Checkmate: A Child’s Guide to the Good Life

EF48 SHOW NOTES

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dedication

DEDICATION: Episode EF48 is dedicated to Nick Bostrom, a Swedish philosopher most well known for his work on ethics and the existential risks of technology. When your day job is to figure out all the ways humanity might find it’s end, it probably makes you the most intriguing guy at the cocktail party. While Bostrom’s rationale generates conclusions that many people might perceive as depressing, he’s doing very important work in raising awareness about the relative risk of scenarios relating to AI and technology that the world’s decision makers need to be taking more seriously.

Bostram is also an important science communicator, sharing his work and theories through popular books, talks, and podcasts. His ideas about the Simulation Argument have convinced the Silicon Valley technorati that we’re all living in a video game. He’s also posited a convincing argument called the Singleton which leads to a logical conclusion that a giant Google-like company, or government, with the first true general AI is likely takeover the world (replacing the multinational civilization we have today). One might wonder if AI running things might actually be a good thing in light of the way our planet is currently on outdated human wetware.

Bostrom also believes that superintelligence — an intelligence vastly more advanced than anything possible by humanity — is unavoidable. It seems impossible to predict if this will be the end of humanity or the next greatest phase in our evolution. Only time, and our AI overlords, will tell … unless one of Bostram’s other existential threats wipe us out first.

Learn more about Nick Bostrom:

inspirations

INSPIRATIONS: Episode EF48 is further inspired by … Plato, Friedrich Nietzsche.

EPISODE DESCRIPTION

Sam Payne, a physicist, finally discovers the true origin of the universe after sacrificing most of her life to the endeavor. But the discovery has vast repercussions which shake the foundation of Sam’s sanity. In light of the drastic nature of her existential dread, Sam is unsure how to even define what a good life would look like for her now. She finds a glimpse of hope in the curious, enigmatic mindset of her 5-year-old daughter, Maya.

The hope and desire to live a good life is ingrained in every human. But the day you’re born is also the day you start to die, so the quicker you can arrive at some reasonable and attainable definition of the good life for yourself, the more fulfilling your life will be. But in an existence without obvious meaning, and a society heavily focused on meaningless goals like wealth and fame, how can you uncover an answer for yourself to such a simple question? Is it possible the mindset of seeing the world through a child’s eyes could provide critical insight to that which is otherwise concealed by the challenges and distractions of adult life?

references

Martin E.P. Seligman, Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment. Atria Books, 2004.

Nick Bostrom, Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?, simulation-argument.com, https://www.simulation-argument.com/simulation.pdf (Accessed on: November 15, 2019)

Plato, The Republic. Penguin Classics, 2003.

episode quotes

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EF48 (S2-E9): Checkmate: A Child’s Guide to the Good Life

If we want to stay human and become better, the key isn’t technology. The key is upgrading the outdated code of human nature; only then does the story of a better world become a reality.

EF48 (S2-E9): Checkmate: A Child’s Guide to the Good Life

Sam Payne, a physicist, finally discovers the true origin of the universe after sacrificing most of her life to the endeavor. But the discovery has vast repercussions which shake the foundation of Sam’s sanity. In light of the drastic nature of her existential dread, Sam is unsure how to even define what a good life would look like for her now. She finds a glimpse of hope in the curious, enigmatic mindset of her 5-year-old daughter, Maya. The hope and desire to live a good life is ingrained in every human. But the day you’re born is also the day you start to die, so the quicker you can arrive at some reasonable and attainable definition of the good life for yourself, the more fulfilling your life will be. But in an existence without obvious meaning, and a society heavily focused on meaningless goals like wealth and fame, how can you uncover an answer for yourself to such a simple question? Is it possible the mindset of seeing the world through a child’s eyes could provide critical insight to that which is otherwise concealed by the challenges and distractions of adult life?

EF48 (S2-E9): Checkmate: A Child’s Guide to the Good Life

Sam Payne, a physicist, finally discovers the true origin of the universe after sacrificing most of her life to the endeavor. But the discovery has vast repercussions which shake the foundation of Sam’s sanity. In light of the drastic nature of her existential dread, Sam is unsure how to even define what a good life would look like for her now. She finds a glimpse of hope in the curious, enigmatic mindset of her 5-year-old daughter, Maya. The hope and desire to live a good life is ingrained in every human. But the day you’re born is also the day you start to die, so the quicker you can arrive at some reasonable and attainable definition of the good life for yourself, the more fulfilling your life will be. But in an existence without obvious meaning, and a society heavily focused on meaningless goals like wealth and fame, how can you uncover an answer for yourself to such a simple question? Is it possible the mindset of seeing the world through a child’s eyes could provide critical insight to that which is otherwise concealed by the challenges and distractions of adult life?

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