Tai Asks Why - the seventh grader with a cult science podcast and mind for big ideas
This is an a._b._c. podcast. Hello welcome to sides friction at culture and science with extra spice. Did you follow sixteen year old. Swedish schoolgirl gritted tubes transatlantic ginny this week any ought to new york where she'll laid a protest outside the hugh in climate summit. He small high waves. The generations are the ones who have been causing closing this problem and so. I don't think they they should be saying to us. You should just be a normal kid and do what kids stupid you should because they are the ones who have caused this and <hes>. We're just trying to clean up yeah. Honestly i. i feel like greta was just kind of like you know what these people aren't going to change. Tesha mitchell with you and another trail-blazing using tena joins me on the show this week. His name is tai and he's all bad asking why going to hand it off to us and that's why dodge words is looking at because not enough ties or yelling at them and she's like you know what i've had enough of this. I'm gonna complain. I'm gonna wind. That's what teenagers agers to best complain wine and just be generally annoying. Let's turn to let capacity into a skill in talent in order to garner an audience the planet and save the planet so efficient. This is a twelve year old scientist with a whole lot aww questions enough to take you to the moon and back it all sorts of the question. You know it's pretty much as simple as the name is. That's why the name such a great part tie. I asks why ask i'm fine. This is my podcast tasks. What there are so many questions out there the extremely wanna get in twins cooler infinity. How do we fix climate change. Should we trust our gut. What happens after we die. Why do we dream and what did log. When thai pool was eleven that was last year. He's new science. Podcast tie asks what took off really took off and now a t._v. Show is on the cards to canada's public broadcast of the c._b._c. A has just launched season. Two of taya asks why this week and i wanted to turn the tables and ask thai some questions about life about science about everything really hello. I'm so happy to be here on a scale of zero to infinity has surreal. Does it feel to have have so much wonderful recognition for this podcast of yours infinity and one. It's hard to think that you know i'm just literally just this dude and in the past past two years. I've been like this dude except on the internet. A lot of the people i interview are like big hot shot people on like well just a kid ed. Sinaga snuck past the guards put on some headphones illegally booked studio and boom. Let's talk you know but that's what makes your podcast so utterly wonderful. When thinking about you know vast an abstract concepts as you do you you've loved maths from why why back you twelve now but maths come to you. I mean almost as your first language is how you describe it. Tell us about that that that feeling that sort of a night connection for you we've with the world of numbers well math is just logic but a little little bit more complex you just have these building blocks in these things and they interact with each other in a very specific way and that's it so you gotta get this other thing and this other thing. You smooshed them together. You see how that works and it's always consistent. It's like a perfect universe. What you try to imagine a box of nothing <music>. You can't really write because a box would be containing something what it's containing something that is not containing nothing okay now. Try to imagine a box of infinity like everything and you also can't really because it just kinda goes on on on and you can't contain it if it keeps going right what's up with that. A lot of people find math hard but it always kinda clicked so we always just understood because it's just you know it's just these patterns. <hes> i love the way you described maths as both missy and elegant as well. You know it's almost as if early on in lives a lot of us don't say those patents the patents that meths helps us describe about the world. It's it these languages in it. It's kind of illiteracy <hes> and it's just a way of conveying ideas but not necessarily in the traditional sense that we think this is tony del genio and i am a scientist for nasa freaking nasa i do research on earth's climate and how the earth's climate climate is changing because of the stuff that people are putting into the atmosphere and i do research on other planets in the solar system. I've been involved in a few two nasa space missions to other planets awesome so you're in junior high school this year and i'm wandering outside of school. Now your getting to talk to two leading scientists from all over the world from nasa in all sorts of intricate detail about the work they give you their time these one on one extraordinary conversations and then you have to walk up at school and feed into the whole kind of school curriculum and whatever it requires you to learn. Is that a difficult adjustment for you. Those contrasts well. It's kinda like you know once you go like if you were to fly business class once every other time a flight flight on me. It's probably gonna feel like really small stuff. Of course i've never flown business unfortunately but it's a shock you know because i get that schools can't afford to do one on one task swipe tutoring like i did and i'm super grateful and thankful for the opportunity tunisia that i've been given but yeah it is. It is a bit of a shock. You know you think you think you're learning science and then you go out and you ask and you're like well. This is learning science science so tell us about that contrast because i fans school oppressive at times probably because i moved a lot but you know i was a curious keyed ahead gripe passion for learning and i did not feel that at school yes like let's put it this way. If you were to go in your a computer and you're like hold on magnets work and type it up. You're gonna in answer your milk while this is actually really cool. He click on the link and the next thing and suddenly you're like a p._h._d. In electromagnetism but if you just got todd in school and you're like well. I wanna wanna go dark costs. Can we leave. It's not going to be fund because the main difference is just that school. It's driven just by the fact just by the knowledge you know you're being taught this so you can know what it is and you. You can understand but just what i found from tasks why that was so much better that i was learning science but it was driven by curiosity what school does is. It doesn't cater to the fact that you're curious about something. It just gives you that information. Whether or not to what you wanna hear we don't wanna hear but would end up liking or you just don't want to hear it all. It just gives you the information and it kinda kills curiosity. It's just it's there to give you the information because that's how curriculum works but it's not there to answer your questions or do any of that new really feel that and that's kind of ties into the whole oppressive thing they reckon. That's a complete audit. What a tragedy of modern education that one statement that you make that school kills curiosity. I mean what a disastrous situation that we found ourselves in. If that's the the reality of education today unfortunately it's not great. You know we're just kind of taught in the style of the industrial age. You learn how to do something you grow up. You'd do it yad. I don't do it. Get punished. You do do it. You get to work some more and then eventually actually yad. I and that's not really but just yes school curriculum. Just it can be adjusted because it just. It's hard trying to feed to amass smart. There are ways you can approach that is less just like it feels like a factory and you're just everyone says being like putting on like a knob or screwed at a time and then you're done. You know there's different ways that you could approach it. Curriculums is supposed to teach to amass and because curiosity creates like side pass in just makes it a non universal. That's how curiosity works. You're curious about something and it's not like there's a lack of information. It's just you want to know more so what they do is they try to oppress curiosity so they can just tell everybody this stuff. You're like well this sucks but they just they can't be scared. Just let that curiosity expand like i get it. You might not be able to one on one tutor. People all the time but you just need to let that curiosity you do need to let it rise up so you you can teach them something but if they're curious they'll be happy engaged and they'll just go home and they'll just look it up after it's the spark back lots the fire. I do wonder what your relationship with your science. Teacher is like at school yeah. We're best friends. Yes i mean lots of people fantasize about getting being an award winning podcast up and running a new one by jalek an but i really love the way you call yourself an shamelessly a a scientist because so many people feel remote from science science he's scientists do. I don't wanna seem cocky. I'm not like at this high end ended intellectual the smartest but you know i like to think of myself as a scientist because i look to learn science and i discover things about the field and in my own way by asking these questions contribute by adding this new perspective i'm learning learning and using science to discover things yeah i mean there are lots of different tools that people use to ask questions about the world religion philosophy be meditation. Yoga is another way what do you think is distinct about science as a way of interpreting the world well. The thing is except for yoga. We will try to do that season three. If we get one i have used all of these different methods because you know scientist. I just great enormous. Scientists besides doesn't always have the answers and if science does have the answers. We just haven't figured it out yet. It's a pretty big universe in a lot of things to learn about so if i can't find the answer through science will look at the religion or philosophy or anything you know. I'm just curious and i'm looking for the best most suitable answer. I feel like science and religion. They're like actually very similar because they're just they're ways to answer things and they may have different connotations around them but they're both just ways where you're like welton curious. I'm looking for guidance. Help me god or alien overlord. You know i'll take the million overlord in fact you identify as an atheist and yet in a beautiful full episodes that you and you could say made after you experienced terrible grief from your grandfather dying you will prompted to who asked the question what happens after we die and you didn't think that science would necessarily provide the answers why not well science is great. You know oh and scientists how i understand the world scientists science science can only do so much and what it can do something bring in the other viewpoints points and ideas. I want to talk about death. It's a debtor. I know but it's just i've kind of been curious about it about the two years ago. My grandpa died. I miss them a lot more. Why grandmother mother tells me that in the vietnamese tradition after a person dies their soul. It's just kind of disoriented <unk>. What's going on for exactly forty nine days ace but like what happens after the forty nine days or does he go. I just feel just procedures. We have and the basic concepts of science science being like well sticks and things in the brain use zap them you see if it responds and if they're dead their brain doesn't work right so there's like spiritual actual stuff and spiritual stuff tends to collide besides science doesn't like that for some reason now when we were born climate change is already kind of a big thing and that's because our parents and just people the previous generation started building the factories in releasing these greenhouse gas into the like tick you off that they're kinda just like nick dying planet. Does that like annoy at all. I think it does these are my friends are just wanted to ask them if they're also super terrified about climate change i mean it's up to us for some reason to fix our plan in and just to fix all our ancestors have wrought upon us okay so yeah. We're on the same page it. It just feels like we're all just kind of like stuck on this sinking boat the planet's heating up with no way to stop it. Maybe we need to just like like travel to mars. Describe that feeling force that kind of burden that you and your friends leave with is it a burden or or do you see a sort of different path that you will not take to solving the problem of human induced climate change. I feel like in a way climate change for me at least is like. Let's say you're in the supermarket. Let your dad wants to go to supermarket and he puts you in the car right and you're not supposed to leave people in locked cars and that stuff. Let's just say that happens right and you know like you you. You're not like a baby so you're like and you're like well. It's slowly getting hotter right. Let's just say that you get a call from your dad and your dad's like there. Was this massive. It's like there. Was this someone like try to stole it to the stores on lockdown. It's you'd be like four hours. It's that feeling where you're like well. If we don't fix this it's going to get hotter and harder and more uncomfortable and it just it just as bad feeling that it just. It's just gonna keep getting worse than you're like. Oh my god it's going to it's harder. It's kind of really panicky capanic fateh yeah exactly the more. You're like oh my god. I'm going to melt the more you're like. Well more time has passed. I'm gonna mel faster so do you think closes in it closing and then there's the question of how much power do you have to open the window and let the hot air yeah and you know eventually eventually once you're in that car for long enough and you're like oh my god like it's like you're just really uncomfortable in annoyed. You're like well. What am i dead. Ed open a window and you know you're thinking like why did they put this. Why are they making me cook di. I didn't do anything wrong and he's squirming new thing in the seatbelt that eventually just you just melt your melt and unfortunately i like humanity. I don't want it to melt bought. What if we don't fix climate change we could melting could be a serious problem. So who do you think covers they. Whoever they that a responsible unfortunately it's us which means it's it's everybody we don't really do anything so the only people that care the people that are panic though a hold on when the generation before us dies. How are they supposed to fix what they've done to our planet and then you just kinda freak out but everyone else else's. I know what it's fine. I'm just going to the grocery store and use my car. It's a tiny bit tiny bit of mission and everyone in the world does that and it's a whole a bunch of emission and we melt yeah. We'll actually win. You was seeks. Also you came up with an idea for solving climate change the wanted to share with nasser at the time and in fact as part of tasks while your podcast you have got to share that with a nasa climate scientist what was the idea and has it evolved well. Originally i just kinda thought of it as you know. We have ways of turning heat into power right you know with. Maybe like the steam engine all that stuff but i just i just saw one of. We made these like. It's kind of like a solar panel except it's a heat panel rates. There's not necessarily exactly solar radiation but it's just gets that and it turns turns it into power and it powers these massive like cell phone tower sized a._c. Units so like well you take the heat and it makes it cold and to make sure we don't like freeze and make another ice age when it gets too cold there won't be enough heat to make any power so like will bounce a self fout and everything will be great to basically capturing the excess hate then this generated through global warming and then and converting it to energy yeah and using that energy to create the heat button reverse so the to cancel each other out. Do you think it's viable well. We figured out that episode. They've got not entirely scientifically accurate. You were six. When you came up with. I was i was six. I didn't understand how a._c. Unit worked. I didn't know oh that like if it was making cold. It was putting out hot so so eight generating hate taught into cold yeah i mean people people are coming out with all sorts of possible geo engineering solutions to climate change because it seems like we pretty useless at reducing carbon emissions as a spacey so you know people are thinking of sprang sulfate particles up into the stratosphere as a kind of planet tree umbrella or sun shade putting mirrors up in space to deflect sunlight so so it's not entirely implausible this kind of scale of engineering solution. Have you come up with other ideas since he was seeks well. I i thought a woman i was eight and it's the exact same type of thing. It's also like it was more when i understood it. More like heat. Is these little particles in their bouncing around really quickly right and heat is like making the bouts faster so if something's hot the particles are bouncing quickly so if we take that energy from the particles and they chill out and it becomes cold if we get energy from the atmosphere and we turn into like a death star and just like shoot it into space. We'd we'd be cold again would be great. I love it and the lava is that this would also be a defense against aliens right if aliens come while we have a death yeah star pugh two birds with one stone. Keep us safe exactly. Did you think though your generation will take a different approach to fixing climate change to previous generations well. That's the thing i don't mean to have any disrespect on your generation. Go for for it. The next jenner the the generation before us is really doing anything and they're all going to die. They're gonna put it in our hands by the time that's there. Were super screwing. We're like well. We have to find a solution and we can't just be like what we're gonna. Hand it off to the next generation because we'll be melted by then but what if you do just handed off awesome what's going to change. We already know what the reality is. We can't change asocial systems to accommodate it. I don't know like honestly just by the rate that it's it's expanding and it's getting worse especially with the ways that we're creating like we have more efficient ways of mass producing food. They say it's more efficient but it's more efficient because it makes more carbon dioxide kills our planet mar so honestly we might not be able to hand it off like we just we might like. It seems like it could be the we could be the last line it could be the end of the line for us if we don't fix it and then a cockroach overlords will take over from from us which might not be such a bad thing well. That's the thing we don't well. I don't know if it if it's global warming a might not be cockroaches but if its nuclear warfare because of global warming of global warming causes like very small percentages of the land to be populated and there's like these big wars over like hey our waters evaporating. Hey a us to screw you. We wanna drink it yeah and then they throw bombs at each other then that's when the crock cockroaches they rise yes so bring on the cockroaches say now your new season of tie asked why lends this week and you're looking at a whole range of fantastic fantastic topics from animal talk to deja vu y spacey's so dark when the dinosaurs died had it all the other animals survive. I level all the things but one topic that really stood out for me <hes> in the season. That's coming up. He's why do people bully <music>. Why did you want to look at that as a young scientist well unfortunately my this may not be the most original superhero back story. I was bullied bullied and honestly i don't get blamed because the person used to be my friend and he just turned on a dime and just became the total jerk and i just i didn't get it so you know i'm like well. I have this outlet to answer all this questions. I may as well ask. Why do people be jerks to each other. We're all the same. Species were on the same boat vote here. Why do people be jerks so you tend to saw for instance yup. That's my default and did it deliver well well. I'm not gonna say too much. You're gonna have to listen so. I don't think i could spoil yup. I learned a lot of insights about how bullying is like. It's not justified because it's not a good thing but like justifying the way i understand why it's there in an evolutionary perspective. I wonder how you'll peas at school. Ooh your friends have responded to the fact that you've got this c._b._c. Podcast that's going out to the world now. Do they give you reviews what they do. Is they elect just they don't listen to it and you know. I love people listening to it but you know it's just it's not good to makes personal business and personal you know now. It's not good to me. They think i'm like this like nine to five tired office worker. I'm not kidding well i do. You have to wonder how you feel in any school because not only that big news. I think this past month is that tie asks wise now also being developed into a t._v. Show so i'm wondering whether you're going to have to clone yourself of always always wanted to clone myself so it's not necessarily a half do. I think it's more of a want to yeah. What would you relationship to your clone. Be like of wondered about that well. I can't tell you where because then people would steal it through the years. I've made this very long letter to myself and it's in my room and is in case you are cloned too and i have to separate for the original and the clone on how to deal with each other and it's a way to reset your mindset so the two of you can work in harmony you know because there's always that count and hobb's comic where they get pretty chaotic so i've made sure i made some ground rules for myself and besides you know like if you don't do it right having clone wouldn't be help would be the opposite oh yeah because imagine if you hated your clone all my god mentioned that that would be off for whole or it always be like well. It's your turn to do the dishes. It's like well. It's your turn turn but and that's why i try to make some ground rules. We'd have to figure out a system and all that stuff yeah it. Would it would kind of sock. If you heated yourself. That's rosh josh. He stayed into your own eyes and said. I think you are evil. I mean the sort of the conundrum that we face with the future of artificial intelligence isn't it so if we create artificial intelligences that rival our intelligence even though they are of our own making how will we relate to them. They could rise up and they would take over. They'd be they'd be too smart. They'd have an advantage that humans don't have but also new thorough holy it off ruin this house for the one of us thrive outwith you flesh and blood you adjust but a biology action that imagine if it's like you know you know how there's like like print your face in a mug or something in matching just like print your face in a robot yeah wacky yeah. I don't know how curious though ahead of feeling i prefer the cockroach overlords to the artificial intelligence overload somehow that'd be cool and it also be kind of funny because imagine like imagine if these cockroaches like a low quality motel and they just see like a little babies kilograms like oh. We're we're doomed. No way not we are not doomed so what what comes after all these the world is an interesting place right now and a number of world leaders seem to be turning away from science and scientific evidence to inform their policies that climate change about public health olf all sorts of stuff and i wonder if you have a message for them. Politics is different than sites but you know what god listen to science you. Gotta look at the evidence. Okay there is evidence of things and you may not be popular. You may not be popular by the the same generation as you but the generation after you really needs to step up the check climate change game because we can't fix it. If it's just handed off to us you may be unpopular. I like picasso was but then you'll be appreciated for your true works of arts about how you save the planet otherwise they're we're going to be like you know. People are going to hate on. You and people are going to hate on you and then we're all gonna die and you won't be hated. That's that's granted but that's because we're dead. I'm sorry politicians just got you. Gotta just shape out the game. You got just gonna look at the evidence so do i hear presidential visit intial tone the tiny. Can you imagine a future in politics yeah but i would be that kind. That's like i'll be like really progressive and how these like really good viewpoints and the no one votes for me and then like twelve years people are like hey they should voted for him. It's like yes cockroach dear thai paul. Thank you so much for joining me onsides friction this week. It's been wonderful having you as a guest. You're very welcome. I'm super glad had to be here and honestly. I think i should be thinking you. I thank you for listening to science friction. I'm pool and make sure to check out my podcast tasks. Why get anywhere you get podcast fast and it's just about a kid asking questions. It's more exciting. It sounds so keep asking why guys and thank you so much and tell all your friends to subscribe to the science fiction podcast while you're there to talk to me on twitter at natasha mitchell a thanks to the a._b._c. enter selwyn cousins and i'll catch knicks tweak unless they <hes> cockroach overlords. Get us first unwinding the cookies. You've been listening into an a._b._c. Podcast discover more great a._b._c. Podcasts live radio and exclusives on the a._b._c. Listen app.