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Lex Fridman – Playing Guitar in a Self-Driving Car

An evening pause: The guitar playing is great, but if this is supposed to be a demonstration of the abilities of self-driving cars, to me it is a utter failure. The drive was on a test track, with no other cars. The car itself was probably never going faster than 25 miles per hour.

In fact, if anything this proves the impracticality of self-driving cars. Such technology might work in a completely controlled environment, but as soon as you add any random human element, it can’t work. Thus our options: we continue to drive ourselves, or we give up our freedom to drive so that all vehicles can be autonomous.

But as I say, the guitar playing is great.

Hat tip Wayne Devette.

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Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


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  • Cotour

    Lex Fridman is the Jennifer Aniston of interviewers IMO.

    I never understood the Jennifer Aniston thing, she is like vanilla, could never figure out why she was so popular, assumed her father was a big producer or director or something like that. Then after many years of wondering and scratching my head I found out that her father was in fact a very famous soap opera actor. Then everything made sense.

    I will assume similar for Lex, I don’t get him and where he finds himself and what he is doing, very vanilla. Someday I am sure everything will make sense.

    As for the autonomous driving? I like to drive.

    This was a BTB subject several years ago and the point that the Zman makes about either or is IMO correct.

    The agenda is to push 1st battery powered autos, and then this autonomous driving feature. And both expectations have a great way to go before they are reliably proven where you do not need a second “Real” car. And I know several people who have them and they love them.

    But what happens in the real world when you run out of power on the road? Flat bed? Hotel?

    What happens in the cold when you are a long way from home and its snowing, your wife is in a bad mood and you kid has to poop, and you need a charge?

    This is what happens sometimes today:

  • Ray Van Dune

    Title: Fridman, not Firdman.

    Also, it seems like actual Tesla FSD experience is way ahead of what is shown in the video, with the possible exception of perception of driver behavior.

  • Ray Van Dune: Title fixed. Thank you.

  • wayne

    yes, thanks for that, “Fridman”
    Not my thing, but I believe tesla is currently running FSD Version 11(?)

    –>Lex isn’t demonstrating the car, he’s showing us an implementation of a driver-activity recognition neural network, in a car (Tesla), equipped with auto-pilot, enhanced auto-pilot, and full self-driving capability, circa 2018.

    MIT Advanced Vehicle Technology Study (MIT-AVT)
    Lex Fridman (2018)

    Lex’s dad is Alexander Fridman and he’s a plasma physicist at Drexel University, [not to be confused with Alexander Friedmann (1889-1925) of the Friedmann equations and relativity.]

    Lex Fridman Podcast 100
    “Alexander Fridman: My Dad, the Plasma Physicist”

  • wayne

    Mr. Z.:
    If you want to see Lex cruising down the highway in Boston traffic….

    “Arguing Machines Concept”
    Tesla Autopilot and End-to End Neural Network coordination

    “Arguing machines concept applied to Tesla Autopilot “arguing” with an end-to-end neural network. Disagreement is used to predict challenging situations. “

  • Cotour

    Thanks, Wayne.

    I strongly suspected, like Jennifer, that Lex’s rise on the internet had to be strongly related in some way to his father or mother and their fame or notoriety.

    Lex Fridman = Jennifer Aniston = Vanilla.

    It all makes sense now.

  • Robert noted: “Thus our options: we continue to drive ourselves, or we give up our freedom to drive so that all vehicles can be autonomous.”

    At Christmas dinner, a young man, high school junior, observed that he and many of his friends thought the push to EV’s was a way to allow Government to control movement, as the Grid would be under Government control. They have come to the same conclusion I have: an all-electric environment is a single-point control environment.

    Cotour asked “What happens in the cold when you are a long way from home and its snowing, your wife is in a bad mood and you kid has to poop, and you need a charge?”

    EV’s have shown that they are capable of handling Winter, as long as the driver’s understand the limits of the vehicle. They aren’t as cold weather capable as an ICE vehicle, but for the average use profile, they are adequate.

  • wayne

    I rather think, there’s probably 10K Jennifer’s, but there’s only 1 Lex Fridman.

    MIT 6.S094: Introduction to Deep Learning and Self-Driving Cars
    Winter 2017

  • as soon as you add any random human element, it can’t work.
    I don’t understand this attitude. Why can’t it work? Humans make idiotic driving decisions every day – that’s why we have accidents, for the most part.

    It can’t work “perfectly” because there is no perfect solution, but so what? Humans don’t drive perfectly, either. We just need “better”.

  • wayne


    To address your global point a bit more, with someone like Lex, ‘they all go to the same set of schools, they all join the same sororities/fraternities, they all marry each other, they all work for the same set of entities, they are all hi-IQ super nerds bordering on the spectrum, etc., etc., etc.’
    (Just like the government & hollywood, it’s a relatively small club, and we are not members.)

    Interesting Random Factoid:
    Microchip designer Jim Keller is Jordan Peterson’s brother-in-law. (That, is an interesting Christmas dinner conversation, eh?!)

  • Cotour

    BTB needs Scotty:

    Scotty comments on AI autos.

  • Cotour


    One reason to buy a Telsa?

    If you can drive a car off of a cliff and fall 250 feet in an attempt to allegedly kill your wife and or your kids to the rocky beach below and everyone survives, now THAT is a recommendation for an automobile! WOW!

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