To the Best of Our Knowledge
By Wisconsin Public Radio
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To the Best of Our Knowledge cracks open the world and the ideas that fuel it through interviews with the world's luminaries, from experts to cultural icons. Each show revolves around a theme where we explore these ideas and the people who consider them.
||CleanStoryWorlds||In this show, we explore the fictional universes that continue to enchant us. How to Build Fantastical Fictional Universes; The Secret History of Twin Peaks; A Haunting Story of Lincoln, Love and Loss.||2/18/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanExtra: Neil Gaiman Brings Us to the End of the World||Chaotic headlines out of Washington, ice melting in Antarctica, world temps rising and global conflict on the rise… it could be worse. It could be Ragnarok.||2/16/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanHow To Be Alone||If you've ever been alone on Valentine's Day, you probably know how isolating it can be to feel like the only single person in a world full of happy couples. But being alone doesn't have to be shameful. This hour, we're changing the script and making the case for the lovelorn, the loners, the bachelors and spinsters that there's nothing wrong with being alone. Why Some Breakups Are More Painful Than Others; Battling Loneliness In The Big City; A Loners' Manifesto; The Value Of Solitude; A Solo Walk Halfway Across the Globe; Getting Wild In the Suburbs.||2/11/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanExtra: Philip Glass at 80||It’s really hard to exaggerate the influence that Philip Glass has had on contemporary classical music. In honor of his eightieth birthday, here's a re-aired conversation with the composer about his memoir, "Words Without Music."||2/8/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanOriginal Sin||The story of Adam and Eve is as old as sin. But it’s a lot more than a Bible story. Original Sin at the Heart of All Political Divides; The Imprint of Original Sin on Western Culture; A Blessing in the Garden; When Sin Bears Fruit.||2/4/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanA Borderless World?||There are nearly 250 million migrants across the world right now. Some will be escaping war or oppression, others will be seeking out freedom or economic prosperity, but whatever the reason, the kind of life they're looking for lies across a border that's policed and restricted. What if it didn't have to be that way? This hour, we explore a world without borders. Artist Molly Crabapple On Why Borders Are Unnecessary; The Case For Open Borders; Why Borders Are Becoming Irrelevant; Rethinking The History Of Mass Migration In America; Life As An Undocumented Immigrant; The Hidden Life of An Economic Migrant.||1/28/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanExtra: Daniel Schorr on How Journalists Keep Politicians Honest||We find ourselves wondering how legendary muckrakers might have reacted to some of these first Trump press briefings.||1/24/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanHell is Other People||How do you cope with unpleasant people? When there’s no escape and you’re stuck with someone you can’t stand, what do you do? What Sartre Meant by “Hell is Other People”; His Other Name Rhymes with “Glass Poles”; The Case Against Empathy; Why It Pays to Be Civil; Two Years Living Under Glass.||1/21/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanExtra: Mark Greif on Why He’s “Against Everything”||In this podcast, Mark Greif, co-founder of the literary magazine n+1 and author of “Against Everything,” reflects on the art of being a cultural critic.||1/18/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanArtificial Creativity||Computer scientists are closing in on the next frontier in artificial intelligence — machines that can create. But don’t throw away your paintbrush yet. Machine Music Theory 101; Cracking the “Bestseller Code”; My Robot Could Paint That; Creative Differences with Android Lloyd Webber; Nothing Left To Do But Write Songs.||1/14/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanExtra: Putting Music to the City of Broad Shoulders||Charles Monroe-Kane talks to David Nagler about setting Carl Sandburg's poems to music.||1/12/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMan Up||Be strong, be tough, don’t cry – boys are bombarded with messages about being a man and the “male code” beginning around five or six years old. By high school, it’s second nature. But it can also be toxic. Angry on the Outside, Sad on the Inside; Behind the Mask of the “American Male”; 10 Responses to the Phrase “Man Up”; The Men’s Rights Movement, Then and Now.||1/7/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanExtra: Remembering Huston Smith||Last week we lost one of the great scholars of religion. Huston Smith died at the age of 97. Smith's book “The World’s Religions” sold more than three million copies and is perhaps the most important book ever written on comparative religion. Here's an excerpt of Steve Paulson's 2002 interview with Huston Smith.||1/5/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanRenunciation||Ah, January. Season of diets and fasts and cleanses, of "Drynuary" and "Veganuary." Why does being virtuous always seem to mean giving up pleasure? This hour, we explore the concept of renunciation and our complicated feelings about it. The Man Who Invented "Dry-nuary"; The Story of a Contemporary Hermit; The Religious Roots of Renunciation; Renunciation as a Creative Force; David Foster Wallace on Alcoholics Anonymous; How Prohibition Shaped America.||12/31/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanAnimals in Winter||Animals in Winter Ingenuity of Animals in Winter; How Animals Sound in Winter; The Reindeer People; Women Hunting; Helen Macdonald recommends "The Dark is Rising"; The Dutch Christmas Tradition of Black Pete.||12/17/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanBest of 2016||the best of 2016 Best of 2016: Building a Mosque in America; Best of 2016: Elif Şafak on the Pain of Living in a Polarized Culture; Best of 2016: Terry Tempest Williams on the Importance of National Parks; Best of 2016: Country Singer Brandy Clark on a Big Day in a Small Town; Best of 2016: Chuck Klosterman Thinks About the Present As If It Were the Past.||12/17/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanShirley Jackson||On the centennial of Shirley Jackson's birth, we explore her life and her stories and novels, which continue to resonate in our culture. A Rather Haunted Life; The Daemon Lover; My Mother, Shirley Jackson; Making My Grandmother's Story Graphic; Under the Influence of Jackson.||12/10/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFreeman Dyson, Sage of Science||You get the sense that Freeman Dyson has seen everything. He's a legendary physicist who's been friends and colleagues with the giants of 20th century physics, from Wolfgang Pauli to Richard Feynman. Now in his mid-90s, he's had a front row seat on scientific breakthroughs for the past century. He's also not shy about making sweeping pronouncements - whether on the archaic rules for getting a PhD or the pitfalls of Big Science. In this extended interview, Dyson tells Steve Paulson about his own remarkable life in science.||12/7/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMaking A Home||Anyone who’s moved knows how difficult it can be to settle into a new place. Whether it’s another country or an apartment just down the block, it takes time and work to get comfortable. We’re living through a period of mass human migration, with people on the move all over the planet. This hour, we’re talking about home – how to take an unfamiliar place and make it yours. A Violinist Flees Syria and Discovers a New Home in the US; How 'Home' Made Us Human; For Some Veterans, the Return Home is the Hardest Part of Their Tour; Bookmark: Jonathan Chait recommends “What Hath God Wrought” by Daniel Walker Howe; The Revolutionary War’s Impact on America.||12/3/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanLarry Brilliant, Hippie Doctor||Today, Larry Brilliant is a doctor and global health expert. But back in the Sixties, he was a hippie doctor who joined Wavy Gravy's traveling bus caravan and then landed in an Indian ashram in the Himalayas, where his guru told him his destiny was to help cure smallpox. Miraculously, his U.N. team of doctors eradicated the world's remaining cases of this terrible disease. In this extended interview, he tells Steve Paulson about a remarkable moment in history when anything seemed possible.||12/1/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanGetting Jazzed||There's a new kind of music packing nightclubs with young fans. It's jazz - but not the sound of your grandparents' supper club. Infused with hip hop and other popular musical forms, jazz is being remade. We talk with some of today's biggest and most innovative jazz stars, including Esperanza Spalding and Vijay Iyer, and explore the magic of improvisation. Ecstatic Rhythm; Leroi Jones' "Blues People"; Esperanza Spalding's "Good Lava"; Tord Gustavsen Recommends a Norwegian Jazz Classic; What Is Music?.||11/26/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanHip Hop Future||the hip hop future For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood; Hip Hop as Diplomacy. Hip Hop as Journalism.; We Gon' Be Alright; Winner of the 2016 National Book Award.||11/19/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanYour Attention Please||In this hour, we explore our attention economy. How does it feel to be subjected to an endless onslaught of information, clickbait and ads competing for our attention? And how does it feel to know that the commodity everyone wants is inside your skull? Addicted to Adderall; The Attention Merchants are Getting Inside Your Head; We're Short-Circuiting Our Attentiveness; Why Wasting Time on the Internet is Time Well Spent; The Secret History of the World's Most Popular Video Game.||11/12/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanReconciliation||After one of the ugliest and most divisive presidential races in history -- can America heal? Weeks of vitriolic campaign rhetoric have taken a toll on friends and families. A majority of voters are disgusted with politics and don’t believe the next president will be able to unite the country. So where do we go from here? This hour, a look at reconciliation -- how to recover personal and political harmony. Unfriended Over Politics; How the Founding Feuds Shaped the Nation; Liberal and Conservative Till Death Do Us Part; Esperanza Spalding on Jazz and Reconciliation; Artists and Frenemies; Thomas Kunkel on 'Here Is New York'; Jacqueline Woodson's 'Another Brooklyn'.||11/5/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanElection 2.0||Americans head to the polls amid mounting political rhetoric, from both sides, about vote rigging and voter supression. Maybe it's time to rethink the way we do elections. In this episode, we surface some ingenious, off-the-wall, and counter-intuitive ideas about how to make voting fairer, better and more fun. You've Been Micro-Targeted; Are Americans Smart Enough To Vote? (The Answer is No); US Elections Rank Worst Among Western Democracies ; Pay To Vote? How Markets Could Fix Democracy; Should We Let Babies Vote?; How To Make Elections Fun Again.||10/29/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanH.P. Lovecraft||H.P. Lovecraft's weird tales of cosmic horror loom large 125 years after his birth. His literary tentatcles have oozed their way into movies, books, games and graphic novels. We explore Lovecraft's life, work and legacy. Was he a literary master or a monster? The Magickal Realism and Continuing Influence of H.P. Lovecraft; The Ecology of Noise in Lovecraft's Fiction; Eugene Thacker Goes "From Beyond"; H.P. Lovecraft's Racism; The Call of Cthulhu (for Beginning Readers); Going Beyond Lovecraft: Thomas Ligotti.||10/26/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanTelling a Life||How do you tell the story of your life? Do you focus on meaning, accomplishment and hope - or on failure and loss? Psychologists say telling a good life story can make you happier. But do we also create an inauthentic version of ourselves if we turn everything into a narrative? We explore the idea of life stories, and hear why poet Patti Smith chose to "write about nothing" when writing about her own life. How to Edit Your Life Story; The Terminal Bar; "I Am Not a Story"; Elena Ferrante and Elizabeth Hardwick; Patti Smith's Mind Train.||10/22/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEric Liu Teaches Power to the People||Eric Liu is on a campaign to make voting fun again and to restore the power of the people||10/20/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWho Owns Water?||Who Owns Water? Water is for Fighting Over; A Basketball Star Heads to Standing Rock; What Is Water?; Terry Tempest Williams on the novel Tracks by Louise Erdrich; The Massacre at Wounded Knee - 10 Years Later; An Anishinaabe Poem and Creation Story.||10/15/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Problem With Men's Locker Rooms and Women's Restrooms||Why Donald Trump's locker rooms and sex-segregated bathrooms are a bad idea||10/12/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
Truly the Best Podcast
I've been a podcaster for some years now, and I have to say that when I decided to write a round of reviews here, I realized that TTBOOK was actually my favorite podcast. I subscribe to many podcasts, including more than a few that could be compared content-wise and/or stylistically to TTBOOK but that for one reason or another seem to be much more popular, so I'm fairly confident in saying that my rating of this show is not in any way hyperbolic.
Most people who would be interested in a show like TTBOOK are probably well aware of shows like This American Life and Radiolab. While I enjoy those shows and their content (especially Radiolab's), I have to say that TTBOOK is objectively at least every bit those two mega-popular podcasts. If you subscribe to those, I would highly suggest adding TTBOOK to your lineup. You will enjoy it.
The two things that really set this podcast apart are the variety of topics from week to week and the pure interview style. TTBOOK elicits many emotions, but more than that, they lead you to content that you already knew you liked but just didn't know existed yet. At least, that's the feeling I get. I am in no way a Wisconsin guy, but they make me feel like it might be something of a third or fourth home. So keep up the good work Jim, Anne, Steve & Co.
Love this podcast
The content quality of this podcast is simply amazing. One of PRI's finest.
- Category: Society & Culture
- Language: English
- © Copyright 2017 by Wisconsin Public Radio