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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
May272018

RS 209 - Christopher Chabris on "Collective intelligence & the ethics of A/B tests"

Release date: May 27th, 2018

Christopher Chabris

This episode features cognitive psychologist Christopher Chabris discussing his research on "collective intelligence" -- why do some teams perform better than others at a wide variety of tasks? Julia discusses potential objections to the findings and how gender-related publication bias should affect our interpretation of them. In the second half of the episode, Julia and Chris discuss why people get so upset at companies like Facebook and OKCupid for doing experiments on their users, and whether that's fair.

Chris' Website

Edited by Brent Silk

Music by Miracles of Modern Science

 

Full Transcripts 

Sunday
May132018

RS 208 - Annie Duke on "Thinking in bets"

Release date: May 13th, 2018

Annie Duke

This episode features Annie Duke, former pro poker player and author of the book Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts. Julia and Annie debate why people tend to ignore the role of luck in their decisions, whether expressing uncertainty makes you seem weak, and how people end up engaging in "defensive decision-making," where they're not trying to make the best call so much as simply avoid being blamed for bad outcomes.

Annie's Book: Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts

David French at The National Review

Edited by Brent Silk

Music by Miracles of Modern Science

 

Full Transcripts 

Sunday
Apr292018

RS 207 - Alison Gopnik on “The wrong way to think about parenting, plus the downsides of modernity”

Release date: April 29th, 2018

Alison Gopnik

Developmental psychologist Alison Gopnik explains why modern parenting is too goal-oriented. Alison and Julia discuss whether anything parents do matters, whether kids should go to school, and how kids learn discipline if you don't force them to do things. They also discuss Alison's reservations about Steven Pinker's book Enlightenment Now, and her concerns about potential downsides of modernity.

Alison Gopnik's website

Alison Gopnik's "The Gardener and the Carpenter"

Noam Chomsky's "Rules and Representations"

Jerry Fodor's "The Language of Thought"

Alison Gopnik's "Words, Thoughts, and Theories"

Alison Gopnik's "The Scientist in the Crib"

Alison Gopnik's review of "Enlightenment Now"

Edited by Brent Silk

Music by Miracles of Modern Science

 

Full Transcripts