What is your outlook?
Josh Lieb is the former Producer and Show Runner of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. His credits include stints as Executive Producer of NewsRadio and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He won 7 Prime Time Emmys as a producer and writer for The Daily Show. In 2009, he published a young adult novel, I Am A Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President, which was a New York Times Bestseller.
Lieb was raised in Columbia, South Carolina, and graduated from Harvard, where he was an editor of The Lampoon, the college humor magazine. After graduation, he found work writing for Twisted Puppet Theater, The Jon Stewart Show, and NewsRadio. He subsequently worked as a producer or consultant on shows including The Simpsons, Drawn Together, Sirens, Nikki, I Hate My Teenage Daughter, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
Lieb's tenure at The Daily Show lasted from 2006 to 2010, during which he also served as Executive Producer of “The Rally to Restore Sanity And/Or Fear” and as co-editor and co-author of Earth: The Book.
In 2013, he wrote and directed a series of comedic shorts to raise money and awareness for the charity Water.Org. Stars featured in the shorts included Matt Damon, Jessica Biel, Sir Richard Branson, and Bono.
Penguin/ Random House released Lieb's second novel, Ratscalibur, in 2015.
In October 2016, NBCUniversal announced an exclusive writing deal with Lieb.
Question: Are you generally optimistic or pessimistic about the way the world is headed?
Josh Lieb: I . . . I guess I’m pessimistic. It’s . . . I don’t . . . It’s cliché to be a . . . a sad, funny guy. Ha-ha. You know so I’m not . . . I wanna have kids. You know I’m not that pessimistic. I think we’ll be fine. There’s . . . I think there’s a lot of good people working to make the world better. It’s not just . . . You’ve made me pessimistic in this conversation just sort of talking about all the crappy stuff. But there are a lot of really smart, good people working out there to make the world a better place. And you know inventions to clean this and to feed that. And so . . . and to cure that disease. So . . . and . . . and . . . and you know let’s not fool ourselves. The way we live is happier and more fulfilling than anyone has ever lived in the history of humanity. I mean we just . . . I . . . I can . . . I can take a shower every morning. It’s nice. As much hot water as I want. How dreamy is that, you know? King Solomon, you know, would have . . . would have cut off his arm for such a luxury, you know? And yet we can almost all do that. So I . . . I . . . I do . . . We are . . . Things are good, and they are getting better. So I’m an optimist. I take it back.
The world is getting busier and more crowded, says Lieb.
Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.
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- 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
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
A guide to making difficult conversations possible—and peaceful—in an increasingly polarized nation.
- How can we reach out to people on the other side of the divide? Get to know the other person as a human being before you get to know them as a set of tribal political beliefs, says Sarah Ruger. Don't launch straight into the difficult topics—connect on a more basic level first.
- To bond, use icebreakers backed by neuroscience and psychology: Share a meal, watch some comedy, see awe-inspiring art, go on a tough hike together—sharing tribulation helps break down some of the mental barriers we have between us. Then, get down to talking, putting your humanity before your ideology.
- The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to understanding what drives intolerance and the best ways to cure it. The foundation supports interdisciplinary research to overcome intolerance, new models for peaceful interactions, and experiments that can heal fractured communities. For more information, visit charleskochfoundation.org/courageous-collaborations.
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