63 episodes

"Keep Talking" exists to have conversations that might help to make a better society and a better culture.

I believe that each guest has important information and stories to make public.

And it's something that I want to share.

Keep Talking Dan Riley

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 28 Ratings

"Keep Talking" exists to have conversations that might help to make a better society and a better culture.

I believe that each guest has important information and stories to make public.

And it's something that I want to share.

    Episode 63: Josh Chin - China's Surveillance State

    Episode 63: Josh Chin - China's Surveillance State

    Josh Chin is the China Deputy Bureau Chief for "The Wall Street Journal" and is the co-author of the book "Surveillance State: China's Quest to Launch a New Era of Social Control."
    During our conversation, Josh talks about China's use of surveillance technology in Xinjiang, how it is using that technology to monitor and send Uyghurs to modern gulags (places the Chinese government calls "re-education camps"), and how the Chinese are exporting this technology around the world.
    Josh also talks about being kicked out of China in 2020, how China could unleash this technology on dissidents in the future, and how he would respond to those who are ambivalent to government surveillance because "they have nothing to hide."
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    (00:00) Introduction
    (02:10) Josh's interest in China
    (07:07) The rise of China's surveillance technology
    (11:18) The surveillance of the Uyghurs
    (15:46) What triggers a Uyghur being sent to a gulag?
    (18:35) The arbitrariness of which Uyghurs disappear is intentional
    (23:57) The abuse and torture of Uyghurs in Chinese gulags
    (25:46) Possibly 20-30% of the Uyghur population has been sent to gulags
    (26:47) China's official statement about what's happening to Uyghurs
    (27:46) The details of facial recognition technology
    (31:58) Why do the findings of "Surveillance State" matter?
    (33:57) A response to "I have nothing to hide"
    (38:44) How can surveillance information be used against people?
    (43:19) Who is Xi Jinping?
    (45:46) Where is China exporting its surveillance technology?
    (50:12) Is the Uyghur experiment a prototype for future totalitarianism?
    (56:10) Josh's expulsion from China in 2020
    (59:38) Are China's human rights abuses, on balance, warranted?
    (1:08:02) China and TikTok
    (1:12:08) Thoughts on the future of China and the West

    • 1 hr 20 min
    Episode 62: Joe Henrich - The WEIRDest People in the World

    Episode 62: Joe Henrich - The WEIRDest People in the World

    Joe Henrich is a professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University and is the author of the book "The WEIRDest People in the World."
    During our conversation, Joe talks about his interest in human nature, how cultures change people biologically, how the mating laws of the Roman Catholic Church and the literacy imperatives of Protestantism changed Western civilization, cultural limitations on the Big 5 Personality traits, monogamy and polygyny, modern dating, objective truth, right and wrong, and what UN parking ticket data tells us about different countries in the world.
    WEIRD stands for "Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic," and if you're listening to this episode, you likely fall in that category. Joe is an encyclopedia of information about human beings, who we are, how we're different, and how we got this way. He offers advice for struggling young men, political leaders contemplating foreign intervention, and on how to think clearly about ethics and moral relativism.
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    (00:00) Introduction
    (03:04) Interest in evolutionary biology and human culture
    (04:50) The effect of culture on humans
    (08:04) Culture changes people biologically
    (11:21) WEIRD vs. non-WEIRD people
    (13:34) How the structure of the family effects Han Chinese
    (14:26) The effect of the Catholic Church in Germany
    (15:08) Scotch-Irish segmentary lineage culture
    (18:56) How the Catholic Church's rules unwittingly fueled Europe's rise
    (21:53) How Protestantism's work and word ethic drove Europe's prosperity
    (25:20) What a kin-based society looked like before the Catholic Church
    (27:49) Ways that culture changes people's brains
    (32:26) Testosterone does not go down post-fatherhood for men in polygynous cultures
    (39:01) Failing young men, dating technology, and modern dating
    (41:48) What can go wrong in polygynous societies?
    (43:56) How can we help young men prosper?
    (47:36) The Big 5 personality traits may be culturally-specific to WEIRD people
    (51:54) Making sense of human nature
    (54:16) Evolutionary psychology and human culture
    (56:46) The future of dating and mating in the West
    (59:46) Different cultures and American foreign policy mistakes
    (1:02:56) Joe's advice on American foreign policy
    (1:04:36) China's male gender imbalance and future societal problems
    (1:06:28) Advice for struggling young men
    (1:09:46) United Nations parking tickets data
    (1:13:51) Moral relativism and Ayaan Hirsi Ali
    (1:19:41) Truth and science colliding with postmodernism
    (1:22:26) What's next for Joe

    • 1 hr 24 min
    Episode 61: Huw Price - Existential Risk

    Episode 61: Huw Price - Existential Risk

    Huw Price is an author, was the Bertrand Russell Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, and is the co-founder of the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk.
    During our conversation, Huw talks about meeting Jaan Tallinn of Skype, learning about lesser-known existential risks of artificial intelligence and catastrophic new biological threats, the founding of the Centre in 2012, what an existential threat is, a near-existential event in 1962, and what an average citizen can do to mitigate the probability of an extinction event.
    There is no more important subject than the prevention of our own annihilation and the continuation of the human story. It is harrowing to learn how close we have already come to ending human existence on Earth, and it behooves all of us to learn a bit about what our x-risks are and align our priorities, knowledge, wisdom, and resources to lessen its likelihood.
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    (00:00) Introduction
    (02:47) Getting involved in x-risk
    (13:27) What is existential risk?
    (19:10) What would an existential event look like?
    (23:23) The x-risk of AI
    (26:40) The x-risk of biological threats
    (30:30) "The Precipice"
    (31:28) How Vasili Arkhipov likely saved humanity
    (37:28) The Future of Life Institute
    (40:35) The x-risk of nuclear weapons
    (44:12) The risks of climate change
    (50:55) 1 in 6 chance of human extinction this century
    (53:35) Is it unethical to have children?
    (1:00:28) Actions people can make to mitigate x-risk
    (1:02:14) Do x-risk issues cause Huw depression?
    (1:04:13) Should people become "preppers"?
    (1:06:40) Huw's advice to deal with x-risks
    (1:10:25) Leaders in the x-risk community
    (1:12:30) Advice for mindset and attitude
    (1:15:20) Sources of hope and optimism

    • 1 hr 19 min
    Episode 60: William Davis - Your Gut and Your Health

    Episode 60: William Davis - Your Gut and Your Health

    William Davis is a cardiologist and an author who has written both the best-selling book "Wheat Belly" and his most recent, "Super Gut." During our conversation, Bill talks about the human microbiome, the role of the gut as the "second brain" in the human body, how a modern diet and a modern microbiome may be contributing to common ailments of civilization like inflammation and depression, his suggestions for healthy eating and lifestyle, and what supplements he suggests people consume to improve their microbiome.
    Nothing is more important to human flourishing than one's health, and Bill offers some original insights and under-the-radar options that people may want to consider. He discusses the role of antibiotics in our culture, bacteria and endotoxemia, and gives advice for healthy living.
    I know that outside-the-box tinkering with my own lifestyle has dramatically improved my own health through mitigating stress, getting adequate sleep, eliminating or significantly reducing certain foods, and doing daily rigorous exercise that includes heat or cold exposure. Healthy people are happy people and good citizens, and I think we should be open to tinkering with our habits and foods to maximize our well-being. And perhaps one or two ideas from this conversation might resonate with you, and help you in your own life.
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    Support this podcast via Venmo
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    Support this podcast on Patreon
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    Show notes
    Leave a rating on Spotify
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    Follow "Keep Talking" on social media and access all episodes
    ------------
    (00:00) Introduction
    (02:47) Getting involved in x-risk
    (13:27) What is existential risk?
    (19:10) What would an existential event look like?
    (23:23) The x-risk of AI
    (26:40) The x-risk of biological threats
    (30:30) "The Precipice"
    (31:28) How Vasili Arkhipov likely saved humanity
    (37:28) The Future of Life Institute
    (40:35) The x-risk of nuclear weapons
    (44:12) The risks of climate change
    (50:55) 1 in 6 chance of human extinction this century
    (53:35) Is it unethical to have children?
    (1:00:28) Actions people can make to mitigate x-risk
    (1:02:14) Do x-risk issues cause Huw depression?
    (1:04:13) Should people become "preppers"?
    (1:06:40) Huw's advice to deal with x-risks
    (1:10:25) Leaders in the x-risk community
    (1:12:30) Advice for mindset and attitude
    (1:15:20) Sources of hope and optimism

    • 1 hr 33 min
    Episode 59: Jim Fadiman - The Science of Microdosing

    Episode 59: Jim Fadiman - The Science of Microdosing

    Jim Fadiman is an author, an educator, and is America's leading expert on the science of microdosing. During our conversation, Jim talks about his relationship with his favorite Harvard professor, Richard Alpert (later Ram Dass), his first psychedelic experience, and why he decided to dedicate so much of his career to the study of psychedelics and microdosing.
    Jim also discusses The Fadiman Protocol for microdosing, what microdosing is and proper dosing and frequency of use, microdosing's potential for human well-being, creativity, and to combat mental illness, and how a healthy society might wisely integrate such practices into its civilization.
    Jim believes that our culture is growing more open to the potential promise of psychedelics, and I think he's right. Documentaries like Netflix's "How to Change Your Mind" and books like his, "The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide," offer knowledge that has been suppressed and demonized to be more accurately detailed and publicly available.
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    Support this podcast via Venmo
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    Show notes
    Leave a rating on Spotify
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    Follow "Keep Talking" on social media and access all episodes
    ------------
    (00:00) Introduction
    (02:48) Interest in psychedelics and microdosing
    (04:19) Life as a graduate student
    (07:28) Richard Alpert and Bill Richards
    (10:59) The link between theology and psychedelics
    (15:01) Inspiration from a psychedelic experience
    (17:32) Religious views prior to psilocybin experience
    (21:33) The 1970s-1990s as era of lost opportunities in psychedelic research
    (24:32) Spiritual unwellness in modern people
    (28:00) “Flump'ing” in the 1960's
    (30:14) Psychedelic research during its illegality
    (33:07) How Jim's transcendent experience affected him
    (37:27) Resistance to psychedelic research
    (42:04) Quotes by Jim on psychedelics
    (49:05) What is meant by microdosing?
    (50:58) Some positive affects of microdosing
    (52:54) The "sweet spot" quantity and frequency for microdosing
    (01:05:10) Possible psychedelic dosage mistakes and their impact
    (01:07:38) Psilocybin as a "nootropic vitamin" for healthy living
    (01:12:53) Microdosing for intellectual or creative pursuits
    (01:21:40) Francis Crick, LSD, and the DNA double helix discovery
    (01:23:47) Microdosing and alleviating human suffering
    (01:30:21) The role of psychedelics in a healthy, flourishing society and culture

    • 1 hr 35 min
    Episode 58: Deirdre McCloskey - Being Trans

    Episode 58: Deirdre McCloskey - Being Trans

    Deirdre McCloskey is an economist, the author of more than 20 books, and is one of America's most prominent trans academics. During our conversation, Deirdre talks about growing up in the 1940's and 1950's, knowing from an early age that she wanted to be a woman, her marriage of more than 30 years to the "love of her life" and fathering two children, and her epiphany in the 1990's, at more than 50 years of age, that she wanted to transition from a man to a woman.
    Deirdre also details the reaction of her family to her desire to transition, how she was twice institutionalized, progress in trans rights in America, and her disagreements with positions taken by individuals like Kathleen Stock and Helen Joyce, who have publicly voiced concerns about allowing children to go through hormone therapy and insist that the majority of kids who transition later regret their decision.
    As I note during the conversation, I think most people are trying to form their views on this sensitive issue, to best determine what is true and what is decent. A free society should allow adults to do what they want, provided they aren't harming others. I try to understand the concerns of people on both sides of this debate around children, and no matter how one might come down on it, I admire Deirdre's courage in authentically living her life, in being true to herself, and in her commitment to free speech, to allow open and important moral conversations to happen.
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    Support via Venmo
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    Show notes
    Social media and all episodes
    ------------
    (00:00) Introduction
    (02:50) “Crossing: A Memoir” quote: boyhood
    (09:49) Early life and sexuality
    (14:29) Gender conversations with her ex-wife
    (16:53) Concealments from her ex-wife
    (17:44) Being sexually different in the 50s and 60s
    (20:23) Cross-dressing
    (21:31) Gender transition after decades of marriage
    (23:09) 50 years as a male
    (25:45) Her resistance towards gender change
    (28:10) Praying to be a woman
    (29:19) Lived experience as a man identifying as a woman
    (31:19) The moment of epiphany to transition
    (35:26) Clarity on the epiphany
    (36:33) Loved ones’ reactions to the gender transition
    (38:54) Being institutionalized against her will
    (41:25) Classical liberalism and freedom
    (43:13) The experience of being institutionalized
    (45:59) Changing cultural views on gender transitions
    (50:09) Life post gender transition
    (53:50) Self-actualization and gender transition
    (58:25) The best part about being a female
    (01:01:16) Living doubt-free post gender transition
    (01:05:00) Freedom of speech being paramount
    (01:06:26) Is gender change irreversible?
    (01:11:41) Do children often regret gender transition?
    (01:16:29) Are claims of children regretting their gender change fabricated?
    (01:19:19) The state’s involvement in personal decisions
    (01:23:00) Removing the state from personal decisions
    (01:27:47) Courage, and being a public example

    • 1 hr 33 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
28 Ratings

28 Ratings

luciambs ,

Best new podcast discovery!

Great interviews that go deep while maintaining a light relatable tone and sense of humor. Joseph Goldstein’s and James Hollis are a must!

Gnome chopper ,

Amazing Joyce

Amazing interview with Helen Joyce. She is so lucid and logical and compassionate. Her book is great too.

AllAnimalsDeserveLifeAndLove ,

Excellent!

Dan is a great interviewer and listener, and has fascinating and informative guests! The interview with Helen Joyce was exceptionally good.

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