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Clearer Thinking with Spencer Greenberg

Science Podcasts

Clearer Thinking is the brand-new podcast about ideas that truly matter. Join Spencer Greenberg each week as he has fun, in-depth conversations with brilliant people, exploring useful ideas related to psychology, society, behavior change, philosophy, science, artificial intelligence, math, economics, self-help, mental health, and technology. If you enjoy learning about powerful, practical concepts and frameworks, wish you had more deep, intellectual conversations in your life, or are looking for non-BS self-improvement, then we think you'll love this podcast! Because this is the podcast about "ideas that matter," we prioritize ideas that can be applied right now to make life better and that can help you better understand yourself and the world. In other words, we want to highlight the very best tools to enhance your learning, self-improvement efforts, and decision-making. We take on important, thorny questions like: What's the best way to help a friend or loved one going through a difficult time? How can we make our worldviews more accurate, and how can we hone the accuracy of our thinking? What are the advantages of using our "gut" to make decisions, and when should we expect careful, analytical reflection to be more effective? Why do societies sometimes collapse, and what can we do to reduce the chance that ours collapses? Why is the world today so much worse than it could be, and what can we do to make it better? What is good and what is bad about tradition, and are there more meaningful and ethical ways of carrying out important rituals, such as honoring the dead? How can we move beyond zero-sum, adversarial negotiations, and create more positive-sum interactions?

Clearer Thinking is the brand-new podcast about ideas that truly matter. Join Spencer Greenberg each week as he has fun, in-depth conversations with brilliant people, exploring useful ideas related to psychology, society, behavior change, philosophy, science, artificial intelligence, math, economics, self-help, mental health, and technology. If you enjoy learning about powerful, practical concepts and frameworks, wish you had more deep, intellectual conversations in your life, or are looking for non-BS self-improvement, then we think you'll love this podcast! Because this is the podcast about "ideas that matter," we prioritize ideas that can be applied right now to make life better and that can help you better understand yourself and the world. In other words, we want to highlight the very best tools to enhance your learning, self-improvement efforts, and decision-making. We take on important, thorny questions like: What's the best way to help a friend or loved one going through a difficult time? How can we make our worldviews more accurate, and how can we hone the accuracy of our thinking? What are the advantages of using our "gut" to make decisions, and when should we expect careful, analytical reflection to be more effective? Why do societies sometimes collapse, and what can we do to reduce the chance that ours collapses? Why is the world today so much worse than it could be, and what can we do to make it better? What is good and what is bad about tradition, and are there more meaningful and ethical ways of carrying out important rituals, such as honoring the dead? How can we move beyond zero-sum, adversarial negotiations, and create more positive-sum interactions?

Location:

United States

Description:

Clearer Thinking is the brand-new podcast about ideas that truly matter. Join Spencer Greenberg each week as he has fun, in-depth conversations with brilliant people, exploring useful ideas related to psychology, society, behavior change, philosophy, science, artificial intelligence, math, economics, self-help, mental health, and technology. If you enjoy learning about powerful, practical concepts and frameworks, wish you had more deep, intellectual conversations in your life, or are looking for non-BS self-improvement, then we think you'll love this podcast! Because this is the podcast about "ideas that matter," we prioritize ideas that can be applied right now to make life better and that can help you better understand yourself and the world. In other words, we want to highlight the very best tools to enhance your learning, self-improvement efforts, and decision-making. We take on important, thorny questions like: What's the best way to help a friend or loved one going through a difficult time? How can we make our worldviews more accurate, and how can we hone the accuracy of our thinking? What are the advantages of using our "gut" to make decisions, and when should we expect careful, analytical reflection to be more effective? Why do societies sometimes collapse, and what can we do to reduce the chance that ours collapses? Why is the world today so much worse than it could be, and what can we do to make it better? What is good and what is bad about tradition, and are there more meaningful and ethical ways of carrying out important rituals, such as honoring the dead? How can we move beyond zero-sum, adversarial negotiations, and create more positive-sum interactions?

Language:

English


Episodes

Scout and Soldier Mindsets with Julia Galef

4/14/2021
What are "scout" and "soldier" mindsets? How can we have productive disagreements even when one person isn't in scout mindset? Is knowing about good rationality habits sufficient to reason well? When do we naturally tend to be in scout mindset or soldier mindset? When is each mindset beneficial or harmful? Are humans "rationally irrational"? What are the two different types of confidence? What are some practical strategies for shifting our mindset in the moment from soldier to scout? Find...

Duration:01:25:30

Social Science and Science Journalism with Jesse Singal

4/7/2021
Should we trust social science research? What is the open science movement? What is the "file drawer" effect? How can common sense help social science dig itself out of the replicability crisis? Is social science in the West too focused on interventions for individuals? How useful is the Implicit Association Test? How useful is the concept of "grit"? How should journalists communicate confidence or skepticism about scientific results? What incentive structures stand in the way of honestly...

Duration:01:02:22

Search Data and Self-Improvement with Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

3/31/2021
What can we learn about people from search data? What does search data reveal about human nature that surveys and polls fail to reveal? What patterns of searching do people exhibit when they're suffering from mental and physical illnesses? How can we use data to make better decisions, become better parents, date better, and be happier? Seth Stephens-Davidowitz is a data scientist, author, consultant, and keynote speaker. His book Everybody Lies was a New York Times bestseller and an...

Duration:01:19:21

Poker and Productivity with Chris Sparks

3/24/2021
What can people learn from playing poker? What makes someone good at playing games? What is the OODA loop? What is a "premortem" analysis of decision-making? How should we think about decisions that aren't easily (or even possibly) reversible? What do people get wrong when they're trying to be more productive? What is a "forcing function"? How can people create their own forcing functions? Chris Sparks is a professional poker player and the founder and CEO of Forcing Function. You can find...

Duration:01:26:40

Moral Discourse and the Value of Philosophy with Ronny Fernandez

3/17/2021
What is normative hedonism? What's the difference between wanting something and wanting to want something? Should we only care about the experiences of conscious beings? What's wrong with moral discourse? Does philosophy ever actually make progress, or is it still only discussing the things that were discussed a thousand years ago? What is (or should be) the role of intuition in philosophy? Why should people study philosophy (especially as opposed to other disciplines)? What can we do to...

Duration:01:06:35

Superintelligence and Consciousness with Roman Yampolskiy

3/10/2021
What is superintelligence? Can a superintelligence be controlled? Why aren't people (especially academics, computer scientists, and companies) more worried about superintelligence alignment problems? Is it possible to determine whether or not an AI is conscious? Do today's neural networks experience some form of consciousness? Are humans general intelligences? How do artificial superintelligence and artificial general intelligence differ? What sort of threats do malevolent actors pose over...

Duration:01:16:08

Meditation and Ontology with Daniel Ingram

3/3/2021
Why should we meditate? What are the typical developmental stages as one progresses along the contemplative path? What does it mean to "hold an ontology loosely"? Are some meditative techniques inappropriate for some practitioners? Are there risks associated with meditation? Further reading: Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha by Daniel IngramA Path with Heart by Jack KornfieldThe Dharma Overground

Duration:01:49:47

Rationality Education and Dating with Jacob Falkovich

2/24/2021
What's the best way to teach rationality? How do you communicate rationalist principles to people who aren't already interested in thinking more clearly? What has COVID taught us about how people typically make decisions and think about problems? Where and how can the rationalist community improve? Does rationalism have anything to say about (for example) exercise, spirituality, art, or other parts of the human experience that aren't typically addressed by rationalists? What are some...

Duration:01:16:14

Preference Falsification and Postmodernism with Michael Vassar

2/17/2021
How much preference falsification is occurring in society? What's the difference between conflict theory and mistake theory? Why is postmodernism useful to understand? Michael Vassar was the President of the Singularity Institute from 2009 to 2012. Subsequently, he has worked in business consulting, especially in association with cutting edge science, although these days he primarily invests his own assets. You can contact him at michael.vassar@gmail.com. Further reading: My IRB...

Duration:01:33:15

Moral Foundations Theory and Constructive Dialogue with Caroline Mehl

2/10/2021
What is the Moral Foundations Theory? Is the MFT a model that's only intended to describe human behavior and psychology, or does it also make claims about what's actually true about morality? Why does morality exist in the first place? How can the MFT be used to have better conversations across ideological and cultural divides? What (if anything) helps groups to cohere successfully as they increase in size? Why is internet communication especially hostile and prone to misunderstandings? What...

Duration:01:07:50

Past / Future Selves and Intrinsic Values with Simone Collins

2/3/2021
How well do we identify with our past and future selves? What are some of the ways we can develop self-awareness and emotional control? How can we learn more and learn faster at a younger age? How can we best express emotions like sadness and anger? What are our intrinsic values, and what should they be? Simone is a Cambridge-educated crumpet addict who joyfully attacks life with her husband Malcolm Collins, with whom she founded an art commission startup (ArtCorgi) and raised a miniature...

Duration:01:20:48

Happiness and Hedonic Adaptation with Rob Smith

1/27/2021
Why do we seem to get less and less pleasure from some things over time? And what can we do about it? Are there dimensions along which some people can't be satiated (e.g., perhaps narcissists can't get "enough" adoration)? What are the structures of needs and incentives in cults? How should we think about the pursuit of long-term happiness, which sometimes requires us to sacrifice some amount of short-term happiness? Are people more likely to make choices that verify their identities or that...

Duration:01:11:41

Decision-Making Under Uncertainty and Entrepreneurship with Miles Lasater

1/20/2021
How can we better make decisions under uncertainty? What are some of the different ways of being uncertain? What are some powerful venture patterns? How can founders and venture capitalists reduce risk in their startups and portfolios? What is the nature of innovation? How can investing be used to do good in the world? Miles Lasater has started 3 companies, 2 nonprofits, and 1 family with 4 kids. He has been a founder, VC, angel investor, business school professor, board member, donor,...

Duration:01:19:20

Sexuality and Dominance Hierarchies with Malcolm Collins

1/13/2021
Are our brains equipped to handle the increasing velocity of information exchange? What's going on psychologically when we take offense to an idea? Should some kinds of research results be suppressed or hidden? Should some kinds of research be avoided altogether? What are some of the faults in the old paradigms and models in sexuality research? What are some of the surprising findings in the research of sexual attraction? What are dominance hierarchies, and how do they relate to...

Duration:01:41:22

Self-Improvement and Research Ethics with Rob Wiblin

1/7/2021
What are the best strategies for improving ourselves? How are line managers useful? Why does Rob prefer long-form content for the 80,000 Hours podcast? What are the sorts of things humans value and why? In what ways do research ethics considerations fail to achieve their stated objectives? Why are prediction markets useful? Rob Wiblin is the Head of Research at 80,000 Hours where he investigates how people can do more good in the course of their career and produces a long-form interview...

Duration:02:32:34

Antagonistic Learning and Civilization with Duncan Sabien

12/30/2020
Why do "antagonistic" teachers exist in popular culture but not in the classroom? What happens to student outcomes when "antagonistic" learning is implemented in real classrooms? What is the Field Theory of Parenting? What are things that we can do for others but can't do for ourselves? How can we notice and utilize costly and unfakeable signals? What is the core definition of civilization? How can we influence others ethically? Is explicit communication always better than implicit? Duncan...

Duration:01:40:10

Worldviews and Framing with Elizabeth Kim

12/23/2020
How are ideologies like snowglobes? What is "convert communication"? What are some algorithms for creativity? How can framing help us to make better decisions? Elizabeth Kim is an applied behavioral scientist designing products to help people be happier, healthier, and wealthier. She is the music streaming industry's first Behavioral Scientist at Spotify where she uses experimentation to understand and improve user experience. Previously, she has designed experiments at Jet.com/Walmart, the...

Duration:01:00:51

Intelligence and Creativity with Scott Barry Kaufman

12/16/2020
What are the various components of intelligence? How does intelligence relate to IQ? Can IQ be trained or improved? What is creativity, and how does it relate to intelligence? Can creativity be trained or improved? What is self-actualization, and how does it relate to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs? What is transcendence? Scott Barry Kaufman, Ph.D., is a humanistic psychologist exploring the depths of human potential. He has taught courses on intelligence, creativity, and well-being at...

Duration:01:03:36

Scientific Progress and the Replication Crisis with Geoff Anders

12/9/2020
NOTE: The beginning of this conversation touches on some of the same themes that were discussed in the recent episode with Michael Nielsen. After that, though, this conversation heads off in other directions. Is scientific progress speeding up or slowing down? How can we understand and explain the replication crisis in the social sciences? In the context of research, does speed have a quality all its own in the same way that quantity has a quality all its own? What are Geoff and Spencer...

Duration:01:30:33

Enlightenment and Sex Work with Aella

12/2/2020
What is enlightenment? What are the different kinds or definitions of enlightenment? What was Aella's religious upbringing like, and why did she lose her faith? How did Aella get into sex work, and what has her career as a sex worker been like? How do we ask great questions, and what is Askhole? You can find out more about Aella on her website, knowingless.com.

Duration:03:48:24