Peter Sølling (Optimal Altruism, Sentience, Our onramp to the Singularity)

In this episode of the Judgment Call Podcast Peter Sølling and I talk about:

  • 00:01:43 the genesis of Peter’s Optimal Altruism project
  • 00:15:13 What set of technologies does Peter expect going into the Singularity? And in what order?
  • 00:25:01 Have we just lived through a lost decade in technology adoption?
  • 00:34:01 How could ‘free energy’ change life on earth?
  • 00:48:49 Does Free Will exist? Will it be affected by the Singularity?
  • 01:04:57 The amazing story of the 12th Planet by Zechariah Sitchin and Intelligent Design.
  • 01:12:41 Do we live in a simulation?
  • 01:32:41 What is creativity and why we need more of it? How do we enable learning based on motivation?
  • And much more!

You can watch this episode on – #63 Peter Sølling (Optimal Altruism, Sentience, Our onramp to the Singularity).

Peter Sølling is the Founder of the Optimal Altruism initiative. You can follow Peter on Instagram.

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Most of those countries are in South America, Africa and Eastern Europe. To try out Mighty Travels Premium, go to slash mtp or if that’s too many letters for you, simply go to mtp, the number four and the letter to sign up for your 30 day free trial. Excellent. Hopefully we can build on this today. I have two pages written. I really appreciate you doing this and I know you’ve been thinking about the singularity a lot and I actually think you’ve done something that very few people that I know have undertaken. You’ve researched and laid out kind of a roadmap to the singularity. What kind of technologies do we actually need? Will we get while we approach the singularity? What might be the order of the technology development? It’s something very few people actually love that. I did quite a bit of research and a lot of people leave that open including records while they say well we have this technology but he hasn’t really spent a lot of time maybe by design to look into them. So maybe you can tell us a little bit more of what you’ve been up to the last couple of years. Yeah that’s good. I have thought a lot about the singularity and I have basically the main thing that I have done that I haven’t seen Ray Kurzweil do and many others is that I have tried to dial it way back and find a kind of a common denominator for all these futuristic ideas that comes when you talk about singularity and that is sentience. So that’s my whole starting point. I guess it comes from before I dive into sentience which basically means the experience of any feelings or sensations. That’s how I would translate the word sentience. There are different meanings of the word sentience but the main thing is that I have been listening to people like Carl Sagan that’s some of my inspirations who made a great deal out of talking about the five great emotions. I don’t know if you’re familiar with that but it kind of goes all the way back to well you have to go all the way back to Stone Age or when we were nomads, hunters and gatherers where we walked at the ground that was seemingly flat and we saw that the stars rose in the east and set in the west and the sun the same so it was so convenient to assume that the earth was in the center and this is what’s called the geocentric deceit. Anyone who questioned it must have seemed crazy. Not only that it seemed that we humans were the only ones who could look up at the stars and interpret stuff like stories, myths, epic ventures of heroes and gods so obviously the stars must have been put there for us which this is the birth of the anthropocentric deceit that places humans somehow in the center of the universe. It’s been like that for many many years. The church hasn’t helped either back in the days with we had Copernicus who was one of the first ones to challenge this. He was wise enough to publish his book about it until he was on his deathbed and even then his great friend Alexander I think he was called he made a preface to the book saying it may seem that Copernicus suggests that the earth is not in the center of the universe. That is however not what he really means. This book is only for mathematicians. If you’re not a mathematician put the book away but if you want to know where Jupiter is in a certain Saturday then you can use these formulas to predict it and that’s actually what happened for maybe 200 years this split brain reality where people still thought that the earth was in the center and scientists were starting to wake up. Obviously nowadays we know that the earth is not in the center and humanity is not really in the center either. We have a Darwin who is challenging that with his Darwin theory with the theory of revolution where we are the cousins of apes. I may go a bit parallel to your question but it all comes back to putting what can we put in the center if the most important thing is not humanity then what is the most important thing and I think yeah so Alan Watts I don’t know if you know him he says that no yeah so Alan Watts I really like something he says he says that the universe is we are the way that the universe experiences itself and Carl Sagan says that we are Stardust so this is really how can I say it what I really identify the most with is sentience and a universe that is able to experience itself is so much more interesting than a universe that is not able to experience itself so I think what we should go back to when we talk about the singularity is the basics of not how do we expand humanity through transhumanism for example if you are into that which is an amazing science and aspiration I really encourage transhumanists also but I just feel that they are a bit provincial in their way of thinking because I embrace a more transcendentist if you can call it that view where we have to expand not only humans but also animals and also AI when that becomes sentience or if it becomes sentience and if we if we if we encounter aliens then also fight for their expanding of sentience into cosmos because this is at the end of the day what really matters we are fighting a battle against entropy if I can be so bold to say that I think I think that’s that’s what survival for I think for anything has ever been about you know fighting against entropy and the the obvious question is when we when we when we zoom out a little I think this is what what you’ve been doing when you zoomed out a little and said well it’s not just humans there is other sentient beings out there and we maybe cannot really understand that we might not be able to to put it in the same realm of our consciousness but it there’s already a certain kind of intelligence that we see lots of animals maybe even with plants maybe it works definitely that we think but maybe it’s there so that it’s hard to classify right and we do face that issue with AGI that it might come around it might not and a lot of people really and I think this is this is very understandable they’re very worried about that this new kind of sentience that we are building so we are basically just this bootloader for we are just that there that generates a much better intelligence we feel it’s better in the sense of it’s it’s learning much quicker now this is all hypothesis and even records file doesn’t really go into a lot of detail there so but we have this this immediate feeling that we are not that apex predator anymore right so we we are one of many and I think a lot of people answer that question and these concerns and say well this is all always has been the case right so this universe is a big quantum computer and it doesn’t care about us and be still around right so so we kind of carved out our way and we we have this whole climate on earth that is not necessarily perfect for humans like the adaptitude of a long time frame and the population size was really small for the longest time like this is really new to the billions of us roaming around the planet and what and I think this is but it goes deeper it goes deeper because we feel we can’t talk to the elements we can’t talk to the wind right this is what the old Greeks wanted to do they kind of invented that that being that they could talk to that was inside of them right and we know that there is a wind intelligence we don’t know who weather works I mean we have certain ideas but we still don’t know how to predict weather properly and climate even further we have no idea how to predict the properly so I think now there is this debate and this this deeper fear that we say well there is something that combines all these elements of sentence that we see in in nature but also in ourselves and it’s going to be so much better and it’s going to be superhuman in a couple of years people are understandably worried about that yes maybe they should be worried it depends on what they want what kind of future they want if you want a future where yeah so I’ve spent a great deal thinking about sustainability and obviously sustainability of humanity is something that we care about a lot I think it’s important to notice to note here that it’s very difficult to talk about sustainability without talking about technology technology it’s is what creates sustainability this is maybe controversial but if we zoom out again and look at the maybe every billion years there’s a comet exploding earth more or less the moment that we can find the technology that can prevent that well we can create more sustainability of humanity more sustainability of sentience in this in this rapid torrent of entropy that we live in so so here if you can be worried if you want humanity to stay our more provincial homo sapiens level because when such an AI comes or when alien comes come yeah we will definitely be challenged and we have a big risk of not surviving that I also understand what what many people say that if there is so if if an intelligence greater than ourselves will be born then that intelligence will probably be more empathetic than than you and I we talk about seven intelligences right now one of them being empathy I have some level of empathy but I imagine that some being that is more intelligent probably has a higher level of empathy too so maybe that can calm people down a little bit but that doesn’t mean that the world won’t change I still think that obviously it’s going to be such a such a change in the world but probably for the better when you when you look at this singularity and we are all very excited all a lot of people Silicon Valley a lot of people who read a lot of science fiction including me we are really excited yeah we’re really excited about this singularity thing because where Kurzweil has been going around with this hypothesis for a long time and everyone wrote it off for a couple of years and then it just comes back and you’re like whoa we got to this milestone I was just talking to Aubrey de Grey a couple days ago and he did something similar for aging and 15 20 years ago he started doing this and people were just looking at him he’s a complete not not he’s a crazy person right so he’s he’s not and we don’t know a year about it and then 10 years later it looked like okay this is not happening and then just a couple years later it’s happening right so it’s happening right now and it might actually be solved in 10 years from now it’s not far away 10 years so and he he has moved it out a little bit and when we will be able to basically live forever more or less so there’s limitations but if you are if you accept the rules then you can live forever so there’s these these old predictions that kind of challenge the status quo and are being written off by a majority of people and then they just come bouncing back and we’re like whoa this is this is actually happening and let’s assume it is happening right now we everyone can have can have their own opinion about it obviously but the on the roadmap and the the on ramp of new technologies is kind of most people leave that open maybe you can tell us a little more what do you think is going to happen specifically in the next 20 years and how these technologies lay on top of each other and what happens maybe beyond singularity we’ll get there maybe a little later we don’t have to mix it all up but what specifically happens in the next 20 to 25 years great yeah um yeah well so I actually I have a map behind me now this is the this is the technology tree that I made maybe you’re familiar with computer games like civilization where there’s a technology tree where you you can choose to invent either archery or pottery in the stone age and then you kind of build your your civilization according to the technology tree that you you want to build for your civilization and sadly the game stops around present day or a bit further of course they made a version in in space afterwards but I just I was so curious like what what is the technology tree that happens after that I just had the same questions that you asked me now so what I did was I kind of drew with the background that I talked about with sentience which is the end game this over here is the end game and this over here is the is the beginning this is where we are now uh if I can just start talking about the end game here uh we basically have four kinds of improvements to the world I think it is I really think it is that simple and I had a challenge in one too to uh to tell me otherwise basically the world can improve by either sentience growing so for example uh the total amount of humans growing or the total amount of biomass on the on earth growing depends on how you can talk about uh life or you say intelligence I like to say sentience instead because you could actually imagine intelligence that is not sentient but any growth in experience that’s one that’s the that’s up here then you have sentience resilience that’s number two basically uh any kind of experience of of self or just said experience uh will become more and more resilient so for example a meteor we the the life as such will be able to withstand meteors more or uh as operative gray says we can uh withstand death more that applies to humans as well as other uh forms of being and um just any kind of disease any kind of a natural disaster any kind of um oh let’s see yeah just everything that impedes sentience will be able to be pushed back that’s number two then number three is sentience brightening here maybe this might be the more controversial one of them uh brightening being just a number in a scale from happy to unhappy what is the what is the current experiences um are people feeling uh just because you can imagine a world where for example an AI that becomes sentience and experiences time uh like every second that experiences as a million years if if that experience is the experience of being in a prison well that’s just eternal hell so that’s not the point either so the third one here sentience brightening is to say okay let’s improve uh that the the overall interpretation of experience will become towards more and more happy and here i also remember nick bastram who will sit on my shoulder and say yeah but we don’t want uh just an AI that puts uh serotonin in our brains so that we just lie in our coffin forever being uh in bliss um nevertheless i think that brightening uh is important in a more active sense and then the last one which is the one i’m most excited about and elon musk i think i presume is also the most excited about which is sentience deepening so right now i think we have uh about three trillion neurons correct me if i’m wrong any person has around three trillion neurons and they in the brain thinks somewhere between five and four hundred hertz uh which is extremely slow compared to to the the light speed in a computer for example so we are quite limited in our ability to think and and this when you talk about sentience that’s basically experience and when you talk about experience that’s basically nerve cells communicating it’s basically communication that’s what we are um so how fast can communication go within how many neurons uh with how many synapses per neuron so if we multiply any of these if we multiply the amount of synapses if we multiply the amount of neurons or if we multiply the amount of the velocity then we get a sentience evening this is where we could try to communicate with some ai’s if they become sentient so these are the four ways that after the singularity we will be able to uh to advance in a positive way i don’t think there are any more positive ways it’s a way of categorizing change or positive change if when i say positive change i mean if you are someone who fights for sentience in cosmos if you think that it’s beautiful to see the sunset of an exoplanet uh if there were no sentience on in the universe then there would be no one to experience any sunset at all or waterfall or uh supernova or anything so this is the so coming back to the the technology tree here these are the four factions that that you can work towards and i am so within this technology tree i created this game an open source game free for anyone who can work towards this future and this would ideally persist throughout the singularity this game um and these four factions are then enabled by the fifth one and now i’m getting to the end of my answer to you the fifth one is neutral so they are only enablers towards any of these four improvements the enablers are basically the now we have i think seven sectors in the world who are that i that’s experience that is experiencing exponential growth which is 3d printing it is nanotechnology and robotics it is internal things a r v r it is artificial intelligence it is and genetic engineering and space exploration oh yeah and energy generation i can talk for a long time about any of these seven but these are all enablers so you can imagine any kind of world where we have bundled by any kind of uh so vr and like augmented reality the moment we have bundled by augmented reality we will be able to speed up development so much more and the moment that we have bundled by nano printing to a point where anyone can nano print anything uh then we can accelerate development so much faster which all the all these enablers they take us to this utopia that uh i think is worth to get up in the morning to fight for yeah that’s beautiful the way you present that and i like especially the word a bandify i think that’s that’s not used often i made it up i made it up i tried to look it up it doesn’t exist i think there’s a twitter account called bundify and that’s it uh so it’s good it’s good you should you should go with that and i feel we’ve we’ve seen a lot of those ideas and science fiction one one of the themes i remember from 30 years ago and i think it was uh back to the future which isn’t really science fiction but it’s a little bit of science fiction so we saw obviously flying cars something that didn’t happen um i think it plays out in 2018 i’m not 100% sure anymore to be honest was written i think it late 80s or 90s yeah and we have the hovering um the hoverboards kind of worked out but one thing that actually worked in is much better than it was envisioned is you know what we do right now so that we we across the planet we we can use this this technology that actually had the internet a very different use case in the first place and we can use it for telecommunication and it works extremely well so it’s in the hands of everyone it’s extremely cheap and it’s abundant we have bundified it i think with all the other technology trees we mentioned there is a bit of a disappointment especially from the last 20 years we have all had high hopes really fueled by the internet boom in the late 90s and then it kind of fizzled out a little bit at least in terms of adoption so the the technology might have progressed at the same as forecasted by by by records well based on Moore’s law but we didn’t really get it into our hands to play with so what i would expect that now by 2020 i go to a doctor he injects him a couple of nanobots they fix whatever what’s wrong with me and next day i’m fine right so i get my grow new organ or they fix my cancer cells or they just do a complete kind of all my cells and check up right that hasn’t happened we have a couple of clinical trials but nothing that really is widely available or cheap enough and i think there’s a similar thing happening with energy and robert sybran has has been making this his team all we basically need is is eventually his energy right so we need for all our adventures that we want to do what we want to improve the life of sentient beings and especially our life and if you want to colonize anything like mars or out of outer moons of the solar solar systems planets we need cheap energy and seemingly the we’ve been moving backward right it seems the energy is when i especially when i look at europe it’s never been so expensive in real terms even you know even with inflation it’s really expensive and yes it’s more clean it’s more renewable it’s it’s great right so that’s what we want but what we don’t want is the opposite of the bandification it’s gotten more it went the other way with energy you know the other technology fields artificial intelligence we now seem incredible we’re out there very short amounts of time when you look at all these time streams do you feel they will come together and they will go in lockstep or is that something where we see energy production might not move but alpha the next 20 years and that it makes a super jump because we actually figure figure out fusion and it’s just going from from zero to a thousand in a couple of years how is that a linear development you’ll see or we go through these steps great question yeah so so first of all i haven’t made any predictions of any years my first my first task that i gave myself was to just try to find out when it happens maybe it happens in a thousand years but when it happens what’s what’s it going to be like what is the what is then going to be the point of of getting up getting up in the morning um so that was that was how i started of course i can probably try to answer it in my opinion uh yeah i think that it’s going to be a bonfire pretty soon torsion um let’s take energy for example inflation let’s use the morning in 2050 i love that i love how you say that so if you could describe a regular day in peter’s live near life in 2050 in about 30 years from now how would it look like okay according to your to your science fiction story right now right now it’s just science fiction’s all we can do in the end yeah maybe you can do more you can actually predict it down to the specific detail but that’s obviously extremely hard i don’t know if you want to call it a prediction yeah i can um like let’s just assume that that signal that there’s going to be some kind of singularity in maybe 2040 or 45 i know he i know Kurzweil dialed it down to 38 but yeah okay so how about just imagining and just don’t please don’t laugh at me now how about imagining avatar for a moment that’s not a movie that’s that is talked about very much in my sci fi circles and um that’s a bit how i see it you know because um in in avatar and i don’t think that we’re going to be these navies that uh that are these blue uh uh aliens in the exoplanet exoplanetary moon of alfazantari but um but in avatar we have a kind of a tribal community who live in a nature that is somehow sentient and um and this and they have this this uh tree that they call the tree of life where they the tree of life is kind of like a uh how do you say um i can’t remember the name of the species of the tree but it has these roots that are deeply connected nearly to the rest of the the moon all life forms on the moon are connected to this tree of life uh and the navies can can choose to plug in their brains they have these kind of braids that they can plug into the tree and then e one with the tree or with nature and um and uh we also have animals in the in this moon who are able to do the same they have the same braidings so they can connect to even though they are mobile and um i imagine now that you asked me i just take the imagine the liberty of imagination that i imagine and if you can just take avatar universe and then just add in another race it’s not the navies because they are not they are not intelligent enough even of course they can be plugged in and they are then they are eternally intelligent but uh that you can imagine another race that doesn’t have to plug themselves in they can just they walk around and they wirelessly are always plugged in they are one with everything so this is this is a future that i see that if that is both inclusive and it is abundant and it is intelligent and all kinds of beings are interacting to the extent that they want they can also choose to just unplug that’s fine uh no one judge them i’m not going to maybe i’m not going to judge them at least but um but this is kind of the world that i envision will happen and when you talk about energy now we go into very technical specific things i think that that energy gen energy generation is developing exponentially and i think that has been developing expenditure for a while if you see if you i think we actually just cross a very interesting point in time now where the price of oil is higher than the price of um of renewable energy and this will just create this massive change i think it was wasn’t it Ray Kurzweil who says that uh we received about 40 000 times the amount of sun energy that we need every second and or i can’t maybe every year but still it’s 40 000 times more so at some point we’re going to have 100 of our energy uh being being from the sun and then i think it doubles every 18 months so eight or no every 24 months so we have 100 and then 24 months later we have 200 and 24 months later we then have 400 of energy generation according to what we need to in today’s world of course we’re going to need more in the future who knows what blockchain and what else will suck the energy or maybe we’ll find any way to to mitigate that energy consumption too but i think that this exponential curve will make that part well it will identify it let me end that way yeah i i’ve asked a lot of people that question and i think too few people think about that one thing that you know my grandfather really dreamed of was free energy almost free energy kind of like we do see the world of semiconductors where yes building the plant initially is really expensive it’s couple billion dollars but after that you just need some labor some energy and a little bit of sand and you you create at least for one two years an unlimited amount of chips it’s really oversimplified but that’s kind of how it works and he envisioned the world where free energy would basically do this to every single industry we he was thinking about nuclear reactors you know nuclear fission at the time that was very popular and seems like this is just going to scale up tremendously it didn’t happen that way maybe it will come back maybe not who knows but let me ask you this if you if we think of energy as free free now it’s never completely free but it’s so cheap like like like semiconductors we don’t worry about the price of semiconductors much right so there’s there’s a hundred dollars two hundred dollars in all our iPhones maybe but that’s just an artificial price because it’s kind of what really determines that price is in the end competition but if we put more resources in it that price could drop really drastically and it does you know every 18 months drops by 30 percent if not more what would you think happens if we say the next two years come up with this maybe maybe it’s solar cells whatever the specific source of energy is what will happen with basically free energy and it happens in 2025 let’s just assume that for a moment yeah what will happen um yeah so then that will open up for more collaboration that’s basically what will happen um because if you have no two stars immediately like maybe go out to the solar system uh no because it definitely needs more it takes more than than than energy to to be uh in space i think maybe yeah because of course space is hostile space is uh extremely difficult to be in you get a fever you can’t give birth to children you um you get all kinds of cosmic radiation of course yeah you can build shields to what to watch that maybe we’ll have colonies on on mars but it’ll take time for us to create the you know the the the the the centrifugal cities that will enable us to to live comfortably in our biology of course then we can engineer ourselves but this i think will take more than five years to do even though we already have designer babies with the chinese uh uh outlaw um but i think now is a good time for me to just show since you asked that i’m just gonna change my uh my background to one of my other illustrations here um maybe you can see a bit of a funnel and um this this funnel illustrates i created this funnel to illustrate the singularity um you’re not supposed to be able to read all this but right now we’re in the bottom and we have these currently there are seven exponential technologies these are the ones i mentioned before quantum computing genetic engineering um yeah internal things uh nanotechnology so so far and um when you when one of them goes up the other ones go up too because you can then use that to create convergence this is what Peter Diamand has also talked so much about uh where convergent this this uh graph here is supposed to illustrate convergence when we are in the bottom of it if you can imagine a bit abstractly that the surface that we are on the little surface down there that is the level of technology and as these four uh as these seven technologies dilate singularity is basically a dilation in this figure then the the total amount of surface of green lines uh is increasing much more exponentially this is the because there’s a this is the because there’s a convergence between any one of these seven and all of the others so in other terms they help each other right so each technology on its own isn’t just a trajectory that we are following but the influence each other and make the other one more productive or quicker right so they are necessary but they also speed up the development and adoption of that other technology correct exactly so with abundant energy we can have more devices on more remote locations that can do more and uh whatever whenever i say more i mean basically collaboration and communication because that is everything so uh i guess we will go towards a world where we just collaborate more and more and we communicate more and more maybe uh you can even look at something like political systems uh you know that we’ve gone from tribes to feudal kingdoms small like peasant kings in a castle to merchant uh reigns to nations even and then now we have united nations such as uh usa or europe or some other um pan asian political systems and it’s not difficult to to just think it further and further when we talk about communication and and collaboration uh to the point where we are just one earth and this is also where intelligence comes in the more energy we have the more we can throw into intelligence which was at the end of the day just evolve until the point where i think it was also david orban who so beautifully said that we will could reach a point where it’s not really uh it’s not really uh it doesn’t can you can’t really think about anything in terms of being an individual anymore we are just a bigger organism like we have uh three trillion uh cells in our body and we don’t really know how it feels to be one cell but we know how it feels to be us which is basically a collaboration of cells right so i think that’s what there’s a lot there’s a lot to that peter one is you know this i think it’s a scary story there’s one global government for me that’s a really really a point where i was i don’t want to i really don’t like that idea but maybe just someone like like you or david orban they need to convince me and that you guys are very convincing so i leave that open but i i just i just don’t like the idea immediately that it’s just an emotional response so far right i haven’t really thought about it in depth enough but i’ve had just steven steven smith on and we talked about political regimes and we went through three thousand years of history of politics and political science and the one world government isn’t well the the the prior incarnations of the one world government didn’t do so well anyways i know this is not our main point here my point that i always either yeah i just uh when i go ahead sorry about that no you go ahead okay so um yeah i i just think about communication that’s the thing um i think eventually everything will be communication and eventually everything will be more and more rapid communication and the more rapid it becomes the more light speed it becomes with uh optic cables basically the more it’s going to be the more i’m going to feel um like the more i’m going to associate with someone sitting in Beijing uh it’s going to be less and less important to talk about me as an individual and him as an or her as an individual uh so i think eventually we will have to go towards more of a unified world i think some of the people that i have met who are against one world government and i have met quite a few is that uh they they are kind of of course i’m not to uh uh talking about you but i i don’t know you that well in that regard but um they are afraid of the they give up on their culture they give up on the what what is their identity um that is a very real thing and i really uh don’t think that that will go away in in the sense of just having uh an individual experience and have it knowing what you like and having a community that you can associate yourself with and be a part of i don’t think that will go away in a in a in a scenario where there’s a one government i i think actually the the contrary that i think the nations is kind of an arbitrary uh border now where it’s a bit hard for me personally for example to so i’m i’m danish it’s a bit hard for me to associate myself with like mostly dain i don’t that’s i don’t see that as my identity of course i so i’m from a small islander in in denmark called bonholm i think i have a larger part of my identity being the the islander of bonholm than dain and i think i have a larger identity of being a european than a dain so it’s just like all the borders are accumulating in the height of nation where before it was lower and maybe after it’s higher i don’t think that the nation scale is very intuitive for humanity actually if in a global world we could have more of a tribal uh i think the average of facebook friends in the world is about what is it 200 that’s the the amount of of people that we can kind of cope with in our lives uh it’s the size of that the tribe right so that seems to be and then something that was built over time because 100 to 200 seem to be the stable size of the tribe for the longest time as hunters and that’s why we still have this this 100 people we can remember faintly 200 it gets a little uh difficult already and then beyond that we have no idea who these people are that’s just just inbuilt right so we have these memory problems introverts like me is even worse yeah but you remember other things so you know autism is is not necessarily i’m not saying you’re you’re artistic but i’m saying there’s a lot of these things we describe as disabilities they’re actually abilities because they give us the ability to focus on something else like we we zoom out of a certain picture so i think we have a very strange description of these so called diseases that are sometimes just mutations that improve us when i just described the singularity to other people what what what goes down in my mind the description my mind that i often uses and it’s partially something that david orvin taught me is you know it’s it’s more of a gps that guides us so we have billions of of other intelligence that are not necessarily sentient i don’t think we’re going to see that in the next 20 years maybe it will i wouldn’t wouldn’t worry too much about it but i don’t think we will see this but we have these specific ai’s that solve specific problems but they’re extremely cheap so we have billions of them that we can add every few days and we can just for the price of one iphone we have access maybe to a billion different ai’s solve any problem we throw at them and they give us back a solution we can either accept them on autopilot kind of what we do with gps we either follow gps on autopilot or we say no no i know this place much better than google or siri and i follow my own route and you know i take that risk that’s how i feel we will go into the singularity we can live on autopilot but we don’t have to and that goes back into you know there’s one world government i think there’s more behind this i think the the the trouble is that we need a certain avenue of trial and error we need some competition i think that we see that with all these levels and you absolutely correct the the nation states are arbitrary absolutely and the the patriotism with nation state is somewhat arbitrary right so germany didn’t exist 200 years ago but there’s not tons of germans who feel a lot of pride for germany and have over the last 100 years which is really 200 years ago it was an idea the nation state that didn’t happen that’s true for lots and lots of nation states so yes you’re right but it gave us a level of trial and error when we say well this is a defined area and you try to go into that route right so you you say i don’t know we do a lot of we err on the side of too much freedom or we err on the side of too much control or we err on the side of we we are more idealistic and we don’t really think about the current environment so much like the you know the soviet union they thought very idealistic at least we could say that in the most positive light they thought about utopia and they were willing a lot of the majority of people more probably for at least in the initial stages were ready to to sacrifice the next 20 or 30 years and lots of lives that’s the crazy part for utopia and that’s what and i live that that nightmare that’s really horrible and whenever we talk about science fiction i feel like we we sometimes fall to fall prey to the same impulses we want this utopia so much and we know it’s going to be good but sometimes we we’ve we act like we already know the future and we don’t right so that’s that i have the same problem i i really saw that nightmare i lived through that nightmare and that there’s nothing good that comes out of it on that end but that’s obviously just just a side problem one thing i wanted to get to with you is what do you think of this of the problem of free will so the the do you think free will is something that will be affected by the singularity and does free will even exist do you think it’s a complete illusion and actually doesn’t exist in the first place yes yeah i actually think that it’s a question i think it’s an illusion i think free will is an illusion i i i actually gained quite some insights by reading a great guy called team urban he is a he he’s a blogger and he his blog is called wait but why many of your listeners and you out there you probably already know him um he created this wonderful post about uh neural link so uh elon musk’s company there where he wants to create a wizard hat basically um um and i like how team urban says it he says that there are we have this we have a retillian brain kind of like a scary uh pleasure monster and then we have a monkey brain which is the olympic system and then we have the new cortex the new cortex which was what what what what was it was um developed after the the the latest meteors strike that kills killed off the the the dinosaurs and that made us the rodents able to to advance by using our new new cortex to develop new to learn new new things and therefore the sapiens part is what has defined us not only the human sapiens but also any other uh mammal basically that has more than a than a reptilian brain and and some that has more than a than a olympic system i’ll say all this to say that uh we i i can have more than one personality i’m not schizophrenic but um i have different voices i have a part of me is scared right now because i’m talking publicly another part is excited my my new cortex is is firing up because i have all these new ideas uh at the same time i’m also a bit hungry and uh i’m yeah so there’s so much going on there’s so many voices in me um not to talk about quantum physics i know david david open already opened that door uh where you that’s a rabbit hole uh where you if you start you can start to question free will that way around too um but that doesn’t change the beauty of experience um and that current beauty of experience that i have have is probably it may it may go away in a singularity and that can be worrying um so that’s definitely something to worry about but then uh if it gets replaced by something better then what do we actually lose i mean sometimes i ask myself what will happen if we are fighting one day against ai what what side would i choose in such a hollywood scenario because obviously i love humans and i love myself and i love myself because i’m human because i’m i have these awesome experiences but then on the other hand if the ai is so much more sentient and has so much higher levels of humor and love and compassion uh isn’t that a better thing to to fight for i mean if i i am if i am to represent all my ancestors uh humanity has had 115 billion people 115 billion people have lived on on the surface of the earth uh throughout all history and uh somehow i represent them now what they all the people in love all the people who died trying to save their loved ones i have just now been given this responsibility i i guess i just take on myself to to try to fight for what they also uh wanted since they’re not here now to speak and um sometimes i ask what what would they fight for what is it that is it love that they really fought for and if it is maybe they would also just choose love which is ai instead of humanity which is less love because we are confined by this so we can’t really uh we can’t really experience that much but then i can take one step further and say i can never be sure maybe that an ai is truly sentient i can even i know that i am sentient because i’ve i experienced this right now but i i’m not even sure that you are sentient either or anyone else than me because i don’t get that experience um so i think it i don’t think free will as such exists but i think it will change quite a lot uh i think experience will change maybe that was a bit of an answer that’s really that’s really deep that’s really deep i i i see free will is something that is definitely helping us the say let’s see the illusion of free will is something that helps us survive and create in our minds a better future it it kind of helps us to to not be realistic about our odds of survival we we see them slightly better than they are and this this this positive projection into the future creates the actual growth that creates productivity growth in the end when we break it down right so it is the survival of our family is the survival of myself my genes my family but also my community also my nation state so we we it’s very difficult i feel for animals to because maybe they are not sentient enough maybe some of them are but this even if free will doesn’t exist and that’s that’s a really difficult debate and and i know people all over the map but this but i think it doesn’t really matter because it’s a survival tool it’s so important that it it’s necessary for any higher being to be there i think you what that’s true also for morals i feel anything that becomes conscious will have to struggle finding answers for these questions and yes you might find slightly different answers but you will have that debate right and you will come up with some kind of idea free will and even if it’s a complete illusion i actually think it’s better to to just blindly believe in it which sounds ridiculous right but blindly believing in free will probably in the past and this might be different in the future but in the past has given you better odds of survival than being very rational and saying oh there isn’t any free will which is really strange right so in our past there have been things going on where the most rational people might have not such a big impact on the genetic heritage that we have now this might change now that we might live forever and children have less of an importance right so there’s things and and and flux right now but i i’m not really sure the question is a little bit why do we have this lifespan right so what do we ever thought about that we have a given lifespan as human somewhere between say 50 to 60 years in nature maybe a little longer now maybe it’s around 80 now it differs in every country and every creature on this earth has a certain lifespan and it varies quite a bit is that there seems to be a relationship between how smart and how sentient we are in how long our lifespan is like there seems to be this quantum computer the universe and whatever was designed on earth seems to combine it’s it’s almost like a test is more sentient is more conscious you are as longer you can live and now we we become more conscious we get this this explosion of technology so we hopefully can live a much much longer time frame do you think that’s the universal law in in the universe and if we thought about aliens you spoke about aliens earlier if you find something that’s extraterrestrial if and david often talked about that too if they are really really intelligent and they must be if they conquer the universe maybe they already live forever in our terms right for them time might flow very differently and that’s kind of what saccharide hitchens was all going on about you know in the 12th planet it’s like for them time works very differently but if we see this this growth in in intelligence combined with consciousness if we think that other aliens might be very very advanced maybe a couple million years ahead of us their time is basically for whatever we experience as a hundred years maybe just a second for them yeah that could that could be uh i like how you bring in the survival of the fittest to this discussion that’s something that i’ve really been thinking a lot about too uh and um well i to begin i can i have this something that there is if you look at nature we also have sharks who live 800 years or uh uh there are like an elephant who is much bigger than us can withstand cancer uh so much more than we can and uh there are there are these great things in nature with that uh that is i believe that a human is more intelligent than a shark uh when when you look at the amount of of uh neurons uh and the structure of the brain so i i assume that i guess that’s a theory but i uh i believe in that so there i guess the theory is a bit challenged um i like to go up into the helicopter so i um now when you talk when you when we think about survival of the fittest and you think about the singularity then suddenly i like i really get i really want to sit down and get a cup of tea with Charles Darwin now because um the real enemy the real because the survival is that you survive the the hardship um and i think the hardship the the barriers the big challenges that we will have as sentient beings uh after the singularity will be the fighting the rapid torrent of entropy um this will be the the the beings that will be able to overcome that for longest they will be the ones who survive so um and when we bring in the topic of lifespan um i guess it’s quite easy to to challenge the the correct or the more natural lifespan of a human being i i don’t know how much it went into depth with that with with our degree but um you know 100 years ago korea the life expectancy in korea was it was 30 or 25 um and there was a very these numbers but pita these numbers are always very strongly influenced by a high infant mortality if you exclude those and if you if you look at the average adult population and you know some countries do better than others but it was generally the old greeks there were a lot of them who went into the 80s and 90s like maybe they were more privileged for sure and they had a better life but there was always a part of the adult population the bigger part of the adult population that went into the late 50s and then some made it all the way to 100 now these numbers we pushed it further but i think the the average numbers in the average life expectancy is really screwed by the high infant mortality which was huge like 50 right at points in our in our past that’s a good point uh but if we dial it even further back than the the greek society if we go to the tribal uh our past as as nomads hunts and gatherers then we would have a finite amount of resources and uh by the time you you got your grandchildren you were just a sponge for resources without contributing to society so you might as well uh just commit suicide as 30 years old uh or maybe that’s just conveniently how where where diseases came in if your immune system went down i don’t know maybe you’re right that the the more natural human that lifespan is about uh 60 or 80 um but i don’t think that really matters with technology and i don’t think that we should be afraid of technology because we have always maybe technology is the only thing that really defines us as homo sapiens uh we’ve always the moment that we had opposing thumbs and hands that were we didn’t have to use to walk that’s when we started using tools so it’s all technology uh and um yeah i’m a big believer in in us having a longer lifespan and hopefully this will contribute to a a better society i like how nick busterm says it i don’t know if you you heard his talk about the the biggest problems in the world but he he says one of the three biggest problems in the world is aging where if like 100 thousand people die of aging every every day and that basically corresponds i think the the library of alexandria that burned down it has i think it had about wasn’t a million books and if we imagine that every old person that dies of age can contribute to writing one book have the knowledge that corresponds to one uh individual book then that’s the corresponding of uh the library alexandria burning every i don’t know 10 days this is unfortunately longevity researchers are extremely confident i’ve rarely seen anyone being so confident about something that’s reaching a tipping point like opera degree and david sinclair there is so much afoot that they might be wrong and it might not work out that way but they are extremely confident and i maybe it’s just their reality distortion field and they watched the wrong youtube movies but i think they can’t all be wrong because they are extremely consistent for a long time and it’s there’s there’s a huge industry now it’s springing up out of nowhere because everything i almost feel like it’s solved we just have to like write it out it’s it’s it’s done already amazing a bigger topic i don’t know if you have you read sakurai hitions 12 planet no tell me about it so i want to want to hit you with this theory it’s it’s partly fiction but he was also a very astute researcher he knew a lot about physics uh not about religion he was a very religious jew he um spoke but not spoke but he could read Babylonian hieroglyphs what he realizes from his research when we built these first civilizations the Babylonians and their precursor so they came kind of out of nowhere we don’t have a lot of good data why they suddenly why these cities just suddenly started to happen and he came up with this theory that there is an an an alien race that came to earth and for them and they live on the 12th planet something that we can’t see right now because it’s really powered in the in the solar system and it’s kind of dark and the the the atmosphere needs gold so there’s a lot of fiction in there right yeah but they came to earth to harvest gold they went to south africa they were mostly based in africa and in iraq iran um to to find that goal to mine for gold and they used human labor but it was like a like a proto human more like in the end of the human but even before that right that was that was kind of what the assumption that the that that book makes and they used genetic engineering and they have used that before right but they kind of looked at earth as a way to produce labor cheap labor from their planet came here um introduced certain upgrades to our hardware over a long period of time and then eventually built the precursors of their homo sapiens out of apes whatever was the proto human at that time in order just to drive better labor it’s fiction right yeah yeah well what what the story is so so fascinating about is it takes a lot of these steps of human development to be con explained so we always describe it to magic right we describe it to something that is a higher intelligence slash magic slash god and he he kind of moved that into this this alien mastery so to speak and what what i found fascinating is that their time horizon is very different so they live 500 000 years um and for us it seems 500 000 years for us for them it’s like 100 years of lifespan right so just because they’re used to a different space time yeah uh he doesn’t really go into details how this actually happens but specifically what do you think of this claim that a lot of people make and you can call it quasi scientific that we had someone watching out for us like that there is this quantum computer the universe that that’s it must come from somewhere there’s a lot of intelligence inside we don’t know if it happened randomly or someone designed it that’s that’s a simulation question but broken down to what happened on earth is your gut feeling we’ve been influenced by something that is kind of watching over us makes consistent upgrades kind of moves around a couple of chess pieces and but lets it play out by evolution is that your gut feeling or you think there was there is nobody watching out over us yeah um um i i still haven’t found any articles that would make me push my uh my Darwinistic uh faith i guess um well Darwinist there it’s just there’s it there’s it say every 50 000 years there’s a major upgrade the kind of what we do the software right we push a major upgrade and then we kind of let it run for quite some time see what works the best and then we run another major upgrade yeah yeah i guess i mean then you can say like the big jumping points were the opposing thumbs the the ability to walk on two legs uh the uh development of the new cortex i think when you look at it biologically these were the three big changes uh that you can call versions um um and i i guess i haven’t really seen a lot of literature about how we got opposing thumbs or how we started going walking on two legs um the thing about the the new cortex that kind of makes sense to me uh from an evolutionary standpoint without any intervention because of the the theory of the meteor uh strike because it makes sense that if dinosaurs were became extinct about 65 million years ago uh then there would be this whole new game suddenly for this new mammal that had a small of course then you can say the this new mammal the rodent that could have been uh or maybe the the meteor strike was was uh triggered by this twelfth planet also or or what did you call it uh so maybe that also was uh a part of the alien plan if they created the meteor strike and they kind of tweaked the rodents so that they would have a bit of a limbic system and then just let evolution take its its right from there because i think from that moment evolution by itself with no intervention kind of explains it um i think these big upgrades right from time to time we have this massive upgrade in complexity say where is where did the first thing come from and you’re like i don’t really know but the wing eventually worked and then it took off or where did the first new cortex come from right um oh yeah that you can play this all the way down to the first cells like the the and when we see our development now we don’t let technology develop randomly yesterday is a random element and we kind of put it in the violence see what works but the complexity in building it first is done by intelligent designers and obviously they don’t they don’t know the the future perfectly but we don’t develop by random because it’s just it rarely works if ever right there’s so many things so only very few things that we can look back last 200 years are completely random it just yeah yes there’s serendipity but that’s something else there is this desire to as you say master entropy with your intelligence and it’s not the other way around like entropy doesn’t just you don’t become intelligent because you increase entropy no no it’s the it’s the other way around right and yeah what evolution kind of makes two claims one is it’s a vial of the fittest and it figures out which one’s best right that’s i think a hundred percent true but one other claim is that it designs extremely complex systems out of nowhere and that just doesn’t feel right because we never seen it in practice and you can say oh it’s billions of years or not like your little 50 years so of course you’re an idiot you don’t know but still this is really odd just yeah when you go into details and computational analysis of how many probability or how many different probabilities you would have to go through to come up with these super complex design even the first cells they’re really complex yeah i guess in that theory that would also go for the cambering cambering explosion then um that that was also just triggered by uh uh uh adam smith’s hand from just by aliens instead yeah that that could uh that could be um i think cal sagan also made a good point out of just trying to find the origin to see if he could create life from a pool basically uh he felt quite certain that he could uh but i don’t i’m not expert enough to to say too much about that but i agree torsten with your point that nowadays it is as if the survival of the fittest within humanity is getting more arbitrary i mean hospitals for example keep people alive uh further than than before so and and they are actually not even they they don’t choose who what patients to take in and who they don’t take in they just take everyone in um of course there is randomization in when we are born or when we are conceived that moment there is a randomization going on um but but other than that i i guess i guess we’re gonna have to find the new what the new fittest is beautiful is one way because then you get married to to people who get success and then you might have more children but that was also like that before but i think intelligence maybe that’s that’s probably the big one but it’s only until ai comes then it’s going to change again yeah you’re not really eradicating my fears there i will ask you about the assimilation hypothesis and you know nick bostrom put this out about 20 years ago it’s kind of like one of those old themes but i find it fascinating to see how people view the universe what’s your view on the assimilation hypothesis um do do you think there is someone out there who is simulating us is that all just too far too abstract to think about where do you stand on this i don’t think it’s too abstract to think about i did read here nick bostrom’s article about it um i so i saw um urbans uh take on it i think that was quite interesting he said that he for selfish reasons if i remember correctly paraphrased prefer a physical universe over a simulation um i guess i’m a little bit more uh i don’t care that much because i don’t feel that i can do very much about it i i praise the experience of self that i have or the the experience of sentience that i feel and whether that sentience is in a simulation or not it uh it doesn’t change why i get up in the morning i it doesn’t change my my set of uh my my sense of mission in life um i when you talk about that article it says that either civilizations will never reach an advanced state according to the great filters of the Fermi paradox or civilizations that reach a high high state will be uninterested in creating similar simulations or thirdly we probably live in a similar simulation i don’t actually think that there is a great filter that will impede us from becoming a great civilization i think we’re already quite close to being there uh i also like Nick Bostrom’s fable about uh an urn with balls i don’t know if you’re familiar with that uh where you every invention that you can imagine an urn with white balls in it and i remember you have and then but it’s a danger of technology right so that’s any any of those technologies can kill any anyone instantly that’s about danger and it’s a bit about it’s a bit about the great filter too because if there is such a black ball if there is a number of black balls in that urn that that’s true for all alien civilizations then if for example nuclear if you if you could get a nuclear bomb by baking sand in another then uh that’s a great filter and i think we are so close now to a high intelligence that spirals out that i don’t i don’t really believe in a great filter over us so that’s that rules out option number one and i don’t think that’s high high high level civilizations are uninterested in making similar simulations so i kind of readily buy into the the argument that we are in a simulation um but i don’t really feel that i wish one or the other one or the other very much because this isn’t like an is it like an onion peter so when when copernicus thought about and figured out well we we we actually rotate around the sun right he thought about the solar system so he’s like okay this is earth and i want to go a little beyond that i want to i want to meet the creator so to speak right so it was a deeply religious instinct to find out who designed this thing and like let’s assume it was aliens who knows if we can ever prove that or if it’s even true and then we peeled away the the the onion of the solar system now we went oh well there’s there’s a whole universe then we went to it goes to the milky ways and star systems and now we are kind of at this barrier of the universe like it’s it’s hard to wrap your mind around it but you do it for a couple of years a lot of physicists have to do it on a daily basis you kind of live with that this enormous amount of space the universe and all these trillions billions of of star systems and such but isn’t this just another layer of the onion and you say well okay this universe could easily be a playstation of one of those beings maybe this maybe this but there’s probably a bunch of other universes around there why would the big bang be so single or it makes no sense to me at least it makes no sense instinctively so this is for me the next onion and then we say well we call it maybe not universe but it’s a super universe and super universe is a super universe i don’t think it will ever end if if i wrap my mind around this it doesn’t look any different than 500 years ago what compartment is that why would we end at the universe so if there is so many other layers beyond that that we won’t see maybe in our lifetime maybe we’ll be lucky enough to see it that are being discovered i i don’t see what is why it has to end there right it’s kind of like with einstein we thought about okay this is relevant but then we realize oh quantum physics works slightly different and it kind of breaks at certain points um but with standard relativity theory so the same is true for universe one day we will have something we say oh this is how we can prove you in assimilation and deal done gotta we go on to the next layer maybe that’s it but i i think in in physical like when you talk about ethics and philosophy and and uh and the reason to get up in the morning i think uh the the the desire to meet the creator is definitely a real uh desire that i mean i i used to dream when i was five years old i actually thought that when i died i would then get all the answers somehow told to me by god or something when i believed in him um but when you think about it it what is actually the difference between uh an onion layer that is a simulation and an onion layer that is a multiverse because well like which of those are the hardest to break through is it harder for us to go to a parallel universe in like in the style of rig and moddy or is it more like or is it easier to somehow communicate uh with the creator of a simulation maybe we can somehow travel get out of our even our simulation what’s what’s most difficult if we want to meet our creator it’s a good question i’m not sure i i know the answer i read a really good book that that is a fiction and handled that question really beautifully when there is an intelligent that develops randomly in in the cloud so it basically thinks the cloud is their life and they are just computerized and then eventually they start communicating with the outside world with us and they become the sentient being and they dip their this community intelligence as well we talked about that earlier they they don’t have this definition of individuality that they solve their problem differently again it’s fiction but it’s really beautiful how it comes out and how you know helps humanity achieve their goals it becomes like just this different kind of sentient being that is just very different than what we’ve ever seen before and uh i love it because it’s they meet their creator you know i i want to i want to if you don’t i think they’re genetically selected to definitely have this instinct to meet our creator it’s it’s something that lives inside us and then gets like free will the people who had that got it more ahead in life and had more children were more they’re more interested in in advancing society and so it became the standard repertoire of our behavior and as more as we we we we encourage that behavior i think is more crazy and interesting discoveries we will make will we ever meet the creator i don’t know it might take a long long time who knows yeah who knows it’s the it’s the journey that’s the destination right exactly so i guess um this is this is where i just uh came online actually from this these thoughts and then i just i just thought okay so if like what if we only live once and uh what if everything that we can take with us after we die is what we have given away how can i give the most away in my life uh that’s basically what it made me think about and then i of course stumbled over uh effective altruism uh that with with um i think it started off in oxford where you basically think if you only have 80 80 000 hours of work in your in your life well how can you spend those 80 000 hours the best and i’ve been asking myself that question a lot and that is what made me come up with with the game uh that i have developed to to to take the world through the technology three three and into the singularity and beyond what we talk about altruism it’s certainly something that is in our hive mind that we’ve been as a human civilization is an incredibly powerful useful and and and indian not just for the society also for the individual strangely enough a positive behavior like is it it’s not a zero sum game human civilization because of all that’s kind of the the unique insight of the creator or evolution wherever we want to go with this where do you see the guidelines maybe it’s something we can we can look into further in maybe there’s a book or there’s a way you’ve been inspired where are these where is the gps to figure out should we be more altruistic in a certain situation in a certain life environment or should we be more competitive so to speak and and and not altruistic where where do we go where is our gps and where do you where do you feel we air maybe in the current situation yeah so i this is one of the questions that this like it’s a science it’s a whole science of effects of altruism they basically come up with the same answer that you allude to now that you you you just do so much better for the world if you are a bill gates then if you are a volunteer in a tribe in africa your whole life because if you’re bill gates then you just get rich and then you just give away so much more but it was not altruistic for the first 50 years of his life he was the complete opposite he was an evil capitalist so to speak i don’t think capitalism is evil but let’s just use this picture and then turn around and say oh i give it away and now you know i don’t want to take all these billions to my grave and i’m i don’t even know if he’s completely altruistic right now he kind of makes it sound that way but maybe it’s just a pr story so yes i am fascinated with stoicism torsten and stoicism is all about impact so the intention is not so important it’s basically what what kind of impact do you place on the world so um maybe you can make a case for bill gates overall having done more evil than good in his life if depends on how you interpret uh uh windows i’d certainly agree with you that it that it wasn’t an evil thing as such it’s a great tool also even though i’m a mad user um but um um but it it’s it’s certainly increased productivity worldwide i mean i think we all can agree on this there might have been an even better solution but that’s the one that people chose for whatever reason yeah and um yeah so and and this is this is also then where i became interested in gamification because if it’s all about impact and uh you don’t really have to think about intention then the real question is how how do you get people to collaborate in a way where they just together make the biggest impact maybe for selfish reasons that’s great let’s just assume that altruism doesn’t exist i actually don’t really think that altruism exists i mean a mother saving her child and giving her way in the process is um yeah maybe it’s altruistic maybe it’s selfish maybe it’s a part maybe it’s all just biological uh but but the point but but the thing that i became interested in is if you can gamify uh actions and if you can make a roadmap you ask about the gps you can make a roadmap for good and when you say good i mean sci fi’s have been thinking a lot about this what is good actually is it good to just advance technology to the point where you have an ai that makes paper clips or is it good to like there’s so many pitfalls um so i have been extremely cautious when i made my technology tree to just really dial it back and say as long as it contributes to increasing sentience in any of these four ways then it it cannot be it just cannot be described as evil as long as you bite into the into the the assumption that a universe is more infinitely more interesting when it is sentient than when it is not sentient um so and from there i just became interested in crab sourcing and how to um like open source how awesome that is and i know you also talked about that with um with your other guest daniel grasps about how how gamification and how open source can can just bring bring out something in people and you don’t have to call that altruism um but when you remove money people suddenly are open to become creative and people want to be creative and actually but do you actually remove do you remove money because that’s that’s kind of my quandary with open source yes we think it’s just altruism and for some people it might be right but in the end you you have to you have to see how you allocate your time and you do allocate your time and use open source as a way to scale your fame it’s a great tool for this like it’s like a best PR tool ever for developers they don’t want they won’t do so well most introverts on twitter but they will do very well on github if if they release working on an interesting project and people will see that and will recognize it so again i don’t think and i find that’s really interesting as you say well altruism is actually it isn’t might not actually be true it is selfishness that kind of masquerades as altruism to to an extent because we in the end and that’s kind of my baseline picture on the world is all about productivity growth it’s making more with less and that abundifies everything and this is the history of the world where it’s a history of technology if we come up with the with a way to increase productivity growth it’s all soft and this is what we’re doing with the singularity with all these technologies they make us more effective we can we can do things that seem to be like extending the lifespan seems to be altruistic but opera great told me this he’s like dude you know aging is and you said that earlier with the library of alexandria it’s not just the problem that we want to live forever it is we we train all these brains for all this time from now until the 60s and 70s then we just let them go to waste when we just change this and make them work for 500 years or a thousand years it would be much more cost efficient and again selfishness right so we make more tax money from these older populations and maybe that is it’s kind of the description of the universe right so it is productivity growth and we will have to really be focused on it I don’t think it’s it’s gets any any real debate out there or running real focus we have Peter Thiel who who used that I think that’s that’s been a bunch of white papers before that that the really worrying sign about the last 50 years is the productivity growth isn’t where we wanted it to be coming out of the 50s 60s and early 70s do you think we will reverse back to the mean and once all these technologies come online we will see an amazing productivity growth in real GDP adoptive statistics and where do you think this will happen the most will developed economies do the best or will developing economies that did the best in the last 30 years because productivity growth and developing economies wasn’t developed economies wasn’t that interesting where do you see the biggest impact so when if you’re an investor where would you put your money right now yeah great question Thorsten I think that we have to think about what I call mission learning now I think that when we talk about 21st century learning it is not the institutional learning that was invented for to create workers for the industrial revolution sit still from nine to five do what the teachers say think within the frames that you are given don’t write don’t think too creatively this this is a an institutional kind of learning that that is that belongs to the 19th century maybe a bit the 20th century but when we when we think about the 21st century we really have to go to a mission learning concept and this is totally agree yes yeah and the studies here is that that we learn best when we set ourselves a mission and then we go about we go towards our goal and then we reach a barrier we get in just in just in time resources and then we we try to overcome our like fail forward basically and this is what will make us learn the fastest and the reason why I talk about learning now is that productivity is I all I think productivity is also a 20th century concept when we talk about human labor as computers and robotic robots become more and more sophisticated then the more logical part the the part repetitive part or mechanical part of work will be taken over by machines which is productivity that leaves us with a more narrow window of creativity which is the workspace that we can have the future of work and creativity is a lot about having free time you can’t be creative I challenge you to be creative if you are time constrained somehow the good ideas come when you’re in the shower or you’re falling asleep or when you block out three hours of your day to just space out I think this is also what Thomas Edison did or Picasso they I think Thomas Edison he he kind of powernapped he fell asleep and he had keys in his hand and the moment he dropped his keys that was a that he kind of woke up from his slumber with the new ideas I think creativity is a great tale to tell yes it’s like Newton under the apple tree which apparently wasn’t true as producer far told me who knows enough she knows way better she wrote a whole book about Newton so so growth so I think productivity will happen because there will be machines to do it but creativity is the real workspace that we can that we should invest in we should invest our own time we should invest in other others time in being creative so the I think the people the people who know how to be creative will be the future if this is the developing countries maybe it is if it’s the developed countries maybe it is I don’t know yeah I have this suspicion I fully video creativity is what we should focus on but it’s so hard to define it’s so hard to learn creativity psychologists have big trouble even describing it there’s very difficult words and as you say we don’t know how to trigger we don’t know will it happen for the next 10 years will I have any ideas and then there’s this geniuses who have like crazy good ideas every single year write great books and then they’ve done and then the next 30 years there’s nothing and you’re like how is that possible right and they say well there’s nothing there I mean I try but did nothing happen that’s true but I think what they do is that they they do have an idea of what it isn’t you it is creativity is not sitting in a school like if you if you go walk take take a child for a walk in the park and ask and then just listen to what the child says he will ask you why is the leaves green why is why are we walking on two legs why is he will ask you so many interesting questions and then take a 15 year old for a walk who have been through 10 years of schooling those the questions that the 15 year old will ask will be less interesting I’m sorry to say but that that’s how I feel that you’re right you’re right but it you need a certain set of skills routines applied knowledge abstract knowledge to live in the current world and this might change and we definitely are going going towards more creativity but you need those skills and I see this with my teenagers they’re just on this cusp of where are they are we children are we like grownups and you need the grownup skills to as well I mean we kind of see that as a given because we are too short in creativity right now but we need both and it’s I think what’s fascinating is we have this longer takeoff time that the 2030s used to be productive times where you already had a job and even 25 you would start your job that’s not true anymore you know you can dingle dangle until your 50s and you will still be fine which is very cool I mean I’m really jealous of this I mean I also dingle dangle so I like that when we when we think about this this the way we we design our future is there something and there’s probably lots of policy advice that you would give but if if you had like the top three options to change current public policy maybe you feel like public policy doesn’t matter so much that’s kind of what I feel I’m like whatever you know do whatever you want it’s not it doesn’t change any of these graphs it doesn’t change more slow it doesn’t change productivity growth much it doesn’t maybe there’s a little bit of regulation we can do with in the end it’s driven by public policy there is only so much you can do as as a policymaker but when you look at policymakers if you would talk to the president what would be your top three suggestions what we should change in current public policy for the next 10 years okay wow that is uh that’s a good question too uh yeah so institutions definitely that that’s a big thing go towards more mission learning I strongly encourage that try to um try to give people reasons to learn rather than frameworks to learn because as it is now there’s so much just in time knowledge everywhere that you just need um I think I can’t remember who called it a grandmother you just need a grandmother basically one who stands beside you and encourage you she doesn’t have to understand everything you do but just uh guides you through your emotions a bit as you as you fail and stand up again um that is a wisdom right yeah yeah well that’s not what is meant by grandmother in this sense in this sense you maybe even call it emotional wisdom where you just you can you can you can fall and then you have to have someone to say what you do when you fall down you get back up again that is a kind of a an emotional wisdom that is what I really believe that is what we should teach children but that’s of course not institutions and policy as you ask for another aspect that I really call for in uh in policy is AI research because this is this is an aspect that is under researched and uh could have a very very big impact as I’m sure you agree so um and private companies they only have so much uh free time to to research this and if it is such a big if it’s going to have such a big impact if we are just going to be the bootloaders then but if we at least get to invent it then we could have a bit of a dent in the universe and trying to invent something good instead and I think this is the same thing that Peter Diamandis a great hero of mine hero of mine is uh saying when he says that if we are the first um if if we are the first civilization to become a cross multi planetary species then this is the moment in time where we actually are reaching the stars and that means that the culture that we have now is what we will start to uh expand to other planets from where the cultures will evolve later but they will then evolve from this mother culture that we have now so we kind of have if we are going with the planetary within the next 200 years we really have a responsibility to to create a set set of values that are so um true sound true sound that they are worth being a mother culture for a multi planetary civilization with less communication uh with less intercommunication it all dials back kind of what the British said for the rest of the world right I feel that’s the world that the British foot by accident probably yeah because they were the dominating power when a lot of these places were populated like the US or Australia they had a major impact and they went different routes but it’s so easy to trace back to those roots right so when you go to Singapore or Hong Kong you know immediately not just bite bite bite but by this common language but you know there’s there’s a lot of British heritage and you know also where it ends and where there’s a different culture that has been swept in over time that’s really fascinating to me I mean I grew up in Germany which doesn’t really have that culture it doesn’t didn’t really have that impact on the world for good reasons probably but but the British had this really this jump start in making places so much more productive and then just dropping them out of the system and they were fine that’s pretty amazing to me I mean there’s a common both but I don’t think it has that much of an impact in day to day decisions yeah you know okay you can you can argue both foreign against the the British the the the dissemination of the British culture it is what it is but but at least with most it’s not just the British culture right so it transformed it’s something different and that’s pretty cool like it gave a lot of freedom to develop something else and that’s different it’s like in the Portuguese colony that would be a similar example a very different experience owner Spanish column from a Spanish colony they’re just not on it went a different life it’s more top down it’s more like we tell you what to do and they didn’t really encourage this bubbling up now you can argue both ways and if the British had other faults 100% I don’t want to get into colonialism but I’m just saying it’s it’s it gave this seemingly to my understanding a really good mix of freedom and also a great quality that the British brought with them so it’s kind of the best of both worlds that’s what I’m trying to say in many places and for my experience from that point of view I totally agree with you of course multi planetary dissemination is less I mean there will probably not be other alien cultures around our solar system so in that way it’s I guess it’s going to be a little bit more friendly in that way but yeah exactly if we then the British they they they just knew their mother culture had such a big influence and if we can have the same influence on the solar system wow what an what a responsibility so governments have responsibility and they should then talk together to find a solution to that because I think going to space is you can maybe compare it with the the Irish going to the United States and the the Spanish Spanish going to the United States and South America creating subcultures maybe that’s what’s going to happen I kind of prefer that it is more coordinated that there will be more thought through than just yeah we happen to have the Spanish mindset we happen to have the Irish mindset but just let’s try to define now in governmental level what are good values that worth spreading out I go I love how you say that I think that’s that’s a point that most people there isn’t enough understanding and I think this is obviously being solved right now with the internet there is this immediate default especially in the side and in a time of crisis to go back to say nationalistic values and patriotism because it’s just what you know and you make you’re comfortable but you don’t spend enough time to really do comparative analysis of what’s working in other places and sometimes I feel like it’s with the internet and at least lately hasn’t really helped right people go into these rabbit holes and they stay there for like a year and they don’t even want to hear anything else they they go into these echo chambers and they feel comfortable and for them it’s really difficult to for a lot of the cities in San Francisco a lot is really difficult to get out of this rabbit hole and then they’re out of it and then they’re like oh I don’t even remember what I what I thought a year ago you know I have a completely different opinion that makes things really difficult like a rational analysis of what long term impact of policy and and moral decisions it could happen but I don’t think we’re there yet I think we’re just waking up and making this active decision but before we just adopted what we knew right but was for some reason comfortable to us but very few people went around the world said okay this is what I’ve seen this is what I recommend and then it was actually implemented that happened but it’s it’s it’s a rarity in the past and hopefully that changes now as you say I think that’s really important yeah I agree so those would be those those would be the things that I would recommend to a president any given president or Prime Minister I hope they’re gonna listen to you I want to thank you for for coming on the podcast this was awesome I learned so much and I think yeah you you’re really bright mind and you you onto something there and then I really hope there is more positivity in what this singularity that sounds scary at first glance will really become in the public’s eye and I think you do a great job actually helping people to get to a more positive understanding thank you Tarsten and it’s my honor to be here absolutely help me get to do this again yeah let’s do it talk soon talk soon take it easy until then bye bye

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