This is a video in response to this video by Yaron Brook: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFqbC...
I'm a fan of both Yaron and Sam. I turn to Yaron for all things economics and individual rights and have great respect for him: indeed so much respect I bothered to spend hours making and editing this video.
In the video I refer to:
1. Michael Neilsen's article on the Church-Turing-Deutsch principle: https://michaelnielsen.org/blog/inter...
2. David Deutsch's speech from his Dirac Medal Award ceremony. Transcript here: http://www.daviddeutsch.org.uk/wp-con...
3. David Deutsch's seminal historic paper that laid the foundations for quantum computation and which brought computation into physics: http://www.daviddeutsch.org.uk/wp-con...
4. "The Nexus" - my video which goes into detail on the mystery of personhood and the science of what we know about this presently: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpTxB...
Number 2 on that list above is "required extra reading" if my argument alone is not convincing. For more, see "The Fabric of Reality" chapters 5 and 6 especially. See also "The Beginning of Infinity" and consult the index for passages on computation and universality. Universality is poorly understood as being central to understanding computers and people. For more on that see my video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnkPl...
Images used in the thumbnail and in this video are used under a "Creative Commons" license. Fair use for commentary is claimed for the clips of The Yaron Brook Show (which is one of my favourite podcasts).
More episodes from "ToKCast"
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.
Ep 96: Computational Universality: Yaron Brook vs Sam Harris response
43:23This is a video in response to this video by Yaron Brook: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFqbC... I'm a fan of both Yaron and Sam. I turn to Yaron for all things economics and individual rights and have great respect for him: indeed so much respect I bothered to spend hours making and editing this video. In the video I refer to: 1. Michael Neilsen's article on the Church-Turing-Deutsch principle: https://michaelnielsen.org/blog/inter... 2. David Deutsch's speech from his Dirac Medal Award ceremony. Transcript here: http://www.daviddeutsch.org.uk/wp-con... 3. David Deutsch's seminal historic paper that laid the foundations for quantum computation and which brought computation into physics: http://www.daviddeutsch.org.uk/wp-con... 4. "The Nexus" - my video which goes into detail on the mystery of personhood and the science of what we know about this presently: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpTxB... Number 2 on that list above is "required extra reading" if my argument alone is not convincing. For more, see "The Fabric of Reality" chapters 5 and 6 especially. See also "The Beginning of Infinity" and consult the index for passages on computation and universality. Universality is poorly understood as being central to understanding computers and people. For more on that see my video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnkPl... Images used in the thumbnail and in this video are used under a "Creative Commons" license. Fair use for commentary is claimed for the clips of The Yaron Brook Show (which is one of my favourite podcasts).
Ep: 95 Steven Pinker‘s ”Rationality” Chapters 1 & 2 Remarks and Analysis
1:43:08This video and associated podcast are about Steven Pinker's new book "Rationality". I read a small number of brief excerpts from the book itself, alongside commenting, criticising and reviewing the content of the first two chapters. There are a number of images and videos in the Youtube version which may help with particular concepts as we go along. I compare Pinker's vision of rationality with what might be interpreted about that same topic from the work of David Deutsch and Karl Popper. In summary: I found the book highly entertaining in places and an excellent overview of this topic as it might be taught in an Ivy League University in The United States (indeed Pinker says that such a course that he taught was part of the impetus for the book). In terms of being a good substitute for those who might never have been able to afford due to chance, location or cost actually attending such an institution and taking on a course such as one on "Critical Thinking" and "Rationality" the book could readily serve as a series of well written university lecture notes. To that end, it is certainly worth the cost for anyone interested in these topics. In Chapter 2, Professor Pinker not only agrees with the "justified true belief" conception of knowledge but uses it in practise to explain what might be called the "rational" and "irrational". I thus spend a good portion of the second half of this video suggesting ways in which that very conception of knowledge itself leads to irrationality and explain a better way of understanding concepts like "knowledge" as compared to "belief" and how to understand the phrase "I know". I intend to cover 2 chapters per episode. 00:00 Introduction 03:30 “Enlightenment Now” and praise for "The Beginning of Infinity". 07:50 Timeless errors, timely examples. 13:05 “Rationality” in “The Beginning of Infinity” sense. 17:15 Do ancient-type tribal people have a “scientific mindset”? 25:00 Explanatory Universality & Anti-rational memes 34:34 Skill with logic puzzles and *being* logical/rational 42:00 The Wason Selection task 51:25 The Monty Hall Problem 1:02:50 The Linda Problem (& remarks on uses and misuses of probability) 1:11:42 Popper and theory laden observations 1:14:20 Knowledge as Justified True Belief - Why Popper matters 1:27:00 Objective truth 1:32:30 Reason is fun 1:38:18 Closing remarks about chapter 2
Ep 94: Wealth and the Conflict of Ideas
35:04I recommend this episode be viewed in its video format here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfuQI_LgDBE or here https://odysee.com/@BrettHall:c/wealth-and-the-conflict-of-ideas:1 as it's got lots of nice images and videos...some of which I constructed myself. That said, the actual "message" can be appreciated fully with audio only. Although I do not explicitly mention it, this entire episode was motivated by a Sam Harris “meme post” found here: https://www.instagram.com/p/B-sWqk5n1... The claim that appears there (which reads “The free market is not producing effective responses to our most important problems” is emblematic of an intellectual culture that now holds sway not only in the academy but broadly in public discourse and, of course, it is readily consumed by people hungry for simple solutions and perversely promoted by business people afraid of their left-leaning customers. In this episode I spend time on a very brief historic analysis of the motivation for such rejections of freedom and capitalism (which we must admit are relatively new creations when put beside ancient tribalism) and I look at some of the failures of central planning or rejection of the free market. I agree with those who say “there is no actual capitalism” there are merely degrees of socialism in existence. Where there is freedom in a socialist framework, to the degree there is freedom: wealth grows. And to the degree there are top down controls: poverty increases. I regard this as an opportunity cost to some extent. It should not be necessary to defend the fundamentals of economic systems that allow for wealth creation and problem solving. But we live in a time where, for various reasons, a neo-Marxist move is on the ascendency. On that: I also voice concerns I have about allies on the side of liberty turning on one another rather too often out of concern this or that “capitalist” is not sufficiently “capitalist”. I see this as a wonderful way for socialists to continue to gain ground in institutions at all levels of government. A partial script for this episode can be found here: https://www.bretthall.org/our-most-im... This video and ones like it take many days (sometimes weeks) of production from research and reading for the script through to filming and audio recording, searching libraries of stock videos and music, organising copyright issues and finally editing - because I work alone. If you would like to support this effort, you may donate at www.bretthall.org where there is a "Donate" button for one off or monthly donations. On the same page are links to my Patreon accounts where you can also support me. Thankyou :)
Ep 93: David Deutsch answers a question about the nature of mind. A question for David number 9.
10:02In this answer David provides some unique insight into the mystery that remains the nature of the mind. We are constrained by some of what we already know (like computational universality, among other things) and so given this, what can we say about the mind?
Ep 92: David Deutsch answers a question about observations. A question for David number 8
8:01In this “question for David” number 8 we speak about direct observation - “empiricism” and how that was progress over what came before even if it is false. More than anything else this question serves as a “teaser” for the content of question 9: some of David’s views on the nature of mind. Ways to support my work can be found at www.bretthall.org via Patreon or the "Donate" button. Visit https://nav.al and subscribe.
Ep 91: David Deutsch‘s ”The Fabric of Reality” Chapter 3 “Problem Solving” Part 2
41:36In this podcast we cover a universal scheme for problem solving and then focus in on the special case of problem solving in science and compare this to outdated and refuted attempts to explain how knowledge was supposed to be "justified". Popper wrote that "all life is problem solving" - so I discuss that briefly and throughout we consider that if problems are indeed soluble (as they are) how it is that problems eventually get solved. It takes effort, it takes creativity, the process can be messy and there is no single method: but there are ways to be right about what's going on and ways to be wrong. Credit to: David Deutsch for writing "The Fabric of Reality" Naval Ravikant for his ongoing support of this project. My other Patrons and supporters at Patreon. If you would also like to support this podcast, please head over to either https://www.patreon.com/tokcast to sponsor me per episode. Or per month here: https://www.patreon.com/BrettRHall Or click on the "Donate" button at www.bretthall.org where you can send me a one off or monthly donation. Though this has always been and will remain a "labour of love" I thankyou everyone for any and all support which will allow me to continue to improve the sound, presentation and delivery of this series.