War on the Rocks recco

Such a good podcast find earlier this summer. Not too late to jump in to get your Ukraine war updates:


For example this week:



Bryan Caplan On Open Borders

Worth calling this out as a post because I’ve been a fan of Bryan Caplan for some time and am sympathetic to his open borders arguments. But this interview in particular with Andrew Sullivan was such a great teardown of immigration skepticism:


Bad look for Sullivan. Seemed like he didn’t read the (“comic”) book!

Not saying I’m unambiguously in agreement with Caplan. But in combination with regulatory reform (ie. expansion of protected conservation areas, better zoning, green urban planning, etc.) in host countries I think he’s on the right track for policies that are both morally just and pro economic growth.



Chris Masterjohn brings it on coronavirus

These three mini-episodes released by Chris Masterjohn last week are really great snapshots of the how to make reasonable assumptions about indoor and outdoor coronavirus safety. Everyone should read less headlines and listen to these. Who knows if they’ll age well but I feel better educated after listening. Including a better handle on how masks fit in.

Takeaway: at the moment, if we’re spending 10+ minutes indoors somewhere, that’s where the bulk of the spreading risk occurs. Technically to be safe for that amount of time you would need something like 70-100 sq ft of space per person.



Appreciated Robert Plomin discussion re: disorders

Fully recommend giving this episode of the Making Sense podcast, #211 – The Nature of Human Nature. It’s a great dialogue about the state and future of “molecular genetics” science. But in particular at about 1:10:25 an exchange of a few minutes touches on some points that seem to go underappreciated in #mentalhealth awarness. Blomin makes a comment “… there are no disorders. There are just quantitative dimensions… if there is no disorder there is nothing to cure… we’re alleviating symptoms rather than curing a disorder.” He raises a continuum vs. disease model being more applicable to mental ‘disorders’ (Blomin reluctantly uses this word and adds “the extremes of these dimensions” than is common practice and that “it’s really held back the field”.

I’ve always intuitively felt like this must be true, and struggled to have good conversations with people sensitive to more of a disease model, on mental health issues. The implications of this for treatment research and innovation are huge when the goals are incremental vs. binary. It shouldn’t be taboo to say you feel depressed or any laying claim to any number of conditions that have been owned by disorder labels. Caveat always being sympathy for people’s lives touched in very sad ways by the extreme ends of those dimensions is obviously super important.



Ricky Gervais refreshing on parenting

Ricky Gervais, with about 10 mins left, on what’s actually important to impart as a parent.

“Give your kids a sense of humor.”

He is interesting throughout on the importance of comedy and free speech.


In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Ricky Gervais. They discuss fame, the effect of social media, the changing state of comedy, offensive jokes, Louis CK, political hypocrisy, Brexit and Trump, the state of journalism, and other topics. You can support the Making Sense podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.

* Duration: 2:11h, Played: 2:02h

* Published: 2019-07-12 12:23:50

* Episode Download Link (120 MB): http://traffic.libsyn.com/wakingup/Making_Sense_163_Ricky_Gervais.mp3?dest-id=480596

* Show Notes: http://wakingup.libsyn.com/163-ricky-gervais

* Episode Feed: Waking Up with Sam Harris – http://wakingup.libsyn.com/rss



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