#411. Are You Willing to Challenge Your Own Tribe? | Robert Wright
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Why, from an evolutionary perspective, is it so terrifying for many of us to contemplate challenging our own tribe? How comfortable would you be hopping on social media and questioning the deeply held convictions of your closest friends and colleagues? Even if you don’t want to be public about it, are there ways to have more empathy for somebody whose views are different from yours? Robert Wright believes the future of civilization hinges on our ability to get better at this.
Robert Wright is the author of the bestselling book Why Buddhism Is True. He also writes the Nonzero Newsletter, is host of The Wright Show podcast, and his newest mission is something he calls the Apocalypse Aversion Project. This episode explores: how mindfulness meditation can help us overcome our biases; how we are often manipulated by natural selection; the concepts of confirmation bias and attribution error; the pain and joy of pushing back against the conventional wisdom of your own tribe; the difference between cognitive and emotional empathy; why Robert is a big believer in talking to people with whom he disagrees; and the importance of making friendships across ideological lines.
This episode is the second in our weeklong series about bias. If you missed Monday's episode with the excellent journalist Jessica Nordell, you can listen here.
Where to find Robert Wright online:
Other Resources Mentioned:
- Confirmation Bias
- Fundamental Attribution Error: What It Is & How to Avoid It
- Eurasia Group | Ian Bremmer
- Mickey Kaus
- The New Republic
- Tony Baker, on Instagram
- Jonathan Haidt
- Sunyata | Buddhist concept | Britannica
- Taṇhā | Buddhism | Britannica
- Alexis Santos
- A More Relaxed Way to Meditate | Alexis Santos — Ten Percent Happier
- Sayadaw U Tejaniya
- Josh Summers
- Spring Washam