« The Joe Rogan Experience

#1428 - Brian Greene

2020-02-19 | 🔗
Brian Greene is a theoretical physicist, mathematician, and string theorist. He has been a professor at Columbia University since 1996 and chairman of the World Science Festival since co-founding it in 2008. His new book "Until the End of Time" is now available: https://amzn.to/2ug680o
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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many many many years. So I really appreciate you coming out of sight. I appreciate it and it's like Australia just start your new book and has a gun is: well. It's hasn't confuse the shit out of yet, but I know it's come, enable the kind. I no doubt with all your work. So the beginning, of time, the beginning of the universe, to the end, that's a sense, really what you're summarizing here, that's there that's the backdrop to the entire narrative of the book. I basically want the reader to get a feel for the whole thing how it started, how things like you and me rise up how consciousness emerges, issues, free will and whether we have it and then on to the future. What's going to happen to us and the world and the universe as time illapses to thee far far future its I'm just getting to the part where you're talking about how entropy and evolution sort of co mingle, too, to create life and
when you think of entropy, allow people think of something dissolving into chaos yeah exactly, but that's not necessarily the case. It's only part of the story. I mean entropy gonna get to bed rat Brad, it's a thing that you want to avoid, but somehow the laws of physics don't allow you to avoid its this disintegration. It's this decay at this drive toward disorder and that's kind of true, but the reality of the situations, more subtle, because overall entropy needs to go up, but that doesn't mean there can be little pockets. Of order that form along the way and the fact the universe is incredibly clever stars the ubiquitous feature of the Heavens. They are pockets of order that naturally form, but as they form they increase the entropy of the surroundings. So the net entropy goes up, even though this beautiful, orderly, bright object in the sky appears, and it's only because of the appearance of stars that the universe isn't.
Resting place without stars, the particles of the universe would just disperse the universe. We get bigger and bigger, colder and colder, and that would be it. There wouldn't be any structure in the universe. It wasn't for the fourth grade. Stars themselves? Just the fact that they exist is very strange that you have this thing in our society. Small right, it's a million times larger than earth and it's gonna be for billions of years and is just hovering there. Yet creates all the life writ litter is responsible for all the life yet and when supernova, that creates the actual ingredients, for life, which is even more strange that you can have biological carbon based life if it's not for a star experts, Yeah I mean we often in a poetic way said that we are made of doorstep, Carl Sagan of Bacon. Also, that we are are made of you. No nuclear refuge,
right. We heard the neuritis here that that the death throes of a star puts out into the universe rains down on planets and at least unwanted planet that stuff comes together and yields life so there's a cycle. I mean I want to sound like a lion king here, you know it's really what it is, or what I'm so interesting about in guinea in your book is the fact that your sort of detailing all these steps that that have to take place in order for all this life in order. First, this universe to be what it is then, where it's going to go, yeah, yeah, exactly and them the remarkable thing and sort of them. The main point at some level is that look where special entities we can think we can reflect. We have emotions, but ultimately you and I and everybody else, readjust bags of particles that are governed by physical law So there is continuity between the stuff of the world.
Stuff of the world, the inanimate stuff of the Heavens and us we all I come from the same fundamental ingredients and the same fundamental laws. Now some people find that that gives them I don't know a sense of desperation. Assenting were not special, a sense that sir, how the universe is pointless or meaningless, but in my view on this, is it spectacular that were made of the same stuff that makes up this bottle of water or any of the wonderful statues he have on this desk, because at me means that how
a remarkable that collections of particles can do what we do and I think that's really the way of looking at the continuity. We don't need to be endowed with some special quality by some external entity. You don't need that particles can do miraculous things, and that is the message that I think you can draw from a more complete understand. Where we came from and where we're going, that the fear of death and the attitude of the finite life being insignificant that the work. What is the point, this sort of existential acts that many of a struggle with right, right. That's something that you touch upon really early on this. This thing makes us unique, is that we know that we're gonna die that that to me
is the vital distinguishing feature of our species. You know we can reflect on the past. We can think about the future and recognised, so we're not gonna, be here in the future. For some period of time and its It's an idea and its powerful motive. Any influence is one that has been explored, threw out. The ages on Iraq was one of the early disciples Freud who ultimately broke with Freud, develop this thesis that our awareness of our own mortality is one of the driving factors in what we do and then when I was gone and it was in my twenties or thirties. I read a book by a guy named Ernest Becker, called denial of death on have you ever heard of this book
It was big in the seventies and one act of the poultry prize in the seventies, and it's a wonderful distillation of this way of thinking about why we humans do what we do and in many ways you my own book, the one this coming out actually today until the end, the time it some its extending this notion that Becker developed in denial of death, but now seeing it in a cosmic logical setting, because it's not just we that are going to die it's every. Structure in the universe is going to disintegrate in time. Are our best theory suggests to us? It even protons, the very heart of matter there. Quantum processes that in the far future, will ensure that every proton disintegrates falls apart into its constituent, particles and that point does no complex matter around at all worked well,
the timeline a whale, pretty pretty big, long time line. In fact, I'd like to use a metaphor to try to give you a feel for the times involved, I like to use the empire state building and imagine at every floor of the empire state Building, represented duration, ten times that of the previous floor, so like on the ground floor, it's like one year, first floor tenure, second, four hundred and so forth, so you going exponent so far in time, as you climb up the empire state Building and in that scheme of things, everything from the big bang until today, you're about at the tenth floor, tended to the ten years ten billion years and as you go forward, you are looking at things very far in the future and to answer your question, we think- and I underscore think, because we are now at the speculative a of our theoretical ideas. Protons will decay roughly and say by the thirty eight floor so tend to the thirty eight years in
the future, so we can relax for a you, can relax for a little bit, but here's here's the thing. The amazing thing obviously is its try, but time is relative right. So any duration that seems long. It's only long by comparison, another duration and, on said, the scale of the entire empire state building up to say, tend to the hundred years into the future, which is what the peak would represent tend to the thirty eight years is like lesson blink of I eye nothing on those scales say sorry to have to be careful with your your intuition, if you're willing to entertain the kind of fantastically long timescales, that way. You necessarily need to if you're going to think about the very far future is theirs, regulation is what happens when protons do ceased to exist. Now we anticipate that all complex structure will fall apart. So if there are any stars left over, we believe that by the fourteen floor, most stars will have view
up. The nuclear fuel doubly dolby dark, embers, just sort of Venus. Smokey out there in the cosmos, but if they're still, hovering around by the thirty eight floor. They will all just dissipate instead, their particular ingredients. So it's hard to imagine pass say floor. Thirty, eight that there's gonna be any. Life for any mind or any complex, astronomical structures out there in the universe, so the window within which the Universe Ass, we know it exists it's kind of small, when you think about it in terms of the entire cosmic timeline, so possible to understand the actual span of it because it is so long, but yet so small, like India in the human mind, yeah it's very hard to hold these duration. Yeah in mind I mean I don't I don't feel like. I I've been thinking about this stuff for a long time. I don't feel I have an intuition for their durations that we are talking about.
The empire state. Building. That little analogy helps me to sort of give some relative sense of when things of interest will happen. The universe, but you know, we're good at understanding days weeks months years, the times of conventional experience. We have no basis for understanding the universe over these scales that we'd never experienced on. That's true, not only for time. It's also for space right I mean we have very good intuition. About everyday phenomena. I mean, if I have to take this ball of water, I throw that you you'd catch it. You know where to put your hand, you'd have to calculate its newtonian trajectory to figure out where the water is going, but if I was to do the same thing with electric and you don't have a neither do I a quantum intuition about the way functions in the probabilities that govern how a particle I collect from behaves and that simply because we were unfortunately or fortunately born is big creatures relative to the scales of
the mechanics and because of that our intuition was never under any evolutionary pressure done Stan how electrons behave like I like to say those of our food. Bears wandering around the Africans. Evanna, who start to think about electrons and quantum mechanics, they got eaten right. They're, the ones whose genes didn't propagate onward and therefore those of us who are the beneficiaries of the survival of our ancestors were good and understand newtonian physics, but were not good at understanding anything else about the deep reality of the world Do you anticipate that some day in the future? Whatever is next after human beings will be able to understand these concepts because it aims to stop and think about where human is, we ve only really been nest for x amount, a hundred thousand near that's right, and it's it's a good question and it's a tough one. I liked to imagine that, as we get ever better at creating virtual world virtual reality,
They are whatever augmented reality. Whatever version of that kind of technology to open the far future, we might be able to experience these distinct realms in such a powerful way that our innate intuition made begin to shift to change so that we grasp the quantum round the way we grasp newtonian physics, I can least imagine that as a possibility, what it would take to actually get there and whether our species will ever last long enough to actually have that kind of an impact on her into which I dont know. But it's all about experience and survival. We have been programmed by evolution not to understand the true nature of the world,
we ve been programme by evolution to survive, and those are two radically different positions because you don't need to know the true nature of reality to survive. It's a distinct attribute and one that is not necessarily one that has any survival value to understand black holes or the big Bang or General Tivoli, or quantum mechanics or Entropy Arthur thermodynamics. These qualities we develop as go forward and try to understand the world go beyond mere survival and figure out things that excite us, but it's not something which obviously has any survive. Low value I bullied may someday it may. What's yours, It is also how relative we recently people than pondering these ideas in a sort of quantifiable where we can write things down and sort of expressive. Other scientists and try to figure out who is right and wrong terms of these calculations, but we human beings, I mean what, when did
We really start pondering the scope of the universe. Where did pretty recently I mean, if you, if you think about the beginnings of modern physics, you know you can start with Galileo start with Newton, but many them we're talking. On the order of hundreds of years and the amazing thing and hundreds of years, we ve gone from a complete lack of understanding about how anything in the world actually works to the development of newtons equations, where you can make fantastically ackerate predictions about solar eclipse as or lunar eclipses or emotions of the planets and so on, and then in a couple hundred years after that we migrate from that understanding, which is basically an encapsulation of the patterns. That. We can all discern with the naked eye we develop a whole new body,
a physical, local quantum mechanics, which is so completely counter intuitive, which describes the world in terms of quality? that we don't ever see with the naked eye, but never ass. We can, is the math to make predictions and the predictions are borne out by experiment, and that progression only took say a couple hundred years, and that's where we ve gotten. So it's kind of spectacular that you know we beings who were just coming of age here, in the milky way, Galaxy can sit down with a piece of paper and a calculation a pencil, and we can figure out magnetic properties of particles like electrons to ten decimal places, that's shocking a minute stunning and its some thing that a thing all of us should be very proud of that our species minimise to accomplish that some are another. I don't think I'm responsible that feel proud.
A village idiom, IP or Yvonne you you have contributed Europe Martineau. It really is a collective effort and that Tiberius signs in the end of the day. It's not that most scientists are ever going be remembered. You stop summit in the street and ask them to name a scientist. The may say hawking, They may say Einstein, that's kind of it. I think for most people, and I don't think that's a bad thing per se, because it's not about the personalities or the people that have pushed the frontiers of understanding is the fact that we have got this body of insight that can to grow and continues to allow us to manipulate and under the day and the natural world, and I think, that's really worth all about. Don't think that there are some personnel is like yourself like fine men. Like I mean it, Thyssen that because of their person, because this sort of their charismatic people, it actually makes more people intrigue about these possibilities and makes more people attracted to them.
Ideas. Yeah, no doubt, and- and I think that's that's a vital point, because without that impetus from outside the traditional educational system, I dont think we would have the kind of interest in signs that I can feel growing. You know in the world around us in the unfortunate thing in the educational system is that we teach Lord examination, we teach towards assessment and if you want to figure out, had a flat and kids interest in these ideas just teach. Instead, and tell them you're going to be tested on this on Tuesday, I didn't have to spit that you know everything that you have learned. So I find it gonna heartbreaking. The way in which so much intrinsic interest in these ideas that you can see it a five or six year old right, I mean like disabled beginners little scientists works. Or in the world, but trying to figure things out, and then we go into the educational system and its not by by malice
by the nature of how we teach in the in the current no approach to education philosophy that so many kids, kind of seeing these ideas as a burden, so bad I want out, spend time learning about parts of the sale or had about reactions, as even my kids got fifteen year old son at twelve year old, daughter and they are motivated by is next wednesdays Quiz and I'm like hey. These ideas are the kind of exciting they're kind of wonderful like it or not. Dead dead. I just want to know enough, so I can do well on the question once the quizzes over they deserve, leave the ideas behind one of these ideas become attractive to you. Well, I was, I don't know not unusual first and his but unusual? I think in the in the spectrum of kids in the world, because at five or six years old I was just captivated by mathematics, real yeah, five or six. Definitely my dad
I was not an academic. My dad was a composer. He was a vaudeville, he was. He was a committee, You know he was in the early days ago, around the country and with a harmonica group, an estate show that that's what he did we like to say that he was an s Phd Seward Park, high school dropout. You know so it at at tenth grade. He just hit the road, but he loved scientific ideas. So he taught me the basics of arithmetic. When I was about five years old and then I would ask him to settle problems any gimme, these thirty digit numbers by thirty digit numbers at right. The mountain big construction paper night spend the weekend just cause leading away on these huge. You know arithmetical problems of no interest, anybody on planet earth, but to me that you could learn a little piece of of math and then do something that nobody had ever done before. That was exciting to me as a kid, and that's really what got me go
so you chose the right path, clearly yeah nowadays, whatever it is that the track Will you always wondered about that? If you wonder, if you know, I was wondering, how can you not get, what what would have happened if X would have transpired instead of why in fact I have to say when I, when I graduated college, had sort of a period of I don't know. Depression is too strong a word for it, but a period of what have I done I went to college. I could have studied all the great ideas of the world and all I did get a technical education where I could solve Schroeder's equation and solve Einstein's equations, and I felt like wow have
I just like squandered the greatest educational opportunity that one could have ever had, because I was so completely focused on just trying to understand physics mathematical pass that well, I was lucky I was given a second chance. I won a scholarship to go to to England to Oxford, and and ostensibly was to study physics, but when I got there, I realise that I was completely free to do whatever I wanted to do with that point, and so I took a year to study literature. I went to the physics classes I was sort of showing up, but I wasn't focused on it at all. And instead I was focused, I gotta you know in England the to tutorial system, so I got a tutor witches somebody at the college that sets you assignments and you re.
Papers you literally go in, and you re your paper out loud. It's not something. We just turn it in its great. It sets a very personal experience. You write something and you're actually delivering it to this individual. That is going to help you in your educational journey, and so that's what I did for a year and at the end of the year, a candidate to myself. Ok, I've got it I understand now what it would mean to study these. These other subjects- and I heard a felt like I'll- be able to do this, if I continue to be excited about it, and I went back to physics with a vengeance and sickly in that? Second year completed my doctorate in that year and and moved on from there. So this time took off this year. We really take it off, but you change Patsy s eyes how beneficial was out for you do things and help do sort of appreciate what you are rich in. All subjects of interest was as well yeah hugely sell, because you know it's funny. It's the floor,
side of something I often encounter with people that are interested in science, but don't know the math and they always say or some say, I'm never really gonna understand this body of science because I dont know the mathematics. And I try to convince and look at some level. That's true. If you really want to do research in the general Thier, relatively you, ve gotta learn differential geometry and all day tensor calculus. But if you are really interested in the ideas, you really can grasp the ideas without the technical background so I tried to demystify something that can seem impenetrable because you have an entered the field, and I think that Same thing happened to me in reverse, for the more humanistic explorations it had this aura of of grand here that I was unable to penetrate because I'd never really immersed myself in the ideas and by spending a year in those ideas it didn't diminished.
Them in any way, but I felt like it brought it back down to earth as another journey towards truth, another pathway toward insight and one that you don't have to have a degree in you, don't have to know the ins and outs of the academic version. That subject to understand it and grasp it and and spend some time thinking about it, so that you think that four people studying anything pretty really, though, studying science and mathematics very rigid disciplines. Do you think tat they all could bend fed from sort of expanding their education into fullest, fee or are or in that it did? use your mind in a different way year. Some some there are some people in the in the future. Samantha, mathematics community who are so intensely focused that it would almost be a shame to pay.
Their attention away from the deep dive that they're going to do for the rest of their lives in the contributions that they're going to make it happen. There are substantial and an exciting, but for I think for many others, and certainly for me, I may look. I, as most people will do, but not all. But I learned early on that. I'm not going to be an Albert Einstein. You know I can make contributions and a have had contributions to fails like string theory and I in cosmology but their never going to be at the level of shattering our understanding of the world things that people going to talk about five hundred years from now. That's unlikely- and I think, for somebody like that whose able to me contributions, but pulling away from the technical work is not gonna extract.
Some vital insight into the nature of the world that otherwise wouldn't be discovered. I think there is great value in doing exactly what you're saying, because by brought in your perspective on what the work you are doing is actually revealing its part of the human quest for, you're standing and seeing it as an isolated discipline where it's all about the next equation, in the better unified theory or the deeper understanding of the Big Bang to see that as isolated from the human quest for understanding, I think diminishes the work that we use actually do is that a part of your initial ambition, which is something that we add rock the word, yeah, well, to go back to the the comments you made before a bad, we being the only species had no set we're going to die. I think part of that instil
many people. Certainly, I see it in my own life, even though at the time that I was making various decisions. I wasn't literally thinking about these kinds of issues of mortality, but how do you deal with that? Recognition of the impermanence of your own life was in part of it is A symbolic kind of immortality you create some That will last you create something I have such impact, that it will stick around for a long long period of time. So I think yes, I mean part of my motivation in doing physics was not merely to get the next decimal place in this, or that physical quantity described in the natural world is to try to have some kind of insight. That would rock our understanding of the world and have reverberations that would echo out for many many years to come, that's interesting did that. Torture is someone I mean. Is that something that load haunted use it in your head?
all the time, not really but an ultra. Ambition, ultimate ambitious, yet refer shore, an inner look. I think when, when you're doing any work whatsoever the day to day the I'm into moment is a grind you know. I don't know how you find it in the work that you doing, but if I'm work on a research project, even if in principle, the ideas, her grand and wonderful and bold the moment to moment, is calculating away it's trying to figure out that equation. It's putting equation on a computer. I mean it is not sexy. It is not something that has that glory is quality that you might ultimately describe when you're finished, and you look back and you think about the implications of your work. The moment to moment of almost anything that you do as a grind society That's, ultimately, what is the did the driver of of
whatever you're doing in your life the moment to moment but yeah. There is certainly a part of me that would have a desire, a hope that the work would reverberate in a powerful way. I think that's true for most physicist that that notion that you can sort of sit at a table and think and change the way we understand reality. The way Einstein did the way Schroeder did the way Niels bore what percentage of people have that revelation? Yeah. I think it's a thing it's pretty pew in and far between nobody else serve just contributing contributing in uneasily someone exactly somewhat. Bob goes out assertive powerful new inside you're, like ok, everything has suddenly changed.
That's so exciting now and it's what clearly guy I'll catch you got. You know it to be the person who who has the label yeah, but I tell my students, you know, and especially young students who come and are still trying to figure out what they want to do. If you are not satisfied with just contributing, if you're not satisfied with being part of the journey, but not the person at the head of the the breakthrough, whose it's probably not the field for you, because it so unlikely, because it's not just brain power, its thinking, if the right questions its thinking of things in the right orientation, its being at the right place at the right time. With the right dna that somehow is a tune to the question that is being asked. So it's not fully under your control is not It is a matter of no. Your mind and and building up the mess.
Of the brain in such a way that you are the strongest person to contribute to this in this idea? It's it's luck, its timing, it being there when the questions being asked- and you happen to see the way forward. That's it so interesting to me that there! So many people working on stuff and the average person that doesn't contemplate quantum physics or s equations. We have no idea what's going on here and that this all this work that so critical to our understanding of what the universe really is. What that that the very fibre of the universe itself off is going on and most people just sort of their reaping the risk your benefits of it yeah, but wandering around, not not knowing yet, usually so, in fact, the there's a number that quoted that Quantum mechanics is responsible for something like thirty five percent of the gross national product, so it's like it in a very concrete whenever the problem that number is I recently looked at.
To find the source of itself I sort of went online and checked it out apparently on the source, Number and- and I assure you that I have not done a calculation that really fully justifies this. But, roughly speaking, you know anything as an integrated circuit is the result of beneficiary of Quantum ends it's so we use this stuff every month of our technological lives and yet, as you say for the most part, most was don't, have a deep understanding of the reality. That responsible for the gadgetry that these sciences has given rise to and it's a strange quantum mechanics is an utterly strange reality. You too strange of tat, many many times trodden stand right, whether it Sean carols books or yours or any anyone's gap, it's it doesn't get in right and again, it goes back to you know our brains, just weren't under prepared to think want to make
quickly. But I assure you you give me a couple hours. I mean books are one thing because it too one sided conversation, but you give me a couple hours in a back and forth and I will absolutely get you to a place where you appreciate and have a sense of what these ideas really are telling us about the nature of the world. Here's the thing that have always one ass a moment you, what do you think, was happening before the big bang? yeah. It's it's it's a deep question and Anna and a subtle one, and they should a two ways. So I like to think about that question one as it could be that the big bang was an interesting event, but not the first event In the totality of reality, it could have been the first event that sparked the expansion of our part of space. But it could be that there's a grander realm of space within which we set as a small part,
and that grand around may have been there for a far longer period of time. It may have experienced its own big bangs, maybe a collection of big banks that may extend infinitely far into the past. So it could be that the answer to the question what happened before the big bang is a lot of other big banks or a lot of other quantum events that were taking place in a larger landscape of reality than we have direct access to However. Another answer is that the very quick June may not make as much sense as the words seemed to suggest. We not a part that sense. We know what I mean to talk about the moment before the Big Bang, because we know how to talk about the moment before your birth. The wharf the month before the civil war or the month before any event. That happened the world. We fully understand the meaning of that kind of sentence, but it could be that when it comes to the Big bang, the sentence actually doesn't mean anything. It could be that the big Bang was the place where time itself
started and honking himself had a wonderful now has yet to get this across. He said, look I'll dress it up a little bit. Imagine you're walking in planet earth and you pass by someone. You say: hey. Can you point me in the direction of north? I want to walk in the Northwood direction to point. You continue to walk your path by somebody else say: hey, which way is further north and they point you in that direction. But when you get to the North pole and talk to somebody there and say hey, how do I go further north? They look at you and say well That question doesn't mean anything because this is where north begins there's no notion of going further north than the North pole, and it could be that that spatial metaphor applies to time about a billion years ago, ten billion years ago. But if you go to thirteen point eight billion years ago, the bang. That may be were time started, and you can't go further back in time. Then the very origin of time itself, tat freaked me out.
It out, that's one that it gets in your head, you would mean beginning of time why what time have a beginning good and it could be, it could be time is an emerging, quality of reality. Via an analogy boy. What I mean by that, as we all know what temperature means intuitively something's hot you feel it something called Feel your body understands those concepts, but physics has done. Is it's gone deeper into the concept of temperature and revealed that it is nothing, but the average motion of the particles making up the environment. So if the molecules are moving really quickly. You ve got a hot environment if the molecules her really moving slowly, it's a cold environment so temper sure, emerges from the motion of particles. So if you have like one particle, occasionally talk about it being hot or cold, because
need a conglomerate Unita agglomeration of particles to be able to talk about their average motion and in that sense, temperature this emergent idea. That rests upon more fundamental ideas. The molecules and items that make up reality. Maybe that's true of time. Maybe time as we know it is a property that only makes Hence in certain environments when there's enough, off arranged in the right patterns, but fundamentally me but there are Adams or molecules of time. Which were not arranged in the form that we are familiar with dont yield time, as we know it time itself may. The quality of the world that exists here in this environment, but doesn't even apply other environments that are configured radically differently. That's a heavy yeah! That's a heavy
We would also the heavy one is what caused the big bang yeah? Why would something's smaller than the head of a pin? you have become everything that we see in the cosmos yeah should there are ideas for the answer to that question. Look all this a tentative ride out! It's very hard do measurements that go all the way back to beginning. We have, after nominal, observations that we need to be in shore, are compatible with the predictions of our fears and so forth. So so we good scientists do what needs to be done to try to testes ideas, but the idea that I think most physicists her cause Malta's by into at the moment, is that gravity can have to manifestations the usual form of gravity that you- and I know about- is the attractive version. You drop something toward the earth and move downward because the earth and the object pull on each other that ordinary gravity that we experience every day of our lives? But Einstein to quit
Asians actually allow gravity to also be repulsive. It can push outward as opposed to just pulling inward, and this is something that we have never experienced, because the gravity created by a rocky objects like the earth is always the attractive variety. The gravity created by the sun again compact object is always a attractive variety, but Einstein's math shows that the owner however, a rocky object. That's isolated in space, but rather energy that is uniformly spread through a region of space that that kind of entity yields repulsive gravity why's. That important here
question, if the very early universe, tat little tiny head of a pin that you're talking about if it was filled with a uniform bath of this energy, we called the input on field, the name doesn't matter, but if it was filled with that energy, it would have been subject to repulsive gravity, whereas repulsive gravity do pushes everything apart causes everything to rush outward said. The bang of the Big Bang may have been a spark of repulsive gravity operating with a tiny. He's in a space that pushed everything. Apart from this concept of repulsive gravity is just theoretical of we observed any sort of element in the universe that it is theoretical, but it's level of us
standing that, I think most physicists would say, causes it to migrate into the camp of established understanding of how gravity works or number one Einstein's equations have now been tested over and over again and a whole variety of circumstances. The detection of gravitational waves just a couple of years ago they d, crowning triumph of Einstein Math a hundred years ago the map says there should be ripples in the fabric of space. A hundred years later, we finally detect ripples in the fabric of space, so we are very comfortable with any prediction that comes out of Einstein's, mathematics and right in the mathematics Is the prediction of what I was just crap. You ve got uniform energy in a region, repulsive gravity. The other thing is we currently witness that the expansion of the universe is speeding up, not slowing down since the nineteen twenties everybody
I thought that, yes, the universe is expanding, but it will slow down over time. Why? Because gravity poles things back together, you throw an apple upward, it doesn't go up fast and faster goes up slower and slower, because the earth gravity pulls it back. Everybody thought that would apply to the universe, has a whole its expanding, but expanding ever slower. The observations and ninety ninety eight culminate in ninety. Ninety eight, when the twenty eleven Nobel Prize showed that the distant gout are moving away ever more quickly. The expansionist space is speeding up over time. It's accelerating. How do we explain that the best explanation we currently have is repulsive gravity. We believe, even today, the universe suffused with a bath of energy. We call a dark energy. We
leave its uniformly going through space. I like to think that almost like, a as at turkish sauna, like the steam filling the sauna, this energy filling space and that repulsive gravity, we believe, is responsible for the observations that the distant galaxies are rushing way faster and faster over time, so it circumstantial, but the case for repulsive gravity is quite strong and what would have come as did the coal at what would have caused it to compressing in initially. Yet I would all that matter be in it tiny less a pin sized you object. So I have no idea and nobody else on planet earth has. Real idea other, but we do have theories and one the theories suggests that in the very early universe, who was a highly chaotic environment, very hot, with all the fields fluctuating widely up and down and the
idea would be that if you wait long enough where it's hard to know what weight means in this environment, but dont press me on my definition of time back then just sort of who would apply if you wait long enough on rare occasions, the gee will just happen to flattened out in a region, become uniform and then that region explosively inflates grows large, so you know to imagine you're looking at em, back a pot of boiling water. The surfaces of with widely undulating up and down. But if you wait long enough very long time since you ve never peanut neither of eye, there will be a little patch on the surface of that boiling Where did that flattens out? Why That only means that the water molecules happen for an instant to be moving in. Us the right way to keep that little patch of water from widely bubbling. It will happen. It's rare, but if you wait long enough, it will occur so
lay the widely undulating fields in the early universe? If you wait long enough a patchwork, flattened out, you get the uniform energy plug it into Einstein's equations that region explosively inflates, I mean explosively, it can go from size, that's much less than an atomic diameter to larger than observable universe in far lesson blink, and I intend to minus thirty, tend to my thirty five seconds. That's how powerful repulsive gravity can be done is so baffling yeah. So before that, before this happens, you just have in this theory you just Have all this energy sort of randomly interacting with other energy in the universe, with no physical objects, yep gap, it's that could have been forever. That could in any fact that's that main point there's nobody who was hanging around looking at their watching good God. When is this big,
Bang gonna finally happen. You know so you can have this Cosmo logical, pre show you can have at last As long as you like, the we think that you need to happen. Is that sooner or later, a region flattens out and then the cosmos logical show begins, and if we're looking at this model of the universe, being this infinite universes, yet with different characteristics and different qualities to them. This could be happening throughout infinity yeah all over the place. And in fact this so called inflationary cosmology is the technical name for the subject says that it says that it's quite likely that this explosive inflation of the region that we could We inhabit. It was just one of many such events and therefore there other far flung regions throughout this larger Cosmo, logical landscape,
where things have also inflated, but the details can be different. The physical details can differ from what we are familiar with, and the differences can small temperature differences in one part of space, verses and other, or they can be far more significant. Even the the particles that make up that other realm may be different from the particles that make up our round. Their masses can be different, their charges can be different there. Fundamental physical features can be different so out there in that wider cosm, logical landscape, it can be the while wild west of realities, and they have to worry about proton deterioration. There may be firms in which they don't have to worry about protons falling apart the wild The really crazy idea is that, if you're, very careful mathematically. Analyzing. These theories,
you realize that there have to be realms out there that duplicate ours as well. Many can be different, but there have to be versions of This reality that are also instantiated occur out there. In the other realms, so you can to these crazy sounding sigh fi sounding ideas that you and I are having this conversation out there in other distant realms, an infinite move to an infinite number of times and, moreover, small differences can also arise in these other realms, where maybe our positions are interchange at the table. Or you know, maybe your name is a you know, Joe green, brine, Rogan or there's like strange realities that can be taken place, and this is not an over theorists imagination. This is the careful, dispassionate analysis. The mathematical equations,
now I should say there are some physicists who see this implication and say what you guys have fallen off the deep and your theory has imploded, because any theory that predicts that kind of a wealth of reality Is that our kind of untested, because you're so far away that we will never interact with them? That's a kind of theory that we had been trained to avoid to exercise. However, the more forward thing I'd like to describe as physicists, say: hey Math has proven to be a very. Viable guide over the course of hundreds of years, and this is where the math is taking us. It's at least worthy of our attention to investigate a fully and possibly come to the conclusion that this is how reality actually behaves chooses. That's the weirdest one, the weirdest one like when people talk about intelligent life. Someone universe that you're out there.
For the inversion of you or infinite versions of yeah, and it can be disturbing like What do you mean by you right? If there are many? of use out there, each of whom has an equal claim on being you, because it had the same experience says, and they have the same memories and maybe have made infinite. Very variations in the decision you made through your lie. That's right see you could meta Brian Green, your age, some out there in the universe that made the right choice. When you are I'm only ass right is accurate and become a gambling attic. You know it's like they start. You gave us her room got. We ve got like Spock and evil spot yeah, the one that had the little beard on right. So that can be a little beer inversion of me, a goatee out their yeah yeah. You know him and and I think I want to stress this sounds cookie and the day
you're of kooky sounding ideas and physics? Is that their people who then jump offer it and say well, if that's possible, then then this I support may be. I can with my mind, you know affect what other people are, so there's all sorts of crazy ideas that can be inspired by the weird insights of modern physics and you ve really gotta keep straight. What's real and ridiculous. It that's a problem right when people start using, especially if there are taken at the start, using scientific lingo to describe things that are. Unscientific satellite, what the bleep yet like mad at you, but that was one of those movies where a lot of people like there was all this call. Item talk and doktor quantum. Was it a cartoon again particles and waves and this science behind this, but then at the end of it,
really? It was something that was created by someone who runs called Yahoo, believes there channeling someone is like a thousand year old, alien like that that whole ramp, the thing ever. Let me tell you if you have a please show a couple years ago. I was in a big project. In fact, I describe this in and enter the end of the book. So you'll get to this little anecdote. If you choose to carry on reading, I was in the middle of a big project and a speaking opportunity came in, and I did properly, that you know the money, look good and looked like a fine thing and I signed off on it and then a few days before going. I realize it's too goes to talk to duty, Zebra night who channels romford than thirty five thousand. You read the Murray and say- and I said to you, know the folks who who should have been checking in on this, like the electorate, and I can't go in there like hey Brian, its tomorrow, it's too late to back out. You know, as I do
Christ? In aside, I look at some videos online. I see her, unlike the Murk Griffin Show, where you know she, Charles Romp THA, on live television on a wet year. This was she snaps, your head, Edward goes back. She changes her voice. It becomes like some between the queen and Yoda. Weird place is oh hello, being and she's talking to merge Griffin. You know they talk about like an airplane, because what is airplane? You know that like my men coming anyway, so I go, you know, and I show up- and the first thing I see is There- are all these people walking around a grassy feel but their arms out like this, and unlike can they see Europe get closer they're, all blindfold? I am saying that what what is going on here and they described that each person has a card around their neck with I've written down their life's dream and an exact copy of that card has been put out on this big
old and they have to feel their way toward the matching card and if they succeed, this shows that this goal or desire is gonna come to pass. Oh boy, you know I'm saying to those guys like so how's it Goin figures like really good. You know one person found their card in the last few months, like the odds of probability of that happening or kind of not. Unreasonable. But that's all that this is and then they take me to the blindfolded archers. Oh geez yeah, you know so there EC bow and arrow and their firing at these targets and Eichmann. Unlike I'm like way back on and this kind of thing in there. Text me when you're do you want to try it and it's, like you know, just a photographer. This come along and like no I'll avoid that, and then they introduced him to this woman. Who is able to predict the next card in it in a shuffled deck, and you know so she could pull out this card. Since you tell kids can be seven
It's like a three spades and then the next one is a seven of diamonds, because although there is the seven that I was talking about a one hour before you know, so it is crazy circumstance where and I gotta go to get my talk. Ok, that's! Why was there? After all? This was like the preamble. They were showing me when I do. I walk into this barn and I across the threat so the barn and they all give me a standing ovation and I'm like ok oppression. It but like. Why are you giving me a standing ovation and I go in short to give my talk and I and I say to them straight out, but I've seen here is not you know. I show you know if you're gonna try to predict next cards into debt, you, no one ever four times will get the suit. Whenever thirteen times you get the rank, there's nothing in there, but the pure probabilistic laws of mathematics. You know they rise up and give me a standing ovation- and I say it's appreciated, but why are
you see, I'm telling you that you're wasting your time and they applauded me again and I'm like this is like so totally weird. But then I go to the book signing. I finish my talk of the book signing these people there. They coffee paint like they talk real soft and saying, there's a lot of crazy stuff. That's happening in this place, but we come here because we feel that there's something else in the world and we want to be around like minded individuals that are searching for the deeper truth. So thank you for calling out the silliness is happening. But we'll come here anyway and spend our money, because we want to be part of the journey and I have to tell you a degree of sympathy for them, because I get the motivation I mean as a physicist. What we do who is? We are revealing strange features of the world, so I get the earth. I get the desire that the problem is that the methodology that's being employed, is something that will never take you closer to the truth. However,
How much you may feel that you're among, like minded individuals, so I get the motivation I get the sensation. I get the urge, but it's tragic, that these individuals feel that this kind of an undertaking is a pathway that will take them to where they keep the truth. And let me just finish up after this: they take me to the dinner and the dinners in a mansion at the top of the hill network. That's Judy! Is I'm get sued for it for this conversation about really, I don't know but I have never ran developments. Yeah sure will be another there. Quite litigious are the galley note. The deafening are you know so, oh anyway, there's just one person's opinion. They take me to the mansion at the top of the hill and that's where
She is, she doesn't come down and actually participate in the talk she's like watching it on close circuit television up in the Malthusian and I walk in, and she hugged me, but was too damn long of a hard. I know I'm sorry it was like and she was like. Thank you is like this big emotional thing, and I was like I I don't. I dont get it, but I think that's the way that she brings people in to the fold and gets them to spend the big bucks to and drawn this so called journey towards truth? Where she is, you know channeling. This made up fictitious sage. Somehow people buy into this all still going on, just a couple years ago. I imagine it is magic if she's really channeling best way. Dismissing them,
three thousand certainly agree right, every rule of reality in physics than that I understand, will not be less weird than the big bang itself you know now I tell you what I tell you: why see when it comes to the big bang. I can sit down with the mathematics or they understand well, and I can follow the deducted chain of reasoning that gets us to some of these strange implications that retard about multiple big banks are the reality and so forth when it comes to channeling a thirty five thousand year old. Take I don't know what the hell that even means to undermine the physical processes by which I could possibly happen. I don't understand have there could have been a being of the sort that she's channeling alive thirty five thousand years ago, that doesn't have any agreement with. Archaeological record. You know so there's There's a vital distinction between weirdness that emerges from careful mathematical announced this at weirdness it emerges from an overworked imagination. It possibly sees a business model where,
by a lot of money, can be brought in. If you can get people to buy into your vision of how the world works. Well, it sort of like what they do. Is they the curate idea and then they run them through their sort of filter of wool. Yeah exactly and then they distributed in a very palatable way that attracts people them over I tell story have told us before apologized people heard there is a friend of mine at the communist or had a friend, I don't know her name, but she came to the My door store and she was so happy in my shoes like I'm so happy. Why so happy? She goes because on the secret, and now that I know about the secret. I am going to be married. I am going to be this I'm going to I'm going to have this fulfilled life. I'm going, to reach my dreams, and I'm really excited about that, and so you know
Tom. I have just seen the movie and then I was just don't understand the criticism of the movie. I was reading all these health care where scientists were breaking down. All the things were wrong and I know I didn't dash her dreams was I well ok and then I saw a year later, the outside. Another one, my shows a different common club, and I I didn't say things It's not going to wear thought. I thought because of the sea grit that everything would be great. My dad is still a pain in the ass, and you know I always moved in with me: doesn't have any money and I can't establishing good relations. But I don't have the job that I wanted. I dont understand because I've been using the secret, I think about it every day, and I said here's my take on this. If you- talk to someone whose very successful and you say to them: hey. How did you get very successful and they say,
I thought about it all the time I have a vision border took that vote of the house that I want to put it in a visible that became my house you know this. Does I I want a beautiful wife. I want a family, I want sports cars, and this now and now I have those things because the mind is a powerful tool and the mine can create reality. The bureau talking to someone who is successful, how many people thought like that and nothing happens. I bit millions. I bet there's so many beat your ear. You have that you have a bite yes in successful users year those once you're talking to and just because the fact that they have been able to have these extraordinarily says successful lives while visualizing these things does not mean that visualize these things, creates YAP, an extraordinarily successful I've. U have to thinking you have to acting to do right in this trial and error and there's a lot of lessons to be learnt, but if you wanted to simplify it at the end, once you're, successful and boy,
down to a philosophy that you could sell course on sure. That's what it would be, not exactly right look there's nothing wrong with visualizing success, but that is not the causal ingredient brand will yield the success of the thing that comes to mind is in they do it any longer, but there are certainly a time when olympic athletes would be taught to visualize, say jumping over that high, but as you know, and they run through the whole thing it, but that's all that they were doing right. There were doing you know ten hours a day of training that integrated this visualization is part of the training programme young. You know so so so it's kind of tragic when people buy into these these crazy ideas and I have to tell you when they were making that film. They called me too to be in it and think was the director one of the producers on the phone with, and you know that
describing what they were doing and I probed sufficiently harden some. My friends did not probe sophist hard nor in the film and read it at by, but I provisionally hard now said, look what you're doing to me sounds really dangerous. It sounds like a really bad thing to be doing and they took offence in that call back that a year after the film came out it was either the director produce. I can remember the gentleman and called me up and set him, apologise to you. You are absolutely right. I have finally realised what a bad film this was to be involved in, and I completely regret it so that I dont think, as the point of view of of you know the around the school of enlightenment, which is behind this, or at least part of what was behind this, but at least the director or the produce. Whoever was saw the light and realise that this is not. The kind of
information that you want to put out in the world because it can change people's lives in a very negative way, and I think you're in comparison to limp gas leads. Us is very good because the limit athletes are visualizing, something that they already do. You know what there's a great battle, fit in visualizing for athletics. Were martial arts for a lot of different things, Visualizing success, visualizing potential of our problems, failures of your process. How you're going to adjust on the fly? those things are great because then, when things do take place in real life situations, you ve already prepared for them. You know the path right. That's right! That's all about I agree that, in fact, I have to tell you know it in one of the chapters later chapter in the book. I describe theories about why it is that we, for instance, tell fictional stories
I mean: could there be any evolutionary value and to individuals telling each other a story that they both know was false, that they know has no connection to the world around but yet we ve been doing that since the mergers of language- and there are these interesting- evolutionary scenarios in which what you're saying is brought to bear in that unfamiliar context. We tell stories, because it's the mind way of rehearsing? For the real world, but it's a waiver person for the river that completely safe So you can go on all sorts of crazy journeys to the underworld up into the cloud you can engage in all sorts of battles. You can fight gods or Demi gods. All these things can take place with in your imagination, so you're completely safe. Yet when you encounter something, that's analogous to the stories that you ve been told or re told or embellished or all the others, through other accounts, your brain,
It is more a tuned to respond in a beneficial way, because it's not as novel as it would have been. Had you not been engaged in this fictional account of telling stories so there's value in in visualizing, there's value in telling stories, but it's not the causal part that some individuals would want us to believe. It is yeah. The only thing I would say that that is some people develop expectations based on fictional accounts and is a real problem like romantic movies, where some people will expect. Hey that exists in these romantic movies own right and it's not indicative of human beings in the real world. Yes, yes, point well taken I mean, I think the vital thing is that you brain has had sufficient experience that it can wait. These fictional accounts in a way that cannon
hants your response to the world, but not set undue expectations of things that are just you know, only be true at a fictional setting and not in the real world, is so strange to me that we desire those I mean here: movies right yeah, like hero movies, in particular, especially superhero movie, someone who possesses powers beyond anything known to human beings or any life form yeah. I get that I mean you're about to snap. Your fingers fix everything, but actually see it in in in a slightly different way relevant. What we're talking about before you know. I think that the whole hero, worship that we have as a culture comes again from our recognition of how powerless we are against the forces of nature against the inevitable death that is facing us all and therefore there's something deeply.
Productive, about the possibility of a being that can transcend the limitations that we mere mortals or always subject to so I think it's built into our dna to risk. And to the way that we do them in the manner that we do when encountering a hero in the world. I mean, there's you know, you're, just camp As you know, we are at a year so the power of math, but is more technical virgin the here with a thousand faces. You know he goes through the the whole notion of what it is to have a myth. Its basic, an individual s, call to action to rise above the kinds of activities that mere mortals will be able to undertake resist the call at first but then rises the challenge, those mountains. The world conquers comes back a chance
individual and shakes up the reality from which at individual initially emerge on this journey, and there is ample evidence that across cultures throughout the ages, we have constantly been telling these kinds of mythological tales because they speak to us. They speak to art, urge and our desire to transcend the limitations that our physical form in the laws of physics necessarily constraints to yeah it's. It is fascinating when you think of how many different languages in Heaven different. Cultures share those same archetypal theme, yeah yeah, and I do think it all comes. If you look way back into the history of the ideas it come from this initial recognition that we are mortal and the fact that our brains are able to not just fix on the moment but can think about the entire time line is the one that makes it
a poignant realization and if we couldn't think about the future, who had what did it matter? If we knew that we were going to die, I mean it would mean nothing, but the fact that we can innovate and the fact that we have ingenuity that allows us to know me. The wheel that allows us to build the pyramids that allows us to come up with quantum mechanics and I equations and Beethoven Symphony and and Picassos were the fact that we can undertake all of these expressions of Korea It of will and design or to transcend the world around us. Has a downside the downside is. We recognise that we are not going to be here for very long, and I think that motivates a certain kind Engagement with the world, an hero, worship is part of it. Curs. While is a fascinating care gay he thinks he's gonna be rap wherever yeah yeah, I was wearing them up near. Have you discussed anyone
stuff with him. You know, I don't know him personally. I have certainly done to some of his talks and I think he and I had one exchange at some point in the past and I totally get where he's coming from. You know he feels that we're perhaps the fine mortal generation and how sad it is. After you know, a hundred thousand generations of humans, if we could only stick around for one more generation, science would come to a point where we would be immortal, and that feels like a tragic state of affairs. I don't think he's right and I think most people who think about this They don't think he's right either. However many vitamins you take and, however much sciences progressing the notion that we are just a generation or two from immortality. I think, as wish,
while thanking the strange concept of immortality too, because it's not necessarily you its aid, downloaded version of you that bullet first in some sort of computer ravages, what does that mean right That sounds like hell yeah. It could be you know, I am sleep in their competitors. I allow for the possibility that that maybe it would be a way of being in the world that would have upsides that are hard for us, as flesh and blood individually, to appreciate short this point. But it raises the deep question Would that be a good thing? In fact, if you have that opportunity to be download in some form That would allow you to hold on to all your memories, build new memories on top of them have experienced. Maybe there's an avatar that you're able, DR, but through you know, your mental machinations is out there in the world. Would you do it.
I might have said yes before I've had some pretty profound psychedelic experiences and then from then I said, I'm gonna hedge, my bets on see what's next right and see what happens when the lights go out? A really do you think there may be something happens. I don't know. I don't know what I mean for sure your body is going to decay and you are going to become a part of the earth you're becoming part unless they can Let your unless they write embalm you with some toxic chemicals that nothing can use your beer dead tissue, which is really a shame. Yet, Russia, and that we do that. Unless someone murders you and you have to zoom you in the past, so in the future, whether Sava a murder right, I I don't know what what what do you think consciousness having consciousness is clearly just a factor. Brain tissue in an energy or do you think it's possible that
What our brain is is something that tunes into consciousness yeah. Why spend spend some time thinking about this question? I think it's perhaps the deepest question that faces size or even humanity at some level and on my own personal perspective, is the consciousness, is nothing more than the choreographed motion of particles in Ferris Quantum state inside a lobby gray structure that sit inside this thing that we call a head? Do I have any proof for that? No does anybody have any proof of our consciousness is not at all
at this moment, but the history of the Reductionist programme, where we ve been able to take some of the more spectacular creations that have emerged in the world and recognise that they are nothing but the product of their ingredients in the laws of physics. Leads me to extrapolate that idea to the experience of consciousness and having said that, there is a deep puzzle. It's called the hard problem of consciousness, which is, if electrons and corks him particles. Laws of physics are all that there is, and if you buy into the fact that electrons don't have an inner world that corks don't have an inner world. How can it be that by take a collection of those particles. You can turn on the lights. How can a collection of mindless thought particles somehow yield mindful experience and that's a deep question that science has not yet
answered? My own feeling is when we understand the brain better, that question will evaporate, will look at the brain, there are new found understanding. Maybe it's a hundred years and make maybe a thousand years in the making and will say ah ha when electrons inquire Some protons move in this particular configuration one of the by products. Isn't it or sensation that we call conscious experience and that to me is the likely answer that we will find but there are some very smart, well respected people who go in a very different direction. There are some who say, electrons and protons and works. They do have a fundamental product Conscious quality, they themselves are conscious beings of a sort now knowledge you're, going to the elections that are crying or are corks that are anguish in. But if you have an
it'll protocol element of conscious experience that is imbued into a particle, and then you take a lot of the particles and put them together the ideas that yields the manifest conscious experience it were familiar with. I don't buy into that. People. Do pick a position why I take a position on this because I guess my view is you look out at the world and what you do is physicist. Is you move the smallest degree required explain the phenomena that you are observing and to move from our An understanding of the world to leap frog to place were electrons are conscious and courts are conscious to me. Is such a fantastically radical move that I dont considered justified to make that move with our current level of understanding. There was a time back and aching hundreds when life itself was so, Mr Kohl, that people
We said the same kind of thing: how could a collection of lifeless particles ever come together and yield a living being? They said that they can't, you have to do. Shall life force have to inject vital that have you inject a life force and that's what sparks emergence of life on life was part of I don't think any serious scientists think set today. I think most serious high to say yes, life is wonderful. Life is in some sense, miraculous, but life is nothing but the particles of nature coming together to yield the complex molecules of DNA and RNA, the complex cellular structures, the cells come together to yield the more complex multi cellular organisms, and that's all that it takes to have something that's alive. No life force is necessary that way of thinking about world has gone away, and I my own feeling is that kind of progression is gonna happen for consciousness. Today, it's a really mysterious how it is that it
this inner voice talking inside my head, how it is that I look around the world and I can see the color read and I can and I can experience the color read. I don't just have sensors that can call that read mean an Iphone. Can do that. I actually The inner world right feel that color read. Where does it come from heart answer that question, but I think a hundred or thousand years from now will look back and smile how we, in this era, invested consciousness with such mystical quality when, in the end, it's nothing but particles in the laws of physics, and that's all there is to it. But what s interesting to me is that, as a human being my my thoughts I consciousness or are very deep and profound, and this this idyllic. What is this thing? But if I really break it down objective Lee and animals have some sort of consciousness, a mean, including it they have instincts right. They they try to get away.
Danger they try to survive and procreate, and we developed something far more complex and our ability to express ourselves in language and in doing that language. Hurried during that creation of that language. We developed all sorts of bizarre concepts and we ve developed all sorts of different ways to describe feelings and emotions and and contemplate the future These things are continually getting more more complex. If you go to, angle, celled organisms work your way up to you now early hominids and then get to human rights. You just see this ever increase in form of complexity. In every way. Yes, and in the way that the thing see the world. Of course, it makes sense that there be more complexity right, but we don't die about that we think of a parakeet. We don't think of a parakeet is being conscious, but a pair keep relatively speaking is far more power.
But if they chimpanzee, which is relatively speaking, far more proactive than a human being right and it is going to continue to evolve or if we survive thing, will continue to improve, didn't have natural selection and yet mutation and all the other factors and will be some thing that makes this today, look like primitive. The way we look at singles out organisms or champs or whatever I can well imagine I mean I was receiving. No small changes in DNA in a tiny fraction of percent yields, a radical change in what the being that has a dna their will to accomplish. But at the same time you you made reference to psychedelic experience here, and I trust you a great, but tell me if you don't that those good Elk experiences were generated by a slight change in the chemical make up of the particles coursing through your brain and Europe
sometimes I'm going to change, sometimes a lot of them that heavier ones are actually produced by the brain right. So so so to me, that's a great piece of data that speaks to the fact that all it is is particles and KEN those coursing through a structure, because, if the mind with some how external to the physical make up in the walls describing it, then with the injection say of some kind of foreign substance or, as you say, the brain producing some sort of substance had it didn't ordinarily have within its make up. Why would that be able to have such a radical impact on conscious experience the way, I would look at it if I was trying to argue against. That would be that your eyes and the organs of the human eye are taking in light and through that we are able to perceive physical objects in the world that they would not be able to do without light yeses its
it's something that allows you to see and allows you to taken death perception, understand, shapes that the human mind, and particularly these glands, that produce these psychedelic chemicals when experiencing these key chemicals? It allows the brain to expire, since things that might be there all the time. Yes, but that you cannot perceive with normal human Neuro chemistry there needs to be enhanced or the rules need to be changed and shifted, and what's really perplexing about that, these chemicals is that these chemicals are produced by your brain, and if you do take these, like predicted that If a me, he has the most potent while the psychedelic chemicals we take that the EU, these insanely, profound visions right which is now leads to A lot of people have an easier religious, spiritual epiphanes, have you done anything
these are our experience is allowed to talk about him. I have not not many and I'm a complete lightweight in this arena, because I hardly drink you do. I hardly do anything that put foreign substances into the body, but yeah I was in I was in Amsterdam, was. I was there because does get me a lecture to the queen of HOLLAND, and I gave the lecture my wife and I were both their and after that was over. We decided to do a little experimental and for somebody like me who doesn't experiment. I made a mistake because, you eat it. What was while the first night we went out and we went to one of these coffee bars and I guess I can speak about this. You know I am Sligo, yet totally legal exact, you know we took them
if the easy way and like the did, the novice version- and it did nothing to me at all that first night said the next night. Let me when I went right to them. Bottom of the list where they you saw, it was in Dutch or something, but it had like machine guns. You know pointed out a brain cow there, yet so so I'd I did that version, and it was the most terrifying experience of My fucking life either, but we were in a club we're in a club and all of a sudden the world changed and what started happening is my brain started manufacturing versions of myself. That would converse with me and can Vince me that the reality that I was experiencing was real and then that version of me would destroy that reality and the process would start over and over over something you smoke do a smoked, why deadly smoked
Annie. I suspect that the impact was because my body has no experience it's over shore, oh, you know, and I think that just enhance the impact- and you know it was terrifying. It was utterly. I was in the hotel room and those clinging to the bed and- and I actually to my wife tie me up not an and not an end in neither did little rock. I meant I may time it cause, unlike terrified of what I'm gonna do right. You know a while, you know an end, so instead you know she. She called the doktor and I was like she was like afraid, disappear like and then this paper because it just like you have left it to the queen. You know, but you know that so used to Americans getting in over their head with this kind of its resources? Is something that they were completely useless, so you know they re data sent up a doctor and then the doktor basically just gives you sugar and my wife news
This is an extreme circumstances, because I don't eat any sugar, but I was like he said, Edith Objective the milky way Bars Theatre somehow another capture- some, I don't know I don't know the chemistry behind this, but but sugar is the antidote. Caffeine is supposed to help having up two years ago, but it it lasted eight hours even flying home on the plane. The next day, all I did ass. I sat in my seat and I put on the headphones and there's a beetles channel, and I just like listen to beetles. Peripheral April, like seven hours- and I was just you know in this in this place that I had never experienced before now now for our commerce eight, you know this just made it so intuitively obvious to me that my conscious awareness is totally depend and turn on account a few chemical. That's all that's happening inside of the head. So in a way it was a valuable experience is not something. No one ever experience again. Absolutely
but it was something that help a line my into of understanding of what consciousness is with these scientists recognition that it already upon the stuff that's circulating inside of your mind, yeah! What's interesting about this, this these heavy duty psychedelic experiences, because what you took was in by most people's idea very mile yeah, but no net, profound psychedelic chemicals that are also produced by your brain, if you just, If that ratio, and not by too much really, you know Tugela. Even you talk about well small doses of this stuff shift that ratio it produces. These profound vision is, like I Alaska type, I ask- is just an royally active version of dementia trip of yet they figured out how to your brain. Pretty your gut rather produces model aiming oxidation, it breaks down, die metal trip to mean, and so they figured out tat it.
Combine an embryo inhibitor with the leaves of another plan that has the domicile trip to me, and I say, but you could take it, they did their synthetic versions of it. But the point is. This is something that you brain produces your liver produces. We know Europe, we know it is produced in the lungs it's the body makes right, but it's God it's in there, but The now shift the balance and also you have these incredibly profound vigilance. It makes you think, like what what we have now in terms of our balance are. Chemicals must be different than with this. Fella must have had yes, chimpanzee thing right. Then men primates before that the human like when you think of human evolution. Do you ever stop to think? What are we going to be like a million years now? If we do survive? What have you ever this sort of thought experiment. We say: okay, if things can go in the same way right, we used to be very strong and very Harry and we're getting per progressively softer as
We don't need to use our bodies as much our brains are getting larger. Our hands are getting bigger. Doo doo doo, that sort of thought experiment see what we're gonna become not in a systematic scientific way, because the process is so fraught with incredible detail, it's hard for anybody, even experts in evolutionary biology to really tell us anything that will hold water that really predictive? on a general level yeah I made, because you know people often wonder why is it that we haven't been visited by aliens right this wrong thing that comes up whenever you're talking about other life in University, the minute we I've about, but the answer to that could be quite straightforward, no body out their cares about us, because we're so ill developed were so yeah, on the cosmic seen that there's nothing interesting for them to find here on planet so to me, there's a natural explanation for why there can be
Duff other life out there, and yet they don't hang out around planet earth. Just what I ve been on, hang around a man held to try to have a conversation with you know. What's going on inside that particular structure, I buy them argument. The least you guys we're instant butterflies, firefighter so boring where we are interested in moles, where we're interested and interested in is earls we're interested in them for very specific reasons. Sure I too because we were interested either because we want to see the regional development. That yields is particularly form or because, as a general Clause Rio City about how this object is put together. If these other beings are so far beyond us, those kinds of tax and tax on questions are no longer have any interest. Then the hanging around here may not hold any thing for them to make the journey and stick around long enough for us to notice. I don't buy that again for two reasons again, because why would we assume that they're so far beyond us that they wouldn't be injured? said in these talking monk.
With Thermo nuclear weapons who dominate an entire planet. That would be fascinating remedy some planet right somewhere where people politicians align themselves. Everyone gets video through the sky. They fly and metal tubes that hurl over the spill over the oceans righted, pollute the oceans and eat all officially. These people are fucking crazy. Here we ve got to go there and check this out, but but imagine that this civilization, the notion of lording over a planet is like us talking about in the logging over a grain of sand, so they may be galactic as opposed to planetary inner had Jimmy and the notion of some little tiny rock orbiting some nondescript star in the suburbs this completely ordinary galaxy off. They are on the side, may not have the kind of pull that you imagine that it does our disagree. We think Interesting. We see a champion a rock to open up a nut. You know we can get.
Interesting that you know this is an amazing photograph of rang attaining that spear fishing of your seen it I've seen that, actually again right notice, he learned from people apparently boiardo interesting, nonetheless, rapid. I don't think a hundred years from now we're going to be as interested in these kind of qualities or a thousand years for an hour ten thousand years from well. What are we assume that these things they come here from another planet are more than ten thousand years? Well, that's good! That's it that's a big question and I think that the answer to that is we look at the history of the cosmos until today and its that just call our universe to be concrete. Thirteen point eight billion years and they look at life on planet earth. Then it you know a handful of billions of years or so and a handful of billions of euros. You can go from some complex molecules, tat human being, I won T say it like it's not that long. If most of us, it's not that long, because you know me Passionate life began a few
billion years earlier in some other system. You know stars and galaxies. They were starting up. You know a billion years after the big bang, so it could be that life in other worlds has a head start on us by a few billion years, and we no, what can happen in a few billion years again days from single cell to us shore, and you can imagine from a few billion years from now into the future- could be radically different. So to say it's thousand years ahead of us. That, to me would be the unexplained coincidence, how unlikely that they start, and we within ten thousand years in the span of billions of years. That seems, unlikely isn't Does it seem unlikely when you talk about the infinite size of the universe and is perhaps an infinite number, Ryan Granger! There talking to an infinite numbers of me, good good point did put so so you're, absolutely right. We were. Was guaranteed. If the spatial expanse of universities,
We are gonna be places where its within ten thousand years shriller, but those are going to be a very small number compared to the places where it's not ten thousand through or would it be an infinite number of them? Well, the audience and all members that all but their different kinds of infinity. So you mean, in this space exact scope of the universe itself. A small number, relatively speaking, to where we are living longer, takes a different at say: look at a finite size ball in this large space. Everything's fine. I get a five billion light year, all right and within that ball the number that are different from us by ten thousand years would be very
a very small compared to number differing from us by say a billion years or a couple, a billion years so that simply by the Dutch but the law of numbers. If we imagined the random processes hydrogen now there could be some physical principle that prevents life from emerging before say four billion years ago, and if that's the case and were not aware of that principle, then you'd be absolutely right. That we'd all be roughly the same starting point and there's no reason to suspect that, They would be so far ahead of us, but I don't know of any such principle, but yeah yeah. You almost have a reductionist view. This right, like you, do you do so? If you had again if your hundred hours, Tibet, the as alien life ever observed us you would say well by observed, you mean: could it just turn a big test? scope in our direction and gather some radio waves. You know, but but yes, I would take that bet
because, frankly, we have only been generating ready way for the last. You know seventy years so Tonia. Seventy light your ball around us and within that small radius, very unlikely that there's been some alien world. That's examining so would have to be something that would be able to recognise our signal envisaged right. Don't we look at observable planets and solar systems and discover goldilocks planets, We don't. We examine those planets from a vast distances away, yes and wood You assume that life form is perhaps thousands of years more advanced in us with the exponential increase in yes analogy mean if ever got to the point. We are that they would see these goldilocks plants as well and recognise an earth is one of them. Yes, however,
if they are so far away there going to be examining earth, as it was hundreds of thousands or millions are bigger years ago. So if you truly want to be examining us in the sense of human presence on planet earth, then it's a much more difficult proposition to imaginative action can do is it possible, there's another way to examine things where you're not hampered by the speed of light, not not I that I know of I mean any signal in the world that we are aware of is restricted by so that shows, there are led by the speed of travel, which is now look, there's quantum entanglement, which is a strange property of the quantum world which distant objects can behave as if they are one. Some sent respond instantaneously to an influence in one location at a distant location. No matter how Our part they are, but that isn't really observing that More, that's more realising Carl nations between physical properties at widely separated locations
I am not aware of a means of leveraging that actually observe what's happening in some distant location. Even if you do have quantum untangle particles for a long time are operating. Theory on aliens was when I see something that's interesting, then I'm gonna pay attention to it right because it it just it's too attractive and its part of the thing of whether its ramp or any these wonky things there's something about Wu Wu, stuff, weather Psyche, eggs or gamblers. That's really attractive to people some sort of a weird way, and so is so our aliens. The idea that if we were visited by sea thing from another world, some far advanced space, daddy or whatever it is that down here and I M going to show us the way: that's dead so a track. Yes, that is it. I think it must, As with your ordinary ability to observed and too objectively analyze. What's real, it's not! I totally agree with that and I think it's an unfortunate feature
Of the human mind that we tend to look outward for weirdness that will inject into the wall. World more than me every day that we experience through through common everyday encounters. We want there to be more. We don't want it to be right that we're just on this rock around this plan. And we live for a while and then were gone? We want it to be more than that, and so we action at their some answer floating out there in the cosmos that maybe that will be brought down to earth through space daddy, as you referred to it, and my view of that is it's much more noble to recognise that there is no answer floating out. There is base there's no space. That is going to come here and say this is what it's all about. The answer is you and, and everybody else we manufacture our own, meaning we manufacture own purpose and how much better is it that we come up?
with the our own, meaning then having it bestowed or forced upon us by some external entity. I dont think that diminishes I think it a grand dies as them, because it's coming ultimately from ourselves that makes licence. I think the hope is that space he's gonna, prevent nuclear war and figure out how to fix the ocean. Yes or no, I mean I met and that it could that that certainly magic happened. It's under their knowledge out there in the world that you had imagined that that we haven't yet encountered that we could make use of so rotten task. But the other thing that's worth keeping in mind, and this, I think, is surprising to some people you can do a calculation as to whether consciousness can itself persist indefinitely in the universe. You can ask yourself, shore earth may go away you and I were going to go away. We recognise all this, but is it possible that some kind of conscious being can continue to cogitate indefinitely far into the future or its progeny continue to cause
Tate and you can pretty much establish that thought itself will come to an end in this universe, thought itself is a limited lifetime phenomenon in the cosmos. So when it least our universe right, So I'm in a focused just on our those. You have dropped down a protons when we get to that point. There is no room for thought and yells, as you did that's part of it, but I'm willing to go further. I'm willing to imagine that, even with the breakdown approach, HANS had there some way that the particles that it spawns electrons neutrinos times whatever, somehow, through some configuration of why they separated particles is able to have signals goin back in Fourth, that allows this group of particles to think I'm. To deposit that in order to be a general as possible, and with that assumption, you can still prove that the relentless rise in entropy that we were talking about before ensures that any kind.
Detaining being that happens, to still be able to persist in this unusual. Realm of particles will ultimately burn up in the in traffic waste generated by its own process of thinking, so the process of thought itself in the far future will generate too much heat for that being to be able to release heat to the environment and to avoid burning up in its own waste when you think you'll fry food about it's it's always been interesting to me, whenever really stepped back and looked at it, that our ideas of the importance of thought are so egocentric when we take the consideration, the that's, the vast scope of the universe and how majestic so What are we seeing the cosmos Adobes, no thought at least as far as we know whatsoever like like hyper nervous like like give you know. Star nurseries, all these different things that we see in the cosmos that are infinitely law.
Larger than us and responsible for life itself. Yet at these processes create the very elements that are needed to create life but we are so concerned with this, one animals ability to think and ponder create, and and emotions and right stories and that to us It is so egocentric cameras every lay self senator, it is really an infinite noon. Universe. Yeah me. We are too finite beings sitting. In the valley out in front of a wooden desk out. It's really we that I think about its as so important to do everything to it is. It is, and it's hard to not think in those terms, I encourage people. The part of the point of this book is to encourage people to thinking of cosmic way and recognise the point that you're making, which are with these little tying tiny finite beings crawling around on this planet. We're here for a brief moment of cosmic time and that's all there is to it and some will feel like. Oh my god, that's disturbed
Bing that's distressing, my point is hey extol. All celebrate the fact that you are here for this brief, I mean think about the collection of quantum events stretching back from the big bang until today that had to turn out exactly as they did for you and for me to actually this each one of these quantum events in their nearly infinitely? Many of them could have turned out that way. Instead of this yielding universe, which neither you nor I nor anybody else would be here and get against those downing odds. Astounding odds were here. That is key. Cause for celebration and you can go further not only and we're here we can figure out how we got here. We can create art, You can write the stories that you are referring to. We can create comedy, we can build monuments, we can create films. We can do things that in
objects cat. So this to me is where the value and purpose and meaning comes from, as opposed to trying to look out and hope space he comes with the answer in a flashing in neon sign, say that's what it's all about. That's ever going to happen is it. Why might not have any Europe I meant that it applies to every time. I say it's not gonna happen I mean and likely, and it's gonna very unlike yeah. I agree with that, but it's interesting to me that that's the thing that we look forward to the most to the average person of the things about they think about space. They think about intelligent life that is are more interesting to them than the fact that there is black holes out
there does our planet's. There is sucking stars into its event horizon the others, infinite point of density that we can have a really begin to imagine with our own little brain, yeah, yeah and and the fact that all this arose without a guiding intelligent you. You know that there are black holes and there are active galactic nuclei and,
our black hole slamming into each other, creating gravitational waves that we can actually detect. I mean it is a wonderfully rich reality is that we are fortunate to be part of. Do experience much push back or much conflict from religious people who don't like the fact that you describe things not waited, didn't need an intelligent for young tells you created to us in which an engineer question, because the biological community people like Richard Dawkins and the like, I think, have really borne the brunt of the religious pushed back because their dealing directly with phenomena of life and that
the precious commodity that somehow we want to be sacred and therefore religious sensibility will push back on it. Just being the mindless laws of physics and evolution, yielding your life on planet earth, they haven't pushed his hard on the quantum physicists and the cosmology as they have. The biologists, but I have had conversations. Many of them are, are our respectful, as opposed to antagonistic, where the view is that I M wrong, headed than I missing the point- and some of these religious folks are fantastically accomplice, silent, that's. Where yeah I mean I went to a gathering. I think I can talk about now was cold. Door gathering. You were meant to describe yoga to buy this year with right under the cover up and- and I thought is, it was sight, was called scientists, spiritual quest, and it was a bunch of scientists that were being brought together, and I thought I was gonna be in it
trusting, but ultimately one note meeting, I thought everybody's going basis say the same thing there could be a God is no effort. For God, we ve got the laws of physics and we're gonna just press forward under the assumption that physics is all there is until the clouds part in God reveals him or herself or itself to us, and at that point we may change our tune. It was not one now. I was the only person who had that perspective in the room. Every body else was coming out, religion from a very different way of thinking about the world, In fact, there's one Nobel laureate in the room who got up and sang psalms as part of his prey, Cantation, and I was sitting there and I was like what is happening Here this is so unexpected. To me, ever really meant was. I was so Those minded. Into the varieties of religious engagement that happened in the world, and I opened my eyes.
And this one noble Lord in particular, I did say to him at the end of so when you look at me, and you hear my view, what do you think kind of put his arm around me and fund way and said: you know: you're you're, real, smart guy, and you don't understand the true reality and I think, ultimately you will open minded and your on a journey, and I hope that your journey will finally take it to the place where I have been for for many years. That was so unexpected that does Nobel laureate who are respected for his his car creep mathematical, experimental work saw the world fleetly differently. Now. Was there The spectrum of belief yeah, absolutely no, absolutely, but I was the one who is far one I was the one who run tethered yeah and I came in there as I won't. You know at an end and and and clearly they arrange the meeting to have a spectrum of perspective
is not something that was randomly designed and it just so happens, but it was and I opened or not- and from that I rent to read, you know bullion James Book of writers, religious experience of no make me. So it's a book tat, William James, great psychologist, road in nineteen o too, and it was based on a series of lectures. I think given scotland- and it is the most heartfelt, and rational approach to religion in science that I think has ever been written. And yet most people don't know much about it, because, but he does is he goes through any documents through his own research and through reading biographies and intervening individuals, the vastly different ways that people think about religion and why they think about religion, in the value that religion has in their lives and an end. When you read that book it doesnt convert me, I haven't changed my
views on whether or not there is a God, but it has changed my views on the value of religious sensibility, the role that it plays in people's lives. Now look, it can be. You know it to people like SAM Harrison and end. You know it's a destructive force in the world than it has been destructive force in some ways, but that's not the full story. A full story is that for some individuals it gives a connect and to a historical lineage, that's deeply valued for some individuals. It puts there, I've been a larger setting that allows them to be in the world in a more productive way. So there are a whole range. Of roles that religious engagement can play. The problem is when you start it against scientific insight, then you run into trouble, but we're late, was never developed to give us factual information about the world
You will never give us the electron magnetic moment to nine decimal places. That's the purview of scientific investigation, if you can keep these straight. In your mind, there is a definite and powerful role for. A religious sensibility and a world yeah I've. I feel it the people in a lot of ways of scaffolding for ethics and morality, and allows them some alleviation of anxiety, yeah it s. A feeling of purpose is but, like you said, as long as it's not conflicting, with rigid scientific reality, attic right, scientific provable, scientific reality yeah, and I tell you that thing you know Richard Dawkins hundred, I had him under programmes. So so so you know that his his m o in the world is very anti, religious? I think you would agree with me on that, and I want to put words into his mouth, but I did event with him in New York, the Beacon Theatre, maybe a year ago, or something like that and it was very interesting-
because in a one on one conversation, his views were very similar to mine. I public. We don't agree with in totality I was saying to him: there are times I go around the world and I will do things that are utterly irrational, I'll knock on wood. For good luck, I'll speak to my dead father. I know that is not really there I'll pray to God on occasion. If I think that I could use that backup, not because I think there's some bearded individual in the sky, it's just behind, RO tendency that I find to be comforting and useful, and I said this to Richard and he said I totally get it at once. He's like a totally get. He said he's in fact. He said I don't like to sleep in a house that has a reputation as being haunted you know you know, and for me, with such a beautiful human moment, I'm such a beautiful human moment where we were just like
Being human being right and any said, and in these had we're both centres? And I agree- we aren't health centres in that sense, because we know how the world works. We know this doesn't make any sense in. Yes, it still part of somehow how we even the world and I think there's a value to recognising that that is what it means to be human. You will engage in the world in ways that are not necessarily strictly adhere. To some rational perspective of how the scientific world operates. I would love to see Richard Dawkins out a haunted house yet not going you act like you know, So so you know it's all just to say that I kind of feel like there are many pathways toward ins light in the world are many ways to live a life. There many ways to come to terms with our own impermanence and it's not as though something is right or something is wrong. It's a question of. Is it useful to you and
I think that we have to be very open minded in the kinds of behaviors that we allow to happen in the world. You know you know even right it's not naughty stuff here. But if some of those individuals who go there find that allows them to live in the world in a more productive way, alleviating anxiety, feeling, like dorani spiritual question, so be it yet that's the thing that sought mean it's hard for people to understand. If you're, not in that space, that head space it there, you don't need this structure, but for some people, even Scientology or something along those lines. It seems Lupi on paper, can provide them legitimate
structure and and benefit their lives in a tangible way they could describe to you yeah exactly, and am I feeling is that if there is an urgent know this to be the case may be. Some biologists will push back on this, but if there was a a race of for want of a better word, you know Vulcan, like individuals, who approached the world in a completely rational manner, evaluating the data figuring out. The most sensible course of action competing against a crazy group of individuals like us who will come up with a wild fictional ideas gods in the Heavens, you know demons haunting the world. I think it's the latter group that ultimately with triumph, because with that kind of freedom of thought, you get novelty, you get ingenuity, you get creativity, and so I feel though this is part and parcel of who we are.
We have survived and to sort of come at the world with a scientific club that's meant to smash away. Anything that disagrees with the scientific world view is an unfortunate way of of looking at the world. Yet there's something about creativity that it doesn't necessarily have to abide by any laws of logic, and it can still be benefit. Shale gas and at an end, and that's why so stunning bright when somebody comes up with someplace, where did that come from it I come from a rational approach to working out. No, arms third symphony. It emerged from the churning emotions of an individual who happens to be made up of truly the particles guided by physical law, responding to the environment, which is impinging his senses, with an incredible array of influences and rule the World
urges the spectacular piece of music. That's breathtaking here really breathtaking here and it's amazing what that music tenants by as it reaches out to x amount of people than causes different thoughts in there and yet, and then that causes in turn another branch of creativity. Another new line of thinking that they might have ever never were pursuit of yes, and that to me, establishes that the notion that Language is the only way that we can know about the world vacant Stein, hadn't is respected and that the limits of my language limits of my world, that seems to be utterly wrong. I mean the experience of music or the experience of cogitate about the world, but not trying to overlay a narrative upon it. Just feeling your way in two reality reveals things about the world that I think are are beyond linguistic, do you ever
listen to music when year, your pondering an equation or whether you're going over a problem is an agent in question. When I was in college, I couldn't any sound on when I was trying to say, learn quantum mechanics and relativity. I would find that it would capture my brain to fully and I couldn't focus on the equations that I was trying to understand. But the funny thing is it in writing this book. For the very first time I found that they were, suggest I couldn't write if it was quiet I needed to have music playing because in some sense, by focusing too directly on what I was trying to say. I couldn't say it: I we found that I can make progress in certain kinds of descriptions by allowing my brain to fly off through whatever musical experience I was playing allowing the freedom of thought
to then emerge within that unusual. For me, environment become Israel's well, it varied incredibly alive Slayer, no better, so some of us classical, I remember, there's one vital of passages writing worse. You know Penta tonics Thea. They are a spectacular archipelago roof who are able to take songs that you have heard and transform them into sort of transcendent performance. As a judge, you should check these guys out, but other times you know it would just be loud, rock loud beetles, loud rolling stones, the soundtrack from the greatest showman blaring that thing and somehow it just allowed me a certain kind of linguistic freedom that I could not a choir in my normal way of being in the world which is everyone's quiet. Let me just work up my equations and on any total focus and no distraction
so. Is this something that you sort of evolved over the course of your career? Absolutely absolutely was not there early on and you know there's this phenomenon. I of this is anything more than a metaphor or an analogy, but whatever you know their certain things in the night sky that you can't see if you look at them directly, but by looking off access, you're able to invoke other qualities of the eye that are able to sense those features of the night sky. I kind of feel like it's. The same thing sometimes focusing directly on what you want to do. You can't do it and you ve got to look obliquely gotta, look off access. Metaphor clay and that's the only way that you can accomplish what you set out to do, and certainly music one of the ways to take ones attention and shifted in a different direction to get that oblique view of what is it you're trying to do, and I have found that it allows for progress
otherwise is unattainable, and is that the case also, when you running this book it? We absolutely was a case right in this book. You know there are. No, I have a very wife is very understanding, so we have a house. Ups are you? We live in Hatton Mecklenburg, but she would let me go up to our house upstate, but the dogs and by myself, and I would disappear for weeks on end and I hold myself up in this cabin in the woods and I would sometimes right deep into the night and the Renault neighbours around so I could turn on the music at whatever volume I found useful, and I would do it and I would find you know that it freed up a certain kind of creative thought process that to me, was striking because I had never approached work in that way before and it was really deeply interesting. So how did you come to this idea of doing it that way of ice,
I'm our struggling on certain things and I felt as though I am approaching this in a very flat footed way. I want to write about this. As you know, said one about right about human creativity. I wanna write about religious engagement and I'm just doing what I ve always done, which is I have this equation and I want to solve it, so I'm going to bring the tools of mathematics to bear to solve it, and I was approaching this writing project in exactly the same mind frame and as it wasn't working I said. Let me my brain around a little bit and ends one way of you know it could be psychedelic. I didn't go that direction, but I swear get around by forcing myself to be subject to a great deal of distraction in the environment around me and it really made a difference it's interesting. They did a calculated manner. Yeah right, I guess,
I'm so sorry, I can't break free fully from my my my physicists training, but it's why yes, I mean yet that that way of doing it is when it's also a time tested in our from right. For I throw too you know yeah in the front of his never worked for me in the past, because the focus I think one of doing mathematics, it does need, at least for me personally, to beat that kind of non distracted, total focus on what's Goin on as a right writer. It's a very romantic notion to to go to the wall, in a cabin, that's, what's up very rights for everyone to do get right right! Exactly missing! Is whisky ass well to get drunk out not that I did not had the dogs, and it's just that I hardly ever drink, you know, but it it was an unusual creative experience which, to me opened up a different way of going about trying to to creating
in the world. As you write more and more books, you find it to be more more difficult, or do you find it to be easier? Well, my early books were all focused on trying to bring scientific ideas out to the general public in the alpine universe was about string theory fab at the Cosmos space and time hidden. It is about multiple universes, and so in that role, my basically trying to translate from the cutting edge research into ordinary human language, so that people who don't want to go to graduate school can get the basic idea. What's going on in this book is a very different proposition. I feel it moved in a and in a significantly different direction through this book, because, yes, there, science yo entropy evolution, the history of the universe and the beginning to the end, but the focus on Wabi humans do what we do. Why we tell stories
emergence of language. Why we tell myths, Wabi, engaging religious experience, why creative expression is so important to us? This felt like it was drawing upon things. I've been thinking about for decades, but never put into two writing. So was a harder exercise than anything that I did before cousin the different exercise, but in the end one that I felt was even more gratifying because it was making clear why these ideas matter as a pole to just trying to tickle the brain of the reader, I'm trying to actually if you will touch the heart and soul of the reader and that's something which, if it's successful, feels very gratifying imagined. I will be very hard to end to feel how like to put the cover on it and go. That's it yeah right. It is, and I think that you almost with with all books, you know they're. The famous adage is that you never
initial book, you abandon them, that's all that ever happens, and that was true in spades in this particular case, because the subject was so big yeah and you can always imagine going further in this direction or in hand. Seeing that description, but at some point you recognise that You know life is an ongoing process and a book is ultimately a snapshot of where the author was at the moment that the book was written and that to me is really what happens here. This is a snapshot of my view of the human condition set against the Cosmo Logical unfolding and how much of your perceptions of these things has evolved in as an educator and as a scientist and as a person is in the public eye how much? How much of your perceptions on these ideas have changed over the course of your career, huge huge. I think I was a very.
Hard knows science thinker when I started, I think part of this may have been. I became a professor at it at a relatively young age. A thing was, twenty seven when I got my first faculty job, so many the grabbed students were the same age as me. So I think I felt the need to have a very rigid scientific outlook on the World PIG pick has of that- and I know I've gotten older- that has changed My willingness to entertain a broader range of thought and experience and ways of being has as absolutely grown. The other thing that's had a vast and vital impact on mere students enough for thirty years. The only thing I really taught was technical physics courses, Quantum mechanics relativity thermodynamics, and what do you do there you're at the blackboard you're putting equations up there you try it
get the kids to be able to solve problems and understand what the mathematics is all about. So the only thing you really ever doing is touching the cognitive part of their brain the last few years. I've been teaching. Of course the students didn't know it. That's actually based on this book, so I want to try out the ideas with young minds, so I've taught a corset, comical origins in meaning, and in that course I had. Students from across the cap is not just a physic students at the Neuro students, the anthropology students, linguistic suits, feel out glue. Aren't so as a whole range of students and to see how their understanding of how their major or subjects debts in to the Cosmo logical unfolding changed many of their perspectives on what it is that there still in what they're doing and to have students come to my office at Seville shook up shaken up whatever the right form of that verb is where they're saying you know. I've lived my life, such away. But now, when I think about religion as perhaps in
of airily, interesting and useful development as opposed to something from on high or when I think about creative expression as something that my seed, ingenuity and innovation as opposed to something that is just pure inspiration coming from the outer world. I'm thinking about my life differently and some of them frankly would be upset at had students come in terror, and I ve never had them when I teach quantum mechanics and you no more and one more than one real, because they say this course is punished shaking my sense of who I am and what I in the world. What was the key aspect of it? That was shaking them well for some stuff It was the it was the notion of religion, because many of them- or at least some of them, had a traditional religious upbringing and their academic life in their religious life for complete separate and now, when you have a chorus in which Europe focusing upon how will it would be that this instant
pollution of religion might naturally evolve on planet earth based upon what we know about humans and human brains, and the evolutionary pressures that we ve been under. Some of them began to think about religion as a very different proposition, then than one that they have when they were growing up, and I was in a position that I had never been before of basically counselling of student and saying hey, it's ok to have your world shake a little moon. It's ok to think about these. You make back to exactly where you were before this course, but if a collection of ideas can make, you re think your life, the least it'll, cast it in a different light, it illuminated differently go with it, see what happens, and I never had a conversation like that. One,
each Enshroud angers equation. You know and for me, is most gratifying pedagogical experience that I've ever had because your reach in the whole person hostages reaching this cognitive technique of sobbing equations. If you can talk religion with a really intelligent person, his objective, who has a belief its it such an interesting subject because Its requires suspension of disbelief in order to absorb some of the stories, but there clearly a history behind this of thousands of years. Translations and trying to get to the what did they mean when they wrote this Dounia? How much did they know and what with trying to do with it just trying to get ready to calm down and stay in line right or where they trying to find some means of gluing the grouping. Yeah via share bs,
in other folks who basically say that there are qualities of the human brain that naturally leave it open to a religious sensibility. I may, for instance, we have agency detection systems in our brain, where we look around the world and we tend to assign agency to things that happen, that useful right, because you know it you mistake a wind blown branch for a Jaguar yeah. It's fine! You thought with Jaguar, but just a branch. But if the reverse happens, you think really was a Jaguar. You think it's wimble umbrage you're going to get eaten, so we tend to overrun doubt agency into the world. There is evolutionary value to that. So when the wind blows we tend to-
I think, there's a mind up there. When the river gurgles, we tend to think that there's a mind in there, and this is sort of the seed for the kinds of perspectives that you'll find as many of the world's religions. So there's there's natural course of events that can lead to a arising of the institution, or at least the ideas behind the institution of religion and for students that have never encountered. That idea before it can really shake things up, and I think in a very valuable way. You know, so I think you're absolutely right having a conversation with someone who has a religious perspective, is deeply interested. Yes, understand where that mine came to the place that it got to and from a personal sensible I give you you know. I just give you one little anecdote. You know my dad died. I was twenty three years old and unexpectedly
I've been visiting home or I was at Harvard at the time I was visiting from Cambridge, and we had a nice weekend by the time I got back to Cambridge on the bus. My mom called me said. Dad said it was so shocking, it was like so sudden it was so Please remember, I went back home and my dad is not a religious man, but, We knew that he would want to have a religious ceremonies and we and we did it Emmy, had you know a million of Jews coming to the house. To recite did that. Irish prior because we were militia we didn't know what we're doing you know I had no idea what these men were saying, but it was deeply comforting. In fact, I didn't want to know what they are: saying to me: was it a collection of ancient sounds, but this connected me across the generations to a culture that
extending back five thousand years and in a moment of crisis? That was a very comforting and useful connection to have yeah that that is where I find people get the most out of religion in. The fact that it brings communities together in this sort of cohesive ritual everybody acts together and everybody you feel like there's completion to yet, like you you're putting someone. You know you're putting someone into perspective and you're doing so with this religious ceremonies and when large groups of people get together and engage in a ritual behaviour, something magical happens, you know I've spoken to evolutionary psychologists like Steven Pinker and is a wonderful thing.
Yeah, ok and annual Steve is sceptical that this kind of ritual behaviour can yield the kind of cohesive bonding that some people suggests that it does, but You know you probably have. I have on occasion engaged in these ritual behaviors, no mass, drumming a movement and- and I gotta tell you you are quickly- I find transport, to a place where you are now part of a collective, and you feel yourself melting into the group, and you are one and if you never had that experience, I think, is something that you should have, because I think it's a vital part of our heritage. It is part of how we got to be who we are here. There's something about group except dense and a group of people acting and doing something together that the does create is very strange bob yeah. It doesn't necessarily exists amongst individuals. It's it's. A weird bond is a very weird bond because
has nothing to do with the individuals with the person Jim or merits its irrelevant. That point somehow joining you too. Heather into this mass of humanity that all enjoy age in the same practice and some how you feel, as though your identity melt into the larger hall. I don't know why it happens. This negative aspects to that sort of horse with that mob mentality. Of course, I give you ever been in a situation where things got chaotic. Can you really have this feeling? Like anything, can happen at the moment I have seen it had it. I've never been part of it, but very weird, but I have a sort of feeling in the air yeah I've an analogous one which, as you know, my brother is a harsh Krishna. Well, you know and so you know he is thirteen years old in a man and left college in the Sixtys, which was a tumultuous time and and went to Europe and ultimately joined in to what may, people think of as some kind of cultures, activity and and so, but but he's not
hope, thinker, he's an original thinker, he's a brilliant thinker, and yet within this group mentality you can imagine. A certain kind of group think can take over these people. Imagine that this happened. So, yes, it has positive aspects in it can have negative aspects, but in the end, I think there is a long lineage in which those of our forebears who survive were the ones who could join together into these more potent. These powerful groups, and that we were able to triumph over other groups in only in central environment. You know, they're. There is different readings of the archaeological record, whether it was a dangerous place in the hunter gatherer past or a sort of plastic place, but one reading says it was a very dangerous place and therefore those groups it survive were the ones who were able to establish this kind of allegiance to the whole. Yes- and certainly, I think this kind of ritual behaviour may have in part of that bond together through shared experience,
so I am belief and if your ball, believing in the same supernatural entity, that's a powerful in principle, powerful glue dvd find the tears. I mean I don't want to see an arrogance in some academics. The members on the right word, but this being too quick to dismiss any positive benefit at all about religion. Yes, it's the knee jerk reaction now among certain group of academics, and it feels deeply unfortunate to made almost feels like a religion of its own sort when it's just the response, as opposed to a careful, thoughtful heartfelt analysis of the situation. I frankly wish that more people would read William James his book, as I do think that is the kind of cause here's a psycho, a scientist
right, a deeply thoughtful scientist who knows how to analyze data knows how do rationally engage with the world who was plum in the depths of religion in a very, very meaningful and sensitive way. You know by the end of these lectures the thing is lecture number, twenty or something he describes religion as this as something that helps the journey towards the the terror and the beauty of phenomenon. He describes it as the the voice of the thunder, the gentleness of the summer rain. He described in terms of the sublimated of the stars in this kind of transcendent approach to the religious experience. I think breeze it out of the academic guys. That is off and thrown upon it, which is something that is, contravening everything we know about the world, its causing p
but I think in ways that are irrational. I mean this whole troop that you here is not that there is some truth to that, but it's an incomplete truth and if you're willing to approach religion in a way, were you discard the pieces that offend you throw away the parts that you think are utter nonsense only keep those aspects that are useful to you in your life. Then there is a place for it by think therein lies the problem. The lot of people they're not going to do the rest is this need for suspension of disbelief troublesome so much that they feel like fools of their buying something right and were also dealing with all religions except the ones that are super questionable, like Scientology or Mormons right, that that are very old and that their idea of maybe it would be better if we came up with something that we can all agree on and twenty twenty right maybe it would be wonderful if we have something that may be has science in it. Maybe
Something that has are a genuine understanding of how human beings react and what would the benefits of community and having these in environments were loving, conscious people Kay with each other, in a very positive way that this could be a new form of this being that we seem to desire so greatly yet, and I great, and I have to try to make this point in the book, because the point that I make there is that truly engage with the world. You have to use of rioting of stories were fundamentally storytellers. That's what human beings are now there's the reduction, a story that physicists are well equipped to talk about with particles and laws of physics. On top of that, you ve got the chemist Dorothy they complex molecules. You got the biologists story that begins to talk about cells in life. You got the psychology nickel stored the Neuro physiological story that brings a minding consciousness and within that you
then have all of the activities of conscious beings undertake which includes religion and includes telling other kinds of stores and include creative expression. You need them all and to sort of say that the scientific account is the only account by which you're ever gonna gained true quality, the world is a very, in my view, limited description of what truth is. There is objective truth in the all that. We can measure that we can describe the equations of self worth, but there's also internal, true spiritual truth that you'd at two by self examination. It's real in the sense that your understanding how you respond to the world- and that is something which is deeply personal but utterly real and whether it through psychedelic, whether Sue I Alaska, whether through a spiritual journey, whether it through religion, regardless all this adds color to the story of what it means to be a human being to spend any time meditating. I do
I am not particularly effective, added and sell those people that were here, you know, but you know years ago, effective once well years ago, friend of mine bought me one of these. A transcendental meditation courses and, as I shall just try it hepsey, he spent the money. I can actually go and do it and it was kind of I hope there was a lot of what you might call Wu Wu stuff that was happening in the lectures and funny thing is the guy. Given the lecture, he did recognize me and you could. I could tell her uncomfortable he was giving his normal description because he kept looking at me. Sheepishly invoke quantum physics and I think that you know, but I was at home. I do every this, I'm not here to judge you I'm just here to sort of view is going on, but the idea of allowing the mine to be in a different mode of operation, which
of how. I summarize the experience you know if you're, if Europe, citing the mantra in your mind and allowing that to be a sort of pedal point, a driver, of how your mind is behaving at that moment, that's a very different way of being in the world from thinking about growth, regions Bing or of solving Einstein to question, and I think that to me is the value of it. It's a systematic way to put your mind in a different mode of operation and at times I find it very useful to move into that place. I'm what, when you, when you start doing trends imitation. What about it was weird well will was weird, would number one was doing this in this in his group setting, which is how you start on this course, and, moreover, it being frame in a manner that I had to
mobile, aligning with my understanding of how the world works by virtue of the lectures that were given to us for what it is, what we are doing, but through the practice I sort of found- I'm I'm sure, I'm just translating from They were saying in the lecture into a language at a more comfortable, and that made it less weird for me because, like when you're Talkin what religion just kind of coming out the thing cutting out the thing they did. It make any sense to me and saying hey: what is this really about? What this really is about is breaking the usual chain of thought, that is, Ninety nine point: nine percent of the time of how we live in the world and allowing my brain to have a chain of thought that is artificial, because I'm sitting here forcing myself to recite this mantra inside my fine, but that's a very useful way of being because its unfamiliar and its novel and allows my brain to operate in a different way. So when I translated
into that language. It all the submit a lot more sense to me and became not weird at all. It became an interesting practice and do still I do it when I feel I need it so either. Friends mine who say I cannot live in the war. What? If I don't do my twenty minutes in the morning assembly that that's part of my routine, I d, feel that way, but there are moments when I say whoa, I need to do it and based on circumstance, based on what's happening to given moment it allows it kind of mental reset. If it's, if that's a language that makes sense, and that reset, I consider to be a valuable thing to do now said could you do do didn't. I do. I don't do tm, but I do meditate and regular basis year. Raver bears- and I also have a float tank here. I don't use really like a deprivation yeah in this building. Yes, wherever they are shortly afterwards. Why am I gonna? Do it short curve?
Have you got for never done before? I do. I find it a little bit terrified him in time. I do there's plenty of a bunch of different flow place, some terrifying, it all really gauges, float, relax and but its complete doc, oh you're out, because I have the little I have some closer phobia, an that's like, for instance, I can't go into an MRI machine really yeah yeah taller and I gave a smart- why? Why are you? U turn on your head? I tried. I gotta tell ya reigned, so I have a desk at my office where it's only about like one foot high and slide my body underneath the desk close locked, the door could write, who weird and stay under their as long as I possibly could challenge realize I fifteen twenty them with them, but I get into the real machine and rail and air my wife's moms She didn't MRI edge is that it was the worst experience, my wife, my detours, unless we I fell asleep. I tell you understand it really here. I don't understand why
when as smart as you would not recognise oil. There's just last saying around me and I do I do, but it's that take the irrational pardon me I get in there. My heart starts to pound when I think that come from I dont know because it wasn't- was there any night and it has gotten worse and certain. There is a time against. Among some call em come across second nutcase, who's that Europe to Amsterdam is your fancy rapidly, but Billina. There is actually times when I couldn't even go in a tunnel in a car, the closet, although it was at that real yeah, I was in a taxicab, had to go to New Jersey. You know manhattans to take on linking tunnel as attacks his approach and tunnel. I said the guy. I can't do it, I can't do it and the ices boy. I can't let you out to legal to let you out. I said you gotta, let me out, I can't do it and it just opened the door and got out my god crazy, but now in fine with tunnels, side I dont know what it is that that, maybe you smaller sent. You waited at their married to
And maybe you re playing tricks with you and giving you anxiety to sort of a shake up? The word yeah, maybe you're Navy constantly contemplating the gigantic picture, actual scope of the universe and the now enough already stable about these things. So just Amarillo dangerous, really close to your heart. You gotta do a lot of MRI, giddily outright exact, ensure that ever do it, but I would actually do probably way if MRI on a regular basis and that I'm sure you get used to it. But now I just I just do a real, simple type of meditation. When I probably would eventually Take a tm course caused my friend Tom Papa he's really into TM, and he graves about it yet, but sit down and I breathe, I just concentrate only on my breath. Any comes and goes concentrate only on my breath, and I find really good relief from now yoga is the same thing I do yoga. I tried to at least twice a week when I write it. Yeah that there's
a benefit now in the same way in that it so difficult and in the poses, if you can only concentrate on your boy this balance and constrain your breath, you'll be filled with activity enough with the with things, a constraint on with the balancing of the posture and then the breath that it access us, almost brains, scouring Lenses the mind of unnecessary anxiety and a lot of other just leaving. You never want I suppose you have now yoga spin. I've been pretty steady for the last four years. Right right in my wife does a lotta yoga cheeky, telling me that I need to do it. It's great his grades grave, the body as well and I think the more comfortable your body is the release from me. Out of my mind, gas little doubt that you know last what should we doing? Palatine bike
but only the euro. But then I heard he added a disk in my man at the last two months. I have basically been unable to move. How did you do the wailing you know, I think it was thrown out the Christmas tree get out of mending ending? And you know my ninety two year old mother has used this opportunity to say- is written jewish guy We were allowed to have a Christmas tree. I went out there. This is this. Is it isn't meaningful right here? Get out of my? My christian wife is all too happy that a flexible and that count for sure What is going on with you back now yeah! Well, it's it's bad is banned, Did you get an mri? I D get MRI. One thing we started here s my mom says, is pushing its nerves, pushing its inner yeah of you heard a sum to cover agenda keen to know too now I dont rejected keenest up that I used for bulging desk in it incredibly beneficial its? It was created by a doctor in Germany,
and it was illegal and the United States until a few years back, they move the process of yours not covered by insurance, but its very, very beneficial. For that and what they do its essentially a more advanced version of platelet rich plasma? So they take your blood out. They do this process it takes about twelve hours and then they re inject. The serum I take this year the blood looks like this yellow serum and they inject it directly into the areas and it's all right into the spine right into the area where the spawn is bulging says other and it allows it to relax, it's the most potent entire inflammation drug that they can, they can use as I, instead of cortisone, which is exactly that exist was cortisone can help you as well. Gary's provide temporary relief, but what this does is actually heels. The area really it's very beneficial had a real bad bulging disc. In my neck, that was make my hands go numb. So my towser num near yet rare, but they can give my release?
and it's in Santa Monica there's a place called lifespan. Medicine are connected to the ideas of curious about what I just said, a friend a minor here, real problem with his neck within two weeks. It was better here, hey he got hit by car when he was once more cycle my family in Dell rain. He was really fucked up his his back was so bad like we were at the conniston of my people, came near many a tense tat, but what's manuals do my neck a semester so many bumps enemy, I'm in sharp pain, the animal real, and then he saw described to me so it I've got the thing for you and I sent him to place. Rejections amazed, I've had it on several Diana can get a chick I've had it done o my lord, I will well a lot of lake athletes. I Peyton Manning and all Kobe Bryant. They they flew to Germany to get this procedure dunk as you that lay ass legal there, including the USA President Dana. Why, which is where I found out about it, and then I found out that the roving offices in MECCA, and doubtless they have one they have won in Santa Monica, think somewhere else, maybe New York,
maybe a year, but it's an amazing procedure. I mean really is super beneficial, particularly for that kind of an ear caught. You spent it's been tough, for instance, I can't sleep because is no position yeah, that the value of that, as I have done so much reading over the last two months, because, unlike up half the night and I only cock out when utter utter option, but whose spinal decompression have you ever done any of that I went to this physical therapy plays? Were they put me up on pulleys and a kind of pulled the feet? I guess, way from them back wasn't like being stretched. But your own weight was causing me the vertebrate. A separate didn't help huge relief, yeah, the you can get it Small inversion table a thing about that yeah. Well, I can have one oh here he could, you guys are yellow and luxury about. Here is another thing called the reverse hyper machine and the reverse hyper machine was created by this
he's a very famous power left, her name Louie, Simmons and Louis. Had this idea is very brilliant guy and he had this idea that they were trying to fuses disk Sierra balding. Death is a wall. A disk is compressed like how do you get it to decompose and he developed this machine that strengthens the back when you lift up the legs, but then in the law wearing of the legs and actively it. It provides active decompression and ITALY obviated his problem. Do you where this show to issue they afterwards, once it's a machine, he added you get but we are. We aren't physical being's right now we have a mine that can sort of the edge of the cosmos members you gotta bulging disk, it doesn't matter. Oh yeah painters rearming you deal with it and you have to be really careful and from me what's really critical is physical maintenance and I'm very dedicated to physical maidens, even if there's nothing wrong, so falls alien. The core yells via a lot of chin,
set ups lot of lower back exercises, a hyper back extensions anything to keep things strong school it's making sure that the more tissue. You have the more strength you haven't tissue around, particularly protecting your joints and your spine. The healthier gonna be yes have they vital, because in the last few months have been hell, I have to say I'll show you listen. We very talk for two and a half hours so well, thinking about Russia bride. Thank you very much for being here really appreciate. These are actually is already working and tell people you book, woman, Homesick until the end of time. Today, it's out today behind matter in our search for meaning in an evolving universe. Veto thanks remain. Make it much. Thank you. Everyone four tuning in to the show. Why saying that? And thank you also to our sponsors. Thank you to zip recruiter you You don't have to go, find someone to fill your job. Zip recruiter will find some,
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Transcript generated on 2020-02-19.