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By: Bloggingheads.tv

Smart people talking about politics, policy, culture and other stuff

War Machine Learning (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
Yesterday at 2:31 AM

Can AI transcend conventional wisdom? ... Is Trump back as 2024 GOP frontrunner? ... The trouble with “the poor” ... J.D. Vance has Ukraine on the brain ... Ukraine update: How to make sending tanks make sense ... Parrot room preview: Bob’s quasi-lucid dream; Evil corrections; The deep roots of Russian nationalist support for the war; Leon Wieseltier quote critique; DeSantis and black history; should judicial noms know their civics?; Kyrsten Sinema conspiracies; economic vs. social inequality; “exciting” child tax credit news; Israel’s multiple powder kegs ...


Glenn and John Go Across the Pond (Glenn Loury & John McWhorter)
Last Friday at 10:04 PM

Glenn and John go to Cambridge ... The Hamline University Prophet Muhammad controversy ... John: “Physics is physics” ... The Harlem Renaissance and Black Studies ... Is “getting past race” more trouble than it’s worth? ... Is Joe Biden patronizing black people? ... How a black musical changed the sound of Broadway ...


Pat Buchanan Retires (Matt K. Lewis & Bill Scher)
Last Friday at 7:15 AM

Is White Lotus conservative? ... What is the legacy of Pat Buchanan? ... Will Republicans heed Trump's warning on Social Security & Medicare? ... Will anyone blink in the debt limit showdown? ... Is Nikki Haley ready to be the first to contest Trump? ...


Are we getting the whole story about Ukraine? (Robert Wright & Ivan Katchanovski)
Last Tuesday at 11:55 PM

Ivan’s Ukrainian upbringing and academic background ... Where did pro-Russian sentiment in eastern Ukraine come from? ... Why Ivan worried Ukraine’s 2014 revolution would lead to civil war ... Did Europe impede resolution of Russia-Ukraine tensions? ... What western media gets wrong about the Maidan revolution ... Was the Maidan massacre a false flag operation? ... The state of Ukrainian democracy after the Maidan revolution ... The political forces that impeded Zelensky’s peace plan ...


Biden’s Crossroads and Ukraine’s Crossroads (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
01/21/2023

The alphas of the world gather in Davos ... Mickey buys a blue check, dresses up to celebrate ... Does Russia have Ukraine on the defensive? ... How serious is the threat of US government debt default? ... Biden’s chances in 2024 ... Parrot Room preview: David Crosby passes away; Alec Baldwin charged with manslaughter; the issue that could destroy woke-ism; college after affirmative action; a false flag in Ukraine?; More Elon news; loyalty oath at Sundance; Bob reviews Top Gun: Maverick ...


Climate Science’s Unsettled Questions (Glenn Loury & Steven Koonin)
01/20/2023

Steven’s best-selling book, Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters ... Steven: Concerns about catastrophic climate change “beggar belief” ... The complexities of climate change models ... Should we worry about rising sea levels? ... Hurricanes, tornados, and other extreme weather events ... Is a zero-emissions goal worth the cost? ... How to fix climate science ... Are the Paris Accords viable? ... The coming climate backlash ...


Biden's Classified Docs Scandal (Matt K. Lewis & Bill Scher)
01/20/2023

Is the Biden doc scandal a political turning point? ... Are Democrats losing their reputation for competency? ... Why are Republicans hesitating to run for president? ...


Cognitive Empathy in Everyday Life (Robert Wright & Josh Summers)
01/17/2023

Challenges in applying cognitive empathy in daily life ... Two types of self-awareness—and their links to cognitive empathy ... Josh’s recent (mis)adventures in cognitive empathy ... Can self-awareness make conflicts manageable? ... The relationship between concentration and insight meditation ... Literature and the cultivation of cognitive empathy ... Understanding one’s self vs. understanding others ... The ice cube theory of human nature ... Cognitive empathy’s role in building “mindfulness 3.0” ...


Biden Docs and Russia Hawks (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
01/14/2023

Anti-gas-stove tyranny – or slow news week? ... Biden’s classified docs scandal is a “granfalloon in search of a MacGuffin led by a wrang-wrang” ... Did Bob Gates and Condoleezza Rice miss a chance to prevent the Ukraine war? ... Is the war turning in Russia’s favor? ... The prospects for peace negotiations ... Parrot Room preview: Biden’s pivot to help the working class; Does AI have a liberal bias?; Has woke peaked?; Matthew Yglesias' style section profile; Jeff Beck, Lisa Marie Presley, and Blake Hounshell pass away; White Lotus; Mickey’s new conspiracy theory about Kevin McCarthy ...


The Best of Glenn and John 2022 (Glenn Loury & John McWhorter)
01/13/2023

A brief intro from Glenn ... The lionization of the lightweights ... The unified field theory of non-whiteness ... An honest conversation about crime ... Glenn’s birthday menu ... It’s time to choose a side ... Clarence Thomas, black icon ... Policing Joe Rogan ... By any means necessary? ...


Goodbye Norma Desmond (Matt K. Lewis & Bill Scher)
01/13/2023

Why did the "Never Kevins" cave? ... Can the House raise the debt limit? ... Will immigration tear Democrats apart? ... Is Trump fading? ...


An Epic Debate on Ukraine and US Foreign Policy (Robert Wright & Fred Kaplan)
01/10/2023

Why are so many people (including Fred) down on John Mearsheimer? ... Bob: Explaining bad behavior is not the same as justifying it ... How the US eroded international law - and why it matters ... Did US policy make Russia’s invasion of Ukraine more likely? ... NATO’s role in Ukraine before the invasion ... How would the US respond to a China-Mexico military alliance? ... Henry Kissinger’s peace proposal ... Impediments to productive debate on US foreign policy ...


After the House Speaker Drama (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
01/07/2023

Mickey’s guide to the House Speaker drama ... What vexes Bob about the House Speaker vote ... Why Damar Hamlin’s injury wouldn’t have happened in the old days ... Biden’s new good cop, bad cop immigration plan ... Why keep sanctioning Venezuela (or Cuba, or Syria, or Iran, etc.)? ... Elon and the trouble with “great man” theories of tech progress ... Is Twitter’s new views feature a boon or bullshit? ... Ukraine war update ... Parrot room preview: The Matt Schlapp sex scandal; Jason DeParle on welfare; Mickey’s case against “unity”; More calls for a Semafor clawback; an SBF-AIPAC connection; a second Epstein-Harva...


The Tyranny of Merit (Glenn Loury & Michael Sandel)
01/06/2023

Some of Michael’s key works ... Meritocratic ideals and meritocratic fantasies ... The animus against elites ... Shouldn’t innovators reap their rewards? ... Does more profit create more value? ... Renewing the dignity of work ... The uses of punishment ... Our responsibility to national and global communities ... Michael: Diversity has “monopolized” discussion of affirmative action ... China’s reception of Michael’s critique of meritocracy ...


On Consciousness, Free Will, and Purpose [Rebroadcast] (Robert Wright & Daniel Dennett)
01/04/2023

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Debating Deracialization (Glenn Loury, John McWhorter, and Greg Thomas)
12/30/2022

The principles of jazz ... “Deracialization Now” ... Becoming Omni-American ... What’s wrong with racial identification? ... Black victimization and cultural memory ... The transformations of James Baldwin ... Convincing white people to deracialize ... Takeaways from 2022 ... 2023’s big Supreme Court decisions ...


Bob and Mickey’s Year-End Extravaganza (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
12/28/2022

Bob hoodwinks the fashion police ... Predictions for the new year ... The pros and cons of “nepotocracy” ... Predictions for the new year (cont’d) ... Impromptu Ukraine war update ... The top 3(ish) stories of 2022 ... Is Twitter salvageable? ... The true threat of Twitter (according to Mickey) ... Mickey’s underreported and overreported stories of the year ... What did the Jan. 6 committee miss? ... Bob’s perverse theory on why the GOP would be wise to drop the Hunter Biden thing ... Parrot room preview: The root cause of homelessness; legalize cocaine? Why stop there?; The SBF clawback; signs that the tide is turning on wokeness; Bob’s grand quas...


Speaking Out in an Age of Partisan Rancor (Glenn Loury & Hamish McKenzie)
12/24/2022

Why Glenn does The Glenn Show ... Glenn: “If I was going to vote for Trump, I wouldn’t tell you” ... “The cat is out of the bag” on election denial ... Modeling epistemic modesty ... Why is race such an important issue for Glenn? ... The Old Glenn and the New Glenn ... Confronting the past ... Putting “the funk” on the story of your life ...


Zelensky's 'War on Christianity' (Matt K. Lewis & Bill Scher)
12/23/2022

Is the far right criticism of Zelensky anti-Semitic? ... Why is Cenk Uygur upset with Bill? ... Why did no one catch the lies from George Santos before the election? ...


The Price Labor Paid for Free Trade (Robert Wright & Adam Dean)
12/20/2022

The legacy of free trade in America ... Adam’s new book Opening Up by Cracking Down, about the repression of union activism in developing countries ... Car bombing and other ways Argentina subdued labor in the 80's ... Why did the US open up trade so early? ... The quasi-dystopian law India used to break strikes in the 90’s ... Underacknowledged long-term effects of free trade ... Is a pro-labor approach to free trade possible? ... Making globalism great again ...


Has the tide turned against Elon? (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
12/17/2022

Has the tide turned against Elon—and against Twitter? ... Elon accuses Fauci of funding research that killed millions ... Bob sees signs that the “Twitter files” journalism is biased ... Why now might be a good time for Ukraine diplomacy ... Parrot Room preview: SBF news; breaking down the nuclear fusion breakthrough; the AI alignment problem; China’s coming COVID explosion; TikTok backlash gains traction; Elon’s growing Tesla problems ...


How Should We Handle Antisemitism? (Glenn Loury & John McWhorter)
12/16/2022

Why are we paying so much attention to Kanye West’s antisemitism? ... The two words you never say together ... Could widespread antisemitism take hold in the US? ... The mythological black past and the realities of the present ... How necessary is rootedness to the modern human experience? ... How we make race, how race makes us ...


DeSantis Outflanks Trump (Matt K. Lewis & Bill Scher)
12/16/2022

DeSantis rises in the polls as he embraces vaccine skeptics ... Will the House Speaker fight make the GOP more beholden to the fringe right? ... Is abortion still a litmus test for Republican voters (and for Matt?) ...


A Debate on Ukraine (Robert Wright & Anders Ă…slund)
12/13/2022

What Anders didn’t like about Bob’s Washington Post op-ed on Russia-Ukraine ... Was Putin always bent on invading Russia’s neighbors? ... Bob and Anders debate NATO expansion ... Should the West encourage regime change in Russia? ... Are the US and NATO “fighting Russia to the last Ukrainian”? ... The causes and consequences of Ukraine’s 2014 revolution ... Is Putin committing genocide? ... Possible endgames of the Ukraine war—and of Putin’s Russia ... Could better US policy have averted the Ukraine war? ...


The Taibbi Twitter Files (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
12/09/2022

A brief message from Bob ... Why Mickey thinks the first installment of the Twitter Files was a something-burger ... What Bob thinks Taibbi (and Musk) flubbed ... Do the files show a pro-Dem bias in pre-Musk Twitter? ... Ukraine war update ... Parrot Room preview: an (unwitting) win for Bob; a damning J.D. Vance quote for Mickey; the latest SBF allegation; the worst. Substack. Issue. Ever.; Bob submits a beef with Mickey for commenter consideration; commenter takes on Musk’s gun tweet; potential Parrot Room theme song(s); the Fed on why men are leaving the labor force; Janan Ganesh on why you sh...


Capitalism vs. Socialism (Glenn Loury, LaJuan Loury, and Richard Wolff)
12/09/2022

Is capitalism a “winner take all” system? ... Why does the word “socialism” make so many Americans afraid? ... Has neoliberalism been beneficial for the US? ... Capitalism’s role in rising living standards around the world ... Are higher interest rates the only solution to inflation? ... Can the market eradicate employment discrimination? ... Why is the rent too damn high? ... Can there be a kinder, gentler form of capitalism? ... Closing statements ...


Bill's Victory Lap (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)
12/09/2022

Did Democrats really need to reshuffle their presidential primary schedule? ... Will Republicans turn away from Trump after the Walker defeat? ... How the House Speaker fight will define the GOP ... Why the voter suppression dog didn't bark ...


How to Be Anti-Tribal (Robert Wright & Mónica Guzmán)
12/06/2022

Mónica’s book I Never Thought of It That Way, about how to have “bridge-building” conversations ... Why Mónica’s immigrant parents support(ed) Trump ... Barriers to getting bridge-building buy-in ... Understanding vs. the need to be understood ... Bridge-building 101 ... Is understanding a slippery slope to excusing? ... The underrated bridge-building power of curiosity ... Does the media fuel or just reflect our divisions? ... The limits of bridge-building ...


Biden in 2024? (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
12/03/2022

Would a Biden re-election bid spell doom for Dems? ... Opening the Ron DeSantis black box ... Bob’s Washington Post piece on Russia-Ukraine diplomacy ... Is it too early to write off Herschel Walker? ... Sam Bankman-Fried’s bipartisan approach to corrupting politics ... Elon’s and Apple’s China challenges ... Parrot Room preview: Mickey’s spat with Damon Linker; what we know about Peter Thiel; Ye and Fuentes; the center-less GOP; Elon’s Twitter regime; Errol Morris’s miniseries Wormwood. ...


A Peek Behind the Antiracist Curtain (Glenn Loury, John McWhorter, and James Beaman)
12/02/2022

How the pandemic affected diversity in the theater ... James gets drawn into an “antiracist” meltdown during rehearsal ... Juilliard students revolt ... A plea for mutual understanding in the theater ... A preview of things to come on The Glenn Show ... Glenn’s problem with “racial inequity” ... Getting through to “Donna” ... To speak your mind or to speak strategically? ...


Trump's Nick Fuentes Dinner (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)
12/02/2022

Matt compares Nick Fuentes to Islamist terrorists ... Why is DeSantis silent on the Trump-Fuentes dinner? ... Is there room for a Republican presidential candidate who is not Trump or DeSantis? ... Can Kevin McCarthy become Speaker of the House? ... Should we ban crypto? ...


American Jews and Israel (Robert Wright & Eric Alterman)
11/29/2022

Eric’s new book We Are Not One, about changing American Jewish attitudes toward Israel over the years ... Jewish-American identity before its “Zionization” ... Why fewer young American Jews are feeling the pro-Israel vibe ... Israel in American politics ... The “Israel as apartheid state” debate ... How the 1960’s defined Jewish visions of Israel ... Is a “two-state solution” now the conservative position? ... Zionism vs. social justice activism ... Why Israel is fine with the Palestinian status quo ... Does Israel really need US support? ... Could international pressure help solve the Israel-Palestine conflict? ...


The Elon-SBF Connection (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
11/26/2022

The (totally selfless) reasons Mickey wants an SBF clawback ... Did Semafor fumble its big SBF-Elon scoop? ... Mickey’s clawback campaign (cont’d) ... Origins of Mickey’s (alleged) Ben Smith vendetta revealed! ... Is Musk destroying his town square? ...


The Ethics of Black Identity (Glenn Loury, Reihan Salam, Kmele Foster, Shelby Steele & Robert Woodson)
11/25/2022

What does “black identity” mean? ... Why Bob left the Civil Rights Movement ... Shelby: Our problem today is freedom, not racism ... Glenn: We can’t afford to give up on black collective goals ... Why Shelby wouldn’t sign a letter of support for Clarence Thomas ... Would freeing ourselves from race mean sacrificing collective action? ... The tactical efficacy of racial identification ... The struggle for human freedom ... Can we take pride in group achievements past? ... Kmele: We have a too-narrow sense of diversity ... Glenn: “The future is assimilation” ... Concluding statements ...


Dems in Array (Bill Scher & Matt K. Lewis)
11/23/2022

Why Katie Hobbs won ... Can Herschel Walker win? ... Where does Kari Lake go from here? ... Does Mike Pence have a shot? ... Is DeSantis better for democracy than Trump? ... Are Dems in array? ...


The Two Kinds of Empathy (Robert Wright & Paul Bloom)
11/22/2022

Paul’s upcoming book, Psych: The Story of the Human Mind ... Bob’s upcoming book, tk ... Are psychopaths high in (cognitive) empathy? ... How good are we at perspective taking—and how can we get better? ... Elon Musk’s apparent cognitive empathy deficit ... Is cognitive empathy a biological adaptation? ... Is it even possible to understand the minds of others? ... Paul’s budding interest in perversity ...


Midterms, Missiles, and Musk (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
11/19/2022

Why Mickey’s not unhappy about the midterm results ... Can Trump go the distance against DeSantis? ... The Pelosi era ends ... Zelensky invites NATO to join the war ... Is a peace deal on the horizon in Ukraine? ... Elon update ... SBF's fall takes wind out of the sails of effective altruism movement ...


The Wake of the "Red Wave" (Glenn Loury & John McWhorter)
11/18/2022

Glenn’s culinary dilemma ... Why the Republican Party depresses John ... What’s the difference between Herschel Walker and John Fetterman? ... Glenn’s argument for voting Republican ... Woke theater’s “melodramatic agitprop” ... Kanye, Kyrie, and the Jews ... What’s “systemic,” “structural,” or “institutional” about racism? ...


A Mastodon Explainer (Robert Wright & Harry McCracken)
11/15/2022

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Blue Checks and Red Ripples (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
11/12/2022

Mickey mourns the fate of his midterm hopes and dreams ... What the midterm results mean for 2024 ... Who wins in a Trump v. DeSantis civil war? ... Bob’s plan to boot Biden from the 2024 ticket ... Will Musk chicken out on his blue check shake-up? ... The Twitter business model Musk may be banking on ... Parrot room preview: Ukraine update; more Twitter business model talk; Metaverse vibe check; Errol Morris’s Leary love story; questioning “blame Trump” midterm post-mortems; is America getting nicer?; Mickey’s ongoing lessons on how to talk to a liberal; critiquing Chamath Palihapitiya’s critiques of journalism ...