Crisp conversations with critical thinkers at the leading edge of science, technology, politics, and social systems.
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.
EP83 Michel Bauwens on Our Commons Transition
Michel Bauwens talks to Jim about the forms of P2P (peer to peer) implementations & core elements, cosmo-local production, P2P in agriculture & regenerative processes, artificial rivalrous dynamics, capitalist impacts on social media & sensemaking, political polarization, creating better social media habits, centralized vs distributed & for-profit vs for-benefit business ops, blockchain design ethos', P2P from a historical perspective, de-growth misunderstandings, dangerous impacts of cities, cosmo-localism, Michel's commons transition strategy, and more.