Sean Carroll's Mindscape: Science, Society, Philosophy, Culture, Arts, and Ideas-logo

Sean Carroll's Mindscape: Science, Society, Philosophy, Culture, Arts, and Ideas

Science Podcasts

Ever wanted to know how music affects your brain, what quantum mechanics really is, or how black holes work? Do you wonder why you get emotional each time you see a certain movie, or how on earth video games are designed? Then you’ve come to the right place. Each week, Sean Carroll will host conversations with some of the most interesting thinkers in the world. From neuroscientists and engineers to authors and television producers, Sean and his guests talk about the biggest ideas in science, philosophy, culture and much more.

Ever wanted to know how music affects your brain, what quantum mechanics really is, or how black holes work? Do you wonder why you get emotional each time you see a certain movie, or how on earth video games are designed? Then you’ve come to the right place. Each week, Sean Carroll will host conversations with some of the most interesting thinkers in the world. From neuroscientists and engineers to authors and television producers, Sean and his guests talk about the biggest ideas in science, philosophy, culture and much more.

Location:

United States

Description:

Ever wanted to know how music affects your brain, what quantum mechanics really is, or how black holes work? Do you wonder why you get emotional each time you see a certain movie, or how on earth video games are designed? Then you’ve come to the right place. Each week, Sean Carroll will host conversations with some of the most interesting thinkers in the world. From neuroscientists and engineers to authors and television producers, Sean and his guests talk about the biggest ideas in science, philosophy, culture and much more.

Language:

English


Episodes

Introducing - The ReWatcher: Buffy The Vampire Slayer

10/3/2022
Welcome to the Hellmouth Weirdos! Your favorite Morbid hosts Ash and Alaina are branching out from true crime and heading to Sunnydale for the ultimate Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch podcast! Alaina is a Buffy superfan and Ash has never watched a single episode, so whether you’re Team Angel, Team Spike, or have no clue who those people are…they’ve got you covered! Join them each week as they slay their way through the series, episode by episode, re-watching, and watching for the very first...

213 | Timiebi Aganaba on Law and Governance in Space

10/3/2022
With communication satellites, weather satellites, GPS, and much more, what happens in space is already important to our lives here on Earth. And the importance of space is only going to grow as we increase the presence of humans, whether in Earth orbit or beyond. So the questions of what laws govern activity in space, and how nations and institutions should practice good governance more generally, are becoming increasingly urgent. Timiebi Aganaba is an academic and space lawyer who has...

Duration:01:19:21

212 | Chiara Mingarelli on Searching for Black Holes with Pulsars

9/26/2022
The detection of gravitational waves from inspiraling black holes by the LIGO and Virgo collaborations was rightly celebrated as a landmark achievement in physics and astronomy. But ultra-precise ground-based observatories aren’t the only way to detect gravitational waves; we can also search for their imprints on the timing of signals from pulsars scattered throughout our galaxy. Chiara Mingarelli is a member of the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav)...

Duration:01:29:26

211 | Solo: Secrets of Einstein's Equation

9/19/2022
My little pandemic-lockdown contribution to the world was a series of videos called The Biggest Ideas in the Universe. The idea was to explain physics in a pedagogical way, concentrating on established ideas rather than speculations, with the twist that I tried to include and explain any equations that seemed useful, even though no prior mathematical knowledge was presumed. I’m in the process of writing a series of three books inspired by those videos, and the first one is coming out now:...

Duration:01:55:03

210 | Randall Munroe on Imagining What If...?

9/12/2022
What’s the fastest way to get a human being around a racetrack, if we ignore all the rules of racing? How many pages would you have to read to absorb all of the government laws that apply to you? It’s hard to imagine a better person to tackle these kinds of slightly-askew questions than Randall Munroe, creator of the xkcd webcomic. He collected some answers in his book What If?, and has released a sequel, What If? 2. We dive into how one goes about choosing the right questions and answering...

Duration:01:10:16

209 | Brad DeLong on Why the 20th Century Fell Short of Utopia

9/5/2022
People throughout history have imagined ideal societies of various sorts. As the twentieth century dawned, advances in manufacturing and communication arguably brought the idea of utopia within our practical reach, at least as far as economic necessities are concerned. But we failed to achieve it, to say the least. Brad DeLong’s new book, Slouching Towards Utopia: An Economic History of the Twentieth Century, investigates why. He compares the competing political and economic systems that...

Duration:01:28:51

AMA | September 2022

8/29/2022
Welcome to the September 2022 Ask Me Anything episode of Mindscape! These monthly excursions are funded by Patreon supporters (who are also the ones asking the questions). We take questions asked by Patrons, whittle them down to a more manageable number — based primarily on whether I have anything interesting to say about them, not whether the questions themselves are good — and sometimes group them together if they are about a similar topic. Enjoy! Support Mindscape on Patreon. See...

Duration:03:31:33

208 | Rick Beato on the Theory of Popular Music

8/22/2022
There is no human endeavor that does not have a theory of it — a set of ideas about what makes it work and how to do it well. Music is no exception, popular music included — there are reasons why certain keys, chord changes, and rhythmic structures have proven successful over the years. Nobody has done more to help people understand the theoretical underpinnings of popular music than today’s guest, Rick Beato. His YouTube videos dig into how songs work and what makes them great. We talk...

Duration:01:13:58

207 | William MacAskill on Maximizing Good in the Present and Future

8/15/2022
It’s always a little humbling to think about what affects your words and actions might have on other people, not only right now but potentially well into the future. Now take that humble feeling and promote it to all of humanity, and arbitrarily far in time. How do our actions as a society affect all the potential generations to come? William MacAskill is best known as a founder of the Effective Altruism movement, and is now the author of What We Owe the Future. In this new book he makes the...

Duration:01:45:54

206 | Simon Conway Morris on Evolution, Convergence, and Theism

8/8/2022
Evolution by natural selection is one of the rare scientific theories that resonates within the wider culture as much as it does within science. But as much as people know about evolution, we also find the growth of corresponding myths. Simon Conway Morris is a paleontologist and evolutionary biologist who’s new book is From Extraterrestrials to Animal Minds: Six Myths of Evolution. He is known as a defender of evolutionary convergence and adaptationism — even when there is a mass...

Duration:01:21:39

AMA | August 2022

8/1/2022
Welcome to the August 2022 Ask Me Anything episode of Mindscape! These monthly excursions are funded by Patreon supporters (who are also the ones asking the questions). We take questions asked by Patreons, whittle them down to a more manageable number — based primarily on whether I have anything interesting to say about them, not whether the questions themselves are good — and sometimes group them together if they are about a similar topic. Here is a link to the Mindscape Big Picture...

Duration:03:12:52

205 | John Quiggin on Interest Rates and the Information Economy

7/25/2022
The idea of an “interest rate” might seem mundane and practical, in comparison to our usual topics around here, but there is a profound philosophical idea lurking in the background: if you lend me money now against the promise of me paying you back more in the future, I am relating the different values that a certain sum has to me at different moments in time. Traditionally, the interest rates set by the government have been a major tool for influencing the economy, but in recent decades...

Duration:01:23:18

204 | John Asher Johnson on Hunting for Exoplanets

7/18/2022
Recent years have seen a revolution in the study of exoplanets, planets that orbit stars other than the Sun (or don’t orbit stars at all). After a few tentative detections in the 1990s, dedicated instruments in the 2000s have now pushed the number of known exoplanets into the thousands, enough to begin to categorize their distribution and properties. Today’s guest is John Asher Johnson, one of the leaders in this field. We talk about the various different ways that exoplanets can be...

Duration:01:18:18

Introducing: Who Killed Daphne?

7/11/2022
When a car bomb kills Daphne Caruana Galizia on the beautiful Mediterranean island of Malta, the hunt for her killers exposes secrets with consequences that go far beyond its shores. In the aftermath of her death an international team of journalists comes together to continue her work. Along the way they start to uncover clues that might lead to her killers. From Wondery, comes a new story about power, corruption and one woman’s fight for the truth. Hosted by investigative reporter Stephen...

Duration:00:05:35

203 | N.J. Enfield on Why Language is Good for Lawyers and Not Scientists

7/11/2022
We describe the world using language — we can’t help it. And we all know that ordinary language is an imperfect way of communicating rigorous scientific statements, but sometimes it’s the best we can do. Linguist N.J. Enfield argues that the difficulties run more deeply than we might ordinarily suppose. We use language as a descriptive tool, but its origins are found in more social practices — communicating with others to express our feelings and persuade them to agree with us. As such, the...

Duration:01:26:42

AMA | July 2022

7/4/2022
Welcome to the July 2022 Ask Me Anything episode of Mindscape! These monthly excursions are funded by Patreon supporters (who are also the ones asking the questions). I take the large number of questions asked by Patreons, whittle them down to a more manageable size — based primarily on whether I have anything interesting to say about them, not whether the questions themselves are good — and sometimes group them together if they are about a similar topic. Big news this week! Mindscape is...

Duration:03:28:00

202 | Andrew Papachristos on the Network Theory of Gun Violence

6/27/2022
The United States is suffering from an epidemic of tragic gun violence. While a political debate rages around the topic of gun control, it remains important to understand the causes and possible remedies for gun violence within the current system. Andrew Papachristos is a sociologist who uses applied network science to study patterns of street violence in urban areas. His research shows that such violence is highly non-random; knowing something about the social networks of perpetrators and...

Duration:01:18:07

Wondery Presents: The Execution of Bonny Lee Bakley

6/20/2022
On May 4, 2001, Bonny Lee Bakley was found fatally shot in a car on a dark North Hollywood street. The prime suspect was her husband, famed actor Robert Blake. But Bonny, a longtime con artist, had plenty of enemies. She left behind a trail of men she’d scammed, and she had a volatile relationship with Christian Brando, the troubled son of movie star Marlon Brando. Not since the O.J. Simpson case had the eyes of the nation been so fixated on a homicide. The search for Bonny’s killer took...

Duration:00:05:48

201 | Ed Yong on How Animals Sense the World

6/20/2022
All of us construct models of the world, and update them on the basis of evidence brought to us by our senses. Scientists try to be more rigorous about it, but we all do it. It’s natural that this process will depend on what form that sensory input takes. We know that animals, for example, are typically better or worse than humans at sight, hearing, and so on. And as Ed Yong points out in his new book, it goes far beyond that, as many animals use completely different sensory modalities, from...

Duration:01:11:34

AMA | June 2022

6/13/2022
Welcome to the June 2022 Ask Me Anything episode of Mindscape! We are inaugurating a slightly different publication schedule, in which these monthly AMA will take the place of one of the regular Monday episodes, rather than being in addition to all of them. A slight tweak that will hopefully make my obligations a little more manageable. These monthly excursions are funded by Patreon supporters (who are also the ones asking the questions). I take the large number of questions asked by...

Duration:03:08:08