December 23, 2016 – When Robots Rule the Earth

My guest on this program is Robin Hanson, associate professor of economics at George Mason University, and a research associate at the Future of Humanity Institute of Oxford University. His academic training is in physics, philosophy, and social science, and he has worked for years in artificial intelligence at Lockheed and NASA. His recent book is The Age of Em: Work, Love, and Life when Robots Rule the Earth, in which he provides a thought experiment about our technological future when brain emulations, or “Ems,” proliferate, perhaps a hundred years from now.

September 30, 2016 – Parent and Child Relationships

My guest on this program is Alison Gopnik, professor of psychology and affiliate professor of philosophy at UC Berkeley. She is an internationally recognized leader in the study of children’s learning and development. She writes the Mind and Matter Column for the Wall Street Journal, and is the author of The Philosophical Baby and a coauthor of The Scientist in the Crib. Her recent book is The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us about the Relationship between Parents and Children, in which she argues that the modern notion of parenting as a kind of avocation or Continue reading

September 16, 2016 – Inevitable Technological Forces

My returning guest on this program is Wired magazine senior maverick Kevin Kelly. Author of numerous books, and writer for such publications as The New York Times, The Economist, Science, Time, and the Wall Street Journal, his most recent book is The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces that Will Shape Our Future, in which he argues that much of what will happen in the next thirty years is inevitable, driven by technological trends that are already in motion, and that will revolutionize the way we buy, work, learn, and communicate with each other.

September 2, 2016 – Disarming the Narcissist

My guest on this program is Wendy Behary, founder and clinical director of the Cognitive Therapy Center of New Jersey and the Schema Therapy Institute of New Jersey. We’ll be talking about her book, Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed, which shows how to move past a narcissist’s defenses using empathy, confrontation, and limit-setting. As former guest on this program Dr. Daniel Siegel says in the preface to the book, “For two decades, (Wendy Behary) has immersed herself in Continue reading

August 19, 2016 – Overcomplicated Technology

My returning guest on this program is scientist and researcher Samuel Arbesman, and we’ll be talking about his new book, Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension, in which he grapples with the mystery and wonder of 21st century technology and how we should relate to complex technological systems.

July 8, 2016 – Living in the World Beyond Your Head

My guest on this program is Matthew Crawford, senior fellow at the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture. We’ll be talking today about his book, The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction, which was recently released in paperback, in which he investigates the challenge of mastering one’s own mind. He argues that our current crisis of attention cannot exclusively be attributed to digital technology, but can be better understood in light of some Western cultural assumptions that are profoundly at odds with human nature.

March 4, 2016 – The Way Forward

My guest on this program is social critic Curtis White, and author of the acclaimed The Science Delusion: Asking the Big Questions in a Culture of Easy Answers, and the bestselling The Middle Mind: Why Americans Don’t Think for Themselves. His most recent book is We, Robots: Staying Human in the Age of Big Data, which takes up the question, “Can technology really solve all of our problems?” to which he answers essentially, “No.” He offers us an insightful and incisive look into what it will take to alter course.

November 6, 2015 – Faith versus Fact

My guest today is Jerry Coyne, professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago, where he specializes in evolutionary genetics. New York Times bestselling author, his most recent book is Faith vs. Fact: Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible, In which he asserts that religion and science are not complementary, but rather compete with each other to understand the realities of our universe, but that only one area—science—has the means to actually discover the truth.

September 11, 2015 – Ecology, Ethics, and the Future of Humanity

My guest on this program is philosopher and environmental & human rights activist Adam Riggio. In his book, Ecology, Ethics, and the Future of Humanity, he argues that climate change and the ecological destruction it entails requires a complete reorientation of morality, politics, and human identity along ecological lines. Bringing together concepts from environmental activism, moral philosophy, biological and ecological sciences, and Continue reading

August 21, 2015 – Madness in Civilization

This program features a conversation with Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Science Studies at the University of California, San Diego Andrew Scull. He is the author most recently of Madness in Civilization: A Cultural History of Insanity from the Bible to Freud, from the Madhouse to Modern Medicine. Today, mental disturbance is most commonly viewed through a medical lens, but societies have also sought to make sense Continue reading