74 episodes

History, anatomy and physiology, philosophy, psychology, anthropology. The podcast that attempts to resurrect sense and meaning from the dust of a billion factoids.

The History of Being Human Noel Armstrong

    • History
    • 4.9 • 90 Ratings

History, anatomy and physiology, philosophy, psychology, anthropology. The podcast that attempts to resurrect sense and meaning from the dust of a billion factoids.

    HBH 24: Polarization and Conspiracy Thinking

    HBH 24: Polarization and Conspiracy Thinking

    In this episode Steve Rathje, social psychologist specializing in social media and political polarization, explains to us why we are prone to conspiratorial thinking, and how we got into the state we find ourselves in Western societies. 
    Virality, engagement, fake news, motivated reasoning, negativity bias, and much more are covered the way only Steve can explain them.
    A long overdue episode 24 of HBH. But hey, it's summer, and we can finally travel, so it's better late than never.
     
     
     
     
     
     

    • 33 min
    HBH 23: Jan Bremer on Human Sacrifice

    HBH 23: Jan Bremer on Human Sacrifice

    In this episode I speak to Professor Jan Bremer about human sacrifice. We touch on Greek, Roman, Maya, Indian, Aztec, Druid, Egyptian, Chinese, and other instantiations of this most intentionally terrifying of all practices.
    Who were the victims?
    How common was it?
    What motivated it?
    The answers, from Prof. Bremer, were suprising. I will not say he is a human sacrifice skeptic, but he believes it was less common and less costly than sensationalized accounts would lead us to believe.
     
    Art by Ian Armstrong
    Music Icy Vindur by A. Himitsu
     
     

    • 38 min
    HBH 22: Fallacies, Biases, and Warped Reality

    HBH 22: Fallacies, Biases, and Warped Reality

    Conclusion (at last) of a three-part episode on the ways our perceptions and processing distort reality.  For the stalwart (and patient) seekers of knowledge only.
    0:00  Groupthink
    6:13   Halo Effect
    10:41  Just World Fallacy
    17:21  Negativity Bias
    22:16  Optimism and Pessimism Bias
    27:19   Reactance
    31:44  Self-Serving Bias
    34:41  Sunk Cost Fallacy
    39:40  The Spotlight Effect
    40:51  The Dunning-Krueger Effect as you never knew it
     
    Art: Ian Armstrong
     
     
     
     
     

    • 46 min
    HBH 21: Our Distorted Reality

    HBH 21: Our Distorted Reality

    Today I begin a pedantic journey into the tragicomic ways our perceptions and judgments are altered and distorted by our own cognitive processes -- goofy, heartbreaking, and humorous all at once, 
    Index of topics included:
    0:00    Intro
    04:52   Anchoring Bias
    08:59   Availability Heuristic
    13:25   Backfire Effect
    16:05   Barnum Effect
    19:45   Belief Bias
    23:06   Bystander Effect
    27:22  Confirmation Bias and Belief Perseverance 
                  Including Wm. Flinders-Petrie vs the Pyramidologists
    33:56   Curse of Knowledge
    35:10   Declinism aka Old Fartism 
    36:49   Framing Effects
    40:06   Fundamental Attribution Error (Salience of the Actor)
               Empty Boats
     
    I will finish the topic in a few weeks, but in order to not bore you to death with this laundry list, I will interject a few historical vignettes between now and then.
     
     
     

    • 46 min
    HBH 20: Conspiracy Theories and Cognitive Glitches

    HBH 20: Conspiracy Theories and Cognitive Glitches

    In which we continue to Dumbest things in history series by looking at some of the glitches in us that make them possible.  And also that they are not the result of our lizard brain, because we don't have one.
    In this episode, we cover conspiracy thinking and theories and the  apophenia that makes them possible, including pareidolia, the gambler's fallacy, motivated reasoning, and of course our ability to talk ourselves into things through repetition.
     

    • 51 min
    HBH 19: Rasputin and the Romanovs

    HBH 19: Rasputin and the Romanovs

    A bad decision for the ages--welcoming a pretentious narcissistic ignoramus into your family to weaken your already precarious hold on power, ignoring all warnings and thumbing your nose at the public outrage it engendered.   And worse, taking said lecher's advice on all matters, sacred and secular, because he claimed it came from God himself. 
    It sounds like a path to disaster, as indeed it was.
    In this episode we uncover what can be known about the life and strange death of Grigori Yefimovich Novykh, aka Rasputin, the so-called Mad Monk of Siberia and his tragic relationship to Tsar Nicolas II and his family. 
    Cover Art by Ian Armstrong
     
     

    • 47 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
90 Ratings

90 Ratings

Jmmillett ,

Audio of Vera Tiesler interview is fine

I love this series and have been listening for years. The last episode I listened to was the Vera Tiesler interview the beginning of which Noel profusely apologizes for the poor sound quality. I listened to the whole interview waiting for that poor audio... It never came. Don’t know what Noel was referring to but it was a great interview and easily in the ears.

Jsilva298 ,

Every Episode Draws Me In

I recommend this show to anyone that listens to podcasts LOVE IT !

Fiddle Chips ,

Great show!

Took me way too long to find this gem.

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