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Plant-Strong
Ep. 182: John Tanner, PhD - In a Heartbeat, from Death to Plants

Plant-Strong

Play Episode Listen Later Feb 2, 2023 62:04


Let's cut right to the chase today. A whole food, plant-based diet CAN save your life.  It sounds like hyperbole, but it isn't, because today's guest is living proof.  John Tanner was out on a run in 2009 and went into cardiac arrest. He collapsed to the ground and his heart stopped beating. Fortunately, the quick action of others to get help saved his life.  In recovery, John started reading everything he could about the causes of heart disease and how to prevent it. His research, of course, led him to the work of Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr, T. Colin Campbell, and others. He learned what most doctors don't know: Heart disease need not exist. It is reversible and, in most cases, preventable.  John tells his harrowing story and discusses the remarkable advocacy work he is doing now with his non-profit NuSci and food delivery company, Little Green Forks.  In fact, he's offered a generous discount code at Little Green Forks: Rip15New to receive $15 off your order.  A plantstrong diet brought him back to life and it can help you, too. About John Tanner, PhD John Tanner earned his M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Caltech. John is the Founder and CEO of Tanner Research, Inc., an advanced R&D company that was named to the "LA Fast 50" five years in a row and that develops software, electronics, and robotics. Dr. Tanner is also the founder and Director of NuSci, The Nutrition Science Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving lives through education of nutrition science. More recently he founded the healthy meal delivery company, Little Green Forks.   Episode Resources Watch the Original Episode on YouTube Episode Webpage NuSci.org Little Green Forks - Use code: Rip15New to receive $15 off your order To stock up on the best-tasting, most convenient, 100% PLANTSTRONG foods, including our new granola and teas, check out all of our PLANTSTRONG products HERE. Join us in Black Mountain, NC for a Transformative PLANTSTRONG Retreat - April 16-21, 2023 https://plantstrongfoods.com/pages/2023-black-mountain-retreat Give us a like on the PLANTSTRONG Facebook Page and check out what being PLANSTRONG is all about. We always keep it stocked full of new content and updates, tips for healthy living, delicious recipes, and you can even catch me LIVE on there! We've also got an Instagram! Check us out and share your favorite PLANTSTRONG products and why you love it! Don't forget to tag us using #goplantstrong

The Thorne Podcast
It's Personalized: The Future of Data-Driven Health

The Thorne Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Feb 1, 2023 39:04


Tune in this week as special guest, Dr. Leroy Hood, an accomplished scientist best known for his integral work on the Human Genome Project, discusses data-driven analysis of chronic diseases and how our genomes may be able to provide individualized health recommendations in the future. During this episode you'll learn about: Leroy Hood, MD, PhD, a world-renowned scientist in human genomics, cancer research, Alzheimer's research, co-founder of the Institute of Systems Biology (ISB), and whose research allowed for the completion of the Human Genome Project [00:00:50] Hood's personal life/ early scientific background [1:27] Hood's famous Caltech professors and what they taught him [7:03] The systems biology approach of applying data taken over time to the body's networks [9:33] Using a digital twin system to forecast Alzheimer's disease and make recommendations [13:25] How blood samples taken years before a disease diagnosis present an opportunity [16:44] What's the future of DNA sequencing for disease susceptibility? [19:31] Questions from the community [24:02] How did the Human Genome Project change the everyday person's life? [24:09] Is cancer becoming more common, or are we getting better at detecting it? [27:49] Could the CRISPR technique/ genome engineering help extend the human lifespan? [31:49] Resources to topics mentioned in this episode: Three Science-Backed Lifestyle Changes to Lower Your Dementia Risk How Chronic Inflammation Contributes to Disease and What You Can Do About It Mayo Clinic: Exploring the Connections Between the Microbiome, Health, and Disease How Plant Based Foods Help Fight Cancer Eight Nutrients for Brain Health Our Newest Health Panels – Advanced and Essential Data from a Basic Blood Draw What Can a Microbiome Test Tell You That a Genetic Test Can't? Will Exercise Extend Your Lifespan? Links to products mentioned in this episode:   Subscribe To More Content Make sure to never miss an episode by subscribing to the show on your podcast app. You can also learn more about what we talked about by visiting Thorne.com and checking out the latest news, videos, and stories on Thorne's Take 5 Daily blog. * These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.   No products mentioned. Focus was on chronic diseases/ genetics, so I figured linking tests would be less suggestive than products.

This Week in Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence (AI) Podcast
How LLMs and Generative AI are Revolutionizing AI for Science with Anima Anandkumar - #614

This Week in Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence (AI) Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 30, 2023 61:44


Today we're joined by Anima Anandkumar, Bren Professor of Computing And Mathematical Sciences at Caltech and Sr Director of AI Research at NVIDIA. In our conversation, we take a broad look at the emerging field of AI for Science, focusing on both practical applications and longer-term research areas. We discuss the latest developments in the area of protein folding, and how much it has evolved since we first discussed it on the podcast in 2018, the impact of generative models and stable diffusion on the space, and the application of neural operators. We also explore the ways in which prediction models like weather models could be improved, how foundation models are helping to drive innovation, and finally, we dig into MineDojo, a new framework built on the popular Minecraft game for embodied agent research, which won a 2022 Outstanding Paper Award at NeurIPS.  The complete show notes for this episode can be found at twimlai.com/go/614

Shaping Opinion
Frances Arnold, Nobel Recipient, Pioneered Directed Evolution

Shaping Opinion

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 30, 2023 26:16


Nobel Prize recipient Frances Arnold joins Tim to talk about winning a Nobel Prize honor for her pioneering work in “directed evolution,” which harnesses the power of evolution to enhance products throughout society – from biofuels and pharmaceuticals, to agriculture, chemicals, paper products and more. Directed evolution was in the news this week tied to Covid jab research. We talk with Frances about her journey and her work that is changing the world for the better. This episode was originally released November 5, 2018. https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/shapingopinion/Encore_-_Frances_Arnold_Nobel_Recipient_Pioneered_Directed_Evolution.mp3 Since the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was first awarded in 1901, 117 years ago, only four women had won the honor, and in October, American Frances Arnold became the fifth. The professor of chemical engineering, bioengineering and biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology, received the honor for her pioneering work in “directed evolution.” Frances's work centers on the directed evolution of enzymes, proteins that serve as catalysts for chemical reactions that take place in living organisms, animals and people. In its most simple form, the process focuses on harnessing the power of natural evolution to solve problems for society. Frances is the Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering and Biochemistry at Caltech. Today, directed evolution is used in research laboratories around the world to create things from laundry detergents to biofuels to pharmaceuticals. Enzymes created with through this process have been able to replace some toxic chemicals traditionally used in industry. Frances shares the prize with George Smith of the University of Missouri, who created a “phage display” process for protein evolution, and Gregory Winter of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in the United Kingdom, who used phage display for antibody evolution. Arnold was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her undergraduate degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering is from Princeton University. Her graduate degree in chemical engineering is from UC Berkeley. She has been at Caltech since 1986, first as a visiting associate, then as an assistant professor, and progressing to professor in 1996. In 2017, she became the Linus Pauling Professor. She became the director of the Donna and Benjamin M. Rosen Bioengineering Center at Caltech in 2013. Frances is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Royal Academy of Engineering. How Directed Evolution Works Directed evolution is similar to how animal breeders mate cats or dogs to create hybrids or new breeds of animal. To conduct directed evolution mutations are induced to DNA, or a gene, which “encodes” a particular enzyme. That mutated enzyme, along with other thousands, are produced and tested to what Frances calls a desired trait. The preferred enzymes are selected, and the process continues until the enzymes are working to achieve a desired outcome or solution. “I copy nature's design process. There is tremendous beauty and complexity of the biological world, but it all comes about through this one, simple, beautiful design algorithm.” – Frances Arnold Links Frances Arnold Wins 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Caltech Frances H. Arnold Group Caltech scientist is among 3 awarded Nobel Prize in chemistry for sparking ‘a revolution in evolution', LA Times The Latest: Nobel chemistry winner credits team at Caltech, Washington Post Nobel winner overcame personal loss, cancer, and being a woman, NBC News

astro[sound]bites
Episode 67: Breaking the Stigma Around Community College Part I

astro[sound]bites

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 29, 2023 56:06


Did you know that half of our astro[sound]bites co-hosts went to community college? We're here to talk about our experiences and work towards breaking the stigma! This is our first episode in this two part series which features Kiersten's trajectory from community college into a brilliant exoplanet scientist. Next, Alex interviews Dra. Natalie Nicole Sanchez, an NSF MPS-Ascend postdoctoral fellow at Carnegie Observatories and Caltech, whose interest in astrophysics was sparked while studying art at community college. Join us on a whirlwind tour of engineering, love affairs, and artistic endeavors - and stay tuned for an associated astrobites post!   Link to Dra. Sanchez's twitter: https://twitter.com/the_n_nicole

ECO CHIC
210: America's Historic Nuclear Fusion Breakthrough | Dr. Tammy Ma, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

ECO CHIC

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 21, 2023 40:31


The news of a major nuclear fusion breakthrough seemed to break the internet last month - we've all got questions, and we're all so excited about this new potential renewable energy source. I'm deeply honored to be joined by Dr. Tammy Ma, Lead Scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's National Ignition Facility, to discuss this scientific milestone. Dr. Ma explains the significance of this ignition reaction for the scientific and energy communities, challenges to scale, and the incredible potential benefits of energy access worldwide. Dr. Tammy Ma earned her bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering from Caltech in 2005, then received her master's degree in 2008, and Ph.D. in 2010, both from the University of California, San Diego. Following graduate school, she completed a postdoc at LLNL before becoming a staff scientist in 2012. Ma was recently awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Science and Engineering, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on early-career science and engineering professionals. She also received the American Physical Society 2016 Thomas H. Stix Award for Outstanding Early Career Contributions to Plasma Physics Research. Articles for your nuclear fusion curiosities: Scientists Achieve Nuclear Fusion Breakthrough With Blast of 192 Lasers (NY Times) Why nuclear fusion is so exciting (Harvard Gazette) DOE National Laboratory Makes History by Achieving Fusion Ignition (US Dept of Energy) Thanks to our sponsor! Use code ECOCHIC60 for 60% at GreenChef.com/ECOCHIC60 PS - I'm hiring! Email your resume to me at laura@lauraediez.com with a blurb about why you'd feel you'd be a good fit to support ECO CHIC's PR/marketing. Meet me online - @ecochicpodcast on Instagram + @lauraediez on Tiktok.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

The Zeitgeist
Rea Dulcetta and Anton Restuta - Sharky.fi Co-Founders, EP 17

The Zeitgeist

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 18, 2023 35:23


Rea Dulcetta and Anton Restuta - Co-Founders of Sharky.fi join Brian Friel on the latest episode of The Zeitgeist. Sharky.fi is the first escrow-less, decentralized NFT lending protocol on Solana that brings DeFi liquidity to NFTs. Are you NFT-rich but SOL-poor? Sharky.fi allows you to instantly borrow SOL by using the NFTs in your wallet as collateral. For lenders who want to earn yield on their SOL, Sharky.fi allows users to offer loans for specific NFTs in a collection and earn yield in return.In this episode, Rea and Anton share their journey into web3, how Sharky.fi works, their views on NFT royalties, and their vision for the future of NFT-backed lending.Show Notes:01:10 - Background / Origin Story 02:57 -  Why Solana and NFTs? 06:54 -  What is Sharky? How does it work?09:55 -  Transition from web 2.0 to Web 3.0? 15:18 -  NFT collection 20:03 - State of royalties on Solana26:24 -  Sharky's roadmap and vision for the future31:44 -  A builder they admire in the Web3 ecosystem34:10 -  Learn more about Sharky Full Transcript:Brian (00:06):Hey everyone and welcome to the zeitgeist, the show where we highlight founders, developers, and designers who are pushing the Web 3.0 Space forward. I'm Brian Friel, developer relations at Phantom and I'm super excited to have on today the founders of SharkyFi, Rea and Anton Sharky is the leading NFT lending protocol on Solana. Rea and Anton, welcome to the show.Rea (00:29):Hi, so excited to be here.Anton (00:31):Hey everyone. Thank you for having us.Brian (00:33):I'm super excited to have you guys on, I think we actually first met way back last summer. We were all working out at the Solana Labs office in San Francisco. For those who have never been there, it's a really cool environment where a bunch of ecosystem teams are huddled together, iterating on ideas. You guys were very early to this concept of NFT lending and since then you guys have just exploded in success. Before we dive into all things Sharky, I'd love to know a little bit about you guys in particular. Who are you guys, and how did you come to start working on this idea of Sharky in the Solana Labs office in San Francisco?Rea (01:10):Oh, yeah. Well, that's a pretty long journey, but yeah, I've always been a fan of startups. I think I started engaging in startups even when I was in college. I started hacking using my college student manual labor to really hack for free back then. And I really fell in love with the idea of being able to have so much impact. And I think that you can have impact anywhere if you're passionate about what you're doing. But there's something that's really intrinsically beautiful about being able to touch something so closely, be able to talk to someone about the problems they're having and then actually solve that. Do all parts of that. Being more than just a full-stack developer, being a full-desk founder where you do the design, you have to walk through the customer stories. So I found that entire thing really exciting.(01:59):So I've been bouncing around startups since and Anton and I actually co-founded a startup before this for engineers because we really like the idea of giving back. And Sharky is another way that we're giving back to another community. We're really, really proud to be part of the NFT Degen crowd and this is some way that we can actually give NFTs lasting power. We can give NFTs this sort of financial backbone that it needs to really be this asset that people don't have to take so lightly and think of as just JPEGs. So I'm really excited to be contributing to that cause.Brian (02:33):That's awesome. So Rea, you graduated from CalTech, I see you were the former founder of Slack community and then as you mentioned, you co-founded a startup with Anton. Both of you guys do have an engineering background. Anton, I'd love to know from you what brought you guys over from working in Web 2.0 Together? What was it about Solana and NFTs that made you guys think this is a problem we're solving?Anton (02:56):Yeah, so I had also pretty long journey before I came to Solana. I'm originally from Ukraine. I started way back when as just an engineer working there. I remember pretty well how board startup was pretty scary for me. It felt like, "Oh, it's a whole different world. I don't know if I'll ever be ready to help my own startup and things like that." Then I moved to the United States, moved to Bay Area and Silicon Valley and all of this became way easier and way more tangible. And I started working at a lot of early-stage startups, kind of preparing myself for the journey. Then co-founded my first company and then I met Rea after work we were working on again one of the startups and we met just engineers and we faced some problems in that company as engineers that we were unsolved and we thought, well how about we just hacked something over weekend and also had another common friend, mutual friend and was like, "Well, let's hack it together. It seems fun. Maybe we can solve this problem."(03:59):Most of the stories like that, it grew slowly, we got our first customer, we sold our own problem, and somebody wanted to pay us for it. Then we started thinking, "Well, maybe it's going to be a business." And we grew it to a pretty substantial profitable company. Our goal was to try building a company, try running a startup, try working together, but keep it small, keep the company small in all the separations. And I think we succeeded on that. And since then, I kind of worked a little bit on other Web 2.0 companies, worked on education, passionate about education, and we've been in crypto as an investor for quite some time. And I think last year in August, I think that's where I first heard about Solana, maybe in July.(04:48):But August when I seriously read about it, I listened to podcast with Anatoly (Yakovenko), was impressed with just general intelligence and thinking behind how conceptualization of ideas and the grand vision I get similar wipes, how that I got from Steve Jobs when I first listened to his presentations, and I wanted to build here and try how it feels. And I think I pitched Solana in kind of this whole space to be at, and we came to Miami for Solana's second hacker house, kind of met a bunch of people in the ecosystem, fell in love with all the people we met and the energy around. And that's where a decision was made to, well, how about we found the company here. And by that time, we already were passionate about NFTs and saw them as the future, if anything would bring crypto to the real world. I think the first theme of concept that is likely to do it is NFTs.(05:47):And it felt good to be early in that journey. It felt good to kind of try and build something fundamental. And I think financial products are very fundamental for NFTs and that's kind of how we got to it. And we were not sure at first, we were all very confused kind of how things work in general and not how technology works I guess how dynamics of building Web 3.0 companies works. That was definitely a new and very, very interesting journey. But yeah, that's how we met and that's how we started.Brian (06:18):Yeah, I love that. And so you guys had this key early insight that Solana was unique. You mentioned listening to Natoli, getting those Steve Job vibes, but then also that NFTs were really what was bringing it into the mainstream a little bit more. At the time that I met you guys, pursuing this financialization of NFTs was basically unheard of in Solana. I'd definitely say that was a contrarian bet and then now that's worked out pretty well. Could you walk through for the uninitiated, what is Sharky? What is it that you guys are doing for people? How does all of this work under the hood?Rea (06:54):So what we do is allow you to take all these JPEGs in your wallet and basically use it as a credit card. If you're willing to put the JPEG on the line, then you get access to a lot more of that liquidity. So anytime people say, "I'm rich in JPEGs, but illiquid AF." This is what Sharky comes into play, you can take those NFTs that you have and actually put them as collateral in a loan and then you can take out that money and do whatever you want with it and then you pay back that loan and then you get an NFT back.(07:32):Now, traditionally this requires you to actually put your whatever, if you're using a physical object, your grandmother's heirloom ring, you would have to put it in a safe box somewhere and not have access to that during the time that you have access to the money. But what we actually have done is allowed you to be able to do this in wallet. So you keep your NFTs in your wallet, you don't actually have to send them away somewhere and never see them again. You hold onto the NFT during the loan, and you just can't move it around, so it's locked in your wallet. So the escrow is effectively staying in your wallet and then when you pay back the loan, then the NFT gets unfrozen and you can do whatever you want with it.Anton (08:11):Yeah, and I guess the second side of what Sharky is about is we also allow you to be a lender. We'll allow you to lend money versus borrowing them. So in the traditional world, it's either you go to a bank and bank lends your money or maybe you go to some pawn shop and that small pawn shop lends your money. There is not really a lot of opportunity to be a lender just as an individual. And that's what Sharky also allows and that's one of the most talked about features I would say. You hear lots of stories on Twitter, Twitter threads, basically how to make money in the bear market, and usually Sharky comes up. So as a lender you can lend money. I would say you need to be somewhat knowledgeable about the space. You don't have to be an expert, but at least be aware of what's going on. And you can make a pretty substantial yield with Sharky in the current volatile market. But yeah, so that's that we're kind of creating this two-sided market in a sense. Rea (09:09):Brian, aren't you a lender?Brian (09:11):I have tried it out. It is a pretty interesting novel phenomenon. We have a few folks at Phantom who I would say are, I don't know if the term whale is right because it's Sharky, but giant sharks, I guess. But...Rea (09:23):Whale sharks.Brian (09:25):I am curious because to build all this, you mentioned that building a Web 3.0 company is pretty different from your previous Web 2.0 ventures. It's not just a consumer app that you guys are building, which is already hard enough trying to build a two-sided marketplace, get these consumers. You guys also had to build the plumbing and the protocol for all this to happen as well. Talk a little bit about that, the difference between your guys' success and Web 2.0 and what lessons you guys had to learn to bring that knowledge into Web 3.0.Rea (09:56):I think one of the biggest shockers when we came to Web 3.0 is seeing the amount of traction that people were having with no product or even the semblance of one people were raising from community and raising from VCs with, “I have a plan”, and sometimes that plan isn't even very well thought out, but I mean I attribute that to the infancy of the space at the time. I think at the beginning of any bubble that's still inflating, there's just sort of dumping money in and it's exciting. Everyone's euphoric on that whole experience. And now I would say this ecosystem, it's been only a few years, but for most people in this space, it's only been one year. And it's already mature to the point where I see lots of founders that were famous, no longer around, or lots of products that were literally the epitome of – that was your role model when you grew up on Solana.(10:55):And that's also not no longer around. And I think what you see is some of the lasting teams who are continuously building and that's something that I have to hats off to everyone who sort of stuck through the storms on this. But even beyond that, something that I'm noticing is all of that hype and that big rush of raising before pre-product and all of that. That is no longer the extreme meta that we're seeing. We're seeing people having to prove yourself a little bit more, but what I think is also I guess coming to some of the pros I see in Web 3.0 is it's so much more of a community atmosphere to build in. I think previously there was a lot more in Web 2.0 we see more under isolation or you kind of go heads down until you either make it or break it.(11:38):Whereas in Web 3.0 there's a lot more of this open communication. I would say it's almost more similar to if you ever participated in a kickstarter campaign for everyone out there who's Web 2.0 and doesn't understand Web 3.0 yet, you see this continuous discourse while they're sort of raising from the community and having this conversation back and forth. And there's a little log of how the founders are going about this. "Oh, today we had production issues, so sorry about that." But we really nailed a prototype on this other thing. We finally got some of our supply line issues figured out. And that open communication, that transparency is so important, and I dare say a lot of times we kind of idolize some of these tech founders whether Web 2.0 or Web 3.0, but they're human, and their teams are also human and they're really worth learning from.(12:27):So a lot of times you have these stories and you hear and the more transparent a team is, the more you actually get to be a part of that process and it builds so much compassion within the ecosystem because a lot of times I think it can become you're building this thing you promised this time and you said you're going to do the deliver this exact thing, what's up with that? And I think this discourse. One, makes it much more fun to build it. And two, allows the community to be much more excited because a lot of times if you only get the finished product every quarter or whatever, you're not able to really stay continually engaged. So I think a lot of these things makes this much more of a more welcoming atmosphere to build in both for the people we're building it for and for the builders.Anton (13:10):Yeah, I would say it's hard to separate Web 3.0 building from just building and crypto space and I think this space is just very volatile. So I think another side of the story of what Web 3.0 is describing. There's a lot of apps, but there's also lots of downs. There's like market downturns or just space volatility. There's always things that are hard to predict. You wake up every morning and you kind of read the news, Twitter and all kinds of things can happen positive and negative.(13:44):And unlike Web 2.0 companies that move much slower, everything moves faster and if everyone moves faster, it doesn't mean everything is just better. It just means in the condensed time you'll experience these ups and downs. And to me, it's definitely a more challenging aspect I guess as a founder I feel like I needed to step up in terms of mental health and mental stability even more than usual and don't let myself to be too high or too down and try to be more even here that less reactive and more strategic and it's sounds generic but it's real. This pain is real, and the hardship is real.Brian (14:27):Yeah, one year in the crypto ecosystem is living 10 or 20-years in traditional markets, just compressing those ups and downs not only in the market but also as a founder, journey, and all of that as well. I definitely resonate with that. One other thing just on this topic of differences between Web 2.0, Web 3.0 is that you mentioned the community buy-in aspect, you have this community that's rabid. If you haven't seen Sharky's Discord, you go in there at any time you guys have a product update, it's like there's a stadium in there that's going crazy. But in addition to all that, you guys made a pretty interesting decision. You guys, not only are you this protocol for lending NFTs, you also created your own NFT collection. Talk a little bit about that. What is this NFT collection? Why did you guys decide to launch this?Rea (15:18):We are an NFT centric company, so it only made more sense to completely Degen-ify ourselves. I mean there are also business aspects to which I'll let Anton dive into the more boring parts, but I think that has just been just so fun. I mean our entire team is really creative and for me, I've been a part of many NFT projects, whether as a consultant on the team or just help with some of the strategy there, but never taken something that's really fully our own. And we considered hiring other artists, but since we had people that actually are artistic and on our own team, like myself included or championing that effort, it was just really fun to actually take something, give back to the community in a wholly different way than we have in the past with our tech without products. But now actually being able to take our art to the next level and to put it out there with the Sharky standard, that was really, really fun.Anton (16:14):So there are several aspects of why. One, we planned this from the beginning when we started the company. We thought we would do an NFT sale sometime around August and we did this in October. So we were not even that far in our estimation in obviously this aspect of fundraising, kind of public fundraising and you get extra funds for company runway operations, all of that. But it is also what we thought would be useful, but we didn't realize how useful. It's one of the best growth mechanisms for the company because you build in so many incentives for people to promote your company without you doing this. It's kind of like this network snowball effect and that's very powerful. I think all of our metrics pretty much doubled within just two weeks of intense... I wouldn't say promotions because we didn't do promotions of us announcing that we're going to have an NFT collection and how it's all going to work and just trying to sell that vision, pretty much within two weeks we got more customers than we ever had gotten.(17:20):So that's just a very powerful growth strategy. And a lot of companies run NFT projects as a fundraiser before they have a product. I think it's also super useful and nice, but it accelerates growth basically if you do have a product. And third aspect, we want to embrace building in Web 3.0, and I think building in Web 3.0, the major difference from Web 2.0 is building together with your users, users/ investors and that social building is impossible without aligning incentives and alignment of incentives. It basically allows everybody to be part of the journey, allowing everybody to invest, to be holder, to get benefits from platform growth. And that's what we ultimately wanted to do, and experience how it feels to truly build Web 3.0 company, truly build community and succeed with community together.(18:09):So yeah, I guess NFT is not the only way to do it. Realizing and talking through the ideal process would feel somewhat similar but not exactly. I think the NFT community is unique in that it is formed by more, I guess, demanding investors, some smaller, less experienced, but also much more focused on being involved, versus just basically observing the company. So those are the reasons why I would say.Rea (18:37):I would just add that beyond all of the very reasonable or good reasons that we've already said, the community every single day was like when NFT. So I think that was also a pretty big driver for us.Brian (18:49):Fair, definitely fair. It's pretty wild when you go on Twitter, and you just see someone that you've never interacted with before wearing your NFT as a profile picture. In your guys' case you have these cute little baby sharks that are going to power up as the protocol evolves. They're definitely pretty cool. But yeah, I agree it's a pretty wild and unexplored lever for growth when you have users who just are continually showing their allegiance and buying in with displaying these NFTs month, after month, after month. It's pretty wild to see.(19:21):Now that you guys have your own NFT collection, I have to ask you guys, the hard-hitting question that the Solana ecosystem is pondering right now is, what is your take on the state of royalties on Solana? So for those who don't know, every NFT sale traditionally has paid out a percent royalty to the creator, it's baked into the tokens metadata, but this was not enforced programmatically. It required some sort of social buy-in by the marketplace or whoever was selling it. And now months into this NFT journey that's coming under fire, what have you guys seen in Sharky that informs your opinion on what's the state of royalties on Solana?Anton (20:03):Yeah, I think we're in this state where we're trying to figure out how to make it work. So clearly, how it was working before is not sustainable. So right now, it's kind of like everything is broken and with really building and rebuilding, I think incentive systems and also technology, how to make it all possible. I think Sharky's stance is that there needs to be a choice at the time of creating a collection allowing holders to decide whether they want to invest into something where they have to pay royalties or not. I think it's not great to do it retroactively, kind of remove royalties from project creators or introduce royalties to holders when they didn't agree to them, and the choice wasn't possible before. And right now, we have quite a few approaches that make it possible. None of the technical solutions are perfect. So unfortunately, we will have to choose some trade-offs.(21:00):Whatever we choose, we have to support two things. One, we should allow existing collections to migrate all at once without making it to be a holder's decision. So basically, the choice that I described before, allowing holders to decide what projects they want to invest in. Unfortunately, we'll have to kind of reinstate this and make everybody re-decide that if... Let's say as Sharky, we want royalties because it's part of our benefits for holders, part of benefits for the team as well. But maybe some holders don't want royalties, so they would have to exit the project at that point in time and that would be a decision. But what I don't want to happen, what I think would be really bad for the space, if all holders would have to decide one by one whether they want to upgrade their NFT to be royalties enforced or not. I think that should be a choice for creators, for collection owners.(21:52):So that's one aspect of it. Otherwise, it'll be a fractured ecosystem. It'll be kind of like, oh, within the same collection, some sharks from our collection support royalties, some don't. And there'll be confusion all over the place. And second, there is this debate right now. So basically, for context, all of the solutions involve some kind of whitelisting and blacklisting protocols that NFTs allow you to interact with in some sense. In my worldview, the approach with blacklisting is much more forgiving. Imagine if we go with a whitelisting approach, I think there will be a negative consequence for the ecosystem. Let's say Solana Hackathons. I want to experiment and build a new protocol and deploy it to main net and demonstrate how it works. If that protocol is not whitelisted, I cannot demonstrate this using any popular NFTs that use this royalty enforcement because I need to go through approval, I need to get some DAO or some authority or somebody to get my protocol approved.(22:48):And I think that extra hoop, that extra step, just would stagnate innovation and would create a lot of roadblocks, but it'll be in the sense, some kind of perfect solution excluding that because then we can only trade on these whitelisted marketplaces or at least the protocols and everything is great. But I think the trade-off is very significant. Versus if we go with a blacklisting approach, then we can just say, "Hey, you're not allowed to trade with these protocols that are not respecting royalties and the trade-off there will be like, there would be a lot of attempts and protocols (created) to work around royalties short-term and as a space we would have to play the catch up game. We'll have to keep blacklisting them, and keep kind of finding solutions for that. But I think it's better, I think it's better than the alternative because we're still open for innovation. We are kind of permissionless by default, if that makes sense, and require less authority, less authority on decisions. So not a lot of solutions allow for those two. And I don't know where we land in this space, but that's our viewpoint, I guess, on this year.Rea (23:50):I was also going to add that with royalties, you also kind of have this free rider problem if you allow everyone to pick and choose what they want to pay. Because whether it's a team that's not really doing anything and then they're just collecting royalties and you kind of feel bad, they're like, "Oh man, we're all paying and they're just sitting on their asses, that's so messed up." Versus a team that's really actively putting out content or new ways for you to earn or whatever it is that the team is doing. And then you have a bunch of people that don't pay for that and then a bunch of people who think it's worthwhile. So they pay for that. The creators aren't really getting paid for their work and the people that aren't paying for that anyway are also receiving the benefits. So what is the incentive to be a good actor in this case?(24:37):So I think that there are some ways that we've thought about within Sharky about how we incentivize, and people who are not caring about these benefits don't need to have these benefits and they don't want to pay for these benefits. But the people who do care about these benefits can actually be a part of the contributing community. So I think this is a problem that really requires a tailored approach according to what your company or project is doing. And I think I would just like to see more people put more intent towards this, whether you're just a part of the ecosystem, someone who's buying and selling flipping NFTs or a team.Brian (25:08):I think that's a great-nuanced take, which we don't always hear on the crypto Twitter side of things, but I agree it's definitely in this state right now whereas you said, Anton, we kind of have a way to just wipe a clean slate and rebuild this. And there are a lot of benefits to this Web 3.0 ecosystem where it is permission lists by default and people like you guys can come in and build a protocol idea without having to ask anybody's permission and keeping that spirit alive, I think is pretty important.(25:37):So I want to look ahead a little bit, what do you guys see as the future for Sharky? So today, Rea, we started this podcast, you said if you have JPEGs and you're JPEG rich but cash poor, you can lend these things out, you risk losing the NFT, but you can get immediate liquidity on the flip side of that. There's some speculators who think that they'll be able to make a pretty good ROI, assuming that the market holds up. Obviously not financial advice, very, very risky, but that's the current state of things today. As you guys look out about the long-term potential for what NFTs could be, what financialization of NFTs could be lending of these things, what excites you guys? What's on the roadmap and on the vision for Sharky?Anton (26:24):Yeah, it's a good question. So I think we'll be releasing a series of new products next year. So that's one exciting thing. Basically, applying our learnings to make the product better. One of the big ones is mortgages, or Buy Now, Pay Later. We've already been seeing experiments in this space with that. And yeah, basically the overall goal is to allow you to finance JPEGs on the entire spectrum of that. Whether you hold this JPEG or maybe you don't yet hold this JPEG, maybe you just want to get it, but you don't have enough funds to get it or maybe you want to just buy with leverage and buy several. So we want to release that product to the market, allowing you to basically pay a down payment and get an effect. You pay the full price of the NFT later, but still start being a holder immediately. Imagine you can join MonkeDAO and only pay 20% of the price and kind of see what's it about.(27:24):And maybe if you don't like it, you can sell it back but you only invested a fraction, or for any other benefits, you can look at the community or you can just trade. There's two different aspects. Deciding whether you want to be a holder or just trade in with leverage, which we believe will be a pretty popular use case as well. Obviously, there's a lot of nuance with our existing product and we are adding more features to that, but I think one of the things that I'm excited about is not directly a Sharky product feature, but it's more experimenting with user experience in this space. And we've been trying to pioneer at least some approaches and try to see how we can establish new norms. Right now, every interaction with a DeFi protocol on Solana on other chains, I call it click approve UX.(28:12):Basically, you do some meaningful action and then you need to approve a transaction in your wallet. What we want to experiment with is to build a different kind of experience that allows you to interact with protocol and look ahead, do actions, several of them, and then approve it all at once. Basically, making this experience more smooth and fluent. And that's kind of a UX pattern that we are developing. I'm personally very excited about releasing it and seeing how users will accept it, and see whether other protocols and other products will also try to do something similar. And on the NFT side of things, we are releasing our gamified revenue share program. It's not a passive revenue share, it's kind of requires users to actively contribute to the platform, engage with our product and with our NFTs and with that we will share some portion of upside with them. So that's coming pretty soon. And for the next year there's a lot of secret strategies and secret features for our holders that we will release over time. Did I miss anything, Rea, do you think? Like anything major?Brian (29:20):Anything for the clamoring Discord channel that is asking when, when, when any hidden nugget you can drop in here.Rea (29:28):I was like, "Are we going to drop some alpha?" Yeah, I mean I think that there's probably some other further development. I should probably check with the marketing team before I say anything crazy. But there's further development on the NFT that I think the community already knows about and that involves more goodies for the people who are really excited about sharks and love the art style. So there's a lot there. And yeah, I think that's it.Anton (29:54):Yeah. And like you mentioned something about the future of NFTs, how we see that. I think it's very interesting to see the first attempts to bring NFTs to real world assets and tie them together in some ways. And we're already talking to teams who are trying to do that. So our vision is to stay in the space of JPEGs, but also branch into the space of where NFTs start representing assets that could be your car or any collectibles and stuff like that, and provide financial infrastructure there. It'll be a pretty different product because the market is different, volatility is different, but fundamentally it's kind of the same type of incentive systems.(30:36):Fundamentally it's like lenders. Some people could be lenders, people could be borrowers, with just a different structure and maybe different terms of loans. So we definitely want to be in that space as well. And that also requires us to not just build a protocol, but requires us to gain expertise in those specific domains. Because lending is not created equal. What works for NFTs, and JPEGs may not work for collectibles, may not work for houses or cars. It requires different risk models and probably slightly different products. So yeah, that's kind of the vision for the next three to five years is expanding to those areas as well.Brian (31:13):Yeah, that's exciting. I think we can all kind of picture a world where one day those assets are represented on-chain. Obviously, the frictionless nature of transferring those makes a lot of sense. But as you noted, it's important to stay in-the-now and be realistic that right now there's a lot of JPEGs,  and I'd say that you guys are handling that use case pretty well. This has been an awesome discussion. One closing question we always love to ask our users, and I want to hear this take from both of you is who is a builder that you admire in the Web 3.0 ecosystem?Anton (31:45):Yeah, it's really hard to pick one. I would say top of mind is the Tensor team, Tensor founders. So I think both of them are pretty amazing builders. It's impressive to me how just two of them, how much they built and how quickly in this space. And not just with Tensor. I was following their journey before, and they built lots of cool things for the ecosystem and they also just have a good intent. Things they built, they try to align those incentives with just like what's good for the space. Not just like, "Oh, let's build a cool product." There's plenty of really good builders in Solana that just like to build things, but the reason I'm highlighting that team, I think they have a combination of both. They're really good builders but also built things that are very, very important and useful for the space and make the space better. So that's my take. It's Richard  and Ilmoi from Tensor Trade.Brian (32:42):Yeah, Tensor Trade, the real-time NFT trading platform. Rea, your take.Rea (32:48):Yeah, like Anton said, it's pretty hard to pick one. I think if I had to hat tip to my origins, I learned a lot of my early technical knowledge on Solana from Brett, who's now at Star Atlas. And he's done a lot of, I think, open-source work that is just a lot of the necessary work that goes into making the ecosystem something, who builds for the builders, is kind of how I think about him.(33:16):And so he is also been really fun to talk to about the different, if you want to look sort of long and far at what's going to happen to the technology down the line and what are some of the upcoming scalability issues, roadblocks that Solana faces, if you want to just get a pulse on that to be able to build with that in mind so you're not constantly building to catch up. You always have really good conversations with Brett, and I just really like that he's also someone who you can tell is genuinely passionate about the space. He's working on his own time to learn more and also to contribute more. And a lot of times when something happens in the ecosystem, if no one knows what's going on, you can still go talk to him about it. And he always, we can always theory craft and it's always a good time.Brian (34:02):Oh, that's great. Well, Rea and Anton, this has been an awesome conversation. Thank you so much for your time. Where can people go to learn more about Sharky?Rea (34:12):Well, the Sharky.fi is a really good place to start. You can look at the beautiful order books. We've recently rolled out some performance improvements, so that's going to be really fun. And I think nothing creates a better impression than making money. So go and make some money. Not financial advice.Anton (34:31):You can read over white paper on the homepage. Kind of gives you a high-level overview. Otherwise, if you just type “Sharky lend Twitter” in Google, you'll see threats that are written by the community. At this point we've seen more than 10 just not even sponsored by us in any way. Just some lender supporters describe how to use Sharky. And I think those are the best to learn because it's through the eyes of real users and there are even YouTube walkthroughs of how to open Sharky. Yeah, it's a pretty rich ecosystem already.Brian (35:05):Awesome, thank you so much. Anton and Rea, founders of SharkyFi.Anton (35:09):Yeah, thank you for having us. It was a pleasure.

The Real Truth About Health Free 17 Day Live Online Conference Podcast
How The Federal Communications Commission Is Dominated By The Industries It Presumably Regulates

The Real Truth About Health Free 17 Day Live Online Conference Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 11, 2023 10:17


How The Federal Communications Commission Is Dominated By The Industries It Presumably Regulates Dr Martin Pall • https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Martin-Pall• Book – Explaining Unexplained Illness #MartinPall#ChronicFatigueSyndrome #ChemicalExposure Dr Martin Pall is an author. He has a Bachelor of Arts in physics and earned his PhD in biochemistry and genetics from Caltech. Dr Pall was professor of biochemistry and basic medical sciences at Washington State Universityand has published on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  He retired from that position in 2008 since when he has researched on multiple chemical sensitivity and published papers on the effect of low intensity microwave frequency electromagnetic fields on the human body. He has been a critic of the expansion of 5G mobile phone networks and the use of wireless technology generally, believing the technology has negative consequences for human health. His Book, Explaining “Unexplained Illnesses”, Discovers the answer to the mysteries of these debilitating illnesses This book  provides long-sought explanations for the properties of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), fibromyalgia, and posttraumatic stress disorder.  This groundbreaking book examines common symptoms and signs; short-term stressors such as infection, chemical exposure, physical trauma, and severe psychological stress;  why people are often diagnosed as having more than one of these illnesses, and approaches for treating the cause of each disease, rather than the symptoms Explaining "Unexplained Illnesses" provides answers to these questions: • how do short-term stressors initiate chronic illness?• how does the biochemistry of the NO/ONOO- cycle produce chronic illness?• how can the diverse symptoms and signs of these illnesses be generated as a consequence of their common biochemistry?• why is there so much variation in symptoms from one sufferer to another?• what are the principles underlying the NO/ONOO- cycle mechanism?• how does the NO/ONOO- cycle provide explanations for a dozen previously unexplained properties of these illnesses?• how might 14 additional illnesses/diseases also be caused by the NO/ONOO- cycle etiology? Explaining “Unexplained Illnesses” is a must-read for physicians and scientists, and for anyone who suffers from-or knows someone who suffers from—these previously puzzling illnesses. To Contact Martin Pall go tohttps://www.researchgate.net/profile/Martin-Pall Disclaimer:Medical and Health information changes constantly. Therefore, the information provided in this podcast should not be considered current, complete, or exhaustive. Reliance on any information provided in this podcast is solely at your own risk. The Real Truth About Health does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, products, procedures, or opinions referenced in the following podcasts, nor does it exercise any authority or editorial control over that material. The Real Truth About Health provides a forum for discussion of public health issues. The views and opinions of our panelists do not necessarily reflect those of The Real Truth About Health and are provided by those panelists in their individual capacities. The Real Truth About Health has not reviewed or evaluated those statements or claims. 

Airtalk
AirTalk Episode Wednesday January 4, 2023

Airtalk

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 5, 2023 100:05


Today on AirTalk, day 2 of the House Speaker election after Republican Kevin McCarthy failed to win three times yesterday. Also on the show, the extreme winter weather hitting California; the latest on the Southwest flight cancellation debacle; and more. First Time In 100 Years: Latest On Speaker Of The House Vote After No Established Winner In First Round Of Congressional Votes (0:47) The Atmospheric River Continues – What Can We Expect Next? (8:16) California Storms Provide A Promising Start To The Snowpack. But What To Expect The Rest Of The Year? (17:55) The Notion Of A ‘Best Friend' May Be A Recent One – How Come? (32:09) Latest On Southwest Flights Following Cancellations, Turbulent Winter Travel Season (51:01) Caltech's Solar Power Prototype Lifts Off, Opening The Door For Space-Based Energy (1:07:51) Ask Your Loved Ones These Questions – You'll Be Surprised What You Learn (1:23:56)

Inspiring Women Leaders
Episode 17 - Dr Elisa Chiang

Inspiring Women Leaders

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 4, 2023 40:20


Dr. Elisa Chiang wears many hats. Not only is she an oculoplastic surgeon, but she is also a life and money coach, a speaker, and a podcaster.  Dr. Chiang has held many leadership positions, starting at an early age in middle school. She was awarded the Robert Noland Leadership Award at graduation from Caltech.  In medical school, she was the treasurer of AMSA (American Medical Student Association) and secretary and later vice-president of the Medical Science Training Program Council. Elisa was also chief resident of her residency program.  She is now an Assistant Professor at Case Western Reserve University where she teaches medical students.  She also teaches the residents at the Cleveland Clinic Ophthalmology Residency Program and gives talks on personal finance to residency and fellowship training programs across the United States.   Finally, she is the host of The Grow Your Wealthy Mindset Podcast and the Wealthy Mindset MD YouTube Channel. In this episode, Elisa and I chat about:Her leadership roles Her leadership style Her leadership journey The leaders that helped her rise The challenges she faced on her journey How she navigated those challenges How she thinks you can become a strong and kind leader Her 'take home' leadership messages for the listeners, and What she is currently excited to be working on.Dr. Chiang can be contacted via her website (https://www.growyourwealthymindset.com/) or via LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/elisachiang/) and her podcast can be accessed here: https://www.growyourwealthymindset.com/podcast.Please reach out to Dr Harrison for individual coaching and/or organisational training via dr.adam@coachingmentoringdoctors.com.His web address and social media profile links / handles include:www.dradamharrison.comhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/dradamharrison/www.youtube.com/c/DrAdamPhysicianCoachhttps://www.facebook.com/coachingmentoringdoctors/https://www.instagram.com/dradamharrison/https://www.tiktok.com/@physiciancoach

StarTalk Radio
Cosmic Queries – The Future of the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab with Laurie Leshin

StarTalk Radio

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 3, 2023 49:52 Very Popular


Could there be life under the icy surface of Europa? Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic Chuck Nice explore interplanetary missions, asteroid mining, and other exciting launches with the Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Laurie Leshin.NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: https://startalkmedia.com/show/cosmic-queries-the-future-of-the-nasa-jet-propulsion-lab-with-laurie-leshin/Thanks to our Patrons Statton Broxham, Ethan Codyre, Ron Lanier,Nathaniel England, and Roger Lee for supporting us this week.Photo Credit: NASA / Jet Propulsion Lab-Caltech / SETI Institute, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Remake
028. Alan Lightman: Physics and the Rarity of Life

Remake

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 22, 2022 44:30


TODAY'S GUEST   Alan Lightman is an American writer, physicist and social entrepreneur. He served on the faculties of Harvard and MIT, and was the first person at MIT to receive dual faculty appointments in science and in the humanities. Currently, he serves as professor for the practice of the humanities at MIT. In his scientific research, he has made fundamental contributions to the astrophysics of black holes and cosmic radiative processes.   He is the author of numerous books, both fiction and nonfiction, including Einstein's Dreams, an international bestseller, The Diagnosis, a finalist for the National Book Award in Fiction, and his latest book, Probable Impossibilities: Musings on Beginnings and Endings, where he discusses questions of nothingness and infinity, the mind, and the specialness of life.   Alan's essays and articles have appeared in the Atlantic, Granta, Harper's, Nautilus, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, Salon, and many other publications.   EPISODE SUMMARY   In this conversation we talk about: Growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, and living between physics and the humanities. What it was like to study physics at Princeton and Caltech. Working with Richard Feynman. Writing Einstein's Dreams. The connection between physics and spirituality. The topics of entropy and life. The rarity of life. On nothingness and infinity. On the value of wasting time, and many other topics.   This conversation with Alan Lightman is one of a dozen or more upcoming conversations with bestselling authors, thinkers, designers, scientists, and makers who are reimagining our world and experience. So please follow us on your favorite podcasting app, if you haven't already, so that you can make sure you don't miss them.   And now, let's jump right in with Alan Lightman.   TIMESTAMP CHAPTERS   [3:12] Life During COVID [6:40] Early Influences [12:42] On Writing and the Origin of Einstein's Dreams [17:53] A Convergence Between Physics and Spirituality [19:42] The Origin of the Universe [24:40] The Rarity of Life [29:06] A Distinction Between Life and Death [33:26] Nothingness and Infinity [36:39] Finding Meaning in a Multiverse [39:34] The Benefit of Wasting Time [42:33] A Sermon on Disconnection   EPISODE LINKS Alan's Links

Genetics in your world
Ep.4 A new wormy role model for genetics - a discussion with Dr. Mengyi Cao

Genetics in your world

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 19, 2022 29:57


A new role model for genetics? Tune into this latest episode of Genetics in Your World podcast where Dr. Cao from Caltech shares her team's development of a new genetically tractable model system in the #nematode Steinernema hermaphroditum! Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Mind Love ♡ Modern Mindfulness
Hidden Motives for Why We Lie to Ourselves and Others with Robin Hanson, Author of The Elephant in the Brain • 272

Mind Love ♡ Modern Mindfulness

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 16, 2022 75:47


We will learn: Why it is hard for us to think clearly about our nature and the explanations for our behavior. The 4 strands of research that all led to the same conclusion: that we are strangers to ourselves. How to better read signals to understand other people's hidden motives. No one wants to be called a liar, but what if I told you that you, and all of us, lie to each other and ourselves all the time? We are basically political animals and schemers that are constantly looking out for number one without even knowing that we're doing it. To better deceive others, we also deceive ourselves. So that's what we're talking about today. Our guest is Robin Hanson. He is an Associate Professor of Economics and received his Ph.D in 1997 in social sciences from Caltech. And he's also the author of one of the top best sellers in the last decade, “The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life.” Links from the episode: Show Notes: https://mindlove.com/272 Sign up for The Morning Mind Love for short daily notes from your highest self.  Get Mind Love Premium for exclusive ad-free episodes and monthly meditations.  Support Mind Love Sponsors Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

I AM GPH
EP119 Engineering a Healthier Future with Dr. Rumi Chunara

I AM GPH

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 16, 2022 23:10


Dr. Rumi Chunara is an Associate Professor at New York University, where she is jointly appointed at the School of Global Public Health (in Biostatistics and Epidemiology) and the Tandon School of Engineering (in Computer Science). Her PhD is from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, and her BSc is from Caltech. Her research focuses on the design and development of data science and machine learning methods to address challenges related to data and public and population health goals, as well as fairness and ethics in the design and use of data and algorithms embedded in social systems. She is one of the MIT Technology Review Innovators under 35, NSF Career, Facebook Research and Max Planck Sabbatical award winner. In this episode, Rumi talks about the importance of data science and machine learning in the world of public health alongside launching the NYU-Moi Data Science for Social Determinants Training Program initiative which is a collaboration with NYU and Moi university in Kenya.  To learn more about the NYU School of Global Public Health, and how our innovative programs are training the next generation of public health leaders, visit publichealth.nyu.edu.

Mind Love ♡ Modern Mindfulness
Hidden Motives for Why We Lie to Ourselves and Others with Robin Hanson, Author of The Elephant in the Brain • 272

Mind Love ♡ Modern Mindfulness

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 16, 2022 70:17


We will learn: Why it is hard for us to think clearly about our nature and the explanations for our behavior. The 4 strands of research that all led to the same conclusion: that we are strangers to ourselves. How to better read signals to understand other people's hidden motives. No one wants to be called a liar, but what if I told you that you, and all of us, lie to each other and ourselves all the time? We are basically political animals and schemers that are constantly looking out for number one without even knowing that we're doing it. To better deceive others, we also deceive ourselves. So if we're lying to ourselves, why would we even want to learn this information? Aren't we just opening pandora's box? Kind of. But here's a little secret, You automatically have an edge in the game if you know how the game works. So that's what we're talking about today. Our guest is Robin Hanson. He is an Associate Professor of Economics and received his Ph.D in 1997 in social sciences from Caltech. And he's also the author of one of the top best sellers in the last decade, “The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life.” Links from the episode: Show Notes: https://mindlove.com/272 Sign up for The Morning Mind Love for short daily notes from your highest self.  Get Mind Love Premium for exclusive ad-free episodes and monthly meditations.  Support Mind Love Sponsors

ManifoldOne
Geoffrey Miller: Evolutionary Psychology, Polyamorous Relationships, and Effective Altruism — #26

ManifoldOne

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 15, 2022 102:05


Geoffrey Miller is an American evolutionary psychologist, author, and a professor of psychology at the University of New Mexico. He is known for his research on sexual selection in human evolution.For reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoffrey_Miller_%28psychologist%29Steve and Geoffrey discuss:0:00 Geoffrey Miller's background, childhood, and how he became interested in psychology14:44 How evolutionary psychology is perceived and where the field is going38:23 The value of higher education: sobering facts about retention49:00 Dating, pickup artists, and relationships1:11:27 Polyamory1:24:56 FTX, poly, and effective altruism1:34:31 AI alignmentMusic used with permission from Blade Runner Blues Livestream improvisation by State Azure.–Steve Hsu is Professor of Theoretical Physics and of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation at MSU and Director of the Institute of Theoretical Science at the University of Oregon. Hsu is a startup founder (SafeWeb, Genomic Prediction, Othram) and advisor to venture capital and other investment firms. He was educated at Caltech and Berkeley, was a Harvard Junior Fellow, and has held faculty positions at Yale, the University of Oregon, and MSU.Please send any questions or suggestions to manifold1podcast@gmail.com or Steve on Twitter @hsu_steve.

The College Metropolis Podcast: College Admissions Talk for High School Students and Parents
What Selective Schools Look for When SAT Scores are Not Required. Advice from Caltech on How to Show Your Academic Preparation and What to Do to Make Your Application Stand Out

The College Metropolis Podcast: College Admissions Talk for High School Students and Parents

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 14, 2022 45:19


#112 - On this episode, we present advice given by the California Institute of Technology for students seeking admission into selective colleges and universities. We focus on what Caltech says students should do, especially when standardized tests are not part of the admission requirements. We begin by describing what is mean by having great academic preparation, the importance of math and humanities courses for research institutions, and what to do to ensure that your application stands out. This episode is a continuation from the previous episode in which Caltech presented advice on how to prepare during the summer breaks. You can access the show notes for this episode at https://www.collegemetropolis.com. Please help us by giving us a 5-star rating, and leaving us a positive review. That will go a long way in helping us other parents and students who will also find this information useful. Thank you!

Weekly Space Hangout
Weekly Space Hangout — December 7, 2022: The Science of the L1527 "Butterfly" with Dr. Karl Stapelfeldt

Weekly Space Hangout

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 10, 2022 57:26


During our November 16th show, Carolyn Collins Petersen introduced us to the hourglass/butterfly of L1527, an image captured by JWST using its onboard NIRCam. (You can read the original story here. This week we are joined by Dr. Karl Stapelfeldt, Chief Scientist for NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Program at JPL who will help us understand the science behind this amazing structure. Karl earned a B.S.E. in Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Physics at Princeton University, and a Ph.D. in Astrophysics at Caltech. His career at NASA includes positions at both the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and most recently at the Goddard Space Flight Center, where he has served as the Chief of Goddard's Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics Laboratory since 2011. Karl's NASA science contributions include project science roles for the Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes and science observations using the Herschel Space Observatory. He served as chair of the Exoplanet-Coronagraph Probe-Scale Science and Technology Definition Team, and as a member of the Astrophysics Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council. **************************************** The Weekly Space Hangout is a production of CosmoQuest. Want to support CosmoQuest? Here are some specific ways you can help: Subscribe FREE to our YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/cosmoquest Subscribe to our podcasts Astronomy Cast and Daily Space where ever you get your podcasts! Watch our streams over on Twitch at https://www.twitch.tv/cosmoquestx – follow and subscribe! Become a Patreon of CosmoQuest https://www.patreon.com/cosmoquestx Become a Patreon of Astronomy Cast https://www.patreon.com/astronomycast Buy stuff from our Redbubble https://www.redbubble.com/people/cosmoquestx Join our Discord server for CosmoQuest - https://discord.gg/X8rw4vv Join the Weekly Space Hangout Crew! - http://www.wshcrew.space/ Don't forget to like and subscribe! Plus we love being shared out to new people, so tweet, comment, review us... all the free things you can do to help bring science into people's lives.

The 365 Days of Astronomy, the daily podcast of the International Year of Astronomy 2009
Weekly Space Hangout - The Science of the L1527 "Butterfly" with Dr. Karl Stapelfeldt

The 365 Days of Astronomy, the daily podcast of the International Year of Astronomy 2009

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 9, 2022 62:48


https://youtu.be/b62FwfuM4SA Streamed live Dec 7th, 2022. Host: Fraser Cain ( @fcain ) Special Guest: During our November 16th show, Carolyn Collins Petersen introduced us to the hourglass/butterfly of L1527, an image captured by JWST using its onboard NIRCam. (You can read the original story here: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/...) This week we are joined by Dr. Karl Stapelfeldt, Chief Scientist for NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Program at JPL who will help us understand the science behind this amazing structure.   Karl earned a B.S.E. in Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Physics at Princeton University, and a Ph.D. in Astrophysics at Caltech. His career at NASA includes positions at both the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and most recently at the Goddard Space Flight Center, where he has served as the Chief of Goddard's Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics Laboratory since 2011.   Karl's NASA science contributions include project science roles for the Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes and science observations using the Herschel Space Observatory. He served as chair of the Exoplanet-Coronagraph Probe-Scale Science and Technology Definition Team, and as a member of the Astrophysics Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council. Regular Guests: Dr. Leah Jenks ( https://leahjenks.com/ / @leahgjenks ) Dr. Paul Byrne ( @ThePlanetaryGuy / https://eps.wustl.edu/people/paul-byrne ) This week's stories: - More updates from Artemis 1. - An asymmetry detected in the distribution of galaxies. - Mars occulted by the Moon! - A bizarre gamma ray burst that breaks all the rules!   We've added a new way to donate to 365 Days of Astronomy to support editing, hosting, and production costs.  Just visit: https://www.patreon.com/365DaysOfAstronomy and donate as much as you can! Share the podcast with your friends and send the Patreon link to them too!  Every bit helps! Thank you! ------------------------------------ Do go visit http://www.redbubble.com/people/CosmoQuestX/shop for cool Astronomy Cast and CosmoQuest t-shirts, coffee mugs and other awesomeness! http://cosmoquest.org/Donate This show is made possible through your donations.  Thank you! (Haven't donated? It's not too late! Just click!) ------------------------------------ The 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast is produced by the Planetary Science Institute. http://www.psi.edu Visit us on the web at 365DaysOfAstronomy.org or email us at info@365DaysOfAstronomy.org.

Games At Work dot Biz
e395 — Breaking Reality

Games At Work dot Biz

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 5, 2022 33:05


@evertp 's port of #Neko, #quantum #wormhole experiment at @CalTech, COTS & AI onboard @NASAArtemis, @epredator 's #GPT3 #Blackadder sketch, @UnrealEngine #RealityScan & #xrOS Continue reading → The post e395 — Breaking Reality first appeared on Games At Work dot Biz.

The College Metropolis Podcast: College Admissions Talk for High School Students and Parents
The California Institute of Technology (Caltech), a school with a 3.9% admission rate, has a lot of advice on how to prepare to apply to highly-selective schools. Caltech's recommendations to high school students on how to use summer breaks effectively

The College Metropolis Podcast: College Admissions Talk for High School Students and Parents

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 5, 2022 61:48


#111 - On this episode, we provide helpful information for all of you who are interested in applying to highly-selective colleges and universities. Rather than sharing information out of our knowledge and experience, we decided to let Caltech do all the talking. Caltech has a wealth of advice to give high school students on how to best prepare to present yourselves as competitive applicants. Although this advice is being presented by Caltech, they make it available to you so you could prepare for other schools that also have small admission rates. This information is also very helpful in helping you prepare for schools that have selective admission criteria that may not be as strict as that of highly-selective schools. Jankel and I present Caltech's advice on what students should do in their high school summers. That is to say, not just what to do during the summer immediately before applying to college, but during all summers. Additionally, this episode will give you a deeper understanding of what admission officers at schools of the caliber of Caltech will expect to see in each application. You can access the show notes for this episode at https://www.collegemetropolis.com. Please help our efforts by giving us a 5-star rating, and leaving us a positive review. That kind gesture will go a long way in helping us other parents and students who will also find this information useful. Thank you!

Improve the News
December 3, 2022: Arizona elections results, Mar-a-Lago documents, and baby wormholes

Improve the News

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 3, 2022 31:36


Facts & Spin for December 3, 2022 top stories: Arizona County certifies its election results, The Pentagon unveils its first new bomber in 30 years, Biden and Putin say they'd be open to talk under certain conditions, The EU sets a $60 price cap on Russian oil, An appeals court gives the Justice Department access to Trump's Mar-a-Lago documents, The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces announce they're halting anti-IS operations, The Democratic Republic of Congo accuses M23 rebels of killing 50 civilians, The US labor department reports job growth and wage increases for November, Pfizer says it will invest more than $2.5 billion to expand its European manufacturing, and Caltech physicists simulate a tiny “wormhole” in a lab. Sources: https://www.improvethenews.org/   Brief Listener Survey: https://www.improvethenews.org/pod

ManifoldOne
Anna Krylov: The Politicization of Science in Academia — #25

ManifoldOne

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 1, 2022 60:19


Anna I. Krylov (Russian: Анна Игоревна Крылова) is a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Southern California (USC), working in the field of theoretical and computational quantum chemistry.Krylov is an outspoken advocate of freedom of speech and academic freedom. She is a founding member of the Academic Freedom Alliance and a member of its academic leadership committee. Her paper, The Peril of Politicizing Science, launched a national conversation among scientists and the general public on the growing influence of political ideology in STEM. It has received over 80,000 views and, according to Altmetric, was the all-time highest-ranked article in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters.Steve and Anna discuss:0:00 Anna Krylov's background, upbringing in USSR7:03 Ideological control and censorship for the greater good?14:59 How ideology underpins DEI work in academic institutions30:40 Captured institutions37:05 How much is UC Berkeley spending on DEI, and where the money is going41:46 Krylov thinks it can get worse52:09 An idea for soliciting anonymous feedback at universitiesResources:Professor Krylov academic page:https://dornsife.usc.edu/chemistry/krylov/Wiki page:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_KrylovThe Peril of Politicizing Science, Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 2021https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.jpclett.1c01475Music used with permission from Blade Runner Blues Livestream improvisation by State Azure.--Steve Hsu is Professor of Theoretical Physics and of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation at MSU and Director of the Institute of Theoretical Science at the University of Oregon. Hsu is a startup founder (SafeWeb, Genomic Prediction, Othram) and advisor to venture capital and other investment firms. He was educated at Caltech and Berkeley, was a Harvard Junior Fellow, and has held faculty positions at Yale, the University of Oregon, and MSU.

Mind Matters
The Power of Positivity and Unique Thinking

Mind Matters

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 1, 2022 33:22


On episode 149 we continue moving the world toward a more positive view of neurodivergence and its impact on society. We also talk about reimagining established thought processes, and using the plasticity of the brain to move toward compassion for self and others. We bring in the perspective of a neuroscientist, Dr. Nicole Tetreault. She's the author of the book Insight into a Bright Mind: A Neuroscientist's Personal Stories of Unique Thinking, and she joins Emily Kircher-Morris for one of the final episodes of 2022. Here's a link to the Neurodiversity University, where you can find info on our first two courses, Strategies for Supporting Twice-Exceptional Students, and Foundations of Dyslexia for Educators. We'll be adding courses for parents, mental health professionals, and more as we enter 2023, so look for more information along the way. And, join our Facebook group here! ABOUT THE GUEST - Dr. Nicole Tetreault is a neuroscientist, meditation teacher, international speaker, and author of the book, Insight Into a Bright Mind. She's the founder of the Awesome Neuroscience blog, where she translates the most promising neuroscience and positive psychology for people to live their best lives. Dr. Tetreault received her Ph.D. from Cal-Tech in Biology, specializing in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. She believes we have the ability to wire our minds for positive plasticity through compassion and wisdom, and the ability to live the life we dream about.

The Infinite Monkey Cage
Hunting for Exoplanets

The Infinite Monkey Cage

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 26, 2022 42:31


Brian Cox and Robin Ince continue their LA science adventure as they visit Caltech in Pasadena to meet the scientists hunting for planets orbiting distant stars in solar systems far far from our own. They are joined in their quest by Python Legend Eric Idle and Exo-planet hunters Dr Jessie Christiansen from Caltech and Dr Tiffany Kataria from NASA's JPL who are using the latest telescopes to identify distant planets outside of our own solar system. Despite their distance from us, incredible new techniques allow exoplanet hunters to paint extraordinary pictures of the atmospheres and conditions on some of the 500 or so planets that have now been identified, and allow for the tantalising possibility of one day identifying other earth like planets that could even support life. Brian and Robin chat to Sean about what the discovery of life elsewhere out in the cosmos might mean for life here on planet earth, or whether the fact we haven't found any yet is evidence we are in fact all alone? Executive Producer: Alexandra Feachem

The Astro Ben Podcast
Aurora Kesseli: Research scientist at the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute at IPAC/Caltech and scientist on the NASA Exoplanet Archive

The Astro Ben Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 18, 2022 35:11


Aurora is a research scientist at the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute at IPAC/Caltech and also works as a scientist on the NASA Exoplanet Archive.  Aurora is primarily an observational astronomer and her research interests include exoplanets atmospheres and brown dwarfs.   In this episode Ben and Aurora discuss nervous launch moments, the difference between a red and a brown dwarf and what it means to get “JWST time”! Please support this podcast by checking out our sponsor: Spaced Ventures: https://www.spacedventures.com/ to invest shares of actual space startups! OUTLINE: Here's approximate timestamps for the episode. 00:19 Spaced Ventures - Invest in companies like Princeton Satellite Systems, Inc 01:22 Introduction to Aurora Kesseli 2:02 Artemis 1 04:00 NASA Exoplanet Archive 04:48 The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) 08:24 NASA Exoplanet Archive secrecy? 09:49 What are Brown Dwarfs? 12:28 Day in the life of Aurora 14:12 Space telescopes! 15:45 Where to point JWST? 18:40 How does JWST work? 20:32 Earth 2.0 26:08 Outreach  28:58 Favourite Sci-Fi and predicting the future 33:34 Wrap up and socials Follow Aurora Kesseli Website: www.aurorakesseli.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/aurora_kess Stay connected with us! Use #Astroben across various social media platforms to engage with us! Website: www.astroben.com Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/astrobenpodcast/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/Gambleonit LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/astrobenpodcast/

Kathy Sullivan Explores
Two Funny Astronauts with Mike Massimino and Garrett Reisman

Kathy Sullivan Explores

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 17, 2022 57:28


Mike Massimino is a former NASA astronaut, professor of mechanical engineering at Columbia University, and the Senior Advisor for Space Programs at the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum. Selected as an astronaut in 1996, Mike is the veteran of two space flights—the fourth and fifth Hubble Space Telescope servicing missions in 2002 and 2009. He is the recipient of two NASA Space Flight Medals—the NASA Distinguished Service Medal and the American Astronaut Society's Flight Achievement Award. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Columbia University and Master's degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Technology & Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he also received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering. He is the author of Spaceman: An Astronaut's Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe and Spaceman: The True Story of a Young Boy's Journey to Becoming an Astronaut. Garrett Reisman is a former NASA astronaut and professor of astronautical engineering at USC's Viterbi School. Garrett was selected as a mission specialist astronaut in 1998 and was aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 2008, a mission that dropped him off for a 95-day stay aboard the International Space Station. His second mission was aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis in 2010, during which he performed three spacewalks and operated the Space Station Robot Arm as a flight engineer. In 2011, Garrett left NASA and joined SpaceX, serving in multiple roles, including Director of Space Operations. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology. Together, Mike and Garrett are the creators of 2 Funny Astronauts, a podcast where they explore astronauts' bizarre, crazy, and astonishing lives. Mike and Garrett join me today to describe their lives as astronauts. They discuss how they became interested in spaceflight, their educational experiences at MIT and Caltech, and their paths to becoming selected as NASA astronauts. They share their thoughts on NASA's astronaut selection program and why interpersonal skills are necessary for an aspiring astronaut. They recount their appearances on TV and their lives after NASA. They also highlight the importance of being surrounded by like-minded people and underscore the value of representation. “Don't think they're looking for somebody who's not you. If you try to be somebody else, it's going to come off as artificial and it's not going to work.” - Garrett Reisman This week on Kathy Sullivan Explores: The life of the young Garett Reisman and his journey to becoming an astronaut How the moon landing got Mike Massimino interested in spaceflight Their experiences studying at MIT and Caltech and their career path to joining NASA's space program Mike and Garrett's secret sauce to passing the NASA astronaut selection program Mike's appearance on The Big Bang Theory and Garett's show with American comedian, Stephen Colbert What being the first Jewish crewmember of the ISS meant for Garrett Moving beyond being an astronaut, Garrett's move to SpaceX, and Mike's life after NASA What it was like to be a part of the first group of women in space The value of authenticity and the importance of representation My journey through foreign languages, STEM, and becoming a NASA astronaut Why Mike and Garrett created the 2 Funny Astronauts podcast Our Favorite Quotes: “It's good to be surrounded by like-minded people. It doesn't seem as crazy, and you get to share information and dreams with each other—that's what was helpful at MIT.” - Mike Massimino “Everybody on paper is qualified to become an astronaut—in the end, it's more like picking people you'd want to go on a camping trip with rather than a job interview.” - Garrett Reisman Resources Mentioned: 2 Funny Astronauts Podcast Connect with Mike Massimino: Mike Massimino Website Mike Massimino on LinkedIn Mike Massimino on Instagram Mike Massimino on Facebook Mike Massimino on Twitter Mike Massimino on YouTube Connect with Garrett Reisman: Garrett Reisman Website Garrett Reisman on LinkedIn Garrett Reisman on Instagram Garrett Reisman on Facebook Garrett Reisman on Twitter Spaceship Not Required I'm Kathy Sullivan, the only person to have walked in space and gone to the deepest point in the ocean. I'm an explorer, and that doesn't always have to involve going to some remote or exotic place. It simply requires a commitment to put curiosity into action. In this podcast, you can explore, reflecting on lessons learned from life so far and from my brilliant and ever-inquisitive guests. We explore together in this very moment from right where you are--spaceship not required. Welcome to Kathy Sullivan Explores. Visit my website at kathysullivanexplores.com to sign up for seven astronaut tips to improve your life on earth and be the first to discover future episodes and learn about more exciting adventures! Don't forget to leave a rating and review wherever you get your podcasts! Spotify I Stitcher I Apple Podcasts I iHeart Radio I TuneIn I Google I Amazon Music.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Future of Agriculture
FoA 337: Synthetic biology for nature-based and data-driven farming with Travis Bayer and Adam Litle of Sound Agriculture

Future of Agriculture

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 16, 2022 38:10


Visit Sound Agriculture's website: https://www.sound.ag/ Our featured guests today are Sound Agriculture's CEO Adam Litle, as well as co-founder and CTO Travis Bayer. If you're thinking you've heard all about Sound from previous episodes of this podcast, that's great! But I will assure you there is a lot more you haven't heard yet and this episode is well worth your time. Adam and Travis really do a great job of capturing a huge trend for the future of agriculture: the convergence of biology and data science and other modern technologies to create innovative products that work with nature. But, their products are commercialized with the farmer customer in mind. There are some real nuggets in here that you definitely don't want to miss.Some quick background: As CEO, Adam Litle leads the Sound Agriculture's strategy and overall company execution. He joined Sound to help serve both producers and consumers with more sustainable, differentiated crops. Prior to Sound, Adam was on the founding team and served as Chief Revenue Officer of Granular, the leading farm management software company acquired by Corteva in 2017.Before that he was General Manager of the cellulase enzyme business at Codexis, a publicly-traded industrial biotech company serving the healthcare and agriculture industries. He began his career as an investment banker at Barclays Capital. Adam has a JD/MBA from the University of Michigan and BA from Yale University.Travis Bayer co-founded Sound Agriculture in 2013 to identify science-based solutions to today's complex agricultural challenges. Travis' career has focused on understanding how to harness the diversity of the earth's natural systems to enable a more sustainable world. His approach to discovery combines a deep knowledge of molecular biology, biochemistry, and biophysics with an innately creative spirit. He has authored and invented more than 50 research publications and patents, and spent five years at Imperial College London and University of Oxford as a lecturer and associate professor, respectively.He received a PhD in biochemistry and biophysics from Caltech, and a B.S. in molecular biology from University of Texas at Austin.We spend the first part of today's episode talking about the SOURCE product, its significance, and where it fits into the marketplace. Then we shift gears into talking about their approach to data and technology and what this blend of biology and software means for the future of agriculture. First though, I asked Travis how all of this got started when he co-founded Sound Agriculture with Eric Davidson back in 2013.

Indian Genes
Ranga Ram Chary - Cosmologist, CALTECH

Indian Genes

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 13, 2022 62:34


Ranga Ram Chary is an observational cosmologist working in the fields of reionization, galaxy evolution, cluster cosmology and cosmic backgrounds. His group is active in science with Planck, Euclid, Herschel and the Spitzer Space Telescope in addition to a range of ground-based astronomical observation facilities such as Palomar, Keck, CSO, CARMA and ALMA. We are also involved in developing the next generation of small explorer missions in collaboration with JPL.    Specifically, measuring the properties of star-forming galaxies out to the highest redshifts, and in conjunction with studies of gamma-ray burst number densities and Type Ia supernovae, attempting to understand fundamental properties of galaxies, such as how they grow their stellar mass and metallicity, what is the stellar mass function therein, when does dust begin to play a significant role in their energetics and what fuels the star-formation as a function of cosmic time. Using these measurements to provide, among other things, better constraints on the reionization history of the Universe between redshifts of 6 and 20 (the first billion years of time), which is arguably the most important astrophysical event since the Big Bang.    THe team is also using objects at the extreme end of the dark matter mass function, i.e. galaxy clusters, as a probe of the structure of the Universe. By measuring cluster masses over the last half of cosmic time (z

Inside The War Room
The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life

Inside The War Room

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 12, 2022 57:30


Why do you go to the hospital, take medicine, or go to school? Robin Hason comes on the podcast to chat about motivations and why we often do get them wrong. Links from the show:* The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life* Link to Robin's papers* Connect with Robin on Twitter* Connect with Ryan on Twitter* Subscribe to the newsletterAbout my guest:Robin Hanson is an Associate Professor of Economics, and received his Ph.D in 1997 in social sciences from Caltech. He joined George Mason's economics faculty in 1999 after completing a two-year post-doc at U.C Berkely. His major fields of interest include health policy, regulation, and formal political theory.Dr. Hanson's personal homepage includes his work in academic economics, class materials, and a sampling of his broader interests in economics, philosophy, political theory, alternative institutions, and the economics of science fiction. Get full access to Dispatches from the War Room at dispatchesfromthewarroom.substack.com/subscribe

Inciting A Riot
What is quantum physics...really? with Dr. Jed Buchwald

Inciting A Riot

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 2, 2022 49:29


By now you're probably aware there's a new Ant-Man movie on the way in the Marvel Cinematic Universe called Quantumania. In the MCU and other science fiction media, the word "quantum" gets thrown around quite a bit.  Why can you teleport? Quantum physics. Why can you shrink to the size of an atom? Quantum mechanics. Why can you walk through walls or travel the multiverse or bring someone back from the dead? Quantum entanglement. Quantum computing. Quantum. Quantum. Quantum.  At this point the word "quantum" paired with just about any other word is a stand-in for something like "science magic". It's the label slapped on a bit of plot to explain why the protagonist can do the thing. But this type of slapdash explanation isn't relegated to the silver screen.  Films like 'What the BLEEP do we know?' and books like 'The Secret' all maintain that our thoughts affect the world around us. The phrase "thoughts are things" gets bandied about. Oftentimes this is called the "Law of Attraction", or whatever you think about most often tends to show up in your life. These days other buzzwords float around and occupy similar space. Affirmations. Manifestation. And why does any of this work? Quantum physics. Quantum mechanics. Quantum entanglement. Quantum. Quantum. Quantum.  I'm no physicist, but I know enough about marketing to know that the same word cannot possibly mean all of these things at the same time. Or could it? I'm no physicist after all. Perhaps it can? I wanted to ask an expert.  Jed Buchwald studied physics and science history at Princeton University, and earned a PhD from Harvard in 1974. He taught at the University of Toronto for two decades, where he spent a year as the director of that university's Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology. Buchwald then became the director of the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology and the Bern Dibner Professor of the History of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before joining Caltech in 2001. He has authored or co-authored six books in the history of science and, more recently, on the decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphics. He edits or co-edits three book series for Springer, one for MIT, and two journals. Buchwald is a member of the American Philosophical Society, a member of the International Academy of the History of Science, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was also a MacArthur Fellow (1995) and a Killam Fellow (1990–1991). Social links: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/headonfirepod/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/headonfirepod TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@headonfirepod Support my work on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/headonfirepod Subscribe to the Head On Fire podcast Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/head-on-fire/id337689333 Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4qTYYhCLMdFc4PhQmSL1Yh?si=5387b774ed6e4524 YouTube: https://youtube.com/c/HeadOnFirePod

Hoop Heads
Dr. Oliver Eslinger - Caltech Men's Basketball Head Coach - Episode 708

Hoop Heads

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 31, 2022 102:13


Dr. Oliver Eslinger, an NABC Guardian of the Game, the 2019-20 conference Coach of the Year, and Caltech's all-time program leader in NCAA wins, was named Head Men's Basketball Coach for the California Institute of Technology in the fall of 2008. Since his initial campaign, "Doc's" Caltech squads have set more than 150 team and individual records, including most conference wins in a season, the best start in history, and most victories in a season since 1954. in 2019 Eslinger was appointed to the Division III Men's Basketball National Committee where he serves as the Region 10 chair. He is actively involved in the Coaches vs Cancer program supported by the NABC and the American Cancer Society. In Doc's third season, after a slew of media coverage, including a front page piece by Pulitzer Prize winning writer John Branch in The New York Times, Caltech finally pulled through and made history on February 22, 2011 when it topped Occidental 46-45 in the last game of the season -- the first conference victory for the program since 1985a streak of 310 straight losses. Eslinger spent the six seasons at MIT, where he served as associate head coach and the program's top assistant. Eslinger previously served as Head Coach at Boston University Academy and as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Bethlehem Central High School in Delmar, NY. He stays actively involved in camps and clinics at all levels, making significant contributions to Bentley, Harvard, Boston University, Boston College, Rising Star, Crossover Sports in Shanghai, China, and the Matt Lottich Life Skills Basketball Camp in the Bay Area. If you're looking to improve your coaching please consider joining the Hoop Heads Mentorship Program. We believe that having a mentor is the best way to maximize your potential and become a transformational coach. By matching you up with one of our experienced mentors you'll develop a one on one relationship that will help your coaching, your team, your program, and your mindset. The Hoop Heads Mentorship Program delivers mentoring services to basketball coaches at all levels through our team of experienced Head Coaches. Find out more at hoopheadspod.com or shoot me an email directly mike@hoopheadspod.com Follow us on social media @hoopheadspod on Twitter and Instagram and be sure to check out the Hoop Heads Podcast Network for more great basketball content. Grab your journal and take some notes as you listen to this episode with Dr. Oliver Eslinger, Head Men's Basketball Coach at Caltech in Pasadena, California. Website - https://gocaltech.com/sports/mens-basketball?path=mbball (https://gocaltech.com/sports/mens-basketball?path=mbball) Email - hoopitup@caltech.edu Twitter - https://twitter.com/docsheadgames/ (@docsheadgames) Visit our Sponsors! https://www.drdishbasketball.com/ (Dr. Dish Basketball) Mention the Hoop Heads Podcast when you place your order and get $300 off a brand new state of the art Dr. Dish Shooting Machine! http://www.fastmodelsports.com/ (Fast Model Sports) FastModel Sports has the most compelling and intuitive basketball software out there! In addition to a great product, they also provide basketball coaching content and resources through their blog and playbank, which features over 8,000 free plays and drills from their online coaching community. For access to these plays and more information, visit http://fastmodelsports.com (fastmodelsports.com) or follow them on Twitter @FastModel. Use Promo code HHP15 to save 15% https://unitedbasketballplus.com?aff=222 (United Basketball Plus) United Basketball Plus has over 3,000 plays, 45 Deep Dive Courses with some of the best minds in the game including Tyler Coston, Paul Kelleher, Tobin Anderson, Dave Love and more. You can also view United Basketball Clinics, and receive 50% off in-person clinics. United Basketball Plus partnered with Jordan and Joe Stasyzyn from Unleashed Potential to create their Skill Development...

First to 15: The USA Fencing Podcast
Laura Decker on What it Takes to Be a High-Level Fencing Referee

First to 15: The USA Fencing Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 31, 2022 30:52


In this episode of First to 15, we're joined by Laura Decker, one of the top fencing referees in the country and regularly chosen to officiate at the highest levels of national and international competition. She was recently the lone American referee at the 2022 Fencing World Championships in Cairo, Egypt.Laura graduated from Caltech, where she was the first female fencer from that school to qualify for the NCAA Championships. She still competes in saber alongside her role as one of the world's most respected officials.In this episode, we asked Laura how she became a referee, how she keeps her officiating skills sharp and the "feedback" she gets from coaches and fencers while refereeing. Visit the USA Fencing websiteFollow USA Fencing on InstagramRead a transcript for this episode

Demystifying Science
How Bell's Theorem got the Photon Wrong - Dr. Carver Mead, Caltech Physicist

Demystifying Science

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 31, 2022 138:58


What if we're wrong about entanglement? This is the question that's been driving Carver Mead, Caltech Physicist and veteran of the semiconductor industry, and at this point, he's pretty sure that Bell's Theorem is wrong. This is a bold claim! After all, Clauser, Aspect and Zeilinger just won Nobel, the biggest prize in the world, for their work on painstaking experiments that seem to prove the spooky paradox - some information can travel faster than light! Not so fast, says Carver Mead. There's no problem with the experimental design, or the observation that the photons are "entangled." The problem lies upstream of the experiment, at the threshhold of understanding. What is a photon? What are the atoms doing when they're generating the signal that's being measured, and how does a physical understanding of the wave function change the spookiness of quantum mechanics? Support the scientific revolution with a monthly donation: https://bit.ly/3lcAasB AND by picking up Dr. Mead's book: https://amzn.to/3sJPoJi As always, let us know what you think in the comments! #physics #quantum #atomic Check our short-films channel, @DemystifySci: https://www.youtube.com/c/DemystifyingScience Join our mailing list https://bit.ly/3v3kz2S PODCAST INFO: Anastasia completed her PhD studying bioelectricity at Columbia University. When not talking to brilliant people or making movies, she spends her time painting, reading, and guiding backcountry excursions. Michael Shilo also did his PhD at Columbia studying the elastic properties of molecular water. When he's not in the film studio, he's exploring sound in music. They are both freelance professors at various universities. - Blog: http://DemystifySci.com/blog - RSS: https://anchor.fm/s/2be66934/podcast/rss - Donate: https://bit.ly/3wkPqaD- Swag: https://bit.ly/2PXdC2y SOCIAL: - Discord: https://discord.gg/MJzKT8CQub - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/DemystifySci - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/DemystifySci/ - Twitter: https://twitter.com/DemystifySci MUSIC: -Shilo Delay: https://g.co/kgs/oty671

The Lunar Society
Brian Potter - Future of Construction, Ugly Modernism, & Environmental Review

The Lunar Society

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 27, 2022 145:57


Brian Potter is the author of the excellent Construction Physics blog, where he discusses why the construction industry has been slow to industrialize and innovate.He explains why:* Construction isn't getting cheaper and faster,* We should have mile-high buildings and multi-layer non-intersecting roads,* “Ugly” modern buildings are simply the result of better architecture,* China is so great at building things,* Saudi Arabia's Line is a waste of resources,* Environmental review makes new construction expensive and delayed,* and much much more!Watch on YouTube. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcast platform. Read the full transcript here.Follow me on Twitter for updates on future episodes.More really cool guests coming up; subscribe to find out about future episodes!You may also enjoy my interviews with Tyler Cowen (about talent, collapse, & pessimism of sex). Charles Mann (about the Americas before Columbus & scientific wizardry), and Austin Vernon about (Energy Superabundance, Starship Missiles, & Finding Alpha).If you end up enjoying this episode, I would be super grateful if you share it, post it on Twitter, send it to your friends & group chats, and throw it up wherever else people might find it. Can't exaggerate how much it helps a small podcast like mine.A huge thanks to Graham Bessellieu for editing this podcast and Mia Aiyana for producing its transcript.Timestamps(0:00) - Why Saudi Arabia's Line is Insane, Unrealistic, and Never going to Exist (06:54) - Designer Clothes & eBay Arbitrage Adventures (10:10) - Unique Woes of The Construction Industry  (19:28) - The Problems of Prefabrication (26:27) - If Building Regulations didn't exist… (32:20) - China's Real Estate Bubble, Unbound Technocrats, & Japan(44:45) - Automation and Revolutionary Future Technologies (1:00:51) - 3D Printer Pessimism & The Rising Cost of Labour(1:08:02) - AI's Impact on Construction Productivity(1:17:53) - Brian Dreams of Building a Mile High Skyscraper(1:23:43) - Deep Dive into Environmentalism and NEPA(1:42:04) - Software is Stealing Talent from Physical Engineering(1:47:13) - Gaps in the Blog Marketplace of Ideas(1:50:56) - Why is Modern Architecture So Ugly?(2:19:58) - Advice for Aspiring Architects and Young Construction PhysicistsTranscriptWhy Saudi Arabia's Line is Insane, Unrealistic, and Never going to Exist Dwarkesh Patel Today, I have the pleasure of speaking with Brian Potter, who is an engineer and the author of the excellent Construction Physics blog, where he writes about how the construction industry works and why it has been slow to industrialize and innovate. It's one of my favorite blogs on the internet, and I highly, highly recommend that people check it out. Brian, my first question is about The Line project in Saudi Arabia. What are your opinions? Brian Potter It's interesting how Saudi Arabia and countries in the Middle East, in general, are willing to do these big, crazy, ambitious building projects and pour huge amounts of money into constructing this infrastructure in a way that you don't see a huge amount in the modern world. China obviously does this too in huge amounts, some other minor places do as well, but in general, you don't see a whole lot of countries building these big, massive, incredibly ambitious projects. So on that level, it's interesting, and it's like, “Yes, I'm glad to see that you're doing this,” but the actual project is clearly insane and makes no sense. Look at the physical arrangement layout–– there's a reason cities grow in two dimensions. A one-dimensional city is the worst possible arrangement for transportation. It's the maximum amount of distance between any two points. So just from that perspective, it's clearly crazy, and there's no real benefit to it other than perhaps some weird hypothetical transportation situation where you had really fast point-to-point transportation. It would probably be some weird bullet train setup; maybe that would make sense. But in general, there's no reason to build a city like that. Even if you wanted to build an entirely enclosed thing (which again doesn't make a huge amount of sense), you would save so much material and effort if you just made it a cube. I would be more interested in the cube than the line. [laughs] But yeah, those are my initial thoughts on it. I will be surprised if it ever gets built. Dwarkesh Patel Are you talking about the cube from the meme about how you can put all the humans in the world in a cube the size of Manhattan? Brian Potter Something like that. If you're just going to build this big, giant megastructure, at least take advantage of what that gets you, which is minimum surface area to volume ratio.Dwarkesh Patel Why is that important? Would it be important for temperature or perhaps other features? Brian Potter This is actually interesting because I'm actually not sure how sure it would work with a giant single city. In general, a lot of economies of scale come from geometric effects. When something gets bigger, your volume increases a lot faster than your surface area does. So for something enclosed, like a tank or a pipe, the cost goes down per thing of unit you're transporting because you can carry a larger amount or a smaller amount of material. It applies to some extent with buildings and construction because the exterior wall assembly is a really burdensome, complicated, and expensive assembly. A building with a really big floor plate, for instance, can get more area per unit, per amount of exterior wall. I'm not sure how that actually works with a single giant enclosed structure because, theoretically, on a small level, it would apply the same way. Your climate control is a function of your exterior surface, at some level, and you get more efficient climate control if you have a larger volume and less area that it can escape from. But for a giant city, I actually don't know if that works, and it may be worse because you're generating so much heat that it's now harder to pump out. For examples like the urban heat island effect, where these cities generate massive amounts of waste heat, I don't know if that would work if it didn't apply the same way. I'm trying to reach back to my physics classes in college, so I'm not sure about the actual mechanics of that. Generally though, that's why you'd want to perhaps build something of this size and shape. Dwarkesh Patel What was the thought process behind designing this thing? Because Scott Alexander had a good blog post about The Line where he said, presumably, that The Line is designed to take up less space and to use less fuel because you can just use the same transportation across. But the only thing that Saudi Arabia has is space and fuel. So what is the thought process behind this construction project? Brian PotterI get the sense that a lot of committees have some amount of success in building big, impressive, physical construction projects that are an attraction just by virtue of their size and impressiveness. A huge amount of stuff in Dubai is something in this category, and they have that giant clock tower in Jeddah, the biggest giant clock building and one of the biggest buildings in the world, or something like that. I think, on some level, they're expecting that you would just see a return from building something that's really impressive or “the biggest thing on some particular axis”. So to some extent, I think they're just optimizing for big and impressive and maybe not diving into it more than that. There's this theory that I think about every so often. It's called the garbage can theory of organizational decision-making, which basically talks about how the choices that organizations make are not the result of any particular recent process. They are the result of how, whenever a problem comes up, people reach into the garbage can of potential solutions. Then whatever they pull out of the garbage can, that's the decision that they end up going with, regardless of how much sense it makes. It was a theory that was invented by academics to describe decision-making in academia. I think about that a lot, especially with reference to big bureaucracies and governments. You can just imagine the draining process of how these decisions evolve. Any random decision can be made, especially when there's such a disconnect between the decision-makers and technical knowledge.Designer Clothes & eBay Arbitrage Adventures Dwarkesh PatelTell me about your eBay arbitrage with designer clothes. Brian Potter Oh man, you really did dive deep. Yeah, so this was a small business that I ran seven or eight years ago at this point. A hobby of mine was high-end men's fashion for a while, which is a very strange hobby for an engineer to have, but there you go. That hobby centers around finding cheap designer stuff, because buying new can be overwhelmingly expensive. However, a lot of times, you can get clothes for a very cheap price if you're even a little bit motivated. Either it shows up on eBay, or it shows up in thrift stores if you know what to look for. A lot of these clothes can last because they're well-made. They last a super, super, super long time–– even if somebody wore it for 10 years or something, it could be fine. So a lot of this hobby centered around finding ways to get really nice clothes cheaply. Majority of it was based around eBay, but it was really tedious to find really nice stuff on eBay. You had to manually search for a bunch of different brands, filter out the obviously bad ones, search for typos in brands, put in titles, and stuff like that. I was in the process of doing this, and I thought, “Oh, this is really annoying. I should figure out a way to automate this process.” So I made a very simple web app where when you searched for shoes or something, it would automatically search the very nice brands of shoes and all the typos of the brand name. Then it would just filter out all the junk and let you search through the good stuff. I set up an affiliate system, basically. So anybody else that used it, I would get a kick of the sales. While I was interested in that hobby, I ran this website for a few years, and it was reasonably successful. It was one of the first things I did that got any real traction on the internet, but it was never successful in proportion to how much effort it took to maintain and update it. So as I moved away from the hobby, I eventually stopped putting time and effort into maintaining the website. I'm curious as to how you even dug that up. Dwarkesh Patel I have a friend who was with you at the Oxford Refugees Conference, Connor Tabarrok. I don't know if you remember him. Brian Potter Nice. Dwarkesh Patel Yeah. Finding other information about you on the internet was quite difficult actually. You've somehow managed to maintain your anonymity. If you're willing to reveal, what was the P&L of this project? Brian Potter Oh, it made maybe a few hundred dollars a month for a few years, but I only ever ran it as a side hobby business, basically. So in terms of time per my effort or whatever, I'm sure it was very low. Pennies to an hour or something like that. Unique Woes of The Construction Industry   Dwarkesh Patel A broad theme that I've gotten from your post is that the construction industry is plagued with these lossy feedback loops, a lack of strong economies of scale, regulation, and mistakes being very costly. Do you think that this is a general characteristic of many industries in our world today, or is there something unique about construction? Brian Potter Interesting question. One thing you think of is that there are a lot of individual factors that are not unique at all. Construction is highly regulated, but it's not necessarily more regulated than medical devices or jet travel, or even probably cars, to some extent, which have a whole vat of performance criteria they need to hit. With a couple of things like land use, for example, people say, “Oh, the land requirements, could you build it on-site,” explaining how those kinds of things make it difficult. But there is a lot that falls into this category that doesn't really share the same structure of how the construction industry works.I think it's the interaction of all those effects. One thing that I think is perhaps underappreciated is that the systems of a building are really highly coupled in a way that a lot of other things are. If you're manufacturing a computer, the hard drive is somewhat independent from the display and somewhat independent from the power supply. These things are coupled, but they can be built by independent people who don't necessarily even talk to each other before being assembled into one structured thing. A building is not really like that at all. Every single part affects every single other part. In some ways, it's like biology. So it's very hard to change something that doesn't end up disrupting something else. Part of that is because a job's building is to create a controlled interior environment, meaning, every single system has to run through and around the surfaces that are creating that controlled interior. Everything is touching each other. Again, that's not unique. Anything really highly engineered, like a plane or an iPhone, share those characteristics to some extent. In terms of the size of it and the relatively small amount you're paying in terms of unit size or unit mass, however, it's quite low. Dwarkesh Patel Is transportation cost the fundamental reason you can't have as much specialization and modularity?Brian Potter Yeah, I think it's really more about just the way a building is. An example of this would be how for the electrical system of your house, you can't have a separate box where if you needed to replace the electrical system, you could take the whole box out and put the new box in. The electrical system runs through the entire house. Same with plumbing. Same with the insulation. Same with the interior finishes and stuff like that. There's not a lot of modularity in a physical sense. Dwarkesh Patel Gotcha. Ben Kuhn  had this interesting comment on your article where he pointed out that many of the reasons you give for why it's hard to innovate in construction, like sequential dependencies and the highly variable delivery timelines are also common in software where Ben Koon works. So why do you think that the same sort of stagnation has not hit other industries that have superficially similar characteristics, like software? Brian Potter How I think about that is that you kind of see a similar structure in anything that's project-based or anything where there's an element of figuring out what you're doing while you're doing it. Compared to a large-scale manufacturing option where you spend a lot of time figuring out what exactly it is that you're building. You spend a lot of time designing it to be built and do your first number of runs through it, then you tweak your process to make it more efficient. There's always an element of tweaking it to make it better, but to some extent, the process of figuring out what you're doing is largely separate from the actual doing of it yourself. For a project-based industry, it's not quite like that. You have to build your process on the fly. Of course, there are best practices that shape it, right? For somebody writing a new software project or anything project-based, like making a movie, they have a rough idea for how it's going to go together. But there's going to be a lot of unforeseen things that kind of come up like that. The biggest difference is that either those things can often scale in a way that you can't with a building. Once you're done with the software project, you can deploy it to 1,000 or 100,000, or 1 million people, right? Once you finish making a movie, 100 million people can watch it or whatever. It doesn't quite look the same with a building. You don't really have the ability to spend a lot of time upfront figuring out how this thing needs to go. You kind of need to figure out a way to get this thing together without spending a huge amount of time that would be justified by the sheer size of it. I was able to dig up a few references for software projects and how often they just have these big, long tails. Sometimes they just go massively, massively over budget. A lot of times, they just don't get completed at all, which is shocking, but because of how many people it can then be deployed to after it's done, the economics of it are slightly different. Dwarkesh Patel I see, yeah. There's a famous law in software that says that a project will take longer than you expect even after you recount for the fact that it will take longer than you expect. Brian Potter Yeah. Hofstadter's law or something like that is what I think it is. Dwarkesh Patel Yeah. I'm curious about what the lack of skill in construction implies for startups. Famously, in software, the fact that there's zero marginal cost to scaling to the next customer is a huge boon to a startup, right? The entire point of which is scaling exponentially. Does that fundamentally constrain the size and quantity of startups you can have in construction if the same scaling is not available?Brian Potter Yeah, that's a really good question. The obvious first part of the answer is that for software, obviously, if you have a construction software company, you can scale it just like any other software business. For physical things, it is a lot more difficult. This lack of zero marginal cost has tended to fight a lot of startups, not just construction ones. But yeah, it's definitely a thing. Construction is particularly brutal because the margins are so low. The empirical fact is that trying what would be a more efficient method of building doesn't actually allow you to do it cheaper and get better margins. The startup that I used to work at, Katerra, their whole business model was basically predicated on that. “Oh, we'll just build all our buildings in these big factories, get huge economies of scale, reduce our costs, and then recoup the billions of dollars that we're pumping into this industry or business.” The math just does not work out. You can't build. In general, you can't build cheap enough to kind of recoup those giant upfront costs. A lot of businesses have been burned that way. The most success you see in prefabrication type of stuff is on the higher end of things where you can get higher margins. A lot of these prefab companies and stuff like that tend to target the higher end of the market, and you see a few different premiums for that. Obviously, if you're targeting the higher end, you're more likely to have higher margins. If you're building to a higher level of quality, that's easier to do in a factory environment. So the delta is a lot different, less enormous than it would be. Building a high level of quality is easier to do in a factory than it is in the field, so a lot of buildings or houses that are built to a really high level of energy performance, for instance, need a really, really high level of air sealing to minimize how much energy this house uses. You tend to see a lot more houses like that built out of prefab construction and other factory-built methods because it's just physically more difficult to achieve that on-site. The Problems of Prefabrication Dwarkesh Patel Can you say more about why you can't use prefabrication in a factory to get economies of scale? Is it just that the transportation costs will eat away any gains you get? What is going on? Brian PotterThere's a combination of effects. I haven't worked through all this, we'll have to save this for the next time. I'll figure it out more by then. At a high level, it's that basically the savings that you get from like using less labor or whatever is not quite enough to offset your increased transportation costs. One thing about construction, especially single-family home construction, is that a huge percentage of your costs are just the materials that you're using, right? A single-family home is roughly 50% labor and 50% materials for the construction costs. Then you have development costs, land costs, and things like that. So a big chunk of that, you just can't move to the factory at all, right?  You can't really build a foundation in a factory. You could prefab the foundation, but it doesn't gain you anything. Your excavation still has to be done on-site, obviously. So a big chunk can't move to the factory at all. For ones that can, you still basically have to pay the same amount for materials. Theoretically, if you're building truly huge volume, you could get material volume discounts, but even then, it's probably not looking at things like asset savings. So you can cut out a big chunk of your labor costs, and you do see that in factory-built construction, right? These prefab companies are like mobile home companies. They have a small fraction of labor as their costs, which is typical of a factory in general, but then they take out all that labor cost while they still have their high material costs, and then they have overhead costs of whatever the factory has cost them. Then you have your additional overhead cost of just transporting it to site, which is pretty limited. The math does not really work out in favor of prefab, in terms of being able to make the cost of building dramatically cheaper. You can obviously build a building in a prefab using prefab-free methods and build a successful construction business, right? Many people do. But in terms of dramatically lowering your costs, you don't really see that. Dwarkesh Patel Yeah, yeah. Austin Vernon has an interesting blog post about why there's not more prefabricated homes. The two things he points out were transportation costs, and the other one was that people prefer to have homes that have unique designs or unique features. When I was reading it, it actually occurred to me that maybe they're actually both the result of the same phenomenon. I don't know if I'm pronouncing it correctly, but have you heard of the Alchian-Allen theorem in economics? Brian Potter Maybe, but I don't think so. Dwarkesh Patel Basically, it's the idea that if you increase the cost of some category of goods in a fixed way––let's say you tax oranges and added a $1 tax to all oranges, or transportation for oranges gets $1 more expensive for all oranges––people will shift consumption towards the higher grade variety because now, the ratio of the cost between the higher, the more expensive orange and the less expensive orange has decreased because of the increase in fixed costs. It seems like you could use that argument to also explain why people have strong preferences for uniqueness and all kinds of design in manufactured houses. Since transportation costs are so high, that's basically a fixed cost, and that fixed cost has the effect of making people shift consumption towards higher-grade options. I definitely think that's true. Brian PotterI would maybe phrase this as, “The construction industry makes it relatively comparatively cheap to deliver a highly customized option compared to a really repetitive option.” So yeah, the ratio between a highly customized one and just a commodity one is relatively small. So you see a kind of industry built around delivering somewhat more customized options. I do think that this is a pretty broad intuition that people just desire too much customization from their homes. That really prevents you from having a mass-produced offering. I do think that is true to some extent. One example is the Levittown houses, which were originally built in huge numbers–– exactly the same model over and over again. Eventually, they had to change their business model to be able to deliver more customized options because the market shipped it. I do think that the effect of that is basically pretty overstated. Empirically, you see that in practice, home builders and developers will deliver fairly repetitive housing. They don't seem to have a really hard time doing that. As an example, I'm living in a new housing development that is just like three or four different houses copy-pasted over and over again in a group of 50. The developer is building a whole bunch of other developments that are very similar in this area. My in-laws live in a very similar development in a whole different state. If you just look like multi-family or apartment housing, it's identical apartments, you know, copy-pasted over and over again in the same building or a bunch of different buildings in the same development. You're not seeing huge amounts of uniqueness in these things. People are clearly willing to just live in these basically copy-pasted apartments. It's also quite possible to get a pretty high amount of product variety using a relatively small number of factors that you vary, right? I mean, the car industry is like this, where there are enough customization options. I was reading this book a while ago that was basically pushing back against the idea that the car industry pre-fifties and sixties we just offering a very uniform product. They basically did the math, and the number of customization options on their car was more than the atoms in the universe. Basically just, there are so many different options. All the permutations, you know, leather seats and this type of stereo and this type of engine, if you add it all up, there's just a huge, massive number of different combinations. Yeah, you can obviously customize the house a huge amount, just by the appliances that you have and the finishes that are in there and the paint colors that you choose and the fixtures and stuff like that. It would not really theoretically change the underlying way the building comes together. So regarding the idea that the fundamental demand for variety is a major obstruction, I don't think there's a whole lot of evidence for that in the construction industry. If Construction Regulation Vanished… Dwarkesh Patel I asked Twitter about what I should ask you, and usually, I don't get interesting responses but the quality of the people and the audience that knows who you are was so high that actually, all the questions I got were fascinating. So I'm going to ask you some questions from Twitter. Brian Potter Okay. Dwarkesh Patel 0:26:45Connor Tabarrok asks, “What is the most unique thing that would or should get built in the absence of construction regulation?”Brian Potter Unique is an interesting qualifier. There are a lot of things that just like should get built, right? Massive amounts of additional housing and creating more lands in these really dense urban environments where we need it, in places like San Francisco–– just fill in a big chunk of that bay. It's basically just mud flat and we should put more housing on it. “Unique thing” is more tricky. One idea that I really like (I read this in the book, The Book Where's My Flying Car),  is that it's basically crazy that our cities are designed with roads that all intersect with each other. That's an insane way to structure a material flow problem. Any sane city would be built with multiple layers of like transportation where each one went in a different direction so your flows would just be massively, massively improved. That just seems like a very obvious one.If you're building your cities from scratch and had your druthers, you would clearly want to build them and know how big they were gonna get, right? So you could plan very long-term in a way that so these transportation systems didn't intersect with each other, which, again, almost no cities did. You'd have the space to scale them or run as much throughput through them as you need without bringing the whole system to a halt. There's a lot of evidence saying that cities tend to scale based on how much you can move from point A to point B through them. I do wonder whether if you changed the way they went together, you could unlock massively different cities. Even if you didn't unlock massive ones, you could perhaps change the agglomeration effects that you see in cities if people could move from point A to point B much quicker than they currently can. Dwarkesh Patel Yeah, I did an episode about the book, where's my flying car with Rohit Krishnan. I don't know if we discussed this, but an interesting part of the book is where he talks about transistor design. If you design transistors this way, can you imagine how slow they would be? [laughs] Okay, so Simon Grimm asks, “What countries are the best at building things?”Brian Potter This is a good question. I'm going to sort of cheat a little bit and do it in terms of space and time, because I think most countries that are doing a good job at building massive amounts of stuff are not ones that are basically doing it currently.The current answer is like China, where they just keep building–– more concrete was used in the last 20 years or so than the entire world used in the time before that, right? They've accomplished massive amounts of urbanization, and built a lot of really interesting buildings and construction. In terms of like raw output, I would also put Japan in the late 20th century on there. At the peak of the concern and wonder of “Is Japan gonna take over the world?”, they were really interested in building stuff quite quickly. They spent a lot of time and effort trying to use their robotics expertise to try to figure out how to build buildings a lot more quickly. They had these like really interesting factories that were designed to basically extrude an entire skyscraper just going up vertically.All these big giant companies and many different factories were trying to develop and trying to do this with robotics. It was a really interesting system that did not end up ever making economic sense, but it is very cool. I think big industrial policy organs of the government basically encouraged a lot of these industrial companies to basically develop prefabricated housing systems. So you see a lot of really interesting systems developed from these sort of industrial companies in a way that you don't see in a lot of other places. From 1850 to maybe 1970 (like a hundred years or something), the US was building huge massive amounts of stuff in a way that lifted up huge parts of the economy, right? I don't know how many thousands of miles of railroad track the US built between like 1850 and 1900, but it was many, many, many thousands of miles of it. Ofcourse, needing to lay all this track and build all these locomotives really sort of forced the development of the machine tool industry, which then led to the development of like better manufacturing methods and interchangeable parts, which of course then led to the development of the automotive industry. Then ofcourse, that explosion just led to even more big giant construction projects. So you really see that this ability to build just big massive amounts of stuff in this virtuous cycle with the US really advanced a lot of technology to raise the standard of development for a super long period of time. So those are my three answers. China's Real Estate Bubble, Unbound Technocrats, and JapanDwarkesh Patel Those three bring up three additional questions, one for each of them! That's really interesting. Have you read The Power Broker, the book about Robert Moses? Brian Potter I think I got a 10th of the way through it. Dwarkesh Patel That's basically a whole book in itself, a 10th of the way. [laughs] I'm a half of the way through, and so far it's basically about the story of how this one guy built a startup within the New York state government that was just so much more effective at building things, didn't have the same corruption and clientelism incompetence. Maybe it turns into tragedy in the second half, but so far it's it seems like we need this guy. Where do we get a second Robert Moses? Do you think that if you had more people like that in government or in construction industries, public works would be more effectively built or is the stagnation there just a result of like other bigger factors? Brian Potter That's an interesting question. I remember reading this article a while ago that was complaining about how horrible Penn Station is in New York. They're basically saying, “Yeah, it would be nice to return to the era of like the sort of unbound technocrat” when these technical experts in high positions of power in government could essentially do whatever they wanted to some extent. If they thought something should be built somewhere, they basically had the power to do it. It's a facet of this problem of how it's really, really hard to get stuff built in the US currently. I'm sure that a part of it is that you don't see these really talented technocrats occupy high positions of government where they can get stuff done. But it's not super obvious to me whether that's the limiting factor. I kind of get the sense that they would end up being bottlenecked by some other part of the process. The whole sort of interlocking set of institutions has just become so risk averse that they would end up just being blocked in a way that they wouldn't when they were operating in the 1950s or 1960s.Dwarkesh Patel Yeah, yeah, that's interesting. All right, so speaking of Japan, I just recently learned about the construction there and how they just keep tearing stuff down every 30 to 40 years and rebuilding it. So you have an interesting series of posts on how you would go about building a house or a building that lasts for a thousand years. But I'm curious, how would you build a house or a building that only lasts for 30 or 40 years? If you're building in Japan and you know they're gonna tear it down soon, what changes about the construction process? Brian Potter Yeah, that's interesting. I mean, I'm not an expert on Japanese construction, but I think like a lot of their interior walls are basically just paper and stuff like that. I actually think it's kind of surprising that last time I looked, for a lot of their homes, they use a surprising post and beam construction method, which is actually somewhat labor-intensive to do. The US in the early 1800s used a pretty similar method. Then once we started mass producing conventional lumber, we stopped doing that because it was much cheaper to build out of two-by-fours than it was to build big heavy posts. I think the boring answer to that question is that we'd build like how we build mobile homes–– essentially just using pretty thin walls, pretty low-end materials that are put together in a minimal way. This ends up not being that different from the actual construction method that single-family homes use. It just even further economizes and tightens the use of materials–– where a single-family home might use a half inch plywood, they might try to use three-sixteenths or even an eighth inch plywood or something like that. So we'd probably build a pretty similar way to the way most single-family homes and multi-family homes are built currently, but just with even tighter use of materials which perhaps is something that's not super nice about the way that you guys build your homes. But... [laughs]Dwarkesh Patel Okay, so China is the third one here. There's been a lot of talk about a potential real estate bubble in China because they're building housing in places where people don't really need it. Of course, maybe the demographics aren't there to support the demand. What do you think of all this talk? I don't know if you're familiar with it, but is there a real estate bubble that's created by all this competence in building? Brian PotterOh, gosh, yeah, I have no idea. Like you, I've definitely heard talk of it and I've seen the little YouTube clips of them knocking down all these towers that it turns out they didn't need or the developer couldn't, finish or whatever. I don't know a huge amount about that. In general, I wish I knew a lot more about how things are built in China, but the information is in general, so opaque. I generally kind of assume that any particular piece of data that comes out of China has giant error bars on it as to whether it's true or not or what the context surrounding it is. So in general, I do not have a hard opinion about that. Dwarkesh Patel This is the second part of Simon's question, does greater competence and being able to build stuff translate into other good outcomes for these countries like higher GDP or lower rents or other kinds of foreign outcomes? Brian Potter That's a good question. Japan is an interesting place where basically people point to it as an example of, “Here's a country that builds huge amounts of housing and they don't have housing cost increases.” In general, we should expect that dynamic to be true. Right? There's no reason to not think that housing costs are essentially a supply-demand problem where if you built as much as people wanted, the cost would drop. I have no reason to not think that's true. There is a little bit of evidence that sort of suggests that it's impossible to build housing enough to overcome this sort of mechanical obstacle where the cost of it tends to match and rise to whatever people's income level are. The peak and the sort of flattening of housing costs in Japan also parallel when people basically stopped getting raises and income stopped rising in Japan. So I don't have a good sense of, if it ends up being just more driven by some sort of other factors. Generally though I expect the very basic answer of “If you build a lot more houses, the housing will become cheaper.”Dwarkesh PatelRight. Speaking of how the land keeps gaining value as people's income go up, what is your opinion on Georgism? Does that kind of try and make you think that housing is a special asset that needs to be more heavily taxed because you're not inherently doing something productive just by owning land the way you would be if you like built a company or something similar?Brian Potter I don't have any special deep knowledge of Georgism. It's on my list of topics to read more deeply about. I do think in general, taxing encourages you to produce less of something for something that you can't produce less of. It's a good avenue for something to tax more heavily. And yeah, obviously if you had a really high land value tax in these places that have a lot of single-family homes in dense urban areas, like Seattle or San Francisco, that would probably encourage people to use the land a lot more efficiently. So it makes sense to me, but I don't have a ton of special knowledge about it. Dwarkesh Patel All right, Ben Kuhn asked on Twitter, “What construction-related advice would you give to somebody building a new charter city?”Brian Potter That is interesting. I mean, just off the top of my head, I would be interested in whether you could really figure out a way to build using a method that had really high upfront costs. I think it could otherwise be justified, but if you're gonna build 10,000 buildings or whatever all at once, you could really take advantage of that. One kind of thing that you see in the sort of post-World War II era is that we're building huge massive amounts of housing, and a lot of times we're building them all in one place, right? A lot of town builders were building thousands and thousands of houses in one big development all at once. In California, it's the same thing, you just built like 6 or 10 or 15,000 houses in one big massive development. You end up seeing something like that where they basically build this like little factory on their construction site, and then use that to like fabricate all these things. Then you have something that's almost like a reverse assembly line where a crew will go to one house and install the walls or whatever, and then go to the next house and do the same thing. Following right behind them would be the guys doing the electrical system, plumbing, and stuff like that. So this reverse assembly line system would allow you to sort of get these things up really, really fast, in 30 days or something like that. Then you could have a whole house or just thousands and thousands of houses at once. You would want to be able to do something similar where you could just not do the instruction the way that the normal construction is done, but that's hard, right? Centrally planned cities or top-down planned cities never seem to do particularly well, right? For example, the city of Brasilia, the one that was supposed to be a planned city— the age it goes back to the unfettered technocrat who can sort of build whatever he wants. A lot of times, what you want is something that will respond at a low level and organically sort out the factories as they develop. You don't want something that's totally planned from the top-down, that's disconnected from all the sorts of cases on the ground. A lot of the opposition to Robert Moses ended up being that in a certain form, right? He's bulldozing through these cities that are these buildings and neighborhoods that he's not paying attention to at all. So I think, just to go back to the question, trying to plan your city from the top down doesn't have a super, super great track record. In general, you want your city to develop a little bit more organically. I guess I would think to have a good sort of land-use rules that are really thought through well and encourage the things that you want to encourage and not discourage the things that you don't want to discourage. Don't have equity in zoning and allow a lot of mixed-use construction and stuff like that. I guess that's a somewhat boring answer, but I'd probably do something along those lines. Dwarkesh Patel Interesting, interesting. I guess that implies that there would be high upfront costs to building a city because if you need to build 10,000 homes at once to achieve these economies of scale, then you would need to raise like tens of billions of dollars before you could build a charter city. Brian Potter Yeah, if you were trying to lower your costs of construction, but again, if you have the setup to do that, you wouldn't necessarily need to raise it. These other big developments were built by developers that essentially saw an opportunity. They didn't require public funding to do it. They did in the form of loan guarantees for veterans and things like that, but they didn't have the government go and buy the land. Automation and Revolutionary Future Technologies Dwarkesh Patel Right, okay, so the next question is from Austin Vernon. To be honest, I don't understand the question, you two are too smart for me, but hopefully, you'll be able to explain the question and then also answer it. What are your power rankings for technologies that can tighten construction tolerances? Then he gives examples like ARVR, CNC cutting, and synthetic wood products. Brian Potter Yeah, so this is a very interesting question. Basically, because buildings are built manually on site by hand, there's just a lot of variation in what ends up being built, right? There's only so accurately that a person can put something in place if they don't have any sort of age or stuff like that. Just the placement itself of materials tends to have a lot of variation in it and the materials themselves also have a lot of variation in them. The obvious example is wood, right? Where one two by four is not gonna be exactly the same as another two by four. It may be warped, it may have knots in it, it may be split or something like that. Then also because these materials are sitting just outside in the elements, they sort of end up getting a lot of distortion, they either absorb moisture and sort of expand and contract, or they grow and shrink because of the heat. So there's just a lot of variation that goes into putting a building up.To some extent, it probably constrains what you are able to build and how effectively you're able to build it. I kind of gave an example before of really energy efficient buildings and they're really hard to build on-site using conventional methods because the air ceiling is quite difficult to do. You have to build it in a much more precise way than what is typically done and is really easily achieved on-site. So I guess in terms of examples of things that would make that easier, he gives some good ones like engineered lumber, which is where you take lumber and then grind it up into strands or chips or whatever and basically glue them back together–– which does a couple of things. It spreads all the knots and the defects out so they are concentrated and everything tends to be a lot more uniform when it's made like that. So that's a very obvious one that's already in widespread use. I don't really see that making a substantial change.I guess the one exception to that would be this engineered lumber product called mass timber elements, CLT, which is like a super plywood. Plywood is made from tiny little sheet thin strips of wood, right? But CLT is made from two-by-four-dimensional lumber glued across laminated layers. So instead of a 4 by 9 sheet of plywood, you have a 12 by 40 sheet of dimensional lumber glued together. You end up with a lot of the properties of engineered material where it's really dimensionally stable. It can be produced very, very accurately. It's actually funny that a lot of times, the CLT is the most accurate part of the building. So if you're building a building with it, you tend to run into problems where the rest of the building is not accurate enough for it. So even with something like steel, if you're building a steel building, the steel is not gonna be like dead-on accurate, it's gonna be an inch or so off in terms of where any given component is. The CLT, which is built much more accurately, actually tends to show all these errors that have to be corrected. So in some sense, accuracy or precision is a little bit of like a tricky thing because you can't just make one part of the process more precise. In some ways that actually makes things more difficult because if one part is really precise, then a lot of the time, it means that you can't make adjustments to it easily. So if you have this one really precise thing, it usually means you have to go and compensate for something else that is not built quite as precisely. It actually makes advancing precision quite a bit more complicated. AR VR, is something I'm very bullish on. A big caveat of that is assuming that they can just get the basic technology working. The basic intuition there is that right now the way that pieces are, when a building is put together on site, somebody is looking at a set of paper plans, or an iPad or something that tells them where everything needs to go. So they figure that out and then they take a tape measure or use some other method and go figure out where that's marked on the ground. There's all this set-up time that is really quite time consuming and error prone. Again, there's only so much accuracy that a guy dragging a tape 40 feet across site being held by another guy can attain, there's a limit to how accurate that process can be. It's very easy for me to imagine that AR would just project exactly where the components of your building need to go. That would A, allow you a much higher level of accuracy that you can easily get using manual methods. And then B, just reduce all that time it takes to manually measure things. I can imagine it being much, much, much faster as well, so I'm quite bullish on that. At a high level and a slightly lower level, it's not obvious to me if they will be able to get to the level where it just projects it with perfect accuracy right in front of you. It may be the case that a person moving their head around and constantly changing their point of view wont ever be able to project these things with millimeter precision––it's always gonna be a little bit jumpy or you're gonna end up with some sort of hard limit in terms of like how precisely you can project it. My sense is that locator technology will get good enough, but I don't have any principle reason believing that. The other thing is that being able to take advantage of that technology would require you to have a really, really accurate model of your building that locates where every single element is precisely and exactly what its tolerances are. Right now, buildings aren't designed like that, they are built using a comparatively sparse set of drawings that leaves a lot to sort of be interpreted by the people on site doing the work and efforts that have tried to make these models really, really, really precise, have not really paid off a lot of times. You can get returns on it if you're building something really, really complex where there's a much higher premium to being able to make sure you don't make any error, but for like a simple building like a house, the returns just aren't there. So you see really comparatively sparse drawings. Whether it's gonna be able to work worth this upfront cost of developing this really complex, very precise model of where exactly every component is still has to be determined. There's some interesting companies that are trying to move in this direction where they're making it a lot easier to draw these things really, really precisely and whave every single component exactly where it is. So I'm optimistic about that as well, but it's a little bit TBD. Dwarkesh Patel This raises a question that I actually wanted to ask you, which is in your post about why there aren't automatic brick layers. It was a really interesting post. Somebody left in an interesting comment saying that bricks were designed to be handled and assembled by humans. Then you left a response to that, which I thought was really interesting. You said, “The example I always reach for is with steam power and electricity, where replacing a steam engine with an electric motor in your factory didn't do much for productivity. Improving factory output required totally redesigning the factory around the capabilities of electric motors.” So I was kind of curious about if you apply that analogy to construction, then what does that look like for construction? What is a house building process or building building process that takes automation and these other kinds of tools into account? How would that change how buildings are built and how they end up looking in the end? Brian Potter I think that's a good question. One big component of the lack of construction productivity is everything was designed and has evolved over 100 years or 200 years to be easy for a guy or person on the site to manipulate by hand. Bricks are roughly the size and shape and weight that a person can move it easily around. Dimensional lumber is the same. It's the size and shape and weight that a person can move around easily. And all construction materials are like this and the way that they attach together and stuff is the same. It's all designed so that a person on site can sort of put it all together with as comparatively little effort as possible. But what is easy for a person to do is usually not what is easy for a machine or a robot to do, right? You typically need to redesign and think about what your end goal is and then redesign the mechanism for accomplishing that in terms of what is easy to get to make a machine to do. The obvious example here is how it's way easier to build a wagon or a cart that pulls than it is to build a mechanical set of legs that mimics a human's movement. That's just way, way, way easier. I do think that a big part of advancing construction productivity is to basically figure out how to redesign these building elements in a way that is really easy for a machine to produce and a machine to put together. One reason that we haven't seen it is that a lot of the mechanization you see is people trying to mechanize exactly what a person does. You'd need a really expensive industrial robot that can move exactly the way that a human moves more or less. What that might look like is basically something that can be really easily extruded by a machine in a continuous process that wouldn't require a lot of finicky mechanical movements. A good example of this technology is technology that's called insulated metal panels, which is perhaps one of the cheapest and easiest ways to build an exterior wall. What it is, is it's just like a thin layer of steel. Then on top of that is a layer of insulation. Then on top of that is another layer of steel. Then at the end, the steel is extruded in such a way that it can like these inner panels can like lock together as they go. It's basically the simplest possible method of constructing a wall that you can imagine. But that has the structural system and the water barrier, air barrier, and insulation all in this one really simple assembly. Then when you put it together on site, it just locks together. Of course there are a lot of limitations to this. Like if you want to do anything on top of like add windows, all of a sudden it starts to look quite a bit less good. I think things that are really easy for a machine to do can be put together without a lot of persistent measurement or stuff like that in-field. They can just kind of snap together and actually want to fit together. I think that's kind of what it looks like. 3D Printer Pessimism & The Rising Cost of LabourDwarkesh Patel What would the houses or the buildings that are built using this physically look like? Maybe in 50 to 100 years, we'll look back on the houses we have today and say, “Oh, look at that artisanal creation made by humans.” What is a machine that is like designed for robots first or for automation first? In more interesting ways, would it differ from today's buildings? Brian Potter That's a good question. I'm not especially bullish on 3D building printing in general, but this is another example of a building using an extrusion process that is relatively easy to mechanize. What's interesting there is that when you start doing that, a lot of these other bottlenecks become unlocked a little bit. It's very difficult to build a building using a lot of curved exterior surfaces using conventional methods. You can do it, it's quite expensive to do, but there's a relatively straightforward way for a 3D-printed building to do that. They can build that as easily as if it was a straight wall. So you see a lot of interesting curved architecture on these creations and in a few other areas. There's a company that can build this cool undulating facade that people kind of like. So yeah, it unlocks a lot of options. Machines are more constrained in some things that they can do, but they don't have a lot of the other constraints that you would otherwise see. So I think you'll kind of see a larger variety of aesthetic things like that. That said, at the end of the day, I think a lot of the ways a house goes together is pretty well shaped to just the way that a person living inside it would like to use. I think Stewart Brand makes this point in––Dwarkesh Patel Oh, How Buildings Learn. Brian Potter There we go. He basically makes the point that a lot of people try to use dome-shaped houses or octagon-shaped houses, which are good because, again, going back to surface area volume, they include lots of space using the least amount of material possible. So in some theoretical sense, they're quite efficient, but it's actually quite inconvenient to live inside of a building with a really curved wall, right? Furniture doesn't fit up against it nicely, and pictures are hard to hang on a really curved wall. So I think you would see less variation than maybe you might expect. Dwarkesh Patel Interesting. So why are you pessimistic about 3D printers? For construction, I mean. Brian Potter Yeah, for construction. Oh God, so many reasons. Not pessimistic, but just there's a lot of other interesting questions. I mean, so the big obvious one is like right now a 3D printer can basically print the walls of a building. That is a pretty small amount of the value in a building, right? It's maybe 7% or 8%, something like that. Probably not more than 10% of the value in a building. Because you're not printing the foundation, you're not printing like the overhead vertical, or the overhead spanning structure of the building. You're basically just printing the walls. You're not even really printing the second story walls that you have in multiple stories. I don't think they've quite figured that out yet. So it's a pretty small amount of value added to the building. It's frankly a task that is relatively easy to do by manual labor. It's really pretty easy for a crew to basically put up the structure of a house. This is kind of a recurring theme in mechanization or it goes back to what I was talking about to our previous lead. Where it takes a lot of mechanization and a lot of expensive equipment to replace what basically like two or three guys can do in a day or something like that. The economics of it are pretty brutal. So right now it produces a pretty small value. I think that the value of 3D printing is basically entirely predicated on how successful they are at figuring out how to like deliver more components of the building using their system. There are companies that are trying to do this. There's one that got funded not too long ago called Black Diamond, where they have this crazy system that is like a series of 3D printers that would act simultaneously, like each one building a separate house. Then as you progress, you switch out the print head for like a robot arm. Cause a 3D printer is basically like a robot arm with just a particular manipulator at the end, right?So they switch out their print head for like a robot arm, and the robot arm goes and installs different other systems like the windows or the mechanical systems. So you can figure out how to do that reliably where your print head or your printing system is installing a large fraction of the value of the building. It's not clear to me that it's gonna be economic, but it obviously needs to reach that point. It's not obvious to me that they have gotten there yet. It's really quite hard to get a robot to do a lot of these tasks. For a lot of these players, it seems like they're actually moving away from that. I think in ICON is the biggest construction 3D printer company in the US, as far as I know. And as far as I know, they've moved away from trying to install lots of systems in their walls as they get printed. They've kind of moved on to having that installed separately, which I think has made their job a little bit easier, but again, not quite, it's hard to see how the 3D printer can fulfill its promises if it can't do anything just beyond the vertical elements, whichare really, for most construction, quite cheap and simple to build. Dwarkesh Patel Now, if you take a step back and talk how expensive construction is overall, how much of it can just be explained by the Baumol cost effect? As in labor costs are increasing because labor is more productive than other industries and therefore construction is getting more expensive. Brian Potter I think that's a huge, huge chunk of it. The labor fraction hasn't changed appreciably enough. I haven't actually verified that and I need to, but I remember somebody that said that they used to be much different. You sent me some literature related to it. So let's add a slight asterisk on that. But in general the labor cost has remained a huge fraction of the overall cost of the building. Reliably seeing their costs continue to rise, I think there's no reason to believe that that's not a big part of it. Dwarkesh Patel Now, I know this sounds like a question with an obvious answer, but in your post comparing the prices of construction in different countries, you mentioned how the cost of labor and the cost of materials is not as big a determiner of how expensive it is to construct in different places. But what does matter? Is it the amount of government involvement and administrative overhead? I'm curious why those things (government involvement and administrative overhead) have such a high consequence on the cost of construction. Brian Potter Yeah, that's a good question. I don't actually know if I have a unified theory for that. I mean, basically with any heavily regulated thing, any particular task that you're doing takes longer and is less reliable than it would be if it was not done right. You can't just do it as fast as on your own schedule, right? You end up being bottlenecked by government processes and it reduces and narrows your options. So yeah, in general, I would expect that to kind of be the case, but I actually don't know if I have a unified theory of how that works beyond just, it's a bunch of additional steps at any given part of the process, each of which adds cost. Dwarkesh Patel Yeah. Now, one interesting trend we have in the United States with construction is that a lot of it is done by Latino workers and especially by undocumented Latino workers. What is the effect of this on the price and the quality of construction? If you have a bunch of hardworking undocumented workers who are working for below-market rates in the US, will this dampen the cost of construction over time? What do you think is going to happen? Brian Potter I suspect that's probably one of the reasons why the US has comparatively low construction costs compared to other parts of the world. Well, I'll caveat that. Residential construction, which is single-family homes and multi-family apartment buildings all built in the US and have light framed wood and are put together, like you said, by a lot of like immigrant workers. Because of that, it would not surprise me if those wages are a lot lower than the equivalent wage for like a carpenter in Germany or something like that. I suspect that's a factor in why our cost of residential construction are quite low. AI's Impact on Construction ProductivityDwarkesh Patel Overall, it seems from your blog post that you're kind of pessimistic, or you don't think that different improvements in industrialization have transferred over to construction yet. But what do you think is a prospect of future advances in AI having a big impact on construction? With computer vision and with advances in robotics, do you think we'll finally see some carry-over into construction productivity or is it gonna be more of the same? Brian Potter Yeah, I think there's definitely gonna be progress on that axis. If you can wire up your computer vision systems, robotic systems, and your AI in such a way that your capabilities for a robot system are more expanded, then I kind of foresee robotics being able to take a larger and larger fraction of the tasks done on a typical construction site. I kind of see it being kind of done in narrow avenues that gradually expand outward. You're starting to see a lot of companies that have some robotic system that can do one particular task, but do that task quite well. There's a couple of different robot companies that have these little robots for like drawing wall layouts on like concrete slabs or whatever. So you know exactly where to build your walls, which you would think would not be like a difficult problem in construction, but it turns out that a lot of times people put the walls in the wrong spot and then you have to go back and move them later or just basically deal with it. So yeah, it's basically a little Roomba type device that just draws the wall layout to the concrete slab and all the other systems as well–– for example, where the lines need to run through the slab and things like that. I suspect that you're just gonna start to see robotics and systems like that take a larger and larger share of the tasks on the construction site over time. Dwarkesh Patel Yeah, it's still very far away. It's still very far away. What do you think of Flow? That's Adam Neumann's newest startup and backed with $350 million from Andreeseen Horowitz.Brian Potter I do not have any strong opinions about that other than, “Wow, they've really given him another 350M”. I do not have any particularly strong opinions about this. They made a lot they make a lot of investments that don't make sense to me, but I'm out of venture capital. So there's no reason that my judgment would be any good in this situation–– so I'm just presuming they know something I do not. Dwarkesh Patel I'm going to be interviewing Andreeseen later this month, and I'm hoping I can ask him about that.Brian Potter You know, it may be as simple as he “sees all” about really high variance bets. There's nobody higher variance in the engine than Adam Neumann so, maybe just on those terms, it makes sense. Dwarkesh Patel You had an interesting post about like how a bunch of a lot of the knowledge in the construction industry is informal and contained within best practices or between relationships and expectations that are not articulated all the time. It seems to me that this is also true of software in many cases but software seems much more legible and open source than these other physical disciplines like construction despite having a lot of th