Sam Harris on the Value of Conversation

The Book Club | 12 August 2020 | 1h 05m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Sam Harris about his book Making Sense: Conversations on Consciousness, Morality, and the Future of Humanity. Discusses why civilised conversation is what the world needs now more than ever, why ‘cancel culture’ is real and J.K. Rowling’s trans-rights-activist opponents are ‘insane’, how ‘bad philosophy’ has ruined the social sciences, the circumstances under which totalitarianism might be okay – and why, as a liberal, he thinks the left is in danger of destroying America.

Conversation and Society

The Seen and the Unseen | 19 July 2020 | 1h 46m | Listen Later | iTunes
Wide-ranging interview with Russ Roberts. Topics include his early intellectual influences, the economic lens, Adam’s Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Arnold Kling’s The Three Languages of Politics, listening and conversing effectively, moving past a zero-sum mindset, self-delusion, the armour we wear to avoid being revealed.

How Innovation Works, with Matt Ridley

Uncommon Knowledge | 19 May 2020 | 1h 04m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Matt Ridley about his book, How Innovation Works, which argues that we need to change the way we think about innovation, to see it as an incremental, bottom-up, fortuitous process that happens to society as a direct result of the human habit of exchange, rather than as an orderly, top-down process developing according to a plan. Ridley also discusses the covid-19 crisis, that China has the low-level freedoms necessary for innovation, and predicts what the world might look like in 2050.

The Northumbrians: from Bede to Geordie Shore

History Extra | 6 May 2020 | 0h 38m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Dan Jackson about his book The Northumbrians: North-East England and its People – A New History. Traces the distinctive history and culture of North East England, from ancient times to the present day, before ending with a primer on the Geordie dialect.

Peter Warner: ‘Lord of The Flies’ rescuer

RNZ: Saturday Morning | 16 May 2020 | 0h 13m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Peter Warner about a real-life ‘Lord of the Flies’ scenario: six Tongan boys marooned on a desert island and rescued 15 months later. In 1966 Peter Warner was the captain of a fishing boat that sailed past the island, called ‘Ata, and found the teenagers there. Students at a Catholic boarding school in Nuku’alofa, the boys had stolen a boat, and set sail for Fiji, only to be put off course by a storm, eventually washing ashore at ‘Ata. Peter Warner describes his role in the story and the enduring friendships that came of it.

The Ascent of Jacob Bronowski

Free Thoughts | 27 September 2019 | 0h 48m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Timothy Sandefur about his book The Ascent of Jacob Bronowski: The Life and Ideas of a Popular Science Icon. Discusses the life of the famous scientist, philosopher, and poet: making his series The Ascent of Man, his political philosophy, his views on the role of politics in science, his work assessing the aftermath of the atomic bomb in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and his friendship with Leo Szilard, the inventor of the atomic bomb.

Ethan Nichtern, ‘The Dharma of The Princess Bride’

Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris | 16 August 2017 | 1h 01m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Ethan Nichtern about his book The Dharma of The Princess Bride: What the Coolest Fairy Tale of Our Time Can Teach Us About Buddhism and Relationships. Backgrounds his life as a Buddhist teacher before analysing The Princess Bride as “a deconstructed fairytale that’s… really about trying to navigate relationships from this space of compassionately not knowing.” Highlights the need for compassion when figuring out relationships.

Shakespeare and America

History Extra | 20 March 2020 | 0h 26m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with James Shapiro about his book Shakespeare in a Divided America: What His Plays Tell Us About Our Past and Future. Considers why England’s foremost playwright has had such a profound impact on the United States, and how his words speak to contemporary concerns.