Chad Orzel: A Brief History of Timekeeping

Razib Khan’s Unsupervised Learning | 4 February 2022 | 0h 54m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Chad Orzel about his book A Brief History of Timekeeping. Discusses cultural, engineering, historical and archaeological aspects of timekeeping; astronomical calendars; water clocks; how Greenwich Mean Time emerged; the cultural changes wrought by standardised time; and the effects of relativity and gravity on time.

Razib’s Substack is a joy to read.

Eric Kaufmann: Shall the Religious Still Inherit the Earth?

Razib Khan’s Unsupervised Learning | 8 January 2022 | 1h 25m | Listen Later | iTunes | Spotify
Interview with Eric Kaufmann about his book Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century. Predicts that due to the higher reproductive rates of religious groups compared to the secular population, the future is going to be more religious than the present. Discusses the contrast between this prediction and the fact that social and cultural change has made societies more secular in past centuries.

Charles C. Mann: 1491 Fifteen Years Later

Razib Khan’s Unsupervised Learning | 9 December 2021 | 1h 19m | Listen Later | iTunes | Spotify
Interview with Charles C. Mann discussing his books 1491, 1493 and The Wizard and the Prophet. Describes the advanced societies and biological technologies used in the New World before the arrival of Columbus; the conditions that caused the downfall of those societies; and the global exchange of crops, slaves and goods that developed thereafter. Contrasts considerations of environmental carrying capacity versus applying science to enable our adaptive ingenuity in the face of ecological constraints.

Alexander Young: Everything You Want to Know About Cognitive Genomics

Razib Khan’s Unsupervised Learning | 4 November 2021 | 1h 16m | Listen Later | iTunes | Spotify
Interview with Alexander Young discussing his work on cognitive genomics. Covers the heritability of complex traits; the large datasets required; twin studies; why Iceland’s isolation and homogeneity make it the ideal place for research distinguishing sociological explanations from biological; and the evidence that characteristics such as educational attainment are mediated to a large extent by inherited genes.

Freddie deBoer: the “Hereditarian Left”

Razib Khan’s Unsupervised Learning | 7 October 2021 | 1h 15m | Listen Later | iTunes | Spotify
Interview with Fredrik DeBoer discussing his book The Cult of Smart and Kathryn Paige Harden’s The Genetic Lottery. Backgrounds the evidence for heritability as a major determining factor when predicting intelligence and explores the implications of that for education policy.

Jared Rubin: Christianity and Capitalism

Razib Khan’s Unsupervised Learning | 19 August 2021 | 1h 02m | Listen Later | iTunes | Spotify
Interview with Jared Rubin about his book Rulers, Religion, and Riches: Why the West Got Rich and the Middle East Did Not. Argues that the ideological content of Western Christianity mattered to the development of capitalism and liberal institutions. Discusses the role of legitimating ideology and why Islam managed to check the rise of the capitalist class notwithstanding that Muhammad was a merchant.

Matt Ridley: Evolutionist, Thatcherite, and Writer

Razib Khan’s Unsupervised Learning | 18 March 2021 | 1h 10m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Matt Ridley about his 1999 book Genome and how its insights on genomics have held up since. Touches on his other books and discusses the relevance of evolution to everything, why Francis Crick is going to get “cancelled” at some point, if he’s still a happy Thatcherite, Britain’s response to Covid-19; and the origin of Covid-19 (his next book project).

Greg Clark: For Whom The Bell Curve Tolls

Razib Khan’s Unsupervised Learning | 8 May 2021 | 0h 56m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Gregory Clark discussing the controversy around, and the ideas from, his upcoming book For Whom The Bell Curve Tolls. Explores his finding of very high long-term persistence of social status across lineages, and possible explanations for this, including genetic factors.