Ep. 20 - Conversations with the Future with Nikola Danaylov

In this installment of the Future Grind podcast, host Ryan O’Shea is joined by bestselling author and futurist speaker Nikola Danalov. Nikola writes about the future at his website Singularity Weblog and hosts the Singularity.FM podcast. His 2017 book Conversations with the Future (available on Amazon here) features highlights from his interviews with some of this field’s most noteworthy individuals, including Ray Kurzweil, Kevin Kelly, Verner Vinge, and more. They discuss the importance of ethics and the influence of Socrates in Nikola’s work, as well as his path from serving in the armed forces of Bulgaria to studying drone warfare in North America, and how that ultimately lead to his fascination with the technological singularity.

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Show Notes

  • What Nikola does [1:38]
  • Where to start? Ethics. [2:28]
  • How drone warfare introduced Nik to the Singularity [5:00]
  • Governments jobs & the benefit of rejection [9:17]
  • Beginnings in communist Bulgaria [10:27]
  • The growth of Singularity Weblog [13:45]
  • What is the Singularity? [22:09]
  • How Nikola became Socrates [25:24]
  • Singularity Weblog as a modern Greek Symposium [28:05]
  • The Emperor Has No Clothes - critique of Singularity University [31:15]
  • The fallout from the Rotterdam talk [40:26]
  • How the book came to be [43:14]
  • The struggles & rewards of a vegan diet [45:28]
  • Is Nikola a Transhumanist? [55:14]
  • The risk of nuclear weapons & climate change [56:32]
  • Parting messages [1:06:56]

Mentioned

"Technology is Not Enough"
"Technology is the How, not the Why or What"
Start Here on Singularity Weblog
Ray Kurzweil - The Singularity is Near
Charlie Stross - Accelerando
Singularity Hub
NASA Ames Research Center
Singularity University
Socrates
Plato
Stoicism
Marcus Aurelius
Mark Zuckerberg
Cambridge Analytica
Richard Branson - Losing My Virginity
Nikola’s "Transhumanist Manifesto"

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