Free Forum with Terrence McNally
"I believe we can do better and I want to find out how."
ASTRA TAYLOR, What is Democracy? Is it alive and well?
May 19, 2020 10:10 PM PDT
ASTRA TAYLOR takes democracy seriously. In her documentary WHAT IS DEMOCRACY? and the companion book, Democracy May Not Exist, But We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone, she explores its early roots as well as its current embattled state. She reminds us that real democracy—fully inclusive and egalitarian—has never existed. Both ancient Athens and the original US were slave states. Can we restore rule of the people to the current American rule of the wealthy? Can democracy handle big challenges like the Coronovirus pandemic and climate change?Inspiring ideas for troubling times-1) Fritjof Capra on Systems Thinking, 2) Stuart Kauffman, Reinventing the Sacred
May 16, 2020 02:03 PM PDT
In these unsettling times, I turned to the archives for inspiring ideas about the meaning of life. First, my 2009 conversation with physicist FRITJOF CAPRA about one of my favorite books, The Turning Point. Written in 1981, it looks at many domains of human activity, and makes clear that we need to move toward a systems view of reality that sees everything as dynamic and interdependent. True to those themes, in the second half you’ll hear my 2008 conversation with MacArthur award-winning biologist STUART KAUFFMAN about his provocative book, Reinventing the Sacred, in which he offers an inspiring image of God as the ceaseless creativity of the universe and of life itself.CHARLOTTE ALTER - THE ONES WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR - Millennials in office. Will a new generation change America?
May 04, 2020 05:03 PM PDT
Millennials have already revolutionized technology, commerce and media. They’re responsible for our major social movements. And there are now 26 Millennials in Congress - five times as many as before the 2018 midterms. TIME magazine national correspondent CHARLOTTE ALTER (cover stories on Mayor Pete, AOC, and Person of the Year Greta Thunberg) examines how millennials have gained power so far — from City Hall to Congress. In her first book, THE ONES WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR, she asks - How are we going to get to the political future? - and - What’s it going to look like when we do?What stories got us here? Conversation w/ JEREMY LENT, THE PATTERNING INSTINCT (2018)
May 02, 2020 11:41 AM PDT
In The Patterning Instinct, JEREMY LENT brings together cultural history and neuroscience - a new discipline he calls cognitive history. Lent reminds us we see the world through stories. The right has dominated politics with a story of America that is false on many counts and based on a set of values that brings us to this moment when we cannot work together to save our lives. Can we come out the other side with a story of shared vulnerability, shared fate, and shared purpose? I think this conversation recorded in 2018 lays a good foundation for considering that challenge.ROBERT WRIGHT-Why are Americans divided as they confront a pandemic?
April 21, 2020 08:49 PM PDT
The American people usually come together when confronting huge challenges – think of WWII and the attacks of 9/11. But today, facing the global pandemic, we are divided – on nearly every aspect of the crisis. In NONZERO, ROBERT WRIGHT contends that evolution and history move us toward greater cooperation, collaboration, and win-win outcomes. We talk about why - though individuals act heroically - the nation remains tribalized.ROBERT WRIGHT-Evolution of God-How God’s personality changed with ancient politics
April 17, 2020 10:42 PM PDT
ROBERT WRIGHT takes on big questions, and in 2009’s THE EVOLUTION OF GOD, he shows how the concept of God in Judaism, Christianity and Islam has varied over time depending on the politics at play when their stories were told. When people see their interests threatened, this perception brings out the most belligerent parts of their religion. We explore how this might apply to Islamic terrorists and Evangelical Christians.MARY O’HARA-The Shame Game-The narrative that tells people poverty is their own fault
April 06, 2020 10:48 PM PDT
MARY O’HARA grew up in deep poverty in Belfast, Northern Ireland during the Troubles. In THE SHAME GAME, she fights to break the power of the narrative that excuses the cruel and unjust treatment of our most vulnerable. We talk about her own story and the stories of others who have begun to move past that narrative in their own lives, often through the power of reading and writing, the same pathways that O’Hara herself took. Inspiring.ROBERT REICH-Once the pandemic is over and Trump is defeated, the system will still be broken.Who rigged it and how do we fix it?
March 25, 2020 10:03 PM PDT
Before the pandemic, before Trump, millions of Americans had already lost confidence in our political and economic system. Stagnant wages, volatile job markets, an unwillingness to deal with threats like climate change, fed a sense that the system is fixed, and serves only those with enough money to buy power. ROBERT REICH and I talk about the pandemic and about his new book, THE SYSTEM: Who Rigged It and How Do We Fix It?BRANKO MILANOVIC-Capitalism Rules the World-How do we shrink inequality?
March 20, 2020 09:22 PM PDT
In Capitalism, Alone: The Future of the System That Rules the World, BRANKO MILANOVIC says we’re all capitalists now. Liberal capitalism delivers rampant inequality and capitalist excess as it fights for hearts and minds with political capitalism, as practiced by China. Milanovic asks - What are the prospects for a fairer world now that capitalism is the only game in town? And what can we do to make that more likely?Podcast - DON INGBER-Learning from Nature -> Biotech Breakthroughs at Harvard’s Wyss Institute
March 12, 2020 09:37 PM PDT
Our bodies — and all living systems — accomplish tasks far more sophisticated and dynamic than any entity yet designed by humans. By emulating nature's principles, researchers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering develop innovative engineering solutions for healthcare, energy, robotics, and more. Here’s my 2012 conversation with founding director, DON INGBER. I find the notion of learning from nature one of the most exciting developments in human activity, one that gives me great hope.
Features conversations with people who offer pieces of the puzzle of “a world that just might work” -- provocative approaches to business, environment, health, science, politics, media and culture. Guests have included Michael Lewis, Ken Burns, Arianna Huffington, Paul Krugman, Temple Grandin, Bill Maher, Cornel West, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Norman Lear. [http://terrencemcnally.net]
TERRENCE McNALLY, journalist and radio host, is also a consultant, speaker, writer, and coach to public agencies, foundations, non-profits, and responsible corporations. Terrenceâ€™s radio show Free Forum (KPFK 90.7fm, Los Angeles, streaming and podcasting at kpfk.org, in print at AlterNet.org) features conversations with people who offer pieces of the puzzle of â€œa world that just might workâ€ -- provocative approaches to business, environment, health, science, politics, media and culture. Guests have included Ken Burns, Deborah Tannen, Andrew Weil, Jeremy Rifkin, Arianna Huffington, Roger Ebert, Bill Joy, Alvin Toffler, Paul Krugman, Bill Maher, and Norman Lear. McNally speaks on strategic communications and the power of storytelling, as well as on issues of social responsibility and sustainable development. Speaking and training clients include American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, CERES, Friends Of The Earth, Glaxo Smith Kline (Patient Advocates), Greenpeace USA, Intel, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Herman Miller, NASA, NASD Investor Education Foundation, Nemours Foundation, US Climate Action Network, US Department of Agriculture, and Volunteers Of America. His organizational work encourages and focuses communication, creativity, and cooperation; resolves conflicts; clarifies and aligns vision, mission and objectives; and develops plans for effective action. Consulting clients include the Environmental Protection Agency, Union of Concerned Scientists, Natural Resources Defense Council, Redefining Progress, Business for Social Responsibility, Global Green USA, Rhino Records, and Interface Flooring. A graduate of Harvard, where he won its highest academic award, he has also worked as a writer, producer, and director of documentaries ("Buckminster Fuller - World Man, World Game", BBCâ€™s 1992 Earth Summit special "Greenbucksâ€.) He co-wrote and produced Julie Brown's "Goddess In Progress", voted #4 mini-album of 1985 in the Village Voice National Music Critics Poll. Having acted in over a hundred films and television shows, McNally co-wrote and co-produced the musical comedy feature "Earth Girls Are Easy". Called by Time Magazine "the freshest thing to come out of the space program since Tangâ€, it is now being developed as a Broadway musical. Co-author with Hyla Cass MD of Kava: Nature's Answer to Stress, Anxiety, and Insomnia, Terrence is an annual participant at the Conference on World Affairs, a member of the Television Academy of Arts & Sciences, and has served on the boards of Earth Communications Office, Show Coalition, and Education 1st.
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