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18 minutes | Nov 19, 2020
20 – Of Schools, Altruism, and Lockdowns
Original blog post: https://blog.dennishackethal.com/posts/the-true-purpose-of-schools Interview with Ayn Rand about altruism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RFlPmjUbRo
81 minutes | Nov 14, 2020
19 – Viral Philosophy
Important: Read medical disclaimer at the bottom before listening Today I’m speaking with Nick Hudson. He is the co-founder of the South African organization PANDA—Pandemics Data and Analytics—which, as stated on their website, “provide[s] decision makers calculated data on the virus’ cost on SA livelihoods.” Nick and I cover what is known about the virus and the disastrous effects of lockdown policies on people and businesses. We explore how bad epistemology and political philosophy lead to tangible harm in society, and how we *should* treat each other during this pandemic instead. I learned a lot—some questions that seem basic, such as whether masks work or not, have deep and interesting answers that may surprise you. Enjoy. PANDA: https://pandata.org PANDA's Twitter: https://twitter.com/PanData19 Nick's Twitter: https://twitter.com/NickHudsonCT Donate to PANDA: https://pandata.org/donate/ Subscribe to PANDA's newsletter: https://pandata.org/subscribe-panda-newsletter/ IMPORTANT: Medical disclaimer — Read before listening Neither Nick Hudson nor Dennis Hackethal are trained medical professionals. The contents of this episode are for informational purposes only and do not provide a substitute for professional medical advice in any way, shape or form. Do not use information presented in this episode to make decisions about your or others' health. Speak with your doctor/medical professional instead. Reliance on any information in this episode is solely at your own risk.
123 minutes | Sep 6, 2020
18 – A Popperian Evaluation Of Neuralink’s Presentation
Applying some of Karl Popper's and David Deutsch's ideas to analyze and evaluate Elon Musk's recent Neuralink presentation and the Q&A afterward. Throwing some of my own ideas into the mix as well. Errors mine. If you enjoyed this episode, follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/dchackethal References - The original presentation and Q&A: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVvmgjBL74w - The neo-Darwinian theory of the mind (written article): https://medium.com/conjecture-magazine/the-neo-darwinian-theory-of-the-mind-d84c0bcc6485 - The neo-Darwinian theory of the mind (read out loud): https://soundcloud.com/dchacke/16-the-neo-darwinian-theory-of-the-mind - David Deutsch’s interview on CBC radio: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/tapestry/the-new-human-1.4696724/oxford-physicist-predicts-ai-will-be-human-in-all-but-name-1.4696754 - David Deutsch’s second interview with Sam Harris: https://samharris.org/podcasts/finding-our-way-in-the-cosmos/ - Article about fluid buildup replacing much of man’s brain: https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn12301-man-with-tiny-brain-shocks-doctors/ - David Deutsch, “The Beginning of Infinity,” chapters 5 (levels of emergence and abstractions), 12 (bad philosophy), 13 (Balinksi’s and Young’s no-go theorem regarding “deriving” the will of the group from the will of each individual) - Karl Popper, “Objective Knowledge,” appendix “The Bucket and the Searchlight” - Karl Popper, “Alle Menschen sind Philosophen,” Kapitel “Zweites Präludium: Die Zukunft ist offen” (the conversation with Konrad Lorenz) - Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience ("Our Goal" section): https://redwood.berkeley.edu/ - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_problem_of_consciousness - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telepathy Additional source - Twitter thread by Dennis containing tweets made live during the event: https://twitter.com/dchackethal/status/1299500744287031296 Correction: at 15:00, I say that memories are always based on self-replicating ideas *that have high longevity*. That's not true. A memory could be a self-replicating idea with low longevity but high fecundity and high copying fidelity. Correction: I attributed the fact that there can be no consistent "will of the people" to Balinski & Young. That was a mistake. That's Arrow's theorem, discovered by Kenneth Arrow. Balinski & Young's theorem states that there can be no apportionment rules that meets quota without also causing a population paradox (cf. Deutsch, "The Beginning of Infinity," ch. 13).
149 minutes | Jul 26, 2020
17 – Richard Dawkins vs Bret Weinstein
A commentary on a debate between Richard Dawkins and Bret Weinstein. The soundbites are from this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYzU-DoEV6k The interview with Weinstein I later reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rm8FksjlJtM Other references: - The neo-Darwinian theory of the mind: https://medium.com/conjecture-magazine/the-neo-darwinian-theory-of-the-mind-d84c0bcc6485 - David Deutsch's "The Beginning of Infinity": https://www.amazon.com/Beginning-Infinity-Explanations-Transform-World/dp/0143121359/ - Richard Dawkins' "The Selfish Gene": https://www.amazon.com/Selfish-Gene-Anniversary-Landmark-Paperback/dp/B0722G5V92/ - David Deutsch's "What is Computation? (How) Does Nature Compute?": https://legacy.cs.indiana.edu/~dgerman/hector/deutsch.pdf
22 minutes | Jul 25, 2020
16 – The Neo-Darwinian Theory of The Mind
A reading of my article of the same name (https://medium.com/conjecture-magazine/the-neo-darwinian-theory-of-the-mind-d84c0bcc6485?source=friends_link&sk=833a1ac51009d680ed948428dbabd460). References: - Dawkins, Richard. 2016. The Selfish Gene. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Apple Books. - Deutsch, David. 2012. The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations that Transform the World. New York: Penguin Press. - Hackethal, Dennis. 2020a. A Conversation with William Paley. https://gumroad.com/l/a-conversation-with-william-paley. - Hackethal, Dennis. 2020b. “A Window on Intelligence, with Dennis Hackethal.” Do Explain with Christofer Lövgren. https://soundcloud.com/doexplain/11-a-window-on-intelligence-with-dennis-hackethal. Released March 21, 2020. - Hackethal, Dennis. 2020c. A Window on Intelligence: The Philosophy of People, Evolution, and Software — and Its Implications. Cupertino: self-published. Amazon. - Hoeppner, Ella. 2020. “Theories of AGI.” Artificial Creativity with Dennis Hackethal. https://soundcloud.com/dchacke/15-theories-of-agi. Released July 1, 2020. - Paley, William. 1813. Natural Theology; Or, Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity, Collected from the Appearances of Nature. United Kingdom: J. Faulder. - Peacock, Emily. 2014. “Why do peacocks have such unusual tail feathers?” September 14, 2014. Accessed on July 19, 2020. https://sites.psu.edu/siowfa14/2014/09/14/why-do-peacocks-have-such-unusual-tail-feathers/. - Popper, Karl. 1983. Objective Knowledge: An Evolutionary Approach. Oxford: Oxford University Press. - WebExhibits. n.d. “Why are peacock feathers colored? (interference).” Accessed July 19, 2020. http://www.webexhibits.org/causesofcolor/15C.html.
125 minutes | Jul 2, 2020
15 – Theories of AGI
Today I’m speaking with Ella Hoeppner. Ella is a software engineer and independent AGI researcher. We’ve been discussing all things AGI for a while now and I wanted to have her on the podcast to present her theory of AGI and also to discuss a disagreement we’ve had about the role of replicators in any theory of AGI. Since we both spend a fair amount of time criticizing each other’s theories, you may get more out of this episode if you familiarize yourself with my neo-Darwinian theory of the mind first, which I have laid out both on Christofer Lovgren’s podcast and in my book, A Window on Intelligence (links below). That being said, it’s certainly not required, I think you’ll get a lot out of this episode either way. Ella and I also briefly touch on conventional, narrow-AI research, the role of neuroscience, and the hard problem of consciousness. I even catch myself having changed my mind on the urgency with which we should pursue whole-brain emulation in addition to explaining creativity. I’ve said in the past that there are maybe a handful of people in the world who work on AGI whose approach has not been refuted, and Ella is one of them. And so with that, Ella is going to give us a glimpse into how the mind may work. References: - Ella's information: https://www.ellahoeppner.com (includes posts on CTP theory), https://twitter.com/ella_hoeppner, firstname.lastname@example.org - Simulated annealing: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simulated_annealing - The "neo-Darwinian theory of the mind": https://soundcloud.com/doexplain/11-a-window-on-intelligence-with-dennis-hackethal or https://www.windowonintelligence.com/ - David Deutsch's "The Beginning of Infinity": https://www.amazon.com/Beginning-Infinity-Explanations-Transform-World/dp/0143121359/ - Karl Popper's "Conjectures and Refutations": https://www.amazon.com/Conjectures-Refutations-Scientific-Knowledge-Routledge/dp/0415285941/ - Karl Popper's "Objective Knowledge: An Evolutionary Approach": https://www.amazon.com/Objective-Knowledge-Evolutionary-Karl-Popper/dp/0198750242/ - Richard Dawkins' "The Selfish Gene": https://www.amazon.com/Selfish-Gene-Anniversary-Landmark-Paperback/dp/B0722G5V92
145 minutes | Jun 24, 2020
14 – The Leviathan Has No Clothes
Today I have my first guest on the podcast. His name is Logan Chipkin. Logan is a freelance writer and ghostwriter in Philadelphia, and he is an expert on what is called anarcho-capitalism, also known as voluntarism. We talk about this concept, which he describes as the recognition that all services governments provide could be provided cheaper and better by the free market, and that the government is morally illegitimate. We also cover some of the work on coercion that can be found on the *Taking Children Seriously* homepage, and we explore some of the effects coercion has on society and individuals. We relate the study of economics to the study of epistemology and, therefore, AGI, apply Popper's criterion of democracy, discuss the American government's response to the pandemic, and briefly touch on David Deutsch's Constructor Theory as well. Logan's previous publications can be found at http://www.loganchipkin.com, and he can be found on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/ChipkinLogan. We had some audio issues, so it sounds a bit like Logan is on speaker phone. I encourage you to ignore that as much as possible. Talking to Logan was fun and I learned a lot. Enjoy. References: - Logan's website: http://www.loganchipkin.com - Logan's Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChipkinLogan - The meme of the vampiric government: https://twitter.com/liberty_deity/status/1272916941536018432/photo/1 - *Taking Children Seriously* glossary: https://www.takingchildrenseriously.com/node/50 - David Deutsch's *The Beginning of Infinity*: https://www.amazon.com/Beginning-Infinity-Explanations-Transform-World/dp/0143121359 - Constructor Theory: http://constructortheory.org/
10 minutes | Mar 20, 2020
13 – Introducing: A Window on Intelligence
My book "A Window on Intelligence: The Philosophy of People, Software, and Evolution – and Its Implications" is now available worldwide, anywhere you can buy books. Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Window-Intelligence-Philosophy-Evolution-Implications/dp/1734696133/ Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/a-window-on-intelligence/id1521189408 Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-window-on-intelligence-dennis-hackethal/1136656305 It is aimed at the general reader. Learn more: https://www.windowonintelligence.com/ From the back cover: The human mind is the single most powerful entity in the universe. Yet we have made no progress in our efforts to simulate it as artificial general intelligence. Why is that? In this captivating book, software engineer and philosopher Dennis Hackethal explains the mistakes intelligence researchers have been making – and how to fix them. Based out of Silicon Valley, he proposes a research program for building truly intelligent software, while arguing for a fundamental unification of software engineering and reason generally. Building on the theory of evolution, epistemology, psychotherapy, and astronomy, Hackethal presents a bold new explanation of how people evolved and provides unparalleled insight into the unlimited potential of artificial general intelligence that may one day take us to the stars. A Window on Intelligence is your field guide to the exciting world of your mind. Order now!
1 minutes | Mar 16, 2020
Far Out in Space...
1 minutes | Mar 10, 2020
22 minutes | Mar 6, 2020
12 – Value Alignment
An impromptu episode about the question of how to ensure an AGI does "the right thing," known as "value alignment."
1 minutes | Mar 3, 2020
Scandal in Silicon Valley
14 minutes | Aug 9, 2019
11 – Sam Harris And Judea Pearl
References: “Making Sense” podcast episode with Sam Harris and Judea Pearl: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNDvhFbMD0s Popper, “Objective Knowledge” - Chapter 1 “Conjectural Knowledge: My Solution of the Problem of Induction” - Chapter 7 “Evolution and the Tree of Knowledge” Popper, “Conjectures and Refutations”, chapter 1 “Science: Conjectures and Refutations” David Deutsch, “The Beginning of Infinity”, chapter 2 “Closer to Reality”
22 minutes | Jul 28, 2019
10 – Of Books and Code
References: David Deutsch, “The Beginning of Infinity”: - Chapter 1, “The Reach of Explanations” - Chapter 2, “Closer to Reality” - Chapter 6, “The Jump to Universality” - Chapter 7, “Artificial Creativity” Facebook research on open-endedness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4500&v=g6HiuEnbwJE OpenAI press release about Microsoft investment: https://openai.com/blog/microsoft/
16 minutes | Jul 22, 2019
09 – The Problem Of Specification
References: - David Deutsch, “How Close Are We to Creating Artificial Intelligence”, https://aeon.co/essays/how-close-are-we-to-creating-artificial-intelligence - David Deutsch, “The Beginning of Infinity”, chapter 7, “Artificial Creativity” - Karl Popper, “Of Cloud and Clocks”, chapter 6 of “Objective Knowledge” - Brett Hall on David’s chapter “Artificial Creativity” in “The Beginning of Infinity” part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taRSfDmBwts and part 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIwZLL67V68 (part 2 especially goes into remaining problems with evolutionary algorithms I have outlined) - John Koza, “Genetic Programming”, chapter 9: “Nonrandomness of Genetic Programming” and chapter 28: “Spontaneous Emergence of Self-Replicating and Evolutionarily Self-Improving Computer Programs” If you have any questions or comments, please leave them here or tweet at me: https://twitter.com/dchackethal
17 minutes | Jul 9, 2019
08 – Problems
References - David Deutsch, “The Beginning of Infinity”, chapter 1, “The Reach of Explanations” - Karl Popper, “The Unknown Xenophanes” (in “The World of Parmenides”) If you have any questions or comments, please leave them here or tweet at me: twitter.com/dchackethal
12 minutes | Jun 17, 2019
07 – Q&A
Further reading: David Deutsch: “The Beginning of Infinity”, chapter 1, “The Reach of Explanations” Karl Popper: - On verisimilitude: “Conjectures and Refutations”, chapter “Truth, Rationality, and the Growth of Knowledge”, section “Truth and Content: Verisimilitude versus Probability” - On the conflation of probability and verisimilitude: “Back to the Presocratics” - On problems with verisimilitude: “Objective Knowledge” appendix 2
21 minutes | May 25, 2019
06 – Function Replication
This episode relies heavily on video components, so you’ll want to watch it on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRaR3LOn1JQ References - David Deutsch, “The Beginning of Infinity”, chapter 16, “The Evolution of Creativity” Further reading - David Deutsch, “The Fabric of Reality” - David Deutsch, “The Beginning of Infinity”, chapter 7, “Artificial Creativity”
37 minutes | May 18, 2019
05 – Knowledge in Computer Programs
This episode relies heavily on video components, so you’ll want to watch it on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHR6roiZjQ8 Apologies for the audio quality in this episode; it varies and cuts out sometimes. References - David Deutsch, “The Beginning of Infinity” chapter 10, “A Dream of Socrates” - Stephen Hawking, “A Brief History of Time” - David Deutsch, “The Beginning of Infinity” chapter 7, “Artificial Creativity” - David Deutsch, “The Fabric of Reality” chapter 6, “Universality and the Limits of Computation” Further reading - QuickCheck: http://hackage.haskell.org/package/QuickCheck - “Turtles all the way down” concept: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turtles_all_the_way_down - “Why is the Quantum so Strange?” - interview with David explaining computation (among other things): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MckuBQC6gKU - The Clojure programming language: https://clojure.org/ If you have any questions or comments, please leave them here or tweet at me: https://twitter.com/dchackethal
22 minutes | May 14, 2019
04 – How Do We Know?
References: David Deutsch, “The Beginning of Infinity”, chapters: - 1 “The Reach of Explanations” - 4 “Creation” - 15 “The Evolution of Culture” - 16 “The Evolution of Creativity” Further reading: - Karl Popper, “Back to the Presocratics” If you have any questions or comments, please leave them here or tweet at me: twitter.com/dchackethal
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