Artificial Intelligence, Cryogenics, & Procrastination with Wait But Why’s Tim Urban

January 19, 2017
In this episode we discuss what Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking all consider the single greatest threat to humanity, why “death” is not binary event that makes you transition from being alive or dead at a specific moment in time, we ask if you would spend $1000 on a chance to live forever, we look at the biology behind cryogenics, vitfrication, and putting your body on biological pause, and we explore why poverty, climate change, war, and all our problems melt away in the face of one massively important issue with our guest Tim Urban. 
 
Tim Urban is the creator of Wait But Why and has become one of the most popular writers on the internet with fans such as Maria Popova, Sam Harris, and Elon Musk.
 
His content has become so popular that according to Fast Company he has “captured a level of reader engagement that even the new-media giants would be envious of” with an average of over 1.5 million unique readers visiting and engaging on Wait But Why each month. 
 
We discuss:
  • Tim’s story and how he got started with Wait But Why
  • How Tim writes about everything from the human condition, to the universe, the future and huge technology trends
  • How Tim becomes a mini-expert in tons of different fields
  • How Tim overcomes massive procrastination to achieve his goals 
  • The interplay between “The Rational Decision-Maker”, “The Instant Gratification Monkey” and "The Panic Monster”
  • The vital importance of "important but not urgent" activities 
  • Tim’s struggle with perfectionism
  • The importance of creating accountability to overcome procrastination 
  • What Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking all consider the single greatest threat to humanity
  • Why Artificial Intelligence is the single most defining issue facing humanity
  • Are you smarter than a computer?
  • The difference between “narrow” artificial intelligence, “general” artificial intelligence and artificial “superinteliigence"
  • What happens when artificial intelligence develops the ability to improve itself?
  • Why the AI revolution is inevitable and will take place within the next 20-40 years
  • Why poverty, climate change, war, and all our problems melt away in the face of artificial superinteligence 
  • The battle between instant gratification and long term planning - how it relates to procrastination and AI
  • Why the notion that cryonics is the act of “freezing” “dead people”is fundamentally wrong on several levels
  • Why “death” is not binary event that instantly transitions you from being alive or dead at a specific moment in time
  • The biology behind cryogenics, vitfrication, and putting your body on biological pause
  • Would you spend $1000/year for a chance to live forever?
  • “The truth is, involuntary death sucks”
  • The body is just a physical object that can be upgraded and replaced
  • And much more!
 
If you love exploring relevant and highly fascinating scientific topics - listen to this episode! 
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