Peter Thiel on Innovation and Stagnation

Conversations with Bill Kristol | 15 September 2014 | 1h 36m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Peter Thiel discussing his experiences founding companies, why it’s worth challenging “what everyone knows” in business and politics, the state of technology and innovation, the criticality of economic progress to the American democracy, and the crisis in American higher education.

Stalin: the Real Victor of WW2

History Extra | 9 April 2021 | 0h 54m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Sean McMeekin about his book Stalin’s War: A New History of World War II. Discusses his revisionist history of the Second World War, which places Josef Stalin at the centre of the conflict, showing how the Soviet dictator outmanoeuvred both enemies and allies to secure his own ends.

Julia Galef on Spock and Rationality

Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy | 16 April 2021 | 1h 00m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Julia Galef about her book The Scout Mindset. Discusses rational thinking; how to distinguish epistemic confidence from social confidence; the status quo bias; the outsider test; and her analysis of Star Trek episodes that show that Spock was no paragon of rationality – with a poor prediction track record and an abject failure to update his approach.

Invisible China: How the Urban-Rural Divide Threatens China’s Rise

ChinaTalk | 9 April 2021 | 0h 52m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Scott Rozelle about his book Invisible China: How the Urban-Rural Divide Threatens China’s Rise, co-authored with Natalie Hell. Discusses how China’s 900 million-strong low-income population will decide China’s future development path; parallels with Mexico’s development; why it is easy to solve poverty but not low income; why local governments don’t spend enough on rural education and health; and how the relationship between academia and government has changed from the Hu Jintao-era to the Xi Jinping-era.

Restoring The Promise of Higher Education with Richard Vedder

Venture Stories | 25 April 2021 | 1h 00m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Richard Vedder about his book Restoring The Promise: Higher Education in America. Discusses the origins of the myth that higher education is the key to career success; the unintended consequences of student loans, including the fact that colleges raised tuition dramatically in response to the increase in borrowing; government regulation that impacted higher education and why the GI Bill led to an explosion in the number of universities; where he agrees and disagrees with Bryan Caplan and Peter Thiel; the history and evolution of colleges in the US; why colleges have been so resilient; and what he would do if he was starting a new university from scratch today.

William Green on Richer, Wiser, Happier

Trend Following with Michael Covel | 26 April 2021 | 1h 03m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with William Green about his book Richer, Wiser, Happier: How the World’s Greatest Investors Win in Markets and Life. Discusses the interviews he’s conducted over twenty-five years with many of the world’s greatest investors. Argues that the best investors can teach us not only how to become rich, but how to improve the way we think, reach decisions, assess risk, avoid costly errors, build resilience, and turn uncertainty to our advantage.

The Franco-American Alliance 1778

In Our Time | 22 April 2021 | 0h 50m | Listen Later | iTunes
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the treaties France entered into with the United States of America in 1778, to give the USA support in its revolutionary war against Britain and promote French trade across the Atlantic. The French navy played a decisive role in the Americans’ victory, but the fell on French taxpayers, highlighting the need for reforms which in turn led to the French Revolution. Then, when France looked to its American ally for support in the new French revolutionary wars with Britain, Americans had to choose where their longer-term interests lay, and they turned back from the France that had supported them to the Britain they had just been fighting, and France and the USA fell into undeclared war at sea.

Roya Hakakian on A Beginner’s Guide to America

EconTalk | 26 April 2021 | 1h 09m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Roya Hakakian about her book A Beginner’s Guide to America: For the Immigrant and the Curious. Describes her refugee experience, coming from Iran to the United States as a 19-year-old, not speaking any English, and carrying only the things she could stuff in her backpack. Discusses her love for her adopted country as well as where there is room for improvement.