Today's show is a rare two-person episode featuring previous-guest May-Li Khoe and newcomer Andy Matuschak. In this episode we do things a bit different, digging into tough topics like fear, learning how to learn, designing with convictions, working on the right problems, and so much more.
Andy Matuschak (@andy_matuschak), joins Erik on this episode. He is a technologist, designer and researcher. They discuss:
- The key thread throughout his work and what he’s trying to accomplish.
- Why people read books despite remembering little of what they read.
- What books should look like and the features they should have in the digital age.
- Why spaced repetition is so powerful.- His requests for startups in the space.
“This is about a hundred years’ worth of intentional segregation and institutionalized racism.”
As nationwide protests about the death of George Floyd enter a second week, we speak with the leader of the city where they began — Mayor Jacob Frey of Minneapolis.
In a conversation with Michael Barbaro, Mr. Frey reflects on personal culpability, the potential for change in his city and his feelings about President Trump’s vision for “militaristic rule” in Minneapolis.
Responding to Mr. Trump’s decision to put military police on notice for deployment, Mr. Frey said, “I mean, the implications are more scary than I can even possibly imagine.”
Elected officials offer a flood of facts and spin in daily coronavirus briefings. On this week’s On the Media, hear how the press could do a better job separating vital information from messaging. Plus, a look at the unintended consequences of armchair epidemiology. And, how one watchdog journalist has won paid sick leave for thousands of workers during the pandemic.
Last year, the California Attorney General held a tense press conference at a tiny elementary school in the one working class, black neighborhood of the mostly wealthy and white Marin County. His office had concluded that the local district "knowingly and intentionally" maintained a segregated school, violating the 14th amendment. He ordered them to fix it, but for local officials and families, the path forward remains unclear, as is the question: what does "equal protection" mean?
- Eric Foner is author of The Second Founding
I’m reminded of endothermic chemical reactions that take a reasonably high activation energy (an input cost), but one that is worth it in the end because it raises the level of all the participants to a better and higher level in the end. When are we going to realize that doing a little bit of hard work today will help us all out in the longer run? I’m hopeful that shows like this can act as a catalyst to lower the amount of energy that gets us all to a better place.
This Marin county example is interesting because it is so small and involves two schools. The real trouble comes in larger communities like Pasadena, where I live, which have much larger populations where the public schools are suffering while the dozens and dozens of private schools do far better. Most people probably don’t realize it, but we’re still suffering from the heavy effects of racism and busing from the early 1970’s.
All this makes me wonder if we could apply some math (topology and statistical mechanics perhaps) to these situations to calculate a measure of equity and equality for individual areas to find a maximum of some sort that would satisfy John Rawls’ veil of ignorance in better designing and planning our communities. Perhaps the difficulty may be in doing so for more broad and dense areas that have been financially gerrymandered for generations by redlining and other problems.
I can only think about how we’re killing ourselves as individuals and as a nation. The problem seems like individual choices for smoking and our long term health care outcomes or for individual consumption and its broader effects on global warming. We’re ignoring the global maximums we could be achieving (where everyone everywhere has improved lives) in the search for personal local maximums. Most of these things are not zero sum games, but sadly we feel like they must be and actively work against both our own and our collective best interests.
The illness is on every continent except Antarctica, with more new cases now being reported outside China than within. But how threatening is the outbreak, really?
This week, I’ve been delighted to be able to catch up with Adam Procter, academic, games designer, open advocate, and long-time supporter of Thought Shrapnel.
We discussed everything from the IndieWeb to his PhD project, with relevant links below!
The Russian government is again trying to meddle in the presidential election. In doing so, they’re working to aid two very different candidates.
The emergence of Senator Bernie Sanders as the front-runner for the Democratic nomination made him a target as other candidates questioned his electability.
In a case fraught with complexity, the former Hollywood mogul was convicted of two felony sex crimes. Will this be a watershed moment for such prosecutions?
After the Civil War, a surprising coalition tried to remake the United States into a real multiracial democracy for the first time. Reconstruction, as the effort was called, brought dramatic change to America. For a while.
Reported and produced by John Biewen, with series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika. The series script editor is Loretta Williams. Interviews with Victoria Smalls, Brent Morris, Eric Foner, Kidada Williams, Bobby Donaldson, and Edward Baptist.
Music by Algiers, John Erik Kaada, Eric Neveux, and Lucas Biewen. Music consulting and production help from Joe Augustine of Narrative Music.
Photo: Historian Bobby Donaldson of the University of South Carolina, at the South Carolina State House, Columbia, SC. Photo by John Biewen.
To those who have been–and here I wish I had an appropriately charged word or name for the horrors and atrocities America has inflicted:
The media tycoon and former New York mayor has paid his way into a position of influence in the Democratic Party. But can he buy a presidential nomination?
One letter to executives around the world has prioritized climate change on corporate agendas. But will this make a difference without government regulation?