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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

Chinese Culture and Love Addiction with Ava King

6/12/2021
How is Chinese culture different from American culture? For what reasons do Chinese people get plastic surgery, and how do those reasons differ from those of their American counterparts? What is love addiction? Are 12-step programs the only way (or the best way) of overcoming addiction? Ava King is an international singer, songwriter, and producer based out of LA. She was born and raised in France, spent a decade in China, then decided to move to LA to pursue her passion of music. As a...

Duration:01:05:32

User Engagement and Expert Intuition with Rob Haisfield

6/9/2021
How do you design a product to handle user failure? How do you keep users motivated even when they fail? How do you successfully onboard new users? What are some different kinds of search behavior? How and when does gamifying a product increase user engagement and success? What psychological components do games attempt to engage with? How do we develop expert intuition in a domain? Rob Haisfield is a behavioral product strategy and gameful design consultant. He applies behavioral science...

Duration:01:11:20

Psychological Models and Parenting with Divia Eden

6/5/2021
What is the Internal Family Systems model? What kinds of information do our emotions give us? How many agents live in our heads? And, if there's more than one, how well do those agents cooperate? What is operant conditioning? What is attachment theory? How does parenting differ from animal training? Is decision theory able to unify many different psychological theories? Divia Eden has always been interested in understanding how minds work, and she currently spends most of her time...

Duration:01:38:53

Productive Conversations and Feedback Loops with Julia Carvalho

6/3/2021
How can we become better leaders? How can we give better feedback to others? How can we be better listeners? How can we give good advice? How do startups (or even existing companies) build great products? What sorts of things do experts actually know? When is it useful to poll customers for feedback? Julia Carvalho serves as an advisor to startups doing impactful things in the world. She thinks a lot about product strategy, teams, and prioritization. She likes emailing with strangers and...

Duration:01:14:36

EA Efficacy and Community Norms with Stefan Schubert

5/30/2021
How can people be more effective in their altruism? Is it better for people to give to good causes in urgent situations or on a regular basis? What causes people to donate to less effective charities even when presented with evidence that other charities might be more effective? We can make geographically distant events seem salient locally by (for example) showing them on TV, but how can we make possible future events seem more salient? How much more effective are the most effective...

Duration:01:10:28

Explanatory Depth and Growth Mindset with Daniel Greene

5/26/2021
What is the illusion of explanatory depth? Are there forms of debate or dialogue that actually help people to change their minds (instead of stacking the incentives such that people feel forced to harden and defend their views)? What is epistemic "debt"? Should people avoid having opinions on things where they haven't thought deeply and carefully about all of the relevant considerations? How does one choose which experts to trust? What is "growth mindset"? How can social science be used to...

Duration:01:18:25

AI Safety and Solutions with Robert Miles

5/22/2021
Why is YouTube such a great way to communicate research findings? Why is AI safety (or alignment) a problem? Why is it an important problem? Why is the creation of AGI (artificial general intelligence) existentially risky for us? Why is it so hard for us to specify what we want in utility functions? What are some of the proposed strategies (and their limitations) for controlling AGI? What is instrumental convergence? What is the unilateralist's curse? Rob Miles is a science communicator...

Duration:01:24:30

Online and IRL Relationships with Steve Dean

5/19/2021
To what extent do we put ourselves, each other, and our relationships in fixed, sharply-defined boxes? Do we exude trust to people we meet? How often do we project our own wants and needs onto other people? How do the experiences of men and women differ on dating apps? Why do men behave so badly towards women (both online and in the meatspace)? How can people improve their dating experiences? How do we tell our own stories? And how do we recognize the ways in which our lives and the lives of...

Duration:01:32:52

Utilitarianism and Its Flavors with Nick Beckstead

5/16/2021
​What is utilitarianism? And what are the different flavors of utilitarianism? What are some alternatives to utilitarianism for people that find it generally plausible but who can't stomach some of its counterintuitive conclusions? For the times when people do use utilitarianism to make moral decisions, when is it appropriate to perform actual calculations (as opposed to making estimations or even just going with one's "gut")? And what is "utility" anyway? Nick Beckstead is a Program...

Duration:01:30:42

Cults and Social Needs with Alice Mottola

5/12/2021
What is a cult? What do people seem to mean when they use the word "cult"? Do cults always have a charismatic and/or narcissistic leader? Are cults always harmful? Are people ever really "tricked" into being in a cult? What needs are met by cults that aren't met by standard social structures? What sorts of interactions induce intimacy and/or solidarity among people? Alice Mottola is a perpetual student with experience in writing software, directing plays, conducting social psychology...

Duration:01:16:09

History and Longevity with Will Eden

5/8/2021
What are the benefits of studying history? How do we find useful historical analyses? Can learning about history save us from repeating it? Is America decaying as a nation, empire, and/or leading world power? Generally speaking, what causes empires to fail? Is the aging and decay experienced by organic bodies analogous to the aging and decay experienced by an empire (or by any complex system, for that matter)? What are all the reasons organisms age, decay, and die? What are the most...

Duration:01:52:45

Knowledge Management and Deugenesis with Jeremy Nixon

5/5/2021
What is "The Index"? What are some benefits of externally compiling and organizing one's knowledge? When is spaced repetition useful? How can we co-opt our visual systems to boost memory? Would we all be more interested in producing an external personal knowledgebase if we could feel on a visceral level how much information is constantly being forgotten? How and when should we move up and down the ladder of abstraction? What sorts of problems can be solved by simulation? What is a generative...

Duration:01:40:39

Crypto Pros and Cons with Sam Bankman-Fried

4/29/2021
What's the current state of cryptocurrency? What are the good and bad aspects of crypto? To what extent have the promises of crypto panned out? How do blockchain and cryptocurrency even work anyway? What are "proof of work" and "proof of stake"? What are the differences between Bitcoin and Ethereum? What sorts of transactions are made easy or possible by the blockchain that are difficult or impossible to perform with traditional currencies? What are non-fungible tokens (NFTs)? What (if...

Duration:01:09:01

Behavior Change and Interpersonal Connection with Ting Jiang

4/21/2021
How does a behavioral scientist apply her knowledge to her own life? What fraction of our behaviors are deliberative, and what fraction are automatic? In what ways are we insufficiently scientific in our attempts to diagnose behavior problems? To what extent is introspection important for behavior change? Can behavior change take place without relatively accurate quantification and measurement? (For example, we know exact values for our bank account balance or our weight on the scale, but we...

Duration:01:06:59

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