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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
Feb072015

RS127 - Elise Crull on Philosophy of Physics

Release date: February 8, 2015

Elise Crull Feynman famously said that a philosopher of science is as much use to scientists as an ornithologist is to birds. This episode of Rationally Speaking features philosopher of physics Elise Crull, who explains why Feynman is misguided, and what philosophers have to say about important issues in physics -- like quantum mechanics, physical laws, and whether anything "really" exists at all.

Errata. Prof. Crull noticed some inaccuracies in the taped version of the podcast, which she wished to correct -- She talks about The Copenhagen Hegemony but mistakenly attributes it to Ernan McMullin when in fact it was written by Jim Cushing

 

Elise's picks:  "Albert Einstein as a Philosopher of Science" and "The Myths We Live By"

Saturday
Jan242015

RS126 - Preston Bost on Crazy Beliefs, Sane Believers

Release date: January 25, 2015

Preston BostCan it be rational to believe conspiracy theories? On this episode of Rationally Speaking, Julia and Massimo welcome Prof. Preston Bost, a professor of psychology at Wabash College who investigates what kinds of people latch onto conspiracy theories, and why. The three discuss evolutionary reasons for conspiracy theories' appeal, and ask: how do you determine whether a belief is "rational," anyway?

Preston's picks:  http://conspiracypsychology.com/ and "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey"

Saturday
Jan102015

RS125 - The Quantified Self

Release date: January 11, 2015

"Quantimetric Self-Sensing" apparatusPeople have been keeping track of their moods, sleeping, dietary habits and more for hundreds of years -- Benjamin Franklin famously recorded instances of his virtues and vices. But only in the last decade has the rise of smartphones and fast computing created the new "Quantified Self" movement in which some people are trying to mine their own data for insights about how to be happier and more effective. In this episode, Massimo and Julia discuss self tracking -- what you can learn from it, and what its pitfalls might be.

Julia's pick: "Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation"

Massimo's pick: "Free Will: The Basics"