State of the Human
Summary: State of the Human, the radio show of the Stanford Storytelling Project, shares stories that deepen our understanding of single, common human experiences—belonging, giving, lying, forgiveness—all drawn from the experiences and research of the Stanford community.
Promises can be made about almost anything. From promising to be a knight of God, to promising to talk about sex... to promising to stay together until death do us part. In this show, eight different promises are made. Some are kept, many are broken. But every broken, these promises changed something. Because even a failed promise has the power to change the world. Host: Nina Foushee Producers: Nina Foushee, Hadley Reid, Christy Hartman Featuring: Nina Foushee, Will Hamilton, Liz Matus, Professor Jorah Dannenberg, Hadley Reid, Don Reid, Holly Russell, and Matt Rothe Music used during transitions: Chris Zabriskie, Kevin Macleod, A Smile For Timbuctu, The Kyoto Connection photo via flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/23733274@N06/14178850322/
In 1971, Dr. Philip Zimbardo created a mock prison in the basement of Jordan Hall, the psychology building at Stanford. Mentally healthy college students were randomly assigned the roles of prisoner and guard. Dr. Zimbardo was trying to test how situations control human behavior, but within days, the situation spun out of control. In this special episode, Drs. Philip Zimbardo and Christina Maslach tell the story of what ended up being one of the most infamous psychology studies in history - where young, mentally healthy participants turned brutal and desperate in only a few days. You'll learn surprising details of what inspired the Stanford Prison Experiment and how it ended, and hear how the experiment helped contribute to understanding the relationship between individuals and the situations they find themselves in. Note: The original version of this episode mis-identified the location of the pilot study that inspired the Prison Experiment. The Stanford Storytelling Project regrets this error. Featuring: Dr. Philip Zimbardo, Dr. Christina Maslach Host: Bojan Srbinovski Produced by: Rachel Hamburg, Bojan Srbinovski, Mischa Shoni, Charlie Mintz Interviews conducted by: Bojan Srbinovski, Natacha Ruck, Victoria Hurst Additional production help from:Justine Beed, Kate Nelson, Will Rogers Original Music by Rob Voigt Other music: Chris Zabriskie, Billy Gomberg, Gillicuddy, Tearpalm Audio clips of the Stanford and Toyon Prison Experiments are from The Philip G. Zimbardo Papers at the Stanford University Archives. News clip credit: http://abcnews.go.com/Archives/video/april-30-2004-abu-ghraib-prison-scandal-9120643 Photo credit: Chuck Painter
Today, we generate data with every mouse click, phone call, and even every breath. This week on State of the Human, you'll hear about how an 18th century historian, a poet, a computer scientist, a composer, and a mysterious future being are all trying to interpret that data to understand something about the human experience. We're asking: what do we learn from seeing ourselves as data? And what is lost in translation? Host: Kate Nelson Producers: Rachel Hamburg, Miles S, Charlie Mintz, Kate Nelson, Rosie La Puma Featuring: Dr. Daniel Rosenberg, Naomi Shihab Nye, Jonathan Berger, Raven Jiang, Alec Glassford Music used during transitions: Aboombong (Drag Along Behind), Chuzausen, Koona (Starkey), Kai Engel Story 1: Straws on the River of Time Description: Joseph Priestley was an 18th Renaissance man who helped discover oxygen. But he also invented something: the Chart of Biography. Here’s why he shouldn’t get too much credit for doing either of those things. It’s a story about one of the first times that people were turned into data. Producers: Jess Peterson and Charlie Mintz Featuring: Dr. Dan Rosenberg Music: Jared C Balogh, Ergo Phizmiz, Dexter Britain, and Circus Marcus. Story 2: Exposed Description: Kyle is on a mission to scrape every last piece of his data off the internet. He’s devoted to navigating cyberspace without leaving a trace - but privacy has a cost. Producers: Niuniu Teo and Charlie Mintz Featuring: Haha, like we’d tell you Music: Rod Hamilton (Bird); Pork Secret (Cool Crocs); Podington Bear (Operatives, Clouds Pass Softly); Marcel Pequel (Seven) Story 3: The Stories that Feed Us Description: Naomi Shihab Nye is a novelist, songwriter, and wandering poet. She tells a story about staring at people on planes, and how googling strangers can lead to a bigger life. Producers: Justine Beed, Jack Dewey, and Will Rogers Featuring: Naomi Shihab Nye Music: Podington Bear Story 4: Breathing Data Link to Image: composition Description: Jonathan Berger, a composer, teams up with a radiologist who needs to figure out a way to help calm anxious patients. His solution - have patients listen to their own data. Producer: Kate Nelson Featuring: Dr. Jonathan Berger Music: Advent Chamber Orchestra, SJ Mellia, deef, Plurabelle, ZOE.LEELA, Gustav Landin Sounds?: Coffee Shop, Deep Breath Story 5: A Single Lifetime Description: A new consciousness has just emerged - a product of all data and the interactions between it. That consciousness exists as a detached force, until falling in love teaches it to be human. Producer: Alec Glassford and Rachel Hamburg Featuring: Alec Glassford, Raven Jiang Music: YACHT (Ring the Bell (Instrumental), The Afterlife), Podington Bear (Rythn), The Shivers (Kisses, Only Mine)
Sometimes you’re in your own country, your own home, and you know in your bones you don’t belong. That feeling pushes you to change something. This week we bring you four stories of people who don’t quite belong in the world where they live, and who take matters in their own hands to construct their own belonging. A very young girl finds a sense of belonging while running away from an angry mob. A student creates a bridge between the Jewish and Irish sides of her family. Seven gender-defying divas share what it means to belong to yourself. And a young man discovers how to prove you belong, when the numbers are against you. Host: Leslie Nguyen-Okwu Producers: Will Rogers and Natacha Ruck Featuring: Justine Beed, Carla Lewis, Eileen Williams, Josh Hoyt, Winona Azure, Raya Light, Macy Rodman, Peaches Christ, Alexis Blair Penney, Heklina, Sissy Spastik, Mathu Andersen, and Cher Noble. photo via flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ganesha_isis/4439563089 Music used during transitions: Welcome Wizard, Monk Turner, Johnny Ripper, Zachary Cale, Mighty Moon, & Ethan Schmid, Blue Ducks
Humans aren’t the fastest or strongest animal, but we do make the best tools. From plows to pacemakers, we’ve always used technology to transcend our human limits. This week, we ask how far that project can go. We’ll tell you how the first farmers in history transcended the limits of meat and muscle, only to create a very different kind of boundary. And we’ll present the story of two scientists excited to leave their human skin behind. Also, the story of a man who cannot walk, but who can fly; why PCs can be our friends; and finally, robot phenomenology. Host: Mischa Shoni Producers: Charlie Mintz, Rachel Hamburg Featuring: Ian Morris, Byron Reeves, BJ Fogg, Edward Maibach, Shyam Sundar, Laurie Mason, Henry Evans, Jackson Roach Music used during transitions: Fabrizio Paterlini (Veloma); Gillicuddy (Porthlaze Glove); Podington Bear (Delphi); Latché Swing (Hungaria) image via flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/1080p/2421386153 For more information, visit storytelling.stanford.edu Intro Story: Feeding Back Into Us After the last ice age, we humans moved from hunting and gathering to farming. With the plow, farming became a whole lot easier -- but there was a dark side too. Producer: Charlie Mintz, Bojan Srbinovski Featuring: Ian Morris Music: Broke For Free (Night Owl, The Gold Lining, Only Knows); Wilted Woman (Turing); Podington Bear (Dole It Out,); Black Hoods (Talking Cure) Story 1: Robots Are My Freedom As an adult, Henry Evans suffered a medical trauma that left him paralyzed and unable to speak. Then the second half of his life began. Producers: Eileen Williams, Miles S. Featuring: Henry Evans Links: Robots For Humanity Music: Broke For Free (My Always Mood,One And, Budding); Audionautix (Atlantis) Story 2: With 18 Arms And Compound Eyes A scientist visits a relative in the hospital and finds the best available cures lacking. He and a partner go to work at the next frontier of medicine. They wind up bumping into the question of what makes us human. Producer: Jack Dewey, Rachel Hamburg Featuring: Xander Honkala, Andre Watson Links: Ligandal Music: Podington Bear Christian Bjoerklund Rolemusic Story 3: Sympathy For The Dell This story is a tribute to the late Stanford professor Clifford Nass. Friends and colleagues described him as one of the most human humans you could ever meet. He discovered ways that computers can be human too, and one consequence of that research is coming to a hospital near you. Producers: Charlie Mintz, Josh Hoyt Featuring: Clifford Nass, Byron Reeves, BJ Fogg, Laurie Mason, Edward Maibach, Shyam Sundar, Chris Corio Link: Engineered Care Music: Podington Bear (Lake Victoria, Formless) Broke For Free (Note Drop, Like Swimming, Luminous, Blown Out, One And); memotone (This Is The Room, Fractal, Sleeping With the Insects) ; 2ndMOUSE (Arc Reactor); Audionautix (Namaste) Story 4: The Simulation Deck A radio play about the strawberry-sized gap between humans and machines. Producer: Jackson Roach Featuring: Andrew Brassel, Matthew Libby. Links: Robot voice created by Cepstral Voices.
When we joke, we seek to generate acceptance, bonding, release, shaming… and sometimes even more. This week on State of the Human we’re investigating how people use joking to create new realities for themselves and the people around them. We have six stories, exploring the way jokes, pranks, and even puns can change our lives. We’ll hear stories from stand up comedian Tig Notaro and humor theorist Marvin Diogenes, and we’ll travel from Stanford’s cafeterias to the presidential suite on Air Force One. We’ll hear stories about how jokes can help us and synchronize our minds, stare cancer in the face and make us question our humanity along with everything we take for granted. And also, we'll laugh a lot. Producers: Natacha Ruck and Nina Foushee Featuring: Rosie La Puma, Jackson Roach, Nina Foushee, Miles S., Justine Beed, Charlie Mintz, Ken Grobe, Lora Kelley, Marvin Diogenes, David Demarest, Sam Roach, Jay Roach, the La Puma family, Claire Slattery, Nathaniel Nelson, Reggie Watts, and Tig Notaro. Music: BLEO, Candlegravity, LASERS, Will Bangs, Podington Bear, Origamibiro, Deef, Slowmotions, Chris Zabriskie, Nicolas Chientaroli Trio, Michal Hambourg, Kevin McLeod, Simon Mathewson, Modern Antiques, Thiaz Itch, Silence is Sexy, Person, Lulo
When we joke with our friends, our coworkers and our family, it’s not just about hearing them laugh. More often than not we’re looking for something beyond laughter. We’re after acceptance, bonding, release, shaming… and sometimes even more. This week on State of the Human we’re investigating how people use joking to create new realities for themselves and the people around them. We have six stories, exploring the way jokes, pranks, and even puns can change our lives. We’ll hear stories from stand up comedian Tig Notaro and humor theorist Marvin Diogenes, and we’ll travel from Stanford’s cafeterias to the presidential suite on Air Force One. We’ll hear stories about how jokes can help us and synchronize our minds, stare cancer in the face and make us question our humanity along with everything we take for granted. And also, we'll laugh a lot. Producers: Natacha Ruck and Nina Foushee Featuring: Rosie La Puma, Jackson Roach, Nina Foushee, Miles S., Justine Beed, Charlie Mintz, Ken Grobe, Lora Kelley, Marvin Diogenes, David Demarest, Sam Roach, Jay Roach, the La Puma family, Claire Slattery, Nathaniel Nelson, Reggie Watts, and Tig Notaro.
Crises can take many shapes, from earthquakes, to chest pain… to a strange absence of strawberry blonde creatures in the forests of the Dominican Republic. In this show, four very different crises appear at four very different scales, affecting a person, a species, a city, and a human body. In each story, there is no emergency procedure, no obvious way out, and one person must make a choice: what are they going to save, and what are they going to sacrifice? Producers: Rachel Hamburg and Will Rogers Host: Rosie la Puma Featuring: Meg Smaker, César Avril, Nicolás Corona, Simon Winchester, Julian Lozos Music used during transitions: Chuzausen, Gustav Landin More info at: http://web.stanford.edu/group/storytelling/cgi-bin/joomla/index.php/shows/season-4/419-episode-417-crisis.html
We can't live without stories, so today on State of the Human, we're investigating what stories do to us and for us. When are we in control of our story? When does our story control us? We explore these questions with four stories. First, a woman is asked to come up with a story that will create life. Then, Buffalo Bill creates another kind of story: the American cowboy. Next, a cancer patient finds a new story. After this, children go beyond telling stories, and become them. Finally, two children look into strangers' houses and see stories. Hosts/Producers: Christy Hartman, Charlie Mintz Featuring: Nina Foushee, Richard White, Jess Peterson, Terri Wingham, Beth Wise, Jackson Roach, Tom Kealey Music: Los Amparito, Podington Bear, Thiaz Itch, Jared Balogh, Plurabelle, Ry-Man More info at:http://web.stanford.edu/group/storytelling/cgi-bin/joomla/index.php/shows/season-4/407-episode-416-storytelling.html
Recovery can be pretty straightforward - you take medicine, you sleep, you wait. But sometimes getting back on your feet requires a radical act. The stories in this show are about those acts: people who have to do something surprising in order to recover. Producers: Rachel Hamburg and Xandra Clark Host: Sophia Paliza Featuring: Zubair Ahmed, Ryoko Hamaguchi, Lucas Loredo, Carlos Loredo, Nina Foushee, and Greg Wrenn Music: Steffen Basho-Junghans, Podington Bear, Nic Bommarito, Matt Baldwin, Gillicuddy, Augustus Bro and Gallery Six, The OO-Ray, Candlegravity, Alright lover More info at: http://web.stanford.edu/group/storytelling/cgi-bin/joomla/index.php/shows/season-4/391-episode-415-recovery.html
This week on State of the Human, we're hearing stories about people whose vision changed, first throwing them in the dark, then revealing something new. When the lights go out, at first we can’t see anything, but eventually our eyes adjust. We slowly begin to see again, but the world looks a little bit different than it did before. This week, we’ve got four stories about people who learn to see in a new way after finding themselves in different kinds of darkness. A young kid has a superpower to see things no one else can see, but then he loses that ability. A mythologist embarks on a retreat in darkness on a mountain in Wales. An art student learns to see the human body in a new way. And an Oxford University student finds himself, unexpectedly, in darkness. Producers: Xandra Clark and Sophia Paliza Host: Xandra Clark Featuring: Martin Lowenthal, Martin Shaw, Lauren YoungSmith, Ala Ebtekar, Tom Skelton, Dougie Walker Original music: John Hollywood More info at: http://web.stanford.edu/group/storytelling/cgi-bin/joomla/index.php/shows/season-4/387-episode-414-seeing-in-the-dark.html
This week on State of the Human, we're looking at obsessions, the helpful and the debilitating. We've got four stories of people battling unwanted thoughts. A philosopher who is disgusted at the sight of food, battles his fears with the help of an obsession. A new father is obsessed with the thought that he's not feeling enough. An essayist finds that unwanted thoughts manifest in surprising ways. And Stanford athletes remind us that obsession helps you win at sports. Host/Producer: Charlie Mintz Featuring: Professor Elias Aboujaoude, Maria Hummel, Jon Kleiman, Nick DiBella, Kristian Ipsen, and Helena Scutt Music: Anitek, Kevin MacLeod More info at: http://web.stanford.edu/group/storytelling/cgi-bin/joomla/index.php/shows/season-4/383-episode-413-obsession.html
When is wildness on our side, and when does it have to be eliminated? We’re not be talking about wilderness but wildness. We examine wildness as both a place of terror and a place to find meaning. And, as you’ll hear later, we don’t have to go into nature to find it. We’ll hear a story about what happens when you venture into nature for the first time. We’ll hear from a graduate student who holds some nontraditional ideas about his clothing and is a modern day outlaw because of it. We’ll introduce you to someone who studied Muay Tai in a gritty gym in Oakland. He has to be wild, right? We meet a wilderness rites of passage guide who tells us what happens when we don’t have elders, and finally, we’ll meet Tea. She may or may not raise wolves. Hosts/Producers: Christy Hartman and Joshua Hoyt Featured: Andrew Forsthoefel, Dr. Richard White, Andrew Todhunter, Osvaldo Murro, Mason Alford, "Jordan," Annalise Lockhart, Liam Purvis, Darlene Franklin, Martin Shaw, Melina Lopez, Teresa Yammamoto, Joshua Hoyt Music: Ian Brown, Monk Turner and Fascinoma, Gasnoprod More info at: http://web.stanford.edu/group/storytelling/cgi-bin/joomla/index.php/shows/season-4/379-episode-412-wildness.html
Sometimes, the only way to voice our feelings is to break into song. We’re not just talking about singing, we’re talking about that surprising moment - when melody, lyrics, and pure emotion swell inside us. When we have no choice but to open our mouths and let our voices soar. In that moment, our own voice escapes us and ventures into the world with what seems like a mind of its own. We hear ourselves like we never have. Others hear us too, and the results can be life-changing - for the better and for the worse. In our first story, we find out what really happens when you open your heart and break into song for the girl who may (or may not be) the one. In our second story, we explore what it takes to lend your voice to others, and break into song for them, whatever the consequences may be. In our third story, we go to France, to find out what happens when two lifelong enemies break into song together. Producers: Natacha Ruck and Victoria Hurst Host: Victoria Hurst Featuring: Lecturer Wendy Goldberg, Danny Smith, Chris Worth, Andi Harrington, Jared Muirhead and Natacha Ruck Music: Sweet Thang by Shuggie Otis , The Concubine by Beirut More info at: http://web.stanford.edu/group/storytelling/cgi-bin/joomla/index.php/shows/season-4/375-episode-411-breaking-into-song.html
Listening is way more than just paying attention, and this week's show explores how. To find out just what listening can do to us, we eavesdrop with a cochlear implant, learn what crying babies teach us about music, find out how silence can be full, how God enters our thoughts, and ask what a single moment of being listened to can achieve. We're finding out what happens when we listen to sounds we never expected to, when we take our listening where it's never been. Host/Producer: Charlie Mintz Featuring: Professor Tanya Luhrmann, Professor Jonathan Berger, Musikilu Mojeed , Rachel Kolb, Eoin Callery, D'or Seifer, Daniel Steinbock What is so piercing about a baby's cry? Why can't we ignore it? We were curious what makes us listen, and we ended up learning why we like music. More info at: http://web.stanford.edu/group/storytelling/cgi-bin/joomla/index.php/shows/season-4/355-episode-410-listening.html