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The Michael Shermer Show

A series of conversations between Dr. Michael Shermer and leading scientists, philosophers, historians, scholars, writers and thinkers about the most important issues of our time.

Watch or listen here or on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, and TuneIn.

EPISODE # 276

Andrew Yang — Not Left. Not Right. Forward.

Forward: Notes on the Future of Our Democracy (book cover)

Michael Shermer speaks with Andrew Yang about the Forward Party, the future of politics in a party duopoly, political partisanship, and how to bring about the change we need. This conversation is based on Yang’s new book Forward: Notes on the Future of Our Democracy.

Shermer and Yang discuss: why we have a political duopoly, instead of, say, 7 parties like in Germany • ranked-choice voting and open primaries • gerrymandering and voting restriction laws and policies • the Rational Public • fairness doctrine • local journalism, newspapers, and TV stations • term limits • nonpartisan primaries • data as a property right • Department of Technology • Universal Basic Income (UBI) • reparations • abortion • the polarization of radio, television, and social media • ideology and political polarization • Trump in 2016, 2020 … and 2024? • what it’s like to run for President • what his fellow politicians are really like in person • what he learned on the campaign trail • how his many failures in life prepared him for political campaigning • why market solutions to social media polarization won’t work • why you should join the Forward Party even if you don’t agree with all their points.

Andrew Yang was a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and a 2021 candidate for mayor of New York City. Named by President Obama as a Presidential Ambassador of Global Entrepreneurship, he is the founder of Humanity Forward and Venture for America. Yang’s New York Times bestselling book The War on Normal People helped introduce the idea of universal basic income into the political mainstream. Yang is a graduate of Brown University, where he graduated with degrees in economics and political science, and Columbia Law School, where he was an editor of the Law Review. He lives with his family in New York.

Yang’s new book is Forward: Notes on the Future of Our Democracy, in which he reveals that the machinery of American democracy is failing. We need bold new ideas to rewire it for 21st century problems. Inspired by his experience running for office and as an entrepreneur, and by ideas drawn from leading thinkers, Yang offers a series of solutions, including data rights, ranked-choice voting, and fact-based governance empowered by modern technology, writing that “there is no cavalry” — it’s up to us. This is a powerful and urgent warning that we must step back from the brink and plot a new way forward for our democracy.

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This episode is sponsored by Wondrium:

Wondrium (sponsor)

This episode was released on May 31, 2022.

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Detecting Baloney

Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic) by Deanna and Skylar (High Tech High Media Arts, San Diego, CA)

The Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic)

For a class project, a pair of 11th grade physics students created the infographic shown below, inspired by Michael Shermer’s Baloney Detection Kit: a 16-page booklet designed to hone your critical thinking skills.

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Wisdom of Harriet Hall

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Harriet Hall M.D. discusses: alternative versus conventional medicine, flu fear mongering, chiropractic, vaccines and autism, placebo effect, diet, homeopathy, acupuncture, “natural remedies,” and detoxification.

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Understanding the difference could save your life! In this superb 10-part video lecture series, Harriet Hall M.D., contrasts science-based medicine with so-called “complementary and alternative” methods.

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The Top 10 Weirdest Things

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Michael Shermer has compiled a list of the top 10 strangest beliefs that he has encountered in his quarter century as a professional skeptic.

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Who believes them? Why? How can you tell if they’re true?

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If humans came from apes, why aren’t apes evolving into humans? Find out in this pamphlet!

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Learn to do Psychic “Cold Reading” in 10
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Psychic readings and fortunetelling are an ancient art — a combination of acting and psychological manipulation.

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