Fresh Lens Podcast

Hirad Motamed & Patricia Veinott

We read books and discuss ideas that help us see the world differently. Hosted by Trish and Hirad, who met at a Vancouver-based book club, focused on reading on topics of evolution and human behaviour. Music for this podcast is courtesy of purple-planet.com.

All Episodes

The tech company everyone loves to hate has been in the news again. In this episode, we discuss the question of monopoly power as it applies to Facebook and whether its social harms outweigh its benefits.

Oct 12

27 min 45 sec

In the previous full-length episode, we read Kindly Inquisitors by Jonathan Rauch. We liked that book so much that we decided to read his latest that covers much the same topics but updated to apply to today's issues. But could Rauch exceed the high bar set by Kindly Inquisitors? Listen and find out.Get the book on Amazon here.

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Sep 28

1 hr 37 min

Who are the  gatekeepers of information and truth, and do we even need them? In this short mini episode, we riff on the ideas in Jonathan Rauch's new book The Constitution of Knowledge and our current, collective lack of trust in institutions.You can get the book on Amazon.

Sep 16

15 min 51 sec

Trish and Hirad discuss a 28-year-old book on liberalism and its detractors. After a brief history of what liberalism is and how it developed, we talk about why and how it was under attack in the 90s and how the attacks have changed over the years. Along the way, we argue about whether we can ever really make moral progress and how we need to deal with the reality of historical injustices in liberal societies.As always, the book we discuss in this episode is available here.

Aug 2

1 hr 30 min

Why are some people liberal and others conservative? What makes us land on the political positions that we hold?In this episode, we discuss The Hidden Agenda of the Political Mind by Jason Weeden and Robert Kurzban, who are trying to get to the root of these questions. We present the arguments laid out by Kurzban and Weeden in the context of the abortion debate. We also debate its ramifications for political discourse in general.You can get the book on Amazon.

Jun 23

1 hr 31 min

In this episode, we explore the nature versus nurture debate with the help of behavioural genetics. In human development, what matters more - the environment or our genome? Join us for a deep dive into the fascinating research of twins and adoption. From the uncanny similarities of twins reared apart to the effects of different parenting strategies, we untangle what the research says about our genes and environment... and what it doesn't. If you have any feedback on how we can make the show better, please reach out to us. Our email address is hello@freshlenspodcast.com.

Jun 15

1 hr 10 min

In this episode, we discuss David Reich's book, Who We Are & How We Got Here. Starting with an overview of DNA sequencing technology and how it helps paint a picture of our past, we review what we know about ancient humans: Where did we evolve, and how did we spread around the globe? We discuss early modern humans' interactions with other human species, such as Neanderthals and Denisovans. Then, with a focus on Europe and India, we discuss how modern human populations ended up where they are today and what that tells us about the meaning of 'race' and differences among human populations.Buy David Reich's book on Amazon.If you have feedback on how we can make the show better, please reach out to us. Our email address is hello@freshlenspodcast.com.

May 18

1 hr 11 min

Predator and prey, parent and offspring, mates and rivals in courtship – animal communication is ubiquitous. The Handicap Principle provides a fascinating explanation of how organisms with divergent evolutionary needs develop means of reliable communication with one another.Get the book on Amazon.If you have feedback on how we can make the show better, please reach out to us. Our email address is hello@freshlenspodcast.com.Thanks for listening,Trish & Hirad

May 3

1 hr 7 min

Several years after the best-selling book, The Selfish Gene, which was the topic of our first episode, Richard Dawkins published The Extended Phenotype. In this book, Dawkins doubled down on the concept the gene as the central unit of selection and outlined how genes can have effects that reach far outside of the bodies in which they ride, sparking heated debate within the world of biology.Get the book on Amazon.If you have feedback on how we can make the show better, please reach out to us. Our email address is hello@freshlenspodcast.com.Thanks for listening,Trish & Hirad

May 3

1 hr

In this inaugural episode of the Fresh Lens podcast, we talk about a book that has had a profound impact on how both of us see the world – The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins. We give a quick overview of the key concepts and talk about what it has meant for each of us. Get the book on Amazon here.If you have feedback on how we can make the show better, please reach out to us. Our email address is hello@freshlenspodcast.com.Thanks for listening,Trish & Hirad

May 3

55 min