June 27, 2020
In this interview, I sit down with Jeffrey Ladish to discuss future existential and catastrophic planetary risks and what we can do to stop them / mitigate their effects.
Jeffrey is a fellow at the Foresight Institute, a research organization dedicated to assessing the risks and opportunities presented by emerging technologies. Jeffrey's research focuses on nuclear risk, bio security, and cybersecurity - working to map out the catastrophic and existential risk landscape as thoroughly as possible for both himself and organizations dedicated to preparing for future crises.
Jeffrey's Medium: Absent Coordination Future Technology will cause Human Extinction
Mastering the Dance: Rebooting Society with Testing and Tracing | Jeffrey Ladish
0:00 - Introductions
1:12 - Christian upbringings, ethics, and humanities capacity for self-destruction
4:40 - Developing a intuitive respect for the gravity of nuclear risk
8:00 - Valuing the latent potential of our collective future
11:00 - Which risks are most impactful, urgent, overlooked, and prone to bifurcation
14:00 - Mapping the existential risk landscape
16:00 - Biorisk
17:30 - "A deep and difficult understanding is what's required to make progress"
18:45 - Incentives and disincentives for bioterrorism
22:00 - State-sponsored bioweapon research
24:00 - Synthetic biology risks and destabilizing ecosystems - mirror life
30:00 - Institutional Reform to Combat Existential Risk
31:00 - Importance of international institutions
33:30 - One World or None - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1681403.One_World_or_None
35:00 - Nuclear treaties
37:00 - "Everyone's incentives in the longterm are aligned"
39:00 - Optimizing for long term planning as an overlooked strategic lens
40:30 - Institutions working on the cutting edge of Existential Risk research and systemic resiliency
44:30 - "-we have to have healthy functioning institutions... we can do very broad things in social movements, but social movements can't do very fine grained or long term planning type things. So we need institutions to do that."
45:10 - Institutional senescence
48:30 - Blockchain governance methods
50:00 - Futarchy
52:00 - Cryptosecurity, Post-Quantum Cryptography and Trustable Trustless Institutions
54:00 - Hard Forks to address Quantum Security
56:00 - Book Recommendations - Strategy and Conflict, The Selfish Gene, Glen Weyl - Radical Markets, Samo Burja - Great Founder Theory
58:30 - Thinking long term about risks/resiliency in your own community
April 30, 2020
George Lakey is a renowned activist and scholar who has been a leader and founder of numerous movements over the past half century from civil rights to the modern climate movement.
In this interview, George and I discuss the revival of vision on the left, the opportunities polarization provides, the inner-work in becoming an agent of change, and how to initiate attractive and resilient social movements.
How we Win - George Lakey
Viking Economics - George Lakey
A Manual for Social Change - George Lakey
Why We Can't Wait - Martin Luther King
Selma (2014 film)
Bringing Down a Dictator
Andrew Cornell - Oppose and Propose
Herman Daly - Steady State Economics
Don't Forget to Sing in the Lifeboats
Mahatma Gandhi - Experiments with Truth
Alice Paul: Claiming Power
Swarthmore Nonviolence Databas
September 15, 2019
I speak to scholar, author, and activist Stephen Zunes on his work with liberation movements around the world and discuss his thoughts on revolutionary strategy, global cooperation, and the world wide impetus for action that gives him hope. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Zunes
September 1, 2019
Obi and I discuss the intrinsic value of art and aesthetic arrest, the psychosis of industrial alienation from the cycles of the biosphere, the concurrence of scientific and social shifts, and how we might re-imagine the story we tell ourselves towards circularity and reciprocity with the rest of life. For more details and a selection of Obi's artwork, check out the description here.
September 1, 2019
Ethan dives into the western conceptualization of "nature" as being something somehow separated from "the human." He reflects on our romantic othering of wilderness, imagines a prairie formed from a single blade of grass, and reflects on the split between nature and artifice. These ideas build into our next episode with Obi Kaufmann, wherein he explore how it's only through reexamining our relationship with a romantic-and-alienated world that we might save the biosphere and ourselves.