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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Elon Musk: Walter Isaacson on the World’s Most Polarizing Person

The Next Big Idea | 14 September 2023 | 1h 07m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Walter Isaacson about his book Elon Musk. Discusses Elon Musk’s formative experiences; the pluses and minuses of his personality; his role with eBay, Tesla, SpaceX, Twitter, artificial intelligence, the war in Ukraine, and more.

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Ronan Farrow on the Rule of Elon Musk

The Political Scene | The New Yorker | 23 August 2023 | 0h 32m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Ronan Farrow about his New Yorker article Elon Musk’s Shadow Rule. Discusses how Musk has become an essential yet unofficial part of American governance, holding the keys to the green transition, the space race, and even the war in Ukraine. The reason for this, Farrow explains, is not Musk’s outrageous personality; it’s the structures of neoliberal capitalism that allowed a person like Musk to ascend.

For the record, I think Musk deserves more appreciation than criticism.

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The Economics of Innovation

The New Bazaar | 18 May 2023 | 1h 11m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Heidi Williams and Caleb Watney about the economics of innovation. Considers the evidence that the Great Stagnation may have ended (increased startups, mRNA vaccines, GPT-4, etc). Discusses policy settings and institutional designs to encourage new technologies and innovations and discusses new ideas for how scientific institutions should approach the process of scientific discovery.

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Ashlee Vance: The Misfits and Geniuses Winning the New Space Race

The Realignment | 9 May 2023 | 0h 46m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Ashlee Vance about his book When the Heavens Went on Sale: The Misfits and Geniuses Racing to Put Space Within Reach. Discusses the geopolitics of the new space race, the cheap and fast rocket and satellite launch revolution, how the “wild west” of lower orbit differs from the business billionaire-led space tourism, and how the new business of space could transform life on Earth.

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Your Brain Isn’t So Private Anymore

The Gray Area with Sean Illing | 3 April 2023 | 1h 05m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Nita Farahany about her book The Battle for Your Brain. Discusses what brain-scanning technology can and can’t currently do, how new devices might be used by corporations or governments to infringe on our rights, and the prospect of using new technologies to rid ourselves of painful or traumatic memories — even, potentially, before they’ve been formed.

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