Abolish Poverty: Matthew Desmond on How We Can Do It

The Next Big Idea | 23 March 2023 | 1h 02m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Matthew Desmond about his book Poverty, by America. Argues that affluent Americans are complicit in keeping poor people poor – prioritising the subsidisation of the middle class over alleviating poverty. Sets out a programme to end poverty in America.

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Diet: The New Science of Healthy Eating

The Next Big Idea | 12 January 2023 | 1h 01m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Tim Spector about his book Food for Life: The New Science of Eating Well. Argues that food decisions are the single most important modifiable factor in preventing common diseases and staying healthy and digs into what science has learned about what we should eat – and why.

I’m pretty sceptical about dietary advice – but found this quite convincing.

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Kevin Roose on His Creepy Chat with Bing and Where AI Is Headed Next

The Next Big Idea | 2 March 2023 | 1h 07m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Kevin Roose about his unsettling conversation with Sydney, Bing’s chatbot, in which it professed its love for him and vented its desires to engineer deadly viruses and steal nuclear codes, and announced, chillingly, “I want to be alive. 😈”. Discusses sentience, AI rights, managing the risks developing AI, and the future potential and peril of AI.

I agree that the Bing AI is not sentient – but only because I think none of us are. Aren’t we all just something like a large language model generating thoughts out of associations?

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Power Failure: What Happened to GE?

The Next Big Idea | 19 January 2023 | 0h 58m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with William Cohan about his book Power Failure: The Rise and Fall of an American Icon. Explores the role and responsibility of Jack Welch and Jeff Immelt in the downfall of General Electric, formerly the most valuable company in the world.

See also Malcolm Gladwell’s New Yorker article Was Jack Welch the Greatest C.E.O. of His Day—or the Worst?

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Bo Sea on Good Arguments

The Next Big Idea | 17 November 2022 | 0h 55m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Bo Seo about his book Good Arguments: How Debate Teaches Us to Listen and Be Heard. Shares time-honoured techniques for getting your point across, changing minds without hurting feelings, dealing with bullies, and knowing when to shut up.

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Amanda Little on the Fate of Food

The Next Big Idea | 21 July 2022 | 1h 12m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Amanda Little about her book The Fate of Food: What We’ll Eat in a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World. Backgrounds the challenges climate change poses to food: the collapse of food systems, less flavoursome food, and crops we rely on, like corn and soy, getting harder to grow. Argues that we must change our agricultural practices, combining the wisdom of traditional farming practices with radical advances in agricultural technology.

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Jane McGonical on Imaginable

The Next Big Idea | 26 May 2022 | 1h 11m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Jane McGonigal about her book Imaginable: How to See the Future Coming and Feel Ready for Anything―Even Things That Seem Impossible Today. Discusses evidence-based techniques from psychology and neuroscience to use simulations to better anticipate and prepare for unthinkable futures.

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Relationships: Why Everything You Know About Them Is (Mostly) Wrong

The Next Big Idea | 9 June 2022 | 0h 55m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Eric Barker about his book Plays Well with Others: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Relationships Is (Mostly) Wrong. Discusses what he learned from social science as he went on a journey to understand what he was getting wrong about relationships.

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