Talk of Today

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My guest today is the philosophy professor Jonathan Wolff. Jonathan is the Alfred Landecker professor of values and public policy at the University of Oxford's Blavatnik School of Government.We cover:The Capability ApproachGlobal justice and the nation-stateThe difficulties of translating philosophy into policyBalancing Life & Liberty in the context of the corona virus, and;Universities in a post-covid worldShownotesLinksJonathan on TwitterJonathan's WebsiteJonathan's Faculty PageAn ethical framework for global vaccine allocationThe Divide by Jason HickelAmartya SenEthics and Public Policy bookDisadvantage BookIntroduction to Political PhilosophyIntroduction to Moral PhilosophyRawls' Theory of JusticeCreating CapabilitiesDevelopment as FreedomJonathan in the GuardianSupport this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/talk-of-today/donations
My guest today is Michael Garfield, a writer, musician, artist, poet-philosopher, paleontologist-futurist who's setting the seeds for a planetary renaissance. With incisive eloquence, he takes the threads of technology, science, and the wonders of the natural world to weave together a cosmic story of Life, one that needs to be shared more wildly. In our conversation we cover:Corona virus and the epistemic crisisCommunity and fragmentationEvolution as a multi-billion year remix projectPsychedelics as training wheels for transhumanismNested complexity, restoring democracy, and regenerative communitiesRewilding the futureThe power of ideashttp://www.samhbarton.com/podcast/rewilding-the-singularity-with-michael-garfieldLinksMichael on Twitter and InstagramFuture Fossils #145: Weaving A New Prehistory to Rewild The FutureHow to Live in the Future: The Future is a PlaceFuture Fossils on Apple PodcastsMichael's WebsiteThe Secret Language of Relationships Robert Bakker William Irwin ThompsonLindisfarne AssociationThe Collective Lindisfarne TapesSchumacher Centre for New EconomicsLynn MargulisPodcast with Shane Moss, 'Science vs Human Nature'Richard M. Doyle 'Darwin's Pharmacy'Roy J. Stewart 'The Way of Merlin'Michae's Video on Tech Ethics as Psychedelic ParentingLewis Hyde 'As Common as Air'Franklin Veau & Eve Rickert 'More than Two'Mark Nelson's book 'The Wastewater Gardener' and the documentary Spaceship EarthStuart Davis' podcast Aliens and ArtistsMichael's Future Fossils Podcast on A Unifying Meta-Theory of UFOs & The Weird with Sean Esbjörn-Hargens‍Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/talk-of-today/donations
Nora Bateson is an award-winning filmmaker, writer and educator, and as President of the International Bateson Institute, an organisation that integrates the sciences, arts and professional knowledge to create a qualitative inquiry of the integration of life. Her work is focused on the innumerable relationships that define our world and who we are, understanding the role that perception and context plays in our interactions. Her work brings the fields of biology, cognition, art, anthropology, psychology, and information technology together into a study of the patterns in ecology of living systems.In our conversation, we cover:Ineffability, perception, and the baggage of languageWhy the changes we need begin with the changing our relationships with ourselves and each otherHow COVID has shown us the perils of the incessant seeking of efficiencyThe need to engage with the world with humility.‍LinksNora on twitter @norabatesonThe Bateson InstituteNora's Book: Small Arcs of Larger CirclesSam on TwitterSupport this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/talk-of-today/donations
Mike is the founder of IdeaMarkets, a stock market for credibility that's currently under development. His team hopes to align financial incentives with the credibility of publishers to help combat misinformation and to really make the truth pay for those who seek it. In our conversation we cover:The promise of distributed ledger technologies, aka cryptoDecentralised financeIdea markets and aligning financial incentives with truth seekingTruth as an ordering force in the worldChina's panopticonThe logic of non-violenceUFOs and undervalued ideasFind Mike Online:TwitterWebsiteIdeaMarketsShownotes available here.Subscribe on YouTubeSign up to newsletterSupport this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/talk-of-today/donations
In this episode of Talk of Today we're joined by Richard Bartlett. Richard is an expert in bringing people together and catalysing decentralised forms of organising. He's co founder of Loomio, a digital tool to help groups numbering just a few people to several hundred to make better decisions together. He's also co founder of The Hum, which is something like a management consultancy for non-hierarchical organisation. He's a director and member of Enspiral - a network of people supporting each other to grow up and to get paid for doing meaningful work.He's currently working on a project called Microsolidarity that's focused on building and sharing a collection of methodologies for community building, answering the questions of How can we build small scale, high trust, mutually developmental groups.I'm a huge fan of Richards work and the joy he seems to exhibit in living and interacting with people. I first came across his work on twitter — I highly recommend following him.For show notes and links to Richard's work and other things discussed in our conversation, head to my website samhbarton.com/podcast. And if you like the podcast, please share it with your friends, rate on itunes, and if you really like it, you can support me financially through Patreon. For updates on future episodes you can follow me on social media @samhbarton or subscribe to my newsletter, which you can find on my website.I'm excited to share this conversation with you all. Our ability to tackle the grand global challenges we face ahead is dependent upon us, all of us, coming together in the places we call home, and taking action.LinksThe HumEnspiralMicrosolidarityRichard's WebsiteRichard's TwitterRichards newsletterRich's Book: Patterns for Decentralised Organising
The Free Energy Principle is a formal description of how life resist entropy across scales by minimising surprise. Surprise here being an information-theoretic view of how unlikely a particular sensory state of an organism is, not the psychological phenomenon of surprise — though they are definitely linked. The free energy principle describes how organisms attempt to reduce the difference between their model of the world and their perception of it. Joining me to shed light on this topic is Maxwell Ramstead. Maxwell is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal and at the Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry at McGill University. He has coauthored several papers in leading journals, which exploring the applications of the free energy principle to the dynamics of cognition and the mind, phenomenology, ecology, and socio-cultural systems. In our conversation, we cover: - What is the Free Energy Principle- What is active inference- The 4 E A approach to cognition (embedded, embodied, enactive, extended and affective)- Entropy- Potential societal implications of the Free Energy Principle
Matthew Pirkowski (@MattPirkoswki) is one of Twitter's most incisive thinkers, offering penetrating insights in things ranging from representations of value, the many problems of social media platforms and how we interact with them, the evolution of society, and designing emergent systems. In our conversation we cover:- The substance underlying Jordan Peterson's main body of work and its implications for ethics.- The role money plays in scaling social groups- Specialisation as epistemic speciation- Social media and our incoherent information environments- Emergent system design‍
Through the lens of opportunity and freedom — what people can do and be in the world — most Americans are far less free than the rest of the Western world. A vast proportion of Americans are shackled by wage slavery, unable to pursue the American dream. To fulfill the principles laid down by its forefathers, America needs to provide more for its citizens and unleash its latent entrepreneurial potential and become what it once was.You can read the full essay at https://www.samhbarton.com/essays/americas-freedom-farceFollow me on TwitterBecome a Patron
COVID-19 has caused titanic global shifts that are continuing to reverberate across the planet, thrusting our societies into territories unknown and crippling our economies. There have been few out there who have consistently contributed clear insights into the potential risks of a virus like COVID-19, how it can rapidly propagate across our interconnected world and wreak devastation, and most importantly, how to stop it, than Professor Yaneer Bar-Yam.Professor Yaneer Bar-Yam is president of the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI) where they study how interactions within a system lead to its behavioral patterns, and how the system interacts with its environment.His recent work recent quantitatively analyses the origins and impacts various complex phenomena, including pandemics. He's published over 200 research papers in professional journals, including Science and Nature, authored of two books: a textbook Dynamics of Complex Systems, and Making Things Work, which applies complex systems science to solving problems in healthcare, education, systems engineering, international development, and ethnic conflict. His work on the causes of the global food crisis was cited among the top 10 scientific discoveries of 2011 by Wired magazineHe has been a Visiting Scholar at Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. He is currently Research Scientist at the MIT Media Laboratory.In our conversation, we cover: - Why applying complexity science is the right approach to deal with issues of uncertainty like the pandemic we're facing- What is the Precautionary Principle- The structural problems of the World Health Organisation- The need for global governance, but more importantly, effective decision-making- What we can learn from biology about ethics- Most importantly, how we can beat COVID-19, and why it will take all of us to do so. Support the podcast on patreon and keep up to date with podcasts developments:patreon.com/samhbartonsamhbarton.comtwitter.com/samhbartonLinks: https://twitter.com/yaneerbaryamhttps://necsi.edu/yaneer-bar-yamhttps://www.endcoronavirus.org/https://necsi.edu/https://necsi.edu/complexity-rising-from-human-beings-to-human-civilization-a-complexity-profilehttps://necsi.edu/ethical-values-a-multiscale-scientific-perspectiveSystemic Risk of Pandemic via Novel Pathogens –Coronavirus: A Notehttps://static1.squarespace.com/static/5b68a4e4a2772c2a206180a1/t/5e2efaa2ff2cf27efbe8fc91/1580137123173/Systemic_Risk_of_Pandemic_via_Novel_Path.pdf
What makes us happy? What affects do the decisions we make have on our subjective well-being?How does money, or parenthood affect our happiness? What are societies like when the people in them are happier? What affects do new technologies like smartphones, and constant connectivity, have on how happy we think we are?If happiness, subjective well-being, or flourishing is important (which i'm sure we'd all agree it is), answering these questions has profound consequences for how choose to organise our societies.Today we're talking to Kostadin Kushlev, an assistant professor in psychology at Georgetown University where he leads the The Digital Health and Happiness Lab, exploring questions of how digital technologies affect health and well-being.The general themes covered in the podcastHappiness helps health, productivity and being a good citizenComponents of well beingUsing phones doesn’t make us feel worse, it just removes opportunities for potential happiness.Parenthood and well beingAffects of do not disturb on people who have ADHDIncome and its affect on happiness/well beingProgressive taxation and its effect on the general population’s well being (In the States)Living a Psychologically rich life and what that means‍LinksKostadin's papersADHD and Smartphones Stop Checking Email So OftenSmartphones and Well-being
What are the universal scaling laws of life and what do they mean for how our societies today function and their survival in the future?The conversation I'm going to share with you today is one of the most important I've had to date. We live in a time characterised by extreme uncertainty, which is, in many ways, being driven by the impacts of insatiable hunger for growth. If we do not tame humanity's rapacious desire for more, it will spell disaster for all of us, and there's maths to prove it.In order to solve this problem, we first need to understand it. There is no better lens to view things of this nature through than that off energy and information and how these primordial entities flow across time, space — across the scale of life in all of its forms, and the artifacts It creates.Our guest today is Geoffrey West. Geoffrey is a theoretical physicist who turned his attention to biology, applying the mathematical rigour of one in his discipline to the complexities of life. He's spent decades exploring the universal mathematical scaling laws that suffuse biology, from mitochondria, to cells, people you and I, and entire ecosystems. These laws are the natural scaffolding that has guided the growth of life over the eons and can explain and predict certain characteristics of its manifestations, like lifespan, metabolic rates, and growth, with incredible precision.Geoffrey then applied these insights to our societies and the cities they've formed. He found that cities do indeed follow very similar scaling laws to life. Given that urbanisation is increasing rapidly around the world and that cities are critical to our economies and lives, understanding the mathematical laws that these cities follow as they function and scale is paramount to developing a coherent and mathematically principled framework for sustainability.All of this and more is covered in his book Scale, which has been the source of inspiration of this conversation. It is in, in my opinion, one of the most important books of our time, one that should be in the hands of every policy maker, change-maker, urban planner, and intellectual explorer.Geoffrey has been the recipient of a number of awards and accolades for his work over the years. In 2006 Geoffrey was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World. He was the President of the Santa-Fe institute, the home of complexity science, and prior to that he was the leader, and founder, of the high energy physics group at Los Alamos National Laboratory.I feel deeply privileged to have had the opportunity to speak to Geoffrey and delight in sharing his insights with you in this episode.In our conversation we cover:what complexity science is and the characteristics of complex adaptive systemsscaling laws of lifethe benefits of applying the computational, mathmetisable frameworks to problems in biology and societyhow cities are engines of efficiency, and the scaling laws that make this possibleMost importantly, the desperate need for a fundamental shift in how societies around the world operate, or risk collapse.
Visakan Veerasamy is an eccentric Singaporean who weaves together of sparkling web of insight, wit, and positivity throughout the world of twitter. The community of people he's built around him is eclectic, and the common sentiment i see among them is an overwhelming appreciation for the content he puts out. Some would call him a marketing consultant — but that's underselling him substantially. Marketing could be seen as the best way to categorise and monetise what I think his gift is: understanding what makes people tick. These come in forms of long twitter threads, covering things like friendships and partnerships, procrastination, marketing, aesthetics, community, — there's too many to list. All of these seem to be interconnected in a massive visa-web of insight. I think about it as the twitterfication of his brain. He's also well on his way to writing 1 million words, which can be found on his blog, He's one of my favourite people to follow, because I have no idea what I'm going to read next, but I know it will make me see the world in a new way. We have a pretty sporadic chat, covering topics including: - Identity- Diversifying your meaning portfolio - The Three S's -- Sensitivity, Smarts, Strength- Aesthetics - ADHD - Being a high-voltage person. Visakan VeerasamyTwitter: https://twitter.com/@visakanvYoutube: https://www.youtube.com/user/visaBlog: http://visakanv.com/Visa's latest ebook
The topic of today has an importance in our lives than most of us may be unaware of: global insect populations. While these creepy crawlies may inspire disgust in some of us, the value insects bring to the natural world, and of course, to our world cannot be understated — they are inextricable, vital components of our global ecosystem, and the existence of up to 40% of insect species is threatened. Joining me in this episode to talk about this ecological catastrophe is scientist Dr. Francicso Sanchez-Bayo. Francisco is an environmental scientist and ecologist at the University of Sydney. He focuses on the the risk assessment of pesticide contaminants on organisms, particularly their affects on birds and aquatic ecosystems, and the fate and transport of contaminants in the environment. He's been the author or co-author of over 80 articles and book chapters — one of which is the focus of today's discussion. Earlier this year he published a paper titled: Worldwide decline of the entomofauna: A review of its drivers. The beginning of the abstract reads: Biodiversity of insects is threatened worldwide. Here, we present a comprehensive review of 73 historical reports of insect declines from across the globe, and systematically assess the underlying drivers. Our work reveals dramatic rates of decline that may lead to the extinction of 40% of the world's insect species over the next few decades.The report states that main drivers of the population decline are intensive agriculture, pollution and climate change. Speaking to ABC television in Australia, Dr Sanchez-Bayo said: “We are not alarmists, we are realists. We are experiencing the sixth mass extinction on Earth. If we destroy the basis of the ecosystem, which are the insects, then we destroy all the other animals that rely on them for a food source. “It will collapse altogether and that’s why we think it’s not dramatic, it’s a reality.” Heavy stuff. In my discussion with The topic of today has an importance in our lives than most of us may be unaware of. Today we're talking about global insect populations. While these creepy crawlies may inspire disgust in some of us, the value insects bring to the natural world, and of course, to our world cannot be understated — they are inextricable, vital components of our global ecosystem, and the existence of up to 40% of insect species is threatened. Joining me in this episode to talk about this ecological catastrophe is scientist Dr. Francicso Sanchez-Bayo. Francisco is an environmental scientist and ecologist at the University of Sydney. He focuses on the the risk assessment of pesticide contaminants on organisms, particularly their affects on birds and aquatic ecosystems, and the fate and transport of contaminants in the environment. He's been the author or co-author of over 80 articles and book chapters — one of which is the focus of today's discussion. Earlier this year he published a paper titled: Worldwide decline of the entomofauna: A review of its drivers. The beginning of the abstract reads: Biodiversity of insects is threatened worldwide. Here, we present a comprehensive review of 73 historical reports of insect declines from across the globe, and systematically assess the underlying drivers. Our work reveals dramatic rates of decline that may lead to the extinction of 40% of the world's insect species over the next few decades.The report states that main drivers of the population decline are intensive agriculture, pollution and climate change. Speaking to ABC television in Australia, Dr Sanchez-Bayo said: “We are not alarmists, we are realists. We are experiencing the sixth mass extinction on Earth. If we destroy the basis of the ecosystem, which are the insects, then we destroy all the other animals that rely on them for a food source. “It will collapse altogether and that’s why we think it’s not dramatic, it’s a reality.” Heavy stuff. In my discussion with... Support this podcastSupport this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/talk-of-today/donations
This podcast has the potential to significantly change the way you spend your time and money. And i’m not being hyperbolic.In this episode I’m speaking with Rob Wiblin from 80,000 hours, an organisation that looks into how people can spend their most precious resource, their time, but more specifically, the time they spend working, to maximise for humanity’s well being. The number 80,000 hours is roughly how long someone spends working in their lifetime, hence the name.It’s an organisation with its foundation in effective altruism, which is a philosophy and social movement that aims to apply evidence and reason to determine the most effective ways to benefit others.If this is the first time you’ve been exposed to these ideas, i highly recommend you check out their websites and content. I’m sure it will change the way you think about how you navigate the world, and could realistically increase the positive impact you have on the world by orders of magnitude. This mode of thinking has really changed the way i view the world.As i said at the start, my guest today is Rob Wiblin. Rob is director of research at 80,000 hours and hosts the 80,000 hours podcast. He studied genetics and economics at the Australian National University (ANU) and was named Young Alumnus of the Year in 2015.He has worked as a research economist in various Australian Government agencies, he was Research Director and then Executive Director at the Centre for Effective Altruism in Oxford and then became Research Director for 80,000 Hours. He and the 80,000 hours crew also know how to throw a great party.So we hit on quite a few topics in the 40 minutes we had to chat, which included:What is ‘good’?Universal basic incomeGlobal issues that we face todayHow to choose a career pathWebsites you can visit to find out how to donate to charity more effectivelyWhy sorting out your mental health might need to be a priorityAnd some mental frameworks and tools to help you navigate the world.Rob's TwitterThe Dictators HandbookOn What MattersPandemics http://www.robwiblin.com/The Importance of the long-run
Tiago Forte is the the man behind the 'building a second brain course'. Among many other things, Tiago helps people build their own trusted digital archive for their most valuable knowledge and ideas. We have a pretty wide-ranging discussion, covering where people go wrong when it comes to organising their information, general thoughts about twitter the social platform responsible for this conversation, his life philosophy servant hedonism, we talk a bit about trauma, and, why he thinks he's an arms-dealer for smart people.Find Tiago online: Twitter: https://twitter.com/fortelabsYoutube: https://www.youtube.com/user/simulacrumsquaredWebsite: https://www.fortelabs.co/Links discussed: Body keeps the score: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18693771-the-body-keeps-the-scoreHyperion: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/77566.HyperionEric Chaisson -- Cosmic Evolution: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLtJyg_f3B0
Our understanding of the biology of emotions has changed dramatically in recent years. We don't experience our emotions, we construct them. Listen to Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett, author of 'How emotions are made' talk about the science of emotions and the implications of our new understanding of them.
This is a reading of a blog post I wrote on Design Thinking and the scientific method. Show notes can be found at samhbarton.com Blog post originally posted on buckhamduffy.com
This is an audio essay on the issue of state sovereignty in an interconnected world, inspired by Trump's recent address to the UN General Assembly. The essay is available on talkoftoday.com and on medium -@shbarton. Links and sources can be found there as well. You can support the podcast at www.patreon.com/talkoftoday or at talkoftoday.com/support
Chris Timmerman is a PhD student in the Psychedelic Research Group from Imperial College in London. He's currently conducting brain imaging experiments on people under the influence of the psychedelic drug DMT. In this episode, we talk about the psychedelics in general, ego dissolutionment and DMT. You can support this podcast at www.patreon.com/talkoftoday or at www.talkoftoday.com/support
A short essay on why I turned off my notifications, updates regarding my trip to the US/Canada as well as on future podcasts. Show notes can be found at talkoftoday.com Support the podcast at talkoftoday.com/patreon or at patreon.com/talkoftoday
Meditation has exploded in popularity in recent years. Once thought of as a purely spiritual practice, the physical and mental benefits of it are now being recognised by science. Secular institutions like schools and corporations are jumping onto the Zen train to reap these benefits, which range from increases in productivity, improved sleep quality, increased creativity, as well as reduced stress and anxiety, just to name a few. On a side note, there’s also the fact that some people report of meditation inducing psychedelic experiences, which is a tantalizing prospect in of itself! My guest in this episode is Dr Sara Lazar from Harvard University. In our conversation, we cover: - The benefits of meditation and the effects it can have on your brain - Its effects on mental illnesses - Politics and neuroanatomy - Persona EEG devices that provide real-time neurofeedback - Whether or not meditation be widely prescribed, just like regular exercise, optimal nutrition, and sleep? - And, of course, some helpful advice for those giving this ancient practice a go. Enjoy! Show notes can be found at talkoftoday.com/podcast-3 Support the podcast at talkoftoday.com/support or patreon.com/talkoftoday
In this episode, we explore the technologies that will shape our future as outlined in the book 'The Inevitable' by Kevin Kelly. It takes the vast swathes of technological developments that we’ve seen over the past few decades, and paints a marvellous picture of what they could, and most likely will inevitably mean for the future. Topics covered in the podcast include: - Artificial intelligence and the cognifying of everything - The blockchain - Information abundance - Startup advice for would-be innovators - How these technologies will help us understand who we are. Enjoy! You can support the podcast at talkoftoday.com/support or at patreon.com/talkoftoday
Today's episode is a bit different from the rest. Instead of talking about developments in science, tech and society, I'm chatting to a man called Gosife Okenta about the ongoing subjugation and suffering of his people in Nigeria. He would not call himself Nigerian, however. Gosife is from Biafra, a secessionist state in eastern Nigeria that existed in the late 1960s. Though is no longer exists, there are millions of people who identify as Biafrans today, and are treated as second class citizens in Nigeria. I wanted to share Gosife and Biafra's story to get you to ponder some things like: - What is a national identity? - When should the global community intervene in the affairs of a country? - Is sovereignty an outdated concept in our globalised world? You can support the podcast at talkoftoday.com/support or through patreon.com/talkoftoday, or by giving it a rating and sharing it with your friends!
Aging could become a thing of the past. Not in 100 years, but within our lifetime (whatever that means) In this episode, I'm joined by Aubrey de Grey. Aubrey is a British biomedical gerontologist, chief scientist and founder of the SENS Research Foundation, an institution focused on using regenerative medicines to repair damage underlying the diseases of aging. In our conversation, we talk about some of the underlying causes of aging, where anti-aging research is at the moment, and what the near future might look like in the industry. Support the podcast at: talkoftoday/support patreon.com/talkoftoday
There aren't too many decisions that we make daily that can have as much of an impact on the world as what we choose to eat. Today, we're joined by Dr Liz Specht from the Good Food Institute to talk about the future of food. In our conversation, we talk about what's going on in food-tech, why are these developments so important, and when will we taste the fruits of the labour of the rapidly evolving food-tech industry? Links to what's discussed in the podcast can be found at talkoftoday.com Support the podcast at patreon.com/talkoftoday
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Podcast Details

Created by
Sam Barton
Podcast Status
Active
Started
Nov 2nd, 2020
Latest Episode
Nov 2nd, 2020
Release Period
Weekly
Episodes
38
Avg. Episode Length
About 1 hour
Explicit
No
Order
Episodic
Language
English

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