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22 February 2018

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Why The Iliad is more morally complex than Star Wars

Catherine Nichols argues that a villain having a change of heart is a distinctively modern storytelling trope.
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In this video:

A legacy of ruin

David Frum, author of the new book Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic, on the lasting damage Trump could inflict on American norms and institutions.

Can truth survive Trump?

Aryeh Cohen-Wade and David Ottlinger discuss the relevance of truth and objectivity in ostensibly “postmodern” politics.

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Are John McWhorter’s daughters black?

Glenn Loury and McWhorter consider the question. Plus: Feeling miserable this Black History Month.

Will a child prodigy be an unhappy adult?

Robert Wright speaks with Ann Hulbert, author of the new book Off the Charts: The Hidden Lives and Lessons of American Child Prodigies.

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Mourning man’s best friend

Tami Simon, editor of the book The Dharma of Dogs, explains why the loss of a pet has spiritual significance in human life.

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Remembering ‘satanic ritual abuse’

Anthropologist Tanya Luhrmann assesses the costs and benefits of letting imagination shape one’s reality. Plus: Schizophrenia as a spiritual calling.

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Is radical life extension just bunk?

Robert Wright speaks with Michael Shermer, author of the new book Heavens on Earth, about efforts to ward off aging. Plus: Why you’ll never be able to upload your brain.

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An emotional survival kit

Stephen Asthma and Rami Gabriel discuss how emotions might have evolved to prepare humans for the imminent dangers of prehistoric life. Plus: Do animals have emotions?

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The Wright Show

One cure for tribalism

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Robert Wright and Fox News host Greg Gutfeld discuss a way to counter the divisiveness that social media encourages.

“Now, he belongs to the ages”

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Bill Black and historian Ted Miller discuss how John F. Kennedy’s assassination continues to shape Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidential legacy.

The DMZ

Should John Kelly stay or go?

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Matt Lewis argues that Kelly should keep his position as chief of staff for one reason: there’s no one better around to replace him.

The Wright Show

Clickbait and tribalism

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Robert Wright and Matthew Cooper, who just resigned from Newsweek, discuss how the emphasis on page views furthers polarization.

Culturally Determined

“I was worried Trump was going to tweet about me”

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Jesse Farrar’s joking tweet about waterboarding conservatives ended up on Fox & Friends. He discusses what it was like to briefly become an object of hate online.

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Trying to define “enlightenment”

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Jeff Warren, co-author of the new book Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics, explains how he understands the Buddhist term.

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