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🎙️ The Weekly Zeitgeist

PodSnacks' Roundup

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"Dr. Lex Fridman: Navigating Conflict, Finding Purpose & Maintaining Drive" | Huberman Lab

Guest: Dr. Lex Fridman | AI Researcher & Podcaster
Time Saved: 2 Hours 39 Minutes

Selected Quote:

[1:24:42] LF: "One of the things I really don't like to see on Twitter, on the internet, is how many statements end with lol. [...] You think just because something is kind of funny or is funny or is legitimately funny, it also doesn't have a deep effect on society. So there's such a difficult gray area, because some of the best comedy is dark and mean, but it reveals some important truth that we need to consider. But sometimes comedy is just covering up for destructive ideology. And you have to know the line between those two. Hitler was seen as a joke in the late 20s and 30s in Nazi Germany, until the joke became very serious. You have to be careful to know the difference between the joke and the reality."

"Real Social Media Solutions, Now" | Your Undivided Attention

Host: Tristan Harris
Guest: Frances Haugen | Facebook Whistleblower
Time Saved: 25 Minutes

Selected Quote:

[9:51] TH: "We have to notice, [...] per the E. O. Wilson quote, [...] that the fundamental problem of humanity is we have paleolithic emotions and brains, medieval institutions and accelerating godlike technology. [...] Part of the medieval institutions is that law always lags the new tech. We don't need a new conception of privacy until you have ubiquitous cameras that start getting rolled out in the 1900s. We don't need a right to be forgotten until new 21st century technology can remember you forever."

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"China's Biggest Protests in Decades" | The Journal.

Guest: Brian Spegele | Senior Correspondent | WSJ
Time Saved: 18 Minutes

Selected Quote:

[13:50] BS: "[The current protests] are the biggest source of political opposition that [Xi] has faced at a grassroots level since he took power 10 years ago. We haven't seen simultaneous protests like this in China in decades. With that said, I think it's important to be cautious about this. Most political analysts who studied the Chinese political system do not believe that [...] these demonstrations pose any imminent threat to President Xi Jinping's grip on power. [...] President Xi has a tremendous amount of support within the political system itself and within the bureaucracy. And he has spent a lot of time and a lot of energy consolidating that support over the past 10 years. And there is no evidence at this point [...] that that support is coming undone."

"COP27 Scorecard Comes Up Short After Overtime" | Switched On

Guest: Victoria Cuming | Global Head of Policy | BNEF
Time Saved: 39 Minutes

Selected Quote:

[5:00] VC: "The number one [optimistic] thing is that parties agreed to set up [...] a loss and damage fund. So that's a specific kind of funding mechanism, dedicated support for developing countries to address loss and damage from unavoidable climate change. And this issue has been discussed for many years with no progress. [...] There are [...] lots of questions to be answered: what exactly does loss and damage mean? And who is going to be contributing to this fund? And who's going to benefit from this fund?"

"Sam Harris | Club Random with Bill Maher" | Club Random

Guest: Sam Harris | Neuroscientist & Philosopher
Time Saved: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

Selected Quote:

[38:59] SH: "There have been a bunch of books published recently on status. And status is not a variable I've thought about very much. Status encompasses [...] wealth, power, fame [...] and status is this ever shifting object where, depending on the context, you can have more or less status, depending on the variables that are salient. [...] It's very interesting that once you think about status as what people are gravitating toward, however unconsciously, you start to see it in the world in a way that is fascinating. It is kind of the grand attractor."

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