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Best ross richey podcasts we could find (Updated October 2019)
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We Are Not Saved
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We Are Not Saved discusses religion (from a Christian/LDS perspective), politics, the end of the world, science fiction, artificial intelligence, and above all the limits of technology and progress.
 
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Moderation is an underrated value. To achieve it we need to not merely push for moderation, we need to push back against whichever side which has become too extreme. This is the pendulum, and it swings back and forth. If we value moderation we seek to keep it as close to the center as possible, while also avoiding violent swings from side to si ...…
 
It's my monthly review of the books I read. In this episode I cover: Savage Worlds: Adventure Edition By: Shane Lacy Hensley Adrift: Seventy-Six Days Lost at Sea By: Steven Callahan Novacene: The Coming Age of Hyperintelligence By: James Lovelock Bronze Age Mindset By: Bronze Age Pervert Why Are The Prices So Damn High? By: Eric Helland, Alex T ...…
 
I have heard some people, even in the comments of my this podcast, claim that we shouldn't worry about the current level of political unrest because there's nowhere for the violence to start. That we don't see the sort of large scale violence we once saw in the past. I think they're wrong I think there will be bloodshed, and the question this e ...…
 
I recently read American Carnage, the story of the development of the Republican Civil War and the events which led to the current political crisis. While reading it I was struck by a question, not why is this happening now, but rather why isn't it always this way? I think I have the answer to that question and it involves nationalism, wars, im ...…
 
From the perspective of our system of government there are a lot of deviations currently going on. Many of them are being normalized. In the based we could correct deviations by means of amending the Constitution, but that no longer seems possible. Meaning we have largely decided to normalize them and hope that they're improvements, or at least ...…
 
This is the monthly episode where I review all the books I read over the past month. This time I'm mixing it up by doing very short reviews of some while doing longer reviews of the others. Here's a list of the books I mention: Extremes by Various The Lazy Dungeon Master by Michael Shea Blood Song by Anthony Ryan The Last American Man by Elizab ...…
 
All more enlightened forms of government require certain institutions and customs in order to function. Democratic capitalism doesn't work without strong contract enforcement and low corruption for example. Is it possible that there are institutions and customs yet (or about) to be discovered and implemented which would make communism work. If ...…
 
I recently read an article titled How I Almost Destroyed a £50 million War Plane and The Normalisation of Deviance. In this post I examine the idea of deviance and what it means to normalize it. The article most examined it from the perspective of smaller systems, but I'm interested in what it looks like if we take the concept and apply it to s ...…
 
Following up on a previous post I discuss the possible rise of a new civic religion, starting with some stories about how what people feel comfortable signaling support for has changed. Historically replacing one religion with another civic or otherwise has been accompanied by bloodshed and no small amount of violence. Will this time be similar?…
 
My book reviews for the month of July (along with one podcast). The Blade Itself (1 of 3 First Law Trilogy) Hate Crime Hoax: How the Left is Selling a Fake Race War The Dictator's Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics Fall of Civilizations (Podcast) The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and ...…
 
Like many people the 50th anniversary of the first man on the moon is an opportunity for retrospection, and the thing that jumps out to me and to everyone is the fact that after Apollo was over we haven't been back. What does that mean for the future of space exploration, and particularly colonization, given that if colonization isn't in our fu ...…
 
In a continued attempt to drill down into cultural evolution, I examine whether, in addition to cultural evolution, if there's a separate phenomenon which deserves the label memetic evolution. I conclude there is a phenomenon, but that a better label for it is "memetic accumulation" and that there are some worrying things happening with the spe ...…
 
I recently read the book Alone, by Michael Korda. It was about the opening months of World War II, and he said that at the time the French had the reputation as the world's preeminent military power. This obviously turned out to not be the case, but in the past they had been. Is there anything where we're overemphasizing our view of the past, a ...…
 
Books Reviewed: Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis by Jared Diamond Then It Fell Apart by Moby Fall; or, Dodge in Hell: A Novel by Neal Stephenson To Live and Die in LA (Podcast) Hosted by Neil Strauss Left For Dead: 30 Years On - The Race is Finally Over by Nick Ward and Sinead O'Brien Alone: Britain, Churchill, and Dunkirk: Defeat ...…
 
We've discussed cultural evolution, and everyone knows about evolution by natural selection, but is something different happening now? Some people have said that we have transitioned to a different a third type of evolution, memetic evolution. Is this just an improvement to cultural evolution in the same way that cultural evolution was an impro ...…
 
It seems obvious that there are certain traditions which work to improve the survival of the culture in which they exist. It seems equally obvious that some traditions are pointless. How do we tell the difference? As it turns out it may be harder and take longer than you think. Also reason might help you less than you think. In this episode I c ...…
 
A review of Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis by Jared Diamond. It's not Guns, Germs and Steel, but he does put forth an interesting list of factors for how nations successful navigate crisis. My assessment of these factors is that they're useful, but that they also serve to illustrate the depths of the current crises faced by the ...…
 
Lots of trends associated with the modern world seem to be increasing at an exponential rate. This includes things like energy use, CPU speed, and even scientific publications. But what if rather than being a exponential curve, all of these trends are really the bottoms of S-curves? Curves that start out looking like exponential curve, but whic ...…
 
I review a bunch of books: The Collapsing Empire Porcelain: A Memoir Possible Minds: Twenty-Five Ways of Looking at AI The Inevitable Apostasy and the Promised Restoration (Religious) The City & The City 13 Ways of Going on a Field Trip: Stories about Teaching and Learning Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee The Bed o ...…
 
I had not intended to revisit abortion so soon, but the previous post generated some interesting comments on a wide range of issues, so I decided to collect them and answer in the form of a post. In particular I should have paid more attention to the actual women involved in what is objectively a horrible decision to have to make. But there are ...…
 
I was reading the Iliad recently and I was struck by the fact that while there were a lot of horses that no one rode them, they were all used to pull chariots. Horses had been domesticated for thousands of years but no one thought to ride them. And it would be another couple thousand years before someone came up with the idea of a stirrup. This ...…
 
Abortion is back in the news, and perhaps unwisely I've decided to give my two cents on the subject. I think most of the things that annoy people about the recent laws are tactics in the larger game of getting the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. Though I'm of the opinion that it won't happen regardless, unless Ginsburg dies, which would ...…
 
I review the book Walls: A History of Civilization in Blood and Brick, with a particular focus on the way the history of walls has been misinterpreted and distorted by recent examples of wall building. This is a problem, because it's actually more important than ever to understand the correct history of walls as we enter a second age of wall-bu ...…
 
At the moment it seems like nothing can stop the Democratic nominee from beating Trump and nothing can stop Biden from being the democratic nominee. But what are they going to do about immigration? Trump has done two things, made the issue impossible to ignore and also utterly toxic to rational discussion. There are only good people who want de ...…
 
When people think about AI Risk they think about an artificial superintelligence malevolently and implacably pursuing its goals with humans standing by powerless to stop it. But what if AI Risk is more subtle? What if the same processes which have been so successfully used for image recognition are turned towards increasing engagement? What if ...…
 
I was recently listening to some old episodes from 2016 from my daughter. There were parts where I felt like I had done pretty well in taking the temperature of the world and parts where I cringed. Knowing how much certain of my listeners like to see my cringe I thought I'd share the experience with all of you. Accordingly in this episode I rev ...…
 
If you have high cholesterol the doctor will tell you you're at risk for heart disease and prescribe statins. If your society is poor, a sociologist will tell you that your population could be happier, and suggest that you raise the standard of living. At some point we expect that drug companies will prove the connection between their drug and ...…
 
The race to defeat Trump has begun in earnest. There are 19 notable candidates in the Democratic primary race already and that doesn't include some big names that are expected to enter the race, but haven't yet. Why are there so many? There were only six in 2016. One theory is that Trump appears vulnerable so it's anybodies race. Even people wh ...…
 
I admit that as I discuss things there is some emotion involved. A lot of stuff is my subjective sense of how the world is going. And in this episode in the interest of transparency I toss a few of those things out. Stories and trends where, maybe there's no cause for concern, but which viscerally really make me question, "What is going on?!?!?"…
 
Someone once said that "All you need is love." This episode disagrees with that. I feel that love is overemphasized and that particularly from a Christian perspective, we should be more concerned with repentance.
 
It's an article of faith that there is no safe levels of radiation. Recently I read a paper which suggested otherwise, and pointed out that survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had a greater life expectancy than the Japanese average. But these days, it's not merely with radiation where people feel that there is no safe level. Current opinion hol ...…
 
It's easy to put together an analogy, tie it to some recent anecdotes and call it wisdom, but is it? That's the question I address in this episode. After examining it more generally I examine the specific example of chemotherapy as a metaphor for modern discourse. We may in fact have certain societal cancers which need to be rooted out, but jus ...…
 
In my first reposting, I go back and revisit my review of the book Tribe by Sebastian Junger. In particular an examination of how stress and struggle can improve mental health, and how by removing both struggle and community modern society creates a situation where psychological problems, particularly in the military, become more acute.…
 
The hygiene hypothesis holds that by missing out on the normal infections of youth leaves the immune system with nothing to do, and as a consequence later in life it over-reacts to normally benign things like peanuts. What if the same thing is happening psychologically? What if an absence of certain forms of trauma and stress when young lead pe ...…
 
I open by discussing, in great detail, a car accident my son was recently in. (Don't worry, he's okay.) I noticed that the story the other driver was telling had some inconsistencies. I'm suspicious because he has an incentive to lie, and from there I turn to a discussion of incentives more generally and bring in the recent hate crime hoax invo ...…
 
There's been more and more attention paid to the size and power of tech giants, and whether that size and power means they should be treated as a monopoly and subject to anti-trust scrutiny. In this episode I combine that discussion with the recent efforts of a Gizmodo reporter to cut these tech giants (Specifically Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Goo ...…
 
The challenges we face today are vastly different than challenges we faced historically. Accordingly the tools we have built to deal with historical challenges may not be up to dealing with more modern ones. And of course this all assumes that the tools are in good repair and still working the way they should, but anyone looking at the present ...…
 
I've gone a long time since I started this podcast and it may be difficult to know where to start at this point so I decided to take a break to reground things. If you've been listening for a long time most of this will be familiar to you, but if somehow you just stumbled on things, this is a great place to start.…
 
Technology allows us to optimize around very narrow criteria. If we turn that optimization ability towards changing society. We can end up emphasizing one potential future, based around a narrow set of values over other potential futures with other values. Conceivably abandoning many long standing values regardless of how useful they are. This ...…
 
Last week I compared life to a video game. A video game where the number of players continues to increase, meaning that our collective knowledge of how best to play the game should also be increasing, except that at the same time the version of game we’re playing is also changing. As an aside I also mentioned that it’s becoming harder to know i ...…
 
If humans gradually figure out how best to live, then we should give a lot of weight to what has already been figured out over the years. But what if we end up with more humans? Do the behaviors of a billion current people count more than a million historical people? At first glance the answer is an obvious yes, but what if we add in the compli ...…
 
It's the beginning of the year and time to do the annual revisiting of my predictions. Not much has changed in 2018, so I spend much of the episode examining some of the current trends. In particular I think the rise of populism in Europe and America is going to make things interesting for the foreseeable future.…
 
For your holiday listening enjoyment I have assembled five stories, nay parables to bring enlightenment and edification during these otherwise dark and gloomy months. You may not always agree with the moral, but you will find some (generally me) doing something dumb in all of them. Enjoy!
 
Last month wildfires ravaged California, including the inappropriately named Camp Fire which killed 86. Many people want to blame the fires on global warming and the changing climate, while other's think it could be solved to more logging. More likely it's due to fire suppression efforts which have allowed deadwood to accumulate, meaning that w ...…
 
In "The Coddling of the American Mind" Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt discuss the new culture of safety that has developed on campuses around the country, and argue that children and students need challenges and stress and even suffering in their life to develop properly. If we grant their premise, how do we decide how much suffering to intr ...…
 
Milan M. Ćirković's book The Great Silence is a fantastic exploration of the philosophy and importance of Fermi's Paradox. I spend the first half of this episode doing a review of the book and the second half discussing how my own explanation of the paradox fits in to Ćirković's framework.
 
Every time we develop a new technology, we take a risk. Some technologies are dangerous and it may be that sometime in the future we will develop a technology which will mean the end of humanity. In a recent paper Bostrom makes this point by using the analogy of drawing balls from an urn. Progress means drawing balls from the urn, and as a resu ...…
 
I had a discussion with a friend recently who claimed that I other similarly dispassionate blogs (read rationalists) were providing intellectual cover for bad people, in particular men's rights activists and militant incels. I look into that claim, and ultimately find it to be... Listen to the podcast for the dramatic reveal!…
 
In the 90s there were two theories for the future. Fukuyama's "End of History" and Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations". Now that more than two decades has passed it seems obvious that Huntington was the more prescient. But even Huntington may have insufficiently accounted for the effects of technology on civilizations, particularly it's power ...…
 
A recent book asks, "What's Wrong with China?" Well perhaps a lot, but for the purposes of this podcast I'm just looking at how very different China is from the US or the West, far different than most people think. Particularly those people who expect China to smoothly transition to something indistinguishable from a modern western democracy.…
 
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