“Presidential elections are typically referendums on the state of the economy, but as we all know, presidents inherit economies from their predecessors. Will voters attribute recent positive economic performance to Trump, or will they attribute it to his predecessor Barack Obama? In research I am working on now, I find that voters almost always attribute the current economy to the current incumbent, whether that incumbent has been in office for six months or six years. So, I think the economy will ultimately work toward Trump’s re-election. The Democratic nominee will have to either convince voters the economy is not that strong, or focus on other issues. I am skeptical voters can be convinced that the economy is not Trump’s responsibility.”
“Will the Democratic nominee really affect what happens in November? Statistical models that ignore any qualities of the candidates do a pretty good job at predicting general election winners. More anecdotally, a low-quality nominee in 2016 did not seem to hurt the Republican party’s chances. Despite the intense media attention around who will win the nomination, I do not think it is entirely unreasonable to argue that it will not ultimately matter much.”
Iyad Obeid is an associate professor of electrical engineering who focuses on brain computer interfaces and decoding neural signals.
My conversation with him covers the difficulties of capturing signals from neural tissue, how one can apply machine learning and big data to EEGs, the differences between brains and computers, and what the future of brain machine interfaces might look like.
My guest today is political science professor Brendan O’Leary. He has been an advisor to the United Nations and European Union and has held many other distinguished positions.
We discuss many topics ranging from why and how Northern Ireland became such a contentious point for Brexit, why Brexit has taken so long, the efficacy of referendums, his knowledge on conflicts and power sharing, the future of global politics, and much more.
The conversation covers topics such as the negative impact of the fossil fuel industry on climate progress, the inequality that is tethered to climate change, how dire the climate situation is, what the Green New Deal is, how society can stave off the negative impacts of climate change, and envisioning a new, healthier way of life all together.