Pacific Rim (ft. Stephen Granade, scientist) : Episode 134

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Pacific Rim

What: Robots! And Aliens!
Directed by: Guillermo Del Toro
Starring: Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi

Featuring guest co-host
Stephen Granade scientist headshotStephen Granade, scientist

Recommended and Related Media

Stephen Granade
All about Stephen and what he’s up to: writing, speaking, Tweeting, corgies, etc.
Website | Twitter

Pacific Rim Uprising
It’s a sequel. To Pacific Rim!

Stephen on Pacific Rim again but with more physics

Show Notes

Brain-controlled machines

Brain-machine interfaces. EEG. The advantage of the group over the individual. Humans in tandem with AI and the closing window of human cognitive superiority. Computational offloading. Wetware/hardware integration and explaining the “excessive” neural load of Jaeger drift.


Localized neural “loops.” Neural load and body mass. Chasing the rabbit. Multiple input control vectors. Meatsack adaptations and proprioception. Human biofeedback and ambulation vs “Emergence of Locomotion Behaviours in Rich Environments

Square-cube business

Materials and size scales and the inappropriateness of humanoid design for your giiiiiiiiiiant robots. The square cube law. Don’t forget Godzilla and King Kong!


Neural loads and signal speed. Central pattern generators and “butt brains” and how the dinosaurs didn’t have them. Blue ammonia heavy metal blood. Atmospheric pressures.


Metallic construction. Irrational fear of alloys. Possible material engineering choices. Beryllium is the worst.  Graphene and spraying pencils. Incentive systems for robot design. Square cube again. Density.

Power sources

The subtlety of nuclear reactors vs nuclear bombs. Orion nuclear blast spacecraft. Carl Sagan. Energy density of fuel sources. Nuclear testing for fun and profit. Playing science fast and loose.

Alien terraforming projects

Playing the looooooooong game. Statistical Great Filter analyses. Earth is a fixer-upper. Jerk bully aliens.

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