Hi, Dax Shepard here. I’m fascinated by smart people with a unique point of view. On this show, I leverage people’s vague awareness of me as an actor to talk with a bunch of bona fide experts. It’s a soothing mix of brain candy and defensive humor (my response to feeling intellectually outclassed). Join me on a layman’s journey through the Land of Specialists!
Michael Moss is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative reporter. Michael joins the Armchair Expert to discuss food addiction, the invention of processed food, and what government oversight of the food industry would look like. Michael and Dax discuss free will when it comes to diet, how big food companies use marketing tactics to influence our choices, and that obesity is a crude measure of health. Michael explains the phenomena of dieting and how income inequality affects people’s access to healthy food.
Daniel Goleman, PhD is a two-time Pulitzer Prize nominated author and science journalist. Daniel joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the differences between cognitive empathy, emotional empathy, and empathic concern, and that emotional intelligence starts with being aware and able to name your feelings. Daniel explains the importance of cognitive control, that the same circuitry that helps you focus also calms you down, and the impact your emotional intelligence has on your health. Daniel discusses the flawed understanding of emotion vs logic, that the brain is designed to learn from life when it comes to emotional intelligence, and the science behind how your brain communicates emotions with another person.
Walter Isaacson is an American author, journalist, and professor. Walter joins the Armchair Expert to discuss his work as a biographer, that it’s important to remember that all people are human, and how much more inspiring they are when you realize that. Walter explains the three great innovation revolutions of modern times, how transformative Jennifer Doudna’s gene editing work is, and how she used her knowledge of CRISPR to help with the fight against covid. Dax and Walter discuss the dilemma of editing out certain negative traits and the effects it can have on shaping a person and the importance of trying to maximize the Utopia of gene editing while minimizing the many unforeseen issues that will arise.
Dr. Susan Liautaud (The Power of Ethics) is an author, teacher of ethics at Stanford University, and founder of Susan Liautaud & Associates Limited. Susan joins the Armchair Expert to discuss ethics: the six forces present in all ethical dilemmas, why we can’t look at things in a binary manner, and how we’re only as ethical as our last decision. Susan explains that there’s no place for blame, shame or guilt in ethics, what incentive people have to make ethical decisions, and the need to make ethics accessible to everyone. Dax & Susan discuss the need to think about the consequences that could happen, not just the consequences that will happen and in the fact check, we have a visit from the man whose simulation we are all living in.
Ethan Kross (Chatter) is an experimental psychologist, neuroscientist and writer, who specializes in emotion regulation. Ethan joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the usefulness of your inner voice and how to harness it. Ethan explains how important context is when triggering emotions, how negative emotions are just as vital as positive ones, and the ways language can shape our emotional experiences. Ethan discusses how having the ability to feel the way we want all the time could be problematic and tips on how to be in the past and the future without being sucked in the chatter. In the fact check, Dax & Monica discuss the Royals.
George Saunders (A Swim in a Pond in the Rain) is a #1 New York Times bestselling, Booker Prize-winning author. George joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the mental phenomena of life, farting in an elevator, and romanticizing everything as a writer. George explains how he learned that being a writer wasn’t about your adventure resume, how to trust your own mind and bless your reactions, and how he finds inspiration by revisiting great works. George discusses how underestimated the role of encouragement is, that self-remonstration is the enemy of art, and how writer’s block is having artificially elevated expectations of yourself.
Dax is a breath of fresh air
I love everything about his style, from the banter to to more serious exchanges he has with his guests. Don’t change a thing Dax.
Just a request: Interview Saifedean Ammous on Bitcoin. It’ll be a scintillating episode. I guarantee you that much.
Hey BIGOTS, no need to FLOUNCE
The amount of reviewers who stop by just to say they don’t like the “woke” tone or criticism of police is hilarious.
Y’all aren’t his people. You never were.
Stuck around and learn something, or don’t, but this isn’t an an airport, NO NEED TO ANNOUNCE YOUR DEPARTURE 😂
#DefundThePolice #BlackLivesMatter #LoveIsLove #BlueWave
Really like this podcast. However Dax talks too much. Would like to hear more from guests.