America is No Longer a Model for the World
Play • 1 hr

When Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol and halted the Electoral College certification, European leaders decried the violence and called on the president to allow the peaceful transfer of power. Meanwhile, China, Russia, Venezuela, and Iran issued swift condemnations with not-so-subtle jabs at the legitimacy of Western democratic values. In the wake of this, can America remain the world's model for democracy? 

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Pitchfork Economics with Nick Hanauer
Pitchfork Economics with Nick Hanauer
Civic Ventures
The velocity of money (with Ann Pettifor)
Over the last century, the velocity of money—the rate at which money changes hands through the economy—has declined. Today, money moves at one of the slowest rates on record, meaning every dollar today generates 70% less economic activity than a dollar did just ten years ago. That has big implications for our economy. Political economist Ann Pettifor joins Nick and Goldy to explain how the velocity of money is related to money creation, and why taxing the rich is ultimately pro-growth (it’s all related, we promise!).  Ann Pettifor is a political economist, author, and public speaker, and the Director of PRIME (Policy Research in Macroeconomics). Her work focuses on the global financial system, sovereign debt restructuring, international finance, and sustainable development. She is the author of many books, including The Production of Money and The Case for the Green New Deal.  Twitter: @AnnPettifor Show us some love by leaving a rating or a review!  Further reading:  Want to expand the economy? Tax the rich!  A world awash in money: What does money velocity tell us about low inflation in the U.S.?  Vultures are circling our fragile economy…  Decades of empirical research finds no inverse correlation between top tax rates and growth:  Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
42 min
Conversations with Tyler
Conversations with Tyler
Mercatus Center at George Mason University
Patricia Fara on Newton, Scientific Progress, and the Benefits of Unhistoric Acts
Patricia Fara is a historian of science at Cambridge University and well-known for her writings on women in science. Her forthcoming book, Life After Gravity: Isaac Newton's London Career, details the life of the titan of the so-called Scientific Revolution after his famous (though perhaps mythological) discovery under the apple tree. Her work emphasizes science as a long, continuous process composed of incremental contributions–in which women throughout history have taken a crucial part–rather than the sole province of a few monolithic innovators. Patricia joined Tyler to discuss why Newton left Cambridge to run The Royal Mint, why he was so productive during the Great Plague, why the “Scientific Revolution” should instead be understood as a gradual process, what the Antikythera device tells us about science in the ancient world, the influence of Erasmus Darwin on his grandson, why more people should know Dorothy Hodgkin, how George Eliot inspired her to commit unhistoric acts, why she opposes any kind of sex-segregated schooling, her early experience in a startup, what modern students of science can learn from studying Renaissance art, the reasons she considers Madame Lavoisier to be the greatest female science illustrator, the unusual work habit brought to her attention by house guests, the book of caricatures she’d like to write next, and more. Follow us on Twitter and IG: @cowenconvos Email: Follow Tyler on Twitter Facebook Newsletter
58 min
The Strong Towns Podcast
The Strong Towns Podcast
Strong Towns
Joseph Kane: Prioritizing People (Not Projects) In Infrastructure Spending
As leaders in Washington, DC look to stimulate the American economy, one course of action with bipartisan support—as per usual—is to pour money into infrastructure. Yet as Strong Towns readers know, infrastructure spending often leads cities down the road of insolvency rather than prosperity, and not all infrastructure spending is alike. In a recent two-part policy brief, Joseph W. Kane and Shalini Vajjhala of The Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program wrote that “to truly improve the country’s infrastructure and help the most vulnerable households, federal leaders cannot simply throw more money at shiny new projects. Instead, they must invest with purpose and undo the harms of our legacy infrastructure systems.” They continued: “Above all, leaders should prioritize people over projects in our infrastructure plans. In practice, that means defining, measuring, and addressing our infrastructure challenges based on the needs of users of new and existing systems.” One of the authors of that brief, Joseph Kane, is the guest on this week’s episode of the Strong Towns podcast. Kane is a senior research associate and associate follow at the Metropolitan Policy Program. An economist and urban planner, his work focuses on wide array of built environment issues, including transportation and water infrastructure. In this jam-packed episode, Strong Towns president Chuck Marohn talks with Kane about the role infrastructure spending could play as part of the recovery agenda. Kane and Marohn discuss why “building back better” (President Biden’s phrase) doesn’t have to mean “build back new;” it could mean build back different, build less, and maybe even take down what we’ve already built. They also talk about whether an infrastructure bill in the trillions of dollars can address the nuances of what’s actually needed at the local level, whether Americans are more comfortable with catastrophic failures than the small ones that might teach valuable lessons along the way toward economic resilience, and about Kane and Vajjhala’s four strategies that can help undo the harms of “legacy infrastructure systems.” Additional Show Notes: * “Prioritize people, not projects: Addressing the harms of legacy infrastructure in the COVID-19 recovery,” by Joseph W. Kane and Shalini Vajjhala (Part 1) * “Four steps to undo the harms of legacy infrastructure in the COVID-19 recovery,” by Shalani Vajjhala and Joseph W. Kane (Part 2) * Joseph Kane (Twitter) * Charles Marohn (Twitter) * Select Strong Towns content on infrastructure spending * “The more we build, the poorer we get,” by Charles Marohn * “A Better Use of Federal Infrastructure Spending” (Podcast) * “The Worst Possible Thing We Can Do with This Money” (Podcast) * “What Should My City Do About Our Infrastructure Backlog?” by Charles Marohn * “Would a $2 Trillion Infrastructure Spending Surge Promote Good Planning?” by Daniel Herriges
59 min
Santa Fe Institute, Michael Garfield
David Stork on AI Art History
Art history is a lot like archaeology — we here in the present day get artifacts and records, but the gaps between them are enormous, and the questions that they beg loom large. Historians need to be able to investigate and interpret, to unpack the meanings and the methods of a given work of art — but even for the best, the act of reconstruction is a trying test. Can we program computers to decipher the backstory of a painting — analyzing light and shadow to guess at how a piece was made? And, even more ambitiously, can AI learn to see and tell the stories rendered in an image’s symbolic content? Recent innovations yield surprising insights and suggest a cyborg future for art scholarship, in which we teach machines to not just recognize a set of objects, but to grok their context and relationships — shining light on messages and narratives once lost to time, and deepening our study of the world of signs. Welcome to COMPLEXITY, the official podcast of the Santa Fe Institute. I’m your host, Michael Garfield, and every other week we’ll bring you with us for far-ranging conversations with our worldwide network of rigorous researchers developing new frameworks to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe. This week we speak with David Stork, who has held full-time and visiting faculty positions in Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Statistics, Neuroscience, Psychology, and Art and Art History variously at Wellesley and Swarthmore Colleges and Clark, Boston, and Stanford Universities…as well as holding corporate positions as Chief Scientist at Ricoh Innovations and Fellow at Rambus, Inc. We talk about the what happens when computers look at art — and the implications for art history and connoisseurship. If you value our research and communication efforts, please consider making a donation at — and/or rating and reviewing us at Apple Podcasts. You can find numerous other ways to engage with us at Thank you for listening! Join our Facebook discussion group to meet like minds and talk about each episode. Podcast theme music by Mitch Mignano. Follow us on social media: Twitter • YouTube • Facebook • Instagram • LinkedIn Go deeper with these additional resources: David’s bio at International Academy, Research, and Industry Association David’s Google Scholar Page David’s SFI Seminar David’s talk at The Frick Collection, “Rigorous Technical Image Analysis of Fine Art: Toward a Computer Connoisseurship”
1 hr
The Future of Life
The Future of Life
Future of Life Institute
Stuart Russell and Zachary Kallenborn on Drone Swarms and the Riskiest Aspects of Autonomous Weapons
Stuart Russell, Professor of Computer Science at UC Berkeley, and Zachary Kallenborn, WMD and drone swarms expert, join us to discuss the highest risk and most destabilizing aspects of lethal autonomous weapons.  Topics discussed in this episode include: -The current state of the deployment and development of lethal autonomous weapons and swarm technologies -Drone swarms as a potential weapon of mass destruction -The risks of escalation, unpredictability, and proliferation with regards to autonomous weapons -The difficulty of attribution, verification, and accountability with autonomous weapons -Autonomous weapons governance as norm setting for global AI issues You can find the page for this podcast here: You can check out the new lethal autonomous weapons website here: Have any feedback about the podcast? You can share your thoughts here: Timestamps:  0:00 Intro 2:23 Emilia Javorsky on lethal autonomous weapons 7:27 What is a lethal autonomous weapon? 11:33 Autonomous weapons that exist today 16:57 The concerns of collateral damage, accidental escalation, scalability, control, and error risk 26:57 The proliferation risk of autonomous weapons 32:30 To what extent are global superpowers pursuing these weapons? What is the state of industry's pursuit of the research and manufacturing of this technology 42:13 A possible proposal for a selective ban on small anti-personnel autonomous weapons 47:20 Lethal autonomous weapons as a potential weapon of mass destruction 53:49 The unpredictability of autonomous weapons, especially when swarms are interacting with other swarms 58:09 The risk of autonomous weapons escalating conflicts 01:10:50 The risk of drone swarms proliferating 01:20:16 The risk of assassination 01:23:25 The difficulty of attribution and accountability 01:26:05 The governance of autonomous weapons being relevant to the global governance of AI 01:30:11 The importance of verification for responsibility, accountability, and regulation 01:35:50 Concerns about the beginning of an arms race and the need for regulation 01:38:46 Wrapping up 01:39:23 Outro This podcast is possible because of the support of listeners like you. If you found this conversation to be meaningful or valuable, consider supporting it directly by donating at Contributions like yours make these conversations possible.
1 hr 40 min
80,000 Hours Podcast with Rob Wiblin
80,000 Hours Podcast with Rob Wiblin
The 80000 Hours team
#91 – Lewis Bollard on big wins against factory farming and how they happened
I suspect today's guest, Lewis Bollard, might be the single best person in the world to interview to get an overview of all the methods that might be effective for putting an end to factory farming and what broader lessons we can learn from the experiences of people working to end cruelty in animal agriculture. That's why I interviewed him back in 2017, and it's why I've come back for an updated second dose four years later. That conversation became a touchstone resource for anyone wanting to understand why people might decide to focus their altruism on farmed animal welfare, what those people are up to, and why. Lewis leads Open Philanthropy’s strategy for farm animal welfare, and since he joined in 2015 they’ve disbursed about $130 million in grants to nonprofits as part of this program. This episode certainly isn't only for vegetarians or people whose primary focus is animal welfare. The farmed animal welfare movement has had a lot of big wins over the last five years, and many of the lessons animal activists and plant-based meat entrepreneurs have learned are of much broader interest. *Links to learn more, summary and full transcript.* Some of those include: • *Between 2019 and 2020, Beyond Meat's cost of goods sold fell from about $4.50 a pound to $3.50 a pound.* Will plant-based meat or clean meat displace animal meat, and if so when? How quickly can it reach price parity? • *One study reported that philosophy students reduced their meat consumption by 13% after going through a course on the ethics of factory farming.* But do studies like this replicate? And what happens several months later? • *One survey showed that 33% of people supported a ban on animal farming.* Should we take such findings seriously? Or is it as informative as the study which showed that 38% of Americans believe that Ted Cruz might be the Zodiac killer? • *Costco, the second largest retailer in the U.S., is now over 95% cage-free.* Why have they done that years before they had to? And can ethical individuals within these companies make a real difference? We also cover: • Switzerland’s ballot measure on eliminating factory farming • What a Biden administration could mean for reducing animal suffering • How chicken is cheaper than peanuts • The biggest recent wins for farmed animals • Things that haven’t gone to plan in animal advocacy • Political opportunities for farmed animal advocates in Europe • How the US is behind Brazil and Israel on animal welfare standards • The value of increasing media coverage of factory farming • The state of the animal welfare movement • And much more If you’d like an introduction to the nature of the problem and why Lewis is working on it, in addition to our 2017 interview with Lewis, you could check out this 2013 cause report from Open Philanthropy. Producer: Keiran Harris. Audio mastering: Ben Cordell. Transcriptions: Sofia Davis-Fogel.
2 hr 33 min
New Books in Economics
New Books in Economics
Marshall Poe
A. Gandhi et al., "Rethinking Markets in Modern India: Embedded Exchange and Contested Jurisdiction" (Cambridge UP, 2020)
Modern markets and exchange, compared with other social and political spheres, are seen through technical abstractions. This intellectual compartmentalization has political consequences: if capitalism operates through arcane, objective, and rational mechanics, the very real interests and very real consequences of exchange are disguised and simplified. In their empirically dense and theoretically bold edited volume, Ajay Gandhi, Barbara Harriss-White, Douglas Haynes, and Sebastian Schwecke gather historians and anthropologists to reflect on the dynamic, adaptive, and ambiguous realities of markets and exchange in India. Rethinking Markets in Modern India: Embedded Exchange and Contested Jurisdiction (Cambridge University Press, 2020) provides a rich array of vivid case studies – from colonial property and advertising milieus to today’s bazaar and criminal economies – to examine the friction and interdependence between commerce, society, and state. Beyond providing a vantage point for rethinking global capitalism from one of the world’s major economies, the volume conceptualizes the moral, spatial, legal, and symbolic dynamics of markets in a way that is broadly relevant through the Global South. Two of the volume’s editors, Ajay Gandhi, assistant professor at Leiden University, and Sebastian Schwecke, head of the Delhi office of the Max Weber Foundation, discuss the book’s theoretical ambitions and empirical range. Saronik Bosu (@SaronikB on Twitter) is a doctoral candidate in English at New York University. He is writing his dissertation on South Asian economic writing. He is also coordinator of the Medical Humanities Working Group at NYU, and of the Postcolonial Anthropocene Research Network. He also co-hosts the podcast High Theory. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!
1 hr 2 min
The MMT Podcast with Patricia Pino & Christian Reilly
The MMT Podcast with Patricia Pino & Christian Reilly
Patricia Pino & Christian Reilly
#89 Warren Mosler & Phil Armstrong: Weimar Republic Hyperinflation Through An MMT Lens (part 2)
Part 2: Patricia and Christian talk to MMT founder Warren Mosler and MMT scholar Dr Phil Armstrong about their recent paper: “Weimar Republic Hyperinflation through a Modern Monetary Theory Lens”.   Part 1 of this conversation:   Please help sustain this podcast! Patrons get early access to all episodes and patron-only episodes:   For an intro to MMT: Listen to our first three episodes:   All our episodes in chronological order:   All of our episodes with Warren Mosler:   All of our episodes with Phil Armstrong:   Some of our other episodes with Warren Mosler which deal with inflation, interest rates and central bank policy: Episode 59: What Do Central Banks Do?: Episode 80: MMT Holiday Special (part 1): Episode 81: MMT Holiday Special (part 2):   Our episode 65 with Phil Armstrong on inflation (more on Paul Volcker as Fed chair in the intro):   Our episode 47 with Pavlina Tcherneva explaining the Job Guarantee:   Our episode 55 with Dr Dirk Ehnts on MMT in the context of the Eurozone:   Our episodes with Sam Levey that touch on the forward pricing channel: Episode 43: Episode 76: Episode 77:   Weimar Republic Hyperinflation through a Modern Monetary Theory Lens by Phil Armstrong and Warren Mosler:   Warren Mosler - MMT white paper:   Michael Hudson - Government Debt and Deficits Are Not the Problem. Private Debt Is:   Clint Ballinger - Airplane crashes aren’t “hyperlandings”:   A Discussion of Central Bank Operations and Interest Rate Policy by Warren Mosler and Phil Armstrong:   Monopoly Money: The State as a Price Setter by Pavlina R. Tcherneva:   Bill Mitchell - Zimbabwe for hyperventilators 101:   Tickets for “An Introduction To Modern Monetary Theory: Reconceptualising The Nature Of Banking” (presentation by Phil Armstrong) on 26th March 2021, organised by Women in Banking and Finance:   A list of other upcoming MMT events and courses:   A list of MMT-informed campaigns and organisations worldwide:   Phil Armstrong’s book, Can Heterodox Economics Make a Difference?:   Warren Mosler’s (free) e-book, Seven Deadly Innocent Frauds Of Economic Policy:   Transcript for opening monologue:   We are working towards full transcripts, but in the meantime, closed captions for all episodes are available on our YouTube channel:   Show notes:
1 hr 4 min
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