18 episodes

The Rational Ignorance podcast helps you focus your attention on what really matters--we help you separate the wheat from the chaff. We select topics and experts with a practical view toward living life well. With so much information available in the world today, it can be hard to know where to focus your attention. We’ll pick out important, interesting topics and connect you with experts who give you a big picture overview of what you need to know. Contact us at rationalignorance@pm.me, on Twitter @TheRIpodcast, or on Mastodon @rationalignorance@mastodon.social.

Rational Ignorance Podcast Andrea Christelle & Craig Van Slyke

    • Education

The Rational Ignorance podcast helps you focus your attention on what really matters--we help you separate the wheat from the chaff. We select topics and experts with a practical view toward living life well. With so much information available in the world today, it can be hard to know where to focus your attention. We’ll pick out important, interesting topics and connect you with experts who give you a big picture overview of what you need to know. Contact us at rationalignorance@pm.me, on Twitter @TheRIpodcast, or on Mastodon @rationalignorance@mastodon.social.

    Pleasure and Utility

    Pleasure and Utility

    We often hear of utility, usually as it relates to economics or usefulness. But there is a different view of utility, one that focuses on pleasure. In this episode, Andrea and Craig discuss this view of utility as pleasure, which is the foundation of Jeremey Bentham and John Stuart Mills' view of utilitarianism.  They also discuss the difference between transitory, shallow pleasures (like eating yummy french fries) and enduring deep pleasures (such as being a good person).  At the end of the episode Andrea and Craig provide some suggestions for building more pleasure into your life.

    • 28 min
    Overcoming Negativity Bias

    Overcoming Negativity Bias

    Humans are hardwired to pay more attention to negative events than positive events. This proclivity is known as the negativity bias. Thankfully,  a large number of good events can overcome the effects of a small number of bad events, which can work out well because most of us experience many more positive events than negative events. The problem is that we tend to pay more attention to the bad things that happen.

    In this episode, Andrea and Craig discuss negativity bias and how to overcome its effects by attending more to positive events.  They also offer some suggestions for building the habit of paying attention to the good in your life.

    • 11 min
    How #Caturday helps us flourish

    How #Caturday helps us flourish

    Craig’s favorite day of the week is Saturday, not just because it’s recording day, but also because it’s #Caturday! (It really is a thing.) Fun, seemingly silly activities like posting or viewing cat pictures (or dog pics, or whatever) give us some hints on an often overlooked aspect of flourishing. In this episode, we explore why frivolous activities such as #Caturday can help us flourish by giving us short breaks from the daily grind of life.

    • 15 min
    Can a hermit Flourish?

    Can a hermit Flourish?

    Recently, a listener posed an interesting question in response to Episode 9 on Human Flourishing.  In that episode we said that a hermit might be happy living alone in the woods, but that s/he wouldn't really living a flourishing life. The listener questioned whether this was accurate, especially since flourishing is unique to each individual. In this episode, we discuss the question of whether a hermit can flourish. Along the way we also delve into moral relativism, moral pluralism and even nihilism. 

    In addition, we talk about the "reboot" of the Rational Ignorance Podcast, which involves shorter, more focused episodes that all pertain to some aspect of human flourishing. 

    • 26 min
    Outrunning Depression with Nita Sweeney

    Outrunning Depression with Nita Sweeney

    Andrea and Craig welcome Nita Sweeney, an author, distance runner, and meditator who shares her tale of overcoming depression and anxiety through long distance running with her dog Morgan. She details the first basic steps everyone should take to start their battle against depression, getting out of bed and doing a basic self-care task such as brushing your teeth. Nita describes how at 49, being overweight and depressed she went from “couch to 5k” and how it changed her life. Another challenge Nita was able to overcome was the negative voices in her head that filled her with negativity and self-doubt, making her constantly second-guess her decision to improve. She narrates how she was able to defeat those voices and how to keep them from spoiling your drive and motivation. The co-hosts share some of their experience with running (and with pups) and how it benefited them, as well as their take on trail running versus road running. Listen to the episode to find out how you too can go from “couch to 5k”, become a marathon runner and overcome depression, anxiety, self doubt and even flourish along the way.
    Visit Nita’s website: https://nitasweeney.com/
    All things Nita: https://linktr.ee/nitasweeney
    Check out Nita’s books:
    Depression Hates a Moving Target: How Running With My Dog Brought Me Back From the Brink
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/1642500135
    https://nitasweeney.com/about-the-book/
    Free eBook: Three Ways to Heal Your Mind

     You Should Be Writing: A Journal of Inspiration & Instruction to Keep Your Pen Moving
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/1642502553
    Nita Sweeney’s Bio
    Nita Sweeney is the award-winning wellness author of the running and mental health memoir, Depression Hates a Moving Target: How Running with My Dog Brought Me Back from the Brink and co-creator of the writing journal, You Should Be Writing: A Journal of Inspiration & Instruction to Keep Your Pen Moving. A certified meditation leader, mental health advocate, ultramarathoner, and former assistant to writing practice originator Natalie Goldberg, Nita founded the groupsMind, Mood, and Movement to support well-being through meditation, exercise, and writing practice, and The Writer’s Mind, to share using writing practice to produce publishable work. Nita also publishes the writing resource newsletter, Write Now Columbus. Nita lives in central Ohio with her husband, Ed, and their yellow Labrador retriever, Scarlet. Download your free copy of Nita’s eBook Three Ways to Heal Your Mind.

    • 49 min
    Flourishing and Spirituality with Dr. Bernadine Lewis

    Flourishing and Spirituality with Dr. Bernadine Lewis

    Many of us have a faith, but how is that different from spirituality? Is spirituality like food in the sense that we need it to care for our bodies (or in this case, our soul), something that every person by the nature of being a person has to deal with, or is it more like art and music? Spirituality, unlike religion, focuses on obtaining a sense of peace and of purpose.
    Andrea and Craig welcome Reverend Dr. Bernadine Lewis as she tells us a little bit about how having a spiritual dimension to one's life could contribute to flourishing. She speaks about how spirituality has been in her family for generations, and why a lot of people still aren’t really flourishing despite comfort, wealth and success, and what might be missing in their life to truly flourish. Listen to the episode to learn how to flourish by incorporating spirituality into your life.

    • 45 min

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