Herbert Gintis on Game Theory, Evolution, and Social Rationality

Sean Carroll’s Mindscape | 13 September 2021 | 1h 29m | Listen Later | iTunes | Spotify
Interview with Herbert Gintis arguing that game theory, together with an expanded model of rational behaviour (that includes social as well as personally selfish interests) provides an understanding of human behaviour that integrates ideas from biology, economics, psychology, and sociology.

Kathryn Paige Harden on Genetics, Luck, and Fairness

Sean Carroll’s Mindscape | 20 September 2021 | 1h 25m | Listen Later | iTunes | Spotify
Interview with Kathryn Paige Harden about her book The Genetic Lottery: Why DNA Matters for Social Equality. Argues that DNA matters to how we understand people, that we can clearly measure some of its effects, and understanding those effects is a crucial tool in fighting discrimination and making the world a more equitable place.

See also the excellent New Yorker profile of Hardin.

Daryl Morey on Analytics, Psychology, and Basketball

Sean Carroll’s Mindscape | 15 March 2021 | 1h 16m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Daryl Morey, the President for Basketball Operations for the Philadelphia 76ers. Discusses the science, art and human relations of optimising a basketball team to win games and championships – the data required, what to ignore, correcting for bias, while taking account of human intuition, etc.

Erich Jarvis on Language, Birds, and People

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.

Musa al-Gharbi on the Value of Intellectual Diversity

Sean Carroll’s Mindscape | 19 October 2020 | 1h 16m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Musa al-Gharbi about the value in intellectual diversity, both by keeping ourselves honest and in allowing ideas from unexpected quarters. Discusses why there are a lot more liberals than conservatives on university faculties, the extent to which that’s a problem, Heterodox Academy, and how we should better think about the value of diverse viewpoints.

Sean B. Carroll on Randomness and the Course of Evolution

Sean Carroll’s Mindscape | 5 October 2020 | 1h 20m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Sean B. Carroll about the importance of randomness and unpredictability in life, from the evolution of species to the daily routine of every individual. Includes an overview of the evolution of the thinking about evolution, especially the modern evo-devo revolution. Draws from his book, A Series of Fortunate Events: Chance and the Making of the Planet, Life, and You.

Jason Torchinsky on Our Self-Driving Future

Sean Carroll’s Mindscape | 10 August 2020 | 1h 18m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Jason Torchinsky about his book Robot, Take the Wheel: The Road to Autonomous Cars and the Lost Art of Driving. Backgrounds the progress and challenges still to be solved developing autonomous vehicles. Discusses the potential unanticipated consequences when autonomous vehicles become commonplace and examines how our relationship with cars is likely to change in the near future.

Carl Bergstrom on Information, Disinformation, and Bullshit

Sean Carroll’s Mindscape | 3 August 2020 | 1h 24m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Carl Bergstrom about his book Calling Bullshit: The Art of Skepticism in a Data-Driven World. Discusses how to see through the ever-increasing bullshit presented in the language of maths, science and statistics.