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This is a space where episode after episode we will try to find a balance between informal conversation and formal argumentation. A space where time and time again we will try to use solid knowledge as a springboard to dive into careful speculation. And, most importantly, a place where we won’t hesitate to invite experts and curious minds to try to reach depths that we couldn’t have reached on our own.

This is a space where episode after episode we will try to find a balance between informal conversation and formal argumentation. A space where time and time again we will try to use solid knowledge as a springboard to dive into careful speculation. And, most importantly, a place where we won’t hesitate to invite experts and curious minds to try to reach depths that we couldn’t have reached on our own.
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This is a space where episode after episode we will try to find a balance between informal conversation and formal argumentation. A space where time and time again we will try to use solid knowledge as a springboard to dive into careful speculation. And, most importantly, a place where we won’t hesitate to invite experts and curious minds to try to reach depths that we couldn’t have reached on our own.




Episode 18. "N" is for Nationalism, National guilt and National pride (with Mohammed Radi)

On the 18th Episode of Till The Bottom we discuss the politics and ethics of all things National. We invited Mohammed Radi for this conversation, a PhD candidate with a strong personal stance on Nationalism, National guilt and National pride who has experience engaging audiences on these topics in the city of Dresden. We do not see eye-to-eye on every issue in the agenda and thanks to that the conversation turned lively and interesting. We tried to build a steelman out of arguments in favor...


Episode 17. On becoming a pianist and on judging art (with Dr. Irina Naumovska)

First of all, find out more about our gifted guest at: http://www.irinanaumovska.com/ In Episode 17 of Till The Bottom, Dr. Irina Naumovska joins us to take us on a tour along the path towards becoming a professional pianist. Dr. Naumovska tells us how a musical education, of the serious kind, starts almost right after stepping out of the cradle. The fisrt half of the Episode is all about her story. How her unwavering passion for the piano spared her from going through the all-too-common...


Episode 16. Men, women, consent and inequality of outcome (with Dr. Swati Krishnan)

In this (audio exclusive) episode of Till The Bottom we have Dr. Swati Krishnan to discuss a variety of topics that deservedly have attracted a great deal of attention in recent years. The landscape in which men and women interact keeps on shifting ever more dynamically, so much that it seems that finding ways to sail through it as smooth as possible is a project in permanent construction. We begin by wondering how much progress towards gender equality has been made since the days when...


Episode 15. It's all about the kink: penises, rough sex, rape fantasies

One thing led to another until things got quite kinky in the 15th Episode of Till The Bottom. It was to be expected. In which other direction could a conversation head when your starting point is "sexual selection"? Following up from Episode 14, we got deeper into trying to find a naturalistic angle to approach some spicy aspects of human sexuality and anatomy. We talked quite a bit about penises, human and otherwise, what they are for in general and in particular. We talked about the...


Episode 14. The evolution of beauty: from humans to birds and back

In this episode we sit down to discuss the very origins of beauty. Are the rather maligned "standards of beauty" imposed upon us by cultural means? Do we absorb them by being constantly bombarded by publicity and movies? As we argue, beauty is a much deeper and universal concept with a long evolutionary history. Beauty transcends human whims, it pervades the animal kingdom. Aesthetics is not the exclusive dominion of our species, in birds, it has generated an explosion of physical...


Episode 13. Epigenetics, the link between nature and nurture (with Dr. Uddipta Biswas)

Dr. Uddipta Biswas joins us in this episode to add another chapter to the perennial Nature vs Nurture debate. This time, however, rather than trying to proclaim a definitive winner we expound on what might constitute the ultimate bridge between both: the relatively novel science of epigenetics. As we hope it becomes clear, Nature and Nurture are not opposite sides in an irreconcilable dichotomy. They feed onto each other through intricately orchestrated biochemical mechanisms, some of which...


Episode 12. East meets West: Identity in a fluid world (with Jiaying Lin)

To open the second season of Till The Bottom we bring you Jiaying Lin, a Chinese PhD candidate researching urban planning in TU Dresden. Jiaying joined us to talk about a personal topic with huge resonance potential. For an innumerable amount of immigrants the so-called "cultural shock" associated with settling in a new home is an external as well as an internal struggle. The internal upheaval unfolding as one adapts to a new environment can amount to no less than an "identity crisis", or...


Episode 11. Just how "far to the right" will Europe swing? (with Matthaus Mittasch)

Dr. Matthaus Mittasch joins us to close the first season of Till The Bottom on a truly high note. Matthaus starts by re-telling some of the unsavory discriminatory incidents that he faced growing up in East Germany. Sooner than later the conversation became a hybrid between a thought exercise and a debate about the socio-political future of Germany and the rest of Europe. It is a fact that Europe is turning "right", but, how far will the continent sleepwalk into increasingly extreme forms of...


Episode 9 1/2. Should there be limits to speech? (with Nakul Gote)

This is the last part of a series of conversations with Nakul Gote and we could rightly say that some of the best topics were saved for last. The conversation starts pretty much where the last one ended, that is, with Islam and the prospects of its reformation. Nevertheless it quickly became a much broader discussion about free speech and the all too prescient issue of "free exchange of ideas". We played the role of devil's advocates to try to highlight the possible pitfalls into which free...


Episode 10. If the Matrix is conscious... bring it on! (with Dr. Till Korten)

In this episode Dr. Till Korten returns to talk about possible dystopian scenarios where a superintelligent Artificial Intelligence (AI) is suddenly unleashed upon this world. We argue that, although it is surely not a very pleasant thought, if the AI happens to be conscious then it would not be an absolute tragedy. But in order to get there we argue back and forth on what consciousness might be while trying to get rid of our anthropocentric biases. Easier said than done! Oh, and apologies...


Episode 9. Trigger-warning alarm: culture, mass immigration and reforms in Islam (with Nakul Gote)

In this second episode with Nakul Gote we could not catch a break. The argument starts right off the bat and simply refused to subside. We thought that starting by attempting to define "Culture" would be a rather terse beginning. How naive and wrong we were. From then, things kept on ramping up. We talked about the challenges and downsides of cultural mixing when immigration occurs at an unusually high rate. This is an incredibly relevant issue since it has shaped the politics and social...


Episode 8. Immigration, integration and the holiness of cows

In this episode we invited Nakul Gote to prove to everybody that there is an unlikely but nevertheless very real link between immigration and the sacredness of cows. Yes, that was totally the plan. We started by telling some stories about our personal experiences as immigrants in Germany. We discuss issues regarding integration, within the host culture but especially adapting to the multicultural ambient of academia in our new host country. That naturally took us to talk about the so-called...


Episode 7. The intelligence landscape: from bacteria to machines

In this episode we invited Dr. Till Korten to talk about what is perhaps the single capability that elicits the most pride and frustration in humans: Intelligence. We explored the topic from multiple angles. We tried to establish what lies at the core of intelligent behavior. We talked about intelligence displayed in various types of biological systems and eventually got to discuss the likelihood of making machines possessing general intelligence and, at some point, a level of intelligence...


Episode 6. Deconstructing the Guru effect... and Jordan Peterson

This episode is almost entirely inspired by Dan Sperber's seminal paper "The Guru effect", which can be thought as a sort of cognitive bug that often makes us judge deep what we have simply failed to grasp. We talk about the many ways in which complicated ways of expression fool us into thinking that we are in the presence of something transcendentally intelligent... if we could only understand it.The end of our path takes us to no other than to the Canadian Psychologist Dr. Jordan Peterson,...


Episode 5. A look into the Zaatari Syrian refugee camp

In this episode we hosted the "Architect turned Sociologist" Sara Al-Nassir to talk about the refugee crisis triggered by the Syrian civil war. The conversation centers around Zaatari, the Syrian refugee camp established in Jordan back in 2012. We talk about its structural and social transformation through the years of the military conflict and we also look at several aspects of the crisis from the European angle. We hope you enjoy the conversation as much as we did and we would like to...


Episode 4. Where do minds and consciousness meet?

In this second episode with Santiago Cañon we try to get to some solid ground where to shore up the concept of what a mind is. Any kind of mind but especially the nature of a human mind. We then explore various ideas of what consciousness might be and wonder if it is a property that all types of minds have. We hope you enjoy this abstract but fascinating journey and would like to thank Santiago for accompanying us! We hope to get you back soon! Find us in: Our website:...


Episode 3. The nature of reality

In this episode we got a hold of friend and fellow scientist Santiago Cañon to bounce between philosophical currents, thought experiments like the “simulation argument”, the weirdness of quantum mechanics and even out-of-body experiences in order to get a grip on what constitutes Reality… in case such a thing actually exists. Find us in: Our website: https://tillthebottom.com/home/ Our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMXM2Vc0d21wjDt5chP26sQ?view_as=subscriber Our...


Episode 2. Exit doors

In this episode we explore many (but not nearly all) of the paths that can take you on a one-way trip away from superstitious belief. We talk about the distrust for institutionalized religion, evolution, the longing for spirituality, morality and other topics that have the potential to either cement or undermine the foundations of the religious mindset. Spoiler: in our case all these issues opened doors away from religiosity. Oh! And sorry for the squeaky chairs, we are riding the learning...


Episode 1. Skepticism 101: Leaving religion

We are taking things very personal in this first episode of Till The Bottom. Here we sketch the paths that we followed to leave our respective religious traditions behind. This was a first and crucial step that unavoidably, and at times almost reluctantly, took us to acquire a "skeptical mindset" which we ultimately came to embrace and cherish. We decided to tell you this story as anecdotally as possible because we think that this would be the best way to begin to establish a more personal...