Crisp conversations with critical thinkers at the leading edge of science, technology, politics, and social systems.
EP86 Nadav Zeimer on Educational Reform
Nadav Zeimer talks to Jim about his background & how it informs his work as a high school principal, the educational system's failure to build the right skills, consumption vs information literacy, COVID-19 impacts on education, what digital nativism & media creation means to Nadav, hands-on non-digital learning, out-dated education incentives, Nadav's academic platform & crediting system dynamics & incentives, centralized vs decentralized accreditation, learning vs memorizing, changing the role of teachers, credit experts & catalysts, tactics for preventing cheating, pass & fail system, Nadav's idea for education-based basic income, and more.
Currents 016: Robin Hanson on Are We Living In A Simulation?
In this Currents episode, Jim talks to Robin Hanson about whether we live in a simulation or not, why it would matter if we do, his view of Nick Bostrom's simulation logic, Boltzmann brains & other possible simulation types, the appeal of simulating magic, the quantum Hilbert space, simulation accuracy, cost, & sizes, simulation theory induced paranoia, the value of & justifications for simulations, evolutionary universes, the Drake equation & Fermi paradox, impacts of increased pressure for human coordination, GameB, Robin & Jim's estimated simulation probabilities, and more.
EP85 Gar Alperovitz on Reinventing Our Systems
Gar Alperovitz talks to Jim about what his definition of systems & their relationship to ownership & control, economic & political components in systems, GameB, the legitimacy crisis & systems collapse, the failure mode of the political process, pervasive corporate influences, theory & experimentation, the past dynamics & current decline of US unions, finding appropriate levels of governance, complexities of worker ownership, race-to-the-bottom dynamics, materialism, municipalities as testbeds, openness to systemic change, Gar's four types of systemic evolution, and more.
Currents 015: Jessica Flack & Melanie Mitchell on Complexity
In this Currents episode, Jim talks to Melanie Mitchell & Jessica Flack about their recent Aeon article, Uncertain times. Why R(0) is not a good measure for COVID contagion, network contagion & super spreaders, global non-linear causes & effects, feedback dynamics in complex systems, some hopeful views on COVID-19 impact, the importance of noise & randomness in complex systems, understanding & planning for fat-tailed distributions, designing for robustness, emergent engineering, funding robustness, collective intelligence, science distrust, misinformation, humility, authority, trust, and more.
Currents 014: Steve LeVine on COVID-19 Futures
In this Currents episode, Jim talks to Steve LeVine about his article, Remote Work Is Killing the Hidden Trillion-Dollar Office Economy, cultural hysteresis & homeostasis, the challenge of predicting post-pandemic changes & looking to history, the emerging remote business fluency, designing for virtual serendipity, the big city COVID-19 exodus, GameB, the Civium Project, the plausibility of cities dying, dangers of the US culture war, vaccines, and more.
EP84 William Perry & Tom Collina on The Nuclear Button
Former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry & Tom Z. Collina of the Ploughshares Fund talk to Jim about their book, The Button: The New Nuclear Arms Race and Presidential Power from Truman to Trump. They cover today's nuclear weapons amnesia, the current nuclear situation, the growing number of nuclear-armed countries, US presidential nuclear powers, first-use policies, the danger of 'launch on warning', three ways of blundering into nuclear war, nuclear game theory, the New START Treaty, William & Tom's proposed nuclear operations improvements, the plausibility of abolishing nuclear weapons, and more.