Vaccine Distribution in North Carolina, an Abject Failure. 

Some problems, like building the first atomic bomb, are hard.  Other problems, like distributing vaccines, are not.  Currently, in North Carolina, there are more than 300,000 doses of life-saving vaccines, sitting in freezers, and not where they should be (in people’s arms).  This is not a hard problem, and from a country that went to […]

Venture Research with Donald Braben

In this episode, we talk with Don Braben, PhD. Donald Braben is a scientist and author. From 1980 to 1990, he led British Petroleum’s Venture Research program, for which he developed a radical, low-cost approach to finding and funding researchers whose work might redefine their fields. Of the dozens of projects supported by the program, […]

W. H. R. Rivers, Polymaths, and the Disappearance of Useful Arts

In this episode, we discuss whether or not there are more, or fewer polymaths today than in the past, using the example of W. H. R. Rivers, an English anthropologist who also made contributions in neurology, and psychiatry. Mentioned in this episode: Disappearance of Useful Arts by WHR Rivers. Secrets of our Success, by Joe […]

Innovation Systems with Ben Reinhardt

In this episode, we talk with Ben Reinhardt about different innovation systems, how to create more sci-fi technology a reality, and why our research institutions are not as effective as they used to be. You can check out Ben’s work at https://benjaminreinhardt.com/about/. Some things mentioned in the episode: Studies on Slack Don Braben DARPA Ben’s […]

Bertrand Russell, Simulacra Levels, and Rationality with Quinn Lewandowski

In this episode, we have Quinn Lewandowski on to discuss his favourite thinker Bertrand Russell, the simulacra levels concept, and how our norms around each level have changed over time. We also discuss why people today have less belief in their ability to solve difficult and complex problems, and what we can do to change […]

The Past, Present, and Future of Personal Computing with David Smith

This week on the podcast, we have David Smith. David Smith is a computer scientist who created the very first 3D interactive game, The Colony. He has also worked with Michael Crichton, Tom Clancy, and James Cameron, and helped found Red Storm Entertainment. He is currently the CEO at Croquet, where he is building the […]

Simulacra Levels, Moral Mazes, and COVID-19 with Zvi Mowshowitz

In this episode, we are joined by Zvi Mowshowitz. We discuss simulacra levels, moral mazes, and our civilizational response to COVID-19. Zvi writes the blog Don’t Worry About the Vase.  Links/more reading: Simulacra levels Moral mazes Efficient-market hypothesis Transcript: today on this episode we have zv moshowitz i’m also joined by my friend quinn i learned […]

Machine Learning, Education, and Governing the Commons with Cooper Williams

In this episode, we talk about AI safety, machine learning, meaning, the economist Elinor Ostrom, and more with my good friend Cooper Williams. Cooper is a machine learning engineer based in the RTP region of North Carolina. Links/more reading: Elinor Ostrom and her book, Governing the Commons (affiliate link). Pirate law and the pirate’s code. […]

Monopoly, Competition, and a Critique of Interventionism

In this short episode, we discuss how good-faith policymakers can sometimes make things worse when trying to improve outcomes in many domains. We talk about price gouging, fairness norms, and monopolies. Transcript: hey folks my name is will jarvis along with my dad dr david jarvis we record the podcast narratives narratives is a project […]