Monthly Archives: February 2024

EP 226 Hannah Rosenberg on An Answer to Red Pilldom



Jim talks with Hannah Rosenberg about the ideas in her essay “An Answer to Red Pilldom.” They discuss the meaning & origins of red pilldom, how Hannah encountered red pilldom in close friendships, the idea that women are submissive, differences between men & women, pair-bonding instincts, balancing mixed instincts, the idea of hypergamy, adulting, how dating apps may skew human interactions, nostalgia for the 1950s trad wife, the actual lives of 1950s housewives, the idea that motherhood is the highest fulfillment for a woman, the idea of a war on masculinity, outlets for aggression, the idea of a “wall” where male attention ends, humanity as a mesh network not a hierarchy, dominance & submission as signals, the idea that men are leaders, women in the Marine Corps, MAGA and wokery as mirror images, why communities of red pilldom exist, not getting caught in history’s pendulum swings, and much more.
Hannah Rosenberg, a tech entrepreneur and educator, holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her journey in the tech industry began as a web developer, leading to the establishment of her own development business in 2014. In 2017, she expanded her career by embracing the role of an educator, imparting her technical expertise to various organizations, including non-profits and her alma mater, the University of Illinois at Chicago. In addition to her professional achievements, Hannah‘s life experiences also play a crucial role. With 40 years of rich personal experience, she is a dedicated mother and has been in a committed marriage for 14 years. Her diverse perspective is further enhanced by extensive travel and having lived in three distinct regions of our beautiful world.

EP 225 Bruce Damer on a New Path for Psychedelics



Jim talks with Bruce Damer about the new Center for MINDS and the ideas in his essay “Downloads from the Modern Dawn of Psychedelics.” They discuss alternate ways psychedelics could have been introduced, Aldous Huxley & Humphry Osmond’s speculative Outsight project, convergent vs divergent thinking, Bruce’s mushroom trip with Terrence McKenna, concrescence into novelty, the stoned ape theory, the unreported influence of psychedelics on breakthroughs, Bruce’s coming-out as a psychedelics user, psychedelic-assisted innovation, Bruce’s naturally trippy brain, endogenous tripping, the Eleusinian Mysteries, the late Bronze Age collapse, the possibility that hallucinogens powered civilization, alcohol & the poison path, the decline in breakthrough research, the disincentivization of grand thinking, how the Center for Minds is beginning research via surveys, Jim’s use of occasional heavy doses of THC, Bruce’s set, setting & setup approach, finding the others, MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, the state of ketamine research, and much more.

Dr. Bruce Damer is Canadian-American multidisciplinary scientist, designer, and author. In his role as a world-renowned Astrobiologist at the UC Santa Cruz Department of Biomolecular Engineering, Dr. Damer collaborates with colleagues developing and testing a new scenario for the origin of life on Earth and where it might arise in the universe. As a designer he has provided innovative spacecraft architectures to NASA and others which could provide a viable path for the expansion of life and human civilization beyond the Earth.


EP 224 Samo Burja on Geothermal Energy



Jim talks with Samo Burja about the ideas in his recent article “Geothermal Energy Turns Planets Into Power Sources.” They discuss the heat beneath the earth’s surface, contributors to the heat, technological dependency between fracking & geothermal, the math of electricity, earthquake risk, the limits of current geology, the value of better drilling tech, new approaches to drilling, gyrotrons, plasma torches, whether our civilization actually needs more energy, the local optimum of fossil fuels, bureaucratic incentives in energy, investment of social surplus, scientific welfare, metascience, giving academic tenure to brilliant 25-year-olds, a defense-favoring military epoch, the math of geothermal vs other combinations of energy sources, visions of a clean-energy future, and much more.
Samo Burja is the founder and President of Bismarck Analysis, a consulting firm that specializes in institutional analysis for clients in North America and Europe. Bismarck uses the foundational sociological research that Samo and his team have conducted over the past decade to deliver unique insights to clients about institutional design and strategy. Samo’s studies focus on the social and material technologies that provide the foundation for healthy human societies, with an eye to engineering and restoring the structures that produce functional institutions. He has authored articles and papers on his findings. His manuscript, Great Founder Theory, is available online. He is also a Research Fellow at the Long Now Foundation and Senior Research Fellow in Political Science at the Foresight Institute. Samo has spoken about his findings at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Y Combinator’s YC 120 conference, the Reboot American Innovation conference in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. He spends most of his time in California and his native Slovenia.

EP 223 Jordan Hall on Cities, Civiums, and Becoming Christian



Jim talks with Jordan Hall about the ideas in his essay “From City to Civium” and about his recent conversion to Christianity. They discuss scaling laws, superlinear scaling in cities & Metcalf’s law, technologies of density, virtualization of space, ephemeralizing of communication, a tipping point in the virtualization of relationality, cities as killers, reaching the limits of the institutional forms that got us out of the 20th century, decoupling of body & mind, returning to the mesoscale, tech hygiene, reciprocal opening, what makes GameB hard, Jordan’s experience with civiums, hierarchies of values & their inevitability, regaining functional cultural toolkits, pouring water on plants vs creating from scratch, how civium led to Christianity, distinguishing good & bad in religion, Jordan’s lifelong agnosticism, the virtual, becoming an integrated self, ensoulment, egregores, whether egregores have agency, the origin of liturgy & liturgical practices, the challenge of bringing already-embedded individuals into embodied community, visiting & moving to Black Mountain, North Carolina, the ease of meaningfulness in the right context, being invited to church, Jordan’s transition to believing in a personal God, a crisis of conscience, the Orthodox sensibility of “beauty-first,” a relationship with goodness, understanding the Trinity, relationality as the essence of the triune God, a dimensional opening, faith as a faculty, the idea of being created by God in His image, adopting traditional gender values, the idea of abortion as murder, the hermeneutics of presence, Biblical inerrancy, why the kingdom of God is not theocracy, soul sovereignty, orienting toward a universal Good vs coherent pluralism, post-tragedy, growing community organically, the question of vocation, and much more.

Jordan Hall is the Co-founder and Executive Chairman of the Neurohacker Collective. He is now in his 17th year of building disruptive technology companies. Jordan’s interests in comics, science fiction, computers, and way too much TV led to a deep dive into contemporary philosophy (particularly the works of Gilles Deleuze and Manuel DeLanda), artificial intelligence and complex systems science, and then, as the Internet was exploding into the world, a few years at Harvard Law School where he spent time with Larry Lessig, Jonathan Zittrain and Cornel West examining the coevolution of human civilization and technology.


EP 222 Trent McConaghy on AI & Brain-Computer Interface Accelerationism (bci/acc)



Jim talks with Trent McConaghy about the ideas in his recent essay “bci/acc: A Pragmatic Path to Compete with Artificial Superintelligence.” They discuss the meaning of BCI (brain-computer interfaces) and acc (accelerationism), categories of AI, how much room there is for above-human intelligence, whether AI is achieving parallelism, the risks of artificial superintelligence (ASI), problems with deceleration, AI intelligences balancing each other, decentralized approaches to AI, problems with the “pull the plug” idea, humans as the weak security link, the silicon Midas touch, competing with AI using BCIs, the need for super-high bandwidth, the noninvasive road to BCIs, realistic killer apps, eye tracking, pragmatic telepathy, subvocalization, reaching adoption-level quality, the arc between noninvasive and full silicon, near-infrared sensors, issues around mass adoption of implants, maintaining cognitive liberty, the risk of giving malevolent ASIs the keys to the kingdom, whether humans plus ASIs might compete with ASIs, and much more.

Trent McConaghy is founder of Ocean Protocol. He has 25 years of deep tech experience with a focus on AI and blockchain. He co-founded Analog Design automation Inc. in 1999, which built AI-powered tools for creative circuit design. It was acquired by Synopsys in 2004. He co-founded Solido Design Automation in 2004, using AI to mitigate process variation and help drive Moore’s Law. Solido was later acquired by Siemens. He then went on to launch ascribe in 2013 for NFTs on Bitcoin, then Ocean Protocol in 2017 for decentralized data markets for AI. He currently focuses on Ocean Predictoor for crowd-sourced AI prediction feeds.


EP 221 George Hotz on Open-Source Driving Assistance



Jim talks with George Hotz about running Comma, an open-source driving assistance company. They discuss breaking the carrier lock on the iPhone at seventeen, Google’s Project Zero, zero days, Mobileye & proprietary perception algorithms, cameras vs lidar, 6 levels of self-driving automation, the reliability of human driving, self-driving cars as “demo complete,” why corner cases aren’t the issue, integrated world models, the challenge of defining lane lines, recognizing the right part of the road, behavioral cloning, the hugging test, Comma’s data set, the small offset simulator, how to install Comma in a car, what it does, why high-precision maps aren’t useful, problems with Waymo’s approach, “trackless monorails,” why current systems still use remote-control driving, hyper-fragile centralized systems, Tesla’s approach, against magical inflection points, self-driving as a stepping stone to artificial life, why Comma doesn’t do marketing, the regulatory environment, eyes off vs hands off, why self-driving cars are easier than general robotics, liability, functional safety, the Tinygrad machine learning framework, who’s using it, and much more.

George Hotz is the founder of comma.ai and the tiny corp. He is working on self driving, robotics, and ML infrastructure with the goal of creating an operating system for silicon-stack life.