Blue Links - October 2017
Interesting links (October 2017)
- Really interesting interview with journalist Fareed Zakaria on a variety of topics from the Huntington Thesis to Trump. Recall, the Huntington Thesis posited that humans have lost identity as ideological beings so they are finding an new identity based on culture and religion. Zakaria says he misunderstood the clash piece of the thesis which doesn't address the fact that the big conflicts in the world are between Muslims (95% of killings by Islamic terrorism are perpetrated against Muslims). Regarding Trump, Zakaria posits that the core of Trump's base feels a deep cultural resentment and are largely driven by issues related to class.
- Great interview with Paul Krugman which touches on a number of fascinating topics. Krugman claims that we have gone back to the Gilded Age in that we've strayed from our core principle of one person one vote. He also discusses John Maynard Keynes and pushes back on the idea that Keynes is a left winger with a short time horizon.
- There are few authors more polarizing than Ayn Rand. Love her or or hate her, she is one of the most influential authors of the 20th century. To her immense credit, Burns, a Stanford historian, provides an even handed, critical examination of Rand, her philosophy, and her personal life.
- Ben Sasse is a junior US senator from Nebraska. In this episode, he and Cowen talk about everything from the “postindustrial economy” to his book The Vanishing American Adult which discusses education in the broadest sense of the term.
- Excellent 60 Minutes segment with “Tamer Elnoury”, a Muslim American undercover FBI operative for the secretive National Security Covert Operations Unit. His job is to embed himself in North American terror cells and report back to the FBI so they can prosecute cases. For those less familiar with how HUMINT works, I'd highly recommend watching this.
- Short 5 part podcast series about LBJ which details how the United States became embroiled in Vietnam. Most shocking was how LBJ was able to keep our involvement in the Vietnam War under the radar for approximately 15 months.
- If you want to understand what the big deal is with cryptocurrencies, this is an excellent podcast primer.
- Melvyn Bragg and his guests talk about populism during America's Gilded Age which arose because farmers in the South and Midwest felt ignored by urban and industrial elites. Sound familar?