Conversations about philosophy, science, religion and spirituality

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Ask a F*ck-Up (Aryeh Cohen-Wade & Brandy Jensen)

How Brandy came to write an advice column called "Ask a F*ck-Up" ... Young people's problems: depression, alienation, loneliness ... Brandy's central theme: the responsibilities we bear to each other ... Can "bad men" change? ... The different questions men and women ask ... Brandy: A "sex strike" would never work ... In defense of being in your own Twitter bubble ... Why are there so many depressed people on Twitter? ...


 05 November 2018  48m

Philosopher Owen Flanagan: Doubt Yourself (John Horgan & Owen Flanagan)

Owen's transition from Catholicism to "quiet skepticism" ... The problem of evil ... The hubris of modern philosophers ... Can we live with the scientific image of man? ... The origin of the universe, life, and consciousness ... Owen: Doubt yourself ... Does philosophy lead to practical wisdom? ... Mind-altering chemicals and free will ...


 04 November 2018  1h12m

The Neuroscience of Memory (Robert Wright & Eric Kandel)

The research on memory that won Eric the Nobel Prize ... The difference between normal memory loss and Alzheimer's ... Eric's new book, The Disordered Mind ... Eric's breakthrough study of marine snails with giant nerve cells ... What it's like to win the Nobel Prize ... Eric's childhood escape from Nazi-ruled Vienna to America ... Why Vienna was a center of intellectual ferment in the early 20th century ...


 03 November 2018  52m

Scientology's "Tech," and Why You Should Care About It (Nikita Petrov & Tony Ortega)

Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard's most compelling story ... Hubbard as a writer ... Hubbard’s mystical experience during a dental surgery ... “Study tech”: Scientology’s obsession with dictionaries ... Bullbaiting, or pushing one’s buttons ... How Scientology teaches followers to identify enemies ... The Matrix scenario ...


 31 October 2018  1h32m

Minding Emotions: Music Edition (Stephen Asma & Rami Gabriel)

Minding Emotions: music edition ... The emotional shift between minor and major chords ... Examining tonal dissonance in Western music ... When melodies become “pregnant with meaning” ... Why we find beauty in disharmony ... Rami: Social class and culture imbue music with meaning, too ... Is music hardwired in humans? ... How practicing art and music hones the eye and the ear ...


 28 October 2018  1h1m

The Science Advice Goddess (Robert Wright & Amy Alkon)

Amy's self-help book, Unf*ckology ... Amy’s path from “the cooties girl” to advice columnist ... Impersonating your way to the real you ... How to overcome fear and anxiety ... Why shame is neither good nor bad ... Amy: Be authentic to your values, not to your self ... The wrong way to get people to change ...


 27 October 2018  1h7m

Deepak Chopra: "I Don't Think There's a Universe" (John Horgan & Deepak Chopra)

Introducing the Mind-Body Problems podcast ... Monistic materialism: there’s only matter ... Dualism: mind and matter are separate things ... Panpsychism: all matter is conscious ... Deepak’s consciousness-only theory ...


 25 October 2018  1h0m

Human Clickbait (Aryeh Cohen-Wade & Max Read)

Viewing the Trump-Kanye meeting through the lens of mental illness ... The shared traits that make Trump and Kanye irresistible to the media ... How online news and social media created the "attention economy" ... Did reality TV remake reality? ... Jake and Logan Paul: brothers, YouTube superstars, and possible sociopaths ... How social media helps people with mental illness ...


 23 October 2018  40m

The Lottocracy (Colin Pugh & Alex Guerrero)

Does democracy have to mean voting? ... Democratic systems as forms of technologies ... Imagining many legislatures, each devoted to a single issue ... Capture and accountability in elections ... How would randomly selected politicians learn about policy? ... Leveraging collective knowledge for political decisions ... Alex: Elections encourage short-term focus and tribalism ...


 15 October 2018  1h11m

The Unconscious Reasons We Do What We Do (Robert Wright & John Bargh)

John's book on unconscious motivations, Before You Know It ... Why thinking about the flu makes you more opposed to immigration ... Are ethnic and gender stereotypes self-fulfilling prophecies? ... The Protestant work ethic as a core part of American psychology ... Don’t resist temptations. Avoid them! ... How to use an "implementation intention" to get things done ... How have John’s famous lever-pulling experiments held up over time? ... Is the "replication crisis" really a crisis? ...


 12 October 2018  1h17m