EF49 SHOW NOTES
Looking to play or download the episode? Click here… EF49 (S2-E10): The Domino Effect: The Momentum of an Unstoppable Future
DEDICATION: Episode EF49 is dedicated to Ray Kurzweil, a futurist and an advocate of the transhumanist movement and the Singularity. Transhumanism is a theory predicting that human evolution is possible (and likely) outside of biological limitations. Using exponential graphs of technology trends as predictive mechanisms, Kurzweil speculates that a machine will pass the Turing Test by the year 2029. He further believes the Singularity will happen by 2045, which is the point in time where artificial intelligence will match, and then drastically skyrocket beyond, human intelligence. This intelligence explosion is expected to have radical implications for humanity and the earth.
Unlike some scientists and thinkers, Kurzweil has a generally optimistic perspective on the technological future of AI and superintelligence into which humanity is heading. His predictions are intimidating. But like it or not, we are at a technium where technology is changing the face of humanity and our planet so rapidly that it’s impossible to even keep up with a single industry creating the future, let alone all of them. This might be both humanity’s biggest challenge, and brightest opportunity, yet.
Will we look back at our history in a century or two and laugh at what primitive apes we were in 2020, having at that point overcome every single problem we’ve ever faced? Or will there be nothing looking back from that time which we could even call … human? If Kurzweil is correct, we’ll have some hints at these answers in about 25 years; which is, not coincidentally, the same timeline of Season Two of the Evolve Faster Podcast. Stay tuned …
Learn more about Ray Kurzweil:
INSPIRATIONS: Episode EF49 is further inspired by … Nick Bostrom, Søren Kierkegaard.
In the year 2045, a physicist named Sam Payne is creating increasingly large black holes on demand using an advanced particle accelerator. At the end of a 30-yr quest to understand the nature of reality and our existence, she is convinced the answer lies on the other side of these dark portals. As she rips through the fabric of space-time of her world, confidence in her plan crumbles as everything she — and the rest of humanity — holds dear edges towards the abyss. Will she meet her maker? And how far is too far in search of the truth?
Although the distant future is unknowable, we try to predict, or rather, create, how the future will look. Unlike philosophical theories that deal with the present and the past, futurism benefits far less from current or previous knowledge. A small, influential, tech-obsessed class is focusing the evolutionary trajectory of humanity towards an artificial intelligence-based, transhuman existence. But will this solve our problems and lead to a superior existence, or just exacerbate and reframe our issues into a more high-tech box? And does our obsession of what’s to come blind us of the point of being alive — and being human — in the present?
Dave Schilling, Can You Become ‘Virtually Immortal’? A Silicon Valley Startup Thinks So. Theguardian.com, www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/apr/20/eternime-immortal-chatbots-silicon-valley-startup-can-you-cheat-death (Accessed: Dec 2, 2019)
James Temperton, ‘Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds’. The story of Oppenheimer’s infamous quote. Wired.co.uk, https://www.wired.co.uk/article/manhattan-project-robert-oppenheimer (Accessed: Dec 2, 2019)
Ned Markosian, Time. Plato.stanford.edu, www.plato.stanford.edu/entries/time/ (Accessed: Dec 2, 2019)
Ray Kurzweil, The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology. 2006, Penguin.
Tad Friend, Silicon Valley’s Quest to Live Forever. newyorker.com, www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/04/03/silicon-valleys-quest-to-live-forever (Accessed: Dec 2, 2019)
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Why does it take near death — or near transcendence — to recognize that it’s the small moments which matter? Perhaps we don’t need to create meaning after all; it’s right in front of us at all times.
Like a sort of high-tech racism, Transhumanism is going to change the perception of those who aren’t upgraded.
Technology is like a powerful drug. It can make you a better version of yourself. Or, it can make you miserable, dependent, and blind to reality; even worse, it can make you useless.
Technology enabled us to prosper, multiply and flourish. But it is becoming a sledgehammer for the wealthy to drive a massive wedge between themselves and the rest.
Even if we reach the transhumanism pinnacle — no work, no suffering, no dying — will our lives really be fulfilled?
Emotions are important and humans can’t make decisions without them, but overextend them and even conversation is useless.
You didn’t pick your genes, culture, or environment. You can’t even control your next thought. Free will is an illusion … and not a very good one.
The scientific method demands we be open to all possibilities, including ones we neither like nor understand.
Season Two, Episode Ten: Humanity’s relationship to the future is like falling dominoes, where the momentum of the present surges forward to create what’s next. But since our actions enact this cause-effect chain, does this mean the future is knowable? Or do humans not even matter in this cosmic cycle?
The big question driving episode EF49 is … Is the future unknowable? And do humans even matter?
Season One: The journey begins as we embark on 11 episodes on big questions relating to MIND. What is the truth? Can we trust reason? Why do we have emotions? Does happiness define the good? What is identity? What is creativity?
(EF1) Trailer: The Evolve Faster Podcast (Extended) Trailer
(EF2) Intro: Life is a Near Death Experience: Welcome to The Evolve Faster Podcast
(EF3) S1-E1: All Aboard the Experience Machine: Destination…Unknown (Season One, Episode One)
(EF4) S1-E2: The Decapitation of Reason: A Skeptic’s Guide (Season One, Episode Two)
(EF5) S1-E3: The Truth is Clay in the Hands of a Sculptor (Season One, Episode Three)
(EF6) S1-E4: Information Mainlining and the Folly of Modern Wisdom (Season One, Episode Four)
(EF7) S1-E5: Sleight of Mind: The Black Magic of Rhetoric (Season One, Episode Five)
(EF8) S1-E6: Without a Compass: All Who Sail the Seas of Identity Are Not Lost (Season One, Episode Six)
(EF9) S1-E7: I Feel Therefore I am: Capsized by the River Emotion (Season One, Episode Seven)
(EF10) S1-E8: The Road to Happiness is Inked in Suffering (Season One, Episode Eight)
(EF11) S1-E9: When the Lights Go Out: The Blinding Light of an Artificial Future (Season One, Episode Nine)
(EF12) S1-E10: Wired to Fail: Leveling Up in the Game of Life (Season One, Episode Ten)
(EF13) S1-E11: The Bloody Fingerprint of Creativity (Season One, Episode Eleven)
(EF14) BTP: Behind the Evolve Faster Podcast - The Making of a Speculative Fiction Meets Philosophical Nonfiction Podcast
(EF15) AMA: Ask Me Anything: About Scott Ely and Evolving a Philosophy for Life
(EF16) BTP: On Creative Writing, Video Games and the Future of the Evolve Faster Podcast (About Antonio Rozich)
(EF17) BTP-EF3: What Am I Supposed To Do Free Will and Other Everyday Problems Behind the Podcast of Episode EF3
(EF18) AMA-EF3: The Mystical Allure of Converting to Buddhism and Speculating about Quantum Mechanics Ask Me Anything for Episode EF3
(EF19) BTP-EF4: Head Transplantation and Finding Inspiration for Speculative Fiction - Behind the Podcast of Episode EF4
(EF20) AMA-EF4: The Declining Value of Information and Taking Risks to Determine What is the Truth Ask Me Anything of Episode EF4
(EF21) BTP-EF5: Should Lying be Made Illegal and the Importance of Figuring Out Why You Believe What you Believe --Behind the Podcast of Episode EF5
(EF22) AMA-EF5: Defeating Fake News and Critical Thinking as the Superpower the World Needs Most Ask Me Anything of Episode EF5
(EF23) BTP-EF6: Scaling Mount Wisdom Without Suffocating Under an Avalanche of Ego Behind The Podcast of Episode EF6
(EF24) AMA-EF6: Is Less Really More When it Comes to the Pursuit of Wisdom or is Ignorance Bliss - Ask Me Anything of Episode EF6
(EF25) BTP-EF7: The Power of Propaganda and Rhetoric to Divide Us and the Quest for a Better World - Behind the Podcast of Episode EF7
(EF26) AMA-EF7: The Impossibility of Honest Politicians and Protecting Our Kids from The Most Insidious Fake News Ask Me Anything for Episode EF3
(EF27) BTP-EF8: Who are You and is it Possible to Upgrade Your Identity as an Adult? - Behind the Podcast of Episode EF8
(EF28) AMA-EF8: Drugs, Consciousness Manipulation and Cheating Your Way To a Better You - Ask Me Anything for Episode EF8
(EF29) BTP-EF9: Waging War Between Reason and Emotions and the Importance of Leaving Things Unresolved Behind the Podcast of Episode EF9
(EF30) AMA-EF9: Emotional Manipulation Tribalism and Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Think Before you Feel - Ask Me Anything for Episode EF9
(EF31) BTP-EF10: Dharma Modifying Negative Thinking and the Never-Ending Pursuit of Happiness by Embracing Suffering - Behind the Podcast of Episode EF10
(EF32) AMA-EF10: Mind Control Through a Well Chosen Tattoo and the Unlikely Case of Being Happy Enough - Ask Me Anything for Episode EF3
(EF33) BTP-EF11: The Evolution of Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Creativity - Behind the Podcast of Episode EF11
(EF34) AMA-EF11: On Perfection, the AI Alignment Problem, and the Possibility of Quantum Leaps of Creativity - Ask Me Anything for Episode EF11
(EF35) BTP-EF12: Cryptocurrencies Gaming and Leveraging Failure to Help Us Define Who We Are - Behind the Podcast of Episode EF12
(EF36) AMA-EF12: Pyrrhic Victory and Finding the 10% of Your Mind that Defines Who You Are - Ask Me Anything for Episode EF12
(EF37) BTP-EF13: Where Creativity Comes From and How to Find Your Uniquely Bloody Fingerprint - Behind the Podcast of Episode EF13
(EF38) AMA-EF13: Flow, Creative Improvisation and Other Altered States of Consciousness Ask Me Anything for Episode EF13
(EF39) S2-E0: LIFE, UPGRADED: Welcome to Season Two of the Evolve Faster Podcast
(EF40) S2-E1: Dehumanized: The Search for Self in the Devil’s Looking Glass
(EF41) S2-E2: Transhuman Fallibility: The Existential Risk of a Superhuman Future
(EF42) S2-E3: Civil Individualism: Loneliness Atop Mount Empowerment
(EF43) S2-E4: Evil Urges: The Fiery Duality of Human Nature
(EF44) S2-E5: Reality Unchained: Smashing the Icons of Social Delusion
(EF45) S2-E6: Weaving Society’s Web: Purpose in a Future Without Work
(EF46) S2-E7: Empathetic Distortion: Rigging the Scales of Justice
(EF47) S2-E8: Infinite Regress: Drawing Back The Veil of Perception
(EF48) S2-E9: Checkmate: A Child’s Guide to the Good Life
(EF49) S2-E10: The Domino Effect: The Momentum of an Unstoppable Future