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Physical Attraction


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We are a physics podcast. But not just that - interviews with scientists, scholars, authors and reflections on the history and future of science and technology are all in the wheelhouse. Over the years, for over 200 episodes, we've had shows on the astrophysics of stars, a comprehensive history of nuclear fusion, thermodynamics, particle physics, climate change, economics, philosophy, the psychology of conspiracy theories, and even the lives of Louisiana Senator Huey Long, or scientists under Stalin in the Soviet Union. 

We are an independent show: everything you hear is created by one person out of passion and love. My aim in producing this show is never to talk down to people, but instead to discuss fascinating and vital subjects with scientific rigour, compassion, and an eye for narrative: to educate, inform, and entertain. I hope that you, the listener, will find something you like here. 

You can read about us here, which includes a comprehensive episode guide for new listeners covering all of the shows that we've done. 

You can contact us here - everything goes through to my email and I try to answer each one. Your comments and questions help me to improve the show and also motivate me to carry on, so I highly appreciate reading anything you feel like sending. 

If you like what we do and want to help us keep doing it, you can donate here. I am extremely grateful for those of you who have done so. 

You can also subscribe to the Physical Attraction: Extra! Feed over at Patreon: www.patreon.com/PhysicalAttraction - where for a small fee per bonus episode, you can help to support the show, and get some juicy bonus content too. The Patreon includes unique bonus episodes that stand alone, or alongside our existing series. But you will also get episodes as soon as I finish producing them, which is often months in advance: so, if you can't wait for your fix, that's where to go. 

We had a sister podcast, Autocracy Now, which deals with the lives of famous historical dictators. You can find some of their episodes on our feed, or the show itself at www.autocracynow.libsyn.com 

Dec 26, 2017

We have a guest on the show today! His name is Stuart Armstrong, and he works at the Future of Humanity Institute that we’ve mentioned several times over the course of the TEOTWAWKI specials who are looking at big-picture existential risks. Stuart Armstrong’s research at the Future of Humanity Institute centers on the safety and possibilities of Artificial Intelligence (AI), how to define the potential goals of AI and map humanity’s partially defined values into it, and the long term potential for intelligent life across the reachable universe. He has been working with people at FHI and other organizations, such as DeepMind, to formalize AI desiderata in general models so that AI designers can include these safety methods in their designs.