The Very Happy Wizards

About a year ago, I discovered the Very Bad Wizards; a podcast hosted by a psychology professor and a philosophy professor discussing current topics in science and ethics.

What makes podcasts wonderful is that in an age of short YouTube clips and even shorter Instagram clips, they have become almost the only place left where you can have a long-form discussion with someone. And the fact that it's audio without pictures means that you can do other simple things like drive or exercise while you listen. (You can still do it in print, but unless you're transcribing an actual conversation from audio, writing is usually just the mental output from a single person, there is no interaction or response.)

What makes this particular podcast so wonderful is that they have serious discussions without taking themselves too seriously. In fact, one of the most delightful moments in all of podcasting was a serious discussion about what Thomas Nagel quote would be most suited to being tattooed on one's penis. 


This most recent episode is about happiness. In particular a Yale University course taught by Laurie Santos about the science of happiness and evidence based practices for making yourself happier. It's a fascinating and frightening idea that you could have all sorts of reasons to be happy, and yet your brain wouldn't tell you. As Laurie discusses at some length, it's important to learn that your brain isn't always giving you accurate feedback about your own life and environment and it's sometimes necessary to outsmart yourself (what has become known as Life-Hacks) to use the actual reasons you have to be happy to become happy.

And fortunately, no mention of tattoos: