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Talk of Today

Science Podcasts

Explore developments in the world and what they could mean for our future with Sam Barton.

Explore developments in the world and what they could mean for our future with Sam Barton.




Explore developments in the world and what they could mean for our future with Sam Barton.








Blockchain Economics & The Origins of Innovation

Prof. Jason Potts is a Distinguished Professor of Economics at RMIT University and Co-director of the Blockchain Innovation Hub at RMIT in Melbourne Australia. In our conversation we cover: * The economy as a complex adaptive system * Why capitalism is a misnomer, and instead, the economic system in which we live might be better characterised as an institutional market society for the growth of knowledge. * We explore why innovation actually begins before the creative entrepreneur in what's...


The Capability Approach, Corona Virus, and Freedom with Prof. Jonathan Wolff

My guest today is the philosophy professor Jonathan Wolff. Jonathan is the Alfred Landecker professor of values and public policy at the University of Oxford's Blavatnik School of Government. We cover: * The Capability Approach * Global justice and the nation-state * The difficulties of translating philosophy into policy * Balancing Life & Liberty in the context of the corona virus, and; * Universities in a post-covid world Shownotes (...


Rewilding the Singularity with Michael Garfield

My guest today is Michael Garfield, a writer, musician, artist, poet-philosopher, paleontologist-futurist who's setting the seeds for a planetary renaissance. With incisive eloquence, he takes the threads of technology, science, and the wonders of the natural world to weave together a cosmic story of Life, one that needs to be shared more wildly. In our conversation we cover: * Corona virus and the epistemic crisis * Community and fragmentation * Evolution as a multi-billion year remix...


Living Between Frames with Nora Bateson

Nora Bateson is an award-winning filmmaker, writer and educator, and as President of the International Bateson Institute, an organisation that integrates the sciences, arts and professional knowledge to create a qualitative inquiry of the integration of life. Her work is focused on the innumerable relationships that define our world and who we are, understanding the role that perception and context plays in our interactions. Her work brings the fields of biology, cognition, art,...


Idea Markets with Mike Elias

Mike is the founder of IdeaMarkets, a stock market for credibility that's currently under development. His team hopes to align financial incentives with the credibility of publishers to help combat misinformation and to really make the truth pay for those who seek it. In our conversation we cover: * The promise of distributed ledger technologies, aka crypto * Decentralised finance * Idea markets and aligning financial incentives with truth seeking * Truth as an ordering force in the world *...


Information and Life with Prof. Paul Davies

Topics covered: * What is information? * What's the difference between computation and information processing? * What is order? * Emergence and reductionism * Cancer through the lens of information * Top-down causality I think this episode is on one of the most fascinating topics we've explored so far. Today we're talking about information, a concept that we've only had for less than a century, but one that is proving to be absolutely foundational to our understanding of the universe and the...


The Constructal Law with Prof. Adrian Bejan

The constructal law is a law of physics that predicts natural design and its evolution in biology, geophysics, climate change, technology, social organization, evolutionary design and development, wealth and sustainability. The law states that for a finite-size flow system to persist in time (to live) it must evolve such that it provides greater and greater access to the currents that flow through it. If the second law of thermodynamics is seen as the irreversibility of energy flow, the...


Decentralised Organisations with Richard Bartlett

In this episode of Talk of Today we're joined by Richard Bartlett. Richard is an expert in bringing people together and catalysing decentralised forms of organising. He's co founder of Enspiral ( - a network of people supporting each other to grow up and to get paid for doing meaningful work. He's currently working on a project called Microsolidarity ( that's focused on building and sharing a collection of methodologies for community building, answering the...


The Free Energy Principle with Dr. Maxwell Ramstead

The Free Energy Principle is a formal description of how life resist entropy across scales by minimising surprise. Surprise here being an information-theoretic view of how unlikely a particular sensory state of an organism is, not the psychological phenomenon of surprise — though they are definitely linked. The free energy principle describes how organisms attempt to reduce the difference between their model of the world and their perception of it. Joining me to shed light on this topic is...


Chaos, Order, and Emergent System Design with Matthew Pirkowski

Matthew Pirkowski (@MattPirkoswki) is one of Twitter's most incisive thinkers, offering penetrating insights in things ranging from representations of value, the many problems of social media platforms and how we interact with them, the evolution of society, and designing emergent systems. In our conversation we cover: - The substance underlying Jordan Peterson's main body of work and its implications for ethics. - The role money plays in scaling social groups - Specialisation as epistemic...


America's Freedom Farce

Through the lens of opportunity and freedom — what people can do and be in the world — most Americans are far less free than the rest of the Western world. A vast proportion of Americans are shackled by wage slavery, unable to pursue the American dream. To fulfill the principles laid down by its forefathers, America needs to provide more for its citizens and unleash its latent entrepreneurial potential and become what it once was. You can read the full essay at...


How to beat COVID-19 with Professor Yaneer Bar-Yam

COVID-19 has caused titanic global shifts that are continuing to reverberate across the planet, thrusting our societies into territories unknown and crippling our economies. There have been few out there who have consistently contributed clear insights into the potential risks of a virus like COVID-19, how it can rapidly propagate across our interconnected world and wreak devastation, and most importantly, how to stop it, than Professor Yaneer Bar-Yam. Professor Yaneer Bar-Yam is president...


Happiness and Society with Dr. Kostadin Kushlev

What makes us happy? What affects do the decisions we make have on our subjective well-being? How does money, or parenthood affect our happiness? What are societies like when the people in them are happier? What affects do new technologies like smartphones, and constant connectivity, have on how happy we think we are? If happiness, subjective well-being, or flourishing is important (which i'm sure we'd all agree it is), answering these questions has profound consequences for how choose to...


The Scaling Laws of Life with Geoffrey West

What are the universal scaling laws of life and what do they mean for how our societies today function and their survival in the future? The conversation I'm going to share with you today is one of the most important I've had to date. We live in a time characterised by extreme uncertainty, which is, in many ways, being driven by the impacts of insatiable hunger for growth. If we do not tame humanity's rapacious desire for more, it will spell disaster for all of us, and there's maths to prove...


High-voltage living with Visakan Veerasamy

Visakan Veerasamy is an eccentric Singaporean who weaves together of sparkling web of insight, wit, and positivity throughout the world of twitter. The community of people he's built around him is eclectic, and the common sentiment i see among them is an overwhelming appreciation for the content he puts out. Some would call him a marketing consultant — but that's underselling him substantially. Marketing could be seen as the best way to categorise and monetise what I think his gift is:...


Insect Population Collapse with Dr Francisco Sanchez-Bayo

The topic of today has an importance in our lives than most of us may be unaware of: global insect populations. While these creepy crawlies may inspire disgust in some of us, the value insects bring to the natural world, and of course, to our world cannot be understated — they are inextricable, vital components of our global ecosystem, and the existence of up to 40% of insect species is threatened. Joining me in this episode to talk about this ecological catastrophe is scientist Dr....


80,000 hours with Rob Wiblin

This podcast has the potential to significantly change the way you spend your time and money. And i’m not being hyperbolic. In this episode I’m speaking with Rob Wiblin from 80,000 hours, an organisation that looks into how people can spend their most precious resource, their time, but more specifically, the time they spend working, to maximise for humanity’s well being. The number 80,000 hours is roughly how long someone spends working in their lifetime, hence the name. It’s an organisation...


Building a Second Brain with Tiago Forte

Tiago Forte is the the man behind the 'building a second brain course'. Among many other things, Tiago helps people build their own trusted digital archive for their most valuable knowledge and ideas. We have a pretty wide-ranging discussion, covering where people go wrong when it comes to organising their information, general thoughts about twitter the social platform responsible for this conversation, his life philosophy servant hedonism, we talk a bit about trauma, and, why he thinks he's...


How Emotions are Made with Lisa Feldman Barrett

Our understanding of the biology of emotions has changed dramatically in recent years. We don't experience our emotions, we construct them. Listen to Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett, author of 'How emotions are made' talk about the science of emotions and the implications of our new understanding of them. Support this podcast ( ) Support this podcast at —


Design Thinking: The Scientific Method Applied to Business

This is a reading of a blog post I wrote on Design Thinking and the scientific method. Show notes can be found at Blog post originally posted on Support this podcast ( ) Support this podcast at —