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Bold Conjectures with Paras Chopra


My name is Paras Chopra and in the Bold Conjectures podcast, I interview experts from a variety of fields, asking them about unsolved questions in their field and what’s their conjecture for such open questions. Conjectures are ideas that are thought to be true but we neither have proof or disproofRead more

Popular episodes

#26 Nick Chater - Mental Depth is an Illusion

Nov 23 • 01:12:06

Does our subconscious exist?

Today, I’m with Nick Chater, who is the author of the popular book “The Mind is Flat. In the book, he talks about how our mind is an imaginative storyteller making up things as it goes along in life. What we perceive as deep thoughts or emotions are not views into our deep self but rather a shallow, surface-level interpretation of whatever situ...

#25 Chris Fields - Fundamental Reality Can Never Be Understood

Oct 29 • 01:10:45

Is there a limit to how much we can know?

I talk to Dr. Chris Fields who is an information scientist interested in physics, developmental biology and cognitive neuroscience. He is a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Colorado. Currently, he’s an independent scientist. His recent publications include work in the foundations of quantum theory, morphology, and informati...

#24 Jamie Harris - How to Expand Our Moral Circle Beyond Humans

Oct 14 • 01:19:38

Over the course of history, we've expanded our moral circle to arrive at equal rights for all humans in most countries in the world.

Can we go beyond it and expand to include animals and other sentient beings?

== What we talk about ==
0:00 - Introduction
1:38 - How did you get interested in effective altruism (EA) and what made you focus on animal advocacy?
10:27 - The conc...

#23 Visakan Veerasamy - Kindness is More Important than Winning

Sep 23 • 01:22:40

Winning feels great. But kindness feels even better.

Visakan Veerasamy is the Internet's child. I call him that because he jokes that The Internet is his mum. In 2018, he quit his job in software marketing to write full-time. Today, he writes and tweets extensively on a variety of topics, which all converge on recurring themes around friendships, life, love, ambition, and ...

#22 Ethan Perlstein - Decentralized Biology and Indie Scientists

Sep 10 • 55:52

DeFi is all rage these days, but have you heard of DeBi?

DeBi stands for decentralized bio. In this podcast, I talk to Ethan Perlstein who is the founder and CEO of Perlara, a biotech startup that runs in a completely decentralized fashion.

== What we talk about ==
0:04 - Introduction
1:27 - Who is an indie-scientist?
2:59 - How did you go from being in academia to being an...

#21 Antti Revonsuo - Dreams are a Gateway to Understanding Consciousness

Sep 1 • 01:23:48

Why do dreams feel so real?

It's because the same mechanisms that generate are waking reality also generate our dreams. However, unlike the awake state, during dreams, we're disconnected from sensory input and locomotor actions. This isolation from the real world makes dreams a perfect model system for investigating the nature of consciousness.

I talk to Antti Revonsuo who...

#20 Jeff Booth - Deflation is the Key to Creating a Paradise

Aug 17 • 01:04:11

What if everything continuously gets cheaper?

Common sense suggests that is what paradise looks like. It's a world where everyone is able to afford more and more using less and less money. But why isn't our world like that? I talk to Jeff Booth, author of the popular book "The Price of Tomorrow", how to create a deflationary world.

== What we talk about ==
0:04 - Introduct...

#19 Varun Deshpande - Alternative Proteins Can Fix the World

Jul 23 • 52:27

Can there be a single solution to all of the following problems: malnutrition, climate change, biodiversity loss, and animal suffering?

Varun Deshpande thinks so. In this podcast, he makes a compelling case that alternative proteins (such as those derived from plants, fungi, or those that are cultivated in labs) can fix all these problems in one go.

== What we talk about =...

#18 Ganesh Bagler - Designing Food Using Machine Learning

Jul 14 • 49:30

The tastiest food hasn't yet been invented.

With the diversity of ingredients available to us for making dishes, the number of possible recipes is gigantic. Human chefs have only explored a fraction of this food-space. Perhaps computers can step in here. I talk to Ganesh Bagler who's pioneering a new field called computational gastronomy that aims to utilize machine learni...

#17 Alpha Lee - Crowdsourcing Discovery of a COVID-19 Drug

Jul 1 • 48:33

Can you crowdsource your way to discovering a new drug?

Alpha Lee's startup PostEra launched a crowdsourced effort (called Covid Moonshot) to discover drugs that are effective in treating covid-19. This was the first of its kind effort that combined research efforts from several groups across the world to design a drug that treats covid-19, is free from patents and can be ...

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