Dogma from Streets to Harvard and Economic Growth

Your weekly 5 things from the mind of Miles Lasater

Happy Saturday! Here are your 5 things from the mind of Miles for this week.

  1. Street Epistemology.  I’ve featured the book How to Have Impossible Conversations before. If you want to see some of the techniques in action, I recommend watching Street Epistemology’s YouTube channel. Perhaps you worry that people can’t talk about politics or religion without fighting, this will give you hope. Once you’ve watched some of the conversations, you can learn more on their website or read the guide to how to have genuine socratic conversations. (BTW, it is “street” as in lay people doing the epistemology not “street” as in the epistemology of streets.)

  2. Harvard’s New Chaplain. It is painful for me to admit that Harvard has anything figured out. But I have to say it appears that they are capable of having “impossible conversations” and even building relationships despite different beliefs. The proof? Harvard’s university chaplains have elected humanist and atheist Greg Epstein as their President. His responsibilities include coordinating and leading ~40 religious communities on campus. A fascinating development and I’m excited to see what Greg does next.

  3. Economic Growth? Here is another question people react to almost as dogmatically as questions about religion. Is economic growth good? I read Donut Economics about a year ago and meant to feature it sooner. Wonderfully wide-reaching and well put together book. I bet it will change your thinking. I recommend pairing it with other views like More from Less, Enlightenment Now, How Innovation Works and/or Beginning of infinity. Or you can read a short pro-growth argument from Erik Torenberg:  “Indeed: Rawls’ Veil of Ignorance takes into account where you were born, but not when. If it did, you’d prioritize anything that promoted economic growth — because if you didn’t, you’d be effectively stealing from future people.” 

  4. Reverse Boot Camp. I joke that parenting of young kids is like a reverse boot camp. You are challenged to see how little exercise you can handle. You’re trained not to react to an attack. In the middle of the night, the little one kicks you in the face and you are to remain passive. The little one drops something on your toe and you don’t strike out. But like bootcamp, you do have a drill sergeant who will get in your face and yell at you.

  5. Plantar Fasciitis.  I started running a bit after taking some time off to heal a broken toe and weak ankle. Now I’m dealing with plantar fasciitis. At first people told me that I needed more support for my foot. They said to rest and stretch my foot to reduce internal irritation.  But I learned that long term I should strengthen my feet. Too much rest and support can be counterproductive. What is your experience? Please reply to this email with any tips for curing plantar fasciitis.

Until next week,