My Portal podcast with Eric Weinstein

Eric and his team describe it as follows:

In this episode, Eric sits down with Tyler Cowen to discuss how/why a Harvard educated chess prodigy would choose a commuter school to launch a stealth attack on the self-satisfied economic establishment, various forms of existential risk, tech/social stagnation and more. On first glance, Tyler Cowen is an unlikely candidate for America’s most influential economist. Since 2003, Cowen has grown his widely read and revered economics blog Marginal Revolutions with lively thought, insight and prose resulting in a successful war of attrition against traditional thinking. In fact, his well of heterodox thinking is so deep that there is an argument to be made that Tyler may be the living person with the most diverse set of original rigorous opinions to be found in any conversation. The conversation takes many turns and is thus hard to categorize. We hope you enjoy it.

I recall it being about 2.5 hours long, and covering a lot of fresh material, Eric of course is superb.  Here is the link.  Here is the broader set of Portal podcasts, hosted by Eric.


Absolutely fantastic episode. Highly recommend it!


I am working on transcribing all of The Portal episodes. It will be up in a few weeks. Thanks

"his widely read and revered economics blog Marginal Revolutions with lively thought, insight and prose"

With the best comments on the internet by far!

Self recommending! And it more than delivers...
I especially like when Eric tries to rile up Tyler. That only seems to work when Tyler senses some inconsistency in Eric’s thinking. More aggressive than we usually get from CWT.

It was great to see a feisty conversation! Eric is a great generator of wild ideas but needs someone with Tyler’s skills and confidence to counter the crazy ones.

Tyler, what's your take on India's citizenship bill? Don't think I saw that mentioned in the podcast.

Why is it that every time you guys talk about music you fail to take into account rhythm? Not a single mention to a drummer or percussionst. Chick Webb, Elvin Jones, Jim Keltner, Bernard Purdie, John Bonham, Zigaboo Modeliste, just to mention a few. A big piece of the puzzle is missing, it's like economics without marginal utility.

Gasp! How could you neglect fellow Dan alumni Jeff Porcaro when in the same sentence you mentioned Purdie.

Prejudice against drummers probably.

A very interesting question, especially in view of the fact that Tyler has declared South Indian classical music (Carnatic music) to be one of the great bodies of music in the world, along with Bach and the Beatles. Carnatic music is ALL ABOUT RHYTHM. There is even a specific discipline devoted to teaching Carnatic rhythm, solkattu. It involves speaking specific sylables (konnakol) while beating the basic meter (talus) with the hand.

When I was researching my book on music (Beethoven's Anvil) I visited a family friend,the late Jon Barlow, who taught at Wesleyan. He arranged for me to observe a class in solkattu. It was fascinating. It seems that, for awhile, this class was in vogue among the football players. Just why, no one quite knew. Sure, general rhythmic coordination is important in any athletic discipline, but being able to recite, say, 11 item syllable cycles over a 5 beat hand cycle, and so forth?

The irony hasn’t escaped me that the piece Eric and his team wrote referred to the blog as “Marginal Revolutions.” I know I’m nitpicking, but if your going to call for 10% more trust of elites, perhaps they should start with a 10% increase in proofreading. Just a suggestion.

Wonderful, so glad to see this. But you were too nice to each other ;) How about when you get together again you talk about immigration. Eric has seriously(?) suggested shutting it down until wages rise such that a married couple can earn a wage sufficient to buy a home and allow one spouse to stay home and raise a family. My impression is that you don't advocate Caplan's open borders suggestion. But you seem closer to it than to Eric's position? Or how about the effects of decades of free trade on US manufacturing jobs and wages, especially in consideration of China? I think there is significant disagreement between you two on these points, but barely touched on here.

It was great. You guys should do this at least quarterly. YOU keep HIM grounded, which is both funny and productive.

I thought that Eric didn’t do a very good job of defending gauge theory. I was confident Tyler would point out that his defense of it seemed as evasive as Pinker’s defense of his own view (which they had been discussing shortly before that part of the conversation), but no dice.

Good podcast. Tyler is an interesting fella and is a big part of one the best blogs of all time. Love his reason-based heterodoxy... even when he is wrong.

I like Eric's podcast, but he has a tendency to derail his own questions with digressions.

Tyler, why do you object to Eric's criticism of Pareto improvements from the perspective of sexual selection? He got distracted and you never answered it.

He never really explained his inflation gauge theory eithet, shame.

Interesting so far, and thoughtful back and forth, not rat-a-tat. I don't usually listen very well, but I am trying to knuckle down and finish some handmade gifts, and this is working better as background listening than some others.

Very much looking forward to listening to this! Thank you for making the time and sharing with us.

I listened to it this evening; pretty good stuff. Kudos to both of you. I'm a Weinstein fan, but he can get a bit conspiratorial at times, as I'm sure you noticed. Glad to hear you talk him down a bit.

Seventeen year old Tyler considered the idea of dorms to be "barbaric," and other revelations. This is a punchy treat.

Tyler is what stupid people think smart people are supposed to be like

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