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Physical Attraction

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We are a physics podcast. But not just a physics podcast - interviews with scientists, scholars, authors and reflections on the history and future of science and technology are all in the wheelhouse.

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Sep 24, 2017

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, forthcoming, we have Morality, Foresight, and Human Flourishing, which is going to act as an introduction to the whole field of existential risks, which people have been thinking about for a good deal of time now. 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 first part of our conversation, which touches on what is meant by an existential risk, some specific examples from the modern world in terms of nuclear profileration and nuclear accidents; transhumanism, and how our societies and institutions can deal with existential risks more effectively. We talk about the field in general and how we can hope to think more constructively about the end of the world - without waving a 'The End is Nigh' sign! The second part, which focuses on AI, will be released shortly.

Follow Phil @xriskology and the show @physicspod.