EP141 Heather Heying on Confronting Hyper-Novelty



Heather Heying

Jim has a wide-ranging talk with evolutionary biologist Heather Heying about her & Bret Weinstein’s new book, A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century: Evolution and the Challenges of Modern Life. They discuss hyper-novelty & its challenges, niche-switching as the human niche, the naturalistic fallacy, the Ancient Beringians’ entry into the Americas, the hubris of reductionism & neo-cornucopianism, humans as the blankest slates, metaphoric & literal campfires, scaling laws in social groups, theory of mind, social media’s flattening effects including flattened affects, social media sabbaticals, the Sucker’s Folly, human population explosion, the Personal Responsibility Vortex, Proto-B communities, the lineage view of evolution, understanding exponentials & fat-tail events, culture as evolutionary adaptation (the Omega Principle), humanity’s Fourth Frontier, and more.

Heather Heying is an evolutionary biologist who applies the toolkit of evolutionary theory to problems large and small. She is a professor in exile, cohost of the DarkHorse Podcast alongside her husband Bret Weinstein, and the author of numerous essays.


EP140 Robin Dunbar on Friendship



Robin Dunbar

Jim talks with evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar, discoverer of Dunbar’s number, about his latest book, Friends: Understanding the Power of our Most Important Relationships. They cover the importance of friendship, the loneliness epidemic, loneliness as a signal rather than a disease, oxytocin & endorphins, physical touch, synchrony & other ways of triggering the endorphin system, new data sources in the study of social networks, the social brain hypothesis, theory of mind/mind-reading, limitations of our mind-simulating capacities, the discovery of the Dunbar number(s), examples of the pattern from Navy Seals to Christmas cards, the mystery behind the scaling law of three, the seven pillars of friendship, costs & benefits of diversity, why friendships end, and more.

Robin Dunbar is Professor of Evolutionary Psychology at the University of Oxford, an Emeritus Fellow of Magdalen College, and an elected Fellow of the British Academy and the Royal Anthropological Institute. His principal research interests focus on the evolution of sociality (with particular reference to primates and humans). He is best known for the social brain hypothesis, the gossip theory of language evolution and Dunbar’s Number (the limit on the number of relationships that we can manage). His publications include 15 authored or edited academic books and nearly 550 scientific journal articles. In addition, he has published a great deal of science print journalism in newspapers and magazines, and 11 popular science books.


Currents 040: Jim Rutt Show Changes & Reflections



Jim Rutt Show producer, Jared Janes & Jim announce some changes to the podcast, preview upcoming guests, talk about the Jim Rutt Show (JRS) origin story, Jim’s guest prep process, the evolution of JRS, its impact on Jim’s reading habits, reading fiction, civilization collapse, contemporary influencers & counter cultures, curation as a service, what Jim likes the most about the podcast, core JRS themes, the art of yarning, stand out episodes & collaborations that came from the podcast, meditation, and more.