Episoder

  • For a comprehensive guide to Salil’s work, see:
    http://www.saliltripathi.com/Welcome.html

    Salil’s articles for Mint:
    https://www.livemint.com/topic/salil-tripathi

    Salil’s article for Caravan:
    https://caravanmagazine.in/author/93

    Salil’s books can be found here:
    The Colonel Who Would Not Repent: The Bangladesh War and Its Unquiet Legacy (2016):
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0300218184/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p1_i0

    Detours: Songs of the Open Road (2015):
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01A59F3J8/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p1_i1

    Offence: The Hindu Case (2009):
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1906497389/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p1_i2

    You can follow Salil @saliltripathi on Twitter.

    Further References

    Letter:
    https://letter.wiki/conversations

    The Impossible Conversations competition:
    https://www.impossibleconversations.info/

    The conversation on Antifa and political violence:
    https://letter.wiki/conversation/59

    My accounts of letter exchanges in Areo can be found here:
    https://areomagazine.com/author/terpsichoral/

    Roger Cohen’s article on Kashmir:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/22/opinion/trump-modi-houston.html

    Isaac Chotiner’s interview with Roger Cohen:
    https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/the-times-columnist-roger-cohen-on-the-future-of-india

    Salil’s article on the Indian media’s behaviour during conflicts with Pakistan:
    https://caravanmagazine.in/media/question-journalists-support-for-armed-forces

    Modi’s article on Gandhi:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/02/opinion/modi-mahatma-gandhi.html

    The Indian Penal Code:
    https://indiacode.nic.in/handle/123456789/2263?view_type=browse&sam_handle=123456789/1362

    Salil Tripathi on M.F. Husain:
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303714704576383173779641758

    M.F. Husain’s work:
    https://www.wikiart.org/en/m-f-husain
    Salil on the Modi myth: https://caravanmagazine.in/vantage/minds-modi-myth

    Meera Sanyal on demonitisation:
    https://www.amazon.in/Big-Reverse-Demonetization-Knocked-India/dp/9353023947

    Salil’s obituary of Meera Sanyal:
    https://www.livemint.com/opinion/columns/opinion-lessons-from-an-old-friend-that-india-s-public-life-should-imbibe-1548259689773.html

    Salil on whataboutery:
    https://www.livemint.com/Opinion/5nErFTVfxk0UPN2WT9QpAI/The-role-of-a-writer.html

    Rabindranath Tagore’s poem on Indian freedom:
    https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/45668/gitanjali-35

    Jon Lee Anderson:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Lee_Anderson

    John Pilger on Cambodia:
    http://johnpilger.com/videos/year-zero-the-silent-death-of-cambodia

    Vajpayee’s speech calling for the destruction of Babri Masjid:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_Nvqqx5_Po

    Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (1980)

    Timestamps

    3:25 Letter and the Impossible Conversations competition
    8:45 The portrayal of India in the domestic and international media, esp regarding the situation in Kashmir
    14:40 Indian media’s behaviour during conflicts with Pakistan
    19:00 Recent coverage of India in the foreign press
    23:50 Lynchings and the Modi government
    27:40 Trump versus Modi
    32:33 Free speech and the Indian penal code
    37:00 The Modi myth
    43:00 The injustices of Indian bureacracy
    46:12 Indian whataboutery
    51:32 What inspired Salil to become a journalist
    53:10 Salil’s journalistic icons
    54:30 The biggest challenges facing journalists today
    1:06:42 Salil’s predictions for the future of journalism in India

  • For Steve’s book, Darwin, God and the Meaning of Life: How Evolutionary Theory Undermines Everything You Thought You Knew (2012) see:https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/darwin-god-and-the-meaning-of-life/A3055F89051D5F4ADE4AFE9473BF0AABFor Steve’s book, The Ape that Understood the Universe: How the Mind and Culture Evolve (2019) see: https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/ape-that-understood-the-universe/3448755E3BF801C936343555DA7AECBBFind out more about Steve here: https://www.stevestewartwilliams.com/Follow Steve on Twitter @SteveStuWillFurther ReferencesRichard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene (1976)David Sloan Wilson, This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution (2019)Erwin Frey, see the survival of the weakestGeoffrey Miller, The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature (2001)Tim Taylor, The Artificial Ape: How Technology Changed the Course of Human Evolution (2010)Wilhelm von Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774)Iona Italia, “A Wrong against Boys: An Impossible Conversation about Circumcision,” in Areo Magazine (2019)Battlestar Galactica remake (TV series, 2004) Timestamps2:08 The gene’s eye view7:04 Explaining altruism and strong reciprocity13:44 Culture as an evolutionary accelerator15:06 Lactose tolerance16:12 The survival of the weakest17:56 Sexual selection as an evolutionary ratchet23:13 Intelligence and language24:46 Homosexuality32:22 Evolution and ethics33:48 Technology and cumulative culture38:39 The meme’s eye view44:50 Inclusive fitness48:46 Evolutionary psychology doesn’t provide a moral template53:03 Memes and ethics53:57 Gene-culture co-evolution57:06 Traits vs. the selection processes that produce them58:09 Romantic love and jealousy1:00:39 Why do men hunt?1:04:00 How will humanity develop in the future?1:06:40 Intrasexual competition and mate choices1:15:46 Why women prefer pretty boys1:19:07 Memetic fitness1:20:53 Misconceptions about evolutionary psychology; & when adaptationism goes too far

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  • 3:38 What attracted Andy to Diderot?
    7:09 Diderot’s radical questioning of political and sexual norms: homosexuality; masturbation; incest fantasies
    20:55 “My thoughts are my sluts”—intellectual libertinage
    25:44 Diderot’s relationships with women
    28:00 Diderot as a playwright
    30:24 Religious sexual fantasies
    31:00 The Literary Correspondence
    31:50 Diderot on painting and on acting
    39:15 Samuel Richardson and the new focus on humble people
    41:32 La Religieuse (The Nun)
    45:12 Diderot on slavery
    51:08 Diderot’s letters
    56:18 Diderot on free will, materialism, atheism
    1:00:18 The Encyclopédie
    1:18:05 Diderot’s politics
    1:22:05 His unfettered joy in life

    Andy’s books:
    Diderot and the Art of Thinking Freely (2019);
    Anatomy of Blackness: Science and Slavery in an Age of Enlightenment (2011, 2013)
    and
    Sublime Disorder, Physical Monstrosity in Diderot's Universe (2001) can all be found on Amazon. Follow his author page here:
    https://www.amazon.com/Andrew-S-Curran/e/B004FOWWD0/

    You can find out more about Andy here:
    https://www.andrewscurran.com/
    And here:
    https://www.wesleyan.edu/academics/faculty/acurran/profile.html

    Follow Andy on Twitter @AndrewSCurran

  • 6:38 Defining terms: compatibilism, semi-compatibilism, determinism, libertarianism
    46:50 Moral responsibility
    1:02:30 Reasons responsiveness
    1:20:07 Sociopathy and the amydala
    1:24:30 The sorites paradox (the paradox of the heap)
    1:36:15 What does it mean to have control?
    1:52:05 Rights forfeiture theory, criminal punishment and free will
    2:29:30 How did the three of us arrive at our respective positions?

    For the original discussion on Letter, see:
    https://letter.wiki/conversation/54.

    For my article on the discussion see:
    https://areomagazine.com/2019/07/28/on-free-will-a-letter-exchange

    For Ben Burgis’ responses, see:
    https://areomagazine.com/2019/08/02/free-will-and-sam-harris-puppet-analogy-a-reply-to-iona-italia/
    And
    https://areomagazine.com/2019/10/08/free-will-the-libet-experiments-and-the-war-on-terror/

    Join Jon Rosen’s discussion group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1750878868488774/

    Follow Ben Burgis on Twitter @BenBurgis

    Follow Jon Rosen on Twitter @rosenbaier

    Additional References

    For Frankfurt cases:
    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/compatibilism/

    Gagandeep Singh:
    https://www.hindustantimes.com/dehradun/i-was-just-doing-my-duty-says-cop-who-saved-muslim-youth-s-life/story-CB1NP0uP1vz34NsV12bjGK.html

    Pereboom’s four case argument:
    https://philosophicaldisquisitions.blogspot.com/2015/01/perebooms-four-case-argument-against.html

    For more on John Martin Fischer:
    http://www.informationphilosopher.com/solutions/philosophers/fischer/

    David Lewis, “The Paradox of Time Travel”:
    https://www.csus.edu/indiv/m/merlinos/paradoxes%20of%20time%20travel.pdf

    Ryan Lake, “No Fate But What We Make: A Defence of the Compatibility of Freedom and Causal Determinism”:
    https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/3457/849101f0502d9ad148c0e41eddef4c50fa84.pdf

    Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” (1973)

    Sam Harris, “In Defence of Profiling”:
    https://samharris.org/in-defense-of-profiling/
    Euripides, Iphigenia in Aulis (approx. 405 BCE)

  • 2:13 General information about Malaysia: history, politics, economics4:36 Demographics and religion8:03 Malaysian independence9:15 The history of Malaysian party politics since independence10:10 The evolution of Malay nationalism and the rise of Islamist politics15:06 Anwar Ibrahim 16:21 Sodomy laws and gay rights in Malaysia17:38 The decriminalisation of homosexuality in India 20:18 Changes to Islam within Malaysia: from tropical Islam to a more austere & authoritarian form27:05 The controversy around the teaching of khat (Malay-Arabic calligraphy)29:30 Zakir Naik’s accusing Hindu and Chinese Malaysians of disloyalty and the resulting controversy33:20 Is there a ghettoisation of different communities? The geographical breakdown by race.34:18 Relative prosperity of the different racial communities40:47 The Malaysian economy and the temptation towards authoritarianism43:48 Free speech, the media and Malaysian civil society47:49 Arabisation51:20 A new Orientalism on the part of Westerners59:58 Legal systems in Malaysia1:02:08 Intercommunity relations1:03:46 Women in Malaysia1:05:35 Imran’s predictions for the future of the countryFor Imran’s articles, see here:https://areomagazine.com/author/imranshamsunahar/;https://quillette.com/author/imran-shamsunahar/;https://www.scmp.com/author/imran-shamsunahar;https://nationalinterest.org/profile/imran-shamsunaharImran’s contributions to the War is Boring blog can be found here:https://warisboring.com/author/imran-shamsunahar/See also https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/Racial-divisions-of-Malaysia-s-politics-harm-whole-countryWe refer specifically to this article in the podcast: https://quillette.com/2018/01/31/neo-orientalism-left/Follow Imran on Twitter here: @AsiaAnalyst47

  • Timestamps3:50 Eric argues that people’s feelings about immigration aren’t linked to economic anxiety4:42 Brexit/Trump/populist right support isn’t linked to social class. What does predict this?7:44 Psychological dimensions of conservative attitudes: is it reactionary? Retrograde or just nostalgic?13:21 The Islam factor24:52 Four white majority responses to immigration change: fight, flee, repress & join. 25:24 The fight response25:38 The flee response: white flight from minority neighbourhoods, white self-segregation31:11 The repress response: fear of expressing anti-immigration views; the ethics of anti-racism.35:11 The concealed condition: uncovering anti-immigration views that people are reluctant to admit to.37:34 The join response: friendship, intermarriage, assimilation.38:27 The coming mixed race majority39:30 How important is ancestry to belonging? Civic versus ethnic nationalism. Majority melting pots.46:08 Assimilation49:12 Why there is a danger of a far right resurgence right now50:30 On what basis do you choose which immigrants to allow in?59:45 What steps should we take, going forward? How to combat racism?59:52 Separating racial appearance from membership in an ethnic group1:05:24 Choosing a racial identity, what influences identification as white/non-white?1:11:14 The Social Justice left as a force multiplier for right-wing populismEric’s book, Whiteshift: Population, Immigration and the Future of White Majorities (2019) can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/Whiteshift-Populism-Immigration-Future-Majorities/dp/1468316974For more about Eric’s work: http://www.sneps.net/Follow Eric on Twitter: @epkaufmFurther ReadingJonathan Haidt, “The moral roots of liberals and conservatives,” TED talk, 2008: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vs41JrnGaxcMichael Lind, “The Beige and the Black”https://www.nytimes.com/1998/08/16/magazine/the-beige-and-the-black.htmlRazib Khan, “Why There Will Not Be a Beige Future.”https://areomagazine.com/2018/11/28/why-there-will-not-be-a-beige-future-skin-color-genetics-race-and-racism/For the Hidden Tribes analysis see: https://hiddentribes.us/

  • 2:07 Evolutionary theory as a comprehensive way of looking at life
    7:20 Evolutionary theory and English literature
    11:52 Gene-centric evolutionary theory versus the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis
    15:50 Looking at learning and management from an evolutionary standpoint: Toyota
    17:07 How a knowledge of evolution can influence public policy
    25:40 An evolutionary view of psychotherapy
    27:00 Multi-level selection theory. Application to cancer therapies.
    28:20 How chicken farming illustrates group level selection theory
    33:37 The problem of good—how did altruism evolve?
    36:54 Water striders
    41:11 How these ideas apply to introverts and extroverts and business school hirings
    42:41 How they apply to Battlestar Galactica
    44:37 The neighbourhood project
    48:25 Systems of meaning
    50:15 Measuring prosociality among schoolchildren: what influences it? How to increase it?
    54:03 Response from more gene-based evolutionary theorists; social science and humanities scholars who have adopted evolutionary approaches
    57:10 Equivalence
    58:35 Replicators versus vehicles
    1:02:14 Applying these principles to our own lives: success and the morality of the cancer cell

    David’s book This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution (2019) can be found here:
    https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/246844/this-view-of-life-by-david-sloan-wilson/9781101870204/.

    For more about David’s work see:
    https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/persons/david-sloan-wilson/
    And
    https://evolution-institute.org/profile/david-sloan-wilson/
    And
    https://www.prosocial.world/

    Find David’s other books here:
    https://www.amazon.com/David-Sloan-Wilson/e/B001H6MNP6%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share,
    esp. The Neighbourhood Project: Using Evolution to Improve My City, One Block at a Time (2012):
    https://www.amazon.com/Neighborhood-Project-Using-Evolution-Improve/dp/0316037672

    Follow David on Letter.Wiki: https://letter.wiki/DavidSloanWilson/conversations

    Follow David on Twitter: @David_S_Wilson

    Further Notes

    I discuss Sloan Wilson’s ideas and correspondence with Massimo Pigliucci here:
    https://areomagazine.com/2019/07/10/human-cultural-evolution-a-letter-exchange/

    For the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis see:
    https://extendedevolutionarysynthesis.com/

    Steven C. Hayes and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT):
    https://stevenchayes.com/category/acceptance-and-commitment-therapy/

    For Omar Tonsi Eldakar’s work on waterstriders see
    https://phys.org/news/2009-11-mom-nice-guys-girls.html

    Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking (2012).

    See also:
    https://www.quietrev.com/

    Battlestar Galactica:
    https://www.syfy.com/battlestargalactica

    For a critical view, see Jerry Coyne:
    https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2012/03/09/david-sloan-wilson-loses-it-again/

    See David Sloan Wilson on social constructivism:
    https://evolution-institute.org/saving-social-constructivism/

    Richard Dawkins: The Selfish Gene (1976)

  • 3:20 Roc’s name
    9:00 Childhood and adolescence
    28:28 College
    31:20 Race and social circles
    35:42 “Conservative” ideals which are actually commonsense ideals
    37:00 The black community
    38:50 Compassion and resilience
    43:05 Privilege
    48:30 Money, success, winning at the system
    53:30 Growing up in the analogue world; living in the digital one
    1:09:47 On speaking “for” your community
    1:17:25 Shared goals
    1:13:34 Science fiction

    Roc’s book, Inner Demons: Blazing a Path to Happiness (2018), can be found here:
    https://www.amazon.com/Inner-Demons-Blazing-Path-Happiness-ebook/dp/B07GDPB9ZL

    Follow Roc’s podcast and find out more about him here:
    https://www.rocsworld.com/

    Follow Roc on Twitter @TheRocsWorld

  • 1:27 Defining intersex—how common is it?; different types
    8:06 Intersex versus trans
    12:20 What does it mean to be assigned the “wrong” sex at birth?
    25:03 Is sex a spectrum?
    30:33 Hermaphrodites
    32:33 The condition MRKH and Claire’s own experiences being diagnosed
    38:20 CAIS (complete androgen insensitivity syndrome); past approaches to intersex people and more recent changes
    47:10 Claire’s Twitter ban; trans activists and intersex people
    1:07:40 Some misconceptions about intersex people

    You can find out more by following Claire here:
    https://mrkhvoice.com/

    Further References

    Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex (2002); Alice Dreger, Galileo's Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and One Scholar's Search for Justice (2015)

    Fact checking the statistics about the incidence of intersex:
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000222z

    You can follow intersex activist Emily Quinn on YouTube (highly recommended):
    https://www.youtube.com/user/Emilord

    And see intersex activist
    https://www.youtube.com/user/pidgejen

    Aphra Behn, “To the Fair Clorinda” (1688):
    https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/50479/to-the-fair-clorinda

    Natalia Wynn (“ContraPoints”) and her facial feminisation surgery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9mspMJTNEY

  • 2:42 Dayne and Clyde’s backgrounds and why they decided to found Letter
    10:50 What is Letter? How does the form nudge us towards more worthwhile forms of exchange.
    16:16 How to avoid trolls and call-out culture on a platform.
    27:00 How certain technologies facilitate and encourage certain types of use
    34:02 The advantage of having a discussion in written form
    37:20 Twitter
    42:02 Time well spent
    44:12 Addiction, unitasking and focus; longer term value
    51:19 Connection
    58:38 Long-term goals and target audience
    59:58 Role models
    1:03:20 Facebook
    1:08:50 Avoiding outrage culture

    References

    You can find Letter here:
    https://letter.wiki/conversations

    For an account of what we are trying to do:
    https://areomagazine.com/2019/07/12/lets-change-the-nature-of-public-debate-an-introduction-to-letter/

    On the letter exchange between Massimo Pigliucci and David Sloan Wilson:
    https://areomagazine.com/2019/07/10/human-cultural-evolution-a-letter-exchange/

    On the letter exchange between Gurwinder Bhogal and Iona Italia:
    https://areomagazine.com/2019/07/19/memory-and-identity-a-letter-exchange-with-gurwinder-bhogal/

    Further References

    Mike Nayna’s YouTube channel:
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzk08fzh5c_BhjQa1w35wtA

    Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein, Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness (2008)

    Sam Harris’ Making Sense podcast:
    https://samharris.org/podcast/

    Sam Harris’ and Ezra Klein’s conversation:
    https://samharris.org/podcasts/123-identity-honesty/

    Cal Newport, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World (2016)

  • 25:04 Can we derive moral values from reason?
    27:30 Veganism
    42:20 The nature of sentience
    53:20 AI
    59:50 Humans versus non-humans
    1:03:50 Cognitive dissonance in everyday life
    1:08:20 Are the lives of endangered animals worth more? Is there a value to things even when humans can’t experience them?
    1:17:20 Potential problems with sentientism
    1:30:02 Humanists and their responses to sentientism

    Jamie would love to hear your questions or feedback about Sentientism on Twitter at @jamiewoodhouse or @sentientism, via his website or on Medium.

    “Sentientism,” writes Jamie, “is a simple, potentially unifying moral philosophy that commits to using evidence, applying reason and granting moral consideration to all sentient beings. It can be seen as an extension of secular humanism. People from over 50 countries are working to build a global community around sentientism. Anyone interested is welcome to participate, whether or not the term sentientism fits personally.” You can find some sentientist groups here:


    • Facebook (public) https://www.facebook.com/Sentientism/
    • Facebook (private) https://www.facebook.com/groups/sentientism/
    • Twitter https://twitter.com/sentientism/lists/sentientists/members
    • Reddit https://www.reddit.com/r/Sentientism/
    • GoodReads https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/840236-sentientism
    • LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/groups/12263069/?fbclid=IwAR3aybCvf_mPkB72nufGvM9iyWpmpYZgdjqQwUNK5B2bclJxpxPGEXDmHK0
    • Instagram https://www.instagram.com/sentientism/

    Jamie’s writing on Sentientism has been published by Areo and by the Center For Inquiry’s Free Inquiry

    Further References

    Peter Singer: https://petersinger.info/

    Sam Harris, The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values (2010)

    My description of the Sanjay Gandhi national park: https://fireandvultures.wordpress.com/2017/10/25/india-diary-the-word-for-world-is-forest-trail-hiking-in-the-sanjay-gandhi-national-park/

    The petition to save Aarey forest: https://www.change.org/p/cm-devendra-fadnavis-jica-stop-the-cutting-of-3500-trees-in-aarey-forest

    Alan Weisman, The World Without Us (2007)

    Derren Brown, Happy: Why More or Less Everything Is Absolutely Fine (2016)

    Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” (1973)

  • 4:06 Melissa’s Methodist upbringing in Singapore
    8:49 Press censorship in Singapore; Singapore society in general
    14:30 Why Melissa decided to come and study in the US; her studies in genetics (transcriptomics)
    21:50 Her meeting with Faisal al Mutar
    24:10 Their secular humanists Facebook page
    27:55 On the right way to make tea
    35:00 Melissa’s early work with Faisal
    36:30 Ideas Beyond Borders
    49:45 Literacy in the MENA region
    51:55 Bringing a new Enlightenment to the Arab world
    1:06:30 The books that most influenced us

    Find out more about Ideas Beyond Borders here: https://www.ideasbeyondborders.org/;

    Follow Melissa on Twitter @MsMelChen

    Other References
    S. Frederick Starr, Lost EnlightenmentCentral Asia's Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane (2015)

    Steven Pinker, Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress (2018)

    Sam Harris, Lying (2011); The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values (2010)

    Deeyah Khan, documentary filmmaker: http://deeyah.com/

    Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion (2006)

    David Deutsch, The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations that Transform the World (2011)

    “Donald Trump” [Tony Schwartz] The Art of the Deal (1987)

    George Eliot, Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life (1871–2)

    Annika Harris, I Wonder (2013)

    Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene (1976)

    John Rawls, The Theory of Justice (1971)

    Derren Brown, Happy: Why More or Less Everything is Absolutely Fine (2016)

    My review of Happy for Areo: https://areomagazine.com/2019/01/21/in-praise-of-stoicism-derren-browns-happy-book-review

    Letter
    Find out more about our new partners, Letter:
    https://letter.wiki

    I’ve written about it here:
    https://areomagazine.com/2019/07/12/lets-change-the-nature-of-public-debate-an-introduction-to-letter/

    And I’ve written about one of our letter exchanges here:
    https://areomagazine.com/2019/07/10/human-cultural-evolution-a-letter-exchange/

  • 3:40 Chapo Trap House and the phenomenon of internet trolling
    8:34 Jordan Peterson
    38:01 Postmodernism versus analytic philosophy
    40:10 The difference between the new critical theorists and the classic postmodernists
    43:56 The implications of this for literary criticism
    50:19 Baudrillard—Oliver's favourite postmodernist
    51:33 Why postmodernism isn't neo-Marxist
    55:35 Complicity and trolling
    1:07:30 Free speech, social media and content moderation
    1:27:52 Should Oliver celebrate things more and write fewer snarky takedowns?

    Oliver’s column for Arc Digital can be found here:
    https://arcdigital.media/@olivertraldi.

    Oliver’s articles for Areo can be found here:
    https://areomagazine.com/author/ideologjammin/

    You can follow Oliver on Twitter @olivertraldi

    Victor’s podcast can be found here:
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8gR852kIfIaSLTY5FFMBUg

    You can follow Victor on Twitter @cognitivicta

    Further References

    Oliver’s article on Chapo Trap House and Jordan Peterson:
    https://americanaffairsjournal.org/2018/10/clean-rooms-and-dirtbags/

    Oliver on complicity:
    https://arcdigital.media/one-of-the-most-prominent-norms-on-social-media-is-complicity-c24bd117101c

    Democratic Socialists of America:
    https://www.dsausa.org/

    “The Intentional Fallacy” from The Verbal Icon: Studies in the Meaning of Poetry. W. K. Wimsatt, Jr., and Monroe C. Beardsley (1954):
    http://faculty.smu.edu/nschwart/seminar/Fallacy.htm

    Jordan Peterson, Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief (1999) and 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos (2018)

    Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay’s interview with Jordan Peterson:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWhuQOVTFGw

    Cathy Young’s piece on Candace Owens for Quillette:
    https://quillette.com/2018/05/08/problem-candace-owens/

    Jordan Peterson’s interview with Cathy Newman:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMcjxSThD54

    Jordan Peterson discusses his concept of truth on Sam Harris’ podcast Making Sense: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OqrZs9srHs

    Jean Baudrillard, The Iraq War Did Not Take Place (1995):
    http://halliejones.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Baudrillard-The-Gulf-War-did-not-Take-Place.pdf

    “Postmodernism isn’t playing around anymore” article by Oliver Traldi:
    https://areomagazine.com/2018/01/08/postmodernism-isnt-playing-around-anymore/

    John Milon, Paradise Lost (1667); Alexander Pope, To a Lady. Of the Characters of Women (1743).

    Gurwinder Bhogal on deradicalising Neo-Nazis on Twitter:
    https://areomagazine.com/2017/10/28/how-not-to-de-radicalize-a-twitter-neo-nazi/

    Also mentioned: Kate Manne; Luce Iragaray; Robin Di Angelo; Sarah Haider; Shoe 0n Head; James Damore; Stefan Molyneux; Robby Soave

  • 24:11 Should we continue to criticise Islam in the age of Trump or is white nationalism and, in India, Hindutva now a greater threat? 31:13 The close-knit Ahmadi community & the pressures it brings. Sexual segregation. Rules about marriage. Double standards for Ahmadi women.36:31 Homosexuality in Ahmaddiyat38:24 Proselytisation39:48 Raising children within a religion41:42 Ahmadis in the Western media: contradictions and hypocrises49:12 Should we respect religion?51:07 Our overemphasis on terrorism53:30 Why Ahmadi teachings are non-violent56:01 Mediated readings of the Quran1:02:19 Sohail’s experiences of leaving the faith: why he became an activist1:11:04 Philosophy communities, which might replace religious ones1:24:17 Adultery versus polyamorySohail’s video “Why I am leaving Islam and Ahmadiyyat” can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-jPHr0LrYYPlease check the extensive shownotes to that video for links to his written and video work. His interview with the Secular Jihadists can be found here:https://secularjihadists.libsyn.com/ep101-leaving-ahmadiyya-islam-with-reason-on-faithFor more on the Ex-Muslims of North America: https://exmuslims.org/For more on Muslimish, see: https://www.muslimish.org/You can follow Sohail on Twitter @ReasonOnFaithOther referencesEiynah “Nice Mangos” on criticising Islam in the age of Trump:https://soundcloud.com/politeconversations/the-complexity-of-critiquing-islam-under-trumpDouglas Murray, “Here we go again, but this time, je suis Berlin”:https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/12/go-time-je-suis-berlin/Sohail’s response to this article:https://reasononfaith.org/commenting-on-douglas-murrays-article-post/See also Qasim Rashid (@QuasimRashid, formerly @MuslimIQ); Alishba Zarmeen (@SecularlyYours) Ali Amjad Rizvi, The Atheist Muslim: A Journey from Religion to Reason (2016)Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (2014)The episode of this podcast in which we discuss the theory that early humans were polyamorous is Episode 14 with Cody Moser and William Buckner: https://soundcloud.com/user-761174326/14-william-buckner-and-cody-moser

  • 5:20 How to begin a story with a moment of unexpected change5:58 Evolutionary psychology and storytelling11:46 Status16:38 Anti-heroes24:31 Three routes into story: milieu, what if and argument28:05 The problem with recipes for storytelling30:01 The broken protagonist38:37 Loss of control50:20 What psychology teaches us about stories and vice versa53:23 Plot-driven versus character-driven novels57:08 The novel and the advent of human rights1:00:18 The idea of the ‘trashy’ novel1:01:48 TV series & soap operas1:08:04 The story event1:14:56 Fantasy1:16:32 Avoiding cliché & other pitfallsWill Storr’s book, The Science of Storytelling is available in the UK here (and is forthcoming in the US):https://www.amazon.co.uk/Science-Storytelling-Will-Storr/dp/0008276943. You can find Will’s The Heretics: Adventures with the Enemies of Science (2014) here: https://www.panmacmillan.com/authors/will-storr/the-heretics/9780330535861Complete details of all Will’s work can be found here:http://willstorr.com/ You can follow Will on Twitter @wstorrLiterary works mentioned:Shakespeare, King Lear and Julius Caesar; T. E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom (1926); Jane Austen, Emma (1815); J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997);Patrick Süskind, Perfume (1985); Hogg, The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1824); Nabokov, Lolita (1955); Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness (1969); Henry Fielding, Tom Jones (1749); Samuel Richardson, Pamela (1740) and Clarissa (1748); Ben Jonson, The Alchemist (ca. 1610); J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings (1954–55). TV, radio, film: Game of Thrones; Lost; Twin Peaks; Breaking Bad; The Sopranos; The Archers; Babylon 5; Star Wars; Star Trek Discovery; Six Feet Under.Other references: Amy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bY9HuVYWn_Y;Tony Tanner, Jane Austen (1986). The critic of Tanner’s I refer to around the 39 minute mark was John Mullan; Roy Baumeister http://www.roybaumeister.com/; James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson (1791); Lynn Hunt, Inventing Human Rights (2007);Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, “The Reasons that Induced Dr. S. to Write a Poem Call’d the Lady’s Dressing Room” (1734). In the podcast, I misattribute lines from this to “Verses Address’d to the Imitator of Horace” (1733).

  • 2:46 Jay’s film Islam and the Future of Tolerance
    7:03 Why Jay became a documentary filmmaker
    10:05 Why Jay chose to film Sam Harris & Maajid’s Nawaz’s book, Islam and the Future of Tolerance
    19:01 Three different mindsets: political, philosophical, psychological
    28:00 How responsible is a writer for the way in which he or she is interpreted?
    38:24 Different types of Muslims
    45:19 Reform versus apostasy
    49:16 The problem with Islam
    54:19 Who is Maajid Nawaz most skilled at reaching?
    56:53 What Jay means by religion and religious ideas and why he is against them.
    1:02:23 Jordan Peterson’s definition of religion
    1:07:00 Finding meaning without religion
    1:11:44 Finding ethics without religion
    1:25:22 Creating new gods
    1:33:44 Philosophy and modern life

    You can find out more about the documentary film Islam and the Future of Tolerance here:
    http://www.islamandthefutureoftolerance.com/

    It is based on Sam Harris & Maajid Nawaz’s book of the same name, published in 2015.

    For Jay’s film Opposite Field see:
    http://www.opposite-field.com/

    and for his film All Rise see:
    http://www.docnyc.net/film/all-rise/

    You can follow Jay on Twitter @jay_shapiro

    Other references:

    Mike Nayna, documentary filmmaker: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzk08fzh5c_BhjQa1w35wtA

    Sam Harris, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason
    (2004) and The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values (2010)

    Maajid Nawaz, Radical: My Journey out of Islamist Extremism (2012)

    The Quilliam Foundation:
    https://www.quilliaminternational.com/

    The Intelligence Squared debate on the topic Is Islam a Religion of Peace?, featuring Maajid Nawaz, Zeba Khan, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Douglas Murray:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUGmv5TGaTc

    Ali Rizvi’s The Atheist Muslim: A Journey from Religion to Reason (2016)
    David Deutsch, The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations that Transform the World (2011)

    Sean Carroll’s Moving Naturalism Forward conference:
    https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/naturalism2012/

    Richard Dawkins, The Ancestor’s Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Life (2004)

    Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space (1994)

    Laurence Krauss, A Universe from Nothing (2012)

    Oliver Morton, Eating the Sun: How Plants Power the Planet (2007)

    Matt Ridley, The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves (2010

    Noah Yuval Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (2011)

    and Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (2016)

    Other people mentioned: Coleman Hughes, Jordan B. Peterson, Haras Rafiq

  • Timestamps:

    3:45 Armin’s upbringing in Iran
    9:05 Armin’s fear of hell and how it drove him to attempt suicide
    18:29 How seriously do people generally take religion?
    21:32 Sex and religion
    23:33 The true costs of religion
    25:42 Armin loses his faith
    28:27 Opposition to theocracy in Iran
    32:03 Iranian ethnonationalists; Zoroastrianism
    52:33 The MEK
    56:12 The monarchists
    01:02:03 Secular democrats
    01:02:49 Ethnic minority groups in Iran
    01:04:03 People with economic grievances
    01:04:50 Conflicts between the various groups
    01:07:01 Opposition to foreign intervention
    1:11:57 Paranoia and conspiracy theories
    1:23:08 Grass roots opposition to Islamic extremism and theocracy
    1:37:44 How can we support atheists and secularists within Iran

    Armin Navabi is the founder of http://www.atheistrepublic.com/ and the co-host of the podcast “Secular Jihadists” (with Ali Rizvi, see episode 8 of this podcast). You can find them here:
    https://secularjihadists.libsyn.com/
    and here:
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmR6dMMdVE9lhsRAOn56K3A.

    Armin is the author of Why There Is No God: Simple Responses to 20 Common Arguments for the Existence of God (2014).

    Follow Armin on Twitter @ArminNavabi or on Facebook: Armin.Navabi.

    To learn more about the secularist campaign in Iran, follow the social media hashtags #MyStealthyFreedom #WhiteWednesdays and #MyCameraIsMyWeapon and read Masih Alinejad’s book The Wind in my Hair: My Fight for Freedom in Modern Iran (2018).

  • 4:18 The Evergreen system of education & why it appealed to Benjamin10:45 Benjamin’s introduction to intersectionality and the supposed ubiquity of white male privilege14:35 The confrontation between Nicholas Christakis and the Yale students17:26 Social justice v. mob justice19:56 Student fragility and the empowering of the administration. 22:09 The Evergreen protests35:12 The sloganising of thought39:07 Naima Lowe and her line of argument45:37 The library meeting46:55 What is the nature of power?48:46 Student resistance to Social Justice ideology1:12:20 Bret’s actions following the showdown1:13:68 Is there anything the activists said that Benjamin agreed with?1:18:40 Economic issues1:24:48 Why didn’t the professors resist?1:30:00 Benjamin’s religious upbringing; is Social Justice a cult?1:43:00 ‘White’ knowledges1:49:50 Equality versus equity1:52:42 More on student opposition to the Social Justice agenda1:57:00 What can we do to stem this tide?Benjamin’s YouTube channel, The Boyce of Reason can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm13xHVNFVwzHzK3QHSaZ3QYou can watch his complete playlist of videos on Evergreen (#ExposéEvergreen) here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLRdayXEOwuMG1jaAtJE0KbpyY_Kh-JTUlFollow Benjamin on Twitter: @BenjaminABoyceOther references:Jerry Coyne discusses Benjamin and Evergreen:https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2017/06/20/more-on-the-evergreen-state-situation/Mike Nayna’s video documentation of the Evergreen protests & the issues raised: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLLHyNSlsz44_GceBMuwAyflt3lDWMEjTGSam Harris interviews Nicholas Christakis about the events at Yale:https://samharris.org/podcasts/facing-the-crowd/Bret Weinstein appears on Tucker Carlson’s show:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kv8EZOQVjgkBenjamin’s interview with Mike Nayna: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfSAEfZgZ2s

  • 2:24 How Matt became interested in the history of conservative thought4:00 What characterises a classic conservative tradition4:27 Facts do care about your feelings: the conservative tradition and the role of emotion8:46 How living in postmodernity affects conservative thought17:35 Changes in conservative thought resulting from greater globalisation and economic insecurity17:40 Conservative identity politics24:40 Conservative thought and the question of meaning27:04 The right’s posturing versus the left’s sincerity32:32 The right’s pessimism, the left’s optimism36:24 Trump38:18 Conservative family values and the decline in the welfare state40:51 The far right & left-wing economic politics46:56 Neoliberalism49:31 Defeating the rightMatt McManus is the author of Immorality and the Immortal Conservative (2016) and of the forthcoming books Making Human Dignity Central to International Human Rights Law; Essays on our Hugely Tremendous Times and The Rise and Emergence of the Post-Modern Conservatism: Neoliberalism, Post-Modern Culture, and Right-Wing Populism.His many essays for Areo can be found here:https://areomagazine.com/author/mattmcmanus303/You can also follow Matt on Twitter: @MattPolProfOther references:Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757) and Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790)Stephen Harper, Right Here, Right Now: Politics and Leadership in the Age of Disruption (2018)Ben Shapiro, How to Debate Leftists and Destroy Them: 11 Rules for Winning the Argument (2014)Ben Burgis, Give them an Argument: Logic for the Left (forthcoming, 31 May, 2019)

  • 4:54 Universals that we express between ourselves6:06 The social suite10:06 Fiction, empathy & social learning14:20 Qualities we share with other animals16:24: Groups, in-group bias, co-operation (at 23:28 Helen interjects to talk about intersectionality)31:37 Would aliens visiting us be friendly?37:15 AI 40:01 Why isn’t Earth a dystopia?43:09 The decline in poverty worldwide44:55 Steven Pinker’s approach v. Nicholas’ approach45:58 Are people really happier? What about meaning?50:30 Social media, the digital world, bureaucracy53:05 The main lessons of the book BlueprintYou can find Nicholas’ book Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society here: https://www.amazon.com/Blueprint-Evolutionary-Origins-Good-Society/dp/0316230030 His book Connected: The Surprising Power of our Social Networks and how they Shape our Lives can be found here:http://www.connectedthebook.com/Find out more about Nicholas’ work with the Yale University Human Nature Lab here: https://yins.yale.edu/our-labs/human-nature-lab. You can follow Nicholas on Twitter @NAChristakis.Other sources mentioned in the podcast: Jonathan Haidt’s The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion: https://www.amazon.com/Righteous-Mind-Divided-Politics-Religion/dp/0307455777; Pietraszewski et al (2015) “Constituents of Political Cognition: Race, Party, Politics, and the Alliance Detection System,” Cognition 140, pp. 24–39: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0010027715000578Jonathan Gottschall (his work in general): http://jonathangottschall.com/The article by John Staddon Helen critiqued:https://quillette.com/2019/04/11/is-secular-humanism-a-religion/