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39 – Transhumanism (pt 2)

Under the Aegis of Transhuman Spiderman + Other Considerations (and Listener Feedback Catch-up)

The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect, by Roger Williams
The Golden Age, by John C Wright
Utopia, LOL?, by Jamie Wahls (+audio version)
Red Legacy and Other Stories, by Eneasz Brodski

Making Beliefs Pay Rent
The Psychological Unity of Humankind, by Eliezer Yudkowsky
 – counterpoint: The Psychological Diversity of Mankind, by Kaj Sotala
Dunbar’s Number/Monkey Sphere

IQ actually doesn’t correlate with unhappiness. It’s either uncorrelated or weakly correlated with happiness! /surprised

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38 – Transhumanism (pt 1)

Going beyond our meat-suits

Transhumanism as Simplified Humanism text. Also available in audio here, starting at 6:52

Eneasz with PZ Meyers, Eliezer Yudkowsky, and David Brin: The Immortality Debate

The Fun Theory Sequence (also – here’s a quick summary, but the summaries really never do the sequences full justice)

Chinese scientists genetically modify human embryos

China accused of engineering its most famous sporting export (Yao Ming)

The Singleton

Louis C.K.’s Incurable Shitty Ankle

Fiction Mentioned:
Eneasz’s short story “Host” (plus others) is now available in a collection, both print and ebook!
The Quantum Thief, by Hannu Rajaniemi
The Golden Age, by John C. Wright
Friendship Is Optimal, by Iceman

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37 – AlphaGo Returns

AlphaGo is back. Patrick talks about its latest accomplishments, its future, and other topics in game advances.

Our first AlphaGo episode (a very early one, sorry about the audio quality)

News of the most recent AlphaGo adventures

Steph Curry’s training is on a new level

Eneasz’s favorite type of tool-assist challenges – Item Abuse.


Sam Harris speaks with Tristan Harris about the arms race for human attention, the ethics of persuasion, and more


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36 – The Other Kind of Drugs

All the cool kids are doing podcasts about drugs, so…

The DARE program’s lack of efficacy (see also: Wikipedia page on DARE studies)

How to get addicted to heroin without really trying. Eneasz thought he read this in The New Yorker, but it was actually Cracked, which is like the New Yorker except more prestigious.

Sam Harris’s podcast episode “Drugs And The Meaning of Life

Slate Star Codex – Why Were Early Psychedelicists So Weird?

American culture’s treatment of alcohol makes abuse worse – Short BBC article, Super Long Website, Huge PDF (Shelly points us to p156 & p386).

The “wet house”

Portugal decriminalized all drugs in 2001 and is doing pretty well

Some areas of northern Mexico are basically cartel-states now

Eneasz couldn’t find any back-up for his claim that all cultures experience a 100-year pause in development after the discovery of alcohol, and since alcohol has been around since basically the start of civilization, he’s beginning to suspect that anecdote was meant as a joke.

Fake alcohol can still get people drunk (within limits)

The experience of a woman did acid weekly for almost a year and nearly died (not daily, as we’d mentioned in the episode). Fascinating post.

A presidential aide to Nixon reports that the Drug War was specifically about targeting the groups Nixon felt were his enemies.

Do children see the sky as blue, or even see “it” at all, before we tell them it’s there? Maybe Not

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35 – Your Brain on Nootropics

** Fixed the audio. Please re-download for the correct episode. **

Drugs that boost mental performance for dummies.

Did caffiene help kickstart the Enlightenment era?


/r/nootropics for your nootropic discussion needs

Other places to discuss include Nootropics Depot and Longecity

Gwern’s posts on nootropics in general, and in-depth on Modafinil in particular

The Flynn Effect

The Last Psychiatrist’s Ritalin/Adderall post

You Pass Butter

The survey project where they’re gathering data on what humans would want self-driving cars to do in trolley-problem-like situations. Pretty fun!

Blindsight by Peter Watts on Amazon. Also available free from the author!

What Is It Like To Be A Bat? (note: PDF)

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34 – Lies, All Lies!

Slate Star Codex article – You Kant Dismiss Universalizability

Wikipedia page on the Revelation Principle

Eliezer’s post on LessWrong – Ends Don’t Justify Means (Among Humans)

Another LessWrong post – Protected From Myself

Louis CK bit on Lying (1:46 seconds long)

Short book by Sam Harris on Lying (six minute preview of audiobook)

Scott Alexander post on LessWrong – The Worst Argument in the World

The Prevalence of Lying in America: Three Studies of Self-Reported Lies

Kim B. Serota, Timothy R. Levine, & Franklin J. Boster


Eliezer_Yudkowsky 05 July 2009 comment on Not Technically Lying by Psychohistorian


Are animals capable of deception or empathy? Implications for animal consciousness and animal welfare

S Kuczaj, K Tranel, M Trone, H Hill

Animal Welfare. Special Issue 10:161- 173 (2001)


Comadena, Mark E. “Accuracy in detecting deception: Intimate and friendship relationships.” Annals of the International Communication Association 6.1 (1982): 446-472.

Comadena’s study finds that friends & spouses have better deception rates than acquaintances, but friends have better deception rates than spouses. So, it’s more like closeness helps your lie-detection ability up to a point, but past that point of closeness, it starts to hurt instead of help. Some other studies show no significant difference between detection rates of strangers vs people in close relationships


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