#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 Com
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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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Past guests on The Tim Ferriss Show include Jerry Seinfeld, Hugh Jackman, Dr. Jane Goodall, LeBron James, Kevin Hart, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Jamie Foxx, Matthew McConaughey, Esther Perel, Elizabeth Gilbert, Terry Crews, Sia, Yuval Noah Harari, Malcolm Gladwell, Madeleine Albright, Cheryl Strayed, Jim Collins, Mary Karr, Maria Popova, Sam Harris, Michael Phelps, Bob Iger, Edward Norton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Neil Strauss, Ken Burns, Maria Sharapova, Marc Andreessen, Neil Gaiman, Neil de Grasse Tyson, Jocko Willink, Daniel Ek, Kelly Slater, Dr. Peter Attia, Seth Godin, Howard Marks, Dr. Brené Brown, Eric Schmidt, Michael Lewis, Joe Gebbia, Michael Pollan, Dr. Jordan Peterson, Vince Vaughn, Brian Koppelman, Ramit Sethi, Dax Shepard, Tony Robbins, Jim Dethmer, Dan Harris, Ray Dalio, Naval Ravikant, Vitalik Buterin, Elizabeth Lesser, Amanda Palmer, Katie Haun, Sir Richard Branson, Chuck Palahniuk, Arianna Huffington, Reid Hoffman, Bill Burr, Whitney Cummings, Rick Rubin, Dr. Vivek Murthy, Darren Aronofsky, Margaret Atwood, Mark Zuckerberg, Peter Thiel, Dr. Gabor Maté, Anne Lamott, Sarah Silverman, Dr. Andrew Huberman, and many more.