Making Sense Conversations on Consciousness, Morality, and the Future of Humanity

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Sam Harris

May, 2020

“Everything from the maintenance of civilization to the moral progress of our species depends on a series of successful conversations.”—Sam Harris 

Since 2014, Sam Harris—neuroscientist, philosopher, and best-selling author—has been exploring some of the most important questions about the human mind, society, and current events on his podcast, Making Sense. With more than one hundred million downloads, these discussions have clearly hit a nerve, frequently walking a tightrope where either host or guest—and sometimes both—lose their footing, but always in the quest of a greater understanding of the world we live in. For Harris, honest and frank conversation, no matter how difficult, is the only path beyond scientific ignorance, political tribalism, and personal delusion.

This book includes a dozen of the best conversations from Making Sense, on topics that range from the nature of consciousness and free will to politics and extremism, existential risk, and the far future of humanity. Together they shine a light on what it means to “make sense” in the modern world.

“There’s only one podcast I never miss, and it’s the one that has the most appropriate title in all of broadcasting. Does anyone simply make more sense than Sam Harris?”

“Sam Harris is the most intellectually courageous man I know, not afraid to speak truths out in the open where others keep those very same thoughts buried, fearful of the modish thought police. His literate intelligence and fluency with words has transferred from the written to the spoken medium, and in his podcast he brings out the best in his guests, including those with whom he disagrees.”

“One of the most consistently intelligent and thought-provoking shows out there, and not just in the podcast space. Sam’s is a much-needed voice during these unprecedented times.”

“Even in casual discussion, Sam is intelligent, educated, honest, considered and brave. He’s really not cut out for the Internet.”

“Sam Harris is a genius and his podcast explores many of the important issues of our time. (Yes it’s as good as that sounds.) Sam is a voice of reason and science in an era that needs both more than ever. The Making Sense podcast essentially launched my presidential campaign.”

“I don’t have many can’t miss podcasts, but Making Sense is right at the top of that short list. Sam Harris and his varied and fascinating guests generate light but not heat. The choir is neither preached to nor pointlessly provoked. I have never finished a single episode without having learned something and being given pause for real thought.”

“I’ve been an avid listener to Sam’s podcast from the beginning and not one episode goes by without me learning something new about life, culture, politics, religion, history, and especially the human mind. Sam is an enlightened, rational voice in a world that needs it now, perhaps more than ever, especially if we are to survive, or thrive, in spite of the collective weaknesses that make us human.”

“Making Sense is one of the most thought-provoking podcasts that I’ve come across. Sam Harris does an incredible job probing—and finding answers to—some of the most important questions of our times.”

“To the raging controversies of the day, Sam Harris adds a voice of civility and reason.”

“It’s no wonder that Sam attracts a huge audience.  He is a thinker with his own ideas, so his interviews are some of the most interesting conversations you are ever likely to hear.”

“Sam Harris is a true public intellectual: he thinks deeply about a wide range of issues and engages fearlessly with controversial topics and unpopular opinions. You don’t have to agree with him to learn from him – I always come away from his show with new insights and new questions.”

“Sam Harris is tremendous at his job; sharp, skeptical in just the best sense, and full of curiosity and openness. He’s a terrific questioner, and he greatly enlivens and improves public discourse.”

“In the huge world of interviewers, Sam Harris stands out at the top for his probing questions, and for his own thoughtful views.”

“There is no podcast that approaches the intellectual rigor and open mindedness of Sam Harris’ Making Sense podcast. It’s a regular dose of sane, patient reason and dialogue. In a tribalized world, it reveres the individual, inquisitive mind. And Sam has some balls to talk honestly where so many others won’t.”

“Sam has given us one of the greatest podcasts in the world for clear thinking. We are better equipped to face the perils and uncertainties of life with it in the air. It’s a stand-out leader in a cluttered field and being Sam’s guest on it was a career highlight.”

“Making Sense brings the power and patience of contemplation to the art of conversation. Sam Harris models not only how to articulate complex ideas, but also how to truly hear the ideas of others. This is cognitive jazz at its best.”

“Do yourself a favor, broaden your perspectives and listen to the Making Sense podcast. Whatever your politics, you will find ideas and points of views you’ve never considered before, in fields you don’t know, from neuroscience to computer science to culture.”

“This podcast is perfectly named. Sam makes sense of important, difficult, and often controversial topics with deep preparation, sharp questions, and intellectual fearlessness. More, please!”

“Of all the podcasts available, the one nobody should miss is Making Sense. Every episode is stimulating. In an era when everyone seems to have lost their reason, here is one of the few places where reason remains safe.”

“There are precious few spaces in the media landscape where difficult, rigorous and respectful conversations can play out at substantial length, without agenda. Sam Harris created the model for such illuminating exchange, and the Making Sense podcast is a treasure trove of discussions with many of the most compelling and fascinating minds of our era.”

“Making Sense is a refueling station for the mind, and I visit it regularly. As an interviewer, Sam is both rigorous and generous. His podcast is completely devoid of the cheap shots and tribal bickering that characterize so much of podcasting. Making Sense is joyful play of the mind, without a trace of the partisan cretinism that disfigures the vast majority of our discourse these days.”

“In the rapidly expanding universe of podcasts, Sam Harris’s Making Sense is a firmly established galaxy of brilliant minds orbiting Sam’s shrewd but solar intelligence. I am frequently late for work because I start listening while shaving and can’t bring myself to hit pause.”

Making Sense Podcast

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