• April 14th, 2021

    Sherry Turkle: Is Technology Killing Our Hearts?

    Is technology killing our hearts? Sherry has been studying the impact of tech and social media (robots! AI! smartphones! facebook!) on THE HUMAN SOUL since she graduated Radcliffe and started working at MIT back in the seventies. I have always wanted to understand how the internet is changing our hearts. So no big surprise I’ve been a big admirer of MIT professor Sherry Turkle since reading Alone Together (2011) and Reclaiming Conversation (2015). Sherry recently wrote a memoir about her childhood and her journey through the male-dominated world of tech and MIT, and it’s a game-changer. Wherever tech ideas and men dominate, there are so many important questions about empathy...and Sherry has unlocked some of the answers.

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  • March 15th, 2021

    Dr Rola Hallam: The Fuckery of Philanthropy

    Doctors don’t get much more punk rock than Rola Hallam. And I mean old-school, boundary-breaking, structure-shattering punk rock. When government red tape in Syria stopped funds from being allocated to hospitals suffering bomb attacks, Dr Rola crowdfunded an entire hospital. They called her crazy. She ignored them. This episode is a call to arms. March 15th 2021 is the tenth anniversary of the Syrian conflict and Dr Rola is raising funds again; this time to buy early warning systems for 150 schools to help protect children who are being targeted while trying to get an education. This is DIRECT ACTION. We, as a community, can mobilise and contribute directly to Rola’s campaign to save kids lives. Go to SaveSyriasSchools.org and donate what you can. Make me proud.

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  • February 9th, 2021

    Clare Bowditch: Putting Hope Into The World

    Reading is an empathy factory. When I read Australian singer-songwriter Clare Bowditch's memoir, "Your Own Kind of Girl", I related deeply to her struggles with insecurity, self-worth and sanity. We had so much in common it was uncanny, like finding an accidental lost twin sibling through a bookshop. Join us as we talk (and laugh, and cry) about owning your own self-doubt and self-hatred, how books can actually change your life, the emotional cost of telling your own true story....and more.

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  • February 2nd, 2021

    Madison Young: Can Porn Be Feminist? (Spoiler Alert: Yes It Can)

    pleasure, porn and procreation. ok, maybe the answer to the question ‘can porn be feminist?’ doesn’t require a spoiler in this context. maybe a conversation between a porn star, activist and noted expert on sex and BDSM and I would only ever be a celebration of kink and pleasure? you’re not wrong, but Madison Young is so much more than that. she’s a tower of burning energy that, having spent an hour with her, you’ll feel the flames on your skin. get dressed and hit ‘play’.

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  • January 26th, 2021

    Rachel Jayson: I Want The Thing

    lies, shoes, grief and mixtapes. we recorded this episode in my home in woodstock back in September 2019. like the best long-yarn conversations with good friends, it roams across an ocean of emotions. we share war wounds from the mainstream media, Rachel talks about what it means to be ‘Dapper Q’, the church of LL Bean and the joy of finding music that’s as angry as you are.

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  • January 19th, 2021

    Wayne Muller: A Chat With My Therapist

    This may seem like a weird one, but it’s a great one. My therapist also happens to be a best-selling author and comforting, insightful and beautiful conversationalist. Wayne writes mostly about the upsides of making it through trauma, the tricks our minds play, and the power of slowing down. He’s also hilarious. And a minister, and a photographer...and a pretty good guitar player. So after leading a week-long retreat with him for my patrons, I lured him into the recording studio to talk with him for over an hour about the human condition. Cheapest hour of therapy I ever wangled.

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  • January 12th, 2021

    Fred Leone: Song Man

    Twelve months ago, the Australian bushfires were center stage. I was in Australia for the final leg of the "there will be no intermission" tour and all that mattered was raising money to help the effort. With the support of my patrons, we made Forty-Five Degrees: Bushfire Charity Flash record and on March 8th 2020, we staged a fundraiser. I recorded this interview with Fred Leone, who participated in both the record and the fundraiser, two days before that show, and less than two weeks before Covid really upended the globe. A conversation about the marginalisation of first nations Aboriginal Australians and their culture might have lost its impact after the craziest year in living history, but you know what? It’s all so fucking RELEVANT. Our ability to communicate with each other well  - through words, through music - is the glue that holds us together and if we can learn anything from recent events in the US, it’s that Western culture’s glue is no less vulnerable to erosion than any other. Fred has worked for years to preserve the language and rituals of Aboriginal culture, through the traditional means of storytelling, music and art. We talk about how tech has usurped these channels, how it might be repurposed to reopen them and how swiftly their disruption leads to extinction. It’s weird how a conversation can be so sad and yet full of hope. And Fred's voice...I could listen for days. I hope you hear the music under it all. It’s more important than ever to keep sharing our stories and singing our songs. It’s our light in the dark.

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  • January 5th, 2021

    Masarat Daud: I Am Not Responsible for your Ignorance

    We had little to do in 2020 but contemplate our connections. To our planet, to our lives and most importantly, to the flesh-and-blood humans who surround us. And yet with every day that passes, the spaces we inhabit feel increasingly intolerant and hostile, progress towards a more inclusive, thoughtful world crushed beneath the weight of internet-yellings and fake news-wars. My guest this week, TEDx curator and education activist Masarat Daud, has dealt with the consequences of exclusion on the basis of her appearance since she began wearing a burqa at 17... and she has much, much, much to teach us about the way our judgements and biases form, manifest and harm others. We talked about everything from how to flip expressions of hatred into resilience to the casual removal of agency by the feminist who told her ‘you’re oppressed but you don’t know it yet’. Ooh boy. There’s never been a better time to stop and reflect how we look at the world, at other people and wonder whether we ourselves could be more compassionate - and more willing to embrace difference - than we imagined. I hope you find this conversation (and Masarat’s penguin headscarf) as enlightening as I did. Enjoy!

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