This week in podcasts #6

The Economist Asks – John McWhorter

Good conversation on swearing and its impact. Lane Green from the Economist also joins.

The Ezra Klein Show – Sarah Schulman’s Radical Approach to Conflict, Communication and Change

The central argument is that we often mislabel conflict as abuse and view ourselves and act as victims of abuse without recognizing the power that we have in the situation, the way we may be part of and have a responsibility for ending a conflict.

They have a wide ranging talk where they talk LGBTQ, Israel vs Palestine, compassion, and other important subjects where communication needs to be productive.

The Dishcast – Jonathan Rauch On Dangers To Liberalism

In this episode we discuss his important new book, The Constitution of Knowledge, and get into some heated exchanges over Trump, the MSM, and Russiagate — Jon as the optimistic liberal and me as the pessimistic conservative.

Village Global’s Venture Stories – Education, The Great Stagnation, and Innovation with Noah Smith

Noah Smith, Bloomberg Opinion writer and author of the Noahpinion Substack, joins Erik to discuss:

– 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 is will not only be about reducing carbon emissions but rather the abundance of cheap energy.

– What people get wrong about 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.

Conversations with Tyler – Elijah Millgram on the Philosophical Life

Elijah joined Tyler to discuss Newcomb’s paradox, the reason he doesn’t have an opinion about everything, the philosophy of Dave Barry, style and simulation theory, why philosophers aren’t often consulted about current events, his best stories from TA-ing for Robert Nozick, the sociological correlates of knowing formal logic, the question of whether people are more interested in truth or being interesting, philosophical cycles, what makes Nietzsche important today, the role that meaning can play in a person’s personality and life, Mill on Bentham, the idea of true philosophy as dialogue, the extent to which modern philosophers are truly philosophical, why he views aesthetics as critical to philosophy, and more.

Macro Musings with David Beckworth – Jason Furman on Overheating, Inflation, and Fiscal Policy in an Era of Low Interest Rates

The real takeaway here is how J-Fur talks about how he evaluates information and updates his models. Hint: always use more than one. All models are wrong. The Tetlock Superforcasting or Kahneman Noise approach is best.

This week in podcasts #5

Village Global’s Venture Stories – Cracks in The Great Stagnation with Caleb Watney

There are more and more stories about The Great Stagnation being over. That is great news. The mRNA vaccines, autonomous driving, and AI – all mainstays here on Collectanea. It’s exciting times for innovation. Will be following the space with hawk eyes.

From Erik Thorenberg on what the episode is about:

– How views have changed on whether we are in a great stagnation, and what someone from the 1970s who was brought to 2021 would think about the technological changes in the interim.

– Whether a technological slowdown is inevitable or a choice that a society makes.

– The fact that COVID drastically accelerated adoption of technology that was already in existence.

– Caleb’s view that there has been a slowdown in both the pace of scientific discoveries as well as the commercialization of those discoveries.

– The decline of the industrial research lab and the fact 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.

– The power of agglomeration clusters and what portion of work will revert back to in-person once the pandemic ends.

EconTalk – Donald Shoup on the Economics of Parking

Shoup argues that most parking policies inflict unseen damage on the economy. He urges cities to charge for curbside parking and use the proceeds to improve the neighborhood beyond the curb. Stroup also explains the surprising harm done by requiring new buildings to provide a minimum level of off-street parking.

It’s a surprisingly interesting episode. Did not know how interesting parking could be in the eyes of an economist.

All-In – New FTC Chair, breaking up big tech, government silent spying, Jon Stewart, wildfires & more

The title says it all. The really interesting part is how breaking up big tech would look and the real value of PII (Personally Identifiable Information).

Masters in Business – Robert Cialdini on the Psychology of Influence

Barry talks to Robert about the new and updated version of Influence. I read the first edition of the book and I might have to read the new edition too. The first edition was a quake book for me.

Making Sense with Sam Harris – Corporate Courage

Sam talks to Jason Fried about the culture at Basecamp and what happened when they said no more politics at work, which lead to 30% of the office quitting. Similar things also happened at Coinbase and Shopify. There is something more to this case that’s going around in the zeitgeist.

This week in podcasts #4

Jolly Swagman – A General Theory of Catastrophe – Niall Ferguson

Around minute 20 they talk about reading and if you should stop reading a book. They also talk about economical cycles.

It’s not that much about Niall’s new book Doom, but a far reaching conversation and that’s the reason it made the list.

The Psychology Podcast with Scott Barry Kaufman – John McWhorter || Nasty Words

John McWhorter is always interesting. His appearance on Conversations with Tyler was fantastic.

Topics this time:

· Why John wrote a book on profanity

· Why we call it “swearing”

· Why people love the f-word

· How profanity “lives in the right brain”

· Why slurs sometimes become terms of affection

· Why every culture has slurs

· Why John thinks “the elect” is doing harm to society

· How to balance contrasting perspectives on racism

· John and Scott discuss the victim mentality

· Discerning between fact and fiction in racial justice

The Ezra Klein Show – Sam Altman on the A.I. Revolution, Trillionaires and the Future of Political Power

AI is coming and Sam Altman is the CEO of Open.AI – the creator of GPT-3.

They talk about the possibilities of AI. Image using DALL-E for illustration work. How the space is evolving and the hard conversations we need to have now – before it’s too late.

Comes A Time – Bill Kreutzmann and John Mayer

Bill is such a delight. He talks about his “social sliver” – micro-dosing LSD. John talks about how he got to know Jerry Garcia as a person through his playing.
Fascinating even if you’re not a Dead fan. It’s interesting to hear musicians who tour for much of the year talk in-depth about how corona altered their lives.

Modern Finance – MoFi Consensus [June 4th]

No reason to hear the whole thing if you’re not into crypto, but there is value in learning about DeFi. DeFi is turning around finance. In normal banking the bank lends out the money you store in your account, that where some liquidity comes from. In many DeFi projects you get a solid yield percentage for adding liquidity. DeFi is huge and has many use cases.

This week in podcasts #4

The External Medicine Podcast — The Invisible Graveyard: A Conversation with Economist Alex Tabarrok

This episode is good. Alex goes further into his thinking on covid. He has been right all along and it took a year and then New York Times pointed it out too. We have some of the same blindspots that he highlights in Norway as well. When he talks about externalities we should listen.

Bruce Meyer on Poverty — EconTalk

A good look into poverty in America, both practical and academic. How many stay in poverty for long periods of time and how do you measure that? Are you poor if you have a TV?

The Breakdown – Revisiting Paul Tudor Jones’ ‘Great Monetary Inflation’ Thesis

If you are interested in crypto this one is fantastic. NLW breaks down Paul Tudor Jones’s paper The Great Monetary Inflation(link to PDF) which starts as follows:

The depth and magnitude of the economic drop-off took modern monetary theory—or the direct monetization of massive fiscal spending—from the theoretical to practice without any debate. It has happened globally with such speed that even a market veteran like myself was left speechless. Just since February, a global total of$3.9 trillion (6.6% of global GDP) has been magically created through quantitative easing. We are witnessing the Great Monetary Inflation (GMI)—an unprecedented expansion of every form of money, unlike anything the developed world has ever seen.

The podcast covers:

– The context and previous attitudes towards bitcoin of both authors of the letter
– The “Great Monetary Inflation” thesis driving a focus on stores of value
– How money supply growth compared to real economic output growth hasn’t been this out of sync since inflationary periods in the 1970s and 1980s
– The “Inflation Race” – a list of 8 potential inflation hedges
– The four categories by which a store of value can be judged: purchasing power, trustworthiness, liquidity, portability
– A ranked look at bitcoin, gold, fiat, and financial assets in the context of those four categories.

All-In – Wuhan lab leak theory, India’s “traceability” law, Coinbase’s fact check, Big Tech’s Hollywood takeover

This week’s All-In is interesting when they talk about Coinbase going the media house route. I’m planning on writing a collection piece on this later. The other intriguing aspect was the discussion around the value of content. Does a user care that Hollywood made $100 million when you can get great content for free on TicTok, YouTube et al.?

Breakdown – Cathie Wood on Where Bitcoin Fits in a World With Deflation Rather than Inflation

There is another episode of the Breakdown that was interesting. It’s an interview with Cathie Wood and y’all know I find her fascinating. She sees things differently and puts her money where her mouth is.

Modern Finance – Brave, The Privacy and Crypto-Friendly Browser with Brendan Eich

The last pod this week is an interview with Brendan Eich, founder of the Brave browser (good browser). He also invented JavaScript, he’s kinda a big deal. While it’s from a crypto podcast I would still recommend the episode to those who aren’t interested in crypto. Most of the way we work and innovate is browser-based, but always apps in the browser. We seldom look into the browser itself, they work. So how do you innovate in the space?

Conversations with Tyler – David Deutsch on Multiple Worlds and Our Place in Them

David is a weird cat, in the best way. He pushes back a lot which is nice, that never makes for a fluid conversation – but we don’t listen to Tay Tay for that.

This tread from Michael Nielsen is good. More after you click.