100 episodes

Have you found yourself experiencing a lot of stress recently? Do you want to be more creative? Stewart Alsop interviews successful creatives to find out how they work with and manage the stress that is inherent in creative work. He investigates the questions: "What is the connection between stress and creativity?"

Crazy Wisdom Stewart Alsop

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9 • 66 Ratings

Have you found yourself experiencing a lot of stress recently? Do you want to be more creative? Stewart Alsop interviews successful creatives to find out how they work with and manage the stress that is inherent in creative work. He investigates the questions: "What is the connection between stress and creativity?"

    The Complexity Spectrum: Bridging the Gap Between Now and the Future

    The Complexity Spectrum: Bridging the Gap Between Now and the Future

    Guest: Julie Fredrickson, Managing Partner at Chaotic Capital. Chaotic Capital is a seed-stage investment vehicle that focuses on ideas adapting humanity to complexity. Follow her on Twitter Adapting to Complexity:
    Julie raises the essential question: "What is the primary factor linking humanity to complexity?" As things change, it's vital to learn how to adapt and evolve. It's about more than just the traditional liberal-conservative divide. Understanding Change:
    Discussion on "Chesterton’s fence" – a principle highlighting the importance of understanding the reasons behind a tradition before discarding it. We often don't have all the information about why certain systems or structures exist. The concept of a "conservative accelerationist" is introduced. What traditions or values do people want to preserve in the face of rapid change? Historical Perspective & Our Understanding:
    Examples from history highlight our ever-evolving understanding. A millennium ago, the earth was thought to be centered; 500 years ago, it was believed flat. The movie "Men in Black" underscores the fluid nature of human understanding, challenging our conceptions and paradigms. Julie emphasizes the power of human inference – our unique ability to draw conclusions from information. Given our current knowledge, how does this skill evolve, and what questions do we need to ask to better understand our surroundings? Role and Limitations of AI:
    The conversation delves into whether we've provided enough context to AI systems. A significant concern is AI alignment – to what or whose standards is AI being aligned? Is it the median human, societal norms, or something else? The prospect of AI achieving human-like inference and skepticism is explored. Can AI be trained to question and fact-check itself? The Internet, Open Source, and Corporations:
    A retrospective on the internet's evolution, from closed corporate internets to open source. The dilemma of whether we'll be using corporate Large Language Models (LLMs) or open-sourced LLMs in the next five years. Culture, Symbols, and Power:
    Julie's career in fashion, beauty, and luxury offers insights into symbols and semiotics. Language isn't the only medium of communication. Who truly owns culture, and who holds the power? Transhumanism and Medical Ethics:
    Julie discusses her college days as a medical ethicist researching cloning during 2002-2006. The topic of transhumanism is broached. Julie posits that in many ways, we are already transhuman, referencing technologies like fertility treatments. There's a debate about the risks of corporate interests dominating AI and transhumanist technologies. The future is uncertain, and it's impossible to predict the outcomes fully. Preparing for the Age of Acceleration:
    Quoting William Gibson, "The future is here, but it's unevenly distributed," Julie ponders the accelerating pace of change. She seeks solace and insights from groups focused on effective accelerationism and those termed "doomer optimists." Julie touches on resource scarcity, arguing that human wants will always exceed available resources. She briefly addresses the topic of prepping and the challenges associated with it. Conclusion:
    Julie underscores the importance of agency. It's essential to ask who's influencing our decisions and who's potentially programming our behaviors.

    • 59 min
    Futurescape: Dialogues in Digital Consciousness

    Futurescape: Dialogues in Digital Consciousness

    Introduction: David Hundley is a Machine Learning Engineer who has been deeply involved with experimenting with Large Language Models (LLMs). Follow along on his twitter
    Key Insights & Discussions:
    Discoveries with LLMs:
    David recently explored a unique function of LLMs that acted as a 'dummy agent'. This function would prompt the LLM to search the internet for a current movie, bypassing its training limitations. David attempted to utilize this function to generate trivia questions, envisaging a trivia game powered by the LLM. However, he faced challenges in getting the agent to converge on the desired output. Parsing the LLM's responses into a structured output proved especially difficult. Autonomous Agents & AGI:
    David believes that AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) essentially comprises autonomous agents. The prospect of these agents executing commands directly on one's computer can be unnerving. However, when LLMs run code, they operate within a contained environment, ensuring safety. Perceptions of AI:
    There's a constant cycle of learning and revisiting motivations and goals in the realm of AI. David warns against anthropomorphizing LLMs, as they don't possess human motivations. He stresses that the math underpinning AI doesn't align with human emotions or motivations. Emergent Behavior & Consciousness:
    David postulates that everything in the universe sums up to a collective result. There's debate over whether living organisms possess true consciousness, and what it means for AGI. The concept of AGI emulating human intelligence is complex. The human psyche is shaped by countless historical experiences and stimuli. So, if AGI were to truly replicate human thought, it would require vast amounts of multimodal input. A challenging question raised is how one tests for consciousness in AGI. David believes that as we continue to push technological boundaries, our definition of consciousness will keep shifting. Rights & Ethics of AI:
    With advancing AI capabilities, the debate around the rights of AI entities intensifies. David also touches upon the topic of transhumanism, discussing the trajectory of the universe and the evolution of humans. He contemplates the potential paths of evolution, like physically merging with technology or digitizing our consciousness. AI's Impact on Coding & Jobs:
    David reflects on the early days of AI in coding. He acknowledges the transformative potential of AI in the field but remains unworried about AI taking over his job. Instead, he focuses on how AI can aid in problem-solving. He describes LLMs as "naive geniuses" - incredibly capable, yet still requiring guidance. Open Source & OpenAI:
    David discusses the concept of open source, emphasizing the transparency it offers in understanding the data and architecture behind AI models. He acknowledges OpenAI's significant role in the AI landscape and predicts that plugins like ChatGPT will bridge the gap to further automation. Math's Role in AI:
    The conversation delves into the importance of math in AI, with David detailing concepts like gradient descent and its role in building neural networks. David also touches on the evolution of AI models, comparing the capabilities of models with 70 billion parameters to those with 7 billion. He predicts that models with even more parameters, perhaps in the trillions, will emerge, further emulating human intelligence. Future Prospects & Speculations:
    David muses on the future trajectory of LLMs, drawing parallels with the evolution of AlphaGo to AlphaZero. The episode concludes with philosophical musings on the nature of consciousness and its implications on world religions.

    • 50 min
    The Tomorrow Blueprint: The Science Behind Fiction - Pablos Holman

    The Tomorrow Blueprint: The Science Behind Fiction - Pablos Holman

    Introduction: In this episode, the renowned Pablos Holman (Website) discusses how science fiction is transitioning into reality, particularly in the realm of technology. Drawing on his expertise, Pablos sheds light on revolutionary concepts that are pushing the boundaries of what was once believed impossible.
    Main Points:
    Space-based Solar Energy:
    Pablos recently witnessed the conception of a company aiming to place solar panels in space. The primary challenges on Earth, such as clouds and nighttime, are nonexistent in space, which experiences constant light. The innovative solution involves capturing this 24/7 solar energy in space and transmitting it to Earth through radio waves, a concept called "Vertis Solis." This can potentially offer scalable, carbon-free energy. The Dyson Sphere Concept:
    A theoretical idea that involves surrounding a star with solar panels to harness its energy. While it remains an extreme long-term science fiction aspiration, its possibilities are intriguing. Wireless Energy Transfer:
    Wireless energy transfer isn't new; it's how radio and wifi work. However, they aren't optimized for transferring substantial energy. With advances in beam steering technology, this might soon change. By focusing solar arrays directly at antennas on Earth, efficient energy transfer can be realized. Space Exploration and Ecosystem:
    Cost has always been a limiting factor. From the space shuttle days, where reusable rockets were only a dream, we've come a long way with companies like SpaceX bringing the cost down significantly. With the lowered cost, activities like manufacturing and asteroid mining in space become more feasible. These ventures, although promising, also come with huge technical risks. Manufacturing in Space:
    There are inherent advantages to space manufacturing. The vacuum of space can produce better-quality computer chips. The absence of gravity also has significant effects on the atomic scale, potentially enhancing semiconductor production and other goods. Investment Curve and Deep Tech:
    Holman emphasizes that while software is indeed revolutionizing industries, it's essential not to neglect deep tech. Unlike typical startups focused on short-term applications, deep tech aims at the fundamental challenges facing humanity. Challenges with 3D Printing:
    While the concept of 3D printing was groundbreaking, its real-world application faced obstacles. The solution lies in a different approach – building layer by layer, utilizing recyclable inputs like used coffee grounds, thereby revolutionizing manufacturing. Misconceptions and Course Corrections:
    Pablos asserts that humans often latch onto the wrong stories or misconceptions, hindering progress. He cites examples like the confusion between reactors and bombs, and the historical outlawing of psychedelics, which are now considered potential treatments for PTSD. Closing Remarks:
    Pablos stresses the importance of storytellers in shaping our future. The right narrative can direct our collective efforts towards genuinely transformative goals. He invites listeners to connect with him and shares that he's fortunate to meet innovative minds daily, always pushing the boundaries of possibility. Contact: For those intrigued by Pablos' insights, he can be reached at pablos@deepfuture.tech and also listen to the Deep Future podcast.

    • 47 min
    Uncharted Territory: Unlocking the Full Potential of AI Through Neuroscience with Subutai Ahmad

    Uncharted Territory: Unlocking the Full Potential of AI Through Neuroscience with Subutai Ahmad

    Show Notes for Crazy Wisdom Podcast Episode with Subutai Ahmad Introduction The episode features Subutai Ahmad, the CEO of Numenta and a pioneering figure in both neuroscience and artificial intelligence (AI). The discussion navigates the complex relationship between the human brain's architecture and contemporary AI models like deep learning systems. Topics range from the historical evolution of these disciplines to the cutting-edge research that could shape their future.
    Historical Perspective The initial inspiration for artificial neural networks came from our rudimentary understanding of how neurons and connections work, going back to the 1940s. Donald Hebb significantly influenced the back-propagation model developed in the 1980s. Hebb's work, combined with the discoveries of Hubel and Wiesel in the '50s, laid the groundwork for understanding how neurons learn features from the visual world, including edge detectors and higher-level shapes.
    State of Neural Networks Today Despite advancements, today’s neural networks still rely on a simplified model of what a neuron is, and they differ fundamentally from biological systems. One glaring difference is in power consumption; a human brain uses only about 20 watts, while running a deep learning network can require power equivalent to an entire city.
    Learning Modes and Algorithms Deep learning systems usually operate in two modes: inference and training. In contrast, the human brain doesn't distinguish between these states, learning continuously from environmental stimuli. Algorithms, particularly back propagation, are still part of the problem. They try to minimize error, unlike the brain, which adapts and learns contextually.
    The Numenta Angle Founded by Jeff Hawkins and Donna Dubinsky, Numenta has been researching to understand the principles underlying brain function. Recently, they have focused on applying this understanding to AI. Their approach comprises three main pillars:
    Efficiency: Using 'sparsity' to mimic the brain's efficient use of connections. Neuron Model: Incorporating the complex nature of neurons for continuous learning. Cortical Columns: Employing a standardized neural circuitry model to replicate intelligence. The Road Ahead For the future, Subutai discusses the need for AI systems to be autonomous and embodied, suggesting that agency and embodiment are crucial aspects of intelligent systems. He also touches on the importance of including elements like neuromodulators and even explores the potential role of quantum physics in neural processing.
    Conclusion We are in a transformative era where AI is far from being fully realized. Organizations are still trying to grasp how to incorporate these technologies effectively. However, the future is promising, especially with interdisciplinary approaches like Numenta's that blend neuroscience with AI, focusing on understanding the brain's core principles to improve AI's capabilities.

    • 53 min
    Patterns, Predictions, and Productivity: Mikkel Steen's Vision for Everest and Beyond

    Patterns, Predictions, and Productivity: Mikkel Steen's Vision for Everest and Beyond

    Introduction: Mikkel Steen, CEO of Everest (reach out directly: mikkel@everestassistant.com), discusses the modern business environment and how his company Everest fits within it.
    Changing Work Environment:
    Remote and Asynchronous Work: Mikkel observes shifts towards more remote and asynchronous work and the need to replace traditional meetings with efficient alternatives. Tools and Models: He mentions various tools to facilitate asynchronous work, like newsletters for team updates, to provide a better, more engaging model. Opportunities and Challenges: While seeing many opportunities, Mikkel also notes the fallacy of simply replacing in-person meetings with Zoom and the challenges of coordinating different time zones. Everest's Role and Offerings:
    Executive Support System: Everest is creating an advanced executive support system, aiming to handle various aspects of a person's life, from scheduling to purchasing, more empathetically. Role of EA (Executive Assistant): Mikkel likens an EA to Robin for Batman. EAs are considered amplifiers, filters, reminders, and therapists that help in various professional and personal adjustments. Therapeutic Support: Everest's EA makes people feel cared for, addressing the loneliness often felt in leadership roles. Differentiation from Other Services: Unlike mere therapy, Everest's service also considers the productivity aspect and actively assists in various tasks. Technology's Impact on Everest:
    Automation and Human Connection: Everest integrates technology to handle routine tasks, allowing more time for human interaction and understanding. Coordination Costs: The reduction of coordination costs is a key focus, allowing Everest to be more efficient and proactive. Conscious Living and Autopilot:
    Understanding Autopilot: Mikkel delves into how about 99% of decisions are made unconsciously. Recognizing and observing these patterns leads to more conscious decision-making. Role of EA in Mindfulness: The support of an EA allows individuals to have more focused attention and make more conscious choices, helping them regain control over their lives. Scaling Everest:
    Challenges in Scaling: Mikkel shares Everest's plans to scale and the complexities involved, from recognizing patterns to delivering on promises. Coordination and Patterns: Mikkel speaks about the necessity to decrease coordination costs and recognize new patterns in scaling functions. Everest's Approach to Productivity:
    Proactivity: By predicting moves and intentions, Everest allows users to become more proactive. Data Utilization: Through collecting and analyzing data, Everest can engineer profiles to assist clients better. Philosophical Insights:
    Patterns and Predictions: Mikkel discusses pattern recognition and how humans are naturally equipped for this, which is fundamental to Everest's approach. Health and Prevention: He compares Everest's role to eating healthily and preventing problems rather than merely solving them. Mindfulness in Decision Making: The path to more conscious decision-making involves focusing on what's essential, something that Everest facilitates by acting as a shield and aid. Concluding Remarks:
    What's Next for Everest: Mikkel ends with a discussion about Everest's future, emphasizing scalability and the need to recognize new patterns. Connecting with Mikkel: Listeners can write directly to Mikkel to connect: mikkel@everestassistant.com This summary provides an expansive overview of Mikkel Steen's thoughts on the modern business environment, Everest's unique approach, and the integration of technology and human empathy to create a holistic executive support system. His insights on conscious living, scaling challenges, and human connection offer a thorough understanding of Everest's mission and future goals.

    • 55 min
    The Notion of Complexity: Ben Borowski on Managing Information and Building Systems

    The Notion of Complexity: Ben Borowski on Managing Information and Building Systems

    Show Notes: Crazy Wisdom Podcast with Ben Borowski, Notion Ambassador Introduction Guest: Ben Borowski, Notion Ambassador, and creator of the Notion Mastery Program. Notion Mastery Program Training & Development
    Trained over 2000 students, focusing on various elements of Notion. Three tiers of training: Familiarization with Notion and basic usage. Interaction with databases. Advanced user base, including linked databases and UX design. Aimed at helping small businesses. Notion Master's Journey
    A build-with-me journey featuring 3 levels of development: How to use pages, build components, and sample projects. Automation, buttons, and tracking journeys. Demo days, Notion team interactions, and maintaining long-term customer relationships. Balancing features and avoiding overwhelm in product development. Ambassador Community
    Focus on quality improvements and driving revenue. Addressing the severity of issues. Integrations with Notion
    Collaboration with Anthropic and Notion for interface creation. Generation of code and long-term goals. Knowledge Management Complexity Theory & Building Second Brain
    Study of complexity versus complicated systems. The concept of building a second brain. Ideation, capturing information, linking, and workspace architecture. Permaculture to business systems and organizational self-analysis. Technology & Change
    How technology changes what we capture and memorize. Distillation and expression of acronyms. Observation and experimentation. Issues and Solutions
    Dealing with templates and modification challenges. Addressing various parts of Notion and filling knowledge gaps. Permaculture & Nature
    Application of permaculture principles to business. Observational phases and chaos in access. Personal Dynamics & Workspace Design Analyzing & Building
    Designing in-person workspaces and organizing thoughts. Embedding brand and permaculture in business. Analyzing organizational thoughts and communication. Software & Analytics
    Analytics and web hook systems in Notion. Reacting within the system and handling public page sharing. Observing, monitoring, and privacy concerns in Notion. Notion Mastery Course & Reorganization
    Training resources, tips, and managing complexity. Stakeholder interviews and designing team spaces. Course as a library of exercises, ranging from beginner to expert, with workshops.

    • 51 min

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66 Ratings

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Huge Fan

Favorite podcast

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In a world where everything is scripted to a synthetic end, allowing organic threads to settle into their own purposefull web of complexity and meaning is the goal itself. Crazy Wisdom folks!

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