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16 October 2017

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When superstar thinkers fall from grace

Daniel Drezner, author of the recent book The Ideas Industry, explains the cycle of praise and rejection that shapes the careers of top public intellectuals. Play entire video

Biden’s political tightrope act

Bill Scher and Matt Lewis discuss whether Joe Biden can maintain populist appeal without making promises to the Sanders wing of the Democratic Party. Plus: Sunday Night Football, interrupted.

Disrupting the identity politics paradigm

Andrew Sullivan argues that a new Democratic focus on wealth inequality could “scramble” the country’s ideological divisions.

“Making friends with desire”

Ethan Nichtern, author of the new book The Dharma of The Princess Bride, offers a Buddhist take on the film’s themes of family, friendship, and romance.

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Are the Pences on to something?

In light of the recent Harvey Weinstein scandal, Bill Scher and Matt Lewis discuss Mike Pence’s old-fashioned rule for interacting with other women.

Do comedians have a moral responsibility?

Daniel Kaufman and Daniel Tippens on what political scrutiny of stand-up comedy says about our collective morality.

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Piecemeal solutions on gun control

Bill Scher turns to statistics to explain why reforms like the ban of “bump stocks” on guns are unlikely to save many lives.

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No time for paperwork

Rob Neppell explains how a time-consuming registration process pushes away potential crisis volunteers for disaster relief after hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Plus: Crowdsourcing disaster relief.

“Reaganism for lefties”

Glenn Loury and Mark Lilla examine the left’s devotion to identity politics. Plus: Can identity politics win over average voters?

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Scientology’s secret abuse scandal

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Journalist Tony Ortega explains how the organization has used its canonical texts to justify incidences of child sexual abuse. Plus: Scientology vs. the IRS.

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The left’s nonviolent core

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Former Weather Underground member Mark Rudd explains why he can’t write off the Antifa movement completely. Plus: Not so fast, comrade.

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Is Richard Dawkins bad for secularism?

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Sociologist Joseph Baker, author of the book American Secularism, contends that the New Atheism movement was influential, but doesn’t represent America’s growing non-religious population.

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Does world peace start with inner peace?

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Robert Wright and biologist Tyler Volk, author of the new book Quarks to Culture, on what might save the world.

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The Wright Show

Build It And They May Come

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John McPhee, author of the new book Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process, discusses with former student Robert Wright why good writing is rarely the product of market research.

Culturally Determined

Why pronouns matter

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Aryeh Cohen-Wade and YouTuber ContraPoints discuss why preferred pronouns are a sticking point for both transgender people and those who oppose them. Plus: From Gamergate to white supremacy.