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.
||CleanThe Curse of Bigness (Robert Wright & Tim Wu)||Tim's new book, The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age ... Tim: We're approaching a Standard Oil–like consolidation in tech ... Some subtle negative effects of monopoly ... Type in "batteries" on Amazon, and the first result is batteries made by Amazon ... Tim critiques Robert Bork's famous critique of antitrust law ... Why Bob is worried about monopoly in artificial intelligence ... Mark Zuckerberg as the "bad king" of tech ... How Google and Amazon might be broken up ...||11/12/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanRobert Wright, Sarah Posner, & Mark Schmitt||Sarah and Mark on election surprises ... How the GOP increased its Senate margin ... White evangelicals' transactional relationship with Trump ... How Kavanaugh and the caravan affected the election ... Should Dems run progressive rockstars or boring moderates? ... Why governors matter ... What should the Dem House do? Hold hearings! ... With Sessions forced out, could Mueller's report be shelved? ...||11/8/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanA New Far-Right President in Brazil (Robert Wright & Hugo Godinho)||Hugo reports from Brazil on the election Jair Bolsonaro, who has drawn comparisons to Trump ... The Brazilian right's campaign to discredit the left as corrupt ... Why did the Workers' Party nominate Lula, the jailed ex-president? ... Is Bolsonaro a fascist? ... What Hugo fears from Bolsonaro's rule ... Why an improving economy didn't help the incumbent leftist party ... Hugo: Bolsonaro is worse than Trump ...||11/5/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Neuroscience of Memory (Robert Wright & Eric Kandel)||The research on memory that won Eric the Nobel Prize ... The difference between normal memory loss and Alzheimer's ... Eric's new book, The Disordered Mind ... Eric's breakthrough study of marine snails with giant nerve cells ... What it's like to win the Nobel Prize ... Eric's childhood escape from Nazi-ruled Vienna to America ... Why Vienna was a center of intellectual ferment in the early 20th century ...||11/2/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Jungle Grows Back (Robert Wright & Robert Kagan)||Why Bob K. calls himself a "liberal realist," not a neoconservative ... Bob K.'s new book on foreign policy, The Jungle Grows Back ... Did America's interventions in the Middle East lead to Trump? ... Could the US have effectuated a better outcome in Syria? ... Bob K.: "There is no such thing as justice in the international system" ... What should US strategy be toward China? ...||10/29/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Science Advice Goddess (Robert Wright & Amy Alkon)||Amy's self-help book, Unf*ckology ... Amy’s path from “the cooties girl” to advice columnist ... Impersonating your way to the real you ... How to overcome fear and anxiety ... Why shame is neither good nor bad ... Amy: Be authentic to your values, not to your self ... The wrong way to get people to change ...||10/26/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Nationalist Revival (Robert Wright & John B. Judis)||Why didn't the Emerging Democratic Majority ever emerge? ... John's new book, The Nationalist Revival ... America's history of ethnonationalism and assimilation ... The coalition of the "left behind" ... The global tension between the "somewheres" and the "anywheres" ... Europe's refugee crisis as a hinge point ... Toward a liberal nationalism ... Is John optimistic or pessimistic? ...||10/22/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Opposite of Hate (Robert Wright & Sally Kohn)||Sally's new book, The Opposite of Hate ... Why (gay, lefty) Sally took a gig at Fox News ... A test case of tamping down hate: Ben Shapiro's very bad tweet ... What do liberals get wrong about Trump supporters? ... Sally: Hate is never the answer to hate ... The desire for a loathsome enemy ... Is it crazy to be talking about a second American civil war? ... Sally reveals what the opposite of hate actually is ...||10/19/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Hell of Good Intentions (Robert Wright & Stephen Walt)||Steve's new book, The Hell of Good Intentions ... Steve: "Liberal hegemony" has been almost a complete failure ... Why foreign policy watchers were so optimistic in 1993 ... Bill Clinton's foreign policy blunders: Expansion of NATO and "dual containment" of Iran and Iraq ... Steve: Within the foreign policy establishment, failure has no consequences and dissent is punished ... How both Obama and Trump were captured by the foreign policy "blob" ... Why are so many think tanks interventionist? ... Steve's proposal for a smarter foreign policy: "offshore balancing" ...||10/15/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Unconscious Reasons We Do What We Do (Robert Wright & John Bargh)||John's book on unconscious motivations, Before You Know It ... Why thinking about the flu makes you more opposed to immigration ... Are ethnic and gender stereotypes self-fulfilling prophecies? ... The Protestant work ethic as a core part of American psychology ... Don’t resist temptations. Avoid them! ... How to use an "implementation intention" to get things done ... How have John’s famous lever-pulling experiments held up over time? ... Is the "replication crisis" really a crisis? ...||10/12/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanToward a New US Foreign Policy (Robert Wright & Peter Beinart)||Why are Democrats attacking Trump’s foreign policy from the right? ... How many voters really care about foreign policy? ... What’s behind the recurring impulse to expand NATO? ... Is the new Cold War driven more by Russia or the US? ... The case for letting China have Taiwan ... Bob’s pitch for a progressive realist foreign policy ...||10/8/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEnlightened Enough for Now (Robert Wright & Lama Surya Das)||Is Buddhism a philosophy or a religion? ... Surya Das: "I'm enlightened enough for now" ... Attachment, aversion, and "original goodness" ... Is an enlightened person by definition a moral person? ... Not-self and Emerson's "transparent eyeball" ... The Dzogchen approach to enlightenment ... Surya Das: Trump has the spark of Buddha nature (and so do you) ...||10/5/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Gutfeld Diavlog (Robert Wright & Greg Gutfeld)||Greg's new book, The Gutfeld Monologues ... How going to Berkeley pushed Greg toward conservatism ... Trumpism creates strange ideological bedfellows ... Bob offers a magic solution to the freedom vs. security dilemma ... Was Obama right to avoid the phrase "Islamic radicalism"? ... Trump's savvy use of identity politics ... The secret ingredient to Greg's meditation practice ...||9/28/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWinners Take All (Robert Wright & Anand Giridharadas)||Anand’s new bestseller, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World ... How the targets of Anand’s book have reacted to it ... Why Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk aren’t saving the world ... Anand explains why it’s not enough for zillionaires to “give back” to society ... What exactly is wrong with American capitalism? ... Bob takes a courageous stand on behalf of Cinnabon ... Anand says the developing world is worse off under Trump ... When Anand dropped a bomb at the Aspen Institute ...||9/25/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanNeuroscience and Free Will (Robert Wright & Gregg Caruso)||What is neuroexistentialism? ... Neuroscience, free will, and existentialism ... The "compatibilist" claim that free will and determinism can co-exist ... To define “free will,” first redefine “agency” ... Why the importance of luck should make us doubt intuitions about free will ... Moral responsibility and the Nazi war criminal thought experiment ... Does Gregg’s personality predispose him to reject retribution? ...||9/10/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity (Robert Wright & K. Anthony Appiah)||Anthony's new book, The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity ... Anthony's own unusual identity ... Cosmopolitanism and its discontents ... Patriotism, nationalism, and "legitimate forms of partiality" ... Against essentialism in religion ... The invention of the idea of a national spirit ... Who owns the culture? ... How class conflict has changed in the US and UK ...||8/31/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanImmanent Buddhism (Robert Wright & Bhikkhu Bodhi)||How Bhikkhu Bodhi first encountered Buddhism... ... ...and how he became a Buddhist monk ... Can "secular" Buddhists have spiritual experiences? ... Traditional Buddhism, secular Buddhism, and immanent Buddhism ... Diving into nirvana: “conditioned arising” and “the unconditioned” ... Does Buddhism make you a better person? ...||8/24/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Physics of Time (Robert Wright & Tim Maudlin)||Three fundamental questions about time ... Revisiting the famous "twins paradox" thought experiment ... Why Tim thinks mainstream physicists are wrong about time ... Einstein and determinism ... Why Einstein was wrong about quantum entanglement ... Non-locality, the weirdest thing in physics ...||8/10/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanA Critical Look at the Stanford Prison Experiment (Robert Wright & Ben Blum)||Ben's essay challenging Philip Zimbardo's famous Stanford Prison Experiment ... How a study about prisoners became a study about guards ... Evidence that Zimbardo improperly influenced the study ... The unexpected political effects of the experiment ... What explains the experiment's durability? ... When Zimbardo tried to get Bob to dance ... Is Zimbardo himself a victim of circumstance? ...||8/3/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Elephant in the Brain (Robert Wright & Robin Hanson)||Why Robin's head will be severed and frozen upon his death ... Robin used the phrase "redistribution of sex" and people got mad ... Robin defends his controversial blog post about rape and cuckoldry ... Robin's book about our selfish motives, The Elephant in the Brain ... Laughter as a signal about norm violation ... Robin: Politics is about proving your loyalty to your side ... What's the real reason we engage in conversation? ...||7/20/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
Two thumbs up
Wright has a wonderfully engaging manner and way of making the "bigger" concepts easily understandable. His genuine curiosity is always evident as well as his abiding respect for varied pov's. Hands down, my favorite podcast.
Easily the most educational and brain-stretching series of podcasts around. Covers everything from politics to religion to science, there’s probably not a single podcast I haven’t learned something new.
Smart deep dives
Insightful probing conversations between a knowledgeable host and a wide variety of interesting guests. I’ve learned a ton while being well-entertained.