Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Razib Khan's Unsupervised Learning

Jul 2, 2021

I’ve known Ramez Naam since 2003 when he wrote More Than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement. Back then he was leading a team at Microsoft, and moonlighting as a writer. Over the last twenty years, he’s changed careers, and become a full-time writer and speaker. He’s the author of three science fiction books, CruxApex, and Nexus.

Ramez has also written The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet.

It’s because of the last book that he’s become an expert on the future of solar technology. Ramez has been predicting the ubiquity of cheap solar power for a decade now.

In this conversation, we talk about a variety of issues he’s tackled over the past few decades, as well as my own concerns about the future of the planet. Was he too optimistic about the future of biotech in the early 2000’s? How about solar energy in 2010? I also ask him about the coming “limits to resources” prognostications that we hear about every decade or so. Are we going to run out of phosphorus?

Finally, I ask Ramez to speak on the fact that climate catastrophism has become very fashionable in elite circles, and how that affects our ability to tackle the challenges of the 21st century. Ramez Naam is the type of person you listen to closely, even if you have a disagreement with what they say.