In this episode we speak to Glen Weyl, author, economist and Principal Research at Microsoft Research. His ideas inspired the formation of the RadicalxChange Foundation, who recently held a conference in which we were speaking alongside Audrey Tang, Digital Minister of Taiwan, Vitalik Buterin of Ethereum and others. Head over to RadicalxChange.org and look out for the deep list of archived talks.
In this very candid discussion with Glen we cover his recent work on COVID-19, his recently published essay “AI is an ideology, not a technology” co-authored with Jaron Lanier, his belief in the urgent need for pluralistic technologies and transitioning from corporations to stakeholder democracies, as well as his personal political transition from California libertarianism to socialism. It is a fun and generous conversation, I hope you enjoy it!
AI is an Ideology not a Technology
We are joined by research scientist and Director of Spotify's CTRL lab François Pachet and his collaborator, the composer Benoit Carré to discuss how the latest in AI research offers a new paradigm for both composition and the concept of authorship and ownership.
This will be one of many times we pursue conversations with researchers at the cutting edge of Artificial Intelligence and music, not only because it offers a glimpse into the future of music, but also the greater economy. Music is often the first to feel the tremors for greater economic earthquakes, so it feels like an important conversation to jump into!
We can't play their music during the podcast, however we recommend that you check out these works in combination with listening to the conversation!
Daddy's Car: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSHZ_b05W7o
The Ballad of Mr.Shadow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcGYEXJqun8
American Folk Songs EP: https://skyggewithai.bandcamp.com/
"Black is the Color” by SKYGGE featuring Pete Seeger: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=20&v=sv56kfvsQAM
If you are interested in reading Evgeny's new piece in the Guardian, visit:
Sign up to Evgeny's Syllabus project to receive a weekly syllabi curated around your interests:
If you would like to support this series, please visit:
In this episode we welcome David Turner, writer and founder of the Penny Fractions newsletter, which holds a critical and often political lens to the latest developments in the music industry.
In this episode we discuss the music industry response to Black Lives Matter, positive infrastructural proposals that could lead to long lasting and meaningful diversification, the meme music economy, lessons from ad hoc protest gatherings and sitting on a small plane with Radiohead and Silento.
David is a deeply thoughtful and fun guest, we hope you enjoy this one!
Penny Fractions newsletter (sign up!): https://www.getrevue.co/profile/pennyfractions/issues/penny-fractions-why-did-we-pause-the-show-255631
Black Teens are Breaking the Internet and Seeing None of The Profits by Doreen St.Felix:https://www.thefader.com/2015/12/03/on-fleek-peaches-monroee-meechie-viral-vines
Music Workers Alliance: https://musicworkersalliance.org/
Aziz Mian: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eX9SsfK6B24
Silentó - Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjW8wmF5VWc
In this episode we catch up with Trevor McFedries, founder of the meta media studio Brud ( (http://brud.fyi/) ), whose digital avatar artist and influencer Lil Miquela recently caused a stir through signing with one of the worlds premier talent agencies, CAA.
We discuss the origins of the project, why he sees Miquela as more of a challenge to Mickey Mouse than human artists, and also some pretty bold ideas for how avatar led projects might help us reorganise the music industry to be more equitable.
In this episode we speak with Kate Crawford, founder of the AI Now Institute and professor who has spent the last decade studying the political implications of data systems, machine learning and artificial intelligence.
We discuss the anatomy of AI systems and full ecosystem of human and material resources behind an Amazon echo, the need to develop an understanding of the exponential accumulation of power under platform capitalism, the use of AI systems in predictive policing and other controversial areas, and Kate’s parallel experience as an electronic musician.
This episode ends rather abruptly as we got lost in conversation and Kate had to run, so forgive us for the atypical ending!
Relevant Kate links:
AI Now Institute: https://ainowinstitute.org/
Anatomy of AI: https://anatomyof.ai/
Links we raised:
Stance Features of Youtube Celebrities by Katri Mustonen: https://jyx.jyu.fi/bitstream/handle/123456789/56988/1/URN%3ANBN%3Afi%3Ajyu-201802011411.pdf
In this episode we speak with the writer Liz Pelly, who over the past 5 years has written a series of revelatory critical pieces about the streaming economy for The Baffler.
We discuss whether the distinction of Independence is all that useful in music at this point in history, take a look at the ways in which the streaming platforms flatter some kinds of music and have flattered to deceive for others, and question what the recent Spotify exclusivity deal with Joe Rogan might mean for musicians.
This is a nice and long conversation, and we had one or two connection issues, so forgive us if you notice one or two jarring edits!
Check out Liz's work online here:
In this latest episode we talk with Professor Guy Standing, who has been at the forefront of Basic Income research for 30 years, running pilots all over the world.
We discuss his original concept of “The Precariat”, a new class that might be familiar to many listeners, the moral case for a basic income and its fans in US politics and Silicon Valley, and his vision of a future of a new left built upon enlightenment principles.
Guy Standing: https://www.guystanding.com/
Basic Income Earth Network: https://basicincome.org/
The Precariat: https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/the-precariat-9781849664561/
Plunder of the Commons: https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/308/308407/plunder-of-the-commons/9780141990620.html
In this episode we talk with Jesse Engel, musician, Senior Research Scientist at Google Brain and creative lead of the Magenta project.
Magenta is an open source research project exploring the role of machine learning as a tool in the creative process, developed by numerous researchers and engineers from the Google brain team, Google’s self directed machine intelligence group.
Amongst many things we discuss the role and research focus of Magenta, look at how research lab OpenAI’s recent Jukebox project raised some necessary ethical debates around the puppeteering of living artists voices and styles, get psychedelic about how making music technology precedes spoken language, and discuss his latest exciting project.
Check out the tools they have developed and reach out to Magenta here:
If you would like to hear the full episode, consider supporting the project at
This week we talk to Director at PRS for music and Gomez songwriter Tom Gray, who, through the #brokenrecord hashtag and other advocacy work has been championing the need for reform the way that streaming services work, and reform copyright policy to better protect songwriters and producers.
We discuss the case for user centric streaming over the current pro-rata payment model, what is was like to witness the transition from sales to streaming as a successful touring band, and how, at a time when the song is earning the least amount it has ever earned, the expenses to develop the songs are being placed on the songwriter and producer more than ever before by labels and streaming. There are also some stories that border on ASMR, Tom has by far the best microphone we have encountered doing the podcast so far.
Links (if we ever mention anything in the pod you want a link to, leave a comment!)
Tom on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mrtomgray?lang=en
Ivors Academy: https://ivorsacademy.com/
Sign up for updates on the Marine Snow project: https://marine-snow.co/sss
Follow Tony Lashley: https://twitter.com/tooonyl
Pseudodoxology Podcast Network: https://www.patreon.com/Pseudodoxia
"The Deluge": https://medium.com/@EdwardWaverley/the-deluge-f62968b20972
"The Sublimity of Permanent Collapse": https://medium.com/@EdwardWaverley/the-sublimity-of-permanent-collapse-and-the-leibnizian-problem-of-monadic-optimization-inherent-in-70d6e8be095a
Anything by Frederick Beiser
The Art of Memory by Frances A.Yates :
The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes:
Logic and the Art of Memory (The Quest for a Universal Language) by Paolo Rossi:
The Gallery of Memory: Literary and Iconographic Models in the Age of the Printing Press by Lina Bolzoni and Jeremy Parzen:
Scissor Labels Essay: https://j.mirror.xyz/RUeJfZEZxr-hkuzUCakQyUuf2kOJVMPPiAWBaQFhhqc
How it was funded via $ESSAY: https://j.mirror.xyz/uVGCCwwm3k341lPpxaJmHTZROESVse9Pe_rmbiuUAC0
John Palmer: https://johnpalmer.site/#/
Kara Kittel: https://twitter.com/karakittel?lang=en
Toby Shorin: https://tobyshorin.com/
Other Internet: https://otherinter.net/
Back in the saddle with Artist and Musician Lawrence Lek for the advent of his latest film AIDOL (2019) and the release of it's wonderful soundtrack on Hyperdub.
We discuss AI Pop Stars, SinoFuturism, IP and cultural stereotypes, NFT murder plots and a great deal more
Have a wonderful week all :)
Lawrence Lek: https://lawrencelek.com/
AIDOL OST (Hyperdub): https://hyperdub.net/products/lawrence-lek-aidol-ost
AIDOL Trailer: https://vimeo.com/331655114
Geomancer Trailer: https://vimeo.com/251303726
In celebration of his new book "Hope Runners of Gridlock", we chat to polymath Simon de la Rouviere about designing new economies, never ending stories, Metamodernism and maintaining hope!
Buy the book! https://blog.simondlr.com/posts/hope-runners-of-gridlock
Follow Simon's writings! https://blog.simondlr.com/
Follow Simon! https://twitter.com/simondlr
A rare conversation with designer David Rudnick
A brief history of tokens and tulips, NFT aesthetics, energy dramas, fan brigades, social tokens and the meataverse with Daniel Keller (New Models)
Check out New Models!
3:00 NFTs and Post Internet
5:00 Metahaven “Can Jokes Bring Down Governments?” https://www.amazon.com/Can-Jokes-Bring-Down-Governments/dp/099291468X
7:00 NFTs for n00bs / What is an NFT
11:30 Ethereum Name Services
15:00 History of the space
20:00 Tulip Mania was overblown!
22:00 Terra0’s Flowertokens
24:00 Price and market
26:00 Present state of NFTs
29:00 Traditional art market improvements
31:00 Current NFT aesthetics
35:00 Horizontalism and “democratisation”
40:00 Sedition and earlier experiments
44:00 NFTs, Ownership and My Collectible Ass
57:00 NFTs tied to physical objects
62:00 Protocols vs Symbolism
65:00 Crypto energy drama
77:00 Social and Community Tokens
82:00 Gas fees
91:00 Non custodial protocols
94:00 Matt Liston’s 0xOmega
98:00 Portable identities
102:00 The meataverse
108:00 What does Interdependence mean to Dan?
Hello everyone! Over the moon this week to welcome Professor Jason Edward Lewis and Suzanne Kite of the Indigenous Protocol and AI Working group!
We discuss the origins and goals of the project, different perspectives on creating AI elders, lessons about communicating with non human intelligences from various Indigenous groups, where utopian freedom of information ideas clash with ideas of self determination, and speculations about building a Hawaiian programming language.
We may take a break next week, but have plenty more great conversations recorded for you all. Thanks again for your support and have a safe and warm, albeit not ideal, holiday period
In this episode we welcome the full Audius squad, Roneil Rumberg, Forrest Browning and Clayton Blaha to discuss their new music protocol, how it establishes the rails for artist led, rather than centrally mandated, pricing and design of economic and interactive relationships, Soundcloud and the dangers of platform risk, and the ways in which we might drag people away from centralised platforms and communicate the benefits unlocked by decentralised scene ownership.
It was a wonderful discussion and I left it feeling very confident that this group of people are onto something! Head over to audius.co to take a look around.
Have a sweet week, we’ve got a lot more coming!