A fascinating conversation with author and podcast host Chris Ryan on a wide array of topics and paradigms. We also touched on his brilliant book, Civilized to Death: The Price of Progress and the deeper aspects of whether the society that we have created really works for our greatest benefit.

Chris Ryan’s work has been translated into over twenty languages, and appeared just about everywhere, including Netflix, HBO, MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, NPR, The New York Times, The Times of London, Playboy, The Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, National Geographic, and The Atlantic. Chris has been a featured speaker at TED, SXSW, The Festival of Dangerous Ideas at the Sydney Opera House, the Portland Comedy Festival, the Einstein Forum in Pottsdam, Germany, and is a frequent guest on The Joe Rogan Experience, the Duncan Trussell Family Hour and many other podcasts. He’s provided expert testimony in a Canadian constitutional hearing, won a coveted AVN award (best non-sex performance, Marriage 2.0) and popped-up in dozens of documentary films and television shows.

Even before co-authoring the New York Times best-seller, Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What it Means for Modern Relationships with Cacilda Jethá, MD in 2010, Chris was on a wild ride.

After receiving a BA in English and American literature in 1984 he spent the next two decades traveling around the world, pausing in unexpected places to work at very odd jobs (e.g., gutting salmon in Alaska, teaching English to prostitutes in Bangkok and self-defense to land-reform activists in Mexico, managing commercial real-estate in New York’s Diamond District, helping Spanish physicians translate and publish their research).

In his mid-30s, Chris decided to get a little serious and pursue doctoral studies in Psychology at Saybrook Graduate School, in San Francisco, CA, using his dissertation to examine Darwin’s rather naive understanding of human sexual evolution — providing the core arguments later advanced in Sex at Dawn.

Chris’s latest book, Civilized to Death: The Price of Progress (Simon & Schuster/Avid Reader Press, 2019), asks whether civilization has been a net benefit to our species. He hosts a weekly podcast, Tangentially Speaking, often recorded from the road while traveling in his van, Scarlett Jovansson. The podcast features conversations with comics, bank robbers, drug smugglers, porn stars, authors, and an occasional rattlesnake expert.

Chris likes orange pants. No one knows why.

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Paul Samuel Dolman, author, podcaster, and speaker, presents What Matters Most (the book!) a series of interview transcriptions from more than twenty inspirational Nashville and Tennessee residents, including special guest the journalist and author Bill Moyers.

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, former Governor Don Sundquist, Academy Award-winning actress Patricia Neal, Grammy Award-winning entertainer Wynonna Judd, and many more share intimate and inspirational aspects of themselves.

This twentieth anniversary edition also features bonus material from thirty more notables from Tennessee, including local business owners, spiritual leaders, coaches, radio personalities, authors, and educators.