What if you or your company, could be improved by crisis?

On the podcast I have conversations with thought leaders from a variety of fields to get their experiences, ideas or research on how people and companies handle present day challenges or problematic futures. If there are concepts, systems or pragmatic philosophies that can help, I want to learn them.

The show is long-form and despite the fact that I’m scratching my own itch and even through frequently dumb questions, the guests are game, very insightful and often inspirational.

I’m learning a lot, I think you will too.

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Latest Episodes, Show Notes, and More

In this episode I talk with Shane Parrish. Shane is a former cybersecurity expert and the genius behind Farnam Street, a site immensely popular among the elite innovator and investor class. Shane is also celebrated for his bestselling three-volume series on mental models and his latest book "Clear Thinking: Turning Ordinary Moments Into Extraordinary Results," is the topic of this podcast.
Hadley Vlahos is not just a seasoned hospice nurse but also an end-of-life educator and now a New York Times bestselling author. Her journey and her experiences became the foundation for her bestselling work, The In-Between: Unforgettable Encounters During Life's Final Moments. The book captures deep, poignant stories from her time with patients, giving insights into what life's final moments can teach us about existence itself.
My guest is renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. He is the head of Hayden Planetarium in New York City and the first occupant of its Frederick P. Rose Directorship. He's a research associate of the Department of Astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History. He is also the author of fifteen books—many of them international bestsellers—including the #1 best seller Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, and His most recent is Starry Messenger, Cosmic Perspectives on Civilization.
My guest on this episode is Pedro Domingos, a leading AI researcher and recipient of two of the highest honors in AI and the author of the worldwide bestseller "The Master Algorithm." Pedro is a professor of computer science at the University of Washington in Seattle, and he helped start the fields of statistical relational AI, adversarial learning, machine learning for information integration, and influence maximization in social networks.
Thinking is an amazing capacity. We possess the ability to form concepts, imagine possible futures, and solve problems but run amuck; this same capacity can keep you up at night, paralyze effective decision making and keep you in a loop of worst-case scenarios. My guest is Dr. Pia Callesen, who explains how to use meta-cognitive strategies to break free from this overthinking. 
Kieran Setiya is a Professor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Kieren’s newest book, Life is Hard, How Philosophy Can Help Us Find Our Way, is the topic of this podcast. In this episode, Keiran challenges the idea that happiness should be life's primary pursuit. Instead, he argues that we should try to live well, and living well means how one lives in relationship to difficulty - not without difficulty.
This podcast is about what happens chemically to our brains when we are severely depressed, traumatized or anxious. And for those stuck in that state, what are the latest clinical treatments using medication that can help someone get unstuck. Dr. John Krystal's work links psychopharmacology, neuroimaging, molecular genetics, and computational neuroscience to study the neurobiology and treatment of these disorders.
Dr. Lindsay Gibson has written a best-selling series on dealing with emotionally immature people, the first of which is Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from the Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved. On this podcast, Dr. Gibson sheds light on the high-conflict personality type and gives great psychological and tactical advice for dealing with the emotionally immature.
For profound loss, we often say we are heartbroken, but it is more accurate to say we are brain broken given the primacy of the role our brains play in how we feel about loss. Mary-Francis is a professor of Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Arizona and is the Director of the Grief, Loss, and Social Stress Lab, where she and her colleagues are creating new frameworks for understanding grief and the grieving process. 
A.J. Jacobs is the king of self-experimentation and participatory journalism. He is an author, journalist, lecturer, and human guinea pig; the results of which have led to some extreme field experiments like living the rules of the Old Testament for a year, thanking over a thousand people who served him coffee, reading the Encyclopedia Britannica to acquire knowledge about everything, and ...
On this episode, my focus is on finding peace of mind amidst persistent uncertainty. So many things that are directly affecting our lives are out of our direct control - and it can be maddening. Massimo Pigliucci is the author or editor of 14 books, including the bestselling "How to Be A Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life." The key to much of our neurosis is not understanding what’s in our control and what’s not. Crazy making is treating outcomes as objects.
Dr. David Burns is one of the pioneers in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and largely responsible for its widespread adoption in psychotherapy today. Dr. Burns says that our negative moods do not result from what’s wrong with us, but rather -- what’s right with us. And paradoxically, when you listen and “hear” what your negative thoughts and feelings are trying to say, you won’t need them anymore, and recovery follows. The goal, according to Dr. Burns, is not just complete elimination of negative feelings, but the development of joy and enlightenment.
On this podcast, we talk about what happens after we make a terrible mistake. What is our response to our mistakes? Do we try to brush it off? Do we say screw it and double down?  Mistakes don't end with the mistake itself - it can get worse, much worse. My guests are Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson. They co-authored the book "Mistakes Were Made (but Not by Me):