Transcript for Sara Walker: Physics of Life, Time, Complexity, and Aliens | Lex Fridman Podcast #433
萨拉-沃克(Sara Walker)的文字实录:生命物理学、时间、复杂性和外星人 | Lex Fridman 播客 #433

This is a transcript of Lex Fridman Podcast #433 with Sara Walker. The timestamps in the transcript are clickable links that take you directly to that point in the main video. Please note that the transcript is human generated, and may have errors. Here are some useful links:

Table of Contents 目录

Here are the loose “chapters” in the conversation. Click link to jump approximately to that part in the transcript:

Introduction 导言

Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:00:00) You have an origin of life event. It evolves for 4 billion years, at least on our planet. It evolves a technosphere. The technologies themselves start having this property we call life, which is the phase we’re undergoing now. It solves the origin of itself and then it figures out how that process all works, understands how to make more life, and then can copy itself onto another planet so the whole structure can reproduce itself.
(00:00:00)你有一个生命起源事件。至少在我们的星球上,它演化了 40 亿年。它演化出一个科技圈。技术本身开始具有我们称之为生命的属性,也就是我们现在正在经历的阶段。它解决了自身起源的问题,然后它弄清了这个过程是如何运作的,明白了如何制造更多的生命,然后可以把自己复制到另一个星球上,这样整个结构就可以自我复制了。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:00:26) The following is a conversation with Sara Walker, her third time in this podcast. She is an astrobiologist and theoretical physicist interested in the origin of life and in discovering alien life on other worlds. She has written an amazing new upcoming book titled Life As No One Knows It, The Physics of Life’s Emergence. This book is coming out on August 6th, so please go pre-order it now. It will blow your mind. This is The Lex Fridman Podcast. To support it, please check out our sponsors in the description. And now, dear friends, here’s Sara Walker.
(00:00:26) 以下是与萨拉-沃克(Sara Walker)的对话,这是她第三次参加本播客。她是一位天体生物学家和理论物理学家,对生命起源和在其他世界发现外星生命很感兴趣。她即将出版一本令人惊奇的新书,书名为《无人知晓的生命--生命出现的物理学》(Life As No One Knows It, The Physics of Life's Emergence)。这本书将于 8 月 6 日出版,请立即预购。它将让你大开眼界。这里是莱克斯-弗里德曼播客。为了支持我们的播客,请在描述中查看我们的赞助商。现在,亲爱的朋友们,有请萨拉-沃克

Definition of life 生命的定义

(00:01:07) You open the book, Life As No One Knows It: The Physics of Life’s Emergence, with the distinction between the materialists and the vitalists. So what’s the difference? Can you maybe define the two?
(00:01:07)你在《无人知晓的生命:生命出现的物理学》一书的开篇就区分了唯物主义者和生命主义者。这两者有什么区别?你能给两者下个定义吗?
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:01:20) I think the question there is about whether life can be described in terms of matter and physical things, or whether there is some other feature that’s not physical that actually animates living things. So for a long time, people maybe have called that a soul. It’s been really hard to pin down what that is. So I think the vitalist idea is really that it’s a dualistic interpretation that there’s sort of the material properties, but there’s something else that animates life that is there when you’re alive and it’s not there when you’re dead. And materialists don’t think that there’s anything really special about the matter of life and the material substrates that life is made out of, so they disagree on some really fundamental points.
(00:01:20) 我认为这个问题是关于生命是否可以用物质和有形的东西来描述,或者是否有其他一些非物质的特征实际上使生物具有生命力。因此,长久以来,人们也许把它叫做灵魂。但很难确定灵魂到底是什么。所以我认为生命论的观点实际上是一种二元论的解释,即有物质属性,但也有其他赋予生命活力的东西,活着的时候有,死了就没有了。而唯物主义者并不认为生命的物质有什么特别之处 以及生命是由什么物质构成的 所以他们在一些基本点上存在分歧
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:02:10) Is there a gray area between the two? Maybe all there is is matter, but there’s so much we don’t know that it might as well be magic. Whatever that magic that the vitalists see, meaning there’s just so much mystery that it’s really unfair to say that it’s boring and understood and as simple as “physics.”
(两者之间是否存在灰色地带?也许所有的东西都是物质,但我们不知道的东西太多了,就像魔法一样。不管生命论者看到的是什么魔法 意思是有太多神秘的东西 说它枯燥无味、容易理解、像 "物理学 "一样简单实在是不公平
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:02:35) Yeah, I think the entire universe is just a giant mystery. I guess that’s what motivates me as a scientist. And so oftentimes, when I look at open problems like the nature of life or consciousness or what is intelligence or are there souls or whatever question that we have that we feel like we aren’t even on the tip of answering yet, I think we have a lot more work to do to really understand the answers to these questions. So it’s not magic, it’s just the unknown. And I think a lot of the history of humans coming to understand the world around us has been taking ideas that we once thought were magic or supernatural and really understanding them in a much deeper way that we learn what those things are. And they still have an air of mystery even when we understand them. There’s no bottom to our understanding.
(是啊,我觉得整个宇宙就是一个巨大的谜团。我想这也是我作为科学家的动力所在。所以很多时候,当我看到一些开放性的问题,比如生命或意识的本质,或者什么是智慧,或者是否存在灵魂,或者任何我们觉得还没有找到答案的问题时,我觉得我们还有很多工作要做,才能真正理解这些问题的答案。所以,这不是魔法,这只是未知。我认为,在人类认识周围世界的历史上,很多时候都是把我们曾经认为是魔法或超自然的想法,以一种更深入的方式来理解它们,从而了解这些东西到底是什么。即使我们理解了它们,它们仍然带有神秘色彩。我们的理解没有底。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:03:30) So do you think the vitalists have a point that they’re more eager and able to notice the magic of life?
(你认为生命论者的观点有道理吗? 他们更渴望、更能注意到生命的魔力?
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:03:39) I think that no tradition, vitalists included, is ever fully wrong about the nature of the things that they’re describing. So a lot of times when I look at different ways that people have described things across human history, across different cultures, there’s always a seed of truth in them. And I think it’s really important to try to look for those, because if there are narratives that humans have been telling ourselves for thousands of years, for thousands of generations, there must be some truth to them. We’ve been learning about reality for a really long time and we recognize the patterns that reality presents us. We don’t always understand what those patterns are, and so I think it’s really important to pay attention to that. So I don’t think the vitalists were actually wrong.
(我认为,任何传统,包括生命论者在内,对于他们所描述的事物的本质,都不会是完全错误的。因此,很多时候,当我审视人类历史上人们描述事物的不同方式、不同文化时,总会发现其中蕴含着真理的种子。我认为努力寻找这些种子是非常重要的,因为如果人类几千年来、几千代人都在讲述自己的故事,那么这些故事就一定有一定的道理。我们了解现实已经有很长一段时间了,我们认识到现实呈现给我们的模式。我们并不总能理解这些模式是什么,所以我认为关注这一点真的很重要。所以我认为生命论者其实并没有错。
(00:04:21) And a lot of what I talk about in the book, but also I think about a lot just professionally, is the nature of our definitions of what’s material and how science has come to invent the concept of matter. And that some of those things actually really are inventions that happened in a particular time in a particular technology that could learn about certain patterns and help us understand them, and that there are some patterns we still don’t understand. And if we knew how to measure those things or we knew how to describe them in a more rigorous way, we would realize that the material world matter has more properties than we thought that it did. One of those might be associated with the thing that we call life. Life could be a material property and still have a lot of the features that the vitalists thought were mysterious.
(00:04:21)我在书中谈到的很多东西,也是我在职业生涯中思考的很多东西,都是我们对物质定义的本质,以及科学是如何发明物质概念的。其中有些东西实际上是发生在特定时期特定技术的发明,可以了解某些模式并帮助我们理解它们,而有些模式我们仍然不了解。如果我们知道如何测量这些东西,或者我们知道如何以更严格的方式来描述它们,我们就会意识到物质世界的物质比我们想象的具有更多的特性。其中之一可能与我们称之为生命的东西有关。生命可以是一种物质属性,但仍然具有生命论者认为神秘的许多特征。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:05:12) So we may still expand our understanding, what is incorporated in the category of matter, that will eventually incorporate such magical things that the vitalists have noticed, like life?
(00:05:12)那么,我们还可以扩展我们的理解,物质的范畴中包含了什么,最终会包含生命论者所注意到的神奇的东西,比如生命?
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:05:27) Yeah. I always like to use examples from physics, so I’ll probably do that. It’s my go-to place. But in the history of gravitational physics, for example, in the history of motion, when Aristotle came up with his theories of motion, he did it by the material properties he thought things had. So there was a concept of things falling to earth because they were solid-like and things raising to the heavens because they were air-like and things moving around the planet because they were celestial-like. But then we came to realize that, thousands of years later and after the invention of many technologies that allowed us to actually measure time in a mechanistic way and track planetary motion and we could roll balls down inclined planes and track that progress, we realized that if we just talked about mass and acceleration, we could unify all motion in the universe in a really simple description.
(00:05:27) 是的,我总是喜欢用物理学的例子,所以我可能会这么做。这是我的首选。但在引力物理学史上,比如在运动史上,当亚里士多德提出他的运动理论时,他是通过他认为事物所具有的物质属性来实现的。因此,有一种概念认为,物体坠落到地面是因为它们是固体状的,物体升到天上是因为它们是空气状的,而物体绕着地球运动是因为它们是天体状的。但是,几千年后,在我们发明了许多技术,使我们能够以机械的方式测量时间,跟踪行星运动,我们可以把球从斜面上滚下来,跟踪运动进程之后,我们意识到,如果我们只谈论质量和加速度,我们就可以用一个非常简单的描述来统一宇宙中的所有运动。
(00:06:22) So we didn’t really have to worry about the fact that my cup is heavy and the air is light. The same laws describe them if we have the right material properties to talk about what those laws are actually interacting with. And so I think the issue with life is we don’t know how to think about information in a material way, and so we haven’t been able to build a unified description of what life is or the kind of things that evolution builds because we haven’t really invented the right material concept yet.
(00:06:22) 所以我们不必担心我的杯子很重而空气很轻。如果我们有正确的物质属性来讨论这些定律实际上是如何相互作用的,那么同样的定律就能描述它们。因此,我认为生命的问题在于我们不知道如何用物质的方式来思考信息,所以我们还无法对生命或进化所构建的事物进行统一的描述,因为我们还没有真正发明出正确的物质概念。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:06:54) So when talking about motion, the laws of physics appear to be the same everywhere out in the universe. You think the same is true for other kinds of matter that we might eventually include life in?
(00:06:54) 因此,当谈到运动时,物理定律似乎在宇宙中的任何地方都是一样的。你认为其他种类的物质也是如此吗?
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:07:09) I think life obeys universal principles. I think there is some deep underlying explanatory framework that will tell us about the nature of life in the universe and will allow us to identify life that we can’t yet recognize because it’s too different.
(我认为生命遵循普遍原则。我认为有一些深层次的解释框架会告诉我们宇宙中生命的本质,并能让我们识别那些我们还无法识别的生命,因为它太与众不同了。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:07:28) You’re right about the paradox of defining life. Why does it seem to be so easy and so complicated at the same time?
(00:07:28)你说的对,定义生活是个悖论。为什么它看起来如此简单,同时又如此复杂?
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:07:35) All the classic definitions people want to use just don’t work. They don’t work in all cases. So Carl Sagan had this wonderful essay on definitions of life where I think he talks about aliens coming from another planet. If they saw earth, they might think that cars were the dominant life form because there are so many of them on our planet. Humans are inside them, and you might want to exclude machines. But any definition, classic biology textbook definitions, would also include them. He wanted to draw a boundary between these kind of things by trying to exclude them, but they were naturally included by the definitions people want to give. And in fact, what he ended up pointing out is that all of the definitions of life that we have, whether it’s life is a self-reproducing system or life eats to survive or life requires compartments, whatever it is, there’s always a counterexample that challenges that definition. This is why viruses are so hard or why fire is so hard. And so we’ve had a really hard time trying to pin down from a definitional perspective exactly what life is.
(00:07:35)人们想要使用的所有经典定义都不起作用。它们并不适用于所有情况。卡尔-萨根(Carl Sagan)曾写过一篇关于生命定义的精彩文章,我想他在文中谈到了来自外星球的外星人。如果他们看到地球,可能会认为汽车是最主要的生命形式,因为我们的星球上有太多汽车了。汽车里有人类,你可能想把机器排除在外。但任何定义,经典的生物学教科书定义,也会包括它们。他想在这些东西之间划出一条界线,试图将它们排除在外,但人们想要给出的定义却自然而然地包含了它们。事实上,他最后指出的是,我们对生命的所有定义,无论是生命是一个自我繁殖系统,还是生命靠进食生存,或者生命需要隔间,不管是什么,总有一个反例对这个定义提出挑战。这就是为什么病毒如此困难,为什么火如此困难。因此,我们很难从定义的角度来确定生命到底是什么。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:08:42) Yeah, you actually bring up the zombie-ant fungus. I enjoyed looking at this thing as an example of one of the challenges. You mentioned viruses, but this is a parasite. Look at that.
(是的,你提到了僵尸蚂蚁菌。我很喜欢把这东西作为挑战之一的例子。你提到了病毒,但这是一种寄生虫。看看这个。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:08:54) Did you see this in the jungle?
(你在丛林里看到过这个吗?
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:08:55) Infects ants. Actually, one of the interesting things about the jungle, everything is ephemeral. Everything eats everything really quickly. So if an organism dies, that organism disappears. It’s a machine that doesn’t have… I wanted to say it doesn’t have a memory or a history, which is interesting given your work on history in defining a living being. The jungle forgets very quickly. It wants to erase the fact that you existed very quickly.
(感染蚂蚁事实上,丛林里有个有趣的现象 所有东西都是短暂的所有东西都会很快被吃掉所以如果一个生物体死了 这个生物体就消失了这是一台没有......我想说它没有记忆或历史的机器,鉴于你在定义生命体时对历史的研究,这很有趣。丛林很快就会忘记它想很快抹去你存在过的事实
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:09:28) Yeah, but it can’t erase it. It’s just restructuring it. And I think the other thing that is really vivid to me about this example that you’re giving is how much death is necessary for life. So I worry a bit about notions of immortality and whether immortality is a good thing or not. So I have a broad conception that life is the only thing the universe generates that actually has even the potential to be immortal, but that’s as the sort of process that you’re describing where life is about memory and historical contingency and construction of new possibilities. But when you look at any instance of life, especially one as dynamic as what you’re describing, it’s a constant birth and death process. But that birth and death process is the way that the universe can explore what possibilities can exist. And not everything, not every possible human or every possible ant or every possible zombie ant or every possible tree, will ever live. So it’s an incredibly dynamic and creative place because of all that death.
(是的,但它不能删除它。它只是在重组它。我觉得你举的这个例子还有一点很生动,那就是死亡对生命的必要性。所以我有点担心永生的概念以及永生是否是件好事。因此,我有一个宽泛的概念,即生命是宇宙中产生的唯一真正有可能不朽的东西,但那是你所描述的那种过程,生命是关于记忆、历史偶然性和新可能性的建构。但是,当你观察任何生命实例,尤其是像你所描述的那样充满活力的生命实例时,它就是一个不断诞生和死亡的过程。但这个诞生和死亡的过程正是宇宙探索存在可能性的途径。并不是所有的东西,并不是每一个可能的人类、每一只可能的蚂蚁、每一只可能的僵尸蚂蚁或每一棵可能的树都能活下来。因此,因为有了死亡,这里才会充满活力和创造力。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:10:36) This is a parasite that needs the ant. So is this a living thing or is this not a living thing?
(00:10:36) 这是一种需要蚂蚁的寄生虫。那么,这到底是生物还是非生物呢?
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:10:41) Yeah. (00: 10: 41)是啊。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:10:43) It just pierces the ant.
(00:10:43) 它只是刺穿了蚂蚁。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:10:43) Right.
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:10:46) And I’ve seen a lot of this, by the way. Organisms working together in the jungle, like ants protecting a delicious piece of fruit. They need the fruit, but if you touch that fruit, the forces emerge. They’re fighting you. They’re defending that fruit to the death. Nature seems to find mutual benefits, right?
(顺便说一句,我见过很多这样的情况。生物在丛林中合作,就像蚂蚁保护美味的果实。它们需要果实,但如果你碰了果实,各种力量就会出现。它们在和你战斗它们誓死保卫果实大自然似乎在寻找互惠互利,对吗?
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:11:09) Yeah, it does. I think the thing that’s perplexing for me about these kind of examples is effectively the ant’s dead, but it’s staying alive now because piloted by this fungus. And so that gets back to this thing that we’re talking about a few minutes ago about how the boundary of life is really hard to define. So anytime that you want to draw a boundary around something and you say, “This feature is the thing that makes this alive, or this thing is alive on its own,” there’s not ever really a clear boundary. And these kind of examples are really good at showing that because it’s like the thing that you would’ve thought is the living organism is now dead, except that it has another living organism that’s piloting it. So the two of them together are alive in some sense, but they’re now in this weird symbiotic relationship that’s taking this ant to its death.
(确实如此我觉得这些例子让我感到困惑的是 蚂蚁实际上已经死了 但它现在还活着 因为它是由真菌控制的这又回到了几分钟前我们讨论的话题 生命的边界很难界定因此,无论何时你想给某样东西划一个界限,你会说,"是这个特征让这个东西活了下来,或者这个东西本身就是有生命的",都不会有一个真正清晰的界限。这些例子就很好地说明了这一点,因为你本以为是活的有机体的东西现在已经死了,但它有另一个活的有机体在引导它。所以从某种意义上说,它们两个在一起还活着 但它们现在处于一种奇怪的共生关系中 而这种关系正将这只蚂蚁带向死亡
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:11:59) So what do you do with that in terms of when you try to define life?
(00:11:59) 那么,当你试图定义生活时,你会怎么做呢?
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:12:02) I think we have to get rid of the notion of an individual as being relevant. And this is really difficult because a lot of the ways that we think about life, like the fundamental unit of life is the cell, individuals are alive, but we don’t think about how gray that distinction is. So for example, you might consider self-reproduction to be the most defining feature of life. A lot of people do, actually. That’s one of these standard different definitions that a lot of people in my field like to use in astrobiology is life as a self-sustaining chemical system capable of Darwinian evolution, which I was once quoted as agreeing with, and I was really offended because I hate that definition. I think it’s terrible, and I think it’s terrible that people use it. I think every word in that definition is actually wrong as a descriptor of life.
(00:12:02) 我認為我們必須摒棄個體與生命相關的觀念。这真的很难,因为我们思考生命的很多方式,比如生命的基本单位是细胞,个体是有生命的,但我们并没有想过这种区分有多灰暗。举例来说,你可能认为自我繁殖是生命的最大特征。事实上,很多人都这么认为。在我的领域里,很多人喜欢在天体生物学中使用这样一个标准的不同定义,即生命是一个能够进行达尔文进化的自我维持的化学系统,我曾经被引述同意这个定义,我真的被冒犯了,因为我讨厌这个定义。我认为它很糟糕,我认为人们使用它很糟糕。我认为这个定义中的每个词作为生命的描述实际上都是错误的。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:12:52) Life is a self-sustaining chemical system capable of Darwinian evolution. Why is that? That seems like a pretty good definition.
(00:12:52)生命是一个能够自我维持的化学系统,能够进行达尔文式的进化。为什么这么说?这似乎是个不错的定义。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:12:58) I know. If you want to make me angry, you can pretend I said that and believed it.
(00:12:58) 我知道。如果你想让我生气,你可以假装我说过并相信了。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:13:02) So self-sustaining, chemical system, Darwinian evolution. What is self-sustaining? What’s so frustrating? Which aspect is frustrating to you, but it’s also those are very interesting words.
(自我维持,化学系统,达尔文进化论。什么是自我维持?什么让人沮丧?哪个方面让你感到沮丧,但这也是非常有趣的词汇。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:13:15) Yeah, they’re all interesting words and together they sound really smart and they sound like they box in what life is. But you can use any of the words individually and you can come up with counterexamples that don’t fulfill that property. The self-sustaining one is really interesting, thinking about humans. We’re not self-sustaining dependent on societies. And so I find it paradoxical that it might be that societies, because they’re self-sustaining units, are now more alive than individuals are. And that could be the case, but I still think we have some property associated with life. That’s the thing that we’re trying to describe, so that one’s quite hard. And in general, no organism is really self-sustaining. They always require an environment, so being self-sustaining is coupled in some sense to the world around you. We don’t live in a vacuum, so that part’s already challenging.
(是的,它们都是有趣的词,放在一起听起来非常聪明,听起来就像把生活框住了。但你可以单独使用其中的任何一个词,你也可以提出不符合这一属性的反例。想想人类,自我维持这个词真的很有趣。我们并不依赖于社会而自我维持。所以我发现一个悖论,那就是社会可能比个人更有生命力,因为它们是自我维持的单位。情况可能是这样,但我仍然认为我们有一些与生命相关的属性。这就是我们要描述的东西,所以这个问题很难回答。一般来说,没有任何生物能够真正自给自足。它们总是需要一个环境,所以从某种意义上说,自我维持与你周围的世界息息相关。我们不是生活在真空中,所以这部分已经很有挑战性了。
(00:14:10) And then you can go to chemical system. I don’t think that’s good either. I think there’s a confusion because life emerges in chemistry that life is chemical. I don’t think life is chemical. I think life emerges in chemistry because chemistry is the first thing the universe builds where it cannot exhaust all the possibilities, because the combinatorial space of chemistry is too large.
(00:14:10) 然后你就可以进入化学系统了。我觉得这也不好。我认为这是一种混淆,因为生命是在化学中产生的,所以生命就是化学。我不认为生命是化学的。我认为生命出现在化学中,是因为化学是宇宙建造的第一件东西,它无法穷尽所有的可能性,因为化学的组合空间太大了。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:14:33) Well, but is it possible to have a life that is not a chemical system?
(00:14:33) 那么,有没有可能拥有一个不是化学系统的生命呢?
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:14:36) Yes.
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:14:37) Well, there’s a guy I know named Lee Cronin who’s been on a podcast a couple of times who just got really pissed off listening to this.
(00:14:37)我认识一个叫李-克罗宁(Lee Cronin)的人,他上过几次播客,听了之后非常生气。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:14:37) I know. What a coincidence.
(00: 14: 37)我知道。真巧啊
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:14:44) He probably just got really pissed off hearing that. For people who somehow don’t know, he’s a chemist.
(00:14:44) 他可能听了很生气。对于那些不知情的人来说,他是个化学家。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:14:49) Yeah, but he would agree with that statement.
(00:14:49) 是的,但他会同意这种说法。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:14:51) Would he? I don’t think he would. He would broaden the definition of chemistry until it’ll include everything.
(他会吗?我觉得他不会。他会扩大化学的定义,直到包括一切。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:14:58) Oh, sure.
(00:14:58) 哦,当然。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:14:59) Okay.
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:14:59) Or maybe, I don’t know.
(00:14:59) 或者,我也不知道。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:15:01) But wait, but you said that universe, the first thing it creates is chemistry.
(00:15:01) 但等等,但你说过,宇宙首先创造的是化学。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:15:05) Very precisely. It’s not the first thing it creates. Obviously, it has to make atoms first, but it’s the first thing. If you think about the universe originated, atoms were made in Big Bang nuclear synthesis, and then later in stars. And then planets formed and planets become engines of chemistry. They start exploring what kind of chemistry is possible. And the combinatorial space of chemistry is so large that even on every planet in the entire universe, you will never express every possible molecule. I like this example actually that Lee gave me, which is to think about Taxol. It has a molecular weight of about 853. It’s got a lot of atoms, but it’s not astronomically large. And if you try to make one molecule with that molecular formula and every three-dimensional shape you could make with that molecular formula, it would fill 1.5 universes in volume with one unique molecule. That’s just one molecule.
(00:15:05) 非常准确。这不是它首先创造的东西。显然,它必须先制造原子,但这是第一件事。如果你想想宇宙的起源,原子是在大爆炸的核合成过程中产生的,后来又在恒星中产生。然后形成行星,行星成为化学的发动机。它们开始探索什么样的化学是可能的。化学的组合空间是如此之大,以至于即使在整个宇宙的每一颗行星上,你也不可能表达出每一种可能的分子。我很喜欢李给我举的这个例子,想想 Taxol。它的分子量约为 853。它有很多原子,但并不是天文数字。如果你尝试用这个分子式制造一个分子,并用这个分子式制造出所有三维形状,那么一个独特的分子就能填满 1.5 个宇宙的体积。这只是一个分子。
(00:16:09) So chemical space is huge, and I think it’s really important to recognize that because if you want to ask a question of why does life emerge in chemistry, well, life emerges in chemistry because life is the physics of how the universe selects what gets to exist. And those things get created along historically contingent pathways and memory and all the other stuff that we can talk about, but the universe has to actually make historically contingent choices in chemistry because it can’t exhaust all possible molecules.
(所以化学空间是巨大的,我认为认识到这一点真的很重要,因为如果你想问一个问题,为什么生命会在化学中出现,那么,生命会在化学中出现,因为生命是宇宙如何选择存在的物理。这些东西是沿着历史上偶然的路径和记忆以及我们可以谈论的所有其他东西被创造出来的,但宇宙实际上必须在化学中做出历史上偶然的选择,因为它不可能穷尽所有可能的分子。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:16:38) What kind of things can you create that’s outside the combinatorial space of chemistry? That’s what I’m trying to understand.
(在化学的组合空间之外,你能创造出什么样的东西?这正是我想弄明白的。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:16:45) Oh, if it’s not chemical. So I think some of the things that have evolved on our biosphere I would call as much alive as chemistry, as a cell, but they seem much more abstract. So for example, I think language is alive, or at least life. I think memes are. I think-
(哦,如果它不是化学的。所以我认为,在我们的生物圈中进化出来的一些东西,我认为它们和化学、细胞一样都是有生命的,但它们看起来要抽象得多。比如,我认为语言是有生命的,至少是有生命的。我认为记忆体也是。我认为
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:17:06) You’re saying language is life?
(你是说语言就是生命?
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:17:07) Yes. 是的
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:17:07) Language is alive. Oh boy, I’m going to have to explore that one.
(语言是有生命的。哦,天哪,我得好好研究一下这个问题。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:17:12) Life maybe. Maybe not alive, but actually I don’t know where I stand exactly on that. I’ve been thinking about that a little bit more lately. But mathematics too, and it’s interesting because people think that math has this Platonic reality that exists outside of our universe, and I think it’s a feature of our biosphere and it’s telling us something about the structure of ourselves. And I find that really interesting because when you would internalize all of these things that we noticed about the world, and you start asking, well, what do these look like? If I was something outside of myself observing these systems that all embedded in, what would that structure look like? And I think we look really different than the way that we talk about what we look like to each other.
(00:17:12) 也许是生命。也许不是活着,但实际上我不知道我在这方面的立场到底是什么。我最近一直在思考这个问题。数学也是,这很有趣,因为人们认为数学有一种柏拉图式的现实,存在于我们的宇宙之外,而我认为这是我们生物圈的一个特征,它告诉我们一些关于我们自身结构的东西。我觉得这真的很有趣,因为当你把我们注意到的世界上所有这些东西内化之后,你就会开始问,好吧,这些东西看起来像什么?如果我是我自己以外的东西,观察着这些嵌入其中的系统,这个结构会是什么样子?我认为,我们的样子与我们彼此谈论的样子真的很不一样。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:17:57) What do you think a living organism in math is? Is it one axiomatic system or is it individual theorems or is it individual steps of-
(00:17:57) 你认为数学中的生命体是什么?是一个公理系统,还是各个定理,还是各个步骤?
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:18:05) I think it’s the fact that it’s open-ended in some sense. It’s another open-ended combinatorial space, and the recursive properties of it allow creativity to happen, which is what you see with the revolution in the last century with Gödel’s Theorem and Turing. And there’s clear places where mathematics notices holes in the universe.
(00:18:05) 我认为这是因为它在某种意义上是开放的。这是另一个开放式的组合空间,它的递归特性允许创造力发生,这就是你在上个世纪看到的哥德尔定理和图灵的革命。数学在宇宙中发现漏洞的地方很明显
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:18:32) So it seems like you’re sneaking up on a different kind of definition of life. Open-ended, large combinatorial space.
(所以,你似乎悄悄地发现了生命的另一种定义。开放式、大组合空间。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:18:39) Yeah. 是的
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:18:40) Room for creativity.
(00:18:40) 创造空间。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:18:41) Definitely not chemical. Chemistry is one substrate.
(00:18:41) 绝对不是化学。化学是一种基质。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:18:45) Restricted to chemical. What about the third thing, which I think will be the hardest because you probably like it the most, is evolution or selection.
(仅限于化学。第三件事呢,我认为是最难的,因为你可能最喜欢它,那就是进化或选择。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:18:54) Well, specifically it’s Darwinian evolution. And I think Darwinian evolution is a problem. But the reason that that definition is a problem is not because evolution is in the definition, but because the implication that most people would want to make is that an individual is alive. And the evolutionary process, at least the Darwinian evolutionary process, most evolutionary processes, they don’t happen at the level of individuals. They happen at the level of population. So again, you would be saying something like what we saw with the self-sustaining definition, which is that populations are alive, but individuals aren’t because populations evolve and individuals don’t. And obviously maybe you are alive because your gut microbiome is evolving. But Lex is an entity right now is not evolving by canonical theories of evolution. In assembly theory, which is attempting to explain life, evolution is a much broader thing.
(具体来说,就是达尔文进化论。我认为达尔文进化论是个问题。但这个定义之所以有问题,并不是因为定义中有进化论,而是因为大多数人想要表达的意思是,个体是有生命的。而进化过程,至少是达尔文的进化过程,以及大多数进化过程,都不是在个体层面上发生的。它们发生在种群层面。所以,你的说法和我们看到的自我维持的定义一样,即种群是有生命的,但个体没有,因为种群在进化,而个体不会进化。很明显,也许你还活着,因为你的肠道微生物组在进化。但根据进化论的经典理论,莱克斯这个实体现在并没有进化。在试图解释生命的组装理论中,进化是一个更广泛的东西。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:19:49) So an individual organism can evolve under assembly theory?
(00:19:49) 那么在装配理论下,单个生物体也能进化?
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:19:54) Yes, you’re constructing yourself all the time. Assembly theory is about construction and how the universe selects for things to exist.
(00:19:54) 是的,你一直在构建自己。组装理论是关于构造和宇宙如何选择事物存在的。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:20:01) What if you reformulate everything like a population is a living organism?
(00:20:01)如果你把一切都重新表述为一个种群是一个活的有机体呢?
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:20:04) That’s fine too. But this again gets back to it. We can nitpick at definitions. I don’t think it’s incredibly helpful to do it. But the reason for me-
(00:20:04) 这也很好。但这又回到了原点。我们可以对定义吹毛求疵。我不认为这样做会有多大帮助。但对我来说
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:20:04) It’s fun.
(00:20:04) It's fun.
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:20:16) Yeah, it is fun. It is really fun. And actually I do think it’s useful in the sense that when you see the ways that they all break down, you either have to keep forcing in your conception of life you want to have, or you have to say, “All these definitions are breaking down for a reason. Maybe I should adopt a more expansive definition that encompasses all the things that I think and are life.” And so for me, I think life is the process of how information structures matter over time and space, and an example of life is what emerges on a planet and yields an open-ended cascade of generation of structure and increasing complexity. And this is the thing that life is. And any individual is just a particular instance of these lineages that are structured across time.
(00:20:16) 是的,很有趣。真的很有趣实际上,我认为这很有用,因为当你看到这些定义被打破的时候,你要么继续坚持你的生活理念,要么说 "所有这些定义被打破是有原因的"。也许我应该采用一个更宽泛的定义,涵盖所有我认为是生命的东西"。因此,对我来说,我认为生命就是信息结构如何在时间和空间上发生作用的过程,而生命的一个例子就是一个星球上出现的东西,它产生了一个产生结构和复杂性的开放式级联。这就是生命。而任何个体都只是这些跨时间结构的血统中的一个特殊实例。
(00:21:08) And so we focus so much on these individuals that are these short temporal moments in this larger causal structure that actually is the life on our planet, and I think that’s why these definitions break down because they’re not general enough, they’re not universal enough, they’re not deep enough, they’re not abstract enough to actually capture that regularity.
(我认为这就是这些定义被打破的原因,因为它们不够概括、不够普遍、不够深刻、不够抽象,无法真正捕捉到这种规律性。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:21:28) Because we’re focused on that little ephemeral thing and call it human life?
(00:21:28)因为我们只关注那一点点短暂的东西,并称之为人的生命?
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:21:32) Yeah. It’s like Aristotle focusing on heavy things falling because they’re earth-like, and things floating because they’re air-like. It’s the wrong thing to focus on.
(就像亚里士多德关注重物坠落是因为它们像大地,而漂浮物是因为它们像空气。这是不对的。

Time and space 时间与空间

Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:21:45) What exactly are we missing by focusing on such a short span of time?
(00:21:45)关注如此短暂的时间跨度,我们究竟错过了什么?
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:21:50) I think we’re missing most of what we are. One of the issues… I’ve been thinking about this really viscerally lately. It’s weird when you do theoretical physics, because I think it literally changes the structure of your brain and you see the world differently, especially when you’re trying to build new abstractions.
(00:21:50) 我认为我们遗失了我们的大部分。其中一个问题是......我最近一直在认真思考这个问题。当你从事理论物理研究时,感觉很奇怪,因为我觉得它从字面上改变了你的大脑结构,让你以不同的方式看待世界,尤其是当你试图建立新的抽象概念时。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:22:05) Do you think it’s possible if you’re a theoretical physicist, that it’s easy to fall off the cliff and descend into madness?
(00:22:05) 如果你是理论物理学家,你觉得有可能掉下悬崖,陷入疯狂吗?
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:22:13) I think you’re always on the edge of it, but I think what is amazing about being a scientist and trying to do things rigorously is it keeps your sanity. So I think if I wasn’t a theoretical physicist, I would be probably not sane. But what it forces you to do is you have to hold yourself to the fire of these abstractions in my mind have to really correspond to reality. And I have to really test that all the time. And so I love building new abstractions and I love going to those incredibly creative spaces that people don’t see as part of the way that we understand the world now. But ultimately, I have to make sure that whatever I’m pulling from that space is something that’s really usable and really relates to the world outside of me. That’s what science is.
(我觉得你总是在边缘徘徊 但我觉得作为一名科学家 努力严谨做事的奇妙之处 在于它能保持你的理智所以我想,如果我不是一个理论物理学家,我可能就不会理智了。但它迫使你去做的是,你必须坚持自己,让我头脑中的这些抽象概念真正与现实相对应。我必须不断地检验这一点。因此,我喜欢建立新的抽象概念,我喜欢进入那些令人难以置信的创造性空间,而这些空间在人们眼中并不是我们现在理解世界的方式的一部分。但归根结底,我必须确保我从那个空间中提取的东西是真正可用的,真正与我之外的世界相关的。这就是科学。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:23:01) So we were talking about what we’re missing when we look at a small stretch of time in a small stretch of space.
(00:23:01)所以,我们在讨论,当我们在一个狭小的空间里看一小段时间时,我们错过了什么。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:23:09) Yeah, so the issue is we evolve perception to see reality a certain way. So for us, space is really important and time feels fleeting. And I had a really wonderful mentor, Paul Davies, most of my career. And Paul’s amazing because he gives these little seed thought experiments all the time. Something he used to ask me all the time was when I was a postdoc, this is a random tangent, but was how much of the universe could be converted into technology if you were thinking about long-term futures and stuff like that. And it’s a weird thought experiment, but there’s a lot of deep things there. And I do think a lot about the fact that we’re really limited in our interactions with reality by the particular architectures that we evolved, and so we’re not seeing everything. And in fact, our technology tells us this all the time because it allows us to see the world in new ways by basically allowing us to perceive the world in ways that we couldn’t otherwise.
(是的,所以问题在于我们的感知会以某种方式来看待现实。所以对我们来说,空间真的很重要,而时间感觉转瞬即逝。在我职业生涯的大部分时间里,我都有一位非常棒的导师--保罗-戴维斯(Paul Davies)。保罗非常了不起,因为他总是给我们做一些小的种子思想实验。当我还是博士后时,他经常问我一个问题,这是个随机的切入点,就是如果你考虑长期未来之类的东西,宇宙中有多少东西可以转化为技术。这是个奇怪的思想实验,但有很多深层次的东西。我确实想了很多,我们与现实的互动受到了我们进化出的特殊架构的限制,所以我们并不能看到一切。事实上,我们的技术一直在告诉我们这一点,因为它能让我们以全新的方式来看待这个世界,基本上让我们以其他方式无法感知的方式来感知这个世界。
(00:24:05) And so what I’m getting at with this is I think that living objects are actually huge. They’re some of the biggest structures in the universe, but they are not big in space. They’re big in time. And we actually can’t resolve that feature. We don’t interact with it on a regular basis, so we see them as these fleeting things that have this really short temporal clock time without seeing how large they are. When I’m saying time here, really, the way that people could picture it is in terms of causal structure. So if you think about the history of the universe to get to you and you imagine that that entire history is you, that is the picture I have in my mind when I look at every living thing.
(所以我想说的是 我认为有生命的物体实际上是巨大的它们是宇宙中一些最大的结构,但它们在空间上并不大。它们在时间上很大。而我们实际上无法解决这个问题。我们不经常与之互动,所以我们把它们看成是转瞬即逝的东西,它们的时间时钟很短,却看不到它们有多大。当我在这里说时间的时候,实际上,人们可以用因果结构来描述它。所以,如果你思考宇宙的历史,然后想象整个历史就是你,这就是我观察每个生物时脑海中的画面。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:24:52) You have a tweet for everything. You tweeted-
(00:24:52)你有一个鸣叫的一切。你的推特
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:24:53) Doesn’t everyone?
(每个人不都是这样吗?
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:24:54) You have a lot of poetic, profound tweets. Sometimes-
(00:24:54) 你有很多诗意而深刻的推文。有时
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:24:58) Thank you.
(00:24:58) 谢谢。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:24:59) … they’re puzzles that take a long time to figure out.
(00:24:59)......它们是需要很长时间才能解开的谜题。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:25:04) Well, you know what it is? The reason they’re hard to write is because it’s compressing a very deep idea into a short amount of space, and I really like doing that intellectual exercise because I find it productive for me.
(你知道是什么原因吗?它们之所以难写,是因为要把一个非常深刻的想法压缩到很短的篇幅里,而我非常喜欢做这种智力练习,因为我发现这对我来说很有成效。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:25:13) Yeah, it’s a very interesting kind of compression algorithm though.
(00:25:13) 是的,这是一种非常有趣的压缩算法。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:25:18) Yeah, I like language. I think it’s really fun to play with.
(00:25:18) 是的,我喜欢语言。我觉得玩语言真的很有趣。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:25:20) Yeah, I wonder if AI can decompress it. That’d be an interesting challenge.
(00:25:20) 是啊,我想知道人工智能能否解压缩。这将是一个有趣的挑战。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:25:25) I would like to try this, but I think I use language in certain ways that are non-canonical and I do it very purposefully. And it would be interesting to me how AI would interpret it.
(00:25:25) 我也想试试,但我觉得我使用语言的某些方式并不规范,而且我是有目的的。对我来说,人工智能会如何解释这一点会很有趣。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:25:35) Yeah, your tweets would be a good Turing Test for super intelligence. Anyway, you tweeted that things only look emergent because we can’t see time. So if we could see time, what would the world look like? You’re saying you’ll be able to see everything that an object has been, every step of the way that led to this current moment, and all the interactions that require to make that evolution happen. You would see this gigantic tail.
(是啊,你的推文可以作为超级智能的图灵测试。总之,你在推特上说,事情看起来是突发的,因为我们看不到时间。那么,如果我们能看到时间,世界会是什么样子呢?你的意思是说,你可以看到一个物体所经历过的一切,看到它到达此刻的每一步,看到它发生进化所需要的所有相互作用。你会看到这个巨大的尾巴。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:26:11) The universe is far larger in time than it is in space, and this planet is one of the biggest things in the universe.
(00:26:11)宇宙在时间上远远大于空间,而这个星球是宇宙中最大的物体之一。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:26:21) So the more complexity, the bigger the object-
(00:26:21) 因此,复杂性越高,对象就越大。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:26:25) Yeah, I think the modern technosphere is the largest object in time in the universe that we know about.
(00:26:25) 是的,我认为现代科技圈是我们所知的宇宙中最大的时间物体。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:26:33) And when you say technosphere, what do you mean?
(00:26:33) 你说的技术圈是什么意思?
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:26:36) I mean the global integration of life and technology on this planet.
(00:26:36)我指的是地球上生命与科技的全球融合。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:26:41) So all the technological things we’ve created?
(00:26:41) 所以我们创造的所有科技东西?
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:26:44) But I don’t think of them as separate. They’re very integrated with the structure that generated them. So you can almost imagine it like time is constantly bifurcating and it’s generating new structures, and these new structures are locally constructing the future. And so things like you and I are very close together in time because we didn’t diverge very early in the history of universe. It’s very recent. And I think this is one of the reasons that we can understand each other so well and we can communicate effectively, and I might have some sense of what it feels like to be you. But other organisms bifurcated from us in time earlier. This is just the concept of phylogeny. But if you take that deeper and you really think about that as the structure of the physics that generates life and you take that very seriously, all of that causation is still bundled up in the objects we observe today.
(00:26:44) 但我并不认为它们是独立的。它们与产生它们的结构融为一体。所以你几乎可以把它想象成时间在不断分叉,并产生新的结构,而这些新的结构正在本地构建未来。所以像你和我这样的东西在时间上非常接近,因为我们在宇宙历史的早期并没有分叉。这是最近的事。我想这也是我们能够很好地相互理解 我们能够有效沟通的原因之一 我也许能体会到你的感受但其他生物与我们的分叉时间更早。这只是系统发育的概念。但是,如果你把这个概念理解得更深一些,真正把它看作是产生生命的物理学结构,并认真对待它,那么所有的因果关系仍然捆绑在我们今天观察到的物体中。
(00:27:42) And so you and I are close in this temporal structure, but we’re so close because we’re really big and we only are very different and the most recent moments in the time that’s embedded in us. It’s hard to use words to visualize what’s in minds. I have such a hard time with this sometimes. Actually, I was thinking on the way over here, I was like, you have pictures in your brain and then they’re hard to put into words. But I realized I always say I have a visual, but it’s not actually I have a visual. I have a feeling, because oftentimes I cannot actually draw a picture in my mind for the things that I say, but sometimes they go through a picture before they get to words. But I like experimenting with words because I think they help paint pictures.
(00:27:42) 因此,你和我在这个时间结构中很接近,但我们如此接近是因为我们真的很大,我们只是非常不同,而且是嵌入我们的时间中最近的时刻。很难用语言来形象地描述头脑中的东西。我有时就很难做到这一点。实际上,我在来这里的路上就在想,你脑子里有画面,但很难用语言表达出来。但我意识到,我总是说我有画面感,但实际上并不是我有画面感。我有一种感觉,因为很多时候我无法在脑海中为我说的话画出一幅图画,但有时它们会先经过一幅图画,然后才变成文字。但我喜欢用文字做实验,因为我觉得文字有助于描绘画面。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:28:33) It’s, again, some kind of compressed feeling that you can query to get a sense of the bigger visualization that you have in mind. It’s just a really nice compression. But I think the idea of this object that in it contains all the information about the history of an entity that you see now, just trying to visualize that is pretty cool. Obviously, the mind breaks down quickly as you step seconds and minutes back in time.
(00:28:33) 这同样是一种压缩的感觉,你可以通过查询来了解你心中更大的可视化效果。这真是一种很好的压缩。但我认为,这个对象包含了你现在看到的实体历史的所有信息,试图将其可视化的想法很酷。很明显,当你把时间倒退到几秒几分时,你的思维会很快崩溃。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:29:05) Yeah, for sure.
(是的,当然。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:29:08) I guess it’s just a gigantic object we’re supposed to be thinking about.
(00:29:08) 我想这只是一个我们应该思考的巨大物体。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:29:15) Yeah, I think so. And I think this is one of the reasons that we have such an ability to abstract as humans because we are so gigantic that the space that we can go back into is really large. So the more abstract you’re going, the deeper you’re going in that space.
(是的,我也这么认为。我想这也是我们人类有如此抽象能力的原因之一,因为我们是如此巨大,我们能回到的空间真的很大。所以,你越抽象,你在那个空间里就越深。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:29:29) But in that sense, aren’t we fundamentally all connected?
(00:29:29) 但从这个意义上说,我们从根本上不都是联系在一起的吗?
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:29:33) Yes. And this is why the definition of life cannot be the individual. It has to be these lineages because they’re all connected, they’re interwoven, and they’re exchanging parts all the time.
(00:29:33) 是的。这就是为什么生命的定义不能是个人。它必须是这些血脉,因为它们相互连接,相互交织,并且一直在交换部分。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:29:42) Yeah, so maybe there are certain aspects of those lineages that can be lifelike. They can be characteristics. They can be measured with the sunbeam theory that have more or less life, but they’re all just fingertips of a much bigger object.
(是的,也许这些血统的某些方面可以栩栩如生。它们可以是特征它们可以用太阳光理论来测量 它们或多或少都有生命 但它们都只是一个更大物体的指尖
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:29:57) Yeah, I think life is very high dimensional. In fact, I think you can be alive in some dimensions and not in others. If you could project all the causation that’s in you, in some features of you, very little causation is required, very little history. And in some features, a lot is. So it’s quite difficult to take this really high-dimensional, very deep structure and project it into things that we really can understand and say, “This is the one thing that we’re seeing,” because it’s not one thing.
(00:29:57) 是的,我认为生命是非常高维度的。事实上,我认为你可以在某些维度上活着,而在另一些维度上却不是。如果你能投射出你身上所有的因果关系,在你的某些特征中,只需要很少的因果关系,很少的历史。而在某些特征中,则需要很多因果关系。因此,我们很难将这种高维、深层的结构投射到我们真正能够理解的事物中,并说 "这就是我们看到的唯一事物",因为它并不是唯一的事物。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:30:33) It’s funny we’re talking about this now and I’m slowly starting to realize, one of the things I saw when I took Ayahuasca, afterwards actually, so the actual ceremony is four or five hours, but afterwards you’re still riding whatever the thing that you’re riding. And I got a chance to afterwards hang out with some friends and just shoot the shit in the forest, and I could see their faces. And what was happening with their faces and their hair is I would get this interesting effect. First of all, everything was beautiful and I just had so much love for everybody, but I could see their past selves behind them. I guess it’s a blurring effect of where if I move like this, the faces that were just there are still there and it would just float like this behind them, which will create this incredible effect. But another way to think about that is I’m visualizing a little bit of that object of the thing they were just a few seconds ago. It’s a cool little effect.
(有趣的是,我们现在谈论这个, 我慢慢开始意识到, 我看到的事情之一 当我把死藤水, 事后其实, 所以实际的仪式 是四五个小时,之后我有机会和几个朋友出去玩 在森林里狂欢 我能看到他们的表情他们的脸和头发会产生有趣的效果首先,一切都很美好,我对每个人都充满了爱,但我能看到他们背后的过去的自己。我猜这是一种模糊效果,如果我像这样移动,刚才的面孔依然存在,就会像这样漂浮在他们身后,从而产生不可思议的效果。但换个角度想,我是在把几秒钟前的那个物体视觉化。这是个很酷的小效果。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:31:46) That’s very cool.
(00:31:46) 太酷了。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:31:49) And now it’s giving it a bit more profundity to the effect that was just beautiful aesthetically, but it’s also beautiful from a physics perspective because that is a past self. I get a little glimpse at the past selves that they were. But then you take that to its natural conclusion, not just a few seconds ago, but just to the beginning of the universe. And you could probably get to that-
(00:31:49) 而现在,它赋予了它更多的深刻性,从美学的角度来看,它是美丽的,但从物理学的角度来看,它也是美丽的,因为那是一个过去的自我。我看到了他们过去的自己但如果你把它自然地推向终点 不仅仅是几秒钟前 而是宇宙的开端你也许可以这样
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:31:49) Billions of years, yeah.
(数十亿年,是的。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:32:15) … get down that lineage.
(00:32:15)......顺着这条血脉走下去。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:32:17) It’s crazy that there’s billions of years inside of all of us.
(00:32:17) 我们体内有数十亿年的时间,这太疯狂了。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:32:21) All of us. And then we connect obviously not too long ago.
(我们所有人。很明显,我们不久前还联系过。

Technosphere 科技圈

Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:32:25) Yeah. 是的
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:32:27) You mentioned just the technosphere, and you also wrote that the most, the live thing on this planet is our technosphere. Why is the technology we create a kind of life form? Why are you seeing it as life?
(00:32:27) 你只提到了科技圈,你还写道,这个星球上最有生命的东西就是我们的科技圈。为什么我们创造的技术是一种生命形式?为什么你把它视为生命?
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:32:39) Because it’s creative. But with us, obviously. Not independently of us. And also because of this lineage view of life. And I think about life often as a planetary scale phenomena because the natural boundary for all of this causation that’s bundled in every object in our biosphere. And so for me, it’s just the current boundary of how far life on our planet has pushed into the things that our universe can generate, and so it’s the furthest thing, it’s the biggest thing. And I think a lot about the nature of life across different scales. And so we have cells inside of us that are alive and we feel like we’re alive, but we don’t often think about the societies that we’re embedded in as alive or a global- scale organization of us in our technology on the planet as alive. But I think if you have this deeper view into the nature of life, which I think is necessary also to solve the origin of life, then you have to include those things.
(因为它很有创意。但显然是和我们一起。而不是独立于我们。也因为这种生命的脉络观我经常把生命看成是一种星球尺度的现象,因为所有这些因果关系的自然边界,都捆绑在我们生物圈的每一个物体上。所以对我来说,这只是我们星球上的生命在我们的宇宙中所能产生的事物中的当前边界,所以它是最远的东西,是最大的东西。我经常思考不同尺度的生命本质。我们体内的细胞是有生命的,我们感觉自己是有生命的,但我们通常不会想到我们所处的社会是有生命的,也不会想到我们在地球上的技术所形成的全球规模的组织是有生命的。但我认为,如果你对生命的本质有更深刻的认识,我认为这对解决生命起源问题也是必要的,那么你就必须把这些东西包括进来。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:33:47) All of them, so you have to simultaneously think about-
(00:33:47) 所有这些,所以你必须同时考虑--
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:33:50) Every scale.
(00:33:50) 每个刻度。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:33:50) … life at every single scale.
(00:33:50) ......生命的每一个刻度。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:33:52) Yeah. (00: 33: 52)是啊。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:33:53) The planetary and the bacteria level.
(00:33:53) 地球和细菌层面。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:33:55) Yeah. This is the hard thing about solving the problem of life, I think, is how many things you have to integrate into building a sort of unified picture of this thing that we want to call life. And a lot of our theories of physics are built on building deep regularities that explain a really broad class of phenomena, and I think we haven’t really traditionally thought about life that way. But I think to get at some of these hardest questions like looking for life on other planets or the origin of life, you really have to think about it that way. And so most of my professional work is just trying to understand every single thing on this planet that might be an example of life, which is pretty much everything, and then trying to figure out what’s the deeper structure underlying that.
是的我认为,解决生命问题的难点在于,你必须整合多少东西,才能构建出一幅我们称之为生命的统一图景。我们的很多物理学理论都是建立在深层次的规律性之上的,这些规律性可以解释非常广泛的现象,而我认为我们传统上并没有这样去思考生命。但我认为,要解决一些最难的问题,比如寻找其他星球上的生命或生命起源,你真的必须这样去思考。因此,我的大部分专业工作就是试图了解这个星球上每一个可能是生命的例子的东西,几乎是所有的东西,然后试图找出其背后更深层次的结构。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:34:40) Yeah. Schrodinger wrote that living matter, while not eluding the laws of physics as established up to date, is likely to involve other laws of physics hitherto unknown. So to him-
是的薛定谔在书中写道,生命物质虽然没有逃避迄今为止已确立的物理定律,但很可能涉及到迄今未知的其他物理定律。所以对他来说
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:34:54) I love that quote.
(00:34:54) 我喜欢这句话。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:34:55) … there was a sense that at the bottom of this, there are new laws of physics that could explain this thing that we call-
(......有一种感觉,在这个底部,有新的物理定律,可以解释这个东西,我们称之为 -
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:35:00) … new laws of physics that could explain this thing that we call life.
(00:35:00) ......新的物理定律可以解释我们称之为生命的东西。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:35:04) Yeah. Schrodinger really tried to do what physicists try to do, which is explain things. And his attempt was to try to explain life in terms of non-equilibrium physics, because he thought that was the best description that we could generate at the time. And so he did come up with something really insightful, which was to predict the structure of DNA as an aperiodic crystal. And that was for a very precise reason, that was the only kind of physical structure that could encode enough information to actually specify a cell. We knew some things about genes, but not about DNA and its actual structure when he proposed that. But in the book, he tried to explain life is kind of going against entropy. And so some people have talked about it as like Schrodinger’s paradox, how can life persist when the second law of thermodynamics is there? But in open systems, that’s not so problematic.
是的薛定谔真的想做物理学家想做的事 那就是解释事物他试图用非平衡物理学来解释生命,因为他认为这是我们当时所能做出的最好的描述。因此,他确实提出了一些非常有见地的观点,那就是将DNA的结构预测为非周期性晶体。这是出于一个非常精确的原因,只有这样的物理结构才能编码足够多的信息,从而真正指定一个细胞。当他提出这一观点时,我们对基因有所了解,但对DNA及其实际结构却一无所知。但在书中,他试图解释生命是一种违背熵的行为。所以有些人把它说成是薛定谔悖论 当热力学第二定律存在时 生命怎么可能持续?但在开放系统中,问题不大。
(00:36:02) And really the question is, why can life generate so much order? And we don’t have a physics to describe that. And it’s interesting, generations of physicists have thought about this problem. Oftentimes, it’s like when people are retiring, they’re like, “Oh, now I can work on life.” Or they’re more senior in their career and they’ve worked on other more traditional problems. And there’s still a lot of impetus in the physics community to think that non-equilibrium physics will explain life. But I think that’s not the right approach. I don’t think ultimately the solution to what life is there, and I don’t really think entropy has much to do with it unless it’s entirely reformulated.
(真正的问题是 为什么生命可以产生如此多的秩序?我们没有物理学来描述这一点。有趣的是,几代物理学家都在思考这个问题。很多时候,就像当人们退休的时候 他们会想,"哦,现在我可以研究生命了"或者他们在职业生涯中资历更深 他们研究过其他更传统的问题物理学界仍然有很多人认为非平衡物理学可以解释生命。但我认为这不是正确的方法。我不认为最终能解决生命的问题 我也不认为熵与此有关 除非对其进行重新表述
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:36:42) Well, because you have to explain how interesting order, how complexity emerges from the soup.
(00:36:42) 嗯,因为你必须解释有趣的秩序、复杂性是如何从汤中产生的。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:36:47) Yes. From randomness.
(00:36:47) 是的。来自随机性。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:36:48) From randomness. Physics currently can’t do that.
(来自随机性。物理学目前还做不到这一点。

Theory of everything 万物理论

Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:36:52) No. Physics hardly even acknowledges that the universe is random at its base. We like to think we live in a deterministic universe and everything’s deterministic. But I think that’s probably an artifact of the way that we’ve written down laws of physics since Newton invented modern physics and his conception of motion and gravity, which he formulated laws that had initial conditions and fixed dynamical laws. And that’s been sort of become the standard canon of how people think the universe works and how we need to describe any physical system is with an initial condition in a law of motion. And I think that’s not actually the way the universe really works. I think it’s a good approximation for the kind of systems that physicists have studied so far.
(不,物理学几乎不承认宇宙的基础是随机的。我们喜欢认为自己生活在一个确定的宇宙中,一切都是确定的。但我认为,这可能是牛顿发明现代物理学和他的运动和重力概念以来,我们书写物理定律的方式的产物,他制定的定律有初始条件和固定的动力学定律。他制定的定律有初始条件和固定的动力学定律。这已经成为人们认为宇宙是如何运行的标准规范,以及我们需要如何描述任何物理系统,即运动定律中的初始条件。我认为这并不是宇宙真正运行的方式。我认为对于物理学家迄今为止所研究的系统来说,这只是一个很好的近似值。
(00:37:39) And I think it will radically fail in the longterm at describing reality at its more basal levels. But I’m not saying there’s a base, I don’t think that reality has a ground, and I don’t think there’s a theory of everything, but I think there are better theories, and I think there are more explanatory theories, and I think we can get to something that explains much more than the current laws of physics do.
(我认为从长远来看,它在描述现实的基础层面上会彻底失败。但我不是说有一个基础,我不认为现实有一个基础,我也不认为有一个万物理论,但我认为有更好的理论,我认为有更多的解释性理论,我认为我们可以找到比目前的物理定律解释得更多的东西。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:38:02) When you say theory of everything, you mean everything, everything?
(当你说万物理论时,你是指一切,一切?
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:38:06) Yeah. In physics right now, it’s really popular to talk about theories of everything. So string theory is supposed to be a theory of everything because it unifies quantum mechanics and gravity. And people have their different pet theories of everything. And the challenge with the theory of everything, I really love this quote from David Krakauer, which is, “A theory of everything is a theory of everything except those things that theorize.”
(现在物理学界很流行谈论万有理论。弦理论被认为是万物理论,因为它统一了量子力学和万有引力。人们有各自不同的万物理论。万物理论的挑战在于 我很喜欢大卫-克拉考尔的一句话 "万物理论就是万物的理论 除了那些理论化的东西"
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:38:30) Oh, you mean removing the observer from the thing?
(00:38:30) 哦,你是说把观察者从那东西上移开?
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:38:31) Yeah. But it’s also weird because if a theory of everything explained everything, it should also explain the theory. So the theory has to be recursive and none of our theories of physics are recursive. So it’s a weird concept.
是啊但这也很奇怪 因为如果万物理论能解释万物 它也应该解释万物理论所以理论必须是递归的,而我们的物理学理论都不是递归的。所以这是个奇怪的概念。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:38:45) But it’s very difficult to integrate the observer into a theory.
(00:38:45) 但要将观察者纳入理论是非常困难的。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:38:47) I don’t think so. I think you can build a theory acknowledging that you’re an observer inside the universe.
(我不这么认为。我认为你可以建立一个理论,承认你是宇宙内部的观察者。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:38:52) But doesn’t it become recursive in that way? And you saying it’s possible to make a theory that’s okay with that?
(但这样不就变成递归了吗?你的意思是说,有可能建立一个可以接受这种情况的理论吗?
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:39:01) I think so. I mean, I don’t think… There’s always going to be the paradox of another meta level you could build on the meta level. So if you assume this is your universe and you’re observe outside of it, you have some meta description of that universe, but then you need a meta description of you describing that universe. So this is one of the biggest challenges that we face being observers inside our universe. And also, why the paradoxes and the foundations of mathematics and any place that we try to have observers in the system or a system describing itself show up. But I think it is possible to build a physics that builds in those things intrinsically without having them be paradoxical or have holes in the descriptions. And so one place I think about this quite a lot, which I think can give you sort of a more concrete example, is the nature of what we call fundamental.
(我想是的我的意思是,我不认为......总会有一个悖论,那就是你可以在元层面上建立另一个元层面。所以,如果你假设这是你的宇宙,而你在宇宙之外观察,你对这个宇宙有一些元描述,但你又需要对你描述这个宇宙的元描述。因此,作为宇宙内部的观察者,这是我们面临的最大挑战之一。同时,这也是为什么悖论、数学基础以及我们试图在系统或描述自身的系统中设置观察者的任何地方都会出现的原因。但我认为,我们有可能建立一种物理学,将这些东西内在地融入其中,而不会让它们成为悖论或在描述中出现漏洞。因此,我经常思考这个问题,我认为这可以给你一个更具体的例子,那就是我们所说的基本原理的性质。
(00:39:54) So we typically define fundamental right now in terms of the smallest indivisible units of matter. So again, you have to have a definition of what you think material is and matter is, but right now what’s fundamental are elementary particles. And we think they’re fundamental because we can’t break them apart further. And obviously, we have theories like string theory that if they’re right would replace the current description of what’s the most fundamental thing in our universe by replacing with something smaller. But we can’t get to those theories because we’re technologically limited. And so if you look at this from a historical perspective and you think about explanations changing as physical systems like us learn more about the reality in which they live, we once considered atoms to be the most fundamental thing. And it literally comes from the word indivisible. And then we realized atoms had substructure because we built better technology, which allowed us to “See the world better” and resolve smaller features of it.
(00:39:54) 所以我们现在通常用物质不可分割的最小单位来定义基本粒子。所以,你必须对你认为的材料和物质有一个定义,但现在最基本的是基本粒子。我们认为它们是基本的 因为我们无法进一步分解它们很显然,我们有弦理论这样的理论,如果它们是正确的,就会用更小的东西取代目前对宇宙中最基本的东西的描述。但我们无法实现这些理论 因为我们的技术有限因此,如果你从历史的角度来看待这个问题,你会发现,随着像我们这样的物理系统对其所处的现实有了更多的了解,解释也在发生变化,我们曾经认为原子是最基本的东西。从字面上看,原子来源于 "不可分割 "一词。后来,我们意识到原子具有亚结构,因为我们建立了更好的技术,使我们能够 "更好地观察世界",并解决它的较小特征。
(00:40:58) And then we built even better technology, which allowed us to see even smaller structure and get down to the standard model particles. And we think that there might be structure below that, but we can’t get there yet with our technology. So what’s fundamental, the way we talk about it in current physics is not actually fundamental, it’s the boundaries of what we can observe in our universe, what we can see with our technology. And so if you want to build a theory that’s about us and about what’s inside the universe that we can observe, not what’s at the boundary of it, you need to talk about objects that are in the universe that you can actually break apart to smaller things. So I think the things that are fundamental are actually the constructed objects.
(然后我们建立了更好的技术,让我们可以看到更小的结构,并深入到标准模型粒子。我们认为,在标准模型粒子以下可能还有结构,但我们的技术还无法到达那里。因此,我们在当前物理学中谈论的基本原理,实际上并不是基本原理,而是我们能在宇宙中观测到的东西的边界,是我们的技术所能看到的东西的边界。因此,如果你想建立一个关于我们的理论,关于我们能观察到的宇宙内部的东西,而不是宇宙边界上的东西,你就需要讨论宇宙中的物体,你实际上可以把它们分解成更小的东西。因此,我认为最基本的东西实际上是被构造出来的物体。
(00:41:45) They’re the ones that really exist, and you really understand their properties because you know how the universe constructed them because you can actually take them apart. You can understand the intrinsic laws that built them. But the things that the boundary are just at the boundary, they’re evolving with us, and we’ll learn more about that structure as we go along. But really, if we want to talk about what’s fundamental inside our universe, we have to talk about all these things that are traditionally considered emergent, but really just structures in time that have causal histories that constructed them and are really actually what our universe is about.
(00:41:45) 它们是真正存在的,你真正了解它们的特性,是因为你知道宇宙是如何构造它们的,因为你实际上可以把它们拆开。你可以理解构建它们的内在规律。但边界上的东西只是在边界上,它们在和我们一起进化,我们会随着时间的推移对这种结构有更多的了解。但实际上,如果我们想讨论宇宙内部的根本问题,我们就必须讨论所有这些传统上被认为是突发性的东西,但实际上只是时间上的结构,这些结构具有构建它们的因果历史,实际上就是我们的宇宙。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:42:17) So we should focus on the construction methodology as the fundamental thing. Do you think there’s a bottom to the smallest possible thing that makes up the universe?
(00:42:17)所以我们应该把重点放在作为根本的构造方法上。你认为构成宇宙的最小可能的东西有底吗?
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:42:27) I don’t see one.
(00:42:27) 我没看到。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:42:30) It’ll take way too long. It’ll take longer to find that than it will to understand the mechanism that created life.
(这需要太长的时间。比起了解创造生命的机制,找到它需要更长的时间。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:42:36) I think so, yeah. I think for me, the frontier in modern physics, where the new physics lies is not in high energy particle physics, it’s not in quantum gravity, it’s not in any of these sort of traditionally sold, “This is going to be the newest deepest insight we have into the nature of reality.” It is going to be in studying the problems of life and intelligence and the things that are sort of also our current existential crises as a civilization or a culture that’s going through an existential trauma of inventing technologies that we don’t understand right now.
(我想是的,是的。我认为对我来说 现代物理学的前沿 新物理学不在于高能粒子物理 也不在于量子引力 也不在于任何一种传统意义上的 "这将是我们对现实本质 最新最深刻的洞察"它在于研究生命和智慧的问题 以及我们当前的生存危机 作为一种文明或文化 正经历着生存的创伤
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:43:09) The existential trauma and the terror we feel that that technology might somehow destroy us, us meaning living intelligently with organisms, and yet we don’t understand what that even means.
(00:43:09)我们感到的生存创伤和恐惧是,技术可能会以某种方式摧毁我们,我们意味着与生物智能地生活在一起,但我们甚至不明白这意味着什么。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:43:20) Well, humans have always been afraid of our technologies though. So it’s kind of a fascinating thing that every time we invent something we don’t understand, it takes us a little while to catch up with it.
(人类总是害怕我们的科技因此,每次我们发明了自己不了解的东西,都要花上一段时间才能赶上它的脚步,这真是一件令人着迷的事情。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:43:29) I think also in part, humans kind of love being afraid.
(00:43:29) 我认为在某种程度上,人类也喜欢害怕。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:43:33) Yeah, we love being traumatized.
(是啊,我们喜欢受到创伤。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:43:36) It’s weird, the trauma-
(很奇怪,创伤--
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:43:36) We want to learn more, and then when we learn more, it traumatizes us. I never thought about this before, but I think this is one of the reasons I love what I do, is because it traumatizes me all the time. That sounds really bad. But what I mean is I love the shock of realizing that coming to understand something in a way that you never understood it before. I think it seems to me when I see a lot of the ways other people react to new ideas that they don’t feel that way intrinsically. But for me, that’s why I do what I do. I love that feeling.
(00:43:36) 我们想学到更多,而当我们学到更多的时候,它就会给我们带来创伤。我以前从没想过这个问题,但我觉得这就是我喜欢我的工作的原因之一,因为它总是给我带来创伤。这听起来很糟糕。但我的意思是,我喜欢那种意识到以一种你以前从未理解过的方式去理解一件事的震撼。当我看到其他人对新想法的反应时,我觉得他们本质上并没有这种感觉。但对我来说,这就是我从事这项工作的原因。我喜欢这种感觉。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:44:08) But you’re also working on a topic where it’s fundamentally ego destroying, is you’re talking about life. It’s humbling to think that we’re not… The individual human is not special. And you’re very viscerally exploring that.
(但你也在研究一个从根本上摧毁自我的话题,那就是你在谈论生命。想到我们并不......人类个体并不特别,这让人感到谦卑。你非常直观地探讨了这一点。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:44:27) Yeah. I’m trying to embody that. Because I think you have to live the physics to understand it. But there’s a great quote about Einstein. I don’t know if this is true or not, that he once said that he could feel like beam in his belly. But I think you got to think about it though, right? If you’re really deep thinker and you’re really thinking about reality that deeply and you are part of the reality that you’re trying to describe, you feel it, you really feel it.
(是的,我正在努力体现这一点。因为我觉得你必须活在物理学中才能理解它。爱因斯坦有一句名言我不知道是真是假,他曾经说过,他能感觉到自己的腹部就像有一道光束。但我觉得你得好好想想,对吧?如果你真的是一个深刻的思想家,你真的对现实有那么深刻的思考,而你又是你试图描述的现实的一部分,你就会感觉到它,你真的会感觉到它。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:44:54) That’s what I was saying about, you’re always walking along the cliff. If you fall off, you’re falling into madness.
(00:44:54) 这就是我刚才说的,你总是在悬崖边行走。如果你掉下去,你就会陷入疯狂。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:45:01) Yes. It’s a constant descent into madness.
是的这是一个不断陷入疯狂的过程。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:45:05) The fascinating thing about physicists and madness is that you don’t know if you’ve fallen off the cliff.
(00:45:05)物理学家和疯狂的迷人之处在于,你不知道自己是否已经掉下悬崖。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:45:10) Yeah, you don’t don’t know.
(是啊,你不知道。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:45:10) That’s the cool thing about it.
(00:45:10) 这就是它酷的地方。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:45:13) I rely on other people to tell me. Actually, this is very funny. Because I have these conversations with my students often, they’re worried about going crazy. I have to reassure them that one of the reasons they’ll stay sane is by trying to work on concrete problems.
(00:45:13)我靠别人告诉我。事实上,这很有趣。因为我经常和我的学生进行这样的对话,他们担心自己会疯掉。我不得不向他们保证,他们保持清醒的原因之一就是努力解决具体问题。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:45:28) I’m going crazy or waking up. I don’t know which one it is.
(00:45:28) 我是疯了还是醒了。我不知道是哪一个。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:45:28) Yeah. 是的

Origin of life 生命的起源

Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:45:34) So what do you think is the origin of life on earth and how can we talk about it in a productive way?
(00:45:34) 那么,你认为地球生命的起源是什么?
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:45:40) The origin of life is like this boundary that the universe can only cross if a structure that emerges can reinforce its own existence, which is self-reproduction, autocatalysis, things people traditionally talk about. But it has to be able to maintain its own existence against this sort of randomness that happens in chemistry, and this randomness that happens in the quantum world. And it’s in some sense the emergence of a deterministic structure that says, “I’m going to exist and I’m going to keep going.” But pinning that down is really hard. We have ways of thinking about it in assembly theory that I think are pretty rigorous. And one of the things I’m really excited about is trying to actually quantify in an assembly theoretic way when the origin of life happens. But the basic process I have in mind is a system that has no causal contingency, no constraints of objects, basically constraining the existence of other objects or forming or allowing the existence of other objects.
(生命的起源就像这个边界,只有当出现的结构能够强化自身的存在时,宇宙才能跨越这个边界,也就是人们传统意义上所说的自我繁殖、自我催化。但它必须能够在化学中的随机性和量子世界中的随机性面前维持自身的存在。在某种意义上,它是一种确定性结构的出现 它说,"我要存在,我要继续存在"但要确定这一点真的很难我们在装配理论中有一些思考方式 我认为是非常严谨的我非常感兴趣的一件事就是尝试用组装理论的方法来量化生命起源的时间。但我心目中的基本过程是一个没有因果偶然性、没有物体约束的系统,基本上是约束其他物体的存在,或形成或允许其他物体的存在。
(00:46:45) And so that sounds very abstract, but you can just think of a chemical reaction can’t happen if there’s not a catalyst, for example. Or a baby can’t be born if there wasn’t a parent. So there’s a lot of causal contingency that’s necessary for certain things to happen. So you think about this sort of unconstrained random system, there’s nothing that reinforces the existence of other things. So those sort of resources just get washed out in all of these different structures and none of them exist again, or they’re not very complicated if they’re in high abundance.
(00:46:45) 这听起来很抽象,但你可以想想,比如说,如果没有催化剂,化学反应就不会发生。或者说,如果没有父母,婴儿就不会出生。所以有很多因果关系是某些事情发生的必要条件。所以你想想这种无约束的随机系统 没有什么能强化其他事物的存在所以这些资源就会在所有这些不同的结构中被冲刷掉 它们都不会再存在了 或者说它们并不复杂 如果它们非常丰富的话
(00:47:21) And some random events allow some things to start reinforcing the existence of a small subset of objects. And if they can do that, just molecules basically recognizing each other and being able to catalyze certain reactions. There’s this kind of transition point that happens where, unless you get a self-reinforcing structure, something that can maintain its own existence, it actually can’t cross this boundary to make any objects in high abundance without having this sort of past history that it’s carrying with us and maintaining the existence of that past history. And that boundary point where objects can’t exist unless they have the selection and history in them, is what we call the origin of life.
(一些随机事件让一些东西开始强化一小部分物体的存在。如果它们能做到这一点,那么分子之间基本上就能相互识别,并能催化某些反应。会出现这样一个过渡点,除非你得到一个自我强化的结构,一个能够维持自身存在的结构,否则它实际上无法跨越这个边界,制造出任何高丰度的物体,除非它有这样一种过去的历史,它和我们一起承载着过去的历史,并维持着过去历史的存在。在这个边界点上,如果没有选择和历史,物体就无法存在,这就是我们所说的生命起源。
(00:48:09) And pretty much everything beyond that boundary is holding on for dear life to all of the causation and causal structure that’s basically put it there, and it’s carving its way through this possibility space into generating more and more structure. And that’s when you get the open-ended cascade of evolution. But that boundary point is really hard to cross. And then what happens when you cross that boundary point and the way objects come into existence is also really fascinating dynamics, because as things become more complex, the assembly index increases. I can explain all these things. Sorry. You can tell me what you want to explain or what people will want to hear. This… Sorry, I have a very vivid visual in my brain and it’s really hard to articulate it.
(在这个边界之外的所有东西,都在拼命地抓住所有的因果关系和因果结构,而正是这些因果关系和因果结构把它放在了那里,它在这个可能性的空间里雕刻着自己的方式,生成越来越多的结构。这就是进化的开放式级联。但这个边界点真的很难跨越。当你越过那个边界点时,会发生什么呢? 物体产生的方式也是非常迷人的动力学,因为随着事物变得越来越复杂,装配指数也会增加。这些我都能解释抱歉你可以告诉我你想解释什么,或者人们想听什么。这个......抱歉,我脑子里有一个非常生动的画面,真的很难说清楚。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:48:55) Got to convert it to language.
(00:48:55) 必须转换成语言。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:48:58) I know. It’s so hard. It’s like it’s going from a feeling to a visual to language is so stifling sometimes.
(00: 48: 58)我知道。这太难了就像从感觉到视觉再到语言 有时候太令人窒息了
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:49:03) I have to convert it from language to a visual to a feeling. I think it’s working.
(00:49:03) 我必须把它从语言转换成视觉,再转换成感觉。我想这是可行的。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:49:11) I hope so.
(希望如此。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:49:12) I really like the self-reinforcement of the objects. Just so I understand, one way to create a lot of the same kind of object is make the self-reinforcing?
(00:49:12)我非常喜欢物体的自我强化。为了让我理解,创造大量同类对象的一种方法是让它们自我强化吗?
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:49:24) Yes. So self-reproduction has this property. If the system can make itself, then it can persist in time because all objects decay, they all have a finite lifetime. So if you’re able to make a copy of your self before you die, before the second law eats you or whatever people think happens, then that structure can persist in time.
(00:49:24) 是的。因此,自我复制具有这种特性。如果系统能够自我复制,那么它就能在时间中持续存在,因为所有物体都会衰变,它们的寿命都是有限的。所以,如果你能在死之前,在第二定律吃掉你之前,或者在人们认为会发生的事情发生之前,复制出一个自己,那么这个结构就能在时间中持续存在。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:49:47) So that’s a way to sort of emerge out of a random soup, out of the randomness of soup.
(00:49:47) 因此,这是一种从随机的汤中脱颖而出的方式,从汤的随机性中脱颖而出。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:49:52) Right. But things that can copy themselves are very rare.
(00:49:52) Right.但能自我复制的东西非常罕见。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:49:55) Yeah, very.
(是的,非常。
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:49:56) And so what ends up happening is that you get structures that enable the existence of other things, and then somehow only for some sets of objects, you get closed structures that are self-reinforcing and allow that entire structure to persist.
(00:49:56) 因此,最终的结果是,你会得到能让其他事物存在的结构,然后,不知何故,只对某些对象集而言,你会得到自我强化的封闭结构,并让整个结构持续存在。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:50:16) So the object A reinforces the existence of object B, but object A can die. So you have to close that loop?
(所以物体A强化了物体B的存在,但物体A可能会死。所以你必须关闭这个循环?
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:50:27) Right. So this is the classic-
(00:50:27) Right.所以这是经典的
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:50:29) It’s all very unlikely statistically, but that’s sufficiently… So you’re saying there’s a chance?
(00:50:29) 从统计学角度来看,这一切都很不可能,但这足以......所以你是说有可能?
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:50:29) There is a chance.
(00:50:29) 是有机会的。
Lex Fridman 莱克斯-弗里德曼 (00:50:38) It’s low probability, but once you solve that, once you close the loop, you can create a lot of those objects?
(00:50:38) 概率很低,但一旦你解决了这个问题,一旦你关闭了这个循环,你就能创造出很多这样的对象?
Sara Walker 萨拉-沃克 (00:50:44) And that’s what we’re trying to figure out, is what are the causal constraints that close the loop? So there is this idea that’s been in the literature for a really long time that was originally proposed by Stuart Kauffman as really critical to the origin life called, autocatalytic sets. So autocatalytic set is exactly this property we have A makes B, B makes C, C makes A, and you get a closed system. But the problem