Since 2016, psychologist Gordon Pennycook and his colleagues have consistently found that a lack of cognitive reflection is more correlated with believing and sharing fake news and conspiracy theories –  false information spread through Facebook, and espoused by the president himself – than any other psychological phenomenon.

In this episode we explore how, why, and what can be done about it after taking a deep dive into some shocking statistics. 

Moira Dillon studies how “the physical world in which we live shapes the abstract world in which we think,” and in this episode we travel to her Lab for the Developing Mind at NYU to sit down and ask her a zillion questions about how the brain creates the reality we interact with, and how we attempt to communicate that reality to others through language, art, geometry, and mathematics.

Our guest in this episode is Gretchen McCulloch, who is a linguist, but also, I’d say a MEME-ologist, evidenced by that the fact that in her New York Times Bestselling book, Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language, she spends a good portion of the book tracing the history of memes and how we have used them all the way up to right now, which is part of her her overall exploration of how language itself has changed since the advent of text messaging, SnapChat, TikTok, emojis, gifs, memes, and the internet as a whole.

McCulloch explains how texting, emoji, apps, social media, and the meme economy are all expanding our abilities to communicate ideas and ~express~ ourselves to one another. So, if you still put periods at the ends of your texts and refuse to change your ways, you will definitely enjoy this interview, and if you fancy yourself some kind of memelord, this is certainly the episode for you