🎧 The Modern Golden Age Podcast Episode #16: Bryan Kam

Listened to The Modern Golden Age Podcast Episode #16: Bryan Kam by JoĂŁo Mateus from The Modern Golden Age Podcast

This week, I show you my conversation with Bryan, a philosopher, writer, and researcher. He's a very thoughtful individual, with a fascinating mind. We talked about his work, writing, music, and much more.

  • 00:00 ~ Introduction
  • 01:10 ~ Thomas Khun
  • 05:55 ~ Bryan's relationship with ideas
  • 11:02 ~ Note-taking
  • 17:20 ~ Health model of Inquiry
  • 20:41 ~ Bryan's current questions
  • 26:00 ~ Meditation
  • 33:00 ~ Change and Modern Golden Age
  • 42:15 ~ Speaking, writing and thinking
  • 50:43 ~ Original Sources and influences
  • 55:20 ~ Intellectual and creative Humility
  • 1:06:03 ~ Classical composers and jazz musicians
  • 1:08:30 ~ Types of writing
  • 1:10:00 ~ Practices in MGA
  • 1:18:00 ~ The kind of person that allows for an MGA
  • 1:21:00 ~ Values in a Modern Golden Age
  • 1:23:12 ~ Where can you find Bryan?
There’s some interesting space to explore with respect to music composing, creation, and playing with respect to jazz and “conversation” that relates to orality and literacy here, but they miss that piece broadly. The classical music portion was missing some context as much classical music is like certain forms of poetry which have highly structural elements within which one must stay while being expressive, while improvisational jazz is like free verse.

The “monastery” to “metropolis” discussion of the development and nurturing of an idea is an interesting analogy for pedagogy and learning as well as scaffolding. Having a supportive environment with trust is similar to most learning environments and particularly a difficult one for second language learners to find as the paradigm changes based on age.

I wish there had been more improvisation here with respect to the conversational portions, but instead the interviewer kept going back to a script of pre-formed questions instead of exploring the ideas as they came. I was surprised to see references to David Krakauer and Stefan Zweig pop up here.

Stefan Zweig (reference? his memoir?) apparently suggested that students translate authors as a means of becoming more intimately acquainted with their work. This is similar to restating an author in one’s own words as a means of improving one’s understanding. It’s a lower level of processing that osculates on the idea of having a conversation with a text.

Drinking game using the phrase: “I do believe.” 😅

Rating: 2 of 5; this was in my wheelhouse, but provided no real insight for me. Unlikely to listen to others in this series.

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Chris Aldrich

I'm a biomedical and electrical engineer with interests in information theory, complexity, evolution, genetics, signal processing, IndieWeb, theoretical mathematics, and big history. I'm also a talent manager-producer-publisher in the entertainment industry with expertise in representation, distribution, finance, production, content delivery, and new media.

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