Here I provide some background information on dark energy and then David answers a question about possible explanations for dark energy given what we already know about the big bang.
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Ep 106: David Deutsch’s ”The Fabric of Reality” Chapter 4 “Criteria for Reality” Part 2
59:42In this podcast we cover the supposed hierarchy of knowledge from "the certainty" of mathematical proof through to the "near certainty" gifted to us by scientific arguments supported by evidence all the way down to the lowly philosophical arguments that are a mere matter of taste. We explore more about the tension between realism and its alternatives, how contributing to science is available to anyone (because the evidence is almost everywhere) and finally we end with an exploration of what Popper had to say on some of these topics.
Ep 105: David Deutsch’s “The Fabric of Reality” Chapter 4 “Criteria for Reality” Part 1
55:22In this podcast we cover realism: the common sense claim that there exists an external reality beyond our own minds that we can come to understand through the tools of science and reason more broadly. We compare this to some of the popular rivals that have cropped up over the years out of academic philosophy including, chiefly, solipsism: the claim that "it's all a dream". We explain how we cannot logically disprove solipsism and we can mount no scientific argument, or bring forth evidence, to show solipsism is false. However we can do something more powerful: we can refute it by philosophical argument. This episode is chiefly about what is real, what exists and how we know.
Ep 104: Are We Running Out Of Resources?
17:35This episode explores the issue of the finiteness of our “natural resources”, taking an optimistic view of our place in the cosmos and hence where we can expect to find resources. We must first explain what a resource is. Is the notion of a "natural resource" an oxymoron? I explain some of that in a Twitter thread here: https://twitter.com/ToKTeacher/status/1473642761676988418?s=20: I then go on to explain this position in this short podcast. I expect to be making more podcasts of about this length or shorter in the coming months and years. I know some would prefer with this style of podcast that I did not have music underneath the speech. It would be possible for me to release both a music and a non-music version. Let me know if this is something that would appeal to you. Either on Twitter @ToKCast or email me at: [email protected] Music in order of appearance is: Dark Sky - Ketsa Solstice Sighing - Ketsa Vibration - Ketsa Boats - Ketsa Gloomy - Ostin We know - Ketsa Dark Sky - Ketsa
Ep 103: Ask Me Anything #2
1:52:08This is “Ask Me Anything” number 2: questions from Twitter (mainly) and elsewhere. Here are the questions/timestamps: 00:00 Introduction 01:50 How do people learn false things? 06:32 Why does persuasion fail? 15:20 What’s wrong with physicalism? 18:30 How are mind and the laws of physics abstractions? 21:18 What are your favourite chapters from David’s books? 26:46 Are facts theory laden? 27:49 Is a fact “fallibly true”? 30:24 What are your thoughts on the mind-body problem? 34:50 How has Deutsch improved on Popper? 40:05 What is the most difficult idea to explain from David’s books? 44:58 Do the ideas in “BoI” trace back to Judeo-Christian values? 48:32 What is the plan for the future spreading of David Deutsch’s ideas? 51:38 How do we resolve the apparent conflict between “incremental change” and “rapid progress”? 54:27 What parts of David’s work do you disagree with? What did David Deutsch get wrong? 58:24 Why isn’t morality about suffering? 01:03:50 Are free will, consciousness and explanatory knowledge fundamentally tied? 01:06:10 Does Ayn Rand’s objectivism follow from Deutsch/Popper? 01:13:52 If a problem is a conflict between ideas, what is the conflict with the problem of the universe’s initial conditions? 01:15:52 How can we reconcile the subjectivity of problems with the objectivity of knowledge? 01:18:04 Can’t machines create new choices through abstraction? 01:20:58 Did Popper/Deutsch influence your libertarianism? 01:26:22 What is the beef between Popper/Deutsch and the formal education system? 01:27:02 Are there Popperian resources on child rearing? 01:31:59 Are there pre-requisites for understanding “The Beginning of Infinity”? 01:35:29 What other books can help with thinking? 01:36:10 If a person has struggled academically, what is to blame? 01:40:21 Do you have any (other!) book recommendations? 01:44:32 Doesn’t quantum mechanics and the multiverse violate common sense and logic?
Ep 102: The Thin Veneer
16:03Yes, the AMA will be delayed until episode 103 because of some wonderful remarks made by Joe Rogan that resonated so well with some of what I like to say about the multiverse, our place in it, and what we come to understand about it and how. Credit to the Joe Rogan Experience #1746 with Blaire White where Joe explains his understanding of our ability to experience reality. I compare this to what we understand from physics and our best understanding of the philosophy of science. Music in order of tracks is: Ketsa - Rewinding Time (First half of video) Ketsa - Heart Science (Second half of video). Both tracks available at https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Ketsa#contact-artist
Ep 101 Ask Me Anything 1
1:15:26As it says: an "AMA" episode. 00:00 Introduction 01:24 When defines the "tipping point" between a static and a dynamic society - specifically our own? 08:13 Why do children seem to learn faster than adults? 14:00 What are the best refutations of anti-realism & instrumentalism? 19:25 What does quantum computation tell us about reality? 25:00 What is the delineation of reason vs unreason? 27:23 What is a "fact"? 28:45 Is a person a "beginning of infinity"? 31:10 What are your thoughts on "inborn knowledge" in people? 37:08 What do you think about monopolies in markets? 44:42 What is the role of the state to realise the ethics of society? 48:51 What open questions does David's work point us to? 54:38 Could you please elaborate on the Simulation Argument? 01:01:35 Can you do a response video about Yoval Harari? 01:04:14 Why has the Beginning of Infinity risen in popularity in recent years? Do you think this will continue?
Ep 100: David Deutsch
1:26:03This is the complete and unabridged discussion I had with David Deutsch largely about "The Beginning of Infinity". It contains all my "Questions for David" - which were published separately - AND much more content too. 00:00 Introduction 12:51 Why aren’t testable theories enough? 14:37 Predictions vs Explanations 18:33 Verisimilitude 23:54 Are people a “chemical scum”? 25:43 The Earth is uniquely suited to life? 30:22 What does “provable” mean? 33:44 Undecidability 37:45 Classifying abstractions 41:29 The nature of physical laws. 47:06 Direct Observation 50:29 The nature of mind 55:40 The Supernatural 59:52 Epistemology and Morality 01:02:00 The physical limitations of knowledge? 01:09:24 Some history of quantum computation 01:16:44 Tic Tacs, UFOs and aliens 01:19:01 Dark Energy Support the podcast by following the links to Patreon or Paypal here: www.bretthall.org
Ep: 99 David Deutsch‘s ”The Beginning of Infinity” - a retrospective in 99 minutes
1:39:00This is episode 99 of ToKCast. More than any other work, the contents of "The Beginning of Infinity" (BoI) have informed the content of this podcast, so in celebration of Episode 99 I set myself the challenge of taking on each chapter in sequence, retelling the main points of it in my own words (no readings from the actual book itself this time) and construct an episode as close as possible to 99 minutes long. Obviously this required quite some editing - this episode now holds the record for time-taken-to-edit. As much was left on the virtual "cutting room floor" and extended "directors cut" is available for Patreons and other supporters of ToKCast. Become a Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/tokcast (per episode support) or https://www.patreon.com/BrettRHall (monthly donation). Timestamps: 00:00:00 Introduction 00:10:10 Chapter 1 The Reach of Explanations 00:15:21 Chapter 2 Closer to Reality 00:19:50 Chapter 3 The Spark 00:24:14 Chapter 4 Creation 00:29:06 Chapter 5 The Reality of Abstractions 00:34:14 Chapter 6 The Jump to Universality 00:38:51 Chapter 7 Artificial Creativity 00:43:58 Chapter 8 A Window on Infinity 00:49:01 Chapter 9 Optimism 00:53:47 Chapter 10 A Dream of Socrates 00:58:20 Chapter 11 The Multiverse 01:03:26 Chapter 12 A Physicist's History of Bad Philosophy 01:08:36 Chapter 13 Choices 01:13:42 Chapter 14 Why are Flowers Beautiful? 01:18:00 Chapter 15 The Evolution of Culture 01:22:56 Chapter 16 The Evolution of Creativity 01:28:23 Chapter 17 Unsustainable 01:33:24 Chapter 18 The Beginning 01:37:43 Concluding Remarks
Ep 98: ”Knowledge” Chiara Marletto‘s ”The Science of Can and Can‘t” Ch 5 Readings and discussion.
1:15:56This is cutting edge physics and epistemology from Chiara Marletto, following David Deutsch and working from and upon to advance the discoveries of Karl Popper. Here I make some quite lengthy introductory remarks laying out the standard academic takes when it comes to epistemology in order to set the scene for the most modern interpretation in our quest to refine our understandings of what knowledge is. We leave behind ancient and modern subjective notions of knowledge (which still prevail in the academy, intellectual circles and even attempts to counter those trends in other traditions of counter-culture communities) and take seriously objective knowledge and then build on it. This is a unique and very modern take on knowledge which brings epistemology within the scope of physics for the very first time. Marletto leads the reader gently through this landscape of physics and philosophy and so it is unsurprising some reviewers have not understood the profundity of the points made in the book as a whole let alone this chapter. This is subtle and powerful stuff: a new unification which one might guess is going to direct the course of progress on many fronts. I hope this video serves as a useful companion to the book and to further investigations into "the land of counterfactuals" as some of the deep ideas are, I think, easy to miss for the casual reader.
Ep 97: David Deutsch answers a question about dark energy. A question for David number 10.
14:46Here I provide some background information on dark energy and then David answers a question about possible explanations for dark energy given what we already know about the big bang.