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The Jim Rutt Show

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Crisp conversations with critical thinkers at the leading edge of science, technology, politics, and social systems.
351 Episodes
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Jim talks with Gregg Henriques about his take on the free will versus determinism debate. They discuss the importance of definitions, the enlightenment gap, the complexity lens, why "will" is confusing & choice is a better referent, free choice vs determinism, levels of analysis, description vs explanation, freedom as description, the tree of knowledge system, ontological jumps in evolutionary complexification, a stack of emergences, systems of justification, the concept of agency, layered agency, animal decision-making, Mind2 consciousness, freedom as recursive self-awareness, the emergence of personhood, explicit self-consciousness with awareness of consequence, top-down causation, minimal elements of the debate, why Sapolsky's arguments may be dangerous, and much more. Episode Transcript JRS EP 176 - Gregg Henriques Part 1 (of 3): Addressing the Enlightenment Gap JRS Currents 009: Gregg Henriques on Theory of Meta-Cultural Transition JRS EP 59 - Gregg Henriques on Unifying Psychology JRS EP 203 - Robert Sapolsky on Life Without Free Will A New Synthesis for Solving the Problem of Psychology: Addressing the Enlightenment Gap, by Gregg Henriques JRS EP 96 - Forrest Landry on Immanent Metaphysics: Part 1 (of 3) Dr. Gregg Henriques is Professor of Graduate Psychology at James Madison University in the Combined Doctoral Program in Clinical and School Psychology. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Vermont and did his post-doctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a theoretical psychologist and has developed the “Unified Theory of Knowledge,” which is a consilient scientific humanistic worldview to unify psychology. He is the author of A New Unified Theory of Psychology (Springer, 2011), and A New Synthesis for Solving the Problem of Psychology: Addressing the Enlightenment Gap (Palgrave McMillian, November 2022). His scholarly work has been published in the field’s best journals, and he has developed a popular blog on Psychology Today, Theory of Knowledge, which has received over eight million views. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, the 2022 President of the Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration, and founded the Theory of Knowledge academic society.
Jim talks with Robin Hanson about the ideas in his essay "Beware Cultural Drift: Thoughts on modernity's monoculture mistake." They discuss drift in fundamental cultural values, the current unprecedented rate of change, boutique multiculturalism, weak selection pressures, drift without selection, understanding small cultures, agency risk, comparing corporate cultures with macro-cultures, the decrease in macro-cultures, the convergence of global elite culture, worldwide norms vs cultural sphere norms, fertility habits & falling fertility, fertility decline as a symptom, 2 kinds of stories cultural elites tell, context-dependent vs learning-based drivers, the connection between deeper goals & subgoals, turning the ship vs getting on lifeboats, joining the opposition, differential reproduction & the fall of Rome, conservatism, totalitarianism, deep multiculturalism, coherent pluralism, getting to the stars, artificial minds, why Robin is pro-cult, pressure to collapse into red-blue tribalism, rates of innovation, and much more. Episode Transcript "Beware Cultural Drift," by Robin Hanson JRS EP2 - Robin Hanson – Decision Making and “The Age of Em” JRS Extra: On COVID-19 Strategies with Robin Hanson JRS Currents 011: Robin Hanson on RightTalkism JRS EP 213 - Robin Hanson on Declining Fertility Rates Anarchy, State, and Utopia, by Robert Nozick Robin Hanson is an Associate Professor of Economics, and received his Ph.D in 1997 in social sciences from Caltech. He joined George Mason’s economics faculty in 1999 after completing a two-year post-doc at U.C Berkely. His major fields of interest include health policy, regulation, and formal political theory.
Jim talks with Richard Bartlett about the ideas in his essay "What we learned from a 3-month co-living experiment." They discuss Jim's visit to a co-living house, community & its recent decline, starting small & iterating, the co-living experiment in Andalusia, pre-registration, co-living plus events, finding the right place, the importance of landscape, the vibe, finances, membrane design, organizing transit, events, the emergent TPOT network, paying community organizers what they're worth, weaving weak links & strong links, social transitivity, curation, selection criteria, containment vs ejection, a pluralistic attitude toward respect, assuming good faith, focusing on what you want to see more of, systems for participation & coordination, the danger of oversystematizing, resentment minimization, just-in-time system design, increasing capacity for hosting, the arrival process, mastering hospitality, biasing toward small-group participation, unscheduled time, what's next, GameB finance, and much more. Episode Transcript Rich Debels (website) JRS EP51 - Richard Bartlett on Self-Organizing Collaboration "What we learned from a 3-month co-living experiment," by Richard Bartlett  @visakanv on Twitter Richard Bartlett helps people grow high-trust communities and decentralised organizations. He is a co-founder of the tech co-op Loomio, the community building network Microsolidarity, and the non-hierarchical management consultancy The Hum, as well as director of the social impact collective Enspiral.
Jim talks with Robert Conan Ryan about seven ethical perspectives and why everyone should know them. They discuss why understanding ethical stances is valuable, a horseshoe spectrum, pragmatism, virtue ethics, consequentialism, deontology, elitist power, deification, social justice, stacking up ethical stances, Aristotle's golden mean, sociopaths in the military, running the polis, coherent pluralism, the multi-perspectival lens, Cornel West's positional complexity, paideia, DEI (Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion), liberal universal humanism, pragmatism vs neo-pragmatism, the long run vs the short run, the transaction cost theory of ethics, inclusive entrepreneurship, the Main Street problem, and much more. Episode Transcript JRS EP54 - Robert Conan Ryan on Boom & Bust Cycles "On making meanings: Curators, social assembly, and mashups," by Barry M. Mitnick & Robert C. Ryan The Open Society and Its Enemies, by Karl Popper Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals, by Saul Alinsky Woke Racism: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America, by John McWhorter Robert Conan Ryan is a professor of business administration and emerging public intellectual. His current scholarly projects include work with a diverse roster of world-leading strategists, economists, and futurists such as Jordan Hall, Michel Bauwens, Ravi Madhavan, Barry Mitnick, Matthew McCaffrey, and Michael Rectenwald. His current papers tackle competitive industry dynamics; grey market economics; the history of technology; Neo-Schumpeterian economics; artificial vs. natural cognition; paradigmatic strategic design; and, how sensemaking systems evolve and change.
Jim talks with Matthew David Segall about the ideas in his and Bruce Damer's new essay, "The Cosmological Context of the Origin of Life: Process Philosophy and the Hot Spring Hypothesis." They discuss the "philosophy as footnotes to Plato" idea, the hot springs origin of life hypothesis, closing the gap between chemistry & life, Whitehead's idea of concrescence, metaphysics in philosophy, minimum viable metaphysics, why physical law doesn't imply biological organisms, process-relational philosophy, deep-seated cosmic habits, the hero's answer, the type 1a supernova, rigorous speculation, the incalculability of the adjacent possible, the nature of matter, autocatalysis, the tension between the actual & possible, the rate of evolution, getting past the error catastrophe, Prigogine's ideas about dissipative systems, teleology & the second law of thermodynamics, why DNA is not a blueprint, the Fermi paradox, bringing the universe to life, social implications of the origin of life, panpsychism & panexperientialism, integrated information theory, why matter & energy must have an endogenous telos, prehension, life wanting to live better, necessity & openness, questioning falsifiability, and much more. Episode Transcript "The Cosmological Context of the Origin of Life: Process Philosophy and the Hot Spring Hypothesis," by Matthew David Segall & Bruce Damer Footnotes2Plato (Substack) JRS EP 167 - Bruce Damer on the Origins of Life JRS EP 171 - Bruce Damer Part 2: The Origins of Life – Implications Dominion: How the Christian Revolution Remade the World, by Tom Holland JRS EP 5 - Lee Smolin – Quantum Foundations and Einstein’s Unfinished Revolution JRS EP 227 - Stuart Kauffman on the Emergence of Life JRS EP 157 - Terrence Deacon on Mind’s Emergence From Matter JRS EP 40 - Eric Smith on the Physics of Living Systems JRS EP 105 - Christof Koch on Consciousness JRS EP 178 - Anil Seth on A New Science of Consciousness JRS EP 17 - Bonnitta Roy on Process Thinking and Complexity Process Philosophy (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Matthew David Segall, Phd, is a transdisciplinary researcher, writer, teacher, and philosopher applying process-relational thought across the natural and social sciences, as well as to the study of consciousness. He is Associate Professor in the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness Department at California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, and the Chair of the Science Advisory Committee for the Cobb Institute.
Vance Crowe interviews Jim about how he maps the problem-space of current and future AI risk. They discuss the beginnings of AI, the era of broad AI, artificial general intelligence, the Wozniak test, artificial superintelligence, the paperclip maximizer problem, the timeline of AGI, FOOM, limitations of current governance structure, bad uses of narrow AI, personalized political propaganda, nanny rails, the multipolar trap, the spark of human ingenuity, Daniel Dennett's proposal to make human impersonation illegal, taking moral ownership of LLM outputs, loss of human cognitive capacity, Idiocracy, economic inequality & unemployment, David Graeber's bullshit jobs idea, Marx's concept of alienation, the flood of sludge, the idea of an AI information agent, epistemological decay, techno-hygiene tactics, GameA's self-terminating & accelerating curve, GameB, the importance of governance capacity, changing our political operating system, and much more. Episode Transcript The Vance Crowe Podcast JRS Currents 029: Vance Crowe on the "Well-Actually" Graph Bullshit Jobs: A Theory, by David Graeber Vance Crowe is a communications strategist who has worked for corporations and international organizations around the world, including the World Bank, Monsanto, and the US Peace Corps. He hosts The Vance Crowe Podcast and is the founder of Legacy Interviews, where he privately records video interviews with individuals and couples to give future generations the opportunity to know their family history.
Jim talks with James Lindsay about the ideas in his recent essay "National Divorce Is National Suicide." They discuss the meaning of a national divorce (where the United States would split into two countries), different shapes it could take, the possibility of parallel experiments in civilization design, statistics on support for the idea, the proposed Belgian split, steelmanning the opposition, reducing the chances of a Civil War, the divide over gun rights & abortion, the Big Sort, why national divorce would be a disaster, how the media would frame a national divorce, bifurcation of constitutional evolution, whether we're in a historically precedented moment, the idea of an attempted silent takeover of the West, fast & slow options for red state development, malice vs incompetence, amount of immigration between the U.S. and Canada, consequences & origins of intersectionality, competence of a blue state, wokery as a religion, what we should do instead of a divorce, fighting for a more constitutionally centered society, a civic revival, the passing of peak woke, and much more. Episode Transcript New Discourses JRS EP73 - James Lindsay on Cynical Theories "National Divorce Is National Suicide," by James Lindsay Woke Racism: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America, by John McWhorter Dr. James Lindsey is an American-born author, mathematician, and political commentator. He has written six books spanning a range of subjects including religion, the philosophy of science and postmodern theory. He is the co-founder of New Discourses.
Jim talks with Jonathan Rowson of Perspectiva about a new social practice they're creating, the antidebate. They discuss the nature of debate, the spectacle of endemic polarization, why debate may be irredeemable, multiple ways of knowing, the Oxford Union debates, the debate apocalypse of 2020, the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debate, the elitist aspect of debates, longtermism, the dialectic fallacy, presencing confusion, anti-debate as a practice, developing the form & facilitation skills, anti-debate trials to date, the current state of the art, setting a positive tone, choosing the question, the question bomb process, tableauing, why answering the question isn't necessary, swarming, epistemic seduction, drawing on Quaker Speaking, recruiting the enigmatics, prefiguring the culture you want to live in, scalability, disaffection with the ambient internet, and much more. Episode Transcript JRS Currents 041: Jonathan Rowson on Our Metacrisis Pickle JRS EP127 - Jonathan Rowson on The Moves That Matter JRS Currents 068: Jonathan Rowson on the Chess Drama JRS EP154 - Iain McGilchrist on The Matter With Things JRS EP155 - Iain McGilchrist Part 2: The Matter With Things "What Our Politics Needs Now: Anti-Debates," with Peter Limberg & Conor Barnes "The Anti-Debate: Experiments in the Art of Sensemaking for a World Gone Slightly Mad" - a film by Katie Teague "Is War Natural? (and other questions)" - YouTube Jonathan Rowson is co-founder and director of the research institute Perspectiva based in London. He is also the former director of the Social Brain Centre at the Royal Society of Arts and is a chess grandmaster and three-time British Chess Champion. His books include The Seven Deadly Chess Sins, Chess for Zebras, Spiritualize: Cultivating Spiritual Sensibility to Address 21st Century Challenges, and, The Moves That Matter: A Chess Grandmaster on the Game of Life.
Jim talks with Jeremy Sherman about the ideas in his book Neither Ghost nor Machine: The Emergence and Nature of Selves. They discuss how Jim found Jeremy's work, Jeremy's relationship with Terrence Deacon, the mystery of purpose, teleology, Aristotle's four causes, the natural history of trying, crypto-Cartesianism, aims, emergent constraints, hylomorphism, regularity, Kolmogorov complexity, the second law of thermodynamics, the struggle for existence, autocatalytic networks, leading theories of the origin of life, the autogen model, the missing link blind spot, selectively permeable membranes, the conditions for evolution, responsiveness, selective interaction, dire irony, templated autogen, the hologenic constraint, testability of the theory, inverse Darwinism, FOMO sapiens, humbly humbling people, and much more. Episode Transcript Neither Ghost nor Machine: The Emergence and Nature of Selves, by Jeremy Sherman What's Up With A**holes?: How to Spot and Stop Them Without Becoming One, by Jeremy Sherman JRS EP157 - Terrence Deacon on Mind’s Emergence From Matter JRS EP227 - Stuart Kauffman on the Emergence of Life JRS EP135 - Dennis Waters on Behavior & Culture in One Dimension Jeremy Sherman, PhD, describes his work as “cradle to grave”: from the chemical origins of life to humankind’s grave situation. For nearly thirty years, Sherman has been a lead collaborator with Harvard/Berkeley neuroscientist/biological anthropologist Terrence Deacon. Together with other collaborators they have been developing a gap-free explanation for the emergence of telos and semiotics –selves struggling for their own existence (i.e. self-regenerating) from within nothing but physical entropic degeneration.
Jim talks with Stuart Kauffman about the ideas in the recent paper he co-authored with Andrea Roli, "Is the Emergence of Life an Expected Phase Transition in the Evolving Universe?" They discuss the fragmentation of the origins of life field, Pasteur's test of spontaneous generation, primitive soup, Watson & Crick's discovery of the structure of DNA, mutually catalyzing molecules, molecules as combinatorial objects, random catalysis, collectively autocatalytic sets, the origin of metabolism, composability elements, the earliest form of life, Darwin's warm little pond hypothesis, the theory of the adjacent possible, the TAP equation, why small molecule reproduction will be abundant in the universe, the Drake equation, Kantian wholes, the function of a part, autocatalytic closure, constraint closure, cycles of work, downward causation, information conservation vs the error catastrophe, exaptation, the new adjacent possible, why evolution is unendingly creative & mathematically unpredictable, what this implies about economics, Arrow-Debreu competitive general equilibrium, the impossibility of well-founded expectations, why we can't have dominion over the ongoing biosphere, an open-ended experiment to mix fungi with bacteria on sterilized sand, and much more. Episode Transcript JRS EP18 - Stuart Kauffman on Complexity, Biology & T.A.P. "Is the Emergence of Life an Expected Phase Transition in the Evolving Universe?", by Stuart Kauffman & Andrew Roli "Chemical Evolution: Life is a logical consequence of known chemical principles operating on the atomic composition of the universe," by Melvin Calvin "Autocatalytic chemical networks at the origin of metabolism," by Joana Xavier, Stuart Kauffman, et. al. JRS EP 167 - Bruce Damer on the Origins of Life JRS EP 171 - Bruce Damer Part 2: The Origins of Life - Implications JRS EP 138 - Brian Arthur on the Nature of Technology JRS EP 157 - Terrence Deacon on Mind's Emergence from Matter "A third transition in science?", by Stuart Kauffman & Andrea Roli Stuart Alan Kauffman is an American theoretical biologist and complex systems researcher who studies the origin of life on Earth. Kauffman graduated from Dartmouth in 1960, was awarded the BA (Hons) by Oxford University (where he was a Marshall Scholar) in 1963, and completed a medical degree (MD) at the University of California, San Francisco in 1968. After completing his residency in Emergency Medicine, he moved into developmental genetics of the fruit fly, holding appointments first at the University of Chicago, then at the University of Pennsylvania, where he rose to Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Kauffman held a MacArthur Fellowship from 1987–1992.
Jim talks with Hannah Rosenberg about the ideas in her essay "An Answer to Red Pilldom." They discuss the meaning & origins of red pilldom, how Hannah encountered red pilldom in close friendships, the idea that women are submissive, differences between men & women, pair-bonding instincts, balancing mixed instincts, the idea of hypergamy, adulting, how dating apps may skew human interactions, nostalgia for the 1950s trad wife, the actual lives of 1950s housewives, the idea that motherhood is the highest fulfillment for a woman, the idea of a war on masculinity, outlets for aggression, the idea of a "wall" where male attention ends, humanity as a mesh network not a hierarchy, dominance & submission as signals, the idea that men are leaders, women in the Marine Corps, MAGA and wokery as mirror images, why communities of red pilldom exist, not getting caught in history's pendulum swings, and much more. Episode Transcript "An Answer to Red Pilldom," by Hannah Rosenberg Hannah Rosenberg, a tech entrepreneur and educator, holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her journey in the tech industry began as a web developer, leading to the establishment of her own development business in 2014. In 2017, she expanded her career by embracing the role of an educator, imparting her technical expertise to various organizations, including non-profits and her alma mater, the University of Illinois at Chicago. In addition to her professional achievements, Hannah's life experiences also play a crucial role. With 40 years of rich personal experience, she is a dedicated mother and has been in a committed marriage for 14 years. Her diverse perspective is further enhanced by extensive travel and having lived in three distinct regions of our beautiful world.
Jim talks with Bruce Damer about the new Center for MINDS and the ideas in his essay "Downloads from the Modern Dawn of Psychedelics." They discuss alternate ways psychedelics could have been introduced, Aldous Huxley & Humphry Osmond's speculative Outsight project, convergent vs divergent thinking, Bruce's mushroom trip with Terrence McKenna, concrescence into novelty, the stoned ape theory, the unreported influence of psychedelics on breakthroughs, Bruce's coming-out as a psychedelics user, psychedelic-assisted innovation, Bruce's naturally trippy brain, endogenous tripping, the Eleusinian Mysteries, the late Bronze Age collapse, the possibility that hallucinogens powered civilization, alcohol & the poison path, the decline in breakthrough research, the disincentivization of grand thinking, how the Center for Minds is beginning research via surveys, Jim's use of occasional heavy doses of THC, Bruce's set, setting & setup approach, finding the others, MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, the state of ketamine research, and much more. Episode Transcript "Downloads from the Modern Dawn of Psychedelics," by Bruce Damer Center for MINDS Center for MINDS Survey Currents 091: Bruce Damer on Psychedelics as Tools for Discovery The Immortality Key: Uncovering the Secret History of the Religion With No Name, by Brian Muraresku Dr. Bruce Damer is Canadian-American multidisciplinary scientist, designer, and author. In his role as a world-renowned Astrobiologist at the UC Santa Cruz Department of Biomolecular Engineering, Dr. Damer collaborates with colleagues developing and testing a new scenario for the origin of life on Earth and where it might arise in the universe. As a designer he has provided innovative spacecraft architectures to NASA and others which could provide a viable path for the expansion of life and human civilization beyond the Earth.
Jim talks with Samo Burja about the ideas in his recent article "Geothermal Energy Turns Planets Into Power Sources." They discuss the heat beneath the earth's surface, contributors to the heat, technological dependency between fracking & geothermal, the math of electricity, earthquake risk, the limits of current geology, the value of better drilling tech, new approaches to drilling, gyrotrons, plasma torches, whether our civilization actually needs more energy, the local optimum of fossil fuels, bureaucratic incentives in energy, investment of social surplus, scientific welfare, metascience, giving academic tenure to brilliant 25-year-olds, a defense-favoring military epoch, the math of geothermal vs other combinations of energy sources, visions of a clean-energy future, and much more. Episode Transcript "Geothermal Energy Turns Planets Into Power Sources," by Samo Burja JRS EP117 - Samo Burja on Societal Decline JRS EP125 - Samo Burja on Socetial Decline: Part 2 JRS EP222 - Trent McConaghy on AI & Brain-Computer Interface Accelerationism (bci/acc) Samo Burja is the founder and President of Bismarck Analysis, a consulting firm that specializes in institutional analysis for clients in North America and Europe. Bismarck uses the foundational sociological research that Samo and his team have conducted over the past decade to deliver unique insights to clients about institutional design and strategy. Samo’s studies focus on the social and material technologies that provide the foundation for healthy human societies, with an eye to engineering and restoring the structures that produce functional institutions. He has authored articles and papers on his findings. His manuscript, Great Founder Theory, is available online. He is also a Research Fellow at the Long Now Foundation and Senior Research Fellow in Political Science at the Foresight Institute. Samo has spoken about his findings at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Y Combinator’s YC 120 conference, the Reboot American Innovation conference in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. He spends most of his time in California and his native Slovenia.
Jim talks with Jordan Hall about the ideas in his essay "From City to Civium" and about his recent conversion to Christianity. They discuss scaling laws, superlinear scaling in cities & Metcalf's law, technologies of density, virtualization of space, ephemeralizing of communication, a tipping point in the virtualization of relationality, cities as killers, reaching the limits of the institutional forms that got us out of the 20th century, decoupling of body & mind, returning to the mesoscale, tech hygiene, reciprocal opening, what makes GameB hard, Jordan's experience with civiums, hierarchies of values & their inevitability, regaining functional cultural toolkits, pouring water on plants vs creating from scratch, how civium led to Christianity, distinguishing good & bad in religion, Jordan's lifelong agnosticism, the virtual, becoming an integrated self, ensoulment, egregores, whether egregores have agency, the origin of liturgy & liturgical practices, the challenge of bringing already-embedded individuals into embodied community, visiting & moving to Black Mountain, North Carolina, the ease of meaningfulness in the right context, being invited to church, Jordan's transition to believing in a personal God, a crisis of conscience, the Orthodox sensibility of "beauty-first," a relationship with goodness, understanding the Trinity, relationality as the essence of the triune God, a dimensional opening, faith as a faculty, the idea of being created by God in His image, adopting traditional gender values, the idea of abortion as murder, the hermeneutics of presence, Biblical inerrancy, why the kingdom of God is not theocracy, soul sovereignty, orienting toward a universal Good vs coherent pluralism, post-tragedy, growing community organically, the question of vocation, and much more. Episode Transcript "From City to Civium," by Jordan Hall JRS EP 170 - John Vervaeke and Jordan Hall on The Religion That Is Not a Religion JRS Currents 032: Tyson Yunkaporta on Spirits, GameB & Protopias "A Journey to GameB," by Jim Rutt JRS Currents 090: BJ Campbell and Patrick Ryan on Egregores Jordan Hall is the Co-founder and Executive Chairman of the Neurohacker Collective. He is now in his 17th year of building disruptive technology companies. Jordan’s interests in comics, science fiction, computers, and way too much TV led to a deep dive into contemporary philosophy (particularly the works of Gilles Deleuze and Manuel DeLanda), artificial intelligence and complex systems science, and then, as the Internet was exploding into the world, a few years at Harvard Law School where he spent time with Larry Lessig, Jonathan Zittrain and Cornel West examining the coevolution of human civilization and technology.
Jim talks with Trent McConaghy about the ideas in his recent essay "bci/acc: A Pragmatic Path to Compete with Artificial Superintelligence." They discuss the meaning of BCI (brain-computer interfaces) and acc (accelerationism), categories of AI, how much room there is for above-human intelligence, whether AI is achieving parallelism, the risks of artificial superintelligence (ASI), problems with deceleration, AI intelligences balancing each other, decentralized approaches to AI, problems with the "pull the plug" idea, humans as the weak security link, the silicon Midas touch, competing with AI using BCIs, the need for super-high bandwidth, the noninvasive road to BCIs, realistic killer apps, eye tracking, pragmatic telepathy, subvocalization, reaching adoption-level quality, the arc between noninvasive and full silicon, near-infrared sensors, issues around mass adoption of implants, maintaining cognitive liberty, the risk of giving malevolent ASIs the keys to the kingdom, whether humans plus ASIs might compete with ASIs, and much more. Episode Transcript JRS EP13 - Blockchain, AI, and DAOs "bci/acc: A Pragmatic Path to Compete with Artificial Superintelligence," by Trent McConaghy Ocean Protocol "Nature 2.0: The Cradle of Civilization Gets an Upgrade," by Trent McConaghy Trent McConaghy on Twitter Trent McConaghy is founder of Ocean Protocol. He has 25 years of deep tech experience with a focus on AI and blockchain. He co-founded Analog Design automation Inc. in 1999, which built AI-powered tools for creative circuit design. It was acquired by Synopsys in 2004. He co-founded Solido Design Automation in 2004, using AI to mitigate process variation and help drive Moore's Law. Solido was later acquired by Siemens. He then went on to launch ascribe in 2013 for NFTs on Bitcoin, then Ocean Protocol in 2017 for decentralized data markets for AI. He currently focuses on Ocean Predictoor for crowd-sourced AI prediction feeds.
Jim talks with George Hotz about running Comma, an open-source driving assistance company. They discuss breaking the carrier lock on the iPhone at seventeen, Google's Project Zero, zero days, Mobileye & proprietary perception algorithms, cameras vs lidar, 6 levels of self-driving automation, the reliability of human driving, self-driving cars as "demo complete," why corner cases aren't the issue, integrated world models, the challenge of defining lane lines, recognizing the right part of the road, behavioral cloning, the hugging test, Comma's data set, the small offset simulator, how to install Comma in a car, what it does, why high-precision maps aren't useful, problems with Waymo's approach, "trackless monorails," why current systems still use remote-control driving, hyper-fragile centralized systems, Tesla's approach, against magical inflection points, self-driving as a stepping stone to artificial life, why Comma doesn't do marketing, the regulatory environment, eyes off vs hands off, why self-driving cars are easier than general robotics, liability, functional safety, the Tinygrad machine learning framework, who's using it, and much more. Episode Transcript Comma Tinygrad George Hotz is the founder of comma.ai and the tiny corp. He is working on self driving, robotics, and ML infrastructure with the goal of creating an operating system for silicon-stack life.
Jim talks with Lene Rachel Andersen about the ideas in her book Polymodernity: Meaning and Hope in a Complex World. They discuss the meaning of polymodernism, working with four cultural codes, polymodernism vs metamodernism, the flaw in combining stage theories with cultural history, the problem with postmodernism's deconstruction of guidance & boundaries, 3 factors leading to modernity, the beginnings of alienation, postmodernism as a critique of modernism, the danger of reifying theories, why a post-modern society would fall apart, learning from indigenous prehistoric cultures, the influence of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, Lene's relationship to Christianity and conversion to Judaism, being a practicing doubting Jew, long-term consequences of having good narratives that people believe in, Jewish law vs Hammurabi's Code, reading the Pentateuch, using post-modern tech to implement a pre-modern order, Emily Wilson's translation of The Iliad, mining the social learnings of the past with discernment, why religious people have often led the resistance to authoritarian regimes, true encouragement, the bildung rose, the problem with hypermodernism, the eternal misery of hypermodernist success, learning as one of the essences of being human, and much more. Episode Transcript Polymodernity: Meaning and Hope in a Complex World, by Lene Rachel Andersen "Polymodern Economics," by Lene Rachel Andersen The Nordic Secret: A European Story of Beauty and Freedom, by Lene Rachel Andersen JRS EP165 - Lene Rachel Andersen Part 1: Libertism JRS EP89 - Lene Rachel Andersen on Metamodernity God: A Biography, by Jack Miles "In Search of the 5th Attractor," by Jim Rutt Lene Rachel Andersen is an economist, author, futurist, philosopher and Bildung activist. She heads the think tank Nordic Bildung in Copenhagen and is a member of the Club of Rome. After studying business economy for three years, she worked as a substitute teacher before studying theology. During her studies, she wrote entertainment for Danish television until she decided to quit theology, become a full-time writer, and focus on technological development, big history, and the future of humanity. Since 2005, she has written 20 books and received two Danish democracy awards: Ebbe Kløvedal-Reich Democracy Baton (2007) and Døssing Prisen, the Danish librarians’ democracy prize (2012). Among her books are The Nordic Secret (2017, new edition 2024), Bildung: Keep Growing (2020), What is Bildung? (2021), Libertism (2022), and Polymodernity (2023, previously Metamodernity (2019)).
Jim talks with Katherine Gehl about her and Michael Porter's book, The Politics Industry: How Political Innovation Can Break Partisan Gridlock and Save Our Democracy. They discuss Jim's past familiarity with Michael Porter's work, Porter's five forces, the "what the hell is water" phenomenon, the Schoolhouse Rock problem, political industry theory, political payback for unhelpful activities, why political competitors are doing better as "customers" become more dissatisfied, the current American party system as a protected duopoly, nonprofit investments in things that have no chance, non-constitutional problems, the reversible accident of plurality voting, whether more parties are essential, how Ross Perot's 1992 election pressured the two parties to balance the budget, reforming the primary system, final-five voting, Alaska's experiment in final-four voting, instant runoffs, freeing players to make good strategic choices, lowering the barrier to entry for new thinking, and much more. Episode Transcript The Politics Industry: How Political Innovation Can Break Partisan Gridlock and Save Our Democracy, by Katherine Gehl and Michael Porter Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors, by Michael Porter Katherine Gehl is the originator of Final Five Voting (FFV)—a new election system designed to positively transform the incentives driving our dysfunctional politics. In 2020, Gehl published The Politics Industry: How Political Innovation Can Break Partisan Gridlock and Save Our Democracy (with co-author Michael Porter of Harvard Business School). Her work applied a competition lens and classic tools of industry analysis to politics for the first time. Today, Gehl leads the national Campaign for Final Five Voting which she co-founded with leaders across the political spectrum.
Jim talks with Max Borders about the ideas in his two-part essay series responding to Christopher Rufo's recent manifesto "The New Right Activism." They discuss the commentary form of the essays, pillar saints vs boy Pharoahs, the Gray Tribe, Rufo as a rockstar gladiator, the white-paper industrial complex, the Gramscian model of capturing the institutions, the tit-for-tat approach to politics, recapturing the power of the state to indoctrinate the youth, the wartime point of view, the means & ends problem, subversive innovation, the University of Austin, public universities as indoctrination factories, a Handmaid's Tale vision of virtue, why Rufo is more Machiavellian than Aristotelian, the danger of rejecting an open society, changing the language & the case study of "equity," defending abstract principles in politics, how Rufos misses the point about real power, re-enlivening the U.S.'s founding principles, and much more. Episode Transcript "Rufo the Reactionary, Part 1," by Max Borders (Substack) "The New Right Activism: A manifesto for the counter-revolution," by Christopher Rufo The Social Singularity, by Max Borders JRS EP76 - Max Borders on the Social Singularity Max Borders is the author of The Social Singularity (2018) and The Decentralist (2021). His latest book is called Underthrow (2023). Currently, he is working on two major projects: a cosmopolitan constitution designed to open the era of open-source law, and a global fraternal society dedicated to the mission, morality, and mutualism of the “Gray Tribe.”
Jim talks with Ben Goertzel about a paper he co-wrote, "OpenCog Hyperon: A Framework for AGI at the Human Level and Beyond." They discuss the way Ben defines AGI, problems with an economically oriented definition, the rate of advancement of a society, the history of OpenCog, mathematical models of intelligence, Jim's early use of OpenCog, a distributed Atomspace, Atomese vs MeTTa languages, knowledge metagraphs, why Ben didn't write a custom programming language for the original OpenCog, type theory, functional logic programming, moving from weirdly ugly to weirdly elegant, technical debt, grounding of Atoms, interfacing Hyperon with LLMs, nourishing a broader open-source community, hierarchical attention-based pattern recognition networks, heuristic induction, cognitive synergy, why scalability requires translating declarative representation into procedural form and vice versa, retrieval-augmented generation, predictive-coding-based learning as an alternative to back-propagation, the possibility of an InfoGAN-style transformer, and much more. Episode Transcript "OpenCog Hyperon: A Framework for AGI at the Human Level and Beyond," by Ben Goertzel et al. Dr. Ben Goertzel is a cross-disciplinary scientist, entrepreneur and author.  Born in Brazil to American parents, in 2020 after a long stretch living in Hong Kong he relocated his primary base of operations to a rural island near Seattle. He leads the SingularityNET Foundation, the OpenCog Foundation, and the AGI Society which runs the annual Artificial General Intelligence conference. Dr. Goertzel’s research work encompasses multiple areas including artificial general intelligence, natural language processing, cognitive science, machine learning, computational finance, bioinformatics, virtual worlds, gaming, parapsychology, theoretical physics and more. He also chairs the futurist nonprofit Humanity+,  serves as Chief Scientist of AI firms  Rejuve, Mindplex, Cogito and Jam Galaxy, all parts of the SingularityNET ecosystem, and serves as keyboardist and vocalist in the Jam Galaxy Band, the first-ever band led by a humanoid robot.
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Comments (3)

Elizabeth Gorgon

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Feb 2nd
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Dan Funk

excellent.

Dec 6th
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Peter Monien

very interesting, but I stopped to listen, as the audio quality was so bad :-(

Sep 14th
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