Monthly Archives: December 2019

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.

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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.