In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris reads and discusses the second chapter of “The End of Faith.” However, the first hour of this podcast focuses on Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and the political implications of the recent terrorist attack in Orlando. Discussion of The End of Faith begins at 1:04:30.
In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris answers questions from listeners about Islamism, free will, honesty, vegetarianism, why he doesn’t publish more in academic journals, and other topics.
This episode of the Waking Up podcast contains extended excerpts from the audio edition of Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue.
In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with the filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer about his remarkable documentaries, The Act of Killing and The Look of Silence.
I once participated in a twenty-three-day wilderness program in the mountains of Colorado. If the purpose of this course was to expose students to dangerous lightning and half the world’s mosquitoes, it was fulfilled on the first day. What was in essence a forced march through hundreds of miles of backcountry culminated in a ritual known as “the solo,” where we were finally permitted to rest—alone, on the outskirts of a gorgeous alpine lake—for three days of fasting and contemplation.
I had just turned sixteen, and this was my first taste of true solitude since exiting my mother’s womb. It proved a sufficient provocation. After a long nap and a glance at the icy waters of the lake, the promising young man I imagined myself to be was quickly cut down by loneliness and boredom. I filled the pages of my journal not with the insights of a budding naturalist, philosopher, or mystic but with a list of the foods on which I intended to gorge myself the instant I returned to civilization. Judging from the state of my consciousness at the time, millions of years of hominid evolution had produced nothing more transcendent than a craving for a cheeseburger and a chocolate milkshake.
I found the experience of sitting undisturbed for three days amid pristine breezes and starlight, with nothing to do but contemplate the mystery of my existence, to be a source of perfect misery—for which I could see not so much as a glimmer of my own contribution. My letters home, in their plaintiveness and self-pity, rivaled any written at Shiloh or Gallipoli.
I’ve noticed a happy trend in online video: People have begun to produce animations and mashups of public lectures that add considerable value to the spoken words. If you are unfamiliar with these visual essays, watch any of the RSA Animate videos, like the one below:
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