Introducing The Jim Rutt Show



The Jim Rutt Show is an interview podcast series examining cutting-edge thinking in science and technology and the future of our economic, political and social systems and institutions. New episodes are released weekly, more or less.

The Jim Rutt Show is available on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Spotify, Stitcher, or Others.

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We welcome your comments and recommendations. Thanks for listening!


EP37 Jared Janes on Spirituality



Jared Janes

Meditator & thinker Jared Janes talks with Jim about why he still uses the word ‘spiritual’, altered states vs altered traits, the equation & dynamics of suffering, understanding our own intentions, the confabulating mind, embodied intuition, the value & limits of conceptuality, what the self is & its usefulness, attention & awareness, the pleasure of concentration, metaphysics, and more.

Episode Transcript

Mentions & Recommendations

Jared Janes is a podcast producer/host (The Jim Rutt Show, Both/And, & Impactful), a management consultant, and a committed meditator. He’s been a daily meditator for over five years, has completed multiple meditation courses from different traditions, attends multiple meditation retreats each year, and personally coaches meditators in his spare time. Before podcasting & consulting he built a career in digital operations & management, started & ran a nonprofit, played a video game semi-professionally, and spent his spare time learning about personal performance, science & philosophy.


EP36 Hanzi Freinacht on Metamodernism



Hanzi Freinacht

Hanzi Freinacht, political philosopher, historian, sociologist, & author has a wide-ranging talk with Jim that starts by exploring what postmodern views are, how many postmodernists there might be & how they act. They, then go on to cover effective values memes & how they arise/interact, the dynamics of the model of hierarchical complexity, societal code, the progression from modern to post-modern & metamodern perspectives, how code & cognitive complexity interact, whether post-modernism is valuable, similarities of metamodernism & GameB, the promises & dangers of running metamodern code, why spirituality is important & its value/dynamics, Jim’s experience & ideas about mystical states, the yoga bourgeoisie, and much more.

Episode Transcript

Mentions & Recommendations

Hanzi Freinacht is a political philosopher, historian & sociologist, author of The Listening SocietyNordic Ideology, and the upcoming book The 6 Hidden Patterns of World History. As a writer, Hanzi combines in-depth knowledge of several sciences and disciplines and offers maps of our time and the human condition with his characteristically accessible, poetic and humorous writing style – challenging the reader’s perspective of herself and the world. He epitomizes much of the metamodern philosophy and can be considered a personification of this strand of thought.


EP35 Ken McCarthy on the History of Online Business



Internet pioneer Ken McCarthy talks with Jim about why & how he first got on the internet in 1993, what it was like to be in tech in the 90’s, the walled gardens of the early internet, the birth of email, Well.com, the pre-commercial internet, brand vs direct response advertising & how they made their way to the internet, Ken’s online businesses, the early days of AOL, the timeline of internet media, the state of podcasting today, understanding market potential & targeting, dangers of sleazy marketing & ad-supported business models, the high cost of free services, Facebook & Google’s ad supremacy & what the future holds for them, publishing business models, the .com crash, and more.

Episode Transcript

Mentions & Recommendations

Ken McCarthy was one of the earliest and most effective evangelists of the movement to commercialize the Internet. Ever click on a banner ad? Ever calculate a click-through rate? Ever send an email with commercial intent? These things had an origin. Ken had a hand in all of them and was literally present at their creation. Ken was also one of the first to see the potential of and use the then-new pay-per-click ad platforms back when clicks were uniformly priced at a dime each. He was one of the earliest advocates of Google AdWords which had a lot of trouble gaining traction, let alone comprehension, in its first year.


EP34 Joe Edelman on the Power of Values



Joe Edelman

Joe Edelman, philosopher, social scientist & designer starts this conversation with Jim by talking about how meaningfulness is connected to values, social norms & ideological commitments. Then, they go on to talk about the pros & cons of pluralism & coherence in today’s digital world, why Joe coined the phrase/metric ‘time well spent’ & its influence so far, pros & cons of ad-supported tech & potential changes to existing models, the trend of more private social media spaces, how to view the Overton window today, the future of ethical advertising, the promise of Notion.so, the goals of Turtleocracy, the Turtling game, and much more.

Episode Transcript

Mentions & Recommendations

Joe Edelman is a philosopher, social scientist, and designer who believes the current political moment demands a change in the way human systems are designed. A change that will require a clearer understanding of individual and group dynamics. Joe’s work has provided the basis for an online school called Human Systems and he has learned directly from people like Alan KayTerry Winograd, and Bill Verplank at Interval ResearchCasey Fenton at CouchSurfing (where he developed the metrics which guided the company), and Howie Shrobe and Marvin Minksy at MIT. He also continues to learn from his ongoing passionate conversations with Tristan Harris, Nathan Vanderpool, and Anne Selke.


EP33 Melanie Mitchell on the Elements of AI



Professor & Author Melanie Mitchell and Jim have a wide-ranging talk about her work in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). They explore the differences between deep learning, symbolic techniques & hybrid systems, AI springs/winters & hype cycles, self-driving cars, strong (general) vs weak (narrow) intelligence, the black-box element of human & artificial intelligence, limitations of neural nets, the potential of evolutionary approaches to AI, embodied & social cognition, whether consciousness is needed for intelligence, reinforcement learning, common sense & understanding in AI, the value of metaphors & analogies in intelligence, and much more.

Episode Transcript

Mentions & Recommendations

Melanie Mitchell is Professor of Computer Science at Portland State University, and External Professor and Co-Chair of the Science Board at the Santa Fe Institute. Mitchell has also held faculty or professional positions at the University of Michigan, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the OGI School of Science and Engineering. She is the author or editor of seven books and numerous scholarly papers in the fields of artificial intelligence, cognitive science, and complex systems, including her latest, Artificial Intelligence: A Guide for Thinking Humans.


EP32 Jason Brennan on Irrational Democracy & Academia



Jason Brennan

Author & Research Professor Jason Brennan talks with Jim about teaching in business school after studying philosophy, what a bleeding heart libertarian is, the ignorance & irrationality of voters, how well group identity predicts personal values, whether political engagement leads to rational politics, political discrimination, social signaling, epistocracy & other alternatives to democracy, what course evaluations actually measure in academia, grading inconsistencies & their unintended outcomes, college advertising & tuition costs, the moral grandstanding of tenure, and much more.

Episode Transcript

Mentions & Recommendations

Jason Brennan is Robert J. and Elizabeth Flanagan Family Professor of Strategy, Economics, Ethics, and Public Policy at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. He is also Research Professor at the University of Arizona’s Freedom Center and Department of Political Economy and Moral Science. He specializes in politics, philosophy, and economics. Jason is the author of 10 books, including Cracks in the Ivory Tower, with Phil Magness; When All Else Fails: The Ethics of Resistance to State Injustice; and Against Democracy.


EP31 Forrest Landry on Building our Future



Forrest Landry

Forrest Landry, philosopher, writer, researcher, scientist, engineer, craftsman, and teacher talks with Jim about his company (Magic-Flight), what motivates his work, how he defines ethics, metaphysics & its connection to realism, free will & choice, the nature of time, how he defines & utilizes meaning, value & purpose, interaction between complicated & complex systems, human/ecological sustainability, core dynamics of collective intelligence, the challenges of sense-making, choice-making & implementation, civilizational collapse, the Fermi paradox, and much more.

Episode Transcript

Mentions & Recommendations

Forrest Landry is a philosopher, writer, researcher, scientist, engineer, craftsman, and teacher focused on metaphysics, the manner in which software applications, tools, and techniques influence the design and management of very large scale complex systems, and the thriving of all forms of life on this planet. Forrest is also the founder and CEO of Magic Flight, a third-generation master woodworker who found that he had a unique set of skills in large scale software systems design. Which led him to work in the production of several federal classified and unclassified systems, including various FBI investigative projects, TSC, IDW, DARPA, the Library of Congress Congressional Records System, and many others.


EP30 Nora Bateson on Complexity & the Transcontextual



Nora Bateson, award-winning filmmaker, writer, educator, and President of the International Bateson Institute talks with Jim about the work of the International Bateson Institute, her father (Gregory Bateson) & grandfather’s (William Bateson) academic histories & the impact they had on her work, complex systems, the dangers of mental monocropping, what it means to think transcontextually, cross-cultural collaboration & awareness, some of her observations on Swedish culture & the role of the state, conviviality in modern culture, the generational component of Game B, what’s emerging in her warm data labs, liminality, leadership as a Jazz solo, and much more.

Episode Transcript

Mentions & Recommendations

Nora Bateson is an award-winning filmmaker, writer and educator, as well as President of the International Bateson Institute, based in Sweden. Her work asks the question, “How we can improve our perception of the complexity we live within, so we may improve our interaction with the world?” An international lecturer, researcher and writer, Nora wrote, directed and produced the award-winning documentary, An Ecology of Mind, a portrait of her father, Gregory Bateson. Her work brings the fields of biology, cognition, art, anthropology, psychology, and information technology together into a study of the patterns in ecology of living systems. Her book, Small Arcs of Larger Circles, is a revolutionary personal approach to the study of systems and complexity.


EP29 Michael Mauboussin on The Success Equation



Michael Mauboussin, Director of Research at BlueMountain Capital Management, Author, and Adjunct Professor at Columbia University talks with Jim about how he came to be the Chairman of the Board at the Santa Fe Institute, his perspective on investing & its challenges, the Colonel Blotto game, using variance & complexity in game theory, defining luck & skill and their relative importance in several domains, outcome bias, the importance of understanding sample size, intelligence quotient (IQ) vs. rationality quotient (RQ), bad and good forecasting by experts, increasing the variance when you are behind, looking for weak games, how age impacts skill in people & organizations, deliberate practice, time management, and more.

Episode Transcript

Mentions & Recommendations

Michael J. Mauboussin is Director of Research at BlueMountain Capital Management. Prior to joining BlueMountain, he was Head of Global Financial Strategies at Credit Suisse and Chief Investment Strategist at Legg Mason Capital Management. He is also the author of three books, including More Than You Know: Finding Financial Wisdom in Unconventional Places, named in the The 100 Best Business Books of All Time by 800-CEO-Read. Michael has been an adjunct professor of finance at Columbia Business School since 1993, and received the Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence in 2009 and 2016. He is also chairman of the board of trustees of the Santa Fe Institute, a leading center for multi-disciplinary research in complex systems theory.


EP28 Mark Burgess on Promise Theory, AI & Spacetime



Author, founder & scientist Mark Burgess talks with Jim about why he made the switch from theoretical physics to computer science, the widely applicable skill set of physicists, what led him to create CFEngine, computer immunology, how he came up with Promise Theory & its connection to physics & network science, the relativity of systems, consistency in large-scale systems, what physics can teach computer science about uncertainty, the limits of Turing machines & deep learning, free will, Promise Theory’s connection to agile & Daniel Mezick’s work, dynamic subordination, logic vs emotion, spacetime, quantum gravity, how scale presents interesting solutions to the Fermi Paradox, and much more.

Episode Transcript

Mentions & Recommendations

Mark Burgess is a theoretician and practitioner in the area of information systems, whose work has focused largely on distributed information infrastructure. He is known particularly for his work on Configuration Management and Promise Theory. He was the principal Founder of CFEngine, ChiTek-i, and now co-founder and chief innovation officer at Aljabr Inc.

Mark is emeritus professor of Network and System Administration from Oslo University College. He is the author of numerous books, articles, and papers on topics from physics, Network and System Administration, to fiction. He also writes a blog on issues of science and IT industry concerns. Today, he works as an advisor on science and technology matters all over the world.