Crisp conversations with critical thinkers at the leading edge of science, technology, politics, and social systems.
Who Are You EP 01: Seth Jordan on Social Threefolding
This is the first, experimental episode of Who Are You, a subseries of the Jim Rutt Show in which Jim has an unplanned conversation with a mystery guest nominated and elected by listeners. In this episode he meets Seth Jordan, a writer focusing on the social ideas of Rudolf Steiner. They discuss Steiner’s focus on how we view society, the differences between complicated & complex & between operating systems & organisms, the contingency of human systems & methods of nudging, starting with human nature, a tripartite picture of government functions, breaking society into political, economic, and cultural realms & whether they should be kept separate, the dominance of culture by the economic realm, organizing at the meso-scale, the Amish & other local wholistic cultures, giving full autonomy to educators, the post-WWI creation of the nation-state & the advantages of separating nation from state, making participation a reality, moving from “me” to “we,” honoring cross-cultural autonomy, separation of church & state, the challenge of community coherence, and much more.
Currents 064: Michael Garfield and J.F. Martel on Art x AI
Jim talks with Michael Garfield and J.F. Martel about the intersection of AI and art. They discuss DALL-E & Midjourney, whether conscious agency is necessary for art, artifice vs discernment, Jung's synchronicity, AI art as dreaming, discernment & consecration, the modern vs the algorithmic self, the CIA's role in funding abstract expressionism, the imaginal aspect & Walter Benjamin's historicity, Borges's Library of Babel & problems with infinity, biological reproduction as the central technological issue, the tension between prediction and understanding, art's inherent unpredictability, garage bands, noise & play in artistic creativity, returning to the analog world, and much more.
EP 158 Remzi Bajrami on Flow Currency
Jim talks to Remzi Bajrami about the ideas in his book Common Planet: A New Game of Life. They discuss what GameB means to him, three classes of players, whether property or profit is the engine of GameA, the source of value, the value of careful labor, the generator function of money-on-money return, historical origins of GameA, the good GameA has done, one meaning of anarchism, rules without rulers, why socialists & capitalists have both been playing GameA, why Universal Basic Income isn't enough, how money supply works in GameA, moving from circulation to flow currency, advantages of a central ledger, addressing the calculation problem, unpacking proof of value, how collective decisions would be handled, participating by choice rather than by force, and much more.
Currents 063: Jessica Flack on nth-Order Effects of the Russia-Ukraine War
Jim talks with Jessica Flack about nth-order effects of the war in Ukraine. They discuss the meaning of second- and nth-order effects, black swans, Gaussian vs fat-tailed distribution models of extreme social events, the factoring in Ukraine's wheat & Russia's fertilizer production, agency & reflexivity, how perceptions of events as extreme can amplify second-order effects, the "hot hand phenomenon" in sports, the black swan of war in Europe, swift coordination against Putin as an effect of collective intelligence failures around Covid, Russia's "escalate-to-de-escalate" doctrine, arena selection & lessons China might take from the war, the possibility of a bipolar war between democratic-leaning & authoritarian ones, network effects of excluding Russia permanently, and much more.
EP 157 Terrence Deacon on Mind's Emergence From Matter
Jim talks to Terrence Deacon about the ideas in his new book, Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged From Matter. They discuss the story of zero, integrating absence into physical theories, systems that generate entropy to stave off entropy, the history of emergence & the risk of mysterianism, reframing emergence as removal & constraint, orthograde vs contragrade processes, 3 layers of emergence, the special case of end-directed (teleodynamic) processes, a simple model of autogenesis, contrasting & integrating Shannon, Boltzmann, and Bateson, moving toward sentience, nested teleodynamic processes, feeling as primary to consciousness, rethinking the nervous system in non-computational terms, consciousness as a self-undoing process, inverting the hard problem, and much more.
EP 156 James Poulos on Remaining Human
Jim talks with James Poulos about the ideas in his new book Human Forever: The Spiritual Politics of Digital War. They discuss his decision to publish the book on the blockchain, going beginner's-mind on media & communications theory, the meaning of Gnosticism, responsibility as worship & its transfer to machines, returning worth to the human, a short introduction to Marshall McLuhan, raising the first fully digital generation, expert engineers vs ethereal ethicists, "peak woke" & the collapse of wokeness, religion as "the only permanent state of mankind," resisting the temptation to call down apocalypse, the hubris of messiah-hood, Hebraic British Protestant theology & its incongruence with American civilization, how queerness & transgender identity became culturally dominant, the left's abandonment of liberalism for a new post-human religion, differentiating transhumanism & human-maxing, and much more.
Human Design Seems to embody much of what was discussed here. Can’t wait to hear more…
Great show!! Thanks Jim
Smart guests and reasonable discussion. Fun.