- UP NEXT
Nancy MacLean, Democracy in Chains
Robert Reich, The Common Good
Seen the new STAR WARS movie? Check out The Beginning, a 3 minute Star Wars-inspired video with sperm as X-wing fighters competing to fertilize an egg. “Only one will dictate the future for generations to come…” Don Ingber and Charles Reilly discuss their creative project aimed at better communicating science to the public …and how they made a scientific discovery along the way.
- NEW – Nancy MacLean – Democracy In Chains-The Right’s Plan to Weaken the Voice of the People
- NEW – Jonathan Taplin, Move Fast & Break Things. If service is free, you’re the product.
If the service is free, you’re the product. How Facebook, Google and the rest use our data against us. My May 2nd 2018 conversation with JONATHAN TAPLIN, Director Emeritus of the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab, former tour manager for Bob Dylan and The Band, producer of films including Scorsese’s MEAN STREETS. His book, MOVE FAST AND BREAK THINGs: How Facebook, Google and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy comes out in paperback in June.
- Tap the Unique Power of Story and Narrative
In this podcast, I go solo. Rather than interviewing others, I share with you the best of the work I do to help organizations develop more engaging narratives and tell better stories. Learn why narrative is uniquely powerful as well as the recipe for a good story – whether in a Hollywood screenplay or a one-to-one conversation.
- NEW – Mark Hertsgaard – How Big Wireless Made Us Think Cell Phones Are Safe
Mark Hertsgaard and Mark Dowie wrote a cover story at the Nation magazine: How Big Wireless Made Us Think That Cell Phones Are Safe. This is a big deal. 95 out of 100 American adults owns a cellphone. Big Wireless copied the playbook of Big Tobacco & Big Oil to hide the facts about their products – an example of the unethical abuse of science and the truth by power and wealth that is all too common and sadly pre-dates Trump.
- NEW – JEREMY LENT, THE PATTERNING INSTINCT – What stories have we been telling ourselves?
In The Patterning Instinct: A Cultural History of Humanity’s Search for Meaning, JEREMY LENT writes, “The right wing has not won on the issues, but by telling a grand story of America – a story that is false and based on a set of values that are driving civilization to a precipice. It’s been successful because there has been no coherent counter-narrative.” We look at that history and look ahead for a new story.
- NEW Free Forum – ARLIE HOCHSCHILD Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger & Mourning on the American Right
ARLIE HOCHSCHILD asks why residents of the nation’s second poorest state vote for candidates who resist federal help? Why, when corporations devastate their lives and their land, do they most hate the government? After five years talking with folks in Southern Louisiana, she sensed that a particular “deep story” they share holds their political contradictions together. We’ll talk about that story and wrestle with the challenge: What story can we offer them of a future more inviting than the past?
- Q&A: ARLIE HOCHSCHILD, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger & Mourning on the American Right. What new story can make Americans yearn for the future more than the past?
Free Forum: A World That Just Might Work – 03-13-2018
Terrence McNally interviews Arlie Hochschild, sociology professor emerita, UC Berkeley, author, Strangers in Their Own Land
Okay. Hello, I’m Terrence McNally and welcome to Free Forum: A World That Just Might Work.
Soon after the 2016 election, I discovered this quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupery, who’s most famous for writing The Little Prince. Here’s the quote. “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”
My question is, how do we do that in 2018? That day, a bit over a year ago, I wrote the following: “Passion to return to a simpler past drove enough voters to the polls in swing states to decide the 2016 presidential election. How can we engage their emotions in a more positive forward-looking or progressive direction? When you offer people the preservation of the present, or the return to the past, when you offer to postpone or eliminate change, as Trump does, your audience has an experience to draw from. And for many, an inflated or idealized vision of the past has a clear advantage over the yet-to-be-experienced future, the uncertainty of that future.
Can we generate a vision of a future that is as welcome, compelling, inviting and real as the past some so fondly remember? Let’s start with the following questions. What is a compelling narrative that can drive Americans to yearn for a future richer than the past they want to come back? What vision could we offer to engage their emotions, because clearly, emotions are at play here, that will fuel their yearning rather than feed their fear? And who can do this, and who should do this, and who is doing this?”
Ever since that day, I’ve been wanting to talk with today’s guest, Arlie Hochschild, professor emerita of sociology at UC Berkeley, and author most recently of Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right.
For over 30 years, her inventive and provocative and useful insights about contemporary work and family have grown out of research. She’s done the interviews, she’s spent time with the people, and she has long focused on the human emotions which underlie our moral beliefs, practices and social lives.
Known as the founder of the sociology of emotion, she’s the author of several books including Second Shift, The Time Bind and The Outsourced Self. At the core of her most recent book, Strangers in Their Own Land, is the power of a story. After five years talking with folks in southern Louisiana, Hochschild sensed that a particular deep story they share is what holds their political contradictions together. I want to hear more about the power of that narrative and ask what she thinks is possible in terms of coming up with another narrative, a narrative that offers an inviting and inclusive future. I imagine she will say, “Start by listening.”
Welcome, Arlie Hochschild. You laughed and said that, in fact, that would be your first advice, wouldn’t it?
I think it would, I think it would. And to not be frightened to sit down and respectfully listen to people that you know going in are going to be different from you in their outlook, their premises.
But, to pick up the challenge you just posed… After you’ve listened, what kind of a vision could one put forward. The people I came to know in researching Strangers in Their Own Land over five years in the center of the petrochemical industry in Louisiana, very right wing, everybody went for Trump, I got the feeling that they would be very interested in a vision which, for one thing, is unifying.
- NEW Free Forum – CHARLES LEWIS, former 60 Minutes producer & author, 935 Lies
Donald Trump proudly admitted at a rally that he had made stuff up in his meeting with Canadian PM Trudeau. CHARLES LEWIS titled his 2014 book 935 Lies because that was the number of untruths the Bush-Cheney administration used to justify the US invasion of Iraq. Trump has taken lying to a unimaginable level (at least 2000 lies in his first year), but the book lays out the conditions that made Trump’s election possible. Lewis is a former 60 Minutes producer and founder of two Pulitzer Prize-winning organizations, the Center for Public Integrity and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
- NEW Free Forum ALI NOORANI – How Red State Hearts & Minds Meet the Challenge of Immigration
“We did not understand the country’s identity crisis…Consequently, we left in the hands of the opposition the hearts and minds of those we could have persuaded to support reform…Looking for an answer to their question of cultural identity, we gave them a political answer instead.” ALI NOORANI, Executive Director, National Immigration Forum, talks about successful responses to that challenge.
- NEW Free Forum PETER SCHRAG – California Fights Back:The Golden State in the Age of Trump
PETER SCHRAG, longtime editor of The Sacramento Bee, makes the case that “no party, no lobby, no organization has been as formidable an adversary to the Washington of Donald Trump, Paul Ryan, and Mitch McConnell as California has. None has both the will and the heft that California brings to this fight. None has been as determined.” And he reminds us that California has come a long way since 1994 and Prop 187.
- Free Forum – MARK DANNER Author, SPIRAL: Trapped in the Forever War
What will Trump do if there’s a terror attack? MARK DANNER points out that it’s been 16 years since the attacks of 9/11, and thanks to Bush, Cheney, and Obama, “Donald Trump inherited a government on a permanent wartime footing, actively fighting in six countries, using means both public and secret – including drone strikes and attacks by covert special forces – and doing so with the benefit of never-ending war powers granted by Congress.” What could go wrong?
- Free Forum – JAMIE BARTLETT Author, RADICALS CHASING UTOPIA: Inside the Rogue Movements Trying to Change the World
JAMIE BARTLETT, a Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media for Demos in the UK, is the author with William Heinemann in 2014 of THE DARK NET about hidden internet subcultures. His newest book, just out, is RADICALS CHASING UTOPIA: Inside the Rogue Movements Trying to Change the World. We’ll also talk a lot about a recent column he wrote in the Guardian, Forget far-right populism – crypto-anarchists are the new masters.
- Free Forum – DANNY GOLDBERG In Search of the Lost Chord: 1967 and the Hippie Idea
Ever since he dropped out of college to sample the Summer of Love, DANNY GOLDBERG has been an active participant in culture, counterculture, and politics. In addition to his career in the music business – manager of artists from Bonnie Raitt to Nirvana, chairman of Warner Brothers records – he was co-producer/director of the rock doc No Nukes and CEO of Air America. We talk about all of that as well as his latest book, In Search of the Lost Chord:1967 and the Hippie Idea.
- Free Forum – JOE CIRINCIONE, President, Ploughshares Fund NUCLEAR NIGHTMARES: Securing the World Before It’s Too Late
Nukes – How do we deal with North Korea, Iran, Russia, and Trump?
Remember 2015 when the big nuclear weapons news was the deal negotiated by the Obama administration with Iran? Why is the UN now voicing fears of catastrophe? What role is the new Trump administration playing in the escalation of provocation? Are the UN’s fears real and if so, what can we do about it? JOE CIRINCIONE is President of the Ploughshares Fund which supports people and organizations working to reduce and eventually eliminate the dangers posed by nuclear weapons.
- Free Forum – CHRIS MOONEY, The Republican Brain The Science Behind Why They Deny Science
Originally Aired April 2012
CHRIS MOONEY wrote the best-selling THE REPUBLICAN WAR ON SCIENCE in 2005. This book asks a deeper question. Does science have anything to teach us about why? And it turns out science does. Political parties reflect psychological needs – GOP wedded to certainty, Dems to novelty – and there lies at least one root of our divide.
- Free Forum – Two warnings from over a decade ago 1) ARUNDHATI ROY, author, essayist, activist. (September 2004) 2) DAVIDSON LOEHR, AMERICA, FASCISM, and GOD (December 2005)
First, the incomparable ARUNDHATI ROY, award-winning novelist, activist and essayist who speaks truth to power. “It was wonderful that on February 15th , in a spectacular display of public morality, 10 million people in five continents marched against the war on Iraq. It was wonderful, but it was not enough.”
Then my interview with DAVIDSON LOEHR, minister, Texan, and author of AMERICA, FASCISM AND GOD. “When fascism comes to America, it will gain power by poisoning the channels of communication…and creating an Orwellian kind of 1984.”
- DISRUPTIVE: CONFRONTING SEPSIS – Don Ingber and Mike Super
Welcome to DISRUPTIVE the podcast from Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.
In this episode of DISRUPTIVE, we will focus on: CONFRONTING SEPSIS.
Sepsis is a bloodstream infection in which the body’s organs become inflamed and susceptible to failure. The leading cause of hospital deaths, sepsis kills at least eight million people worldwide each year. It can be caused by 6 species of fungi and 1400 species of bacteria. Diagnosis takes two to five days, and every hour you wait can increase the risk of death by 5-9%.
“Even with the best current treatments, sepsis patients are dying in intensive care units at least 30% of the time,” says one of today’s guests, Wyss Senior Staff Scientist Mike Super.
A new device developed by a team at Wyss may radically transform the way we treat sepsis. Their blood-cleansing approach can be administered quickly, even without identifying the infectious agent. In animal studies, treatment with this device reduced the number of targeted pathogens and toxins circulating in the bloodstream by more than 99%.
The mission of the Wyss Institute is to: Transform healthcare, industry, and the environment by emulating the way nature builds, with a focus on technology development and its translation into products and therapies that will have an impact on the world in which we live. Their work is disruptive not only in terms of science but also in how they stretch the usual boundaries of academia.
- DISRUPTIVE: BIO-INSPIRED ROBOTICS features three separate interviews with (1) RADHIKA NAGPAL, (2) ROBERT WOOD, and (3) CONOR WALSH
Welcome to the second episode of my new monthly podcast series produced with Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.
DISRUPTIVE: BIO-INSPIRED ROBOTICS features three separate interviews with (1) RADHIKA NAGPAL, (2) ROBERT WOOD, and (3) CONOR WALSH. From insects in your backyard, to creatures in the sea, to what you see in the mirror, engineers and scientists at Wyss are drawing inspiration to design a whole new class of smart robotic devices
In this one, RADHIKA NAGPAL talks about her work Inspired by social insects and multicellular systems, including the TERMES robots for collective construction of 3D structures, and the KILOBOT thousand-robot swarm. She also speaks candidly about the challenges faced by women in the engineering and computer science fields.
In part two, ROBERT WOOD discusses new manufacturing techniques that are enabling popup and soft robots. His team’s ROBO-BEE is the first insect-sized winged robot to demonstrate controlled flight.
In part three, CONOR WALSH discusses how a wearable robotic exosuit or soft robotic glove could assist people with mobility impairments, as well as how the goal to create real-world applications drives his research approach.
The mission of the Wyss Institute is to: Transform healthcare, industry, and the environment by emulating the way nature builds, with a focus on technology development and its translation into products and therapies that will have an impact on the world in which we live. Their work is disruptive not only in terms of science but also in how they stretch the usual boundaries of academia.– See more at:
- Free Forum Q&A – DAVE ZIRIN the Nation Magazine’s first sports editor GAME OVER: How Politics Has Turned the Sports World Upside Down
Originally Aired: 2/19/15
When you pick up a newspaper, do you reach first for the sports section? When you sit down in front of a television, do you look first for ESPN or today’s hottest game? Does your mood revolve not just around whether the world is better off today but whether the team you root for won or lost?
I love sports. Playing sports, I’ve probably had more peak moments in which my ego was dissolved and I was able to merge body, mind, and spirit in the pursuit of a goal in full collaboration with others than doing anything else. Sports have always served as a bridge among strangers as well as friends – whether the ability to show up at a basketball court anywhere in the world and join a game within minutes or to strike up a conversation with anyone anywhere regardless of race, class, faith, or nationality. How many fathers and sons have had sports in common when all else seems strained or broken between them?
All of which has a streak of purity about it. But what about professional sports? This week’s guest DAVE ZIRIN fills a fairly unique role in our culture. He takes sports seriously enough to be the first sports editor in the 150 year existence of The Nation magazine. He has for years in books, columns, and commentaries examined both the politics of sports as well as the intersection of the two.
Howard Cosell said “rule number one of the jockocracy” was that sports and politics don’t mix. In his newest book, Game Over, Zirin asserts that modern professional athletes are breaking that rule like never before. From the NFL lockout and the role of soccer in the Arab Spring to the Penn State sexual abuse scandals and Tim Tebow’s on-field genuflections, Dave reveals how our most important debates about class, race, religion, sex, and political power are being played out both on and off the field.
I’ve left my overzealous interest in sports out of the studio for years, but this week — a couple of weeks after the Super Bowl, not long after Lance Armstrong finally admits to doping, and a few hours before the NBA All Star game – I break that barrier. Dave Zirin and I will talk about specific events and athletes, but we’ll also examine the role sports plays in our individual lives and in society.
- Free Forum Q&A – TEMPLE GRANDIN, one of the most accomplished adults with autism, designer of livestock handling facilities, author, ANIMALS MAKE US HUMAN & (2) WALTER ISAACSON, head of the Aspen Institute, author, EINSTEIN: HIS LIFE AND UNIVERSE
TEMPLE GRANDIN – Originally aired January 2010
WALTER ISAACSON – Originally aired May 2007
Two extraordinary minds: Interviews about a couple of individuals who, though slow learners as children, grew up to do amazing things.
In the first half, I’ll talk with Temple Grandin, PhD, probably the most accomplished adult with autism in the world. Now a Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University and a designer of livestock handling facilities, Grandin, who didn’t speak until she was three and a half years old, has become a prominent author, speaker and advocate on the issues of Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. The 2010 HBO film based on her life won seven Emmys, including Outstanding Movie Made for Television, Outstanding Directing – Mick Jackson, and Outstanding Actress – Clare Danes.
In the second half, my guest will be WALTER ISAACSON, former managing editor of TIME magazine and Chairman of CNN, current head of the Aspen Institute, and the author of several bestselling books, including his biography of Steve Jobs. We’ll talk about his biography, EINSTEIN: His Life and Universe.
Einstein discovered, merely by thinking about it, that the universe was not as it seemed. His contributions changed the way we conceive of reality. A new biography makes the point that his scientific imagination sprang from his rebellious questioning of authority – a testament to the connection between creativity and freedom. In addition to his scientific genius, he was also noted for his social conscience Besides campaigning for a ban on nuclear weaponry, he denounced McCarthyism and pleaded for an end to bigotry and racism.