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Bruce Schneier | Cyberattacks and Survival in a Hyperconnected World

In Episode 60 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Bruce Schneier, about cyberattacks, cyberwar, and survival in a hyperconnected world. Cyberattacks constitute one of the most urgent threats facing collective humanity according to Bruce Schneier. History has proven him right. In the summer of 2017, a weapon of cyberwar was dropped onto a world without borders, where the heavy artillery and nuclear warheads that defined the battlelines of the 20th century have been rendered...


Grant Williams | Quantum Uncertainty and Spooky Correlations at the Zero-Bound

In Episode 59 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Grant Williams about the crisis brewing in emerging markets, the collapse in cryptocurrencies, and the palace intrigues of Elon Musk. All of these phenomena exhibit the common feature of “quantum weirdness at the zero-bound,” where the laws of classical economics break down, space-time preferences collapse, and quantum entanglements lead to spooky correlations that threaten the very fabric upon which markets are made and prices...


Jonathan Haidt | Trigger Warnings, Safe Spaces, and the Coddling of the American Mind

In Episode 58 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Jonathan Haidt about how trigger warnings, safe spaces, and microaggressions are setting up the iGeneration for failure on America’s college campuses. In the Fall of 2013, the President of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, Greg Lukianoff, noticed that something odd was happening on America’s college campuses. Words were increasingly being seen as dangerous. A series of strange reports began to emerge of...


Joseph Lubin | ConsenSys and the Nature of the Firm in a Decentralized Economy

In Episode 57 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Joseph Lubin about the progress being made at Consensys and precisely how Joe believes that Ethereum will overcome the scalability challenges that have plagued its network since the earliest days of its founding. For the last few years, many blockchain enthusiasts have been eagerly anticipating the release of what many have referred to as “the Netflix moment.” In other words, blockchain enthusiasts expect to see a killer...


Hedera Hashgraph and the Second Internet Revolution | Tom Trowbridge

In Episode 56 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Hedera Hashgraph President Tom Trowbridge about the latest news from the company that made its splash on the Hidden Forces podcast less than one year ago. In the Fall of 2008, equity markets were in free fall. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and Nasdaq Composite were all on their way towards making lows not seen since the mid-1990’s. Stock valuations would collapse by more than fifty percent, prominent investment banks...


Ryan Selkis | Token-Curated Registries: Building the Information Database for a New Financial System

In Episode 55 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Ryan Selkis about how his company, Messari, is bringing a new level of data gathering and analysis to the crypto space by building what are known as token-curated registries. Information has become, quite literally, the currency of the digital age. Yet, even before the advent of cryptocurrencies, investors have always understood information to be a valuable asset. “The most valuable commodity I know of is information,” said the...


Barry Eichengreen | The Legacy of the Great Moderation: Currency, Populism, and Credit

In Episode 54 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with economic historian Barry Eichengreen about his experience studying currency pegs and exchange rate mechanisms, as the two explore how the legacy of globalization, trade liberalization, and the great moderation laid the foundation for the challenges facing the modern economy. Barry Eichengreen has made a career of studying the history of money and the role that currency has played in the international order. Currency regimes are not...


Gillian Tett | an Anthropologist's Field Guide to Wall Street and Silicon Valley

In Episode 53 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Gillian Tett, Managing Editor of the Financial Times US about her experience at the paper and how her background in anthropology has helped her identify financial bubbles in technology and the economy. “It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future,” said the famous Yankee captain, Yogi Berra, and yet, this hasn’t stopped us from trying. Attempting to predict the future is a sport as old as civilization itself....


Simon Winchester | a History of Precision Engineering and the Making of the Modern World

In Episode 52 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Simon Winchester about the value of precision (and imperfection) in the modern age. Few things are as responsible for the making of the modern world as precision engineering; yet, it is largely invisible to us. We live our lives in a customizable fashion, expecting the world to conform to our expectations, wants, and desires. And yet, below this surface layer of personalization and complexity exists a world of exactness so precise...


Mind-Body Philosophy: Solving the Hard Problem of Consciousness | Patrick Grim

In Episode 51 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Patrick Grim, a world-renowned philosopher, and bestselling author, about the roots of human consciousness. Recent advances in science and technology have allowed us to reveal — and in some cases even alter — the innermost workings of the human body. With electron microscopes, we can see our DNA, the source code of life itself. With nanobots, we can send cameras throughout our bodies and deliver drugs directly into the areas where...


The Hard Problem of Currency: Are Stablecoins Possible? | Nevin Freeman

In Episode 50 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Nevin Freeman, the founder of a new stable-value cryptocurrency project, about the hard problem of currency. 2018 is the year of the stablecoin, or so says Nevin Freeman, the founder of a new stable-value cryptocurrency project based in the San Francisco Bay area. In order to understand what stablecoins and how they work, we first need to understand money. In order for something to qualify as money, it has traditionally needed to...


Vitalik Buterin and Vlad Zamfir | The Ethereum Roadmap and Solving the Blockchain Scalability Problem

In Episode 49 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Vitalik Buterin and Vlad Zamfir about the future roadmap for Ethereum. If contracts are the foundation of modern civilization, then our record systems are the infrastructure that keep this foundation from falling apart. These features allow our society to establish and verify identities; give value to goods and services; create and enforce laws; govern interactions between individuals, organizations, and nations — in short, they...


Annie Duke | Making a Sure Bet: Optionality, Decision Making, and How to Embrace Uncertainty

In Episode 48 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Annie Duke and about how we can make smart decisions and ensure our long-term success. We make millions of decisions over the course of our lives. Most of these seem to be small and of little consequence, and so we make our choices and act with little care or thought. Other decisions require more care and consideration, as their significance will, for better or worse, have a lasting impact on our life: What job offer to accept,...


Claude Shannon: The Story of How One Man Created the Information Age | Jimmy Soni

In Episode 47 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Jimmy Soni about the father of Information Theory, Claude Shannon, and Shannon’s foundational work, A Mathematical Theory of Communication. The 20th century is known as the information age, and for a good reason. It is a period that is dominated by knowledge and data. It’s an era in which the economy is no longer driven by traditional industries — such as construction, manufacturing, or agriculture — but by advanced information...


The Quest for the Nobel: Cosmology, Physics, and the Search for the Origins of the Universe | Brian Keating

In Episode 46 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Brian Keating, astrophysicist and author of Losing the Nobel Prize: A Story of Cosmology, Ambition, and the Perils of Science's Highest Honor. When we think about competition, we don’t typically think about scientists. Instead of seeing these individuals as adversaries competing for fickle prizes or glory, we see them as impartial explorers of the cosmos. We see them as the selfless gatekeepers of knowledge. This view, as we are...


Daniel H. Pink | Biological Clock: Why “What” You Do is Just as Important as “When” You Do It

In Episode 45 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Daniel Pink, the highly acclaimed author of numerous, best-selling books including his latest, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. Timing is everything, so it’s kind of surprising that most of us don’t give it any serious consideration. We think about what things we want to do. We think about who we want to do these things with. When we want to do something is generally our final consideration — if we consider it at...


Collective Achievement: The Hidden Force That Creates the World’s Greatest Teams | Sam Walker

In Episode 44 of Hidden Forces, host Demetri Kofinas speaks with Sam Walker, author of The Captain Class, about how our love affair with athletic performance is about more than rivalry. People love sports. As we love watching the teams we adore try and fight their way towards victory. Their wins are our wins, and we celebrate these triumphs with feelings of joy that are difficult to match or even describe. Their losses are equally ours, and the pain of those losses can feel like a personal...


The Rise of Xi Jinping and the Dawn of a New Imperial China | Elizabeth C. Economy

In Episode 43 of Hidden Forces, host Demetri Kofinas speaks with Elizabeth Economy about the emergence of a new imperial China and the rise of Xi Jinping. We may be witnessing the birth of a new imperial China, one that was brought about by the charismatic machinations of the nation’s leader, Xi Jinping. At the present juncture, it’s not exactly clear what Xi’s excessive centralization of power means or how his disruptive new policies will impact the rest of the world, but we can say one...


Remaking the Future: Why Education in African Countries is Crucial to Our Survival | Fred Swaniker

In Episode 42 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Fred Swaniker about the future of African leadership and education in the 21st century. By the year 2050, the human population will increase by a staggering 2.4 billion. According to data from the UN World Population Prospects, the figures are cause for great concern. Researchers worry that our planet may not have the carrying capacity to sustain a population of this size; however, their primary concern stems from the fact that a...


Jim Holt | Metaphysics, the Philosophy of Science, and Why the World Exists

In Episode 41 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Jim Holt about the philosophy of science, ethics, and metaphysics. Jim Holt is on a quest to understand the fundamental nature and meaning of our universe. What is infinity? Is time real? Why does the world exist? These are the most important questions that humanity has ever pondered. When attempting to answer such large, existential questions, it’s not enough to use observational evidence alone. This is where metaphysics comes...