Now this is a unique way to open a podcast when introducing your guest:
“We’re going to do something interesting here,” says the host. “You’re going to complain about something that I wrote about your work. And then I’m going to complain about something you wrote about my work. And then you’re going to admit that I’m right and you’re wrong. That’s the plan, right?”
The speaker is Robert Wright, host of The Wright Show on MeaningOfLife.tv. The guest is Steven Pinker, a Harvard psychology professor and author of the new book, Enlightenment Now.
And Pinker is getting a kick out of it. Smiling, he replies, “It’s easy for me to say that you’re right, because you are Robert Wright.”
The friendly conversation continues as Wright and Pinker discuss Enlightenment Now, which Wright somewhat dissed in a review in Wired. They also discuss the psychology of tribalism, Al Gore’s climate change activism, purpose in the workings of nature, and more.
Long before the birth of Julius Caesar, the Roman Republic appointed all-powerful dictators to protect their state in times of crisis. They were remarkably self-restrained and obedient to the Roman Constitution.