Summary of Michael Stevens: Vsauce | Lex Fridman Podcast #58

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00:00:00 - 00:55:00

Michael Stevens discusses consciousness, reality, perception, free will, ghosts, the Flat Earth Theory, artificial intelligence, and the ethical implications of becoming a psychopath. He argues that scientists should be open to exploring all ideas, even if they seem ridiculous, and that curiosity is what drives scientific progress.

  • 00:00:00 Michael Stevens discusses his views on consciousness, hypothesizing that it may be fully explained by the laws of physics. He also mentions that, as science progresses, it is likely that we will learn more about what consciousness is and how it relates to the physical world.
  • 00:05:00 In this video, Michael Stevens discusses the difference between reality and perception, and discusses how the universe might be deterministic or not. He also touches on the concept of free will, and how it might exist within a deterministic universe.
  • 00:10:00 Michael Stevens discusses the usefulness of the thought experiment of living in a simulation, as well as how it can be inspiring to have a constructively critical mind. He also discusses the idea of ghosts, and how, while some scientific theories may be based on false assumptions, curiosity is what drives scientific progress.
  • 00:15:00 Michael Stevens discusses the Flat Earth Theory, explaining that it is a plausible theory that has many reasons to support it. He also argues that scientists should be open to exploring ideas, even if they seem ridiculous, and that the earth is not flat.
  • 00:20:00 Michael Stevens discusses the likelihood of the Earth being flat and the importance of questioning beliefs in order to maintain a open mind. His video has received more dislikes than usual, likely because some viewers find it ludicrous that a professional educator would promote such a belief.
  • 00:25:00 Michael Stevens discusses how the Earth is not a sphere, how gravity is non-uniform, and how artificial intelligence is still in its early stages. He elaborates on how a "psychology question" vs. a "physics question" can be a difficult distinction to make.
  • 00:30:00 In his Lex Fridman podcast, Michael Stevens discusses the idea of technological "marching forward without key scientists the developing and technology worrying about the overnight having some effects that would be very detrimental to society." He argues that the push back on your thought of the idea that there's enough people worrying about it Elon Musk says there's not enough people worrying about it I think that's the kind of balances you know it's like folks to who really focused on nuclear deterrence are saying there's not enough people worried about nuclear deterrence right so it's an interesting question of what is a good threshold of people to worry about these and if it's too many people that are worried you're right it'll be like the the press would overreport on it and there'll be technological halt technology progress if not enough then we can march straight ahead into that abyss that human beings might be destined for with the progress of technology.
  • 00:35:00 Michael Stevens discusses the ethical implications of having a 83% chance of becoming a psychopath. He argues that all human life is worthy, and that even if one has a dangerous figure as a fan, they must still manage their power responsibly.
  • 00:40:00 Michael Stevens explains the responsibility he feels in educating the world, and how he tries to approach it with humility and sharing. He also talks about his interactions with Chris Osgood, the VP of Engineering at YouTube, and how he would like to see the YouTube algorithm improve.
  • 00:45:00 Michael Stevens discusses the idea of whether YouTube considers long-term development when creating algorithms. He expresses his opinion that the algorithm should focus more on watch time, instead of focusing on more click-baity videos. He believes that cat videos are an important part of what it means to be human, and that YouTube should be promoting educational content in order to help society.
  • 00:50:00 Michael Stevens discusses the meaning of life and mortality. He says that while it is frightening to think about your own mortality, it is also empowering to realize that you are destined to become an ocean, a memory, or even an alien species.
  • 00:55:00 Michael Stevens discusses the importance of curiosity and questioning, and how it can help one appreciate the mysteries of life and the universe.

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