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Matt Freeman returns to talk about Decision Theory, and the discusion ranges far afield. Matt is from The Guild of the Rose, which we had a recent episode about. You can see his Decision Theory Course videos here. Scott Alexander on All Debates Are Bravery Debates Our previous Newcomb episode Our previous Torture vs Dust Specks episode The Kindness…
 
In this conversation with Steven Pinker on his new book Rationality, the Harvard psychologist and Michael Shermer discuss how today humanity is reaching new heights of scientific understanding — and also appears to be losing its mind. How can a species that developed vaccines for COVID-19 in less than a year produce so much fake news, medical quack…
 
Unlike the wars in Vietnam and Iraq, the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 had near-unanimous public support. At first, the goals were straightforward and clear: to defeat al-Qaeda and prevent a repeat of 9/11. Yet soon after the United States and its allies removed the Taliban from power, the mission veered off course and US officials lost sight …
 
Michael Shermer speaks with Mary Grabar about her books Debunking the 1619 Project: Exposing the Plan to Divide America and Debunking Howard Zinn: Exposing the Fake History That Turned a Generation Against America. According to the New York Times’s “1619 Project,” America was not founded in 1776, with a declaration of freedom and independence, but …
 
In recent years, scientists have shown that DNA makes us different, in our personalities and in our health — and in ways that matter for educational and economic success in our current society. Michael speaks with University of Texas (Austin) professor of clinical psychology and Director of the Developmental Behavior Genetics Lab, Kathryn Paige Har…
 
How Newcomb’s problem applies to real-life. We discuss Newcomblike problems are the norm (LW crosspost). Also mentioned: Replacing Guilt Audiobook! Our episode on Replacing Guilt Our episode on Talking To Strangers part 1, and part 2 Hey look, we have a discord! What could possibly go wrong? Also merch! Rationality: From AI to Zombies, The Podcast,…
 
In this conversation on two of the hottest social and cultural issues of our day — the decline of religion and the rise of identity politics, Mary Eberstadt presents her alternative theory for the “secularization thesis” (that religious decline was followed by the decline of the family), arguing instead that the undermining of the family has underm…
 
Democracy is in trouble. Why? In Our Own Worst Enemy, Tom Nichols challenges the current depictions of the rise of illiberal and anti-democratic movements in the United States and elsewhere as the result of the deprivations of globalization or the malign decisions of elites. Rather, he places the blame for the rise of illiberalism on the people the…
 
Michael Shermer speaks with Mike Rothschild, a journalist specializing in conspiracy theories, about QAnon and its followers. On October 5th, 2017, President Trump made a cryptic remark in the State Dining Room at a gathering of military officials. He said it felt like “the calm before the storm” — then refused to elaborate as puzzled journalists a…
 
Michael Shermer speaks with Gale Sinatra and Barbara Hofer about the key psychological explanations for science denial and doubt that can help provide a means for improving scientific literacy and understanding — critically important at a time when denial has become deadly. Sinatra and Hofer offer tools for addressing science denial and explain bot…
 
We settle the ultimate question once and for all. also discussed: Julia Galef’s quick video on Bayesian Thinking Bulletproofing deters warlords Steven’s friend’s GoFundMe Our first and second and third episodes on cryonics. The interview with Rudi Hoffman is the third one, and he can help get you signed up at rudihoffman.com. Also the Cryonics Inst…
 
Michael Shermer speaks with Ashley Rindsberg about his book The Gray Lady Winked in which he pulls back the curtain on the the world’s most powerful news outlet and flagship of the American news media, the New York Times, to reveal a quintessentially human organization where ideology, ego, power and politics compete with the more humble need to pre…
 
We pile on “to-dos” but don’t consider “stop-doings.” We create incentives for good behavior, but don’t get rid of obstacles to it. We collect new-and-improved ideas, but don’t prune the outdated ones. Every day, across challenges big and small, we neglect a basic way to make things better: we don’t subtract. Leidy Klotz’s pioneering research shows…
 
We are living through the most prosperous age in all of human history, yet people are more listless, divided and miserable than ever. Wealth and comfort are unparalleled, and yet our political landscape grows ever more toxic, and rates of suicide, loneliness, and chronic illness continue to skyrocket. How do we explain the gap between these two tru…
 
In this special episode of the podcast Michael Shermer honors the 20th anniversary of 9/11 with a commentary on the truth about that event and how it changed our lives, 7 myths about terrorism that need debunking if we are to understand how we should respond to this threat, and why we need not sacrifice liberty for security.…
 
We discuss You Are In Newcomb’s Box and The IQ Shredder also touched on – Why Does Singapore Have Such A Low Birthrate? Hey look, we have a discord! What could possibly go wrong? Also merch! Rationality: From AI to Zombies, The Podcast, and the other podcast LessWrong posts Discussed in this Episode: The Tragedy of Group Selectionism Fake Selfishne…
 
Bullshit is the foundation of contaminated thinking and bad decisions that leads to health consequences, financial losses, legal consequences, broken relationships, and wasted time and resources. No matter how smart we believe ourselves to be, we’re all susceptible to bullshit — and we all engage in it. While we may brush it off as harmless marketi…
 
Tom Thumb, world traveler and author, talks about his latest book titled "Science for Hippies: An alternative guide to how we know anything at all". It's a brilliant, approachable book on how we know what we know. You can pick it up at a great price on Amazon in either Kindle or print on demand.Di The HiveMind Group
 
Cooperation is the means by which life arose in the first place. It’s how we progressed through scale and complexity, from free-floating strands of genetic material, to nation states. But given what we know about the mechanisms of evolution, cooperation is also something of a puzzle. How does cooperation begin? A biologist by training, Nichola Raih…
 
In episode 205, Michael Shermer speaks with Richard Dawkins, the author of The Selfish Gene, voted The Royal Society’s Most Inspiring Science Book of All Time, and also the bestsellers The Blind Watchmaker, Climbing Mount Improbable, The Ancestor’s Tale, The God Delusion, and two volumes of autobiography, An Appetite for Wonder and Brief Candle in …
 
In episode 204, Michael Shermer speaks with codirector of undergraduate studies in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, Carole Hooven, PhD about testosterone. While most people agree that sex differences in human behavior exist, they disagree about the reasons. But the science is clear: testosterone is a potent force …
 
We discuss The Guild of the Rose with Matt Freeman. This is somewhat of a follow-up, we first did a show about them when they were called The Guild of Servants. Join their beta! Things we mention: Of course The Guild of the Rose, and their Patreon Matt’s 2018 appearance on our show – Freestyle Community Talk with Matt Freeman CFAR (Center For Appli…
 
“Climate change is a hoax — and so is coronavirus.” “Vaccines are bad for you.” These days, many of our fellow citizens reject scientific expertise and prefer ideology to facts. They are not merely uninformed — they are misinformed. They cite cherry-picked evidence, rely on fake experts, and believe conspiracy theories. How can we convince such peo…
 
When it comes to what we believe, humans see what they want to see. We have what Julia Galef calls a “soldier” mindset: a drive to defend the ideas we most want to believe — and shoot down those we don’t. But if we want to get things right more often, argues Galef, we should train ourselves to have a “scout” mindset. Unlike the soldier, a scout’s g…
 
In this AMA Dr. Michael Shermer answers your questions about evolution and creationism, intelligent design theory, the hard problem of consciousness, the origins of morality, how science deals with anomalies, to what extent humans are naturally rational or irrational / skeptical or gullible, and why there is something rather than nothing.…
 
August 15 marks the 50th anniversary of day one of the Stanford Prison Experiment — one of the most controversial studies in the history of social psychology. In this conversation, Michael Shermer speaks with renowned social psychologist and creator of the Stanford Prison Experiment Philip Zimbardo, exploring the mechanisms that make good people do…
 
We discuss the review of the book Crazy Like Us Also the highlights from the comments of the review Quick single-line spoiler for ep 3 of Loki occurs at 41:52 and lasts for ~20 seconds. Discussed in the show: The Greatest Show on Earth Old Suicide Squad Editting Fail Making Sense ep 180 – Sex and Power Very Bad Wizards ep 198 – Is Mental Illness a …
 
This conversation takes a deep dive into disruptions. How do things change? The question is critical to the historical study of any era but it is also a profoundly important issue today as western democracies find the fundamental tenets of their implicit social contract facing extreme challenges from forces espousing ideas that once flourished only…
 
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