Mixed Mental Arts

An Education, Society and Culture podcast featuring
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Best Episodes of Mixed Mental Arts

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When Canada began passing laws that limited what Professor Peterson could say in the name of political correctness, he felt compelled to speak out. And so, in three YouTube videos, he laid out his case for why he would not be complying with the law…in the most reasonable and Canadian way possible. Professor Peterson is a practicing and research psychologist at the University of Toronto and like countless other campuses the University of Toronto has become a place full of people who are going full Invasion of the Bodysnatchers. In fact, a tiny fraction of individuals have decided that there aren't just two gender identities or even three but up to seventy...and they all have different pronouns they want to be addressed by. The reality is that any policy or set of behaviors comes at a cost. Competing goods must be weighed against each other. Words are tools for communication and having seventy sets of pronouns makes communication clumsy. What's more important? Protecting the weak is great but setting off a witch hunt that potentially takes psychologists like Jordan B. Peterson out of working with patients does potentially greater harm. Which is more important? In practice though, the behavior on college campuses is just as listener @TWestGate put it the ouroboros. It is the snake eating its own tail. What is the final result of an academic culture that believes in human reason and is massively atomistic? It's a culture so obsessed with individuality that any weird thought that wanders across a person's brain has to be treated seriously, especially when the person is claiming historical oppression. The sad truth is that Social Justice Warriors aren't bad students. They're great students who have just taken academia's cultural biases to the end of the line. Everyone is now a special snowflake and any claim you make about yourself has to be treated seriously. In the end though, there is further insanity coming such as otherkin. These are humans who believe they're not humans. Instead, they believe they are vampires or werewolves or fairies or wolf-dog hybrids. These even more special individuals want their unique identity recognized too!!! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the snake is eating its own tail. At a certain point though, it just becomes too much. People like Jordan B Peterson can't put up with it anymore. As Bryan points out, alumni are refusing to donate. And, increasingly, people are wondering why anyone would pay $120,000 and spend four years to be surrounded by thinking that is, frankly, garbage.
Geoffrey Miller studies the evolutionary psychology of sex and since sex is the cornerstone of evolution his work ends up having implications that affect pretty much everything. If you've wondered why women's evolutionary programming makes them spend more time shopping and makes men want to get the heck out of the store as quickly as possible, then, in this podcast, Geoffrey Miller will tell you why. If you've wondered why people buy cars like Hummers when they are so wasteful, it's precisely because being wasteful is the key to attracting a mate…and in this podcast Geoffrey Miller will tell you why. Besides writing an excellent book called Spent about how consumerism taps into evolutionary psychology, Geoffrey Miller co-hosts a podcast with Tucker Max (yes, Tucker Max) called The Mating Grounds where they use the latest evolutionary psychology to help listeners become the men women want. From that podcast, they have now written a book called Mate. Whether you're looking to understand consumerism, mating or some other aspect of why we do what we do then Geoffrey Miller is one of the best resources on the planet. Featured Link #1: http://thematinggrounds.com/ Featured Link #2: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mating-grounds-podcast/id894712811?mt=2 Guest Links Website: http://thematinggrounds.com/ Guest Promo Product 1: http://www.amazon.com/Spent-Sex-Evolution-Consumer-Behavior/dp/0143117238 Product 2: http://www.amazon.com/Mate-Become-Man-Women-Want/dp/0316375365/
Bryan and Hunter enter the dojo of the mind with Joe Henrich, master of our first fundamental of the mind: cultural accumulation. As regular listeners will know, in his book The Secret of Our Success, Henrich lays out the case for why problem solving and critical thinking are not humanity's great superpower. Rather, our great superpower is social intelligence. It is our ability to pass on culture from generation to generation that makes us so successful and able to conquer everywhere from the tundra to the desert to being able to venture out into space. This idea is the fundamental that is going to allow all of us to make sense of the seemingly chaotic world and benefit from rather than being hurt by the clash of cultures.
Humans have always been pretty sure that they were special but we've never quite been sure why. Was it because we were made in God's image? Was it our opposable thumbs? Was it that we had bigger brains? Far be it for us to tell you what God does or does not look like but what Professor Joe Henrich can tell you is that it's not because we have bigger brains. In fact, when you compare the baseline intelligence of human toddlers, chimpanzees and orangutans you find out that we're really not smarter at all. Actually, in many areas we may even be dumber. The one area in which we are definitively smarter even as toddlers is social intelligence. That, it turns out, may be the secret of our success. Individually, we just aren't that smart. But, collectively, we have the capacity for genius. In his book, The Secret of Success, Professor Henrich examines how faith, imitation and trial and error have allowed peoples all over the world to evolve cultural practices so brilliant that the people who practice them very often don't understand why they're important but do them with the unwavering faith of believers. Of course, Professor Henrich's book exists within a culture of its own and although the book itself is a sensible and soundly-reasoned argument for humans' success as being heavily driven by culture it serves to challenge a whole series of cherished ideas within academia and the western world more generally. In The Secret of Our Success, religion is not the bug in the human brain that the New Atheists depict it as but a cornerstone of our ability to adopt useful cultural practices evolved through the cumulative work of people who died long before us. Henrich's book does not buy into the cultural relativism so prevalent in Western media and college campuses that argues that culture doesn't matter but instead makes the case that we ignore culture at our peril such as when Europeans transported crops like corn and manioc without also transporting the cultural practices indigenous peoples had developed to avoid potential longterm health problems from eating these foods. And while the pendulum of academic thought swung away from the blank slate towards an almost purely genetic view of human progress, Henrich reveals the next stage in intellectual thought that reveals how genetic and cultural processes can work together to allow humans to succeed. This is really an astounding book. Put it on the list, folks. Guest Links Website: http://heb.fas.harvard.edu/people/joseph-henrich Twitter: @JoHenrich Guest Promo The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter
Bryan Callen and today's guest, Caroline Criado-Perez, have very different feeeeeeelings about the word feminism. For Bryan, feminism is a bit of a dirty word which he associates with well-meaning but misguided Social Justice Warriors on a crusade to remake the world in denial of the facts. For Caroline, feminism is a noble cause that aims to make the world fair and equal for all regardless of gender. And yet, in spite of their feelings about the word feminism, the case that Caroline makes in her latest book "Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men" is so compelling that Bryan and Caroline found themselves agreeing on the premise of her book. From medicine to the design of smartphones to bathroom allocation to the temperature of office spaces, the world is based on the assumption that an ordinary human is male. The result is that women die unnecessarily of heart attacks and car crashes. They wait longer in line for bathrooms. They are constantly cold in offices while men find the temperature perfectly comfortable. Many men wonder why the women in their lives are always cold, as if it is some defect of their body's ability to regulate its internal environment. Rather than a failure of homeostasis among 50% of the population, women and men simply have different mean body temperatures and men have simply been setting the thermostats for their own comfort without consulting women or considering that they might have different needs. In every way and in every field of life, the world was designed by men and for men and women have suffered as a result. There's a saying in Washington D.C. that if you're not at the table, then you're on the menu. In other words, if you're not there helping make the decisions, then you're going to get eaten alive. For most of recorded history, the people calling the shots and making the design decisions have been men and women have been on the menu. Bryan, Caroline and Hunter all want to live in a world based on fair play. So, why would we spend our time arguing about our feeeeeeelings about the word feminism when we can devote our time and energy to solving the problem? With Caroline's book, we not only have a persuasive case. We have a recipe for action for how we can make a world that works better for all of us. Fair play isn't just about marches, elections and new legislation. It's also about making little decisions like where we set the thermostat into discussions.
When Mark Manson wrote "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck," he couldn't have anticipated what a tremendous success it would be or that with that success there would be new challenges. Namely, now what? Mark had everything he'd ever wanted and had to face the pressure of a second act. Could he repeat that success? And what if nobody liked his second book? Fortunately, as an F-bomb philosopher, Mark was able to channel the power of his own advice and the life-changing perspective that comes from harnessing the English language's most potent four-letter word. In this interview, we discuss Mark's latest book "Everything is F*cked." To Mixed Mental Artists, many of the themes in the book will be familiar, notably the idea that everything is a religion. Given this, we need tools for managing and challenging our own belief systems and Mark's books nicely synthesize a diverse range of material in a fun, compelling package. In short, it's mixing the mental arts at its very best.
In an age of fake news and alternative facts, Cailin O'Connor's "The Misinformation Age: How False Beliefs Spread" could not be better timed. With fantastic historical examples and the latest science, this episode forces everyone to reflect on how we form our beliefs and how we can all play our role in creating a healthier information space. Cailin O'Connor is an Associate Professor of Logic and Philosophy of Science and a member of the Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Science at the University of California, Irvine.
Although Bryan and Hunter talk about Jon Haidt all the time, this is actually only Jon's second appearance on the podcast. It was well worth the wait. Having read Jon's books many times and interviewed many of his peers, this podcast was a fantastic opportunity to get stuck in and re-examine the world through the lens of both ancient wisdom and modern science.
While Bryan has been busy filming his new spinoff Schooled, Hunter has been working hard to figure out how to take Mixed Mental Arts to the next level. We've had so much fun sharing the best ideas we've found in books. We can't wait to share them with an even wider audience. But in the meantime, we will be releasing new episodes every so often.
Stay tuned until the end for some information on the re-renaming of the show to the Bryan Callen Show.
Dambisa Moyo is from Zambia. She's studied the effect of foreign aid on the economies of developing nations. She finds it lacking in many respects. Her new book is Edge of Chaos: Why Democracy is Failing to Deliver Economic Growth and How to Fix It. You can go to mixedmentalarts.online and click on our amazon link to get a hold of Dambisa Moyo's new book, and we'll get a cut of the money. Contribute to us on Patreon for early podcasts releases and other promises!
Howard Bloom developed chronic fatigue syndrome in 1988. That didn't stop him from writing a bunch of books. His most recent book is How I Accidentally Started the Sixties, which is a memoir. 
Allen Gannett is the author of The Creative Curve: How to Develop the Right Idea, at the Right Time and he helps debunk genius myths. That's why Hunter likes him. That's why Bryan likes him. We hope you like him too. Also, Allen loves corgis. Be sure to go to https://mixedmentalarts.online/, support us on Patreon, use our Amazon affiliate, and follow us on social media!
Adam Hansen and Ken Gordon are innovation guys. They also like to sing songs and enjoy the finer things in life. Their beards make the world a better place.
Layne Norton is an expert in nutrition. He's also an elite powerlifter and a professional body builder. In the continuing journey of sorting the wheat from the chaff, Bryan and Hunter learn about how to eat for performance. 
Magdalena Edwards is Bryan Callen's neighbor. She's also a translator.  
Te Miri Rangi is a Maori from New Zealand who instituted a program known as Whakapapa Fridays as an outreach to young people to instill a connection with their roots. Be sure to go to https://mixedmentalarts.online/, support us on Patreon, use our Amazon affiliate, and follow us on social media!  
Cesar Hidalgo is the directer of the Collective Learning Group at the MIT media lab,. His book Why Information Grows combines physics and economics to give a new take on economic growth in the 21st century. Be sure to go to https://mixedmentalarts.online/, support us on Patreon, use our Amazon affiliate, and follow us on social media!
Coss Marte did 4 years in state prison for drug trafficking. While in prison, he became interested in physical training. Now he runs a fitness studio in New York where he hires former inmates and trains people on how to improve their fitness. He's literally turning lives around.  
From June, 2014 Bryan and Big Mike talked about everything from the History of Western Philosophy, to capital punishment in Saudi Arabia. Be sure to follow us on social media and check out our Patreon!
Lawrence Lessig is a law professor at Harvard, and a friend of the podcast. He ran for the Democratic party nomination in the 2016 presidential election, and was boxed out because he wasn't playing the money game required to compete for elections in the United States. That money problem is the key issue he tackles in his book Republic Lost. Bryan and Hunter get fired up when talking to Lawrence, and this was no exception. Be sure to go to https://mixedmentalarts.online/, support us on Patreon, use our Amazon affiliate, and follow us on social media!
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Podcast Details

Created by
Hunter Maats
Podcast Status
May 8th, 2012
Latest Episode
Jan 15th, 2020
Release Period
2 per week
Avg. Episode Length
About 1 hour

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