Read This | 12 July 2023 | 0h 28m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Anna Funder about her book Wifedom: Mrs Orwell’s Invisible Life. Discusses how George Orwell’s wife, Eileen O’Shaughnessy, contributed to his work and was erased from his story. Draws lessons about the role of patriarchy in O’Shaughnessy’s life, her own life, and society more generally.
New Books in Education | 11 July 2023 | 1h 05m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Yi-Lin Chiang about her book Study Gods: How the New Chinese Elite Prepare for Global Competition. Shares behind-the-scene stories from her ethnographic research about the education of elite Chinese adolescents pursuing high academic performance.
LSE London Alumni Talks | 29 August 2021 | 0h 50m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Michael Muthukrishna about Culturalytics, his initiative that helps organisations measure and manage organisational culture and how this can be used in strategic planning and policy. Discusses what we mean by culture, useful ways to think about culture and the insights this provides for mergers and acquisitions, corporate innovation, employee retention, and policy-making around fake news and climate change.
I listened to this to salve my hunger waiting for Muthukrishna’s book, A Theory of Everyone, which I expect to be the best book of 2023.
The Ezra Klein Show | 26 May 2023 | 1h 11m | Listen Later | Spotify
Interview with Joseph Henrich about his book The WEIRDest People in the World: How the West Became Psychologically Peculiar and Particularly Prosperous. Discusses Henrich’s theory of how “cultural evolution” leads to psychological – even genetic – changes in humans, the difference between societies that experience “shame” as a dominant emotion as opposed to “guilt,” the unique power of religion in driving cultural change, how cultural inventions like reading have reshaped human biology, why religious communes tend to outlast secular ones, why Henrich believes there is no static “human nature” aside from our cultural learning abilities, how differences in moral psychology across the United States can predict Donald Trump’s 2016 and 2020 vote share, why higher levels of immigration tend to lead to far more innovation, and more.
See also episodes with Joseph Henrich on Conversations with Tyler and The Insight.
Modern Wisdom | 4 May 2023 | 1h 25m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Jean Twenge about her book Generations: The Real Differences Between Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, Boomers, and Silents―and What They Mean for America’s Future. Discusses her work researching the characteristic differences between generations, covering whether millennials had it harder than boomers, which generation has the most robust mental health and why, the massive effect of technology across age groups, why 60% of Gen Z girls have mental health problems, why young people aren’t getting their drivers’ licenses, why there is such a big decline in sexual activity and alcohol consumption, and more.
Baillie Gifford Prize | 6 April 2023 | 0h 25m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with James Shapiro about his book 1599: A Year In The Life of William Shakespeare. Explores life in Elizabethan England, how Shakespeare managed to produce four great works (including Hamlet) in just one year and why the rumours that Shakespeare was in fact more than one person are false.
James Shapiro was subsequently named the Winner of Winners, as discussed in the following episode:
Baillie Gifford Prize | 11 May 2023 | 0h 11m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Razib Khan’s Unsupervised Learning | 2 April 2023 | 1h 07m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Steven Pinker about his book The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature, published in 2002. Discusses where we are today vis-a-vis the book’s three major themes: the blank slate or tabula rasa view of the mind as having no innate traits; the noble savage view of human nature where society corrupts individuals; and the ghost in the machine, particularly as repurposed today in service of gender ideology.
The Book Club | 8 March 2023 | 0h 41m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Sarah Wheeler about her book Glowing Still: A Woman’s Life on the Road. Looks back over her life as a travel writer, discussing her background in Bristol, her travelling life, and the past and future of travel writing.