Canine Update

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

On this momentous day, in which the very nature of American politics may be defined anew for the foreseeable future, Jonah wanted to have on Razib Khan, director of science at Insitome, to talk about the most relevant, up-to-the-minute, topical subject so that, in this consciousness-shifting moment, we may be able to hold on for dear life and come up with a coherent worldview amidst the chaos. That subject, you ask? Dog genetics. How did Man’s Best Friend become such a highly variegated species – some big, some small, some smart, others dumb, and on and on with countless other variables? Razib fills us in on the state of research into canine development over the last 10,000 years, why the regional variations between lineages of dog are so distinct, and how the new frontiers of this genetic research seek to address “how these animals became what they are, and how they evolved alongside humans in response to environmental pressures.” We also get to hear Razib voice what may be the most controversial statement of our political era: “Wolves are smarter than dogs.” Tune in to hear Razib defend this heretical stance.

Show Notes:

-Razib’s freshly-minted newsletter

-Get tickets for The Dispatch’s event, “What’s Next: Election 2020 and Beyond”

-Razib in Quillette: “The Evolutionary History of Man’s Best Friend”

-The Remnant with Cass Sunstein

-Eusocial animals

-The Invaders: How Humans and Their Dogs Drove the Neanderthals to Extinction

-Przewalski’s Horse

-Origins and genetic legacy of prehistoric dogs

-NYT writeup of the Science magazine article

-Ancestry’s German-turned-Irish guy

-Border Collie intelligence

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Episodes (277)

Episode 260 · 1 month ago

Doing the Hamlet Act

In true Remnant fashion, Jonah speaks to Seth Masket – a political scientist at the University of Denver – in an attempt to understand why so few people in American life actually get what they want out of their vote. In Seth’s new book, Learning from Loss, he traces the Democratic Party’s inability to come up with a coherent “autopsy” post-2016 as Republicans did post-2012 (which is not to say that the GOP actually followed its own advice; we wouldn’t have Trump if it did). There’s some debate punditry at the beginning, before Seth and Jonah swiftly move into the explanations that Democratic organizers and activists have developed for why Clinton lost to Trump. The primary explanations often focus on a contentious topic: identity politics. As Seth says, “Doing this research helped to remind me that all identity claims are essentially a construction,” but for something so artificial, they have a very outsized effect on our politics. While Seth and Jonah effectively take opposite sides on this issue, they generate much more light than heat, while also arriving at an answer to the fundamentally important question in 2020: For a party so concerned with diversity, how is it that the Dems ended up nominating a septuagenarian white guy?

Show Notes:

-30-day trial at The Dispatch

-Seth’s new book, Learning from Loss: The Democrats, 2016-2020

-White liberals have moved farther to the left

-Overdetermined phenomena

-Weather’s effect on elections

-The RNC’s 2012 “autopsy”

-The invisible primary

-The Party Decides

-Ashley Jardina’s White Identity Politics

-Breaking the Two-Party Doom Loop

-DrinkHydrant.com/Dingo for 25% off your first order

-Acton.org/Dingo to subscribe to the Acton Line podcast

Episode 259 · 2 months ago

Intravenous Gin Drip

Join Jonah on today’s episode of The Remnant with our first-time guest: CBS’s John Dickerson. The subjects included in John’s latest book, The Hardest Job in the World, will allow you to get a fix of incredible nerdiness about presidential history in equal proportion to your daily recommended dosage of rank punditry. Why is it that we’ve made the presidency, in John’s words “essentially an impossible job”? Another shock: Many of the parts of presidential decorum that we consider par for the course are actually pretty ahistorical, and John makes the case that this weird, patristic view of the presidency in which the Executive has to appear in person at every important going-on throughout the country actually erodes some of the prudential, quiet, considered principles meant to undergird the job. Oh, and there’s some mutual Wilson-bashing in store as well, which is always a bonus.

Show Notes:

-John’s book, The Hardest Job in the World: The American Presidency

-Franklin’s final speech at the Constitutional Convention

-Theodore Roosevelt and “scientific management”

-FDR flying into Chicago to accept the nomination in person

-Bill Bennett’s Book of Virtues

-Ancestry.com/Remnant to discover your story

-Harrys.com/Dingo to receive your free trial offer today

Episode 258 · 2 months ago

Style, Substance, and The Stage

Jonah’s longtime friend Tevi Troy makes his second appearance on the program, this time to discuss not only the history of presidential debates, but also to share some info on how the sausage gets made from his time doing debate prep for George W. Bush. Beyond simply recounting some of the best zingers in the history of these debates (“The youth and inexperience of my opponent…” “You’re no Jack Kennedy.”), they discuss the degree to which these moments are actually staged, and how the pretzel-like overcomplicated logic of certain debate preppers actually contribute to their candidate looking pretty silly on national TV. Keeping this history in mind, Tevi also talks about what he’ll be looking for in the upcoming debates (both campaigns should be taking notes, honestly), and happily discovers that he has reached “Vin Cannato Equilibrium” in the canon of the REU (Remnant Extended Universe).

Show Notes:

-30-day free trial at The Dispatch

-Tevi’s latest book, Fight House

-George H. W. Bush looks at his watch

-“Conservatism as a Second Language”

-Intra-American migration due to COVID

-Quayle/Gore debate highlight

-Bush headchecks Gore

-Biden decides to be, uh, pugilistic towards Paul Ryan

Episode 257 · 2 months ago

Leeroy Jenkins at Fort Sumter

Fellow Dispatcher David French returns to the program on the publishing date of his new book, Divided We Fall: America’s Secession Threat and How to Restore Our Nation. If you’ve looked around at American politics over the last few years, and you’ve started to view the coastal states and the middle of the country as a bickering couple – wondering, “Why don’t they just break up already? – David’s book is for you. Jonah asks David to outline some of the scenarios by which a fracturing of the republic could happen, and works through the ways that America’s spirit could be successfully restored – all while avoiding an Articles of Confederation-style mess in which the country’s regions become too individually weak to do anything. Join for this enlightening discussion, and stick around until the end for characteristic rankness on Tenet, Amazon’s The Boys, and the mighty Dune.

Show Notes:

-David’s book, Divided We Fall: America’s Secession Threat and How to Restore Our Nation

-Don’t forget to take advantage of our 30 day free trial of The Dispatch

-Jonah’s piece on Supreme Court deal-making

-David’s piece on the same topic

-Cass Sunstein: “The Law of Group Polarization”

-Is Barack Obama the Messiah?