140. In Case You Missed It: Recapping Kevin Kelly - Transcripts
140. Welcome To The Alfalfa Podcast! 🌾
(1:41) Kevin Kelly Recap
(7:30) Best Moments In Life
(14:34) Crypto Use Cases
(37:09) Kevin Kelly on Death
🏷 Check out Dry Farm Wines: https://bit.ly/dfwalfalfa (Use our link for an extra bottle for one penny!)
🏷 Check out Eight Sleep: https://bit.ly/eightsleepalfalfa (👉 Use code ALFALFA at checkout for a special discount.)
Follow the podcast:
- Our website with all links
- Our Discord community
- Transcripts of all episodes
Follow the hosts:
- Arman Assadi
- Eric Johanson
- Nick Urbani
- Stephen Cesaro
Music by: Allie Gross x KOCH
Disclaimer: This is not Financial Advice. All opinions expressed by the podcast are intended for informational or entertainment purposes only and should not be treated as investment or financial advice of any kind. Alfalfa and its representatives are not liable to the listener/viewer or any other party, for the listener/viewer’s use of, or reliance on, any information received, directly or indirectly, from this media. The listener/viewer should always do their own research. Any views or opinions represented on this show are personal and belong solely to the show.
Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/alfalfa/message
Should we get into it? All right. Are we back? We're back All right. You need to do a better job of moderating than I did last time I I made zero call to actions the whole time. Oh, we're sitting at the end. Yes Hello to everybody watching live on YouTube. I think most of you are still listening to this on Spotify or iTunes according to the data according to the data Nick has all of the data, so Please check out the YouTube Give us a little give us a little follow there. Maybe check out the live. We've been doing this at 4 30 or so Pacific on Wednesdays if you want to take part say hello in the chat talk to us But yeah, this is the the life portion of the of the broadcast Nick. What are we gonna? What are we gonna talk about today?
Last week we interviewed Kevin Kelly. He has a new book coming out and He's most known for being a kind of futurist and he's been an author. He's written several books I think one of the most popular was what technology wants? He's written for the Wall Street Journal New York Times He's written everywhere. He was a co-founder and founding editor of Wired magazine and just an all-around cool guy like a lot of wisdom with with Kevin Kelly, but also wisdom paired with a very unique perspective on how to view the world going forward and how to You know see how technology is gonna enter interweave with our lives And so I kind of wanted to start off just talking about what were some of your you know kind of takeaways from from the interview
And in Eric after after that, I'd love to hear like what I want to hear Eric's feedback first. Oh, you want to hear? He wanted to just
Know I think you guys did great. I'm actually trying to pull up Because we got an advanced copy of his book But I had I'm trying to pull it up right now because I had I had read Something from him before which is like his hundred rules. I don't know is that close to what his book is sure because I didn't I didn't get a chance to read his the advanced copy but He had like a hundred rules for improving your life and some of them were like very Simplistic, you know, I didn't have to get like really really advanced but like one that stuck with me was If you have tangled courts if you have tangled courts Start by just pulling them Out lose loosely pulling them out and and I'll be honest. I started I implemented that in my own life
So I waited so I still is this is this metaphor or no, no, this is like this is literal literal literal under Steven's chair
There's about 17 court. Hey, don't tell them that okay, put it outside the camera. Well, okay
Our cord management is not top tier yet, camera show. Well, okay, so for these guys, no, but I don't think the audience always knows, but like I listen to a podcast to go to bed every night. And the way that like the mechanism by which I do that is I use the connected headphone to my phone. Like I literally use the cords. So like as I'm preparing for sleep, I'll like pull this headphone, you know, like I'll pull the cords out of my drawer and they're very often like just a mess. And I remember Kevin Kelly's, you know, this might be number 39 out of a hundred. He's just like, slowly, slowly, loosen by pulling and pulling away. Are you also listening to Bloomberg when you go to sleep?
Uh, no, I listen to fiction, my friend. Oh, whoa.
Didn't see that coming way better way to fall asleep. So I find the fiction is almost like I'm slipping into a dream where it's like the dream is happening to me and then it just happens. Then I just become part of it. But yeah, so I was wondering if you guys had read the book because like that was one of my takeaways, which I think he took these like a hundred commandments and turned them into a, into the book.
Yeah. I mean, it's, it's a bunch of like, almost like tweet style comments, uh, very easy to read. It's like a good coffee book. It's a good gift book, but like, yeah, you can pick it up, set it down, start wherever
you want. But yeah, it's got some good stuff in there. I definitely recommend, uh, picking it up. It's, it's, it's a really good, uh, pre bedtime read, uh, cause you don't have to, you know, get lost in anything. Worst case, you just, you forget the last little little, uh, thing you read and then you just sort of jump back in.
What's the name of it again?
What's the name of it again? You know, uh, excellent rule, excellent advice for living.
Yeah, that was an excellent rule. Excellent advice for living. Yeah. Let me see. It's on the audible version. You guys have it on there. But tell me your tees. What do we fuck up?
Okay, so yeah, before I- What was grinding your gears?
Let's just get to the brass tacks. So I like the conversation, like the structure, like you guys talked about travel and you went into more of the tech side, but I wanted like deeper dives on tech. This guy has like more technology than we do. And it seemed like we kept the conversation at about the 10,000 feet level that we are always at instead of like digging deep. I wanted like a nerdy version of our AI talks, like use him. And if he's not an AI specialist, like what version of tech is he really,
really better than us had and like, you know, use that. Yeah, I mean, I think we had the same thoughts. I mean, he originally had an hour, he gave us an hour and a half. So we felt like-
Well, yeah, the first 30 minutes was talking about traveling,
which is fine, but like once you got into tech stuff-
Once you got into tech stuff, I enjoyed the travel conversation. I thought it was actually pretty enlightening. Like I think I've had those thoughts, but hadn't put in those frameworks.
So I liked his like three outcomes of travel.
I did like that and I did like that.
Relaxation, adventure, and otherness. Yes, and I don't know, I think he mentioned learning as part of it, like-
Well, yeah, sorry, learning was the third, but he said there was this like sense of otherness.
He said there's three reasons to travel, right? One was to learn, the other one was basically to relax, and then the other one was adventure, which I thought was like a good framework actually for how to think of, and I don't actually think about that when I travel, I'm usually like, oh, I wanna go here. I usually think about the place, but I think it might be interesting to actually think about the
why do I want to travel? I actually think about it quite a bit. And I'm trying to get the latter to now because I feel like it's a lot easier to do the adventure. Sorry, the latter to our- adventure and learning or otherness and when you're younger it's just it's just easier right like you can do Paris when you're however many years old totally very very easily so the relaxation parts those are those are easy to do but I feel like the climbing Machu Picchu Kilimanjaro yes Thailand like those are those are tougher places as you get older especially if you plan on traveling with kids like totally it so you have to get the adventure and like
your your window for adventure is actually really then so the latter two are very so for me like it was more of a retrospective where I like I looked back at my my previous travels and I said like oh well here are my favorite ones this was scratching my adventure portion or this was scratching my learning one and I I started to like you know associate them with those three
categories I was like oh yeah well that makes total sense where which bucket did
you fall in the most all of them yeah well I guess like I've enjoyed all three you know like we together you know on my like bachelor party went to hike you know that was like arduous with no freaking water with Dave Hoffman and was like you know I wanted to do that despite like the fact that I remember Steven Steven the morning after it's like this was awful I hate this I have the worst sleep my life and I was like that's kind of the point like it's like
I I had a good time I completely reject you're lying by the pure pitch of your
voice in that you went high I was in sense that we forgot to bring water on
the we didn't we didn't forget there was a filter issue and luckily Eric you know
know with me no no at the end of the hike we had the opportunity to acquire
water by going back an hour going back a day at our by going back hiking back an
hour we were literally at this slide like this slide right now I'm gonna let this slide make site going back an hour but then remember we had the tablet that took like two hours to like cook the water anyway so like it didn't it
wouldn't have helped this I was literally at a body of water and I asked Ron I said should we be filling up some stuff right now and I was told no we
don't we'll be fine we don't need anything in front of body water
physically no no don't do that make it hard
physically this make it hard well I will say that like when I look at some of the most memorable moments I've had in my life to date it's been those adventure ones like going to Thailand to train Muay Thai, hiking Kilimanjaro. Those are like easily memorable ones like if your life had a flash before your eyes, those maybe might be the ones. So I feel like those are the high value ones. I don't know.
Okay. I mean, I like all of them. So one of my favorite trips ever, which is underrated by global standards is Peru. One of the reasons why I love Peruks, I went to this one museum and I don't even fucking care about museums for the most part. I went to this one museum in Peru. I don't even know the name of it. Anyone can just Google it because I'll describe it. But it's this museum that shows the ancient history of the Incas that existed on South America, the continent at the same time that the Egyptians were. Being an American student, we learn about ancient history as like Mesopotamia, Egypt, whatever. But at the same exact time, there was civilization happening on South America. So I go to this museum and I see like relics of this civilization that was also existing at the same time and I'm fascinated that I've never learned it before. So this was like my version of this education style travel where I really geeked out and I don't know what bucket that is for him.
Bucket three or whatever. But I was enamored with Peru based on that. The Peruvian civilization that was the Incan culture basically took over the entire continent. So it was amazing.
Yeah, I think part of his otherness part of travel, you should always go see local art, like local artists, even if it's a contemporary artist or like you're saying some historian like things, I always try to fit a museum or two, did it in Japan. I think it should be part of every trip you take. What do you think about his selection? So his first recommendation was Burma.
Yeah, Myanmar. Yeah, sorry, formerly Burma.
Formerly Burma. Yeah, sorry, formerly Burma. Formerly Burma. Myanmar. It wouldn't have been on my radar at all. But he said it's actually easy to travel to.
Hold on. I don't know where this is. Is this Southeast Asia?
I don't even know where the. I don't even know where this is. This is easy to travel to. I thought it was like 25 hour trip. Where is it? Is it basically easy to travel? West of Thailand? What is it?
It's like in Indonesiaish area, right? Where is it? Easy to travel to East of Thailand? What is it?
I don't know. It's an island, Southeast Asia. Is that right? It's over there. Okay, yeah, it's over there. It's great apparently. Okay, let me go back to where I think you guys, where I was wanting more, okay?
Yeah, what questions would you ask?
Calcium wants to know if you had specific questions. Oh, well, I might've had specific questions for him that were independent of your guys' conversation. So what I like about Alfalfa the podcast, and this is who we are naturally, is that we tend to dig deep on things. Go a little deeper. We go a little deeper and we don't just accept things at face value. We wanna ask more questions. Granted, this was an interview style where you're not necessarily like, well, I guess that was my question. You have Kevin Kelly on, you want to sort of like edify this person and broadcast their new book that's coming out. But I was sort of of the mind on a Alfalfa episode,
let's make him one of us, not like three and one. Yeah, but I think for audience members, they wanna hear the guests because like they can hear us every week. And so I think it makes sense to give him 80% of the voice.
Touche, however, here's one example. We talk about crypto, we just did a whole hour on it. And he poo poo'd crypto basically saying, well, my sons have never given me an example outside of money as a use case for crypto. And you guys would be like, yeah, well, they exist, but they're kind of a mess right now. Okay, anyways.
And I was like, no, that is not what happened. I reject this actually. That's exactly what happened. No, it's not like, I actually put a specific thing out there. I said, like, what do you think about this use case for crypto and AI?
And he was like,
that's exactly what happened. I hadn't thought about that before. But as you said that,
I think that that could be, That's a good point. You did do that question.
I reject the concept that we didn't attempt because I did pull up Vitalik's top five use cases for crypto going forward. And I mentioned the ones that weren't money. And I didn't forcefully do it though. I didn't say like, I just kind of like,
Yeah, you had him to think about digital identity. Right.
Okay, so there was some stuff in there. So to be fair, I did recall Nick's portion where he said, where Nick pushed back gently where he said, well there are these things, there are decentralized identity, there are connector house or whatever. and he goes, well, how's that going? And it was like, okay, we'll conversation over.
Like I agree with them on that one. Well I agree with him on that. That's fine. That'll be fine. But I agree. I think we all actually agree with his basic premise, which is that crypto fails his money. Totally fine. And we were like, yeah, totally fine, but have you heard of
I agree with him on that. That's fine. That'll be a shit show.
totally fine. Totally fine, don't you think that is a conversation. And he goes, specifically, I had this conversation with my sons and it ends very quickly. He has this conversation with Alpha Ads and it also ends very quickly. Like I was thinking this could have been a deeper
conversation. What do you think about his whole perspective, that in order to prove crypto is broader use case, some people say it's a one to two trillion dollar market cap looking for a use case. He said show me use case outside of money. Is that the right one of you? Because
I don't necessarily agree with that point of view. That was another point that I didn't really align with, but that was his subjective position, which is I think he doesn't find money interesting fine. But that doesn't mean that crypto is useless. Like the money use case can be massive. He just doesn't find it interesting to talk about fine. There are many other use cases to talk about. And I just don't think, I know you guys mentioned things here and there, but like, you know, I alfalfa, we, we dig deeper. And I don't think we, I don't think
that, I mean, we were having conversations on the side, typing to each other, like, should
we keep going on this? I don't think we dug deeper on, on, dug deeper on, on in an hour. This is like an interesting question. Like, what is more interesting? Is it more interesting to get his take on travel, AI, God, crypto, nature of technology? Or is it more interesting to just go really, really deep on one thing for an hour? I actually don't know the answer
to that. Or what is actually more interesting to people? Well, I would have like, I agree. And who knows? I don't know. But like, where I found myself being like, Ooh, I want, like, that's where I was like, I want to jump in. But, you know, I think that was more interesting to me. And I think it's interesting because this is a guy who has decades long perspective on tech. This is not like some moron flash in the pan, right? Take worries like we could
discuss with a lot of nuance, these things that we like talk about all the time. Well, the problem with the crypto thing was it was very apparent to me that he like he hadn't thought like extraordinarily deeply about it and he himself said it. And I think to his credit, like he was sort of open minded about it. And I think the thing that he put forth out there was actually really accurate. Like if you think about our conversations with crypto and we remove money from them, we're left with almost nothing. Like it's very, very small sliver because that is it like as we talk about it, like it is a glorified casino right now. And what are casinos about? They're about winning and losing money. And that's not to say that there's nothing else there. But like he did strike on something that I think is real, which is that like, under the surface, we're all trying to make money or if you're a Bitcoiner, you think that crypto is money. And I think that actually that's the more ridiculous thing. I think at least like it makes sense to me to take a step back and be like, yeah, we are trying to make money.
We are trying to figure out
how to enrich ourselves by understanding this tech. And that is true to who we are. Because like, let's be honest, we have a money portion of our podcast. But if crypto wasn't the best
risk return asset class that we see, we'd be talking about something completely different. Agree. And and I'd actually like to question him now. I was questioning you guys. Yeah. I want to question him now a little bit because I remember Armon had interviewed him a couple times on his Flow podcast prior to ever coming on our FALFA. And those were great interviews. And Armon's description of how he viewed crypto coming on our FALFA, as I recall, was something like, hey, don't worry so much about these like prices and money and stuff. He's like, this will all be just infrastructure. This will be the pipes that enable greater use cases of tech in the future. And then when Armon pressed that to him, just like using his own words, he's like, he kind of like backed off. He's like, nah, I actually just
don't care. Like, it just seemed like he didn't care. I did think he at least reached the main point was that, hey, crypto's main use case is decentralization. And when you decentralize any kind of processing power, there are trade offs. And so what use cases are good in which
those trade offs are acceptable. So he did mention a little bit of that. I mean, he literally said blockchain technology is just not that interesting. He said you guys are trying to
make this more interesting than it actually is, which was interesting to us because we're What's interesting to us because we're trying to make money off it.
Yeah, I sort of disagree with that take to an extent. I think there's something at the root of Bitcoin that is actually very interesting, Justin, just the robustness. And he mentioned this, that one of the benefits of decentralization is the adaptability and the robustness of the ability to survive. And that, I think, is interesting. And I think what Bitcoin did to sort of bring that into the world is interesting, right? The problem has just sort of been that, like, the use case of survival in a world of relative abundance and ease, especially in the Western world, has just not been like a compelling use case for us. But if you sort of take a step back and look at what's there, it is interesting, but it's more interesting in theory to us than actual application. And maybe there are lots of places in the world where it is interesting in application. But I've argued often on this pod that what's actually most interesting to them, if you drill down to the brass tacks, is the ability to just use digital dollars, not to necessarily use digital Bitcoins, which comes full circle to his point, which is that crypto and money are not that interesting yet. And it hasn't gotten a lot of adoption yet. So it's hard to disagree with them. But like, I agree with Eric that, like, you know, he hasn't, I don't think he's thought insanely deeply about this to the extent that he clearly has about some other stuff.
And I think some of the other stuff we talked about, like he really sort of went down the down
the rabbit hole. Can we go into the next one? So, you know, the I thought the meatiest part of his was about techno optimism, specifically, AI optimism. I think in previous podcasts, we talked about AI, we've certainly been tilted by some red flags and warning signals of AI causing and wreaking havoc on the world. And he took a broader approach and said that, you know, a few things about technical optimism. One, over a long time horizon, you only have to believe that there will be 1% more good than bad. I like that. And I was like, Oh, there's a threshold for being optimist
is it keeps it pretty, pretty easy because of the compounding effect, which I had never considered
outside of investing, essentially. So I love I love that I actually I actually sort of I mean, I broadly agree with that take. But I think there's like a huge gaping hole in it when it
came to AI. Okay, can I mention the second part of his thing before you get into that? So he mentions that, you know, optimism is actually the most rational way of viewing it. It's the most realistic way of viewing it. Because if you use history as a guide, technology has continued to advance us forward on a broad scale, you could talk about splitting the atom. Sure, we we had some bad things happen. But on the whole, things are good. So given that, do you still think he's missing, you know, the point about AI and is AI like, an exception to his kind of broader argument?
Yeah, it is. Because look, to make a trading analogy, if I gave you a strategy that made say that 1%, it's 5149 over time, right? And I give you an infinite bankroll, and the variance is relatively low. Well, over the course of like centuries that, yeah, you will have your downswings,
become the risk guy in the world make tons of money, right? Become the risk guy in the world,
where this analogy sort of falls flat is that like, that assumes that you don't blow your whole bankroll, right? So if I give you a strategy that has like a 1% or 2% edge, good one, but it has insane volatility to it, especially volatility. So one of the interesting things about financial markets is that they have, they're not like a bell curve, right? They actually have fat tails, and the tails to the downside are really, really pronounced. And I think that is definitely the case in tech, that's definitely the case in AI, right? Like we have the very essence of fat tails, where like, you could have a strategy that is plus 30% in expectation every time you run the strategy, but one in 1 million times, the strategy blows up your entire bankroll, and you go broke. And then you can't use the strategy anymore. But we're not broke, like that's the extinction of
humanity, right? And then you can't use the strategy anymore. Right? So he's ignoring magnitude
in his example. Yeah, that's the thing I worry about. And this is not me being a doom here, because I do think like I actually am on a larger scale like an optimist. But if you have something that humanity other than nuclear, right, and I think nuclear is definitely a thing. And we're not out of the woods on that yet either. But other until we invented nuclear, there was no technological innovation that threatened to just wipe us out with one bad event. But now we have nuclear, we almost killed ourselves multiple times with it already. Like honestly, like the history of us having these close calls is quite insane. But now we're also going to layer AI on to that. And again, like we don't necessarily get a chance to evolve, like to iterate. We can't take a scratch at like if the scratch is in a scratch, it's like, it's not a flesh room, it's like our head gets chopped off, then we're just dead, we can't go on. So that was something that I was,
I was worried about a little bit. I have a quote, I want to know if it, if it changes your mind. By the way, I got the quote, since Armon's here, I'll shout out to him. And Ian, by the way, who's listening to the podcast, I got the transcription off steno.ai. Oh, nice. It was actually nice plug. It was nice. Anyway, he meant he says, I mean, a lot of pessimism, I think people are pessimistic because it makes them sound smart. But actually, I think the smarter more informed, you know, again, if you look at the actual evidence, not naivete, but let's look at the evidence, you have to acknowledge that reality says progress is real, he kind of introduces this behavioral bias that humans have, that being pessimistic, being potentially a naysayer, like neural rabbini or whatever, makes them sound smart. So when you look at like Elon Musk, or some of the bigger people warning red flags, and I'm not saying I agree with this, I'm just saying, does that argument hold hold any weight for you? Or it still doesn't apply.
I love this quote. And I think it's absolutely true. And it's something that like, I have to think about a lot myself, the idea that it sounds smarter to be a doomer to be a pessimist, especially in our realm of finance, right? It's absolutely 100% true. And we've been, I think, fairly doomerish in the financial world for a year and a half now, right? But that has also been the correct perspective. But it's, it's, it's usually only the correct perspective on like a very narrow timeframe. And it can be very easy to get sucked into that. And to make that your identity, I need to basically become like a neural rabbini, just permanently, just become like a permabear. And then you miss out on, on the long run of progress, which is mainly up only, right, if you zoom out far enough. And that's something like I worry about. And I know we have people in chat heckling us calling us, you know, crypto doomers and stuff.
Because we are like, yeah. And I do think the caution is still warranted. But we also should check ourselves. Like we're not going to make it in the long run by being permabares. And although being a permabare can, like, no, being a permabare can't have its place, but being a selective bear, I think can definitely have its place in finance, but also in this other stuff, it's important. But, yeah, you can't get sucked into that. And absolutely people do it to sound smart, it sounds smart to as it as a contrarian, like, I hate to say this, but like it feels good. And you feel smart when you're
smart when you're a contrarian. You sort of have to be sort of on an island in order to
sound smart, otherwise you sound like everybody else. That's just the nature of it. Well, I'd say that's very aware of you to like think that. And I also come across this quote that specific quote when it comes to being an entrepreneur, because it's a lot harder to build stuff, but it's a lot easier to like rip stuff down on why it won't work or why this this is not going to work. And when it's when it's a little shaky, why it's not working, but on both ends of the spectrum, like when you're building stuff, you have to like, be an optimist about the these things will work. And even in our own business now, like when we propose stuff, I found myself like, well, that won't work because x, y and z, you have to make sure that's not some behavioral bias, like you said, just to sound smart, or even to be smart. Because sometimes you just need to like build it in the face of pessimism, regardless, because that's the only way you can progress over the long run. So yeah, that that quote hit home for some reason. And yeah, it struck me too, for sure. That's one I wanted to bring up. Anything about other technology stuff that we should
bring up before we move to like the law? Yeah, let's go over it. Okay, I thought another interesting point he brought up was he was talking about the AI doomers. And he was one. I'm just going to very loosely summarize what he said. And it's not gonna be 100% like a laser and all these guys. Yeah, yeah. And Elon and Stephen Hawking some, some huge brains. He said, broadly speaking, that they sort of overvalue intelligence, they overvalue IQ, I think it's the only thing, which I thought was very insightful. And I
think I think it is a bias that smart people tend to have people who have an MBA are the
only people who value an MBA. Yeah, yeah. And like this is something that resonated with me like when I was a kid, like I got really attached to like my test scores and stuff, it became like a part of my identity. And I was like, this is what it means to be successful, you know, getting good scores on tests and having high IQs and all this stuff. And I think as you grow older, like hopefully you realize a lot of stuff he's saying is true, that there's this whole world outside of raw intelligence that matters a lot, maybe even more so than I mean, I know he used the example, like, does the company with like all the smartest people win? Well, I would say like, you know, probably mostly, actually, I would say like, on average, it's probably a good bet to make. But the point I think stands that there are other things that go into success. Like the invention of the airplane was a good example of this, like there was a another guy competing with like the Wright brothers who was funded with tons of money, and he was a brilliant person and sort of like tried to think through how the plane would fly, you know, from like a first principles thing, and sort of declared it to be impossible. And the Wright brothers just tested iterated, yeah, like a billion times, they're like, let's fly that and then crash into a hill to be like, that didn't work. Let's do something else. And that actually, yeah, I would say iterated. Yeah, that philosophy won out, not the giga brain, I'm gonna quantify all the physics of it.
And like, and to this day, I think like people are still like, trying to, you know, talk through like, how exactly do you play like, it's not like, even now, I don't know that we fully can like calculate everything, maybe that age, the age terribly, but yeah. But yeah, the point of that is like, there's this whole other element of grit, and in iteration and trial and error, that matters a lot more than raw intelligence. And I think this is especially true in business, right, where you are more likely to fail than not by a wide margin in most ventures and have to almost be a little delusional at times
even attempt things. Totally. Yeah. So bringing it back to AI, it seemed like the point he was making was that these hyper intelligent people, but let's call him Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, who are warning about AI, they identify with IQ, maybe high test scores, and that they only view AI through the lens of high test scores, IQ, which it could certainly display. But and he argued that you can't necessarily measure IQ, but there's a whole set of aspects, other different types of intelligences that they're not viewing AI has and where it may be lacking. Did I get that? Did
you get the same thing that like, so an example, he used, which I think, there was actually an interesting discussion in the discord on this, like he talked about who wins when you put a human in a cage with the lion, like the smart one. That was a pretty poor analogy. Yeah. And I didn't, like, honestly, I don't know, I felt a little iffy on this. I know that Noah in the discord did not appreciate this analogy. And I thought it was a little off as well. I think there is actually like a very large element of truth to what he is saying, which is that we overvalue intelligence, which is that smart people, especially wildly overvalue intelligence. At the same time, though, I think that let's take, let's take a characteristic like strength. Imagine just supreme physical strength versus the most, the most supreme physical strength you could imagine versus the most supreme intelligence. It seems sort of self evident to me that the supreme intelligence wins out over the supreme physical strength unless you select like a very carefully curated you know situation like human in cage with lion yeah your intelligence doesn't matter there right but there's like an element of intelligence that has the ability to sort of like multiply spawn versions of itself to like improve whereas like the physical strength is just like you're just sort of limited by the laws of physics that govern your your physical body so like i i found that to be a little bit of an imperfect analogy and i do think there is a premium on
intelligence for sure and like he may have been making the point that like ai can only do so much it can spit back answers at you but you know the thing we didn't bring up was that it can execute code it can post code it can pull in data it can post to social media profiles and i'm sure there may be a switch where there's like a human intervention for a while but you could certainly
see auto gbt you know posing as humans replicating itself as leverage right leverage leverage right leverage i think matters there's insane leverage and intelligence there's insane leverage in software um the physical world like physical strand you are you are very constrained by by your mass, the energy you consume, things like that.
It just, it does seem a little different. So yeah, Max bought the point that like AI may not necessarily have like, well, this is not the point he brought up, but I'm kind of weaving in some of his comments in the chat, but about perseverance. Like in the cases that you were talking about with building like the Wright brothers, perseverance went over intelligence. Maybe that's like an emotional characteristic that AI doesn't have. Like it has like almost like an engineering mind. Does plugging this into this produce a current? No, it doesn't. So I stopped where, you know, human might be more, have more ingenuity and keep persevering. So I don't know, maybe that's one of the trade-offs, but I think this one was a little tough to swallow initially and as more so as I thought about it afterwards, about like you're saying the magnitude, the leverage that AI has, that might be much more different than other technologies.
Yeah, yeah. I would argue that if you just look at what's played out via evolution, right? Like the most prolific species on earth, they're not the physically strong ones. You have like humans with like intellect and then you have like bugs and stuff like that. Like these tigers are endangered. Like some of these physical specimens, right? So I think that if you just look at what's happened in nature over the course of centuries, like you'll see that nature itself has actually decided there is a premium on intelligence over physical strength. And there is actually like some sort of divide
between all of these characteristics. There's not the strongest. Strong ones.
When an ant can lift him so much more than a human. Sorry, I'm distracted because Milo's dreaming and he's barking in his dreams. Yeah, it's a very little todreamer. I wish I could hit Camera 3 right now and turn it to Milo. Yeah, if you hear any barking,
he's just hopefully having a good dream chasing the ball. He's a very, he's a very little todreamer. I wish I could hit Camera 3 right now and turn it to Milo. Yeah, that looks like a good one. Good barking.
Can we talk about his death comments a little bit? Yeah, let's do it. recap okay so he said that he practiced for an extended period of time with the idea well this is what I wasn't clear on. Did you gather that he said he practiced for six months with the idea that he was going to die or that he practice the idea that he was going to die in six months? That's what I
thought yeah so yeah that's what I thought yeah so yeah I mean first of all I've never heard of this idea so good idea god second of all like the discipline to do that in your life second of all I destroy my life you would
spend all the money right because the first thing I would do oh and then I
have a marriage that just so yeah so for people who didn't listen he had an experience he said he had a religious experience that that prompted this experiment and in it he picked a date six months from today and the goal was to live like he was going to die on that date and he actually fucking lived it he prepared his funerals he wrote letters to people saying things maybe he would say only if he was dying even up to the point where on D-day on death day he literally was lying in bed like I'm lying in bed I will go to sleep and I
will not wake up and how far do you think you took it like with his like aunts and uncles they actually think he's dead
well I mean I don't know because like I'm trying to think of that myself like there's obviously people around you like hahaha you're going through a phase
you're a little yeah you put him yeah you put in parentheses of the bottom of
the note like JK though yeah like you're also freaking people out but people were also thinking and you're going cuckoo but at the same time you're like well I'm doing this for myself like to to kind of like come present with the idea of death which you don't often do in your fucking 20s let alone your 30s or 40s but you
could do this without telling everybody that I'm dying right you could just be like okay if you thought I need to be more present with the people around me I need to say the things that people say at the funerals but I need to say it in real life it seems you could do most of this stuff without telling people I'm dying in six months and they're like what you like no not really but I'm you could actually live this out without having people think you're losing your
mind because you're you know you could just do the things right right I mean I thought myself what would I do differently if I knew I was in dying six months I would stop working yeah even though I enjoy it I think it's a fun game to play every day. I like coming in, hanging out with my friends, working on tough
puzzles. It's what it feels like.
Not me. I would be day trading until the day. To the day.
To the day. Would you? No, it sounds terrible. No, you'd be gone, dude.
So like, soon if you could play it on your own, people are like, why haven't you fucking worked or showed up for the podcast in six months?
Like, that would be a thing that come up, but is it worth it? I would still do the podcast. Though you would well, I mean, contrary to popular belief, I don't do this for the immense amounts of cash that comes into my bank. Oh, you haven't been given the checks?
You don't? Oh, you haven't been given the checks.
It reminds me, you guys owe money for next month.
You guys owe money for the next one.
Yeah, I mean, Eric, what did you think about that?
Cuz like in the middle of the interview my jaw literally dropped. I was like you did what I wanted a little more clarity and depth on His practices cuz he said like well, I actually did it. It's like, okay Well, what did you do though? Cuz like it? It's one thing to say, but no I actually lived like I was dying It's like but to what degree because there are so many degrees by which you could play this
Pretend game and I didn't really he made it sound like he had and I didn't really actually
Actually accepted very alive and very alive and very very very raised it as holy shit My eyes opened I am kind of reborn like I have a new
Walk up and wasn't
Dead. I just want to know more like don't you guys want to know more?
I do have you guys ever had a dream where you were like terminally ill and thought you were gonna die? No, I've Only a lot. I actually have this dream a lot. I've probably had this dream Ten times a month. It's a very weird dream. It's very specific dream I've actually often wondered if you're here all alone here all about it. No, I have a very specific type of dream It doesn't happen a lot, but it has happened. Maybe once every two years of my life
No, I've really lot
Well here all about don't hear all about it where I am like terminally ill in my dream And I really think I'm dead or going to die. And then I wake up and like I'm alive and it's it's a really bizarre feeling actually and I'm such a creature of habit that Unfortunately, I forget about it within like six hours and I'm back into my old ways
But it is a bizarre feeling to wear some like up and be like holy what some like up and be like holy What are some tangible examples from the dream that you like you can like vividly remember like people are around you on your deathbed Or is it like? You're telling people like what is it?
Like I've like I've dreamt and some of them like I have terminal cancer and I'm
And then what I'm basically yeah, so what happens next you talk you talk to your family or what happens next? That's what I'm wondering. Like how does it go?
I'm usually not like going out windsurfing in the dreams and like they're usually quite dramatic actually or traumatic I should say and Like intense and sad and kind of painful. It's not like it's not bliss in the dream Yeah, it's like oh the dream is like oh fuck. Oh fuck. Oh fuck. Oh fuck. Oh fuck and then you wake up and It's Wait a minute That was a dream. I'm alive and for this like couple second period period. It's like literally through your brain like you were going to die and you're not gonna die. It's kind of a crazy feeling. I'd be curious if anybody out there has ever had the most of my
dreams. Most of my dreams are about death and I find them immediately when you wake up traumatic
but also therapeutic. They're kind of like cathartic in a way. Yeah. Most of your dreams are about death. Yeah. Most. Wow. Most are fucked up. You should talk to people. I know for a fact that there are none of these dreams. I have bad dreams that are like, I missed a plane and I'm like, running to the plane, like scrambling in the airport. Be like, what gate is it?
And I wake up like panicked. I'm like, God damn it. We should grow mustaches,
Steven. Most. Wow. Most. I know for a fact that there are none of these dreams and I wake up
over there. Let's get it. Hold on. Tell me. Tell me. Hold on. I don't want to tell about this, But I want to talk about like so he actually we were talking about dreaming him, but he actually did all this in real life but I mean, what do you think about his is broader of you on death because not only does he have that but he lives it every day he has he has a death calendar and then he has on his computer that he can see all the time is actuarial table of how many days he has Left to live in like you could be like, well, that's like a very morose way to go through life But also is it does it highlight the preciousness of the day that you're living in the mundane parts?
So glad he said this because um, I think we actually know this person But I remember hearing conversations a couple of years ago about how this person had like set up a like actuarial clock in their office and And this person's wife was like, what the fuck are you doing? This is so horrible. And then he was like, this is great. It's really making me present and she was basically just like fuck No, this is terrible. Stop this. This is so morbid. I hate this and it and at the time I thought about it And I said to myself well, is this is this cool or is this terrible? And I actually didn't arrive at a At a conclusion at the time and so when I heard Kevin bring it up again I thought about it again, and I feel like I was a little more like amenable to the idea of doing it
In my present self. He's got 5,800 days left. So have like based on your guys Experiences in your subconscious your dream world. Did that give you perspective when you were when you woke up and you're like, oh God, I'm alive. Did they give you like this new profound? Meaning for living or like I need
Different by the way, max said those aren't dreams we've been having they're called nightmares Yeah, that's probably a recurring nightmare
Minor. Yeah, that's probably occurring nightmare. It's probably I mean minor about other people yours are about yourself
Okay, so maybe let me ask Steven Steven when you have these nightmares When you wake up you're like, oh, thank God Like now I need to live my life to the fullest because I'm not actually dead Like is that is that what you're feeling or no
I mean, like I said, I feel like I have like a very I'm unable to my muscle memory for it is very weak it's the same thing like when I do psychedelics, I feel like I do them and Immediately after I have this whole new perspective on life myself
I'm gonna do all these things differently and then I feel like I just fall into the rut of habit. Yeah again
Yeah, yeah, like the yeah again. There's no staying power staying power It's so powerful like just but if it's on your computer every day
How many days you have left to live and you see that ticked down every day? Does it help? So maybe that because okay, so I want to like describe an anecdote, right? I have a buddy who you guys have met Who was terminally ill he had he had like stage 4 cancer and he beat it He beat it and he was like on death's doorstep and I asked him Afterwards I was like so how you feeling now like you you have this like Enlightenment where you need to live a certain way or whatever. He's like nah, man. I'm just trying to make money like you Like it's just it's just that same grind based with the reality of day-to-day
And I mean I get it I get it but I also feel like faced with the reality of day-to-day
And you know part of me is like man. What a wasted opportunity in a way, you know Maybe cuz like I'm I'm almost like through osmosis like feeling feeling some enlightenment But then but then again, you know, I'm just asking the guy and yeah says, you know, here's what it is
Yeah, can I bring a little money episode into this? Yeah, so we're talking about actual burn down charts of your own life Mm-hmm. I want to talk about one of the essentially worst investments of all time. So you can actually buy another L You know not not not a loss I've taken because I definitely haven't done this before but you can you can purchase other people's life
Insurances off them. Yeah. Yeah, there was a guy at the Country club I used to belong to back when I played golf and wasn't terrible
Yeah, that was what he did and he was extraordinarily rich. No, yeah No, if you do it on a large scale you become extraordinarily rich, but it's a weird business. It's a weird business So these are older people
Maybe they have life insurance that are for their kids when they when they die but weird business
Then you can do it on an individual basis. Are you taking doing? No, you know, it is on an individual basis So what happens is you say hey, I'm interested in purchasing life insurance policy They'll say okay. Here we go. We have a couple for you Uh, here's their like medical burn down chart of the probability the distribution of probabilities of when they will die Here's all their medical history and this is as the actuary we think when they're gonna die and here's the fucking roi
You will make off their death. Yeah. Yeah, cuz at the end of the day, it's an equation I knew private equity guys that were doing this on on a broad basis and it was like securitizing them and packaging them up The idea was it's like morbidity versus mortality. It's like people are living longer now But they're gonna need more help in the future So like these life insurance companies were probably going under so they were buying them on pennies on the dollar So then it becomes like an equation
Yeah If you can get over the past the the morose ness of it and having to set up Google alerts for the person's name That you have the life insurance policy on Uh, speak less plus obituary day trade. Right, right, right. So if you get past that it's actually the opposite of like Multifamily investments was on which I'm a fan of you literally have to pay cash flow out of your pocket every month You have to take over their premiums. It's pretty similar you you upload Cash upfront give them a cash payout and then you have to pay over their premiums and then when they die if they die on time You have like a massive windfall sometimes, you know, five million bucks for example, but throughout that whole time you're bleeding fucking cash flow
Anyway, I'll sit on
Because they trade right, right. They're pretty similar. Anyway, it's like such a
Bad incentive structure. I know so if our mom was here, he wouldn't let me go on that. I want to let her rip
So if our mom was here on that time that I'm a fan of business models in general This is just another version of that. I have no qualms about it. Like the business model already exists, right?
It's called life insurance. Yeah, you're just you're just playing the same game. You're playing the opposite side so He also mentioned about death that like, you know, I think I'm on problem a little bit I'm like, so what's the meaning of it all? So like you use this death and you put it in front of you every day So what and he said he kind of like simplified it to a few things He's like we can do something that has an impact over time. We can leave somebody behind Have kids that will affect several generations. We can make something like a building that will survive You know a few generations And he just described that that's about it, right? Cuz in four generations, no one will ever speak your name again And you know, he brought the idea you have two deaths, you know Well, he kind of referenced it and bring it up explicitly but you you die once when you physically die and then when the last time someone speaks your name is like your your second death and He's like so there's only a few things you can do to like I felt that way by the way
I felt that one. Yeah, I felt it by the way. Yeah, cuz when he said that I was like
There is a last time when you ever be spoken of again Like maybe Alexander the Great is one of the few who like just kept him alive. Yeah. Yeah I gave him a little extension, but he describes it as like, I love this quote He's like and it's like maybe the best ride in the multiverse Yeah, okay, like there may be other other types of life We're not aware of but it's literally the best ride in the universe If you believe in God or gods like they are literally Looking down being like I wish I could be you know on the field
I just kept them alive. You just kept them alive I've always kind of been on board with that idea that this that this is sort of like the heaven like this is
The opportunity like this is the shot. Yeah, I thought that was interesting the idea that You would want to be in meet space that if you're just like energy, right can't like actually Effectuate any change in the physical world and you just pass through everything in a way Which is kind of a funny way of looking at it, right? I do feel like in the future this idea kind of goes away Though right like we're already what idea the idea that you just sort of vanish and you're never seen again
What idea? Okay, right last time someone reads your Twitter post is your third death and that's it
Like you write articles. No, but no, but like I think much in the same way that we're already Taking Drake and making new songs about him and just like kind of living with him and tweaking him in different ways. I think in the future we just interact with We if we live in a more digital world and we're we get used to hanging out in the digital world and You God forbid die someday. I mean we probably will so yeah We don't have to hedge that I guess too much but Yeah in a world where we have like five thousand episodes of this podcast and you've written a lot and maybe I don't know some other technology exists that just records you in real time Throughout your day and just your your body and everything and just assembles a massive data set of who you are
And what you think I will so yeah
In a world where we can't we just use AI to just reconstruct some sort of avatar of you that we can interact with and hang out with and just be with
Sort of forever and some digital so we're in some way I think his point is not that it's in we're incapable of mentioning other people. It's just that like they're so irrelevant 99
No way for them to continue being in our lives at a certain point they just
Fade hmm, you know, that's an interesting take like I so I recently lost a grandmother who will like fade into sort of like global irrelevance But it wouldn't be irrelevant to me if I had if I had the opportunity to like bring her back for You know my own use case or something right or your children's or my children's
Right, so the case remains in four generations Yeah, would that still be the case? And I think that argument still remains like no one will care and it's probably irrelevant like in in 400 years is that Person's thought like the person's thought 70 years ago is probably not that much helpful to us right now. So in 400 years How useful is that person's outdated like perspective?
actually useful, so yeah, I mean, I think that's actually really Interesting question. So you we would all want to have her I don't know if your your grandma's around for like mine mine are gone and I wish they were around and I would get a lot of value for talking to them and then maybe if I had kids they would like their Great grandma, but would would their kids feel the same way about their great great grandma?
I know at some point you do that dissipate. Yeah, it's not for your grandma I know at some point you do that dissipate. Yeah, you're kind of over it. Just like I showed up old person
See Steven's logger in the chart of like how useful just asymptotes
Incredibly useful novel skill set that just was always just just sort of Permeated the family through through through generations and everybody wanted to keep going back to the well, right? I don't know. Maybe but what if What if your great grandmother or something was just one of the greatest pianists in the world? Like would anybody ever tire of?
Listening to her if they were truly that good. I don't know. Okay, we kept Beethoven alive in your goat
Yeah, Beethoven. Yeah, Beethoven's he's still going
I think there's only still be a constant use for a guy like David Goggins For instance, who's like very reliable in his feedback, but it would still be useful, right? Like, you know 20 generations from now you still get this motherfucker be like fuck off work harder It's like that's very extendable regardless still applies, you know, like even if it's like, okay, I get it cuz life will always be hard
Yeah, he can help push you extendable regardless still applies. Yeah, he can help push you. Maybe it won't maybe life Very easy. I mean we talked about that a little bit. I thought that was one of the most interesting conversations actually we had where We we were like, where is where is this all going? Like why are we creating technology? What are we trying to do? And what is the is there an end state? What is it? well, what is the end state of technology and evolution of humans and everything like that and I thought his answer to that question was was quite interesting
He said maybe it won't maybe like he said it's to just build more right? That's what I kind of got from
Well, he he observed that there was just some force in the universe, right? Like we started Like Big Bang, right? And it's just chaos and we only had hydrogen atoms and then something in the universe was just like assembling some sort of order From the chaos and we had then we had more kinds of atoms and then the atoms have some assembled themselves in two molecules and And planets and then at some point in time like carbon atoms or whatever assembled themselves in the light forms and like that were a single cell and they Started self assembling into more complex thing. So there seems to be this weird underlying driving force of the universe that just sort of leverages entropy to take chaos and to create something more complex but also more orderly in a way from it and it was just like what is that force and what is the driving group behind it and where is it going I I never really thought about that before and it was
super it was super interesting to me to think about complex yeah I mean I think it's more about like complexity but it didn't necessarily mean it was like to extend life it was just more complexity I thought he was gonna be like well it's to like make sure life extends whatever definition you give that and certainly not specific to humans but but he was more like it just
creates more complexity and builds upon itself it would in builds upon itself I
mean would it do do you have an opinion on this well I mean I do think that like Um, actors in the physical world can obviously like direct that energy. Right. And so I do think for us, we will do it to, to extend our life. I don't know.
Like if there's anything else out there that eventually we extend our life, right. We don't stop there. You think we, you think we technology achieves infinite life extension and we just stop technology. No, there's no way.
Like there's just like, no way.
Like there's just an obvious one is entertainment. Like we try to be more entertained, like, okay, we can live forever. We have everything we want for nothing. We can create all the food we want and we can create any item. We want like what is there?
What I think, like, what is there? One of his, uh, tenants was that it's not just like, uh, an intellectual problem. It's like, it's like a biological evolutionary problem where it's like, okay, so we think that we can extend everything based on consciousness or whatever. but it's like our organisms haven't developed to live to a thousand or two thousand. So like that will be a problem. And I think I agree with his point on that. Like it will take some getting used to, I guess, like. Yeah.
It seems like he said that there was going to be some super advanced alien race that could create anything and that they were going to search the universe for ideas. They would have the ability to do everything but they wouldn't actually ever achieve the ability to know and create, to have the creativity, the infinite creativity, I guess, in a way which was like an interesting concept. And that would be the only reason they would be coming here to see us to see if there was some other thing created by this collection of mines that they and their billion, you know, factor, like a mind could not create, which was like an interesting thought.
So Max gives us some follow-up homework. The Kardashev Scale, more complex civilizations, using more energy, seems related to this conversation. You guys are familiar with this at all? No, no, no.
I have not heard of this conversation.
I have not heard of the Kardashev Scale.
Follow-up homework. This is a rare error to stump both Nick and Steven.
This is, you're in rare error, Max. And then Calcium, I agree. Armand would love this conversation.
So. I like to think that Armand's going to be
listening to this, going. Oh yeah. He's cringing and- He wants this. interviewed me.
Put me in, Coach? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Just like, he wants this. Put me in, Coach? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Screaming at the radio in his car. Yeah.
As he sits at the border.
Bring me in, Coach. Yeah. It's on a six hour trip back from the border. All right. Well, I think that's a good place to wrap it. So if you've stumbled across this YouTube video, subscribe to the YouTube channel, get in the Discord. If you've been shared this podcast, which I know that's how we grow, hop over to YouTube, subscribe there so you can join in on more of these live sessions. I think we prefer it live. We like that you guys are in the chat and it's a lot more fun. It feels like we're hanging out. Yeah, it's super fun to talk to people in real time. Yeah, I mean, our ETH Denver experience with people in real life was certainly, I think, a highlight of just doing this podcast in general and having you guys in the chat is as close as a second to it as it gets.
So yeah, subscribe, hop in the Discord if you want to have more discussions. Otherwise, we will see you next week.
And we'll see you in the Discord in the meantime. Absolutely. Well said, Dick. All right, Sam. Bye, everybody. Bye. See you later. Bye, Sam. Bye, everybody. Bye. See you later.