#124 – Stephen Wolfram: Fundamental Theory of Physics, Life, and the Universe
Play episode · 4 hr 24 min

Stephen Wolfram is a computer scientist, mathematician, and theoretical physicist. This is our second conversation on the podcast.

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Here’s the outline of the episode. On some podcast players you should be able to click the timestamp to jump to that time.

OUTLINE:
00:00 – Introduction
07:14 – Key moments in history of physics
12:43 – Philosophy of science
14:37 – Science and computational reducibility
22:08 – Predicting the pandemic
38:58 – Sunburn moment with Wolfram Alpha
39:46 – Computational irreducibility
46:45 – Theory of everything
52:41 – General relativity
1:01:16 – Quantum mechanics
1:06:46 – Unifying the laws of physics
1:12:01 – Wolfram Physics Project
1:29:53 – Emergence of time
1:34:11 – Causal invariance
1:53:03 – Deriving physics from simple rules on hypergraphs
2:07:24 – Einstein equations
2:13:04 – Simulating the physics of the universe
2:17:28 – Hardware specs of the simulation
2:24:37 – Quantum mechanics in Wolfram physics model
2:42:46 – Double-slit experiment
2:45:13 – Quantum computers
2:53:21 – Getting started with Wolfram physics project
3:14:46 – The rules that created our universe
3:24:22 – Alien intelligences
3:32:29 – Meta-mathematics
3:37:58 – Why is math hard?
3:52:55 – Sabine Hossenfelder and how beauty leads physics astray
4:01:07 – Eric Weinstein and Geometric Unity
4:06:17 – Travel faster than speed of light
4:16:59 – Why does the universe exist at all

Bret Weinstein | DarkHorse Podcast
Bret Weinstein | DarkHorse Podcast
Bret Weinstein
#51: Facebook, Twitter, & Evolving Door Politics (Bret Weinstein & Heather Heying DarkHorse Livestream)
In this 51st in a series of live discussions with Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying (both PhDs in Biology), we discuss Bret’s recent Facebook ban. What are the implications for democracy when social media platforms are in the business of deciding who gets to speak? In the second half, we discuss Eric Hoffer’s 1951 book, The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements. Are there two mass movements currently competing with one another for adherents? Can creativity provide people with the power to resist such movements? What might good leadership look like? Find more from us on Bret’s website (https://bretweinstein.net) or Heather’s website (http://heatherheying.com). Become a member of the DarkHorse LiveStreams, and get access to an additional Q&A livestream every month. Join at Heather's Patreon.  Like this content? Subscribe to the channel, like this video, follow us on twitter (@BretWeinstein, @HeatherEHeying), and consider helping us out by contributing to either of our Patreons or Bret’s Paypal.  Looking for clips from #DarkHorseLivestreams? Here are some, updated frequently: @DarkHorse Podcast Clips  Theme Music: Thank you to Martin Molin of Wintergatan for providing us the rights to use their excellent music.  Q&A Link: https://youtu.be/YZaFb0c4YbE  Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/bretweinstein)
1 hr 38 min
The Art of Manliness
The Art of Manliness
The Art of Manliness
#656: The Hidden Pleasures of Learning for Its Own Sake
When we typically think about learning, we tend to think about being in a structured school, and doing it for some reason -- to get a grade, to get a degree, to get a certain job. But my guest today says that if we want to live a truly flourishing life, we ought to make time for study and thought long after we leave formal education behind, and embrace learning as something wonderfully useless.  Her name is Zena Hitz and she's the author of Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life. We begin our conversation with how the unique Great Books curriculum at St. John's College works, and how Zena got her undergraduate degree there and then went on to pursue a more traditional academic path, only to discover the downsides of the modern university system and be drawn back to St. John's, where she now teaches. From there we turn to what Zena argues are the hidden pleasures of the intellectual life, which include learning for its own sake as opposed to doing it to advance some goal, developing a rich inner life, and embracing the idea of true leisure. We then discuss how thinking and studying for its own sake is different from watching TV or playing video games, and how it can create a resilience-building, inner-directed refuge from an externally-driven world. We end our conversation with how you can carve out space for contemplation amidst the overload and noise of modern life, the importance of finding a community that wants the same thing, and how to get started with deeper study and reflection by reading the Great Books. Get the show notes at aom.is/lostinthought. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
42 min
Science Salon
Science Salon
Michael Shermer
140. Rebecca Wragg Sykes — Kindred: Neanderthal Life, Love, Death and Art
The common narrative of Neanderthals is that they were a group of dullard losers whose extinction 40,000 years ago was due to smarter competition and a little of interbreeding with our own forebears. Likening someone to a Neanderthal was and, most likely, still is a top-rate anthropological insult. But, in the past few decades, Neanderthal finds have greatly contradicted our perception of the species. In Kindred, Rebecca Wragg Sykes combs through the avalanche of scientific discoveries of the species and uses her experience at the cutting-edge of Paleolithic research to share our new understanding of Neanderthals, shoving aside cliches of rag-clad brutes in an icy wasteland. She reveals them to be curious, clever connoisseurs of their world, technologically inventive and ecologically adaptable. They ranged across vast tracts of tundra and steppe, but also stalked in dappled forests and waded in the Mediterranean Sea. Above all, they were successful survivors for more than 300,000 years, during times of massive climatic upheaval. Shermer and Sykes also discuss: * the nature of species and if Neanderthals and Homo sapiens are one or two species, * the deep time span of Neanderthals, * the wide geography of Neanderthals, * how archaeologists work today to discern Neanderthal lives and minds, * Neanderthal DNA and what we have learned from it, * Neanderthal bodies, * Neanderthal brains and minds, * Neanderthal tools and what they tell us about their lives, * Neanderthal hunting/caloric needs, * Neanderthal art, * Neanderthal sex and love and social lives, * Neanderthal death, burial, afterlife beliefs, and possible religious beliefs, and * extinction: what happened to the Neanderthals? Rebecca Wragg Sykes has been fascinated by the vanished worlds of the Pleistocene ice ages since childhood, and followed this interest through a career researching the most enigmatic characters of all, the Neanderthals. After a Ph.D. on the last Neanderthals living in Britain, she worked in France at the world-famous PACEA laboratory, Université de Bordeaux, on topics ranging from Neanderthal landscapes and territories in the Massif Central region of south-east France, to examining how they were the first ancient humans to produce a synthetic material and tools made of multiple parts. Alongside her academic activities, she has also earned a reputation for exceptional public engagement. The public can follow her research through a personal blog and Twitter account, and she frequently writes for the popular media, including the Scientific American and Guardian science blogs. Becky is passionate about sharing the privileged access scientists have to fascinating discoveries about the Neanderthals. She is also co-founder of the influential Trowelblazers project, which highlights women archaeologists, palaeontologists and geologists through innovative outreach and collaboration.
1 hr 39 min
The Tim Ferriss Show
The Tim Ferriss Show
Tim Ferriss: Bestselling Author, Human Guinea Pig
#477: Yuval Noah Harari on The Story of Sapiens, The Power of Awareness, and The Brilliance of Bone-Conduction Headphones
Yuval Noah Harari on The Story of Sapiens, The Power of Awareness, and The Brilliance of Bone-Conduction Headphones | Brought to you by LinkedIn Jobs recruitment platform with ~700M users, Pique Tea high-end, instant tea crystals (pu-erh, etc.), and Allform premium, modular furniture Prof. Yuval Noah Harari (@harari_yuval) is a historian and bestselling author who is considered one of the world’s most influential public intellectuals today. His popular books—Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century— have sold 27.5 million copies in 60 languages. They have been recommended by Barack Obama, Chris Evans, Janelle Monáe, Bill Gates, and many others. The Guardian has credited Sapiens with revolutionizing the nonfiction market and popularizing “brainy books.” He is also behind Sapiens: A Graphic History, a new graphic novel series in collaboration with comics artists David Vandermeulen (co-writer) and Daniel Casanave (illustrator). This beautifully illustrated series is a radical reworking of his book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. The series will be published in four volumes starting in fall 2020 with Volume 1, The Birth of Humankind, which is out now. Please enjoy! * This episode is brought to you by LinkedIn Jobs. Whether you are looking to hire now for a critical role or thinking about needs that you may have in the future, LinkedIn Jobs can help. LinkedIn screens candidates for the hard and soft skills you’re looking for and puts your job in front of candidates looking for job opportunities that match what you have to offer. Using LinkedIn’s active community of more than 690 million professionals worldwide, LinkedIn Jobs can help you find and hire the right person faster. When your business is ready to make that next hire, find the right person with LinkedIn Jobs. You can pay what you want and get $50 off your first job. Just visit LinkedIn.com/Tim. * This episode is also brought to you by Pique Tea! I first learned about Pique through my friends Dr. Peter Attia and Kevin Rose, and now Pique’s fermented pu’er tea crystals have become my daily go-to. I often kickstart my mornings with their Pu’er Green Tea and Pu’er Black Tea, and I alternate between the two. Their crystals are cold-extracted using only wild-harvested leaves from 250-year-old tea trees. Plus, they triple toxin screen for heavy metals, pesticides, and toxic mold—contaminants commonly found in tea. I also use the crystals for iced tea, which saves a ton of time and hassle. Pique is offering 15% off of their pu’er teas for the first time ever, exclusively to my listeners. Simply visit PiqueTea.com/Tim, and the discount will be automatically applied. They also offer a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, so your purchase is completely risk free. Just go to PiqueTea.com/Tim to learn more. * This episode is also brought to you by Allform! If you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while, you’ve probably heard me talk about Helix Sleep mattresses, which I’ve been using since 2017. They just launched a new company called Allform, and they’re making premium, customizable sofas and chairs shipped right to your door—at a fraction of the cost of traditional stores. You can pick your fabric (and they’re all spill, stain, and scratch resistant), the sofa color, the color of the legs, and the sofa size and shape to make sure it’s perfect for you and your home. Allform arrives in just 3–7 days, and you can assemble it yourself in a few minutes—no tools needed. To find your perfect sofa, check out Allform.com/Tim. Allform is offering 20% off all orders to you, my dear listeners, at Allform.com/Tim. *** If you enjoy the podcast, would you please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts/iTunes? It takes less than 60 seconds, and it really makes a difference in helping to convince hard-to-get guests. I also love reading the reviews! For show notes and past guests, please visit tim.blog/podcast. Sign up for Tim’s email newsletter (“5-Bullet Friday”) at tim.blog/friday. For transcripts of episodes, go to tim.blog/transcripts. Discover Tim’s books: tim.blog/books. Follow Tim: Twitter: twitter.com/tferriss  Instagram: instagram.com/timferriss Facebook: facebook.com/timferriss  YouTube: youtube.com/timferriss
1 hr 45 min
Conversations with Tyler
Conversations with Tyler
Mercatus Center at George Mason University
Michael Kremer on Economists as Founders
Michael Kremer is best known for his academic work researching global poverty, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2019 along with Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee. Less known is that he is also the founder of five non-profits and in the process of creating a sixth. And Kremer doesn’t see anything unusual about embodying the dual archetypes of economist and founder. “I think there's a lot of relationship between the experimental method and the things that are needed to help found organizations,” he explains. Michael joined Tyler to discuss the intellectual challenge of founding organizations, applying methods from behavioral economics to design better programs, how advanced market commitments could lower pharmaceutical costs for consumers while still incentivizing R&D, the ongoing cycle of experimentation every innovator understands, the political economy of public health initiatives, the importance of designing institutions to increase technological change, the production function of new technologies, incentivizing educational achievement, The Odyssey as a tale of comparative development, why he recently transitioned to University of Chicago, what researchers can learn from venture capitalists, his current work addressing COVID-19, and more. Follow us on Twitter and IG: @cowenconvos Email: cowenconvos@mercatus.gmu.edu Follow Tyler on Twitter Facebook Newsletter
50 min
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