Trump tweets vs the Constitution, maximizing misery, and the crisis of expertise

Welcome to the Hurt Your Brain internet playlist from June 25, 2017. It’s a collection of podcasts, videos, and other links for people who love to learn online and are fascinated by the world. Click here to get playlists emailed to you as they come out.



What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law: first three episodes 13-18 minutes
Roman Mars dropped this new show unannounced, and it’s an under the radar delight. Mars teams up with a law professor at UC Davis, and in each episode they teach us about constitutional law using Trump’s tweets as a framework. Come for the interesting premise, stay for the solid and quick education.

Revisionist History: The Road to Damascus 39 minutes
Malcolm Gladwell is back with the second season of Revisionist History. In this second episode, hear some strong opinions from Gladwell as he takes a look inside the complicated relationship between the CIA and the press.

Planet Money: Free Love, Free Market 22 minutes
This episode is about Oneida, as in the flatware company and the town. Oneida, NY, where the company started, is not that far from me and I had no idea about its bizarre history. It involves communes, partner swapping, and bold business pivots.

+ On Second Thought: An additional Planet Money recommendation- this episode is all about changing your mind. It features an economist who changed her mind on Medicaid after an experiment in Oregon, and one of my favorite subreddits, “change my view”.

The Daily: Part one on opioid crisis 19 minutes | Part two 22 minutes
The second half of each of these episodes deals with what exactly is going on with the increasingly out of control opioid crisis. The key problem is fentanyl and I had no idea how terrifying this drug is. A letter in the mail can contain enough of the drug to get 50,000 people high and drug overdose is now the leading cause of death for people under 50 in the US.

Science Vs conclusions

Science Vs: Nuclear power-What are the risks? 40 minutes
1) There are lots of safety mechanisms in nuclear power stations, but there will probably be another serious accident in the future.
2) It’s unknown exactly how dangerous a meltdown is, but it’s estimated that around 1,000 people will die from cancer as a result of the Fukushima meltdown in Japan.
3) The best way to deal with nuclear power waste is still to store it and shove in a big hole.

Science Vs: Artificial sweeteners-Not so sweet? 53 minutes
1) There is no evidence that artificial sweeteners cause cancer in humans, but there are some early (but flawed) studies that show cancer risk in rats.
2) Artificial sweeteners are not too effective in helping people lose weight, and there are some studies showing that they might lead to weight gain in the long term.
3) Artificial sweeteners are associated with changes in your gut micro-biome, but much more needs to be studied to know if this leads to any harm or not.

My first podcast experience!

Podcast Brunch Club: Creativity
My first podcast experience as a guest was on the new Podcast Brunch Club Podcast. I mentioned I might be on it in the previous newsletter, and here it is!


CGP Grey: 7 Ways to Maximize Misery 7 minutes
A nice tour of all the things to avoid in life if you want to give yourself a chance at happiness.

Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel: Boomer Esiason, Frank Deford, and Cystic Fibrosis 18 minutes
Frank Deford is a sports journalist who recently passed away, who has contributed many stories over the years to Real Sports. I don’t really watch sports but I found this to be an absolutely riveting and heartbreaking story. You’ll learn how devastating Cystic Fibrosis is and how far along treatment has come. You’ll also gain major respect for both Frank Deford and ex-NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason.


Aeon: The Crisis of Expertise
“How do experts go wrong? There are several kinds of expert failure. The most innocent and most common are what we might think of as the ordinary failures of science.”

Radiolab: What are your most memorable episodes?
After surveying their audience, here’s a list of the top ten fan favorite episodes of all time.

Bello Collective: Podcasts that are out of this world
A nice curated list of space podcasts by Calen Cross. For you space nerds out there (and who isn’t!?)

Quora: What should I read to get into philosophy?
A great answer worth bookmarking or using to add to your reading list. It starts: “Please, please, I beg you, don’t read Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Hume, Husserl, Nietzsche, Camus. If you do so, chances are you’re gonna hate philosophy. Don’t read Hegel, or certainly you’re gonna hate philosophy for ever.”



That’s all for this week!


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