Culture, ideas and society.

Next Door Strangers

Dec 6, 2018

What would it take to get you to have a real conversation with someone you completely disagree with? It’s the question at the heart of Next Door Strangers, a podcast by journalist Andrea Smardon.

Justin Metz / Pablo Delcan / The Atlantic

Young people these days are having less and less sex. It’s actually kind of a problem, and the reasons behind the so-called sex recession aren’t all that wholesome.

Courtesy Brooke Doner / Hinckley Institute of Politics

Thursday, a conversation with Bassem Youssef. He was a heart surgeon in Egypt before he reinvented himself as the Jon Stewart of the Arab world. He joins us to talk about the power of satire to make a point.

Sculpture of a man in agony
Public domain

In a new book, the philosopher Scott Samuelson offers seven ways of looking at suffering. He pulls wisdom from the lessons of ancient Greek myth, the horrors of the Holocaust, and the beautiful pain of blues music. (Rebroadcast)

Why Empathy Matters

Nov 22, 2018
Girl laying on the ground next to a chalk drawing of herself
Photo by schaaflicht, CC via Flickr

The philosopher Roman Krznaric has spent years thinking about empathy, and he suggests you forget the idea that it’s some fluffy, feel-good concept. He joins us to talk about our capacity for empathy and why it matters. (Rebroadcast)


Wednesday, we’re talking about Mormon worthiness interviews with writer Elna Baker. She explored her experience with a sexually explicit one-on-one interview for the radio program This American Life.

Courtesy Gary Hustwit / RAMS

Tuesday, we continue our series on documentary film with a profile of the father of modern industrial design, Dieter Rams. He may not be a household name, but Rams' design philosophy has helped shape many everyday items.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Historian Joanne Freeman joins us with stories of the routine bullying, fist fights, canings, and duels in Congress before the Civil War. If you think our country is fractured now, you should tune in.

Courtesy Plan-B Theatre Company

Playwright Matthew Greene's Good Standing is about a gay man facing a Mormon church disciplinary council for getting married. It’s a one-man show - one actor playing one man facing 15 others.

Courtesy Adams family

Investigative journalist Eric Peterson recently uncovered a cold case murder that panicked Utah’s emerging LGBTQ subculture in the ‘70s and dealt a chilling blow to the area's newly organizing gay rights movement.