336 episodes

Conversations with a series of people who have nothing in common except that program host Robert Wright is curious about what they’re thinking.

nonzero.substack.com

Robert Wright's Nonzero Nonzero

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.6 • 550 Ratings

Conversations with a series of people who have nothing in common except that program host Robert Wright is curious about what they’re thinking.

nonzero.substack.com

    Confessions of a Black Conservative (Robert Wright & Glenn Loury)

    Confessions of a Black Conservative (Robert Wright & Glenn Loury)

    This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit nonzero.substack.com

    0:28 Glenn’s very unvarnished memoir, Late Admissions: Confessions of a Black Conservative 10:12 Glenn’s unusual urban upbringing 19:00 Is Glenn’s sermon for black men hypocritical? 22:15 Glenn’s double life at Harvard 32:40 How it all came crashing down 44:39 Is Glenn’s book _too_ honest? 52:16 Heading to Overtime
    Robert Wright (Nonzero, The Evolution of God, Why Buddhism Is True) and Glenn Loury (Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, Brown University, Late Admissions). Recorded June 13, 2024.
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/NonzeroPods
    Overtime titles:
    0:00 The Psalm that may have saved Glenn’s life 5:50 Glenn’s final crack hit 8:28 Glenn’s path from conservative to progressive and back again 21:53 The difference between Glenn and Wilt Chamberlain 23:32 Why does Glenn have such low risk aversion? 32:43 The time Glenn made Coretta Scott King cry 37:55 Explaining all without excusing all

    • 59 min
    AI, Techno-optimism, and Cosmic Purpose (Robert Wright & Kevin Kelly)

    AI, Techno-optimism, and Cosmic Purpose (Robert Wright & Kevin Kelly)

    This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit nonzero.substack.com

    0:28 Kevin’s place in cyberspace history 6:54 Are we grappling with the pace of tech progress rationally? 20:49 Why Kevin identifies as a techno-optimist 23:12 Is it too early to regulate AI? 30:21 The noosphere, the technium, and species of mind 38:11 Do AI doomers think too highly of thinking? 42:13 Evolution and the question of cosmic purpose 48:42 Should we see AIs as “artificial aliens”?
    Robert Wright (Nonzero, The Evolution of God, Why Buddhism Is True) and Kevin Kelly (Wired, The Inevitable, What Technology Wants). Recorded April 29, 2024.
    Overtime titles:
    Kevin's spiritual transformation.Will AI be like a god to humans? Vice-versa?How expecting near-term death changed Kevin’s life.A bettor way of making AI predictions.

    • 54 min
    The Alien Mind of AI (Robert Wright & Steven Pinker)

    The Alien Mind of AI (Robert Wright & Steven Pinker)

    1:13 AI's human-like, but inhuman, language skills 7:22 Bob argues that LLMs don’t vindicate the ‘blank slate’ view of the mind 18:56 Do humans and AIs acquire language in totally different ways? 31:11 Will AIs ever quit hallucinating? 40:47 The importance (or not) of “embodied cognition” 47:50 What is it like to be an AI? 53:48 Why Steve is skeptical of AI doom scenarios
    Robert Wright (Nonzero, The Evolution of God, Why Buddhism Is True) and Steven Pinker (Harvard University, Enlightenment Now, The Language Instinct). Recorded May 21, 2024.
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/NonzeroPods


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    • 1 hr 2 min
    A Trump 2.0 Foreign Policy (Robert Wright & Kelley Vlahos)

    A Trump 2.0 Foreign Policy (Robert Wright & Kelley Vlahos)

    This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit nonzero.substack.com

    1:57 Kelley’s new podcast, Trip the Beltway Fantastic 5:59 Pat Buchanan and conservative opposition to the Iraq war 10:14 Would Trump 2.0 promote foreign policy restraint? 19:12 Possible Trump appointees pushing for conflict with China 25:57 The time Tucker Carlson helped prevent war with Iran 41:13 Would Trump greenlight ethnic cleansing in Gaza? 49:32 Would Trump end the Russia-Ukraine war? 54:14 Heading to Overtime
    Overtime video below paywall:
    A Pentagon program that corrupts officers. Kelley’s upbringing in Connecticut and early career as a reporter. How clickbait culture has degraded journalism.

    • 57 min
    Trump's Conviction, Russia-Ukraine Escalation (Earthling Unplugged)

    Trump's Conviction, Russia-Ukraine Escalation (Earthling Unplugged)

    This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit nonzero.substack.com

    Robert Wright and Andrew Day discuss items from the Earthling.
    Recorded May 31, 2024.
    https://twitter.com/NonzeroNewshttps://twitter.com/NonzeroPods

    • 28 min
    Gaza, Biden, and Trump (Robert Wright, Derek Davison, Daniel Bessner)

    Gaza, Biden, and Trump (Robert Wright, Derek Davison, Daniel Bessner)

    This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit nonzero.substack.com

    00:43 The Nonzero-American Prestige apocalypse aversion project 2:02 Are Bob, Derek, and Danny surprised the Gaza war is still going on? 5:06 Biden’s simple political calculus on Gaza 13:42 Would Trump greenlight the ethnic cleansing of Gaza? 25:45 Israel’s plan (or lack thereof) for post-war Gaza 32:23 Heading to Overtime
    Overtime topics: 
    An inside view of The New Republic at its peak. Ideological engineering at The Atlantic. Russian sanctions and an antisemitic chill fall over Danny. Does “fascism” mean anything?
    (Twitter: https://twitter.com/NonzeroPods)

    • 35 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
550 Ratings

550 Ratings

josh7854 ,

Huge Fan

I don’t know of a podcaster that works to be more objective on political issues than Robert Wright. He should be hugely popular, but I guess people love partisanship.

techno_peasant ,

mostly living up to its own ethos

bob is generally fair and clear headed on most topics but like many people he’s losing me on israel/palestine. everybody knows israel is losing the PR war globally because of the war and yet nobody is serious when it comes to thinking about their alternative path forward, bob included. a little cognitive empathy would be useful here. i give it up to bob for frequently inviting on people that disagree with him but some guests (danny bessner) veer into cynical lefty doomerism and i only listen to remind myself what not to sound like if you ever want to be taken seriously.

Kevtao ,

Earthling Unplugged

Hey, about the year end Earthling Unplugged episode; Robert is the first person I have heard remind listeners that the Supreme (?) Court anointed W president. They have been an illegitimate organization since then at the very least. Thanks Robert. Love the work and frankly I am glad that Kaus is gone. I listen to the Friday podcasts now with the variety of people who rotate in.

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