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Future Perfect

Future Perfect

Author: Vox

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Explore provocative ideas with the potential to radically improve the world. Vox’s Dylan Matthews tackles big questions about the most effective ways to save lives, fight global warming, and end world poverty to create a more perfect future. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

20 Episodes
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Introducing Reset

Introducing Reset

2019-10-2200:29:56

Josiah Zayner is a biohacker who’s famous for, among other things, injecting himself with the gene-editing tool CRISPR. At a time when the technology exists for us to change, or hack, our own DNA, what are the ethics of experimenting on ourselves, and others at home? Arielle Duhaime-Ross has been following Zayner’s story and talks to him about how he’s thinking about human experimentation today. Plus: new efforts to come up with a code of conduct for biohackers, from legislation to self-regulation.About ResetEvery story is a tech story. We live in a world where algorithms drive our interests, scientists are re-engineering our food supply, and a robot may be your next boss. Arielle Duhaime-Ross explores why–and how–tech is changing everything.If you enjoyed this episode, subscribe to Reset for free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app to get new episodes every week.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The money in the moon

The money in the moon

2019-07-1700:30:163

Fifty years ago this summer, Apollo 11 landed on the moon. Now, NASA’s talking about going back.But is it worth it?We talk to lunar geologists about what we’ve already learned from the first Apollo missions, and what’s left to discover.Then, we take a trip, not through space, but through time—back to a scientific expedition in Greenland almost a century ago. The science done there might have seemed insignificant at the time, but has since proved an important first step towards our current understanding of global warming.Further reading:Brian's in-depth explainer on moon rocksJon Gertner's book about epic Greenland expeditions, The Ice At The End of The WorldFor more on ice coring, this National Geographic article is great, as is this 60 Minutes episodeLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Your PTA vs. equality

Your PTA vs. equality

2019-07-1000:27:013

Big philanthropists can threaten democracy. But so can small ones, like you and me. One big example? Parent-teacher associations. We examine how rich PTAs can hoard opportunity and deny resources to poor kids.Dana Goldstein on the Malibu-Santa Monica PTA warsThe harm done by parents who hoard donationsRob Reich on superrich PTAsA Center for American Progress report on PTA donations in rich schoolsThe case that the importance of private donations is overstatedLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Move fast and break schools

Move fast and break schools

2019-07-0300:28:194

When Mark Zuckerberg gave $100 million to Newark’s schools, he raised a big question: Who will decide where this money goes? The answer: Not the people of Newark. We examine why the people of Newark turned against a gift that Zuckerberg and Cory Booker wanted them to celebrate.Dylan Scott explains the Newark giftPatrick Wall at Chartbeat has done some fantastic reporting on the outcomes of the giftDale Russakoff’s history of the gift, and the New Yorker excerptThe Harvard evaluation, and a critique of itAnother evaluation finding the intervention workedLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Most charity is focused on the near term. So what happens when you try to only give to charities that will help humans a long time from now — not just in 100 years, but in a million years? To find out, we talk to Jaan Tallinn, a founding engineer of Skype who is trying to force the world to take threats to the future, threats like AI, seriously.Tallinn explains his concern with AI at an effective altruism conferenceKelsey Piper explains the risks of unconstrained AIAI experts on when they expect AI to outpace human intelligenceTed Chiang’s critique of concern with AI safetyLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Donors from beyond the grave

Donors from beyond the grave

2019-06-1900:31:333

Billions of dollars are donated every year from the fortunes of people who’ve died but are using their wills to influence our world from beyond the grave. Some of these zombie donors left instructions that are racist, classist, or just silly. So how do we free ourselves from the grip of the undead?Ray’s book: Immortality and the Law: The Rising Power of the American DeadThe case against listening to the wishes of the dead“The Bittersweet Legacy of the Buck Trust”The Baconsfield Park case, explainedThe New York Times investigates orphan trustsLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sim City, Wisconsin

Sim City, Wisconsin

2019-06-1200:21:052

Diane Hendricks is the richest self-made woman in America, and she has used her fortune to remake the city of Beloit, Wisconsin. But she’s also used her riches to bankroll former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and to crush unions in the state. In this episode: How do we reconcile Beloiters’ love for her with her broader effects on the state?Bran Lichtenstein spends a fair amount of time with Diane Hendricks in his documentary As Goes JanesvilleAlexandra Stevenson’s profile of Diane HendricksHendricks’s donations in the 2018 electionsMary Bottari on the Bradley Foundation and public sector unionsWhen Hendricks joined Trump’s economic advisory councilLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
A foundation-funded atrocity

A foundation-funded atrocity

2019-06-0500:31:273

In the 1950s and ’60s, Western foundations like Ford and Rockefeller pushed hard to control India's population by sterilizing its people. In 1975, India's government expanded that disturbing practice into a massive atrocity. How did this happen — and how can we prevent it from happening again?Gyan Prakash’s history of the emergencyMatthew Connelly’s history of population controlEmma Tarlo has a book of narratives from the EmergencySavina Balasubramanian explains the focus on sterilizing men in IndiaWhy sterilization continues in IndiaA Disney short film featuring Donald Duck advocating population controlThanks to the Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College for the audio of Joan Dunlop, taken from their Population and Reproductive Health Oral History Project.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
He bought the law

He bought the law

2019-05-2900:33:327

John M. Olin isn’t a household name, but his foundation helped create the Federalist Society, turned federal judges against environmental protection and unions, and bankrolled conservative polemicists like Dinesh D’Souza. How did one small foundation do so much to advance conservatism?Jane Mayer’s history of the Olin FoundationMayer’s full book Dark MoneyJames Piereson remembers his time as president of the Olin FoundationJohn Miller’s sympathetic history of the Olin FoundationSteve Teles on the rise of the conservative legal movementAmanda Hollis-Brusky’s history of the Federalist SocietyAsh, Chen, and Naidu on the impact of the Manne seminarsThe time Tim Geithner called Dinesh D’Souza a dickLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Gilded Rage

Gilded Rage

2019-05-2200:24:553

To put our new age of extreme inequality in perspective, we look back at Andrew Carnegie, who gave America a huge number of libraries so they’d forgive him for his brutal steel mills. We ask: Is the same thing happening in 2019?Richard White’s history of the Gilded Age, and a short review hitting the main pointsA 1911 book examining the conditions of Carnegie’s steel millsThe staggering death rates at Carnegie’s millsHamlin Garland’s visit to the Homestead Mill  Carnegie’s “The Gospel of Wealth”How Carnegie got into funding librariesLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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Comments (2)

Wiliam Cunha

Anyone else experiencing poor sound quality for this podcast? I can listen clearly from the website (which is why i know the content is awesome) but can barely listen from any podcast gadget in Android...

Jan 20th
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