David Pinsof — Everything is Bullshit | Episode 161

David Pinsof is an evolutionary social scientist and a co-creator of the game Cards Against Humanity. He holds a PhD in Psychology from UCLA, where he studied the [evolutionary origins of political bullshit](https://escholarship.org/uc/item/1nk0c3dc), and has written a handful of academic papers, [one of which](http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/comm/haselton/unify_uploads/files/Psychological%20Science-2016-Pinsof-0956797615621719.pdf) has been cited 152 times and another of which was [quoted in the New York Times](https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/29/opinion/abortion-restrictions-politics.html).

David is the author of the ‘Everything Is Bullshit’ Substack, which aims to poke holes in the stories we tell ourselves. He joins the show to discuss why happiness & morality are bullshit, the difference between bullshit & lying, why we conceal the status monkey, and more!

Important Links:

- David’s Twitter - https://twitter.com/davidpinsof?s=21&t=Eu-ZAobv8pxE_gXJ3cRfhg
- David’s Substack; Everything is Bullshit -https://everythingisbullshit.substack.com
- Cards Against Humanity - https://everythingisbullshit.substack.com
- The Execution Hypothesis; by Richard Wrangham - https://www2.units.it/etica/2021_2/WRANGHAM.pdf
- Discordianism - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discordianism
- Our podcast with George Mack - https://www.infiniteloopspodcast.com/george-mack-marketing-mental-models-and-technology-ep214/
- Our podcast with Will Storr - https://www.infiniteloopspodcast.com/will-storrthe-status-game-ep122/

Show Notes:

00:00 Intro
01:18 Main Podcast
01:55 What is bullshit?
05:09 The difference between bullshitting and lying
09:44 Why moralizing is bullshit
16:33 Concealing the status monkey
20:50 The origins of Cards Against Humanity
29:13 How are status games changing?
34:05 Why happiness is bullshit
47:28 Happiness as a status symbol
50:44 How can we escape bullshit?
57:43 Why we’re driven by negative emotions
01:02:22 How to become more positive
01:10:36 The role of humor in calling out bullshit

Books Mentioned:

- On Bullshit; by Harry G. Frankfurt
- Propaganda; by Edward Bernays
- Influence: Science and Practice; by Robert Cialdini
- The Moral Animal: Why We Are The Way We Are; by Robert Wright
- The Status Game: On Social Position and How We Use It; by Will Storr
- The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of History; by Howard Bloom
- Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment
- Happy; by Derren Brown
- Tao Te Ching; by Lao Tzu
- Gödel, Escher, Bach; by Douglas Hofstadter