#662: David Deutsch and Naval Ravikant — The Fabric of Reality, The Importance of Disobedience, The Inevitability of Artificial General Intelligence, Finding Good Problems, Redefining Wealth, Foundations of True Knowledge, Harnessing Optimism, Quantum Computing, and More
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David Deutsch (@DavidDeutschOxf) is a visiting professor of physics at the Centre for Quantum Computation, a part of the Clarendon Laboratory at Oxford University, and an honorary fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford. He works on fundamental issues in physics, particularly the quantum theory of computation and information and especially constructor theory, which he is proposing as a new way of formulating laws of nature. He is the author of The Fabric of Reality and The Beginning of Infinity, and he is an advocate of the philosophy of Karl Popper.
Naval Ravikant (@naval) is the co-founder of Airchat and AngelList. He has invested in more than 100 companies, including many mega-successes, such as Twitter, Uber, Notion, Opendoor, Postmates, and Wish. You can see his latest musings on Airchat and subscribe to Naval, his podcast on wealth and happiness, on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also find his blog at nav.al.
For more Naval-plus-Tim, check out my wildly popular interview with him from 2015 (nominated for “Podcast of the Year”) and our conversation from 2020.
Naval also co-piloted the interviews with Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin and famed investor Chris Dixon.
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[08:03 ] The impact The Fabric of Reality and The Beginning of Infinity have had on Naval.
[10:07 ] The four strands.
[13:04 ] Dispelling common misconceptions about science.
[19:26 ] How does knowledge grow?
[24:26 ] The benefits of understanding the four strands.
[32:47 ] How quantum computing arose from trying to test a multiverse theory.
[37:40 ] What a good explanation looks like.
[42:43 ] How do conjecture and criticism give us a basis for optimism?
[48:38 ] Translating knowledge into action.
[51:20 ] Artificial intelligence (AI) vs. artificial general intelligence (AGI).
[56:54 ] AGI is people! But how do we ensure it’ll be good people?
[1:03:03 ] What’s taking AGI so long to get here?
[1:08:59 ] Chemical scum that dream of distant quasars.
[1:17:47 ] Are humans central to the universe, or just a sideshow?
[1:20:17 ] Wealth and resources.
[1:25:30 ] Recommended thinkers.
[1:28:05 ] Taking Children Seriously, ToKCast, Critical Rationalists, and Popper 101.
[1:31:55 ] David’s most interesting problems right now.
[1:39:24 ] Parting thoughts.
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Another tough subject to mouth, let alone chew on
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