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Better Strangers

By Aric McKeown

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Podcast host, Aric McKeown, contacts and explores his very elementary grasp on conversation with complete strangers.

Customer Reviews

Can we talk more openly with strangers?

Aric McKeown one-ups the ideas of How to Win Friends and Influence People by meeting strangers and podcasting their conversations. Aric, with a shy personality, puts himself outside his comfort zone while speaking with people he has never met. Starting slowly, with the awkardness most of us feel when meeting someone new, the conversation stars rolling as two people find common interests and, in the end, have trouble saying good-bye because they have just reached the level of knowing each other and now must part. It is a great study of how two people learn of common interests then move on to getting to knowing each other. Each side of the conversation offers new personal insights. Does this happen because we feel can we open up and talk more freely to strangers? I will be listening each week.

Very neat!

It's pretty awesome to hear a real conversation! I'd recommend a listen

Better Strangers: The Next Great Social Experiment

What I truly adore about Mr. McKeown is how every one of his works seems to be about redefining society in some way. His webcomic, Blank It, shows a touching psychological approach to isolation and near existential absurdism. Hey, I Found Your Sign is designed to add a societal awareness to our own advertising actions (if Aric found our sign) or to our own reactions to advertising (we become blatantly aware of how much advertising is ingrained into our culture). Your Notness shows, in a lovely parody of normal picture rating sites, societal views of the ugly and how our society is largely based around rankings, particularly of appearance. Now, Better Strangers dissects the conversation and turns it into a bitesized sociolinguistic study on how people interast with one another. Social awkwardness plagues modern western society. In places like Tanzania Africa, everyone talks to you and everyone has an interest in you. But here in America no one even attempts to converse with strangers unless we are forced into close contact with them through school, non-profit groups, careers, etc. People have developed their own personal bubble that they are not willing to breech, even if breeching it is the only way to make proper enjoyable conversation. Better Strangers aims to teach us that breaking these personnal spheres can produce new friendships and acquaintances, and it also acts as a case study in developing conversational skills. Plus, the raw comedy of the situations produces more that mere chuckles. I rate this with 5 stars, just as I would rate any of Mr. McKeown's projects. Aric may not have much recognition now, but if everyone sat down and listened to the concerns he voices, the world would be a better, more self-aware place. One of the few most underrated, yet greatest, thinkers of our time.