I hold David Deutsch to be one of the smartest thinkers I know.
Certainly his two books – “The Fabric of Reality” and “The Beginning of Infinity” made huge and permanent impressions. Also his constructor theory – with humans as the ultimate creative force – and collaboration with Chiara Marletto on this.
I don’t know any more about “Naval” (see footnote) but this chat is very enlightening on Deutsch’s position. Some of Deutsch’s recorded conversations can be difficult and disappointing – his geeky style without the benefit of editing for public consumption 🙂 – but as he says himself this interviewer asks good questions, and has clearly done his homework.
Anyway a few immediate notes, but a recommended listen either way, also with a complete transcript. Humans are special – a species by definition, as I keep pointing out – with our ability to use knowledge beyond mere Darwinian evolutionary information processes. Uniquely special in that regard. We have the wherewithal to create any future we value, but are always prone to making wrong decisions with the knowledge available to us. Which is why my focus is and always has been on what makes for a good human decision, a good collective human decision processes. Governance, cybernetics and systems thinking in my ongoing agenda. And in this conversation we pick-up quite early on whether that means rational, and what does rational mean anyway. (Lots of the power of AGI / ChatGPT is the human ingenuity in selecting which pieces of output are valuable & interesting.)
Optimism is about what we can do with the right motivations, NOT what will necessarily happen.
One more note: He very carefully qualifies “falsifiability” as part of a good explanation in science (as opposed to a general fact) and goes on to explain why knowledge beyond this aspect of science is part of constructor theory work “with Chiara”. (Uncomfortable with narrow Popperian view on criticisable / falsifiable – highlighted “reach” as a key feature in previous readings.)
[Is this the dialogue where the Everettian “Many Worlds” question arose most recently? Nope, time sequence wrong.]