This is the third and final podcast in an impromptu series examining how the internet—from Substack to Twitter to Zoom to podcasts themselves—has changed (first) science itself, (second) publishing, and now (third), intellectual life overall.
My guest is Anna Gát, founder and CEO of Interintellect (an Emergent Ventures grantee), who is basically the modern salonnière of the internet. Anna was the first person to tell me what Substack was, and recommended I start one. (I promptly ignored her. It sounded like something tech based and very non-New York City: Sub-stack. Git-hub. Years passed, and she was ahead of the curve, like she often is.) As someone as at the center of the scene as is possible, and someone who honestly deserves the title of “intellectual” (if anyone does), I wanted to get her opinion: what does it mean to be an intellectual online?
We discuss the impact the legacy of the communist era had on Anna growing up, the intellectual loneliness that comes with being the most educated generation to ever exist, whether we’re living at the beginning of a Golden Age of engagement, the importance of curation for information consumption, the conspiratorial “shadow self” that haunts all of online thought, the beauty of not knowing who someone is voting for, the difference between being partisan vs. political, how aesthetic taste is fundamentally moral, and why every intellectual must operate like “an American in Paris.”
Speaking of curation, you can subscribe to the Interintellect Substack here: