YANSS Podcast 016 – Steven Novella and Jesse Walker discuss the history and psychology of conspiracy theories

The Topic: Conspiracy Theories

The Guest: Steven Novella and Jesse Walker

The Episode: Download – iTunes – Stitcher – RSS – Soundcloud – Transcript

Red Eye of Providence

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Who is pulling the strings? Who is behind the coverup? Who holds the real power, and what do they want? How deep does the conspiracy to control your mind go?

In this episode we discuss the history, social impact, neuroscience and psychology behind conspiracy theories and paranoid thinking.

Steven Novella

Our guests are Steven Novella and Jesse Walker.

Steven Novella is a leader in the skeptic community, host of The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe, and an academic clinical neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine. He blogs at Neurologica, Skepticblog, and Science-Based Medicine.

Jesse Walker

Jesse Walker is the books editor for Reason Magazine and author of the new book, The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory. Walker’s articles can be seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and many others. He blogs at The Perpetual Three Dot Column.

Listen as they explain why we love conspiracy theories, how they flourish, how they harm, and what they say about a culture.

After the interview, I discuss a news story about new evidence to support Dunbar’s Number.

In every episode, before I read a bit of self delusion news, I taste a cookie baked from a recipe sent in by a listener/reader. That listener/reader wins a signed copy of my new book, “You Are Now Less Dumb,” and I post the recipe on the YANSS Pinterest page. This episode’s winner is Hal Sandbach who submitted a recipe for turtle cookies. Send your own recipes to david {at} youarenotsosmart.com.


Links and Sources

The Episode: Download – iTunes – Stitcher – RSS – Soundcloud

Transcript of the interview with Steven Novella

Boing Boing Podcasts

Cookie Recipes

The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe

The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory

Glenn Beck Video 1

Glenn Beck Video 2

Alex Jones Video 1

Alex Jones Video 2

Jesse Ventura Video

Wikipedia’s Giant List of Conspiracies

Oxford Study Concerning Dunbar’s Number