Working In #3: The Sinful Brain with Stephen Fry


Stephen Fry is a glutton for sin. His podcast 7 Deadly Sins promises to poke, prod, pry and provoke sin and its myriad manifestations in the modern world.

On today's Working In, Stephen invites us to indulge in a little bit of sinful self-reflection. We've evolved since the hunter-gatherer era, but are our brains' reward centres any more developed?

"These days, we look in every direction except inside ourselves as to what's wrong with the world. And I thought maybe it's worth looking inwards to one's own wicked, cavernous, black, dripping soul."

Our perceptions of right and wrong are instilled during childhood, but each generation rewrites the rules. We discuss the changing perception of sin through the ages. If all sins are created equal, why is societal sin is so much greater than the sum of its parts? And how can we right our collective wrongs?

"As individuals, it hurts us to be greedy, to be lustful, to be proud, to be angry because it corrodes oneself. But each one of those things as a species is ghastly too."

Podcast episode takeaways

In this third episode with Stephen Fry we will cover:

  • Stephen Fry's favourite sin of all!
  • The dichotomy of finding pleasure on the path to temptation
  • Reward and punishment cycles
  • How pride and gluttony manifest in the modern world
  • How tech innovation could be the antidote to societal greed

Listen here.

And subscribe to Working In to get more bitesize interviews with the world's leading scientists and experts.

In case you missed it and are eager to hear more from Stephen Fry, check out our first 2 episodes with Stephen on mental health, and the difference between intelligence and wisdom.

P.S. Did you know that Stephen Fry was one of our first Heights customers. He is still an avid fan! 

"I hope I'm smart enough to know that excessive claims are silly, but I can certainly say with all truth that taking Heights has coincided with me feeling uncommonly fresh, perky, and lively in the mind. I'm a huge fan of it!" - Stephen Fry