The Western Front: A Cauldron of Innovation

History Extra | 10 March 2021 | 0h 30m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Nick Lloyd about his book The Western Front: A History of the Great War, 1914-1918. Argues that the Western Front in World War I was a cauldron of innovation and an epic struggle against the odds, shaped by transformative military and technological advancements.

Matt Ridley: Infinite Innovation

The Knowledge Project with Shane Parrish | 23 March 2021 | 1h 04m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Matt Ridley discussing writing books about science, the age-old battle between viruses and humans, rational optimism, the difference between innovation and invention, the role of trial and error and the effects of social media on seeing others’ points of view.

Culture, Innovation, and the Collective Brain

Many Minds | 3 February 2021 | 1h 29m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Michael Muthukrishna about why our brains got so big; how culture makes us smart; where innovation comes from; the cultural brain hypothesis; what this means for a general theory of intelligence across species; explaining the Flynn Effect; how group size and interconnectedness power culture; the evolution of brain size in humans & cetaceans; why psychology needs to become a historical science; and more.

This episode was so insightful that I went looking for more. The episode with Michael Muthukrishna on The Dissenter is also very good.

Simon Baron-Cohen on Pattern Seekers

Noncompliant | 10 December 2020 | 0h 47m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Simon Baron-Cohen about his book The Pattern Seekers: How Autism Drives Human Invention. Describes the evidence that the genes that cause autism are critical to human inventiveness; a benefit that sometimes comes at the cost of cognitive empathy, but not affective empathy. Stresses the importance of recognizing and valuing neurodiversity.

Creating Innovation Ecosystems with Anton Howes

Venture Stories | 24 November 2020 | 1h 04m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Anton Howes, author of Arts & Minds. Discusses the cultures and conditions where innovation is easier and better; why he wrote the book and the key question he was trying to answer; what Silicon Valley could learn from studying the history of Britain; misconceptions that people have about economic growth in the past and future; why people misunderstand what growth is; how statecraft relates to economic growth; questions that people in the field are trying to answer and where he agrees or disagrees with prominent thinkers; and thoughts on progress studies.

Anton’s newsletter, Age of Invention, is my favourite discovery of the last year or so.

Nicholas Crafts: Is the Age of Fast Economic Growth Really Over?

Political Economy with James Pethokoukis | 5 June 2020 | 0h 24m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Nicholas Crafts discussing why productivity has slowed in the past half-century, how we might kick-start innovation in the economy, and whether artificial intelligence could be about to power a fourth industrial revolution.

Textiles as Tech, Science, Math, Culture… or Civilization

a16z | 24 October 2020 | 1h 11m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Virginia Postrel about her book The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World. Discusses the ubiquitousness of textile metaphors; the genetics of cotton; the supply chain of silk (including early machines, early management techniques, maestra and notions of expertise); the storage and transmission of knowledge; knitting and AI; and the environmental impact of dyes.

Adam Thierer: How ‘Evasive Entrepreneurship’ Can Beat the Regulatory State

Political Economy with Jim Pethokoukis | 12 June 2020 | 0h 25m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Adam Thierer about his book Evasive Entrepreneurs and the Future of Governance: How Innovation Improves Economies and Governments. Discusses innovative companies skirting regulation that entrenches interests and blocks innovation that benefits consumers and human progress.