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We Are Not Saved

We Are Not Saved is a podcast covering Eschatology. While this concept has traditionally been a religious one, and concerned with the end of creation, in this podcast that study has been broadened to include secular ways the world could end (so called x-risks) and also deepened to cover the potential end of nations, cultures and civilizations. The title is taken from the book of Jeremiah, Chapter 8, verse 20: The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.
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Now displaying: Category: Religion
Jan 28, 2017

Transcript: https://wearenotsaved.com/2017/01/07/predictions-spoiler-no-ai-or-immortality/

I offer a bunch of predictions. Not for 2017, but forever. I also talk about the difficulty of prediction in general and the issues that can arrive from being mostly right, but about inconsequential stuff, and only slightly wrong, but about the big stuff.

Jan 26, 2017

Transcript: https://wearenotsaved.com/2016/12/24/reframing-pinkers-the-better-angels-of-our-nature/

A review of Pinker's book The Better Angels of Our Nature. While enjoying the book, I feel that he did a lot of subtle things to lead you to believe that the trend of decreasing violence has been going on longer and is more durable than it actually is. In particular I think some of the things he mentions have not been going on long enough for us to truly asses their duration or impact.

Jan 24, 2017

Transcript: https://wearenotsaved.com/2016/12/17/the-ideas-of-nassim-nicholas-taleb/

In this podcast I discuss the writings of Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Beginning with his ideas on how people are Fooled by Randomness, moving on to his concept of Black Swans (extreme, unexpected events) and finally finishing with the idea of Antifragility, which I think is one of the concepts most lacking in the modern world.

Jan 21, 2017

Transcript: https://wearenotsaved.com/2016/12/10/infrastructure-trump-and-the-hoover-dam/ 

This week we look at the subject of infrastructure. We seem to spend a lot of money on it to little effect. Why is that? And is it indicative of a civilization in decline. The idea of catabolic collapse is brought up, which is the idea that your society can start to fall apart when the maintenance costs exceed a certain level. I know it sounds boring, but trust me, it's not.

Jan 19, 2017

Transcript: https://wearenotsaved.com/2016/12/03/the-change-hurricane-are-we-polish-jews-in-1937-or-east-germans-in-1988/ 

Bad things happen, and it's impossible to know when they will. Occasionally we find ourselves in a bad situation, but it's difficult to know if it's going to get nightmarish like Poland in 1937 or if it's about to peter out like in East Germany in 1988. But that doesn't mean there aren't ways to prepare for it, and perhaps that's a waste of time an money, but if it is 1937 and you are a Polish Jew than no preparation is too great.

Jan 17, 2017

Transcript: https://wearenotsaved.com/2016/11/26/is-this-election-different/ 

Since the election many people have warned against normalizing Trump. This is a dangerous repudiation of the system of law unlike anything in modern memory, and more closely representing the election of Lincoln in 1860. Making this election potentially a lot different than any other election in the last hundred years. The question then becomes what to do about it, which I go on to address.

Jan 14, 2017

Transcript: https://wearenotsaved.com/2016/11/19/freedom-of-religion-in-2016/ 

In this podcast I present three theories of religion. Religion is either divinely inspired, stupid, or a distillation of accumulated wisdom. I then examine what religious persecution looks like under each theory, and conclude that one of the big dangers is the recent dominance of the Religion of Progress.

Jan 13, 2017

Transcript: https://wearenotsaved.com/2016/11/12/i-dont-know-if-everything-will-be-okay-my-thoughts-on-the-election/ 

In the wake of the election many people were declaring that everything would be okay, while other people were declaring it the beginning of the end. In this episode I admit that I don't know if everything will be okay. But I offer a couple of overlooked reasons for Trump's victory and I examine six areas of concern and give my opinion as to how consequential Trump will actually be.

Jan 11, 2017

Transcript: https://wearenotsaved.com/2016/11/05/the-value-of-free-speech/ 

It is tempting to restrict the speech of those you disagree with, but in doing so you may very well reduce your protections against the authoritarianism you fear most. Any weakening of free speech is a bad idea whatever your motives.

Also this podcast was taken from a blogpost written a few days before the election, thus it's a little bit dated, but important nonetheless.

Jan 7, 2017

Transcript: https://wearenotsaved.com/2016/10/29/scott-adams-and-what-counts-as-censorship/

I make three arguments for why banning and censorship, particularly shadowbanning by Twitter and Facebook should be treated similarly to government censorship. First there is their effective monopoly, second is the way that technology allows particularly devious forms of censorship, and finally there is the precedent of public accommodation as established by the Civil Rights Act.

Jan 4, 2017

Transcript: https://wearenotsaved.com/2016/10/22/and-there-was-silence-in-heaven/ 

I engage in rampant speculation about what the half hour of silence mentioned in the Book of Revelation means. From there I engage into a discussion of the benefits of preparing for the worst. 

Jan 3, 2017

Transcript: https://wearenotsaved.com/2016/10/15/taking-democracy-for-granted/ 

Do we take democracy for granted. I argue that the two presidential candidates are strong evidence that we do. Looking back to the Civil War it is apparent that democracy was viewed very precariously and that most of the deaths on the Union side can be attributed to trying to preserve democracy, rather than trying to end slavery. 

Dec 24, 2016

Transcript: https://wearenotsaved.com/2016/10/08/artificial-intelligence-and-lds-cosmology/ 

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.

Dec 21, 2016

Transcript: https://wearenotsaved.com/2016/10/01/the-politics-of-the-zombie-apocalypse/ 

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.

Dec 19, 2016

Transcript: https://wearenotsaved.com/2016/09/24/not-intellectuals-yet-not-idiots/ 

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.

Dec 16, 2016

Transcript: https://wearenotsaved.com/2016/09/17/hillary-clinton-and-the-criteria-of-embarrassment/ 

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.

Dec 13, 2016

Transcript: https://wearenotsaved.com/2016/09/10/the-harvest-is-past/ 

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?

Dec 10, 2016

Transcript: https://wearenotsaved.com/2016/09/03/the-secular-answer-to-fermis-paradox/ 

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.

Dec 8, 2016

Transcript: https://wearenotsaved.com/2016/08/27/fermis-paradox-as-a-proof-of-the-existence-of-god/ 

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.

Dec 6, 2016

Transcript: https://wearenotsaved.com/2016/08/20/is-it-finally-time-to-start-thinking-about-voting-third-party/ 

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.

Dec 2, 2016

Transcript: https://wearenotsaved.com/2016/08/13/nukes/ 

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.

Nov 28, 2016

Transcript: https://wearenotsaved.com/2016/08/06/sports-the-sack-of-baghdad-and-the-upcoming-election/ 

There is a difference between history and politics. We can get so caught up in wanting our team to win that we can completely forget that in the end history is more important. And history is dominated by large negative events, like the Sack of Baghdad by the Mongols in 1258. Preventing these large negative events is what we should really be focused on.

Nov 24, 2016

Transcript: https://wearenotsaved.com/2016/07/30/taboos-and-antifragility/

Support for organized religion is as low as it's every been, but in this episode I argue that organized religion does have a place in the world, and that place exists even if you don't believe in the existence of God. Religion is a way of reducing fragility, and increasing antifragility. The example pre-martial sex is used to illustrate the point.

Nov 18, 2016

Transcript: https://wearenotsaved.com/2016/07/23/on-the-limitations-of-science/

A discussion of the role of morals and religion when approaching science. How the replication crisis illustrates some of the failings of science. The example of science and the opiate epidemic.

Nov 15, 2016

Transcript: https://wearenotsaved.com/2016/07/16/lgbt-youth-and-suicide/

Several articles have been written pointing out that there has been an increase in suicides by LGBT youth, and have blamed that increase on the Mormon church. In this episode I examine how complicated it is to determine the causes of suicide and offer some alternative explanations for the phenomenon. 

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