Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Awakening Siddhartha (podcast interview)


Really fun conversation! 


00:00 Introduction 
02:21 Steve's Encounter with Richard Feynman 
03:31 Discussion on Genetics and Human Improvement 
11:08 The Role of Genetics in Disease Prediction 
18:10 Understanding the Influence of Genetics on Behaviour 
21:37 The Future of Genetic Selection in Embryos 
39:24 The Role of Genetics in Addiction 
41:53 The Importance of Individual Differences and Success 
46:36 The Value of STEM in Indian Culture 
48:02 The Importance of Non-Academic Skills for Success 
49:01 Exploring the World of Embryo Modification 
51:30 The Quest for Immortality: Brian Johnson's Story 
57:20 The Role of Genetics in Aging 
01:01:19 The Power and Potential of Gene Editing 
01:11:37 The Impact of Genetics on Society and Policy 
01:16:36 Understanding the Rise of China in the Global Stage 
01:53:14 The Future of AI and the Impact on Jobs 
01:58:46 The Future of Human and Machine Intelligence 
02:01:54 The Possibility of Living in a Simulation 

Short excerpts below :-)

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Ray McGovern: CIA, JFK, Deep State, and Ukraine Crisis — Manifold #54


Raymond McGovern is a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analyst, serving from 1963 to 1990. 

His CIA career began under President John F. Kennedy and lasted through the presidency of George H. W. Bush. McGovern advised Henry Kissinger during the Richard Nixon administration, and during the Ronald Reagan administration he chaired National Intelligence Estimates and prepared the President's Daily Brief. 

He received the Intelligence Commendation Medal at his retirement but returned it in 2006 to protest the CIA's involvement in torture. 

Steve and Ray discuss: 

0:00 Introduction 
01:25 Ray McGovern's assessment of the JFK assassination 
26:10 Hunter Biden's laptop 
30:50 Ukraine and the U.S. intelligence services' role in the deep state 
55:20 Strategic implications of the Ukraine war for the U.S. 
01:03:38 Are things worse today, versus 1963? 

Books referenced in this episode: 

JFK and the Unspeakable 

Mary's Mosaic: The CIA Conspiracy to Murder John F. Kennedy

Thursday, February 08, 2024

Lecture: Fermi Paradox, AI, Simulation Question — Manifold #53


This lecture covers DNA and the origin of life on Earth, the Fermi Paradox (is there alien life?), AI and its implications for the Simulation Question: Could our universe be a simulation? Are we machines, but don't know it? 

Further discussion of the Simulation Question in light of AGI, and a refinement from quantum mechanics: The Quantum Simulation Question
CORRECTION: 31:25 The size of our galaxy is not 100 million light years. I should have said ~100 THOUSAND = 100k light years instead!!!

Monday, February 05, 2024

Superhumans and the Race for AI Supremacy - Hidden Forces podcast Episode 351


I've been listening to Hidden Forces with Demetri Kofinas for years now. He's an excellent interviewer with interests in finance, geopolitics, technology and more.

Audio-only version.
In Episode 351 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Stephen Hsu, a Professor of Theoretical Physics and Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. Stephen is also the co-founder of multiple companies, including Genomic Prediction, which provides preimplantation genetic screening services for human embryos, and, which builds large language models for narrow enterprise use cases. 
This is a conversation about some of the most important advancements and trends in genomic science and artificial intelligence, including the social and ethical dilemmas arising from implementing these technologies at scale. Stephen and I discuss the competitive landscapes in both industries, how America’s geostrategic competition with China is driving tradeoffs between innovation and safety, the risks and opportunities that these revolutionary technologies pose, and how the world’s largest companies, economies, and military powers can work together to reap the benefits of this revolution while averting some of their most disastrous potential consequences.

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