54: Rethinking Science with Josiah Zayner

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Hosted by
Will Jarvis

Josiah runs the ODIN, check it out here! https://www.the-odin.com/

Will Jarvis 0:04
Hey folks, I’m William Jarvis, along with my dad, Dr. David Jarvis. I host the podcast narratives. narratives is a project exploring the ways in which the world is better than it has been the ways it is worse in the past or making a better, more definite future. I hope you enjoy it.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe. You can get on our mailing list, find show notes, transcripts, as well as videos at Nerdist podcast.com. Thanks, desire. Thanks for hopping on. I really appreciate it. And could you we just hop right into it? Can you give us a brief bio and some of the big things you’re interested in? And we’ve done a lot so you know, that’s tough.

Unknown Speaker 0:54
I don’t know what that is. My biography. Let’s see. I was born on a farm in Indiana.

Josiah Zayner 1:05
Yeah, it was like a pretty, it was an animal farm. You know, we had chickens and animal and goats and all sorts of animals lived out in the middle of nowhere. Yeah, I didn’t actually realize that there was like a real world probably until, like, 10. Oh, that’s, that was also homeschooled. So like, my life was just like running around. You know, we had like, a few acres of property. And we had a brick that ran through, like, we had a bridge that went over our driveway. So like, you know, we just all day would just run around and like, do whatever we want. And that was like our life. Awesome. Yeah, it was pretty. It was pretty fun. Pretty crazy. And then, you know, it wasn’t until a little bit after that, that we really moved to the suburbs of Chicago, that I realized, you know, what the rest of the world is like, right? I’m just like, Whoa, you know, like, Oh my god, this is weird. This is wild, man. So while Yeah, I remember going to school for the first time in Southside Chicago. It was just so weird. It was super weird. That’s, it’s just like such a culture shock. Um, for me, but yeah, so then I grew up on the south side of Chicago. You know, I have a my, my extended family still lives there. So we’re Southside Chicago, Italians and Irish is, which is like a distinct thing. You know? It’s like a distinct class of people in the world. thing. Yeah. Like, if you’re from Chicago, you know, you know, there’s like the Southside Irish and Italians. You know, it’s like, certain bars, they frequent the churches, they went to the neighborhoods, you know, it’s just like, you know, we have like a butcher and a baker that like, my family still goes to

Unknown Speaker 3:09
the butcher and I’m not even joking. That’s fine. That’s cool. That’s really cool. Um,

Unknown Speaker 3:18
so yeah, always been a big like, goes like, way too deep in my bio, so I’m just winging it. Yeah. But yeah. I’ve always been really in the family and stuff like that. And always really into, you know, maybe like, engineering or building stuff. Even when I was a little kid. I would always be trying to like, you know, you give me like five twigs and I’ll try to build something out of it. You know, like, a trebuchet or some crazy shit. Also is do we loud profanity? Oh, yeah, go ahead. Good. You say that now just got banned from Apple podcast.

Will Jarvis 4:03
just kicked out. It’s all over.

Unknown Speaker 4:08
Yeah, and, you know, the thing was, I was just never really good at school. So it was like, Oh, gosh. How does that work? Yeah. How do you become like a scientist or engineer when you’re not good at school? Right? Like, mutually exclusive which is really weird because they don’t seem like they should have to be right like right. You have knowledge you shouldn’t be you know, you should just be able to do something you shouldn’t necessarily have to like, you know, be able to quote Shakespeare be you know, I remember in undergrad you know taking literature classes taking like French I you know, they made us take a foreign language Yeah, stuff and it’s just like, all this crazy stuff. And it’s just like, what I was good at, like a lot of that I’m not gonna test taking I’m terrible at test taking. You know, But surprisingly, I was good at science. Nice. And I was really interested in it. Because I really I have this like reductionist view of the world. Like I like to break things down to first principles. Nice. Um, so it’s like, you know, it really fit well with me. Yeah.

Will Jarvis 5:23
Is there is there something where like, it feels like things have gotten weird in a certain sense, where there’s like, there’s science as a process, you know, I can create things. And then there’s scientists and institution. Yeah. And that’s a you know, so it’s like credentialing. We think trust the science means, you know, trust scientists, which are this class of like, ordain priests, right? Which is different than the process itself.

Unknown Speaker 5:46
Yeah, no, it is interesting. Because it’s like, it is like, one of these last bastions of like, gosh, I don’t even know how you call it, but it really is like a priesthood. Because it’s just like, you know, obviously, like, what I think about, like a medical doctor or something like that, like, yeah, you know, I’m okay with like, the person who’s gonna cut me open and like, you know, so stitch up my heart or some shit like having to had to go to school and like, right, take tests.

Will Jarvis 6:22
Like some market. Yeah. You know?

Unknown Speaker 6:24
Yeah. Like, I’m

Unknown Speaker 6:25
okay with that. I’m not like an absolute libertarian anti like structuralism. system because, like, there’s some things that like, you know, do you really want somebody who like is a self taught surgeon like,

Will Jarvis 6:42
yeah, maybe not, you know, he gives a really good like, I just have questions, right?

Unknown Speaker 6:48
Yeah, I just rather go with the, you know, golden trusted for, for something like that. Yeah. It’s like astronauts, like for astronaut. You don’t want some crazy Maverick person who’s like, the brilliant genius like, no, they’re gonna like burn down the space station, right? Just try to do some crazy experiment.

Will Jarvis 7:07
follow directions really well.

Unknown Speaker 7:08
you’re somebody who follows directions really well, right? Do this and you do it like, great. I don’t think people understand that though. Right? Like, yeah, there’s some jobs that you just want people who follow directions

Unknown Speaker 7:21
really well.

Will Jarvis 7:22
He’s checklists and stuff. Yeah. Okay.

Unknown Speaker 7:27
Don’t even use I don’t even use checklists for my groceries. I’ve never been asked. They would never accept me. Dude. definitely gonna burn this place down. It’s definitely coming back down Earth.

Unknown Speaker 7:43
We’re not taking him. I saw that video of you online, Josiah, like, your application immediately. There’s definitely no, nope. I got that guy. But yeah, but like science isn’t like that. Right? Like, it’s like, it’s like a creative art form. where, like, Who cares? Who does it like? In fact, it’s better to have more diversity. Because if we’re trying to work to solve problems, whenever you’re trying to work to solve problems having like, the most diversity is, you know, I mean, that’s the way it used to be in the old days, right? At least that’s what I remember. My grandpa used to always say stuff. Like, there was an Italian guy, a Jewish guy, and a black guy, though, I’m joking, those are really racist jokes.

Unknown Speaker 8:36
What’s a good

Unknown Speaker 8:38
he was thinking about diversity. You know, that’s why diversity is good in problem solving. I think that was, that was his lesson.

Unknown Speaker 8:58
And I think that’s, that’s what science needs is like, we don’t need gatekeeping because like, this knowledge isn’t necessarily dangerous to anybody. Right? At least like most of the stuff you do, you know, if you try to make like a new, a nuclear bomb or something, right. Yeah, that’s dangerous. Sure. Oh, all that. Like, I don’t care. You know, like, yeah, it’s not gonna stop the scientific investigative process. But like, especially when it comes to like, more fringe and crazy ideas, where a lot of innovation comes from, a lot of those things are hampered because, like, the system because a lot of the people who are in the system all come from similar backgrounds. Just because of all the gatekeeping and stuff like that. Yeah. You know, it’s like, you look at like priesthoods and stuff, like, you know, I, you know, when you picture a priest or something like that, like, Yeah, I don’t picture somebody other than like, some white European dude, right? Yeah. And it’s like, that’s the same Big Picture when I think of a scientists, right, right. And that’s, that’s sad because all these, you know, white upper middle class, upper class dudes who are doing this stuff, you know, they come from the same background. So they think very similarly and a lot of it’s very, it’s like very pragmatic, you know, very dogmatic, right? And they’re not really trying to do stuff. They’re not really trying to ruffle feathers or shake things up or anything like that. And, but the thing is, is like, if you want to create a time machine, like somebody is going to have to research it, right, right. If you want to create like, cumin, a monkey hybrid, like somebody’s going to have to research it. Definitely, even though it sounds like the most crazy, ridiculous dumb thing, right? Like, you’re going to have to have somebody work on it at some point in time. Yeah. And you can either push those people to the fringes, and be like, you’re dumb or whatever, right? like they did with scientists for all of history. Like they always do with scientists who work on fringe stuff. But then eventually, those people are going to become mainstream, because people are like, Oh, yeah, you know, gosh, darn it, like we can fly, you know, right. Oh, gosh, you know, it was great for like, people to be able to learn to read or like computers. did have other Yeah, computers did have other uses than just like bomb trajectories. Right? Like, right?

Will Jarvis 11:35
were thought at the beginning, you know, looking back, it’s retrospectively obvious, but,

Unknown Speaker 11:40
ya know, and it’s like, that’s the thing is like scientists, they really pride themselves on being very, you know, I don’t want to say like, experimental and empirical about things, but like the empiricism says that, like, we want more crazy people doing science, because they’re the ones who usually have some innovative breakthroughs.

Will Jarvis 12:03
Definitely. Yeah, I think that’s super important. Have you ever read the book inadequate? equilibria? No, by chance. Le Iser yudkowsky wrote it. And I’ll give you a brief anecdote and see if this jives so in the book. It’s all about how incentives drive people’s actions. And there’s all these weird incentives in the world. And we think things are like, behave like markets at times, but oftentimes, there’s reasons they don’t. So you’d koski you know, his wife had really terrible seasonal affective disorder. So in really terrible, and she would have to fly to Chile to get in the sun during the winter months, because if not, you know, she’d feel really terrible. So he sits there. He reads through all the literature. And he’s like, Well, you know, traditional light boxes. I’ve actually got one right here, you know, they’re not bright enough. Like, that’s what he concludes. He’s like, what if I just made it 10 times brighter. So he made a light box, he’s throwing up all these like, super powerful LEDs in his apartment. And it’s like, 10 times as bright as any light box you can buy. And it works great. Like suddenly during the winter months, she’s never depressed anymore. And so he looks in through all that there’s all these researches, these psychiatrists and, you know, psychologist to look into sad and none of them had come up with the idea. What if we just made the lights 10 times brighter? Like really weird, right? I mean, these all these people are incentivized you would think to come up with some kind of cure for sad, but no one ever thought just turn the light up brighter.

Unknown Speaker 13:31
Yeah, no, it’s hard. Because like a lot of the structures, especially the ones that have been around, like society changes. And so what happens is when the incentives don’t change, they can become very out of equilibria. Right? Yeah. It’s like, when science started to become a thing where you know, you it’s, you can raise money, you can make money, you can become famous and all this stuff from it, then it started incentivizing doing science for specifically those reasons. And the same, you know, I have a big problem with medicine in the way it’s practiced in the world and stuff like that. And yeah, that’s a huge one. You know, medicine is extremely incentivized not to keep you healthy. It’s not that they don’t try to keep you healthy. But it’s extremely incentivized not to, you know, the Austin, I don’t know if it was Austin FC. You know, the the soccer team here or another one. I remember I was looking up sponsors for some of these teams. And like, one of the sponsors for one of these Major League Soccer teams is like Nationwide Children’s Hospital or something like, why, why is the hospital taking money like to sponsor sports, that doesn’t even make it very bizarre to think because their business and their incentives are to make money and like the way hospitals make money is when sick people come to them. And it’s like, whether you agree with that or not, like it’s the truth, like they make money when people are sick, and so their incentives are misaligned with what society He actually needs in society actually needs people to be healthy. That’s right. Right. And so it’s like, that whole system is super screwed up super screwed up. And like, I don’t know, what if we will ever figure out a way around that, where it’s just like, how to do that same with drug development, you know, drug companies, like, they have no incentive to make drugs for certain diseases or certain things, because they won’t make money off of it. Exactly. The incentives are wrong, right. And it’s just like, ah, how do we fix that? I don’t, you know, I have a lot of idea, you know, my ideas, like, teach people to do science and medicine. Yeah. Because their incentives are generally to heal themselves and help themselves. Right. Right. And so their centers are completely aligned with their, their own moral views and their health and everything like that, right. And so it like, takes out a lot of that structure that’s in place. Um, it ends up becoming, in general, a libertarian slash anarchical mess, but

Unknown Speaker 16:09
it’s a good place to start, right.

Will Jarvis 16:13
Now, at this time, as a political science, there’s, there’s two terms, you know, what do you do, like, there’s voice and exits of voices, like, hey, like, guys, like, we need to change this internally. And there’s exit, which is like, we need to go outside of tract institutions, and try and create, you know, some kind of competitive force or like, where people are trying to do more of the right thing, and they’re with the right goals. And I see you more on the side of like, you know, you’ve exited, especially with the Odin. So can you talk about the Odin a little bit? And like, I think it’s, it’s super awesome, really cool concept,

Unknown Speaker 16:46
ya know? So, you know, I went to graduate school, got my PhD at the University of Chicago. And I was just like, academia, the whole system isn’t for me, because the incentives are misaligned, right. Yeah. It was about publishing and getting grants. It wasn’t about doing science or cool science. So I went to NASA, and I worked there for a few years. Yeah. And these centers are also misaligned, there was more about like bureaucracy and shit like that, even though they NASA always has all these crazy ideas. And they’re, like, all we’re working on all this crazy stuff. Like, the experiments you can do actually do, like on the International Space Station and stuff or like 1980s experience, man, because it’s just like, all they really have the technology up there. And like, the, the, they’re willing, the bureaucracy is willing to allow up, they’re just like, I get it, you know, if you’re like, got 10 people living in outer space, you don’t want to fuck with that shit. checklist again. Like, I get it, but also I was like, man, there’s really not a lot of innovation going on here. Because like, nobody ever gets the opportunity to test because everything has to go through like 20 years of development, to make sure it’s 100% safe, right? before it ever goes up or fly or anything like that. And so I was like, gosh, you know, like, how do I find a system or create a system in which science is free? People are free to do science to do whatever they want and is biohacking you know, and I’m not the originator of the idea of biohacking, you know, doing science outside traditional environments. And it probably dates back to is oldest time, right? Scientists 500 years ago, were just people who were bored. Yeah, trying to discover the mysteries of the universe. Right, whatever, right. And it changed from there. But I think that that was a really good time. Because the only incentive was to like, find something cool and impress your friends. Right. Which is really cool. Yeah, you know, like, especially because friends are hard to impress. Right there they are. They’re usually just like, oh, man,

Will Jarvis 19:15
I God wills here. Jesus Christ. Give it a shout out.

Unknown Speaker 19:26
And, you know, I think going back to that, that that way of doing science will is like really cool, because all the things I want to see all the science experiments I want to do, like the crazy stuff, you know, right? That’s what everybody wants to do. Like nobody wants to figure out you know, my, the title of my first paper was, let me see if I could get this correctly. It was like the end terminal helix of as love to modulates light activated conformational change or something like yeah, some obscure as shit, like, so obscure. Like I loved it. I loved working on it. Yeah, it was nothing more than like mental masturbation. Right? Right. Um, but like, what I’d really want to work on is like, can you transplant brains between animals or something like that what scientists wouldn’t want to work on that if they don’t work on that they’re like lion to eat? Like, how do I make humans grow wings? Like, yeah, what scientists doesn’t want to work on that, like, yeah, crazy? Or like, how do I make an antigravity machine or traveling time or make a lightsaber and invisibility cloak? Or like, all these things, right? This is what scientists actually want to work on. They’ve just like, been so brainwashed, that they think that they want to work on you know, stuff I wrote papers on, right? When it’s like, no, that’s just like, the only thing people will fund because they think it’s correct. It’s the correct science to do,

Will Jarvis 21:06
right. Absolutely. Yeah. And it’s a super narrow hole to get through. And it’s just like, not very interesting. The end of the day.

Unknown Speaker 21:13
Yeah, it sounds like you, you figure like, Well, how do you do this? And it’s like, well, you need to create a lab, or scientific system outside of the scientific system. And generally, that requires, like some sort of infrastructure, right? Like, yeah, how do you get the supplies? How do you get the materials? How do you get? How do you learn if you’ve never done it before, right, without going to graduate school, right? And so I said about trying to figure out those problems, and like, how can I supply people with everything they need, and the knowledge so that they can do complex genetic engineering, molecular biology, science, outside of traditional environments, and that’s when my company the Odin was born. And I sweet sell, you know, the dash Odin, calm, people can check it out, we sell, you know, all sorts of kits, and supplies, even if you’ve had no experience to try to teach people to do you know, genetic engineering, because, like, all the crazy ideas, you know, all the crazy ideas generally come from not academic scientists, they come from just like random people. And I think they’re the ones who are gonna push science forward in the next, you know, 10 2050 100 years.

Will Jarvis 22:28
Right? Absolutely. at it. This reminds me of, you know, Max Planck, you know, he worked on thermodynamics for like, 20 years. You know, and I just think about that kind of long, you know, his his kind of wacky idea he was thinking about, and he was kind of doing some other stuff on the side. But I think about that a lot. You know, like he, he lived in a time where there’s a freedom for him to pursue that, that goal and like, and work to his logical conclusion, and it paid off in a really big way. But it seems like it’s difficult to do that. Now. It’s much more difficult. Yes.

Unknown Speaker 22:57
It’s difficult to hear the word thermodynamics man, because like, I did a lot of my PhD thesis Sunday and gives me like, terrible flashbacks. Just like both scar lesions and stuff. It’s just like, oh, cool, right. Now. Think about that stuff. Right? Think about Boltzmann distribution, man, partition functions. Physical Chemistry. I’m freaking out right now. You mentioned thermal, I don’t think anybody’s ever mentioned thermodynamics and, you know, a discussion interview with me.

Will Jarvis 23:33
It’s funny. That’s a record. Well, and I just want to say the Odin, it’s, it’s a really cool site, I want everybody to go check it out. You’ve got you know, CRISPR kits where people can, you know, experiment CRISPR at home, which was, you know, I mean, when was CRISPR even discovered? I mean, it’s within the last 10 years, right?

Unknown Speaker 23:53
Yeah. 2011 I, well, you know, it was went through a bunch of phases, but it started to really become popular in like, 2012. Well, among scientists, and then it really started become popular with people maybe like, more around 2015 gotcha. Yeah, but, ya know, I mean, like, here’s the thing is that, like, you, one of the big things that I always say is like, you read in, you know, news media and all this stuff, Popular Science, about all these things that somebody did, or discovered or something like that. Yeah. And they’re like, Oh, you know, like, we figured out a cure for like, you know, cystic fibrosis in mice, or, like, we figured out how to make, you know, invisibility cloak. That’s one millimeter big or something. But all these things that they say like, we don’t have access to this technology right right. Now because we can’t, right like There’s no no difference. And I think this is hard for people to wrap their heads around. There’s no difference between a science lab and like your kitchen, you could literally take the science lab and pick it up and put it down in your kitchen. And nothing would change. Right? Right. Like nothing, it would be the same exact thing. There’s nothing like special about the location of the thing. It’s just like the knowledge of what’s going on. Yeah, that’s to the resources and tools to be able to do that. Right. That’s it. That’s it. And when you actually come to that realization, that like, especially in the biomedical sciences, where a lot of the tools and equipment is like, very, very old, right? I just think it’s like you need like a centrifuge, which like they’ve been using centrifuges for 50 years. You can buy them on eBay or something like that, right? Yeah. You need an incubator, a temperature controlled incubator to grow things at different temperatures, which is like, they’re everywhere on the internet for all sorts of reasons and purposes, you can egg incubators, or you know, you know, like temperature controlled heat mats that are used for terrarium. Yeah, other things like, all these things are super widely available, and not really expensive at all. And it’s just like, people understanding that that’s all it is, and then having the knowledge to apply that to like, say, grow human cells and test different drugs or chemicals or experiment with gene therapy on them. Like, it’s like that realization, you know, it’s been hidden from us that like, these priests have been telling us that, like, you can’t speak to God. You know, God being scientific knowledge. Yeah, you have to go to graduate school, or you can only hear God through us. When this whole time, it’s like, we can speak to God. Right? We didn’t realize it, we didn’t realize it. And so it’s like, trying to tell people sit there and be like, yes, you can speak to God, you can do this. You know, right. It’s possible. And people actually like snapping themselves out of it, you know, and being like, oh, gosh, I can like, wow, but what most people are still, like, most people still want to believe the priests and they want to be like, Nah, I still think that, like the priests are our best bet going forward.

Will Jarvis 27:26
With this. Progress is vastly slowed down, but we’re just, we’re gonna roll with it. Do you think this this has changed over time? Do you think in the past, people were more willing to think, Oh, you know, it is possible to go out and like, you know, make discoveries and figure things out in a more robust way than we do now. Where it’s just like, there’s only a couple people that can do that. It’s not me, it’s not my responsibility. And

Unknown Speaker 27:54
oh, yeah, for sure. You know, like, um, I think it goes through cycles, I think everything in, you know, life in the world, and nothing goes through cycles. You know, everything history repeats itself. And I think you go through cycles of like, people, you know, realizing that they have some sort of power freedom or something like that. And then using that power, freedom, and then enough people understanding it that they’re like, oh, man, we need to figure out a way to like, monetize this or take advantage of this or something like that. Maybe not even with negative intentions. Yeah. Then what happens is it creates gatekeepers and systems, and then it goes back to being blocked off again. Right? Right, then people figure out ways how to get through all that and overthrow it again. And then once enough people overthrow it, then, you know, they’re like, how do we make money? Yeah, it’s just it’s a system like that, you know, um, but I think, what, one of the things is that everything tends towards decentralization tends towards like, access, and stuff like that. It’s just the way everything works, right? Like, right. Whether it’s capitalism or something like that, that drives it. Who knows, but like, you know, it’s not long before, like, people have a cell phone, that everybody has a cell phone, right? Like, it’s not long before, like, commercial planes are invented that like everybody can fly in commercial planes, right? Like, stuff like that. It’s just like, things tend towards being available to the most amount of people possible, right? Because that’s what makes the most of our money. That’s what just like, drives the world. I don’t know. But, um, and the same thing is true with science. And I think people don’t realize that is that like, science is a thing and that like, it can’t, it’s it’s not gonna stay stuck forever, right? Even though it’s been that way. You know, for the past, let’s say 100 200 years, like People want that knowledge, people are going to ferret out that knowledge, people are going to exploit the system, right? People are eventually going to use it to their advantage to make money to get a PhD without actually going to school, you know, or to like, learn as much as a PhD without actually going, like, it’s going to drive scientific progress, because then you have a bunch of workers who have that knowledge that then you can hire a lot of highly skilled workers for a reasonable rate, and they don’t, it’s not driven by a certain, you know, funnel, which right the PhD funnel, right? It’s not like oh, Wm access to globally 200,000 biomedical PhDs a year No, now you have access to 2 million or 2 billion, or whatever, right. And it really changes the economics. And it changes the social dynamics and changes everything about about the system.

Will Jarvis 30:51
That’s really cool. And I remember you read a post, it was early in COVID. And it was all about, it’s about, it’s about COVID, in particular, so, but it is about how many actually how many, you know, full time ask my medical research. read that. I’m impressed. Yeah. So how many do you think we actually have at the end of the day? Like,

Unknown Speaker 31:13
yeah, no, you know, I don’t remember the exact numbers of what I wrote. But this is like, it’s, it’s like, you know, active research scientists is way lower than anybody imagines. Right? I think, the post it was like 1.2 million, or something like that active in the world. And like, if you think about all the diseases and everything like that, and everybody’s not even researching diseases, right? Yeah. If you start thinking about diseases, you know, there’s I think, like, 30,000 classified diseases and like, the, yeah, who were, you know, classification system or something like that. And so, you’re talking that, like, for each disease, there’s What 30,000? So you’re talking maybe like 40 people or something like that, that can work on that disease? And that’s like splitting it evenly. Right, right. And so you’re talking about, like, 40 people in the world working on like cancer, which is not the case, right? You have a ton of people working on cancer, right? And not a bunch of people working on other things. And this is just like, if everybody focused on disease. And once you realize that, that like, 40 people working on like diabetes, like that is small.

Will Jarvis 32:23
It’s not that many people, right? And so you’re just like, holy cow. Like, right?

Unknown Speaker 32:29
We need to change, like, just for the sake of all humanity, we need to change that. Yeah. And especially when you think about, like, you know, maybe in that post, or another one I talked about, like FDA drug approvals. And, or maybe I just, it’s in my head, but like, the FDA approves in the US, like, something like 70 new drugs a year.

Will Jarvis 32:54
And a lot of reformulations in there, too. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 32:56
yeah, there’s like 60% of them are like reformulations or something. So you’re talking like, you know, maybe you have like 20 to 30, kind of new drugs a year. And you’re talking about like, so at this rate, it’s going to take us like 10,000 years to like, have a drug for every disease is

Will Jarvis 33:14
never going to get there like that, right? Like,

Unknown Speaker 33:17
if you think about it like that, you’re like, this makes no sense at all whatsoever. In any sort of like, social sense. Right? Right. Like who is is there not somebody who’s like, Alright, at this rate is going to take forever, we need to figure out some way, socially, morally, monetarily to change that, because that’s just absolutely unreasonable. Let’s write a timescale that’s that long. Holy cow. Even if you said, 100 years, I’d probably be like 100 years, like, especially some of these diseases that just are so terrible for people, you know, it’s like, No, we should have a systematic way to just throw as much as we can, like, look at COVID You know, that’s fucking crazy, where it’s just like, oh, gosh, you know, like, let’s create a vaccine, test it in, you know, yeah, six months, and like, give it to everybody. And then you’re just like, why can’t we just systematically go through diseases like that?

Will Jarvis 34:22
It’s something weird, right? When it’s front of mind, when it’s the thing, you know, it, I’ve always had this thesis that as long as humans, you know, we can put our attention on a problem and we’re aware it’s a problem and we’re really worried about it, we can generally solve it. But you know, like, there’s all these disease categories that are just completely ignored to some it’s not completely north, but ignore to the point where it’s difficult to make progress.

Unknown Speaker 34:45
And like even the COVID vaccine stuff gives me no faith in humanity, and they still did it right. Like no countries work together. No companies work together. So you have like companies competing against each other countries competing against each other. Like still somehow they managed to do this which gives me no faith for when the aliens come. Oh yeah, it’s over. Aliens are gonna be like, we come to attack you and you know everybody’s gonna be trying to fight their own battle against aliens and we’re all just gonna lose it. It’s like you need to come together as a world yeah to feed the aliens when they come.

Will Jarvis 35:20
Yep. And Independence Day is not how that will turn out. They’re gonna whip our ass. We’re quite the stuff

Unknown Speaker 35:32
going in still, you know. So it’s like one of the most inefficient things that we’ve ever done as a sis global society creating these vaccines. Yeah, it’s still worked out pretty well. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 35:44
So

Unknown Speaker 35:47
it nobody’s ever created like Coronavirus vaccine before, you know, I mean, like in the family of viruses that are scoby too, but like a Coronavirus, family vaccine. So it’s like,

Unknown Speaker 35:58
that’s,

Will Jarvis 35:59
that’s really interesting. That’s really impressive.

Unknown Speaker 36:01
Like, why are we just doing this? Like, what, what is the right? And I don’t think it’s anything I think it’s just like, we have this mental block as a society as like, you know, oh, like, we got to trust the FDA. Oh, we got to trust the government. Oh, we got to trust these people. Right. But it’s like, no, they’re the ones who are actually killing us. They’re the ones who are making sure that you know, it’s going to take 1000 or 10,000 years, so you can treat these diseases.

Will Jarvis 36:30
Well, and I do wonder how much do you think how much of the problem do you think is like, FDA just, you know, regulates things to the point where it’s just impossible. Like, I think recent count, it’s like a billion dollars get a drug through the FDA. Oh, gosh, yeah. And like, you know, fecal transplants are approved for like, one indication, I think, in the US or something? Yeah. More broadly in Europe? I don’t know. Like, it’s

Unknown Speaker 36:54
really Yeah, yeah, no, I think. You know, I think it’s the FDA. But I think it’s also just like, right now the biotech market is so driven by capitalism, and not actually helping people, the sentence structure has just become so so so distorted, right, that nobody’s even trying for anything else, besides making a blockbuster drug. Right. And that’s just like, it’s the FDA, but you know, there’s like, certain tricks, I think you can do that you can, like, get around that, that just nobody’s really doing. So for instance, like, you can get generally, you can get like, right to try approval,

Will Jarvis 37:38
or like emergency use kind of like,

Unknown Speaker 37:42
for drugs, if they’re in like, phase one, clinical trials, or something like that, or gotcha filed an ind? Um, and so one of the ideas that I’ve been talking to some people about it, is that like, why not just take drug? Because like, getting to phase one is basically like, you’ve done animal toxicity testing. Okay? That’s, yeah, you’re just like, basically, this probably isn’t going to kill anybody. Probably, you know, not even 100% just probably, and you’re just like, holy shit, like, I can just and I don’t, I don’t know how much money. I can’t remember how much money it takes to file but you can even get that wave. So like the filing fee for like an ind or something like that. It’s an investigational new drug application with the FDA, I just see. Like, you can, you can get that wave sometimes. So like, theoretically, what you could do is just have a company that does toxicity testing and drugs get it gets them into ind or phase ones, and provides them to people who are like, don’t have anything else to try. Oh, wow. terminal illnesses or something like that. And, and you can essentially do what they did with COVID, which is like, a clinical trial on, like, people who are, you know, a clinical trial. It’s, like, the clinical trial, like we were the clinical trial with, you know, the COVID back, yeah. Right, like, right, just like, Here, let’s just give it to people. Let’s give it to 30,000 40,000 people and just like, see what happens, right? And it’s just like, Well, you know, I don’t think that’s necessarily the best way to go about it, but it is the way to go. It is a way to go about it. And it’s young to work, you know, their issues with it. Obviously, you know, finding out their side effects was you know, the j&j vaccine always gets knocked. There’s there’s suffering made if you got a vaccine, I feel bad for.

Will Jarvis 39:42
You lost the lottery there.

Unknown Speaker 39:46
Well, first it was blood clots, and now it’s nerve damage. What’s next? Oh, good, Lord. Yeah. No, but it’s like, you know, you can do this stuff and you can actually try to help people right? Instead of just like Let’s see if this is a blockbuster drug. Right? Maybe become a public benefit Corp. I don’t know. But like, if the biotech the by the pharmaceutical industry is so driven by profits that it’s like, it’s just like, you know, it’s it’s terrible. It’s just terrible.

Will Jarvis 40:22
And you make a good point is that in some sense, the regulatory burden is somewhat of an excuse for other facts, like, yes, it is a burden. But like, there’s also other things going on, which is important to think about.

Unknown Speaker 40:34
Yeah, you know, because I think the government, the thing with the government is like, they’re slow. And I don’t want to say they’re dumb, but like, the laws they made are, are kind of made to like, not be perfect. So generally, if you’re like, doing trying to go around the government, or trying to go around these regulations, like, the stuff I’ve wanted to get around, I’ve always found ways to get around our way. Right? Yeah. If you’re not doing something that’s like, you know, totally illegal, right? If you’re just trying to say, like, do something in the biomedical or pharmaceutical world. But it just like, it takes somebody who’s like with a lot of things in life, it takes somebody who’s willing to do something different, do something crazy. And try to exploit the system and willing to suffer the consequences and benefits of it. Right? Because generally, you don’t make great gains without great sacrifices.

Will Jarvis 41:36
Right? Absolutely. And it’s tough. And it’s tough to do that also, when there’s less of a profit motive, right. If it’s, if it’s less, you know, that that just weeds more people out. Right,

Unknown Speaker 41:46
exactly. You know, and I think that’s, you know, the same thing that happened with like biohacking and like, why it took, you know, like, somebody like me, or some company, like the Odin to really get this started when people have been doing this stuff since the beginning of history. But even in modern times, you know, there were talks since the 90s. Even before that, about people doing science experiments in their in their homes, like, why isn’t people why aren’t people doing that? Like, what is holding people back? I’m like, right. And, you know, so the Odin started in 2016. And so you’re talking, you know, even when I started getting involved in biohacking in the biohacking community, you’re talking like 2010, or something around there. Right. And that’s when it was like, moderately popular, you know, at least you find it on the internet, right? And so like, what, what is it taken? You know, it’s taken me somebody with a PhD who came from a different background, right? Like, right, I don’t fit in with a lot of these PhD people. Like, that’s not how I grew up. You know, I grew up in like, a farm, we lived in poverty, like, it was fun, but like, we really read poverty, like we didn’t have much. And like, my viewpoint is completely different about like, all these biotech things. It’s not like I’m, you know, how I can make more money or how I can make the next blockbuster drug or win a Nobel prize? To me, it’s like, how can I help my family, my friend, you know, the, the my unit that I was created into my perspective that, like, drilled and different and that’s what it takes, you know, some diversity and biohacking in general bringing diversity into that. It’s going to create these people who are going to go head to head with the FDA and biopharma and be like, yeah, I totally, you know, found all the loopholes in your system. And here we go, you know. But yeah, like, why would somebody who upper middle class who went to Harvard and did a PhD at Harvard, and has a professorship, why would they risk any of that, like, they don’t care? It’s not worth it? I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t if I just that way.

Unknown Speaker 44:07
Exactly.

Unknown Speaker 44:08
Like, I’m gonna just go for a ride in my yacht or something.

Will Jarvis 44:15
Hard to give up the yacht, you know? Yes. It is. It does say something to, you know, you got to be careful, like, sometimes you can. It’s like golden handcuffs, right? You know, you’re making X amount of money doing something. And it’s like, it’s makes it tough for you to do the right thing and to actually push things forward. Oh, yeah. 100%,

Unknown Speaker 44:33
you know, even with me, you know, like, I got to pay the bills. Exactly. a martyr like, limits to this stuff, I’m willing. Exactly. Right. Right. Yeah. It’s just like, I’m like, I’m not saying I’m the most altruistic person at all, you know. And I think I have that question. I asked myself that question all the time. Like, how far Am I willing to go like that? I’d be willing to go to jail. But I’d be willing to like, go head to head with some of these pharmaceutical companies and be sued into oblivion. Yeah, you know, like, maybe my financial life destroyed and like, these things are pretty heady man. Yeah. Right? It is.

Will Jarvis 45:18
It really is. You know, how do you make those decisions? Right? Like, yeah, and there’s all these trade offs, like pretty brutal trade offs, too. Yeah. And it makes you think of just like, how much of a wimp I actually am. There was actually a revolution taking place. Yes, well, what do they say, you know, in Vichy France, when, you know, the Nazis took our installed this puppet state, you know, all all the French intellectuals, before they like to imagine that they would be in the resistance, you know, and they would try and fight this. And you know, like, essentially, none of them did. You know, it’s like, this tiniest percentage would do anything about

Unknown Speaker 45:54
it. Totally. It’s totally true. It is. It really is true. You know. It really is, when you think about it, you’re just like, oh, gosh,

Unknown Speaker 46:06
that is, you know, it’s funny, though, because my partner. Um, she she’s the only one who knows, I’m actually you know, I don’t know if you’re familiar with Rick and Morty I’ve ever watched the show. Yeah, but she she’s the only one who knows that. I’m like more of a Morty than I am a wreck. Like everybody thinks I’m like a Rick Sanchez. There’s Yeah, but

Unknown Speaker 46:26
like, Oh, geez.

Unknown Speaker 46:32
I’m really, really willing to do.

Unknown Speaker 46:37
Oh, man.

Will Jarvis 46:38
That’s funny. Yeah. But I would say you’re, you’re on the right side of the bell curve curve for that kind of thing, which may say something about our society as

Unknown Speaker 46:46
well. I don’t know. where things are. Yeah, definitely. You know, I think a lot of things are, we’re really comfortable right now in the history of the world and the United States and like, it means people are probably taking less risk than they normally would, right? Because it’s like you, you have a lot more. It’s like, when you’re in poverty, you know, I think it’s a mindset that never leaves you. Which is hard for people who’ve never experienced it to understand is like, when you have nothing to lose, it’s, it’s an interesting place to be because, like, You have no shame. You have no like, you know, like, there’s, you’re willing to do anything, right? You know, when you have nothing to lose, you’re willing to give up anything, sacrifice anything, because, like, there’s nothing there. There’s like, No, you know, in being in that place, and then, you know, even now growing, you know, obviously, I’m way more risk averse than I was, but like, you know, like, it’s you still remember that, like, you know, it’s like, gosh, even if I lost everything right now, like, I would still be way better off than I was, you know, on a farm in the middle of nowhere. We’re eating eggs from our chickens and drinking dehydrated milk, you know, because we can’t afford to keep other milk cold for long enough or buy it all the time or so. And, you know, it’s like, like, that’s a different place. Right? It’s like, you know, I never have to worry about that. Like, ever. And so it makes risks different, I think for me, than it does for many people. Yeah. Because like, I already feel like, I’ve, I’ve made it like, I felt like I made it a long time ago. Right now. Everything is just like, a bonus. Right? It’s just like, icing on the cake. I’m just along for the ride. Right? Yeah. You know, like, wherever life takes me. And so it’s like, I’m not trying to be like a millionaire or like, take over the world or be famous or, you know, whatever. Like, I already made it. And so it’s like, you know, I don’t really have much more. I don’t, I can’t lose, I can never get back to that terrible place. So yeah, like it’s all it’s all upside from here. I’m obviously I’m more risk averse. Now. You know? Like, I obviously I’m not trying to kill myself or be a martyr or anything like that. Were when I was younger, I was just like, oh, gosh, some of the stuff I used to do, like, Oh, no. I mean, not even like science experiment stuff. But like, you know, even science experiments stuff, though, in the past 10 years, it’s just like, gosh, it’s funny, because every time my partner you know, cuz she’s always the first one who I tell about these things. Yeah, like, and she knows because usually I’ll just like start talking about something. I’ll be like, what if? And once once we have that conversation, she knows I’m going to do it because like I once I have that idea in my head, it’s hard for me to like dislodging my head. Yeah, so I’ll be like, what if, you know, like, you know, like I did the fecal transplant thing where I change the bacteria in my body and on my boss. And I was just like, you know, what if I do this, and you know, she always, she, she knows that, like, doesn’t matter which.

Unknown Speaker 50:21
But she’s always just like, ah,

Unknown Speaker 50:25
all right, you know, and she tries to discuss it with me because she’s also a scientist. But, you know, it’s, it’s definitely I’ve gotten less and less trying to seriously hurt myself. Just by always say that, but then always go and do something like, I don’t know, if you, you know, there’s some news articles written about and stuff where we we test made and tested a COVID vaccine? Oh, yeah. I always say like, I’m not gonna do experiments, but then I’m like, Oh, that’s really cool. But this is called opportunity. That’s awesome. We made the COVID vaccine. Me and David Yeah, they’re biohacker and Daria. That to try to sell it or not. Yeah, to do it, just to like, see if it kind of worked. You know, like, to me, that’s what science is about. It’s like, Look, will this work? You know, somebody published a paper showing that a vaccine worked in monkeys, like, my logical question is like, goddamn. Will that work? It’s like, to me, it’s like, My mind goes to like, time travel. It always goes like something like that. Yeah. Like, yeah, like, sent a monkey. I mean, they did it with space, right, like, sent a monkey into space. Like, your next logical question is like, will it work with humans? I don’t know. You know, if you like, set a monkey to the future, like, you just be like, doesn’t work with humans? I want? I gotta try. Me. Yeah. And that was kind of like, my response was like, this is really interesting. Like, yeah, the technology that they use was really accessible and cheap. And yeah, you know, a lot of companies manufactured. So it was like, you could pay a company to just make up this vaccine. And so and so it was just like, I just want to know, if it’ll work this pot, Could somebody like create a vaccine, you know, on like, a moment’s notice, right? Like, would it be possible just like some random person, obviously, you know, a PhD, but like, no, like, could just some random person do this? Right. And, you know, the results we got back were really promising. There seem to be some immune response to our vaccine and stuff like that. You know, obviously, like, we didn’t run a large scale clinical trial or anything like that, but like, you know, it’s, it’s just like, yeah, it’s always like, you know, there’s that one itch, sometimes it just like, becomes on scratchable. And I just, like, tried to put it out of my head. And I tried to go back. Yeah, sometimes, you know, some of them are just like, I’m just like, I’m never gonna inject myself ever again. And then it just happens.

Will Jarvis 53:09
Well, it’s so interesting, in context of just, you know, like, you just hear, you know, I read The Economist was more so it was in the last probably, you know, four months ago, but, you know, all the fights over, you know, who gets the vaccine in like, it’s UK gonna keep all AstraZeneca stuff, you know, yeah. How do we like determine it’s like, man, like, you know, you could

Unknown Speaker 53:30
no dumb it’s so dumb. It’s like, really, like, and that’s what I’m talking about being so disincentivized it’s like, you get you have these packs, and all this stuff. And like, Here’s just like, tons of people dying. And everybody’s just like, well, like, who gets some rights for this or something? Exactly. Who’s gonna pay the licensing fee? And then there’s all these people buy like, Jesus Christ, guys. Come on, get your act together. The fact that more people like are freaking out about that is like really, really, really weird. That is weird, right? Like, and I get it, like, we’re all about self preservation, human beings, you know, we’re like, well, I would hope that me and my family would be preserved first. You know, everybody would, yeah, but it’s, it’s, it’s still really, like the amount of self preservation versus like, trying to help other people is, gosh, it’s so ingrained it is getting worse in the world. And it’s like, god damn, like, you know, there’s like so many things we can just hear try that, you know, I got I have had people contact me in other countries and be like, Hey, can we like try to use your vaccine or can you teach us or tell us how to do this or manufacturer and I’m just like, and fuck like, wow, number one if you’re contacting me like this

Will Jarvis 54:55
situation. Oh, my God, God. Some random crazy guy on the internet. I’m just thinking like, I wouldn’t contact me.

Unknown Speaker 55:08
gateway poop.

Unknown Speaker 55:15
But yeah, you know, and it’s just obviously I can’t help these people I’m not going to help like, I I’m just not in a place to like, take that risk upon mice. I’m a fucking human.

Will Jarvis 55:27
Yeah. When did

Unknown Speaker 55:28
one person like I’m I can’t take that responsibility on myself? Yeah, like whatever it is like financially, you know like, no in terms of like breaking the law, right? Even if there’s no laws being broken like risking people’s lives. That’s right. Yeah. Like that’s a heavy burden to bear for anybody and that’s why they have, you know, like all these like committees and FDA and all these things. So there’s not one person who has to be like, we’re going for it. Yeah. And they have to live with all the people who die or the people who don’t die. Right. Right, like, which is good. It’s like, that’s too heavy for me. And it’s just like, it can’t be involved. But it’s also just like, you know, people are dying and like, what do you do? Like, how do we make society better so that we can incentivize people, those people getting help instead of people like me being incentivized to not do anything, right? Yeah, right. Like, I’m actively being disincentivized to like, save lives. And I’m not saying I wouldn’t save lives. I’m not saying the vaccine we invented would like, help these people are saved. But I’m just saying, in general, like even companies are being disincentivized to providing their vaccines for free or to other countries without the licensing or patents or other tools. without somebody getting paid. It’s like, we’re not incentivizing the correct thing. Yep.

Will Jarvis 56:52
Which with these really quite brutal outcomes, the end of the day, which is a it’s disappointing, but it’s a path, you know, it is it’s if you can identify the problem, you have a chance of solving it. So that’s the biggest. Yeah. Oh, for sure. Right. Right. Exactly. Well, design it. Thanks so much for coming on. You know, I learned a ton today, and I really enjoyed talking to you. Where can people find your work and where should people go for the Odin and everything?

Unknown Speaker 57:19
Yeah, no, you know, I’m on most social medias except for tik tok. I really haven’t figured out tik tok yet. You know, it’s like not my thing. I might have a tic tac toe you just never use it. Yeah. Um, but yeah, you can find me you know, on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. All that stuff. You can find my website where I have a blog Josiah Zener calm and my company where we sell genetic engineering kits, the Odin it’s the dash Odin, calm go there. But yeah, I’m on social media. I try to post and engage and, you know, feel free to send me a DM I’m not saying I’ll get back to it. But like, you know, I do my best. It’s cool. You know, I’m around I try to make myself available. You know, when I can, even though I have a really busy schedule.

Will Jarvis 58:09
Nice. That’s really cool. Well, thank you much so much. Jazz. I will put those links in the show notes so people can find it.

Unknown Speaker 58:16
Yeah, well, it was a really great conversation I liked it. It had a really is is definitely more interesting than most of the conversations I have.

Will Jarvis 58:26
Thanks man has a lot of fun.

Unknown Speaker 58:27
I’m just glad you didn’t ask me to define biohacking. You know. I always know when somebody asked me that. I’m like, Oh, God,

Unknown Speaker 58:35
here we go.

Will Jarvis 58:36
Great. It’s gonna be a fun time. Jesus, Lord, yeah, it’s pretty funny out there. Well,

Unknown Speaker 58:51
that’s our show for today.

Unknown Speaker 58:52
I’m Bill Jarvis, and I’m Will’s dad. Join us next week for more narratives.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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