Evolve Faster with Scott Ely

Into the Rabbit Hole We Go…Cautionary Tales of Philosophical Fiction

(EF42) S2-E3: Civil Individualism: Loneliness Atop Mount Empowerment

February 18th, 2020

Going against society has the empowering feeling of standing alone on the top of a mountain. But is it even possible to climb to such heights without falling into the lonely pit of self-delusion? And what does it really mean to be an individual? Sam Payne is finishing her Ph.D. in physics under the advisement of a professor making a controversial claim as to why the Big Bang wasn’t the beginning of the universe; his new theory of everything posits a universal force which is being interpreted as proof that God exists. Sam gets caught in the crossfire between the professor and the angry mob of protesting college students who believe he is trying to bring Creationism to universities. On a knife’s edge in life and career, the increasing pressure on Sam’s individualism is insisting on a drastic plan. Will Sam have the guts to carry it out?

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(EF41) S2-E2: Transhuman Fallibility: The Existential Risk of a Superhuman Future

February 4th, 2020

Technology is like a powerful drug that can either improve you or make you miserable and dependent. Is it our evolutionary fate that we will become superhuman? Or is the codebase of human nature inherently too fallible for the story of transhumanism to end well? Will Storia is a graduate student whose Ph.D. work in history and evolutionary psychology is evolving into a manifesto about radically changing the trajectory of civilization.  On his show, The Next Evolution, he argues to a global audience that we are at the edge of an abyss, about to hand off what remains of our humanity to machines. His latest guest is John Weber, a revolutionary techie, who believes technology will solve all of humanity’s problems. As they publicly clash with the world watching, Will worries how people might twist his ideas; because it’s increasingly obvious that John’s transhuman ideology has already become a religion.

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(EF40) S2-E1: Dehumanized: The Search for Self in the Devil’s Looking Glass

January 21st, 2020

Sam, a 16-year-old from the South, organizes a school walkout to protest the technological trends leading society towards an AI-run government-owned by corporate tech royalty. Will this lead to a near future of radical inequality between the transhuman haves and have-nots? Facing backlash from the previous generation which refuses to look itself the mirror to see the truth, Sam learns that social conformity hasn’t changed since at least the 14th-century witch hunts. Instead of getting burned on a stake, will Sam get devoured by cultural pressures where everyone is expected to wear their given mask and mimic one another in the social mirror?

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(EF39) S2-E0: LIFE, UPGRADED: Welcome to Season Two of the Evolve Faster Podcast

January 9th, 2020

Life in society is a complex web of humanity, egos, varied cultures, clashing ideals, shifting values, conventional wisdom, and conflicting rules. There are no universal rules defining how to live and be happy; but a life unchained and upgraded is a wise, if difficult, path.

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(EF38) AMA-EF13: Flow, Creative Improvisation and Other Altered States of Consciousness Ask Me Anything for Episode EF13

December 10th, 2019

EF38 is an Ask Me Anything about Episode EF13 (The Bloody Fingerprint of Creativity).  Where does creativity come from?! It’s impossible to understand if creativity is born as soon as we are or is creativity a quest we need to work to achieve. Or maybe, it’s both?

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(EF37) BTP-EF13: Where Creativity Comes From and How to Find Your Uniquely Bloody Fingerprint Behind the Podcast of Episode EF13

November 26th, 2019

EF37 is a Behind The Podcast about Episode EF13 (The Bloody Fingerprint of Creativity).  The driving question of this episode is ... Where does creativity come from?! Art, imagination, and creativity aren't mystical powers divinely granted to only a few, but instead are a cumbersome process where you need to wake up every day and work hard — just like any other job requiring hard work and years of practice. Although everybody wants to be creative, it's the will we usually lack. But, unlike some mysterious force we can't define, the will is more than attainable. Do you have the guts to face the failures you'll have to endure to attain it?

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(EF36) AMA-EF12: Pyrrhic Victory and Finding the 10% of Your Mind that Defines Who You Are Ask Me Anything for Episode EF12

November 12th, 2019

EF36 is an Ask Me Anything about Episode EF12 (Wired to Fail: Leveling Up in the Game of Life). What defines us? Success, failure and fear are the three main ingredients that define what we are and what we can and will be. But how much freedom and power do we have at controlling how much of each ingredient goes into the pot? 

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(EF35) BTP-EF12: Cryptocurrencies Gaming and Leveraging Failure to Help Us Define Who We Are Behind the Podcast of Episode EF12

October 29th, 2019

EF35 is a Behind The Podcast about Episode EF12 (Wired to Fail: Leveling Up in the Game of Life).  The driving question of this is ... What defines us? What have you done in your life that makes you feel proud? Although it can be anything — from having a satisfying job to a blossoming relationship with a person you love, we often don't know what defines us. It's not as easy as its three simple words imply. 

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(EF34) AMA-EF11: On Perfection the AI Alignment Problem and Possibility of Quantum Leaps of Creativity Ask Me Anything for Episode EF11

October 15th, 2019

EF34 is an Ask Me Anything about Episode EF11 (When the Lights Go Out: The Blinding Light of an Artificial Future). For the first time, humanity can feel someone breathing on its neck in the neverending evolution race. As AI develops, we can be sure it will give us a real run for our money. So will humanity see this as a challenge to further evolve, or will we get overwhelmed by the unprecedented capability of a machine? Do we stand a chance when for everything humanity took centuries to perfect, AI can master in days or weeks? Can our ape-like brains even comprehend what might be around the next curve of this Next Evolution?

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(EF33) BTP-EF11: The Evolution of Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Creativity Behind the Podcast of Episode EF11

October 1st, 2019

EF33 is a Behind The Podcast about Episode EF11 (When the Lights Go Out: The Blinding Light of an Artificial Future).  The driving question of this episode is ... Can machines think, be creative or fall in love? It's obvious we're witnessing the dawn of artificial intelligence (AI). As the generation living through and directing this big change, we have to feel both excited and nervous. What will the next step be? Will machines become a new race with their own rights to live, love and create? How might the change — potentially a quantum leap — affect humanity?

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(EF32) AMA-EF10: Mind Control Through a Well Chosen Tattoo and the Unlikely Case of Being Happy Enough Ask Me Anything for Episode EF3

September 24th, 2019

EF32 is an Ask Me Anything about Episode EF10 ((The Road to Happiness is Inked in Suffering). The driving question of this episode (and this BTP) for you to think through is ... Does happiness define the good? The eighth episode of the first season of the Evolve Faster Podcast Episode is driven by the big question Does happiness define the good. We want to be happy, yet there are only a few people who can honestly claim that. So are we hardwired to sadness or simply bad at our job?

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(EF31) BTP-EF10: Dharma Modifying Negative Thinking and the Never Ending Pursuit of Happiness by Embracing Suffering Behind the Podcast of Episode EF10

September 17th, 2019

EF31 is a Behind The Podcast about Episode EF10 (The Road to Happiness is Inked in Suffering). The driving question of this episode (and this BTP) for you to think through is ... Does happiness define the good? We need to be happy to feel good. Even a 4-year-old child knows this somewhere in the chaos of their still-evolving mind. Thus, it seems logical the closer we are to becoming happy 24/7, the better. But when was the last time you met someone who achieved this? And have you ever thought through the practicalities of such a scenario?

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(EF30) AMA-EF9: Emotional Manipulation Tribalism and Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Think Before you Feel Ask Me Anything for Episode EF9

September 10th, 2019

EF30 is an Ask Me Anything about Episode EF9 (I Feel, Therefore I am: Capsized on the River Emotion).  The driving question of this episode (and this AMA) for you to think through is ... Can rationality and emotions coexist? We wish we don’t feel pain, sorrow or sadness. But what if somehow we managed to remove every single emotion. Could we really exist? The seventh episode of the first season of the Evolve Faster Podcast Episode is driven by the big question Can rationality and emotions coexist. We wish we don’t feel pain, sorrow or sadness. But what if somehow we managed to remove every single emotion. Could we really exist?

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(EF29) BTP-EF9: Waging War Between Reason and Emotions and the Importance of Leaving Things Unresolved Behind the Podcast of Episode EF9

September 3rd, 2019

EF29 is a Behind The Podcast about Episode EF9 (I Feel, Therefore I am: Capsized on the River Emotion).  The driving question of this episode (and this AMA) for you to think through is ... Can rationality and emotions coexist? We tend to put people (and ourselves) into two groups: people who are rational, and people who are emotional. So what should you strive being? A rational or emotional person? Rationality is usually more encouraged as too many emotions can blur your mind. But is it that simple?

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(EF28) AMA-EF8: Drugs, Consciousness Manipulation and Cheating Your Way To a Better You Ask Me Anything for Episode EF8

August 27th, 2019

EF28 is an Ask Me Anything about Episode EF8 (Without a Compass: All Who Sail the Seas of Identity Are Not Lost). The sixth episode of the first season of the Evolve Faster Podcast Episode is driven by the big question Who Am I? Many people use drugs to make quick “fixes” to their identity. But if there was a drug that could instantly change you once and for all, would you take it?

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