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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.

Computers That Just Work
Trying to Finally Automate Away Bureaucracy

Everybody thinks of bureau­crats as being kind of a neu­tral force. But I’m going to make the case that bureau­crats are in fact a very strong­ly neg­a­tive force, and that automat­ing the bureau­crat­ic func­tions inside of our soci­ety is nec­es­sary for fur­ther human progress.

The Conversation #48 — Chris Carter

When you talk about learn­ing and tra­di­tion­al edu­ca­tion­al styles, there’s this very com­mon incli­na­tion to try and force infor­ma­tion upon peo­ple rather than hav­ing them just kind of dis­cov­er it of their own voli­tion or dis­cov­er it by acci­dent.

Larp and…

I’m going talk to you guys about larp and. Larp and a whole lot of oth­er things. Because I think the most inter­est­ing things about larp are maybe not actu­al­ly larp itself, but when larp meets a whole bunch of the rest of the world.

Talking About Visual Thinking

Sometimes I think about these sorts of work­ing graph­ics as a sort of men­tal scaf­fold­ing. In the act of ren­der­ing data, or draw­ing our thoughts, we assem­ble a con­struct to hang oth­er con­cepts from. So it’s a con­struct that can be extend­ed or mod­i­fied or dis­as­sem­bled and turned into some­thing new.

The Conversation #32 — The Conversation and the Election

It’s like we’ve got all these proxy wars going, where peo­ple are fight­ing bit­ter­ly over these things. And if you could sort of go back to the orig­i­nal glob­al con­flict almost, of ideas, I think you’d get to some inter­est­ing ara­tional assump­tions. Some of which would be dif­fer­ent. Some of which might be very sim­i­lar. And then you’d won­der why the hell are these proxy wars going on?

The Conversation #25 — Frances Whitehead

Some of my artist friends think what I’m doing isn’t art, and I’ve giv­en up on art. It’ll take care of itself. You know. I mean it’s always been there, it will always be there, and we always know that new art nev­er looks like art at first, ever. So why should this be any dif­fer­ent? We just have to trust the process. And I would say that must be true for every oth­er dis­ci­pline.

The Conversation #19 — Joseph Tainter

I see a set of con­straints fac­ing us in the future, and they’re all going to be very expen­sive. First is fund­ing retire­ments for the Baby Boom gen­er­a­tion. Second is con­tin­u­ing increas­es in the costs of health­care. The third is replac­ing decay­ing infra­struc­ture. The fourth is adapt­ing to cli­mate change and repair­ing envi­ron­men­tal dam­age. The fifth is devel­op­ing new sources of ener­gy. The sixth is what I see as in all like­li­hood con­tin­u­ing high mil­i­tary costs. The sev­enth is the costs of inno­va­tion.

The Conversation #18 — David Korten

I like to think that we are an intel­li­gent species. I mean, actu­al­ly the peo­ple that often get this most quick­ly are the peo­ple who are poor­est, because they know the sys­tem doesn’t work. But so many of our sup­pos­ed­ly bright­est peo­ple pick this up and don’t ques­tion it. And then we have the all the whole field of eco­nom­ics, which is an ide­ol­o­gy built on assump­tions that if you exam­ine them are absurd. Because you know, econ­o­mists sim­ply look at the econ­o­my as a pric­ing sys­tem. They’re not sys­tem thinkers. Part of the cause our cri­sis is that we’re not edu­cat­ed to think in terms of sys­tems.

The Conversation #14 — John Zerzan

I always won­der about peo­ple that are very pro-tech on the Left, for exam­ple. Oh, we’ve got to keep all this. Of course. That’d be crazy.” You know, you want to pre­serve all of the lev­el of tech­nol­o­gy. The ques­tion that occurs to me is, oh so you want to keep how many hun­dreds of mil­lions of peo­ple in the mines, in the smelters, in the foundries, in the assem­bly lines? I would like to see them be able to do some­thing else. But you’re going to have to keep them there one way or anoth­er if you want to have all this stuff.

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