Iceland wants its skulls back from Harvard
Plus addiction science, the tragedy of Robert Oppenheimer, why experiences aren't better than possessions, and other podcasts and links that will make you think.
Welcome to Hurt Your Brain #182, the place to get podcasts and links that will make you think.
Happy Mother’s Day! Please enjoy this episode of Criminal and this episode of Criminal as recommended by my Mom. She has good taste! She apologizes that the first one is a little dark but a good episode is a good episode!
Also, I’m stealing something I saw in Eric Johnson’s always good Follow Friday newsletter. I didn’t realize you could embed Apple Podcasts links within Substack, so I’m experimenting doing that as well. The link for the heading above the bullet points will still point to the pod.link where you can find links to all the other apps.
Let’s jump in!
Sapiens: A Story of Icelandic Skulls
The Big Idea: What are the ethics and responsibility of a Harvard museum in returning human remains back to Iceland a century after their “collection”?
This episode is about museums and their sometimes dubiously sourced collections, but it’s also an intriguing taste of Iceland’s rich and complicated history.
Transcript available here.
Taboo Science: Addiction: (with Judy Grisel, Ph.D)
The Big Idea: A really solid look at the modern scientific understanding of addiction. Addiction is complicated with many factors, but the most surprising and interesting bit for me was about the importance of age (see quote below).
“Just like it’s harder to learn French when you’re 26 than it is when you’re 16, if you can wait till you’re 26 to start using drugs, then the adaptation isn’t that profound.”
This show recently came back from a lengthy hiatus and I’m excited to listen to more.
Transcripts available here.
The Disappearing Spoon: The Real Tragedy of Robert Oppenheimer
The Big Idea: Everyone knows Oppenheimer was in charge of the Manhattan Project and said the thing about the destroyer of worlds and all, but did you know he tried poisoning someone in college?
This is a brisk and interesting journey through the life of Oppenheimer that overall gives that sense that he was a bit of an entitled, restless prick.
This is great timing, because if you are like me you immediately watched the new trailer to Christopher Nolan’s new trailer for Oppenheimer.
The Tim Ferriss Show: #669: Kevin Kelly on Excellent Advice for Living
The Big Idea: “Don’t aim to be the best, be the only.” I really like this quote from Kevin Kelly and this entire interview had me thinking.
The only thing I disagreed with Kelly on was his somewhat naive thoughts on AI not causing people to lose their jobs. To his credit, Ferriss pushed back and had a more realistic take.
Kevin Kelly also was on EconTalk, which is very worth listening to as well if you want a double header of thoughtful interviews.
From the Hurt Your Brain archives (from edition #137):
I wish this series was even longer, but these three episodes give a nice history of capitalism within the US, a detailed discussion around what exactly neoliberalism is, and the history of prosperity gospel.
OTHER LINKS TO MAKE YOU THINK
Experiences Won’t Make You Happier Than Possessions (Be skeptical of pop psychology studies). An interesting light take down on this often repeated line about experiences.
Just how fast is Kipchoge running? I didn’t realize that Eliud Kipchoge did end up running a sub two hour marathon. It’s absolutely incredible. This video walks through just how fast that is.
Poor thing, I really hope someone finds that podcast.
The three things that are part of all of my favorite podcasts (you’ll never guess what game came out this weekend that may or may not have influenced this).
Horses vs bunny: Brilliant voiceover and this is amazing. Another recommendation from my Mom!
Alright that’s all for today. Please like or comment (or reply) if you want to share any comments. See you next time.
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