Altruism seems like such a no-brainer good idea. Give to those in need. Give to charities. But, every dollar we give to one person or organization is a dollar we potentially don’t give to another. And, what makes humans altruistic in the first place? Is it our culture and higher order society that brings about these qualities or is there an underlying reason dictated by evolutionary biology? This playlist explores the pros and cons of effective altruism, direct cash giving, and the view of altruism from the perspective of evolutionary biology.
Like it or not, we’re all getting older. Some people decide to lean into aging, while others fight it with all they’ve got. How does ageism play into our decisions about how to age. And, what, if anything, can and should science do to increase longevity. The episodes in this month’s playlist tackle these questions and offer a variety of perspectives on the topic.
Movies, like podcasts, can expose us to new ideas, perspectives, and cultures that we may not have otherwise encountered. This can broaden our understanding of the world and help us to become more empathetic and understanding of others. They can make us laugh, cry, scream, and even roll our eyes. Movies can be used as a way to escape and unwind or to explore complicated and uncomfortable topics. This playlist explores the history of movies and the trends in filmmaking.
Cults are such a fascinating topic. Often times, there is an almost imperceptible border between cults and religion, but they can also take the form of self-help groups and business networks. Cults can be so powerful that people may lose their money, their faith, their morals, and even their lives. This podcast playlist highlights a range of cults from the perspectives of those who were in them.
It’s so easy to get caught up in all of the chaos and minutiae that is happening on this planet. But, the second you look into the night sky it becomes very clear that we are just a tiny speck in a giant universe. It’s both humbling and awe-inspiring. What is out there beyond that night sky? And, perhaps more interestingly, who is out there? It seems very unlikely that we are the only intelligent life that exists and even less likely that we are the only life, intelligent or not. Check out this science-forward playlist on questions around the search for extraterrestrial life.
Podcasts conquered the worlds of true crime and news long ago, but there’s a sleeper genre thriving just below the top of the charts. Over the past couple of years, we have been spoiled by the rise of some fantastic podcasts about giving and receiving advice. Whether we intend to or not, we all find ourselves in situations where we are asked to give or receive advice from time to time. Advice is how we learn from the mistakes and successes of others, and how we try to help others navigate around the potholes we weren’t lucky enough to miss. This playlist is made up of podcasts focusing on advice from several angles. Some are more lighthearted, some are serious, and you’ll even find advice on giving advice.