Going Deep With Aaron | 272 Unpacking the Instruments of Our Self-Deception with Kevin Simler & Robin Hanson

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In their new book, Elephant in the Brain, Kevin & Robin explore the selfish motives that are driving everything we do. From conversation and consumption, to medicine and religion, evolutionary psychology can explains all of the quirky behaviors we perpetuate through the perspective of self-interest.


Kevin Simler is a writer and software engineer currently living in San Francisco, CA. He writes a popular blog called Melting Asphalt. Kevin joined the Peter Thiel-founded Palantir Technologies in 2006 where he worked for 7 years as an engineer, engineering manager, and product designer.


Robin Hanson is an associate professor of economics at George Mason University and a research associate at the Future of Humanity Institute of Oxford University. He has a PhD in social science from Caltech, master’s in physics and philosophy from U. Chicago, and worked for nine years in artificial intelligence as a research programmer at Lockheed and NASA. He helped pioneer the field of prediction markets and blogs at OvercomingBias.com.

Attend my one-day conference January 27th in Pittsburgh. Learn more here.


Kevin’s Challenge; Look inwards and try to be more intellectually honest.


Robin’s Challenge; Give humanity a break.


The Book

Elephant in the Brain by Kevin Simler & Robin Hanson



If you liked this interview, check out past episodes like 255 with Dan Munro where we discuss the rising costs of healthcare and 55 with Morgan Housel where we discuss cognitive biases. You can also find Robin’s previous appearance on the podcast.

Check out the episode!