Podcasts, videos, and links to make you think
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Welcome to the Hurt Your Brain newsletter, the place to get podcasts and links that will make you think.

I included some long quotes in some of the recommendations. I hope you enjoy them. Happy listening and learning. 

Daniel and Jorge Explain the Universe: What do the Navy UFO videos really mean?
  • There’s a whole conversation on the internet that goes like this: “For years there has been video evidence of UFO’s and now the Pentagon has even confirmed it. Why is nobody talking about this!”
  • In this episode, Mick West, a UFO video expert breaks down in great detail exactly what is going on in a few of the famous “leaked” videos of UFO’s (or Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, aka UAP’s, as they are now known). My view is that he debunks them thoroughly.
  • Watching the videos, hearing the explanation on this podcast, and then watching the videos again with the breathless news coverage and comment sections is pretty hilarious. 
  • West also summarizes his main arguments in this article for The Guardian (but goes into much greater detail on the podcast). 
  • Some of the videos referenced: tic tac (just watch the beginning for the footage), go fast, gimbal, Chilean navy footage, and green pyramids.
  • For the record, yes I am a Scully, not a Mulder (while fully acknowledging that Mulder is one of the best characters ever). 
My drawing of the "green triangle" UFO from this night vision video. 

Human Resources: The Tree of Life
  • A show that looks at the history of British involvement in the transatlantic slave trade.
  • This second episode was pretty eye opening around how intertwined the scientific revolution (even Isaac Newton) was with the transatlantic slave trade. It all came down to the data collection mechanism underpinning all scientific advancement heavily relying on the existence of the slave trade.
  • Quote: “In other words, in order to make reliable measurements, collect goods you can trust, hear stories that are believable, it was argued that you need to be in control of the settings from which those goods and stories and numbers come. The ability of Europeans, with their arms, and vessels, and long range trading networks to dominate other places, was - they understood this - a condition of the reliability and use of the data and objects that they collected and in many cases sold.” 

99 Percent Invisible: 91 - Wild Ones Live
  • An old one from way back in 2013 that is very worth checking out. My brother told me about this years ago and I'm so glad I finally rediscovered it.
  • This is a recording of a live show based on Jon Mooallem’s book, Wild Ones. It’s a combination of spoken word and music, and it’s fantastic. 
  • Quote: “I knew that all around us beautiful parts of the world are expiring. And I also knew that people in the future, they might not even notice. For them, a world without whales or wilderness might feel normal. I wanted to counteract that forgetting that’s bound to take hold over time. This forgetting has a name. Scientists call it shifting baseline syndrome. It means that all of us accept the version of the world we inherit as normal. Over the years we watch forests get logged or animals disappear, but when the next generation comes along, they accept that depleted version of nature as their normal. It’s hard to zoom out, really feel the changes that are stacking up across the generations. I can’t even imagine what an ocean filled with a billion sea turtles must feel like. Last winter, I was in Hawaii, and I saw three sea turtles, and I flipped the fuck out. I felt like I was in Eden.” 

People I (Mostly) Admire: Daniel Kahneman on Why Our Judgment is Flawed - and What to Do About It
  • I really liked Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. He has a new book called Noise. It sounds fascinating, but many reviews say the main idea is pretty straight forward and could have been summed up in a blog post. 
  • In that spirit, get the gist of the book with this interview and save yourself the trouble of reading it!

Ministry of Ideas: Public Thinking
  • A great episode about the role of public intellectuals.
  • Quote: “As a rule, strong feelings about issues do not emerge from deep understanding. In fact, it’s the opposite. If we start with strong feelings, they can actually distort our understanding. This cognitive trap is called confirmation bias. If you start off with a strong opinion about an issue, you’re likely to seek out and believe only that evidence that confirms your existing opinion.” 


How to Terraform Venus (Quickly): It might make more sense to terraform our other neighbor, the hot and sweaty Venus, instead of the dry and dead Mars. 

What Makes Simone Biles The Greatest of All Time? Some great data visualizations on her dominance.

For fun: Before and after you discover subreddit for new hobby 

For fun 2: George Lucas in the background of some random documentary 
And lastly, if you think visual creators make the internet a better place, I'll drop a reminder to check out my other newsletter right here

That's all for today. See you in two weeks!

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!

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