David Prestin (nextcallings.com) joins Dustyn and Whitney to dive into Steven Pinker's new book Enlightenment Now - The Case for Reason, Science, and Progress. Is the world in a better state than it seems? If so, why does it feel so bad?
David Prestin is a Life & Business Transitions Consultant and Coach at his company Next Callings. Before starting out on his own, he spent 10 years at the Boeing Company as an Industrial & Systems Engineer, Manager, and Strategist. He graduated from the University of Washington in 2007 with a B.A. in Philosophy and B.S. in Industrial & Systems Engineering. He went on to work on a M.S. in Engineering with a focus in Engineering Management and Leadership and graduating from Purdue University in 2012. He's been with the UW Philosophy Departments Advisory Board since 2016.
Bakewell, Sarah. “Steven Pinker Continues to See the Glass Half Full.” The New York Times, March 3, 2018.
Gates, Bill. “My New Favorite Book of All Time.” gatesnotes.com. Accessed May 30, 2018.
Gopnik, Alison. “When Truth and Reason Are No Longer Enough.” The Atlantic, April 2018.
Pinker, Steven. Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress. New York, New York: Viking, 2018.
Szalai, Jennifer. “Steven Pinker Wants You to Know Humanity Is Doing Fine. Just Don’t Ask About Individual Humans.” The New York Times, March 1, 2018.
Accurate, timely, localized and international - knowledge and facts are important, and ideally brought to us via journalistic entities and institutions. Given the value of journalism and news media to our lives and our society, is there an ethical obligation that falls on us to support them in return?
- Shawn Musgrave and Matthew Nussbaum. “Trump thrives in areas that lack traditional news outlets.” Politico. March 8, 2018. https://www.politico.com/story/2018/04/08/news-subscriptions-decline-donald-trump-voters-505605
Wenzel, John "The Gutting of The Denver Post is a Death Knell for Local News." The Atlantic. May 11, 2018. https://www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/560186/
Branswell, Hellen. “When towns lose their newspapers, disease detectives are left flying blind”. Stat. March 20, 2018 https://www.statnews.com/2018/03/20/news-deserts-infectious-disease/
Dubb, Steve. “Nonprofits Increasingly Central to the Future of the News”. Nonprofit Quarterly. February 8, 2018. https://nonprofitquarterly.org/2018/02/12/nonprofits-increasingly-central-future-news/
Barthel, Michael; et al. Civic Engagement Strongly Tied to Local News Habits” Pew Research Center. November 3, 2016. http://www.journalism.org/2016/11/03/civic-engagement-strongly-tied-to-local-news-habits/
Nolan, Hamilton. "A Billionaire Destroyed His Newsrooms Out of Spite." New York Times. November 3, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/03/opinion/dnainfo-gothamist-ricketts-union.html
Most people know that factory farms are unpleasant places. However, many don't realize the impact of factory farms on the people who live near them, including the degradation of the water, air, and even property values in nearby communities. Christine Ball-Blakely, lawyer and animal rights advocate, joins Dustyn and Whitney to talk about factory farms and their disproportionate impact on communities of color.
- Christine Ball-Blakely, "CAFOs: Plaguing North Carolina Communities of Color." Sustainable Development Law and Policy Brief, Vol. 18, No. 1, 2017.
- Animal Legal Defense Fund
- Update on North Carolina Lawsuit: David Meyer, "A $50 Million Lawsuit Over Stinky Pigs Has the Whole Pork Industry Scared." Fortune, April 2018.
Dustyn and Whitney examine five topics from the internet, some of which are hot takes...hence Take Five. It's a bad name and they know it. Topics include: aliens, Ted Nugent, and celebrities-as-politicians.
Aliens / Trump and Aliens
Celebrities in Gov’t / Clowns
Will technology, and our tech leaders, bring about utopia? Or are their promises just another marketing gimmick? Can we trust the richest of the rich to look out for the rest of us?
Paul Lewis. Welcome to Powder Mountain - a utopian club for the millennial elite. The Guardian. March 16, 2018. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/mar/16/powder-mountain-ski-resort-summit-elite-club-rich-millennials
Gaby Del Valle. Tech Bros Told They’re no Longer Allowed to Colonize French Polynesia. The Outline. March 15, 2018 https://theoutline.com/post/3745/seasteading-institute-french-polynesia-peter-thiel
Holly Wood. “Tech bros” and their sense of entitlement will be Silicon Valley’s undoing. QZ. February 23, 2016. https://qz.com/622452/tech-bros-and-their-sense-of-entitlement-will-be-silicon-valleys-undoing/
Arwa Mahdawi. Silicon Valley thinks it invented roommates. They call it ‘co-living’ The Guardian. November 16, 2017. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/16/silicon-valley-thinks-it-invented-roommates-they-call-it-co-living
"Budgets are moral documents," policymakers say. What does this mean? Should we evaluate our governmental, and personal, budgets ethically? Does the way we spend money reveal our true ethical commitments?
- Robert De Neufville. "The Budget is a Moral Document." http://bigthink.com/politeia/the-budget-is-a-moral-document Big Think.
- Dylan Matthews. "Budgets are moral documents, and Trump’s is a moral failure." https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/3/16/14943748/trump-budget-outline-moral Vox. March 16, 2017
- David Freddoso. "Budgets aren’t really moral documents." https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/budgets-arent-really-moral-documents Washington Examiner. March 16, 2017
- Federal Budget 101: https://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-budget/policy-basics-where-do-our-federal-tax-dollars-go
- Peter Singer. "The Life You Can Save." https://www.thelifeyoucansave.org
What's it like when someone with superpowers begins to age? What does it say about our own views on aging and mortality? We explore these questions, as well as the connection between heroism and the body.
Logan. 2017. Directed by James Mangold.
‘Logan’ is really about caring for an elderly relative while also raising a child - Michael Cavna and David Betancourt, Washington Post (March 6, 2017)
Logan broke our hearts in many beautiful ways — and one awful one - Tasha Robinson, Kwame Opam and MEgan Farokhmanesh, The Verge (March 6, 2017)
Bigfoot. Sasquatch. Yeti. Skunk Ape. Is it reasonable to believe in this hairy humanoid of the forest? This week's episode: Bigfoot (The Philosophy of).
Benjamin Radford, "Bigfoot at 50: Evaluating a Half-Century of Bigfoot Evidence." Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. 2002.
Darren Naish, "If Bigfoot Were Real." Scientific American. 2016.
"The Bigfoot Trap." Atlas Obscura
Philosophers talk a lot about big ethical transgressions: murder, cheating, trolley problems, etc. What about the real-life choices you actually have to make every day? Dustyn and Whitney explore the small ethical transgressions people commit all the time. How bad is it to steal from the self check-out line? Can you lie to kids to make them behave? What about googling someone before a first date?
Rene Chun, The Banana Trick and Other Acts of Self-Checkout Thievery, The Atlantic, March 2018.
Rebecca Hersher, How Small Fibs Lead to Big Lies, NPR, October 2016.
Garrett, N., Lazzaro, S.C., Ariely, D., and Sharot, T. (2016). Nature Neuroscience. The brain adapts to dishonesty.
Welsh, D.T., Ordonez, L.D., Snyder, D.G., Christian, M.S. (2015). Journal of Applied Psychology. The Slippery Slope: How Small Ethical Transgressions Pave the Way for Larger Future Transgressions
Peyser, E. Don't Google Me Before Our First Date, Cosmopolitan, 2016.
- Leo Beletsky at Northeastern University
- Beletsky, Leo et al. “The Law (and Politics) of Safe Injection Facilities in the United States.” American Journal of Public Health 98.2 (2008): 231–237.
- HarmReduction.org: Principles of Harm Reduction
- Aubrey Whelan, "Safe injection sites to fight opioid overdose deaths get green light from Philadelphia officials." Philadelphia Inquirer. 201.
- Olga Khazan. "Why Can’t Addicts Just Quit?" Olga Khazan. The Atlantic. 2017.
- Christine Vestal, "Injection Sites Provide Safe Spots to Shoot Up." Christine Vestal. HuffingtonPost. 2018.
- Abraham Gutman, "No, Philly did not just approve of ‘Hamsterdam’." Philadelphia Inquirer. 2018.
- Liz Giordano, "Yes or No? Safe Injection Sites Trigger Passion." Crosscut. 2017.
- Erykah Badu Interview: http://www.vulture.com/2018/01/erykah-badu-in-conversation.html
- Larry the Cable Guy vs. White Nationalist: https://twitter.com/classiclib3ral/status/955871114546343936
- Non-Parents Should Take Care of Others’ Kids: https://ifstudies.org/blog/one-way-to-boost-fertility-babysit-other-peoples-kids
- Bar Bans Literally: http://www.grubstreet.com/2018/01/east-village-bar-boldly-bans-customers-who-say-literally.html
- What to Call the Next Generation: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/23/style/generation-names.html
- Kids’ Takes: https://twitter.com/kevinroose/status/957317950041706496
Why are there so many books, apps, and systems devoted to self-optimization? Are they helping us improve where it matters? If we're getting better, why does it feel so bad? Chris Partridge joins Dustyn and Whitney to discuss the drivers and pains of endless self-improvement.
More on Chris: cpartridge.com,
Chris's Twitter: @narc_twain,
Supper Club: https://www.facebook.com/supperclubchicago/
- Alexandra Schwartz, "Improving Ourselves to Death." New Yorker. 2018.
Laurie Penny, "Life Hacks of the Poor and Aimless." The Baffler. 2016.
Dustyn and Whitney use the Black Mirror episode, "White Christmas," to ask the questions: what's so creepy about pick up artistry? Can an AI be a person? Can you enslave yourself? Would it be ethical to "block" someone in real life like we do on social media?
Black Mirror, Season 2, Episode 4: "White Christmas"
Dustyn and Whitney talk about the Black Mirror episode "Nosedive" and get into what makes Yelp-for-People so horrifying. Whitney recommends the book Halsey Street by Naima Coster and the album If All I Was Was Black by Mavis Staples. Dustyn recommends the film A Ghost Story.
Black Mirror, Season 3, Episode 1: "Nosedive"
Whitney and Dustyn explore the tension between historical preservation and development. Then they focus on the classic question: would you accept a duel on the moon?
- Dan Bertolet “When Historic Preservation Clashes with Housing Affordability.” Sightline Institute.
- “Environmental and Economic Benefits of Historic Preservation.” Adventures in Preservation.
- Kelsey E. Thomas. “High-Profile Historic Preservationist Makes the Case for Saving Buildings.” NextCity
- Jack Strawbridge. “How Historic Preservation Can Drive Examination of Racial Inequality.” NextCity
- Meeks, Stephanie. “Affordable Housing and Historic Preservation Go Hand-in-Hand.” CityLab.
Comedy writer Chris Partridge (@narc_twain) joins Dustyn and Whitney to explore the ethical questions at the heart of the film, Blue Ruin: must we avenge the ones we love? Does pursuing vengeance make your a life a blue ruin? Is violence outside of self-defense ever justified?
Jana Mohr Lone, director and founder of University of Washington's Center for Philosophy for Children and founding president of the Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization (PLATO) joins Dustyn and Whitney to discuss philosophy for children: what does philosophical education for children look like? What would a world be like where everyone was a little more philosophical? How do you navigate difficult topics like violence and religion with children?
In light of the prominence of sexual assault allegations against artists, art historian Lane Eagles joins Dustyn and Whitney as they navigate the difficult question: how does our relationship to art change when we know its creator did bad things? Are we allowed to enjoy the works? Are we allowed to purchase them?
Amanda Hess. “How the Myth of the Artistic Genius Excuses the Abuse of Women.” The New York Times, November 10, 2017.
Chuck Klosterman. “On Boycotting Woody Allen’s Films.” The New York Times, March 14, 2014.
Justin Weinberg. “Philosophers On The Art of Morally Troubling Artists.” Daily Nous, November 21, 2017.
Kate Harding. “Letters From Hollywood: Roman Polanski’s Rape Of Child No Big Thing.” Jezebel. Accessed November 9, 2017.
Melena Ryzik, Cara Buckley, and Jodi Kantor. “Louis C.K. Crossed a Line Into Sexual Misconduct, 5 Women Say.” The New York Times, November 9, 2017.
Noël Carroll. “Art and Ethical Criticism: An Overview of Recent Directions of Research.” Ethics 110, no. 2 (2000): 350–87.
Roxane Gay. “Compartmentalizing Woody Allen: What America Chooses Not to See.” Salon, February 2, 2014.
Charles McGrath, “Good Art, Bad People”. New York Times, 2012.
Claire Dederer, “What do we do with the art of monstrous men?” Paris Review, 2017
Cody Delistraty, “How Picasso Bled the Women in His Life for Art”. Paris Review, 2017