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Paul Bloom – Cold-Blooded Kindness – Think Again Podcast #79
Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Psychologist Paul Bloom wants us to abandon empathy as a guide to moral decision making. He's probably right.
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In this episode:
Paul Bloom is an internationally recognized expert on the the psychology of child development, social reasoning, and morality, and the author of numerous books including Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil. His newest book is Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion.
Is managing a hedge-fund a better way to do good in the world than joining the Peace Corps? Does donating for disaster-relief (without really thinking it through) often make matters worse? At the risk of being mistaken for a Scrooge-like figure, Paul Bloom advances a smart and nuanced argument that empathy, in the sense of feeling others' suffering, is a terrible guide to moral decision-making.
Surprise conversation starter interview clips in this episode: Juanita Rilling on the psychology and the realities of disaster relief, David Eagleman on mass shootings, Wesley Lowery on freedom of the press.
About Think Again - A Big Think Podcast: 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? Some of the best conversations happen when we're pushed outside of our comfort zones. Each week on Think Again, we surprise smart people you may have heard of with short clips from Big Think's interview archives on every imaginable subject. These conversations could, and do, go anywhere.
Our modern-day Kafka on his new novel Lake Success and the dark comedy that in 2018 pretty much writes itself
- riding the Greyhounds of hell, from New York to El Paso
- the alternate reality of hedge fund traders
Why would two intelligent women running a hugely successful podcast at one of the most respected studios in the audio world quit to risk everything on a technology almost nobody understands?
- Fake news, real risk, and the messy rise of blockchain media.
- Why people police other people's voices
- And much, much more.
Man Booker prize winners Olga Tokarczuk and her translator Jennifer Croft on maps that lead nowhere, plasticized anatomies, and humor across national borders.
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