How do we get beyond Right versus Left, "Us" versus "Them," and even "Me" versus "You"? Jonathan Haidt has a few theories about this all too-familiar tribalism and the seemingly endless culture wars of our time. As someone who studies morality and emotion, Jonathan has deep insight into the moral foundation of our politics and his research in moral psychology has revealed new ways for us to engage in more civil forms of politics, which can help make us all more cooperative and decent. In this conversation, Alan Alda talks with Jonathan about what makes us happy and how we can overcome our natural tendency toward self-righteousness, in order to respect and learn from those whose morality (and politics) differs from our own.
Awesome episode. Definitely worth a second listen.
Steven Strogatz possesses a special ability to see into the unseen. How does he do it? Steve is a world class mathematician, who sees through the window of math. But, lucky for us, he’s also a world class communicator. An award-winning professor, researcher, author, and creative thinker, Steve can help anyone (even Alan Alda) understand some of the unseen world of numbers. In this episode, Alan and Steven start from zero, not the number, but from a place of not knowing anything. He emerges from the darkness for a moment as Steve actually gets Alan to understand something that’s always mystified him. Steven's latest book, "Infinite Powers: How Calculus Reveals the Secrets of the Universe," is now available online and at all major book sellers.
While doing a good job of warming people up to math there was still a little bit too much “math is hard” or “math is impenetrable” discussion in the opening here. We need to get away from continuing the myth that math is “hard”. The stories we tell are crucially important here. I do like the fact that Alan Alda talks about how he’s been fascinated with it and has never given up. I’m also intrigued at Strogatz’ discussion of puzzling things out as a means of teaching math–a viewpoint I’ve always felt was important. It’s this sense of exploration that has driven math discovery for centuries and not the theorem-proof, theorem-proof structure of math text books that moves us forward.
I’ve always thought that Euler and Cauchy have their names on so many theorems simply because they did a lot of simple, basic exploration at a time when there was a lot of low hanging mathematical fruit to be gathered. Too many math books and teachers mythologize these men for what seems like magic, yet when taught to explore the same way even young children can figure out many of these same theorems for themselves.
If we could only teach the “how to do math” while children are young and then only move to the theorem-proof business later on as a means of quickly advancing through a lot of history and background so that students can get to the frontiers of math to begin doing their own explorations on their own again we would be far better off. Though along that path we should always have at least some emphasis on the doing of math and discovery to keep it at the fore.
Summary: Our first episode since January. David Shanske and Chris Aldrich get caught up on some recent IndieWebCamps, an article about IndieWeb in The New Yorker, changes within WordPress, and upcoming events.
The cofounder of WordPress and CEO of Automattic embarks on a journey to understand the future of work. Having built his own 900-person company with no offices and employees scattered across 68 countries, Mullenweg examines the benefits and challenges of distributed work and recruiting talented people around the globe.
This sounds like an interesting premise for a podcast, though I suspect it’s a limited run. I can’t imagine what episode 50 would look like.
On this episode, Adam and Ralph have their first guest, Dr. Lisa Funnell. Dr. Funnell’s research explores the performance and intersection of identities—specifically gender, race, sexuality, nationality, and ethnicity—in Hong Kong martial arts films, Hollywood blockbusters, and the James Bond franchise. We recognize we should have held out this discussion for episode 007, but we were too excited to contain ourselves.
Jason Howell speaks with Brianna Wu, video game developer and Candidate for US House of Representatives in MA District 8 for 2020. They discuss how she got started in tech, surviving the Gamergate harassment, why she's running for Congress, and more.
Interesting statistics about first time congressional candidates. I loved the way she framed her run for congress as something she would do at least twice since an engineer would look at the problem and know that the first time would be a failure, but that a second attempt would be more likely to win.
The World Wide Web just turned 30 years old, and so much has changed over those three decades because of this powerful new medium. Books, music, and video are beamed instantly around the globe, and authors, artists, and the giant industries around them have reacted in excited, complicated and sometimes fearful ways. Joining us on episode 29 is Kyle Courtney, a legal scholar and lecturer here at Northeastern University, and the copyright advisor for Harvard University. Kyle is a leading expert on intellectual property and copyright law during the era of the Web, and someone who has thought actively and creatively about the past present and future of what we do and say online.
Once in a while, in this space, we offer you an episode of another podcast that we think is pretty aligned with our goals here at On the Media. This week, we’re offering you the first episode of a new podcast from WNYC Studios, called The Stakes. The angle is: we built the society we've got. And maybe it's time to build a new one.
I knew lead paint was a huge problem, but didn’t know about some of the early history about why. It’s painful that this is still such a problem in current society. It’s deplorable that corporations can get away with exploiting society with externalities like this.
On the Media is one of the few podcasts that I don’t mind when they sneak other episodes of material into their feed because they have such a solid editorial voice of what does or doesn’t appear in their feed.
Mary Jo Heath is in her fourth season as Radio Host of the Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts, hosting both the Saturday matinees heard live by almost eight million people worldwide each week and the evening broadcasts on the Met Opera Radio Channel on SiriusXM – more than 70 live broadcasts of 25 different operas each season. She is only the fourth “Voice of the Met” in the history of the house since the broadcasts began in 1931. Prior to that appointment she spent nine seasons as the Met’s Senior Radio Producer, leading almost 1,000 broadcasts from behind the scenes. She has worked for more than 25 years in many parts of the music industry, from radio stations to record companies to researching and writing to the internet. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music from the University of Oklahoma in her hometown of Norman, Oklahoma. She earned a Ph.D. in music theory from the Eastman School of Music where she returned in May 2016 to give the Commencement Address and receive a Distinguished Alumni Award.
I love the idea that a radio producer from opera would sit in on live sports coverage by ESPN to improve her “game”.