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Very Bad Wizards

Jul 9, 2024

David and Tamler conclude their discussion of Ernest Becker’s The Denial of Death. We talk about Becker’s philosophy of science (does he have one?), his sweeping explanations for strongman leaders, neuroses, mental illness, sexual fetishes, and the refreshing absence
of an answer or resolution to the existential...


Jun 25, 2024

David faces his greatest fear as he and Tamler dive into Ernest Becker’s 1973 Pulitzer Prize winner The Denial of Death. Blending existentialist ideas within a psychoanalytic framework, Becker argues that the ultimate source of human motivation is not the repression of sexual drives (as Freud thought) but our terror...


Jun 11, 2024

David and Tamler dive into the mysteries at the heart of Park Chan-wook’s deeply disturbing masterpiece "Oldboy" (2003). An ordinary man, Oh Dae-su, is imprisoned for 15 years in an old, windowless hotel room. After being abruptly released Oh Dae-su embarks on a mission to discover why he was imprisoned and to get...


May 28, 2024

It’s an old-school episode as David and Tamler dive into some intriguing research on the origins of cultural differences. Two neighboring communities in communist China were assigned to be wheat farmers and rice farmers. Seventy years later, the people in the rice farming communities showed signs of being more...


May 15, 2024

David and Tamler choose an episode topic that will define the identity and meaning of the Very Bad Wizards podcast going forward – our top 3 existentialist movies. Plus, you’re gonna be shocked to hear this, you might want to sit down, but there has been surprisingly little research on the metaphysics of puns. We...