The Gray Area with Sean Illing

The Gray Area with Sean Illing

By Vox

The Gray Area with Sean Illing takes a philosophy-minded look at culture, technology, politics, and the world of ideas. Each week, we invite a guest to explore a question or topic that matters. From the the state of democracy, to the struggle with depression and anxiety, to the nature of identity in the digital age, each episode looks for nuance and honesty in the most important conversations of our time. New episodes drop every Monday.

Episodes

Life after death?

Sebastian Junger came as close as you possibly can to dying. While his doctors struggled to revive him, the veteran reporter and avowed rationalist experienced things that shocked and shook him, leaving him with profound questions and unexpected revelations. In his new book, In My Time of Dying, Junger explores the mysteries and commonalities of people’s near death experiences. He joins Sean to talk about what it’s like to die and what quantum physics can tell us about living that countless religions can’t. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Sebastian Junger. His new book is In My Time of Dying. Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Be the first to hear new episodes of The Gray Area by following us in your favorite podcast app. Links here: https://www.vox.com/the-gray-area Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Jon Ehrens  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
20/05/2452m 37s

The world after Ozempic

Ozempic and other new weight loss drugs are being touted as potential miracle cures for diabetes and obesity. Journalist Johann Hari experimented with the drug and dropped 40 pounds. In his new book, Magic Pill, Hari discusses his experience with Ozempic and speaks to many of the leading scientists to better understand how the drug works. He joins Sean to talk about what he’s learned and the complicated trade-offs involved in the decision to take these drugs. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Johann Hari (@johannhari101). His new book is Magic Pill. Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Be the first to hear new episodes of The Gray Area by following us in your favorite podcast app. Links here: https://www.vox.com/the-gray-area Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Jon Ehrens  Engineer: Cristian Ayala Please take a second to help us learn more about you! vox.com/podcastsurvey Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
13/05/2450m 53s

UFOs, God, and the edge of understanding

Religious studies professor Diana Pasulka was a total nonbeliever in alien life, but she began to question this after speaking with many people who claim to have had otherworldly encounters. She also noticed how these accounts parallel the foundational texts of many religions. She has since written two books on the topic, the most recent of which is Encounters: Experiences with Nonhuman Intelligences. She joins Sean to talk about extraterrestrial life, God, angels, and the renewed interest in UFOs.  Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Diana Pasulka (@dwpasulka). Her new book is Encounters: Experiences with Nonhuman Intelligences. Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Be the first to hear new episodes of The Gray Area by following us in your favorite podcast app. Links here: https://www.vox.com/the-gray-area Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Jon Ehrens  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Please take a second to help us learn more about you! vox.com/podcastsurvey Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
06/05/2446m 12s

How to listen

Most of us don’t know how to truly listen, and it’s causing all sorts of problems. Sean Illing is joined by journalist Kate Murphy, the author of You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters, to discuss what it means to be a good listener, the problems that are caused when we don’t listen to each other, and the positive impacts on our health when we do. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Kate Murphy, author of You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Please take a second to help us learn more about you! vox.com/podcastsurvey This episode was made by:  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
29/04/2455m 3s

Everything's a cult now

The internet has fractured our world into a million little subcultures catering to the specific identities and habits of everyone online. Writer Derek Thompson believes this has led to a widespread cult-like mentality that has crept into all facets of modern life — pop culture, media, politics, and religion itself. He joins Sean to explain this theory, and why it’s maybe not such a bad thing. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Derek Thompson (@dkthomp). His podcast is Plain English, and he writes for The Atlantic. Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Be the first to hear new episodes of The Gray Area by following us in your favorite podcast app. Links here: https://www.vox.com/the-gray-area Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Please take a second to help us learn more about you! vox.com/podcastsurvey This episode was made by:  Producer: Jon Ehrens  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
22/04/2453m 48s

Fareed Zakaria on our revolutionary moment

Is it possible that we are living through one of the most revolutionary periods in human history? CNN’s Fareed Zakaria believes that we are and argues that the convergence of AI and the global backlash against liberal democracy are upending political orders around the world. He joins Sean to talk about how this period relates to history’s most impactful revolutions, both political and technological.  Click here to take the Vox podcast survey Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Fareed Zakaria (@fareedzakaria). His new book is Age of Revolutions. Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Be the first to hear new episodes of The Gray Area by following us in your favorite podcast app. Links here: https://www.vox.com/the-gray-area Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts Please take a second to help us learn more about you! vox.com/podcastsurvey This episode was made by:  Producer: Jon Ehrens  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
15/04/2445m 8s

Life is hard. Can philosophy help?

Philosophy may seem like a theoretical or abstract discipline in which unanswerable questions are debated to the point of tedium. But MIT professor Kieran Setiya believes that philosophical inquiry has a very practical and applicable purpose outside of the classroom — to help guide us through life’s most challenging circumstances. He joins Sean to talk about self-help, FOMO, and midlife crises.  Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Kieran Setiya. His book is called Life is Hard. Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Be the first to hear new episodes of The Gray Area by following us in your favorite podcast app. Links here: https://www.vox.com/the-gray-area Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Jon Ehrens  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
08/04/2451m 0s

The American dream is a pyramid scheme

Jane Marie is an expert in American bullshit. Her podcast The Dream explores life coaching, wellness, marketing, and other fraudulent industries and exposes their exploitative practices. Her book, Selling the Dream, takes an even closer look at multilevel marketing schemes like Amway and Herbalife and gives historical context to this multibillion-dollar — and distinctly American — enterprise.  Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Jane Marie. Her podcast is The Dream and her book is Selling the Dream. Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Be the first to hear new episodes of The Gray Area by following us in your favorite podcast app. Links here: https://www.vox.com/the-gray-area Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Jon Ehrens  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
01/04/2446m 27s

The chaplain who doesn't believe in God

As a non-believer, Devin Moss never thought he would become a chaplain or a spiritual adviser, much less one who counsels hospital patients with terminal illnesses and inmates on death row. Devin joins Sean to talk about his improbable journey, the death penalty, and the role of religion in an increasingly secular society. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Devin Moss. His podcast is The Adventures of Memento Mori.  Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Be the first to hear new episodes of The Gray Area by following us in your favorite podcast app. Links here: https://www.vox.com/the-gray-area Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Jon Ehrens  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
25/03/2448m 45s

Can a friend be our most significant other?

Journalist Rhaina Cohen believes that modern culture undervalues friendships and discusses the ways in which deep friendships are distinct from but no less meaningful than romantic partnerships.  Guest host: Sigal Samuel (@sigalsamuel) Guest: Rhaina Cohen (@rhainacohen). Her book is The Other Significant Others.  Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Be the first to hear new episodes of The Gray Area by following us in your favorite podcast app. Links here: https://www.vox.com/the-gray-area Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Jon Ehrens  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
18/03/2450m 48s

The power of climate fiction

Stephen Markley’s novel, “The Deluge,” is an ambitious and terrifyingly realistic look at our collective future on a warming planet. He joins Sean to talk about the 10-year process of writing the book, the current political struggle over climate action, and how we can confront and mitigate the worst effects of climate change.   Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Stephen Markley. His book is “The Deluge.” Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Be the first to hear new episodes of The Gray Area by following us in your favorite podcast app. Links here: https://www.vox.com/the-gray-area Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Jon Ehrens  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
11/03/2447m 13s

The denial of death

It’s been 50 years since Ernest Becker’s breakthrough book The Denial of Death was first published, and its thesis has become more relevant than ever. Filmmaker Jef Sewell is the co-creator of a new documentary about Becker called All Illusions Must Be Broken. It features never-before-heard audio of the enigmatic anthropologist and puts his theories in a modern context.  Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Jef Sewell. Find out more about the film at www.twobirdsfilm.com  Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Be the first to hear new episodes of The Gray Area by following us in your favorite podcast app. Links here: https://www.vox.com/the-gray-area Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Jon Ehrens  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
04/03/2445m 43s

A brief history of extinction panics

Silicon Valley is in the middle of an AI frenzy, and many of its leaders believe this technology could eventually result in human extinction. Tyler Austin Harper breaks down the most outlandish predictions, some of the more plausible problems AI poses, and how this moment reminds him of earlier extinction panics. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Tyler Austin Harper (@Tyler_A_Harper). Read his piece in the New York Times here.  Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Be the first to hear new episodes of The Gray Area by following us in your favorite podcast app. Links here: https://www.vox.com/the-gray-area Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Jon Ehrens  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
26/02/2450m 17s

The new(ish) world order

America solidified its dominant posture in the international order following World War II and largely held that position for the following half-century. But as problems have accumulated at home and abroad, Americans are reconsidering their country’s role in the world, and so are its leaders. Alex Ward, author of The Internationalists: The Fight to Restore American Foreign Policy After Trump, joins us.  Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Alex Ward (@alexbward). His book is The Internationalists: The Fight to Restore American Foreign Policy After Trump. Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Be the first to hear new episodes of The Gray Area by following us in your favorite podcast app. Links here: https://www.vox.com/the-gray-area Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Jon Ehrens  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
19/02/2442m 18s

The free-market century is over

Sean Illing talks with economic historian Brad DeLong about his new book Slouching Towards Utopia. In it, DeLong claims that the "long twentieth century" was the most consequential period in human history, during which the institutions of rapid technological growth and globalization were created, setting humanity on a path towards improving life, defeating scarcity, and enabling real freedom. But... this ran into some problems. Sean and Brad talk about the power of markets, how the New Deal led to something approaching real social democracy, and why the Great Recession of 2008 and its aftermath signified the end of this momentous era. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: J. Bradford DeLong (@delong), author; professor of economics, U.C. Berkeley References:  Slouching Towards Utopia: An Economic History of the Twentieth Century by J. Bradford DeLong (Basic; 2022) The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich von Hayek (1944) The Great Transformation by Karl Polanyi (1944) Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy by Joseph Schumpeter (1942) "A Short History of Enclosure in Britain" by Simon Fairlie (This Land Magazine; 2009) "China's Great Leap Forward" by Clayton D. Brown (Association for Asian Studies; 2012) What Is Property? by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1840) The Rise and Fall of the Neoliberal Order by Gary Gerstle (Oxford University Press; 2022) Apple's "1984" ad (YouTube) The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money by John Maynard Keynes (1936) "The spectacular ongoing implosion of crypto's biggest star, explained" by Emily Stewart (Vox; Nov. 18) "Did Greenspan Add to Subprime Woes? Gramlich Says Ex-Colleague Blocked Crackdown" by Greg Ip (Wall Street Journal; June 9, 2007) "Families across the country are tightening their belts and making tough decisions. The federal government should do the same," from President Obama's 2010 State of the Union Address (Jan. 27, 2010) "The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte" by Karl Marx (1852) Why We're Polarized by Ezra Klein (Simon & Schuster; 2020) The Paradox of Democracy: Free Speech, Open Media, and Perilous Persuasion by Zac Gershberg and Sean Illing (U. Chicago; 2022)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
12/02/2454m 47s

Music and mysticism

Musician Laraaji joins Sean to talk about improvisation as meditation, the transcendent nature of laughter, and lessons from a long life in sound and spirit.  Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Laraaji. His music can be found at https://laraajimusic.bandcamp.com/ Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Be the first to hear new episodes of The Gray Area by following us in your favorite podcast app. Links here: https://www.vox.com/the-gray-area Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Jon Ehrens  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
05/02/2447m 23s

The case for banning...millionaires?

Political philosopher Ingrid Robeyns believes that there should be a maximum amount of money and resources that one person can have. She tells Sean how much is too much and why limiting personal wealth benefits everyone, including the super rich.  Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Ingrid Robeyns. Her book is Limitarianism: The Case Against Extreme Wealth. Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Be the first to hear new episodes of The Gray Area by following us in your favorite podcast app. Links here: https://www.vox.com/the-gray-area Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Jon Ehrens  Engineer: Cristian Ayala Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
29/01/2453m 51s

The joy of uncertainty

For much of her life, author Maggie Jackson disliked uncertainty and thought of it as something to eradicate as quickly as possible. But when she began to explore the uncertain mind, she discovered new scientific findings showing that uncertainty is critical for astute problem-solving and creativity.  She joins Sean to talk about what she learned and how being unsure can lead to a better, more hopeful life. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Maggie Jackson. You can find her books and more at https://www.maggie-jackson.com/  Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Be the first to hear new episodes of The Gray Area by following us in your favorite podcast app. Links here: https://www.vox.com/the-gray-area Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Jon Ehrens  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
22/01/2448m 40s

A pro-worker work ethic

Americans have absorbed the “Protestant work ethic” — the idea that our value as human beings is determined by how hard we work and how much money we make. Elizabeth Anderson explains how this evolved, why it pervades everything, and why it sucks. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Elizabeth Anderson, professor of public philosophy at the University of Michigan.  Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Be the first to hear new episodes of The Gray Area by following us in your favorite podcast app. Links here: https://www.vox.com/the-gray-area Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Jon Ehrens  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
15/01/2441m 3s

How psychedelics can reinvent learning

If you’ve felt that learning new information or developing a new skill seems harder as you get older, you are not wrong. Neuroscientist Gul Dolen has studied brain capability and joins us to talk about the times in human development when our brains are especially adept at learning and retaining new information, and how MDMA and other psychedelics can be used to induce these moments and unlock the brain’s potential. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Gul Dolen. Learn more about her work at www.dolenlab.org. Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Be the first to hear new episodes of The Gray Area by following us in your favorite podcast app. Links here: https://www.vox.com/the-gray-area Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Jon Ehrens  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
08/01/2437m 19s

Seeing ourselves through the darkness

When we find ourselves in a dark place, what if we didn't "lighten things up"? Sean Illing talks with philosopher Mariana Alessandri, whose new book Night Vision offers a new way of understanding our dark moods and experiences like depression, pain, and grief. Alessandri describes the deep influence of what she calls the "light metaphor" — the belief that light is good and darkness is bad — and the destructive emotional cycles it has produced. They discuss the influence of Stoic philosophy, Aristotelian ethics, and contemporary self-help — and explore what new paradigms for emotional intelligence might entail. This episode was originally published on June 29th. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Mariana Alessandri (@mariana.alessandri), professor of philosophy, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley; author References:  Night Vision: Seeing Ourselves through Dark Moods by Mariana Alessandri (Princeton; 2023) Plato's "allegory of the cave" from the Republic, VI (514a–520a) The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale (1952) The Encheiridion (or "Handbook") of Epictetus (c. 50 – c. 125 AD) The Dialogues and letters of Seneca (c. 4 BC – 65 AD) The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius (121 – 180 AD) The Tusculan Disputations of Cicero (106 – 43 BC) Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics It's OK That You're Not OK by Megan Devine (Sounds True; 2017) Our Lord Don Quixote by Miguel de Unamuno (1914; tr. 1968) Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza by Gloria Anzaldúa (Aunt Lute; 1987) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
26/12/2355m 54s

Living Mindfully

Jon Kabat-Zinn helped kick off the American mindfulness movement with his bestselling book Wherever You Go, There You Are. On its 30th anniversary, he joins Sean for a wide-ranging conversation about what it means to be mindful in the attention economy, why mindfulness has skyrocketed in popularity, and how to think about the commercialization of an ancient practice. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Jon Kabat-Zinn, mindfulness pioneer and author of Wherever You Go, There You Are. Learn more about his work at https://jonkabat-zinn.com and follow him at https://twitter.com/jonkabatzinn and https://www.facebook.com/kabatzinn Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Be the first to hear new episodes of The Gray Area by following us in your favorite podcast app. Links here: https://www.vox.com/the-gray-area Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Jon Ehrens  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
18/12/2341m 24s

Taking anarchism seriously

Most people think anarchists want to live in a lawless society devoid of any structure or order. But anarchism is actually a serious political philosophy that’s more focused on egalitarianism than it is on chaos. Philosopher Sophie Scott-Brown is an anarchist in this tradition, and she makes the convincing case that anarchism is the only political philosophy poised to deal with the uncertainty of the modern world. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Sophie Scott-Brown research fellow at the University of St. Andrews and the Director of Gresham College in London, and the author of the book Colin Ward and the Art of Everyday Anarchy. Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Jon Ehrens  Engineer: Brandon McFarland Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
11/12/2350m 57s

3,000 years of The Iliad

Constance Grady, a culture writer at Vox, is joined by Emily Wilson to discuss her bestselling translations of The Iliad and The Odyssey. They unpack the buzz surrounding them and the significance of The Iliad today.  Host: Constance Grady, (@constancegrady), culture writer, Vox Guest: Emily Wilson, classics professor and translator of The Iliad and The Odyssey References:  The Iliad by Homer, translated by Emily Wilson (W.W. Norton, 2023) The Odyssey by Homer, translated by Emily Wilson (W.W. Norton, 2018)  Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
04/12/2336m 55s

Late-stage liberalism

Sean Illing is joined by John Gray, political philosopher and author of the new book, The New Leviathans: Thoughts After Liberalism. They discuss Thomas Hobbes and the origins of liberalism, the current state of democracy, and the very uncertain future of the global liberal order. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: John Gray, author and political philosopher References:  The New Leviathans: Thoughts After Liberalism by John Gray (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2023) Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes (1651) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
27/11/2353m 52s

The case against free will

Sean Illing speaks with Robert Sapolsky, a professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University and the author of a new book called Determined: A Science of Life Without Free Will. They discuss the concept of free will, whether it actually exists in the way we think it does, and what it means for society if free will is indeed an illusion. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Robert Sapolsky, author, Determined: A Science of Life Without Free Will References:  Determined: A Science of Life Without Free Will by Robert M. Sapolsky (Penguin Random House, 2023) Behave by Robert M. Sapolsky (Penguin Random House, 2018) “Robert Sapolsky Doesn’t Believe in Free Will. (But Feel Free to Disagree.)” by Hope Reese (New York Times, October 2023) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Engineer: Rob Byers Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
20/11/2358m 41s

A Jew and a Muslim get honest about Israel and Gaza

Zack Beauchamp, a Vox senior correspondent who writes about democracy and Israel, speaks with Shadi Hamid, a columnist at The Washington Post, research professor of Islamic studies at Fuller Seminary, and author of The Problem of Democracy: America, the Middle East, and the Rise and Fall of an Idea. They discuss the October 7 attack, the subsequent war in Gaza, what it means for Israelis and Palestinians, and how Jews and Muslims in the United States can find common ground amidst their communities’ grief. This conversation was recorded on November 2, 2023. Host:  Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent at Vox  Guest: Shadi Hamid, (@shadihamid), columnist and Editorial Board member at The Washington Post, research professor of Islamic studies at Fuller Seminary, and author of The Problem of Democracy: America, the Middle East, and the Rise and Fall of an Idea.  References:  “Reducing Hamas’s terrorism to a problem of ‘evil’ is a mistake” by Shadi Hamid (The Washington Post, Oct. 2023) The Problem of Democracy: America, the Middle East, and the Rise and Fall of an Idea by Shadi Hamid (Oxford University Press, 2022) “Everything you need to know about Israel-Palestine: A comprehensive guide to the basics of the world’s most controversial conflict” by Zack Beauchamp (Vox) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Engineer: Rob Byers Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
13/11/231h

How to keep panic from attacking

Sean Illing is joined by Matt Gutman, the chief national correspondent for ABC News, to talk about his new book, No Time to Panic: How I Curbed My Anxiety and Conquered a Lifetime of Panic Attacks. They discuss their personal experiences with panic, the evolutionary roots of it, and how Matt has gained control over his feelings of panic and anxiety. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Matt Gutman (@mattgutmanABC), author, No Time to Panic: How I Curbed My Anxiety and Conquered a Lifetime of Panic Attacks. References:  No Time to Panic: How I Curbed My Anxiety and Conquered a Lifetime of Panic Attacks by Matt Gutman (Penguin Random House, 2023) “The brutal mirror: What the psychedelic drug ayahuasca showed me about my life” by Sean Illing (Vox, February 2018) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
06/11/2349m 54s

We Are What We Watch

Guest host Alissa Wilkinson speaks with Walt Hickey about his new book, You Are What You Watch: How Movies and TV Affect Everything. They discuss how entertainment affects the physical and mental states of viewers — from blood coagulation during horror movie screenings to an increase in Dalmatian adoptions after 101 Dalmatians was released in theaters — and why our responses to what we watch are worth celebrating. Host: Alissa Wilkinson (@alissamarie), senior culture writer, Vox Guest: Walt Hickey, (@walterhickey) author, You Are What You Watch: How Movies and TV Affect Everything References:  You Are What You Watch: How Movies and TV Affect Everything by Walt Hickey (Workman Publishing Company, 2023) “How to Use Math to Crush Your Friends at Monopoly Like You've Never Done Before” by Walt Hickey (Business Insider, Jun. 2013) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
30/10/2356m 42s

Werner Herzog’s ecstatic truth

Sean Illing speaks with one of his heroes: Werner Herzog. Herzog is a filmmaker, poet, and author of the new memoir Every Man for Himself and God Against All. They discuss "ecstatic truth," a term invented by Herzog to capture what he's really after in his work. Illing also asks him a range of big questions, such as why he is interested in Mars and whether he thinks humanity is destroying itself. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Werner Herzog, author, Every Man for Himself and God Against All References:  Every Man for Himself and God Against All by Werner Herzog (Penguin Random House, 2023)  Of Walking in Ice by Werner Herzog Last Whispers by Lena Herzog (2022) “Werner Herzog Talks Virtual Reality” by Patrick House (The New Yorker, Jan. 2016) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Katelyn Bogucki Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
23/10/2356m 53s

The lessons of Sam Bankman-Fried

Michael Lewis joins Sean Illing to discuss his new book about Sam Bankman-Fried, Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon. They talk about the FTX crash, what Lewis learned while shadowing Bankman-Fried, and what SBF’s rise and fall says about us and our financial systems. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Michael Lewis, author, Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon References:  Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon by Michael Lewis (W.W. Norton & Company, 2023) The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis (W.W. Norton & Company, 2010) The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis (W.W. Norton & Company, 2007) Moneyball: The Art of Winning An Unfair Game by Michael Lewis (W.W. Norton & Company, 2004) Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis (W.W. Norton & Company, 1989) “Sam Bankman-Fried tries to explain himself” by Kelsey Piper (Vox, Nov. 2022) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
16/10/2355m 37s

Is America getting meaner?

Sean Illing and David Brooks talk about Brooks’s recent essay, “How America Got Mean.” They discuss the country's moral history, how politics and culture have shifted our perception of connection and community, and what can be done to make things nicer. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: David Brooks (@nytdavidbrooks), author and op-ed columnist References:  “How America Got Mean” by David Brooks (The Atlantic, August 2023) How to Know a Person by David Brooks (Penguin Random House, 2023) The Road to Character by David Brooks (Penguin Random House, 2016) The Social Animal by David Brooks (Penguin Random House, 2012) The Upswing: How America Came Together a Century Ago and How We Can Do It Again by Robert D. Putnam (Simon & Schuster, 2021) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
02/10/2354m 50s

Naomi Klein on her doppelganger (and yours)

Every generation thinks they’re living through the strangest times, but is our generation right? Sean Illing speaks with writer and activist Naomi Klein about her new book, Doppelganger: A Trip Into the Mirror World. They discuss how a much different Naomi — her doppelganger — scrambled her professional life and led to an unexpected plunge into the ironies and absurdities of our digital world. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Naomi Klein (@NaomiAKlein), author of Doppelganger and the co-director of the Centre for Climate Justice References:  Doppelganger by Naomi Klein (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2023) The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (Picador, 2008) No Logo: No Space, No Choice, No Jobs by Naomi Klein (Picador, 1999) Backlash by Susan Faludi (1991) The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power by Shoshana Zuboff (PublicAffairs, 2019) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
25/09/2357m 5s

Should we press pause on AI?

How worried should we be about AI? Sean Illing is joined by Stuart J. Russell, a professor at the University of California Berkeley and director of the Center for Human-Compatible AI. Russell was among the signatories who wrote an open letter asking for a six-month pause on AI training. They discuss the dangers of losing control of AI and what the upsides of this rapidly developing technology could be.  Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Stuart J. Russell, professor at the University of California Berkeley and director of the Center for Human-Compatible AI References:  Pause Giant AI Experiments: An Open Letter “AI has much to offer humanity. It could also wreak terrible harm. It must be controlled.” by Stuart Russell (The Observer, April 2023) Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach by Stuart J. Russell and Peter Norvig (Pearson Education International)  Human-Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control by Stuart Russell (Penguin Random House, 2020) “A Conversation With Bing’s Chatbot Left Me Deeply Unsettled” by Kevin Roose (New York Times, February 2023) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
18/09/2357m 9s

Democracy’s existential crisis

Why is democracy worth saving? Sean Illing is joined by Astra Taylor, the author of the new book The Age of Insecurity: Coming Together as Things Fall Apart. They discuss the history and reality of insecurity and how we can fight for more sustainable and meaningful democratic politics. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Astra Taylor (@astradisastra), author, The Age of Insecurity: Coming Together as Things Fall Apart  References:  The Age of Insecurity: Coming Together as Things Fall Apart by Astra Taylor (House of Anansi Press, 2023) “What is democracy?” by Astra Taylor  The Waste Makers by Vance Packard (Longmans, Green and Co. Ltd, 1960) Decades of Decadence: How Our Spoiled Elites Blew America's Inheritance of Liberty, Security, and Prosperity by Marco Rubio (HarperCollins, 2023)  Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
11/09/2351m 17s

Conservative socialism?

What will American politics look like after Trump? Sean Illing is joined by Sohrab Ahmari to discuss his new book, Tyranny, Inc. Ahmari is one of the conservative intellectuals trying to map out a post-Trump future for the Republican Party, and his book is an attempt to justify a form of democratic socialism from the right. The two discuss whether his vision could ever be the basis for a broader coalition. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Sohrab Ahmari (@SohrabAhmari), author, Tyranny, Inc. References:  Tyranny, Inc. by Sohrab Ahmari (Penguin Random House, 2023) American Capitalism: The Concept of Countervailing Power by John Galbraith (Routledge, 1993) Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche “Social Democracy and Social Conservatism Aren’t Compatible” by Matt McManus (Jacobin, August 2023) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Engineer: Erica Huang Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
28/08/2355m 50s

The benefits of utopian thinking

Why don’t we spend more time imagining a better future? Sean Illing is joined by Kristen R. Ghodsee, the author of Everyday Utopia: What 2,000 Years of Wild Experiments Can Teach Us About the Good Life. They discuss why it’s hard to imagine better outcomes in life, what we can learn from experimental living communities, and what the pandemic proved about our adaptability. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Kristen R. Ghodsee, author, Everyday Utopia: What 2,000 Years of Wild Experiments Can Teach Us About the Good Life References: Everyday Utopia: What 2,000 Years of Wild Experiments Can Teach Us About the Good Life by Kristen R. Ghodsee (Simon & Schuster, 2023) Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism: And Other Arguments for Economic Independence by Kristen R. Ghodsee (Hachette, 2018) Life of Pythagoras, or Pythagoric Life, by (Chalcidensis) Iamblichus Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Engineer: Erica Huang Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
21/08/2353m 59s

What Clarence Thomas really thinks

In this episode, which was originally published in August 2022, Sean Illing talks with Corey Robin, author of a 2019 book about the life and thought of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Robin discusses how Thomas — whose concurring opinion in the case that overturned Roe v. Wade garnered recent attention — developed the ideological basis of his extremist judicial philosophy, how his views went from the hard-right fringe to more mainstream over the course of his 30 years on the Supreme Court, and how the failures of the 1960s movements shaped his fundamental pessimism about racial progress in America. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Corey Robin (@CoreyRobin), author; professor of political science, Brooklyn College and CUNY Graduate Center References:  The Enigma of Clarence Thomas by Corey Robin (Metropolitan; 2019) "The Self-Fulfilling Prophecies of Clarence Thomas" by Corey Robin (New Yorker; July 9) Clarence Thomas's opening statement, Anita Hill hearing (C-SPAN; Oct. 11, 1991) Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (1952) Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization (2022); Thomas's concurrence American Negro Slave Revolts by Herbert Aptheker (1943) Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution - 1863–1877 by Eric Foner (1988; updated 2014) The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in An Age of Diminishing Expectations by Christopher Lasch (Norton; 1979) The Rhetoric of Reaction by Albert O. Hirschman (Harvard; 1991)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
14/08/231h 3m

The new crisis of masculinity

What does masculinity mean these days? Sean Illing speaks with Christine Emba, a columnist at The Washington Post who wrote the piece “Men are lost. Here’s a map out of the wilderness.” Together they discuss the confusing state of manhood, why figures like Jordan Peterson and Andrew Tate hold appeal, and how masculinity could be redefined. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Christine Emba (@ChristineEmba), Washington Post columnist and author of Rethinking Sex: A Provocation References: “Men are lost. Here’s a map out of the wilderness” by Christine Emba (The Washington Post, July 10, 2023) Rethinking Sex: A Provocation by Christine Emba (Sentinel, 2022) “Did the sexual revolution go wrong?” from The Gray Area (Vox, May 11, 2022) “Men and boys are struggling. Should we care?” from The Gray Area (Vox, December 12, 2022) “The Rage and Joy of MAGA America” by David French (The New York Times, July 6, 2023) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
07/08/231h 1m

How we all became a brand

What does it mean to be “authentic” in the digital age? Sean Illing speaks with Tara Isabella Burton about her new book, Self-Made: Creating Our Identities From Da Vinci to the Kardashians. They discuss the history of self-creation, how it’s evolved into personal branding, and why a more collective mindset could benefit all of us. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Tara Isabella Burton (@NotoriousTIB), author of Self-Made: Creating our Identities from Da Vinci to Kardashian References:  Self-Made: Creating our Identities from Da Vinci to Kardashian by Tara Isabella Burton (Hachette, 2023) Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World by Tara Isabella Burton (Hachette, 2022) The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
31/07/2352m 40s

The therapeutic potential of MDMA

In the ‘80s and ‘90s, MDMA (also known as molly or ecstasy) was dismissed as a club drug and became the target of anti-drug propaganda. Today, it’s on the brink of being legalized for use in clinical therapy to treat conditions like PTSD. How did that happen? And what have we learned about the therapeutic potential of MDMA? Sean discusses all this with Rachel Nuwer, author of I Feel Love: MDMA and the Quest for Connection in a Fractured World. They talk about why they’re excited by the research underway and what it might mean for everyone's well-being. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Rachel Nuwer (@RachelNuwer), journalist and author of I Feel Love: MDMA and the Quest for Connection in a Fractured World References:  “The extraordinary therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs, explained,” by Sean Illing (Vox; March 8, 2019) How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence, by Michael Pollan “Rolling under the Sea: Scientists Gave Octopuses Ecstasy to Study Social Behavior,” by Rachel Nuwer (Scientific American, December 1, 2018) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
24/07/2347m 52s

Is the journey to self-discovery pointless?

There are many ways people are trying to know themselves these days – from taking the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test to analyzing their astrological birth charts to identifying their attachment styles. But are any of these methods helpful? Allie Volpe, a senior reporter at Vox, discusses this with Mitch Green, a philosophy professor at the University of Connecticut and author of the book Know Thyself: The Value and Limits of Self-Knowledge. Together they explore why there’s an increased interest in self-knowledge, the merits of self-discovery, and the best way to truly know ourselves. Host: Allie Volpe (@allieevolpe), Senior Reporter, Vox Guest: Mitch Green, Philosophy professor at the University of Connecticut References:  “A personality test can’t tell you who you are” by Allie Volpe (Vox, Jun. 2023) Know Thyself: The Value and Limits of Self-Knowledge by Mitchell S. Green (2017, Routledge) “Why the Meyers-Briggs test is totally meaningless” by Joseph Stromberg and Estelle Caswell (Vox, Oct. 2015) Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious by Timothy D. Wilson (Harvard University Press, 2004) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
17/07/2352m 57s

Parenting through the climate crisis

Does being a parent today necessarily mean also being a climate activist? Sean Illing speaks with moral philosopher and political theorist Elizabeth Cripps about her new book Parenting on Earth, in which she discusses the real-life moral obligations of raising children in our current ecological crisis. Drawing from her experience raising two daughters, Elizabeth and Sean talk about how both to want the best for your children and to build a better society, the conflicts that arise from putting trust in institutions, and arguments made by some that we shouldn't be having kids at all. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Elizabeth Cripps (@ebcripps), senior lecturer in political theory, University of Edinburgh; author References:  Parenting on Earth: A Philosopher's Guide to Doing Right By Your Kids and Everyone Else by Elizabeth Cripps (MIT Press; 2023) What Climate Justice Means And Why We Should Care by Elizabeth Cripps (Bloomsbury; 2022) "Moral Saints" by Susan Wolf (Journal of Philosophy, vol. 79 no. 8; Aug. 1982) Family Values: The Ethics of Parent-Child Relationships by Harry Brighouse and Adam Swift (Princeton University Press; 2014) How to Blow Up a Pipeline by Andreas Malm (Verso; 2021) "The case for a more radical climate movement" by Sean Illing (Vox; Oct. 1, 2021) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
10/07/2347m 9s

Seeing ourselves through darkness

When we find ourselves in a dark place, what if we didn't "lighten things up"? Sean Illing talks with philosopher Mariana Alessandri, whose new book Night Vision offers a new way of understanding our dark moods and experiences like depression, pain, and grief. Alessandri describes the deep influence of what she calls the "light metaphor" — the belief that light is good and darkness is bad — and the destructive emotional cycles it has produced. They discuss the influence of Stoic philosophy, Aristotelian ethics, and contemporary self-help — and explore what new paradigms for emotional intelligence might entail. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Mariana Alessandri (@mariana.alessandri), professor of philosophy, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley; author References:  Night Vision: Seeing Ourselves through Dark Moods by Mariana Alessandri (Princeton; 2023) Plato's "allegory of the cave" from the Republic, VI (514a–520a) The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale (1952) The Encheiridion (or "Handbook") of Epictetus (c. 50 – c. 125 AD) The Dialogues and letters of Seneca (c. 4 BC – 65 AD) The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius (121 – 180 AD) The Tusculan Disputations of Cicero (106 – 43 BC) Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics It's OK That You're Not OK by Megan Devine (Sounds True; 2017) Our Lord Don Quixote by Miguel de Unamuno (1914; tr. 1968) Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza by Gloria Anzaldúa (Aunt Lute; 1987) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
29/06/2356m 0s

Best of: A new philosophy of love

Sean Illing talks with Carrie Jenkins about her new book Sad Love, and her call to rethink the shape and boundaries of romantic love. In this far-ranging discussion about the meaning of romantic love, Sean and Carrie discuss the connection between love and happiness, what we should expect (and not expect) from our romantic partners, and whether or not loving a person must entail that we love only that person. This was originally released as an episode of Vox Conversations in September 2022. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Carrie Jenkins (@carriejenkins), writer; professor of philosophy, University of British Columbia References:  Sad Love: Romance and the Search for Meaning by Carrie Jenkins (Polity; 2022) "A philosopher makes the case for polyamory" by Sean Illing (Vox; Feb. 16, 2018) What Love Is: And What It Could Be by Carrie Jenkins (Basic; 2017) Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre (1949) Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle (see Book I, or Book X.6-8 for robust discussion of eudaimonia) Marina Adshade, economist Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl (1946; tr. Ilse Lasch) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineers: Patrick Boyd & Cristian Ayala Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
26/06/2359m 1s

The future of tribalism

Sean Illing talks with evolutionary anthropologist David Samson, whose new book Our Tribal Future delves into how tribalism has shaped the human story — and how we might be able to mitigate its negative effects in the future. Sean and David discuss how and when tribal organization came on the scene, what changed in human organization when it did, and how taking advantage of some positive aspects of tribal alignment could provide a path toward inoculating humanity against stubborn, regressive divisiveness. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: David Samson (@Primalprimate), professor of anthropology, University of Toronto; author References:  Our Tribal Future: How to Channel Our Foundational Human Instincts into a Force for Good by David R. Samson (St. Martin's; 2023) "Dunbar's number" by Robin Dunbar (New Scientist) The Nunn Lab, Duke University PDF: Surgeon General's Advisory on Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation (May 3) "Human Response to Disaster" by Charles E. Fritz (Proceedings of the HFES, vol. 18 no. 3; 1974) Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari (Signal; 2014) The Expanding Circle: Ethics, Evolution, and Moral Progress by Peter Singer (Princeton; 2011) "Peter Singer on his ethical legacy" (The Gray Area; May 25) Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society by Nicholas A. Christakis (Little Brown Spark; 2019) Bill Nye debates Ken Ham (Feb. 4, 2014) God and Evolution? The Implications of Darwin's Theory for Fundamentalism, the Bible, and the Meaning of Life by Daniel J. Samson (Solon; 2006) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
22/06/2352m 43s

When you can't separate art from artist

What do we do when an artist we love does something monstrous? Constance Grady, a culture writer at Vox, talks with Claire Dederer, the author of Monsters: A Fan’s Dilemma. They discuss how to reckon with the facts and feelings of consuming art by someone who's done something bad, if it's possible to separate the art from the artist, and what responsibility — if any — comes with being a fan. Host: Constance Grady, (@constancegrady), culture and gender writer Guest: Claire Dederer, author of Monsters: A Fan’s Dilemma  References:  Monsters: A Fan’s Dilemma by Claire Dederer (Penguin Random House, 2023) “What Do We Do with the Art of Monstrous Men?” by Claire Dederer (The Paris Review, 2017) Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Ofill (Penguin Random House, 2014) Mad at Miles: A Blackwoman’s Guide to Truth by Pearl Cleage (Cleage Group Publication, 1990) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
15/06/2353m 27s

The case for not killing yourself

Sean Illing talks with Clancy Martin, professor of philosophy at University of Missouri Kansas City, about his powerful new book How Not to Kill Yourself, which combines personal memoir and philosophical analysis to explore what it means to pursue self-destruction. They discuss wisdom from the Buddha and Albert Camus, Clancy's view that he is a suicide "addict," and concrete strategies for escaping the grip of suicidal thoughts. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, the suicide and crisis lifeline can be reached by dialing 988. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Clancy Martin, professor of philosophy, University of Missouri-Kansas City; author References:  How Not to Kill Yourself: A Portrait of the Suicidal Mind by Clancy Martin (Pantheon; 2023) Facts about suicide (from the CDC, and the WHO James Hillman, Suicide and the Soul (1973) "Lessons from jumping off the Golden Gate bridge—survivor shares his story to help others" by Keisha Reynolds (MyCG; Sept. 8, 2022) Arthur Schopenhauer, On the Suffering of the World (1850) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
12/06/2357m 58s

What comes after Black Lives Matter?

What is the future of the racial justice movement in America? Sean Illing talks with Cedric Johnson, professor and author of After Black Lives Matter, about building a protest movement that meaningfully recognizes the underlying economic causes of the social inequities highlighted by the BLM movement. They discuss the demonstrations of Summer 2020, the prospects of building a multiracial class-conscious coalition, and viewing urban policing as a symptom of larger systemic problems. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Cedric Johnson, professor of Black Studies and Political Science, University of Illinois Chicago References:  After Black Lives Matter: Policing and Anti-Capitalist Struggle by Cedric G. Johnson (Verso; 2023) "Amid Protests, Majorities Across Racial and Ethnic Groups Express Support for Black Lives Matter Movement" (Pew Research Center; June 12, 2020) "Veto-proof majority of Minneapolis council members supports dismantling police department" by Brandt Williams (MPR; June 7, 2020) "'I'm not angry at all': Owner of looted Chicago photo shop vows to rebuild" by Ben Harris (Times of Israel; June 3, 2020) "Notes Toward a New Society: Rousseau and the New Left" by Marshall Berman (Partisan Review, 38 (4); Fall 1971) "Marshall Berman's Freestyle Marxism" by Max Holleran (The New Republic; Apr. 14, 2017) Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth-Century America by Richard Rorty (Harvard University Press; 1999) Violence Work: State Power and the Limits of Police by Micol Seigel (Duke University Press; 2018) "The systemic issues revealed by Jordan Neely's killing, explained" by Nicole Narea and Li Zhou (Vox; May 12) The American Revolution: Pages from a Negro Worker's Notebook by James Boggs (1963) "Official Poverty Measure Masks Gains Made Over Last 50 Years" by Arloc Sherman (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; Sept. 2013) "300 transit ambassadors become new sets of eyes and ears for LA Metro" by Steve Scauzillo (Daily News; Mar. 6) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
08/06/2357m 45s

Clickbait’s destructive legacy

Have clicks, likes, and shares driven media and democracy to the point of disrepair? Sean Illing is joined by Ben Smith, the editor-in-chief of Semafor and the author of "Traffic: Genius, Rivalry, and Delusion in the Billion-Dollar Race to Go Viral." Together, they discuss how newsrooms were transformed by social media and the pursuit of traffic, and what the future of the industry might look like. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Ben Smith (@semaforben), editor-in-chief of Semafor, author of Traffic: Genius, Rivalry, and Delusion in the Billion-Dollar Race to Go Viral References:  Traffic: Genius, Rivalry, and Delusion in the Billion-Dollar Race to Go Viral by Ben Smith (Penguin Random House, 2023) “How corporations got all your data” by The Gray Area (Vox, Mar. 2023) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
05/06/2352m 42s

Simone Weil’s radical philosophy of love and attention

Sean Illing speaks with history professor Robert Zaretsky about Simone Weil, a 20th-century French writer and activist who dedicated her life to a radical philosophy of love and attention. They discuss how she inspired her contemporaries — like Albert Camus and Simone de Beauvoir — and how her revolutionary ideas have remained relevant and important. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Robert Zaretsky, history professor, The University of Houston References:  The Subversive Simone Weil: A Life in Five Ideas by Robert Zaretsky (The University of Chicago Press, 2021) “The Philosophers: Resisting Despair” by Sean Illing (Vox, May 2022) The Ethics of Attention: Engaging the Real with Iris Murdoch and Simone Weil by Silvia Caprioglio Panizza (Routledge, 2022) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
01/06/2356m 52s

Peter Singer on his ethical legacy

Can we live a good life in a world where animals are factory farmed? Guest host Dylan Matthews talks with the world-famous ethicist Peter Singer, author of Animal Liberation Now, the newly revised edition of his movement-founding 1975 work. They talk about the progress made by the animal rights movement — and the issues it still faces. Dylan also questions Singer on other aspects of his career as an outspoken popularizer of philosophy and ethics, including his positions on physician-assisted dying, abortion rights, and effective altruism. Host: Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt), senior correspondent, Vox Guest: Peter Singer (@PeterSinger), Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics, Princeton University; author References:  Animal Liberation Now by Peter Singer (Harper Perennial; 2023), an updated version of Animal Liberation by Peter Singer (HarperCollins; 1975) Peter Singer Live on Stage: tickets and more info "Animal Liberation" by Peter Singer (New York Review of Books, Apr. 5, 1973) Unsanctifying Human Life: Essays on Ethics by Peter Singer (Wiley-Blackwell; 2002) Practical Ethics by Peter Singer (Cambridge; 1979) "Unspeakable Conversations" by Harriet McBryde Johnson (NYT Magazine; Feb. 16, 2003) "Famine, Affluence, and Morality" by Peter Singer (Philosophy & Public Affairs, vol. 1 no. 3; Spring, 1972) Giving What We Can Jeremy Bentham, An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (1789) "Sam Bankman-Fried tries to explain himself" by Kelsey Piper (Vox; Nov. 16, 2022) The St. Petersburg Paradox Henry Sidgwick, The Methods of Ethics (1874) Moral Thinking by R.M. Hare (Oxford; 1982) Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy by Bernard Williams (Harvard; 1986) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
25/05/231h 5m

Why the poor in America stay poor

Are we responsible for keeping poor people poor? Sean Illing is joined by Matt Desmond, a sociology professor at Princeton University and the author of the books Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City and Poverty, by America. They discuss why most Americans are unaware of their privilege and how their choices perpetuate poverty. They also discuss the power and hope that can come from bringing awareness to these choices and why abolishing poverty is possible. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Matthew Desmond, Sociology professor, and author of Poverty, by America References:  Poverty, by America by Matthew Desmond (Penguin Random House, 2023) Evicted: Poverty And Profit In The American City by Matthew Desmond (Penguin Random House, 2017) “Why even brilliant scholars misunderstand poverty in America” by Dylan Matthews (Vox, Mar. 2023)  Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
22/05/2354m 46s

The spiritual roots of our strange relationship to work

The pandemic caused many to rethink our relationship to work. But how did that relationship develop in the first place? Sean Illing talks with George Blaustein, professor of American Studies, about the legacy and influence of Max Weber, the German theorist whose best-known work is The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1905) — which, Blaustein says, is often misunderstood. In the summer of 2020, George wrote an essay interpreting Weber's ideas on the psychology of work, the origins of capitalism, and the isolation of modernity — just as it looked like everything might change. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: George Blaustein (@blauwsteen), senior lecturer of American Studies and History, University of Amsterdam; editor, European Review of Books References:  "Searching for Consolation in Max Weber's Work Ethic" by George Blaustein (The New Republic; July 2, 2020) The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism by Max Weber (1905; tr. by Talcott Parsons, 1930) The Vocation Lectures, by Max Weber: "Science as a Vocation" (1917) & "Politics as a Vocation" (1919). Published together as Charisma and Disenchantment: The Vocation Lectures (NYRB, 2020; translated by Damion Searls) Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin (1536) Der Amerikamüde by Nikolaus Lenau (1855) The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (1848) Bullshit Jobs: A Theory by David Graeber (Simon & Schuster; 2018) "Bullshit jobs: why they exist and why you might have one" by Sean Illing (Vox; Nov. 9, 2019) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
18/05/2353m 15s

Mysteries of the mind

What do we know — and what don't we know — about how the human mind works? Sean Illing talks with Paul Bloom, professor of psychology and author of the new book Psych: The Story of the Human Mind. In this conversation, Sean and Paul talk about some of the most interesting and confounding questions in psychology. They discuss the problematic theories of some giants in the history of the field, the way that AI might change psychology, and whether or not the discipline is any closer to understanding the nature of mental illness. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Paul Bloom (@paulbloomatyale), Professor of Psychology, University of Toronto; Professor Emeritus, Yale University; author References:  Psych: The Story of the Human Mind by Paul Bloom (Ecco; 2023) The Replication Crisis (Psychology Today) Freud's "primal scene" is taken from his "From the History of an Infantile Neurosis" (a.k.a. the "Wolf Man" case) (1918) The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature by Geoffrey Miller (Anchor; 2001) Aspects of the Theory of Syntax by Noam Chomsky (MIT Press; 1965) On Geoffrey Hinton: "'The Godfather of A.I.' Leaves Google and Warns of Danger Ahead" by Cade Metz (New York Times; May 1) "The looming threat of AI to Hollywood, and why it should matter to you" by Alissa Wilkinson (Vox; May 2) "Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness" by David Chalmers (1995) A.I. Artificial Intelligence, dir. by Steven Spielberg (2001) "Development of the default-mode network during childhood and adolescence" by F. Fan et al. (Neuroimage; Feb. 2021) The Infant Cognition Center at Yale The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Engineers: Patrick Boyd & Brandon McFarland Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
15/05/2353m 14s

Why we can’t just blame capitalism for everything

There are many debates within the American left, but the fundamental dispute is over the viability of the current system. Part of the left wants a revolution, and part wants reform. Sean Illing is joined by Eric Levitz, a features writer for New York magazine’s Intelligencer. They discuss the revolution versus reform divide and what can be done to navigate the US’s capitalist and constitutional systems in order to advance the left’s agenda. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Eric Levitz (@EricLevitz), features writer, New York Magazine’s Intelligencer  References:  “Blaming ‘Capitalism’ Is Not an Alternative to Solving Problems” by Eric Levitz (April, 2023 New York Magazine) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
11/05/2349m 5s

Being human in the age of AI

Will AI change what it means to be human? Sean Illing talks with essayist Meghan O'Gieblyn, author of God, Human, Animal, Machine, a book about how the way we understand human nature has been interwoven with how we understand our own technology. They discuss the power of metaphor in describing fundamental aspects of being human, the "transhumanism" movement, and what we're after when we seek companionship in a chatbot. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Meghan O'Gieblyn, essayist; author References:  God, Human, Animal, Machine: Technology, Metaphor, and the Search for Meaning by Meghan O'Gieblyn (Anchor; 2021) The Age of Spiritual Machines by Ray Kurzweil (Penguin; 1999) The Sociology of Religion by Max Weber (1920) "Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness" by David Chalmers (1995) The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes (1976) "Routine Maintenance" by Meghan O'Gieblyn (Harper's; Jan. 2022) "Babel" by Meghan O'Gieblyn (n+1; Summer 2021) The Society of Mind by Marvin Minsky (Simon & Schuster; 1986) Job (Old Testament), 38:1 – 42:6 "The Google engineer who thinks the company's AI has come to life" by Nitasha Tiku (Washington Post; June 11, 2022) The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1880) "Will AI Achieve Consciousness? Wrong Question" by Daniel Dennett (WIRED; Feb. 19, 2019) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
08/05/2353m 10s

A philosopher's psychedelic encounter with reality

Why don't more philosophers take psychedelic drugs seriously as a means of examining reality? Sean Illing talks with Justin Smith-Ruiu, professor of philosophy, whose recent essay "This Is a Philosopher on Drugs" tells of how experimenting with psilocybin and other substances led to a radical reevaluation of nearly everything in his life — including his views on the nature of reality. They discuss the roots of an alternative worldview in the thought of German polymath G.W. Leibniz, what it means to say — as Socrates does — that philosophy is "preparation for death," and why psychedelics aren't more often explored in contemporary philosophy. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Justin Smith-Ruiu, philosopher; author References:  "This Is a Philosopher on Drugs" by Justin E.H. Smith (Wired; Mar. 7) Justin Smith-Ruiu's Hinternet (Substack) The Internet Is Not What You Think It Is by Justin E.H. Smith (Princeton; 2022) "The brutal mirror: What the psychedelic drug ayahuasca showed me about my life" by Sean Illing (Vox; Nov. 2, 2019) G.W. Leibniz, "The Monadology" (1714) René Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy (1641) Irrationality: A History of the Dark Side of Reason by Justin E.H. Smith (Princeton; 2019) Plato, Phaedo (for Socrates's claim that philosophy is preparation for death) Reality+ by David Chalmers (W.W. Norton; 2022) David Chalmers on The Gray Area (Jan. 10, 2022) Justin's review of David Chalmers: "The World as a Game" (Liberties, vol. 2 no. 4) "The Death of Ivan Ilych" by Leo Tolstoy (1886) How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan (Penguin; 2018) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
04/05/2351m 44s

The project of Socratic love with Agnes Callard

What happens when you apply the Socratic method to personal relationships? Philosopher Agnes Callard joins Sean Illing to discuss how Socrates inspires her public philosophy project —including the decision to share the details of her love life and how these pursuits have created a more thoughtful and meaningful life. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Agnes Callard, (@agnescallard), philosopher, University of Chicago References:  “Agnes Callard’s Marriage Of The Minds” by Rachel Aviv (Mar. 2023, The New Yorker) ”Everyone Desires the Good: Socrates' Protreptic Theory of Desire” by Agnes Callard (June 2017, The Review of Metaphysics) “A Philosopher Gets Fed Up With Profundity” by Agnes Callard (Mar. 2023, The Atlantic) Plato, Gorgias Plato, Symposium Plato, Meno Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
01/05/2352m 57s

The chemistry of connection

Could our brains make us less lonely? Sean Illing talks with psychiatrist and author Julie Holland, whose new book Good Chemistry takes on the crisis of disconnectedness we face today. They discuss the brain chemistry of attachment and human connection, how psychedelics can be used both in therapeutic contexts and to help us feel more connected to others, and the toll that this crisis of isolation can take on us — emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Julie Holland, MD (@BellevueDoc), psychiatrist; medical advisor to MAPS; author References:  Good Chemistry: The Science of Connection from Soul to Psychedelics by Julie Holland (Harper; 2022) "Work and the Loneliness Epidemic" by Vivek Murthy (Harvard Business Review; Sept. 26, 2017) "Loneliness in U.S. Subsides From Pandemic High" by Dan Witters (Gallup; Apr. 4) The Red Book by Carl Jung (written from 1914–1930; pub. Norton; 2009) "People would rather be electrically shocked than left alone with their thoughts" by Nadia Whitehead (Science; July 3, 2014) "Mammalian central nervous system trace amines" by Mark D. Berry (Journal of Neurochemistry; vol. 90 (2), July 2004) "The connection between oxytocin and autism, explained" by Peter Hess (Spectrum; Jan. 6, 2022) Moody Bitches by Julie Holland (Penguin; 2016) "Youth Suicide Risk Increased Over Past Decade" by Farzana Akkas (Pew; Mar. 3) "MAPS predicts FDA approval for MDMA-assisted therapy in 2024" by Brian Buntz (Drug Discovery & Development ; Jan. 27) "Psychedelics May Be Part of U.S. Medicine Sooner Than You Think" by Jamie Ducharme (TIME; Feb. 8) Alex & Allyson Grey "Can magic mushrooms unlock depression?" by Dr. Rosalind Watts (Medium; Feb. 28, 2022) How Psychedelics Can Help Save the World by Stephen Gray; foreword by Julie Holland (Park Street Books; 2022) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
27/04/2353m 6s

What a slow civil war looks like

Sean Illing is joined by reporter Jeff Sharlet, whose new book The Undertow: Scenes from a Slow Civil War takes readers on the ground across America right now, as all kinds of people seem to be preparing for a violent fight with other Americans. They discuss the killing of Ashli Babbitt on Jan. 6 and how the story of her death has evolved, the religious nature of some "fringe" political beliefs, and what life is like living in what Jeff calls "the Trumpocene." Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Jeff Sharlet (@JeffSharlet), reporter; author  References:  The Undertow: Scenes from a Slow Civil War by Jeff Sharlet (W.W. Norton; 2023) The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power by Jeff Sharlet (Harper Collins; 2008) The Anatomy of Fascism by Robert O. Paxton (Vintage; 2005) A Brief History of Fascist Lies by Federico Finchelstein (University of California; 2020) "Ashli Babbitt a martyr? Her past tells a more complex story" by Michael Biesecker (AP; Jan. 3, 2022) "January 6 Was Only the Beginning" by Jeff Sharlet (Vanity Fair; June 22, 2022) "Man who rested feet on desk in Pelosi's office on Jan. 6 found guilty on 8 counts" by Hannah Rabinowitz and Holms Lybrand (CNN; Jan. 23) "Marjorie Taylor Greene got into a screaming match with Rep. Cheney over 'Jewish space lasers' comment" by Azmi Haroun (Insider; Oct. 21, 2021) "If you see an all-black American flag, what does that mean?" by Matt Gregory and Mia Salenetri (WUSA9; Nov. 12, 2021) "What does the end of Roe mean for IVF?" by Bridgit Bowden (Wisconsin Public Radio; July 6, 2022) "The Blast That Changed Everything" by Preston Schmitt and Doug Erickson (On Wisconsin magazine; Summer 2020) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
24/04/2356m 24s

How to listen

Most of us don’t know how to truly listen, and it’s causing all sorts of problems. Sean Illing is joined by journalist Kate Murphy, the author of You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters, to discuss what it means to be a good listener, the problems that are caused when we don’t listen to each other, and the positive impacts on our health when we do. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Kate Murphy, author,You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters References:  You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters by Kate Murphy (Celadon Books, 2020) “This is your brain on communication” by Uri Hasson (TED, 2016) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
20/04/2355m 3s

Why we can't give up on persuasion

Sean Illing is joined by Anand Giridharadas, author of The Persuaders: At the Front Lines of the Fight for Hearts, Minds, and Democracy. Together they discuss how polarity is a threat to our democracy, the organizing efforts that are effective, and why there's hope for a less divisive future in America. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Anand Giridharadas (@AnandWrites), author  References:  The Persuaders: At the Front Lines of the Fight for Hearts, Minds, and Democracy by Anand Giridharadas (Penguin Random House, 202) Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World (Penguin Random House, 2022) Amanda Marcotte “Meet the woman behind Libs of TikTok, secretly fueling the right’s outrage machine” by Taylor Lorenz (The Washington Post, Apr. 19th, 2022)  Anat Shenker-Osorio People’s Action Institute  Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
17/04/2353m 41s

Rep. Katie Porter's working-class politics

Rep. Katie Porter became well-known for using a whiteboard and asking tough questions during Congressional hearings. Her frank questions resonated with the public because they represented the concerns of so many Americans. In this episode, she joins Sean Illing to discuss her "brand" of authenticity, the problem with having so many millionaires in Congress, and her new book, I Swear: Politics Is Messier Than My Minivan. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Rep. Katie Porter (@RepKatiePorter), U.S. Representative from the 47th Congressional District in Orange County, California. References:  I Swear: Politics Is Messier Than My Minivan by Representative Katie Porter (Penguin Random House, 2023) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
13/04/2347m 15s

The climate apocalypse will be televised

Guest host Alissa Wilkinson talks with Dorothy Fortenberry, a co-showrunner, executive producer, and writer on Extrapolations, the new star-studded anthology series on Apple TV+ that imagines the ravages of climate change deeper and deeper into the future. Alissa and Dorothy discuss the challenges of making film and television about the climate crisis, the role that religion plays on the show and in addressing the emotional responses to climate change in our lives, and how climate change can rob us not only of our future — but of our past. Host: Alissa Wilkinson (@alissamarie), senior culture writer, Vox Guest: Dorothy Fortenberry (@Dorothy410berry), writer/executive producer, Extrapolations on Apple TV+ References:  Extrapolations on Apple TV+ "Laudato Si': On Care for our Common Home," encyclical of Pope Francis (May 24, 2015) "A Review: The Lotus Paradox at Warehouse Theatre" (Jan. 31, 2022) "Latin Mass, women priests, celibacy? Climate change will make all the church's arguments pointless" by Dorothy Fortenberry (America; Oct. 27, 2021)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Help keep this show and all of Vox's journalism free by making a gift to Vox today: bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
10/04/231h

A philosopher takes on religious life

What would drive someone to renounce all their possessions, relationships, and ambitions to join a religious community? Sean talks with Zena Hitz, whose new book A Philosopher Looks at the Religious Life explores this question — drawing from her own experience. They discuss the occasionally perplexing relationship between faith and reason, why Hitz thinks the act of renunciation is the pinnacle of Christian belief, and why the radicalism at the heart of Christianity seems so absent from mainstream practice. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Zena Hitz, (@zenahitz) author; tutor, St. John's College References:  A Philosopher Looks at the Religious Life by Zena Hitz (Cambridge; 2023) Lost In Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life by Zena Hitz (Princeton; 2020) The Madonna House in Combermere, Ontario, Canada Confessions by St. Augustine (401 AD) Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1866)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Help keep this show and all of Vox's journalism free by making a gift to Vox today: bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
06/04/2353m 44s

Your brain isn't so private anymore

Guest host Sigal Samuel talks with professor of philosophy and law Nita Farahany about her new book The Battle for Your Brain. In it, Farahany details the new brain-scanning tech that has already arrived, and the risks this poses to our privacy and freedom of thought. Sigal and Nita discuss what this technology can currently do (and what it can't), how new devices might be used by corporations or governments to infringe on our rights, and the prospect of using new technologies to rid ourselves of painful or traumatic memories — even, potentially, before they've been formed. Host: Sigal Samuel (@SigalSamuel), Senior Reporter, Vox Guest: Nita Farahany (@NitaFarahany), author; professor of philosophy & Robinson O. Everett Professor of Law, Duke University References:  The Battle for Your Brain: Defending the Right to Think Freely in the Age of Neurotechnology by Nita A. Farahany (St. Martin's; 2023) "Your brain may not be private much longer" by Sigal Samuel (Vox; March 17) "BGU develops wearable advanced warning system for epileptic seizures" (Jerusalem Post; Sept. 29, 2020) "Elon Musk shows off updates to his brain chips and says he's going to install one in himself when they are ready" by Ashley Capoot (CNBC; Dec. 1, 2022) "Brain-implant companies balk at moves to regulate their nascent tech" by Sarah McBride (Los Angeles Times; Feb. 19) "NHS trials headset that claims to zap depression" by Katie Prescott (The Times; Jan. 23) "Australian man uses brain implant to send texts from his iPad" by Kristin Houser (Freethink; Nov. 12, 2022) "Is 'brain fingerprinting' a breakthrough or a sham?" by Russell Brandom (The Verge; Feb. 2, 2015) "China Claims It's Scanning Workers' Brainwaves to Increase Efficiency and Profits" by Samantha Cole (VICE; May 1, 2018) "Incriminating Thoughts" by Nita A. Farahany (Stanford Law Review, vol. 64 (2); Feb. 2012) John Stuart Mill, "On Liberty" (1859) Immanuel Kant, Critique of Practical Reason (1788) "Non-conscious brain modulation may help PTSD patients forget their fears" by Brooks Hays (UPI; Feb. 23, 2021) No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering by Thich Nhat Hanh (Parallax Press; 2019)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Help keep this show and all of Vox's journalism free by making a gift to Vox today: bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Engineers: Patrick Boyd & Brandon McFarland Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
03/04/231h 5m

Brian Stelter thinks the news has a reliability problem

Will the Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit against Fox News be a watershed moment? Is the media industry beyond repair? Sean Illing is joined by media reporter Brian Stelter, the former host of CNN’s Reliable Sources and the author of Hoax. Together, they reflect on the relationship of news, entertainment, and politics and what the consequences of the Dominion suit might be. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Brian Stelter, (@brianstelter) author; former TV news host; media reporter References:  Hoax by Brian Stelter (Simon & Schuster, 2021) Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV by Brian Stelter (Grand Central, 2019) “How Not to Cover a Bank Run” by Brian Stelter (The Atlantic, March 2023) “I Never Truly Understood Fox News Until Now” by Brian Stelter (The Atlantic, February 2023) “Mass Delusion in America” by Jeffrey Goldberg (The Atlantic, January 2021) Brian Stelter’s Substack   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
30/03/2356m 35s

How corporations got all your data

Sean Illing speaks with Matthew Jones, historian of science and technology, and co-author (with data scientist Chris Wiggins) of the new book How Data Happened. They discuss the surprisingly long history of data from the 18th century to today, in service of explaining how we wound up in a world where our personal information is mined by giant corporations for profit. They talk about how the allure of measurement and precision spread from astronomy to the social sciences, why advertising became so bound to the operation of the internet, and how we can imagine a more democratic future for us and our data, given the unprecedented power of today's tech companies. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Matthew L. Jones (@nescioquid), author; James R. Barker Professor of Contemporary Civilization, Columbia University References:  How Data Happened: A History from the Age of Reason to the Age of Algorithms by Chris Wiggins and Matthew L. Jones (W.W. Norton; 2023) "How Alan Turing Cracked The Enigma Code" (Imperial War Museum) Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass media by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky (1988) "The manipulation of the American mind: Edward Bernays and the birth of public relations" by Richard Gunderman (The Conversation; July 9, 2015) On Herbert Simon (The Economist; Mar. 20, 2009) The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff (Profile; 2019) Jeffrey Hammerbacher quoted in "This Tech Bubble Is Different" by Ashlee Vance (Bloomberg Businessweek; Apr. 14, 2011)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Engineers: Patrick Boyd & Brandon McFarland Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
27/03/2354m 50s

The case for failure

Is our society's fixation with success hindering our ability to find humility? Sean Illing speaks with Costica Bradatan about his new book In Praise of Failure: Four Lessons in Humility, which explores failure through the lives of historical figures like Gandhi and the philosopher Simone Weil. They discuss the benefits of engaging with our limits and what we can learn from those who've embraced failure. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Costica Bradatan, Professor at Texas Tech University and Honorary Research Professor of Philosophy at University of Queensland in Australia, Religion/Philosophy editor for the Los Angeles Review of Books, and author of In Praise of Failure: Four Lessons in Humility. References:  In Praise of Failure: Four Lessons in Humility by  Costica Bradatan (Harvard University Press, 2023) The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus, translated by Justin O'Brien (Vintage Books, 1991) The Birth of Tragedy by Friedrich Nietzsche, translated by Walter Kaufman (1872) The Trouble with Being Born by E.M. Cioran, translated by Richard Howard (Arcade Publishing, 1973) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
16/03/2348m 30s

Poetry as religion

Sean Illing speaks with poet and historian Jennifer Michael Hecht, whose new book The Wonder Paradox asks: if we don't have God or religion, what — if anything — do we lose? They discuss how religion accesses meaning — through things like prayer, ceremony, and ritual — and Jennifer speaks on the ways that poetry can play similar roles in a secular way. They also discuss some of the "tricks" that poets use, share favorite poems, and explore what it would mean to "live the questions" — and even learn to love them — without having the answers. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Jennifer Michael Hecht (@Freudeinstein), poet, historian; author References:  The Wonder Paradox: Embracing the Weirdness of Existence and the Poetry of Our Lives by Jennifer Michael Hecht (FSG; 2023) Doubt: A History by Jennifer Michael Hecht (HarperOne; 2004) Rainer Maria Rilke, from a 1903 letter to Franz Kappus, published in Letters to a Young Poet (pub. 1929) Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (1855) "Why do parrots live so long?" by Charles Q. Choi (LiveScience; May 23, 2022) "The survival of poetry depends on the failure of language," from The Tree of Meaning: Language, Mind, and Ecology by Robert Bringhurst (Counterpoint; 2009) "Traveler, There Is No Road" ("Caminante, no hay camino") by Antonio Machado (1917) "A Free Man's Worship" by Bertrand Russell (1903) Totality and Infinity: An Essay on Exteriority by Emmanuel Levinas (1961)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
13/03/2356m 48s

Revisiting the American Dream

In America, there's been an increase of available jobs, and there's also been a series of high-profile layoffs, strikes, and calls for unionization. The social safety net for workers is disappearing, so what can people do? Sean Illing speaks with Alissa Quart about her new book, Bootstrapped: Liberating Ourselves from the American Dream, about why people need to rid themselves of the American Dream's individualistic ideals and embrace dependence in order to succeed. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Alissa Quart (@lisquart), author of nonfiction and poetry, and co-creator of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project References:  Bootstrapped: Liberating Ourselves from the American Dream by Alissa Quart (Harper Collins, 2023) Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America by Alissa Quart (Harper Collins, 2019) Tailspin: The People and Forces Behind America’s Fifty-Year Fall–And Those Fighting To Reverse It by Steven Brill (Penguin Random House, 2018)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
09/03/2343m 25s

The cost of saving pandas

The giant panda is no longer endangered. This, of course, is good news. But the model of conservation that worked to protect these iconic bears has failed to help the countless other threatened species on Earth, most of which are far less charismatic. Guest host Benji Jones talks with Jason Gilchrist, a wildlife ecologist. They discuss if there is another way we should approach conservation, what exactly we should be trying to save, and why. Host: Benji Jones (@BenjiSJones), Senior Environmental Reporter, Vox Guest: Jason Gilchrist (@jgilchrist13), ecologist and lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University References:  “We pulled pandas back from the brink of extinction. Meanwhile, the rest of nature collapsed.” by Benji Jones (Vox, 2023) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Special thanks to Katelyn Bogucki Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
06/03/2345m 58s

Breaking our family patterns

Sean Illing speaks with marriage and family therapist Vienna Pharaon, whose new book The Origins of You aims to help us identify and heal the wounds that originated from our family, which shape our patterns of behavior in relationships and throughout our lives. Sean and Vienna talk about how we can spot and name our "origin wounds," discuss practical wisdom to help break free from the ways these pains grip us, and Sean directly confronts some real issues from his upbringing and family life. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Vienna Pharaon (@mindfulmft), marriage & family therapist; author References:  The Origins of You: How Breaking Family Patterns Can Liberate the Way We Live and Love by Vienna Pharaon (G.P. Putnam's Sons; 2023) When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress by Dr. Gabor Maté (Wiley; 2011)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
02/03/231h 4m

For Black horror fans, fact is scarier than fiction

Guest host Alissa Wilkinson talks with Dr. Robin R. Means Coleman about her new book, The Black Guy Dies First: Black Horror Cinema from Fodder to Oscar. Dr. Coleman is the Vice President & Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer at Northwestern University, where she is a Professor of Communication Studies. Together, they discuss the tropes in Black horror, and how inequity in Hollywood has shaped the attitudes of a nation toward Black people. Host: Alissa Wilkinson (@alissamarie), senior culture writer, Vox Guest: Dr. Robin R. Means Coleman (@MeansColeman), co-author of The Black Guy Dies First: Black Horror Cinema from Fodder to Oscar, Vice President & Associate Provost for Diversity & Inclusion, Professor of Communication Studies References:  The Black Guy Dies First: Black Horror Cinema from Fodder to Oscar by Robin R. Means Coleman and Mark H. Harris (Simon & Schuster, 2023) Horror Noire: A History Of Black Horror  (Xavier Burgin, 2021)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
27/02/2351m 21s

Taking Nietzsche seriously

Sean Illing talks with political science professor Matt McManus about the political thought of Friedrich Nietzsche, the 19th-century German philosopher with a complicated legacy, despite his crossover into popular culture. They discuss how Nietzsche's work has been interpreted — and misinterpreted — since his death in 1900, how his radical political views emerge from his body of work, and how we can use Nietzsche's philosophy in order to interpret some key features of our contemporary politics. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Matt McManus (@MattPolProf), lecturer, University of Michigan; author Referenced works by Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900): Ecce Homo (1888; published posthumously), Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883), Beyond Good and Evil (1886), Twilight of the Idols (1888), The Birth of Tragedy (1872), The Antichrist (1888; published posthumously), The Gay Science (1882) References:  Nietzsche and the Politics of Reaction: Essays on Liberalism, Socialism, and Aristocratic Radicalism, ed. Matthew McManus (Palgrave; 2023) The Political Right and Equality: Turning Back the Tide of Egalitarian Modernity by Matthew McManus (Routledge; forthcoming) Nietzsche's Great Politics by Hugo Drochon (Princeton; 2016) Nietzsche's Letter to Georg Brandes (Dec. 2, 1887) Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist by Walter Kaufmann (Princeton; 2013) “God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers?” from Nietzsche's The Gay Science, §125 (1882; tr. W. Kaufmann) "Atheist bus campaign spreads the word of no God nationwide" by Riazat Butt (The Guardian; Jan. 6, 2009) "Since Copernicus man has been rolling from the center toward X," from Nietzsche's The Will To Power, published posthumously in 1901. Immanuel Kant, Metaphysics of Morals (1797) Kierkegaard's Attack Upon "Christendom", 1854-1855 (tr. Walter Lowrie) Nietzsche, the Aristocratic Rebel by Domenico Losurdo (Brill; 2019) Joseph de Maistre, Considerations on France (1797) "Does Liberalism Mean Supporting Communism?" by Matthew McManus (Liberal Currents; Jan. 4, 2022) Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth (1963) United States of Socialism by Dinesh D'Souza (All Points; 2020) "The alt-right is drunk on bad readings of Nietzsche. The Nazis were too" by Sean Illing (Vox; Dec. 30, 2018) The Third Reich series by Richard J. Evans Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged (1957)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
23/02/231h 5m

The dark history of Silicon Valley

Sean Illing speaks with Malcolm Harris, a journalist, critic, and author of the new book Palo Alto: A History of California, Capitalism, and the World. Together, they discuss the weird history of the city that's birthed Stanford University, Hewlett Packard, Theranos, and the model of capitalism that's made an impact across the globe. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Malcolm Harris (@BigMeanInternet), journalist, critic and author References:  Palo Alto: A History of California, Capitalism, and the World by Malcolm Harris (Little Brown; 2023) Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials by Malcolm Harris (Little Brown; 2017) "CDC investigates why so many students in wealthy Palo Alto, Calif., commit suicide" by Yanan Wang (The Washington Post, Feb. 16th, 2016) “The undocumented workers who built Silicon Valley” by Louis Hyman (The Washington Post, Aug. 30th, 2018) Stanford University Land Acknowledgement "Meet The PayPal Mafia, the Richest Group Of Men In Silicon Valley" by Charlie Parrish (The Telegraph, Sep. 20th, 2014)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
16/02/231h

The value of being a "hater"

Guest host Rebecca Jennings talks with Justin Charity, cultural critic and senior staff writer at The Ringer, about what it means to be dubbed a "hater" on the internet. Rebecca and Justin talk about the role of criticism and the evolving ways in which critics and fans clash online. They discuss how a bad review (or a review seen as bad) can spark a far-ranging backlash, how the meme-ified cry of "let people enjoy things" has been taken from its original context, and what — if anything — might change the dynamics between fans and critics. Host: Rebecca Jennings (@rebexxxxa), senior correspondent, Vox Guest: Justin Charity, senior staff writer, The Ringer; co-host of the Sound Only podcast References:  "'Hater' doesn't have to be a dirty word" by Rebecca Jennings (Vox; Jan. 18) "2022 Was the Year of the Metaverse — Until It Wasn't" by Justin Charity (The Ringer; Dec. 29, 2022) "Why Did Everyone Claim to Enjoy Kendrick Lamar's 'To Pimp A Butterfly'?" by Justin Charity (Complex; Nov. 3, 2015) "Jake Paul Exposed as $2.2M Serial Crypto Scammer" by Robert D. Knight & Levy Prata (Beincrypto; Mar. 8, 2022) "Taylor Swift Super Fans Are Furious About a Good Review" by Gita Jackson (Vice; July 31, 2020) "The YouTubers are not okay" by Rebecca Jennings (Vox; May 10, 2022) "How 'let people enjoy things' became a fight against criticism" by Constance Grady (Vox; May 16, 2019) The original "let people enjoy things" webcomic, by Adam Ellis (Feb. 3, 2016) "Like This or Die" by Christian Lorenzen (Harpers; Apr. 2019) @talialichtstein on TikTok "Meet the most obsessive Bill Simmons fans online" by Luke Winkie (The Outline; Jan. 2, 2020) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
13/02/2355m 5s

Behind the blue wall

Sean Illing speaks with Rosa Brooks, a former reserve police officer and current law professor at Georgetown University. Brooks wrote Tangled Up in Blue: Policing the American City about her experience going through the police academy and becoming a cop on the streets of Washington, DC. They discuss what she saw during her time on the force, some of the differences between how cops see their jobs and how things are, and what could be done differently to fix American policing. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Rosa Brooks (@brooks_rosa), author; professor of law and policy, Georgetown University References:  Tangled Up in Blue: Policing the American City by Rosa Brooks (Penguin; 2021) “Any situation can turn lethal in an instant, and other lessons I learned at the police academy” by Rosa Brooks (Los Angeles Times; Feb. 21, 2021) "New Perspectives in Policing: From Warriors to Guardians" by: Sue Rahr and Stephen K. Rice (PDF; NIJ and The Harvard Kennedy School) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
09/02/231h 2m

Best of: Imagine a future with no police

Guest host Fabiola Cineas talks with author, lawyer, and organizer Derecka Purnell about her recent book Becoming Abolitionists. They discuss Derecka's journey to defending the idea of police abolition, and what that position really entails. They explore questions about the historical and social role of policing in society, how to imagine a future where we radically rethink our system of criminal justice, and how we can acknowledge and incorporate current data about crime — while still rethinking our inherited assumptions about police. This was originally released in Jan. 2022 as an episode of Vox Conversations. Host: Fabiola Cineas (@FabiolaCineas), reporter, Vox.com Guest: Derecka Purnell (@dereckapurnell), author References:  Becoming Abolitionists: Police, Protests, and the Pursuit of Freedom by Derecka Purnell (Astra House; 2021) Police shootings database 2015-2023 (Washington Post) The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution by C.L.R. James (Vintage; 1989) Black Reconstruction in America 1860–1880 by W.E.B. Du Bois (1935) "One American city's model of policing reform means building 'social currency'" by Nathan Layne (June 12, 2020; Reuters) "The Camden Police Department is Not a Model for Policing in the Post-George Floyd Era" by Brendan McQuade (June 12, 2020; The Appeal) "Murder Rose by Almost 30% in 2020. It's Rising at a Slower Rate in 2021" by Jeff Asher (Sept. 22, 2021; New York Times) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Engineers: Patrick Boyd & Paul Robert Mounsey Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
06/02/231h 3m

Is America broken?

Sean Illing speaks with Alana Newhouse, the editor-in-chief of Tablet magazine. They discuss her recent essay on "brokenism," a term she coined in an effort to redefine political divisions in America. Newhouse argues that the most salient divide right now is between those who want to fix the institutions we have and those who want to burn it all down and start fresh. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Alana Newhouse (@alananewhouse) editor-in-chief, Tablet References:  “Brokenism” by Alana Newhouse (Tablet, Nov. 21, 2022) “Everything is Broken” by Alana Newhouse (Tablet, Jan. 14, 2021) "See Workers as Workers, Not as a College Credential" by The New York Times Editorial Board (Jan. 28) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
02/02/2350m 31s

The creator of Fargo is done with good guys vs. bad guys

Sean Illing talks with Noah Hawley, the creator and showrunner of the anthology drama Fargo on FX, as well as a celebrated novelist whose newest book is Anthem (2022). They discuss themes stemming from Hawley's recent piece in the Atlantic about myths, stories, and tropes from the Old West (and Hollywood) that are still powerful and active in shaping American society. Hawley also talks about why we're drawn to shows like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, what to expect on the forthcoming fifth season of Fargo, and what his new novel says about the future. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Noah Hawley (@noahhawley), novelist; tv/film director References:  "It's High Noon in America" by Noah Hawley (The Atlantic; Dec. 19, 2022) Anthem by Noah Hawley (Grand Central; 2022) Slaughterhouse-Five, or, The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death by Kurt Vonnegut (1969) "'Duck Dynasty' vs. 'Modern Family': 50 Maps of the U.S. Cultural Divide" by Josh Katz (New York Times; Dec. 27, 2016) "The sex-trafficking investigation of Matt Gaetz, explained" by Amber Phillips (Washington Post; Jan. 27, 2022) The Trial by Franz Kafka (1925)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
30/01/2355m 4s

Revisiting the "father of capitalism"

Sean Illing talks with Glory Liu, the author of Adam Smith’s America: How a Scottish Philosopher became an Icon of American Capitalism. Smith is most well-known for being the “father of capitalism,” but as Liu points out in her book, his legacy has been misappropriated — especially in America. They discuss his original intentions and what we can take away from his work today. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Glory Liu (@miss_glory), author; lecturer, Harvard University References:  Adam Smith’s America: How a Scottish Philosopher became an Icon of American Capitalism by Glory Liu (Princeton; 2022) Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life by Nicholas Phillipson (Yale; 2012) Free to Choose: A Personal Statement by Milton & Rose Friedman (Harcourt; 1980) “Adam Smith’s ‘History of Astronomy’ and view of science” by Kwangsu Kim (Cambridge Journal of Economics v. 36; 2012) Works by Adam Smith: The Wealth of Nations (1776) Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) Lectures on Jurisprudence (1763)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
26/01/2353m 34s

Can effective altruism be redeemed?

Guest host Sigal Samuel talks with Holden Karnofsky about effective altruism, a movement flung into public scrutiny with the collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried and his crypto exchange, FTX. They discuss EA’s approach to charitable giving, the relationship between effective altruism and the moral philosophy of utilitarianism, and what reforms might be needed for the future of the movement. Note: In August 2022, Bankman-Fried’s philanthropic family foundation, Building a Stronger Future, awarded Vox’s Future Perfect a grant for a 2023 reporting project. That project is now on pause. Host: Sigal Samuel (@SigalSamuel), Senior Reporter, Vox Guest: Holden Karnofsky, co-founder of GiveWell; CEO of Open Philanthropy References:  "Effective altruism gave rise to Sam Bankman-Fried. Now it's facing a moral reckoning" by Sigal Samuel (Vox; Nov. 16, 2022) "The Reluctant Prophet of Effective Altruism" by Gideon Lewis-Kraus (New Yorker; Aug. 8, 2022) "Sam Bankman-Fried tries to explain himself" by Kelsey Piper (Vox; Nov. 16, 2022) "EA is about maximization, and maximization is perilous" by Holden Karnofsky (Effective Altruism Forum; Sept. 2, 2022) "Defending One-Dimensional Ethics" by Holden Karnofsky (Cold Takes blog; Feb. 15, 2022) "Future-proof ethics" by Holden Karnofsky (Cold Takes blog; Feb. 2, 2022) "Bayesian mindset" by Holden Karnofsky (Cold Takes blog; Dec. 21, 2021) "EA Structural Reform Ideas" by Carla Zoe Cremer (Nov. 12, 2022) "Democratising Risk: In Search of a Methodology to Study Existential Risk" by Carla Cremer and Luke Kemp (SSRN; Dec. 28, 2021)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
23/01/231h 3m

The roots of homelessness

Sean Illing talks with writer and reporter Jerusalem Demsas about the causes of homelessness in America. They discuss our ideas of home ownership, and how our country’s cultural expectations and policies are working against us.  Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Jerusalem Demsas (@JerusalemDemsas) staff writer, The Atlantic References:  “The Homeownership Society Was a Mistake” by Jerusalem Demsas (The Atlantic; Dec. 20, 2022) “The Obvious Answer to Homelessness and Why Everyone’s Ignoring It” by Jerusalem Demsas (The Atlantic; Dec. 12, 2022) “The Billionaire’s Dilemma” by Jerusalem Demsas (The Atlantic; Aug. 4, 2022) “Stuck! The Law and Economics of Residential Stagnation” by David Schleicher (Yale Law Review; Oct. 2017) “Black Americans And The Racist Architecture of Homeownership” by Alisa Chang, Christopher Intagliata, and Jonaki Mehta (NPR; May 8, 2021)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
19/01/2353m 44s

Can race be transcended?

Sean Illing talks with author Thomas Chatterton Williams about race and identity in America. Thomas has analyzed racial identity through the lens of his own upbringing, and the performativity and pressures he experienced. In conversation with Sean, Thomas speaks about how he sees these identities as restrictive connections to the racial oppressions of the past, whether it's possible to achieve liberation without sacrificing solidarity, and on the complex interplay between race and class. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Thomas Chatterton Williams (@thomaschattwill), author; contributing writer, The Atlantic References:  Self-Portrait in Black and White: Family, Fatherhood, and Rethinking Race by Thomas Chatterton Williams (W.W. Norton; 2019) Losing My Cool: Love, Literature, and a Black Man's Escape from the Crowd by Thomas Chatterton Williams (Penguin; 2011) White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo (Beacon; 2018) "Camus' Stance on Algeria Still Stokes Debate in France" by Eleanor Beardsley (NPR; Nov. 7, 2013) The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1880) Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (One World; 2018) South to a Very Old Place by Albert Murray (Vintage; 1991) "The limits of anti-racism" by Adolph Reed (2009)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
12/01/2346m 51s

Is ethical AI possible?

Sean Illing talks with Timnit Gebru, the founder of the Distributed AI Research Institute. She studies the ethics of artificial intelligence and is an outspoken critic of companies developing new AI systems. Sean and Timnit discuss the power dynamics in the world of AI, the discriminatory outcomes that these technologies can cause, and the need for accountability and transparency in the field. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Timnit Gebru (@timnitGebru), founder, Distributed AI Research Institute References:  “The Exploited Labor Behind Artificial Intelligence" by Adrienne Williams, Milagros Miceli, and Timnit Gebru (Noema; Oct. 13, 2022) “Effective Altruism is Push a Dangerous Brand of ‘AI Safety’” by Timnit Gebru (Wired; Nov. 30, 2022) Datasheets for Datasets by Timnit Gebru, et al. (CACM; Dec. 2021) “In Emergencies, Should You Trust a Robot?” by John Toon (Georgia Tech; Feb. 29, 2016) “We read the paper that forced Timnit Gebru out of Google. Here’s what it says” by Karen Hao (MIT Technology Review; Dec. 4, 2020) “On the Dangers of Stochastic Parrots: Can Language Models Be Too Big?” by Timnit Gebru, et al. (Proceedings of the 2021 ACM Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency; March 2021)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
09/01/2347m 59s

What do we owe animals?

Guest host Sigal Samuel talks with philosopher and author Martha Nussbaum about her new book, Justice for Animals. Martha discusses several different ethical, legal, and metaphysical theories for how we humans should treat other non-human animals, and offers her own distinct new approach. Host: Sigal Samuel (@SigalSamuel), Senior Reporter, Vox Guest: Martha Nussbaum, author; Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Philosophy, U. Chicago References:  Justice for Animals: Our Collective Responsibility by Martha Nussbaum (Simon & Schuster; 2022) Drawing the Line: Science and the Case for Animal Rights by Steven M. Wise (Basic; 2003) Primates and Philosophers: How Morality Evolved by Frans de Waal (Princeton; 2006) Animal Liberation: A New Ethics for Our Treatment of Animals by Peter Singer (1975) Fellow Creatures: Our Obligations to Other Animals by Christine Korsgaard (Oxford; 2018) Political Liberalism by John Rawls (1993) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) "Ag-Gag" Laws in the United States (Animal Legal Defense Fund) Zoopolis: A Political Theory of Animal Rights by Sue Donaldson and Will Kymlicka (Oxford; 2011)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
05/01/2348m 33s

Best of: America's philosophy, with Cornel West

Sean Illing talks with Cornel West about the American philosophical tradition known as pragmatism. They talk about what makes pragmatism so distinctly American, how pragmatists understand the connection between knowledge and action, and how the pragmatist mindset can invigorate our understanding of democratic life and communal action today. Cornel West also talks about the ways in which pragmatism has influenced his work and life, alongside the blues, Chekhov, and his Christian faith. This was an episode of The Philosophers, a series from Vox Conversations, originally released in May. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews writer, Vox Guest: Cornel West (@CornelWest), author; Dietrich Bonhoeffer professor of philosophy & Christian practice, Union Theological Seminary References to works by American pragmatists:  Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882): "Self-Reliance" (1841) William James (1842–1910): Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking (1907); The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902); "Is Life Worth Living?" (1895) Charles Sanders Peirce (1839–1914): "The Fixation of Belief" (1877) John Dewey (1859–1952): The Quest for Certainty (1929); "Emerson—The Philosopher of Democracy" (1903); The Public and Its Problems (1927) Richard Rorty (1931–2007): "Pragmatism, Relativism, and Irrationalism" (1979); "Solidarity or Objectivity?" (1989) Other references:  Cornel West Teaches Philosophy (MasterClass) The American Evasion of Philosophy: A Genealogy of Pragmatism by Cornel West (Univ. of Wisconsin Press; 1989) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925) Plato, Republic (refs. in particular to Book 1 and Book 8) The Phantom Public by Walter Lippmann (1925) Leopardi: Selected Poems of Giacomo Leopardi (1798–1837), tr. by Eamon Grennan (Princeton; 1997) "The Myth of Sisyphus" by Albert Camus (1942; tr. 1955) Democracy & Tradition by Jeffrey Stout (Princeton; 2003) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
22/12/221h 1m

Best of: The necessity — and danger — of free speech

Sean Illing talks with Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan about his new book The Paradox of Democracy, which he co-authored with media studies professor Zac Gershberg. Sean and Margaret discuss the relationship between free expression and democratic society, talk about whether or not the January 6th hearings are doing anything at all politically, and discuss some potential ways to bolster democratic values in the media ecology of the present. This was originally released as an episode of Vox Conversations in July. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Margaret Sullivan (@Sulliview), media columnist, Washington Post References:  The Paradox of Democracy: Free Speech, Open Media, and Perilous Persuasion by Zac Gershberg and Sean Illing (Chicago; 2022) Ghosting the News: Local Journalism and the Crisis of American Democracy by Margaret Sullivan (Columbia Global Reports; 2020) "Four reasons the Jan. 6 hearings have conquered the news cycle" by Margaret Sullivan (Washington Post; July 22) Understanding Media by Marshall McLuhan (1964) Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman (1985) Newsroom Confidential: Lessons (and Worries) from an Ink-Stained Life by Margaret Sullivan (St. Martin's; Oct. 2022) Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
19/12/2253m 30s

The church of celebrity

Guest host Alissa Wilkinson talks with Katelyn Beaty, author of the new book Celebrities for Jesus, about how the dynamics of fame, influence, and new media are changing our experience of religious faith. They discuss how celebrities like Billy Graham set the tone for a lionization of celebrity in the Evangelical Church, why faith leaders cultivate distance from their congregations and build influencer-style social media presences, and share their thoughts on the future of the Church in our perhaps increasingly celebrity-obsessed culture. Host: Alissa Wilkinson (@alissamarie), senior culture writer, Vox Guest: Katelyn Beaty (@KatelynBeaty), author References:  Celebrities for Jesus: How Personas, Platforms, and Profits Are Hurting the Church by Katelyn Beaty (Brazos; 2022) "Inside Hillsong, the Church of Choice for Justin Bieber and Kevin Durant" by Taffy Brodesser-Akner (GQ; Dec. 17, 2015) "After Columbine, martyrdom became a powerful fantasy for Christian teenagers" by Alissa Wilkinson (Vox; Apr. 17, 2019)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
15/12/2257m 5s

Men and boys are struggling. Should we care?

Sean Illing talks with author, researcher, and Brookings Institution senior fellow Richard V. Reeves about his new book Of Boys and Men, which documents the ways that males all over the industrialized world are struggling — and what to do about it. Sean and Richard talk about how this crisis among men has its roots in the progress societies have made toward gender equality, about what has been exposed as the playing field has become more level, and about how to challenge our traditional understandings of masculinity and fatherhood in order to address the crisis — which, Reeves says, will be to everybody's benefit. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Richard V. Reeves (@RichardvReeves), author; senior fellow, Brookings Institution; director, Future of the Middle Class Initiative References:  Of Boys And Men: Why the Modern Male Is Struggling, Why It Matters, and What to Do about It by Richard V. Reeves (Brookings; 2022) "The State of American Friendship: Change, Challenges, and Loss" by Daniel A. Cox (American Survey Center; June 8, 2021) Unbound: How Inequality Constricts Our Economy and What We Can Do about It by Heather Boushey (Harvard; 2019) "Gender Achievement Gaps in U.S. School Districts" by Sean F. Reardon et al. (American Educational Research Journal vol. 56 (6); Apr. 25, 2019) "The GOP's masculinity panic: David French on the cult of toughness on the Trumpist right" by Sean Illing (Jan. 5; episode here or here) "Infrastructure Bill Must Create Pathways for Women To Enter Construction Trades" by Marina Zhavoronkova and Rose Khattar (Center for American Progress; Sept. 20) 12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson (Random House Canada; 2018) "Few Good Men" by Kathryn Edin (American Prospect; Dec. 19, 2001) "Redshirt the Boys: Why boys should start school a year later than girls" by Richard V. Reeves (The Atlantic; Sept. 14) "What might interrupt men's suicide? Results from an online survey of men" by Fiona L. Shand et al. (BMJ vol. 5 (10); Oct. 15, 2015)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
12/12/2258m 25s

The power of attention in a world of distraction

Sean Illing talks with Michael Sacasas, an author and teacher exploring the relationship between technology and society in his newsletter, The Convivial Society. This conversation is all about attention: what it exactly is, what its purpose is, and how it is under threat by the technology of modern society and its ubiquitous distractions. Michael calls upon venerated philosophers (like Simone Weil and Iris Murdoch) as well as contemporary writers (like Nicholas Carr and Jenny Odell) to make the case that figuring out how to command our attention is a matter of great moral significance, and is a crucial component of living a good life. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: L. Michael Sacasas (@LMSacasas), author of the newsletter The Convivial Society on Substack; associate director, Christian Study Center of Gainesville References:  The Frailest Thing: Ten Years of Thinking About the Meaning of Technology by L.M. Sacasas (Gumroad; 2019) "Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut (1961) "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" by Nicholas Carr (The Atlantic; July/August 2008) Understanding Media by Marshall McLuhan (1964) Blaise Pascal on Diversion, from the Pensées (1670) "Reflections on the Right Use of School Studies with a View to the Love of God" by Simone Weil (1942) "The idea of perfection" by Iris Murdoch (1964) "Against Dryness" by Iris Murdoch (1961) Simone Weil, letter to Joë Bousquet, Apr. 13, 1942: "Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity." "On Two Ways of Relating to the World" by L.M. Sacasas (The Convivial Society, Nov. 22) How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell (Melville House; 2019)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
08/12/2246m 56s

A veteran reporter on how to fix the news

Sean Illing talks with James Fallows, veteran reporter and editor at The Atlantic, about the state of political journalism in America. Fallows has been covering the relationship between media and democracy since the mid-nineties, when his book Breaking the News presciently documented the roots of a growing mistrust in news media. Sean and James talk about the dangers facing the political press today, why national political news is not useful to most Americans, and what can be done to regain the people's trust in journalism. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: James Fallows (@JamesFallows), author of the newsletter, Breaking the News: Dispatches from a Veteran Reporter on Substack References:  Breaking the News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy by James Fallows (Vintage; 1996) Ashley Parker's tweet (Nov. 22) "Exclusive: Naomi Biden On Her White House Wedding" by Chloe Malle (Vogue; Nov. 22) Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey Into the Heart of America by James Fallows and Deborah Fallows (Vintage; 2018) Our Towns (HBO; 2021) Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers "Leslie Moonves on Donald Trump: 'It May Not Be Good for America, but It's Damn Good for CBS'" by Paul Bond (Hollywood Reporter; Feb. 29, 2016) Public Opinion by Walter Lippmann (1922) "Correcting the Record; Times Reporter Who Resigned Leaves Long Trail of Deception" by Dan Barry et al. (New York Times; May 11, 2003) "Weapons of Mass Destruction? Or Mass Distraction?" by Daniel Okrent (New York Times; May 30, 2004) "3 Truths About Trump" by James Fallows (The Atlantic; July 13, 2015) The Paradox of Democracy by Zac Gershberg and Sean Illing (U. Chicago; 2022)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
05/12/2256m 0s

The end of social media

Sean Illing talks with technology writer and philosopher Ian Bogost about the state of social media — especially in the wake of Elon Musk's recent acquisition of Twitter. They discuss the recent but surprising history of the platforms that have come to dominate the lives of so many, and note a crucial shift that made social media what is today. Sean and Ian also talk about how Silicon Valley views "scale," whether Twitter should be treated as a public utility, and how — as a society — we might be able to quit. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Ian Bogost (@ibogost), contributing writer, The Atlantic; professor and director of film & media studies, Washington University of St. Louis References:  "The Age of Social Media Is Ending" by Ian Bogost (The Atlantic; Nov. 10) "The Madness of Twitter" by Ian Bogost (The Atlantic; Nov. 22) "People Aren't Meant to Talk This Much" by Ian Bogost (The Atlantic; Oct. 22, 2021) "Facebook Is A Doomsday Machine" by Adrienne LaFrance (The Atlantic; Dec. 15, 2020) Understanding Media by Marshall McLuhan (1964) The Paradox of Democracy: Free Speech, Open Media, and Perilous Persuasion by Zac Gershberg & Sean Illing (U. Chicago; 2022)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
01/12/2250m 47s

If society is making us sick, how can we heal?

Sean Illing talks with Dr. Gabor Maté, a physician, speaker, and bestselling author who has written on subjects like addiction, stress, and attention deficit disorder. In Maté's new book, The Myth of Normal, he argues that the Western paradigm of health is fundamentally flawed in its attempt to separate inner, emotional well-being from bodily health. Sean and Dr. Maté discuss how our society and culture can contribute to illness. They also talk about the adverse effects of trauma, the therapeutic potential of psychedelics, and parenting. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Dr. Gabor Maté (@DrGaborMate), author; physician References:  The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness, and Healing in a Toxic Culture by Gabor Maté, MD, with Daniel Maté (Avery; 2022) "Mothers Are the 'Shock Absorbers' of Our Society" by Jessica Grose (New York Times; Oct. 14, 2020) "'It's Life or Death': The Mental Health Crisis Among U.S. Teens" by Matt Richtel (New York Times; Apr. 23) Scattered Minds: The Origin and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder by Gabor Maté, MD (Jan. 2023; Avery. Previously published as Scattered, 2000) "The brutal mirror: What the psychedelic drug ayahuasca showed me about my life" by Sean Illing (Vox; Feb. 19, 2018) "How to discipline your child and toddler, without hitting - Jordan Peterson" (YouTube; Mar. 15, 2018) Hold On to Your Kids by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Maté, MD (Ballantine; 2006) "A Theory of Human Motivation" by Abraham H. Maslow (Psychological Review vol. 50; 1943)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
28/11/2257m 55s

The free-market century is over

Sean Illing talks with economic historian Brad DeLong about his new book Slouching Towards Utopia. In it, DeLong claims that the "long twentieth century" was the most consequential period in human history, during which the institutions of rapid technological growth and globalization were created, setting humanity on a path towards improving life, defeating scarcity, and enabling real freedom. But... this ran into some problems. Sean and Brad talk about the power of markets, how the New Deal led to something approaching real social democracy, and why the Great Recession of 2008 and its aftermath signified the end of this momentous era. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: J. Bradford DeLong (@delong), author; professor of economics, U.C. Berkeley References:  Slouching Towards Utopia: An Economic History of the Twentieth Century by J. Bradford DeLong (Basic; 2022) The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich von Hayek (1944) The Great Transformation by Karl Polanyi (1944) Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy by Joseph Schumpeter (1942) "A Short History of Enclosure in Britain" by Simon Fairlie (This Land Magazine; 2009) "China's Great Leap Forward" by Clayton D. Brown (Association for Asian Studies; 2012) What Is Property? by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1840) The Rise and Fall of the Neoliberal Order by Gary Gerstle (Oxford University Press; 2022) Apple's "1984" ad (YouTube) The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money by John Maynard Keynes (1936) "The spectacular ongoing implosion of crypto's biggest star, explained" by Emily Stewart (Vox; Nov. 18) "Did Greenspan Add to Subprime Woes? Gramlich Says Ex-Colleague Blocked Crackdown" by Greg Ip (Wall Street Journal; June 9, 2007) "Families across the country are tightening their belts and making tough decisions. The federal government should do the same," from President Obama's 2010 State of the Union Address (Jan. 27, 2010) "The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte" by Karl Marx (1852) Why We're Polarized by Ezra Klein (Simon & Schuster; 2020) The Paradox of Democracy: Free Speech, Open Media, and Perilous Persuasion by Zac Gershberg and Sean Illing (U. Chicago; 2022)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
21/11/2257m 13s

Your identity is a story you tell yourself

Sean Illing talks with neuroscientist Gregory Berns, author of The Self Delusion. Berns claims that the idea of a unified, persistent self is a kind of illusion, and that we are better understood as multiple selves at different moments in time, tied together by a story — which is what we call our identity. Sean and Greg also talk about whether the brain is a computer, how perception works, the limits of thinking too much about thinking, and what psychedelics can do to disrupt and change the stories we tell about ourselves. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Gregory Berns (@gberns), author; professor of psychology and distinguished professor of neuroeconomics, Emory University References:  The Self Delusion: The New Neuroscience of How We Invent — and Reinvent — Our Identities by Gregory Berns (Basic; 2022) More on the "Ship of Theseus" by Noah Levin "Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness" by David Chalmers (Journal of Consciousness Studies 2; 1995) More on "The Hard Problem of Consciousness" by Josh Weisberg (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy) "The extraordinary therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs, explained" by Sean Illing (Vox; Mar. 8, 2019)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
17/11/2245m 8s

James Carville unpacks the midterms

Sean Illing talks with veteran political strategist James Carville about the U.S. midterm elections — and the surprising success for Democrats that was a far cry from the "red wave" of Republican victories widely predicted by pundits. They talk about why the results differed so vastly from these expectations, what lessons both parties should be drawing from the outcomes, and whether or not the Democratic party, despite their victories, still have a systematic problem with political messaging. This conversation took place mid-day on Wednesday, November 9th. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: James Carville (@JamesCarville), political strategist; co-host, Politics War Room podcast References:  Fall 2022 Harvard Youth Poll (Oct. 27) Exit poll data from ABC News and CNN "'Wokeness is a problem and we all know it': James Carville on the state of Democratic politics" by Sean Illing (Vox; Apr. 27, 2021) "GOP to use debt limit to force spending cuts, McCarthy says" by Eugene Robinson (Washington Post; Oct. 18) 2022 abortion-related ballot measures (Ballotpedia) "Democrats' Long Goodbye to the Working Class" by Ruy Teixeira (The Atlantic; Nov. 6) "Is John Fetterman the Future of the Democratic Party?" by Michael Sokolove (New York Times; May 18) On Carville's role in the abortion referendum campaign in Kansas: "The Most Consequential Vote in Recent American History is Happening Today and the News Media Is Ignoring It" by Colby Hall (Mediaite; Aug. 2nd) "How a 10-Year-Old Rape Victim Who Traveled for an Abortion Became Part of a Political Firestorm" by Solcyre Burga (Time; July 15) "Democrats still have a path to keep the House — but it's tough" by Andrew Prokop (Vox; Nov. 10)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
14/11/2249m 22s

Why are billionaires prepping for the apocalypse?

Sean Illing talks with technologist, media theorist, and author Douglas Rushkoff, whose new book Survival of the Richest explains how the ultra-wealthy are obsessed with preparing for the end of the world — and the troubling mindset that leads many rich and powerful people down this road. They discuss the blend of tech utopianism and fatalism behind this doomsday prepping, how Silicon Valley and "tech bro" culture have incentivized a kind of misanthropy, and why the world's billionaire class can't see that the catastrophes they fear are of their own making. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Douglas Rushkoff (@rushkoff), author; professor, media studies, CUNY Queens College References:  Survival of the Richest: Escape Fantasies of the Tech Billionaires by Douglas Rushkoff (W.W. Norton; 2022) "Epson boobytrapped its printers" by Cory Doctorow (Medium; Aug. 7) "Cosmism: Russia's religion for the rocket age" by Benjamin Ramm (BBC; Apr. 20, 2021) The Selfish Gene (1976) and The God Delusion (2006) by Richard Dawkins Francis Bacon, Redargutio Philosophiarum (1608), tr. by Benjamin Farrington in The Philosophy of Francis Bacon (1964): "Nature must be taken by the forelock . . . lay hold of her and capture her" (p. 130). "Power changes how the brain responds to others" by Jeremy Hogeveen, et al., Journal of Experiential Psychology (Apr. 2014) What We Owe the Future by William MacAskill (Basic Books; 2022) Team Human by Douglas Rushkoff (W.W. Norton; 2021)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
10/11/2255m 27s

Today's Republicans were made in the 1990s

Sean Illing talks with Nicole Hemmer, history professor and author of the new book Partisans. In it, she gives a reinterpretation of the Reagan presidency and what followed, and shows how the conservative political movement entangled with media figures and became what it is in the 1990s. They discuss the doomed but influential presidential campaigns of Pat Buchanan, the rise to dominance of conservative talk radio, and the enduring dangers of political violence. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Nicole Hemmer (@pastpunditry), author; professor, Vanderbilt University References:  Partisans: The Conservative Revolutionaries Who Remade American Politics in the 1990s by Nicole Hemmer (Basic; 2022) "The Man Who Won the Republican Party Before Trump Did" by Nicole Hemmer (New York Times; Sept. 8) Talk Radio's America: How an Industry Took Over a Political Party That Took Over the United States by Brian Rosenwald (Harvard; 2019) On the Fairness Doctrine (First Amendment Center; MTSU) GOP Reagan Library Debate (CNN; Sept. 16, 2015)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
07/11/221h 6m

Yuval Noah Harari thinks humans are unstoppable

Sean Illing talks with Yuval Noah Harari, historian and bestselling author, about how humanity came to be the dominant species on earth, and what our future might hold. Sean and Yuval discuss mankind's imaginative "superpower," the threats to democracy across the globe, the future of artificial intelligence — and plenty more. Yuval's new book Unstoppable Us adapts many of his macro-historical insights from Sapiens for younger readers, and is the first in a planned four-volume series. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Yuval Noah Harari (@harari_yuval), author; professor, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem References:  Unstoppable Us, Volume 1: How Humans Took Over the World by Yuval Noah Harari; illustrated by Ricard Zaplana Ruiz (Bright Matter; 2022) Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari (Harper; 2017) Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari (Harper; 2015) "Nationalism vs. globalism: the new political divide | Yuval Noah Harari" (TED; YouTube)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
03/11/221h 2m

Dying with dignity

Sean Illing talks with reporter Katie Engelhart, whose book The Inevitable is an up-close look at physician-assisted dying. This is the practice of receiving state-sanctioned medical aid to end one's life — a practice now legal in 10 U.S. states, Canada, and elsewhere around the world. They discuss the details of the procedure — including why people fight for this right and exercise it — as well as many of the moral and legal questions that it raises. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Katie Engelhart (@katieengelhart), journalist; author References:  The Inevitable: Dispatches on the Right to Die by Katie Engelhart (St. Martin's; 2021) Brittany Maynard's legislative testimony   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineers: Patrick Boyd, Paul Robert Mounsey Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
31/10/2259m 44s

Finding hope in a world on the brink

Sean Illing talks with Jonathan Lear, a psychoanalyst and philosopher, about his new book Imagining the End: Mourning and Ethical Life. How can we continue to live a good life in a world beset by catastrophe, crisis, and chaos? Sean and Jonathan discuss the role of imagination and culture in the ways we make meaning in the world, the idea of mourning as a confrontation with our uniquely human ability to love, and how to turn away from the path of despair, towards hope — and to what Lear calls "committed living towards the future." Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Jonathan Lear, author; professor, Committee on Social Thought & Dept. of Philosophy, University of Chicago References:  Imagining the End: Mourning and Ethical Life by Jonathan Lear (Harvard; Nov. 15, 2022) Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics Søren Kierkegaard, The Sickness unto Death (1849; published under the pseudonym Anti-Climacus) Sigmund Freud, Mourning and Melancholia (1917) "The Difficulty of Reality and the Difficulty of Philosophy" by Cora Diamond (2003) Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation by Jonathan Lear (Harvard; 2008) "Envy and Gratitude" by Melanie Klein (1957; published in The Writings of Melanie Klein, Volume III, Hogarth Press; 1975) "A Lecture on Ethics" by Ludwig Wittgenstein (lecture notes from 1929-1930, published in The Philosophical Review v. 74 no. 1, 1965)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
27/10/2258m 38s

The new American Reconstruction

Sean Illing talks with historian and author Peniel Joseph about his new book The Third Reconstruction, which argues that the time we're currently living in can be understood as on a continuum with the civil rights era of the '50s and '60s. and the original American Reconstruction following the Civil War. Sean and Peniel discuss the Black Lives Matter movement, the Obama presidency — and important differences between the two — as well as the dangers of American exceptionalism and the importance of maintaining hope in the ongoing fight for racial justice. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Peniel Joseph (@PenielJoseph), author; founding director, Center for the Study of Race and Democracy, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin References:  The Third Reconstruction: America's Struggle for Racial Justice in the Twenty-First Century by Peniel E. Joseph (Basic; 2022) "DeSantis claims it was only the American Revolution that caused people to question slavery" by Graig Graziosi (The Independent; Sept. 23) Black Reconstruction in America by W.E.B. Du Bois (1935) "The Undoing of Reconstruction" by W. Archibald Dunning (The Atlantic; Oct. 1901) Barack Obama's Speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention (C-SPAN; YouTube) The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (New Press; 2010, updated 2020) Shelby County v. Holder (570 US 529; 2013), in which the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 "Harming Our Common Future: America's Segregated Schools 65 Years after Brown" by Gary Orfield, et al. (Civil Rights Project; 2019) Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 (551 US 701; 2007) "A North Carolina city begins to reckon with the massacre in its white supremacist past" by Scott Neuman (NPR; Nov. 10, 2021) How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi (One World; 2019) White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo (Beacon; 2018) "Why I hope 2022 will be another 1866" by Manisha Sinha (CNN; Oct. 12) President Kennedy's Televised Address to the Nation on Civil Rights (June 11, 1963)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
24/10/221h 7m

Is America losing its religion?

Sean Illing talks with Reza Aslan, scholar of religions and author of multiple bestselling nonfiction works, to discuss the state of religion in America today. Sean and Reza discuss the relationship between politics and religion, why it can be hard to separate the emotional experiences of faith from the symbolic language of organized religion, and how new religious identities are being forged along principles of Christian nationalism. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan), author References:  An American Martyr in Persia: The Epic Life and Tragic Death of Howard Baskerville by Reza Aslan (Norton; 2022) The Leftovers TV series (HBO; 2014–2017) "Can Religion & Reason Be Reconciled? | Reza Aslan & Sam Harris debate" (Jan. 25, 2007; C-SPAN YouTube) Pew Research Center Religious Landscape Study (Jan. 14, 2021) The 2020 Census of American Religion (PRRI; July 8, 2021) "'Pro-Life' Herschel Walker Paid for Girlfriend's Abortion" by Roger Sollenberger (The Daily Beast; Oct. 4) President George W. Bush's remarks on the morning of Sept. 12, 2001: "This will be a monumental struggle of good versus evil. But good will prevail."   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
20/10/2254m 13s

How we got to January 6th

Sean Illing talks with war reporter and New Yorker contributing writer Luke Mogelson about his new book The Storm Is Here. In it, Luke shares his on-the-ground reporting across America — from anti-lockdown protests in Lansing, Michigan, to the uprising in Minneapolis after the murder of George Floyd — to explain how the forces that animated the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th, 2021 came to gather strength. In this discussion, Sean and Luke talk about what happened, how it happened, and how Luke's experience at the Capitol on the 6th shaped his view of what's coming next. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Luke Mogelson, author; contributing writer, The New Yorker References:  The Storm Is Here: An American Crucible by Luke Mogelson (Penguin; 2022) "A Reporter's Footage from Inside the Capitol Siege | The New Yorker" (YouTube; Jan. 17, 2021) "Michigan Sheriff Compares Lockdown Order He's Supposed to Enforce to Mass Arrest" by Tracy Connor (The Daily Beast; May 19, 2020)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
17/10/2259m 22s

Neil deGrasse Tyson gets political

On this first episode of The Gray Area, Sean Illing talks with astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who takes on many of our most vexing societal problems in his new book Starry Messenger. According to Neil, if we all were to adopt a more scientific approach to politics, many of our social problems would be easier to identify, talk about, and solve. In this conversation, Sean challenges that claim, and they discuss what the limits of both politics and science might be, as tools to use in crafting an improved society. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson), astrophysicist; author  References:   Starry Messenger: Cosmic Perspectives on Civilization by Neil deGrasse Tyson (Henry Holt; 2022) "Neil deGrasse Tyson lets the science deniers have it: 'The beginning of the end of an informed democracy'" by Sean Illing (Salon; Oct. 20, 2015)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
13/10/2258m 49s

Introducing The Gray Area

Resist certainty, embrace ambiguity. The Gray Area is a philosophical take on culture, politics, and everything in between with host Sean Illing. We don’t pretend to have the answers, but we do offer a space for real dialogue. Get some cool takes on a very hot world. New episodes drop every Monday and Thursday. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
11/10/221m 58s

Best of: Why America's obsession with rights is wrong

In this episode originally recorded in July 2021, Vox's Zack Beauchamp talks with Columbia law professor Jamal Greene about his book How Rights Went Wrong: Why Our Obsession With Rights Is Tearing America Apart. They discuss how the US obsession with rights and their protections gives too much power to judges and the courts, makes it difficult for ordinary citizens to find reasonable solutions to legitimate problems, and has made this country's legal system not only nonsensical but dangerous. Vox Conversations will return on Thursday, Oct. 13th — but under a new name, and with a new look. Stay tuned for The Gray Area with Sean Illing: a philosophical take on culture, politics, and everything in between. Host: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Jamal Greene (@jamalgreene), Dwight Professor of Law, Columbia Law School References:  How Rights Went Wrong: Why Our Obsession With Rights Is Tearing America Apart by Jamal Greene (HMH Books; 2021) "From Guns to Gay Marriage, How Did Rights Take Over Politics?" by Kelefa Sanneh (New Yorker; May 24, 2021) Lochner v. New York, 198 US 45 (1905) Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 584 US __ (2018) District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 US 570 (2008) "Texas's radical anti-abortion law, explained" by Ian Millhiser (Vox; Sept. 2, 2021) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
06/10/2259m 40s

A GOP insider on why the party went Trump

Sean Illing talks with former Republican strategist Tim Miller about his new book Why We Did It, which offers an inside look at Donald Trump's total capture of the Republican Party. Now a staff writer at The Bulwark, Miller shares detailed conversations he had with other party operators — who he criticizes as power- and fame-hungry enablers. He pulls back the curtain on a DC culture of identity and status, talks about the media's role in this transformation, and opens up honestly about the ways in which he and others like him are culpable. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Tim Miller (@Timodc), author; writer, The Bulwark References:  Why We Did It: A Travelogue from the Republican Road to Hell by Tim Miller (Harper; 2022) "Unlocking the Conservative Closet" by Kerry Eleveld (The Advocate; Oct. 12, 2010) Losers: The Road to Everyplace but the White House by Michael Lewis (Vintage; 1998) "Elise Stefanik said she was one of the 'most bipartisan' members of Congress. Then she went all-in on Trump's false election claims" by Michael Kranish (Washington Post; May 12, 2021) "The Republican Triangle of Doom" by Sarah Longwell (The Bulwark; Sept. 27, 2021) "Breakfast with J.D. Vance, Anti-Trump Author Turned Pro-Trump Candidate" by Molly Ball (Time; July 7, 2021) "Social decay: what the conversation about Trump and the white working class misses" by Sean Illing (Vox; Nov. 1, 2016) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
03/10/221h 1m

How do we fix the harm we cause?

Vox’s Marin Cogan talks with Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg about her new book On Repentance And Repair, which is about how to make amends in the modern world. They talk about the difference between repentance and forgiveness, why making amends is so important, and how a "five step plan" for repairing harm drawn from the Jewish tradition can serve as a guide even for navigating repair in modern, complex issues. And, merely apologizing . . . is not enough. Host: Marin Cogan (@marincogan), Senior Features Correspondent, Vox Guest: Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg (@TheRaDR), rabbi; author; scholar-in-residence, National Council of Jewish Women References:  On Repentance And Repair: Making Amends in an Unapologetic World by Danya Ruttenberg (Beacon Press; 2022) The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1937) New Testament; Matthew 18:15–35 "Most harassment apologies are just damage control. Dan Harmon's was a self-reckoning" by Caroline Framke (Vox; Jan. 12, 2018) The Mishneh Torah of Maimonides (c. 1170–1180 CE); the laws of teshuvah Sacred Spaces Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
29/09/2250m 37s

A new philosophy of love

Sean Illing talks with Carrie Jenkins about her new book Sad Love, and her call to rethink the shape and boundaries of romantic love. In this far-ranging discussion about the meaning of romantic love, Sean and Carrie discuss the connection between love and happiness, what we should expect (and not expect) from our romantic partners, and whether or not loving a person must entail that we love only that person. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Carrie Jenkins (@carriejenkins), writer; professor of philosophy, University of British Columbia References:  Sad Love: Romance and the Search for Meaning by Carrie Jenkins (Polity; 2022) "A philosopher makes the case for polyamory" by Sean Illing (Vox; Feb. 16, 2018) What Love Is: And What It Could Be by Carrie Jenkins (Basic; 2017) Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre (1949) Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle (see Book I, or Book X.6-8 for robust discussion of eudaimonia) Marina Adshade, economist Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl (1946; tr. Ilse Lasch) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
26/09/221h

The politics of 'Yellowstone'

Into It is a new podcast from Vulture and New York Magazine hosted by Sam Sanders. Each week, Sam and his Vulture colleagues break down the pop culture they can't stop thinking about and help us all obsess . . . better. In this segment, Sam talks to New York Times columnist Tressie McMillan Cottom about the popular TV show Yellowstone and how it reflects our own identity politics. New episodes of Into It drop every Thursday. Listen on Apple Podcasts: apple.co/intoit Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6YRlgok1wcnIqhrQgH1Tjt?si=46df5a54f7934e17 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
23/09/2226m 35s

How society sexualizes us

Vox’s Emily St. James talks with the celebrated author and trans activist Julia Serano about her new book, Sexed Up. They talk about what "sexualization" really means, and why sexualizing behaviors are so pervasive and widespread throughout society. They also discuss why we're so prone to classify and categorize people, how patterns of what Julia calls "enforced ignorance" are communicated to children, and how we might build a society with a healthier sexual ethic — one that better protects marginalized people. Host: Emily St. James (@emilyvdw), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Julia Serano (@JuliaSerano), writer, musician, activist References:  Sexed Up: How Society Sexualizes Us, and How We Can Fight Back by Julia Serano (Seal Press; 2022) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
22/09/2256m 56s

The Parent Trap

Sean Illing talks with Nate Hilger, economist, data scientist, and author of the new book The Parent Trap: How to Stop Overloading Parents and Fix Our Inequality Crisis. The book explores what is expected of parents, and how a larger public investment in families and children beyond K-12 education could address inequality in America. Sean and Nate discuss parenting, the difference between caring and skill building, the pressure on parents to do it all, and the economic consequences that arise when they can’t.  Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Nate Hilger (@nate_g_hilger), economist and author References:  The Parent Trap: How To Stop Overloading Parents and Fix Our Inequality Crisis by Nate Hilger (MIT Press; 2022) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
19/09/221h 1m

40 Acres: Reaching reconciliation

What good are piecemeal reparations? From Georgetown University, where school leadership once sold enslaved people, to Evanston, Illinois, where redlining kept Black residents out of homeownership, institutions and local governments are attempting to take reparations into their own hands. But do these small-scale efforts detract from the broader call for reparations from the federal government? Fabiola talks with Indigenous philanthropist Edgar Villanueva, founder of the Decolonizing Wealth Project and creator of the Case for Reparations fund, about the reparatory justice efforts underway across the country and the role that individual donors might be able to play in reparations. Fabiola also speaks with activist Kavon Ward, who worked to restore Bruce’s Beach, waterfront land in California, to the descendants of Black families who were pushed off the land by eminent domain. (Ward’s work was funded by Villanueva’s organization.) They discuss how jurisdictions are repaying Black people for what was taken from them — and if that repayment can be considered reparations at all. This series was made possible with support from the Canopy Collective and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. To provide feedback, please take our survey here: https://forms.gle/w9vYsfFGvdJLJ3LY9 Host: Fabiola Cineas, race and policy reporter, Vox Guest: Kavon Ward, founder, Where Is My Land; Edgar Villanueva, founder, Decolonizing Wealth Project References:  Decolonizing Wealth, Second Edition: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance by Edgar Villanueva (Penguin Random House, 2021) How a California beachfront property now worth millions was taken from its Black owners (CBS, May 2021) Governor Newsom Signs SB 796, Authorizing the Return of Bruce’s Beach (California state Sen. Steven Bradford, September 2021)    How Black activist Kavon Ward found her calling in the fight for Bruce’s Beach (Orange County Register) 272 Slaves Were Sold to Save Georgetown. What Does It Owe Their Descendants? (The New York Times, April 2016) In Likely First, Chicago Suburb Of Evanston Approves Reparations For Black Residents (NPR, 2021) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Jonquilyn Hill  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
15/09/2234m 22s

40 Acres: The old Jim Crow

Why slavery? Marxist scholar Adolph Reed argues that Jim Crow — not enslavement — is the defining experience for Black Americans today. Reed recounts his childhood in the segregation-era South in his book The South: Jim Crow and Its Afterlives. Fabiola speaks with Reed about his experience, his argument that reparations aren’t necessarily a healing balm, and what policies and resources are needed to create a more equitable society. This series was made possible with support from the Canopy Collective and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. To provide feedback, please take our survey here: https://forms.gle/w9vYsfFGvdJLJ3LY9 Host: Fabiola Cineas, race and policy reporter, Vox Guest: Adolph L. Reed Jr., author of The South: Jim Crow and Its Afterlives References:  The South: Jim Crow and Its Afterlives by Adolph L. Reed Jr. (Verso, 2022) The Marxist Who Antagonizes Liberals and Left (New Yorker) Black Americans’ views of reparations for slavery (Pew Research) Library Visit, Then Held at Gunpoint (New York Times, 2015) The Racial Wealth Gap Is About the Upper Classes (People’s Policy Project, 2020) Income Inequality and the Persistence of Racial Economic Disparities (Robert Manduca, 2018)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Jonquilyn Hill  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
12/09/2248m 38s

40 Acres: $14 trillion and no mules

Paying the price. One of the typical questions asked during conversations about reparations is how to pay for them. Fabiola talks with economist William “Sandy” Darity and folklorist Kirsten Mullen about how reparations could be executed. The husband-and-wife team lays out a comprehensive framework in their book, From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century, for who would qualify and how the federal government would afford the $14 trillion price tag. This is part of 40 Acres, a four-part series examining reparations in the United States. This series was made possible by a grant from the Canopy Collective and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. To provide feedback, please take our survey here: https://forms.gle/w9vYsfFGvdJLJ3LY9 Host: Fabiola Cineas, race and policy reporter, Vox Guests: William “Sandy” Darity and Kirsten Mullen, authors of From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century References:  From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century by William A. Darity Jr. and A. Kirsten Mullen (The University of North Carolina Press; 2020) Homestead Act (1862) Disparities in Wealth by Race and Ethnicity in the 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances (Federal Reserve; 2020) Evanston is the first U.S. city to issue slavery reparations. Experts say it's a noble start. (NBC News; 2021) The Root of Haiti’s Misery: Reparations to Enslavers (New York Times; 2020) ‘We’re Self-Interested’: The Growing Identity Debate in Black America (New York Times; 2019)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Jonquilyn Hill  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
08/09/2250m 20s

40 Acres: The original promise

Fabiola Cineas talks with Nkechi Taifa, the founder and director of the Reparation Education Project, about the history of the fight for reparations in America. Though they came to the forefront during the 2020 election in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, activists have been fighting for repayment for slavery since the practice was abolished. This is part of 40 Acres, a four-part series examining reparations in the United States. This series was made possible by a grant from the Canopy Collective and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. To provide feedback, please take our survey here: https://forms.gle/w9vYsfFGvdJLJ3LY9 Host: Fabiola Cineas, race and policy reporter, Vox Guest: Nkechi Taifa, founder and director of the Reparation Education Project References:  WMUR, 2019: Joe Biden discusses China-US trade talks, gun violence The N'COBRA movement and HR 40 Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: The Truth Behind “40 Acres and a Mule” Summer of Change: The Civil Rights Story of Glen Echo Park Los Angeles Times, 1995: Inspired by Marcus Garvey, Audley Moore has struggled to lift up African Americans The Republic of New Africa The Atlantic: Martin Luther King Makes the Case for Reparations HR 442 — Civil Liberties Act of 1987 HR 40 — Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act Pew Research Center: Black Americans Have a Clear Vision for Reducing Racism but Little Hope It Will Happen Gallup polling on American attitudes and race Belinda Sutton and Her Petitions No Pensions for Ex-Slaves: How Federal Agencies Suppressed Movement To Aid Freedpeople Wall Street Journal, 2019: "Reparations Ray" Blazed Lonely Trail Associated Press, 2019: New Orleans mayor to apologize for 1891 lynching of 11 Italian Americans NPR, 2009: Senate Apologizes For Slavery ABC News: Advocates call on Biden to act on reparations study by Juneteenth NPR, 2006: COINTELPRO and the History of Domestic Spying Washington Post, 2000: In Aetna's Past: Slave Owner Policies New York Times, 2016: Insurance Policies on Slaves: New York Life's Complicated Past   Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Jonquilyn Hill  Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
01/09/2255m 13s

What Clarence Thomas really thinks

Sean Illing talks with Corey Robin, author of a recent article — as well as a 2019 book — about the life and thought of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Robin discusses how Thomas, whose concurring opinion in the case that overturned Roe v. Wade garnered recent attention, developed the ideological basis of his extremist judicial philosophy, how his views went from the hard-right fringe to more mainstream over the course of his thirty years on the Supreme Court, and how the failures of the 1960's movements shaped his fundamental pessimism about racial progress in America. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Corey Robin (@CoreyRobin), author; professor of political science, Brooklyn College and CUNY Graduate Center References:  The Enigma of Clarence Thomas by Corey Robin (Metropolitan; 2019) "The Self-Fulfilling Prophecies of Clarence Thomas" by Corey Robin (New Yorker; July 9) Clarence Thomas's opening statement, Anita Hill hearing (C-SPAN; Oct. 11, 1991) Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (1952) Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization (2022); Thomas's concurrence American Negro Slave Revolts by Herbert Aptheker (1943) Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution - 1863–1877 by Eric Foner (1988; updated 2014) The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in An Age of Diminishing Expectations by Christopher Lasch (Norton; 1979) The Rhetoric of Reaction by Albert O. Hirschman (Harvard; 1991)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
29/08/221h 4m

Even Better: Don't call it a budget

Every Thursday in August, you'll hear Even Better on Vox Conversations, a special series focused on helping people live better lives individually and collectively. In the fourth and final episode, host Julia Furlan talks with financial planner Paco de Leon, author and illustrator of Finance for the People, an accessible, real-talk guide to taking control of your finances. They discuss why it can be emotional to talk about money, the difficult historical realities of financial planning usually avoided by most financial advice-givers, and some real, practical steps for how to face your financial fears and take control of your money — right now. Host: Julia Furlan (@juliastmi) Guest: Paco de Leon, author; illustrator; founder, The Hell Yeah Group References:  Finance for the People: Getting a Grip on Your Finances (Penguin Life; 2022)   Even Better is here to offer deeply sourced, actionable advice for helping you live a better life. Follow Even Better at vox.com/even-better. Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
25/08/2247m 10s

The quest for authenticity

Sean Illing talks with Skye Cleary, philosopher and author of the new book How to Be Authentic. The book is an examination of how to live an authentic life through the lens of the life and thought of the great French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir (1908–1986). Sean and Skye discuss what authenticity really means — and how it's often a misused term today, why we should resist performing roles predetermined for us by society, and how to have a truly intimate relationship without surrendering yourself — or your freedom. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Skye Cleary (@Skye_Cleary), author, philosopher References:  How to Be Authentic: Simone de Beauvoir and the Quest for Fulfillment by Skye Cleary (St. Martin's; 2022) "Existentialism Is a Humanism" by Jean-Paul Sartre (1946) The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir (1949; tr. 2011 by Constance Borde & Sheila Malovany-Chevallier) Aristophanes's speech in Plato's Symposium, 189c–193e The Useless Mouths, play by Simone de Beauvoir (1945) Inseparable by Simone de Beauvoir (tr. Sandra Smith; published for the first time by Ecco; 2021) "Before She Loved Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir loved Zaza" by Leslie Camhi (New York Times; Aug. 27, 2021) After The Second Sex: Conversations with Simone de Beauvoir by Alice Schwarzer (Pantheon; 1984) Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter by Simone de Beauvoir (1958) Pyrrhus et Cinéas by Simone de Beauvoir (1944)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
22/08/2251m 45s

Even Better: Setting your boundaries

Every Thursday in August, you'll hear Even Better on Vox Conversations, a special series focused on helping people live better lives individually and collectively. In the third episode, host Julia Furlan talks with Nedra Glover Tawwab, licensed therapist, relationship expert, and author of the NYT best-seller Set Boundaries, Find Peace. Nedra's focus is on the importance of setting boundaries in your relationships, and she talks about many strategies for doing this that are much more nuanced than simply saying "no" or cutting ties. Julia and Nedra talk about how to get over the fear of disappointing people, the ethics of "ghosting" someone, and how even small changes in our patterns of behavior can lead to better, more fulfilling relationships. Host: Julia Furlan (@juliastmi) Guest: Nedra Glover Tawwab (@NedraTawwab), therapist; author References:  Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself by Nedra Glover Tawwab (TarcherPerigee; 2021)   Even Better is here to offer deeply sourced, actionable advice for helping you live a better life. Follow Even Better at vox.com/even-better. Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
18/08/2244m 46s

Your gut instinct is usually wrong

Sean Illing talks with former Google data scientist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, author of Don't Trust Your Gut. Seth argues that the way we make decisions is wrong, outdated, and based on methods or conventional wisdom that lead us astray from getting what we want. Sean and Seth discuss the idea of using data in place of our own intuition and reason to help us through things like online dating, picking a place to live, and being a better parent. Plus, how can we trust "experience sampling" studies that rely on self-reporting, when — after all — everybody lies? Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Seth Stephens-Davidowitz (@SethS_D), author References:  Don't Trust Your Gut: Using Data to Get What You Really Want in Life by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz (Dey Street; 2022) Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz (Dey Street; 2018) Moneyball (dir. Bennett Miller, 2011); based on the book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis (W.W. Norton; 2004) "Capitalists in the Twenty-First Century" by Matthew Smith et al. (Quarterly Journal of Economics v. 134 (4); 2019) The Mappiness Project, created by George MacKerron and Susanna Mourato "Machine learning uncovers the most robust self-report predictors of relationship quality across 43 longitudinal couples studies" by Samantha Joel et al. (PNAS v. 117 (32); 2020) "Are You Happy While You Work?" by Alex Bryson and George MacKerron (The Economic Journal v. 127 (599); Feb. 2017) "Experienced well-being rises with income, even above $75,000 per year" by Matthew Killingsworth (PNAS v. 118 (4); 2021) "The Amount and Source of Millionaires' Wealth (Moderately) Predicts Their Happiness" by Grand Edward Donnelly et al. (Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin v. 44 (5); May 2018) “When Choice Is Demotivating: Can One Desire Too Much of a Good Thing?” by Sheena S. Iyengar and Mark R. Lepper (J. of Personality and Social Psychology, 79(6); 2000) "The Effects of Exposure to Better Neighborhoods on Children: New EvidenceFfrom the Moving to Opportunity Project" by Raj Chetty et al. (American Economic Review v. 106 (4); 2016) "Education Doesn't Work" by Freddie deBoer (Substack; Apr. 12, 2021) "Predicting political elections from rapid and unreflective face judgments" by Charles C. Ballew and Alexander Todorov (PNAS v. 104 (46); 2007) Dataclysm: Love, Sex, Race, and Identity — What Our Online Lives Tell Us About Our Offline Selves by Christian Rudder (Crown; 2015)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
15/08/2255m 22s

Even Better: Workplace equality 2.0

Every Thursday in August, you'll hear Even Better on Vox Conversations, a special series focused on helping people live better lives individually and collectively. In the second episode, host Julia Furlan talks with author and CEO Minda Harts about how to fight for equality in the workplace. Harts’s work has focused on empowering people, particularly women of color, to find their voice and secure a seat at the table. Julia and Minda discuss the failures of "Lean In" to meaningfully address these issues, how to overcome common workplace obstacles and stereotypes, and how to achieve success through enrolling your coworkers and colleagues in the project of creating a truly equitable and respectful workplace. Host: Julia Furlan (@juliastmi) Guest: Minda Harts (@MindaHarts), author; founder and CEO of The Memo References:  You Are More Than Magic: The Black and Brown Girls' Guide to Finding Your Voice by Minda Harts  The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table by Minda Harts Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg   Even Better is here to offer deeply sourced, actionable advice for helping you live a better life. Follow Even Better at vox.com/even-better. Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
11/08/2253m 26s

Why we're still postmodern (whatever that means)

Sean Illing talks with Stuart Jeffries, journalist and author of Everything, All the Time, Everywhere, about why postmodernism is so hard to define, and why — as Jeffries argues — it's still a very active presence in our culture and politics today. They discuss whether our desire should be understood as subversive or as a tool of capitalism, how postmodernism is inextricably linked with neoliberalism, and how to navigate our current culture of ubiquitous consumption and entertainment. What should we watch on TV: Boris Johnson's resignation speech, or the reality show Love Is Blind? Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Stuart Jeffries, author; feature writer, The Guardian References:  Everything, All the Time, Everywhere: How We Became Postmodern by Stuart Jeffries (Verso; 2021) "The post-truth prophets" by Sean Illing (Vox; Nov. 16, 2019) The Postmodern Condition by Jean-François Lyotard (Univ. of Minnesota Press; 1979, tr. 1984) Simulacra and Simulation by Jean Baudrillard (Univ. of Michigan Press; 1981, tr. 1983) Postmodernism: Style and Subversion, 1970–1990 (exhibition catalog, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK; Sept. 24, 2011 – Jan. 15, 2012) "Postmodernism: from the cutting edge to the museum" by Hari Kunzru (The Guardian; Sept. 15, 2011) "You're sayin' a foot massage don't mean nothin', and I'm sayin' it does" by James Wood (Guardian Supplement; Nov. 19, 1994) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
08/08/2258m 40s

Even Better: Activism when you don't know where to start

Every Thursday in August, you'll hear Even Better on Vox Conversations, a special series focused on helping people live better lives individually and collectively. In this first episode, host Julia Furlan talks with activist, writer, and organizer Brea Baker. Brea's career has included student activism at Yale University, national organizing for the Women's March, and continues today through action-oriented work on behalf of progressive causes. Brea talks about how her work is informed by radical love, how she confronts obstacles in the movement on both personal and organizational scales, and how we can push back against despair and dread, and come into our power — no matter where we're at. Host: Julia Furlan (@juliastmi) Guests: Brea Baker (@Brea_Baker), activist; writer; Chief Equity Officer, Inspire Justice References:  "bell hooks Taught Us To Both Practice and Preach Radical Love" by Brea Baker (Elle; Dec. 20, 2021) The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (New Press; 2010) "Yale Announces a New Center for Race Studies. A Yale Senior Asks, Now What?" by Brea Baker (Elle; Feb. 23, 2016) "Why I Became an Abolitionist" by Brea Baker (Harper's Bazaar; Dec. 10, 2020) We Do This 'Til We Free Us: Abolitionist Organizing and Transforming Justice by Mariame Kaba (Haymarket; 2021) Even Better is here to offer deeply sourced, actionable advice for helping you live a better life. Follow Even Better at vox.com/even-better. Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
04/08/2248m 56s

The Supreme Court's power grab

Sean Illing talks with Harvard Law professor Nikolas Bowie about the U.S. Supreme Court's recently-concluded term, which produced landmark opinions restricting the power of the EPA, expanding gun rights, and overturning Roe v. Wade. They discuss how the conservative court's arguments are structured and why they are in fact quite radical, what "legal liberalism" is and whether it has just been decisively repudiated, and whether there are any reforms that could stop the conservative majority from reshaping American jurisprudence. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Nikolas Bowie (@nikobowie), Louis D. Brandeis Professor of Law, Harvard Law School References:  Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court, Public Meeting, Panel 1 (C-SPAN; June 30) "How the Supreme Court dominates our democracy" by Niko Bowie (Washington Post; July 16, 2021) A Twitter thread on the repudiation of legal liberalism, by @nikobowie Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health (SCOTUS; June 24) 42 U.S. Code §1983 - Civil action for deprivation of rights 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (1868) New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen (SCOTUS; June 23) Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey (SCOTUS; June 29, 1992) Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (and Why We Don't Talk about It) by Elizabeth Anderson (Princeton; 2017) "A new Supreme Court case is the biggest threat to US democracy since January 6" by Ian Millhiser (Vox; June 30) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
01/08/221h 5m

How middlemen took over the economy

Vox's Emily Stewart talks with Kathryn Judge, professor at Columbia Law School and author of the new book Direct: The Rise of Middleman Economy and the Power of Going to the Source. They discuss how middlemen — which include real estate agents, stock brokers, but also Amazon and Walmart — came to assume such an outsized role in our economy, the pros and cons of middlemen in different market contexts, why Prof. Judge sees a fundamental difference between Etsy and Amazon, and how we consumers can change how we decide what to buy in order to help push the economy in a radically different direction. Host: Emily Stewart (@EmilyStewartM), senior correspondent, Vox Guests: Kathryn Judge (@ProfKateJudge), Harvey J. Goldschmid Professor of Law, Columbia University; author References:  Direct: The Rise of the Middleman Economy and the Power of Going to the Source by Kathryn Judge (Harper Business; 2022) "So Much for Cutting Out the Middleman" by Kathryn Judge (The Atlantic; June 9) "What Is Web3?" by Thomas Stackpole (Harvard Business Review; May 10) "The awful American consumer" by Emily Stewart (Vox; Apr. 7) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
28/07/221h 6m

The necessity — and danger — of free speech

Sean Illing talks with Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan about his new book The Paradox of Democracy, which he co-authored with media studies professor Zac Gershberg. Sean and Margaret discuss the relationship between free expression and democratic society, talk about whether or not the January 6th hearings are doing anything at all politically, and discuss some potential ways to bolster democratic values in the media ecology of the present. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Margaret Sullivan (@Sulliview), media columnist, Washington Post References:  The Paradox of Democracy: Free Speech, Open Media, and Perilous Persuasion by Zac Gershberg and Sean Illing (Chicago; 2022) Ghosting the News: Local Journalism and the Crisis of American Democracy by Margaret Sullivan (Columbia Global Reports; 2020) "Four reasons the Jan. 6 hearings have conquered the news cycle" by Margaret Sullivan (Washington Post; July 22) Understanding Media by Marshall McLuhan (1964) Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman (1985) Newsroom Confidential: Lessons (and Worries) from an Ink-Stained Life by Margaret Sullivan (St. Martin's; Oct. 2022) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
25/07/2256m 16s

Hacking coral sex to save the reefs

Vox's Benji Jones talks with marine biologist Hanna Koch about her team's efforts to repopulate the planet's coral reefs through cutting-edge scientific intervention. They discuss what makes coral so unique as organisms, how scientists understand their reproductive behavior, and how they are working to respawn corals and repopulate reefs. Hanna explains why this work is so imperative — not just for the diverse array of marine life that coral reefs are home to, but for the sustainability of human communities, as well. Host: Benji Jones (@BenjiSJones), Environmental reporter, Vox Guest: Hanna Koch (@DrHannaRKoch1), Marine biologist; postdoctoral research fellow, Coral Reef Restoration Program, Mote Marine Laboratory References:  "How to resurrect a coral reef" by Benji Jones (Vox; Apr. 22) "Restored Corals Spawn Hope for Reefs Worldwide" by Hanna R. Koch, Erinn Muller, & Michael P. Crosby (The Scientist; Feb. 1, 2021) "Herbivorous Crabs Reverse the Seaweed Dilemma on Coral Reefs" by A. Jason Spadaro & Mark Butler (Current Biology 31 (4); Feb. 22, 2021) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
21/07/2255m 10s

The price of keeping secrets

Sean Illing talks with professor Michael Slepian, author of The Secret Life of Secrets. This new book explores secret-keeping behavior and its consequences, as well as how secrecy relates to trust. Sean and Michael talk about what things we keep secret, why we're so worried about keeping them secret, and the toll that secret-keeping can have on us. They also talk about how the issue of secrecy relates to authenticity, and our fears of being judged by others. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Michael Slepian (@michaelslepian), author; professor, Columbia Business School References:  The Secret Life of Secrets: How Our Inner Worlds Shape Well-Being, Relationships, and Who We Are by Michael Slepian (Crown; 2022) "Why the Secrets You Keep Are Hurting You" by Michael Slepian (Scientific American; Feb. 5, 2019) "Spill the Beans" by Olga Khazan (The Atlantic; July 8, 2015) "Keeping Secrets Isn't So Bad for You After All — With One Exception" by Olivia Campbell (New York; May 3, 2017) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
18/07/2252m 32s

Does China control Hollywood?

Vox's Alissa Wilkinson talks with Wall Street Journal reporter Erich Schwartzel about Red Carpet, his new book detailing the myriad ways that Hollywood movies are affected by China. They discuss how Chinese markets are essential for the budgetary math of big blockbusters, the role of the Chinese Communist Party's censors play in shaping the content of American films, and what this complicated global relationship might for Hollywood's future — and the future of movies in general. Host: Alissa Wilkinson (@alissamarie), film critic and senior culture reporter, Vox Guests: Erich Schwartzel (@erichschwartzel), reporter, The Wall Street Journal; author References:  Red Carpet: Hollywood, China, and the Global Battle for Cultural Supremacy by Erich Schwartzel (Penguin; 2022) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
14/07/221h 4m

Steve Bannon is still at war

Sean Illing talks with Jennifer Senior, the Pulitzer-winning staff writer at the Atlantic, about her recent piece on Steve Bannon called "American Rasputin." Through incredible firsthand access and detailed reporting, Senior shows how Bannon is still an effective media manipulator through his popular "War Room" podcast. Sean and Jennifer discuss what Bannon's true political beliefs might be, the role he played in plotting the January 6th attack on the Capitol, and the role he might already be playing in setting up the next insurrection. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Jennifer Senior (@JenSeniorNY), staff writer, The Atlantic References:  "American Rasputin" by Jennifer Senior (June 6; The Atlantic) UPDATE: "Bannon, Facing Jail and Fines, Agrees to Testify to Jan. 6 Panel" by Luke Broadwater and Maggie Haberman (July 10; New York Times) "Steve Bannon's 'We Build the Wall' Codefendants Plead Guilty" by Bob Van Voris (Apr. 21; Bloomberg) "Steve Bannon and U.S. ultra-conservatives take aim at Pope Francis" by Richard Engel and Kennett Werner (Apr. 12, 2019; NBC News) "'Flood the zone with shit': How misinformation overwhelmed our democracy" by Sean Illing (updated Feb. 6, 2020; Vox) The Paradox of Democracy: Free Speech, Open Media, and Perilous Persuasion by Zac Gershberg and Sean Illing (2022; U. Chicago) American Dharma, dir. by Errol Morris (2019) The Fourth Turning: What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America's Next Rendezvous with Destiny by William Strauss and Neil Howe (Crown; 1997) "The work" of George Ivanovich Gurdjieff (d. 1949) "What I Learned Binge-Watching Steve Bannon's Documentaries" by Adam Wren (Politico; Dec. 2016) "McLuhan would blow hot and cool about today's internet" by Nick Carr (Nov. 1, 2007; The Guardian) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
11/07/2250m 49s

The Fortress of Solitude saw it all coming

Vox's Constance Grady talks with writer Jonathan Lethem about his 2003 work The Fortress of Solitude in this recording from a live Vox Book Club event. They discuss the prescient and still-relevant themes of the novel — like the issues of appropriation in art, gentrification, and superheroes, how Lethem approaches "realism" in his writing, and the role of music and comics in both his own life and the lives of his characters. Vox Conversations will be on summer break the week of July 4th, and will return on Monday, July 11th. Host: Constance Grady (@constancegrady), staff writer, Vox Guests: Jonathan Lethem, author References:  The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem (Vintage; 2003) "The Fortress of Solitude is a fraught and uneasy love letter to a vanished Brooklyn" by Constance Grady (Vox; May 20) "The Author Looks Inward: A Conversation with Jonathan Lethem" by Brian Gresko (LARB; Sept. 8, 2013) Another Country by James Baldwin (1962) Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann (1901) Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison (1977) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
30/06/2239m 51s

The Philosophers: Stoic revival

Sean Illing talks with author Ryan Holiday about Stoicism — a philosophy with roots in ancient Greece and which flourished in early imperial Rome — and how it can help us live fulfilling lives today. In addition to explaining what Stoicism is and how we can practice it, Holiday addresses the critical idea that Stoicism is a philosophy for elites, unpacks some of the parallels between Stoicism and Buddhism, and explains how being in touch with our mortality can relieve some of our modern anxieties. This is the fourth episode of The Philosophers, a monthly series from Vox Conversations. Each episode will focus on a philosophical figure or school of thought from the past, and discuss how their ideas can help us make sense of our modern world and lives today. Check out the other episodes in this series, on Albert Camus, Hannah Arendt, and pragmatism with Cornel West. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews writer, Vox Guest: Ryan Holiday (@RyanHoliday), author; creator of Daily Stoic References to works by Stoics:  Zeno of Citium (c. 334 – c. 262 BC) (about whom much is known from Diogenes Laërtius, c. 3rd c. AD, in Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, VII) Epictetus (c. 50 – c. 125 AD): The Encheiridion (or Handbook) of Epictetus; The Discourses of Epictetus Seneca (c. 4 BC – 65 AD): Dialogues and letters Marcus Aurelius (121 – 180 AD): Meditations (Penguin Classics ; MIT Internet Classics Archive) Other references:  The Daily Stoic podcast with Ryan Holiday Lives of the Stoics: The Art of Living from Zeno to Marcus Aurelius by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman (Portfolio; 2020) Courage Is Calling by Ryan Holiday (Portfolio; 2021) Courage Under Fire: Testing Epictetus's Doctrines in a Laboratory of Human Behavior by James B. Stockdale (Hoover Institution Press; 1993) "Self-pity" by D.H. Lawrence The Stoic Life: Emotions, Duties, and Fate by Tad Brennan (Oxford; 2005) How to Be a Stoic by Massimo Pigliucci (Basic; 2017) Stoic Wisdom: Ancient Lessons for Modern Resilience by Nancy Sherman (Oxford; 2021) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
27/06/221h 5m

Station Eleven's creator on the end of the world

Vox’s Alex Abad-Santos sits down with Patrick Somerville, the creator and showrunner of HBO's critically-acclaimed series Station Eleven, adapted from the novel by Emily St. John Mandel. They talk about the weirdness of making a show about a pandemic during a pandemic, what it was like to craft the show's intricate web of storylines, and why Patrick's body of work — which also includes Maniac, Made for Love, and co-writing The Leftovers — tends toward the dystopian. There's also a reflective discussion about . . . hugs. Host: Alex Abad-Santos (@alex_abads), Senior Culture Reporter, Vox Guest: Patrick Somerville (@patrickerville), creator and showrunner, Station Eleven References:  Station Eleven, created for television by Patrick Somerville (HBO Max; 2021) Station Eleven, novel by Emily St. John Mandel (Knopf; 2014) "A syllabus for a new world" by Alissa Wilkinson (Vox; Jan. 13) "In Station Eleven, the end of the world is a vibrant, lush green" by Emily St. James (Vox; Jan. 10) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
23/06/2252m 49s

The racist origins of fat phobia

Vox’s Anna North talks with Da'Shaun Harrison, the activist, author, and 2022 Lambda Literary Award recipient for their book Belly of the Beast: The Politics of Anti-Fatness as Anti-Blackness. Da'Shaun explains the ways in which society's anti-fatness is structural, and connected —historically and politically — to the structures of anti-Blackness that took root alongside slavery in America. Anna and Da'Shaun discuss common misunderstandings and myths about fatness, how these pathologies insidiously infiltrate the criminal justice system, and why Da'Shaun envisions a liberatory future in the idea of destruction. Host: Anna North (@annanorthtweets), Senior Reporter, Vox Guest: Da'Shaun Harrison (@DaShaunLH), author; editor-at-large, Scalawag References:  Belly of the Beast: The Politics of Anti-Fatness as Anti-Blackness by Da'Shaun Harrison (North Atlantic; 2021) "The past, present, and future of body image in America" by Anna North (Vox; Oct. 18, 2021) "The paradox of online 'body positivity'" by Rebecca Jennings (Vox; Jan. 13, 2021) Fearing the Black Body by Sabrina Strings (NYU; 2019) "CDC Study Overstated Obesity as a Cause of Death" by Betsy McKay (Wall Street Journal; Nov. 23, 2004) "Correction: Actual Causes of Death in the United States, 2000" (JAMA; Jan. 19, 2005) Killer Fat: Media, Medicine, and Morals in the American "Obesity Epidemic" by Natalie Boero (Rutgers; 2012) "The Bizarre and Racist History of the BMI" by Aubrey Gordon (Oct. 15, 2019) "Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: An American Grammar Book" by Hortense J. Spillers (Diacritics, 17 (2); 1987) Joy James: Captive Maternals Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
16/06/2254m 34s

The fight for Ukraine — and democracy

Sean Illing talks with historian and author Timothy Snyder about the war in Ukraine, the stakes for Europe and the rest of the world, and the battle between Putin's autocracy and democracy being waged. They also discuss the enduring importance of history — and of ideas — in shaping events in our world. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Timothy Snyder (@TimothyDSnyder), author; Levin professor of history, Yale University References:  "The War in Ukraine Has Unleashed a New Word" by Timothy Snyder (New York Times Magazine; Apr. 22) On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder (Crown; 2017) The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America by Timothy Snyder (Tim Duggan; 2018) Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder (Basic; 2010) "Vladimir Putin's politics of eternity" by Timothy Snyder (The Guardian; Mar. 16, 2018) Black Rights/White Wrongs: The Critique of Racial Liberalism by Charles W. Mills (Oxford; 2017) "Who is Putin really fighting? Maxim Trudolyubov on the Russian president's ruthless war of generations" (Meduza; June 6) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
13/06/2254m 52s

The war on trans people

Vox’s Emily St. James talks with Chase Strangio of the ACLU about the assault on the rights of trans Americans taking place in many states across the country. They explain why laws that recently passed through state houses in Florida, Texas, and Alabama imperil trans people — or, in some cases, even criminalize their very existence. Chase and Emily discuss the ongoing legal battles to challenge these laws, the political and social obstacles facing the trans community, and how all Americans can help protect trans people through challenging some fundamental assumptions in our culture. Host: Emily St. James (@emilyvdw), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Chase Strangio (@chasestrangio), Deputy Director for Transgender Justice, ACLU References:  "The time to panic about anti-trans legislation is now" by Emily St. James (Vox; March 24) "Florida's law limiting LGBTQ discussion in schools, explained" by Amber Phillips (Washington Post; April 22) "Alabama law criminalizing care for transgender youth faces federal test" by Kimberly Chandler (AP; May 5) "Explaining the Latest Texas Anti-Transgender Directive" by Alene Bouranova (BU Today; March 3) Obergefell v. Hodges (U.S. Supreme Court; 2015) Bostock v. Clayton County (U.S. Supreme Court; 2020) "The Courts Won't Free Us — Only We Can" by Chase Strangio (Them; June 1) "Rising Model Hunter Schafer Is Fighting for the Future of Trans Individuals On and Off the Runway" by Katherine Cusumano (W Magazine; March 21, 2018) "HB 500 — Barring Transgender Girls in Sports" (ACLU Idaho; 2020) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
09/06/2255m 12s

Michael Ian Black on being a better man

Sean Illing talks with comedian and author Michael Ian Black about his book A Better Man, in which Black writes a letter to his son about masculinity, vulnerability, and the importance of empathy, among other things. They open the conversation discussing the tragic mass murder that took place at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. Black was inspired to write this book in the wake of the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, and America's mass shootings are a subject throughout his book. Sean and Michael talk about how to confront these events as fathers of boys, the myth of what it means to be a "real man," and the elusive importance of deep, male friendship. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack), comedian; author References:  A Better Man: A (Mostly Serious) Letter to My Son by Michael Ian Black (Workman; 2020 - paperback, 2022) "America's troubled relationship with paid time off for dads" by Aimee Picchi (CBS News; Oct. 19, 2021) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
06/06/2256m 11s

Carmen Maria Machado's haunted feminine

Vox's Constance Grady talks with writer Carmen Maria Machado, whose 2017 short story collection Her Body and Other Parties was a National Book Award finalist. In this episode, which is a recording of a live Vox Book Club event, they discuss how this haunting genre-straddling collection conveys the underlying horrors of being an embodied woman, how the nation's shifting cultural mores around sexual violence are reflected in Law & Order: SVU, and how Machado's writing expresses what she just might start calling the "femme uncanny." Host: Constance Grady (@constancegrady), staff writer, Vox Guests: Carmen Maria Machado, author References:  Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado (Graywolf; 2017) Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang (2002) Kelly Link "The Green Ribbon" by Alvin Schwartz, from In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories (1984) "'Law & Order' is lost without Stabler and Benson. Here's why their pairing works," by Carmen Maria Machado (LA Times; Apr. 8, 2021) "The Trash Heap Has Spoken" by Carmen Maria Machado (Guernica; Feb. 13, 2017) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
02/06/2242m 3s

The rise and fall of America's monuments

Jamil Smith talks with Erin Thompson, professor of art crime and author of Smashing Statues: The Rise and Fall of America's Public Monuments. They discuss why we honor horrible people from the past in metal and stone, what effects these objects have on our present, and what's keeping so many of these monuments in place throughout America. Host: Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Erin Thompson (@artcrimeprof), author; associate professor of art crime, John Jay College of Criminal Justice References:  Smashing Statues: The Rise and Fall of America's Public Monuments by Erin Thompson (Norton; 2022) A viral tweet (June 10, 2020) "What's the point of beheading a statue?" by Erin Thompson (Art News; June 22, 2020) "The Historian Scrutinizing Our Idea of Monuments" by Alexandra Schwartz (New Yorker; March 3) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
26/05/2250m 46s

The Philosophers: America's philosophy, with Cornel West

Sean Illing talks with Cornel West about the American philosophical tradition known as pragmatism. They talk about what makes pragmatism so distinctly American, how pragmatists understand the connection between knowledge and action, and how the pragmatist mindset can invigorate our understanding of democratic life and communal action today. Cornel West also talks about the ways in which pragmatism has influenced his work and life, alongside the blues, Chekhov, and his Christian faith. This is the third episode of The Philosophers, a new monthly series from Vox Conversations. Each episode will focus on a philosophical figure or school of thought from the past, and discuss how their ideas can help us make sense of our modern world and lives today. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews writer, Vox Guest: Cornel West (@CornelWest), author; Dietrich Bonhoeffer professor of philosophy & Christian practice, Union Theological Seminary References to works by American pragmatists:  Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882): "Self-Reliance" (1841) William James (1842–1910): Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking (1907); The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902); "Is Life Worth Living?" (1895) Charles Sanders Peirce (1839–1914): "The Fixation of Belief" (1877) John Dewey (1859–1952): The Quest for Certainty (1929); "Emerson—The Philosopher of Democracy" (1903); The Public and Its Problems (1927) Richard Rorty (1931–2007): "Pragmatism, Relativism, and Irrationalism" (1979); "Solidarity or Objectivity?" (1989) Other references:  Cornel West Teaches Philosophy (MasterClass) The American Evasion of Philosophy: A Genealogy of Pragmatism by Cornel West (Univ. of Wisconsin Press; 1989) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925) Plato, Republic (refs. in particular to Book 1 and Book 8) The Phantom Public by Walter Lippmann (1925) Leopardi: Selected Poems of Giacomo Leopardi (1798–1837), tr. by Eamon Grennan (Princeton; 1997) "The Myth of Sisyphus" by Albert Camus (1942; tr. 1955) Democracy & Tradition by Jeffrey Stout (Princeton; 2003) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
23/05/221h 1m

Why accidents aren't accidental

Vox’s Marin Cogan talks with author and journalist Jessie Singer, whose book There Are No Accidents asks us to completely rethink our understanding of accidents as seemingly random, blameless, harm-inducing events. Marin and Jessie discuss what drug overdoses, car crashes, and apartment building fires have in common, the systemic structural vulnerabilities that lead to accidents, and how we can press for greater accountability. Host: Marin Cogan (@marincogan), Senior Features Correspondent, Vox Guest: Jessie Singer (@JessieSingerNYC), author; journalist References:  There Are No Accidents: The Deadly Rise of Injury and Disaster—Who Profits and Who Pays the Price by Jessie Singer (Simon & Schuster; 2022) "Stop calling them 'accidents'" by Marin Cogan (Vox; Apr. 12) "Nearly 43,000 people died on US roads last year, agency says" by Tom Krisher and Hope Yen (AP News; May 17) "NYC building space heater malfunction sparks fire that kills 19, including 9 children" by Maria Caspani (Reuters; Jan. 10) "Remembering Eric Ng" by Maura Roosevelt (The Nation; Feb. 7, 2014) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
19/05/2253m 1s

Rethinking the "end of history"

Sean Illing talks with political scientist and author Francis Fukuyama, whose ideas about the "end of history" and the ideological supremacy of liberal democracy became well-known through his 1989 essay "The End of History?". They discuss Fukuyama's new book, Liberalism and Its Discontents, as well as some of the modern challenges facing liberalism today, what Fukuyama thinks of the radically redistributive politics of the Bernie Sanders campaign, and whether he thinks it's still the case that liberal democracy stands victorious in the war of ideas. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Francis Fukuyama (@FukuyamaFrancis), author; professor, Stanford University References:  Liberalism and Its Discontents by Francis Fukuyama (FSG; 2022) "The End of History?" by Francis Fukuyama (The National Interest, v. 16; Summer 1989) The End of History and the Last Man by Francis Fukuyama (Free Press; 1992) "Francis Fukuyama Predicted the End of History. It's Back (Again)," by Jennifer Schuessler (New York Times; May 10) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
16/05/221h 2m

Anita Hill finally gets even

Vox's Fabiola Cineas talks with Anita Hill, whose testimony during the 1991 confirmation hearings for now-Justice Clarence Thomas highlighted the prominence of sexual harassment and unwanted sexual advances in the workplace. Hill discusses how those hearings changed her, whether or not she has respect for the Supreme Court as an institution, and how her fight to stop gender violence continues today. Host: Fabiola Cineas (@FabiolaCineas), Reporter, Vox Guest: Anita Hill (@AnitaHill), professor, Brandeis University References:  Getting Even with Anita Hill (Pushkin) Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence by Anita Hill (Viking; 2021) Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas by Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson (1994) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
12/05/221h 1m

Elites have captured identity politics

Sean Illing talks with Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò, whose new book Elite Capture is about how the wealthy and powerful co-opt political movements, and use the language of progressive activism to further their ends. They discuss the history and meaning of "identity politics," the notion of "woke capitalism," and how to arrive at a more constructive politics — one that actually engages directly in redistributing social resources and power, rather than achieving merely symbolic gains. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò (@OlufemiOTaiwo), author; professor of philosophy, Georgetown University References:  Elite Capture: How the Powerful Took Over Identity Politics (And Everything Else) by Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò (Haymarket; 2022) "Identity Politics and Elite Capture" by Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò (Boston Review; May 7, 2020) "Niani S. Phillips is an Environmentalist with a serious commitment to sustainability." (McDonald's YouTube; Mar. 31) The Combahee River Collective Statement (1977) "Until Black Women Are Free, None of Us Will Be Free" by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor (New Yorker; July 20, 2020) "Black Lives Matter Secretly Bought a $6 Million House" by Sean Campbell (Intelligencer; Apr. 4) Why I Am Not A Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto by Jessa Crispin (Melville House; 2017) "What's New About Woke Racial Capitalism (And What Isn't)" by Enzo Rossi and Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò (Spectre; Dec. 18, 2020) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
09/05/2258m 29s

The moral dangers of dirty work

Vox’s Jamil Smith talks with journalist and author Eyal Press about "dirty work" — the jobs Americans do that, as Press explains, can lead workers to perform morally compromising activities unwittingly. They discuss examples of this kind of work (drone pilots, meat packers, prison aides), talk about its relation to the term "essential workers" that gained prominence during the pandemic, and explain how certain jobs highlight the disparities of class, race, and gender in American society. Host: Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Eyal Press (@EyalPress), author; journalist References:  Dirty Work: Essential Jobs and the Hidden Toll of Inequality in America by Eyal Press (FSG; 2021) "What does it mean to take America's 'jobs of last resort'?" by Jamil Smith (Vox; Apr. 22) Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe (Doubleday; 2021) The Social Network, dir. David Fincher (2010) The Jungle by Upton Sinclair (1906) The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (1952) The Civilizing Process by Norbert Elias (1939) "Good People and Dirty Work" by Everett C. Hughes (Social Problems, vol. 10 (1); 1962) The Line Becomes a River by Francisco Cantú (Riverhead; 2019) "Inside the Massive Jail that Doubles as Chicago's Largest Mental Health Facility" by Lili Holzer-Glier (Vera Institute of Justice; 2016) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
05/05/2259m 54s

Did the sexual revolution go wrong?

Sean Illing talks with author and Washington Post columnist Christine Emba about whether or not we need to rethink sex. They discuss why, according to the research and reporting in Emba's new book Rethinking Sex, many Americans are unhappy with the sex they're having, and don't fully understand what they want. They also talk about how her Catholic faith informs her views on sex, why it's necessary to expand on the framework of "consent," and what kind of sexual culture Emba hopes to see in the world. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Christine Emba (@ChristineEmba), author & reporter References:  Rethinking Sex: A Provocation by Christine Emba (Sentinel; 2022) "Consent is not enough. We need a new sexual ethic," by Christine Emba (Washington Post; Mar. 17) "People Have Been Having Less Sex—whether They're Teenagers or 40-Somethings" by Emily Willingham (Scientific American; Jan. 3) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
02/05/2258m 41s

Who decides how to conserve nature?

Vox's Benji Jones talks with Indigenous leader Kimaren ole Riamit about the role of Indigenous peoples in the conservation movement. Bringing the perspective of his upbringing in the Kenyan Maasai pastoral community as well as advanced degrees earned at Western institutions, Kimaren discusses with Benji the power and potential of Indigenous knowledge in combating the climate crisis, and the challenges in bridging that knowledge with the global conservation effort. Host: Benji Jones (@BenjiSJones), Environmental reporter, Vox Guest: Kimaren ole Riamit, Maasai leader References:  "Growing up Maasai and the art of healing the Earth" by Benji Jones (Vox; Mar. 16) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
28/04/2256m 59s

The Philosophers: Loneliness and totalitarianism

Sean Illing talks with professor Lyndsey Stonebridge about the philosopher Hannah Arendt, author of The Origins of Totalitarianism. Arendt might be best known for coining the phrase “the banality of evil” in her reporting on the trial of Adolf Eichmann in 1961, but in this episode Sean and Lyndsey discuss Arendt's insights into the roots of mass movements, how her flight from Nazi occupation shaped her worldview, and how loneliness and isolation — which abound in our world today — can prepare a population for an authoritarian turn. The Philosophers is a new monthly series from Vox Conversations. Each episode will focus on a philosophical figure or school of thought from the past, and discuss how their ideas can help us make sense of our modern world and lives today. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews writer, Vox Guest: Lyndsey Stonebridge (@lyndseystonebri), author; professor of humanities and human rights, University of Birmingham Works by Hannah Arendt:  The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951), with the inclusion of the chapter "Ideology and Terror" in 1953; Eichmann in Jerusalem (1963); The Human Condition (1958); "Home to Roost: A Bicentennial Address" (1975); "Personal Responsibility under Dictatorship" (1964) Other References:  The Judicial Imagination: Writing After Nuremberg by Lyndsey Stonebridge (Edinburgh University Press; 2011) Placeless People: Writings, Rights, and Refugees by Lyndsey Stonebridge (Oxford; 2018) Thinking Like Hannah Arendt by Lyndsey Stonebridge (Jonathan Cape; forthcoming 2022) "A 1951 book about totalitarianism is flying off the shelves. Here's why" by Sean Illing (Vox; updated Jan. 30, 2019) "Where loneliness can lead" by Samantha Rose Hill (Aeon; Oct. 16, 2020) The Lonely Crowd by David Riesman (1950) Immanuel Kant, Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals (1785) for the "categorical imperative" Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
25/04/221h 3m

The War in Ukraine, Explained — Part 4: The future of Europe

Russia's invasion of Ukraine is one of the biggest and most confusing political events of our lifetimes. We aim to bring some clarity in this special four-part series from Vox Conversations and host Zack Beauchamp, The War in Ukraine, Explained. In part four, Zack speaks with author, political scientist, and scholar of European politics Ivan Krastev. They discuss the reverberations of Russia's invasion of Ukraine across Europe, from a sudden change of course in Germany and elections in France to the threatened intellectual foundations of the European Union nations' shared postwar identity, and how the war in Ukraine will shape the EU's future relations with the U.S. and China — and the future of Europe itself. Host: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Ivan Krastev, political scientist; chairman, Centre for Liberal Strategies; permanent fellow, Institute for Human Sciences, IWM Vienna References:  The Light That Failed: Why the West is Losing the Fight for Democracy by Stephen Holmes and Ivan Krastev (Pegasus; 2020) "We Are All Living in Vladimir Putin's World Now" by Ivan Krastev (New York Times; Feb. 27) "How the Weak Win Wars: A Theory of Asymmetric Conflict" by Ivan Arreguín-Toft (International Security, vol. 26 (1); 2001) Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 by Tony Judt (Penguin; 2006) The Idea of India by Sunil Khilnani (FSG; 1997) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
21/04/221h 4m

Michael Lewis on why Americans distrust experts

Sean Illing talks with writer Michael Lewis about why it is that Americans are so good at producing knowledge, but so bad at identifying and utilizing that knowledge — the central issue of the new season of his podcast "Against the Rules." They discuss who counts as an expert, some fundamental impediments to disseminating knowledge, and whether or not there is a possible future where Americans regain their trust in experts, institutions, and each other. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Michael Lewis, author References:  Against the Rules with Michael Lewis podcast (Pushkin) The Premonition: A Pandemic Story by Michael Lewis (W.W. Norton; 2021 - paperback; 2022) The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis (W.W. Norton; 2018) The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium by Martin Gurri (Stripe; 2014) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
18/04/2258m 12s

The War in Ukraine, Explained — Part 3: The nuclear threat

Russia's invasion of Ukraine is one of the biggest and most confusing political events of our lifetimes. We aim to bring some clarity in this special four-part series from Vox Conversations and host Zack Beauchamp, The War in Ukraine, Explained. In part three, Zack speaks with professor, blogger, and nuclear arms expert Jeff Lewis about the looming nuclear threat of the conflict in Ukraine. They discuss the probability of escalation by both Russia and the U.S., what "tactical" nuclear weapons really are and how they're misunderstood, the double-edged sword of deterrence, and some of the ethical, political, and psychological realities of managing large stockpiles of devastating nuclear weapons. Host: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Jeff Lewis (@ArmsControlWonk), founder and contributor, Arms Control Wonk; director, East Asia Nonproliferation Program, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey References:  "Is Russia committing genocide in Ukraine?" by Zack Beauchamp (Vox; Apr. 13) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
14/04/2256m 44s

The case for regret

Sean Illing talks with writer Daniel Pink about his book The Power of Regret. They discuss why regret can be not only useful, but potentially the most valuable emotion we have. Daniel and Sean talk about the difference between regret and "wallowing," how to anticipate regrets and act accordingly, and Daniel shares his findings on the regrets that Americans most have in common. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Daniel Pink (@DanielPink), author References:  The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward by Daniel H. Pink (Riverhead; 2022) Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff (William Morrow; 2015) The Art and Science of Personality Development by Dan P. McAdams (Guilford; 2016) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
11/04/2251m 15s

The War in Ukraine, Explained — Part 2: Sanctions

Russia's invasion of Ukraine is one of the biggest and most confusing political events of our lifetimes. We aim to bring some clarity in this special four-part series from Vox Conversations and host Zack Beauchamp, The War in Ukraine, Explained. In part two, Zack speaks with Dan Drezner, international relations professor and columnist for the Washington Post, about the massive slate of sanctions imposed upon Russia by the United States and other Western countries in the aftermath of Russia's invasion. They discuss how the sanctions actually affect the Kremlin and Russian citizens, the ripple effects on the larger global economy, and whether or not these sanctions signal a new global economic order. Host: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Daniel Drezner (@dandrezner), columnist, Washington Post; professor, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University References:  "How robust is the global opposition to Russia's invasion of Ukraine?" by Daniel W. Drezner (Washington Post; March 29) Theories of International Politics and Zombies by Daniel W. Drezner (Princeton; 2014) The Sanctions Paradox: Economic Statecraft and International Relations by Daniel W. Drezner (Cambridge; 2010) "The World Is Splitting in Two" by Michael Schuman (Atlantic; March 28) The Economic Weapon: The Rise of Sanctions as a Tool of Modern War by Nicholas Mulder (Yale; 2022) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
07/04/221h 1m

The spirituality of parenting

Sean Illing talks with the author and self-described mystic David Spangler about parenting as a spiritual enterprise, where the parent communes in a radical way with the spirit of another and expands the limits of the self. They discuss what it means to adopt the "beginner's mindset" in parenting, relating to children as full individuals, and how to cope with obstacles that all parents experience — from misbegotten family dinners, to the perils of getting dressed in the morning. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: David Spangler, spiritual director, Lorian Institute References:  Parent as Mystic, Mystic as Parent by David Spangler (Riverhead; 2000) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
04/04/2249m 12s

The War in Ukraine, Explained — Part 1: Why did Putin go to war?

Russia's invasion of Ukraine is one of the biggest and most confusing political events of our lifetimes. We aim to bring some clarity in this special four-part series from Vox Conversations and host Zack Beauchamp, The War in Ukraine, Explained. In part one, Zack speaks with political scientist Yoshiko Herrera about the country responsible for the war: Russia. They explore why Vladimir Putin decided to launch the invasion, what Russians think about the war, and how this conflict might change Russia's future. Host: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Yoshiko Herrera (@yoshikoherrera), professor of political science, University of Wisconsin-Madison References:  "9 big questions about Russia's war in Ukraine, answered" by Zack Beauchamp (Vox; Mar. 30) "The Bully in the Bubble: Putin and the Perils of Information Isolation" by Adam E. Casey and Seva Gunitsky (Foreign Affairs; Feb. 4) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
31/03/221h 1m

The Philosophers: Resisting despair

Sean Illing talks with author and professor Robert Zaretsky about the French philosopher, novelist, and journalist Albert Camus (1913–1960). Though Camus might be best known for his novel The Stranger, Sean and Prof. Zaretsky explore the ideas contained in his philosophical essays "The Myth of Sisyphus," The Rebel, and in the allegorical novel The Plague, which saw a resurgence in interest over the past two years. They discuss the meaning of "the absurd," why one must imagine Sisyphus happy, and how the roots of mid-20th-century political nihilism (making sort of a comeback lately) can be found in one's relationship to abstract ideas. This is the first episode of The Philosophers, a new series from Vox Conversations. Each episode will focus on a philosophical figure or school of thought from the past, and discuss how their ideas can help us make sense of our modern world and lives today. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews writer, Vox Guest: Robert Zaretsky, author and professor, University of Houston Works by Camus:  The Rebel (1951) ; The Stranger (1942) ; The Plague (1947) ; "The Myth of Sisyphus" (1942) ; "The Century of Fear" (in Neither Victims Nor Executioners; 1946) ; "The Human Crisis" (1946) ; The First Man (uncompleted manuscript, pub. 1960) Other References:  "This is a time for solidarity" by Sean Illing (Vox; Mar. 15, 2020) "What Camus's The Plague can teach us about the Covid-19 pandemic" by Sean Illing (Vox; Jul. 22, 2020) A Life Worth Living: Albert Camus and the Quest for Meaning by Robert Zaretsky (Harvard University Press; 2016) Lo straniero, dir. by Luchino Visconti (Italian film adaptation of Camus's The Stranger; 1967 - English-dubbed version) Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men, by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1755; a.k.a. Rousseau's "Second Discourse") The Gay Science, by Friedrich Nietzsche (1882; passage on eternal recurrence: Bk. IV, sec. 341) Albert Camus's "The Human Crisis" read by Viggo Mortensen, 70 years later (Columbia University Maison Française; 2016) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
28/03/2256m 48s

What happened to American conservatism?

Vox’s Jamil Smith talks with Charlie Sykes — journalist, author, stalwart "never Trumper," and a founder and editor-at-large of The Bulwark. They talk about the Republican response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the attraction of some self-professed conservatives to Vladimir Putin, the efforts by Republican lawmakers to ban books and topics from schools, and the devolution of conservative values within the post-Trump GOP. Host: Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Charlie Sykes (@SykesCharlie), editor-at-large, The Bulwark References:  "Madison Cawthorn calls Ukraine government 'evil,' Zelenskyy 'a thug'" (WRAL.com; March 10) How The Right Lost Its Mind by Charles J. Sykes (St. Martins; 2017) "Florida's Ron DeSantis's CPAC speech champions pro-Covid policies" by Zeeshan Aleem (MSNBC Opinion; Feb. 25) "Trump-endorsed candidates struggling to raise money" by Josh Kraushaar (National Journal; Feb. 2) "Mitt Romney warns of 'extraordinary challenge' in preserving democracy" by Martin Pengelly (The Guardian; March 15) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Cristian Ayala Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
24/03/221h

The limits of forgiveness

Sean Illing talks with philosopher Lucy Allais about the nature, power, and limits of forgiveness. They talk about the role of forgiveness in the dissolution of apartheid in Allais's native South Africa, the distinction between forgiveness and punishment, and the prospect of using forgiveness as a political tool in order to move forward as a polarized democracy. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Lucy Allais, professor of philosophy, University of Witwatersrand and Johns Hopkins University References:  "Elective Forgiveness" by Lucy Allais (International Journal of Philosophical Studies, v. 21 (5); 2013) "Forgiveness and Mercy" by Lucy Allais (South African Journal of Philosophy, v. 27 (1); 2008) "Forgiveness and Meaning in Life" by Lucy Allais, in The Oxford Handbook of Meaning in Life, ed. Iddo Landau (Oxford University Press; 2022) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Sofi LaLonde Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
21/03/2252m 24s

The madness behind The Method

Vox's Alissa Wilkinson talks with cultural critic and author Isaac Butler about his new book, The Method. They discuss the transformation that the craft of acting underwent, tracing its origins from Konstantin Stanislavski in post-revolution Russia, through Hollywood in the mid-twentieth century, up to today. They talk about some of the lesser-known influences and practices associated with The Method, evaluate some touchstone performances in the history of cinema, and speculate about what might happen at this year's Academy Awards. Host: Alissa Wilkinson (@alissamarie), film critic and senior culture reporter, Vox Guests: Isaac Butler (@parabasis), cultural critic, theater director, author References:  The Method: How the Twentieth Century Learned to Act by Isaac Butler (Bloomsbury; 2022) "Why the Oscars are so weird about real people roles" by Alissa Wilkinson (Vox; Feb. 22) "Remembering Hollywood's Hays Code, 40 Years On" by Bob Mondello (NPR; Aug. 8, 2008) United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc. (334 U.S. 131; 1948) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
17/03/221h 8m

David Cross is disappointed in you guys

Sean Illing talks with comedian David Cross, well-known for his decades-long stand-up career, as well as for his role on the cult hit TV show Arrested Development. They talk about the relationship between comedy and politics, whether comedy audiences are different than they used to be, what social media has done to us, and about his new special, I'm From the Future, which is available for streaming on David's website. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: David Cross (@davidcrosss), comedian & actor References:  David's special, I'm From the Future (2022), is available for rental on officialdavidcross.com here. "David Cross on why his comedy tour pissed off people right and left" by Sean O'Neal (AV Club; Aug. 18, 2016) "Comedy's existential crisis" by Aja Romano (Vox; Feb. 8) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
14/03/2249m 31s

Author Kiley Reid on why we read novels

Vox's Constance Grady talks with Kiley Reid, author of the critically-acclaimed novel Such a Fun Age. In this episode, which is a recording of a live Vox Book Club event, they discuss what novels are really for, the ways that we all craft stories in our relationships and personal lives, and the nuanced ways in which Reid takes on race, class, and friendship in her engaging, fast-paced literary debut. Host: Constance Grady (@constancegrady), staff writer, Vox Guests: Kiley Reid (@kileyreid), author References:  Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid (G.P. Putnam's Sons; 2019) "The smart political argument behind the satire Such a Fun Age" by Constance Grady (Vox; Nov. 19, 2021) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
10/03/2247m 58s

The conversation about guns we're not having

Sean Illing talks with firearms journalist Stephen Gutowski, founder of TheReload.com. They discuss the major barriers, principles, and blind spots on both sides of the largely stagnant national conversation on guns and gun control in the United States. The conversation touches on political, legal, and emotional arguments motivating both gun enthusiasts and gun opponents; the Dickey Amendment, and its effective twenty-year ban on federally-funded gun violence research, and whether or not guns are truly part of American identity. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski), firearms reporter and founder, TheReload.com References:  Global Firearms Holdings as of 2017 (Small Arms Survey; 2018) "Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun" by Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz (Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, v. 86 (1); 1995) "The Contradictions of the Kleck Study" (Virginia Center for Public Safety) "More Guns Do Not Stop More Crimes, Evidence Shows" by Melinda Wenner (Scientific American; Oct. 1, 2017) "How The NRA Worked To Stifle Gun Violence Research" by Samantha Raphelson (NPR; Apr. 5, 2018) "The Dickey Amendment on Federal Funding for Research on Gun Violence: A Legal Dissection" by Allen Rostron (American Journal of Public Health, v. 108 (7); 2018) "Spending Bill Lets CDC Study Gun Violence; But Researchers Are Skeptical It Will Help" by Nell Greenfieldboyce (NPR; Mar. 23, 2018) District of Columbia v. Heller (U.S. Supreme Court, 554 US 570; 2008) "Gun rights are back at the Supreme Court for the first time in more than a decade" by Nina Totenberg (NPR; Nov. 3, 2021) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
07/03/221h 4m

Why does middle school suck?

Hillary Frank, the creator of the podcasts The Longest Shortest Time and Here Lies Me, talks with journalist and author Judith Warner about middle school. They discuss the history of middle school in America and abroad, some of the formative social forces at play for middle schoolers, why the journey through middle school is akin to a kind of death, and why it is that children of this age — on the verge of adolescence — often act like such... jerks. Host: Hillary Frank (@hillaryfrank), podcast producer, author Guest: Judith Warner, author References:  And Then They Stopped Talking to Me: Making Sense of Middle School by Judith Warner (Crown; 2020, paperback, 2021) Here Lies Me podcast (written, produced, and directed by Hillary Frank; produced in collaboration with Lemonada Media) Weird Parenting Wins by Hillary Frank (TarcherPerigree; 2019) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
03/03/221h 5m

Russia's war with Ukraine — and reality

Sean Illing talks with journalist, author, and Russian disinformation scholar Peter Pomerantsev about the invasion of Ukraine. Recorded on Friday, Feb. 25th, they discuss the current state of the conflict, whether or not the warped rationales for Putin's invasion are actually convincing to the Russian people, and what sanctions might possibly make a lasting difference for the future of both Russia and Ukraine. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Peter Pomerantsev (@peterpomeranzev), author; Senior Fellow, Agora Institute, Johns Hopkins University References:  This Is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality by Peter Pomerantsev (Public Affairs; 2019) Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia by Peter Pomerantsev (Public Affairs; 2014) "Vladimir Putin: What's going on inside his head?" by Peter Pomerantsev (The Guardian; Feb. 26) "The Russian roots of our misinformation problem" by Sean Illing, in conversation with Peter Pomerantsev (Vox; Oct. 26, 2020) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
28/02/2239m 16s

Robert Glasper on why Black Radio is back

Vox’s Jamil Smith talks with musician Robert Glasper, four-time Grammy-winner, about the release of his new album Black Radio III. They discuss Glasper's distinctive genre-defying sound, his unique gift for musical collaboration, and how he blends elements of R&B, gospel, and rock to create music that might irk some members of the "jazz police." Host: Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Robert Glasper (@robertglasper), musician References:  Robert Glasper's Black Radio III (available everywhere Feb. 25) Robert Glasper, "The Worst" (Jhené Aiko) Tour dates and more at robertglasper.com Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Efim Shapiro Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
24/02/2257m 18s

Could we lose delicious foods forever?

Vox's Benji Jones talks with food journalist and author Dan Saladino, whose new book Eating to Extinction documents rare foods and food cultures from around the world, showing how they are being affected by climate change, globalization, and industrial agricultural practices. Dan shares many incredible stories from his travels and reporting, including the last known garden growing a unique soybean, a 16-foot high corn that produces its own fertilizer, and a complex symbiosis between man, bird, and bee in remote Tanzania. Host: Benji Jones (@BenjiSJones), Environmental reporter, Vox Guest: Dan Saladino (@DanSaladinoUK), food journalist & author References:  Eating to Extinction: The World's Rarest Foods and Why We Need to Save Them by Dan Saladino (FSG; 2022) The Food Programme (BBC Radio 4; also on Apple Podcasts) The Ark of Taste (Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity) "The Corn of the Future Is Hundreds of Years Old and Makes Its Own Mucus" by Jason Daley (Smithsonian; Aug. 10, 2018) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
17/02/221h 6m

What Don't Look Up is really about

Sean Illing talks with David Sirota, the journalist turned Oscar-nominated co-writer (with director Adam McKay) of the film Don't Look Up. They talk about the movie and how it was originally received, who the truest targets of the film's critique were, and what the movie has to say about how we can actually solve the monumental problems that we face as a society. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: David Sirota (@davidsirota), co-writer (with Adam McKay), Don't Look Up; journalist and founder, The Daily Poster References:  Don't Look Up, dir. by Adam McKay (Netflix; 2021) "Four ways of knowing the meta-crisis" by Jonathan Rowson (Perspectiva/YouTube; Jan. 25) Meltdown, a podcast narrative by David Sirota; produced by Jigsaw Productions & Transmitter Media (Audible; 2021) The Uprising: An Unauthorized Tour of the Populist Revolt Scaring Wall Street and Washington by David Sirota (Crown; 2008) "Steve Bannon on How 2008 Planted the Seed for the Trump Presidency" by Noah Kulwin (New York; Aug. 10, 2018) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
14/02/221h 1m

Democracy in crisis, part 2: The two-party problem

Just how worried should we be about the future of American democracy? This is the question at the center of a two-part series from Vox Conversations and host Zack Beauchamp. For part two, Zack talks with political scientist Lee Drutman, author of Breaking the Two-Party Doom Loop. They discuss the history of the two-party system in American politics, and examine a number of possible structural reforms that could work to get the U.S. out of the morass it's in, looking to several other countries' democracies for inspiration. And, if you missed it, check out part one in this series, a lively debate between Zack and the New York Times's Ross Douthat, on just how close we are to political violence, authoritarianism, and democratic breakdown. Host: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Lee Drutman (@leedrutman), senior fellow, New America References:  "How does this end?" by Zack Beauchamp (Vox; Jan. 3) Breaking the Two-Party Doom Loop: The Case for Multiparty Democracy in America (Oxford; 2020) "Democracy in America? Partisanship, Polarization, and the Robustness of Support for Democracy in the United States" by Matthew H. Graham and Milan W. Svolik (American Political Science Review, 114 (2); May 2020) "One way to reform the House of Representatives? Expand it" by Lee Drutman and Yuval Levin (Washington Post; Dec. 9, 2021) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
10/02/2258m 39s

Why we can't pay attention anymore

Sean Illing talks with the author Johann Hari about his new book Stolen Focus, which explores what's happening — and what's already happened — to our attention. They discuss how exactly Big Tech "stole" our ability to focus, what many leading scientists say about how we are psychologically and physiologically changed by the powerful new draws on our attention, and whether or not we need an "attention rebellion" to fight back against the tech giants, whose business models depend on us getting easily distracted. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Johann Hari (@johannhari101), author References:  Stolen Focus: Why You Can't Pay Attention — and How to Think Deeply Again by Johann Hari (Crown; 2022) Companion site with audio excerpts from interviews with experts and additional endnotes: stolenfocusbook.com Getting Ahead of ADHD by Joel T. Nigg (Guilford; 2017) "Capitalism is turning us into addicts" by Sean Illing, interviewing David T, Courtwright (Vox; Apr. 18, 2020) Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man by Marshall McLuhan (1964) "Enhancing attention through training" by Michael Posner, et al. (Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences (4); 2015) "Facebook and texting made me do it: Media-induced task-switching while studying" by Larry Rosen, et al. (Computers in Human Behavior, 29 (3); 2013) "Accelerating dynamics of collective attention" by Sune Lehmann, et al. (Nature Communications; 2019) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
07/02/221h 4m

Democracy in crisis, part 1: Ross Douthat isn't too worried

Just how worried should we be about the future of American democracy? This is the question at the center of a two-part series from Vox Conversations and host Zack Beauchamp. For part one, Zack talks with New York Times columnist Ross Douthat about whether or not we'll soon see an increase in violent political conflict in the United States. They discuss the role of bellicose fringe groups in politics today, whether or not a recent spate of restrictive voting laws constitute creeping authoritarianism, and the prospects that we'll see future attempts to subvert elections modeled on Trump's efforts in 2020 — or even going further. Be sure to catch part two in this series, on breaking the two-party system in America and other possible democracy reforms, coming Thursday, Feb. 10th. Host: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Ross Douthat (@DouthatNYT), Opinion Columnist, New York Times References:  "How does this end?" by Zack Beauchamp (Vox; Jan. 3) "Let's Not Invent a Civil War" by Ross Douthat (New York Times; Jan. 12) How Civil Wars Start by Barbara F. Walter (Crown; 2022) "A Threat to Our Democracy: Election Subversion in the 2021 Legislative Session," Voting Rights Lab report (Sept. 29, 2021) "Republican Party moves to replace GOP board member who voted to certify Michigan election" by Paul Egan (Detroit Free Press; Jan. 18, 2021) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
03/02/221h 6m

Pod Save the Democrats

Sean Illing talks with Dan Pfeiffer, former senior advisor to President Obama and co-host of the Pod Save America podcast, about what is wrong with the Democratic Party's brand right now. They discuss what Dan calls the "Democratic messaging deficit," as well as whether the Democrats' stated values are in line with their efforts while in control of the Congress and White House, and what the Dems are really in store for in the midterm elections later this year — and beyond. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer), co-host, Pod Save America from Crooked Media; former senior advisor to President Obama References:  "U.S. Political Party Preferences Shifted Greatly During 2021" by Jeffrey M. Jones (Gallup; Jan. 17) "Qualitative Research Findings - Virginia Post-Election Research" by Brian Striker and Oren Savir (ARG Research; Nov. 15, 2021) "Sununu says he skipped Senate bid to avoid being 'roadblock' to Biden for two years" by Lexi Lonas (The Hill; Jan. 18) "How the Media's Addiction to Bad News Hurts Dems" by Dan Pfeiffer (The Message Box; Jan. 3) "The most common words in Hillary Clinton's speeches, in one chart" by David Roberts (Vox; Dec. 16, 2016) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
31/01/221h

A Yellowjackets creator spills his guts

Vox's Constance Grady talks with Bart Nickerson, the co-creator of new TV show Yellowjackets, which airs on Showtime. Yellowjackets follows a girls' soccer team, stranded in the Canadian wilderness in 1996 as teenagers — and also the present-day middle-aged women that some of the survivors become. Bart and Constance discuss the role of trauma on television, the process of crafting characters across two timelines, and why the struggle for survival (and cannibalism) fits a story about adolescence. Host: Constance Grady (@constancegrady), staff writer, Vox Guests: Bart Nickerson, co-creator (with Ashley Lyle) of Yellowjackets on Showtime References:  "The Case Against the Trauma Plot" by Parul Sehgal (New Yorker; Dec. 27, 2021) "Too many movies right now are 'about trauma.' The Matrix Resurrections actually does the work," by Emily VanDerWerff (Vox; Dec. 24, 2021) "Yellowjackets is prestige Pretty Little Liars. Hear me out," by Constance Grady (Vox; Jan. 7) "Yellowjackets brilliantly mixes teen angst, cannibalism, and midlife crises — with major Lost vibes" by Emily VanDerWerff (Vox; Nov. 12, 2021) "The slippery genius of the Cinderella story" by Constance Grady (Vox; June 5, 2019) "'Yellowjackets' Leans In to Savagery" by Alexis Soloski (New York Times; Nov. 12, 2021) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
27/01/2244m 44s

A scientist's case for "woo-woo"

Sean Illing talks with David Hamilton, a scientist and former research chemist turned author, about his new book Why Woo-Woo Works, in which he offers a scientifically-grounded defense of alternative practices like meditation, crystals, and the law of attraction. They discuss the placebo effect and its far-reaching consequences for our understanding of the mind-body connection, the therapeutic potential of positive thinking, and why so much of what is called "woo-woo" still lies mostly outside the bounds of conventional Western medicine. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Dr. David R. Hamilton (@DrDRHamilton), author References:  Why Woo-Woo Works: The Surprising Science Behind Meditation, Reiki, Crystals, and Other Alternative Practices by David R. Hamilton, PhD (Hay House; 2021) The Magic Power of Your Mind by Walter M. Germain (1940) "The mechanism of placebo analgesia" by J.D. Levine, N.C. Gordon, H.L. Fields (Lancet; Sept. 1978) How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body by David R. Hamilton, PhD (Hay House; 2018) The British Society of Lifestyle Medicine "Effects of Colorants and Flavorants on Identification, Perceived Flavor Intensity, and Hedonic Quality of Fruit-Flavored Beverages and Cake" by C.N. DuBose, A.V. Cardello, O. Maller (Journal of Food Science 45; 1980) "Writing About Emotional Experiences as a Therapeutic Process" by James W. Pennebaker (Psychological Science; 1997) "Psychology's Replication Crisis Is Running Out of Excuses" by Ed Yong (Atlantic; Nov. 19, 2018) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
24/01/221h

Imagine a future with no police

Vox's Fabiola Cineas talks with author, lawyer, and organizer Derecka Purnell about her recent book Becoming Abolitionists. They discuss Derecka's journey to defending the idea of police abolition, and what that position really entails. They explore questions about the historical and social role of policing in society, how to imagine a future where we radically rethink our system of criminal justice, and how we can acknowledge and incorporate current data about crime—while still rethinking our inherited assumptions about police. Host: Fabiola Cineas (@FabiolaCineas), reporter, Vox Guests: Derecka Purnell (@dereckapurnell), author References:  Becoming Abolitionists: Police, Protests, and the Pursuit of Freedom by Derecka Purnell (Astra House; 2021) The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution by C.L.R. James (Vintage; 1989) Black Reconstruction in America 1860–1880 by W.E.B. Du Bois (1935) "One American city's model of policing reform means building 'social currency'" by Nathan Layne (June 12, 2020; Reuters) "The Camden Police Department is Not a Model for Policing in the Post-George Floyd Era" by Brendan McQuade (June 12, 2020; The Appeal) "Murder Rose by Almost 30% in 2020. It's Rising at a Slower Rate in 2021" by Jeff Asher (Sept. 22, 2021; New York Times) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
20/01/221h 5m

Novelist Lauren Groff on the other Matrix

Vox's Constance Grady talks with novelist Lauren Groff about her latest book, the National Book Award finalist Matrix, before a virtual audience for the Vox Book Club. They discuss the enigmatic historical figure at the center of the novel, the politics of women-led power structures, and the pros and cons of writing a good sex scene. Host: Constance Grady (@constancegrady), staff writer, Vox Guests: Lauren Groff (@legroff), author References:  Matrix by Lauren Groff (2021; Riverhead) "In Lauren Groff's Matrix, medieval nuns build a feminist utopia" by Constance Grady (Oct. 15, 2021; Vox) Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff (2016; Riverhead) The Lays of Marie de France (tr. Eugene Mason) Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments by Saidiya Hartman (2019; Norton) Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin by Jill Lepore (2014; Vintage) Arcadia by Lauren Groff (2012; Voice) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
13/01/2247m 46s

Are we living in a simulation?

Sean Illing talks with philosopher David Chalmers about virtual worlds and the nature of reality, and other topics that stem from Chalmers's new book Reality+. In this far-reaching discussion, Sean and Prof. Chalmers get into the makeup of human consciousness, the question of whether we're living in a computer simulation, and — of course — The Matrix. Are digital worlds genuine realities, or will their proliferation lead to a troublesome turning away from the physical world? Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: David Chalmers, University Professor of Philosophy and Neural Science, NYU; co-director, Center for Mind, Brain, and Consciousness References:  Reality+: Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy by David J. Chalmers (Norton; 2022) Meditations on First Philosophy by René Descartes (1641) "Are You Living In a Computer Simulation?" by Nick Bostrom (Philosophical Quarterly vol. 53 (211); 2003) The Matrix (1999), dir. by The Wachowskis; The Matrix Resurrections (2021), dir. by Lana Wachowski Free Guy (2021), dir. by Shawn Levy Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (1992) Anarchy, State, and Utopia by Robert Nozick (1974) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
10/01/221h 8m

Rep. Jamie Raskin on living through the unthinkable, twice

Vox's Dylan Matthews talks with Congressman Jamie Raskin about the tragic loss of his son Tommy, who was twenty-five years old when he died at the end of 2020. Rep. Raskin also speaks about the insurrection on January 6th, 2021, and his role as floor manager for Trump's second impeachment trial. They discuss the passions that Tommy cultivated and shared with the world, the experience of being in the Capitol as it was stormed by rioters, and the ongoing work of the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack. Host: Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Jamie Raskin (@RepRaskin), U.S. Representative (D-MD, 8th District); author References:  Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy by Jamie Raskin (Harper; 2022) “Politics as a Vocation,” Max Weber (1919) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
06/01/2257m 50s

Best of: Why fascism in America isn't going away

Vox's Sean Illing talks to Yale professor and author Jason Stanley about why American democracy provides such fertile soil for fascism, how Donald Trump demonstrated how easy it was for our country to flirt with a fascist future and what we can do about it. Correction (2/1/21): Professor Stanley suggested in this conversation that West Virginia declined to expand the Medicaid option in 2013. In fact, the state did expand the program and has gradually added enrollment since 2013. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Jason Stanley (@jasonintrator), Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy, Yale University; author References:  How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them by Jason Stanley (Random House; 2018) How Propaganda Works by Jason Stanley (Princeton; 2015) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
03/01/2249m 33s

Best of: Clint Smith III on confronting the legacy of slavery

Vox's Jamil Smith talks with author Clint Smith III about his book How the Word Is Passed, which documents the writer's personal journey visiting sites that embody the legacy of American slavery. They discuss the power of this re-confrontation, how to bridge the gaps in education and awareness of America's past, and the experience of Black writers in a nation that is "a web of contradictions." Host: Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Clint Smith III (@ClintSmithIII), Staff writer, The Atlantic References:  How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America by Clint Smith (Little, Brown; 2021) "Why Confederate Lies Live On" by Clint Smith (The Atlantic; May 10) "The lost neighborhood under New York's Central Park" by Ranjani Chakraborty (Vox; Jan. 20, 2020) "The Statue of Liberty was created to celebrate freed slaves, not immigrants, its new museum recounts" by Gillian Brockell (Washington Post; May 23, 2019) "No, the Civil War didn't erase slavery's harm" by W. Caleb McDaniel (Houston Chronicle; July 12, 2019) Nikole Hannah-Jones Issues Statement on Decision to Decline Tenure Offer at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and to Accept Knight Chair Appointment at Howard University (NAACP Legal Defense Fund; July 6) Crash Course: Black American History, hosted by Clint Smith Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
30/12/211h 1m

Best of: We need to talk about UFOs. Seriously.

Vox's Sean Illing talks with international politics professor and amateur ufologist Alex Wendt about why it's time to start thinking more seriously about the earth-shattering implications of discovering extraterrestrial life. They discuss the taboos against serious scientific inquiry into extraterrestrial existence, the US military's official UFO report and the inexplicable videos released by the Pentagon, and what the possible explanations might be for what's been seen. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Alexander Wendt, Professor of International Security and Political Science, The Ohio State University References:  "The Pentagon Released U.F.O. Videos. Don't Hold Your Breath for a Breakthrough" by Alan Yuhas (New York Times; June 3) "Sovereignty and the UFO" by Alexander Wendt and Raymond Duvall (Political Theory; 2008) "Wanted: A Science of UFOs" (TEDx Columbus; February 2020) The Pentagon UFO Report: "Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena" (June 25) "Experts Weigh In on Pentagon UFO Report" by Leonard David (Scientific American; June 8) "The Unexplained Phenomena of the U.F.O. Report" by Gideon Lewis-Kraus (The New Yorker; June 26) "Those amazing Navy UFO videos may have down-to-earth explanations, skeptics contend" by Andrew Dyer (San Diego Union-Tribune; May 29) Friedrich Nietzsche, Will to Power, Book One (1885-1886) Update: "DoD Announces the Establishment of the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group (AOIMSG)" (Nov. 23) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
27/12/211h 3m

Chris Bosh on winning (and losing everything)

Vox’s Jamil Smith talks with NBA legend Chris Bosh about his basketball career, his youth, and his legacy. They discuss Bosh’s transition to the NBA, his role on the controversial Miami Heat teams that won two championships (and lost two), and the psychological toll of the injuries that later sidelined him, leading to his retirement. Bosh reflects candidly on his hopes for post-basketball life, and his new book, Letters to a Young Athlete. Host: Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Chris Bosh (@chrisbosh), two-time NBA champion, eleven-time NBA all-star, National Basketball Hall-of-Famer; author References:  Letters to a Young Athlete by Chris Bosh (Penguin; 2021) Chris Bosh's Hall of Fame Enshrinement Speech (NBA; Sept. 11) "Chris Bosh owned the Hall of Fame stage with a master class in closure" by Ben Golliver (Washington Post; Sept. 13) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
23/12/2158m 51s

The cult of toughness

Sean Illing talks with political commentator and author David French about modern conservatism and masculinity. They discuss the divergence between the Right's view of masculinity and what they fear the Left's view is, how Trump and politicians in his image have changed the conception of manliness within the GOP, and what the continued glorification of these revised ideals will mean for our political future in America. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: David French (@DavidAFrench), senior editor, The Dispatch; contributing writer, The Atlantic References:  "The New Right's Strange and Dangerous Cult of Toughness" by David French (Atlantic; Dec. 1) American Sniper, dir. Clint Eastwood (2014) American Psychological Association, Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Boys and Men (2018) Senator Hawley Delivers National Conservatism Keynote on the Left's Attack on Men in America "Madison Cawthorn: Society 'De-masculates' Men, Parents Should Raise Sons to Be Monsters" by Daniel Villarreal (Newsweek, Oct. 18) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
20/12/211h 6m

Is ethical investing a scam?

Vox's Emily Stewart talks with Tariq Fancy about whether or not "socially responsible investment" is a scam. Fancy is a former executive who led sustainable investing at BlackRock, one of the world's largest asset management firms. The two discuss why these investment vehicles were developed and promoted, the failure of corporations to voluntarily self-regulate, and the need for government action to actually address the issues that ESG funds claim to be taking on. Host: Emily Stewart (@EmilyStewartM), Senior reporter, Vox Guest: Tariq Fancy (@sosofancy), founder & CEO, Rumie Initiative; former CIO for sustainable investing, BlackRock References:  "The thorny truth about socially responsible investing" by Emily Stewart (Vox; Oct. 10) "Blackrock's former sustainable investing chief now thinks ESG is a 'dangerous placebo'" by Silvia Amaro (CNBC; Aug. 24) "BlackRock's Message: Contribute to Society, or Risk Losing Our Support" by Andrew Ross Sorkin (New York Times; Jan. 15, 2018) "Harvard Will Move to Divest its Endowment from Fossil Fuels" by Jasper G. Goodman and Kelsey J. Griffin (The Crimson; Sept. 10) "The Illusory Promise of Stakeholder Governance" by Lucian A. Bebchuk and Roberto Tallarita (Cornell Law Review; Dec. 2020) "In His Final Shareholder Letter, Jeff Bezos Explains a Profoundly Simple Lesson Most Leaders Overlook" by Jason Aten (Inc.; Apr. 16) "Little Engine No. 1 beat Exxon with just $12.5 million" by Svea Herbst-Bayliss (Reuters; June 29) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
16/12/2157m 38s

The good life is painful

Sean Illing talks with psychologist Paul Bloom about his new book The Sweet Spot, and whether it's necessary to experience suffering in order to live a fulfilling, meaningful life. They discuss the rich philosophical history of the question: what does it mean to be happy? They also talk about why some people are drawn to scary movies, whether or not to plug in to the Matrix, and why a good paradigm for a well-lived life might be found in the example of... a stand-up comedian. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Paul Bloom (@paulbloomatyale), psychologist; author References:  The Sweet Spot: The Pleasures of Suffering and the Search for Meaning by Paul Bloom (Ecco; 2021) The Twilight Zone, season 1, episode 28: "A Nice Place to Visit" (1960) "Masochism as escape from self" by Roy Baumeister (Journal of Sex Research, 25 (1); 1988) Anarchy, State, and Utopia by Robert Nozick (Basic Books; 1974); an excerpt on the "experience machine" "If you like it, does it matter if it's real?" by Felipe de Brigard (Philosophical Psychology, 23 (1); 2010) "High income improves evaluation of life but not emotional well-being" by Daniel Kahneman and Angus Deaton (PNAS; 2010) Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Harper Perennial Modern Classics; 1990) "What Becoming a Parent Really Does to Your Happiness" by Paul Bloom (Atlantic; Nov. 2) "A psychologically rich Life: Beyond happiness and meaning" by Shigehiro Oishi and Erin C. Westgate (Psychological Review; 2021) "Happiness: The Three Traditional Theories" by Martin E.P. Seligman and Ed Royzman (2003) Trying Not to Try: Ancient China, Modern Science, and the Power of Spontaneity by Edward Slingerland (Crown; 2015) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
13/12/2155m 20s

The father of environmental justice

Vox's Jamil Smith talks with Dr, Robert Bullard, a pioneer in the crusade for environmental justice, about his more than four decades in the fight. They discuss how the movement to recognize environmental civil rights began, overcame some of its early opposition, and the landmark legal case that established a constitutional protection against racist environmental policies and practices. Bullard, a member of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council, also discusses how the Biden administration plans to address disproportionately affected communities. Host: Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Robert Bullard (@DrBobBullard), co-chair, National Black Environmental Justice Network; professor, Texas Southern University References:  "Another Reason We Can't Breathe" by Jamil Smith (Rolling Stone; Oct. 27, 2020) The 17 Principles of Environmental Justice (adopted by the NBEJN on Oct. 27, 1991) "Environmental Racism: Recognition, Litigation, and Alleviation" by Pamela Duncan (Tulane Environmental Law Journal, vol. 6, no. 2; 1993) Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class, and Environmental Quality by Robert Bullard (Routledge; 1990) "One reason why coronavirus is hitting Black Americans the hardest" by Ranjani Chakraborty (Vox; May 22, 2020) "There's a clear fix to helping Black communities fight pollution" by Rachel Ramirez (Vox; Feb. 26) "The Path to Achieving Justice 40" by Shalanda Young, Brenda Mallory, and Gina McCarthy (White House; July 20) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
09/12/2150m 51s

Jill Lepore on Elon Musk's imaginary world

Sean Illing talks with historian Jill Lepore about her new podcast: The Evening Rocket explores Elon Musk and the new form of extravagant, extreme capitalism — which Lepore dubs "Muskism" — that he has ushered in. They discuss the formative role played by science fiction stories, why the super-wealthy are drawn to space travel, and why, according to Lepore, Elon Musk is not much of a futurist after all. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Jill Lepore, podcast host; professor, Harvard University References:  Elon Musk: The Evening Rocket by Jill Lepore (Pushkin/BBC; Nov. 2021) Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World, dir. Werner Herzog (2016) The Mars Trilogy (Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars) by Kim Stanley Robinson (Del Ray; 1992, 1993, 1996; re-issue 2021) Technocracy Digest issues on the Internet Archive "Science Fiction and Mrs. Brown" by Ursula K. Le Guin (1976) Elon Musk on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (Sept. 10, 2015) Elon Musk's Neuralink demonstration (Aug. 28, 2020) "Newt Gingrich trying to sell Trump on a cheap moon plan" by Bryan Bender (Politico; Aug. 19, 2019) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
06/12/211h 3m

E.O. Wilson's plan to save the world

Vox's Benji Jones talks with the celebrated entomologist, biologist, and naturalist E.O. Wilson. They talk about Wilson's sixty-plus years as a leading thinker in his field, how his expeditions studying ant species around the world informed his understanding of human beings, and how his discoveries and ideas have mainstreamed the idea of biodiversity and inspired bold new conservation movements. Host: Benji Jones (@BenjiSJones), Environmental reporter, Vox Guest: E.O. Wilson, author; professor emeritus, Harvard University; chair, E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation (@EOWilsonFndtn) References:  Sociobiology: The New Synthesis by Edward O. Wilson (Harvard; 1975) "What 'extinction' really means — and what it leaves out" by Benji Jones (Vox; Sept. 30) "The case against the concept of biodiversity" by Clare Fieseler (Vox; Aug. 5) The Theory of Island Biogeography by Robert H. MacArthur and Edward O. Wilson (Princeton; 1967) Half-Earth: Our Planet's Fight for Life by Edward O. Wilson (Liveright; 2017) The Half-Earth Project Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
02/12/2156m 56s

Workers of the world, stay home!

Sean Illing talks with Anne Helen Petersen and her partner Charlie Warzel about their new book, Out of Office: The Big Problem and Bigger Promise of Working from Home. They talk about a new model of remote work, why Americans have a problematic relationship with work, and how to move toward a rational future (as opposed to a national emergency) of working from home. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guests: Anne Helen Petersen (@annehelen) & Charlie Warzel (@cwarzel), authors References:  Out of Office: The Big Problem and Bigger Promise of Working from Home by Charlie Warzel and Anne Helen Petersen (Knopf; Dec. 7, 2021) "How millennials became the burnout generation" by Sean Illing, in conversation with Anne Helen Petersen (Vox; Dec. 3, 2020) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
29/11/211h 2m

How progressives get back in the game

Sean Illing talks with Briahna Joy Gray, the former national press secretary for the Bernie Sanders 2020 Presidential campaign, and current host of the Bad Faith podcast. They discuss the practical challenges facing the Left in the Biden era, untangle the ways in which race and class affect electoral outcomes and should influence messaging strategies, and assess the state of the ongoing effort for a platform of robust, material economic changes. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Briahna Joy Gray (@briebriejoy), Host, Bad Faith podcast References:  "Looking for Obama's hidden hand in candidates coalescing around Biden" by Carol E. Lee, Kristen Welker, Josh Lederman and Amanda Golden (NBC News; Mar. 2, 2020) "'Accelerate the Endgame': Obama's Role in Wrapping Up the Primary" by Glenn Thrush (New York Times; Apr. 14, 2020) "Race and Realignments In Recent American Elections" by Michael Barber and Jeremy C. Pope (working paper; Nov. 8) "Commonsense Solidarity: How a working-class coalition can be built, and maintained" by Jared Abbott, Leanne Fan, et al. (Jacobin & Center for Working-Class Politics; Nov. 2021) Bad Faith, ep. 117: "Are Progressive Policies Really Popular? w/ Matt Bruenig, Eric Levitz, & Osita Nwanevu" (YouTube; Oct. 22) "A Problem for Kamala Harris: Can a Prosecutor Become President in the Age of Black Lives Matter?" by Briahna Joy Gray (The Intercept; Jan. 20, 2019) "How Barack Obama helped convince NBA players to end their strike and return to play" by Ricky O'Donnell (SB Nation; Aug. 29, 2020) White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo (Beacon; 2020) Why I Am Not a Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto by Jessa Crispin (Melville House; 2017) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
22/11/211h 3m

The highs and lows of the "creator economy"

Vox's Rebecca Jennings talks with Taylor Lorenz, tech culture reporter for the New York Times, about the creator economy: what it is, who's in it, and why more people are paying attention to it. They also talk about the hidden toll of running your own individual media company, the elusive term "cheugy," and the perils of reporting on internet culture and becoming (as Taylor occasionally has) part of the story. Host: Rebecca Jennings (@rebexxxxa), senior correspondent, Vox Guest: Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz), technology reporter, New York Times References:  "For Creators, Everything Is for Sale" by Taylor Lorenz (New York Times; Mar. 11) "The sexfluencers" by Rebecca Jennings (Vox; Oct. 28) "my boss is an app and I owe it money" by @prophethusband (Mar. 23, 2018) "The D'Amelio kids are not all right" by Rebecca Jennings (Vox; Sept. 14) Chasing Cameron dir. Brandon Ayres (Netflix; 2016) "NFTs Weren't Supposed to End Like This" by Anil Dash (The Atlantic; Apr. 2) "What Is 'Cheugy'? You Know It When You See It" by Taylor Lorenz (New York Times; May 3) "What is cheugy? Here are 10 ways to know if you fit the description" by Alexander Kacala and Miah Hardy (The Today Show; May 6) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
18/11/2149m 31s

Why Chris Hayes thinks we're all famous now

Sean Illing talks with Chris Hayes, author, commentator, and host of All In With Chris Hayes on MSNBC. They discuss his recent essay in the New Yorker about fame and the internet, why we seek attention from strangers online, and how some German philosophers might offer guidance for our predicament. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes), host, All In With Chris Hayes on MSNBC References:  "On the Internet, We're Always Famous" by Chris Hayes (New Yorker; Sept. 24) “We Should All Know Less About Each Other” by Michelle Goldberg (New York Times; Nov. 1) Plato, Phaedrus (c. 370 BCE) Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman (Penguin; 2005) G.W.F. Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit (1807) Introduction to the Reading of Hegel: Lectures on the "Phenomenology of Spirit" by Alexandre Kojève (1947; tr. 1969) The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads by Tim Wu (Vintage; 2017) Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment by Robert Wright (Simon & Schuster; 2018) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
15/11/211h

The stories soul food tells

Vox's Jamil Smith talks with Caroline Randall Williams, academic, poet, and co-author (with her mother, Alice Randall) of Soul Food Love. They discuss the ways in which the African American culinary tradition is interpreted, how to tell stories through cooking, and why what we cook and eat is inextricably bound up with who we are. Host: Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Caroline Randall Williams (@caroranwill), author; writer-in-residence of Medicine, Health, and Society, Vanderbilt University References:  "You Want a Confederate Monument? My Body Is a Confederate Monument" by Caroline Randall Williams (New York Times; June 26, 2020) Soul Food Love: Healthy Recipes Inspired by One Hundred Years of Cooking in a Black Family by Alice Randall and Caroline Randall Williams (Clarkson Potter; 2015) High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America, dir. by Roger Ross Williams, Yoruba Richen, and Jonathan Clasberry (Netflix; 2021) "Race, Ethnicity, Expressive Authenticity: Can White People Sing the Blues?" by Joel Rudinow (Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 52 (1); 1994) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
11/11/2151m 19s

The paradox of American freedom

Sean Illing talks with Sebastian Junger, journalist, filmmaker, and author of the recent book Freedom. Informed by his experience hiking (and trespassing) along America's rail lines, Junger discusses the paradoxes of a "free" society, his recent near-death experience, and how the definition of freedom can change over the course of a life. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Sebastian Junger (@sebastianjunger), author & filmmaker References:  Freedom by Sebastian Junger (Simon & Schuster; 2021) The Last Patrol dir. Sebastian Junger (HBO Films; 2014) Our Political Nature: Two Evolutionary Origins of What Divides Us by Avi Tuschman (Rowman & Littlefield; 2013) Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger (Twelve; 2016) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
08/11/2157m 23s

Nonbinary parenthood

Anna North talks with Krys Malcolm Belc, nonbinary transmasculine parent, essayist, and author of the memoir The Natural Mother of the Child. They talk about what it means to be a parent, our gendered assumptions about parenthood, and the dynamics of gender identity in having and raising children. Host: Anna North (@annanorthtweets), Senior Reporter, Vox Guest: Krys Malcolm Belc (@krysmalcolmbelc), author References:  The Natural Mother of the Child: A Memoir of Nonbinary Parenthood by Krys Malcolm Belc (Counterpoint; 2021) “A Few Words About Breasts” by Nora Ephron (Esquire; May 1972) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
04/11/211h

John McWhorter, the anti-antiracist

Sean Illing talks with John McWhorter, linguist, New York Times columnist, and author of Woke Racism: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America. They talk about the effects of modern antiracism, why McWhorter compares it to a religion, and the societal implications of the way we talk — and don't talk — about racism. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: John McWhorter (@JohnHMcWhorter), author References:  Woke Racism: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America by John McWhorter (Portfolio; 2021) How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi (One World; 2019) White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo (Beacon; 2020) “What Hope?” by John McWhorter (New Republic; Aug. 10, 2010), a review of Race, Wrongs, and Remedies by Amy Wax (Rowman & Littlefield; 2009) “The Case for Reparations” by Ta-Nehisi Coates (The Atlantic; June 2014) The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks by Randall Robinson (Plume; 2001) “Alison Roman and Chrissy Teigen’s feud is about more than selling out” by Alex Abad-Santos (Vox; May 11, 2020) “Professor Not Teaching After Blackface ‘Othello’ Showing" by Colleen Flaherty (Inside Higher Ed; Oct. 11) “The Middle-Aged Sadness Behind the Cancel Culture Panic” by Michelle Goldberg (New York Times; Sept. 20) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
01/11/211h 6m

The overwhelming, invisible work of elder care

Vox culture contributor Anne Helen Petersen talks with Liz O'Donnell, an advocate for working caregivers and the author of Working Daughter: A Guide to Caring for Your Aging Parents While Making a Living. They talk about the emotional and financial costs of elder care in America, how the burden disproportionately falls on women, and what everyone should know before taking on a caregiving role. Host: Anne Helen Petersen (@annehelen), culture contributor, Vox Guest: Liz O'Donnell (@LizODTweets), founder, Working Daughter References:  "The staggering, invisible, exhausting costs of caring for America's elderly" by Anne Helen Petersen (Vox; Aug. 26) Working Daughter: A Guide to Caring for Your Aging Parents While Making a Living by Liz O'Donnell (Rowman & Littlefield; 2019) The Working Daughter Facebook group National Domestic Workers Alliance Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Vox Audio Fellow: Victoria Dominguez Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
28/10/211h 3m

How Big Tech benefits from the disinformation panic

Sean Illing talks with Joe Bernstein of BuzzFeed News about online disinformation and what — if anything — can be done about it. They discuss the role of tech giants in the spread of propaganda, why it's been impossible for researchers to agree on what disinformation even is, and how the nature of both mass media and democracy means that disinformation is here to stay. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Joe Bernstein (@Bernstein), Senior Reporter, BuzzFeed News References:  "Bad News: Selling the story of disinformation" by Joseph Bernstein (Harper's; Sept. 2021) "Civil Society Must Be Defended: Misinformation, Moral Panics, and Wars of Restoration" by Jack Bratich (Communication, Culture & Critique 13 (3); Sept. 2020) "The Priest in Politics: Father Charles E. Coughlin and the Presidential Election of 1936" by Philip A. Grant Jr. (Records of the American Catholic Historical Society of Philadelphia 101 (1); 1990) "Lying in Politics: Reflections on The Pentagon Papers" by Hannah Arendt (NYRB; Nov. 18, 1971) Subprime Attention Crisis: Advertising and the Time Bomb at the Heart of the Internet by Tim Hwang (FSG Originals; 2020) "Does Instagram Harm Girls? No One Actually Knows" by Laurence Steinberg (New York Times; Oct. 10) The Radio Right: How a Band of Broadcasters Took on the Federal Government and Built the Modern Conservative Movement by Paul Matzko (Oxford; 2020) "What's so bad about scientism?" by Moti Mizrahi (Social Epistemology 31 (4); 2017) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
25/10/2158m 23s

Fannie Lou Hamer and the meaning of freedom

Vox's Jamil Smith talks with Keisha Blain, associate professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh and author of Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer's Enduring Message to America. They discuss the legacy of Fannie Lou Hamer, a sharecropper-turned-civil-rights-activist, whose speech about voting rights at the 1964 Democratic National Convention changed how the Democratic Party viewed Black activism. They talk about how Hamer's ideas influence movements for human rights and racial equity today. Host: Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Keisha Blain (@KeishaBlain), author; professor of history, University of Pittsburgh References:  Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer's Enduring Message to America by Keisha Blain (Beacon Press; 2021) Fannie Lou Hamer's speech at the DNC (August 22, 1964) American Experience: Freedom Summer (dir. Stanley Nelson. PBS; 2014) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
21/10/2159m 34s

What the internet took from us

Sean Illing talks with writer and New York Times Book Review editor Pamela Paul about her book 100 Things We've Lost to the Internet and the ways, big and small, that the internet has changed our lives. They talk about the complicated relationship between change, innovation and loss, and how to understand who we are and who we've become in a world where we're never truly offline. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Pamela Paul (@PamelaPaulNYT), author and editor References:  100 Things We've Lost to the Internet by Pamela Paul (Penguin Random House; 2021) Pornified: How Pornography Is Damaging Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our Families by Pamela Paul (St. Martin's Griffin; 2006) "Let Children Get Bored Again" by Pamela Paul (New York Times; Feb. 2, 2019) "For Teen Girls, Instagram Is a Cesspool" by Lindsay Crouse (New York Times; Oct. 8) "The Moral Panic Engulfing Instagram" by Farhad Manjoo (New York Times; Oct. 13) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
18/10/2158m 39s

Trapped inside with Susanna Clarke's Piranesi

Vox's Constance Grady talks with novelist Susanna Clarke about her latest book, Piranesi, before a virtual audience for the Vox Book Club. They discuss how Clarke's novel engages with themes that have come to characterize the pandemic experience, such as solitude, confinement, and isolation from society. They explore the idea of being forced to step away from the world. and what we lose — and gain — when we do. Host: Constance Grady (@constancegrady), staff writer, Vox Guests: Susanna Clarke, novelist References:  Piranesi by Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury; 2021) Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell: A Novel by Susanna Clarke (Tor; 2006) "The meditative empathy of Susanna Clarke's Piranesi" by Constance Grady (Vox; Sept. 17) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
14/10/2149m 16s

Bryan Stevenson on the legacy of enslavement

Vox's Jamil Smith talks with attorney, author, and activist Bryan Stevenson about the newly expanded Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama. They discuss the museum's project to connect America's history of enslavement with the contemporary realities of voter suppression, police brutality, and mass incarceration. They also talk about the museum's relationship to Stevenson's work with the Equal Justice Initiative, and legal advocacy on behalf of the wrongfully convicted. Host: Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director, Equal Justice Initiative References:  The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration (400 N. Court Street, Montgomery, Alabama) The National Memorial for Peace and Justice (Montgomery, Alabama) Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson (Penguin Random House; 2015) "Images of Border Patrol's Treatment of Haitian Migrants Prompt Outrage" by Eileen Sullivan and Zolan Kanno-Youngs (New York Times; Sept. 21) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
07/10/211h 3m

What's your status?

Sean Illing talks with writer Will Storr about his new book The Status Game, and its central idea: all human beings are constantly competing for status. They discuss how certain aspects of society "supercharge" our innate drive for status, how social media has hijacked these impulses, and the risks posed by the status game's most dangerous players. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Will Storr (@wstorr), author and journalist References:  The Status Game: On Social Position and How We Use It by Will Storr (Harper Collins UK; 2021) Discourse on the Origin of Inequality Among Men by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1755) Selfie: How the West became self-obsessed by Will Storr (Picador; 2018) "My Twisted World: The Story of Elliot Rodger" by Elliot Rodger (2014) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Paul Robert Mounsey Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
04/10/2157m 23s

Is there a hack for enlightenment?

Vox's Sigal Samuel talks with scholars and authors Wesley Wildman and Kate Stockly about their book, Spirit Tech: The Brave New World of Consciousness Hacking and Enlightenment Engineering. They discuss high-tech tools like brain stimulation and neurofeedback-guided meditation that purport to enrich our spiritual lives, what possible risks they may pose to our psyches, and the ethical implications of technology-induced shortcuts to transformative meditative states. They also talk about whether such spiritual experiences are authentic rather than simulated, and whether brain-based spirit tech might help humans evolve as a species. Host: Sigal Samuel (@SigalSamuel), Senior Reporter, Vox Guests: Wesley Wildman (@WesleyWildman) and Kate Stockly (@KateJStockly), authors and researchers References:  Spirit Tech: The Brave New World of Consciousness Hacking and Enlightenment Engineering by Wesley Wildman and Kate Stockly (Macmillan; 2021) SEMA (Sonication Enhanced Mindful Awareness) Lab, University of Arizona Center for Consciousness Studies (Dr. Jay Sanguinetti & Shinzen Young, co-directors) VR Church; Bishop D.J. Soto Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
30/09/211h 5m

Fighting a world on fire with fire

Sean Illing talks with climate scholar Andreas Malm about his book How to Blow Up A Pipeline. They discuss the failure of decades of protests and appeals to curb the actions of the fossil fuel industry. And they explore why, despite dire evidence like the increasingly common scourge of wildfires and disastrous weather events, the climate change movement hasn't moved beyond peaceful protest — and why Malm argues the time for escalation is now. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: Andreas Malm, associate professor, Lund University References:  How to Blow Up a Pipeline: Learning to Fight in a World on Fire by Andreas Malm (Verso; 2021) "Uganda, Tanzania, oil firms sign accords to build $3.5 billion pipeline" by Elias Biryabarema (Reuters; Apr. 11) "The Energy Future Needs Cleaner Batteries" by Drake Bennett (Bloomberg; Sept. 23) "Empirically grounded technology forecasts and the energy transition" by Rupert Way, Matthew Ives, Penny Mealy, and J. Doyne Farmer (INET Oxford Working Paper No. 2021-01; Sept. 14) "Fossilised Capital: Price and Profit in the Energy Transition" by Brett Christophers (New Political Economy; May 12) The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson (Hachette; 2020) "The Myth of Sisyphus" by Albert Camus (1942) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
27/09/211h 2m

Revolutionary Love

Vox's Jamil Smith talks with author, activist, and filmmaker Valarie Kaur about her memoir See No Stranger and the Revolutionary Love Project. They discuss Kaur's personal experiences of the racism that followed 9/11, the idea of responding to violence and hatred with love, and why, two decades after 9/11, her project is more relevant than ever. Host: Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith), Senior Correspondent, Vox Guest: Valarie Kaur (@valariekaur), author, activist, and filmmaker References:  See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love by Valarie Kaur (One World; 2020) Divided We Fall, dir. by Valarie Kaur (2008) "Indianapolis Sikh Community Mourns 4 Of Its Members Killed In Shooting" by Jeannette Muhammad (NPR; Apr. 18) "How 9/11 convinced Americans to buy, buy, buy" by Emily Stewart (Vox; Sept. 9) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
23/09/2157m 17s

How to make meaning out of suffering

Vox’s Sean Illing talks with David Wolpe, senior rabbi of the Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, about the role and nature of God, how religion and spirituality can address our modern problems, and how to make sense and meaning out of the suffering and pain we experience. This episode was recorded in the summer of 2020 and first appeared as part of the Future Perfect series The Way Through. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox Guest: David Wolpe (@RabbiWolpe), senior rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles References:  "Religion without God: Alain de Botton on 'atheism 2.0'" by Sean Illing (Vox; Feb. 24, 2018) Making Loss Matter: Creating Meaning in Difficult Times by David Wolpe (Penguin Random House; 2000) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by:  Producers: Jackson Bierfeldt & Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
20/09/2156m 3s