In the Weekend Interview for the Wall St. Journal, Nathan Myhrvold outlines the possibilities for ‘geoengineering’ to cool the Earth and remove CO2 from the atmosphere.
In this 2-1/2 hour-long interview, Nathan discusses Stephen Hawking and the quest to unify general relativity with quantum mechanics, string and supersymmetry theories, and the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in physics. Plus what's happening with COVID-19 evolution, herd immunity, and vaccinations. And lighter topics like: myths about nutrition, whether a fast-changing climate might make geoengineering necessary, and ways to judge the trustworthiness of new science. Also available in video form on YouTube: https://youtu.be/YUXHLTlx9DA
University of Chicago economist and Freakonomics author Steven Levitt interviewed Nathan for the podcast People I (Mostly) Admire. Among the topics they discussed in their wide-ranging conversation: how Nathan met Bill Gates and eventually became Microsoft's first chief technology officer despite never having taken a computer science class, what it was like working with Stephen Hawking and his contributions to physics, the strategies and frustrations of being a prolific inventor, the crucial role that advanced fission power can play in combatting climate change, education of highly gifted children, and Nathan's forthcoming three-volume book on pizza.
Back in 2005, Nathan Myhrvold, a former Microsoft colleague, showed me a long scientific paper on an innovative nuclear reactor and introduced me to the lead author, an inventive physicist named Lowell Wood who would go on to beat Thomas Edison’s record for the most U.S. patents in history. Lowell claimed that this reactor could satisfy “much of humanity’s requirements for electricity in the 21st century.” I was skeptical, but also intrigued.
“Nuclear reactors are not the thing you get into if you want to win popularity contests. Eliminating polio is a lot more popular.” — Nathan Myhrvold, co-founder of Intellectual Ventures Lab.
In a talk to Hacker News Seattle and Cofounders Connect, Myhrvold shared five big ideas on using AI to diagnose disease, quantum metamaterials, the challenges of robotic pizza, open-source furniture, and the future of television.
Returning to designs abandoned in the 1970s, start-ups are developing a new kind of reactor that promises to be much safer and cleaner than current ones. “The nuclear industry was not in an innovation frame of mind for 30 years,” says TerraPower’s Myhrvold. That has been changing.
Nathan Myhrvold calls himself the worst bartender in the world. He spills every drink he makes — and sometimes he does it with a purpose. That purpose would be art.
The environmentalists say we’re doomed if we don’t drastically reduce consumption. The technologists say that human ingenuity can solve just about any problem. A debate that’s been around for decades has become a shouting match. Is anyone right?
Nathan Myhrvold has a model of a T-Rex dinosaur in his living room, thinks natural gas will not help reduce carbon emissions and believes that his company, Intellectual Ventures, is in the miracle business.