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In this episode: "Experimental philosopher" and science writer Jonathon Keats, who famously created pornography for plants and sold real estate in the alternate dimensions proposed by string theory, believes that we "need to ascend to the meta level" to find creative ways of reopening closed conversations. His new book You Belong to the Universe: Buckminster Fuller and the Future, explores the myth and the relevance of a self-mythologizing sometime genius, sometime crackpot whose vast imagination holds some keys to solving the massive problems we now face as a species. 

On this week's episode of Think Again–a Big Think Podcast, Jonathon and host Jason Gots discuss social taboos, Fuller's legacy, the "mediated" nature of contemporary life, the power of comedy in society, and so much more. 

Surprise discussion clips in this episode: Jim Gaffigan on political correctness in comedyDan Savage on sex education, and Mary Roach on diharrhea in the armed forces

 

Jonathon Keats Quote: We need to ascend to the meta-level.  Hate is a horrible thing, but trying simply to cover up for hate that we have by saying that we won’t talk about it is only promoting that hatred.  So I think that it is not simply a matter of being sensitive and therefore avoiding conversation about certain topics. But I think that it’s a matter of having a conversation at that meta-level. Not in the direct, parental “we need to talk about why we don’t talk about hatred” way,  but in a much more subversive way that potentially gets people into an uncomfortable position in which they confront their prejudices. 

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.