Dec 26, 2021
Welcome to episode 103 of Activist #MMT. Today I talk with Warren Mosler about how his ideas for MMT partially came from a love of tinkering and, more broadly, a desire to understand complex systems. He starts by talking about how, at the age of eight, he unknowingly built the fundamental elements of modern computers, using nothing more than wires, batteries, lightbulbs, and soup cans. As an adult, he built race cars driven by professional drivers. He also designed and prototyped a 60-passenger ferry that was built and is still in use today, because it's much more durable and efficient than what came before it.
(Here's a link to part two with Warren.)
Links to snippets from this two-part episode with Warren Mosler:
(Regarding wires, batteries, and lightbulbs, and how they relate to modem computer systems, I can't recommend the 2000 book CODE: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software, by Charles Petzold, highly enough.)
We then talk about what came between, when he played chess and bridge during high school. Like economics, these games are purely-man-made systems of rules, which are decided on by a collective. Unlike economics, no game is used as justification to craft, or not craft, policy desperately needed by millions. Warren talks about how he chose to learn the rules of these games thoroughly and to play them very well, but not dedicate the time required to reach the top echelons of professional players.
Towards the end of today's episode, Warren gives his detailed view of the causes of the OPEC oil crisis, which he witnessed first hand while searching for his first job fresh out of college.
Next week in part two, Warren answers several patron questions, and we end with a very interesting discussion about the poor interface between government and its citizens, and the possible causes of it.If you like what you hear, then I hope you might consider becoming a monthly patron of Activist #MMT. Patrons of Activist #MMT have exclusive access to several full-length episodes (including part two with Warren), right now. A full list is here, each with a brief highlight.
Patrons also get the opportunity to ask my academic guests questions (like next episode with Warren!), and they support the development of my large and growing collection of learn MMT resources – among other MMT things. To become a patron, you can start by going to patreon.com/activistmmt. Every little bit helps a little bit, and it all adds up to a lot. Thanks.
And now, onto my conversation with Warren Mosler. Enjoy.