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.