Show 303 - The Way You Play The Game Redux
48 min
It's not easy to get under Dan's normally flexible, see-things-from-multiple-angles skin, but Donald Trump's stated willingness to cross traditional American moral fault lines has done just that.
History on Fire
History on Fire
Daniele Bolelli
EPISODE 67 Ripples of History
“If I knew the way, I would take you home.”  From the song Ripple by the Grateful Dead  “The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.” Bertrand Russell  “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” Michael Jordan  “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Tao Te Ching  In most fields, we are taught that people in your same profession are your competitors, and you need to do whatever you can to prevent them from rising above you. In podcasting I found the opposite attitude—people helping each other out and doing whatever possible to facilitate things for other podcasters in the same field. In this spirit, today we’ll do something unique: six history podcasters cooperating, with each one tackling a segment, to create a super-episode together. As the host, yours truly will get the ball rolling setting the theme and offering some examples of ‘historical ripples’—events that end up having unforeseen consequences years, or decades, or centuries after they take place. Alexander Rader Von Sternberg (History Impossible) will chat about how a man who died feeling like he had failed to make his mark in history ended up—possibly more than any other—shaping the culture of several Asian civilizations. CJ Killmer (Dangerous History) will tackle the Bacon’s Rebellion and its ramifications. Sebastian Major (Our Fake History) will play with the myth and lasting impact of Homer’s telling of the Trojan War. Sam Davis (Inward Empire) will be discussing the impact of Henry David Thoreau’s essay Civil Disobedience on the Civil Rights Movement about a century later. And Darryl Cooper (Martyrmade) will make a case for the Japanese origin for suicide bombings in the Middle East.
2 hr 55 min
History Impossible
History Impossible
Alexander von Sternberg
Infinitesimal Impossibilities 02: The Mad Madame of New Orleans
History Impossible is back sooner than some may have anticipated for another installment of the Infinitesimal Impossibilities series, this time recorded in the spirit (and in the last hours) of Halloween 2020.   This time, we cover a story that takes place in early 19th century New Orleans. It begins with a fire, or rather perhaps concludes with one. A large mansion whose hosts had been entertaining guests, catches fire from its upstairs kitchen. As people pour into the streets to watch the blaze, they see one of the slaves screaming from an upstairs window before she is engulfed in flames.   When the fire brigade arrives, they demand to enter the premises to put out the remaining flames and check for survivors. The owner of the home, a Madame Delphine LaLaurie, and her husband, Dr. LaLaurie, wave away such suggestions. The fire brigade nevertheless gets their wish and enters the home, searching for survivors. After breaking open a secret door, the horrors they encounter on the other side beggar belief.   Just as they discover the secret room, Dr. and Madame LaLaurie are spirited away in a carriage, never to be seen again.   Who was Madame LaLaurie? Who was her husband, the good doctor? What was found behind the secret door? To where did this couple from the cream of the New Orleans high society crop disappear? Why did people come to believe the rebuilt mansion and its grounds were haunted? How much of the stories spun about the Mad Madame, as she came to be known, are even true? How does Nicolas Cage fit into all this? This will all be answered and more in this next installment of Infinitesimal Impossibilities.   History Impossible has been made possible by the following generous supporters on Patreon and PayPal: * Elias Borota * Matthew Dakus * Kyle Dillon * Gavin Edwards * Peter Hauck * Devin Hreha * Mike Kalnins * Benjamin Lee * Tyler Livingston  * Jose Martinez * Mike Mayleben * Judy McCoid * Kostas Moros * Molly Pan * Jake Petersen * John Pisano * Edmund Plamowski * Brian Pritzl * PJ Rader * Alison Salo * Sam * Emily Schmidt * Steve Uhler * Ricky Worthey
1 hr 18 min
Science Salon
Science Salon
Michael Shermer
144. Agustín Fuentes — Why We Believe: Evolution and the Human Way of Being
Why are so many humans religious? Why do we daydream, imagine, and hope? Philosophers, theologians, social scientists, and historians have offered explanations for centuries, but their accounts often ignore or even avoid human evolution. Evolutionary scientists answer with proposals for why ritual, religion, and faith make sense as adaptations to past challenges or as by-products of our hyper-complex cognitive capacities. But what if the focus on religion is too narrow? Renowned anthropologist Agustín Fuentes argues that the capacity to be religious is actually a small part of a larger and deeper human capacity to believe. Why believe in religion, economies, love? Fuentes employs evolutionary, neurobiological, and anthropological evidence to argue that belief — the ability to commit passionately and wholeheartedly to an idea — is central to the human way of being in the world. The premise of the book is that believing is our ability to draw on our range of cognitive and social resources, our histories and experiences, and combine them with our imagination. It is the power to think beyond what is here and now in order to see and feel and know something — an idea, a vision, a necessity, a possibility, a truth — that is not immediately present to the senses, and then to invest, wholly and authentically, in that “something” so that it becomes one’s reality. The point is that beliefs and belief systems permeate human neurobiologies, bodies, and ecologies, and structure and shape our daily lives, our societies, and the world around us. We are human, therefore we believe, and this book tells us how we came to be that way. Shermer and Fuentes also discuss: * what it means to “believe” something (belief in evolution or the Big Bang is different from belief in progressive taxes or affirmative action), * evolution and how beliefs are formed…and why, * evolution of awe, wonder, aesthetic sense, beauty, art, music, dance, etc. (adaptation or exaptation/spandrel?), * evolution of spirituality, religion, belief in immortality, * Were Neanderthals human in the “belief” sense? * human niche and the evolution of symbolism/language, * evolution of theory of mind, * how to infer symbolic meaning from archaeological artifacts, * components of belief: augmented cognition and neurobiology, intentionality, imagination, innovation, compassion and intensive reliance on others, meaning-making, * dog domestication and human self-domestication, * Göbekli Tepe and the underestimation of ancient peoples’ cognitive capacities, * the development of property, accumulation of goods, inequality, and social hierarchy, * gender role specialization, * monogamy and polyamory, gender and sex, and continuum vs. binary thinking, * violence and warfare, * political and economic systems of belief, and * love as belief. Agustín Fuentes is a Professor of Anthropology at Princeton University. He is an active public scientist, a well-known blogger, lecturer, tweeter, and an explorer for National Geographic. Fuentes received the Inaugural Communication & Outreach Award from the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, the President’s Award from the American Anthropological Association, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
1 hr 40 min
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