title

Very Bad Wizards

Tamler Sommers & David Pizarro

250
Followers
1.5K
Plays
Very Bad Wizards

Very Bad Wizards

Tamler Sommers & David Pizarro

250
Followers
1.5K
Plays
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About Us

Very Bad Wizards is a podcast featuring a philosopher (Tamler Sommers) and a psychologist (David Pizarro), who share a love for ethics, pop culture, and cognitive science, and who have a marked inability to distinguish sacred from profane. Each podcast includes discussions of moral philosophy, recent work on moral psychology and neuroscience, and the overlap between the two.

Latest Episodes

Accept the Mystery (with Paul Bloom)

EVBW favorite Paul Bloom takes a short break from his Sam Harris duties to help us break down the Coen Brothers' ode to uncertainty, A Serious Man. Does inaction have consequences? Can you understand the cat but not the math? Why are there Hebrew letters carved into the back of a goy's teeth? Dybbuk or no Dybbuk? Why does God make us feel the questions if he’s not gonna give us any answers? Plus, Paul defends the psych established against critiques from the podcast peons at Two Psychologists Four Beers and Very Bad Wizards.Special Guest: Paul Bloom.Sponsored By:Hello Fresh: A healthy, delicious, time-saving meal delivered to your doorstep. Try Hello Fresh, America's #1 Meal Kit. Promo Code: verybadwizards10Daily Budget App: A fun and simple five-star iOS app to keep your spending on track. GiveWell: Givewell searches for the charities that save or improve lives the most per dollar. Consider a donation this holiday season--your dollar goes a lot further than you might think!Support V...

99 MIN22 h ago
Comments
Accept the Mystery (with Paul Bloom)

The Paper That Launched a Thousand Twitter Wars (With Yoel Inbar)

EPodcasting legend Yoel Inbar (from Two Psychologists Four Beers) joins us to break down Tal Yarkoni's "The Generalizability Crisis,” the paper that launched a thousand Twitter wars. Psychologists make verbal claims about the world, then conduct studies to test these claims - but are the studies actually providing evidence for those claims? Do psychological experiments generalize beyond the the strict confinments of the lab? Are psychologists even using the right statistical models to be able to claim that they do? Does this debate boil down to fundamental differences in the philosophy of science - induction, Popper, and hypothetico-deductive models and so forth? Will David and Tamler ever be able to talk about a psych study again without getting into a fight? Plus ahead of tonight's New Hampshire primary, expert political analysis about what went down in Iowa.Special Guest: Yoel Inbar.Sponsored By:BetterHelp: You deserve to be happy. BetterHelp online counseling is there for you. Connect with your professional counselor in a safe and private online environment. Promo Code: VBWProlific: Prolific is giving away $50 to VBW listeners who want to give online sampling a go! Whether you’re a social scientist doing research, part of a marketing group, or even a high school student interested in doing a social science project, prolific can offer you fast, reliable, quality data to answer your research questions. Promo Code: verybadwizardsGiveWell: Givewell searches for the charities that save or improve lives the most per dollar. Consider a donation this holiday season--your dollar goes a lot further than you might think!Support Very Bad WizardsLinks:Yoel Inbar Two Psychologists Four Beers (Podcast)The app that broke the Iowa Caucuses was sent out through beta testing platforms - The VergeYarkoni, T. (2019). The generalizability crisis.The 20% Statistician: Review of "The Generalizability Crisis" by Tal Yarkoni [Daniël Lakens' Blog]Inbar, Y., Pizarro, D. A., Gilovich, T., & Ariely, D. (2013). Moral masochism: On the connection between guilt and self-punishment. Emotion, 13(1), 14.Mook, D. G. (1983). In defense of external invalidity. American psychologist, 38(4), 379.

118 MIN2 w ago
Comments
The Paper That Launched a Thousand Twitter Wars (With Yoel Inbar)

The Fraudulence Paradox (David Foster Wallace's "Good Old Neon")

EOur whole lives we’ve been frauds. We’re not exaggerating. Pretty much all we’ve ever done is try to create a certain impression of us in other people. Mostly to be liked or admired. This episode is a perfect example, Tamler pretending to be a cinephile (check out his four favorite pieces of 2019 “pop culture” in the first segment), David trying to connect with the people (Baby Yoda, Keanu Reeves etc.) – and of course what could be more fraudulent than a deep dive into a David Foster Wallace story, rhapsodizing over the endless sentences, the logical paradoxes, the seven-layer bean-dip of metacommentary (Jesus Christ I’m surprised there aren’t like eight footnotes in this episode description), and meanwhile the Partially Examined Life dudes refresh their overcast feeds and wonder through the tiny keyhole of themselves how David and Tamler have sunk so low that they’d ramble on about “Good Old Neon” like a couple of first year Comp-Lit grad students trying to impress that girl who works at the Cajun bakery. Sponsored By:Hello Fresh: A healthy, delicious, time-saving meal delivered to your doorstep. Try Hello Fresh, America's #1 Meal Kit. Promo Code: verybadwizards10GiveWell: Givewell searches for the charities that save or improve lives the most per dollar. Consider a donation this holiday season--your dollar goes a lot further than you might think!BetterHelp: You deserve to be happy. BetterHelp online counseling is there for you. Connect with your professional counselor in a safe and private online environment. Promo Code: VBWSupport Very Bad WizardsLinks:What is Baby Yoda? | TechRadarHigh Life (2018 film) - WikipediaWatchmen (TV series) - WikipediaKeanu Reeves Is Too Good for This World | The New YorkerMidsommar (film) - WikipediaHomecoming (TV series) - Wikipedia'Joker' is first R-rated movie to make $1 billion at global box office - Business InsiderUnder the Silver Lake - WikipediaKanye West’s 'Jesus Is King' Divides the Christian Community | TimeHow Often Do Women Talk in Quentin Tarantino Films? | TimeDavid Foster Wallace - WikipediaGood Old Neon (PDF) - Stephen MillerThe Real Question | Fiction Writers Review

129 MINJAN 29
Comments
The Fraudulence Paradox (David Foster Wallace's "Good Old Neon")

Chekhov's Schrödinger's Dagger (Kurosawa's "Rashomon")

EEleventh Century Japan. A samurai and his wife are walking through the forest and come across a bandit. The bandit attacks the samurai and has sex with/rapes his wife. A woodcutter finds the samurai, stabbed to death. Who killed the samurai and with what? What role did his wife play in his death? Kurosawa gives us four perspectives, told in flashbacks within flashbacks. Who’s telling the truth? Is anyone? Can we ever know what really happened? A simple story on the surface becomes a meditation on epistemological despair. Plus, your lizard brain is out to get you and you only have 90 seconds to stop it!Sponsored By:Prolific: Prolific is giving away $50 to VBW listeners who want to give online sampling a go! Whether you’re a social scientist doing research, part of a marketing group, or even a high school student interested in doing a social science project, prolific can offer you fast, reliable, quality data to answer your research questions. Promo Code: verybadwizardsGiveWell: Givewell searches for the charities that save or improve lives the most per dollar. Consider a donation this holiday season--your dollar goes a lot further than you might think!Support Very Bad WizardsLinks:When Your Lizard Brain Burns You Out And Short-Circuits Your CareerTriune brain - WikipediaCesario, J., Johnson, D. J., & Eisthen, H. (2019). Your Brain Is Not an Onion with a Tiny Reptile Inside.David talks Watchmen on the Pretty Much Pop PodcastTamler Sommers Talks Honor on Stoa PodcastRashomon - WikipediaRashomon (1950) | The Criterion CollectionRashomon | The Current | The Criterion CollectionRashomon Analysis - Rashomon's Problem with Truth | TopicEvery Frame A Painting: The Bad Sleep Well (1960) - The Geometry of a Scene - YouTubeAkira Kurosawa - Composing Movement

116 MINJAN 15
Comments
Chekhov's Schrödinger's Dagger (Kurosawa's "Rashomon")

Talking Shit

EDavid and Tamler wrap up the decade with an episode on trash-talking that morphs into a debate over the value of experimental inquiry. Participants in a lab put more effort into a slider task after they’re insulted by a confederate. Do experiments like these tell us anything about trash-talking in general? Can it explain the effect of Mike Tyson telling Lenox Lewis he’d eat his children, or of Larry Bird looking around the locker room before the 3-point contest saying he was trying to figure out who’d finish second? Can it tell us how football players should talk to their opponents? Does it give us a more modest but still valuable insight that we can apply to the real world? This is our first real fight (or disagreement) in a while. Plus, some mixed feelings about Mr. Robot Season 4 Episode 11 and some tentative predictions (recorded before the finale which aired by the time this episode is released). Happy holidays!Sponsored By:GiveWell: This holiday season, open your heart to those in need, and consider donating through Givewell.org. Givewell.org is an organization that cares about finding the most effective charities in the world, so that you can make each charitable dollar work as hard as possible. And for our listeners who are first time donors, Givewell.org will match your donation (up to $1,000). Promo Code: VerybadwizardsBlinkist: Fit reading into your life. Key takeaways from the world’s best nonfiction books in text and audio. Visit blinkist.com/verybadwizards for a special offer for our listeners. Promo Code: verybadwizardsSupport Very Bad WizardsLinks:Yip, J. A., Schweitzer, M. E., & Nurmohamed, S. (2018). Trash-talking: Competitive incivility motivates rivalry, performance, and unethical behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 144, 125-144.Kniffin, K. M., & Palacio, D. (2018). Trash-talking and trolling. Human Nature, 29(3), 353-369.

123 MIN2019 DEC 25
Comments
Talking Shit

Borges' Obsession-Obsession ("The Zahir")

EDavid and Tamler happen across Jorge Luis Borges’ “The Zahir” and now they can’t stop thinking about it. What is the ‘Zahir’ – this object that can take many forms and that consumes the people who find it? What does it represent? Is it the fanaticism of being in love? The ever-present threat (and temptation) of idealism? A subtle critique of Christian theology? Is the Zahir a microcosm of everything? Why is Borges so obsessed with obsession? Plus, it’s the annual drunken end-of-the night Thanksgiving ‘debate’ between Tamler and IDW stepmother extraordinaire Christina Hoff Sommers. Topics raised and then quickly dropped include Bernie for President, Melinda Gates, critic reviews of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and more. Stay tuned for the end when Christina finds her “notes”. (And for special cameos from David Sommers and Eliza).Sponsored By:Blinkist: Fit reading into your life. Key takeaways from the world’s best nonfiction books in text and audio. Visit blinkist.com/...

100 MIN2019 DEC 11
Comments
Borges' Obsession-Obsession ("The Zahir")

Pure Linguistic Chauvinism

ETamler learns something new about menstruation. David weighs in on the democratic debates and the impeachment hearings. Then we map the various social and political factions onto the factions in our respective fields. Who are establishment neoliberals of philosophy, and who are the white feminists? What about the IDWs of psychology – and the Chads and Stacys? Finally we get serious and break down the article by Alan Fiske in Psychological Review called “The Lexical Fallacy in Emotion Research.” Does language affect how we understand the emotional landscape? Do the words we happen to use deceive us into thinking we have “carved nature at its joints”? What is a natural kind anyway when it comes to emotions? Plus, after the outro, a quick unedited Mr. Robot discussion of the revelation in season 4, episode 7.Sponsored By:GiveWell: This holiday season, open your heart to those in need, and consider donating through Givewell.org. Givewell.org is an organization that cares about finding the most effective charities in the world, so that you can make each charitable dollar work as hard as possible. And for our listeners who are first time donors, Givewell.org will match your donation (up to $1,000). Promo Code: VerybadwizardsSupport Very Bad WizardsLinks:Fiske, A. P. (2019). The lexical fallacy in emotion research: Mistaking vernacular words for psychological entities. Psychological review.UCLA AnthropologyNatural Kinds (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)"Mr. Robot" 407 Proxy Authentication Required (TV Episode 2019) - IMDb

124 MIN2019 NOV 27
Comments
Pure Linguistic Chauvinism

Split-Brains and the (Dis)Unity of Consciousness

EDavid and Tamler discuss famous 'split brain' experiments pioneered by Roger Sperry and Michael Gazzaniga. What happens when you cut off the main line of communication between the left and right hemispheres of our brain? Why under certain conditions do the the left and right brains seem like they have different abilities and desires? What does this tell us about the ‘self’? Do we have two consciousnesses, but only that can speak? Does the left brain bully the right brain? Are we all just a bundle of different consciousnesses with their own agendas? Thanks to our Patreon supporters for suggesting and voting for this fascinating topic! Plus, physicists may be able to determine whether we’re living in a computer simulation – but is it too dangerous to try to find out? Sponsored By:GiveWell: This holiday season, open your heart to those in need, and consider donating through Givewell.org. Givewell.org is an organization that cares about finding the most effective charities in the wo...

108 MIN2019 NOV 13
Comments
Split-Brains and the (Dis)Unity of Consciousness

At Least We Didn’t Talk About Zombies (Nagel’s “What is it Like to be a Bat?”)

EWe try (with varying success) to wrap our heads around Thomas Nagel’s classic article “What is it Like to be a Bat?" Does science have the tools to give us a theory of consciousness or is that project doomed from the outset? Why do reductionist or functionalist explanations seem so unsatisfying? Is the problem that consciousness is subjective, or is it something about the nature of conscious experience itself? Is this ultimately an epistemological or metaphysical question? What are we talking about? Do we even know anymore? Plus, the return of Mr. Robot! We talk about the big new mystery at the heart of the new season. Support Very Bad WizardsLinks:Mr. Robot - Season 4 - IMDbNagel, T. (1974). What is it like to be a bat? The Philosophical Review, 83, 435-450. [pdf]What Is it Like to Be a Bat? - WikipediaMortal Questions by Thomas Nagel

102 MIN2019 OCT 30
Comments
At Least We Didn’t Talk About Zombies (Nagel’s “What is it Like to be a Bat?”)

More Chiang for Your Buck ("Anxiety is the Dizziness of Freedom" Pt. 2)

EIs character destiny, or can fluky decisions or tiny shifts in weather patterns fundamentally change who we are? Does the existence or non-existence of alternate universes have any bearing on freedom and responsibility? David and Tamler conclude their discussion of Ted Chiang’s “Anxiety is the Dizziness of Freedom” along with another very short piece by Chiang called “What’s Expected of Us” that was first published in Nature. Plus, do you have low likability in the workplace? It could be because you’re too moral and therefore not that funny. But don’t worry, we have a solution that’ll help you increase your humor production and likability with no reduction in morality. All you have to do is listen! Sponsored By:GiveWell: Givewell searches for the charities that save or improve lives the most per dollar. Consider a donation this holiday season--your dollar goes a lot further than you might think!Support Very Bad WizardsLinks:Richard Brody Reviews "Joker" | New YorkerBatman: ...

106 MIN2019 OCT 16
Comments
More Chiang for Your Buck ("Anxiety is the Dizziness of Freedom" Pt. 2)

Latest Episodes

Accept the Mystery (with Paul Bloom)

EVBW favorite Paul Bloom takes a short break from his Sam Harris duties to help us break down the Coen Brothers' ode to uncertainty, A Serious Man. Does inaction have consequences? Can you understand the cat but not the math? Why are there Hebrew letters carved into the back of a goy's teeth? Dybbuk or no Dybbuk? Why does God make us feel the questions if he’s not gonna give us any answers? Plus, Paul defends the psych established against critiques from the podcast peons at Two Psychologists Four Beers and Very Bad Wizards.Special Guest: Paul Bloom.Sponsored By:Hello Fresh: A healthy, delicious, time-saving meal delivered to your doorstep. Try Hello Fresh, America's #1 Meal Kit. Promo Code: verybadwizards10Daily Budget App: A fun and simple five-star iOS app to keep your spending on track. GiveWell: Givewell searches for the charities that save or improve lives the most per dollar. Consider a donation this holiday season--your dollar goes a lot further than you might think!Support V...

99 MIN22 h ago
Comments
Accept the Mystery (with Paul Bloom)

The Paper That Launched a Thousand Twitter Wars (With Yoel Inbar)

EPodcasting legend Yoel Inbar (from Two Psychologists Four Beers) joins us to break down Tal Yarkoni's "The Generalizability Crisis,” the paper that launched a thousand Twitter wars. Psychologists make verbal claims about the world, then conduct studies to test these claims - but are the studies actually providing evidence for those claims? Do psychological experiments generalize beyond the the strict confinments of the lab? Are psychologists even using the right statistical models to be able to claim that they do? Does this debate boil down to fundamental differences in the philosophy of science - induction, Popper, and hypothetico-deductive models and so forth? Will David and Tamler ever be able to talk about a psych study again without getting into a fight? Plus ahead of tonight's New Hampshire primary, expert political analysis about what went down in Iowa.Special Guest: Yoel Inbar.Sponsored By:BetterHelp: You deserve to be happy. BetterHelp online counseling is there for you. Connect with your professional counselor in a safe and private online environment. Promo Code: VBWProlific: Prolific is giving away $50 to VBW listeners who want to give online sampling a go! Whether you’re a social scientist doing research, part of a marketing group, or even a high school student interested in doing a social science project, prolific can offer you fast, reliable, quality data to answer your research questions. Promo Code: verybadwizardsGiveWell: Givewell searches for the charities that save or improve lives the most per dollar. Consider a donation this holiday season--your dollar goes a lot further than you might think!Support Very Bad WizardsLinks:Yoel Inbar Two Psychologists Four Beers (Podcast)The app that broke the Iowa Caucuses was sent out through beta testing platforms - The VergeYarkoni, T. (2019). The generalizability crisis.The 20% Statistician: Review of "The Generalizability Crisis" by Tal Yarkoni [Daniël Lakens' Blog]Inbar, Y., Pizarro, D. A., Gilovich, T., & Ariely, D. (2013). Moral masochism: On the connection between guilt and self-punishment. Emotion, 13(1), 14.Mook, D. G. (1983). In defense of external invalidity. American psychologist, 38(4), 379.

118 MIN2 w ago
Comments
The Paper That Launched a Thousand Twitter Wars (With Yoel Inbar)

The Fraudulence Paradox (David Foster Wallace's "Good Old Neon")

EOur whole lives we’ve been frauds. We’re not exaggerating. Pretty much all we’ve ever done is try to create a certain impression of us in other people. Mostly to be liked or admired. This episode is a perfect example, Tamler pretending to be a cinephile (check out his four favorite pieces of 2019 “pop culture” in the first segment), David trying to connect with the people (Baby Yoda, Keanu Reeves etc.) – and of course what could be more fraudulent than a deep dive into a David Foster Wallace story, rhapsodizing over the endless sentences, the logical paradoxes, the seven-layer bean-dip of metacommentary (Jesus Christ I’m surprised there aren’t like eight footnotes in this episode description), and meanwhile the Partially Examined Life dudes refresh their overcast feeds and wonder through the tiny keyhole of themselves how David and Tamler have sunk so low that they’d ramble on about “Good Old Neon” like a couple of first year Comp-Lit grad students trying to impress that girl who works at the Cajun bakery. Sponsored By:Hello Fresh: A healthy, delicious, time-saving meal delivered to your doorstep. Try Hello Fresh, America's #1 Meal Kit. Promo Code: verybadwizards10GiveWell: Givewell searches for the charities that save or improve lives the most per dollar. Consider a donation this holiday season--your dollar goes a lot further than you might think!BetterHelp: You deserve to be happy. BetterHelp online counseling is there for you. Connect with your professional counselor in a safe and private online environment. Promo Code: VBWSupport Very Bad WizardsLinks:What is Baby Yoda? | TechRadarHigh Life (2018 film) - WikipediaWatchmen (TV series) - WikipediaKeanu Reeves Is Too Good for This World | The New YorkerMidsommar (film) - WikipediaHomecoming (TV series) - Wikipedia'Joker' is first R-rated movie to make $1 billion at global box office - Business InsiderUnder the Silver Lake - WikipediaKanye West’s 'Jesus Is King' Divides the Christian Community | TimeHow Often Do Women Talk in Quentin Tarantino Films? | TimeDavid Foster Wallace - WikipediaGood Old Neon (PDF) - Stephen MillerThe Real Question | Fiction Writers Review

129 MINJAN 29
Comments
The Fraudulence Paradox (David Foster Wallace's "Good Old Neon")

Chekhov's Schrödinger's Dagger (Kurosawa's "Rashomon")

EEleventh Century Japan. A samurai and his wife are walking through the forest and come across a bandit. The bandit attacks the samurai and has sex with/rapes his wife. A woodcutter finds the samurai, stabbed to death. Who killed the samurai and with what? What role did his wife play in his death? Kurosawa gives us four perspectives, told in flashbacks within flashbacks. Who’s telling the truth? Is anyone? Can we ever know what really happened? A simple story on the surface becomes a meditation on epistemological despair. Plus, your lizard brain is out to get you and you only have 90 seconds to stop it!Sponsored By:Prolific: Prolific is giving away $50 to VBW listeners who want to give online sampling a go! Whether you’re a social scientist doing research, part of a marketing group, or even a high school student interested in doing a social science project, prolific can offer you fast, reliable, quality data to answer your research questions. Promo Code: verybadwizardsGiveWell: Givewell searches for the charities that save or improve lives the most per dollar. Consider a donation this holiday season--your dollar goes a lot further than you might think!Support Very Bad WizardsLinks:When Your Lizard Brain Burns You Out And Short-Circuits Your CareerTriune brain - WikipediaCesario, J., Johnson, D. J., & Eisthen, H. (2019). Your Brain Is Not an Onion with a Tiny Reptile Inside.David talks Watchmen on the Pretty Much Pop PodcastTamler Sommers Talks Honor on Stoa PodcastRashomon - WikipediaRashomon (1950) | The Criterion CollectionRashomon | The Current | The Criterion CollectionRashomon Analysis - Rashomon's Problem with Truth | TopicEvery Frame A Painting: The Bad Sleep Well (1960) - The Geometry of a Scene - YouTubeAkira Kurosawa - Composing Movement

116 MINJAN 15
Comments
Chekhov's Schrödinger's Dagger (Kurosawa's "Rashomon")

Talking Shit

EDavid and Tamler wrap up the decade with an episode on trash-talking that morphs into a debate over the value of experimental inquiry. Participants in a lab put more effort into a slider task after they’re insulted by a confederate. Do experiments like these tell us anything about trash-talking in general? Can it explain the effect of Mike Tyson telling Lenox Lewis he’d eat his children, or of Larry Bird looking around the locker room before the 3-point contest saying he was trying to figure out who’d finish second? Can it tell us how football players should talk to their opponents? Does it give us a more modest but still valuable insight that we can apply to the real world? This is our first real fight (or disagreement) in a while. Plus, some mixed feelings about Mr. Robot Season 4 Episode 11 and some tentative predictions (recorded before the finale which aired by the time this episode is released). Happy holidays!Sponsored By:GiveWell: This holiday season, open your heart to those in need, and consider donating through Givewell.org. Givewell.org is an organization that cares about finding the most effective charities in the world, so that you can make each charitable dollar work as hard as possible. And for our listeners who are first time donors, Givewell.org will match your donation (up to $1,000). Promo Code: VerybadwizardsBlinkist: Fit reading into your life. Key takeaways from the world’s best nonfiction books in text and audio. Visit blinkist.com/verybadwizards for a special offer for our listeners. Promo Code: verybadwizardsSupport Very Bad WizardsLinks:Yip, J. A., Schweitzer, M. E., & Nurmohamed, S. (2018). Trash-talking: Competitive incivility motivates rivalry, performance, and unethical behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 144, 125-144.Kniffin, K. M., & Palacio, D. (2018). Trash-talking and trolling. Human Nature, 29(3), 353-369.

123 MIN2019 DEC 25
Comments
Talking Shit

Borges' Obsession-Obsession ("The Zahir")

EDavid and Tamler happen across Jorge Luis Borges’ “The Zahir” and now they can’t stop thinking about it. What is the ‘Zahir’ – this object that can take many forms and that consumes the people who find it? What does it represent? Is it the fanaticism of being in love? The ever-present threat (and temptation) of idealism? A subtle critique of Christian theology? Is the Zahir a microcosm of everything? Why is Borges so obsessed with obsession? Plus, it’s the annual drunken end-of-the night Thanksgiving ‘debate’ between Tamler and IDW stepmother extraordinaire Christina Hoff Sommers. Topics raised and then quickly dropped include Bernie for President, Melinda Gates, critic reviews of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and more. Stay tuned for the end when Christina finds her “notes”. (And for special cameos from David Sommers and Eliza).Sponsored By:Blinkist: Fit reading into your life. Key takeaways from the world’s best nonfiction books in text and audio. Visit blinkist.com/...

100 MIN2019 DEC 11
Comments
Borges' Obsession-Obsession ("The Zahir")

Pure Linguistic Chauvinism

ETamler learns something new about menstruation. David weighs in on the democratic debates and the impeachment hearings. Then we map the various social and political factions onto the factions in our respective fields. Who are establishment neoliberals of philosophy, and who are the white feminists? What about the IDWs of psychology – and the Chads and Stacys? Finally we get serious and break down the article by Alan Fiske in Psychological Review called “The Lexical Fallacy in Emotion Research.” Does language affect how we understand the emotional landscape? Do the words we happen to use deceive us into thinking we have “carved nature at its joints”? What is a natural kind anyway when it comes to emotions? Plus, after the outro, a quick unedited Mr. Robot discussion of the revelation in season 4, episode 7.Sponsored By:GiveWell: This holiday season, open your heart to those in need, and consider donating through Givewell.org. Givewell.org is an organization that cares about finding the most effective charities in the world, so that you can make each charitable dollar work as hard as possible. And for our listeners who are first time donors, Givewell.org will match your donation (up to $1,000). Promo Code: VerybadwizardsSupport Very Bad WizardsLinks:Fiske, A. P. (2019). The lexical fallacy in emotion research: Mistaking vernacular words for psychological entities. Psychological review.UCLA AnthropologyNatural Kinds (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)"Mr. Robot" 407 Proxy Authentication Required (TV Episode 2019) - IMDb

124 MIN2019 NOV 27
Comments
Pure Linguistic Chauvinism

Split-Brains and the (Dis)Unity of Consciousness

EDavid and Tamler discuss famous 'split brain' experiments pioneered by Roger Sperry and Michael Gazzaniga. What happens when you cut off the main line of communication between the left and right hemispheres of our brain? Why under certain conditions do the the left and right brains seem like they have different abilities and desires? What does this tell us about the ‘self’? Do we have two consciousnesses, but only that can speak? Does the left brain bully the right brain? Are we all just a bundle of different consciousnesses with their own agendas? Thanks to our Patreon supporters for suggesting and voting for this fascinating topic! Plus, physicists may be able to determine whether we’re living in a computer simulation – but is it too dangerous to try to find out? Sponsored By:GiveWell: This holiday season, open your heart to those in need, and consider donating through Givewell.org. Givewell.org is an organization that cares about finding the most effective charities in the wo...

108 MIN2019 NOV 13
Comments
Split-Brains and the (Dis)Unity of Consciousness

At Least We Didn’t Talk About Zombies (Nagel’s “What is it Like to be a Bat?”)

EWe try (with varying success) to wrap our heads around Thomas Nagel’s classic article “What is it Like to be a Bat?" Does science have the tools to give us a theory of consciousness or is that project doomed from the outset? Why do reductionist or functionalist explanations seem so unsatisfying? Is the problem that consciousness is subjective, or is it something about the nature of conscious experience itself? Is this ultimately an epistemological or metaphysical question? What are we talking about? Do we even know anymore? Plus, the return of Mr. Robot! We talk about the big new mystery at the heart of the new season. Support Very Bad WizardsLinks:Mr. Robot - Season 4 - IMDbNagel, T. (1974). What is it like to be a bat? The Philosophical Review, 83, 435-450. [pdf]What Is it Like to Be a Bat? - WikipediaMortal Questions by Thomas Nagel

102 MIN2019 OCT 30
Comments
At Least We Didn’t Talk About Zombies (Nagel’s “What is it Like to be a Bat?”)

More Chiang for Your Buck ("Anxiety is the Dizziness of Freedom" Pt. 2)

EIs character destiny, or can fluky decisions or tiny shifts in weather patterns fundamentally change who we are? Does the existence or non-existence of alternate universes have any bearing on freedom and responsibility? David and Tamler conclude their discussion of Ted Chiang’s “Anxiety is the Dizziness of Freedom” along with another very short piece by Chiang called “What’s Expected of Us” that was first published in Nature. Plus, do you have low likability in the workplace? It could be because you’re too moral and therefore not that funny. But don’t worry, we have a solution that’ll help you increase your humor production and likability with no reduction in morality. All you have to do is listen! Sponsored By:GiveWell: Givewell searches for the charities that save or improve lives the most per dollar. Consider a donation this holiday season--your dollar goes a lot further than you might think!Support Very Bad WizardsLinks:Richard Brody Reviews "Joker" | New YorkerBatman: ...

106 MIN2019 OCT 16
Comments
More Chiang for Your Buck ("Anxiety is the Dizziness of Freedom" Pt. 2)

More from Tamler Sommers & David Pizarro

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