Shake your cognitive tree

It’s good to come across something that really makes you question things that you probably don’t even think much about consciously. I save up podcasts for long drives and yesterday I spent about six hours in the car, catching up on a long list of archived podcasts. Two of these were absolutely fascinating, and I would suggest listening to both, in this order:

1. Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith, with The Future of Ideas:

Sam Harris debates many points relating to religion, particularly the dangers that can be brought about by religious extremists — in any faith — around the world, and in our own country. Even religious moderates play a role by allowing the intolerance of extremists to grow.

2. Sue Blackmore on Memes:

Memetics is an intellectually rich but controversial field which seeks to explain how our minds and cultures are designed by natural selection acting on replicating information, just as organisms evolve by natural selection acting on genes. Sue Blackmore, one of the field’s leading thinkers, skillfully unfolds the major arguments for a meme’s-eye view of the world, and explores the implications for humanity. Are our brains best seen as machines invented by and for propagation of selfish memes?

Much food for thought and further conversations (or meme spreading).

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