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The Michael Shermer Show

Michael Shermer

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The Michael Shermer Show is a series of long-form conversations between Dr. Michael Shermer and leading scientists, philosophers, historians, scholars, writers and thinkers about the most important issues of our time.
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https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/sciencesalon/mss435_Charan_Ranganath_2024_05_28.mp3 Download MP3 A new understanding of memory is emerging from the latest scientific research. In Why We Remember, pioneering neuroscientist and psychologist Charan Ranganath radically reframes the way we think about the everyday act of remembering. Combining accessi…
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A new understanding of memory is emerging from the latest scientific research. In Why We Remember, pioneering neuroscientist and psychologist Charan Ranganath radically reframes the way we think about the everyday act of remembering. Combining accessible language with cutting-edge research, he reveals the surprising ways our brains record the past …
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In recent years, condemnations of racism in America have echoed from the streets to corporate boardrooms. At the same time, politicians and commentators fiercely debate racism’s very existence. And so, our conversations about racial inequalities remain muddled. In Metaracism, Brown University Professor of Africana Studies Tricia Rose cuts through t…
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https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/sciencesalon/mss434_Tricia_Rose_2024_05_25.mp3 Download MP3 In recent years, condemnations of racism in America have echoed from the streets to corporate boardrooms. At the same time, politicians and commentators fiercely debate racism’s very existence. And so, our conversations about racial inequalities remain mud…
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Those who are pursuing social justice too often fail to incorporate the insights of sociology, and when they do make use of sociology, they often draw heavily from claims that are highly contested, unsupported by the evidence, or outright false. This book shows why learning to think sociologically can help us to think better about social justice, p…
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https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/sciencesalon/mss433_Bradley_Campbell_2024_05_21.mp3 Download MP3 Those who are pursuing social justice too often fail to incorporate the insights of sociology, and when they do make use of sociology, they often draw heavily from claims that are highly contested, unsupported by the evidence, or outright false. This …
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https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/sciencesalon/mss432_Sean_Carroll_2024_05_18.mp3 Download MP3 Sean Carroll is creating a profoundly new approach to sharing physics with a broad audience, one that goes beyond analogies to show how physicists really think. He cuts to the bare mathematical essence of our most profound theories, explaining every step …
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Sean Carroll is creating a profoundly new approach to sharing physics with a broad audience, one that goes beyond analogies to show how physicists really think. He cuts to the bare mathematical essence of our most profound theories, explaining every step in a uniquely accessible way. Quantum field theory is how modern physics describes nature at it…
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As a Hillary voter, a New York Times reporter, and frequent attendee at her local gay bars, Nellie Bowles fit right in with her San Francisco neighbors and friends—until she started questioning whether the progressive movement she knew and loved was actually helping people. When her colleagues suggested that asking such questions meant she was “on …
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In Then I Am Myself the World, Christof Koch explores the only thing we directly experience: consciousness. At the book’s heart is integrated-information theory, the idea that the essence of consciousness is the ability to exert causal power over itself, to be an agent of change. Koch investigates the physical origins of consciousness in the brain …
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https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/sciencesalon/mss430_Christof_Koch_2024_05_11.mp3 Download MP3 In Then I Am Myself the World, Christof Koch explores the only thing we directly experience: consciousness. At the book’s heart is integrated-information theory, the idea that the essence of consciousness is the ability to exert causal power over itself,…
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At its simplest, Bayes’s theorem describes the probability of an event, based on prior knowledge of conditions that might be related to the event. But in Everything Is Predictable, Tom Chivers lays out how it affects every aspect of our lives. He explains why highly accurate screening tests can lead to false positives and how a failure to account f…
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https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/sciencesalon/mss429_Tom_Chivers_2024_05_07.mp3 Download MP3 At its simplest, Bayes’s theorem describes the probability of an event, based on prior knowledge of conditions that might be related to the event. But in Everything Is Predictable, Tom Chivers lays out how it affects every aspect of our lives. He explains …
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https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/sciencesalon/mss428_Lisa_Kaltenegger_2024_05_04.mp3 Download MP3 For thousands of years, humans have wondered whether we’re alone in the cosmos. Now, for the first time, we have the technology to investigate. But once you look for life elsewhere, you realize it is not so simple. How do you find it over cosmic dista…
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For thousands of years, humans have wondered whether we’re alone in the cosmos. Now, for the first time, we have the technology to investigate. But once you look for life elsewhere, you realize it is not so simple. How do you find it over cosmic distances? What actually is life? As founding director of Cornell University’s Carl Sagan Institute, ast…
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We all want to be happier, but our brains often get in the way. When we’re too stuck in our heads we obsess over our inadequacies, compare ourselves with others and fail to see the good in our lives. In The Science of Happiness, world-leading psychologist and happiness expert Bruce Hood demonstrates that the key to happiness is not self-care but co…
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https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/sciencesalon/mss427_Bruce_Hood_2024_04_30.mp3 Download MP3 We all want to be happier, but our brains often get in the way. When we’re too stuck in our heads we obsess over our inadequacies, compare ourselves with others and fail to see the good in our lives. In The Science of Happiness, world-leading psychologist a…
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Robin Reames breaks down the major techniques of rhetoric, pulling back the curtain on how politicians, journalists, and “journalists” convince us to believe what we believe—and to talk, vote, and act accordingly. Understanding these techniques helps us avoid being manipulated by authority figures who don’t have our best interests at heart. It also…
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https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/sciencesalon/mss426_Robin_Reames_2024_04_27.mp3 Download MP3 The discipline of rhetoric was the keystone of Western education for over two thousand years. Only recently has its perceived importance faded. In this book, renowned rhetorical scholar Robin Reames argues that, in today’s polarized political climate, we …
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We push ourselves toward the highest-paying, most prestigious jobs, seeking promotions and public recognition. As Adam Gopnik points out, the result is not so much a rat race as a rat maze, with no way out. Except one: to choose accomplishment over achievement. Achievement is the completion of the task imposed from outside. Accomplishment, by contr…
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Pulitzer Prize finalist Annie Jacobsen investigated this ticking-clock scenario, based on dozens of exclusive new interviews with military and civilian experts who have built the weapons, been privy to the response plans, and are responsible for those decisions should they need to be made. Shermer and Jacobsen discuss: surviving a nuclear explosion…
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https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/sciencesalon/mss424_Annie_Jacobsen_2024_04_20.mp3 Download MP3 Every generation, a journalist has looked deep into the heart of the nuclear military establishment: the technologies, the safeguards, the plans, and the risks. These investigations are vital to how we understand the world we really live in—where one nu…
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Nick Bostrom’s previous book, Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies, changed the global conversation on AI and became a New York Times bestseller. It focused on what might happen if AI development goes wrong. But what if things go right? Bostrom and Shermer discuss: An AI Utopia and Protopia • Trekonomics, post-scarcity economics • the hedo…
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https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/sciencesalon/mss423_Nick_Bostrom_2024_04_16.mp3 Download MP3 Nick Bostrom’s previous book, Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies, changed the global conversation on AI and became a New York Times bestseller. It focused on what might happen if AI development goes wrong. But what if things go right? Suppose t…
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When Robert Zubrin published his classic book The Case for Mars a quarter century ago, setting foot on the Red Planet seemed a fantasy. Today, manned exploration is certain, and as Zubrin affirms in The New World on Mars, so too is colonization. From the astronautical engineer venerated by NASA and today’s space entrepreneurs, here is what we will …
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https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/sciencesalon/mss422_Robert_Zubrin_2024_04_13.mp3 Download MP3 When Robert Zubrin published his classic book The Case for Mars a quarter century ago, setting foot on the Red Planet seemed a fantasy. Today, manned exploration is certain, and as Zubrin affirms in The New World on Mars, so too is colonization. From the…
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Shermer and Herold discuss: social robots, sex robots, robot nannies, robot therapists • flying cars, jetpacks and The Jetsons • Masahiro Mori • emotions, animism, mind • emotional intelligence • artificial intelligence • large language lodels • ChatGPT, GPT-4, GPT-5 and beyond • the alignment problem • robopocalypse • robo soldiers • robot sentien…
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Thousands of religions have adherents today, and countless more have existed throughout history. What accounts for this astonishing diversity? This extraordinarily ambitious and comprehensive book demonstrates how evolutionary systematics and philosophy can yield new insight into the development of organized religion. Lance Grande―a leading evoluti…
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https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/sciencesalon/mss420_Lance_Grande_2024_04_06.mp3 Download MP3 Thousands of religions have adherents today, and countless more have existed throughout history. What accounts for this astonishing diversity? This extraordinarily ambitious and comprehensive book demonstrates how evolutionary systematics and philosophy c…
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https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/sciencesalon/mss419_Maggie_Jackson_2024_04_02.mp3 Download MP3 In an era of terrifying unpredictability, we race to address complex crises with quick, sure algorithms, bullet points, and tweets. How could we find the clarity and vision so urgently needed today by being unsure? Uncertain is about the triumph of doin…
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In an era of terrifying unpredictability, we race to address complex crises with quick, sure algorithms, bullet points, and tweets. How could we find the clarity and vision so urgently needed today by being unsure? Uncertain is about the triumph of doing just that. A scientific adventure tale set on the front lines of a volatile era, this epiphany …
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As one of the few black students in his philosophy program at Columbia University years ago, Coleman Hughes wondered why his peers seemed more pessimistic about the state of American race relations than his own grandparents–who lived through segregation. The End of Race Politics is the culmination of his years-long search for an answer. Coleman Hug…
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