Think Again – a Big Think Podcast

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We surprise some of the world's brightest minds with ideas they're not at all prepared to discuss. With host Jason Gots and special guests Neil Gaiman, Alan Alda, Salman Rushdie, Mary-Louise Parker, Richard Dawkins, Margaret Atwood, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, Saul Williams, Henry Rollins, Bill Nye, George Takei, Maria Popova, and many more . . . You've got 10 minutes with Einstein. What do you talk about? Black holes? Time travel? Why not gambling? The Art of War? Contemporary parenting? Some of the best conversations happen when we're pushed outside of our comfort zones. So each week on Think Again, we surprise smart people you've probably heard of with hand-picked gems from Big Think's interview archives on every imaginable subject. The conversation could go anywhere. SINCE 2008, BIG THINK has captured on video the best ideas of the world’s leading thinkers and doers in every field, renowned experts including neurologist Oliver Sacks, physicist Stephen Hawking, behavioral psychologist Daniel Kahneman, authors Margaret Atwood and Marylinne Robinson, entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, painter Chuck Close, and philosopher Daniel Dennett.

Episode Date
160. Bassem Youssef (political satirist) – Now I Have to Answer for This?
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My grandmother used to tell a story about coming to America from Poland. How she sang God Bless America to cheer up all the grownups on the ship. She was 5 or 6 years old, traveling alone with her mom. For her, it must have been a big adventure. I can hardly imagine what it was like for her mom— my great grandmother — how bad things must have been for Jews in their home town of Bialystok for her to pick up and leave like that, without her husband, heading toward some distant cousin in the undiscovered country of Vineland, New Jersey.&nbsp;<br><br>My guest today left Egypt as an adult for the US, also under politically grim circumstances.&nbsp; During the Arab Spring, as his country convulsed toward revolution, he became a leading voice of dissent. A trained surgeon, he made an unlikely transition to famous tv satirist for millions of viewers on his nightly political comedy show. Bassem risked jail, helped facilitate the toppling of a dictator who’d been in power for 30 years, and after all that change decided it was time to start a new life in America.&nbsp;<br><br>And just yesterday I was complaining that I’m sick of New York City, but I don’t see how I could possibly leave . . .&nbsp;<br><br><a href="http://bassemyoussef.net/">Bassem Youssef</a> is a comedian, writer, and the smart, funny host of the podcast <a href="https://art19.com/shows/remade-in-america-with-bassem-youssef">ReMade in America</a>.<br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>:&nbsp;<br><br><a href="https://bigthink.com/videos/alvin-hall-being-black-in-the-us-vs-the-uk-theres-a-big-difference">Alvin Hall on being black in the US vs. the UK<br></a><br><a href="https://bigthink.com/videos/michio-kaku-how-the-new-economics-of-space-exploration-changes-everything">Michio Kaku on the new economics of space exploration<br></a><br><a href="https://bigthink.com/videos/alice-dreger-slactivism-the-problem-with-moral-outrage-on-the-internet">Alice Dreger on social media slacktivism<br></a><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 11, 2018
159. Change is Made by the Ones Who Stay – Paula Eiselt (documentary filmmaker)
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When I started college at New York University in 1990, nobody lived in Brooklyn. Brooklyn was the dark side of the moon. At least that’s how we NYU students thought about it. Lots of people lived in Brooklyn, of course. Just not us. It’s 2018, and Brooklyn has become an international brand, synonymous with artisanal pickles, gastropubs, and luxury condos. It’s the place even former NYU students can’t afford to live anymore. <br><br>But in a couple of Brooklyn neighborhoods, people are still dressing and living in many ways like it’s the 18th century, and adhering to laws that date back centuries, even millennia earlier. <br><br>I’m talking about Hasidic Judaism, and particularly, today, about Borough Park, Brooklyn, where this community thrives. And even more particularly about one woman—Rachel “Ruchie” Frier—who, in spite of being religiously observant as most humans would define it has nonetheless become a thorn in the side of the more conservative elements of this already deeply conservative community. The all-female volunteer ambulance corps she started was a radical move for Borough Park, and it’s the subject of <a href="https://www.93queen.com/">93Queen</a>, a new documentary by <a href="https://www.93queen.com/about1%22%20%5Cl%20%22statement">Paula Eiselt</a>.<br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>: <br><br><a href="https://bigthink.com/videos/who-are-we-41">Reza Aslan on religious faith<br></a><br><a href="https://bigthink.com/videos/michael-hobbes-3-inconvenient-truths-about-the-millennial-generation">Michael Hobbes on myths and realities of the millennial generation<br></a><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 04, 2018
158. Parker Posey (actor) – I See a Dachshund In You
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The impulse to make art is with us from childhood. It’s the desire to play.&nbsp; To say “hey! Look what I made!” It’s the wild fun of making a big mess that’s nobody else’s but your own—and not having to clean it up. Above all else, art is wild. It’s independent. It’s free. And that’s one reason why the art industry is a very weird thing. In order to make money “at scale” as the Silicon Valley kids like to say, movie studios, fancy galleries, and concert promoters have to quantify, systematize, and package that sense of freedom. If it sounds like a paradox, that’s because it is. I’m just gonna say it: the more money at stake, the less breathing space for everything that draws us to art in the first place. <br><br>I’m here today with an actor whose name is basically synonymous with creative freedom. <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parker_Posey">Parker Posey</a> has created unforgettable characters in indie films like Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, Hal Hartley’s Fay Grim, and Christopher Guest’s Best in Show, and in big studio productions like You’ve Got Mail and Netflix’s Lost in Space. Wherever she&nbsp; shows up, Parker fills the screen with an energy teetering between hilarious and deeply uncomfortable. A sense of chaos barely contained. Her new memoir – her first book – captures that same wonderfully unpredictable honesty and humor. It’s called <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Youre-Airplane-Self-Mythologizing-Parker-Posey/dp/0735218196">You’re On An Airplane: A Self-Mythologizing Memoir</a>. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>: <br><br><a href="https://bigthink.com/videos/danny-sjursen-are-lives-around-the-globe-just-as-valuable-as-american-lives">Danny Sjursen on how Americans value the lives of non-Americans<br></a><br><a href="https://bigthink.com/videos/nick-offerman-dont-sacrifice-what-you-love-just-to-achieve-your-dreams">Nick Offerman on staying balanced in an insane industry<br></a><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 28, 2018
157. The Spiders From Mars – Jason Heller (Hugo Award-winning writer)
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The other day I was at a kid’s birthday party and a fellow dad was joking that “When we were kids, it was all ‘bang-bang-bang!’ and now it’s all ‘pew-pew-pew!’”He was talking about video games and lasers as opposed to, I’m guessing, cowboys? Actually, as I remember childhood, it was all “wowm…wowm!” The sound of lightsabers. I was 5 years old when Star Wars: A New Hope came out, and like everyone who grew up back then, I had sci-fi seeping into my very pores. Alien civilizations. Cyborg killers. The dark, unfeeling menace of advanced technology…<br><br>Because there can never be too many Jasons, my guest today is the Hugo-award winning writer <a href="https://www.jasonhellerauthor.com/">Jason Heller</a>.&nbsp; He’s here to tell the eerie and fascinating tale of how sci-fi seeped into the pores of popular music in the 1970s, and how, along with psychedelic drugs and electronic instruments, it produced and was transformed by David Bowie and others into something rich and strange. Something that changed the face of music and pop culture forever. His new book is <a href="https://www.mhpbooks.com/books/strange-stars/">Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci Fi Exploded</a>.<br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>: <br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/reza-aslan-how-religious-believers-describe-god">Reza Aslan on how religious believers describe god<br></a><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/dambisa-moyo-how-to-make-american-politicians-better">Dambisa Moyo on 3 ways to make American politicians better<br></a><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 21, 2018
156. While You Live, Shine – Christopher C. King (Grammy-winning music producer)
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<em>While you live, shine. </em><br><em>Have no mourning at all. </em><br><em>Life exists a short while</em><br><em>And time demands its fee. <br></em><br><em>– From a 2000 year old tombstone in (then) Greek-speaking Asia Minor<br></em><br>I’d like to do a little free-association exercise with you. I’m going to say three words and I’d like you to speak or write down all the words that come to mind as a result. No filtering. No judgment. Ready?<br><br>American Pop Culture. Go! <br><br>&nbsp;. . . Ok. Here’s what I got: Kanye Trump Gun Meme YouTube<br><br>That’s pretty sad, I suppose. And maybe it anecdotally, non-scientifically supports a claim made by my guest today that culture and music, once mutually dependent, have become totally unmoored and lost in the age of globalism. And that the sounds we make and market today just don’t have anything like the healing power that was music’s purpose for thousands of years. <br><br><a href="http://longgonesound.com/">Christopher C. King</a> is a writer, Grammy—winning music producer, and something of an ethnomusicologist. His obsessive collecting of rare ‘78s led him to discover the music of Epirus, a region of northwestern Greece. To his ears, the playing of Kitsos Harisiadis, Alexis Zoumbas, and other Epirote masters virtually unknown outside of Epirus had an elemental power transcending even that of Delta Blues legends like Robert Johnson and Skip James. In Epirus, King&nbsp; found something he thought had been lost in the world: a musical culture with unbroken roots stretching back into prehistory. And some clues, perhaps, as to why we make music in the first place.&nbsp; <br><br>Christopher’s new book is <a href="http://books.wwnorton.com/books/Lament-from-Epirus/">Lament From Epirus: An Odyssey into Europe’s Oldest surviving Folk Music</a>. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>: <br><br><a href="https://bigthink.com/videos/re-what-is-the-biggest-problem-historians-face">David Kennedy on the biggest problem historians face<br></a><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 14, 2018
155. Lauren Groff (writer) – We Should Die of That Roar
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The places we live in shape us. I don’t care who you are how indomitable your will…your spirit is in dialogue with the place you live. For example, I live in New York City, a place I wrapped around me like a second skin when I was 18 years old. Back then New York made me feel strong, cool, infinitely removed from the suburbs I grew up in. I’ve been here for 25 years and at this point what I mostly notice is the claustrophobic public spaces, the smallness of the sky. <br><br>What do you feel when you hear the word ‘Florida’? Do the pleasure centers of your brain light up, imagining palm trees and pristine beaches? Or does your amygdala kick in as you imagine the ancillary costs of a week at Disney World? <br><br>My guest today is the writer <a href="http://laurengroff.com/">Lauren Groff</a>. In her vivid, dreamlike new book of short stories, <a href="http://laurengroff.com/book/florida/">Florida</a> is a humid, seething organism that wants to eat you. Snake-infested. Full of sinkholes. A thing to resist, get lost in, surrender to, and sometimes, temporarily escape. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>: <br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/sexual-evolution-what-duck-mating-reveals-about-relationships-social-movements-and-politics">Richard O. Prum on Duck Mating and Human Sexuality<br></a><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/against-chaos-the-world-is-a-hard-place-but-maybe-humans-arent-to-blame">Steven Pinker on Struggle<br></a><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 07, 2018
154. Jonathan Safran Foer (writer) – One Thing We Can All Agree Upon
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What is food? It’s nourishment. It’s comfort. It’s culture. It’s art. For millions of people, it’s not something you waste much time thinking about. You eat what you’ve always eaten. What everyone around you eats. What you can afford. For others, every bite is a careful, conscious choice motivated by the drive to be thin, to impress your friends, or to do the right thing. <br><br>In 2018, whatever our motivations, most of us live at a vast remove from the places and the ways our food is produced. We meet it gleaming and uniform on the shelves of our supermarkets. It’s cheap and it’s plentiful. Why look a gift horse...or cow...or pig...or chicken...in the mouth? <br><br>Here’s why: While we slept, the farms that produce our food have grown and morphed and metastasized into something worse than sinister. Something that if you look too closely at it might just put you off your dinner. With every meal we eat, we’re making ethical choices that define us and shape the future of the planet. How long and on what grounds can we justify looking the other way? I’m here today with the writer <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Safran_Foer">Jonathan Safran Foer</a>. He’s justly celebrated as a novelist, for books including EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED and HERE I AM,&nbsp; but he’s here today to discuss <a href="http://www.ifcfilms.com/films/eating-animals">EATING ANIMALS</a>. It’s a new documentary narrated by Natalie Portman and based on Jonathan’s book of the same name.<br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>: <br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/joscha-bach-is-technology-addictive-it-wont-be-for-long">Joscha Bach on why the days of addictive tech are numbered<br></a><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 30, 2018
153. Guns: The Genie and the Bottle – Priya Satia (Historian)
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When you think of the industrial revolution what comes to mind? Steam engines probably. Lone genius inventors. Factories and coal mines, perhaps. And depending on your professional interests and political leanings, either suffering laborers in sweat shops or the Great Onward March of Civilization.&nbsp;<br><br>Did anybody think of guns? According to my guest today Stanford historian <a href="https://history.stanford.edu/people/priya-satia">Priya Satia</a>, guns are inextricably bound up with industrialization and it is our long and ever-changing relationship with these&nbsp; tools, toys, trade goods, status symbols, and instruments of war that makes them such a persistent fact of life to this day. Priya Satia’s latest book is <a href="https://history.stanford.edu/publications/empire-guns-violent-making-industrial-revolution-0">EMPIRE OF GUNS: the Violent Making of the Industrial Revolution</a>. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>: <br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/max-tegmark-were-smart-enough-to-create-intelligent-machines-but-are-we-wise-enough">Max Tegmark on artificial intelligence<br></a><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/alice-dreger-a-short-history-of-knowledge-from-feudalism-to-the-internet">Alice Dreger on the history of knowledge<br></a><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 23, 2018
152. Where You Gonna Run To? Lorena Luciano and Filippo Piscopo (documentary filmmakers)
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Imagine you’re a father or a mother of three kids. Your city is in the middle of a civil war. At any time a rocket might burst through your wall. Soldiers might round your family up, or kill them in crossfire. What do you do?<br><br>You leave, of course. You do whatever you have to do to get your kids to safety. There will be many deadly risks along the way. But you know what’s the worst? The not knowing. The constant thoughts inside your head of everything that might go wrong, everything you hope will go right. The trusting looks on your kids’ faces, when, in fact, they have no idea where they’re going or why. <br><br>Since 2011, an estimated 11 million Syrians have fled their homes. They and refugees from other troubled nations like Eritrea and Somalia have been trying to migrate Westward and northward, to Turkey, then to Europe. Many have died along the way. Many thousands of others have been detained in refugee camps while nations decide what to do with them. <br><br>I’m here today with&nbsp; filmmakers Lorena Luciano and Filippo Piscopo<strong>. </strong>Their new documentary, <a href="https://chickeneggpics.org/grantee/it-will-be-chaos/">IT WILL BE CHAOS</a> airs on HBO this month. It follows Eritrean, Somali, and Syrian refugees on their harrowing journeys to new lives in Europe.<br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>: <br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/jeremy-bailenson-how-experiencing-discrimination-in-vr-can-make-you-less-biased">Jeremy Bailenson on virtual reality and empathy.<br></a><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 16, 2018
151. Jessica Abel (cartoonist, creative coach) – Practical Magic
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On an&nbsp; earlier episode of this show the Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk said something that I’ve never forgotten. He said that writing programs shouldn’t teach about plots or characters or how to structure a story. Instead, they should&nbsp; teach writers to manage their own psyches. To be the captains of their own creative ships across the rough daily waters of fluctuating emotions and energies. This kind of self-management, he suggested, is what makes the difference between people who keep producing art and those who don’t.&nbsp;<br><br>My guest today is <a href="https://jessicaabel.com/">Jessica Abel</a>. She’s an accomplished artist herself—a graphic novelist who did a kind of graphic docu-novel called <a href="https://jessicaabel.com/out-on-the-wire/">OUT ON THE WIRE</a> about how some of the greatest radio shows and podcasts are made, including Snap Judgment, Radiolab, and This American Life. In the course of figuring out how to steer her own creative ship she’s learned invaluable lessons about how to help others do the same. Her most recent book <a href="https://jessicaabel.com/growing-gills/">GROWING GILLS</a> and her <a href="http://jessicaabel.com/ja/creativefocus/">Creative Focus Workshops</a> offer creatives a personalized process for figuring out what they want to make and how to balance those goals with the rest of their busy lives.<br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>:&nbsp;<br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/bret-weinstein-how-evolution-explains-religion">Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad on storytelling as shamanism<br></a><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/digital-shamanism-nil-radiolabs-old-fashioned-newfangled-storytelling-magic">Bret Weinstein on how evolution explains religion<br></a><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 09, 2018
150. David Sedaris (humorist) – Sir David of the Spotless Roadways
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Life is full of horrible things. I dare you to deny it. Things like death, sickness, and alcoholism. And did I mention death, which lies in wait for us all? But if you talk about these things at dinner parties, or at work, or to someone you have just met in line at the grocery store, you risk being branded a negative person. In some circles, such as the state of California,&nbsp; negativity is like leprosy. It can really mess up your social life. <br><br>This does not seem to trouble my guest today, who has spent much of his life turning horrible, true stories into festive comedy. like many people, I first heard <a href="http://www.davidsedarisbooks.com/">David Sedaris</a>’ unmistakable voice on public radio in the late 90s. My sister and I took a couple of his audio books on a road trip across America in her red Saturn with a bumper sticker on the back that read “Humanity is Trying”. Having Sedaris along as company somehow made the endless miles of Stuckeys’ and strip malls, and the weeping people at Elvis‘s grave side in Graceland a little less alien and terrifying. In his latest book, <a href="http://www.davidsedarisbooks.com/">Calypso</a>, David is doing his thing better than ever. It’s about what’s on his mind these days, from decluttering the English countryside, to feeding a surgically removed lump of fat to a snapping turtle, to a sister’s suicide.<br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>: <br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/martin-amis-the-etiquette-of-good-writing-why-nabokov-is-wine-and-joyce-is-a-feral-brew">Martin Amis on the “etiquette” of good writing<br></a><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/lucy-cooke-the-extraordinary-genitalia-of-female-spotted-hyenas.">Lucy Cooke on the extraordinary genitalia of female spotted hyenas<br></a><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 02, 2018
149. Yanis Varoufakis (former finance minister of Greece) – Happiness, Inc.
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As the Wu-Tang Clan once put it: “Cash moves everything around me... Get the money. Dollar dollar bill, y’all.”<br><br>I grew up not wanting to believe this. All the stuff that seemed worth having was hard to put a price tag on. but in a global capitalist world, there’s a lot of hard, sad truth to it. As an American child of the 1980s, I absorbed the message “find yourself!” “Follow your passions!” But there are powerful economic forces at work, shaping our lives and opportunities. <br><br>My guest today experienced this in the most intense way imaginable, wrangling with the European Union over the economy of his country, Greece, in the aftermath of the 2008 financial meltdown. He saw firsthand what a house of cards global capitalism can be, and what can happen to the ones on the bottom. <a href="https://www.yanisvaroufakis.eu/">Yanis Varoufakis </a>is Greece’s former finance minister and the author of two recent books: <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Adults-Room-European-American-Establishment/dp/0374101000/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1527000784&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=Adults+in+the+room">Adults in the Room</a> and <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Talking-Daughter-About-Economy-Works/dp/0374272360/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1527000749&amp;sr=8-1-spons&amp;keywords=talking+to+my+daughter+about+the+economy+by+yanis+varoufakis&amp;psc=1">Talking to My Daughter About the Economy</a>. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>: <br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/why-be-happy-when-you-could-be-interesting">Slavoj Zizek on the problem with happiness<br></a><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/steven-pinker-why-there-are-no-libertarian-countries">Steven Pinker on why there are no libertarian countries<br></a><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 26, 2018
148. Jonathan Lethem (writer) – Batman's Greatest Enemy
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There’s a famous line from a Bob Dylan song that goes “she’s got everything she needs...she’s an artist...she don’t look back.”&nbsp;<br><br>As a person who loves art—music and literature especially—I’ve always been haunted by that line. Does an artist really not look back? Is looking back somehow a threat to creativity? What about Proust? Did he ever look anywhere but back?&nbsp;<br><br>My guest today is <a href="http://jonathanlethem.com/">Jonathan Lethem</a>, one of my very favorite writers since I read his early novel Fortress of Solitude. He’s also the author of Motherless Brooklyn, Dissident Gardens and much more. Lethem is an artist who experiments and explores, playing with forms and genres and trying on new masks, but he also spends a lot of time rummaging through the stacks, unearthing things that are lost or forgotten. His latest book is <a href="http://jonathanlethem.com/book/more-alive-and-less-lonely/">More Alive and Less Lonely</a>, a collection of essays about books and reading.&nbsp;<br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>:&nbsp;<br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/what-is-punk">Henry Rollins: what is punk?&nbsp;<br></a><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/michelle-thaller-what-is-the-next-stage-in-human-evolution-ai-and-aliens">Michelle Thaller on human cyber-evolution<br></a><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 19, 2018
147. Ronan Farrow (investigative journalist) — A Failure to Communicate
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In Hollywood movies diplomats always get a bad rap. I’m picturing Claude Rains as “Mr. Dryden” in Lawrence of Arabia looking, as Clyde Rains always does, somewhat reptilian as he hunches over a map of the Middle East with General Allenby, smirking secretively. Hollywood diplomats are slippery. Untrustworthy. More often than not, they turn out to be double agents. On screen, definitive action plays better than careful talk or compromise. This is true of America in general and of our politics in particular—we’re just not comfortable with ambiguity. Leave that to the French. Americans are about gettin’ things done. <br><br>But the geopolitical world is complex, and allegedly getting more so every day. Meanwhile, over the last several presidencies, America has quietly been shifting its foreign policy approach from diplomacy to military muscle. With the current president, the gutting of the State Department in favor of the Pentagon is starting to look like Friday the 13th part whatever. My guest today is investigative journalist and former State Department official Ronan Farrow. He won the Pulitzer Prize for his his work in the New Yorker on the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse scandal. His new book is <a href="https://www.amazon.com/War-Peace-Diplomacy-American-Influence/dp/0393652106/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&amp;qid=&amp;sr=">War on Peace, The End of Diplomacy and The Decline of American Influence</a> — and the title is pretty much self-explanatory. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>: <br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/heather-heying-why-unintelligent-protest-may-kill-democracy">Heather Heying on protest movements<br></a><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/barry-posen-what-does-america-do-with-its-70-billion-intelligence-budget">Barry Posen on America's intelligence budget<br><br></a><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 12, 2018
146. Think Again LIVE with Kristen Radtke (graphic novelist) – The Fascination of What's Difficult
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This episode is really something different. It’s a live show we did on April 21st in Green Bay Wisconsin, as part of Untitled Town Book and Author Festival, now in its second year. I’d never been to Green Bay before. Nice town! You may know about the cheese and the football, but did you know that the Red Hot Chili Peppers once fled from the police due to an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction at a concert and spent the night hanging out at a local fan’s house? I learned this and much, much more from the wonderful people I met there. <br><br>What’s great about live shows is that anything can happen, and so to preserve that feeling in all its glory, we’re not editing this one too much. So grab your popcorn, sit back, and imagine yourself in sunny, snow-covered (yes, snow in late April) Green Bay, WI. Our guest is graphic novelist and Believer Magazine Art Director <a href="http://kristenradtke.com/">Kristen Radtke</a>, author of <a href="http://kristenradtke.com/">IMAGINE WANTING ONLY THIS</a>. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>: <br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/gene-luen-yang-how-reading-books-grows-our-empathy">Gene Luen Yang on art and empathy<br></a><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/chris-hadfield-chris-hadfield-the-astronauts-guide-to-flat-earth-theory">Chris Hadfield on information and authority<br></a><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 05, 2018
145. Michael Gazzaniga (neuroscientist) – The Impossible Problem
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<em>Je pense donc je suis. </em>(I think, therefore I am.)<br><br>Huh? <br><br>Who is this <em>I</em>?<br><br>How do <em>I</em> know that <em>it</em> is thinking?<br><br>What does it even mean to say that I <em>am</em>—that I exist, if it's this mysterious,&nbsp; untrustworthy <em>I</em>that says&nbsp; so? <br><br>To be fair, René Descartes didn't invent these problems. but In the centuries after his death, his thought experiments sent philosophers, psychologists and later on, neuroscientists reeling and spiraling down a seemingly bottomless chasm In search of Consciousness. What is it? Where is it? How did it get there? Surely that icky grey-green stuff can't fully account for the sublime perfection of Beethoven's Ninth! <br><br>If you've ever heard that there are differences between the left and the right brain, you can blame my guest today, <a href="https://people.psych.ucsb.edu/gazzaniga/michael/">Michael Gazzaniga</a>, who did many of the pioneering studies in this area. Now he's after even bigger game. <br><br>In his new book <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Consciousness-Instinct-Unraveling-Mystery-Brain/dp/0374715505/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1524668529&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=Gazzaniga&amp;dpID=41rc9wcjPYL&amp;preST=_SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&amp;dpSrc=srch">The Consciousness Instinct</a> he lays a conceptual framework for closing the gap between the meat of the brain and the magic of Consciousness, and maybe saving us a lot of future headaches.&nbsp; <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>: <br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/leonard-mlodinow-why-your-brain-resists-original-thinking-and-how-to-break-through">Leonard Mlodinow on your brain and original thinking<br></a><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/johann-hari-inequality-is-a-driver-of-depression-and-anxiety">Johann Hari on inequality and depression/anxiety<br></a><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 28, 2018
144. Antonio Damasio (neuroscientist & philosopher) – Where is My Mind?
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Why can’t we all just get along?&nbsp;<br><br>And conversely, why do we sometimes get along so well, building cathedrals, inventing Democracy, symphonies, and stuff that that?&nbsp;<br><br>According to my guest today, the answer is as old as life itself. In the behaviors of the most ancient forms of bacteria, single-celled organisms without a nucleus, we can see the seeds of civilization as we know it, for better and for worse. They form collectives. They go to war. The key is homeostasis—the imperative of all life to avoid harm and seek to flourish.<br><br>I’m delighted to be speaking today with neuroscientist and philosopher <a href="https://dornsife.usc.edu/cf/faculty-and-staff/faculty.cfm?pid=1008328">Antonio Damasio</a>. He heads the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California and is the author of DESCARTES’ ERROR and the new book <a href="https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/231780/the-strange-order-of-things-by-antonio-damasio/9780307908759/">THE STRANGE ORDER OF THINGS: Life, Feeling, and the Making of Cultures</a>.<br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>:&nbsp;<br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/max-tegmark-why-consciousness-is-the-most-divisive-issue-in-science-today">Max Tegmark on consciousness</a>&nbsp;<br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/maia-szalavitz-understanding-addiction-why-your-brain-gets-hooked-on-gambling">Maya Szalavitz on addiction<br></a><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 21, 2018
143. The Way Brothers (documentary filmmakers) – City On a Hill
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In New York City, where we all live in little boxes on top of one another, “Ignore thy neighbor” is a reasonable coping strategy. Live and let live, right? To each her own. <br><br>But what’s the tipping point at which thy neighbor becomes simply too numerous, too loud, too different to ignore? I’d submit that whoever you are. Wherever you locate yourself on that spectrum of tolerance. You too, have your limits. <br><br>In the mid 1980s, a group of people in Oregon discovered their tipping point when a massive commune moved in next door. <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rajneesh">The Baghwan Shree Rajneesh</a> and thousands of his followers decided to build a city in the middle of nowhere—a utopia on Earth. Only it was the middle of somewhere for the mostly white, mostly Christian residents of a tiny nearby town. It was home, and like most humans, they weren’t too excited about the idea of radical, unexpected change in their own backyard. <br><br>I, on the other hand, am very excited to be here today with the Way Brothers — Chaplain and MacLain… They’re the directors of the fabulous Netflix documentary <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBLS_OM6Puk"><em>Wild, Wild, Country</em></a>, which tells the very American story of this clash of cultures. There’s god, guns, sex, and mutually exclusive concepts of liberty. Like I said - it’s about as American as it gets. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>: <br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/amy-chua-how-hardened-tribalism-leads-to-civil-wars">Amy Chua on tribalism</a> <br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/ariel-levy-why-doesnt-anyone-talk-about-miscarriage">Ariel Levy on women’s bodies and American culture<br></a><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 14, 2018
142. Meg Wolitzer (writer) – Messages From Another Planet
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Ambition and loyalty. What we want versus what we already have and should be grateful for. When there’s conflict here, in some ways it's a tension between loyalty to others and loyalty to ourselves…or maybe loyalty to who we are now versus another possible future self. Have I overcomplicated my life out of impatience and ingratitude? Have I broken something precious beyond repair? Or on the other hand, am I missing out on the life I’m supposed to have? Sometimes I think a lot of the trouble comes from the misunderstanding that these have to be opposing forces at all. <br><br>These kinds of questions and choices are at the heart of <a href="http://www.megwolitzer.com/">Meg Wolitzer</a>’s novels, of which there are many. She’s the author of THE INTERESTINGS and her latest, <a href="http://www.megwolitzer.com/books/the-female-persuasion-hc">THE FEMALE PERSUASION</a>. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>: <br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/tali-sharot-facts-dont-win-fights-heres-how-to-cut-through-confirmation-bias">Tali Sharot on confirmation bias and why facts don’t win fights</a>, <br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/michelle-thaller-how-success-and-failure-co-exist-in-every-single-one-of-us">Michelle Thaler on how success and failure coexist in everyone<br></a><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 07, 2018
141. Tara Westover (writer, historian) – Nothing Final Can Be Known
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What does your education mean to you? What would you be willing to sacrifice for it? <br><br>For me and my sister, growing up, it was a given that you’d get “well-educated.” You’d get good grades, go to a good college, and most likely graduate, medical, law, or business school.&nbsp; School was just what you did…ritualized and rote the way religion is in other families. <br><br>For my guest today, <a href="https://tarawestover.com/">Tara Westover</a>, the framework was completely different. In her mountain home in Idaho, school was seen as a threat. It was a government tool for brainwashing people out of faith in God’s teachings and into worldly decadence. She went on to become very well-educated by anybody’s standards–—studying history at Cambridge University in England and at Harvard. But it came at very high price. Her first book, <a href="https://tarawestover.com/book/">EDUCATED</a>, is a powerful and beautifully written memoir about family, loyalty to oneself, and the difficult, even impossible choices we sometimes have to make. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>: <br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/chris-hadfield-how-space-travel-expands-your-mind">Chris Hadfield on an astronaut’s global perspective<br></a><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 31, 2018
140. Martin Amis (writer) – The Spooky Art
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<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 24, 2018
139. Neil Gaiman (writer) – And Then it Gets Darker
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Adult life, with all its schedules and responsibilities, can turn into a kind of library of locked boxes. The ones we open every day sit on a shelf at eye level, their keys clipped to a carabiner at our waist: Set the alarm. Pack a gym bag. Pick up milk for the kids. <br><br>But on the lower shelves and in the dusty back rooms there’s an ominous jumble of odd-shaped containers. They hold the stories that don’t fit so neatly into the skin we’ve decided to live in. Maybe we’ve misplaced the keys, or maybe we’ve deliberately lost them. <br><br>My guest today keeps all the keys close at hand. In his stories and graphic novels worlds collide and, as the fairy Ariel puts it in Shakespeare’s Tempest, they “suffer a sea change, into something rich and strange”. The walls of reality are permeable, and dangerous magic is always seeping through. <br><br><a href="http://www.neilgaiman.com/">Neil Gaiman</a> is the author of the Sandman graphic novels, The Graveyard Book, Coraline, American Gods, and many other wonderful things. His latest is a marvelous retelling of <a href="http://www.neilgaiman.com/works/Books/Norse+Mythology/">Norse Mythology</a>, with most of the nasty bits left in. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>: <br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/barbara-oakley-why-slow-learners-are-usually-deep-thinkers">Barbara Oakley on learning speeds and styles<br></a><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 17, 2018
138. Steven Pinker (Cognitive Scientist) – The Defeat of Defeatism
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I admit it. I confess. I’ve got a touch of what my guest today calls “progressophobia”. Ever since Charles Dickens got hold of me back in middle school, and William Blake after that, I’ve been a little suspicious of the Great Onward March of science and technology. Gene therapy, healthier crops, safer, more efficient forms of nuclear energy? Very nice, very nice. But what about eugenics, climate change, and Fukushima?&nbsp; For every problem human ingenuity solves, doesn’t human nature create a new one, on a bigger scale? Dammit, Spock, can your cold, calculating reason fathom the mysteries of the human heart? <br><br>But you know what? After devouring all 453 pages and 75 graphs of psychologist <a href="https://stevenpinker.com/">Steven Pinker</a>’s new book <a href="https://stevenpinker.com/publications/enlightenment-now-case-reason-science-humanism-and-progress">ENLIGHTENMENT NOW</a>, I admit defeat. The defeat of defeatism. This man has done the math. Since the 18th century things have been getting better in pretty much every dimension of human well-being. Health, safety, education, happiness, you name it… And we’ve done it with the most reliable tools we have: reason, science, and Enlightenment humanism. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>: <br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/vivek-wadhwa-what-will-your-life-be-like-in-2027-big-thinks-long-take">Vivek Wadhwa on "your life in 2027"</a> (note: we watched from 25:42 to 27:40)&nbsp;<br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 10, 2018
137. Amy Chua (author, attorney) – U.S. & Them
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I don’t know about you, but for me, middle school was horrible. I arrived at an all-male school in a still very homophobic era as a small, nervous, Michael Jackson fanatic. Don’t worry - I’m going somewhere with this. For three years, life was hell. Then I found my tribe—the drama nerds. Maybe we couldn’t beat you up, but you had to respect the artistry. In high school, Tribalism was power. <br><br>My guest today is Yale Law professor <a href="https://www.amychua.com/">Amy Chua</a>, who shook the Internet up a few years back with her book BATTLE HYMN OF THE TIGER MOTHER. What upset some progressive American parents most, it seems, was the suggestion that they were members of a parenting tribe. A cultural bubble with its own fallible set of assumptions.&nbsp; <br><br>In her powerful new book <a href="https://www.amychua.com/political-tribes">POLITICAL TRIBES: GROUP INSTINCT AND THE FATE OF NATIONS</a>, Amy points out that long past high school, group instinct is much stronger than Americans generally like to admit. And that this cognitive blind spot has led to our repeatedly shooting ourselves in the foot, at home and abroad.&nbsp; <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>: <br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/michael-norton-understanding-the-complex-relationship-between-money-and-happiness">Michael Norton on the link between money and happiness</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/derek-thompson-are-you-cool-or-are-you-crazy-how-sociologists-define-healthy-rebellion">Derek Thompson on “coolness”<br></a><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 03, 2018
136. Michio Kaku (physicist) – Timid Monkeys on Mars
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Back in the old days, if your species was faced with an existential threat, you were stuck hoping for some advantageous mutation. Maybe an extra fin or a slightly more sophisticated eyeball. Outwitting fate was pretty much out of the question.&nbsp;<br><br>And as much as we might prefer to just go binge-watch something and forget about it, there are several plausible scenarios whereby humanity could face extinction in the too-close-for-comfort future.&nbsp;<br><br>Happily, thanks to our very large brains and thinkers like my guest today, theoretical physicist <a href="http://mkaku.org/">Dr. Michio Kaku</a>, we have options. Dr. Kaku’s latest book is <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Future-Humanity-Terraforming-Interstellar-Immortality/dp/0385542763/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1519231685&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=The+future+of+humanity">The Future of Humanity: Terraforming Mars, Interstellar Travel, Immortality, and Our Destiny Beyond Earth.&nbsp;<br></a><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>:&nbsp;<br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/bret-weinstein-the-social-brain-culture-change-and-evolution-big-thinks-long-take">Brett Weinstein on the Social Brain</a> (we watched only a portion of the clip), <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/daniel-bergner-on-misconceptions-of-female-desire">Daniel Bergner on Female Desire&nbsp;<br></a><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 24, 2018
135. Niall Ferguson (historian) – The Ghost of Future Past
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Every time he sees a triangle these days, my 10-year-old son points and says “Gasp! the illuminati!” This is a meme he and all his friends absorbed from YouTube.&nbsp; &nbsp;<br><br>It’s interesting that several centuries after the Illuminati first appeared, as basically a idealistic secret boys’ club, followed by the Freemasons, these kinds of shadowy organizations still exert so much power on our imaginations. That’s because power doesn’t always come in the shape of Queens, Presidents, CEOs or Members of Parliament. Often it exists in the more or less invisible relationships between people. <br><br>My guest today is renowned historian <a href="http://www.niallferguson.com/">Niall Ferguson</a>. His new book <a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073NPCBL5">The Square and the Tower: Networks and Hierarchies, from the Freemasons to Facebook</a> looks at the two ancient power structures that continue to move the world today. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>: <br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/admin/text_ideas/bigthink.com/videos/derek-thompson-decoding-popularity-why-successful-people-dont-try-appealing-to-everyones-tastes">Derek Thompson on why successful people don’t try appealing to everyone’s tastes<br></a><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 17, 2018
134. Jacob Sager Weinstein (children's author) – Imaginary Histories, Possible Futures
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Once upon a time, there was a rabbit. No...Not a rabbit. Lewis Carroll already did that… How about an Amazonian river dolphin. Ok. once upon a time there was an Amazonian river dolphin who wondered about his cousins in the wide, open ocean, free from mud and muck and strangling roots. <br><br>Hey - It’s not much, but it’s a start. Think back to any story you really loved as a child. Chances are, it starts with a tiny thread like this one. After that, it's up to the courage, imagination, and perseverance of the storyteller to write it, rewrite it, and get it out into the world, with all the perspiration that entails. <br><br>My guest today, <a href="https://www.jacobsagerweinstein.com/">Jacob Sager Weinstein</a>, has pulled this trick off brilliantly. He's the author of a smart, funny, utterly charming adventure trilogy for kids, the first book of which is called <a href="https://www.jacobsagerweinstein.com/books/hyacinth/">HYACINTH AND THE SECRETS BENEATH</a>. It weaves together a semi-mythical history of London with details like a giant boar who communicates by handing out elegantly printed cards appropriate to any occasion, including if the Queen of England happens to spill peanut butter on your pet electric eel.<br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/andre-c-willis-deep-hope-how-capitalism-hijacked-our-emotions-to-sell-stuff">Andre C. Willis on the real meaning of hope</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/michelle-thaller-what-is-the-next-stage-in-human-evolution-ai-and-aliens">Michelle Thaler on the next stage in human evolution</a><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 10, 2018
133. Jeremy Bailenson (VR expert) – Through the Looking Glass
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How do you know that you’re really where you are right now? I mean, where are you getting this sense of place from? A bunch of data from at least some of your five senses enters your brain where it’s cross-referenced with categories from memory. You’re making a probabilistic calculation: This sure looks, feels, and smells like my office. <br><br><a href="https://explorecourses.stanford.edu/instructor/bailenso">Jeremy Bailenson</a>, my guest today, has been experimenting with cutting edge virtual reality for over a decade now. His Virtual Human Interaction Lab studies the ways VR’s unique sense of presence—of putting you into a different place (and maybe time) from the one you’re in can be used for education, healing, and—yes—generally making the world a better place. His new book is called: <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Experience-Demand-Virtual-Reality-Works/dp/0393253694/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1517525676&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=jeremy+bailenson">EXPERIENCE ON DEMAND: What Virtual Reality Is, How It Works, and What It Can Do</a>. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>: <br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/michael-schrage-on-apple-and-fbi-iphone-dispute">Michael Schrage on Apple, the FBI, and data privacy</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/beau-lotto-how-diversity-melts-away-our-biases-and-technology-is-the-great-equalizer">Beau Lotto on technology and empathy<br></a><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 03, 2018
132. Karl Ove Knausgaard (writer) – The Way I Should Be in the World
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Wherever you are right now, take a look around you. Let your eyes rest on the first thing that catches your attention. For me, while writing this, it’s a bowl in Big Think’s offices. Highly polished, assembled, it seems, from curved, stained strips of wood. If I kept going, I might get to a particular wooden coffee table of my childhood. Its reassuring warmth and sturdiness. How I turned it into a fort and camped out under there, watching Saturday Night Live. All the abuse it took over the years from me and my sister, without complaint. And how unaware and ungrateful we were for its patient suffering. <br><br>My guest today, Norwegian author <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Ove_Knausg%C3%A5rd">Karl Ove Knausgaard</a>, has taken this kind of unflinching observation, association, and&nbsp; insight to a level few of us can imagine doing, writing a six-volume series about his life and world called MY STRUGGLE. He followed this 2500 page, addictively readable masterpiece with a seasonal series of vignettes. The newest book, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Winter-Karl-Ove-Knausgaard/dp/0399563334/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1516732483&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=winter+knausgaard">WINTER</a>, has short meditations on everything from toothbrushes to Owls to alcoholism, and it’s one of the wisest, saddest, and most beautiful things I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>: <br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/the-beholders-response">Eric Kandel on “The Beholder’s Response”</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/steven-kotler-on-mind-uploading-and-immortality">Steven Kotler on Mind Uploading<br></a><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 27, 2018
131. Daniel Alarcón (writer) – There's No Such Thing as Glamor, Really
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A listener commented the other day on Twitter that on two completely different recent episodes of this show – one about technology and the other one about jellyfish, the same idea came up: that stories play a powerful role in shaping our real lives. This idea comes up so often, in so many different forms and contexts, that I’ve begun to think of it as maybe the crucial truth for understanding why people do the things we do. The stories we wrap around ourselves, our neighbors. our children. The invisible stories we struggle against. <br><br>Nobody I know of understands this better, nor writes more cleanly and poetically about these struggles than my guest today <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Alarc%C3%B3n">Daniel Alarcón</a>. He’s the co-founder of <a href="http://radioambulante.org/en/">Radio Ambulante</a>, a Spanish-language podcast now on NPR, and he’s the celebrated author of novels and short stories including his newly published collection <a href="https://www.amazon.com/King-Always-Above-People-Stories/dp/1594631727/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1516129545&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=the+king+is+always+above+the+people+by+daniel+alarc%C3%B3n">The King is Always Above the People</a>. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>: <br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/a-history-of-violence-2">André Dubus III on violence</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/ariel-levy-the-best-way-to-survive-grief-lean-into-the-pain">Ariel Levy on surviving grief<br></a><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 20, 2018
130. Mark Epstein, MD (Buddhist psychiatrist) – I, Me, Mine
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<em>All through the day… I, me mine, I me mine, I me mine…</em> <br><br>That George Harrison song on the Beatles’ last album pretty much sums it up. They recorded it in 1970, and 47 years later, our egos seem to be running just as rampant as ever. While the unchecked ego might be popular at parties, it can get us into all kinds of trouble. This is not breaking news. Over 2000 years ago an Indian prince sat under a tree and thought about the problem of self. His insights and solutions became what we now call Buddhism. And a century ago in Vienna, Sigmund Freud came at the same issue from a somewhat different angle, giving us psychotherapy. <br><br>Our guest today, Mark Epstein, MD, is a psychotherapist and author who combines both approaches to help his patients and readers live with their demanding egos. His new book is <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Advice-Not-Given-Getting-Yourself/dp/0399564322/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1515777037&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=Advice+not+given">Advice Not Given: A Guide to Getting Over Yourself</a>. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>: <br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/drew-ramsey-on-diet-and-depression">Drew Ramsey on diet and depression</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/manoush-zomorodi-be-bored-how-to-tap-into-your-most-brilliant-thinking">Manoush Zomorodi on the wandering mind<br></a><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 13, 2018
129. Fatih Akin (film director) – This Blood-Drenched Earth
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All of us—you, me, everybody—we’re living our lives subject to often invisible forces beyond our control. Culture, politics, economics, history, even the weather. They all have the power to shape our lives or tear them suddenly to pieces. <br><br>My guest today, <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0015359/">Fatih Akin</a>, has first-hand experience of strong cultural cross-winds. Ethnically Turkish and raised in Germany, he has made many films dealing with sudden dislocation and how people respond to it. <br><br>Akin won Best Screenplay at Cannes for THE EDGE OF HEAVEN, and he’s also justly celebrated for the intense drama HEAD-ON and for CROSSING THE BRIDGE – a documentary about the Istanbul music scene. His latest, <a href="https://www.bombero-int.com/">IN THE FADE</a> will be released in the US on December 27th, 2017. it was nominated for a Palme D’Or and its star, Diane Kruger, won Best Actress at Cannes for her gripping performance in it. &nbsp;<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 16, 2017
128. Noël Wells (actor/director) – Out of Context
3626
100,000 or so years of human history and young adulthood is still getting weirder.&nbsp; <br><br><a href="http://jasongots.com">Jason Gots</a>: My guest today is actor and filmmaker <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No%C3%ABl_Wells">Noël Wells</a>. She’s been a cast member of Saturday Night Live. She played Rachel on the Netflix series Master of None. And she’s making her directorial debut with <a href="https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/mr_roosevelt/">Mr. Roosevelt</a>, a sweet, moving indie comedy that’s ostensibly about a dead cat, but that’s really about that very awkward and for some of us very protracted moment of coming to terms with life as a grown up. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>: <br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/reza-aslan-what-is-religion-for-morality-power-evolution">Reza Aslan on what religion is for</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/david-eagleman-understanding-creativity-why-brain-hacks-dont-help">David Eagleman on creativity<br></a><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 09, 2017
127. Manoush Zomorodi (journalist) – The Upside of Downtime
3683
When was the last time you were bored? I mean really, well and truly, staring at the patterns in the wallpaper bored?&nbsp;<br><br>Statistics suggest that you’re probably listening to this show on a smartphone. Which means you own a smartphone. Which means it’s probably always close at hand, full of apps and podcasts to distract you the instant that uncomfortable feeling of boredom creeps in. Which means your brain almost never gets the chance to sit with that restlessness and come up with creative alternatives, from daydreaming to doing something brilliant (or at least less boring) in real life. If that’s not you, awesome. But it’s a lot of us these days.&nbsp;<br><br>My guest today, <a href="https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;ved=0ahUKEwiq4aKyrenXAhXCQd8KHagnBGQQFggnMAA&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.manoushz.com%2F&amp;usg=AOvVaw3-fwXHc1W5sX_bK2ExgZin">Manoush Zomorodi</a>, is the host of <a href="http://www.wnyc.org/shows/notetoself">Note to Self</a> - a popular radio show and podcast on how we live with technology. An experiment she did on the show with the eager help of 20,000 fans became the subject of her new book <a href="http://www.manoushz.com/book/">Bored and Brilliant</a>: how spacing out can unlock your most productive and creative self.<br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>:&nbsp;<br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/tim-ferriss-how-to-cook-like-a-pro-in-4-hours">Tim Ferriss on mastering any skill quickly and efficiently, starting with cooking</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/bryan-cranston-career-advice-to-generations-young-and-old-learn-to-work-together">Bryan Cranston on working together across generations</a>&nbsp;<br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 02, 2017
126. Maya Jasanoff (Historian) – Civilization and Its Discontents
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<a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>: I want to read you a quote: “For reasons which can certainly use close psychological inquiry the West seems to suffer deep anxieties about the precariousness of its civilization and to have a need for constant reassurance by comparison with Africa.” <br><br>That’s Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe writing about Joseph Conrad and his famous book Heart of Darkness. We’ll come back to that. Born in Poland in 1857, Conrad, like us, lived at a time of rapid globalization, of technological disruption, and of all the wonders and horrors that unleashes. My guest today, Harvard historian <a href="https://history.fas.harvard.edu/people/maya-jasanoff">Maya Jasanoff</a>, has written all about it in her beautifully written, fascinating new book <a href="https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/315029/the-dawn-watch-by-maya-jasanoff/9781594205811/">The Dawn Watch</a>. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>: <br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/molly-crockett-outraged-all-the-time-how-social-media-addicts-us-to-anger">Molly Crockett on social media outrage</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/robert-steven-kaplan-want-to-retain-american-jobs-stop-blaming-globalization">Robert Steven Kaplan on globalization<br></a><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 25, 2017
125. Reza Aslan (author) – Deus Ex Hominem
3309
<a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>: As far back as we’re able to peer into human history, way past the written or pictoral record, into the gravesites of our most ancient ancestors, there’s evidence of what you might call spiritual or religious belief. From the idea of a separate soul to animal spirits, to the anthropomorphization of trees and natural elements, pantheons of superhuman gods, and ultimately the inscrutable, sometimes indivisible gods of Monotheism, we’re Homo Credulous…creatures hardwired to believe in a reality that transcends the evidence of our senses.&nbsp; <br><br>In his new book <a href="https://www.amazon.com/God-Human-History-Reza-Aslan/dp/055339472X">God, a Human History</a>, my guest <a href="http://rezaaslan.com/">Reza Aslan</a> looks at this history of belief, asking not so much why but how we’ve made and remade God in our own image since our very beginnings. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>: <br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/max-tegmark-what-it-will-take-for-ai-to-surpass-human-intelligence">Max Tegmark on AI and Human Intelligence<br></a><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 18, 2017
124. Juli Berwald (writer) – Our Jellyfish Overlords
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<a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>: What happens&nbsp; in your brain when I say the word “Jellyfish”? <br><br>If you’re not a marine biologist, and if going to the beach almost anywhere in the world is a part of your life, the word probably makes you wince. Maybe you remember getting stung. Maybe you remember someone putting meat tenderizer on it (is it good for anything else?) <br><br>But as my guest today, <a href="http://www.juliberwald.com/">Juli Berwald</a>, knows, Jellyfish are neither a fish, nor the cartoon villains we make them out to be. They’re a fascinating, complex, diverse lifeform whose tentacles are tangled up in all of our lives in ways we’re only dimly aware of. <br><br>Juli Berwald is a science writer with a PHD in Ocean Science. Her new book is <a href="http://www.juliberwald.com/spineless/">Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone</a>. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>: <br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/joscha-bach-do-humans-have-free-will-or-are-we-programmed-by-society">Joscha Bach on free will</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/richard-dawkins-is-animal-cruelty-the-new-slavery">Richard Dawkins on animal cruelty</a>&nbsp;<br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 11, 2017
123. (Henry) Rollins, Redux: Monogamy+Genius+Violence
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<a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>: Let’s cast our minds back to June 2015, before Donald Trump as president seemed even a remote possibility. We had just launched Think Again, and for our second episode (and not much more than my second interview) ever I was talking with the musician and spoken word artist <a href="https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;ved=0ahUKEwjb8sqinKPXAhXQ26QKHVLcBakQFggmMAA&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fhenryrollins.com%2F&amp;usg=AOvVaw2AdOQB598oHHT0D0OZ-j2y">Henry Rollins</a>, who I’d admired since high school. This was over the phone, New York to LA, on a Friday or Saturday night, and it was EPIC. Henry is a man of many thoughts and words, and noob interviewer that I was I could barely get a word in edgewise, which was just fine. He had plenty to say. <br><br>So lengthy was this episode in fact that we originally split it into two. Today, for your listening pleasure, with our old theme song intact, along with our old way of having the producers introduce the surprise clips they picked for us to discuss, I give you Henry Rollins Redux – two classic episodes of Think Again, reunited at last. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>: <br><br><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8SOQEitsJI">Dan Savage on monogamy</a>, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ym6whrAw8wU">James Gleick on genius</a>, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gX4y9c_DaBU">Paul Ekman on police violence <br></a><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 04, 2017
122. David Eagleman (neuroscientist) – Your Creative Brain
2808
<a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>: It’s 150,000 years ago. You’re a Homo sapiens, hanging out in a really cozy clearing protected from behind by a cliff wall. It’s a great spot. Temperate, isolated, pretty safe. Lots of good fruits and tubers nearby. Should you just hang out here forever? Well…you could…but something’s nagging at that medial frontal cortex of yours. There’s a hill in the distance. What’s beyond it? Something different, maybe! Something new and shiny! Maybe today you’ll just take a quick look.&nbsp;<br><br>My guest today is neuroscientist <a href="https://www.eagleman.com/">David Eagleman</a>. In <a href="https://www.eagleman.com/runawayspecies">The Runaway Species, How Human Creativity Remakes the World</a>, David and his co-author Anthony Brandt explore that ancient tension between mastery and curiosity - the known and the unknown. And how the human imagination exploits it to make new things.&nbsp;<br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>:&nbsp;<br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/isaac-lidsky-how-going-blind-showed-one-man-the-light">Isaac Lidsky on how going blind showed one man the light</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/michael-slaby-why-hourly-wages-dont-make-sense-but-a-30-hour-workweek-does">Michael Slaby on a 30-hour work week</a>.&nbsp;<br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 28, 2017
121. Van Jones (social entrepreneur) – Blind Spots & Sore Spots
2869
<a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>: I want to tell you a story. It’s November 5, 2016, a few days before Election Day. I’m staring at Facebook, promising myself I’m going to delete the app once and for all from my phone, today. Enough of the political echo chamber. Enough of the ranting. Then I’m sucked into a video, because that’s what happens. <br><br>It’s CNN’s <a href="http://www.vanjones.net/">Van Jones</a> sitting in the living room of a family in Pennsylvania. Unlike me and most every other liberal coastal elite I know, he’s talking to people who support Donald Trump for President. Listening. Trying to understand. And pulling no punches in expressing his own anger and anxiety over where our country might be headed. <br><br>In the year leading up to this moment, I had seen nothing like it. And it gave me hope. <br><br>I’m so happy to welcome CNN Contributor and former Obama Administration adviser Van Jones to Think Again. His new book is <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Messy-Truth-Apart-Together/dp/0399180028/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1508525350&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=beyond+the+messy+truth">Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart, How We Come Together</a>. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>: <br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/cass-sunstein-libertarian-paternalism-eat-well-retire-rich-and-feel-the-freedom">Cass Sunstein on libertarian paternalism<br></a><br>-- <br><br><strong>About Think Again - A Big Think Podcast: </strong>Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br>You've got 10 minutes with Einstein. What do you talk about? Black holes? Time travel? Why not gambling? The Art of War? Contemporary parenting? Some of the best conversations happen when we're pushed outside of our comfort zones. Each week on Think Again, we surprise smart people you may have heard of with short clips from Big Think's interview archives on every imaginable subject. These conversations could, and do, go anywhere.<br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 21, 2017
120. Nancy Koehn (Historian) – Holdin' on for a Hero
2973
What do Rachel Carson, Frederick Douglass, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ernest Shackleton, and Abraham Lincoln have in common, aside from being historical figures you’ve probably heard of? That’s the question my guest today tries to answer in her new book <a href="http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Forged-in-Crisis/Nancy-Koehn/9781501174445">Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times.</a> At a time when trustworthy leadership seems in short supply, it examines what real leadership is and how it comes about. <br><br><a href="http://nancykoehn.com/blog/about/">Nancy Koehn</a> is a historian at the Harvard Business School whose research focuses on how leaders, past and present, craft lives of purpose, worth, and impact.<br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>: <br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/liv-boeree-4-professional-poker-lessons-to-help-you-think-clearly-and-live-wisely">Liv Boeree on lessons learned from professional poker for clear thinking <br></a><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 14, 2017
119. Aaron Mahnke (of 'Lore') – The Hunger for Mystery
3065
For thousands of years, all over the world, tales of monsters and the undead have populated the "whitespace" beyond the borders of our understanding. As the enormous popularity of the podcast 'Lore" demonstrates, we're still hungry for those stories today.<br><br>Why?&nbsp;<br>Today's guest <a href="http://www.lorepodcast.com/about">Aaron Mahnke</a> and host <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a> talk about the hunger for mystery, a human need almost as powerful as our thirst for knowledge. We also get into the meaning of work in people's lives, and how Aaron started the podcast as a "last ditch effort" at turning his passions into a sustainable career.&nbsp;<br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>:&nbsp;<br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/andrew-taggart-can-universal-basic-income-end-our-cultural-obsession-with-work">Andrew Taggart on the cultural obsession with work</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/stephen-greenblatt-why-adam-and-eve-is-a-powerful-story-full-of-holes">Stephen Greenblatt on the power of the Adam and Eve story<br><br></a><strong>About Think Again - A Big Think Podcast: </strong>Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br>You've got 10 minutes with Einstein. What do you talk about? Black holes? Time travel? Why not gambling? The Art of War? Contemporary parenting? Some of the best conversations happen when we're pushed outside of our comfort zones. Each week on Think Again, we surprise smart people you may have heard of with short clips from Big Think's interview archives on every imaginable subject. These conversations could, and do, go anywhere.<br><br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/stephen-greenblatt-why-adam-and-eve-is-a-powerful-story-full-of-holes"><br></a><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 07, 2017
118. Stephen Greenblatt (humanities scholar) – Irresistible Fictions
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An ancient, one-and-a-half-page-story that just won't let us go. Humanities scholar <a href="http://stephengreenblatt.com/">Stephen Greenblatt</a> and host <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a> discuss how Adam and Eve have shaped and been shaped by Western art, culture, and science, in this, <a href="http://bigthink.com/">Big Think</a>'s latest brain-fertilizing podcast. <br><br><a href="http://stephengreenblatt.com/">Greenblatt</a> is the Cogan University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University, General Editor of The Norton Anthology of English Literature and the author of thirteen books, including the Pulitzer prize-winning The Swerve: How the World Became Modern. His latest, <a href="http://books.wwnorton.com/books/detail.aspx?ID=4294994105">The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve</a>, traces the cultural history of that most primal of stories about a man, a woman, God, and a snake. It’s a couple thousand years old and only about two pages long, but it’s still exerting a powerful cultural influence today.<br><br><strong>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode</strong>: <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/salman-rushdie-hate-violent-ideologies-love-the-people-who-hold-them-thats-being-an-intellectual">Salman Rushdie on recent white supremacist clashes in America</a> and <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/virginia-heffernan-on-embracing-technology-and-best-practices">Virginia Heffernan: The Internet is not a neurotoxin<br></a><br>-- <br><br><strong>About Think Again - A Big Think Podcast: </strong>Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br>You've got 10 minutes with Einstein. What do you talk about? Black holes? Time travel? Why not gambling? The Art of War? Contemporary parenting? Some of the best conversations happen when we're pushed outside of our comfort zones. Each week on Think Again, we surprise smart people you may have heard of with short clips from Big Think's interview archives on every imaginable subject. These conversations could, and do, go anywhere.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 30, 2017
117. Kurt Andersen (writer) – The Sleep of Reason
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Orthodox kookiness: the true American exceptionalism? Writer <a href="https://www.kurtandersen.com/">Kurt Andersen</a> and host <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a> discuss America's 500 year old tendency toward passionate belief in the preposterous in this, Big Think's latest brain-fertilizing podcast. <br><br>Writer and media polymath <a href="https://www.kurtandersen.com/">Kurt Andersen</a> is the NY-times bestselling author of the novels Heyday, Turn of the Century, and True Believers, and he’s the host and co-creator of the Peabody-award winning public radio show Studio 360. Kurt’s latest book <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1400067219?tag=randohouseinc45452-20">Fantasyland – How America Went Haywire</a> – is a 500 year history of a different kind of American exceptionalism. <br><br>Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode: <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/beau-lotto-how-diversity-melts-away-our-biases-and-technology-is-the-great-equalizer">Neuroscientist Beau Lotto on diversity</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/neil-degrasse-tyson-the-best-tactic-for-science-education-leverage-the-power-of-pop-culture">Neil DeGrasse Tyson on science education<br></a><br><strong>About Think Again - A Big Think Podcast: </strong>Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br>You've got 10 minutes with Einstein. What do you talk about? Black holes? Time travel? Why not gambling? The Art of War? Contemporary parenting? Some of the best conversations happen when we're pushed outside of our comfort zones. Each week on Think Again, we surprise smart people you may have heard of with short clips from Big Think's interview archives on every imaginable subject. These conversations could, and do, go anywhere.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 23, 2017
116. Claire Messud (writer) – All These Falls From Grace
3379
Author Claire Messud and host Jason Gots talk about childhood, growing up, and how cultures contain the things that scare them most. Also, how to give and receive good criticism on creative writing in this, <a href="http://bigthink.com/">Big Think</a>'s latest brain-fertilizing podcast. <br><br><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/10/magazine/whos-afraid-of-claire-messud.html?mcubz=1&amp;_r=0">Claire Messud</a> is the author of seven novels, including The Woman Upstairs and The Emperor’s Children. Messud has been awarded an Addison Metcalf award and the Straus Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, among many other literary honors. The New Yorker calls her “adept at evoking complex psychological territory”, which is most definitely the case in her latest novel, <a href="http://books.wwnorton.com/books/The-Burning-Girl/">The Burning Girl</a>, about the tortuous course of a childhood friendship.<br><br>About Think Again: Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br><strong>Surprise clips </strong>from our video interview archives in this episode: <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/russell-simmons-on-the-donald-trump-candidacy">Russell Simmons on the (then) presidential candidacy of Donald Trump</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/alan-alda-we-were-built-to-connect-with-other-people-heres-how-to-be-better-at-it">Alan Alda on communication and connection </a><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/alan-alda-we-were-built-to-connect-with-other-people-heres-how-to-be-better-at-it"><br></a><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 16, 2017
115. Salman Rushdie (writer) – A Permeable Frontier
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In this episode, the first one with a repeat guest since the show was launched (Henry Rollins was one taping split into two episodes) author Salman Rushdie and host Jason Gots discuss New York City, the surrealism of everyday life, comic books, and much, much, more in this, <a href="http://bigthink.com/">Big Think</a>'s latest brain-fertilizing podcast. <br><br><a href="http://www.salmanrushdie.com/">Salman Rushdie</a> is the author of twelve previous novels and four books of nonfiction, including Joseph Anton, Midnight’s Children (for which he won the Booker Prize and the Best of the Booker), Shame, The Satanic Verses, and Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights which we discussed two years ago on this show.&nbsp; He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University.<br><br>His kaleidoscopic, funny, philosophical new novel <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Golden-House-Novel-Salman-Rushdie/dp/0399592806/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1504891013&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=rushdie+golden+house">The Golden House</a> has been called a “return to realism” but maybe only because the present-day American realities it draws upon and reimagines are so indistinguishable from fantasy.<br><br>About Think Again: Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips in this episode:<br></strong><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/richard-dawkins-how-unscientific-belief-plagues-alt-right-and-religion">Richard Dawkins on religion and anti-science</a>, <br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/ariel-levy-feminism-never-said-women-can-have-it-all">Ariel Levy on "having it all" <br></a><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 09, 2017
114. 2017 Mixtape #2 – Words, Values, Self, Other
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Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br>In the second year of what’s becoming a tradition here on Think Again, this is a mixtape of some of Jason's favorite moments from the past year’s shows. Things that stuck with him because they were funny, or especially wise, or because of something extraordinary about the conversation that he can't quite put his finger on.<br><br>This episode — 2017 Mixtape #2 — features lexicographer Kory Stamper, novelist and essayist Teju Cole, fiction writer George Saunders, philosopher Slavoj Zizek, geneticist Jennifer Doudna, and actor Timothy Spall.<br><br>Among the many ideas that come up: language pet peeves, human rights, neighbors, cyborgs, the ethics of gene editing, stillness.&nbsp;<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 02, 2017
113. 2017 Mixtape #1 – Mind, Body, Authenticity, Artifice
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Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br>In the second year of what’s becoming a tradition here on Think Again, this is a mixtape of some of Jason's favorite moments from the past year’s shows. Things that stuck with him because they were funny, or especially wise, or because of something extraordinary about the conversation that he can't quite put his finger on.<br><br>This episode — 2017 Mixtape #1 — features philosopher of mind Daniel Dennett, architecture critic Sarah Goldhagen, novelist Ian McEwan, child psychologist Alison Gopnik, neuroscientist Erik Kandel, and actor Alan Alda.<br><br>Among the many ideas that come up: minds, buildings, Hamlet, A.I., the nature of evil, communication.&nbsp;<br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 26, 2017
112. Richard Dawkins (biologist) – Red in Tooth and Claw
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In this episode, which Dawkins described as “one of the best interviews I have ever had,” the eminent ethologist and host Jason Gots talk about whether pescatarianism makes any sense, where morality should come from (since, as Hume says, "you can't get an 'ought' from an 'is'), the greatness of Christopher Hitchens, and the evils of nationalism.<br><br>About the guest: Today’s guest is internationally best-selling author, speaker, and passionate advocate for reason and science as against superstition <a href="https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=4&amp;ved=0ahUKEwjbz_mesuHVAhVj2IMKHU8kDekQFghAMAM&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fricharddawkins.net%2F&amp;usg=AFQjCNGpdIzt4VNG1zqcvS1an5nZcWqL8A">Richard Dawkins</a>. From 1995 to 2008 Richard Dawkins was the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University.&nbsp; Among his many books are The Selfish Gene, the God Delusion, and his two-part autobiography: An Appetite for Wonder and A Brief Candle in the Dark. His latest is a collection of essays, stories, and speeches called <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Science-Soul-Selected-Passionate-Rationalist/dp/0399592245/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1503080468&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=science+in+the+soul"><em>Science in the Soul</em></a>, spanning many decades and the major themes of Richard’s work.<br><br>About Think Again: Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 19, 2017
111. Ari Shaffir (Comic) – The Golden Age of Trolling
3602
Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br>Today's guest <a href="http://www.arishaffir.com/">Ari Shaffir</a> is a stand-up comic and the host of Skeptic Tank – a super popular weekly podcast that’s on its 299th episode (at this writing). Ari grew up orthodox Jewish, spent two years in a yeshiva in Israel, and then turned into an atheist comedian who did an outrageous web video series called “The Amazing Racist” and runs a yearly “Shroomfest” where he’s like a benevolent Dionysus, presiding over a worldwide three-day celebration of psilocybin mushrooms. He co-created and hosts Comedy Central’s storytelling series “this is not happening”. And he got a two part comedy special on Netflix called “Double Negative”.<br><br>Ari and Jason talk about outrageousness in comedy, bipartisan e-rage on social media, growing up and growing out of bad habits, the transgender bathroom debate, and much, much, much more. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips in this episode:<br></strong><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/barbara-oakley-brain-bias-why-not-to-emulate-geniuses-and-their-rigid-thinking-process">Barbara Oakley on the rigidity of geniuses’ thinking</a> and <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/elijah-nealy-the-transgender-bathroom-debate-is-literally-dangerous">Elijah Nealy on the transgender bathroom debate<br></a><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 12, 2017
110. Peter Frankopan (historian) – You Can't Stop the Clock
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Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br>Today's guest <a href="http://www.peterfrankopan.com/">Peter Frankopan</a> is a historian at Oxford University, where he is Director of the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research. He works on the history of the Mediterranean, Russia, the Middle East, Persia, Central Asia and beyond, and on relations between Christianity and Islam. Peter's new book The Silk Roads: A New History of the World, is an international bestseller, described by William Dalrymple as a 'historical epic of dazzling range, ambition and achievement'.<br><br>At an anxious moment in Western history, Frankopan encourages us to take a historical perspective, understanding how change happens in societies and how people typically react to it. This conversation unpacks the fascinating and dense history of the Silk Road countries and digs deep into the economic and social forces that shape our lives. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips in this episode:<br></strong><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/michael-slaby-why-hourly-wages-dont-make-sense-but-a-30-hour-workweek-does">Michael Slaby on the 30 hour work week</a> and <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/michael-slaby-why-hourly-wages-dont-make-sense-but-a-30-hour-workweek-does">Geneticist Jennifer Doudna on designer babies </a>&nbsp;<br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 05, 2017
109. Sheelah Kolhatkar (Writer, Former Hedge Fund Analyst) – The Most Dangerous Game
2878
Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br><a href="https://www.sheelahkolhatkar.com/">Sheelah Kolhatkar</a> is a staff writer at the New Yorker&nbsp; and a former “risk arbitrage analyst” for two hedge funds in New York City. For the New Yorker, Sheelah writes about Wall Street, Silicon Valley, economics and national politics, among other things. Her latest book is the New York Times bestseller <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0812995805?tag=randohouseinc26405-20">Black Edge</a>, about the largest insider trading investigation in history and the transformation of Wall Street and the U.S. economy.<br><br>This week’s episode is a departure for us – a deep dive into the personalities, culture, and ideas driving the big banks and the hedge funds of Wall Street. Jason and Sheelah talk about what it was like for her as a woman in that male-dominated industry, how hedge funds have reshaped the whole Wall Street landscape and with it, the global economy, and why billionaire investors are almost required to collect Picassos. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips in this episode:<br></strong><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/tristan-harris-your-brain-is-vulnerable-to-hacking-companies-are-exploiting-that">Neuroscientist Tristan Harris on how companies exploit our brains’ vulnerabilities</a>.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 29, 2017
108. Jeff Garlin (Comedian) – K.I.S.S.
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Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br>Today, one of our wildest episodes ever, with comedian Jeff Garlin, who cuts one of our surprise clips short to call B.S. on neuroscience and complexity. <br><br>Wikipedia succinctly describes Jeff Garlin as a comedian, actor, producer, voice artist, director, writer, podcast host and author. You might know him best from Curb Your Enthusiasm, which he produced and acted in as Larry David’s friend and manager Jeff Greene, whose relationship with his wife was one of the most harrowing things I’ve ever seen on television. Jeff co-wrote, directed, and stars in the 2017 film <a href="https://youtu.be/gmU2Hq8AsYY">Handsome: A Netflix Mystery Movie</a> as the befuddled yet capable Detective Handsome. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips in this episode:<br></strong><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/beau-lotto-do-our-senses-reveal-the-world-or-do-they-obscure-it">Neuroscientist Beau Lotto on Perception</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/louis-theroux-scientology-the-capitalist-religion-only-america-could-create">Documentary filmmaker Louis Theroux on Scientology<br></a><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 22, 2017
107. Neal Stephenson & Nicole Galland (Authors) – The Garden of Forking Paths
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Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br>Today, for the first time, we welcome TWO guests to Think Again – writers <a href="https://www.nealstephenson.com/">Neal Stephenson</a> &amp; <a href="https://www.nicolegalland.com/">Nicole Galland</a> – and talk to them from New York to a Los Angeles hotel room over a horrible wi-fi connection. And it all works out beautifully. <br><br>Nicole’s typically a writer of historical fiction including The Fool’s Tale and Iago, and Neil’s known for complex, speculative science fiction&nbsp; including Seveneaves, Snow Crash, and many other novels. Together, they’ve written a new novel: <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Rise-Fall-D-O-D-O-Novel/dp/0062409166/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1500058567&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=The+Rise+and+fall+of+Dodo">The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.</a> – a massive and massively entertaining epic involving magic, time travel,&nbsp; quantum physics, secret government organizations, and an ancient banking family called the Fuggers — with all of the jokes that implies.<br><br>In this episode, we delve into Schroedinger's Cat, why humans make such terrible decisions, and how linear a story has to be to be a story at all. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips in this episode:<br></strong><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/video-games-and-the-future-of-storytelling">Salman Rushdie on video games and the future of storytelling</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/robert-saplosky-one-brain-region-responsible-for-all-the-worlds-problems">Robert Sapolsky on brain regions and impulse control<br></a><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 15, 2017
106. Alan Alda (Actor) – The Spirit of the Staircase
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Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br>Today's guest is actor, writer, director, and science-curious artist <a href="http://www.alanalda.com/">Alan Alda</a>. Jason says: "I grew up watching him in reruns of MASH, where his character Hawkeye Pierce was so specific and relatable that he feels in my memory like a not-too-distant relative. And in Horace and Pete, Louis CK’s 2016 brilliant web-tv dramedy, Alan underwent a miraculous metamorphosis into a bitter, racist barman who is also a fully-fleshed human being.&nbsp; But wait - there’s more! For decades, Alan has been helping to heal the ancient rift between highly technical science and ordinary curiosity. Alan’s new book <a href="http://www.alanalda.com/alan_alda_buy_the_books.html"><em>If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? </em></a>Shares what he (and science) have learned about how we can communicate better. It’s no exaggeration to say that this is a matter of life or death." <br><br>Inspired by a passage in Alan's book, Jason puts away his interview notes. What follows is a funny, honest, connected conversation unlike anything else in the show's two-year history. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips in this episode:<br></strong><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/human-beings-are-information-seeking-creatures-2">James Gleick - Humans are Information-Seeking Creatures <br></a><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 08, 2017
105. Jennifer Doudna (Geneticist) - Intelligent Redesign?
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Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br>Jennifer Doudna is a Professor of Chemistry and of Molecular and Cell Biology at the UC Berkeley, and until around 2012 she was quietly and contentedly studying the three dimensional structure of RNA molecules. Then she and her colleagues started looking into a thing called CRISPR-Cas9. It’s a kind of bacterial immune system, and it led to an invention that will change everything for all of humanity, forever. <br><br>In this episode Jennifer and Jason discuss the implications of the gene editing tool her lab created, and how humanity should (and likely will) yield the power to rewrite our own evolutionary destiny. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips in this episode:</strong><br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/3-ways-the-world-could-end-if-were-not-careful">Richard A Clarke on averting global catastrophes</a>, Deepak Chopra on secular spirituality (clip not available online)<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 01, 2017
104. Timothy Spall (Actor) – That Double Want
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Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br><a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001758/">Timothy Spall</a> is an extraordinary actor, best known perhaps for the many films he’s done with director Mike Leigh, including Secrets &amp; Lies and Mr. Turner, for which he won best actor at Cannes. You may know him from a number of Hollywood films, too, including the Harry Potter series and The Last Samurai, with Tom Cruise. His latest is <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18ZN_lZvL7A">THE JOURNEY</a>. It’s based on a real road trip that happened in 2006, when two arch-enemies — the heads of Ireland’s warring factions, spent about an hour together in the backseat of a car. This was the prelude to a historic peace deal, cementing the end of Ireland’s long Civil war.<br><br>In this episode we dig deep into questions like what people really want from their political leaders, whether it's possible (or even advisable) to overcome desire, and whether and when just sitting on a park bench, enjoying a tree, is enough. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips in this episode:<br></strong><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/scott-barry-kaufman-on-capacity-for-solitude">Scott Barry Kaufman on Solitude<br></a><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 24, 2017
103. Liza Jessie Peterson (Playwright, Arts-Educator) – The Sleeping Giant
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Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><a href="http://mappinternational.org/artists/view/3472">Liza Jessie Peterson</a> is an actress, poet, playwright, and arts-educator who’s been working with adolescent boys and girls incarcerated on Rikers Island for the past 18 years. Her fierce, funny, powerfully written new book is <a href="https://www.amazon.com/All-Day-Survival-Teaching-Incarcerated/dp/1455570915">All Day: A Year of Love and Survival Teaching Incarcerated Kids At Rikers Island</a>. The loving and specific portraits she paints of her students highlight the cruelty of the systems (economic, school, police, prison) that fail so many young black men, landing them and keeping them in prison.<br><br>In this episode we talk about cultural icons and the realities behind them, hip-hop, the trauma of poverty and the tragedy of the American prison system, and how to make impossible situations better.&nbsp;<br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips in this episode:<br></strong><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/marie-gottschalk-on-solitary-confinement">Marie Gottschalk on solitary confinement<br></a><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 17, 2017
102. Paul Theroux (Writer) – Saintly & Scowling
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Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives. 100 episodes in, like the universe itself, the show continues to expand and accelerate at speeds that boggle the imagination. <br>One of seven siblings, <a href="https://www.paultheroux.com/">Paul Theroux</a> is the author of over 50 works of fiction and non-fiction, including The Great Railway Bazaar and The Mosquito Coast. His latest novel <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Mother-Land-Paul-Theroux/dp/0618839321/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1497026580&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=Mother+Land">Mother Land </a>is a scathing, semi-autobiographical, often painfully funny portrait of a mother’s long and insidious reign over her seven children. <br><br>In this episode, Paul talks about the claustrophobia of big families, the mass migrations of peoples, colonizing Mars, and an important difference between humans and cockroaches.<br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips:<br></strong><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/anders-fogh-rasmussen-on-the-geopolitical-challenges-of-climate-change">Anders Fogh Rasmussen on the geopolitical challenges of climate change</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/stephen-petranek-on-living-on-mars">Stephen Petranek on colonizing Mars<br></a><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 10, 2017
101. Ariel Levy (Writer) – Big Things That Are Not Talked About
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Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives. 100 episodes in, like the universe itself, the show continues to expand and accelerate at speeds that boggle the imagination. <br><br>After 12 years at New York Magazine, <a href="http://www.ariellevy.net/news.php">Ariel Levy</a> became a staff writer at The New Yorker, where she’s written about remarkable women, sex, Ayahuasca, madness and Silvio Berlusconi. Her new book <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Rules-Do-Not-Apply-Memoir/dp/0812996933">The Rules Do Not Apply</a> is a memoir that grew out of the loss of her son soon after his birth and the subsequent collapse of her marriage.<br><br>Here she talks with Jason about assertiveness and doubt, the silence around the animal facts of women's physical lives, her comically awkward experience with the shamanic hallucinogen Ayahuasca, and much more. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips:<br></strong><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/kory-stamper-bitch-how-merriam-webster-defines-an-evolving-word">Lexicographer Kory Stamper on the word 'bitch"</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/gish-jen-remade-in-china-why-the-east-embraces-imitation">Gish Jen on imitation in China vs. the West<br></a><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 03, 2017
100. Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysicist) – The Only "-ist" I Am
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Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives. 100 episodes in, like the universe itself, the show continues to expand and accelerate at speeds that boggle the imagination. <br><a href="http://www.haydenplanetarium.org/tyson/">Neil DeGrasse Tyson</a> is an astrophysicist and the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and the spiritual heir to Carl Sagan in getting us all worked up about the Cosmos. He’s been appointed to special NASA commissions, hosted multiple TV specials and podcasts, and written many excellent books, the latest of which is <a href="http://www.haydenplanetarium.org/tyson/buy/books/astrophysics-for-people-in-a-hurry">Astrophysics for People in A Hurry</a> – a succinct, wryly funny book that’s surprisingly informative for its size - it has the informational density of a black hole. <br><br><strong>In This, Our 100th Episode:</strong> Can Neil tell the entire history of the universe in 30 seconds? When is it possible to move faster than the speed of light? Why is "dark matter" a terrible name for dark matter? And what does Neil's esteemed colleague Lawrence Krauss have in common with a pit bull? <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips:<br></strong><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/lawrence-krauss-is-optimism-possible-in-a-meaningless-universe">Lawrence Krauss on Optimism</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/dean-buonomano-two-theories-of-time-and-what-they-mean-for-time-travel">Dean Buonomano on "Presentism" and "Eternalism"<br></a><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 27, 2017
99. Mary Gaitskill (Writer) – Their Animal Being
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Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<blockquote>“How strange it is to be anything at all.” – from the song <a href="https://open.spotify.com/track/4OciRObYGzPzlU40U7YRc8"><em>In the Aeroplane Over the Sea</em></a>by Neutral Milk Hotel&nbsp;</blockquote>Mary Gaitskill is the author of three short story collections including <em>Bad Behavior and Don’t Cry, </em>and three novels, <em>including Veronica </em>and <em>Two Girls, Fat and Thin. </em>Her latest book is a collection of essays and reviews called <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Somebody-Little-Hammer-Mary-Gaitskill/dp/0307378225/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1495205988&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=Somebody+with+a+Little+hammer"><em>Somebody With a Little Hammer</em></a>. The topics are diverse, from the Hollywood version of Mary’s story <em>Secretary</em>, to date rape, to Celine Dion, to Mary’s experience losing her cat, Gattino. In every case Mary writes with startling, otherworldly clarity, peeling back the surface of things we might think we understand to peer into the slippery psychological realities underneath.<br><br><strong>In this episode: </strong>Threaded through with personal anecdotes, relevant moments from Gaitskill’s novels and essays, and striking observations about human nature, this intimate, starkly honest conversation goes wide and deep. So deep, in fact, that there’s barely time to get to the surprise clips!&nbsp;<br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips:&nbsp;</strong><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/tristan-harris-the-attention-economy-a-race-to-the-bottom-of-the-brain-stem">Google's Tristan Harris on the attention economy</a><strong><br></strong><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 20, 2017
98. Lawrence Krauss (Physicist) – Lux Ex Machina
3720
Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br>Physicist <a href="http://krauss.faculty.asu.edu/">Lawrence Krauss</a> directs the Origins Project at Arizona State University, which fosters scientific research and collaborations on origins – of life, the universe, and everything. His own research focuses on the interface between elementary particle physics and cosmology, including investigations into dark matter and the origin of all mass in the universe. His latest book <a href="http://krauss.faculty.asu.edu/books/the-greatest-story-ever-told-so-far/">The Greatest Story Ever Told - So Far</a> is a deeply entertaining and informative account of the progress of knowledge in modern physics.<br><br><strong>In this episode:</strong> To what extent and in what sense does science represent "reality"? You don't have to paint like Picasso to enjoy a Picasso...so why are non-scientists often reluctant to engage with complex scientific concepts? Is tribalism an essential part of human nature? <br><br>A passionate, witty back-and-forth with a leading physicist who is also one of our most poetic defenders and explainers of science. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips:<br></strong><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/sebastian-junger-on-tribalism-and-democracy">Sebastian Junger on tribalism and democracy</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/kevin-kelly-cognification-will-be-industrial-revolution-20">Kevin Kelly on “cognification”</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/david-bodanis-on-einsteins-rejection-of-a-random-universe">David Bodanis on Einstein’s rejection of a random universe<br></a><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 13, 2017
97. Dean Buonomano (Neuroscientist) – This is Your Brain on Time
3111
Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br><a href="http://www.buonomanolab.com/">Dean Buonomano</a> is a professor of neurobiology and psychology at UCLA and a leading theorist on (and researcher into) the neuroscience of time. His latest book, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Your-Brain-Time-Machine-Neuroscience/dp/0393247945/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1494005887&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=Your+brain+is+a+time+machine">Your Brain is a Time Machine, the Neuroscience and Physics of Time</a> convinced Jason that time is far weirder than he knew it to be (and he already knew it was mind-bogglingly weird).<br><strong>In this episode:</strong> Does time exist at all, or is it an illusion of consciousness? If the latter, what's the evolutionary advantage of seeing time as linear and one-directional? Which is right: the Einsteinian view that the universe is a four dimensional box in which all time is already present, or the "common-sense" view that time is uni-directional? How does comic timing work? What's the evolutionary advantage of comedy? And oh so much more.&nbsp;<br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips:<br></strong><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/scott-aukerman-on-the-importance-of-silliness">Scott Aukerman on comedy as a survival skill</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/kevin-kelly-optimism-is-the-engine-that-moves-society-forward">Kevin Kelly on optimism as an engine of progress<br></a><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 06, 2017
96. Sarah W. Goldhagen (Architecture Critic) – Souls & Spaces
3079
Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br><a href="http://sarahwilliamsgoldhagen.com/">Sarah W. Goldhagen</a> taught for ten years at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and spent many years as the Architecture Critic for the New Republic. She’s written about buildings, cities, and landscapes for publications all over the world. Sarah’s new book <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Welcome-Your-World-Environment-Shapes/dp/0061957801/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1493395960&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=Welcome+To+Your+World">Welcome To Your World: How the Built Environment Shapes Our Lives</a> is a thoroughly entertaining, eye-opening manifesto arguing that the buildings we live and work in deeply affect us, physically and psychologically, and that we can’t afford the soul-crushing architecture we mostly subject ourselves to. <br><br><strong>In this episode:</strong> why we tolerate design that’s bad for us, startling parallels between a passage from a Chekhov short story and Sarah's book, the many ways concrete can be beautiful, and why schools shouldn’t look like prisons (maybe prisons shouldn’t, either?).<br><br>"<strong>Surprise idea" clips in this show:<br></strong><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/jeffrey-sachs-is-america-still-an-optimistic-country">Jeffrey Sachs on optimism in America</a> and <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/what-schools-dont-understand-about-childrens-minds">Alison Gopnik on School and the Developing Mind<br></a><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 29, 2017
95. Kory Stamper (Lexicographer) – Lair of the Level 10 Word Mage
3446
Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br><a href="https://korystamper.wordpress.com/">Kory Stamper</a> is a lexicographer at Merriam-Webster, often seen on their “Ask the Editor” video series. Her funny and fascinating book <a href="https://korystamper.wordpress.com/word-by-word/"><em>Word By Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries</em></a> is about the how the sausage of dictionaries is made, and about the slipperiness of words themselves. This is not a “prescriptivist” manifesto, fussily criticizing people’s misuse of apostrophes or words like “irregardless.” On the contrary, like any lexicographer worth her salt (and salt, as Kory will tell you, was once so valuable it was used as money, which is where we get the word “salary” from…) Kory’s a professional “descriptivist”, painstakingly trying to pin down how words are actually used even as they try to wriggle away from her. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips:<br><br></strong><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/adam-mansbach-on-why-its-time-to-retire-the-term-political-correctness">Adam Mansbach on the term "political correctness"</a> and <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/rob-bell-on-the-origins-of-hell">Rob Bell on the word "Hell" </a><strong><br><br><br></strong><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 23, 2017
94. Joyce Carol Oates (Writer) – Oh, That's Socialism
3343
Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br>The writer <a href="https://celestialtimepiece.com/">Joyce Carol Oates</a> grew up on a farm, tending chickens in what she describes as a very desolate part of upstate New York, and grew up to write around 90 (and counting) novels and collections of essays and short stories, many of them while teaching at Princeton University. She’s won many, many awards, including the National Book Award, the Pen/Malamud Award and the National Humanities Medal. Her powerful new novel, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Book-American-Martyrs-Novel/dp/0062643045/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1492200542&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=a+book+of+american+martyrs">A Book of American Martyrs</a>, begins with a terrible act of violence – and then deals with its complex aftermath.<br><br>Today's conversation starts there, weaving through the political and religious landscape of America, past and present. We also talk about whether writing, for Joyce, is as "effortless" as critics have described the experience of reading her. Trump comes, up, inevitably but briefly. Stick around for a fascinating discussion of the challenges early success can pose for young writers, including Oates' former student, Jonathan Safran Foer. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips:<br></strong><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/identity-and-choice-in-the-west">Gish Jen on Identity and Choice in the West</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/c-nicole-mason-on-poverty-in-america">Nicole Mason on Poverty in America<br></a><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 15, 2017
93. Adam Alter (Social Psychologist) – Ping!
3071
Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><a href="http://adamalterauthor.com/">Adam Alter</a> is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Drunk Tank Pink: And Other Unexpected Forces That Shape How We Think, Feel, and Behave, and has written for the New York Times, New Yorker, Atlantic, WIRED, Slate, Washington Post, and Popular Science, among other publications. He’s an associate professor of marketing at New York University and also teaches in the psychology department. His fascinating and chilling new book, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Irresistible-Addictive-Technology-Business-Keeping/dp/1594206643/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1491578044&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=Adam+Alter">Irresistible: the Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping us Hooked</a> has, among other things, convinced Jason to stop charging his cellphone in his bedroom.<br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips:<br></strong><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/would-you-vote-for-a-psychopath">James Fallon on Voting for an Actual Psychopath</a> and <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/margaret-atwood-on-anti-science-and-anti-intellectualism">Margaret Atwood on Anti-Science Sentiment<br></a><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 08, 2017
92. Elif Batuman (Writer) – The Worst Appetizer in America
3066
Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br><a href="http://elifbatuman.com/">Elif Batuman</a> has written articles for the New Yorker on everything from the horrible-smelling "corpse flower" to the complex politics of present day Turkey, her parents' native country. Her first book, The Possessed, was a series of "comic, interconnected essays about Russian Literature." Her latest, "<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Idiot-Elif-Batuman/dp/1594205612/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1490972897&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=The+Idiot+Elif">The Idiot</a>", is a lucid, disarmingly funny coming of age novel set in 1995. Jason calls it "one of the most delightful books" he's read in years. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter clips in this episode:<br></strong><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/maria-popova-on-the-genius-of-ursula-nordstrom">Maria Popova on an Unsung Hero of Children's Literature</a> and <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/salman-rushdie-on-criticizing-islam-and-political-correctness">Salman Rushdie on the Left's Taboo Against Criticizing Islam <br></a><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 01, 2017
91. Daniel Dennett (Philosopher) – Thinking About Thinking About Thinking
3052
Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br><a href="http://ase.tufts.edu/cogstud/dennett/">Daniel Dennett</a> is one of the foremost philosophers of mind working today to unravel the puzzle of what minds are and what they’re for, and Co-Director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University. His latest book of many is called <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Bacteria-Bach-Back-Evolution-Minds/dp/0393242072/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1490373242&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=from+bacteria+to+bach">From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds</a>, and it’s a sweeping (but detailed) attempt to demystify how we get from inanimate matter to cathedrals, symphonies, and of course, podcasts.<br><br>In this fun and meaty episode of Think Again, Dennett waxes wicked and wise on consciousness, Dolphins, Artificial Intelligence, and much, much more. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips:<br></strong><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/andrew-keen-on-societal-effects-of-internet">Andrew Keen on the Internet and social isolation</a> and <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/ben-goertzel-artificial-general-intelligence-will-be-our-last-invention">Ben Goertzel on Artificial General Intelligence<br></a><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 25, 2017
90. Scott Aukerman (Comedy Writer) – The Buttons You Push
3548
Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br>Scott Aukerman is a comedy writer, director, and producer who started out on HBO’s Mr. Show with Bob and David. He’s the creator of Comedy Bang Bang - the podcast and the long running IFC show, and he co-created and directs Between Two Ferns with Zach Galafanakis, for which he’s won two Emmys. <br><br>In this episode, Scott and Jason talk Michael Bolton, transgression in comedy, and a United States in cultural turmoil. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips:<br></strong><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/jelani-cobb-on-military-vs-moral-power-2">Jelani Cobb on military vs. moral power</a> and <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/chris-gethard-comics-can-say-whatever-they-want-audiences-can-react-however-they-want">Chris Gethard on comedy and political correctness<br></a><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 18, 2017
89. George Saunders (Author) – Self-Googling In Hell
3307
“If I died right now, I’d still be self-Googling in hell.” – George Saunders, in this episode. <br><br><a href="http://www.georgesaundersbooks.com/">George Saunders</a>' new book - his first novel, after many acclaimed collections of short stories including the NY Times bestselling <em>10th of December</em> – is called <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Lincoln-Bardo-Novel-George-Saunders/dp/0812995341/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1489171537&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=lincoln+in+the+bardo">Lincoln in the Bardo</a>. A kind of play for voices about the death and afterlife of Abraham Lincoln’s son Willie, who died at age 10. It's a strange, wise, funny and beautiful book about impermanence and the tenacity of the self.<br>In this episode, George and Jason talk writing, death, and how much easier it is to talk about kindness than to live it. <br><br>Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 11, 2017
88. Gish Jen (Author) – The Self in the World
3147
Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br>Novelist and essayist <a href="http://www.gishjen.com/">Gish Jen</a>'s work has appeared in<em> The Best American Short Stories </em>four times, including <em>The Best American Short Stories of the Century</em>, edited by John Updike. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and her work was featured in a PBS American Masters’ special on the American novel. Her 2017 book, <a href="http://www.gishjen.com/girl-at-the-baggage-claim/"><em>The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East-West Culture Gap</em></a>, takes an unflinching, funny, and deeply insightful look at how fundamental East-West differences in the sense of self play out in art, culture, business, education, and more. <br><br>In this episode, Gish and Jason discuss the benefits and downsides of our fundamental assumptions about who we are, and what's to be gained by escaping your cultural bubble, even for a moment. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips:<br></strong><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/nato-thompson-game-over-nil-is-anti-establishment-just-another-corporate-product">Nato Thompson on individualism as a corporate product</a>. <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/the-ethics-of-designer-brains-2">Paul Root Wolpe on self-enhancement &amp; culture</a>.&nbsp;<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 04, 2017
87. Yuval Noah Harari (Historian) – Time's Up
3058
Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br><a href="http://www.ynharari.com/">Yuval Noah Harari</a> holds a PhD in History from the University of Oxford and now lectures at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, specializing in World History. His 2014 New York Times bestselling book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, is published in nearly 40 languages worldwide. His new book <a href="http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780062464316&amp;aff=hcweb">Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow</a>, uses historical and current trends to look at where we might we headed as a species.<br><br>In this conversation, Harari and Jason discuss giving credit where it's due to genuine signs of human progress, and the dizzying ethical questions that surround what's coming next –– from superhuman cyborgs to algorithms that know us better than we know ourselves. <br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips:<br></strong><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/lawrence-levy-on-mindfulness-the-middle-way-meditation-and-pixar">Lawrence Levy on Pixar, mindfulness, and the Middle Way.</a> <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/daniel-dennett-memes-101">Daniel Dennett on the evolution of cultural memes</a>.&nbsp;<br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 25, 2017
86. Ayelet Waldman (Author) – Yourself, Only Better
3187
Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br><a href="http://www.ayeletwaldman.com/">Ayelet Waldman</a> is a novelist and essayist, a former federal public defender who taught at Loyola and UC Berkeley schools of Law. Her latest book, <a href="http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780451494092">A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life</a> is an honest, funny, informative account of her month-long experience “microdosing” on LSD – after a ton of research into the practice and potential psychological benefits of taking subperceptual doses of the chemical. Spoiler: overall it helped her. The book also digs into the history and ramifications of the criminalization of psychoactive drugs, and the philosophy of "harm reduction" in parenting. <br><br>In a funny, free-ranging, rapid-fire dialogue, Ayelet and Jason dive into topics as diverse as the split between art and science, how not to mess up your kids too badly, and the benefits of neuroplasticity. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips:<br></strong><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/bill-nye-on-the-importance-of-art-and-science">Bill Nye on Art vs. Science</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/the-key-to-good-parenting-empathy">Andrew Solomon on Parenting and Empathy<br></a><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 18, 2017
85. Ben Goertzel (A.I. Inventor) – The State of the Art of Artificial General Intelligence
2532
Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br><a href="http://multiverseaccordingtoben.blogspot.com/">Ben Goertzel</a> is a hugely influential computer scientist and author in the area of artificial general intelligence, among others. Just a few of the many hats Ben wears or has worn: Chief Scientist of <a href="http://www.hansonrobotics.com/">Hanson Robotics</a> which makes some of the most advanced robots in the world, Co-founder of AIDYA – artificial intelligence for financial trading, and Chairman of the <a href="http://opencog.org/">OpenCog Foundation</a>, an open source project to build a radically new form of artificial intelligence. <br><br>What's real and what's hype in all the talk about artificial intelligence these days? Will teaching AI to solve humanity's biggest problems keep robots from harming us if and when they become autonomous? Is the human brain, with all its limitations, a good model for AI at all? <br><br>In this episode, Ben explains to Jason some of the theory behind various existing and potential AI systems, weighs in on the idea of the Singularity, and touches on his "panpsychist" belief that consciousness is an omnipresent force of nature, suggesting that they drop LSD together at some point to discuss it in depth.&nbsp; <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips in this episode:<br></strong><br><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoOHWHEJOLU">Alva Noë: “You are Not Your Brain” <br></a><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 11, 2017
84. Nato Thompson (Artistic Director) – The Friendly Face
3119
Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br><a href="http://creativetime.org/about/staff/nato-thompson/">Nato Thompson</a> is the Artistic Director of <a href="http://bigthink.com/admin/text_ideas/Creativetime.org">Creative Time</a>, which commissions and presents ambitious public art projects with thousands of artists throughout New York City, across the country, around the world—and now even in outer space. They did Waiting for Godot in New Orleans, a free public performance in hard-hit New Orleans neighborhoods after the flood that Jason talked about with actor Wendell Pierce on this show (episode 22). Nato’s new book is called <a href="http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781612195735">Culture as Weapon: The Art of Influence in Everyday Life</a>.&nbsp;<br><br>In this episode he and Jason talk about the ways the tools of art now permeate every aspect of our culture, from advertising to politics to always-on digital entertainment. They also discuss uploading human consciousness onto computer chips, the DIY, anti-"selling out" discourse of punk and hardcore music, and the weird relationship between art and commerce.&nbsp;<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 03, 2017
83. Matt Taibbi (Journalist) – Bread and Circus
2811
Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br>Hard-hitting, darkly funny journalist Matt Taibbi has reported on on politics, media, finance, and sports, winning the National Magazine Award for Commentary in 2008 and is the author of three NYTimes bestsellers on politics and culture. For Rolling Stone, continuing in the tradition the magazine started with Hunter S. Thompson’s coverage of Nixon’s 1972 presidential campaign, Taibbi has covered the last four election cycles. His dispatches from the 2016 election circus are the basis of his new book <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Insane-Clown-President-Dispatches-Circus/dp/0399592466">Insane Clown President</a>.In this week's Think Again, Jason and Matt talk about Hunter S. Thompson, family, career, media, and, inevitably, President Donald Trump. <strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips in this episode: </strong><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/susan-david-on-our-unhealthy-obsession-with-happiness">Susan David on our unhealthy obsession with happiness</a><em>,</em> and <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/tim-wu-on-celebrities-as-greek-gods-of-the-modern-day">Tim Wu on celebrities as modern-day gods</a>. <br><br><strong>About Think Again - A Big Think Podcast: </strong>You've got 10 minutes with Einstein. What do you talk about? Black holes? Time travel? Why not gambling? <em>The Art of War</em>? Contemporary parenting? Some of the best conversations happen when we're pushed outside of our comfort zones. Each week on Think Again, we surprise smart people you may have heard of with short clips from Big Think's interview archives on every imaginable subject. These conversations could, and do, go anywhere.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 28, 2017
82. Bernard-Henri Lévy (Philosopher) – The Mirror of Our Better Selves
2751
Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br>The Washington Post has this to say about today's guest: "There is no American equivalent of Bernard-Henri Lévy. Known as “BHL,” he is among the last of a quintessentially French breed, the 20th century <em>intellectuel engagé</em>. As a “nouveau philosophe” disenchanted with Marxism, communism and the excesses of 1968, when civil unrest roiled France, Levy has enjoyed a long and theatrical career since the 1970s, embracing journalism, philosophy, film and an outspoken advocacy for human rights."<br><br>BHL's films include the documentaries <em>Bosna!</em> And <em>A Day in the Death of Sarajevo. </em>Lévy is co-founder of the antiracist group SOS Racisme and has served on diplomatic missions for the French government. His newest book <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Genius-Judaism-Bernard-Henri-L%C3%A9vy/dp/0812992725">The Genius of Judaism</a> explores what he sees as the crucial metaphysical role of Jewish thought and the Jewish people in the life of nations. <br><br>Today's episode addresses torture, the question of evil, and the tipping point at which democracy becomes something else.&nbsp; <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips in this episode: </strong><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/paul-bloom-on-dehumanization-and-empathy">Paul Bloom on Torture</a><em>,</em> and <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/america-the-superpower">Ian Bremmer on America as a Superpower</a>. <br><br><strong>About Think Again - A Big Think Podcast: </strong>You've got 10 minutes with Einstein. What do you talk about? Black holes? Time travel? Why not gambling? <em>The Art of War</em>? Contemporary parenting? Some of the best conversations happen when we're pushed outside of our comfort zones. Each week on Think Again, we surprise smart people you may have heard of with short clips from Big Think's interview archives on every imaginable subject. These conversations could, and do, go anywhere.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 21, 2017
81. Isy Suttie (Comedian) – There's Something a Bit Smug about the Sea
4294
Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isy_Suttie">Isy Suttie</a> is a comedian, actress, and writer who played the character Dobby in the British TV comedy Peep Show, of which Jason has watched all 54 episodes. Isy has written for the Guardian, the Observer, and Glamour, and is a regular writer and performer on BBC Radio 4. Her book <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Actual-One-Failed-Adulthood-Forever/dp/0062571974/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1484326100&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=Isy+Suttie">The Actual One: How I Tried and Failed to Avoid Adulthood Forever</a> will be released on January 31st, 2017 in the United States, but thousands of British people will have already read and enjoyed it, three days earlier. So there. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips in this episode: </strong><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/diversity-on-television-needs-reexamination">Maysoon Zayid on the media representation of people with disabilities</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/slavoj-zizek-on-falling-in-love">Slavoj Žižek on love</a>, and <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/paul-bloom-on-empathy-and-politics">Paul Bloom on empathy and politics<br></a><br><strong>About Think Again - A Big Think Podcast: </strong>You've got 10 minutes with Einstein. What do you talk about? Black holes? Time travel? Why not gambling? <em>The Art of War</em>? Contemporary parenting? Some of the best conversations happen when we're pushed outside of our comfort zones. Each week on Think Again, we surprise smart people you may have heard of with short clips from Big Think's interview archives on every imaginable subject. These conversations could, and do, go anywhere.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 14, 2017
80. Amani Al-Khatahtbeh (founder: MuslimGirl) – Who Tells Your Story?
2370
Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br><a href="http://muslimgirl.com/author/admin/">Amani Al -Khatatbeh</a> is the founder and editor of <a href="http://muslimgirl.com/">Muslimgirl.com</a>, the number one Muslim women’s blog in the United States. She regularly provides commentary on social, cultural, and political issues through outlets such as CNN, Al Jazeera, and the BBC, and has been featured in the New York Times, the Guardian, and made Forbes’ 30 under 30 list. Her new book is called <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Muslim-Girl-Coming-Amani-Al-Khatahtbeh/dp/150115950X">Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age</a>.<br><br>In this episode, Amani and Jason wrestle with tough questions about identity, power, and Islamic feminism. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips: </strong><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/oliver-luckett-on-twitter-the-2016-election-and-divided-america">Oliver Luckett on the 2016 election and a "divided America"</a><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 07, 2017
79. Paul Bloom (Psychologist) – Cold-Blooded Kindness
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Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/experts/paulbloom">Paul Bloom</a> is an internationally recognized expert on the the psychology of child development, social reasoning, and morality, and the author of numerous books including Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil. His newest book is <a href="http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780062339331">Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion</a>. Is managing a hedge-fund a better way to do good in the world than joining the Peace Corps? Does donating for disaster-relief (without really thinking it through) often make matters worse? At the risk of being mistaken for a Scrooge-like figure, Paul Bloom advances a smart, nuanced argument that empathy, in the sense of feeling others' suffering, is a terrible guide to moral decision-making. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips in this episode:</strong> <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/juanita-rilling-on-disaster-relief-donations">Juanita Rilling on the psychology and the realities of disaster relief</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/david-eagleman-on-mass-shootings">David Eagleman on mass shootings</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/wesley-lowery-on-the-importance-of-the-free-press">Wesley Lowery on freedom of the press</a>.&nbsp;<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 31, 2016
78. Peter Godfrey-Smith (Philosopher) – Alien Intelligence
2561
Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br><a href="http://petergodfreysmith.com/">Peter Godfrey-Smith</a> is a distinguished professor of philosophy at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, and a professor of the history and philosophy of science at the University of Sydney in Australia. He has also spent a lot of time floating around in an octopus colony in Australia, studying smart cephalopods and taking photos and videos that have been used by National Geographic. His fascinating new book is <a href="http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Other-Minds/Peter-Godfrey-Smith/9780374227760">Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness</a>.In today's episode, Peter and Jason discuss free will, what it might be like to be an octopus, and which prehistoric animal would be the most interesting to resurrect. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips in this episode:</strong> <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/bill-nye-on-extinct-animal-resurrection">Bill Nye on extinct animal cloning</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/why-physics-ends-the-free-will-debate">Michio Kaku on free will and physics</a>.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 24, 2016
77. Anne Rice (Author) – In the Blood
2827
Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br><a href="https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;ved=0ahUKEwj_xbW1wvnQAhWowVQKHTvVBlMQFggaMAA&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fannerice.com%2F&amp;usg=AFQjCNFcZC1M31E0uuZLmnDKlmQEFcvXqw&amp;bvm=bv.142059868,d.eWE">Anne Rice</a> is the author of over 30 novels. Her first, Interview with the Vampire, was published in 1976 and has gone on to become one of the best-selling novels of all time. Her latest book, <a href="http://annerice.com/Bookshelf-PrinceLestatRealmsOfAtlantis.html">Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis</a>, continues the story of Lestat while also reaching back millennia to a mysterious, vanished empire -- the lost realms of Atlantis. A past that is inextricably linked to the fate of Lestat and the Vampire kingdom he rules. In today's episode, Anne shares many thoughts on superstition, science, and why, in spite of everything, she believes humanity's going to figure things out. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips in this episode:</strong> <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/alison-gopnik-on-the-science-of-ghosts">Alison Gopnik on the Science of Ghosts</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/kathleen-mcauliffe-on-the-origin-of-vampires-and-the-rabies-virus">Kathleen McAuliffe on the Biological Origins of Vampire Stories</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/wesley-lowery-on-fake-news-and-facebook-platform">Wesley Lowery on Facebook's responsibility for fake news</a>.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 17, 2016
76. Tim Ferriss (Author, Podcaster) – Productively Frivolous
2774
Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br>Above all else,&nbsp; Author, Podcaster, and "Human Guinea Pig" <a href="http://fourhourworkweek.com/blog/">Tim Ferriss</a> is focused on learning how to learn, then applying those lessons to everyday life -- aiming at increased productivity, efficiency, and success, however you may define it. His books The Four Hour Workweek, the Four-Hour Body, and the Four-Hour Chef shared his learning experiments in the culinary, physical, and business realms. <a href="http://fourhourworkweek.com/tim-ferriss-books/">His latest book “Tools of Titans”</a> distills lessons learned from guests like Maria Popova, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rick Rubin in conversation on his podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show.<br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips in this episode:</strong> <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/tim-wu-on-the-attention-merchants-2">Tim Wu on "the attention merchants" of social media</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/simon-sinek-on-visionaries-and-followers">Simon Sinek on the idea of having "a vision"</a>&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 10, 2016
75. David Salle (Artist) – The Enemy of Art
2607
Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives. <a href="http://www.davidsallestudio.net/">David Salle</a>'s paintings are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The National Galerie Berlin and many others. His book <a href="http://www.davidsallestudio.net/how-to-see.html">How to See</a> is a collection of essays, mainly on the work of other artists, that delves deep into questions about how art is made and what happens when we experience it. <br><br>In this episode, David and Jason wrestle with questions like why there are no bad cave paintings, whether or not Francis Bacon's work is "decorative," and why it's impossible to say anything really prescriptive about how to make art. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips in this episode:</strong> <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/dave-evans-on-ways-of-thinking-and-prototyping">Dave Evans on prototyping in design</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/alva-noe-on-art-as-a-strange-tool">Alva Noë on art as a "strange tool"</a>, and J<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/julian-schnabel-im-like-a-cave-person-with-a-website">ulian Schnabel on art and the internet</a>.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 03, 2016
74. Jace Clayton AKA DJ/Rupture - Sonic Veils and Revelations
3008
Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives. As DJ /Rupture, Jace Clayton has spun music all over the world in every imaginable kind of venue (including not only big arenas but also, once, a refrigerated truck) and released several critically acclaimed albums. He’s also one of the most gifted writers about musical culture that Jason has ever read. His book <a href="http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780374533427">Uproot: Travels in 21st Century Music and Digital Culture</a> digs deep into the back-bins of hyper-local musical traditions and zooms out to take in the whole shifting global landscape.<br><br>This conversation delves deep into the ways music disseminates and morphs in our digitally connected world, originality in cut-and-paste culture, and the fragility of beauty and culture. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips in this episode:</strong> <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/bill-burnett-on-how-to-brainstorm-innovative-ideas">Bill Burnett on Brainstorming Innovative Ideas</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/admin/text_ideas/Sheet1%20%20%20%20%20Explore%20%20http:/bigthink.com/videos/rethinking-social-networking-2">Jonathan Harris on Social Networks and Human Connection</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/mary-aiken-on-donald-trump-politics-and-the-internet">Mary Aiken on Trump as an Internet Troll</a><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 26, 2016
73. T.C. Boyle (Author) - Lost on Purpose
2667
Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives. <br><br><a href="https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;ved=0ahUKEwjv_46uhrPQAhWCyyYKHV04AggQFggdMAA&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tcboyle.com%2F&amp;usg=AFQjCNG4wGOCl5gnmozgy_Pl_DBJWQTklw">T.C. Boyle</a> is the author of 26 books of fiction, including The Tortilla Curtain, The Harder They Come, and World’s End (which won the Pen/Faulkner award). His latest is <a href="http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780062349408">The Terranauts</a>--it’s about an ill-fated, very expensive and highly publicised experiment in which 4 men and 4 women try to live together for two years in a Biodome in the Arizona Desert. <br><br>In this conversation, taped a couple weeks before Donald Trump was elected president, Boyle and Jason talk about the apparent implosion of the Republican party, how to grapple with existential despair when you don’t have religion to fall back on, what on Earth (or off it) humans should do when we run out of resources, and why Jason’s 8 year old son shouldn’t be afraid of getting lost in the woods. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips in this episode:</strong> <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/kathleen-mcauliffe-moral-disgust-and-visceral-disgust-are-the-same-thing">Kathleen McAuliffe on Conservatives and Disgust Sensitivity</a> and <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/sean-wilentz-on-the-us-two-party-political-system">Sean Wilentz on Why the Two Party System is Good for America</a><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 19, 2016
72. Slavoj Žižek (Philosopher) - Against Tolerance
3223
Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives. <br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/experts/slavoj-zizek">Slavoj Žižek</a> is a Hegelian philosopher,&nbsp; Lacanian psychoanalist, and political activist. He’s the international director of the Birbeck Institute for the Humanities, and Global Distinguished Professor of German at New York University. His newest book is <a href="http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781612196244">Refugees, Terror, and Other Troubles with the Neighbors: Against the Double Blackmail</a>. <br><br>In this spirited, wide-ranging discussion, the voluble <a href="http://bigthink.com/experts/slavoj-zizek">Žižek</a> talks about why he hates being called the "Elvis of philosophy," argues against liberal notions of tolerance, and promises to arrange for Jason to get cigarettes and whiskey in the gulag when the revolution comes. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips in this episode:</strong> <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/daniel-bergner-on-women-and-monogamy">Daniel Bergner on Women and Monogamy</a> and <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/scott-barry-kaufman-on-standardized-testing">Scott Barry Kaufman on Standardized Testing<br></a><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 12, 2016
71. Jelani Cobb (Historian) - Shiny New Skin, Same Old Snake
3267
Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives. <br><br>Historian and journalist <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/contributors/jelani-cobb">Jelani Cobb</a> is the author of <em>Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress </em>and other books, and one of our most powerful writers on the complexities of race in America. Jelani is a staff writer at the New Yorker, where he’s given readers nuanced insight into gun culture, police brutality, the #blacklivesmatter movement, and much more, and a professor of Journalism at Columbia University.&nbsp; <br><br>Although Jelani was hoping the surprise format might involve watching fun nature videos, the topics that came up included mathematical symmetry as a defining principle of the universe, whether and to what extent liberals should try to empathize with Trump supporters, and the ethics of human-animal and human-robot relations. Sorry, Jelani. <br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips in this episode:</strong> <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/jim-gaffigan-on-the-donald-trump-supporters-and-the-2016-election">Jim Gaffigan on Political Intolerance</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/glenn-cohen-on-ai-ethics-and-personhood">Glenn Cohen on AI Ethics</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/frank-wilczek-explains-symmetry">and Frank Wilczek on Symmetry<br></a><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 05, 2016
70. Margaret Atwood (Author) - The Good, The Bad, and The Stupid
2656
Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and <a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives. <br><br>Today's guest is novelist, essayist, poet, and as of late, comic-book writer <a href="http://margaretatwood.ca/">Margaret Atwood</a>. She’s also got some really funny mini-comics about bad interviews, so Jason tries extra-hard to bring his a-game here. She’s the Booker prize winning author of The Blind Assassin, Oryx &amp; Crake, The Handmaid’s Tale, and around 40 other beloved books. Her latest, <a href="http://margaretatwood.ca/books/hag-seed/">Hag-Seed</a>, is a total and delightfully wicked reimagining of Shakespeare’s The Tempest.<br><br>In this episode Margaret talks with Jason about genomes in the cloud, Bob Dylan's Nobel prize, the elusiveness of dead authors, and why technology's a three-edged sword.<br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips in this episode:</strong> <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/dna-in-the-cloud-2">Michael Schatz on storing our genomes in the cloud</a>, <a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/alison-gopnik-on-donald-trump-narcissism-and-children">Alison Gopnik on Narcissism <br></a><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 29, 2016
69. Jodi Picoult (Author) - Popular Fictions/Not Yours to Tell
2742
Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and Jason Gots, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.&nbsp;<br><br>In this episode of Think Again - a Big Think Podcast, author&nbsp;<a href="http://www.jodipicoult.com/">Jodi Picoult</a>&nbsp;and host&nbsp;<a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;talk comic books, social justice, and why white Americans need to take the risk (and the consequences) of talking honestly about race and class privilege.&nbsp;<br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips in this episode:&nbsp;</strong><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/c-nicole-mason-on-the-2016-election-and-poverty-in-america">C. Nicole Mason on Poverty and the 2016 Election,</a><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/ao-scott-on-anti-intellectualism-in-politics-and-art">A.O. Scott on Anti-Intellectualism</a><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 22, 2016
68. William Shatner (Actor, Author) – Yes, I Am Trying to Win This Podcast
2422
Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and Jason Gots, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.&nbsp;<br><br><a href="http://williamshatner.com/ws/">William Shatner</a>&nbsp;created the role of Captain James T Kirk on the original Star Trek, and won two Emmys and a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Denny Crane on “The Practice” and “Boston Legal”. He’s also written nearly 30 bestselling books of fiction and non-fiction and released two albums of music with the artist Ben Folds.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781501111556">His new book Zero-G</a>, coauthored with Jeff Rovin, is a science fiction terrorism thriller set in the year 2050. It begins with an unnaturally powerful Tsunami that destroys most of the coast of Japan, and follows FBI Field Agent Samuel Lord as he attempts to unravel the mystery.<br><br>In this extra feisty episode, Shatner and host Jason Gots talk ego, the extinction of the human race, bullying, and whether or not it's a dog-eat-dog world out there.&nbsp;<br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips in this episode:</strong><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/ryan-holiday-on-the-difference-between-ego-and-confidence">Ryan Holiday on ego</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/nikhil-goyal-on-bullying-in-american-schools">Nikhil Goyal on Bullying</a><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 15, 2016
67. James Gleick (Science Writer) - Everything All at Once
2366
Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and Jason Gots, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.<br><br><a href="https://around.com/">James Gleick</a>&nbsp;is one of our greatest living science writers,&nbsp; author of&nbsp;<a href="http://around.com/the-information">The Information</a>: A History, a Theory, a Flood. His first book,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.around.com/chaos">Chaos</a>, was a National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize finalist and a national bestseller. His other books include the best-selling biographies, Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman, and Isaac Newton, both shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize. James’ new book&nbsp;<a href="https://around.com/timetravel/">Time Travel: a History</a>, is an utterly fascinating journey through the history of an idea that has become part of the fabric of philosophy, science, and our daily lives, even though we can’t really do it yet. Not really.<br><br>In this episode, James and host Jason Gots talk about why we're so obsessed with something that's evidently impossible.&nbsp;<br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips in this episode:</strong><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/penn-jillette-on-prayer-and-the-atheist">Penn Jillette on "atheist prayers"</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/david-eagleman-your-time-bending-brain-2">David Eagleman on our perception of time</a>.&nbsp;<br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 08, 2016
66. Alton Brown (Chef, Author) - Easy-Bake Oven/Hard Knock Life
3011
Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and Jason Gots, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.&nbsp;<br><br>Cook, writer, and director&nbsp;<a href="http://altonbrown.com/">Alton Brown</a>&nbsp;is a living legend in food TV. Alton was the creator and host of the show “Good Eats”, which ran for 14 seasons on Food Network and has a 9/10 rating on IMDB which is basically unheard of (Casablanca is 8.6). He’s also known as the host of Iron Chef America, Cutthroat Kitchen, and Feasting on Asphalt, and is the author of many books.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781101885710?aff=penguinrandom">Alton’s latest book is “Everdaycook”</a>, in which he shares his favorite personal recipes including the amazing looking Breakfast Carbonara, which makes pasta for breakfast not only ok, but mandatory.<br><br>Alton and host Jason Gots talk about fire, their mutual childhood lust for the Betty Crocker Easy-Bake Oven and how everything worth doing might get you killed.<br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips in this episode:&nbsp;</strong><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/alison-gopnik-on-parenting-and-what-kids-need-most">Alison Gopnik on Parenting</a>,<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/ethan-hawke-on-success-by-small-achievable-goals">Ethan Hawke on goal setting</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/drew-ramsey-on-diet-and-depression">Drew Ramsey on diet and depression<br></a><br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/glenn-cohen-on-the-ethics-on-abortion"><br></a><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 01, 2016
65. Ian McEwan (Novelist) - A King of Infinite Space
2570
Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and Jason Gots, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.&nbsp;<br><br>This week's guest is novelist&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ianmcewan.com/">Ian McEwan</a>. He’s the bestselling author of 16 books, including Atonement, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the WH Smith Literary award and Amsterdam, which won the Booker Prize.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780385542074">His latest book, Nutshell</a>, is a darkly funny, brilliant riff on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, told from the point of view of an extremely articulate, nine month old fetus, viewing an unfolding murder plot from the limited vantage point of his mother’s womb.<br><br>In this far-ranging, lively dialogue, McEwan and host&nbsp;<a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;discuss Hamlet, moral quandaries, and how to set boundaries in a world that threatens to pull you in every direction.<br><br><strong>Surprise conversation starter interview clips in this episode:</strong><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/charles-duhigg-on-training-your-mind-to-stay-focused">Charles Duhigg on focus and productivity</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/glenn-cohen-on-the-ethics-on-abortion">Glenn Cohen on the ethics of abortion<br></a><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 24, 2016
64. Mixtape #4 – The Writers' Room
2605
<strong>In this episode:&nbsp;</strong><br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/">Big Think</a>&nbsp;launched in 2008 as a "YouTube for intellectuals." Since then, it has produced over 10,000 short-form video interviews with many of the most influential and creative thinkers of our time.&nbsp;<br><br>Big Think's videos are bits of "expert wisdom", presented confidently and definitively against a white screen background. With THINK AGAIN, we wanted to revisit these ideas the way the audience encounters them––spontaneously, messily, and often out of context. We wanted to bring the experts to that state some thinkers call "beginner's mind" and see what would happen.&nbsp;<br><br><strong>The format:</strong>&nbsp;Jason sits down with artists, scientists, historians––all accomplished experts in their fields. They chat a bit about the guest's work. Then, they watch three surprise Big Think interview clips (chosen by the video producers), emailed to Jason just before the interview, and discuss them. And the conversation goes where it goes. &nbsp;<br><br>Some amazing moments have happened this past year––fun, profound, profoundly painful. This, the fourth of our first year "mixtapes", focuses on the most memorable bits of writerly wit and wisdom from the first year of Think Again - a Big Think Podcast. With playwright and screenwriter Sir David Hare on (not) resting on your laurels, National Book Award Winner James McBride on writing with a roomful of giant talents, rapper and first-time novelist&nbsp;<a href="http://katetempest.co.uk/">Kate Tempest</a>&nbsp;on writers' block as "fear of writing", and Nobel Laureate Turkish author Orhan Pamuk on why writing programs should teach writers to manage their own psychology.&nbsp;<br><br><strong>Surprise clips in this episode:<br></strong><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/the-psychology-of-happiness-and-feedback">Sheila Heen</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HR22lvBo1rQ">Bessel Van Der Kolk</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/charles-duhigg-on-the-science-of-productive-teams">Charles Duhigg</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/augusten-burroughs-on-how-to-overcome-writers-block">Augusten Burroughs<br></a><br><strong>About Think Again - A Big Think Podcast:&nbsp;</strong>You've got 10 minutes with Einstein. What do you talk about? Black holes? Time travel? Why not gambling?&nbsp;<em>The Art of War</em>? Contemporary parenting? Some of the best conversations happen when we're pushed outside of our comfort zones. Each week on Think Again, we surprise smart people you may have heard of with short clips from Big Think's interview archives on every imaginable subject. These conversations could, and do, go anywhere.<br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 17, 2016
63. Eric Kandel (Nobel Laureate neuroscientist) - The Eye of the Beholder
2490
Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and Jason Gots, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.&nbsp;<br><br>On this week's episode: Professor&nbsp;<a href="http://kavli.columbia.edu/leadership/kandel">Eric Kandel</a>&nbsp;of Columbia University and host&nbsp;<a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>discuss abstract art, memory, identity, and the nature of evil. When he was 9 years old, Eric Kandel listened on a short-wave radio his brother had made as Hitler marched into Kandel's hometown of Vienna, Austria. The next day, a non-Jewish classmate told him "Kandel, I'm never to speak to you again." In the year 2000, He won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for pioneering work on understanding how memory is stored in the brain by studying a particular type of sea snail with a relatively simple nervous system. In his recent books, he’s been pioneering in a different way––trying to bridge the gap between the “two cultures” of the sciences and the humanities. His current book&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Reductionism-Art-Brain-Science-Bridging/dp/0231179626">Reductionism in Art and Brain Science</a>&nbsp;continues this essential work by looking at the ways both modern art and science “reduce” complex phenomena down to their component parts to achieve new insights and effects.<br><br><strong>Surprise "conversation starter" interview clips in this episode:</strong><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/janna-levin-on-benefits-of-restraints-in-science">Janna Levin</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/susan-david-on-psychology-of-fear-and-demagoguery">Susan David</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/george-musser-on-the-strangeness-of-physics-and-telepathy">George Musser<br></a><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 10, 2016
62. Mixtape #3 – a Soupçon of Ornithology
3160
<a href="http://bigthink.com/">Big Think</a>&nbsp;launched in 2008 as a "YouTube for intellectuals." Since then, it has produced over 10,000 short-form video interviews with many of the most influential and creative thinkers of our time.&nbsp;<br><br>In 2014, the podcast SERIAL burst on the scene and Apple put a "podcasts" app in the iPhone's OS, and suddenly podcasting, which had existed for over a decade, was widely considered to have entered its Golden Age (wonder how all the veteran podcasters felt about that...). So Big Think decided it might be a good time to start a podcast, too––to find its voice in this newly energized space.&nbsp;<a href="http://jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;(who had been a writer and editor there since 2010), more or less leapt out of his chair at the meeting where this was announced and volunteered to create and host it. Thus THINK AGAIN - A BIG THINK PODCAST was born.&nbsp;<br><br>Big Think's videos are bits of "expert wisdom", presented confidently and definitively against a white screen background. With THINK AGAIN, we wanted to revisit these ideas the way the audience encounters them––spontaneously, messily, and often out of context. We wanted to bring the experts to that state some thinkers call "beginner's mind" and see what would happen.&nbsp;<br><br><strong>The format:</strong>&nbsp;Jason sits down with artists, scientists, historians––all accomplished experts in their fields. They chat a bit about the guest's work. Then, they watch three surprise Big Think interview clips (chosen by the video producers), emailed to Jason just before the interview, and discuss them. And the conversation goes where it goes. &nbsp;<br><br>Some amazing moments have happened this past year––fun, profound, profoundly painful––we're stepping back and taking stock. This, the third of our year one mixtapes, features direct, powerful, and hilarious conversations with actor&nbsp;<a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000160/">Ethan Hawke</a>, comedians&nbsp;<a href="http://paulftompkins.com/">P.F. Tompkins</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://chrisgeth.com/">Chris Gethard</a>, and musician&nbsp;<a href="http://amandapalmer.net/">Amanda Palmer</a>.&nbsp;<br><br><strong>Surprise clips in this episode:<br></strong><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/andrew-keen-on-societal-effects-of-internet">Andrew Keen</a>&nbsp;on the cultural impact of the internet,&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/bill-nye-on-the-infinite-universe">Bill Nye</a>&nbsp;on infinity, and&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/baratunde-thurston-on-information-overabundance">Baratunde Thurston</a>&nbsp;on information overabundance. &nbsp;<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 03, 2016
61. Alison Gopnik (Developmental Psychologist) – Artificial Intelligence/Natural Stupidity
2808
<a href="http://www.alisongopnik.com/">Alison Gopnik&nbsp;</a>is an internationally recognized expert in children’s learning and development. A professor of psychology and affiliate professor of philosophy at UC Berkeley, and the author of many books including the The Philosophical Baby. Her new book&nbsp;<a href="http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780374229702">The Gardener and the Carpenter</a>&nbsp;is a response to the fact that “parenting” has become a verb, a powerful middle class trend, a lucrative self-help industry, and sometimes a kind of bloodsport. Meanwhile developmental science paints a very different picture of how children grow and learn, and what it means to be a good parent. As Gopnik puts it, “It’s easy to say ‘just chill,’ but the advice is, basically, just chill!” &nbsp;<br><br>On this week's episode of Think Again–a Big Think Podcast, Alison Gopnik and host&nbsp;<a href="http://jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;discuss play, artificial intelligence, and the trouble with "parenting" as a verb.&nbsp;<br><br><strong>Surprise "conversation starter" interview clips in this episode:</strong><a href="http://players.brightcove.net/115485138001/default_default/index.html?videoId=5080049843001">Ryan Holiday</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://bcove.me/jkqytgeo">Steven Pinker</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="http://players.brightcove.net/115485138001/default_default/index.html?videoId=1443490839001">Sonia Arrison</a>.&nbsp;<br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 27, 2016
60. Teju Cole (Writer) – The World is Not a Settled Gift
2705
Nigerian-born writer, photographer, and art historian&nbsp;<a href="http://www.tejucole.com/">Teju Cole</a>&nbsp;is the author of the novel Open City and the novella Every Day is for the Theif. He’s also the photography critic of the New York Times magazine. His new book is a collection of deeply insightful and beautiful essays about things read, seen, and experienced. It’s called&nbsp;<a href="http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780812989786?aff=NPR">Known and Strange Things</a>.&nbsp;<br><br>On this week's episode of Think Again–a Big Think Podcast, Teju Cole and host&nbsp;<a href="http://jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;discuss first drafts, the complexities of home, and the greatest innovation in human history.&nbsp;<br><br><strong>Surprise "conversation starter" interview clips in this episode:</strong><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/jacqueline-woodson-on-literary-criticism">Jacqueline Woodson</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/virginia-heffernan-on-the-internet-as-the-masterpiece-of-civilization">Virginia Heffernan</a><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 20, 2016
59. Jacqueline Woodson (Writer) – Bored Kid Dreaming/Apologies Long Overdue
2332
<a href="http://www.jacquelinewoodson.com/">Jacqueline Woodson</a>, the Newberry, Caldecott, and National-Book Award winning author of Brown Girl Dreaming, If You Come Softly and many other works of poetry and literature for children and young adults, has just released&nbsp;<a href="http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780062359988">Another Brooklyn</a>, her first adult novel in twenty years.&nbsp;<em>Another Brookly</em>n heartbreakingly illuminates the formative time when childhood gives way to adulthood—the promise and peril of growing up—and exquisitely renders a powerful, indelible, and fleeting friendship that united four young lives.<br><br>On this week's episode of Think Again–a Big Think Podcast, Jacqueline and host&nbsp;<a href="http://jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;discuss collective amnesia, organized religion, the power of photographs, and why never being bored is bad for for kids.&nbsp;<br><br>Surprise "conversation starter" interview clips:&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/lynsey-addario-on-the-power-of-photographs">Lynsey Addario</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/sebastian-junger-mandatory-national-service-might-save-the-us">Sebastian Junger</a>,<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/maria-konnikova-on-cons-and-cults">Maria Konnikova<br></a><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 13, 2016
58. Mixtape #2 – Staring at the Sea
2960
<a href="http://bigthink.com/">Big Think</a>&nbsp;launched in 2008 as a "YouTube for intellectuals." Since then, it has produced over 10,000 short-form video interviews with many of the most influential and creative thinkers of our time.&nbsp;<br><br>In 2014, the podcast SERIAL burst on the scene and Apple put a "podcasts" app in the iPhone's OS, and suddenly podcasting, which had existed for over a decade, was widely considered to have entered its Golden Age (wonder how all the veteran podcasters felt about that...). So Big Think decided it might be a good time to start a podcast, too––to find its voice in this newly energized space.&nbsp;<a href="http://jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;(who had been a writer and editor there since 2010), more or less leapt out of his chair at the meeting where this was announced and volunteered to create and host it. Thus THINK AGAIN - A BIG THINK PODCAST was born.&nbsp;<br><br>Big Think's videos are bits of "expert wisdom", presented confidently and definitively against a white screen background. With THINK AGAIN, we wanted to revisit these ideas the way the audience encounters them––spontaneously, messily, and often out of context. We wanted to bring the experts to that state some thinkers call "beginner's mind" and see what would happen.&nbsp;<br><br><strong>The format:</strong>&nbsp;Jason sits down with artists, scientists, historians––all accomplished experts in their fields. They chat a bit about the guest's work. Then, they watch three surprise Big Think interview clips (chosen by the video producers), emailed to Jason just before the interview, and discuss them. And the conversation goes where it goes. &nbsp;<br><br>Some amazing moments have happened this past year––fun, profound, profoundly painful––so this week and next, we're stepping back and taking stock. This, the second of two "greatest hits mixtapes", features Playwright and Performer&nbsp;<a href="http://sarahjonesonline.com/">Sarah Jones</a>&nbsp;both as herself and as a completely different person, Musician and Artist&nbsp;<a href="http://henryrollins.com/">Henry Rollins</a>&nbsp;on a divided America, Critic&nbsp;<a href="http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/a_o_scott/index.html">A.O. Scott</a>&nbsp;on our complicated relationships with our devices, Actress and Author&nbsp;<a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000571/">Mary-Louise Parker</a>&nbsp;being extremely skeptical that Virtual Reality will make us more empathetic, and Rapper and Novelist<a href="http://katetempest.co.uk/">Kate Tempest</a>&nbsp;with a staggeringly powerful, spontaneous monologue on the stories we tell ourselves.&nbsp;<br><br><strong>Surprise clips in this episode</strong>:&nbsp;<br><br><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gX4y9c_DaBU">Paul Ekman</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/admin/video_ideas/ralph-rivera-on-3d-and-360-degree-media-2">Ralph Rivera</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/sherry-turkle-on-solitude-and-smart-phones">Sherry Turkle</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/parag-khanna-global-interconnectedness-might-prevent-world-war-iii">Parag Khanna<br></a><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 06, 2016
57. Mixtape #1 - Lies/Monsters/Friendship/Religion/Space Aliens
3034
<a href="http://bigthink.com">Big Think</a>&nbsp;launched in 2008 as a "YouTube for intellectuals." Since then, it has produced over 10,000 short-form video interviews with many of the most influential and creative thinkers of our time.&nbsp;<br><br>In 2014, the podcast SERIAL burst on the scene and Apple put a "podcasts" app in the iPhone's OS, and suddenly podcasting, which had existed for over a decade, was widely considered to have entered its Golden Age (wonder how all the veteran podcasters felt about that...). So Big Think decided it might be a good time to start a podcast, too––to find its voice in this newly energized space.&nbsp;<a href="http://jasongots.com">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;(who had been a writer and editor there since 2010), more or less leapt out of his chair at the meeting where this was announced and volunteered to create and host it. Thus THINK AGAIN - A BIG THINK PODCAST was born.&nbsp;<br><br>Big Think's videos are bits of "expert wisdom", presented confidently and definitively against a white screen background. With THINK AGAIN, we wanted to revisit these ideas the way the audience encounters them––spontaneously, messily, and often out of context. We wanted to bring the experts to that state some thinkers call "beginner's mind" and see what would happen.&nbsp;<br><br><strong>The format:</strong>&nbsp;Jason sits down with artists, scientists, historians––all accomplished experts in their fields. They chat a bit about the guest's work. Then, they watch three surprise Big Think interview clips (chosen by the video producers), emailed to Jason just before the interview, and discuss them. And the conversation goes where it goes.&nbsp;<br><br>Some amazing moments have happened this past year––fun, profound, profoundly painful––so this week and next, we're stepping back and taking stock. This, the first of two "greatest hits mixtapes", features author&nbsp;<a href="http://www.junotdiaz.com/">Junot Diaz</a>&nbsp;on why he's fascinated by double lives, popular philosopher&nbsp;<a href="https://www.samharris.org/">Sam Harris</a>&nbsp;on monsters in literature, Brain Pickings founder&nbsp;<a href="https://www.brainpickings.org/about/">Maria Popova</a>&nbsp;on the complexities of friendship, rapper and poet&nbsp;<a href="http://saulwilliams.com/">Saul Williams</a>&nbsp;on the Catholic Church and his preacher father, and former pro wrestler and Minnesota Governor&nbsp;<a href="http://www.jesseventura.net/">Jesse Ventura</a>&nbsp;on space aliens. It also includes an original THINK AGAIN song written for us in less than a week by the amazing, inimitable&nbsp;<a href="http://moternmedia.com/">Matt Farley.</a><br><br><strong>Surprise clips in this episode</strong>:&nbsp;<br><br><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/joyce-carol-oates-on-writing">Joyce Carol Oates</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aziumOp8msQ">Dan Ariely</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/william-shatner-on-friendship-and-leonard-nimoy">William Shatner</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/charlene-li-on-pope-francis">Charlene Li</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwRpQXbsF0k">Brian Greene</a><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 30, 2016
56. Jonathon Keats (Experimental Philosopher) – The Trickster/Castles in the Sky
3102
"Experimental philosopher" and science writer&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/experts/jonathonkeats">Jonathon Keats</a>, who famously created pornography for plants and sold real estate in the alternate dimensions proposed by string theory, believes that we "need to ascend to the meta level" to find creative ways of reopening closed conversations. His new book&nbsp;<a href="http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780199338238">You Belong to the Universe: Buckminster Fuller and the Future</a>, explores the myth and the relevance of a self-mythologizing sometime genius, sometime crackpot whose vast imagination holds some keys to solving the massive problems we now face as a species.&nbsp;<br><br>On this week's episode of Think Again–a Big Think Podcast, Jonathon and host&nbsp;<a href="http://jasongots.com">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;discuss social taboos, Fuller's legacy, the "mediated" nature of contemporary life, the power of comedy in society, and so much more.&nbsp;<br><br>Surprise discussion clips in this episode:&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/jim-gaffigan-on-political-correctness-in-comedy">Jim Gaffigan on political correctness in comedy</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/how-not-to-tell-children-about-sex">Dan Savage on sex education</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/mary-roach-on-dysentery-during-wartime">Mary Roach on diharrhea in the armed forces</a>.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 23, 2016
55. Mary Roach (Science Writer) – To Nietszche His Own
2210
Sex toy book parties! Penis transplants! Decomposition labs! These are just a few of the places the intrepid, New York Times bestselling author&nbsp;<a href="http://maryroach.net/">Mary Roach</a>&nbsp;takes us in hilarious, curiosity-driven books like Bonk:: The Curious Science of Sex and her latest,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780393245448">Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War</a>. It's some of the best, most engaging science writing out there.&nbsp;<br><br>On this week's episode of Think Again–a Big Think Podcast, Mary and host&nbsp;<a href="http://jasongots.com">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;discuss some of the above, then enter more the more abstract territory of dark matter, Nietzche's atheism, and emotional connection with artificial intelligence. It's a weird and wonderful talk adventure.&nbsp;<br><br>Surprise discussion clips in this episode:&nbsp;<a href=" http://bigthink.com/videos/simon-critchley-examines-friedrich-nietzsche">Philosopher Simon Critchley on Nietzsche</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/lisa-randall-on-dark-matter-101">Physicist Lisa Randall on Dark Matter</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/admin/video_ideas/sherry-turkle-on-the-dangers-of-emotional-interactions-with-robots">Sherry Turkle on Emotions and AI</a><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 16, 2016
54. LIVE! Sarah Jones (actor/playwright) –
2492
<a href="http://sarahjonesonline.com/">Sarah Jones</a>&nbsp;is a Tony and Obie award-winning playwright and performer. She's unlike any other artist in her uncanny ability to create,&nbsp;<em>become,&nbsp;</em>&nbsp;and instantly switch between characters, convincingly inhabiting their physicality and their consciousness. Sarah's 2004 one woman show BRIDGE &amp; TUNNEL channeled the symphony of voices that make up New York City's five boroughs. She returns this fall to the Manhattan Theatre Club with SELL/BUY/DATE, in which she plays all characters in a sex-ed class from the future that doubles as a brilliant, satirical commentary on life in 2016.&nbsp;<br><br>On May 20th, 2016, almost exactly a year after we launched, Think Again did an episode live with Sarah Jones as part of NYC Podfest, at CakeShop NYC. Host Jason Gots knew in advance that Sarah might be slipping into and out of character, but not&nbsp;<em>which characters</em>, or when. Over the course of the hour, Sarah became and responded to the surprise discussion clips as Rashid, an out-of-work rapper, Lorraine, a Jewish grandmother, Bella, a millennial, and many more. Far from stereotypes, these were fully-fleshed people with brilliant insights grounded in their radically different life experiences.&nbsp;<br><br>Above all, it was a hell of a lot of fun for the 100+ people present, and we're delighted to share it now with you.&nbsp;<br><br>Surprise clips in this episode:&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/douglas-rushkoff-on-creating-value-in-the-digital-economy">Douglas Rushkoff on collaboration in the digital economy</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/angie-mcarthur-on-mind-patterns-and-attention">Angie MacArthur on types of attention</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/parag-khanna-global-interconnectedness-might-prevent-world-war-iii">Parag Khanna on World War III</a><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 09, 2016
53. Sean Wilentz (Historian) – The Culture Strikes Back
2285
<em>The stakes are extraordinarily high in this election. We’re at a crossroads. I think the current politics are a continuation of the fight we’ve been having since the ‘60s.The expansion of an African-American middle class, the changes in family norms, in gender and sexual norms . . .Lots of people felt threatened by that. Lots of people resisted that.&nbsp;<br></em><br><em>But the war is only going to be settled now.&nbsp;</em>&nbsp;– Sean Wilentz<br><br><a href="http://www.seanwilentz.com/">Sean Wilentz</a>&nbsp;is a Princeton professor and the Bancroft-Prize-Winning Author of&nbsp;<em>The Rise of American Democracy.&nbsp;</em>He’s also a major music historian and the author of Bob Dylan in America, and the official historian of Bob Dylan’s website. His new book&nbsp;<a href="http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780393285024"><em>The Politicians and the Egalitarians: The Hidden History of American Politics</em></a><em>&nbsp;</em>argues that there are two keys to understanding American politics––the theme of party politics and outsider resistance to it, and the theme of economic and social egalitarianism. He argues that all positive change in American political history has happened within the system of party politics.&nbsp;<br><br>On this week's episode of Think Again - a Big Think Podcast, Wilentz and host&nbsp;<a href="http://jasongots.com">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;discuss identity politics, human life on Mars, and the culture war that began when the counterculture "won" the battle in the late '60s, and which Wilentz argues is reaching a final cataclysm with the election of 2016.&nbsp;<br><br>Surprise discussion clips in this episode:&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/lewis-black-political-correctness-is-between-uptight-and-stupid">Comedian Lewis Black on political correctness</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/bill-nye-humans-might-be-on-mars-by-2033">Bill Nye on colonizing Mars</a>.&nbsp;<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 02, 2016
52. Jim Gaffigan (Comedian) – You're Attacking My Grandpa?
2469
“It’s funny or it’s not funny. In the end, people are not coming&nbsp;<br>to my show because I’m not cursing” – Jim Gaffigan<br><br><a href="http://www.jimgaffigan.com/">Jim Gaffigan</a>&nbsp;is a Grammy nominated stand-up comedian and the New York Times best-selling author of “Dad is Fat” and other books, and he’s about to launch the second season of&nbsp; his semi-fictitious TV show,&nbsp;<em>The Jim Gaffigan Show</em>.&nbsp;<br><br>On this week's episode of Think Again - a Big Think Podcast, Jim and host&nbsp;<a href="http://jasongots.com">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;talk about the gift of loving what you do for a living, "othering" people we disagree with, and how bigotry is a bipartisan phenomenon. Trump comes up, as do The Simpsons, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, New Yorkers' weird ideas about the Midwest and vice versa, and Jim's Grandpa (sort of). &nbsp;<br><br>Surprise discussion clips in this episode:&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/sean-wilentz-analyzes-trump-in-a-historical-context">Princeton historian Sean Wilentz on the Trump phenomenon</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/dan-pontefract-on-working-with-purpose">Dan Pontefract on working with purpose</a>.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 25, 2016
51. Krista Tippett (Author, Host, "On Being") – We Are Made by What Would Break Us
2735
"That is one of the most mysterious things about human existence: that we are made by what would break us, repeatedly. That life is hard, and the only guarantee we have is that even at our moments of greatest accomplishment, something will happen that we didn’t expect." – Krista Tippett<br><br>Krista Tippett is the Peabody award-winning host of the radio program and podcast&nbsp;<a href="http://www.onbeing.org/">On Being</a>, in which she and her guests discuss the deeper mysteries of the universe and human existence, which can be difficult things to talk about. Her new book is called&nbsp;<a href="http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781594206801?aff=AmPublicMedia">Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living</a>. It distills and organizes some of the insights she’s gained over 12 years of talking to spiritual, scientific, artistic and social pioneers about many, many things, but maybe fundamentally about how to live a good life.&nbsp;<br><br>On this week's episode of Think Again - a Big Think Podcast, Krista and host&nbsp;<a href="http://jasongots.com">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;discuss the things that are most difficult and most necessary to talk about––the divides across which our words and our courage fail.&nbsp;<br><br>Surprise discussion clips in this episode:&nbsp;<a href="http://bcove.me/40pu5jzl">Amy Cuddy on body language</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://bcove.me/079nu26g">Russell Simmons on the ethics of veganism</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="http://bcove.me/4jblymx8">Max Bazerman on cognitive blind spots</a>.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 18, 2016
50. Ethan Hawke (Actor, Author) – The High, Hard Road/Ghosts of the Apache Wars
3037
“Whenever we start seeing people as&nbsp;<em>other,&nbsp;</em>we just get lost. There were so many decent cowboys trying to do the right thing. And so many decent First Nation people trying to do the right thing. And there were so many liars, and cheaters, and people trying to get ahead. So many people with short term goals screwing everything up.”&nbsp;<br><br>After his breakout roles in Dead Poets Society and Reality Bites, actor, director, and author&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/experts/ethan-hawke">Ethan Hawke</a>&nbsp;has followed his own path as an artist, starting a theater company, writing two novels, acting in decade-spanning film productions directed by Richard Linklater including, most recently the amazing Boyhood. He’s just published his first graphic novel, which he wrote with artist Greg Ruth. It’s called &nbsp;<a href="http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781401310998">INDEH: A Story of the Apache Wars</a>, and its tells a complex and very human story of relations between the Apaches and the white Americans who ultimately took over their lands.&nbsp;<br><br>On this week's episode of Think Again - a Big Think Podcast, Ethan Hawke and host&nbsp;<a href="http://jasongots.com">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;discuss fatherhood, perpetual warfare, and the daily struggle between light and dark within every person. It's a raw, intense, sometimes laugh-out-loud conversation that spans continents and decades in under an hour.&nbsp;<br><br>Surprise discussion clips in this episode:&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/sam-harris-on-spirituality">Sam Harris</a>&nbsp;on spirituality,&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/steven-kotler-on-misinformation-surrounding-steroids">Steven Kotler</a>&nbsp;on Steroids (not literally ON them), and&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/jerry-kaplan-are-ai-robots-on-the-battlefield-unethical-maybe-not">Jerry Kaplan</a>&nbsp;on robot wars.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 11, 2016
49. Geoff Dyer (Author) – Ordinary Epiphanies
2421
Novelist and essayist&nbsp;<a href="http://geoffdyer.com/">Geoff Dyer</a>&nbsp;is one of the English language's most mordant and poetic observers of art, travel, and human behavior. He's the winner of the National Book Critics Circle&nbsp; Award for Criticism and the Windham Campbell Prize for Nonfiction. In his most recent book&nbsp;<a href="http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781101870853">White Sands</a>, weaving stories about places to which he has recently traveled with images and memories that have persisted since childhood, Dyer tries “to work out what a certain place—a certain way of marking the landscape—means; what it’s trying to tell us; what we go to it for.”<br><br>On this week's episode of Think Again - a Big Think Podcast, Dyer talks revenge, hallucinogens, the criminal brain, Geoff's disappointing trip to see the Northern Lights and more, and there is a spontaneous William Blake smackdown, much to the chagrin of host&nbsp;<a href="http://jasongots.com">Jason Gots</a>.&nbsp;<br><br>Surprise discussion clips in this episode:&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/michael-gazzaniga-the-criminal-brain">Michael Gazzaniga</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/lawrence-krauss-stop-validating-ignorance">Lawrence Krauss</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/maia-szalavitz-on-us-drug-policy-and-addiction">Maia Szalavitz</a><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 04, 2016
48. Mary-Louise Parker (Actress, Author): Virtual Empathy?/Lessons Relearned
2140
Death, Bob Marley, parenthood, gratitude, and what to do in the face of incalculable suffering. These are just a few of the topics raised in this episode's vulnerable, searching discussion with Tony, Emmy, Obie, and two-time Golden Globe award-winning actress and author&nbsp;<a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000571/">Mary-Louise Parker.</a><br><br>She’s won many awards -- Tony, Obie, Golden Globe, Emmy -- for her roles in the Showtime series Weeds, the TV miniseries of Angels in America, and the play Proof, among other things. Unbeknownst to many people until now, she’s also a seriously talented writer. Her first book, &nbsp;<a href="http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781501107832">Dear Mr. You</a>, is a series of letters to men, real and hypothetical, living and dead, who have had a meaningful impact on her life.&nbsp;<br><br>Surprise interview clips from&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/henry-rollins-music-is-powerful-but-it-cant-stop-a-war-2">Henry Rollins</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/ralph-rivera-on-3d-and-360-degree-media-2">Ralph Rivera</a>&nbsp;set Mary-Louise and host&nbsp;<a href="http://jasongots.com">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;off on a conversation about the limits of empathy, the power of music, and the fact that likability is way overrated.&nbsp;<br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 28, 2016
47. Kate Tempest (rapper/poet/novelist): Lost and Found in South London
2300
"When you’re writing a novel, it’s agony. It’s complete agony. It’s a horrible thing to put yourself through.&nbsp;All of the instinctive kind of rushes of creativity, the energized outpourings, anybody can do that. That’s not what makes you a writer. The bit of this job that makes you a writer is when you don’t feel like that. When you feel like you never deserved to even imagine that you could have been a writer. When you hate every word that you’ve made. When you doubt every single part of your brain. To sit down in that space and work because you’ve got a deadline to meet, because you’ve got a novel to write. You know to ignore your brain in that moment, because your brain is defeating you. You have to be able to trust your hand."<br><br>– Kate Tempest, in this episode&nbsp;<br><a href="http://katetempest.co.uk/"><br>Kate Tempest</a>&nbsp;is a force of nature. She won the coveted Ted Hughes award for her epic poem&nbsp;<em>Brand New Ancients</em>, which she toured internationally as a stage show to massive critical acclaim. Her novelistic 2014 rap album&nbsp;<em>Everybody Down&nbsp;</em>takes hip-hop in entirely new directions. And with 2016's&nbsp;<a href="http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781620409015"><em>The Bricks That Built the Houses</em></a>, she has reworked these ideas into a deeply moving and powerful novel (her first) about four friends in her native South London.&nbsp;<br><br>Our conversation starts here, with the challenges and discipline of novel-writing and travels through deep and personal territory, as Kate talks passionately about art and the human heart in our "tragic and troubling times".&nbsp;<br><br><strong>NOT TO BE MISSED:</strong>&nbsp;Kate's breathtaking, spontaneous poetic monologue at the very end of the show.&nbsp;<br><br>On this week's episode of Think Again - A Big Think Podcast, Kate and host&nbsp;<a href="http://jasongots.com">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;go deep into these topics and more.&nbsp;<br><br><strong>Surprise discussion clips in this episode:</strong>&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/augusten-burroughs-on-how-to-overcome-writers-block">Augusten Burroughs</a>&nbsp;on writer's block and&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/william-shatner-on-science-and-imagination">William Shatner</a>&nbsp;on science and imagination.&nbsp;<br><br><strong>Kate Tempest song sampled in the show</strong>:&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOXXdYtZSbQ">Europe is Lost</a><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 21, 2016
46. Chris Gethard (Comedian) – a Blessing in Disguise
2398
<em>I’m starting to feel that what people in the future will actually want is something that feels small. That feels like not everyone has access to it. You’ll see more people making a modest living and less people making these massive superstar livings. &nbsp; –&nbsp;</em>Chris Gethard, in this episode.&nbsp;<br><br>Why was having his "big break" sitcom bomb a blessing in disguise for&nbsp;<a href="http://chrisgeth.com/">Chris Gethard</a>, creator of the beloved&nbsp;<a href="http://fusion.net/show/the-chris-gethard-show/">Chris Gethard Show</a>&nbsp; "the most bizarre and often saddest talk show in New York City"? What do comedians and con artists have in common? When your authenticity and approachability make you famous, how do you maintain them?&nbsp;<br><br>On this week's episode of Think Again - A Big Think Podcast, Chris and host&nbsp;<a href="http://jasongots.com">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;go deep into these topics and more.&nbsp;<br><br>Surprise discussion clips in this episode:&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/maria-konnikova-on-the-con-artist-as-listener">Maria Konnikova</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/baratunde-thurston-on-information-overabundance">Baratunde Thurston</a>.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 14, 2016
45. James McBride (Author) – Fear Sells Many a Car/James Brown is a Noun
2110
“Fear is just a monster motivator. It sells many a car and harnesses many a vote.”&nbsp; – James McBride, in this episode.&nbsp;<br><br>Fear, says National Book Award winner and New York Times bestselling author&nbsp;<a href="http://www.jamesmcbride.com/index-flash.html">James McBride</a>, was the most powerful force in the life of James Brown, the Godfather of Soul. It drove him to become "the hardest working man in show business", to hoard massive stashes of cash beneath hotel room carpets, and to seek temporary refuge in drugs. It also drove him to leave one of the most astonishing musical legacies in American history, redefining R&amp;B, Soul, and Funk music in the process.&nbsp;<br><br>This, along with surprise interview clips from&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/charles-duhigg-on-the-science-of-productive-teams">Charles Duhigg</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/steven-pinker-on-data-and-the-history-of-violence">Steven Pinker</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/ao-scott-will-virtual-reality-supplant-cinema">A.O. Scott</a>, is the spark that sets James McBride and host Jason Gots off on a conversational journey with many twists and turns that touches on violence, virtual reality, and what it's like to be in a writer's room with Ta-Nahesi Coates, James McBride, David Simon (creator of The Wire) and Pulitzer Prize winning historian Taylor Branch.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
May 07, 2016
44. Douglas Rushkoff (Media Theorist) – Hack the $ystem
2160
"The problem with our time is that we look at people for their utility value.", says&nbsp;<a href="http://www.rushkoff.com/about/">Douglas Rushkoff</a>, author of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.rushkoff.com/books/throwing-rocks-at-the-google-bus/">Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus</a>.&nbsp;<br><br>Since the late Middle Ages, Rushkoff argues, money and businesses have been programmed to extract more and more value from humans and the earth. The priority of endless growth has led to scorched-earth policies that put humans out of work and destroy the planet,&nbsp;<br><br>But we programmed the system in the first place, says Rushkoff, and we can reprogram it. Join him and Think Again host&nbsp;<a href="http://jasongots.com">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;for a searching discussion of our many, many alternatives to a robot dystopian future.&nbsp;<br><br>Surprise conversation-starters in this episode from novelist&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/joshua-cohen-on-political-correctness-on-college-campuses">Joshua Cohen</a>, communication expert&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/nancy-duarte-on-steve-jobs-usage-of-ceremony">Nancy Duarte</a>, and personal growth expert&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/fear-is-the-mind-killer-2 ">Tara-Sophia Mohr.</a><br><br>And here's Jason Gots'&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/overthinking-everything-with-jason-gots/nobody-grows-forever-or-beyond-digital-industrialism">article on Rushkoff's new book</a>, which Jason really, really liked.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 30, 2016
43. Michael Puett (Harvard Chinese Philosophy Scholar) – Freedom Through Ritual
2049
<a href="http://scholar.harvard.edu/puett/home">Michael Puett</a>&nbsp;teaches one of three most popular undergraduate courses at Harvard, on ancient Chinese philosophy and ethics: Daoism, Confucianism, Legalism, Moism, and more. What keeps students coming back year after year to this seemingly esoteric subject? Puett promises that if you take the ideas in his course seriously, they will change your life. He captures these ideas in his new book&nbsp;<a href="http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781476777832">The Path: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good Life</a>, co-authored with&nbsp;<a href="http://christinegrossloh.com/">Christine Gross-Loh</a>.&nbsp;<br><br>On this week's episode of Think Again, Puett and host&nbsp;<a href="http://jasongots.com">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;discuss free will, Western individualism, and more, with surprise prompts from interview clips with&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/jesse-ventura-on-abortion-and-government">Jesse Ventura</a>&nbsp;and Nobel Laureate physicist&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/frank-wilczek-on-physics-and-understanding-the-mind">Frank Wilczek</a>.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 23, 2016
42. Joshua Cohen (Novelist) – Scrupulously Messy, by Which I Mean Human
2098
In this week's episode&nbsp;<a href="http://www.joshuacohen.org/">Joshua Cohen</a>, author of the "great American internet novel"&nbsp;<a href="http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780812986655">Book of Numbers</a>, says that if a cliché sticks around long enough it can become a prayer.<br><br>In conversation with host&nbsp;<a href="http://jasongots.com">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;and prompted by video interview clips featuring&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/what-is-punk">Henry Rollins</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/nikhil-goyal-on-bullying-in-american-schools">Nikhil Goyal</a>, Cohen delves into secret languages, the horrors of childhood, and the dangers of overexplaining. It's a punchy and penetrating dialogue with one of our most original living authors.&nbsp;<br><br>“Just don’t unpack shit. Let’s make the world more opaque.”&nbsp;<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 16, 2016
41. Sarah Kay (Poet) – Kids See Right Through That
2093
"Authenticity is something that cannot be fabricated." – Sarah Kay&nbsp;<br><br>On this week's episode, poet&nbsp;<a href="http://www.kaysarahsera.com/">Sarah Kay</a>, whose 2011 TED talk "<a href="https://www.ted.com/talks/sarah_kay_if_i_should_have_a_daughter?language=en">If I Should Have a Daughter</a>" has been viewed over 9 million times, shares her thoughts on who gets (and who doesn't get) to have a voice, on the power of authenticity and vulnerability, and on what she'd do if the world were in imminent danger of destruction by an asteroid. &nbsp;<strong>And stay tuned</strong>&nbsp;for a shatteringly beautiful song/poem at the end.&nbsp;<br><br>Surprise Big Think interview clips from&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/beethoven-is-rock-n-roll">Josh Ritter</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/lewis-black-on-the-millennials-and-the-baby-boomers">Lewis Black</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/neil-degrasse-tyson-im-embarrassed-for-our-species">Neil DeGrasse Tyson</a>&nbsp;spark a thoughtful, playful, far-ranging conversation between Sarah and host&nbsp;<a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>. It's deep fun.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 09, 2016
40. Nikhil Goyal (Education Activist) – Mind in a Box
2106
Put 8 year old Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders together in a progressive 2nd grade classroom. What would happen?&nbsp;<br><br>Since the dawn of compulsory schooling America has been experimenting on young minds with pedagogies and systems of control that arguably do more to prepare kids for a life of servitude than of independent thought and civic engagement.&nbsp;<br><br>20 year old&nbsp;<a href="http://nikhilgoyal.me/">Nikhil Goyal</a>, author of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780385540124?aff=penguinrandom">Schools on Trial</a>, argues that mainstream US public schools do more harm to children than good, and that we need to rethink them from the bottom up.&nbsp;<br><br>Clips from comedian&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/paul-tompkins-on-political-correctness-in-comedy">Paul F. Tompkins</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/jesse-itlzer-on-the-power-of-helping-others">Jesse Itzler</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/helen-fisher-on-the-neurochemical-makeup-of-the-presidential-candidates-2016">Helen Fisher</a>&nbsp;launch Goyal and host&nbsp;<a href="http://jasongots.com">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;on a passionate &amp; intense discussion that keeps coming back to our messed up education system and what we ought to do about it.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Apr 02, 2016
39. Maria Popova (Writer, Editor of Brain Pickings) – The Absurdity of Not Writing Poems
2369
"I’m always pulled toward anything that helps me figure out how to live a meaningful and substantive life." – Maria Popova<br><br>What does real friendship look like? How can something written a thousand years ago help us to navigate our lives in the 21st century?&nbsp;<br><br>On this week's Think Again, host&nbsp;<a href="http://jasongots.com">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;speaks with&nbsp;<a href="https://www.brainpickings.org/about/">Maria Popova</a>, the creator, writer, and editor of&nbsp;<a href="https://www.brainpickings.org/">Brain Pickings</a>, a labor of love that&nbsp; has grown into a massive web media presence -- a blog, newsletter, twitter feed and more that shares timeless wisdom from authors past and present about how to live a meaningful life.&nbsp;<br><br>Maria reads the poem&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1996/szymborska-poems-4-e.html"><em>Possibilities&nbsp;</em></a>by Nobel Laureate Wislawa Szymborska, which, along with three surprise interview clips with&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/william-shatner-on-friendship-and-leonard-nimoy">William Shatner</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/howard-gardner-multiple-intelligences-in-the-workplace">Howard Gardner</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/jon-kabat-zinn-on-the-science-of-identity">Jon Kabat-Zinn</a>&nbsp;sparks a far-ranging and revealing conversation on friendship, modern anxiety, and so much more.&nbsp;<br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 26, 2016
38. Amanda Palmer (Musician, Author) – Privacy Is Weird
2073
"As human beings we all have this flaw, which is to think that there’s a right way of doing things. And it’s just bullshit." – Amanda Palmer on Think Again&nbsp;<br><br>Artist&nbsp;<a href="http://amandapalmer.net/">Amanda Palmer</a>&nbsp;is a practitioner of radical trust –– On tour, she couch surfs with fans from all over the world. She's allowed fans to sign her naked body after shows. Through the online crowdfunding platform Patreon, she&nbsp;<a href="https://www.patreon.com/amandapalmer?ty=h">empowers her fans to support her work</a>&nbsp;one "thing" at a time.&nbsp;<br><br>On this week's Think Again, Amanda and host&nbsp;<a href="http://jasongots.com">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;have a lively, free ranging discussion on the spectrum from unfiltered expression to highly polished art, #blacklivesmatter , Apple's privacy fight with the FBI, and whether or not and to what extent the internet is turning us all into a bunch of narcissistic idiots.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 19, 2016
37. Cory Booker (US Senator) – Cynicism: a Refuge for Cowards
1549
“We all have so much power that we don’t use.&nbsp;And I think it’s because of cynicism,&nbsp; which is a toxic spiritual state.&nbsp;Cynicism is a refuge for cowards.” –– Cory Booker<br><br>Why do so many of us choose to remain in a state of "sedentary agitation" about America's problems when there are so many things we could do to help? This is the core question of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/United-Thoughts-Finding-Common-Advancing/dp/1101965169/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1457718472&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=united+cory+booker">UNITED</a>, New Jersey Senator&nbsp;<a href="http://corybooker.com/">Cory Booker</a>'s powerful new political biography.&nbsp;<br><br>And it surfaces again and again on this week's THINK AGAIN as Senator Booker and host&nbsp;<a href="http://jasongots.com">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;talk race, poverty, hope, and apathy in America, 2016.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 12, 2016
36. Yann Martel (Author) – The Vacuum of Space Leaves Me Cold
2013
<a href="http://www.yannmartel.ca/">Yann Martel</a>, author of the Man Booker award-winning novel Life of Pi and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/The-High-Mountains-Portugal-Novel/dp/0147522854">The High Mountains of Portugal</a>, is not a big fan of outer space. Nor of science in general.&nbsp;<br><br>“Science," he says on this week's episode, ". . . is a truth that exists whether I’m there or not. And that’s what I like about religion and art: To art and religion, I DO matter.”&nbsp;<br><br>Sparked by surprise video clips on quantum entanglement, linguistic diversity, and whether or not the internet is turning us all into narcissists, Martel and host&nbsp;<a href="http://jasongots.com">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;discuss selfies, chimpanzees, faith, and more.&nbsp;<br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Mar 05, 2016
35. A.O. Scott (Film Critic) – The Right to Be Wrong
1740
<blockquote>A.O. Scott: The fantasy that I would use to comfort myself [as a child, about death] was…that I’d become other people. I would still be me, but I would inhabit different bodies…and eventually I would just get to see what it was like to be everybody.<br><br>Jason Gots: That’s a critic’s fantasy.<br><br>A.O. Scott: Yeah! And you discover shortcuts to do that...through works of art.<br><br></blockquote>A.O. Scott's new book&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Better-Living-Through-Criticism-Pleasure/dp/1594204837">Better Living Through Criticism</a>&nbsp;playfully and artfully examines what critics do and why. On this week's episode, he and host&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/experts/jasongots">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;dig into these ideas, then react to surprise clips from Jesse Ventura, MIT professor Sherry Turkle, and philosopher John Grey.<br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 27, 2016
34. Paul F. Tompkins (Comedian) – A Tiny, Cosmic Threat
1792
Shockingly well-dressed comedian&nbsp;<a href="http://paulftompkins.com/">Paul F. Tompkins</a>, host of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.earwolf.com/show/spontaneanation-with-paul-f-tompkins/">Spontaneanation</a>&nbsp;and the television show&nbsp;<a href="http://fusion.net/show/no-you-shut-up/">No, You Shut Up!</a>&nbsp;joins host&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/experts/jasongots">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;for improvised singing and conversation on subjects ranging from supervillains to presidential debates.<br><br>Also! We debut our amazing new theme song from the mysterious&nbsp;<a href="https://soundcloud.com/breakmaster-cylinder">Breakmaster Cylinder</a>.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 20, 2016
33. Marc Goodman (Cybersecurity Expert) – Dark Web/Nigerian Princes
2299
<blockquote>All technology is in effect “dual use.” You can use it for good, or you can use it for ill. – Marc Goodman<br><br></blockquote>At what point does government's incompetence at policing sex predators and other internet criminals constitute breach of contract with the general public? Has anyone on Earth actually read the "terms of service"?<br><br><a href="http://www.marcgoodman.net/">Marc Goodman</a>, a cybersecurity expert and author of the New York Times bestseller FUTURE CRIMES talks with Big Think's<a href="http://www.jasongots.com/">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;about these questions and more, prompted by surprise videos from Physician&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/david-agus-young-blood-can-reverse-aging">David Agus</a>, Guardian Angel&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/are-citizens-arrests-legal">Curtis Sliwa</a>, and former Muslim extremist&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/maajid-nawaz-on-the-voldemort-effect">Maajid Nawaz</a>.<br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 13, 2016
32. James Doty, MD (Neurosurgeon) – Compassion and The Prison State
1874
<blockquote>“Justice without the opportunity for redemption is torture.” -- James Doty<br><br></blockquote>In this week's episode neurosurgeon James Doty, founder of the Stanford University Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and author of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Into-Magic-Shop-Neurosurgeons-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00YBBKMHA"><em>Into the Magic Shop</em></a>&nbsp;, and Think Again host&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/experts/jasongots">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;wrestle with questions spiritual, political, and neurobiological. It's a lively good time.<br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Feb 06, 2016
31. Michael Shermer (Author, Friendly Skeptic) – A Dirty Job/We Want to Believe
1590
<blockquote>“We skeptics need evidence. And then, we’ll believe!” -- Michael Shermer<br><br></blockquote>In this week's episode,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.michaelshermer.com/">Michael Shermer</a>, author of Skeptic and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/The-Moral-Arc-Science-Better/dp/0805096914">The Moral Arc</a>, and Think Again host&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/experts/jasongots">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;discuss (among other things) compelling evidence that humanity's getting less evil overall.<br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 23, 2016
30. Howard Gardner (Psychologist) – Porn/Art/Good Work
1510
<blockquote>At the risk of alienating your southern listeners, the American South is by far the most religious, and on every measure of turpitude it gets very good scores. -- Howard Gardner<br><br></blockquote>In this week's episode, Howard Gardner, creator of the theory of Multiple Intelligences and host&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/experts/jasongots">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;discuss (among other things) whether or not pornography can be art.<br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 16, 2016
29. Sir David Hare (Playwright/Screenwriter) – Kleptocracy/A Thin Skin
1864
<blockquote>I’ve written hit plays. I know what a hit feels like. It doesn’t significantly change your life. You still have to start again and try and write the next one. – David Hare<br><br></blockquote>In this week's episode, celebrated playwright&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Touch-Paper-Memoir/dp/0393249182/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1452283623&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=the%20blue%20touch%20paper">Sir David Hare</a>&nbsp;opines along with host&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/experts/jasongots">Jason Gots</a>, on art, nuclear weapons, and whether it makes sense to bring kids into this messed up world.<br><br>Sir David's latest book is&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Touch-Paper-Memoir/dp/0393249182/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1452283623&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=the%20blue%20touch%20paper">The Blue Touch Paper</a>, a poignant, searching memoir about his childhood and his life's work on stage and screen.<br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jan 09, 2016
28. Daniel Levitin (Musician & Neuroscientist) – Rats/Risks/Rewards
1812
<blockquote>"Now newness is coming at us continuously. And the brain hasn’t evolved to deal with that onslaught of newness. There has to be some sculpting of the input. Otherwise it just becomes random noise." – Daniel Levitin<br><br></blockquote>Do you see yourself as in control of your destiny, or do you see things the other way around? Join Neuroscientist&nbsp;<a href="http://daniellevitin.com/publicpage/">Daniel Levitin</a>, author of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.daniellevitin.com/theorganizedmind/">The Organized Mind</a>, and Think Again host&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/experts/jasongots">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;for a fascinating, high-energy exploration of human agency in the age of digital overload.<br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 26, 2015
27. Alva Noë (Philosopher) – The Upside of Boredom
1882
<blockquote><br>"Art, by letting us get bored, reveals something to us about what we’ve been doing to avoid boredom.” – Alva Noë<br><br></blockquote>Why are we so afraid to slow down and think? Is it possible, in any sense, to separate reason and emotion? Is there such a thing as "too far out" in physics?<br><br>On this week's episode, philosopher&nbsp;<a href="http://www.alvanoe.com/">Alva Noë</a>, author of "<a href="http://www.alvanoe.com/strange-tools/">Strange Tools: Art and Human Nature</a>" and host&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/experts/jasongots">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;hear surprise clips from a physicist, a Wall Street "quant", and magician Penn Jillette. The far-ranging conversation that ensues digs deep into the nature of art, religion, and thought itself.<br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 19, 2015
26. Ian Edwards (Comedian) – Sex/Guns/Honesty is Honesty
1796
“How would you control yourself if you knew you were one of the only five people to have guns? You would be an asshole!” –– Ian Edwards<br><br>Are you "man enough" for non-monogamy? Could citizen gun ownership deter crazy cops? Can brutal honesty launch your comedy career?&nbsp;<br><br>This week, comedian [Ian Edwards][1], fresh off the release of his album 100% Half-Assed (on Conan O’Brian’s Team Coco Records) talks guns, sex, and laughs with host [Jason Gots][2], and stuns him into silence for a full three seconds (which was heretofore believed to be impossible).&nbsp;<br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 12, 2015
25. Sam Harris (Neuroscientist) – Uncomfortable Conversations
2580
What are the limits of tolerance? Can people with fundamentally different world views coexist peacefully? Is faith incompatible with reason? In the wake of the recent Paris attacks, these questions are more pressing than ever.<br><br>In this week's episode philosopher and neuroscientist&nbsp;<a href="http://www.samharris.org/">Sam Harris</a>&nbsp;delves deep into all of the above with host&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/experts/jasongots">Jason Gots</a>, through the lenses of Islamic extremism, the telepathic powers of fiction, and what would happen to your identity if you could be replicated down to the atom.<br><br>Sam's latest book,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.samharris.org/books/islam-and-the-future-of-tolerance">Islam and the Future of Tolerance</a>, is a dialogue with Maajid Nawaz, a former Islamic extremist now working for tolerance within and for the Muslim world.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Dec 05, 2015
24. Maira Kalman (Artist) – Scared of Math/Psycho Killer
1536
<blockquote>"My goal is always to be laughing. Do you lose the laughter once you become too good at something?” - Maira Kalman<br><br></blockquote>Think Again is a spontaneous, brainy variety show – The world's brightest minds grapple with surprise topics.<br><br>Artist and author&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mairakalman.com/">Maira Kalman</a>, best known perhaps for her startlingly original&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mairakalman.com/new-yorker/">New Yorker</a>&nbsp;covers, has a unique way of looking at and living in the world. On this week's episode of "Think Again," she and host&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/experts/jasongots">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;try to sort out why they're both so terrified of math, and whether militarized sociopaths are a necessary part of our world.<br><br>Maira's new book "<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Beloved-Dog-Maira-Kalman/dp/1594205949">Beloved Dog</a>" is a poignant, hilarious look at a creature the artist once considered a deadly monster, and now can't live without.<br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 28, 2015
23. Orhan Pamuk (Nobel Novelist) – Write to Live/No Logic In War
1798
"There is no central logic in war. Victor Hugo wrote about street fights in Paris. In one street people are killing each other. In the next street people are enjoying their coffee. They’re not even aware of what’s happening." – Orhan Pamuk<br><br>Think Again is a spontaneous intellectual variety show–The world's brightest minds grapple with surprise topics.<br><br>On the heels of the publication of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.orhanpamuk.net/book.aspx?id=108&amp;lng=eng">A Strangeness in My Mind</a>, his extraordinary epic novel of life in Istanbul over four decades through the eyes of a street vendor, Nobel Laureate Turkish novelist&nbsp;<a href="http://www.orhanpamuk.net/default.aspx">Orhan Pamuk</a>&nbsp;joins host&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/experts/jasongots">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;for a soulful, far-ranging discussion of immigration, war, love, and the art of the novel.<br><br>And he teaches Jason something he'll never forget about how to live the writing life.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 21, 2015
22. Wendell Pierce (Actor, 'The Wire') – Godot Ain't Coming
1577
Smart people. Surprise topics. Deep fun. This week, actor and New Orleans native son&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/experts/wendell-pierce">Wendell Pierce</a>&nbsp;('The Wire', 'Treme'), author of the new book "<a href="http://www.amazon.com/The-Wind-Reeds-Storm-Broken/dp/1594633231">The Wind in the Reeds</a>," about his work at the local and national level rebuilding New Orleans over the past decade since Hurricane Katrina.<br><br>Surprise clips from Big Think's interview archives launch a deep discussion between Wendell and host&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/experts/jasongots">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;about sexuality, generosity, and the power of art across time and culture.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 14, 2015
21. Saul Williams (Poet, Musician, Actor) – An Army of Poets/the 10,000 Things
2431
<em>Send in the poets. Send in the seducers. Vulnerable people, not invulnerable drones who can mistake a wedding party for a terrorist cell. When those mistakes are made, that is how ISIS is born.</em>&nbsp;– Saul Williams<br><br><a href="http://saulwilliams.com/">Saul Williams</a>&nbsp;is a fiercely original, multitalented artist who burst on the scene as an actor and a slam poet in the 1998 film&nbsp;<a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0139615/">Slam</a>, which won the Grand Jury prize at Sundance, and as a rapper/musician with the 2001 album&nbsp;<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amethyst_Rock_Star">Amethyst Rock Star</a>, produced by Rick Rubin. He has since released four additional albums, five books of poetry, and starred in the Broadway musical&nbsp;<em>Holler if You Hear Me</em>, based on the life and poetry of rapper Tupac Shakur. His latest book of poetry,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/US-Saul-Williams/dp/1476779325/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1446817685&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=usa%20saul%20williams">U.S.(a.)</a>&nbsp;captures some of his thoughts on this country and this moment in history after four years of living abroad in Paris.<br><br>This week on Big Think's podcast Think Again, Saul and host&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/experts/jasongots">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;respond to three surprise clips from the interview archives and go deep into everything from war to religion to whether Saul's art is "unpackageable". It's one of our most intense and engaging conversations yet.<br><br>Listen to the end for a special bonus –– "<a href="https://soundcloud.com/saul_williams-1/saul-williams-horn-of-the-clock-bike">Horn of the Clock Bike</a>", a track from Saul's upcoming 2016 album&nbsp;<em>Martyr Loser King</em><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Nov 07, 2015
20. Jesse Ventura (Wrestler, Governor) – Off the Grid/Life on Mars
1381
How to tell conspiracy and crazy apart. How six months a year "off the grid" in Mexico changes your perspective on everything. The "water bear", a possible alien life form among us.<br><br>This week on Big Think's podcast, host&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/experts/jasongots">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;talks with legendary professional wrestler, author, actor, and Governor of Minnesota&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/experts/jesse-ventura">Jesse Ventura</a>, who has just published his latest book,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/American-Conspiracies-Jesse-Ventura/dp/163450545X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1446231699&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=american%20conspiracies">American Conspiracies</a>.<br><br>Three surprise clips from Big Think's interview archives launch a thoughtful, searching, sometimes personal discussion of our accelerating culture and how to live the life you want.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 30, 2015
19. Ruth Reichl (Food Critic) – Identity Crisis/The Cooking Cure
1204
When you lose everything, what do you reach for first?<br><br>This week on Big Think's podcast, food critic Ruth Reichl, author of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/My-Kitchen-Year-Recipes-Saved/dp/140006998X"><em>My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life</em></a>&nbsp;talks with host&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/experts/jasongots">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;about cooking, identity, and her year-long journey back to herself.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 24, 2015
18. Junot Díaz (Pulitzer-Winning Novelist) – Double Lives/Hidden Culture
1633
Is everybody leading a double life? Why are great comic books STILL NOT part of the "literary canon"? Would having a gay president actually change anything in America?<br><br>This week on Big Think's podcast,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.junotdiaz.com/">Junot Díaz</a>, Dominican-American, Pulitzer prize winning author of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.junotdiaz.com/books/the-brief-wondrous-life-of-oscar-wao/"><em>The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao</em></a>&nbsp;talks with host&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/experts/jasongots">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;about deception, culture, and techno-optimism.<br><br>Three surprise clips selected from Big Think's interview archives spark intense, funny, fascinating observations on who we are, what we know (and don't know about ourselves), and where we're headed.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 17, 2015
17. Norman Lear (TV Legend) – An Authentic Horse's Ass/The Capacity to Choose
1510
We surprise the world's sharpest minds with unexpected topics. This week, legendary TV producer&nbsp;<a href="http://www.normanlear.com/">Norman Lear</a>, author of<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Even-This-I-Get-Experience/dp/1594205728"><em>Even THIS I Get to Experience</em></a>&nbsp;joins host&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/experts/jasongots">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;to discuss Mars colonies, immigration, and the upside of stress.<br><br>“If I learned anything writing the book, it was that it’s hard to be a human being. I don’t care what the circumstances of one’s birth: if there is nothing in life that makes trouble, or mischief, we’ll make it up. It’s a hard game. But the kick is in knowing that, and beating the odds.” –– Norman Lear<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 10, 2015
16. Jane McGonigal (Game Designer) – Game On!/Death to "Gamification"
1291
Fantasy can save your life but how much is too much? This week on Big Think's podcast we discuss three surprise ideas with game developer and researcher&nbsp;<a href="http://janemcgonigal.com/">Jane McGonigal</a>, author of the new book&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/SuperBetter-Revolutionary-Approach-Stronger-Resilient--Powered/dp/1594206368/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1443805193&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=Superbetter">SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient--Powered by the Science of Games</a>.<br><br>Archival Big Think interview clips from President Grimsson of Iceland, last week's guest Salman Rushdie, and business guru Jerry Kaplan launch three in-depth discussions that may change the way you think about games and gaming forever.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Oct 03, 2015
15. Salman Rushdie (Novelist) – Happiness/Monsters
1308
“For most of the time, writing any book, it's not going well."–– Salman Rushdie on Think Again<br><br>This week on Big Think's popular podcast, we're joined by the brilliant and occasionally notorious&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/experts/salmanrushdie">Salman Rushdie</a>, author of the new book&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Years-Eight-Months-Twenty-Eight-Nights/dp/081299891X">Two Years, Eight Months, and Twenty Eight Nights</a>.<br><br>Surprise video clips from Big Think's archives launch a fascinating conversation about reason, imagination, bad grammar on Twitter, theoretical physics, literary hoaxes and the late Oliver Sacks.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 26, 2015
14. Freakonomics' Stephen Dubner – Free $#!+/Hidden Costs
1246
Are Pirate Bay (illegal, free) and Spotify (legit, really cheap) undermining artists' incentive to create?<br><br>This week on Big Think's podcast, we're joined by Freakonomics' Stephen Dubner.<br><br>An interview clip from film producer Jonathan Taplin launches an in-depth discussion of the way we consume and pay (or don't pay) for media in the post-Napster age.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 19, 2015
13. "Reply All" Hosts PJ & Alex – Future Crime/Personal Yoda/Bonus Track
1674
Can we escape our own irrationality? Is weaponized DNA something we should be worrying about? Does the future look like "Mad Max"?<br><br>This week on Big Think's podcast, we're joined by the astounding Alex Goldman and PJ Vogt, creators and hosts of "<a href="https://gimletmedia.com/show/reply-all/">Reply All</a>," (one of our very favorite podcasts, EVER) and the astonishing&nbsp;<a href="http://moternmedia.com/">Matt Farley</a>&nbsp;writes us a theme song in under an hour.<br><br>Interview clips from futurist&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXcJ4gL4clE">Steven Kotler</a>, psychologist&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyOGZk7WbIk">Dan Ariely</a>&nbsp;and actor/activist&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R817OCVfHVE">George Takei</a>&nbsp;get us talking (and laughing) about all kinds of unexpected things, and result in the aforementioned song.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 12, 2015
12. George Takei (Actor + Activist) – Ego/Focus/Xenophobia
1776
Is attention an endangered species? How do you collaborate with someone who hates you? Is xenophobia a natural side effect of religion?<br><br>In this week's episode of Big Think's Think Again podcast, host&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/experts/jasongots">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;is joined by actor, activist, and internet superhero&nbsp;<a href="http://www.georgetakei.com/">George Takei</a>.<br><br>Interview clips from&nbsp;<a href="https://youtu.be/iHc5kt0DYUA">Ayaan Hirsi Ali</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/three-types-of-attention">Ben Parr</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/daniel-kahneman-adversarial-collaboration">Daniel Kahneman</a>&nbsp;launch a lively conversation about religion,human rights, and the three types of attention.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Sep 05, 2015
11. Tina Roth Eisenberg (AKA @swissmiss) – Culture Theory/Color Theory
1405
How do colors affect us psychologically? Will a less hierarchical, more collaborative society lead inevitably to robot wars?<br><br>In this week's episode of Big Think's Think Again podcast, host&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/experts/jasongots">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;is joined by&nbsp;<a href="http://www.swiss-miss.com/about/hi-i-am-tina">Tina Roth Eisenberg</a>&nbsp;(AKA Swissmiss), Swiss-born designer and entrepreneur who runs the popular SwissMiss blog and the Creative Mornings lecture series. Interview clips from&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4k4VDF0YRRs">Adam Alter</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8cejYCe1Qw">Chris Fussell</a>&nbsp;launch a lively discussion of design, entrepreneurship, and the purpose-driven life<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 29, 2015
10. Mark Epstein (Buddhist Psychotherapist) – Nature/Nurture/Neither
1862
Will nanobots someday deposit Shakespeare directly into our brains? If we paid politicians tons of money would they do a better job? Does epigenetics solve the nature/nurture debate?<br><br>In this week's episode of Big Think's Think Again podcast, host Jason Gots is joined by&nbsp;<a href="http://markepsteinmd.com/">Mark Epstein</a>, Buddhist-influenced psychiatrist and author of Thoughts Without a Thinker and The Trauma of Everyday Life. Interview clips from&nbsp;<a href="https://youtu.be/rY3OX3Meh2E">Stephen Dubner</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/dirty-minds-the-neurobiology-of-love-2">Kayt Sukel</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMKMBr2NHY0">Nicholas Negropont</a>e launch a probing discussion of education, free will, and a contemporary twist in the "nature/nurture" debate.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 22, 2015
9. Henry Rollins (Artist), pt. II – American Trauma/The Word "Genius"
1494
Can anything cure what ails America? What's a "genius", exactly?<br><br>In this week's episode of Big Think's Think Again podcast, we air part two of our conversation with legendary hardcore musician and spoken word artist&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/admin/text_ideas/monogamysexual-opportunism-feat-henry-rollins-nil-think-again-podcast-ep-2/http%3abigthink.com/experts/henryrollins">Henry Rollins</a>. Interview clips from&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gX4y9c_DaBU">Paul Ekman</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ym6whrAw8wU">James Gleick</a>&nbsp;launch a discussion of a nation divided and the character traits of "geniuses".<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 15, 2015
8. Maria Konnikova (Author) – Mindset/Creativity/Suburban B-Boyz
1375
Can "positive thinking" keep you physically and mentally young? Do schools kill creativity? Should white boys ever rap or breakdance?<br><br>In this week's episode of Big Think's Think Again podcast, host&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/experts/jasongots">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;is joined by&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mariakonnikova.com/">Maria Konnikova</a>, author of&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/admin/text_ideas/mindsetcreativitysuburban-b-boyz-feat-maria-konnikova-think-again-podcast-ep-8/%28http:/www.amazon.com/gp/product/0525427414">The Confidence Game</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Mastermind-Think-Like-Sherlock-Holmes/dp/014312434X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1438968301&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=how%20to%20think%20like%20sherlock%20holmes">Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes</a>. Interview clips from Kelly McGonigal, Lawrence Krauss, and Tavis Smiley launch a discussion of 21st century education, racial identity, and the powers and limits of positive thinking.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 08, 2015
7. Baratunde Thurston (Comedian, Cultural Critic) – Stupidity Scaled/Robot Rights/Brand You
1583
At what point do sex robots become sex slaves? How are bandwidth and storage capacity changing our lives? Can you have a "personal brand" and "be yourself" at the same time?<br><br>In this week's episode of Big Think's Think Again podcast, host&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/experts/jasongots">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;is joined by author and tech pundit&nbsp;<a href="http://baratunde.com/">Baratunde Thurston</a>, "a philosopher comedian fighting for the future." Interview clips from&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/rick-smolan-who-is-the-enemy-of-the-state">Rick Smolan</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/should-we-be-scared-of-ai">Lawrence Krauss</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/check-your-ego">Guy Kawasaki</a>&nbsp;launch a discussion of human potential, social status, identity, and how Kim Kardashian's butt didn't actually "break the internet".<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Aug 01, 2015
6. Brian Greene (Theoretical Physicist) – Student for Sale
937
Can anyone afford college anymore? Would it help if we sold stock in students? Would Young Einstein have been a popular commodity?<br><br>In this week's episode of Big Think's Think Again podcast, host&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/experts/jasongots">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;and sometime co-host Eric Sanders are joined by<a href="http://bigthink.com/experts/brian-greene">Brian Greene</a>, theoretical physicist, director of the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.worldsciencefestival.com/">World Science Festival</a>, and author of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Elegant-Universe-Superstrings-Dimensions-Ultimate/dp/039333810X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1437768904&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=the%20elegant%20universe">The Elegant Universe</a>. An interview clip from economist&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/daniel-altman-sell-your-future-to-avoid-student-loans-2">Daniel Altman</a>&nbsp;launches a discussion of why we bother to learn anything in the first place.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 24, 2015
5. Clint Smith (Poet, Educator) – Genetics/Racism/Harvard
1308
Will our brainpower soon be exponentially enhanced by technology? Or will the world turn into a Terminator movie? Can genetics overcome its early history of racism?<br><br>In this week's episode of Big Think's&nbsp;<a href="http://bit.ly/BigThinkAgain">Think Again</a>&nbsp;podcast, host&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/experts/jasongots">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;is joined by poet and educator&nbsp;<a href="http://www.clintsmithiii.com/">Clint Smith</a>. Two interview clips from&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/ray-kurzweil-your-cloud-enhanced-brain-will-be-exponentially-better-at-pattern-recognition">Ray Kurzweil</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/what-are-you-worth-getting-past-status-anxiety-2">Alain de Botton</a>&nbsp;launch a discussion of human potential, social status, and identity.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 18, 2015
4. Bill Nye (Science Guy) – Geek Chic/TMI/Future Money
1974
Was Einstein a fashion genius? Why is Malcolm Gladwell unimpressed by search engines? What will money look like in 500 years?<br><br>In this week's episode of Big Think's Think Again podcast, host&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/experts/jasongots">Jason Gots</a>&nbsp;is joined by beloved actor/educator&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/experts/bill-nye">Bill Nye</a>, host of the "Tuesdays With Bill" series on Big Think.<br><br>Big Think interview clips from&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/simon-doonans-fashion-tips-for-mad-scientists-2">Simon Doonan</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/devils-advocate-search-solves-a-problem-that-isnt-a-problem">Malcolm Gladwell,</a>&nbsp;and Kabir Sehgal launch Bill and host Jason Gots on a spirited discussion that spans continents and centuries.<br><br>And Bill Nye commits, on record, to wearing a matching bow tie and kilt.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 11, 2015
3. Wendy Suzuki (Neuroscientist) – Brain Health/Consumerism/Women In Science
1394
Is the modern world designed to kill you? Do Fitbit and meditation apps make us healthier and happier? Are women changing science for the better?<br><br>In this week's episode of Big Think's Think Again podcast, host Jason Gots is joined by neuroscientist&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/experts/wendy-suzuki">Wendy Suzuki</a>, author of the book&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Healthy-Brain-Happy-Life-Everything/dp/0062366785/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1436011754&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=Health%20brain%20happy%20life">Healthy Brain, Happy Life</a>. Two interview clips from&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/dan-ariely-on-todays-dangerous-mistakes-2">Dan Ariely</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/the-third-womens-revolution">Arianna Huffington</a>&nbsp;spark lively conversation about healthy living in the modern world and the changing face of science.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jul 04, 2015
2. Henry Rollins (Artist) – Monogamy/Sexual Opportunism
1191
Is monogamy ridiculous? Does this change with age? What do we really want out of love and sex?<br><br>In this week's episode of Big Think's&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/think-again-nil-a-big-think-podcast/think-again-a-big-think-podcas">Think Again podcas</a>t, we're joined by legendary hardcore musician and spoken word artist&nbsp;<a href="http://henryrollins.com/">Henry Rollins</a>.<br><br>This&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/why-monogamy-is-ridiculous">clip from columnist Dan Savage</a>&nbsp;launches Henry and host Jason Gots on an intense, personal conversation about love, big cities, and whether the two are incompatible.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 27, 2015
1. Jason Silva (Futurist) – Awe/Information Overload
1102
<blockquote>"Dealing with the everyday requires us to close ourself off. . . But when you see art you want the opposite of shutdown.. . . .How do you adjust the treble and the bass of experience as it’s coming in?"<br><br></blockquote>With everything competing for your attention, how do you decide what to pay attention to?<br><br>Can a movie, a song, or a novel transform your life? Your society?<br><br>This week, on the first ever full episode of&nbsp;<a href="http://bigthink.com/">Big Think</a>'s Think Again podcast, we're joined by psychedelic pop philosopher and futurist&nbsp;<a href="http://thisisjasonsilva.com/">Jason Silva</a>.<br><br>The surprise topic of the day is . . . art and awe in the age of information overload.<br><br><blockquote>"To enrich ourselves we’ve got to curate ourselves."<br><br></blockquote><a href="http://bigthink.com/videos/how-art-can-change-society-with-sarah-lewis">This video idea</a>&nbsp;from Big Think's archives launches a far-ranging discussion that touches on Banksy, the movie Ex Machina, and the complicated relationship between the creators and the consumers of art in every medium.<br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 20, 2015
Episode Zero – Think Again - Curiouser and Curiouser . . .
283
You've got 10 minutes with Einstein. What do you talk about? Black holes? Time travel?<br><br>Why not gambling? The Art of War? Contemporary parenting?<br><br>Some of the best conversations happen when we find ourselves outside of our comfort zones, thrust into unfamiliar, unexpected territory.<br><br>So each week on Think Again, we surprise some of the world's brightest and most energetic minds with ideas they're not at all prepared to discuss. We listen together to a short interview clip from Big Think's archives and let the conversation take us where it will.<br><br>Join Host Jason Gots and special guests including Bill Nye, Henry Rollins, Jason Silva, and many more each week for a spontaneous journey of intellectual surprise, discovery, and occasional bewilderment, as we go boldly where no talk show has gone before.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href="https://megaphone.fm/adchoices">megaphone.fm/adchoices</a>
Jun 04, 2015