human condition

Wicked Problems

How do you solve a problem like crime, poverty or climate change? The answer, like the problem itself, is elusive and amorphous. These are not "tame problems," but "wicked problems" -- conundrums that defy even the powerful problem-solving powers of scientific ingenuity. Join Robert and Christian for a proper Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration.

New Year's Resolutions: Science and Moral Behavior

So many of our most common resolutions for personal improvement are inherently narcissistic: Quit smoking, lose weight, get in shape. We want to look sexier, feel stronger and live forever. But beyond this alternately self-gratifying and self-flagellating topography lies the most quintessential self-improvement project of all: Being a better person. Can science show us how to re-engineer our moral behavior and live better lives? Robert and Joe explore.

Brain-to-Brain: The Science of Techno-Telepathy

You've always wanted to meet a sensitive alien telepath who could understand you like no one else, but SETI is really dropping the ball on your galactic personal ad. Could new technologies that push the frontiers of brain science allow telepathic communication between humans? Join Robert and Joe as they make a case for the slogan, "Talk is cheap. Scan me!"

The Unlanguaged Mind: A World Built With Words

How can we even imagine a life without language when language itself plays such a crucial role in human cognition? Can you even imagine a world in which nothing has a name? Join Robert and Christian as they continue their exploration of the brain's linguistic operating system.

The Ring of Gyges

Before H.G. Wells' Invisible Man and J.R.R. Tolkien's One Ring, there was the Ring of Gyges: a mythical artifact that turned the wearer invisible. Would such anonymity turn you into a law-breaking monster, or does morality extend beyond the fear of judgement and punishment? From Plato to modern psychology, Stuff to Blow Your Mind explores...

The Power of Shame

Shame is a powerful emotion that, depending on the way you frame it, can be a force for either good or evil. Find out what the difference is between embarrassment, guilt and shame. Do dogs feel shame? And have you ever suffered from second-hand embarrassment?

Cry Me a River

Tears are an integral part of the shared human language of expression -- even though at one time in history a display of public waterworks was considered "emotional incontinence." Explore the world of lachrymal effluvia with us, won't you?

Money and Happiness

Can money buy happiness? Find out if being flush with cash really makes a difference in your outlook. Join Robert and Julie once more for a fascinating examination of the human condition on the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast.

Attention Schema Theory: Consciousness and God

Life is an enduring mystery. We're forced to unravel the mystery of human consciousness from within, while the enigma of cosmos bears down on us from beyond. We whisper the words "self" and even "god" to ground ourselves in an ocean of chaos, but what's it really all about? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, explore Attention Schema Theory and what it has to say about evolution, consciousness and our notion of the divine.