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Mixed Mental Arts

English, Comedy, 328 seasons, 368 episodes, 1 day, 15 hours, 51 minutes
The Bryan Callen Show is a one-on-one, one-hour interview, featuring an array of different personalities, from celebrities to authors, producers, film makers, directors and other accomplished individuals. We discuss a variety of topics, focusing on perspective and experience.
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Ep 365 - Caroline Criado Perez

Bryan Callen and today's guest, Caroline Criado-Perez, have very different feeeeeeelings about the word feminism. For Bryan, feminism is a bit of a dirty word which he associates with well-meaning but misguided Social Justice Warriors on a crusade to remake the world in denial of the facts. For Caroline, feminism is a noble cause that aims to make the world fair and equal for all regardless of gender. And yet, in spite of their feelings about the word feminism, the case that Caroline makes in her latest book "Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men" is so compelling that Bryan and Caroline found themselves agreeing on the premise of her book. From medicine to the design of smartphones to bathroom allocation to the temperature of office spaces, the world is based on the assumption that an ordinary human is male. The result is that women die unnecessarily of heart attacks and car crashes. They wait longer in line for bathrooms. They are constantly cold in offices while men find the temperature perfectly comfortable. Many men wonder why the women in their lives are always cold, as if it is some defect of their body's ability to regulate its internal environment. Rather than a failure of homeostasis among 50% of the population, women and men simply have different mean body temperatures and men have simply been setting the thermostats for their own comfort without consulting women or considering that they might have different needs. In every way and in every field of life, the world was designed by men and for men and women have suffered as a result. There's a saying in Washington D.C. that if you're not at the table, then you're on the menu. In other words, if you're not there helping make the decisions, then you're going to get eaten alive. For most of recorded history, the people calling the shots and making the design decisions have been men and women have been on the menu. Bryan, Caroline and Hunter all want to live in a world based on fair play. So, why would we spend our time arguing about our feeeeeeelings about the word feminism when we can devote our time and energy to solving the problem? With Caroline's book, we not only have a persuasive case. We have a recipe for action for how we can make a world that works better for all of us. Fair play isn't just about marches, elections and new legislation. It's also about making little decisions like where we set the thermostat into discussions.
1/15/20201 hour, 13 minutes, 39 seconds
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Ep 364 - Mark Manson

When Mark Manson wrote "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck," he couldn't have anticipated what a tremendous success it would be or that with that success there would be new challenges. Namely, now what? Mark had everything he'd ever wanted and had to face the pressure of a second act. Could he repeat that success? And what if nobody liked his second book? Fortunately, as an F-bomb philosopher, Mark was able to channel the power of his own advice and the life-changing perspective that comes from harnessing the English language's most potent four-letter word. In this interview, we discuss Mark's latest book "Everything is F*cked." To Mixed Mental Artists, many of the themes in the book will be familiar, notably the idea that everything is a religion. Given this, we need tools for managing and challenging our own belief systems and Mark's books nicely synthesize a diverse range of material in a fun, compelling package. In short, it's mixing the mental arts at its very best.
12/15/201949 minutes, 52 seconds
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Ep 363 - Cailin O'Connor

In an age of fake news and alternative facts, Cailin O'Connor's "The Misinformation Age: How False Beliefs Spread" could not be better timed. With fantastic historical examples and the latest science, this episode forces everyone to reflect on how we form our beliefs and how we can all play our role in creating a healthier information space. Cailin O'Connor is an Associate Professor of Logic and Philosophy of Science and a member of the Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Science at the University of California, Irvine.
11/15/20191 hour, 19 minutes, 7 seconds
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Ep 362 - Jonathan Haidt

Although Bryan and Hunter talk about Jon Haidt all the time, this is actually only Jon's second appearance on the podcast. It was well worth the wait. Having read Jon's books many times and interviewed many of his peers, this podcast was a fantastic opportunity to get stuck in and re-examine the world through the lens of both ancient wisdom and modern science.
10/15/20191 hour, 1 minute, 58 seconds
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Hiatus is Over!

While Bryan has been busy filming his new spinoff Schooled, Hunter has been working hard to figure out how to take Mixed Mental Arts to the next level. We've had so much fun sharing the best ideas we've found in books. We can't wait to share them with an even wider audience. But in the meantime, we will be releasing new episodes every so often.
10/15/201958 seconds
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Ep 361- Dan Siegel

12/10/20181 hour, 17 minutes, 34 seconds
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Ep 360 - Tiger, Father of the Victorious: Nemr Abou Nassar

9/7/20181 hour, 34 minutes, 18 seconds
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Ep 359 - El Profesor: Sebastian Edwards

8/22/20181 hour, 13 minutes, 1 second
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Ep 358 - Reporting on Palestine: Wajahat Ali

Stay tuned until the end for some information on the re-renaming of the show to the Bryan Callen Show.
7/30/20181 hour, 23 minutes, 1 second
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Ep 357 - Ancient Chinese Secrets: Edward Slingerland

7/22/20181 hour, 5 minutes, 31 seconds
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Ep 356 - A Better Way To Help: Dambisa Moyo

Dambisa Moyo is from Zambia. She's studied the effect of foreign aid on the economies of developing nations. She finds it lacking in many respects. Her new book is Edge of Chaos: Why Democracy is Failing to Deliver Economic Growth and How to Fix It. You can go to and click on our amazon link to get a hold of Dambisa Moyo's new book, and we'll get a cut of the money. Contribute to us on Patreon for early podcasts releases and other promises!
6/24/20181 hour, 3 minutes, 16 seconds
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Ep 355 - Learning Through Adversity: Howard Bloom

Howard Bloom developed chronic fatigue syndrome in 1988. That didn't stop him from writing a bunch of books. His most recent book is How I Accidentally Started the Sixties, which is a memoir. 
6/18/20181 hour, 58 minutes, 45 seconds
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Ep 354 - Talking Creativity and Corgis with Allen Gannett

Allen Gannett is the author of The Creative Curve: How to Develop the Right Idea, at the Right Time and he helps debunk genius myths. That's why Hunter likes him. That's why Bryan likes him. We hope you like him too. Also, Allen loves corgis. Be sure to go to, support us on Patreon, use our Amazon affiliate, and follow us on social media!
6/11/201846 minutes, 3 seconds
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Ep 353 - A New Song and Dance: Ken Gordon and Adam Hansen

Adam Hansen and Ken Gordon are innovation guys. They also like to sing songs and enjoy the finer things in life. Their beards make the world a better place.
6/4/20181 hour, 24 minutes, 1 second
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Ep 352 - Real Science, Bro: Dr. Layne Norton

Layne Norton is an expert in nutrition. He's also an elite powerlifter and a professional body builder. In the continuing journey of sorting the wheat from the chaff, Bryan and Hunter learn about how to eat for performance. 
5/28/20181 hour, 31 minutes, 13 seconds
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Ep 351 - Found in Translation: Magdalena Edwards

Magdalena Edwards is Bryan Callen's neighbor. She's also a translator.  
5/21/20181 hour, 5 minutes, 7 seconds
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Ep 350 - Modern Maori: Te Miri Rangi

Te Miri Rangi is a Maori from New Zealand who instituted a program known as Whakapapa Fridays as an outreach to young people to instill a connection with their roots. Be sure to go to, support us on Patreon, use our Amazon affiliate, and follow us on social media!  
5/18/201847 minutes, 48 seconds
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Ep 349 - The Knowledge Frontier: Cesar Hidalgo

Cesar Hidalgo is the directer of the Collective Learning Group at the MIT media lab,. His book Why Information Grows combines physics and economics to give a new take on economic growth in the 21st century. Be sure to go to, support us on Patreon, use our Amazon affiliate, and follow us on social media!
5/14/20181 hour, 6 minutes, 18 seconds
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Ep 348 - Con Body: Coss Marte

Coss Marte did 4 years in state prison for drug trafficking. While in prison, he became interested in physical training. Now he runs a fitness studio in New York where he hires former inmates and trains people on how to improve their fitness. He's literally turning lives around.  
5/9/201836 minutes, 43 seconds
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Idea Quickie 8: Way Back with Big Mike (Repost)

From June, 2014 Bryan and Big Mike talked about everything from the History of Western Philosophy, to capital punishment in Saudi Arabia. Be sure to follow us on social media and check out our Patreon!
5/9/20181 hour, 2 minutes, 19 seconds
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Ep 346 - Getting to the Root of the Problem: Lawrence Lessig

Lawrence Lessig is a law professor at Harvard, and a friend of the podcast. He ran for the Democratic party nomination in the 2016 presidential election, and was boxed out because he wasn't playing the money game required to compete for elections in the United States. That money problem is the key issue he tackles in his book Republic Lost. Bryan and Hunter get fired up when talking to Lawrence, and this was no exception. Be sure to go to, support us on Patreon, use our Amazon affiliate, and follow us on social media!
5/7/201842 minutes, 35 seconds
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Ep 345 - Eat the World: Bryan Edward Hill

Bryan Edward Hill is an entertainment industry consultant, author, screenwriter, musician, graphic novelist, and graphic designer. Bryan and Hunter tease out some of his writing skills and how this all connects to psychology, culture, morality, and the monsters within. Honorable Mention to Drake.  
5/4/20181 hour, 34 minutes, 32 seconds
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Ep 344 - Ride Hard: Kyle Thiermann

Kyle Thiermann, born 1990, is a professional surfer, podcaster, and filmmaker from Santa Cruz, CA. His podcast is The Kyle Thiermann Show. In this podcast, Bryan and Hunter learn about conservation and oceanography, as well as surfer culture. Don’t forget to go to for all the updates of what we’re doing! Social media, too! Give us money on Patreon so Bryan Callen can get a focus group for podcast names, or something like that, and use our Amazon affiliate links!
4/30/201859 minutes, 6 seconds
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Ep 343 - Own It: Aubrey Marcus

Aubrey Marcus is the purveyor of Onnit. He wrote a new book, Own the Day, Own Your Life: Optimized Practices for Waking, Working, Learning, Eating, Training, Playing, Sleeping, and Sex. In this interview, Bryan and Hunter delve deep into the concept of human optimization and continue the love fest that accompanies Aubrey, because everyone loves him. Be sure to go to, support us on Patreon, use our Amazon affiliate, and follow us on social media!
4/27/20181 hour, 1 minute, 35 seconds
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Ep 342 - Balancing Wealth: Mark Blyth

Mark Blyth is a friend of the podcast and an economist at Brown University. Of note in this episode: a college professor pays a marginal tax rate higher than corporations. What matters is paying fair shares, so people like Bryan Callen don't have to pay extra.  Be sure to go to, support us on Patreon, use our Amazon affiliate, and follow us on social media!
4/23/20181 hour, 6 minutes, 26 seconds
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Ep 341 - Negotiate: Former FBI Hostage Negotiator Gary Noesner

Gary Noesner was a hostage negotiator. He was at Waco. His stories are great. In this episode of Mixed Mental Arts, Gary breaks down the psychology of hostage negotiation and interrogation. His book is Stalling for Time: My Life as an FBI Hostage Negotiator. Be sure to go to, support us on Patreon, use our Amazon affiliate, and follow us on social media!
4/20/201858 minutes, 16 seconds
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Idea Quickie 7: Know Yourself, Train Yourself (Repost)

In this episode, Bryan and Hunter talk about Descartes Error and The Happiness Hypothesis. Humans are bound by their cognitive biases, their emotions, which color their reason. Knowing this aspect of human cognition is critical to better approaching life. From October, 2016. Be sure to go to, support us on Patreon, use our Amazon affiliate, and follow us on social media!
4/18/20181 hour, 6 minutes, 37 seconds
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Ep 339 - Write With Your Body: Ed Solomon and Alex Kurtzman

Ed Solomon is a friend of the show and the writer behind Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Men in Black, and Mosaic. He brought along Alex Kurtzman, co-writer of Star Trek, Transformers, and People Like Us. Bryan Callen shares his desire to be a great writer, and gets lessons. Hunter Maats giggles and adds the glue to stick the threads of narrative together. Don’t forget to go to for all the updates of what we’re doing! Social media, too! Give us money on Patreon so Bryan Callen can buy books for orphans, or something like that, and use our Amazon affiliate links!
4/16/20181 hour, 20 minutes, 3 seconds
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Ep 338 - Innovative Metaphor: Ken Gordon

Ken Gordon's company helped invent the Swiffer, portable insulin pumps, and much much more. In this episode of Mixed Mental Arts, he shares how his innovation process is based so much on literature and metaphor. Don’t forget to go to for all the updates of what we’re doing! Social media, too! Give us money on Patreon so Bryan Callen invent better sex robots, or something like that, and use our Amazon affiliate links!
4/13/20181 hour, 16 minutes, 47 seconds
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Idea Quickie 6: Reflections (Repost)

From Oct 28, 2013 Bryan and Hunter take this episode to reflect on and synthesize everything they've learned over the course of the last dozen or so episodes recording the show together. From the philosophy of Professor Dan Robinson to understanding human memory with Josh Foer, it's been a wild ride. This was a much needed opportunity to digest all they'd learned and pull out the big overarching lessons they've learned in talking to so many awesome guests. Go to our website, and support us through Patreon, Paypal, or our Amazon affiliate link! Money goes to support the people who work on the podcast, and Bryan Callen's cheese habit.
4/11/201859 minutes, 29 seconds
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Ep 336 - Figuring Out Your Own Mind: Kelly Brogan

Kelly Brogan is a psychiatrist from New York and author of A Mind of Your Own. She began questioning the veracity of Western Medicine after being diagnosed with an auto-immune disease. Bryan and Hunter engage in heated debate over vaccines and science writ large, while remaining curious throughout. Don’t forget to go to for all the updates of what we’re doing! Social media, too! Become a Patreon patron, and use our Amazon affiliate links!
4/9/20181 hour, 25 minutes, 55 seconds
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Ep 335 - Evolution of Defense: Tony Blauer

Tony Blauer pioneered a self-defense system called SPEAR. It's a realistic method through which one can defend themselves in real-world scenarios. It's right up Bryan's alley. Don’t forget to go to for all the updates of what we’re doing! Social media, too! Give us money on Patreon so Bryan Callen can become a real street-fighter, and use our Amazon affiliate links!
4/6/20181 hour, 28 minutes, 27 seconds
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Culture Matters 2: Where Bryan Callen Doesn't Come From

Bryan Callen is a Mediterranean man from America. On this episode, he is joined by Dave Colan, Cate Fogarty, Akhmed Dakhil, Cara Haltiwanger, and James Fritz to talk about honor cultures and dignity cultures. Go on, click the Amazon affiliate link.We also work with audible, so if  you want to give the audiobook a try, go to We also have a Patreon! If you have a buck, please share with us! We’ll try and send you some swag.
4/4/20181 hour, 11 minutes, 10 seconds
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Special Release! Unstructured with Eric Hunley

Unstructured is a new podcast by a member of the Mixed Mental Arts community, Eric Hunley. This episode is an introduction to that podcast, hosted by Hunter himself. Don’t forget to go to for all the updates of what we’re doing! Social media, too! Give us money on Patreon so Bryan Callen can become a Spanish dancer, and use our Amazon affiliate links!  
4/4/20181 hour, 25 minutes, 11 seconds
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Ep 333 - Do You Even Science, Bro? Andy Galpin

Andy Galpin is a professor of human bioenergetics at Cal State Fullerton. That means he studies muscle. He's literally a meathead. Bryan and Hunter learn about how, when it comes to muscular development, "it depends." Don’t forget to go to for all the updates of what we’re doing! Social media, too! Give us money on Patreon so Bryan Callen can maaaaaybe get jacked and tan, and use our Amazon affiliate links!
4/2/20181 hour, 17 minutes, 33 seconds
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Ep 332 - The Middle Path: The Constitution and Class with Ganesh Sitaraman

Ganesh Sitaraman is a professor of law at Vanderbilt University. He published The Crisis of the Middle-class Constitution: Why Economic Inequality Threatens Our Republic in 2017. Bryan and Hunter learn a lot about the history of the United States Constitution and the economic history of the United States. Don’t forget to go to for all the updates of what we’re doing! Social media, too! Give us money on Patreon so Bryan Callen can become a British Lord, and use our Amazon affiliate links!
3/30/201848 minutes, 26 seconds
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Idea Quickie 5: First Date (Repost)

Every mythology has a genesis myth, and this was the genesis of Mixed Mental Arts, long before the name was on the show. This was episode 25 of the Bryan Callen Show, before it was renamed Man Thoughts, then renamed the Bryan Callen Show, then The Bryan Callen Show (with Hunter Maats), and finally, Mixed Mental Arts.   Visit our website at Use our Amazon affiliate! Use our Audible affiliate! Give us money on Patreon! Follow us on all the social media!
3/28/20181 hour, 18 minutes, 11 seconds
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Ep 330 - Strange Orders: Antonio Damasio

Antonio Damasio is a truly fascinating man. He teaches at neuroscience at USC and is considered the Marlon Brando of neuroscience. Bryan and Hunter inquire about feeeeelings, art, and philosophy. Support us on Patreon! 
3/26/20181 hour, 12 minutes, 46 seconds
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Ep 329 - Wrestling with Homo Economicus: Eldar Shafir

Eldar Shafir is a behavioral economist/behavioral scientist at Princeton University. He co-wrote the book Scarcity with Sendhil Mullainathan. Hunter and Bryan draw out the depth of contrast between the reality of poverty and the assumptions of Homo Economicus as the keystone of human behavior. Go on, click the Amazon affiliate link! We also work with Audible, so if  you want to give the audio book a try, go to We also have a Patreon! If you have a buck, please share with us! We’ll try and send you some swag.
3/23/201850 minutes, 38 seconds
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Ep 327 - From the Shores of Barcelona: Raphael Minder

Raphael Minder is the Spain and Portugal correspondent for The New York Times. He schools Bryan and Hunter on the Catalonia situation, and other political tensions in the region. Of course, no discussion of Catalonia is complete without fútbol, either.Don’t forget to go to for all the updates of what we’re doing! Social media, too! Give us money on Patreon so Bryan Callen can become a Spanish dancer, and use our Amazon affiliate links!
3/16/201854 minutes, 31 seconds
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Idea Quickie 4: Naked (Repost)

Sometimes Bryan and Hunter like to get naked together...emotionally. It's time to bare all their thoughts and feelings!!! In this episode, they review everything they've learned and what the big take home lesson is. There's really only one! Tune in to find out what it is. Tweet Hunter, if there are any books or topics you'd like to see covered.  Maybe human nature is like hardware and software... Follow us on social media! Give us money on Patreon! Go to use our Amazon affiliate, use our Audible affiliate!
3/14/201839 minutes, 22 seconds
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Ep 325 - Problem Solving Through Empathy: Roman Krznaric

Roman Krznaric teaches philosophy at Oxford. He studies empathy and how it can be applied to everyday life. Sunzi says “Know the other and know yourself, and you will not see peril in any battle.” Bryan and Hunter draw the connections between markets, soldiers, and the power of Bryan Callen to save the world. Roman's new book is called Carpe Diem. Buy it through our Amazon affiliate! Visit our website at Use our Amazon affiliate! Use our Audible affiliate! Give us money on Patreon! Follow us on all the social media!  
3/11/201857 minutes, 28 seconds
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Ep 324 - Knowing You're an Ape: Chris Ryan

Chris Ryan talks with Bryan and Hunter to talk about his book Sex At Dawn, the academic sexlessness, human capabilities vs. human tendencies, swingers' clubs, and how to collectively build the human version of the San Diego Zoo. Also, how much Bryan Callen fuuuucks. Visit our website at Use our Amazon affiliate! Use our Audible affiliate! Give us money on Patreon! Follow us on all the social media!
3/9/20181 hour, 14 minutes, 36 seconds
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Idea Quickie 3: The Big Seven

Bryan and Hunter talk about Life, Death, and Human Nature so that we can detribalize and realize our shared humanity. The Big Seven:   Birth Death Societies Sex (Touch) Food (Nutrition) Sleep (Security)   Play  And the rituals therein. Support us on Patreon, use our Amazon Affiliate, sign up for a free audiobook at and go to our website at for cools stuff!  
3/7/201843 minutes, 6 seconds
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Ep 322 - The Skeptical “Sardinian”: Michael Shermer

Michael Shermer is the Publisher of Skeptic magazine, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, and a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University. He also is in fantastic shape, with the physique of a Sardinian fisherman. Bryan, Hunter, and Michael talk about skepticism and Michael’s new book, Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality, and Utopia.Go on, click the Amazon affiliate link, and if you want, buy Michael’s book. We also work with audible, so if  you want to give the audiobook a try, go to We also have a Patreon! If you have a buck, please share with us! We’ll try and send you some swag.
3/5/20181 hour, 10 minutes, 3 seconds
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Ep 321 - Quantum Artistry: Sharon Stone featuring Spiros Michalakis

Sharon Stone is one of the most brilliant people in Hollywood. She is currently working a project related to quantum physics, so Mixed Mental Arts facilitated a conversation with our resident quantum physicist, Spiros Michalakis. What resulted is one of the best podcasts ever. Subscribe to us on YouTube. There won't be video of this podcast, but we have many other great videos coming out regularly. Follow us on twitter, facebook, and instagram for the latest updates. Also use our Amazon affiliate link, become a patron on Patreon, use our Audible link, buy a t-shirt at our store, give us loads of dough. Whatever you can do to help, we'd appreciate it.
3/2/20181 hour, 2 minutes, 46 seconds
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Ep 320 - Not So Austere: Mark Blyth

Mark Blyth is a badass economist and a True Scotsman. He teaches at the Watson Institute at Brown University, and wrote a couple of books on economics. He's also hilarious. Check out Mark’s books, Austerity and Great Transformations.Mixed Mental Arts is now an Audible affiliate and an Amazon affiliate. We have a paypal button on our home page. We sell t-shirts through TeePublic. And we have a Patreon. Basically, if you have some spare change, help Bryan buy more propecia to keep his hair luscious. Also, Hunter needs a haircut.
2/26/20181 hour, 48 minutes, 48 seconds
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Ep 319 - Keep the Internet Open: Alexis Ohanian

From November, 2013. Alexis Ohanian co-founded Reddit out of his dorm room at the University of Virginia. As a leader of the grass-roots movement that overturned Congress's Stop Online Piracy Act and Senate IP Protection Act, he earned a spot in The Daily Dot's top ten most influential Internet Rights activists of 2012 and was dubbed the "Mayor of the Internet" by Forbes. Still, as you'll discover in this episode, Alexis is an incredibly down-to-earth guy with a great sense of humor. On today's show, Alexis, Bryan and Hunter talk about Alexis' book Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed. As more and more individuals use the internet to innovate and create better and better business opportunities, there's plenty of reasons to be optimistic. However, there are things we need to do to ensure those freedoms. Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed is available from all major booksellers. Alexis can be followed on twitter @alexisohanian.
2/25/20181 hour, 7 minutes, 40 seconds
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Ep 318 Who Will Save the Internet? Andrew Keen

Andrew Keen is wary of the growth of Google, and skeptical of the quality of user created content on the internet. He's been called an elitist because of his position. In this episode of Mixed Mental Arts, Bryan and Hunter tease out some of the logic behind his position. Check out Andrew's Books, How to Fix the Future, The Cult of the Amateur, and The Internet is Not the Answer.  Check out, use our Amazon affiliate, follow us on social media @mixedmentalarts everywhere, visit our reddit page, and if you have some spare change, hit us on Patreon. We feed starving veterans.
2/23/20181 hour, 1 minute, 57 seconds
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Special Release! An Unregistered Mixed Mental Arts Super Spar with Thaddeus Russell

This is a dual release with Thaddeus Russell on the Unregistered Podcast. Thad has been on Mixed Mental Arts three times, and we can’t get enough of him. They talk about life, fathers, history, boxing, and what it means to be a man. Go to for more great podcasts, and give Renegade University a try. You won’t be disappointed (though you may be pissed off and confused.)
2/21/20181 hour, 20 minutes, 30 seconds
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Ep 317 Idea Quickie 2: Making Smart Funny

Bryan and Hunter are alone together agian for some nice idea sex. They discuss the recent descent of the Emperor on the Washington DC and how he's incorporating his Mixed Mental Arts into his new standup. He is a true master of his craft, as the elves will tell you. Don't forget to go to and use our Amazon link. Hunter's poor despite his Ivy League education, and could use a hair cut. Patreon helps too.
2/18/201829 minutes, 32 seconds
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Ep 316 Mosaics of Reality Part 2: Spiros Michalakos and Ed Solomon

At the end of last week's podcast, a man named Spiros walked in. Then he blew everyone's mind. Spiros has been on the podcast before, and if you've listened to those episodes (129, 142, 236, 237, 247) you know what's in store. But the rabbit hole never ends when you're talking to a quantum mathematician who solved an unsolvable problem.   Don’t forget to go to our website and click on the Amazon affiliate link so the elves can eat. You can watch Mosaic there, buy stuff, and we will get a cut. Support us on Patreon if you’ve got a buck to spare. A dollar a show would mean more free content for everyone.
2/16/20181 hour, 42 minutes, 26 seconds
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Special Release! The Drunken Taoist Practices Mixed Mental Arts

Daniele Bolelli and Rich Evirs again sat down with Hunter, and this time Michael Brooks tagged along. They talk about everything. Mentioned is Bolelli's book, "How to Create Your Own Religion."  Don't forget to support us on Patreon and use our Amazon Affiliate if you like our website. The Amazon money goes to support Bryan Callen's cheese habit.
2/15/20181 hour, 23 minutes, 15 seconds
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Ep 315 Mosaics of Reality Part 1: Ed Solomon

Ed Solomon is a screenwriter. He worked on Lavern and Shirley, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, and his latest work is with Steven Soderbergh on a show called Mosaic. Ed discusses the creative process, how to go along to get along, and when that doesn’t cut it anymore. Go watch Mosaic on Amazon or HBO. Don’t forget to follow us on Social Media and support us on Patreon.
2/11/201856 minutes, 38 seconds
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Ep 314 Saving the Republic: Lawrence Lessig

Lawrence Lessig ran for President of the United States in 2016. He lost, and we got Donald Trump instead. Lessig is a Harvard Law professor whose book, "Republic Lost" outlines exactly how the swamp in Washington DC got so swampy to begin with. Go to for more information. Don’t forget to support us on Patreon
2/8/201855 minutes, 7 seconds
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Ep 313 Strange Times! Adam Strange Enters the Dojo

Adam Strange is a YouTuber. He's trailblazing the new media landscape by doing DIY short films and podcasts through open-source distribution. He and Reid Nicewonder have been going out and talking about pressing issues with random people, and people are watching. Check out his YouTube channel, Friended Forever. Check out Reid Nicewonder's work at Cordial Curiosity, also on Youtube. Don't forget to subscribe to the podcast, contribute on Patreon, and follow us on Social Media. We love you.
2/5/20181 hour, 42 minutes, 10 seconds
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Episode 312 The Code to Life: Dan Coyle

Dan Coyle is one of our favorite authors. He wrote The Talent Code and his new book The Culture Code just came out on January 1st, 2018. Dan talks about how he became obsessed with figuring out how to improve himself, Bryan talks about Lawrence Fishburn, and Hunter applies the ideas to himself.
2/2/20181 hour, 18 seconds
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Ep 311 Idea Quickie 1: The Road Thus Far

Bryan and Hunter sit down and recap the last 300 episodes of Mixed Mental Arts. Hunter is obsessed with cults, the belt system, and ideas. Bryan is a manly-man. Go to and sign up for the Belt System Pilot Program!
1/30/201820 minutes, 15 seconds
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Ep. 310 Church and Science Come to the Table

Hunter sits down to the table with Sean McCoy, a person who was been inspired in part by Mixed Mental Arts to start his own podcast. They talk Christianity, Science, and how to communicate with someone who disagrees with you.
1/29/20181 hour, 26 minutes, 23 seconds
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Episode 309: Rosi Sexton: True Badass

Rosi Sexton fought in Mixed Martial Arts for 12 years. She’s a true master of  Mixed Martial Arts, Mixed Mathematical Arts, Mixed Medical Arts, and Mixed Mental Arts. She has a PhD from Cambridge, and is currently an Osteopath in the UK.
1/25/20181 hour, 11 minutes, 45 seconds
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Ep 308 Sex in the Trenches: Asa Akira

Asa Akira is a feminist, an intellectual, a podcast host, and the author of three books, Insatiable, Asarotica, and Dirty Thirty: A Memoir. Oh, and she also has been appearing in porn for 10 years. This is a repost of episode 120 of Mixed Mental Arts. Since this interview, she’s become the first Pornhub Brand Ambassador, and stared on a reality show. CAUTION: SHE HAS NUDE PHOTOS ON THE INTERNET. PARENTAL ADVISORY.
1/25/20181 hour, 3 minutes, 41 seconds
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Ep 307 - Content And Inspiration On Hyper Island: Jamie Black Enters The Dojo

Jamie Black works at Hyper Island. Hyper Island is a Swedish model of education that emphasizes innovation and technology. The Hyper Island team has expanded worldwide and has been lucky to bring on Jamie Black. Jamie and Hunter got connected on Twitter by a mysterious listener. Connect us with someone you know @mixedmentalarts This is your Podcast too!   You can find out more about Hyper Island here:   You can follow Jamie Black on Twitter at @black_jamie
1/22/20181 hour, 3 minutes, 32 seconds
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Ep 306 - Federalist No. 1: The Mother of All Podcasts

January 20th, 2018  After full experience of the insufficiency of the subsisting federal government, you are invited to deliberate on a New Constitution for the United States of America. The subject speaks its own importance; comprehending in its consequences, nothing less than the existence of the UNION, the safety and welfare of the parts of which it is composed, the fate of an empire, in many respects, the most interesting in the world. It has been frequently remarked, that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country to decide, by their conduct and example, the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not, of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend, for their political constitutions, on accident and force. If there be any truth in the remark, the crisis at which we are arrived may, with propriety, be regarded as the period when that decision is to be made; and a wrong election of the part we shall act may, in this view, deserve to be considered as the general misfortune of mankind… And yet, just as these sentiments must appear to candid men, we have already sufficient indications, that it will happen in this as in all former cases of great national discussion. A torrent of angry and malignant passions will be let loose. To judge from the conduct of the opposite parties, we shall be led to conclude, that they will mutually hope to evince the justness of their opinions, and to increase the number of their converts, by the loudness of their declamations, and by the bitterness of their invectives. An enlightened zeal for the energy and efficiency of government, will be stigmatized as the offspring of a temper fond of power and hostile to the principles of liberty…On the other hand, it will be equally forgotten, that the vigor of government is essential to the security of liberty; that, in the contemplation of a sound and well informed judgment, their interests can never be separated; and that a dangerous ambition more often lurks behind the specious mask of zeal for the rights of the people, than under the forbidding appearances of zeal for the firmness and efficiency of government. History will teach us, that the former has been found a much more certain road to the introduction of despotism, than the latter, and that of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career, by paying an obsequious court to the people...commencing demagogues, and ending tyrants. -Publius
1/20/201842 minutes, 2 seconds
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Ep 305 - Homo Socialis: Talking Humans with David Sloan Wilson

If you haven’t heard the name David Sloan Wilson, then you’re definitely new to Mixed Mental Arts. David Sloan Wilson has pioneered Multi-Level Selection which is one of the cornerstones of the Mixed Mental Arts worldview. It’s how he earned his place in the Holy Trinity of Cultural Evolution and why his book, Does Altruism Exist?, is one of the Four Gospels of the Scientific New Testament.   You can find more of the work of the community David has created at
1/19/20181 hour, 15 minutes, 29 seconds
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Ep 304 - Evolution Never Ends: Michael Garfield Enters The Dojo

Michael Garfield is a paleontologist who brings the study of the longest imaginable evolutionary timeline to the study of the future. If you’re looking for a new intellectual rabbit hole to fall down, then Michael’s Future Fossils podcast is a great choice. You can also read excerpts from his upcoming book How to Live in the Future at his Medium account. The books Michael mentioned in this episode are: Finite & Infinite Games, What Technology Wants, Common as Air, Xenolinguistics and How to Live in the Future. Follow us @mixedmentalarts
1/15/20182 hours, 9 minutes, 21 seconds
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Ep 303 - Doughnut Economics: Kate Raworth Enters The Dojo

Kate Raworth got into economics to change the world. She then found out that the discipline was full of men, in grey suits, who cared only about making GDP go up at all costs. She later left economics and worked for the UN, Oxfam, and other organizations focused on developing the world. Eventually she felt the disparity between the discipline of economics was and what is needed to actually solve problems was just too great. So she wrote a book called Doughnut Economics to model an ideal 21st century economic system.   Kate teaches at Oxford University. She gets to talk about seeming silly things like doughnuts while actually offering a potent critique of what modern economics has become.
1/12/20181 hour, 1 minute, 7 seconds
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Ep 302 - Best of East, Best of West: Don Mei Enters The Dojo

Don Mei has spent his entire life mixing the mental arts. As the son of a Swiss mother and a Chinese father who spent their lives bridging East and West, Don has help set the table for Humanity’s First Family DinnerTM. His parents were the first people to introduce Chinese medicine to the West. Don now continues that legacy and has built tea culture with Mei Leaf. Don is doing cultural exchange the right way by establishing relationships and trust with the farmers to get them to open and reveal not only their best tea but their hidden secrets. You can find Mei Leaf on YouTube and find more about Don’s work in Chinese Medicine at This isn’t 1990. This isn’t Biggie v. Pac. This isn’t East vs West. This is the best of both. Follow us @mixedmentalarts on EVERYTHING!
1/10/20181 hour, 33 minutes, 41 seconds
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Ep 301 - Talking Economics With Adam Smith: Russ Roberts Enters The Dojo

For the last eleven years, Russ Roberts has hosted the Econ Talk podcast from Stanford’s Hoover Institute. He is a founding father of Podcasts. In addition, he’s the author of the excellent book How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life about the insights contained in the other book of Adam Smith. Although Adam Smith is regarded as the Founding Father of capitalism, he wrote a book called The Theory of Moral Sentiments all about things like altruism and how lots of money doesn’t make us happy. This was a fantastic conversation about how what thinkers actually think is often very far removed from how their image is hijacked and caricatured for narrow political ends, especially in the present environment.
1/8/201859 minutes, 20 seconds
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Ep 300 - How To Set The Right Goals, Man : Jordan B. Peterson Enters The Dojo

In our 300th episode, Bryan Callen talks with Jordan Peterson about his self authoring program, the Wilfred Laurier scandal, political polarization, how to set the right goals, sex, and individualism. Check out the High Def Video Version of this episode on our YouTube Channel. Search "Mixed Mental Arts" on YouTube, man! Follow us and stuff.
12/31/20171 hour, 30 minutes, 44 seconds
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Ep 299 - Humility Is The New Smart: Katherine Ludwig Enters The Dojo

Katherine Ludwig is a former corporate finance and securities lawyer-turned writer and editor. Now, she has authored Humility is the New Smart: Rethinking Human Excellence in the Smart Machine Age. The ideas that Katherine and her co-author, Ed Hess, lay out in their book are slightly uncomfortable for Bryan. You can follow Katherine on Twitter at @LudwigKatherine.
12/29/20171 hour, 18 minutes, 20 seconds
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Ep 298 - Nanooks, Knife Fights, and Terrorists : Lt. Col John Nagl (Ret.) Enters The Dojo

After fighting in the first gulf war, John Nagl returned to the United States and took part in a simulated military exercise. As a tank commander, he had all the overwhelming firepower any soldier could hope for…and yet he lost to a group of Alaskan National Guard infantrymen, known as the Nanooks. Nagl’s unit was unassailable by any conventional military force but a group of lightly armed troops, defying all the rules of how wars “should” be fought had defeated a much, much stronger force. That failure bothered him so much that he decided to devote the rest of his life to understanding it and making sure it never happened again. During the 90’s, the American military trained for the war it wanted to fight: a war just like the first Gulf War. Nagl’s experience with the Nanooks had convinced him that no conventional military would ever make the same mistake that Saddam Hussein had made in taking the US Army on head on. Instead, he suspected that the US’ major threats would come from small, irregular groups of troops employing hit and run engagements rather than full frontal assaults. Even though it would reduce his chances of rising through the ranks, Nagl convinced the Army to send him to Oxford to study counter-insurgency and figure out how the US could defeat an enemy as irregular as the Nanooks. As he read through the histories and primary sources, he came to realize that what the Nanooks had done was a very old form of warfare. In fact, it was the exact form of warfare used by the Viet Cong in Vietnam. The exact form of warfare that America (focused on the conventional military tactics of World War II) had been unable to defeat. While in traditional war, the goal is to annihilate the enemy this strategy is counter-productive in fighting a counter-insurgency. Counter-insurgency is much more complicated, subtle and time-consuming. It is what T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) described in his book as being like learning to eat soup with a knife. This phrase so inspired Nagl that he made it the title of his own book on the topic, Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam. Throughout the 90’s and early 2000’s, little attention was paid to this book. By the time Nagl deployed to Iraq for the War on Terror, the book was still virtually unknown. However, as America found itself mired in another insurgency, the American military began to realize the vital importance of Nagl’s insights. And so, General Petraeus asked Nagl to write the official Army and Marine Field Manual on Counter-Insurgency. In his most recent book, Knife Fights: A Memoir of Modern War in Theory and Practice, Lt. Col John A. Nagl (Ret.) tells the story of the incredible revolution in military thinking that he has helped pioneer. If you don’t want the terrorists to win, you should read all of John Nagl’s books.
12/23/20171 hour, 2 minutes, 14 seconds
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Ep 297 - The Physics Of Life: Prof Adrian Bejan Enters The Dojo

Growing up in Soviet-controlled Romania, Adrian Bejan found himself living in system that tried to prevent of ideas, money, goods and people. It’s only fitting then that his career would not only see him bridging the divide between disciplines but studying flow itself. In 1995 while designing more efficient cooling systems for electronics, he was struck by the similarity between the systems that he was designing and those that occur naturally in riverbeds, capillary systems, leaves and much, much more. And so, the constructal law was born. It’s a real pleasure to have Professor Bejan on the show. He’s an OG Mixed Mental Artist from way back in the day. To learn more about Professor Bejan’s work check out his books Design in Nature and The Physics of Life. You can keep up with all the latest on Constructal Theory on Twitter at @constructal.
12/22/20171 hour, 46 seconds
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Ep 296 - What Happened To The Party Of Mandela? South Africa Enters The Dojo

In the wake of the US Civil War, the Republican Party had won itself a lot of political goodwill. The Party of Lincoln, as it was called, could, in the eyes of many, do no wrong. Not only had it brought the country together but it had ended the great national shame of slavery. It was in this environment where the party could do no wrong that corruption flourished. This same pattern has played out in post-Apartheid South Africa.   Roman Cabanac and Jonathan Witt are the co-hosts of The Renegade Report, one of the most popular podcasts based in South Africa. They join us on the show to tell us all about how Jacob Zuma in conjunction with a family known as The Guptas hired international PR firm Bell Pottinger to deliberately incite racial tensions as a way to distract from widescale corruption.   In an Attention Economy, people will do anything to either bring attention to themselves or move it away from things they don’t want the public to pay attention to. This is the world we live in. The ability to bring humanity’s collective attention to bear on a problem is the challenge of our age. If we can just focus, we can solve our problems. There are people for whom that is the last thing that they want.   You can find The Renegade Report on all major podcast feeds and find them on Twitter at @Renegade_Report.
12/15/20171 hour, 29 minutes, 11 seconds
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Ep 295 - Does Altruism Exist? David Sloan Wilson Enters The Dojo

In 1759, while working as a tutor, Adam Smith wrote a book called The Theory of Moral Sentiments that begins as follows: "How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortunes of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it, except the pleasure of seeing it. Of this kind is pity or compassion, the emotion we feel for the misery of others, when we either see it, or are made to conceive it in a very lively manner. That we often derive sorrow from the sorrows of others, is a matter of fact too obvious to require any instances to prove it; for this sentiment, like all the other original passions of human nature, is by no means confined to the virtuous or the humane, though they perhaps may feel it with the most exquisite sensibility. The greatest ruffian, the most hardened violator of the laws of society, is not altogether without it." In 1776, that same Adam Smith would write The Wealth of Nations, the book that would establish capitalism. To a modern audience, for whom the idea of selfishness is synonymous with capitalism, this seems incredibly strange. However, it wasn't strange at all. Smith was primarily interested in improving the well-being of humanity. To him, it was clear that market forces were one of the great tools for doing this. However, this does not mean that Smith believed that humanity was entirely selfish.  Wilson Sensei will be on the podcast again in the near future. Tweet him @David_S_Wilson 
12/11/20171 hour, 8 minutes, 23 seconds
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Ep 294 - MMA Saturday Sessions: Jared Diamond

We don’t know just where we’re headed. But we know Saturdays can feel weird. Technically, it's one of your chill days. At the same time, you promised Mom you'd cut her grass - and you have that thing with your girlfriend on the other side of town. Saturday Sessions are for you, my friend. It’s this thing we’re trying out - Classic MMA Episodes and Chill Tunes, on Some Saturdays - for your hyper-paced world, fried neurons, and Big Boy chores (Big Girl stuff, too). Thomas A. Edison said “Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits.” So go ahead: hustle while you wait. We have a feeling Jared Diamond will be back very soon. Saturday chill music courtesy of Honeystone. If you want to know wtf is at the end of this episode tweet @imgooley01 , I'm not really sure and he didn't answer. Follow us and stuff - come along for the ride! #TheresATribeInNewGuinea
12/9/20171 hour, 17 minutes, 51 seconds
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Ep 293 - The Eternal Tao Has No Name: Chris Ryan PHD and Daniele Bolelli Enter The Dojo

Hunter has been doing a lot of thinking lately - Gathering his thoughts. Taoism strikes him not as a discovery, but as a rediscovery of an earlier way of being: the way of the Hunter-Gatherer. The Hunter-Gatherer can’t afford rigid categories. He must flexibly take in what is before him to figure out the situation. The Hunter must have a mind like water. The gatherer, too.   In this episode, Daniele Bolelli, Chris Ryan, Bryan, and Hunter talk about how to make a better society. How do we use rules, technology, accumulated wisdom, and insights into our biology to evolve a society - and world - that better provides for our needs? We have no effing clue! But we believe in you ;)
12/8/20171 hour, 11 minutes, 13 seconds
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Ep 292 - I Am Bryan Callen's Daddy: Big Mike Enters The Dojo

If you have friends that still subscribe to the old podcast feed, wake them up. Steal your girlfriends phone and subscribe to Mixed Mental Arts (Official), like Daddy would. Follow us on whatever SM platform you waste time on most. We promise to be useful. Comedy not guaranteed. Love and Peace.
12/5/20171 hour, 2 minutes, 44 seconds
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Ep 291 - A Biological Case For Democracy? Acemoglu and Keltner Enter The Dojo

Both Daron Acemoglu (MIT economist and co-author of Why Nations Fail) and Dacher Keltner (Berkeley psychologist and author of many books including Born to Be Good) have appeared on Mixed Mental Arts before. They both were amazing and Bryan Couldn't pronounce either of their names.  That is reason enough to bring them back and put them on together to see what happens. But, wait. There's more. Because these two together have the power to do something unprecedented in human history. At least since Plato's Republic, humans have debated the best form of government. (Plato thought it was a "Philosopher King" aka give someone like Plato or Bryan absolute power but recognized that democracy was the least bad system.) However, this has long been an endless debate in which people make the case for the system of government they're biased towards and then dismiss every other opinion as biased. In fact, this highly predictable criticism was leveled at Daron Acemoglu and his co-author James Robinson in the wake of Why Nations Fail. Also, we're starting a campaign to have them write a book together. James Robinson should come along too. Tweet them with #RealHolyTrinity if you want them to do it. Guest Links Website: Twitter:
12/4/20171 hour, 1 minute, 48 seconds
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Ep 290 - The Inequality of Citizenship Is Russia's Super Power, For Now: Lawrence Lessig Enters The Dojo

This is a repost. Think of what could have been. We added the music to avoid the Haters Hatin'. If you don't like it. Well, sorry :( Music Courtesy of Honeystone. A Kick Ass band you should know about. Download their album "Scouts Honor" on iTunes. They literally sell their songs for $1. I would pay three. We voted Larry Lessig For President. If you want Larry to try again, tweet him @lessig Follow us and stuff.
12/2/20171 hour, 1 minute, 49 seconds
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Ep 289 - Way Back Wednesday: Jonathan Haidt Enters The Dojo

As a professor at the University of Virginia, Jonathan Haidt uses the scientific method to study human morality…which leads to asking people some pretty screwed up questions. On the show, Bryan, Jonathan and Hunter discuss everything from why Washington is broken to why 1% of men give the rest of us a bad name to tribes in Papua New Guinea that believe a little homosexuality is essential for becoming a man. It's an hour-long journey through the weird and wonderful world of human nature that will leave you with time-tested and science-tested wisdom for how you can be happier and more fulfilled. Follow Jonathan Haidt on twitter at @JonHaidt. For more on his work check out The Happiness Hypothesis, The Righteous Mind and the following websites: #repost of episode 53. Don't playa hate.
11/29/201758 minutes, 34 seconds
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Ep 288 - Way Back Wednesday: Joseph Henrich Enters The Dojo

Wonder why Hunter name drops Joseph Henrich all the time? Who is Joseph Henrich anyway? Today, we talk to the man himself about his book: The Secret Of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter. #repost of episode 208. Don't playa hate.
11/29/201747 minutes, 10 seconds
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Ep 287 - Refilwe Ledwaba: What Does it Take to Help Kids Soar?

Like many kids throughout history, and across the world, Refilwe Ledwaba grew up not knowing what she was capable of. Growing up on the border of Zimbabwe during the apartheid era, it had literally never occurred to her that she could be an airline pilot because she’d never seen anyone who looked like her doing that job. Through a series of chance encounters and the right encouragement, she found her way to a career in aviation. Now, through the Girls Fly Program in Africa, she provides relatable role models for children just like she once was. As Mixed Mental Arts builds a path to ikigai for the entire global village, creating relatable role models for kids everywhere is a crucial component. What Refilwe has done is something we can do everywhere and in every field of human activity.
11/27/201731 minutes, 53 seconds
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Ep 286 - Find Your Ikigai: Stepping Stones To The Trades With Jon and Jenni Aguilar

Nope. It's not a typo. Everyone has Ikigai - especially you. Finding it requires a deep and often lengthy search of self. But, first, you should probably Google it.  Or: “Hey Siri, search the web for Ikigai (ee-kee-guy)." Be sure to share what Siri thought you said. Just type Mixed Mental Arts into the search bar on Facebook, or tweet us @mixedmentalarts Until next time!  
11/20/20171 hour, 7 minutes, 39 seconds
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Ep 285 - Mixed Mental Arts Is On Fire: Daniele Bolelli Enters The Dojo

If you're into podcasts, you've probably heard the name Daniele Bolelli. Hunter and Bryan heard it a thousand times. Then, one momentous day, Scott Weigand of Los Angeles Valley College told Hunter he HAD to listen to Daniele Bolelli’s course on Taoism. That did it! Hunter had to know more - who was this wizard? Hunter went to Bolelli's website, paid ten bucks and listened to the course. It blew his mind. And just like that another deep thinker was brought before the Emperor. Bolelli's crime? He had taken lots of books and whittled them down to the most powerful mental tools: great anecdotes.  Daniele Bolelli hosts two podcasts, The Drunken Taoist and History on Fire. He’s a member of the Mixed Mental Arts Facebook group and can be found there. You can find the serendipitous lectures here or ( Until next time!
11/15/20171 hour, 13 minutes, 55 seconds
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Ep 284 - MMA Meetup: The Second Columbian Exchange

The first ever Mixed Mental Arts Meetup was in Columbus, Ohio. Drew Sample was amazing enough to come pick Hunter up from the “historic” Detroit neighborhood he was staying in and whisk him away to Columbus to meet the founders of MMA Meetups. This is the podcast they laid down.
11/13/20172 hours, 14 minutes, 8 seconds
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Ep 283 - Don't Tell Big Mike: Bryan Is Fraternizing With The Enemy

Michael Brooks co-hosts The Majority Report AND hosts his own show because Michael Brooks is a boss. Michael Brooks is also a self-professed socialist and yet Bryan a self-professed libertarian actually enjoys talking to him because Michael brings a different perspective. Woah! This idea sex is way better than idea incest. Imagine if we got more of humanity into leaving their echo chambers and practicing Mixed Mental Arts...or Michael Brooksiness.  You can follow him on Twitter at @_michaelbrooks and try and convert him from socialism by sending him money at
11/9/20171 hour, 18 minutes, 31 seconds
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Ep 282 - Life Post Success: Lessons From Recovering Libertarian and Singularitarian KMO

As an early employee at, KMO made a fortune on stock options then spent it all. This change in personal circumstances has led to a massive evolution in KMO’s thinking from "a recovering libertarian and Singularitarian." KMO’s C-Realm podcast provides, as he describes it, “an unintended look into KMO’s evolving worldview.” KMO beautifully represents a feature of the white belt, yellow belt, the orange belt and the green belt. KMO has found himself in many cult(ure)s. None of them having anything to do with a supernatural deity. Moreover, his personal experiences have created feeeeeeelings that have shaped his thinking. The difference is that unlike some people, KMO is not only aware of this but honest and open about it. You can find more about KMO at and
11/6/201734 minutes, 8 seconds
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Ep 281 - Who Gets a Voice? The Contextual Podcast With Chris

The media prophet Marshall McLuhan famously said “The Medium is the Message.” While broadcast television created superstars who spoke to us while we patiently listened, the many technologies that make up the internet send a different message. We live in what Marshall McLuhan called the global village. And this means, we need to think very differently about how we interact with each other and be very careful about putting everything we see and consume in the right context for the younger generation. Who better to talk with then than Chris, the host of The Contextual Podcast? Who is Chris? I don’t know. We met on the internet, struck up a conversation and decided to do a podcast.   Coming from the world of traditional media, you wouldn’t interview Chris. Why? Because Chris isn’t famous. In the endless quest for attention, you’re supposed to ally yourself with people who have lots of it. However, that celebrity culture is a massively dysfunctional one. It is an abuse of kids’ awe and sets up celebrities to be isolated from the rest of humanity. How do you subvert that? Treat everyone like one of your fellow humans who deserves a voice. Revolutions are not made by playing by the existing rules. They are made by insisting that the rules are the ones which fit your view of the world. Mixed Mental Arts believes that the key to making humanity’s first family dinner go well is building a culture in which everyone is heard.
11/3/20171 hour, 3 minutes, 55 seconds
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Ep 280 - Outsmart Your Instincts: How Cognitive Biases Can Get In The Way Of Innovation With Adam Hansen

Adam Hansen is an #ideasex professional. At Ideas To Go, an innovation consultancy to the biggest companies in the world, Adam helps teams innovate. His great passion is to let everyone know that innovation isn’t some magical thing that only some people can do. It’s something humans are born doing. We love to play and experiment but most of us get that creativity trained out of us.   In his book, Outsmart Your Instincts, Adam teaches people the cognitive biases that can get in the way of innovation.   We’re incredibly lucky to have Adam as a member of the Mixed Mental Arts community and to be able to help give him a platform to help teach the world how to rediscover the confidence to innovate. #ideasex is the Brown Belt of the Mixed Mental Arts Belt System and we could ask for no better brown belt master than Adam Hansen.
10/25/20171 hour, 26 minutes, 24 seconds
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Ep 279 - MMA For Your Mind: Enter The Dojo

Andrew Hunt, Reid Nicewonder, Christopher Leon Price and Hunter Maats sit down to talk through the belt system and how humans form beliefs.
10/24/20171 hour, 23 minutes, 55 seconds
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Ep 278 - Rapping With YOU: Hunter Meets Mixed Mental Artists In The Motor City

While in town to speak at the Detroit Economic Club, Derek Shinska organized a Mixed Mental Arts meetup. After getting together for a quick drink, the team got straight down to podcasting. You, too, can organize a podcast meet up in your city. Visit the Mixed Mental Arts Facebook page to make it happen. We'll send you the podcasting gear.   
10/21/20171 hour, 29 minutes, 6 seconds
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Ep 277 - Bump Reading With YOU, The Listeners: The Botswana Philosophy of Botho

Today, Mixed Mental Artist Anthony Sebido Phaladi shares his Cultural Confession with the good people of Planet Earth. Botho is defined as a deep recognition of another’s humanity and the interconnectedness of all our lives. It is encapsulated in the phrase, “motho ke motho ka batho”, loosely translated to, you are who you are because of the people around you. At its heart, botho strives for social harmony, mutual respect for those around you and a collective understanding of striving for the best version of oneself and society. Read the full article, or submit your own cultural confession, at
10/18/20177 minutes
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Ep 276 - Dream Big, Einstein: Sam Sokolow Takes Us Behind The Scenes Of Nat Geo Show Genius

Sam Sokolow knew Bryan Callen when he was young. Of course, the Kid still looks so young that the concept that he could have been younger is probably confusing to you. Well, those secrets aren’t revealed in this podcast. What is revealed is the story behind the making of Nat Geo’s show Genius which was nominated for ten Emmy’s. Sam takes us inside Season One and behind the myth of Einstein to the man.
10/16/201750 minutes, 29 seconds
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Ep 275 - Love Thy Nature: Nuclear Tests, Whales, and Environmentalism with Dr. Patrick Moore

Dr. Patrick Moore was one of the founders of Greenpeace. He’s now left the organization. This is his story.
10/16/201753 minutes, 4 seconds
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Ep 274 - Bryan Callen and Hunter Maats Save The World With Books: WTF Is Mixed Mental Arts?

We know. We're, like, the only Podcast on planet Earth with two Podcast feeds. But, somehow, you've found us. It's probably not destiny but it has been a weird nine months for Mixed Mental Arts. We hope this #repost of Episode 207 will answer the age (year) old question: WTF is Mixed Mental Arts? We invite you to leave us a review with your thoughts on this new approach, insults, and maybe even guest suggestions.  For the latest episodes, please unsubscribe from our old page and tell your mom to subscribe to Mixed Mental Arts (Official). You can always visit us at for more information.  We'll certainly be wrong along the way but maybe just maybe with the help of a lot of other people we might become slightly less idiotic over time. The fundamentals of your mental game are getting your assumptions right. We start here with the most basic assumption of all. What makes humans succeed? After hundreds of interviews and a lot of reading, we believe Harvard Professor Jo Henrich has found the answer. Humans are the only animal that can acquire culture. You can follow Professor Henrich on twitter @JoHenrich (This episode originally aired in May 2016 as Episode 207)
10/8/201743 minutes, 8 seconds
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Ep 273 - Thaddeus Russell Pt. 3: Intelligence. What's Melanin Got To Do, Got To Do With It?

Thaddeus Russell is the author of A Renegade History of the United States, Host of the Unregistered podcast, and founder of Renegade University. Here, he joins us to conclude a three-part series on "Truth". Having undone the idea of “truth,” the trio now unpack the spurious correlation between skin color and intelligence in humans. Show notes at 
10/6/20171 hour, 29 minutes, 23 seconds
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Ep 272 - Thaddeus Russell Pt. 2: No Longer Does The Ivory Tower Hold The Microphone

Thaddeus Russell is the author of A Renegade History of the United States. He also hosts the Unregistered podcast and founded Renegade University. In this second part of a three-part series, Thad continues tutoring Emperor Callen to prepare him for rule. Thad beautifully lays out why truth is the authoritarians favorite mechanism for unquestioning acceptance.
10/6/20171 hour, 21 minutes, 5 seconds
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Ep 271 - Be Strong! Cultivate Your Body, Mind, and Movement with Aaron Alexander

Aaron Alexander is the host of the Align Podcast. You can also hear Hunter on Aaron’s podcast. Besides having gold skin, Aaron goes by many names...all of them given to him by Bryan Callen.   Aaron believes how you move through a room is how you move through your life. Every moment is an opportunity to cultivate your body, mind, and movement with effective education and intention. Moving well is simple and teachable, these are the steps to making it happen!
10/5/20171 hour, 3 minutes, 54 seconds
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Ep 270 - Mystery Tea with Chris Ryan: Are You Paleomodern?

Chris Ryan's van is back in town and that means it's time for Hunter to climb back into it again. After dosing Hunter with some sort of mystery tea, the idea sex gets going and Uncle Chris and Hunter start talking about this movement that's building in the podcasting world. UK-based artists Fantich & Young call it Primeval Yet Contemporary. Some people call it Chris-Ryanism. Chris Ryan calls it Paleomodern. Although our culture has taught us to feel fear and shame around our biology, the reality is that we're primates. We poop. We fuck. We sleep. We play. Bryan Callen power fucks. You can improve your technique in how you do some of these things but again and again that wonderful emotion known as arrogance has often caused us to think that we are smarter than nature. In the great improv game that is life, Chris Ryan has now taken Chris-Ryanism (aka Paleomodernism) to the next level. He has given us a simple resource for detribalizing humans en masse: The Big 7.
9/22/20171 hour, 44 minutes, 5 seconds
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Ep 269 - Thaddeus Russell: Is Truth the Most Destructive Idea in Human History?

For months and months, the members of the Mixed Mental Arts community have been pushing me (Hunter) to have Thaddeus Russell in the dojo. It is a testament to the wisdom of crowds that so many people have pushed so consistently for this meeting of the minds. The #ideasex was outstanding.   Thaddeus Russell is the author of A Renegade History of the United States  He hosts the superb Unregistered podcast and has founded Renegade University   It's a genuine pleasure to have Thaddeus in the dojo! Thank you to the many, many people who have suggested we have him on. Bryan "The Emperor" Callen and Hunter "Toto" Maats thoroughly enjoyed it.
9/5/20171 hour, 28 minutes
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Ep 268 - Paleo Politics: Talking Symbols With The Caveman John Durant

Humans have always been a strongly symbolic species. We painted on the walls of caves. Pharaohs, Kings and Emperors created symbols of their power like crowns and thrones. Religions have fought over religious symbols. Nations have fought over national symbols. Today, we are no different. We are in a massive war over symbols: Confederate statues, Google and much more. The real question is what do we do about all this? Well, while the rest of the world continues to argue about symbols Bryan "The Emperor" Callen, John "The Caveman" Durant and Hunter "Toto" Maats just keep wandering around the elephant and trying to understand why other humans see the world the way they do.
8/27/20171 hour, 4 minutes, 20 seconds
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Ep 267 – Ricky Varandas Of The Ripple Effect Podcast: The Internet's Painful Adolescence In An Age Of Opinion

Ricky Varandas is the host of The Ripple Effect Podcast. Recently, Hunter and Ricky met up in Dartmouth, MA. As they looked out over Buzzard's Bay, they chatted about what it means to live in an age when everyone gets a voice. Right now, we're in what Joe Rogan calls the internet's painful adolescence. There's turmoil, uncertainty and blindly clinging to simplistic ideologies that give us a feeling of certainty. But just like Middle School, this too shall pass :) You can check out more of Ricky's awesome convos at The Ripple Effect Podcast and find him on Twitter at @rvtheory6
8/18/20173 hours, 3 minutes, 12 seconds
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Ep 266 - Christopher Leon Price: Learning Life Lessons From Games

Search Mixed Mental Arts (Official) in the search bar :)  
7/4/20171 hour, 18 minutes, 52 seconds
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Ep 265 - Jenni Aguilar: Evolution is Smarter Than You

Ever since we had Jon Aguilar on the show back in Episode 251, Jon has been telling me I had to have his very brilliant wife on. And so, while driving back from a friend's wedding, I stopped by Casa Aguilar in Santa Barbara and started a conversation with Jenni Aguilar. Hours later, I understood why Jon felt so strongly that that I should talk to Jenni. Coming from an entirely different angle, she had reached many of the same conclusions as I had. For me, the arrival at evolutionary thinking and a desire to mix the mental arts had come from a desire to make sense of the cultures of the world. For Jenni, the emotional driver was something much more primal: her child was hurting. After a series of traumatic brain injuries, Jenni scrambled around the available science looking for anything that might help her son. In the tradition of Lorenzo's Oil, that tremendously strong emotional experience drove her to overcome intimidation, impenetrable medical jargon and assumptions about what was medically possible. The result is that today you would never know there was anything wrong with her son. In the end, what Jenni has done, what Katie and I did with The Straight-A Conspiracy and what many of the authors who have contributed to Mixed Mental Arts is to take pieces of fractured science and made kintsugi. They have filled in the cracks with gold. In the end though, the efforts of a handful of humans are nothing compared to what the evolutionary efforts of many Mixed Mental Artists can do testing these ideas against each other and against reality. Why? Because evolutionary processes are way smarter than individual humans. Once you accept that, then you approach evolutions' solutions with an appropriate humility, try to understand what evolution has done and figure out how to work with it. A prime example of that is aligning your body in a way that supports childbirth. For more on that, you can read Jenni's superb article Pervert Kings and Childbirth at MixedMentalArts.Co
6/27/20172 hours, 54 minutes, 56 seconds
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Ep 264 - Brett Veinotte: Why Does School Suck for So Many Kids?

They must put something in the water in New Hampshire because Brett Veinotte and Katie O'Brien reached very similar conclusions through tutoring: as an experience school sucks for A LOT of kids. And so, Brett decided to do something about it and create better resources for parents and kids looking for an alternative. Out of that was born The School Sucks Project. For more on the work of Brett and his team, check out their website. In this episode, Brett and Hunter compare notes on The School Sucks Project and The Straight-A Conspiracy. There's no doubt that school sucks for many, many kids. The question is why and what should we do about it? That's exactly what this episode is focused on exploring! This is the beginning of a beautiful bromance. [mbm_book_grid id="6425"] P.S. Brett has already released this episode on his podcast feed.
6/20/20172 hours, 46 minutes, 19 seconds
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Ep 262 - It's Big Mike's Birthday!!! What should we get him for a gift?

When ordinary men have birthdays, they receive gifts. However, Big Mike knows it is better to give than to receive and so, on his birthday, Big Mike has gifted to the people of the Callenphate his wisdom. You're welcome, humanity. Just remember that your fearless leader is Bryan and not his far more physically imposing and wise father.
6/13/20171 hour, 5 minutes, 51 seconds
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Ep 261 – Environment Shapes Behavior: Talking Jacques Fresco With Andrew Hunt

Andrew Hunt and I first got to know each other a decade ago doing stand up in Los Angeles. During the intervening decade, we both learned how to learn and how environment shapes behavior but in entirely different ways. Regular listeners to Mixed Mental Arts know my story all too well. Andrew’s though is more interesting. Andrew grew up in Los Angeles and was diagnosed with numerous learning disorders. Like a lot of kids I’ve worked with, rather than empowering him, school left him feeling disempowered and alienated from learning. Then, he got involved with Jacques Fresco of the Venus Project who among other things changed Andrew’s life by teaching him how to learn. The day after we recorded this episode, Jacques Fresco passed. Now, it’s on us to stand on his shoulders and see further. [mbm_book_grid id="8450"]
6/10/20171 hour, 7 minutes, 46 seconds
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Ep 260 - Chris Ryan: Uncle Chris Took Me in His Van and I Liked It

At this point, Chris Ryan probably doesn't need any introduction but why not give him one anyway. He's the author of Sex at Dawn and one day he'll be able to call himself the author of Civilized to Death. In the meantime, he hosts the superb podcast Tangentially Speaking which Mixed Mental Arts' own Isaiah Gooley probably loves more than Mixed Mental Arts. That's how good it is. This summer Chris will be traveling the US in his van. He took me inside it. It was amazing! [mbm_book_grid id='6901']
5/24/20172 hours, 5 minutes, 53 seconds
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Ep 259 - Walid Darab: They will recite the Quran but it will not go beyond their throats.

Walid Darab is the host of the Greed for Ilm podcast. Bored and in traffic, he looked around for podcasts for Muslim-Americans and found they were either all SUPER religious or in foreign languages. So, he decided to start one for everyday Muslim-Americans who were curious about a lot of things. And thus was the Greed for Ilm podcast born. What is ilm? Ilm is the Arabic word for knowledge. And Walid is greedy for ilm. So, it's only natural that he should have found his way to Mixed Mental Arts, formerly known as The Bryan Callen Show. Out of this, Walid has had Bryan, Katie and me (Hunter) on Greed for Ilm. It's about damn time we repaid the favor. That's just basic Afghan hospitality. In this episode, Walid and I discuss the process of moving beyond the immature arrogance of adolescence when wisdom does not go beyond your throat and the journey towards getting it into your heart. This is the process of blind copying through the emotion of awe by which culture is transmitted and by which young people like @evidence_reason get duped by genius myths created by Fundamentalists like Sam Harris who project a cool, arrogant certainty. It's a genuine pleasure to have Walid on the show and I can't recommend that everyone do Walid's assignment. Go talk to a Muslim and get them to tell you about life in the Islamic world and see if that fits the statistics people like Sam Harris have told you. Who has a more realistic model of life in the Islamic world? Mohamed Ghilan, Walid Darab and Hunter Maats or Sam Harris? The people will decide but for them to decide they must hear both sides.    
5/23/20172 hours, 6 minutes, 25 seconds
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Ep 258 - Meet Your Fellow Mixed Mental Artists: Isaiah Gooley

Isaiah Gooley is an analyst, musician, and writer. He's been all over the place, and is still trying to learn as much as he can along the way. Check out his music at,,or He'll be sharing some of his favorite chengyu (or Chinese rules of thumb) to help up your mental game!
5/19/20171 hour, 13 minutes, 19 seconds
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Ep 257 - Knowledge Bomb: The Art of Losing

Christopher Leon Price (aka Big Papa Werewolf) teaches kids The Art of Losing through chess. He learned it in large part from Megaman 2. In addition, he heads up Team Werewolf (the audio team at Mixed Mental Arts) and takes the messes Hunter hands him and mixes them as best he can. Fortunately, Hunter is a master at The Art of Losing and is perfectly happy to learn from his mistakes one screw up at a time. Slowly but surely, Big Papa Werewolf is teaching Toto how to record better audio. You can find Christopher Leon Price on Twitter at @clpfilm.
5/18/20177 minutes, 33 seconds
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Ep 256 - What is Science?

One of the more interesting things to come out of the last few months in my own personal Mixed Mental Arts experience has been hearing more from all of you how these ideas resonate with all of you. In particular, I appreciated a conversation with Matty (@Matt_Maurer on Twitter) about how he appreciated that history could be seen as one long progression. Humanity has always been trying to solve very much the same problems. It is just that over time we have been able to see further because we have had more and more shoulders to stand on. Why are we so much smarter than the people of the past? Well, coming of age in the culture of science, I was led to draw a sharp line between the scientific project and religions. Science was real. It was tangible. It was based on evidence. It was TRUTH. And anyone who disagreed, questioned or thought anything else was an idiot and a fool. However, as I've mentioned elsewhere, in reading the science that simple narrative has become increasingly problematic for me. The people of the past weren't so biologically different. Their brains recognized patterns. Did they not recognize patterns in human behavior that have stood the test of time? Yes. They did. And it wasn't until I was confronted by having to spend time among Christian Fundamentalists that I had to really think hard about what, if anything, made science special. Someone else who has had to think hard about these questions is today's guest sensei in the dojo Mohamed Ghilan. Mohamed was born in Saudi Arabia like yours truly. Unlike yours truly, he has a PhD in Neuroscience, is getting an MD and is a Muslim. As a scientist and a Muslim, he knows full well that the evolution of better and better beliefs and mental tools was going on well before science showed up on the scene. Today, someone like Mohamed is often portrayed in the media as a bit of a unicorn. He's a Muslim AND a scientist. Whaaaaaat?!? Is that even possible?!? But in the first four or so centuries of Islam the majority of "scientists" were Muslim. Richard Dawkins captured the two parts of this story in his now infamous tweet "All the world's Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge. They did great things in the Middle Ages, though." Dawkins' own tweet creates problems in his narrative that religion is the problem. If Muslims did great things in the Middle Ages, then why is the problem Islam? If Newton was religious AND a scientist AND an alchemist, then why is the problem Christianity or even magical thinking? And what is science anyway? As I've discussed in previous podcasts, some Christians objected to Newton's Theory of Gravity because the idea that the planets moved all by themselves conflicted with their belief that God actively moved the planets. Then, they moved on. Gravity was something they could confirm with their own eyes and to keep Christianity relevant and practical they had to evolve their understanding of God. Did they stop believing in God? Nope. They just adopted a more mature of God. "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." - 1 Corinthians 13:11 Were the people who didn't understand Newton's Universal Theory of Gravitation idiots? Nope. In large part, they just didn't have the glassmaking technology to make the kind of telescopes necessary to observe the planets. And The Scientific Method itself evolved over time but some consider the founder of The Scientific Method to have been a Muslim named Ibn al-Haytham due to his emphasis on experimental data and reproducibility of results. Why then are we repeatedly told the story that science and religion are somehow incompatible? By some analyses, a Muslim FOUNDED Science. If we want to popularize science, then isn't it in science's interest to tear down this popular story that science and religion are at odds. Of course, some of the beliefs of science and religion don't overlap, notably on the age of the Earth and the origins of life. But, it turns out that science has found its way back to many of the beliefs that religious people figured out long ago. In my article Was Jesus Christ a Better Neuroscientist than Sam Harris?, I explored my own journey towards the painful realization that in the realm of human affairs science had 2000 years later merely reinvented the wheel. In response, I got a comment from someone named Arslan Atajanov asked "Since when science became a belief system?" Ten years ago, I would have asked the same question as Arslan. Now, I know better. Science has always been a belief system. It is a response to how our minds work. Humans form beliefs. We have always formed beliefs. And apparently by the time of Ibn Haytham there was already awareness that testing one's beliefs against the evidence was a good thing to do. In practice, people do this all the time. Look at Game of Thrones. People had theories about Jon Snow being dead or not. Then, they watched the next season. Oh! He wasn't dead. They changed their beliefs and moved on. But now imagine that what you believed about Jon Snow being dead or alive became tribal. Now, the French believed that Jon Snow was alive. The Americans believed Jon Snow was dead. Real Americans believed Jon Snow was dead. Then Season 6 Episode 1 airs. New evidence surfaces. Yep. It looks like Jon Snow is alive. The French gloat. They insult the Americans' intelligence. How could they have been SO STUPID to have thought that Jon Snow was ever alive? Now, the Americans get defensive and come up with a series of rationalizations to defend their beliefs. It becomes a point of pride and identity. And so, the conflict builds for 150 years after the show originally aired. Pretty soon neither side is looking at the evidence. It has simple become an article of faith for both sides. How do you end this conflict? Well, you point out that before Season 6 aired no one could have known whether Jon Snow was dead or alive and that we all happily kept track with the story for the first five seasons. You could also point out that in this sectarian feud both sides have been losers. We're all better off moving on. Of course, some people have built their whole brand around this idea of incompatibility. That's their shtick. They're not likely to back down anytime soon. I understand that some people are annoyed with hearing about Sam Harris but the Mixed Mental Arts audience is perhaps unusually diverse. We have Christians in the dojo who are trying to figure out how to reconcile their faith with science like Jason Scott Sanders and Kim Ares. And we have numerous Muslims who rather than listening to Bryan and me talk about Islam wanted actual Muslims on the show. You couldn't ask for a better ambassador than Mohamed Ghilan. In this conversation with Mohamed, we clarified what science is. It's a formalization of what humans already do. If you ask me, science has become overformalized. That's why I'm so excited about Mixed Mental Arts. Science has become so bogged down in internal tribal disputes. (A problem Sam Harris has also complained about when he talks about the balkanization of science.) The question is what do you do about that? Well, scientists aren't likely to overcome their tribalism internally. Famous scientists often end up standing in the way of the progress of science as a whole. And if you're someone like Sam who is still imprisoned by his intuitions of authority, then you are stuck there. You complain to Joe Rogan about the fact that people like me have a Twitter account and then complain that scientists don't work together to form better beliefs. Complain. Complain. Complain. What's the solution, Sam? The solution is harnessing the wisdom of the crowds to sift through the evidence and evolve better beliefs. You abandon all intuitions of human authority and make the evidence the authority with the knowledge that you need to take into account all the evidence. And this is where the beliefs of The New Atheists about the Islamic world FAIL as scientific hypotheses. They fit a very selective cherrypicking of the data. They make sense to someone with limited experience of the Middle East. They don't make sense to someone like Mohamed (or even me with my much more limited experience). Well, in this interview, Mohamed focused on corruption and that's a HUGE factor. However, there are others. Muslims don't read. When they do, they don't read widely. The central belief system is not well organized and there is no coherent messaging so people can believe lots of things and CLAIM they're being Muslims. And, on top of all that, there's a focus on past historical greatness that doesn't fit present realities. All those things describe not just Islam. They describe America. Fixing all that takes a lot of work. It's a game of inches. Do you know what doesn't help? Constantly being told that your culture is the problem. It just creates defensiveness. There are problems with Islamic and American culture. And no...I'm not saying they're equivalent. But, in no situation, does indiscriminately criticizing people's culture help establish a bridge. You have to find things of value and then build strength where strength exists and then use that trust to together and reciprocally examine problematic areas. How do I know? Because I just did the opposite of that with The New Atheists. This was the response I got. In the end, The New Atheists have alienated religious people from science and I have alienated the New Atheists from me. But thanks to Sam saying Candyman we can now strip The New Atheists of their credibility to being responsive to evidence. I presented them with the evidence to read and they showed little to no interest in it. They merely defended their beliefs in a blindly emotional (and perfectly understandable) way. We're all down in the muck of being human together and all the belief systems' various claims will have to be tested on the evidence. Fortunately, from The Diffusion of Innovations, we know people choose beliefs that are relatable and usable. We make this science accessible and the best ideas currently available. WILL win. As Scott Radtke pointed out in an email to me "you have chosen the most difficult task of diffusion; the diffusion of ideas. Invisible ideas pushing against mountains of entrenched, equally invisible ideas." We have chosen that task. And as your faithful companion Toto pulls back the curtain on the Wizards, I can guarantee you that they will tell you to pay no attention. I can only pull the curtain back. You must examine the evidence. But with guides like Spiros, Mohamed, Tony Molina, Jon Aguilar and countless great books and thinkers, you are sure to find the way. In the end, we offer you options. It's up to you to decide what is useful, what is not and what you should add that is uniquely your own. That is how you evolve your own Mixed Mental Arts. To that end, you're not going to find a better resource on how to reconcile Islam and science than Mohamed Ghilan. Mohamed blogs at Andalus Online, tweets from @MohamedGhilan and can be found on Facebook here. It was an absolute pleasure to have him in the Mixed Mental Arts dojo and I look forward to helping unwind this utterly unnecessary spat between science and religion with people like him.
5/16/20172 hours, 28 minutes, 6 seconds
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Ep 255 - Knowledge Bomb: Negativity Bias

As you navigate the #Jobocalypse, one of the most important skills to learn is how to be innovative. Fortunately, in that regard, we are incredibly lucky to have Adam Hansen as a sensei in the dojo. He's literally an innovation expert at a company that is all about helping companies innovate called Ideas To Go. How cool is that?!? Even cooler, he's using his innovation expertise to help evolve the Mixed Mental Arts project forward. [mbm_book_grid id="6552"] You may remember Adam's voice from the podcast he, James Miller and Drew Sample recorded as part of the Columbus Meet Up episode. You can listen to that here. You can also read the #knowledgebomb in text form here. You can also find Adam Hansen in the MMA Facebook Group. We're going to be getting the world's experts in every field to break down their core insights for you for free! As Bryan Callen would say, "Hope you're ready to learn EVERYTHING!"  
5/15/20173 minutes, 37 seconds
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Ep 254 - Chengyu: Heaven is High and The Emperor is Far Away

Isaiah Gooley is an analyst, musician, and writer. He's been all over the place, and is still trying to learn as much as he can along the way. Check out his music at,,or You can read the original post at the Mixed Mental Arts site. There are lots of great people out there like Isaiah who have stepped forward to volunteer whatever they have to offer to help evolve Mixed Mental Arts and move these ideas. You can share make Kintsugi like Isaiah. You can help make videos like Andrew Hunt and Reid Nicewonder. You can make memes and graphics like Marko Strok and Omar Dunne. You can provide amazing tech advice like Eric Hunley and The Twilight Princess (Mandi Ainslie). You can donate money like all the awesome people who have given both to my Patreon (thanks for the caffeine, guys!) and to the Mixed Mental Arts Patreon. You can go around merrily dropping #knowledgebombs around the internet like Ryan Pedersen. Or like William Graham you can rally the troops to invite people like Russell Brand for #ideasex. You decide how #MixedMentalArts grows and evolves. Pretty cool, huh?
5/12/20173 minutes, 2 seconds
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Ep 253 - Why Doesn't Western Medicine Turn Us On?

One of the biggest questions I get when I tell people about atomistic and holistic biases is whether this affects Western medicine. Well, yes. It actually does. And secretly behind the scenes for quite some time now, I've been familiarizing myself with a series of medical innovations that quite simply haven't diffused. Why? Because they don't fit within Western medicine's cultural biases. WHAT?!? Are you saying you know more about medicine than doctors?!? Who in the heck are you? Exactly. Even saying things like this sets off people's intuitions of authority. Medical doctors are brilliant. They're great. I'd far rather have a surgeon do surgery on me than me do surgery on me. However, doctors are also human. And all humans blindly copy culture from the people they're in awe of without them even realizing it. And so, the Romans blindly copied atomism from the Ancient Greeks whom they were in awe of. And then everyone else in the West blindly got atomistic biases from the West because they were in awe of them. The result is that baked into the very structure of medicine is an atomistic structure. You can see it in the way medical care is delivered. Medicine divides up the body into lots of tiny subspecialties. If you have back pain, you go to a back doctor and that doctor looks at that localized region. The problem is that the body is all interconnected. Very often, the problem with your back often originates with a lack of dorsiflexion in your foot. Those forces are then transmitted all the way up your legs and express as a back problem even though the real issue is the foot. How many unnecessary back surgeries are performed around the world? We just don't know. But we're committed to helping doctors create awareness of their cultural biases so that we can make sure that medicine's cultural blindspots don't cause it to miss out on simpler and less harmful opportunities for care. If I'd met Tony Molina straight out of college, I would have thought he was straight up nuts. My reaction would have been "WHAT?!? Are you saying you know more about medicine than doctors?!? Who in the heck are you?" I would have gotten #Triggered and blindly defended my culture. And I would not have been behaving scientifically. Science isn't about intuitions about human authority. It is about the evidence. And so, when I met Tony Molina more recently, I still thought he was kind of nuts, but through The Straight-A Conspiracy and The Bryan Callen Show, I'd seen the ways in which ideas didn't diffuse. And so, I spotted something. Here was a man who had done everything his culture had told him to do. He'd pored over the data. He'd learned what it all added up to. And he had confronted people with that data...only to be repeatedly dismissed because he didn't have the right credentials. Humans--including doctors it turns out--don't respond to facts. They respond to stories. They have to get WHY things work. They have to get WHY doctors don't get these things. And they have to be told a story where none of this is anyone's fault. We all blindly copied a culture from our parents. Now, it's time to reflect and evolve a better culture. It's time to ask simply "Why Doesn't Western Medicine Turn Us On?"
5/10/20171 hour, 12 minutes, 35 seconds
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Ep 252 - The Emperor Tries to Keep His Clothes On as He Talks About Sexism

Bryan Callen cares about his people. Oh, sure. Heaven may be high and the Emperor may be far away. But this Emperor is always listening. And so, when Emperor Callen heard that the people of the #Callenphate felt we didn't have enough diversity at court, he decided to hold audience and to hear the concerns of his people. And so, with our continued commitment to open all the cans of worms and talk about all the elephants in the room, we had the first of many conversations about sexism. The fact that Bryan actually REQUESTED a conversation and then SHOWED UP to the conversation shows how seriously he takes the issue. He loves his people and wants them to be happy. And so, Cate Fogarty, Katie O'Brien and Claire Gerety-Mott showed up to the Forbidden City that is Bryan's house and had the first of many conversations to try and unravel our feeeeeeeeelings about sexism and to figure out what we can do to improve things. Part of it is simply having honest conversations about what we know and don't know and giving people a voice who might otherwise not have a voice. That's what the internet is for. Everyone gets to say their piece. We're excited to hear yours. Rest assured, MMA will keep evolving until humanity has talked out ALL its problems. Oh, and I get it. Everyone hates my plough story. Love to all humanity - Toto  
5/9/20171 hour, 27 minutes, 8 seconds
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Ep 251 - Navigating the #Jobocalypse with Jon Aguilar: What Kind of Smith Are You?

After Bryan and I did our episode on the #Jobocalypse, someone rightly commented on the Mixed Mental Arts subreddit that this was all great but what practically do I do? Well, this episode is a practical response to that. Mixed Mental Arts is not just about identifying problems but empowering you to solve them for yourselves. Part of that is going to be teaching you how to learn, unlearn and relearn. That's something the Mixed Mental Arts community will be doing taking everything that's in The Straight-A Conspiracy and everything else we've learned in the last 200 interviews, breaking those ideas down into easy, bite-sized chunks and giving them away. The other thing we're going to be doing is introducing you to people who have made the transition into the new economy to give you a playbook on how you can do that too. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Jon Aguilar. Jon Aguilar works in what may be the oldest profession. No, he's not a prostitute. He works with dry stone. It literally doesn't get much older than that. Stone on top of stone with no mortar. And yet, Jon Aguilar is thriving in the new economy. That's because he's transformed this oldest of professions by bringing to it a spirit of exploration and Motivation 3.0. Jon reads voraciously. He's constantly rethinking his craft. And he's always learning, unlearning and relearning. In the end, surviving in the new economy doesn't mean you have to become a computer coder. Far from it. In fact, you may end up doing the job you were doing in the old economy BUT you approach it in a very different spirit. You think of yourself and approach your work as a craftsman. In this episode, Jon describes how in 2007 he really started to take his craft seriously as something to be mastered and refined and the books and ideas that were useful to him in evolving his own approach up to this point. Jon is also a fount of t-shirt ideas. I'm sure the Unicorn (@madonna_matt) and Unikitty (@nicoleleepage) will run with some of them. Personally, I'm going to put in a request for "Embrace The Suck" and "What Kind of Smith Are You?" Maybe an "Ideasmith" t-shirt. I defer to them. Pretty sure that something awesome will emerge from this great improv we're all in. You can find out more of the tools Jon is using to navigate the #Jobocalypse here including resources for people looking to become or looking to connect with apprentices. Jon's Stonesmith business = Jon's Facebook = "Heritage Earth & Stone" Jon's Instagram = "jonaguilar_designworks" The Consortium of Craftsmen, Innovators & Thinkers = The Consortium's Instagram + Facebook + YouTube channel (will be online by May 1st) = "Throughstone Group" [mbm_book_grid id="1287"] And if you want to buy a sweet Jobocalypse t-shirt and support Mixed Mental Arts at the SAME TIME then go here.
5/4/20171 hour, 37 minutes
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Ep 250 - Life of Bryan

If you follow #MixedMentalArts on Instagram, then you know that Bryan Callen has been reading about Jesus. Unfortunately for Bryan, his first attempts at Bryan's Book Club have succeeded in doing one thing and one thing only: putting Bryan to sleep. And then, Bryan tried pontificating about these ideas to young men and women in their 20s...and they were more interested in the Tequila. It turns out that missionary work is hard work. Fortunately, Bryan Callen has been reading about Jesus. Specifically, he's been reading Stephen M. Miller's Complete Guide to the Bible. It turns out that changing people's beliefs is tough stuff. Jesus made his own beliefs as crystal clear as he could and still people didn't get them. People like Saul didn't get Jesus' beliefs so much that they persecuted him. Then, Saul got them so much that he not only converted he changed his name to Paul and went around trying to help other people get "The Good News." 2000 years later a lot of people who think they get Jesus' message still don't get it. In short, teaching is hard. It requires patience and persistence. You have to teach the same old lessons in new ways and break them down to make them clearer and clearer. In fact, that's the exact same problem with moving scientific ideas. There are a lot of people who THINK they get science but have actually missed its core message. Humans tell stories. That's what we do. We tell stories about ourselves, about each other and about reality. The problem is that because we ALL have naive realism all our stories make perfect sense to us. The key is evolving stories that do a better and better job of fitting reality. That's what scientists like Spiros, David Sloan Wilson, Joe Henrich, Jon Haidt, Jennifer Jacquet and Carol Dweck do ALL day. The problem is that some scientists have become so obsessed with defining science in opposition to religion that they've literally forgot that science is a belief system and that its beliefs need to be promoted and made accessible to the general public. They cloister themselves in their Ivory Tower or their floating magnetic island named Laputa and then wonder why the public can't relate to them and seems disinterested in what they have to offer. In the end, science wants converts. And if it wants converts, then it's going to have to accept that it's a belief system just like all the others...and that it will win or lose in the Marketplace of Ideas based on its ability to provide accessible value to the people. It's time Smart Goes Pop and we made ideas lickable. It's time we became evangelists for the best ideas from all times and places. And this is where the real changing of the guard happens. For over 200 episodes, Hunter has bringing ideas to Bryan and now it's time for Bryan to take those ideas to the people. How can Bryan Callen become the Savior of the World that he has always dreamed of being? Well, he has to diffuse innovations. Fortunately, most of the books we've read basically have one core idea and then in true academic fashion endlessly belabor that idea with examples that are designed not to communicate to the general public but to appease other super obtuse academics. Take Thinking, Fast and Slow. What's the main idea? There's fast thinking and there's slow thinking. That's literally the title of the book. You may not be able to judge a book by its cover but you can certainly extract the core idea. And you can then slap that on a t-shirt which is exactly what Unikitty (@nicolepagelee) and the Unicorn (@madonna_matt) have done. You can buy that shirt here. And that is what scientific missionary work looks like. You wear a cool shirt with a core idea on it and people ask you questions. And then, you explain the idea and off they go. The crowd becomes a little wiser. And like the little idea bees that we all are we spread these ideas until the crowd is really freaking wise. And that brings us back to sleeping Brendan and all those 20 somethings. What do they want? They want success. They want to impress people. They want to do something super cool that saves the world. We have all the pieces to do that scattered across the 7.5 billion humans that make humanity. Now, the challenge is to make kintsugi. To take the broken pieces and fill in the cracks with gold. Doubtless as we go out, we will be misunderstood. That's the Life of Bryan.  
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Ep 249 - #KnowledgeBomb: The Growth Mindset In Three Minutes

Cate Fogarty is the Callenphate’s Chief Artillery Officer and has been making pretty amazing knowledge bombs for If you want to help Cate in her work as The Callenphate’s Chief Artillery Officer, you can contact her on Twitter at @cateclysmic or find her in the Mixed Mental Arts Facebook group. You too can make #knowledgebombs! In this #knowledgebomb, she covers The Growth Mindset. You can read the original article at As always, all t-shirt sales and donations go to fund intellectual terrorism. So many minds need to be blown and with people like Cate on the team…nobody’s pre-conceived notions are safe!
4/28/20173 minutes, 33 seconds
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Ep 248 - #KnowledgeBomb: Descartes' Error Three Minutes

Cate Fogarty is the Callenphate's Chief Artillery Officer and has been making pretty amazing knowledge bombs for If you want to help Cate in her work as The Callenphate's Chief Artillery Officer, you can contact her on Twitter at @cateclysmic or find her in the Mixed Mental Arts Facebook group. You too can make #knowledgebombs! In this #knowledgebomb, she covers Descartes' Error. You can read the original article at As always, all t-shirt sales and donations go to fund intellectual terrorism. So many minds need to be blown and with people like Cate on the team...nobody's pre-conceived notions are safe!
4/28/20173 minutes, 2 seconds
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Ep 247 - SPECIAL: The Theories of Everything Part 3

After hearing the Theories of Everything Part 1 and Part 2, everyone got suuuuuuper jealous that Hunter was getting Spiros all to himself. In the spirit of Mixed Mental Arts, Hunter decided to share Spiros with Dave Colan, Cate Fogarty, Andrew Hunter and Christopher Leon Price. Continuing off from the last conversation, Spiros unpacks how he thinks of truth in thinking about physical reality. Then, Dave Colan (after struggling to remember Sam Harris' name) brings up Sam's recent comments about Hunter on the Joe Rogan Experience. Sam's comments prove to be an excellent teaching opportunity because they reveal the sort of theories we form about other people based on limited and emotionally provocative evidence. The whole point that I (Hunter) was trying to clumsily make on Joe Rogan was that because of the Dunbar Number most humans are an abstraction. We have to stereotype. The question is what we stereotype around. Spending time at Oaks Christian, it was clear that the stereotype people had of scientists was formed around people like Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins was formed around people who insulted beliefs they did not understand. In fact, I came to realize that Jesus Christ was a better neuroscientist than Sam Harris which you can read about here. Now, Sam has proved my point. He has formed an opinion about me based on very limited evidence and his feeeeeeeeeelings about me. It's an amazing demonstration of #DescartesError and the #DunbarNumber. Is the model that Sam Harris laid out of Hunter Maats a good model of me? Well, I'll leave that for you to judge. But take a look at what he has said here. For regular listeners to Mixed Mental Arts, you'll see that while Sam's impression of me is perfectly understandable that it's a great example of what Spiros talks about with "truncate and renormalize." Sam has a truncated data set around who I am and that he has then renormalized around that very limited data. Can he justify his impression? Of course! He can point to that very limited amount of information and justify his impression. And yet, there's other data. There's over 200 episodes of Bryan and me interviewing hundreds of different scientists and then synthesizing those ideas together into a coherent worldview. Sam Harris has said I'm wrong about the "relevant biology." That's a huge problem. Whether I'm wrong or he is doesn't much matter. What matters is that the "relevant biology" has become so overcomplicated and atomized that either me (a Harvard biochemistry grad who has interviewed hundreds of scientists) or him (a neuroscience PhD) don't understand the "relevant biology." If we can't figure it out, then it's no wonder science can't win the public over. Science needs to figure out and present a coherent worldview in order to effectively win people over. The #MarchForScience is a nice show of support...but which science are these people in favor of? Is it rationalism or intuitionism? Is it the multi-level selection of David Sloan Wilson, Jon Haidt and Joe Henrich or the gene-centric model of Dawkins and Harris? And, more basically, what is science anyway? Because it's clear that Spiros, Jon Haidt and me are operating on a very different understanding of what science is than Sam Harris is. Sam Harris has painted a picture of religious people with statistics that is actually a terrible model of who they actually are. I'm an apatheist. I don't really care about God. I don't go to Church or Mosque. I care about practically improving people's lives using whatever tools are available. And that's why I'd moved on from Sam Harris and was focused on making Smart Go Pop but then Brentwood Boy got so emotional about the whole thing that he couldn't help saying Candyman five times. As Cate Fogarty points out in this article, I was just doing exactly what Joe Rogan did with Carlos Mencia. I was calling out someone who was hurting the community. Why does Joe defend Sam? Because Joe has feeeeeeeeeelings about Sam that cause him to value defending his friend over examining the evidence impartially. Sam Harris is Joe Rogan's sacred cow. And that's okay. That's the way humans work. All of us. You, me, New Atheists and old school Arabs. And if we want to have a better world, then we all have to stop pretending like we have it all figured out and start reflecting on the problems in our own culture and do the difficult work of self-reflection and calling out the Fundamentalists who have wrapped themselves in the flag of our cherished causes. As I've covered in earlier episodes, the challenge for people is to spot who is and who is not a Fundamentalist and to see who preaches our values but doesn't actually practice them. Joe Rogan's defense of Sam Harris will reveal before this community just how hard this is. Thank you, Sam Harris! You're the best. You beautifully proved my point and have created the social drama that will drive attention to the science. Don't believe me. Decide for yourself. That's what science is about. It's not about authority or Harvard or PhDs. It's about forming better Theories of Everything by breaking your old theories to make room for better and better ones. People do that all the time with TV shows. Look at Game of Thrones. People had theories about whether Jon Snow was dead. Then, they were confronted with the evidence of the next season. Many theories died and people moved on. You can't break your old theories unless you're exposed to the evidence and you can't be exposed to the evidence if the people who are the public faces of science don't tell you about it. That's why Mixed Mental Arts has branded an alternative to The Four Horsemen. We call it The Holy Trinity of Cultural Evolution. They present newer and much more powerful Theories of Everything. WE DO NOT WANT YOU TO BELIEVE US. That's not what science is about. It's not about human authority. It's about the evidence. So, examine it and draw your own conclusions and then let's hash them out and see if we can all evolve better Theories of Everything together. The internet is our intellectual thunderdome. Sam Harris just dragged his public persona into the arena when he said I was wrong about the "relevant biology." May the best ideas win. Two ideas enter. One idea leaves. Idea dying time is here. In other news, Spiros is now going to be taking any and all questions and answering them for you through Mixed Mental Arts. Send questions to @quantum_spiros! Also send him requests for more 80's cartoon theme songs in Greek. Love to all humanity - Toto
4/25/20172 hours, 4 minutes, 20 seconds
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Ep 246 - Meet Your Fellow Mixed Mental Artists: Dave Colan

Dave Colan is an improv comedy teacher at the legendary Second City which gave us alums from Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray to Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Dave is working with us on the #CultureMatters series and will generally be calling me (Hunter) out regularly and often ;) You can follow Dave on Twitter at @davecolan or his other Twitter account @nexttokimdavis.
4/22/201752 minutes, 55 seconds
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Ep 245 - Meet Your Fellow Mixed Mental Artists: Reid Nicewonder

Street Epistemology is a dialectical approach intent on helping people reflect on the reliability of the methods used to arrive at deeply-held beliefs. Reid Nicewonder is an independent filmmaker seeking to promote critical thinking and skepticism through entertainment. He conducts in-person interviews using at various public parks around Los Angeles. SE Resources: Top 10 SE Videos (Anthony Magnabosco) Cordial Curiosity (Reid Nicewonder) SE Website SE Facebook Page SE Facebook Group (Private study group) SE Twitter Profile
4/21/201743 minutes, 15 seconds
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Ep 244 - #KnowledgeBomb: The Dunbar Number In Three Minutes

Download For Eternity Cate Fogarty is the Callenphate's Chief Artillery Officer and has been making pretty amazing knowledge bombs for If you want to help Cate in her work as The Callenphate's Chief Artillery Officer, you can contact her on Twitter at @cateclysmic or find her in the Mixed Mental Arts Facebook group. You too can make #knowledgebombs! In this #knowledgebomb, she covers The Dunbar Number. You can read the original article at As always, all t-shirt sales and donations go to fund intellectual terrorism. So many minds need to be blown and with people like Cate on the team...nobody's pre-conceived notions are safe!
4/20/20173 minutes, 2 seconds
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Ep 243 - Meet Your Fellow Mixed Mental Artists: The First Ever Mixed Mental Arts Meet Up in Columbus, Ohio

A week ago, a group of fellows who had never met before showed up at Beer World in Columbus, Ohio. What happened at Beer World remains known only to Adam Hansen, David Foust, James Miller, Nate Fourman, Jeremy Hewett and Drew Sample. What happened afterwards everybody will know because Adam, James and Drew recorded a podcast.   This is what the internet is for. People with shared interests and a shared sense of purpose coming together to learn from each other and figure out how to take our collective insights and solve problems. There are a lot of awesome people out there from whom we never really get to hear. We have the tools to change that.   And so, have your own meet up. This all came out of Adam posting on the #MixedMentalArts meet up group that he would be in Columbus and asking if anyone else wanted to meet up. You can do the same in your neck of the woods:   Let me know if you're doing one and if you record a podcast we can drop it in the Mixed Mental Arts feed as part of this section of what we're doing. You can support Drew's podcast The Sample Hour on Patreon here. You can support James' podcast The Coolest Humans on Patreon here. You can get Adam's book here.  
4/18/20171 hour, 9 minutes, 2 seconds
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Ep 241 - Culture Matters: Just Who The Hell Do You Think You Are?

Martin Totland is a journalist and photographer from Bergen, Norway, who's lived in the US for more than seven years. He got involved with Mixed Mental Arts to improve his cultural understanding, and to fight mental atrophy. You can find him on Twitter (@mtotland), Instagram (mtotland2) or in the Mixed Mental Arts Facebook group. If you read this article at, it includes a picture of a cat with a Viking helmet on it. Download For Eternity
4/16/201711 minutes, 35 seconds
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Ep242 - Meet Your Fellow Mixed Mental Artists: Cate Fogarty

Cate Fogarty and I met a few months ago when I gave a talk at Second City about how to communicate across America's red/blue cultural divide. Why did Cate and I connect after that talk? Because Cate is a Cultural Mutt. She has moved between enough cultures in her life to know how powerfully culture shapes our thinking and how it both binds us into groups and blinds us to the fact that we don't always see the world so clearly. Cate also came up with the idea of the cultural confession so it's only fitting that Cate should be the first person to officially give her cultural confession on the podcast. In the evolving improv game that is Mixed Mental Arts, Cate and I have now been feeding off each other for a couple of months. As we move this from being the Bryan Callen (and Hunter Maats show), I thought it was important to introduce the other people who are getting involved and to make it clear why their contributions are so vital. And here is where Cate's strengths come to the fore. She has been taking my 5000-word blogposts, extracting the core concepts and then rewriting the idea in her own words into under 500-word #knowledgebombs. She's now got a team of people helping her do that. If you want in on that, you should tweet her at @cateclysmic or you can find her at the Mixed Mental Arts FB group. You can read her #TheDunbarNumber #knowledgebomb here: And you can read her #GrowthMindset #knowledgebomb here: However, there's at least one more way in which Cate's voice is essential. We're aware that until now Mixed Mental Arts has been a bit of a sausage party. Not only that, it has been a white sausage party. There's nothing wrong with weisswurst (German white sausages) but we need some variety. That's what makes idea sex great. Lots of different ideas being thrown into the mix and we let those ideas make looooooove and see what comes out. There's a topic that Cate and Katie O and I have been talking about for months behind the scenes: sexism. Uh oh! Just the word gets everyone breaking out in hives. Even as Cate explained to me many of her female friends. Still, Mixed Mental Arts is about talking about the elephants in the room. So, we do that. There's nothing humans (especially a #basketofreasonables) can't figure out when we talk it out. So, consider this the first step of many into that conversation and towards diversity of perspective in every sense in the dojo. That will be the real mark of what makes Mixed Mental Arts different. When we can talk anything out productively and make progress, that will really set us apart from the crowd. You can share your own cultural confession here (
4/14/201759 minutes, 30 seconds
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Ep240 - Humanity's Long Journey Home: We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.

About a month ago, Hunter was on Chris Ryan's Tangentially Speaking podcast. (It's episode 234 if you're interested.) I can't speak for Chris but I had a really great time. Some people on Twitter enjoyed the convo too. Someone even said they were happy that I'd finally found my soulmate. I was disappointed that my soulmate would be a married DUDE...but Twitter don't lie! And so, Chris and I scheduled a second conversation. Two plus hours later my faith in the wisdom of crowds is greater than it has ever been. Chris not only is my soulmate but he succeeded in bringing me to the point of tears. Legitimately, my eyes made water. Chris Ryan extracted my cultural confession from me. One of the patterns that Chris drew out in this conversation is that so much of humanity's cutting edge thinking rests on looking back to how Hunter-Gatherers lived to see what lessons we can learn from them. In short, humanity is trying to return to what it knew before. This is the nature of the Hero's Journey. A hero leaves the tribe and sets out on a quest to find something or solve some problem for the tribe. In the oldest sense, they leave the security of the village to hunt and gather to bring food back for the tribe. In so doing, they risk their lives and face trials from nature, plants and animals. Eventually, the face the ordeal that requires them to draw on all they've learned. If they succeed, they return to the village with their prize. A long time ago, humanity set out on an epic hero's journey. Something was missing from village life. What was it? That's actually a quite tough question. Life for hunter-gatherers is remarkably good. And yet, set out we did. We engaged in agriculture. We enslaved each other. We built great Empires and those Empires fought great wars. Religious and cultural movements swept across the globe. And now, with all we've achieved in our mastery over the natural world, many of us find ourselves looking back with longing to a time of strong communities and social belonging. We want to go back home. However, as Chris and I discuss in this podcast, we cannot turn back yet. For first, we must face the ordeal. What is that ordeal? The fear of our own mortality. And that, ladies and gentlemen, has been the ordeal all along. We have built great pyramids and statues. We have conquered vast Empires. We have created great works of art. And all of it has crumbled away. Shortly after the British Museum acquired a piece of a great broken statue of Ramesses II, the English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote Ozymandias about the vanity of thinking that any monument to your own greatness would last. Since time immemorial, mankind has sought the elixir of life and the fountain of youth in the hopes that we would cheat death. And now, there are those among us who believe they will cheat death forever. Men like Ray Kurzweil believe that through the magic of technology we will achieve immortality. And perhaps, we will. But what is it that we want. What do we hunger for? Why as our technology rushes forward do we find ourselves looking back? Chris is fond of a quote from T.S. Eliot "We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." That is the hero's journey. And perhaps man's hero's journey is not a straight line up and up forever. Perhaps in some sense it is one great circle. Whatever great technologies and elixirs we find, perhaps it will not be enough for us to have it. The great joy of the reward that we have hunted and gathered is in returning to share it with the tribe. And that is what we have lost. We have lost community. The challenge of Mixed Mental Arts is to evolve a culture that draws on the best of all times and places. Some of those places we left a long time ago. Chris' favorite quote has a special resonance for me. Robert McNamara quotes it in the Fog of War. For all his explorations and great statistical knowledge, McNamara in the end found solace in the words of a poet who talked about returning home. And that is very much my own experience. I have now wandered widely through the science. But all of those explorations have brought me to where I started. I have had to rediscover a sense of childlike wonder, of curiosity and of a desire for the sort of community that existed 10,000 years ago before the rise of agriculture. Can we have it all? I think we can. And I'm sure as heck willing to devote my life to trying. Chris reminds me in this podcast that Robert McNamara's middle name was "Strange." Robert "Strange" McNamara. And that's fitting. Life is strange. It just gets curiouser and curiouser once you leave your culture behind. And I'm excited to see how deep the rabbit hole goes...even if when I reach the bottom I find I come back out on top. "We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." - T.S. Eliot
4/11/20172 hours, 13 minutes, 47 seconds
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Ep239 - Culture Matters: The Netherlands: The Country Of Polders, Directness And Pragmatism

Mitch Evers is a Dutch university student who grew up in the south of the Netherlands. When Hunter first claimed that Donald Trump was culturally Dutch, it triggered Mitch's patriotic duty to attempt to save his country's reputation in the eyes of the Mixed Mental Arts community, which led to his involvement in the project.   Little does Mitch know that Hunter "The Shitty Dutchman" Maats would be reading his post in a terrible Dutch accent. Will the Dutch King revoke Hunter's passport based on this or will they practice gedogen and simply turn a blind eye? Probably the latter. Some things just aren't worth fighting over.   You can find Mitch on Twitter at @kipislekkerME.
4/6/201716 minutes, 59 seconds
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Ep238 - The orchestra is playing together. Come join in the fun!

If anyone doubts the power of Motivation 3.0, they should listen to this episode. In the last couple of months, people from all over the world who have jobs, kids and lives have volunteered to help evolve Mixed Mental Arts and get the ideas that have been trapped in books for decades out into the world. Bryan and I have never met most of these people. Matt Maurer has worked on the website for no money. Nicole Page and Matt "Unicorn" Madonna have set up our t-shirt store and provided endless advice to improve the website. Cate Fogarty has been taking Hunter's wordy ramblings and distilling them into #knowledgebombs that in under 500 words sum up key mental tools to upgrade your cultural software. And even though Brian Otoya makes basically zero dollars he is personally funding ads to drive traffic our way. Chris Price and Jake Brady have stepped in to help teach Hunter how to not screw up the sound. Milk Toast reached out on Twitter and even offered to fly out to LA to help with that. There are a lot of people who are helping out and really it goes to prove something a Ukrainian grandmother once told Hunter: "Everywhere you go, people are nice. Governments are assholes." This has certainly been Hunter and Bryan's experience growing up. There are a lot of great people everywhere. Are they perfect? Nope. But they all have value and the challenge in unleashing the wisdom of crowds is getting all those people to work together. There's a great scene in the Michael Fassbender Steve Jobs movie where Woz asks Jobs what he does... Steve Wozniak: You can't write code... you're not an engineer... you're not a designer... you can't put a hammer to a nail. I built the circuit board. The graphical interface was stolen from Xerox Parc. Jef Raskin was the leader of the Mac team before you threw him off his own project! Someone else designed the box! So how come ten times in a day, I read Steve Jobs is a genius? What do you do? Steve Jobs: I play the orchestra, and you're a good musician. You sit right there and you're the best in your row.   And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the great challenge of the human family. It is not that the wisdom of crowds isn't there. It's that we need to get the orchestra playing together. For too long, we've been waiting for a conductor to come along. We want a leader who will tell us how to play together. And it's time to realize that that leader isn't forthcoming.   Recently, Isaiah Gooley (who I've also never met) wrote a post for that takes the Chinese proverb "Heaven is High and the Emperor is Far Away" and relates it to modern times. ( We have become so consumed with who is elected President or Prime Minister that we have forgotten that the wisdom of crowds comes from us. It comes from the orchestra. And if no one will emerge to play us then we must adopt the attitude of jazz. We play our notes and we listen to what other people are doing and we figure out how to build on what others are doing. The Mixed Mental Arts community is a place for anyone from anywhere in the world who wants to do it. If we get together and start playing really cool music, then more and more people will join us. They'll want to be a part of what we're doing.   If we build it, they will come.   However, the crucial word there is we. Bryan and Hunter have many, many failings. That is the great freedom they have. There's no need for them to worry about trying to seem like they have it all together. They don't. And probably nor do you. In fact, no one does. That's the nature of the world. There are 130 million books. There are so many terabytes of data. It's all far too much for an individual human mind. That's why we have to get together a crowd to solve all these problems. Heaven is High and the Emperor is Far Away. The challenge is in pulling together the orchestra in the greatest improv jazz in history. We're doing that. You should join.   And here is where it becomes important to realize the challenge we face: identity. You have been told stories about yourself. We tell stories about each other. And who we are and how we behave changes often within minutes. We get cut off in traffic and we get road rage. Someone opens the door for us and we feel all is right with the world. We get hangry and become snappy. We have a nap and want to give everyone a hug. And we all have our Fundamentalisms. We have things that trigger us and make us freak out. The challenge for all of us is to say sorry and kiss and make up.   So, let me say I'm sorry. I'm sorry if I've upset any of the people I've called Fundamentalists over the past few months. As I've said before, I'm sure you're lovely people and I could tell many wonderful stories about you. Every hero has a thousand faces. Why did I do this then? Because the world is in the grip of a lot of bad stories right now. And the way you beat the bad story is with better stories. And one story is a variation on the story of that Ukrainian grandmother. Most people are nice but there is a small number of people who are so hung up on their one thing that they are getting in the way of the orchestra playing together. And so, I called them out. Now, it's time to tell a different story. The story of us. The story of that big shared human experience. And that's why us Mixed Mental Artists want to make a series called #CultureMatters. We want to take everything we've learned in over 200 episodes and turn it into a series of fifteen videos that in two to three minutes will sum up everything we've learned. It will allow you to massively update your cultural software and drop #knowledgebombs all across the internet. It will make you an intellectual terrorist.   So fund intellectual terrorism by supporting us on Patreon. ( When we reach $10k, we can make these videos and you can go blow people's minds. And when we shatter those echo chambers, we will unleash the greatest idea orgy in human history.   Oh yeah! Let's get it on!
4/4/20171 hour, 9 minutes, 7 seconds
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Ep237 - SPECIAL: PART 2 - The Theories of Everything

Apparently, this whole merging of quantum field theory and general relativity business was a little more complicated than we initially thought and so we extended the podcast into a second hour. All of which is released on a single day! You're welcome humanity. And don't worry. We didn't entirely solve the problem. We just warmed it up for you. Any listener who can unify the four major forces wins...a Nobel Prize! Congratulations!!! In practice, the most important takeaway of the second part of the conversation is how we think about truth--it's about a series of practical tools that do better jobs of approximating reality--and the fact that because we both are super keen to democratize knowledge and make all of this accessible...Spiros is joining the Mixed Mental Arts dojo. In the car, he was super excited to have convos with Mixed Martial Artists, chefs, comedians and anyone else. So, get ready for that world. We're going to all roll together and evolve the best set of beliefs the world has yet seen. The fun is just starting 'cause it turns out we don't just need a Theory of Everything. We need Theories of Everything. We have a lot of work to do!
3/28/20171 hour, 11 minutes, 19 seconds
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Ep236 - SPECIAL: PART 1 - The Theories of Everything

In an utterly pleasant surprise, Spiros Michalakis reached out to me and said he wanted to get lunch. Actually, he wanted to buy me lunch. The result was a three hour lunch conversation and a two-hour podcast during the course of which we covered everything from Spiros' own work trying to unify quantum field theory and general relativity to everything that has been going on with Mixed Mental Arts. In short, we compared notes on the many kinds of idea sex that we've been having. You don't get to hear what happened in that three-hour lunch which is probably fortunate. For one thing, Spiros talked about being Greek, moving to America and finding out it wasn't culturally appropriate to wear a speedo in public. You do get to hear what happened in the two-hour podcast where we have our own convo about what it means to be a scientist. It is an approach to life. You also get to hear about why we both feel so strongly about making ideas accessible. We both have gone between worlds. For Spiros, growing up in Greece and then moving to MIT, he was very clear that the difference between him and the other kids was largely a sense of possibility and his own potential. Sound familiar? In this episode, we talk about why the idea of a Theory of Everything is so misleading. In fact, scientists use many different theories to make sense of different levels of reality. There are models (aka beliefs are stories) that help make sense of the quantum world, the chemical world, the interaction of whole organisms and there is going to be a theory that makes sense of what underlies quantum field theory and general relativity. In the same way, you have beliefs for doing your job, how to talk to your in-laws and how to make sense of politics. These theories get confronted with data that doesn't fit your theory. The mark of a scientist isn't in being right. It's how you respond when you are wrong. In fact, a real scientist wants to be wrong quickly. Part 1 ends with Spiros talking about ponies with more than one trick...or as we call them Mixed Mental Artists. Tune in to Part 2 as Hunter recruits Spiros to become part of the Mixed Mental Arts dojo with all the subtlety of a Dutchman.
3/28/201757 minutes, 25 seconds
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Ep235 - The Art of Charm: Really Mean It

Recently, I appeared on Chris Ryan's Tangentially Speaking podcast and afterwards had a conversation with Euan Grant in the Mixed Mental Arts Facebook Group. Euan said something really interesting: "Have started listening to Hunter Maats on Tangentially Speaking and like the thought of podcast hosts being on the MMA pod, those that have interviewed many experts, what have they 'the common person' learnt? Like when Hunter does a review show with Bryan." I liked Euan's idea a lot and, fortunately, I had an interview already scheduled with Jordan Harbinger of the Art of Charm podcast. And so, off we went. It turns out that although on the surface our podcasts seem very different there are a lot of common threads there. Jordan started his podcast to answer his own questions. I highjacked Bryan's podcast and turned it into a show where we could both talk to our intellectual crushes. And, inevitably, in doing hundreds or in the case of the Art of Charm probably close to a thousand episodes, we've learned a lot that has caused us to evolve far beyond what we originally started doing. Both podcasts have come to focus heavily on why humans behave the way they do. While the internet is full of articles promising that this "one weird trick" will teach you to be charming, Jordan offers a more sobering and realistic reality. If you want to win friends and influence people, a firm handshake won't do it. Why? Because the human brain evolved to spot bullshit. Social intelligence is humanity's superpower and much of that is devoted to figuring out who is trying to manipulate us, cheat us or otherwise dupe us. The real art of charm is to mean it. It's the result of countless hours of work on yourself. As Abraham Lincoln said, "You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time." In the end, the human brain's hinky meter is amazing at spotting when something is off...even if sometimes as Jordan and Hunter discuss you sometimes foolishly override it. In the last episode, Bryan and I talked about how the key to surviving and thriving in the Information Age is to put the white belt on. Although I couldn't have anticipated it, this interview with Jordan ended up being the perfect follow up because it debunks the very notion of shortcuts. There are more and less effective ways to learn but there is no circumventing the work on yourself and on the challenge in front of you. Putting the white belt on every day is the first vital step to really entering on the path to mastery in any area. And that's where Jordan's skills become especially useful as we build more Mixed Mental Arts dojos. Jordan knows how to run a successful, profitable podcast. What happens when those skills are combined with the knowledge we've picked up about cultural evolution to make an even better Mixed Mental Arts? Well, I'd like to find out. Mixed Mental Arts belongs to no one. It's an ever evolving approach. The more heads we put together the better this will all get. Euan's suggestion was a brilliant one. Can we unite the podcast clans?
3/21/20171 hour, 34 minutes, 54 seconds
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Ep234 - A Prepper's Guide to the #Jobocalypse

With the sounds of Bryan's offspring gently playing in the background, Bryan's thoughts turn to how to prepare the progeny he has sired from his loins for a world of constant technological disruption. Obviously, Bryan has already prepared them for the apocalypse. They're both proficient in using compound bow and dressing their own kills. They can also strip a firearm and set a bone. And thanks to Bryan's beautiful wife they have (like Alexander the Great, the Comanche, Mongol warriors and slightly foppish aristocrats) they have been rigorously trained in equestrian. These are basic skills that every Callen must know. But what if the apocalypse doesn't happen? What if society more or less continues as is and Bryan's children rather than stalking deer through the shattered wreckage of our civilization and leading conquering hordes on horseback instead find themselves getting jobs. What jobs can they get and how should he prepare them for that? And that, ladies and gentlemen, turns out to be a question we should all be asking. We are in the middle of a #Jobocalypse and it's only going to get worse. While Donald Trump told a great story about jobs going overseas and the coming back, it's not a very good reflection of what's actually been happening. Instead, the shift of jobs overseas was made possible by improved technology. You can't have a call center answering calls half a world away if you don't have good telecommunications technology. You can't manufacture goods in China for sale in America unless shipping technology is so good, cheap and efficient as to make it economically viable. The Donald can bring some jobs back but the greater force at work here is that much of routine work is being and will continue to be automated out of existence. If your job rests on doing routine tasks, then it can be done by a robot or software. Automated cars and trucks, accounting software, McDonalds self-service kiosks and computer programs that trade stocks and write increasingly complex legal contracts are all just some of the ways in which life-long careers can be either disrupted out of existence or change so massively as to be unrecognizable. The defining feature of the future is the need to constantly adapt and that is not something that the world has been prepared for. To reform an educational system, you first need to reform the understanding of the voters. That's the core challenge. Using the internet to empower people to take charge of their own educations. And that is what Mixed Mental Arts and The Straight-A Conspiracy are all about. As WhatUpO recently wrote on the Mixed Mental Arts subreddit: "I found MMA through the JRE and was hooked from the first episode I listened to (the Jordan Peterson episode I believe). The discussions had on the podcast about culture and learning are captivating not only because they are full of interesting info but because of how genuinely the ideas are presented. Today's entertainment/news realms only seem to deal in absolutes. MMA's "you don't have to believe us - look for yourselves" approach is a breath of fresh air to say the least. I've listened to all of the past podcasts and I'm just now discovering these extra resources that have been set up (the blog, this sub and the website) and I've begun diving into the books in the reading list so this won't be the last you hear from me!" Bryan Callen and Hunter Maats do not have all the answers. We do, however, have relentless faith in the wisdom of crowds. There's nothing that a random group of humans can't figure out if they all bring their minds to bear on the problem. And, now, it seems that is happening. People like Martin Totland in Norway and Cate Fogarty in LA are contributing blogposts. Sandy Bagga in Canada has set up a subreddit and Chris Reid in New Zealand has populated it with threads. Matt Maurer and Matt Madonna have built a way better website than the TERRIBLE one Hunter made. And all of this has been done by people (who like Bryan and Hunter) are not in it for the money. And Nicole Page Lee has connected Hunter with the similarly-minded Argument Ninja and helped design t-shirts and pressure Hunter to make them. Individually, none of us can solve the world's problems. Together, we can draw together people from all over the world who can do a better and better job of figuring it out. The key to doing that is the same as the key to thriving and surviving in the wake of the #Jobocalypse. Every day, we wake up and we put the white belt back on. We approach the world with a Beginner's Mind and make whatever progress we can make and learn whatever we can trusting that if we keep evolving then it will all add up to measurable results and lives changed for the better. We've made some crude knowledge bombs with these podcast episodes and blogposts. Now, it's time to make better knowledge bombs that can empower the Mixed Mental Arts community to go out there and be #IntellectualTerrorists. We want to make videos so short, so tight, so powerful and so thought-provoking that you can drop them on your Facebook feed, twitter feed or all around the internet and blow people's minds. We want to make a simple set of videos called #CultureMatters. To do that, we need to raise money on Patreon. ( We work for free but equipment costs money and so do quality editors. For $10,000, we can produce those ten #CultureMatters videos that can set the internet on fire. We can make millions of people take the red pill. This is now the work of Mixed Mental Arts to keep refining better and better tools to diffuse innovations. You can contribute money as Bryan has by paying for renting the studio and Hunter has by paying for the first version of the blog. You can contribute skills like Matt Maurer and Matt Madonna. You can make connections like Nicole Lee Page. You can write blogposts like Martin Totland. You can challenge Hunter to look at blindspots you think he's avoiding like @mazz77a and Ro'ee Orland. Or you can set up your own dojo like Leland Chandler IV. Yes, you can set up your own dojo. In fact, we hope you do. Mixed Mental Arts doesn't belong to us. It's an approach to thinking just like Mixed Martial Arts is an approach to fighting. The goal is to have thinking styles compete and test each other. Bryan Callen and Hunter Maats want competition. We want to be forced to raise our game. Do it. Show us how it's done. Beat us at our own game. Mixed Mental Arts will evolve in the exact same way as Mixed Martial Arts. The best is yet to come. We're just getting started. That's what the Buddhist monks knew that we're only just rediscovering. It's all about putting the white belt back on every single day.
3/14/201756 minutes, 9 seconds
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Ep233 - Mixed Mental Arts: What Does Your Hinky Meter Tell You? Part 2

In Part 1 of "What Does Your Hinky Meter Tell You?", Bryan and Hunter explored the controversy that the Frying Dutchman, Hunter Maats, had created in calling out Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins. In Part 2, we look at why that behavior is so problematic: it creates an emotional climate that divides cultures rather than uniting them. At the end of a great stand-up comedy show, something truly wonderful happens. People's differences fall away and people of all races, genders, colors and creeds come together. In that moment, there's a possibility in the air. The possibility that people from totally different experiences strike up a conversation and connect because they realize that beyond their superficial differences that they can learn things from each other. The spirit at the end of one of Bryan's stand up shows is the Spirit of '76. It's the spirit of curiosity and possibility that fills garages where great start-ups are born. It's the spirit of openness, curiosity and possibility that filled the Caliphate in the age of its greatest scientific breakthroughs. It's the spirit that Hunter wants the Callenphate to create worldwide...and that Bryan thinks we probably won't. Whatever happens, it's what these two silly geese are aiming to spread. The problem is that there are divisive figures among us who thrive on using lawyerly rhetoric to promote bad ideas. In the write up to the last episode, I asked you to recommend someone who set off your hinky meter. One of you did. You suggested Ben Shapiro. And so, the Tutor of Death looked at Ben Shapiro and in this episode you can hear his rhetorical strategy broken down. People like Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Ben Shapiro, SJWs and Tom Woods are critics. They criticize religious people or liberals or government or the red states. People like Alex Jones spread division. They don't get into the ring and try and practically solve problems. Mixed Mental Arts is not about theory. It is about turning the best available theory into practice. As Teddy Roosevelt said: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” Do we know exactly what we're doing? Of course not. If someone knew how to solve the world's problems, they would. We're a stand-up comedian and a tutor and if we fail, at least we will fail while daring greatly. And so, this podcast marks our commitment to do a very simple thing: to try, to fail and try again and again. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the answer to a question that Bryan and I have both been trying to answer for a very long time: what makes a real man? It's someone who can bet it all on a single game of pitch and toss, lose and start again. We are done with trying to be liked. Instead, we choose to grow up and become men. The world is on the verge of doing something truly stupid. And so, perhaps it takes two guys who aren't worried about looking stupid to help fix that. Perhaps the Cincinnatuses...or should that be Cincinnati...of our age are one, two cutie pies. Maybe not. But we're certainly willing to have a go. After all, if we can do that, then we might finally become the men our fathers raised us to be. Over to Rudyard Kipling... If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or being hated, don’t give way to hating, And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise: If you can dream—and not make dreams your master; If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools: If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss; If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’ If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
2/28/201758 minutes, 26 seconds
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Ep232 - Mixed Mental Arts: What Does Your Hinky Meter Tell You? Part 1

You know that feeling that something is off. It's the feeling that things don't quite add up. Something bugs you and you can't quite put your finger on it. That is what detectives call your hinky meter. We all have a hinky meter. The only question is what has your hinky meter been trained to detect. Great auto mechanics can listen to a car and figure out what's off. Doctors like House M.D. can suss out that a seemingly plausible diagnosis doesn't quite make sense. And Hunter Maats a.k.a The Tutor of Death can quickly find holes in people's mental game. That's what sets his hinky meter off. And Fundamentalists drive his hinky meter wild. However, just because you sense that something is off that's not the same thing as putting your finger on it let alone fully revealing to people what is off. In this first part of a two part series, Bryan and Hunter unpack why people like Alex Jones, Tom Woods, Sam Harris, Donald Trump and Joseph McCarthy send our hinky meters wild. Who sends your hinky meter wild? Tweet us and we miiiiiiight talk about them in part two.
2/14/201759 minutes, 23 seconds
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Ep231 - Mixed Mental Arts: "A guest who needs no introduction...Big Mike is back!!!"

A guest who needs no introduction...Big Mike is back!!!
2/7/201753 minutes, 50 seconds
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Ep230 - Mixed Mental Arts: The Two Paths to Power: Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker.

Mixed Mental Arts: The Two Paths to Power: Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker.
1/17/20171 hour, 5 minutes, 21 seconds
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Ep229 - Mixed Mental Arts: What Makes Someone a Fundamentalist?

Living in America, Bryan and Hunter constantly hear demands for Muslims to call out the fundamentalists in their own midst. We think this is a great idea. However, before you can do that, you have to be able to spot a fundamentalist. And that it turns out is quite easy when you're looking at a fundamentalist in someone else's tribe and quite hard when you're looking at the fundamentalists in your own tribe. It's easy for Westerners to see the fundamentalists in the Arab world and quite hard to see the fundamentalists in their own midst. Recently, we had Jordan Peterson on The Bryan Callen Show and the community cheered Jordan Peterson on for calling out the Social Justice Fundamentalists on college campuses. How great? A lot of listeners knew these college kids had gone nuts. Thank goodness someone was standing up to them. That is not the reaction Jordan Peterson has gotten on college campuses and from his fellow Professors. Some people in his own community have cheered him on but many have attacked him. Hunter had a similar experience recently when he challenged certain fundamentalists whom we've had on The Bryan Callen Show, namely Peter Schiff and Thomas Woods. Some people cheered Hunter on and one Mixed Mental Artist even congratulated him on making it through the Peter Schiff interview "in spite of all the government that was getting in the way." Others were either confused by what he was doing and many insulted him. And that gives you a reality on why Muslims don't call out the Fundamentalists in their own midst. Many have a hard time spotting which imams are the fundamentalists and their sense of loyalty to the tribe outweighs their commitment to figuring out realistic solutions to the problems of their society. In short, it was a perfect demonstration of why Hunter and Bryan have been focusing so much on the work of people like Jon Haidt. Feelings drive our choices without even realizing it and it's only when those feelings are brought into conflict that we realize that those feelings are there. And this is the big difference between a Mixed Mental Artist and a Fundamentalist. The Mixed Mental Artist craves finding conflicts between their beliefs and reality. That's what it's all about. When your beliefs don't fit reality, then you have an opportunity to improve them. You are forced to confront your existing feelings and potentially change them. You are forced to re-examine your existing beliefs and potentially realize that you've been wrong about yourself and the world for decades. And that is upsetting. That is what Fundamentalists don't do. In fact, the Arab language has two words that capture beautifully what makes a fundamentalist. They don't engage in ijtihad. You're probably familiar with the word jihad. It means struggle. Ijtihad though is the reflexive form. It means struggle with oneself. Fundamentalists don't struggle with themselves. They decide they have a monopoly on the truth and they have all the answers and then they spend their lives pursuing that simple answer to the end of the line. In every case, the Fundamentalist believes that their tribe is the source of all good and that anything that threatens that is the source of all the world's problems. If only we could get rid of all the world's problems, everything would be solved. A few examples should suffice: Islam: The Way of the Prophet is the answer to everything. Anything that doesn't fit with that must be eliminated. And so, Islamic Fundamentalists like the Taliban try to eliminate toothbrushes and kites. Social Justice: Racism and sexism and colonialism are the sources of all our problems. We must deny the white man banh mi and sushi. If someone feels oppressed by the need to use a limited number of pronouns, we must recognize all 70 pronouns. In the name of social justice, there is nothing we won't do. It sounds good but like all virtues taken too far it becomes ridiculous and self-defeating. Sharing food between different cultures promotes tolerance. Words, including pronouns, are tools. Languages simplify over time. English used to have an informal version of you, namely thou. Ultimately, speakers threw out that pronoun because it was more of a pain in the ass than it was worth. Language is a tool that people use and 70 pronouns just isn't user-friendly. The Free Market: The free market is not the same thing as a free for all. Free market fundamentalists like Peter Schiff and Thomas Woods don't understand that. They hate government and so they just keep foolishly wanting to strip it away. To them, the FDA is like the toothbrush. It wasn't there in the time of the prophet so we rip it out. In fact though, you only need to look at what is happening with food safety in China right now to see what would happen. People are injecting cancer-causing gel into shrimp to make them look plumper. Some people will do anything for a buck, including peddle free market fundamentalist ideology as if they are representing the free market. Atheism: Atheist fundamentalists are a great example. They're not violent because theirs is a culture that fights with words but the thinking is the same. If only we could get rid of religion, then all our problems would be solved. And like all fundamentalists, they have large and complex rationalizations for what are ultimately very simple feelings. In practice, the people involved end up being bad scientists. They spend so much time engaged in jihad that they don't really engage in ijtihad. They're not doing the hard work of figuring out how your beliefs don't fit the evidence. And they don't. Because #DescartesError The Alt-Right: A reactionary movement to social justice. It's a white identity politics movement that blames the problems of the world...on tolerance. And so rushes towards NAZI ideology. The list goes on and on. There are a lot of flavors of fundamentalism right now. On the surface, they seem different. However, they are all essentially the same. They're like different flavors of ice cream. Different flavors. All of them are still ice cream. And just like ice cream, fundamentalism is immediately satisfying. It takes three seconds to understand and the rest is delicious confirmation bias. "Oh!!! We just need to get rid of The West/Racism/Government/Religion and all our problems will be solved for us!" And then, you can spend decades being convinced of how you knew it all along! "Ohhhhh! I was even more right than I thought. Yes. This is so great. I'm a genius. Why are other people such idiots that they don't see this?" People in the West seem to think Muslims should call out their own Fundamentalists. I think they should. But rather than just preaching at Muslims, I think we should lead by example and develop a playbook for how to effectively handle fundamentalism. The West is a great place to pioneer this because our Fundamentalists are generally less violent. Generally. Good thing Bryan has been taking boxing classes. We're going to try and put the fun back in fundamentalism. But fundamentalists can't take a joke at their expense. They're such snowflakes that when their feel feels get hurt they get violent. Will Bryan's boxing skills be sufficient when some fundie comes at him? We'll see. Get ready, Mixed Mental Artists. There are a lot of bad ideas out there. We're going to fight them all.
1/9/201753 minutes, 59 seconds
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Ep228 - Mixed Mental Arts: John Durant

Bryan and Hunter were feeling pretty manly. Bryan was punching imaginary enemies of freedom. Hunter was being tall and Dutch. And then…in walked John Durant, author of The Paleo Manifesto. His hair was luxuriant. He was wearing camo. And he had a stride best suited for stalking and taking down meat sources with only his bare hands. What were one-two cutie pies to do? Fortunately, John was wearing some really cute little shoes that utterly undermined everything else he had going on. Probably, he was just trying to set Bryan and Hunter at ease. Good thing he did because John Durant was leading them into the kind of territory that constitutes thoughtcrime in the Blue Echo Chamber. Fortunately, as Mixed Mental Artists, Bryan and Hunter fear no idea. They take it all in stride and they welcome intellectual diversity. They like idea sex. And let me tell you these three dudes had some serious idea sex. And it totally wasn't gay at all. 'Cause it's idea sex. You can just come all up in another person's brain and it's not gay; it's not straight; it's not going to give you an STD. The only thing you're gonna catch is some wisdom…and nothing is going to get rid of it. And that's why idea sex is the best. It doesn't matter who you are or where you come from. It doesn't matter what your political affiliation. We mix all those ideas up and we all come away with better ideas. And that's what the Mixed Mental Arts dojo is all about. Anyone is welcome. Bring your ideas. We test each other's ideas and we all make our ideas better in the process. Let's grapple with the issues of our day. Oh yeah! Featured Links The Paleo Manifesto Guest Links WEBSITE: TWITTER: Guest Promotions The Paleo Manifesto
1/3/20171 hour, 25 minutes, 28 seconds
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Ep227 - Mixed Mental Arts: How Stable Are Democracies? Warning Signs Are Flashing Red

I'd strongly recommend viewing this episode and episode 226 with Peter Schiff as an exercise in contrast. I didn't design it this way but it worked out that way. Here you have two individuals who both are saying that they care about American democracy and yet their behavior and approach couldn't be more different. In fact, this interview goes a long way to answering why. Yascha Mounk is Jewish and grew up in post-war Germany. When you have that kind of experience, you know firsthand just how fragile democracy and economics are and how carefully they must be guarded. There is no room for complacency or arrogance or behaving in any way that might put your own narrow, selfishness at odds with the health of the system. Instead, you try to figure out ways that your personal desires for profit and success can align with the larger goals of the health of the system. I'm sure Yascha wants a nice house or apartment and a nice car. I certainly do. But when you've been to places like Libya like I have or when the hellscape of World War II and the Holocaust are vivid in your mind like Yascha, then you just aren't going to risk destroying the system that makes your present prosperity possible. However, as Yascha found out and as The New York Times reported in its article "How Stable Are Democracies? ‘Warning Signs Are Flashing Red’" that has become less real for most people in the West. Yascha found that roughly 75% of people born in the 1930s in America believed it was important to live in a democracy but only 25% of people born in the 1980s believed that it was important to live in a democracy. This is why history repeats itself. People get lazy, complacent and forget why a society in which the power of leaders is checked by the people is so important. And you end up with people like our previous guest, Peter Schiff. It may not seem fair to single out Peter Schiff. It's not. Peter is just one among many voices. And that is the point. That's all a democracy is. It's the collective intelligence of the crowd. And if your crowd is full of people like Yascha Mounk then you respect the problem enough to be constantly trying to figure out what you're missing. And if your crowd is full of people like Peter Schiff then you relentlessly self-promote and figure out how to make money without really wondering if your worldview might be part of destabilizing America AND you convince yourself that you are part of saving your country even as you drive the dysfunction that will ultimately tear it apart. Everybody thinks they're part of the solution and, yet, we have all these problems. That you think you're one of the good guys and can spot the idiocy of others doesn't tell you that you're one of the good guys; it tells you that you're human. That's how humans think. Actually serving your country and humanity requires relentlessly looking for holes in your own thinking because you have a constructive paranoia that you might end up in a Holocaust-type situation or that yours might be the generation that rather than moving democracy and human progress forward destroys it. You're always wondering "what am I missing?" Yascha does that and so he's open to new ideas. Peter bloviates, self-promotes, shills his products and finds the fault in Wall Street but can't see the log in his own. It's a perfect exercise in contrast. I actually didn't set Peter Schiff up. A listener did without asking me. We've corresponded for a while. Throughout the election, he made light of my concerns about Russia and undermined my own limited attempts to have a conversation about Russia on Facebook. Then, after the election, he finally read about Russia and realized he was wrong. When I tried to hold him accountable, he said I was acting like he'd killed someone. Trolling was fun he said. And he was just one voice. That's how democracies are killed. They're killed by indifference, complacency, the promotion of foolish ideologies that line your pockets and by not bothering to inform yourself about potential threats to that democracy. They're killed because of Hanlon's Razor. Never attribute to malice what can be attributed to stupidity. Stupidity is a choice. It's a choice to not listen, not take personal responsibility and to revel in a certain self-righteous self-satisfaction. It's the sum total of a lot of people trolling for fun and not thinking about the effects of millions of people doing that. In the end, if a democracy gets killed, all the people will have its blood on their hands. Anyone who wants to join us in helping improve humanity's thinking is welcome but Mixed Mental Arts is a discipline with standards. We challenge each other. We hold our beliefs accountable to reality. We do everything we can to transcend our obliviousness. And we recognize that all actions have consequences. Our brains enable us to think them through. It requires behaving like a grown up to take responsibility for doing that.
12/20/201652 minutes, 3 seconds
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Ep226 - Mixed Mental Arts: Peter Schiff: The Cargo Cult of Libertarianism

One of the major challenges of our age is that there are a lot of words everyone uses as if we're all talking about the same thing but actually mean entirely different things. Case in point: "capitalism" gets thrown around a lot but it means something totally different to the Chicago School of Economists, Behavioral Economists, the Austrian School of Economics and to Adam Smith. Today, Hunter interviews Peter Schiff one of the most prominent voices in the libertarian movement, a word that has so many different meanings that it's hard to criticize as a whole. We can, however, look at what one man believes in this interview. What and how does Peter Schiff think? Well, I've got to say that I don't think that Peter Schiff's worldview makes much sense either internally, with what we know about human thinking, the historical record or what Adam Smith and America's Founding Fathers taught. In short, I don't think the cargo cult Peter Schiff is proposing will deliver prosperity for humanity. It will, however, deliver prosperity for him. In any evolutionary system, parasitism will emerge as a strategy and the same is true in human societies. You can create a following peddling a plausible-sounding worldview and then extract both money and political power from your followers. Usually, people think of this behavior only in terms of religion but, in fact, you can do it any arena. It applies to self-help. It applies to financial advice. It applies to political promises that gain you power but are so out of touch with reality that they have no chance of delivering your followers prosperity. So, let's look at what I took away from this. Firstly, there's where Peter and I agree. Wall Street has severe problems. It has lost touch with capitalism and confused self-interest with short-term greed that will line the pockets of bankers while destabilizing society as a whole. And I'm quite sure that Peter can help his followers make money by shorting the market. However, in that sense, he is little different from the people he criticizes. He profits while potentially destroying the system that allows him to profit. America's Founding Fathers believed in checks and balances. Nowhere is this laid out more clearly than in Federalist Paper 51 where James Madison writes "Ambition must be made to counteract ambition." The key lies in setting the ambitions of men against each other. You make people compete and check each other's behavior. In the same way, the free market is not about a free for all. As Adam Smith, Capitalism's Founding Father wrote, “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.” And one of the things that merchants of drugs or ideas like Peter will do if left to their own devices is peddle things that enrich themselves while harming the people to whom they sell. Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. As I mention in this podcast, one of the reasons why the FDA was given increased powers was because of the case of Eben Byers. At the time, one of many patent/quack medicines was Radithor. It was water filled with radium. People drank radioactive water which was marketed as "Perpetual Sunshine." Eben Byers' doctor prescribed it to him (in part because he was getting kickbacks) and Eben Byers ended up becoming riddled with cancer and with holes forming in his skull. He became so radioactive that he had to be buried in a lead-lined coffin. As The Wall Street Journal titled an article about his death ""The Radium Water Worked Fine until His Jaw Came Off." Now, Peter Schiff had never heard of this story. As far as I can tell, he never bothered to try and understand why the FDA or any other government bureaucracy was founded. As I explained to him, I understand that too much government regulation is a problem. That's why I brought Luigi Zingales on to talk about A Capitalism for the People. It's also why I'm such a huge fan of Hernando DeSoto's Other Path. However, I don't know that no government regulation is the answer because that is simply removing the checks and balances. Further on in Federalist 51, James Madison pretty much nails it: "The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions." It's hard to top that. Checks and balances and checks on that. So, if Peter Schiff believes the FDA has grown too large and wants to figure out how to check it, then I think that's a great conversation to have. Instead though, when I tried to engage Peter in a conversation about what was the proper role of government–or what was the baby and what was the bathwater–he said, "There is no baby!" He doesn't understand why the FDA was founded and he just wants to throw it all out. How to describe such a man? Well, he's certainly not very wise and if he's not very wise then maybe he's a fool. Structuring a society is a complicated and fascinating challenge. You have to recognize (as the Founding Fathers of both the American representative democracy and capitalism did) that whatever holes you leave someone is going to come in and try and exploit them. There is a hole in American public life that has been counteracted by the failures of the educational system and the media and people will come in and try and exploit the hopes and fears of the general public with plausible-sounding ideologies that potentially destroy the goose that lays the golden eggs: our society. While Peter repeatedly tries to blame America's government for the problems of the American people, in a democracy both power and responsibility ultimately rest with the people. The fault, dear friends, lies not in our Senators, but in ourselves. And there are many holes and problems with Peter's thinking. If he can't even spot the problems in his own thinking what makes him think that he can understand all the intricacies of modern medicine? Arrogance. Peter overestimates his own intelligence. I used to do that too but I've come to realize that I'm not that smart. Modern society is complex and that is fantastic. There are people who sit around all day trying to cure diseases that I haven't even heard of. And there are people whose job is to check the claims of all those people. That's the FDA. Ambition counteracting ambition. It's all very Founding Fathers-y. As someone who has spent the last twelve years doing a pretty deep dive of the neuroscience, psychology, culture, economics and political science, I can tell you that evaluating everyone's claims is a lot of work and I can tell you that there are a lot of people who put themselves forward as authorities on these things who clearly haven't read most of the things they claim to be authorities on. My ambition is to counteract their ambition. I want to lay out the material clearly enough so that you can decide for yourself what to believe. I don't have the time to also go through all the research on what drugs are safe, the science of climate change, vaccinations, nutritional information, what car to buy and on and on. I need to rely on others for that. Some of that will be done by the free market and some of that will be done by the government, but, frankly, I'd rather have it done by both. I'd rather have the ambition of one counteracting the ambition of the other. Removing one source of accountability when you don't even understand why it was put in in the first place is dumb. Can we just say it? Peter's ideas are dumb. They may make him money. They may make you money in the short-term. But if society collapses you're fucked. The end of the world as we know it isn't fun. It's hell on earth. Markets and societies are held together by trust and responsible citizens use their voice to try and create a society with increasing levels of trust. They don't profit by spreading mistrust. There are problems with government and with Wall Street and we should be respectfully challenging the thinking of everyone to try and make those institutions work better. Peter isn't doing that. But he can always change his mind. I hope he will. As of our interview though, I find his thinking to be little different than that of the Wall Street investors he rails against. It's clear on the failings in the thinking of others and very unclear on its own failings and it is an ideology that narrow-mindedly serves his interests at the larger expense of society. Is Peter malicious? I don't think so. He does, however, strike me as oblivious. That can always change. We're all oblivious to many things but there is a chasm of difference between people who mostly seem interested in promoting their own view like Peter and those (like Yascha Mounk in episode 228) who are interested in serving the people by constantly trying to find the flaws in their own thinking. You'll make your own decision. I can just pull back the curtain and help you see what's behind all the jargon and rhetoric. Peter Schiff doesn't think in terms of checks and balances. He thinks in terms of throwing out whatever's in the bath because he thinks there is no baby. In my reading of Adam Smith, Peter Smith is not a capitalist. He doesn't believe in the free market. He believes in anarchy. To which I say: "If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions." The people must control the government and to do that they must be well-informed and that means recognizing false prophets who profit from their false doctrine. What is Peter Schiff? Well, I'll leave that up to you to decide. Are the beliefs he's promoting as solutions to America's problems going to make things better or worse? And to really answer that question, you need to read widely. You need to manage your own feelings about the government and the market. And you need to recognize that institutions develop to solve problems and that when those institutions become problematic, you'd better first understand why they were invented before you simply throw them out.
12/13/201655 minutes, 43 seconds
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Ep225 - Mixed Mental Arts: Bryan Uses a Roundhouse Kick to Shatter The Echo Chambers. Aw yeah!

America's two political parties can't seem to solve their problems or figure out how to talk to each other and that's going to make for a lot of awfully awkward Thanksgivings. Fortunately, there's a group of people who know how to understand both sides and understand what each culture gets right and what each culture gets wrong. You are part of that group of people. You are Mixed Mental Artists. You are mankind's last, best hope. Can you handle the pressure? Can you? Well, you're going to have to because humanity needs you. So, let's get into the dojo so we can train and shatter the echo chambers that have built up around each culture. In the red corner, we have the conservatives weighing at 300 pounds. On their side, they have a willingness to talk about culture mattering and helping determine success and they have a love and respect for the Founding Fathers. In the blue corner, we have the liberals weighing in at 150 pounds soaking wet. On their side, they have a dominance of the media and academia but a lack of familiarity with what the science actually says. They also are so focused on where the Founding Fathers didn't fully live their principles that they have a hard time seeing all the things they got right like the profound benefits of a culture founded on the idea that you could learn anything from books. Who will win in a fight? We don't know. Who cares? Because it's much more interesting to watch them fuck. Not with their genitals although at this point there's so much tension in the air the sex would be amazing. No, we want them to fuck with their minds. It's time to get it on. Aw yeah! Let's have some blue-red idea sex and make beautiful purple babies. You're welcome, America. And the world. While you're over there fighting, we're over her fucking…with ideas. Yeah, baby. Idea sex. The kind of sex where you don't catch STDs. The only thing you catch is wisdom. Let's make that shit contagious!
12/6/20161 hour, 4 minutes, 17 seconds
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Ep224 - Mixed Mental Arts: Cathy O'Neil on Weapons of Math Destruction

For regular listeners of the show or readers of the accompanying blog at, you know that power rests on mystery. That is how you eliminate the possibility of being held accountable. Fortunately, there are decent people in the corridors of power and periodically they get so fed up that they decide to pull back the curtain and let the people see that there is no Wizard. There is just a man pulling some levers. What is he up to? And is he using his power in the interests of the people or is he abusing his power to puff himself up. Well, it's not for us to say, because that's not what science is about. But when you read Cathy's book, you realize that sometimes that data is being used to make people's lives better and sometimes it's not. All math rests on assumptions and if those assumptions are bad assumptions then they can do an awful lot of damage. Math's assumptions can contain all sorts of biases. They can have a liberal bias, a conservative bias, a racial bias, a sexist bias and on and on. Biases like Baskin Robbins ice cream come in 52 Flavors. In addition to laying out a couple of examples of Weapons of Math Destruction (or WMDs), Cathy and I [Hunter] talk about their own experiences leaving the tribe of academia and finding their own way. Science powerfully needs both internal and external accountability in order to make the most progress possible in the least possible time. And that's why Cathy and I [Hunter] will be building a coalition of science writers, scientists and citizens to push for a Scientific Reformation. You deserve to have experts who use their intellectual power responsibly and whose primary focus is on serving you, the citizen. We hope you'll join us and we'll keep pulling back the curtain regardless. As Cathy so neatly puts it, science isn't about taking things on faith or relying on the authority of the establishment. It's about having the evidence presented to you in a clear way so you can form your own conclusions.
11/29/20161 hour, 5 minutes, 50 seconds
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Ep223 - Mixed Mental Arts: Michael Malice!!!

"Michael Malice!!!" seems like a fitting title for an episode featuring Michael Malice, because, well, how exciting is it that Michael Malice is on the show? Since Trump's election, Michael Malice is an even bigger deal and we are lucky to even have half an hour of his time. In this episode, we discuss the basic failing of the left's assumptions about other cultures and the personal struggles Michael Malice goes through as a recovering Russian. If you're interested, you can learn more about how you can most productively learn to use optimism and pessimism at
11/22/201631 minutes, 58 seconds
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Ep222 - Mixed Mental Arts: The Power Paradox

Awww, yeah! Dacher Keltner is back, ladies and gents, and we're going to talk all about power, which seems like a really relevant topic after the election of Donald Trump. Here in California (or as my grandfather describes it the land of fruits and nuts) there's a lot of fear about Donald Trump abusing power. However, Mixed Mental Artists don't just buy into the narratives of one culture, they roam across cultures so other people can help them see the logs in their own eye…and so there's another type of abuse of power at work that it's awful hard for liberals to see: the abuse of intellectual power. A long time ago, Lord Acton said "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Dacher has studied this phenomenon experimentally and improved on that understanding finding that power makes people more impulsive and less empathetic. In one of the all-time great experiments of human psychology, Dacher and his colleagues watched cars at an intersection and recorded which makes and models stopped for pedestrians and which zoomed through. Guess who was super impulsive and less empathetic? People driving luxury cars. And this is why I drive a dinged up 2005 Ford Escape. It's because I want to keep my empathy super high. :) And because this problem of power affects all people it has led to the intellectual abuse of power by experts. In this episode, Dacher and Hunter talk about the intellectual abuse of power by Hunter's old boss, Jim Watson, co-discoverer of the Double Helix of DNA. There is, however, much more than that and I [Hunter] am pulling back the curtain on all of it. I'm going full Toto so you can see that there are no Wizards just a man pulling some levers. You can read about those abuses of power in economics and how my own tribe of scientists helped undermine American democracy by damaging your faith in your intelligence. There are emotionally difficult conversations ahead for all of us and it's time we had them. Featured Links An Apology From Science for Undermining American Democracy Economists' Dirty Little Secret: Greed Was Never Good for Society Guest Promotions The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence
11/15/20161 hour, 11 minutes, 35 seconds
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Ep221 - Mixed Mental Arts: Ghost Face Willer Drops Some Knowledge

Robb Willer has the best twitter handle of any academic ever: @GhostFaceWiller. Yes, he's a Professor of Sociology and Psychology and Business at Stanford...but he also has an amazing twitter handle. All of these things matter. What's most important? That's not for me to say. I think that really the whole is greater than the sum of any of these parts. As the Germans say, it's the gestalt of Robb Willer that makes him especially cool. He's also done some incredibly cool studies. He darkens Obama's face to see if that makes white folk more anxious. He studies how testosterone affects people's tendency to react to potential perceived threats to their masculinity. And, most awesomely, he studies how the work of Jon Haidt can be applied to help groups be better at recruiting people from different tribes/cultures/cults/political parties/religions to their point of view. Of course, one of the big questions for the college-educated crowd is what is up with Trump's supporters. Part of that story is racism. But a big part of that story is also the Hillbilly Honor Culture that has been passed down for ages from the Scots-Irish. It's a culture that made sense in a herding context. It's not a culture that serves the needs of people in the Information Age. That's not a comfortable thing for humanity to talk about but that's the moment in history we've reached. It's time we became more reflective and each took a look at what we've picked up from our families and why. The science is all there. Now, it's time to put it all together. It's time for Mixed Mental Arts.
11/8/20161 hour, 3 minutes, 29 seconds
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Ep220 - Mixed Mental Arts: Jordan B. Peterson

When Canada began passing laws that limited what Professor Peterson could say in the name of political correctness, he felt compelled to speak out. And so, in three YouTube videos, he laid out his case for why he would not be complying with the law…in the most reasonable and Canadian way possible. Professor Peterson is a practicing and research psychologist at the University of Toronto and like countless other campuses the University of Toronto has become a place full of people who are going full Invasion of the Bodysnatchers. In fact, a tiny fraction of individuals have decided that there aren't just two gender identities or even three but up to seventy...and they all have different pronouns they want to be addressed by. The reality is that any policy or set of behaviors comes at a cost. Competing goods must be weighed against each other. Words are tools for communication and having seventy sets of pronouns makes communication clumsy. What's more important? Protecting the weak is great but setting off a witch hunt that potentially takes psychologists like Jordan B. Peterson out of working with patients does potentially greater harm. Which is more important? In practice though, the behavior on college campuses is just as listener @TWestGate put it the ouroboros. It is the snake eating its own tail. What is the final result of an academic culture that believes in human reason and is massively atomistic? It's a culture so obsessed with individuality that any weird thought that wanders across a person's brain has to be treated seriously, especially when the person is claiming historical oppression. The sad truth is that Social Justice Warriors aren't bad students. They're great students who have just taken academia's cultural biases to the end of the line. Everyone is now a special snowflake and any claim you make about yourself has to be treated seriously. In the end though, there is further insanity coming such as otherkin. These are humans who believe they're not humans. Instead, they believe they are vampires or werewolves or fairies or wolf-dog hybrids. These even more special individuals want their unique identity recognized too!!! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the snake is eating its own tail. At a certain point though, it just becomes too much. People like Jordan B Peterson can't put up with it anymore. As Bryan points out, alumni are refusing to donate. And, increasingly, people are wondering why anyone would pay $120,000 and spend four years to be surrounded by thinking that is, frankly, garbage.
11/1/20161 hour, 14 minutes, 9 seconds
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Ep219 - Mixed Mental Arts: Interview: The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace

For the last couple of months, I (Hunter) have been talking about The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace. Why? Because Rob Peace's story is what happens when you have a culture that does not take culture, tribe and emotion seriously. Rob Peace was an African-American kid who grew up in a rough part of Newark, New Jersey. His mom worked hard and paid to send him to a prep school. His dad helped him with his homework whenever he could and through tenacity and hard work he not only got into Yale but a wealthy, white benefactor paid for his entire college tuition. Once at Yale, Rob graduated with a degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry. And yet, after graduation, Rob didn't go to medical school or Wall Street or politics. Instead, Rob drifted back to Newark where he taught school for a little while and then drifted into a life of dealing drugs. By the age of 30, this brilliant man was dead in a drug shoot out. Rob was a man caught between two worlds. By the age of 10, Rob's father was in jail for a double homicide connected with drug dealing. And for all his community celebrated his educational success, he often had to downplay it and hide it in order not to draw attention. Academically, he was a perfect fit for Yale but culturally he never really belonged. In short, Rob's story is the real-life version of Good Will Hunting if there was no Robin Williams character. Without help dealing with that history that lives within us all, a man full of potential and promise has his life wasted. The book Jeff has written is a eulogy to a friend and a roommate gone before his time. Of course, there are the inevitable questions about why Jeff, a white, suburban kid, gets to write a book about his roommate, a black, urban kid. There are uncomfortable feelings here but the human family isn't going to get anywhere by avoiding these feelings. Instead, we must do what any family must do: talk through them. Fortunately, there's The Bryan Callen Show, a safe space where rather than issuing trigger warnings we just manage our own emotions. It's revolutionary stuff. And not something you'll get at Yale...or Harvard. Guest Information GUEST NAME: Jeff Hobbs GUEST BIO: Jeff Hobbs graduated with a BA in English language and literature from Yale in 2002, where he was awarded the Willets and Meeker prizes for his writing. Hobbs spent three years in New York and Tanzania while working with the African Rainforest Conservancy. He now lives in Los Angeles with his wife. Guest Promotions The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League Hillbilly Elegy A Culture of Honor
10/18/20161 hour, 9 minutes, 25 seconds
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Ep218 - Mixed Mental Arts: Interview: The Dorito Effect

In the wake of The Depression and World War II, it's understandable that the focus of North America's agricultural system became producing as many calories as cheaply as possible. And so, competitions were held like the Chicken of Tomorrow contest which aimed to produce chickens that grew more quickly and were in every way better suited to industrial production. The one thing that wasn't a priority was flavor. The result was that even by the 1960s Julia Child was warning that American chickens for all their impressive size were beginning to taste like teddy bear stuffing. This it turns out isn't some trivial concern. In fact, it may be the driving force behind why Americans overeat. Given how much of the human genome is devoted to tasting (with flavor sensors not just in your nose and tongue but also in your gut), it would be incredibly strange if flavor was something trivial. In fact, more of your genome is devoted to flavor than is devoted to your genitals which gives you a sense of just how evolutionarily important it must be. As Mark Schatzker, the author of The Dorito Effect, explains in this episode explains, flavor is the signal our bodies detect as a proxy for nutrition. The Dorito is the perfect way to mess up that signaling. You take a corn chip that is full of carbs and pretty much nothing else and you wrap it in massive amounts of flavor. You eat and eat and eat but you never get the nutrition you need. Once you pop, you can't stop isn't just a campaign slogan; it's a warning label. Doritos, Pringles and other junk food are perfectly engineered to make you overeat. And this is where the mixed mental arts element of this all comes in. Culture is driving these choices. Doritos, Pringles and other junk food are an American invention. And while obesity is a problem everywhere, it is particularly a problem in America. And, however much Americans might try and rationalize this behavior based on cost or practicality, it actually doesn't make any sense. There are varieties of chicken (La Belle Rouge) and tomato (those belonging to Harry Klee) that produce commercially viable quantities while still being much more flavorful. The costs? Obesity costs the US $190 billion a year. That's 21% of US Healthcare costs. There are no good reasons why Americans shouldn't have chickens that are as delicious as French chickens and tomatoes that are as flavorful as Italian tomatoes. More flavor. Less overeating. Less obesity. Lower taxes from healthcare savings. What's not to love? Expect to see a forthcoming blogpost that expands on this at Featured Links The Geography of Thought Guest Information GUEST NAME: Mark Schatzker GUEST BIO: Mark Schatzker is an award-winning writer based in Toronto. He is a radio columnist for the Canadian Broadcast Corporation and a frequent contributor to the Globe and Mail, Condé Nast Traveler, and Bloomberg Pursuits. He is the author of The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor and Steak: One Man’s Search for the World’s Tastiest Piece of Beef. Guest Links WEBSITE: TWITTER: Guest Promotions The Dorito Effect
10/11/20161 hour, 9 minutes, 25 seconds
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Ep217 - Mixed Mental Arts: You Must Accept Your Elephant Before You Can Train It

Thanks to a suggestion by @ElliotBlair_ on Twitter, Mixed Mental Arts is introducing something new and very exciting. We will now be awarding belts. First up, the white belt which is already live at Except, that's not how The Kid rolls. The Kid gets excited and wants to talk about the difference between being a rationalist and an intuitionist…which is definitely green belt-level material. Fortunately, any Mixed Mental Artists knows how to be like water. As Master Bruce Lee said, “You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.” And so, Hunter flows like water into whatever direction the Kid takes the conversation and then channels that energy into breaking down what it means to be an intuitionist. It means accepting your elephant. After hundreds of years of science, we have a pretty good model of how the brain works and that model suggests the brain is like a rider and an elephant. As a child, your elephant is trained by the culture around you to behave in certain ways. As an adult, it is your job to become aware of your elephant, to recognize what it is doing and to retrain it to act in more constructive ways. That is what Mixed Martial Arts or tennis or education is about. It's using your reflective system (your rider) to slow things down enough that you can get your intuitive system (your elephant) behaving in the most productive way possible. And that is not something that any of us have truly mastered in all areas of life which is why we're going to go ahead and say that there are no black belts in Mixed Mental Arts. Maybe though…you will be the first. Featured Links WEBSITE: TWITTER: FACEBOOK: INSTAGRAM:
10/4/20161 hour, 3 minutes, 50 seconds
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Ep216 - Mixed Mental Arts: The Callenphate Part 2

In the last few years, ISIS has attracted people who don't feel like they belong in their own society to Syria with the promise that together they're going to rebuild The Caliphate. From the outside, it's pretty understandable. Being part of a revolution is exciting. You're changing the world. You're part of a great cause. And you get to destroy the old society which you feel treated you like crap. Revolutions are like start ups. The problem is that ISIS' startup is trying to make a place filled with rape, slavery, beheading and the sort of anti-scientific attitude that will lead really bad internet speeds. It's terrible really. Fortunately, there's an alternative. If you're feeling dissatisfied with the existing system in anyway, then you can help us in building The Callenphate. All ideas and suggestions are welcome. It's time to take Mixed Mental Arts out on the road and use it to beat up some of the world's toughest problems. There are some similarities but also some important differences between The Callenphate and The Caliphate. Both offer really good Arabic food but, in the Callenphate, you can drink it with excellent red wine if you choose. Both like sex but the Callenphate likes it to be consensual for both/all parties. Both believe that beheading looks really good on film but since ours is in Hollywood, we understand that you can do that with special effects, guys. You don't actually need to chop a real person's head off. The Callenphate also has a very different relationship to the past. We don't have any desire to repeat it. While the original Caliphates achieved some remarkable things, they still existed in centuries like the 7th and 12th. It doesn't matter where you went in the world life in the 7th and 12th centuries just wasn't that good. The reality is that the prosperity of the modern world makes it better to be a court jester like Bryan Callen or a court tutor like Hunter than a legendary King like Henry VIII. We have inherited the accumulated cultural progress of billions of humans from all around the world. The key to improving our lives is get better at setting the mood for idea sex than any group of humans ever have before. So, what is the idea sex equivalent of putting on some Barry White? Well, it's a lot of things we already know but that aren't consistently done. It's embracing and analyzing your mistakes to improve your performance. It's creating a society that both takes care of its members and in which its members are constantly striving to be responsible for themselves. And it's about creating a society, in which we all have the kind of purpose which makes humans happiest and most productive. And doing that is also the key to having the most successful life for you. These three ideas are beautifully summed up in Daniel Pink's book, Drive, as autonomy, mastery and purpose. As Pink reports, research shows that people who tap into these forms of motivation are much more successful in the long run than people who are just trying to make as much money as possible. Pursue autonomy, mastery and purpose and money will follow. Pursue money first and it will be hard for you to compete and stay relevant in the Information Age. The Callenphate is built on living and spreading that kind of ethos. We don't need to drop bombs. We've got knowledge bombs. And all we have to do is go around and take all the ideas that are already out there and put them together into one dynamite cultural package which we call Mixed Mental Arts. Of course, any movement needs to be able to spread its ideas and that means not only understanding them but retaining them. And so, the episode ends with how Hunter remembers the names of these books and organizes these ideas. The secret it turns out is The London Cabbies. As Hunter and his co-author Katie O'Brien explain in The Straight-A Conspiracy, the map of London is way harder to memorize than the map of New York. It's full of strange, twisty streets with odd names. To master this information–which cabbies call "The Knowledge"–requires far better memory techniques than just flashcards. And so, cabbies begin by memorizing the routes. What are the major routes through London? With those in place, they can build off that and add side streets. Like building a puzzle where you start with the edges, they then fill them in. At the Bryan Callen Show, we've been trying to figure out how to get you the most powerful version of "The Knowledge" possible. It took Hunter years to learn the routes that serve as the backbone of Mixed Mental Arts. By learning them first, you can acquire the knowledge without having to spend the money and time that the majority of highly boring and massively repetitive nonfiction books require. Once you have those routes, then filling in the side streets will be easy and you'll be able to dazzle people with your insight into them and the world. Together, we're evolving an understanding of the world better than any the world has ever seen so that, one day, people centuries from now can look back on us and think we were dumb savages. Oh, and by the way, The Straight-A Conspiracy is now available in Spanish as La Conspiración de las Calificaciones Perfectas: Tu Guía Secreta Para Convertirte en un Genio y Dominar el Mundo. Bryan is available in every language…because his communication needs no words. It's all in los ojos.
10/1/20161 hour, 4 minutes, 50 seconds
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Ep215 - Mixed Mental Arts: The Callenphate Part 1

The number one book Hunter is getting recommended right now is Tribe by Sebastian Junger. It's an amazing book. Mostly, it's about why US soldiers often have such a hard time reintegrating back into US society. It's pretty easy to understand. You go off to war and you have a group of people who will die for you, who look out for you and who are engaged in a great mission together. And then you come back and there's no sense of shared purpose. In war, people have tribe. In the modern world, most of us don't. And when people don't have tribe, they go looking for it; they try and create it and that's a big part of why you have ISIS. What is it that tribes provide? They help provide food and defense against violent death. Modern societies do that incredibly well. Way better than hunter-gatherer tribes ever did. But tribes also provide belonging, shared purpose, community and a magical thing called dignity. When you bring back food, the tribe (your family) recognizes what you have done and they're grateful for it. You feel appreciated and that is no small thing. In fact, William James, the Founder of American Psychology, said "The deepest principle of human nature is a craving to be appreciated." Do you feel appreciated in your life? A lot of people don't. A lot of people feel like they get no respect. And that can make them very angry and resentful. And that's when they start or join groups like ISIS. ISIS provides its followers with many things: sex slaves, treasure and the chance to get shot at. However, besides the real life video game aspects, it also provides its followers (if not the women unfortunate enough to live in the region) with dignity and purpose. ISIS succeeds as a movement because the societies its followers have come from have failed to satisfy that deepest principle in human nature: the desire to be appreciated. One of Bryan's favorite quotes is from Amos Oz. It's about how the key to beating a bad idea is to provide a better idea. However, the full quote is instructive: "But Hamas is not just a terrorist organization. Hamas is an idea, a desperate and fanatical idea that grew out of the desolation and frustration of many Palestinians. No idea has ever been defeated by force — not by siege, not by bombardment, not by being flattened with tank treads and not by marine commandos. To defeat an idea, you have to offer a better idea, a more attractive and acceptable one." No idea has ever been defeated by force. It might be appealing to think that you can just make ISIS' ideas go away by bombing them out of existence but nothing makes ideas fascinating and intriguing like trying to kill the people who have them. Making martyrs doesn't destroy ideas; it gives them power. Boko Haram, for example, was a nothing movement until its founder, Mohammed Yusuf, died in police custody in 2009. At the time, Alhaji Boguma, a government official in the region, said that the "wave of fundamentalism" had been "crushed." In practice, Mohammed Yusuf was like Obi Wan Kenobi. He was struck down and became more powerful than Ahlaji Boguma could possibly imagine. An angry, ranting cleric with a crappy world view was transformed into a perfect symbol. And so, if we really want to defeat ISIS or Boko Haram, we need to "offer a better idea, a more attractive and acceptable one." The problem is no one is really doing that. Imagine being born in Libya. You now have a Libyan passport which pretty much means your only opportunities are in Libya…where there are pretty much no opportunities. In order to get married–which in the Muslim world is your only real path to sex–you have to provide a lot of stuff. Depending on what kind of Libyan you are that might mean a house, a car and a washing machine or it might mean a bunch of camels. Either way, it's not something you're likely to be able to afford because the wealth of the country is controlled by a tiny number of families who use their power to prevent others from outcompeting them. Basically, you're screwed and with no chance of getting laid. What you want is an awesome house, a beautiful wife and maybe most importantly dignity. You want to contribute to society and be recognized for that contribution. Except, the international community constantly tells you your country is a sh*thole and your people suck. No dignity there. The success of ISIS isn't that it is a good idea. It's that it's basically the only idea that is being targeted at people that our global society values so little that we don't even bother to think about them until they create problems for us all. This problem isn't just a Libyan or a Nigerian problem. It's not even just a problem among marginalized Muslim communities in the West. It is a problem for an increasing number of people all over the world. People whose culture is geared towards Industrial Age factory work are finding that they can't make a living in an Information Age economy. They can't get dignity. And so, they want to do the only thing that makes any sense to them. They want to turn back the clock. They want to return to a time before the EU. They want to send back all the immigrants. They want to build a wall and bring back all the jobs to America that went overseas. The problem is that to go back to the time when coal mines provided as many jobs as they did in the 1950s you'd have to go back to the technology of the 1950s. It takes far fewer people to extract coal from the earth than it ever did before. The question is now "What do all those people do?" You can't simply give them busy work because humans want dignity. We want respect and we get respect when we really contribute something the group values. Fortunately, Mixed Mental Arts allows us to see what that is. The basis of progress is not from individuals. It emerges from between as many minds as possible. Progress comes from ideas having sex. And how do you have as much idea sex as possible? By putting together as many heads as possible. You have an idea orgy. Bryan Callen loves orgies. And that is the cornerstone of the better idea we're offering to the world. If you're a person who feels the current system isn't satisfying, there's an alternative to joining ISIS and that is to come and help figure out a better system with us. Come join our idea orgy. Because why build the Caliphate when you can build the Callenphate? Of course, we know that you're not going to join just because Bryan is incredibly charismatic. Though he is. You need an idea that is as Amos Oz says "a better idea, a more attractive and acceptable one." And who are we? Just two guys in a garage in California trying to change the world. Kind of like Sergey Brin and Larry Page…or Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak…or the much larger number of whack jobs who thought they were making something great and failed. Ultimately, the success of the Caliphate or Apple Computer or the Callenphate rests on how much value it delivers to others. Our strength is not that we have all the answers; it's that we recognize that no individual ever has but that by combining our heads we can develop something better than the world has ever seen. The tribes are warring. They need a new vision to unite them in a greater historical purpose. Yes, Bryan will be the figurehead, because all movements need that symbol. Will the Nigerian government martyr him too? Tune in next week to find out more and tweet us with what you would want from The Callenphate. The Callenphate is a product and it's going to get better and better with customer feedback.
9/10/201654 minutes, 30 seconds
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Ep214 - Mixed Mental Arts: Keeping it Simple isn't Necessarily Stupid

Albert Einstein famously said, "Everything should be as simple as possible but no simpler." Sadly, though he's famous for saying this, it's pretty clear that like most internet quotes he never actually said this. Still, it's a great principle and quotes are like tennis shoes, hamburgers or sodas. If you put them next to a celebrity, they seem way more legit. Regardless of who came up with it though, it's a great principle. Silicon Valley understands this trade off really well. Great software often becomes worse over time because it suffers from a disease known as featuritis or feature creep. It's an easy trap to fall into. The idea is that if the software is good then if you keep adding new widgets, doodads and other functionalities that it will be even better. Actually though, it gets worse because it becomes increasingly unusable. While writers of New York Times op-eds can wave their hands and say things are complicated, Mixed Mental Artists don't have that option. And while pandering politicians can offer super simplistic solutions to voters that make sense but don't work in the real world, Mixed Mental Artists don't have that option. We are entering the octagon and struggling with problems until we find real world solutions. In practice, Bryan is the perfect person to do this with because, as of today, he's intellectually bipolar. One moment he's simplistic. The next moment things are too complicated to be understood. One of Bryan's great Mixed Mental Arts abilities is the ability to escape any train of thought but Hunter pins him down and trains him out of some old habits into some new more effective ones. Why? It's almost like Hunter is grooming Bryan for something…and in this episode we find out what it is.
8/20/201648 minutes, 2 seconds
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Ep213 - Mixed Mental Arts: Why is the World Full of Horse Shit Right Now?

A century ago, the world faced a tremendous problem: horse shit. The world was full of it. And then an amazing invention pollution-saving device was invented: the car. As the world fills up with all kinds of horse shit (this time of the verbal and behavioral kind), it's worth revisiting this experience to see what lessons Mixed Mental Artists can learn to clean things up. When the horse-drawn carriage was updated, the only thing that was changed initially was the form of locomotion. The horse was swapped out for a gasoline-powered engine. It was a super-specific and fairly limited change. That is exactly what Mixed Mental Arts is going to do for your culture. We're going to swap out very specific parts to retrain your beliefs, values and intuitions for the Information Age. A great example of what that looks like for a culture comes from Japan's Meiji Restoration. After 200 years of isolating itself from the world, Japan got a massive shock when Commodore Perry sailed his big, black steamships into Tokyo Harbor. Japan realized it needed to adapt or it would be subjugated by much stronger foreign powers. It sent experts around the world and retooled the engine of its culture to shift its culture from a feudal age culture to an industrial age culture. The culture of Silicon valley is obsessed with analyzing mistakes and using them to improve and yet when it comes to helping students do better in school, tech giants like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg don't copy the cultural traits that are the basis of their success. Instead, they give them resources like iPads and computers. iPads and computers are awesome but, at the end of the day, it's analyzing your mistakes that allow you to improve. Analyzing mistakes and using them to improve is a simple behavior anyone can do. And Hunter believes it speaks for itself as a good thing to do. Then, Bryan accuses Hunter of sounding like a Philosopher King…and that's when things get real. Philosopher King = I think I know how everybody else should live their life…and that is not what Mixed Mental Arts is about at all. Oh, yes. Things get very, very real.
8/6/201656 minutes, 3 seconds
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Ep212 - Mixed Mental Arts: Master Kim and Tail Piece Tackle Black Lives Matter

Welcome to the dojo! By special request of Hunter's mom, we're going to take our skills on the road and see what Mixed Mental Arts can do about a current, real world social issue like Black Lives Matter. One of the many wonderful things about social media is that it has revealed just how bad at humans are at making sense of things are. We're the same species that for a long time believed that the best explanation for lightning was an angry man on a cloud. Well into the 1800s, scientists believed infectious diseases were caused by bad smells and that if you didn't smell your own droppings then you wouldn't get sick. (The "whoever smelt it dealt it" logic of kids wasn't that far from the medical state of the art just two hundred years ago.) And if you still doubt just how bad all humans are at explaining things, then take a wander around the internet and google 9/11, Obama birth certificate, GMOs, vaccines, global warming, Trump, Clinton or any other damn thing. The number of theories that surround any of these things and just how opposite these things are tells you that clearly our species isn't very good at figuring out why things happen in the world. So, that Hunter's mom wants a little help understanding Black Lives Matter is simply a recognition of a hole in every human's mental game. Fortunately, there's a group of people who stake their reputations and their lives on figuring out why things happen. They will do anything to be right. And careers are made and broken on taking down current World Champions of explaining the world. And after generations and generations of entering the intellectual octagon, they've gotten some pretty darn good explanations for why things happen. They're scientists. Like all other humans, they're individually crappy at figuring things out but collectively their explanations are pretty good. (PS This whole blurb up until now is partly here because this topic is so emotional that there's a good chance that some of the things said in this podcast will be massively misunderstood. There's always a disaster scenario for even the best intentioned well thought out response to a situation that is then posted on the internet and so we've got to plan for that.) So, we're going to introduce a couple of key concepts that are going to be vital not just to understanding Black Lives Matter but that are going to be real fundamentals we use again and again in Mixed Mental Arts: 1) The Dunbar Number: Humans can only have a limited number of relationships to other humans in their head. Hint: It's not 7 billion people. Stereotyping is necessary. The issue is that we often form our stereotypes around the worst-behaved people in another group. Terrorists explicitly use that psychological quirk to set people against each other. The problem is that we tend to massively underestimate the importance of bad behavior in our own group on others. So, some dude flushes a Koran down the toilet and posts it on social media. Americans don't see the big deal because it isn't their holy book. However, that one dude has a huge impact on how Muslims perceive Americans. Ted Cruz says he wants to bomb the middle east to see if sand glows to get elected in the US but, in practice, he's handing a huge propaganda tool to ISIS that actually makes the US less safe. Lena Dunham says dining hall sushi is cultural appropriation and liberals brush that off as dumb but it gets played on Fox News again and again and is exactly why conservatives think liberals are entitled, spoiled and out of touch with the real world. Lena Dunham gives all liberals a bad name. Just as companies have to protect their brand so do groups. It doesn't matter what the facts are. It is the perception. And when there's money on the line people take those perceptions very seriously. With black lives matter and terrorism, we're not talking about money; we're talking about lives. The lives of cops, African-American men, innocent Europeans and Americans and the majority of Arabs who are so wrapped up in their own lives that they don't spend much time worrying about how other groups perceive them. The UAE, however, takes this very seriously. They had a bunch of young guys with more money than sense going and driving fast sports cars recklessly around London and giving all Emiratis a bad name. And so, they passed a law that traffic offenses committed by their citizens anywhere would be prosecuted in the UAE. Just like in a marriage between two people, things are going to work best if both sides make an effort to improve relations but even if one side or individual makes more of an effort than things can get a lot better. 2) Shit we pick up from our parents without even realizing it. Racism is now hundreds of years old. Like anything we pick up from our parents and the people around us, it is transmitted blindly from generation to generation mostly by emotional cues on the face. The problem is how you then deal with fucked up shit in your own family. As they say in alcoholics anonymous, we are as sick as our secrets. And racism has long been the dirty secret in the American family's life. The truth is though that the fundamental belief has never really been dealt with. Superficials have changed like the law but the basic belief has lurked below the surface. The problem is that shaming racists doesn't actually bring that dirty family secret out. It only drives it deeper under the surface because shame makes us hide things that we're ashamed of. If we want this to be the generation that ends racism once and for all (and Bryan and I want that very badly) then we have to have a conversation about racism without judgment which is emotionally easy for two white guys to say and incredibly hard for black people who have had their whole lives shaped by other people's dumb ideas about them. Sadly though, that's the nature of what the human family is going through right now. We've all been shoved together by globalization and social media and now things are coming to light that haven't been dealt with for a very long time. Some are hundreds of years old like racism. Some date back to the rise of agriculture like sexism. And some are very new like the fears of factory workers who are being made unemployed but globalization and the rise of robots. This is not humanity's first rodeo. We've been here before. We've seen it in our own families and there are plenty of historical examples. For example, Scott Atran did a famous study of possible solutions to the Israel-Palestine situation. He offered people from both sides three solutions. The first gave each group their own country. The second gave each group their own country and a cash buyout. The third solution gave each group their own country, no money and a purely symbolic recognition by the other group of the other's right to exist. The third solution was the only one with enough support to get passed. When a family member dies, the splitting up of the stuff matters but it's also about symbolic acts. We all know that other people's families should make nice and, yet, when it's our own family the feelings are so strong that we often don't practice what we preach. The challenge is not to understand your own group; it's understanding why the group that hates your group would hate you. That's tough. But any Mixed Mental Artist knows that you don't get better by doing the easy thing; you get better by challenging yourself as much as possible.
7/30/201655 minutes, 3 seconds
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Ep211 - Mixed Mental Arts: Don't waste your money going to fuckin' Hahvahd. Study with Master Kim instead.

Global warming, vaccines, evolution…it's pretty clear that scientific ideas aren't doing a very good job winning out. Neil DeGrasse Tyson has proposed building a country called Rationalia that would be entirely ruled by the evidence. But do scientists like Neil DeGrasse Tyson even know the evidence? Sadly, after over 200 episodes, it seems like they don't. The majority of them have become such narrow specialists that they don't even bother to read what other scientists have been up to and so many people with PhDs have heads filled with magical thinking. In this episode, we go through some of the different kinds of magical thinking that many scientists believe in from beliefs about their own brains, other people's brains and how ideas move. Hunter used to be the same way. Basically, he was like that dickhead in the Harvard bar in Good Will Hunting who thought that because he knew a bunch of facts that he had a realistic view of the world and the right to intellectually bully others to make himself feel big. Then, he hung out with a bunch of actors who talked endlessly about their feelings and he got so annoyed that he went off to see what science had to say about emotions. What he found left him profoundly humbled. The more he's read the more he's gotten a real education and come to realize that when Will talked to that Harvard dickhead he was talking to most people with fancy degrees: "See, the sad thing about a guy like you is, in 50 years you're gonna start doin' some thinkin' on your own and you're going to come up with the fact that there are two certainties in life: one, don't do that, and two, you dropped 150 grand on a fuckin' education you could have got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library!" The world believes in the magic of degrees. That's what you're paying for. But if you want a real education that allows you to achieve things in the real world you can study for free in the Mental Dojo of Master Kim (aka Bryan Callen). You can be Will and learn how to make Harvard dickheads submit and beg for mental mercy. While science's principles are perfect so is the Christian principle of loving thy neighbor as itself. Just because science has perfect principles that doesn't mean that the most powerful members of the institution built on those principles actually live them. When Jonathan Swift satirized science hundreds of years ago, he gave us a good idea of what Neal DeGrasse Tyson's country would look like. It would be a floating island filled with eggheads who were so interested in theories that they never bothered to question how they might be out of touch with reality. Featured Links The Reluctant Mr. Darwin The Double Helix The Autobiography of Ben Franklin Gulliver's Travels
7/2/201648 minutes, 11 seconds
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Ep210 - Mixed Mental Arts: A Tale of Two Kims

In this next installment in our journey to mastery of Mixed Mental Arts, Bryan and Hunter take a look at the primary method by which culture is transmitted from generation to generation: blind copying. Although, in everyday speech we often talk about power is if it's one thing, scientists distinguish between two forms of power: dominance and prestige. Dominance encourages submission and prestige encourages people to copy people. It's the difference between a bully and a role model. However, as spiderman learned, with great power comes great responsibility and savvy dictators and social media personalities can highjack people's prestige systems to get us to either follow their leadership blindly or to buy whatever product they want. The latter is something that really bothers Bryan. So we talk it out. We really air out all of those feelings. Does Bryan cry? Or does he break something seemingly unbreakable? When you're an actor as versatile as Bryan "Brando" Callen you're never quite sure what choice will come out. You can be sure that it will be Oscar worthy.
6/25/20161 hour, 12 minutes, 15 seconds
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Ep209 - Mixed Mental Arts: Harrison Query

Harrison Query is a screenwriter who at 25 years old has found success in the film industry that eludes most throughout their lifetime. With the guidance and mentoring by some of Hollywood's biggest writer's - Harrison left college and began writing full time at the age of 19. He has since worked for the industry's biggest studios, directors and producers -- his next project "Honor For Sale" is currently in development with John Hillcoat (Lawless, Triple 9) in the director's chair.
6/15/201651 minutes, 6 seconds
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Ep208 - Mixed Mental Arts: Henrich Sensei

Bryan and Hunter enter the dojo of the mind with Joe Henrich, master of our first fundamental of the mind: cultural accumulation. As regular listeners will know, in his book The Secret of Our Success, Henrich lays out the case for why problem solving and critical thinking are not humanity's great superpower. Rather, our great superpower is social intelligence. It is our ability to pass on culture from generation to generation that makes us so successful and able to conquer everywhere from the tundra to the desert to being able to venture out into space. This idea is the fundamental that is going to allow all of us to make sense of the seemingly chaotic world and benefit from rather than being hurt by the clash of cultures.
6/4/201658 minutes, 34 seconds
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Ep207 - MMA for the Mind: The Introduction

After literally hundreds of episodes, you would hope that Bryan and Hunter had learned something. In fact, they think they might have. Now, it's time for a new direction in the show where rather than endlessly collecting more interesting tidbits they try and synthesize it into a unified worldview. There are lots of academics who know a lot about one thing but are clueless in other areas. We're going to try and round out our mental game and yours so we can handle anything that's thrown at us. We'll certainly be wrong along the way but maybe just maybe with the help of a lot of other people we might become slightly less idiotic over time. The fundamentals of your mental game are getting your assumptions right. We start here with the most basic assumption of all. What makes humans succeed? After hundreds of interviews and a lot of reading, we believe Harvard Professor Jo Henrich has found the answer. Humans are the only animal that can acquire culture. You can follow Professor Henrich on twitter @JoHenrich
5/21/201643 minutes, 20 seconds
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Ep206 - Our Final Invention? with Nick Bostrum

5/7/201657 minutes, 36 seconds
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Ep205 - Adam Grant

Adam Grant is the youngest tenured and most highly rated Professor at the Wharton School of Business BUT he passed up the opportunity to invest in the massively successful eyewear company Warby Parker. Why did he do this? Why did Steve Jobs think the Segway was going to change the world? Why do some people do things so original that they change the world and why do people who are brilliant in one area often misread brilliance in other areas. We loved Adam's first book Give and Take. Then, as he says in the interview, he got fed up with talking about that book so he wrote another all about how non-conformists succeed and fail in changing the world for the better. Full of fascinating stories and the latest research, the Originals lets us know that Give and Take wasn't a fluke. Adam Grant has now written two brilliant books. And though it's probably premature to say this from a statistical standpoint, it's pretty clear that based on his first two books that Adam Grant really knows how to write great books. Thank goodness for us he's so young so he can keep pumping great books out for years to come.
4/23/20161 hour, 2 minutes, 51 seconds
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Ep204 - John Ratey

Best selling author, John J. Ratey, MD, is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and an internationally recognized expert in Neuropsychiatry. He has published over 60 peer-reviewed articles, and 8 books published in 14 languages, including the groundbreaking ADD-ADHD “Driven to Distraction” series with Ned Hallowell, MD. With the publication of "Spark-The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain," Dr. Ratey has established himself as one of the world's foremost authorities on the brain-fitness connection. His latest book, “Go Wild” explores how we can achieve optimal physical and mental health by getting in touch with our caveman roots, and how we can “re-wild” our lives. Recognized by his peers as one of the Best Doctors in America since 1997, Dr. Ratey and his work are frequently profiled in the media, where he’s been featured on ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS and NPR, as well as in The New York Times, Newsweek, The Washington Post, US News and World Report, Men’s Health, and other national publications.
4/9/201647 minutes, 41 seconds
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Ep203 - Making Sense of Nonsense

3/26/20161 hour, 4 minutes, 57 seconds
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Ep202 - Bryan Callen is On His Own Show

Twice in a row, ladies and gentlemen. Hunter debriefs Bryan on what he missed and they catch up on the books they've been reading.
3/12/201636 minutes, 10 seconds
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Ep201 - Dear Listener: Favorite Guest and Elusive Host Return to Show

That's right, ladies and gentlemen. It's Michael Malice and a mystery guest host. Could it be Bryan Callen is back on The Bryan Callen Show? Guest Info Guest Name: Michael Malice Guest Promo Dear Reader Ego & Hubris: The Michael Malice Story I Want You to Shut the F#ck Up: How the Audacity of Dopes Is Ruining America
2/27/20161 hour, 25 seconds
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Ep200 - Why do people without power make conspiracy theories? with Joe Uscinski

In the age of the internet, the world seems to be full of conspiracy theories. 9/11 was an inside job. Obama is a secret Muslim. And Donald Trump is actually running for President as a favor to the Clintons. As Rule 1969 of the internet goes, if it happened then someone on the internet believes it was actually done by the government. Of course, while we think of the conspiracy theory as a modern phenomenon arising out of the internet, they’ve been around for a long time. Kennedy’s assassination and the moon landings inspired a host of them. And medieval Europeans were incredibly adept at believing that Jews were responsible for the most outlandish things possible. However, as today’s guest explains, even though conspiracy theories fascinate us very little work has been done to bring together the academic research on them and try and see the broad patterns that make them up. And as we’ll discover in this conversation, there are good evolutionary reasons why we are conspiracy theorists. And, yes, we are all conspiracy theorists but, of course, no conspiracy theorist thinks they are a conspiracy theorist. Instead, they believe that their view of the world is the real one. Joe Uscinski is the author of American Conspiracy Theories. Guest Info Guest Name: Joe Uscinski Guest Promo American Conspiracy Theories
2/13/20161 hour, 4 minutes, 23 seconds
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Ep199 - The Podcast Where Political Correctness is Euthanized

A lot of people have tried to kill political correctness. Mostly, they do this by just saying racist, sexist, offensive generalizations. That's not really killing it. That's just ignoring it. To actually kill it, you have to find political correctnesses vulnerabilities and attack those. That's what this episode of The Bryan Callen show does with the help of probably two of the only men on the planet who could do it, Richard Nisbett and Joe Henrich. Though, by the end of this episode, you'll be able to do it too. To be fair though, kill is such an aggressive, violent word and Richard and Joe are both intelligent, sophisticated individuals. So, while Hunter tries to kill it, Professors Nisbett and Henrich gently euthanize it. Political correctness was a well-intentioned idea but it's well past its prime. And that gets to the heart of the true nature of culture. Culture is simply a tool that people develop to survive and thrive in different environments but it is not who we are. Humans are infinitely adaptable and when we move from place to place we change clothing, diet, building styles and as we have moved into the modern world cultures have been quick to embrace technologies like cellphones and cars that give people greater control over their lives. However, when it comes to belief, we have all been guilty of confusing tools with innate qualities of both ourselves and others. The result has been that humanity has gone back and forth between trying to destroy people who have certain ideas and being so appalled by that that we've decided to simply not have an opinion on cultures. In the wake of the Holocaust, it's understandable that political correctness developed. If noticing cultural differences and thinking that they matter a lot leads to genocide, then let's just pretend that culture doesn't matter. Of course, culture does matter. And it turns out it matters a heck of a lot. Actually, the ability to acquire culture is what allows us to adapt to literally any environment on the planet. And when we only talk about technology and institutions we're leaving out a huge piece of the puzzle. Beliefs matter. And in a world where we can't agree on global warming, gun control, abortion or where prosperity comes from that has become increasingly obvious. Islamic terrorism has made that blindingly obvious. While we could have had a nuanced conversation about the effect of cultural differences, intellectual elites have instead poured scorn on anyone who dared to say that culture matters and that some of those cultures might need to change. With the rise of far right parties like Golden Dawn in Greece, the National Front in France and Trump's version of the Republican Party, we are seeing the consequences of that. Ironically, political correctness was designed to prevent fascism and yet it has pretty much brought us back to a significant part of the population getting behind the same xenophobic attitudes. Whether you fear the rise of the far right or you are someone who is fed up with political correctness, we need a new way of talking about culture that talks about specific beliefs, understands why they evolved and recognizes that you don't need to throw out or kill the person to get rid of unhelpful beliefs. In essence, the message of Henrich and Nisbett's work comes down to a very simple idea. Cultures aren't better or worse but they are adaptive. They help individuals thrive in different environments. Of course, the environment of the modern world is radically different from the world that most cultures evolved in with the result that many traits no longer make sense in the modern world. As Professor Nisbett has shown honor cultures are and were adaptive in herding environments with unstable property rights but lead to higher murder rates in the US South (and this interviewer would argue jihadism). On the other hand, the holistic thinking that predominates in Eastern cultures and the analytic thinking that predominates in Western cultures both have benefits and costs. Western thinking gave rise to science but unfettered individualism is unrealistic and impractical when, in reality, besides being individuals we are part of a larger society and share a planet and that in thinking purely selfishly we can end up destroying the system that helps individuals generate wealth. We would do well as individuals and as a society to learn to use both modes of thought. And, finally, as listeners of this podcast know, one of the best examples of a specific cultural trait that needs to be changed is what people believe about intelligence. The belief that intelligence is fixed (as Carol Dweck has shown) is incredibly harmful (and not supported by the latest neuroscience). Furthermore, the whole world would benefit from embracing mistakes more as cultures like Silicon Valley and organizations like the FAA do. We did the whole fascism thing once. It didn't work out well. But the antidote to that is not political correctness. It's honesty. Culture is not who we are. It's a set of tools we use to survive and thrive in different environments. Some of those tools served us in the past and no longer serve us now. It's time we learned to talk about that without threatening to kick out or ban entire groups or flipping out reflexively when someone even dares to suggest that cultural differences might be behind our different outcomes. Culture matters and some traits are more adaptive in certain environments than others. Beliefs are tools. And although they are inside of us, they are not who we are. We can choose the best tool for the job and we should. Actually, we need to. Because, currently, we're very often not using the best tools available. We all need to improve aspects of our cultures. But to do that we need to stop making it or taking it as a personal attack. Guest Promo The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently...and Why Culture of Honor: The Psychology of Violence in the South
1/30/20161 hour, 7 minutes, 30 seconds
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Ep198 - Beyond Political Correctness: A Scientific Perspective on Gun Control, the success of Asian students and why Texans and terrorists have more in common than they realize

Richard Nisbett grew up in Texas. So when he was looking for a culture he could say potentially uncharitable things about as a white man, he turned his attention squarely to Southern culture. In his book, Culture of Honor, Professor Nisbett takes a look at why certain very specific parts of the South (and West) of the US have higher homicide rates than the rest of the country. The answer it turns out is that the South and West have the same culture of honor that you find among herding peoples the world over. That culture is why the Mongols raided the Chinese, why the West and the Arab world clash and why America today can't seem to figure out gun control. Since then, Professor Nisbett has researched the cultural differences between East Asians and Westerners, how culture affects education and, most recently in his book Mindware, how slight changes in our thinking can massively improve our own lives. Whether you're sick of political correctness, you just want to understand why we so often clash or your looking for a way to actually solve our problems, Richard Nisbett's books are the books for you. Guest Links Professor Nisbett's Website Guest Promo Culture of Honor: The Psychology of Violence in the South The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently...and Why Mindware: Tools for Smart Thinking I'd like to add a fourth book. Intelligence and How to Get it: Why Schools and Cultures Count.
1/16/201658 minutes, 9 seconds
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Ep197 - You Have Less Privacy Than You Thought (aka Creepy Shit Your Smartphone Does That You Didn't Even Know About)

Alvaro Bedoya is the founding Executive Director of the Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown. In this episode, Alvaro lays out for us the current state of privacy (or lack thereof) and the state of a Congress that either can't or won't keep up with the state of the art in privacy violating technology. Alvaro doesn't have a book yet but he should. So tweet at him with your questions and suggested titles. Guest Links Website: Twitter: @alvarombedoya
1/2/201656 minutes, 30 seconds
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Ep196 - Why Culture Matters: Joe Henrich on his book The Secret of Our Success

Humans have always been pretty sure that they were special but we've never quite been sure why. Was it because we were made in God's image? Was it our opposable thumbs? Was it that we had bigger brains? Far be it for us to tell you what God does or does not look like but what Professor Joe Henrich can tell you is that it's not because we have bigger brains. In fact, when you compare the baseline intelligence of human toddlers, chimpanzees and orangutans you find out that we're really not smarter at all. Actually, in many areas we may even be dumber. The one area in which we are definitively smarter even as toddlers is social intelligence. That, it turns out, may be the secret of our success. Individually, we just aren't that smart. But, collectively, we have the capacity for genius. In his book, The Secret of Success, Professor Henrich examines how faith, imitation and trial and error have allowed peoples all over the world to evolve cultural practices so brilliant that the people who practice them very often don't understand why they're important but do them with the unwavering faith of believers. Of course, Professor Henrich's book exists within a culture of its own and although the book itself is a sensible and soundly-reasoned argument for humans' success as being heavily driven by culture it serves to challenge a whole series of cherished ideas within academia and the western world more generally. In The Secret of Our Success, religion is not the bug in the human brain that the New Atheists depict it as but a cornerstone of our ability to adopt useful cultural practices evolved through the cumulative work of people who died long before us. Henrich's book does not buy into the cultural relativism so prevalent in Western media and college campuses that argues that culture doesn't matter but instead makes the case that we ignore culture at our peril such as when Europeans transported crops like corn and manioc without also transporting the cultural practices indigenous peoples had developed to avoid potential longterm health problems from eating these foods. And while the pendulum of academic thought swung away from the blank slate towards an almost purely genetic view of human progress, Henrich reveals the next stage in intellectual thought that reveals how genetic and cultural processes can work together to allow humans to succeed. This is really an astounding book. Put it on the list, folks. Guest Links Website: Twitter: @JoHenrich Guest Promo The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter
12/19/201543 minutes, 9 seconds
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Ep195 - Kim MacQuarrie

When Hunter went to Peru this summer, he naturally went looking for books to read in preparation. Universally, the consensus was that THE book on the Inca Empire was Kim MacQuarrie's Last Days of the Inca. It was amazing. And apparently, Hunter wasn't the only one who thought so. In his latest book, Life and Death in the Andes, Kim MacQuarrie draws together a lifetime of researching and writing about the South of American continent. During his trip all the way down the mountain range that serves as the continent's spine, he draws together the greatest stories the continent has to offer from the cop who risked death to hunt down Pablo Escobar to how Darwin nearly didn't discover the theory of evolution and Thor Heyerdahl's epic journey on the Kon Tiki. Along the way, MacQuarrie discovers the impact of his own work. Contacted by a member of the infamous Maoist group The Shining Path, MacQuarrie finds out that Last Days of the Inca has become must reading among Peru's political dissidents. Life and Death in the Andes isn't just a great read; it's an overview of a fascinating continent still reeling for the upheaval of Columbus' "discovery" of the New World. Kim MacQuarrie has won four Emmy's and The Last Days of the Inca is currently being turned into a live action series by FX. It should be awesome. Guest Links Website: Guest Promo Product 1: Product 2: Product 3:
12/1/201559 minutes, 27 seconds
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Ep194 - Peter Turchin: Transforming History Into Science

Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, Hari Seldon figures out how to create a mathematical model that can predict the future. Well, Wired magazine has described today's guest as a 'real-life Hari Seldon." Peter Turchin began his career as a biologist but is currently at the forefront of a field called cliodynamics which uses the past as a data set to develop mathematical models that can predict how societies behave. In his latest book Ultrasociety: How 10,000 Years of War Made Humans the Greatest Cooperators on Earth, Turchin examines how the forces of history have driven humans to forge the cultural tools that make the truly massive societies we see today possible. Besides providing a bold new view of history, Ultrasociety provides an excellent lens through which to understand human history informed by everything from evolutionary science to economics and anthropology. Guest Links Website: Twitter: Facebook: Guest Promo Product 1: Product 2: Product 3:
11/21/20151 hour, 10 seconds
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Ep193 - A Capitalism for the People with Luigi Zingales

Growing up in Italy, Luigi Zingales got to experience firsthand something that looked a lot like capitalism but definitely wasn't. Government subsidies, regulations tailored to serve the interests of existing corporations and a system in which connections were more important than merit combined to ensure a capitalism that was anything but inclusive or competitive. Wanting to live in the most competitive and inclusive system on the planet, Zingales moved to the United States. However, during his time here, Professor Zingales has seen the United States start to look worryingly like Italy. In his latest book, A Capitalism for the People, Professor Zingales draws a distinction between being pro-market and pro-business. Being pro-business means using government power to support the already rich. Being pro-market means designing the system to maximize competition. Berlusconi is pro-business…and so are a lot of American politicians. In fact, American politicians who are truly pro-market are incredibly rare. In this interview, Hunter (Bryan is too successful as an actor to be able to do his own podcast) gets Professor Zingales to explain this essential distinction and some of the other important aspects of his superb book. Guest Links Website: Twitter: Guest Promo Product 1: Product 2:
11/14/201530 minutes, 27 seconds
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Ep192 - Geoff Miller

Geoffrey Miller studies the evolutionary psychology of sex and since sex is the cornerstone of evolution his work ends up having implications that affect pretty much everything. If you've wondered why women's evolutionary programming makes them spend more time shopping and makes men want to get the heck out of the store as quickly as possible, then, in this podcast, Geoffrey Miller will tell you why. If you've wondered why people buy cars like Hummers when they are so wasteful, it's precisely because being wasteful is the key to attracting a mate…and in this podcast Geoffrey Miller will tell you why. Besides writing an excellent book called Spent about how consumerism taps into evolutionary psychology, Geoffrey Miller co-hosts a podcast with Tucker Max (yes, Tucker Max) called The Mating Grounds where they use the latest evolutionary psychology to help listeners become the men women want. From that podcast, they have now written a book called Mate. Whether you're looking to understand consumerism, mating or some other aspect of why we do what we do then Geoffrey Miller is one of the best resources on the planet. Featured Link #1: Featured Link #2: Guest Links Website: Guest Promo Product 1: Product 2:
10/17/201546 minutes, 58 seconds
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Ep191 - Dr. Paul Ekman

In 1872, in The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals Charles Darwin hypothesized that emotions were hard-wired into our biology. However, it wasn't until near a century later that Dr. Paul Ekman and his longtime collaborator Wallace Friesen proved that Darwin was right.At the time, the prevailing wisdom was that pretty much everything including the facial expressions were culturally learned and so when Dr. Ekman headed into the Highlands of Papua New Guinea he was searching for one thing: a tribe that had had no contact with the Western world. In this interview, he tells us just how that experiment and subsequent work demonstrated that human facial expressions are universal.From there, Dr. Ekman went on to turn the study of facial expressions from art into science categorizing all the muscles in the human face and codifying 10,000 different facial expressions the human face is capable of. In the process, he discovered that when people try and mask their own emotions tiny little flashes of what they're genuinely feeling flash across their faces. These microexpressions became a useful technique for telling when people are lying and for revealing their true psychological state. So impressive was this work that Hollywood created a TV show (Lie to Me) based on Dr. Ekman.Dr. Ekman has consulted on documentaries galore and most recently consulted on the amazing Pixar movie Inside Out. He also works extensively with His Holiness The Dalai Lama to bridge the findings of Buddhism (often referred to as the science of the mind) with modern neuroscience and psychology.You can read anything by Dr. Ekman and love it but Bryan and Hunter would both highly recommend starting with Emotions Revealed. It's got lots of pictures (which really helps) because when it comes to describing a facial expression for a particular emotion a picture is really worth a thousand words. It's a real treat to have Dr. Paul Ekman on The Bryan Callen Show.
10/3/201540 minutes, 32 seconds
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Ep190 - SUPER TUESDAY: Lawrence Lessig

If you listen to a random episode of The Bryan Callen Show, you can bet that Bryan and I will be talking about how amazing Republic, Lost and its author Lawrence Lessig are. Well, we got him!!! Ladies and gentlemen, it is our extreme pleasure to present to you Lawrence Lessig, Harvard Law Professor, advocate for internet freedom, campaign finance reformer and our choice for the next President of the United States. If you want to support fixing democracy first, then tweet at @joerogan to get him on the show or anywhere else you believe his message should be heard. Also tweet at major media outlets (@cnn, @abc...) to demand that they include Larry Lessig in the Presidential polls. Featured Link #1: GUEST LINKS Website: GUEST PROMOS Product 1:
9/21/201558 minutes, 31 seconds
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Ep189 - The Biological Case for Democracy and Capitalism

Both Daron Acemoglu (MIT economist and co-author of Why Nations Fail) and Dacher Keltner (Berkeley psychologist and author of many books including Born to Be Good) have appeared on The Bryan Callen Show before. They both were amazing and that is reason enough to bring them back and put them on together to see what happens. But, wait. There's more. Because these two together have the power to do something unprecedented in human history. At least since Plato's Republic, humans have debated the best form of government. (Plato thought it was a "Philosopher King" aka give someone like Plato or Bryan absolute power but recognized that democracy was the least bad system.) However, this has long been an endless debate in which people make the case for the system of government they're biased towards and then dismiss every other opinion as biased. In fact, this highly predictable criticism was leveled at Daron Acemoglu and his co-author James Robinson in the wake of Why Nations Fail. Acemoglu and Robinson build a fantastic case for why politically and economically inclusive societies outperform societies that aren't in their book. However, as American academics at MIT and Harvard respectively, it is easy (if you're so inclined) to dismiss them as being biased towards democracy and capitalism. Acemoglu and Robinson have given the argument for politically and economically inclusive institutions new force but there is a way to make their argument irrefutable. And that ladies and gents is where Dacher Keltner comes in. Professor Keltner studies (among other things) the psychology of power. For a long time, humans have recognized as Lord Acton put it, "That absolute power corrupts absolutely." What was mere observation has now (thanks to Keltner and others) become established scientific fact. We can now no longer deny that power changes the way people think. They become less empathetic and more impulsive. This problem was naturally solved in hunter-gatherer societies by mechanisms like teasing, gossip and nicknaming. These hardwired human desires exist to help bring ballooning egos back into check. However, as societies expanded, and leaders became more remote, it became easier for leaders to wall themselves off, proclaim themselves as Gods and to have people who had never seen them poop believe it. As communications technology has improved, the opportunity to check that power has improved. Martin Luther succeeded where other religious reformers failed, in part, because he was able to take advantage of the printing press. With the internet, we now have more of a mechanism to keep our leaders in check. In a village of 150 hunter-gatherers, it's pretty much impossible to keep a secret for long. In the global village, the same is coming to be true. While the downsides of that are personally obvious, it may be the key to keeping our leaders from suffering the negative psychological effects of power. Of course, as Acemoglu makes clear in this interview, it is important that we never conclude that any of this is inevitable. Institutions are fragile and humans have a dual nature in them. We are capable of great kindness and terrible despotism. We must remain ever vigilant and that is why it is so essential that everyone on the planet read everything these guys have ever written right now. Also, I'm starting a campaign to have them write a book together. James Robinson should come along too. Tweet them with #RealHolyTrinity if you want them to do it. Guest Links Website: Twitter: Guest Promo Product 1: Product 2: Product 3:
9/19/20151 hour, 2 minutes, 36 seconds
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Ep188 - Katie Locke O'Brien and Claire Gerety-Mott ("The Hub")

Recently, Michael Eisner, former head of Disney and ABC, lamented that he couldn't find women who were funny and hot. Eisner predicted he'd get flack for saying this and, of course, he did. While many people focused on citing women they believed were funny and hot, this week's guests have a very different perspective: the idea that it's a studio heads job to find talent is largely outdated. In the last few decades, cameras have moved from film to digital and from being so prohibitively priced that only the biggest studios could afford them to being so affordable that…well…our guests were able to make and sell a show for under $10,000. Starting with two Masshole characters they loved, Claire Gerety-Mott and Katie O'Brien set out to create a comedy series based on their characters' lives called The Hub. When they couldn't get their pilot to the gatekeepers of Hollywood, they got scrappy and produced the show themselves, so Hollywood could see what it was missing. Before Claire and Katie could release it, the show was optioned by one production company, and then bought by IFC, where they developed it for television. The Hub didn't make it to series, but that deal has ultimately led to Katie and Claire inking a deal with the very same network Michael Eisner used to head, ABC. The old days of studios acting as gatekeepers are disappearing. Now, women who are funny and hot can make the content they think is needed for relatively cheap and put it out into the world to let the people decide what is worth watching. In the 21st Century, the biggest barrier to making a TV show, writing a book (which both Katie and Claire have done) or generally fulfilling your artistic vision is your willingness to put in the work and create it. In this interview, Claire, Katie, Hunter and Bryan discuss their biggest artistic inspirations, the comedy they love and why the real barrier to creativity nowadays is awe. Featured Link #1: Guest Links Website: Twitter: Facebook: YouTube: Guest Promo Product 1:–Conspiracy-Secret-Ending-Totally/dp/0985898836/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1431010307&sr=8-1&keywords=straight-a+conspiracy Product 2:
9/5/20151 hour, 2 minutes, 58 seconds
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Ep187 - Bryan Callen and Hunter Maats: Naked

Sometimes Bryan and Hunter like to get naked together...emotionally. It's time to bare all their thoughts and feelings!!! In this episode, they review everything they've learned and what the big take home lesson is. There's really only one! Tune in to find out what it is. Tweet Hunter, if there are any books or topics you'd like to see covered. Featured Link #1: Featured Link #2:
8/22/201540 minutes, 4 seconds
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Ep186 - Adam Benforado: Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Injustice

There's no doubt in any modern person's mind that the justice of the Medieval era was unjust. The court considered spiritual evidence, pigs were considered legally competent and tried as adult humans and guilt was often determined by seeing whether the defendant would float or sink in holy water. We think of our modern legal system as far more rational and just but, according to Adam Benforado, we will soon look back at our own present-day legal system with same horror with which we look at the legal system of the Medieval era. In this episode, we examine the neurological and psychological research and the actual legal cases in Adam's book Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Injustice. It's a truly stupendous book. In it, Adam examines the ways in which subtle, arbitrary differences in interrogation methods, police cameras and whether or not judges have had lunch yet can make the difference between a person being set free or sent to prison. A fairer criminal justice system which reduces crime while also saving money is possible but it requires us to be honest about how human nature works. Fortunately, Benforado's book makes that science very accessible and enjoyable to read. It's a real treat to have him on the show. Guest Links Twitter: Guest Promo Product 1:
8/8/201543 minutes, 6 seconds
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Ep185 - Jennifer Jacquet: Is Shame Necessary?

It's probably no surprise that Californians have no shame. In fact, as Jennifer Jacquet writes in her latest book, shame has been found to be a central part of the emotional lives of Indonesians but to play virtually no role in the lives of Californians. The question that Jacquet asks is whether the West should in very specific instances bring shame back, in particular when dealing with corporations. Jennifer Jacquet is an assistant professor at NYU. Her website is You can follow her on twitter @jenniferjacquet. And, most importantly, you can find her book Is Shame Necessary?: New Uses for an Old Tool on Amazon. Guest Promo Product 1:
7/25/201559 minutes, 38 seconds
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Ep184 - David Sloan Wilson: Does Altruism Exist?

In 1759, while working as a tutor, Adam Smith wrote a book called The Theory of Moral Sentiments that begins as follows: "How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortunes of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it, except the pleasure of seeing it. Of this kind is pity or compassion, the emotion we feel for the misery of others, when we either see it, or are made to conceive it in a very lively manner. That we often derive sorrow from the sorrows of others, is a matter of fact too obvious to require any instances to prove it; for this sentiment, like all the other original passions of human nature, is by no means confined to the virtuous or the humane, though they perhaps may feel it with the most exquisite sensibility. The greatest ruffian, the most hardened violator of the laws of society, is not altogether without it." In 1776, that same Adam Smith would write The Wealth of Nations, the book that would establish capitalism. To a modern audience, for whom the idea of selfishness is synonymous with capitalism, this seems incredibly strange. However, it wasn't strange at all. Smith was primarily interested in improving the well-being of humanity. To him, it was clear that market forces were one of the great tools for doing this. However, this does not mean that Smith believed that humanity was entirely selfish. In fact, as the opening of The Theory of Moral Sentiments makes clear, he rejected a view of humanity as purely selfish as absurd. We help others for no benefit other than the joy of seeing it. Some might argue that this is, in and of itself, selfish. After all, we give as a way of increasing our own happiness but that we are wired to derive joy from that shows that that sort of altruistic behavior confers an evolutionary advantage. And whether or not altruism exists has been a matter of some controversy for some time in evolutionary circles. In his book, Does Altruism Exist? David Sloan Wilson examines why this controversy existed and provides a clear and simple way to understand why altruism does exist. Selfishness will allow you to win within the group but when groups compete an altruistic group will always beat a selfish one. This argument is of more than academic issue because it strikes right at the core of how we structure the economy. Unbridled selfishness might allow you to win in your own society but a society dominated by selfish behavior won't be able to beat societies whose members are more altruistic. Sometimes there are benefits to sacrificing for the common good. We all recognize that in times of war celebrating the soldiers willing to lay down their lives without hope of reward for the benefit of their country. If the willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice is good for your country, then might not lesser sacrifices also be good for your country? Selfishness is a part of who we are but it is not all of who we are and David Sloan Wilson's Does Altruism Exist?: Culture, Genes and The Welfare of Others does a great job of challenging the idea that man is purely selfish. Capitalism has wandered far from the vision of its founder. David Sloan Wilson helps use the latest science to bring our view of human nature back into line with reality. Best of all, that view of humanity is far more hopeful than the purely selfish vision that so many economists articulate. Guest Links Website: Twitter: Guest Promo Product 1:
7/11/20151 hour, 5 minutes, 28 seconds
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Ep183 - Jean-Pierre Hocke

Today, on The Bryan Callen Show, Bryan and Hunter Maats speak with Jean-Pierre Hocke. Jean-Pierre joined in 1968 the Interntional Committee of the Red Cross - ICRC. After several field assignments he became ICRC's Director of Operations for 12 years. From 1985 to 1989 he headed UNHCR which at the time was protecting and assisting 17M refugees worldwide. Between 1996 and 2003 he chaired in Bosnia-Herzegovina the Independent Commission for Real Property Claims (CRPC) set up by the Dayton Peace Agreement. Under his chairmanship CRPC restore property rights of over a million Bosnian refugees and displaced people who had been deprived of them during the war.
6/23/20151 hour, 17 minutes, 10 seconds
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Ep182 - Kabir Sehgal

Kabir Sehgal is kind of a triple threat. When he's not working at JP Morgan, he often spends his weekends with the US Navy Reserves but when we spoke to him he was using his weekend to go to the Grammy's...where's nominated to win one in the category of Latin Jazz. Actually though, that's not even why we had him on...because he also has a book coming out. A book that has rave reviews from Richard Branson, Bill Clinton...and one of our favorite Nobel Prize winners, Muhammad Yunus. In Coined: The Rich Life of Money and How Its History Has Shaped Us, Kabir examines money from perspectives as diverse as history, economics and psychology. Kabir Sehgal is the author of four books Coined, Jazzocracy, Walk in My Shoes and A Bucket of Blessings. WEBSITE:
2/10/201544 minutes, 55 seconds
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Ep181 - Katie O'Brien & Hunter Maats

Bryan sits down with good friends and authors, Kathrine O'Brien and Hunter Maats, who share what they've learned along the way and a moment they wanted to be nowhere else. Plus a lot of inanity.
1/6/201543 minutes, 11 seconds
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Ep180 - Allen Barton & Leo Flowers

Today, Bryan and Leo Flowers sits down with Bryan's long time friend, Actor, Writer, Producer and former Scientologist, Allen Barton. They discuss the topic of religion, specifically with regards to Scientology and how they and other organized groups deal with disconnecting with people. Website:
12/30/20141 hour, 6 minutes, 47 seconds
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Ep179 - Dom Irrera

This week, Bryan sits down alone with Hall of Fame stand-up comedian, Dom Irrera. Dom reminisced about Robin Williams, Rodney Dangerfield, Sam Kinison and performing in the great comedy 80's.
12/23/201447 minutes, 47 seconds
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Ep178 - Ganesh Sitaraman

As part of our continuing look at counter-insurgency and nation building, we speak with Ganesh Sitaraman, Assistant Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University, and author of The Counterinsurgent‘s Constitution: Law in the Age of Small Wars. In the wake of 9/11, the argument was often made that because terrorists did not adhere to the rules of war that meant that we did not need to either. (Here I’m assuming that terrorists don’t listen to The Bryan Callen Show.) While there are many moral arguments for adhering to the rules of law, Sitaraman makes the point that holding to law even when your enemies don’t is excellent strategy. In an insurgency, the competition is for legitimacy in the eyes of the population and the side that adheres to the rules and abide by the highest principles will win the hearts and minds of the population. The Counterinsurgent‘s Constitution: Law in the Age of Small Wars is available on Amazon. You can follow him on twitter at @GaneshSitaraman.
12/16/201449 minutes, 9 seconds
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Ep177 - James Tooley

In the early 1980s, James Tooley went to Zimbabwe to help support and build socialism by teaching under the then hopeful leadership of Robert Mugabe. Returning to England in the midst of the Thatcher Revolution, he aimed to discredit all ideas of market reforms in education. Instead, as he researched his PhD, he became convinced that private education was the way forward and that the government should be kept out of it. However, even as his newfound faith in private education deepened, he saw no way to align it with his desire to help the poor. That all changed on January 26th, 2000 (which as we discover is Bryan’s birthday) when while walking through a slum in Hyderabad, India, he came across a private school for the poor…and then another…and then another. When he mentioned these schools to other development experts and local government officials, they denied the existence of these schools.In the fourteen years since then Professor Tooley has found these schools in India, China and throughout Africa and a distinct pattern has emerged. Although these people are only living on a dollar a day, these schools are providing poor parents and students with a far higher quality education than what they’d get in the public sector. As detailed in his book The Beautiful Tree: A Personal Journey Into How the World's Poorest People Are Educating Themselves, teaching positions in the developing world are often used as a form of political patronage, a way to buy off political supporters and allies. (Many of these government teachers then never, ever show up to their schools and even if they do they come from the middle classes and so treat the students who live in the slums with utter contempt.) In this interview with Professor Tooley, Hunter, Bryan and Leo Flowers discuss the book and what his research means for developed countries like the US. The Beautiful Tree is available on Amazon.
12/9/20141 hour, 7 minutes, 11 seconds
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Ep176 - Howard G. Buffett and Howard W. Buffett

In 2006, Warren Buffett told his son that he was leaving the bulk of his fortune to making a difference in the world. That’s when he gave his son Howard G. Buffett a billion dollars and told him to go fix the hard problems. As a professional farmer, Howard G. decided to go out and fix hunger. Over time, he has realized that you can’t fix hunger without dealing with conflict, with property rights and just about every other aspect of society. In his book 40 Chances (co-written with his own son Howard W. Buffett) he tells the story of how the average farmer only gets 40 Chances to plant a crop between the first time he climbs on a tractor and the last time he climbs off it. A farmer has to make the most of those 40 Chances. Rather than ploughing cash into the same projects that have always gotten cash, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation has chosen to adopt an experimental approach to development that looks above all for self-sustaining solutions that keep themselves going long after all the aid workers have left. 40 Chances is available on Amazon. You can follow the book on twitter @40Chances.
12/4/20141 hour, 4 minutes, 50 seconds
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Ep175 - Jonah Berger

If there’s one thing we’d like to figure out at The Bryan Callen Show, it’s how to get good ideas to spread. Fortunately, Jonah Berger has those answers. While it often seems like things catch on randomly, Professor Berger’s research shows there are definite factors that help explain what makes things go viral. Whether you’re trying to spread good ideas, market a product or figure out the world’s next great cat meme, Contagious: Why Things Catch On is the book for you. Contagious is available on Amazon. You can follow him on twitter @j1berger.
12/2/201457 minutes, 30 seconds
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Ep174 - Stephen Kotkin

When Professor Stephen Kotkin set out to write a biography of Stalin, he faced a series of challenges. Perhaps first and foremost, people already thought they knew who Stalin was. The world’s view of Stalin has been shaped by opponents like Trotsky and the West. The result is that we interpret the atrocities of Stalin’s rule as the actions of a monster. The far more disturbing possibility laid out by Professor Kotkin is that far from being a cardboard cutout Hollywood valid, Stalin was a fully fleshed out human being…who truly believed in the cause of Communism.Professor Stephen Kotkin is the John P. Birkelund Professor in History and International Affairs. His biography of Stalin will appear in three parts. The first part Stalin: Paradoxes of Power is available on Amazon now.
11/27/201458 minutes, 29 seconds
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Ep173 - Pasi Sahlberg

Throughout the 2000s, Finland emerged as the country with the best performing educational system in the world. It did so by defying much of the educational conventional wisdom. While the Global Educational Reform Movement (referred to by Professor Sahlberg as GERM) has swept the world, spreading a message of centralization, standardization and accountability, Finland has focused on decentralization and local autonomy. In Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn From Educational Change in Finland?, Pasi Sahlberg explores how Finnish students get better results by doing less work than other students and with far less stress.In this episode, Bryan and Hunter discuss with Professor Sahlberg the success of Finland’s educational system and how it fits with everything else they’ve learned through the show.Finnish Lessons is available on Amazon. Finnish Lessons 2.0 (the updated version as opposed to the sequel) will be available on Amazon December 19th, 2014
11/25/201452 minutes, 38 seconds
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Ep172 - Paul Kindstedt

During a cheese tasting class at Murray’s, Hunter heard the teacher say that “Cheese and Culture” was the best book on cheese in the world. Instantly, we knew we had to get its author for The Bryan Callen Show. Professor Paul Kindstedt may well be the world’s foremost expert on cheese. Currently at the University of Vermont, he is particularly known for his work on mozzarella. (True statement.)Cheese and Culture is available on Amazon.
11/20/201447 minutes, 22 seconds
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Ep171 - Werner Sollors

In the wake of World War II, as the world discovered the full extent of the atrocities committed by the NAZIs, the German people struggled to make sense of their place in the world. Ruined, occupied and reviled, they had every reason to give up all hope. In his most recent book, The Temptation of Despair, Professor Werner Sollors examines contemporary records from the time to understand how they coped. In the process, he shows a side of World War II that is not often discussed.Today, we regard World War II as a morally clear war but well into 1941 the American people continued to oppose direct involvement. Even after the war, General Eisenhower said "We are told that the American soldier does not know what he was fighting for.” It was only with the discovery of the concentration camps that the American soldier would, as Eisenhower went on to explain, know "what he is fighting against.” World War II stands out in the American psyche as the good war. A war in which good guys fought against pure evil and everyone knew it from minute one and then we destroyed the Axis powers with overwhelmingly military might. Rather than viewing each conflict as unique, America has sought to transform every conflict from Vietnam to the War on Terror into another World War II: a conflict between pure evil and pure good that will be decide by who has superior firepower. As Professor Sollors puts it, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Those who try and repeat history are doomed to fail.” Not only can we not repeat World War II, World War II is not as morally unambiguous as we think it is. History is written by the victors and the Allies have highlighted the atrocities of the NAZIs without drawing attention to their own misdeeds. As Soviet soldiers occupied Germany they subjected German women to repeated rape on a truly unimaginable scale. British historian Anthony Beevor has described it as “the greatest phenomenon of mass rape in history.” Likewise, even as Americans scolded Germans for their racism, they occupied Germany with a racially-segregated Army.However, there is one bright spot in this untold history. The German people while deeply anti-semitic had never been programmed to have any special dislike towards African-Americans. The result was that for the first time African-American servicemen had the experience of interacting with white people with a sliver of the prejudice they had faced back in the States. More than that, denied command positions, servicemen ended up in supply and transport jobs making them the most popular soldiers among the German people. Historians have suggested that this experience was vital in contributing to the Civil Rights movement when the servicemen went home. More personally, it determined the course of Professor Sollors. His fond memories of the kindness of African-American servicemen to him as a child in post-war Germany caused Professor Sollors to become a Professor of African-American literature.The Temptation of Despair is available on Amazon.
11/18/201449 minutes
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Ep170 - Vanessa Tyson, Part 5

Vanessa Tyson is a Professor of Government at the Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA. In this fifth episode of our series of conversations with Vanessa, Bryan is missing again. So, Hunter and Vanessa take their seditiousness one step further and mutiny…briefly. In this episode, Vanessa and Hunter discuss the narratives the political parties build and how buying into them can do us a disservice. You can follow Vanessa on twitter at @vanessactyson. Her book Twists of Fate: Multiracial Coalitions and Minority Representation in the US House will be coming out in 2015. We’ll be buying it and when it does come out, we’ll be bringing her back on to discuss that. In the meantime, stay tuned for round of Tyson.
11/13/20141 hour, 5 minutes, 54 seconds
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Ep169 - The Mother of All Podcasts

In this interview, Bryan and Hunter draw together the lessons they’ve learned over their most recent podcasts. For more on Robert McNamara, you might enjoy this article:
11/11/201441 minutes, 40 seconds
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Ep168 - Michael Malice, Part 2

Michael Malice is has co-written books with MMA legend Matt Hughes, comedian DL Hughley and legendary rocker Brett Michaels and Dear Reader: The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Jong Il. In this second interview, we explore Michael's worldview. For a list of all of Michael’s books, please visit:
11/6/20141 hour, 5 minutes, 37 seconds
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Ep167 - Tom Woods

Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr. began his life as a neoconservative but came to realize that the two political parties were broadly the same. Dissatisfied with the narrow range of options offered by the Republican and Democratic parties, he embarked on a journey to re-examine for himself our most commonly held assumptions about history, politics, foreign policy and the role of government. In this interview, we focus on just two of his twelve books How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization and Real Dissent: A Libertarian Sets Fire to the Index Card of Allowable Opinion. You can listen to Dr. Woods radio show The Tom Woods Show at You can follow him on twitter at @ThomasEWoods. All of his books are available through his website and through Amazon.
11/4/201447 minutes, 43 seconds
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Ep166 - Jim Seymour

Although the concept of the Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol is an ancient one (think scouts), they only began to be used by the US Army in Vietnam in the latter part of the war. Dropped far behind enemy lines, these five to six man Long Range Patrol teams (often referred to as "Lerps") would be tasked with gathering intel on terrain, water supplies and enemy troop movements. Far from significant American military support, these teams had to blend into the jungle and do everything they could to avoid detection. Adopting many of the same techniques as the insurgents gives those who served in these units a unique perspective on the American War in Vietnam.In today's episode, it is our pleasure to have Jim Seymour on the podcast who completed 54 LRP missions during three years spent in Vietnam. In his book, In the Jungle...: Camping With the Enemy Seymour lays out what he learned from his time deep behind enemy lines, how he survived training and how he learned to deal with the possibility that he might not survive the war. Jim's book is a deeply personal account of a war that still has many lessons to teach us today. Many of those lessons are the same as the lessons laid out by John Nagl in his books and in our interview with him.In the Jungle...: Camping With the Enemy is available on Amazon. We strongly recommend it as a first-person account that strongly complements John Nagl's books and Fiasco.
10/30/20141 hour, 33 seconds
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Ep165 - Matthew E May

Matthew E. May spent over eight years as a close advisor to Toyota. During that time he developed an appreciation for the power of elegance. As he explains in this interview, all too often in order to make things better we focus on what we can add. However, many of the most powerful pieces of art and engineering achieve their power by having things removed from them. The iPhone was revolutionary because Steve Jobs removed the keyboard. Matt has written four books on business innovation, including In Pursuit of Elegance: Why the Best Ideas Have Something Missing and his latest The Laws of Subtraction: 6 Simple Rules for Winning in the Age of Excess Everything. You can follow him on twitter at @MatthewEMay. All of his books are available on Amazon.
10/28/20141 hour, 1 minute, 17 seconds
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Ep164 - Scott Bullock

The Institute for Justice has been described (by Hunter and probably others) as the libertarian ACLU. In this interview, Scott Bullock (who joined the Institute for Justice at its founding in 1991 and now serves as a senior attorney) tells us about the cases they’re currently fighting and the Institute for Justice’s strategy and philosophy. You can follow the Institute for Justice on twitter at @ij.
10/23/201449 minutes, 25 seconds
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Ep163 - Adam Grant

In the wake of countless scandals at the highest corporate levels, it’s easy to think that the key to getting ahead in business is to be a taker, but actually it turns out that the success of Enron execs like Jeff Skilling and Ken Lay are the exception rather than the rule. As Adam Grant, the youngest full professor at Wharton has found, Givers are the most successful…and the least successful people. In his fascinating New York Times Bestseller, Give and Take, Adam takes readers through the latest research on the promise and pitfalls of being both a Giver and a Taker. In this interview, Adam shares not only some of his superb book but also some of the other interesting insights in who make the best leaders. (Hint: it’s people who are not men.) Give and Take is available on Amazon, Audible and everywhere else. You can follow Adam Grant on twitter @adamgrant.
10/21/20141 hour, 55 seconds
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Ep162 - John Nagl

After fighting in the first gulf war, John Nagl returned to the United States and took part in a simulated military exercise. As a tank commander, he had all the overwhelming firepower any soldier could hope for…and yet he lost to a group of Alaskan National Guard infantrymen, known as the Nanooks. Nagl’s unit was unassailable by any conventional military force but a group of lightly armed troops, defying all the rules of how wars “should” be fought had defeated a much, much stronger force. That failure bothered him so much that he decided to devote the rest of his life to understanding it and making sure it never happened again. During the 90’s, the American military trained for the war it wanted to fight: a war just like the first Gulf War. Nagl’s experience with the Nanooks had convinced him that no conventional military would ever make the same mistake that Saddam Hussein had made in taking the US Army on head on. Instead, he suspected that the US’ major threats would come from small, irregular groups of troops employing hit and run engagements rather than full frontal assaults. Even though it would reduce his chances of rising through the ranks, Nagl convinced the Army to send him to Oxford to study counter-insurgency and figure out how the US could defeat an enemy as irregular as the Nanooks. As he read through the histories and primary sources, he came to realize that what the Nanooks had done was a very old form of warfare. In fact, it was the exact form of warfare used by the Viet Cong in Vietnam. The exact form of warfare that America (focused on the conventional military tactics of World War II) had been unable to defeat. While in traditional war, the goal is to annihilate the enemy this strategy is counter-productive in fighting a counter-insurgency. Counter-insurgency is much more complicated, subtle and time-consuming. It is what T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) described in his book as being like learning to eat soup with a knife. This phrase so inspired Nagl that he made it the title of his own book on the topic, Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam.Throughout the 90’s and early 2000’s, little attention was paid to this book. By the time Nagl deployed to Iraq for the War on Terror, the book was still virtually unknown. However, as America found itself mired in another insurgency, the American military began to realize the vital importance of Nagl’s insights. And so, General Petraeus asked Nagl to write the official Army and Marine Field Manual on Counter-Insurgency. In his most recent book, Knife Fights: A Memoir of Modern War in Theory and Practice, Lt. Col John A. Nagl (Ret.) tells the story of the incredible revolution in military thinking that he has helped pioneer. If you don’t want the terrorists to win, you should read all of John Nagl’s books.
10/16/20141 hour, 3 minutes, 19 seconds
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Ep161 - Michael Malice

Michael Malice is has co-written books with MMA legend Matt Hughes, comedian DL Hughley and legendary rocker Brett Michaels but we brought him on to talk about the celebrity biography of one Kim Jong Il. In Dear Reader: The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Jong Il, Michael Malice takes you through the life of North Korea’s dictator as he would have seen it. All of the weirdness that the Western Media likes to use as comedic fodder, but that is only the reader’s way into the book: the real purpose of the book is to bring us face-to-face with the uncomfortable reality of North Korea. In this interview, Michael Malice tells us why he felt compelled the book and gives us a look not just inside the Hermit Kingdom but inside the thoughts and psychology of dictators and the people they oppress. But, as Bryan and Hunter discover, Michael also reveals that he’s one interesting dude. So interesting in fact that when Harvey Pekar, creator of the American Splendor comic book series, met Michael in 2003 they ended up talking for hours…and then Harvey realizing that Michael was one of the most creative, unusual, confusing and fascinating people Harvey had ever met…and then Harvey decided to write a book all about Michael. The result is Ego & Hubris: The Michael Malice Story. For a list of all of Michael’s books, please visit:
10/14/20141 hour, 5 minutes, 9 seconds
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Ep160 - Hannah Lane

Hannah Lane describes herself as a human-centered designer and social entrepreneur. Basically that means she designs systems that help make the world a better place. While she began in the health space (specifically focusing on HIV/AIDS in Africa), she is currently working for a for-profit technology company that believes in using the tools it develops to work for social and economic justice all over the world. Most recently, she’s been down in Ferguson, MO helping to connect and organize the ongoing movement around the Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown. In the last few years, tools like Twitter and Facebook have been used by social movements from the Arab Spring to the Bring Our Girls Back campaign. They have succeeded in channeling and coordinating people's angry enough to do something; the question is what is that something? With a background in psychology and her current work in technology, Hannah Lane has thought deeply about these questions. How far can technology go in changing the world and to what extent are human problems still fundamentally human? You can find out more about Hannah Lane and the continuing work on what happened in Ferguson at and follow Hands Up United at @handsupunited_ Hannah Lane is on twitter at @hannahmlane; Hannah is also a co-founder of Social Impact House which mentors future social entrepreneurs. You can find out more about the accelerator program at and like them on Facebook.
10/9/201445 minutes, 7 seconds
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Ep159 - Vanessa Tyson, Round 4

Vanessa Tyson is a Professor of Government at the Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA. In this fourth episode of our series of conversations with Vanessa, Bryan is hunting in the woods! So, Hunter and Vanessa take this one alone. And, finally, they get to discuss districting AND campaign finance which makes Hunter very, very happy. You can follow Vanessa on twitter at @vanessactyson. Her book: Twists of Fate: Multiracial Coalitions and Minority Representation in the US House will be coming out in 2015. We’ll be buying it and when it does come out, we’ll be bringing her back on to discuss that. In the meantime, stay tuned for round of Tyson. Next up: the media.
10/6/201449 minutes, 59 seconds
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Ep158 - Barb Oakley

Barb Oakley may be a Professor of Engineering now but all through high school she was a self-professed math hater. She got a D in geometry…twice. She far preferred to follow her passions for literature and languages than waste her time doing something that seemed worthless. After joining the army, learning fluent Russian and getting a degree in it, she was assigned to work as a communications officer and found herself suddenly surrounded by engineers. She realized that unless she made a serious course correction her opportunities in life were going to be severely limited. So, she decided to follow her non-passion and master mathematics. In her latest book, A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Mathematics (even if you flunked Algebra), Barb (as she insists we all call her) lays out the simple techniques that she, top teachers and students have used and that you can use too to master mathematics…or anything. What makes Barb’s latest book so interesting is how it fits in with her previous books. While this book heavily explores the individual’s power to determine what their brains become, previous books like Evil Genes and Pathological Altruism explore the parts of human nature that are hard-wired within us. In this interview, we further explore the relation of Nature + Nurture and how ideological agendas can distort the fearless investigation of the science. All of Barb’s books are available on Amazon. We’ll be reading them all and bringing her back on the show. (Huge thanks to David Sloan Wilson for recommending her.) In other news, Barb is starting a Learning How to Learn MOOC this Friday (aka tomorrow) on Coursera. You can find it here: It looks awesome. Just like Barb. Here are the links to the studies Barb mentioned in the show: McCord, Joan. "A Thirty-Year Follow-up of Treatment Effects." American Psychologist 33, no. 3 (1978): 284. And here’s the link to the study on the virtually non-existent replication of research in education: Matthew Makel, Jonathan Plucker, “Facts Are More Important Than Novelty: Replication in the Education Sciences,” Educational Researcher, August 14, 2014. DOI: 10.3102/0013189X14545513 There’s also a very nice popular article discussion of Makel and Plucker’s study from Inside Higher Ed: “Failure to Replicate,” by Charlie Tyson
10/2/20141 hour, 1 minute, 22 seconds
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Ep157 - Justin Gest

Since ISIS captured the attention of the West by beheading foreign journalists, the news media has been obsessed with covering them. Since 9/11, some of the most eye-catching terror-related stories have been about Western muslims who have joined the ranks of international terrorist organizations. That storyline has come to the fore with the coverage of ISIS. In this episode, we ask Justin Gest, assistant professor at George Mason University and author of Apart: Alienated and Engaged Muslims in the West, to give us a sense of what life is like for young Muslim men living in Europe and to give us a sense of why these young men turn to terror and what society as a whole can do to engage them in Western society so they aren’t driven to want to tear it down.Apart: Alienated and Engaged Muslims in the West is available on Amazon. Visit Justin Gest online
9/29/201457 minutes, 30 seconds
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Ep156 - Caitlin Doughty

Caitlin Doughty thinks an awful lot about death. In fact, she’s been doing it for years and that’s what lead her to become a mortician. In Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory, Doughty describes how being constantly faced with death (far from making her morbid) has actually helped bring her emotions back to life. While in former centuries we were constantly faced with the dead, today the dead have been quietly removed from public view. The result is a culture of death denial that is out of touch with reality. Until you accept death, it’s hard to really appreciate just how rare and special every moment of life is. After reading Doughty’s book and hearing her talk, you might want to go work in a crematory for a little while too. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes is available on Amazon. You can follow her on twitter at @TheGoodDeath.
9/25/201446 minutes, 18 seconds
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Ep155 - Vanessa Tyson

Vanessa Tyson is a Professor of Government at the Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA. In this third episode of our series of conversations with Vanessa, Bryan booked a TV job! So, Hunter and Vanessa take this one alone. They try to discuss districting but don’t quite make it there. Instead, they discuss a day in the life of a congressperson and ways in which we have failed to live up to the principles of the Declaration of Independence. You can follow Vanessa on twitter at @vanessactyson. Her book Twists of Fate: Multiracial Coalitions and Minority Representation in the US House will be coming out in 2015. We’ll be buying it and when it does come out, we’ll be bringing her back on to discuss that. In the meantime, stay tuned for the next round of Tyson.
9/22/20141 hour, 4 minutes, 56 seconds
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Ep154 - William Deresiewicz

As a Professor at Yale, William Deresiewicz became concerned by what had happened to America’s education. More than anything, he found that rather than turning out leaders was turning out a bunch of mindless followers. In his book, Excellent Sheep Deresiewicz lays out how the nation’s best universities are miseducating our youth to be so obsessed with achieving success at all costs that we end up with politicians and business leaders who are selfish and complacent. You can find Excellent Sheep on Amazon. You can follow Professor Deresiewicz on twitter at @WDeresiewicz. If you reach out to him, he asks that you call him Bill.
9/18/201444 minutes, 12 seconds
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Ep153 - Robert D. Kaplan

Robert D. Kaplan is the author of fifteen books on foreign policy and international affairs. He is Chief Geopolitical Analyst for Stratfor, a private intelligence firm. He is a non-resident senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security in Washington, D.C., and has been a foreign correspondent for The Atlantic for over a quarter-century. In 2011 and 2012, Kaplan was chosen by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the world’s “Top 100 Global Thinkers.” In this interview, we discuss with him his recent article Terrorism as Theater ( and explore how terrorists are taking advantage of the media age and how by getting enraged we are playing right into their hands. You can follow Mr. Kaplan on twitter @robertdkaplan. His most recent books include Asia's Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific and The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us about Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate.
9/15/201442 minutes, 44 seconds
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Ep152 - Vanessa Tyson Part 2

Vanessa Tyson is a Professor of Government at the Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA. In this second episode of our series of conversations with Vanessa, we discuss the role that education has to play in creating a citizenry capable of demanding elected officials worthy of our country. Vanessa also explains the process of making a law and how campaign finance affects us all. You can follow Vanessa on twitter at @vanessactyson.Modestly, she hadn’t mentioned until now that she has a book coming out in 2015: Twists of Fate: Multiracial Coalitions and Minority Representation in the US House. We’ll be buying it and when it does come out, we’ll be bringing her back on to discuss that. In the meantime, stay tuned for the next round of Tyson.
9/11/20141 hour, 5 minutes, 55 seconds
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Ep151 - Euny Hong

When Euny Hong moved to South Korea in 1985, it was by her own description not a wealthy country and yet now it’s one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world. We know how Euny grew up over the last three decades (the natural human growth process) but how did Korea do it? And why does one Korean leader believe that pop culture is the country’s best weapon against North Korea? In her incredibly fun book,  The Birth of Korean Cool, Euny Hong uses fun anecdotes and cultural tidbits to show us not just what makes Korean Culture tick but a practical demonstration of the Soft Power that Professor Joseph Nye was talking about. You don’t need to nuke North Korea out of existence, you can make them disappear with a pop culture invasion.The Birth of Korean Cool is available from all good booksellers. You can follow Euny Hong on twitter at @Euny.
9/8/201444 minutes, 27 seconds
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Ep150 - Lewis Dartnell

The world seems fascinated with the possibility of an apocalypse. Zombies, mutant viruses, a giant meteorite impact, alien invasions…the point is the same. If everything fell apart, how would we cope and would we survive. Lewis Dartnell’s book begins from the premise that we would. Human beings have always shown tremendous resourcefulness and ingenuity. His question is after the dust has settled how do we rebuild our civilization as quickly as possible? In his book The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World From Scratch, Dartnell shows us much more than how to rebuild our civilization; he shows us how we built it in the first place. Part history of technology and part tribute to human ingenuity, The Knowledge is highly enjoyable way to learn things that are vital but which in anybody else’s hands wouldn’t be nearly as much fun. There’s loads more available on the book’s website: You can also get the book directly from: or by going to Amazon. His personal website is and his twitter handle is @lewis_dartnell.
9/4/201436 minutes, 58 seconds
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Ep149 - Jim Rickards

A year ago, we interviewed Jim Rickards about his book Currency Wars which examined how money could be used as a weapon between nations. In his most recent book, The Death of Money, Rickards examines the far greater internal threat by governments recklessly printing money to solve short-term financial crises. Through a maze of jargon like IMF, quantitative easing and terms so complicated I can’t even remember them right now, financial technocrats have obscured what they are doing and convinced themselves that they have the situation under control just as they used complex mathematics to convince themselves that housing prices could never go down. It’s a pleasure to have Jim Rickards on the show again. Both Currency Wars and The Death of Money are available on Amazon and Audible. You can visit Jim on the web at and follow him on twitter at @jamesgrickards.
9/1/201448 minutes, 53 seconds
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Ep148 - David Sloan Wilson

Darwin had a problem with bees. Understanding how evolution might work at the level of individuals was easy. Have an individual whose genes give them an advantage in resisting disease or avoiding predators and on average they will breed more and pass on more of their genes to the next generation. But bees and other social insects weren’t so easy. Kamikaze-like, bees will dive in and sting you, their barbs getting stuck in you and die to save the hive. Of course, when a human being sacrifices their life to save their child, that’s easy enough for evolution to explain. By sacrificing your life for your child, you are helping to ensure that your genes are passed on. But the bee that stings you at a picnic, can’t have children because those bees are sterile. In the Origin of Species, Darwin referred to sterile subgroups as the "one special difficulty, which at first appeared to me insuperable, and actually fatal to my theory.” Nowadays, evolutionary biologists have no problem providing an explanation for this behavior. In fact, the problem is that they have two competing explanations with explanations not just for bees but for how evolution makes sense of religion. Biologists like Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne argue that the bee gives its life because by defending the hive it is helping to pass on the genes of its closely related hive mates. They deny that natural selection can operate at the level of groups and so large human social organizations (like religion) have no function. Biologists like EO Wilson and today’s guest David Sloan Wilson argue that selection can happen not only at the level of individuals but also at the level of groups. If that’s the case, then our groupishness (including religion) are useful. As you can imagine, the idea that religion could be on balance or even sometimes useful is something that people like Dawkins take issue with. The consequences of this rift are beautifully summed up in Jon Haidt’s Righteous Mind: "To Dennett and Dawkins, religions are sets of memes that have undergone Darwinian selection. Like biological traits, religions are heritable, they mutate, and there is selection among these mutations. The selection occurs not on the basis of the benefits religions confer upon individuals or groups but on the basis of their ability to survive and reproduce themselves. Some religions are better than others at hijacking the human mind, burrowing in deeply, and then getting themselves transmitted to the next generation of host minds. Dennett opens Breaking the Spell with the story of a tiny parasite that commandeers the brains of ants, causing them to climb to the tops of blades of grass, where they can more easily be eaten by grazing animals. The behavior is suicide for the ant, but it’s adaptive for the parasite, which requires the digestive system of a ruminant to reproduce itself. Dennett proposes that religions survive because , like those parasites, they make their hosts do things that are bad for themselves (e.g., suicide bombing) but good for the parasite (e.g., Islam). Dawkins similarly describes religions as viruses. Just as a cold virus makes its host sneeze to spread itself, successful religions make their hosts expend precious resources to spread the “infection.” These analogies have clear implications for social change. If religion is a virus or a parasite that exploits a set of cognitive by-products for its benefit, not ours, then we ought to rid ourselves of it. Scientists , humanists, and the small number of others who have escaped infection and are still able to reason must work together to break the spell, lift the delusion, and bring about the end of faith.” To be clear, Professor Wilson is not saying that religion is here to stay. He is saying that our tendency towards groupishness (including religion) is an outcome of evolution and that in thinking about religion we have to recognize that. Once you understand that perspective, you begin to see how science and religion can finally start talking to each other. Professor Wilson is president of the Evolution Institute ( ) and SUNY Distinguished Professor at Binghamton University. His books include Darwin’s Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society, Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin’s Theory Can Change the Way we Think About Our Lives, and The Neighborhood Project: Using Evolution to Improve My City, One Block at a Time. His next book, titled Does Altruism Exist? will be published in 2015 by Yale University Press. The Books Professor Wilson mentioned were Complexity and the art of public policy by David Colander and Roland Kupers, Give and Take by Adam Grant and Evil Genes by Barbara Oakley.
8/28/201454 minutes, 10 seconds
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Ep147 - Vanessa Tyson

Vanessa Tyson is a Professor of Government at the Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA. In this episode, Vanessa, Bryan and Hunter discuss various aspects of government, what is wrong with it and what can be done to fix it. This is the first part in a series. You can follow Professor Tyson on twitter at @vanessactyson.
8/25/20141 hour, 4 minutes, 34 seconds
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Ep146 - Professor David Goldberg

Dave Goldberg works on issues in theoretical cosmology. He also writes books that make physics accessible to the general public including the subject of today’s interview: The Universe in the Rearview Mirror: How Hidden Symmetries Shape Reality. In this interview, Professor Goldberg (or Dave) explains some of the ideas covered inside the book and discusses why the sort of physics he’s talking about matters so much. His first book (co-written with Jeff Blomquist) is A User's Guide to the Universe: Surviving the Perils of Black Holes, Time Paradoxes, and Quantum Uncertainty. You can follow him on twitter at @askaphysicist. Be sure to rate and comment in iTunes. Also, you can find the show on Stitcher.
8/21/201449 minutes, 6 seconds
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Ep145 - Professor Nye

In a recent survey of internatinal relations scholars, Professor Nye was ranked as the most influential scholar on American foreign policy, and in 2011, Foreign Policy named him one of the top 100 Global Thinkers. If you’ve ever heard the term “soft power” then you’re familiar with Professor Nye’s work. A University Distinguished Service Professor, and former Dean of the Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, Professor Nye joins us today to discuss how foreign policy is formed, how it should be formed and why voters must involve themselves in understanding foreign policy if they are going to get better foreign policy from their officials. You can follow him on twitter @Joe_Nye. He is the author of the following books:Presidential Leadership and the Creation of the American Era (Princeton University Press, 2013)The Future of Power (PublicAffairs, 2011)The Powers to Lead (Oxford University Press, 2008)The Power Game: A Washington Novel (Public Affairs, 2004)Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics (PublicAffairs, 2004)Power in the Global Information Age: From Realism to Globalization (Routledge, 2004)The Paradox of American Power: Why the World’s Only Superpower Can’t Go it Alone (Oxford University Press, 2002)Understanding International Conflicts: An Introduction to Theory and History, 7th ed. (Longman, 2008)Bound to Lead: The Changing Nature of American Power, (Basic Books, 1990)Nuclear Ethics (The Free Press, 1986)Hawks, Doves and Owls: An Agenda for Avoiding Nuclear War, co-authored with Graham Allison and Albert Carnesale (Norton, 1985)Living with Nuclear Weapons. A Report by the Harvard Nuclear Study Group (Harvard University Press, 1983)Power and Interdependence: World Politics in Transition, co-authored with Robert O. Keohane (Little Brown and Company, 1977; Longman, 2000)Peace in Parts: Integration and Conflict in Regional Organization (Little Brown and Company, 1971)Pan Africanism and East African Integration (Harvard University Press, 1965)
8/18/201445 minutes, 13 seconds
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Ep144 - Dr. Wendy Chen

Dr. Wendy Chen is an assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and an oncologist affiliated with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Initially, we contacted Dr. Chen because we’d read an article she’d co-written in The New York Times about the beneficial effects of aspirin on cancer. Then, we looked at the rest of her publication record and realized she was perfectly positioned to tell us about the effects of everything from red meat to alcohol in preventing and treating cancer. In this episode, we cover all of that but more fundamentally Dr. Chen helps us figure out how to tell credible scientific claims from claims that don’t have solid science to back them up. It turns out we couldn’t have asked for a better tour guide through the issues. It’s a real pleasure to have Dr. Chen on the show. You can read that New York Times article here:
8/14/201457 minutes, 34 seconds
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Ep143 - Aubrey De Grey

Aubrey De Grey is fighting the deadliest cause of death in the world. It kills two thirds of all people, far more than all other forms of death combined, and yet very little attention is given to curing it or solving it. That’s because unlike malaria or cancer or car accidents, people believe that aging is natural. This belief, which Dr. De Grey refers to as the pro-aging trance is the real barrier to combatting aging. In this episode, we focus on Dr. De Grey’s book, Ending Aging. Previously a researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, Dr. De Grey brings a unique perspective to the problem of aging. He approaches it as an engineering problem and in his book lays out the seven basic engineering problems that need to be solved in order to bring about the slowing and reversal of aging. In particular, we take a close look at the problem of mutations in mitochondrial DNA and how engineering can overcome this challenge. If you want to end aging, you can donate money to Dr. De Grey’s foundation It might be the best gift you can give your future self. Ending Aging is available on Amazon. You can follow Dr. De Grey on twitter at @aubreydegrey. By the end of this episode, we’ll be sure you’re convinced as we are that the biggest barriers to ending aging are not technological, they’re psychological.
8/11/201451 minutes, 28 seconds
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Ep142 - Spiros Michalakis

The last time we had Spiros Michalakis on. We knew we needed to get him back on asap. Partly, because we got such amazing feedback from the community of listeners and partly because we were so busy having our minds blown by the idea that time may not really be a thing that we barely got to scratch the surface. In fact, we were so impatient to get Spiros back on the show that we couldn’t even wait for a time when Bryan, Hunter and Spiros could all be together. In this episode, Spiros and Hunter go deeper into the ideas behind quantum mechanics and Spiros’ work. There’ll definitely be another interview because it turns out that quantum mechanics takes more than two one-hour interviews to crack. You can follow Spiros at @quantum_spiros. The Institute for Quantum Information and Matter at Caltech has a blog with more on their work: The institute’s website is Spiros hasn’t written a book yet. We think he should. Tweet him to that effect.
8/7/201453 minutes, 18 seconds
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Ep141 - Detlev Schlichter

While Ben Dyson has argued that we need to take the power to create money out of the hands of bankers and put it entirely in the hands of government (you can here that episode here) Detlev Schlichter goes further arguing that the power to create money should not be given to any group. As he lays out in his book Paper Money Collapse, since time immemorial governments in times of war or other trouble have always created more money. In the Ancient world that meant shaving down coins and diluting the amount of gold or silver in them. In the Civil War that meant printing more and more paper currency. The result was simple: a loss of faith in the currency. In Ancient Rome as the silver denarius dropped in silver content, trade began to dry up and this destruction of the money supply by emperors may well be one of the reasons for the collapse of the Roman Empire. Today, governments are not only printing more money to solve short-term crisis; they’re doing it as a long-term strategy. Whereas historically, countries always returned to some sort of gold-backing for their currency since the 1970s the amount of currency in the system has been determined by nothing but the decision of governments. They can print as much money as they want. That Detlev Schlichter argues is too great a power for any government to have. In the desire to be re-elected parties have an incentive to buy their way out of problems by flooding the system with cash. This model of money which Schlichter refers to as elastic money (because governments and banks can expand the amount of money limitlessly) is nearly absolute financial power and has the power to make even the most decent elected or appointed official behave recklessly. In our complex modern system, it can seem like an inelastic money supply like the gold standard is massively out of date but when you listen to Schlichter explain it in his book and in this podcast a return to an inelastic money supply shouldn’t be of any one time; it should be of every time because avoiding excessive concentrations of political or economic power is the purpose of democracy and the free market. Governments and banks have granted themselves the monopoly on money creation. That’s bad for everyone in the long-run. Detlev became an independent economist, market commentator and investment strategist after a 19-year career in international financial markets as a trader and portfolio manager, including stints at J. P. Morgan, Merrill Lynch, and Western Asset Management. His book, Paper Money Collapse: The Folly of Elastic Money, is now entering its second edition. It is available everywhere. You can follow him on twitter @DSchlichter and at Be sure to rate and comment in iTunes. Also, you can find the show on Stitcher.
8/4/20141 hour, 1 minute, 39 seconds
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Ep140 - Daron Acemoglu

Daron Acemoglu is the co-author of one of Hunter’s five favorite books of all time, the incomparably brilliant Why Nations Fail in 2012. In a previous podcast, it was our pleasure to host Jared Diamond, whose masterpiece Guns, Germs and Steel looks at how access to different species is at the root of the world’s modern prosperity and poverty. Why Nations Fail attacks the same issue but from a different perspective, the perspective of institutions. In their book, Acemoglu and Robinson argue that the true roots of prosperity are politically and economically inclusive institutions like democracy and free markets which allow the ideas of many minds to compete. As the United States flounders under a massive debt and Europe faces its own woes, it’s easy to think that the politically uninclusive countries of Asia like China and Singapore offer significant benefits. However, in this interview, Acemoglu warns that the type of growth they produce is not sustainable and cannot generate innovation. It is an utter treat to have Daron Acemoglu on today’s podcast. Bryan and Hunter both strongly recommend everyone in the world read Why Nations Fail. It’s better than every cat video on YouTube put together! Website: Twitter: @whynationsfail Book: Why Nations Fail Origins Prosperity
7/31/20141 hour, 3 minutes, 40 seconds
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Ep139 - Freeway Rick Ross

Freeway Rick Ross came from nothing and started a business that grossed nearly a billion dollars and spanned forty-two cities. The problem is that the business was illegal. After his inability to read cost him any possibility of going to college on a tennis scholarship, Rick Ross began selling drugs. In his first book and autobiography, he details how from a small initial stake he built a massive drug empire that Esquire magazine recently estimated had revenues of $2.5 billion in today’s dollars. His empire was founded on a single drug, one which he is often credited with popularizing: crack.In this interview, Rick discusses the African-American experience and where he is taking his life from both as an author and a music producer. Joining us in the studio is one of his artists, Tp9. The show opens with one of her latest songs.
7/28/20141 hour, 1 minute, 43 seconds
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Ep138 - Jason Selk

While serving as the Director of Mental Training for the St Louis Cardinals, Dr. Jason Selk helped the team win their first World Series in over 20 years, and in 2011 he assisted the Cardinals in the historic feat of winning their second World Championship in a six year period. Dr. Selk is a regular contributor to Forbes, ABC, CBS, ESPN, and NBC radio and television and has been featured in USA Today, CNBC, Men’s Health, Muscle and Fitness, Shape and Self Magazine. Dr Selk’s second book, Executive Toughness, is a best-selling business book and his first book, 10-Minute Toughness, is on pace to be one of the best-selling sport psychology books of all time.Dr. Selk is considered to be one of the premier performance coaches in the United States. He helps numerous well- known professional and Olympic athletes as well as Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 executives and organizations develop the mental toughness necessary for high-level success.Dr. Selk utilizes his in-depth knowledge and experience of working with the world’s finest athletes, coaches and business leaders to help individuals and organizations outperform their competition. Dr. Selk works with such clients as professional athletes in the NFL, NHL, NBA, PGA, LPGA, MLB and NASCAR. In addition, he works with such business clients as UBS Financial, Edward Jones, Wells Fargo, Northwestern Mutual and Enterprise Holdings, to name a few.Be sure to rate and comment in iTunes. Also, you can find the show on Stitcher.
7/24/201427 minutes, 46 seconds
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Ep137 - Carol Dweck

Carol Dweck had a simple question she wanted answered: why did some people take failure so personally while others seemed to thrive on it? Beginning her work with students, she realized that the key difference was in how students thought about their intelligence. Some students thought their intelligence was an in-born quality. They believed that no matter how much they practiced they could only take their intelligence so far. For these students, failures were devastating because they said something about the student’s basic ability. Since failure was such an unpleasant experience they avoided challenges that might lead to failure. Their mindset (which Professor Dweck refers to as “fixed) affected every one of their choices in school. On the other hand, students with what Professor Dweck calls a growth mindset did not view mistakes as a set to their basic value. They could fail, learn and get better. The result was that they sought out challenges and continued to grow.In the last few decades, Professor Dweck’s research has been taken to fields far beyond education and the power of a growth mindset in business, in relationships and in parenting. Of course, the idea of a growth mindset runs counter to many of America’s prevailing notions about ability. While people with fixed mindsets pay lip service to the idea that practice makes perfect, their actions reveal a very different story. We have all grown up in what Professor Dweck calls “The Age of IQ” in which it is believed that people have fixed abilities. In this interview, reveals that her life’s work is to undo the mischief caused by one man and to restore the growth mindset that is the foundation of the success of American or any other society. Be sure to rate and comment in iTunes. Also, you can find the show on Stitcher.
7/21/201451 minutes, 11 seconds
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Ep136 - A.J. Jacobs

AJ Jacobs likes to experiment on himself and once he sets himself a challenge will do whatever it takes to meet it. He spent eight hours a day reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica. He spent a year trying to be the healthiest man alive. And, most amazingly, he spent an entire year trying to fulfill every commandment of the bible. That’s not just the basic ten…he followed the rules about not sitting on a chair used by a menstruating woman, he stoned adulterers (in a way that he couldn’t get arrested for) and he found out the real secret behind Ezekiel bread. In this interview, we talk about the many books that have come out of his self-experiments and what they have taught him. We also talk about his latest project to construct a family tree for the entire human family. So far, the largest family tree is 77 million people. AJ’s on it and you can be too by visiting He’s even hosting a reunion for the entire human family. You’re invited. So is his 17th cousin Gwyneth Paltrow and his 18th cousin Olivia Wilde. You’re his cousin too. AJ Jacobs is the author of The Year of Living Biblically, Know-it-All, My Life as an Experiment and Drop Dead Healthy. Visit him on the web at, follow him on twitter @ajjacobs or like him on Facebook at It’s the least you can do. He is your cousin after all. Books Year Living Biblically J Jacobs The Know It All Humble Become Smartest My Life as Experiment Jacobs Drop Dead Healthy Humble Perfection
7/17/201453 minutes, 47 seconds
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Ep135 - Michael Callen

Bryan sits down with his dad, Michael Callen for another installment of the Callen Report. Be sure to rate and comment in iTunes. Also, you can find the show on Stitcher.
7/14/20141 hour, 2 minutes, 44 seconds
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Ep134 - Dacher Keltner

As a professor of psychology at UC Berkley and the founding faculty director of the Greater Good Science Center, Dacher Keltner studies how we negotiate our relationships with others. After having Robert Greene, the author of The 48 Laws of Power on the show, we came across an article on The Greater Good’s website by Keltner refuting the model of power advocated in The 48 Laws of Power. Although the popular culture believes that power is obtained through lying, cheating and manipulation research shows that that Machiavellian approach tends to fail in mainstream American society. In this episode, Professor Keltner tells us exactly what the research shows us about power. How power is acquired? Do manipulators succeed over the long run? How does acquiring power affect people’s brains? Interestingly, the sort of power strategies that Machiavelli described do work in societies where trust has been destroyed like the incredibly violent world of 15th Century Italy where Machiavelli wrote. Is it any wonder that some of the people who responded most strongly to the Machiavellian 48 Laws of Power are the rappers and prisoners people whole live in a world where trust is utterly lacking? Fortunately, as violence decreases worldwide and trust and transparency increase, there’s less and less room for Machiavellians. The surprising truth is that the way to power is more and more about cooperation and consensus-building. There are many excellent articles available at You can also follow them @GreaterGoodSC. Professor Keltner is the author of Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life and The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness. Both books are available on Amazon...and everywhere else. Be sure to rate and comment in iTunes. Also, you can find the show on Stitcher.
7/10/201442 minutes, 25 seconds
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Ep133 - Ryan Holiday

When he was 19, Ryan Holiday dropped out of college, apprenticed under Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power and Mastery, and asked Dr. Drew for a book recommendation. Dr. Drew’s recommendation would be Stoic philosophy, particularly Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations. Marcus Aurelius (best known as the good emperor from the movie Gladiator) is commonly referred to as Rome’s last good emperor. He was also one of the Ancient World’s most enduring philosophers. While waging war to hold the Empire together, Aurelius crafted a little book of philosophy specifically for his own use. That book inspired Ryan Holiday’s latest book: The Obstacle is The Way. In this episode, Ryan guides us through stoic philosophy and uses modern examples to reconnect with wisdom that is perhaps even more important today than it was in the age of Ancient Rome. You can follow Ryan Holiday on twitter @ryanholiday and read his blog at His latest book The Obstacle is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph is available everywhere. Be sure to rate and comment in iTunes. Also, you can find the show on Stitcher.
7/7/201453 minutes, 5 seconds
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Ep132 - Craig Nelson

Craig Nelson is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Rocket Men, as well as Thomas Paine: Enlightenment, Revolution, and the Birth of Modern Nations (winner of the Henry Adams Prize), The First Heroes, and Let’s Get Lost (shortlisted for W.H. Smith’s Book of the Year). In this episode, he joins us to discuss his latest book The Age of Radiance: The Epic Rise and Fall of the Atomic Age. Beginning with the first scientific experiments to discover radiation and ending with the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, The Age of Radiance traces the a journey filled with the hope of world of limitless, cheap energy and the terror of imminent armageddon. In today’s episode we talk about Chernobyl, Fukushima, the people behind the scientific legends and the origins of the bikini. Craig clearly loves entertaining anecdotes and makes for a fantastic guest. It’s a delight to have him on. The Age of Radiance as well as his other books are available everywhere. You can follow him on twitter @Craig_Nelson.
7/3/201452 minutes, 10 seconds
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Ep131 - Rebecca Jeschke

Nearly 25 years ago, before the world wide web even existed, two technologists and one lyricist for the Grateful Dead banded together to form an organization that would defend freedom of speech on the internet. Thus was the EFF born. They brought the case that established that e-mail deserves as much protection as a telephone call and requires government agencies to have a warrant to seize e-mail. It was the EFF that brought the case that established that a piece of software is a form of free speech. Today, the EFF is the leading nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world. In today’s episode Rebecca Jeschke, the EFF's Media Relations Director and a Digital Rights Analyst, joins us on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the Edward Snowden leaks to discuss his case, Bradley/Chelsea Manning, Aaron Swartz, and the podcast patent trolls currently harassing Marc Maron, Adam Corolla and others. You can follow the EFF on twitter at @eff and Rebecca Jeschke at @effraj. For more information on the Electronic Frontier Foundation please visit Be sure to rate and comment in iTunes. Also, you can find the show on Stitcher.
6/30/201455 minutes, 40 seconds
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Ep130 - Coach Bill Courtney

In 2011, Coach Bill Courtney was catapulted to national fame when Undefeated, a documentary about his volunteer coaching of the Manassas High Football team, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary. Manassas, in a poor, African-American part of Memphis, had one of the worst records in the state and yet within a few short years, Courtney was able to turn the team around. Rather than coaching X’s and O’s, Courtney focused on teaching his players the character and attitude that were the foundation of success in any area of life: the same attitude he brings to his family and his business. Now, Coach shares these timeless principles in his first book Against The Grain: A Coach’s Wisdom on Character, Faith, Family and Love. In this interview, the Coach shares with us why he called the book Against The Grain and why he believes these timeless values are so important to rediscover in how we raise our kids, how we conduct our businesses and how we run our government. Be sure to rate and comment in iTunes. Also, you can find the show on Stitcher.
6/26/20141 hour, 3 minutes, 49 seconds
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Ep129 - Spiros Michalakis

Spiros Michalakis is a quantum physicist at the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter at Caltech. Drop the mic... I mean…really…Spiros is a quantum physicist at the number 1 program for quantum physics in the US…and probably the world. But Spiros is not your typical quantum physicist. He’s the most approachable, down-to-earth and fundamentally accessible quantum physicist you are ever likely to hear speak. In the opinion of this episode write-up writer, Spiros is a superstar waiting for a place to happen. We can’t comment on his research though it sounds pretty amazing. (In this episode, he explains to us that there may be no such thing as time. Whaaaat?!?) We can say without doubt that he has an amazing willingness to communicate quantum physics to people who don’t know much about it (us) with patience. Seriously, Spiros is the Carl Sagan of Quantum Physics. In this episode, Spiros talks to us about how work on the Theory of Everything is going, what it means and what the consequences of such a theory for the world would be. Then, we run out of time because apparently you can’t quite fit the Theory of Everything into one one-hour podcast. We’re pretty sure we can do it in two which is why we’ll be bringing Spiros back on the show. Bryan has often said that on The Bryan Callen Show you will learn “everything.” We may finally make good on that. Well, maybe not. The Theory of Everything, people, will probably not be revealed on The Bryan Callen Show, but you might get a glimpse of what it would look like and how we’d get there from the best damn tour guide to the quantum world there is. You can follow Spiros at @quantum_spiros. The Institute for Quantum Information and Matter at Caltech has a blog with more on their work: The institute’s website is Spiros hasn’t written a book yet. We think he should. Tweet him to that effect.
6/23/20141 hour, 2 minutes, 27 seconds
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Ep128 - Partners in Passion

Patricia Johnson and Mark Michaels know a lot about sex. In fact, they may know more about it than anybody else on the planet. They write about it; they interview people about it; they’ve even done it together inside an MRI machine. The result of this research is their fourth book on sex called Partners in Passion: A Guide to Great Sex, Emotional Intimacy and Long-term Love. In this episode, they dispel many of the myths around love, love making and what it takes to have a successful long-term relationship. All four of their books Partners in Passion, Great Sex Made Simple, Tantra for Erotic Empowerment, and The Essence of Tantric Sexuality are available on Amazon. You can find them on the web at You can find them on twitter @tantrapm. Be sure to rate and comment in iTunes.
6/16/201459 minutes, 26 seconds
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Ep127 - Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss is the creator of the 4-Hour Series of books. The 4-Hour Workweek, The 4-Hour Body, The 4-Hour Chef have all become bestsellers and been translated into dozens of languages. In this his third appearance on the show, Bryan and Hunter draw on Tim’s encyclopedic knowledge of how to get the most of life. Tim Ferris blogs at You can follow him on twitter at @tferriss. His books are all available on Amazon. You can listen to his first and second appearance by clicking on the links. Be sure to rate and comment in iTunes.
6/9/201459 minutes, 20 seconds
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Ep126 - Ben Dyson

On April 24th, Martin Wolf of The Financial Times threw his support behind the proposed reforms of a UK-based group called Positive Money. In so doing, he was joining a growing number of financial experts who have identified fractional reserve banking as the reason why our economy experiences so much instability. As Wolf observed, it is illegal for private citizens to print their own money (it’s called counterfeiting) and yet it is entirely legal for banks to print money. Most people just don’t realize that they’re doing it. As Positive Money explains on their website "Currently only 3% of all the money in circulation is created by the Bank of England, the remaining 97% is created by commercial banks, when they make loans.” The numbers are comparable for the US or most of the world’s economies. Banks, unlike private citizens, have the right to create almost as much money as they want out of thin air. This monopoly (which other parts of the financial industry don’t get) is why banks become too big to fail. In short, it’s the root of the instability in our economy…and that’s just the beginning of the problems it creates. In this episode, Ben Dyson talks us through why this problem exists and what we have to do to fix it. It’s a truly mind-blowing episode. For more information, check out or the book Ben co-wrote Modernising Money: Why Our Current Monetary System is Broken and How it Can Be Fixed. You can find the group on twitter @positivemoneyuk or like them on Facebook at Be sure to rate and comment in iTunes.
6/2/20141 hour, 5 minutes, 46 seconds
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Ep125 - Robert Greene

In 1532, an Italian diplomat and political theorist named Niccolo Machiavelli wrote a book on how best to most effectively acquire and keep power. It was called The Prince. Machiavelli argued that for a ruler “It is much safer to be feared than loved.” The idea that power is best achieved through fear, dishonesty and coercion rather than through empathy, honesty and cooperation has been argued about ever since. It’s why House of Cards is so popular. It’s also why every single one of Robert Greene’s books is a bestseller. In particular, his work have been particularly popular with two groups who deal with power acquisition at its most savage: hip hop stars and foreign policy analysts. As 50 Cent (a huge fan of Greene’s and his later collaborator on The 50th Law) noted, working as a crack dealer in South Queens could never have prepared him for the viciousness, manipulation and deception of the music industry. 
5/26/20141 hour, 34 seconds
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Ep124 - Kristin Newman

As a regularly-employed writer on TV shows like That 70’s Show, How I Met Your Mother, Chuck and The Neighbors, Kristin Newman had two big things going for her: disposable income and months of vacation time. What she didn’t have was any particular desire to settle down, get married or start creating tiny humans with her body. So, instead she went traveling. While initially she was focused on the exotic locales pretty soon her trips became about the exotic locals. The world was filled with Israeli bartenders, Finnish poker players, sexy Bedouins, and Argentinean priests she could fall madly in love with… knowing that she had a way out thanks to the plane ticket on the bedside table. She would then return to her much more sensible and generally puritanical life in Los Angeles, where her friends were breeding away. As Kristin’s wanderlust transformed into lustful wanderings, she developed a confidence and freedom of spirit that she had always craved and that she began to carry with her everywhere. What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding is definitely a collection of really funny, foreign flings, but for anyone who has ever wondered whether settling down is for them it might be something more than that. It might be the answer to that question. What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding is available everywhere. You can follow Kristin on Twitter at @theotherkristin and on Tumblr at Be sure to rate and comment in iTunes.
5/19/20141 hour, 2 minutes, 8 seconds
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Ep123 - Joe Cross

Bryan sits author and movie maker, Joe Cross. Joe Cross is an Australian entrepreneur, author, filmmaker, and wellness advocate. He is most known for his documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead in which he tells the story of his 60-day juice fast. He is the founder and CEO of Reboot with Joe, a health and lifestyle brand. Following the release of his documentary, Cross has published four books about juicing. In February 2014, Cross released his latest book titled The Reboot with Joe Juice Diet: Lose Weight, Get Healthy and Feel Amazing that became a best-seller. Be sure to rate and comment in iTunes.
5/12/201438 minutes, 12 seconds
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Ep122 - John Durant

John Durant is the author of The Paleo Manifesto and that is exactly what it is. Far from being just another book about the Paleo Diet, John lays out for us why paleo makes sense from an evolutionary, agricultural and historical perspective. There are plenty of books that tell you what to eat; John’s is much more powerful because it explores the why’s behind how we eat. Why does it makes sense that Jews eat kosher? Why are urban females more likely to become vegan? And why from a biological standpoint is eating like hunter-gatherers so important for our health? Even if you have no interest in changing your diet, The Paleo Manifesto is a fascinating read. And if you are interested in changing your diet but can’t seem to stick to a regimen, then Durant’s book (by making sense of why Paleo works) will give you the psychological tools to get onboard with the program he advocates. The Paleo Manifesto is available from all good booksellers. You can find John on the web at His twitter account is @johndurant.
5/5/20141 hour, 4 minutes, 38 seconds
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Ep121 - Adam Mansbach

After trying to read his kid to sleep one night with little success, writer Adam Mansbach posted as a joke on his Facebook look out for my upcoming children’s book Go the Fuck to Sleep. That joke eventually turned into a book and that book ended up being #1 on Amazon. Then, Samuel L. Jackson read the audiobook. In this interview, Adam Mansbach tells us about that experience, discusses parenting and shares with Hunter and Bryan what motivated him to write a novel about graffiti culture in NYC called Rage is Back. When he’s not writing children’s books with swear words in the title, Adam Mansbach writes really interesting novels. You can find him on the web at or on twitter at @adammansbach. His books include Go the Fuck to Sleep, the PG version Seriously, Go to Sleep, The Dead Run, Angry Black White Boy, Rage is Back, The End of the Jews, Nature of the Beast, Shackling Water, A Fictional History of the United States (with huge chunks missing) and Genius B-Boy Cynics Getting Weeded In the Garden of Delights. Be sure to rate and comment in iTunes.
4/28/201444 minutes, 46 seconds
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Ep120 - Asa Akira

Bryan sits down with pornstar and author of "Insatiable: Porn - A Love Story," Asa Akira. She's been in the porn industry for several years and and has been cleaning house at the Adult Video Awards (AVN) for the past 3 years. Plus, she's already in the works with her second book. Follow her on Twitter,
4/24/20141 hour, 3 minutes, 25 seconds
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Ep119 - The Second Machine Age - Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson

Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee are both MIT professors. They also wrote a book together called The Second Machine Age and it’s amazing. Over the last few decades, technology has been increasing at an exponential rate. In the 1960s, the creators of Star Trek imagined that centuries in the future there would be a handheld device that would be a communicator, scanner and computer called a tricorder. Turns out it’s called an iPhone and it took way less time to develop. Driverless cars exist and are getting better all the time; 3D printing is already in commercial use; robots are doing more and more jobs than ever before. Technologies that seemed like part of a distant future are increasingly a part of our everyday reality. In this book, the two professors go way beyond examining what these technologies are and look at how they are affecting our society already and what we can expect in the next few decades. In this interview, we find out how AI, robotics and nanotechnology will affect business, the distribution of wealth and the search for a job. (We also talk about how likely a Terminator-type scenario is.) Professors Brynjolfsson and McAfee can’t tell you how to survive a Zombie Apocalypse; they can give you good advice on how to cope with a much more realistic challenge: the rise of the robots.Their book is available pretty much everywhere because that’s how things are in the Second Machine Age. You can follow them on twitter at @erikbryn and @amcafee. Be sure to rate and comment in iTunes.
4/21/201456 minutes, 23 seconds
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Ep118 - Dr. Paul Offit

Paul A. Offit, MD is the Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and the Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In addition, Dr. Offit is the Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology and a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He is a recipient of many awards including the J. Edmund Bradley Prize for Excellence in Pediatrics from the University of Maryland Medical School, the Young Investigator Award in Vaccine Development from the Infectious Disease Society of America, and a Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health. Be sure to rate and comment in iTunes.
4/17/201444 minutes, 17 seconds
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Ep117 - Bert Vaux

While a Professor at Harvard University, Bert Vaux noticed that within a week students were suppressing their accents in order to blend in on campus. What intrigued Bert was that even though students were trying to cover up their accents, very often the words they used would give away where they were from. People from New Jersey would casually refer to the night before Hallowe’en as mischief night. Bostonians thought everybody called a water fountain a bubbler. And what people from Seattle called a potato bug was obviously called a roly poly to Kansans. So, in 2002, Bert created a survey to discern these patterns. After collecting data for over a decade, they went viral last year. If you saw a bunch of dialect maps floating around on The New York Times, The Today Show, Business Insider, Huff Po, or Facebook or had a conversation about what you call something or other in your part of the country, you have already experienced the work of Bert Vaux. (More on all the places the survey showed up here) Since millions of people have now taken the survey, there’s a good chance you’ve even taken it. In this episode, Bryan, Hunter and Bert discuss why language and dialect are so continuously fascinating to people: they represent identity. We use language and dialect to mark our identity. Although our word choices, grammatical choices and how we choose to pronounce words are often unconscious, they are of vital significance for how we see ourselves and how we are seen by others. To find out what your accent says about you, visit by clicking here and take Bert’s dialect quiz. An abbreviated version was featured by The New York Times, click here. Bert Vaux is currently a professor at Cambridge University. He’s very excited to have just become a dad!
4/14/20141 hour, 4 minutes, 2 seconds
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Ep116 - John Perkins

Within its first week of publication, Confessions of An Economic Hitman hit #1 on Amazon. Then it hit The New York Times bestseller list. Within five weeks of its release, Confessions of An Economic Hitman was already in its fifth printing. In it, Perkins tells how as a consultant for one of the world’s most prominent firms he knowingly engaged in a subtle but deliberate strategy designed to extract the wealth of people far less fortunate than him. Perkins’ tale of unrestricted corporate greed working in collusion with a Machiavellian US government has resonated strongly with a broad audience especially in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. However, it has met with strong criticism from prestige media outlets like The New York Times and government agencies. Notably, Sebastian Mallaby, writing in The Washington Post, insisted that Mr. Perkins' "basic contentions are flat wrong.” In a 2006 rebuttal, the State Department claimed that the book "appears to be a total fabrication.” Then again, given the criticism that Mr. Perkins sends the State Department’s way, you could hardly expect them to be asking for signed copies. Be sure to rate and comment in iTunes.
4/10/20141 hour, 2 minutes, 27 seconds
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Ep115 - Lindsey Davis

Lindsey Davis describes herself modestly as “an English Lady Pensioner.” She is certainly an English Lady, but as an author she is far too prolific to fit any definition of the word retired. The author of 27 books, Davis’ most famous creation is Marcus Didius Falco, a series of detective novels set in Ancient Rome. Although she wins high marks from classicists—she was named honorary President of the Classical society and has been invited to speak at places like the Getty Villa—she balks at the idea that even the merest suggestion that the Falco novels filled rich details about every aspect of Roman life might be described as “educational.” Instead, she insists they’re entertainment. That they are. In this interview, we talk to Ms Davis about the reasons for the enduring popularity of the detective genre and why she resonated with the Roman Empire as a backdrop for her novels. (The answers will surprise you.) Currently, Ms Davis is writing books in a spin-off series about Falco’s daughter who is also a detective. You can find Ms Davis on the web at All 27 of her books are available on Amazon. If you’re looking for a place to explore her work there’s no better place than with The Silver Pigs, the award-winning first novel in the Falco series. Be sure to rate and comment in iTunes.
4/7/201448 minutes, 30 seconds
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Ep114 - Randall Slavin

Bryan sits down with good friend and famed photographer, Randall Slavin. He has taken photos of some of the finest actors and entertainers in the game today. Check out his website, visit Be sure to rate and comment in iTunes.
4/3/201450 minutes, 23 seconds
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Ep113 - Jerry Coyne

Jerry Coyne is a professor of biology at the University of Chicago and the author of the brilliantly articulate Why Evolution is True. Piece by piece, Coyne lays out the overwhelming support for evolution. In this interview Professor Coyne explains to us not only why evolution is true but why religion or a desire for mystery causes so many people to reject well-established science. Far from decreasing our sense of wonder, evolution increases our ability to marvel at the natural world. Professor Coyne said it so brilliantly in his book, we’ll share a little excerpt here: But there is even more cause for wonder. For the process of evolution—natural selection, the mechanism that drove the first named replicating molecule into the diversity of millions of fossil and living forms—is mechanism of staggering simplicity and beauty. And only those who understand it can experience the awe that comes with realizing how such a straightforward process could yield features as divers as the flower of the orchid, the wing of the bat, and the tail of the peacock. Again in The Origin, Darwin—imbued with Victorian paternalism—described this feeling: “When we no longer look at an organic being as a savage looks at a ship, as at something wholly beyond his comprehension; when we regard every production of nature as one which has had a history; when we contemplate every complex structure and instinct as the summing up of many contrivances, each useful to the possessor, nearly in the same way as when we look at any great mechanical invention as the summing up of the labour, the experience, the reason, and even the blunders of numerous workmen; when we thus view each organic being, how far more interesting, I speak from experience, will the study of natural history become!” Pretty amazing, huh? For more on Professor Coyne’s work, you can visit him on the web at or follow him on twitter at @evolutionistrue. Why Evolution is True is available everywhere, but if you buy it by clicking on the Amazon link here you’ll be supporting the show.
3/31/20141 hour, 1 minute, 58 seconds
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Ep112 - Greg Fitzsimmons

Bryan sits down with comedian and Podcaster, Greg Fitzsimmons.  Greg was born in New York City, New York, to New York City radio personality Bob Fitzsimmons, and Patricia (née McCarthy) Fitzsimmons. He grew up in Tarrytown, New York. He began his stand up comedy career while attending Boston University. Fitzsimmons has since appeared on such programs as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Chelsea Lately and Comedy Central Presents. In 1996, Greg hosted the MTV game show Idiot Savants. He is also a regular commentator on Vh1's Best Week Ever and I Love The series.
3/27/201447 minutes, 9 seconds
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Ep111 - Jim Duane

"Wanna know about wine and why it's good for your health? Jim Duane, wine maker for Seavey Vineyards sits me down and talks about how you get a world class Cabernet and what it takes to make something this perfect (and expensive)  He will surprise  you. At least he did me. Be sure to rate and comment in iTunes.
3/24/201456 minutes, 51 seconds
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Ep110 - Christian Lander

In January 2008, Christian Lander created a blog that gave a voice to people who already have way more than their fair share of a say in how the world is run. Stuff White People Like took a close look at just what makes white people happy. Why do white people love coffee and Ray Ban’s and picking their own fruit? What is it about hating people who wear Ed Hardy that makes palefaces so happy? Christian Lander has those answers and more. In this interview, Christian helps Bryan figure out just how white he is with the help of his NY-Times bestselling book Stuff White People Like: The Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions and its sequel Whiter Shades of Pale: The Stuff White People Like, Coast to Coast from Seattle’s Sweaters to Maine’s Microbrews. Both books are available everywhere!!!
3/20/201458 minutes, 2 seconds
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Ep109 - William Bernstein

Although William Bernstein has an MD and a PhD in Chemistry, he began his career in neuroscience before deciding to become a financial investor and an author of historical books. Safe to say, he’s exactly the sort of guest we love to have on The Bryan Callen Show. Although he’s written several books, today’s podcast focuses primarily on The Birth of Plenty: How the Prosperity of the Modern World was Created. In the last few hundred years, the average wealth of a resident of planet earth has increased astronomically. Bernstein lays out for us the four factors that he argues drove that innovation. In today’s episode, Dr. Bernstein (aka Bill), Hunter and Bryan discuss how the world achieved its modern prosperity and how we can use these four factors to drive further prosperity generation around the world. Dr. Bernstein (aka Bill) is the author of three of the best history books you’ll ever read: The Birth of Plenty: How the Prosperity of the Modern World was Created, A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World from Prehistory to Today, Masters of the Word: How Media Shaped History. He’s also the author of an investing book called The Four Pillars of Investing: Lessons for Building a Winning Portfolio that Big Mike “Bryan’s Dad” Callen “best investment book ever produced for the lay person.” Pretty impressed right now. Dr. Bernstein (aka Bill) is on the web at
3/17/201459 minutes, 14 seconds
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Ep108 - Bobby Lee

Bryan sits down with good friend and comedian/actor, Bobby Lee. Bobby Lee is an American actor and comedian best known as a cast member on MADtv from 2001 to 2009 and for his roles in the films Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Pineapple Express and The Dictator. Be sure to rate and comment in iTunes.
3/13/20141 hour, 1 minute, 19 seconds
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Ep107 - Tamim Ansary

While working on a history textbook for US students, Tamim Ansary found that he and his team of American advisors had a very different sense of the world. The Americans saw history as a long march towards democracy and free-market capitalism in which Islam had no particularly major role to play. On the other hand, Mr. Ansary having been born in Kabul and spent his earliest years learning a Muslim view of history felt a little differently about things. How could a religion with 1.6 billion followers be regarded as a mere footnote? This was just before 9/11. The day after that event Mr. Ansary sent an e-mail to a few friends trying to interpret the Islamic world for people steeped in a Western sense of history and a Western world and that’s what he’s been doing ever since. Although Mr. Ansary is a fan of democratic society—he lives in the US after all—in his books he sets his personal opinions aside to allow us to really understand the world as Muslims do. Today we talk about two of his books. In the first, Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes, Mr. Ansary lays out an entire vision of history as seen and felt by Muslims around the world. In the second, Games Without Rules: The Often-Interrupted History of Afghanistan, he lays out for us a history of Afghanistan that helps us make sense of why countless great empires have failed to conquer much less understand his home country. You can visit Mr. Ansary on the web at and follow him on twitter @mirtamimansary. Mr. Ansary is the author of many books. Today, we focused on just two of them Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes and Games Without Rules: The Often-Interrupted History of Afghanistan. Both available from here to Kabul.
3/10/201457 minutes, 36 seconds
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Ep106 - Kira Soltanovich

Bryan sits down with comedian, Kira Soltanovich. For the past 8 years, she could be seen as a television corespondent in her own reoccurring segment for the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, called Photo Booth. She's also a successful Podcaster at The Network Studios of her very own show about comedians, who are also parents, called "The Kira Soltanovich Show. You can find her online by going to as well as Be sure to rate and comment in iTunes.
3/6/20141 hour, 4 minutes, 44 seconds
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Ep105 - Dan O'Brien

As the head writer and creative director of video at, Dan O’Brien writes important potentially Pulitzer-prize winning pieces on topics such as Why Spiderman is a Dick and 3 Insane Spider-Man Movies You Won't Believe Almost Got Made. But Dan O’Brien doesn’t just write about Spiderman. Over the last few years, he has systematically tackled the most important historical question humanity has ever faced: which US President would be toughest in a fight? In his latest book How to Fight Presidents: Defending Yourself Against the Badasses Who Ran This Country, Dan O’Brien summarizes in just a few pages everything you would need to know to beat not just lesser Presidents like Millard Fillmore and Franklin Pierce but truly epic Presidents like Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. In this episode, Dan, Bryan and Hunter get into a heated debate about which President would win in a fight. Through Dan’s definitive book on the question and occasional use of unreliable internet sources, Dan, Bryan and Hunter draw on historiography, biometric data and their own very limited fighting experience to try and settle this question once and for all. Nature vs Nurture, Which President would win in a fight…all the most important topics are debated on The Bryan Callen Show.Actually, we’d love to hear what you think. Tweet @bryancallen, @huntermaats and @DOB_INC to tell us which President you think would win in a fight.Dan O’Brien is the co-editor of You Might be a Zombie and Other Bad News, the head writer of The De-Textbook and the author of How to Fight Presidents. They’re all available in lots of place, but you should buy them by clicking on the Amazon links below if you want to support the show. If you want the show to fail, then you should still buy them…just don’t do it through the links below.
3/3/20141 hour, 4 minutes, 19 seconds
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Ep104 - Bad Pharma Discussion

Dr. Ben Goldacre is the author of two excellent books, Bad Pharma and Bad Science, but he didn’t show up for this episode so there’s not much point telling you more about him. So, Bryan and Hunter just had a conversation the same way they would if a famous author/doctor wasn’t around…because he wasn’t. This episode features Bryan and Hunter talking a lot about Bad Pharma—because it really is an excellent book—and then more generally about the scientific method, how much regulation of the pharmaceutical industry is optimal and what exactly is going on inside Bryan’s pants. We’d actually really recommend both Bad Pharma and Bad Science. We’d also love to interview Dr. Ben, so send him a tweet and ask him to come on The Bryan Callen Show. @bengoldacre. Paging, Dr. Ben. Paging, Dr. Ben. Your presence is requested on The Bryan Callen Show.
2/24/201444 minutes, 17 seconds
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Ep103 - Dan Coyle, David Epstein

For 150 years, we’ve been taught that we had to choose sides when understanding where top-level performance comes from. Is it nature? Or, is it nurture? In this episode, two of our favorite guests of all time Dan Coyle—author of The Talent Code—and Dave Epstein—author of The Sports Gene—join us on the show to discuss what the latest science really shows about where talent comes from. Is it nature vs nurture or is it more accurate to say nature plus nurture? One of the mankind’s most enduring questions. We think we can pretty much wrap it up in an hour. Well, maybe not wrap it up but with Dan Coyle and Dave Epstein onboard we can get about as close as humanly possible. You can follow them on Twitter at @DavidEpstein and @DanielCoyle. Their blogs are and The Sports Gene, The Talent Code and The Little Book of Talent are available from all good booksellers. You can also get them by clicking below. To listen to Bryan and Hunter interviewing them one-on-one, check out the following episodes:
2/17/201455 minutes, 43 seconds
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Ep102 - John Gurche

When Steven Spielberg was looking for a dinosaur expert for Jurassic park, he chose John Gurche. Steven Spielberg kind of gets to pick whoever he wants, so that’s a pretty good sign that John Gurche is the best in the world at what he does. As a paleoartist, Gurche works closely with the world’s foremost paleontologists to figure out from fossils that are often millions of years old what the creatures that left them behind would have looked like. In Shaping Humanity: How Science, Art, and Imagination Help Us Understand Our Origins, Gurche explains the work he did for the Smithsonian Institution’s Hall of Human Origins. Commissioned to make fifteen sculptures covering six million years of human evolution, Gurche explains how a hole in the base of the skull tells us which ancestors walked upright and why we currently think our ancestors’ eyes might have turned white. In this interview, we explore how through accidental finds and scientific missteps we have teased out our present understanding of human evolution and in the end through Mr. Gurche’s work and words we develop a shared connection with a past before recorded history.For more of Mr. Gurche’s work, visit His work is amazing.Shaping Humanity: How Science, Art, and Imagination Help Us Understand Our Origins is available on Amazon. It’s one of the most beautiful, fascinating books you’ll ever own.
2/14/201449 minutes, 56 seconds
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Ep101 - Andrew Lih

Perhaps nothing demonstrates the power of the internet and thereby the power of a democratic approach to problem solving like Wikipedia. In The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created The World’s Greatest Encyclopedia, Andrew Lih lays bare for us the tremendous power of ordinary people to do something truly incredible when they come together. While traditional encyclopedias like Encylopedia Britannica have relied on Nobel Laureates and other highly-respected professionals to write their articles, Wikipedia has placed its faith in ordinary people and the wisdom of the crowds. In just over a decade, the results have been astounding. With over 30 million articles in 287 languages, Wikipedia dwarfs all other encyclopedias and a 2005 investigation by the highly-respected journal Nature found that Wikipedia’s accuracy was almost exactly the same as Encyclopedia Britannica. In this interview, Andrew Lih shares with us how he became fascinated by the site, how the site has developed and what the success of Wikipedia means for everything from government spying to democracy to digital protectionism in China. More than a lens into the world's future, this interview will restore your faith in humanity.The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created The World’s Greatest Encyclopedia is available on Amazon.Andrew Lih’s website is and you can follow him on twitter @fuzheado.
2/10/201457 minutes, 9 seconds
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Ep100 - Dave Asprey & Jimmy Burke

Bryan sits down with the founder of The Bullet Proof Executive, Dave Asprey. Long time friend, Jimmy Burke. Be sure to Rate and Comment on iTunes.
2/6/20141 hour, 5 minutes, 11 seconds
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Ep99 - Seal Team 6

Bryan has a very exclusive conversation with one of America's finest military veterans and a former member of Seal Team 6. Be sure to Rate and Comment on iTunes.
2/3/201455 minutes, 43 seconds
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Ep98 - Chad Kultgen

Bryan sits down with author, producer and actor, Chad Kultgen. He is a controversial author notable for publishing several novels on the sexual relationships of Americans. He has published opinion pieces on the Huffington Post, and was a staff writer for Hits and The World Weekly News. His works have been reviewed by Maxim, Penthouse, and the New York Times amongst others. He has several writing and production credits, including for The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, a 2013 film starring Steve Carell. Be sure to Rate and Comment on iTunes. 
1/30/201459 minutes, 12 seconds
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Ep97 - Steven Strogatz

Steven Strogatz has a really impressive resumé. Besides being a professor at Cornell, he also has the sixth most highly cited paper in all of physics and his 1998 paper “Collective dynamics of small-world networks” was the most highly cited paper in its field for a decade. Cool as all of that is that’s not what excites us most about Steven Strogatz, because as you look at his resumé you realize that Strogatz is perhaps the greatest living popularizer of something that underpins all of our lives but most people have (at best) mixed feelings about: math. As the author of a series of NY Times columns that the Harvard Business Review "must reads for entrepreneurs and executives who grasp that mathematics is now the lingua franca of serious business analysis.” Those columns have now been collected in an awesome book called The Joy of X: A Guided Tour of Math From One to Infinity. From basic arithmetic to calculus and beyond, Strogatz shows readers not just what math is but puts it in a context that allows us to experience the beauty of math regardless of how much math we actually know. In this interview, Professor Strogatz discusses his book and gives Bryan and Hunter an inside look at the life of a top-level mathematician. They discuss math prodigies, cultural beliefs at math and the importance of constantly striving for excellence every day even if you’re not sure it’ll pay necessarily pay off. This conversation will not only teach you the Joy of X; it will teach you the Joy of Talking to Professor Strogatz. Steven Strogatz is the author of three books: The Calculus of Friendship, Sync and The Joy of X. They’re all available at Amazon and everywhere else. Also, check out his awesome TED talk about how flocks of birds and other animals sync up: Steven Strogatz is on twitter @stevenstrogatz. Be sure to check out his website
1/27/20141 hour, 3 minutes, 27 seconds
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Ep96 - Jared Diamond

Jared Mason Diamond is an American scientist and author best known for his popular science books The Third Chimpanzee (1991), Guns, Germs, and Steel (1997, awarded a Pulitzer Prize), Collapse (2005) and The World Until Yesterday (2012). Originally trained in physiology, Diamond's work is known for drawing from a variety of fields, including anthropology, ecology, geography, and evolutionary biology. As of 2013, he is Professor of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has been described as "America’s best-known geographer". Be sure to Rate and Comment on iTunes.
1/23/20141 hour, 10 minutes, 47 seconds
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Ep95 – Lawrence Krauss

Lawrence Krauss is the only physicist to have received awards from all three major American physics societies. In addition to his work as a theoretical physicist and cosmologist where he has authored or co-authored more than three hundred academic articles, Krauss has devoted much of his career to getting the public of their fear of science. As Krauss explains to Bryan and Hunter, you don’t have to be a professional musician to enjoy music and you’re wrong if you think you have to be a professional physicist to enjoy the beauty of physics. With books such as The Physics of Star Trek and Fear of Physics, Krauss meets the public where they are and helps move them towards being able to enjoy science without feeling like they need a PhD. In this interview, Krauss also tackles head on why we don’t need God to explain the existence of the Universe and why he thinks we’re better off without religion.Lawrence Krauss has authored nine books for the general public. They’re available from all good booksellers and they’re as entertaining as he is.
1/20/201447 minutes, 52 seconds
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Ep94 - Sarah Tiana

Bryan and Hunter sit down with comedian, Sarah Tiana. They talk about their lives in comedy as well as comedians in relationships and much more. Be sure to Rate and Comment on iTunes. 
1/16/201442 minutes, 26 seconds
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Ep93 - Charles Duhigg

Charles Duhigg is a writer for the business section of The New York Times. He's clearly pretty good at it, because he won a Pulitzer Prize in 2013 for a series of ten articles on Apple called iEconomy. He's also clearly pretty good at writing books, because The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business was on The New York Times bestseller list for 62 weeks. Basically, Charles Duhigg is pretty damn awesome. Oh, wait. He won a Pulitzer Prize and wrote a New York Times bestseller. He’s incredibly awesome. In this week's episode, Charles tells Bryan and Hunter about how the book came about (it began with civil unrest, food vendors and being with the US Armed Forces in Iraq), the science behind the book and how—by breaking down the true and often surprising sources of our own habits—we can shape our habits to fit our lives rather than the other way around. The Power of Habit is available from all good booksellers and you can follow Charles on twitter at @cduhigg.
1/13/201443 minutes, 51 seconds
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Ep92 - Skylar Stone

Bryan sits down with comedian, Skylar Stone. Stone has been seen on telelvision and in comedy clubs throughout the country. He has a monthly show at the Improv in Hollywood. Be sure to Rate and Comment on iTunes. 
1/9/201451 minutes, 4 seconds
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Ep91 - Russell Foster

Along with his colleagues Professor Russell Foster broke the conventional wisdom and discovered a light-sensitive cell inside the eye that had nothing to do with vision. Although much of the scientific community was originally skeptical, these photosensitive Retinal Ganglion Cells (pRGCs) have not only become an accepted part of our biology they have major consequences for people young and old living in every part of the world. That's because pRGCs regulate sleep. In spite of playing no role in vision, these crucial components of the eye use the light exposure in our daily lives to manage an activity so important we spend a third of our lives doing it. In this episode of the show, Professor Foster offers insight into what sleep is, why it matters so very much and what his research means for individuals, businesses and societies as a whole.Russell Foster is the author of three particularly excellent books for a general audience Sleep: A Very Short Introduction, Rhythms of Life: The Biological Clocks that Control the Daily Lives of Every Living Thing and Seasons of Life: The Biological Rhythms that Enable Living Things to Thrive and Survive.
1/6/20141 hour, 7 minutes, 13 seconds
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Ep90 - Michael Callen

Back by popular demand, Bryan sits down with his dad, Michael Callen. They talk about a variety of different things, from professional schooling and the changes they are encountering, as well as the differences regarding traditional schooling verses online. Be sure to Rate and Comment on iTunes. 
1/2/201459 minutes, 24 seconds
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Ep89 - Chris Bell

"Hello. We are looking for highly intelligent individuals. To find them, we have devised a test. There is a message hidden in this image. Find it, and it will lead you on the road to finding us. We look forward to meeting the few that will make it all the way through. Good luck. 3301." Hidden in that image were a series of elaborate clues that would draw the world's best cryptographers, steganographers and internet security experts racing to unlock the mysteries of this puzzle. It's still going on…or is it? On November 25th, 2013, Chris Bell wrote an article for The Daily Telegraph about what has come to be known as Cicada 3301 and made the wider world aware of what only the internet’s superusers had known before. The intent of Cicada 3301's creators remains unknown as does what will happen next. On this episode, Chris tells Bryan and Hunter all about the known knowns and the known unknowns of Cicada 3301. (Hunter’s note: For the best listening experience, read Chris' article first: The Internet mystery that has the world baffled) You can follow Chris on Twitter @chrisbellwriter.
12/30/201342 minutes, 56 seconds
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Ep88 - Dov Davidoff

It's the Bryan Callen Christmas Special. Bryan sits down with actor, comedian and good friend, Dov Davidoff. Be sure to Rate and Comment on iTunes. 
12/26/201349 minutes, 52 seconds
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Ep87 - Daniel Coyle

Daniel Coyle kept hearing about places all over world where talent flourished. They weren’t necessarily well-funded. They weren’t necessarily in big cities. In fact, quite often, these talent hot spots looked run down and neglected, but inside what was happening was something very close to magic: ordinary people were being turned into top-level performers. From a Russian tennis camp to soccer coaching in the slums of Brazil to an unlikely music camp, Coyle found that “Greatness isn’t born. It’s Grown.” In The Talent Code—which, by the way, is one of the best books you’ll ever read—Daniel Coyle lays out those secrets and let’s the world that it’s not just about doing 10,000 hours of practice…it’s about doing the right kind of practice. In this episode, Bryan, Hunter and Dan talk about the book, their own experiences and the one thing required to fix education today. Dan has an excellent blog, which you can read at You can follow him on Twitter at @DanielCoyle. The Talent Code and his follow up book The Little Book of Talent are available from all good booksellers. Only a truly evil bookstore wouldn’t carry The Talent Code. Be sure to Rate and Comment on iTunes. 
12/23/20131 hour, 1 minute, 44 seconds
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Ep86 - Jessimae Peluso

Bryan sit down with MTV's Girl Code, Jessimae Peluso. She is “a bottle rocket with a pulse,” headed in only the expected, upward trajectory of a firecracker, and ready to explode. The self-proclaimed "insecure narcissist" has founded a solid comic reputation in New York City and beyond, slaying audiences with her unequivocal, straightforward, ravishingly raw humor. Slamming listeners with her stances on everything from her roots in Syracuse New York, her fear of children to her infatuation with John Stamos, Jessimae will lay her hook in you from the moment she hits the stage. The dynamic Jessimae Peluso is an artist in the truest sense of the word, persistently out to challenge herself and her audience. Be sure to Rate and Comment on iTunes. 
12/19/201346 minutes, 31 seconds
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Ep85 - Steve Ujifusa

Growing up in the age of the great transatlantic liner, William Francis Gibbs had only one dream: to build the world’s greatest ship. In that age, nations competed to build the largest, most luxurious and the fastest ship. In particular, they competed to win the Blue Riband, the prize awarded to the fastest ship to cross the Atlantic. Although Gibbs was the product of tremendous wealth and privilege, he was clear that it was not his family’s fortune that made him a success rather it was his father losing it all. Forced to drop out of Harvard and lacking basic mathematical skills, Gibbs became America’s greatest naval architect through boundless determination. Although he would build many ships, it was that first ship that he dreamed of that would mark the high-water mark of his career. The SS United States would be the largest, most luxurious and the fastest ship would know. It was also the last ship to hold the Blue Riband. In a book The Wall Street Journal called one of the ten best non-fiction books of 2012, Steve Ujifusa recounts the tale of the Steve Jobs of shipping, William Francis Gibbs. A Man and His Ship is available everywhere and in all formats. Be sure to Rate and Comment on iTunes. 
12/16/201348 minutes, 8 seconds
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Ep84 - Don Barris

Don's has an unique brand of comedy unlike most other comics and that makes him the clubs perfect closing act every night. Don was the co-creater/star of the cult classic film, "Windy City Heat", which was developed in the Comedy Store's Belly Room. The show is now called The Ding-Dong Show and it continues every Monday night as it has since 1992 making it the longest running show in the clubs history. Don can also be seen nightly as the audience warm-up for ABC's, "Jimmy Kimmel Live". Don's eyes are blue and his relationship status is complicated.
12/12/201352 minutes, 18 seconds
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Ep83 - Jack O'Brien (

For decades your teachers, authority figures and textbooks have been lying to you. You do not have five senses. Your tongue doesn't have neatly segregated taste-bud zones. You don't know what the pyramids really looked like. You're even pooping wrong - Jesus, you're a wreck! Fortunately, the team from is here to clue you in on the truth. Jack O’Brien, the editor-in-chief of, joins Bryan on the show to share with us the latest book from the popular site. Bringing together six years worth of research, The De-Textbook was built from the ground up to systematically seek out, dismantle and destroy the many untruths that years of misguided education have left festering inside of you, and leave you a smarter person...whether you like it or not. The De-Textbook is a merciless, brutal learning machine. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are informed. It’s also incredibly entertaining as is this episode of The Bryan Callen Show.The De-Textbook is available from all good booksellers. You can find out more about The De-Textbook at (Note to attentive readers: You will notice that this write-up is taken almost verbatim from this site. That’s because while Hunter normally does careful episode write-ups, he was so impressed by the lively writing found on the website that he decided he should mostly just copy and paste. As a side note, if you scroll down there’s a fun sneak peak at what the book actually looks like.) By the way, you can also follow Jack O’Brien on twitter @jack_obrien. We just did.
12/9/20131 hour, 4 minutes, 7 seconds
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Ep82 - Jay Larson

Bryan sits down with comedian, Jay Larson. They discuss a variety of topics. With appearances on TOSH.0, The Late Late show, The Smoking Gun Presents, Conan and his own half hour special on Comedy Central Jay has come a long way since he moved to Los Angeles in 2000.  After flunking out of college, then finally getting accepted back after many attempts, Jay threw away his diploma to pursue a career in Stand Up comedy.  After living in a condemned house for 14 months, I mean who hasn’t, Jay started opening for comedy greats such as Nick Swardson, Daniel Tosh and Pablo Fransisco.  He soon became known as a comedian with a whacky, original voice who tends to get a little weird.  Since those early days Jay has continued climbing the ranks with multiple TV appearances, many internet short films and his first album, “Self-Diagnosed”, available on itunes direct lender payday loans. His voice continues to grow as he has delved into the world of interacting with strangers and creating conflict with people he doesn’t know.  Jay is a fantastic storyteller, showcased weekly on his podcast, “The Crabfeast” on Jay Mohr’s Fake Mustache Studios.  With TV projects in development, be sure to catch Jay now before he ignores everyone...forever…seriously...he will.
12/5/20131 hour, 1 minute, 10 seconds
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Ep81 - Tim Ferriss

By 2004, Tim Ferriss was running an online brain and body supplements company that was grossing $40,000 a month. He was his own boss. He was making a lot of money. Things seemed good until one day his girlfriend handed him a plaque that read “Business Hours End at 5p.m.!” Suddenly, it dawned on Tim that things were actually very, very bad. What did success matter if you didn’t have the time to enjoy your life? So, he booked himself a ticket to Europe and promptly had a nervous breakdown. He didn’t know what to do with himself. His entire identity was wrapped up in his work. It didn’t matter that he was his own boss, because he still had no freedom. And so, Tim embarked on a quest to figure out how to get maximum results in the minimum amount of time. The result has been the incredibly successful 4-hour series of books. The 4-Hour Workweek, The 4-Hour Body, The 4-Hour Chef have all become bestsellers and been translated into dozens of languages. Ferriss’ website has a million visitors a month. Now, with The Tim Ferriss Experiment, Ferriss gives himself one week to master skills using the techniques he lays out in the 4-Hour series. He has one week to learn a language. He has one week to build a business. He has one week to learn parkour. The disciplines are wildly different for a reason. They offer Ferriss the chance to show that all learning works in the same way and that the set of strategies Ferriss has developed to learn the maximum amount in the minimum amount of time can be applied to any and every skill. In this episode, Tim, Bryan and Hunter discuss Ferriss’ meta-learning strategies, what makes an effective teacher and how we can all get the most out of our most valuable resource: time.Tim Ferris blogs at You can follow him on twitter at @tferriss. His books are all available on Amazon. And although you can watch The Tim Ferriss Experiment pretty much anywhere, he especially appreciates views and reviews on iTunes, where, by the way, the first episode—where he has one week to get good enough at drums to play in concert with the rock band Foreigner—is free.
12/2/201359 minutes, 53 seconds
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Ep80 - Joe Rogan

Bryan sits down with comedian, UFC Commentator, and Podcaster of the "Joe Rogan Experience," good friend, Joe Rogan. They discuss their personal hunting experiences and as a added bonus, Master Hunter Steven Rinella.
11/28/20131 hour, 36 minutes, 34 seconds
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Ep79 - David Grann

"Grann himself inspires a devotion in readers that can border on the obsessive,” writes a Slate journalist describing the work of New Yorker reporter David Grann. We can understand why. Grann’s work is obsessively researched and crafted until he produces journalism so exquisitely wrought that you found yourself obsessively talking about it with anyone who will listen. Fittingly enough, Grann’s favorite topic to write about is obsession—the obsession of explorers, detectives, murderers, con artists or anyone. In his first book, The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon, Grann tells the story of Percy Fawcett a once world famous explorer’s search for El Dorado, a legendary city Fawcett believed to be in the Amazon. Through penis-parasitizing fish, terrifying parasites and much more, Fawcett’s expedition endured a harrowing journey through one of the most potentially deadly places on the planet. In his second book, The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession Grann brings together his finest articles for The New Yorker in one place. You might as well buy them both, because once you read one you’ll want to obsessively read the other. Be sure to Rate and Comment on iTunes.
11/25/201349 minutes, 48 seconds
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Ep78 - Bill Burr

Bryan sits down with comedian, Bill Burr. As with other comics associated with The Opie & Anthony Show, in 2008, Burr's voice was featured in the game Grand Theft Auto IV. In the game, Bill plays Jason Michaels of the biker gang The Lost MC in the mission "No Love Lost". In 2009, he reprised his role in the game's expansion pack The Lost and Damned. Burr's special Let it Go was recorded at The Fillmore in San Francisco and premiered on Comedy Central on September 18, 2010. A later special, You People Are All The Same, premiered in 2012 as a Netflix exclusive. Be sure to Rate and Comment on iTunes.
11/21/20131 hour, 11 minutes, 46 seconds
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Ep77 - David Epstein

As a senior writer for Sports Illustrated, Dave Epstein helped break the story that Alex Rodriguez tested positive for steroids in 2003. He's written for the Swimsuit Edition--which he describes as the cushiest assignment ever--and he covered the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Like anyone who has spent a lot of time in and around sports, one question has always nagged at him: how much of a difference do genetics make in athletic performance. Wading into issues like race and gender, Epstein's book lays out the scientific realities of what we today know about the role of genetics in top-level athletic performance. In today's episode, Dave tells us about hyper-muscular babies, the African tribe that dominates distance running and what trait is over represented among top female athletes and fashion models.The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance is available in all good bookstores. Be sure to Rate and Comment on iTunes. 
11/18/20131 hour, 16 seconds
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Ep76 - Tony Blauer

Bryan sits down with fitness expert, Tony Blauer. Blauer Tactical Systems (BTS) is one of the world's leading consulting companies specializing in the research and development of close quarter tactics & scenario-based training for law enforcement, military and professional self-defense instructors. Be sure to Rate and Comment on iTunes.
11/14/201340 minutes, 6 seconds
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Ep75 - Merchants of Doubt

In Merchants of Doubt, Naomi Oreskes and Erik M Conway reveal that the same handful of individuals who have made a career out of selling doubt. Fred Singer, Fred Seitz and Bill Nierenberg began their career as physicists and Cold Warriors. Committed to doing anything they could to oppose a growth in governmental power, they created pseudoscience that denied the dangers of smoking, nuclear winter, the depletion of the ozone layer, acid rain and, most recently, global warming. From their positions well-respected physicists, they have used their credibility to sow doubt in the mind of the public on issues of health and the environment and thereby ensure that nothing is done to change the situation. In this week's episode, Naomi and Erik tell the story of how "small numbers of people can have large, negative impacts, especially if they are organised, determined and have access to power." They tell Bryan and Hunter the realities of global warming. They make it clear, as they say in the book that "there are many reasons why the United States has failed to act on global warming, but at least one is the confusion raised by Bill Nierenberg, Fred Seitz, and Fred Singer." Before we can solve the problem of global warming, we have to agree that there is a problem. Merchants of Doubt can help us do just that.Merchants of Doubt is available from all good booksellers.
11/11/201356 minutes, 52 seconds
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Ep74 - John Truby

Over the course of three decades working in Hollywood, John Truby has fixed over a thousand film scripts. In his book Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller, John refutes the advice so often given to writers to "just write." By providing specific tools, he takes the process of screenwriting from a mysterious act of inspiration to a series of tools that can be applied to break down any script. But John's advice is not just for storytellers. As John, Bryan and Hunter discuss, a writer cannot take his characters through the process of moral growth without going through that process himself. More than the cornerstone of a great film, writing is a powerful tool for figuring out who you really are and what you really stand for.
11/7/20131 hour, 6 minutes, 3 seconds
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Ep73 - Alexis Ohanian

Alexis Ohanian co-founded Reddit out of his dorm room at the University of Virginia. As a leader of the grass-roots movement that overturned Congress's Stop Online Piracy Act and Senate IP Protection Act, he earned a spot in The Daily Dot's top ten most influential Internet Rights activists of 2012 and was dubbed the "Mayor of the Internet" by Forbes. Still, as you'll discover in this episode, Alexis is an incredibly down-to-earth guy with a great sense of humor. On today's show, Alexis, Bryan and Hunter talk about Alexis' book Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed. As more and more individuals use the internet to innovate and create better and better business opportunities, there's plenty of reasons to be optimistic. However, there are things we need to do to ensure those freedoms. Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed is available from all major booksellers. Alexis can be followed on twitter @alexisohanian.
11/4/20131 hour, 9 minutes, 47 seconds
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Ep72 - Harland Williams

Bryan Callen sits down with actor and comedian, Harland Williams from such movies as "Dumb and Dumber," "Freddy Got Fingered," "There's Something About Mary," "Half Baked," "RocketMan," "Sorority Boys," "Down Periscope" and "Employee of The Month." He is an author and illustrator of his own series of children's books involving a little brontosaurus named Jimbo. Williams' love of art drove him to create the series, in which the curious, young dinosaur embarks on a series of amazing adventures and learns important life lessons in the process. The artistically inclined Williams had refined his passion for drawing and painting at Canada's Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario. Finding a creative outlet in poetry and painting while working as a forest ranger for five years after dropping out of Sheridan College, Williams set his goals to leave the forest as a stand-up comic and actor, soon moving to Los Angeles to pursue his newfound calling. Be sure to Rate and Comment on iTunes. 
10/31/20131 hour, 2 minutes, 52 seconds
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Ep71 - Reflections

Bryan and Hunter take this episode to reflect on and synthesize everything they've learned over the course of the last dozen or so episodes recording the show together. From the philosophy of Professor Dan Robinson to understanding human memory with Josh Foer, it's been a wild ride. This was a much needed opportunity to digest all they'd learned and pull out the big overarching lessons they've learned in talking to so many awesome guests.
10/28/201358 minutes, 5 seconds
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Ep70 - Steve Byrne

Bryan and Hunter sit down with the star of "Sullivan and Son," on TBS, stand-up comedian, Steve Byrne. They discuss Steve's sitcom as well as other career moments, including trips overseas doing USO tours, getting married, and having kids. Be sure to Rate and Comment on iTunes.
10/24/201354 minutes, 17 seconds
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Ep69 - Charles Mann

Charles C. Mann didn't plan to write about the world before and after Columbus, but, at a certain point, he realized he couldn't wait for anyone else to do it. In his book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, Mr. Mann relentlessly dispels the myths of Native American life in the Americas before Columbus made landfall in 1492. Although native Americans are often depicted living in an untouched wilderness, the reality of native American life was very different. They transformed their environment, built empires, made war and invented two technologies that would prove vital to Europe's rise: the potato and the corn plant. In his book 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created, Mr. Mann describes how Columbus' arrival in the new world set off the exchange of species between the Americas and the rest of the world. After centuries of relentless plant breeding, the peoples of the new world had transformed the minimally useful ancestors of corn and potatoes into the most productive food-producing technologies in the world. Europe--for centuries in the grip of famine--was finally able to free itself from the struggle for survival, grow its population and usher in the modern world. In China, the sweet potato allowed previously sparsely-inhabited regions to become major population centers. In the Americas, diseases like smallpox created a Native American apocalypse while diseases like malaria would incentivize the development of a slavery based on the forced importation of West African peoples. The roots of our modern world can be traced to the exchange of a few key species. Drawing together the latest scientific research from biology, history, archaeology and anthropology, in this episode Mr. Mann paints a vision of the world that might allow us to finally transcend the narrative of race and allow us to finally see all the peoples of the past as they truly were: just like us.1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus and 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created are both available on Amazon and through all good booksellers.
10/21/201353 minutes, 50 seconds
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Ep68 - Jimmy Shubert

Bryan sits down with comedian, actor and podcaster, Jimmy Shubert. He's been seen on his own Comedy Central Special, King of Queens, Italian Job, Go!, and countless other movies and television shows. He has his very own podcast show, called "The Jimmy Shubert Show," which is produced on The Network Studios." Be sure to Rate and Comment on iTunes.
10/17/201349 minutes, 25 seconds
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Ep67 - Michael Callen

"Big Mike" Callen, aka Bryan's dad, brings his many years of experience in banking and foreign policy to to a discussion of the government shutdown and the state of Washington today.
10/14/20131 hour, 4 minutes, 40 seconds
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Ep66 - Tom Segura

Bryan Callen sits down with comedian and podcaster, Tom Segura. They talk about stand-up comedy and much more. Also, be sure to Rate and Comment on iTunes.
10/10/201342 minutes, 45 seconds
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Ep65 - Tim Snyder, Michael Callen

In a very special episode of The Bryan Callen Show, Mike Callen joins Bryan and Hunter in interviewing the authors of one of his very favorite books: Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin. Detailing the combined atrocities of Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Soviet Union, Professor Snyder's book views these events not as separate phenomenon but as different facets of the same tragedy. More than an important piece of scholarship, Professor Snyder's book is our best defense in assuring that atrocities like this never happen again. Mike Callen, Professor Snyder, Bryan and Hunter discuss the opening of the Soviet archives, why Hitler's atrocities are so much better remembered than Stalin's and why this period of history is so relevant today. Also, be sure to Rate and Comment on iTunes.
10/7/20131 hour, 53 seconds
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Ep64 - Jon Lovitz

Bryan and Hunter sit down with comedian and SNL Alumni, Jon Lovitz. They discuss their experiences doing comedy and sketch shows. Jon spoke about his personal experience coming up as a comedian as well as auditioning for SNL, not to mention getting the gig. Also, be sure to Rate and Comment on iTunes.
10/3/20131 hour, 12 minutes, 40 seconds
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Ep63 - Sarah Rose

Sarah Rose is the author of For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World's Favorite Drink and Changed History. At the beginning of the 19th century, China had a global monopoly on tea. One of the most valuable export products in the world, China carefully guarded every part of tea's production: the techniques, the workers and, most of all, the plants. So, when the British East India Company went looking for someone to steal every part of tea production and bring it to their plantations in India, they needed someone truly remarkable. At that point, no Westerners were allowed into the interior of China. Whoever the Company selected for the task would need the linguistic and cultural knowledge to pass into the heart of the Empire disguised as a Chinese person while still possessing the botanical skills to bring the tea plants out intact. They selected Scottish botanist Robert Fortune.A thrilling mix of history, industrial espionage and culture clash, For All the Tea in China is a very enjoyable read. Bryan and Sarah discuss the book and the process of writing history in general in this episode.Also, be sure to Rate and Comment on iTunes.