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Donald Trump

eSkeptic for January 15, 2021

In this cover story article (written in October 2020) for Skeptic magazine 25.4 (December 2020), Daniel Loxton considers the unsavory origins and rising threat of the QAnon conspiracy theory. Written prior to the deadly QAnon-led occupation of the Capitol Building in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021, this analysis exposes the conspiracy theory as baseless, unoriginal, and harmful for believers and society at large.

QAnon Is Just a Warmed Over Witch Panic — and It’s Also Very Dangerous

In this cover story article (written in October 2020) for Skeptic magazine 25.4 (December 2020), Daniel Loxton considers the unsavory origins and rising threat of the QAnon conspiracy theory. Written prior to the deadly QAnon-led occupation of the Capitol Building in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021, this analysis exposes the conspiracy theory as baseless, unoriginal, and harmful for believers and society at large.

eSkeptic for January 12, 2021

In this monologue commentary on the events of January 6, 2021, Dr. Shermer applies causal inference theory to Trump’s speech that morning, the violent assault on the Capitol that followed, the banning of Trump off social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, the fears on the Right of social media censoriousness on the Left, the breaking up of big tech social media companies, and related topics, including what it means to “believe” a conspiracy theory.

Trump & Truth — A Commentary by Michael Shermer

In this monologue commentary on the events of January 6, 2021, Dr. Shermer applies causal inference theory to Trump’s speech that morning, the violent assault on the Capitol that followed, the banning of Trump off social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, the fears on the Right of social media censoriousness on the Left, the breaking up of big tech social media companies, and related topics, including what it means to “believe” a conspiracy theory.

David Barash — On the Brink of Destruction

2020 has been one of the most momentous years of the past half century. In this conversation based on the book Threats: Intimidation and its Discontents, Shermer and Barash discuss: the evolutionary logic of nuclear deterrence, threat strategy and motive behind nuking, close calls with nuclear weapons, why they are not a sustainable strategy, the arms race within the U.S. between the Army, Navy, and Airforce, and more…

eSkeptic for December 15, 2020

2020 has been one of the most momentous years of the past half century. In this conversation based on the book Threats: Intimidation and its Discontents, Shermer and Barash discuss: the evolutionary logic of nuclear deterrence, threat strategy and motive behind nuking, close calls with nuclear weapons, why they are not a sustainable strategy, the arms race within the U.S. between the Army, Navy, and Airforce, and more…

eSkeptic for November 6, 2020

In March 2019, Jared Diamond predicted what might happen if Trump loses his bid for reelection in 2020. PLUS: From the Distinguished Science Lecture Series Archives from October 2010, we present Dr. Richard Dawkins in Conversation with Dr. Michael Shermer discussing Dawkins’ book The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution.

eSkeptic for November 2, 2020

In Science Salon podcast # 141, Michael Shermer speaks with Richard Kreitner about this new book: Break it Up: Secession, Division, and the Secret History of America’s Imperfect Union.

Richard Kreitner — Break it Up: Secession, Division, and the Secret History of America’s Imperfect Union

Investigative journalist Richard Kreitner takes us on a revolutionary journey through American history, revealing the power and persistence of disunion movements in every era and region. The provocative thesis of Break It Up is simple: The United States has never lived up to its name—and never will. The disunionist impulse may have found its greatest expression in the Civil War, but the seduction of secession wasn’t limited to the South or the 19th century. It was there at our founding and has never gone away.

William Perry and Tom Collina — The Button: The New Nuclear Arms Race and Presidential Power from Truman to Trump

In Science Salon # 127, Michael Shermer speaks with William J. Perry, Secretary of Defense in the Clinton administration and Tom Z. Collina, the Director of Policy at Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation in Washington, DC, as they share their firsthand experience on the front lines of the nation’s nuclear history.

eSkeptic for August 4, 2020

In Science Salon # 127, Michael Shermer speaks with William J. Perry, Secretary of Defense in the Clinton administration and Tom Z. Collina, the Director of Policy at Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation in Washington, DC, as they share their firsthand experience on the front lines of the nation’s nuclear history.

eSkeptic for June 26, 2020

In a lecture, Dr. Michael Shermer addresses one of the deepest questions of all: what is truth? Following that, Lee McIntyre and Michael Shermer debate whether we are living in a Post-Truth era of fake news and alternative facts.

The Truth About Post-Truth Truthiness

Is post-truth the political subordination of reality? Is truth itself any more under threat today that in the past? Have the populists & postmodernists won the day? In response to Dr. Lee McIntyre’s essay, Dr. Michael Shermer asserts that people are not nearly as gullible as some believe.

Why We Are Living in a Post-Truth Era

Are we living in a Post-Truth era of fake news and alternative facts? Dr. Lee McIntyre avers that we must take seriously the threat to truth posed both by those who would subvert the truth for political gain, and also by those who would deny that such a threat actually exists.

Matt Ridley — How Innovation Works: and Why It Flourishes in Freedom

Innovation is the main event of the modern age, the reason we experience both dramatic improvements in our living standards and unsettling changes in our society. Matt Ridley argues that we need to think about innovation as an incremental, bottom-up, fortuitous process that happens to society as a direct result of the human habit of exchange, rather than an orderly, top-down process developing according to a plan.

eSkeptic for May 26, 2020

In Science Salon # 117, Michael Shermer speaks with Matt Ridley about his book How Innovation Works: and Why It Flourishes in Freedom.

Fred Kaplan — The Bomb: Presidents, Generals, and the Secret History of Nuclear War

The Bomb is Fred Kaplan’s definitive history of American policy on nuclear war — and Presidents’ actions in nuclear crises — from Truman to Trump. Kaplan takes us into the White House Situation Room, the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s “Tank” in the Pentagon, and the vast chambers of Strategic Command to bring us the untold stories — based on exclusive interviews and previously classified documents — of how America’s presidents and generals have thought about, threatened, broached, and just barely avoided nuclear war from the dawn of the atomic age until today.

eSkeptic for March 10, 2020

In Science Salon # 107 Michael Shermer speaks with Fred Kaplan about his book The Bomb: Presidents, Generals, and the Sacred History of Nuclear War. PLUS, find out who believes in conspiracies and why, and read real conspiracy theories (and conspiracies with no theories) in the latest issue of Skeptic magazine, available now in print and digital formats.

David Leiser — How We Misunderstand Economics and Why it Matters

In Science Salon # 94 Michael Shermer speaks with David Leiser about his new book: How We Misunderstand Economics and Why it Matters, diving into the mismatch between the complexities of economics and the constraints of human cognition that lie at the root of our misconceptions.

eSkeptic for December 10, 2019

In Science Salon # 94 Michael Shermer speaks with David Leiser about his new book: How We Misunderstand Economics and Why it Matters, diving into the mismatch between the complexities of economics and the constraints of human cognition that lie at the root of our misconceptions.

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