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My guest today is Claire Lehmann, the founder and editor-in-chief of Quillette, a for-profit online magazine that publishes essays on topics like politics, science, and academia. We started our conversation talking about Quilette’s business model and the niche it occupies on the Internet. Then, we moved on to societal topics like the longevity of bureaucracies, the pros and cons of standardized tests, and what Claire would change about childhood education.
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1:31 – Why Claire believes being a for-profit instead of a non-profit gives her and her company more freedom.
5:32 – What Quillette has learned through publishing so many submitted articles over the years.
10:15 – The relationship between free speech and innovation.
13:12 – What we can learn from how Russia handled scientific experimentation and their lack of freedom to critique it.
15:08 – Why one of the biggest flaws Claire sees with higher education is that it seems necessary for people to go.
20:17 – How higher education is only creating academics and not lifelong students.
23:32 – Why organizations may have a lifecycle and how it plays into the problems that come with their extended growth.
29:45 – Why Claire believes literacy in subjects like psychology and statistics is massively underrated.
34:55 – What Enlightenment-era values are justly held in high regard, and which we may need to reconsider in the modern age.
40:54 – The historical reasons why intellectualism is not a strong value in Australia.
43:46 – What Claire has learned about childhood education through her time at Quillette, and why she believes younger children need to spend most of their time learning facts.
51:04 – Why standardized testing is beneficial for children from underprivileged families.
55:37 – What Claire believes to be her strengths in both her personal and business life.
58:12 – What about the book “The Custom And The Country” makes Claire love it so much.
1:01:42 – What it may mean for our brains as we possibly move into a “post-literate” society.
1:05:03 – Claire’s favorite articles she’s ever hosted on Quillette.
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