I interview David Deutsch, physicist and author of The Beginning of Infinity.
Naval: My goal isn’t to do yet another podcast with David Deutsch. There are plenty of those. I would love to tease out some of the very counterintuitive learnings, put them down canonically in such a way that future generations can benefit from them, and make sure that none of this is lost.
Your work has been incredibly influential for me. I carry a copy of The Beginning of Infinity or The Fabric of Reality with me wherever I go. I’m still reading these same books after two years, trying to absorb them into my worldview, and I learn something new from them every day. There’s a lot of counterintuitive things in there. You’re skewering a lot of sacred dogmas. Sometimes you do it in passing with a single sentence that takes me weeks to unpack properly.
This recording is not for the philosophers, and it’s not for the physicists. This is for the layman, the average person. We want to introduce them to the principles of optimism, The Beginning of Infinity, what sustainability means, and anthropomorphic delusions.
As an example, you overturn induction as a way of forming new scientific theories. That’s this idea that repeated observation is what leads you to the creation of new knowledge—and that’s not the case at all. This came from Popper, but you built upon it. You talk about how humans are very different and exceptional (Read more...)