Solving the problems of what to do next with some of today's top thinkers and writers.
Hosted by Jay Shapiro.
S02E13: The Power of Memes - Susan Blackmore
Did Charles Darwin discover something much more fundamental than the origin of species?
A defense and exploration of the field of memetics with Professor Susan Blackmore. Jay and Susan make their way through the common confusions, problems, and good and bad questions to ask about memetics.
S02E12: How To Avoid a Civil War - Mike Selinker
Jay goes down the dark paths that might lie ahead spurred by the 2020 US election with Mike Selinker. Mike is an award winning game designer and game theorist who writes frequently about politics. What are the historical analogies that could warn us and help us steer clear of the dangers?
This episode follows the format of Mike's viral essay "A wargame designer defines our four possible civil wars". Available here: https://medium.com/@mikeselinker/a-wargame-designer-describes-our-four-possible-civil-wars-cf5b2e980099
S02E11: Home Field Advantage - Jon Wertheim
A look at the philosophical side of sports and what we can learn about human behavior in the time of COVID altered stadiums.
Jay speaks with veteran sports writer Jon Wertheim as they focus in a particular chapter from his book Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won all about "home field advantage" and what exactly caused home teams to win so much... before COVID changed everything.
S02E10: Too Much Information - Cass Sunstein
What do you NOT want to know?
Jay is joined by the prolific and influential behavior economist Cass Sunstein for a conversation about his latest book: Too Much Information.
Discussed in this episode: The Garden of Eden, Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Accept metrics, the social media habit, the right to know vs the consequences of information, the usefulness of informing one's vote, the focus of attention and editorial choices, and whether Cass really did "ruin popcorn."
S02E09: What is Art? - SWOON
Jay tackles the age old question of philosophically defining art with the incredible street artist SWOON (Caledonia Curry). Together they wonder, can machines make art?
Swoon's recent piece: The Medea
S02E08: Your Right To Say It - David Goldberger
David Goldberger was raised as a proud Jew. In 1977, he was working as a civil liberties attorney for the ACLU in Illinois when a Neo-Nazi named Frank Collin knocked on his door claiming his first amendment rights were being violated. In this episode David Goldberger revisits the famous Supreme Court case, National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie. Jay and David tease out the complications of free speech and what has changed, if anything, since 1977.
Also discussed in this episode: warning signs from the ACLU, the difficult task of law enforcement, McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission and it's application to social media bans, the heap fallacy as a way to consider legal philosophy.