A Guide to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

The Art of Manliness | 29 May 2024 | 0h 53m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Mark Richardson about his book Zen and Now, a study and reflection on Robert Pirsig’s book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Explains what Pirsig’s book is all about, Pirsig’s ideas on the metaphysics of quality and our relationship to technology, and how he tried to combine the ethos of Eastern and Western thought into a unified philosophy of living. Discusses why Richardson wanted to recreate Pirsig’s road trip, the joys of travelling by motorcycle, and what he learned along the way.

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The Ancient Inventions That Made the Modern World

KERA’s Think | 24 May 2024 | 0h 31m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Roma Agrawal about her book Nuts and Bolts: Seven Small Inventions That Changed the World (in a Big Way). Discusses simple inventions such as nails, rivets and string that we don’t think of as particularly revolutionary but which carry all the innovations of today on their shoulders.

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Why Flying Cars Are More of a Reality Than You Think

Plain English with Derek Thompson | 7 May 2024 | 0h 59m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Gideon Lewis-Kraus about his New Yorker article Are Flying Cars Finally Here? Discusses his research on the history, present, and future of flying car technology; flying cars as emblems of our collective disappointment with a technologically splendid future promised but not delivered; why flying cars don’t exist – and why they might be much closer to reality than most people think.

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Casey Handmer on Astrophysics, Saving the Planet and Raising Three Kids

Startup Dad | 15 February 2024 | 0h 54m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Casey Handmer about balancing parenting with intense work. Backgrounds his startup pioneering air-to-fuel technology and discusses productivity and priorities; parenting without a support structure; how to work on having optimism be the default so you can build a better future; how he and his wife manage a busy household and three under the age of five; the importance of long-term projects, both professionally and personally; and his kids’ relationship with technology.

See also the Multiverses interview about his firm Terraform Industries and its work synthesising methane and hydrocarbons from the air.

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India’s Chip War

ChinaTalk | 25 February 2024 | 1h 12m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Pranay Kotasthane about his book When the Chips are Down: A Deep Dive into a Global Crisis, co-authored with Abhiram Manchi. Discusses how the political economy of technology in India led to world-class software and services but underwhelming manufacturing, why India was slower to the uptake than China that socialism really sucks at getting your country rich, and what it takes to design a chip.

This episode is co-hosted by Chris Miller. See also the interview about his book Chip War.

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The Techno-Optimist Manifesto with Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz

a16z | 25 October 2023 | 1h 07m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz discuss Andreessen’s article The Techno-Optimist Manifesto. Challenges the pessimistic narrative surrounding technology today, celebrating it as a liberating force that can lead to growth, progress and abundance for all. Discusses how technological advancements can improve the quality of human life, uplift marginalized communities, and even encourage us to answer the bigger questions of the universe.

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Keith Houston on the History of Pocket Calculators

Patented: History of Inventions | 16 August 2023 | 0h 45m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Keith Houston about his book Empire of the Sum: The Rise and Reign of the Pocket Calculator. Discusses how humans did mathematics before calculators; the development of number systems, slide rules and mechanical calculators; and shares stories about key steps in the development of pocket calculators.

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