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Robert Wright and guests talk about politics and other matters, on Bloggingheads.tv

Robert Wright and guests talk about politics and other matters, on Bloggingheads.tv
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United States

Description:

Robert Wright and guests talk about politics and other matters, on Bloggingheads.tv

Language:

English


Episodes

Robert Wright & David Pearce

6/22/2018
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Defining transhumanism ... Why David is pessimistic about the Singularity ... Becoming happier by shifting our "hedonic set points" ... Could we phase out suffering by tackling its genetic roots? ... Can chemicals deliver enduring happiness? ... Why David has never tasted meat ... Is transhumanism a secular religion? ...

Duration:01:06:28

Robert Wright & Omar Baddar

6/18/2018
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Omar critiques Wajahat Ali's controversial article on West Bank settlers ... How the Israel/Palestine conflict is covered in the media ... The Israel Anti-Boycott Act ... Bob offers a defense of Ali's article ... Has the Mideast conversation shifted in America? ... Omar sees the Boycott Israel movement growing in power ... Israeli fears of Palestinian violence and their political consequences ...

Robert Wright & Jim Holt

6/15/2018
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Jim's new book of essays, When Einstein Walked with Gödel ... The Platonists who believe mathematics is transcendent ... Against viewing math as transcendent ... The implications of Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem ... What's so special about light? Einstein can explain ... Tachyons, the hypothetical particles that travel faster than light ... How Jim became a "rigorous dilettante" (with cameos by B.F. Skinner and Bette Midler) ...

Duration:01:22:25

Robert Wright & Adam Frank

6/11/2018
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Adam's new book, Light of the Stars: Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth ... Adam: Climate change is a civilizational inevitability ... How many planets are in our galaxy? Guess again. It’s more than that. ... How pessimists about the existence of extraterrestrial life became optimists ... Why haven't we heard from any aliens? ... Does fighting climate change require spiritual change? ... Why the Gaia hypothesis isn't new-age hooey ... The theoretical archaeology of exo-civilizations ...

Duration:01:06:56

Robert Wright & Wajahat Ali

6/8/2018
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How Wajahat got disinvited from a major Muslim conference ... The Israel-Palestine conflict: Jews vs. Muslims or Jews vs. Arabs? ... Why publishing in The Atlantic fueled the controversy ... Wajahat’s essay takes criticism from left and right ... Worst-case scenarios ... Can the international community change the equation? ... The case against Wajahat, and his response ...

Duration:01:04:48

Robert Wright & Brian Greene

6/4/2018
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Why a particle isn't what you think it is ... Reasons to doubt the many worlds interpretation ... The theory Einstein developed that he didn't believe ... Would going back in time violate the laws of physics? ... Black holes and the natural selection of universes ... What are the strings in string theory made of? ... Audience Q and A ...

Duration:01:38:09

Robert Wright & Shireen Al-Adeimi

6/1/2018
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Yemen-born Shireen on the civil war in her homeland ... Why is the US helping Saudi Arabia bomb Yemen? ... Shireen: The Saudis work with Al Qaeda in Yemen ... A brief history of the conflict in Yemen ... How the war turned Shireen into an activist ... What's the Saudi endgame? What's the Houthi endgame? ... Is the US in effect helping Al Qaeda and ISIS in Yemen? ...

Duration:00:56:00

Robert Wright & Nikita Petrov

5/29/2018
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“The harshness of Russian law is softened by its optionality” ... Nikita’s briefly successful escape from a paddy wagon at a political rally ... It’s not always Putin who kills Russian journalists (Meet Chechnya’s leader) ... A look inside Russia’s supposedly fearsome troll factory ... Support for Putin and Russia's intimate relationship with suffering ... “Monstration”: a mock rally investigating the absurd ...

Duration:01:09:41

Robert Wright & Massimo Pigliucci

5/25/2018
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What is the Logos? ... The practicality of metaphysics ... Philo of Alexandria's vision of global harmony ... Plotinus and the connection between human and divine ... The Logos and Christianity ... The Logos as an algorithm ... Why do the laws of physics infallibly work? ... Carl Jung and the Logos (and Jordan Peterson's Jungianism) ...

Duration:01:05:58

Robert Wright & Michael Brooks

5/21/2018
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Do you have to be tribal to have a big following? ... Identity politics and its discontents ... What made Trump's xenophobia an electoral winner? ... Michael responds to Mark Lilla's critique of the left ... The Intellectual Dark Web as a branding exercise ... How delicately should the left approach the subject of race? ...

Duration:01:12:35

Robert Wright & Bret Weinstein

5/18/2018
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The Intellectual Dark Web and the MSM ... How does one join the IDW? ... Bret: Critics on left and right want the IDW to go away ... Is the IDW right wing? ... Why is socialism resurgent? ... Why Bret considers himself to be on the left ... Bret blows Bob’s mind with some grand evolutionary theorizing ...

Duration:01:29:23

Robert Wright & Rania Khalek

5/14/2018
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The quest to reboot the Syrian civil war ... Why toppling Assad would be a catastrophe ... How the Syrian civil war got started ... Some dubious groups the US has armed in Syria ... Assad and chemical weapons ... The reliance of western journalists on rebel PR ...

Duration:01:13:16

Robert Wright & Tamler Sommers

5/11/2018
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Tamler's new book, Why Honor Matters ... Why human dignity is not enough ... Collective honor vs. individual honor ... The difference between honor and courage ... In defense of fighting in sports ... Tamler explains the idea of restorative justice ... Fighting Ted Cruz by calling him dishonorable ...

Duration:01:26:22

Robert Wright & Musa al-Gharbi

5/7/2018
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Is the anti-Trump sentiment of scholars biasing their research? ... Busting demographic myths about the 2016 election ... Status threat vs. economic anxiety as sources of Trump's support ... Do liberals have a deep need to see Trump voters as creepy? ... The many strategic mistakes Clinton made ... "Negative intersectionality" as a problem for Democrats ... Musa gives Trump good odds for 2020 ... Musa: A return-to-normalcy campaign by Dems won't cut it ...

Duration:01:24:12

Robert Wright & Steven Pinker

5/4/2018
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Steve's new book, Enlightenment Now, and Bob's critique ... Cognitive biases that undergird tribalism ... Bob wants to crowdfund a meditation retreat for Steve, who is uncooperative ... How Al Gore’s climate change activism may have hurt his own cause ... Is it crazy to suspect that there’s a larger purpose unfolding through the workings of nature? ... Has our growing grasp of computation and cognition made consciousness less mysterious or more so? ...

Duration:01:15:14

Robert Wright & Damon Linker

4/30/2018
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Damon wonders whether international law is hopeless ... Bob: America would be better off if it respected the UN Security Council ... How legitimate is international law? ... Damon: There's no real judicial system in international law ... United Nations 1.0 vs. United Nations 2.0 ... Why do chemical weapons outrage us in a way that bombs do not? ...

Duration:00:50:00

Robert Wright & Chris Stedman

4/27/2018
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Chris’s experience as a humanist chaplain at Harvard and Yale ... Secular community with a moral tone ... Atheism, anti-theism, and humanism ... Why white nationalist Richard Spencer hates religion ... Atheism and tribalism ... Atheistic fervor as a response to religious trauma ... An inspirational atheism ... Does some New Atheist rhetoric encourage bigotry? ...

Duration:01:16:36

Robert Wright & Jonah Goldberg

4/24/2018
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Jonah's new book, Suicide of the West ... Children of the affluent who hate affluence ... Jonah criticizes the Howard-Zinnified view of history ... The problem with Alinskyite conservatives ... Capitalism and its (white conservative) discontents ... The trouble with being a measured conservative critic of Trump (i.e., being Jonah) ... Jonah’s plan for Western Suicide prevention ...

Duration:01:18:55

Robert Wright & David Roberts

4/23/2018
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David: American conservatism is basically white cultural resentment ... Is the left as tribal as the right? ... The "war on Christmas" as a case study ... Is pluralistic democracy contrary to human nature? ... Maybe nothing can unify Americans as a nation any more ... So whom should the NYT op-ed page hire? ... The one thing Trump could do to alienate his base ...

Duration:01:29:50

Robert Wright & Jon Kabat-Zinn

4/20/2018
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Was the Buddha a Buddhist? ... What the Buddha meant by “suffering” ... Mindfulness as awareness ... "Secular" mindfulness as sacred ... The trap of goal-oriented meditation ... The heart of the Buddha’s message ... When Jon discovered his purpose ... Mindfulness training in schools ...

Duration:01:01:52