Culture

Culture, Ideas, Religion

Fire, water, air, and earth – these are the classical elements of cooking. According to food journalist Michael Pollan, they help us transform stuff from the natural world into delicious food and drink.  But increasingly, cooking isn't done in the home; it’s done by corporations and restaurants, and that’s disconnecting us from the very idea of food and how we eat it. Pollan joins us Friday to talk about his book Cooked, and to explore how this trend affects our planet, our culture, our food, and our health. (Rebroadcast)

Chris Blakeley (http://bit.ly/2n7rWoC) via CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 (http://bit.ly/OJZNiI)

English professor Christopher Newfield spends a lot of time thinking about public higher education. He’s worried about it. America’s public college system, he says, is in a shambles, with students paying higher tuitions for less learning. The conventional thinking is that public sector practices are to blame, but Newfield argues that the increasing privatization of our universities is the real problem. He joins us Tuesday to explain how we wrecked public universities and how we can fix them.

Morgan Schmorgan (http://bit.ly/2n76yjB) and Stuart Rankin (http://bit.ly/2mEhOkf) via CC BY-NC 2.0 (http://bit.ly/1jNlqZo) (changes made)

Monday, we’re talking about fake news. You’re hearing that term a lot these days, and it’s being applied to all kinds of media, from articles written by Macedonian teenagers to the work of news outlets like CNN. But what is fake news, and maybe more importantly, what isn’t it? Where does it come from and what effects has it had on our culture? We’ll also talk about the efforts to combat fake news and the challenges of getting people to change their minds about stuff they really want to believe is true.

On Trails

Mar 15, 2017
Rich via CC/Flickr, https://goo.gl/uk4xos, https://goo.gl/xYWc9B

 In 2009, while thru-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]

American Nations

Mar 14, 2017
Used with permission: Colin Woodard and Tufts University

You don’t need to be a scholar or veteran political observer to see that America is divided, but journalist and historian Colin Woodard says this is really nothing new. Woodard argues that America has always been divided, because we’re actually eleven distinct regional nations, with different cultures and ideas about how the world works. He’ll join us Tuesday to explain the historic roots of these nations, and how that past is still influencing the country today.

William Murphy (http://bit.ly/2lPBwII); CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://bit.ly/1dsePQq)

Tuesday, we’re talking about the rise of the Good Food Movement. It’s an ad hoc cultural crusade that has cropped up across America in the past decade, advocating for good food produced in ways that benefit both the land and the people who grow it. And it’s been successful: local, organic, and natural food is now all the rage. The journalist Naomi Starkman has documented the growth of the Good Food Movement. She’s in Salt Lake this week, and she joins us to discuss how food nourishes the body and soul.

Mein Kampf

Mar 6, 2017

Mein Kampf was Adolf Hitler’s autobiographical manifesto, a kind of campaign biography. He wrote the first draft of it while in prison for leading a failed coup, and historian Peter Ross Range says the book crystallized Hitler’s “faith in himself as Germany’s coming redeemer.” Last year, Mein Kampf was republished in Germany for the first time since WWII. Range joins us Monday to talk about the notorious book’s history, influence, and future. (Rebroadcast)

Words on the Move

Mar 3, 2017
Tama Leaver via CC/Flickr http://bit.ly/1mhaR6e, http://bit.ly/2gMBl1m

If you’re worried that the word “literally” now means “figuratively,” or if you fret that acronyms are replacing actual words, today’s show will do one of two things: make you pull out your hair, or it’ll change your mind. The linguist John McWhorter says that changes to the English language are nothing new. Language, he says, isn’t some static thing that just is, “it’s actually something always becoming.” McWhorter will join us to discuss how languages evolve and why we should embrace the changes. (Rebroadcast)

Greg Pye via Flickr (http://bit.ly/2mF1RKs) CC2.0 (http://bit.ly/1mhaR6e)

Tuesday, we’re talking about the value of rest. Of taking a break. From everything. For most of us, overwork is the new normal and rest is an afterthought. But the scholar Alex Soojung-Kim Pang says that by dismissing the importance of rest in our lives we stifle our ability to think creatively and truly recharge. Pang will join us to talk about his new book that examines why long walks, afternoon naps, vigorous exercise, and "deep play" stimulate creative work and sustain creative lives.

The Revenge of Analog

Feb 23, 2017
Roco Julie (no changes; http://bit.ly/2lH52E2) (CC BY-SA 2.0, http://bit.ly/1hYHpKw)

A funny thing happened on the way to digital utopia: we rekindled our love affairs with the very analog goods and ideas that tech gurus insisted we no longer needed. What once looked outdated—stuff like paper notebooks, LP records, and board games—is cool again, breathing new life into many businesses that deal in tangible things. The writer David Sax calls this trend the “Revenge of Analog.” In a new book, he explores the real things renaissance, and he’ll join us Thursday to talk about it.

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