Podcasts, videos, and links to make you think
View this email in your browser
Welcome to the Hurt Your Brain newsletter, a collection of podcasts and links that make you think.

If you like interesting, thoughtful interviews, this week is chock full of them:
Democracy Works: Brazil's tenuous relationship with democracy. This show is created by Penn State's McCourtney Institute for Democracy and is a rock solid international exploration on the state of democracy. This episode features a conversation with Gianpaolo Baiocchi, an NYU professor and expert on the political history of Brazil.
If you worry about what direction this pendulum is swinging, this is the show for you.
  • "Brazil, a very unequal country, has had this relatively short and checkered history with democracy. Brazil was the last country to abolish slavery in the world. In 1964, Brazil had a military coup that lasted with a military regime that lasted until 1985."
  • In the last three decades the pendulum has swung towards the democratic side with strong progressive policies.
  • In October 2018, Brazil elected Jair Bolsonaro as president, someone who has been called "Trump of the tropics."
  • The future is uncertain, with the main worry being that Brazil's democratic institutions might not have the long history and strong foundation to ward off a pendulum swing back towards authoritarianism. 

15 Minute History: Albert Einstein—Separating Man from Myth. Like you might guess, this is a short and sweet history show and is produced at the University of Texas at Austin. This episode highlights the type of details about Einstein that a generous biographer might eagerly gloss over or explain away.
  • Einstein struggled with the public's deifying of him that he got to witness first hand.
  • His opinions fluctuated greatly depending on the setting and his personal life was full of contradictions and less than stellar personal relationships with women.
  • This of course doesn't take away from his still astounding scientific contributions, but it highlights that even Einstein was a human, defects and all, and there is no need to assign sainthood to great thinkers.

The Knowledge Project: Naval—The Angel Philosopher on Investing, Making Decisions, Happiness and the Meaning of Life. An old episode but new to me. This episode will make you think, and you'll either find new ways to think about things or disagree with parts of it in ways that will clarify how you actually feel about that thing.
  • "Macroeconomics is voodoo complex systems and politics."
  • A metaphor I liked is that our lives are such an external competitive, multi-player game anymore that we have a hard time learning to be happy with an internal, single-player game with no external validation.
  • Hat tip to Podcast Notes for turning me on to this episode, a good place to get summaries of entrepreneurial and personal improvement podcasts.

Ologies: Etymology (WORD ORIGINS) with Helen Zaltzman of The Allusionist podcast. Host Alie Ward is one of my favorite interviewers, and I implore you to look through the feed of this show to find an "ology" that you want to learn more about. Plus its always a treat to learn from Helen Zaltzman.
  • About 70% of English has Latin roots, which in turn has lots of greek influence.
  • "Mediocre" is Zaltman's favorite word origin, which means "halfway up a jagged hill".
  • French is a prescriptive language with an institution that dictates the correct usage of a word, unlike something like English that naturally morphs uncontrollably.
  • There are many delightful post-production interjections from host Alie Ward on the etymology of random words they say.
  • People frequently think Helen studies insects. 


Mark March 24 on your calendar and note the hashtag  #ShareYourBudsSunday. Earbuds Podcast Collective and Podcast Gumbo are joining up to make the 24th a day full of sharing your love of podcasts by taking someone's device and actually getting them set up and listening with them. No more excuses from friends or blank looks from family! More info here.

This short video called Becoming is mind blowing. I initially thought it was computer generated but it's not. You get to see, in microscopic HD detail, a single cell start dividing and dividing and eventually form itself into an Alpine Newt (and hatch).

I'm reading a book that talks at length about fractals and something called the Mandelbrot Set (the ultimate fractal). This video will make your head spin as it zooms in towards infinity and here's a great Numberphile video explaining what the Mandelbrot set is. 

That's all for this week!

Connect with me @erikthejones on twitter and if you've learned anything interesting, please forward this link to any curious natured friends or family so they can subscribe. Many thanks!

Copyright © 2019 Hurt Your Brain, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp