Cracks in The Great Stagnation with Caleb Watney

Venture Stories | 6 June 2021 | 1h 06m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Caleb Watney discussing how views have changed on whether we are in a great stagnation; whether a technological slowdown is inevitable or a choice that a society makes; that covid-19 accelerated adoption of technology that was already in existence; the pace of scientific discoveries; the decline of the industrial research lab and that there is more competition in technology today; whether certain institutions need to be “retired” after a certain period of time; the incentives that distort immigration policy and the possibility of turning immigration officers into “talent scouts”; why fertility rates are falling and how to allow people to have the number of kids that they say they want to have; and the power of agglomeration clusters.

Education, The Great Stagnation, and Innovation with Noah Smith

Venture Stories | 8 June 2021 | 1h 00m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Noah Smith discussing why colleges should try to emulate the Cal State and CUNY systems, which Noah says provide the best value for dollars in education; why the US should want to copy the Japanese and Korean healthcare systems, and the power that a national health insurance program has to drive cost down; why the oil shock precipitated the great stagnation, and the evolution (and non-evolution) of energy sources over the years; what climate economics got wrong and why the revolution in green energy will not only be about reducing carbon emissions but rather the abundance of cheap energy; inflation and monetary policy and how the fed really works; what the US should do to increase innovation, and Noah’s take on whether science and commercialization of discoveries is slowing down or not.

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.