Martin Sherwin – Gambling with Armageddon

The Michael Shermer Show | 2 February 2021 | 1h 43m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Martin Sherwin about his book Gambling with Armageddon: Nuclear Roulette from Hiroshima to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Discusses the Cuban Missile Crisis and its potential for nuclear holocaust, in a wider historical narrative of the Cold War – how such a crisis arose, and how luck, reason and diplomacy saved the world from thermonuclear war.

Jeff Hawkins — A Thousand Brains: A New Theory of Intelligence

The Michael Shermer Show | 4 April 2021 | 1h 47m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Jeff Hawkins about his book A Thousand Brains: A New Theory of Intelligence. Explains how simple cells in the brain create intelligence by using maplike structures to build hundreds of thousands of models of everything we know. Insights on how we perceive the world, why we have a sense of self, and the origin of high-level thought.

David Leiser – How We Misunderstand Economics and Why it Matters

The Michael Shermer Show | 10 December 2019 | 1h 22m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with David Leiser about his book How We Misunderstand Economics and Why it Matters: The Psychology of Bias, Distortion and Conspiracy. Discusses folk economics and why our intuitions are so often wrong; the evolutionary origins of our thinking about economics and why we are not prepared cognitively to understand complex economic ideas; UBI; income inequality; CEO pay and why we think it’s too high; the importance of trust in economic exchanges; and reparations for slavery vs. reparations for the Holocaust.

Marta Zaraska on Growing Young

The Michael Shermer Show | 13 October 2020 | 1h 34m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Marta Zaraska about her book Growing Young: How Friendship, Optimism, and Kindness Can Help You Live to 100. Examines the evidence that good nutrition and exercise, deep friendships, practising empathy and contemplating your purpose in life can improve your lifespan.

Geoffrey Miller – Virtue Signaling: Essays on Darwinian Politics & Free Speech

The Michael Shermer Show | 2 December 2019 | 2h 04m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Geoffrey Miller about his book Virtue Signaling: Essays on Darwinian Politics & Free Speech. Discusses virtue signaling and why we all do it; how the phrase “virtue signaling” became a derogatory political meme; how virtue signaling really works and why it is not a bad thing; why evolutionary psychology is not based on “just so” story telling; how multiple traits can be selected at once; individual selection versus group selection; the role of virtue signaling in the evolution of the moral sentiments; how virtue signaling helps produce real morality (and not just fake altruism); gender differences in career preferences; neurodiversity and speech codes; cultural diversity; and why social groups tend to splinter and defenestrate members who are not sufficiently virtuous.

Walter Scheidel – Escape from Rome

The Michael Shermer Show | 30 June 2020 | 1h 13m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Walter Scheidel about his book Escape from Rome: The Failure of Empire and the Road to Prosperity. Recounts the end of the Roman Empire and argues that Rome’s collapse cleared the path for Europe’s economic rise and the creation of the modern age. Discusses why the Roman Empire appeared; why nothing like returned to Europe; why Europeans came to dominate the world; the rich diversity of Europe that encouraged political, economic, scientific, and technological breakthroughs; why other parts of the world lagged behind; how empires are built and why they fail; America as an empire; income inequality and the only forces that change it significantly; and the future of human civilization.

Dr Walter Scheidel – The Great Leveler

The Michael Shermer Show | 11 June 2017 | 0h 57m | Listen Later
Interview with Walter Scheidel about his book The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the 21st Century. Traces the global history of inequality, showing that inequality declines when carnage and disaster strike and increases when peace and stability return.