Do we live in a rational world? For all the advances humanity has made over the years and centuries, it is difficult to escape the feeling that we live in irrational times. Or so leading psychologist Steven Pinker argues in his new book ‘Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters’. From cancel culture to online conspiracy theories, the Harvard Professor argues that we are forgetting how to reason and think clearly — two vital tools for the flourishing of mankind.
But is being irrational necessarily a bad thing? Are there certain scenarios in which it might be permissible? Speaking at the Art Workers’ Guild in London, Prof Pinker joined Freddie Sayers to discuss rationality and its possible limits. Our thanks to Professor Pinker for an enlightening discussion.
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Mais episódios de "UnHerd with Freddie Sayers"
Freddie Sayers investigates Austria's lockdown of the unvaccinated
28:26Freddie visits the Austrian capital Vienna on the day that the world's first lockdown for the unvaccinated was introduced, looking for answers. How do ordinary people feel about a third of their population being put in partial house arrest? How does it feel for the people stuck at home? And how did a liberal democracy come to this in 2021?For more, read the Post from UnHerd. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Asra Nomani: Mothers fight back against Critical Race Theory in schools
30:42Florence Read talks to Asra Nomani.Education policy rarely tips the electoral scales. But following Glenn Youngkin's shock win in the Virginia governor's race, where education was the top priority for 35% of his supporters, focus has turned towards the American curriculum as a new political battleground.A group of parents, or 'Mama and Papa Bears', have been particularly vocal in protesting the changes they have witnessed in Virginia schools since the start of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020. Critical Race Theory, according to these concerned parents, is infiltrating the state system and being taught as fact to children as young as seven. To bring us closer to the views on the ground in Virginia, Florence Read spoke to Wall Street Journal reporter turned anti-CRT activist Asra Nomani.In today's UnHerdTV, Asra describes the development of the parents' movement in Virginia, why she was dubbed a 'domestic terrorist' and her hopes for the future of American politics.You can read The Post here. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Covid doctor: No UK lockdown this Christmas
27:36As we approach Winter, murmurs of another lockdown have slowly been entering the national conversation. Just yesterday Health Secretary Sajid Javid tweeted that it was a “national mission” to get jabbed so that we “can get through Winter and enjoy Christmas” while Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Vam-Tam last week threatened Plan B if people acted “like Covid was over”.But is all this pessimism really warranted? After all, Covid infection rates in the UK have been falling for over two weeks and, compared to the rest of Europe (where cases are rising), it does not look in bad shape. To get a more balanced picture, Freddie Sayers spoke to Dr. Raghib Ali, a clinical epidemiologist from the University of Cambridge and a frontline doctor. Last month, he gained nationwide attention when he published ‘The Lockdown Myths that need challenging’, arguing (among other things) that it was incorrect to say that the UK’s high death rate was attributable to locking down late or that lives would have been saved if we lockdown earlier. In today’s UnHerdTV, he expanded on his thinking and explained why he didn’t think restrictions would be coming in before Christmas:Most of the modellers think that cases, hospitalisations and deaths will fall over the coming months because of the very high levels of population immunity thanks to a combination of vaccination and natural immunity. And therefore it’s very unlikely — unless there is some new variant which we have seen before — that there will be a situation like last winter. Because of that, I don’t think we’re going to have any new restrictions between now and ChristmasFor more read The Post from UnHerd See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Kathleen Stock: I won't be silenced
49:20Kathleen Stock chats to UnHerd's Julie Bindel.Kathleen Stock was forced to resign from Sussex University after an aggressive campaign of targeted harassment over her gender critical views.The campaign to push Prof Stock out of Sussex began when she self-published a number blog posts critical of extreme transgender ideology. She was concerned that the majority of academics, including philosophers such as herself, were reluctant to criticise campaigns to introduce self-identification for transgender people.Although Kathleen is understandably upset by the conduct of the small number of abusive students, she is adamant that many of them are taking a cue from the influential adults around them. “I don’t think they’ve actually read what I think. There’s a lot of enabling, or inciting, of individuals in this story,” she says.Read the full article from Julie Bindel's here See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Bjorn Lomborg: Climate change is NOT the end of the world
40:35As the COP26 summit meets over the next couple of weeks in Glasgow, we can all expect to be bombarded with disaster scenarios, replete with stories about our species’ imminent demise. Over the last couple of days, we have had Boris Johnson warning that it is “one minute to midnight” and Prince Charles claiming that this is “literally our last chance saloon”. And of course, Greta Thunberg has already made a few appearances of her own, accusing politicians of “pretending to take our future seriously” and saying that COP26 will “lead us nowhere”.Bjorn Lomborg takes a different view. His latest book, ‘False Alarm: how climate change panic costs us trillions, hurts the poor, and fails to fix the planet’ sets out his argument that, although climate change is a real problem and is mostly man-made, the panic and alarmism is counter-productive. For more read The Post from UnHerd See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: wokeness is a gift to Islamism
34:13Freddie Sayers speaks with Ayaan Hirsi Ali. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Steven Pinker: How rational are YOU?
1:00:50Do we live in a rational world? For all the advances humanity has made over the years and centuries, it is difficult to escape the feeling that we live in irrational times. Or so leading psychologist Steven Pinker argues in his new book ‘Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters’. From cancel culture to online conspiracy theories, the Harvard Professor argues that we are forgetting how to reason and think clearly — two vital tools for the flourishing of mankind.But is being irrational necessarily a bad thing? Are there certain scenarios in which it might be permissible? Speaking at the Art Workers’ Guild in London, Prof Pinker joined Freddie Sayers to discuss rationality and its possible limits. Our thanks to Professor Pinker for an enlightening discussion.For more read The Post from UnHerd See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Ash Sarkar: Left and Right must unite against Big Tech censorship
22:19Earlier today, a YouTube channel with 167,000 subscribers and over 40 million view vanished. It was not a fringe channel that platforms cranks, conspiracists and extremists, but one of the UK’s leading Left-wing political website, which according to the outlet is ‘among the top 50 most watched news and politics channels in the UK’.The channel was Novara Media, which was mysteriously reinstated by YouTube two hours later.According to Novara’s senior editor Ash Sarkar, Novara had received no prior warning and one ‘strike’ (YouTube operates a ‘three strikes and you’re out’ policy) before the channel was removed.For more read The Post from UnHerd See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The retreat of the West is a disaster - Bernard-Henri Lévy
43:02Freddie Sayers speaks to Bernard-Henri Lévy.Few have made the case for liberal interventionism more consistently than Bernard-Henri Lévy. Despite setbacks in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan, the French public intellectual’s worldview has remained largely unchanged.But with the Taliban now in control of Afghanistan — and signs of resistance dwindling — is he still convinced the West was right to be there at all?He joined Freddie Sayers in our London studio to discuss his new book, The Will to See.Read more at unherd.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Debate: are Conservatives doomed?
1:04:33Are Conservatives doomed? Following a General Election that resulted in an 80-seat majority for the Conservative Party after 11 years of uninterrupted rule, this might seem like a rather strange question to ask.But firstly, there may be long term challenges to the Tory coalition. By 2030, typically Left-leaning groups that tend to vote Labour — the young, renters, the childless, and the more urban people are not only growing in numbers but becoming increasingly liberal too.More importantly, are the Tories even a Conservative party? Even if the British Tories have a talent for remaining in power, where does that leave true Conservatism?At this week’s Conservative Party conference in Manchester, UnHerd gathered together some of the country’s most optimistic — and doomerist — conservative voices to get to the bottom of this question. In the pessimist corner sat writer Ed West who recently published a book ‘Small Men on the Wrong side of History’ and columnist Peter Hitchens, who has been calling for the destruction of the Conservative Party since 2010.In the more optimistic corner: Miriam Cates, a Conservative who was elected as MP for Penistone and Stockbridge as part of the feted ‘Red Wall’ intake in 2019; and Matthew Goodwin, a contributor at UnHerd and professor of politics at Kent.For more read The Post from UnHerd See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.