Podcast 942: On the Verge with Rebecca Costa

Returning for this podcast is sociobiologist, futurist and the author of On the Verge – Rebecca Costa. She has already been a guest of Inside Personal Growth way back 2015 for her book Watchman’s Rattle.

Rebecca is a renowned global expert on the subject of “fast adaptation in complex, high failure-rate environments”. Her career spans four decades of working with founders, executives and leading venture capitalists in Silicon Valley and her work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, The Guardian, and other leading publications.

She also uses her expertise and experiences to come up with writings. Her first book, The Watchman’s Rattle: A Radical New Theory of Collapse, was an international bestseller while her follow-on book On The Verge became Amazon’s #1 New Business Releases. Rebecca’s On The Verge shows how predictive technologies and science are redefining modern leadership. It is a landmark examination of big-picture forces affecting society today.

If you want to learn more about Rebecca and her accomplishments and works, you may click here to visit her website.

I hope you enjoy this engaging interview with Rebecca Costa. Thanks and happy listening!

THE BOOK

On the Verge shows how predictive technologies and science are redefining modern leadership. It is a landmark examination of big-picture forces affecting society today. The book consists of combination of Rebecca’s unique sociobiological perspective, her ability to blend humor, breaking science, and insightful personal stories.

THE AUTHOR

Rebecca Costa is an American sociobiologist and futurist. She is the preeminent global expert on the subject of “fast adaptation” and recipient of the prestigious Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Technology Award.  Her career spans four decades of working with founders, executives and leading venture capitalists in Silicon Valley. She presently hosts the popular news podcast, The Costa Report, along with 12 world renowned subject experts.

 

You may also refer to the transcripts below for the full transciption (not edited) of the interview.

Greg Voisen
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen and the host of Inside Personal Growth. And we have returning author and guest joining us from near Astoria, actually. And she's on the coast of Oregon. She says just a little bit away from Washington. She was a guest back in August of 2015, about her book called the Watchman's Rattle, which really is extremely best way to put it a very thought provoking book. She subsequently wrote another book and this book isn't brand new by any means. But I wanted to get her on the show, because there's so many things that she's speaking about in on the verge that really relate to the world today that are definitely still very valid today. And I always like to make these discussions. Stimulating. Good day to you, Rebecca, how are you doing this rainy morning for you? And this dry morning for me down here in San Diego.

Rebecca Costa
All we have to do is find a way to build a pipeline from a story where we get 18 feet of rain, not inches 18 feet of rain to you in Southern California. Yeah, well, then we've got the problem solved. And you

Greg Voisen
Can solve your economic problem too, because we probably pay a lot for that water. So Oregon and Washington could solve it. Well, I'm gonna let my listeners know, the prior podcast was podcast 536 I think it was we're now on 900 and something. So it's been 400 podcasts ago that Rebecca was on the show, we're gonna put a link to the watchman's rattle podcast is well, because it was I just listened to it again. It still gets lots of downloads even after almost seven years. And that's the interesting thing about podcasting is these are evergreen. They stay out there, they get circulated. And so I encourage my listeners to go back to the archives as well. But Rebecca is an American social biologist and futurist, she's a preeminent global expert on the subject of fast adaptation. And, and, and a recipient of the prestigious Edwin O Wilson biodiversity technology war. Her career spans four decades of working with founders, executives and leading venture capitalists in Silicon Valley. Rebecca's work has been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post USA Today, the guardian of the leading publications, she presently hosts the popular news podcast, the cost of report, and I would encourage my listeners to go to her website, it's just Rebecca costa.com. There, you're going to find very interesting opportunities to engage, to get more information to sign up for her newsletter, as well. And I would do that if I was you, because she is still writing another book, and it continues to do her research. And it just wouldn't be a great place for you to go to kind of keep pace of what's going on in the world. So along the 12, world renowned subject experts and also serves on the Advisory Committee of the lifeboat Foundation, along with futurist Ray Kurzweil, and Nobel laureate, Daniel, how do you say his last name Kinnaman. Kahneman, Kahneman, okay, and many others. But Rebecca is really just a global thinker. There's much more you could get from her bio by going up to her website. Without further ado, though, I'd like to get into it so that we don't just use all my time reading her bio, because her bio is, is long, because she has quite a history.

Rebecca Costa
But that is that's what happens when you get old.

Greg Voisen
I know, I was too long. You know, my bio, maybe isn't as long as yours. But I tell my listeners, I'm going to be 68 in July and I don't know how that crept up on me. But you know, it is what it is. I have seen the hair go gray hair as I've been on this podcast, 15 years. You know, I did say that we conducted this podcast back in August 15. About the Book the watchman's rattle thinking your way out of extinction. And you know, historically, civilizations have gone extinct. And I think there's many books out today, you know about hey, how, however we do, is this society going to go extinct? Is that society going to go extinct? And if you looked at all the nexus of everything that's going on right now, you might say, wow, we're all doomed to go extinct, right? Just because it seems like there's a perception that that's what's going on. I know that you're working on this other book, and you just gave me the title of it, and I won't give it to the listeners. But on the verge, you know, it focuses on pre adaptation, the ability to adapt before the fact. And that's a word I think you coined, because I actually looked it up. And I hadn't seen it anywhere. So I was looking to see, you know, was that a Rebecca Costa thing? And I think it is actually because it's nobody else. So if you'd speak about our listeners about big data, which they know about predictive analytics, genomics, and artificial intelligence, and are making pre adaptation possible, and what does this mean for the civilization as we know it? Because if these Predictive analytics can help us mitigate all this, why are we still having all this challenge with what we're doing our environment, our world, everything else? Because there is a lot of technology out there, but it on the outside world doesn't seem to be solving what the problems seem to be getting bigger and bigger and going faster and faster?

Rebecca Costa
Well, you've summed it up. And that is the million-dollar question. Well, so let's start with data. The amount of data that we're creating right now, and this will not come as any surprise to your listeners, in particular, we create as much data in just a few weeks, as we created since the beginning of humankind, right to present day. So the volume of information is phenomenal. And far more than any human can wade through, all you have to do is be a nonfiction writer like myself, to know that you write a book and 10,000 people say, Hey, you left this out, you left that out, you What about this study, you know, and suddenly comes flooding in and you feel like you wrote the most incompetent book because you didn't get to all of the data, right? So

Greg Voisen
or you just go to Amazon, and you look at all the new releases, and you say, data, my goodness, I mean, like, can't

Rebecca Costa
read every study, you can't, you can't stay on top of it. Exactly what but there's a benefit to all of that data. And that is that we have artificial intelligence. And artificial intelligence is like taking, you know, the human brain and you know, boosting it up to levels that we can't even comprehend where AI machines can look at all data at every single nanosecond in time and make analysis. And what that's done is it's created a sea change. Because now combined with predictive analytics, we've gotten very, very precise at being able to anticipate with very high degrees of accuracy, what the next event is going to be. Now I'm going to use a very simple example that I think I use in my book. And that is that today, we can predict that you're going to trip and fall within a two to three-week window with about an 85% accuracy. I know you're going to trip and fall with such and we know if I if it's 85% accuracy today, we know how technology goes, it'll be 86% 87% until we're gonna get to the point where I can predict with 99.9% accuracy, you're going to trip and fall in the next hour. That's how technology moves. Now, that'll be good. I know that

Greg Voisen
that'll be good because senior community. Well, I think of

Rebecca Costa
How many seniors lose their ability to live independently? After they trip and fall, they break their habit. It's kind of the beginning of the end of living by yourself or living in your home. But

Greg Voisen
Speaking about that, you know, I worked with a young gentleman at UCSD, who was measuring seniors gait, and when the gate changes, literally, that's when they can predict that these people are going to have a fallen and a lot of times a serious fall that ends up in their finitude. Right now

Rebecca Costa
you're walking your normal walking gait. Everybody has a normal walking gait, it changes by to somewhere in the neighborhood of two to three centimeters, right? Indiscernible by the human eye right. But if you put a Fitbit type of motion detector on a senior's ankle, it would be able to ping your phone right or ping your caretaker and say, hey, this person is in danger of tripping and falling because we now know which we didn't know before, that the change in your normal walking gait is the precursor. So now that we have that information, we can do something to head off the negative consequence? Well, but negative outcome

Greg Voisen
this thing does now that's,

Rebecca Costa
that's right. That's, that's right. So. So when you really think about it, we're in a position now, where we know the future, we know where the tornado is moving. We know, right, we know where the weather events are going to occur. And we're getting more and more accurate, because we put those ghost satellites up, that gave us four times and five times the resolution and data, and five times the data translates into an incredible increase in accuracy, not five times, but many full times agreed. So as we're getting better and better at predicting the future, it changes the actions in the present. Right, we can evacuate entire cities, prior to floods, we didn't have that ability. In fact, here in the northern coast of Oregon, the other day, I was getting ready to go take my dog for a walk, and my phone ping. And it said rain in five minutes. Could you even imagine that? I mean, 10 years ago, could you imagine that you would be warned that it was going to rain in five minutes.

Greg Voisen
I couldn't imagine it. I also can't imagine I'm an avid cyclist. And I just showed you this watch. When I hit a bump hard in the road, the accelerometer goes off and sends a message. And it says SOS and it says, are you okay? Did you fall? Right? So in other words, this little device is actually amazing. Besides all the other things it does, it's your otoo and your, you know, your heart rate and everything else, I would have never imagined that 10 years ago, I would have a device that would do all of this stuff, measure it.

Rebecca Costa
It's crazy. And so when you look at all of that data, it presents an opportunity, right? In the opportunities are twofold. One, the opportunity to head off a negative outcome or experience. And the opportunity to get the jump ahead of everybody else on what's coming. Right. So this is where predestination comes in place, we're no longer adapting to change, we can't adapt to the speed of change anymore. That's that game is over, you're now adapting to the speed of what the future is likely to bring. And then so we have to get out in front of change. It's no longer sufficient to say, Oh, the storm is here. Maybe I better go look for some sandbags. It's just too late. And so many times when I'm consulting with large corporations or governments, you know, I just came back from Dubai, where I was, you know, consulting with the government, you have to have a program that is out doing reconnaissance, and in grid and investing in predictive analytics to know what's about ready to hit you. Because if you aren't preparing for that, and you aren't adapting to the future, then you're just in a reactive mode. And that's a losing proposition, when you consider the speed of change, and how much available data and I'm not talking about getting into private citizens’ data, talking about public data. You know, in my book, I talk about Recorded Future, Recorded Future went out and got just public data. And months before the Arab Spring began, they predicted it would begin in Yemen. And it would spread to other Middle Eastern countries. Now, needless to say, their biggest client is that US CIA, and intelligence all, you know, organizations all over the world, because they knew the data was out there to predict revolution and revolt. And they were right.

Greg Voisen
Well, look, if you look at, and this is a nexus of all of this data, if you look at COVID, and you look at the war, and you look at inflation, and you look at what's going all of these things that are happening right now, is the same time sign on simultaneously. Could we have predicted this nexus of all these various things that are occurring that are having supply chain issues that you know, we're we've run into? I mean, the myriad of problems the labor problems, it goes on and on and on. I mean, if you want to start chucking

Rebecca Costa
is it's a difficult question to answer because when you say Could we have predicted well of saying no, the human brain, right is limited. We can only we can only track four things at one time. And that's on a good day. Because, you know, I asked multitaskers this question all the time, I say, how many things can you keep track of? And it's always 1012. What? And I go, No, actually, we've tested this, your brain can only track four things on a good day. So the other things are pretend multitasking, right? That you that you think you're monitoring. So when you ask the question, could we have predicted? I'm gonna say no, humans couldn't have predicted machines, artificial intelligence, married with predictive analytics have predicted? The answer is 100%. Yes, yes. All of the all of the things, the greatest threats that humanity faces, whether it's war, whether it's an epidemic of depression, or addiction, right? The panic, the viral, how the virus was going to spread, and how many were going to die? These are all known things, that we know them before they occur that this is the sea change. We know what's going to happen before it happens. In no time in human history, has that been possible? So what we paid, we paid tarot card readers, and, you know, people to predict the future. But now it's data based. And we have an incredible amount of accuracy.

Greg Voisen
But data is absolutely no good. If there's no action. So look at the prior administration. And they had the data about COVID, but didn't take the actions necessary. Now, the Chinese government on the opposite side is super precautious. With this, and I'm just saying we have data, but if administratively a government, a person of whatever, is either blinded by or can't see, or somehow has the data, it's presented to them. They don't have the critical thinking skills. What good is the data? That's my point. And I'm not trying to.

Rebecca Costa
I'm a socio biologist. So I do not look at our inaction the same way that maybe politicians do or economists do or other people do. So I'm going to present to you a kind of a radical way to look at our inaction. Okay, right. We're all trapped in this biological spacesuit, I know that we believe it has infinite capabilities. But as I pointed out, you're only able to track four things at one time, not 12, not 15, just because you wish it to be so got it. In that same way, this biological spacesuit is designed to look for lions in the Serengeti. If we if we if if we come upon a snake, our bodies are rushed with chemicals, immediately, it's instantaneous, and we go into fight or flight mode into action, or freeze. Or well, we generally won't freeze those are the people that don't survive, and were the survivors and those that ran or fought that there's genetic filtering that goes on. So we like to think that we're the descendants of those that did not freeze, those that genetic pool went away. But what I want you to think of your body of being trapped in this body that has all the information that knows what's coming, but is not designed to have its heartbeat even go up one beat in our right when I talk to you about global warming, or global burning, as we're discovering, and we made that transition to global burning now. So we are not designed physiologically to do anything about a long term threat. We are only designed to respond to an immediate threat that threatens our survival. And so you can give somebody all the data in the world and say, you know, look at this movie on this dystopian future. Look, we're gonna run out of water, we're all gonna burn up. We're gonna have to escape to another planet and go to Mars and make our preparations. Now you can tell people all of that and nothing happens to their body. Right? We have not evolved that capability yet. And we must remember that we're prisoners of our body of our biology. What has happened now is we're a little bit our biology. Our the evolution of our biology is very, very slow. It changes in millions in mail over millions and millions of years, and yet the environment that we're trying to adapt to is changing in in nanoseconds.

Greg Voisen
Exactly. I'm so glad you pointed that out.

Rebecca Costa
Word we haven't we have, we're out of alignment with our environment. Well, fast enough.

Greg Voisen
I have this debate with many authors that come on the show, depending on the genre, they're speaking about, whether it's spirituality, or we're trying to transition and become more conscious and aware individuals, and I think it's aware, but it's also to have the intelligence to act. Right. And, and we are evolving. I do see that happening. And as you said, I see it happening very slowly. You know, I, I know that and, and I turned off all my cell phones, but the cell phone obviously has become the one instrument in the world that connects everybody. And you state, it wasn't until recently, for the first time that predictive algorithms, powered by lightning fast computers and mobile communications brought the entire universe of human knowledge to man's fingertips, okay, they're getting knowledge, are they doing anything with it, or they just playing on Facebook? That this technology has made it possible to string together millions of variables in real time you stated in the book, you state this has given us staggering power, the power to reverse engineer the consequences of our benign actions? Just when I said it go. If this is the case, why have we not seen more advancement regarding the most concerning problem that I see, which is global warming, global burning, will say global burning? You know, you just talked about having a huge rainstorm up there. And I talked about having nothing down here. California's fires last year burned millions of acres. You know, we see this happening all over. Insurance companies are concerned, they're raising rates, they're using computers to try and predict all this stuff, and figure out if they can withstand the risk. There's a lot of different things going on. Could you address it, though, from your perspective?

Rebecca Costa
I still get back to you know, we, we haven't come to terms with what humans are and what we're not. And if we would just admit to ourselves, hey, we're not hardwired, to respond to long term threat, no matter how much data and how much for knowledge we have, we are unlikely to act in time. We keep making the mistake that we think we have more time than we do. And part of that is also physiological and biological. Our brains think of problems in a linear way. So when I give audiences that I speak to simple exponentiating problems, right, nobody likes math problems, but very simple problems. They always get them wrong. Because our brains don't think in exponentiation. So the worst type of problem we can have, like climate change is one that is exponentiating. And moving quickly. Right? That combination is deadly to the human brain, because we think we have time. And isn't that the situation? We thought we had time to vet, you know, certain countries for NATO. Right. The Ukraine, we thought we had time to let their government form and prove that they had weeded out corruption. Right. We thought we had time to admit Finland and other countries into NATO. No, no, we didn't. We think we have time to deal with the deficit. Right. And the fact that the United States is just printing money as a solution to the virus to you know, what all the financial problems that we have. We don't by the way, I'm going to take a little offshoot here because it's relevant, most of the best economists that I know, predicted high inflation, runaway inflation, and I listened to them and a recession. I don't know about the recession. I you know, the data is mixed right now, to be honest, but going into hyperinflation was not even something that was surprising. And here's one reason why, because the only lever that a government has to bring down a growing deficit Right is inflation. Right? Right? If $1 is only worth 10 cents, then your debt then your deficit has come down. 90% Correct. Wow. In proportion, what we owe, will be reduced by hyperinflation. So eventually you run out of levers you run, notice

Greg Voisen
that the good news you have for inflation

Rebecca Costa
will go down in a very significant way with hyperinflation.

Greg Voisen
I agree with you. But at the same I hate to

Rebecca Costa
say it, but you know, if you want if you're looking for a lining in the in the dark clouds,

Greg Voisen
well, that is the lining. You're absolutely right, because you've put the variables together, and you've gone to the, the nexus of it, and you've said, hey, look, the good news is that we're going to have a reduction in our debt, because I get that inflation is going to create that.

Rebecca Costa
Right and that and that's, that's the positives. But if the government can't do anything about its deficit, that's the last the place of last resort. So I'm not exactly convinced that the government is going to move quickly enough to bring inflation down, because there is the government may need inflation.

Greg Voisen
Well, let's talk about

Rebecca Costa
now I'm not an economist. So you know, people should take what I'm saying about the economy with a grain of salt, but and in an inflationary environment, you have to remember, you don't want to be holding cash, you want to be holding hard assets go out and buy cars, houses, anything that is tangible, anything that's tangible, will go up in value. So you know, don't all of you retirees like us, you also hold on to cash.

Greg Voisen
Since you and I have been, it's been seven years, you know, we've seen the invention of Bitcoin. And I'm not going to take a lot of time off on this. When I talk about the construct of money, how we actually think of currency. Obviously, today, we're seeing a new currency, a different currency. But still, it's a construct that was made up, just like the currency was supposed to be backed by gold certainly isn't any more. It's not backed by something hard. Like you were saying an asset like gold of value. Um, do you have any thoughts about it from your perspective? And then we'll go back to these other questions, because we, we kind of got off on this tangent around the economy. But this whole construct of currency, the construct of the Bitcoin, the Bitcoin being kind of fought by many financial institutions today, and they're trying to figure out how to do it and what where to go with it and whatever. What would be Rebecca Costas take on just that whole construct of currency and the new Bitcoin.

Rebecca Costa
Well, any currency needs critical mass, you know, in terms of acceptance. So one of the principles that I talked about in my book, just to tie Bitcoin back into it, is that there can be no change without critical mass. Right? Right. So using an example of the Vietnam War, right. For years, people were trying to get out of the Vietnam War through several presidents. And it wasn't until mothers and fathers got out in the streets, because the jungles of Vietnam were being brought into their living room on black and white TV. I believe every night I remember watching it, yeah. And suddenly, they were seeing, you know, 18-year-old drafted boys, right, on their bellies, in the jungles of Vietnam being killed. And that spurred mothers and fathers and families, brothers and sisters to get out in the street. It is sad that you have to have 3%, somewhere between one and 3% of the population. Right, adopt anything, right? Or or protest. But that critical mass of that population until you get to that threshold, the change is impossible. That was true of civil rights. It's true of the Vietnam War. It's true of phones, the internet, till you get to that one to 3% threshold of critical mass, you're not really going to see a change. We're below that on Bitcoin. Bitcoin feels like the strange currency that might be a ruse, because nobody, nobody, because people don't understand the technology behind it. But we also don't understand how currencies valued correct. So I don't see any difference. I mean, it used to be as you point out tied to gold. But then we got away from that now it's just politically valued, right? It is whatever you say it is and it's the same with Bitcoin it is whatever you say it is. So I frankly don't see much of a difference if you don't understand the engine that's producing regular paper and coin currency then you know what, why do you care about Bitcoin?

Greg Voisen
Good predictive analytics from your estimation, not that you know the answer to this question. Actually see it hitting critical mass where the adoption of it is more you know, we're seeing it using other credit cards, we're able to trade it we're able to do things with it, which we're getting

Rebecca Costa
There. We're getting Bitcoin you know, I don't want to say Bitcoin because that's only one-time No, I understand. They say cryptocurrency, right? First of all, I think there's a there's a name problem with crypto because it sounds like you're being ripped off. Yeah, to begin with, but crypto currency is already gaining so much momentum. Yeah. Right? that banks are having to adapt, and people are having to accept it, you know, Amazon, all of these guys. So you're already getting to that 3% Critical Mass, again, as we look at pre deputation, right, let's, let's look at the future. If something's headed toward one to 3%, critical mass, it's going to go mainstream. We don't have to fight it. We don't have to guess. You know, we're not making bets when we make investments in the future. We know 3%. It's mainstream. So if you see, if you see the population moving in that direction, and you're getting close, they're doubled down on your investments, you see it's in the future is not unknown.

Greg Voisen
This morning, oh, what's coming, plug in this morning at 38,000, which is the lowest or 35. lowest it's been a long time. Now. We're going to switch gears for a second, because we've talked about a lot of really good, juicy stuff. And we've informed our listeners, at least from the social biologist standpoint, what how this limbic brain works, and it's pretty hard to get us moving in a direction, we kind of wait until it's right smack dab in front of us. It's almost like a train coming ahead as we finally move out of the way you tell this great story about wanting to get to purchase a Volkswagen bug when you were 16 years old. I love this part in the book. But did you mature? You didn't want to ask your father's advice. But your dad was very stubborn when I had advice. Yeah, he your dad had advice anyway. He said, Well, when you look under there, make sure there's no oil leaks. Remember that? I don't know why remember that statement you made. But I could see your dad talking to you at 16. When I was reading that, that was that was like me, I was like oh I and that was my first call car was a book. And I and I chopped it all up and made it into a little dune buggy, right? So you can tell the story, which leads to us understanding the advancement in technology in automobiles. Now we're at autonomous drivers. Now we've been electric cars to drive the cars longer, because then you talk about your car that you have today that has 270,000 or 90,000 miles on it. And I was thinking you probably don't have that car anymore, because you wrote this book in 2017. So I presume I have it. I still have it. How many miles is on it now? Well,

Rebecca Costa
I grabbed it because I have another I have a hybrid that I drive most of the time and that that it was a Toyota Land Cruiser. I took it in, I think at 275,000 miles or something. I took it into the Toyota dealer who I'd have had servicing it, because I was driving it from my home in California up to Oregon when I moved here. And I said look, you know, I'm a gal. I you know, not unusual. I don't know about cars. Because there when I was growing up, we didn't learn about cars. You know, we were learning about typing and home economics. That's how it was. I mean, I'm not saying it was right. I'm just saying that's how it was. And I said I'm going to be driving a really long distance Could you take a look at it and they attached a bunch of wires and they said lunch leave it for a day we'll just check the whole thing out so you're safe for your trip. The guy came back and he said, this is gonna be good for another 290,000 Miles he said 500,000 Miles, I think I read that. Yeah, you said 500,000 miles on a Toyota Land Cruiser. No problem is one that you have serviced this well, and he said, By the way, in Africa, they're no longer driving Range Rovers. They're driving Toyota Land Cruisers. Because these are like tanks. They just, you know, if you service them, right, they just keep going and going and going. I was very shocked. Because as you point out, when I was 16, I had I had a little part time job babysitting and, and how sitting for people and all of that, and I saved up enough money that I could afford a US bug, Volkswagen bug. And I was I was very excited to go get a car and my father kept offering to help me. And I was very stubborn. And I didn't I didn't like my parents, unlike, you know, like a lot of teenagers. In your 60s You don't like I knew better. And one day when he was leaving for work. He said, Well, I know you don't want my help. So I'll tell you what, just look for oil under the car, and he dropping some oil. And if the car has 100,000 miles on it, you're begging for trouble. Right?

Greg Voisen
I remember him saying

Rebecca Costa
100,000 Miles meant something. Right? In the 1970s. Now we're in 2022. And the 1970s, a car that had 100,000 miles on it was likely to have a transmission problem and engine problem. You weren't you were in for trouble. Right? You were in for trouble. Think about that now 100,000 miles to 500,000 miles, right? On my land cruiser. Think about electric cars. Think about autonomous cars. Think about in my lifetime. What has happened, right? And why is that happened? It happened because along the way, we invented technologies that allowed us to build better engines to predict what was going to fail first, second, third, fourth, and to address those, right as we kept perfecting the longevity of life of that vehicle went on and on and on. The same thing is happening in health care. Think about the extension of life. Right now. Oh, yeah. Think about your parts, your knees, your elbows, you know, your heart, your heart that are wearing out because you're living longer. And think about 3d printers that are now in the operating room that now can build a custom part for you that a surgeon can almost on an outpatient basis, you won't be in the hospital more than one or two days before they send you off to physical therapy. I mean, think about what is going on. Right? Is that because we could predict what's going to fail, we could predict what was going to happen now. And 1970 If you needed a replacement part it was a cadaver part. A cadaver some dead bodies part was put in your body and your odds of rejection were extremely high.

Greg Voisen
Yeah. That no, you cite some really good points regarding the advancement of technology, in healthcare in automobiles and all of these things. And I would add to that, you know, from the automobile standpoint, I don't know what big data says right now. And I would have guessed that the insurance company would tell you that most people are telling their insurance carriers, they're driving less than 10,000 miles a year. The pandemic really put a kibosh on people driving to work. It also put a huge kibosh. Now I know the airlines are back flying like crazy now. But the point is, I think that's here to stay. I don't think we're going to have as big a community anymore, or as many cars on the freeway, or as many of us anything because of the acceptance like Airbnb just said the other day, live anywhere in the country and work for our company. And you can stay in one of the Airbnb, and it's going to attract the right kind of people that they want. You know, you when you look at these things that are changing, they don't actually have an impact on co2 emissions as well. I'm looking at it from an environmental standpoint as well. Do you know anything about big data that would say with sense of the pandemic, we've had a reduction in our driving and we've had a reduction in co2 emissions?

Rebecca Costa
It's difficult to say, the impact on co2, co2 emissions over the long haul. You know, I'm an evolutionary biologist by training and I look at datasets over millions of years. Okay, well, 12 months or 24 months, right, right. So when I'm looking at trends, I'm looking at trends over many, many, many, many years. So it's difficult to answer that question what I can tell you is that with autonomous vehicles, and even with the emergence of Uber, you know, and, you know, kind of transportation on demand. Yeah, afternoon Uber, yeah, Lyft and Uber, um, that the transportation on demand market probably is going to have a greater effect, or equal effect, as the work from home. idea. I think that and, and, and, and a third factor is that, we see that millennials and Gen X's don't really want to own things. Correct that many of them don't want to own a house, they just want to rent a better house. And so I think this idea of people owning a vehicle will probably erode. People don't want to pay the insurance, they don't want to maintain it. And, and, and if transportation on demand becomes increasingly easy, because I don't have to call a Lyft or Uber anymore, I just have to poke my phone, and a driverless vehicle will immediately the nearest driver's seat, driverless vehicle will come and pick me up, right? There's no need for me to own a vehicle. At that point,

Greg Voisen
I see that happening. I watched Anderson Cooper, report on 60 minutes about the I'm going to call it the flying car. But the FAA right now is very close to approving. They say what the next two years, Uber like vehicles, were four to six people will get them in into them and be able to fly short distances at very inexpensive prices. And they'll continue to drive those prices down. Because they're all battery powered. They're all these are all battery powered vehicles that are flying in the air. And I think it's fascinating to see the advancement and the amount of investment that's being put in by many different companies to actually perfect this technology. And there's one company that is doing it autonomous with no pilot. So now we're looking at you know, I must remember when I was a kid watching the Jetsons, it's like, I had robot in the house, and I flew around a little spaceship. But it's it is going there. We are getting there. And you've talked about it. Great.

Rebecca Costa
Well, we we've been trying to perfect. Flying cars for the past 12 years. Yeah. And, you know, they're only going to cost about $60,000. And you only need the runway space equivalent to a football field. You don't even know but you will see along the sides of the freeway are those landing pads, those takeoff and landing pads. So you can imagine you're driving along, you run into traffic, your vehicle lifts up out of traffic,

Greg Voisen
the ones that it

Rebecca Costa
takes off. But those are those have been around those vehicles have been tested and approved in Europe and Scandinavian countries for over a decade. It's they're just coming into the US right now. And we have a lot of FAA issues. I mean, we have to, we have to create the infrastructure that makes it safe for those vehicles. And that is very slow. As you know, Edward Wilson's quote. We have Paleolithic emotions, medieval institutions and godlike technology. Yeah, that's, that's the best way to sum up where we still

Greg Voisen
probably in our lifetime, it's coming. And the reality is, is that the show I saw with Anderson Cooper, those were vertical, there was no runway required. They were lifting off just like, like helicopters. So the reality is you needed no runway, you needed no nothing. So, but

Rebecca Costa
you know, some of those will probably, I mean, I think the market will diversify some lightning runway, some might be vertical, there will be different price structures, different operating systems, we'll run them. Again, remember when we get to the one to 3%, critical mass, it's going to be mainstream and available to anybody. Well, let's

Greg Voisen
go to the healthcare for a minute. I'm going to switch topics you. You cited a great story in the book about fuzzy logics and the ability to predict opioid abuse before the person the prescription was handed to the patient. I I did not know this. I was like, totally informed. Could you explain how this fudgy logics works and how it's being used to proactively reduce the opioid problem? And why this technology is being used to predict accurately that other problems that might occur as well. I mean, I

Rebecca Costa
as you know, we have a really big fentanyl issue. Yeah,

Greg Voisen
we've got a huge drug problem in this country. And it hasn't been attacked. But if this computer system can actually predict accurately, and I think you said in the book, like 90% accuracy prediction, that if I hand you this prescription, I know you're going to abuse it.

Rebecca Costa
Well, again, this is this is all about data, right? Yeah. data points together, your predictions become very accurate. So if I, if I monitor your Fitbit data, your amount of physical activity, if I have information about your behaviors, right, whether you tend to be violent, whether you had problems with alcohol in the past, whether you overspend and allow yourself to get into debt, a lot of different and surprising sometimes surprising. Behavioral metrics, like do you have someone that you can reach out to in times of trouble that live within one mile of you, that you might not think that matters, it actually does. So. So. A lot of these behavioral metrics, geographic metrics, all of these things combined, and your physical and medical condition, what condition you're trying to mitigate by going on pain medication, your history, with any kind of medical challenges that you've had your family's history, when we take millions of data points, and we put them in the computer, the computer will tell us, if you are highly predisposed to become addicted, or very low, it have a very low probability of becoming addicted. Now, I know for myself, I would come in at low because there's no addiction in my family, which can be hereditary. Your predisposition can be a hereditary. inclination doesn't mean you will, but it means you could be predisposed. So I would come in very low because when I go to the dentist, they give me painkillers, I never finished the painkillers, right. You know, I think pain is there for a reason to remind me that not to do stuff like go either job, right? It's there as a reminder, so as you know, if the pain is good, I'm gonna let the pain you know, settle itself. Do you remember Juju beads? So no, no. So I Oh, I don't, I would not I would be in the low category. But here's the thing. By taking a questionnaire opening up your medical information to a physician in advance, we can use artificial intelligence to predict your likelihood of becoming addicted. Here's what I don't understand. Wouldn't it be a good idea before I write you a prescription because 90% of the people that move on to fentanyl and heroin got a doctor's prescription they started on a doctor's prescription. This is very important to know, they got started legally, and then went to illegal street drugs. So wouldn't it be a good idea to require every physician to test that patient before they wrote that first subscription? The

Greg Voisen
prescription an awful good idea? Yeah.

Rebecca Costa
Because if I know you were in the 90% probability of becoming addicted, I could guide you toward a different pain medication. Right? Right. But I don't even have that opportunity, when I don't have the knowledge when I'm not taking advantage of all the knowledge and data that is available to me as a physician. And so this is where we are not taking advantage of the data to pre DAPT to do something in the present to avoid a negative outcome. And still back to that we have the knowledge we're not acting on it.

Greg Voisen
No, but look, I agree with everything you said. And I also believe that you're saying why aren't we acting on it because we saw during Trump's administration him trying to do stuff with the opioid addiction, but agreed that If we have these predictive abilities to look at data set points, what act next action would I don't know? Does the legislature say, Hey, doctor, you've got to do this before you make this?

Rebecca Costa
Yes. I mean, the government could the government could contract with fuzzy logic to develop this program and say, before you can write a prescription, you must put this data in. And we will tell you the likelihood. And as a public service, I think it's a great service that says before you can write the subscription. And then once you do if the person is above the 50% probability level, you can't write the prescription. And if they're below the 50%, or 30%, or 20%, wherever you want to sit, the level will give you a code and you have to put that on the prescription. Right, right. I mean, there's so many, there's so many ways that we could avoid this. And by the way, for people that might know someone or are suffering with fentanyl addiction,

Greg Voisen
we don't have cures for addiction. We can mitigate, we can manage. But once you've become addicted, urine addict, yeah, yes, your likelihood of going back is very high, particularly on a drug like fentanyl. So you're sentencing someone to a lifelong battle with addiction, once they go down that row. So this brings up unacceptable, this brings up an issue of just when is the species if you're looking at millions of years, and your studies going to transmute so that the ethics in which we operate as a species says I shouldn't I don't need the government to tell me to do that. I have the data on my own, I know that I should be doing that versus a law being written that says, I've got to do this to write this prescription. I mean, it to me, it comes down to ethics and morals and all kinds of things that we're talking about. And I know that we're, I don't know what we are, we're almost like the consciousness level of the society at times seems so low.

Rebecca Costa
Well, I don't, I don't attribute it to consciousness. I listen to your program and want to make it an ethical or spiritual issue. To me, I don't, as a scientist, I don't delve in in that area. My specific area of interest is how we're hardwired, how we've evolved, just to behave, right to react to respond, versus the information we now have. Right? I started out this this discussion saying, why aren't those in alignment. And that is because we have not come to an honest assessment of what this biological spacesuit is designed to do. Right, versus what the environment is requiring of us. We're out of alignment with progress, progress has moved at the speed of light, and evolution is crawling. And so we have this schizophrenia. This is the first time in human history where we, you know, think about it, the Neanderthals didn't know what was coming. They didn't couldn't have known if climate change was coming. They didn't know addiction was going rampid. They didn't understand how viruses move. You know, we're the first group of humans that have the knowledge of the future and are doing nothing about Yeah. And we're going to look bad 100 million years from now, I'm going to tell you this, this group of humans, this era, the techno, I call it, the techno lithic era is going to look really bad. really new and didn't respond.

Greg Voisen
And we knew, but we didn't do. Hey, yeah, Rebecca, you give the readers in this book 12 principles in the book that I believe are kind of paramount to read at pre deputation. We don't need to speak of all of them. I chose the one before you started talking about critical mass as my selected one to speak about. But maybe we had to choose one of the other ones and say, speak about some of the principles and choose one maybe other than critical mass because we've talked enough about that one. That's a prerequisite for change is what you said about the critical mass. Do you want to pick another one out of the book?

Rebecca Costa
Sure. I will say that in a complex environment, right. When you have so much data and so much information, you tend to want to freeze. And freeze is not an adaptive strategy. You have to keep moving, you have to make decisions every day about your life. So one of the things when you're when you're met with greater complexity than your brain can really manage or handle without the help of a computer, the best thing to do is to think about diversification. Diversification is an antidote to complexity. So the example that I use is, maybe you're investing on Wall Street, right? It's so complex, you're not a brave broker, maybe you trust your broker, maybe you don't maybe he's making Commission's on his trades. And you know, you don't really know what's going on. But one thing you do know is if you diversify, you're pretty safe. So you put some money in bonds, and you put some money in ETFs, and stocks, right, and spiders, and you and you put somebody in real estate, maybe and you and you, and you buy a car and you and you, you kind of spread your money around with the idea that when one thing goes up, the other thing might go down, but what you hope to come out hole, that's how US retirees manage your money, we just go I can't make winning bets, because the idea that you're going to make a winning bet each and every time is called the gambler. And I'm not a gambler. So I watch it bonds go down stocks go up, you know, you know, they won't pay much on CDs. So maybe I'm gonna do corporate bonds. I just moved

Greg Voisen
on here. So your principle here is diversification, diversify, so

Rebecca Costa
that what does that mean? That means when you have to make any kind of decision, the quick the first quick decision, the first thing that you want to think about is, is it mutually exclusive. Right? We our brains want it to be this or this, I stay married, or I get divorced. I buy the car or I don't buy you know, I my kid goes to college or doesn't go to college, we tend to want to our brains want to bifurcate it wants to go to a simple it was it goes. And 99% of the time, there are many, many, many options. And if you can choose multiple options, choose multiple options, because your odds of betting correctly, get lower and lower and lower, the more choices there are. And there are never been more choices than there are today. So in a complex environment, when you there are more poor choices than good ones, you have to diversify. And then the most important thing, forgive yourself when you're wrong immediately.

Greg Voisen
That's a psychological. I get it, I get it. We're all there.

Rebecca Costa
I don't peep people think, you know, gee, you write about, you know, the future. But you're so cheerful. And you seem so happy and well-adjusted to everything. And I said, Well, I forgive myself instantly.

Greg Voisen
Well, then, that goes along with the personal growth show that I've been doing for 15 years that you know, look, number one, we're 100% responsible for our own actions, nobody else. We can't blame the outside world for what happens to us. If you choose happiness first. That's what you're going to have in your life. Because the reality is you need to you need to make a choice. And that brings me to this question. You mentioned that free will is not always free. That for centuries, we've been struggling to come to terms with the fact that human beings are born with predispositions Oh, most certainly are we? How much of our inherited programming can be overridden so that we can adapt and adapt? What is to come in the future? And how will our species have to transform in your estimation?

Rebecca Costa
Well, the biggest lie that was told that has harmed us so badly is the blank slate lied. You're born a blank slate, and your parents write on it. Your teachers write on it and your experiences right on it. And then that made you. Everybody went Oh, okay, simple, but we've left out biology, we left out your hardwiring.

Greg Voisen
You know, what is your belief? What is your belief around epigenetics?

Rebecca Costa
Well, what, first of all the minute you say epigenetics, everyone's going to turn the program off.

Greg Voisen
I don't know. Maybe

Rebecca Costa
epigenetics is a new field and it's a controversial field. But I want to get to the thing things that are not controversial, okay, you're born predisposed for certain cancers. Okay, you're born predisposed for certain behaviors. If your father or mother were violent sociopaths, that's a heritable quality, as we found in the Las Vegas, mass murderer, the mass shooter, his father was a violent sociopath that was imprisoned for life. And unfortunately, he was given some drugs, Diana Pam, which should never be given to somebody who has that family history, right? So six months before he went to Las Vegas with his guns and shot into that concert, that we can go backwards, but I'm asking us to go forward. I'm asking us to say if we know we have genetic and behavioral predispositions, it doesn't mean you're going to become a mass murderer. It means you're predisposed, you should not be prescribed Diane's or Pam, you should watch your own behavior and say, you know, am I am I pushing people away? Am I isolating? You know, should I go and get help? I mean, wouldn't it be good to acknowledge the hard wiring so that we can do something about it before it becomes problematic. And so the blank slate idea is a lie that it's very dangerous because we nobody taught us to stand on our two feet. Nobody taught us to, like certain music when we're a toddler. You know, nobody, nobody taught us to. You know, I don't know, smile at our parents, so they would pick us up. These are These are behaviors that are innate. And those behaviors don't end when we're a child. They continue. They continue when we're an adult. So you might have a predisposition for, you know, the man, Craig Ventnor, who, who broke down was responsible for breaking down the human genome. He discovered he had a predisposition for antisocial behavior, was the first genome that was broken down. And when he discovered that it explained a lot about why he was an introvert. And he preferred not being around people, but

Greg Voisen
as a buyer. But as a biologist, don't you believe that these environments, you know, you look at I remember, Margaret Wheatley, and speaking about all of these environments, and we look at cultures inside of companies and where we work and who we've married, and all these other kinds of things. They all influences. They're all our huge influences on who we become. I don't take the fact that because my parents were my parents, that I was predisposed to a lot of things. That's maybe where we do disagree somewhat. I think you can create through your environments and choices that you make a new life for yourself. This is inside personal growth. This is all about people transforming their lives. You can

Rebecca Costa
I We're not in disagreement, right? The nature versus nurture, right. I'm asking us not to deny nature.

Greg Voisen
Well, I'm not denying it. I know that.

Rebecca Costa
If you're predisposed to certain cancers, their actions, you can take food you can eat, live a healthy lifestyle, go in and get regular checkups. There are things you can do right. Now, don't smoke. I mean, there are things you can do to not trigger that. And there are things you can do that make you much more likely right to trigger that cancer. We don't know how the genetic behaviors or diseases or anything are triggered. We don't understand that mechanism right now. But we know that there are certain things that we should try to stay away from, of course, and in my family, I had two parents that were prone to alcoholism. So I am very, very careful, right in the amount of alcohol that I am around or that I drink, right? Not that drinking would make me an alcoholic. But with two parents like that. Why take the chance? All right, I mean, better to subscribe to the Better safe than sorry.

Greg Voisen
Look, what you have done is you have consciously chosen to take actions that would help you like when you get in a room and there's a lot of wind flowing, you're probably the kind of person maybe has one glass of wine is great. That's it. That's the limit. You understand that because you don't want to go down that path. And I think that's being aware and awareness is a huge factor in us changing anything in our life. And as long as we're aware, and we're consciously aware we can make Good choices now.

Rebecca Costa
And the other thing it does is it helps you not to be judgmental, if everybody else wants to drink a bottle of piece of wine, right? They don't have the same predisposition. I do. Have a great time agree

Greg Voisen
with you on that one. Because I'm not a big drinker. I'm not a drinker at all. But if I do drink, it's like maybe one little sip. And it's not because there was predisposition in my family. Because what happens when I drink alcohol? I get heartburn. And I don't even know I need it. It literally, it literally makes my stomach upset. So I don't do it. But I do come Bucha. And that seems to be okay. Hey, look in in the last question here. And there were quite a few questions I missed. But you know, the book is filled with great stories. So thank you examples. Thank you. 15 pages of facts. Thank you, because they're all listed in the back. What would you like to leave the listeners with allow them to better predict their future and as you end the book, and become the aspiring Masters of the Universe, and that I think those were the last words in that chapter on the last chapter.

Rebecca Costa
Well, we have such a wonderful opportunity to take the data that we're amassing, right, and to use quantum computers, artificial intelligence, and predictive analytics, to head off negative outcomes for not just humanity, but individually, like heading off the potential for becoming an addict, through a doctor's prescription, an opioid, we have so much information, but we have to come to terms with the fact that biologically, we're not designed to respond to that information. And so if we could just close that gap a little bit through awareness, through awareness, as you point out that, that that is the bridge, that's the bridge between the data that we have, right, and the action that we're not designed to take is when you have awareness, you're able to then translate that into some action for yourself or for society at large. And so you know, my hope is that by acknowledging what the what physiological obstacles we have, right, we're still looking for lions in the Serengeti, when that isn't our situation anymore. There are no lions, and I'm not crawling, crawling around the Serengeti, waiting to be eaten. So that's not our situation anymore. So we can use the data to pre DAPT. And I hope that people will get the book and that they will see that there's a reason for optimism.

Greg Voisen
Well, you know, all I can say is that of those examples of those facts of the stories that you tell, it starts to get put a picture together for the reader of predestination. In other words, what we really need to do. And then I say, the, as you said, Don't freeze, you basically want to diversify, no matter what it is, because it's going to do it. And I think in this world today, as we speak here, today is May the sixth, it's my son's 41st. Birthday, that that though, we need more ability to make these decisions, right, we need to be able to take the actions and its books like yours, they get us to understand why we don't. So it makes us aware of how we can take the action. And I want to thank you for that. Because it's books that stimulate these thoughts that allow us to say, okay, great, I understand what how I'm hardwired, I understand that I can change it, and I understand what I have to do about it to make the change. So thank you, thank you for the book. Thank you for being on inside personal growth and spending some time with our listeners. And for all my listeners. I'm going to pull the book over again. We're going to put a link to the book. It's called on the verge. I love the little picture with the little girl on there. We're going to she looks like a mad scientist. We're get literally, me. Yeah, yeah. So is that you as a kid?

Rebecca Costa
No, but it could have been Yeah.

Greg Voisen
So we will put a link to this book. We will put a link to Rebecca's website as well. Please reach out to her. Please get the book. better understand your world better understand yourself so you can make better choices. Thanks so much for being on.

Rebecca Costa
Thank you for having me back. I enjoyed it.

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