Philosophy & Other Big Ideas

Think Again – a Big Think Podcast

Big Think / Panoply

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We surprise some of the world's brightest minds with ideas they're not at all prepared to discuss. With host Jason Gots and special guests Neil Gaiman, Alan Alda, Salman Rushdie, Mary-Louise Parker, Richard Dawkins, Margaret Atwood, Sam Harris, Danie...Show More

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180. Benjamin Dreyer (copy chief of Random House) – Really actually truly great English

57:00 | Feb 2nd

There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who don’t give a damn about grammar, style, or  syntax, and those who write aggrieved letters to publishing houses about split infinitives. My guest today, Benjamin Dreyer, is neither. As the Copy Ch...Show More

178. Douglas Rushkoff (freelance intellectual) – It's not the technology's fault

54:26 | Jan 19th

For me, the very best Onion article of 2018 was this one about Jeff Bezos revealing Amazon’s new headquarters to be the entire Earth, as an Amazon-branded glass sphere clicked into place, encasing forever the horrified inhabitants of our planet. More...Show More

98. Lawrence Krauss (Physicist) – Lux Ex Machina

57:45 | May 13th, 2017

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 interv...Show More

89. George Saunders (Author) – Self-Googling In Hell

51:52 | Mar 11th, 2017

“If I died right now, I’d still be self-Googling in hell.” – George Saunders, in this episode. George Saunders' new book - his first novel, after many acclaimed collections of short stories including the NY Times bestselling 10th of December – is cal...Show More

70. Margaret Atwood (Author) - The Good, The Bad, and The Stupid

41:01 | Oct 29th, 2016

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 interv...Show More

190. Terry Gilliam (filmmaker) - The impossible dream

51:18 | Apr 13th

Faith in anything is its own special form of madness. It’s a challenge to entropy, and entropy takes no challenge lightly. If there’s any better metaphor for this struggle than trying to make a big budget movie with even a shred of integrity, I haven...Show More

189. Ross Kauffman (Oscar-winning filmmaker) – Tigers and the humans who love them

39:46 | Apr 6th

I was thinking this morning that It’s funny how “humane” is the only word we have for that idea, since so much that’s inhumane has been created by us humans. When we talk about the humane treatment of animals, considering the ways we’ve treated anima...Show More

188. Frans de Waal (primatologist) – You're such a social animal

51:03 | Mar 30th

When I was a kid, there used to be a TV commercial for this series of animal videos you could order that were basically nothing but killing and sex. The tagline was “Find out why we call them . . . ANIMALS”! “Wait a minute . . .“ I used to think: “Th...Show More

187. Aml Ameen (actor) - how the world teaches you who you are

55:35 | Mar 23rd

They say Confucius said “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” I did the research. Confucius probably didn’t say that. But whoever said it was right—revenge bites back.Victor Headley’s 1992 book YARDIE launched a genre of Jamaic...Show More

186. Josh Clark (podcaster) - It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine

1:00:52 | Mar 16th

I like to think. If I didn’t, this would be the wrong job for me. But I realize that as open-minded as I like to consider myself, I’ve taken a thick, black sharpie to certain areas of the philosophical map, scrawling “here there be monsters” and leav...Show More

185. Martin Hägglund (philosopher) – What happens to freedom when time is money

52:40 | Mar 9th

What gets a wolf or a pigeon up in the morning? No offense to wolves or to pigeons, but it’s probably not the desire to make the world a better place. As far as we know, humans are unique in the freedom to decide what’s worth doing with our finite ti...Show More

184. Mitchell S. Jackson (writer) – Notes from the other America

55:40 | Mar 2nd

We’re all living inside concentric circles of private and public, inner and outer. From the time we’re small we start to understand that these circles aren’t always friendly to one another. There’s friction at their borders. The stuffed bunny that ke...Show More

183. Will Hunt (explorer) – into the Earth: the mysteries and meanings of underground spaces

50:12 | Feb 23rd

The first time I attempted to play Minecraft with my then-seven-year-old son, we immediately dug ourselves into a pit deep in the Earth and could not get out. In spite of the crappy 8-bit graphics, all of our primal, H.P. Lovecraftian terrors of the ...Show More

182. Ha Jin (writer) – the wild and tragic life of China's greatest poet, Li Bai

48:15 | Feb 16th

Let’s start with a very old poem : On the bank of Caishi River is Li Bai’s grave Surrounded by wild grass that stretches to clouds. How sad that the bones buried deep in hereUsed to have writings that startled heaven and moved earth. Of course poets ...Show More

181. Marlon James (writer) – Don’t get too comfortable

54:17 | Feb 9th

At this point, it’s very rare to read something and find myself thinking: This is something new. This is unlike anything I’ve ever read before. It doesn’t have to be written in hieroglyphs or be some kind of three-dimensional interactive reading expe...Show More

179. Edith Hall (classicist) – from Aristotle to Oprah and back again: how to live your best life

59:18 | Jan 26th

We’ve been talking a lot lately on this show about happiness. What it is, where we can get more of it, why it does not yet seem to be available on the Internet. Author Ruth Whippman presented some compelling evidence that the way most Americans are p...Show More

177. Joseph Goldstein (Buddhist teacher) – Lighten Up: mindfulness, enlightenment, and everyday life

1:13:08 | Jan 12th

Love, money, health, great sex, peace of mind—however you define it, happiness in this world is impermanent and unreliable. But we’re all invested in the illusion that we’re just one career move or one Amazon purchase away from permanent bliss. To qu...Show More

176. Area 51 and the epistemology of the unexplained - Jeremy Kenyon Lockyer Corbell (filmmaker)

1:01:03 | Dec 22nd, 2018

Between subjective experience and the things most people can accept as objective facts, there yawns a cavernous gulf. Imagine you’re on a stage in front of 50,000 strangers trying to explain what it felt like to fall in love for the first time. There...Show More

175. Helen Riess (psychiatrist) – Empathy in the brain and the world

46:16 | Dec 15th, 2018

Empathy is the basic stuff of human connection. It’s how we hear and are heard by one another. It’s how we deal with one another as people rather than objects. But with massive, relentless trouble in the world, the 24 hour news cycle, the pressure to...Show More

174. Ruth Whippman (writer) – A mindful, productive, super-positive nation of nervous wrecks

47:35 | Dec 8th, 2018

In the years before the election of the impossible president rent forever the very fabric of being, the band Radiohead was busy channeling something many of us were feeling but nobody was really talking about. A kind of ambient, multivalent state of ...Show More

173. Wesley Yang (writer) - The Souls of Yellow Folk

56:02 | Dec 1st, 2018

Such and such “doesn’t suffer fools gladly”. That phrase has always bugged me a bit. It’s like someone has just squeezed a pillow infused with an admiration-scented vapor that then hangs in the air for just a second, leaving you to wonder: Who is thi...Show More

172. A trans family in the holy land

42:07 | Nov 24th, 2018

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 ch...Show More

171. Michelle Thaller (NASA astronomer) on ​the multiple dimensions of space and human sexuality

59:39 | Nov 17th, 2018

This morning on the way to the school bus, my almost 11 year old son was explaining to me that if you shrunk an elephant down to the size of a mouse, it would shiver, then die, because of its slow mitochondria, due to something called the Rule of Squ...Show More

170. Lynsey Addario (photojournalist) – on art, love, and war

57:51 | Nov 10th, 2018

Think about all the images you see in a day. The advertisements. The photos and videos as you search the web or scroll through social media, if you do that. Now think back a century and a half or so to when photography was new. Imagine the first time...Show More

169. Ben Marcus' reality is only slightly askew from our own

1:00:31 | Nov 3rd, 2018

A "grow light" for humans that cooks a guy's face. A pharmaceutical mist that puts you in the right mood for mourning the victims of terrorism. The year of All Hell Breaks Loose. The Year of the Sensor. Mudslides. Hurricanes. People who flee and peop...Show More

168. Michael Palin (writer and comic) – So long as there was laughter, I was safe

55:15 | Oct 27th, 2018

I recently spent several hours on a transatlantic flight zooming in and out of the interactive map of the Earth on my seat's personal entertainment unit. Exploring tiny islands in the polar North…impossible inland seas in the middle of Central Asian ...Show More

167. Gary Shteyngart (writer) - Reality catches up to dystopian fiction

54:06 | Oct 20th, 2018

Gary Shteyngart's new novel Lake Success is the evil doppelgänger of the Simon and Garfunkel song 'America'. In what is surely destined to become one of those legendary novel openings, right up there with "it was the best of times, it was the worst o...Show More

166. Manoush Zomorodi (journalist) — How blockchain might save journalism. Maybe.

51:07 | Oct 13th, 2018

Why would two intelligent women running a hugely successful podcast at one of the most respected studios in the audio world, quit to start a small journalism company built on blockchain, a technology very few people have ever heard of?To quote someon...Show More

165. Man Booker prize winners Olga Tokarczuk (author) and Jennifer Croft (translator) — As fact and fiction blur, America’s finally ready for Olga Tokarczuk

49:24 | Oct 6th, 2018

Does it ever strike you as odd that we manage to inhabit two completely different realities at once? On one level, we have common sense and reason that orient us in the world. We make narrative sense of our own life and self and we go about our day w...Show More

164. Jill Lepore (Historian) – Why America keeps going to pieces

49:57 | Sep 29th, 2018

As Alexander Hamilton put it, the American Experiment puts to the test the question “of whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice…or whether they are forever destined to depend for t...Show More

163. Four Letter You – Merve Emre (scholar and critic)

40:41 | Sep 22nd, 2018

Did you ever see the 1951 Disney version of Alice in Wonderland? Where the caterpillar, voiced by actor Richard Haydn, sits laconically on his giant toadstool, wreathed in hookah smoke, peers at Alice under his drooping eyelids and says:Who….Aaaaaaah...Show More

162. Emily Nemens (Editor, The Paris Review) — The Literary Industrial Complex

47:45 | Sep 15th, 2018

I have a confession to make: Literary magazines have always kind of intimidated me. Give me an 800 page, impenetrable work of literature any day. Like Captain Ahab, I’ll pursue it relentlessly unto the ends of the earth until it unfolds its briny sec...Show More

161. Congo: This Seemingly Impossible Knot – Daniel McCabe (documentary filmmaker)

55:06 | Aug 18th, 2018

THIS IS CONGO, a new documentary film, attempts to wrap its mind around the incomprehensible realities of the Democratic Republic of Congo, almost 60 years after it was founded. At one point, commenting on one of the more incomprehensible recent even...Show More

160. Bassem Youssef (political satirist) – Now I Have to Answer for This?

46:26 | Aug 11th, 2018

My grandmother used to tell a story about coming to America from Poland. How she sang God Bless America to cheer up all the grownups on the ship. She was 5 or 6 years old, traveling alone with her mom. For her, it must have been a big adventure. I ca...Show More

159. Change is Made by the Ones Who Stay – Paula Eiselt (documentary filmmaker)

54:21 | Aug 4th, 2018

When I started college at New York University in 1990, nobody lived in Brooklyn. Brooklyn was the dark side of the moon. At least that’s how we NYU students thought about it. Lots of people lived in Brooklyn, of course. Just not us. It’s 2018, and Br...Show More

158. Parker Posey (actor) – I See a Dachshund In You

1:08:58 | Jul 28th, 2018

The impulse to make art is with us from childhood. It’s the desire to play.  To say “hey! Look what I made!” It’s the wild fun of making a big mess that’s nobody else’s but your own—and not having to clean it up. Above all else, art is wild. It’s ind...Show More

157. The Spiders From Mars – Jason Heller (Hugo Award-winning writer)

57:39 | Jul 21st, 2018

The other day I was at a kid’s birthday party and a fellow dad was joking that “When we were kids, it was all ‘bang-bang-bang!’ and now it’s all ‘pew-pew-pew!’”He was talking about video games and lasers as opposed to, I’m guessing, cowboys? Actually...Show More

156. While You Live, Shine – Christopher C. King (Grammy-winning music producer)

1:02:54 | Jul 14th, 2018

While you live, shine. Have no mourning at all. Life exists a short whileAnd time demands its fee. – From a 2000 year old tombstone in (then) Greek-speaking Asia MinorI’d like to do a little free-association exercise with you. I’m going to say three ...Show More

155. Lauren Groff (writer) – We Should Die of That Roar

43:10 | Jul 7th, 2018

The places we live in shape us. I don’t care who you are how indomitable your will…your spirit is in dialogue with the place you live. For example, I live in New York City, a place I wrapped around me like a second skin when I was 18 years old. Back ...Show More

154. Jonathan Safran Foer (writer) – One Thing We Can All Agree Upon

48:51 | Jun 30th, 2018

What is food? It’s nourishment. It’s comfort. It’s culture. It’s art. For millions of people, it’s not something you waste much time thinking about. You eat what you’ve always eaten. What everyone around you eats. What you can afford. For others, eve...Show More

153. Guns: The Genie and the Bottle – Priya Satia (Historian)

49:53 | Jun 23rd, 2018

When you think of the industrial revolution what comes to mind? Steam engines probably. Lone genius inventors. Factories and coal mines, perhaps. And depending on your professional interests and political leanings, either suffering laborers in sweat ...Show More

152. Where You Gonna Run To? Lorena Luciano and Filippo Piscopo (documentary filmmakers)

55:54 | Jun 16th, 2018

Imagine you’re a father or a mother of three kids. Your city is in the middle of a civil war. At any time a rocket might burst through your wall. Soldiers might round your family up, or kill them in crossfire. What do you do?You leave, of course. You...Show More

151. Jessica Abel (cartoonist, creative coach) – Practical Magic

1:04:04 | Jun 9th, 2018

On an  earlier episode of this show the Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk said something that I’ve never forgotten. He said that writing programs shouldn’t teach about plots or characters or how to structure a story. Instead, they should  teach writers to...Show More

150. David Sedaris (humorist) – Sir David of the Spotless Roadways

1:01:14 | Jun 2nd, 2018

Life is full of horrible things. I dare you to deny it. Things like death, sickness, and alcoholism. And did I mention death, which lies in wait for us all? But if you talk about these things at dinner parties, or at work, or to someone you have just...Show More

149. Yanis Varoufakis (former finance minister of Greece) – Happiness, Inc.

56:56 | May 26th, 2018

As the Wu-Tang Clan once put it: “Cash moves everything around me... Get the money. Dollar dollar bill, y’all.”I grew up not wanting to believe this. All the stuff that seemed worth having was hard to put a price tag on. but in a global capitalist wo...Show More

148. Jonathan Lethem (writer) – Batman's Greatest Enemy

57:33 | May 19th, 2018

There’s a famous line from a Bob Dylan song that goes “she’s got everything she needs...she’s an artist...she don’t look back.” As a person who loves art—music and literature especially—I’ve always been haunted by that line. Does an artist really not...Show More

147. Ronan Farrow (investigative journalist) — A Failure to Communicate

41:56 | May 12th, 2018

In Hollywood movies diplomats always get a bad rap. I’m picturing Claude Rains as “Mr. Dryden” in Lawrence of Arabia looking, as Clyde Rains always does, somewhat reptilian as he hunches over a map of the Middle East with General Allenby, smirking se...Show More

146. Think Again LIVE with Kristen Radtke (graphic novelist) – The Fascination of What's Difficult

57:55 | May 5th, 2018

This episode is really something different. It’s a live show we did on April 21st in Green Bay Wisconsin, as part of Untitled Town Book and Author Festival, now in its second year. I’d never been to Green Bay before. Nice town! You may know about the...Show More

145. Michael Gazzaniga (neuroscientist) – The Impossible Problem

46:54 | Apr 28th, 2018

Je pense donc je suis. (I think, therefore I am.)Huh? Who is this I?How do I know that it is thinking?What does it even mean to say that I am—that I exist, if it's this mysterious,  untrustworthy Ithat says  so? To be fair, René Descartes didn't inve...Show More

144. Antonio Damasio (neuroscientist & philosopher) – Where is My Mind?

1:03:54 | Apr 21st, 2018

Why can’t we all just get along? And conversely, why do we sometimes get along so well, building cathedrals, inventing Democracy, symphonies, and stuff that that? According to my guest today, the answer is as old as life itself. In the behaviors of t...Show More

143. The Way Brothers (documentary filmmakers) – City On a Hill

1:06:30 | Apr 14th, 2018

In New York City, where we all live in little boxes on top of one another, “Ignore thy neighbor” is a reasonable coping strategy. Live and let live, right? To each her own. But what’s the tipping point at which thy neighbor becomes simply too numerou...Show More

142. Meg Wolitzer (writer) – Messages From Another Planet

59:30 | Apr 7th, 2018

Ambition and loyalty. What we want versus what we already have and should be grateful for. When there’s conflict here, in some ways it's a tension between loyalty to others and loyalty to ourselves…or maybe loyalty to who we are now versus another po...Show More

141. Tara Westover (writer, historian) – Nothing Final Can Be Known

1:02:35 | Mar 31st, 2018

What does your education mean to you? What would you be willing to sacrifice for it? For me and my sister, growing up, it was a given that you’d get “well-educated.” You’d get good grades, go to a good college, and most likely graduate, medical, law,...Show More

139. Neil Gaiman (writer) – And Then it Gets Darker

58:43 | Mar 17th, 2018

Adult life, with all its schedules and responsibilities, can turn into a kind of library of locked boxes. The ones we open every day sit on a shelf at eye level, their keys clipped to a carabiner at our waist: Set the alarm. Pack a gym bag. Pick up m...Show More

138. Steven Pinker (Cognitive Scientist) – The Defeat of Defeatism

37:45 | Mar 10th, 2018

I admit it. I confess. I’ve got a touch of what my guest today calls “progressophobia”. Ever since Charles Dickens got hold of me back in middle school, and William Blake after that, I’ve been a little suspicious of the Great Onward March of science ...Show More

137. Amy Chua (author, attorney) – U.S. & Them

47:13 | Mar 3rd, 2018

I don’t know about you, but for me, middle school was horrible. I arrived at an all-male school in a still very homophobic era as a small, nervous, Michael Jackson fanatic. Don’t worry - I’m going somewhere with this. For three years, life was hell. ...Show More

136. Michio Kaku (physicist) – Timid Monkeys on Mars

51:16 | Feb 24th, 2018

Back in the old days, if your species was faced with an existential threat, you were stuck hoping for some advantageous mutation. Maybe an extra fin or a slightly more sophisticated eyeball. Outwitting fate was pretty much out of the question. And as...Show More

135. Niall Ferguson (historian) – The Ghost of Future Past

45:44 | Feb 17th, 2018

Every time he sees a triangle these days, my 10-year-old son points and says “Gasp! the illuminati!” This is a meme he and all his friends absorbed from YouTube.   It’s interesting that several centuries after the Illuminati first appeared, as basica...Show More

134. Jacob Sager Weinstein (children's author) – Imaginary Histories, Possible Futures

56:10 | Feb 10th, 2018

Once upon a time, there was a rabbit. No...Not a rabbit. Lewis Carroll already did that… How about an Amazonian river dolphin. Ok. once upon a time there was an Amazonian river dolphin who wondered about his cousins in the wide, open ocean, free from...Show More

133. Jeremy Bailenson (VR expert) – Through the Looking Glass

49:11 | Feb 3rd, 2018

How do you know that you’re really where you are right now? I mean, where are you getting this sense of place from? A bunch of data from at least some of your five senses enters your brain where it’s cross-referenced with categories from memory. You’...Show More

132. Karl Ove Knausgaard (writer) – The Way I Should Be in the World

42:56 | Jan 27th, 2018

Wherever you are right now, take a look around you. Let your eyes rest on the first thing that catches your attention. For me, while writing this, it’s a bowl in Big Think’s offices. Highly polished, assembled, it seems, from curved, stained strips o...Show More

131. Daniel Alarcón (writer) – There's No Such Thing as Glamor, Really

58:24 | Jan 20th, 2018

A listener commented the other day on Twitter that on two completely different recent episodes of this show – one about technology and the other one about jellyfish, the same idea came up: that stories play a powerful role in shaping our real lives. ...Show More

130. Mark Epstein, MD (Buddhist psychiatrist) – I, Me, Mine

57:31 | Jan 13th, 2018

All through the day… I, me mine, I me mine, I me mine… That George Harrison song on the Beatles’ last album pretty much sums it up. They recorded it in 1970, and 47 years later, our egos seem to be running just as rampant as ever. While the unchecked...Show More

129. Fatih Akin (film director) – This Blood-Drenched Earth

46:30 | Dec 16th, 2017

All of us—you, me, everybody—we’re living our lives subject to often invisible forces beyond our control. Culture, politics, economics, history, even the weather. They all have the power to shape our lives or tear them suddenly to pieces. My guest to...Show More

128. Noël Wells (actor/director) – Out of Context

1:00:26 | Dec 9th, 2017

100,000 or so years of human history and young adulthood is still getting weirder.  Jason Gots: My guest today is actor and filmmaker Noël Wells. She’s been a cast member of Saturday Night Live. She played Rachel on the Netflix series Master of None....Show More

127. Manoush Zomorodi (journalist) – The Upside of Downtime

1:01:23 | Dec 2nd, 2017

When was the last time you were bored? I mean really, well and truly, staring at the patterns in the wallpaper bored? Statistics suggest that you’re probably listening to this show on a smartphone. Which means you own a smartphone. Which means it’s p...Show More

126. Maya Jasanoff (Historian) – Civilization and Its Discontents

1:03:48 | Nov 25th, 2017

Jason Gots: I want to read you a quote: “For reasons which can certainly use close psychological inquiry the West seems to suffer deep anxieties about the precariousness of its civilization and to have a need for constant reassurance by comparison wi...Show More

125. Reza Aslan (author) – Deus Ex Hominem

55:09 | Nov 18th, 2017

Jason Gots: As far back as we’re able to peer into human history, way past the written or pictoral record, into the gravesites of our most ancient ancestors, there’s evidence of what you might call spiritual or religious belief. From the idea of a se...Show More

124. Juli Berwald (writer) – Our Jellyfish Overlords

50:48 | Nov 11th, 2017

Jason Gots: What happens  in your brain when I say the word “Jellyfish”? If you’re not a marine biologist, and if going to the beach almost anywhere in the world is a part of your life, the word probably makes you wince. Maybe you remember getting st...Show More

123. (Henry) Rollins, Redux: Monogamy+Genius+Violence

45:01 | Nov 4th, 2017

Jason Gots: Let’s cast our minds back to June 2015, before Donald Trump as president seemed even a remote possibility. We had just launched Think Again, and for our second episode (and not much more than my second interview) ever I was talking with t...Show More

122. David Eagleman (neuroscientist) – Your Creative Brain

46:48 | Oct 28th, 2017

Jason Gots: It’s 150,000 years ago. You’re a Homo sapiens, hanging out in a really cozy clearing protected from behind by a cliff wall. It’s a great spot. Temperate, isolated, pretty safe. Lots of good fruits and tubers nearby. Should you just hang o...Show More

121. Van Jones (social entrepreneur) – Blind Spots & Sore Spots

47:49 | Oct 21st, 2017

Jason Gots: I want to tell you a story. It’s November 5, 2016, a few days before Election Day. I’m staring at Facebook, promising myself I’m going to delete the app once and for all from my phone, today. Enough of the political echo chamber. Enough o...Show More

120. Nancy Koehn (Historian) – Holdin' on for a Hero

46:18 | Oct 14th, 2017

What do Rachel Carson, Frederick Douglass, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ernest Shackleton, and Abraham Lincoln have in common, aside from being historical figures you’ve probably heard of? That’s the question my guest today tries to answer in her new book Fo...Show More

119. Aaron Mahnke (of 'Lore') – The Hunger for Mystery

47:50 | Oct 7th, 2017

For thousands of years, all over the world, tales of monsters and the undead have populated the "whitespace" beyond the borders of our understanding. As the enormous popularity of the podcast 'Lore" demonstrates, we're still hungry for those stories ...Show More

118. Stephen Greenblatt (humanities scholar) – Irresistible Fictions

55:01 | Sep 30th, 2017

An ancient, one-and-a-half-page-story that just won't let us go. Humanities scholar Stephen Greenblatt and host Jason Gots discuss how Adam and Eve have shaped and been shaped by Western art, culture, and science, in this, Big Think's latest brain-fe...Show More

117. Kurt Andersen (writer) – The Sleep of Reason

52:46 | Sep 23rd, 2017

Orthodox kookiness: the true American exceptionalism? Writer Kurt Andersen and host Jason Gots discuss America's 500 year old tendency toward passionate belief in the preposterous in this, Big Think's latest brain-fertilizing podcast. Writer and medi...Show More

116. Claire Messud (writer) – All These Falls From Grace

53:04 | Sep 16th, 2017

Author Claire Messud and host Jason Gots talk about childhood, growing up, and how cultures contain the things that scare them most. Also, how to give and receive good criticism on creative writing in this, Big Think's latest brain-fertilizing podcas...Show More

115. Salman Rushdie (writer) – A Permeable Frontier

56:32 | Sep 9th, 2017

In this episode, the first one with a repeat guest since the show was launched (Henry Rollins was one taping split into two episodes) author Salman Rushdie and host Jason Gots discuss New York City, the surrealism of everyday life, comic books, and m...Show More

114. 2017 Mixtape #2 – Words, Values, Self, Other

57:29 | Sep 2nd, 2017

Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and Jason Gots, your host, with unexpected conversation starters f...Show More

113. 2017 Mixtape #1 – Mind, Body, Authenticity, Artifice

49:49 | Aug 26th, 2017

Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and Jason Gots, your host, with unexpected conversation starters f...Show More

112. Richard Dawkins (biologist) – Red in Tooth and Claw

53:55 | Aug 19th, 2017

In this episode, which Dawkins described as “one of the best interviews I have ever had,” the eminent ethologist and host Jason Gots talk about whether pescatarianism makes any sense, where morality should come from (since, as Hume says, "you can't g...Show More

111. Ari Shaffir (Comic) – The Golden Age of Trolling

56:47 | Aug 12th, 2017

Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and Jason Gots, your host, with unexpected conversation starters f...Show More

110. Peter Frankopan (historian) – You Can't Stop the Clock

1:12:16 | Aug 5th, 2017

Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and Jason Gots, your host, with unexpected conversation starters f...Show More

109. Sheelah Kolhatkar (Writer, Former Hedge Fund Analyst) – The Most Dangerous Game

44:43 | Jul 29th, 2017

Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and Jason Gots, your host, with unexpected conversation starters f...Show More

108. Jeff Garlin (Comedian) – K.I.S.S.

37:50 | Jul 22nd, 2017

Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and Jason Gots, your host, with unexpected conversation starters f...Show More

107. Neal Stephenson & Nicole Galland (Authors) – The Garden of Forking Paths

36:07 | Jul 15th, 2017

Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and Jason Gots, your host, with unexpected conversation starters f...Show More

106. Alan Alda (Actor) – The Spirit of the Staircase

39:38 | Jul 8th, 2017

Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and Jason Gots, your host, with unexpected conversation starters f...Show More

105. Jennifer Doudna (Geneticist) - Intelligent Redesign?

53:04 | Jul 1st, 2017

Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and Jason Gots, your host, with unexpected conversation starters f...Show More

104. Timothy Spall (Actor) – That Double Want

58:07 | Jun 24th, 2017

Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and Jason Gots, your host, with unexpected conversation starters f...Show More

103. Liza Jessie Peterson (Playwright, Arts-Educator) – The Sleeping Giant

49:46 | Jun 17th, 2017

Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and Jason Gots, your host, with unexpected conversation starters f...Show More

102. Paul Theroux (Writer) – Saintly & Scowling

1:01:37 | Jun 10th, 2017

Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and Jason Gots, your host, with unexpected conversation starters f...Show More

101. Ariel Levy (Writer) – Big Things That Are Not Talked About

43:06 | Jun 3rd, 2017

Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and Jason Gots, your host, with unexpected conversation starters f...Show More

100. Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysicist) – The Only "-ist" I Am

44:16 | May 27th, 2017

Since 2008, Big Think has been sharing big ideas from creative and curious minds. Since 2015, the Think Again podcast has been taking us out of our comfort zone, surprising our guests and Jason Gots, your host, with unexpected conversation starters f...Show More

99. Mary Gaitskill (Writer) – Their Animal Being

46:34 | May 20th, 2017

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 interv...Show More

97. Dean Buonomano (Neuroscientist) – This is Your Brain on Time

48:36 | May 6th, 2017

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 interv...Show More

96. Sarah W. Goldhagen (Architecture Critic) – Souls & Spaces

48:04 | Apr 29th, 2017

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 interv...Show More

95. Kory Stamper (Lexicographer) – Lair of the Level 10 Word Mage

54:11 | Apr 23rd, 2017

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 interv...Show More

94. Joyce Carol Oates (Writer) – Oh, That's Socialism

52:28 | Apr 15th, 2017

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 interv...Show More

93. Adam Alter (Social Psychologist) – Ping!

47:56 | Apr 8th, 2017

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 interv...Show More

92. Elif Batuman (Writer) – The Worst Appetizer in America

47:51 | Apr 1st, 2017

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 interv...Show More

91. Daniel Dennett (Philosopher) – Thinking About Thinking About Thinking

47:37 | Mar 25th, 2017

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 interv...Show More

90. Scott Aukerman (Comedy Writer) – The Buttons You Push

55:53 | Mar 18th, 2017

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 interv...Show More

88. Gish Jen (Author) – The Self in the World

49:12 | Mar 4th, 2017

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 interv...Show More

87. Yuval Noah Harari (Historian) – Time's Up

47:43 | Feb 25th, 2017

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 interv...Show More

86. Ayelet Waldman (Author) – Yourself, Only Better

49:52 | Feb 18th, 2017

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 interv...Show More

85. Ben Goertzel (A.I. Inventor) – The State of the Art of Artificial General Intelligence

38:57 | Feb 11th, 2017

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 interv...Show More

84. Nato Thompson (Artistic Director) – The Friendly Face

48:44 | Feb 3rd, 2017

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 interv...Show More

83. Matt Taibbi (Journalist) – Bread and Circus

43:36 | Jan 28th, 2017

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 interv...Show More

82. Bernard-Henri Lévy (Philosopher) – The Mirror of Our Better Selves

42:36 | Jan 21st, 2017

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 interv...Show More

81. Isy Suttie (Comedian) – There's Something a Bit Smug about the Sea

1:08:19 | Jan 14th, 2017

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 interv...Show More

80. Amani Al-Khatahtbeh (founder: MuslimGirl) – Who Tells Your Story?

36:15 | Jan 7th, 2017

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 interv...Show More

79. Paul Bloom (Psychologist) – Cold-Blooded Kindness

48:07 | Dec 31st, 2016

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 interv...Show More

78. Peter Godfrey-Smith (Philosopher) – Alien Intelligence

39:26 | Dec 24th, 2016

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 interv...Show More

77. Anne Rice (Author) – In the Blood

43:52 | Dec 17th, 2016

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 interv...Show More

76. Tim Ferriss (Author, Podcaster) – Productively Frivolous

42:59 | Dec 10th, 2016

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 interv...Show More

75. David Salle (Artist) – The Enemy of Art

40:12 | Dec 3rd, 2016

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 interv...Show More

74. Jace Clayton AKA DJ/Rupture - Sonic Veils and Revelations

46:53 | Nov 26th, 2016

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 interv...Show More

73. T.C. Boyle (Author) - Lost on Purpose

41:12 | Nov 19th, 2016

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 interv...Show More

72. Slavoj Žižek (Philosopher) - Against Tolerance

50:28 | Nov 12th, 2016

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 interv...Show More

71. Jelani Cobb (Historian) - Shiny New Skin, Same Old Snake

51:12 | Nov 5th, 2016

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 interv...Show More

69. Jodi Picoult (Author) - Popular Fictions/Not Yours to Tell

42:27 | Oct 22nd, 2016

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 interv...Show More

68. William Shatner (Actor, Author) – Yes, I Am Trying to Win This Podcast

36:07 | Oct 15th, 2016

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 interv...Show More

67. James Gleick (Science Writer) - Everything All at Once

35:11 | Oct 8th, 2016

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 interv...Show More

66. Alton Brown (Chef, Author) - Easy-Bake Oven/Hard Knock Life

46:56 | Oct 1st, 2016

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 interv...Show More

65. Ian McEwan (Novelist) - A King of Infinite Space

38:35 | Sep 24th, 2016

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 interv...Show More

64. Mixtape #4 – The Writers' Room

39:10 | Sep 17th, 2016

In this episode: Big Think launched in 2008 as a "YouTube for intellectuals." Since then, it has produced over 10,000 short-form video interviews with many of the most influential and creative thinkers of our time. Big Think's videos are bits of "exp...Show More

63. Eric Kandel (Nobel Laureate neuroscientist) - The Eye of the Beholder

37:15 | Sep 10th, 2016

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 interv...Show More

62. Mixtape #3 – a Soupçon of Ornithology

48:25 | Sep 3rd, 2016

Big Think launched in 2008 as a "YouTube for intellectuals." Since then, it has produced over 10,000 short-form video interviews with many of the most influential and creative thinkers of our time. In 2014, the podcast SERIAL burst on the scene and A...Show More

61. Alison Gopnik (Developmental Psychologist) – Artificial Intelligence/Natural Stupidity

42:33 | Aug 27th, 2016

Alison Gopnik is an internationally recognized expert in children’s learning and development. A professor of psychology and affiliate professor of philosophy at UC Berkeley, and the author of many books including the The Philosophical Baby. Her new b...Show More

60. Teju Cole (Writer) – The World is Not a Settled Gift

40:50 | Aug 20th, 2016

Nigerian-born writer, photographer, and art historian Teju Cole is the author of the novel Open City and the novella Every Day is for the Theif. He’s also the photography critic of the New York Times magazine. His new book is a collection of deeply i...Show More

59. Jacqueline Woodson (Writer) – Bored Kid Dreaming/Apologies Long Overdue

34:37 | Aug 13th, 2016

Jacqueline Woodson, the Newberry, Caldecott, and National-Book Award winning author of Brown Girl Dreaming, If You Come Softly and many other works of poetry and literature for children and young adults, has just released Another Brooklyn, her first ...Show More

58. Mixtape #2 – Staring at the Sea

45:05 | Aug 6th, 2016

Big Think launched in 2008 as a "YouTube for intellectuals." Since then, it has produced over 10,000 short-form video interviews with many of the most influential and creative thinkers of our time. In 2014, the podcast SERIAL burst on the scene and A...Show More

57. Mixtape #1 - Lies/Monsters/Friendship/Religion/Space Aliens

46:19 | Jul 30th, 2016

Big Think launched in 2008 as a "YouTube for intellectuals." Since then, it has produced over 10,000 short-form video interviews with many of the most influential and creative thinkers of our time. In 2014, the podcast SERIAL burst on the scene and A...Show More

56. Jonathon Keats (Experimental Philosopher) – The Trickster/Castles in the Sky

47:27 | Jul 23rd, 2016

"Experimental philosopher" and science writer Jonathon Keats, who famously created pornography for plants and sold real estate in the alternate dimensions proposed by string theory, believes that we "need to ascend to the meta level" to find creative...Show More

55. Mary Roach (Science Writer) – To Nietszche His Own

32:50 | Jul 16th, 2016

Sex toy book parties! Penis transplants! Decomposition labs! These are just a few of the places the intrepid, New York Times bestselling author Mary Roach takes us in hilarious, curiosity-driven books like Bonk:: The Curious Science of Sex and her la...Show More

54. LIVE! Sarah Jones (actor/playwright) –

37:32 | Jul 9th, 2016

Sarah Jones is a Tony and Obie award-winning playwright and performer. She's unlike any other artist in her uncanny ability to create, become,  and instantly switch between characters, convincingly inhabiting their physicality and their consciousness...Show More

53. Sean Wilentz (Historian) – The Culture Strikes Back

35:05 | Jul 2nd, 2016

The stakes are extraordinarily high in this election. We’re at a crossroads. I think the current politics are a continuation of the fight we’ve been having since the ‘60s.The expansion of an African-American middle class, the changes in family norms,...Show More

52. Jim Gaffigan (Comedian) – You're Attacking My Grandpa?

38:09 | Jun 25th, 2016

“It’s funny or it’s not funny. In the end, people are not coming to my show because I’m not cursing” – Jim GaffiganJim Gaffigan is a Grammy nominated stand-up comedian and the New York Times best-selling author of “Dad is Fat” and other books, and he...Show More

51. Krista Tippett (Author, Host, "On Being") – We Are Made by What Would Break Us

41:35 | Jun 18th, 2016

"That is one of the most mysterious things about human existence: that we are made by what would break us, repeatedly. That life is hard, and the only guarantee we have is that even at our moments of greatest accomplishment, something will happen tha...Show More

50. Ethan Hawke (Actor, Author) – The High, Hard Road/Ghosts of the Apache Wars

48:37 | Jun 11th, 2016

“Whenever we start seeing people as other, we just get lost. There were so many decent cowboys trying to do the right thing. And so many decent First Nation people trying to do the right thing. And there were so many liars, and cheaters, and people t...Show More

49. Geoff Dyer (Author) – Ordinary Epiphanies

38:21 | Jun 4th, 2016

Novelist and essayist Geoff Dyer is one of the English language's most mordant and poetic observers of art, travel, and human behavior. He's the winner of the National Book Critics Circle  Award for Criticism and the Windham Campbell Prize for Nonfic...Show More

48. Mary-Louise Parker (Actress, Author): Virtual Empathy?/Lessons Relearned

33:40 | May 28th, 2016

Death, Bob Marley, parenthood, gratitude, and what to do in the face of incalculable suffering. These are just a few of the topics raised in this episode's vulnerable, searching discussion with Tony, Emmy, Obie, and two-time Golden Globe award-winnin...Show More

47. Kate Tempest (rapper/poet/novelist): Lost and Found in South London

36:20 | May 21st, 2016

"When you’re writing a novel, it’s agony. It’s complete agony. It’s a horrible thing to put yourself through. All of the instinctive kind of rushes of creativity, the energized outpourings, anybody can do that. That’s not what makes you a writer. The...Show More

46. Chris Gethard (Comedian) – a Blessing in Disguise

37:58 | May 14th, 2016

I’m starting to feel that what people in the future will actually want is something that feels small. That feels like not everyone has access to it. You’ll see more people making a modest living and less people making these massive superstar livings....Show More

45. James McBride (Author) – Fear Sells Many a Car/James Brown is a Noun

33:10 | May 7th, 2016

“Fear is just a monster motivator. It sells many a car and harnesses many a vote.”  – James McBride, in this episode. Fear, says National Book Award winner and New York Times bestselling author James McBride, was the most powerful force in the life o...Show More

44. Douglas Rushkoff (Media Theorist) – Hack the $ystem

34:00 | Apr 30th, 2016

"The problem with our time is that we look at people for their utility value.", says Douglas Rushkoff, author of Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus. Since the late Middle Ages, Rushkoff argues, money and businesses have been programmed to extract more ...Show More

43. Michael Puett (Harvard Chinese Philosophy Scholar) – Freedom Through Ritual

32:09 | Apr 23rd, 2016

Michael Puett teaches one of three most popular undergraduate courses at Harvard, on ancient Chinese philosophy and ethics: Daoism, Confucianism, Legalism, Moism, and more. What keeps students coming back year after year to this seemingly esoteric su...Show More

42. Joshua Cohen (Novelist) – Scrupulously Messy, by Which I Mean Human

32:58 | Apr 16th, 2016

In this week's episode Joshua Cohen, author of the "great American internet novel" Book of Numbers, says that if a cliché sticks around long enough it can become a prayer.In conversation with host Jason Gots and prompted by video interview clips feat...Show More

41. Sarah Kay (Poet) – Kids See Right Through That

32:53 | Apr 9th, 2016

"Authenticity is something that cannot be fabricated." – Sarah Kay On this week's episode, poet Sarah Kay, whose 2011 TED talk "If I Should Have a Daughter" has been viewed over 9 million times, shares her thoughts on who gets (and who doesn't get) t...Show More

40. Nikhil Goyal (Education Activist) – Mind in a Box

33:06 | Apr 2nd, 2016

Put 8 year old Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders together in a progressive 2nd grade classroom. What would happen? Since the dawn of compulsory schooling America has been experimenting on young minds with pedagogies and systems of con...Show More

39. Maria Popova (Writer, Editor of Brain Pickings) – The Absurdity of Not Writing Poems

37:29 | Mar 26th, 2016

"I’m always pulled toward anything that helps me figure out how to live a meaningful and substantive life." – Maria PopovaWhat does real friendship look like? How can something written a thousand years ago help us to navigate our lives in the 21st ce...Show More

38. Amanda Palmer (Musician, Author) – Privacy Is Weird

32:33 | Mar 19th, 2016

"As human beings we all have this flaw, which is to think that there’s a right way of doing things. And it’s just bullshit." – Amanda Palmer on Think Again Artist Amanda Palmer is a practitioner of radical trust –– On tour, she couch surfs with fans ...Show More

37. Cory Booker (US Senator) – Cynicism: a Refuge for Cowards

23:49 | Mar 12th, 2016

“We all have so much power that we don’t use. And I think it’s because of cynicism,  which is a toxic spiritual state. Cynicism is a refuge for cowards.” –– Cory BookerWhy do so many of us choose to remain in a state of "sedentary agitation" about Am...Show More

36. Yann Martel (Author) – The Vacuum of Space Leaves Me Cold

31:33 | Mar 5th, 2016

Yann Martel, author of the Man Booker award-winning novel Life of Pi and The High Mountains of Portugal, is not a big fan of outer space. Nor of science in general. “Science," he says on this week's episode, ". . . is a truth that exists whether I’m ...Show More

35. A.O. Scott (Film Critic) – The Right to Be Wrong

27:00 | Feb 27th, 2016

A.O. Scott: The fantasy that I would use to comfort myself [as a child, about death] was…that I’d become other people. I would still be me, but I would inhabit different bodies…and eventually I would just get to see what it was like to be everybody.J...Show More

34. Paul F. Tompkins (Comedian) – A Tiny, Cosmic Threat

27:52 | Feb 20th, 2016

Shockingly well-dressed comedian Paul F. Tompkins, host of Spontaneanation and the television show No, You Shut Up! joins host Jason Gots for improvised singing and conversation on subjects ranging from supervillains to presidential debates.Also! We ...Show More

33. Marc Goodman (Cybersecurity Expert) – Dark Web/Nigerian Princes

36:19 | Feb 13th, 2016

All technology is in effect “dual use.” You can use it for good, or you can use it for ill. – Marc GoodmanAt what point does government's incompetence at policing sex predators and other internet criminals constitute breach of contract with the gener...Show More

32. James Doty, MD (Neurosurgeon) – Compassion and The Prison State

29:14 | Feb 6th, 2016

“Justice without the opportunity for redemption is torture.” -- James DotyIn this week's episode neurosurgeon James Doty, founder of the Stanford University Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and author of Into the Magic Shop , and Think Aga...Show More

31. Michael Shermer (Author, Friendly Skeptic) – A Dirty Job/We Want to Believe

24:30 | Jan 23rd, 2016

“We skeptics need evidence. And then, we’ll believe!” -- Michael ShermerIn this week's episode, Michael Shermer, author of Skeptic and The Moral Arc, and Think Again host Jason Gots discuss (among other things) compelling evidence that humanity's get...Show More

30. Howard Gardner (Psychologist) – Porn/Art/Good Work

23:10 | Jan 16th, 2016

At the risk of alienating your southern listeners, the American South is by far the most religious, and on every measure of turpitude it gets very good scores. -- Howard GardnerIn this week's episode, Howard Gardner, creator of the theory of Multiple...Show More

29. Sir David Hare (Playwright/Screenwriter) – Kleptocracy/A Thin Skin

29:04 | Jan 9th, 2016

I’ve written hit plays. I know what a hit feels like. It doesn’t significantly change your life. You still have to start again and try and write the next one. – David HareIn this week's episode, celebrated playwright Sir David Hare opines along with ...Show More

28. Daniel Levitin (Musician & Neuroscientist) – Rats/Risks/Rewards

28:12 | Dec 26th, 2015

"Now newness is coming at us continuously. And the brain hasn’t evolved to deal with that onslaught of newness. There has to be some sculpting of the input. Otherwise it just becomes random noise." – Daniel LevitinDo you see yourself as in control of...Show More

27. Alva Noë (Philosopher) – The Upside of Boredom

29:22 | Dec 19th, 2015

"Art, by letting us get bored, reveals something to us about what we’ve been doing to avoid boredom.” – Alva NoëWhy are we so afraid to slow down and think? Is it possible, in any sense, to separate reason and emotion? Is there such a thing as "too f...Show More

26. Ian Edwards (Comedian) – Sex/Guns/Honesty is Honesty

27:56 | Dec 12th, 2015

“How would you control yourself if you knew you were one of the only five people to have guns? You would be an asshole!” –– Ian EdwardsAre you "man enough" for non-monogamy? Could citizen gun ownership deter crazy cops? Can brutal honesty launch your...Show More

25. Sam Harris (Neuroscientist) – Uncomfortable Conversations

41:00 | Dec 5th, 2015

What are the limits of tolerance? Can people with fundamentally different world views coexist peacefully? Is faith incompatible with reason? In the wake of the recent Paris attacks, these questions are more pressing than ever.In this week's episode p...Show More

24. Maira Kalman (Artist) – Scared of Math/Psycho Killer

23:36 | Nov 28th, 2015

"My goal is always to be laughing. Do you lose the laughter once you become too good at something?” - Maira KalmanThink Again is a spontaneous, brainy variety show – The world's brightest minds grapple with surprise topics.Artist and author Maira Kal...Show More

23. Orhan Pamuk (Nobel Novelist) – Write to Live/No Logic In War

27:58 | Nov 21st, 2015

"There is no central logic in war. Victor Hugo wrote about street fights in Paris. In one street people are killing each other. In the next street people are enjoying their coffee. They’re not even aware of what’s happening." – Orhan PamukThink Again...Show More

22. Wendell Pierce (Actor, 'The Wire') – Godot Ain't Coming

24:17 | Nov 14th, 2015

Smart people. Surprise topics. Deep fun. This week, actor and New Orleans native son Wendell Pierce ('The Wire', 'Treme'), author of the new book "The Wind in the Reeds," about his work at the local and national level rebuilding New Orleans over the ...Show More

21. Saul Williams (Poet, Musician, Actor) – An Army of Poets/the 10,000 Things

38:31 | Nov 7th, 2015

Send in the poets. Send in the seducers. Vulnerable people, not invulnerable drones who can mistake a wedding party for a terrorist cell. When those mistakes are made, that is how ISIS is born. – Saul WilliamsSaul Williams is a fiercely original, mul...Show More

20. Jesse Ventura (Wrestler, Governor) – Off the Grid/Life on Mars

21:01 | Oct 30th, 2015

How to tell conspiracy and crazy apart. How six months a year "off the grid" in Mexico changes your perspective on everything. The "water bear", a possible alien life form among us.This week on Big Think's podcast, host Jason Gots talks with legendar...Show More

19. Ruth Reichl (Food Critic) – Identity Crisis/The Cooking Cure

18:04 | Oct 24th, 2015

When you lose everything, what do you reach for first?This week on Big Think's podcast, food critic Ruth Reichl, author of My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life talks with host Jason Gots about cooking, identity, and her year-long journey b...Show More

18. Junot Díaz (Pulitzer-Winning Novelist) – Double Lives/Hidden Culture

25:13 | Oct 17th, 2015

Is everybody leading a double life? Why are great comic books STILL NOT part of the "literary canon"? Would having a gay president actually change anything in America?This week on Big Think's podcast, Junot Díaz, Dominican-American, Pulitzer prize wi...Show More

17. Norman Lear (TV Legend) – An Authentic Horse's Ass/The Capacity to Choose

23:10 | Oct 10th, 2015

We surprise the world's sharpest minds with unexpected topics. This week, legendary TV producer Norman Lear, author ofEven THIS I Get to Experience joins host Jason Gots to discuss Mars colonies, immigration, and the upside of stress.“If I learned an...Show More

16. Jane McGonigal (Game Designer) – Game On!/Death to "Gamification"

19:31 | Oct 3rd, 2015

Fantasy can save your life but how much is too much? This week on Big Think's podcast we discuss three surprise ideas with game developer and researcher Jane McGonigal, author of the new book SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger,...Show More

15. Salman Rushdie (Novelist) – Happiness/Monsters

19:48 | Sep 26th, 2015

“For most of the time, writing any book, it's not going well."–– Salman Rushdie on Think AgainThis week on Big Think's popular podcast, we're joined by the brilliant and occasionally notorious Salman Rushdie, author of the new book Two Years, Eight M...Show More

14. Freakonomics' Stephen Dubner – Free $#!+/Hidden Costs

18:46 | Sep 19th, 2015

Are Pirate Bay (illegal, free) and Spotify (legit, really cheap) undermining artists' incentive to create?This week on Big Think's podcast, we're joined by Freakonomics' Stephen Dubner.An interview clip from film producer Jonathan Taplin launches an ...Show More

13. "Reply All" Hosts PJ & Alex – Future Crime/Personal Yoda/Bonus Track

25:54 | Sep 12th, 2015

Can we escape our own irrationality? Is weaponized DNA something we should be worrying about? Does the future look like "Mad Max"?This week on Big Think's podcast, we're joined by the astounding Alex Goldman and PJ Vogt, creators and hosts of "Reply ...Show More

12. George Takei (Actor + Activist) – Ego/Focus/Xenophobia

27:36 | Sep 5th, 2015

Is attention an endangered species? How do you collaborate with someone who hates you? Is xenophobia a natural side effect of religion?In this week's episode of Big Think's Think Again podcast, host Jason Gots is joined by actor, activist, and intern...Show More

11. Tina Roth Eisenberg (AKA @swissmiss) – Culture Theory/Color Theory

21:25 | Aug 29th, 2015

How do colors affect us psychologically? Will a less hierarchical, more collaborative society lead inevitably to robot wars?In this week's episode of Big Think's Think Again podcast, host Jason Gots is joined by Tina Roth Eisenberg (AKA Swissmiss), S...Show More

10. Mark Epstein (Buddhist Psychotherapist) – Nature/Nurture/Neither

29:02 | Aug 22nd, 2015

Will nanobots someday deposit Shakespeare directly into our brains? If we paid politicians tons of money would they do a better job? Does epigenetics solve the nature/nurture debate?In this week's episode of Big Think's Think Again podcast, host Jaso...Show More

9. Henry Rollins (Artist), pt. II – American Trauma/The Word "Genius"

22:54 | Aug 15th, 2015

Can anything cure what ails America? What's a "genius", exactly?In this week's episode of Big Think's Think Again podcast, we air part two of our conversation with legendary hardcore musician and spoken word artist Henry Rollins. Interview clips from...Show More

8. Maria Konnikova (Author) – Mindset/Creativity/Suburban B-Boyz

20:55 | Aug 8th, 2015

Can "positive thinking" keep you physically and mentally young? Do schools kill creativity? Should white boys ever rap or breakdance?In this week's episode of Big Think's Think Again podcast, host Jason Gots is joined by Maria Konnikova, author of Th...Show More

7. Baratunde Thurston (Comedian, Cultural Critic) – Stupidity Scaled/Robot Rights/Brand You

24:23 | Aug 1st, 2015

At what point do sex robots become sex slaves? How are bandwidth and storage capacity changing our lives? Can you have a "personal brand" and "be yourself" at the same time?In this week's episode of Big Think's Think Again podcast, host Jason Gots is...Show More

6. Brian Greene (Theoretical Physicist) – Student for Sale

13:37 | Jul 24th, 2015

Can anyone afford college anymore? Would it help if we sold stock in students? Would Young Einstein have been a popular commodity?In this week's episode of Big Think's Think Again podcast, host Jason Gots and sometime co-host Eric Sanders are joined ...Show More

5. Clint Smith (Poet, Educator) – Genetics/Racism/Harvard

19:48 | Jul 18th, 2015

Will our brainpower soon be exponentially enhanced by technology? Or will the world turn into a Terminator movie? Can genetics overcome its early history of racism?In this week's episode of Big Think's Think Again podcast, host Jason Gots is joined b...Show More

4. Bill Nye (Science Guy) – Geek Chic/TMI/Future Money

30:54 | Jul 11th, 2015

Was Einstein a fashion genius? Why is Malcolm Gladwell unimpressed by search engines? What will money look like in 500 years?In this week's episode of Big Think's Think Again podcast, host Jason Gots is joined by beloved actor/educator Bill Nye, host...Show More

3. Wendy Suzuki (Neuroscientist) – Brain Health/Consumerism/Women In Science

21:14 | Jul 4th, 2015

Is the modern world designed to kill you? Do Fitbit and meditation apps make us healthier and happier? Are women changing science for the better?In this week's episode of Big Think's Think Again podcast, host Jason Gots is joined by neuroscientist We...Show More

2. Henry Rollins (Artist) – Monogamy/Sexual Opportunism

17:51 | Jun 27th, 2015

Is monogamy ridiculous? Does this change with age? What do we really want out of love and sex?In this week's episode of Big Think's Think Again podcast, we're joined by legendary hardcore musician and spoken word artist Henry Rollins.This clip from c...Show More

1. Jason Silva (Futurist) – Awe/Information Overload

16:22 | Jun 20th, 2015

"Dealing with the everyday requires us to close ourself off. . . But when you see art you want the opposite of shutdown.. . . .How do you adjust the treble and the bass of experience as it’s coming in?"With everything competing for your attention, ho...Show More

Episode Zero – Think Again - Curiouser and Curiouser . . .

02:43 | Jun 4th, 2015

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 find ourselves outside of our comfort zones, thrust into unfa...Show More