Conversations with Tyler bleg

Yes, we will be continuing and indeed expanding this series.  So I ask you all, which guests would you like to see on the show?  I do not promise to listen.


Ray Lopez.

+1. At one point I was scheduled to lunch with TC (at my request, not TC's, since I was in DC at the time) but I canceled since I had a real estate matter come up. At one point also I was not entirely comfortable with TC knowing my identity since I used to flame people more (Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, I figured pretty much somebody I know knows TC since I know so many rich and famous people, including, indirectly, Koch and Thiel), but now, after so much time, I don't care that much and I've cut back on my trolling.

Bonus trivia: going to swim with the whale sharks in the Philippines tomorrow! I have to wake up early, so no more surfing the net even though I actually have a decent internet connection after midnight my time... as opposed to daytime when at best I have dial-up modem speeds and often 1200 bps or nothing at all.

Yuval Noah Harrari
Jordan Peterdon
Jocko Willink
Dambisa Moyo
Niall Ferguson
Megan McArdle
Noah Smith
Matt Levine

That really would have been helped by some commas!

Yes, I know. I didn't even mean to reply here. My only excuse is that its my first time commenting on my phone. The preview looked good enough, but when I saw the final product I cringed. Hard.

Ha! Ha! Got a taste of my own medicine below.
Wrote a (too long) missive.
But it looked good enough with entries on separate lines.
Then the carriage returns disappeared when it was uploaded.

Look for Levine in February, McArdle made an appearance on the Mark Miller episode:

Scott Galloway.

Matthew Yglesias, Jake Tapper, Joe Scarborough, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson (so unusual it might be interesting), John Green (the YA author, yes), Patrick Rothfuss (another author, he seems able to ramble on about almost any topic), Phillip DeFranco (YouTuber who functions as a kind of new media news anchor), CGPGrey (another YouTuber who has highly specific systematizing views about how to live a productive life; see also the podcast Hello Internet), Lin Manuel Miranda.

Solid list of different but potentially interesting interviews.

Lin Manuel Miranda would be great. Good opportunity to get some Puerto Rico content in.

I "third" Lin Manual Miranda

Bret Weinstein

Harvey Weinstein

Scott Adams, Sam Harris, Neal Stephenson, Robin Hanson

Robin by the way is already on tap.

How about the excellent Kevin Lewis? He seems to be on tap quite often these days.

Peter Hessler! Ha Joon Chang Wolfgang Streeck Fyodor Lukyanov (sp?) Charles Mann the Romanian Bitcoin dude Roberto Unger Stewart Brand Arvind Subramanian

Some corporate governance folks - how to get more Steve Jobs and less Carl Icahns

Cant wait for Robin!

Super-interested in all of these 4.

+1 for sam harris

+1 for Neal Stephenson

The mention of Sam Harris inspires this suggestion: Sidney Harris, the cartoonist.

Raghuram Rajan

Nicole Hannah-Jones, Demis Hassabis

2018 will be a big year for elections. How about one of those polling/projecting nerds? Either of the Nates (Silver or Cohn), Dave Wasserman.

Steve Sailer.

Andy Slavitt.

Dan Gilbert.

I believe he already had Nate Silver on.

Ah, thanks.

Penn Gilette, Joe Posnanski, Radley Balko, Dan Carlin, Steven Novella, Joe Rogan

Dan Carlin would be good.

+1 Radley Balko

If you really want to understand the under-educated intellectual, definitely get Rogan. I am an over-educated intellectual and enjoy listening to Rogan even though half his guests are crazy.

+1 for dan carlin!

joe rogan would be cool but i think it would work better if tyler went on rogan's show instead of vice-versa.

Charles Marohn of strong towns, I second Dwayne the Rock Johnson, and Charles Koch. I feel like a conversation with someone with a view into Africa like Sujata Gilda had into India would be very interesting or someone with a view of doing business in Africa. I'm not really sure who this might be, but I think this could be very interesting.

+1 for Charles Marohn of strong towns.

Another + 1 for Charles Marohn.

Jerry Brown

Nassim Taleb

Armond White, film critic for NRO, is one of the most eccentric and thought-provoking writers of cinema and pop culture in general. Sort of like the Camille Paglia of film critics.

See his reviews for

Tangled (2010):

Intolerance (1916) :

And his take on Trump's arts council resigning:

Also worth reading are his reviews for

The Maltese Falcon (1941):

and Selma (2014):

+1 for Armond White

Glenn Loury, Thomas Sowell

Noam Chomsky

Or better yet, cage match between Peter Thiel and Noam Chomsky. Would pay a lot to listen to that

Others, in no particular order:
Stephen Hawking
Elon Musk
Esther Perel
Mario Vargas Llosa
Amos Oz
David Deutche
Carl Bostrom
Philip Roth

Whoops: Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Esther Perel, Mario Vargas Llosa, Amos Oz, David Deutche, Carl Bostrom, Philip Roth

You haven't Whopsed enough: it is David Deutsch

1. Steve Sailer

2. Edwin Bryant from Rutgers (v few on this blog would have heard of him. But in my view he ranks very high among scholars on Hinduism)

3. Harvey Mansfield (is he too old for the show?)

4. Martin Scorsese (not just a great film maker, but a remarkable historian of world cinema, and a great conservationist of old films. In short an American treasure).

5. Jagdish Bhagwati


On 2, must add that Bryant is one of the foremost scholars on Yoga in the world.

Firstly I am not on H1B.

I am a friend of both blacks and dalits - the two groups you care for the most. I favor more immigration for the most part. And I also feel Sailer has interesting things to say.

+1 Jagdish Bhagwati, who apparently in his younger days was more guarded about the benefits of free trade, then apparently (reading secondary sources in-between the lines) became gung-ho, and now I wonder if the Great Recession made him change his views somewhat? That's my impression from reading a secondary source about him, I could be wrong.

Hwite, black man laid pipe in your wife bro? S'all good.

Steve Sailer's, yes.

Bishop Robert Barron

+1 for Robert Barron

+2 for Bishop Barron

+ 3 for Robert Barron.

Tyler, you've noted explicitly or in passing the timelessness and relevance of religious institutions. Speaking to a public figure in the field would be a good way of drawing some attention to the value(s)-added.

By the way, now is the time to engage with a Catholic thinker. The Church is shrinking, meaning more devoted people attending. The RCC is culturally rich with philosophers, scientists, and artists.

Final point - the RCC is probably one of the most misunderstood major institutions in the US, with us being more Protestant and Independent than the Eurozone.

Steve Sailer

+1 for Sailer. A certain segment of this blog's readers are among his most fervent disciples, while I imagine most of the rest of the readers don't understand the attraction. Maybe a good discussion to get his beliefs and reasoning out in the open would be illuminating for all.

Or a boring reflection of what those who grew up in the antebellum Civil Rights era considered to be God's own truth.

Sailer provided an intellectual gloss for a proto-alt-right that went anywhere but in an intellectual direction. As far as I'm concerned, Sailer and his followers own Charlottesville, and any attempt to renew the gloss is repugnant (as well as more anti- than scientific, more anti- than intellectual).

Remember, that's not just me. That's Milo Yiannopoulos at Breitbart

If Steve, why not Milo?

Steve Sailer owns what?

What in the hell are you even trying to say here?

Wanting to reduce immigration literally makes a person responsible for murder ?

Go back to DailyKos.

Tyler doesn't like these things to drift too far off topic, so I will just make one final thumbnail (to begin 2018 fighting for Truth, Justice, and the American Way, and against darkness and prejudice):

Any division of Americans by "race" is self-referential.

It is recursive, and not in a useful way.

What's repugnant is your anti-intellectual desire to exercise a heckler's veto.

I prefer "moralist's critique."

Hecklers always do.

Really? That should certainly make for a better world.

Respect your openness! (Y)

Just what we need, a crypto-NAZI

In his own words:

What you won't hear, except from me, is that 'Let the good times roll' is an especially risky message for African-Americans. The plain fact is that they tend to possess poorer native judgment than members of better-educated groups. Thus they need stricter moral guidance from society. … In contrast to New Orleans, there was only minimal looting after the horrendous 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan — because, when you get down to it, [the] Japanese aren't blacks.

Racial Reality And The New Orleans Nightmare, VDARE, September 3, 2005

I'm not seeing anything wrong with that article.

Just curious. Do MR readers who list Sailer above and below know about sentence pairs like these:

"New Orleans itself is two-thirds black. It has had nothing but black mayors since 1978. All four of them are from the light-skinned "creole of color" elite, including the notorious Marc H. Morial, now head of the National Urban League."

Call me old fashioned, but when you list mayors by skin tone, that seems .. racist.

Ignorance is strength!

I nominated Steve Sailer, precisely because he is racist and has been articulating a racist point of view for a long time, and a large part of Trump’s appeal is obviously his racism. Which is to say, a lot of people in the US have racist views, so I think it would be both interesting and a public service for a public intellectual to actually have a conversation with someone who purports himself as a “race realist,” which is to say someone who writes from the viewpoint of everyday American racism, and tries to provide some sort of intellectual defense of the vulgar point of view. Maybe this point of view is wrong, maybe it is right, but it is common and rarely if ever discussed seriously. For instance, I cannot think of an earnest attempt to answer the question of whether whites should really want to insulate themselves from working class blacks, or is that heuristic actually harmful to whites? I have only seen takes on how that is racism, and hence wrong, but I have never seen anyone argue that is against whites self interest. Sailer attempts to argue why segregation is in white’s self-interest, a point on which someone like Ta-Nehisi Coates would seems to agree (although others have noted how Coates’ world view is often very similar to that of white racists). Anyway, the point would be to actually interrogate someone who has taken vulgar white racism seriously, and tried to propound on what about might actually make sense. Is Sailer correct that no one wants to argue against this point of view because they fear that their arguments aren’t persuasive. Though I will say that Tyler or Alex did have a post up sometime arguing against vulgar white racism, so the conversation might just be redundant, and very enjoyable to host.

*not very enjoyable

ShrikanthK said something about Scorcese so hope you sound smart now.
Thevidiya payan
Lanja kodaka
Puliyaadi monay
Behen ki chooth
Go and see Departed (fuck me like a cop not a lawyer)

The dream guest for me is Bob Dylan but he’d never do it.

But also Andrew Sullivan, Ross Douthat, and Anthony Bourdain would be cool.

I like the Sam Harris mention above too.

And how about Janet Yellen or Ben Bernanke?

Ross Douthat was on Dec. 2017

Look it for online mid-january

Kirk (from EJMR) and Alice Wu

N.N. Taleb to name one.
Art Laffer
Patti Smith
Chris Christie
Todd Rundgren
Jeff Flake

+1 Taleb

+1 Sailor

+1 Steve Sailer (not holding my breath)

Stephen Hsu (would be great)

Steve Keen (would love to see that guy hung with his own rope)

1. Thomas Sowell
2. Greg Mankiw
3. Daniel Kahneman
4. Adam Silver
5. Thomas Piketty
6. Daron Acemoglu
7. Kobe Bryant
8. Steven Levitt


Joseph Heath would be my first choice. Other suggestions, in no particular order, would include Philip Tetlock, Ted Chiang, Robert Caro, Graham Robb, Nancy Folbre, Paul Graham, Eliezer Yudkowsky.

Walter Russell Mead, Ta Nehisi Coates, James Fallows

Is the Ross Douthat interview transcript coming up soon?

Look for it Jan 17.

Tim Draper, Dan Kahan, Deirdre McCloskey, Victor Davis Hanson (but not about politics), Roger Goodell (seriously), Abigail Marsh, and, especially, the exemplary Nicholas Basbanes . . .

I would second Glenn Loury. Others: Timur Kuran, Peter Singer, Martha Nussbaum, Glen Weyl, Germaine Greer, Mitt Romney, Barack Obama

Invite a bank regulator and ask: Why do you want banks to hold more capital against what has been made innocous by being perceived risky, than against what is dangerous because it is perceived safe? And don’t let him get away with any half-baked answers you do not fully understand

From an email, I am putting them here for reference:

"Carlotta Perez
Jon Stewart
Adam Johnson
Peter Hessler"

Peter Hessler! Ha Joon Chang Wolfgang Streeck Fyodor Lukyanov (sp?) Charles Mann the Romanian Bitcoin dude Roberto Unger Stewart Brand Arvind Subramanian

Some corporate governance folks - how to get more Steve Jobs and less Carl Icahns

Andreesen Werner Herzog Branko Milanovic

+1 Branko Milanovic

Also: John Bellamy Foster, Yanis Varoufakis, Samir Amin, Robert W. McChesney

Deirdre McCloskey would be another good one, of course.

Roger Ver (Bitcoin Jesus)

The Winklevoss twins

Someone high ranking in Chinese app payments at WeChat, Alipay, or Tencent

Mike LaCour, on life after losing a professorship at Princeton famously due to fabricating data

Justin Wolfers, on how to be a celebrity professor, and if he’s the hero we need or just deserve

Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, on Coursera and the future of learning

Michel Houellebecq

+1 for Andrew Ng. His coursera course on AI is off the chainn.

Walter Russell Meade

Megan McArdle,, Leda Cosmides, Jean Twenge, Helen Fisher

I second Leda Cosmides

Andrew Gelman (statistician and political scientist)

Daniel Lipinski (Congressmen who started off as a congressional scholar)

Alma Guillermoprieto (Mexican-American journalist, former dancer, professor)

Kara Walker (painter)

Lapinski would be fascinating because he's kind of an outlier for the democrats now, but remember, he probably got his seat through family connections -- his dad was a rep, and he's in Illinois, so there must have been some amount of nepotism involved. So maybe less than meets the eye there.

Apologies, misspelled his name: Lipinski

+1 for Gelman. I had him as a professor and it was my favorite class in grad school.

Fred Wilson (Venture Capitalist)
Matt Levine (Bloomberg Columnist)
Glenn Hubbard (Economist, Dean of Columbia Business School)
Scott Alexander (Psychiatrist and Blogger)
Chris Blattman (Professor of Public Policy and Development Economics)
Steve Randy Waldman (Programmer and economics blogger)
Jason Healey (Professor of International affairs and former cyber security at Goldman Sachs and the Air Force)

Scott Alexander

A million times yes for Scott.

Make it a trillion.

A trillion + 1

Ah, I didn't read down far enough

+1 here too.

+ 1 for Scott Alexander, a really interesting person!

John Cochrane, Leon Weiselter, any of the Volokh contributors, Bill Simmons, Greg Popovich, Curt Yarvin.

Seconding Pop. I would also accept Tim Duncan.

Yep. Or even Steve Kerr.

Demis Hassabis, founder of DeepMind

A chat bot

Second Neal Stephenson. And Micheal Lewis.

I guess I've got to second Goodell and Mankiw. Will add two pairs of guests: Benioff & Weiss of Game of Thrones (/Confederate) fame, and Evan Spiegel & Miranda Kerr.

Other ideas: Nathan Fielder, Rachel Maddow, David Rubenstein, Steve Ballmer.

Will Wilkinson. Richard Dawkins. Scott Alexander. George Selgin. Mike Duncan. Dan Carlin. Adam Davidson. Haralabos Voulgaris. Derek Lowe (chemist/blogger, not pitcher).

I second Mike Duncan and Dan Carlin.

Roberto Mangabeira Unger, Rod Dreher, David Bentley Hart

Peter Scholze, Michael Harris, plus some that others have probably recommended above: Razib Khan, Taleb, Scott Adams.

Razib Khan is interesting, yes.

Taleb - I am not sure if Tyler would like to interview him :) Given that Taleb has publicly made fun of Cowen in the past.

Well, one shouldn't expect one's wishes here especially in a thread like this to come true anyway :)

Yes ofcourse. I just recalled Taleb's snarky remarks on Cowen as Taleb appears to be a popular pick on this thread.

Taleb profited by being an unconventional thinker, but he let his unconventionality run away and roll off the table.

I mean the guy fights with Philip Tetlock now. Who fights with Tetlock?

Hi Tyler

I would recommend Jorge Castañeda, former Foreign Minister of Mexico

John Dehlin (the most prominent personality in the ex-Mormon movement)

Anne Case Deidre McCloskey Tim Worstall Mariana Mazzucatto Senator Harris Senator Warren Sonja the SF yimby lady
Cant wait for Robin!

Eliezer Yudkowsky, Julia Galef, David Benatar

Judy Shelton, Dan Everett, Tomaslav Sunic, Jay Griffiths, Alain de Benoist, Ilana Mercer, Susan Orlean, Charles C. Mann

Steve Sailer(as mentioned), Gregory Cochran, Robert Stark(host of Stark Truth Radio), and James Miller.(host of the Future Strategist Podcast)

Greg Cochran seconded!

Raghuram Rajan
Debraj Ray
Ed Glaeser
Daron Acemoglu
Greg Mankiw
David Autor

David Mitchell (author "Cloud Atlas" etc.)

Maricel Presilla and Sandra Boynton.

Daniel Yergin, Vaclav Smil or another “energy” person.

NT Wright (see his 2015 talk with Peter Thiel), Francis Collins (former NIH director), Rod Dreher.

Eliezer Yudkowsky. Also, anyone else from the "rationality" movement or the AI safety movement (Nick Bostrom, Julia Galef, Nate Soares).

Scott Alexander (also from rationality), Scott Aaronson (lots of interesting material there). Sam Harris, Scott Adams.

Sam Altman (president of YCombinator).

Russ Roberts, Julia Galef.

Thomas Sowell.

+1 on Galef

+1 Eliezer Yudkowsky

+1 galef
+ bostrom
+1 altman
(already +1'd harris)

Boyd Rice, Steve Sailer, John Gray, Razib Khan, Scott Alexander, Demis Hassibis, Curtis Yarvin, Steve Bannon, Michel Houellebecq, The Winklevoss twins, Richard Fernandez, Peter Zeihan, Genesis P-orridge, Charlie Munger, Jordan Peterson

Noone can ever again read a Sailer post in the same way now that he has come out as a West Coast Straussian.

Jean Vanier - author and founder of L’Arche.

The American right seems low on non-Straussians who would be amenable guests. Wonder if there's one who would work. David Brooks? I don't know.

Another suggestion: Daniel Ingram", an American Buddhist who claims to be enlightened, whose book was beautifully reviewed by the excellent Scott Alexander here.

The book can be downloaded here: not the "pop zen" stuff at all, but quite hard-core and matter-of-fact.

He is politically quite left/liberal and somewhat outspokenly so; I am almost alt-right, but would gladly learn at his feet.

Mike Rowe, of Dirty Jobs. And ask him about his favorite opera.

+1. Bill Watterson, Alice Fraser, Shashi Tharoor, Harry Shearer, Terence Tao, John Dickerson, Keira Knightley.

OK, last is just to draw Tyler's attention :-)

Sailerites go home.

Peter Turchin, Scott Aaronson, Geoffrey Miller, Sam Altman, Shane Carruth, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Nick Land (can you imagine? lmao), maybe someone interesting from the crypto world like Charlie Lee.

"In this conversation, Nick Land explains how everything Tyler Cowen says about politics and Chinese restaurants is an expression of baizuo status seeking."

"Nick Land explains to Tyler how capitalism is an eldritch intelligence summoned from the void, bound to annihilate the human race, and also gives his tips on Sichuan cuisine."

Remembered another one: Dominic Cummings. Quantitatively-focused political strategist, with a lot of ideas similar to the "rationalists". He was a big driving force behind the brexit campaign and wrote an excellent piece about it:

More public policy and applicable economics.

Marc Andreessen

Yuval Noah Harari

Robin Hansen

Nick Szabo

Naval Ravikant

+1 for Prof Harari

+1 for Yuval Harari.

While not naturally prone to schadenfreude, I have watched Nassim Taleb's descent to insanity without the slightest pang of pity, despite the fact that I want to like him and very much enjoy the idea of antifragility. But he nuts and I'd like to see how you deal with crazy people.

Peter Heine Nielse (Magnus Carlsen second), Hikaru Nakamura, Ken Rogoff, Andy Slavitt, Sean Baker (Florida Project director), Ron Chernow, George Saunders, Mohsin Hamid

Out of the box, but you seem to like rtj, what about killer Mike?

Steve Sailer, Razib Khan, Jerry Coyne, the guy who writes the Lion of the Blogosphere blog, and, just for laughs, Gary Johnson.

I don't know names. Talk to people who are running private firms. Why private? Talk to someone who buys. They deal with the very hard realities of prices, transportation, borders, etc.

There are those who do and those who talk about it.

Barry Ritholtz (Masters in Business) podcast fills that niche pretty well. Business and investment as practiced.

I sense that Barry and Tyler have somewhat incompatible worldviews, but perhaps an interchange there would surprise me.

Greg Cochran, Ringo Starr, Danny Hillis, Ray Dalio, Gwynne Shotwell

Sam Seder
Steve Keen

Larry Arnhart
Jordan Peterson

How about someone who thinks seriously about the Anthropocene and the future of nature? Peter Kareiva.

Kendrick Lamar (though chances of getting him are slim)

Ai WeiWei, Amanda Palmer, Virginia Postrel, Megan McArdle

Judith Curry (

+1 Judith Curry A scientist who gets econ. Smart lady.

Mitch Daniels

Marc Andreessen
Tim Urban (
Naval Ravikant
Dan Carlin
John McWhorter
Glenn Loury
Julia Galef
Matt Ridley

+1 Matt Ridley

+2 Matt Ridley.

Also, +1 on Neal Stephenson, Noam Chomsky, Jordan Peterson, Bill Bryson, Daniel Kahneman, Leda Cosmides, Eliezer Yudkowsky, Scott Aronson, Scott Alexander,

Also, Franz DeWaal.

Krista Tippett, Bill Bryson, Terri Gross, David Sedaris, Maciej Ceglowski, Carl Zimmer, Jesse Eisenberg

Liu Cixin

Second/thirding Demis Hassabis, and Eliezer Yudkowsky or other "rationality movement" figures.

Someone prominent from the neuroscience field.

Someone who genuinely believes in Christianity or Islam you can discuss/debate with.

I’d love to hear you in conversation with Peter Singer. The subject of ethics is long overdue on your podcast.

Tyler already interviewed Peter:

Bryan Caplan, David D Friedman

Possible to shorten the time between conversation and posting of the interview? The anticipation is killing those of us not in DC!

Yuval Harari, David Remnick, Arthur Brooks, and Julia Galef would be my top picks!

Don Boudreaux

Thaddeus Russell, Don Boudreaux

Denis Villeneuve

Charles Mann

David Graeber

Richard Powers whose fiction always confronts interesting technological issues from a unique perspective.

Another vote for Steve Sailer and David Bentley Hart

Cixin Liu
Bryan Caplan

A little off the beaten path:
Frank Diana, a technology futurist,
Someone from Silicon Valley VC biotech, I would recommend Richard Yu,

And I fervently 2nd Judith Curry

Nick Szabo, Robert Shiller, David Graeber, Zadie Smith

Sam Hinkie/Daryl Morey, Charlie Munger, Trey Anastasio/John Zorn, David Chang, David Simon, Donald Low (or someone else from Singapore), Robert H. Frank, Philip Tetlock, Michael Mauboussin

I second David Simon.

Vernor Vinge.
With all the talk about AI and the Technological Singularity, the author of Rainbows End and The Peace War/Marooned in Realtime has a lot to contribute.

Most of my recommendations already have been mentioned, but I want to second some: Neal Stephenson, Kevin Williamson, George Will, Kyle Harper, Bryan Caplan, Richard Powers, Brian Eno. Also Tyler Cowen. One of Gene Wolfe's best interviews is one that he did with himself, asking himself the questions he thought others should have asked. Gene Wolfe would be a good interview, too, although "Marginal Revolution Books" shows no sign Tyler has read "The Book of the New Sun," a serious omission if true.

1. Matt Levine
2. Zadie Smith
3. Harvey Mansfield
4. Robert Wright
5. Glenn Loury
6. Mary Beard
7. Diarmaid MacCulloch

Neal Town Stephenson and Kim Stanley Robinson

Vaclav Smil, Mark A. Lemley would be my choices.

Clay Christensen
Roger Scruton (your old debate opponent!)
David Friedman
Seyyed Hossein Nasr

+ 1s to Jordan Peterson, Nicholas Nassim Taleb, David Bentley Hart, Nick Szabo, Noam Chomsky & Bryan Caplan.

Also Roy Mottahedeh

I second Charles Mann and Robert Wright, and also propose: James C. Scott, Reihan Salam, Sheryl Sandberg, Jasper Johns, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Bryce Dessner, Jimmy Chin, Alice Waters.

Yuval Noah Harari (historian)

Robert Trivers (evolutionary theory)

Nassim Taleb (statistics)

Jaron Lanier (VR and economic implications of tech)

David Graber (Debt)

John Gray (ethical and moral progress, his book Straw Dogs)

So many names, so little time, how about a faintly outré list, absent the usual suspects:
Martha Nussbaum
Pascal Bruckner
Theodore Dalrymple
Peter Hitchens
Ernest Sosa
Geoffrey Hoskins
Edward Glaeser
Ilya Somin
Judith Curry
Alice Dreger

Since you aptly mention Pascal Bruckner, Alain Finkielkraut would be welcome too.

Emily Oster, Bryan Caplan, Jordan Peterson, Ryan Holiday, Ed Glaeser, Lenore Skenazy, Jean Twenge

-1 to all of these, thank you.

Lyndon LaRouche (better hurry, he's 95)

Sam Harris
Ed Glaeser
Ed Prescott

Ta-Nehisi Coates
Ian Bremmer
Thomas garton ash

I forgot to mention Noah Smith

Oh don't ask me, I haven't had an original thought in my life.

Alex Tabarrok and Eliezer Yudkowsky

Elon Musk; Luigi Zingales; Raghuram Rajan; Ta-Nehisi Coates; Caroline Hoxby; Stanley Fischer; Esther Duflo; Steve Pinker;

Zingales and Pinker have already been on

Scott Alexander, Thomas Pikkety, Ben Thompson, Satoshi Nakamoto, pretty much anyone in GOP leadership after this tax bill or working with/around Trump or the DNC if there's anyone left not a dinosaur, Bernie if he's ever considered the other side of the economic argument, Paul Krugman, Scott Sumner

I very much enjoyed Sujatha Gilda - I would be interested in hearing from other people from under classes in let's say Brazil or China who have found their way to the west.

Since it's Tyler, Magnus Carlsen of course.

And perhaps someone of significance from Japan would be interesting. Abe preferably but of course unlikely.

Philip Glass and Louis Menand

Barry Posen, the US grand strategy expert at MIT.

Edward Snowden via VOIP

Robert Kelly, the Korea expert who had a funny moment on the BBC

John Cochrane
LeBron James
Jeff Bezos
Woody Allen
Bong Joon-ho
Asghar Farhadi
Michel Troisgros
Kirsten Gillibrand
Ha-Joon Chang ( I think he is very wrong but a debate with someone of his background could be interesting)

Eliyezer Yudkovsky, Richard Lindzen, Matt Ridley

Armond White (only movie reviewer worth reading these days) , R. R. Reno or Patrick Deneen (If the Catholic Intellectuals abandon what Neuhaus called economic pragmatism, which today would just be strong free markets, what does that mean) , maybe Tim Keller (explore the overlaps of an economic and a spiritual emphasis on cities).

Stephen Miller (of the Trump administration)

Mohsin Hamid

Jonathan Haidt

Andrew Ng

Mohamed El-Erian

David Frum
Brian May (from Queen)
Bill Maher

Your Bloomberg View colleague Matt Levine


Look for this one in February.


Aspirational: Roger Goodell, Martin Baron, Stephen King, Andre Agassi

Realistic: Ed Glaeser, Peter Svidler, Brandon Sanderson, Paul Krugman

Eric Drexler

Wow, that's a blast from the past. Where's the singularity? May as well have Ray Kurzweil.

I'd like to see what Tyler asks Kurzweil. It would also give listeners a chance to hear about a much more moderate view of the future after Robin Hanson is interviewed about the Em World.

Professor David Deutsch is a quantum physicist at Oxford and is arguably the father of computing. He's also a polymath, with unique, well-developed opinions on on topics ranging from the nature of beauty to philosophy of science/epistemology to constitutional design/electoral systems to children's rights to Zionism.

His two popular books were "The Fabric of Reality" and "The Beginning of Infinity."

This might be a decent time to have physics enthusiast Robin "Rob" Hanson as a co-host or maybe the physics-knowledgeable David (ben-Milton) Friedman.

I humbly suggest that this guest might be even better than Ray Lopez

* should've read "father of quantum computing"

Another vote for David Deutch

It is David Deutsch, as is appropriate for someone born in Haifa.

Great suggestion.

Evan Thompson
Thomas Metzinger
Thomas Nagel
Rebecca Goldstein

Stephen M. Barr (physicist who writes about science and religion - and this is consistent with Tyler's idea that the important thinkers of the future will tend to be religious, if I recall correctly)

Steven Calabresi (co-founder of the Federalist Society; very knowledgeable about constitutional law)

Joseph Heath, Charles Taylor, Sarah Perry, John Nye, Robert Wright, Charlie Kaufman, the Coen bros,

This post is a great example of why Marginal Revolution needs upvoting / a way to organize comments.

I'm glad to see that CWT will continue. I spent a lot of my holiday airport time catching up. Most of my nominations have already been mentioned. I'm repeating them to add emphasis.

Journalists/ authors: Ross Douthat. Krugman. Chuck Klosterman. Ryan Holiday. Michael Lewis.
Academics. Charles Mann. Jared Diamond. Mary Beard.
Authors. Neal Stephenson. William Gibson. KSR. Bill Bryson. Murakami.
Sports. Adam Silver. Bill Simmons. Steve Kerr.

Speaking generally, I think there's a potentially untapped group of scholars who are significant voices in their own country but not internationally well known that TC might be able to interview very effectively. I suspect artists and musicians might also work for this pod. I couldn't name any architects or civil engineers, but I think they have potential.

Almost forgot: Matt Yglesias!

A few people have mentioned Pat Rothfuss. I can't say I find him that interesting, but it reminds me to recommend another fantasy/ speculative fiction author, China Mieville.

Robert Trivers. I've oddly always remembered your post on his memoir, Wildlife Adventures.

Please ensure that the final person interviewed is Alex.

+1. Also heartily second Bill Bryson.

I saw Paul Theroux mentioned below. I could imagine that being quite good.

Kwame Anthony Appiah.

Barbara Kingsolver.

Condoleeza Rice.
Joseph J. Ellis.
Doris K Goodwin.
William Boyd. Jordan Peterson

Tho it would be good to have an updated list all prior conversations, I didn't see it near the blogroll, nor the site.
(Maybe I missed it).

Fantasy writer Rothfuss (above) would be great, too.

Also new (to me) twitter science writer Rolf Degen -- every one of the papers he tweets about seems very interesting.

Paul Krugman

Harvey is free.

1. Bryan Caplan
2. Matthew Yglesias
3. Will Wilkinson (Niskanen Center)
4. Eliezer Yudkowsky
5. Jacob T. Levy

+1 Will Wilkinson, Kerry Howley, Jacob T. Levy, Kieran Healy

Panel discussion with Scott Alexander, Scott Aaronson, Scott Adams, and Scott Sumner. The obvious four candidates for Mt. Scottmore. First and only question: why are such a large fraction of important public intellectuals named Scott?

A). This has its roots in the Scottish Enlightement


As Patrick Juvet used to sing : Où sont les femmes?

Lisa Feldman Barrett.

Jake Tapper, Norm Macdonald, Jonathan Sacks, Xi Jinping

Behavioral geneticist Eric Turkheimer from UVA

1. Bishop Robert Barron or Russell Moore (You've said that the most important thinkers of the 21st century will be religious. These guys would both be good choices).
2. Yuval Levine (It's genuinely surprising that you haven't interviewed him yet)
3. Paul Krugman (Obvious, but he might be hard to book)
4. Peter Thiel (Yes, you've interviewed him, but it would be nice to get an update on his views of the great stagnation plus DT).
5. Charles Koch
6. Ben Shapiro
7. Ta Nehisi Coates
8. Cornel West
9. Lin Manuel Miranda
10. Michael Cannon (Healthcare is the most important economic issues of our age, and he's one of the only wonks I agree with on this issue).
11. Trey Parker and/or Matt Stone
12. Some Mormon person (I'm curious about Utah)

P.S. Why will the most important thinkers be religious? You never really explained that point.

13. Penn Jillette or Philip Pullman (The only intelligent new atheists)

Deirdre McCloskey
James A. Robinson
Virginia Postrel
Joshua Angrist
Nassim Taleb
Hernando de Soto
Tim Besley

Ann Althouse

Scott Alexander

Haralabos Voulgaris

Bill Simmons

Chuck Klosterman

Jamie Dimon

Sam Harris

Bret Easton Ellis

Rob Sheffield

David Bordwell

I would avoid people who are primarily popular bloggers/commentators and instead interview people who want actually do stuff and have unique experiences.

Gidla, Summers, Kareem, Roach, Sasse were all great

1. Scott Alexander
2. James C Scott
3. Sam Harris
4. Charles Koch
5*. Will Kevin Simler join Robin Hanson?

Richard Rhodes (author), Christos Papadimitriou (Computer Scientist), Nick Patterson (Geneticist, with an interesting background), Charles Petzold (programmer, author)

Will piggy back on Neal Stephenson, Charles Mann, Peter Turchin

Francis Fukuyama or Stephen Walt would be interesting for foreign policy and political science.

George RR Martin, William Gibson, Liaquat Ahmed, Mitt Romney, Steve Randy Waldman, Brad Delong, Neil Gaiman, Steve Banon, David Lynch

+1 GRRM, especially seeing as he's in no rush to complete the winds of winter. Also Linus Torvalds.

Michel Houellebecq.
Paul Theroux.
Karl Ove Knausgaard.

Larry David. Eddie Murphy. Woody Allen.

James Dyson. Mick Jagger. John Carpenter. George Weah.

Scott Alexander, Anthony Bourdain, Russ Roberts, Jordan Peterson, Penn Jillette, Thomas Leonard, Bishop Robert Barron, Jordan Spieth, Joel Embiid

Claire Lehmann would be interesting, too

- Steve Sailer
- the guy who writes the Lion of the Blogosphere blog
- Cixin Liu

Margaret Atwood David Cronenberg Geddy Lee Jordan Peterson

Alon Levy who writes noteworthy essays on transportation policy

Ta Nehisi Coates, John Green, Dan Simmons, N.K. Jemisin, Zach Lowe, John Darnielle (this could be incredible), Ursula Le Guin, Vaclav Smil

Consider video game designer Jonathan Blow.

He's super smart, went to Berkeley, and connected with rationalists. He has interesting views on the morality of video games, and video games as art. He's an independent developer who has created tremendous success for himself against much larger companies. He spent 7 years obsessing over his tremendously successful magnum opus puzzle game, The Witness, which was a contender for game of the year on all the major gaming websites.

Google him to find out more. I think his field is a medium that's missing from your blog.

Terryl and Fiona Givens, a Mormon academic couple.

Their work is popular and part of a Mormon intellectual movement (with roots in Richard Bushman's article "The Colonization of the Mormon Mind") that is less apologetic and much less interested in archaeology.

(If It's not out of order, I'd suggest against Mitt Romney or John Dehlin, who were mentioned above. Mitt Romney's a good guy, but a very conventional politician with less to say than, e.g., Ben Sasse. John Dehlin is a first-rate troll.)

1. Glen Weyl
2. John List
3. Susan Athey

1. Matt Levine
2. Matt Yglesias
3. Scott Alexander, maybe?
4. Eliezer Yudkowsky, maybe?
5. Cal Newport, maybe?

Amartya Sen, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg , Satya Nadella, Tyler Cowen ( as both sides of the conversation).

Steve Sailer, Steve Hsu, Ben Garrison, Tom Sunic, Scott Alexander, Eliezer Yudkowsky, and Fredrick Brennan.

Another fan of NAZIs. Noted.

Rani Mukherjee, Wang Kar Wai, Christopher Doyle, Robert Blake, Doris Day, Reijo Ruotsalainen

Emily Harrington, Christina Tchen, Rebecca Solnitt, Wendy Whelan

+1 to Richard Rhodes
Also: Francis Spufford.

There were (barring mis-counts) 24 names (at least) that I'd second. That's too many. Here are my top nine:
Charles Koch, Thomas Sowell, Daniel Kahneman, Deirdre McCloskey, Anne Case, Harvey Mansfield, Virginia Postrel, Jonathan Haidt and Hernando de Soto.

I also had fifteen additions. Again, too many. Again, my top nine:
James Surowiecki (was the business columnist for the New Yorker, wrote "The Wisdom of Crowds")
Robert Bryce (wrote "Power Hungry: The Myths of 'Green' Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future")
Paul Ryan (Speaker of the House and a thoughtful politician. Probably means can't speak openly)
Charles Murray (out of PC favor sociologist. But "Coming Apart" has a lot to say)
Enrico Moretti (economic geographer. Wrote "The New Geography of Jobs")
Henry Mintzberg (Canadian senior-statesman of Org. Theory and Business Strategy - esp., emergent strat.)
Jeffrey Pfeffer (considered to be one of today's most influential management thinkers - esp., power in org.s)
Amity Schlaes (economics writer & author of "The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression")
Alice Rivlin (Director, CBO; Director, OMB; Fed Vice-Chair; on BoD, National Institute for Civil Discourse; +)
(My other 6? Richard Florida, Eugene Soltes, Gareth Morgan, Karl Rove, Kim Strassel, Arianna Huffington)

Here's a South / East Asia focused list:

Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy PM of Singapore.
Raguram Rajan / Gita Gopinath
Razeen Sally, NUS professor and Snr adviser for Finance Ministry in Sri Lanka
Pratap bhanu mehta, India's most read current affairs columist

Off South Asia
Hernando de soto

Nassim Taleb and Ray Dalio.

Scott Adams, please.

larry page, kara swisher, kevin rose, alastair reynolds, neal tyson

Richard Posner - he should finally have time now

Yes, couldn't agree more on Posner. Plus he will speak his mind.

Definitely +1 if you can get him

Werner Herzog, Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, Elon Musk, Marc Ribot, Andrew Gelman, Glenn Loury, Angus Deaton, Lant Pritchett, Alain de Janvry, Bill James.

+1 Werner Herzog, Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky

and Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett before she passes away

Oh and Norm MacDonald.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

one of the worst oral interviewees. He undermines himself and should stick to presenting his ideas solely in writing.

Re writer guests:

Peter Hessler: I too adore him, but the guy presented in his writing seems too sensitive/humane/gentle for a glib, rapid-fire exchange. He's too good for this crowd, in other words.

If you want a ray of California sun, Sandra Tsing-Loh is funny/fun.

Ariel Levy. If this is, heaven help us, to be the Year of the Woman (again?) there will be much wasted ink, which will none of it (patted bottoms! unequally-desired sex!) reveal anything as fundamentally different about women's lives as her account of giving birth in a hotel room in Mongolia.

Raghuram Rajan, Mohammed Ibrahim, Glenn Stevens

Christine Lagarde, Herb Gintis, Amy Chua, Michael Dukakis, Emily Oster, John Schindler, Jodi Beggs, Vaclav Smil, Anna Salamon, Laurence Kotlikoff, Eva Moskowitz, Maciej Ceglowski, Christina Hoff Sommers

Yes, Genesis P-orridge!

Homer Flynn
Bill Drummond
R U Sirius

James Franco. Actor, loves literature and philosophy. Underrated. Perhaps too trendy now with his new movie "Disaster Artist".


Craig Ferguson

Dr. David LeBlanc, CTO of Terrestrial Energy. Likely the first company to bring a new (i.e. non-light water based) nuclear reactor design to market in the next 5 years.

Yochai Benkler. He wrote arguably the most important book on the political economy of the internet, The Wealth of Networks. I would like to hear him talk about commons-based peer production, and the evolution of the internet over the past 15 years.

I think a Mormon apostle would be interesting - maybe Quentin Cook or Neil Andersen. Have you already interviewed Megan McArdle? What about Esther Duflo? Or an NBA basketball player or front office person?

Albert Bandura, Carol Dweck, John Hattie

(Largely repeating earlier recommendations):


Deidre McCloskey (smart economist and probably a pretty unique picture of the world w.r.t. gender issues)

David Friedman (anarchism, law and economics, different legal systems, Icelandic sagas, etc.)

Thomas Sowell (if he's still up for giving interviews--I know he retired from writing columns)

Other People:

Philip Tetlock (prediction tournaments, superforecasters, prediction markets)

Steve Sailer (hbd, citizenism, what it's like to espouse unpopular views from marginal publications)

Andrew Sullivan (conservatism writ large, lots of other interests)

Andrew Gellman (statistics, the replication crisis in the social sciences)

Stefan Savage @UCSD
Donald Hoffman @UC Irvine
Paul Singer (but he'd never do it...)

Albert Wenger or Fred Wilson

Ruth Garrett Millikan, Emily Oster. Millikan's first book on language, function and biological realism is a gem, and it has definitions of "dysfunction" and "normal" that make brilliant sense.

Greg Glassman - founder of Crossfit. Other people who are focused on health and lifestyle such as Chris Kresser. I would like to see them interact with Tyler.

Josiah Ober, Robert Wright, James C. Scott, Joel Kotkin

No Krugman. Never deal with that toxic liar.

Seconding (mostly):

David Frum, Andrew Sullivan, Julia Galef, Megan McArdle, Sam Altman, Conor Sen

Adam Tooze, Ross Douthat, Mark Mazower, Pep Guardiola

Brian Eno (musician)

Scott Aaronson (computer scientist)

Scott Alexander (slatestarcodex)

Matt Breunig (prominent socialist on social media)

Demis Hassabis (DeepMind CEO)

Nassim Taleb

Sendhil Mullainathan, Emily Nussbaum, Scott E Page, Laura Marling, Philip Tetlock

Raghuram Rajan or John Cochrane, Sam Harris, Greg Popovic or Steve Kerr, Lebron James, Ben Bernanke or Janet Yellen, William Easterly or Esther Duflo, Branko Milanovic, Nassim Taleb, Deidre McCloskey, Daron Acemoglu, Paul Krugman, Niall Ferguson, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Richard Thaler, Olivier Blanchard, Thomas Sowell

Evan Osnos
Molly Crabapple
Megan Amram
Jim Koch
Valeria Luiselli
Riz Ahmed (talk about production function)
Kate Bush

I'm late to the game, but some worthy candidates not listed by others: Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Maria Popova, Martin Seligman, William MacAskill, EO Wilson, Anders Ericsson, John Tooby, Christopher Boehm, Judea Pearl, Stephen Wolfram.

Also late to game but: Ory Okolloh, Arundhati Roy, Kevin Starr (Mulago Foundation), Lynn Stout, Tim Harford, Tony Emulelu, Paul Romer, W. Kamau Bell, Mahmood Mamdani, bell hooks, Van Jones, Madeleine Albright, Eddie Izzard, Matt Andrews/Lant Pritchett, John Urschel, Neil DeGrasse Tyson

"Second" votes for: Killer Mike, Daron Acemoglu, Chris Blattman, Jon Stewart, Peter Singer, Ursula Leguin, Anne Case/Angus Deaton,

Kathryn Sikkink
Dan Drezner
Rosa Brooks
Camille Paglia
Anne-Marie Slaughter
Norm MacDonald

Zadie Smith for narratives on race & class
Knausgard for loss
Ira Glass for Story
Orhan Pamuk how beliefs shape the world
Jared Diamond how the world shapes us
Stephen Hawking
Bryan Caplan how education does(n't) work
Seth Godin how education does(n't) work
Greg Mankiw

Ta-Nehisi Coates, Bill Easterly, Chuck Klosterman, Bill James, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Justin Trudeau

Razib Khan, Steve Sailer, anyone who is knowledgeable about Mormon theology or sociology. I don’t know if you have enough pull to get her, but Elena Ferrante if possible. Another idea is Eva Brann, but she is pretty old now. Has Cowen interviewed Will Wilkinson yet?

John McWhorter might be a good guest.

Another idea would be Diane Newberger Goldstein. Maybe Emily Wilson?

How about Alex Ross or Nico Muhly?

Alasdair McIntyre if he isn’t deceased

Are there any good contemporary Muslim theologians/legal scholars for Cowen to interview? How about theologians who are simpatico with the current Pope? On a different but related strand, any socialist thinkers worth a conversation? Anyone from Jacobin? How about Freddie DeBoer? I would love to hear them talk about the pedagogy of literacy and composition, and also how rhetoric as a scholarly field has de-emphasized the study of effective written communication.

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