Episode 5.01 A Ph.D.-Level Math Problem

Structures and systems, agency and individuals: three axes (and a sub-axis) for thinking about the world we live in.

Tagged: art, ethics, religion, technology

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Show Notes

We introduce our system for thinking about the “structure/agency” or “systems and individuals” problem: how do the systems and structures of our lives shape us? How do we shape them? How free are we, and where are the places where more freedom is good, and the places where it might actually be bad? How do we confront the structural issues we face, or strengthen and preserve the good systems we do have in place?

Questions we’ll be asking

Our analytical axes

Applying the axes

Two big questions we’ll ask about the particulars for each issue we look at:

We think that in almost no cases is a radical end of individual freedom or structural control right. Nor does any system have merely positive or negative outcomes; we live in a broken world where even the best systems working in the most productive cycles with the most virtuous individuals still cannot solve everything perfectly. (And, since people’s own situations and religious and ethical beliefs differe, there will be people who dispute our positive/negative valence. We make no apologies for ours, but we welcome disagreement!)

Music

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The Hosts

Chris Krycho is a software engineer, podcaster, writer, and occasional composer. He lives with his family in Colorado.

Stephen Carradini is a digital media scholar and professor, writer, editor, and songwriter. He lives with his family in Arizona.

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