171 episodes

You Are Not So Smart is a show about psychology that celebrates science and self delusion. In each episode, we explore what we've learned so far about reasoning, biases, judgments, and decision-making.

You Are Not So Smart Boing Boing

    • Science

You Are Not So Smart is a show about psychology that celebrates science and self delusion. In each episode, we explore what we've learned so far about reasoning, biases, judgments, and decision-making.

    174 - Bad Advice (rebroadcast)

    174 - Bad Advice (rebroadcast)

    In this episode, we sit down with vaccine expert Dr. Paul Offit to discuss his new book, Bad Advice or Why Celebrities, Politicians, and Activists Aren't Your Best Source of Health Information.

    Offit has been fighting for years to promote vaccines, educate the public, and oppose the efforts of anti-vaxxers, and in his new book he offers advice for science consumers and communicators on how to deal with what he calls the opaque window of modern media which gives equal time to non-experts when it comes to discussing vaccination and other medical issues.

    - Show notes at: www.youarenotsosmart.com
    - Become a patron at: www.patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

    SPONSORS

    • The Great Courses: www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/smart
    • Brooklinen: www.brooklinen.com -- Offer code: YANSS

    • 1 hr 7 min
    173 - Rule Makers, Rule Breakers

    173 - Rule Makers, Rule Breakers

    In this episode, we sit down with psychologist Michele Gelfand and discuss her new book: Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire Our World.

    In the book, Gelfand presents her research into norms, and a fascinating new idea. It isn’t norms themselves that predict how cultures will react, evolve, innovate, and clash -- but how different cultures value those and sanction people who violate them. She categorizes all human cultures into two -- kinds, tight and loose -- and argues that all human behavior depends on whether a person lives in tight culture or a loose one.

    - Show notes at: www.youarenotsosmart.com
    - Become a patron at: www.patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

    SPONSORS

    • The Great Courses: www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/smart

    • 1 hr 13 min
    172 - Team Human (rebroadcast)

    172 - Team Human (rebroadcast)

    In this episode of the You Are Not So Smart Podcast we sit down with one of the original cyberpunks, the famed journalist, documentarian, media theorist, all-around technology superstar and weirdo, Douglas Rushkoff.

    MIT considers Rushkoff one of the "world's ten most influential thinkers," and in the episode we talk about his latest (and 20th) book, Team Human.

    The book is a bit of a manifesto in which he imagines a new counterculture that would revolt against the algorithms that are slowly altering our collective behavior for the benefit of shareholders. Instead, he implores us, we should curate a digital, psychedelic substrate that embraces the messiness of human beings: our unpredictability, our pursuit of novelty and innovation, and our primate/animal/social connectedness.

    The book is presented in a series of aphorisms that add up to a rallying cry for building communities outside of what the machines that tend our walled gardens might suggest we build. As the title suggests, he would prefer that we turned our technological attention to encouraging and facilitating teamwork.

    In the book, he says that any technology whose initial purpose is to connect people will eventually become colonized and repurposed to repress and isolate them. But, the good news is that we’ve seen this pattern so often that we can now stop it in its tracks and choose to build something else. In the interview, you’ll hear what his thoughts are on all this -- and much more.

    - Show notes at: www.youarenotsosmart.com
    - Become a patron at: www.patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

    SPONSORS

    • The Great Courses: www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/smart

    • 1 hr 11 min
    171 - Partisan Brains

    171 - Partisan Brains

    Jay Van Bavel studies “from neurons to social networks...how collective concerns -- group identities, moral values, and political beliefs -- shape the mind and brain,” and in this episode we travel to his office at NYU to sit down and ask him a zillion questions about how the brain uses motivated reasoning to create the separate realities we argue over on a daily basis.

    • 1 hr 27 min
    170 - Mark Sargent

    170 - Mark Sargent

    In October of 2019 I sat down with prominent Flat Earther Mark Sargent in Stockholm, Sweden at the Gather Festival to try and understand the reasoning behind his beliefs, and non-beliefs, that run counter to the scientific consensus that the Earth is a globe.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    169 - Art

    169 - Art

    Moira Dillon studies how “the physical world in which we live shapes the abstract world in which we think,” and in this episode we travel to her Lab for the Developing Mind at NYU to sit down and ask her a zillion questions about how the brain creates the reality we interact with, and how we attempt to communicate that reality to others through language, art, geometry, and mathematics.

    • 1 hr 34 min

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