EP117 Samo Burja on Societal Decline

Samo Burja talks to Jim about his book, Great Founder Theory: theories & limits of history, institutions, design vs evolution, declining empires, and much more…

Samo Burja

Samo Burja talks to Jim about his freely available book, Great Founder Theory. They cover long-lasting societies, theories & limits of history, cultures that prioritize documentation, long-term priorities, institutional organization, social technologies, design vs evolution, what makes a great founder, times of slow change, market reform dynamics, censorship, social coordination costs, social media reformation, centralized vs decentralized declining empires, closed vs open academic journals, pre-registered research, post-modernism, noble lies, technology & society connections, institutional decline, the overproduction of elites, prioritizing functionality & maintaining institutions, psychology’s impact on advertising & culture, live vs dead players, borrowed vs owned power, the succession problem & possible solutions, the dangers of risk aversion, political transitions, and much more.

Episode Transcript

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Samo Burja is the founder and President of Bismarck Analysis, a consulting firm that specializes in institutional analysis for clients in North America and Europe. Bismarck uses the foundational sociological research that Samo and his team have conducted over the past decade to deliver unique insights to clients about institutional design and strategy. Samo’s studies focus on the social and material technologies that provide the foundation for healthy human societies, with an eye to engineering and restoring the structures that produce functional institutions. He has authored articles and papers on his findings. His manuscript, Great Founder Theory, is available online. He is also a Research Fellow at the Long Now Foundation and Senior Research Fellow in Political Science at the Foresight Institute. Samo has spoken about his findings at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Y Combinator’s YC 120 conference, the Reboot American Innovation conference in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. He spends most of his time in California and his native Slovenia.