The Roots of Progress

Interview: Idea Machines with Ben Reinhardt

I returned to Idea Machines with Ben Reinhardt to talk about “starting a nonprofit organization, changing conceptions of progress, why 26 years after WWII may have been what happened in 1971, and more.”

An excerpt from the transcript (edited for readability):

Ben: … the thing I would poke is, I feel like the 1950s might be a counterpoint to the World Wars destroying 20th century optimism, or do you think that there’s almost like a delayed effect—

Jason: I think the 1950s were a holdover. I think that these things take a generation to really see. And so this is my fundamental answer to the, what happened in 1971? I think what actually happened, the right question to ask is what happened in 1945, that took 25 years to sink in. So my answer is the World Wars, and I think it is around this time that you really start to see—even in the 1950s, if you read intellectuals and academics who are writing about this stuff, you start to read things like, well, you know, we can’t just unabashedly promote “progress” anymore; people are starting to question this idea of progress.

Here’s the show page.

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