This episode was a delight for me, not only for the company I had for this conversation, but that it was able to be recorded in person. A luxury I rarely have for this show.

Having moved back to the Midwest, i was able to take my guest up on an offer to visit them when they're teaching at Notre Dame, and be able to spend an afternoon chatting with one of the best historians of our day, who would likely have to go back to Will Durant to find another such historian with quite the breath and depth as him.

This is for the uninitiated, a second appearance for Professor Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, the author of wildly popular books such as Civilizations and Millennium, both of which cover nearly the entire span of human history.

And two others which rank among my favorites of his, Amerigo, the man who gave his name to america, and Humankind, a brief story of us.

A book that I'm dying to find on audiobook he wrote titles Out of our minds: what we think and how we came to think it. As well as an upcoming book on Magellan.

I cited it in our last interview for episode 008, he has an unbelievable amount of writing under his authorship, and I'm not just saying this because he's been so kind as to take time to talk with me, but his writing is as delightfully enlightening as it is entertainingly written.

Take Humankind for example, which I read a portion of during this conversation. It's a short read, but is so dense with information about how we take for granted what we now pass off as quote, "human nature", or even "humane".

Felipe points out that not that long ago we were categorizing other members of our species as sub-human, or other-than-human. And how we should now come to grips with genetics and technology, before the very soon-to-come questions about what is or isn't a human that's developed in a lab, or chosen to have certain attributes or genes.

Or another point that when I read it I about screamed out of my seat, as it's something I think about daily. How in spite all of our collective advancements, technology, abundance, freedom from toil-- has on the individual level brought us backwards, and as it continues with ever evolving technology can bring us to a near reptillian state.

Not, as wise as our title sapien is chosen to convey.

So then what is a human? What makes us different than any other animal?

Or even just speaking socially, what makes this new revolution of ideas different than the social and economic order that proceeded it?

This, along with what does it really mean to have choice, or freedom, are some of the points our conversation takes us.

Thank you to Felipe, for hosting me at his house one fall afternoon, and thank you to those listening. I hope you enjoy.