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To the Best of Our Knowledge


TTBOOK began as an audio magazine of ideas – two hours of smart, entertaining radio for people with curious minds. It’s sort of journalistic, but it’s never about the President’s speech to the U.N., weapons inspections in Iraq, or yesterday’s stock market disaster. It’s the kind of show that would spend an hour on the future of capitalism, or on the roots of Islamic fundamentalism. It might also spend an hour on hair. Or salt. Or pirates, road trips, psychic phenomena, house cleaning, animal intelligence, high energy physics, or how to say you’re sorry. It’s the kind of show where someone might mention Charlotte Bronte or Anthony Trollope in one segment, U2 or They Might Be Giants in another.

Life, Art, and Therapy

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Whatever happened to psychoanalysis?  It used to be the most influential science of the mind, but today its founder, Sigmund Freud, just looks like a sex-obsessed old man.  Analyst Adam Phillips says we got Freud all wrong; he remains a radical thinker if we know how to read him.  This hour explores the connections between therapy and art. Rethinking Freud - Adam Phillips; Growing Up Freudian - Erin Clune; Cartooning & Psychotherapy - Alison Bechdel; Art as Therapy - Alain de Botton; BookMark: Nic Pizzolatto; On Our Minds: James McBride .

Mayors

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The Mayor If Mayors Ruled the World; Participatory Budgeting; SONIC SIDEBAR: Mayor Dave; The Mayor of Reykjavik; DEEP TRACKS: Charles Cross on "The Fabulous Sounds of the Pacific Northwest"; On Our Minds: Junot Diaz.

Lab Lit

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Science is moving out of the lab and into the pages of literary fiction.  This week, we introduce the “Lab Lit” movement and talk about why fiction needs more realistic portrayals of scientists and science culture Science in Fiction - Jennifer Rohn; Archangel - Andrea Barrett; Sonic Sidebar: Antarctica in Fiction and Art; Women and Plants - Elizabeth Gilbert; BookMark - Karl Ove Knausgaard on "The Flame Alphabet"; On Our Minds: Science and the Avant Garde.

Eco-Optimism

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Brutal storms, rising seas, drought... you've seen the headlines. Our climate changed future seems pretty scary. But do all the messages about climate catastrope keep people from taking action to slow carbon emmissions or prepare for changing weather? What would happen if we looked to the future with hope? A Hopeful Message - Frances Moore Lappé; Rethinking Nature; Sonic Sidebar: FutureCoast; Climate International; BookMark: Benjamin Kunkel; On Our Minds: Sacred Economics.

Food for Thought

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What we eat can often say a lot about us. But why do we consider certain foods more appealing than others? In this hour, we look a the trends and tastemakers who shape our feelings about food. The Buzz Behind Food Trends; Sonic Sidebar: Food Preferences; Julia Child and the Love of Cooking; Food Anxieties; BookMark: Mishy Harman; On Our Minds: Jerusalem.

Philosophy in the Streets

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Philosophers get a bad rap - they're written off as too academic, too detached from daily life. But we're seeing a philosophy revival, from philosophy cafes to philosophers as therapists.  From the Stoics to Spinoza, an argument for why philosophy still matters. Philosopher and Wolf - Mark Rowlands; Sonic Sidebar: Rebecca Goldstein on Plato; Philosophy as Therapy - Jules Evans; Spinoza's Heresy - Steve Nadler; BookMark: Eric Jarosinski; On Our Minds: The Perfect Peach.

Who Is a Patriot?

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Who is a patriot? The Snowden Files; 1971 - An FBI break-in that rocked the nation; First Tea Party Activist - Keli Carender; James Yee – Muslim Chaplain at Guantanamo ; Bookmark: Kim Stanley Robinson; On Our Minds: The Fight for the Four Freedoms.

Air Travel

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What do airports and air travel tell us about ourselves? A Week at the Airport - Alain de Botton; Sonic Sidebar: Brian Eno's Music for Airports; Aerotropolis - Greg Lindsay; The Skies Belong to Us - Brendan Koerner; Deep Tracks: Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis; On Our Minds: Theme Parks.

Just Dance!

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Want to improve your mood? Just dance. This hour we’re talking with people who’ve found an easy way to keep themselves happy, to build friendships, and make art. We’re checking in with neuroscientists too, to hear just what happens in our brains when we’re dancing. Also, how dancing together has been part of religious life for centuries.  Dancing Away Anxiety; The Dancing Brain; Dancing Together; Sonic Sidebar: Tango; Sally Gross - Finding Her Own Dance; Deep Tracks: Charles R. Cross; On Our Minds: Picturing Migration.

The Power of Play

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Remember what it was like to be a kid, playing outside with friends for hours at a time? Sure, it may just seem like fun and games, but it may also have been invaluable training for life as an adult. Learning Through Play; A Perfect Playground; Inside an Adventure Playground; An Animated Life; Dangerous Idea: Investment Over Aid; On Our Minds: Unrest in Iraq.

Engaging the Enemy

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The US will pull troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2016, leaving behind an enemy they've fought for more than a decade. This week, we explore Afghanistan's Taliban insurgency and find out what motivates them. Who are the Taliban?; Detained by the Taliban; Sonic Sidebar: Facing the Enemy; Talking to the Enemy; BookMark: Leslie Jamison; On Our Minds: Karl Ove Knausgaard.

Saving Language

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Fifty to ninety percent of the world's languages are predicted to disappear in the next century.  And because language is the DNA of culture, a lost language is a lost culture.  Today, a look at efforts to save endangered languages before they go extinct. Language Warriors - David Harrison; Yung Yiddish - Danna Harman; The Word Exchange - Alena Graedon; PlayList: Karl Ove Knausgaard; On Our Minds: 12,000 Mile Family Road Trip.

Weird Fiction

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Welcome to the creepy, freaky world of weird fiction - from H.P. Lovecraft to emerging star Jeff Vandermeer - where there's a very thin line between the real and the surreal.  Also, the modern master of mythic fiction, Neil Gaiman. Southern Reach Trilogy - Jeff Vandermeer; Ursula Le Guin on Science Fiction; H.P. Lovecraft's Sound - Dean Lockwood; "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" - Neil Gaiman; Dangerous Idea: Critical Thinking; On Our Minds: Lawrence Krauss on the Big Questions.

Future Faces

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What’s the future of our faces? With new facial transplantation surgeries and the latest news about the NSA collecting images for facial recognition anaylsis, we're wondering about what we see in the mirror every day.  Finding Faces; Protecting Faces; Sonic Sidebar: Facing Age; Changing Faces; Dangerous Idea: Downloadable Selves; On Our Minds: Soccer in Brazil.

Heart of Darkness

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The Heart of Darkness The Act of Killing; The Noble Savage; Better Angels of our Nature; Sonic Sidebar: A Maya Angelou poetry reading; Bookmark: Lorrie Moore; On Our Minds: The Fault in our Stars.

Epic Fail

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Maybe failure isn't something to avoid, but something to strive for. The Gift of Failure - Sarah Lewis; Twitter's Lovable Misanthrope - Eric Jarosinski; Jodorowsky's Dune - Frank Pavich; BookMark: Nicola Griffith; On Our Minds: The World Cup.

Investigating Belief

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You know the earth is round, the sky is up, and your dog loves you.  But HOW do you know those things?  This week, how we form opinions – the psychology and brain chemistry behind our beliefs. You & Your Brain - Julian Keenan; Sonic Sidebar: The Political Divide; Irrational Beliefs - Will Storr; Charting Religious Traditions - Karen Armstrong; Dangerous Idea: American Exceptionalism; On Our Minds: Tiananmen Square.

Was Marx Right?

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Was Marx right after all in his critique of capitalism?  Our ongoing economic struggles have spawned a new generation of Marxist activists and intellectuals, and renewed interest in Karl Marx's own life.  "Why Marx Was Right" - Terry Eagleton; Marx in Soho - Brian Jones; "Love and Capital" - Mary Gabriel; "Utopia or Bust" - Benjamin Kunkel; BookMark: Walter Kirn; On Our Minds: Colson Whitehead.

Workflow

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We explore the world of work -- including cubicles and how corborations rule the world, Life Inc. - Douglas Rushkoff; Cubed - Nikil Saval; Sonic Sidebar: Waitresses; Industrial Musicals - Steve Young; Dangerous Idea: The LitMode 100; On Our Minds: Arundhati Roy.

The Art of Television

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Television used to be formulaic. Today, it’s the best gig around. We examine the explosion of high quality TV, from The Sopranos and The Wire to Mad Men, and talk with the creator of HBO’s True Detective. TV Revolution - Alan Sepinwall; True Detective - Nic Pizzolatto; TV and Literature - Lorrie Moore; "Husbands" - Brad Bell & Jane Espenson; Dangerous Idea: A Different Draft?; On Our Minds: Iraq War Poetry.