70 minutes | May 13, 2021

Niall Ferguson: God Emperor of Doom

Historian Niall Ferguson returns to talk about his new book (with a glorious, darkly comic cover), Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe. As Sven from SNL might say, this episode has it all: monkey’s paw swag-bags, the phrase “Hunnish data,” and the frighteningly named “three-body problem.” Allow Niall to explain the human tendency to prepare for one disaster scenario while another hits us square in the jaw, the reason why “we may be forced by companies to do Zoom” even after the pandemic ends, and why book tours are still delirium-inducing even when done from the comfort of one’s home. Oh, and stick around for a particularly fantastic celebrity impression in the show’s final moments.  Show notes: Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe Some incredible science fiction that has crossed over from China, The Three-Body Problem Neal Stephenson’s Snowcrash, which is life-changingly good Nick Bloom, “Why working from home will stick” Feynman and the Challenger disaster One of Niall’s previous books, The Great Degeneration “Crazy ideas in Thucydides’ time” Flagellant orders Keith Thomas’ Religion and the Decline of Magic The World Economic Forum’s interestingly-timed 2020 Global Risks Report See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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