YANSS 269 – Deconstructing How Minds Change with Michael Taft

In celebration of How Minds Change, my new book, turning one-year-old, in this episode Michael Taft interviews David McRaney about how minds do and do not change, the process behind writing a book about that, and what he has learned since writing and promoting it.

Michael is a meditation teacher, bestselling author, and  a mindfulness coach – and he specializes in secular, science-based mindfulness training. If you are interested in a science-based, secular book about meditation and and mindfulness, I highly recommend his book,The Mindful Geek, snd I recommend guided meditation with him. He offers that at The Alembic in Berkeley. You can join them virtually, over the internet. Links below.

I also recommend his podcast, Deconstructing Yourself. It is all about entheogens and neurofeedback and brain hacking. If you are a Carl Sagan loving, science endorsing, evidence based sort of person – a nerd, geek, or skeptic or humanist who wants to know more about meditation and deep dive into what we do and do not know about it – that’s what his podcast is about. Sam Harris will be a guest on there soon, and I think many of you will love that episode.

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A brain-bending investigation of why some people never change their minds—and others do in an instant—by the bestselling author of You Are Not So Smart

What made a prominent conspiracy-theorist YouTuber finally see that 9/11 was not a hoax? How do voter opinions shift from neutral to resolute? Can widespread social change only take place when a generation dies out? From one of our greatest thinkers on reasoning, HOW MINDS CHANGE is a book about the science, and the experience, of transformation. 

When self-delusion expert and psychology nerd David McRaney began a book about how to change someone’s mind in one conversation, he never expected to change his own. But then a diehard 9/11 Truther’s conversion blew up his theories—inspiring him to ask not just how to persuade, but why we believe, from the eye of the beholder.

Delving into the latest research of psychologists and neuroscientists, HOW MINDS CHANGE explores the limits of reasoning, the power of groupthink, and the effects of deep canvassing.

Told with McRaney’s trademark sense of humor, compassion, and scientific curiosity, it’s an eye-opening journey among cult members, conspiracy theorists, and political activists, from Westboro Baptist Church picketers to LGBTQ campaigners in California – that ultimately challenges us to question our own motives and beliefs. In an age of dangerous conspiratorial thinking, can we rise to the occasion with empathy? 

An expansive, big-hearted journalistic narrative, HOW MINDS CHANGE reaches surprising and thought-provoking conclusions, to demonstrate the rare but transformative circumstances under which minds can change. 




Links and Sources

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Previous Episodes

Deconstructing Yourself

The Alembic

Michael Taft

How Minds Change

David McRaney’s Twitter

YANSS Twitter

Show Notes