In this inbetweenisode you will hear an excerpt from a lecture I gave at DragonCon2014 all about unlearning, superseded scientific theories, post-hoc rationalization, just-so stories, laser eyes, goose trees, spanking and more.
In this episode, we talk to Danielle Ofri, physician and author of “What Doctors Feel” – a book about the emotional lives of doctors and how compassion fatigue, biases, and other mental phenomena affect their decisions, their motivations, and their relationships with patients.
You’ll also hear Ofri discuss emotional epidemiology, the viral-like spread of fear and other emotions that can lead to irrational panics like those we’ve already seen surrounding Ebola, the Swine Flu, SARS, and other illnesses.
Episode 44 is a rebroadcast of two interviews from episode 20 which was all about how we are very, very bad at predicting the future both in our personal lives and as as a species.
Thanks to your support on Patreon, you can now read a transcript of my interview with James Burke from that episode. More transcripts are on the way. I hope to add about four a month. This is a link to the James Burke transcript.
Did Brian Williams lie, exaggerate, or misremember?
If he originally reported the truth behind the events in Iraq more than a decade ago, and those events were filmed and broadcast on the nightly news, then why didn’t he fact-check himself before going on national television and recounting a false version of those same events? Surely, as a journalist, he knew the original video was out there for anyone to watch.
One of the more unsettling recent scientific discoveries is the fact that your behavior is influenced every day by unwanted, unconscious social and cultural biases.
Sure, you accept that some people think in certain ways that you don’t because they’ve absorbed cultural norms that you didn’t, but what about your own mind? It can seem as if once you’ve recognized your own contributions to racism and privilege you should then be able to proceed with a clean slate, rebooted with the awareness of your own ignorance, but free from it.
In this episode, two stories, one about a football game that split reality in two for the people who witnessed it, and another about what happened when a naked man literally appeared out of thin air inside a couple’s apartment while they were getting ready for work.
In story one, you’ll learn how, in 1951, a brutal game of football between Dartmouth and Princeton launched the modern psychological investigation into preconceived notions, models of reality, and how no matter our similarities we each see a different version of the truth depending on the allegiances and alliances we form as adults.