Sean Carroll’s Mindscape | 23 November 2021 | 1h 21m | Listen Later | iTunes | Spotify
Interview with Tai-Danae Bradley discussing her work using mathematical ideas from areas like category theory, topology, and quantum probability theory to analyze real-world phenomena like the structure of natural-language speech. A masterclass in the crisp communication of complex ideas.
Constant Wonder | 14 January 2021 | 0h 52m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Martin Puchner about his book The Language of Thieves: My Family’s Obsession with a Secret Code the Nazis Tried to Eliminate. Discusses his family’s history trying to preserve Rotwelsch, the secret language of thieves in the heart of Europe.
Sean Carroll’s Mindscape | 14 December 2020 | 1h 15m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Erich Jarvis comparing vocal learning in birds and other animals with humans. Argues that there is a particular mental circuit in the brains of parrots (for example) responsible for vocal learning, and that it corresponds to similar circuits in the human brain. Discusses the implications for the development of intelligence and other important human characteristics.
The Ezra Klein Show | 25 November 2019 | 1h 22m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Gretchen McCulloch, author of Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language. Explains that the way we’ve come to speak on the internet – from emojis to exclamation points – is not random or arbitrary, but part of a broader attempt to make our written communication more vibrant, meaningful, and, genuinely human. Far from ‘ruining’ the written English language, internet-speak, McCulloch argues, is revolutionizing language in unprecedented, and ultimately positive, ways.
The Guardian Books Podcast | 6 August 2019 | 0h 35m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interviews with David Shariatmadari, author of Don’t Believe a Word: The Surprising Truth About Language and Cecelia Watson, author of Semicolon: The Past, Present, and Future of a Misunderstood Mark. Insights on language and punctuation.