DARPA and How to R&D Right

ChinaTalk | 9 June 2021 | 0h 39m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Ben Reinhardt exploring how institutions foster innovation. Includes the history of corporate research labs; their dependency on monopoly-like high company margins; incentive problems with academia- and venture-based research; factors behind DARPA’s success; why NASA wasted the past two decades; how administrative forces fetter high-variance research; and what needs to be subtracted from the US research ecosystem.

Sam Altman on the A.I. Revolution, Trillionaires and the Future of Political Power

The Ezra Klein Show | 11 June 2021 | 1h 10m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Sam Altman about his essay Moore’s Law for Everything. Backgrounds how AI will generate wealth by making almost everything cheaper, but destroy jobs in the process and shift wealth from labour to capital. Discusses the political economy that will require, arguing for taxing land and wealth, and distributing it to all to share the wealth.

Brad Stone on Big Tech Companies

Masters in Business | 11 June 2021 | 1h 20m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Brad Stone about his book Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos and the Invention of a Global Empire, which builds on his earlier The Everything Store. Backgrounds his research process and discusses the factors behind Amazon’s wealth creation, especially since 2014.

Alex Mesoudi: Studying Cultural Evolution, Migration And Transmission

The Dissenter | 12 September 2019 | 1h 09m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Alex Mesoudi about his book Cultural Evolution: How Darwinian Theory Can Explain Human Culture and Synthesize the Social Sciences. Discusses the theoretical foundations of cultural evolution; the relationship between culture and biology, and how we can get differences between groups; cultural group selection; issues with traditional social science; integrating lab studies and ethnographic studies; differences and similarities between cultural evolution and modern synthesis genetic evolution; Galton’s problem and how to be sure that the cultures we are studying are independent; migration; and cultural transmission.

Education, The Great Stagnation, and Innovation with Noah Smith

Venture Stories | 8 June 2021 | 1h 00m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Noah Smith discussing why colleges should try to emulate the Cal State and CUNY systems, which Noah says provide the best value for dollars in education; why the US should want to copy the Japanese and Korean healthcare systems, and the power that a national health insurance program has to drive cost down; why the oil shock precipitated the great stagnation, and the evolution (and non-evolution) of energy sources over the years; what climate economics got wrong and why the revolution in green energy will not only be about reducing carbon emissions but rather the abundance of cheap energy; inflation and monetary policy and how the fed really works; what the US should do to increase innovation, and Noah’s take on whether science and commercialization of discoveries is slowing down or not.

Richard Thompson Ford on Dress Codes

The World in Time / Lapham’s Quarterly | 19 March 2021 | 0h 42m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Richard Thompson Ford about his book Dress Codes: How the Laws of Fashion Made History. Explores the history of dress codes from the middle ages to the present and discusses the resulting insights about ourselves and our society.

The Rare Metals War

Big Ideas | 9 June 2021 | 0h 54m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Guillaume Pitron about his book The Rare Metals War: The Dark Side of Clean Energy and Digital Technologies. Backgrounds the dependence of clean energy, digital technologies, and electric cars on rare metals and the problems with how these metals are mined, processed and traded. Discusses the economic and geopolitical impacts resulting from China’s dominance of the rare metals industry.

Machiavelli, Master of Power

The Forum | 27 May 2021 | 0h 39m | Listen Later | iTunes
Exploration of the life and impact of Niccolò Machiavelli who wrote The Prince more than five hundred years ago, long read as a priceless guide to power and what holding it truly involves. Discusses the man behind the work, his claim that a leader must be prepared to act immorally, and why his name has become a byword for cunning and sinister strategy.