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Robert Wright and guests talk about politics and other matters, on

Robert Wright and guests talk about politics and other matters, on
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Robert Wright and guests talk about politics and other matters, on




The Curse of Bigness (Robert Wright & Tim Wu)

Tim's new book, The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age ... Tim: We're approaching a Standard Oil–like consolidation in tech ... Some subtle negative effects of monopoly ... Type in "batteries" on Amazon, and the first result is batteries made by Amazon ... Tim critiques Robert Bork's famous critique of antitrust law ... Why Bob is worried about monopoly in artificial intelligence ... Mark Zuckerberg as the "bad king" of tech ... How Google and Amazon might be broken up ...


Robert Wright, Sarah Posner, & Mark Schmitt

Sarah and Mark on election surprises ... How the GOP increased its Senate margin ... White evangelicals' transactional relationship with Trump ... How Kavanaugh and the caravan affected the election ... Should Dems run progressive rockstars or boring moderates? ... Why governors matter ... What should the Dem House do? Hold hearings! ... With Sessions forced out, could Mueller's report be shelved? ...


A New Far-Right President in Brazil (Robert Wright & Hugo Godinho)

Hugo reports from Brazil on the election Jair Bolsonaro, who has drawn comparisons to Trump ... The Brazilian right's campaign to discredit the left as corrupt ... Why did the Workers' Party nominate Lula, the jailed ex-president? ... Is Bolsonaro a fascist? ... What Hugo fears from Bolsonaro's rule ... Why an improving economy didn't help the incumbent leftist party ... Hugo: Bolsonaro is worse than Trump ...

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 ...


The Jungle Grows Back (Robert Wright & Robert Kagan)

Why Bob K. calls himself a "liberal realist," not a neoconservative ... Bob K.'s new book on foreign policy, The Jungle Grows Back ... Did America's interventions in the Middle East lead to Trump? ... Could the US have effectuated a better outcome in Syria? ... Bob K.: "There is no such thing as justice in the international system" ... What should US strategy be toward China? ...


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 ...


The Nationalist Revival (Robert Wright & John B. Judis)

Why didn't the Emerging Democratic Majority ever emerge? ... John's new book, The Nationalist Revival ... America's history of ethnonationalism and assimilation ... The coalition of the "left behind" ... The global tension between the "somewheres" and the "anywheres" ... Europe's refugee crisis as a hinge point ... Toward a liberal nationalism ... Is John optimistic or pessimistic? ...


The Opposite of Hate (Robert Wright & Sally Kohn)

Sally's new book, The Opposite of Hate ... Why (gay, lefty) Sally took a gig at Fox News ... A test case of tamping down hate: Ben Shapiro's very bad tweet ... What do liberals get wrong about Trump supporters? ... Sally: Hate is never the answer to hate ... The desire for a loathsome enemy ... Is it crazy to be talking about a second American civil war? ... Sally reveals what the opposite of hate actually is ...


The Hell of Good Intentions (Robert Wright & Stephen Walt)

Steve's new book, The Hell of Good Intentions ... Steve: "Liberal hegemony" has been almost a complete failure ... Why foreign policy watchers were so optimistic in 1993 ... Bill Clinton's foreign policy blunders: Expansion of NATO and "dual containment" of Iran and Iraq ... Steve: Within the foreign policy establishment, failure has no consequences and dissent is punished ... How both Obama and Trump were captured by the foreign policy "blob" ... Why are so many think tanks interventionist?...


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? ...


Toward a New US Foreign Policy (Robert Wright & Peter Beinart)

Why are Democrats attacking Trump’s foreign policy from the right? ... How many voters really care about foreign policy? ... What’s behind the recurring impulse to expand NATO? ... Is the new Cold War driven more by Russia or the US? ... The case for letting China have Taiwan ... Bob’s pitch for a progressive realist foreign policy ...


Enlightened Enough for Now (Robert Wright & Lama Surya Das)

Is Buddhism a philosophy or a religion? ... Surya Das: "I'm enlightened enough for now" ... Attachment, aversion, and "original goodness" ... Is an enlightened person by definition a moral person? ... Not-self and Emerson's "transparent eyeball" ... The Dzogchen approach to enlightenment ... Surya Das: Trump has the spark of Buddha nature (and so do you) ...


The Gutfeld Diavlog (Robert Wright & Greg Gutfeld)

Greg's new book, The Gutfeld Monologues ... How going to Berkeley pushed Greg toward conservatism ... Trumpism creates strange ideological bedfellows ... Bob offers a magic solution to the freedom vs. security dilemma ... Was Obama right to avoid the phrase "Islamic radicalism"? ... Trump's savvy use of identity politics ... The secret ingredient to Greg's meditation practice ...


Winners Take All (Robert Wright & Anand Giridharadas)

Anand’s new bestseller, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World ... How the targets of Anand’s book have reacted to it ... Why Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk aren’t saving the world ... Anand explains why it’s not enough for zillionaires to “give back” to society ... What exactly is wrong with American capitalism? ... Bob takes a courageous stand on behalf of Cinnabon ... Anand says the developing world is worse off under Trump ... When Anand dropped a bomb at the Aspen...


Free Expression Online and Around the World (Robert Wright & David Kaye)

Was Alex Jones kicked off social media unfairly? ... Are social media platforms biased against conservatives? ... Algorithms built to play on our intense emotions ... How Facebook catalyzed atrocities in Myanmar ... Could international human rights law help save the Internet? ... Do we need local social media councils? ... Why Europe is leading the way in online regulation ...


The Boys Are Back in Town (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)

So what's the deal with Mickey and Trump? ... Trump the authoritarian, or Trump the pathetic? ... Mickey defends the GOP tax cut ... Bob: Trump’s team wants regime change in Iran, which is a terrible idea ... Bad news for Trump from the New York primary ... Trump Derangement Syndrome at the NYT? ... Is Russiagate a nothingburger? ... Mickey sees an immigration deal, but fears Trump is too incompetent to push it ... Mickey endorses Medicare for All ...


Deep States (Robert Wright & Marc Ambinder)

The anonymous NYT op-ed and who qualifies as a "senior administration official" ... Marc's critique of Bob Woodward's new book ... The various motivations for being an anonymous source ... A history of the idea of a "deep state" ... The ethics of reporting on intelligence leaks ... Marc's new book, The Brink: President Reagan and the Nuclear War Scare of 1983 ... How can the US respond mindfully to Russian provocations? ...


Neuroscience and Free Will (Robert Wright & Gregg Caruso)

What is neuroexistentialism? ... Neuroscience, free will, and existentialism ... The "compatibilist" claim that free will and determinism can co-exist ... To define “free will,” first redefine “agency” ... Why the importance of luck should make us doubt intuitions about free will ... Moral responsibility and the Nazi war criminal thought experiment ... Does Gregg’s personality predispose him to reject retribution? ...


The Failure of Globalism (Robert Wright & Ian Bremmer)

Ian's new book, Us vs. Them: The Failure of Globalism ... Trump’s foreign policy: belligerent nationalism or non-interventionism or both? ... What Trump offers disgruntled voters and the news media ... The perilous future of US-Iran relations ... Do US foreign policy makers pay too much attention to the oil states? ... Ian: Technology is empowering authoritarian regimes ... Why Ian is still optimistic about the world ...


The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity (Robert Wright & K. Anthony Appiah)

Anthony's new book, The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity ... Anthony's own unusual identity ... Cosmopolitanism and its discontents ... Patriotism, nationalism, and "legitimate forms of partiality" ... Against essentialism in religion ... The invention of the idea of a national spirit ... Who owns the culture? ... How class conflict has changed in the US and UK ...