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Conversations With Coleman

Author: This Is 42

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Conversations with Coleman is home to honest conversations with leading intellectuals on polarised issues in the realm of race, politics and culture in the West.
172 Episodes
My guest today is Nick Gillespie. Nick is a prominent libertarian journalist and commentator best known for his work at Reason Magazine, where he's been for around 30 years.In this episode, we discuss Nick's experience getting engaged at the recent Burning Man. We talk about psychedelic drugs, the promise they hold, as well as the dangers they contain. We talk about the evolution of the libertarian movement in America. We talk about how we should message about drugs to kids. We talk about the differences between MDMA, psilocybin, and LSD. We talk about why trust in government has declined, and much more. Pre-Order my book:"The End of Race Politics: Arguments for a Colorblind America" -
My guest today is Munira Mirza. Munira Mirza is a British public policy analyst and cultural commentator. She served as the Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture of London under Boris Johnson when he was mayor, and later served as director of The Number 10 Policy Unit under Johnson when he was prime minister.In this episode, we talk about Munira's early days as a Marxist, her interest in art and museums, her views on Brexit, her views on multiculturalism in the UK, the Israel-Hamas war and Jihadism in general, and much more.Pre-order my book:"The End of Race Politics: Arguments for a Colorblind America" -
My guest today is Rory Stewart. Rory Stewart is a British politician, diplomat, and author who served as a member of parliament from 2010 to 2019. He held several governmental positions, notably as a Secretary of State for International Development in 2019, and was known for his extensive work in Afghanistan and Iraq. Rory has authored several books, such as "The Places In Between", about his solo walk across Afghanistan, and his new book, "Politics on the Edge", a memoir from within.Rory and I talk about what he learned by walking across Afghanistan. We talk about the war in Afghanistan and what lessons Israel might take from it. We talk about Brexit. We talk about why the Scandinavian model is not appropriate for Britain. We talk about the culture of the world of politics. And finally, we talk about why Rory is so passionate about GiveDirectly, which allows people to give cash directly to the people in the developing world.References:Haaretz article - Dworman's tweet- Pre-order my book:"The End of Race Politics: Arguments for a Colorblind America" -
So I've gotten criticism lately that I've created an echo chamber of pro-Israel guests, Benny Morris and Andrew Gold being the two examples. So I went on Twitter and asked who I should get to deliver the Palestinian perspective. and many people suggested my guest today, who is Yousef Munayyer. Yousef is a Palestinian-American writer and political analyst based in Washington, D.C. He was the executive director of the US campaign for Palestinian rights, and previously he directed the Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development.As you'll hear, this whole conversation was pretty contentious. It seemed like we disagreed about almost everything. However, Yousef was a very respectful conversation partner and those are the kinds of guests that I look for. Before you listen to this episode, I would encourage you to go back to my episode with the Israeli historian, Dr. Benny Morris, if you haven't already listened to it. It's called "The History and Ethics of the Israel-Palestine Conflict". I recommend that because at the beginning of this podcast, Yousef wanted to dive deep into the history of the conflict and our debate there won't make much sense to you if you aren't already familiar with the basics. I hope you enjoy this conversation.#AdGround News: You can use my link to get 30% off an unlimited access subscription before Nov 4, 2023. I’m excited to partner with Ground News at this time because it is one of the best ways to read news about politically charged issues like the Israel-Palestine conflict in a balanced way.
My Last Word on TED

My Last Word on TED


Here is my final response to Chris Anderson and Adam Grant on the TED debacle.
Andrew Gold, who I had on this podcast earlier this year, asked me if I wanted to hop on with him and discuss the Israel-Hamas war and I said, sure. We talk all about the war in Israel and Gaza. As you'll hear, Andrew and I agree that there is simply no moral equivalence between Hamas and Israel. And as you'll hear, I'm also quite sympathetic to the policies that Israel has had to take in order to protect itself from terrorism. I plan to have many more conversations about this topic and I really want to get someone on this podcast that strongly disagrees with me so I don't create an echo chamber for myself or for you guys. I hope you enjoy this conversation.
My guest today is Eric Kaufmann. Eric is a political scientist who's written several great books, including "Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?" and "Whiteshift". Eric was a professor at Birkbeck College, University of London for many years. I think he was actually the head of the department there, before he was pushed out for his political views. So we talk about that story at the top of this interview.We also talk about a whole bunch of other topics. We discuss the sociologist Daniel Bell. We talk about why birth rates are declining in the secular world and why it matters. We talk about high birth rate populations like Hasidic Jews and the Amish. We talk about the tension between liberal politics on immigration and liberal politics on LGBTQ. We talk about why Canada and Scotland are so much further to the left on gender and trans issues than America is. Finally, we talk about why it is that conservatives appear to be happier in data than liberals generally, and why religious people also tend to be happier than secular people, and what lessons, if any, we can draw from that. This was one of my favorite podcasts I've done this year, and I hope you enjoy it.
My guest today is Yascha Mounk. Yascha is a German born political scientist, author, and lecturer known for his research on the rise of populism and the challenges to liberal democracy. He has authored several influential books, including "Stranger in My Own Country", "The People vs. Democracy", and his new book, "The Identity Trap: A Story of Ideas and Power in Our Time"A few episodes ago, I had Christopher Rufo on the podcast to discuss his analysis of why wokeness came to dominate so many institutions. Yascha's asking the same question in this book, but he's coming to a different answer. Yascha focuses less on people like Herbert Marcuse and more on intellectuals like Michel Foucault, Edward Said, Derrick Bell, and Kimberlé Crenshaw. We also talk about why there are so many former Marxists in the writing world, but so few people who convert into Marxism later in life. We talk about how Foucault's critique of language differs from George Orwell's critique of language, and much more. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did.
The organization’s tagline is “ideas worth spreading.” But they attempted to suppress mine.
My guests today are Scott Adams and Noam Dworman. Scott Adams is an American writer, commentator, and cartoonist best known for creating the comic strip Dilbert. In addition to his cartooning work, Adams has authored several books and frequently comments on a range of topics from media bias to psychology to the mechanics of persuasion. Noam Dworman is the owner of the Comedy Cellar in New York and is a good personal friend of mine who has his own podcast called "Live From the Table", which is actually one of my favorite podcasts. I'm co-releasing this episode with Noam, so check out his podcast as well.Now there is an interesting backstory to this conversation surrounding Scott's recent controversial comments and I go into the details of this in the intro to the episode. In this episode, we also address Scott's comments, we talk about mainstream media bias, we discuss Trump's efforts to overturn the election, where Scott has a very different view than myself and Noam. We talk about racism and also double standards around the kind of speech that's acceptable, given your race. Finally, we go on to discuss Scott's recent self-help book called "Reframe Your Brain: The User Interface for Happiness and Success"
My guest today is Christopher Rufo. Christopher is a political activist and filmmaker known for his opposition to Critical Race Theory or CRT. He's a senior fellow and director of the Initiative on Critical Race Theory at the Manhattan Institute and he's the author of a new book called "America's Cultural Revolution: How the Radical Left Conquered Everything"In this episode, we talk about the German philosopher Herbert Marcuse and the role he played in popularizing critical theory. We talk about the legacy of the weather underground. We talk about the admiration that left-wing intellectuals in the 20th century had for Mao and Stalin. We discuss the relationship between Critical Theory and Marxism. We talk about the psychological and emotional appeal of communism. We discuss the effect of the collapse of the Soviet Union on the Western left. We disagree somewhat about the legacy of McCarthyism. We talk about the political leanings of public school teachers today. We talk about the strengths and weaknesses of classical liberalism as a philosophy. We also go on to talk about the teaching of CRT in public schools and much more. 
My guest today is Jens Heycke. Jens is a researcher, writer, and competitive cyclist. He studied economics and Near East Studies at U. Chicago, the London School of Economics, and Princeton. His book is called "Out of the Melting Pot, Into the Fire: Multiculturalism in the World's Past and America's Future"In this episode, we talk about the origin of the term "melting pot", as well as the origin of the concept of multiculturalism. We talk about the goal of cultural assimilation. We talk about how ancient Rome tackled the issue of cultural diversity among its subjects. We discuss the early Islamic empires; modern-day Sri Lanka; Rwanda and Botswana; the Ottoman Empire; the French color-blind system; Singapore; and much more. This conversation is basically a survey of how all of these different societies have tackled the issue of cultural diversity and what lessons we can draw from their successes and failures. I enjoyed this conversation and I hope you do too.
My guest today is Garett Jones. Garett is an associate professor of economics at George Mason University. His interests include macroeconomics, the micro foundations of economic growth, IQ, the power of culture, and public choice economics. The books we focus on in this episode are "10% Less Democracy: Why You Should Trust Elites a Little More and the Masses a Little Less" and "The Culture Transplant: How Migrants Make the Economies They Move To a Lot Like the Ones They Left"We talk about the intellectual environment of George Mason University. We talk about about UAPs. We discuss the benefits and drawbacks of democracy. We discuss the possibility of so-called benign dictatorships. We talk about the crisis of expertise, the Electoral College and then we move on to the topic of immigration. We talk about whether and in what ways immigrants assimilate. We talk about the idea of the melting pot. We discuss high trust versus low trust cultures and much more. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did.
My guests today are Hyram and Verlan Lewis. Hyram and Verlan are brothers. Hyram is an associate professor of history at Brigham Young University, Idaho, and Verlan is a political scientist at Harvard Center for American Political Studies. Together, Hyram and Verlan have written a very interesting new book called "The Myth of Left and Right: How the Political Spectrum Misleads and Harms America"​​​​​​​In this book, they challenge the widely held belief that the political left and right represent two distinct philosophies, liberalism or progressivism on one end and conservatism on the other. Instead, they argue that people on the left and the right are more like sports fans. They are born into a particular tribe and then they adopt the random assortment of beliefs that tribe currently holds. Now they acknowledge that there are such things as political philosophies, like libertarianism, for example. They just think those philosophies have nothing to do with what we call the left and the right in everyday speech. In other words, the words left and right do not name philosophies. They name arbitrary tribes that then invent convenient, but false stories about what their philosophies are. That thesis is the topic of this conversation and I think it's very interesting. I really enjoyed this conversation and I hope you do too.
Today's episode is a recording of a debate that occurred a few weeks ago between me and Jamelle Bouie, who is a columnist for the New York Times. This debate was hosted by TED as well as Open to Debate, formerly known as Intelligence Squared. The motion was, "Does Colorblindness Perpetuate Racism?" Jamelle took the affirmative and I took the negative.Now there's a long backstory to this debate surrounding my recent TED Talk on color blindness and and I go into the details of this in the intro to the episode.I really recommend that you listen to the whole debate and do share your thoughts in the comments.
My guest today is Philip Goff. Phillip is a philosopher known for his work on consciousness and the philosophy of mind, particularly for his defense of panpsychism, the view that consciousness is a fundamental feature of the universe. He's an associate professor at Durham University in the UK. His books include "Galileo's Error: Foundations for a New Science of Consciousness", and "Consciousness and Fundamental Reality".Phillip is an advocate of a controversial but very interesting theory of consciousness known as panpsychism, and he defends it as well as I have ever heard it defended. However, before we get there in this conversation, we rehearse what may be familiar ground to some listeners. We talk about the hard problem of consciousness as opposed to the easy problems of consciousness. We talk about the problem with materialist explanations of consciousness. We talk about the problem with dualist explanations of consciousness. Phillip challenges my narrative about scientific progress in a really interesting way. We talk about the global workspace and integrated information theories of consciousness. We talk about the principle of parsimony in science and how it relates to rival theories of consciousness. And finally, we get to Phillip's case for panpsychism. I really enjoyed this conversation and I hope you do too.
Today's episode is a roundtable discussion about AI safety with Eliezer Yudkowsky, Gary Marcus, and Scott Aaronson. Eliezer Yudkowsky is a prominent AI researcher and writer known for co-founding the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, where he spearheaded research on AI safety. He's also widely recognized for his influential writings on the topic of rationality. Scott Aaronson is a theoretical computer scientist and author, celebrated for his pioneering work in the field of quantum computation. He's also the chair of COMSI at U of T Austin, but is currently taking a leave of absence to work at OpenAI. Gary Marcus is a cognitive scientist, author, and entrepreneur known for his work at the intersection of psychology, linguistics, and AI. He's also authored several books, including "Kluge" and "Rebooting AI: Building Artificial Intelligence We Can Trust".This episode is all about AI safety. We talk about the alignment problem. We talk about the possibility of human extinction due to AI. We talk about what intelligence actually is. We talk about the notion of a singularity or an AI takeoff event and much more.It was really great to get these three guys in the same virtual room and I think you'll find that this conversation brings something a bit fresh to a topic that has admittedly been beaten to death on certain corners of the internet.
My guest today is Lee Fang. Lee Fang is an investigative reporter, formerly of The Intercept and The Nation. His writing is focused on the influence of money in politics, security state overreach, and civil liberties. He was also responsible for releasing part of the Twitter files many months ago.In this episode, we talk about the wide breadth of Lee's work, including his early reporting about the Koch brothers. We talk about whether there is a deep state, we talk about the collusion between Twitter and the US security state that was revealed in the Twitter files, and much more.
My guest today is Jeannie Fontana. Jeannie is the CEO of the TREAT California Initiative. TREAT is a statewide initiative that would create a $5 billion funding agency for psychedelic research, which has proven highly effective for conditions like PTSD and Depression. Jeannie was a founding member of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, which performs stem cell research. She has also advocated on behalf of patients with Lou Gehrig's disease. Jeannie and I talk about her background in medicine, toxicology and biochemistry. We talk about how she got into psychedelic research and doing psychedelics herself. I talk about my own experiences with psychedelic drugs, and much more.
My guest today is Jean Twenge. Jean is a psychologist, author, and professor of psychology at San Diego State University. She's best known for her research on generational differences. Her book, "Generation Me", dealt with millennials. Her book, "iGen", which is how I first encountered her, deals with Gen Z. Now she's back with a massive new book called "Generations: The Real Differences Between Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, Boomers, and Silents―and What They Mean for America's Future"In this episode, we talk about all the differences between the various generations - differences in happiness, suicide rates, drinking behavior, personality traits like narcissism, attitudes towards love and marriage and more. We also talk about the technological and cultural trends that caused these generational changes. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did.
Comments (29)

Michael Przybylek

The most important point here is that Jamelle said he treats people in his every day life as if he were colorblind. That would be like being against war and violence in your everyday life, but supporting a policy of war and violence. There may be reasons for both, but these policies in fact increase racism and war, respectively.

Aug 12th

Joshua Walcott Mason

interviewer is too flippant, feels like a bit of a squandered opportunity

Jan 3rd

Tj Grant

Love your show Coleman, didn't care for this guest. She's such an activist! Accusing Facebook of ideology while steadily dropping communist critiques, that she never explains or justifies. She talks as if her take on power is how everyone understands everything. Also, I didn't love the magical deference she pays to "engaging" and "listening" to the vulnerable. But, you've got to hand it to a vague critique, you can't prove it wrong! I found her fake neutrality on this issue to be cute, in a toxic, society destroying way. I appreciated how you tried to balance her concerns with the need for a company like Facebook to be profitable. Of course, she wouldn't go there with you. She found a disparity, on a historically harmed group, so now it's a fight to the death! I couldn't find anything honest in her critique. She's not worth talking to.

Sep 18th

Robert James Somerville

what a pussy

Aug 1st

h west

Coleman is a pus-boy in the intro taking that big government dick so good. Julian Assange is a hero best recognise truth over fear Coleman. stop running the government line be a big boy stand for freedom not the state

Aug 1st


You know?

Apr 3rd

The Menendi

John McWhorter! He is an amazing man. I love his Lexicon podcast.

Dec 1st

Jerry Jensen

Great episode. I appreciated the details on China’s future challenges. So much of current chatter paints China in an imposing light.

Sep 2nd

Jerry Jensen

I don’t think David has a solid grasp of human nature nor the limits too which culture and society can influence it. His answer to the 2nd Amendment question unequivocally identified him as just another woke mouthpiece, and undermined at least in my mind, all of the arguments he made.

Sep 1st


Exceptionally excellent episode.

Jun 20th

Emmm Arrrrr

fascinating conversation

Apr 22nd

Brian J Burke

Much of this would not work for most of society.

Apr 7th

Brian J Burke

Very interesting interview, excellent guest, thanks.

Mar 30th

Brian J Burke

Sam has made some useful contributions but is not always right and is wrong about a number of things discussed in this episode. Too bad Coleman fawns too much over one of his idols in order to be able to see this.

Mar 7th

Brian J Burke

Excellent conversation

Feb 18th

Tom MacDonald


Jan 6th

matthew venn

something wrong with the auto gate settings on your guest? lots of missing words at the end of sentences

Dec 19th


Thank you, Coleman, for your excellent conversation and interview skills. Appreciate your work.

Dec 18th

Lawrence Olivier

I appreciate being a part of your conversations and your journey and wish you and yours, Merry Christmas and happy New Year!

Dec 4th

Channing Sze

such clear thinking.

Oct 30th
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