Transcript of interview on how tech changes the world
Generally enjoyed this, but there are a couple of points where I had to wonder if Andreesson's performance-enhancing drugs were wearing off. First of all, is it just me or is the observation that Fascism arose without the aid of the internet borderline idiotic? If Richard's point is that technology has drawbacks then Andreesson's remark on this just substantiates the claim. Mussolini, I recall, was quite visionary in his application of new radio technology to the task of uniting Italy in a propaganda-police state, and I think ditto Hitler to some extent. The question should have been, what would these guys NOT have done with any given technological breakthrough, at which point I suppose Andr. could have asserted the internet would have allowed more "X-wing" strikes on the Fascist state or some such.
Secondly, is the man really suggesting that the primitive compulsion to engage in tribal and religious behavior, or that the religious impulse at all, is simply a by-product of *boredom*? This whole segment was very weird. I almost fell out of my chair listening to him try to spin this grand theory of how bored people went from being religious to collecting stamps. Utterly vapid analysis. And you couldn't convince me that collecting stamps or, for that matter, going to Mass is any greater a waste of time than looking at Chive while you take a shit, which, we need to be honest, is what miraculous technology represents to most people. Being free from boredom is not a privilege! At least not when it entails in ordinary people an obvious, borderline insane degree of anxiety to be separate from a barrage of meaningless external stimulation. This to me was the core of Richard's early remarks which his conversation partner never really rebuts.
I began with a great deal of admiration for Andr.'s obvious mental acumen and wide-ranging interests, which he articulates well. The repartee was interesting and I appreciate that Richard doesn't back down, but the good-faith debate about technology didn't show either man's best light.
Great interview! The fact that we're not doing more to identify and back more high-potential young talent is one of the biggest areas we should focus on - e.g., On Medici and Thiel - https://www.strangeloopcanon.com/p/on-medici-and-thiel
The fact that we haven't put more effort into discovering and fomenting talent is a shame!
Good interview. Richard, your audio is not as good as it should be. There are times when it is echoey, and unpleasant to listen to. It degrades the value of the podcast. Please make inquiries and get a better microphone or do whatever you need to do to improve this aspect. Substantively, this was very good, and it was good to see many important topics pulled together. For example, the significance of the replication crisis, and the decay of major institutions, the death star, which needs to be attacked. Also, the idea that some kind of cataclysmic revolution can overthrow the existing regime is a pipe dream, and would not work out anyway. The way to do it is and incessant bombardment of innovation switch strip away aspects of a system which is not working and replaces it bit by bit. That sounds like a reasonable way forward.
Excellent interview, Richard. Great to find people who read Andrew Gelman's blog, know about the reproducibility crisis, understand regulatory capture, and explain it all so well - along with many insights.
While I also have a certain worries about technology (not touched in this article) I don't understand the thought behind the idea that a society with much less children is somehow a bad indication. I almost feel sorry for people who only can imagine a fullfilling live must include a marriage and 2.1 children.
Awesome interview! Loved all of it. Especially liked the part where Richard pushed back/offered alternative theories and Marc just went along with it, admitting Richard was probably right.
Great interview, though at times more like a debate. Richard was pushing hard for techno-pessimism, but Andreesen was pretty steadfast in rebutting or qualifying said pessimism.
Which, I would add, is not a problem at all! Interviews are a great format for two people with different views to battle it out in a friendly manner. Infinitely superior to Twitter dunking to say the least (does saying that make me a techno-pessimist?)