Favorite Modern Thinkers

Title says it all pretty much. List anyone from any field, could be philosophy, politics, economics, whatever you find interesting. For me, I've been listening to more Sam Harris and Matt Dillahunty recently, perhaps this thread could help me find some less mainstream people I could read up on.

Comments (135)

 
Jan 6, 2021 - 8:19pm

I hung out with his daughter Malaak a couple times in NYC.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

 
Jan 7, 2021 - 6:33pm

MFckngChimp

Malcolm X

 

Edit: I was waiting for the white guy/girl to sling MS. Keep it coming.

Malcom X was racist af. Quit race baiting, hypocrite

-white devil

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/
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Jan 6, 2021 - 8:17pm

I was expecting JBP to be on here. I find his lectures interesting, though I don't quite know where I stand with his definition of God and his opinions on religion in general. Hope he comes back soon, he did a few videos with his daughter so that shows some promise.

 
Jan 6, 2021 - 8:29pm

I'm kind of not a fan of Sam Harris for the same reason. I kept on hearing that he was this really smart atheist and after listening to a few lectures, I was like, "really that's it.  Your best arguments are religious people have done bad things like the crusades and we should all aim for secular utiliarianism?"....I mean just not all that ground-breaking.

I think the guy is just a good speaker and draws people in, but the ideas just aren't that novel and I think you can agree with that whether you're an atheist or not.

 
Jan 7, 2021 - 6:19pm

>Builds career lecturing about discipline and personal responsibility

>Becomes addicted to benzos

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/
  • 4
 
Jan 6, 2021 - 7:49pm

Economics: Paul Samuelson (for his emphasis on pragmatic "smart regulation" and also formalizing econ concepts into math), Milton Friedman (for pretty much defining the role of monetary policy and defining the modern philosophy of free market capitalism), Fredriech Hayek (for defining the role of constitutions in an economic-political systems).

Philosophy: Noam Chomsky(as a self described Libertarian Socialist/Social Libertarian he's very spot on how distorted American libertarianism, American liberalism, and American socialism are. Pretty much one of the few truly "left-wing" intellectuals who's not a hypocrite).

AI: Handful number of people from Lex Fridman podcast - Joscha Bach, Manolis Kellis, Erik Brynjolfsson,  Andrew Huberman, ... These people have redefined what AI means for me. You can define consciousness, intelligence, and decision making to a degree so abstract that you can view governments and companies as essentially being AI systems; or plants as being intelligent in different time scales than we are. 

The gist is that consciousness, neuroscience, psychology, AI, organizational behavior, and economics are all related.

History: Dan Carlin (hardcore history is awesome)

 
Jan 6, 2021 - 8:44pm

Unfortunately, my source is a foreign non-english source that summarizes his works (with citations).

Surprisingly, I agree with lots of his views.

Examples of views I agree with are:

1) Humanity, regardless of their culture and language, share a common form of "rationality". (Evidenced by the structure of variety of languages and what that means for each culture thinks at a most fundamental level). Hence if everyone can just calm the fuck down and practice discourse, constructive criticism, and proper debate then we can actually solve many of the world's problems.

2) Free market capitalism in its true form is a good system that makes everyone free, better off, and ultimately equal. Unfortunately, greedy and power hungry businesspeople and politicians have been pushing for crony capitalism under the disguise of "free market capitalism".(His criticism of America is the justified because he sees America as the biggest force of crony capitalism). He says the same thing about socialism - its promises have been used as a disguise by power hungry people to push for authoritarianism.

3) This is essentially why both systems get a bad rep. So even criticizing both systems are rather moot, because what they're really criticizing are crony capitalism and authoritarianism, the source of which are one and the same, power and greed. Only difference is when these power hungry and greedy people go into government, they'll push for authoritarianism. When the same people go into business, they'll push for crony capitalism.

 
  • Intern in S&T - Equities
Jan 6, 2021 - 8:07pm

Mark Manson has some interesting blog posts. More of a self-help kind of vibe but still interesting and thought provoking

 
Jan 8, 2021 - 5:16am

MaxEbic

What does he write about? Could probably just do a google search but you tell me.

Summary of his book:

-humans are fundamentally good, so we should just eliminate borders and give universal basic income to everyone and it'll be fine

Petty, envious academic, who's bad at his own discipline of choice and worse at everything else. A preacher of irresponsibility, simplistic visions and unearned arrogance.

I'd rank him n.1 among the worst frauds, followed by Yuval Harari and Steven Pinker.

Can be summoned to make fun of liberals at will. 

 
Jan 6, 2021 - 8:54pm

I really respect Sam Harris, despite some small disagreements - he has a very straightforward and analytical approach. I'd say I like Jordan Peterson but in recent months I really started to question how much of his talks are actually profound and introspective and how much of it is just empty words that leave you with the impression of having heard something profound. Furthermore - his inability to articulate his opinion on god seems like a copout. He won't go out and state objectively that he literally believes in a god, but he keeps saying that we have to "live with god" else fall to nihilistic and base impulses that lead to our downfall. I honestly get the impression that he's an atheist who essentially thinks that society should act as if god exists, without actually himself believing it at its core. It's almost like a part of his logic is that you have to truly think God is real, otherwise the psychological trick doesn't work, so he conveniently avoids answering the question directly, instead saying things to the effect of "god is order" or "god is virtue" or the classic "God is the peak of the human sociological dominance hierarchy" or some such psychoanalytic phrase.

 

David Chalmers is a really cool contemporary philosopher who has done a lot of interesting work regarding consciousness and was the first person to articulate the concept of the soft and "hard problem" of consciousness. He has a great conversation on the Lex Fridman podcast on YouTube.

 
Jan 6, 2021 - 9:06pm

Peterson has helped a lot of lost and hurt souls, you can just go on his videos and see people tell all about their lives in the comments, it's actually beautiful. However, like I said above, he can be hard to follow at times, especially with the topic of God. I also think he doesn't believe in an actual deity but more so the idea of a god and why it's important for society. From what I gather, his disagreement with the atheist crowd comes from the fact that you can't ground morality without a god, you can still be a good person, but you can't build a civilization without some higher power - I think. 

 
Jan 6, 2021 - 9:11pm

Yeah I definitely agree with you that he does have some pretty powerful ideas - even ones that are deceptively simple on the surface like "clean your room" and just the basic premise of taking responsibility and ownership for your life and being the steward of your own destiny. I think part of the reason he tends to appeal to a more conservative crowd at times, is that he is a very strong proponent of objective moral values, kind of like what you mentioned regarding needing a god to instill objective morality.

A lot of disenfranchised young men feel lost because the vapidness of social media and surface-level consumer culture can be pretty soul-crushing, so Jordan Peterson can definitely be seen as the minister or guiding father that a lot of young men in the modern world lack.

 
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jan 7, 2021 - 2:29am

I respected JP a whole lot and still do, but with how he got so chronically addicted to benzos unknowingly was ridiculous to me. His entire profession was being this incredible psychologist that evidently doesnt realize the side effects of one of the most commonly prescribed drugs by psychologists

 
Jan 7, 2021 - 4:34pm

 

I respected JP a whole lot and still do, but with how he got so chronically addicted to benzos unknowingly was ridiculous to me. His entire profession was being this incredible psychologist that evidently doesnt realize the side effects of one of the most commonly prescribed drugs by psychologists

Benzos are pretty light bro

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

 
Jan 7, 2021 - 10:48pm

JP is the epitome of intellectual bankruptcy. Dude literally contributed like 3 pages of scholarship to some esoteric Jungian psychology that academics have basically left to the dustbins and he's somehow lauded as a worldchanging "public intellectual." He uses nice vocabulary and word structures because it flies over the heads of retarded 20 year old non-target grads. Look at the comments of his "lectures" lmao; it's not uncommon to see cringey trash like

>"OMG I FEEL SO MUCH SMARTER AFTER WATCHING 5 min of JORDAN PETERSON"

He also completely miscontrues Marxism, postmodernism, gender, to name a few. I'm no liberal, but I think it's intellectually disgusting how he doesn't take the time to actually read a few Marxist, postmodern, or gender texts before spewing his thinly veiled alt right hogwash to a crowd of morons which he left his tenured professorship to pursue in the name of riches and fame

 
Jan 7, 2021 - 7:42pm

his shit's not like *about* finance or stats for the most part though. I lost like 80% of my respect for him when I found out how much time he spends arguing with people on twitter.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/
 
Jan 7, 2021 - 8:01pm

You know who DOESN'T think Taleb is an idiot?

Stephen Wolfram, one of the top 100 smartest people on the planet.

 

 
Jan 8, 2021 - 4:44pm

That's the issue with a lot of the posts in this thread. It's dominated by what I would consider pop intellectuals: Taleb, Sam Harris, Hitchens etc.  

A more interesting list would be someting put together by actual intellectuals rather than folks like us trolling Youtube.

 
Jan 9, 2021 - 1:01am

I like taleb a lot. I think the main thing I get from his is not his views on risk / stats / etc, but moreso on how humans have a hard time understanding these things. He does a really good articulating why we miss the point (in practical application / everyday decision making) in these areas.

"one for the money two for the better green 3 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine" - M.F. Doom
 
Jan 8, 2021 - 2:47am

SportGuy

Also really like Davide Serra, Founder & CEO of Algebris fund

He's not really a philosopher by any standard. Also he's an idiot.

Can be summoned to make fun of liberals at will. 

 
Jan 8, 2021 - 2:44am

Great man, such a command of the English language - really like no other. Reading his book Hitch22 at the moment, written just prior to his diagnosis. Great read thus far.

Array

 
Jan 7, 2021 - 3:05pm

Not super modern, but Michel Foucault is a fantastic thinker/philosopher who is a bit out of the mainstream

Array
 
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jan 7, 2021 - 4:32pm

He isn't mainstream? Foucault was one of the only modern philosophers I heard mentioned consistently in my college classes.

 
Jan 7, 2021 - 5:47pm

Well he basically birthed what eventually evolved into all the post-modernist bullshit that is causing problems today. So fuck Foucault.

"The problem with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other peoples money" - Margaret Thatcher
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Jan 9, 2021 - 1:02am

His writings on the "Panopticon" are actually really eye opening / relevant today. Can't really speak to the rest of his stuff.

"one for the money two for the better green 3 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine" - M.F. Doom
 
Jan 7, 2021 - 7:42pm

JM Blakely

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/
 
Jan 7, 2021 - 7:43pm

kai greene pre grapefruit incident

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/
 
Jan 7, 2021 - 8:23pm

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

 
Jan 8, 2021 - 5:32am

These are not categories. Just some arbitrary clusters I think make some sense: 

1. People Who Brought Some Philosophy to Comedy: George Carlin, Richard Pryor, and Ricky Gervais. 

2. People Who Brought Otherwise Complex Thoughts to Common Knowledge: Taleb, Yuval Noah Harari, and an Oncologist named Dr Siddhartha Mukherjee. 

3. Philosophers, Logicians, and Linguists: Kurt Godel, Karl Popper, and Steven Pinker.

4. They Started an Important Chapter in Capitalism: Michael Milken, Jim Simons, Don Valentine, Charles Koch.

Feel free to disagree. 

 

 
Jan 8, 2021 - 10:08pm

I wouldn't entirely disagree with those descriptions but I would not put them in that manner. Milken did pave the way for the corporate raids and PE deals. And Koch kind of institutionalized private enterprise lobbying.

That's why I said I think they started a new chapter in capitalism. The chapter doesn't have to be good.

Whom would you put in the category?

 
Jan 9, 2021 - 3:27pm

Right on with Dr Siddhartha Mukherjee. It was so interesting to see him link the eugenics movement to advances in the science of genetics. Really opened my eyes to how science can be used to justify atrocities if not balanced with ethics and critical thinking

 
Jan 8, 2021 - 11:10am

opinions on eric weinstein?

def lives in an academia echo chamber of libby garbage

def smart tho

but a lot of the shit he talks about is totally unverifiable and makes practically no sense

like how he's obsessed with the universe being one big spiral. like idk what to do with that bro

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/
 
Jan 8, 2021 - 11:56am

I haven't watched enough of his stuff to make up my mind on the guy. I used to watch his podcast, "The Portal" but haven't kept up much with him the last year. 

 
Jan 9, 2021 - 3:49pm

Mixed feelings about him, but half of his tweets are impossible to understand. Just talk like a normal fucking person

Array

 
Jan 8, 2021 - 12:19pm

Sowell, Taleb, Naval that have been mentioned are all excellent choices.

Let me add Yukio Mishima.

Can be summoned to make fun of liberals at will. 

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