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.

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.

Anton Howes on Innovation History, the Improving Mindset & Progress Studies

Ben Yeoh Chats | 21 May 2021 | 1h 26m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Anton Howes discussing lessons from the history of innovation, the improving mentality, Progress Studies, the case for a new “Great Exhibition”, economic stagnation, copyright, and more.

I highly recommend Anton’s newsletter, Age of Invention.

Patrick Collison, CEO of Stripe

The Torch of Progress | 21 July 2020 | 1h 00m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Patrick Collison discussing Fast Grants’ funding of covid-19 research, progress studies, the rate of scientific progress and whether it’s slowing down, his perspective on the sciences, Effective Altruism, on being a self-described ‘fallibilist,’ the entrepreneurial mindset, and more.

How to Stop Worrying and Love the Robot Apocalypse

Freakonomics Radio | 6 May 2021 | 0h 48m | Listen Later | iTunes
Evaluates the impact that robots (and other smart technologies) will have on jobs, particularly the scope for newer collaborative robots (“cobots”) to totally reinvigorate how work gets done.

Alice Evans on The Great Gender Divergence

Ideas of India | 13 May 2021 | 1h 31m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Alice Evans about ideas from her upcoming book The Great Gender Divergence. Discusses issues affecting women in India, including drivers of women’s labour force participation, urbanization and social change, single-gender education, son preference, social media, pro-worker reforms, what drives support for gender equality, and more.

If you enjoy this then I highly recommend Alice Evans’ blogpost Why are North and South India So Different on Gender? This reviews the literature on poverty, colonialism, matriliny, cousin marriage, conquests and purdah, labour-intensive cultivation, and ancestral crop yields to assess the roots of India’s regional gender differences.

Eli Dourado – Frontiers for Productivity

Invest Like the Best | 11 May 2021 | 0h 56m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Eli Dourado of the Center for Growth and Opportunity. Backgrounds the evidence for and explanations of the ongoing slowdown in economic growth. Discusses the case for growth and some of the innovative technologies that could reverse this trend, especially in biotech, alternative energy, faster transportation, space, and IT.

With Emergent Ventures, Tyler Cowen Puts Money Where His Mind Is

Access to Excellence Podcast | 4 May 2021 | 0h 46m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Tyler Cowen discussing Emergent Ventures, which funds big and unique ideas; the Fast Grants program helping to fight Covid-19; why having children can help fight climate change; and why he is bullish on the U.S. economy.

I came across this on The Valmy, a list of episodes curated by Peter Hartree – an excellent resource, especially if you like philosophy.