Become a more nuanced thinker.
In an era of uncertainty, the ability to think dynamically and avoid getting trapped in infinite loops of thought is more important than ever.
Whether we’re discussing ancient Chinese philosophy, the history of finance, or cutting-edge advances in artificial intelligence, our host Jim O'Shaughnessy’s passion, experience, and eclectic range of interests, combined with our extensive research into our podcast guests, always result in surprising conversations which substantively engage with our guests’ ideas.
Our aim: To equip you with the tools required to navigate through the Great Reshuffle that we are in.
Let’s start exploring.
Alex Lieberman — On Voice, Unicorns & Intrinsic Motivation
Alex Lieberman is the co-founder and Executive Chairman of Morning Brew, the cofounder of Storyarb and the host of 60 Second Startup & Founder’s Journal.
Alex joins the show to discuss why hiring a Voice Editor contributed to Morning Brew’s success, how to spot a writing unicorn, how he learned to follow his intrinsic motivation and MUCH more!
Alex’s Twitter Founder’s Journal Morning Brew The Great Reshuffle Will Storr on Infinite Loops The Best Stuff | Conscious Leadership Group Show Notes:
The Rise of Morning Brew Finding Morning Brew’s Voice Finding the Writing Unicorn Writing Nature vs. Writing Nurture Corporate Speak vs. Online Speak The Power of Self-Awareness Interviews & Talent Spotting Ideating, Doing & Premeditating Following the Intrinsics Finding Your Zone of Genius Building Storyarb Alex as Emperor of the World MORE! Books Mentioned:
What Works on Wall Street, Fourth Edition: The Classic Guide to the Best-Performing Investment Strategies of All Time; by Jim O’Shaughnessy The Adweek Copywriting Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Powerful Advertising and Marketing Copy from One of America's Top Copywriters; by Joseph Sugarman The Tao Te Ching; by Laozi The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership: A New Paradigm for Sustainable Success; by Jim Dethmer, Diana Chapman & Kaley Klemp The Science of Storytelling: Why Stories Make Us Human, and How To Tell Them Better; by Will Storr Burn Rate: Launching a Startup and Losing My Mind; by Andy Dunn
Venkatesh Rao & Tim Beiko — The Summer of Protocols
Tim Beiko, who runs the core protocol meetings for Ethereum, teams up with writer and consultant Venkatesh Rao to discuss their “Summer of Protocols” research program. This initiative brought together 33 researchers with a wide range of expertise to investigate protocols across several domains.
Join us for an in-depth exploration of protocols: understanding what they are, their importance, why they can go wrong, and much more!
Summer of Protocols Protocolized Newsletter Venkatesh’s previous episode Venkatesh's Website Ribbonfarm Venkatesh's Substack Venkatesh's Twitter Tim’s Twitter Show Notes:
Why We Should Care About Protocols Protocols, Narratives & World-Building The Three Preconditions of a Protocol "Civilization progresses by increasing the number of actions we can do without thinking about them.” When Protocols Go Wrong More Protocols = Less Agency? Workplace Safety & Protocol Complexity How to Build Good Protocols; Building Protocol Literacy Why Aren’t More People Talking About Protocols? How to Encourage Protocols-First Thinking Protocols Have Long Timelines Protocols in Fiction Protocol Hunting In Silico Determinism, Open Environments & Evolution How to Hack Protocols Agility Isn’t Always the Answer Memory: The Most Valuable Asset in a Civilization Next Steps & How to Learn More MORE! Books & Essays Mentioned:
The God Problem: How a Godless Cosmos Creates; by Howard Bloom Hope Runners of Gridlock; by Simon de la Rouviere High Rise; by J.G Ballard The Drowned World; by J.G Ballard The Drought; by J.G Ballard A Burglar's Guide to the City; by Geoff Manaugh The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering; by Frederick Brooks In the Beginning Was the Command Line; by Neal Stephenson Slow Ideas; by Atul Gawande Nakatomi Space; by Geoff Manaugh Base Layers And Functional Escape Velocity; by Vitalik Buterin
Will Schoder — On Curation, Consumption & Compression
Will Schoder is a video essayist who explores a diverse range of topics including psychology, meaning, re-enchantment, metamodernism, mortality, and satire. Initially known for his short-form videos, his latest series is a trilogy of fascinating long-form deep dives into the nature, foundations, and secrets of happiness.
Will joins the show to share his insights on the evolving significance of curation, the future of the creator economy, how to obtain deep happiness and MUCH more.
Will’s YouTube Channel Will’s Twitter Eight Books That Changed My Life Rick and Morty – Finding Meaning in Life David Foster Wallace – The Problem With Irony The Attention Economy – How They Addict Us Every Story Is The Same The Happiness Trilogy: Part 1: What is Happiness? Part 2: The Foundations of Happiness Part 3: The Secret to Happier The moral roots of liberals and conservatives; Jonathan Haidt The Thinker and The Prover Show Notes:
Short-Form vs Long-Form Videos The Righteous Mind The Internet as Liberator; the Rise of Curation Pushback & Pop Culture YouTube & the Rise of the TikTok Style Navigating the Attention Economy The Future of the Creator Economy Will’s Hero’s Journey Finding Deep Happiness Compression, Genetics & Environment Education vs. Entertainment The Free Energy Principle Filter Failure Will as Emperor of the World MORE! Books Mentioned:
The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion; by Jonathan Haidt One Summer: America 1927; by Bill Bryson Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business; by Neil Postman The Shallows: How the Internet Is Changing the Way We Think, Read and Remember; by Nicholas Carr Happy: Why More or Less Everything is Absolutely Fine; by Derren Brown Happiness: A Very Short Introduction; by Daniel M. Haybron The Pursuit of Unhappiness: The Elusive Psychology of Well-Being; by Daniel M. Haybron All The Light We Cannot See; by Anthony Doerr How To Change Your Mind; by Michael Pollan
Ben Westhoff — Fentanyl, Inc.
Ben Westhoff is a best-selling investigative journalist focusing on culture, drugs, and poverty.
Ben’s book Fentanyl, Inc.: How Rogue Chemists Created the Deadliest Wave of the Opioid Epidemic was the culmination of a four-year investigation into the worst drug crisis in American history, an investigation that included Ben making an undercover visit to Chinese drug factories. His latest book, Little Brother: Love, Tragedy, and My Search for Truth tells the story of Ben’s search for his little brother’s killer.
Ben is currently working on a documentary, Antagonist, about naltrexone, an opioid treatment medicine that some have called a “wonder drug.”
Ben joins the show to discuss the failure of the War on Drugs, the role played by Big Pharma, how he speaks to his children about drugs, what most Americans misunderstand about poverty, and MUCH more.
Ben’s Website Drugs + Hip-Hop Newsletter Antagonist Documentary Teaser Show Notes:
The Worst Drug Crisis in World History How China and Fentanyl Are Connected Why Can’t the USA Stop This? The Failure of the War on Drugs; Better Solutions Vivitrol: a Wonder Drug? Finding Better Ways to Care For the Vulnerable Free Markets & Big Pharma How Ben Speaks to His Children About Drugs Innovation & Stigmatization How Harm Reduction Can Help What Has Happened to San Francisco? Could Decriminalization Work? Ben’s Hunt For His Little Brother’s Killer What Most Americans Misunderstand About Poverty; How Listeners Can Help How Ben’s Documentary Can Help Ben as Emperor Of The World MORE! Books Mentioned:
Fentanyl, Inc.: How Rogue Chemists Created the Deadliest Wave of the Opioid Epidemic; by Ben Westhoff Little Brother: Love, Tragedy, and My Search for Truth; by Ben Westhoff Original Gangstas: Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, and the Birth of West Coast Rap; by Ben Westhoff Thank You For Smoking; by Christopher Buckley
Roon — On Shape Rotators, AGI & Tenet
AI researcher, memelord extraordinaire, and techno-optimist Roon joins the show to discuss coming up with the shape rotator vs. wordcel meme, what an AGI world could become, and why Tenet is Christopher Nolan’s best movie.
Roon’s Twitter Roon’s Substack AGI Futures Show Notes:
Shape Rotators Vs. Wordcels Why AGI is Possible AI in Science Fiction AGI Future #1: Neuralink Third Impact AGI Future #2: Simulation Theory AGI Future #3: Dumb Matter AGI Future #4: Balrog Awakened AGI Future #5: Ultra Kessler Syndrome AGI Future #6: The Tragedy of Taiwan AGI Future #7: For Dust Thou Art AGI Future #8: CEV Super Intelligence Why Tenet is Christopher Nolan’s Best Movie Roon as Emperor of the World MORE! Books Mentioned:
The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition into the Forces of History; by Howard Bloom The Genius of the Beast: A Radical Re-Vision of Capitalism; by Howard Bloom The God Problem: How a Godless Cosmos Creates; by Howard Bloom William Blake vs the World; by John Higgs The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy; by Douglas Adams
Katherine Dee — On Attention, Astroturfing and the Nostalgia Trap
Katherine Dee is a writer, journalist, and internet culture reporter. A contributor to publications such as UnHerd, Tablet, and Blaze Media, she is also the proprietor of the Default Wisdom Substack, where she writes about a wide range of topics, including internet history and culture, digital communities, millennial nostalgia, and online fandom.
Katherine joins the show to discuss why you’re never leaving Twitter, how to escape the nostalgia trap, whether it’s possible to heal our attention spans, and MUCH more!
Default Wisdom Why You’re Never Leaving Twitter; by Katherine Dee Everything I Know About Elite America I Learned From ‘Fresh Prince’ and ‘West Wing’; by Rob Henderson Show Notes:
Origin Story Why You’re Never Leaving Twitter Art & Journalism in the Attention Economy Class, Wealth & Status How to Heal Our Attention Span Escaping the Nostalgia Trap Technology, Cultural Lag & Barriers to Entry Astroturfing vs. Organic Momentum Katherine as Empress of the World MORE! Books Mentioned:
The Status Game: On Human Life and How to Play It; by Will Storr Class: A Guide Through the American Status System; by Paul Fussell The novels of Donna Tartt The novels of Easton Ellis
Psychedelics for chronic pain
Loved your interview with Brom! Started a newco developing psychedelic NCEs for chronic pain (Cacti Therapeutics) so especially appreciated the bit about mind/body connection. Big believer in taking a holistic approach and combining healing modalities to optimize outcomes. Personalized and precision medicine takes many forms! Truly enjoyable interview!
Let the guests talk
Jim has really interesting people on but he talks far more than they do. Sometimes he barely let's them get more than a couple words in before starting another monologue.
Such a gem of a show
Love most of the content and excellent guests. Jim can be a little preachy sometimes but with zero doubt he only means well for the world at large and has a focus on objective truth.