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Modest Conversations

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Modest conversations is a series of conversations where guests in and around the technology business come and discuss politics, economics, and technology. Each episode usually gets a few thousand listens currently.

Modest conversations is a series of conversations where guests in and around the technology business come and discuss politics, economics, and technology. Each episode usually gets a few thousand listens currently.
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Modest conversations is a series of conversations where guests in and around the technology business come and discuss politics, economics, and technology. Each episode usually gets a few thousand listens currently.








30 - Runaway Objective Functions & Human Agency - Tim O’Reilly

Tim and I discuss some of the thinking around his new book WTF - What’s The Future and Why It’s Up To Us. We talk in particular about our world of runaway objective functions, and the role human agency must play to manage to a future we want vs. one we do not.

Duration: 01:03:32

29 - Attention and Addition & What To Actually Do About It - Tristan Harris Fmr. Google

Tristan and I talk about his viewpoint and mission around the attention economy and addition. We also debate ideas on what to practically do about it.

Duration: 00:56:24

28 - Lines - Waiting For Work To Be Done & Work To Do - Andrew Kortina co-founder Fin & Venmo

Kortina and I discuss how much of modern life is about lines. As consumers we wait on line for restaurants, takeoff windows, and countless other experiences. As producers many of us - not just ER doctors - spend a good percentage of our 'working' time waiting for work to do and under-utilized. We discuss how technology and technology design is impacted by and impacts the nature of lines and waiting on them for producers and consumers.

Duration: 00:21:20

27 - The Human Side of Tech & Growth Mindset - Blake Barnes Director of Product at Instagram

Blake joins to discuss the human side of technology - growth mindset, failure, and success. How do the people who build technology, and the ways they collaborate on teams, and the culture of tech companies define the products that come out?

Duration: 00:49:29

26 - Homo Deus in Short - Erik Torenberg, ProductHunt & co-founder Village Global VC

Erik and I discuss the ins-and-outs of Homo Deus, which has become extremely popular in Silicon Valley. What is the thesis? What is the appeal? What makes sense and what is a stretch?

Duration: 00:32:50

25 - Making of the Tree of Ténéré at Burning Man - Zach Smith, Founder of The Project

Zach Smith joins for a Modest Conversation on the making of the Tree of Ténéré at Burning Man. Where the project came from, trials and travails of getting it done, and thoughts on doing large scale art projects at Burning Man

Duration: 00:40:47

24 - The Golden Age of Oncology - Racquel Bracken of Venrock

Racquel joins to talk about all that is changing in the world of oncology, and why she things we are entering the golden age of oncology.

Duration: 00:31:29

23 - The Environment - Alyssa Ravasio of Hipcamp

Alyssa joins for a modest conversation about technology is changing how we relate to nature, the environment, climate change, extinction, and more.

Duration: 00:32:39

22 - On Bitcoin Cash & New Ways Crypto-Projects Move Forward - Alexia Bonatsos - Fmr Techcrunch

Alexia and I discuss the last week in Crypto and Bitcoin Cash. What does it look like when there is a pattern for faster innovation without 'consensus' in the cyrpto world? How does it change the power and importance of exchanges?

Duration: 00:32:49

21 - On Product Management - Rousseau Kazi of FB and TBA

Rousseau joins to discuss lessons from product management.

Duration: 00:32:45

20 - Building Platform Products - Raylene Yung of Stripe & FB

Raylene currently leads the applications team at Stripe, and formerly was an engineering manager at Facebook. She joins me to discuss building platforms from a product and engineering perspective.

Duration: 00:38:23

19 - Viewpoint From The Silicon Valley Entering Class of ‘17 - Samantha Wiener

Samantha joins as a representative of the Silicon Valley entering class of 2017 having just graduated from Columbia CS and moving on to Facebook engineering. talks about her projects and what interests her at the intersection of tech and the broader world.

Duration: 00:23:30

18 - Congestion & Inequality, The Problems of The Modern City - Eran Shir of Nexar

Eran joins me to discuss autonomy & the problem of the modern city - in particular congestion, inequality and autonomy.

Duration: 00:27:33

17 - What You Know vs. Who You Know - Auren Hoffman of SafeGraph and LiveRamp

Auren Hoffman joins me to discuss whether it is better to know things or know people.. And how technology is changing the dynamic.

Duration: 00:25:07

16 - Building Things Competitors Can't Measure - Sriram Krishnan, Fmr Snap & FB

Sriram Krishnan who worked on monetization products at Snap talks about building things your competitors can't measure.

Duration: 00:33:54

15 - Jobs, UBI, and Inequality - Joe Lonsdale, 8VC

Joe Lonsdale, Founder of 8VC discuss jobs, universal base income, and inequality and many other dangerous topics.

Duration: 00:23:54

14 - On Bitcoin, Ethereum, ICOs vs. Venture Capital - Alexia Tsotsis, Fmr TechCrunch

Alexia and I discuss crypto-currencies and the evolving conversation about the future of fundraising - initial coin offerings and venture capital.

Duration: 00:26:32

13 - How You Build Meaningful Relationships with Kids and Others - Tod Francis, Shasta Ventures

For this holiday weekend Tod Francis shares some of the research he has done on how you build meaningful relationships with children and other important people in your life.

Duration: 00:21:14

12 - The YC AI vertical and big-company AI advantages - Daniel Gross of YC, Apple, Greplin

Daniel and I discuss the new YC AI vertical and how he is trying to empower startups with the AI advantages that big companies usually have unto themselves

Duration: 00:30:25

11 - AI, Real or False Please Explain - Lukas Biewald of Crowdflower & OpenAI

Lukas and I discuss AI, vision problems, and what is real vs. overstated about the near future of machine intelligence.

Duration: 00:26:08

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