Benjamin Breen on Margaret Mead, Psychedelics, and Utopia

Sean Carroll’s Mindscape | 26 February 2024 | 1h 13m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Benjamin Breen about his book Tripping on Utopia: Margaret Mead, the Cold War, and the Troubled Birth of Psychedelic Science. Discusses the role of Margaret Mead, and her onetime-husband Gregory Bateson, in social anthropology and its impact on sex & gender mores, the early psychedelic drugs and their potential use for therapeutic purposes, and how the possibility of a realistic utopia didn’t always seem so far away.

Posted on by

Christoph Adami on How Information Makes Sense of Biology

Sean Carroll’s Mindscape | 19 February 2024 | 1h 20m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Christoph Adami about his book The Evolution of Biological Information: How Evolution Creates Complexity, from Viruses to Brains. Discusses information theory and how it helps us to understand organisms, evolution, and the origin of life.

Posted on by

Michael Muthukrishna on Developing a Theory of Everyone

Sean Carroll’s Mindscape | 30 October 2023 | 1h 17m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Michael Muthukrishna about his book A Theory of Everyone: The New Science of Who We Are, How We Got Here, and Where We’re Going. Brings together ideas from cultural evolution, energy engineering, economics, and psychology to outline an integrated theory providing basic organising principles for society based on how people relate to each other and to the physical resources available spelled out as ‘laws’ of energy, innovation, cooperation, and evolution.

Have you bought this book yet? You really must. The highest praise I can give it is that it feels like the next book that Matt Ridley might have written.

Posted on by

Hugo Mercier on Reasoning and Skepticism

Sean Carroll’s Mindscape | 17 April 2023 | 1h 12m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Hugo Mercier about his books The Enigma of Reason and Not Born Yesterday: The Science of Who We Trust and What We Believe. Argues that reason evolved as a means to give reasons to other people in order to convince them to do what we want them to. Suggests that the usual human failure is to be too sceptical and that we need to be more open to honestly evaluating information.

Posted on by

Joseph Silk on Science on the Moon

Sean Carroll’s Mindscape | 17 July 2023 | 1h 11m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Joseph Silk about his book Back to the Moon: The Next Giant Leap for Humankind. Discusses the case for doing astronomy from the Moon, the technologies involved, what we would learn, and what special challenges and opportunities are involved.

Posted on by

Andy Clark on the Extended and Predictive Mind

Sean Carroll’s Mindscape | 1 May 2023 | 1h 21m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Andy Clark about his book The Experience Machine: How Our Minds Predict and Shape Reality. Explains the evidence that our minds work by predicting what is about to happen next, the powerful lens this offers through which to interpret all the different things our minds do, including the idea that “perception is controlled hallucination”.

See also the Many Minds episode with Mark Miller, Happiness and the Predictive Mind.

Posted on by

Michael Tomasello on The Social Origins of Cognition and Agency

Sean Carroll’s Mindscape | 30 January 2023 | 1h 22m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Michael Tomasello about his book The Evolution of Agency: Behavioral Organization from Lizards to Humans. Argues that we developed agency and cognition and even morality in order to better communicate and cooperate with our fellow humans.

Posted on by

Simon Conway Morris on Evolution, Convergence, and Theism

Sean Carroll’s Mindscape | 8 August 2022 | 1h 16m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Simon Conway Morris about his book From Extraterrestrials to Animal Minds: Six Myths of Evolution. Makes the case for evolutionary convergence and adaptationism – even when there is a mass extinction, the resulting shake-up simply accelerates the developments that evolution would have made anyway. Also discusses the possible role of God in an evolutionary worldview.

Posted on by