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Envy and The Elephant in the Brain

This episode is mostly a discussion of Robin Hanson's "The Elephant in the Brain", a book about the 'hidden motives in everyday lives'. We also go on a long tangent about envy, and our personal experience of it over the years.

How To Convince Your Friend To Start A Blog

In this episode, we explore we often fail to convince our friends to start having an online presence, and what a better approach might be. Possibly applicable to general "convincing" tasks as well.

68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice - Part 2

In this episode, we continue our exploration of Kevin Kelly’s 68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice.

Responses to our 'racism' episode

In this episode we discuss some of the responses we received to last week's episode ("Racism, Black Lives Matter, and Figuring Stuff Out"), from hate mail to not-hate mail. Ali also unveils his life plan for the next few years, and Taimur goes on a bit of a rant about "legibility".

Racism, Social Justice, and Figuring Stuff Out

This week we talk about the Black Lives Matter movement, social justice, and how our towards these issues have changed over the past few years. Please interpret charitably.

Thinking as Children

We talk about Eric Weinstein’s recent podcast episode with his son, which sparks a discussion about how both of our thinking developed as kids and adults and why we should take kids more seriously.

68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice

This week, we dig into Kevin Kelly's recent blog post "68 bits of unsolicited advice". We go through the list and talk about a bunch of the advices (?) that resonate with us.

Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships

This episode is Part 3 of 3 in our Transactional Analysis series (make sure you listen to the last 2 episodes before this one!). We dig into many of the different social games that people play: "If It Weren't For You", "Why Don't You — Yes, But", "Courtroom", "Uproar", "Blemish", and a few others.

Life Positions & Games - Transactional Analysis Part 2

In this episode, we continue our discussion about Transactional Analysis. We recap the Parent, Adult and Child zones of thinking that we mentioned last week, and move on to talking about the 4 different Life Positions and the Games People Play.

The Parent, The Adult and The Child - A Discussion of Transactional Analysis

In this episode, we discuss transactional analysis. Taimur talks us through the ideas behind the theory, and how your internal mind can be split up into three parts - the Parent, Adult, and Child with examples taken from the book I'm Ok, You're Ok by Thomas Harris. Enjoy.

Money, Stories, and Old People

In this episode, we talk about a few different things — how to think about giving money to those in need, whether it's helpful to view our lives as stories, and how Taimur has been trying to develop more empathy with old people.

Vision, Leadership and Winning the Lottery - An open-ended discussion

In this episode we take a ramble through a number of topics from statistics to value propositions to what we'd do if we won the lottery to Animal Crossing. Enjoy!

The Principles of Productivity

In this episode, we talk about Ali's favourite thing - productivity - much to Taimur's joy! Or, more precisely, we talk through the structure and some of the key points from Ali's upcoming Skillshare class on productivity including Parkinson's law, the Pareto principle amongst other myths, laws and principles...

Taimur Teaches Maths - The Flaw of Averages

In this episode, Taimur gives us a maths lesson. We learn about why it's bad to rely on 'averages' when making plans, and about how we can make better decisions by accounting for uncertainty. Sorry for the poor audio quality — Taimur had some technical difficulties this week.

Note-taking and quarantining

In this episode, we mostly talk about note-taking — reasons to do it, and different systems and apps to facilitate it. We also talk about how quarantine life is going so far, and how we're trying to make the most of it.

Not Overthinking: Coronavirus Edition

This week we talk about the only thing there is to talk about right now — the Coronavirus crisis. We look back over the past few weeks to see how our thinking about the virus has changed, and we try and figure out how to get ourselves to emotionally care about things that are distant from us.

How would you spend your time if you knew you'd die in 2 years?

This week we tackle the conundrum of "how would you spend your time if you knew you'd die in 2 years?" We discuss some of the different ways of framing and thinking about this question, and to what extent it can help figure out what we're doing with our lives.

Low Optionality and Adult Friendships

This week we talk about a few topics that Taimur's been noticing more and more — low social optionality (applied to adult friendships), the plight of kids in society, and treating your personal life like a business. We also touch on the ideology of social media lynch mobs/"haters".

40 Concepts for Understanding the World - Tweet Discussion

This week we talk about @G_S_Bhogal's Twitter megathread of "40 powerful concepts for understanding the world". A whirlwind tour of a bunch of mental models that you may or may not have come across before.

Motivation, Complaining and Conversationality - A Critique of the Podcast

This episode features Calum, a junior doctor working in Scotland who spent 6 years in medical school living with Ali. Calum has listened to every episode of the podcast so far, and shares some critique about the format, the vibe and some specifics about motivation, complaining and conversationality. Enjoy!

Margin, Dinner Parties and The Art of Gathering

In this episode, we continue to discuss the difficulties with recording a podcast each week, which turns into a conversation about margin & keeping afloat vs optimising for the long term. We then talk about a dinner party that Taimur hosted, which turns into a discussion about The Art of Gathering, a book that explores these issues in much greater detail. Enjoy!

Book Discussion: The Wright Brothers

In this episode, we summarise "The Wright Brothers" by David McCullough. It's a biography of Wilbur and Orville Wright, best known for inventing the airplane. It contains timeless themes relevant to any and all forms of human endeavour, so in addition to being an amazing story about a turning point for the human race, there's a lot we can learn from it.

Does travel really broaden our horizons?

In this episode (recorded on a car journey, sorry for the audio quality), we discuss the extent to which travelling, and living in different countries for extended time periods, actually broadens our horizons. Our guest Suhail talks about his experiences moving to the UK from Pakistan, and then Suhail and Taimur discuss the ways in which living in the USA has (or hasn't) broadened their own life perspectives.

Book Discussion - The Courage to be Disliked

In this episode, we summarise "The Courage to be Disliked" by Fumitake Koga and Ichiro Kishimi. It's one of the very few books that Taimur's actually read, and the concepts it presents are provocative and go against a lot of the dominant narratives of the current cultural milieu.

Words that changed our lives

In this episode, we each talk about 3 words/phrases that have changed the way we think about things and see the world. We touch on Taimur's new addiction to David Dobrik's vlogs, and Ali doesn't stop going on about a magic convention that he attended this weekend.

"Lad" Culture - An Insider's Perspective

In this episode, we have a guest appearance from Jake, a junior doctor and recovering "lad". We discuss the meaning of being a "lad", the experience from inside the group and the feelings of those of us who feel implicitly excluded from boisterous, alcohol-heavy group dynamics.

Hosted by Ali and Taimur Abdaal.