The Power of Memes – Susan Blackmore

Dilemma Podcast | 21 October 2020 | 1h 09m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Susan Blackmore backgrounding mimetics – which analogises Darwinian evolution to explore how ideas propagate with replication, selection and variation. Draws on her book The Meme Machine.

Sören Urbansky – Beyond the Steppe Frontier

New Books Network | 8 September 2020 | 1h 15m | Listen Later
Interview with Sören Urbansky about his book Beyond the Steppe Frontier: A History of the Sino-Russian Border. Discusses the border’s formation over 300 years and shows how the inter-state boundary took shape as a result of actions by local people, whose lives have in turn been transformed by existence next to a geopolitical faultline.

David Nasaw on The Last Million

Carnegie Council Audio | 23 September 2020 | 0h 56m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with David Nasaw about his book The Last Million: Europe’s Displaced Persons from World War to Cold War. Discusses the management of and repatriation of the concentration camp survivors, POWs, slave labourers, political prisoners, and Nazi collaborators that did not return home after the end of WWII. Insights on why the Americans chose not to bring Nazi collaborators to justice, and the US domestic political considerations behind Jewish settlement in Israel.

Peter Richerson: Morality from an Evolutionary Perspective

This View of Life | 13 August 2020 | 0h 51m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Peter J. Richerson discussing morality from an evolutionary perspective. Draws on his book Not by Genes Alone: How Culture Transformed Human Evolution, co-authored with Robert Boyd.

Optionality by Richard Meadows

Richard Meadows has released his book Optionality: How to Survive and Thrive in a Volatile World.

It’s a beautifully written book that synthesises the ideas of many thinkers to argue that the good life is a function of good options.

He covers why having high-quality options is the best proxy for the good life; decision making under uncertainty; using options with capped downside and open upside to build health, wealth, skills, and social capital; risk management; when to deliberately constrain your options; and making meaning in a meaningless universe.

Never have I read something so profound and erudite delivered so lightly. This is a must-read book that you will be talking about for a long time.

There is further background, including a free chapter to download, at Richard’s blog Deep Dish.

Virginia Postrel on Textiles and the Fabric of Civilization

EconTalk | 16 November 2020 | 1h 06m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Virginia Postrel about her book The Fabric of Civilization and How Textiles Made the World. Tells the fascinating story behind the clothes we wear and everything that goes into producing them throughout history. The history of textiles, Postrel argues, is a good way of understanding the history of the world.

John Kampfner on Why the Germans Do it Better

The Bunker | 28 September 2020 | 0h 25m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with John Kampfner about his book Why the Germans Do it Better. Discusses the German political miracle, Merkel, relations with the UK, and why Germany is so much better than the UK at industry, political debate and social cohesion.

Food Myths with Food Historian Rachel Laudan

Future of Agriculture | 20 June 2018 | 0h 31m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Rachel Laudan, the author of Cuisine and Empire: Cooking in World History. Discusses how traditional foods came to be considered traditional, notwithstanding their recent and geographically distant origins, the criticality of food processing to feeding us all, the long history of fast food, the importance of separating processed food from “bad food” and what she believes we should consider to be “good food.”