Michael Stevens, aka Vsauce, has the biggest education channel on YouTube. In this conversation, Lex Fridman discusses various things about science, philosophy and life with Michael.
Philosophy And Physics
The way to move forward is to have a physical foundation for philosophy. You can’t know about the quantum states of atoms and things, probably. But if you get to know about the functioning of the human body with philosophy, it will help.
For example, what is a self-reference when you talk to yourself.
Consciousness, being self-aware, are big ideas. Why you need to be self-aware anyway. These are difficult questions, and Michael thinks it will take another thousand years to understand it, maybe.
Free Will And Universe
Is the Universe going on a predeterministic path and free will don’t exist?
Michael doesn’t know – rightly; he doesn’t care. Whatever it is, he wants to live life as if. And that’s the best choice to live, you have consciousness and self-aware – you can’t do much about it, so own it and live.
Perception And Reality
There is no way to know whether you are living reality or not. Yes, you saw a cat but that’s just some neurons hitting you and creating an image.
It can create those regardless there is a real cat or some inputs of a real cat.
You don’t know – but you need to live as if it’s real, that’s the only sane way for now.
Simulation theory is a great way to introduce people to some of the deep questions.
And the simulation theory is popular right now because of the pace at which things are progressing; it seems evident that simulation is a real possibility, and it would be hard to tell the difference.
Are you living in one such simulation – there is no way to prove either way, and that’s the fascinating thing.
Science And Progress
No matter what you believe in, there needs to be a common ground where you accept that learning is important and so is understanding at the rational level.
Ego makes things hard to understand. New ideas are opposed, but you should take it with a scientific approach and then try to do experiment, hypothesis and come up with less uncertainty than before.
Michael found about the flat earth via an online forum. And he couldn’t wrap his head around the commitment people had.
You always reduce uncertainty with science; you never prove anything. There is always doubt and it’s healthy.
Don’t dismiss people about having different ideas, talk about it – explore and then come to a coherent conclusion.
What Is Michaels Goal
Sure, you can believe in a flat earth or not, he doesn’t care much. He wants you to think in a better manner, introduce topics like geometry, gravity and forces.
Explain to them once you are hooked onto a topic – and that’s his real goal with all his videos.
To lure you in and teach a bunch of things.
Michaels View On Artificial Intelligence
What is intelligence – what would be the test to qualify it as one.
For starters, if the robot screams and makes Michael feel guilty for the hurting, then that’s a start.
He is afraid of nuclear advancement. One of the theories is that the sky is so empty because once a civilisation gets to this level of nuclear advancement – it eventually destroys itself.
But not afraid of AI because often the worries are such which has to be addressed later. And not come as a stumble in advancement.
Why AI Should Be Fine
Let’s compare babies with AI – you can have the same feat that they can grow to become evil and hurt you. So should you ban babies, that’s what laws are for.
Technology and you are independent, and the relationship is growing, and it has to – for your progress, it’s inevitable.
Elon Musk And AI
Elon does a lot with his ventures, and he has amassed a lot of following. Michael is curious to know what his psychology is.
With such great fandom, you get responsibility because whatever you do, there are lots of eyes on you.
Michael too feels the burden with his fan following. So he approaches his content with accuracy and sharing the real work. Also being funny. He wants you to be curious.
Michaels suspicion is that it’s an algorithm designed to make you stick longer on YouTube. And it reflects back on you.
Whatever you click on more and stay longer, they will recommend that variety more. So if there is a video of a traditional celebrity dancing and Vsauces video, you decide what to click.
Based on that, the YouTube shows you the mirror.
You can ask YouTube to show certain kind of shows more to the society for good. But then you are restricting and defining what good is.
Many shows have organically grown on YouTube, which isn’t on Amazon Prime or Netflix. So whatever YouTube shows – it’s a mirror. You have the power.
One thing Michael misses was that earlier when he used to like some videos; it would show up on his subscribers feed. That was a great feature, he hopes they bring it back.
Death And Vsauce
Sure death is real and it will get in time. Michael is glad that he will get out of the future thinker’s way and become a memory – whatever they want.
And that’s what makes humans so unique, better than any light spectrum or whatever.