The Jim Rutt Show
The Jim Rutt Show
Oct 21, 2020
Currents 016: Robin Hanson on Are We Living In A Simulation?
50 min

Jim talks to Robin Hanson about whether we live in a simulation or not, why it matters if we do, simulation types, the Fermi paradox, and much more… In this Currents episode, Jim talks to Robin Hanson about whether we live in a simulation or not, why it would matter if we do, his view of Nick Bostrom‘s simulation logic, Boltzmann brains & … Continue reading Currents 016: Robin Hanson on Are We Living In A Simulation?

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The Future of Life
The Future of Life
Future of Life Institute
Mohamed Abdalla on Big Tech, Ethics-washing, and the Threat on Academic Integrity
Mohamed Abdalla, PhD student at the University of Toronto, joins us to discuss how Big Tobacco and Big Tech work to manipulate public opinion and academic institutions in order to maximize profits and avoid regulation. Topics discussed in this episode include: -How Big Tobacco uses it's wealth to obfuscate the harm of tobacco and appear socially responsible -The tactics shared by Big Tech and Big Tobacco to preform ethics-washing and avoid regulation -How Big Tech and Big Tobacco work to influence universities, scientists, researchers, and policy makers -How to combat the problem of ethics-washing in Big Tech You can find the page for this podcast here: https://futureoflife.org/2020/11/17/mohamed-abdalla-on-big-tech-ethics-washing-and-the-threat-on-academic-integrity/ The Future of Life Institute AI policy page: https://futureoflife.org/AI-policy/ Timestamps:  0:00 Intro 1:55 How Big Tech actively distorts the academic landscape and what counts as big tech 6:00 How Big Tobacco has shaped industry research on industry research 12:17 The four tactics of Big Tobacco and Big Tech 13:34 Big Tech and Big Tobacco working to appear socially responsible 22:15 Big Tech and Big Tobacco working to influence the decisions made by funded universities 32:25 Big Tech and Big Tobacco working to influence research questions and the plans of individual scientists 51:53 Big Tech and Big Tobacco finding skeptics and critics of them and funding them to give the impression of social responsibility 1:00:24 Big Tech and being authentically socially responsible 1:11:41 Transformative AI, social responsibility, and the race to powerful AI systems 1:16:56 Ethics-washing as systemic 1:17:30 Action items for solving Ethics-washing 1:19:42 Has Mohamed received criticism for this paper? 1:20:07 Final thoughts from Mohamed This podcast is possible because of the support of listeners like you. If you found this conversation to be meaningful or valuable, consider supporting it directly by donating at futureoflife.org/donate. Contributions like yours make these conversations possible.
1 hr 22 min
COMPLEXITY
COMPLEXITY
Santa Fe Institute, Michael Garfield
Scott Ortman on Archaeological Synthesis and Settlement Scaling Theory
The modern world has a way of distancing itself from everything that came before it…and yet the evidence from archaeology supports a different story. While industrial societies tend to praise markets and advanced technologies as the main drivers of the last few centuries of change, a careful study of civilizations as distinct as Ancient Rome, Peru, and Central Mexico reveals an underlying uniformity. Consistent patterns have played out in human settlements across millennia and continents, regardless of the economic systems we’ve employed or the inventions on which we’ve relied. These patterns, furthermore, look just like those that govern and delimit evolutionary change; the scaling laws determining the growth of cities are, apparently, the same that led to cities in the first place, or to human social groups, or complex animals. Human settlements act as social reactors, by facilitating interactions — in other words, the functional relationships within communities drive history, and this century has more in common with the distant past than commonly believed. These revelations, though, might have remained invisible to us if archaeology itself had not transformed over the last few decades, evolving new approaches to cross-disciplinary synthesis. It’s time to update both our notions of the ancient world and our popular conception of the archaeologist… Welcome to COMPLEXITY, the official podcast of the Santa Fe Institute. I’m your host, Michael Garfield, and every other week we’ll bring you with us for far-ranging conversations with our worldwide network of rigorous researchers developing new frameworks to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe. This week we talk to Former SFI Omidyar Fellow Scott Ortman, Associate Professor of Anthropology at The University of Colorado Boulder, about his work on settlement scaling theory and fostering synthesis in archaeology to advance science and benefit society. If you value our research and communication efforts, please consider making a donation at santafe.edu/give — and/or rating and reviewing us at Apple Podcasts. You can find numerous other ways to engage with us at santafe.edu/engage. Thank you for listening! Check out Scott’s CU Boulder Website and Google Scholar Page for more information and links to the research papers and opinion pieces we discuss in this episode. For more on universal scaling laws and the science of cities, revisit these earlier episodes of COMPLEXITY: 4 — Luis Bettencourt 10 — Melanie Moses 17 — Chris Kempes 33 — Tim Kohler & Marten Scheffer 35 — Geoffrey West 36 — Geoffrey West Join our Facebook discussion group to meet like minds and talk about each episode. Podcast theme music by Mitch Mignano. Follow us on social media: Twitter • YouTube • Facebook • Instagram • LinkedIn
55 min
80,000 Hours Podcast with Rob Wiblin
80,000 Hours Podcast with Rob Wiblin
The 80000 Hours team
Benjamin Todd on what the effective altruism community most needs (80k team chat #4)
In the *last '80k team chat'* with Ben Todd and Arden Koehler, we discussed what effective altruism is and isn't, and how to argue for it. In this episode we turn now to what the effective altruism community most needs. • *Links to learn more, summary and full transcript* • The *2020 Effective Altruism Survey* just opened. If you're involved with the effective altruism community, or sympathetic to its ideas, it's would be wonderful if you could fill it out: _https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/EAS80K2_ According to Ben, we can think of the effective altruism movement as having gone through several stages, categorised by what kind of resource has been most able to unlock more progress on important issues (i.e. by what's the 'bottleneck'). Plausibly, these stages are common for other social movements as well. • Needing money: In the first stage, when effective altruism was just getting going, more money (to do things like pay staff and put on events) was the main bottleneck to making progress. • Needing talent: In the second stage, we especially needed more talented people being willing to work on whatever seemed most pressing. • Needing specific skills and capacity: In the third stage, which Ben thinks we're in now, the main bottlenecks are organizational capacity, infrastructure, and management to help train people up, as well as specialist skills that people can put to work now. What's next? Perhaps needing coordination -- the ability to make sure people keep working efficiently and effectively together as the community grows. Ben and I also cover the career implications of those stages, as well as the ability to save money and the possibility that someone else would do your job in your absence. If you’d like to learn more about these topics, you should check out a couple of articles on our site: • *Think twice before talking about ‘talent gaps’ – clarifying nine misconceptions* • *How replaceable are the top candidates in large hiring rounds? Why the answer flips depending on the distribution of applicant ability* *Get this episode by subscribing: type 80,000 Hours into your podcasting app. Or read the linked transcript.* Producer: Keiran Harris. Audio mastering: Ben Cordell. Transcriptions: Zakee Ulhaq.
1 hr 25 min
Science Salon
Science Salon
Michael Shermer
144. Agustín Fuentes — Why We Believe: Evolution and the Human Way of Being
Why are so many humans religious? Why do we daydream, imagine, and hope? Philosophers, theologians, social scientists, and historians have offered explanations for centuries, but their accounts often ignore or even avoid human evolution. Evolutionary scientists answer with proposals for why ritual, religion, and faith make sense as adaptations to past challenges or as by-products of our hyper-complex cognitive capacities. But what if the focus on religion is too narrow? Renowned anthropologist Agustín Fuentes argues that the capacity to be religious is actually a small part of a larger and deeper human capacity to believe. Why believe in religion, economies, love? Fuentes employs evolutionary, neurobiological, and anthropological evidence to argue that belief — the ability to commit passionately and wholeheartedly to an idea — is central to the human way of being in the world. The premise of the book is that believing is our ability to draw on our range of cognitive and social resources, our histories and experiences, and combine them with our imagination. It is the power to think beyond what is here and now in order to see and feel and know something — an idea, a vision, a necessity, a possibility, a truth — that is not immediately present to the senses, and then to invest, wholly and authentically, in that “something” so that it becomes one’s reality. The point is that beliefs and belief systems permeate human neurobiologies, bodies, and ecologies, and structure and shape our daily lives, our societies, and the world around us. We are human, therefore we believe, and this book tells us how we came to be that way. Shermer and Fuentes also discuss: * what it means to “believe” something (belief in evolution or the Big Bang is different from belief in progressive taxes or affirmative action), * evolution and how beliefs are formed…and why, * evolution of awe, wonder, aesthetic sense, beauty, art, music, dance, etc. (adaptation or exaptation/spandrel?), * evolution of spirituality, religion, belief in immortality, * Were Neanderthals human in the “belief” sense? * human niche and the evolution of symbolism/language, * evolution of theory of mind, * how to infer symbolic meaning from archaeological artifacts, * components of belief: augmented cognition and neurobiology, intentionality, imagination, innovation, compassion and intensive reliance on others, meaning-making, * dog domestication and human self-domestication, * Göbekli Tepe and the underestimation of ancient peoples’ cognitive capacities, * the development of property, accumulation of goods, inequality, and social hierarchy, * gender role specialization, * monogamy and polyamory, gender and sex, and continuum vs. binary thinking, * violence and warfare, * political and economic systems of belief, and * love as belief. Agustín Fuentes is a Professor of Anthropology at Princeton University. He is an active public scientist, a well-known blogger, lecturer, tweeter, and an explorer for National Geographic. Fuentes received the Inaugural Communication & Outreach Award from the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, the President’s Award from the American Anthropological Association, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
1 hr 40 min
The Peter Attia Drive
The Peter Attia Drive
Peter Attia, MD
#138 - Lauren Miller Rogen and Richard Isaacson, M.D.: Alzheimer’s disease prevention—patient and doctor perspectives
Peter is joined by writer, director, actress, and founder of HFC, Lauren Miller Rogen, and previous podcast guest and director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian, Dr. Richard Isaacson. In this episode, Lauren tells the heartbreaking story of watching members of her family succumb to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) which motivated her to proactively address her own risk with Richard’s guidance. Richard discusses the various genetic and lifestyle factors that influence the risk of AD and uses Lauren’s unique situation to explain how he diagnoses patients and personalizes care. They go through Lauren’s protocol of preventative measures that have already produced marked results, and end with the uplifting message that one’s genetic predisposition does not seal one's fate. We discuss: * Lauren’s deep family history of Alzheimer’s disease (3:10); * The influence of genetics, epigenetics, and lifestyle on Alzheimer’s disease risk (13:45); * Lauren’s mother’s disease progression and the enormous stress it causes for family members (24:30); * The various manifestations of Alzheimer’s disease depending on the location of pathology (29:30); * The three stages of Alzheimer's disease (34:45); * Richard’s deep exploration into Lauren’s family history revealing clues about a diagnosis and a roadmap to successful disease mitigation (39:15); * How exercise reduces Alzheimer’s disease risk, and the different risk between males and females (58:00); * Why knowing your APOE status is important, and whether certain people should be wearier of head trauma (1:08:00); * How Richard uses genetic testing to personalize care (1:14:45); * The “ABCs” of Alzheimer’s prevention, lifestyle interventions, and Lauren’s personal protocol for reducing her risk (1:21:45); * Unique treatment for people with the ApoE4 variant (1:36:30); * Richard’s mixed opinion on CBD and THC as a tool for disease prevention (1:40:00); * Cognitive testing procedures, and how Lauren’s tests furthered her commitment to her disease prevention protocol (1:41:45); * The relevance of sense of smell and hearing in Alzheimer’s disease risk and prevention (1:50:00); * The emotional benefit of knowing you have control over your mental and physical health (1:57:30); * HFC—a charitable organization founded by Lauren and Seth (2:00:15); and * More. Learn more: https://peterattiamd.com/ Show notes page for this episode: https://peterattiamd.com/laurenmillerrogen-richardisaacson/ Subscribe to receive exclusive subscriber-only content: https://peterattiamd.com/subscribe/ Sign up to receive Peter's email newsletter: https://peterattiamd.com/newsletter/ Connect with Peter on _Faceboo__k_ | _Twitter_ | _Instagram_.
2 hr 12 min
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