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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


Monday
Feb202017

RS 178 - Tim Urban on "Trying to live well, as semi-rational animals"

Release date: February 20th, 2017

Tim Urban

This episode features Tim Urban, author of popular longform illustrated blog Wait But Why. Julia and Tim explore one of their common interests: the tension between the rational and irrational aspects of human nature. Is there any value in the "irrational" parts of us (such as Tim's colorfully named "instant gratification monkey" and "social approval mammoth")? And can recognizing that tension help us live better -- or are we stuck struggling between our animal and rational selves?

Tim's Pick: Sam Harris's Interview of Glenn Loury, "Racism and Violence in America"

Edited by Brent Silk

Music by Miracles of Modern Science

 

Full Transcripts 

Sunday
Feb052017

RS 177 - Dylan Matthews on "The science and ethics of kidney donation"

Release date: February 5th, 2017

Dylan Matthews

If you're a healthy adult, should you donate one of your kidneys to a stranger? This episode features journalist Dylan Matthews, who donated his kidney last year. He and Julia discuss the clever design of "donor chains," how we should evaluate the science about whether kidney donation is safe, and whether we have an ethical obligation to donate.

Dylan's Pick #1: Reasons and Persons by Derek Parfit

Dylan's Pick #2: "Waitlist Zero" Website

Dylan's Pick #3: "Kidney donation is a reasonable choice for effective altruists and more should consider it" by Tom Ash

Edited by Brent Silk

Music by Miracles of Modern Science

 

Full Transcripts 

Monday
Jan232017

RS 176 - Jason Brennan on "Against democracy"

Release date: January 22nd, 2017

Jason Brennan

Churchill famously called democracy "the worst system of government, except for all the others that have been tried." Could we do better? On this episode of Rationally Speaking, Julia chats with professor Jason Brennan, author of the book "Against Democracy," about his case for why democracy is flawed -- philosophically, morally, and empirically.

Jason's Book: "Against Democracy"

Jason's Pick: "Hearing the Other Side: Deliberative versus Participatory Democracy" by Diana C. Mutz

Edited by Brent Silk

Music by Miracles of Modern Science

 

Full Transcripts 

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