Cross-posting two interviews with Rob Wiblin on plastic straws, nicotine, doping, & whether changing the long term is really possible

Today on our podcast feed, we’re releasing some interviews I recently recorded for two other shows, Love Your Work and The Neoliberal Podcast

To listen, subscribe to the 80,000 Hours Podcast by searching for 80,000 Hours wherever you get your podcasts, or find us on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or SoundCloud.

If you’ve listened to absolutely everything on our podcast feed, you’ll have heard four interviews with me already, but fortunately I think these two don’t include too much repetition, and I’ve gotten a decent amount of positive feedback on both. 

First up, I speak with David Kadavy on Love Your Work

This is a particularly personal and relaxed interview. We talk about all sorts of things, including nicotine gum, plastic straw bans, whether recycling is important, how many lives a doctor saves, why interviews should go for at least 2 hours, how athletes doping could be good for the world, and many other fun topics. 

At some points we even actually discuss effective altruism and 80,000 Hours, but you can easily skip through those bits if they feel too familiar. 

The second interview is with Jeremiah Johnson on the Neoliberal Podcast. It starts at 2 hours and 15 minutes into this recording. 

Neoliberalism in the sense used by this show is not the free market fundamentalism you might associate with that term. Rather it’s a centrist or even centre-left view that supports things like social liberalism, multilateral international institutions, trade, high rates of migration, racial justice, inclusive institutions, financial redistribution, prioritising the global poor, market urbanism, and environmental sustainability. 

This is the more demanding of the two conversations, as listeners to that show have already heard of effective altruism, and so we were able to have Jeremiah offer the best arguments he could against focusing on improving the long term future of the world. 

Jeremiah is more of a fan of donating to evidence-backed global health charities recommended by GiveWell, and does so himself. 

I appreciate him having done his homework and forcing me to do my best to explain how well my views can stand up to counterarguments. It was a challenge for me to paint the whole picture in the half an hour we spent on longtermism and I expect there’s answers in there which will be fresh even for regular listeners. 

I hope you enjoy both conversations! Feel free to email me with any feedback.

The 80,000 Hours Podcast is produced by Keiran Harris.