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Making Sense with Sam Harris

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.

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Making Sense of Artificial Intelligence | Episode 1 of The Essential Sam Harris

Filmmaker Jay Shapiro has produced a new series of audio documentaries, exploring the major topics that Sam has focused on over the course of his career.

Each episode weaves together original analysis, critical perspective, and novel thought experiments with some of the most compelling exchanges from the Making Sense archive. Whether you are new to a particular topic, or think you have your mind made up about it, we think you?ll find this series fascinating.

In this episode, we explore the landscape of Artificial Intelligence. We?ll listen in on Sam?s conversation with decision theorist and artificial-intelligence researcher Eliezer Yudkowsky, as we consider the potential dangers of AI ? including the control problem and the value-alignment problem ? as well as the concepts of Artificial General Intelligence, Narrow Artificial Intelligence, and Artificial Super Intelligence.

We?ll then be introduced to philosopher Nick Bostrom?s ?Genies, Sovereigns, Oracles, and Tools,? as physicist Max Tegmark outlines just how careful we need to be as we travel down the AI path. Computer scientist Stuart Russell will then dig deeper into the value-alignment problem and explain its importance.   We?ll hear from former Google CEO Eric Schmidt about the geopolitical realities of AI terrorism and weaponization. We?ll then touch the topic of consciousness as Sam and psychologist Paul Bloom turn the conversation to the ethical and psychological complexities of living alongside humanlike AI. Psychologist Alison Gopnik then reframes the general concept of intelligence to help us wonder if the kinds of systems we?re building using ?Deep Learning? are really marching us towards our super-intelligent overlords.   Finally, physicist David Deutsch will argue that many value-alignment fears about AI are based on a fundamental misunderstanding about how knowledge actually grows in this universe.  
2022-11-22
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#303 ? The Fall of Sam Bankman-Fried

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Sam Harris discusses the recent Sam Bankman-Fried fiasco, the collapse of FTX, and the future of Effective Altruism.

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 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.


If the Making Sense podcast logo in your player is BLACK, you can SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.

2022-11-15
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#302 ? Science & Civilization

Only the first 49 minutes of this episode are available on the paywalled podcast version (the BLACK podcast logo). If you?d like to hear the full 1 hour and 39 minutes of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast, you?ll need to SUBSCRIBE here. If you?re already subscribed and on the private RSS feed, the podcast logo should appear RED.

Sam Harris speaks with Neil deGrasse Tyson about his new book, Starry Messenger. They discuss what makes science a unique human endeavor, the tension between respecting scientific consensus and overturning it, confusion about paradigm shifts and scientific controversies, the social importance of probability and statistics, climate change, the consequences of exponential cultural change, social media, social inequality and affirmative action, identity politics and a post-racial future, the wisdom of focusing on class rather than race, and other topics.

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 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.


If the Making Sense podcast logo in your player is BLACK, you can SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.

2022-11-11
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#301 ? The Politics of Unreality: Ukraine and Nuclear Risk

Only the first hour of this episode is available on the paywalled podcast version (the BLACK podcast logo). If you?d like to hear the full 1 hour and 39 minutes of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast, you?ll need to SUBSCRIBE here. If you?re already subscribed and on the private RSS feed, the podcast logo should appear RED.

Sam Harris speaks with Timothy Snyder about the ongoing war in Ukraine. They discuss the effect of Russian propaganda, Putin?s motives, whether the US and NATO bear some responsibility for the war, widespread calls for de-escalation, nuclear blackmail and nuclear risk, and other topics.

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 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.

 

If the Making Sense podcast logo in your player is BLACK, you can SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.

2022-10-25
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#300 ? A Tale of Cancellation

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Sam Harris speaks with Meg Smaker about the controversy around her documentary, "The Unredacted (Jihad Rehab)." They discuss her background as a firefighter; the effect that 9/11 had on the firefighting community; her subsequent adventures in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia; the deprogramming of jihadists; the organized campaign to silence her film; the capitulations Sundance, SXSW, and other festivals; and other topics.

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 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.

If the Making Sense podcast logo in your player is BLACK, you can SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.

2022-10-13
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#299 ? Steps in the Right Direction

Only the first 40 minutes of this episode are available on the paywalled podcast version (the BLACK podcast logo). If you?d like to hear the full 2 hours and 3 minutes of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast, you?ll need to SUBSCRIBE here. If you?re already subscribed and on the private RSS feed, the podcast logo should appear RED.

Sam Harris speaks with Russ Roberts about decision-making and the nature of moral progress. They discuss the shortcomings of economics as a science, the power of books, the difference between "wild" and "tame" problems, Darwin?s embarrassing thoughts about the value of marriage, the utility of decision of analysis, incommensurate goods, free riding, counterfactuals, how the decisions we make change us, the difficulty of predicting future experience, changing moral norms, Effective Altruism, free speech, whether we are making moral progress, social media, truth vs comfort, problems with consequentialism, rule-based consequentialism, free will, meditation, and other topics.

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 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.

 

If the Making Sense podcast logo in your player is BLACK, you can SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.

2022-10-03
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#298 ? Leaving the Faith (Rebroadcast)

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Sam Harris speaks with Yasmine Mohammed about her book Unveiled: How Western Liberals Empower Radical Islam. They discuss her family background and indoctrination into conservative Islam, the double standard that Western liberals use when thinking about women in the Muslim community, the state of feminism in general, honor violence, the validity of criticizing other cultures, and many other topics.

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 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.

 

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2022-09-29
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#297 ? Preparing for the End

Only the first 1 hour and 4 minutes of this episode are available on the paywalled podcast version (the BLACK podcast logo). If you?d like to hear the full 2 hours and 13 minutes of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast, you?ll need to SUBSCRIBE here. If you?re already subscribed and on the private RSS feed, the podcast logo should appear RED.

Sam Harris speaks with BJ Miller and Shoshana Berger about preparing for death. They discuss the difference between palliative care and hospice, the tension between getting the most out of life and not clinging to experience, planning for death while still healthy, the importance of an advance directive, navigating the healthcare system, pain control at the end of life, assisted suicide, psychedelic therapy for end-of-life anxiety, and other topics.

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 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.

If the Making Sense podcast logo in your player is BLACK, you can SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.

2022-09-23
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#296 ? Repairing Our Country

Only the first 42 minutes of this episode are available on the paywalled podcast version (the black podcast logo). If you?d like to hear the full 1 hour 42 minutes of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast, you?ll need to SUBSCRIBE here. If you?re already subscribed and on the private RSS feed, the podcast logo should appear red.

Sam Harris speaks with Jonah Goldberg about the state of American politics and civil society. They discuss the hyperpartisanship of the Left and Right, what Trump has done to the Republican party, the breakdown of trust in institutions, the ?new catastrophism? enabled by social media, the problem of populism, and other topics.

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 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.

If the Making Sense podcast logo in your player is BLACK, you can SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.

2022-09-13
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#295 ? Philosophy and the Good Life

Only the first 44 minutes of this episode are available on the paywalled podcast version (the black podcast logo). If you?d like to hear the full 1 hour 56 minutes of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast, you?ll need to SUBSCRIBE here. If you?re already subscribed and on the private RSS feed, the podcast logo should appear red.

Sam Harris speaks to Kieran Setiya about the relevance of philosophy to living a good life. They discuss the existence of objective moral truths, being happy vs living well, our response to grief, the difference between "telic" and "atelic" activities, the power of reframing, FOMO, bias toward the future, regret, the asymmetry between pain and pleasure, and other topics.

 

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 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.

If the Making Sense podcast logo in your player is BLACK, you can SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.

2022-09-09
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#294 ? Status Games

Only the first 40 minutes of this episode are available on the paywalled podcast version (the black podcast logo). If you?d like to hear the full 1 hour 25 minutes of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast, you?ll need to SUBSCRIBE here. If you?re already subscribed and on the private RSS feed, the podcast logo should appear red.

Sam Harris speaks with Will Storr about the role that status plays in human life and culture. They talk about the taboo around caring about status, egalitarianism, the perpetual insecurity of status, how we play multiple status games simultaneously, identity, social connection, dominance, virtue, success, status as an evolved mechanism, gossip, status and health, the consequences of humiliation, the role of social media, status and politics, conspiracy thinking, moral panics, status and philanthropy, and other topics.

 

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 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.

If the Making Sense podcast logo in your player is BLACK, you can SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.

2022-08-31
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#293 ? What I Really Think About Trump and Media Bias

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Sam Harris responds to a controversy over a recent podcast appearance.

 

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2022-08-25
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#292 ? How Much Does the Future Matter?

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Sam Harris speaks with William MacAskill about his new book, What We Owe the Future. They discuss the philosophy of effective altruism (EA), longtermism, existential risk, criticism of EA, problems with expected-value reasoning, doing good vs feeling good, why it's hard to care about future people, how the future gives meaning to the present, why this moment in history is unusual, the pace of economic and technological growth, bad political incentives, value lock-in, the well-being of conscious creatures as the foundation of ethics, the risk of unaligned AI, how bad we are at predicting technological change, and other topics.

 

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 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.

If the Making Sense podcast logo in your player is BLACK, you can SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.

 

2022-08-14
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#291 ? Where is Happiness?

Only the first 1 hour and 4 minutes of this episode are available on the paywalled podcast version (the BLACK podcast logo). If you?d like to hear the full 1 hour and 43 minutes of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast, you?ll need to SUBSCRIBE here. If you?re already subscribed and on the private RSS feed, the podcast logo should appear RED.

Sam Harris speaks with Arthur C. Brooks about what it takes to build a good life. They discuss the power of social comparison, the intelligence taboo, political dignity and ethical hierarchy, the Dalai Lama, the nature of love, fluid and crystallized intelligences, the strange case of Linus Pauling, the limits of identity, atheism and religious faith, fear of death, psychedelics, existentialism, St. Thomas Aquinas, and other topics.

Arthur C. Brooks is a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Harvard Business School, where he teaches courses on leadership and happiness. He is also a columnist at The Atlantic, where he writes the popular ?How to Build a Life? column. Brooks is the author of 12 books, including the 2022 #1 New York Times bestseller From Strength to Strength: Finding Success, Happiness, and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life. He speaks all around the world about love and happiness, giving more than 150 speeches and lectures per year in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. 

Brooks began his career as a classical musician, leaving college at 19, and performing with ensembles in the United States and Spain. In his late twenties, while still performing, he returned to school, earning a BA in economics through distance learning. At 31, he left music and earned an MPhil and PhD in public policy analysis, during which time he worked as a military analyst for the Rand Corporation. Brooks then spent the next 10 years as a university professor at Syracuse University, where he taught economics and nonprofit management. In 2009, Brooks became the president of the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC, one of the world?s most influential think tanks, which he led for a decade. During this period, he was selected as one of Fortune Magazine?s ?50 World?s Greatest Leaders? and was awarded seven honorary doctorates. 

Originally from Seattle, Brooks currently lives outside Boston, with his wife Ester Munt-Brooks, who is a native of Barcelona. They have three adult children.

 

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 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.

If the Making Sense podcast logo in your player is BLACK, you can SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.

2022-07-28
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#290 ? What Went Wrong?

Only the first 48 minutes of this episode are available on the paywalled podcast version (the BLACK podcast logo). If you?d like to hear the full 1 hour and 53 minutes of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast, you?ll need to SUBSCRIBE here. If you?re already subscribed and on the private RSS feed, the podcast logo should appear RED.

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Marc Andreessen about the current state of Internet technology and culture. They discuss Marc's background in tech, the birth of the Internet, how advertising became the business model for digital media, the three stages of the Web, the blockchain, how successful technology reorders status and power in society, the Bitcoin white paper, the mystery surrounding the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, the importance of distributed consensus, Bitcoin as digital gold, how society has performed during Covid, James Burnham and managerial capitalism, the principal-agent problem, negative externalities, risk and regulation, trust in institutions, WTF happened in 1971, regulatory capture, banning Trump and Alex Jones from social media, perverse incentives in philanthropy, and other topics.

Marc Andreessen is a co-founder and general partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. He is an innovator and creator, one of the few to pioneer a software category used by more than a billion people and one of the few to establish multiple billion-dollar companies.

Marc co-created the highly influential Mosaic internet browser and co-founded Netscape, which later sold to AOL for $4.2 billion. He also co-founded Loudcloud, which as Opsware, sold to Hewlett-Packard for $1.6 billion. He later served on the board of Hewlett-Packard from 2008 to 2018.

Marc holds a BS in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

 

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 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.

If the Making Sense podcast logo in your player is BLACK, you can SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.

2022-07-21
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#289 ? Time Management for Mortals

Only the first 38 minutes of this episode are available on the paywalled podcast version (the BLACK podcast logo). If you?d like to hear the full 1 hour and 28 minutes of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast, you?ll need to SUBSCRIBE here. If you?re already subscribed and on the private RSS feed, the podcast logo should appear RED.

Sam Harris presents an unconventional perspective on time management from Oliver Burkeman. Rather than focusing on rote efficiency or productivity, Burkeman calls on us to embrace our finitude and surrender to the rhythms of life, so that we may ?end our struggle with time??and live with ?more accomplishment, more success, and more time spent on what matters most.?

Oliver Burkeman is the author of the New York Times bestseller Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, about embracing limitation and finally getting round to what counts, along with The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking and Help!: How to Be Slightly Happier, Slightly More Successful and Get a Bit More Done. For many years he wrote a popular column on psychology for The Guardian, This Column Will Change Your Life, and has reported from London, New York, and Washington, D.C. In his email newsletter, The Imperfectionist, he writes about productivity, mortality, and building a meaningful life in an age of distraction.

 

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 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.

If the Making Sense podcast logo in your player is BLACK, you can SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.

2022-07-18
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#288 ? The End of Global Order

Only the first 54 minutes of this episode are available on the paywalled podcast version (the BLACK podcast logo). If you?d like to hear the full 1 hour and 50 minutes of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast, you?ll need to SUBSCRIBE here. If you?re already subscribed and on the private RSS feed, the podcast logo should appear RED.

Sam Harris speaks with Peter Zeihan and Ian Bremmer about Peter's new book, The End of the World is Just the Beginning. They discuss a wide range of issues related to the deglobalization and demographic collapse, the differing fates of China and America, climate change, the war in Ukraine, and other topics.

Peter Zeihan is a geopolitical strategist, speaker, and author. Peter founded his own firm, Zeihan on Geopolitics, in 2012 in order to provide a select group of clients with direct, custom analytical products. Today those clients represent a vast array of sectors including energy majors, financial institutions, business associations, agricultural interests, universities, and the U.S. military.

He is the author of The Accidental Superpower, The Absent Superpower, Disunited Nations, and most recently, The End of the World is Just the Beginning.

Ian Bremmer is a political scientist who helps business leaders, policymakers, and the general public make sense of the world around them. He is president and founder of Eurasia Group, the world?s leading political risk research and consulting firm, and GZERO Media, a company dedicated to providing intelligent and engaging coverage of international affairs. Ian is an independent voice on critical issues around the globe, offering clearheaded insights through speeches, written commentary, and even satirical puppets (really!).

He is the host of GZERO World on US public television and is the author of eleven books including his latest, The Power of Crisis: How Three Threats?and Our Response?Will Change the World. Ian also serves as the foreign affairs columnist and editor at large for Time magazine and teaches at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.

 

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 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.


If the Making Sense podcast logo in your player is BLACK, you can SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.

2022-07-14
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#287 ? Why Wealth Matters

Only the first 50 minutes of this episode are available on the paywalled podcast version (the BLACK podcast logo). If you?d like to hear the full 2 hours and 7 minutes of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast, you?ll need to SUBSCRIBE here. If you?re already subscribed and on the private RSS feed, the podcast logo should appear RED.

Sam Harris speaks with Morgan Housel about the psychology of money and investing. They discuss how personal history shapes one?s view of economic risk, the implications of not understanding the future, being rich vs being wealthy, how we measure success, the problem of social comparison, happiness vs life satisfaction, saving and investing, Warren Buffett and the power of compounding, rational vs reasonable decisions, the role of luck, optimism vs pessimism, dollar-cost averaging, and other topics.

Morgan Housel is a partner at The Collaborative Fund. His book The Psychology of Money has sold over 1.9 million copies and has been translated into 46 languages. He is a two-time winner of the Best in Business Award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, winner of the New York Times Sidney Award, and a two-time finalist for the Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism. He serves on the board of directors at Markel and has presented at more than 100 conferences in a dozen countries.

 

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 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.

If the Making Sense podcast logo in your player is BLACK, you can SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.

2022-07-05
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#286 ? The Paradox of Psychedelics

Sam Harris shares an audio essay exploring how psychedelics are, for many, the only way to glimpse "the vast firmament beyond the prison walls? of the ?conceptual mind??and often serve as the gateway to meditation. He also discusses how the very profundity of the psychedelic experience can distract us from the true purpose of mindfulness?the recognition that consciousness is always already free, in every moment. Also included are highlights from the Waking Up app created for a recent Tim Ferriss podcast.

SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.

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 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.

2022-06-28
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#285 ? American Division

Sam Harris speaks with David French about forces that are pulling American society apart. They discuss David?s experience as a JAG officer in Iraq, his experience of harassment for coming out against Trump, the way real grievances drive political derangement, the illiberalism on both the Left and the Right, the role of prophecy in Evangelical support for Trump, honor culture, the response to Hunter Biden?s laptop, the January 6th hearings, the personality cult of Trumpism, federalism, geographic sorting, group polarization, cultural divisions in sports and entertainment, the gun rights movement, the ethics of gun ownership, whether Trump will be prosecuted, the 2024 Presidential campaign, the dangers of online activism, and other topics.

SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.

 

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 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.

2022-06-24
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#284 ? The Funny Business

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Judd Apatow about his career in comedy. They discuss his new documentary on George Carlin, why so much comedy ages badly, Carlin?s drug use, how Judd structures his work, using improv in his films, adventures in parenthood, what is worth worrying about, the downside of fame, advice for creatives, the unique properties of standup comedy, the problem of political fragmentation, the consequences of not believing in free will, and other topics.

SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.

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 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.

2022-06-07
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#283 ? Gun Violence in America

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Graeme Wood about the problem of gun violence in the aftermath of the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

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2022-05-30
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#282 ? Do You Really Have a Self?

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Jay Garfield about the illusion of the self. They discuss the default sense of subjectivity, the difference between absolute and conventional truth, interdependence, free will, subject-object duality, emptiness, the ?mind-only? school of Buddhism, scientific realism and experiential anti-realism, and other topics.

SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.

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 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.

2022-05-23
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#281 ? Western Culture and Its Discontents

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Douglas Murray about his new book, ?The War on the West.? They discuss the problem of hyper partisanship on the Left and Right, the primacy of culture, Hunter Biden?s laptop, the de-platforming of Trump and Alex Jones, the new religion of anti-racism, the problem of inequality, the 1619 Project, history of slavery, moral panics, the strange case of Michel Foucault, and other topics.

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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 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.

2022-05-02
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#280 ? The Future of Artificial Intelligence

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Eric Schmidt about the ways artificial intelligence is shifting the foundations of human knowledge and posing questions of existential risk.

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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 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.

2022-04-22
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#279 ? The Rules of the Stage

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris and Ricky Gervais discuss the infamous Oscar slap.

We?re excited to announce the launch of the Absolutely Mental app for iOS users. All three seasons of Absolutely Mental are available for purchase on the app.

Subscribers to the Making Sense podcast will hear the episode in its entirety in their subscriber feed. If you?d like to hear this entire episode for free, you can access it by downloading the Absolutely Mental app. This bonus episode is listed in Season 3.

Note: If you?ve previously purchased any Absolutely Mental content on the website, you will be able to access it in the app. Please check the FAQ for more info.

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2022-04-18
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#278 ? The Man Who Will Be King

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks to Graeme Wood about Muhammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. They discuss the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the imprisonment of Saudi elites in the Ritz Carlton, the Vision 2030 campaign, relations with Israel, the posture of the Biden administration, energy policy, Saudi efforts to deprogram jihadists, the strange case of Musa Cerantonio, John Walker Lindh, the current condition of ISIS, the war in Ukraine, Russian propaganda, how Finland has made itself invasion-proof, and other topics.

SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.

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 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.

2022-04-13
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#277 ? How Does the War in Ukraine End?

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Ian Bremmer about the ongoing war in Ukraine. They discuss the current state of the war, the power of sanctions, Biden's "gaffe" about regime change, fear of nuclear war, the logic of mutually assured destruction, the role of China, the most likely outcomes of the war, and other topics.

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2022-04-03
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#276 ? Defending the Global Order

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Yuval Noah Harari about the wider implications of Russia?s war of conquest in Ukraine. They discuss different forms of war, Putin?s miscalculation regarding the internal divisions of America and the EU, the problem of misinformation, international norms of behavior, the role of China, the civilizational importance of trust, globalization and de-globalization, existential risk, the role of India, Ukrainian leadership, the danger of nuclear war, regime change in Russia, and other topics.

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2022-03-23
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#275 ? The Russian War in Ukraine

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Garry Kasparov about Putin?s war of aggression in Ukraine. They discuss Putin?s larger objectives, the perception of the war inside Russia, whether US and EU foreign policy is to blame, the expansion of NATO, American weakness, Republican support for Putin, the sanctions regime, whether the US and EU should impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine, whether to openly seek regime change in Russia, how we can avoid WW3, what post-Putin government in Russia might look like, Western economic entanglement with autocracies, and other topics.

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2022-03-10
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Absolutely Mental Season 3

Sam shares an episode from the third season of Absolutely Mental, his audio series with Ricky Gervais. All 10 episodes have been released today (Wednesday, March 2, 2022) and are available for purchase now at AbsolutelyMental.com.

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2022-03-02
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Special Episode: Recipes for Future Plagues

In this episode of the podcast, Rob Reid and Kevin Esvelt discuss USAID?s new ?Deep VZN? program, which aims to discover new pandemic-grade viruses and publish their genomes to the world. Esvelt estimates that there are currently around 30,000 people who could then easily build them.

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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 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.

2022-02-28
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#274 ? The Future of American Democracy

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Anne Applebaum, David Frum, Barton Gellman, and George Packer about the ongoing threat to American democracy posed by Republican misinformation and disinformation regarding the 2020 Presidential Election and the attack on the Capitol on January 6th, 2021.

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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 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.

2022-02-11
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#273 ? Joe Rogan and the Ethics of Apology

In this episode of the podcast, Sam responds to the controversy over his friend Joe Rogan's use of the N-word and his subsequent public apology.

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2022-02-07
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Vaccine Mandates, transgender athletes, billionaires? (AMA #19)

Questions:

What is your position on vaccine mandates, school closures, etc.?

Do you think painful memories remain painful because there is something left unresolved?

How can you forgive a consequential lie?

Can you clarify your plans to support effective altruism with NFTs?

What are your views on transgender women in sports?

How can we combat disinformation and misinformation coming from friends and family?

You?ve said that we shouldn?t demonize billionaires, but is it really possible to become that wealthy without perpetuating the evils of capitalism?

How do you guard yourself against cognitive bias?

Can mindfulness provide relief in the case of extreme suffering (e.g. after the death of a child)?

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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 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.

2022-01-31
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#272 ? On Disappointing My Audience

In this episode, Sam discusses some of the topics he has and hasn't covered, to the disappointment of many Making Sense listeners.

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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 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.

2022-01-11
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#271 ? Earning to Give

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Sam Bankman-Fried about effective altruism. They discuss how he became the wealthiest self-made billionaire under 30, what might go wrong with cryptocurrency, the Giving What We Can pledge, how SBF thinks about using his resources to do the most good in the world, how not to stigmatize wealth, wealth redistribution, norms of generosity among the ultra-wealthy, pandemic preparedness, impact through lobbying, how ambitious should we be in doing good, and other topics.

SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.

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 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.

2021-12-24
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#270 ? What Have We Learned from the Pandemic?

In this episode, Sam Harris speaks with Nicholas Christakis about the lessons of the COVID pandemic. They discuss our failures to coordinate an effective response, the politics surrounding vaccination, vaccine efficacy, vaccine safety, how to think about scientific controversies, the epidemiology of excess deaths, transmission among the vaccinated, natural immunity, selection pressures and new variants, the failure of institutions, the lab-leak hypothesis, the efficacy of lockdowns, vaccine mandates, boosters, what would happen in a worse pandemic, and other topics.

SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all full-length episodes at samharris.org/subscribe.

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 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.

2021-12-14
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#269 ? Deep Time

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Oliver Burkeman about our relationship to time. They discuss the perils of efficiency, being vs becoming, the illusion of time as a resource, parenting and childhood, work-life balance, the loss of leisure, the planning trap, social isolation, a modern Sabbath, and other topics.

SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.

 

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 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.

2021-12-03
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#268 ? The Limits of Self-Knowledge

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Stephen Fleming about the neuroscience of self-awareness. They discuss the nature and limits of metacognition, the relationship between self-knowledge and intelligence, error monitoring, theory of mind, mirror neurons, deception and self-deception, false confidence, probabilistic reasoning, where metacognition fails, cognitive decline, calibrating one?s confidence, and other topics.

SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.

 

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 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.

2021-11-24
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#267 ? The Kingdom of Sleep

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Matthew Walker about the nature and importance of sleep. They discuss sleep and consciousness, the stages of sleep, sleep regularity, light and temperature, the evolutionary origins of sleep, reducing sleep, the connection between poor sleep and all-cause mortality (as well as Alzheimer?s disease, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease), sleep across species, learning and memory, mental health, dreams as therapy, lucid dreaming, heart-rate variability, REM-sleep behavior disorder and parasomnias, meditation and sleep, sleep hygiene, different types of insomnia, caffeine and alcohol, sleep efficiency, bedtime restriction, cognitive-behavioral therapy, napping, sleep tracking, and other topics.

SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.

 

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 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.

2021-11-10
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#266 ? The Limits of Pleasure

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Paul Bloom about the role that pain and suffering play in living a good life. They discuss the limitations of hedonism, the connection between chosen suffering and meaning, the research of Daniel Kahneman on well-being, integrating the experiencing and remembering selves, moral motivations, the effects of parenthood on happiness, unchosen suffering, the asymmetry of loss and gain, Nozick?s ?experience machine? thought experiment, effective altruism, valuing the future more than the past, the power of contrast, false ideals of happiness, polyamory, money and status, the role of the imagination, boredom, the power of apology, and other topics.

SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.

 

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 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.

2021-11-02
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#265 ? The Religion of Anti-Racism

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with John McWhorter about his new book ?Woke Racism: How a New Religion has Betrayed Black America.? They discuss how the ?social justice? narrative of the Left has become a religion, how this new faith has taken over institutions, and what to do about it.

SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.

 

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 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.

2021-10-27
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#264 ? Consciousness and Self (Rebroadcast)

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Anil Seth about the scientific study of consciousness, where consciousness emerges in nature, levels of consciousness, perception as a ?controlled hallucination,? emotion, the experience of ?pure consciousness,? consciousness as ?integrated information,? measures of ?brain complexity,? psychedelics, different aspects of the ?self,? conscious AI, and many other topics.

SUBSCRIBE to listen to the rest of this episode and gain access to all full-length episodes of the podcast at samharris.org/subscribe.

 

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 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.

2021-10-21
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#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 samharris.org/subscribe.

 

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 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.

2021-10-18
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#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 samharris.org/subscribe.

 

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 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.

2021-10-06
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#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 samharris.org/subscribe.

 

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 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.

2021-10-01
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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.

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2021-09-24
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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 samharris.org/subscribe.

 

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 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.

2021-09-20
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#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.

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2021-09-09
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