You've got 10 minutes with Einstein. What do you talk about? Black holes? Time travel?

Why not gambling? The Art of War? Contemporary parenting?

Each week, host Jason Gots surprises some of the world's brightest minds with ideas they're not at all prepared to discuss. Join us and special guests Neil Gaiman, Alan Alda, Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, Richard Dawkins, Maria Popova, Mary-Louise Parker, Neil deGrasse Tyson and many more...

It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine

Killer robots. Alien invasions. Climate change. Josh Clark of Stuff You Should Know and the new podcast The End of the World thinks a lot these days about existential threats. Believe it or not, he's optimistic.

Think Again Podcasts
  • Could the threat of extinction be humanity's opportunity to get our collective s#*t together?
  • Two centuries since the Enlightenment, the war between reason and belief is still raging. Why?
  • Why is it still hard to explain to some people what a podcast is?



I like to think. If I didn't, this would be the wrong job for me. But I realize that as open-minded as I like to consider myself, I've taken a thick, black sharpie to certain areas of the philosophical map, scrawling "here there be monsters" and leaving them be. We're all like this to some extent—it's the flip side of interest—even if you're super-curious, the things that interest you most become safe spaces. Comfort zones. And there's nothing wrong with that.

But if you want to keep learning, it's necessary to spend time in regions of reality that scare the crap out of you. The things you don't want to look at. And if, like me, your unsafe spaces include the many catastrophes that could befall the human race—you couldn't ask for a more affable, well-informed, tour guide than Josh Clark. Trained in history and anthropology, Josh is a writer and podcaster—host of Stuff You Should Know and now, The End of the World—a 10 part series that looks at the many ways humanity might go extinct. And what we can do about them. And why it's all worth taking very, very seriously.

Surprise conversation starters in this episode:

Michelle Thaller on how astronauts poop in space

Shane Parrish on emotions and decision making

A brief history of human dignity

What is human dignity? Here's a primer, told through 200 years of great essays, lectures, and novels.

Credit: Benjavisa Ruangvaree / AdobeStock
Sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies
  • Human dignity means that each of our lives have an unimpeachable value simply because we are human, and therefore we are deserving of a baseline level of respect.
  • That baseline requires more than the absence of violence, discrimination, and authoritarianism. It means giving individuals the freedom to pursue their own happiness and purpose.
  • We look at incredible writings from the last 200 years that illustrate the push for human dignity in regards to slavery, equality, communism, free speech and education.
Keep reading Show less
Related Articles

Sharon Salzberg - On Balance

In this episode master teacher Sharon Salzberg considers whether it's ok to teach mindfulness to the armed forces, how practitioners of meditation and mindfulness should balance openness with discipline, and so much more.

Think Again Podcasts


Keep reading Show less

Roz Chast and Patricia Marx (cartoons, words, ukuleles) – the Beatles stole everything from us

The New Yorker-based comedy team on never exercising or going outside, and so much more.

Think Again Podcasts


Keep reading Show less

mindfulness and meditation teacher Joseph Goldstein – doubt comes masquerading as wisdom

In this first episode of 2020, beloved dharma teacher Joseph Goldstein is back for a conversation about struggle, doubt, and growth on the spiritual path.

Think Again Podcasts


Keep reading Show less

Connect with us

How to listen

You can listen to Think Again right here on site, or select your podcast app:

Apple Podcast Spotify Stitcher RSS feed
Quantcast