God's not going to give the answer. Well, I think pod,
s like yours and it mean any podcasts worse. People are really carefully considering issues there. I think the I think what's important about them, that really didn't exist before is that someone can sort of digest these very complex subjects through two people having a conversation about it that perhaps are more informed and have more data and have more experience more thought about these particular issues. So you can do and what SAM Harris can do in a lot of people can do that are creating these podcasts about these really complex issues. Is you start that conversation and this seed gets planted into someone's head and maybe they carry with them at work? They carry with them, carry it with when they're on the subway or during the commute home, and then they become a part of the broader conversation that we have is a culture exactly yeah
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 you know I I have often said this as a joke. I want to live in a world where people work hard factory and they go out for a drink afterward and talk about their favor interpretation of quantum mechanics. I want that the the kind of thing people there bullshitting about. You know over fears that the world I want to live in is that have you ever run into a quantum mechanics conversation in a bar, therefore, to many people who think they understand something of quantum mechanics? And I can explain it to me so I want I want the existing conversations to be a little bit more information informed yeah. Well, it's what there's a few people online, that someone is trying you gotta to get this guy on and listen to them. Talk them talking, I'm pretty sure that that guys full of shit, but I can't really point out how I know that a lot of crack 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. Last year
we will be out there, but also its quantum mechanics, a lot of very respectable people, sound crazy. If you don't know too deeply what they're, what they're saying so, but that is the Feynman quote right. If you think you know Quantum mechanics, you definitely don't know. Quantum account exactly, which is the whole point of my book. Is the over? come that feeling 'cause. I think what happened is it's true that we don't agree. We physicist don't agree with Quantum mechanics says, but we now feather size. The fact that we don't understand it like it's good that we Don't understand it like if you try to understand it too hard, you're wasting your time. I so disagree with that yeah, if you so. I think that Quantum mechanics is and should be understandable, but everybody what are squirrelly concept,
yeah, yeah, it's weird and that's why a lot of people there's a lot of people who I know who friends of mine who are professors in philosophy, department's Becaus. They got a phd in physics and they realize what they really wanted to do is to think about quantum mechanics at a deep way and they would never get a job in the physics department doing that put philosophy. Would let them do it? Oh wow, yeah, interesting. What they're really doing is physics but they're doing it in a way that philosophers are happy with and physicists are in what year did the concept of quantum mechanics become invented invented in started. It started in one thousand nine hundred,
please under this sort of perfected, the modern version around nineteen twenty seven. What what? What was the original thought process? Do you know yeah it's it was it's! The the history is amazing and messy because they didn't have so much weirdness going on. It was MAX Planck right of plonk radiation, if you ever heard of that now, german physicist, so black body radiation, something glows when you eat,
Yup right. So basically, what happens when you eat something up? Is all the atoms and molecules start vibrating. There's a lot of charged particles a charged particle has electric field around it and if you vibrated, the electric field starts vibrating, we call that light or radiation right gravity. Electromagnetic waves are being emitted, so you could in the year nineteen hundred you could sit down and do a calculation. What should that look like you know? If you hit everything up how much radiation should give off and they're the problem was? It should get often in the matter of radiation and at the very long wavelength, which is obviously false. Right is obviously not how things really work. So there is this blatant disagreement between everything we thought we knew because and then in the nineteen nineteen century in eighteen, hundreds really thought in physics that they were close to the answer right. They had a picture where there were particles like electrons protons
and there were fields like the electromagnetic field in the gravitational field and the particles were matter and the fields push them together. They interacted it. You know they were the forces right, and this picture was so good and so compelling that people were basically like we're almost done with physics. We almost will figure it out and then- but there were a couple of little things like the black body radiation that you made a prediction: it was wildly off and so they're like well, what's going to happen so plank says. Well, maybe when this electromagnetic radiation is emitted, it's not just a continual stream of radiation, maybe Individ a little packets of energy. He had no reason to say that place is just out of the blue. It's just pulled out of his right, so he was just sitting there with a pad. Yes is contemplating, and basically what, if any, is what, if the it's exactly the right answer right, it fits the data right. He said there, it is and he's like he public, and he himself like wasn't sure what to make of this he's like I got this,
dear? It gives the right answer. Who knows that is crazy, and it was five years later. Young man Albert Einstein, said well, I know, what's going on in those little packets of energy are themselves part, pickles that light is not a wave there's particles that are being given off photons with they relate are called right and then, who won the Nobel Prize for Einstein ever won a Nobel Prize for relativity. He won the Nobel Prize for inventing photons. Basically, and then then there was that so that was there were two tracks going on what member I just said in the was century it was the of particles, particles and fields. So the first thing that happens p start. Thinking about these fields, electromagnetic field and Einstein says well, there's something a little bit particle like about it right. This is not a hard and firm distinction, then separately they look Adams right, so you have an electron orbiting. An Adam will bring the nucleus of an atom in this picture. Everyone, a scene of a cartoon, of an atom right, the electron orbiting around again, you can make a pre
and let that electron moving around the the nucleus of an atom should be getting off light. It's a moving electron when you, when you celebrating electronic gives off light, so it should look is energean in spiral into the middle. They should not just stay in the same. Or but it should be, losing energy by radiating and Energia way. You can calculate for a typical Adam. How long should it take before the atom shrinks to zero size? And the answer is like one hundred billions of Asec, So all the atoms that you and I are made of should just go right away: fabric yeah that pretty give off latent and scrunch scrunch down to zero size. That's a problem right that that's not compatible with the data, so Neil bore in nineteen thirteen ash comes along and says I have an idea what, if the electrons don't do but 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
for no good reason, but he says, if that's true, I predict the following. You know spectrum of radiation from hydrogen you'll. Look it up. That's exactly right fits the data purpose, Jesus and people like what the hell's going on, and then it was you so that took it like another ten fifteen years before people like Heisenberg, controlled anger built that up into saying it's not just that waves of light have a certain particle Nis. It's also that particles like electrons have a certain way Venus and there's a wave function and the going quantum mechanics and and we're still arguing about it to this day. Well, it's such a difficult concept to. Wrap your head around that it's been distorted right, it's a especially absolutely woo merchant. I have a fun part of my book. I list like twenty titles that came up in Amazon when you type the word quantum in so there's like Quantum love Quantum,
our Quantum yoga Quantum Healing politics, one of the elegy. You know it is for every crazy bit of nonsense that you've ever heard. How do you mitigate that right? What books have war podcast keep talking right, like you so you'll never get rid of it entirely there? As you may have heard, there are people who still believe the earth is flat. I have heard so you're never going to completely get rid of the wrong ideas, but you can get the right ideas out there more effectively yeah the do you think that it's possible that I mean you. This concept was created, invented somewhere around the nineteen hundreds is. Is it possible that another theory, that's just as revolutionary, is being developed right now and through things like the large Hydron collider, an it search for for understanding the elementary particles of the universe? Is it possible that we could develop a new theory,
Are there any that are being contemplated right now, so it's absolutely possible. That is what Einstein tried 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 real quantum mechanics was developed between one thousand nine hundred and one thousand nine hundred and twenty seven at every step. It was because there was some dramatic disagreement between the theory and the data and right now these are good enough that they fit the data really really well so we're trying to make I'm, I and others are proposing new ideas to try to understand. You know how space time emerges in quantum mechanics and things like that, and you can try to do better than quantum mechanics, but it's all just on pure principle right on pure, like coherence in beauty and elegance, because we have it. It's the data, fine and it's so much harder to make progress when you just trying to do in your brain rather than doing it by data mmhm so
as for right now, there's nothing else being contemplated. That's pretty. It is being contemplated, nothing promising, nothing! Nothing! Nothing emerged like there are people who think they can do better, there is no one who agrees that someone else is doing better right now. Are there any stand out theories that people have sort of? I think we place in quantum mechanics or even improving Kwan Mechanics is because there's no guidance whatsoever from experiments. There's not even a sort of leading thing. I know that if I don't think it's the right way to go, I think the given right now, given the fact that we have quantum mechanics and yet don't quite understand it. Our job should be to understand what we got Mmhm. What what? What has come out of the large hadron collider. I know that they, There was some discussion as to whether or not they found the Higgs is. It boasted her boss and I say bows on
but bosons odd, with Izzy has, with zebras spelled s b, O S, o n. Is this mispronounce, because only read it. I never f is a boson bows, okay, so the Higgs boson. There was some discussion that they had absolutely proven. Its existence Then there was also some debate about that. So it's actually very bittersweet story. The large hadron collider I know well, life doesn't promise you a rose garden. We on the Higgs boson fairly quickly after getting the large hadron collider up to speed, founded in two thousand twelve read that my other book, the particles in the universe. But we didn't find anything else. 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 forty years before, that the Higgs boson would look like it. It talks to the other particles in the same
late, has 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 experiment. We have our puzzles right. Well, we have our mismatches between our informal expectation and what reality is doing so in one way, the so there's a number which is the mass of the Higgs boson. We measured okay, a hundred and thirty some times the mass of the proton, but there's a guess as to what the mass should have been. If, if need, sure natural nature is natural, but if our notion of nature will workout the way it was, what should the mass of the Higgs Bozon be, and it's literally a quadrillion times bigger than what it actually is? What's a quadrillion ten to fifteen? Oh, that's! Not making this
you can. The Manson he's goes on should be enormously Baker by sort of what our intuitive feelings about Quantum mechanics Quantum field theory say so is a known problem has been known for 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 later than what it should be. So the higher up you problem was a known thing and people said how could it be true? Well, you have to change the theory a little bit you have to like add some new particles or predict some new features of physics, going on many many people myself included, were very optimistic, that the large hadron collider would find evidence for what was going on would find more particles than just the Higgs boson. It's been nothing maybe would find supersymmetry or extra dimensions or strings, or you know some new kind of combinations of all particles. It's done nothing else. So now we have a puzzle and no answers right and then that's the most frustrating thing because they're
I mean people want to say this out loud, but he wriggles known listening this right. The last time, particle physicists were surprised by an experimental result from a particle accelerator was in the nineteen seventy. Since then, we found new particles, but they were already predicted expected to be there. We've never found a particle since the seventies that no one had anticipated finding long before. Well that, just I do have a particle collider, it crashes, like that's the only way to figure out. What's going on with the basic building box of the universe, you have to crash things into each other. I know yeah well, so the secret to that is that really the world is not made of particles is really made of fields right. That's the field theory the label given to this so for the ill,
the magnetic field for the light coming out of the light bulbs that makes sense. We figured out the fields first and only down the particles later, but it's also true, as we just talking about for the particles like electrons protons, quirks neutrinos. These are all vibrations in fields. So do you think about when you think of colliding particles, it's not little p shape. Things are bumping into each other and smushing right now, it's really like a little vibration in two fields that are coming in the same place. An overlapping and All the particles that could potentially exist are fields that are out there in the world and usually there is quietly sitting there not doing anything, but when these particles that you made in the large Hydron collider hit each other that sets up vibrations in every field in the universe like very faint little jiggles up and uh. And then you look, can you see in Quantum mechanics says, there's a probability will look one way versus another. So the way you make it, how where do you make a Higgs Bozon by colliding protons, even though the Higgs Bozon is over one hundred times heavier than a proton Right
The answer is really your setting up vibrations in the Higgs field, which was always there all along, and then you very quickly. Actually you can't, but the Higgs bows on 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 and other things, and that's what we observe in our detector. So if you were able to do this sort Conceptual switch from particles to fields and the reason why we need an accelerator in a collider to make new particles begins to make a bit more sense, turn it down yeah? Oh, I get it now. Something that I had read translate later one old one, more thing like if you're in a room with two pianos and you play one piano, the other panel will start vibrating along with it
Tom. That's an interesting way to look at that's the one field, the quirks in the glue ones in the proton start, the Higgs field. By reading a little bit leasing, I'm glad you mentioned glue ons, that's one of the things that I had read about that they did. They had either discovered or were able to observe, with the large Hydron collider was believes, called quark glue on plasma right. You got it right, thank you. Which is an immensely dense thing that the way they described it was something like something that was a fraction of the size of a sugar cube would weigh as much as the earth itself. Yeah, that's right. So usually what you try to do with particle accelerators is discovered new particles right. So to do that, why haven't you discovered them already? Usually it's 'cause they're too heavy takes a lot of energy to make them equals MC squared if their masses big
a lot of energy in a small as possible region. That's how you make new particles, so to do that, you take some particle they're pretty small like protons, and you smash them together and that's how we discovered the Higgs and we're looking for other things maybe your goal in life is not to discover new particles but to understand the particles that we already know about right. In that case, maybe 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, we're going to make it out of quarks and gluons. So instead of smashing together, protons approach on has three.
Works. Each right we smashed together the nucleus of a heavy Adam, like an iron ore, lead Adam right which, as you know, dozens of 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, because that's what conditions were like near the big Bang, lots of particles going on it, wasn't just two particles making 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, this quark gluon plasma, there's there's some insane number that I remember: reading yes, but by neural implant is These are not remember the number right now that we could google it yet and I'm just very dense gigantic. You know it if it's a bit of a cheat right like you know, so I always I get laughs when I give talks on the Higgs boson,
because I mention that they hate the lifetime of the Higgs boson already said it disappears very quickly right. So I say it's one that Zapco. Second, it's true, that's the end! Just like you know you lies a quadrillion like what is that number is at ten fifteen, but who cares with right? This is Abdul seconds really short, so I say is a septo second, which is a really short period of time, and everyone laughs is ten to the minus twenty one seconds. But who cares? Let's say ten? Twenty eight? Without of change your opinion of the expos on it anyway, like it's not really short period of time, like five quadrillion, that more than four could trillion. Yet it doesn't really affect your life in any meaningful way. What is going on right now with science. That is particularly compelling to you other than things we've already discussed. You know I'm very interested in 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? Physicists, are really really good at studying simple systems, couple particles at a time right and there's certain techniques. This is why we have theories that explain all the data, because we're asking questions about the simple as possible, things that we can, once you have a bacterium or an elephant or an economic system, internet. These are very, very complex systems, with many moving parts that interact with each other in complicated ways, and so you can start asking yourself quote: shins about. Are there laws that govern the behavior of these complex systems that we wouldn't have noticed if we just studied them piece by piece? The answer is a little bit. Yes, I hate to keep advertising my podcasts. We had Jeffrey W on the podcast. Who is why do you hate it yeah? I shouldn't hate it. That's the whole reason to find lying, I'm not actually telling the truth you solve through me there. I love advertising,
Yes, I had Jeffrey W who's, a brilliant physicist who actually started as a particle physicist. And then, when we were going to have you remember we're going to build the superconducting super collider in the United States. This is going to be our version of the LHC Large Hydron collider The SSC would have been both soon and better, who had been higher energy most of the Clinton administration, correct, that's right and well started during the Reagan, administration and then Clinton. Let it be killed by Congress, so Jeffrey W. Who is a particle visit? The time said like let's my life's work like I was hoping for this to come online. I'm not going to see what else can I do and he he found that in biology there are what is known as scaling laws. So if you look at different organisms like mammals or whatever right, you can plot 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 them Cabalism also so there's a wonderful, so basic, the bigger you are the longer you live. The bigger you are, the slower, your heart beats and they exactly cancel out so that every mammal lives for about one one, slash two billion heartbeats. On average, I've read that, and I relate that to my friends that are runners and I was like you got. I think, if you're an ultra marathon runner, like my friend Cameron, Hanes, runs these two hundred and four runs he just did and in death valley in the dad. I keep saying that ass, but it's like the Badwater one hundred and thirty five miles These two hundred and twenty races are crazy, so you gotta thing: exertion over long periods of time, you're juicing up your battery. You don't get a finite number of fixed number of heartbeats to begin with, but you know what they do do, though it lower?
Is there resting heart rate, which is fascinating? That's right. So all this extreme exercise at all you're wasting heartbeats, but also your heartbeat probably like seventy eight, whereas there's this thirty four now they're winning overall yeah totally compensates, we right. It's a weird sort of the end to end of things. It's a hundred billion and a half is just an average. The point is so Jeffrey. Weston is collaborators of wall. Why is it that you know you can make an animal that's twice as big as the same all black yeah? What what's the what's going on, so they actually came up with a theory based on the fact that our bodies are networks right, our circulatory system or respiratory system or nervous system, and they all
the same structurally trees right like fractals and the, and they are able to show that if, if our, 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 get the this universal behavior. And it 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 fast right, like 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 would not be surprised to learn that there are more patents that are generated in a big city in the small town, but there are 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 how we can try to extract these, not quite as precise as particle physics, but still very general, go bust. Real 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 this stuff. This is very fascinating they've. Actually in studies where they've put cameras up on streets and they watch peep walk by and the amount of footsteps they take per minute, they can accurately depict or the and accurately predict how many people live in that city. I believe that's cool insane, yeah, just based on half and also how fast you talk. Yet how fast you talk, how fast the line
moves in the DMV and Post office, and I think it's Dublin, I'm not exactly sure but Jeffrey W. Has this picture of Dublin there's this tourist area. So it's both a big city where a lot of people live, but also a famous tourist destination. Were foreigners come in and wander around right and the locals who live in a big c you want to get where they want to go, became so frustrated with all these moseying tourists they literally made walking lanes for the locals, where you have to walk fast right, you're not allowed to meander 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're. Putting out the looks you right, it's so important for people like me to have some like you. They can sort of illuminate a lot of these things, and I really really appreciate you my pleasure, thanks for being a role model, help inspiring me here my pleasure, and Mindscape podcast! That's right! It's
available now everywhere, probably heard hopefully yeah tried beautiful. Thank you. Sean Caroll is gentlemen. Thank you! Everyone for tuning into the podcast and and thank you thank you. Thank you go to the cash app in the Google play market or the app store use the reward code, Joe Rogan, all one word. You were C five dollars. An the cash apple, send five dollars to Justin, Wren's fight for the forgotten charity building wells for the pygmies in the Congo. Thank you also to movement. Watch is, ladies gentlemen. Fantastic watch is 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 markup they direct,
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Transcript generated on 2019-10-05.