Gregory Radick – Disputed Inheritance: The Battle over Mendel and the Future of Biology

The Dissenter | 5 February 2024 | 1h 12m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Gregory Radick about his book Disputed Inheritance: The Battle over Mendel and the Future of Biology. Discusses the inter-relationships between the work of Mendel, Darwin and Francis Galton; the early 20C debate between William Bateson and W. F. R. Weldon about whether Mendelian genetics should be the standard entry point for learning about genes. Argues that if Weldon had lived longer and his view of Mendelian genetics as a special case ignoring environmental effects won out, we would have framed genetics fundamentally differently, with less of a framing of heredity as destiny.

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If Life Is Random, Is It Meaningless? (with Brian Klaas)

EconTalk | 22 January 2024 | 1h 00m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Brian Klaas about his book Fluke: Chance, Chaos, and Why Everything We Do Matters. Cites examples of chance events profoundly shaping both society and individual lifes. Argues that recognizing the randomness of everyday life and history can lead to a newfound appreciation for the meaning of every decision, and to a focus on joyful experimentation instead of relentless optimization.

See also The Prospect Interview about his earlier book Corruptible: Who Gets Power and How It Changes Us

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Francesca Peacock: Pure Wit

The Book Club | 13 September 2023 | 0h 45m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Francesca Peacock about her book Pure Wit: The Revolutionary Life of Margaret Cavendish. Discusses the life and work of 17C writer Margaret Cavendish, her feminist writing before feminism was generally thought of, and her pioneering science fiction.

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Charles King on Gods of the Upper Air

AMSEcast | 1 January 2024 | 0h 38m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Charles King about his book Gods of the Upper Air: How a Circle of Renegade Anthropologists Reinvented Race, Sex, and Gender in the Twentieth Century. Discusses the history of the development of cultural anthropology; key figures like Franz Boas, Margaret Mead, and Zora Neale Hurston; and how they shifted our understanding of societies from being in a hierarchy from primitive to advanced to being relative and based on the history and circumstances of their people.

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How to Escape The Identity Trap – Yascha Mounk (part two)

How Do We Fix It? | 29 December 2023 | 0h 31m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Continues the interview with Yascha Mounk about his book The Identity Trap: A Story of Ideas and Power In Our Time. Discusses why an obsession with identity undermines social justice, fuels culture wars, and boosts hateful hardliners on the right and left— from Donald Trump to protesters who support Hamas and its murderous attacks on Israeli civilians.

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The Origins of Today’s Identity Politics – Yascha Mounk (part one)

How Do We Fix It? | 15 December 2023 | 0h 31m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Yascha Mounk about his book The Identity Trap: A Story of Ideas and Power In Our Time. Discusses the roots of a highly influential ideology based on personal identity – race, gender and sexual orientation – said to determine a person’s power, role in society, and how they see themselves. Explains how this identity synthesis had its origins in several intellectual traditions, including post-colonialism, postmodernism and critical race theory.

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Celebrating Charlie Munger w/ Mohnish Pabrai, Tom Gayner, Joel Greenblatt, & Chris Davis

We Study Billionaires | 10 December 2023 | 2h 11m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
William Green, author of Richer, Wiser, Happier, celebrates the life and legacy of Charlie Munger with personal anecdotes and insights about Munger from investors: Mohnish Pabrai, Tom Gayner, Joel Greenblatt, & Chris Davis. Covers some of Munger’s most valuable lessons about investing, business, & life while also conveying what made him such an inspiring & idiosyncratic character.

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