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Hacking the Future


Pablos Holman

In this week’s The Futurist episode we get into the world where venture capital and futurism collide, with hacker, inventor and technology futurist Pablos Holman. Whether it’s working on early crypto, 3D printing tech, spaceships with Blue Origin, or early Tesla engineering, Pablos has been involved in putting together some of the most leading edge technology deals on the planet. This week he joins Brett King and Miss Metaverse to talk how VCs and investors view emerging tech in AI, Climate and Genetics to name a few. Buckle up!

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[Music] this week on the futurist Pablo Holman I mean I've worked for multiple
billionaires the richest people on Earth they don't have enough money to save the
[Music] world welcome back to the futurists I'm
Katie King and joining me from Thailand is my co-host Brett King hey Brett yeah
hey no it's uh it's a long way between the states and in Thailand but yeah I'm
here no problem ready to go hey well did you know that there is a laser device
that actually blasts malaria caring mosquitoes out of the sky laser centry
mosquito robot Killers that's just what we need yeah we're gonna talk about it today this week we have a really great
guest yes hacker inventor and Technology futurist Pablos Holman Pablos Welcome To
The Future futur it's great where where are you
paas I'm in Brooklyn today you're in Brooklyn okay all right but I for some
reason live in a super position and be everywhere at once
iar fair enough true true I know we met back uh maybe 10 years ago uh yeah in in
New York it seems like forever ago and yeah it's good to see where you've been up to so you're with uh deep Tech deep
future what is I run a venture firm called Deep future okay yes so what is
what is deep Tech about you know deep Tech is I think the
uh way that we distinguish all the actual Technologies from what I call
shallow Tech which is uh just software and iPhone apps and
sassholes okay so you're talking about um Tech that is Meaningful Tech that
meaningful and I think the I think the part of the definition of Technology
should be new um you know there's it's the application of like new science and new
knowledge and new understanding and I don't think software as we know it is that new um and so you know these things
you know Wheels aren't new steam engines aren't new transistors aren't new so you
know deep Tech is you know if you come up with a better version of those things or a way to replace them with something
that does the job better and um and you know I think it's important to recognize
that we think we have this big tech industry but we mostly just have a big software industry and yeah no it's it's I think
that's true um yeah the old mark andreon quote software eating the world I I just
watched Jensen hang's uh keynote from the Nvidia um uh yeah uh event the other
week the um the Computing layers that they're talking about now the advances
they're making in AI based uh you know chipsets and stuff it's it's pretty incredible even even sort of the way we
think about programming language you know he was saying now humans are the programming language right so pretty
pretty interesting I mean software is eating the world but the world can't eat software so we have to use other kinds
of Technologies to go solve problems like you know like how do you feed people you look at what Nvidia is doing
I think there's a lot of Advanced Technologies there and there Technologies we could have gotten started on a long time ago but we sort
of got drunk on Mo's law and we just got used to computers getting faster all the
time by making transistors smaller and so we stopped trying to in innovate and
other ways of making computers better and faster and so what's kind of cool now is that we've sort of maxed out on
moris law the way we traditionally were able to you know make computers faster on a schedule and so everybody's having
to scramble and find other things they can do to make them make them better and there's all kinds of cool stuff you know
and that's a lot of what Nvidia is is showing is the fruits of that right so
what are you working on now at Deep future yeah so what we do is try to find all
the uh inventors you know who are The Mad scientists and the crazy hackers who've
come up with some new technology that we didn't have before that might be able to help us go attack
some of the big problems in the world and there's so much potential in that that's really untapped by the tech
industry so if you think about the big wins that we've had um you know the tech
industry is very proud of having disrupted the taxi industry but the taxi industry isn't exactly the most you know
meaningful or relevant industry in the world we have you know what about dis would be a good one Healthcare sure or
even food General Mills what about General Electric or General Motors or Saudi aramco you know these are the
trillion dollar Industries and they're left left largely Untouched by technology because you won't disrupt
them with just software alone and we keep trying and if you look at you know
I mean in healthc care I mean that one's a quagmire but you know there's a lot of attempts to go
improve it with software and yeah you could make some things better but you know where the rubber meets the road is
probably not going to just be software yeah so what are the three most top
projects that you worked on that you think are just you know the most awesome and you want to share with world you can
talk about yeah yeah uh oh man I've worked on a lot of crazy you know projects in my career
because I mostly um just do the new stuff um you know these days we have
startups that are doing all kinds of cool stuff one of them is making cargo ships that are autonomous and they're
sailing so they don't need a crew there's no fuel and there's no emissions
nice and you know that one I like it because it's pretty easy to believe that
it's going to work I mean it's easier than self-driving Teslas yeah and the sailing part we've had working for
centuries now so why do we have this massive industry built around just burning nasty bunker oil to get Happy
Meal toys delivered from you know China to Port of Los Angeles doesn't really
have to be that way and this is an industry that's probably twice the emissions of air travel and we could fix
it we know how to do it you know for a lot of these things now we know what to do we just haven't done it so um yeah so
we'll do it um there's so that's one I think that uh there just nothing not to
like about it um we have a company working on putting so if you have if you
have solar panels they basically two big problems clouds and
nighttime but if you take the solar panels and you put them in space they get sun 247 365 days a year microwave
energy yeah and then you beam it down to earth using radio waves yeah and people
don't know this is possible it's not only possible it's like very practical to do we know how to do it um the only
reason that it doesn't make sense is launch cost the cost of putting something into orbit
and that launch cost has ironically crashed recently and continues to come down and
so yeah we'll be at a point very soon here where in the next few years where
doing solar in space will become irresistibly coste effective and you don't need storage you don't need
transmission lines you could beam it to each City anywhere on Earth and that's um and we can test it on the moon on the
adamus missions maybe could I mean I don't know if we need to but
sure it reminds me of uh that project that bill NY the Science Guy was
promoting some some years ago light sale is it something similar like that uh I
think light sale is aemp go the other way you beam energy to a a small craft
like literally this big that you're going to send deep into the you know into the
solar system you just you beam you send aim a laser at this thing that's flying
out in space forever and it just uses that the energy from the photons hitting
it to get it to make it keep going so it doesn't have to haul any fuel with it
which is the problem we have with you know Rockets and the kinds of uh propulsion we use now so yeah that's
that's kind of beaming energy the other way be like it be like a satellite with a big solar array and and you know
massive battery storage and it would just no batteries well no just use capacitors um and then yeah just a big
dish to beam the energy down right and some sort of positioning capability yeah that that's more or less
true the Sun comes in radio waves come out you do beam forming and beam
steering to aim it at a at an antenna on the ground and it it just sends power
and it works in the middle of the night during a snowstorm no I know I remember when uh we had you know rames M on ra
now I'm sure you know of him um you know meon you know he's talking about what is it is that um one hour of Sun every day
is enough to power the planet for a year or something something incredible like that in terms there's yeah there's
enough energy coming out of the Sun but we only have the ability to capture the stuff aimed at Earth a very small
fraction of and even then we only capture a very small percentage of that right so yeah
yeah yeah that's but that's that's pretty cool Tech you know so you get to work on some pretty interesting stuff
how do you only do interesting stuff how do you how do you select projects I mean
what's your methodology there and and how are you you know sourcing
deals yeah so I mean the the best things you can't find them um
they're in a basement or a garage um the only people who know anything about it
are couple of nerds and um and so you
know I'm lucky in the sense that uh a lot of them come to me and that's
largely just because I've done a lot of the kinds of projects they want to do and um I think that you know hopefully
people are convinced that I can be helpful um so that's how I find I find
deals because they find me um so that's that's a lot of it and then I think the
um you know the framework is you know can this move the needle on a big
problem in the world right do we get a new Force multiplier that can help us solve that
problem at a l at a global scale I only want to take on things that affect
everyone on Earth you know that's Energy Water waste food sanitation construction
even apparel you know there's things that every human on earth relies on and
that to me is is where the big wins are and where the opportunity is and where
the and where the important stuff to solve is and so I'm real fixated on
those problems and I've been um you know trying to understand them better over
time understand them in a way that you know that keeps me from going after
these red herrings or these things that that aren't going to solve the problem I think that's that's kind of where I
start and then I have this incredible superpower uh called arithmetic which is
I just do a little bit of math and try to add up you know would this you know
would this help us solve the global problem is this something that's going to put a dent in the scale of the
problem or is this just another one of these things where we're you know
rearranging furniture on the deck of the Titanic so this is that's how I do it
this this is really interesting from a venture capital perspective because one of the problems you have with VCS
generally speaking is they're fairly short term in in respect to their
expectation of returns right um and the multiples so forth right and but some of
these projects you're talking about a 10 20 year uh projects before they become
really commercially viable in the sense that we would talk about today although
there are U you know other imperatives like you know the health and well-being of the planet and the survivability of
the human race obviously you know years ago um I helped get blue origin started
so it's probably like the first I don't know maybe I'm probably the third or
fourth person there and that was in
2001 and that's a you know people think that this is just a diance for billionaires
you know go flinging their big swinging Rockets around the universe that's not
what it's about um you know blue origin the vision there is how do you you know
kind of make a plan B for humans um the vision is trillions of
humans thriving in space which sounds insane but you know in the best case
scenario Earth will melt into the Sun so this is not a permanent situation we
have going under any circumstances and so what I learned from
that was that you know you have to be able to have some people who are
thinking on longer time Horizons right most people you know they just got to pay rent and get their kids
into college or whatever they can't really devote too much attention to you
know Generations yet to come but you know blue
origin um was is I think of it as kind of a philanthropy you know Jeff Bezos
probably doesn't need to worry about paying rent well maybe does I don't know but he's able in a way to think about
you know what would it be like to start a project that could take thousands of years right because even that even that
would start with one small step well Humanity used to be a lot more focused on these sort of longer term you know
things just look at you know some of the cathedrals that were built in Europe over hundreds of years the Great Wall of
China you know Etc you know we we we have been prepared previously to commit
to you know very long-term projects as as a as a species but capitalism sort of
uh um put paid to a lot of that more in more recent
centuries or would you argue that there's a comeback of of that you know that we have
multiple kinds of uh Machinery um in the
world um so capitalism is one of them so I'm a venture capitalist what does that
mean it means that I if I'm if it's you know again I don't
think we have a lot of actual Venture going on there's no Shackleton in you
know making the next Zoom or slack or whatever but um but there might be you
could say in making you know solar arrays in space or something you know um
what it means is I'm GNA go get money from uh people who have a lot need to
invest it I'm gonna aim that money at something that I think
can um return more that's the basic game
so if you're a if you're an investor of some type and you're managing so the sou pitch is is these are um world changing
Technologies you got to think on a longer term scale but when you do the returns are going to be massive look
yeah so you can't attract a lot of capital I mean I've worked for multiple
billionaires the richest people on Earth they don't have enough money to save the world right that's not how it works you
could give everybody some of it and you wouldn't be moving the needle it doesn't matter you have to use the capital you
have to attract enough money that you can invest in something that
grows right and what does that mean you know well if
you if you produce energy right if you can bring energy from space
to Earth in a clean cheap way and distribute it to people they have more
everybody everything on earth is made of energy Like We Are All Made of Stars it's not just song lyrics like
we're made of you know that one star that you can see from here during the day right that's that's the game so
that's not just your solar power that's your wind that's your coal your gas your
uranium all of it came from the Sun and and not to mention photosynthesis so look that we're we're just energy
powered like that's just what we are we are energy and so um we made a lot of
humans but we didn't exactly make enough energy to take care of them so if you
look at what does that look like I mean the average Earthling gets about as much energy as one toaster running 24 seven
right that's all their heating cooling food transport jet fuel whatever
Americans get about eight or nine bonus
toasters right we literally get almost 10 times as much energy as the average
Earthling and to get those averages it means three billion people live on less than one toaster right and so this is
the the argument that uh various um you know people like Bill Gates for example
make that yes we could uh improve poverty and homelessness and sanitation and all of those things around the world
but we'd all likely have to um because of the energy demands we'd all likely as a as a species have to accept a slightly
lower standard of living than we have today to make sure that everybody consistently around the world could have
it's not slight access to electricity toilets clean water that sort of stuff it's not slight lower
dramatically lower and you can see it because billions of people live with a dramatically lower living standard yeah
and what I think it means is that we have not correctly set the variable for energy
Demand right energy demand is not a few percent higher than it was last year
energy demand is 10x Global energy production yeah right now okay publ so
what we like to do at this point just before we take quick break is we like to get to know our uh our our subjects a
little better so this is what we like to call the lightning round we've got a few questions to to ask you just to get to
know you a bit better all right all right let's do it okay this is the lightning
round what technology has most changed Humanity probably
Snapchat interesting all right um name a futurist
an entrepreneur or someone that has influenced you in terms of your thinking and why you know I guess one of the ones
I remember you know in this probably for more 25 years or something was Stuart
brand and the reason is because he was good at
framing the global scale of
problems interesting yeah so if you haven't read like whole earth discipline
was a book he that's probably 10 or 15 years old but it's so good at helping you
understand the you know the way the problems are distributed around this planet across Humanity I think
that um had an effect on me you know definitely over the years I've gotten
more and more focused on um solving problems for the world not
just for you know kids in San Francisco who
need have weed delivered to their dorm room by a drone on although that is a very um super important but other people
have that covered and it's probably not gonna require my help what uh what
vision of the future is most representative of the future that you hope for for
Humanity you know my vision of the future I don't know it might be
Amalgamated probably there's you know listeners who can tell us what size fiction novel covers this the best
but I think that um I think of humanity and kind of a going in like um
developmental stages you know like a kid growing up you know being a toddler is different than being a teenager and
we're at this developmental stage where we managed to get past a lot of
the um a lot of the Superstition and things that held us back because we didn't
understand how they work there's a lot we don't understand still but we have a incredible toolkit so we're we're just
cruising through that stuff really fast we're learning and AI could blow the whole thing wide open if we can figure
out how to uh to figure out the truth from the noise right well the um it's
hard to make a short snippet here but I think the um what we now call AI um
has a ways to go but yeah in the long run what happens is we can build these computational models that help us make
better decisions and I'm really excited about that because I think one of the things
humans really suck at is making good decisions yeah especially in groups yes
and so and a lot of that is because we don't really have the time or attention
or wisdom to understand what the what the results of our decisions will be you
know there's like one result we're hoping to get but then there's like a hundred others that come with it that we're not good at projecting or
understanding what's cool about a computational model if it's a good if it's done well is it can show you these
are your possible Futures and let you choose from that
which one do you want to go for right I sort of Choose Your Own Adventure you
think about yeah and like or like a Google map you know Google map shows you
line to where you want to go but it also shows you like all right well if you hit traffic or something goes wrong there's
this gray line that gives you some other options and you can pick the one that works the best for you and that is um
not what we do now by and large it is what is getting increasingly possible we
can basically play Sim City for for planet Earth and start to choose from
our possible Futures which one we want to go for instead of just aiming for some fantasy future that may not be
achievable from here and so that that toolkit is Advanced now and we are
rarely using it but you know it's still people with phds who are wielding it but you know over time it becomes accessible
and and I think you know we're at this point now where computational modeling
Advanced computational modeling which is what how I think of it instead of AI which is sort of an overloaded term but
those computational models can be built for anything and so you'll build it for a bagel shop or a coffee shop the same
way you'll build it for you know IBM or Microsoft and you'll build it for you
know we we used to do it for disease eradication but you know you could do this as a way of helping you make better
decisions and so you could imagine where the way that plays out is you know next time you know eventually when Congress
is going to pass some 800 page bill that no one's read you could just feed it to the computer
and say Hey what if we if we were just hypothetically going to pass this bill what might happen and it'll tell you
here's what the possible Futures are if you pass that bill and so then we can you know have competing you know
competing models or competing AIS that might say well I'm better at figuring out the future than you and all that but
we would be having a better conversation a more informed conversation about the decisions we make and I think that to me
that's like the the exciting thing that's going to start to happen and really I think that's that is a pretty
near-term thing meaning you know in the next couple decades we'll start to do that with 100% we will do that with all
of our businesses right you won't use Excel you will use a massive computational model that that is for
your what you're doing and you know governments might take a couple decades
more after that but you know I think it really that is an inflection point that no one's talking talking about but it
really changes the future for for the species and yeah well that's a good good
point to take a break on Pablo so let's take a quick break you're listening to the futurist um I I'm hosting with Katie
today Katie King and we'll be right back after these words from our
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show welcome back to the futurists uh before the break we had
Pablos Holman on um with Katie and I we're talking about um sort of planning
cycles of humanity and some of the limitations that we've sort of developed
in more recent years in respect to decision making and how that's sort of going to change but Pablos why don't we
jump into some of the longer term changes that you see and some of the technologies that are you know um let's
first of all say you know what is the problem set that you define you know what are the things that you think most
urgently need to be addressed te technologically speaking and then you know what are the Technologies on the
horizon that make it look really interesting yeah I think the way I think about it is I mean or at least in easy
way to think about it is if you just go back to like maso's hierarchy of needs you know it's the like pyramid
everybody's seen and if you look at it the things on the bottom are the fundamentals you know
uh you know you need some food you need shelter you need you know Health you need those things um and then at the top
you've got things like um you know friends and family and meeting in your
work and Snapchat and so what we're H what we're doing I think a lot of the
time is we're just putting the cart before the horse people are up at the top of that pyramid arguing about how we're going to solve these problems up
here but we're failing because we haven't solved the ones at the bottom
and a good example of that you know just sticking with the conversation we've had
you know when you look at maso's hierarchy any version of it it doesn't even have energy on the on the diagram
it's like so fundamental it's like below the pyramid but but you know what when
you look at what is going on with energy we're not providing enough for most people in the world and you look at what
does the world fight about what are all those Wars about they're about access to
energy right they're about control of energy because there's not enough for everybody so if you solve energy you
could say climate change is about energy right is as we knew 50 years ex right burning fossil fuels was not killing 10
million people a year Jitter air pollution but we knew the effects it was having on the climate that's exactly the
point right if we had built nuclear reactors since the 80s you never would
have heard of climate change yeah right but we got scared of this technology we
didn't understand we conflated nuclear reactors with nuclear bombs we outlawed
them into Oblivion basically and we made the wrong
choice humans made the wrong choice and we're living with the consequences and so now we're trying to run around and
kind of clean up this mess but we still don't have enough energy to clean up the mess so if you look at things like
carbon capture there's no ideas for carbon capture that don't require
energy right where you g to get that energy oh we're going to burn coal to go capture the carbon if you want to
sequester carbon just leave the coal in the ground that is literally the cheapest carbon sequestration scheme you
will ever find but instead we're we're burning the cold so go capture more carbon it doesn't make sense and there's
a bunch of layers of indirection in the middle but you know these are the kinds of problems that I see a lot we putting
the cart before the horse so that's why I say use maso's hierarchy start at the bottom say okay how how are we going to
for everything on that list how are we going to 10x our ability to do that how
do we provide energy how do we provide food 10ex how do we raise the sanitation
in in the world in all the places that don't have it the way we do 10x better
you know how do we do those things so that we reduce the Infectious Disease 10x that you know you have to work from
the bottom up is how I think about about it and we just got a little ahead of
ourselves and you know being Americans and and being comparatively Rich you know we're rich because of that
energy we have access to energy we get nine or 10 times as much energy
as most people on earth right that's why we're rich it's not because we're so smart and special in other ways it's
because we got the best piece of land with the most access to energy and we've been milking that so look I don't I'm
not complaining I just think the job isn't done now we need to use that know
use the everything that's been invested in us and it started with energy but it ended with universities and then beyond
with you know techn Technologies and the things that we've been able to do here but the job's not done now the job is
how do you solve a problem that you don't have a problem at a global scale
right that a billion people have so so I mean I think about it would appear that
a lot of these problems yeah there are Technical Solutions but um when it comes to um you know addressing energy
concerns for example we really need some sort of consensus mechanism to get people on the right page otherwise
you're going to be you know you're going to have these corporations exploiting these differences in policy and and and
uh laws and so forth to to continue the gravy train right we we know that much
about um the markets and the way they work so how do you get consensus on some
of these big picture ideas so that you can really affect global change you're
out of my jurisdiction I don't I don't there's two kinds of problems in the world
the technical problems and I work on those and then the problems between people and groups of people making dumb
decisions that's someone else does so well let's dive into the technology then so what are the what are the emerging
technologies that you're really um you know you find it really promising yeah I
mean I think you know I see it I see my job being to add tools to the Arsenal
for future humans who will be better at making decisions than us
and um and so you know yeah we don't have to just talk about energy there's a lot you know we have um you know here's
another example I mean it kind of maps to energy but when you look at something like uh recycling people are out there
trying to recycle the cheapest crap on Earth plastic bottles and cardboard we
don't even recycle the most expensive stuff on Earth which is like you know gold and platinum and metals that are
infinitely recyclable um so we have a company that invented a non-toxic chemical process that can
separate those metals from Electronics every year $20 billion do worth of gold
goes into electronics and then ends up in a gold mine we call a landfill and there's I've always said
landfill mining is going to be a massive business one day it will be that's exactly right and it'll start with those
metals because um you know now we know how to get them in a
non-toxic way that scales so you know and I think you start
there and work your way down if you want to recycle plastic bottles you need to know that you can do it without burning
coal and gas to do it and right now we can't do that you know we're burning
nasty bunker oil to ship that crap all over the planet and so I think it's
another example of like are we putting the cart before the horse we've been recycling in the US us for 40 or 50
years and it's mostly not working right and so again we I think a lot of you
know going back to your previous question I was being flippant but you know that building
consensus thing that comes from the stories that we tell ourselves you know
humans are story powered creatures and we've been telling ourselves a lot of stories that we
fantasize that sound good but aren't really backed by the arith IC and that's
why I you know try to focus people on that say look just do a little bit of
math not hard math don't have to take calculus just do the math you can do on a napkin and figure out all right if I'm
separating my plastic from my cans for my bottles for my trash and my compost
and sticking it all out on different bins on the curb and then a truck comes by and picks them all up and throws them
all in the back of the same truck and then it disappears and I feel like I've done my part
but where does it go you know and where and and what is that truck running on is
it burning gas to get your plastic to the recycling facility probably is it
going to happen in your town or is it going to go on a barge across the ocean to Vietnam where they're gonna pretend
to recycle it no it I mean there's it's a scam so look I I mean not to disparage
anybody working on recycling we should try and we should try to come up with better ways of making these things work
but it could take a long time and and I think that you won't succeed that's another one where you
know you won't succeed if you don't solve energy first and so let's find a way to solve energy um and that's just
again I mean I just tie it all back so that people can see how the think thought process is fundamental energy is
not the only problem it's just the most fundamental one and so you start from there and you could go up the up maso's
hierarchy from there you know right I mean I remember uh one of
your talks that I watched you were talking about uh nuclear waste and how we could use that to power people uh for
quite some time can you elaborate on that yeah I worked at a lab called intellectual Ventures lab and we had
invented this nuclear reactor called the Terra power reactor and it's powered by nuclear
waste and we invented that machine in um probably
2007 and we still don't have a reactor right it's not because we don't
know how to build it it's the most modern reactor ever designed I mean it
was designed with giant supercomputers we could do that computational modeling I described to help us figure out how to
make a modern safe reactor that can't melt down it's powered by the by the
uranium left over for making bombs when we have a lot of that it's a more
efficient reactor um and so and you don't need an enrichment plant to do it because it
enriches its own Fuel and then Burns it so it's this modern it's this miraculous
new reactor design and we're not allowed to build it Bill Gates is Chairman of the company
and we haven't been able in 15 years to Fig figure out how to get it
approved by the US government to build it and so you know that's the situation
we're in and that's a again like I described before you that's a relic of having gotten the wrong story in our
head you know we outlawed these reactors you know I don't know if you know this I
heard this recently but JFK ran for president on a platform of
building a thousand nuclear reactors that's interesting that was his number one issue not his number one
issue it was the Dem Democratic Pary number one issue build a thousand nuclear
reactors that was what could have happened that's the that's the alternate future we are not living in because of
poor human decision- making oh yeah so many different timelines I mean
going back to what we spoke about earlier is that it would be great to have some type of an AI that could help
give people a vision of these different uh different Pathways different timelines so we could choose highest
timelines and be able to see it what what that alternate future could be like if we do choose that that's yeah what I
want is like Sim City with new technologies everybody can just be playing on their PlayStation but we drop
in nuclear reactors we drop in space solar we drop in Fusion we drop in you know recycling gold we drop in ships
that sell themselves we drop these things in and people can see what which of these Technologies
they that you know work what the effect is do they want to believe in it that's what we should make that'll be cool that
would be cool I mean hey we got the metaverse right I mean we should be able to to get people involved in that space
you know we've seen science fiction depictions of this type of um you know modeling you know from of course um sure
what's the Spielberg movie with Tom Cruz in it oh it's called um Schindler's List
that was awesome no no no not sh I'm
kidding yeah um I just had a brain f it is it is I don't know I don't know what
movie you're talking Minority Report Minority Report exactly yeah there's a lot Ian look you
got that here the let take this apart problem right these are these are look
this is actually very important point so I mean I know I'm not here to just antagonize everyone but we
celebrate Spielberg we celebrate the storytellers we celebrate Tom Cruz we
celebrate Hollywood for their genius ability to tell a story and move our
hearts and Minds right and what are they doing so much for their treatment of women they're being lazy and
irresponsible yeah right they're not telling us a story about a positive
practical vision of the future how the future could be awesome no every single time they take technology they turn it
into the boogeyman they use it as a way to tell a scary dystopian horrible story
that's a cautionary tale about everything could go wrong I'm sick and tired of it I think we should boycott
dystopia we've had enough of that for several lifetimes if you are truly
creative if you are a Storyteller if you are somebody who thinks that they have some some something to bring to the
world use it to tell us a story that's positive tell us a story about how things could go better than they are now
you know that's harder that's what creativity is for we don't need you to tell you know you
know that well I don't know I mean look there might be different ways to get there but
the point is we are letting ourselves down by by you know we've we've made
storytelling into a into a kind of cookie cutter business and we've gotten
really good at that but it's kept us from truly being creative and and using
our brains to tell a story about how things could go better and you know what the dystopians are always
wrong right I mean in the long run humans end up there's no time there's no
point there's no time where we ever like invent technology maybe the dystopia and climate change people like Kim Stanley
Robinson and others were you know even um car San you know me talked about this
stuff some of the stuff they said back few decades ago is pretty preent now but
on a on a scale of decades it's you can do that but on a scale of centuries you can't yes yeah right so if you look at
what's happened right there every time humans invent a technology and then
develop it and make and prove that it works and is cost effective and is good
what happens is we assassinate those people because it's new right like
whoever invented the wheel was probably like check this out and every was like [ __ ] those wheel guys and kill them off
for like a couple generations and then the kids are like [ __ ] you Dad wheels
are cool and the next thing you know you know it's it's it changes the world and
that's what H is happening right now with nuclear reactors you know we grew up with Chernobyl my kid doesn't know what Chernobyl is she's going to be like
reactors Tok Mar we got Fusion reactors coming along you know there's a lot of changes there um I want to ask you I
want to take you back to um um one one of the areas you spoke of earlier you
talked about this vision of humanity expanding through you know the solar system and then the Galaxy and and so
forth you know with with these incredible Technologies trillions of humans you said but the reality is right
now that we are um contrary to the projections in the 1970s and earlier you
know we're we're actually going to Peak out at what 10.8 billion people or something like that and the danger is
now that most modern economies are shrinking in terms of their population China is shrinking now um you know so
what what gets us back to a a point where humanity is growing like that and
it wants to expand rather than just sort of retreating back to you know a minimum
viable population I don't um um I mean look
we're g I'll make some stuff up here but you know I I try
to focus on what's you know
um on the next few decades I don't try to figure out how things might play out
over thousand this is something that Elon Musk has talked about though as an example right his his concern about I
mean look population I mean we understand some of these Dynamics but they do change right now we're at this
point where you know the dominant Force has been we you know we made a lot we
got good at making humans we made a lot of them the most efficient way to farm
humans is in cities right so humans had to urbanize
so we started moving people to cities so that they could so that we could
basically afford to raise them when you're in a city you get better Economic Opportunity you get better
educational opportunity but your lifestyle becomes more expensive and
your um your kids flip from being an asset to being a liability they're no
longer helping on the farm they're not work they're not labor we don't actually need them we actually made more people
than we need and so um so it's a reversion to the mean you know and I
think that there's plenty of ways that that could change in the future it's not
that you know I mean certain classes of people are very find a great deal of
fulfillment in raising kids even though they're not using them as labor right so
you know people could want to do that but if my kids generally in a modern American
city and you raise a kid I mean you know you could have a Lamborghini or you
could have a kid and you know that's a very expensive choice to make um so I
think I think that that is a side that's another one of those mistakes we're
making right you know is it a mistake I mean we don't necessarily need more
people what we need is the people we have to to thrive that's what I think we
already made these people we should take responsibility for taking care of them and providing for them and if we do a
good job of that you could imagine a future where more people could Thrive I
said I didn't say trillions of humans surviving in space I said trillions of humans thriving in space that means
we've provided for them right and if you do a good job of providing for those people then it wouldn't be so costly to
make more and so you know and so I think there's a um you know there's a there's
a number of factors here and I don't think we know what the I mean we know
what the future for humans probably is over the next 50 years but we don't know what it's like for over the next
thousand years because in 50 years we will solve energy right and we will Sol and and by
solving energy we will solve for a lot of the other basic needs on the bottom half M's hierarchy yep well I don't know
if it mean but you might cure inadvertent death right
right I mean I'm not saying you know it's not clear to me that people should live forever but yeah the things that
kill you are mostly technical problems that can be malaria well malaria is a great example
we solved malaria in the US right and we solved it by spraying
chemicals that kill everything unless you live mosquitoes are making a comeback
there so malaria's hit florid are there and they're carrying other diseases too
but the um you know the the problem is
we didn't finish the job and we didn't finish the job because we didn't have a technology that's
scaled to solve it at a global scale right we can't just spray DDT to kill
everything in Africa it's too big and so we have to invent new ways of going
after that disease but yeah you're right I mean it's a Million Lives a year still being lost to malaria Americans don't
worry about it a lot of things Americans don't worry about that's why we're busy worrying about you know whether our
Twitter accounts have blue check marks and important [ __ ] you know the rest of
the world doesn't worry about that they're just trying to not die of malaria so look I think there's a um you
know there's it is a beautiful future we will eradicate malaria so you are op you are
optimistic well look I'm here's what I think you know
um it's I feel a maybe I should have had lunch before we did this recording I
feel pretty antagonistic here I'm not just angry I'm just I I'm not at all I
just I what I believe in is that it is absolutely possible for the future to be
better for almost every problem in the world we know how to solve it that was not true a 100 years ago for almost
every technical problem we understand it well enough we have the technology that could solve it most of it could be cost
effective we just aren't busy doing it so I I believe it is all possible I think I'm a possibilist not an optimist
optimist sounds too poly enish yeah we might [ __ ] up for another 50 years the way we did with nuclear reactors that's
probably what's going to happen in some jurisdictions with AI you know people
are now trying to outlaw something they don't understand right and they're probably going to make some very poor
decision decisions they're going to have very negative consequences I mean look at psychedelics that's another one we outlawed it before we understood it it's
turned out to be the only thing we know of that can help people with these traumatic experiences that that really
screwed them up not just war vets but increasingly all kinds of other people
with traumatic experiences and we have this almost miraculous technology that can help them with these psychedelic
drugs but we outlawed it at a time when we didn't understand it we vilified
anybody who even tried to research it and we did the wrong thing we threw
Generations under the bus by doing that it was the wrong choice and we need to be honest about that and recognize that
we suck at regulating things we don't understand and we need to stop doing
that and and learn about them and figure out what's good and where the and and
you know that's that's just part of the natural prog progression of adopting a new technology you have to learn about
it you have to have experience with it you have to understand it and you have to figure out how much is too much and
how much is too little how much turns us into alcoholics and how much just makes us a little better at hanging out with
other [ __ ] you know there's a there's a you know there's a you know you have to build up an immunity
sometimes you know and like we're social media we're still in junior high with that where we're all you know just
screwing around being [ __ ] but over time we will learn how much is too much
how much is too little how much makes my life better and how much makes it worse and you know we're at that's just a
developmental phase that we're at and we have to go through that sometimes anyway look I'm preaching but you know you
hopefully we need more preaching dude need more preaching other people can advocate for all the dystopian I'm here
to tell you like we can make it awesome so let's make it awesome Pablos
where can we find out more about you what you do and how can we support you um well you can support me by
finding anybody with crazy hair and a DeLorean and just send them my way um I
like to try to be helpful especially if these are you know Force multipliers on the big problems like we talked about um
see if we can get these things off the ground I want to do a lot of them um you know there's a bunch of TED Talks online
different things people can watch to get more preaching from me if that's what you think you need in your life um and
then you know I have a podcast also called Deep future which is um you know
mostly me just hanging out uh picking the brains of the smartest people I can find and if you're interested in coming
along for that conversation you can do that and um after the first of the year that there should be a lot more uh
episodes of that coming out so yeah great great well thank you so much
for coming on the future it's been a great time chatting with you and here's to creating a more uh techno Optimist
future one that we could actually leverage technology and Innovation and you guys it's so exciting there's the
future will be awesome and there's so much that we're able to do better now
and we just got to get off our butts and do it after the next season in Netflix awesome that was nice to meet
you nice to get to know you yeah I'm glad it worked out no problem well that's it for the futurist this week
thanks Katie for uh stepping up and um pulling this episode together and
publish thanks for joining us if you liked what you heard uh make sure you tweet it out Snapchat it um or x z it
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week with more on the futurist until then we'll see you in the
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