Crisp conversations with critical thinkers at the leading edge of science, technology, politics, and social systems.
EP141 Heather Heying on Confronting Hyper-Novelty
Jim has a wide-ranging talk with evolutionary biologist Heather Heying about her & Bret Weinstein’s new book, A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century: Evolution and the Challenges of Modern Life. They discuss hyper-novelty & its challenges, niche-switching as the human niche, the naturalistic fallacy, the Ancient Beringians’ entry into the Americas, the hubris of reductionism & neo-cornucopianism, humans as the blankest slates, metaphoric & literal campfires, scaling laws in social groups, theory of mind, social media’s flattening effects including flattened affects, social media sabbaticals, the Sucker’s Folly, human population explosion, the Personal Responsibility Vortex, Proto-B communities, the lineage view of evolution, understanding exponentials & fat-tail events, culture as evolutionary adaptation (the Omega Principle), humanity’s Fourth Frontier, and more.
EP140 Robin Dunbar on Friendship
Jim talks with evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar, discoverer of Dunbar's number, about his latest book, Friends: Understanding the Power of our Most Important Relationships. They cover the importance of friendship, the loneliness epidemic, loneliness as a signal rather than a disease, oxytocin & endorphins, physical touch, synchrony & other ways of triggering the endorphin system, new data sources in the study of social networks, the social brain hypothesis, theory of mind/mind-reading, limitations of our mind-simulating capacities, the discovery of the Dunbar number(s), examples of the pattern from Navy Seals to Christmas cards, the mystery behind the scaling law of three, the seven pillars of friendship, costs & benefits of diversity, why friendships end, and more.
Currents 042: John Robb on Afghanistan Withdrawal
John Robb & Jim meet for a timely discussion about the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, the current mess at the Kabul airport, how the Taliban are controlling the flow of evacuations, likely backroom negotiations, dynamics of the intelligence and command failures that led us here, the U.S.’s failure to switch from guerilla warfare to maneuver warfare, the overreliance on diplomacy, OODA loops & shears, tempo change, how the Taliban could force the U.S. into an overland retreat & whether they will, the brutality of nation-building, Afghanistan & Iraq as foreign-policy distractions, further examples & consequences of “assumption rot”, and more.
EP139 Robert Tercek on Education Today
Robert Tercek & Jim continue their conversation in this wide-ranging chat about learning & education. They discuss the dematerialized economy, technological unemployment risk, underestimating software automation, AI as a career superpower, changing cost & quality of college, what education is for, Bryan Caplan’s challenge to the value of college, COVID & online education, online educational resource curation, VR learning potential, the metaverse discovery problem, why higher ed hasn’t vaporized, microcredentials & the push for alternative credentialing, 2 vaporized-education business proposals, and more.
Currents 041: Jonathan Rowson on Our Metacrisis Pickle
Jonathan Rowson & Jim continue their conversation by exploring Jonathan's recent essay, Tasting the Pickle: Ten flavours of meta-crisis and the appetite for a new civilization. They cover contextualizing our entangled meta-crisis, finding better language, limits of intellect & usefulness of felt experience in sensemaking (tasting the pickle), dividing vs distinguishing, mapping the pickle, saving humanity & spreading life, the "is it too late" question & our collective action problem, hidden aspects of the pickle, unifying vs pluralistic views, spiritual bypassing, metaphysical speculation, defining "meta", 10 flavors of the pickle, and more.
Currents 040: Jim Rutt Show Changes & Reflections
Jim Rutt Show producer, Jared Janes & Jim announce some changes to the podcast, preview upcoming guests, talk about the Jim Rutt Show (JRS) origin story, Jim's guest prep process, the evolution of JRS, its impact on Jim's reading habits, reading fiction, civilization collapse, contemporary influencers & counter cultures, curation as a service, what Jim likes the most about the podcast, core JRS themes, the art of yarning, stand out episodes & collaborations that came from the podcast, meditation, and more.
High quality discussions
Jim is one of he leading voices in the game~b movement. This podcast is a great place to engage with important ideas on where we are heading. If you’ve never heard of Game~b, well come on in - it’s one of the most important nascent concepts on the planet right now