Free Forum with Terrence McNally

Saturday 1pm ET, Sunday 5pmET
ProgressiveVoicesNetwork on TuneIn

Terrence is also a fill-in host on KCRW’s NPR shows, To the Point and Left, Right, and Center

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 “Terrence McNally consistently goes for the long ball.”
Robert Wright, The Moral Animal; The Politics of God

“…Grounds for hope, rays of light, and a damn fine hour of radio.”
Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence; Ecological Intelligence

On Free Forum we explore the lives, work and ideas of individuals I suspect hold pieces of the puzzle of a world that just might work. We look at new, innovative and provocative approaches to business, environment, health, science, politics, media, and culture. It’s all based on the fact that I believe we can do better and I want to find out how.

I engage the most visionary thinkers, writers, and doers I can find to make sense of the current moment and shed light on the path ahead. One week Michael Lewis explains the Wall Street crash, the next Father Greg Boyle and one of the thousands of gang members he’s hired at LA’s Homeboy Industries, offer hope. Other recent guests include Atul Gawande MD of The New Yorker, Temple Grandin, Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times, outspoken Afghanistan Parliament member Malalai Joya, Cornel West, Craig Venter, and Robert Wright.

Q&A: Chris Mooney – The Republican Brain

 

 

Aired 05/16/12

Crazy though it may be, I assume many have accepted the fact that the Republican party has a problem with science and ultimately with evidence facts — reality. It is now a matter of politics for them to deny science. Among their presidential primary candidates, only Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney accept that warming is happening and humans are a contributing factor.

CHRIS MOONEY has been on this trail for years. In 2005, he wrote the best-selling
THE REPUBLICAN WAR ON SCIENCE. By the time their anti-science, anti-reality bias was established, MOONEY was asking a deeper question. Did science have anything to teach us about why? And it turns out, recently, science does. That brings us to Chris’s new book, The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science and Reality.

According to Mooney, from climate change to evolution, the rejection of mainstream science among Republicans is growing. Not only that, so is denial of expert consensus on the economy, American history, foreign policy, and much more. Why won’t Republicans accept things that most experts agree on? Why do they fight facts? He writes that the political parties reflect personality traits and psychological needs -Republicans wedded to certainty, Democrats to novelty – and this is the root of our divide over reality.

Hopefully, understanding how or why Republicans deny science and facts should suggest ways to interact and work with that “reality” differently in order to be more effective moving forward.

http://scienceprogressaction.org

republicanbrain.com

Free Forum Q&A : JANE McGONIGAL, REALITY IS BROKEN – How Gamers Can Change the World

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In her There are 183 million active video gamers in the US, and the average young person will spend 10,000 hours gaming by the age of 21. There are now more than five million “extreme” gamers” in the US who play an average of 45 hours a week.

According to game designer JANE McGONIGAL, this is because videogames are increasingly fulfilling genuine human needs. But she goes way beyond that, in her first book, REALITY IS BROKEN– just out in paperback – she suggests we can use the lessons of game design to fix what is wrong with the real world.
Drawing on positive psychology, cognitive science, and sociology, she shows how game designers have hit on core truths about what makes us happy so that videogames consistently provide the exhilarating rewards, stimulating challenges, and epic victories that are so often lacking in the real world.

I recommend REALITY IS BROKEN to people who have no interest in games. Separate from what it says about the current reality and possible future of games, the book is an excellent primer on what we have learned – and most people don’t know – about happiness, learning, productivity and growth.

www.janemcgonigal.com

 

Q&A: DAVID KIRP, Author – Kids First

 
 
  Aired 07/24/11 DAVID KIRP is a professor at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California Berkeley. He taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and was founding director of the Harvard Center on Law and Education. He served on President Obama's presidential transition team. A former associate editor of the Sacramento Bee and syndicated columnist, his books include The Sandbox Investment: The Preschool Movement and Kids-First Politics; Shakespeare, Einstein, and the Bottom Line: The Marketing of Higher Education; and his latest, KIDS FIRST: Five Big Ideas For Transforming Children's Lives And America's Future What's good enough for a child you love? What's good enough parenting? Good enough early education? Good enough healthcare? Good enough schools? Good enough support for college? Today's guest, DAVID KIRP, envisions a national effort to support and develop our children based on a simple but powerful "Golden Rule:" Every child deserves what's good enough for a child you love. His "Kids-First Agenda" takes two exceptions to much of current thinking and policy. First, while most policy for children focuses on K-12 classrooms, research makes clear that what happens before kindergarten and after school each day is at least as important in the their development. Second, while programs for children usually concentrate on helping the very poorest, Kirp argues that, in this era of underperforming public schools, budget cuts, and two-worker families, America's middle class also needs help. Not only that, programs for the poor are constantly under threat; programs that serve the wider public are more sustainable. In KIDS FIRST, he offers on-the-ground accounts of initiatives that work - and that could affordably be implemented in communities everywhere - to achieve five key priorities: 1) strong support for new parents, 2) high-quality early education, 3) linking schools and communities to improve what both offer children, 4) giving all kids access to a caring and stable adult mentor, 5) providing kids a nest egg to help pay for college or kick-start a career.

Q&A: Frances Moore Lappé, Author – ECOMIND: CHANGING THE WAY WE THINK, TO CREATE THE WORLD WE WANT

lappe-eco

 

Aired: 9/8/13
Originally Aired: 12/30/12

Where do you think the most important changes need to take place to turn things around in terms of big issues like the economy, the environment, and social justice?

Some might say climate change is the critical global issue so it must be clean energy. Others might say nothing will make as much difference for the world’s people as educating and empowering girls and women. Closer to home, a case can be made that public financing of political campaigns would have the most impact on all such issues by making it possible for the power of the United States to become a greater force for good.

All good answers, but this week’s guest gives another answer – and its one that I share. Frances Moore Lappe, who has herself been a force for good at least since the publication of the phenomenal best-seller Diet for a Small Planet in 1971, says that the greatest impact would follow from changing our minds.
In her 18th book, ECOMIND: CHANGING THE WAY WE THINK, TO CREATE THE WORLD WE WANT, Lappé argues that much of what is wrong with the world, from eroding soil to eroding democracies, results from ways of thinking that are out of sync with human nature and nature’s rhythms. Humans are doers, she says. But our capacity for doing is undermined by seven “thought traps” that leave us mired in fear, guilt, and despair — none of which are motivators to action.

Drawing on the latest research in climate studies, anthropology, and neuroscience, she weaves her analysis together with stories of real people the world over, who, having shifted some basic thought patterns, now shift the balance of power in our world. Chapter-by-chapter, Lappé takes us from “thought trap” to “thought leap,” and with each shift, challenges become opportunities.

www.smallplanet.org