Episodes
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with John McWhorter about race, racism, and “anti-racism” in America. They discuss how conceptions of racism have changed, the ubiquitous threat of being branded a “racist,” the contradictions within identity politics, recent echoes of the OJ verdict, willingness among progressives to lose the 2020 election, racism as the all-purpose explanation of racial disparities in the U.S., double standards for the black community, the war on drugs, the...
Published 09/17/20
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Graeme Wood about the breakdown of social order in the U.S. They discuss the recent eruptions of violence, the loss of trust in the media, the cases of Jacob Blake and Kyle Rittenhouse, how to understand police videos, the risks of vigilantism, the politicization of race, the problem of deep fakes, Trump not actually wanting to be president, the prospect that Trump might attempt to pardon himself, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to continue...
Published 09/03/20
In this episode the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with David Miliband about his work with the International Rescue Committee. They discuss the crisis of internally displaced peoples and refugees, the problem with open borders, the vetting of refugees, the limits of nation-building and diplomacy, the realities of globalization, global risks, defending human rights, a “post-values and post-competence” America, the breakdown of trust in institutions, the prospects of a second Trump term, and other...
Published 08/21/20
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Siddhartha Mukherjee about our ongoing failure to adequately respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. They discuss the significance of asymptomatic spread, the lack of Chinese cooperation, the failures of testing, travel restrictions, the missteps of the FDA and the CDC, controversy around masks, the lack of coordination among the states, conspiracy thinking about mortality statistics, the political contamination of public health information,...
Published 08/13/20
In this episode the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Gabriel Dance about the global epidemic of child sexual abuse. They discuss how misleading the concept of “child pornography” is, the failure of governments and tech companies to grapple with the problem, the tradeoff between online privacy and protecting children, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, photo DNA, the roles played by specific tech companies, the ethics of encryption, “sextortion,” the culture of pedophiles,...
Published 08/04/20
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Kathryn Paige Harden about public controversy over group differences in traits like intelligence and ongoing research in behavioral genetics. They discuss Harden’s criticism of the Making Sense episode featuring Charles Murray, the mingling of scientific thinking with politics and social activism, cancel culture, environmental and genetic contributions to individual and group differences, intellectual honesty, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE...
Published 07/29/20
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Robert Plomin about the role that DNA plays in determining who we are. They discuss the birth of behavioral genetics, the taboo around studying the influence of genes on human psychology, controversies surrounding the topic of group differences, the first law of behavior genetics, heritability, nature and nurture, the mystery of non-shared environment, the way genes help determine a person's environment, epigenetics, the genetics of...
Published 07/17/20
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with William J. Perry and Lisa Perry about the ever-present threat of nuclear war. They discuss the history of nuclear weapons, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the present threat of accidental nuclear war, nuclear terrorism, unilateral disarmament, the psychology of deterrence, tactical nuclear weapons, cybersecurity, details of command and control, nuclear proliferation, the steps we could take toward safety,...
Published 07/09/20
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Scott Barry Kaufman about human well-being. They discuss intelligence and creativity, wisdom and transcendence, the history of humanistic psychology, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, the connection between well-being and ethics, self-esteem, psychedelics and meditation, peak and plateau experiences, mortality salience, the pre-trans fallacy, fear of uncertainty, work and meaning, intrinsic vs. extrinsic rewards, pathological altruism,...
Published 07/03/20
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Toby Ord about preserving the long term future of humanity. They discuss moral biases with respect to distance in space and time, the psychology of effective altruism, feeling good vs doing good, possible blindspots in consequentialism, natural vs human-caused risk, asteroid impacts, nuclear war, pandemics, the potentially cosmic significance of human survival, the difference between bad things and the absence of good things, population...
Published 06/23/20
In this episode of the podcast, Sam discusses the recent social protests and civil unrest, in light of what we know about racism and police violence in America. SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all content on samharris.org/subscribe
Published 06/13/20
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with David Frum about the shifting political landscape. They discuss the secularization of politics, distrust of the media and other institutions, voter suppression, the 2020 elections, what happens if Trump gets a second term, the role of money in politics, conspiracy theories around Covid-19, the Michael Flynn controversy, the prospect that Trump will refuse to leave office, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to continue listening and gain access...
Published 05/26/20
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Daniel Markovits about the problems with meritocracy. They discuss the nature of inequality in the United States, the disappearance of the leisure class, the difference between labor and capital as sources of inequality, the way the education system amplifies inequality, the shrinking middle class, deaths of despair, differing social norms among the elite and the working class, the ethics of taxation, scales of philanthropy, universal...
Published 05/22/20
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Jonathan Haidt about the maintenance of a healthy society. They discuss the problem of orthodoxy, the history of political polarization in the US, the breakdown of public conversation, remaining uncertainty about Covid-19, motivated reasoning, the 2020 election, the future prospects for Gen Z, the effect of social media on the mental health of girls, Jonathan's experience with psychedelics, positive psychology, loss of self, the...
Published 05/18/20
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Caitlin Flanagan about her cancer recurrence and the response to her recent article in the Atlantic discussing it. They discuss the dynamics of apologies and forgiveness, the #MeToo movement and the allegations against Biden, modern feminism, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to continue listening and gain access to all content on samharris.org/subscribe
Published 05/13/20
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Andrew Yang about the Covid-19 pandemic. They discuss the future of the middle class, Andrew’s experience campaigning for President, the need to build new digital infrastructure, universal basic income (UBI), concerns about the Biden’s age and #MeToo allegation, hostility between the United States and China, problems with the global supply chain, concerns about social cohesion, market failures, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to continue...
Published 05/11/20
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Yuval Noah Harari about the Covid-19 pandemic and its future implications. They discuss the failures of global leadership, the widespread distrust of institutions, the benefits of nationalism and its current unraveling in the U.S., politics as a way of reconciling competing desires, the consequences of misinformation, the enduring respect for science, the future of surveillance, the changing role of religion, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE...
Published 05/01/20
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with James Clear about habit formation. They discuss the difference between creating good habits and discontinuing bad ones, the role of the environment, the misalignment between immediate and long term outcomes, the remembering self vs the experiencing self, goals vs systems, the compounding of incremental gains, the role of attention, the four laws of behavior change, “temptation bundling,” and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to continue listening...
Published 04/29/20
Published 04/29/20
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris and Caitlin Flanagan discuss the ethics of abortion, the fact that universities with immense endowments are laying off staff during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Woody Allen autobiography, the moral hypocrisy of Hollywood, the lessons of "Tiger King," and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to continue listening and gain access to all content on samharris.org/subscribe
Published 04/24/20
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris and Paul Bloom discuss the false tradeoff between the economy and public health, putting a price on human life, framing effects for moral questions, how Covid-19 may change human behavior, "turn-key totalitarianism," the future of education, the long term psychological effects of the pandemic, the 2020 election, the prospect that Sanders supporters won't vote for Biden, and what Sam means when he says "the self is an illusion," and other topics. ...
Published 04/16/20
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Caitlin Flanagan. They discuss the different sorts of experiences people are having during the Covid-19 pandemic, what it has exposed about our education system, the 2020 election and the many problems with Joe Biden, why the press has been slow to cover Biden’s #MeToo allegation, the perceived double standards in the press and within feminism, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to continue listening and gain access to all content on...
Published 04/12/20
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Laurie Santos about the scientific study of happiness. They discuss people’s expectations about happiness, the experiencing self vs the remembered self, framing effects, the importance of social connections, the effect of focusing on the happiness of others, introversion and extroversion, the influence of technology on social life, our relationship to time, the connection between happiness and ethics, hedonic adaptation, the power of...
Published 04/10/20
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with General Stanley McChrystal and Chris Fussell about the Covid-19 pandemic. They discuss the nature of the ongoing crisis, the threat of a breakdown in social order, the problem of misinformation, the prospects of a nationwide lockdown, the trade off between personal freedom and safety, the threat of tyranny, the concerns about the global supply chain, concerns about the price of oil, safeguarding the 2020 Presidential election, and other...
Published 04/06/20
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Matt Mullenweg about the evolution of distributed work. They discuss the benefits of working from home, the new norms of knowledge work, relevant tools and security concerns, the challenges for managers, the importance of written communication, the necessity of innovating in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, delivery networks as critical infrastructure, economic recovery, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all content on...
Published 03/25/20