Arnold "A. J." Jacobs Jr. is a journalist, author, and lecturer best known for writing about his lifestyle experiments. He is also an editor at large for Esquire and has worked for the Antioch Daily Ledger and Entertainment Weekly.
New York Times bestselling (4 times!) author and journalist AJ Jacobs experiments on himself to help us all learn. In this Sentientist Conversation he talks with Jamie about what he believes, what matters morally, and how his writing projects link to Sentientism's tenets of evidence, reason and universal compassion. The video of our conversation is here - why not subscribe on YouTube too? AJ: “I love the idea of Sentientism” We discuss: - Sentientist themes in AJ's personal experimentation writing projects: Living biblically, connecting everyone, thanking everyone, never lying, learning everything!  - The "belonging, belief and behaviour" of religion – including secular Judaism and hanging out at the Scientology centre. - Effective altruism and longtermism. - Moral realism, relativism and why the Taliban’s ethics just aren’t good. - Preferring shallow beliefs to deeply held beliefs. - The ethics of human and non-human animal, robot and far future ethics. - Expanding our moral circle through recognising our connectedness and/or through seeing climate change as a common enemy.  - Presenting positive opportunities to do good vs. using guilt. - What a Sentientist utopia might look like and whether we should even specify one. - Can Sentientism help address today’s dogmatic polarisation? AJ is on our Sentientist "wall":  - why not join him there using this simple form? AJ's web site is Sentientism is "Evidence, reason and compassion for all sentient beings." You can find out more about it at Everyone interested, whether Sentientist or not, is welcome to join our global community. Our main group is here on Facebook.  Many thanks to Graham Bessellieu for his post-production work on this video. Go follow him (and maybe work with him!) at @cgbessellieu. H4wA915UsvQXVufDkMvu
In this special Thanksgiving encore episode, I talk to A.J. Jacobs about his latest book, Thanks a Thousand: A Gratitude Journey, in which he expresses gratitude to a thousand people who are involved with getting him his morning coffee. A.J. Jacobs is an author, journalist, lecturer and human guinea pig. He has written four New York Times bestsellers that combine memoir, science, humor, and a dash of self-help. He is also editor at large at Esquire magazine, a commentator on NPR and a columnist for Mental Floss magazine.  Despite his references to the hygienic benefits of not shaking hands, this interview was recorded in pre-COVID 2019 at his office in New York City. Learn more about A.J. on his website. **Please rate and review Crazy Money here. Follow Crazy Money on Facebook here and join the Crazy Money Listeners Group here. Get your official Crazy Money t-shirts here.  Produced and edited by Mike Carano About Crazy Money: Unlike traditional personal finance shows like Dave Ramsey or Suze Orman, Crazy Money is not about how to make a million bucks, how to beat the market, or how to save money by switching cable providers. It is about deciding what role we want money to play in our lives and how we can use it to be our best selves. Topics covered include: Philosophy, Happiness, Contentment, Meaning, dreams, purpose, Success, Rat Race, Society, mental health, Buddhism, Stoicism, the hedonic treadmill, morality, Mid-Life Crisis, Business, Work, Careers, Authors, Books, Consumerism, Values, capitalism, economics, investing, saving, spending, personal finance, charity, philanthropy, altruism, affluence, wealth, wealth management, culture, society. Status. Paul Ollinger  Are you really still reading this?
A.J. Jacobs (@ajjacobs) is an author, journalist, lecturer and human guinea pig. He has written four New York Times bestsellers that combine memoir, science, humor and a dash of self-help. A.J. is also editor at large at Esquire magazine, a commentator on NPR and a columnist for Mental Floss magazine. He has appeared on Oprah, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report and has given several TED talks. In this episode, we discuss: A gratitude journey thanking a thousand people Gratitude leads to happiness Thank you for thanking me The six degrees of gratitude It doesn't take a village to make a cup of coffee, it takes the world What is the luck factor? When you are grateful, you pay it forward Savor the moment The 30-Day Meditation Challenge The alphabet gratitude practice Before you use social media, take a moment to say “What am I grateful for?” The year of living biblically Focus on the good and make the world better How much the outer affects the inner When you act confident, you become confident Not gossiping makes you happier The month of being the greatest husband experiment A.J. outsourcing an argument with his wife The downsides of outsourcing The radical honesty movement It’s not healthy to be obsessed with your health The meaning of orthorexia How to set micro goals The importance of community Puzzles can save the world We should all be experimenting more Show sponsors: Organifi <== 20% off all Organifi products Sunwarrior <== 20% off all Sunwarrior products (free shipping on orders over $50) Beekeeper's Naturals <== 15% off all Beekeeper's Naturals products (free shipping on orders $60 or more) Perfect Keto <== 20% off all Perfect Keto products (free shipping in the US) Related links: A.J. Jacobs - Thanks A Thousand (book) A.J. Jacobs' website Follow A.J. Jacobs on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter A.J. Jacobs - The Year of Living Biblically (book) A.J. Jacobs - Drop Dead Healthy (book) A.J. Jacobs (books) Larry David Mister Roger’s David Steindl-Rast - Gratefulness, The Heart of Prayer (book) Scott Barry Kaufman Listen to Dr. Pedram Shojai previously on TUHP (episode #182) Barry (tv series) Clearer Thinking with Spencer Greenberg A.J. Jacobs - George H.W. and Barbara Bush (article) A.J. Jacobs - My Outsourced Life (article) Tim Ferriss – The 4-Hour Workweek (book) A.J. Jacobs - I Think You're Fat (article) Brad Blanton - Radical Honesty (book) Sam Harris – Lying (book) Liar Liar (movie) The Invention of Lying (movie) stickK Join The Ultimate Health Podcast Facebook Community & participate in The 30-Day Meditation Challenge Related episodes: 321: Neil Pasricha – You Are Awesome, Intentional Living, Becoming Anti-Fragile 375: James Sebastiano – Chasing The Present 347: Brad Montague – Becoming Better Grownups, Creating Your Space Jam, Be Less Childish & More Childlike 312: James Altucher – Reinvent Yourself, Defining Freedom, Comedians See The Truth 293: Mark Manson – We All Need Hope • Meditation Makes You Stronger • Happiness Is Overrated Note: Some of the links above are affiliate links. Making a purchase through these links won't cost you anything but we will receive a small commission. This is an easy, free way of supporting the podcast. Thank you! How can you support our podcast? 1. Apple users, please subscribe and review our show on Apple Podcasts, we make sure to read them all. Android users, be sure to subscribe to our show on Google Podcasts. Subscribers never miss any of the action ;) 2. Tell a friend about The Ultimate Health Podcast. They will surely thank you later. You can use the envelope button below to email a friend or tell them about TUHP in person. 3. Join TUHP Facebook community (FREE). This is where we all stay in touch and ask questions in between episodes. Join our community. 4. Follow our adventures on our favourite social media platform, Instagram. 5. Download The Ultimate Health Podcast app (FREE). This way you'll have our whole library of episodes right at your fingertips. Download our iOS/Apple app or our Android app. 6. Share using the buttons below. Thank you!
Today’s guest, New York Times bestselling author A.J. Jacobs, always hated Judge Judy. But after he found out that she was his seventh cousin, he thought, "You know what, she's not so bad". Hijacking this bias towards family and trying to broaden it to everyone led to his three-year adventure to help build the biggest family tree in history. He’s also spent months saying whatever was on his mind, tried to become the healthiest person in the world, read 33,000 pages of facts, spent a year following the Bible literally, thanked everyone involved in making his morning cup of coffee, and tried to figure out how to do the most good. His next book will ask: if we reframe global problems as puzzles, would the world be a better place?Links to learn more, summary and full transcript. This is the first time I’ve hosted the podcast, and I’m hoping to convince people to listen with this attempt at clever show notes that change style each paragraph to reference different A.J. experiments. I don’t actually think it’s that clever, but all of my other ideas seemed worse. I really have no idea how people will react to this episode; I loved it, but I definitely think I’m more entertaining than almost anyone else will. (Radical Honesty.) We do talk about some useful stuff — one of which is the concept of micro goals. When you wake up in the morning, just commit to putting on your workout clothes. Once they’re on, maybe you’ll think that you might as well get on the treadmill — just for a minute. And once you’re on for 1 minute, you’ll often stay on for 20. So I’m not asking you to commit to listening to the whole episode — just to put on your headphones. (Drop Dead Healthy.) Another reason to listen is for the facts: • The Bayer aspirin company invented heroin as a cough suppressant • Coriander is just the British way of saying cilantro • Dogs have a third eyelid to protect the eyeball from irritants • and A.J. read all 44 million words of the Encyclopedia Britannica from A to Z, which drove home the idea that we know so little about the world (although he does now know that opossums have 13 nipples). (The Know-It-All.) One extra argument for listening: If you interpret the second commandment literally, then it tells you not to make a likeness of anything in heaven, on earth, or underwater — which rules out basically all images. That means no photos, no TV, no movies. So, if you want to respect the Bible, you should definitely consider making podcasts your main source of entertainment (as long as you’re not listening on the Sabbath). (The Year of Living Biblically.) I’m so thankful to A.J. for doing this. But I also want to thank Julie, Jasper, Zane and Lucas who allowed me to spend the day in their home; the construction worker who told me how to get to my subway platform on the morning of the interview; and Queen Jadwiga for making bagels popular in the 1300s, which kept me going during the recording. (Thanks a Thousand.) We also discuss: • Blackmailing yourself • The most extreme ideas A.J.’s ever considered • Doing good as a writer • And much more.Get this episode by subscribing to our podcast on the world’s most pressing problems: type 80,000 Hours into your podcasting app. Or read the linked transcript.Producer: Keiran Harris. Audio mastering: Ben Cordell. Transcriptions: Zakee Ulhaq.
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Creator Details

Mar 20th, 1968
New York, NY, USA
Episode Count
Podcast Count
Total Airtime
2 days, 17 minutes
Podchaser Creator ID logo 960215