Freakier than Freakonomics. More funny than Planet Money.
Join futurist author and innovation maharishi Steve Faktor for provocative predictions and prescriptions for a world drowning in Avengers, but starved for meaning…and laughter. The show features ferocious, funny monologues on how tech, economics and culture will shape our future – and what it'll take to succeed in it. Spectacular guests like Larry King, comedian Jim Jefferies, Governor Jesse Ventura, Nobel Economist Joseph Stiglitz, former ACLU President Nadine Strossen, Megachurch Pastor AR Bernard and many more. Come explore the deep, dark, hilarious underbelly of The McFuture - from healthcare to media to virtualized lives.
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TOPICS: Economics, Innovation, Comedy, Culture, Technology, Futurism, Happiness, Purpose, Philosophy, Political Humor, Politics, Psychology, Healthcare, Media, Social Media, Religion, Self-Help, Self-Improvement, Social Sciences, Society & Culture, Parody, Talk Radio, Talk Shows, Culture of Technology, Belief, Humor, Political Satire, Ideas, Strategy, News
FOR THOSE WHO LIKE: Joe Rogan, Jon Stewart, Scott Galloway, Tim Dillon, Michael Malice, Patrick Bet-David (Valuetainment), Andrew Schulz, Dan Carlin, Ryan Long, Louis CK, Mike Rowe, Megyn Kelly, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Seth Godin, Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, Bill Maher, Jordan Peterson, Russell Brand, John Oliver, Tim Ferriss, Tyler Cowen, James Altucher, Bari Weiss, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Eric Weinstein, Bret Weinstein, Ricky Gervais, James Lindsay, George Orwell, Adam Carolla, Ben Shapiro, Stephen Colbert, Malcolm Gladwell, Penn Jillette, Bill Burr, Tony Robbins, Dennis Prager, Bryan Callen, Thomas Friedman, Pete Holmes, Dick Masterson, Niall Ferguson, Ezra Klein, Nate Silver, Jordan Harbinger, Bridget Phetasy, Whitney Cummings, Steven Crowder (Louder with Crowder), Kyle Dunnigan, Kurt Metzger, Jack Murphy Live, Anthony Cumia, Andrew Santino, Crystal Ball, Saagar Enjeti, Ian Bremmer, Dave Rubin, Dave Portnoy, Matt Yglesias, Barry Ritholtz, Yannis Pappas, Glenn Loury, Yuval Noah Harari, Jason Whitlock
FOR FANS OF: Freakonomics, Planet Money, Hidden Brain, Armchair Expert, TED, Reason, The Hill, The Economist, The Atlantic, Forbes, Politico, New Yorker, NPR, Pivot, The New York Times, Psychology Today, Financial Times, Vanity Fair, Evonomics, Wait But Why, Harvard Business Review (HBR), FiveThirtyEight, The Future of Everything, Marginal Revolution, Ben Thompson at Stratechery, Crazy/Genius with Derek Thompson
Inhuman Resources | The McFuture w/Steve Faktor
The Business Festivus is here! A great set of rants about work, corporate, startup and academia grievances - and how to fix them all! …or keep them from making you crazy.
This is the last set of rants before the triumphant return of theme-based episodes. Up next: Trust (It's Part 4 of the 6-part Future of Relationships series).
If you enjoy this, please support the show on Patreon & get tons of member exclusives! Brand new member-only episode on Tech/Crypto goes up shortly!
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* 00:08 Intro * 02:10 20 Business Articles That NEVER Need To Be Written Again * 12:55 How Analysis Paralysis Sabotages Success * 15:53 Employ e-Monitoring * 17:48 What HR Power Says About An Organization * 19:17 The Useless Professor Survey * 20:49 Beware of Administrative Rot * 23:16 How To Attract Workers In A Tight & Picky Labor Market * 25:15 I'm In Love With A Neumann * 28:47 Part I: The 'Traumatized Startup Employee' Folder * 31:19 Part II: Why Corporations Iterate, Not Innovate: A Lesson From MasterCard * 33:46 Don't Call Me Weinstein * 34:35 Clubhouse Eulogy * 36:37 How Authors Can Save Bookstores * 38:03 GoFundMe Riot * 39:21 Avoiding Chronically Unhappy Customers
Into The Zuckerverse, Maggots! | The McFuture w/Steve Faktor
Fun episode of The McFuture, where Steve deep dives into his Tweets and almost drowns in the perverse economics of the metaverse, bugs, inflation, crypto, green energy & much more! (More deep, theme-based episodes coming soon!)
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* 00:00 ETFernal Life* 00:22 Economics of the Metaverse * 06:57 Attention, MAGGOTS! * 11:56 Inflation Is Good For You! * 14:28 Good Government * 15:59 Sophie's Crypto Choice * 20:30 High Disinterest Bonds * 22:44 Treasury of Dunces * 24:51 The Green Energy Show * 29:50 The ONLY REAL Solution to Inflation * 31:07 Why Did People Stop Looking for Jobs? * 31:47 We Musk Stop Hunger! * 34:47 International Pronouns Doomsday * 38:03 The Beto-Boebert Industrial Complex * 42:50 Kamala's Prank * 47:10 Food Pyramid Scheme * 48:01 Back of the Truck Nostalgia
University of Austin: The New Harvard…Or Trader Joe’s?
Can the new University of Austin, based on principles of free speech, and founded by famous liberal academics and journalists, disrupt academia? A short episode on what it will take to disrupt education and the college crime syndicate. Watch the video version here and please subscribe to the YouTube channel.
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How To Conquer The World With Reciprocity
This is the third in my six-part podcast/newsletter miniseries on friends, allies, and now, reciprocity. Read the full version here, watch it on YouTube with all the graphics, or listen on iTunes or find 'The McFuture' on your favorite podcast app.
If weak alliances are replacing even weaker friendships, the key to conquering these weak alliances - to get what you want - is reciprocity.
We consider those who chase wealth and power selfish narcissists, who'd sacrifice kittens in the back of a pizzeria with Hillary and The Illuminati Lizards (worst do-wop group, ever!). Yet we revere altruists. People who give ‘til it hurts.
In life, there are few unconditional givers, especially in positions of power or influence. We see this with countless activist organizations that outlive their mission, then expand scope, exaggerate problems, or conjure new enemies. They fight for resources, relevance, and survival.
When survival trumps the cause, it’s selfishness.
Climate is a perfect example. A Washington Post survey found those who claim to care about climate change, oppose any taxes needed to pay for it. They’re altruists-in-law.
Turns out, altruists need sugar daddies. Without innovation and growth, there’s nothing to redistribute. And sugar daddies need absolution…and tax write-offs. Both are equally ambitious – and selfish.
Selfishness makes every exchange transactional. All parties must believe they’ll benefit. That’s obvious in business. Those transactions are tangible. But as our lives become more virtual, exchanges turn intangible. So to attract and motivate allies, we must master the art of Intangible Reciprocity.
Proliferation makes any kind of reciprocity harder.
As we’ve blown past the 150 relationships Dunbar said we can handle, each useless new "friend" is also a threat - to demand a favor, a reply, recommendation, or donation.
At the same time, we now have Superman’s hearing, deafened by the digital whimpers of every global struggle, with none of Superman’s power to do anything about it.
Then there’s Instagram, mowing us down with hollow-point FOMO.
We shouldn’t know 98% of it. It makes us feel powerless and depressed. And amounts to voyeurism and distraction. It’s crippling our capacity to care.
But reciprocity demands care.
How do you get someone to care about your issue, when they’re under siege, their circuits fried? When everything is surplus, everything is disposable, including you.
The 4A’s of Reciprocity
When our senses are under siege and problems become psychological, everyone must become a psychologist or sociologist. It’s the only way to attract and motivate allies to get what we want. That’s why everyone’s a marketer, laying tech-enabled mind traps.
Most people we want things from are more powerful and desirable than us...
MLK Was Wrong: Friends Are NOT Allies
"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." - Martin Luther King Jr.
I saw this quote by MLK online. It made me wonder, are friends also allies - or are they wildly different? As your self-anointed Friendship Yogi (Frogi?), I’ve come to some thrilling conclusions. Let’s with the end and work backwards.
* Friends are not allies and allies are not friends* Both are rare * There’s a new industry making us think they’re not* Only one reliable type of ally remains
People Are Not Nations
Since the term “ally” comes up a lot with countries, let’s make the distinction.
In the 1960s, French President de Gaulle said, "France has no friends, only interests." Not only does this hold true today, but it applies to all nations.
Nations don’t play golf, get smashed at Smashmouth concerts, or methodically split the odd dumpling at a spiteful restaurant. Nations can't be "friends", only people can. Allies are the best they can hope for.
Even that relationship is tenuous.
By the time Trump made ‘America-first’ and Biden botched our Afghanistan withdrawal, our allies got the hint. They want to ride inside the escape jet, not cling to the wing. France is now pushing Europe to build up its military. Japan just authorized its biggest military budget since WWII. Unreliable allies push countries towards new allies or self-reliance.
Skittishness is one trait national and individual allies share. Maybe I’ll explore that in the future. Now, let’s focus on PEOPLE.
1. Friends are not allies, allies are not friends
First, let’s define the terms. I thought I’d need my own definitions, but dictionary.com offers a decent start:
Friend: “a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard”Ally: “a person, group, or nation that is associated with another or others for some common cause or purpose”- Dictionary.com
There are explicit and implicit differences between the two.
What’s explicit is where their loyalties lie.
A friend’s loyalties are “attached to another” person. Allies aren’t bonded to each other, but to a “common cause or purpose”.
If that cause vanishes or an ally abandons it, the alliance ends.
We’ve seen this throughout history with religions. Apostates get excommunicated - if they’re lucky. Murdered, if they drew the fundamentalist short straw. Bonds of faith supersede those of friendship, blood, or marriage.
We’ve seen this with nations, too. In Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s Russia, and a lesser extent, McCarthy’s America, loyalty to country meant turning in your friends. Same today in North Korea, where treachery is the least of your problems. China has an entire Social Credit System to root out Xihadists, from the comfort of your Huawei.
In these countries, bonds of nationalism hold, while “feelings of affection or personal regard” wither. Never underestimate man’s hunger for purpose and belonging – and fear of losing them.
15 Tactics That Protect Elites & Enforce Status Quo [Patreon Peek]
A very special peek at a great episode for Patreon members about 15 sneaky tactics establishment institutions use to protect status quo. You can also watch this (and subscribe) on YouTube. To hear the full episode, sign up on Patreon for this and lots of member exclusives for only $5 a month.
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There are many stand up comics that do hilarious and biting current social commentary. And there are many serious commentators that insightfully discuss how the present is shaping our future. Steve Faktor is the only one I have found to combine the two. He sees the hilarious, scary, absurd ways the future is rushing towards us. very few have the lightness of touch to pull this off. If Futurama was a podcast it would be The Mcfuture.
Hands Down the Most Engaging Social Commentary Podcast Out There Now
I am a firm beleiver in flattery by analogy - so here are my top 3 comparisons of my new favorite podcast host. 1) Steve Faktor is like Fareed Zakaria after he's had 7 drinks -- still brilliant but enough sauce to be unfiltered but not incoherent 2) Steve Faktor is what Joe Rogan would be if he hadn't been kicked in the head so many times --- by that, I mean provocative but able to able to speak in complete sentences 3) Steve Faktor is like Dennis Miller eating a pastrami and rye sandwich -- you can take the boy out of New York but you can't take New York out of the boy
So Inspiring, It Blew Me Away
I just heard Steve's conversation with Professor Glenn Loury, who teaches economics at Brown University. Kudos to Steve Faktor for having the credibiity to attract a person of Prof. Loury's caliber to his podcast. Of course, Faktor is no slouch; he's a highly productive and thoughtful person in his own right. These two men conducted one of the most intelligent, coherent, candid and inspiring conversations about politics, race, and social justice that I've heard in a long time, maybe ever. What a change from today's favored conversational mode of partisan finger pointing, virtue signalling, jargon, guilt-tripping, and bizarre claims. I will now go back and look at the entire catalog of Steve's podcast episodes here. And I'm making a list of select friends to whom I'll be sending this conversation with Prof. Loury. These are the kinds of conversations the whole country needs to be having right now. Unfortunately, a dogmatic, authoritarian, metaphysical narrative is ascending at the moment. But as long as I can still access the ideas of people like Steve Faktor and Prof. Glenn Loury, there's hope.