Ep 13: Matt Welch on the Eroding Banks of Sanity

The Filter interview with Matt Welch. Matt is a journalist, author, and podcaster. He’s an editor at large at Reason Magazine, the author of a book about Libertarian Politics and one about the not-so-libertarian John McCain, and he’s part of the thoroughly entertaining Fifth Column podcast.

Topics discussed in this episode:

~ Staying sane in a time of panic

~ Learning as we learn, and consequence free living

~ Why you should always blame New York

~ The narrow space for non-partisan thought


Ep 12: Andrew Gelman on Data, Modeling, and Uncertainty Amidst the Forking Paths

A conversation with Andrew Gelman, professor of statistics and political science and director of the Applied Statistics Center at Columbia University. Andrew is the author of a number of books on topics such as Bayesian Data Analysis, how stats should be taught, and voting patterns in politics. Our conversation topics included:

  • Forking paths in data analysis
  • To what extent to prior beliefs determine study outcomes
  • Data integrity in the era of COVID
  • Unreliable friends and modeling uncertainty


Ep 11: Tam Hunt on Consciousness, Resonance, and why Cats Fight their own Tails

Discussion with guest Tam Hunt. Topics include:

– Panpsychism, the idea that all matter contains some element of consciousness
– Resonance and harmonics in the brain and the universe
– The unitary self vs. humans as multitudes
– Augmenting, sharding, and continuity of consciousness
– Horcruxes


As the complexity of our work lives increases, it seems like the marginal return on hours worked grows ever more exponential (and ever more flat at first).

Ep 9: The Sleep of Reason Produces Trigglypuffs

Solo show about why our brains no longer work.

Audio production by Steven Toepell of Bohemian Passport Inc.

TRANSCRIPT (Not exact)
I begin this episode of The Filter with some questions. For you. Have you found, over the past few years, and especially over the past few months, that your brain doesn’t seem to be as good as it used to be at comprehending the world around you? Do you feel not just overwhelmed by how much is happening, and by how much new information you have to make sense of in such a short time, but that your very ability to reason about your world seems to be under assault.


Ep 7: Our Coming AR Dystopia

This episode focuses on the our coming Augmented Reality dystopia.

Image from HYPER-REALITY (2016), by Keiichi Matsuda.

Audio production by Steven Toepell of Bohemian Passport Inc.

TRANSCRIPT (Not exact)
This episode is a followup to a previous episode, on the Simulation Hypothesis. You don’t need to listen to that episode first, but I’d recommend it. It’s a good episode. Among other ideas, I present a way that, even if the world outside us right now is 100% real, even if we don’t live inside anything like a computer simulation, there are forces that will push us to build an all encompassing simulated world, or some kind of virtual overlay to our existing world, and it will almost certainly be driven forward by a desire to control and manipulate.


Ep 5: Through the Simulation Hypothesis, Darkly

This episode focuses on the simulation hypothesis, with a novel approach to how simulated worlds might arise and what might be their true purpose.

Transcript (not exact):

In this episode of The Filter I’m going to discuss the simulation hypothesis, the idea that the reality we perceive is actually something akin to a computer simulation. Along the way I’ll present ideas about how such a simulation might have come to exist, and about what our purpose in it might be Some of these ideas are, so far as I can tell, completely novel and, in some sense, much darker than than any other theory of why such a simulation might exist.