Ted Slingerland is a professor at the University of British Columbia, where his interests and affiliations include East Asian studies, psychology, philosophy, and religious history. He is also unconscionably good looking. His latest book is "Drunk: How We Sipped, Danced, and Stumbled Our Way to Civilization." It's a fun take on the functional role alcohol and other intoxicants played in the development of human society. In this conversation we talk about Ted's experience dropping out of Princeton to move to California, discovering Chinese philosophy, choosing the humanities over the sciences, being a scholar of China who isn't especially fond of china, the civilizational functions of alcohol (an insight that grew out of Ted's work on China), the individual functions of alcohol (including how it makes you more effective at work), raising children in northern vs southern drinking cultures, and alcohol as a cultural symbol.
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