- The NOT Great Escape-JONATHAN TAPLIN-THE END OF REALITY: Four Billionaires’ Fantasy of the Metaverse, Mars, Crypto, and Immortality
JONATHAN TAPLIN’s new book THE END OF REALITY picks up where MOVE FAST & BREAK THINGS left off. It documents how – rather than confront and solve the critical challenges we face – some of our wealthiest and most powerful men are plotting their escape – from transparency and regulation with crypto, from real life with the metaverse, from planet earth with colonies on Mars, and from death itself with transhumanism and cyborgs. This fantasy/nightmare is being sold by four billionaires – Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Marc Andreeson, and Peter Thiel.
- MOVE FAST AND BREAK THINGS-JONATHAN TAPLIN (2018)-How Facebook, Google & Amazon Cornered Culture & Undermined Democracy
JONATHAN TAPLIN is former tour manager for Bob Dylan and The Band, producer of two Martin Scorsese films, MEAN STREETS and THE LAST WALTZ, and Director Emeritus of the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab. Next week I’ll talk with him about his new book, THE END OF REALITY: How Four Billionaires Are Selling a Fantasy Future of the Metaverse, Mars, And Crypto. How better to warm up for that than by replaying our 2018 conversation about his earlier book MOVE FAST AND BREAK THINGS: How Facebook, Google and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy. You can learn more at jontaplin.com
- JEFF GOODELL-THE HEAT WILL KILL YOU FIRST: Life and Death on a Scorched Planet
July 2023 was the hottest month in recorded history, June ranks #2. All time high temperatures hit the US, Europe, and China. Phoenix recorded at least 110F for 20 days in a row. I speak with JEFF GOODELL about THE HEAT WILL KILL YOU FIRST: Life and Death on a Scorched Planet. Biggest takeaway: “The assumption that we will do what we need to do in time and things will go back to normal is a profound misunderstanding of this moment.” CO2 is not like smog. Recent extremes and disasters are here to stay. Learn more at jeffgoodellwriter.com
- How will Boomers pass the torch? PHILIP BUMP-The Aftermath: The Last Days of the Baby Boom and the Future of Power in America
There’s little doubt we face critical challenges and serious doubt about whether we have the vision, the culture, the systems, or the will to successfully deal with them. I’ve been asking lately, “How did we get here?” and focusing a lot on the generations, in particular the Boomers and the 1960’s. I’m excited to speak with PHILIP BUMP, a national columnist for The Washington Post, about his first book, THE AFTERMATH: The Last Days of the Baby Boom and the Future of Power in America, an assessment of how the baby boom created modern America, and where power, wealth, and politics will shift as the boom ends. You can learn more at pbump.com.
- Reviving Discarded America—MICHELLE WILDE ANDERSON-Fighting to Save Our Towns
In her new book THE FIGHT TO SAVE THE TOWN: Reimagining Discarded America, MICHELLE WILDE ANDERSON, Professor at Stanford Law School and Stanford School of Sustainability, explores vicious cycles in Stockton CA, Lawrence MA, Detroit MI, and Josephine County OR – four communities left behind by the modern economy. As local economies shrink, government is underfunded. As government delivers less to citizens, they lose faith in government and in each other. Coming back gets harder and harder, but it is not impossible. She tells the tough and inspirational stories of “People who” – in her words – “are working their asses off on some of the most important issues in the country.”
- ERWIN CHEMERINSKY-Supreme Court 2023-ethical challenges and radical rulings
I speak with ERWIN CHEMERINSKY, Dean of Berkeley Law School, about the Supreme Court’s recent term. I see ethical challenges and radical rulings – the law of the land interpreted through their religious and moral lenses, overturning legislation and precedent – hardly conservative behavior, stretching and distorting the law in their decision defending arguments, imposing their agenda on the nation with little regard for real world consequences, the common good, or the future. We’ll also talk about his latest book, WORSE THAN NOTHING: The Dangerous Fallacy of Originalism. Learn more at law.berkeley.edu – search for Chemerinsky.
- THOM HARTMANN-The Hidden History of American Democracy’s roots in Native American society
I speak with talk show host, THOM HARTMANN, about the newest book in his “hidden history” series. THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY. I’d heard the Founders drew inspiration from political systems of Native Americans, to which Hartmann adds, so did Europe’s Enlightenment thinkers. He quotes Thomas Paine: “To understand what the state of society ought to be, it is necessary to have some idea of the natural and primitive state of man; such as it is at this day among the Indians of North America. There is not any of those spectacles of human misery which poverty and want present to our eyes in all the towns and streets in Europe.” In addition to these revelations, Hartmann clarifies myths of the Constitution and offers a 21-point agenda to restore US democracy. Learn more at thomhartmann.com
- The politics of climate-STAN COX & JOHN FEFFER-Minority rule strikes again
I’ve long believed that to confront challenges like climate change, we need to move public opinion to the point where a majority favor policies that respond effectively and fairly. I’m afraid that’s no longer true. I read with alarm STAN COX’s article MAGA Legislators Increasingly Force Taxpayers to Support Fossil Fuel Industry by, among other things, outlawing ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) investing. Here’s my conversation with STAN COX of the Land Institute and JOHN FEFFER of the Institute for Policy Studies, about this anti-democratic and destructive strategy and other aspects of the politics of climate. You can learn more at landinstitute.org and johnfeffer.com
- LESLIE CRUTCHFIELD-How Change Happens: Why Some Movements Succeed While Others Don’t
Recent Supreme Court rulings doing away with affirmative action and student loan forgiveness while allowing religious bigotry, reinforce the harsh reality of minority rule in today’s United States. While it challenges and handicaps the effectiveness of mass movements for progressive change, it also makes them even more critical. Here’s my 2018 conversation with LESLIE CRUTCHFIELD, Executive Director of Business for Impact at Georgetown University and former managing director at Ashoka, the global venture fund for social entrepreneurs, about her book, How Change Happens: Why Some Movements Succeed While Others Don’t
- You’ve been warned-BRENDAN BALLOU-PLUNDER: Private Equity’s Plan to Pillage America
With this episode, I’m reminded of when I did my first show on the sub-prime crisis. In PLUNDER, BRENDAN BALLOU, a federal prosecutor, explains how private equity has reshaped American business – from nursing homes to prisons, emergency rooms to apartment buildings – by raising prices, reducing quality, cutting jobs, and shifting resources from productive to unproductive parts of the economy. What’s worse, as of now PEs are legally shielded from liability for the consequences of their actions. You can learn more at plunderthebook.com.