Nonzero Newsletter
Robert Wright's Nonzero
Elon, Sex, AI, and Free Will (among other things) (Robert Wright & Paul Bloom

Elon, Sex, AI, and Free Will (among other things) (Robert Wright & Paul Bloom


This episode includes an Overtime segment that’s available to paid subscribers. If you’re not a paid subscriber, we of course encourage you to become one. If you are a paid subscriber, you can access the complete conversation either via the audio and video on this post or by setting up the paid-subscriber podcast feed, which includes all exclusive audio content. To set that up, simply grab the RSS feed from this page (by first clicking the “...” icon on the audio player) and paste it into your favorite podcast app.

If you have trouble completing the process, check out this super-simple how-to guide.

0:00 Bob re-enters reality
3:30 Elon’s X-rated horse-trading
9:17 What do LLMs really say about the “blank slate” view of the mind?
27:48 Bob challenges Paul to meditate—will Paul retreat?
32:51 Have Bob’s views changed since writing Nonzero?
43:51 Paul’s and Bob’s (semi-compatible) views on free will
50:27 Heading to Overtime

Robert Wright (Nonzero, The Evolution of God, Why Buddhism Is True) and Paul Bloom (, University of Toronto, The Sweet Spot, Against Empathy). Recorded June 17, 2024.


Paul’s Substack:

Overtime titles:

0:00 The Buddhist solution to Paul’s Twitter troubles
2:54 Jake Gyllenhaal’s problematic bod
12:17 Dark Matter reviewed (w/ light spoilers)
22:57 Bob and Paul swap faux pas horror stories
30:33 3 Body’s entanglement problem
33:54 Has Anthropic mapped the mind of AI?
39:09 Bob’s podcast no-go list
43:05 The problem with incredibly good looking people

This post is for paid subscribers

Nonzero Newsletter
Robert Wright's Nonzero
Conversations with a series of people who have nothing in common except that program host Robert Wright is curious about what they’re thinking.