MeaningofLife.tv
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21 August 2017

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MeaningofLife.tv

editor-in-chief Robert Wright
managing editor Brian Degenhart
associate editor Nikita Petrov
associate editor Philip Menchaca
production associate Arthur Rizzotto

What is MeaningofLife.tv?

MeaningofLife.tv is a place where people have conversations about matters relating to (wait for it) the meaning of life. Since that subject can be illuminated from many different angles, these people come from many different backgrounds. On this site you’ll find philosophers, scientists, social scientists, theologians, therapists, meditation teachers, monks, and on and on—plus people with no specific credentials but an important story to tell. Topics under discussion are commensurately diverse, ranging from the more cosmic parts of science (big bang, quantum weirdness) to the more human parts of science (evolutionary psychology, neuroscience) to philosophy (mind-body problem, stoicism, existentialism) to religion and spirituality (higher purpose, the problem of evil, Buddhist and Hindu philosophy) to social science (Does history have a direction? Are people getting better? Worse?) And beyond these high-end intellectual questions are the concrete issues that people encounter in the daily domains of family, friendship, work, and play.

We welcome a wide range of perspectives. We especially value clashing, or at least contrasting, perspectives—conversations that bring together people of different views, to the benefit of all concerned.

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Though in one sense launched in 2015, in another sense MeaningofLife.tv is one of the oldest video sites on the internet. The original version—archived here—was created in 2002 by Robert Wright with the help of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation and the technical expertise of Greg Dingle. The focus was comparable to that of the current version, but the format was different; all conversations involved Wright talking to someone in person, on location. This model had its virtues—and in fact these archives remain (we humbly submit) a valuable resource. Still, requiring two conversants to occupy the same physical space at the same time—and requiring one of them to be the same person every time—placed obvious limits on the breadth of participation. Technological changes since MoLtv’s founding—notably widespread broadband internet access and the pervasive adoption of webcams—made it easy for the new MeaningofLife.tv, launched in July of 2015 with further support from the Templeton Foundation, to escape those limits. Following the model of Bloggingheads.tv (which Wright co-founded in 2005), MeaningofLife.tv now allows two or more people to have a conversation regardless of where in the world they are.

Broadband and the webcam aren’t the only things that have changed the landscape since the original MoLtv was launched. There is, in particular, the growing consumption of media via podcast or smartphone. Accordingly, MeaningofLife.tv is available in diverse forms—via audio and video podcasts and a mobile website that makes audio or video streaming on a smartphone easy.

We have only one concern about providing so many new ways to imbibe MeaningofLife.tv content: We hope they won’t keep you from periodically checking into the site and sharing your ruminations in our discussion forum. That participation provides valuable feedback for people who appear on the site, and for the people who run it, and food for thought for everyone who browses the forum. It also provides a way for you to recommend guests for MeaningofLife.tv. Or you can do that—and provide us with any other feedback—here on our contact form. Happy pondering!

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MeaningofLife.tv is owned and operated by The Nonzero Foundation, a nonprofit organization that aims to foster the spread of knowledge and help people appreciate diverse perspectives, thereby building bridges across national, cultural, ethnic, religious, and ideological divides.