Four: Spencer Greenberg on the scientific approach to solving difficult everyday questions
Play • 2 hr 17 min

Will SpaceX land people on Mars in the next decade? Will North Korea give up their nuclear weapons? Will your friend turn up to dinner?

Spencer Greenberg, founder of has a process for working out such real life problems.

In this conversation from 2018, Spencer walks us through how to reason through difficult questions more accurately, and when we should expect to be overconfident or underconfident.

Full transcript, related links, and summary of this interview

This episode first broadcast on the regular 80,000 Hours Podcast feed on August 7, 2018. Some related episodes include:

• #7 – Julia Galef on making humanity more rational, what EA does wrong, and why Twitter isn’t all bad
• #11 – Dr Spencer Greenberg on speeding up social science 10-fold & why plenty of startups cause harm.
• #15 – Prof Tetlock on how chimps beat Berkeley undergrads and when it’s wise to defer to the wise
• #30 – Dr Eva Vivalt on how little social science findings generalize from one study to another
• #40 – Katja Grace on forecasting future technology & how much we should trust expert predictions.
• #48 – Brian Christian on better living through the wisdom of computer science
• #78 – Danny Hernandez on forecasting and measuring some of the most important drivers of AI progress

Series produced by Keiran Harris.

More episodes
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu