Restoring The Promise of Higher Education with Richard Vedder

Venture Stories | 25 April 2021 | 1h 00m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Richard Vedder about his book Restoring The Promise: Higher Education in America. Discusses the origins of the myth that higher education is the key to career success; the unintended consequences of student loans, including the fact that colleges raised tuition dramatically in response to the increase in borrowing; government regulation that impacted higher education and why the GI Bill led to an explosion in the number of universities; where he agrees and disagrees with Bryan Caplan and Peter Thiel; the history and evolution of colleges in the US; why colleges have been so resilient; and what he would do if he was starting a new university from scratch today.

The Scout Mindset with Julia Galef

Venture Stories | 4 April 2021 | 0h 55m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Julia Galef about her book The Scout Mindset. Discusses why everyone, including entrepreneurs, should want to see reality more clearly; the fact that the bottleneck to more rationality is not lack of knowledge, but lack of motivation to see the world as it really is; why the “soldier mindset” is the default mindset and why signalling keeps it that way; why thinking probabilistically has a calming psychological effect; how to adopt the scout mindset by thinking in bets, considering what you’d do if another person was in your shoes, and noticing where you’re defensive of your beliefs; how to get your organization to adopt a scout mindset; her thoughts on changing minds with mistake theory versus conflict theory; and the evolution of the rationality space over time.

The 2020s, Economic Growth, and Deep Tech with Eli Dourado

Venture Stories | 23 March 2021 | 0h 53m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Eli Dourado of the Center for Growth and Opportunity discussing why he wants to radically increase GDP per capita and the current bottlenecks to achieving that; why he thinks the 2020s will be the decade of atoms; why amazing scientific breakthroughs like CRISPR haven’t translated into new products or treatments; why he’s excited about geothermal power and how it could change geopolitics if its potential is realized; his breakdown of his position as a technological optimist and cultural pessimist; where he agrees or disagrees with Tyler Cowen, Bryan Caplan, Peter Thiel, and Samuel Hammond; and why entrepreneurs shouldn’t shy away from areas with regulatory risk, since “that’s where all the action happens.”

What the Science of Relationships Can Teach Founders

Venture Stories | 4 February 2021 | 0h 44m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Logan Ury discussing her book How To Not Die Alone from the perspective of founder relationships. Discusses: why a great relationship is really just a culmination of a series of small decisions, and how to be intentional every step of the way; how the three dating tendencies apply to cofounders as well as to romantic partners; what leads to external CEO candidates being paid more but performing worse than internal ones; why life is happier for satisficers than for maximizers; when to end it versus when to mend it; and why people love optionality but are much happier after having made permanent decisions.

Creating Innovation Ecosystems with Anton Howes

Venture Stories | 24 November 2020 | 1h 04m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Anton Howes, author of Arts & Minds. Discusses the cultures and conditions where innovation is easier and better; why he wrote the book and the key question he was trying to answer; what Silicon Valley could learn from studying the history of Britain; misconceptions that people have about economic growth in the past and future; why people misunderstand what growth is; how statecraft relates to economic growth; questions that people in the field are trying to answer and where he agrees or disagrees with prominent thinkers; and thoughts on progress studies.

Anton’s newsletter, Age of Invention, is my favourite discovery of the last year or so.

Progress Studies in 2020 with Jason Crawford

Venture Stories | 16 August 2020 | 1h 11m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Jason Crawford, author of The Roots of Progress, discussing: the key aspects of human progress; the history of progress over time; whether we’ve traded off progress for safety; why the idea of progress is relatively new; what the nature of science fiction writing tells us about our vision for progress; why progress happens differently in different domains; how to think about safety with respect to new technologies; and the impacts of slowing population growth.

What Dan Romero Thinks About Basically Everything

Venture Stories | 16 July 2020 | 1h 42m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Dan Romero, formerly of Coinbase, discussing startups and lessons from scaling Coinbase; some of the best books he’s read; communism and why socialism seems popular with young people today; the history of technology; crypto; and where he agrees or disagrees with prominent Silicon Valley figures.

Cleantech, Globalization, and Climate Change with Ramez Naam

Venture Stories | 25 June 2020 | 0h 53m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Ramez Naam discussing why clean energy didn’t realize its potential in the 2000s and why now is a good time to invest in clean energy; his market map of opportunities in clean energy and the impact on the space that Moore’s Law is having; the influence of Kevin Kelly and Robert Wright on his thinking; the future of globalization; how to reconcile egalitarianism and meritocracy; and the state of climate change.