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...

The Self in the World – Gish Jen – Think Again Podcast #88

Spontaneous talk on surprise topics. Novelist and essayist Gish Jen on how fundamental East-West differences in the sense of self play out in art, culture, business, education, and more. 

Technology & Innovation

 


 

Subscribe on Google PlayStitcher, or iTunes

Come talk to us on Twitter@bigthinkagain

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.

Novelist and essayist Gish Jen's work has appeared in The Best American Short Stories four times, including The Best American Short Stories of the Century, edited by John Updike. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and her work was featured in a PBS American Masters’ special on the American novel. Her 2017 book, The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East-West Culture Gap, takes an unflinching, funny, and deeply insightful look at how fundamental East-West differences in the sense of self play out in art, culture, business, education, and more. 

In this episode, Gish and Jason discuss the benefits and downsides of our fundamental assumptions about who we are, and what's to be gained by escaping your cultural bubble, even for a moment. 

Surprise conversation starter interview clips:

Nato Thompson on individualism as a corporate product. Paul Root Wolpe on self-enhancement & culture

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.

 

 


Related Articles

Wesley Yang - The Souls of Yellow Folk

What do the "seduction movement," the Virginia Tech shooter, and the Asian-American experience have in common? Wesley Yang thinks and writes with devastating clarity about loneliness, invisibility, and the incoherence of American life.

Think Again Podcasts
  • What if Asian American cultural "invisibility" is the key to saving America?
  • Are liberalism and democracy too tame to survive identity politics?
  • "One risks being a pariah...just by saying the things that need to be said."
Keep reading Show less

A trans family in the holy land

Amit Tzuk and Ofir Trainin, the subject and director of an FAMILY IN TRANSITION, an Israeli documentary about a small town father of four who becomes a woman.

Think Again Podcasts
  • Sometimes just being yourself is a radical act.
  • "We have to do public relations so that people will understand that we're...people."



Everybody is always in a state of transition. All the time, your cells are dying and replacing themselves. Your mind, your emotions, your goals, your sense of self—all of these are shifting from year to year as you age. In families where there are children, the changes are even more visible and dramatic. Bodies change, voices change, identity is always in flux. But we also have an instinct to mask these changes. To find ways of minimizing them to fit in.

My guests today have a story to tell about what happens when the changes are undeniable. When they're at odds with the values of many people in your family and community. It's about the pain and the necessity of breaking the masks you've made for yourself. FAMILY IN TRANSITION is a documentary film about Amit Tzuk, an Israeli father of four who transitions to become a woman, and the changes Amit's wife Galit and their children go through. I'm here today with Amit and with the film's director, Ofir Trainin.

Surprise conversation starter clips in this episode:

Jonathan Haidt on untruths to stop telling our children

Elad Gil on technophobia

NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller on ​the multiple dimensions of space and human sexuality

Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.

Flickr / 13winds
Think Again Podcasts
  • Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
  • What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
  • Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
Keep reading Show less

Connect with us

How to listen

You can listen to Think Again right here on site, or select your podcast app:

Apple Podcast Spotify Stitcher RSS feed