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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.
161 Episodes
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Comments (652)

Bas Vegt

Power this and power that, but a powerful *mob* is fabricated? Shame, I think Sam did his best but she was very hard to talk to. first half of this podcast is quite okay to losten to out of interest, after that, don't bother. you're just gonna hear the same buzzwords again and again.

Apr 19th
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Vada Voo

Great talk but she lost me when she downplayed the power of food .

Apr 19th
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Raúl Beristáin

so much nonsense in the last interview. Too bad Sam dismissed the great arguments of the lady in the middle one. For example, the discussion about a machine with goals not allowing us to switch it off is based on flawed assumptions: if it has a simple goal such as fetching coffee, it is nonsensical to believe that it has the capacity to reason about the conveniences of being switched off. It would has enough capabilities to navigate the environment and get coffee, but if you try to switch it off it will enter a fail condition. It can try to ram through you if you are on its way, but more likely it will have obstacle avoidance and try to get around. It doesn't follow that it has sufficient intelligence to work out your intent to switch it off, and much less that it will have the mental capacity to plan actions to stop you. On the other hand, a machine that has general intelligence is not likely to either follow our willing choose simple tasks and goals like making paper clips or fetching coffee. It will likely follow or choose much more complex goals, and because WE make them and WE --at least initially-- need to communicate with them, they should have the capacity to communicate their intent and understand ours. Yes, communication doesn't guarantee agreement, but it won't catch you off guard. It won't be your janitorial robot suddenly gaining awareness and rebelling. And yes, you can turn it off because it will be a brain in a jar for years to come. We can build brains in jars (computers) with these amazing powers of processing, and we can build robots that can barley get by in the physical world under limited conditions. But if we are decades away from general artificial intelligence (in spite these guys fantasies), we are perhaps twice as far from putting GAI in a robot body that can act under its own intelligence and power. And we have all the guns ;) Now, if someone is stupid enough to plug a known GAI to large weapons systems they deserve what happens next but my point is that this is so so far off in the future that worrying about it is worse than pointless in an age of climate change, as the lady rightly said.

Apr 17th
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Raúl Beristáin

JACK SPARROW why you did, for one 😎 thanks for your thoughtful reply, I'll be sure to give your nuanced opinion it's due weight 😉

Apr 18th
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JACK SPARROW

Raúl Beristáin stfu who's gonna read your shit. get the Cheeto dust of your guts and go back to work

Apr 18th
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Christoffer Enfors

I can't listen to the first guy.. hooooly

Apr 16th
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David Matthews

a) it is true Facebook's data collection and influence issues are important b) but they did not help Russia manipulate the election; it is clear Russia was one of many international actors trying to sew conflict, and that this is standard political maneuvering every sovereign nation has to contend with c) this guest has been hanging around Bono too much, his whole ethos is a gust of empty platitudes.😂

Apr 15th
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J WIII

s'boring

Apr 15th
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Facts Don't Care About Your Feelings

J WIII I think it's just above your head intellectually.

Apr 17th
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Chase Blauvelt

John Wick you're name is literally John wick 😂

Apr 17th
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Cliff Bates

How can someone bitch about a free product for almost 2 hours? if you don't like it, don't use it. If you want to spend millions to make your own social network product and run it your way, go for it. We'll see how many people join you.

Apr 9th
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J.t. Brown

Cliff Bates are you a bot or something?

Apr 11th
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Jon Christer Clausen

Cliff Bates Wauw did you miss the point

Apr 9th
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Cristian Butusina

Sam was right, this was painful to listen to. It's amazing how patient he is with her irrationality.

Apr 8th
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Sean Crutchfield

Great episode! I learned a great deal that I did not know before. Clearly some people did not listen to the full episode.

Apr 7th
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mods

The guest is quite hard to listen to. Recounts his experience with unwarranted pomposity.

Apr 6th
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J WIII

godddddd this creepy nerd goes "pffbhaha" after every fucking thing he says. this guy sniffs his own farts and gets hard

Apr 4th
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JJ Todilinus

What bullshit! The guy is spewing total crock! WHERE IS THE RUSSIA BUMP? They have the ability to monitor opinion down to a day of what people thought and why and yet no one can show the Russia effect? Where is it? Anything to change the topic away from corruption of media and establishment. there is a country that regularly influences US elections - Israel - look up Noam Chomsky saying these very things - the Russia story was manufactured completely. The reason why the establishment is making an example of Facebook is not to protect your data, are you crazy? this is their way of telling Google, Facebook and Microsoft "you better do as we please." the internet cables are owned by the government.

Apr 4th
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Joe Weyek

Enjoyed it, but at the end they were talking about self driving cars as if they were some kind of necessary invention that needs proper moral programming. Who says they're necessary?

Apr 3rd
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Alex

What a load of drivel.

Apr 1st
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Christoffer Enfors

Maybe life is worse on paper but our minds and the narrating-self is incredibly efficient at avoiding negative states through rationalizing and self-delusion that we convince ourselves that it's worth it when it might not be. Ignorance is truly bliss.

Apr 1st
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Raúl Beristáin

one obvious possibility they never seem to think about in this black ball discussion is that we don't need one. We could simply pull out enough Gray balls that, put together, they turn black. And that is exactly what it looks like it's happening: fossil fuels + CFC + plastic + pesticides + chemical additives + + +... So many Gray things that are mostly good but they have that bad part. We do then in such a large scale, and all of them together that we ARE slowly killing our surroundings.

Mar 31st
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Cristian Butusina

Amazing podcast.

Mar 31st
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Justen E

1:20:00 you lost me

Mar 29th
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Jack Trowsdale

good ep - strong guest

Mar 28th
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Nick Prudhomme

Can someone please provide evidence of Google selling data? Their privacy policy clearly states that they do not do this. Third party vendors pay Google for ad space on their website, which is highly valuable because ads can be tailored to each individual user based on their data and search history. This isn't selling data. This is selling ad space. The ad space is valuable because Google has access (with consent) to consumer preferences. You can even opt out of of giving access to a lot of the data they collect. Now, if someone can provide evidence of Google selling data, I'm all ears. Until then, this claim is baseless, as far as I'm concerned.

Mar 28th
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Sheana

Nick Prudhomme Agreed! I just heard another interesting episode about privacy practices here: https://castbox.fm/vb/137869070

Mar 31st
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Nick Prudhomme

DAC I'm specifically talking about google, and no I do not work for them. Google does not give away your personal data to third parties without consent. They use it to enhance the attractiveness of their ad space, but it never leaves Google.

Mar 29th
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