The TAM 2013 Interviews Episode 8: Dan Ariely

We’re back with another interview from The Amazing Meeting 2013.

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Dan Ariely, a professor of psychology and behavioral economics currently teaching at Duke University.

I had seen a few of his TED Talks before meeting him and found I was very interested in learning more about why people lie and cheat — how do they justify it to themselves, do they really think they’re doing something wrong, and so forth.

In our interview, he went over the finer points of why people are dishonest, and perhaps how we can prevent it from happening.

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Watch the Joy of One of the Authors of the Inflationary Universe Theory Finding Out Today’s Discovery

What a great day for science.

In 1980, physicist Alan Guth proposed inflationary theory to modify the current Big Bang theory. Whereas conventional wisdom was that the universe started as a fireball, Guth theorized that it, instead, “inflated extremely rapidly from a tiny piece of space and became exponentially larger in a fraction of a second. ”

Later that decade, Russian physicist Andrei Linde updated Guth’s hypothesis to what became known as “new inflation,” and then again revised it to “eternal chaotic inflation.”

Well, today, it appears that Linde was proven correct — new evidence from the South Pole appears to support his theory:



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After an Awful Interview with a Theologian, the New York Times’ Gary Gutting Chats With an Atheist

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about an interview between Gary Gutting, a former professor of philosophy at University of Notre Dame, and Christian philosophy professor Alvin Plantinga. I did not enjoy that interview. There were many atheist straw men and terrible arguments and it was frustrating.

For the second installment of Gutting’s interview series about religion, he spoke to Louise Antony, professor of philosophy at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and editor of an essay collection entitled Philosophers Without Gods: Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life.

Okay, this woman is a little more up my alley. And the interview starts well — from her end, anyway:

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The TAM 2013 Interviews Episode 7: Karen Stollznow

Those of you with far-reaching memories may recall the series of video interviews that my trusty sidekick Mikey and I put together from The Amazing Meeting 2013. I understand it is now 2014, but we had some technical difficulties (i.e., the computer he was using to edit everything unexpectedly crapped out and we needed to get a new one. Guys, computers are not cheap. Even with this baller blogging money. Apparently, the four-year-old semi-functional laptop I write on is not good enough for his fancy schmancy editing programs. La. De. Dah.)

Anyway, now that we have gotten everything back in good working order, Mikey has been able to get back in the swing of things.

For our long-awaited relaunch, we’re kicking things off with the remarkable Dr. Karen Stollznow. Though I had missed her talk at TAM, there was a gentleman who was also blogging there who told me that I absolutely needed to talk to her.

Holy cow. He was right.



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The New York Times asks: Is Atheism Irrational?

No. No it’s not.

Okay, we got that out of the way.

On The Stone, The New York Times‘ philosophy/opinion blog, Gary Gutting interviewed Alvin Plantinga. The former is a professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame; the latter is a former professor of philosophy and a former president of the Society of Christian Philosophers and the American Philosophical Association. Plantinga also recently wrote a book called Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism.

When I initially read this article, I just skimmed it and rolled my eyes a couple of times. When I began writing something up on it, I read it more thoroughly and had this response:

The conversation between the two philosophers was… interesting. It seems like to be an exercise in various types of bad arguments.

But, here we are. Who’s ready to dive in with me?

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