Visit melaniebragg.com for more on today's guest.
Melanie Bragg is the author of Defining Moments: Insights into the Lawyer’s Soul, which is available at amazon.com and the ABA website.
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In this episode of the podcast I talk about three meditation apps. Having purchased premium subscriptions to each, and having spent at least six months using these apps, I have a pretty fair sense of them. But there's a lot more to the business of meditation apps than personal preferences. These are businesses, and not all of them are as zen as they think.
I should point out that I do not discuss money in this podcast. When it comes to something like meditation, money should not play a role. Yes, some are more expense than others, but a cheaper price (as is so often the case) can mean a cheaper experience. Then again, sometimes the least expensive option is the best.
I do discuss "bang for your buck," and this pertains entirely to the idea that if you are going to spend money on only one meditation app--regardless of price--then you might extract the most value from a particular app.
I sit under a tree in sunny London and pontificate on the role "feel good" chemicals play in how we eat. This is a bit of a departure from the usual subjects, but relevant never-the-less. This episode is also notable for the amount of birdsong in the background. I decided not to edit out these lovely chirping noises, nor the sound of the cityscape either--instead, I've merely done some standard podcast filtering. I think the ambience of the setting survive.
Ever wonder what makes someone a complete asshole? Sometimes it can be explained by how they "otherize" others--that is, they employ language and attitudes to distance a person (or culture) from themselves. Sometimes otherization is found in immigration policies, sometimes in cafes. So what is it? How do we fix this? Can we fix it?
Interesting, otherization can be traced back to the idea of the illusory self. In that sense, otherization is yet another example of how self-misapprehension causes unnecessary suffering.
In this episode, I provide an introduction to Schopenhauer, as well as a reading from his Essays and Aphorism. Here, Schopenhauer provides a description of consciousness that lands squarely in the realm of panpsychism and Buddhism. Schopenhauer is generally considered a pessimist, which is surprising in light of the existence of Nietzsche. At any rate, what Schopenhauer has to say about consciousness is fairly interesting, and worth a listen.
Encore presentation. This episode is one of the most listened-to episodes over the past year. Also, there will be a second part coming soon.
Nietzsche was Nihilist-in-Chief of the nineteenth century. He viewed consciousness as "superfluous" and rather overrated. Today I will present a brief reading from The Will to Power
In this episode, I state my belief about the idea of a creator. The purpose is to provide a reasonable defence of non-belief that does not necessary rely on religious bad-faith, or some other negative premise.
I read from Russell's Religion and Science, particularly from the chapter on Determinism. What does Russell make of the arguments for and against free will? Let's just say he isn't agnostic, but he does not come down firmly against free will either. I will discuss why this is, and comment in a more general way about Russell's analytical framework.
In this episode, I talk about what the implications are our ability to meaningfully anticipate future events. This is not a trait baked into all life, yet seems to emerge in all enduring species (from a rose with her thorns, to a man with his wall). I argue that the fact of our ability to anticipate the future, when combined with the reality of our conscious experience, means that notions of identity, the self, and will are not baked into human existence.
In this episode:
Daniel Dennett's analogy of the smartphone and its screen
I answer the question of why NFL Endzone dances exist.
I explain why war and rape are merely cousins of song and dance.
Last year Canadian Running ran a story about an athlete on the low carb diet. Their story presented sweeping conclusions even though their source study was based on a deeply flawed methods. We are re-airing this study for those of you who missed it the first time.
It's useful to consult Nietzsche on the topic of artificial consciousness because Nietzsche isn't very impressed by consciousness. In fact, one gets the feeling that Nietzsche rather thinks our conception of consciousness is yet another form of self-mythology. Is it? If so, what does that mean for artificial intelligence? Could it be that AI will be nothing more than a really smart automaton?
Last year I talked about the idea of rebooting our concept of reality. Right now the western world is at an interesting crossroads between centuries of hyper individualism and future survival. How we proceed forward depends upon how we reimagine our principles.
Trump is claiming victory now that the Mueller Report has been summarized by Attorney General Barr. The New York Times reports that the FBI, acting on the orders of a federal prosecutor, arrested former Stormy Daniels attorney Michael Avenatti. Today I will about about what this all means.
Nietzsche said "To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering." From this, we either learn to suffer ill and risk addiction, or suffer well and evade addiction. Having a strong support network is great, but it is not sufficient on its on. On today's podcast, I talk about the importance of the role of suffering in life, and how our ability to deal with suffering determines our future. It's a given that we want to protect our children, and ourselves, but can we go too far? Is it possible that the more we try to protect the things we love, the more we weaken them? I dive into this topic headfirst by presenting a case study involving a boy and his splinter, and discuss how facing this little bit of pain probably changed his life.
As always, you can support this podcast for $1 per month at https://anchor.fm/johnspaldingpodcast ... you can use Apple Pay or a credit card.
This is a double episode! The first pertains to an exchange I recently had on Twitter, and the other pertains to a recent Twitter persecution I witnessed.
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What Michael Cohen’s testimony before the US congress tells us about Donald Trump is pretty jarring. But how did humanity even arrive at a point where Donald Trump is its most powerful member? What does that say about us? How do we get ourselves out of this? The discussion begins with this podcast, which I recorded at a Dunkin Donuts in Brooklyn, NY, USA.
Be sure to check out previous episodes of the podcast. You can see the website, support the pod, and get merch at http://www.happynihilistpodcast.com.
I will be attending Sam Harris' talk with Nobel Prize winning economist Daniel Khaneman tonight in New York City, and will share my thoughts at some point after the event.
This is a short reading from Hume's Treatise on Human Nature. I will discuss the very Buddhist nature of Hume's conception of self, and how it fits into our series of episodes on consciousness. Be sure to also down the episode "Bertrand Russell's Appearance and Reality."
Is there a way to clean up Twitter? I argue that a paid subscription for tweets is the way to. Some accounts, i.e. verified news organizations could be exempted. Meanwhile those who tweet at people who don't follow them have to pay. This might discourage harassment campaigns.
Feel free to reach out to me at http://www.happynihilistpodcast.com.
The world is big enough for Keto, paleo, and all the rest. But compliance rates of virtually all diets is abysmal. Why is that? Today John answers the question by drawing on Kant and Russell to explain that success depends more on understanding ourselves than it does on following the latest trend, or even the conventional wisdom.
In this podcast we get rid of some of the mystery around why we cheat on our diets. This is not as much of a problem on Keto, and yet we occasionally desire what’s not good for us. Sometimes this is a sign that something is amiss.