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Making Sense with Sam Harris
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Making Sense with Sam Harris

Author: Sam Harris

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Join neuroscientist, philosopher, and best-selling author Sam Harris as he explores important and controversial questions about the human mind, society, and current events.

Sam Harris is the author of five New York Times bestsellers. His books include The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, The Moral Landscape, Free Will, Lying, Waking Up, and Islam and the Future of Tolerance (with Maajid Nawaz). The End of Faith won the 2005 PEN Award for Nonfiction. His writing and public lectures cover a wide range of topics—neuroscience, moral philosophy, religion, meditation practice, human violence, rationality—but generally focus on how a growing understanding of ourselves and the world is changing our sense of how we should live.

Harris's work has been published in more than 20 languages and has been discussed in The New York Times, Time, Scientific American, Nature, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, and many other journals. He has written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Economist, The Times (London), The Boston Globe, The Atlantic, The Annals of Neurology, and elsewhere.

Sam Harris received a degree in philosophy from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA.
201 Episodes
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In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with General Stanley McChrystal and Chris Fussell about the Covid-19 pandemic. They discuss the nature of the ongoing crisis, the threat of a breakdown in social order, the problem of misinformation, the prospects of a nationwide lockdown, the trade off between personal freedom and safety, the threat of tyranny, the concerns about the global supply chain, concerns about the price of oil, safeguarding the 2020 Presidential election, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all content on samharris.org/subscribe.
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Matt Mullenweg about the evolution of distributed work. They discuss the benefits of working from home, the new norms of knowledge work, relevant tools and security concerns, the challenges for managers, the importance of written communication, the necessity of innovating in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, delivery networks as critical infrastructure, economic recovery, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all content on samharris.org/subscribe.
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks about social contagion and about the importance of understanding one's own mind in an emergency. SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all content on samharris.org/subscribe.
#192 — March 17, 2020

#192 — March 17, 2020

2020-03-1737:2323

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris and Paul Bloom speak about the psychology of adapting to the coronavirus pandemic, the disastrous analogy between coronavirus and flu, the political siloing of information, true and false concerns over "panic," pressuring China to close down their live animal markets, the economic implications and possible silver linings of the pandemic, what our response suggests about our ability to deal with climate change, Biden vs Sanders, the ethics of praising one's enemies, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to continue listening and gain access to all content on samharris.org/subscribe.
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Amesh Adalja about the spreading coronavirus pandemic. They discuss the contagiousness of the virus and the severity of the resultant illness, the mortality rate and risk factors, vectors of transmission, how long coronavirus can live on surfaces, the importance of social distancing, possible anti-viral treatments, the timeline for a vaccine, the importance of pandemic preparedness, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all content on samharris.org/subscribe.
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Nicholas Christakis about the coronavirus pandemic. They discuss the likely effects on society, proactive vs reactive school closures, community transmission, false comparisons between coronavirus and flu, the imperative of social distancing, the timeline of the pandemic, Trump’s political messaging, the widespread distrust of expertise, the importance of "flattening the curve" of the epidemic, the possible failure of our healthcare system, gradations of personal response to this threat, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all content on samharris.org/subscribe.
#189 — Wealth & Happiness

#189 — Wealth & Happiness

2020-03-0201:10:0334

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Scott Galloway about the connection between wealth and happiness. They discuss the problem of wealth inequality, the transfer of wealth from the young to the old, class warfare in Democratic politics, deficit spending, means testing Social Security, Bloomberg’s campaign and “stop and frisk,” breaking up big tech, privacy absolutism, meditation, mortality, atheism, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to continue listening and gain access to all content on samharris.org/subscribe.
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris and Paul Bloom speak about the virtues of President Trump, the campaign prospects of Bloomberg and Sanders, the asymmetrical norms of the Democratic and Republican parties, the marginal role that parents play in the development of their children, wealth inequality and the breakdown of the nuclear family, whether Paul should take LSD, the deplatforming of Peter Singer, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to continue listening and gain access to all content on samharris.org/subscribe.
In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris and Paul Bloom speak about the epidemic of child sexual abuse, the ethics of loyalty, eugenics, existential risk, the Bloomberg and Sanders campaigns, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to continue listening and gain access to all content on samharris.org/subscribe.
#186 — The Bomb

#186 — The Bomb

2020-02-1801:19:3530

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Fred Kaplan about the ever-present threat of nuclear war. They discuss the history of nuclear deterrence, U.S. first-strike policy, preventive war, limited nuclear war, tactical vs. strategic weapons, Trump’s beliefs about nuclear weapons, the details of command and control, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to gain access to all content on samharris.org/subscribe.
#185 — February 7, 2020

#185 — February 7, 2020

2020-02-0730:0427

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris and Paul Bloom speak about "Trump Derangement Syndrome," inequality, the relationship between wealth and happiness, the downside of fame, psychological impediments to noticing progress, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to continue listening and gain access to all content on samharris.org/subscribe
In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with poet David Whyte about the importance of work and relationships, the balance between training and expressing of one's talents, the lessons of mortality, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to continue listening and gain access to all content on samharris.org/subscribe.
#183 — January 28, 2020

#183 — January 28, 2020

2020-01-2827:3212

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris and Paul Bloom discuss topics in the news including the tragic death of Kobe Bryant. They also explore the paradoxes of moral responsibility. SUBSCRIBE to continue listening and gain access to all content on samharris.org/subscribe.
#182 — Unlearning Race

#182 — Unlearning Race

2020-01-2338:3011

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast Sam Harris speaks with Thomas Chatterton Williams about the reality and politics of race. They discuss his book “Self Portrait in Black and White,” race as a social and biological construct, the prospects of achieving a “post-racial” society, interracial marriage, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to continue listening and gain access to all content on samharris.org/subscribe.
#181 — The Illusory Self

#181 — The Illusory Self

2020-01-1301:30:0248

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Richard Lang about how to experience the world beyond the illusion of the self. SUBSCRIBE to continue listening and gain access to all content on samharris.org/subscribe.
#180 — Sex & Power

#180 — Sex & Power

2019-12-3048:0637

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Meghan Daum about her book “The Problem with Everything.” They discuss contemporary feminism, violence against women, campus sexual assault, moral panics, new norms of conversation, the 2020 Presidential campaign, and other topics.  SUBSCRIBE to continue listening and gain access to all content on samharris.org/subscribe.
#179 — The Unquiet Mind

#179 — The Unquiet Mind

2019-12-1733:2647

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Judson Brewer about addiction, craving, and mindfulness. They discuss the nature of reward-based learning, the role of subjective bias in addiction, the neuroscience of craving, the neural correlates of the sense of self, real-time neuroimaging, effort and effortlessness in meditation, smoking cessation through mindfulness, the difference between dopamine-driven reward and happiness, how to make meditation a habit, working with anxiety, and other topics. SUBSCRIBE to continue listening and gain access to all content on samharris.org/subscribe.
#178 — The Reality Illusion

#178 — The Reality Illusion

2019-12-1101:08:5365

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast Sam and Annaka Harris speak with Donald Hoffman about his book “The Case Against Reality.” They discuss how evolution has failed to select for true perceptions of the world, his “interface theory” of perception, the primacy of math and logic, how space and time cannot be fundamental, the threat of epistemological skepticism, causality as a useful fiction, the hard problem of consciousness, agency, free will, panpsychism, a mathematics of conscious agents, philosophical idealism, death, psychedelics, the relationship between consciousness and mathematics, and many other topics. SUBSCRIBE to continue listening and gain access to all content on samharris.org/subscribe.
#177 — Psychedelic Science

#177 — Psychedelic Science

2019-12-0201:26:4281

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Roland Griffiths about the current state of research on psychedelics. They discuss the historical prohibition against their use; the clinical and scientific promise of psilocybin, mescaline, LSD, DMT, MDMA, and other compounds; the risks associated with these drugs; the role of “set and setting”; the differences between psychedelics and drugs of abuse; MDMA and neurotoxicity; experiences of unity, sacredness, love, and truth; the long-term consequences of psychedelic experiences; synthetic vs natural drugs; the prospects of devising new psychedelics; microdosing; research on psilocybin and long-term meditators; the experience of encountering other apparent beings; psilocybin treatment of addiction; and other topics. In his Afterword, Sam discusses his experience on a large dose of psilocybin—his first psychedelic experience in 25 years. SUBSCRIBE to continue listening and gain access to all content on samharris.org/subscribe.
In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Lynn Novick about her four-part documentary "College Behind Bars." The film follows the progress of students in the Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) as they pursue their undergraduate degrees. Sam and Lynn are joined by Jule Hall, a BPI graduate who served a 22-year sentence and is now working for the Ford Foundation. You can support the Making Sense Podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.
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Comments (1471)

ID7514813

I really don't understand how Sam doesn't see that the New York times and similar outlets do exactly what he says around 33 minutes in.... He said that he would have a problem if they spread false information knowingly or otherwise and instead of retracting it doubled down. That is exactly what they do against Trump all the time! When I started listening to Sam I was probably more anti-trump than he is, but as time went on it became clear that Trump's opponents clearly lie as much or more then he does. Then I finally understood the Trump phenomenon, he's a tool to be used against dishonest opponents. Yes it's a bit of a blunt tool, and undoubtedly some excess damage maybe done, but to ignore the fact that he arose as a response to similar (or worse) problems on the other side is to, I would argue, miss the point entirely.

Apr 8th
Reply

Jarrod Newell

Harris needs to stop harping on about Trump at every turn. We get you hate him. You are not telling us anything new or useful. These guests had so much to offer yet Sam dedicates the podcast to trying to get them to endorse his views of Trump.

Apr 7th
Reply (1)

Cameron White

man do I long for the days before Trump when politicians never lied to us

Apr 7th
Reply

Duke DeMatteo

why am I no longer getting the subscriber content in red anymore? why other podcast player hasnt dropped the episode yet either.

Apr 6th
Reply

Anderson da Silva (@AndyDaSilva52)

1:43:56 Book Search Inside of Yourself - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16240760-search-inside-yourself

Apr 5th
Reply

Anderson da Silva (@AndyDaSilva52)

38:28 Physical Office

Apr 5th
Reply

Anderson da Silva (@AndyDaSilva52)

35:30 Are there challengers as a manager

Apr 5th
Reply

Anderson da Silva (@AndyDaSilva52)

15:55 app Krisp - https://krisp.ai - Noise Cancelling

Apr 5th
Reply

Anderson da Silva (@AndyDaSilva52)

The Five Levels of Remote/Distributed Work 10:57 - Level 1: Non-Deliberate Action 11:29 - Level 2: Recreating the Office, Online 13:32 - Level 3: Adapting to the Medium 17:28 - Level 4: Asynchronous communication 21:11 - Level 5: Nirvana Tks to @SteveGlaveski https://medium.com/swlh/the-five-levels-of-remote-work-and-why-youre-probably-at-level-2-ccaf05a25b9c

Apr 5th
Reply

Anderson da Silva (@AndyDaSilva52)

7:23 Book: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us By David H. Pink - http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6452796-drive

Apr 5th
Reply

Dee Amidzic

it looks as though Adalja's economic advice should've been ignored

Apr 5th
Reply

Kutacrusader

This guy is full of shit to be honest. Not objective at all

Mar 24th
Reply

Tony Kearney

Sam in Panic Mode...

Mar 21st
Reply (1)

ambivalence

damn, this should have different name like "me and my guest are discussing that racism conflict".

Mar 20th
Reply

Shawn Stone

please, no more Paul Bloom. I've heard nothing intelligent come out of him since he joined these dialogues and actually "dumbs down" the show with his trite contributions.

Mar 19th
Reply (1)

baby yoda been tanking

FYI- it's the SARS Virus, which gives u the novel Coronavirus COVID-19 Diesease... I think Sars is just a 4 letter word at this point

Mar 11th
Reply (1)

Lukyan Irakli

thanks for this information! :)

Mar 11th
Reply

Chris Ramsey

there are differences between synthetic and naturally occuring psilicybin. the founder of the legendary Brotherhood of Eternal Love (of Orange Sunshine fame) died from an overdose of synthetic psilocybin

Mar 9th
Reply

Gabe Henning

omg. shut the heck up

Mar 4th
Reply

Jon Wicke

Surprised they didn't mention Vasili Arkhipov, the guy who refused to launch a nuclear torpedo even after losing contact with the surface and after they believed the war had started because they hear depth charges.

Mar 4th
Reply
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