Dana Gioia on Learning, Poetry, and Studying with Miss Bishop

EconTalk | 15 February 2021 | 1h 35m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Dana Gioia about his book Studying with Miss Bishop. Discusses the craft of being a poet, the business world, mentorship, loss, why poetry no longer seems to matter, and how it might begin to matter again.

The Black Count: Interview with Writer Tom Reiss

The Marc Steiner Show | 5 July 2017 | 0h 51m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Tom Reiss about his book The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo. Discusses General Alex Dumas, a hero of the French Revolution, who was born to a Black slave mother and a fugitive white French nobleman in Saint-Domingue (present-day Haiti). He was the father of the novelist Alexandre Dumas, who used his father’s larger-than-life feats as inspiration for such classics as The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers.

Culture, Innovation, and the Collective Brain

Many Minds | 3 February 2021 | 1h 29m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Michael Muthukrishna about why our brains got so big; how culture makes us smart; where innovation comes from; the cultural brain hypothesis; what this means for a general theory of intelligence across species; explaining the Flynn Effect; how group size and interconnectedness power culture; the evolution of brain size in humans & cetaceans; why psychology needs to become a historical science; and more.

This episode was so insightful that I went looking for more. The episode with Michael Muthukrishna on The Dissenter is also very good.

What Would Orwell Be Without Nineteen Eighty-Four?

The Book Club | 31 January 2021 | 0h 43m | Listen Later | iTunes
Podcast marking the moment that George Orwell comes out of copyright. D. J. Taylor (author of On Nineteen Eighty-Four and Orwell: The Life) and Dorian Lynskey (author of The Ministry of Truth) discuss how Orwell speaks to us now, and how his reputation has weathered. Was he secretly a conservative? Was he a McCarthyite snitch? How would he be remembered had he died before writing Nineteen Eighty-Four? And does ‘Orwellian’ mean anything much at all?

Women in Greek Myths

History Extra | 25 November 2020 | 0h 27m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Natalie Haynes about her book Pandora’s Jar: Women in the Greek Myths. Discusses the varied portrayals of women in Greek mythology, finding that the figures who emerge from different retellings and translations owe more to modern mores than historical fidelity.

Ron Chernow on Alexander Hamilton

History Extra | 22 December 2020 | 0h 45m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Ron Chernow about his book Alexander Hamilton. Discusses the extraordinary life of the American Founding Father and the hip-hop musical that was inspired by the book.

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.

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.