Friday's Show

The Rise of Addictive Technology

Marketing professor Adam Alter begins his new book by noting that Steve Jobs didn’t let his own children use an iPad, a product he invented, because he was worried they’d get addicted to it. That’s what Alter’s book is about: our increasing addiction to technology. These days, we aren’t just hooked on substances, like drugs and alcohol. We’re addicted to video games, social media, porn, email, and lots more. Alter joins us to explore the business and psychology of irresistible technologies. (Rebroadcast)

Read More

Dream Hoarders

Aug 3, 2017

The scholar Richard Reeves was raised in the U.K., and he hates the sense of class consciousness he says pervades there. That was part of the appeal in becoming an American citizen. In his latest book though, Reeves describes a growing chasm between the upper middle class and the 80% of Americans whose opportunities have stagnated. Reeves joins Doug Thursday to talk about the ways this “favored fifth” is pulling away from the rest of the nation, and what it means for the American dream.

The Gatekeepers

Aug 2, 2017
Public domain

Wednesday, journalist Chris Whipple joins us to talk about what’s been called the toughest job in Washington. White House Chiefs of Staff serves as gatekeepers to the Oval Office, and they help define the course of the country. Whipple interviewed all 17 men still living who have served in the position. Ultimately, he says, their style makes or breaks each presidency. We’ll examine the job’s unique challenges and ask how new chief of staff John Kelly might shake up the current West Wing.

Tuesday, we’re talking about a man some disaffected Mormons believe to be a prophet. Denver Snuffer does claim to have spoken with Jesus, but he says he is not leading a new church. The so-called Remnant movement argues the LDS Church has strayed from Joseph Smith’s teachings and is more corporation than spiritual endeavor. So, they reject structure and authority and believe anyone can receive revelation. Doug and guests will explore the movement and the viability of a leaderless sect.

Messy

Jul 31, 2017
Andy Elk via Flickr/CC BY 2.0 http://bit.ly/2rn6yf7

 

In his new book, the journalist and economist Tim Harford makes an argument that’s a tough sell for a culture hooked on neatness, structure, and tidying up. Harford comes to the defense of messiness, of inconvenient situations, clutter, and difficulty.  They’re not as bad as we might think, he says, and in story after story he shows how disorder can spur creativity, nurture resilience, and bring out our very best. Harford joins us to explore the messy foundations that often underlie success. (Rebroadcast)

Ardean Watts

Jul 28, 2017

Friday, we’re rebroadcasting a conversation with Ardean Watts, who died last week at the age of 89. Ardean happened to be one of the most interesting people around here. He was a musician, a heretic, and a Mormon. He had an epiphany at midlife that led him on a journey to rebuild his sense of faith, but he didn’t settle on just one. In fact, he said he found most descriptions of God uninteresting. We talked about a lot of things like mushrooms, music, and strangers. (Rebroadcast)

Cornell University – PJ Mode Collection of Persuasive Cartography. Creative Commons.

After the Fall of France in 1940, nearly 340,000 allied troops were stranded at the French port of Dunkirk as the German military closed in. Churchill called what happened next a “miracle of deliverance.” Small civilian ships, along with military transports, brought the British army home. Of course, the story is now a blockbuster movie, which our guests say is pretty accurate. Thursday, historians John Broich and Matthew Booker join Doug to talk about the true story of Dunkirk.

Is there anybody out there? Is there life on other planets? If the answer is yes, and we can prove it, the physicist Jim Al-Khalili says that would be a revolutionary moment in science, up there with Copernicus proving that Earth is not the center of the universe. Considering the vastness of space, scientists mostly agree that somebody or something else is out there. Al-Khalili joins us Wednesday to explore where that life might be, what it might be like, and what would happen if we found it—or it found us.

Public Domain

The Salem witch trials haunt the American imagination as a time of extreme injustice. The story is most often told from the perspective of the accused and the accusers, but historian Richard Francis has spent years exploring the actions of Samuel Sewall. Sewall was among the judges who issued the harsh verdicts, but five years later, he became the only judge to issue an apology for his role in the trials. Richard Francis joins Doug to talk about Sewall, his idealism, and his conscience.

On Trails

Jul 24, 2017
Rich via CC/Flickr, https://goo.gl/uk4xos, https://goo.gl/xYWc9B

When he was hiking the Appalachian Trail, Robert Moor began to wonder about the paths beneath our feet. On every scale of life on earth, he says, trails form that “reduce an overwhelming array of choices to a single expeditious route.” But how do they form? Why do some paths improve while others disappear? How does order emerge from chaos? Moor joins us to explore how pathways serve as an essential guiding force for trailblazers and trail followers, alike. (Rebroadcast)

Nowadays, all kinds of devices exist to help us find our way through the world. But before all that stuff, before even cartography, humankind navigated with nature as the guide. The adventurer Tristan Gooley is committed to recovering and teaching the lost arts of natural navigation. He sees compass hands everywhere he looks: in rocks, trees, grass, ducks, puddles, clouds, and the wind. Gooley joins us to share what he’s learned about natural navigation and the joys of learning nature’s subtle signs. [Rebroadcast]

Pages

Through the Lens Free Screening

Street Fighting Men

Join us for a free screening of Utah-based filmmaker Andrew James's documentary STREET FIGHTING MEN. It's a poignant examination of economic inequality's devastating impact on the black working class.

Monday's Show

Public domain

The Life and Legacy of Richard Nixon

“Few came so far, so fast, and so alone,” writes John Farrell in a new biography of President Richard Nixon. Nixon was an idealistic dreamer when he returned from World War II, and he quickly scaled the political ladder. After winning the presidency in 1969, he and his staff pursued progressive reforms and opened relations with China. But Nixon, says Farrell, had another, darker legacy: a divided and polarized America. Farrell joins us Monday to discuss Richard Nixon and the world he made. (Rebroadcast)

Read More

Short Film

Unruly Things

Mushrooms are the perfect symbol for Ardean Watts' philosophy of life … a love of unruly things. Watts died July 21 at the age of 89. We had the chance to go on a walk with him in 2015.

LDS Topics

Conversations on LDS faith, history and culture

From the Archive

RadioWest and the Bard

Are you a fan of Shakespeare? We have to confess that we are too. Here's a collection of some of our conversations about the Bard.

About RadioWest

Listen weekdays at 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. MT on KUER 90.1