Wild with Sarah Wilson

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KIERAN SETIYA: How to love living a hard life

Ep. 69

Life is hard. And yet so much of contemporary life compels us to fight this fundamental reality. We are meant to be happy! We are meant to live our best, most #blissful, potential-stacked life! But I talk with Kieran Setiya, a professor of philosophy at MIT, who argues we should #NotLiveOurBestLife. It’s better to aspire to a life that is, well, good enough. Kieran has appeared on Sam Harris’ podcast, written for the New York Times, the London Review of Books etc bringing a philosophical argument to pop issues such as the Dave Chapelle quandary, baseball and the worth of having a midlife crises.  In his latest book, Life is Hard, he draws on Aristotle, Wittgenstein, and Simone Weil - as well as Groundhog Day and Joan Didion – to guide us to a good life, which entails embracing pain and hardship. In this chat we cover: How to make friends; what if the whole world turned sterile; the beauty of chronic pain and Kieran’s thesis for “the meaning of life” (it’s a cracker, and it’s not 42!).


Grab Kieran’s book Life Is Hard: How Philosophy Can Help Us Find Our Way

Read some of his essays and connect with him via his website

He mentions he came across Wild via this interview with Katherine May 

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If you need to know a bit more about me… head to my "about" page. 

Subscribe to my Substack newsletter for more such conversation. 

Get your copy of my book, This One Wild and Precious Life 

Let’s connect on Instagram! It’s where I interact the most. 

More Episodes

11/22/2022

HOLDEN KARNOFSKY: The most important century is now. Blimey

Ep. 73
This episode continues the fascinating-slash-frightening journey I’ve been on with you, to understand what we should prioritise as we face potential existential end times. Today’s guest, Harvard researcher and philanthropist Holden Karnofsky, brings the AI, effective altruism, longtermism and anti-growth debates together with the clarion call: “This is our moment, this century is make-or-break, pay attention people!” It’s not an idle or hysterical call, it’s one that Holden has researched extensively and is backed by global leaders in the space. As some background: Holden founded Givewell, the charity evaluator that has raised more than $US1billion for charities that have saved more than 150,000 lives (Bill Gates, Sam Harris and the now disgraced billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried use it) and Open Philanthropy investigates more speculative causes. So if this is the most important century, what does it mean for us? What are our responsibilities? What’s going to happen? Buckle up, says Holden, because, “we live in wild times and should be ready for anything to happen”. Here’s the "most important century" blog post series we talk about.I also flag Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro. As well as this Vice article about how scientists can’t explain how AI works.You might also want to go back and listen to the episodes with Peter Singer on effective altruism, Will Macaskill on Longtermism and Elise Bohan on misaligned AI and transhumanism......If you need to know a bit more about me… head to my "about" page. Subscribe to my Substack newsletter for more such conversation. Get your copy of my book, This One Wild and Precious Life Let’s connect on Instagram! It’s where I interact the most.
11/15/2022

CLARE PRESS: There is no such thing as sustainable fashion. Now what?

Ep. 72
The fashion industry produces 20% of global wastewater and more carbon emissions than ALL international flights and ALL maritime shipping COMBINED. If nothing changes, by 2050 the fashion industry will use up a quarter of the world’s carbon budget. Ex-Vogue journalist and founder of The Wardrobe Crisis (the book, podcast and academy) Clare Press joins me to wrestle the quandaries: Is vegan leather ethical? Are recycled plastic leggings green? What labels are legit carbon neutral? Does the stuff I donate to St Vinnies just go to landfill? (Yup.) Is it true when I return something online it goes to landfill and not back on rack? (Double yup!). I wanted to do this episode to set the truly shocking facts straight and share the tangible better options, but also to posit the wild idea of redefining fashion style in a new, far more creative way. Dig in!Check out The Wardrobe Crisis, the book, podcast and academy of courses Follow Clare on instagram We discuss an Atlantic article about returning online purchases, you can read it here. Clare’s Recommendations:The scorecard/resources for finding “good” brands: The Or Foundation, Oxfam’s Naughty or Nice, Fashion Revolution and Baptist World Aid Guide. The book to read: Loved clothes last by Orsola De CastroThe recycling app: UpparelThe influencer to follow: Maggis ZhuThe documentary to watch: 'Slay' The label: The Social Outfit in Newtown based in Sydney, or check out the sister organisations in Melbourne and London. I mentioned that Kay Montano in London had recommended a 1951 film The Man in the White Suit .....If you need to know a bit more about me… head to my "about" page. Subscribe to my Substack newsletter for more such conversation. Get your copy of my book, This One Wild and Precious Life Let’s connect on Instagram! It’s where I interact the most.
11/8/2022

JENNIFER ROBINSON: Public educated kids speak out!

Ep. 71
There’s a young Australian human rights lawyer and barrister who has been at the centre of the most era-defining legal cases in the world. She has represented Julian Assange since 2010. She led the Amber Heard case. She worked on the case against the CIA’s drone strikes in Pakistan and a case against the Catholic Church over child sex abuse. She was also a legal adviser to The New York Times in the Murdoch phone-hacking scandal and regularly fronts up to the International Court of Justice and various UN human rights bodies representing the poor, oppressed, the maligned. Her name’s Jen Robinson, and she grew up in a low-income family in the small rural town of Berry, proudly schooled in public education and went on to be a Rhodes scholar and to work alongside Geoffrey Robertson and George Clooney’s wife Amal. Jen and I get mighty fired up about …speaking up...speaking up as an act of vitality and antidote to depression. We also cover why we want our friends to send their kids to public schools, the inside take on the Assange case, what we need to know about the Amber Heard case (big slap in face for me) and her new book, How Many More Woman, which shares how women can beat the legal system at its own game (and speak up!).You can now purchase Jen’s book, How Many More Women hereFollow Jen on Twitter .....If you need to know a bit more about me… head to my "about" page. Subscribe to my Substack newsletter for more such conversation. Get your copy of my book, This One Wild and Precious Life Let’s connect on Instagram! It’s where I interact the most.