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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.

Current Episodes


Sunday
Oct142018

RS 219 - Jason Collins on "A skeptical take on behavioral economics"

Release date: October 14th, 2018

Jason Collins

In this episode, economist Jason Collins discusses some of the problems with behavioral economics: Why governments have started to rely too much on the field, and why that's bad; why it's suspicious that there are over 100 cognitive biases; when "nudges" are problematic; and more.

Links 

Jason Collins' Blog

"MacArthur 'Genius' Angela Duckworth Responds To A New Critique Of Grit" by Anna Kamenetz

"Angela Duckworth on Grit" from Econtalk

"On the Reality of Cognitive Illusions" by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky

"How to Make Cognitive Illusions Disappear: Beyond 'Heuristics and Biases'" by Gerd Gigerenzer

"On Narrow Norms and Vague Heuristics: A Reply to Kahneman and Tversky" by Gerd Gigerenzer

"Putting nudges in perspective" by George Loewenstein and Nick Chater

"Much Ado About Nudging" by Tony Hockley

"Do people really want to be nudged towards healthy lifestyles?" by Robert Sugden

"'Better Off, as Judged by Themselves': A Comment on Evaluating Nudges" by Cass R. Sunstein

"‘Better off, as judged by themselves’: a reply to Cass Sunstein" by Robert Sugden

"Nudging and the Problem of Context Dependent Preferences" by Jason Collins

"Overrepresentation of extreme events in decision making reflects rational use of cognitive resources." by Lieder, Falk,Griffiths, Thomas L.,Hsu, Ming

Edited by Brent Silk

Music by Miracles of Modern Science

Full Transcripts 

Sunday
Sep302018

RS 218 - Chris Auld on "Good and bad critiques of economics"

Release date: September 30th, 2018

Chris Auld

In this episode, economist Chris Auld describes some common criticisms of his field and why they're wrong. Julia and Chris also discuss whether there are any good critiques of the field, and whether economists think that people with an addiction to alcohol or drugs are behaving rationally.

Links 

"18 Signs You're Reading Bad Criticism of Economics" by Chris Auld

"The Price of Inequality" by Joseph E. Stiglitz

Edited by Brent Silk

Music by Miracles of Modern Science

Full Transcripts 

Sunday
Sep162018

RS 217 - Aviv Ovadya on "The problem of false, biased, and artificial news"

Release date: September 16th, 2018

Aviv Ovadya

Aviv Ovadya, an expert on misinformation, talks with Julia about the multiple phenomena that get lumped together as "fake news": articles that are straightforwardly false, misleading, or artificially created (think "Deepfakes," videos that make a politician appear to say something he didn't say). Aviv and Julia discuss questions like: Which of those problems are more dangerous for our civilization? Are any of them tractable? And what might a solution look like?

Links 

Aviv's Website

"Is the First Amendment Obsolete?" by Tim Wu

"What Hath We Wrought" by Danah Boyd

Edited by Brent Silk

Music by Miracles of Modern Science

Full Transcripts