Episode

4/10 ABORTION PILL FIGHT; Inside A Hacker’s Mind w/ Bruce Schneier

April 10, 2023

Happy Monday! In a pre-taped conversation, Sam speaks with Bruce Schneier, lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, to discuss his recent book A Hacker’s Mind: How the Powerful Bend Society’s Rules, and How to Bend them Back. First Emma, runs through updates on the leaking of classified documents about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the potential reinstatement of Rep. Justin Jones to the Tennessee Statehouse, the revelations about Harlan Crow’s interests (beyond buying politicians), Rutgers’ faculty strike, and Israel’s expansive bombings over Ramadan, before parsing through the recent overturning (and overturning of said overturning?) of the multi-decade precedent of the FDA’s approval of the abortion pill Mifepristone. Next, Bruce Schneier dives right into the concept of hacking as a way to subvert the intent of a system while following its rules, something not inherently negative or criminal, as he walks Sam through myriad examples of non-digital hacking, from the first filibuster to the rules of F1 and cricket, and how those in power of the system responded. Sam and Schneier then turn more particularly to the role that power plays in this equation, with hacks against those with power getting codified out while hacks by the powerful are often accepted, walking through the politics of tax loopholes and financial “hacks” in comparison to the technological hacking of financial institutions and corporations. Wrapping up, they explore how to push back on this power imbalance, the role Artificial Intelligence, in particular, can play in helping the public scope out and regulate the hacks of the elites, and why keeping AI privatized is antithetical to its ability to level the playing field.

And in the Fun Half, Emma and Bradley discuss Clarence Thomas’s Nazi-curious friend Harlan Crow and his breathless flop sweating defenders (Jonah Goldberg, David French, Ben Shapiro and…Glenn Greenwald), Jon Stewart taking on a Defense Department ghoul on C-SPAN, Nancy Mace surprisingly siding with AOC on not following freak Texas Judge Kacsmaryk’s abortion court order, the tragic uncoupling of Elon Musk and Matt Taibbi, plus your calls & IM’s!

Check out Bruce’s book here: https://www.schneier.com/books/a-hackers-mind/

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