Ruby Together This special episode of Greater Than Code was recorded in-person during RubyConf in Los Angeles on November 15th. Ruby Together’s Executive Director, André Arko, was joined by b…
Independent journalist Marcy Wheeler (@emptywheel) joins us. We are live at 12:00pm ET.
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Original video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=foaOuEu32eo
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Episode #283: Tyler Cowen – The Path To Prosperity In A Disordered World Tyler Cowen is Holbert L. Harris Professor of Economics at George Mason University and also Director of the Mercatus Center. He received his Ph.d. in economics from Harvard University in 1987. His book The Great Stagnation: How America Ate the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, … Read More
Tom Boger is Sr. Director of Mac Product Marketing at Apple. He’s worked on projects including the original iMac. Earlier this week, he took to the Apple keynote stage to introduce the new Mac mini. The following day he sat down with me to talk about that new Mac mini as well as the new MacBook Air and Apple’s complete current line-up of Macs: What the design goals are, how to choose the right Mac for you, and how Apple sees the Mac now and into the future. Links
Mac mini at Apple MacBook Air at Apple
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LUYC 066: Amy Hoy How to Pre-Sell Your Online Course
I’ve probably spent more time reading Tyler Cowen - Professor of Economics at George Mason University - than any other author. Indeed it’s his incredibly popular blog Marginal Revolution that prompted me to study economics in the first place. Having spent thousands of hours absorbing Tyler’s work, it was a delight to be able to question him about his latest book and personal manifesto: Stubborn Attachments: A Vision for a Society of Free, Prosperous, and Responsible Individuals.
Tyler makes the case that, despite what you may have heard, we can make rational judgments about what is best for society as a whole. He argues:
Our top moral priority should be preserving and improving humanity’s long-term future
The way to do that is to maximise the rate of sustainable economic growth
We should respect human rights and follow general principles while doing so.
We discuss why Tyler believes all these things, and I push back where I disagree. In particular: is higher economic growth actually the best way to safeguard humanity’s future, or should our focus really be elsewhere?
In the process we touch on most of moral philosophy’s most pressing questions: Should we discount the future? How should we aggregating welfare across people? Should we follow rules or consider every situation individually? How should we deal with the massive uncertainty about the effects of our actions? And how much should we defer to common sense morality versus thinking things through for ourselves?
Links to learn more, summary and full transcript.
After covering the book, the conversation ranges far and wide across. Will we leave the galaxy, and is it a tragedy if we don’t? Is a multi-polar world less stable? Will humanity ever help wild animals? Why do both of us agree that Kant and Rawls are overrated?
Today’s interview is released on both the 80,000 Hours Podcast and Tyler’s own show: Conversation with Tyler.
Tyler has possibly had more influence on me than any other writer but this conversation is richer for our disagreements.
If the above isn’t enough to tempt you to listen, we also look at:
Why couldn’t future technology make human life a hundred or a thousand times better than it is for people today?
Why focus on increasing the rate of economic growth rather than making sure that it doesn’t go to zero?
Why shouldn’t we dedicate substantial time to the successful introduction of genetic engineering?
Why should we completely abstain from alcohol and make it a social norm?
Why is Tyler so pessimistic about space? Why is it likely that humans will go extinct before we manage to escape the galaxy?
Why isn’t improving coordination and international cooperation a major priority?
Why does Tyler think institutions are way out-racing technology right now?
Given that our actions seem to have very large and morally significant effects in the long run, why don’t we have onerous moral obligations?
How can art be intrinsically valuable?
What does Tyler think Derek Parfit was most wrong about, and what was he was most right about that’s unappreciated today?
Why does Tyler think you can’t weigh the interests of humans versus other animals?
Why is it likely that self-aware entities have to be biological in some sense?
Get this episode by subscribing: type 80,000 Hours into your podcasting app.
The 80,000 Hours Podcast is produced by Keiran Harris.
Quotes“I am very interested in coordination problems. I think that they explain a lot of the problems that we see in the world, everything from climate change to nuclear disarming to issues in cities to making it so that people can actually live where they are the most productive to housing policy. I could go on and on. The solution to coordination problems is incentive design, and clever solutions that are some of the reason humans have been able to progress to the extent they have throughout the past few hundred years.”“The most classic tool for thought, and one that I think we tend to take for granted, is writing. Most people think of writing as a way to communicate ideas that they’ve had in their head to other people. Obviously, it does serve that purpose and people sell books for a reason. But, I think it goes way beyond that.”“In the last year, I have found that writing has gotten a lot easier for me. There’s probably a lot of reasons for this but I think the core is that I realized there are three categories of topics you can write about. There’s the stuff that everybody knows that is trivial to write about because it’s easy. On the other end, there’s stuff that nobody knows yet or nobody around you knows yet, so it takes a lot of time to figure it out and it takes a lot of research. Now, there’s this middle area between common knowledge and really obscure knowledge of stuff that you have a unique perspective on because of where you happen to be in life and you understand it so intuitively that you can just talk, think and write about it fluidly. But, a lot of people don’t know it yet. That’s the sweet spot.”“For me, it’s very important that I can walk places. Walking is a way to interact with your community in these small ways, every single day. The way people get comfortable in a place and in a social group is not through one really intense interaction, but through a bunch of smaller ones where you see things from different angles. You experience, what does my neighborhood looks like on a sunny day, on a cloudy day, or when I’m tired. These tiny, trivial things help you understand, much better, how things function. You get to know the vibe so much better and you meet people you wouldn’t meet if you were in an Uber.”“Algorithms To Live By is the best self help book I’ve ever read and it’s not intended to be a self help book, it’s intended to be an algorithmic look at certain problems that people see day to day. But, it helps me frame certain problems that I personally run into in terms of the algorithmic complexity. I realized the stress that I was feeling about certain things I was worrying about, were actually totally rational.”
with Chris Dixon (@cdixon), Ali Yahya (@ali01), and Devon Zuegel (@devonzuegel)
“Show me the incentive and I’ll show you the outcomes.”
At the end of the day, observes a16z crypto general partner Chris Dixon, Satoshi’s whitepaper [the original bitcoin paper outlining a peer-to-peer decentralized network and blockchain sans centralized third parties] is nine pages of incentives. It’s the kind of incentive design that you can use to build many other things on the internet (which itself is driven by very simple core protocols and could even upgrade itself as a result). But only with the right incentives (and alignment of those incentives among different entities), of course. Which is where cryptonetworks come in — especially since they don’t rely on hardware buildout (as with earlier generations of internet deployment), but rather on software (which is essentially just logic, the kind of building block you can use to build countless other things). The breadth of possibilities is endless.
This means that platforms and networks (and operating systems, for that matter) can spend less time, energy, money, and frankly, suffering due to fighting — thanks to distorted business models that lead them to extract value from users and compete among complements (vs…
Original video: https://soundcloud.com/a16z/cryptonetworks-decentralization-web-scale-building-blocks
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with Denis Nazarov (@iiterature), Jesse Walden (@jessewldn), Ali Yahya (@ali01), and Devon Zuegel (@devonzuegel)
Cryptonetworks are often compared to firms, people, or even coral reefs — but, observes a16z crypto partner Ali Yahya, they might be much more similar to cities. Where does that analogy fit, and where does it break down? And what can we learn from how cities both emerge from the bottom up and are motivated by a top down vision/design and apply to open source networks such as those in crypto?
In this episode of the a16z Podcast — guest hosted by freelance software engineer (and blockchain app developer) and writer (and urban watcher) Devon Zuegel — a16z crypto partners Denis Nazarov, Jesse Walden, and Yahya share their thoughts on "rough consensus"; shared myths and beliefs; modularity vs. monolithic design; and the rivers and riverbeds that people build cities and code around.
At the end of the day, it’s all about mass coordination at scale… but what are the incentives for building the infrastructure and ecosystem, for running experiments but also determining governance as well?
Please note that the a16z crypto fund is a separate legal entity managed by CNK Capital Management, L.L.C. (“CNK”), a registered investor advisor with the Securities and Ex…
Original video: https://soundcloud.com/a16z/cryptonetworks-cities-analogies-design
Downloaded by http://huffduff-video.snarfed.org/ on Mon, 08 Oct 2018 23:37:18 GMT Available for 30 days after download
Our editors talk about what the Apple Watch Series 4 means for mechanical watch enthusiasts everywhere (with a special appearance by Daring Fireball’s John Gruber).
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