With a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from UC Berkeley, Leonard Mlodinow is the co-author with Stephen Hawking of the best-seller A Briefer History of Time. He discussed his latest magnum opus which covers everything from how early man learned to survive and change both physically and mentally over two to three million years to become the species we are today, as well as the trajectory of modern science from primitive tool making to modern quantum mechanics. Knowledge feeds on previous knowledge in an exponential manner, so that kind of growth tends to start slowly, then quickly shoot up. In 10,000 BC, we had the agricultural or neolithic revolution and people started questioning the meaning of life and the world around us, he noted.
With the arrival of the quantum theory around 1900, and the information revolution and computers a few decades ago, knowledge has dramatically expanded. 500 years ago, people had no electricity or automation, and everything was qualitative. Now experience has become far more quantified, in terms of clocks, and numbers, he cited. Isaac Newton (1643-1727) was probably the single most influential person in science, with his theory of gravity, though he also had a number of failures and fascinations, such as with optics and alchemy, Mlodinow recounted.
Darwin's contribution was critical, with his concept of evolution through natural selection and rapid variation as the guiding principle of biology, while the greatest jewel of science, according to Mlodinow, is quantum theory. Everything that has changed our society, in terms of the computer revolution and electronics is dependent on the quantum idea, he said. Mlodinow also touched on such topics as black holes, the Big Bang, multiverses, Stephen Hawking, and the future of technology.
Violence & Self-Defense
First hour guest, President and CEO of the International Combat Martial Arts Federation (ICMAF), Bradley Steiner, talked about outbreaks of violence, riots, and law enforcement issues. He cited an increase in people rejecting or ignoring the duly constituted authority of the police as being part of the problem, while acknowledging that there are a small percentage of "rogue" officers who misuse their power. He also shared what self-defense strategies work best for the average person, such as "attacking the attacker" when placed in a violent crime scenario.