Podcasts

EP10: Simulation Argument (Epilogue)

There’s one last thing. Maybe the reason why we don’t see other intelligent life, maybe the reason we are in the astoundingly unique position of having to save the future of the human race, is because we are simulated human beings. It would explain a lot. (Original score by Point Lobo www.pointlobo.com.) 

Interviewees: Nick Bostrom, Oxford University philosopher and founder of the Future of Humanity Institute; Anders Sandberg, Oxford University philosopher; Seth Shostak, director of SETI

EP09: End

Josh explains that to survive the next century or two – to navigate our existential threats – all of us will have to become informed and involved. It will take a movement that gets behind science done right to make it through the Great Filter. (Original score by Point Lobo www.pointlobo.com.) 

Interviewees: Toby Ord, Oxford University philosopher; Sebastian Farquahar, Oxford University philosopher

EP08: Embracing Catastrophe

We humans are our own worst enemies when it comes to what it will take to deal with existential risks. We are loaded with cognitive biases, can’t coordinate on a global scale, and see future generations as freeloaders. Seriously, are we going to survive? (Original score by Point Lobo www.pointlobo.com.)

Interviewees: Nick Bostrom, Oxford University philosopher and founder of the Future of Humanity Institute; Toby Ord, Oxford University philosopher; Anders Sandberg, Oxford University philosopher; Sebastian Farquahar, Oxford University philosopher; Eric Johnson, University of Oklahoma professor of law 

EP07: Physics Experiments

Surprisingly the field of particle physics poses a handful of existential threats, not just for us humans, but for everything alive on Earth – and in some cases, the entire universe. Poking around on the frontier of scientific understanding has its risks. (Original score by Point Lobo www.pointlobo.com.) 

Interviewees: Don Lincoln, Fermi National Laboratory senior experimental particle physicist; Ben Shlaer, University of Auckland cosmologist University of Auckland; Daniel Whiteson, University of California, Irvine astrophysicist; Eric Johnson, University of Oklahoma professor of law 

EP06: Biotechnology

Natural viruses and bacteria can be deadly enough; the 1918 Spanish Flu killed 50 million people in four months. But risky new research, carried out in an unknown number of labs around the world, are creating even more dangerous humanmade pathogens. (Original score by Point Lobo www.pointlobo.com.) 

Interviewees: Beth Willis, former chair, Containment Laboratory Community Advisory Committee; Dr Lynn Klotz, senior fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.

EP05: Artificial Intelligence

An artificial intelligence capable of improving itself runs the risk of growing intelligent beyond any human capacity and outside of our control. Josh explains why a superintelligent AI that we haven’t planned for would be extremely bad for humankind. (Original score by Point Lobo www.pointlobo.com.)

Interviewees: Nick Bostrom, Oxford University philosopher and founder of the Future of Humanity Institute; David Pearce, philosopher and co-founder of the World Transhumanist Association (Humanity+); Sebastian Farquahar, Oxford University philosopher.










EP04: Natural Risks

Humans have faced existential risks since our species was born. Because we are Earthbound, what happens to Earth happens to us. Josh points out that there’s a lot that can happen to Earth - like gamma ray bursts, supernovae, and runaway greenhouse effect. (Original score by Point Lobo www.pointlobo.com.) 

Interviewees: Robin Hanson, George Mason University economist (creator of the Great Filter hypothesis); Ian O’Neill, astrophysicist and science writer; Toby Ord, Oxford University philosopher.

EP03: X Risks

Humanity could have a future billions of years long – or we might not make it past the next century. If we have a trip through the Great Filter ahead of us, then we appear to be entering it now. It looks like existential risks will be our filter. (Original score by Point Lobo www.pointlobo.com.) 

Interviewees: Nick Bostrom, Oxford University philosopher and founder of the Future of Humanity Institute; David Pearce, philosopher and co-founder of the World Transhumanist Association (Humanity+); Robin Hanson, George Mason University economist (creator of the Great Filter hypothesis); Toby Ord, Oxford University philosopher; Sebastian Farquahar, Oxford University philosopher.

EP02: Great Filter

The Great Filter hypothesis says we’re alone in the universe because the process of evolution contains some filter that prevents life from spreading into the universe. Have we passed it or is it in our future? Humanity’s survival may depend on the answer. (Original score by Point Lobo www.pointlobo.com.)

Interviewees: Robin Hanson, George Mason University economist (creator of the Great Filter hypothesis); Toby Ord, Oxford University philosopher; Donald Brownlee, University of Washington astrobiologist (co-creator of the Rare Earth hypothesis); Phoebe Cohen, Williams College paleontologist.




EP01: Fermi Paradox

Ever wondered where all the aliens are? It’s actually very weird that, as big and old as the universe is, we seem to be the only intelligent life. In this episode, Josh examines the Fermi paradox, and what it says about humanity’s place in the universe. (Original score by Point Lobo www.pointlobo.com.) 

Interviewees: Anders Sandberg, Oxford University philosopher and co-creator of the Aestivation hypothesis; Seth Shostak, director of SETI; Toby Ord, Oxford University philosopher.