Month: May 2017

John Godfrey Saxe’s The Blind Men and The Elephant

It was six men of Indostan, To learning much inclined, Who went to see the Elephant (Though all of them were blind), That each by observation Might satisfy his mind. The First approach’d the Elephant, And happening to fall Against his broad and sturdy side, At once began to bawl: “God bless me! but the Elephant Is very like a wall!” The Second, feeling of the tusk, Cried, -“Ho! what have we here So very round and smooth and sharp? To me ’tis mighty clear, This wonder of an Elephant Is very like a spear!” The Third approach’d the...

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Our First YouTube Podcast – Talking Jacque Fresco with Andrew Hunt

Andrew Hunt and I first got to know each other a decade ago doing stand up in Los Angeles. During the intervening decade, we both learned how to learn and how environment shapes behavior but in entirely different ways. Regular listeners to Mixed Mental Arts know my story all too well. Andrew’s though is more interesting. Andrew grew up in Los Angeles and was diagnosed with numerous learning disorders. Like a lot of kids I’ve worked with, rather than empowering him, school left him feeling disempowered and alienated from learning. Then, he got involved with Jacques Fresco of the...

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Bryan Callen and Uncle Lu

班門弄斧/bān mén nòng fǔ: Swing an axe in front of Lu Ban and pretend to be a master. 魯班/Lu Ban is the god of carpenters. Records show that he was born in the Kingdom of Lu in 507 BCE, during the late Zhou: the Spring and Autumn period. It is written that he made a great bird from wood, and was able to fly. He created a great wooden, mechanized robot horse. Legend has it that in his seventieth year, he attained the ability to levitate. His axe was sacred, his saw was holy. Soon after he found the...

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The Magical Thinking of #NewAtheism: Should We Let Richard Dawkins Promote his Imaginary Friend in the Name of Science?

If you wanted to teach a Fore tribesman of Papua New Guinea how to use a computer, you could take one of two series of actions: denigrate his beliefs, superstitions, and rituals, and THEN tell him about the computer. Or you could understand why beliefs, superstitions, and rituals matter, earn the man’s trust, let him teach you how his culture helps him navigate the world, and THEN tell him about the computer. As a fellow human being, which do you think you would respond to better? Because, despite what you might think, we in the “rational,” secularized West are not free...

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Wu-Wei: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck is a beautiful, poetic, fucking rad piece of literature. The Cliff-notes version? Not giving a fuck is way more difficult than it seems. This isn’t a science book. It doesn’t rely on the authority of scientific studies, or literature, or experts. Because it doesn’t give a fuck about any of that shit. It’s an analysis of the world we live in based on observation and experimentation, told by a hell of a storyteller. Mark Manson just describes the reality that we all feel, all know, and all fear. The core thesis...

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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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