In this episode we sit down with NYU psychologist Jay Van Bavel who is very good at Twitter. His feed is always overflowing with the absolute latest and greatest research from psychology with links to papers as they come out – on many of the topics we so often explore on this podcast – and in this episode we discuss ten of those tweets and the research he’s shared.
In this episode we sit down with Douglas Rushkoff, a media scholar, journalist, and professor of digital economics who has a new fire in his belly when it comes to the world of billionaire preppers, which comes across in his new book Survival of the Richest: Escape Fantasies of the Tech Billionaires – inspired by his invitation to consult a group of the world’s richest people on how to spend their money now to survive an apocalypse they fear is coming within their lifetimes.
In this episode we welcome back author Will Storr whose new book, The Status Game, feels like required reading for anyone confused, curious, or worried about how politics, cults, conspiracy theories communities, social media, religious fundamentalism, polarization, and extremism are affecting us – everywhere, on and offline, across cultures, and across the world.
What is The Status Game? It’s our primate propensity to perpetually pursue points that will provide a higher level of regard among the people who can (if we provoked such a response) take those points away. And deeper still, it’s the propensity to, once we find a group of people who regularly give us those points, care about what they think more than just about anything else.
In the interview, we discuss our inescapable obsession with reputation and why we are deeply motivated to avoid losing this game through the fear of shame, ostracism, embarrassment, and humiliation while also deeply motivated to win this game by earning what will provide pride, fame, adoration, respect, and status.
Our guest in this episode is the behavioral scientist Jon Levy, who wrote a book titled You’re Invited: The Art and Science of Cultivating Influence which details how Jon had no money, reputation or state-us, but was still able to convince groups of Nobel Laureates, Olympians, celebrities, Fortune 500 executives, and even a princess to not only give him advice, but cook him dinner, wash his dishes, sweep his floors, and then thank him for the experience.