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Made You Think

Nov 15, 2023

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

Welcome back to another episode of Made You Think! In this episode, we're diving into Novacene by James Lovelock, a book which challenges the very essence of human intelligence. Get ready for a thought-provoking conversation that delves into the realms of evolution, deep oceans, and the enigmatic dance between humanity and artificial intelligence.

We cover a wide range of topics including:

  • Gaia hypothesis and its connections to the book
  • Intelligence beyond the human-centric view
  • How the evolution of organisms has affected global temperatures
  • The uncovered mysteries of the deep ocean
  • Will AI be a friend or foe to humans?

And much more. Please enjoy, and make sure to follow Nat, Neil, and Adil on Twitter and share your thoughts on the episode.

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(1:46) Buckle up for this episode as we discuss Novacene, authored by the originator of the Gaia Theory, James Lovelock. The book probes into humanity's role in the world and speculates on a future where machines might supersede us.

(4:34) Lovelock wrote this book with the help of his assistant when he was 99 years old. We talk about what exactly the Gaia Theory is and the end of the age of Anthropocene.

(9:50) We go deeper into sharing our thoughts on the Gaia Theory and how the evolution of organisms have affected the regulation of the global temperature. 

(13:10) How much do we actually know about the deepest parts of the ocean? Plus, learn about the author’s involvement with designing instruments for NASA.

(16:40) Nat, Neil, and Adil make connections from Novacene to The Three-Body Problem. Historically, we've looked for life on other planets the way we would measure life on earth, but are extraterrestrial species carbon-based like we are?

(19:04) Our idea of time here on Earth is based on our life and our own orbit around the sun, but another civilization could view time in a completely different way.

(24:21) Addressing AI predictions, military applications, and the challenges of AI intervention, including experiences with self-driving cars.

(32:08) Is our technology watching us? 

(35:28) The limitations of language as an information interface and the intuitive nature of processing multiple inputs. Speaking, for example, is completely linear. However, when you have multiple inputs, you're able to be more intuitive.

(39:18) We talk about exploring intelligence beyond the human-centric view, considering the collective intelligence of species like bees.

(42:05) It’s powerful the progress that has been made with ChatGPT, but there still remains the question of whether or not it will be a linear process to AGI (artificial general intelligence). 

(46:02) The intersection of crypto mining, Bitcoin, and futuristic energy societies, along with the possibility of harnessing CO2 for creation.

(52:24) Earth is a rare, one-of-a-kind planet. How the universe had to align for habitability on earth, and the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe.

(58:29) Would AI have the potential for parallel processing capabilities?

(1:00:35) Nat and Neil share their final thoughts on Novacene and Lovelock's charming writing style. If you were intrigued by our discussions in this episode, make sure you pick up a copy!

(1:01:59) That concludes this episode! Stay tuned for our next episode on the The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche. 

If you enjoyed this episode, let us know by leaving a review on iTunes and tell a friend. As always, let us know if you have any book recommendations! You can say hi to us on Twitter @TheRealNeilS@adilmajid@nateliason and share your thoughts on this episode.

You can now support Made You Think using the Value-for-Value feature of Podcasting 2.0. This means you can directly tip the co-hosts in BTC with minimal transaction fees. To get started, simply download a podcast app (like Fountain or Breez) that supports Value-for-Value and send some BTC to your in-app wallet. You can then use that to support shows who have opted-in, including Made You Think! We’ll be going with this direct support model moving forward, rather than ads.

Thanks for listening. See you next time!