Episode Number: 1073
Episode Guest: Steven Pinker
Original Airdate: February 4, 2018
Episode Sponsors: Onnit
Guest Bio: Steven Pinker is a cognitive psychologist, linguist, and popular science author. He is Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University, and is known for his advocacy of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind. His new book Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress will be released in February of 2018.
Topics Discussed: Social media and people thinking Steven is alt-right; men and women are very different; subjects that are out of bounds to discuss, like gender; being fair means recognizing differences and similarities; outrage culture; flame wars/trolling on internet messageboards/newsgroups; roast battle stand-up comedy shows; communicating anonymously online is an unnatural way of communicating; The Selfish Gene book; reputation; being nice to people; being honorable makes you desirable; kindness and generosity is attractive to people; is online negativity a temporary thing; it will take society a while to adjust to social media; people once thought books would ruin our memories; comparing cell phones/social media to a drug; knowing how to balance your life; huge Mayan city found buried under jungle; using your real name online; Justine Sacco; people who want to attack others/virtue signalling; Tulip mania; people lose their collective minds once in a while; everyone is watching each other in North Korea; where is social media heading; communicating online isn’t an accurate way to share ideas; The Sense of Style book; talk about writing; the curse of knowledge; how are we getting smarter while simultaneously becoming stupider; the collective brain; life is too easy today; the world is actually getting better; the Flynn effect; people are getting smarter; we create as much information every two days as we did from the beginning of time until 2003; idiocy; Loving v. Virginia; Fidel Castro put gay men in concentration camps; we are becoming more liberal, more progressive, and more tolerant; we are being dragged kicking and screaming into a new age; social change happens quickly; Dunbar’s number; will humans change and adapt to our abilities; technology adapts to how our brains work; talk about the evolution of computers and graphical user interfaces; technology and human evolution talk; (1:00:00) virtual reality talk; HTC Vive; Joe is concerned that people will prefer to live in a virtual reality world rather than the real world; we can work together and solve the problems facing us; why do we concentrate on the negative things in our lives; negativity bias; news outlets take the negative, pessimistic point of view; bad things happen suddenly while good things happen slowly; it’s wise to remember civilizations can collapse; the future of nations/borders; borders are considered sacrosanct; global problems; Brexit; African immigrants in Paris leave streets covered in trash; opening borders is a terrible idea, but so is building a wall; Joe’s parents live in Mexico; the improvement of the world’s standard of living; more talk about globalization; working in a factory for a dollar per day is a better life for some people than the poverty they lived in before; when will there no longer be third world countries; politically correct thinking; neoliberalism; capitalism; Marxism; Thomas Sowell; intellectuals like systems where theories can be articulated; distributed intelligence runs against the grain of how intellectuals think; social Darwinism; we need to find a balance of competition and freedom; why are some of these conversations taboo in academia; tribalism talk; we need to be as open-minded as possible; a lot of opinions are loyalty badges to a coalition; political opinions and tribalism; global warming talk; Enlightenment Now book; how do we align our beliefs more with truth rather than tribal loyalty; right wingers and religion; environmentalism and tribalism; how the political parties in the United States have changed over time; medicine is getting smarter; policing has gotten smarter; Moneyball book; we need to be more pragmatic to the evidence; tribalism is part of being a human being; the connection between politics and psychology; enlightenment; talk about his Enlightenment Now book; he doesn’t meditate but thinks he should; he exercises regularly; goals when writing a book; The Better Angels of Our Nature book; (2:00:00) finding stories he wants to share and figuring out how to explain them; death rates; there are more murders than terrorist attacks; we make nobodies into somebodies by giving them attention after terrorist attacks; he thinks the names and faces of terrorists shouldn’t be published; clickbait; journalism talk; is there room for new media today; Trump and his attacks on the media; “fake news” doesn’t equal coverage that criticizes the president; if you are the president, you should be criticized; democracy; we need rules and bureaucrats; Trump is not presidential in the way Obama was; will having Trump as the president make people more politically active.
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Podcast Video: Below is a video of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast episode #1073 available for streaming via YouTube.
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