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

Is 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!

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Support Very Bad Wizards


  • Richard Brody Reviews "Joker" | New Yorker
  • Batman: The Killing Joke - Wikipedia
  • Falling Down (1993) - IMDb
  • People with high moral standards 'less likely' to be funny | The Independent
  • Yam, K. C., Barnes, C. M., Leavitt, K., Uhlmann, E. L., & Wei, W. (2016). Why So Serious? Experimental and Field Evidence that Morality and a Sense of Humor are Psychologically Incompatible. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
  • Aquino, K., & Reed, I. I. (2002). The self-importance of moral identity. Journal of personality and social psychology, 83(6), 1423.
  • Exhalation by Ted Chiang [ affiliate link]
  • What's Expected of Us by Ted Chiang | Nature


 2019-10-15  1h46m