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    #285 – Glenn Loury: Race, Racism, Identity Politics, and Cancel Culture

    Despite our physical differences, we are all part of the same human family. Embracing our shared history while recognizing our individual heritages can help break down tribalism and promote unity. Black patriotism emphasizes being Americans first and foremost.

    enMay 14, 2022

    About this Episode

    Glenn Loury is a professor of economics and social sciences at Brown University, and a prominent podcaster and social critic who speaks and writes about race, inequality, and social policy. Please support this podcast by checking out our sponsors: - Lambda: https://lambdalabs.com/lex - LMNT: https://drinkLMNT.com/lex to get free sample pack - Coinbase: https://coinbase.com/lex to get $10 in free Bitcoin - ROKA: https://roka.com/ and use code LEX to get 20% off your first order - MasterClass: https://masterclass.com/lex to get 15% off EPISODE LINKS: Glenn's Twitter: https://twitter.com/GlennLoury Glenn's Substack: https://glennloury.substack.com Glenn's YouTube: https://youtube.com/c/GlennLouryShow The Anatomy of Racial Inequality (book): https://amzn.to/3N7jmz0 Race, Incarceration, and American Values (book): https://amzn.to/398ywpk PODCAST INFO: Podcast website: https://lexfridman.com/podcast Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2lwqZIr Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2nEwCF8 RSS: https://lexfridman.com/feed/podcast/ YouTube Full Episodes: https://youtube.com/lexfridman YouTube Clips: https://youtube.com/lexclips SUPPORT & CONNECT: - Check out the sponsors above, it's the best way to support this podcast - Support on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/lexfridman - Twitter: https://twitter.com/lexfridman - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lexfridman - LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lexfridman - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lexfridman - Medium: https://medium.com/@lexfridman OUTLINE: Here's the timestamps for the episode. On some podcast players you should be able to click the timestamp to jump to that time. (00:00) - Introduction (07:12) - Martin Luther King Jr. (16:00) - History of slavery (30:39) - Equality of outcome (47:02) - Math and economics (1:03:17) - Racial groups (1:16:33) - Black patriotism (1:26:26) - MLK and Malcolm X (1:40:07) - Joe Rogan controversy (1:59:23) - Accusation of racism (2:07:08) - Elon Musk and Twitter (2:12:41) - Universities (2:21:19) - Cognitive inequality (2:33:45) - Politics (2:53:10) - Ketanji Brown Jackson (2:59:14) - Thomas Sowell (3:04:28) - Barack Obama (3:23:06) - Mortality (3:35:20) - Meaning of life

    🔑 Key Takeaways

    • Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream of equality was not just about legal rights, but about recognizing the intrinsic value of all individuals. To achieve true equality, society must embrace this fundamental worth of every human being.
    • We can learn from history how to combat social injustice by acknowledging the broader Christian ethic of equality and sustaining our humanity, even under oppressive conditions. Let's not look the other way on morally problematic practices in our society.
    • It takes a movement of people who are troubled by injustice to come together and practically oppose it, ultimately leading to its eradication. Collective action has the power to transform society and create a better future for all.
    • Recognizing and embracing cultural differences can lead to a more just society, where all individuals have the opportunity to thrive regardless of group representation in various professions or social achievements. Fair treatment does not guarantee equal outcomes.
    • Success in the NBA and other professions is based on ability, but social and economic conditions can impact opportunity. Measuring the significance of demographic factors can reveal unequal opportunity.
    • Opportunity and outcomes are impacted by environmental and cultural factors, not just workplace policies. Economics can provide a framework for addressing complex social problems, but a multidisciplinary approach is necessary.
    • Mathematics provides puzzles that challenge and push mathematicians forward, but even with its magic, there are limits. Some mathematical propositions are true but cannot be proved.
    • Economics constructs simplified models to make meaningful statements about behavior of markets and individuals. Formalization allows precise analysis but assumptions may not hold true in reality, requiring consideration of individuals and their goals.
    • Our beliefs and values, including our identity, can influence how we are perceived and treated. While physical differences exist, their significance in defining who we are as people is questionable.
    • Glenn Loury highlights the impact of race on daily lives, such as unfair treatment by law enforcement and in high-end stores. Understanding and dialogue are needed to address these issues. Share stories with children.
    • Despite our physical differences, we are all part of the same human family. Embracing our shared history while recognizing our individual heritages can help break down tribalism and promote unity. Black patriotism emphasizes being Americans first and foremost.
    • Despite past injustices, calls for separate states are unrealistic. Progress is best achieved through political engagement and compromise. Black patriotism can coexist with a fight for justice and equality.
    • The Civil Rights Movement was not monolithic, and individuals had nuanced and complex attitudes towards race and activism. While Martin Luther King Jr. advocated for respect for the American democratic tradition, the Black Muslims rejected it and sought to build their own schools and businesses.
    • Glenn Loury advocates for personal responsibility and determination, making alliances with those who want to create change, and focusing on collaboration rather than relying on violent rebellion. Additionally, words have power and should be used with care.
    • The use of the N-word is complex and controversial, with differing opinions on its usage and the implications of accusations of racism. Actions, rather than words, should be the focus of accusations.
    • When someone is called a racist in a debate, it often stops the conversation instead of promoting productive discussion. Focusing on facts and logic is more effective in addressing complex issues.
    • To effectively address issues of racial inequality, open and honest discussions must be allowed, without resorting to linguistic policing or baseless accusations. Overt disagreements and effective conflict resolution methods are vital.
    • Defamation can ruin lives, and the spiral of silence can prevent people from speaking out. However, speaking out can bring awareness and change. It only takes one person to initiate a shift in societal attitudes.
    • Keeping silent out of fear can lead to explosive outcomes. Expressing widely-held sentiments can unravel the spiral of silence. Platforms that label misinformation can have dangerous impacts. Free speech can help, but mechanisms must prevent misuse.
    • Universities should encourage open inquiry and critical thinking, without imposing a particular viewpoint. The focus should be on creating new knowledge and nurturing young minds in pursuit of truth.
    • Universities should focus on scholarship and curiosity, not identity politics. Talking about cognitive differences between racial groups can perpetuate harmful stereotypes and requires a multidimensional approach beyond IQ tests.
    • Genetic factors can affect our visual acuity and cognitive ability, but corrective lenses and interventions such as education and childhood programs can help level the playing field. Don't let political consequences deter inquiry into important scientific research.
    • Glenn Loury argues that dismissing research into racial differences in IQ without considering the potential benefits of knowledge gained may hinder progress. He stresses the importance of balanced economic and social policies and a cohesive society built on nationalism and access to healthcare and education.
    • Social safety nets and corporations are essential for sustainable prosperity. A sense of common membership in a political enterprise is key to supporting the safety net, while corporations provide the foundation for prosperity. Markets do not guarantee equality, but they can correct inefficiencies and respond to the realities of life.
    • Loury suggests personal responsibility and rejecting excuses are essential for addressing racial disparities, and favors individual effort over centralized control and affirmative action.
    • Selecting a Supreme Court justice based solely on their race or gender is not the best approach. Merit and qualifications should be the primary factors considered for such esteemed positions. The focus should be on the future of the law, not identity politics.
    • Recognizing diverse perspectives, like those of Thomas Sowell, can help shape our understanding of society. It's important to acknowledge the contributions of controversial figures in the landscape of ideas.
    • Racial identity is socially constructed, and politicians created a persona to position themselves effectively. Obama's support for the systemic racism narrative in American policing was criticized, and it is essential to be mindful of political strategies.
    • While police brutality is a real issue, the biggest threat to black lives is black-on-black violent crime. The former president missed an opportunity to encourage peaceful protests. Clarence Thomas deserves recognition for his inspiring life story and achievements.
    • Glenn Loury encourages young people to acquire skills and see themselves as privileged individuals living in a free country with endless possibilities. He also emphasizes living in the fullness of spirit and cherishing the present moment.
    • Cherish life and prepare for the inevitable. Explore different perspectives on death and find comfort in the wisdom of ancient philosophers.
    • Death is unavoidable, but we can find purpose and fulfillment in life by living within our limitations and striving to make the most of our time.
    • Glenn Loury reminds us to leave a lasting impact by actively contributing to the world, cherishing our relationships, and recognizing our interconnectedness. Even small actions matter in building a positive legacy.

    📝 Podcast Summary

    Glenn Lowry on Martin Luther King Jr.'s Dream of Equality

    Glenn Lowry, a professor of economics and social sciences, speaks with Lex Fridman about Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech and the idea of equality. Lowry explains that King's dream of equality was rooted in the idea that African-Americans would become equal members of society as free and equal citizens. Lowry notes that slavery was not only a legal order but also a social system that had symbolic meaning. He believes that King was invoking the idea that all individuals, regardless of their race, have equal worth as human beings. This fundamental worth should be embraced by the country to ensure equality for all individuals.

    Glenn Loury on the Lessons We Can Learn from History to Prevent Social Injustice Today.

    In this conversation, Glenn Loury discusses how Martin Luther King Jr. was informed by a broader Christian ethic of equality of all persons. He also talks about the capacity of people for looking the other way when faced with morally problematic practices, such as slavery in the United States, and how it took a massive movement of abolition to eradicate the practice. However, Loury also acknowledges the ability of humans to sustain their humanity under terrible oppressive conditions. He suggests that this human resilience and ability to survive in the face of evil is something we can learn from today, especially when we consider what we might be looking the other way on in our own society.

    The Power of Collective Action in Eradicating Injustice

    Looking the other way in the face of injustice or persecution is not a new phenomenon. Throughout history, many individuals have either been complicit or turned a blind eye to heinous crimes like the Holocaust or slavery. However, it also took a movement of people who were troubled by the practice to come together and oppose it practically, ultimately leading to its eradication. Slavery, for instance, existed globally and for centuries, but its eradication is a testimony to how impressive the accomplishment was. It took a few individuals daring to rebel and many more joining hands to do away with slavery, leading to a transformation where descendants of slaves became full citizens of the United States within a century and a half.

    The Power of One: Sparking Revolution for Equality

    The power of one individual to make a difference in the face of injustice is highlighted in this discussion between Lex Fridman and Glenn Loury. The example of Frederick Douglass is used to demonstrate how one person's determination and charisma can spark a revolution for equality. However, Loury argues that equality of outcome cannot be expected for distinct groups with different cultural customs and norms. Fair treatment does not guarantee equal outcomes, and it is important to recognize and embrace the differences between groups. This recognition can lead to a more just society where all individuals have the opportunity to thrive, regardless of group representation in various professions or social achievements.

    The NBA and Success: Ability vs. Demographics

    The NBA is not equally representative of all populations in the United States, but the process of getting into the league is fair. Success in various professions, such as finance and engineering, is also based on ability rather than demographic factors. However, social and economic conditions can affect one's opportunity to succeed, as such factors impact a person's ability to fully develop their potential. The significance of various factors, such as race and gender, in determining success in the labor market can be measured by controlling for factors that legitimately impact success, such as education and skills. If such demographic factors still affect success after controlling for other factors, there may be unequal opportunity in that profession.

    The Multidisciplinary Approach to Addressing Social Issues

    Opportunity is not just about fair treatment in the workplace, it goes way back to birth and involves environmental and cultural factors that can impact the development of skills and potential for success. Disparities in outcomes may not always be solely due to systemic factors and policies, but can also be influenced by cultural and social background. Economics, as a social science, provides a framework for rigorous analysis of significant social issues such as racial inequality, economic development, and fluctuations in raw material prices. Therefore, a multidisciplinary approach is necessary to address complex social problems.

    The Beautiful Puzzle of Mathematics and its Limits

    Mathematics is like magic, and the love for math comes from being able to prove something, like the fact that there is no largest prime number. Prime numbers don't show up in economics, except for cryptography, but they are a beautiful mathematical puzzle that challenges mathematicians and pushes mathematics forward. Math also deals with abstract questions, like whether there exists a solution to a differential equation in the general case, which is a huge step in the study of mathematics. Mathematics also has limits - you can't prove everything, and there are mathematical propositions that are true but cannot be proven to be true.

    The Challenge of Simplifying Complex Phenomena in Economics

    Economics aims to construct models that generalize and simplify complex phenomena in order to make meaningful statements about them. The challenge is to balance the reality of individuals with the necessity of aggregating data in order to analyze it. Economic theory deals with the behavior of markets and individuals, and general equilibrium theory aims to demonstrate the existence of market efficiency. Formalization is an important aspect of economics, as it allows for precise analysis and better understanding of complex systems. However, assumptions made in formalization may not always hold true in reality, and it is important to consider the behavior of individuals and their goals when constructing economic models.

    The Impact of Identity on Economic Analysis

    Glenn Loury discusses how factors such as nationalism, religion, race, and identity play an important role in economic analysis. He notes that these preconditions, which include our beliefs and values, are subject to manipulation and change, which can be problematic when making generalizations about groups like race. While Loury identifies as a black American and acknowledges that physical differences exist among humans, he questions the significance of these differences in defining who we are as people. However, he recognizes that our identity can impact how we are perceived and treated by the world around us, making it an important consideration regardless of personal beliefs.

    Challenges of Black People in Everyday Life

    In this section, Glenn Loury highlights the challenges that black people face when interacting with law enforcement officers and when shopping in high-end stores. He describes how his skin color affects the way he is perceived and treated, and how he feels the need to dress up to be taken seriously when shopping. Additionally, he discusses the importance of understanding and sharing stories about ancestors with his children, despite the difficulties of tracing family history. This section emphasizes the ongoing impact of race on people's daily lives and highlights the need for understanding and dialogue to address these issues.

    Overcoming Tribalism to Embrace Shared Humanity

    Glenn Loury highlights that humans all descend from the same ancestral population, and we all share a common humanity beneath the skin. Despite these shared genetics, we place undue emphasis on superficial differences and create tribal groups. While tribalism allows for traditions and stories to be passed down, it also fuels hate and violence towards other groups. Loury argues for black patriotism, emphasizing that African Americans are Americans first and foremost. The United States is a nation of immigrants, and we should embrace our shared history while recognizing our individual heritages.

    Glenn Loury on the Importance of Black Americans as Members of American Society

    In this discussion, Glenn Loury emphasizes that despite past injustices and ongoing struggles, black Americans are first and foremost Americans, with a unique role in the history and future of the United States. He argues that calls for separate states or countries are unrealistic and counterproductive, and that progress can best be achieved through political engagement and compromise. While acknowledging the ongoing need for protest and advocacy, Loury also celebrates the achievements of African-Americans in the US and calls for a framework that accepts and builds upon their status as full members of American society. Ultimately, he suggests that black patriotism can coexist alongside an ongoing struggle for justice and equality.

    Glenn Loury's Reflections on Growing Up in Chicago during the Civil Rights Movement

    In this excerpt, Glenn Loury reflects on his personal experiences growing up in Chicago in the 1950s and 60s, particularly his exposure to two very different leaders and movements: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Black Muslims. While King advocated for respect for the American democratic tradition and appealed to the better nature of oppressors, the Black Muslims rejected this approach and sought to build their own schools and businesses, taking responsibility for their own success. Loury's own uncle admired the Black Muslims and their philosophy of self-sufficiency and self-care. This excerpt provides insight into the complex and nuanced attitudes towards race and activism during this time period.

    Glenn Loury on taking responsibility, building determination and making alliances.

    Glenn Loury, in a conversation with Lex Fridman, emphasizes the importance of taking responsibility for oneself and building determination. He mentions that his uncle left him a bequest, which included a complete collection of recorded speeches of Malcolm X. His uncle respected the idea of "building your own" and "not being dependent on the white man." However, Loury does not think that violent rebellion is the answer in the present day, as it sets back the program for African-Americans. He emphasizes the importance of making alliances and associating oneself with people concerned about changing things, rather than framing it as a racial problem. Additionally, they discuss the use of the N-word and the power of words.

    Glenn Loury and Lex Fridman Discuss the Debate Around the N-Word and Racism Accusations

    Glenn Loury and Lex Fridman engage in a conversation around the use of the N-word, its history and its power as well as the accusation of racism. Loury says that the N-word is often used colloquially in the African-American community and can be a term of endearment, but its use as a slur by Southern racists has caused pain and is a fighting word. The prohibition on its use by non-Black people is a topic of debate, and Loury believes that accusations of racism should be based on actions and not merely on the use of a word. While there are still blatant racists, there are also cases of people being accused of racism unjustly.

    The Misuse of Accusations of Racism in Debates

    Glenn Loury discusses how people often use accusations of racism to control conversations, rather than engaging in productive debate. He argues that calling someone a racist because you disagree with their views on racial inequality or differences is not a rebuttal, but rather a power move that shuts down conversation. Loury urges people to focus on grappling with factual questions and demonstrating rightness or wrongness, rather than character attacks. He suggests that simply calling someone a racist may shut them up, but it won't change their minds. In order to address complex issues such as crime in black communities, Loury recommends engaging in productive, fact-based discussions.

    The Importance of Open Discourse on Race - A Conversation with Glenn Loury

    Glenn Loury, in a discussion with Lex Fridman, emphasizes the importance of allowing open and honest discussions about issues related to race instead of resorting to superficial linguistic policing, which can result in bottling up frustration and resentment. He also highlights the need for more effective ways of dealing with conflicts that fall along racial fault lines, particularly violent crime. Loury warns against the use of baseless accusations of racism to shut down discussions and argues for the need for overt and explicit disagreements in order to confront the realities of the situation at hand. Overall, Loury stresses the importance of allowing open discourse to address issues of racial inequality.

    The Power and Perils of Defamation and the Spiral of Silence

    Defamation can be a powerful tool to destroy someone's reputation with just a single accusation published in an article or social media post. It is difficult to fight back, especially when there is no proof provided. This phenomenon has been around for a long time and has even ruined careers and lives. Society also perpetuates a "spiral of silence" wherein people with certain views or opinions stay quiet out of fear of being ostracized. However, this can change when someone speaks out, and it becomes common knowledge that others share their views. It only takes a little kid or a shrewd individual to awaken us to this common knowledge.

    The Danger of the Spiral of Silence and the Power of Free Speech

    Glenn Loury warns that the spiral of silence, in which people keep their true beliefs under wraps for fear of being ostracized, can lead to a dangerous explosion if someone dares to break the silence. Conversely, someone who can tap into widely-held sentiments and express them publicly can unravel the silence in a beautiful way. Social media platforms like Twitter, which have the power to label things as misinformation, can have a dangerous impact on the spiral of silence. A person like Elon Musk, who advocates for free speech, can unravel this spiral, even if some people on the left are concerned about provocative public speech being allowed. It is important to construct mechanisms that prevent the misuse of power and allow healthy conversations to occur.

    The Role of Universities in Free Inquiry and Critical Thinking

    Glenn Loury, a professor at Brown University, believes that universities play a critical role in the pursuit of knowledge and the education of young minds. The university encourages free inquiry and civil discourse, where ideas are exchanged and challenged in the search for truth. However, Loury notes that there are threats to this ideal, such as the people who want to shut down open inquiry in universities based on their own beliefs. Loury argues that universities should equip students to think critically about what the right side of history is, without forcing a particular viewpoint. The goal of the university is to create new knowledge and nurture young minds, and that should always remain the focus.

    Glenn Loury and Lex Fridman discuss universities, activism and cognitive inequality.

    In a recent conversation, Glenn Loury and Lex Fridman discussed various issues related to universities, activism, and a controversial topic, cognitive inequality. Loury expressed concern about the overreach of university administrations in addressing identity issues, arguing that the beauty of universities lies in the scholarship and curiosity of faculty and students. They also discussed the dangers of talking about cognitive differences between racial groups, with Loury explaining that it can be interpreted as perpetuating the idea of innate differences in intelligence between groups. He suggested that the issue is complex, and requires a multidimensional approach beyond just IQ tests.

    How Corrective Lenses and Education can Level the Playing Field

    Visual acuity, or how well we can see, can be measured and varies between people due to genetic factors. However, corrective lenses can level the playing field for those with different natural visual abilities. Similarly, social outcomes such as employment and law-abiding behavior are influenced by cognitive ability, but there are interventions such as education and early childhood programs that can level the playing field for those with lower intelligence. Some argue against research on differences in intelligence between racial groups due to potential negative political consequences, but it's important to take chances with inquiry and not let politicians control human inquiry.

    The Potential Benefits of Examining Racial Differences in IQ

    Glenn Loury argues that research on racial differences in IQ should not be dismissed as harmful without considering the potential benefits of knowledge gained. He cites historical examples of scientific discoveries like nuclear power and the theory of evolution that were met with fear and distrust but ultimately contributed to progress. Loury identifies as a conservative-leaning economist who places value on capitalism and free enterprise as engines of prosperity but also supports a social safety net and access to healthcare and education. He emphasizes the importance of nationalism and borders in maintaining a cohesive society that can support each other through politics.

    The Role of Social Safety Net and Corporations in Sustainable Prosperity

    The social safety net is only sustainable when the population feels a sense of common membership in an ongoing political enterprise and is willing to pay taxes to uphold it. Corporations are not evil incarnations but are legal contracts between stakeholders that allow for the production and distribution of goods, earning income, and the foundation of prosperity. Markets do not align with the ideal of all men being created equal as people are different, luck and chance are factors, and inequality is inevitable. Glenn Loury's politics are rooted in liberalism, free enterprise, security of contract, and rule of law. He admires the supply siders who advocate for smaller government and incentives, and believes that markets correct inefficiencies and enable responsiveness to realities of life.

    Glenn Loury on conservatism, the civil rights movement, and addressing racial disparities

    In this section, Glenn Loury discusses his shift towards conservatism and his loss of faith in the civil rights movement. He argues that centralized control and planning do not work, and that the African-American family is in trouble due to high rates of marital dissolution and out-of-wedlock births. Loury also believes that affirmative action is a band-aid solution to racial disparities and that the Asian students who excel academically do so because of their work ethic and discipline, not their innate intelligence. He urges African-Americans to take responsibility for their own development and not rely on excuses such as white supremacy or their history of slavery.

    Glenn Loury on Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging in Politics

    Glenn Loury discusses diversity, inclusion, and belonging in politics and takes issue with President Biden's campaign promise to nominate a black woman to the US Supreme Court because it is an example of pandering to black voters. Loury believes that a person's race or gender should not be a primary factor in selecting a Supreme Court justice, and that Biden should have simply appointed a qualified individual without making it about their race or gender. He argues that identity politics at the highest level of American legal establishment is concerning and distracting from the more important factors regarding the nature and future of the law.

    The Impact of Thomas Sowell on Economics and Philosophy

    Glenn Loury, a social scientist, discusses the impact that economist Thomas Sowell has had on the landscape of ideas. Sowell, a controversial figure, is known for his critical stance on affirmative action and his belief in small government as a solution to racial inequality. Loury argues that Sowell's contributions to economics and philosophy deserve recognition, possibly even a Nobel Prize. Loury also briefly touches on Barack Obama's presidency, noting that in 2008, he did not identify as conservative to the same extent as he does today. Overall, the discussion highlights the importance of recognizing a diverse range of perspectives and ideas in shaping our understanding of society.

    The Flexibility of Racial Identity and Obama's Political Persona

    The conversation discusses the flexible nature of racial identity and the political persona that Barack Obama created to position himself effectively. Glenn Loury regretfully admits being captivated by Obama's campaign slogans in retrospect, considering them a pie in the sky, kind of a fairy tale. Loury criticizes Obama's approach to race relations and his handling of the Trayvon Martin case. Loury argues that the systemic racism narrative in American policing is demonstrably false, and Obama's support for it was regrettable. While racial identity is socially defined, it is a means to an end for politicians who create a persona to position themselves effectively.

    Professor's Views on Black Lives Matter and Crime.

    Glenn Loury, a professor at Brown University, believes that the greatest threat to the lives of black people is violent crime committed by black people against other black people. He acknowledges that police brutality is a real issue, but considers it a second-order problem compared to violent crime. Loury feels that former president Barack Obama missed an opportunity to encourage peaceful protests in the wake of police-related deaths, such as those of Freddie Gray and Michael Brown. While Obama's election broke barriers and inspired many, Loury also believes that Clarence Thomas, the longest-serving member of the US Supreme Court, deserves recognition and admiration for his inspiring life story and accomplishments.

    Glenn Loury's Advice to Young People: Focus on Acquiring Skills and Embrace the Privilege of Living in a Free Country

    Glenn Loury emphasizes that young people should focus on acquiring skills to navigate the 21st century and not limit themselves based on their identity or background. He advises them to view themselves as privileged individuals living in a free and rich country with endless possibilities. Loury also encourages them to live in the fullness of their spirit instead of being blinkered by their inherited templates. On the topic of death, he shares his recent experience attending the funeral of his brother-in-law and reminds us to cherish the present moment and live big.

    The Life and Legacy of Wesley Eugene Smith

    This section is a reflection on the life and death of a man named Wesley Eugene Smith. He was a successful businessman with clients all over the world, but also had three severely developmentally disabled sons whom he cared for at home. He was remembered as a great man with a huge heart, a powerful mind, and a spiritual seeker who explored many different religious traditions. His sudden death made the speaker reflect on the preciousness and fleetingness of life, and the importance of having one's affairs in order. The speaker also shares his fear of death, but mentions a book he read that explores the works of a Roman philosopher and offers insights on the nature of things.

    Lucretia's perspective on the inevitability of death and the speaker's views on mortality and meaningful living.

    In this discussion, the speaker highlights the perspective of Lucretia, a Roman philosopher who believed it irrational to fear death, as death is inevitable and beyond our control. While acknowledging that he himself does not want to suffer or die, he also mentions the book "As I Lay Dying" by Richard John Neuhaus, which talks about acknowledging the dread of death but also holding onto hope and a belief in everlasting life. However, the speaker notes that he personally does not hold onto such beliefs and instead sees the natural world and its evolution as evidence of the ultimate mortality of everything, including the earth and the sun. While death is a natural part of life, we can still try to live well, meaningfully, and within our limitations.

    Glenn Loury: Leaving a Legacy through Love, Work, and Influence

    In this conversation, Glenn Loury emphasizes the importance of leaving a legacy through his work and influence on others. As a teacher and writer, he seeks to have a positive impact on the world and his students. Love is also a crucial aspect of our existence and without it, we would miss out on the joys of family and relationships. Overall, Loury encourages us to contribute to the world and recognize that we are all connected, and even small actions can have a lasting impact. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we must keep moving forward, no matter how small the steps may be.

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    #428 – Sean Carroll: General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Black Holes & Aliens

    #428 – Sean Carroll: General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Black Holes & Aliens
    Sean Carroll is a theoretical physicist, author, and host of Mindscape podcast. Please support this podcast by checking out our sponsors: - HiddenLayer: https://hiddenlayer.com/lex - Cloaked: https://cloaked.com/lex and use code LexPod to get 25% off - Notion: https://notion.com/lex - Shopify: https://shopify.com/lex to get $1 per month trial - NetSuite: http://netsuite.com/lex to get free product tour Transcript: https://lexfridman.com/sean-carroll-3-transcript EPISODE LINKS: Sean's Website: https://preposterousuniverse.com Mindscape Podcast: https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/podcast/ Sean's YouTube: https://youtube.com/@seancarroll Sean's Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/seanmcarroll Sean's Twitter: https://twitter.com/seanmcarroll Sean's Instagram: https://instagram.com/seanmcarroll Sean's Papers: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=Lfifrv8AAAAJ Sean's Books: https://amzn.to/3W7yT9N PODCAST INFO: Podcast website: https://lexfridman.com/podcast Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2lwqZIr Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2nEwCF8 RSS: https://lexfridman.com/feed/podcast/ YouTube Full Episodes: https://youtube.com/lexfridman YouTube Clips: https://youtube.com/lexclips SUPPORT & CONNECT: - Check out the sponsors above, it's the best way to support this podcast - Support on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/lexfridman - Twitter: https://twitter.com/lexfridman - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lexfridman - LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lexfridman - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lexfridman - Medium: https://medium.com/@lexfridman OUTLINE: Here's the timestamps for the episode. On some podcast players you should be able to click the timestamp to jump to that time. (00:00) - Introduction (11:03) - General relativity (23:22) - Black holes (28:11) - Hawking radiation (32:19) - Aliens (41:15) - Holographic principle (1:05:38) - Dark energy (1:11:38) - Dark matter (1:20:34) - Quantum mechanics (1:41:56) - Simulation (1:44:18) - AGI (1:58:42) - Complexity (2:11:25) - Consciousness (2:20:32) - Naturalism (2:24:49) - Limits of science (2:29:34) - Mindscape podcast (2:39:29) - Einstein

    #427 – Neil Adams: Judo, Olympics, Winning, Losing, and the Champion Mindset

    #427 – Neil Adams: Judo, Olympics, Winning, Losing, and the Champion Mindset
    Neil Adams is a judo world champion, 2-time Olympic silver medalist, 5-time European champion, and often referred to as the Voice of Judo. Please support this podcast by checking out our sponsors: - ZipRecruiter: https://ziprecruiter.com/lex - Eight Sleep: https://eightsleep.com/lex to get special savings - MasterClass: https://masterclass.com/lexpod to get 15% off - LMNT: https://drinkLMNT.com/lex to get free sample pack - NetSuite: http://netsuite.com/lex to get free product tour Transcript: https://lexfridman.com/neil-adams-transcript EPISODE LINKS: Neil's Instagram: https://instagram.com/naefighting Neil's YouTube: https://youtube.com/NAEffectiveFighting Neil's TikTok: https://tiktok.com/@neiladamsmbe Neil's Facebook: https://facebook.com/NeilAdamsJudo Neil's X: https://x.com/NeilAdamsJudo Neil's Website: https://naeffectivefighting.com Neil's Podcast: https://naeffectivefighting.com/podcasts/the-dojo-collective-podcast A Life in Judo (book): https://amzn.to/4d3DtfB A Game of Throws (audiobook): https://amzn.to/4aA2WeJ PODCAST INFO: Podcast website: https://lexfridman.com/podcast Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2lwqZIr Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2nEwCF8 RSS: https://lexfridman.com/feed/podcast/ YouTube Full Episodes: https://youtube.com/lexfridman YouTube Clips: https://youtube.com/lexclips SUPPORT & CONNECT: - Check out the sponsors above, it's the best way to support this podcast - Support on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/lexfridman - Twitter: https://twitter.com/lexfridman - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lexfridman - LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lexfridman - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lexfridman - Medium: https://medium.com/@lexfridman OUTLINE: Here's the timestamps for the episode. On some podcast players you should be able to click the timestamp to jump to that time. (00:00) - Introduction (09:13) - 1980 Olympics (26:35) - Judo explained (34:40) - Winning (52:54) - 1984 Olympics (1:01:55) - Lessons from losing (1:17:37) - Teddy Riner (1:37:12) - Training in Japan (1:52:51) - Jiu jitsu (2:03:59) - Training (2:27:18) - Advice for beginners

    #426 – Edward Gibson: Human Language, Psycholinguistics, Syntax, Grammar & LLMs

    #426 – Edward Gibson: Human Language, Psycholinguistics, Syntax, Grammar & LLMs
    Edward Gibson is a psycholinguistics professor at MIT and heads the MIT Language Lab. Please support this podcast by checking out our sponsors: - Yahoo Finance: https://yahoofinance.com - Listening: https://listening.com/lex and use code LEX to get one month free - Policygenius: https://policygenius.com/lex - Shopify: https://shopify.com/lex to get $1 per month trial - Eight Sleep: https://eightsleep.com/lex to get special savings Transcript: https://lexfridman.com/edward-gibson-transcript EPISODE LINKS: Edward's X: https://x.com/LanguageMIT TedLab: https://tedlab.mit.edu/ Edward's Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=4FsWE64AAAAJ TedLab's YouTube: https://youtube.com/@Tedlab-MIT PODCAST INFO: Podcast website: https://lexfridman.com/podcast Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2lwqZIr Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2nEwCF8 RSS: https://lexfridman.com/feed/podcast/ YouTube Full Episodes: https://youtube.com/lexfridman YouTube Clips: https://youtube.com/lexclips SUPPORT & CONNECT: - Check out the sponsors above, it's the best way to support this podcast - Support on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/lexfridman - Twitter: https://twitter.com/lexfridman - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lexfridman - LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lexfridman - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lexfridman - Medium: https://medium.com/@lexfridman OUTLINE: Here's the timestamps for the episode. On some podcast players you should be able to click the timestamp to jump to that time. (00:00) - Introduction (10:53) - Human language (14:59) - Generalizations in language (20:46) - Dependency grammar (30:45) - Morphology (39:20) - Evolution of languages (42:40) - Noam Chomsky (1:26:46) - Thinking and language (1:40:16) - LLMs (1:53:14) - Center embedding (2:19:42) - Learning a new language (2:23:34) - Nature vs nurture (2:30:10) - Culture and language (2:44:38) - Universal language (2:49:01) - Language translation (2:52:16) - Animal communication

    #425 – Andrew Callaghan: Channel 5, Gonzo, QAnon, O-Block, Politics & Alex Jones

    #425 – Andrew Callaghan: Channel 5, Gonzo, QAnon, O-Block, Politics & Alex Jones
    Andrew Callaghan is the host of Channel 5 on YouTube, where he does street interviews with fascinating humans at the edges of society, the so-called vagrants, vagabonds, runaways, outlaws, from QAnon adherents to Phish heads to O Block residents and much more. Please support this podcast by checking out our sponsors: - ShipStation: https://shipstation.com/lex and use code LEX to get 60-day free trial - BetterHelp: https://betterhelp.com/lex to get 10% off - LMNT: https://drinkLMNT.com/lex to get free sample pack - MasterClass: https://masterclass.com/lexpod to get 15% off - AG1: https://drinkag1.com/lex to get 1 month supply of fish oil Transcript: https://lexfridman.com/andrew-callaghan-transcript EPISODE LINKS: Channel 5 with Andrew Callaghan: https://www.youtube.com/channel5YouTube Andrew's Instagram: https://instagram.com/andreww.me Andrew's Website: https://andrew-callaghan.com/ Andrew's Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/channel5 This Place Rules: https://www.hbo.com/movies/this-place-rules Books Mentioned: On the Road: https://amzn.to/4aLPLHi Siddhartha: https://amzn.to/49rthKz PODCAST INFO: Podcast website: https://lexfridman.com/podcast Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2lwqZIr Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2nEwCF8 RSS: https://lexfridman.com/feed/podcast/ YouTube Full Episodes: https://youtube.com/lexfridman YouTube Clips: https://youtube.com/lexclips SUPPORT & CONNECT: - Check out the sponsors above, it's the best way to support this podcast - Support on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/lexfridman - Twitter: https://twitter.com/lexfridman - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lexfridman - LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lexfridman - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lexfridman - Medium: https://medium.com/@lexfridman OUTLINE: Here's the timestamps for the episode. On some podcast players you should be able to click the timestamp to jump to that time. (00:00) - Introduction (08:53) - Walmart (10:24) - Early life (29:14) - Hitchhiking (40:49) - Couch surfing (49:50) - Quarter Confessions (1:07:33) - Burning Man (1:22:44) - Protests (1:28:17) - Jon Stewart (1:31:13) - Fame (1:44:31) - Jan 6 (1:48:15) - QAnon (1:54:00) - Alex Jones (2:10:52) - Politics (2:20:29) - Response to allegations (2:37:28) - Channel 5 (2:43:04) - Rap (2:44:51) - O Block (2:48:47) - Crip Mac (2:51:59) - Aliens

    #424 – Bassem Youssef: Israel-Palestine, Gaza, Hamas, Middle East, Satire & Fame

    #424 – Bassem Youssef: Israel-Palestine, Gaza, Hamas, Middle East, Satire & Fame
    Bassem Youssef is an Egyptian-American comedian & satirist, referred to as the Jon Stewart of the Arab World. Please support this podcast by checking out our sponsors: - AG1: https://drinkag1.com/lex to get 1 month supply of fish oil - Shopify: https://shopify.com/lex to get $1 per month trial - Eight Sleep: https://eightsleep.com/lex to get special savings - LMNT: https://drinkLMNT.com/lex to get free sample pack Transcript: https://lexfridman.com/bassem-youssef-transcript EPISODE LINKS: Bassem's X: https://x.com/Byoussef Bassem's Instagram: https://instagram.com/bassem Bassem's Facebook: https://facebook.com/bassemyousseftv Bassem's Website: https://bassemyoussef.xyz PODCAST INFO: Podcast website: https://lexfridman.com/podcast Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2lwqZIr Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2nEwCF8 RSS: https://lexfridman.com/feed/podcast/ YouTube Full Episodes: https://youtube.com/lexfridman YouTube Clips: https://youtube.com/lexclips SUPPORT & CONNECT: - Check out the sponsors above, it's the best way to support this podcast - Support on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/lexfridman - Twitter: https://twitter.com/lexfridman - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lexfridman - LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lexfridman - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lexfridman - Medium: https://medium.com/@lexfridman OUTLINE: Here's the timestamps for the episode. On some podcast players you should be able to click the timestamp to jump to that time. (00:00) - Introduction (06:30) - Oct 7 (36:59) - Two-state solution (52:37) - Holocaust (1:00:24) - 1948 (1:09:17) - Egypt (1:23:39) - Jon Stewart (1:25:51) - Going viral during the Arab Spring (1:49:55) - Arabic vs English (2:02:18) - Sam Harris and Jihad (2:07:25) - Religion (2:26:37) - TikTok (2:31:10) - Joe Rogan (2:33:07) - Joe Biden (2:37:33) - Putin (2:39:21) - War (2:44:17) - Hope

    #423 – Tulsi Gabbard: War, Politics, and the Military Industrial Complex

    #423 – Tulsi Gabbard: War, Politics, and the Military Industrial Complex
    Tulsi Gabbard is a politician, veteran, and author of For Love of Country. Please support this podcast by checking out our sponsors: - Riverside: https://creators.riverside.fm/LEX and use code LEX to get 30% off - ExpressVPN: https://expressvpn.com/lexpod to get 3 months free - NetSuite: http://netsuite.com/lex to get free product tour - Notion: https://notion.com/lex Transcript: https://lexfridman.com/tulsi-gabbard-transcript EPISODE LINKS: For Love of Country (book): https://amzn.to/3VLlofM Tulsi's X: https://x.com/tulsigabbard Tulsi's YouTube: https://youtube.com/@TulsiGabbard Tulsi's Podcast: https://youtube.com/@TheTulsiGabbardShow Tulsi's Instagram: https://instagram.com/tulsigabbard Tulsi's Facebook: https://facebook.com/TulsiGabbard Tulsi's Website: https://tulsigabbard.com/ PODCAST INFO: Podcast website: https://lexfridman.com/podcast Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2lwqZIr Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2nEwCF8 RSS: https://lexfridman.com/feed/podcast/ YouTube Full Episodes: https://youtube.com/lexfridman YouTube Clips: https://youtube.com/lexclips SUPPORT & CONNECT: - Check out the sponsors above, it's the best way to support this podcast - Support on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/lexfridman - Twitter: https://twitter.com/lexfridman - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lexfridman - LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lexfridman - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lexfridman - Medium: https://medium.com/@lexfridman OUTLINE: Here's the timestamps for the episode. On some podcast players you should be able to click the timestamp to jump to that time. (00:00) - Introduction (07:14) - War in Iraq (15:00) - Battle injuries and PTSD (22:10) - War on terrorism (30:51) - War in Gaza (34:52) - War in Ukraine (38:38) - Syria (46:20) - Warmongers (55:40) - Nuclear war (1:11:08) - TikTok ban (1:23:13) - Bernie Sanders (1:28:08) - Politics (1:46:59) - Personal attacks (1:49:07) - God

    #422 – Mark Cuban: Shark Tank, DEI & Wokeism Debate, Elon Musk, Politics & Drugs

    #422 – Mark Cuban: Shark Tank, DEI & Wokeism Debate, Elon Musk, Politics & Drugs
    Mark Cuban is a businessman, investor, star of TV series Shark Tank, long-time principal owner of Dallas Mavericks, and founder of Cost Plus Drugs. Please support this podcast by checking out our sponsors: - Listening: https://listening.com/lex and use code LEX to get one month free - Cloaked: https://cloaked.com/lex and use code LexPod to get 25% off - Notion: https://notion.com/lex - Eight Sleep: https://eightsleep.com/lex to get special savings - Shopify: https://shopify.com/lex to get $1 per month trial Transcript: https://lexfridman.com/mark-cuban-transcript EPISODE LINKS: Mark's X: https://twitter.com/mcuban Mark's Instagram: https://instagram.com/mcuban Cost Plus Drugs: https://costplusdrugs.com Shark Tank: https://abc.com/shows/shark-tank Dallas Mavericks: https://www.mavs.com PODCAST INFO: Podcast website: https://lexfridman.com/podcast Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2lwqZIr Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2nEwCF8 RSS: https://lexfridman.com/feed/podcast/ YouTube Full Episodes: https://youtube.com/lexfridman YouTube Clips: https://youtube.com/lexclips SUPPORT & CONNECT: - Check out the sponsors above, it's the best way to support this podcast - Support on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/lexfridman - Twitter: https://twitter.com/lexfridman - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lexfridman - LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lexfridman - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lexfridman - Medium: https://medium.com/@lexfridman OUTLINE: Here's the timestamps for the episode. On some podcast players you should be able to click the timestamp to jump to that time. (00:00) - Introduction (11:10) - Entrepreneurship (26:03) - Shark Tank (36:29) - How Mark made first billion (1:02:39) - Dallas Mavericks (1:08:05) - DEI debate (1:43:58) - Trump vs Biden (1:46:20) - Immigration (1:55:53) - Drugs and Big Pharma (2:11:53) - AI (2:16:05) - Advice for young people

    #421 – Dana White: UFC, Fighting, Khabib, Conor, Tyson, Ali, Rogan, Elon & Zuck

    #421 – Dana White: UFC, Fighting, Khabib, Conor, Tyson, Ali, Rogan, Elon & Zuck
    Dana White is the CEO and president of the UFC. Please support this podcast by checking out our sponsors: - LMNT: https://drinkLMNT.com/lex to get free sample pack - Notion: https://notion.com/lex - AG1: https://drinkag1.com/lex to get 1 month supply of fish oil - InsideTracker: https://insidetracker.com/lex to get 20% off Transcript: https://lexfridman.com/dana-white-transcript EPISODE LINKS: Dana's X: https://x.com/danawhite Dana's Instagram: https://instagram.com/danawhite Dana's Facebook: https://facebook.com/danawhite UFC's YouTube: https://youtube.com/@UFC UFC's Website: https://ufc.com/ PODCAST INFO: Podcast website: https://lexfridman.com/podcast Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2lwqZIr Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2nEwCF8 RSS: https://lexfridman.com/feed/podcast/ YouTube Full Episodes: https://youtube.com/lexfridman YouTube Clips: https://youtube.com/lexclips SUPPORT & CONNECT: - Check out the sponsors above, it's the best way to support this podcast - Support on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/lexfridman - Twitter: https://twitter.com/lexfridman - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lexfridman - LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lexfridman - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lexfridman - Medium: https://medium.com/@lexfridman OUTLINE: Here's the timestamps for the episode. On some podcast players you should be able to click the timestamp to jump to that time. (00:00) - Introduction (06:31) - Mike Tyson and early days of fighting (17:10) - Jiu jitsu (23:14) - Origin of UFC (37:25) - Joe Rogan (43:31) - Lorenzo Fertitta (45:58) - Great fighters (49:55) - Khabib vs Conor (53:01) - Jon Jones (56:03) - Conor McGregor (1:01:05) - Trump (1:06:44) - Elon vs Zuck (1:08:04) - Mike Tyson vs Jake Paul (1:10:52) - Forrest Griffin vs Stephan Bonnar (1:18:06) - Gambling (1:33:08) - Mortality

    #420 – Annie Jacobsen: Nuclear War, CIA, KGB, Aliens, Area 51, Roswell & Secrecy

    #420 – Annie Jacobsen: Nuclear War, CIA, KGB, Aliens, Area 51, Roswell & Secrecy
    Annie Jacobsen is an investigative journalist and author of "Nuclear War: A Scenario" and many other books on war, weapons, government secrecy, and national security. Please support this podcast by checking out our sponsors: - HiddenLayer: https://hiddenlayer.com/lex - BetterHelp: https://betterhelp.com/lex to get 10% off - Policygenius: https://policygenius.com/lex - NetSuite: http://netsuite.com/lex to get free product tour Transcript: https://lexfridman.com/annie-jacobsen-transcript EPISODE LINKS: Nuclear War: A Scenario (book): https://amzn.to/3THZHfr Annie's Twitter: https://twitter.com/anniejacobsen Annie's Website: https://anniejacobsen.com/ Annie's Books: https://amzn.to/3TGWyMJ Annie's Books (audio): https://adbl.co/49ZnI7c PODCAST INFO: Podcast website: https://lexfridman.com/podcast Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2lwqZIr Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2nEwCF8 RSS: https://lexfridman.com/feed/podcast/ YouTube Full Episodes: https://youtube.com/lexfridman YouTube Clips: https://youtube.com/lexclips SUPPORT & CONNECT: - Check out the sponsors above, it's the best way to support this podcast - Support on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/lexfridman - Twitter: https://twitter.com/lexfridman - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lexfridman - LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lexfridman - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lexfridman - Medium: https://medium.com/@lexfridman OUTLINE: Here's the timestamps for the episode. On some podcast players you should be able to click the timestamp to jump to that time. (00:00) - Introduction (07:37) - Nuclear war (12:21) - Launch procedure (18:00) - Deterrence (21:34) - Tactical nukes (30:59) - Nuclear submarines (33:59) - Nuclear missiles (41:10) - Nuclear football (50:17) - Missile interceptor system (54:34) - North Korea (1:01:10) - Nuclear war scenarios (1:10:02) - Warmongers (1:14:31) - President's cognitive ability (1:20:43) - Refusing orders (1:28:41) - Russia and Putin (1:33:48) - Cyberattack (1:35:09) - Ground zero of nuclear war (1:39:48) - Surviving nuclear war (1:44:06) - Nuclear winter (1:54:29) - Alien civilizations (2:00:04) - Extrasensory perception (2:13:50) - Area 51 (2:17:48) - UFOs and aliens (2:28:15) - Roswell incident (2:34:55) - CIA assassinations (2:53:47) - Navalny (2:56:12) - KGB (3:02:48) - Hitler and the atomic bomb (3:06:52) - War and human nature (3:10:17) - Hope