477 episodes

Life lessons from the smartest people on the planet.

Including guests like Dr Jordan Peterson, Ryan Holiday, James Clear, Robert Greene, Aubrey Marcus, Seth Godin, Douglas Murray, Michael Malice, James Smith, Dr David Sinclair, Mark Manson and more.

Modern Wisdom Chris Williamson

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9 • 1.1K Ratings

Life lessons from the smartest people on the planet.

Including guests like Dr Jordan Peterson, Ryan Holiday, James Clear, Robert Greene, Aubrey Marcus, Seth Godin, Douglas Murray, Michael Malice, James Smith, Dr David Sinclair, Mark Manson and more.

    #479 - Jonathan Bi - Why Do Founders Love René Girard?

    #479 - Jonathan Bi - Why Do Founders Love René Girard?

    Jonathan Bi is a startup founder, philosopher and mathematician.
    René Girard is one of the most popular philosophers in Silicon Valley. Why is it that an obscure French polymath from the 1900's would become one of the most influential and cited thinkers amongst founders, CEOs and leaders in high-growth companies? 
    Expect to learn how Girard believes that mimetic desire drives almost all of our behaviour, why breaking out from the group to do your own thing doesn't mean you're an individual, how having sex can end up not being for the enjoyment of sex, why Peter Thiel and so many others love Girard's work, how understanding Girard can improve your daily life and much more...
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    • 1 hr 13 min
    #478 - Kit Chellel - The Wild Hijacking Of A $100 Million Supertanker

    #478 - Kit Chellel - The Wild Hijacking Of A $100 Million Supertanker

    Kit Chellel is a senior reporter at Bloomberg news, an investigative journalist and an author.
    The Brilliante Virtuoso was a Suezmax Supertanker. The largest class of ship that can go through the Suez Canal. It had a million barrels of oil on it and was supposed to be escorted by a security team. It was hijacked and burned by Somali pirates, nothing was stolen and the owners claimed $100 million for insurance.
    The British investigator is killed overseas, a Greek millionaire threatens people in court and no one can work out what's happened or how to discover who has committed the crimes. And that's just where the story starts...
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    • 1 hr 5 min
    #477 - Ethan Kross - How To Improve Your Inner Voice

    #477 - Ethan Kross - How To Improve Your Inner Voice

    Ethan Kross is one of the world’s leading experts on controlling the conscious mind, a Professor at the University of Michigan’s Psychology Department and Director of the Emotion & Self Control Laboratory.
    There will be one voice with us throughout our lives, the one that exists inside of our head. So we'd better make friends with it. Improving self-talk and creating a nicer inner-monologue is something that everyone could benefit from and thankfully that's been Ethan's life's work.
    Expect to learn why we have an inner voice at all, how our age and gender influences mental chatter, whether it's possible to quieten the mind, the most effective strategies for dealing with negative self-talk, how to be more objective and less lost in thought, the relationship between language and quality of life and much more... 
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    • 1 hr 22 min
    #476 - Mark Freestone - Why Do Psychopaths Exist?

    #476 - Mark Freestone - Why Do Psychopaths Exist?

    Mark Freestone is Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary University of London, an author and an expert in psychopathology.
    There's a modern fascination with psychopaths. True Crime is the most popular single podcast genre and Netflix documentaries about real life serial killers capture everyone's attention. But why are we so obsessed with dangerous individuals? And what is it that makes a psychopath who they are?
    Expect to learn what the difference between a psychopath and a sociopath are, why having psychopaths in society was an advantage for a long time, why there are so few female psychopaths, what happens when a university lecturer discovers his own psychopathy in his 40's, the scariest criminals Mark has ever met and much more...
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    • 1 hr 4 min
    #475 - Tim Clare - The Crippling World Of Modern Anxiety

    #475 - Tim Clare - The Crippling World Of Modern Anxiety

    Tim Clare is an author, poet and creative writing coach.
    Anxiety rates have skyrocketed over the last decade. After spending hours every weekend wracked by crippling panic attacks, Tim decided to contact every anxiety expert he could to hear their suggestions for potential strategies to reduce it, and then he did all of them.
    Expect to learn why people are turning up to A&E believing they're having a heart attack, how the gut-brain connection plays a role in mediating our mood, why exercise is as effective as an anti-anxiety drug, how early childhood can influence our anxiety levels, the most effective tactics Tim has implemented to improve his mental health and much more...
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    • 1 hr 30 min
    #474 - Seth Stephens-Davidowitz - How To Live The Perfect Life, Using Data

    #474 - Seth Stephens-Davidowitz - How To Live The Perfect Life, Using Data

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz is a data scientist, economist and author.
    Imagine if you had access to millions of data points which tell you exactly what makes people happy, or makes people attracted to you, or what actually influences your child's outcomes in life, or the most reliable way to become rich. Well Seth did, and he wrote a book with all his findings in it.
    Expect to learn how you can conduct a survey to test different appearance styles to find out which is best for you, what personality traits result in the happiest relationships, which activities which make you most and least happy, the secret industries of people who become rich in America, how to hack luck using data and much more...
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    • 1 hr 12 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
1.1K Ratings

1.1K Ratings

Katyk78 ,

Keeps me sane

I’m a SAHM, I left my career to enhance my partners (which worked better than we could have hoped). This podcast is the intellectual stimulus I need whilst running a house of 3 boys, a dog and a weekend husband. It is mind broadening, informative, honest and incredibly helpful in parenting my children. Thank you Chris for doing all the reading and research then giving the headlines on all these fascinating subjects.

5cissorhands ,

Brain Food

An awesome podcast from a dude that is clearly out to better himself and his listeners in as many ways as he can find. Enrich your life experience with the little time you have here on this wonderful planet by clicking subscribe and give your grey matter the nutrition it deserves with updates from Modern Wisdom.

spencey4489 ,

Lost it’s way

This podcast used to be an unmissable listen, and the first thing I would look for in my podcast feed on upload days. I learnt so much and remain grateful for those episodes and what I learned from them. I was a day one listener from the first times “Crossfit Chris” appeared on the Propane Fitness podcast. Life hacks episodes were awesome and genuinely life changing on occasion, as well as numerous other guests who weren’t necessarily always the biggest names but had interesting and informative things to say.

Somewhere along the way the show became obsessed with identity politics, anti-wokeism, cancel culture and other tedious GB News small-c conservative talking points. This has led to an explosion in popularity but not in quality. They even flirted with going full blown anti vaxx, teasing an episode with Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying that quietly went away. I can’t count how many episodes I’ve listened to of “women are like this, and men are like this” over and over. The constant negativity has sucked most of the joy and inspiration out of the show. Outrage and clicks sell, just the way it is. Hate is a stronger emotion to stir than love etc etc, I get it. It’s just disappointing to see something you’re passionate about become soured like this.

Chris is an everyman, and he has been trained and programmed to within an inch of his life to improve his ability to speak and present - hats off to him for that, the evolution in style and skill is obvious. Unfortunately he is just not a critical thinker. One example off the top of my head - a guest told him that antidepressant use is highest amongst women in their 40s. They didn’t discuss the who, what, when, where, why of the research or any other pertinent info, but between them Chris and the guest let their biases fill in the rest and speculated that it was probably because these depressed woman had prioritised careers over getting married and having children. There was nothing to say that these women weren’t married and miserable, or struggling to balance or give up their career, or experiencing hormonal issues or literally any other of a range of options (including the one they chose, not denying at all that it could be a factor for some). Not the end of the world, it was speculation, I don’t go to fluffy podcasts like this for hard hitting science. My issue is that in at least 2 or 3 subsequent episodes, Chris regurgitated this as a solid fact - that women in their 40s use the most antidepressants because they are sacrificing having a family for their career, because feminism told them to, based on nothing but speculation, assumptions and biases. This is how misinformation spreads. I double checked the original paper and as assumed, it doesn’t say anything of the sort. Pure speculation presented as fact.

Chris has bemoaned the fact that the so called greatest thinkers of our time are wasting their incredible intellectual capacities on bickering about pronouns and political correctness, then invites those people on to talk at length about pronouns and political correctness

I’d suggest listening selectively as the occasional episode can still offer some good nuggets. I haven’t finished one for a while but Ben Bergeron was a semi recent highlight.

I find that Steven Bartlett’s Diary of a CEO scratches some of the same self improvement itch this used to, and Ali Abdaal has some enjoyable and informative episodes too, including much less hostile relationship content that’s actually helpful.

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