Tuesday, January 31, 2023

We Each Have the Personal Answer to Our Larger Divisions: A Conversation with Pico Iyer

Division and conflict have been the default setting for civilization. It’s what wars, shifting alliances and even relational conflict is all about. So why, even after thousands of years of evolution, of death and recrimination and unhappiness, is this still true?

Perhaps the answer lies in our human desire to try and understand to make sense of the world. In science or mathematics, there is often one right answer.

In man's understanding of the world and of each other, that does not happen. So we strive, we seek and we hope to find peace. To come to terms with some answer that explains it all. But life, physical and spiritual and even social and political is not like physics. There is no one answer

This is where I begin my conversation with Pico Iyer.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Citizenship Is Just A Commodity: A Conversation with Atossa Abrahamian

Citizenship used to be a cherished status, taken seriously by those who held it. But in today’s globalized world, it has become a commodity that can be bought and sold.

In this week’s WhoWhatWhy podcast, journalist Atossa Abrahamian, senior editor of The Nation and author of the 2015 book The Cosmopolites, delves into the world of “global citizens.”

She explains how multiple passports are becoming more popular as a status symbol, and a plan B for those who want to live in several countries. Some nations are turning citizenship into a business, selling economic citizenship (tax havens) as a product, and offering citizenship to the wealthy, while making it more difficult for the poor to obtain it.

Abrahamian warns that this commodification of citizenship may weaken its value and lead to criminal dangers.

My WhoWhatWhy conversation with Atossa Abrahamian

Friday, January 13, 2023

In Spite of Many Problem, Flying is Safer Than Ever...Why?: A conversation with John Nance

In spite of deregulation, airline and air traffic control systems in need of updates, pilot shortages, airport overcrowding and even a pandemic, flying has never been safer.

What’s the secret sauce that makes this the case? Why, when safety in other industries from hospitals to construction to automobiles, seems so difficult to achieve, how has the airline industry been so successful and what can we all learn from their efforts?

I explore this with John Nance. John has written about all of these issues in his non fiction work and incorporated much of it in his prolific fiction. He is also an aviation analyst for ABC News and a familiar face on Good Morning America.

My conversation with John Nance:

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Another New Year, and More Promises to Sweat: A conversation with Bill Hayes

Even if you didn’t know the full story, just judging by the number of gyms on every corner, and the number of retailers selling high priced exercise equipment and workout clothing, you’d see what an obsession exercise has become. But why? A form of activity that uses huge quantities of our time, it is neither playful, sports-like, or seemingly rewarding. So why is it so popular, so all consuming, Where is the fun in sweat?

This is the subject of the new work "Sweat," by Bill Hayes.

My conversation with Bill Hayes: