Peter Berkowitz is the Tad and Dianne Taube Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. In 2019-2021, he served as the Director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, executive secretary of the department's Commission on Unalienable Rights, and senior adviser to the...
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 Thiel spoke about the basic principles that underlie innovative products and startup firms, using examples from his own experience starting up firms such as Paypal and Palantir. He emphasized the importance of creating a firm or product with characteristics of monopoly, and contrasted that idea with the distinction between monopoly and competition taught in economics.
In this wide-ranging discussion with Peter Robinson, Bjorn Lomborg analyzes the Biden administration’s plan to address climate change, lauds a slew of new clean energy technologies that are coming in the next decade, and discusses the upsides—and the downsides—of migrating the world from a carbon-based economy to one based on electricity generated by clean energy sources.
Author of Life After Google, George Gilder on the future of technology.
In his new book, The Decadent Society, New York Times columnist Ross Douthat presents a theory: “Western society stopped advancing in the second half of the 20th century."
The building blocks for a futuristic American state.
Property Rights, Innovation, And Prosperity with Terry Anderson and Stephen Haber.
The USSR had thrived during the nuclear revolution of the 1950s, matching America's ability to produce powerful missiles and destructive warheads. But accuracy eluded the USSR. Precision strike was produced by miniaturizing computing power, so it was limited by the capacity of the computer chips crammed into the nose of each missile. The Soviets faced fundamental challenges in their ability to fabricate tiny circuits.
Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist, insists that we humans must face the truth about ourselves—no matter how good it might be. An interview with Peter Robinson.