On Being Blog

Wednesday, October 22, 2008 - 14:36

Kate lends insight into the current economic crisis through her family history.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008 - 01:08

Four years after their ISDN interview, Krista and Dr. Oz are able to shake hands.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008 - 00:53
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Friday, October 17, 2008 - 15:10

An autistic man illustrates the limitless possibilities of the human mind.

Friday, October 17, 2008 - 06:31

A quote from Oglala Lakota tribe member Ryan Wilson, referring to tribal elders who were listening to young girls singing in Arapaho.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008 - 12:04

A reflection on the compassionate nature of our listeners' conversations when we addressed the topic of abortion in 2008.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - 14:56

Hitchcock's cinema classic serves as inspiration for this show's musical selections.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - 14:04

Reconciling childhood recollections with the complexity of abortion.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - 12:43
Monday, October 13, 2008 - 10:01

This presidential election feels like it’s moving at gastropod’s pace. As subtle as a leviathan, this large body exerts an irresistable gravitational force on everything around it. We keep talking about it here in the office, but we’re also wondering how much politics we can all handle, and trying to balance relevance against saturation.

We’re trying to give voice to some interesting people during this election season, but next week, we’ll back off the political stuff and re-air our show on autism. Following that, a show on leadership, religion, gender, and race with the dynamic preacher Vashti McKenzie. It’s about her but also very much about the issue of biography in this election cycle.

Then comes the weekend prior to the election. What to do…

We will be airing a repeat that week, and the question came up: relevance or saturation? Can we provide a non-political alternative, or should we offer something useful for the occasion? We decided that we couldn’t well ignore the reality of the situation — gravitational pull.

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Latest Interviews

July 10, 2014

One of the most extraordinary minds of American and global history, W.E.B. Du Bois penned the famous line that "the problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line." He is a formative voice for many of the people who gave us the Civil Rights Movement. But his passionate, poetic words speak to all of us navigating the ever-unfolding, unfinished business of civil rights. We bring Du Bois' life and ideas into relief for the 21st century — featuring one of the last interviews the great Maya Angelou gave before her death.

July 3, 2014

For the Fourth of July, a refreshing reality check about the long road of American democracy. We remember forgotten but fascinating, useful history as we contemplate how we might help young democracies on their own tumultuous paths now.

June 26, 2014

We tend to frame our cultural conversation about science and religion as a debate — two either/or ways of describing reality. With mathematician Jim Bradley and philosopher Michael Ruse, we trace a quieter evolution of science and religion in interplay — not a matter of competing answers, but of complementary questions with room for humanity, nuance, and humor.

June 19, 2014

Who knew that we learn empathy, trust, irony, and problem solving through play — something the dictionary defines as "pleasurable and apparently purposeless activity." Dr. Stuart Brown suggests that the rough-and-tumble play of children actually prevents violent behavior, and that play can grow human talents and character across a lifetime. Play, as he studies it, is an indispensable part of being human.

June 12, 2014

The surprising psychology behind morality is at the heart of social psychologist Jonathan Haidt’s research. “When it comes to moral judgments," he says, "we think we are scientists discovering the truth, but actually we are lawyers arguing for positions we arrived at by other means.” He explains “liberal” and “conservative” not narrowly or necessarily as political affiliations, but as personality types — ways of moving through the world. His own self-described “conservative-hating, religion-hating, secular liberal instincts” have been challenged by his own studies.