Foresight: Your Hidden Superpower! (Interview Outline)

John Smart
7 min readApr 8, 2022

I have a new interview, Foresight: Your Hidden Superpower, (YouTube, Spotify, Apple) with Nikola Danaylov of the Singularity Weblog. Nikola has done over 290 great interviews. They are a rich trove of future thinking and wisdom, with acceleration-aware folks like Ada Palmer, Melanie Mitchell, Cory Doctorow, Sir Martin Rees, Stuart Russell, Noam Chomsky, Marvin Minsky, Tim O’Reilly, and other luminaries. As with my first interview with him ten years ago, he asks great questions and shares many insights.

We cover a lot in 2 hrs and 20 mins. Below is an outline of a dozen key topics, for those who prefer to skim, or don’t have time to watch or listen:

  • We discuss humanity as being best defined by three very special things: Head (foresight) Hand (tool use) and Heart (prosociality). We talk about how these three things were critical to starting the human acceleration, with our first tool use, in cooperative groups, and why foresight, of all of these, is our greatest superpower. An author who really gets this view is the social activist David Goodhart. I recommend his book, below.
Goodhart, 2021
  • We discuss human society as an awesomely inventive and “coopetitive” network. We are selected by nature to try to cooperate first, and then compete secondarily, within an agreed-upon and always improving set of network rules, norms, and ethics. What’s more, open, bottom-up empowering, democratic networks, like the ones we are seeing right now in the West’s fight in Ukraine, increasingly beat closed, top-down autocratic networks, the more transparent the world gets. We talk about lessons from the Ukrainian invasion for the West, Russia, and China.
  • We discuss why a decade of deep learning applications in AI gives us new evidence for the Natural Intelligence hypothesis, the old idea (see Gregory Bateson) that deep neuromimicry and biomimicry (embodied, self-replicating communities of AIs, under selection) will be necessary to get us to General AI. The strong version of this hypothesis, which I also believe, is that deep…
John Smart

CEO, Foresight U. Author, The Foresight Guide. Foresight, Empathy, Ethics, Equity, Empowerment, Purpose, Good Society, Evo-Devo, Health, Tech, Personal AIs