As artificial intelligence research has progressed one of the key issues which has been identified is the problem of insuring that the AI's are moral. This problem is almost identical to the challenge of mortality as envisioned by the LDS Plan of Salvation. In modeling AI researchers have discovered that many of the problems traditionally associated with religion are inherent to the problem of creating morality in an intelligence.
I explore a theory for explaining the difference between people on the left and people on the right. The first being optimized to thrive in a world without dangers and the second being optimized to survive in a world with lots of dangers. While both are interesting adaptive strategies, I argue that we have tipped too much into a thrive dominated world with consequences that are hard to predict.
Taleb coined the term "Intellectuals Yet Idiots". While I completely agree with his designation and the problems associated with people in that category, I think we also need to look at the mirror image. The people who aren't intellectual and yet are also not idiots. People who use traditional norms to keep them out of trouble. The example I use of this category are the people in developing countries who refused to adopt the more liberal rules on the use of opiates, contrary to people in developed countries who made opiates more widely available and ended up causing a huge number of deaths.
I discuss getting to the bottom of what's really happening and how difficult that can be. That often the best source of information is in what people don't want you to see. I've been going back and turning old blog posts into podcasts and this one is a little bit dated, but still relevant, particularly with all the discussion of fake news.
The US has grown at an average of 2.9%/ year since 1650. That can't continue. At some point in order to continue to grow at that rate we'll have to cover the Earth in solar panels. The growth has to stop. What happens when it does?
An examination of the explanations offered for Fermi's Paradox offered by Stephen Web in his book If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens ... WHERE IS EVERYBODY?: Fifty Solutions to the Fermi Paradox and the Problem of Extraterrestrial Life. In particular a look of the implications of his favored explanation that we are alone. In translating the original blog post to a podcast it became apparent that some things travel better than others. This is one of those times. You've been warned. Or maybe you haven't I don't think anyone actually reads these descriptions.
In 1950 Enrico Fermi asked "Where are they?" Referring to extraterrestrials. In this episode I examine how from a religious and more specifically a Mormon perspective the best answer is that they are here, we call them God and they communicate with us through prayer.
There are two reasons to vote. To decide the election and to express a preference. Given that your chances of actually being the deciding vote, particularly in a presidential election are non-existent, you're mostly voting to express your preference, and if one of the third party candidates more closely matches your preference than the two major party candidates you should vote for them.
The Cold War is over and people have largely assumed that the threat of World War III and global thermonuclear war have passed. But I argue that they have not and that there are many reasons to be concerned.