The Cosmopolitan Globalist
The Cosmopolicast
🚨 It's the David Berlinski Cosmopolicast! 🚨
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🚨 It's the David Berlinski Cosmopolicast! 🚨

My Pop joins us to explain why the world is so screwed up. Don't miss this rare, collector's item Cosmopolicast.
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Transcript

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I’ve been trying to persuade my Pop to come on the Cosmopolicast for three years, but every time I’ve asked, he’s turned up his nose. “A podcast? You mean with those stupid earmuffs?” (Joe Rogan, I suspect, had soured him on the idea that a podcast is a suitable venue for a civilized man.)

“Those are headphones, Pop. You don’t have to wear those.”

“I think not,” he replied, and returned to his contemplation of monoids. He had studied the Internet. He did not care for these new-fangled podcasts.

I tried to convince him that podcast were not necessarily skanky, but he was committed to his occultation, like the Twelfth Imam.

Then—beats me why!—this morning, he changed his mind.

And here is the result. We talked about the world, which is in chaos. We spoke of the Chinese Revolution, the collapse of our institutions, the 200-year decline in religious faith, the end of science as the last remaining authoritative intellectual structure, the cult of individualism, the abject state of academia and journalism, and how the universities became such rotten places, and who killed JFK. Then we talked about Norman Cantor, the religious impulse, the Baby Boom, mass education, the Rise of the Administrators, feminism, the DEI apparatchiks, Marx, Freud, and JK Galbraith and The Affluent Society, the complicated sexual dynamic of the 1960s, Norman O. Brown, polymorphous perversity, woke culture, artificial intelligence, and why the hottest AI researchers come from Russia. We moved on to Judith Butler, transgenderism, Florida, Disney, Dylan Mulveney, Bud Light, and Weimar Germany, and after that we discussed irony, rhetoric, elocution, elitism, Parisian accents, the BBC, Dr. Johnson, what people really mean when they say, “my truth,” epistemological relativism and Tarski, and why Richard Rorty gave up philosophy. We talked about Wittgenstein, and the disappearance of the great argonauts of the Western tradition—why doesn’t our generation have figures like Weber, Freud, TS Eliot, Einstein, Fermi, Heisenberg, Schrödinger?—and we asked why it’s been so long since we’ve had an achievement like the Standard Model in physics. We discussed ChatGPT, the triumph of data over theory, meteorology, Chomsky, and the posthumous triumph of BF Skinner, then we considered the massive power of the tech corporations, and what my grandfather might have said about ChatGPT. We talked about Eliezer Yudkovsky, Connor Leahy, Geoffrey Hinton, Open AI, and whether there’s even such a thing as theoretical physics, then we returned to generative grammar, the Wright Brothers, Joseph Conrad, and birds—debating who flies better, birds or people?—and we wondered if we’re on the verge of a general theory of intelligence. Finally, we talked about the advice he’d give to a smart kid who wanted to know what to study these days, and we wrapped things up by talking about gene editing, CRISPR, eugenics, euthanasia, and how slippery that slope really is.

He enjoyed it, I think! He even wondered what we’d discuss in our next podcast. (After you’ve finished listening, come back and vote.)

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If you want him to do this again, subscribe. Subscribe in massive numbers. Then I can tell him that if he just keeps coming on my podcast, we can buy ourselves a château.

Nothing low-rent about a château now, is there?

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