DEDICATION: Episode EF5 is dedicated to Sam Harris, a neuroscientist and philosopher who isn’t afraid to tackle controversial topics in search of the truth.
Sam’s work focuses much on understanding how humans can get better as a collective. But he’s also doing a lot of good work towards individual well-being as a science-minded advocate for mindfulness. Sam’s perspective and podcast were part of a small group of key inspirations behind me starting The Evolve Faster Podcast. But, unlike Sam’s on-the-point non-fictional and interview-style approach, I decided to combine my interest in existential discovery with another personal love – suspenseful storytelling leveraging wide-ranging topics from history to AI to psychedlics to science fiction.
You may not always agree with Sam’s perspective. Or perhaps like Robert Wright, you simply don’t believe Sam’s brand of purely rational thought is even possible. In either case, it’s hard to argue that he’s a very logical, and systematic thinker who is doing his best to insist we have critical conversations about hard topics. As he likes to say, conversation is the only means of persuasion which exists besides violence.
Sam’s Waking Up Podcast (soon to be called Making Sense) is the only podcast I scan every week for new episodes. I’m a paid subscriber to his show and also use his excellent meditation app (also called Waking Up...hence the name change). You can learn more about Sam at the links below:
- Sam Harris official website (books, talks, merch, more)
- Lying by Sam Harris (audiobook)
- Sam’s TED Talk on The Moral Landscape
HOW SAM HARRIS INSPIRES EF5
Episode EF5 explores the philosophical question “What is the Truth?” from the perspective of two parallel protagonists. The “story within the story” character named Truman is in a Kafka-esque situation where he is desperately trying to figure out if there exists a definition of the truth that works universally. And in the struggle to find this, he is faced with the reality of lying and what it means.
Sam’s book Lying is a manifesto on why even white lies lead to a downward spiral of dishonesty. In the fictional world of Episode EF5, however, lying has been made illegal. Yet somehow, the truth becomes even harder to define.