Physicist Brian Greene on Ray Kurzweil's Singularity Predictions | Joe Rogan


4 years ago



Brian Greene

2 appearances

Brian Greene is a theoretical physicist, mathematician, and string theorist. He has been a professor at Columbia University since 1996 and chairman of the World Science Festival since co-founding it in 2008. His new book "Until the End of Time" is now available:


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Black holes, wormholes & other things I'll never understand


Kurzweil is a fascinating character. Yeah, he thinks he's going to be around forever. Yeah, that's why I was bringing him up. Have you discussed any of this stuff with him? You know, I don't know him personally. I have certainly gone to some of his talks, and I think he and I had one exchange at some point in the past, and I totally get where he's coming from. You know, he feels that we're perhaps the final mortal generation, and how sad it is. After, you know, 100,000 generations of humans, if we could only stick around for one more generation, science would come to a point where we would be immortal, and that feels like a tragic state of affairs. I don't think he's right, and I think most people who think about this deeply don't think he's right either. However many vitamins you take, and however much science is progressing, the notion that we are just a generation or two from immortality, I think, is wishful thinking. This is a strange concept of immortality too, because it's not necessarily you. It's a downloaded version of you that will exist in some sort of a computer, which is, what does that mean? That sounds like hell. Yeah, it could be. Yeah, how's REM sleep in that computer? Well, I allow for the possibility that maybe it would be a way of being in the world that would have upsides that are hard for us as flesh and blood individuals to appreciate at this point. But it raises the deep question, would that be a good thing? In fact, if you had that opportunity to be downloaded in some form, and that would allow you to hold on to all your memories, build new memories on top of them, have experiences, maybe there's an avatar that you're able to drive through, your mental machinations who's out there in the world, would you do it? I might have said yes before I've had some pretty profound psychedelic experiences. And then from then I said, I'm gonna hedge my bets. I'm gonna see what's next. I'm gonna see what happens when the lights go out. Oh really? So you think there may be something that happens when the lights go out? I don't know. I don't know what, I mean, for sure, your body's going to decay and you are going to become a part of the earth. You're becoming a part, unless they cremate you or unless they embalm you with some toxic chemicals and then nothing can use your dead tissue, which is really a shame. It's really a shame that we do that, right? Yeah. Unless someone murders you and you have to exhume you in the future whether to solve a murder. Okay, I'm gonna go back to the next question. I'm gonna go back to the next question.