To The Best Of Our Knowledge
Summary: To The Best Of Our Knowledge is a nationally-syndicated, Peabody award-winning public radio show that dives headlong into the deeper end of ideas. We have conversations with novelists and poets, scientists and software engineers, journalists and historians, filmmakers and philosophers, artists and activists — people with big ideas and a passion to share them.
Modern anti-depressants have saved a lot of minds. And lives. But our 30-year experiment with modern anti-depressants is taking a toll. What have they done to our bodies? And how do we navigate that trade-off between body and mind? Is it clear that they even work? There are a lot of us who struggle with mood disorders or mental illness of one sort or another. If you do, we here at TTBOOK want you to know that you’re not alone. If you're looking for more in-depth knowledge on what you might be going through, the National Alliance on Mental Illness is an incredible resource. And if you just need something to elevate your spirit, check out the playlist that Charles made at the bottom of this page. It's packed with the music he listens to when he’s down and needs a lift. Not a fake happy song kind of lift – something honest but also hopeful. **WARNING: The conversation with Lauren Slater in this show features frank discussion of depression and self-harm. The audio doesn't contain a trigger warning, but for listeners who may be sensitive to discussion of suicide, please consider listening to other interviews on the show separately, or skipping this episode. Guests: Lauren Slater, Charles Raison, Anna Fels, Jaime Lowe
We all tell stories about our lives: funny stories, happy stories, sad stories. But are they true stories? In an age of “alternative facts” and “fake news,” we’re all thinking harder about why truth matters – not just in politics, but in our personal lives. A biographer, a poet, a memoirist and a filmmaker describe the moral struggle and personal cost involved in telling not just the truth, but the whole truth. *Guests: *Caroline Fraser, Terese Marie Mailhot, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Errol Morris
How do we put the fairness and the fun back in American elections? In this hour, we present a few simple ideas for how to remake the electoral process. Some are small tweaks — like mandatory voting — that could make the whole system run more smoothly: Others may sound a little crazy, like letting 10-year-olds vote. Or creating a marketplace where people buy, sell and trade their votes. Or making election day a national holiday, with parades. And cake. **Guests: **Carol Anderson, Jason Brennan, Pippa Norris, E. Glen Weyl, Jonathan Bernstein, Eric Liu
Did you know that the U.S. military has a long history of working with psychics to try to discover enemy secrets? We examine this history and take a deep dive into the paranormal. Guests: Joe McMoneagle, Annie Jacobson, Marge Bradley, Paul Selig, Tanya Luhrmann, Michael Shermer, Tiya Miles
DNA tests are uncovering mixed bloodlines. For African Americans, this can be emotionally-charged. What do you do when you find out one of your direct ancestors was a slave owner? Does it open the door to new conversations about racial justice? Guests: Alex Gee, Erin Hoag, Annette Gordon-Reed, Anita Foeman
Covert spies painting nerve agents on doorknobs? It's not the only way to poison someone. We hear stories of radioactive paint, formaldehyde-spiked baby formula, and a beautiful garden full of plants that could kill you. Guests: Deborah Blum, Kathryn Harkup, Amy Stewart, Kate Moore
The right-wing politics and bro culture of The Proud Boys is attracting young, white men nationwide. Founder Gavin McInnes believes “95% of American women” would be happier at home. Where does his vision of “being a man” fit in 2018? Guests: Gavin McInnes, Alexandra Hall, Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre, Warren Farrell, Ashanti Branch
Cities can be cacophonous and loud, a chaos of sonic discord. If, that is, you don't really focus your listening. People who’ve trained their ears to hear urban soundscapes in new ways hear something different. Guests: David Rothenberg, David Haskell, Aaron Henkin, Wendel Patrick, Jennifer Stoever, Pierre Schaeffer, Vivienne Corringham
"Magical thinking" gets a bad rap these days. It suggests losing your grip on reality or being so gullible that you'll believe anything - from ghosts to miracles. But what if magic isn't pure fantasy? Maybe it's the gateway to wonder. *Guests: *Nate Staniforth, Michael Muhammad Knight, Haleema Shah, Chloe Benjamin
If you think of your life as a series of births, what changes? The first birth is when you arrive here, as a wet, wiggling newborn. But there may be other transitions in your life that feel just as difficult and profound. Some people actually call those passages re-birth. But why does the birth metaphor matter? This hour, we examine midwives, trans men, and born again Christians. Birth. Rebirth. And Born Again. Interviews in this hour: The Power of Choice When You're Giving Birth Where Are the Midwives? Midwives in the Golden Age of Television Transgender Men and the Remaking of Identity "Happy In My Own Skin": The Transition from Bess To Benn What Does it Really Mean to Be a Born Again Christian?
On the tenth anniversary of his suicide, David Foster Wallace faces renewed criticism over his treatment of women, in his life and work. Fans and critics are re-reading his work, struggling to reconcile genius with misogyny. *Guests: *Clare Hayes-Brady, Colleen Leahy, Makini Allwood, David Foster Wallace, Amy Wallace-Havens
It's not easy in America today to find work that matters, that’s meaningful, and that pays enough to live on. Which is the one thing we don’t talk about. What’s wrong with work — and how do we fix it? **Guests: ** Alissa Quart, David Graeber, James Livingston, Niki Okuk, Studs Terkel
Haven’t listened in a while? In case you missed it, here's a sampling of what we’ve heard on the show recently. Shows featured: Our Invisible Universe Roadtrippin’ What Is School For? Against Cynicism Loving Bees
Guests: Ayelet Waldman Stephen Ross Katherine MacLean Daniel Kasza William Richards Interviews in this hour: Ayelet Waldman Talks about Depression, LSD, and Her Marriage With Michael Chabon How Psychedelic Drugs Will Revolutionize Psychiatry Lessons from a Psychedelic Guide On A Mountain Top, With Ayahuasca And Frog Poison Psychedelics and God Psychedelics: The Next Revolution in Psychiatry?
There are the female scientists you can name, and the ones forgotten by history. Like Mileva Marić-Einstein. She might just have been more brilliant than Albert was — but we'll never know. Guests: Marie Benedict