EP27 Jamie Wheal on Flow & the Future of Culture



Author Jamie Wheal talks with Jim about working with the Navy SEALs, what characterizes flow, intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation, the Eleusinian Mysteries, Plato, Aristotle & Pythagoras, soft-leadership & dynamic hierarchies, group flow, if courage & integrity can be taught & what that means for Game B, coherent pluralism, spiritual bypassing, the dangers & promises of ecstatic state technology, the realities of collapse, what we might learn from the Amish, cult leaders & the dynamics of their power, and more.

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Mentions & Recommendations

Jamie Wheal is the author of the global bestseller and Pulitzer Prize nominated Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, Navy SEALs and Maverick Scientists are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work and the founder of the Flow Genome Project, an international organization dedicated to the research and training of ultimate human performance. Since founding the organization in 2011, it has gone on to become the leading voice of evidence-based peak performance in the world, counting award-winning academics, legendary professional athletes, special operations commanders, and Fortune 500 business leaders among the hundreds of thousands of people in its global community.


EP26 Jordan Hall on the Game B Emergence



Jordan Hall

Jordan Hall and Jim have another wide-ranging conversation about Game B. They start with a quick overview of Game A and then move on to talk about the emerging collaboration of Game B & how it happened, its competitive advantage over Game A, liminal spaces, embodied wisdom, sovereignty & sense-making, the pre-B phase, changing our lives to be Game B oriented, meaningfulness, the transition to Game B, parenting & working in Game B, the importance of conviviality & multidimensional health, policing & justice in Game B, the dynamics of coherence, the hard problem of scaling Dunbar’s number, parasitizing Game A to boot up Game B, the role of locality & remote collaboration, the value of failure, and more.

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Mentions & Recommendations

Jordan is the Co-founder and Executive Chairman of the Neurohacker Collective. He is now in his 17th year of building disruptive technology companies. Jordan’s interests in comics, science fiction, computers, and way too much TV led to a deep dive into contemporary philosophy (particularly the works of Gilles Deleuze and Manuel DeLanda), artificial intelligence and complex systems science, and then, as the Internet was exploding into the world, a few years at Harvard Law School where he spent time with Larry Lessig, Jonathan Zittrain and Cornel West examining the coevolution of human civilization and technology.


EP25 Gary Marcus on Rebooting AI



Scientist, author & entrepreneur Gary Marcus talks with Jim about his latest book, Rebooting AI. In this wide-ranging conversation they cover the gullibility gap, the illusory progress gap, the robustness gap, driverless car progress & safety, how narrow AI is today, model building, the free-lunch theorem, nativism in animals & humans, how Jim’s experience with war games demonstrates the learning limitations of AI, Cyc & ConceptNet, symbolic algorithms, potential of graph neural nets, why Gary thinks hybrid models are the future of AI, challenges of evolutionary AI approaches, data mining & AI echo-chambers, AGI, and much more.

Automated Episode Transcript

Mentions & Recommendations

Gary Marcus is a scientist, best-selling author, and entrepreneur. He is Founder and CEO of Robust.AI, and was Founder and CEO of Geometric Intelligence, a machine learning company acquired by Uber in 2016. He is the author of five books, including The Algebraic Mind, Kluge, The Birth of the Mind, and The New York Times bestseller Guitar Zero, as well as editor of The Future of the Brain and The Norton Psychology Reader.

He has published extensively in fields ranging from human and animal behavior to neuroscience, genetics, linguistics, evolutionary psychology, and artificial intelligence, often in leading journals such as Science and Nature, and is perhaps the youngest Professor Emeritus at NYU. His newest book, co-authored with Ernest Davis, Rebooting AI: Building Machines We Can Trust aims to shake up the field of artificial intelligence.


EP24 Bret Weinstein on Evolving Culture



Bret Weinstein and Jim talk about the evolutionary & game-theoretic dynamics that have led humanity to an unsustainable place, the impact of today’s algorithms & how they’re connected to human evolution, the recent shift of corporate values, how Game B should view complex systems, design vs. navigation, trade-offs from a theoretical biology perspective, approaches to keeping online collaboration & networks net-positive, how the political left has changed & how Jim & Bret relate to it, the biological perspective & its connection to the is–ought problem, the role of gender in today’s culture, new atheism, and the implications of seeing religion as a result of Darwinian evolution.

Episode Transcript

Mentions & Recommendations

Bret Weinstein has spent two decades exploring the frontiers of evolutionary biology. He is currently working to uncover the evolutionary meaning of large scale patterns in human history, and seeking a game-theoretically stable path forward for humanity. His scholarly research is focused on evolutionary trade-offs. He has worked on the evolution of senescence and cancer, species diversity gradients, and the adaptive significance of human morality and religion. He has written for The Wall Street Journal and testified to the U.S. Congress regarding questions of freedom of expression on college campuses. He is the host of Bret Weinstein’s DarkHorse Podcast.


EP23 Jeff Gomez on Narrative & Cultural Change



Jeff Gomez

CEO Jeff Gomez and Jim have a wide-ranging talk about Jeff’s work with massive movies like Pirates of the Caribbean, his work with transmedia storytelling & worldbuilding, how nerdy Jim really is, how narrative & story differ & the role the audience plays, fandom, the perennial Star Wars vs Star Trek question, the far reaches of fan fiction, Jeff’s work in Collective Journey & its broader connection to the internet & politics, the hero’s journey & its ‘Hollywood’ization’, how Jeff’s interest in narrative led him to work on transmedia & geopolitics with the Department of Defence & other government agencies, understanding & fighting malicious cultural propaganda, the connection between Putin & Trump/Bannon strategy, Extinction Rebellion, speculation about the future of Gen Z & tribalism, social coherence, Jeff’s advice for the Game B community about using narrative, personal development & media literacy, and online vs in-person relationships & collaboration.

Episode Transcript

Mentions & Recommendations

Jeff Gomez, CEO of Starlight Runner, is a leading expert in the fields of brand narrative, story world development, creative franchise design, and transmedia storytelling. He specializes in the expansion of entertainment properties, premium brands, and socio-political themes into highly successful multi-platform communications and international campaigns. As a producer accredited by the Producers Guild of America, Jeff also develops the story worlds of films, TV shows, videogames, toys, books, comics, apps, virtual reality projects, and theme park attractions.

Jeff’s pop culture work has impacted such blockbuster properties as Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean, James Cameron’s Avatar, Hasbro’s Transformers, Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man and Men in Black, Microsoft’s Halo, and Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.


EP22 Sara Kindsfater-Yerkes on the Evolution of Business



Business Consultant Sara Kindsfater-Yerkes and Jim start this episode by reflecting on working together in their earlier careers. They then go on to talk about today’s multi-generational workforce, commonalities of Gen Z & Boomers, workplace mindsets, recruitment strategies & HR teams, shifts in today’s leadership approaches, hierarchical vs flat organizations, building company cultures that embrace change, nourishing employee engagement & intellectual honesty, the James Demore & Uber scandals, the Me Too Movement, women & men in the workforce, the word “fuck” as an intensifier, and the risks & rewards of being potentially offensive in the workplace.

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Mentions & Recommendations

Sara Kindsfater-Yerkes is a hands-on expert in transforming cultures, guiding strategic change, and developing leaders and teams. As a Consultant and Coach at bluSKY Strategy, a company she founded, Sara works with leaders who want to infuse their organizations with startup innovation, a customer-first mindset, and operational agility. Her clients span the private sector and federal agencies — coaching HR and IT leaders in managing the impact of emerging technology, building a best in class workforce, implementing lean thinking, and creating cultures of change and agility.


EP21 Roman Yampolskiy on the Outer Limits of AI



This conversation with Jim and Dr. Roman V. Yampolskiy–author, tenured associate professor, founding director of Cyber Security Lab–starts by covering the vast variance of possible minds. They then go on to talk about Boltzmann brains, the implications of an infinite universe, simulation theory’s limits & if we could find its glitches, symbolic vs deep learning & the role of language understanding in AI, the Turing test, limitations of human intelligence, limits of AI safety, the singularity & if it would happen fast or slow, the paper clip maximizer, impacts of narrow AI, pros & cons of open-source AI development, game theory applied to AI, AGI timeframes, and the Fermi paradox.

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Mentions & Recommendations

Dr. Roman V. Yampolskiy is a Tenured Associate Professor in the department of Computer Engineering and Computer Science at the Speed School of Engineering, University of Louisville. He is the founding and current director of the Cyber Security Lab and an author of many books including Artificial Superintelligence: a Futuristic Approach. Dr. Yampolskiy is a Senior member of IEEE and AGI; Member of Kentucky Academy of Science, and Research Advisor for MIRI and Associate of GCRI. His main areas of interest are AI Safety, Artificial Intelligence, Behavioral Biometrics, Cybersecurity, Digital Forensics, Games, Genetic Algorithms, and Pattern Recognition.


EP20 Pamela McCorduck on Her Life & Times with AI



Pamela McCorduck

Author Pamela McCorduck talks with Jim about themes of her latest book, This Could Be Important: My Life and Times with the Artificial Intelligentsia. They talk about C.P. Snow’s Two Cultures thesis that explores the divide between the humanities & sciences, Pamela’s professional & personal friendships with AI pioneers (Julian Feldman, Allen Newell, Marvin Minsky, Ed Feigenbaum, Raj Reddy & Herb Simon), how language is related to AI, symbolic vs. deep learning, drinking sherry with Herb Simon, how her writings on AI were perceived by publishers, scientists & creatives, Arno Penzias’ strong views on AI, potential risks & rewards of future AI, computational art, and the progress of feminism in academia & culture at large.

Episode Transcript

Pamela McCorduck is the author of eleven published books, four of them novels, seven of them non-fiction, mainly about aspects of artificial intelligence. She’d first met AI when she was an undergraduate English major at Berkeley, and became steeped in the culture at Stanford and Carnegie Mellon Universities. In 1979 she published the first modern history of artificial intelligence, Machines Who Think, a book said to have influenced a generation of young AI researchers. Her latest book, This Could Be Important: My Life and Times with the Artificial Intelligentsia, is memoir, social history, and group biography of the founding fathers of AI, and describes the friendships, professional and personal, that laid the foundation for her continuing fascination with AI. McCorduck lived for 40 years in New York City until family called her back to California where she now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.


EP19 John Robb on Asymmetric & Networked Conflict & Strategy



This conversation with Jim and John Robb–author, inventor, entrepreneur, technology analyst, astro engineer, and military pilot–starts by covering the impact of the recent drone attack on a Saudi fuel processing center, and the current US political situation. They then go on to talk about how John compares resistance and the insurgency networks, the dynamics of tribes, institutions & markets in this internet age, the role open-source dynamics play, coherence vs. corruption, how Extinction Rebellion & Game B fit in this picture, the neo-fascism of China & its impact on corporations, the Honk Kong protests, unleashing intelligence agencies on domestic terrorism, how autonomous robotics could impact future military engagements, and much more.

Episode Transcript

John is an author, inventor, entrepreneur, technology analyst, astro engineer, and military pilot. He’s started numerous successful technology companies, including one in the financial sector that sold for $295 million and one that pioneered the software we currently see in use at Facebook and Twitter. John’s insight on technology and governance has appeared on the BBC, Fox News, National Public Radio, CNBC, The Economist, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and BusinessWeek.

John served as a pilot in a tier-one counter-terrorism unit that worked alongside Delta and Seal Team 6. He wrote the book Brave New War on the future of national security, and has advised the Joint Chiefs of Staff, NSA, DoD, CIA, and the House Armed Services Committee.


EP18 Stuart Kauffman on Complexity, Biology & T.A.P.



Professor, MacArthur Fellow and author Stuart Kauffman talks with Jim about the major themes of his career: complexity, auto-catalytic chemical sets, protocells and the origins of life, the problem of the error catastrophe, human evolution, social and technical evolution, the Fermi Paradox and much more. Stuart also introduces his new T.A.P. equation and his view that it drives creativity and complexity across many scales.

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Mentions & Recommendations

Stuart Kauffman is a professor at the University of Calgary with a shared appointment between biological sciences and physics and astronomy. He is also the leader of the Institute for Biocomplexity and Informatics (IBI) which conducts leading-edge interdisciplinary research in systems biology. Dr. Kauffman is also an emeritus professor of biochemistry at the University of Pennsylvania, a MacArthur Fellow and an external professor at the Santa Fe Institute.

Originally a medical doctor, Dr. Kauffman’s primary work has been as a theoretical biologist studying the origin of life and molecular organization. Thirty-five years ago, he developed the Kauffman models, which are random networks exhibiting a kind of self-organization that he terms “order for free.” Dr. Kauffman was the founding general partner and chief scientific officer of The Bios Group, a company (acquired in 2003 by NuTech Solutions) that applies the science of complexity to business management problems. He is the author of The Origins of Order, At Home in the Universe: The Search for the Laws of Self-Organization, Investigations, and Reinventing the Sacred: A New View of Science, Reason, and Religion.