Podcast episode
Edward Slingerland is a University Scholar and Professor of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia. He has authored a number of books, including ‘Trying Not to Try’ and ‘Drunk: How We Sipped, Danced, and Stumbled Our Way to Civilization’. He joins the show to discuss the paradox of effortle...

Edward Slingerland is a University Scholar and Professor of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia. He has authored a number of books, including ‘Trying Not to Try’ and ‘Drunk: How We Sipped, Danced, and Stumbled Our Way to Civilization’. He joins the show to discuss the paradox of effortless action, the history of Chinese philosophy, the benefits of alcohol, and a whole lot more. Important Links:
- Edward’s Twitter
- Edward’s Website
- Drunk
- Trying Not to Try
Show Notes:
- The paradox of trying not to try
- Western equivalents to wu-wei
- The difference between wu-wei and flow
- How to cultivate wu-wei
- How technology makes it harder to find wu-wei
- Why were Confucianism and Daoism so successful?
- Utilitarianism, China and the panopticon
- The right amount of rationality, choking
- Shutting down the prefrontal cortext
- The evolutionary origins of our love of alcohol
- The power of psychedelics
- Ecological niches, cooperation, creativity and honesty
- An alternative model of honesty
- Stop pushing so hard, go walk in the woods
Books Mentioned:
- Trying Not to Try: The Ancient Art of Effortlessness and the Surprising Power of Spontaneity; by Edward Slingerland
- Drunk: How We Sipped, Danced and Stumbled Our Way to Civilization; by Edward Slingerland
- The Dao De Jing; by Laozi
- The Status Game: On Human Life and How to Play It; by Will Storr
- The Science of Storytelling: Why Stories Make Us Human and How to Tell Them Better; by Will Storr
- The Master and His Emissary; by Iain McGilchrist
- Choke: What the Secrets of the Brain Reveal About Getting It Right When You Have To; by Sian Beilock
- The Immortality Key: The Secret History of the Religion with No Name; by Brian C. Muraresku

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