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When Tyler is reviewing grants for Emergent Ventures, he is struck by how the ideas of effective altruism have so clearly influenced many of the smartest applicants, particularly the younger ones. And William MacAskill, whom Tyler considers one of the world’s most influential philosophers, is a leading light of the community. William joined Tyler to discuss why the movement has gained so much traction and more, including his favorite inefficient charity, what form of utilitarianism should apply to the care of animals, the limits of expected value, whether effective altruists should be anti-abortion, whether he’d would side with aliens over humans, whether he should give up having kids, why donating to a university isn’t so bad, whether we are living in “hingey” times, why buildering is overrated, the sociology of the effective altruism movement, why cultural innovation matters, and whether starting a new university might be next on his slate. Read a full transcript enhanced with helpful links, or watch the full video. Recorded July 7th, 2022 Other ways to connect Follow us on Twitter and Instagram Follow Tyler on Twitter  Follow Will on Twitter Email us: cowenconvos@mercatus.gmu.edu Subscribe at our newsletter page to have the latest Conversations with Tyler news sent straight to your inbox. 
As an inquisitive reader, books were a cherished commodity for Leopoldo López when he was a political prisoner in his home country of Venezuela. His prison guards eventually observed the strength and focus López gained from reading. In an attempt to stifle his spirit, the guards confiscated his books and locked them in a neighboring cell where he could see but not access them. But López didn’t let this stop him from writing or discourage his resolve to fight for freedom. A Venezuelan opposition leader and freedom activist, today López works to research and resist oppressive autocratic regimes globally. López joined Tyler to discuss Venezuela’s recent political and economic history, the effectiveness of sanctions, his experiences in politics and activism, how happiness is about finding purpose, how he organized a protest from prison, the ideal daily routine of a political prisoner, how extreme sports prepared him for prison, his work to improve the lives of the Venezuelan people, and more. Read a full transcript enhanced with helpful links. Recorded May 10th, 2022 Other ways to connect Follow us on Twitter and Instagram Follow Tyler on Twitter  Follow Leopoldo on Twitter Email us: cowenconvos@mercatus.gmu.edu Subscribe at our newsletter page to have the latest Conversations with Tyler news sent straight to your inbox. 
Fighting fires meant a lot of downtime for Matthew Ball. Stationed at a forward operating base in the woods for two weeks at a time, he spent long hours amongst fellow firefighters with whom he shared little in common except for their love of the outdoors. The skills he gained working towards mutual goals with those he had little else in common with has translated well to his career as a strategist and venture capitalist in the digital media and gaming industries. Ball is a managing partner of EpyllionCo, venture partner at Makers Fund, and author of the anticipated The Metaverse: And How it Will Revolutionize Everything. Ball joined Tyler to discuss the eventual widespan transition of the population to the metaverse, the exciting implications of this interconnected network of 3D worlds for education, how the metaverse will improve dating and its impacts on sex, the happiness and career satisfaction of professional gamers, his predictions for Tyler’s most frequent uses of the metaverse, his favorite type of entrepreneur, why he has thousands of tabs open on his computer at any given moment, and more. Read a full transcript enhanced with helpful links. Recorded July 6th, 2022 Other ways to connect Follow us on Twitter and Instagram Follow Tyler on Twitter  Follow Matthew on Twitter Email us: cowenconvos@mercatus.gmu.edu Subscribe at our newsletter page to have the latest Conversations with Tyler news sent straight to your inbox. 
Growing up, Barkha Dutt was totally rootless. She spoke English, not her parent’s Punjabi. She devoured Enid Blyton and studied English literature during college, but read few Indian novelists. She didn’t even know her caste. This has opened her up to criticism as being a progressive elite who is out of touch with her heritage, and challenged her to be especially thoughtful in the way she examines the many overlapping values in Indian society. A successful broadcast journalist and columnist, she currently runs the YouTube-based news channel MoJo Story and recently published a new book, ​​Humans of COVID: To Hell and Back. Barkha joined Tyler to discuss how Westerners can gain a more complete picture of India, the misogyny still embedded in Indian society, why family law should be agnostic of religious belief, the causes of declining fertility in India, why relations between Hindus and Muslims seem to be worsening, how caste has persisted so strongly in India, the success of India’s subsidized institutes of higher education, the best city for Indian food, the power of Amar Chitra Katha’s comics, the influence of her English liberal arts education, the future of Anglo-American liberalism in India, the best ways to use Twitter, and more. Read a full transcript enhanced with helpful links, or watch the full video. Recorded May 5th, 2022 Other ways to connect Follow us on Twitter and Instagram Follow Tyler on Twitter  Follow Barkha on Twitter Email us: cowenconvos@mercatus.gmu.edu Subscribe at our newsletter page to have the latest Conversations with Tyler news sent straight to your inbox. 
Like the frontier characters from Deadwood, his favorite TV show, Marc Andreessen has discovered that the real challenge to building in new territory is not in the practicalities of learning a trade, but in developing a savviness for what makes people tick. Without understanding the deep patterns of human behavior, how can you know what to build, or who should build it, or how? For Marc, that means reading deeply in the humanities: “I spent the first 25 years of my life trying to understand how machines work,” Marc says. “Then I spent the second 25 years, so far, trying to figure out how people work. It turns out people are a lot more complicated.” Marc joined Tyler to discuss his ever-growing appreciation for the humanities and more, including why he didn’t go to a better school, his contrarian take on Robert Heinlein, how Tom Wolfe helped Marc understand his own archetype, who he’d choose to be in Renaissance Florence, which books he’s reread the most, Twitter as an X-ray machine on public figures, where in the past he’d most like to time-travel, his favorite tech product that no longer exists, whether Web will improve podcasting, the civilization-level changes made possible by remote work, Peter Thiel’s secret to attracting talent, which data he thinks would be most helpful for finding good founders, how he’d organize his own bookstore, the kinds of people he admires most, and why Deadwood is equal to Shakespeare. Read a full transcript enhanced with helpful links, or watch the full video. Recorded April 14th, 2022 Other ways to connect Follow us on Twitter and Instagram Follow Tyler on Twitter  Follow Marc on Twitter Email us: cowenconvos@mercatus.gmu.edu Subscribe at our newsletter page to have the latest Conversations with Tyler news sent straight to your inbox. 
What does it mean to uphold disability rights, or the right to economic liberty? What framework should be used when rights appear to conflict? Constitutional law expert Jamal Greene contends that the way Americans view rights—as fundamental, inflexible, and universal—is at odds with how the rest of the world conceives of them, and even with how our own founders envisaged them. In his new book, How Rights Went Wrong, he lays out his vision for reimagining rights as the products of political negotiation. The goal of judges, he says, should be to manage disagreement in a way that leads to social harmony and social cohesion—and by doing so, foster the ultimate goal of peaceful pluralism. Jamal and Tyler discuss what he’d change about America’s legal education system, the utility of having non-judges or even non-lawyers on the Supreme Court, how America’s racial history influences our conception of rights, the potential unintended consequences of implementing his vision of rights for America, how the law should view economic liberty, the ideal moral framework for adjudicating conflicts, whether social media companies should consider interdependencies when moderating content on their platforms, how growing up in different parts of New York City shaped his views on pluralism, the qualities that make some law students stand out, and more. To register for the Talking Talent with Tyler Cowen event, please visit the link below: https://www.mercatus.org/events/talking-talent-tyler-cowen Read a full transcript enhanced with helpful links, or watch the full video. Recorded April 5th, 2022 Other ways to connect Follow us on Twitter and Instagram Follow Tyler on Twitter  Follow Jamal on Twitter Email us: cowenconvos@mercatus.gmu.edu Subscribe at our newsletter page to have the latest Conversations with Tyler news sent straight to your inbox. 
If Tyler and Daniel's latest book can be boiled down into a single message, it would be that the world is currently failing at identifying talent, and that getting better at it would have enormous benefits for organizations, individuals, and the world at large. In this special episode of Conversations with Tyler, Daniel joined Tyler to discuss the ideas in their book on how to spot talent better, including the best questions to ask in interviews, predicting creativity and ambition, and the differences between competitiveness and obsessiveness. They also explore the question of why so many high achievers love Diet Coke, why you should ask candidates if they have any good conspiracy theories, how to spot effective dark horses early, the hiring strategy that set SpaceX apart, what to look for in a talent identifier, what you can learn from discussing drama, the underrated genius of game designers, why Tyler has begun to value parents more and IQ less, conscientiousness as a mixed blessing, the importance of value hierarchies, how to become more charismatic, the allure of endurance sports for highly successful people, what they disagree on most, and more. Read a full transcript enhanced with helpful links. Recorded February 24th, 2022 Other ways to connect Follow us on Twitter and Instagram Follow Tyler on Twitter  Follow Daniel on Twitter Email us: cowenconvos@mercatus.gmu.edu Subscribe at our newsletter page to have the latest Conversations with Tyler news sent straight to your inbox.
What causes war? Many scholars have spent their careers attempting to study the psychology of leaders to understand what incentivizes them to undertake the human and financial costs of conflict, but economist and political scientist Chris Blattman takes a different approach to understanding interstate violence. He returns for his second appearance on Conversations with Tyler to discuss his research into the political and institutional causes of conflict, the topic of his new book ​​Why We Fight: The Roots of War and The Path to Peace. Chris and Tyler also cover why he doesn’t think demographics are a good predictor of a country’s willingness to go to war, the informal norms that restrain nations, the dangers of responding to cyberattacks, the breakdown of elite bargains in Ethiopia, the relationship between high state capacity and war, the greatest threats to peace in Ireland, why political speech isn’t usually a reliable indicator of future action, Vladimir Putin’s centralized motives for invading Ukraine, why he’s long on Colombia democratically – but not economically, why more money won’t necessarily help the Mexican government curb cartel violence, the single-mindedness necessary for bouldering, how Harold Innis’s insights about commodities led Chris to start studying war, how the University of Chicago has maintained a culture of free inquiry, and more. Read a full transcript enhanced with helpful links, or watch the full video. Recorded March 1st, 2022 Other ways to connect Follow us on Twitter and Instagram Follow Tyler on Twitter  Follow Chris on Twitter Email us: cowenconvos@mercatus.gmu.edu Subscribe at our newsletter page to have the latest Conversations with Tyler news sent straight to your inbox. 
When it comes to the enormous reduction of income inequality during the 20th century, Thomas Piketty sees politics everywhere. In his new book, A Brief History of Equality, he argues the rising equality during the 19th and 20th centuries has its roots not in deterministic economic forces but in the movements to end aristocratic and colonial societies starting at the end of the 18th century. Drawing this line forward, Piketty also contends we must rectify past injustices before attempting to create new institutions. He joined Tyler to discuss just how egalitarian France actually is, the beginning of the end of aristocratic society, where he places himself within French intellectual history, why he’s skeptical of data from before the late 18th century, how public education drives economic development, why Georgism isn’t sufficient to address wealth inequality, the relationship between wealth and cultural capital, his proposal for a minimum inheritance, why he turned down the Legion of Honor, why France should give reparations to Haiti despite the logistical difficulties of doing so, his vision for European federalism, why more immigration won’t be a panacea for inequality, his thoughts on Michel Houellebecq’s Submission, and more. Read a full transcript enhanced with helpful links, or watch the full video. Recorded March 8th, 2022 Other ways to connect Follow us on Twitter and Instagram Follow Tyler on Twitter  Follow Thomas on Twitter Email us: cowenconvos@mercatus.gmu.edu Subscribe at our newsletter page to have the latest Conversations with Tyler news sent straight to your inbox. 
“The best history,” says Roy Foster, “is written when we realize that people acted in expectation of a future that was never going to happen.” While this is the case for many countries, it’s especially true of Ireland—the land of The Troubles, of colonization, of revolution and reforms. This sympathy within his scholarship sets Foster’s work apart. Not content to simply document the facts of what did happen, he’s undertaken the role of reconstructing the motivations that animated the Irish people throughout its storied history--without which we cannot truly understand the Ireland of today. Roy joined Tyler to discuss why the Scots got off easier than the Irish under English rule, the truths and misconceptions about Ireland as a policy laboratory for the British government, why spoken Irish faded more rapidly than Welsh, the single question that drove a great flowering of Irish economic thought, how Foster’s Quaker education shaped his view of Irish history, how the Battle of the Somme and the 1916 Easter Rising cemented the rift between the Northeast and the rest of the country, what went wrong with Irish trade policies between the 1920s and 1970s, the power of Irish education, why the re-emergence of The Troubles in the 1960s may not have been as inevitable as many people believe, the cultural effects of Ireland’s pro-Allied neutrality in World War II, how Irish visual art is beginning to be looked at in a similar way to Irish literature, the social and economic changes of the 1970s that began to radically reshape Irish society, the reasons for Ireland’s openness to foreigners, what Irish Americans misunderstand, and more. Read a full transcript enhanced with helpful links, or watch the full video. Recorded February 22nd, 2022 Other ways to connect Follow us on Twitter and Instagram Follow Tyler on Twitter  Email us: cowenconvos@mercatus.gmu.edu Subscribe at our newsletter page to have the latest Conversations with Tyler news sent straight to your inbox. 
A prolific translator, author, and former professor of creative writing, Lydia Davis’s motivation for her life’s work is jarringly simple: she just loves language. She loves short, sparkling sentences. She loves that in English we have Anglo-Saxon words like “underground” or Latinate alternatives like “subterranean.” She loves reading books in foreign languages, discovering not only their content but a different culture and a different history at the same time. Despite describing her creative process as “chaotic” and herself as “not ambitious,” she is among America’s best-known short story writers and a celebrated essayist. Lydia joined Tyler to discuss how the form of short stories shapes their content, how to persuade an ant to leave your house, the difference between poetry and very short stories, Proust’s underrated sense of humor, why she likes Proust despite being averse to long books, the appeal of Josep Pla’s The Gray Notebook, why Proust is funnier in French or German than in English, the hidden wit of Franz Kafka, the economics of poorly translated film subtitles, her love of Velázquez and early Flemish landscape paintings, how Bach and Schubert captured her early imagination, why she doesn’t like the Harry Potter novels—but appreciates their effects on young readers, whether she’ll ever publish her diaries, how her work has evolved over time, how to spot talent in a young writer, her method (or lack thereof) for teaching writing, what she learned about words that begin with “wr,” how her translations of Proust and Flaubert differ from others, what she’s most interested in translating now, what we can expect from her next, and more. Check out Ideas of India. Subscribe to Ideas of India on your favorite podcast app. Read a full transcript enhanced with helpful links, or watch the full video. Recorded February 3rd, 2022 Other ways to connect Follow us on Twitter and Instagram Follow Tyler on Twitter  Email us: cowenconvos@mercatus.gmu.edu Subscribe at our newsletter page to have the latest Conversations with Tyler news sent straight to your inbox. 
Whether it’s scaling an arbitrage opportunity or launching an ambitious philanthropic project, Sam Bankman-Fried has set himself apart. In just a few years, he’s not only made billions trading crypto, but also become a leading practitioner of effective altruism, with the specific aim of making lots of money in order to donate most of it to high-impact causes. He joined Tyler to discuss the Sam Bankman-Fried production function, the secret to his trading success, how games like Magic: The Gathering have shaped his approach to business, why a legal mind is crucial when thinking about cryptocurrencies, the most important thing he’s learned about managing, what Bill Belichick can teach us about being a good leader, the real constraints in the effective altruism space, why he’s not very compelled by life extension research, challenges to his Benthamite utilitarianism, whether it’s possible to coherently regulate stablecoins, the implicit leverage in DeFi, Elon Musk’s greatest product, why he thinks Ethereum is overrated, where in the world has the best French fries, why he’s bullish on the Bahamas, and more. Check out Macro Musings. Follow Macro Musings on Twitter. Subscribe to Macro Musings on your favorite podcast app. Read a full transcript enhanced with helpful links, or watch the full video. Recorded January 6th, 2022 Other ways to connect Follow us on Twitter and Instagram Follow Tyler on Twitter  Follow Sam on Twitter Email us: cowenconvos@mercatus.gmu.edu Subscribe at our newsletter page to have the latest Conversations with Tyler news sent straight to your inbox. 
How do you go about writing a book on an era that is, for many, recent history? When Chuck Klosterman set out to write his new book, The Nineties, he wasn’t interested in representing it as a misremembered era or forcing a retrospective view into modern ideology. Rather than finding overlooked signposts that signaled events to come, he says, he wanted to capture what it actually felt like to experience that time – the anxiety and excitement around scientific and technological progress, what it was like to be limited to a few cassette tapes or CDs at a time, the physical media and musical subcultures that would later evaporate with the advent of the internet. Though easier to research than more ancient history, complications arose when he pondered the bifurcation of his audience between those for whom the release of Nevermind is a personal memory and those for whom it’s as distant as the moon landing. Would he have to explain to readers what a compact disc is? Chuck joined Tyler to discuss the challenges of writing about recent history, the “slow cancellation of the future” that began in the aughts, how the internet widened cultural knowledge but removed its depth, why the context of Seinfeld was in some ways more important than its content, what Jurassic Park illustrates about public feelings around scientific progress in the ‘90s, why the ‘90s was the last era of physical mass subcultures, why it’s uncommon to be shocked by modern music, how his limited access to art when growing up made him a better critic, why Spin Magazine became irrelevant with the advent of online streaming, what made Grantland so special, what he learned from teaching in East Germany, the impact of politics on the legacies of Eric Clapton and Van Morrison, how sports often rewards obnoxious personalities, why Wilt Chamberlain is still underrated, how the self-awareness of the Portland Trail Blazers undermined them, how the design of the NFL makes sports rivalries nearly impossible, how pro-level compensation prevents sports gambling from corrupting players, why so many people are interested in e-sports, the unteachable element of writing, why he didn’t make a great editor on his school paper, what he’d say to a room filled with ex-lovers, the question he’d most like to ask his parents, his impressions of cryptocurrency, why he’s trying to focus on what he has in the current moment rather than think too much about future plans, the power of charisma, and more. Check out Ideas of India. Subscribe to Ideas of India on your favorite podcast app. Read a full transcript enhanced with helpful links. Recorded January 18th, 2022 Other ways to connect Follow us on Twitter and Instagram Follow Tyler on Twitter  Follow Chuck on Twitter Email us: cowenconvos@mercatus.gmu.edu Subscribe at our newsletter page to have the latest Conversations with Tyler news sent straight to your inbox. 
Venture capital powered the tech revolution, but what powers venture capital? With his in-depth knowledge and coverage of the sector you’d be forgiven for thinking Sebastian Mallaby is a veteran of the Silicon Valley scene. The author of several books on finance and economics, Sebastian takes pride in understanding his subjects intimately (perhaps too intimately, if you ask his critics). His latest book, Power Law: Venture Capital and the Making of the New Future, sheds light on the small but mighty industry. Sebastian joined Tyler to discuss why venture capital skills aren’t more replicable, the promise of biotech despite increased regulations, why venture capital remains concentrated in the Bay area even after the pandemic, the differences in risk-taking between East and West coast finance, the secret to Mike Moritz’s success as an investor, how Peter Thiel’s understanding of the power law set him apart, why he isn’t interested in becoming a venture capitalist himself, his predictions for the European tech ecosystem over the next ten years, the original sin of “too big to fail,” the major failure of Alan Greenspan during his tenure at the Fed, the Darwinian evolution of good hedge fund strategy, what Ray Dalio got right with Bridgewater, the finance topics he feels are undercovered, what it takes to be a good Substack writer, why he’s bullish on The Information, reasons to be optimistic about the innovative and entrepreneurial trajectories of Japan, the greatest living British historians, the future of the World Bank once China stops borrowing from it, what’s causing the decline in popularity of liberal capitalism, the zany appeal of The Grand Budapest Hotel, and more. Check out Macro Musings. Follow Macro Musings on Twitter. Subscribe to Macro Musings on your favorite podcast app. Read a full transcript enhanced with helpful links, or watch the full video. Recorded January 31st, 2022 Other ways to connect Follow us on Twitter and Instagram Follow Tyler on Twitter  Follow Sebastian on Twitter Email us: cowenconvos@mercatus.gmu.edu Subscribe at our newsletter page to have the latest Conversations with Tyler news sent straight to your inbox. 
From psychedelics to cyberculture, hippie communes to commercial startups, and the Whole Earth Catalog to the Long Now Foundation, Stewart Brand has not only been a part of many movements—he was there at the start. Now 83, he says he doesn’t understand why older people let their curiosity fade, when in many ways it’s the best time to set off on new intellectual pursuits. Tyler and Stewart discuss what drives his curiosity, including the ways in which he’s a product of the Cold War, how he became a Darwinian decentralist, the effects of pre-industrial America on his thought, the subcultural convergences between hippies and younger American Indians, why he doesn’t think humans will be going to the stars, his two-minded approach to unexplained phenomena, how L.L. Bean inspired the Whole Earth Catalog, why Silicon Valley entrepreneurs don’t seem interested in the visual arts, why L.A. could not have been the home of hippie culture and digital innovation, what libertarians don’t understand about government, why we should bring back woolly mammoths, why he’s now focused on maintenance and institutions, and more. Check out Ideas of India. Subscribe to Ideas of India on your favorite podcast app. Read a full transcript enhanced with helpful links, or watch the full video. Recorded January 3rd, 2022 Other ways to connect Follow us on Twitter and Instagram Follow Tyler on Twitter  Follow Stewart on Twitter Email us: cowenconvos@mercatus.gmu.edu Subscribe at our newsletter page to have the latest Conversations with Tyler news sent straight to your inbox. 
In this special crossover special with EconTalk, Tyler interviews Russ Roberts about his new life in Israel as president of Shalem College. They discuss why there are so few new universities, managing teams in the face of linguistic and cultural barriers, how Israeli society could adapt to the loss of universal military service, why Israeli TV is so good, what American Jews don’t understand about life in Israel, what his next leadership challenge will be, and much more. Check out Macro Musings. Follow Macro Musings on Twitter. Subscribe to Macro Musings on your favorite podcast app. Read a full transcript enhanced with helpful links, or watch the full video. Recorded December 23rd, 2021 Other ways to connect Follow us on Twitter and Instagram Follow Tyler on Twitter  Follow Russ on Twitter Email us: cowenconvos@mercatus.gmu.edu Subscribe at our newsletter page to have the latest Conversations with Tyler news sent straight to your inbox. 
Is genius born or made? For Croatian-born classical guitarist Ana Vidović the answer is both. Born into a musical family, she began playing guitar at five and was quickly considered a prodigy. But she’s seen first-hand how that label can trap young talents into complacency, stifling their full development. She’s also had to navigate changing business models and new technologies, learning for instance how to balance an online presence with her love of performing for live audiences. She joined Tyler to discuss that transition from prodigy to touring musician and more, including how Bach challenges her to become a better musician, the most difficult piece in guitar repertoire, the composers she wish had written for classical guitar, the Beatles songs she’d most like to transcribe, why it’s important to study a score before touching the guitar, the reason she won’t practice more than seven hours per day, how she prevents mistakes during performances, what she looks for in young classical guitarists, why she doesn’t have much music on streaming services, how the pandemic has changed audiences, why she stopped doing competitions early on, what she’d change about conservatory education for classical guitarists, her favorite electric guitarists, her love of Croatian pop music, the benefits and drawbacks of YouTube for young musicians, and what she’ll do next. Read a full transcript enhanced with helpful links. Recorded December 27th, 2022 Other ways to connect Follow us on Twitter and Instagram Follow Tyler on Twitter  Email us: cowenconvos@mercatus.gmu.edu Subscribe at our newsletter page to have the latest Conversations with Tyler news sent straight to your inbox. 
Want to support the show? Visit donate.mercatus.org/podcasts. On this special year-in-review episode, Tyler and producer Jeff Holmes talk about the past year on the show, including one episode’s appearance on Ancient Aliens, Tyler’s picks for most underrated guests, how his 2021 predictions fared from last year’s retrospective, further reflections on the most downloaded—and most polarizing—episode of the year, how David Deutsch influenced Tyler’s opinions of Karl Popper, why he thinks his interviews with women tend to be better, and more. They also evaluate Tyler’s pop culture picks from 2011, play “Name that Production Function,” and answer listener questions from Twitter. Read a full transcript enhanced with helpful links, or watch the full video. Recorded December 8th, 2021 Other ways to connect Follow us on Twitter and Instagram Follow Tyler on Twitter  Email us: cowenconvos@mercatus.gmu.edu Subscribe at our newsletter page to have the latest Conversations with Tyler news sent straight to your inbox. 
Want to support the show? Visit donate.mercatus.org/podcasts When Ray Dalio was 23, President Nixon announced that the United States would no longer be adhering to the gold standard for American currency. Clerking on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Dalio expected to see chaos—but instead stocks soared. Curious to understand this phenomenon, he began to read about similar events in 1933, and it opened his eyes to the lessons that could be drawn from history. His latest book draws on the patterns he’s gleaned from studying dynasties and empires throughout time, as well as his own experiences as a hedge fund manager and founder of Bridgewater Associates. Ray joined Tyler to discuss the forces that will affect American life in the coming decades, why we should be skeptical of the saliency of current equities prices, the market as a poker game, the benefits and risks of the US dollar as the world reserve currency, why he thinks US inflation will not be transitory, the key to his success as an investor, how studying the Great Depression enabled him to anticipate the 2008 financial crisis, Bridgewater’s culture of radical transparency, the usefulness of psychometric profiles, where the United States is falling short most in terms of moral character, his truth-seeking process, the kinds of education crucial to building a successful dynasty or empire—and what causes them to fail, how transcendental meditation helps him be creative and objective, what he loves about jazz music, what we undervalue about the ocean, why he loves bow-hunting Cape Buffalo, and more. Read a full transcript enhanced with helpful links, or watch the full video. Recorded November 5th, 2021 Other ways to connect Follow us on Twitter and Instagram Follow Tyler on Twitter  Follow Ray on Twitter Email us: cowenconvos@mercatus.gmu.edu Subscribe at our newsletter page to have the latest Conversations with Tyler news sent straight to your inbox. 
The most challenging part of being a biographer for Ruth Scurr is finding the best form to tell a life. “You can't go in there with a workmanlike attitude saying, ‘I'm going to do cradle to grave.’ You’ve got to somehow connect and resonate with the life, and then things will develop from that.” Known for her innovative literary portraits of Robespierre and John Aubrey, Scurr’s latest book follows Napoleon’s life through his engagement with the natural world. This approach broadens the usual cast of characters included in Napoleon’s life story, providing new perspectives with which to understand him. Ruth joined Tyler to discuss why she considers Danton the hero of the French Revolution, why the Jacobins were so male-obsessed, the wit behind Condorcet's idea of a mechanical king, the influence of Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments during and after the Reign of Terror, why 18th-century French thinkers were obsessed with finding forms of government that would fit with emerging market forces, whether Hayek’s critique of French Enlightenment theorists is correct, the relationship between the French Revolution and today’s woke culture, the truth about Napoleon’s diplomatic skills, the poor prospects for pitching biographies to publishers, why Montesquieu’s Spirit of the Laws would be her desert island read, why Cambridge is a better city than Oxford, why the Times Literary Supplement remains important today, what she loves about Elena Ferrante’s writing, how she stays open as a biographer, and more. Read a full transcript enhanced with helpful links. Recorded July 12th, 2021 Other ways to connect Follow us on Twitter and Instagram Follow Tyler on Twitter  Follow Ruth on Twitter Email us: cowenconvos@mercatus.gmu.edu Subscribe at our newsletter page to have the latest Conversations with Tyler news sent straight to your inbox.  Thumbnail photo credit: Dan White
Comments (17)

Gabo

Sound quality in this episode is waybbelow acceptable

Apr 20th
Reply

Michael

I always come back to this one, the exchanges are just so enlightening every time I listen.

Oct 19th
Reply

ID18193283

This was a disappointing episode tbh. Full of tenuous assertions.

Jul 18th
Reply

Jonathan Petherbridge

You didn't ask about racism and police? Would have been good to hear some discussion on Roland Fryer's paper.

Jun 17th
Reply

Michael

Consistently high quality conversations, keep them coming! Keep strong during the quarantine!

Apr 27th
Reply

Matt Bowen

a great thinker, thoughtful, intelligent

Feb 22nd
Reply

Gary Haase

First time I've heard Zuckerberg asking the questions rather than being grilled. Patrick Collison is an interesting. Big questions being raised.

Nov 27th
Reply (1)

Nimit Kathuria

Raghuram Rajan's twitter handle link is wrong.

May 18th
Reply

gg

He said the number one killer was malaria when deciding to find the theoretical cure over cancer, alluding to saving more lifes when cancer kills roughly 9 million more people worldwide per year.

Apr 24th
Reply

gg

awesome

Apr 24th
Reply

gg

great

Apr 5th
Reply

Ali Salem

good

Mar 1st
Reply

NLuc

great talk. I would love to hear more about right-wing political correctness and why is a bigger problem. I didn't see any links in the show notes. ideas?

Sep 5th
Reply

Joseph Davila

Como que Tyler tiene la sangre de atole. :D

Aug 30th
Reply

Gabo

audio quality: terrible! please record it professionally.

Aug 16th
Reply

zac wallace

great discussion. glad to be introduced to another interesting guy whose book will get lost on my growing reading list

Mar 2nd
Reply
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