The Wright Show
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Conversations with a series of people who have nothing in common except that program host Robert Wright is curious about what they’re thinking.
||CleanRobert Wright & Omar Baddar||Omar critiques Wajahat Ali's controversial article on West Bank settlers ... How the Israel/Palestine conflict is covered in the media ... The Israel Anti-Boycott Act ... Bob offers a defense of Ali's article ... Has the Mideast conversation shifted in America? ... Omar sees the Boycott Israel movement growing in power ... Israeli fears of Palestinian violence and their political consequences ...||6/18/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanRobert Wright & Jim Holt||Jim's new book of essays, When Einstein Walked with Gödel ... The Platonists who believe mathematics is transcendent ... Against viewing math as transcendent ... The implications of Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem ... What's so special about light? Einstein can explain ... Tachyons, the hypothetical particles that travel faster than light ... How Jim became a "rigorous dilettante" (with cameos by B.F. Skinner and Bette Midler) ...||6/15/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanRobert Wright & Adam Frank||Adam's new book, Light of the Stars: Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth ... Adam: Climate change is a civilizational inevitability ... How many planets are in our galaxy? Guess again. It’s more than that. ... How pessimists about the existence of extraterrestrial life became optimists ... Why haven't we heard from any aliens? ... Does fighting climate change require spiritual change? ... Why the Gaia hypothesis isn't new-age hooey ... The theoretical archaeology of exo-civilizations ...||6/11/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanRobert Wright & Wajahat Ali||How Wajahat got disinvited from a major Muslim conference ... The Israel-Palestine conflict: Jews vs. Muslims or Jews vs. Arabs? ... Why publishing in The Atlantic fueled the controversy ... Wajahat’s essay takes criticism from left and right ... Worst-case scenarios ... Can the international community change the equation? ... The case against Wajahat, and his response ...||6/8/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanRobert Wright & Brian Greene||Why a particle isn't what you think it is ... Reasons to doubt the many worlds interpretation ... The theory Einstein developed that he didn't believe ... Would going back in time violate the laws of physics? ... Black holes and the natural selection of universes ... What are the strings in string theory made of? ... Audience Q and A ...||6/4/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanRobert Wright & Shireen Al-Adeimi||Yemen-born Shireen on the civil war in her homeland ... Why is the US helping Saudi Arabia bomb Yemen? ... Shireen: The Saudis work with Al Qaeda in Yemen ... A brief history of the conflict in Yemen ... How the war turned Shireen into an activist ... What's the Saudi endgame? What's the Houthi endgame? ... Is the US in effect helping Al Qaeda and ISIS in Yemen? ...||6/1/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanRobert Wright & Nikita Petrov||“The harshness of Russian law is softened by its optionality” ... Nikita’s briefly successful escape from a paddy wagon at a political rally ... It’s not always Putin who kills Russian journalists (Meet Chechnya’s leader) ... A look inside Russia’s supposedly fearsome troll factory ... Support for Putin and Russia's intimate relationship with suffering ... “Monstration”: a mock rally investigating the absurd ...||5/29/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanRobert Wright & Massimo Pigliucci||What is the Logos? ... The practicality of metaphysics ... Philo of Alexandria's vision of global harmony ... Plotinus and the connection between human and divine ... The Logos and Christianity ... The Logos as an algorithm ... Why do the laws of physics infallibly work? ... Carl Jung and the Logos (and Jordan Peterson's Jungianism) ...||5/25/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanRobert Wright & Michael Brooks||Do you have to be tribal to have a big following? ... Identity politics and its discontents ... What made Trump's xenophobia an electoral winner? ... Michael responds to Mark Lilla's critique of the left ... The Intellectual Dark Web as a branding exercise ... How delicately should the left approach the subject of race? ...||5/21/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanRobert Wright & Bret Weinstein||The Intellectual Dark Web and the MSM ... How does one join the IDW? ... Bret: Critics on left and right want the IDW to go away ... Is the IDW right wing? ... Why is socialism resurgent? ... Why Bret considers himself to be on the left ... Bret blows Bob’s mind with some grand evolutionary theorizing ...||5/18/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanRobert Wright & Rania Khalek||The quest to reboot the Syrian civil war ... Why toppling Assad would be a catastrophe ... How the Syrian civil war got started ... Some dubious groups the US has armed in Syria ... Assad and chemical weapons ... The reliance of western journalists on rebel PR ...||5/14/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanRobert Wright & Tamler Sommers||Tamler's new book, Why Honor Matters ... Why human dignity is not enough ... Collective honor vs. individual honor ... The difference between honor and courage ... In defense of fighting in sports ... Tamler explains the idea of restorative justice ... Fighting Ted Cruz by calling him dishonorable ...||5/11/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanRobert Wright & Musa al-Gharbi||Is the anti-Trump sentiment of scholars biasing their research? ... Busting demographic myths about the 2016 election ... Status threat vs. economic anxiety as sources of Trump's support ... Do liberals have a deep need to see Trump voters as creepy? ... The many strategic mistakes Clinton made ... "Negative intersectionality" as a problem for Democrats ... Musa gives Trump good odds for 2020 ... Musa: A return-to-normalcy campaign by Dems won't cut it ...||5/7/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanRobert Wright & Steven Pinker||Steve's new book, Enlightenment Now, and Bob's critique ... Cognitive biases that undergird tribalism ... Bob wants to crowdfund a meditation retreat for Steve, who is uncooperative ... How Al Gore’s climate change activism may have hurt his own cause ... Is it crazy to suspect that there’s a larger purpose unfolding through the workings of nature? ... Has our growing grasp of computation and cognition made consciousness less mysterious or more so? ...||5/4/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanRobert Wright & Damon Linker||Damon wonders whether international law is hopeless ... Bob: America would be better off if it respected the UN Security Council ... How legitimate is international law? ... Damon: There's no real judicial system in international law ... United Nations 1.0 vs. United Nations 2.0 ... Why do chemical weapons outrage us in a way that bombs do not? ...||4/30/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanRobert Wright & Chris Stedman||Chris’s experience as a humanist chaplain at Harvard and Yale ... Secular community with a moral tone ... Atheism, anti-theism, and humanism ... What Richard Spencer doesn’t like about the Abrahamic faiths ... Atheism and tribalism ... Atheistic fervor as a response to religious trauma ... An inspirational atheism ... Does some New Atheist rhetoric encourage bigotry? ...||4/27/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanRobert Wright & Jonah Goldberg||Jonah's new book, Suicide of the West ... Children of the affluent who hate affluence ... Jonah criticizes the Howard-Zinnified view of history ... The problem with Alinskyite conservatives ... Capitalism and its (white conservative) discontents ... The trouble with being a measured conservative critic of Trump (i.e., being Jonah) ... Jonah’s plan for Western Suicide prevention ...||4/24/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanRobert Wright & Jon Kabat-Zinn||Was the Buddha a Buddhist? ... What the Buddha meant by “suffering” ... Mindfulness as awareness ... "Secular" mindfulness as sacred ... The trap of goal-oriented meditation ... The heart of the Buddha’s message ... When Jon discovered his purpose ... Mindfulness training in schools ...||4/20/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanRobert Wright & Massimo Pigliucci||Massimo’s new edited volume, Science Unlimited?: The Challenges of Scientism ... What is scientism? ... Science and the challenge of studying subjective experience ... And about those pesky fundamental questions of existence… ... How philosophical thought underpins all research methodology ... Massimo: Core concepts across science have competing interpretations ... The importance of distinguishing “is" from "ought ... What neuroscience can never explain about human consciousness ...||3/23/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanRobert Wright & Molly Crockett||Molly’s research on social media and moral outrage ... The personal benefits of sanctimony ... Why do certain posts go viral? ... Even without complex algorithms, social media discourages mindful reflection ... Online outrage and the signal-to-noise problem ...||3/16/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
I have enjoyed listening to the conversations of Mr. Wright and his guests. Extended discussions on a single topic is a sorely needed format in the world of media. It cannot be found on cable television because the average viewer doesn't appreciate the valuable role of such discussions. I hope that the series, or a show like it, always continues.
My favorite podcast
My favorite podcast. Have listened to every episode for the last 6 months. Great mix of guests discussing everything from moral philosophy to Buddhism to "Trumpism" (is it just Authoritarianism? or Marxist unrest? or bigotry? or not easily categorized?). Really appreciate Bob's perspective and willingness to engage a diverse range of guests, and how good a job he does representing other peoples' positions. Easy way to learn a lot while going for a jog or doing chores around the house.
Turn off the news
And tune in to blogging heads. Highly recommended.