Episode 119

Hidden Motives

A Conversation with Robin Hanson

March 12, 2018

Sam Harris speaks with Robin Hanson about our hidden motives in everyday life. They discuss selfishness, hypocrisy, norms and meta-norms, cheating, deception, self-deception, education, the evolutionary logic of conversation, social status, signaling and counter-signaling, common knowledge, AI, and many other topics.

Robin Hanson is an associate professor of economics at George Mason University and a research associate at the Future of Humanity Institute of Oxford University. He has a Phd in social science from Cal Tech, master’s degrees in physics and philosophy, and nine years of experience as a research programmer in artificial intelligence and Bayesian statistics. He’s recognized not only for his contributions to economics (pioneering the theory and use of prediction markets) but also in a wide range of other fields. He is the author (along with Kevin Simler) of The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life.

Twitter: @robinhanson