Disinformation Defense: Responsible Thinking and Pragmatic Perspectives with John Cook Ph.D. & Simon Critchley Ph.D.

Original Air Date Wednesday, July 27, 2022 

Throughout our existence, humans have dipped our proverbial toes into the how and the why of our thoughts and actions. But as curious as we are, there is still a wide gap in our understanding of what is fact and what is fictitious.

To discover how to thwart misinformation and move closer to understanding our psyches, Positive Psychology Podcast Host Lisa Cypers Kamen speaks with a scientist and a philosopher about their thoughts and perspectives regarding the capabilities and limitations of the human mind. Climate Scientist John Cook designed a cartoon and game based on a ‘Cranky Uncle’ amalgam to teach our minds how to have conversations with people who think differently than we do. Simon Critchley shares philosophical takeaways from his book, Bald: 35 Philosophical Short Cuts, and what he thinks humans gained and lost during the pandemic, philosophically speaking.

John Cook — Disinformation Defense:

  • The impact misinformation and denial have on society. [2:08]
  • Inhabiting the same reality is the only way to move humanity forward. [4:41]
  • John shares the principles of his Cranky Uncle game and how it has been received by students. [7:01]
  • The benefits of learning how to argue and how it helps us think logically. [12:07]
  • Before his Ph.D. studies, as a cartoonist, John was able to visualize the logical flow of disinformation. [16:48]
  • How games and role-playing help inoculate the mind. [25:09]

John Cook Ph.D. , guest of new podcast episode about disinformation with Simon Critchley Ph.D. and Lisa Cypes KamenJohn Cook Ph.D. is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Climate Change Communication Research Hub at Monash University. He obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Western Australia, studying the cognitive psychology of climate science denial. His research focus is on understanding and countering misinformation about climate change.



Cranky Uncle Website
Skeptical Science Website
@JohnfoCookon Twitter
Cranky Uncles on Facebook
Skeptical Science on Facebook

Simon Critchley — Responsible Thinking & Pragmatic Perspectives:

  • Simon describes Philosophy as the love of wisdom and Philosophers as naïve curiosity-driven beings. [29:59]
  • Simon shares his family history and the Liverpool Futbol club. [33:14]
  • Understanding philosophy is a way to understand ourselves in relation to the world and others. [36:15]
  • What exactly is happiness and can it be measured? [38:28]
  • The pandemic and beyond, what is ailing society, and what is going right? [43:04]
  • Humans are weak, fragile, and vulnerable creatures who depend on each other. [48:09]

Simon Critchley, guest of new podcast episode about disinformation with John Cook Ph.D. and Lisa Cypes KamenSimon Critchley PhD is the Hans Jonas Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research and the moderator of the New York Times’ Stone column. He is the author or editor of many books, including the recent book, Tragedy, the Greeks, and Us; a novella, Memory Theatre; a book-length essay, Notes on Suicide; and studies of David Bowie and association football.

Book: Bald: 35 Philosophical Short Cuts


Simon Critchley
@CritchleyUpdate on Twitter
Simon Critchley’s Page of Dead Philosophers on Facebook



This episode of Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio about disinformation is sponsored by:

Audiblewill help you discover new ways to laugh, be inspired, or be entertained and new members can try it free for 30 days. You’ll discover Audible Originals offering exclusive audio content from celebrities, renowned experts, and exciting new voices. Audible membership includes one title a month delivered digitally for your listening pleasure on the go and from wherever you are. Visit Audible.com/HH or text HH to 500-500 to try Audible free for 30 days.

Are We Happy Yet? Eight Keys to Unlocking a Joyful Life A boot camp manual for greater emotional fitness. Happiness waits for no one and sometimes we all need support. What is getting in the way of your happiness right now? 

HFactor: Where is Your Heart? — Lisa’s documentary film explores the journey of human happiness. Emotions are contagious and happiness is a universally desired state. We tend to forget we all have the freedom to be happy or the liberty to be miserable each day.

“There is nothing wrong with a good argument. When one is able to engage in discourse backed by facts.” @LisaKamen on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet“We are in need of some good contemporary philosophy these days to make sense of the chaos.” @LisaKamen on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet“The Western world is in pursuit of hedonic happiness which is not sustainable or not even real happiness.” @LisaKamen on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet“With climate change, one of the biggest drivers of rejecting science is political ideology. People who don't like some of the solutions to climate change reject the problem that needs solving.” @JohnfoCook on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet“Games let you practice critical thinking. The Cranky Uncle game allows for practicing spotting misinformation over and over again.” @JohnfoCook on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet“Education needs to be more than just dumping facts into a kid's brains. We also need to be teaching them how to think.” @JohnfoCook on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet“Cartoons are a perfect delivery mechanism for visualizing a logical flow of misinformation.” @JohnfoCook on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet “There is no agreement about the nature of philosophy.” @CritchleyUpdate on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet“Philosophy has been asking the question — What is philosophy? — for three thousand years.” @CritchleyUpdate on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet“Kids are natural philosophers.” @CritchleyUpdate on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet“In Greek philosophy, your glory is in the stories told about you after you've gone.” @CritchleyUpdate on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet“We are all weak, fragile creatures who are dependent on others, but that is our strength. That is what makes human life worth living.” @CritchleyUpdate on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet“We were living in a counterfeit immortality before the pandemic. I think it has woken us up.” @CritchleyUpdate on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet



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