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    • Streamline hiring with Indeed or manage finances with Rocket MoneyLeverage platforms like Indeed for hiring and Rocket Money for personal finance management to save time, find high-quality matches, and optimize expenses.

      When it comes to hiring, instead of actively searching for candidates, utilizing platforms like Indeed can help streamline the process and deliver high-quality matches. With over 350 million monthly visitors and a powerful matching engine, Indeed can help employers find and connect with top candidates quickly and efficiently. Additionally, Rocket Money, a personal finance app, can help individuals save money by identifying and canceling unwanted subscriptions, monitoring spending, and lowering bills. Both Indeed and Rocket Money offer effective solutions to common challenges, whether it's finding the right candidate or managing personal finances. Furthermore, understanding the information landscape and how it influences our beliefs is crucial in today's world. Political scientist Brendan Nyhan discusses the importance of evaluating the sources of information and how individuals process and respond to new information. By being aware of these factors, we can make more informed decisions and navigate the complex information landscape more effectively.

    • Understanding the history and challenges of misinformationMisinformation has been a persistent issue throughout history, and measuring its prevalence in the digital age requires careful consideration of historical context and unique challenges

      Misinformation and conspiracy theories have existed throughout history, but the ways they spread and the challenges in measuring their prevalence have evolved with time. While digital data offers exciting opportunities to study the spread of misinformation in the present day, it's crucial not to confuse the map for the terrain. The historical context of misinformation shows that it has played an important role throughout human history, and the unique challenges of measuring and understanding it in the digital age require careful consideration. The ongoing debate about the objective role of mainstream media, the influence of personal beliefs, and the responsibility to call out lies versus presenting both sides of an issue are all crucial questions we need to grapple with in the current information landscape.

    • Historical concerns about technology's societal impactThroughout history, new technologies have raised valid concerns about their societal impact, but it's important to remember that similar concerns have arisen in the past and each historical era has its own complexities and trade-offs.

      Throughout history, new technologies, including media, have raised concerns about their potential harmful consequences and societal impact. This includes the printing press, radio, television, and the Internet. For instance, prior to the 20th century, newspapers were highly partisan and often printed scurrilous claims, unlike the professional norms that developed in the 20th century. The current technological configuration, including social media, has also raised valid concerns, but it's important to remember that similar concerns have arisen in the past. The period of mid-20th century politics in the US, which we now romanticize as a time of consensus and neutral journalism, was actually an anomaly. Historically, American politics have been heavily polarized, and this period saw the consolidation of large, neutral newspapers and limited spectrum radio, leading to a less polarized political climate. However, we now face new challenges in creating a multiracial, multiethnic democracy in the context of modern media and technology. It's crucial to acknowledge the trade-offs and complexities of each historical era and avoid the temptation to view the present as a departure from a supposedly better past.

    • Understanding the complexities of media and communicationFocus on fact-checking and holding public figures accountable for accurate statements, acknowledge historical complexities, and embrace opportunities for cross-cultural connection through language learning.

      While there may have been fewer voices represented in media during certain historical periods, and while there are significant challenges associated with polarization and communication technology today, it's important to acknowledge the complexities of the past and the present, rather than romanticizing or demonizing specific eras. The line between misinformation and disinformation can be blurry, and it's more productive to focus on holding public figures accountable for making accurate statements, rather than debating their potential motivations. The speaker also emphasizes the importance of learning new languages and using tools like Babbel to connect with people and cultures around the world. Ultimately, the goal should be to move forward, acknowledging the lessons of history while embracing the opportunities and challenges of the present.

    • Incentives for political elites to spread misinformation are strongDespite the abundance of communication channels, political elites have strong incentives to spread misinformation, and legal remedies may not be the solution, requiring a nuanced approach to address the complexities of truth and its definition.

      While the idea of an abundance of communication channels as a solution to misinformation may be appealing, the reality is that incentives for political elites to spread false information are strong and the consequences are often minimal. The weakness of sanctions for making false statements, especially for influential figures, makes misinformation an attractive tool to shape public opinion. However, it's important to remember that legal remedies, such as speech suppression, may not be the answer and could potentially lead to greater problems. The nature of truth and its definition are complex philosophical questions, and determining fact from opinion can be challenging. The high bar for defamation and libel cases in the US is a crucial safeguard against frivolous lawsuits and maintains the importance of free speech. Ultimately, addressing misinformation requires a nuanced approach that acknowledges the complexities of truth and the incentives driving its spread.

    • Navigating the Competing Values of Accuracy and Free Speech in JournalismJournalists must strive for accuracy while acknowledging the importance of free speech and the ongoing nature of debates. Overcorrecting can lead to inaccuracies, and it's crucial to communicate the relative weight of evidence when an expert consensus exists.

      While eliminating misinformation is an important goal in a democratic society, striving for 100% accuracy can come at the cost of living in a free society. Misinformation exists and will always be present, and it's crucial for responsible news outlets to navigate the competing values of accuracy and free speech. The fact-checking movement emerged as a response to the failures of traditional journalism in evaluating the accuracy of statements made by politicians. Climate change coverage and the sheer volume of false statements from politicians like Trump have increased journalists' willingness to describe evidence in non-50/50 terms. However, it's essential to avoid overcorrecting and stating claims with too much certainty, as this can lead to inaccuracies. The ongoing challenge is to communicate precisely the relative weight of the evidence when an expert consensus exists, while also acknowledging the dangers of overcorrecting. The increasing polarization in society may lead politicians to act differently and lower their standards to win elections. Ultimately, it's crucial for journalists to strive for accuracy while also recognizing the importance of free speech and the ongoing nature of the debate.

    • The Reelection Motive and the Breaching of Democratic NormsDuring the Trump years, political norms around democratic processes and misinformation were breached, leading some politicians to adopt more extreme rhetoric to resonate with voters, raising concerns for the future of democratic processes.

      The political landscape has shifted significantly in recent years, with politicians becoming more strategic in their behavior and norms around democratic processes and misinformation being breached. A political scientist discusses how the reelection motive has always influenced political behavior but notes that some lines were thought to be uncrossable. However, during the Trump years, these norms were breached, leading to a normalization of anti-democratic rhetoric and misinformation. This change in incentives has resulted in some politicians, like Ron DeSantis, adopting more extreme rhetoric to resonate with voters. Despite the nontransferable elements of Trump's appeal, the breaching of these norms is a cause for concern as it could lead to a further erosion of democratic processes.

    • Political scientists concerned about authoritarian actions by RepublicansPolitical scientists worry that the current US political climate is pushing Republicans towards increasingly authoritarian actions due to electoral incentives and geographic polarization, making it difficult for centrist or moderate Republicans to succeed electorally.

      The current political climate in the US, particularly within the Republican party, may be pushing politicians towards increasingly authoritarian and illiberal actions due to electoral incentives and geographic polarization. This trend is troubling to political scientists, who note that the two-party system and the narrow approval rating bands for politicians create a zero-sum logic that makes it difficult for centrist or moderate Republicans to succeed electorally. The lack of downside risk for extreme actions and the strong emotional attachment of supporters to their preferred candidates further exacerbate this issue. To address this, some political scientists are advocating for changes to the American system, such as multi-party governance, which could create a more sustainable path for centrist Republicans and reduce the zero-sum logic of the current system.

    • The complexities of combating misinformation on social mediaDespite efforts by platforms, the spread of misinformation on social media remains a complex issue. Exposure is not equal, and echo chambers and filter bubbles are overstated. Ongoing efforts are needed to address the challenges posed by false information online.

      The spread of misinformation on social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, is a complex issue driven by both strategic behavior and the inherent challenges of identifying and countering false information. While platforms have tried to address concerns, interventions have not always been effective and have raised concerns about limiting the spread of important information. However, it's important to note that not all exposure to misinformation is equal, and the majority of people's information diets are relatively balanced. Claims of echo chambers and filter bubbles are overstated, and exposure to potentially harmful content is concentrated among small subsets of the population with extreme views. In the end, it's crucial to recognize the complexities of the issue and the need for ongoing efforts to address the challenges posed by the spread of misinformation online.

    • The complex relationship between facts, opinions, and behaviorsExposing people to corrective information can update views, but the impact on behavior is not guaranteed, and the relationship is complex and subjective

      While the potential harms of digital technology, such as the spread of extreme content leading to real-world harm, are a valid concern, it's important to be precise about the nature of these harms and not oversimplify the issue. People's beliefs are not solely formed by the information they're exposed to, and the relationship between facts and opinions is not always clear-cut. Research suggests that exposing people to corrective information can lead to some updating of views, but the durability and impact on behavior are not guaranteed. Ultimately, the relationship between facts, opinions, and behaviors is complex and subjective, and it's essential to approach the issue with nuance and precision.

    • Focus on improving info provided by elites and institutionsImprove info quality from elites, institutions, and enhance personal media literacy to reduce misinformation spread.

      People's beliefs and actions are driven by reasons, not just irrationality. When it comes to the spread of accurate information versus misinformation, blaming individuals for their beliefs often leads to elitism and condescension. Instead, the focus should be on improving the quality of information provided by elites and institutions. Individuals can also take steps to improve their own media literacy, such as questioning the accuracy of information and relying on trustworthy sources. It's important to be skeptical of information that seems too good to be true or confirms our biases, and to avoid sharing information without fact-checking it first. By taking these steps, we can all do our part to reduce the spread of misinformation and improve the overall quality of public discourse.

    • Our biases and affiliations can perpetuate misinformation and polarizationExploring alternatives to the two-party system, like ranked choice voting, can help move beyond binary thinking and encourage more nuanced perspectives, but implementing changes comes with challenges.

      Our biases and affiliations can lead us to share information without fully understanding it, contributing to the spread of misinformation and polarization in society. This was exemplified by a feature on Twitter that asked users if they wanted to read an article before retweeting it, but people rarely clicked the link. This behavior can perpetuate binary thinking and a good vs. bad mentality, which can be detrimental to democracy. A potential solution is exploring alternatives to the two-party system, such as ranked choice voting, as it can help move beyond zero-sum thinking and encourage more nuanced perspectives. However, changing the constitution to implement such changes comes with its own challenges. It's crucial to consider ways to promote more centrist, less extreme viewpoints and encourage open-mindedness and critical thinking in our political discourse. For more insights on this topic, I recommend checking out Lee Drutman's work on the New America Foundation.

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

    282 | Joel David Hamkins on Puzzles of Reality and Infinity

    282 | Joel David Hamkins on Puzzles of Reality and Infinity

    The philosophy of mathematics would be so much easier if it weren't for infinity. The concept seems natural, but taking it seriously opens the door to counterintuitive results. As mathematician and philosopher Joel David Hamkins says in this conversation, when we say that the natural numbers are "0, 1, 2, 3, and so on," that "and so on" is hopelessly vague. We talk about different ways to think about the puzzles of infinity, how they might be resolved, and implications for mathematical realism.

    Blog post with transcript: https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/podcast/2024/07/15/282-joel-david-hamkins-on-puzzles-of-reality-and-infinity/

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    Joel David Hamkins received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley. He is currently the John Cardinal O'Hara Professor of Logic at the University of Notre Dame. He is a pioneer of the idea of the set theory multiverse. He is the top-rated user by reputation score on MathOverflow. He is currently working on The Book of Infinity, to be published by MIT Press.


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    Ask Me Anything | July 2024

    Ask Me Anything | July 2024

    Welcome to the July 2024 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. Enjoy!

    Blog post with questions and transcript: https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/podcast/2024/07/08/ama-july-2024/

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    281 | Samir Okasha on the Philosophy of Agency and Evolution

    281 | Samir Okasha on the Philosophy of Agency and Evolution

    Just like with physics, in biology it is perfectly possible to do most respectable work without thinking much about philosophy, but there are unmistakably foundational questions where philosophy becomes crucial. When do we say that a collection of matter (or bits) is alive? When does it become an agent, capable of making decisions? What are the origins of morality and altruistic behavior? We talk with one of the world's leading experts, Samir Okasha, about the biggest issues in modern philosophy of biology.

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    Blog post with transcript: https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/podcast/2024/07/01/281-samir-okasha-on-the-philosophy-of-agency-and-evolution/

    Samir Okasha received his D.Phil. in Philosophy from the University of Oxford. He is currently Professor of the Philosophy of Science at the University of Bristol. He is a winner of the Lakatos Award for his book Evolution and the Levels of Selection, and is a Fellow of the British Academy.


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    280 | François Chollet on Deep Learning and the Meaning of Intelligence

    280 | François Chollet on Deep Learning and the Meaning of Intelligence

    Which is more intelligent, ChatGPT or a 3-year old? Of course this depends on what we mean by "intelligence." A modern LLM is certainly able to answer all sorts of questions that require knowledge far past the capacity of a 3-year old, and even to perform synthetic tasks that seem remarkable to many human grown-ups. But is that really intelligence? François Chollet argues that it is not, and that LLMs are not ever going to be truly "intelligent" in the usual sense -- although other approaches to AI might get there.

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    Blog post with transcript: https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/podcast/2024/06/24/280-francois-chollet-on-deep-learning-and-the-meaning-of-intelligence/

    François Chollet received his Diplôme d'Ingénieur from École Nationale Supérieure de Techniques Avancées, Paris. He is currently a Senior Staff Engineer at Google. He has been awarded the Global Swiss AI award for breakthroughs in artificial intelligence. He is the author of Deep Learning with Python, and developer of the Keras software library for neural networks. He is the creator of the ARC (Abstraction and Reasoning Corpus) Challenge.


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    279 | Ellen Langer on Mindfulness and the Body

    279 | Ellen Langer on Mindfulness and the Body

    For those of us who are not dualists, the mind arises from our physical bodies -- mostly the brain, but the rest of the body has a role to play. And yet it remains tempting to treat the mind as a thing in itself, disconnected from how the body is doing. Ellen Langer is a psychologist who is one of the foremost researchers on the idea of mindfulness -- the cognitive skill of paying to one's thoughts, as well as to one's external environment. Her most recent book is The Mindful Body: Thinking Our Way to Chronic Health. We talk about how our state of mind can effect the functions of our body, sometimes in surprising ways.

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    Blog post with transcript: https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/podcast/2024/06/17/279-ellen-langer-on-mindfulness-and-the-body/

    Ellen Langer received her Ph.D. in Social and Clinical Psychology from Yale University. She is currently a professor of psychology at Harvard University. She is also an artist with multiple gallery exhibitions. Among her awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Liberty Science Center Genius Award.


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    278 | Kieran Healy on the Technology of Ranking People

    278 | Kieran Healy on the Technology of Ranking People

    We claim to love all of our children, friends, and students equally. But perhaps deep down you assign a ranking to them, from favorite to not-so-favorite. Ranking and quantifying people is an irresistible human tendency, and modern technology has made it ubiquitous. In this episode I talk with sociologist Kieran Healy, who has co-authored (with Marion Fourcade) the new book The Ordinal Society, about how our lives are measured and processed by the technological ecosystem around us. We discuss how this has changed how relate to ourselves and the wider world.

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    Blog post with transcript: https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/podcast/2024/06/10/278-kieran-healy-on-the-technology-of-ranking-people/

    Kieran Healy received his Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University. He is currently a professor of sociology at Duke University, and a member of the Kenan Institute for Ethics. As an undergraduate at University College Cork he won the Irish Times National Debating competition. He has a longstanding interest in data visualization.


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    AMA | June 2024

    AMA | June 2024

    Welcome to the June 2024 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. Enjoy!

    Support Mindscape on Patreon.

    Blog post with show notes, questions, and transcript: https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/podcast/2024/06/03/ama-jun-2024/


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    277 | Cumrun Vafa on the Universe According to String Theory

    277 | Cumrun Vafa on the Universe According to String Theory

    String theory, the current leading candidate for a theory of quantum gravity as well as other particles and forces, doesn't connect directly to the world we see. It's possible that there is a large landscape of possible states of theory, with the hope that one of them represents our universe. The existence of a landscape implies the existence of a corresponding swampland -- universes that are not compatible with string theory. I talk with Cumrun Vafa, a respected physicist and originator of the swampland program, about how we might use constraints on what kinds of physics are compatible with string theory to make predictions about cosmology and other experimental regimes.

    In the conversation we refer to a famous diagram representing different ten-dimensional string theories, as well as 11-dimensional M-theory, as different limits of an underlying fundamental theory.

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    Blog post with transcript: https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/podcast/2024/05/27/277-cumrun-vafa-on-the-universe-according-to-string-theory/

    Cumrun Vafa received his Ph.D. in physics from Princeton University. He is currently Hollis Professor of Mathematicks and Natural Philosophy, and Chair of the Physics Department, at Harvard University. He has done fundamental work on the dynamics of superstrings, the entropy of black holes, F-theory, and other topics. Among his awards are the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, the Dirac Medal, and the Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences. He is the author of the book Puzzles to Unravel the Universe.


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    276 | Gavin Schmidt on Measuring, Predicting, and Protecting Our Climate

    276 | Gavin Schmidt on Measuring, Predicting, and Protecting Our Climate

    The Earth's climate keeps changing, largely due to the effects of human activity, and we haven't been doing enough to slow things down. Indeed, over the past year, global temperatures have been higher than ever, and higher than most climate models have predicted. Many of you have probably seen plots like this. Today's guest, Gavin Schmidt, has been a leader in measuring the variations in Earth's climate, modeling its likely future trajectory, and working to get the word out. We talk about the current state of the art, and what to expect for the future.

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    Blog post with transcript: https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/podcast/2024/05/20/276-gavin-schmidt-on-measuring-predicting-and-protecting-our-climate/

    Gavin Schmidt received his Ph.D. in applied mathematics from University College London. He is currently Director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and an affiliate of the Center for Climate Systems Research at Columbia University. His research involves both measuring and modeling climate variability. Among his awards are the inaugural Climate Communications Prize of the American Geophysical Union. He is a cofounder of the RealClimate blog.


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    275 | Solo: Quantum Fields, Particles, Forces, and Symmetries

    275 | Solo: Quantum Fields, Particles, Forces, and Symmetries

    Publication week! Say hello to Quanta and Fields, the second volume of the planned three-volume series The Biggest Ideas in the Universe. This volume covers quantum physics generally, but focuses especially on the wonders of quantum field theory. To celebrate, this solo podcast talks about some of the big ideas that make QFT so compelling: how quantized fields produce particles, how gauge symmetries lead to forces of nature, and how those forces can manifest in different phases, including Higgs and confinement.

    Blog post with transcript: https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/podcast/2024/05/13/275-solo-quantum-fields-particles-forces-and-symmetries/

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    Related Episodes

    248 | Yejin Choi on AI and Common Sense

    248 | Yejin Choi on AI and Common Sense

    Over the last year, AI large-language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT have demonstrated a remarkable ability to carry on human-like conversations in a variety of different concepts. But the way these LLMs "learn" is very different from how human beings learn, and the same can be said for how they "reason." It's reasonable to ask, do these AI programs really understand the world they are talking about? Do they possess a common-sense picture of reality, or can they just string together words in convincing ways without any underlying understanding? Computer scientist Yejin Choi is a leader in trying to understand the sense in which AIs are actually intelligent, and why in some ways they're still shockingly stupid.

    Blog post with transcript: https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/podcast/2023/08/28/248-yejin-choi-on-ai-and-common-sense/

    Support Mindscape on Patreon.

    Yejin Choi received a Ph.D. in computer science from Cornell University. She is currently the Wissner-Slivka Professor at the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington and also a senior research director at AI2 overseeing the project Mosaic. Among her awards are a MacArthur fellowship and a fellow of the Association for Computational Linguistics.


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    216 | John Allen Paulos on Numbers, Narratives, and Numeracy

    216 | John Allen Paulos on Numbers, Narratives, and Numeracy

    People have a complicated relationship to mathematics. We all use it in our everyday lives, from calculating a tip at a restaurant to estimating the probability of some future event. But many people find the subject intimidating, if not off-putting. John Allen Paulos has long been working to make mathematics more approachable and encourage people to become more numerate. We talk about how people think about math, what kinds of math they should know, and the role of stories and narrative to make math come alive. 

    Support Mindscape on Patreon.

    John Allen Paulos received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is currently a professor of mathematics at Temple University. He s a bestselling author, and frequent contributor to publications such as ABCNews.com, the Guardian, and Scientific American. Among his awards are the Science Communication award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Mathematics Communication Award from the Joint Policy Board of Mathematics. His new book is Who’s Counting? Uniting Numbers and Narratives with Stories from Pop Culture, Puzzles, Politics, and More.


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    148 | Henry Farrell on Democracy as a Problem-Solving Mechanism

    148 | Henry Farrell on Democracy as a Problem-Solving Mechanism

    Democracy posits the radical idea that political power and legitimacy should ultimately be found in all of the people, rather than a small group of experts or for that matter arbitrarily-chosen hereditary dynasties. Nevertheless, a good case can be made that the bottom-up and experimental nature of democracy actually makes for better problem-solving in the political arena than other systems. Political theorist Henry Farrell (in collaboration with statistician Cosma Shalizi) has made exactly that case. We discuss the general idea of solving social problems, and compare different kinds of macro-institutions — markets, hierarchies, and democracies — to ask whether democracies aren’t merely politically just, but also an efficient way of generating good ideas.

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    Henry Farrell received his Ph.D. in Government from Georgetown University. He is currently the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Agora Institute Professor of International Affairs at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He was the 2019 recipient of the Friedrich Schiedel Prize for Politics & Technology. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and co-leader of the Moral Economy of Technology initiative at Stanford University. He is a co-founder of Crooked Timber blog, as well as the Monkey Cage blog at the Washington Post.


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    23 | Lisa Aziz-Zadeh on Embodied Cognition, Mirror Neurons, and Empathy

    23 | Lisa Aziz-Zadeh on Embodied Cognition, Mirror Neurons, and Empathy
    Brains are important things; they're where thinking happens. Or are they? The theory of "embodied cognition" posits that it's better to think of thinking as something that takes place in the body as a whole, not just in the cells of the brain. In some sense this is trivially true; our brains interact with the rest of our bodies, taking in signals and giving back instructions. But it seems bold to situate important elements of cognition itself in the actual non-brain parts of the body. Lisa Aziz-Zadeh is a psychologist and neuroscientist who uses imaging technologies to study how different parts of the brain and body are involved in different cognitive tasks. We talk a lot about mirror neurons, those brain cells that light up both when we perform an action ourselves and when we see someone else performing the action. Understanding how these cells work could be key to a better view of empathy and interpersonal interactions. Lisa Aziz-Zadeh is an Associate Professor in the Brain and Creativity Institute and the Department of Occupational Science at the University of Southern California. She received her Ph.D. in psychology from UCLA, and has also done research at the University of Parma and the University of California, Berkeley. Home page USC profile Lab home page Google Scholar Talk on Brain and Body See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    53 | Solo -- On Morality and Rationality

    53 | Solo -- On Morality and Rationality
    What does it mean to be a good person? To act ethically and morally in the world? In the old days we might appeal to the instructions we get from God, but a modern naturalist has to look elsewhere. Today I do a rare solo podcast, where I talk both about my personal views on morality, a variety of “constructivism” according to which human beings construct their ethical stances starting from basic impulses, logical reasoning, and communicating with others. In light of this view, I consider two real-world examples of contemporary moral controversies: Is it morally permissible to eat meat? Or is there an ethical imperative to be a vegetarian? Do inequities in society stem from discrimination, or from the natural order of things? As a jumping-off point I take the loose-knit group known as the Intellectual Dark Web, which includes Jordan Peterson, Sam Harris, Ben Shapiro, and others, and their nemeses the Social Justice Warriors (though the discussion is about broader issues, not just that group of folks). Probably everyone will agree with my takes on these issues once they listen to my eminently reasonable arguments. Actually this is a more conversational, exploratory episode, rather than a polished, tightly-argued case from start to finish. I don’t claim to have all the final answers. The hope is to get people thinking and conversing, not to settle things once and for all. These issues are, on the one hand, very tricky, and none of us should be too certain that we have everything figured out; on the other hand, they can get very personal, and consequently emotions run high. The issues are important enough that we have to talk about them, and we can at least aspire to do so in the most reasonable way possible.   Support Mindscape on Patreon or Paypal. See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.