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

In this episode, we explore why we are unaware that we lack the skill to tell how unskilled and unaware we are. 

The evidence gathered so far by psychologists and neuroscientists seems to suggest that each one of us has a relationship with our own ignorance, a dishonest, complicated relationship, and that dishonesty keeps us sane, happy, and willing to get out of bed in the morning. Part of that ignorance is a blind spot we each possess that obscures both our competence and incompetence called the Dunning-Kruger Effect. 

In this episode, we sit down with neuroscientist David Eagleman to learn how brains turn noise into signal, chaos into order, electrical spikes into meaning, and how new technology can expand subjective reality in ways never before possible.

In his new book, Livewired, Eagleman explores how brains come into the world “half baked” so they can create reality out of the inputs and experiences available. Thanks to that plug-and-play plasticity, not only can we return senses to those who’ve lost them, but add to anyone new senses that we have yet to imagine.