Archive of posts with tag 'interviews'

Are They Funny?

August 25, 2023 • #


From an interview with Jerry Seinfeld at HBR:

HBR: You and Larry David wrote Seinfeld together, without a traditional writers’ room, and burnout was one reason you stopped. Was there a more sustainable way to do it? Could McKinsey or someone have helped you find a better model?

Jerry: Who’s McKinsey?

HBR: It’s a consulting firm.

Jerry: Are they funny?

HBR: No.

Jerry: Then I don’t need them. If you’re efficient, you’re doing it the wrong way. The right way is the hard way. The...

Interview with Richard Rhodes, on the Making of the Atomic Bomb

May 23, 2023 • #

This is a phenomenal interview with Richard Rhodes, author of the legendary The Making of the Atomic Bomb, an expansive history of the Manhattan Project and the development of nuclear weapons technology.

Dwarkesh Shah’s show The Lunar Society is generally excellent and highly recommended. Just listen to how long he lets Rhodes answer and expound on questions without interruption. These are my favorite types of long-form interviews.

Patrick Collison and Sam Altman at Sohn 2023

May 10, 2023 • #

An interesting discussion between Patrick Collison and OpenAI founder Sam Altman on a predictably fascinating assortment of subjects. AI developments, stagnation, long-term bets, and what’s preventing us from having more founders.

Devon Zuegel on Inflation, Argentina, and Crypto

October 19, 2022 • #

Argentina has become infamous for its decades-long struggles with inflation and economic instability. For an otherwise fairly well-off nation, it’s surprising to outsiders how deep the problem on this has been.

In this episode of EconTalk, Devon Zuegel talks about an article she wrote on this topic, after spending time there and investigating the problems for herself. What’s most surprising about all this is how pervasive a problem it is. Inflation touches everyone; everyone is hyper-aware of money issues and constantly thinking about...

Tools and Craft with Andy Matuschak

May 13, 2022 • #

The latest episode of Notion’s Tools & Craft podcast features the excellent Andy Matuschak, talking about his research, productivity practices, and more.

Also check out Andy’s work on smoothly-ratcheting goal tracking and mastery learning.

The Torch of Progress with Tyler Cowen

June 11, 2020 • #

This is the second episode of the “Torch of Progress” series that the Progress Studies for Young Scholars program is putting on, hosted by Jason Crawford. Tyler Cowen is unbelievably prolific in projects he’s got going on, so it’s great to see him making the time for things like this.

Read more here from last year on the progress studies movement.

Stalin, Putin, and the Nature of Power

May 25, 2020 • #

Stephen Kotkin is a historian that has studied and written mostly about Soviet history and Josef Stalin. This was an excellent interview with him by Lex Fridman — Lex asks simple, broad questions and let’s Kotkin go deep.

Kotkin is incredibly articulate here. I would love to get to a depth of knowledge on a subject to be able to speak uninterrupted about it for an hour and a half.

David Deutsch on Brexit and Error Correction

April 3, 2020 • #

I ran across this interview with physicist David Deutsch, with his thoughts on Brexit. A lot of great stuff here on resilience, error correction, individualism vs. collectivism, Karl Popper, and Britain’s first-past-the-post system.

Daniel Kahneman on AI Podcast

January 21, 2020 • #

I don’t know what Lex Fridman is doing to recruit the guests he gets on his show (The Artificial Intelligence Podcast), but it’s one of the best technical podcasts out there.

This one is a good introduction to the work of legendary psychologist Daniel Kahneman (of Thinking, Fast and Slow fame).

Weekend Reading: Ted Chiang, Renewable Energy, and ColorBox

September 21, 2019 • #

✍🏼 Ted Chiang Uses Science to Illuminate the Human Condition

I enjoyed this interview with author Ted Chiang. It covers his recent short story collection Exhalation: Stories with nice context and background on the ideas behind each one. I just finished the book last week, and would have to say that The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling was my favorite. A story about the fallibility of memory and what it would be like if our memories were recorded...

Russ Roberts on Key Economic Concepts for Founders

September 12, 2019 • #

This is a good interview with a great interviewer, Russ Roberts of EconTalk. His is probably my favorite podcast — if I only listen to 1 episode a week, it’s the latest EconTalk.

On Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, the topics he covers on EconTalk, and economic concepts that are valuable to tech founders.

Weekend Reading: nvUltra, Progress, and

August 10, 2019 • #


This is a new notes app from Brett Terpstra (creator of nvALT) and Fletcher Penney (creator of MultiMarkdown). I used nvALT for years for note taking on my Mac. This new version looks like a slick reboot of that with some more power features. In private beta right now, but hopefully dropping soon.

⚗️ We Need a New Science of Progress

Progress itself is understudied. By “progress,” we mean the combination of economic, technological, scientific, cultural, and organizational advancement that has transformed...

Interview with Naval Ravikant

June 11, 2019 • #

Naval’s thoughtful, measured perspective on most issues I find insightful and novel in a sea of people with hot takes and commentary around political issues in the zeitgeist. He’s got an interesting “long view” on a range of things from automation to economics to thinking and more.

There is a cult of personality around him, especially on Twitter, that seems to think he’s a “philosopher king” of the internet. While that position is wildly overblown, he does have unique and unconventional point of view that’s refreshing. Worth...

David Foster Wallace Interview with Charlie Rose

March 17, 2019 • #

I’m currently reading David Foster Wallace’s collection of essays, A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, so I went back to look at some interview clips with him on his nonfiction writing. This one with Charlie Rose was excellent — I could listen to his thoughts on any subject, for hours:

Clearly a tormented guy, but his brain was on another level separate from the rest of us.

Weekend Reading: Wind Turbines, Bruce Sterling, and Economic Ideas

November 17, 2018 • #

⚡️ The US Wind Turbine Database

Ben Hoen from the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab gave a lightning talk at Geo2050 about this project, a map and database of the operational wind generation capacity in the US. The map currently reports the country producing around 90 gigawatts of wind power. They also publish the raw dataset for download.

🧬 Interview with Bruce Sterling

One of my favorite science fiction authors. Talks about his work, industrial design, speculative architecture, and risk models.