Crisp conversations with critical thinkers at the leading edge of science, technology, politics, and social systems.
EP 198 Cory Doctorow on Seizing the Means of Computation
Jim talks with Cory Doctorow about the ideas in his new book The Internet Con: How to Seize the Means of Computation. They discuss Cory's long affiliation with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, destroying Big Tech instead of "fixing" it, why tech lords are not evil geniuses, how Big Tech consolidated, antitrust law, the felony contempt of business model, interoperability, the high-speed shell game of digital, the kill zone, the case of Diapers.com, the falling fortunes of tech workers, defining IP, Grokster, "polite competition," automated notice and takedown, Jim's proposal for content moderation, the flexibility of fair use, Interoperable Facebook, prioritizing individual choice, and much more.
EP 197 Susan Neiman on Why Left Is Not Woke
Jim talks with Susan Neiman about the ideas in her latest book, Left Is Not Woke. They discuss the history & meaning of wokeness, the underlying reactionary assumptions of wokeness, making leftism & socialism acceptable terms, how the New Left of the Sixties set leftism back for a generation, disentangling left & woke, the right & tribalism, progressivism as a child of the Enlightenment, normative vs descriptive claims, refuting the idea of reason as an instrument of violence, why Hume doesn't belong to the Enlightenment, the danger of sheer subjectivity, data & empiricism, rates of police killings by race, liberal universal humanism, the term liberalism, identitarianism, the blacklisting of Paul Robeson, the idea that a ltruism is simply power politics, the appeal to the Stone Age brain, hope vs optimism, and much more.
EP 196 Pamela Denise Long on Affirmative Action for Freedmen
Jim talks with Pamela Denise Long about the ideas in an open letter from the Coalition of Concerned Freedmen to college presidents, responding to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on race-based affirmative action. They discuss the organizational developmental consultancy Youthcentrix, the Coalition of Concerned Freedmen (CCF), the meaning of the freedmen moniker, the different types of manumission, the use of the term Negro, the four points of the Coalition's press release, certification of lineage, the ratio of affirmative action beneficiaries who are freedmen, lineage-specific structuring, merit & restitution, the mismatch issue in higher education, developmental support of students, the left's excoriation of Justice Clarence Thomas, Lincoln Republicanism, the impact of immigration on multi-generational Black Americans, skepticism of a Black-Brown Coalition, the blending of Black and LGBTQIA+ agendas, Denise's view on the Republican presidential primaries, why Republicans should be leading reparations, cash vs institutional reparations, and much more.
EP 195 Michael R.J. Bonner on Civilization, Collapse, and Renewal
Jim talks with Michael R.J. Bonner about the ideas in his book In Defense of Civilization: How Our Past Can Renew Our Present. They discuss the meaning of civilization, Gobekli Tepe, why technological change didn't bring about civilization, how civilization produces clarity, beauty, and order, why civilization is preferable to the alternatives, the limits of cities, the dynamics of collapse, Francis Fukuyama's end of history idea, revivals, how interconnectivity leads to fragility, the Bronze Age collapse, the collapse of Rome, cultural pluralism & academic freedom in the 9th century, the paradoxical outcome of the Renaissance, the rediscovery of Aristotle, combining Enlightenment clarity with medieval expansiveness, the evils of postmodernism, the dark side of Romanticism, the basis of religious belief, public ritual vs religious belief, futurism, the limits of skepticism, wokism as a religion, the need for grand narratives, a common humanity, and much more.
EP 194 Bob Reid on User-Owned Identity
Jim talks with Bob Reid about identity verification and the financial stack behind his global financial platform Everest. They discuss decentralized user-owned identity, identity as a trillion-dollar opportunity, competing with customers, Know Your Customer, types of identity, the breakout fraud, biometric systems, building societal trust, India's Aadhar system, Justin Trudeau's freeze on protesters' bank accounts, preventing governmental choke points, how to use Everest, the application stack, Facebook's missed opportunity to build identity, the coming fake-identity AI tsunami, real names vs anonymity, levels of verification, preventing exploits, the likelihood of social revolution in Europe, the accuracy of biometrics, the difference between a social graph & identity, paying a contractor with crypto, understanding Automated Clearing House & Single Euro Payments Area, tokenizing securities, why the user needs to control digital identity, and much more.
EP 193 Aydan Connor on Rethinking Food Systems
Jim talks with Aydan Connor about improving American food systems and reducing waste. They discuss Aydan's experience in the craft brewing industry, extremification of beer styles, wastefulness in beer production, how Aydan became interested in food systems, the obsession with consumer choice, how the current system prices in waste, food waste ratios in different countries, where in the chain food waste occurs, the requirement of processed food, unintentional communities, maximizing communal freedom of choice, CSAs as a non-solution, creating tighter networks, decentralized processing systems, America's low food expenditure, needed infrastructure & coordination, a network of networks, the scale advantage, the squeeze on wages, diversifying work tasks, tips for reducing domestic food waste, making a plan before you buy food, on-site food safety testing, bulk freezers with nitrogen flushing, and much more.
Ya alright I’m in
Well this Jim guy has some serious off shore bank account energy, but when Lee Cronin read him an email from Dyson taking a big dump on complexity research, Jims humility and measured response got me on board. Good job.
Free Thinkers Unite
You’re a breath of fresh air
Even though you and your guests are clearly out of my league intellectually, you open me up to new ideas and for that I’m very grateful.