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Rationally Speaking is the official podcast of New York City Skeptics. Join Julia Galef and guests as they explore the borderlands between reason and nonsense, likely and unlikely, science and pseudoscience. Rationally Speaking was co-created with Massimo Pigliucci, is produced by Benny Pollak and recorded in the heart of Greenwich Village.

Current Episodes


Sunday
Oct302016

RS 171 - Scott Aaronson on "The ethics and strategy of vote trading"

Release date: October 30th, 2016

Scott Aaronson

It can be pretty frustrating to live in a "safe" state during national elections, where the chance your vote will affect the overall results is practically zero. This episode, with professor Scott Aaronson, explores an unorthodox solution to the problem: "swapping" your vote with someone in a swing state who was going to vote for a third party candidate. Scott and Julia explore the game theory of vote swapping, and whether there are any ethical problems with it.

Vote Swapping Sites: TrumpTraders.org (recommended), MakeMineCount.org

Scott's Pick: "Why Nerds are Unpopular" by Paul Graham

Podcast edited by Brent Silk

 

Full Transcripts 

Monday
Oct172016

RS 170 - Will Wilkinson on "Social justice and political philosophy"

Release date: October 16th, 2016

Will Wilkinson

How did "social justice" come to mean what it does today? This episode features a chat with Will Wilkinson, a writer, political philosopher, and vice president of policy for the Niskanen Institute. Will and Julia discuss the libertarian reaction to social justice, whether or not social justice is a zero-sum game, and how the Internet exacerbates conflicts over social justice.

Will's Pick: "Dune" by Frank Herbert

Podcast edited by Brent Silk

 

 

Full Transcripts 

Sunday
Oct022016

RS 169 - Owen Cotton-Barratt on "Thinking About Humanity's Far Future"

Release date: October 2nd, 2016

Owen Cotton-Barratt

What can we do now to affect whether humanity is still around in 1000 years (and what life will be like then)? In this episode, Julia talks with Owen Cotton-Barratt, a mathematician at Oxford's Future of Humanity Institute. They cover questions like: Given our poor track record of forecasting, is there any point to speculating about the far future? And is it rational to prioritize current people over future people? 

Owen's Pick: "Probing the Improbable: Methodological Challenges for Risks with Low Probabilities and High Stakes" by Toby Ord, Rafaela Hillerbrand, Anders Sandberg

Future of Humanity Institute

Podcast edited by Brent Silk

 

Full Transcripts 

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