In their latest episode of the VALUE: After Hours Podcast, Brewster, Taylor, and Carlisle discuss Ten Things That Derail Peter Leyden’s Future. Here’s an excerpt from the episode:
Jake: All right. I’m going to bang through these 10 derailers of progress and then we’re going to get to the more fun part of the story. As you recall, this was from– oh, shoot, what was the guy’s name? Peter Leyden. And he had all this– I’m not going to call it magical thinking, but hopefully rosy scenarios that I think we’re all praying come about. But here’s what might derail that progress.
Number one, liberal democracies fail. Basically, we have a hard time effectively carrying out actual will of the majority, because of structural problems within our democracies that make it hard. We’re being divided and conquered a little bit by our political parties.
Quasi civil war. Number two, zealots on both sides. They get desperate and start talking about civil war and it leads into actual political violence. Maybe January 6th is a, I don’t know, somewhat of a precursor of that idea.
Tobias: Those three are basically the same thing, right? There’s just problems with democracy. Since democracy has existed, that’s been the case. I don’t think he’s wrong, but sometimes, I think that those things might be good things. But keep on going.
Jake: Number three, enforced groupthink. Zealots on the far left to cancel courtier too far, and stifle open debate, and then we end up with less of a pluralistic society. I think that’s– [crosstalk]
Tobias: What does pluralistic mean?
Jake: I think in this context, well articulated on multiple sides.
Bill: I’m going to take a shot at the right on this too. It’s not they’re super accepting of RINOs, for lack of a better term.
Tobias: Advocating a system in which two or more states, groups, principles, sources of authority coexist. Okay. Cool.
Jake: Yeah. Losing track of truth. Facts get more and more contested. People can’t communicate across parallel universes of media. That feels pretty real. Science starts to get jeopardized and politicized. That also feels a little real. Tech gets demonized. This might be-
Tobias: That’s true.
Jake: -a scapegoating of tech companies that might lead to less technological development over the next 25 years.
Jake: Genetics gets shut down.
Jake: Yeah, kind of a religious angle on that one. We’ve seen that before. Nuclear bomb explodes. So, I think we’ve already delved into that one enough.
Tobias: Yeah. I don’t think that ends up. But yeah, that’s a risk. I don’t know if it ends. I think we keep on going after that. We keep going afterwards.
Jake: I think their argument is that actually that would shut down nuclear energy research that we probably need, if we’re going to transition off of hydrocarbons, similar to what happened actually the first time around when we bombed Nagasaki. Desperate oil states. As we shift from carbon to cleaner energy, who knows what kind of gambles that they might take, if their access to power, which is oil, is being jeopardized?
Tobias: Just before you move on to that point, do you think that–? For geopolitical reasons, getting off oil, that seems to be one of the reasons where you get the oil, right? But then, if you need a whole lot of these rare earth minerals to jump into batteries, the fact that it’s rare, doesn’t it mean that it’s hard to find?
Jake: I think it’s not that they’re “hard to find.” It’s that they’re so diffused that you have to process a shit ton of materials to get them. So, they’re rare in the instance of a rock has a small amount of it. Actually, getting a concentrated enough amount to create these batteries or whatever it is you’re trying to build just takes a lot of energy to harness it and get it all into one place.
Tobias: Okay. So, they’re not abundant though? [laughs]
Jake: They are not abundant. They’re rare. [laughs] Balkanized world, tackling some of these global problems that we’ve been talking about is probably really complicated if we don’t have a globalized approach and uncoordinated localities arguing about things. China hot war. This is the last one on here. Just basically, China and the US battling each other would be detrimental to this great progress.
Tobias: I think everything except for that last one, we’ll probably overcome and still get there. But that last one, that’s civilization destroying if that happens.
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