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Making Sense with Sam Harris podcast

Making Sense with Sam Harris

Join neuroscientist, philosopher, and best-selling author Sam Harris as he explores important and controversial questions about the human mind, society, and current events. Sam Harris is the author of five New York Times bestsellers. His books include The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, The Moral Landscape, Free Will, Lying, Waking Up, and Islam and the Future of Tolerance (with Maajid Nawaz). The End of Faith won the 2005 PEN Award for Nonfiction. His writing and public lectures cover a wide range of topics—neuroscience, moral philosophy, religion, meditation practice, human violence, rationality—but generally focus on how a growing understanding of ourselves and the world is changing our sense of how we should live. Harris's work has been published in more than 20 languages and has been discussed in The New York Times, Time, Scientific American, Nature, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, and many other journals. He has written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Economist, The Times (London), The Boston Globe, The Atlantic, The Annals of Neurology, and elsewhere. Sam Harris received a degree in philosophy from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA.

Join neuroscientist, philosopher, and best-selling author Sam Harris as he explores important and controversial questions about the human mind, society, and current events. Sam Harris is the author of five New York Times bestsellers. His books include The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, The Moral Landscape, Free Will, Lying, Waking Up, and Islam and the Future of Tolerance (with Maajid Nawaz). The End of Faith won the 2005 PEN Award for Nonfiction. His writing and public lectures cover a wide range of topics—neuroscience, moral philosophy, religion, meditation practice, human violence, rationality—but generally focus on how a growing understanding of ourselves and the world is changing our sense of how we should live. Harris's work has been published in more than 20 languages and has been discussed in The New York Times, Time, Scientific American, Nature, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, and many other journals. He has written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Economist, The Times (London), The Boston Globe, The Atlantic, The Annals of Neurology, and elsewhere. Sam Harris received a degree in philosophy from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA.

 

#276

#263 — The Paradox of Death

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris reflects on the subjective continuity of consciousness, the nature of identity, and the possibility that death isn’t the end of experience. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>.   Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the [Waking Up] (http://wakingup.com/) app. From rational mindfulness practice to lessons on some of life’s most important topics, join Sam as he demystifies the practice of meditation and explores the theory behind it. ... Read more

18 Oct 2021

18 MINS

18:03

18 Oct 2021


#275

#262 — The Future of American Democracy

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Andrew Yang about the state of American democracy. They discuss Andrew’s run for the Presidency, the humiliations of campaigning, the manipulation of politics by the media, Andrew's run for the mayor's office in NYC, the power of bad incentives, open primaries, rank-choice voting, the Forward Party, the weakness of a two-party system, inequality, the child tax credit, enhanced unemployment, UBI, worries about inflation, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>.   Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the <a href= "http://wakingup.com/">Waking Up</a> app. From rational mindfulness practice to lessons on some of life’s most important topics, join Sam as he demystifies the practice of meditation and explores the theory behind it. ... Read more

05 Oct 2021

33 MINS

33:04

05 Oct 2021


#274

#261 — Belief & Identity

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Jonas Kaplan about the neuroscience of belief change. They discuss the illusory truth effect, the backfire effect, failures of replication, “The Fireplace Delusion,” the connection between reason and emotion, wishful thinking, persuasion and the sense of self, conspiracy theories, the power of incentives, in-group loyalty, religion, mindfulness, cognitive flexibility, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>.   Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the <a href= "http://wakingup.com/">Waking Up</a> app. From rational mindfulness practice to lessons on some of life’s most important topics, join Sam as he demystifies the practice of meditation and explores the theory behind it. ... Read more

30 Sep 2021

40 MINS

40:24

30 Sep 2021


#273

Absolutely Mental Season Two

In this episode, Sam shares a clip from the second season of Absolutely Mental, his audio series with Ricky Gervais. All 10 episodes have been released today (Friday September 24th, 2021) and are available for purchase at [AbsolutelyMental.com] (http://absolutelymental.com/) . SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>. ... Read more

24 Sep 2021

16 MINS

16:36

24 Sep 2021


#272

Ask Me Anything #18

Questions answered: Why won’t you discuss COVID vaccines and Ivermectin with Bret Weinstein on the podcast? What do you think about the recent prosecution of a 100-year-old Nazi in Germany? How can we understand voluntary behavior without free will? Does aid to the developing world do more harm than good? Have your views about the risk of artificial general intelligence changed in recent years? What did you think of Simon Biles’s decision to drop out of the Olympics? How should Facebook and other social media platforms deal with the tradeoff between misinformation and censorship? Why are people so resistant to changing their beliefs? SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>.   Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the <a href= "http://wakingup.com/">Waking Up</a> app. From rational mindfulness practice to lessons on some of life’s most important topics, join Sam as he demystifies the practice of meditation and explores the theory behind it. ... Read more

20 Sep 2021

28 MINS

28:16

20 Sep 2021


#271

#260 — The Second Plane

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris recalls his experience of September 11th, 2001, and considers the future of American foreign policy. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>. ... Read more

09 Sep 2021

16 MINS

16:27

09 Sep 2021


#270

#259 — The Reckoning to Come

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Balaji Srinivasan about several civilizational challenges and possible paths forward. They discuss the evidence of American decline, the rise of India and China, centralizing and decentralizing trends in politics, the relationship between politics and technology, the failures of the FDA and TSA, how regulation preserves monopolies, the significance of Bitcoin and blockchain technology, the problem of cybersecurity, the Chinese government’s attack on Bitcoin, the threat of US regulation of cryptocurrency, blockchain scalability, creator coins, life in Singapore, virtual government, the future of decentralized journalism, independent replication in science, wealth inequality, ubiquitous investing, social status, non-zero-sum capitalism, “start-up countries”, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>.   Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the [Waking Up] (http://wakingup.com/) app. From rational mindfulness practice to lessons on some of life’s most important topics, join Sam as he demystifies the practice of meditation and explores the theory behind it. ... Read more

01 Sep 2021

1 HR 12 MINS

1:12:59

01 Sep 2021


#269

#258 — The Fall of Afghanistan

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Peter Bergen about the US exit from Afghanistan, the resurgence of the Taliban, and his new book, “The Rise and Fall of Osama bin Laden.” They discuss the Neo-isolationist consensus on the Right and Left, the legitimacy of our initial involvement in Afghanistan, our ethical obligations to our Afghan allies, Biden’s disastrous messaging, the weakness of the Afghan army, the advantages of the Taliban, the implications for global jihadism, the relationship between the Taliban and al-Qaeda, how Osama bin Laden came to lead al-Qaeda, bin Laden’s sincere religious convictions, our failure to capture bin Laden at Tora Bora, the distraction of the war in Iraq, the myth that the CIA funded al-Qaeda, bin Laden’s wives, his years of hiding in Pakistan, his death at the hands of US Special Forces, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>.   Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the <a href= "http://wakingup.com/">Waking Up</a> app. From rational mindfulness practice to lessons on some of life’s most important topics, join Sam as he demystifies the practice of meditation and explores the theory behind it. ... Read more

23 Aug 2021

46 MINS

46:54

23 Aug 2021


#268

#257 — The State of the World

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Dambisa Moyo about the state of the world. They discuss public goods, economic growth, capitalism, American economic history, bad public-policy choices, inequality, tax avoidance among the wealthy, government inefficiency, the problems with democracy, the breakdown of trust in institutions, failures of transparency, voter participation, future automation and unemployment, identity politics, the reality of racism in America, the problems with affirmative action, competition with China, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>. Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the [Waking Up] (http://wakingup.com/) app. From rational mindfulness practice to lessons on some of life’s most important topics, join Sam as he demystifies the practice of meditation and explores the theory behind it. ... Read more

13 Aug 2021

1 HR 01 MINS

1:01:11

13 Aug 2021


#267

Ask Me Anything #17

In this episode of the podcast, Sam takes your questions. He begins by addressing the blowback that followed his previous podcast on “vaccine hesitancy” with Eric Topol. And then he answers the following questions: How can I inoculate my biracial children against identity politics? In what way is journalism broken, and how can we fix it? Have you read the research suggesting that the effects of microdosing psychedelics are indistinguishable from taking placebos? Can you comment on the degree to which Leftist political ideas have captured the Buddhist community? What should Democrats do to prevent a resurgence of Trumpism? What are the ingredients for a good life? Is it ever ethical for governments to lie to their citizens? If the present moment is all that matters, how can we plan for the future? Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the <a href= "http://wakingup.com/">Waking Up</a> app. From rational mindfulness practice to lessons on some of life’s most important topics, join Sam as he demystifies the practice of meditation and explores the theory behind it. ... Read more

08 Aug 2021

24 MINS

24:16

08 Aug 2021


#266

#256 — A Contagion of Bad Ideas

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Eric Topol about vaccine hesitancy and related misinformation. They discuss the problem of political and social siloing, concerns about mRNA vaccines, the Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA, the effectiveness of the COVID vaccines, vaccine efficacy vs effectiveness, the Delta variant, the misuse of the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), concerns about long-term side effects from vaccines, bad incentives in medicine, ivermectin, government and corporate censorship, vaccine mandates, and other topics.   SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>.   Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the [Waking Up] (http://wakingup.com/) app. From rational mindfulness practice to lessons on some of life’s most important topics, join Sam as he demystifies the practice of meditation and explores the theory behind it. ... Read more

23 Jul 2021

1 HR 26 MINS

1:26:55

23 Jul 2021


#265

#255 — The Future of Intelligence

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Jeff Hawkins about the nature of intelligence. They discuss how the neocortex creates models of the world, the role of prediction in sensory-motor experience, cortical columns, reference frames, thought as movement in conceptual space, the future of artificial intelligence, AI risk, the “alignment problem,” the distinction between reason and emotion, the “illusory truth effect,” bad outcomes vs existential risk, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>.   Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the [Waking Up] (http://wakingup.com/) app. From rational mindfulness practice to lessons on some of life’s most important topics, join Sam as he demystifies the practice of meditation and explores the theory behind it. ... Read more

09 Jul 2021

58 MINS

58:01

09 Jul 2021


#264

#254 — The Mating Strategies of Earthlings

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with David Buss about the differential mating strategies of men and women. They discuss the controversy that surrounds evolutionary psychology, the denial of sex differences, cross-cultural findings in social science, the replication crisis in psychology, the biological definition of sex, why men and women have affairs, ovulatory shifts in mate preference, sex differences in jealousy and infidelity, the sources of unhappiness in marriage, mate-value discrepancies, what we can learn from dating apps, polyamory and polygamy, the plight of stepchildren, the “Dark Triad” personality type, the MeToo movement, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>.   Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the [Waking Up] (http://wakingup.com/) app. From rational mindfulness practice to lessons on some of life’s most important topics, join Sam as he demystifies the practice of meditation and explores the theory behind it. ... Read more

25 Jun 2021

49 MINS

49:23

25 Jun 2021


#263

#253 — Corporate Courage

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Jason Fried about the recent controversy over the “no politics” policy at his company Basecamp. They discuss his business philosophy, the surrender of institutions to "social-justice" activism, how politics has acquired a religious fervor, some of the cultural risks of remote work, keeping activists out of one’s company, social media use as analogous to smoking cigarettes, antitrust regulations for big tech, how social media might be improved, the tax-avoidance schemes of the richest Americans, the prospect of implementing a wealth tax, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>.   Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the [Waking Up] (http://wakingup.com/) app. From rational mindfulness practice to lessons on some of life’s most important topics, join Sam as he demystifies the practice of meditation and explores the theory behind it. ... Read more

17 Jun 2021

45 MINS

45:03

17 Jun 2021


#262

#252 — Are We Alone in the Universe?

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Neil deGrasse Tyson about our place in the universe. They discuss our current understanding of extra-solar planets, the prospect that there is complex life elsewhere in the galaxy, the Fermi problem, the possibility that all advanced civilizations self destruct, how we can detect life on exoplanets, recent media interest in UFOs, whether a direct encounter with alien life would change our world, the flat-Earth conspiracy, the public understanding of science, the problem of political partisanship, racial inequality, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>.   Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the [Waking Up] (http://wakingup.com/) app. From rational mindfulness practice to lessons on some of life’s most important topics, join Sam as he demystifies the practice of meditation and explores the theory behind it. ... Read more

10 Jun 2021

52 MINS

52:06

10 Jun 2021


#261

#251 — Corporate Cowardice

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Antonio García-Martínez about his recent firing at Apple. They discuss his experience in tech, his book "Chaos Monkeys," the controversy at Apple, cancel culture, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at <a href= "http://samharris.org/subscribe">samharris.org/subscribe</a>.   Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the [Waking Up] (https://wakingup.com/) app. From rational mindfulness practice to lessons on some of life’s most important topics, join Sam as he demystifies the practice of meditation and explores the theory behind it. ... Read more

26 May 2021

39 MINS

39:17

26 May 2021