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In this episode: 

Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. The Think Again podcast takes us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and Jason Gots, your host, with unexpected conversation starters from Big Think’s interview archives.

T.C. Boyle is the author of 26 books of fiction, including The Tortilla Curtain, The Harder They Come, and World’s End (which won the Pen/Faulkner award). His latest is The Terranauts--it’s about an ill-fated, very expensive and highly publicised experiment in which 4 men and 4 women try to live together for two years in a Biodome in the Arizona Desert. 

In this conversation, taped a couple weeks before Donald Trump was elected president, TC Boyle and Jason talk about the apparent implosion of the Republican party, how to grapple with existential despair when you don’t have religion to fall back on, what on Earth (or off it) humans should do when we run out of resources, and why Jason’s 8 year old son shouldn’t be afraid of getting lost in the woods. 

Surprise conversation starter interview clips in this episode: Kathleen McAuliffe on Conservatives and Disgust Sensitivity and Sean Wilentz on Why the Two Party System is Good for America

TC Boyle Quote:Each time you finish a story, you’re completely bankrupt of ideas for the next one. And you go through a period of despair, thinking ‘well, you were overrated anyway and now you’re burned out and you’ll never do anything ever again’. But writing is a kind of obsessive-compulsive disorder.  If you took the ability to work away from me, I’d be a junkie in a month. You have to do something in life to combat…or to address the mystery.

 

About Think Again - A Big Think Podcast: You've got 10 minutes with Einstein. What do you talk about? Black holes? Time travel? Why not gambling? The Art of War? Contemporary parenting? Some of the best conversations happen when we're pushed outside of our comfort zones. Each week on Think Again, we surprise smart people you may have heard of with short clips from Big Think's interview archives on every imaginable subject. These conversations could, and do, go anywhere.