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Government & Organizations
News & Politics
Society & Culture
Philosophy

Building Tomorrow

Updated 9 days ago

Government & Organizations
News & Politics
Society & Culture
Philosophy
Read more

Building Tomorrow explores the ways technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship are creating a freer, wealthier, and more peaceful world.

Read more

Building Tomorrow explores the ways technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship are creating a freer, wealthier, and more peaceful world.

iTunes Ratings

11 Ratings
Average Ratings
11
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0
0
0

Best so far

By RWWinn - Mar 21 2019
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I hope that we have more like Mr Cantrell. I think that this was the best episode so far . Thanks!👍

Awesome

By Bathe great - Oct 28 2018
Read more
Great info for a hopeful awesome future. 😎

iTunes Ratings

11 Ratings
Average Ratings
11
0
0
0
0

Best so far

By RWWinn - Mar 21 2019
Read more
I hope that we have more like Mr Cantrell. I think that this was the best episode so far . Thanks!👍

Awesome

By Bathe great - Oct 28 2018
Read more
Great info for a hopeful awesome future. 😎
Cover image of Building Tomorrow

Building Tomorrow

Updated 9 days ago

Read more

Building Tomorrow explores the ways technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship are creating a freer, wealthier, and more peaceful world.

Rank #1: Prices Are Too Damn High (with Alexander Tabarrok)

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One of the most remarkable aspects of the last few generations is that for the first time in human history, at least to this degree, stuff has been getting cheaper while human labor gets more valuable. It’s a technology-enabled humanist revolution! At the same time, labor-intensive sectors like healthcare and education have become more expensive relative to the declining price of goods. Economists call this the “Baumol effect,” though it’s sometimes referred to as the “cost disease.” But economist Alex Tabarrok joins the show to discuss how that curse might actually be a blessing in disguise and how the Baumol effect radically disrupts our preconceived notions about effective government policies.

Why are some prices getting higher while innovation causes the lowering of other prices? Why has the price of education gone up? What is the Baumol Effect? How can we substitute for skilled labor?

Further Reading:

Why Are the Prices So Damn High?, written by Eric Helland and Alexander Tabarrok

Marginal Revolution

Stubborn Attachments, written by Tyler Cowen

Related Content:

The Automation Revolution is Upon Us, Building Tomorrow Podcast

Will Artificial Intelligence Take Your Job?, Building Tomorrow Podcast

On Innovation: Don’t Ask for Permission, Building Tomorrow Podcast

Aug 08 2019
33 mins
Play

Rank #2: Why is Rent so Damn High?

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If you’ve ever lived in a city like NYC or San Francisco you’re all too familiar with the incredible cost of housing. A studio apartment might cost as much to rent as a single family home out in the suburbs or a smaller town. While some of that additional cost is just the price we pay for living in desirable locations with abundant job opportunities, a surprising amount of that cost is entirely unnecessary. Bad regulatory policies are the cornerstone of the crisis of affordable housing in America today. Zoning boards keep housing density low, meaning shortages of housing supply in the face of rising demand, a classic recipe for skyrocketing prices. Salim Furth from the Mercatus Center joins Paul Matzko to discuss the causes, consequences, and possible fixes for the housing affordability crisis.

What can we fix so that housing prices become lower? What does it take to build a home in the U.S.? What power does the local government have in the housing market? How are zoning regulations affecting cities? What is the YIMBY movement? What is a thick labor market and how does it support housing? How should you engage with local politics?

Further Reading:

The Two-Board Knot: Zoning, Schools, and Inequality, written by Salim Furth

The Link Between Local Zoning Policy and Housing Affordability in America’s Cities, written by Kevin Erdmann, Salim Furth, and Emily Hamilton

Order without Design: How Markets Shape Cities, written by Alain Bertaud

Related Content:

How Government Housing Policy Distorts the American Dream, Free Thoughts Podcast

Is Amazon HQ2 Worth It?, Building Tomorrow Podcast

Apr 18 2019
51 mins
Play

Rank #3: A Libertarian Approach to the Green New Deal

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Join Paul, Joe Verruni, and Peter Van Doren as they discuss why the Green New Deal is neither particularly “green,” all that “new,” nor all that great of a “deal.” However, there is a libertarian response to the Green New Deal that doesn’t just consist of “bah humbug.” There are market-based solutions that can more effectively and sustainably address carbon emissions and other environmental pollution. To illustrate that point, the hosts discuss fascinating new applications of energy storage tech that attempt to solve the “duck curve” problem limiting the adoption of renewable energy sources like wind and solar.

Should we be concerned when both political parties agree? How should libertarians think about the Green New Deal? What is the goal of the Green New Deal? How can we change emitting behavior through mechanisms other than those proposed in the Green New Deal? Will the Green New Deal take away your car (or your cows) entirely?

Further Reading:

The Impossible Green Dream of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, written by Michael Grunwald

The New York Times is trying hard to clean up after AOC’s Green New Deal Mess, written by Becket Adams

The ‘Duck Curve’ Is Solar Energy’s Greatest Challenge

Related Content:

Did Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal Really Save America?, Free Thoughts Podcast

The End of Doom, Free Thoughts Podcast

Mar 07 2019
53 mins
Play

Rank #4: What Made the Internet Possible?

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As the threat of government regulation of the internet mounts from both the political Left and Right, Paul and Matthew sit down to talk about the foundational law that made the internet as we know it possible. Ironically, Section 230 was one of the few bits of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 that wasn’t struck down by the courts as a violation of the First Amendment, giving the internet more legal protection than it would have if the moral scolds of the 1990s hadn’t passed the law in the first place. Then, Paul talks with Jennifer Huddleston from the Mercatus Center about her research into the common law origins of Section 230, which rebuts claims that the amendment was some kind of unprecedented “gift” to tech companies.

What was the primary purpose of the Communications Decency Act? What are the ramifications of Section 230? Without Section 230, what would the internet look like? Why is censorship important to the conservative movement?

Further Reading:

What Senator Hawley Gets Wrong about American Identity, written by Aaron Ross Powell

Section 230 Is the Internet’s First Amendment. Now Both Republicans and Democrats Want To Take It Away, written by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

What Republicans are getting wrong about Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, written by Zachary Mack

Related Content:

Free Speech Online: Unfriended, Building Tomorrow Podcast

How the FOSTA Rules Create a “Bootleggers and Baptists” Scenario for the 21st Century, written by Paul Matzko

New Conspiracism and Modern Politics (with Russell Muirhead), Free Thoughts Podcast

Aug 01 2019
44 mins
Play

Rank #5: The Chinese Surveillance State

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In a previous episode, we covered the transformation of China, which is adopting new tech like delivery drones and digital payment years in advance of the US. But being in the forefront of tech adoption has a darker side when it comes to modern surveillance techniques.

In this episode we parse what is hyperbole and what is reality when it comes to the Chinese surveillance state. That includes social credit systems which combine credit scores with social media behavior and personal payment history. Additionally, local governments are developing facial recognition software that can be used with the hundreds of millions of surveillance cameras littering the country to automatically identify wanted criminals or even to embarrass jaywalkers.

Finally, we discuss some of the groups being targeted for surveillance, including journalists and dissidents. But the worst excesses of the surveillance State have been focused on the Uighur people of western China, many of whom have been subjected to religious persecution or even rounded up and sent to concentration camps for re-education.

How much does the Chinese Government restrict the movement of their citizens? What is Sesame Credit? What is Alibaba? What facial recognition technology does China use? Do law-abiding people change their behavior in response to surveillance revelations?

Further Reading:

Meng Hongwei’s Arrest Shows China Values Economic Progress over Human Rights, written by Jimmy Lewis

Google really is trying to build a censored Chinese search engine, its CEO confirms, written by Brian Fung

Inside China’s Dystopian Dreams: A.I., Shame and Lots of Cameras, written by Paul Mozur

Related Content:

Is China Beating the U.S. at Innovation, Building Tomorrow Podcast

China: The Annihilation of Human Rights, written by David Hart

When Will We Get Fully Autonomous Cars?, Building Tomorrow Podcast

Oct 18 2018
46 mins
Play

Rank #6: Will 5G Live Up to Its Hype?

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5G not only offers exponentially faster wireless downloads, but it is the key to unlocking a number of other emerging technologies like the internet of things, smart cities, and fleets of self-driving cars. Yet 5G is fantastically expensive and so has incentivized a controversial corporate merger between Sprint and T-Mobile in an attempt to keep pace with AT&T and Verizon.

This week, Paul is joined by tech policy expert Roslyn Layton as they discuss the implications of 5G, the Sprint / T-Mobile merger, and how we should understand property rights and spectrum auctions in an accelerating digital age. 

What is 5G and how is it different than what we currently have? Will machines use the 5G internet? How is 5G intelligent? Where will 5G go first? What do ‘robot bees’ have to do with 5G connection? Is 5G the 4th Industrial Revolution?

Further Reading:

5G wireless: When it makes sense to regulate, written by Roslyn Layton

The future of 5G mobile data could hinge on a battle over utility pole fees, written by Brian Fung

FCC sides with telecom giants in vote to cap 5G fees, written by Harper Neidig

Related Content:

The Sad History of the FCC, Free Thoughts Podcast

Will EU Copyright Break the Internet?, Building Tomorrow Podcast

When Will We Get Fully Autonomous Cars?, Building Tomorrow Podcast

The Real Reason Facebook and Netflix Support Net Neutrality, written by Paul Matzko

Oct 25 2018
43 mins
Play

Rank #7: From SpaceX to Vector: Jim Cantrell and the Private Space Industry

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Jim Cantrell’s career in the space industry spans thirty years and multiple countries, from NASA to the French and Russian space agencies. Now, after co-founding SpaceX with Elon Musk, Cantrell is the CEO of Vector, a micro-satellite launching company. The private sector space industry is booming; cheap, small satellites will transform the global economy and lead to fascinating knock-on innovation. At the same time, making it easier to put stuff up in space raises the specter of militarization, both by State actors including Donald Trump’s new Space Force and by non-State actors like terrorist groups. The question is not ‘if’ there will be a star war, but ‘when’ it will happen and what we can do to prepare for it.

How big are space satellites? How does Vector hope to create a new economy in space? What has SpaceX done to change the space market? How can we convince more innovators to apply their thinking to space rather than joining yet another start-up software outfit? Does NASA hurt innovation? Who is responsible for space debris? What will the first war in space look like?

Further Reading:

He Worked in Russia and Palled Around With Elon Musk. Now This Entrepreneur Has Big Plans for His Own Rocket Company, written by Kevin J. Ryan

Morgan Stanley joins venture firms betting space start-up Vector can launch a lot of small rockets, written by Michael Sheetz

How Elon Musk’s cold calls to rocket scientists helped kickstart SpaceX, written by Zameena Mejia

Related Content:

Jim Cantrell on Vector, Elon Musk, and Space Force, written by Spencer Neal

Is China Beating the U.S. at Innovation?, Building Tomorrow Podcast

A-Ray Vision Could Be More Than A Pipe Dream, written by Tyler Bettilyon

Mar 21 2019
50 mins
Play

Rank #8: Will Artificial Intelligence Take Your Job?

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The last wave of automation in the 1970s-80s was industrial as robots replaced manufacturing line workers. The economic dislocation fell hardest on those least able to afford it, blue collar workers without formal education and comparable alternate career paths.

But today, automation is coming for white collar workers as well. There are jobs, that despite requiring education and advanced training, involve what is essentially pattern recognition and processing speed, things that artificial intelligence can do more quickly and efficiently than human beings. Jobs in law, analytics, and finance are on the cusp of mass automation, leaving those newly entering those fields with massive student debt and limited job prospects.

Today we talk to two startups, one which is bringing that automation to law firms, the other which is trying to mitigate worker dislocation by helping students find alternative career paths requiring irreplaceable-by-AI social skills.

When was the first wave of automization? Is the automation apocalypse upon us? Can AI streamline the legal process, specifically in documentation review? How can AI compliment the legal process? What value do you want to get out of hiring a lawyer?

Further Reading:

McCarthyFinch Website

6Figr Website

From Post-it Notes To Algorithms: How Automation Is Changing Legal Work, NPR

Related Content:

In the Economy of the Future, You Won’t Own Your Kitchen, written by Pamela Hobart

Does More Technology Create Unemployment?, written by A. D. Sharplin and R. H. Mabry

Sep 20 2018
34 mins
Play

Rank #9: The Automation Revolution is Upon Us

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How will people respond to artificial intelligence taking their jobs? The rise of political radicalism on both Left and Right in the early twenty-first century is in part a reaction to rising income inequality and slower wage growth despite the increasing automation of jobs and gains in productive efficiency. We are in an ‘Engels pause,’ the lag between new technology that benefits whole economies and the moment those gains filter down to the families of displaced workers. Something similar happened during the industrial revolution during the 19th century, the moment that birthed Marxism. Paul interviews economic historian Carl Frey to discuss what we can learn about our present moment of technological innovation and the social reaction to it from the history of industrialization.

What is the technology trap? Why didn’t the industrial revolution happen earlier? Who are the beneficiaries of technological progress? Can algorithms be creative? What is the difference between originality and creativity?

Further Reading:

The Technology Trap: Capital, Labor, and the Power in the Age of Automation, written by Carl Benefikt Frey

Engel’s Pause: A Pessimist’s Guide to the British Industrial Revolution, written by Robert Allen and Robert C. Allen

Capital in the Twenty-First Century, written by Thomas Piketty

Related Content:

Industrial Revolution, written by Deirdre McCloskey

Will Artificial Intelligence Take Your Job?, Building Tomorrow Podcast

Will Algorithms Replace the Price System?, written by Adam Gurri

Jun 13 2019
1 hour 1 min
Play

Rank #10: Is China Beating the U.S. at Innovation?

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China’s old reputation when it came to tech was that of being the premier global manufacturer of knockoffs, not a site for innovative development. But China today is adopting new tech at truly incredible rates that surpasses most other countries. Rather than just talking about drone delivery, companies like JD are actually doing it. More people in China use mobile payments and participate in one-stop-shop digital ecosystems than almost the entire population of the US and Europe combined.

On the other hand, while the technology economy in China is thriving, the political economy remains restrictive. Google had its secret plans to cooperate in the “Great Firewall of China” internet censorship scheme leaked. However, Chinese activists have used the blockchain to get around official media blackouts on vaccine scares and sexual assault scandals

What is WeChat? Do we view ourselves as the leader of technological advances? What is leap-frogging? Is our established infrastructure getting in the way of our own ability to innovate? Does China represent the new “right way to do things”? What is Google’s Dragonfly Project?

Further Reading:

How E-Commerce Is Transforming Rural China, written by Jiayang Fan

Letter from Shenzhen, written by Xiaowei R. Wang

Chinese Citizens Are Using Blockchain to Warn Each Other of Unsafe Vaccines, written by Kristin Houser

North Korea’s Hidden Revolution: How the Information Underground Is Transforming a Closed Society, written by Jieun Baek

The Art of Escaping Censorship, written by Jessica Loudis

The employee backlash over Google’s censored search engine for China, explained by Alexia Fernández Campbell

Related Content:

Fifty Years after the Cultural Revolution, written by David Boaz

Innovative Maintenance, Maintaining Innovation, written by Pamela J. Hobart

Aug 23 2018
47 mins
Play

Rank #11: Ranked Choice Voting, A Better Way to Vote?

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Tired of voting for a political candidate you don’t particularly like who represents a major political party you don’t particularly like so that another candidate who you dislike a little bit more won’t win office? If so, then ranked choice voting might be the electoral reform for you.

Ranked choice voting is a system in which voters don’t just vote for a single candidate for each listed office on their ballot. Instead, they rank all of the candidates running for that seat, 1-2-3 and so on. Then, if no candidate wins a majority of the first place votes, the least successful candidate on the ballot is eliminated and those who preferred them as their 1st choice are then distributed based on their 2nd choice. And so on and so forth until one candidate passes 50%.

Paul and Matthew are joined by Peter Van Doren as they discuss the ramifications of Maine changing to ranked choice voting (RCV) for federal elections in 2018, compare it to other alternative voting methods in other countries, and try to predict the ways it could transform American politics by validating third parties.

What is the “first-past-the-post” voting style? Does the U.S. voting system have an alienation problem? What is the Hastert Rule? Are third parties largely shoved to the side during U.S. elections?

Further Reading:

Resources for Ranked-choice Voting, Provided by the State of Maine

Ranked-choice voting worked in Maine. Now we should use it in presidential races, written by Lawrence Lessig

Ranked-choice voting passes the test in Maine, Boston Globe

Related Content:

Micro-Targeting Voters with Big Data, Building Tomorrow Podcast

“Pay No Attention to the Man Who Won’t Stand Behind the Voting Curtain”, written by Jonathan Banks

Some Very Good Reasons Not to Vote, written by Aaron Ross Powell and Trevor Burrus

Jan 03 2019
57 mins
Play

Rank #12: Is Amazon HQ2 Worth it?

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If you live in NYC, Washington DC, or Nashville, TN, Amazon is coming to town. But unlike Santa Claus, Amazon’s new headquarters locations are arriving on a raft of subsidies instead of a sleigh. State and local governments offered billions of dollars in tax rebates and cash grants in order to woo the company.

If everything goes according to plan, Amazon HQ2 might generate a budget surplus for DC and NYC, but, as many cities that have courted companies through special tax breaks have found over the years, that is a big “if.” And there are serious questions to be asked about the wisdom of allowing individual companies to have so much power over setting regulatory policy.

Are the greater-Arlington residents excited about Amazon? Should they be worrying about this type of gentrification? What does zoning policy affect when a company like Amazon enters your city? Do libertarians think that the way that Amazon handled their HQ2 search is appropriate? Is the Amazon location debate a question of fairness?

Further Reading:

Incentives to Pander: How Politicians Use Corporate Welfare for Political Gain (Business and Public Policy), written by Nathan M. Jensen and Edmund J. Malesky

Attract Businesses like Amazon with Lean Government, Not Pork, written by Vanessa Brown Calder & Chris Edwards

How Can New York City and Northern Virginia Prepare for Amazon HQ2?, written by Vanessa Brown Calder

What Could States and Municipalities Have Done with That Amazon HQ2 Money?, written by Michael Farren and Anne Philpot

Related Content:

The Pursuit, A Podcast Hosted by Tess Terrible

How the Powerful Captured the Economy, Free Thoughts Podcast

How Government Housing Policy Distorts the American Dream, Free Thoughts Podcast

Dec 13 2018
49 mins
Play

Rank #13: Augur(ing) Assassinations

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Augur represents a new type of prediction market. It’s decentralized nature allows users to stay anonymous, which may be troubling for law enforcement or other state agents if the bets placed are threatening in nature. Right now, it only has a small number of users, but it has the potential to gain traction.

In these prediction markets you have the ability to place a bet, using a type of cryptocurrency, on a future action such as; whether a Supreme Court nominee will be appointed by a certain date in time. However, Augur may also host betting schemes that may seem “unsavory” to some Americans, like predicting when someone could die, otherwise known as an assassination market.

What is Augur? What is a prediction market? What can you bet on? Is Augur regulated? Are people placing bets on if certain public figures would be assassinated? What kind of effects will technology like Augur have?

Further Reading

Meet The ‘Assassination Market’ Creator Who’s Crowdfunding Murder With Bitcoins, written by Andy Greenberg

Crypto-Convict Won’t Recant, written by Wired Staff

Gambling Can Save Science, written by Alex Tabarrok

Are We All ‘Harmless Torturers’ Now?, written by Paul Bloom and Matthew Jordan

Related Content

What Influences Elections?, Free Thoughts Episode

How Egalitarianism Comes from Conflict (And Why It Matters), written by Pamela J. Hobart

Sep 06 2018
45 mins
Play

Rank #14: SimCity 5: Exploring Charter Cities (and More!)

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The theme that connects both of the interviews in today’s episode is the value of planning for the future. That can be as simple as thinking about the ways that driverless cars will affect the car insurance industry, as Ian Adams from TechFreedom discusses. Or it can be as big as Dr. Mark Lutter, Founder of the Center for Innovative Governance Research, advocating for charter cities, a place where the best urban ideas can be implemented from the outset rather than waiting for something to go wrong and having to struggle against regulatory inertia. 

What is the latest regulatory news for driverless cars? What challenges do autonomous vehicles present to the insurance industry? Why is California such an innovative space? Will there be a migration pattern away from California? What is a charter city? What leads to economic growth?

Further Reading:

Creating the Charter Cities Ecosystem, written by Mark Lutter

Techquake: The Biggest Threat to California’s Tech-Sector May Lie Directly Beneath its Feet, written by Ian Adams

California Needs to Hit the Brakes on Minimum Staffing Requirements for Automated Vehicles, written by Ian Adams

Related Content:

When Will We Get Fully Autonomous Cars?, Building Tomorrow Podcast

Flying Taxis: Cleared for Takeoff?, Building Tomorrow Podcast

Is China Beating the U.S. at Innovation?, Building Tomorrow Podcast

May 16 2019
55 mins
Play

Rank #15: Has Your Phone Hacked Your Brain?

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If you have kids, you know how alluring smartphones and social media can be for a generation raised with (and, at times, seemingly by) the technology. But researchers are starting to worry that engagement with this technology is rewiring peoples’ brains by design. Tech companies have invented mechanisms like the “infinite scroll” and notification systems which trigger chemical releases in the brain, habituating users.

But as concerns about these effects grows, companies have responded with new ways of consumer self-regulation. Paul, Aaron, and Will talk about whether government ought to play a role in regulating these technologies or whether private action and education are sufficient. They also discuss “mindfulness” apps meant to ease meditation and promote healthier living.

How old were you when you got your first smart phone? How much screen time should toddlers and adolescents be allowed to have? What are feedback loops and how do they influence technology product designers? What is the role of engagement for apps that are ad-driven? Can an app lead to spiritual enlightenment?

Further Reading:

Does Your Child Have a Digital Addiction, written by Romeo Vitelli

What Screen Addictions and Drug Addictions Have in Common, written by Erik Vance

Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?, written by Jean Twenge

Related Content:

The Completely Insane Consumer Surplus of the Internet, written by Jason Kuznicki

Killer Drones or Delivery Drones?, Building Tomorrow Podcast

Dec 27 2018
50 mins
Play

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