#16 @Generativist on Polarization, Twitter, and Computational Social Science


Johnny ‘@Generativist’ Nelson joins me on this wonderful episode. We do a deep dive into how beliefs and trust shape individuals and relationships, especially through the lens of social networks.

Johnny builds virtual things to simulate concrete ones. You can find his writing on his website generativist.falsifiable.com. Johnny is a Computational Social Scientist working with Data Science. He has experience at the CATO Institute, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, and spent some time at our favorite George Mason University. He’s a multiple-time founder, most recently of Practical Theta and Abreka.

I was fascinated to learn so much about social interaction from Johnny. I ask him about things like:

  • How to we live a healthier life that includes online social networks?

  • What are Collision Spaces?

  • What can we do about echo chambers and polarization?

  • What’s wrong with the social sciences?

  • What is the role of trust and commitment in developing relationship depth?

  • How should we think about the scarcity of attention?

We also discuss New York, Rationalism, Twitter, Facebook, the future of social networks, books, and much more!

Happy Easter!


Selected links from this episode:

Johnny’s Website

My episode with @Liminal_Warmth

My episode with @Visakanv

My episode with @Eigenrobot

@Sonyasupposedly, @theAnnagat, @chaosprime

The Noosphere

A Short Stay in Hell by Steven Peck

The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin

The Origin of Wealth by Eric Beinhocker

The Red Queen by Matt Ridley

Unflattening by Nick Sousanis