How Do We Fix It?

Share

How Your Mindset Transforms Your Life: David Robson

Ep. 346

Our brains are prediction machines: How we frame everyday tasks and challenges of our lives can have a profound impact on their outcomes. In this episode, we learn about new discoveries in science that reveal the many ways our expectations shape our experience.


Author and science writer David Robson is our guest. His latest book, "The Expectation Effect" cites findings from well-over 400 "robust experiments" and takes readers on a tour of cutting-edge research that uncovers new techniques to improve our fitness, productivity, intelligence, health, and happiness.


We learn why people who believe aging brings wisdom live longer. Reappraising stress as something that's energizing increases your creativity under pressure.

Cultivating an indulgent attitude to food may help you lose weight. Taking a placebo, even when you know it is a placebo, can still improve your health.


"What the latest research has just done is to tell us that if the placebo effect is happening in a doctor's office or hospital maybe it's happening all the time in everyday life," David tells "How Do We Fix It?". "Our expectations are shaping our life every minute of every day."


Unlike many best-selling self-help books, David's writing and reasoning are based on years of careful research. David was surprised by what he discovered. You cannot think your way into a pile of money or out of a cancer diagnosis. But just because magical thinking is nonsense doesn’t mean rational magic doesn’t exist. Pointing to accepted psychology and objective physiology, Robson gives us practical takeaways that may well improve our fitness, productivity, intelligence, and happiness.


Recommendation: Jim is reading "Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World", by Simon Winchester.


Note:


We are doing something special with our Patreon fundraising account, where we ask listeners for support. Until now we've been spending the money to expand our reach and gain more subscribers. But for the next 6 months, we're giving it to Ukraine relief efforts. The funds are going to charities such as Doctors Without Borders and the International Red Cross. Please help us help people who need our money most. Here.


More Episodes

9/16/2022

Clean, Green, Affordable Energy: Jim Meigs

Ep. 368
Energy prices have skyrocketed this year. Rolling blackouts are still a threat in California, and as winter approaches Europe is facing a full-blown crisis that may cause widespread suffering, factory closures and a deep recession.Angered by the West's support of Ukraine, Russia has shut down supplies of natural gas that European nations had relied on for decades to heat homes and run industry. The EU, United Kingdom and others are now scrambling to find new supplies and reassure their citizens that the crisis can be contained. In this episode we discuss efforts to reduce carbon emissions and consider why the outlook for affordable energy has deteriorated.Our podcast co-host Jim Meigs is the expert source for this episode. He argues that shutting down nuclear power plants, having unrealistic expectations of solar and wind production, and ignoring years of threats from Russia have all contributed to the energy crisis.Earlier this year, Jim joined the Manhattan Institute as a senior fellow and a contributing editor of City Journal. His recent commentary for the magazine, "The Green War on Clean Energy", makes the case that progressives and socialists in the environmental movement have waged a fight against technology that would cut carbon emissions.Jim says that "nuclear energy is the only technology to dramatically reduce America's carbon footprint." We consider the case for and against this view. We examine promising new technologies such as carbon capture and improved battery storage. And we look at the Republican ridicule of ambitious attempts to fight climate change, and consider whether conservative views about the need for action are fundamentally changing.Recommendation: Richard has just read "Land: How The Hunger For Ownership Shaped The Modern World", by Anglo-American author and journalist, Simon Winchester. This 2021 book received glowing reviews.may 
9/2/2022

Trump, Power Politics, Populism & Democracy. Darrell West

Ep. 367
The recent controversy about the seizure of classified government documents at Mar-a-Lago is only the latest example of outrage over former President Trump's behavior, and the responses to it. But the forces shaking American democracy didn't begin with Trump's arrival on the political scene. We learn why populism, polarization and other threats to public institutions will likely last for the foreseeable future. Our guest, Darrell West, vice president of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C., is the author of "Power Politics: Trump and the Assault on American Democracy." He's the author of 19 books on American politics and has won several prestigious awards for his writing. In this episode we discuss why the grievances exploited by Trump that existed well before he became president, the threat of extreme authoritarianism, the role played by technological and social media, and Darrell West's constructive advice for protecting people, organizations and the country from challenges to democracy. Our lively conversation also looks at the systemic causes of current threats to American democracy, procedural justice, and a reason-based society. Jim and Richard also debate Darrell West's analysis of the challenges that we all face.Recommendation: Jim is reading "The Facemaker: A Visionary Surgeon's Battle to Mend the Disfigured Soldiers of World War 1" by Lindsey Fitzharris.