Julia Galef discusses rationality, the key to changing minds (our own and others), filtering information, and a lot more.
Galef is the President and co-founder of the Center for Applied Rationality, a non-profit organization based in Berkeley, California, devoted to developing, testing and training people in strategies for reasoning and decision making.
She also hosts the Rationally Speaking podcast, a biweekly show featuring conversations about science and philosophy.
Here are a few highlights from our conversation:
- What happened when Julia was 7 years old that first sparked a lifelong interest in good argument
- The one thing her parents did that helps her keep an open mind to new evidence even when she might be wrong
- The two types of rationality and how they both affect the way we view reality and the world we live in
- Why she co-founded the Center for Applied Rationality and how they are changing the way people think about problems and make decisions
- The role intuition plays in our decision-making process, (and when we can trust it to take over)
- What the strengths and weaknesses of the 2 systems of our brain are and how they interact to help us function
- The two-step process to changing minds (both your own and others’)
- Julia’s tips on how to process the daily deluge of available information with a more rational mind
And a lot more …
If you’ve ever wished you could wave a hand like a Jedi to change someone’s mind, listening to this episode would be a good place to start.
- Language, Truth and Logic by Alfred J. Ayer
- Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman
- Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, by Robert B. Cialdini
- Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction by Philip E. Tetlock (listen to Tetlock’s interview on The Knowledge Project)
- Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference by William MacAskill
- Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
- Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard H. Thaler