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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


Saturday
Oct312015

RS146 - Jesse Richardson on "The pros and cons of making fallacies famous"

Release date: November 1, 2015

Jesse RichardsonThis episode of Rationally Speaking features Jesse Richardson, a creative director who has been using his advertising background "for good and not for evil," as he puts it -- by building skeptic sites that go viral. Jesse's most famous creation is "Your Logical Fallacy Is," an illustrated poster featuring the names and descriptions of various common fallacies. Julia asks: Aren't many so-called logical fallacies not actually fallacious? Is encouraging people to call out fallacies helping rational discourse overall, or harming it? And is there a trade-off between accuracy and virality?

Jesse's Pick: Storm by Tim Minchin

 

 

Full Transcripts 

 

Saturday
Oct172015

RS145 - Phil Tetlock on "Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction"

Release date: Octiober 18, 2015

Philip E. TetlockMost people are terrible at predicting the future. But a small subset of people are significantly less terrible: the Superforecasters. On this episode of Rationally Speaking, Julia talks with professor Phil Tetlock, whose team of volunteer forecasters has racked up landslide wins in forecasting tournaments sponsored by the US government. He and Julia explore what his teams were doing right and what we can learn from them, the problem of meta-uncertainty, and how much we should expect prediction skill in one domain (like politics or economics) to carry over to other domains in real life.

Phil's pick: "Perception and Misperception in International Politics"

 

 

Full Transcripts 


Saturday
Oct032015

RS144 - Bryan Caplan on "Does parenting matter?"

Release date: Octiober 4, 2015

Bryan CaplanParents in the United States are spending more time and energy than ever to ensure that their children turn out happy, healthy, and successful. But what does the evidence suggest about the impact of their efforts? Economist Bryan Caplan (and the author of "Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids") argues that, despite our intuition that parenting choices affect children's life outcomes, there's strong evidence to the contrary. Bryan and Julia discuss his case, and explore what that means for how people should parent and how many kids they should have.

 

Bryan's picks: "The Problem of Political Authority: An Examination of the Right to Coerce and the Duty to Obey" and "Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction" 

 

 

Full Transcripts