My guest on this program is Jordan Peterson, professor at the University of Toronto, a clinical psychologist, and the author most recently of 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, published just last week. His YouTube channel, on which he has posted his university and public lectures, has over 665,000 subscribers, and approximately 40M views. In his NY Times column of last week, David Brooks cited economist and author Tyler Cowen as arguing that Dr. Peterson is the most influential public intellectual in the Western world right now.
On this program, my guest is Marcia Bartusiak, Professor of the Practice of the Graduate Program in Science Writing at MIT, and award-winning author of many books. We ‘ll be talking about her most recent, a revised, updated classic Einstein’s Unfinished Symphony: The Story of a Gamble, Two Black Holes, and a New Age of Astronomy, which recounts the search for and discovery of Einstein’s predicted gravitational waves.
I have concluded my final show in February, and will no longer be hosting Consider This. I have deeply appreciated the opportunity to bring many notable authors and distinguished scholars to my listeners in Mendocino County. Rest assured that I won’t be disappearing, and intend to continue working with KZYX in other capacities. I want to express my thanks to all of you who have supported the show by listening and contributing to KZYX over the years.
My guest on this program is linguist Daniel Everett, Dean of Arts and Sciences at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He is the author of many books, including Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes; and Language: The Cultural Tool; and his life and work is also the subject of a documentary film, The Grammar of Happiness. I interviewed him last May for his book, Dark Matter of the Mind: The Culturally Articulated Unconscious, and we have him back for his new book, How Language Began: The Story of Humanity’s Greatest Invention. He argues that we are not born with an instinct for language, and that the near seven thousand languages that exist today—the product of one million years of evolution—are the very basis of our own consciousness.
My guest on the next program is philosopher Tim Crane. He is the author of many books, including The Objects of Thought (2013), Aspects of Psychologism (2014). His most recent one is The Meaning of Belief: Religion from an Atheist’s Point of View, in which he takes a markedly different approach from that of the so-called New Atheists, and argues that atheists like himself should attempt to understand religion and-as far as possible–attempt to tolerate it. He is professor of philosophy at Central European University.
My guest on this program is David Benatar, professor of philosophy at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. His research interests are in moral and social philosophy, and applied ethics. His most recent book is The Human Predicament: A Candid Guide to Life’s Biggest Questions, in which he invites us to take a clear-eyed view of such questions as “Are human lives ultimately meaningless?” “Is our inevitable death bad?” He argues that while our lives can have some meaning, cosmically speaking we are ultimately the insignificant beings we fear we are.
My guest on this program is Lisa Feldman Barrett, University Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Northwestern University, with appointments at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in psychiatry and radiology. She received a National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award for her groundbreaking research on emotion in the brain. She is the author most recently of How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain, in which she disputes the prevailing view that emotion and reason are at odds. She argues that emotion is not hardwired, but is constructed by our brains and our bodies as we go along. In addition, emotions are not cross-culturally universal-e.g. fear does not live in the amygdala-and there are no body patterns or changes, or patterns of brain activity that specifically and solely identify any one emotion. Her work in this area has been termed a revolution on par with the discovery of relativity in physics, and natural selection in biology. The book reveals the latest research and intriguing practical applications of the new science of emotion, mind, and brain.
My guest on this program is Eric Patashnik, Julis-Rabinowitz Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Brown University. He is one of three co-authors of Unhealthy Politics: The Battle over Evidence-Based Medicine, to be published next Wednesday, October 4th. The authors argue that many common medical treatments in the U.S. are not based on sound science, and shed light on why the government’s response to that troubling situation has been so inadequate, and why efforts to improve the evidence base of U.S. medicine continue to cause so much political controversy and public trepidation.
My guest on this program is renegade economist Kate Raworth, author of Doughnut Economics: 7 Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist. She is senior visiting research associate and advisory board member at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute, and educator in Oxford’s masters program for Environmental Change and Management. In addition, she is senior research associate of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and a member of the Club of Rome, a global think tank focusing on international issues. Her work has appeared in the Continue reading
My guest on this program is Columbia University philosophy professor Philip Kitcher. He is the author of numerous books, including Life After Faith: The Case for Secular Humanism and Philosophy of Science: A New Introduction. Most recently, he and is co-author, Evelyn Fox Keller, have written The Seasons Alter: How to Save Our Planet in Six Acts, in which they present the realities of global warming in the most human terms—everyday conversation—showing us how to convince skeptics why we need to act now.