On June 1, 2009 Air France Flight 447 crashed into the mid-atlantic killing all 228 people aboard. In this episode I look at how it happened and whether it provides any larger lessons on the limits of privacy and technology and for the political crisis we're currently facing.
There are a lot of ways to spend our time, money and attention, and all three are limited. How do we decide what to spend them on, how do we decide what to worry about? This is the topic I examine on this episode, using global warming/climate change as one of the big examples. I approach this question with several frameworks in mind including the framework of effective altruism.
Age of Em: Work, Love and Life When Robots Rule the Earth is a book about a future where brain emulation becomes commonplace, by Robin Hanson. The future Hanson describes is a mixed bag, and I look at what that says about other transhumanist visions of the future, along with, of course, the very real possibility that none of those visions will come to pass. A position which Hanson’s book also supports though with much less detail. But this position, both because of it’s immediacy and it’s long term downside, is where, I feel, we should be spending the bulk of our attention.
I have long positioned myself as something of a deficit hawk. A few weeks ago I heard a podcast about Modern Monetary Theory, an economics ideology which declares that debts and deficits don't matter. This is not the first time I have heard someone claim that, and my response was always, "But what about inflation?!?" Well it turns out I was wrong. Advocates of MMT aren't ignoring inflation they're arguing that inflation is the only thing you should worry about. This does answer my primary objection, but I think there are still reasons why MMT is a bad idea.