Ted Chiang on Free Will, Time Travel, Many Worlds, Genetic Engineering, and Hard Science Fiction

Steve and Corey speak with Ted Chiang about his recent story collection "Exhalation" and his inaugural essay for the New York Times series, Op-Eds from the Future. Chiang has won Nebula and Hugo awards for his widely influential science fiction writing. His short story "Story of Your Life," was the basis of the film Arrival (2016). Their discussion explores the scientific and philosophical ideas in Ted’s work, including whether free will is possible, and implications of AI, neuroscience, and time travel. Ted explains why his skepticism about whether the US is truly a meritocracy leads him to believe that the government-funded genetic modification he envisages in his Op-Ed would not solve the problem of inequality.

Exhalation by Ted Chiang https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41160292-exhalation

Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/223380.Stories_of_Your_Life_and_Others

Ted Chiang’s New York Times Op-Ed From the Future https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/27/opinion/ted-chiang-future-genetic-engineering.html

Transcript https://manifoldlearning.com/2019/09/19/episode-019-transcript/

man·i·fold /ˈmanəˌfōld/ many and various.

In mathematics, a manifold is a topological space that locally resembles Euclidean space near each point.

Steve H…

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