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...

Etgar Keret (writer) – a tunnel dug under the prison floor

Etgar Keret's stories are as funny, painful, and surreal as life itself. We talk about the craziness of his native Israel, his new collection of short stories FLY ALREADY, marijuana, dementia, and much more.

Think Again Podcasts




"A conversation is like a tunnel dug under the prison floor that you—patiently and painstakingly—scoop out with a spoon. It has one purpose: to get you away from where you are right now."

That is from the very, very weird tale Car Concentrate from Israeli writer Etgar Keret's wonderful new collection of short stories called FLY ALREADY. It's not a bad description of the situation most of Keret's characters find themselves in—wriggling like butterflies stuck on the pins of their own minds or circumstances, trying by any means necessary to get free. It's maybe not too much even to say that this is the human condition as Keret sees it and the reason he writes stories—to open up magical escape hatches in the midst of suffocating realities like divorce or religious hatred. His stories are strange, beautiful, funny, and poignant—somehow emotionally connected even though they're full of people who struggle to make sense to (and of) one another. Like all great art, they defy description, so ignore everything I've just said and go read them…but first, stick around for a bit to see what kind of escape tunnel this conversation might turn into.

Surprise conversation starters in this episode:

Michio Kaku on uploading your consciousness and traveling to other planets

What NASA can teach us about education reform

If teachers weren't taught to fear failure, could they see greater success in the mission of education?

Sponsored by yes. every kid.
  • Matt Candler, founder of 4.0 Schools, questions why school has stayed overwhelmingly the same the past 100 years. As a teacher, he sees the future of schools embracing mutual curiosity in both students and educators.
  • He points to the example of NASA scientists, who approach missions with the idea that failure is welcome and necessary. Failure during preparation ensures the mission will succeed when the time comes to perform.
  • Candler suggests that this idea should hold up in discussions of education reform and how teachers are trained in their approach to learning.
  • This video is supported by yes. every kid., an initiative that aims to rethink education from the ground up by connecting innovators in a shared mission to conquer "one size fits all" education reform.
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