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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, as well as links to transcripts of many of the episodes.  

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. 

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You can also subscribe to the Physical Attraction: Extra! Feed over at Patreon: - 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 

Dec 1, 2017

This is the much-anticipated second part of the Phil Torres Tapes! We have a guest on the show today – Phil Torres. Phil Torres is an author, Affiliate Scholar at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, former contributor at the Future of Life Institute, and founding Director of the X-Risks Institute. He has published in Bulletin of the Atomic ScientistsSkepticFree InquiryThe Humanist, Journal of Future StudiesBioethicsJournal of Evolution and Technology, ForesightErkenntnis, and Metaphilosophy, as well as popular media like TimeMotherboardSalonCommon DreamsCounterpunchAlternetThe Progressive, and Truthout.

I was absolutely delighted that he agreed to be interviewed for a show like ours, and so I urge you to seek out his website – – and buy one of his books. There’s “The End – what Science and Religion have to tell us about the Apocalypse”, which is on my shelf already, and, recently, we have Morality, Foresight, and Human Flourishing, which is is an introduction to the whole field of existential risks. So I would urge you all, if you’re interested in this topic – that of risks to the entire human species, which I think we can agree affects us all – to buy one of those books.

This is the second part of our conversation, which focuses on AI, Superintelligence, and the control problem. How can we deal with AI, how will it impact our lives and have we any hope of controlling a superintelligent AI? There's plenty more general discussion about existential risks, too. 

Follow Phil @xriskology and the show @physicspod.