ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Arthur Brooks is the president of the American Enterprise Institute, one of Washington’s most respected and powerful conservative think tanks. He’s also launching a new podcast, The Arthur Brooks Show, with Vox Media on the art and practice of disagreement.

I’ve known Brooks for a while. And I disagree with him on, well, a lot — at least when it comes to American politics. And yet, those disagreements haven’t ended a years-long conversation between us on everything from management to spirituality to policy. I can say from experience: Brooks really is good at disagreeing.

In this podcast, Brooks — a Seattle native with a liberal family and a background as a traveling musician — reveals what he’s learned on how to disagree better, why civility shouldn’t be the goal in conversation, and why it’s healthy to have a lot of arguments. We talk about why he’s stepping down from his position at AEI, why I stepped down from management at Vox, and why anger is a healthy emotion and contempt isn’t.

This is one of those conversations I’ve thought about daily since having it. The anger versus contempt rubric has been particularly useful for me, and I think it will be for you. Enjoy!

Recommended books:

Zen and the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel

The Unpersuadables by Will Storr

The Consolations of Mortality by Andrew Stark

English
United States

TRANSCRIPT

00:00:00contempt is the conviction of the other worthlessness of another person anger algorithmically leads to reconciliation contempt leased a permanent enmity what Mr Concho on the podcast network of media box hi roast as a fine let's do a bit of housekeeping it's been awhile since we did an ask
00:00:31me anything episode so let's do an ask me anything up so email me your questions or better yet this is a an audio medium for court a voice memo and send it to us or contrataciones as reclined show at box dot com I have made the mistake before
00:00:48of keeping this open too long and getting so overwhelmed by the number responses I never ended up doing the aim at all so I am only going to look at questions submitted in the next week or so to have anything literally anything to ask me send it by
00:01:02text or better yet by voice number two as reclined show at box dot com thing the second our network show explain has had a couple of killer episodes lately there's one on the search for alien life that I really really love it begins by flipping the question we
00:01:19usually ask it's not can we find alien life but why the hell haven't we in a universe all world this big with so many planets like earth orbiting stars like our sun where the hell is everyone and what does it mean if we can't find them what does
00:01:38it mean for our society doesn't mean something is coming it's gonna make it the case that the next intelligence society can't find us because we're no longer here it's an unusually beautiful and mind expanding episode I think if you like the show you'll really love it it's got
00:01:54just also amazing amazing visuals in amazing math at and it's narrated by levar Burton levar Burton so come on you gotta watch out we also just released an episode on the exclamation mark and help punctuation changes across different mediums and Eris one of things I I never knew
00:02:09here which have gendered the usage of the exclamation mark is how does fallen in and out of favor in society alongside the way our society treats female could communication and treats women and power so if you're a language nerd and you're someone who likes thinking about how culture
00:02:23and technology and power relationship communication you will love it again the show is explained on Netflix you can go to Netflix search explain search box if you're not watching it you're really missing out and that brings me to today showed Arthur Brooks the president of the American enterprise
00:02:39institute a I is Washington's most respected and influential conservative think tank and Brooks is leaving it after ten years and watching some pretty interesting new projects are ones with vox media is launching the Arthur Brooks show which is a new podcast on how to disagree better have arguments
00:02:55that are actually productive but this podcast this conversation today is really about two things the first is management which I still hear Arthur and I've had a very long running conversation about and you hear is continuing the conversation here as I explore why he's leaving why I left
00:03:11management about eight months ago now it's a bit more personal conversation but I think it's a fun one to happen and hopefully one that people will find some value in but that the bigger conversation the second one we're having is about disagreement at least within the American political
00:03:25context Arthur and I disagree on a lot we just can almost everything but he's also one of my favorite people to talk to I end that's the part because he is a really really good at disagreeing he's even really good disagreeing when like the disagreement gets hot and
00:03:41the distinction he draws in this discussion between disagreeing with anger and disagreeing with contempt which is really distinction about whether you want to convince the person you're talking to what you care enough to give it some or you want to convince yourself you actually don't need to talk
00:03:56to them I think it's a profound one particular in this political environment so I I really would urge people to think about that as we're talking about it and reflected it on their own lives I I very much have been after this conversation so all that said it
00:04:09is with great great pleasure I present this discussion on the art and the practice of disagreement with Arthur Brooks are the Brooks welcome I don't know if I should say welcome to the podcast welcome back well thank you as our it's great to be with you so is
00:04:23some listeners won't know this but when I was piloting yes reclined show in the weeks before there was even an S. reclined show Arthur was my first or second trial and that was such a great interview that a commencement actually do this show so you have a a
00:04:37real space in the genesis of of of this whole project on its great and so happy to hear that and it's going well congratulations by the way everybody listens to this podcast thank you everybody at every vote a law com I think she wanted to start with something
00:04:51from our earlier conversation yet because it's partially a moment of gratitude to you but also it's a have wanted to revisit with you see you gave me a concept in the podcast what's that ended up being very influential for me which is the idea of rising above your
00:05:05level of mystery so you told me then that that something will happen to folks %HESITATION in their jobs is that they keep sort of promoting up if they're doing well until eventually get above what they like doing right and they get trapped there because the status head of
00:05:19going back down right is too much for people to take right and I thought about that a lot over the next couple of years as I began to realize that I do not like managing as many people as managing boxes growth but ultimately require me to do but
00:05:32also felt the pull of all do you really not want to be editor in chief anymore and right is a very useful concept for me to have to give language to that transitions I'm I'm grateful for that I'm glad to hear it as right and congratulations on doing
00:05:44that I really admired a lot and maybe your listeners don't know that I quit my job too so this is what I was gonna ask you right so did you rise above your level misery yes so when we talked about this last time he hears the basic framework
00:05:56is I I don't think everybody's going to go back and listen to that early beta of the weeds for this but basically here's how it goes people have a tendency as as you just stated too when a competent in their hard working in there ambitious to get promoted
00:06:11and to to rise and to become more and more successful but that success doesn't really have necessarily anything to do with your passion or your happiness most people have a pretty good concept of what floats their boat and that's what they're doing and they're doing it so well
00:06:25that people who are around them so will would be great if you took responsibility it would be good if you did more management but that's not ideal for everybody on the con on the country somebody like you as your your your inherently you're a creative even a creative
00:06:38guy from the beginning of your career with the over the past ten years we've seen a lot of stuff going on all the things that people know and admire or about you the most to know about you from the outside or your creative works so that would indicate
00:06:50to me if I were your therapist I would say as three and ten times you are that that that basically your true north is being a creative voices reading your books is reading your articles is doing a podcast is thinking about ideas now is a similac room for
00:07:06this stuff and that is the money the power the fame that comes along from being more in management and running something bigger but the problem is that's a substitute for what you really wants a substitute for as writes a counterfeit as raw and that's really what we're talking
00:07:23about here you have to remember what your true north is and don't take the counterfeit substitutes for it not withstanding the rewards that come along with them but what I want here is about how this played into and if it played into the transitions your make it one
00:07:35of the things always been inching pension in in your career is it you're also a creative you write books you're an economist before you ascended to the head of a I consider your creative an economist in much of in your current we're just talking before we start about
00:07:50what you're doing you've got a podcast launching on unbox media you've got a book coming out on the second half of life a huge story coming out on the second half of life and you got a movie coming out yeah so was this that was this the journey
00:08:04you entering yourself till we so yeah it what what happened was for those your listeners that I'm not consumers following my career I've been the president of it yeah I for ten years now before that it was a professor at Syracuse University most of that night and it
00:08:19was a completely crave lifestyles writing my book some are not managing anybody I was managing not even myself and how many people work at a I add two hundred eighty full time and so it's big and by the way we've doubled in size over the past ten years
00:08:34and before that expensive twelve years before that is professional French horn player a lot of that with the Barcelona symphony orchestra so I've had a largely critic for it and went into this sort of chief executive job when I've had no management responsibility what so ever it was
00:08:49a real shock is very irresponsible on the part of a I know yeah I know knows that is clearly a failed president search on their part said in a panic and and the best attribute I had in the first couple years president yeah I was my own desperation
00:09:03my own just wheeled to succeed and the truth was I knew that there was a possibility wouldn't work I get fired and it yeah I would be fine and that was actually comforting to me this way but the key thing to remember for me was that I had
00:09:16made a ten year commitment going in I was going to do this in a way where I was going to instantiate a particular vision the vision was going to be to make a moral case for how the American free enterprise system could help people around the world particularly
00:09:29people the margins of our society and how American leadership should be a good thing when bounded by rules of the road and basic morals and eighty I was the best place to do is my favorite think tank and I was going to build that particular vision do it
00:09:41a really really creative way and get out of Dodge that was a goal that I had was to do it for ten years and when I got close to ten it was old kind of a panicky feeling quite frankly because dead life is great I mean I was
00:09:54actually kind of had mastered the job and I wasn't having crises I wasn't having problems the place was running not itself is running pretty well that I remember that there's a tyranny of the S. curve it's hard to get started once you get this really steep gradient then
00:10:09you get to the top of that thing just sit up there you're not gonna be making very much progress and sooner or later you're going to get a shot off why because when you say all leave is not only this was on not having fun anymore you've said
00:10:22this institution exists to serve me that's what you just said and the sooner later the sheriff is going to show up and I didn't want that's not good for a yeah it's not good for me and so I was true to my word and I step I said
00:10:35I was gonna step down that happens a year from now what did you I recognize as big question what did management teach you what do you know about yourself now beat in a before the key could question I think about that a lot the most important management task
00:10:51is learning how to manage yourself that you can't manage other people unless you're managing yourself you can't help other people with their it to control their emotions such that they can be really productive session they can work together in teams such they can be maximally fulfilled in creative
00:11:06unless you're doing that for yourself as of the first management task is self management is to be a leader to yourself and it sounds like a sort of self improvement books but it's probably not that much more than common sense so you gotta ask yourself am am I
00:11:21doing what I should be doing today my using my my time appropriately and my being as productive as I could be am I working such that I am not unhappy and happiness on the part of the leader just believes over like crazy and everybody recognizes that that one
00:11:39of the things that I mean that was a big learning for me all for sure you know people are looking at you know what now as there isn't a bad mood today what happened wasn't me you know how do we make a map it was probably them is
00:11:48probably is probably better off over them and the other thing to keep in mind is that most people in creative leadership jobs are are fundamentally melancholy people that's just outside of that that I'm not sure that sounds right to mellow yellow is our actual data yeah yeah I've
00:12:04actually seen this a creatives tend to have a not a completely melancholic spirit but certainly melancholic streak and and so those that are elevated to these management jobs frequently are the ones who have this strong strain of melancholy and not being able to control that to manage that
00:12:19in yourself becomes a real liability for manager becomes a real liability for a leader and so that's an important thing the self knowledge self management was the most important skill I learned are you bound **** get totally absolutely of course I mean is that I mean it's not
00:12:34dominating my personality in every single moment but for sure I'm very dark yes so as someone who got put in this position from a pure creative background yeah then when you looked for deputies did you look for people with management experience or did you look for others like
00:12:50you who had a hunger and had a vision and assume you could teach them or they would learn management dad that you have to put together a team that has the right elements on it so a management team Hispanic control of the chief executive is eight or nine
00:13:05people seven eight or nine people something like that not much more than that and they have to be blunt if they have to be have different characteristics now the the top management of any organization has to basically have to two people at least to doing for jobs here
00:13:22the for jobs vision resources execution and accountability and the chief executive's job really eighty five percent ninety five percent should be vision and resources the biggest problem inside organizations I think that rex organizations is that everybody's competing to be the chief operating officer everybody wants to be the
00:13:41execute or the guy who checks the lists the guy who makes things work right why because vision and resources that's really hard it's easy to fail you know that where we going do you see it do you see something bigger more moral something better something that's going to
00:13:58improve our lives and here's what we need to get it brains money and relationships and I'm gonna go out and get him and bring him back in a bag dance with the chief executive job really really is and so what you need is people surrounding you doing the
00:14:11other jobs in have time by the way here's the big mistake a lot of new executives make new leaders make is they keep trying to do their old jobs well that that was that's me I always thought that all of us that's all is right alright already economics
00:14:27products I was adding the hard thing about yeah I was ready to call for the York times I mean it was because it does give me an outlet it's one reason is something that I feel and this is a journal some specific point but then I've come to
00:14:37believe strongly is that you want editors who truly want to be editors you want managers who truly want to be managers I think one of things I began to see it myself is that up to a certain level of size for box I can manage a lot through
00:14:50the product fundamentally the tools of management for me were working through assigning stories and editing stories and having ideas with people in it looked a lot more like my old jobs when it gets big enough you're really the fundamental building blocks of the organization of people you're managing
00:15:06and at some point in managing managers right times even of manager surf and so then you're working with people problems people's talents people's opportunities and that is itself a very deep scale and there are people who get out of bed like our current leadership group who really really
00:15:23think about that as a core thing that's been what they've been doing for a very long time and so when they become editors in chief for whatever they keep doing that but I always think that one of the things I know tell people come to me for advice
00:15:34on this is that you have to be honest with yourself about whether or not you like working with the the actual task you're doing right or that you're trying to do your old job in a new and bigger role yeah the number one reason for the demise of
00:15:51a CEO is not that he or she isn't a good CEO but that here she doesn't want to be the CEO that's the number one reason for the demise of the leader in the reason for that is is a truism that people always do what they want to
00:16:05do early on when I was running a %HESITATION Zach I'm like I'm a good I got a good eye for talent all fine people who are good at something and they don't even know it yet and you know I'm pretty astute sometimes and and I would be able
00:16:15to do that the trouble is it failed and it failed inevitably because I would hire people to do something they didn't want to do and they would do it for a month or two and then pretty soon they would wind up doing what they wanted to do no
00:16:27that's the same thing is true about you and me as right at the end of the day you wanted to be a creator you're an idea man dance what you are and and so when you were basically three steps removed from the production in the distribution of ideas
00:16:41it was very frustrating I was sending the fact they were really successful at it being successful at it once again why you don't like it is pursuing those substitutes for yourself money power fame those are always a mistake let me ask you about not the intrinsic part of
00:16:56this but the external part of it so I've developed a perhaps wrong hypothesis watching your transition from afar which is I am seeing a lot of people and I see them myself too whose careers have been spent in policy and persuasion whose careers have been about the idea
00:17:18that the way American politics works really is one of the ways American politics works is you come up with good information and good ideas about policy you persuade people those ideas are correct and then those ideas go forward and they make the world a better place as they're
00:17:32made into policies are implemented as are made into law I'm seeing a lot of folks right now and and again and I feel this way myself who are looking around at American politics and saying that's not how it's working that is not with the transmission looks like %HESITATION
00:17:47people are not open to persuasion in that way we sort of fallen down but I joke of about its massive tire give political needs down from you know is a good policy to whether good people on both sides of the Charlottesville rallies and that I I see a
00:18:02lot of policy people trying ten now to deepen their engagement with questions of how we talk to one another Howell American politics in disagreement culture work was there for you ascend said that the core problem had changed and that you needed to revive yourself for focus on something
00:18:24different for awhile yeah I know it's a it's a good question I think I came in to certainly I mean I have a PhD in policy analysis and so my view is that you you expose ideas to empirical scrutiny and when the when the data support a particular
00:18:37hypothesis enough you become kind of convinced of it although not dogmatically so and then you try to convince policy makers is the best policy and then a thousand flowers bloom exactly you know that that's the algorithm of how policy supposed to work the trouble is that that that
00:18:52only work some of the time you can get into periods of tremendous polarization political polarization and the search so let me back up with a different metaphor ordinarily ideas are like the climate and politics is like the weather okay and and climb it drives weather so ID is
00:19:10kind of drive politics when things are going well will they turns out that when weather's really really heavy you can get you can turn the directionality the hundred eighty degrees you can and and when things get really hot and heavy you can basically have effectively whether driving climate
00:19:26and that's what happens in a highly polarized ideological environment where politics starts to drive ideas and and what happens is that you you get into an environment where where it's like you're on one side or the other you just don't have very many persuade all people are under
00:19:42the circumstances and then the prerogative becomes not just better ideas but better culture that's fine I mean we should be in the business not just a good ideas but of improving culture as well because that democracy is not just a bundle of ideas it's a bundle ideas where
00:19:57the connective tissue is the culture between them so let me go back this metaphor because I think there's something here but I want to make sure I understand that so to make it specific when you say that ideas of the climate and policies are the weather no politics
00:20:10politics is when I'm sorry so if something like neo liberal some is the climate right there's a a period of time in which there is a a broad and and I mean this in the sort of bigger kind of western way neo liberal consensus among classical liberalism is
00:20:24a climate and that with in that a lot of politics takes place within those boundaries do you mean when you say that it Denver versus because I think you could make the argument that actually we are just looking at different ideas or ideas about demographics ideas about who
00:20:42should be in this country and who counts as an American and and and how much demographic change we should have but they are still ideas and if they just drive a different kind of politics what's not a reversal that's just you know you you for life or whoever
00:20:57has lost control the climate well I think the ideas per se are part of the climate and so big ideas little ideas they'll go together politics is a different thing politics is the relationship of power between particular people you know who gets to make decisions who has the
00:21:13the capacity to redistrict everything it's just basically politics as how power is structured where his ideas typically has a unique who are in the ideal world we have very little power except insofar as it we can exert some moral suasion or we can persuade people in different ways
00:21:30so I think it has very little power and and you know it's actually amazing because in the end climate usually does when out ideas do went out but in the short term politics the whether it can be much more interesting to me look I am it doesn't blow
00:21:46down your house whether dies so ideas are not suddenly going to rock your world change everything is gonna be politics that does that is going to be the power relationships and the polarities are such right now to mix my metaphors that politics that that weather is super heavy
00:22:02I were basically going through a pattern where as like hurricane or tornado after tornado after tornado and under those circumstances you have to say okay one of the circumstances which I can change that and one of the ways to do that is to to talk about the culture
00:22:16in which the politics exists and that's why I have I've changed the focus a lot of my personal activities so here's the thing about simplistic there a home security system that really obsesses about product design I'll give you an example a typical class break sensor is easy to
00:22:33fall a gets false positives all the time you get a drop plate or baby crying and all those things you know you get alarmed the police are coming it's not good simplisafe they don't want to sell for that really good home security needs to be accurate need to
00:22:46know that when you got a call that you really should have gotten a call so they constructed a glass break testing facility which had been so much fun to work at they ran over ten thousand lives lost Rick situations refining their detection technology until was so accurate can
00:23:01distinguish broken plate for a broken window this is the level of detail they put into everything they do it's apart from other security companies simplisafe system it's designed so you never notice it unless you have to do you never think about how it's running and there's no contract
00:23:16or not trapping you in here their business model is that they work hard for your business not to get you one setting a trap with him forever I'll give you twenty four seven monitoring police and fire dispatcher told us fifteen dollars a month it is the best around
00:23:28the clock protection confined to order simplisafe security system today uncivil saved accomplishing CRA and simple simple also donate one to a family and again the simple sake dot com slash easier a shorter one a family in need gets one at simplisafe dot com such easy are so here's
00:23:50a question about this obviously as people who decided at one point or another to devote a lot of our lives to this question of what are the dominant ideas what what are the ideas people are listening to what what what idea should they be listening to what you
00:24:04get more attention than it does what you get more analysis and it does we are going to be inclined to state highly odd that the the power of ideas and in politics and also just in life right but were people chosen to work a lot with ideas but
00:24:19this is the place where I am struggling here not as a because I disagree but because I'm not sure I I have a view is well was it ever really like that now on some level ideas have always mattered there there clearly boundaries on the the political conversation
00:24:34America has certain ideas like individualism that they take specific route here compared to to how they do and in other countries but you know another way of thinking about that is that America has group identities and America structures that make certain ideas take root here as I'm curious
00:24:51how you think about that interplay is there a larger context in which things happen why do some periods have more of a role for the as you put it the climate than others I mean what is V. like if you're able to take one step back further out
00:25:05from your metaphor what is the context in which all that operates so I often ask myself this too because you know I hear people that are pining for the past the good old days well you know you go back a hundred years and it was from the polarization
00:25:17was unbelievable you're like a hundred fifty years of civil war and the basically the whole nine battery sixty years in those political foundations and urban riots acting right I was having a very interesting conversation with Ken burns who's a great filmmaker and and and he was in I
00:25:33was queer on phone numbers come in complaining of the polarization right now so bad in any lesson he says do you know how many domestic bombings took place in sixty eight sixty nine is that I don't know he's at seven hundred about the middle of the last domestic
00:25:47bombing in the I. states was that like that one in New Jersey and I did go off I don't remember I mean it's just it's that that's bad man I mean and and so that the perspective is really important so sometimes I wonder the same thing that you
00:25:58do maybe it never was the US maybe or maybe the punctuation to the equilibrium is actually when ideas do matter and most of the time ideas don't matter I don't know the answer is I don't know but I do know that I think even if it's a punctuation
00:26:13to equilibrium ideas matter then we need to work to get those punctuation is more frequent and longer that that's good for the United States because it also means that we can share ideas we can persuade each other we can actually have a scar common sense of solidarity and
00:26:28and and progress and we're trying to do together even if we don't agree so there that there seem to me to be a couple interesting things here one is there is the institutional contexts in which ideas can become action up there are periods in American life due to
00:26:42how majorities are structured to %HESITATION you know punctuated equilibrium to supply the scientists like to say where it's easier for an idea to move into policy right then there is also this other thing which I think you're getting out a little bit here by by by invoking some
00:26:58of our more unsettled past which is what are the periods in which we have enough in some versions consensus in other versions political pressure to make big changes to two ideas because when I look back in American politics I think you can actually often separated into two kinds
00:27:20of periods every car again and again it's a relative consensus let's say the nineties in America that was a place where the lines were drawn pretty narrowly and so while there was a lot of back and forth in disagreement in the respect the Clinton impeachment nevertheless Democrats in
00:27:36public instruction getting a lot of things done together you know you may or may not look back on this is folly but but it was happening right and their periods like said sixties when organized movements are confronting America with major problems often doing so in ways that require
00:27:54immense personal sacrifice the danger and it's forcing changes to the idea structure not through consensus but through challenge right I'm very I do not have any organizing very for what makes up here read one versus the other but it does seem to me that that there's an interesting
00:28:13question there yeah for sure so generally speaking the the periods where you can get progress through consensus in the world of ideas they have two things in one of two things in common number one is that there's this huge external threat so big that war right I mean
00:28:30the whole idea eight eggs an existential crisis that that really drives people together and very interesting and sometimes very productive ways that's not ideal that's not what you want it's like Gee if we had only had a war all would be well that's ridiculous but that does tend
00:28:45to say that you did Tennessee that Milosevic's thing things happen during conflict clinical depression diagnosed falls by seventy five percent during armed conflict weird stuff like that right now is a force that gives us meaning in indeed but there's another set of circumstances and this is the one
00:29:00that that we should be looking for as far as I'm concerned which is that when you have symmetric economic growth that is to say all the way through the income distribution you have people rising in their experience of income growth of of economic growth then you can see
00:29:16a lot more consensus because there's not a zero sum mentality is not because as rose got me a new podcast amis author of doesn't have a new podcast we can both have a new podcast when the whole idea of a positive some that's a cultural contacts that's not
00:29:31just a in economic fact a positive some kind of thinking in abundance kind of thinking really only comes out of the ecosystem of even relatively even economic growth now why don't I bring that up because that's as far as I'm concerned from a policy perspective something we should
00:29:47be trying to achieve and that's what I want liberals conservatives to be yelling at each other about is how we can get more of this everybody's an asset and nobody's a liability kind of mentality and how do we push economic growth all the way down through the economic
00:30:01distribution in your conservatism to be talking about higher economic growth rates and lower regulation all kind of stuff and and liberals can be talking about jobs pro rounds and and and you know big public works stuff but that's the kind of argument I think that we should be
00:30:15having such that we can create that ecosystem in which we can be promoting ideas I've been thinking a bit about this idea because I often see a version of this argument on which is that what it's doing is pushing periods of economic growth periods of perceptual abundance and
00:30:38suggesting that the absence of that in recent years is the cause of fractious mess right because we had a very very terrible sessions on two thousand and nine now we're here with Donald Trump with this kind of society would feel like people are are a war with the
00:30:52left becoming you know left on a real sort of democratic socialist dimension emerging American politics depending on who you talk to they have different versions of why things are conflict ridden as opposed to an interesting progress of ideas but but a lot of people seem to agree that
00:31:05economic growth but then I look at mid century America I look at post World War two America and this is a period in America that I think is broadly believed to be our great growth story and it's a very fractious it's appeared as you say where we have
00:31:20this huge number of domestic bombings it's a period where we have the civil rights movement and the the feminist movement and we I've been struggling with this idea of whether or not abundance actually makes societies calmer or whether it can make them just more open more generous in
00:31:38the face of challenge because I think a lot of people think if we had growth would stop fighting but that doesn't seem to me to be the lesson of twentieth century America that's true I actually think that fighting isn't the problem for the the problem is the inability
00:31:52to ever let somebody else win to ever be even the slightest degree persuaded by anybody else see the problem is not fighting per se it's polarization which is different so the problem is not disagreement it's the inability to disagree well with each other you do have a Spanish
00:32:10woman right and work completely in love with him almost thirty years and we fight every single day there's a huge literature out there that shows that anger is not correlated with divorce it is right now it's not anger is not quite thank god because I'd be divorced is
00:32:28that you know it's it's it's not what's it with what's correlated with the divorces contempt contempt as cold as the conviction of the utter worthlessness of another person so when you find our inability to disagree well you don't find lots of anger you find lots of contempt and
00:32:46and that's the the polarization vats where we find ourself now the United States now to get back to just a and and yet I know you're a follow up on this right because contempt for his anger super interesting it's super important for political climate today but let's talk
00:32:59just for a second let me be a little wonky ear here about this if you go back to two thousand and nine financial crisis very different than an ordinary recession you get a couple of them a century we have very is very interesting study that came out beginning
00:33:12twenty seventeen the European economic review fancy economic journal of so much its technical so most people are not going to reading the journal but basically here's what it found it looked at eight hundred elections over a hundred twenty years in twenty advanced economies including United States and they
00:33:26found a ten year period following a financial markets recession you tended to see a thirty percent increase in support for populist parties and candidates populism tends to be polarizing and the climate around it politically tends to be characterized by contempt there's nothing wrong with people fighting each other
00:33:44just vigorously in social movements and no you're wrong but contempt is terrible when you say it's my way or the highway you know if you don't agree with me get out find any hat contempt is the conviction this is the service Schopenhauer's famous definition from the nineteenth century
00:34:01is the conviction of the other worthlessness of another person anger algorithmically leads to reconciliation contempt leased a permanent enmity and we think about I mean every listening to us when people do they they owe you some amount of respect and civility of whether it's in the workplace or
00:34:17it's in your family or just in your community and they treat you as if you're utterly worthless stupid what you've said is idiotic you never quite forget it you never quite it becomes a habit and in these particular climate you find that politically we get into the habit
00:34:33of treating other people content content brings power when you're trying to lock down your base and that leads to this power struggle where it's all or nothing it becomes kind of a Hobbes Ian world of politics that's very different there's nothing wrong with conflict but is everything wrong
00:34:48with contempt sometime to think this through because there's a lot here one thing it's striking to me is something I've always noticed as a journalist and and also as a human being I really like what you just said that anger algorithmically leads to reconciliation because something I have
00:35:03always been very struck by is how many of my reporting relationships came out of somebody being angry about a piece I wrote how many in in my own life just and things of observed and and things have been in people getting angry at each other often seems to
00:35:18be an opening for them to transfer those strong feelings to a more calm place the people are more likely to develop a friendship even if they begin in anger than if they just begin with nothing mirror that strong feelings can be moved around anger says I care right
00:35:35angles as I can tempt says your worthless contempt says it's interesting so and then there's this question though of how do you know when you have one versus another in politics because anger and politics often expresses itself as contempt and this is where I am getting all caught
00:35:53up which is this you're creating a pretty sharp division here in but when people get angry they get contemptuous and so I think part of the question is how does one not tip into the other yeah right right template contempt is possibly when you say and grog rhythmically
00:36:08leads to reconciliation I think auger anger can lead to contempt can hard so that's a it's a it's a very good point that you're making and the problem is how you express your anger and that tends on how you express your anger some man and that's healthy anger
00:36:23they're expressing right now the key that like the key interesting thing is that how there's a guy he's the world's leading expert on contempt and actually merits a reconciliation same as John got many teaches the RC Washington Seattle social psychologist as a marriage lab with his wife and
00:36:39they've they've bought thousands of couples back together who are on their way to divorce court sketch a hero I mean he's just helps people be happier and live better lives and the number one thing he's looking for is high rolling when a couples having a contentious conversation he
00:36:53can look at a video of a couple having an argument turn the sound is zero within seconds tell with that couple be divorced within the next five years with like ninety four percent accuracy it's it's on candy because he looks at the the physical signs of contempt they
00:37:07express for each other so so here's the key problem he finds that people have a habit of expressing contempt and that's almost like a physical assault on the other person when I say that it's because they're a lot of studies that show that when you're treated with contempt
00:37:21you react in a way almost as if you've been hit it's it's just so terrible when somebody treats you with contempt so the first thing he's trying to do is such that anger doesn't lead to an expression of contempt is to help people break their habits of contempt
00:37:34for the number one thing that we need to everybody listening to us to do today is to break the habit of contempt to catch yourself when you're about to express contempt rolling your eyes mockery sarcasm look there's a ton of millennials listening to us today and and everybody
00:37:50my age and younger is the sarcasm generation so it so don't do that politically with people you don't know particularly on social media okay net now you're gonna ask away now right no was gonna something different which is I want I want to if this is the advice
00:38:03for you you're you're giving people I want to make sure the advice is clear so here's what I'm hearing when you say that that if I'm on Twitter or I'm talking to somebody that there is a difference between me seeing something that I don't like and saying I
00:38:18don't like that I'm gonna disagree with this person and missing something that I don't like it saying this person's an **** they're not worth me disagreeing with correct is that the dividing line dividing line is about whether or not somebody for you is worth engaging with versus not
00:38:34worth thinking well not worth engaging with means you don't engage at all which means you don't write anything on Twitter and that's usually the best advice well it did me at all kind of is a kind of in you and I actually had a conversation once about Twitter
00:38:49we talked about the anxiety that actually created in your life yeah and and me too I mean you're you've got a billion Twitter followers and I've only got you know like nine but the still is the same it's the same thing where it is because you feel a
00:39:04need to react to something that you don't think it's correct okay so they're basically three you see something you think is is wrong on Twitter and we do it all day long because we're you know we're looking at it problem or we should number one is don't react
00:39:15number two is to react by saying I disagree with that completely here's why and number three to say is what an idiot what a moron jackass come on you know get your facts straight before you get on Twitter K. number one is not gauging number two is the
00:39:31anger maybe not but it's healthy and it's respectable who is a kind of disagreement whatever the emotional charge which is fine I mean disagreement is a former competition by an organization is a good so okay and number three is contempt don't ever do contempt net now the problem
00:39:48is they can have a three is **** this person they're not worth me respond they're not well or accept that you are responding which means it's just the F. you part and not the it's not worth you responding it's basically you're an idiot ha ha ha that's the
00:40:01classical kind of response of contempt on social media right so and that's just Twitter is a contempt machine that's the biggest problem with water and not to mention the fact that is anonymous so content is that much easier to express for people the problem is however that a
00:40:17lot of people are listening to us and it can happen to the people in leadership positions as well as they are in the habit of expressing their feelings that way even when they don't feel contempt that's how they actually get followers that's how they get fans that's how
00:40:30they get attention is by expressing contempt and six streamlined deleterious to the conversation interesting so you're saying a minute ago that that folks below you are the sarcasm generation right and and I would call smoke dark is the dominant mode in light of the spaces right and it
00:40:47sounds to me like what you're saying is that a lot of us are in practicing our snark in you know being out there with that a lot of us are developing habits of mind at that without we quite intend to do so and have it fixed Russian that
00:41:04lead us more easily down the path to contempt that is correct and the the result of it is knowingly or unknowingly two fold number one it alienates other people and thus for closes the ability to have disagreement it can be constructive and number two it hurts you we
00:41:22are all too busy we all have too much to do before the to feel like we do we get all you someone to help us out but that's expensive and and honestly feels a little weird really need some kid hanging around making doctor appointments and restaurant reservations for
00:41:34you and even if you did could you afford it there is an answer to this very first world problems fender which makes is the best of human artificial intelligence to create a new kind of personal assistant when he's there when you need them and gone when you don't
00:41:48want it learns your preferences over time actually affordable and it is not in any way it's on your phone in your computer you don't need to talk to anybody and actually learn what you like what you need for the for for aisle seats are window seats on an
00:42:01airplane with your default meeting likes are what your favorite restaurants are thinking manager calendar I can book appointments can take care travel plans bills research by products it's everything a great assistant can do the future is here and yeah it's a little creepy but it's also pretty this
00:42:18is my show can now try fin for free because he's my link fan F. I. N. dot com such as the IRA again it's been dot com such easier eight try fend for free today that's been dot com such easy are I don't want to put this on
00:42:36social media because obviously this operates a lot of other parts of our lives but it always strikes me that you can really tell when somebody's disagreeing with you with the expectation that you are going to see it versus somebody's disagreeing with you or attacking you or or or
00:42:51whatever they may be doing with the expectation that their group is going to see right when somebody is coming at you expecting a response there is one kind of writing one kind of communication and when you are I should say even when I am when I am disagreeing
00:43:05with somebody for my Twitter followers not for them right right so and so has written something I think it's really dumb and I'm it'd make a joke about it that I think my people are gonna find funny it's not the opening of a conversation with the person I
00:43:20am attacking right that's a place where I find myself tipping much more into contempt driven for sure from an ordinary disagreement civil disagreement is one where you actually want the other person to hear you and you want the other person respond uncivil disagreement which is contempt based is
00:43:37one in which you're playing to your own audience it's it's feels like one of these late night TV shows where the host is always barbecuing the gas to the guest is has run politics or whatever for the benefit the people who are out in the seats if you're
00:43:51doing your Twitter that way you're not doing it very constructively it's basically a kind of divisive negative entertainment which by the way is horrible for the entertainer it's bad for you it's bad for you emotionally it's even bad for you physically to be expressing content I was talking
00:44:06with him the other day about the difference between the old blogosphere which I came up and that's sort of how I got into journalism old it's like I know you two thousand and no it's it's too it's real strange how cockatoos into moved but how different it felt
00:44:24how different disagreement which is often very uncivil there felt from disagreement in a lot of social media spaces and the reason I think it felt different was that there was an expectation that you were going to go back and forth right people you were disagreeing with it was
00:44:38a link based economy so they were gonna link you your gonna link to them you know there was a habit back then called fisting which is a long straight how got that name but I remember that I know that I knew was that I think are you take
00:44:50a paragraph and then like you read that paragraph to shreds in another paragraph need without one to shreds but it was also very deep kind of engagement with that whatever you were attacking right it wasn't like you just like have a little link the probably people wouldn't read
00:45:04and then like a really witty quip on top of that man and now this is something I feel like I've been tracking it does not feel like when people disagree they expect the people they're disagreeing with to be reading them they're not expecting to have like a five
00:45:20piece back and forth right expecting to %HESITATION you know get their sort of likes and retreats and whatever it might be and and that that that this will be less healthy and and again I say this by the way again being part of it not outside of it
00:45:33not low not not like I am I follow you you're not bad and it's all because you're very evening define us right but it's because I don't participate yeah I got it I got it and and but the key that hit the key to this is knowledge because
00:45:46knowledge is power on this if basically you're not intending to have a back and forth a real disagreement with somebody then then you're going to dismiss that person if you gonna react at all you'll dismiss and dismissal per se is contemptuous by the way when you go back
00:45:59to it even a vigorous fest gang of the blogosphere you know this I got such a gross senses off the grist fits getting a blog is fine with awful but even when it was on the civil in a way there there's nothing that says that we have to
00:46:13be civil when we disagree that's not the point either but contempt and civility Vistaprint's interesting right now people are trying to adjudicate the current political climate there complaining a lot about civility that that's beside the point miscibility is fine if you're basically trying to have everybody get along
00:46:30and you're trying to have a certain kind of productivity the work force but civility shouldn't be the goal either mean that that's not how competition is supposed to work me Pepsi and coke or not civil to each other but they should be following certain moral norms and rules
00:46:44of the road legally and and so we we have to figure out how we should talk to each other we would not worry about civility so much but worrying about ways we don't express contempt and as such we disagree each other we can have a competition of ideas
00:46:56well let's talk about civility because I think that somebody fairly listening to this conversation in this context we'll hear it as a conversation about stability so it's something you're saying there is a bit anger and contempt can at equal levels of civility in incivility it's about the productivity
00:47:14of the engagement right whether or not you're actually trying to have an interaction with somebody on a real level but it doesn't have to be a civil interaction is that is that what I'm hearing from you that's right disability is a largely subjective construct to mean if you
00:47:26go to Bob you know Minneapolis it's really different than if you're going to Atlanta you know if you go to an Italian family it might be really different than if you go to a southern Baptist family you know in in what they consider to be civil around the
00:47:38dining table in different cultures define civility in different ways but everybody everybody knows the difference between anger and contempt in their hearts were they can define it as such or not you know when you're being treated with contempt and there's no culture that says yes contempt is fine
00:47:54you can treat me as if I'm utterly worthless to find beneath any sort of disdain that you could possibly there's there's no culture that accepts that that's a natural law if there is such a thing in discourse I've been reading a lot of Martin Luther king junior's books
00:48:08recently just for some other projects I'm working on one of the things I really love with and contemporary discourse is when king is brought up as a paragon of civility because one at the time he was often attacked for being uncivil that's been a letter from the Birmingham
00:48:22jail and all that but also it was a very deep form of confrontation but but your point one things out of synch about listening to you is it was confrontation with the expectation of interaction right it was confrontation with the belief that you were trying to change minds
00:48:39of his confrontation with the belief that people were redeemable and if they saw the monster in themselves or the monster in their peers they would change and I am interested in this idea on on living the difference between when have we decided the people we are dealing with
00:48:57are beyond saving verses when is our actual effort to try to change their minds yeah you know then there's this other question of how open do we believe our mind is to change right right and help in a different context should it be but this idea that civility
00:49:12is a is a defining line is civilly seems to me to be very weaponized concept yet totally me basically when you don't want to compete then you start talking a whole lot about civility in and it's basically vigorous competition is always going to be considered to be uncivil
00:49:28this is not from violating the law or even moral norms just not being nice and so your niceness is not what you're trying to do in a capitalist economy or any of the contested democratic election and it shouldn't be what we're trying to do in the competition of
00:49:42ideas either however you pass the line of actually being able of a competition of ideas when you express contempt why competition of ideas means trying to win the competition contempt means you're trying to shut it down yeah that's basically the red Sox blowing up the Yankees boss on
00:49:57the way to the game athlete competing that's not competing that's the kind of the the the the rhetorical cronyism is just some way of of not having to compete so I'm I'm not a fan of civility I don't mind it there are certain times when I use it
00:50:13certainly but it's not my goal however I think that we have to declare war on contempt of organ make any kind of progress in this country politically and in the composition ideas so tell me about this this project you've been working on around disagreeing better so I I
00:50:28think at this point if I ask you how are we disagreeing poorly you're going to say that we're discreetly too much contempt but are there other dimensions to your diagnosis of what has gone wrong with an American disagreement than contempt yeah out so contempt is when we interact
00:50:42with each other poorly but one of the biggest problems that we have in in in and having a conversation nationally about big issues of the real matters a lot fact is that we don't actually have conversations with each other effectively we have fake conversations where we talk to
00:50:57people who agree with us acting as if we were talking to people who disagree with us we have conversations only with people in our own community saying yeah the other side is this the other side is that and get a wise ourselves this is really bad practice it's
00:51:11also it's intellectually very weak practice that we've gotten into into and and part of this is that we have a you know a decades long coming apart process my colleague at the I a Charles Murray and and and also Robert Putnam at Harvard a lot of other people
00:51:25have written important books about how society has literally physically come apart as people are not living together but then the the the kinda natural manifestation of this ideologically is that we found technological ways to make sure that we don't even have to talk to each or listen to
00:51:40anybody else's plenty of that doesn't agree with our own the onion which I'm sure you're a faithful reader I certainly am %HESITATION they has they have a a funny version of it late night talk show called you're right it's basically you watch that show in all the do
00:51:55the whole time to tell you how virtuous and how smart you are and how right you are in every particular topic well that's a that's another big threat to our competition of ideas to me that's basically just leads to to mediocrity and kind of a soft society in
00:52:08which none of our ideas are ever exposed to it you know it's interesting it was an academic for a long time and when you're when you're a center right a mater conservatives I am on a college campus you find you always have to defend your points of view
00:52:21and it's like why is it so easy to win arguments it's not because of my colleagues are just super intelligent they're really really smart and the answer is that sense undergraduate all through graduate school and and in the academy frequently people don't have to defend their their center
00:52:36left point of view or the progress of point of view it just makes you weak so what makes you confident this is worse than it was thirty years ago fifty years ago verses because of social media because of nationalize cable news more visible I'm I am sort of
00:52:54I've been both pessimistic optimistic the reason I'm pessimistic as I see the data and the data I like to look at as a social scientist Ron feeling thermometers that you know the relationship people have with each other and you find that that relationships are breaking down about twenty
00:53:08percent of Americans have ended a close friendship or relationship with a family member because of ideology because of political views and that's up I mean we've been looking at for a long time that's much much higher than it's ever been and you find that people are avoiding those
00:53:22who disagree with them and feeling thermometers which is this like zero to one hundred scale where zero is Saddam Hussein and a hundred to Santa Claus you find that just the the general group of people who disagree with you are falling like a rock and feeling thermometers and
00:53:36you know we we have data going back decades on this and it's just worse than it's been before so it's in I think it's a pretty compelling argument that we're in we're in trouble that's on pessimistic but was the optimist the optimistic part is that when you have
00:53:49a crisis like this it's it's by nature an opportunity when things are kind of chugging along and and we're talking about ideas kind of and we sort of are willing to listen to each other it's it's hard to jar people into paying attention to you and I would
00:54:05have been talking about the competition of ideas per se five or ten years ago or certainly not fifteen or twenty years ago and it's important that we do that because it's a moment when we need this opportunity to improve things so one of the things I'm working on
00:54:17this book project about political identity and and and the way that's changer fifty six years and very related to us articulate away how how far along is your book there's a joke I think I might have used on the show before that you're only ever ten percent or
00:54:28ninety percent of the way through a book some ten percent ten percent right are you out yet all I am years and year I mean I signed this book contract at the Washington post online your publisher Simon Schuster good good publisher so it does that the key thing
00:54:43to keep in mind for the our listeners who are not in the throes of a book which as her and I are kind of all the time is the disk it's likely it isn't a famous old book called on death and dying by a psychologist named Elizabeth Kubler
00:54:55Ross is is you have to pass through these phases like negotiation in anger when you learn you're gonna die and finally acceptance is the last one right that's like writing a book so it what what's what's a are you as a negotiating fans are you the anger now
00:55:10I'm actually I'm I'm finally focused on a really enjoying it but I will say that one of the hard things as my wife any Lowry signed a contract to do a book like a year and a half ago got the book in on deadline the book comes out
00:55:22it'll be out by the time this conversation comes out on July tenth called give people money but it is been it's been very public about universal basic and gas that yes everybody hard work on that everybody should get it but it's been a very humbling to see somebody
00:55:37actually complete a book in my own household lives she this year all arise when you talk about your book or treat with can tell a lot of content yes it's it's it's a careful with that she's a great and now she's got a great support on all this
00:55:51but the the thing I wanna go back to here is that within my book project one of the things that I have really become persuaded by because the data is very very clear is we've a tendency because we've had the same labels on our political system for a
00:56:05very long time to assume that the component parts of particle system held steady and it's our reactions interactions have changed so we say the way people reacting you know to to folks have different political opinion it's with more contempt are shaping up for relationships or you'll often hear
00:56:24people complain that there's more political discrimination who people marry than there was forty fifty years ago it went from something like four five percent of the population so they'd be upset if their son or daughter married a member the other party in our anything like twenty five whatever
00:56:38they are high so that sounds really bad on the other hand what does happen in this period of time is that the label Republican and Democrat how much social sorting how much difference those labels and code have really changed so you stop liberal Republicans %HESITATION use of conservative
00:56:57Democrats the parties were less sorted than they are today by race by ideology by geography by religion by Meryl status by anything you can imagine and so it really was the case that if you are a Democrat talking to or about a Republican or Republicans that how frightening
00:57:15the Republican Party was to your interests have different Republicans were from you was a lot smaller and something I struggle with then is a question of whether or not the differences in our social politics for for lack of a better term reflect problems in the way of relating
00:57:32to each other or they reflect a rational reaction to the idea that if now you're when you're talking about Republicans and Democrats are now talking about two tribes have moved much further apart and are like just literally are more different from each other and that's a very good
00:57:47point %HESITATION I can't wait to read your book when you knew that when your editor can't wait to read your book to write weekly sent off a character so yeah I realize I'm just adding your paint that's a very interesting point and I sometimes contemplate the extent to
00:58:02which just the labeling differences of changed I do believe there is a real thing here going on however and the and the reason is because with the study we talked about a little bit earlier about how polarization help political polarization increases how populism increases which is a inherently
00:58:18a way of expressing ideas in us verses them terms and and what you find is that you get more us versus them more outsiders verses insiders more bonding social capital versus bridging social capital in times of of unequal economic rewards for people feel like they've kind of gotten
00:58:36hammered and they're not in identity politics by the way that increases as well as one of the things that we see so I think that particular in the wake of the financial crisis you see both political parties and and both I say political tribes left versus right more
00:58:51in the us versus them mode and thinking of the venom in much more negative terms than we've seen before true it's actually true that that the what it means to be a Democrat changes over the years of course you'd hope it would you hope it would be a
00:59:06relatively fluid concept as opposed to something over a thousand years means exactly the same thing on on the other hand people who don't see things the way that we do that that's for you actually find a in the data the polarization has increased the populism exacerbated at the
00:59:22parties are rewarding it and that people are acting in accordance with that and I think it's a crisis of something that we have to and again the contempt is the rhetorical part of that that's feeding into it but and each one of us can be an agent in
00:59:34weakening that algorithm one I think you said in there is that particularly as society stratified economically you're gonna have rises in this kind of populism in in in what I would call your us versus them populism of which is which is the classic form but I I think
00:59:52people use populism in America to talk about a lot of different things I don't want to group them all under the same and yet here is where I struggle in this conversation going back to the idea that the parties have in many ways become much more different than
01:00:06each other that the stakes of politics are very high or they go all the way up to life and death but just talking bad economically the a drive are people going to get health insurance from the government right the Republican Party is spend years trying to to repeal
01:00:22the affordable Care Act and to Republicans Democrats to spend years trying to take over the American healthcare system with %HESITATION it having the government take it over similarly on Donald Trump just passed a tax plan that to me is an unbelievable excel or end of inequality a genuinely
01:00:36to be immoral excel and have been a quality but obviously but a lot of folks on the public side who believe it's a a ballot planned and within that one of the the questions is that if you believe the stakes this high right that the policy stakes are
01:00:50so high that getting the policy wrong by begin tearing asunder some the fabric of politics it is hard within that then to operate within the levels of normal engagement that people price and maybe another in a simple way of putting this idea because I'm I'm thinking for a
01:01:10sort of on the fly here is there is always a choice in American politics that people are facing all the time and all politics anywhere which is is this a sort of normal sort of within the rules of the game kind of collision right where we should just
01:01:28be you know maybe when maybe you lose but but you accept it either way or we facing the sort of a pope goal apocalyptic even stay and one of things I wanted things I see more often now is people sing the stakes as irreversible potentially for the system
01:01:44or for the country almost apocalyptic and so any means from emotional all the way up to procedural like you know breaching the debt ceiling or something any means become valid verses if you sort of have the idea that you win some you lose some it's all politics as
01:02:02normal well then you're able to stay much more than the boundaries of gal were upset at each other today but we're gonna work together tomorrow yeah it's either something here about the stakes that I think that we don't talk about well whether the stakes really have gotten high
01:02:15in a way that have changed things because it had a for the parties aren't headed for what they believe is or whether or not that's just a perception we have and to act like that it's a mistake not to it's that it's actually very beautiful question in this
01:02:27way because we're talking about is is this is kind of an end times question yeah it's funny and I thought about that you know there there's moments when I'm feeling sort of apocalyptic and I'm thinking like all men this really really matters this is like the mid nineteenth
01:02:43century or something and then I go on the road a lot of two hundred seventy five speeches a year which is dozens really awful it's awesome I love it it's just love it there's not that you just because you're in your I fight everyday because as much as
01:02:56you can with me but %HESITATION she's usually too busy but we don't like for for me if I've got you know eight hundred people waiting for to hear me in Tulsa tonight and I'm going to Dulles airport I'm actually super pumped because I can't wait to talk to
01:03:12those people I just I'm so happy about it I don't care if it's a left wing audience for a right wing on answering no wing audience I'm just I guess you can figure it out and also but you know it's just it's a beautiful thing to be able
01:03:21to talk to these people but here's the key point when I'm feeling kind of apocalyptic about political polarization in America and then I go to America I find the stakes are almost always weirdly lower I mean we tend to think if you go to Waco Texas or you
01:03:38know Kansas or Chicago or someplace that you're going to get these these enclaves of people who all believe in the same way they pump everything up into being a really big deal but we're the ones here in DC over dresses over our heads all the time I mean
01:03:50it's just we think everything is the end times in in less think back on it you know I've been I've been present V. I. for during three presidencies now with a little tiny stub of W. and then all of a bomb and now trump in every election including
01:04:05the off year elections including the minor elections is always the most important election of our lifetime and we we cut calm down man I mean it's just it's just the stakes aren't as high as we think they are and so I've got actually got a piece of advice
01:04:19for you were listening to us and and the summer proved everybody listening to us including you and me that the stakes are actually lower than we think they are and here's Beasley vice Sakala politics clans has a patented thing I'm coming up with right is kind of like
01:04:34becoming a coat ideological vegan for a couple weeks just two weeks I mean that is not the communists were the fascists or whatever won't take over during that time it's okay right and do yourself a favor and don't listen to anything about politics and don't read anything about
01:04:48politics and don't have any conversations about politics by way but like a vegan people think you're wacky but you can be you know superior to them which is right I may get me too which is healthy I totally so I you know I guess so and and and
01:05:01but at the end of two weeks if you actually do this it's hard but if you actually do this you're gonna come back and you can find a bunch of things you're gonna find that the the world has gone on like it's like a Mexican soap opera you
01:05:13pick it up two weeks later and it nothing's actually changed the second thing you're gonna find is that you were used by powerful people for their profit that's actually what's going on people are trying to whip you up and get your into a frenzy make you angry all
01:05:29the time and contemptuous all the time for their profit there's a small minority of the population is super into this in their people in the outrage industrial complex are making tons of money and getting powerful and famous and they they they feed on your brain waves and the
01:05:44third thing you're gonna find out is that you're wasting tons of time that you could have in spending cultivating relationships of love in your life and that should be the true source of your assistance so let me try to argue this one both ways because I'm I think
01:05:59it's for the competition of ideas that you can argue both nobody says it is not a competition on the one hand one way to hear that is that sure that's true but there is a deep privilege associated with that all these myself an example I am not at
01:06:15risk of deportation right I can step back from politics for a couple weeks I'm not risk losing my health care I'm not you know I'm I'm in pretty good shape so I can step back in politics for a couple weeks and certainly from the new cycle for a
01:06:27little while and calm down and realize as you say that a lot of what's going on is algorithmic or cable news our politicians Russian Twitter bought six out of trying to get me very upset and it's good to calm down and that is both a shrew thing about
01:06:46me and potentially a fake thing about politics on the other hand I do think the part of the question here is about baseline because the stakes of politics have always been life and death because the stakes politics have always been perfectly for some people decisive in the future
01:07:05of their lives and it's why I have devoted so much of my life to to to try to make politics what I see as a little bit better there's something about this period that feels different even though it isn't one of the examples I do use here's deportation
01:07:18some something that my colleague Darlin who who covers stuff very closely will say is that the high water mark of deportations you know roughly was early Obama years %HESITATION it went down in the back half but Donald Trump is brought it back up again but is something we've
01:07:33never seen before but feels because of the way it's being constructed because of the way it's being talked about in the Alanis version didn't talk about it and then in that and they were trying to you know that is Russian celebrates and the a bomb decision wanted to
01:07:44use that as leverage to to create a more humane reform the immigration system I'm not I don't want to create too much parity that the thing I'm trying to get at here is that the by the way you're just being a for broker right it easier not create
01:07:56parity you're being affair broke the the argument on the other side of this is that there is something a lot of us feel that this puree it is uniquely arm high stakes uniquely apocalyptic uniquely dangerous and I do worry that that relies on a a mixture of Donald
01:08:12Trump pursuing a strategy of constantly freaking everyone out right Donald Trump sort of like sounding an alarm every morning when he turns on Twitter also a nostalgia for the past including by the way for things like George W. bush who I think is a in Gunnison my politics
01:08:27who I think did a lot more damage than Donald Trump is actually done so far despite the fact that now there's a certain nostalgia around him while when you come on my podcasts we're gonna have to know that they're pulled apart like I got to hear more about
01:08:37that's it's a foreign policy judgment I got it there's no doubt in my mind not a shadow of a doubt the George W. bush and the people who work for him were more moral more compassionate more that that the way they thought of themselves and their role in
01:08:51the world in in terms of who I feel contempt for versus who don't die item much easier time dealing with the bush administration right but in part because they're more effective in a place where I really disagreed with them on foreign policy but a critically island policy the
01:09:05fact is the trump administration foreign policy has been largely a continuation of the Obama foreign policy for all intents the huge amount of chaos but you know I got it but we're talking about the the the outcome looks an awful lot like a continuation to bomb a foreign
01:09:18policy so if you like to follow foreign policy better you and all the people listening to us who really like to Bhama they should be kind of like an trumps foreign policy because for all intents and purposes I am I don't think that's true and all all all
01:09:31say here's why I think that is looking at foreign policy too much as war policy and it is true the dollar job is not yet started a new war I do think if you carry a lot about diplomacy in multilateral institutions that the way Donald Trump is treating
01:09:46traditional lines as an international institutions that we have been part of the leaders in it so substantially different in its long term effects could be big enough that I do see it as more decisive break than you do but it is a less decisive break and I I
01:09:59I I do agree with this then say starting Iraq and Afghanistan war give pressure any and so there is a way in which knowledge of this is not done as much and so if you believe those words very destructive it in the way they're conducted as I do
01:10:14armed forget let's give out your name your main point was that main point is really interesting is that Phyllis let's leave once yeah the right ones littered on the ground but the but we got to get back before pausing at some point but let's get back to the
01:10:26one thing that but you predicated the whole vibe if we go back to seven minutes or something that if there's a kind of a privilege in being able to not pay attention right there say it's your lucky to not be able to pay attention I hate using the
01:10:39privilege language because it's just so college campus see at this point you know identity politics all sent in a check your privilege and all that stuff but I get your point get your point here's here is excellent what I would say that a lot of people who are
01:10:52concerned I think privileges an interesting idea where a lot of people who are made uncomfortable by the idea began treating the idea with contempt I'm gonna put a little flag on that awhile then I think there's an immune system developing around certain ideas prices one hour instead of
01:11:08arguing with it it's like it's a ridiculous college campus thing so I just wanted to you think I'd tell you that I treated with contempt he treated with contempt now and I think this anger so %HESITATION but but let's so let's think about that for a second that
01:11:21there is some he kinda lucky if you don't have to deal with the politics okay here's the the reason that we should still do a politics clans it's important to be able to figure out what actually is turned up to ten and what isn't see what's going on
01:11:36right now is that people are using people in media and people in politics are using every single person listening to this podcast they're basically saying everything that I am talking about right now is equally important as what's going on at the border that's what's going on in foreign
01:11:52policy as the tax policy those are big things those are actually big things right now but you know that famous that probably the most famous scene in the movie spinal tap word you know the guitar player has this guy has an amplifier that goes up to eleven and
01:12:06his wife to go to Levin because this louder it's like everything is at eleven all the time that you need to be able to distinguish I talk to people all the all the time who can't distinguish between what's actually noise what's of the moment what's today's like bit
01:12:22of jet some going down the river what actually is a big deal and so being able to distinguish is actually part of the discrimination on these things is part of what it means to be a a person who truly engaged so I think I think this is true
01:12:35so one actually for the record I endorse any of the Baltics guns but but the me take it further because this conversation I have when I do by speaking which I do a lot less than you but I get a version of this question a lot and and
01:12:48and what I was told people's this so there was now is probably eight months ago but there was a New York times piece about a guy who had just receded from hearing about politics entirely do remember this yeah this place you've got it went very it was a
01:13:02very there's a big the two minute hate about it on the internet but he was someone who just decided after Donald Trump got elected that he was never going to hear anything about it at all and had built this very unusual life such that he just never heard
01:13:16a word not like was trying to be bused news but didn't even know that things were going on but at the end when the things they discussed was it that he had not just receipt at what he had also decided to do is focus is time and money
01:13:31on restoring I believe it was a wetland near where he lived and I always had that piece of that article got under played and I think there's some real wisdom there I I I try to tell people a pretty frequently that one of the questions worth asking yourself
01:13:48is where can you do some good where are you doing that are you just being spun up and made to feel angry or you act our level of emotional engagement in national politics versus our levels of emotional engagement for most people in state and local politics compared to
01:14:04how much more fact most of us can have in the state and local politics is very disproportionate totally look its causes entertainment and I was in Seattle my hometown and right after the election twenty sixteen of talking to somebody and they were really really want around the axle
01:14:18but on trump Sybil who won the school board election for superintendent Seattle public schools like I don't know well that's actually important to your dated a lifestyle state local stuff I mean the the things that are gonna affect your kids that that's actually not not very much of
01:14:33that is going to be affected by the Supreme Court not very much of that is gonna be affected by the U. S. Congress or that the current occupant of the White House I understand is less interesting it's actually kind of boring and there's not a reality show this
01:14:47wrapped up in it right now on our identities are less wrapped up in India usually but and and let's one more point that kind of on the politics clans line if your identity is wrapped up in your poll in in you know how you see things politically you
01:15:01need a better identity I mean your identity should be who you are as a person and who you love and who your relationships are and the things that you believe in your transcendental notion of what bigger than you if it's basically if your identities Democrat man or Republican
01:15:17you need a richer set of relationships in richer set of interests but people have a lot of identities I mean I this is something where I think the the conversation over identity politics which I always wish people would see more clearly and realize that the core political identities
01:15:31are not they're not racial they're not gender their their party like our most important political identities all politics identity politics because so much of American politics is party politics first and foremost but that's one identity people often they have that identity to your point when they're spun up
01:15:48when politicians and media give them reasons to activate that identity but at other times identities are cubs fan or the identity is our father or mother or daughter or you know a resident of Tulsa or whatever might be I mean one of the things I I've begun to
01:16:03think about doing this work on political identity is that on the one hand the bad news is our identities are so much more powerful and so much more easily activated that people recognize but the good news to the extent there is any good news is we have a
01:16:18lot of them the choice is not whether or not you can act from a place of identity whether or not you can choose which identities are being foregrounded and whether or not also leaders in media and and politicians and other another folks are making responsible decisions about which
01:16:33identities to activate and and how to activate the yeah I understand that and one of the things that we do see is that political identities have become more salient that ideological in as you become more saline and part of that is because you can amplify them and you
01:16:44can get input from other people much more easily in the in the in the era of social media but it's also worth pointing out that particularly when there is a zero sum mentality across society that identity per se gets more important I mean identities and and she hears
01:17:00a let me make a quick appeal against identity in for something that's better wishes stories a it sounds like a like a distinction without a difference but the truth is that identity is how you're different than others stories are basically hired the same as others stories bond you
01:17:17to other people identities distinguish you from now we have identities that did we just do a man now as rows of Jewish white man in his thirties these identities and you like it you can't you can't wipe them out without sort of extreme means that's fine that's normal
01:17:31source goes but what you choose to emphasize can either bond you to others or distinguish you from others both appropriated different times I just think that we've gone too far toward the distinction and too far away from the bonding you know the stories of commonality are so up
01:17:47lifting it's amazing I saw this maybe you saw this too I saw this on this video on YouTube of a rallied from September twenty seventeen hour here on the mall Washington DC and it was a a rally are called the mother of all rallies trump unification something like
01:18:01bikers for trump and it was the whole it was like a huge multi day deal and it got crashed by black lives matter greater New York I mean they came in off the periphery and and like fists raised in the air and you like people to take on
01:18:15the phones like everybody's an ersatz videographer at this point to they wanna see conflict and what happened is just mind blowing I mean you gotta watch this thing I talk about it actually I might on this new vox podcasters matter fact that makes this point of identity versus
01:18:29story so well that this guy's name is hawk knew some is the head of black lives matter great new York's huge guys like six seven and and got a deep voice in his fist is in the air and the guy who's running the truck rally he says I'm
01:18:43gonna give you two minutes on this on this microphone two minutes on this stage and hotness and gets up there he's as you know what I am I am an American and he said I'm a Christian ride to the largely Christian crowd and within two minutes they were
01:18:59cheering for him not because he was doing his identity politics but because he was doing his story of how he was the same kinds great you my friend now I actually I've I've got to know he's completely interesting and good guy he naturally wants to bond with you
01:19:15how did you get to know I got to know because I wrote about in The New York Times I called him and asked him to come to Washington visit eighty I and come on my podcast and be part of a book this new book about coming out someone
01:19:26and knowing better I heard and I think what an unbelievable talent for solidarity this guy has his great there is a true story not long ago I woke up super tired and I went to brush my teeth and two inches from my mouth I noticed I was holding
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01:20:55so I spent some time recently with Eric Garcetti is the the miracles and yes and he makes a point that similar to this which is that in an era when we have a lot of identity getting activated and you're not gonna be able to get away from that
01:21:09the being able to tell unifying stories becomes more important he's speaking for politicians he I think he's an incredibly gifted politician very gifted politician but would be president at that point well his he'll be running a twenty twenty so SA I I think I think of getting twenty
01:21:22points is not certainly not an ounce but heavily rumored and I sort of like the new breed of politicians who and who have stopped denying when they're thinking about running for president I find I find like the end of that dance as for have you denied that you're
01:21:35going twenty twenty my mind and also shermanesque but as I said if you don't love managing a hundred and twenty people you're not gonna like front of the federal government but he I do think there's something to it to his point in his critique of Democrats often times
01:21:49is the Democrats have gotten very good at talking about identity which he thinks is important but they've lost the ability to tell national stories right and I I don't think it's all Democrats I think Obama was very good at merging those two things and I think Hillary Clinton
01:22:03wasn't and I do think that's a little bit of a story of part of where the the the Democratic Party is aligning himself right now it was that and there was also the healthy dose of contempt I mean that the moment that you look at the data that
01:22:16things really started going south notwithstanding all the emails and call me and all that stuff was when she'd said that deplorable security mobiles comment because that was a classic moment of contempt Bromley's fatal error was the forty seven percent comment which would look dismissive it was a moment
01:22:33of content although the flipper that is a Donald Trump is a politician almost entirely powered by contempt J. effort which is and it's it's an amazing thing to me and I I do think it's a bad thing for politics and he models of form of politics is based
01:22:45on contempt sad you know like cricket like the even the the names about people their immutable it's you know a Germantown characteristics content to sell the right that's a good bridge to ask you about other dimensions in the ways we disagree poorly what are some of the other
01:23:00things you've learned or come to believe about disagreeing well aside from just trying to avoid content though so I'll tell you one thing that has really had a huge impact on me yes you and I discussed it and and by the way we talk about how the salience
01:23:15of politics and policy analyst of United the walk is guys in DC maybe and what about that but we also disagree on most TL slightly I bet we disagree on most policies I think that we could find a lot of stuff that we disagree on but we agree
01:23:29on most policies because if you compare the United States to other cut yeah that's fair I mean we believe in the fundamental tenets of democratic capitalism and we disagree on the characteristics first manifestation the stuff at the margins which is great by the way but when you and
01:23:43I get together personally like for lunch most of our conversation is about love and solidarity and relationships and spirituality which means that we are not defined by these identities that we've got here and that's really really important thing to keep in mind and that's something we have a
01:23:58very strange idea of our lunches off right anybody wants to join us if you need to make a contribution American enterprise institute anyway one of the key things that's really in it influenced my thinking a lot about how to disagree in terms of policy actually comes from the
01:24:14world of spirituality I'm I'm quite close with the Dalai Lama I seem every year I mean are we all well it's a weird thing because you wouldn't think of the guy's a present right yeah I would so it's an unusual relationship is a very open person so it's
01:24:25not as if you know I'm so special he loves people arm and I I go to see him at his home in Dharamsala in the Himalayan foothills in India and he's come to the United States and and Bennett eighty I many times it's it's a phenomenal relationship when
01:24:38I was working on this thing about contempt I asked him because I was in Dharamsala we're shooting this film that's coming out he's in it and I said just like between cuts I said your holiness what should I do when I feel contempt write to me this is
01:24:52because I have it right it when your friend quit smoking every time you feel like smoking a cigarette you don't just say I won't do it you have to do something else have to put something else in its place is good brain science on this guy named Charles
01:25:04do heck has written this great book the power habit and he talks about this and you so we like every time you want to smoke then just drink a beer for example that's a I'm not sure that's specifically the one I would choose but yeah I'm sure they
01:25:17are still not even addictive personality don't go straight to the alcohol Ajit maybe not okay so science at your holiness when I feel contempt what should I do and he said express warm heartedness and I thought you got anything else because that's you know seems like pretty weak
01:25:34weak advice and I thought about being a he's a tough hombre I mean he was kicked out of his country in exile at the you know the the end of a rifle and took his leave people to be bill gonna forgotten poor forever I mean that that the
01:25:47communist Chinese were just utterly thuggish and with the kicked out the Tibetans in the way the Tibetans have been treated subsequently and he starts every day praying for the Chinese leaders not that they'll give back as homeland but they'll have better happier lives white because he wants to
01:26:02practice warm part in this in the face of contempt when I feel contempt when I face contempt when I see contempt then use it as an opportunity to practice something that's or fog and all to the cognition that you're experiencing that moment I said hi and he gave
01:26:18me a bunch of of ways to do this to me what you should think of in a give me some practices and and and I've tried to develop this but the bottom line is when you're on Twitter and somebody expresses contempt you and it will be today as
01:26:30raw because you're famous end and somebody's gonna say something contemptuous answer with warm hearted not not with agreement answer with warm heartedness and and in so doing you change the relationship and and most importantly you change your heart so I got into a recent practices that I think
01:26:48would be interested in %HESITATION that there may be related to this one is that I the last thing I want to do is argue with the Dalai Lama of hunter could have but I eat than me to get out the big guns there no right I I've always
01:27:02found those kinds of practices too hard for me it's too big of a jump from being angry to being warm hearted I wanted also heart recently which is for some amenities and monastery and was a really really remarkable experience but as a monk there who who talked about
01:27:20a practice that is really been very useful for may which is that he he wasn't as I talk about contempt I use it in that kind of context quite a bit which is that when you find yourself deep in a story getting angry story to just attach the
01:27:36mental note is that so and it comes from a a famous and story where a monk was in a town and and he was accused of fathering up the child of the fish mongers daughter or something and you know when all the angry townspeople came in they gave
01:27:54him the baby and they said you know you're you're terrible you've you've betrayed us he just said is out so six months later the woman confesses that was not the monk it was the shopkeeper whoever they come back they say the monkey are holy and you've taken this
01:28:06child you know you didn't get angry at us and he just says is that so instead of having to go all the way to the other side you know that's sort of like wrenching mindfulness practice of you know you know you're thinking now you've got a straight just
01:28:20like count because maybe it is so maybe the way you feel is a reasonable way to feel maybe the thing you're worried about this up things actually gonna happen but also maybe not and for some reason it's really worked for me %HESITATION it's it's it's very light not
01:28:33in the way a lot of things are heavy what you're doing is and and this is classic Buddhist practice is that you're stepping back from the attachment of your feeling to your particular field right that moment and and detachment is an act of will it's a very beautiful
01:28:47very powerful act of will the ultimate act of detachment from your contempt is the expression of the opposite cognition which is the warm heartedness you can basically just detach from it and and and look at it from the outside so the that you know that this bill does
01:29:01and put us in a Tibetan Buddhist we'll talk about the practice of observing your your sentiments so you're actually feeling something and at that moment you have to practice backing up from that feeling in observing yourself feeling that thing that when you say is that so that's what
01:29:17you're doing that's effectively what you're doing you're you're examining what you feel and so you should you're basically not saying is that so is that so I'm the father of the child is like is that so I'm being accused of being a father a child is that so
01:29:31I'm feeling anxious and angry and frustrated about being accused of being the father of the fish mongers child daughter child it's it's it's basically the levels of detachment that you feel and and what you think that you can master but here's the key thing don't be owned by
01:29:45the contempt because when your own by the contempt you don't have control someone else something else has control over you and that's inherently problematic so what are other what other things you learned in this space so we talked about stories verses identity we've talked about expressing compassion kindness
01:30:03and warm heartedness we talked about content for sis anger is also important keep in mind and and this is something we touched on a little bit earlier that competition is a good thing and we should be working for competition and more and it is interesting because we think
01:30:20that that that killing each other all the time is a form of competition that's not as a form of shutting down competition cut real competition whether some politics which we love in democracy or and capitalism which most people listening to us they understand that unbridled it's unproductive but
01:30:37inherently it's a good thing that these things have to characteristics about the competition is two characteristics number one has rules of the road the rules a rotary the set by social convention or by law in the case of the Federal Election Commission that's how you run an election
01:30:50make sure it's it's fair as free and fair and in terms of competition is make sure there's no collusion making sure there's no monopoly position is no price gouging and all that stuff liberal in his rules the road and second is governed by basic morality and that's in
01:31:04you know and again the idea that basic morality is totally subjective that's wrong we have objective ideas and cry a tear for basic morality within societies and it's it's a good thing that that we should all celebrate so that's the same thing we're talking about ideas and and
01:31:21even the politics to come out of the ideas that we need to be competing with those rules of the road where we don't treat each other particular ways in this basic morality were we treat each other with a kind of a warm hearted compassion and if we do
01:31:33that then then just have at it and that's one of the things I write about so one of the interesting things about that is can be the warning you've given quite a bit in this discussion against contempt is a warning against a kind of negative unproductive engage with
01:31:49others the push for competition because I I do think this is an important point is a warning against a lack of serious engagement with others the when you were talking earlier about you on your campus the center left %HESITATION professors who you found it very easy to argue
01:32:05down because they were not used to having their arguments examined are about it or were not used to hearing the arguments they disagreed with frame right well I do think that that's a a useful practice if you are very into the kinds of questions we discuss here and
01:32:19you find that in your normal week you never feel challenged now you're probably getting weaker not strong that's exactly right it's exactly right in and by the way we face this not just on college campuses but it a conservative think tanks and I run I run the center
01:32:33right free enterprise rent a think tank with a policy of never having an event where the other point of view is not represented by the best possible person literally one of our corporate policies why because you know we don't want to be some sort of flaccid activist advocacy
01:32:49kind of place where the opposing points of your caricatured our founding motto is that a competition of ideas is fundamental to a free society what that says is the competition of ideas is the means in a free society is the end if you believe that then you have
01:33:02to engage in the competition of ideas which means you gotta have a competitor out there you don't want see batting practice by the Yankees was the game with the red Sox is the way that thing is supposed to go down I think it's very important for all of
01:33:13us to to want to get in the game and to get in the game you got to have somebody who's in the game competing with you so what is a podcast called we didn't have to hire such and such a few this one it's called the Arthur Brooks
01:33:25show the Arthur Brooks out either because I I was gonna hole ripped off here was gonna call the as recline showed a trip was taken by vox yeah it's the same we're doing it to the fox broadcast network and they're phenomenal I mean it's just the production is
01:33:40so good that people are so talented were doing it mostly on the New York office %HESITATION it's going to sound a little bit like this American life Scott original score it has a lot of very high production values and I think people they really doesn't really matter what
01:33:56your political values are I think he'll be some to learn and so every week it's a show on a different facet season one is about this question of disagreement yet so every week it's a show exploring different fat yes the questions I have people who disagree with our
01:34:09family members who come on I have people who have worked really hard at first close personal friendships not fall apart and have a a deal I'm a real study show kind of guy and I suffered through a PhD so everybody needs to suffer currently as I have a
01:34:22lot of the the best the social psychologist behavioral economists people in the world who who deal with more productive disagreement people would do clinical practice and bringing people together are gonna be on the on the show to talk about how to mend relationships compete better persuade and ultimately
01:34:39to to love each other all right and so the final question was asked on this show is for the three book recommendations not I think we told you about but having had this conversation I want to structures one little bit differently where three books you recommend that you've
01:34:53read and would recommend that you disagree with at least in part three books that I disagree with at least in part blacks are killer has run because I do realize stuff I have a tendency to I mean a real lot of policy books and that are in and
01:35:10because I have to for my work but the things that I will really engage with the reading that all really engage with ultimately it's because I'm trying to be morally improved by those types of things so there'll be books that I don't understand and so I might agree
01:35:25with her are might disagree with what lay books you felt challenged yeah okay that's I think a little bit easier that's better so I just came back to a book that I read the first time I was twenty and I'm fifty four okay so this is a good
01:35:39bet amount of time the past and is designed in the art of archery which you probably read if you read that book I've not a case of a lot of people read Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance that's based on this book is an in the art
01:35:49of archery by Eugen her uncle who is a a German academic from the forties he wrote it in the nineteen twenties he went to Japan he studied archery with his and master he wanted his studies and Buddhism is the story you have to study of things was wife
01:36:02studied flower arranging he studied archery for eight years and just walks through his process of learning the truth of Zen Buddhism through archery extremely challenging book played I didn't understand a word that it twenty and I understood about fifteen percent of that at fifty four and I'm planning
01:36:20to go back to it at ninety to see what I can come up with what I have to say it's a wonderful books I recommend just simply to be challenged on a lot of the concepts that we're talking about here another book that I read it's a book
01:36:32by an Australian journalist named will store is called the on persuade wills it basically walks through a whole bunch of communities of people that can't be persuaded by fax or anti VAX orders in a people who who don't believe in evolution it and it is just communities like
01:36:49that read like what how can you think these things right and and it's very it's very challenging I have to say because you know I wonder if I'm in and persuade wall and a lot of ways to challenge me personally to think about my own beliefs I think
01:37:04it'd rich me here's the key thing as a policy guy if I'm wrong I should want to know first right as well by the way is one the reasons I read your stuff and the reason that I follow on Twitter is because one sometimes I think all the
01:37:17guys was more right than me on this it's very important I wondered am I in on I also often think that about me and I bet you're just reading everything comes at an American enterprise I read I read a lot of I know you do an aid to
01:37:31ID so that was another challenging book for me because it was challenging for me moral in the last book that really challenged me a lot %HESITATION I just finished call the consolations of mortality and it's a book by a psychologist at university of Toronto and he's tall he's
01:37:48an atheist I'm not I'm Catholic I am a practicing Catholic this so the consolation to mortality for Catholic like the easy questions like a one word answer but he's an atheist and he goes through the best philosophy the best psychological theory the best work on technology in a
01:38:06I'd the best work in eastern religions about what the consolations immortality might be as a hugely challenging book for me as a believer Arthur Brooks thank you very much as reclined great to be with you all right that is the other clients so thank you to Arthur Brooks
01:38:22for being here you can subscribe to his new podcast at the Arthur Brooks showed could find it replicated by guests thank you to my producer joined Weinberger too contender for engineering the as a fine show is a box media podcasts production and we will be back next week

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