Building America's electricity system was one of the great achievements of the twentieth century, providing inexpensive energy to homes and businesses throughout the country. But in the twenty-first century, two crises occurred. In 2001, California experienced massive electricity shortages, leading to rolling blackouts and skyrocketing electrical bills. And in 2003, a blackout swept across eight states in the Midwest and Northeast, leaving tens of millions in the dark. Why did these problems arise now, after a century of progress? Were they the result of ill-advised attempts to deregulate the utility industry? Or is more deregulation actually the solution?
Be careful when one uses the superlative case—best, most, -est, etc.—or evokes end-of-the-world imagery...
In January 2004, President George W. Bush announced a plan for a manned mission to Mars in the first half of the twenty-first century. Is NASA up to the task? Given the recent failures of NASA's manned space program, from Space Shuttle disasters to the overbudget and barely functional International Space Station, should NASA even be running a manned space program? If so, what can be done to revitalize NASA and restore both its sense of purpose and the public's excitement for space exploration that has been missing for twenty years? Peter Robinson speaks with Sean O'Keefe.
In the past century the earth's human population has quadrupled, growing from 1.5 billion in 1900 to about 6 billion today. By 2050, it is estimated that the global population will reach 9 billion. In 1968, a young biologist named Paul Ehrlich wrote a best-selling book called The Population Bomb, which sparked an ongoing debate about the dangers of overpopulation. He argued that population growth was destroying the ecological systems necessary to sustain life. So just how worried should we be? Is population growth a problem or not? And if so, what should we do about it?
The space program used to mean one thing: the effort to put American astronauts on the moon. That effort is becoming ancient history. We haven't sent anyone to the moon in thirty years. So what is NASA's mission today? What sort of space exploration is worth pursuing today and tomorrow? And is NASA the right institution for the job?
Seafood is highly perishable and supply is often uncertain. Roger Berkowitz, CEO of Legal Sea Foods talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the challenges of running 34 seafood restaurants up and down the east coast.
In this episode of Uncommon Knowledge, guest Peter Thiel, one of Silicon Valley’s leading investors and thinkers, discusses his new book Zero to One.
This week on Uncommon Knowledge, host Peter Robinson mediates a discussion between PayPal founder and Stanford Professor Peter Thiel and Velocity Capital Management founder and journalist Andy Kessler on the state of technology and innovation in the United States over the past four decades. Thiel argues that, outside of computers, there has been very little innovation in the past forty years, and the rate of technological change has significantly decreased when compared to the first half of the 20th century. In contrast, Kessler asserts that innovation comes in waves, and we are on the verge of another burst of technological breakthroughs. Industries covered include education, medicine and biotechnology, as well as robots and high tech.
Peter Theil believes that there is 50-80% chance that the prices of Bitcoin will go down. The prices, Thiel claims, can go down to such an extent that it will make the Bitcoin useless for all intent and purpose. But he also claimed that there is 20-50% chance that the prices can go up in the near future. Theil was surely betting against the Bitcoin this time. He said that he was not sure that he would suggest people to run out right now and buy these cryptocurrencies.
A steep increase in the oil tax would endanger our freedom, harm consumers, and stall the economy. And to what end? By David R. Henderson.
Author of Life After Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy, George Gilder on the future of technology.
This week on Uncommon Knowledge columnist James Delingpole discusses, with Hoover research fellow Peter Robinson, the European Union, the Green movement, and socialized medicine. (47:41)
Putting numbers to the news, Hoover fellow Bruce Bueno de Mesquita lays his bets on issues such as climate change and Middle East peace.
Will people one day pay for the digital content that today they receive for free? . . .
Rupert Murdoch weighs in on capitalism, China, Google, and more. . . .
Steven Hayward describes how environmental conditions improve in countries that become more prosperous over time...
Discussing today's jobs report and what the nation needs to do to get back to work, with CNBC's John Harwood & Steve Liesman; Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary; Stephen Moore, Wall Street Journal editorial board; Victor Davis Hanson, Hoover Institution and Peter Navarro, University of California-Irvine. . . .
Stephen Haber, the Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and a professor at Stanford University, discusses, with Carol Massar and Matt Miller on Bloomberg Television's Street Smart, his research into the impact rainfall may have on the development of governments. Haber and Victor Menaldo, a professor at the University of Washington, found that countries where rainfall averages between 50 and 100 centimeters (39.4 inches) a year are more likely to be democratic.
Thomas Sowell introduces his new book, Intellectuals and Society, and expounds on what he calls “the fatal misstep of intellectuals.” . . .