Podcasts and More for February 17

Weekly podcastsThis week’s podcasts covered topics from egoism vs altruism to fossil fuels to whether spouses should always share activities, and more!

Don’t Let it Go…Unheard – This week hosts Amy Peikoff interviews Center for Industrial Progress’ founder Alex Epstein about his new, excellent I might add, book The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.  They discussed:

  • Alex being threatened if he were to appear at a Divestment Day event
  • The story about temperature records being “adjusted”. Alex had an interesting take on this issue, seeing it as non-essential. The essential fact is that fossil fuels are moral in that they enhance the human environment.
  • Keystone pipeline
  • Fracking and earthquakes

After the 30 minute interview with Alex, Bosch Fawstin joined Amy and they discussed a plethora of stories, including:

  • Chapel Hill shootings
  • France can know block suspected terrorism websites without a court order – so much for the free speech everyone was marching for after the Charlie Hebdo attack.
  • The government announces that they have been wrong on their cholesterol recommendations for 40 years. I should note that the man, Ancel Keys, who first proposed the hypothesis about cholesterol was correlated with heart disease knew that dietary cholesterol had little or no effect on blood cholesterol.
  • And a lot more.


Philosophy in Action – Each week, Dr. Diana Hsieh and Greg Perkins apply rational principles to everyday problems. This week included questions on:

  • Does developing resilience require enduring hardships?
  • How should nuisance limits be set for new technology? An interesting part of the discussion was a follow up from the original questioner who visited a lab where they test sound levels of sonic booms. According to was the questioner learned, vast amounts of money have been spent on testing sonic booms and how to ameliorate their effects but nothing has been done to compare how noise levels for sonic booms compare to other noises that residents must deal with.
  • Should spouses always share activities?
  • They also had time to cover two questions from the Rapid Fire Queue

Peikoff.com Episode 360 – On this week’s episode, Dr. Yaron Brook answered questions on:

  • Child support
  • Why did Ayn Rand dislike Milton Friedman – this was probably the most interesting question for me. I felt it gave clues for things to watch for in otherwise good, and much of Milton Friedman is good, explanations and reasoning.
  • Is the lack of public parks an example of the failure of capitalist planning?

The Yaron Brook Show – Another great episode of Yaron’s weekly podcast. While the major theme was the difference between egoism and altruism, with lots of examples of where altruism leads, he covered a lot of concretes in the process. They included:

  • The barbarity displayed this week by Islamic jihadists in Denmark where a jihadist opened fire on a cafe where a free speech event was taking place and then moved on to a synagogue, and Libya where ISIS beheaded 21 Coptic Christians.
  • Altruism and the plans of the Greek government to attempt to alter or evade their obligations to other European countries for their bailout. – Someone in the chat quoted Ayn Rand in regards to the fact that between those who hold the same basic premises the most consistent wins and then predicted that the Greeks will get their way. It will be an interesting story to follow.
  • Business ethics
  • The value of reason and rationality.
  • Yaron recommended a movie he saw over the weekend called A Most Violent Year, a movie in which a businessman trying to make money is actually the hero.
  • Another very active day in the chat too, which is a great reason to catch the show live on Mondays at 11:00am EST.

Weekly Reading –

This week, based in part on a recommendation from Bosch Fawstin on a good translation of the Koran for a beginner, I began reading a series of books by Bill Warner called A Self-Study Course on Political Islam. It is fascinating and disturbing reading and you quickly can see why such actions as the beheading of 21 Christians, Kafir to Muslims, is completely in keeping with Islam and not a perversion of it.

I am also still reading How We Know by Harry Binswanger. I am still rereading sections I had previously read in an attempt to get back to where I was forced to break off my reading last fall. It is relatively dense reading, so I am taking some time with it.

As “homework” for Yaron’s show, I reread the introduction to Ayn Rand’s The Virtue of Selfishness and even came across a quotation that I had not previously highlighted. The assignment for next week is to read chapter 1 of the same book, we’ll be working through it for the next few months, titled “The Objectivist Ethics.”