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Life Experimentation with A.J. Jacobs

by Scott Barry Kaufman, July 31, 2016

Four time bestselling author (and human guinea pig) A.J. Jacobs gets us laughing, and thinking, about the benefits of lifestyle experimentation. In this episode, we discuss A.J.’s courageous journey to learn everything about the world via reading the entire encyclopedia Britannica. A.J. talks about his book Drop Dead Healthywhere he spent months pursuing perfect physical health. We learn from his experiences following the bible (as literally as possible) for an entire year, and much more. Topics include: The importance of gratitude, what it’s like to win the lottery, the benefits of running electricity through the brain, and the differences between being psychotic, psychopathic and sociopathic. It’s an especially eclectic and playful episode that provides deep insight into what it means to live well. We hope you have as much fun listening to the episode as we had recording it. And feel free to leave a review on iTunes if you’re feeling compelled (it’s a big help to our cause and thank you in advance)!

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A.J. Jacobs is an author, journalist, lecturer and human guinea pig. He has written four New York Times bestsellers that combine memoir, science, humor and a dash of self-help. He is also editor at large at Esquire magazine, a commentator on NPR and a columnist for Mental Floss magazine. His first book is called The Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World. After trying to improve his mind, he turned to his spirit. The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible  tells of his attempt to follow the hundreds of rules in the Good Book. In 2012, Jacobs completed his mind-spirit-body self-improvement trinity with Drop Dead Healthy: One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection. It is the tale of his quest to be as healthy as humanly possible, for which he revamped his diet, exercise regimen, sleep schedule, sex life, posture and more. He also published a collection of essays called My Life as an Experiment: One Man’s Humble Quest to Improve Himself. Jacobs’s next book will be about how we are all related. In addition to his books, Jacobs has written for The New York TimesEntertainment WeeklyNew York Magazine and Dental Economics magazine, one of the top five magazines about the financial side of tooth care. He has appeared on OprahThe Today ShowGood Morning America, CNN, The Dr. Oz Show, Conan and The Colbert Report. He has given several TED talks, including ones about living biblicallycreating a one-world family, and living healthily. He wonders if he fooled anyone with this third-person thing, or if everyone knows that he wrote this bio himself.  –Blurb paraphrased from ajjacobs.com

Mentioned in this episode: The Psychology Podcast: “What is it like to be a psychopath?” with Dr. Kent Kiehl.


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