#16 Hitler's Art, "Literally," and the Next Generation

#15 The Self-Improvement Machine with Chris Partridge

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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/

Sources

  1. Alexandra Schwartz, "Improving Ourselves to Death." New Yorker. 2018.
  2. Laurie Penny, "Life Hacks of the Poor and Aimless." The Baffler. 2016.

  3. Noah Berlatsky, "Silicon Valley’s quest for self-improvement exposes everything that’s wrong with late-capitalist society."  Quartz. 2017

Further Reading

  1. Joshua Topolsky, "Silicon Valley Would Be Wise to Follow China’s Lead (annotated for clarity)." The Outline. 2018.

#13 Black Mirror: "Nosedive" and Yelp for People

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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.

Sources

Black Mirror, Season 3, Episode 1: "Nosedive"

Botsman, Rachel. “Big Data Meets Big Brother as China Moves to Rate Its Citizens.” WIRED UK.

Perez, Sarah. “Controversial People-Rating App Peeple Goes Live, Has a Plan to Profit from Users’ Negative Reviews.” TechCrunch.

Recommendations

Halsey Street by Naima Coster

If All I Was Was Black by Mavis Staples

A Ghost Story. Directed by David Lowery

#12 The City: History vs. Development

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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?

Sources

  1. Dan Bertolet “When Historic Preservation Clashes with Housing Affordability.” Sightline Institute.
  2. “Environmental and Economic Benefits of Historic Preservation.Adventures in Preservation.
  3. Kelsey E. Thomas. “High-Profile Historic Preservationist Makes the Case for Saving Buildings.” NextCity
  4. Jack Strawbridge. “How Historic Preservation Can Drive Examination of Racial Inequality.” NextCity
  5. Meeks, Stephanie. “Affordable Housing and Historic Preservation Go Hand-in-Hand.” CityLab.

#11 Blue Ruin: The Ethics of Vengeance with Chris Partridge

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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?

To see more from Chris, check out cpartridge.com or follow him on Twitter: @narc_twain

#10 Philosophy for Children with Jana Mohr Lone

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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?

#9 The Good Art of Bad People

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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?

Sources

Amanda Hess. “How the Myth of the Artistic Genius Excuses the Abuse of Women.” The New York Times, November 10, 2017.

Caitlin Thompson. “Roxane Gay: The Bad Feminist’s Guide to Enjoying Hip Hop.” WNYC.

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.

Saturday Night Live. Welcome to Hell - SNL. 

Further Reading

Ann Hornaday, “Louis C.K., male accountability and the year fans were forced to grow up.” Washington Post, 2017

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

 

#8 Taylor Swift: Awkward, Strategic, or Villainous?

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What makes Taylor Swift so interesting? Is she, actually, interesting? How does she relate to Guy Fieri, America, and...ourselves? Dustyn and Whitney try to figure out the elusive, enigmatic T. Swift.

Dustyn and Whitney recommend the TV show Terriers, the book Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees by Lawrence Weschler, and the movie Blue Ruin in the final segment.

Note: Dustyn and Whitney mistakenly refer to the song “Blank Space” as “Blank Slate” several times. We feel bad about it.

Sources

Alanna Bennett, “Taylor Swift’s Persona Is Not Built For 2017”. BuzzFeed, 2017.

Alyssa Bereznak, “Hearing Both Sides of Taylor Swift”. The Ringer, 2017.

Ann Helen Peterson, “The Great White Celebrity Vacuum”. BuzzFeed, 2017.

Constance Grady. “A Unified Theory of Taylor Swift’s Reputation.” Vox, November 9, 2017.

Rachel Withers. “On Reputation, Taylor Swift Seems to Be Really Into The Great Gatsby.” Slate, November 11, 2017.

Further Reading

Snapes, Laura. “The Pop Stars Who Cry ‘fake News!’” The Outline. December 12, 2017.

#7 Guy Fieri and Authenticity

 

Is Guy Fieri authentic? Is authenticity admirable, even if someone is authentically unappealing? What does Guy Fieri’s character and celebrity say about America? In the final segment, Dustyn and Whitney talk about crime and punishment (not the book).

Sources

Diamond, Jason. “The Unrecognizable Genius of Guy Fieri.” Esquire, September 7, 2016.

Fulton, Wil. “Bourdain vs. Fieri: An Awkwardly Deep Look Into America’s Best Chef Feud.” Thrillist, December 7, 2015.

Guy Fieri’s Food Network Audition Tape. Youtube.

Hollyman, Helen. “Who Is Guy Fieri?” Munchies, February 15, 2017.

Hsu, Hua. “The Accidental American Genius of Guy Fieri.” The New Yorker, July 5, 2016.

Magery, Drew. "Guy Fieri's Big Gulp." GQ, November 13, 2015. 

Rosner, Helen. "1048 Words about Pete Wells and Guy Fieri." HuffingtonPost, November 15, 2012. 

Wells, Pete. “Restaurant Review: Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar in Times Square.” The New York Times, November 13, 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

#6 Gossip II - Mean Girls and the Culture of Censure

What’s the philosophical significance of Mean Girls? How can gossip change a culture? What is a “culture of censure?” Dustyn asks Whitney what sci-fi/fantasy world would be the best to live in.

Sources

Cohen, Patricia. “Go Ahead. Gossip May Be Virtuous.” The New York Times, August 10, 2002.

Emrys Westacott. “The Virtues of Our Vices.”Princeton University Press, 2013.

Holland, Margaret G. “What’s Wrong with Telling the Truth? An Analysis of Gossip.”American Philosophical Quarterly 33, no. 2 (1996): 197–209.

Waters, Mark. Mean Girls. Comedy, 2004.

#5 Gossip I - The Ethics of Gossip

Is gossip good after all? What does gossip get for us and what's the moral cost? Whitney takes a stand against Twitter’s new character limit. 

Sources

Cohen, Patricia. “Go Ahead. Gossip May Be Virtuous.” The New York Times, August 10, 2002.

Emrys Westacott. “The Virtues of Our Vices.” Princeton University Press, 2013.

Holland, Margaret G. “What’s Wrong with Telling the Truth? An Analysis of Gossip.” American Philosophical Quarterly 33, no. 2 (1996): 197–209.

Waters, Mark. Mean Girls. Comedy, 2004.

#4 Ghosts II - Poltergeists and Cannibals

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What counts as good evidence for ghosts? Is it a matter of faith? How do we approach the uncertain? Dustyn and Whitney discuss the Case of the Speluncean Explorers.

Main Resources

  1. Tiffanie Wen, “Why Do People Believe in Ghosts?” The Atlantic. 2014.

  2. Adam Boult, “Most Haunted team claim to have caught 'ghost' on camera - are you convinced?” The Telegraph. 2017.

  3. Michael Nees, “Hearing ghost voices relies on pseudoscience and fallibility of human perception.” The Conversation. 2015.

  4. David Corner, Summary of David Hume’s Of Miracles. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Further Reading

  1. David Hume,  "Of Miracles." An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. 1777.

  2. Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark. Ballantine Books. 1996.

  3. Benjamin Radford, “Ghost-Hunting Mistakes: Science and Pseudoscience in Ghost Investigations.”  Skeptical Inquirer, Volume 34.6. 2010.

 

#3 Ghosts I - Ghosts are Fun

Spirit photograph by Frederick Hudson (c.1872) depicting Georgiana Houghton, child and spirit. Credit: College of Psychic Studies. Originally found here.

Spirit photograph by Frederick Hudson (c.1872) depicting Georgiana Houghton, child and spirit. Credit: College of Psychic Studies. Originally found here.

Do ghosts exist? Should a person believe in them? Whitney makes the case for ghosts; Dustyn is skeptical. The two go down the Rabbit Hole of Amazon’s HQ2. 

Main Resources

  1. Tiffanie Wen, “Why Do People Believe in Ghosts?” The Atlantic. 2014.

  2. Adam Boult, “Most Haunted team claim to have caught 'ghost' on camera - are you convinced?” The Telegraph. 2017.

  3. Michael Nees, “Hearing ghost voices relies on pseudoscience and fallibility of human perception.” The Conversation. 2015.

  4. David Corner, Summary of David Hume’s Of Miracles. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Further Reading

  1. David Hume,  "Of Miracles." An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. 1777.

  2. Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark. Ballantine Books. 1996.

  3. Benjamin Radford, “Ghost-Hunting Mistakes: Science and Pseudoscience in Ghost Investigations.”  Skeptical Inquirer, Volume 34.6. 2010.

  4. Stefan Heck's Tweet on Tech Companies.

#2 Democracy II - Political Compromise

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Main Resources

  1. Molly Ball, “On Safari in Trump’s America.” The Atlantic, October 2017.

  2. Amy Gutmann and Dennis Thompson, “The Mindsets of Political Compromise.” Perspectives in Politics, 2010.
     
  3. Steve Inskeep and Shankar Vedantam, “Why Compromise is a Bad Word in Politics.NPR: Hidden Brain, 2012.
  4. Ed Mazza, “People are Officially Done with John Kelly After His ‘Absurd’ Civil War Comments.” Huffington Post, October 2017.

  5. Bo Winegard, “Centrism: A Moderate Manifesto.Quillette, August 2017.

  6. Kathleen Parker, “Can Centrism be a Movement?Washington Post, September 2017

#1 Democracy I - The Paradox of Voting

Credit: Molly Adams

Credit: Molly Adams

Welcome to No Narrow Thing! Dustyn and Whitney ask if there is a duty to vote. The two discuss if humans are even capable of voting responsibly, and if voting for a candidate who does something wrong makes you complicit in their actions. We also learn a Random Fact from History!

Main Resources

  1. Judy Nadler, “Do We Have an Obligation to Vote?” October 2008. Markulla Center for Applied Ethics. Santa Clara University.

  2. Maskivker, Julia. “Yes, You Do Have an Obligation to Vote for the Lesser of Two Evils. Here’s Why.” Washington Post, June 2016.

  3. A. Barton Hinkle, “No, You Don’t Have an Obligation to Vote.” Reason.com, May 2016.

  4. Who Votes, Who Doesn’t, and Why.” Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, October 18, 2006.

  5. Jeff Jacoby Globe. “Voting Is a Right, but It’s Not a Duty.” BostonGlobe.com. October 2012.
 

#0 Trailer

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Welcome to No Narrow Thing!

No Narrow Thing drops on 11/15 with three episodes! 

No Narrow Thing is the podcast that gets philosophical about everything. New episodes are released every Wednesday, to Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and your favorite podcasting app.

Join us in conversation as we ask questions like: Is there a duty to vote? Is gossip ethical? Is it reasonable to believe in ghosts?