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?
Each week, host Jason Gots surprises some of the world's brightest minds with ideas they're not at all prepared to discuss. Join us and special guests Neil Gaiman, Alan Alda, Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, Richard Dawkins, Maria Popova, Mary-Louise Parker, Neil deGrasse Tyson and many more...
a Think Again mixtape for 2019
When I was a teenager and music was still on cassettes, a mixtape was an act of love. In this episode, I'm putting together some of my favorite moments of 2019, strung together with minimal interruption from me.
When I was a teenager and music was still on cassettes, a mixtape was an act of love. The selection and sequence of songs were a kind of message to the listener that left plenty of space for their own thoughts and feelings. Back in June Think Again hit its fourth year and its 200th show and it feels like the right time to take a step back and revisit some of the places the conversation has gone this past year. I'm intuitive rather than strategic about choosing guests for the show and books to read—when it works, it's an art rather than a science. And as with any art, themes emerge and recur in different guises. In this episode, I'm putting together some of my favorite moments of 2019, strung together with minimal interruption from me. So kick back and enjoy this eclectic collection, and feel free to write me through my website jasongots.com and let me know your thoughts, feelings, and insights. Or send me a mixtape of your own!
Featuring: Joseph Goldstein, Benjamin Dreyer, Anaïs Mitchell, Martin Hägglund, Aml Ameen, Marlon James, Terry Gilliam, Jeff Israel, Eve Ensler, Tracy Edwards, Frans De Waal, Edith Hall, Lama Rod Owens, Elif Shafak, Robert MacFarlane
ABOUT THE GUESTS:
Joseph Goldstein is a legendary American Buddhist teacher whose dharma talks and guided meditations I've been a fan of for over a decade. He's also the author of the wonderful book MINDFULNESS: a Practical Guide to Awakening.
Benjamin Dreyer is a funny, funny man. He's the copy chief of Random House and the author of DREYER'S ENGLISH. We nerded out with great delight on the joys of the English language.
Anaïs Mitchell is a devastatingly brilliant singer songwriter and the creator of HADESTOWN, a musical based on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, which won 14 Tony Awards this past year.
Martin Haaglund's book THIS LIFE is a visionary work of social philosophy and one of the best books I read this past year.
Born in London, actor Aml Ameen went back to his family's Jamaican roots in a deep way for Idris Elba's film directorial debut, Yardie. I loved this conversation for reasons that I hope will be obvious.
And continuing with our theme, Jamaican writer Marlon James won the Man Booker Prize for his book A BRIEF HISTORY OF SEVEN KILLINGS. This year, he published BLACK LEOPARD, RED WOLF, the first in a trilogy of hallucinatory, epic fantasy novels anchored in African mythology.
Terry Gilliam started out as the cartoonist for Monty Python and has gone on to become the beloved director of films including Time Bandits, Twelve Monkeys, and his latest: The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.
Jeffrey Israel is an old friend of mine, a professor of religious studies at Williams College, and the author of the book LIVING WITH HATE IN AMERICAN POLITICS AND RELIGION. He's trying to help us live better together with the freedom to be ourselves.
Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues, is a warrior for the liberation and well being of women. Her latest book The Apology takes on the soul-restoring task of apologizing to herself in the voice of her dead father for his years of horrific abuse.
Tracy Edwards is just an all around inspiring human being. She was the captain of Maiden, the first all-female-crewed yacht to race around the world, and the star of the beautiful documentary MAIDEN that came out this year from Sony Pictures Classics.
Edith Hall is a classicist whose book Aristotle's Way makes Aristotle's approach to a life well lived accessible to a modern audience.
Frans De Waal is a primatologist and one of the foremost researchers into the emotions of animals other than humans.
Lama Rod Owens is a spiritual teacher in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. He's one of the co-authors of the book RADICAL DHARMA, which considers Buddhist teachings in the context of social justice struggles around race and gender.
Elif Shafak is the most widely read female novelist in Turkey and a brilliant chronicler of the tensions at the crossroads of the spirit and society.
Robert MacFarlane's book UNDERGROUND is one of the most beautiful, moving, intellectually rich pieces of writing I have ever read. Nuff said?
What is human dignity? Here's a primer, told through 200 years of great essays, lectures, and novels.
- Human dignity means that each of our lives have an unimpeachable value simply because we are human, and therefore we are deserving of a baseline level of respect.
- That baseline requires more than the absence of violence, discrimination, and authoritarianism. It means giving individuals the freedom to pursue their own happiness and purpose.
- We look at incredible writings from the last 200 years that illustrate the push for human dignity in regards to slavery, equality, communism, free speech and education.
The inherent worth of all human beings<p>Human dignity is the inherent worth of each individual human being. Recognizing human dignity means respecting human beings' special value—value that sets us apart from other animals; value that is intrinsic and cannot be lost.</p> <p>Liberalism—the broad political philosophy that organizes society around liberty, justice, and equality—is rooted in the idea of human dignity. Liberalism assumes each of our lives, plans, and preferences have some unimpeachable value, not because of any objective evaluation or contribution to a greater good, but simply because they belong to a human being. We are human, and therefore deserving of a baseline level of respect. </p> <p>Because so many of us take human dignity for granted—just a fact of our humanness—it's usually only when someone's dignity is ignored or violated that we feel compelled to talk about it. </p> <p>But human dignity means more than the absence of violence, discrimination, and authoritarianism. It means giving individuals the freedom to pursue their own happiness and purpose—a freedom that can be hampered by restrictive social institutions or the tyranny of the majority. The liberal ideal of the good society is not just peaceful but also pluralistic: It is a society in which we respect others' right to think and live differently than we do.</p>
From the 19th century to today<p>With <a href="https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?year_start=1800&year_end=2019&content=human+dignity&corpus=26&smoothing=3&direct_url=t1%3B%2Chuman%20dignity%3B%2Cc0" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Google Books Ngram Viewer</a>, we can chart mentions of human dignity from 1800-2019.</p><img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDg0ODU0My9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MTUwMzE4MX0.bu0D_0uQuyNLyJjfRESNhu7twkJ5nxu8pQtfa1w3hZs/img.png?width=980" id="7ef38" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9974c7bef3812fcb36858f325889e3c6" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
American novelist, writer, playwright, poet, essayist and civil rights activist James Baldwin at his home in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, southern France, on November 6, 1979.
Credit: Ralph Gatti/AFP via Getty Images
The future of dignity<p>Around the world, people are still working toward the full and equal recognition of human dignity. Every year, new speeches and writings help us understand what dignity is—not only what it looks like when dignity is violated but also what it looks like when dignity is honored. In his posthumous essay, Congressman Lewis wrote, "When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war."</p> <p>The more we talk about human dignity, the better we understand it. And the sooner we can make progress toward a shared vision of peace, freedom, and mutual respect for all. </p>
In this episode master teacher Sharon Salzberg considers whether it's ok to teach mindfulness to the armed forces, how practitioners of meditation and mindfulness should balance openness with discipline, and so much more.
The New Yorker-based comedy team on never exercising or going outside, and so much more.
In this first episode of 2020, beloved dharma teacher Joseph Goldstein is back for a conversation about struggle, doubt, and growth on the spiritual path.
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