Search Episodes
Listen, Share, & Support
Listen to the latest episode
Subscribe via iTunes
Subscribe via RSS
Become a fan
Follow on Twitter

Support Us:

Please consider making a donation to help make this podcast possible. Any contribution, great or small, helps tremendously!

 
Subscribe to E-Mail Updates

Related Readings
  • Answers for Aristotle: How Science and Philosophy Can Lead Us to A More Meaningful Life
    Answers for Aristotle: How Science and Philosophy Can Lead Us to A More Meaningful Life
    by Massimo Pigliucci
  • Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk
    Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk
    by Massimo Pigliucci
  • Denying Evolution: Creationism, Scientism, and the Nature of Science
    Denying Evolution: Creationism, Scientism, and the Nature of Science
    by Massimo Pigliucci

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
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 

Sunday
Aug072016

RS 165 - Robert Frank on "Success and Luck"

Release date: August 7th, 2016

Robert Frank

If someone asks you, "What caused your success (in finance, your career, etc.)?" what probably comes to mind for you is a story about how you worked hard and made smart choices. Which is likely true -- but what you don't see are all the people who also worked hard and made smart choices, but didn't succeed because luck wasn't on their side.

In this episode, Julia chats with professor of economics Robert Frank about his latest book, Success and Luck: The Myth of the Modern Meritocracy. They explore questions like: Why do we discount the role of luck in success? Has luck become more important in recent years? And would acknowledging luck's importance sap our motivation to try?

Robert Frank's Website

Robert's Pick: "Micromotives and Macrobehavior" by Thomas C. Schelling

Robert's Interview on Fox Business

Podcast edited by Brent Silk

 

Full Transcripts