Lux Capital Scientist in Residence, what that is like, how he evaluates startups, the big things he focuses on, and his thoughts on being a generalist over being a specialist are just some of the topics we cover in this episode!
Lux Capital about page
All of his writing at Wired
All of his writing at The Atlantic
All of his writing on Medium
All of the below can be seen on his website here as well as how to contact him and join his newsletter.
“Samuel Arbesman is a complexity scientist, whose work focuses on the nature of scientific and technological change. He is currently Scientist in Residence at Lux Capital, a venture capital firm investing in emerging science and technology ventures. He is also a Senior Fellow of the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado Boulder and Research Fellow at the Long Now Foundation.
Arbesman’s training is in complexity science, computational biology, and applied mathematics. His scientific research has been cited widely and has appeared in numerous peer-reviewed journals including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. His essays about science, mathematics, and technology have appeared in such places as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Wired, where he was previously a contributing writer, and he has been featured in The Best Writing on Mathematics 2010. Arbesman is the author of two award-winning books, Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension (Current/Penguin, 2016) and The Half-Life of Facts (Current/Penguin, 2012).
Previously, Arbesman was a Senior Scholar at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and a Research Fellow in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School. He completed a PhD in computational biology at Cornell University in 2008, and earned a BA in computer science and biology at Brandeis University in 2004.
Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension
A QI Book of the Year and Scientific American Recommended Book
Why did the New York Stock Exchange suspend trading without warning on July 8, 2015? Why did certain Toyota vehicles accelerate uncontrollably against the will of their drivers? Why does the programming inside our airplanes occasionally surprise its creators?
After a thorough analysis by the top experts, the answers still elude us.
You don’t understand the software running your car or your iPhone. But here’s a secret: neither do the geniuses at Apple or the Ph.D.’s at Toyota—not perfectly, anyway. No one, not lawyers, doctors, accountants, or policy makers, fully grasps the rules governing your tax return, your retirement account, or your hospital’s medical machinery. The same technological advances that have simplified our lives have made the systems governing our lives incomprehensible, unpredictable, and overcomplicated.