Very Bad Wizards

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.


episode 165: Life With No Head (With Sam Harris)

Sam Harris returns to the podcast to talk about meditation and his new Waking Up meditation app. What are the goals of mindfulness practice - stress reduction and greater focus, or something much deeper? Can it cure David's existential dread? Tamler's fear of his daughter going away to college? Can sustained practice erode the illusion of self? Is that even something we'd want to do? What if it diminishes our attachment to people we love? And what is the self anyway? Is Sam a defender of panpsychism? So many questions... Plus, the ethics of creating talking elephants by curing them of their autism through bonding and possibly mounting. (Seriously.)

Support Very Bad Wizards


  • Rossler, O. E., Theis, C., Heiter, J., Fleischer, W., & Student, A. (2015). Is it ethical to heal a young white elephant from his physiological autism?. Progress in biophysics and molecular biology, 119(3), 539-543.
  • Scientists Predict A Talking Elephant, Szilamandee - Neuroskeptic
  • The Social Exchange Podcast | David Pizarro - Correcting Bias, Heuristics, and Decision-Making
  • Waking Up with Sam Harris (app)
  • Sam Harris | Home of the Making Sense Podcast
  • On Having No Head: Zen and the Rediscovery of the Obvious: Douglas E. Harding: 9781878019196: Books


 2019-06-04  2h16m