The following is an AMA episode
where I answer a few questions that folks asked
on Patreon, YouTube, and other social networks.
I’ll try to do these episodes on occasion
if it’s of interest to anyone at all.
Quick mention of our sponsors.
Brooklyn and Sheets, Indeed hiring website,
ExpressVPN, and Theragun muscle recovery device.
So the choice is sleep, employment,
privacy, or muscle recovery.
Choose wisely, my friends.
And if you wish, click the sponsor links below
to get a discount and to support this podcast.
As usual, I’ll do a few minutes of ads now
and no ads in the middle.
I try to make these interesting,
but I give you timestamps, so if you skip,
please still check out the sponsors
by clicking the links in the description.
It’s the best way to support this podcast.
This episode is brought to you by Brooklyn and Sheets.
Sleep has increasingly become a source of joy for me
with the Asleep self-cooling bed
and now these incredibly smooth,
buttery smooth as they call them,
cozy Brooklyn and Sheets.
I’ve often slept on the carpet
without anything but a jacket and jeans,
so I’m not exactly the world’s greatest expert in comfort.
But these sheets have been an amazing upgrade
over anything I’ve ever used.
Even the adult sheets I’ve actually purchased
at some point in my life.
There’s a variety of colors, patterns,
and material variants to choose from.
They have over 50,000 five-star reviews.
I’m a sucker for those, by the way.
In other words, people love them.
So they suggest that you should do something nice
for yourself to start the new year.
To help you with that, Brooklyn has a special offer.
Go to brooklyn.com and use promo code Lex
to get $25 off when you spend $100 or more,
plus free shipping.
That’s brooklyn.com and enter promo code Lex
to get 25 bucks off when you spend $100 or more,
plus free shipping.
I guess I said that twice.
brooklyn.com and use promo code Lex at checkout.
This episode is brought to you by Indeed,
a hiring website.
I’ve used them as part of all the hiring efforts I’ve done
for the engineering teams I’ve led in recent years.
The main point is to go from the initial posting
to a short list of great candidates as quickly as possible.
That’s what they accomplish.
That’s what they help you with.
They search through millions of resumes
and instantly show you good candidates.
And Indeed delivers four times more hires
than all other job sites combined,
according to Talent Nest.
So that’s the first really difficult step,
which is getting a good pool of candidates.
I think the most important part is the final steps
and figuring out out of that pool,
which is the actual perfect candidate.
And you do that by going through the interviewing process.
But that’s on you, or that’s on me if I’m hiring.
I’ve learned a lot about this process myself.
I actually kind of enjoy the engineering aspect
of this process, but honestly,
I think it’s more art than science.
Anyway, right now, listeners get a free $75 credit
to upgrade your job post.
If you go to indeed.com slash Friedman,
however the heck you spell my last name,
this is Indeed’s best offer available anywhere.
Get a free $75 credit at indeed.com slash Friedman,
indeed.com slash Friedman.
Yes, that’s spelled F-R-I-D-M-A-N.
There is no E in there,
but you can just click the link in the description.
Offer is valid through March 31st of this year.
Terms and conditions apply.
I’ve never actually said that in an ad.
Terms and conditions apply.
I assume as all proper citizens must.
You’ve read all of the terms and conditions, of course.
This show is also brought to you by ExpressVPN.
Most of us have very little choice
of an ISP, internet service provider.
They operate like monopolies in the regions they serve.
They then use this monopoly power
to take advantage of customers.
Data caps, streaming throttles, the list goes on.
But worst of all, many ISPs log your internet activity
and sell that data, which they can legally,
onto other big tech companies or advertisers.
To prevent ISPs from seeing my internet activity,
I protect my devices with ExpressVPN.
I’ve been using it for many years on Windows,
yes, Windows, Linux, and Android,
but it’s available everywhere else too.
For me, it’s been fast and easy to use.
One big power on button that’s fun to press,
probably my favorite intuitive design of an app.
Doesn’t try to do more than it needs to,
but it gets the job done.
That’s a sign of a good design.
Go to expressvpn.com slash LexPod
to get an extra three months free on a one year package.
That’s expressvpn.com slash LexPod.
This show is brought to you by Theragun,
a handheld percussive therapy device
that I use after hard running
or body weight exercise sessions
for muscle recovery and easing muscle tension.
A lot of elite athletes use it,
but it’s also good for regular folks like me.
It’s surprisingly quiet, easy to use,
comes with a great app that guides you
through everything you need to know.
I’m ramping back up on the whole exercise thing,
cutting a bit of weight,
either running or doing body weight exercises, often both.
There are several reasons for this,
but mostly running is great at getting me
to let go of any silly negative thoughts
I might be holding onto.
Anyway, Theragun is a part of the muscle recovery
in this process.
Try them for 30 days.
There is no substitute for the Theragun Gen 4
with an OLED screen, personalized Theragun app,
and the quiet power you need.
That sounds really badass, but also happens to be true.
Starting at $190, go to theragun.com slash Lex.
That’s theragun.com slash Lex.
And now, on to the AMA episode
with the questions and the answers.
The question is, Lex,
I’m a young man that has battled with depression.
Do you think when trying to develop a human-like AI,
we will reach a stumbling point
where the AI themselves suffer from depression
and other complex mental issues?
Do you think it will be a simple fix
like rewriting a piece of code or a new patch or update?
Or maybe when trying to create something human-like
with high fidelity, you need to leave in the possibility
of the AI suffering from such complex mental issues
that a human can.
What are your thoughts generally and philosophically
about AI suffering from depression?
I think that suffering is a deep fundamental property
I would like to probably say quite a bit about depression.
I have friends who suffer from depression,
but that’s for another time.
That’s for when we talk about depression in humans.
I think depression is just one flavor of suffering
that is part of the human condition.
I see it as a kind of dark side street
on the path to intelligence.
So in terms of robot suffering,
if we are to create systems that are truly intelligent
in the way that they’re able to interact
in intelligent and deeply meaningful ways
with other humans, it’s going to have
many of the properties, many of the characteristics
of the human condition, of the full human experience.
I think depression is part of that.
There’s of course a part in us humans
that longs to remove all that is cruel in this world.
That’s why people that believe in God,
often the biggest question is of why does God
allow there to be suffering in the world?
There’s this longing to understand
why is there so much unfairness in this world?
And so building on that, there’s an inclination
to then in our systems engineer something
that is void of those things that we cannot understand
why that’s part of the human condition.
But I think it is intricately part
of the experience that is to be human.
And I think if we were to build intelligence systems
that are interacting with humans,
there has to be in some ways properties
of consciousness baked in.
And if we’re to have properties of consciousness baked in,
we have to have the full mystery
and uncertainty of the human experience,
which yes, includes all the different flavors
of suffering of which depression is part.
I think the yin and the yang in all of its versions,
the ups and downs of moods,
but also the more sort of rational intellectual
interpretations of different concepts
that are less sort of dramatic,
all have to oscillate back and forth.
I think that’s where the interesting aspect
of interactions happens.
Just like when I have conversations in the podcast,
the interesting stuff happens when there’s disagreements,
when there’s a bit of turmoil,
when there’s a push and pull,
when there’s a changing of minds,
or even just a morphing of your own opinions
about something, your own thoughts.
I think that’s part of it.
So I really do think all of that mess of humanity
has to be engineered in,
into AI systems that are interacting with humans
and are trying to create meaningful interactions
with those humans.
There’s of course a huge amount of AI systems
that are going to be more intelligent
than humans at particular tasks.
Those do not need to have those properties
of the human experience,
like suffering and all those kinds of things.
But for the ones that move among us,
I think unfortunately depression
has to be part of the experience,
or the possibility of depression
has to be part of the experience.
Of course I tend to focus on the positive aspects
of the human experience,
like love, beauty, joy, all those kinds of things,
but it’s the yin and the yang.
They go together.
They’re lifelong partners, unfortunately, I think.
Now of course all of this is just hypothesis,
and most of my answers to all of these questions
are going to be just my own thoughts,
but I am thinking about all of this
from an engineering perspective,
and maybe I’ll have more to say in the future
about how we actually build these kinds of things
into our AI systems that interact with humans.
Thanks for the great question.
It’s a tough one.
Question is, Lex, I was wondering
if you would be willing to talk
about your immigrant experience.
I myself started off as an international student
studying and working in America,
not from Russia, I’m from India,
but there was a constant push and pull
that I experienced given my life circumstance.
I would be curious to hear how you assimilated.
Do you feel like you belong, et cetera?
Thank you for the AMA.
Your statements about do you feel like you belong
hit hard for some reason.
Maybe it’s because of late at night,
maybe because I’m a bit over-caffeinated.
Maybe what pops to mind to focus on
is the aspect of loneliness, the aspect of belonging.
I think a lot of us in the early teenage years
go through that process of feeling like an outsider,
an outcast of different kinds.
I think it hit me the hardest personally
because I was a popular kid in Russia,
and when we moved here,
I went to the opposite of being popular,
or feeling like that, I felt like an outcast.
The place I moved to in America had more of an emphasis,
maybe it’s a cultural thing,
of emphasizing material possessions
over two things that were deeply meaningful to me,
which is human connection, like friendship,
and also knowledge, like mathematics
and scientific discovery, all those kinds of things.
It’s just the emphasis of what was valued was different,
and that for me was a catalyst to feel like a total outcast,
as opposed to being this person
who looks out into the world
and enjoys the beauty of the world.
I kind of went to this brooding phase of,
first of all, learning the English language,
but starting to read books, more philosophical books.
The first one I remember reading in English was The Giver.
That sort of helped me start thinking about this world.
I was so fortunate to be so in love with people for so long,
and have close friends in Russia,
that I didn’t notice in my childhood
how deeply alone we all are.
So for me, the immigrant experience
involved in a small way, at least the first,
realizing that hard human truth
that we all are born alone, live alone, die alone.
Even when we’re in the arms of somebody we love,
we’re still somehow fundamentally alone
with our thoughts, with our hopes, with our fears,
trapped in this conscious meat vessel between our ears.
I think the immigrant experience for me
was the catalyst to realizing and being terrified
and also liberated by the idea that
I’m alone in this world.
And at the same time was the realization
that this beautiful feeling I felt
from the connection to other humans
was this gift that took me away
from this dark realization.
So it’s almost that love is a kind of escape
from the reality of life, from the muck of life.
And so the journey began in that way,
to think about this world in this way,
both the burden of being alone,
coupled with the frequent escape from that feeling
by being lost in the company of friends, loved ones.
So early on, coupled with this love of the human mind
and curiosity about the human mind
was the love of programming
and actually building little programs
and engineering systems, of course,
building robots in college and so on.
I think the gift of the immigrant experience
of feeling like the outcast
was the love of experiencing
the deep connection with others,
like a deep appreciation of it when it’s there.
I guess because it was taken away,
because I was ripped out of it through moving here,
I got to really appreciate it
and start becoming cognizant of it
to where I can start looking for it
and being more grateful when I do have it.
And at the same time, a kind of curiosity
started boiling up of the perspective
on artificial intelligence systems
from that kind of longing for a connection.
So as opposed to looking at robots or AI systems
or even just programs that accomplish a particular task,
can these programs accomplish the same richness of task
and richness of experience
that I came to appreciate as a human being?
So when I talk about kind of love,
there’s echoes of that in my longing
of the kind of experiences I would like to create
in artificial intelligence systems
that was born out of the immigrant experience,
of the loss of childlike innocence experience,
of all of it combined, of starting to read books
and thinking deeply about this world experience,
all of that coupled in.
I really think sometimes, unfortunately,
the first step of deep gratitude is loss.
So for me, I lost quite a bit during that time
and through that loss, I was able to discover the things
that I truly appreciate about life.
So let me leave it at that.
Question is, if you were able to ask an alien some questions,
what would they be?
This is a really good question
and I find it to be actually a really good thought experiment.
Let me put out some candidate questions out there
and see what sticks.
So first, I’ll probably ask for advice
for the human species as a whole, for our civilization,
of what we might do to survive and prosper
for a long time to come,
assuming the alien is from a civilization
that’s far older than ours or far wiser.
I think there could be some really interesting,
clear statements about the things we’re doing here on Earth
that are getting us into trouble from an alien perspective.
So I think that’s the number one thing
and maybe I’ll bring up along those lines,
bring up questions of great filters.
If you look at the history of your civilization,
when did you almost destroy the entirety of your species?
It would be informative from a historical perspective
to see, for us, it’s currently what the nuclear age
and the few moments in the history
that could have resulted in an all-out nuclear war.
It’d be interesting to see
if they mentioned something about AGI,
something about viruses or wars
or just things that we don’t even think about.
So I guess question number one
would be some basic life advice,
hoping that this alien is a Naval type character
who can, in a crisp, short way, give some profound advice.
Second, I would probably ask,
now this is a very selfish conversation
because it’s just following along the things
on top of my head that follow my curiosity.
I would ask about the difference
between their civilization and ours.
I would ask whether they have some of these things
that make us human, like love.
Like, do you guys have love where you come from?
Do you have death, mortality?
You know, I suspect it’s possible to have mortality
not even be a concept that makes any sense
to an alien species.
That, of course, everybody’s immortal
and there might be some kind of enforced selection mechanism
like evolution in general.
I would ask about consciousness,
try to tease apart the question of this thing
of subjective experience.
Is this some kind of self-centered,
weird, over-dramatized quirk of evolution that we have
that’s not actually special at all?
And then we make a kind of big deal about it.
That’s some kind of useful feature of our brain
to think of ourselves as individuals
that’s completely silly.
It’d be interesting to try to tease apart
whether they have consciousness
and what form their intelligence takes
that is distinct from consciousness
in the way that we think of humans
as being conscious entities
that are also able to do intelligent things.
Are those intricately connected?
Are those separate?
It’d be interesting to sort of tease that apart
of how their alien minds work.
So that includes intelligence, consciousness,
love, and death, all the greatest hits.
Okay, then I would probably go to physics.
Of course, you gotta ask about physics.
I would look into the alien’s eyes, if they have eyes,
and try to determine if we can actually even find
the same language of mathematics or physics or sciences.
In general, I would probably ask about the big mysteries
of physics and science of what’s outside our universe.
Why is there something rather than nothing?
Why is there stuff?
And what’s outside the stuff we think of as stuff?
So like, what’s outside the universe?
I’d be hesitant to ask the why questions,
but I’ll try a few out to see maybe there is a good answer
to the why questions of like, why did it start?
Like, why is there something rather than nothing?
Then I would probably ask slightly more detailed
about what’s the universe made of?
Like, what’s up with this dark matter and dark energy stuff?
Like, what are the basic building blocks of reality?
And what are the laws of physics that govern that reality?
So I would, of course, ask, kind of sneak in there,
just like casually, can you maybe give a few hints
of how to unify?
First of all, are we on the right track
in terms of quantum mechanics and general relativity?
And then how do you unify all the laws of physics?
Maybe sneak in there in a different angle,
trying to ask about the singularity in the black hole,
or maybe what happens at the very beginning of the Big Bang,
like where those laws are all unified.
Maybe try to get a sense of what are the kind of physics
required to fully describe these events.
I think the physics discussion would be a good time
to ask, is there a God?
Maybe not use the G word, but instead say,
is there a kind of a centralized designer
or team of designers that have launched the universe
and are actively managing the universe?
And of course, another version of asking that,
I would probably talk about the simulation
of looking at the universe as we see it,
as a computation, as a computer
that’s doing information processing,
see if that rings a bell to the alien,
if there’s a connection to that.
In general, I would ask about what kind of computers
you have and also what kind of computer games.
That’d be really useful.
Like, what do you do for fun?
You come here often?
But that’s like usual icebreakers.
Of course, I’m not mentioning those.
That’s just like chatter at the bar.
So I guess outside the big physics questions,
I would ask the more engineering-centric questions.
First, my interest, AI, about superintelligence.
How do we build superintelligent systems,
ones that are far more intelligent than humans?
How do we travel close to the speed of light
or faster than the speed of light?
Like, how do the aliens get to where we’re at
that we’re meeting and talking?
Related to that would be a question of energy.
How do we harness the energy of a sun or multiple suns
or all of the suns in our galaxy?
And then also kind of an engineering question.
Can we travel through time?
And if we can, how do we build a time-traveling machine?
And is it a good idea?
I think a lot of these questions will be appended
with a sort of caveat of like,
if you know the answer to this question,
will I be better off if you told me this answer?
Sometimes knowledge is not power.
Sometimes knowledge is a burden
that leads to self-destruction.
So we wanna be careful about that.
Of course, as the alien gets tired of talking to me
at this intergalactic bar,
probably gets up sort of politely, starts walking away,
I would definitely ask some questions
from my own personal knowledge bank.
Is P equals NP?
Theoretical computer science,
one of the big questions all in mathematics.
I just need to know the answer.
Just give me the answer, I’ll work from there, okay?
We’ll figure out the rest, just the answer.
So yes or no?
Probably won’t ask him for investment advice.
Probably thinks that the whole concept of money is silly,
but I might ask about Bitcoin.
Good long-term investment or bad?
What do you think?
The digital currency in general.
And of course, we’ll probably ask,
is Elon Musk one of you guys or a different species?
Do you know which galaxy,
which group of planets he came from?
It’d be nice to sort of localize things.
Is there others like it that visit and build companies?
Just get some of the details.
This AMA has suddenly become ridiculous,
but I think this is a really nice thought experiment,
and I’ll think about this a little bit more.
I’m sure there is a list of really precise questions
that could most efficiently unlock the mysteries
before the human race
that are both useful for our progress
and useful for our survival.
Question is, what advice would you give
an intermediate life stage 36-year-old
who wants to career pivot from medical technology
and research to computer science?
So first, by computer science,
I think you mean the broad field
that includes software engineering, machine learning,
robotics, just computing in general,
maybe with less emphasis on the mathematical sides
like theoretical computer science.
I think the best advice on this that I could give
is find a simple project to get excited about
and allow yourself to get really excited by it.
Have fun, fall in love with it,
be proud of the thing you create.
And I should say there’s a big emphasis on the simple.
Don’t go super ambitious.
I believe that most people, if they allow themselves,
can derive a huge amount of joy
for creating some simple little things.
Even if it’s following a tutorial,
if you just allow yourself to experience
the joy of creation, it’s there for you.
That’s one of the magical things about computer science
is it allows you to create things
that are almost like entities on their own.
That’s what programs are.
So I think a career in computer science
starts first with allowing yourself to be passionate
and getting that, stoking that flame
and allowing it to build.
So it’s not about any of the practical,
like which job do I get, what thing I work on.
It’s just really giving yourself over
to the simple passion of creating stuff.
I think there’s just a quick set of steps
that I think I followed early on
that I would also recommend you
at least consider following is,
first is basic software engineering.
like super popular, accessible programming language
and build just like a hello world program
or something just a little bit more complicated,
but not much more.
Beyond that is using that newly acquired
set of tools of programming,
build something that automates something you do
on the computer.
Maybe another way to phrase that is just like scripts
that are helping you in your interaction with the computer.
So maybe finding different files in your computer
that you try to look for often
or reorganizing things in an automated way,
like folder structures, or maybe renaming files.
Like I have a script that finds all the files
that have spaces in the file name
and it renames them after confirmation
to underscores, all those kinds of things.
There’s a bunch of little helpful scripts
I have all over the place.
And those are just really joyful
because you get to use them every day.
And it’s something that you’ve created
that made your life a little bit easier.
For me at least, that’s a source of joy
that helps feed that like love of programming,
of just being a part of the computing
of the computer science world.
And I’ve been doing that really my whole life.
It started with C and C++,
but now it’s a lot of other languages,
Next is a branching into two separate little worlds
in computer science of algorithms
and then like data science.
I think both are full of beautiful things
to fall in love with.
The thing you can really enjoy with algorithms
is learning how to build more and more
On the data side is learning
how to process different data sets,
how to clean them up,
how to reorganize them
and do different kind of statistics on them,
processing on them.
So we’re not even talking about machine learning yet.
It’s just being able to visualize those data sets,
all those kinds of stuff,
just working with data.
And now we’re starting to talk about a career
because there’s a lot of jobs
that have to do with the use of computing techniques
to process, visualize, interpret, aggregate, analyze data.
So I guess you would call that field data science.
So that’s a really cool career trajectory.
And there’s so many cool things to get into
with I think a very reasonable small learning curve
that you can really, if you push yourself,
do within weeks, maybe months, not years.
And once you become comfortable with the data science world,
you can start building on top of that quite naturally,
doing some boilerplate machine learning,
supervised learning projects,
and then building out into more specific,
more useful, more novel,
cutting edge applications of machine learning,
reinforcement learning, that whole world.
Maybe even taking that into physical systems
of actually building robots.
And I should backtrack.
It sounds like I’m building
towards something super complicated, but it’s not.
All of these can be really small projects.
Even robotics projects,
you can build a little robot that does some basic tasks,
maybe does some basic computer vision.
And it’s a nice way to learn on the robotics side
and better systems programming.
So it’s just getting more comfortable with hardware
and seeing if that’s something you’re interested in.
Or on the data science side,
where you’re sticking much more to the software.
Both of those, you now start to figure out
what is the exciting career possibility.
I think two things,
I would even see them as skills that are important here.
Passion and Google.
I see passion as a skill
because it’s allowing yourself to be excited.
So it’s finding things you could be excited about
and allowing yourself to be excited.
And seeing that as an actually essential part of progress
is allowing yourself to be excited.
And the reason I mentioned Google is because
I find that in a lot of fields,
but especially in computer science,
with software engineering and machine learning,
there’s so many amazing resources out there
that the key skill actually ends up being
is how good are you at discovering the exact page
and resources that is allowing you to take the next step
in your journey of exploration of learning.
And that’s fundamentally a skill of
how do I Google the right thing?
What pages do I click on?
And all those kinds of things.
I think it sounds almost kind of ridiculous
to say that that’s a skill,
but that is one of the most essential skills
of the modern day student, lifelong student,
is how to Google.
So yeah, passion and Google.
Allow yourself to fall in love with the project
and keep taking the next step, the next step, the next step
with the help of a good search engine
and a bit of curiosity.
Question is, what form factor of robots
are you most excited about for the future?
Bipeds, quads, arms, humanoids,
maybe something else more obscure.
This is a really tough question
because I really like robots.
I think that love is born in software
and the hardware stuff just makes it a little more fun.
So I think the things I’m really excited about,
even in terms of form factors, is in the software.
I think much of the exciting developments in robotics
is actually in simulated worlds currently.
And I think that will be true for quite a while to come.
And so I think in terms of human robot interaction,
the robots that’ll be really exciting
are the ones that live in virtual worlds,
like in virtual reality or even just on a screen.
So I think what we would see more and more
is entities, human-like entities,
or entities that allow us to anthropomorphize
a consciousness, a spirit onto them
living in the digital world.
I think that’s what I’m really excited about.
And of course, slowly those entities taking a form
in the physical space in terms of,
I think probably the humanoid form.
Unfortunately, though very difficult to engineer
and create a realistic and natural
or fulfilling experience with,
I think it’s still probably the most, to me, exciting form.
Although I do really like Boston Dynamic Spot,
the robot dog, from a kind of having a pet perspective
is a really exciting form.
Again, very difficult to do stuff in the physical space.
It’s a huge engineering challenge
that as far as I can tell is several orders of magnitude
more difficult than the same challenge in digital space.
So I just see the digital simulated robotics advancing
much quicker and having a much larger scale impact
on the world, especially if we start seeing
more and more virtual worlds being created.
And that doesn’t necessarily mean virtual reality
or like augmented reality.
It just means ability and mediums within which
you can interact with artificial intelligence systems
in the digital space.
And I do see that as a form factor,
which is entities in digital space
having a humanoid or a semi-humanoid form,
something that we can anthropomorphize,
something we can connect with on a human level.
Question is, on the topic of suffering and growth,
is happiness a healthy pursuit?
Or do you agree with Einstein’s view on happiness
as the aspiration of a pig?
Okay, let me quickly look up the Einstein quote here
that you referenced about a pig and happiness.
Okay, Einstein writes,
I have never looked upon ease and happiness
as ends in themselves.
This critical basis I call the ideal of a pigsty.
The ideals that have lighted my way and time after time
have given me new courage to face life cheerfully
have been kindness, beauty, and truth.
Without the sense of kinship with men of like mind,
without the occupation with the objective world,
the eternally unattainable in the field of art
and scientific endeavors,
life would have seemed empty to me.
The trite objects of human efforts, possessions,
outward success, luxury,
have always seemed to me contemptible.
Okay, where do I start with this?
I think I usually agree with Einstein,
especially when he talks philosophy on most things.
And I do here as well in terms of material possessions
and all those kinds of things.
But I think he unfairly attacks the word happiness
and also pigs.
So let me disagree with Einstein
and try to defend the word happiness
and also maybe defend pigs,
if I can somehow figure that out.
So the word happiness,
I think is one of those words
that could mean a lot of things to a lot of people.
And I think in this case,
Einstein is using it as almost,
or the pursuit of happiness
as a kind of synonym for hedonism.
So a kind of very narrow definition of what happiness is.
I think I see happiness as a indicator
that is much bigger than direct pleasures,
but as a word that includes those pleasures,
but also includes more meaningful,
deep fulfillment in life.
And so I’d like to reclaim the word happiness
as a good thing,
which is slightly applied in this discussion
that happiness is a kind of distraction
that shouldn’t be thought about.
I do think that happiness is a side effect
of a life well lived, not a goal.
I think the moment it becomes a goal in itself,
I think it’s easy to lose your way.
And perhaps that’s what in part Einstein means,
but I do think it’s a really good signal
of progress, happiness.
So in losing yourself in the focus of battle,
of just focusing on excellence and progress
and improving and challenging yourself
and growing all the time,
I think a kind of running average
measure of your happiness,
so you average that over a period of weeks and months,
is a good measure of how you’re doing.
And I think a more actionable process
of collecting that signal
is a process of just gratitude,
of sitting back and thinking how grateful I am,
how grateful you are for how it started
and how it’s going,
for the progress that you’ve made.
So I do think it’s a good signal,
not momentary happiness,
but over a period of time, several weeks, several months,
if there’s not happiness,
that you’ve probably lost your way as well.
So it’s a useful signal,
not a goal in itself, but a useful signal.
And kindness, beauty, and truth,
as Einstein puts it, are good ideals,
but they’re a bit ambiguous
in a practical day-to-day sense.
I share them, of course,
but I think practically,
if I were to put it into words,
at least for myself,
struggle is the process
and happiness is the measure.
So day-to-day life actually looks
like a constant struggle to improve yourself.
And then the flip side of that
is the gratitude of how amazing life is,
the progress you’ve made,
but also just the opportunity to struggle.
You have to imagine this if it’s happy.
And ultimately, when I look back at my life,
most days are spent truly happy to be alive.
So in that sense, the pursuit of happiness is a good one.
So not hedonistic in the moment,
local optima of kind of pleasure,
but more like stepping back,
looking at the running average
over the past few weeks and months
and making sure you’re at a good level.
So that’s a bit of a disagreement with Einstein.
And I also have to say that I think
pigs are one of the most intelligent animals.
So I’m still holding out for the possibility
that pigs or maybe dolphins
have life figured out quite a bit better than us humans.
So on those two things,
the pursuit of happiness and on the brilliance of pigs,
me and Einstein part ways for a brief moment.
Question is, hey Lex,
I was curious how you pick people
to come on to the podcast.
I think this process is actually quite difficult
and it evolved over time.
So let me mention a few factors.
I think first and foremost,
it’s important that a person is really passionate
about what they do.
And that passion can take all kinds of different forms.
I know I sometimes or all the time
completely lack emotion in my face,
but I truly am passionate about the things I do.
And so that passion can express itself in different ways.
And so coupled with that passion,
I look for people who are sort of not only passionate,
but they appreciate, enjoy,
are drawn to the long form conversation format
as a way to express that passion, which is not everybody.
Some people love to express their passion,
their interests, their expertise,
their ideas in written form.
Maybe that’s more kind of edited
over several passes of editing
versus a conversation format,
especially long form conversation
where there’s very little editing.
In addition to that,
I also try to make sure the person
actually wants to come on to this particular podcast.
You know, there’s so many amazing podcasts out there
and it’s also just surprising to see
how much better they are than me
at talking and conversations, explaining stuff.
It’s humbling, it’s also inspiring
because it pushes me to kind of improve
seeing what’s possible.
So I don’t know.
If people don’t actually listen to this particular podcast
or at least have listened a little bit
and are not drawn to the particular flavor of weirdness
that is me, like some kid who wears a suit all the time
and like mumbles, speaks slowly,
asks these weird questions.
I mean, if they’re not drawn
to whatever the hell that weird mystery is
of this particular human,
then there’s no reason to talk.
If they’re drawn, I think there’s a possibility
of something magical happening.
Me with my weirdness and them with their weirdness
kind of colliding in interesting ways
that creates something new
that both of us are surprised by.
And on that topic, more and more,
I’m looking for people that are different than me.
And that means the full spectrum of diversity.
So it could be different backgrounds,
different worldviews, different personalities.
Like you can tell there’ll be a clash of flavors.
It’s like chocolate and salt,
but it can also turn out to be like a pineapple pizza
that actually some people love, but I don’t understand.
It doesn’t make any sense.
Why it doesn’t make any sense.
So it could be taking that risk
of embracing that clash in the chemistry
can sometimes result in a pineapple pizza.
So there’s a cost to that risk,
but I seek it out more
because I think that’s the possibility
of some magical experience of a magical conversation.
And on that topic, I should mention
there’s this kind of idea of platforming,
which is I’ve been fortunate enough
to have sort of enough listeners and viewers
that the question of platforming even comes up.
Meaning if you have this kind of guest
with these kind of controversial viewpoints,
why give them a platform
that further spreads their viewpoints?
And I understand, I empathize with this kind of view,
but I don’t like it because to me, if I’m successful,
now that’s the problem.
I’m not very good at this thing,
especially in challenging conversations.
But if I’m successful, the tension in worldviews,
the tension in personalities,
the clash will create wisdom.
So I really want to talk to very challenging people.
I want to have really difficult conversations.
And that means talking to people
that are at the outskirts of society.
I think it’s something that I’m thinking about a lot.
It’s important to say that I’m not afraid of being canceled.
I do think I’m afraid,
or perhaps the better word is concerned,
about doing a terrible job
on a important, difficult conversation.
Where as a result of me doing a terrible job,
I don’t add love or knowledge or inspiration to the world,
but fuel further division.
Not because of the guests I have on,
but because of my failure to catalyze
and steer an inspiring conversation.
I see my skill in conversation as not,
I mean, I don’t know how to put it nicely,
but not very good.
I’m striving to improve constantly.
So some of the guest selection has to do
with the difficulty of the conversation
and how prepared I am for that level of difficulty.
I think the way I think about difficult conversations
is some of them might take years to prepare for,
There’s certain people and certain spaces of ideas
that takes a lot of time.
You have to remember that I’m just an engineer.
I have a set of things that preoccupied my mind for years,
and there’s a lot of difficult topics
that I just won’t do a good job of.
So part of it is I have to work hard to learn more,
to kind of constantly look outside the Overton window
to try to explore difficult ideas.
And at the same time,
build enough sort of reputation-driven freedom
to take risks and make mistakes,
or try to inspire people in the community
to allow me, to allow each other,
all of us to make mistakes in conversation.
So it’s the coupling of extreme, thorough preparation
and allowing yourself to make mistakes.
It’s like excellence and not giving a damn combined.
But overall, the thing I’m concerned about,
and I take back the fear, I’m not afraid of it.
I’m just concerned of doing a bad job of conversation.
I’m not concerned of being canceled or derided
or criticized after having done a reasonably good job.
I’m concerned on myself.
It doesn’t matter if I’m canceled or not.
Just when I look in the mirror,
when I look at the results of the conversation
being a failure, something that doesn’t add love
to the world, but something that adds derision.
And also, this is the problem with words.
I don’t even like how I’m expressing myself currently.
I really try not to have some kind of agenda
or strategy going into a conversation.
I really wanna be fragile, open-minded,
almost boring and naive, and just giving my trust
to a person, even when I challenge or play devil’s advocate,
all those kinds of things.
I really want to place trust in the mutual respect
and the love that the other person gives.
And I trust that they won’t take advantage of that.
And so some of the guest selection has to do with,
do I have enough trust yet that this person
won’t take advantage of my open-mindedness,
of my childlike curiosity, all those kinds of things.
But all of this is just a giant learning experience.
I do wanna be careful not to let my curiosity run,
what should I say, too far ahead of me,
where my preparation doesn’t meet
the level of curiosity I exhibit.
So again, like I said, I’m willing and I’m trying
to be more and more willing to take risks
and make mistakes in conversations,
but I’m also not letting myself off the hook
in terms of the level of preparation I put.
And I really hope that we give each other the freedom
and are patient with each other in nuanced conversation.
That’s what seems to be really missing in public discourse,
is this kind of patience and allowing each other
to make statements that we later change our mind on
and not putting that statement on us
as this kind of scarlet letter
that forever puts us in a bin of red or blue
or some other bin.
So I’m trying to navigate all of this
while still being naive and open-minded as best I can.
Question is, hey Lex, I was wondering how you manage
to remain optimistic in the face of adversity
when you encounter hostile people
that don’t want to even consider
offering constructive criticism
and would rather try to tear you down
and force their ideology.
I find pieces of hope for short periods of time
and then they fade after I see the argument
surrounding whatever brought about hope to begin with.
I guess to put it simply,
how do you hold on to hope and optimism?
Thank you for the question.
There’s probably a lot to be said about this,
but I’ll try to keep it brief and simple.
I try to ignore the noise of the world,
the bickering of the moment.
I find that if you give yourself a chance
to see how amazing people are,
that those people will reveal themselves to be amazing,
that you will see it.
That if you give yourself a chance to see it,
you will see it, I see it.
And I see gratitude for how amazing things are
and optimism for how much even better things could be
as a kind of superpower.
It makes life exciting in a way
that first is just fun to live.
And two, from just a productivity perspective,
as an engineer or anybody who creates anything,
it’s fuel to create.
I believe that to create new things,
and especially for things that others will say
is not possible to create,
I find that optimism is a necessary precondition
to give you the energy, the fuel, the drive,
the inspiration to go for months, for years,
to carry the fire of belief.
That’s where that optimism truly is,
a superpower that enables that kind of perseverance.
So I think the most important thing
is it makes life more exciting and fun.
And it’s a good productivity hack, is the second thing.
You also asked how, so I tried to,
my personal life and the influences I take in,
the books I read and the people I talk to,
I try to surround myself with people
that are also full of optimism.
And in general, I’m unapologetically a fan
of a lot of people, especially sort of big thinkers,
wild engineers and scientists
and creators of all walks of life.
People that shine in ways that surprise me or excite me.
There’s really thousands, to be honest.
Just off the top of my head,
even people I talked to on this podcast,
Chris Lattner always brings a smile to my face,
one of the greatest engineers of the world.
Jim Keller’s from that ilk as well,
though slightly different personalities,
but also inspires me, makes me smile,
such a deep and kind and brilliant human being.
Along that line of engineers, Elon Musk, of course,
also the embodiment of optimism about this world
is an inspiration.
And then maybe down the dimension of more wild,
even George Hotz, with a chaotic style of thinking
that’s very different than my own,
but one that I find just inspiring.
Of course, Joe Rogan, for me, has been for many years
a kind of example of somebody
who doesn’t take themselves too seriously.
Like he’s been for a lot of people.
He has been for me a role model for a successful life
that’s not full of jealousy and kind of derision,
but it’s more being supportive of others,
being a fan of others, all those kinds of things.
I mean, on the darker side, Dan Carlin, of course,
you don’t often think of him as optimistic,
but I truly think he’s optimistic.
He’s just been so deeply soaking in the muck
of the darkness of human history
that I think sometimes the thing he talks about
come off as deeply cynical
about the future of human civilization,
but they’re not.
There’s a shining optimism to him.
And I wasn’t, in my conversation with him,
even though his words were saying
that he’s not always optimistic,
I think his heart, his spirit was clearly optimistic.
There’s a hope for us in him.
And at least to me, that’s what I see.
And to me, that hope glows pretty bright
in the stuff that he creates
and the passion that he has for human history.
Of course, the scientist, Stephen Wolfram,
on the computer science side,
I can’t tell you how much I love cellular automata.
Sean Carroll, the way he loves everything about physics,
this incredible communicator.
Eric Weinstein, the way he loves everything geometrical,
shapes of all things, whether they’re mathematical
or whether they’re connected to physics,
just his loves for symmetry, asymmetry,
for topology, for the weird curvature of things
in the visible dimensions of space-time
or the invisible ones.
And that’s just sticking to people I’ve talked to
on this podcast.
Of course, Joshua Bach,
whose flow of consciousness is full of so much brilliance,
it breaks my brain any time I try to process it.
My Commodore 64 brain takes in his Pentium.
I don’t know what the analogy is,
but it always breaks my brain.
I’m especially inspired by the creations
of software engineers, for example,
because there’s an inherent optimism
to the creative process.
A lot of people in the cryptocurrency space,
Vitalik Buterin is a constant inspiration.
It just goes on and on.
And of course, the hundreds,
probably thousands of dead folks,
from Nietzsche to Dostoevsky, Freud, Jung,
Camus, Hasse, Kerouac, everybody.
I mean, I just kind of feel like I exist in this world
of people that are excited about the future
and then, of course, the noise of the world
that is lost in the bickering of the moment can seep in.
And that’s where a kind of meditation comes in.
I don’t fully ignore it.
I think that’s kind of running away from the world
in a way that I don’t find constructive,
at least at this time in my life.
I just take it in, but I don’t let it linger.
If there is any kind of harshness or trolling
or just maybe destructive criticism,
I try to pick from it pieces that I can use to grow,
to inspire me and let the rest go.
And that’s the kind of muscle you have to build.
And every once in a while, just disconnect from it all
and recharge the mind in a way
from just simple silence of nature.
Question is, what is something you changed your opinion
about in the past few years?
Thank you for everything you’re doing.
Love from Brussels.
I love Belgium.
Thank you for that question and the kind words.
I changed my mind on a lot of things
and I change my mind all the time.
I’m in a constant flux.
I’m constantly learning.
I guess my mind is a quantum mechanical system.
But I can mention a few things
that have been stable big shifts
in my thinking at least over the past year or two,
especially related to the podcast.
So on the topic of psychedelics,
I’ve always found those fascinating.
What I’ve changed my mind over the past couple years
is a hopeful message.
I think that psychedelics can actually
enter the realm of science
and that there’s a bunch of places
that are starting to conduct large scale
research studies on psychedelics.
And that’s really exciting to me
because I have a sense that that’s just another perspective
into the world of neuroscience
that will help us understand the way the mind works
and potentially how to engineer different aspects
of what makes the human mind so special
in our artificial intelligence systems.
On the topic of social media,
I’ve changed my mind over the past two years.
I always felt that it had a bunch of complicated,
bad influences on society,
but they were balanced with a lot of positive effects
that build community, that give people a voice,
all those kinds of things.
More and more, I’m starting to think
that the possible set of destructive trajectories
that social media can take human civilization
is much wider, much more destructive than I accounted for.
So it’s something that I worry about.
In the space of existential risk
of artificial intelligence that people talk about,
I think my mind more and more over the past two years
has been focused on social media
as the greatest threat of artificial intelligence.
I also think it’s the greatest set of possibilities.
So what I wanna say is it’s the set of trajectories
is wider than I expected.
The set of possible trajectories then society might go
as driven by, managed by, directed by our platforms.
Hence, it’s been something that I’ve been working on
to see if I can help.
The biggest thing I probably changed my mind on
is that extraterrestrial life, intelligence, consciousness,
is worthy of serious scientific investigation.
It’s similar how I felt before about consciousness,
human consciousness, is that we lack the tools
and we’re very early in our ability to explore,
to understand, to engineer consciousness.
And the same with extraterrestrial life.
The tools are very crude in terms of the SETI efforts
of trying to communicate with faraway civilizations,
and also the listening.
Then there’s the detection in faraway exoplanets
and whether they’re habitable in life forms
on those planets.
Also the hundreds of thousands of reports of UFO sightings,
actually getting some high-resolution sensory data
So we’re in the very early days
of any of that kind of understanding.
But what I’ve changed my mind on,
or rather what I’ve come to understand,
is closing my mind, closing the mind of other scientists
to these fields of consciousness and extraterrestrial life
prevents us from actually discovering new things.
Basically what happens when you close your mind
to these fascinating, inspiring, mysterious
spaces of exploration,
you leave the exploration of these topics
to people that are not well-equipped to explore them.
They’re just curious minds.
And by the way, those curious minds are magical
and they’re inspiring and I’m one such curious mind.
But the rigors of science, the tools of science,
the funding of science can crack these wide open
and give us better data, better understanding,
inspire totally new ways of thinking
about consciousness, about extraterrestrial life,
have entire paradigm shifts of the way we approach
our understanding of intelligence,
of life forms in general.
And there’s a lot of things that kind of open my eyes
to this fascinating world.
The David Fravor conversation of the pilot
that saw the Tic-Tac UFO was just recent,
a more and more conversation, but that was in 2017.
I remember seeing Avi Loeb’s thoughts
about a more and more when it first came out.
And even just thinking about the Drake equation
more seriously and thinking about
the different possibilities built
into the uncertainty of the parameters,
just opened my eyes to the mystery and the wonder
of the amazing universe we’re in
and how little we know about it.
And so I’ve definitely kind of become
much more intellectually open to the exploration
of what extraterrestrial life might look like,
what are the ways we might be able to communicate with it,
how we might be able to understand it,
what does it teach us about ourselves?
And also, importantly, this very fascinating
psychological effect of being open to these mysteries
that we know very little about,
what does that do to the actual productivity,
the creative output of an engineering mind,
that opening your mind in this way,
to think outside of the little box
of things we understand well,
what does that do in terms of the things
you might be able to build,
the ideas that might visit you
and result in you being able to build something totally new?
I think all of that changed my mind about aliens.
That’s why I’ve been having conversations
about extraterrestrial life.
I’m, of course, very careful walking down this line
because I am first and foremost a scientist and engineer
and I wanna stay in that world,
but I really do want to cultivate an open mind
and a childlike curiosity.
And I generally hope to see that in other scientists as well.
That’s what science is all about.
I think incremental progress is essential for science,
but it has to be coupled to that childlike wonder
about the world and an open-minded, out-of-the-box,
thinking that results in major paradigm shift
that throw all those silly citations out the window
and build totally new sciences, totally new approaches
that make everything we did in the decades past meaningless
or actually counterproductive.
So they have to be coupled together.
Incremental progress and first principles,
deep thinking that results in paradigm shifts.
Question is, what was your decision behind going
on the keto diet, mainly meat-based,
and how has it helped you?
So the decision, or rather process,
of discovering the diets that work for me
has to do with the fact that I wrestled
in combat sports my whole life.
That has weight classes, so you’re constantly figuring out
how to perform optimally physically and mentally
while going to school and so on, while also cutting weight.
So grounded in that, I’ve developed a fascination
with different diets.
I’ve never thought about diet
as a prescriptive thing for others.
I’ve always thought of myself
as a kind of a nutritional scientist
running a study of N of one.
So just studying myself and not trying
to extrapolate to others, just understanding
what makes me happy, what makes me perform the best,
and that’s where that journey took.
I’ve tried everything.
I think about 15 or more years ago,
I discovered the power of intermittent fasting
or fasting in general, and I can talk about that forever.
I used to do a lot of weight lifting,
sort of power lifting, all that kind of stuff.
And in the world of men’s health,
or rather men’s muscle and fitness, kind of,
where you eat six, seven times a day,
small meals, chicken and broccoli, all that kind of stuff,
in that kind of world, to realize that you can eat
once a day and still train two, three times that day
and actually have more energy, more focus,
and perform better than you ever have was mind-blowing.
So I think fasting was the biggest paradigm shift for me
because it made me realize that I really need
to study myself better, try new things all the time
to allow myself the opportunity to discover
something that’s totally transformative on my life,
makes my life easier, makes my body, my mind work better,
all that kind of stuff.
I discovered intermittent fasting and fasting in general
from the ultra-endurance athlete’s world.
And that’s where also I came across the ideas
of fat-adapted athlete, which is this kind of idea
that you can use fat as an energy source,
and then quickly discover that there is diets
similar to like a keto diet that are extremely low-carb
that could allow you to perform well physically
and mentally, all those kinds of things.
I think it all sounded a little bit crazy to me.
I grew up thinking low-fat is good, high-fat is bad.
So it was always weird to eat something with fat in it
and for it not to be like a cheat meal or something,
but to be something that’s part of the diet.
So it was strange, but once I gave it a chance
and did it properly with all the electrolytes
and water and all those kinds of things,
you can look it up.
When you do it properly, it just felt great,
and there was just a huge number of benefits
I felt immediately, and I’ve been doing it ever since.
So let me maybe quickly comment on some pros and cons
of the keto diet.
And again, this is all personal experience.
I don’t want to extrapolate this to others,
but I do encourage people to try, to explore,
to be their own scientists of their own body.
So for me, pros is the physical energy.
First of all, the energy levels are more stable,
but also I just feel more energized for exercise.
This is both for explosive movements, heavy lifts,
or jiu-jitsu, grappling, judo, wrestling,
all those kinds of things,
and also for prolonged endurance exercise.
I find both a really benefit for me.
I think for explosive exercise,
the biggest benefit for me is the mental focus,
at least the way I approach the grappling sports,
but even lifting.
It’s certainly very important how my body feels,
but it’s also important that the mind
is really focused on the technique.
And I find that the biggest benefit of keto
combined with fasting is that my mind can achieve
a greater level of stable, prolonged focus,
which is useful for exercise, funny enough for me.
Obviously, it’s really useful for work,
for deep work sessions, for thinking deeply
for prolonged periods of times,
whether that’s programming, whether that’s writing,
or whether that’s sitting behind a sheet of paper
and designing new systems.
It’s both the energy of mental focus
and the kind of clarity, I don’t know how else to put it,
but there’s just a cleanness to the focus
that I really enjoy.
Also, when you acclimate to it,
I find that the sort of number of hours in the day
that I have a positive mood is just larger.
I can be cranky sometimes,
especially when I’m sleep deprived
or especially when stuff is just not working.
So there will always be parts of the day when I’m cranky,
but it just feels, I haven’t quantified it,
but I’m pretty sure sort of anecdotally speaking
that the number of hours I feel just good
about the day is just grateful to be alive
is higher with keto.
Other benefits are better sleep.
I fall asleep easier.
That might have to do with just the lower volume of food.
I don’t know, but I enjoy naps and sleep better.
There’s also just in general small aches and pains
from joints when you’re exercising,
all that kinds of stuff.
Seems to be less on keto.
So that’s just my own personal experience.
Also, when you’re doing fasting and keto,
because of the stable energy,
you find that you can actually skip meals quite easily.
And so that gives you a nice gateway into fasting
for longer periods of times if you like.
There’s a lot of benefits to fasting
that I could talk about, but that’s for another time.
But in general, it gives you this freedom to live life,
to enjoy life, and not be so obsessed about food.
I think that’s the biggest liberating thing about keto
is that if you do the keto diet well,
that food ceases to be a kind of habitual obsession
that drives the progress of the day.
More of the day is spent kind of lost in the passions
and the things you love doing.
I just found that when I was doing
the kind of many meals a day,
I would find myself thinking about food a lot.
It drove the structure of the day.
It influenced a lot of the things I would talk about
and think about.
You don’t really think of it that way until it’s gone.
And you notice with keto and fasting
that you can spend really long hours of the day
just doing some cool stuff that you love
and food doesn’t come into play
in your mind and your actual activity.
My personal cons of the keto diet is
I enjoy eating higher volume.
It gives you a feeling of fullness.
And I think with the keto diet
is a lower volume of food in general.
You’re still full in terms of your body
not saying you’re hungry,
but there’s not a feeling of real fullness.
Now that’s also a benefit because you just feel better,
you feel lighter, less bloated, and so on.
I find this is actually changing a lot,
but keto used to be a little bit less socially friendly.
Most of the fun foods, foods you associate
with kind of just like going crazy at parties
or restaurants and so on, have a ton of carbs.
And so in social settings,
it often feel like you’re being restrictive
and not partaking in the fun if you’re doing a keto diet.
I think that’s changing a lot.
People are becoming much more accepting of it.
For example, at McDonald’s,
you can order just the beef patties for $1.50
as I’ve talked about.
And people don’t look at you weird,
at least in my experience,
if you just get the burger without a bun.
Another con is keto and carnivore just doesn’t sound healthy
so I usually try not to talk about it too much
because it just makes me feel really good,
my mind focused, my body performs well.
But I don’t know if I want to sort of prescribe it to others.
It’s definitely something I recommend you try,
but I just don’t feel like conclusively saying
this diet is great for everybody, I really don’t.
I certainly don’t know enough to be able to say that
and also it just doesn’t sound right to say that.
And while I’ve loved meat my whole life,
I feel the best when I eat a lot of meat.
I do think about the ethical side of veganism.
It’s something I’m reading about now,
I’m thinking a lot about.
It’s an ongoing journey, perhaps I’ll have more to say,
more of my mind to be changed in the future, we’ll see.
But for now, for many years now,
I’ve been really enjoying the keto diet,
a mix of keto and carnivore diets.
We’ll see what the future holds.
What was the darkest time in your life
and what did your road to recovery look like?
In general, I love life, so it’s difficult for me
to talk about these kinds of things.
But let me briefly say that I think the darkest times
have been when I’ve put my faith in people,
when I opened my heart to them
and they turned out not to be
the best versions of themselves
or maybe the kind of amazing people that I’d hope,
I thought they might be.
So my heart has been broken in small ways in my life,
as I’m sure it has been for many people.
But the fire of hope still burns bright,
perhaps even brighter.
You mentioned road to recovery.
I think with the people I mentioned,
I focus on the positive moments, and there always are,
and just have gratitude for those
and just don’t linger on the negative.
I just remember the good times.
That’s how I recover, that’s how I keep my optimism,
and that’s how I keep my heart open
for future amazing people to take the risk.
And I’m sure my heart will be broken again,
perhaps many times in the future.
But I think it’s always worth the risk.
I like the, I wrote this down, the Marcus Aurelius quote,
“‘Love the people with whom fate brings you together
“‘and do so with all of your heart.’”
I think that’s all we can do.
I hope some of these answers
were at least somewhat interesting or useful.
If so, I’ll try to do it again in the future.
It is currently 4, oh, it’s 421.
When I started saying that sentence, it was 420 a.m.
A good time to end as any, perhaps the best.
Good night, I love you all.
Thanks for listening to this AMA episode,
and thank you to our sponsors, Brooklyn and Sheetz,
Indeed hiring website, ExpressVPN,
and Theragun muscle recovery device.
So the choice is sleep, employment,
privacy, or muscle recovery.
Choose wisely, my friends.
And if you wish, click the sponsor links below
to get a discount and to support this podcast.
And now, since we talked about Einstein’s thoughts
about happiness and pigs,
let me leave you with some words from Winston Churchill.
I’m fond of pigs.
Dogs look up to us.
Cats look down on us.
Pigs treat us as equals.
Thank you for listening, and hope to see you next time.