George Lakoff on The Political Mind

This week, Matthew LaClair speaks with cognitive linguist George Lakoff. Professor Layoff is the author of eleven books including NY Times bestsellers The Political Mind: Why you Can’t Understand 21st Century American Politics with an 18th Century Brain, and The All New Don’t Think of an Elephant, and he has just retired from teaching after 50 years, 44 years which he spent at the University of California at Berkley.

How do political ideas spread? Why do people often vote against their own interests? Why have ultra-Conservatives been so successful in controlling American discourse? What message should liberals and progressives focus on going forward?

To Boldly Go: Toward a New Political Hegemony w/Nick Srnicek & Manu Saadia

With the current crises here in the early years of the 21st Century, Star Trek’s optimism, humanism, and scientific outlook may be more important than ever. For that reason, and the fact that the original series is what first brought me to the humanist perspective, I want to recognize and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the most popular science fiction enterprise in mainstream American culture, and perhaps the most influential television franchise ever. I’ve covered a few aspects of the philosophy, politics, and science of Star Trek on programs in the past, but I hadn’t had the opportunity to discuss the underlying thesis which allowed Star Trek to BE Star Trek.

But fiction is not the only place where utopian thinking is present. In fact, to some thinkers, such thinking is not necessarily utopian at all–at least not in the sense of creating an unachievable goal. There are many serious thinkers who are coming at this from various academic fields.

Today’s show will explore the possible humanistic future we can achieve in the real world, and celebrate a fictional future which anticipated and expected that we’d make it there. To do this we will be speaking with both Nick Srnicek & Manu Saadia.