Only lowering our living standards will achieve sustainable growth. That’s the message from Satyajit Das, a former financier who anticipated the GFC. Debt, energy consumption, housing affordability or superannuation – it’s all based on a financial system that’s in fact a completely fictional model. This model was always doomed to fail – eventually.
Totalitarian Europe in comparison to contemporary America is the subject of Timothy Snyder’s talk and his new book, “On Tyranny”. He sees America’s political institutions in great danger of slipping into autocracy and possibly fascism. From the examples of the twentieth century, Snyder has distilled twenty essential points that should guide the current struggle. They are as simple as “do not obey in advance” and “beware the one-party state,” and as inspiring as “contribute to good causes” and “learn from peers in other countries.” Questions from the audience follow.
Be messy – it’s good for you. Whether in business or in the classroom, messiness and randomness lie at the core of how we innovate and how we connect with each other – in short, how we succeed. Economist Tim Harford, author of “Messy: How to be Creative and Resilient in a Tidy-Minded World”, explains how disarray and the unexpected change of plans can improve creativity… and why “silly us” resist it so much.
Elusive, uninterrupted eight hours of sleep might be overrated. Emory University professor Benjamin Reiss talks about humanity’s centuries-old ways to rest as the world continues to spin. His new book is called “Wild Nights: How Taming Sleep Created Our Restless World”
Clues from the human skeleton show how people lived and died in the past. In this podcast Brenna Hassett surprises us with witty insights in the long buried past that still hunts the humankind. She has worked on excavation sites all over the world including Roman-period burials near the Giza pyramids, remote Greek islands, a Buddhist monastery in northern Thailand, and the famous central Anatolian site of Çatalhöyük in Turkey. She is the author of “Built on Bones: 15,000 Years of Urban Life and Death”
A look at the standard model of particle physics and its implications for our existence.
Laurence Krauss is a theoretical physicist, cosmologist, professor, author, and science communicator, and an honorary member of the Center for Inquiry Board of Directors. His newest book is “The Greatest Story Ever Told… So Far”.
The universe is not fine-tuned for life, but rather life is fine tuned for the universe.
How words and methods of communication affect us. More than you might expect.
Illustration: painting by Kristinn Már Pálmason
Russia was caught off guard by Trump’s election, opines David Remnick and Evan Osnos of ‘The New Yorker’ – “This was like a bank heist that, instead of blowing the doors off the safe, they blew the safe up entirely.” The conversation dips into the history of relationships between the two countries and is based on their coauthored article. It refers to Benjamin Rhodes, a deputy national-security adviser under President Obama, saying, “Putin is not entirely wrong,” in the past, “we engaged in regime change around the world. There is just enough rope for him to hang us.”
Also, Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews ‘Waking Lions’ by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen.
Illustration by Victor Juhasz