SIO266: Why Sam Harris Is Wrong about Police Killings

It’s been something like 70 years since the George Floyd protests, and the news cycle has had no choice but to move onto so many other huge and terrible things. But Lindsey Osterman and I still haven’t forgotten the terrible arguments used by people like Sam Harris, and many in the right-wing information ecosystem, to push back against Black Lives Matter and to try to undermine the massive protests we saw. Lindsey takes us through two papers that have heavily influence this view, and why they’re completely wrong. (spoiler: one was even RETRACTED!)

This episode was far more focused on the academic papers than on Sam Harris, but if you’d like to hear us absolutely destroy his “Can We Pull Back From the Brink” episode, make to become a Patron!

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SIO265: Did The System Work?

I’m finally answering my listener email! It’s been a tense… year, and I haven’t gone to the inbox for a while. Today that changes! Before that, I can’t help but unload a bit about whether or not “the system worked.” When I hear people say that, it just does not seem right. But also… it did… kinda? Then I get to your questions and comments, about Constitutional Conventions and lizard people and revolution and progressive policies and more!

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SIO264: Did Progressive Causes Lead To House Losses?

After Democrats had a disappointing election in the House, there was a group call in which some centrist members blamed progressives. AOC responded in the New York Times. This has set off a pretty bitter debate. I wanted to get to the bottom of the claims using the actual voting data and see if there was anything to be learned going either way. Hours of data entry later, I believe I have (some) answers.

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SIO263: Not The Worst Possible Outcome, But Close

As of recording, it’s looking like a narrow Biden victory and Republican control of the Senate. This isn’t set in stone, and there’s still an outside shot of taking the Senate and winning the Presidency by a more comfortable margin, but this analysis is under the assumption that we won’t. Here are my thoughts.

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SIO262: I’m Perfectly Calm

Calmer than you are. It’s election day. FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

Here are a series of disjointed thoughts. God damn I hope this all ends.

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SIO261: A Monster Island Follow-up

Listeners were fascinated by the Monster Island experiment Aaron told us about last episode! At the same time, another member of the group responded by posting that Aaron had perhaps left some things out of his account. I thought it would be a great opportunity to hear more about the experiment and also see how identity can affect how things like this are experienced.

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SIO260: Aaron Rabinowitz on James Lindsay and Monster Island

My brother from another pod-mother Aaron Rabinowitz is on to discuss the fantastic article he wrote for The Skeptic! The article is about his experience in the Facebook group Monster Island, which was a no-holds-barred debate group that some of you may have been involved with. If you weren’t, Aaron will detail what happened, including a pretty scary twist (or predictable?) ending.

Before that, we talk about James Lindsay going full Trump supporter. 

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SIO259: Hunter’s Damned Emails

I’ve been wondering how two things could be true – that Giuliani has an obviously fake story about obtaining Hunter Biden’s laptop, and that the leak contains seemingly real texts between Joe and Hunter Biden. I tried to get to the bottom of it. 

I also talk about the recent murder of a teacher in Paris, committed by a Muslim refugee with radical beliefs, and how we can try to maintain proper perspective in the wake of visceral acts of terror.

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SIO258: How Social Media Can Subvert Democracy

Lindsey Osterman is back for a follow-up to our Social Dilemma episode. Last time we talked about where the documentary got things a little wrong. Today Lindsey’s here to tell us what they had right, but didn’t go enough into. It’s not a pretty picture! As usual, she’s got the science to back the claims: 3 major studies which show that Facebook has affected real elections.

Studies: Kramer et al 2014, Bond et al 2012, Haenschen

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SIO257: The Psychology Behind Cults, Part 2!

The second part of our conversation on cults. We finish up on the psychology and then talk about Q anon and Trumpism and whether or not they can fairly be called cults.

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