TED Radio Hour

Favorite Podcasts : April/May

BeatsbyDre.jpg

Been traveling and in and out a lot, but for the months of April and May, there are my favorites.

: TED Radio Hour :

Jumpstarting Creativity, TED Radio Hour

Our greatest breakthroughs and triumphs have one thing in common: creativity. But how do you ignite it? And how do you rekindle it? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas on jumpstarting creativity. Guests include economist Tim Harford, producer Helen Marriage, artificial intelligence researcher Steve Engels, and behavioral scientist Marily Oppezzo.

Changing the World, TED Radio Hour

What does it take to change the world for the better? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas on activism—what motivates it, why it matters, and how each of us can make a difference. Guests include civil rights activist Ruby Sales, labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, author Jeremy Heimans, "craftivist" Sarah Corbett, and designer and futurist Angela Oguntala.

How Generational Stereotypes Hold Us Back to at Work, by TED Talks Daily

The Silent Generation, baby boomers, Generation X, millennials, Gen Z -- we're all in the workforce together. How are our assumptions about each other holding us back from working and communicating better? Social psychologist Leah Georges shows how we're more similar than different and offers helpful tactics for navigating the multigenerational workplace.

: On Being :

What Matters In the End, On Being

“What does a good day look like?” That question — when asked of both terminally-ill and healthy people — has transformed Atul Gawande’s practice of medicine. A citizen physician and writer, Gawande is on the frontiers of human agency and meaning in light of what modern medicine makes possible. For the millions of people who have read his book Being Mortal, he’s also opened new conversations about the ancient human question of death and what it might have to do with life.

What We Nurture, On Being

Sylvia Boorstein says spirituality doesn’t have to look like sitting down and meditating. A Jewish-Buddhist teacher and psychotherapist, Boorstein says spirituality can be as simple as “folding the towels in a sweet way and talking kindly to the people in [your] family even though you’ve had a long day.” And she insists that nurturing our inner lives in this way is not a luxury but something we can do in the service of others — from our children to strangers in the checkout line at the grocery store.

: Work Life :

The Perils of Following your Career Passion, by Work Life with Adam Grant

"Do what you love" is often terrible advice. Instead of taking the job that will make you happiest, look for the one where you'll learn the most.

After years of studying the dynamics of success and productivity in the workplace, Adam Grant discovered a powerful and often overlooked motivator: helping others.

When Strength Becomes Weakness, by Work Life with Adam Grant

Excellence comes from doing what you do best -- but you need to make sure you're doing it at the right times.

: Fresh Air :

Finding God in the Faith of Others, Fresh Air

Barbara Brown Taylor, an ordained Episcopal priest, left her job as rector of a church to become a professor of religion. Her new book, 'Holy Envy,' is about how teaching the religions of the world changed her understanding of her own faith, and how her students, who were mostly Christian, responded when she took them to mosques, synagogues, and Buddhist and Hindu temples. "I hoped it would be a way to convince them that they could find things they liked about other traditions, and it would not make them disloyal to their own," Taylor says. "And it worked most of the time."

: This American Life :

Unconditional Love, This American Life

Can love be taught? A family uses a controversial therapy to train their son to love them. And other stories about the hard and sometimes painful work of loving other people.

Petty Tyrant, This American Life

In Schenectady, New York, a school maintenance man named Steve Raucci works his way up the ranks for 30 years, until finally he's in charge of the maintenance department. That's when he starts messing with his employees. Teasing them at meetings. Punishing them with crummy work assignments. Or worse things, like secretly slashing their tires in the middle of the night.

: Criminal :

Homewrecker, Criminal

It’s one thing to get into an argument with a stranger on Facebook. It’s another thing to try to ruin that stranger’s life. In 2015, Re/Max realtor Monika Glennon discovered how far a stranger would go, when she found herself on a website called “She’s a Homewrecker.”

: Wild Ideas Worth Living :

Facing Fear with Kim Chambers, Wild Ideas Worth Living

Kim Chambers was 30 years old, an athlete and a powerful executive, when she slipped and fell down a set of stairs. The injuries she sustained changed the course of her life. Not only did she prove doctors wrong about being able to be an athlete again, but she became one of the most accomplished marathon swimmers in the world, after never swimming competitively in her life before the injury.

: Heavyweight :

Alex, by Heavyweight

16 years ago, Gimlet Media CEO and founder Alex Blumberg made a promise that he didn’t keep. And it’s been eating at him ever since. In this season finale, Jonathan sets out to clean up his boss’s mess.

Enjoy the day, and happy listening.


For more on . . .

-N- Stuff  :  Podcasts 

Favorite Podcasts : February

photo by  Ami Vitale

photo by Ami Vitale

Here are a few of my more recent favorites. As always, if you have any you'd like to recommend, let me know (thank you Jenna Baum for recommending One Head, Two Brains!!!).

Enjoy!

One Head, Two Brains: How The Brain's Hemispheres Shape The World We See: Hidden Brain

If you go to an antique store, you might find posters showing a human head with the brain divided like a map. Reason is in one quadrant, emotion in another. Memory is over here, imagination there. For a long time, the popular representations of hemispheric differences focused on what different parts of the brain do. Iain says what really distinguishes the hemispheres is not what they do but how they do the same things differently (via).

“The brain is divided into two hemispheres” Psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist argues, “so that it can produce two different views of reality. One of the hemispheres, the right, focuses on the big picture. The left focuses on details. Both are essential. If you can't see the big picture, you don't understand what you're doing. If you can't home in on the details, you can't accomplish the simplest tasks.

Iain uses a couple examples to explain, but the one most intriguing was that of a bird finding a worm.

All living creatures need to be able to attend to the world in two different ways, which require quite different attention at the same time. And this is simply not possible unless they can work relatively independently. On the one hand, in order to manipulate the world - to get food, to pick up a twig to build a nest - you need a very precise, targeted attention on a detail in order to be able to achieve that and be ahead of your competition. But if you're only doing that - if you're a bird just concentrating on the little seed, you'll become somebody else's lunch while you're getting your own because you need, at the same time, to be paying the precise opposite kind of attention - not piecemeal, fragmented and entirely detailed but sustained, broad and vigilant for predators and for other members of your species.

It truly is a fascinating discussion of our brain, but it’s also fairly dense and needs some attention. I had to listen to it twice, with the second time sitting at my desk while following the script. It was just too much to handle for a single, somewhat distracted, drive into town.

Why We Contradict Ourselves and Confound Each Other: On Being

A perfect sidekick to a left-brain, right-brain debate.

With his book Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman emerged as one of the most intriguing voices on the complexity of human thought and behavior. He is a psychologist who won the Nobel Prize in economics for helping to create the field of behavioral economics — and is a self-described “constant worrier” (via).

One of the more convicting segments of the podcast comes when Kahneman discuss how we come to conclusions, and why arguing, really, is just a waste of time. “Even if you did destroy the arguments that people raise for their beliefs,” he states, “it wouldn’t change their beliefs. They would just find other arguments.”

the fact that arguments that feel irrefutable come to our mind so easily doesn’t mean that those arguments are the real cause of our beliefs and doesn’t mean much of anything about the validity of the argument. The way that the mind works, very frequently, is that we start from a decision, or we start from a belief, and then the stories that explain it come to our mind. And the sequence that we have when we think about thinking, that arguments come first and conclusions come later, that sequence is often reversed. Conclusions come first, and rationalizations come later.

The Laws Of The Office: Planet Money

If something is going wrong in your workplace, there's probably a law that explains why. Like Goodhart's Law, which says if a company decides to measure something, workers will find a way to respond with good numbers. Or, the Peter Principle, which says that every employee tends to rise to their level of incompetence.

Not sure if this is right or left brain, but the unconscious mind is pretty untrustworthy. At least, according to these made up yet accurate laws. I texted this to my fellow admin because I couldn’t help but think of education and test scores specific. Pretty good stuff!

AMI VITALE : Wild Ideas Worth Living

I sent this one to my wife.

In war-torn Gaza, Ami Vitale was asked to “focus on the violence.” Then, one day, while her and all the other photo journalists were capturing kids throwing rocks and soldiers bullets, Ami heard music. She followed it. And found a wedding.

“Why aren’t we telling these stories too,” she thought, “the ones that allow us to relate to one another as human beings.” She suddenly realized she was telling a lie, because she was only telling half the story. “There were all these other stories around us. Stories that allowed us to relate to one another as human beings, {stories} that allowed us to connect” by reminding us that we “share the same things on this planet.”

“As a journalist,” she continues, “I was being asked to create more fear and polarization on this planet and see those people as other and different than us. The truth is, it was just a beautiful young couple wanting the same things that we all want in life. That was when I stopped and asked myself, ‘Why aren’t we telling these stories too?’”

From then on, Ami Vitale changed the way she tells stories. She still captures the hard and terrible ones because that is still very much a part of life, but she also seeks out the beautiful and hopeful, the ones that inspire and spark joy, because those too are a part of life. And Ami Vitale wants to provide a balance and reminder “of our connections”, that we are all human beings on this world, longing for the same things, eager to tell and share our stories.

Another episode I enjoyed by Wild Ideas Worth Living was CHRIS MCDOUGALL – WRITING UNTOLD STORIES ABOUT RUNNING AND AMAZING HUMAN PERFORMANCE. I LOVED the book (Born to Run) and truly enjoyed hearing more of his story. Definitely worth a listen.

Bias And Perception : TED Radio Hour

How does bias distort our thinking, our listening, our beliefs... and even our search results? How can we fight it? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas about the unconscious biases that shape us.

I actually haven’t quite finished this one yet, but it’s pretty golden - especially when considering the habits and attitudes of the right and left sides of our brain.

Enjoy the day, and happy listening.


For more on . . .

-N- Stuff  :  Podcasts