Engineering
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Episode 52
Featuring Simon Winchester
Our world hinges on our ability to have everything made just so. Precision engineering fuels and sustains modern society. Yet, it has also put our lives in peril and caused us to question what it is that we really want. Here, Simon Winchester discusses our quest for perfection and meaning. Can we really have both?

Few things are as responsible for the making of the modern world as precision engineering; yet, it is largely invisible to us. We live our lives in a customizable fashion, expecting the world to conform to our expectations, wants and desires. And yet, below this surface layer of personalization and complexity exists a world of exactness so precise that it evades our capacity to notice it. It is this world of increasing perfection, uniformity, and repetition that Simon Winchester writes so eloquently about. 

 

This conversation is neither a salute to precision or a rebuke of perfection. It is a commentary on both the genius brought to bear by humanity in reshaping the world, as well as an homage to the craftsmanship and personal touch that has given it meaning. 

 

Our endless striving for that which is flawless is most human. Yet, try as we might, we cannot rid the world of all its imperfections. Humanity, after all, is by its very nature hopelessly, beautifully, fatally flawed. "To err is human," said Alexander Pope. Forgiveness is divine. 

 

In chronicling the history of precision engineering, Simon Winchester, has not only found something forgivable in humanity's shortcomings but indeed, something worthy of honor and celebration.

 

In his book, “The Perfectionists: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World” Winchester asks whether a wish for perfection is actually essential to modern health and happiness, whether it is “a necessary component of our very being?” He answers with a resounding, “no.”

 

Yet, the problem, as Winchester articulates it, is not simply an existential one. It is a technical one as well.

 

For proof, we’ve only to look to our jet engines, where microscopic errors can quickly cause cascading problems that lead to catastrophic loss of life. In fact, this is exactly what happened in 1989 on a United Airlines flight, when a microscopic metallurgical defect in the titanium disk caused the engine to fail. 112 people died as a result. Unfortunately, such tales aren’t relegated to the annals of history. Many similar events have occurred in the decades since. If the past is any guide, then as our technologies continue to multiply (we made 13 trillion transistors each second of 2015) and shrink in size, we can expect the threats associated with them to become larger and more pronounced. 

 

In today’s episode, Simon Winchester joins host Demetri Kofinas for a conversation that is equally a discussion of the significance of exponential technologies, an investigation into the kind of world we want to build, and an exploration of what it means to have a life well lived.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

 

Simon Winchester is a British-American author and journalist. In his career at The Guardian newspaper, Winchester covered numerous significant events, including Bloody Sunday and the Watergate Scandal. He is the acclaimed author of many New York Times bestsellers, including The Professor and the Madman, The Men Who United the States, Atlantic, Pacific, The Man Who Loved China, A Crack in the Edge of the World, and Krakatoa, as well as his latest book, The Perfectionists: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World

 

In 2006 Mr. Winchester was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty the Queen. He lives in western Massachusetts.

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Theory of Mind
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Theory of Mind
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Episode 51
Featuring Patrick Grim
The human brain contains three pounds of gray matter, a few neurons, and a handful of synapses. How can consciousness — everything that we think and feel — be explained by a few pounds of flesh? Here, Patrick Grim explores the history of mind-body philosophy, as we look to solve the hard problem of consciousness.

Recent advances in science and technology have allowed us to reveal — and in some cases even alter — the innermost workings of the human body. With electron microscopes, we can see our DNA, the source code of life itself. With nanobots, we can send cameras throughout our bodies and deliver drugs directly into the areas where they are most needed. We are even using artificially intelligent robots to perform surgeries on ourselves with unprecedented precision and accuracy

But despite all the advances that we’ve made, there’s one part of our biology that remains largely in the shadows: the human brain.

We know that the brain is a material object. It is composed of gray matter, neurons, and trillions of synapses. What we don’t understand, and what philosophers and neuroscientists have been trying to figure out for quite some time, is how our consciousness (our thoughts, emotions, experiences, and everything that makes us who we are) can be explained by these few pounds of matter.

Ultimately, it is a problem that’s centered on the relationship between mind and body. Formally, it is known as “the mind-body problem.” Put succinctly, it’s the problem of trying to explain the relationship between the mental realm and the physical realm - between the material and immaterial. It is also known more commonly by David Chalmer’s phraseology “the hard problem of consciousness.”

Although Rene Descartes is often credited as being the first thinker to worry about the connection between mind and body (or mind and matter), the question is actually a far older one. In fact, it extends at least as far back as Plato and Socrates, and it is characterized by three primary schools of thought.

Materialism says that the cosmos, and all that is contains, is an objective physical reality. As a result, philosophers who subscribe to this school of thought assert that consciousness, and all that it entails, arises from material interactions. As such, the material world (our flesh, neurons, synapse, etc.) is what creates consciousness.

Idealism says that the universe is entirely subjective and that reality is something that is mentally constructed. In other words, consciousness is something that is immaterial and cannot be observed or measured empirically. Since consciousness is what creates the material world, according to this school of thought, it is unclear if we can ever truly know anything that is mind-independent and beyond our subjective experience.

Dualism essentially holds that mental phenomena are, in some respects, non-physical in nature. In this respect, the mind and the body exist, but they are distinct and separable.

Although most modern philosophers subscribe to the materialist view, determining, and ultimately understanding, the nature of human consciousness using an empirical methodology is a remarkably difficult task. The primary issue with accomplishing the aforementioned is that empirical science requires things to be measured objectively. And when it comes to consciousness, everything is subjective.

 

So, what can science say about human consciousness? Can it say anything at all?

In this week’s episode, Patrick Grim joins host Demetri Kofinas for an exploration of the roots of human consciousness and an examination of what the world's greatest philosophers think about the relationship between the mind and body.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

Patrick Grim just retired from the State University of New York at Stony Brook as Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy Emeritus, becoming Philosopher in Residence at the Center for Complex Systems at the University of Michigan.

 

He graduated with highest honors in anthropology and philosophy from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He was named a Fulbright Fellow to the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, from which he earned his B.Phil., with a Ph.D. from Boston University. In addition to being named SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor, Dr. Grim has been awarded the President and Chancellor’s awards for excellence in teaching and was elected to the Academy of Teachers and Scholars. The Weinberg Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan in 2006, Professor Grim has also held a visiting fellowship at the Center for Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh.

 

Professor Grim is author of The Incomplete Universe: Totality, Knowledge, and Truth and coauthor of The Philosophical Computer: Exploratory Essays in Philosophical Computer Modeling and Reflexivity: From Paradox to Consciousness. He is editor of Mind and Consciousness: 5 Questions and is widely published in scholarly journals across a range of disciplines. He has recorded four lecture series with the Great Courses—in Mind-Body Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind, The Philosopher’s Toolkit and Questions of Value. Grim is founder and co-editor of over 35 volumes of The Philosopher’s Annual, an anthology of the best articles published in philosophy each year. Starting in 2019 he will assume Editorship of the American Philosophical Quarterly.

 

 

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Sed egestas, ante et vulputate volutpat, eros pede semper est, vitae luctus metus libero eu augue. Morbi purus libero, faucibus adipiscing, commodo quis, gravida id, est. Sed lectus. Praesent elementum hendrerit tortor. Sed semper lorem at felis. Vestibulum volutpat, lacus a ultrices sagittis, mi neque euismod dui, eu pulvinar nunc sapien ornare nisl. Phasellus pede arcu, dapibus eu, fermentum et, dapibus sed, urna.

Morbi interdum mollis sapien. Sed ac risus. Phasellus lacinia, magna a ullamcorper laoreet, lectus arcu pulvinar risus, vitae facilisis libero dolor a purus. Sed vel lacus. Mauris nibh felis, adipiscing varius, adipiscing in, lacinia vel, tellus. Suspendisse ac urna. Etiam pellentesque mauris ut lectus. Nunc tellus ante, mattis eget, gravida vitae, ultricies ac, leo. Integer leo pede, ornare a, lacinia eu, vulputate vel, nisl.

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Stablecoin
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Stablecoin
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Episode 50
Featuring Nevin Freeman
The future of cryptocurrency may well depends on the success of stablecoins. According to Nevin Freeman, current stablecoin projects are doomed to fail. To explain why, this episode examines the fundamental properties of money, the meaning of value and price, and how existing stablecoins are trying to solve the hard problem of currency.

This is the year of the stablecoin, or so says Nevin Freeman, the founder of a new stable-value cryptocurrency project based in the San Francisco Bay area. In order to understand what stablecoins and how they work, we first need to understand money.

 

In order for something to qualify as money, it has traditionally needed to function as both a store of value, and as a medium of exchange for goods and services. The medium of exchange component of money allows it to function as a vital coordination mechanism for society, allowing humans and international governments and organizations to collaborate on a massive scale. Money is thus an intrinsic part of our capitalist infrastructure and, without currency, many of our most important institutions and organizational structures would collapse.

 

Yet, our system of money and credit is not without its share of problems. Middlemen, financial intermediaries, and other central organizations often charge exorbitant fees for their services. These same intermediaries often function as “gatekeepers,” permitting or preventing access to financial counterparities at their discretion. The mismanagement of our financial system by such institutions has become a major source of systemic risk, the brunt of which is disproportionately carried by those at the bottom of the economic pyramid.

 

Cryptocurrencies offer a possible solution to many of the most prominent problems associated with fiat currency systems. However, there are significant roadblocks on the path to widespread adoption. As we mentioned, in order to qualify as money, a currency needs to both the medium of exchange and store of value functions. This becomes difficult to do when currency volatility can wipe out 50% of your net worth in a single day or double the cost of your company’s inputs overnight.

 

It is no secret that crypto markets are remarkably volatile. Even the most prominent cryptocurrencies - Bitcoin and Ether - fluctuate wildly. Unfortunately, it’s impossible for a decentralized currency to function as an effective store of value if its price varies by as much as 15% on any given day and in any given direction. Even if the cryptocurrency in question were rarely to drop in price, upside volatility can create a speculative feed-back loop that discourages anyone from actually using it as a medium of exchange. Why would you pay someone’s salary in bitcoin if you expected the currency to be worth more after you sold it? In this sense, even a highly volatile asset with little downside risk that serves as a great store of value can still be a poor medium of exchange.

 

Until cryptocurrencies are able to function as both a store of value and as a medium of exchange, they are unlikely to become truly mainstream or see real-world adoption. Yet, as previously mentioned in the case of bitcoin, a cryptocurrency’s capacity to store value directly undermines it’s use as a medium of exchange. How do we resolve this paradox?

 

This is where stablecoins come in. They aim to solve the problems of our volatile crypto markets by establishing price-stable cryptocurrencies that are pegged to some other stable asset, for example, the US dollar. Notably, these pegs are not determined by supply and demand. Instead, stablecoins effectively “price themselves” by making a standing promise to fulfill any buy or sell order at a set price, regardless of changes in demand for the currency by market participants. In traditional currency pegs and exchange rate mechanisms, currency boards manage the value of the peg by overseeing the promise to buy or sell at a preset conversion price. So, how does a currency peg work in the case of stablecoins?Here is an overview of how the most prominent stablecoin projects on the market promise to do this today:

 

Traditional asset-backed stablecoins: In short, under this system, each unit of the particular stablecoin is backed by a corresponding unit of fiat currency. Let’s use the US dollar as an example. According to this system, a third-party issuer sells tokens for one dollar each. The issuer then keeps all the dollars taken in from these sales in an account. If an individual holding a unit of the stablecoin wishes to cash out, the third party gives a US Dollar to the holder and removes a unit of the stablecoin.

 

The problems with this method loom large. First, there’s the obvious fact that, at any moment, the organization or individual issuing the stablecoin can abscond with all the money that’s supposed to be in the bank account. Second, a government or other centralized organization could freeze the aforementioned account of the issuer, which would grind the project to an abrupt halt. In short, there’s a lot of risk and a lot of trust needed for this method to function properly.

 

Collateralized Debt Stablecoins: Under this system, instead of attempting to back units of a stablecoin one-to-one with a fiat currency, the stablecoins hold a ratio greater than one-to-one of a crypto asset (or more commonly, various kinds of crypto assets). The way this works is rather simple. An individual who holds a crypto asset can deposit this asset into a smart contract, which creates a stablecoin for them. 

 

The peg (the value of the stablecoin) is primarily maintained by the promise of future redemption for collateral if the stablecoin price diverges from the target for too long or the value of the collateral begins to drop. In either of these cases, all of the stablecoin holders can trade their coins for $1 worth of the collateralized crypto assets. In theory, speculators will step in to buy stablecoins below the target price based on this promise of future redemption and that will keep the price stable all of the time. The primary problem with this system is that that the underlying collateral is, by its very nature, volatile. As a result, in order to ensure itself against significant price drops, the system needs to hold a significant amount of collateral (often two-to-one, or even more). This is also a much more complex system, making it difficult to implement in a way that is efficient.

 

Future Growth-Backed Stablecoins: According to this system, the value is maintained by neither fiat or cryptocurrency holdings. Instead, a central account is created that uses algorithms to maintain the stability and manage the supply of the cryptocurrency in the face of fluctuating demand. It accomplishes this by increasing the number of stablecoins when the price goes up and decreasing the number when the price goes down. The increase in stablecoin supply is meant to reduce the market price of the coin to its target level. Conversely, when the price of the stablecoin drops below its target price, the system will reduce the supply of stablecoins and increase the price of the coin so that it returns to its target level. The primary issue with this method is tied to speculators. If they happen to lose interest in purchasing or actively begin to short the stablecoin, then the peg eventually breaks because the entire mechanism becomes worthless.

 

At the moment, it remains unclear which system, if any, will work. History has not been kind to currency boards, and the challenges of implementing a purely digital version of a currency peg has never before been tried until now.

 

In order to better understand the nature of stablecoins, and the promise that they have, Nevin Freeman joins us for a conversation about money and the fundamental properties of currency.

 

Ultimately, this is an exploration of how we can make cryptocurrencies a true store of value, while at the same time enabling these decentralized currencies to function as real and viable mediums of exchange.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

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Episode 17
Featuring Robert Johnson
Episode 17
Featuring Robert Johnson

Nevin Freeman began life as an environmentalist in southern Oregon, where he studied wilderness preservation, thought about climate change, and considered ways of producing energy more efficiently. He stuck with this theme in college, studying mechanical and transportation system engineering in Portland, Oregon, in hopes of producing more efficient vehicles. But upon graduating, Nevin realized his understanding of the global ecosystem was simplistic and he was not on track to single-handedly solve global climate change the way he had imagined as a child.

 

After reflecting on why he wanted to preserve the ecosystem on the planet in the first place and realizing the thing he valued was flourishing of conscious beings, Nevin took a much broader approach to thinking about global problems and opportunities, integrating himself into the Future of Humanity Institute community, and co-creating the Effective Altruism movement – a group of people relying on reason and evidence to find the highest leverage ways of improving our world. He co-produced the first Effective Altruism Summit, directed the second one, and facilitated its transition to what is now Effective Altruism Global.

 

Nevin has spent his recent years building Paradigm Academy, a company builder in the Bay Area that specializes in recruiting and training ambitious, altruistic founders. Last year, Nevin left his full-time role at Paradigm to spin off Reserve, a full-stack open currency designed to bring economic stability to regions in the world with inflation problems. The Reserve team comes largely out of the Effective Altruism community, where many people aim to earn profits in order to fund the most important causes in the world.

 

Nevin's mission in life is to solve the coordination problems that are stopping humanity achieving its potential, and he’s particularly concerned about averting the long-term risks posed by the development of artificial intelligence. You can reach him through LinkedIn.

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Sed egestas, ante et vulputate volutpat, eros pede semper est, vitae luctus metus libero eu augue. Morbi purus libero, faucibus adipiscing, commodo quis, gravida id, est. Sed lectus. Praesent elementum hendrerit tortor. Sed semper lorem at felis. Vestibulum volutpat, lacus a ultrices sagittis, mi neque euismod dui, eu pulvinar nunc sapien ornare nisl. Phasellus pede arcu, dapibus eu, fermentum et, dapibus sed, urna.

Morbi interdum mollis sapien. Sed ac risus. Phasellus lacinia, magna a ullamcorper laoreet, lectus arcu pulvinar risus, vitae facilisis libero dolor a purus. Sed vel lacus. Mauris nibh felis, adipiscing varius, adipiscing in, lacinia vel, tellus. Suspendisse ac urna. Etiam pellentesque mauris ut lectus. Nunc tellus ante, mattis eget, gravida vitae, ultricies ac, leo. Integer leo pede, ornare a, lacinia eu, vulputate vel, nisl.

Suspendisse mauris. Fusce accumsan mollis eros. Pellentesque a diam sit amet mi ullamcorper vehicula. Integer adipiscing risus a sem. Nullam quis massa sit amet nibh viverra malesuada. Nunc sem lacus, accumsan quis, faucibus non, congue vel, arcu. Ut scelerisque hendrerit tellus. Integer sagittis. Vivamus a mauris eget arcu gravida tristique. Nunc iaculis mi in ante. Vivamus imperdiet nibh feugiat est.

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Sed egestas, ante et vulputate volutpat, eros pede semper est, vitae luctus metus libero eu augue. Morbi purus libero, faucibus adipiscing, commodo quis, gravida id, est. Sed lectus. Praesent elementum hendrerit tortor. Sed semper lorem at felis. Vestibulum volutpat, lacus a ultrices sagittis, mi neque euismod dui, eu pulvinar nunc sapien ornare nisl. Phasellus pede arcu, dapibus eu, fermentum et, dapibus sed, urna.

Morbi interdum mollis sapien. Sed ac risus. Phasellus lacinia, magna a ullamcorper laoreet, lectus arcu pulvinar risus, vitae facilisis libero dolor a purus. Sed vel lacus. Mauris nibh felis, adipiscing varius, adipiscing in, lacinia vel, tellus. Suspendisse ac urna. Etiam pellentesque mauris ut lectus. Nunc tellus ante, mattis eget, gravida vitae, ultricies ac, leo. Integer leo pede, ornare a, lacinia eu, vulputate vel, nisl.

Suspendisse mauris. Fusce accumsan mollis eros. Pellentesque a diam sit amet mi ullamcorper vehicula. Integer adipiscing risus a sem. Nullam quis massa sit amet nibh viverra malesuada. Nunc sem lacus, accumsan quis, faucibus non, congue vel, arcu. Ut scelerisque hendrerit tellus. Integer sagittis. Vivamus a mauris eget arcu gravida tristique. Nunc iaculis mi in ante. Vivamus imperdiet nibh feugiat est.

Ethereum
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Play
Episode 49
Featuring Vitalik Buterin & Vlad Zamfir
In 2013, Vitalik Buterin described an ambitious technology that offered a new vision of the future — one that would give us new ways of governing interactions among nations, organizations, and individuals. But challenges remain on the path towards widespread adoption. Here, Buterin and Vlad Zamfir discuss the future roadmap for Ethereum.

If contracts are the foundation of modern civilization, then our record systems are the infrastructure that keep this foundation from falling apart. These features allow our society to establish and verify identities; give value to goods and services; create and enforce laws; govern interactions between individuals, organizations, and nations — in short, they secure our social, economic, and political policies and allow us to maintain the social order.

 

But there is a problem with these systems, and they are beginning to buckle and crack.

 

The information age vastly accelerated the pace of society, allowing individuals to dramatically expand their circles of influence. People can now exchange goods and services (or even enter into contracts) with strangers on the other side of the globe instantaneously. Government agencies and international organizations can maximize processes by storing and retrieving information online. However, these processes are fraught with challenges.

 

Without the presence of intermediaries, digital transactions have thus far been impossible to verify or enforce. Mediators and middlemen provide accountability on the one hand, in return for higher centralization on the other. This centralization creates opportunities for companies like Facebook and Google to make billions of dollars mining and selling our data. It also presents lucrative opportunities for malicious actors looking to capitalize on our insecure digital infrastructure. The digital records kept by banks and government institutions are frequently the subject of cyber attacks, putting this same data at risk.

 

As the first decentralized digital currency, bitcoin promised to solve some of these issues; however, bitcoin's use cases have remained limited to a very narrow set of financial transactions. In response, Vitalik Buterin created Ethereum. In his 2012 white paper,  Vitalik outlined an ambitious vision of the future — one that would endeavor to solve the problems associated with our contracts, transactions, and records by creating a new, decentralized layer for data processing and computation on which society could run.

 

Whereas Bitcoin’s aim was to erect a platform for unmediated digital payments, the goal of Ethereum’s blockchain-based architecture is to entirely dismantle traditional power structures and methods of control. It attempts this by allowing decentralization to saturate all levels of society through the use of an open, distributed ledger that records transactions between parties in a more trusted way way.

 

In Ethereum blockchain, contracts are embedded within digital code, which are stored in transparent, shared databases. In theory, it makes intermediaries like bankers and lawyers unnecessary and allows individuals to transact freely. Ethereum increase access, transparency, and accountability, without relying on third-parties to secure the ledger.

 

Ethereum blockchain has opened the door to a new type of economy, yet challenges remain — specifically, challenges to scale.

 

The most prominent of these scaling challenges has been transaction throughput. Currently, the Ethereum network can process no more than fifteen transactions per second (TPS). This is major barrier to widespread adoption and it has prevented the blockchain from being able to support the type of network traffic that would result from the popular use of any decentralized application (dApp). In response, Vitalik, Vlad, and other key members of the Ethereum have put forward a roadmap for scaling the Ethereum network.

 

From sharding to Plasma to Casper, in this week’s episode, host Demetri Kofinas is joined by Vlad Zamfir, one of is the world’s leading Ethereum researchers, and Vitalik Buterin to discuss the future of Ethereum, the problems it faces on the path to widespread adoption, and the solutions that promise to carry us into a decentralized digital age.  

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

Vitalik Buterin is the creator of Ethereum. He first discovered blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies through Bitcoin in 2011, and was immediately excited by the technology and its potential. He cofounded Bitcoin Magazine in September 2011, and after two and a half years looking at what the existing blockchain technology and applications had to offer, wrote the Ethereum white paper in November 2013. He now leads Ethereum's research team, working on future versions of the Ethereum protocol.

 

Vlad Zamfir is a researcher known in the Ethereum blockchain community for his work on blockchain-based consensus protocols, especially on proof-of-stake (Casper), and sharding. He also does research and education in other related areas, such as cryptoeconomics and blockchain governance.

 

@VitalikButerin

@VladZamfir

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Decision Making
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Episode 48
Featuring Annie Duke
How can we tell if we’re making a good decision? Is there a sure bet way of overcoming uncertainty and fear? Here, poker champion Annie Duke outlines why success depends on our ability to shift our thinking from a need for certainty to the goal of accurately assessing what we know. In other words, why we need to think in bets.

We make millions of decisions over the course of our lives. Most of these seem to be small and of little consequence, and so we make our choices and act with little care or thought. Other decisions require more care and consideration, as their significance will, for better or worse, have a lasting impact on our life: What job offer to accept, what life partner to choose, how to invest in retirement.

 

When faced with these truly important decisions, many people become crippled by their fear and doubt. What if it’s a bad prediction? What if I am missing information, and so my choice is wrong? Often, such fears have a cascade effect, they trickle down and impact our ability to make even the smallest judgement, leaving us paralyzed.

 

However, there is a way to increase the likelihood that we’re making a sure bet.

 

According to Annie Duke, a World Series of Poker champion and the author of Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts, regardless of whether the choice is small or large, the key to solid decision-making rests in our ability to shift our thinking from a need for absolute certainty to “a goal of accurately assessing what you know and what you don't.” In other words, people need to look at every decision as though it were a bet.

 

Ultimately, Duke argues that by adopting this way of thinking — by assessing how sure we are of something, tracing the possible outcomes, and analyzing the odds of failure — we can ensure long-term success for ourselves, our loved ones, and our business partners.

 

Calling on her degrees in behavioral and cognitive psychology, and her years of experience in professional poker, throughout the episode, Duke speaks with host Demetri Kofinas about how we can  eliminate fear and unproductive emotions from our decision-making processes, embrace uncertainty, and make better decisions.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

Annie Duke is an experienced corporate speaker and consultant on the behavior of decision making.

 

On February 6, 2018, Annie’s first book for general audiences, “Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts” was released by Portfolio, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

 

As a former professional poker player, she won more than $4 million in tournament poker. She has won a World Series of Poker bracelet, the World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions, and the NBC National Poker Heads-Up Championship.

 

She has written five books, raised four children and raised more than $18 million for charities. Annie is a cofounder of HowIDecide.org, a member of the National Board of After-School All-Stars and a member of the NationSwell Council.

 

In 2016 she joined the board of directors of the Franklin Institute, one of America's oldest and greatest museums. She has also won a televised championship in rock-paper-scissors.

 

Connect with Annie on FacebookTwitterYouTube or LinkedIn. Her website is: www.AnnieDuke.com where you can also sign up for her newsletter or read her blog with her periodic analysis of all things data, pop culture, politics and more.

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Technology
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Episode 47
Featuring Jimmy Soni
The digitization of information transformed the foundation of our society, thrusting us into an era, and economy, dominated by information technology. This information age was created by one man: Claude Shannon. Here, we dive into Shannon’s work, the most important thesis of the 20th century, a mathematical theory of communication.

The 20th century is known as the information age, and for a good reason. It is a period that is dominated by knowledge and data. It’s an era in which the economy is no longer driven by traditional industries — such as construction, manufacturing, or agriculture — but by advanced information technologies that store, retrieve, transmit, and manipulate data.

 

This revolution finds its roots in Information Theory. And remarkably, it is a theory that was developed by one man: Claude Shannon.
 

Before Shannon, society had a rather immature understanding of what information was. Information was understood as something immaterial and intangible. It was not seen as something that could be touched or manipulated. It was assumed that the only way to send information (intelligence, as it was then refered to) across a greater distance was to “boost” the signal by using more power. This was a notoriously imperfect system, as it increased the amount of “noise” that was received and made the message more difficult to discern.
 

In his foundational work, A Mathematical Theory of Communication, Shannon solved this issue and presented a completely new way of understanding information. He showed that information isn’t insubstantial, but something that we can measure and manipulate — something that has physical characteristics and can be quantified. Shannon also created a diagram which showed that all information has certain, set components — such as a source, a transmitter, a recipient, and so on. As such, not only did he show that information is something that can be made material, through his work, Shannon proved that all information (be it a radio signal, a photo, or a song) can be governed through a set of common laws.

 

In short, he turned information into something that can be computed and reliably transmitted, laying the foundation for the digital revolution.

 

In this episode, Jimmy Soni, author of A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age, joins Demetri Kofinas to discuss how Shannon was able to develop a new way of automating thought, one that would prove to be far more powerful than the analog machine.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

Jimmy is a New York based author, editor, and speechwriter. He's the co-author of Rome's Last Citizen, a biography of the ancient Roman Senator Cato, and A Mind at Play, a biography of the late mathematician Claude Shannon. The latter book won the Neumann Prize for the top book in the history of mathematics for 2017 and was named

one of the best books of the year by Nature and Bloomberg. Jimmy has also served as an editor at the Huffington Post, the New York Observer, and the Washington Examiner. He's also the absurdly proud father of a nearly three-year-old daughter.

 

@jimmyasoni

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Cosmology
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Episode 46
Featuring Brian Keating
Cosmologists stare into the abyss of space in an attempt to uncover the origins of the cosmos and the beginnings of time itself. However, they're often waylaid on their quest. Here, Brian Keating discusses the most remarkable discoveries in physics and the biases and incentives that are shredding the fabric of modern science.

When we think about competition, we don’t typically think about scientists. Instead of seeing these individuals as adversaries competing for fickle prizes or glory, we see them as impartial explorers of the cosmos. We see them as the selfless gatekeepers of knowledge. This view, as we are coming to learn, is more than a little askew.


The darker sides of science — the prejudices and egos and dubious incentives — are realities that we are forced to face almost as soon as we start investigating what it is that drives scientists in their pursuits.


And they are realities that Brian Keating knows all too well.


Keating is an astrophysicist at UC San Diego's Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences. He is also the author of Losing the Nobel Prize: A Story of Cosmology, Ambition, and the Perils of Science's Highest Honor and is credited as being the driving force behind BICEP2, the most powerful cosmology telescope ever made. BICEP2 was tasked with answering some of the biggest questions in physics, such as how our cosmos came to be and what the universe was like at the beginning of time. Specifically, the telescope was created to detect the unique B-mode polarization signature of the cosmic microwave background (CMB), a byproduct of the cosmos’ first moments of expansion.


For a time, Keating and his team believed they had detected this signature. The work almost won Keating the Nobel Prize in Physics. Almost.


In this episode, Keating joins host Demetri Kofinas to walk us through the history of experimental cosmology and trace its course to modern science. He starts with an examination of the early geocentric models of the universe and shows how the scientific revolution, and the introduction of empiricism, altered the course of history and set us on the path to modern physics. The episode culminates with a discussion of what it is that drives scientists in their pursuits. From wealth to fame, from a genuine desire to understand the origins of the cosmos to an egotistical desire to wage war on religion, Keating outlines some of the most remarkable discoveries in physics and how biases and incentives are slowing innovation and shredding the fabric of modern science.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

 

Brian Keating is an astrophysicist with UC San Diego’s Department of Physics. He and his team develop instrumentation to study the early universe at radio, microwave and infrared wavelengths. He is the author of over 100 scientific publications and holds two U.S.Patents. He received an NSF CAREER award in 2006 and a 2007 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers at the White House from President Bush for a telescope he invented and deployed at the U.S. South Pole Research Station called “BICEP".

 

Professor Keating became a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2016. He co-leads the Simons Observatory Cosmic Microwave Background experiments in the Atacama Desert of Chile, and is the author of Losing the Nobel Prize: A Story of Cosmology, Ambition, and the Perils of Science's Highest Honor, selected as one of Amazon.com’s Ten Best Nonfiction Books of the Month and one of Nature Magazine’s Six Best Books of the Season.

 

@DrBrianKeating

BrianKeating.com

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Social Science
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Episode 45
Featuring Daniel H. Pink
Life is a never-ending series of "when" decisions. When to schedule a class? When to do something creative? Yet, we make our choices based on whims and impulses, not the biological reality of our daily rhythms. Daniel Pink explains how chronobiology allows us to hack our lives using our biological clock and the science of perfect timing.

Timing is everything, so it’s kind of surprising that most of us don’t give it any serious consideration. We think about what things we want to do. We think about who we want to do these things with. When we want to do something is generally our final consideration — if we consider it at all.

 

Take college students, for example. They must take classes in art, math, history, science, and a host of other fields. Each year, just before the semester begins, students flock to their computers and plot out the class schedules that will govern their lives for the next five months. Their top considerations are when their friends are taking classes, how they can avoid getting up early, and how they can ensure their classes are all on the same day so that they get a few extra days off.

 

This is a bit of a problem.

 

As Daniel Pink notes in his latest book When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, there is a biological reality to our daily rhythms. This means that, at certain times, we are better at problem solving. At others, we perform better when it comes to creative endeavors. It may seem counterintuitive, but we each have a biological clock that has a material impact on our lives. Put simply, the time that we choose to do something alters our performance, influences our wellbeing, and shapes our overall experience. So if we are making decisions about when to do things on an impulse or according to whatever happens to be convenient, in many ways, we are setting ourselves up for failure.

 

However, there is a solution to this problem. It’s known as “chronobiology,” and it allows us to make fact-based decisions about when we should do things. By using chronobiology — by following the natural patterns found in our biology — we can help ensure that we are at our peak performance when we attempt any given task.

 

But how can we tell what our natural cycle is? How do we know if we are making good when-based decisions? In this episode, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Pink about the science of perfect timing and why when we do something is just as important as what we doand how well we do it.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

Daniel H. Pink is the author of six provocative books — including his newest, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, which has spent three months on the New York Times bestseller list. His other books include the long-running New York Times bestseller A Whole New Mind and the #1 New York Times bestsellers Drive and To Sell is Human. His books have won multiple awards and have been translated into 37 languages. He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and their three children.

 

Pink was host and co-executive producer of “Crowd Control,” a television series about human behavior on the National Geographic Channel. He also appears frequently on NPR’s Hidden Brain, the PBS NewsHour, and other TV and radio networks in the US and abroad.

 

He has been a contributing editor at Fast Company and Wired as well as a business columnist for The Sunday Telegraph. His articles and essays have also appeared in The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, The New Republic, Slate, and other publications. In 2007, he was a Japan Society Media fellow in Tokyo, where he studied the country’s massive comic industry.

 

For the last six years, London-based Thinkers 50 named him, alongside Michael Porter and Clayton Christensen, as one of the top 15 business thinkers in the world.

 

Pink’s TED Talk on the science of motivation is one of the 10 most-watched TED Talks of all time, with more than 19 million views. His RSA Animate video about the ideas in his book, Drive, has collected more than 14 million views.

 

He currently serves on the advisory boards of RiseSmart, Betterment Institutional, Heleo, and Hubspot.

Before venturing out on his own 20 years ago, Dan worked in several positions in politics and government, including serving from 1995 to 1997 as chief speechwriter to Vice President Al Gore.

 

He received a BA from Northwestern University, where he was a Truman Scholar and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and a JD from Yale Law School. He has also received honorary doctorates from Georgetown University, the Pratt Institute, the Ringling College of Art and Design, and Westfield State University.

Pink and his wife live in Washington, DC. They have three children — a college junior, a college freshman, and a high school freshman.

 

@DanielPink

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Sports
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Episode 44
Featuring Sam Walker
Demetri Kofinas speaks with Sam Walker of the Wall Street Journal about his new book, The Captain Class. Humans gravitate naturally towards sports, but our love affair with athletic performance is about more than rivalry alone. Sports give us a front row seat to the unfolding drama of evolutionary forces that have shaped human selection.

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Sam Walker, the Wall Street Journal’s deputy editor for enterprise. In his capacity at the Journal, Sam directs the paper’s in-depth, page-one features and investigative reporting projects. A former reporter, sports columnist, and sports editor, Walker founded the WSJ's prizewinning daily sports coverage in 2009. Sam is also the author of The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World's Greatest Teams. In addition to The Captain Class, he is the author of Fantasyland, a bestselling account of his attempt to win America’s top fantasy baseball expert competition (of which he is a two-time champion).

 

Human beings gravitate naturally towards sports. We love competition, but our love affair with athletic performance is not just about rivalry. It’s about so much more. As our lives becomes increasingly intermediated by computer interfaces, spectator sports provide one of the few remaining ways to experience the elegance and power of the human body. In a world that is constantly changing, sports are a window into the old. They offer us a rare glimpse at millions of years of evolution – the impulses, characteristics, and behavioral urges of our ancestors. Team sports, in particular, give us a front row seat to the unfolding drama of evolutionary forces that have shaped human selection. Demetri's conversation with Sam Walker is, in some sense, a search for the DNA of greatness.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas
Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou
Join the conversation on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

Sam Walker is The Wall Street Journal’s leadership columnist, a keynote speaker and team-building consultant. In his two decades at the Journal, he has served as sports columnist, deputy page-one editor and founding editor of the paper’s prizewinning daily sports coverage. His bestselling 2006 book, Fantasyland, chronicled his bid to win Tout Wars, the world’s top fantasy-baseball expert competition (of which he is a two-time champion). He lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

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China Politics
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Episode 43
Featuring Elizabeth C. Economy
China Politics
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Episode 43
Featuring Elizabeth C. Economy
In just five years, Xi Jinping has seized all the most important leadership positions in the Chinese government. By centralizing institutional power, he may thrust China into a new imperial age. Here, Elizabeth Economy discusses Xi’s top political, economic, and foreign policies and the impact that this new empire may have on the world.

We may be witnessing the birth of a new imperial China, one that was brought about by the charismatic machinations of the nation’s leader, Xi Jinping. At the present juncture, it’s not exactly clear what Xi’s excessive centralization of power means or how his disruptive new policies will impact the rest of the world, but we can say one thing with certainty — international power dynamics are already starting to shift in response.

 

Xi’s tenure truly began in 2012, when he became the General Secretary for China’s Communist Party, which is the sole governing party in China. Today, he also serves as the head of the state and the head of the military. Taken as a whole, these are all of the most important leadership positions in the Chinese government. If that’s not enough, earlier this year, in a highly controversial move, Xi did away with presidential term limits. So, he may be president for life.

 

Because of the near-total control that Xi wields, he is able to keep both his adversaries in the government and the citizens he presides over on a tight leash.

 

He eliminates his dissenters using divisive anticorruption campaigns, he oversees massive propaganda operations rooted in fabricated news and events, and he denies his people access to information by censuring the internet behind a Great Firewall.

 

Although many Western nations may balk at such practices, they have their benefits. Ultimately, Xi’s illiberal maneuverings often allow China to outcompete nations that cling to liberal values. This fact forces world leaders to contend with a question that cannot be ignored: Can liberal nations keep pace with Xi’s imperial policies and ensure that power structures remain stable?

 

In today’s episode, Elizabeth Economy, author of The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State, joins Demetri Kofinas for an extensive exploration of Jinping’s top political, economic, and foreign policy priorities and the impact that his policies will likely have on the rest of the world.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

 

Elizabeth Economy is the C. V. Starr senior fellow and director for Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

 

Dr. Economy is an acclaimed author and expert on Chinese domestic and foreign policy. Her recently released book, The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State, (Oxford University Press, 2018) analyzes the contradictory nature of reform under President Xi Jinping. She is also author of By All Means Necessary: How China's Resource Quest is Changing the World (Oxford University Press, 2014) with Michael Levi, and The River Runs Black: The Environmental Challenge to China's Future (Cornell University Press, 2004; 2nd edition, 2010; Japanese edition, 2005; Chinese edition, 2011). Dr. Economy has published articles in foreign policy and scholarly journals including Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and the Harvard Business Review; and op-eds in the New York Times and Washington Post, among others.

 

Dr. Economy serves on the board of managers of Swarthmore College and the board of trustees of the Asia Foundation. She was also on the advisory council of Network 20/20 and the science advisory council of the Stockholm Environment Forum. She served as a member of the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Global Agenda Council on the United States from 2014 to 2016 and served as a member and then vice chair of WEF’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of China from 2008 to 2014. She has taught undergraduate and graduate level courses at Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, and the University of Washington's Jackson School of International Studies.

 

Dr. Economy received her BA from Swarthmore College, her AM from Stanford University, and her PhD from the University of Michigan. In 2008, she received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Vermont Law School.

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Sed egestas, ante et vulputate volutpat, eros pede semper est, vitae luctus metus libero eu augue. Morbi purus libero, faucibus adipiscing, commodo quis, gravida id, est. Sed lectus. Praesent elementum hendrerit tortor. Sed semper lorem at felis. Vestibulum volutpat, lacus a ultrices sagittis, mi neque euismod dui, eu pulvinar nunc sapien ornare nisl. Phasellus pede arcu, dapibus eu, fermentum et, dapibus sed, urna.

Morbi interdum mollis sapien. Sed ac risus. Phasellus lacinia, magna a ullamcorper laoreet, lectus arcu pulvinar risus, vitae facilisis libero dolor a purus. Sed vel lacus. Mauris nibh felis, adipiscing varius, adipiscing in, lacinia vel, tellus. Suspendisse ac urna. Etiam pellentesque mauris ut lectus. Nunc tellus ante, mattis eget, gravida vitae, ultricies ac, leo. Integer leo pede, ornare a, lacinia eu, vulputate vel, nisl.

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Sed egestas, ante et vulputate volutpat, eros pede semper est, vitae luctus metus libero eu augue. Morbi purus libero, faucibus adipiscing, commodo quis, gravida id, est. Sed lectus. Praesent elementum hendrerit tortor. Sed semper lorem at felis. Vestibulum volutpat, lacus a ultrices sagittis, mi neque euismod dui, eu pulvinar nunc sapien ornare nisl. Phasellus pede arcu, dapibus eu, fermentum et, dapibus sed, urna.

Morbi interdum mollis sapien. Sed ac risus. Phasellus lacinia, magna a ullamcorper laoreet, lectus arcu pulvinar risus, vitae facilisis libero dolor a purus. Sed vel lacus. Mauris nibh felis, adipiscing varius, adipiscing in, lacinia vel, tellus. Suspendisse ac urna. Etiam pellentesque mauris ut lectus. Nunc tellus ante, mattis eget, gravida vitae, ultricies ac, leo. Integer leo pede, ornare a, lacinia eu, vulputate vel, nisl.

Suspendisse mauris. Fusce accumsan mollis eros. Pellentesque a diam sit amet mi ullamcorper vehicula. Integer adipiscing risus a sem. Nullam quis massa sit amet nibh viverra malesuada. Nunc sem lacus, accumsan quis, faucibus non, congue vel, arcu. Ut scelerisque hendrerit tellus. Integer sagittis. Vivamus a mauris eget arcu gravida tristique. Nunc iaculis mi in ante. Vivamus imperdiet nibh feugiat est.

Education
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Episode 42
Featuring Fred Swaniker
By 2050, almost a quarter of the world’s population will live in African countries. Helping these individuals succeed and participate in the world economy can help us avert global catastrophe. The most effective way of doing that? Education. Here, Swaniker explains why our future depends on empowering Africa.

By the year 2050, the human population will increase by a staggering 2.4 billion. According to data from the UN World Population Prospects, the figures are cause for great concern. Researchers worry that our planet may not have the carrying capacity to sustain a population of this size; however, their primary concern stems from the fact that a majority of the increases will take place in the world’s most depressed areas. In fact, experts predict that approximately 50% of the increase will take place in African countries. Put another way, by 2050, a quarter of the world’s population will live in Africa.

 

Some may contend that there’s no real cause for concern — 2050 is still decades away. We have time. But this is not the case, and this is not an issue that can be left for future generation or governments because, in just seventeen years, Africa will have the largest workforce in the world.

 

Yet, there is cause for hope. By giving these individuals the tools and resources necessary to succeed, we can help ensure that they become valued and productive members of society. By ensuring that they have the opportunities necessary to participate in the world stage, we can secure for future generations an era of unimaginable innovation and prosperity. The alternative? The mass unemployment, starvation, poverty, and displacement of over a billion people — a global catastrophe the likes of which we’ve yet to witness in the modern age.   

 

The difference between the abundance narrative and the scarcity narrative rests on one simple thing: Education and the leadership skills that it fosters. Seventeen years is just 6,000 days away. Time is short, and it’s passing remarkably fast. We must act now. And we are.

 

Fred Swaniker is the co-founder of three organizations that aim to catalyze a new generation of ethical, entrepreneurial leaders in Africa: the African Leadership Academy, the African Leadership Network, and the African Leadership University. His paradigm shifting approach to education is transforming how we conceptualize learning. But more than that, through his work Swaniker is empowering a generation and creating a revolution in Africa.

 

In this episode, Swaniker talks with host Demetri Kofinas about the difference between financial poverty and poverty of the spirit, the importance of faith and determination, and why our future depends on empowering Africa.
 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

Fred ​Swaniker is the co-founder of three organizations that aim to catalyze a new generation of ethical, entrepreneurial African leaders: African Leadership Academy, African Leadership Network, and African Leadership University. Collectively, these institutions aim to groom 3 million leaders for Africa over a 50-year period.

 

A passionate entrepreneur, Fred also served as Founder and CEO of Terra Education, a global education company that today provides leadership training to about 4,000 people annually at 46 sites in 20 countries in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Europe. Prior to his work in education, Swaniker co-founded Synexa Life Sciences, a biotechnology company with operations in Cape Town, Berlin, London, and Dublin. Prior to launching his entrepreneurial pursuits, Swaniker worked as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company in South Africa. Swaniker has been recognized as a ​Young Global Leader ​by the World Economic Forum and was listed by Forbes Magazine among the top ten young ‘power men’ in Africa.

 

Fred has an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, where he was named an ​Arjay Miller Scholar​, a distinction awarded to the top 10% of each graduating class. He holds a BA in Economics with a minor in Mathematical Statistics from Macalester College (​magna cum laude). ​He was born in Ghana but has lived and worked in about 10 different African countries.

 

@FredSwaniker

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Sed egestas, ante et vulputate volutpat, eros pede semper est, vitae luctus metus libero eu augue. Morbi purus libero, faucibus adipiscing, commodo quis, gravida id, est. Sed lectus. Praesent elementum hendrerit tortor. Sed semper lorem at felis. Vestibulum volutpat, lacus a ultrices sagittis, mi neque euismod dui, eu pulvinar nunc sapien ornare nisl. Phasellus pede arcu, dapibus eu, fermentum et, dapibus sed, urna.

Morbi interdum mollis sapien. Sed ac risus. Phasellus lacinia, magna a ullamcorper laoreet, lectus arcu pulvinar risus, vitae facilisis libero dolor a purus. Sed vel lacus. Mauris nibh felis, adipiscing varius, adipiscing in, lacinia vel, tellus. Suspendisse ac urna. Etiam pellentesque mauris ut lectus. Nunc tellus ante, mattis eget, gravida vitae, ultricies ac, leo. Integer leo pede, ornare a, lacinia eu, vulputate vel, nisl.

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Metaphysics
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Episode 41
Featuring Jim Holt
Demetri Kofinas speaks with philosopher and essayist Jim Holt, about the philosophy of science, ethics, and metaphysics. Why does the world exist? Why is there something rather than nothing? Is reality knowable? Is free will an illusion? These are questions that have concerned philosophers for millennia. Yet, they remain unanswered. Why?

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with the philosopher and essayist Jim Holt, about the philosophy of science, ethics, and metaphysics. Jim is a longtime contributor to the New Yorker, where he has written on string theory, time, infinity, numbers, jokes, logic, and truth. He also writes regularly for the New York Times, the New York Review of Books, and the London Review of Books, and he is a former book-columnist for the Wall Street Journal. Jim Holt hosted a weekly radio spot on BBC Wales called “Living in America, with Jim Holt” for ten years, appeared on William F. Buckley’s Firing Line, and NBC News with Tom Brokaw. His book, “Why Does the World Exist?” was a New York Times bestseller for 2013. His latest book, “When Einstein Walked with Gödel: Excursions to the Edge of Thought,” will be released on May 15th and is available for pre-order today.

 

Why does the world exist? Why is there something rather than nothing? Is reality knowable? What is a good life? What is a good death? Who am I? Where did I come from? Is free will just an illusion? These are just some of the questions explored in this hour-long conversation with Jim Holt, on the philosophy of science and metaphysics. They are questions that have concerned philosophers for more than two thousand years. Yet, they remain unanswered. Unlike the hardnosed, falsifiable propositions of empirical science, philosophical science poses questions for which definitive answers are hard to come by. They are not bounded by the constraints of formal logic or objective truth. Still, something about them jabs at us. Why? Perhaps it is in our nature to question everything, even those things for which answers do not exist. Or, perhaps the act of engaging in ontological arguments is itself the goal. In either case, the pursuit of answers to the perennial questions of metaphysics is a necessarily humbling experience. In an answer based culture, the philosophy of science and metaphysics forces us to contend with the mystery of our own existence and the limits of our explanatory powers. 

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation at @hiddenforcespod

 

 

Play
Episode 18
Featuring Samuel Bowles
Episode 18
Featuring Samuel Bowles

Jim Holt is a longtime contributor to the New Yorker, where he has written on string theory, time, infinity, numbers, jokes, logic, truth, and bullshit. He also writes regularly for the New York Times, the New York Review of Books, and the London Review of Books, and he is a former book-columnist for the Wall Street Journal. His latest book, "When Einstein Walked with Gödel: Excursions to the Edge of Thought," will be published in May 2018 by Farrar Straus Giroux. His 2012 book "Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story" was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist for general nonfiction and was named one of the ten best books of the year by the New York Times Book Review. An international bestseller, "Why Does the World Exist?" has been published worldwide in 18 languages. His 2006 book "Stop Me If You've Heard This: A History and Philosophy of Jokes" was published in the U.S. and the United Kingdom, and in French, Italian, and German translation. He is currently at work on a book titled "Living (Theory and Practice)," to be published in the U.S. by Farrar Straus, in the UK by Penguin, and in German by Rowohlt. Holt has taught mathematics at the University of Virginia, philosophy at Columbia University, and economics at the City University of New York. He lives in Greenwich Village.

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Episode 40
Featuring Jeremy Heimans & Henry Timms
Demetri Kofinas is joined by Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms for a conversation on "New Power," a timely exploration of the forces reshaping politics, business, and society. How are the dynamics of power changing? Is there a battle raging between old and new forms of power? What can the distribution of that power tell us about the future?

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, Demetri speaks with Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms, the authors of the book “New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World and How to Make It Work for You.” Jeremy Heimans is the co-founder and CEO of Purpose, an organization specializing in building social movements around the world. He has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business and chaired the World Economic Forum’s global council on civic participation, among other notable accomplishments. Henry Timms, is president and CEO of 92nd Street Y, a cultural and community center that creates programs and movements that foster learning and civic engagement. He is also the co-founder of #GivingTuesday, a global philanthropic movement that engages people in close to 100 countries and has generated hundreds of millions of dollars for good causes.    

 

The subject of power is something that we have covered tangentially on Hidden Forces. Demetri examined it most explicitly in “Industrial Society and its Future: Machine Intelligence, Encryption, and the Will to Power." There is no question that the poles of power are shifting, but when have they not been shifting? Power is, to quote Friedrich Nietzsche, "a sea of forces flowing and rushing together, eternally changing." In this sense, we are seeing the manifestation of these forces as the participatory energy of the crowd. Crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, and crowd hiring are all replacing their analog equivalents. Campaigns increasingly rely on the capacity of their supporters to spontaneously organize, act, and then dissolve back into the voluminous crowd. Terrorist organizations rely on crowdsourcing new recruits from inside countries that they cannot otherwise travel to or access. The principles of new power to transform industry can be seen, most clearly perhaps, in the growth of cryptocurrencies and ICO's.

 

So, if we accept that the world is changing and that the dynamics of power are changing with it, what then? How is this battle between old and new power determining who governs us, how we work, and even how we think and feel? How can understanding new power dynamics help us reshape the world around us in a positive way? What can the distribution of power in the 21st century tell us about how the future is going to unfold? Is our ability to mobilize the mass of humanity in previously unimaginable ways a net positive development for the aims of egalitarianism and progress?

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation at @hiddenforcespod

 

 

 

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Episode 18
Featuring Samuel Bowles
Episode 18
Featuring Samuel Bowles

Jeremy Heimans is the co-founder and CEO of Purpose, an organization specializing in building social movements around the world. In 2005, he co-founded GetUp!, an Australian political organization with more members than all of Australia’s political parties combined. He is a co-founder of the now 45-million strong global campaigning organization Avaaz and the LGBT rights platform All Out. He received the Ford Foundation’s 75th Anniversary Visionary Award for his work as a movement pioneer. He has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business and chaired the World Economic Forum’s global council on civic participation.

 

@JeremyHeimans


Henry Timms is president and CEO of 92nd Street Y, a cultural and community center that creates programs and movements that foster learning and civic engagement. Under his leadership, the 144-year-old institution was named to Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies” list. He is the co-founder of #GivingTuesday, a global philanthropic movement that engages people in close to 100 countries that has generated hundreds of millions of dollars for good causes. He is a Visiting Fellow at Stanford University’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society.

 

@HenryTimms

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Investing
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Episode 39
Featuring Mark Spiegel
Demetri Kofinas speaks with Mark Spiegel, a New York-based equity investor who has been publicly short Tesla since 2013. Mark has been openly critical of the company's CEO, Elon Musk, whom he believes is committing securities fraud by misleading investors. We explore the state of the company's financials and the health of its business.

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, host Demetri Kofinas speaks with Mark Spiegel, Managing Member & Portfolio Manager of Stanphyl Capital Partners, a New York-based equity investor who has been publicly short Tesla since 2013. Mark has also been openly critical of the company's CEO, Elon Musk, whom he believes is committing securities fraud by misleading investors about the capabilities of Tesla's present and future products and financial prospects.

 

In our most recent episode with Charley Grant of the Wall Street Journal, we discussed the state of Tesla's financials and the overall health of the company's business, which seems increasingly dire. The Tesla story also sits at the intersection of a number of powerful forces that we have covered on this program: the ready availability of cheap financing, the growing wealth and income gap, and the preponderance of technology in the popular culture. In this sense, Tesla is about more than just electric vehicles or the car manufacturing business. It is a poster child for the financial excesses, stock price manipulations, and general euphoria for anything “tech” related that we have seen during this latest bull-market. The rise of Tesla also stands as a testament to the power of personality and to the inextricable role that Elon Musk has played in building faith among the company’s shareholders and the general public.

 

As the Federal Reserve continues to tighten by raising interest rates, companies like Tesla, which have relied on cheap financing in order to fund their businesses, are coming under significant pressure. The company’s stock has been besieged by speculative shorts and heavy selling in March, though it has recouped more than half of those losses in the past week. Still, serious questions remain about the company’s path towards profitability. Does it even have one? Assuming Tesla can raise the capital it needs from investors over the next six months, can it manage to overcome the major production challenges that have plagued the Model 3? What happens when Jaguar, Audi, Mercedes, and Porsche, each come to market with their own electric vehicles, some of which are cheaper and seen by many as more attractive than Tesla’s suite of electric cars? And, what about Elon Musk? The famous short seller Jim Chanos, who took down Enron in the early 2000’s for defrauding its investors, has made similar claims against the popular Silicon Valley car executive. The cult of Elon Musk surpasses anything we have seen in decades. Some would say that even Steve Jobs did not command as much adoration from congregations of the faithful. And yet, there is something noticeably rotten in the state of Denmark...

 

In last week’s episode, we asked the question “what is the path towards profitability for Tesla?” In this week’s episode, Mark Spiegel questions the very credibility of Elon Musk, as CEO of the electric car company. Can he and Tesla survive the onslaught of bad publicity amid a rocky period for capital markets and for the company’s stock? Ten years from now, will we look back at Tesla as the poster child for this latest bull market? Is Elon Musk the personification of a bubble in tech? Only time will tell.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation at @hiddenforcespod

 

 

Mark is an Investor, Managing Member of Stanphyl Capital, and perpetual wiseguy. He has noted that he “buys deep value and short bubbles, and I doesn't do it quietly.”


Twitter - https://twitter.com/markbspiegel

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Business
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Episode 38
Featuring Charley Grant
Demetri Kofinas speaks with Charley Grant, of the Wall Street Journal, who has been writing critically about Tesla since 2015. The electric car company's stock has been under tremendous pressure recently. What is the path towards profitability for Tesla? Charley makes his case for why Tesla may already be on the road towards bankruptcy.

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, host Demetri Kofinas speaks with Charley Grant, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, who has been writing critically about Tesla since 2015.

 

Tesla sits at the intersection of a number of powerful forces that we have covered on this program: the ready availability of cheap financing, the growing wealth and income gap, and the preponderance of technology in the popular culture. The first of these forces has already been showing signs of abating. Interest rates have been rising steadily for the past two years, putting a strain on companies like Tesla, which have relied heavily on credit markets to support their cash-intensive businesses. In fact, according to Stanphyl Capital’s Mark Spiegel, “Tesla’s interest expense is now at a run-rate of nearly $600 million a year, which in Q4 amounted to $4,884 per car sold.” This means that fully one-third of the company’s gross profit goes towards servicing its debt. But, the willingness of debtors to continue to fund these losses looks increasingly doubtful, leaving equity markets as the next best source from which Tesla is likely to raise capital. The company’s stock price has dropped more than twenty-five percent in the last thirty days, so it is unclear how many new shares Tesla can afford to issue without turning a limp into a fatal injury. Time, in other words, is not on Elon's side.

 

As if Tesla’s financial woes were not enough, the broader equity markets may be in the processes of peaking or else may have already peaked, adding additional roadblocks to the electric car maker’s ability to raise capital. There are also signs that Silicon Valley’s honeymoon period with investors and the broader public may be over. This is something we covered in an episode on Uber with transportation analyst Hubert Horan this past summer. If this is true, and the public’s patience with Silicon Valley is wearing thin, then Elon Musk may find it harder to distract investors from failing fundamentals with the promise of yet another fantastical new product (e.g. hyper loops, electric semi-trucks, and an all-electric passenger airliner).

 

At this stage, the single most important question any investor in Tesla must be able to answer is, “what is the path towards profitability?” Charley Grant thinks there isn't one. “I don’t believe they have one,” he says. He believes Tesla may be on the inexorable road towards bankruptcy instead. What do you think?

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation at @hiddenforcespod

 

 

Charley Grant is a Heard on the Street columnist based in New York, where he covers U.S. health care and industrial companies. Charley previously was a reporter at Grant's Interest Rate Observer. He is a CFA charterholder.


@CGrantWSJ

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Venture Capital
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Episode 37
Featuring Josh Wolfe
Demetri speaks with Josh Wolfe, co-founder of Lux Capital, about his perspective on investing in a discussion that ranges from the material to the immaterial. We learn to capitalize on the breakthroughs of science while freeing ourselves from the impulses of the herd. Topics include artificial intelligence, energy investments, and more.

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, host Demetri Kofinas speaks with Josh Wolfe, co-founder of Lux Capital. Lux Capital is a venture firm that specializes in the hard sciences, supporting scientists and entrepreneurs who pursue counter-conventional solutions to the most vexing puzzles of our time. Josh is also a founding investor and board member with Bill Gates in Kymeta, which makes cutting-edge antennas for high-speed global satellite and space communications. He is a Westinghouse semi-finalist and published scientist who previously worked in investment banking at Salomon Smith Barney and in capital markets at Merrill Lynch. In 2008, Josh Wolfe co-founded and funded Kurion, a contrarian bet in the unlikely business of using advanced robotics and state-of-the-art engineering and chemistry to clean up nuclear waste. He is a columnist with Forbes who has lectured at MIT, Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Columbia, NYU and been invited to The White House and Capitol Hill to advise on nanotechnology and emerging technologies.

 

The fields of science, technology, and investing are not new territory for Hidden Forces listeners. These are subjects that we have covered at length with previous guests, including Geoffrey West, Ray Monk, Robert Johnson, Christopher Cole, and Tim O'Reilly. Rarely, though, do we find ourselves in conversation with someone like Josh Wolfe, who has made a multi-billion dollar business of investing in and around ground-breaking technologies and innovations in the hard sciences. Some of these breakthroughs include artificial intelligence, advancements in medicine and biotechnology, gene editing, energy technology, and much, much more.

 

In an effort to help us understand how he capitalizes on these breakthroughs, Josh Wolfe shares his unique perspective on investing with us, as well as his methodology for learning about the forces shaping our unknown future. What role does art play in informing our understanding of the world? How do we gain direction for our work from the insights provided to us by our passions? What information can we glean from the substance of our curiosities? How important are the presence of internal strife and discontentment in propelling us towards success? Can we learn to nurture our contrarian impulses in the face of our instinct to follow the herd?

 

In a philosophical discussion that ranges from the material to the immaterial, Josh Wolfe inspires us to reckon with the paradox of our own humanity. Are we simply animals born in an indeterminate world whose mysteries we are helpless to uncover? Or, are life's greatest mysteries - the nature of reality and the hard problem of consciousness - open to same types of empirical analyses and reasoning that have propelled our species forward since the earliest days of human enlightenment? 

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation at @hiddenforcespod

 

 

 

Josh Wolfe co-founded Lux Capital to support scientists and entrepreneurs who pursue counter-conventional solutions to the most vexing puzzles of our time in order to lead us into a brighter future. The more ambitious the project, the better—like, say, creating matter from light.

 

Josh is a Director at Shapeways, 3Scan, Lux Research and Kallyope and helped lead the firm’s investments in Planet, Echodyne, Clarifai and Authorea. He is a founding investor and board member with Bill Gates in Kymeta, making cutting-edge antennas for high-speed global satellite and space communications. Josh is a Westinghouse semi-finalist and published scientist. He previously worked in investment banking at Salomon Smith Barney and in capital markets at Merrill Lynch. In 2008 Josh co-founded and funded Kurion, a contrarian bet in the unlikely business of using advanced robotics and state-of-the-art engineering and chemistry to clean up nuclear waste. It was an unmet, inevitable need with no solution in sight. The company was among the first responders to the Fukushima Daiichi disaster. In February 2016, Veolia acquired Kurion for nearly $400 million—more than 40 times Lux’s total investment.

 

Josh is a columnist with Forbes and Editor for the Forbes/Wolfe Emerging Tech Report. He has been invited to The White House and Capitol Hill to advise on nanotechnology and emerging technologies, and a lecturer at MIT, Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Columbia and NYU. He is a term member at The Council on Foreign Relations and Chairman of Coney Island Prep charter school, where he grew up in Brooklyn. He graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in Economics and Finance.

 

@wolfejosh

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Crypto
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Crypto
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Episode 36
Featuring Leemon Baird
Demetri Kofinas interviews Leemon Baird about the launch of Hedera Hashgraph, a public ledger built atop the hashgraph consensus protocol. We get into the details of how Hedera does proxy staking, sharding, as well as its unique approach to open review, governance, and regulatory compliance.

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, host Demetri Kofinas interviews Leemon Baird about the launch of Hedera Hashgraph, a public ledger built atop the hashgraph consensus protocol that aims to serve as the trust layer of the modern Internet.

 

Hedera implements a suite of solutions that we have never seen before in a public ledger. Its method of governance is unique. Its open review approach to software development challenges the paradigm that has dominated the world of cryptoeconomics for the past decade. Its approach to database sharding allows for massive increases in throughput and its approach to proxy staking incentivizes ownership without the burden of having to stand your own node.

 

Is the technological superiority of hashgraph enough to secure its success as the utility protocol of the future, or will blockchain developers reject a model of governance that demands stability over the right of any one individual to copy the code and fork the ledger?

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation at @hiddenforcespod

 

Play
Episode 35
Featuring Alex Mashinsky
Episode 35
Featuring Alex Mashinsky

Leemon Baird is the inventor of the hashgraph distributed consensus algorithm, and is the Co-founder and CTO of Hedera Hashgraph and Swirlds Inc. With over 20 years of technology and startup experience, he has held positions as a Professor of Computer Science at the Air Force Academy and as a senior scientist in several labs. He has been the co-founder of several startups, including two identity-related starts-ups, which were acquired. He received his PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University, and has multiple patents and publications in peer-reviewed journals and conferences in computer security, machine learning, and mathematics.

 

@LeemonBaird

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Sed egestas, ante et vulputate volutpat, eros pede semper est, vitae luctus metus libero eu augue. Morbi purus libero, faucibus adipiscing, commodo quis, gravida id, est. Sed lectus. Praesent elementum hendrerit tortor. Sed semper lorem at felis. Vestibulum volutpat, lacus a ultrices sagittis, mi neque euismod dui, eu pulvinar nunc sapien ornare nisl. Phasellus pede arcu, dapibus eu, fermentum et, dapibus sed, urna.

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Crypto
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Episode 35
Featuring Alex Mashinsky
Crypto
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Episode 35
Featuring Alex Mashinsky
Demetri Kofinas speaks with Alex Mashinsky, CEO of Celsius, a next generation lending wallet. In this conversation, we examine the mechanics behind the Celsius Network, as well as how the company intends to manage risk, execute short sales on behalf of institutional clients, and lower borrowing costs for users.

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, host Demetri Kofinas speaks with Alex Mashinsky. Alex is the founder, and CEO of Celsius, a next generation lending wallet that aims to be the ‘Killer App’ of the bitcoin and cryptocurrency revolution. Celsius attempts to overcome the limitations of a traditional banking system by leveraging technology and rethinking lending for the 21st century. A serial entrepreneur, Mashinsky is the founder of seven New York City-based startups with over three billion dollars’ worth of exits to his name. He is a serial inventor with over 35 patents, relating to exchanges, VOIP protocols, messaging & communication. Alex Mashinksy is also one of the inventors of Voice Over Internet Protocol with a foundational patent dating back to 1994.

 

In their conversation, Demetri attempts to understand the mechanics behind the Celsius Network, as well as how the company intends to manage risk, execute short sales on behalf of institutional clients, and lower borrowing costs for its users. Who are Celsius' main competitors, and how does its lending wallet differ from the competition? How are loans issued on the Celsius network? How does the CEL token work, and how does it incentivize the network to service its customers and not some financial middleman? What is the revenue model for this network? How does Celsius generate income from lending, short sales, and staking? What are some of the unintended consequences that could arise from a securitization market in cryptocurrencies? What are the risks associated with hoarding utility tokens in a proof-of-stake system? Could Celsius and other networks become central points of attack for malicious actors looking to destabilize the Ethereum once it moves from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake? Finally, what is the timeline for Celsius' new wallet and how soon will crypto holders be able to rely on it as a real source of credit and interest-bearing income?

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation at @hiddenforcespod

 

 


Alex Mashinsky was born into communism, reared under socialism, and is currently thriving under capitalism. He is a prominent Israeli-American entrepreneur who has founded several companies over the years, including GroundLink, Transit Wireless, Elematics and Arbinet.

Alex's success as an entrepreneur stems from his acute ability to identify winning trends and assemble world-class teams. Two of his companies, Arbinet and Transit Wireless achieved a monopolistic hold in their respective industries and pioneered new business models and technologies used today.

Alex has a long history with tech in fact, evidenced by his powerful intellectual property portfolio. He has authored over 50 patents that cover aspects of the Smart Grid,  Ad exchanges, Groupon, Twitter, Skype, App Store, Netflix streaming concept and many other top performing web companies. He is one of the leading evangelists of web-based exchanges and is even considered to be one of the early developers of VOIP.

Due to his extensive experience as a prolific inventor and a business strategist, Alex has been a featured speaker at over 120 international conferences. He has also made numerous TV appearances on talk shows.

He has received numerous awards, notably the prestigious Albert Einstein Technology Medal in 2000, the Technology Foresight Award for Innovation (presented in Geneva at Telecom '99) and Crain's Top Entrepreneur Award in 2010. He has also been nominated for E&Y's Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2002 and 2011.

After years of entrepreneurship, Alex subsequently gravitated towards investing in startups, founding his early stage venture capital firm, Governing Dynamics. Over the years, Alex has raised over $1 billion in venture and private equity funds to help position his startups as leaders in their fields. Arbinet's fundraising efforts were even documented in an HBS case study in 2001.

Currently based in New York, Alex serves as a Managing Partner of Governing Dynamics. The firm has a keen interest in helping Israeli startups scale-up in the United States. The immense growth potential of the "startup nation" and its advances in high-tech - particularly in AI, biotech and cybersecurity - interests Alex greatly, who has a strong affiliation with Israel.

Having grown up, attended college and served in the military there, many of his ventures started out based in Israel - which he then went on to scale in the US. Thus, he has been fostering Israeli-American business ties for years, and he hopes to continue to do so with his work at Governing Dynamics.

Alex has invested in over 60 startups over the years, recording many successes and an equal number of failures. As a prominent figure in the New York entrepreneurial scene, he has previously been a member of the YPO's NYC chamber. He believes that "the secret to success is finding something to do in which your skills can exceed your ambitions."

 

@Mashinsky

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Crypto
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Episode 34
Featuring Brian Kelly
Demetri Kofinas speaks with author, investor, and contributor to CNBC's Fast Money Brian Kelly about the problem of scalability, exchange & regulatory risk, cash-settled futures & ETF’s, and how bitcoin may fare compared to gold during a financial crisis. They also contemplate the impact of systemic trading on market downturns.

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, host Demetri Kofinas speaks with Brian Kelly, CEO of BKCM LLC, a digital asset investment firm. He is an experienced Global Macro investor with over twenty-five years’ experience in financial markets and a CNBC contributor who appears regularly on Fast Money.

 

Our most recent episodes with Chris Burniske on modeling cryptoassets and with Ari Paul on cryptocurrency trading methodologies introduced two foundational frameworks to our audience. This week's episode with Brian Kelly affords our audience the opportunity to explore both of these perspectives (theory and execution) in a single conversation. Brian Kelly is uniquely qualified to talk about the financial side of cryptocurrencies, but he also provides valuable perspective on how the media is covering this space.

 

Brian begins his conversation with Demetri by recounting his introductory experience to bitcoin, how he made his first investments, and what he learned in the year he wrote his book “The Bitcoin Big Bang.” The two explore familiar topics like the problem of scalability, exchange and regulatory risk, cash-settled futures and ETF’s, and how bitcoin may fare to gold during a systemic financial crisis. Is there any way to measure the intrinsic value of a given cryptocurrency? Can permissioned blockchains compete with public ledgers, or will cryptocurrencies come to dominate the future of software? Besides bitcoin and Ethereum, what are some of the more interesting cryptocurrency investment opportunities out there? Brian and Demetri also cover the recent spike in financial volatility amid this rising interest rate environment. Lastly, they consider how the rise of systemic trading strategies and passive investment vehicles like ETFs may accelerate (or not) a future market downturn.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation at @hiddenforcespod

 

Play
Episode 35
Featuring Alex Mashinsky
Episode 35
Featuring Alex Mashinsky

Brian Kelly is Founder and CEO of BKCM LLC, an investment firm focused on digital currencies. He is the portfolio manager of the BKCM Digital Asset Fund. Brian is the author of "The Bitcoin Big Bang – How Alternative Currencies Are About to Change the World."

 

Prior to BKCM LLC, Brian was Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Shelter Harbor Capital LLC and managed the Shelter Harbor Capital Global Macro Hedge Fund. As well, Mr. Kelly was a co-founder and President of MKM Partners, a brokerage firm catering to institutional investment managers.

 

Brian provides money management services to a select clientele and consults on digital currencies.

Brian is a graduate of the University of Vermont where he received a B.S. in finance. He also holds an M.B.A. from Babson Graduate School of Business with a concentration in finance and econometrics.

 

@BKBrianKelly

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