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Rationally Speaking is the official podcast of New York City Skeptics. Join Julia Galef and guests as they explore the borderlands between reason and nonsense, likely and unlikely, science and pseudoscience. Rationally Speaking was co-created with Massimo Pigliucci, is produced by Benny Pollak and recorded in the heart of Greenwich Village.

Current Episodes


Sunday
Sep182016

RS 168 - Don Moore on "Overconfidence"

Release date: September 18th, 2016

Don Moore

This episode features a chat with Don Moore, professor of management of organizations at the University of California Berkeley's Haas School of Business, and an expert in overconfidence. Don and Julia discuss the various forms of overconfidence, whether its upsides are big enough to outweigh its downsides, and what people mean when they insist "I think things are better than they really are."

Don's Pick: "Bright‐sided" by Barbara Ehrenreich

Don's Other Pick: "Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error" by Kathryn Schulz

Podcast edited by Brent Silk

 

Full Transcripts 

Sunday
Sep042016

RS 167 - Samuel Arbesman on "Why technology is becoming too complex"

Release date: September 4th, 2016

Samuel Arbesman

As the technology we rely on every day becomes increasingly sophisticated, it's getting to the point where it's too complicated to understand -- not just for individual users, but for any human at all. In this episode, Julia talks with complexity scientist Samuel Arbesman, about his new book Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension, why these unprecedented levels of complexity might be dangerous, and what we should do about it.

Samuel's Book: "Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension"

Samuel's Pick: "Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How It Drives Civilization" by Stephen Cave

Massimo's Conference: Stoicon 2016

Podcast edited by Brent Silk

 

Full Transcripts 

Sunday
Aug212016

RS 166 - Eric Schwitzgebel on "Why you should expect the truth to be crazy"

Release date: August 21st, 2016

Eric Schwitzgebel

Some theories violate common sense so wildly that you want to just reject them out of hand. For example, "The United States is conscious," or "The most moral act would be to replace all living beings with an orgasmic blob." On the other hand, many theories in physics that sounded similarly crazy turned out to be very well-supported (think of quantum theory, or relativity). So what role should "common sense" play in evaluating new theories? This episode features a discussion with philosopher Eric Schwitzgebel on his theory of "Crazyism," that we should expect the truth to be at least a little bit crazy.

Eric's Blog: The Splintered Mind

Eric's Paper: "The Crazyist Metaphysics of Mind"

Gustaf Arrhenius's Paper: "An impossibility theorem for welfarist axiologies"

Eric's Pick: "Labyrinths" by Jorge Luis Borges

Podcast edited by Brent Silk

 

Full Transcripts