The Argument Ninja Podcast

A Society, Culture and Philosophy podcast
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On this episode I use a recent episode of Sam Harris's podcast (#87 - "Triggered: A Conversation With Scott Adams") as a springboard for exploring a variety of topics related to critical thinking and persuasive communication.  When it comes to critical thinking and rational persuasion, half of my brain thinks like Sam Harris, and the other half thinks like Scott Adams. Each gets something right that the other doesn’t. I’m interested in identifying what each of them gets right, as a step toward creating something that is better than each of them separately, by integrating their strengths and avoiding their weaknesses. In other words … I want the super-powered love child of Sam Harris and Scott Adams! In This Episode: (0:00 - 6:00) Introductory remarks (6:00 - 10:15) Introduction to Sam Harris and Scott Adams (10:15 - 15:30) Summary of Sam's interview with Scott on the Waking Up with Sam Harris podcast (15:50 -  16:30) Why this is relevant to the Argument Ninja Academy (17:00 - 20:15) What I Like About Sam: Intellectual virtues (20:15 - 24:50) What I like about Sam: Critical thinking values and democracy (24:50 - 30:10) What I like about Scott: The performative dimension of persuasion (30:10 - 31:55) What I like about Scott: The language of "filters" (31:55 - 39:00) Why both must be part of the foundational skill set for critical thinking and rational persuasion (39:10 - 45:30)  Introducing the "rhetorical triangle": ethos, pathos and logos (45:30 - 51:18) Speech act theory and communication strategy (51:18 - 58:00) Sam vs Scott: analyzing the conversation (58:00 - 60:00) Speech act theory and Scott's defense of Trump (60:00 - 67:00) The accusation of sophistry: Sam Harris and the Very Bad Wizards (David Pizarro and Tamler Sommers) on Scott Adams (67:00 - 77:40) The philosopher-sophist spectrum, and the persuasion challenge that Scott Adams faces (77:40 - 90:00) Diving deeper: Scott Adams, the illusion of reality, and how persuasion masters can reshape the Matrix
In this episode we look at persuasion through the eyes of seduction experts and the pickup artist community. - why critical thinking educators need to talk about persuasion - why scientific rationality is a social achievement that takes effort and vigilance to maintain - preparing students for life outside the dojo - summarizing our list of persuasion topics - Ross Jeffries as pioneer of the seduction community - NLP, hypnosis and "speed seduction" - Tom Cruise, Frank T.J. Mackey, and "Seduce and Destroy" - the seduction community's approach to the science of persuasion - the difficulty of answering the question "does it work?"
In this episode I explore learning and teaching techniques used in the martial arts, from the perspective of the beginning student and from the perspective of the experienced instructor. I extract a number of important training principles from this exercise that I hope to incorporate in the Argument Ninja training program. In This Episode: Review: What is "Rational Persuasion"? (2:30) Reminder: Our Children Are Watching (7:20) The White Belt Experience (10:00) Training for Skill Development: Analysis, Synthesis, Repetition, and Internalization (13:00) Training for Combat: Objectives, Strategy and Tactics (17:30) Training Through Time: Cumulative, Incremental Progress (25:15) Training with Inspiration: "Beginner's Mind" (30:30) Summing Up (37:45) The Instructional Design Challenge (39:00) How Classroom Teachers Solve It (42:10) The Value of a Belt Level System (44:00) How You Can Support the Podcast and the Argument Ninja Program (46:25) Book Me For a Speaking Gig (48:30)
Last episode I introduced an important concept for critical thinking, what I call an Argument Matrix. In this episode I talk about the mindset, the tools and the literacy skills that are required to successfully build an Argument Matrix. In This Episode: - Recap: What is an Argument Matrix? - How should we go about building an Argument Matrix? - Three parts to my answer (1) Mindset issues: confirmation bias, psychological barriers, fear (2) Technology issues: capturing and organizing the right kind of information (3) Literacy issues: media and information literacy, argument literacy, reading and writing literacy - Why public education doesn't teach critical thinking
This is the first episode since Donald Trump won the election, so you know I've got to talk about Trump! In this episode I take up the question that Scott Adams has framed for us: is Donald Trump some kind of "master persuader" who uses persuasion techniques familiar to anyone trained in hypnosis? And is this the reason why he won the election? In This Episode: - Help me build the Argument Ninja Academy - Scott Adams on Donald Trump: Master Persuader - "Pacing and leading", Milton Erickson and hypnosis - Confusion and hypnotic suggestibility - Confusion and self-defense - Confusion and the "Chewbacca Defense" - Derren Brown: how to steal with hypnosis - Hypnosis stage acts and the spectrum of hypnotizability - Why Scott Adams was confident that Trump would win - Is Trump a master persuader? - Thinking critically about persuasion schools and persuasion science
On this episode I talk about the genesis of my new video course, "The Vocabulary of Science: First Steps to Science Literacy", and my decision to start producing the Argument Ninja podcast in both audio and video formats. Next episode will be an "Ask Me Anything" episode. You can submit questions at this URL: Listeners can access the video course at the Critical Thinker Academy or on Udemy. Follow the links below: At the Critical Thinker Academy (included in the site-wide subscription for as low as $3/month): On Udemy (this link will give you a HUGE discount on the retail price): Supporting members on Patreon also get access to all of the content at the Critical Thinker Academy, including this new course: The video version of this episode! Show notes for this episode: In This Episode: (0:00 - 0:45) Introductory remarks - new course, and this podcast has both audio and video versions (0:45 - 1:10) Next episode is an "Ask Me Anything" episode (1:10 - 4:00) Introduction to my new Vocabulary of Science video course. Play the promo video for the course. (4:00 - 5:15) How to access the course. (5:15 - 8:40) The history of this course: science education; producing a "critical thinking about science" podcast; designing a curriculum that teaches genuine science literacy. (8:40 - 10:00) Pivoting toward the Argument Ninja concept. (10:00 -  11:34)  The decision to create new courses for Udemy and the Critical Thinker Academy. (11:34 - 12:10) Why this topic rather than some other topic?; teaching philosophy of science at Carleton University. (12:10 - 13:30) The perfect student assignment for this course; video critique exercise. (13:30 -  14:55) The new video format for producing courses and the podcast. (14:55 - 16:15) Wrapping up; reminder, AMA questions for next episode.
On this episode of the Argument Ninja podcast I talk about the importance of critical thinking education for kids and teens, and what parents can do to help their kids become better critical thinkers. *** In This Episode: (0:00 - 4:57) Introduction (4:57 - 8:51) Critical Thinking Values (8:51 - 12:58) Why This Matters Even More to Young People (12:58 - 15:27) The Light Side and the Dark Side (15:27 - 16:25) The Martial Context of Critical Thinking (16:25 - 19:00) Social Media, Commercial Digital Culture and the Martial Context of Critical Thinking (19:00 - 22:42) Polarization and Critical Thinking: The One Ring to Rule Them All (22:42 - 24:45) Summing Up (24:45 - 27:47) Recommendation 1: Prioritize Role Modeling (27:47 - 32:19) Recommendation 2: Role-Model Intellectual Virtues (32:19 - 38:56) Recommendation 3: Depolarize Your Home (38:56 - 42:04) Recommendation 4: Be Critical of Social Media (42:04 - 48:00) Recommendation 5: Develop the Right Background Knowledge (48:00 - 52:37) Wrapping Up *** You can find show notes with links and supporting resources at: Learn how you can support Kevin’s work on Patreon: Anyone who signs up on Patreon gets access to all of the video tutorial courses at the Critical Thinker Academy website: Follow Kevin’s updates on Facebook:  
On this episode I’ve got an interview lined up for you that I did with Bob Froehlich, who hosts the Thinking Clearly radio program and podcast over at KMUD community radio in Redway, California. Our topic was critical thinking and tribalism, very much in the vein of what I’ve been talking about in my recent sketchbook video series titled, appropriately, "Critical Thinking and Tribalism". (To see the first three videos in this series, follow the links in the show notes below). If you’ve been following my work a certain amount of this will be familiar, but in this interview we covered some new topics relating to tribalism and polarization that I haven’t discussed before; for example, the distinction between ideological polarization and social polarization; evidence that social polarization along political lines has increased dramatically in recent years, especially in the US; and some discussion of the causes of this increase in polarization. We also answer a couple of live call-ins from listeners! We hear a lot of talk about the "rediscovery of tribal psychology "in recent years, but my view is that it’s misguided to think of tribal psychology per se as the problem. The problem facing us today is how our tribal psychology operates when polarization becomes extreme. So the more pressing issue is to understand the psychological and social factors that increase or decrease polarization. *** In This Episode: (0:00 - 4:25) Introductory remarks from Kevin (4:25 - 1:50) Introductory remarks from Bob Froelich (5:56 - 6:34) What is a tribe? (6:34 - 7:00) What is tribalism? (7:40 - 9:15) What prompted me to engage with this issue of tribalism? How is it relevant to critical thinking? (9:30 - 13:16) What is "tribal psychology"? (13:16 - 15:47) Examples of group identities that can become tribal (15:47 - 19:50) Tribal psychology as an evolutionary adaptation for human survival (20:00 - 21:13) In-group solidarity and out-group antipathy/hostility (21:13 -  22:27) Good news: tribal identification may be hardwired, but tribal categories are flexible (22:27 - 26:15) The importance of signaling to demonstrate membership in and solidarity with tribal groups; the rationality of tribal solidarity; signaling as unconscious cognitive bias (26:15 - 29:35) The distinction between tribalism and polarization, and why the problem is polarization, not tribalism (30:23 - 34:50) Ideological polarization versus social polarization; evidence for increasing social polarization; shout-out to Lillian Mason (34:50 -  35:30) Social sorting and segregation as a cause of increased social polarization (35:30 - 37:05) Loss of viewpoint diversity as an obstacle to critical thinking (38:05 - 40:25)  What can be done to foster more productive relationships between in-groups that have become more polarized? (40:25 -  42:30) What's ahead for me, what I'm working on right now (43:27 - 47:45 ) Caller 1 - concerns with using the word "tribe" and "tribal" in this context when Native Americans and First Nations Peoples use that term to identify their political and social groups  (48:37 - 50:40) Caller 2 - wants me to write a book! (50:55 - 52:12) Wrapping up: there's a broader story to be told about the forces that are exacerbating the problems discussed on this show *** References and Links: Thinking Clearly Radio Program Podcast: Facebook: Videos in my Critical Thinking and Tribalism series: 1. "The Dangers of Tribalism" 2. "Our Tribal Intelligence" 3."In Our Tribe We Trust" Lilliana Mason's homepage, and her book, Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity My Patreon support page Critical Thinker Academy (
In this episode I talk about the relationship between critical thinking and rational persuasion, and why, even though I identify as a critical thinking educator, and I have a website called The Critical Thinker Academy, the focus of this podcast is rational persuasion, rather than critical thinking more broadly. In this episode I push the martial arts theme a little further, and give some reasons to think of rational persuasion as a martial art. And finally, I give an example that illustrates the distinction I want to draw between rational argumentation and rational persuasion.
In this episode I explore reasons why standard critical thinking textbooks say almost nothing about the psychology of human reasoning and persuasion. Topics include: - argumentation as rhetoric vs argumentation as tool for philosophical reasoning - why Plato was so hard on the Sophists - what it was like being socialized into philosophy as a student - the martial arts training hall as a ritualized space - why the classroom is like a dojo for training in the martial art of rational argumentation - understanding the rules inside the dojo vs the rules outside the dojo - argumentation and the dream of universal reason - why critical thinking needs both approaches to argumentation
If I was asked to teach a graduate seminar in the philosophy and methods of persuasion, how would I organize the content? What would my syllabus look like? In this episode I answer that question, and start working my way down the syllabus (we cover the first two items in this episode). Here are the topic categories on my syllabus: 1. people skills 2. selling and marketing skills 3. seduction skills (including "pickup artist" skills) 4. magic and mind reading skills 5. confidence games and the skills of the con artist 6. persuasion in advertising 7. persuasion in politics 8. persuasion in the internet age 9. power and propaganda Topics discussed in this episode: - Dumbledore gets it. Why Hogwarts needs a "Defense Against the Dark Arts" class. - the science and practice of persuasion is not a unified thing - Robert Cialdini's six principles of influence, and the nature of his research project - persuasion practices as guilds, and the guild mentality - "people skills": how to make people like you - Dale...
Welcome and introduction to the show. What has drawn me out of podcast retirement to start a new show. Scott Adams on Donald Trump, and the sorry state of political discourse today. Why critical thinking education needs both a theory of how we ought to reason, and a theory of how we in fact reason. Reasons to think of rational persuasion as a martial art.
On this episode of the Argument Ninja podcast I talk openly about why this is the first new episode I've produced in 7 months, and the lessons I'm learning as a life-long stutterer. Timestamps 00:00 - 03:12  Introduction 03:12 - 05:23  The move and web consolidation update 05:23 - 07:24  Failing at the one thing I set out to do 07:24 - 13:49  Experiments, consulting side-gigs, and coaching 13:40 -  18:12 Argument Ninja video community meetings—motivations and lessons learned 18:12 - 33:34 My history as a stutterer, and how it's influenced my work  33:34 - 42:44  On accepting my comfort zone 42:44 - 48:46  Retreating from my role as community builder (and trying to understand why) 48:46 - 57:53  My views on social media and how I choose to use it 57:53 - 01:06:22  A new opportunity that changes the equation 01:06:22 - 01:07:50  Wrapping up
On this episode of the Argument Ninja Podcast I'm presenting edited versions of last three episodes of my first podcast show that I produced in 2010-11. These were the last episodes I produced of that podcast series, and I discuss why in the introduction. The last three episodes were on the subject of conspiracies and conspiracy theories. Topics discussed in this episode include: the definition of a conspiracy, and a conspiracy theory local vs global conspiracies default skepticism about conspiracies 9-11, the Moon Landings, the New World Order, mind control technologies, and other conspiracy theory examples real government conspiracies: COINTELPRO (FBI), MK-ULTRA (CIA) falsifiable and unfalsifiable conspiracies lessons each side can learn  
A bit of a departure for episode 018. I hope you enjoy this interview I did with Jason Vidaurri over at the StoryHinge podcast. He was kind enough to let me repurpose the audio of our interview for the Argument Ninja podcast. On this episode I answer questions about my story, my approach to philosophy and critical thinking, why critical thinking is valuable and important, how our media environment is making it increasingly difficult to think critically for ourselves, what I think is the most glaring omission in standard approaches to critical thinking education, and why the martial arts model of critical thinking that I’m developing at the Argument Ninja Academy is such a useful model. In This Episode: - A quick overview of my background (5:35) - When I realized I wasn't a career academic (7:10) - Why I wanted to do "philosophy journalism" (8:20) - Philosophy and critical thinking have never been a part of the public school curriculum (in North America) (9:10) - Why is this so? (10:30) - Why the...
If we think of rational persuasion as a martial art, what kind of martial art should it be? In this episode I argue that a mixed martial arts approach is the only one that makes sense. But there’s a problem. Philosophical principles play an obvious and important role in traditional martial arts practices, like Taekwondo. They don’t seem to play an important role in mixed martial arts (or if they do, it’s not obvious.) An MMA program for Argument Ninjas needs a philosophy grounded in core critical thinking principles. In this episode I explore these issues. - The clash of martial arts styles and the emergence of mixed martial arts - Taekwondo as an example of a traditional martial art - Rules of Taekwondo sparring - Why would anyone choose to train in a single martial art style? - Lessons learned from sparring and competition - Examples of Taekwondo philosophy - What would a philosophy of mixed martial arts (MMA) look like? - Bruce Lee’s influence on MMA - Bruce Lee’s philosophy of martial arts -...
On this episode of the Argument Ninja podcast I share the audio for the three videos I recently produced on Cognitive Biases, Tribalism and Politics. It was designed as one long video presenting one long argument, so the audio works well in this continuous format.  Show notes and links: Topics covered: the "two movies" phenomenon (Scott Adams) the distinction between "psychological" value pluralism and "philosophical" value pluralism what is affect bias? what is cultural cognition? your "value channel profile" what is the focusing illusion? what is availability bias? what is the mere-exposure effect? how do these cognitive biases interact to create an exaggerated and distorted perception of reality? a three-channel model of political values value channel profiles for the libertarian, the progressive liberal, and the conservative can I be a libertarian AND a progressive liberal AND a conservative? sources of "pathological tribalism" analogy: Black Mirror, "Men Against Fire" trading off critical thinking values and political values  
On this episode I talk about the various ways that curiosity is an undervalued resource for critical thinking. I explain how curiosity plays an important role in generating the kind of background knowledge that supports critical thinking, and why it has important and underrated debiasing properties, meaning that it can reduce many of the harmful effects of cognitive biases on our thinking. I’m also going to talk about my personal relationship to curiosity, and how it has influenced many of the decisions I’ve made in my career. In This Episode: Knowledge is not compartmentalized (3:40) Curiosity is a resource for generating relevant and lasting background knowledge that supports critical thinking (5:30) “Situational” curiosity vs “trait” curiosity (9:30) Some people are naturally more curious than others, but curiosity can be cultivated (11:25) “Partisan interest” vs genuine curiosity (14:50) Genuine curiosity is a debiasing agent (16:40) High partisan interest, low curiosity (18:15) My personal...
On this episode of the Argument Ninja podcast I talk about TRIBALISM and the challenges that our tribal psychology poses for critical thinking. This episode includes the audio for two sketchbook videos I've done on this topic, "The Dangers of Tribalism" (11 minutes) and "Our Tribal Intelligence" (13 minutes), with additional commentary not found in those videos. I give time stamps below to help you navigate the episode if you've already watched those videos.  Show notes and links: Support the podcast on Patreon: (0:00 - 1:45) Introductory remarks.  (1:45 - 10:40) A undeserved gift, and my reflections on the nature of grace and original sin (my "secular Christian existentialism"). (10:40 - 15:25) Commentary setting up the discussion of tribalism and critical thinking. (15:25 -  26:52) The audio from my video on "The Dangers of Tribalism". (26:52 - 30:18) Commentary on "The Dangers of Tribalism". The multidisciplinary character of research on tribalism. Setting up the discussion of tribal epistemology. (30:18 - 42:40) The audio from my video on "Our Tribal Intelligence" (42:40 - 48:16) Commentary on "Our Tribal Intelligence". Cognitive biases that have roots in our tribal nature. The "knowledge illusion". Metacognition (thinking about thinking). Who is doing research on collective intelligence and the psychology of effective teamwork. (48:16 - 50:10) Wrapping up.  
This past month I was fortunate to be a guest of Xidian University in China for two weeks. On this episode of the podcast I share stories and reflections from my adventures as a first-time visitor to China, and I give an overview of some of the public talks and lectures I gave during my visit. The episode has four distinct parts. The first 20 minutes is stories from my trip and observations about Chinese culture. Then there are three discussions on philosophy, science and critical thinking topics: (00 min -20 min) stories from my trip and observations about Chinese culture (20 min - 30 min) on circular reasoning in the appeal to science and nature to justify social and political views (30 min - 40 min) on the elements of science literacy and why public science education doesn't teach it (40 min - 50 min) on the history of critical thinking in the west, and the challenges of talking about the value of critical thinking to audiences in modern China You can find a photo essay with lots of pics over at the blog at You can support the Argument Ninja podcast at
On this episode of the Argument Ninja podcast I offer a perspective on Jordan Peterson's criticism of left-wing ideology (what he calls "cultural Marxism") by sharing some of my intellectual history with feminism, Marxism and postmodernism. The broader theme of this episode is how to critically engage with ideas without being sucked into the tribal psychology of ideological conflict.  Show notes and links: Support the podcast on Patreon: In This Episode: (0:00 - 3:10) Introductory remarks (3:10 - 6:10) Introduction to Jordan Peterson (6:10 - 7:15) Email from Daniel: a question about JP and "cultural Marxism" (7:15 -  8:00) Feminism's branding problem (8:00 - 10:30) My philosophy mini-course in middle school (10:30 - 17:35) The value of separating the descriptive components from the normative components of feminism (17:35 - 19:00) Distinction: describing patterns of discrimination vs explaining those patterns (19:00 - 20:11) Why this way of defining feminism leaves lots of room for disagreement (20:11 - 20:45) My agnosticism about explanations for the root causes of discrimination (and social change in general) (20:45 -  23:48) Feminism and theories of social change: the problem of how to get from here to there (23:48 - 24:58) Help support the podcast! (25:00 -  31:00) Introduction to Marxism: what you can learn from Marx without committing to socialism or communism (31:00 - 42:35) A thought experiment to illustrate a Marxist approach to social change: social idealism vs social materialism in explanations of slavery (42:35 - 50:00) Jordan Peterson (via Stephen Hicks) on cultural Marxism and postmodernism (50:00 - 51:45) Conspiracy theories and peer review (51:45 - 53:52) "Traditional philosophical inquiry" vs postmodernism (53:52 - 1:03:15)  A legendary graduate seminar: "Essence and Construction". Philosophy vs Theory and Criticism as a clash of intellectual cultures (1:03:15 - 1:06:38) Breaking through: learning to communicate across an ideological divide (1:06:38 - 1:07:55) Empathy as a tool of understanding (1:07:55 - 1:10:11) Being socialized into a tribal view of intellectual identity and ideological conflict (1:10:11 - 1:12:19) Criticizing Jordan Peterson is easy when every side has their champion and everyone else is a charlatan (1:12:19 - 1:14:15) "Once you start playing this game, you will be a creature of the game from that point forward" (1:14:15 - 1:15:30) The WarGames option: "the only way to win is not to play". What it means to take the side of people  
The Argument Ninja training program that I'm developing is inspired by martial arts training principles. The curriculum is spread over nine belt ranks (white belt, yellow belt, orange belt, etc. ) In this episode I give an overview of the learning modules that make up the white belt curriculum, and dive deep into the second module, an introduction to Argument Analysis. In This Episode: Overview of the White Belt Modules (2:20) Module 1: What is an Argument Ninja? (4:20) The Goals of Critical Thinking (4:56) We Have a Problem (5:41) Solution: The Argument Ninja Academy (6:47) Module 2: Argument Analysis (I) (8:35) Worry: No One Talks Like This (9:00) It's About Learning the Principles (10:22) Wax-on, Wax-off (11:38) Definition of an Argument (14:35) Demanding Clarity (20:30) Vagueness and Ambiguity (22:00) Example: Is Trump a Conservative? (23:55) Argument Analysis Skills (26:30) Comment: Argumentation vs Persuasion (28:00) Example: "Make America Great Again" (29:13) Wrapping Up (31:11)
Is it ever okay to intentionally use unconscious persuasion techniques to get people to like you? We explore this case study in the ethics of persuasion as we follow Derek and Carla on a lunch date. We also discuss persuasion ninjas Dale Carnegie and Robert Cialdini's principles for getting someone to like you, and lessons from South Park on how to get bigger tips.
On this episode of the Argument Ninja podcast I talk about the difficulty of judging how much we really understand about the causes of complex social phenomena—even if we do lots of research and self-study. To help make the case I’m continuing my survey of different theories of the causes of the increase in social polarization that we’re currently experiencing. On this episode I look specifically at the work of two social scientists who have written extensively on this topic: Karen Stenner on the “authoritarian” personality type.  Her 2005 book The Authoritarian Dynamic can be read as predicting the expansion of right-wing populism that contributed to the rise of Trump and Brexit. Stenner's work has been influential on Jonathan Haidt's analysis of polarization. Eric Kauffman on the effects of immigration on polarization in white majority countries. His latest book Whiteshift explores how demographic shifts are driving cultural conflict, and how this will likely play out in the longer run. But before I get to these topics, I give some Argument Ninja Dojo updates, do a recap of episode 034, and present a conceptual model for how we should think about the epistemological challenge of understanding complex social phenomena like polarization. Timestamps 00:00 - 01:22  Introduction 01:22 - 06:31  Argument Ninja Dojo Announcements 06:31 - 11:45  Recap of Episode 034 11:45 - 14:41  Outline of What's to Come 14:41 -  23:40 Argument Matrices and the Problem of Calibrating Our Knowledge 23:40 - 25:48  The Epistemological Challenge of Understanding Complex Social Phenomena 25:48 - 42:44  Karen Stenner: The Authoritarian Dynamic 42:44 - 01:04:35  Eric Kauffman: Whiteshift and "Multivocal" Nationalism 01:04:35 - 01:07:56  Reasons to Think We Know Less Than We Think 01:07:56 - 01:08:44  Reminder: Argument Ninja Dojo Discount Coupon Links Links Show notes Click here to learn more about the Argument Ninja Dojo and how to sign up using a discount coupon link for as low as $3/month. Karen Stenner's homepage Eric Kauffman's homepage  
In episode 024 of the Argument Ninja Podcast I'm starting a series of episodes that will explore different models of the causes of social and political polarization, and introduce some general principles for thinking critically about complex social phenomena like polarization. In this episode (Part 1) I examine models of polarization and social change that are implicit in the depolarization strategies of three different depolarizing initiatives: Better Angels, AllSides, and OpenMind. Timestamps: 00:00  Why I'm doing a multi-part series on understanding the causes of polarization 06:46  Ideological polarization and evidence for increases 09:36  Affective polarization and evidence for increases 13:12  The depolarization strategy of Better Angels 20:25  The depolarization strategy of AllSides 26:32  Jonathan Haidt and OpenMind 31:48  The four-factor account of the causes of polarization in Chapter 3 of The Coddling of the American Mind 32:22  Loss of a common enemy or challenge 33:53  Social sorting and the emergence of homogeneous political identity groups 38:14  Partisan media and filter bubbles 39:05  Rise of negative partisanship in government 43:24  On the mismatch between individual-level strategies for depolarization, and multi-level, multi-scalar theories of the causes polarization 49:06  Wrapping up Links: Better Angels ( AllSides ( AllSides For Schools ( LivingRoom Conversations ( OpenMind ( The Righteous Mind ( The Coddling of the American Mind (  
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Podcast Details

Jul 15th, 2016
Latest Episode
Aug 28th, 2019
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Avg. Episode Length
44 minutes

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