Geometric Unity? And, College Leadership Should be Fired | Eric Weinstein on the AI Podcast with Lex Fridman

Check out The Artificial Intelligence Podcast Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  • “My biggest fear is that the elections get delayed or something like that so the basic mechanisms of our democracy get slowed or damaged in some way that then mixes with the fear that people have that turns to panic that turns to anger.”Lex Fridman
  • The US leadership has failed the public during this crisis and in some cases lied to the American people
    • “Change the message…stop lying to people, you level with them” – Eric Weinstein
      • “The head of the CDC should resign. The surgeon general should resign. Trump should resign. Pelosi should resign. De Blasio should resign.” 
  • Eric’s proposal to make universities better, stop producing so many Ph.D. students:
    • “We should shut down the vast majority of Ph.D. programs and we should let the small number of truly top places populate mostly teaching and researching departments that aren’t Ph.D. producing” – Eric Weinstein
      • However, universities don’t want to do that because they use Ph.D. students as a cheap labor force
  • What is Eric most proud of? Trying
    • “I didn’t listen to that voice ever, that said stop…you can’t do this, you’re a failure, you’re a fraud” – Eric Weinstein

Intro

Books Mentioned

Thoughts On The Coronavirus Pandemic

  • When will the pandemic end?
    • Eric isn’t sure because there seem to be two contradictory stories 
      • The first story says that there aren’t enough masks and many people are dying while the other story says that there are tons of masks and hospital ships were none of the beds are being used
  • Worst case scenario: A recession could turn into a depression which turns into armed conflict and then war
    • Everyone is in an experiment and no one knows which way it will go
      • “I believe the COVID epidemic is the end of the big nap” – Eric Weinstein
    • “My biggest fear is that the elections get delayed or something like that so the basic mechanisms of our democracy get slowed or damaged in some way that then mixes with the fear that people have that turns to panic that turns to anger.”Lex Fridman
  • The US leadership has failed the public during this crisis and in some cases lied to the American people
    • “Change the message…stop lying to people, you level with them” – Eric Weinstein
      • “The head of the CDC should resign. The surgeon general should resign. Trump should resign. Pelosi should resign. De Blasio should resign.” 
  • Why were many institutions slow to warn the public about COVID-19?
    • “Everyone in an institutional framework was terrified that they didn’t want to be seen as the alarmist, the chicken-little” – Eric Weinstein
  • Eric believes a revolt by the American people is possible
    • “I’m furious, I cannot stand that this is my country at the moment. I’m embarrassed.” Eric Weinstein

Colleges Need Reform

  • Eric believes many college leaders  need to be removed
    • “Weak leaders need to be removed and they need to seat people more dangerous than the people who are currently sitting in a lot of those chairs”  Eric Weinstein
  • Eric’s solution:
    • “We should take over the institutions…we’ve got bad leadership, we should mutiny and we should inject a 15-20% disagreeable, dissident, very aggressive, loner individual…and stop pretending that everything good comes out of some great giant inclusive communal 12-hour meeting” – Eric Weinstein
  • Colleges quiet their professors like policemen quiet people by threatening to enforce little-known laws
  • “Because the money in the academic institutions has been so constrained that people are misbehaving in horrible ways” – Lex Fridman
    • “You need to give people security, you need to know there you have a job on Monday when on Friday you say I’m not so sure I really love diversity and inclusion” – Eric Weinstein
      • “People are cowards at the moment because if they’re not cowards they’re unemployed…nobody has tenure now”
  • Lex recites a wise Nietszche quote: “Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster…for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.”
    • Eric argues that he’s trying to get institutions to save themselves
      • “The leadership class is the problem” – Eric Weinstein
        • Eric also believes students need to show their genius to the world: “Go break the law in a way that inspires us and makes us not want to prosecute you. Break the law in a way that lets us know that you’re calling us out on your bullshit, that you’re filled with love and that our technical talent has not gone to sleep.” 
          • “I hope young people at MIT will take over in this kind of way” – Lex Fridman

Understanding Geometric Unity Theory (We tried our best folks)

  • Eric recently released his theory on geometric unity which he’s kept secret since college
    • In his theory, he attempts to explain that there are 14 degrees of freedom 
      • You start off with the typical 4 dimensions, then you need 4 rulers for each of those directions, and then between the 4 original variables there are 6 possible angles
      • “There are also 16 degrees of freedom that come from this space of internal quantum numbers. So in my theory, in 14 dimensions there’s no internal quantum number space that figures in. It’s all just spinorial, so spinors in 14 dimensions without any festooning with extra linear algebraic information.” – Eric Weinstein
        • People are made of spinors: “They’re the most important deep object that I can tell you about” 
  • “In other words, the 14-dimensional world looks like a 4-dimensional world plus a 10-dimensional complement so 10 plus 4 equals 14. That 10-dimensional complement which is called a normal bundle generates spin properties, internal quantum numbers, that look like the things that give our particles personality.”Eric Weinstein
    • “If you think about the fermions as the artists and the bosons as the brushes and the paint, what I told you is that’s how we get the artists”
  • Eric doesn’t know whether or not his theory is completely true, but: “You haven’t heard…the most brilliant people in the field say well this is obviously nonsense. They don’t know what to make of it.”Eric Weinstein

Space & Elon Musk

  • Eric’s thoughts on Elon Musk: “He’s not taking enough risks like he’s trying to get us to Mars…nowhere good enough”
    • Eric also has good things to say about him: “Elon makes sense to me, he’s doing what any sensible person should do, he’s trying incredible things and he’s partially succeeding, partially failing”
  • “My feeling is that we really have to get off this planet, we have to get out of the neighborhood” – Erick Weinstein
  • It upsets Eric that there’s only one Elon Musk in the world, there should be many more people with similar abilities and pursuits
    • Many of the institutions, such as Harvard or MIT, that are supposed to create Elon Musk-like students, often suppress outlier rather than protect
      • Eric talks about Aaron Swartz as an example–MIT helped send Aaron to prison for 35 years
      • Prestigious universities also pay their Ph.D. students almost nothing  

Eric’s Beef With Universities (Part 2) 

  • While at Harvard, Eric’s department (consisting of several students and his advisor) conducted a secret seminar on the exact topic that Eric was working on
    • Eric had been lied to about a system with open communication and instead discovered the real system was made up of closed meetings and private communication
      • “Just the way you can stay in hotels your whole life and not realize that inside every hotel there’s a second structure that you’re not supposed to see as the guest, there is a second structure inside of academics”Eric Weinstein
        • The second structure decides who gets their grants taken away, who gets certain pers, and so on 
  • Eric’s proposal to make universities better, stop producing so many Ph.D. students:
    • “We should shut down the vast majority of Ph.D. programs and we should let the small number of truly top places populate mostly teaching and researching departments that aren’t Ph.D. producing” – Eric Weinstein
      • However, universities don’t want to do that because they use Ph.D. students as a cheap labor force
  • Douglas Prasher discovered the green fluorescent protein but ended up driving a shuttle bus because he grant ran out and he had to give away all of his research and then someone else won a Nobel Prize for his research
    • Eric’s brother, Brett, came on The Portal podcast and talked about academic theft and how Brett’s work could’ve won him a Nobel Prize

Additional Notes

  • The US has been in a great nap for the past 75 years, there hasn’t been any really profound disruption
    • The world needs more great points where something beautiful and amazing happens in a single day
  • All of the Presidential candidates are in their 70s
  • A war-time general and a peacetime general play two different games and the best at each usually isn’t the same person
  • Eric did an episode on his podcast and shared his thoughts on what happened to Jeffrey Epstein
  • What is Eric most proud of? Trying
    • “I didn’t listen to that voice ever, that said stop…you can’t do this, you’re a failure, you’re a fraud” – Eric Weinstein
      • Eric ignored that voice for 37 years 
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Notes By Alex Wiec

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