We delve into many stupendous science related topics today. Because of Alan’s background, we start right off talking about dinosaurs. Not sure what period his dinosaurs are, but we enjoy talking about discoveries and evolution.
And we’ve seen the new Oppenheimer movie and discuss it. There is so much to unwind with this movie, it’s a fun discussion.
Alan: And boom, there we are. Okay. Boom. How you doing, Steven? Good. How are you? I got I went prehistoric this time. You know, I was all, all library last time, figured I had to do something, a modern primitive, if you
Stephen: will. So, okay. I, I would say, oh, we’ve entered the Jurassic Age, Jurassic Park. But someone would probably say, yeah, well those dinosaurs didn’t exist
Alan: during that.
That’s true. It’s trias or it’s Cretaceous or it’s never
Stephen: appropriate to the, not up on my dinosaurs enough to know exactly where they
Alan: fit. I’m pretty sure this guy’s a Stegosaurus and this guy’s an iguanodon, but I’m not sure. And it’s also that whatever name it once was known as, they tend to like get a new one nowadays when they find out, oh, you were, you know, mixing between the bones.
Or one was old and one was younger. I’ve actually heard a couple fascinating lectures about, for something that is, you know, hundreds of millions year years old, we’re still. Discovering, we’re still figuring out exactly that. It’s, it’s a classic puzzle where like there’s no instruction sheet, there’s no solution you could turn to, you just have to go with what do we know about things nowadays and how animals have to work in order to have weight supporting muscles and have room for organs.
And you know,
Stephen: and you know, that’s a really good example. We’ve talked education a bit. At, at times. Mm-hmm. And what is taught about dinosaurs when we were younger and, and to this day, it hasn’t changed a whole lot. Right. But they discovered so many things and changed their thoughts and stuff different, you know, the, the brontosaurs a p sours and you know, when we learned it, it was, oh, they stayed in the water and their tails drooped, and, you know, and they’ve learned, you know, even up to when they did Jurassic Park, the movie, things were different.
That, that these creatures moved fast, right. Feathers that we believe a lot of them did because of the, the lineage they
Alan: used, the stabilizer when they ran. Not that it kinda like dragged on the ground all the time. Right. So, and actually I, I really, if they’re looking, this is such a relentless geekery topic because it is the march of science.
You know what I mean? Whatever we learn when we were young, we, we are getting better at, well this doesn’t exactly match what we know of how the bones were found. Were they swamp dolls? No. They were kind of on the beach or that like the shapes of heads and stuff like that. It’s not only, hey, it’s a skull.
It’s like, you know, that’s a similar skull as to animals nowadays that make a hooting noise. Right. And so they, that they were actually not growling or roaring like a tyrannosaurus rex that they actually might have been like, you know, Ooh. And having little bird calls. Huh. Speaking of birds, you know, now that, now that we know that there’s lizard hip.
Dinosaurs and bird hip dinosaurs and that there is a, a wonderful chain of descent that leads us up to the chicken nowadays. Ferocious chicken. Exactly, and, and you can see honestly boy, There’s no more true thing than the quotes theory of evolution, because it does all that you want science to do. It explains it, predicts it.
It talks about, Hey, all we are, we know that there must be something in between these two to have. Mutated and from natural selection gotten over the course of time between these. And so it’s not, oh, it’s a mystery. There’s, there’s gaps, there’s a missing link. It’s more, we’ll just find it. We know we will, there’s scatterings of various different things.
You can see how they adapt to their environment. You can see how the pressure of natural selection, it wasn’t who was the mightiest creature in the forest. In the jungle that was the winner. It was the ones that adapted best to their environment. Bread created more of themselves and then they gradually fill that ecological niche.
And, and not only the time of dinosaurs, but we see it happening now. You know, all the different kinds of finches that had different specialized beaks based on what Darwin observed for these guys crack different kinds of nuts or they, and. Anytime that, like, honestly, the fact that within my lifetime, like only 20 years ago, we actually had a huge court case, Dover, Pennsylvania, about intelligent design and whether there really has to be a, a god, a prime mover, unmoved to have created all these things or whether the every visible thing we have, every best explanation is, Nope, all you need is.
Skillion things and a skillion tries and natural selection will create the vast variety of creatures and how they competed. How, how some were, you know, egg laying versus live birth versus they, you know, wow, some reptiles nowadays you don’t have a male and a female, but funny, they get pregnant. And so then you, now you know, that’s a fact.
How do you account for that? And then how do you account for Well, the environment, nature and nurture, both always work together to create the various different kinds of creatures. And, and so like all around us, not to be weird, there’s dogs, there’s dogs of what, 200 different breeds, but they’re not a different species.
They’re all canus. Right. You know, like, is it Canis? Canus? I’m trying to think what it is. I should know, right. But it isn’t that. And, and like if you breed dogs when you get a Labradoodle, it’s like that there is science, it inherits characteristics for each of the parents and it has some of each, and some of them look beautiful and some of them look a little weird.
And so you think, you know, that guy doesn’t have now either the running capability of the digging capability of its forebearers. So it might not work. ’cause you kind of have to specialize and fill a niche in order to survive and be the best sap sucker, the best mole seeker, you know what I mean?
That kind of stuff. So I just, whenever people, I’ve had a couple conversations about, you know, I. That they just don’t, quotes don’t believe. It’s like, well, that’s a really good word because believe is exactly what you have to do or not. You can look at all the facts and still say, Nope. All of that, the impossible earth’s worth of true that you’re gonna reject in order to say, Nope, 6,000 years old.
Nope. You know, God, God sat down and said, I’m gonna make a a trillion different animals, and yeah, some of ’em are gonna die off, but that’s, is it a mistake? No. That was my plan all along. Oh, why, why are you even. How does your mind go to that place of rejecting so much of what makes sense? And it’s not just a fossil record, though.
We win. There is a fossil record. God didn’t bury, you know, to test our
Stephen: faith How many times I was told that that’s actually what happened? Well, which I was in, I brought dinosaurs and they actually said, well, that’s because God created the fossils so they would be and the oil on purpose, knowing we’d need to use it to for car.
I’m like, what?
Alan: Well, so just that what a wonderful explanation. Perfectly wrong, doesn’t match all the available facts, doesn’t, doesn’t even make sense with everything else that you see. Again, not just from paleontology, but all around us, ev every, like, you know, how, how do insects work? The amazing variety of beetles is not because.
I guess there’s still God’s plan working. ’cause there’s a whole new generation of Beatles. Or it’s just that we found it or that, you know what I mean? You can, you can like, wow. You’re out in White Sands and like, here’s all these creatures that everywhere else are colorful and here they’re white and, and like, well that’s because in order to hide from predators, they, they, the ones who are the lightest color have the best chance of survival of beet going into the next generation.
And so eventually you get white lizards and white beetles and white birds and whatever else it might be. And I just, I the the, the resistance, the stubbornness, the damage that has to be in you to like look at all the available facts and say, Nope, I’m gonna go another way. It isn’t only that they’re wrong about that.
It’s like, wow, there’s a ton of stuff that you’re wrong about to see, like patterns where there aren’t, or to insist that there must be a force that creates that instead of, I. Just every time it rains, do you really think that every brain drop goes exactly where it’s supposed to? Or is it just a wonderful random cascade and that from that random, I, I, you know, it’s kind of funny because I had worked in genetic algorithms and how they work and how you get amazing, complex behavior, emergent behavior, as they call it, that it looks like it, it quotes, knows what it’s doing.
Somebody must have designed this and it’s like, I can guarantee you that it didn’t. I created with this wonderful primordial soup of possibilities and the ones that worked not immediately better, but slight advantage over the course of time. Give that 10,000, a hundred thousand generations and you get what looks like, wow, that’s a perfect shark.
That’s a perfect cow. That’s a, you know, all these various different raptors or herbivores or, or all those various different things. But it wasn’t that I Al Balt is playing God. Created these things. It’s more, I, I created the initial wonderful conditions of proteins in a soup in the swamp, shot some lightning bolts through it, and behold, proteins join together.
They find out that, oh light sensing is a good idea for being able to spot food, dodge predators, you know, just inhabit your environment more fully. And then it isn’t that you have to go from nothing to suddenly an eyeball. It’s that anything that would give you that kind of advantage of being able to taste, hear, smell, see better, all of those work together to say, now I got a creature that’s really good at, like, owls can hear, right?
The whisper of a mouse under the snow from like a mile away. And I, I don’t, I don’t mean to exaggerate because some of the things that I’ve heard that are really true, that dogs have 40,000 times the smell that we do. It’s kind of hard to even put yourself into that. You know what I mean? Like really, I could sit here and at right now what I smell is, hey, they’re working on the, the Parking lot near us and so I smell tar, but instead every single thing around me would have a scent.
Yeah. You know, this pill bottle has a scent and so does my iPhone and so does my keyboard. So do I. And my scent changes based on, you name it, my emotions, the time of day, what I ate last.
Alan: And you know, like that expansion of senses. Maybe that’s why I like to daredevil. Boy, I know. I’m not letting you get a word in advice.
Stephen: I, I’m just keeping track of topic number eight now, so thanks. Not daredevil. Okay. We’re there.
Alan: One of the things I have found intoxicating in my life is that expansion of senses. You know, I, I got a pretty good pair of eyes, but, but when I first used like binoculars and you could see something a long ways away.
And the interesting power of I’ve expanded my bubble, my sense of think when I first was, I think I mentioned this before, I’ve only been out shooting a couple times and I’m surprisingly good at it because I have pretty good eye hand coordination and muscle control and. Anticipation of how that thing might move.
So I was a great skeet shooter for instance. You know what I mean? I really could for not having ever done it before. I was getting like eight outta 10 on things that like go through the air, but it’s like, well, that’s physics, you know? And then you wait until it pauses and it spin, bam. That’s when you get it.
You don’t try to track it during the most difficult part. Having said that, when when I had that, just the idea of shooting of like, wow, I can touch something a hundred yards away and that’s an intoxicating thing. I can see how people could really get into that, touch it with accuracy, you know, when I was on a little thing where they had various different times, times of targets, and so it’s like, I’m gonna shoot that, not just the target, but hit it on the edge of it so that it spins and it’s really, wow.
I, I really could say, here’s what I’m gonna do. Call the shot and then plink it, did it. And, and Colleen was like, well, how, how cool is that? I know you’ve not been shooting and yet I could. Exactly. I, I like that. You know what I mean? I, I shoot pool really well. Just the other day I talked to Colleen how the first time that I tried a masse shot where you put so much spin on the ball that it actually reverses course and comes back and, and like, and I wasn’t sure that I could do it, but in only two or three tries did I figure out this is what you must do.
It really matters compared to the ball. You’re gonna hit it on the side. And then just a slight difference of where you’re hitting it puts, it imparts a different kind of spin on it. And it was just so cool to be not only I. Can I do this? But I actually never had done it before. And yet human beings have mighty adaptive brains and they could say, well, I’ve shot.
10,000 shots before. I know a little bit about how you put English on something and how you wanna do a straight shot and how the amount of force you put means you’re gonna not, like if you put back, spin out, it’ll hit it and then come back. So I put all those things into, well, if I had to figure this out, what would I try and how cool that it didn’t take a hundred tries, it took two or three.
And I’m like, my God, I’m Minnesota
Stephen: fast. I I really, I can do we get your own cue and everything?
Alan: Yeah. I, when I, I did a jump shot and it’s like, okay, so I think what you have to do is you have to put enough force onto it to get it to actually clear the ball. You don’t want to hit the ball in between. The evil can
Stephen: evil and, and so it’s like,
Alan: you know, the fact that you can actually think of things to try.
Then do them the first time that someone, I don’t know, I’m pretty good at Frisbee. I’m nowhere near the guy that can do amazing gymnastics and stuff like that. But the first time you think of how you’re gonna, not only if you just put a certain amount of spin, it goes straight, but you can get a big old wide curve and then like, first time you try to throw a curve ball, I, I threw, you know, with a regular hardball and then you play with a whiffle ball and you can get a whiffle ball to curve like three yards because there’s no weight compared to the spin you can put on it.
And it’s like, This is really cool. Physics works. I can conquer it, adapt it to do what I wanna do. And like any, and like I said, given three tries, the first time you try it and it spins and it’s not really in control, but then you say, well, what I just did plus a little extra in this way, it’s kinda like playing mini golf.
You know, who goes first? Imparts information to all the people to follow as to, well, that’s not a perfect right angle. And so you go, well, if he hit here and it went past the hole here, then you go just a little bit to the left and it’ll go right to the, and I just, I love the fact that people can do that.
My brain kind of does that automatically. Don’t you always try to learn from Right. Who went before you and say, I’ll do what they did plus a little variation, and then I’ll get a better result. And when you have to go first, you’re like, well, you’re not only going first with the foursome that you’re with, you’re playing with every shot you’ve ever done.
And it’s like, wow, my, my guess is still pretty good. I’m not just random out there. I’m really thinking. Anyway. Anyway, I, I just, it, yeah. It’s very cool to see like I’m a creature like anything else. And so there’s gotta be times when an animal is running along and they’re like, well, I wanna get that really tasty, sweet one at the top, but I, am, I gonna like get, be better at jumping?
Am I gonna be able to like butt it with my head and knock things out of the tree? Am I gonna learn how to use a tool and pick up a ranch and, and all those things that you see animals do that wonderful, like the pressure of I got to eat is enough to get them to be, you know, necessities and the mother invention.
When you have to figure out how to get to safety, how to get to food, how to be attractive to a mate, you, you do what you have to, you know what I mean? Right. Nature is happy to guide you with all those things. So that’s there. That’s a
Stephen: lot. That’s a lot. Well, lemme jump back on something. You mentioned intelligent design and we were talking dinosaurs in that, you know, there’s the other newer.
Theory that we live in a computer matrix, that it’s all developed integrated simulation sim. Yeah, exactly. Mm-hmm. And, and, and you know, with some of the arguments I hear people saying about intelligent design or, or even going back and forth with intelligent design versus evolution, and then I hear people w with actually logical ex or, you know, arguments with the matrix thing, it almost does make you want, I could, how could we prove we’re not that?
You know, that’s what it boils down to. How can we prove, prove that
Alan: we’re not Exactly. We, long ago we went to a cool Mensa does colloquia. That is, you know, a instead of a, a big gathering where there’s a ton of stuff going on. They focus on a certain issue about language, about cosmology, whatever else it might be.
The one that I went to on cosmology was really good. We had great speakers like Brian Green, who talks about, you know, the universe is probably really in 10 dimensions, not the. Three that we can kind of perceive, maybe four if you had time, that the best explanation is the quotes, the best explanation for what we can observe is this.
And then another scientist, a fellow scientist kind of said, and the problem with that is that it’s not science because you can’t test it. You can’t experiment and see how true is it or not. You can’t gain traction towards you. You have an explanation and maybe you have slight predictability, but you don’t have another universe as a test case to be able to try.
Well, if that wasn’t true, if I perturbed it in this way, what would happen? So it’s very cool to see, even at that top level of science, big old brains, there still are people that’re like, well, but you can’t call it science unless it really has falsifiability, provability, and that a lot of people don’t really get that about science.
That it isn’t only how much you assert. It’s that you have to be humble enough to say, well, how could I prove it? And how many experiments? What’s the sample size? What’s the, all the ways in which we know how to do correct. Scientific method, you know, create a hypothesis. Design an experiment to test the hypothesis.
See how true it is Accounting for all the variables you can, in the act of doing the experiment, you find out, well, it doesn’t account for everything. So then you don’t just say, well, I had the one shot and I figured it out. You continually are in that refinement process. And only when things are, you know, statistically 99.999% probably, that’s when you start to say, it’s our, it really is our best guess this really.
And we can’t refute that. We’ve seen these observations and in fact, here we’ll do a fun little segue now. Did you see Oppenheimer?
Stephen: I, I did last night. I went with Colin.
Alan: Okay. We, we saw it also you’ll see Sunday night, so I. It really, it’s a great movie about science. Of course. It’s about, yeah, I thought the same thing and the, and personalities and so forth, but so much of what it was about was like the, just the opening of.
Wow. Quantum mechanics shows up a lot, lot that things that are not really Newtonian, you know what I mean? They’re quantum. You have to say that there really is random activity that you can’t predict certain things. They brought in Heisenberg, who the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle is named after. Yeah.
And the fact that they like this guy, had to kind of go from place to place to find pockets of scientists that were even willing to entertain. Like after Einstein, Albert Einstein had said, God does not play dice with the universe.
Alan: he does. There really are events that are unpredictable at that quantum level and that, that, that opened up.
Not only did it push aside some of our best understanding up to that point, that point up to that point was really good down to whatever atomic level or whatever observed observers, patients we could make of the universe. But there was something deeper. And then once you know that that is. Probably true or just in the act of testing it, you can’t deny the the findings that you’re getting.
Like he starts with a lecture with, so you know, that matter is both a wave and a particle. Even though it can’t be, it is. Right. And then what do we do to explain that? To understand that, to be able to use that for a deeper understanding of the universe and a deeper ability to predict and just, it’s kind of funny, imagine that back in the forties, thirties, going into the forties when that was first presented and people just kind of, yeah.
All these minds of the world still couldn’t quite get it. You know what I mean?
Stephen: And the people that were right, that knew that could look ahead, see things that were new, they were, we know they were right now looking back at it, but at that time they were dismissed and they were shunned. They were like, you are the witch doctor of our group.
We don’t wanna talk to you. And that. And it’s like, wow, we have not changed at all, have we? It’s still like that. It’s probably regressed more.
Alan: But well, we just have louder people that are determined to not do science. Yes. You know what I mean? But that hasn’t stopped. Like the more that we learn about radiation, the more that we understand.
Deeply that there really is, you know, Schrodinger’s cat, you really can’t predict, you can’t know. The act of observing a system also changes the system. So there’s been like, which is a basis
Alan: quantum. Exactly. Boy, I don’t know if you’ve ever read Oodle Escher, Bach. It’s a great book by Douglas Hofstetter, and it talks about how there are similarities between the views of the world of those great men.
Goodell had a an incompleteness theorem that you can’t have a system where the system is inherently complete with the, you always have to start with a certain number of axioms. Boy, I hope I don’t cher this for anybody who really understands this deeply, but it it’s about how systems have a frame of reference and they’re bigger or smaller and that you kind of have to decide in order to have this frame of reference, I have to include or exclude certain other things that I know because it’ll work within this frame of reference.
But then you can’t. Make it complete, define it fully without also bringing in other things. And he talked about how that is well represented that his hofsteder did in Cher’s work, where it creates impossible but plausible, perfectly coordinated things. You know, the the famous thing where people are walking on the ceiling and on the little staircases that go and, and this thing is a forever staircase, that he had that mind.
It could so perfectly capture the, the ambiguity, the self negation of something that can’t be, but it sure looks right. And so what does it do to our mind? How do we deal with those paradoxes, para dees anyway? And that Bach in his music with how he did the building of his music and, and what makes it beautiful or interesting or et cetera to us, is that it speaks to the system of music.
As well as music, you know, music itself as well as being a beautiful piece of music. So I can’t recommend that book. In fact, all of Hop’s books are, when you’re sitting there, you’re like, wow, I’m really this great Mind has managed to capture these things in a way that he can share that with me. What an incredible privilege that this, you know, dots on paper can share something he injected that into my mind that’s just so wonderful and exhilarating and humbling.
Yes. So I’ll have to look, we aren’t in that world, you know, that doesn’t stop with one or 10 or a hundred books. There’s so many books that we should be reading about. Oh, well I, so,
Alan: all of that. Lemme ask about Oppenheimer pursuing science and like they had to solve problems that had never been solved before.
And so they bring the biggest brains, but the biggest brains can also come with. Egos and maybe a certain amount of electricities social problem because you know, even back then though, we didn’t call it necessarily, there were Asperger’s people and autistic people and people that had hyper focus, but they were rough around the edges and working with people.
But you need a team to be able to right, to solve this huge problem. And what a remarkable man Oppenheimer was to be so well respected or so able to see into other people. And of course he had his own flaws, right? The woman showed he was very much a womanizer and an egotist and that kind of stuff. But, but just that it really captures, I think, the spirit of the Manhattan project that you had, you had to, you had to do this thing to, to win the war, to not let the Nazis get there first and have a, a weapon we’ve never seen before.
What we knew was gonna be. Terrifying in its impact, in it, in its
Stephen: possibility and, and uncertain as to how much it would really be there. There was a lot of things they were uncertain about that. And they even said at one point, oh, well that’s theory. You know, the, the, we’re dealing with theory, you know when Matt Damon was like, Near zero, you know, that that was done so
Right. And we, we need to, we’re not being a spoiler. We need to explain that, you know, so they’re talking to the scientists and they’re saying, well, so the way this is gonna work is we create a chain reaction of we’re splitting an atom. And then that throws off other things that also affect other atoms around it.
And you get a, a, a, a chain reaction of nuclear fision, right? Not fusion, but fision. Right. And so what would stop that? Like, you know, we did all of our best calculations for what we understand, and the math says that it’s a really, really tiny possibility that we will light the atmosphere on fire and destroy the world.
But it’s not zero. It’s like, well, and can we, can we get to zero? ’cause, you know, in the act of building this bomb, we don’t want to destroy the world. And they were just, well, it’s really tidy, but it’s not zero. And so somebody had to say, The war is so important that we might like the world. Yeah. But that know, folks, that whole scene,
Stephen: I actually glommed onto that scene.
It, to me it was a very important scene because this is something I’ve noticed and dealt with my life. You probably have two. It’s just I’ve put more focus on it that you have these really smart people and they can figure this stuff out. And there’s so many things, but one of the other characteristics of that is seeing things from multiple sides and multiple possibilities.
Not just the one, this is the answer I want. And they even mentioned, oh man, the one thing in there they were talking about, where it’s like that you have all these scientists arguing about this atomic bomb and what’s going to happen, and they know they don’t wanna do it. They’re like, we should just be able to say, look, we got the power and everybody else backs off because oh my God, we understand how important this is and how big it could be.
It it, it’s huge. But then they even said, well you guys kinda get that, but 85% of the people out there won’t understand it until you show it to them. And you
Alan: have to actually, right. They need a demonstration Yes. Of nuclear power, like the reactor at University of Chicago or the bomb.
Stephen: And, and I, I, that scene, I was like, I, I understand that so much.
’cause there are so many times, even with work with computers and databases and stuff mm-hmm. Where I’m like, well, you know, you got this, you got this, you got that. And, and it could be this, but this is important. And, you know, I, I have all these parts, I see all these sides of it, and then I get my boss going, oh, okay, so what’s the one we do what?
And I’m like, I, I just told you all the possibilities you tell me and they, you know, just no. And I’m like, well, if we do that, it might do this. Well, what do you mean? It might, you know, so I understood that scene so well, and it explains a whole lot. And, and the, the, the one thing I, I’ll add to something else you said a minute ago science provable in that.
But if it’s not that, then it’s not science like the other realms and all that. Right. I’d like to add onto that, tag onto that. It’s not science that we know yet or that we know at the moment
Alan: because we do keep advancing. Exactly. Based on our understanding, based on instrumentation that can measure more activity.
Stephen: right. Galileo could have observed the planets and the stars and the movement and said there’s other planets up there in that, but without the instruments to test it. It was magic and it was just speculation. But once they had the instruments and he could prove it, then they killed him. So there he goes right back to that same thing.
He knows it and there scares everybody else so much that they get rid of him. I think it would’ve fit this movie. Perfect. There
Alan: are some things exactly that are like that, that are so. Wow. It really upsets their worldview. People will not let that happen. They won’t go through the ego death of something that I believed all my life is not true.
I, I kinda like my world as it is. I disagree. No matter what proof you show me,
Stephen: it’s, it can’t change. Life can’t change for them. This is all I know right now and that’s the end of it. But it’s like, dear God, in the 50, 60 years we’ve been around, how many new things have they learned and changed? You know, so Right.
Alan: This kind of funny. And maybe there’s a little bit of this too. One of the things that’s necessary for science is to go from a subjective to objective. That it really does matter. Facts matter, measurable matters. Anything that you can put a number around, then you can compare between things and you can share that information with others because they can reproduce the experiment.
They can see that this is true. And so I’ve, I’ve had some conversations about, you know some people, there are all kinds of subjective things. Taste is not a matter of truth. It really is, if you like. Catch up on your hotdog or not? It’s not Yes or no. It really is. And there’s all kinds of things that are only a matter of opinion, only a matter of, we even experience things.
Stephen: The ketchup is only true unless you talk to somebody like Sheldon. ’cause he will tell you there’s only one righthand that that,
Alan: and that’s why, you know, big Bang theory was, well, he just cut to the chase and said, I don’t wanna have that discussion. It just is, it’s this way. Right, right. So, so I, I, there i I, this, I’m not the person, if you will, that developed this idea, this process, but I really have used it multiple times.
It’s, it’s multivariate analysis, what I call the choose. So you got a huge, big thing. I’m gonna buy a car and what goes into buying a car? It isn’t. I like this car with some people maybe. It really is. They walk in and say, this one looks nice and it’s red and it, you know what I mean? The price is right done.
But I am the consumer reports guy where I really like to say, well, how safe is it and what gas mileage does it get and how many does it see? What’s the cargo space? What, what’s the expected sorry, the, the repair things about it. I don’t want a car that can stay on the road a third of the time ’cause it’s in their shop the other two thirds of the time.
So I really wanna look at all those things. And what’s funny is if you go to talk to people about buying a car, I. There’s a whole array of each of those things. And sometimes people quickly rush through the one issue that matters to them. It really matters to me that it has the biggest range because I really wanna be able to drive far without having to seek gas.
It matters to me that’s the safest because I have two children and I’m gonna have ’em in the backseat, and they’re the most precious things in the world. And so all those things, but then if you’re looking at, well, how could everybody pick a car? You kind of have to find a way to look at all those factors and include them in the decision and not only go with a single issue.
And so I, well, what, what do you do? You know, it’s, I have 30 different things, and what I wanna do is for each car, I’m gonna rate them on a scale of one to 10, how safe is it? This is a nine versus this is a three. And then it’s not only the safety matters, but it really is there’s a way to rate each of those various different things, even subjectively.
If it’s not, everybody would say it’s always a nine. Some people would say, 1, 7, 3, 9, whatever else it might be. But then you take, let’s say 50 people, a hundred people, and you get a good sample size and almost. Provably, depending on the sample size you are able to get to. What does humanity think? If you have a big enough sample size and take all their values and find the average mean median mode, how?
There’s various ways of looking at that too. Then you can get to 6.5 is safe to most people. Extra safe is above that, you know, less safe is below that. And then you not only have all those various different issues you have, how much do they matter to you? And everybody then rates those of, well it sure matters about gas milers, to me, it matters about safety.
To me, it matters about I wanna buy American versus foreign. All those various different things. And again, it, the weights can be what matters to me. And then you could just say, everybody put their weights into those various different things. And then they’ll figure out for them, for them, particularly what really matters in a car, and therefore what car they should buy.
But you can also say, take 50 or a hundred people and what are the weights of these various different things. And then you’ll find out that most people, when they’re looking at a car, they don’t care about the headlights, but they sure care about the safety. You know, they don’t care about whether the interior is cloth or leather.
It matters. It matters a little bit, but not as much as what the mileage is. And so all those things go into. Kind of what cons reports does. We look at the qualities of the car and the drivability and all this kind of stuff. And that’s why this car is a 92 out of a hundred and this is a 66. And so if you’re looking to buy the quotes, the right car, the best car out of all the cars to compare it to, you can use this method to get to it.
And so I’ve done that for like, hey, we’re looking for a hotel for a big gathering and what hotels have how good is the lobby? What’s the room rate? How much meeting space does it have? Does it have lights in the parking lot? And all that matters. And I did a ator so that in Chicago, when we picked the hotel we wanted to pursue for Halloween, it was the best hotel out of 30 that we went to.
We went to a lot of hotels because it really doesn’t matter if you’re gonna have 500 people there, that 458 of them are like, that was a great hotel. Not we went to the one that all that matters is whether it had a swimming pool or not. And everybody else more. Rounded rational. They were like, oh, whoa, I, I don’t care about the swimming pool, if the room rate was twice as much as another hotel nearby.
So I’ve used that, and then here’s the fucking kicker. I’ve used that and I proposed that and I’ve used it for a whole bunch of different things, and I can’t tell you how many people, they can’t get off of the one issue that matters to them. Right. Does it have a coffee thing inside the hotel? If it doesn’t, we’re not going there.
No, no. It, it matters that the room rate and the meeting space, and maybe Starbucks is just outside. Nope. If it doesn’t have coffee, I, I, I vote no. So we need to do Olympic judging that says the crazies get voted out of being able to have a big impact on this. Yeah. Yeah. Good luck with that. And, and, and, and no matter what the thing is, and there’s also people that, like, they go through this method and because it gets complex, they go, I’m not gonna do all that.
It’s like, well, it’s not just you, it’s 500 people that we’re trying to satisfy. You really are doing something in service to getting to the truth and you saying that you’re not willing to do it lets me know that you really are the guy that no matter whether it’s a candy bar or a car, you just. On instinct, on whatever, buy what you want and then you suffer for it.
You bought a shady car and it’s in the car, you know, it lasted four years instead
Stephen: of 20. You scientific this, whatever it happens to be buying a car and stuff. Whereas the, the salesman praise on the 85% of the people that buy on that emotion, like the impulse buy at the register. Absolutely. You know, that’s why they’re there.
That, that people, that’s why. Companies, big companies spend so much money on advertising and they show things that don’t tell you the facts. They don’t tell you specs that look at, you know, I and I, my cousin was like that with phones. I go and look for a new phone. I go to the specs. Alright, that has more memory.
This is a, you know, I look at all the specs. Yeah. I don’t care if the screen’s a, you know, a quarter inch bigger. I’m looking at the memory, I’m looking at the processor and all that. Yeah. And there’s the phone I’m getting and I have no idea what it looks like, but I looked at all what I wanted. My cousin goes, oh yeah, the guy told me this was the newest, hottest, coolest thing.
You know, so,
Alan: and it is okay to go to experts if they really are experts as opposed Tohill, but salespeople are not.
Stephen: You know what I
Alan: mean? That’s what I’m saying. So we’ve talked about this before, that advertising is just so insidious in terms of how they’ve tried to make it, that it really is an emotional decision for everything.
And I think another part maybe of, it’s not quite science, but it’s human nature and psychology. We’ve talked about, you know, there’s kind of a. The two marshmallow thing. If you can sit here in a room with this one marshmallow in front of you and wait a little bit, you get two marshmallows as a reward.
But if you eat it, you get the one more marshmallow and you’re done. And so there’s a certain amount of delayed gratification that the work you’re willing to put in, instead of just jumping to a conclusion, jumping to a solution, it pays off. It can pay off handsomely, not in two marshmallows, but in 10.
And the people that don’t have a feel for how much work am I willing to do in order to get to a good solution? And whether every problem requires that I don’t need to do a, a complex study of candy bars. I like, what did I feel like I want the nut one or I want the chocolate one. And it only matters, nowadays it’s three bucks.
But still, if you’re candy bar rich, you can spend three bucks without, oh no. The mortgage. You know what I mean? There’s, there’s the ability to see the scale of problems and by orders of magnitude. Geez. Spend a lot of time picking your house and a lot of time your car, and a lot of time, maybe your insurance, you know, whatever that threshold is.
Anything I spend more than $10,000 on, for sure. More than a thousand? Yeah. I really could buy things on impulse, but I kind of wanna know I got the value of my money. ’cause then it’s not only how much I spent, it’s like I don’t wanna spend a thousand dollars and then feel stupid when it breaks in a year.
Right. Et cetera, et cetera. And, and depending on who you talk to, some people don’t have that instinct at all. They, every decision to them is just, it hurts. I want to get it over with as soon as possible. I, and like, you know, when they talk about like, people who decry experts, well this guy spent all of his life studying this, so that’s why I trust him.
Yeah. But the salespeople told me this phone was better what you just said. And like, they don’t have the ability to distinguish between a real expert and a blowhard and then they get what they get. And the problem is that in large groups, we all get what we get if they’re foolish enough, right. To say, I don’t agree that despite all the science being about
Stephen: vaccination, nah, nah, I reject it.
Alan: So whatever that thing is about people being willing to be and really at the base of it, it’s humble. It’s wanting to get to the truth. That’s not your truth. The truth exists outside of you. And that you want to be able to, I will say this, you know, something isn’t, you can’t, you don’t know something really well until you can explain it to another.
You don’t have It has to be something that you could explain to somebody else. And once again, this is science that it’s not, I, I deeply believe this. I I, well I tend to use religious terms for when I think it goes beyond that to a little bit wacky I witness about this. And like, no matter how much this is true to you, it really isn’t that you can like, so, and, and maybe well about the paranormal, ’cause we’ve laughed about this.
I really don’t care whether you saw a ghost. How can you prove to me that you saw a ghost? You don’t get just to say, did the room get colder? You’re really like, how did you record it? How did you, can you recreate if I go to that same place that I try it, well, I see the ghost. Well, that’s not how ghost work.
Well, already you’re kinda like letting me, you’re poking holes into your own theory, right? Because it’s not reproducible. And yes, there really are things that are not doable like that, but the depth of with which people believe certain things, what, without being able to share that to others, it astounds me.
You know what I mean? There is life after death. Nah, we don’t know. Nobody knows. And, and you know, my, your brain is no better than mine. Nobody knows. It’s not that like there are certain things that people have such amazing belief, faith in that are unknowable that it really makes it dangerous then, because then they apply that to other parts of their life.
And it really isn’t that you are sure that this is right or wrong, good or bad. The earth isn’t only 6,000 years old. The Grand Canyon didn’t get cut by the Colorado River in like a hundred hard years. No. There’s the path that shows now you’re 220 million years behind because we know the fossils and we know the kind of rock and we understand the whole process of how the earth came to be and how this river did indeed take a long fricking time to carve the Grand Canyon.
Right. Oh, oh.
Stephen: So, so lemme jump back to Oppenheimer. Yes. There was so much more about that movie. Yes, there was one scene where he was kinda getting, he was. Getting in tune with the universe and he was looking at a Picasso in the theater, and I, I realized at the end that the whole movie was Picasso.
That they, they showed so many different sides of, and different people and viewpoints and got it all in there in different ways. It was kinda like looking at the whole event as a Picasso painting it. And if you had, if you had not told me who the director was, I would’ve never in a million years guessed it was Christopher Nolan as the director for that movie.
It interesting. It was not anything like he’d done before, aside from the story. So what did it
Alan: have and what did it lack that would’ve led you to think it was him? Like, what,
Stephen: what, most of the time what I associate Nolan with, and I’m not saying it’s bad at all, is. That you have a pretty standard story, a a big blockbuster movie going type story that it, it, it’s one of those that if you really stop and pay attention, you could predict what’s happening.
And he likes big action sequences and you know, Colin always says, ah, Nolan’s got an explosion movie coming out. You know, that type of thing. Right. The Batman movies
Alan: or, okay. Right.
Stephen: Transformers and you know, many, many other things. This movie was not that at all. It was crazy because every single scene felt like it was the climax of the movie and they were all short and very.
Not rushed it, but it was a frenetic pace that you didn’t even realize how frenetic it was. Every scene was as truncated and tight and short as you could make it. And they jumped scenes. You had to really pay attention. Do not get up and go to the bathroom, get a drink, get popcorn, don’t look at your phone because every scene has only the information in it for the, that part of the story.
And it moves on. Right. And if you blink for too long, you’re missing stuff. He, he does
Alan: trust the audience a lot. There’s no voiceover narration, there’s no returning to the same scene to make sure you’re getting the point. He really does put together that beautiful mosaic. And maybe like you said, from, because looking at it from multiple frames of reference, that’s very Picasso.
And looking at it from a frame of reference that you’ve never looked at it before, like Oppenheimer had to do to understand Right. Fusion vision, how you would get to that, that. That’s a very good observation. Okay. You know what I mean? And there was a lot of, I love movies that like, it was three hours long and that there wasn’t like looking at my watch, why is it taking so long?
No. There was no dragging points at it whatsoever. It, it’s a big story, but it requires that big of a movie to tell this amazing story.
Stephen: So there were a lot of traditional film stuff, techniques. Mm-hmm. And that, that he did not do at all. There were scenes that if you would’ve said, okay, there’s this, this is what the movie’s about.
It’s like, okay, then there’s going to be a scene where the scientists are arguing and someone like swipes glasses off or flips the table and they’re yelling and they walk out. They didn’t do that, or That’s right. We gotta show that they’re getting on the train to travel to these different places.
Let’s show the train station the train coming up and people are talking and they get up. None of that. It was none of that. We’re in the middle of talking to these people. We’re done with that scene. We’re in the middle of talking to more people. We’re done with that scene. We’re talking to other people.
Boom, we’re in Los Alamos. We were at Christmas. Now it’s, you know, summer. Wait, what? Where are. You really gotta keep up with the movie. I I I, I was like, this is a movie that if, if they had done it in a traditional film story, movie sense, it would’ve been a four and a half, five hour long movie, but, okay.
Alan: is on all the, the setup shots. The framing shots, that Exactly. Okay. Okay.
Stephen: The explanation. That’s me and Reese, when we talk about our horror movies, we usually love foreign horror movies more than American horror movies because American filmmakers treat American audiences like they’re complete morons and they have to explain every bit of the movie and they have to like lead them by the nose through the story and every part of it.
Whereas foreign films quite often, don’t they, they figure, you know,
Alan: you can keep up. They let you catch it. They let you catch up. Exactly. And sometimes they leave things inexplicable. It just is. Yes. And it’s not necessarily, oh, it’s because it was the devil or something.
Stephen: Right. And that was one of the things that I think took me a while to get into Dr.
Who, ’cause it’s a very non-American type of show and there are times where you have to like think and keep up with it because it’s not like an American drama, as at all. And I think that’s a good observation. Yeah. One of the things that took me a while and this movie. It’s definitely one I’m going to have to see again.
I, I, it’s like I wanna see it again, but I’m almost afraid that I’m not going to enjoy it as much and it’ll degrade. But I can’t say it was like, oh my God, this is one of my favorite films ever. It was just, it, it’s its own entity almost.
Alan: Right. You know? Right. It’s an important movie. Like the more people get it, like, I don’t know, that’s not quotes, not in my lifetime, but only 20 years before my lifetime.
I was born in 59, so they’re working on this in 39, 42, 45. You know what I mean? They Right. They broke the atom for the first time. They understood it within like 60 years of when I was born. You know, Einstein’s theory of relativity and everything that we came to understand about quantum mechanics, it.
It’s kind of cool. The, the pace of understanding of science is not only fast, but accelerating and that is its own thing that makes that unnerves people that they wanna take advantage of. You know, this phone does a hundred miracles a day, and I don’t have to understand it. I just have to know that I can beep beep boop and talk via internet, wifi, satellite, et cetera, et cetera.
And, and yeah, pick up the eggs at the grocery store, you know, that the, the the, I go, I wanna watch a cat video. I say those things to kind of tease about it, but the fact that there really are people that talk about, oh my God, technology is going too fast on a miracle, on a miracle device. It’s, it’s kind like self ironic, you know what I mean?
It’s, yes. So go ahead, please. No. They captured very well. What was it like to work in that time period? You know, before the internet, they didn’t make big bones out of, they didn’t have smartphones, they didn’t have instant communication. They really had, in a lot of ways the ability to isolate and hide because there weren’t satellites all over the planet that nowadays you, you can’t build a nuclear facility without, between the combination of sensors that we have going and all the eyes in the sky and stuff like that, that we’ll know that.
So I liked that it made that what they did even more amazing. Like when you see the space capsule in the Smithsonian and you’re like that little tinfoil thing made it to the moon and back. It made it into orbit and sustained a human being inside of it. It’s just amazing when you see that. And it had like 15,
Stephen: 16 k
Alan: k of Ram,
Stephen: you know what I mean?
Exactly. I pointed this out and Colin and I argue about this ’cause again, I, you know, I, I told you we were a little late recording because I was just on an interview author stuff, and she asked about, you know, fantasy. And I’m like, my, my whole life is kind of a fantasy, figuratively and literally, I, I just view the world that way.
And I always throw out, and I know Colin’s like, well, that’s not an argument that doesn’t prove anything. But the point is, look at the beginning, 1900 to 1910, look at where we were just barely putting up lines for the phone and electricity and people still living in western towns with horses. Not saying that any of that’s bad at all.
It’s just what it was. How it is. Exactly. No indoor plumbing, less than 50 years, we split the atom, we get nuclear bombs. 30 years later we’re on the moon and now we’ve got the internet. And I mean, that’s in a hundred year time span. What the heck is going to happen in the next 70 years?
Alan: Yeah, it, it’s to just bring it up.
So I I think I mentioned I like a group a group and a concept called fire. Yes, financial independence Retire Early. One of the main celebrity’s not the right word, let’s say promulgators of the idea is a guy named Mr. Money mustache. Just funny enough to be memorable. But he has been reissuing like the top a hundred of his columns that he’s put out over the last 20 years.
And so many of them, they’re not only about finance and, and you know, getting to retirement, they’re very much about what’s the frame of mind you need to be in, in order to have this happen for you. That you need to be able to be relatively frugal about the big things. And, and you know what I mean? Like one thing that he talks about in particular is the world’s gonna get better.
It’s already unbelievably great. It’s going to keep getting better. And as much as we might have the naysayers, the conservatives that are unnerved by change or the, the people that automatically awfulize various different situations, I really do understand that things have a, a, a dark side, perhaps a, a, a terrible side nuclear power.
Now we’re talking about ai. You know, there genetics, nanotechnology, oh my God, we’re gonna turn the world into Grey. Go. I was in a, a cool futurist group that really spoke to this, that you have to have like enthusiasm and confidence that man is uncanny in terms of how he will solve every problem.
That it really might be that we have, you know, slight ups and downs, but kinda like the stock market, it ratchets ever upwards. There are downturns and we get ourselves in trouble and have to fix the next problem we discover. But the, the March of Civilization, not only in the last a hundred years, but in the last 10,000 years, you know, and maybe we’re.
I will, my next talk probably will be about the long now. About taking on the kinds of long-term thinking that let us not be distracted by all the BSS of the world. All the celebrity stuff, all the who puts ketchup on a hotdog, all that stuff. It’s amusing but deserving of like a second of our attention.
And the way you should live your life is, I know I’ll make enough money to do well. I know that my kids will do well, I know I can have optimism about and make decisions based on take care of. And the Wealthy Barber, a great book, talks about this. If you take care of the top 10 things that might go wrong or that you really have to pay attention to about your salary, about insurance, about medical, about et cetera, the next thousand things.
Just don’t matter. You really can’t live a life of whim. And I feel like going on a drive today, I feel like going to Europe you have to do a little bit of planning that, but in the overall, your life is gonna be better and better and better and better if you pay attention to the few most important things.
And so Oppenheimer is, you know, like what you were just talking about, yeah, we have to worry about nuclear power. And it led to the Cold War and we had the doomsday clock. And we’re worried about are we really gonna have people that even though they know that this is potential mutually assured destruction, are we, you know, the Russians love their children too.
Wasn’t that a great song by stink that you have to count on a certain amount of humans have they have within them to do the right thing. And not only do they have to do the right thing, but they have to stop the maniacs who really would burn the world down if they can’t own it, that they really will destroy the library of Alexandria.
Be because I’m the conquering guy and I’m gonna destroy this civilization. The crazies that are willing to do that kind of genocide level destruction that are willing to undo civilization with nothing to replace it. Like at least you gotta be able to say, that’s a mad dog. That that guy, you don’t vote for him.
You put him in a fucking prison, you put him in a pen where he can’t harm others, at least. And the more that we get to where certain things mimetics social media that it allows people to like, kind of magnify their crazy message. There at least has to be those certain people. Like during the McCarthy hearings where one guy finally said like, have, have you, no shame, have you no honor have?
Are you, I didn’t realize the depth of your depravity and your barbarism that you now say that about. And, and that’s what we need is people that are willing to, it’s not about, Hey, what are your plans or non plans? It’s that. This person as an individual is a madman. And we we’re not following another Hitler, we’re not doing the crazy stuff.
And when you see societies kind of go down those weird paths, it’s happening in India, the world’s largest democracy. But Modi is like, he’s playing all the nationalist and religious and all the right chords to get amazing power arrogant in Turkey, like these weird crazies. I almost think, wow, if you are wondering, you know what, say
Stephen: that about our country too
Alan: do and Nazi Germany.
Exactly. It’s like we’re doing it. We’re deciding whether we’re gonna really go off the cliff with this guy and take the rest of the world with us, or we’re gonna say, Nope. I think the rule of law, pretty good idea. I think scientifically democracy has proven that it works better than every other form of government.
And yes, it has its problems, but you don’t abandon it without something better to replace it. You don’t just declare, we don’t like a free press, we don’t like, you know what I mean? You don’t revert to. We got over, like 200 and 500 years ago. We’re not a tribal society anymore, and we shouldn’t re become one because that doesn’t give us these incredible benefits that we are experiencing.
Stephen: I, I agree with what you said on, you know, things get better. I definitely can see the, the vision of Roddenberry’s future, you know, what he envisioned,
Alan: but here’s infinite diversity and infinite combination. Right. I think that’s how it’s all
Stephen: correct. And just his, his shiny look at how the world will be better.
That was one of the later arguments against Star Trek. Well, everything’s just so perfect and nice, you know? Right. But, but here, here’s what I, I, I see though that we say we don’t like this, that, and the other thing. And there are things that are bad, but there are people pushing back and not wanting to admit that and see those things that are bad for the change.
And the thing is, those same people say, oh, we don’t like, All this other stuff from these third world countries. But the problem is everything they’re pushing is turning us into those same third world countries and what’s going to happen? Here’s what’s going to happen. We are so busy inwardly focused on squabbling and well, well, we must have our guns and we deserve the right to have our guns and let’s make that the biggest point.
And all these other countries are going, yeah, you guys go ahead. We’re going to keep advancing and we’re going to move beyond you. And pretty soon we’re going to be the third world country and behind everybody else because they’ve moved on and you know they’re actually approaching Rotary’s vision quicker at this point than maybe we are arguably.
Alan: It. I think what’s gonna happen, I don’t think we’re gonna have a schism in the United States, but I think there definitely is gonna be a, a daunting realization of the things that the craziest of the red states are proposing, don’t work. They really have much higher infant mortality, much higher disease of every kind.
They have much less education. So they’re falling behind the ability to compete in a modern world that is very much about information, not about tobacco, if you will. And, and the more that we get to the. We’re not gonna let them vote to say, Hey, blue states, we’re gonna leach off of you all the, all the excess wealth that you are producing.
We demand our share, even though what we’re demanding is to be a backward nation, like you’re saying. Yes. So when that, there’s all kinds of things as you know, that happened. Like h L Me had a great quote of democracy is the principle that the people know what they want and they deserve to get it good and hard.
And I think that the red states are gonna find out, wow, what we’re doing is not sustainable. We are gonna fall behind in every way we’re
Stephen: gonna have. Well, they, they don’t care
Alan: whether events we’re gonna, our, our grid is going to fall apart. We can’t just demand that you know, There’s a funny meme, you know, Hey, I wish that everybody would just finally say, Hey, smart people, we’ve really wrecked it.
Please fix this for us. Will we ever come to that realization? Maybe, maybe as it really gets to, wow I, I, I killed my entire small town in order to get this Walmart and then Walmart closed, and now I am one of those towns that on Route 66 that the expressways don’t go by anymore, and it just starts to wither and die.
And will that become, Hey, we’re gonna gather our guns and go try to take over another town to steal their resources. Are we really gonna get to that Mad Max fight over gasoline? Are we really gonna, you know what I mean? Are we really gonna do the Road to perdition where it’s this, like the Walking Dead?
Every one of those is not a, it’s a cautionary tale. Yes. It’s don’t get to that. Don’t, don’t get to the point where a play kills us all. Oh, you mean all you anti-vaxxers Want the world to be back to bestiality. Wrong word, beast like behavior. Yeah, yeah. You know what I mean? Yeah. You, your guns aren’t, you don’t have enough guns.
Stephen: just don’t. Okay. Don’t we, don’t, we haven’t. We attacked, bombed, taken over countries that don’t have any type of gun regulation and they’re kind of a threat, so we wanna get rid of them, but aren’t we kind of pushing for the same things? Aren’t the countries that have some sort of regulation, the progressive ones?
I, there’s just, maybe I’m wrong. That’s just what I see from observing the world.
Alan: I, I think that what we’re gonna end up getting, like, I don’t know. I think smarts wins. I think adaptability wins, like we learned from Darwin. So the people are determined to stay in the state that they’re currently in, and they’re not looking to, how do we clean up our water so we don’t die from when something goes wrong in it?
How do we clean up our air? How do we, the people that reject those things that like quote the nanny state, what a, what an ugly name for. All these shared resources matter and we should have them be of unrelentingly good quality, not just, Hey, this guy needs to make money so we killed 10,000
Stephen: people with a with it doesn’t matter as long as I’m
Alan: making money.
That’s right. And so, you know, we, and after it’s already happened, you can’t like go lynch that guy. You kind of have to stop allowing the systems that allow those guys to accumulate enough wealth that they really have not only company towns, but like company labs. They’re experimenting on what’s gonna happen in case my pool of tailings from my mind, if that dam bursts and it floods and it’s not only gonna kill people from drowning, it’s gonna kill people because of all the exposure to all the heavy metals and evil, evil stuff that’s been brewing in that.
Oh, well I, again, this is kind of funny to talk about the doom of the future. I think we’re gonna have a certain number of those things, but I think what’s gonna keep happening is. Medical technology’s gonna get better and better. I you know, our ability to not have work be a requirement here. This is the, you know, when people talk about guaranteed income, it’s not based on, oh, the lazy people get to finally have their way.
It’s more based on we’ve created such an amazing amount of wealth that sharing it is the smart way to go. If you’re trying to guarantee your civilization, you’ll have all the people that could be the next generation that’s going to continue that wonderful gravy train, make sure they’re getting educated, make sure that they’re getting enough nutrition.
You’re, you’re not creating this vast divide between the rich and the poor. Because, you know, I know we’re all, I’m all over today, but these really, they’re all linked in my mind. Yes, they have. A guy went, you know, the latest Caesar. And said, you know, you are mortal famous, fleeting, that you can’t let people, Ozzy manus the world to death.
That demand that they’re the greatest that ever is and ever will be. But then you know what? They die. But now the world has to deal with the, the shambles that they left the world in the, the Trumps and the Neros and the whoever the crazies are that have really in their local way just did terrible things to the world.
At least we’re only gonna get until we really conquer aging. You’re gonna get maybe 80 years of Mitch McConnell. You know what I mean? He’s now showing sad, terrible signs of it. He’s not capable anymore. He really had his freeze up recently. He had the bad fall. He’s had signs of strokes and mini strokes, and I so much hope.
Well, as long as he doesn’t have the button, as long as he doesn’t right, bad state, that he still has the ability to share bad ideas so powerfully with all of us. He says, ’cause he’s, he’s no longer speaker of the house, but he’s still very influential. And so at least there’s some reassurance that even the bad guys are gonna die and that hopefully they’re not so inculcating the next generation.
You know, here’s a, here’s a big thought. You know, the Catholic church or many churches talk about, Hey, if you give us, you give us your kid at five years old, we got ’em forever. Well, that’s exactly why. Terrible schools with no academic requirements are being formed up so they can do that indoctrination.
And there’s kind of no better word for it if we really are gonna have a fight about education, it has to be about public education and what the experts have determined are the best way to do it. And that changes over the course of time. So it wasn’t that we weren’t teaching reading that now there’s a better way to teach reading or mathematics, but you don’t say what matters is education.
You, you, you have to keep saying a a, an educated populace is the best guarantee against fascism and authoritarianism. And, and maybe the counter positive is true. People who are going for no education, for the people, what are they shooting for? Just to not have people wise enough to say that’s a lie.
That’s that’s, yeah. That’s a bad path. You know,
Stephen: don’t choose your, your ministers of education and the people in charge based on how successful their businesses are.
Alan: Exactly. In selling ketchup, right? Yes, exactly.
Stephen: So here, here’s something to bring it back around to our dinosaurs. Yes. So one of the things we’ve talked a little bit about and science and education and, and acceptability is climate change.
And I still. Say I think there’s other reasons. Here’s the problem. We’re we’re wanting to explore climate change as what all we’re doing, but I think there’s some other factors involved and I think we would be good to figure those out also. I, I don’t think we’re looking at it enough, but that’s not my point.
That’s a whole nother discussion. That could last quite a while. The point is people say, oh, we need to do this to save the earth. That, that, that, that sentence is wrong. There is absolutely nothing we will ever be able to do. Well, maybe at some point, but there’s nothing we can do that’s going to destroy the earth.
It’s going to kill us. We’re gonna die off. Right and kill
Alan: ourselves if you make it uninhabitable by us. That’s right. Yes,
Stephen: but the earth will recover. The earth will be fine. Dinosaurs are a good case in point. They never developed all the technologies and everything we had, and they live for millions and millions of years.
We haven’t done that. So who’s actually the better creature? Arguably, I.
Alan: I wish having seen, you know, we’ve been dealing with climate change, global warming for 25 years now, and early on I saw the cartoon that said, you know, it’d be terrible if we cured all this pollution and all these other things and left the world a better place and did it for nothing.
And that’s the whole point is it’s not for nothing. It used to be that stopping pollution was a good enough idea that we should, right, that there really was a clean air act and a clean water act. And that’s what they did was they fixed the Cuyahoga River, they fixed Superfund sites. They, they made a point of not letting companies with only a profit motive, sociopaths do whatever they wanted to do and let somebody else deal with the, the fallout from it.
You know, the, the term I’ve heard is externalities. The reason that some of these have made an incredible amount of money because they haven’t looked at it. 360 degree way. It’s not, they make a product and produce some waste and don’t worry, they’ll clean up that waste. They make a product and spew their waste everywhere and say, oh, that’s up to you guys to fix.
So no wonder they’re able to parasitically, keep withdrawing wealth out of a system ’cause they don’t have to do all of what’s necessary to make that sustainable.
Stephen: The solution is not to, to build factories in other countries that don’t have the regulations. The solution is not to take our trash and dump it in another country because it’s cheaper.
That’s not the solution.
Alan: Right. And yet some people think that way I can keep adding to that dump forever. I can take scowls of stuff out into the Pacific Ocean until you find out, Nope. Now there’s a Pacific Gyre and there’s plastic everywhere. Now there’s so much crap in the ocean that we actually are seeing that 90% of animals have microplastics in their systems, or we don’t, we can’t fish for certain fish anymore because they’ve got so much heavy metal in their systems that you, you’re, you can’t eat certain species of fish.
And why has it taken us like 50 years to realize we had a good idea and we’re undoing it? Instead of don’t make it about necessarily global warming and climate change. Just make it, I wanna live in an environment that is cleaner, better than how I found it. There has to be a, you know, if I, if I have a, any kind of factory Yes.
Disposing of the stuff that overheats water puts effluent out into the environment that isn’t just stuff that you can say that’s somebody else’s problem. There has to be. And why haven’t the. And only the government, but the insurance companies should have pounded these companies with higher and higher rates because eventually asbestos lawsuits killed a couple companies, but they knew that was coming and so they should have had to pay for a long time.
When the due finally you went, things finally come due, you’re, you’re, you’re not gonna have made enough money to make up for the damage that you’ve done. I hope that places will start to do that, that it really is, if it’s an economic issue, that we treat it economically and say the government taxes them out of existence because they’re the ones that are gonna have to run the Superfund sites to clear all the brownfield that they’ve created.
They’re the ones that are all of it. You can’t acid rain and like, wow, we, we spread their problem over I don’t know, 10,000, a hundred thousand acres. Now that land isn’t properly arable and now all, all the all, and we, we’ve hurt 10,000 people that they drank water that used to be coming down from the mountain, nice and pristine, and now it’s got evil in it.
Now it’s got terrible. So maybe we’ll finally get some people that are gonna be really good. Maybe the lawyers are gonna save us all, Stephen, because they’ll come up with the test cases that say, there has to be a way to make sure that the people that created this problem are also ones that have to pay for its cleanup.
There has to be a way, you know what I mean? So go to it. Class.
Stephen: All, all the problems. You know, us being older, see, may see with the younger generation. Mm-hmm. There’s a lot of good things too. They’re not listening and taking a lot of the crap that the old politicians and corporate leaders are spewing.
They, they, they don’t accept it. They don’t listen to it. They, they will support companies that are green. They will go out of their way to try and make things better. Now, arguably that could be because they’re young. We’re all a little idealistic when we’re young. But as a group, they seem to be going that direction more so even more than like the hippie generation or whatever.
Alan: So, wonderful. You know what I mean? It’s kind of funny with, with whatever increasing. Hostility there might be between generations. I think that that isn’t true. I think there are certain loud mouths and gadd flies that are making it, that, you know, this whole group of people are what caused the problems, and only this group is gonna be the ones to solve them.
It’s always gonna be individuals. And it might be that like, I don’t know, whenever there were bad political things happening, Colleen and I sometimes commented, you know, why aren’t there people out protesting? Have the old people gotten too tired and the young people just don’t want to, and they’re not paying enough attention, or they don’t think that’s the best way to do it?
I hope it’s the latter, that they think that if we have a different lifestyle and a different way of thinking and that the way we’re gonna make sure that the world for our world our, you know, that we’re inheriting is inhabitable. I hope that there’s all kinds of the, the worst of the baby boomers, you know, the, the fathers that you know, ran companies that destroyed the world.
I, I hope that that family fortune goes away and that those kids, that his kids, her kids weren’t doing enough to stop that thing from happening. I’m, I’m willing to finally have justice done and have it not be that the life that they were expecting isn’t quite the same. They don’t need more islands. They need more accountability and sense of humanity that says we’re all in this together.
And every tobacco maven that every, every meth, not meth Oxycontin, you know, producer, well, honey, I. Those are only different because one has a brand name and the other doesn’t. But there have been people that have been selling evil drugs and, and in bad ways, in addictive ways, and in, you know, holding back the laws that allow for testing for marijuana.
All those things have been going on for so long. And the fact that, you know, you don’t, you don’t know it as a tobacco company now it’s like, you know essential brands or whatever else it might be. But if they’re, if their base is still in addictive, I, I feel terrible. I own stock in Monster and Celsius, both of which makes those hyper caffeinated energy drinks and so forth.
I think that they’re still less harmful than all the alcohol in the world and all the Oxycontin in the world and so forth. But very much how I invest is trying to create that better future that we’ve talked about. It’s not only making a little bit of money for Colleen and I, it’s like, Hey, that’s good med tech, bio-tech de deserves to be able to save us from the next generation of viruses.
Go Moderna. Go Biointech, go Pfizer. I want them to succeed. And, and here, I don’t know if I’ve had this rant lately. There’s so many cool things coming up with, hey, with electro things or magnetic things, we can get to cancers in ways we never could before in your brain or in your internal organs.
That it’s, it’s a more sophisticated, less harmful, less intrusive way of being able to cure certain things. And one of my stocks where he had a pharmaceuticals just shot up 50% in a day. Which is ridiculous unheard of because their method of treating a specific disease that really only affects like maybe 5,000 people in the world, but the, the treatment is gonna cost like $400,000.
It’s one of those things where you kind of become a prisoner in your own body. You lose muscle control. And, and for the people that need it, they kind of can’t do without it. So it isn’t only that they’ve created this treatment, it’s that the things you learn while creating that kind of treatment, maybe that’s gonna help.
Every kind of, you name it Ms. You know, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s or muscular dystrophy. The things that are kind of systemic and bad like that. And that’s what I like about these various different companies and not the fool calls it off an optionality that they’re not only, Hey, we got a new widget and let’s sell that widget.
It’s that all the things we’ve learned about that widget, we now can also put that into various different things. And it’s not gonna be 5,000, it’s gonna be 50,000 people and it’s gonna be 500 million people, right. And whatever we’re gonna learn from how to do better vaccines, how to do better heart treatments, you know, now they’ve got a thing where one of, one of my guys is instead of you gotta, you gotta a clock and instead of putting a stent through it or doing some like Relatively rough and maybe dangerous things to remove that there’s, and I’m trying to think of what the name of the company is.
They have a thing where they really have the, the little, you know, you do laparoscopic surgery, you thread a little guy and he like, doesn’t just bore away through the plaque. That’s in the way. It actually like slurps it out and gets it out of the way, but not in a way that harms any of the arterial or venal wall that you’re within.
And, and so like, again, from finer measurement, from better instrumentation, from computer control. So it’s not a human being trying to judge, am I doing this right? But it’s like, it’s checking 10,000 times a second. Nope. Haven’t done any damage to anything. I’ve gotten rid of the bad stuff and left the good stuff, like a self-driving car, like whatever other examples we could do.
We’re like, let the, let the computers who are idiots avance at doing that kind of continual monitoring and adjustment. Let them do it. And so I, I just love. That I’ve got invest investments in a whole bunch of different places like that, that I, I’m just so looking forward to. Yep. Pancreatic cancer is no longer a death sentence.
There might be a cure and, and that it’s not only hoping for every time that they make a little bit of a breakthrough, it’s like give them more money so they can do more research. Bet on the winners. Bet on the, the Biogens or, and, and there’s unfortunately, there’s, they, they’re also similar name. Is Biogen the good one or is it Amgen or is it you?
I love learning about that kind of stuff, and I love creating the better future. And hey, if it ever comes back that it works for me. Hey, we got a new, you know, our, our Dexcom patches and our, and our, our various different things that help with diabetics. I really am hoping that we’ll cure diabetes that we’ll have and, and, and like at a reasonable cost.
I think I mentioned, you know, I was taking Mojarro for a while, right? Well, that’s now 900 bucks a month, so I’m losing weight. Instead, I’m doing what I should have all along. Instead of saying, take a pill, it’ll be okay. Right? I, I, I really love the fact, however, that the more that we learn about the human body and about material science and so forth, you’re gonna see, I hope just as long as we’re alive, our chance of living longer keeps going up, right?
Because they keep on finding things about genetics, about chemistry, about all of it. And I know I’m, once again, that’s. I like the fact that you can work actively to create the better world by giving the smart people some money. It’s as simple as that. You know what I mean? Agreed. Nice. But when we had, we stopped doing stem cell research for mostly religious reasons.
That was such a bad backward step. You know what I mean? During the Bush administration, we let fear-mongering and, and not the betterment of humanity lead us and Right other, it didn’t stop entirely. We found ways, again, humans are very ingenious. They found ways that didn’t have to come from various different, certain stem cell lines didn’t have to come from fetuses, which they were worried about.
There were no fetuses that were being killed to get this. We weren’t harvesting babies. But that’s the kind of crap that you heard being said, right. To build the fear that made it happen. So, you know, just that someone that wants this so much that they’re willing to lie about it, maybe that’s exactly why you shouldn’t let them win the game.
You know what I mean? They’re willing to do anything, anything to get their way. Agreed. And they’re all, there’s still too many of them.
Stephen: Absolutely. They’re louder. Mm-hmm. Okay. Alright. Yeah. Yeah.
Alan: Great day. I hope thank you for adjusting our time today and thank you. We’ll see, by the way, next week is my birthday and depending on what Tuesday is my birthday, so depending on what shenanigans Colleen has planned, I might ask for us to postpone by a day.
Yeah. Or else I’ll get it done first thing in the morning and then we’ll go off on our adventures,
Stephen: you know, so let’s see. And she’s home all the time, so it could be shenanigans any point. Exactly.
Alan: You know, we aren’t taking advantage of that. There’s a whole bunch of like Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday trips besides only the weekends nowadays because we can do that.
We can just, yeah. Escape and go down to Johanna. So. Nice. Alright,