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Shermer and Strevens discuss: irrationality and how it drives science • the scientific method • the knowledge machine • irrationality • the replication crisis, what caused it, and what to do about it • verification vs. falsification • the iron rule of explanation • Bayesian reasoning vs. falsification • climate/evolution skeptics • model dependent …
 
Shermer and Seth discuss: “mind” and “consciousness” in context of understanding how molecules and matter give rise to such nonmaterial processes • controlled hallucinations • the hard problem of consciousness • the self and other minds • consciousness and self-awareness as emergent properties • Where does consciousness go during general anaesthesi…
 
Most people rely on their gut instinct to decide how to date, who to marry, where to live, what career path to take, how to find happiness, but what if our gut is wrong? Biased, unpredictable, and misinformed, our gut, it turns out, is not all that reliable. Data from hundreds of thousands of dating profiles have revealed surprising successful stra…
 
Shermer and Rosenfeld discuss: why we have a duopoly • gerrymandering • voting restrictions • how we know all elections are not rigged • abortion • immigration • US foreign policy • the rise of conservative and liberal think tanks • ideology • political polarization • political leanings of industrialists vs. tech billionaires and rural poor vs. urb…
 
Shermer and Morris discuss: the history of Big/Deep History • the US, UK, Europe and the West in the context of Russia and China and his book Why the West Rules — for Now • Russia’s war on Ukraine in the context of his book War: What is it Good For? • the future of energy and civilization in the context of his book Foragers, Farmers, and Fossil Fue…
 
The future is uncertain, a bit spooky, possibly dangerous, maybe wonderful. We cope with this never-ending uncertainty by telling stories about the future: future stories. How do we construct those stories? Where is the future, the place where we set those stories? Can we trust our future stories? And what sort of futures do they show us? David Chr…
 
As we approach the sixtieth anniversary of the violent public assassination of President John F. Kennedy, over half of all Americans surveyed continue to believe that he was killed by a conspiracy involving multiple assassins. Shermer and Gagné discuss: conspiracies and conspiracy theories • what role conspiracy theories play in society • who belie…
 
Michael Shermer speaks with Andrew Yang about the Forward Party, the future of politics in a party duopoly, political partisanship, and how to bring about the change we need. This conversation is based on Yang’s new book Forward: Notes on the Future of Our Democracy. Shermer and Yang discuss: why we have a political duopoly, instead of, say, 7 part…
 
Shermer and Arikha discuss: what it means for a mind to be disrupted • dementia, senility, and Alzheimer’s disease • mental illness and the labeling problem • the social construction of mental illness • neurology and psychiatry • agency and volition • memory and amnesia • autobiographical memory • self and embodied self • brain modularity • brain a…
 
What is gender? How different are men and women? Are differences due to biological sex or to culture? How do they compare with what is known about our fellow primates? Do apes also culturally learn their sex roles or is “gender” uniquely human? Shermer and de Waal discuss: sex and gender in humans, primates, and mammals • who you identify as vs. wh…
 
Shermer and Young discuss: Florida’s “Don’t say ‘gay’” law • What is the appropriate age to discuss sex and gender issues with children? • sex, gender, and trans matters • Critical Race Theory, race and racism, and age appropriate discussions • white privilege and racial profiling • social media and political polarization • Putin, Russia, and Ukrai…
 
Shermer and Vyse discuss: What is a delusion? • veridical perception • perceptual illusions and irrationalities • Kahneman vs. Gigerenzer: rationality, irrationality, and bounded rationality • Rational Choice Theory and Homo economicus • William Clifford v. William James: When is it ok to believe anything upon insufficient evidence? • pragmatic tru…
 
Shermer and Ward discuss: religious immortality • Church of Perpetual Life in Florida • what it means to live forever • why lives have doubled in length the past century • Stein’s Law: things that can’t go on forever won’t • Why do we age and die? • how to live to 100, 1000, 10,000 years • escape velocity to reach immortality • Aubrey de Grey’s pro…
 
Shermer, Hoffman, and Yoeli discuss: the problems game theory was developed to solve • How rational or irrational an animal are we? • the evolutionary logic of game theory • Alan Fiske’s four relationships • kin selection, altruism and reciprocal altruism • deception and self-deception • costly signaling theory • pirate rationality • virtue signali…
 
Do you sometimes dream you can fly like a bird? Gliding effortlessly above the treetops, soaring and swooping, playing and dodging through the third dimension. Computer games, virtual reality headsets, and some drugs can lift our imagination and fly us through fabled, magical spaces. But it’s not the real thing. No wonder some of the past’s greates…
 
Shermer and Murray discuss: what it takes to become a successful writer • Is this “war” on Western civilization just a necessary course correction from the sins of the past? • Is at least some of the criticisms of Western civilization a form of revenge for past wrongs? • CRT: If racism is not the explanation for the present Black/White differences …
 
Shermer and Theroux discuss: how documentary films are made • religious fanaticism and why people believe • UFO cults, end-times sects, and cognitive dissonance • Scientology: religion or cult? • neo-Nazis and anti-Semitism • prisons, pornography, and prostitution • Jeffrey Epstein and Jimmy Savile • self-help movements and gurus • deception and se…
 
Michal Shermer and Jesse Singal discuss: how social scientists determine causality • Primeworld: cognitive priming and how it works (and doesn’t work) • The Malcolm Gladwell-effect (named after the 10,000-hour effect, by Anders Ericsson) • the self-esteem and self-help personal-empowerment movements • power posing and positive psychology • New Age …
 
Shermer and Blattman discuss: Putin, Russia, and Ukraine • game theory and violent conflict • 5 Reasons for conflict and war • common elements of conflict in Medellin, Chicago, Sudan, Somalia, etc. • U.S. foreign policy in Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine, and elsewhere, and its consequences • human nature and conflict: are we wired to fight or do enviro…
 
Increasingly, identity theft is a fact of life: from fake companies selling “credit card insurance”; criminal, medical, and child identity theft; catphishers, tax fraud, fake debt collectors who threaten you with legal action; and much more. We might once have hoped to protect ourselves from hackers with airtight passwords and aggressive spam filte…
 
In this conversation, Shermer speaks with Dave Rubin: New York Times bestselling author, and creator and host of The Rubin Report. According to Rubin, you don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to see that something dark is happening in America. Just look around: Massive corporations monitor our every move. The Thought Police stand ready to cancel …
 
In episode 262, Shermer speaks with Oliver Stone about: the relationship with truth in dramatic films vs. documentary films; how the world would be different if JFK were not assassinated; why diplomacy and trade agreements are necessary with Russia, even now after the invasion of Ukraine; the Cuban Missile Crisis, U.S. Jupiter missiles in Turkey, a…
 
In this conversation with quantum physicist, New York Times bestselling author, and BBC host Jim Al-Khalili reveals how 8 lessons from the heart of science can help us all get the most out of our lives. Today’s world is unpredictable and full of contradictions, and navigating its complexities while trying to make the best decisions is far from easy…
 
Something is wrong with American journalism. Long before “fake news” became the calling card of the Right, Americans had lost faith in their news media. But lately, the feeling that something is off has become impossible to ignore. That’s because the majority of our mainstream news is no longer just liberal; it’s woke. Today’s newsrooms are propaga…
 
Why do you exist? How did atoms and molecules transform into sentient creatures that experience longing, regret, compassion, and even marvel at their own existence? What does it truly mean to have a mind―to think? Science has offered few answers to these existential questions until now. Michael Shermer speaks with computational neuroscientist, Ogi …
 
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