Sean Carroll's Mindscape
By Sean Carroll
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Sean Carroll hosts conversations with the world's most interesting thinkers. Science, society, philosophy, culture, arts, and ideas.
||CleanEpisode 26: Ge Wang on Artful Design, Computers, and Music||Everywhere around us are things that serve functions. We live in houses, sit on chairs, drive in cars. But these things don't only serve functions, they also come in particular forms, which may be emotionally or aesthetically pleasing as well as...||12/10/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 25: David Chalmers on Consciousness, the Hard Problem, and Living in a Simulation||The "Easy Problems" of consciousness have to do with how the brain takes in information, thinks about it, and turns it into action. The "Hard Problem," on the other hand, is the task of explaining our individual, subjective, first-person experiences...||12/3/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 24: Kip Thorne on Gravitational Waves, Time Travel, and Interstellar||I remember vividly hosting a colloquium speaker, about fifteen years ago, who talked about the LIGO gravitational-wave observatory, which had just started taking data. Comparing where they were to where they needed to get to in terms of sensitivity,...||11/26/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 23: Lisa Aziz-Zadeh on Embodied Cognition, Mirror Neurons, and Empathy||Brains are important things; they're where thinking happens. Or are they? The theory of "embodied cognition" posits that it's better to think of thinking as something that takes place in the body as a whole, not just in the cells of the brain. In some..||11/19/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 22: Joe Walston on Conservation, Urbanization, and the Way We Live on Earth||There's no question that human activity is causing enormous changes on our planet's environment, from deforestation to mass extinction to climate change. But perhaps there is a tiny cause for optimism -- or at least, the prospect of a new equilibrium,..||11/12/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 21: Alex Rosenberg on Naturalism, History, and Theory of Mind||We humans love to tell ourselves stories about why things happened the way they did; if the stories are sufficiently serious, we label this activity "history." Part of getting history right is simply an accurate recounting of the facts, but part of it..||11/5/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 20: Scott Derrickson on Cinema, Blockbusters, Horror, and Mystery||Special Halloween edition? Scott Derrickson is a film-lover first and a director second, but he's been quite successful at the latter -- you may know him as the director and co-writer of Marvel's Doctor Strange. (When I was younger, Doctor Strange was..||10/29/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 19: Tyler Cowen on Maximizing Growth and Thinking for the Future||Economics, like other sciences (social and otherwise), is about what the world does; but it's natural for economists to occasionally wander out into the question of what we should do as we live in the world. A very good example of this is a new book...||10/22/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 18: Clifford Johnson on What's So Great About Superstring Theory||String theory is a speculative and highly technical proposal for uniting the known forces of nature, including gravity, under a single quantum-mechanical framework. This doesn't seem like a recipe for creating a lightning rod of controversy, but...||10/15/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 17: Annalee Newitz on Science, Fiction, Economics, and Neurosis||The job of science fiction isn't to predict the future; it's to tell interesting stories in an imaginative setting, exploring the implications of different ways the world could be different from our actual one. Annalee Newitz has carved out a unique...||10/8/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 16: Coleen Murphy on Aging, Biology, and the Future||Aging -- everybody does it, very few people actually do something about it. Coleen Murphy is an exception. In her laboratory at Princeton, she and her team study aging in the famous C. Elegans roundworm, with an eye to extending its lifespan as well...||10/1/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 15: David Poeppel on Thought, Language, and How to Understand the Brain||Language comes naturally to us, but is also deeply mysterious. On the one hand, it manifests as a collection of sounds or marks on paper. On the other hand, it also conveys meaning – words and sentences refer to states of affairs in the outside...||9/7/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 14: Alta Charo on Bioethics and the Law||To paraphrase Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park, scientists tend to focus on whether they can do something, not whether they should. Questions of what we should do tend to wander away from the pristine beauty of science into the messy worlds of ethics and...||9/7/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 13: Neha Narula on Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, and the Future of the Internet||For something of such obvious importance, money is kind of mysterious. It can, as Homer Simpson once memorably noted, be exchanged for goods and services. But who decides exactly how many goods/services a given unit of money can buy? And what...||9/7/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 12: Wynton Marsalis on Jazz, Time, and America||Jazz occupies a special place in the American cultural landscape. It's played in elegant concert halls and run-down bars, and can feature esoteric harmonic experimentation or good old-fashioned foot-stomping swing. Nobody embodies the scope of modern...||9/4/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 11: Mike Brown on Killing Pluto and Replacing It with Planet 9||Few events in recent astronomical history have had the worldwide emotional resonance as the 2006 announcement that Pluto was no longer considered a planet, at least as far as the International Astronomical Union was concerned. The decision was a long...||8/27/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 10: Megan Rosenbloom on the Death Positive Movement||We're all going to die. But while we are alive, it's up to us how we understand and deal with that fact. In the United States especially, there is a tendency to not face up to the reality of death, and to assume that our goal should be to struggle at...||8/20/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 9: Solo -- Why Is There Something Rather than Nothing?||It's fun to be in the exciting, chaotic, youthful days of the podcast, when anything goes and experimentation is the order of the day. So today's show is something different: a solo effort, featuring just me talking without any guests to cramp my...||8/13/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 8: Carl Zimmer on Heredity, DNA, and Editing Genes||Our understanding of heredity and genetics is improving at blinding speed. It was only in the year 2000 that scientists obtained the first rough map of the human genome: 3 billion base pairs of DNA with about 20,000 functional genes. Today, you can...||8/6/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 7: Yascha Mounk on Threats to Liberal Democracy||Both words in the phrase "liberal democracy" carry meaning, and both concepts are under attack around the world. "Democracy" means that they people rule, while "liberal" (in this sense) means that the rights of individuals are protected, even if...||7/30/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 6: Liv Boeree on Poker, Aliens, and Thinking in Probabilities||Poker, like life, is a game of incomplete information. To do well in such a game, we have to think in terms of probabilities, unpredictable strategies, and Bayesian inference. These are ideas that play a central role in physics and rationality as well..||7/23/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 5: Geoffrey West on Networks, Scaling, and the Pace of Life||If you scale up an animal to twice its height, keeping everything else proportionate, its volume and weight become eight times as much. Such a scaling relation was used by J.B.S. Haldane in his famous essay, "On Being the Right Size," to help explain...||7/16/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 4: Anthony Pinn on Humanism, Theology, and the Black Community||According to atheism, God does not exist. But religions have traditionally done much more than simply proclaim God's existence: they have provided communities, promoted the arts, handed down moral guidance, and so on. Can atheism, or perhaps humanism,..||7/12/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 3: Alice Dreger on Sexuality, Truth, and Justice||The human mind loves nothing more than to build mental boxes -- categories -- and put things into them, then refuse to accept it when something doesn't fit. Nowhere is this more clear than in the idea that there are men, and there are women, and...||7/11/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 2: Carlo Rovelli on Quantum Mechanics, Spacetime, and Reality||Quantum mechanics and general relativity are the two great triumphs of twentieth-century theoretical physics. Unfortunately, they don't play well together -- despite years of effort, we currently lack a completely successful quantum theory of gravity,..||7/10/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 1: Carol Tavris on Mistakes, Justification, and Cognitive Dissonance||For the first full episode of Mindscape, it's an honor to welcome social psychologist Carol Tavris. Her book with co-author Eliot Aronson, Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me), explores the effect that cognitive dissonance has on how we think. We talk...||7/4/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWelcome to the Mindscape Podcast!||I've decided to officially take the plunge into the world of podcasting. The new show will be called Mindscape, and will mostly consist of me talking to smart people about interesting ideas. (Occasionally it will be me talking by myself about ideas of..||7/1/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
More, more, more
I don't remember how I stumbled upon Mindscape but glad that I did. Sean's ability to make each podcast understandable from some highly intellectual guest speakers is well appreciated. My only negative remark is the fact that 1 hour is much to short. Perhaps 2-3 hours for each guest and/or follow-up "deep dive" discussions into intriguing conversations. Bravo and looking forward to more, more, more discussions. Thank you.
Enjoyable and varied
I discovered Dr. Sean Carroll lectures on YouTube. Many free ones are available. Can't play YouTube when I'm traveling in my car, so I had long wished there were Sean Carroll podcasts. Found him as a guest on a few, but most of them focus on his specific work. This podcast is great because it allows Dr. Carroll to talk to anyone about everything, the topics are interesting and thoughtful. I listen to every one more than once :).
This is my new favorite podcast
Keep them coming Sean. This show is the cure for living in a dumbed down world.