Month: March 2017


    When you make a mistake do you get angry and blame others, acting like an obnoxious jerk?  Or do you feel defeated and berate yourself endlessly? Luckily, there’s another option: viewing mistakes as opportunities for improvement.   “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.” –Aaliyah   Growth Mindset, a term coined by Dr. Carol Dweck, is the belief that intelligence and ability can be developed at any age, at any level, or in any situation. That’s right, Sparky, you can teach an old dog new tricks. You can also teach a *bad dog, an *untalented dog, and a *stupid dog. (*arbitrary judgements that mean absolutely nothing) #GrowthMindset is the belief in your own potential, rooted in neuroplasticity, a twenty-dollar word that means your brain has the ability to change both physically and functionally. It’s why people can recover from addictions or depression, learn to walk and talk after a stroke, and master new skills despite learning disabilities or other brain constraints. Every brain has the ability to grow. The limits of neuroplasticity are not yet known. It’s believed to have wide-reaching influence over every facet of human life, including how we develop good habits as well as crippling addictions. Neuroplasticity is like the force, it has a light side and a dark side. Which brings us back to how you deal with challenges, aka your Mindset. Science has shown...

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End Cultural Appropriation! Ban Banh Mi! End Pizza Now!

It is a sad fact that the white men of the world are not content to simply rape and pillage other cultures. They also want to appropriate the traditions of other cultures for themselves. Courageously, Lena Dunham has backed the students at Oberlin college in their fight against this grave social injustice. College kids have realized that when their $66,000 a year college served them sushi and banh mi in the dining hall that the thing to do was not to be grateful. It was to be incensed. Sushi is from Japan and the Banh Mi is from Vietnam....

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Tian Gao Huangdi Yuan.

 天高皇帝遠。Heaven is high, and the Emperor is far away. This phrase came about in China in the 14th century. Like most things during the period, it was related to the Mongols. The ruling Song Dynasty was conquered by Kublai Khan in 1260, and the Mongol Yuan dynasty ruled over China for the next 100 years. However, despite the removal of the ethnic Han rulers, life for most Chinese didn’t change. They lived, farmed, fucked, and died much the same as they had for centuries. Heaven was high, and the Emperor was far away. What wisdom can we glean from...

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Ep236 Supplemental – SPECIAL: PART 1 – The Theories of Everything

In an utterly pleasant surprise, Spiros Michalakis reached out to me and said he wanted to get lunch. Actually, he wanted to buy me lunch. The result was a three hour lunch conversation and a two-hour podcast during the course of which we covered everything from Spiros’ own work trying to unify quantum field theory and general relativity to everything that has been going on with Mixed Mental Arts. In short, we compared notes on the many kinds of idea sex that we’ve been having. You don’t get to hear what happened in that three-hour lunch which is probably...

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Ep237 Supplemental – SPECIAL: PART 2 – The Theories of Everything

Apparently, this whole merging of quantum field theory and general relativity business was a little more complicated than we initially thought and so we extended the podcast into a second hour. All of which is released on a single day! You’re welcome humanity. And don’t worry. We didn’t entirely solve the problem. We just warmed it up for you. Any listener who can unify the four major forces wins…a Nobel Prize! Congratulations!!! In practice, the most important takeaway of the second part of the conversation is how we think about truth–it’s about a series of practical tools that do...

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RSS Mixed Mental Arts

  • Idea Quickie 7: Know Yourself, Train Yourself (Repost) April 18, 2018
    In this episode, Bryan and Hunter talk about Descartes Error and The Happiness Hypothesis. Humans are bound by their cognitive biases, their emotions, which color their reason. Knowing this aspect of human cognition is critical to better approaching life. From October, 2016. Be sure to go to, support us on Patreon, use our Amazon affiliate, and […]
  • Ep 339 - Write With Your Body: Ed Solomon and Alex Kurtzman April 16, 2018
    Ed Solomon is a friend of the show and the writer behind Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Men in Black, and Mosaic. He brought along Alex Kurtzman, co-writer of Star Trek, Transformers, and People Like Us. Bryan Callen shares his desire to be a great writer, and gets lessons. Hunter Maats giggles and adds the […]
  • Ep 338 - Innovative Metaphor: Ken Gordon April 13, 2018
    Ken Gordon's company helped invent the Swiffer, portable insulin pumps, and much much more. In this episode of Mixed Mental Arts, he shares how his innovation process is based so much on literature and metaphor. Don’t forget to go to for all the updates of what we’re doing! Social media, too! Give us money […]
  • Idea Quickie 6: Reflections (Repost) April 11, 2018
    From Oct 28, 2013 Bryan and Hunter take this episode to reflect on and synthesize everything they've learned over the course of the last dozen or so episodes recording the show together. From the philosophy of Professor Dan Robinson to understanding human memory with Josh Foer, it's been a wild ride. This was a much […]
  • Ep 336 - Figuring Out Your Own Mind: Kelly Brogan April 9, 2018
    Kelly Brogan is a psychiatrist from New York and author of A Mind of Your Own. She began questioning the veracity of Western Medicine after being diagnosed with an auto-immune disease. Bryan and Hunter engage in heated debate over vaccines and science writ large, while remaining curious throughout. Don’t forget to go to for […]

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