Adaam Levin-Areddy + Vanessa M. Quirk & David Krakauer , Uncertain Things

The Long Shadow of Complexity (w/ David Krakauer)

06 Jun 2023 • 94 min • EN
94 min
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David Krakauer is the President of the Santa Fe Institute — an academic institution that conscientiously bucks the overly-siloed and ideological bents of most universities these days. Krakauer is an evolutionary biologist who studies “​​the evolution of intelligence and stupidity on Earth.” He joined us on the pod for a wide-ranging conversation covering the history of complexity science, the inadequacies of the academe, the aesthetic “third way” between maximalism and minimalism, and the artifacts that make us smarter (like pianos) versus the ones that really don’t (GPS, for one). Check out our ‘Uncertainty’ newsletter for updates and rants. To support us and gain access to exclusive content, consider becoming a paid member of Uncertain on Substack. Follow @UncertainPod on your social media of choice. On the agenda: -Intro to David [0:00-03:24] -The history of complexity science [03:25-12:36] -The folly of disciplines [12:37-18:11] -The limitations of language [18:12-31:11] -Judgment vs. impact [31:12-37:05] -Complexity as dialectical exercise [37:06-40:25] -Complexity as the third aesthetic option [40:26-44:13] -Why we need narrative [44:14-51:33] -The problem(s) with the academy (i.e. the morgue of dead ideas) [51:34-1:04:19] -SFI projects that disrupted institutional thinking [1:04:20-1:11:44] -Machine learning and the drawbacks of supercomputing [1:11:45-1:16:34] -Testing the limits of our cognitive understanding (complementary vs. competitive cognitive artifacts) [1:16:35-1:24:37] -On curation, control, and complacency [1:24:38-1:34:29] Uncertain Things is hosted and produced by Adaam James Levin-Areddy and Vanessa M. Quirk. For more doomsday rumination, subscribe to: Get full access to Uncertain Things at

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