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.

https://www.verybadwizards.com

Eine durchschnittliche Folge dieses Podcasts dauert 1h26m. Bisher sind 223 Folge(n) erschienen. Dies ist ein zweiwöchentlich erscheinender Podcast.

Gesamtlänge aller Episoden: 13 days 11 hours 54 minutes

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episode 222: Granite Cocks vs Robot Overlords


David and Tamler wind their way through the long-requested “Meditations on Moloch” by Scott Alexander, a comprehensive account of the coordination problems (personified by Allan Ginsberg’s demon-entity Moloch) that lead to human misery and values tossed out the window...


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   1h50m
 
 

episode 220: On Your Marx


In honor of Labor Day, David and Tamler dive into two works by Karl Marx - "The Communist Manifesto" and "Estranged Labor." What is Marx's theory of historical change? Why does capitalism produce an alienated workforce? What role does philosophy play in maintaining the status quo? Plus, fraudulent data in a famous study about dishonesty and former guest Dan Ariely is under investigation.


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   1h50m
 
 

episode 219: Multiplied by Mirrors


It’s a Borges bonanza! David and Tamler dive into two stories: “Emma Zunz” and “Borges and I.” The first seems like a straightforward daughter revenge story (Tamler’s favorite genre), but Borges being Borges there are layers of doubt and fuzziness about what exactly is going on. “Borges and I” may be less than a page, but it has us questioning our identity, the relationship between private and public selves, and what happens to when you release a work out into the world...


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 2021-08-17  1h45m
 
 

episode 218: ...But You Can't Hide (Michael Haneke's "Caché")


David and Tamler go deep on Michael Haneke’s unnerving psychological thriller Caché. An upper middle class French intellectual couple receives mysterious videotapes of the exterior of their house, forcing them to confront their past and present. Can we run from our history? Or will it always find a way to break through? And who’s sending the tapes? Plus, VBW does conceptual analysis - what does it mean to be “corny”?


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 2021-08-03  1h59m
 
 

episode 217: Dropping Paradigms (Kuhn's "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions")


David and Tamler hit the books and cram for their beloved Patreon listener-selected episode – this time on Thomas Kuhn’s “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.” David thinks Kuhn is a great sociologist of science but recoils at the relativistic tenor of the final chapters. Tamler loves anything that makes David recoil. Plus, should we give more weight to the advice of people on their deathbed? Or should we nod politely and get back to working for that promotion…


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 2021-07-20  2h5m
 
 

episode 216: Oral Judgments


We’ve promised you for years that we would do an episode on apologies and never got to it until today. So we both want to say from the bottom of our hearts: we’re sorry. We recognize we’ve let so many of our listeners down, and we feel just awful if you were offended by the delay. We hope this episode will be just one small step towards regaining your trust. Plus, of all the evo-psych articles in the world, this one might be the evo-psychiest: “Oral Sex as Infidelity Detection.”


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 2021-07-06  1h40m
 
 

episode 215: Touch My Pink Monkey


David and Tamler argue about the philosopher L.A. Paul’s ideas on “transformative experiences” – big life decisions that will change you and your values so much that our normal decision-making models break down. Tamler is fully on board and hopeful for philosophy, but David sees Paul’s view as a threat to his precious rationality. Plus, we tackle the greatest existential threat to human civilization history: critical race theory. Why are people on all sides so intent on misunderstanding it?


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 2021-06-22  1h37m
 
 

episode 214: You Shouldn't Feel Bad (Except You Should)


Tamler welcomes social psychologist David Pizarro of Cornell University to the podcast to talk about his recent article (along with Raj Anderson, Shaun Nichols, and Rachana Kamtekar) on “false-positive emotions.” When agents commit accidental harms, we typically tell them they shouldn’t feel too guilty, it’s not their fault, it was out of their control, and so forth. At the same time, we don’t want them to let themselves off the hook right away either...


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 2021-06-08  1h20m
 
 

episode 213: What Is It Like To Be a Robot Fish Man? (with Ted Chiang)


We’ve done deep dives on three of his stories, and now THE MAN HIMSELF, multi-award winning science fiction author Ted Chiang, joins us to explore the post-apocalyptic world of the video-game SOMA. You play Simon Jarrett, a man who goes for a brain scan in Toronto and wakes up a 100 years later in an underwater research facility, the last remaining hope to preserve human consciousness from extinction...


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 2021-05-25  1h57m
 
 

episode 212: Follow Your Nose (with Yoel Inbar)


Canada’s leading Russian literature scholar Yoel Inbar joins us to try to make sense of Gogol’s 1836 short story “The Nose.” A nose goes missing from a Russian official’s face and winds up in the barber’s loaf of bread. A few hours later, the nose has rocketed up the social hierarchy and denies his connection to the official. What’s going on? Is Madame Alexandra Grigorievna up to something? Plus we can’t say how but we got access to submitted abstracts for the new Journal of Controversial Ideas...


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 2021-05-11  1h45m