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The Conversation #52 — Walter Block

Benevolence isn’t inef­fi­cient and I’m a big fan of benev­o­lence. It’s just that it’s not enough. It’s okay for a group of twenty-five or fifty peo­ple where every­one knows every­one. But when you have 300 mil­lion in the US or 7 bil­lion in the world, if we were self-sufficient and we had to pro­duce every­thing for our­selves we’d all die, or 99% of us would die. So we have to coop­er­ate with each oth­er. But the only way to coop­er­ate with each oth­er in such large num­bers is through mar­kets.

The Conversation #47 — Oliver Porter

To me…we all draw our sat­is­fac­tion from what we our­selves have been able to do with our lives. And if some­body, some gov­ern­ment or some­one else is just giv­ing to me, I’m not going to be a hap­py per­son.

Steven Pinker on Why Doom is not Inevitable

I don’t think that any­thing will save the world in the sense of bring­ing Utopia to Earth. But I think the world could be improved, and that would be the ver­sion of the ques­tion that I’m very much inter­est­ed in.

Steven Pinker on Genetically Re-engineering Human Nature

There are many changes to our insti­tu­tions and our norms and our ideas that can reduce or elim­i­nate the risks of nuclear war with­out what I con­sid­er a rather quixot­ic attempt to change the course of human evo­lu­tion.

The Conversation #35 — Chuck Collins

Much of class and iso­la­tion and pulling away is this sort of illu­sion that some­how we can be apart from the suf­fer­ing that is in our midst. And that’s a myth. The social iso­la­tion that many peo­ple in the one per­cent expe­ri­ence is a wound.

The Conversation #31 — Claire Evans

I think if there are peo­ple who are able to take a step back­wards, take that prover­bial zoom out, and real­ize that everybody’s kind of doing the same thing in dif­fer­ent ways, and be able to step from one per­spec­tive to the oth­er and ask dif­fer­ent kinds of ques­tions based on where they are at any giv­en moment time, then it just becomes a game. I think it becomes joy­ful and engag­ing. I mean, I’m not inter­est­ed in find­ing the answer to any­thing. I don’t think there is the answer to any­thing.

The Conversation #13 — Ariel Waldman

I think the sad­dest thing is if you ever stop want­i­ng to learn new things. And it can be about any­thing. That’s just real­ly heart­break­ing. I don’t know. It’s just so much part of like who you are as a human to learn new things con­stant­ly. And so to not be curi­ous, not want to learn new things and not cre­ate new pat­terns and connections…you’re pret­ty much giv­ing up your human self.

The Conversation #7 — Alexander Rose

If the point of mak­ing a 10,000-year clock is to get peo­ple to think longer term how do you design that expe­ri­ence so that it real­ly does that? And one of the things that we we real­ized is that peo­ple real­ly need to be able to inter­act with it. That they need to be able to make the moment they vis­it it their own. So while the clock does keep time all by itself with the tem­per­a­ture dif­fer­ence from day to night, it doesn’t actu­al­ly update any of the dials, none of the chimes chime, unless someone’s there to wind it.

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