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Identifying Talent, Changing Education, and Studying Progress – Tyler Cowen on Venture Stories

Key Takeaways

  • “I think IQ is overrated, especially by smart people, and stamina is highly valuable”Tyler Cowen
  • “In general, we all tend to overrate people who are like ourselves”Tyler Cowen
  • A ton of money goes into higher education, but there needs to be more research studies conducted related to how professors can improve their teaching methods
  • No one’s breaking up big tech anytime soon
  • “I see a great deal of progress in regards to people being more analytical … Each generation seems to get smarter.” Tyler Cowen 

Intro

Books Mentioned

Thoughts on Talent

  • “I think IQ is overrated, especially by smart people, and stamina is highly valuable”Tyler Cowen
    • The problem: it’s hard to rate someone’s stamina in a short interview
  • “In general, we all tend to overrate people who are like ourselves”Tyler Cowen
    • Similarly, people tend to seek out those with similar interests and personalities 
  • Tyler believes Jasmine Wang (@j_asminewang) and David Perell (@david_perell) are rising stars
    • “David is going to revolutionize the world of online writing” – Tyler Cowen

Thoughts on Education

  • A ton of money goes into higher education, but there needs to be more research studies conducted related to how professors can improve their teaching methods
  • Tenure was supposed to give professors freedom of speech and the opportunity to research new topics, but nowadays, this is far from true—especially as it relates to free speech
    • “We need to be experimenting much, much more with tenure and see what works” – Tyler Cowen
  • Professors should be paid as if they’re in the private sector with the best-performing professors making the most
  • More education should be online
    • “There should be a good online class that anyone can take on ANY topic, and right now, there isn’t. That, to me, is just criminal.” – Tyler Cowen 

Big Tech & Green Energy

  • When it comes to big tech, there will probably be several antitrust lawsuits, but the chances of major tech companies being broken up are quite small
    • (Facebook shares continue to rise—clearly, the market doesn’t believe it’ll happen anytime soon)
  • The world is finally taking green energy seriously: carbon restrictions, solar power, geoengineering, plant-based meat, nuclear power, electric cars, etc.
    • “I’m not saying they’re all going to work, but they’re all way ahead of schedule”Tyler Cowen 
      • Tyler is particularly excited about electric cars

Quick Thoughts

  • On Martin Gurri:
    • The Gurri hypothesis: “The internet makes things so transparent that people lose faith in the elites”
      • Tyler adds: “I think I mostly agree with him, but I’m not as committed to the Gurri hypothesis as is Gurri”
  • On Patrick Collison:
    • “Patrick isn’t about a set of views; Patrick is about a way of thinking, so hard to name views on which I agree or disagree with him” – Tyler Cowen 
  • On Arnold Kling:
    • “I think Arnold is too skeptical about macroeconomics. Macroeconomics is some of the most important economics we have—at least it tells you what not to do.” – Tyler Cowen 

Additional Notes

  • “Economic meritocracy will win through evolutionary processes in my view” – Tyler Cowen 
    • Ambitious people will earn much more than the average individual
  • Tyler disagrees with most of Ayn Rand’s philosophies, but thinks her work is great from a sociology perspective 
    • “Most of her philosophies I don’t agree with, although I think she’s mostly right about capitalism” – Tyler Cowen 
  • “I see a great deal of progress in regards to people being more analytical … Each generation seems to get smarter.” Tyler Cowen 
  • “A lot of public intellectuals, being nerds, know tech, and maybe they know gaming, but they’ve lost touch with some of the classic humanities fields” – Tyler Cowen 
  • The pro and con of society becoming more feminized:
    • Pro: It lowers the risk of war
    • Cons: It makes people more risk-averse, which lowers the rate of innovation
  • China’s government is great at getting things done quickly, but far too often they trample on people’s rights
  • Innovation in the pharmaceutical industry has slowed
Venture Stories : , , , , ,
Notes By Alex Wiec

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