THE IDIOT BRAIN

with our guest: Dean Burnett
Overview

My conversation today is with Dean Burnett. Dean is a neuroscientist, a lecturer, an author, a blogger or podcaster, a pundit science communicator, comedian, and numerous other things – depending on who’s asking and what they need.

Dean discusses with us his book, Idiot Brain, What Your Head Is Really Up To. It’s one of five books that he’s written in the last few years. He’s very prolific. And I really enjoyed this book. This book goes through and takes a look at why we do the things we do and offers some of the latest scientific rationale, but in a very humorous way, very insightful way. Dean’s writing has been published all over the world and he’s very popular – especially in the United Kingdom.

I asked him about how he married his interest and passion in standup comedy with neuroscience. We talk about depression and mental illness, something he’s written about extensively. We talk about the blog posts he wrote that had more than 3 million readers (as a surprise to him) and how that was the passage from being an amateur to a pro.

We also talk about some of the egocentric biases that the brain has. Things that we are largely unaware of, whether or not we have free will. We talk about personality, what it is, if we can change it, and then we get into a discussion about writing and the creative process. We talk a little bit about promotion as we often do. I think you’ll enjoy this conversation with Dean. He’s a very humble guy with some interesting perspectives. So with that, please enjoy this conversation with my new Welsh friend, Dean Burnett.

Show Notes

00:04:00 – What’s life about?
00:12:52 – Embalming cadavers.
00:20:20 – Knitting a sweater out of cotton candy.
00:26:57 – Have a go…at stand-up comedy.
00:35:10 – I didn’t think I was allowed to write a book.
00:37:15 – Our second brain.
00:52:20  – Mental health.
01:20:53  – The Lightning Round.

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