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Why We Do What We Do

  • Gambling pt. 2

    15 MAY 2024 · Whereas part 1 was more about the history of gambling, casinos, and the psychology of designing gambling and gambling environments to foster addiction as much as possible, this episode actually talks about addiction and treatment. That was a long sentence. If you were here for the discussion about addiction and treatment, this is the part you've been waiting for.  Recommendations - Abraham: Dice Tower ( - Shane: Into It. Over It. - Interesting Decisions (2020-2023) LP ( Holidays: - Bring Flowers to Someone Day - Buddha Day - Dinosaur Day - Emergency Medical Services Day - International Conscientious Objector Day - International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day - National Chocolate Chip Day - National Juice Slush Day - Relive your Past by Listening to the First Music You Ever Bought No Matter what It Was No Excuse Day - International Family Day - National Straw Hat Day - Food Allergy Awareness Week - Hospital Week - National Bike to Work Week - National Women’s Health Week - Dementia Awareness Week Links and References:  - -,casino%20is%20invented%20in%20Italy. - - - - -,%22chasing%22%20one's%20losses.)
    53m 38s
  • Mini: Skin Idioms

    13 MAY 2024 · We did an episode on idioms a while back. During that discussion, we ended up having to cut a lot of the content we had prepared. In particular, there was a surprisingly large number of idioms just around skin! So, we decided we'd do a mini just about that! Reference Covering just five today
    13m 11s
  • Gambling pt. 1

    8 MAY 2024 · One behavioral addiction of the "inessential" variety is gambling. This is an issue that has ruined many lives and pumped a lot of money into the city of Las Vegas. Do our brains make us gamble? Does gambling simply expoit a loophole in human psychology? We'll talk about how gambling got started, how it keeps you playing, and treatments that have been used to support people recovering from gambling addiction.  Recommendations next time! Links and References:  - -,casino%20is%20invented%20in%20Italy. - - - - -,%22chasing%22%20one's%20losses.)
    49m 25s
  • Mini: Burning Books

    7 MAY 2024 · Book burning has been used both to destroy cultures or just symbolically send a message. Either way, it is a pretty juvenile temper tantrum thing to do. Don't silence your opponents, be better than them. Here is the history and motives behind some large book burning efforts.  Links:  - - -,of%20the%20Library%20of%20Alexandria. -
    13m 50s
  • Sex Addiction

    1 MAY 2024 · You've seen the title of this episode, so now that we have your attention: sex addiction! What are the psychometric criteria by which sex becomes an addiction? Further, who does this impact? The answers to this are both not what you might think. Turns out, there is a lot of history of "puritan"-like stigmatization around the "appropriate" amount of sex and with whom.  Links and References:  - - - - - - - - Recommendations - Abraham: Fallout ( - Shane: Dracula by Bram Stoker (
    1h 1m 16s
  • Mini: Shampoo

    29 APR 2024 · Humans haven't had shampoo for very long in our relative history. What about our ancestors, what did they do without shampoo? Animals don't seem to require shampoo. What is this weird practice and what would happen if we gave it up? This mini investigates Big Shampoo! Links and References - -
    10m 10s
  • Harm Reduction

    24 APR 2024 · Humans have been engineering strategies to reduce the risks of life for as long as humans have been engineering everything. As it relates to addiction, harm reduction is a stragegy that emerged to help prevent the spread of disease and has been successfully applied to supporting people with chemical dependency. We explore the criticisms, concerns, and science behind harm reduction.  Recommendations - Abraham: Cocaine Bear ( - Shane: Charles Bukowski - Hollywood ( - Bonus: National Harm Reduction Coalition ( Links:  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Walley AY, Xuan Z, Hackman HH, et al. Opioid overdose rates and implementation of overdose education and nasal naloxone distribution in Massachusetts: interrupted time series analysis. BMJ. 2013;346:f174. doi: - - Aspinall, E. J., Nambiar, D., Goldberg, D. J., Hickman, M., Weir, A., Van Velzen, E., . . . Hutchinson, S. J. (2014). Are needle and syringe programmes associated with a reduction in HIV transmission among people who inject drugs: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Epidemiol, 43(1), 235- 248. doi:10.1093/ije/dyt243 - Bernard, C. L., Owens, D. K., Goldhaber-Fiebert, J. D., & Brandeau, M. L. (2017). Estimation of the cost-effectiveness of HIV prevention portfolios for people who inject drugs in the United States: A model-based analysis. PLoS Med, 14(5). doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1002312 - - - doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.06.591 - Des Jarlais, D.C., Feelemyer, J., McKnight, C. et al. Is your syringe services program cost-saving to society? A methodological case study. Harm Reduct J 18, 126 (2021). - Ijioma, S. C., Pontinha, V. M., Holdford, D. A., & Carroll, N. V. (2021). Cost-effectiveness of syringe service programs, medications for opioid use disorder, and combination programs in hepatitis C harm reduction among opioid injection drug users: a public payer perspective using a decision tree. Journal of managed care & specialty pharmacy, 27(2), 137–146.
    1h 17m 51s
  • Mini: Why We Lottery

    22 APR 2024 · Welcome to our new episode format, the mini! Although this is our second one, we are still excited to be exploring this new way of doing episodes. This discusion explores how lotteries came to be and why we pursue them with such vigor.
    16m 14s
  • War on Drugs

    17 APR 2024 · The saga continues as we explore the historical policy blunder that was the "War on Drugs." What lead to the development of this idea? We review the distinction between what was stated and what actually happened, and, of course, who won the war? spoiler it was drugs.  Recommendations - Abraham: Speechify App ( - Shane: Amber Brooke Farms (  Links and References:  - - - - - - - - -
    1h 7m 14s
  • Mini: Clapping

    15 APR 2024 · Welcome to our first ever new episode format that we are trying out. These miniature episodes will be supplemental, additional episodes that we release every week alongside our normal full-length episodes. This first installment is exploring the weird tradition of people slapping peices of our flesh together to show appreciation. We started recording these quite a while ago, so, apologies if there are some somewhat dated references...  Enjoy! Links:  -,in%20response%20to%20being%20aroused. -,a%20universal%20body%20language%20signal. -
    9m 31s

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