Kickstarting a Better World

November 25th, 2019

208923296654412899-yancey-new-book.full.The great playwright Arthur Miller once wrote that too often “we know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” Perhaps nowhere is that truer than today. In a world where profit maximization and transactional value often seems to dominate, and the current push back to that could have unintended consequences, how do we find our equilibrium? How do we create a world of money and value, a world of profit and purpose, unbridled ambition and deeper meaning?

Yancey Strickler, a co-founder and former CEO of Kickstarter, now looks beyond the narrow focus of Silicon Valley into a way that just might bring on an exciting and better world. He shares his views in This Could Be Our Future: A Manifesto for a More Generous World

My conversation with Yancey Strickler:

Fake is Sometimes Real

November 18th, 2019

d998fd1a2d2897b57679119fad3e9735_XL.jpgArtificial flavors, fake news, authentic copies, and real replicas. They all sound like oxymoronic gibberish at worst, overzealous marketing at best.

And so it is that sometimes the fake is indeed real. Today we can appreciate and even learn or feel something by looking at a replica piece of art or liking an artificial version of our favorite food flavor or enjoying fake meat, But how about owning a Chinese made Louie Vuitton bag, Rolex or Mont Blanc pen?

The danger of course, on every level, is that we may have so blurred the lines between fake and real that virtual reality is no longer something we need glasses to see, it just the world we live in every day. That's the world that Lydia Pyne teaches us about in Genuine Fakes

My conversation with Lydia Pyne:

Only Whistleblowers Can Save Democracy

November 11th, 2019

Whistle_Blower_Posters_1088x725-700x470.Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Coleen Rowley, and the whistleblower who let us know about the Ukraine call, are just a few whose actions sparked international dialogue and their names may be universally recognized. But brave though they were, their courage isn’t universally revered.

Back in 2002 TIME magazine named three whistleblowers as people of the year and famed whistleblowers such as Frank Serpico, Jeffrey Wigand, and Karen Silkwood have been the subject of major films. Yet vitriol continues against individuals willing to speak out when they see crimes being committed.

Why are those who dare to expose corruption and worse so frequently ostracized? Why are we so quick to call treason on those who speak truth in the face of power? And what historical and patriotic obligation do we have to support and protect those that speak up? That’s our focus today as I’m joined by Middlebury College professor Allison Stanger to talk about Whistleblowers: Honesty in America from Washington to Trump

My WhoWhatWhy conversation with Allison Stanger:

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Why is Science Under Assault?

November 11th, 2019

James-Zimring-What-Science-Is.jpgEven when we don’t realize it, science is part of our lives. Physics, chemistry, biology...it’s all essential to our survival. So why is the general subject so confusing these days? Why do laymen think they know better than scientists?

And perhaps more importantly, at a time when everything else is advancing, when the cutting edge of

science impacts us all, how have the methodologies of science kept pace with modernity? Perhaps we’re all too stuck in the mindset of high school science class, and maybe that’s why we can’t progress in our thinking.

James Zimring, Professor of pathology at the University of Virginia, where he pursues basic and translational research in the field of transfusion medicine and blood biology, gives us some insight in What Science Is and How It Really Works

My conversation with James Zimring:

The Battle of Mosul - The Last Great Battle Against Isis

November 4th, 2019

Screen%2BShot%2B2019-11-04%2Bat%2B9.52.2While many of you can recite the great battles of WW I and II and even the Civil War, the more recent battle that have been fought in the Middle East against ISIS are already forgotten. Certainly, the battle for Mosul was one of those

Beyond that, there is the relevance to events taking place today. The battle for Mosul, which helped take down ISIS in 2017, had as a major component, the forces of the autonomous region of Kurdistan. 40,000 Kurds that were part of the joint military effort in a battle every bit as important and as bloody as those of WW II.

Journalist James Verini was embedded with the Iraqi counter-terrorism service during the battle and tells the remarkable story in They Will Have to Die Now: Mosul and the Fall of the Caliphate

My conversation with James Verini: