XX: Changing the Constitution Is As Easy As - Anne Twomey

Professor Anne Twomey is one of Australia's leading constitutional law experts. She has practiced as a solicitor at the High Court of Australia, worked as a researcher for High Court Justices, and advised the Commonwealth Parliament on legal issues. She currently teaches at the famous University of Sydney Law School.

In this charming constitutional conversation, Anne reveals some of the intricacies and tricks involved in changing a nation's founding document - it's not as easy as you think! We shine the light of her knowledge on the question of an Australian Republic - one of our pet issues. We also discuss why the Australian public is at odds over the two republican models - and whether there's a third, smarter way to reach constitutional independence. This is law at its most epic!


IXX: Columbia MBA Professor Teaches You How to Find Strategic Insight in Any Scenario - William Duggan

Would you like the ability to reliably experience those "breakthrough moments"? We've found your guru. William Duggan teaches Executive MBA courses at the renowned Columbia Business School in New York. He has taught innovation and strategy to 1000s of company executives around the world. William has written three books on innovation and "strategic intuition," that elusive spark of insight which helps you creatively solve hard problems. His 2007 book, Strategic Intuition, was named "Best Strategy Book of the Year" by the journal Strategy+Business. William has three degrees, including a PhD, from Columbia University. He also likes corn-based tortillas.

In this expert chat, the Swagmen hear William's definition of "strategic intuition" and how you can develop it in your own life. We learn about Napoleon's weird habits of insight and why more work is sometimes the enemy of brilliant ideas.


Show notes

- New York Times article on the power of taking a 'Schultz hour'

- Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford Commencement Address, where he regales the typography story

- William's book Strategic Intuition

William's other books: Napoleon's Glance (2004), Creative Strategy (2012), and The Seventh Sense (2015)

Vipassana meditation, and a course available near Sydney


XVIII: Why I Was Really Fired by Google - James Damore

Former Google Senior Software Engineer now martyr to political correctness and hero of the alt-right, James Damore is the softly-spoken yet controversial author of the 'Google memo', the infamous 10-page document in which he criticised the company's gender diversity policies. James is in favour of removing barriers to the tech sector for women, but he felt Google was going too far in its efforts for equal representation. The memo, titled 'Google's Ideological Echo Chamber: How Bias Clouds Our Thinking About Diversity and Inclusion', which he posted after attending a day-long diversity conference in July, went viral within Google, before being leaked to the media in August. Google's CEO Sundar Pichai subsequently fired James for breaching the company's Code of Conduct.

James is a self-described 'classical liberal' who was studying a PhD in Systems Biology at Harvard before being head-hunted by Google in 2013. In this interview, we discuss James' unique worldview, some of the discriminatory practices at Google, the day of his firing, and the secret black-list against employees kept by left-leaning Silicon Valley tech firms.


Show notes

- James' full original memo

- James' website, Fired for Truth

James' twitter profile

- James' article in the Wall Street Journal where he explains his story

- Peter Singer's article on why Google was wrong to fire James

- Stephen Pinker's The Blank Slate

- Jonathan Haidt's The Happiness Hypothesis

Stephen Pinker's 2005 debate at Harvard with Elizabeth Spelke

XVII: The Two Reasons Why Gays Shouldn't Marry (According to the Coalition For Marriage) - Monica Doumit

Australia is in the midst of debating whether to legalise same-sex marriage, with a national postal vote underway. The Jolly Swagmen are firm supporters of marriage equality, but we felt it was time to talk to someone on the other side, to see what all the fuss is about. Monica Doumit is a lawyer and Coordinator at Catholic Talk, with a Masters in Bioethics. She is now the spokesperson for the Coalition for Marriage - the movement fighting to make sure marriage equality doesn't happen. So what are their best arguments against changing the Marriage Act? Here we find out.

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Coalition for Marriage website

XVI: Procrastination, Perfectionism, And Diagnosing Donald Trump - John Tsilimparis

John Tsilimparis MFT is a celebrity psychologist based in LA, where he runs his own private clinic in Brentwood. He has appeared on Larry King Live and The View, and is perhaps most famous for his book, the self-development/psychology classic Retrain Your Anxious Brain. He is an expert in helping his clients to become more effective people. 

Battling a brutal time difference and a broken call recorder, the Sydney-based Swagmen swallow John's advice whole and eschew perfectionism for pragmatism. Even if the sound quality is scratchy, we had to release this episode to bring you advice gems including: mental tricks for barrelling through procrastination plateaus, how to calm your nerves before delivering a speech, and why American psychotherapists have finally begun diagnosing Donald Trump (plus what his mental problems actually are). Listen in and become more productive!

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XV: Can We Avoid Nuclear Catastrophe? - Gareth Evans

Gareth Evans AC, QC was Australia's greatest ever Foreign Minister. Holding that position from 1988-96, he also held a number of other cabinet positions in the Hawke-Keating Governments, being one of two longest serving cabinet ministers in Labor Party history. Educated at the Universities of Melbourne and Oxford, Gareth pioneered concepts in international relations such as the 'responsibility to protect' and 'good international citizenship' - ideas which have since changed the norms and rules of engagement in the post-Cold War world order. Gareth has overseen a number of commissions relating to nuclear weapons, from initiating the Canberra Commission in 1995 to co-chairing the 2008-10 Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament. From 2000-09 he was President and CEO of the International Crisis Group, one of the world's most influential think tanks, and in 2011 Foreign Policy Magazine identified him as one of the "Top 100 Global Thinkers".

In this our first episode with a live audience, we ask: Can our species free itself of the most destructive tools we ever wrought? In a wide-ranging discussion, Gareth shares his wisdom on whether Korean reunification will happen in our lifetimes, what effect the Trump presidency has on the chances of nuclear war, and his own stories of negotiations with the North Korean regime. Finally, we cover how the nuclear powers can de-addict from these weapons, as Gareth outlines his phase-out strategy. If you're a policy wonk or just your average citizen hoping to survive in a mad world, this could be one of the most essential pods you ever hear!


Show Notes:

- The speech Gareth gave to John XXIII College in 2013 - Embracing Our Common Humanity

XIV: When Will Australia Become an Independent Nation? - Peter Fitzsimons

Peter Fitzsimons is the current Chair of the Australian Republican Movement (ARM) - fighting to move Australia from rule by the British Monarchy to independent nationhood. He is a former Wallaby (player for Australia's national rugby union side), and has written over 27 bestselling books, mostly on Australian history.  Peter is also a well-known sports columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald, and has been described as "Australia's finest" in that field.

The Swagmen sat down with Peter before the ARM Gala Dinner to get inside the red bandana. We discuss what an Australian Republic should look like, Malcolm Turnbull's "over-the-top passion", and Peter's strategy for changing the nation. This is a heated conversation, but expect no less from three die-hard republicans!

Show Notes:

- Peter Fitzsimons collection of published works
- Join the Australian Republican Movement!

XIII: Cocaine, Ritalin and the Finance Industry - Peter Luc Bossaerts

Peter Luc Bossaerts is the world's leading expert in experimental finance and pioneered the field of "neuroeconomics". He is now the Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor and Professor of Experimental Finance and Decision Neuroscience at the University of Melbourne, and was Division Chair at the California Institute of Technology, and his articles have been published in journals like Econometrica.

He is currently conducting research with Dr Carsten Murawski on the use of smart drugs, such as Modafinil, Ritalin and Adderall, by finance professionals in Australia - the men and women who jointly manage over $2 trillion of the nation's retirement savings. 

In this episode, the Swagmen discover some of Peter's preliminary findings. We discuss what percentage of professionals are using smart drugs, whether usage is safe in the long-term, and why researchers test sewerage for traces of cocaine. 

Listeners who work in the finance industry are encouraged to take Peter and Carsten's survey.


Show Notes:

- Hear the unedited long form interview with Peter here
If you work in the Australian Finance sector help Peter out and take his survey 
- Peter recommends Dictator by Robert Harris, buy it here

XII: Why You Shouldn't Eat, Two Days a Week - Dr Michael Mosley

#1 New York Times bestselling author, award-winning journalist, presenter or producer of over 25 BBC documentaries, and self-confessed "human guinea pig" Dr Michael Mosley joins us this week on the pod. We are so excited to bring you this episode because Michael has revolutionised how literally millions of people think about their health - including the Swagmen. 

Best known for popularising the 5:2 diet, where you drastically restrict your calorie intake on two days every week, his medical investigations have extended to High-Intensity Interval Training, The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet, and most recently, The Clever Guts Diet. Michael has been named "Medical Journalist of the Year" by the British Medical Association and has also executive-produced the three most popular science or history programmes of the last decade: Pompeii: The Last Day, Supervolcano and Krakatoa.

In the first part of this episode, we chat with Michael about the proper 5:2 diet, including how it should be followed and how it has been misapplied. We then discuss why you should eat a "Mediterranean diet", and how you can optimize your gut health to live a longer, healthier, happier life. 


Show Notes:

- Check out a few of Dr Mosley's books
- John Galbraith's The Great Crash 1929
The inspiration behind David Cameron's 'Nudge Unit' - Cass Sunstein + Richard Thalers's Nudge
- Michael's 2012 Documentary, Eat, Fast and Live Longer which kicked off the fasting revolution

Finally...your Stoic cartoon of the week

XI: 'London Bridge is Down' - Sam Knight

Queen Elizabeth II has ruled as Britain’s monarch for 65 years. At the age of 91, her reign will end very soon, and Charles will be crowned King. But what happens when a Queen dies? And what on earth does ‘London Bridge is Down’ mean?

The Jolly Swagmen catch up with New Yorker and Guardian journalist Sam Knight, an Englishman who earlier this year wrote a stunning article about Buckingham Palace’s secret plans for the Queen’s death and funeral. We discuss the details of these plans, what her passing will mean for the future of the UK and the Commonwealth, and the story behind writing the article, as well as some of Sam’s other secrets for top-tier journalism.

Show Notes:

- London Bridge is Down - Sam Knight
- Sam Knight - Twitter
- The Funeral of King George VI - The Last Journey
Long Live the Queen - 1952

X: Fearlessness, Founding Companies, and Full-time Adventuring - Patrick Sweeney

Patrick Sweeney is making a career as an adventurer and fear guru. Whether it's cycling the seven summits or biking to Everest Base Camp, Patrick is officially setting world records. His frontier-busting attitude was forged in the single scull, winning international races from Norway to Canada as a young man. Patrick then moved into startups, and has been successful as both entrepreneur and investor, founding multi-million dollar tech companies and now advising or investing in up to thirty companies. 

The Swagmen uncover how you can instil fearlessness in your own life, as well as Patrick's number one nugget of advice for founders, and some hair-raising adventure stories. Listen and live a fearless life!

Show Notes:

- Check out Patrick's website and stay up to date with his adventures
- Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell
- Peak, Anders Ericsson (where he clears up Gladwell's misappropriation of the 10,000 hours rule)
- The OODA Loop, John Boyd (very handy)

Patrick's preferred podcasts (besides us, obviously):
- Training Beta
- The Good Life Project
- How hard can it be

As promised...a link to our favourite Stoic quote...

IX: A Soldier's Guide to Survival in Afghanistan - Charlie Thompson

Charlie Thompson served in Canada's elite Close Protection Unit, completing two tours of Afghanistan in 2006 and 2008. His job was to protect dignitaries, foreign leaders, and VIPs in one of the world's most dangerous regions - Kandahar Province. Perhaps more impressively for Charlie, he has successfully reintegrated into civilian life after returning from service. Sadly, the story of coming home is not as easy for many military personnel.

Charlie cracked a fresh bottle of Maple Syrup to chat with the Swagmen about the visceral feeling of coming under attack in Kandahar City, why scanning from right to left could save your life, and the daily routine of living in a warzone. 


VIII: Not Drinking (Alcohol) For a Year - Chris Raine

Chris Raine is CEO and Founder of Hello Sunday Morning, a charity that challenges people to give up alcohol for 3, 6 or 12 months. The organisation grew out of his own experience going dry in 2009, and has since taken him to Oxford as a Skoll Scholar and the Young Australian of the Year Awards as a National Finalist. HSM has changed the lives of thousands of Australians seeking to go sober.

Your jolly, but not tipsy, Swagmen catch up with Chris on a Sunday morning at his Bondi apartment to discover strategies for resisting social pressure at parties, the definition of a drug, and why you too should try the not drinking experiment, at least for a few months.


Show Notes:
- Check it out! Hello Sunday Morning

VII: Life's a Pitch - Ian Elliot

Ian Elliot is Australia's advertising guru. Former CEO and Chairman of George Patterson, he worked his way from the mail room to the very top, turning it into the largest ad agency in the country. He was the architect behind iconic brands including Optus, VB, Arnotts, and designed the communications strategy for the Sydney 2000 Olympics. Chances are, you bought several things in the 90s or early 2000s because of Ian. But, having the best ideas didn't always guarantee he'd win the account - which is why he mastered the art of pitching. He co-authored Stop Bitching, Start Pitching to crystallise that idea.

The Jolly Swagmen enjoy a chinwag with Ian about how to script the perfect elevator pitch, how to shatter the 'yeah-but' filter, and the six fundamental needs of every human that you can harness to make sure your ideas win, every time.

VI: Really Bad Memes - Dart Sultan

Dart Sultan: enigma, humourist, meme king. An anonymous Melbourne man on the rise, having amassed 185,000 Facebook followers (at time of recording) on his page Shit Memes, Dart Sultan is out to expose really bad memes for what they are.

The Jolly Swagmen unmask him in Melbourne to learn which social media trends grind his gears most, how much money he's been offered for his Facebook page, and the most beautiful meme of all.

Show Notes:

- Yeah Boy! 
- Astronomically Atheist

- Shit Memes Facebook page

V: A Crash in Two Years - Steve Keen

Few people saw the Global Financial Crisis coming. Steve Keen was one of them. He is a ferocious critic of the neoclassical school of economics, which continues to dictate thinking within governments, universities and the financial sector. Steve is a maverick and a contrarian, with an anti-authoritarian streak – labels you rarely hear applied to economics professors. In 2001, he published his central critique in a book, Debunking Economics. He now teaches at Kingston University in London.

In this episode, Steve offers the Swagmen an insight into his unique worldview. We discuss why economics is flawed, whether he actually ever lost the notorious housing market bet he made in 2010, and why the world, including Australia, is headed for another economic crash – within the next two years.

Show Notes:

- Keynes' General Theory of Employment 

- Hyman Minsky's Can 'It' Happen Again?

- Steve Keen's Debunking Economics

- Thoman Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

- John Anderson's More is Different

- Steve Keen's Can We Avoid Another Financial Crisis?

- Steve Keen's DebtDeflation blog

- Hyman Minsky's John Maynard Keynes

- John Blatt's Dynamic Economic Systems 


Neoclassical Economics (Friedrich Hayek): Neoclassical economics is an approach to economics focusing on the relationship of goods, outputs, and income distributions in markets through supply and demand.

Keynesian Economics: In the short run, and especially during recessions, economic output is strongly influenced by demand (total spending in the economy).

Supply/demand curves: Demand refers to how much (quantity) of a product or service is desired by buyers. Supply represents how much the market can offer.

Keynesian/Neoclassical Synthesis: A post WWII movement in economics that worked towards absorbing the theories of Keynes into Neoclassical Economics (see above). 

Post-Keynesian Economics

First Principles Reasoning: A first principle is a basic, foundational, self-evident proposition or assumption that cannot be deduced from any other proposition or assumption. First principles do not make assumptions in their arguments. 

2nd Law of Thermodynamics: The second law of thermodynamics says that when energy changes from one form to another form, disorder increases. Put simply, when a transfer of energy occurs, there is a residual amount of energy that is left redundant. . 

IV: Building a Restaurant Empire - Matt Moran

Matt Moran is well known on the Australian restaurant scene. Raised on a dairy farm in Sydney's West, he started in the kitchen at 15, with ambitions of one day being promoted to the deep fryer. Matt made it to the fryer and just kept on going. He now has a sprawling empire, comprising over 30 businesses, spread from Melbourne to Brisbane, with 1800 staff on the books.

In this episode, the Swagmen sit down with Matt at his Sydney restaurant Chiswick. We discuss the need for constant evolution, constructing a narrative and the importance of 'market research'.

Show Notes:

- Matt showing his dislike for food

- The Swagmen highly recommend Chiswick Restaurant, terrific!


III: Summiting and Surviving Mount Everest - Ben and Laura Darlington

Outside of their day jobs, Australian couple Ben and Laura Darlington are irrepressible adventurers. Ben, who runs his own business, is a two-time cancer survivor who has summited Mount Everest twice - in 2012 and 2016. Laura, an Associate Director at KPMG, is one of very few Australian women to have successfully summited the Earth's highest mountain, reaching the top with Ben on his second trek. 

Before meeting the Swagmen, they had never publicly shared the full details of their story. We chat about what led to Ben cutting off his own toes with a Stanley knife (it was frostbite), why it's the six years of preparation, not the six months before the climb that matters, and the all too frequent question of death on the Mountain.

Show Notes:

-  Follow Ben and Laura's future climbs here

- Robert's Blog where he describes the events from his perspective: Everest Blog

- The infamous 'green boots' fallen climber

- A few happy snaps of Ben's feet post rescue (WARNING: GRAPHIC)

II: The Art and Ethics of Political Speechwriting, Part 2 - Don Watson

Don Watson was Prime Minister Paul Keating's speechwriter from 1992-1996. Don's work included the Unknown Soldier Speech, and the famous Redfern Park Address, the writing of which he described in his biography of the Keating era, Recollections of a Bleeding Heart. Don is also an award-winning author and an academic historian.

The Swagmen meet Don in Melbourne to discuss what's gone wrong with the use of language in Australian public life, why key differences exist between US and Australian political rhetoric, and the real reason why he and Keating haven't spoken in 15 years.

Show Notes:

- Don's book, Recollections of a Bleeding Heart

Paul Keating during Question Time Supamix

Julia Gillard's Misogyny Speech

- Paul Keating's Redfern Address

Second Inaugural Address of Abraham Lincoln

I: The Art and Ethics of Political Speechwriting, Part 1 - Bob Lehrman

Bob Lehrman was Chief Speechwriter for Vice President Al Gore from 1993-95. An accomplished author and novelist, he was mentored by none other than Kurt Vonnegut. Bob's book, The Political Speechwriters Companion: A Guide for Speakers and Writers, is acclaimed by both the left and right of politics.

The Swagmen chat with Bob about life in the White House, Obama's best speeches, and how you can persuade audiences using time-honoured rhetorical techniques.

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Show notes: 

- Bob's book, The Political Speechwriters Companion

- Barrack Obama's 2004 convention Speech

- FDRs address to congress on December 8th

- Barrack Obama's 2008 Victory Speech