The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


income inequality

Coleman Hughes — The End of Race Politics

Shermer and Hughes discuss: why he is considered “black” if he is “half-black, half-Hispanic” • what it means to be “colorblind” • population genetics and race differences • Base Rate Neglect, Base Rate Taboos • institutionalized neoracism • viewpoint epistemology • affirmative action • gaps in income, wealth, home ownership, CEO representation, Congressional representation • myths of Black Weakness, No Progress, Undoing the Past • reparations • the future of colorblindness.

Quantifying Privilege: What Research on Social Mobility Tells Us About Fairness in America

Is it more of a disadvantage to be born poor or Black? Is it worse to be brought up by rich parents in a poor neighborhood, or by poor parents in a rich neighborhood? The answers to these questions lie at the very core of what constitutes a fair society. So how do we know […]

Angus Deaton — Economics in America: Inequalities and the Future of Capitalism

Shermer and Deaton discuss: the science of science is economics • winning a Nobel Prize • what economists do, and how they determine causality • Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand • why a college education matters • meritocracy and “Just World” theory • minimum wage • healthcare • poverty • inequality • opioid crisis, alcoholism, suicide • inflation and interest rates • modern monetary theory • think tanks.

Thomas Curran — Embracing the Power of “Good Enough”

Shermer and Curran discuss: Curran’s own perfectionism and how that led him to research perfection • What is perfection? Is he measuring perfection or something else? • The Big Five Personality Scale (OCEAN) and where perfection falls in it • goals, meritocracy, high standards, and conscientiousness • self-oriented vs. other-oriented vs. socially prescribed perfectionism • Steve Jobs, Michael Jordan, Lance Armstrong • origins of perfectionism • consequences of perfectionism • social media • income inequality, UBI, GDP, economics • helicopter…

eSkeptic for February 1, 2022

Read the Skeptic Research Center’s general report, “Pandemic Politics: How 2020 Impacted Americans’ Social and Political Attitudes,” based on their nine reports from the Civil Unrest and Presidential Election Study (CUPES) released in late 2020–early 2021. PLUS: Michael Shermer speaks with author, journalist, and TV personality Nick Pope about UAPs, UFOs, conspiracies, and cover-ups.

Pandemic Politics: How 2020 Impacted Americans’ Social and Political Attitudes

Read the Skeptic Research Center’s general report, “Pandemic Politics: How 2020 Impacted Americans’ Social and Political Attitudes,” based on their nine reports from the Civil Unrest & Presidential Election Study (CUPES) released in late 2020–early 2021.

Jason Riley on Thomas Sowell: The Life and Work of the Legendary Social Theorist

In episode 235, Michael Shermer speaks with Jason Riley about Maverick — the first-ever biography of Thomas Sowell, one of the great social theorists of our age.

eSkeptic for December 14, 2021

In episode 235, Michael Shermer speaks with Jason Riley about Maverick — the first-ever biography of Thomas Sowell, one of the great social theorists of our age.

John Mackey on Conscious Capitalism & Conscious Leadership

In episode 194, Michael Shermer speaks with John Mackey, Founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market and author of Conscious Capitalism and Conscious Leadership. Mackey’s goal is to write a new narrative for capitalism that asks us to care about customers and human beings instead of data points on a spreadsheet.

eSkeptic for July 21, 2021

In episode 194, Michael Shermer speaks with John Mackey, Founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market and author of Conscious Capitalism and Conscious Leadership. Mackey’s goal is to write a new narrative for capitalism that asks us to care about customers and human beings instead of data points on a spreadsheet.

Minouche Shafik — What We Owe Each Other: A New Social Contract for a Better Society

In episode 176 of The Michael Shermer Show, Michael Shermer speaks with Minouche Shafik, one of the leading policy experts of our time, about a new and better social contract that recognizes our interdependencies, supports and invests more in each other, and expects more of individuals in return: a rethinking of how we can better support each other to thrive.

eSkeptic for April 27, 2021

In episode 176 of The Michael Shermer Show, Michael Shermer speaks with Minouche Shafik, one of the leading policy experts of our time, about a new and better social contract that recognizes our interdependencies, supports and invests more in each other, and expects more of individuals in return: a rethinking of how we can better support each other to thrive.

Michael Heller & James Salzman — Mine! How the Hidden Rules of Ownership Control Our Lives

A hidden set of rules governs who owns what — explaining everything from whether you can recline your airplane seat to why HBO lets you borrow a password illegally. In episode 166 of The Michael Shermer Show, Dr. Shermer speaks with two acclaimed law professors — Michael Heller & James Salzman — who reveal how things become “mine.” Surprisingly, there are just six simple stories that everyone uses to claim everything…

eSkeptic for March 20, 2021

A hidden set of rules governs who owns what — explaining everything from whether you can recline your airplane seat to why HBO lets you borrow a password illegally. In episode 166 of The Michael Shermer Show, Dr. Shermer speaks with two acclaimed law professors — Michael Heller & James Salzman — who reveal how things become “mine.” Surprisingly, there are just six simple stories that everyone uses to claim everything… PLUS: In the ninth CUPES report, we investigated the…

Benjamin Friedman — Religion and the Rise of Capitalism

In episode 162 of The Michael Shermer Show, Michael speaks with one of the nation’s preeminent experts on economic policy, Benjamin Friedman, about his new book Religion and the Rise of Capitalism — a major reassessment of the foundations of modern economic thinking that explores the profound influence of an until-now unrecognized force — religion.

eSkeptic for March 6, 2021

In episode 162 of The Michael Shermer Show, Michael speaks with one of the nation’s preeminent experts on economic policy, Benjamin Friedman, about his new book Religion and the Rise of Capitalism — a major reassessment of the foundations of modern economic thinking that explores the profound influence of an until-now unrecognized force — religion. PLUS: The Skeptic Research Center asks “Why Are People Misinformed About Fatal Police Shootings?” and Michael Shermer review Science and the Good: The Tragic Quest…

Jason D. Hill — We Have Overcome: An Immigrant’s Letter to The American People

In episode 158 Michael Shermer speaks with Jason D. Hill, a black immigrant from Jamaica, about his eloquent appreciation of the American Dream, and why his adopted nation remains the most noble experiment in enabling the pursuit of happiness.

eSkeptic for February 20, 2021

In episode 158 Michael Shermer speaks with Jason D. Hill, a black immigrant from Jamaica, about his eloquent appreciation of the American Dream, and why his adopted nation remains the most noble experiment in enabling the pursuit of happiness. PLUS: In the 7th CUPES report, we ask: across the political spectrum, how knowledgeable are people when it comes to the available data on fatal police shootings of Black Americans?

eSkeptic for January 26, 2021

In episode 154 of The Michael Shermer Show, Michael speaks with renowned evolutionary theorist David Sloan Wilson about his new novel Atlas Hugged: The Autobiography of John Galt III — a devastating critique of Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism and its impact on the world. PLUS: Starting Thursday, January 28 and running through Saturday, January 30, 2021, back issues of Skeptic magazine are on sale for only 99 cents in print and digital formats.

David Sloan Wilson — Atlas Hugged: The Autobiography of John Galt III

In episode 154 of The Michael Shermer Show, Michael speaks with renowned evolutionary theorist David Sloan Wilson about his new novel Atlas Hugged: The Autobiography of John Galt III — a devastating critique of Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism and its impact on the world.

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