November 8th, 2017, 09:56 AM
In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Kurt Andersen about the American aptitude for unfounded belief, the religious lunacy of the Puritans, populist mistrust of authority, the link between postmodernism and religious fundamentalism, the unique history of American religious entrepreneurship, the Trump phenomenon, the effect of fame on politics, and other topics.
Kurt Andersen is the bestselling author of the novels Heyday, Turn of the Century, and True Believers. He contributes to Vanity Fair and The New York Times, and is host and co-creator of Studio 360, the Peabody Award–winning public radio show and podcast. He also writes for television, film, and the stage. Andersen co-founded Spy magazine, served as editor in chief of New York, and was a cultural columnist and critic for Time and The New Yorker. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, where he was an editor of The Harvard Lampoon. His most recent book is Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire, A 500-Year History.
Is Buddhism True?
October 30th, 2017, 09:56 AM
In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Robert Wright about his book Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment.
Robert Wright is the New York Times bestselling author of The Evolution of God (a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize), Nonzero, The Moral Animal, Three Scientists and their Gods (a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award). He is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the widely respected Bloggingheads.tv and MeaningofLife.tv. He has written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times, Time, Slate, and The New Republic. He has taught at the University of Pennsylvania and at Princeton University, where he also created the popular online course “Buddhism and Modern Psychology.” He is currently Visiting Professor of Science and Religion at Union Theological Seminary in New York. His most recent book is Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment.
Defending the Republic
October 17th, 2017, 09:56 AM
In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Cass Sunstein about the fragmentation of American society, “choice architecture,” the importance of face-to-face interactions for problem solving, group polarization and identity politics, virtuous extremism, the wisdom of crowds, direct democracy, the limits of free speech, the process of Presidential impeachment, and other topics. Cass R. Sunstein is the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard Law School, where he is the founder and director of the Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy. He is the most cited law professor in the United States. From 2009 to 2012 he served in the Obama administration as Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. He has testified before congressional committees, been involved in constitution-making and law reform activities in a number of nations, and written many articles and books, including Nudge (with Richard Thaler), #Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media, and Impeachment: A Citizen’s Guide.
Facing the Crowd
October 9th, 2017, 09:56 AM
In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Nicholas Christakis about mob behavior, moral panics, and current threats to free speech.Nicholas A. Christakis is a sociologist and physician who conducts research in the area of biosocial science, investigating the biological predicates and consequences of social phenomena. He directs the Human Nature Lab at Yale University, where he is appointed as the Sol Goldman Family Professor of Social and Natural Science, and he is the Co-Director of the Yale Institute for Network Science. Dr. Christakis’ lab is focused on the relationship between social networks and well-being. Ongoing investigations in the lab explore the genetic bases for human social behaviors and the application of social network principles to change population-level behavior related to health, cooperation, and economic development. Along with long-time collaborator, James Fowler, Dr. Christakis has authored a general-audience book on social networks: Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives.
The “After On” Interview
October 5th, 2017, 09:56 AM
This episode of the Waking Up podcast features an interview that Sam did with Rob Reid on the After On podcast. They speak about publishing, psychedelics, terrorism, meditation, free speech and other topics.Rob Reid founded Listen.com, which built the pioneering online music service Rhapsody and created the unlimited subscription model since adopted by Apple, Spotify, and many others. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Year Zero, a work of fiction; Year One, a memoir about student life at Harvard Business School; and Architects of the Web, the first true business history of the Internet. His latest book is After On: A Novel of Silicon Valley.
What Happened to Liberalism?
September 28th, 2017, 09:56 AM
In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Mark Lilla about the fate of political liberalism in the United States, the emergence of a new identity politics, the role of class in American society, wealth inequality, and other topics.
Mark Lilla is Professor of the Humanities at Columbia University and a prizewinning essayist for the New York Review of Books and other publications worldwide. His books include The Shipwrecked Mind: On Political Reaction; The Stillborn God: Religion, Politics, and the Modern West; The Reckless Mind: Intellectuals in Politics, and The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics.
Into the Dark Land
September 20th, 2017, 09:56 AM
In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Siddhartha Mukherjee about his Pulitzer Prize winning book, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer. Siddhartha Mukherjee is a cancer physician and researcher. He is an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University and a staff cancer physician at the CU/NYU Presbyterian Hospital. A former Rhodes scholar, he graduated from Stanford University, University of Oxford (where he received a PhD studying cancer-causing viruses) and from Harvard Medical School. His laboratory focuses on discovering new cancer drugs using innovative biological methods. He has published articles and commentary in such journals as Nature, New England Journal of Medicine, Neuron and the Journal of Clinical Investigation and in publications such as the New York Times, The New Yorker, and the New Republic. His work was nominated for Best American Science Writing, 2000. He won the Pulitzer Prize for his book The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer. His most recent book is The Gene: An Intimate History.