KERA's Think podcast

How bad ideas spread

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As families gather this holiday season – many for the first time in nearly two years – we may learn that some of our loved ones have developed a few ideas they didn’t have the last time we saw them. Today, host Krys Boyd looks at how disinformation spreads so easily. We’ll be joined by a journalist who writes about the changing media landscape, a linguist who explains how cults use very specific language to recruit new members, and a researcher who says bad ideas are parasites that infect our brains.

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    From the archives: Animals sometimes don’t follow the rules

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    When bears attack, there’s probably an animal conflict resolution specialist standing by to take on the case. Mary Roach joins guest host Courtney Collins to talk about when humans and wildlife are in conflict – from errant elephants to rule-breaking moose and life-threatening trees. Her book is called “Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law.” This episode originally aired on Sept. 24, 2021.
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    Data can’t replace our brains just yet

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    Anyone who’s ever followed a map knows it’s important to look up to understand the landscape. Chris Jones joins guest host Courtney Collins to talk about our ever-increasing dependence on data rather than common sense or personal mastery, and why that could be hampering creativity and good ideas. His book is called “The Eye Test: A Case for Human Creativity in the Age of Analytics.”
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    From the archives: A YA novelist takes on fatphobia

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    Pharaohs wrote the playbook for today’s dictators

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    Perhaps the global slide into authoritarianism can be better understood by an examination of the ancient past. Kara Cooney, professor of Egyptian art and architecture at UCLA, joins guest host Courtney Collins to discuss her research into the Egyptian pharaohs and why their system of rule and religious beliefs can help us to understand power and privilege in our modern world. Her book is called “The Good Kings: Absolute Power in Ancient Egypt and the Modern World.”
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    From the archives: For racial justice, we have to get past our shame

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    To combat implicit bias, researchers are turning their focus to how our brains can be retrained. Shakil Choudhury is a consultant with 25 years of experience in justice, equity, diversity and inclusion training, and he joins host Krys Boyd to talk about addressing racism with the science of psychology, which he says helps mitigate feelings of shame or guilt in order to dig deep and do real work. His book is called “Deep Diversity: A Compassionate, Scientific Approach to Achieving Racial Justice.” This interview originally aired on Aug. 30, 2021
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    Pandemic dads are rethinking their roles

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    In the debate about abortion, the voices of women who feel they didn’t have a choice often aren’t heard. Author Merritt Tierce joins Krys Boyd to discuss her pregnancy at age 19, when she felt adoption and abortion were not options for her, and the dreams she gave up to have her baby. Her article, “The abortion I didn’t have,” appeared in The New York Times magazine.
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