Evolve Faster with Scott Ely

Into the Rabbit Hole We Go…Cautionary Tales of Philosophical Fiction

(EF13) S1-E11: The Bloody Fingerprint of Creativity

May 7th, 2019

The big question driving Episode EF13 is … What is the source of creativity? Facing serious amnesia, Eric Clemens with the help of Dr. Eden Harper tries to recollect his lost memories. Dr. Harper takes an unconventional road not only to help Eric track his past, but to create a foundation for his future as well. As they dig deeper and deeper, Eric has to face demons he didn’t even know existed.

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(EF12) S1-E10: Wired to Fail: Leveling Up in the Game of Life

April 23rd, 2019

The big question driving Episode EF12 is … What defines us? Infuriated by the risk-averse approach of his company, Vihaan Raid decides to design his latest game on his own. A widely renowned game developer known to the gaming world as “Koji,” believes he can entirely change how humans see life with his radical new video game concept. He teams up with a respected psychologist to make sure his vision will manipulate the human psyche as he suspects it will—a critical factor to the game’s potential. As Koji slowly reveals secretive details of his mysterious concept, Isaac becomes more and more suspicious of the game’s true intentions.

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(EF11) S1-E9: When the Lights Go Out: The Blinding Light of an Artificial Future

April 9th, 2019

The big question driving Episode EF11 is … Can machines think, be creative or fall in love?  Aldford Herbert, a famous science fiction writer, is on the brink of finishing his latest novel about a realistic, dark future of artificial intelligence. A stroke of luck provides him with an opportunity to talk to Cynthia Butler, the mastermind behind the world’s most bleeding edge AI company. Aldford sees this as the perfect opportunity to secretly learn how precise his fictional predictions might be. What he doesn’t know is that Cynthia might just have a mysterious, and even more insidious agenda than his own.

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(EF10) S1-E8: The Road to Happiness is Inked in Suffering

March 26th, 2019

The Big Question driving episode EF10 is ... Does happiness define the good? Coming from a wealthy family, most others would only dream of the life Alex leads. Every moment is another silver platter where he is handed all the best education, can have his pick of expensive items and to experience seemingly infinite joys. Although grateful for everything, Alex can’t shake the reality he isn’t happy or fulfilled by any of this at all—nor could he really even define what happiness would look like for him. But why? What could possibly be missing when having everything you want?

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(EF9) S1-E7: I Feel Therefore I am: Capsized by the River Emotion

March 12th, 2019

The big question driving Episode EF9 is … Can rationality and emotions coexist? Elliott made a terrible mistake that’s been haunting him ever since. As if rafting through Class V rapids without a paddle, Elliott’s sanity is inches away from crashing into sharp rocks of guilt, shame, and sadness. Where do we turn when it feels like our emotions have us hurtling out of control in dangerous waters? And is there any hope for recovery even once you’ve faced the reality of your situation head-on, in light of the power of these emotional currents?

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(EF8) S1-E6: Without a Compass: All Who Sail the Seas of Identity Are Not Lost

February 26th, 2019

The big question driving Episode EF8 is … Can you change your identity? You’re the sailor of the ship called you, and yet most people let their boats go into great disrepair and neglect. Feeling moored in the same spot for years with no clear understanding of the direction she needs to go, Lisa gets a unique opportunity to upgrade her identity boat with a chemical compass of sorts—a mysterious drug that will supposedly alter her complete identity—to supposedly better enable her to navigate through life’s rough waters. Could a change in your identity actually turn your entire life around for the better? Or are we destined to live with constant susceptibility to being lost in a sea of meaningless actions and emotions without any sort of compass to steer our ship?

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(EF7) S1-E5: Sleight of Mind: The Black Magic of Rhetoric

February 13th, 2019

The big question driving Episode EF7 is … Can we trust reason? Edward, a marketing master and spokesperson for the dark arts of rhetoric and propaganda, is hired to educate a controversial businessman running for an important public office. It’s Edward’s job to bestow the black magic of verbal and written manipulation on the businessman to win the election. Where the tongue is quicker than the mind—and the pen sharp enough to cut—are these skills a well-respected art? Or are they just cheap mental tricks wielded by insincere charlatans?

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EF6 (S1-E4): Information Mainlining and the Folly of Modern Wisdom

January 29th, 2019

The big question driving Episode EF6 is ... How can we acquire wisdom? Paul, a child prodigy who became a leading theoretical physicist in his early 30s, is facing a personal dilemma that is making him miserable—the realization that he might be woefully deficient in the one thing he most reveres. Although filled with endless knowledge, he isn't wise. But how? Isn't harnessing more and more information the key to becoming wise? In his attempt to figure it out, Paul might realize the obstacle he's facing isn't even close to being the final one. And can he feel like a complete person without it?

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EF5 (S1-E3): The Truth is Clay in the Hands of a Sculptor

January 17th, 2019

Truman, an ordinary man with a regular job, is caught lying in a country where lying is illegal. Thanks to his actions, he ends up facing a mandatory Truth Course to get him back on the track. Terrified, Truman slowly realizes the truth is not what we all grew accustomed to believe. Is it possible that facts are nothing more than a piece of clay molded by someone's interests? Time is running out for Truman, and the sculptor of truth might hold the power to mold his future.

EF4 (S1-E2): The Decapitation of Reason: A Skeptic’s Guide

January 1st, 2019

At the height of his success, a controversial philosopher named Ian Ament reveals a dangerous plan to do a head transplant swap with his brother. Nobody knows why and both the scientific and medical communities at large are concerned. In a tense live interview with a potential surgeon named Ross Hunter, Ament methodically explains his reasoning to the world. Yet his reasons only bring more questions. Is there something more behind Ament's plan? For the next 60 minutes of this interview, the historical arc of reason—and Ian’s head—are both on the chopping block as we wait to find out if the ax will fall.

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EF3 (S1-E1): All Aboard the Experience Machine: Destination…Unknown

December 18th, 2018

Is it even possible to make the “right” decision, especially when you're being forced to make one? In this episode, we’ll find out what Buddhism has to say about this mysterious happiness that western society seems to be obsessed with finding. Jean-Paul Sartre, one of the most famous existentialist philosophers, felt we have a practical debt we owe to the world to be our highest selves. But what is the debt? And are you good for paying it back?

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EF2 (Intro): Life is a Near-Death Experience (Welcome to The Evolve Faster Podcast)

December 4th, 2018

In this introduction to the Evolve Faster Podcast, we’ll ride an hour-long roller coaster of a thought experiment designed to challenge your normal modes of conscious life experience. We’ll look at a psychological tendency that makes it difficult for you to break out of the mental auto-pilot in which you rarely acknowledge the fact that you could die around the next curve. Next, we’ll investigate what it means to Evolve Faster as a metaphor for personal and societal change. Finally, we’ll examine where the podcast will go from here into the regular seasons--groups of 10 (or so) themed episodes, written and produced in a unique fiction-meets-nonfiction format.

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EF1 (Trailer): The Evolve Faster Podcast Trailer (Extended Version)

November 20th, 2018

Everything is changing, yet the questions that drive us remain the same. Will humanity face the absurdity of our collective existential crisis in time? Join Scott Ely as he takes us deep into the rabbit hole with philosophical tales to reboot your mind, upgrade your life and explore your soul. To Evolve Faster is to see the fact that you will die someday as a formidable challenge, instead of a source of immense fear. Create your reality…before it creates you. Isn’t it time for an upgrade?

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