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Fallible Animals

Fallible Animals

By Logan Chipkin
We talk about our deepest theories across science, philosophy, economics, and morality. We also explore the history of ideas.

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Property Rights, Argumentation Ethics, and Praxeology with Stephan Kinsella

Fallible Animals

Constructor Theory of Information with David Deutsch
This is my interview with David Deutsch, Visiting Professor of physics at the Centre for Quantum Computation, the Clarendon Laboratory, Oxford University and an Honorary Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford. We discuss the constructor theory of information, some of its conjectured principles, the unification of classical and quantum information, and more.    Constructor Theory of Information paper -
January 19, 2021
Quantum Field Theory & Qubit Field Theory with Sam Kuypers
This is my interview with Sam Kuypers, a DPhil student at Oxford University. We discuss the problems with quantum field theory, how qubit field theory seems to solve some of these problems, and how constructor theory might aid the development of qubit field theory. Qubit Field Theory - Constructor Theory of Information -
October 8, 2020
Probing Hybrid Systems with Vlatko Vedral
This is my interview with Vlatko Vedral, a professor of quantum information science at Oxford University. We discuss the difference between dynamical laws and principles in physics, the role that the principles of constructor theory play in discovering new dynamical laws, the constructor theory of information,  his research (in collaboration with Chiara Marletto) into probing hybrid systems in which quantum mechanical objects interact with gravity, and more. Relevant publications: 1. Gravitationally-induced entanglement between two massive particles is sufficient evidence of quantum effects in gravity - 2. Quantum effects in the gravitational field -
September 25, 2020
Fermions, Principle of Locality, and Formalizing Constructor Theory with Nicetu Tibau Vidal
This is my interview with Nicetu Tibau Vidal, a DPhil student at Oxford University. We discuss his research, which includes demonstrating that fermions conform to Einstein's principle of locality. We also discuss his ongoing research project of formalizing constructor theory. Video Version, Part One - Video Version, Part Two -
September 15, 2020
Property Rights, Argumentation Ethics, and Praxeology with Stephan Kinsella
Joining me today is patent attorney and libertarian theorist Stephan Kinsella. Mr. Kinsella is the author of the book, Against Intellectual Property, and is the founder and director of the Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom. He is also the founder and editor of Libertarians Papers, and he’s a member of the Editorial Board of Reason Papers.   We cover a wide range of specific topics, from property rights, argumentation ethics, whether or not praxeology is falsifiable, common arguments against the existence or morality of anarcho-capitalism, and potential connections between praxeology, free will, and constructor theory. Stephan Kinsella's website - Stephan Kinsella's Twitter - Mises: Keep It Interesting - A Libertarian Theory of Contract: Title Transfer, Binding Promises, Inalienability - How We Come to Own Ourselves - Against Intellectual Property - Twitter - Website - Patreon -
December 18, 2019
Fallible Animals Episode 11: A Life Worth Creating with Carlos De la Guardia
I speak with Carlos De la Guardia, an amateur AGI researcher and musician  with a longtime interest in Popper and Deutsch. We discuss how one can apply the philosophy of critical rationalism, and some of David Deutsch’s ideas, to 'real life'. How should one act, given that problems are inevitable, and life is literally unpredictable? We also discuss how critical rationalism may help us to have more productive disagreements, effective altruism, and the universal constructor. Carlos' Twitter - Twitter - Website - Patreon - Some books mentioned:  Zero to One, by Peter Thiel - The Logic of Scientific Discovery, by Karl Popper - The Lunar Men: Five Friends Whose Curiosity Changed the World, by Jenny Uglow -
December 9, 2019
Fallible Animals Episode 10: Interview with Physicist Sabine Hossenfelder
I interview physicist and science writer Sabine Hossenfelder. She is a Research Fellow at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies, where she leads the Analog Systems for Gravity Duals group and researches quantum gravity. We discuss ideas from her book, Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray, such as the role of philosophical ideas of beauty, naturalness, and elegance in fundamental physics and the sociological factors that affect scientific research. We also discuss often misunderstood ideas in fundamental physics, such as the difference between a Grand Unified Theory and a Theory of Everything, and the difference between time-invariance and time reversibility.  Dr. Hossenfelder's Twitter - @skdh Dr. Hossenfelder's book, Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray - Dr. Hossenfelder's website - Dr. Hossendelder's blog - My appearance on Christofer Lovgren's podcast, Do Explain - My recent article with Areo Magazine, People and the Cosmos: Constructor Theory - Patreon - Twitter - Articles -
November 29, 2019
Fallible Animals Episode 9: Laws vs. Principles
We discuss the difference between laws versus principles as elucidated by constructor theory, and why it matters. Constructor theory may be thought of as a 'theory of theories' whose principles constrain other theories. Just as these subsidiary, object-level theories constrain the behavior of physical phenomena, so too constructor theory, as a meta-level theory, constrains the behavior of object-level theories both known and unknown. Constructor theoretic principles can also constrain and solve problems with theories that explain inherently unpredictable phenomena, such as those of biology, economics, and epistemology. My patreon page - Economic Creationism - Twitter - Articles - Foundational Paper on Constructor Theory - Constructor Theory of Life - The Upright Thinkers -
November 16, 2019
Fallible Animals Episode 8: Interview with Astrobiologist Lewis Dartnell
I interview award-winning astrobiologist and science writer Lewis Dartnell. We discuss themes from his most recent book, Origins: How The Earth Made Us, as well as ideas from his field of study, astrobiology. Dr. Dartnell holds the Professorship in Science Communication at the University of Westminster. Interview topics include: how the Earth's cycles may have driven human evolution, humanity's search for extraterrestrial life, the shadow biosphere, why some civilizations came to dominate the globe, and more. Dr. Dartnell's homepage - Dr. Dartnell's Twitter - Twitter - Articles -
November 11, 2019
Fallible Animals Episode 7: Interview with Science Writer Graham Farmelo
I interview award-winning science writer Graham Farmelo. We discuss ideas in his latest book, The Universe Speaks in Numbers, including the relationship between math and physics, whether the laws of Nature are invented or discovered, the history of the relationship between the communities of mathematicians and physicists, current progress in physics, and much more. Shortened transcript of interview - Dr. Farmelo's website - Dr. Farmelo's Twitter - Link to The Universe Speaks in Numbers - Twitter - Articles -  
November 3, 2019
Fallible Animals Episode 6: Interview with Physicist Chiara Marletto
I interview Oxford physicist Chiara Marletto, who has been working on constructor theory for several years. She's published papers on its applications to various fields, including those of information, thermodynamics, life, and probability. We discuss the origins and motivations of constructor theory, problems the theory may solve, current research programs, the universal constructor, response to potential criticisms, why constructor theory can explain more of Reality than the prevailing conception, and more.  Constructor Theory Homepage - Constructor Theory of Thermodynamics - Constructor Theory of Probability - Constructor Theory of Life - Constructor Theory of Information - Twitter - Articles -
October 27, 2019
Fallible Animals Episode 5: What is a Constructor?
We continue our exploration of constructor theory, our deepest theory in physics. We learn about the conceptual tools used in the theory, such as constructors, tasks, and substrates. We explain how constructor theory solves a few philosophical problems, such as whether or not causation is real, and what knowledge is in physical terms. We explain why constructor theory expresses knowledge as a fundamental quantity in Reality. Finally, we define a universal constructor and suggest that future research may prove the possibility of its creation. Foundational Paper on Constructor Theory (preprint) - Twitter - Articles -
October 21, 2019
Fallible Animals Episode 4: Intro to Constructor Theory
We motivate and introduce Constructor Theory, humanity's first Theory of Everything (or so I claim). We explain what the founder of Constructor Theory, David Deutsch, calls the prevailing conception, and why it is inadequate in capturing and explaining many phenomena in nature, such as evolution by natural selection, the growth of knowledge, and various principles that we hold to be true. We briefly discuss why Constructor Theory allows for a wider range of phenomena than does the prevailing conception.  Foundational Paper on Constructor Theory (preprint) - Twitter - Articles -
October 15, 2019
Fallible Animals Episode 3: Progress as Error-Correction
In this episode of Fallible Animals, we discuss how it is that sciences progresses, despite the fact that all science is conjectural. It turns out that progress entails reducing errors in our worldview. We define knowledge and review its growth over the course of history. Finally, we take as a case study our ever-improving understanding of our own Solar System, from Copernicus to Kepler to Newton.    Transcript of Karl Popper's lecture/essay entitled 'Objective Knowledge' -  Foundational Paper on Constructor Theory (preprint) -  Twitter -  Articles -
October 8, 2019
Fallible Animals Episode 2: Intro to Critical Rationalism
We begin our discussion of the philosophy of knowledge called Critical Rationalism. We briefly review the intellectual climate in which it was created, and we discuss some of the core concepts, such as the conjectural nature of scientific theories, Popper's criterion of demarcation, and the role of criticism in science. Twitter - Links to my articles -
September 28, 2019
Fallible Animals Episode 1: Introduction
Introduction episode to the Fallible Animals podcast. I very briefly describe the philosophy of critical rationalism, and I hint at the worldview that will be the foundation of the show. More on both in future episodes, as we continue to explore ideas in science, philosophy, economics, and morality, and their history. Twitter - Links to my articles -
September 24, 2019