There is a pervasive and growing mood of pessimism in many parts of society. Our hosts struggle to understand and deal with it. They then tell some of their worst stories from work. The show closes with a discussion of potential university reforms to increase flexibility and practicality.
Mike and Jon follow up on their discussion on repeated processes before debating what makes some revolutions successful. They then argue over the merits of the Irish abortion referendum and direct democracy more broadly. They close with a discussion of the Netflix Documentary Wild Wild Country about the Sannyasin commune in rural Oregon.
Mike and Jon start out complaining about people with terrible grammar but quickly move on to an attempt to make boring things interesting and a far ranging conversation about the possibilities of terraforming Mars and Venus. They finish it all off with an examination of automation and the difference between scarcity and abundance.
To celebrate their twentieth episode Mike and Jon decided to try something a little different. Avoiding even the whiff of anything serious they discuss a series of peculiar questions written by the Author Chuck Klosterman. They discuss questions: 1,2,4,13,7,19, and 8 in that order with all of the awkwardness and unnecessary seriousness they bring to everything.
Mike and Jon discuss how words for specific places or things generalize before exploring some simple strategies for improving memory retention when studying or reading books. They then break down the relationships between population decline, economic growth, and national debts, and Japan’s acute dangers with these.
Mike and Jon clarify the importance simplicity when learning science. Then they discuss playing pool and the difference between knowing about and knowing how to do something. They follow that with an exploration of potential impacts of Autonomous Vehicles and then close by talking through some of the dangers around cults of personality and the rise of strong men in politics.
Mike and Jon start with a conversation about jobs their not suited for and the dull life of house painters before some follow up on the wilder side of genetic engineering. They then explain why they always rank things in their mind and go into how constraints and limitations can spur creative problem solving and help us to think of novel solutions.
Mike and Jon discuss the differences between people who nitpick endlessly or make sweeping generalizations as well as how people wrap their identities up in their ideas. They also go over Jon’s condemnation of contemporary scientific units and the importance of feedback whether provided by yourself or others.
Our hosts examine the difficulties of migration and demographic decline in Eastern Europe and how this is exacerbating populism in Poland, Bulgaria, and Hungary. They go over what mike wants in a place he lives and talk about the history of number systems as well as what an ideal system might look like. They close out with some speculation about the future impact of fusion, solar energy, and genetic engineering upon societies.
Mike ruminates on the origins of stairs, housing and doors before challenging Jon to find something interesting in the mundane topic of rope. They continue with a discussion of commuting, getting gas in LA, and how traits like optimism, caution, responsibility, and age might impact decision making around things we all do. They then explore the contemporary political realignment seen around the world in the decades since the end of the cold war, the lack of capitalist tradition in post soviet republics, and the proliferation of conspiracy theories about the new world order. They close by reviewing and reflecting on the first 10 episodes of this show, what they’ve learned along the way, and the value of having recordings of early work for seeing your growth and progress.
Mike and Jon begin by discussing how our expectations around marriage, schooling, and work are influenced by our families, the media, and society at large. They examine how desires interact with expectations and some of theirs growing up. After touching on some of the failings of the educational system they go into how the search for passions in work distracts from true satisfaction and how passion is actually developed. They close with a comparison of rationalism and empiricism. Going through their practical uses and how to use these methods of thinking to assist our learning and pursuit of truth.
Our hosts broaden their conversation of grammar by complaining about people not using the plural possessive, schools not teaching grammar, and an exploration of German cases and the echoes of these that remain in English. They continue with a discussion of people’s interests and why different people are interested in such different things; examining sports and history in particular. They close by analyzing the media they consume, how long media remains relevant, and what mediums are best for consuming different kinds of information.
Our hosts start off contrasting the snow in Korea to the fires all over California. Jon then complains about speed bumps and somehow generalizes them as a symptom of greater evil in society. They suggest a way to think about implementing long term permanent changes whether as a city planner or for yourself. They then touch on the hidden French etymological origins of some word families and how finding these connections between languages can shed meaning on patterns in our own language, discuss the drift of accents in the United States and the United Kingdom, and the influence of German culture and language on the USA. They go on to speculate over the impact of future medical advances greatly lengthening human lifespans, how our societies might acclimate to them, and whether individual rights include healthcare. They close with some reflections on 2017 and a few plans for the coming months.
Mike and Jon follow up on the cost of cabs and Ryanair flights, and make corrections about car ownership and New York hurricanes. They also talk about the Economist Newspaper’s odd practice of collective authorship, and why we trust certain media sources sources. After this they explain the Catalan independence movement and have a discussion on various secession movements and the future of the European Union more broadly.