Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole
When we purchase and consume what we believe is necessary for our individual lives, do we obtain what we need or do we end up with what the forces of 21st century capitalism tell us we need?In this edition of Radio Curious we visit with Benjamin Barber, author of “Consumed, How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole.”The concepts of dumbing down the consumer and the development of brand devotion in the early years of a person’s life are, among many other considerations, explored in this book.I spoke with Benjamin Barber from his home in New York City in early April 2007 and began our conversation by asking him to discuss how consumers are infantilized and targeted in way that there will never be enough shoppers.
Benjamin Barber recommends “The March,” by E.L. Doctorow..
Love at Goon Park: Harry Harlow and the Science of Affection
In an unknown and dilapidated laboratory on the University of Wisconsin campus in the 1950s and 1960s, a brilliant, alcoholic, work-obsessed psychologist conducted research on love, a pursuit that was previously ignored and considered unworthy of scientific study.“Love at Goon Park: Harry Harlow and the Science of Affection,” written by journalist Deborah Blum, is the story of how Professor Harry Harlow, one of the most important and controversial psychologists of the 20th century, altered our understanding of love.
Deborah Blum recommends "The Life of Pi," by Yan Martel.
Making people like you is a skill that anybody can learn.By reading body language and synchronizing behavior, it is possible to make meaningful connections with almost anybody in almost any circumstance.We appreciate and like people similar to ourselves, people we understand and people who are open.“How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less” is the title of a book by Nicholas Bothman, a neurolinguistic practitioner who lives in Toronto, Canada.
Nicolas Bothman recommends "Love in the Town of Cholera," & "One Hundred Years of Solitude," both by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
“She’s Not There:A Life in Two Genders,” by Jennifer Finney Boylan, is a book about a man who became a woman.For as long as he could remember, James Boylan felt he was in the wrong body.Spending his childhood playing ‘Girl Planet’ (where the air turned anyone who breathed into a girl) and in adolescent and young adult years dressing up in women’s clothing, James was convinced that the only thing that could save him was the love of the right woman.When he fell in love and got married, he threw out the women’s clothes and pledged his life to manhood.But being a loving husband, a responsible father, a respected professor, and an acclaimed writer couldn’t stop the feeling that he was, despite physical evidence to the contrary, a woman.With the unfailing support of his family, friends and several doctors, James became Jenny.
Jennifer Finney Boylan recommends "Huckleberry Finn," by Mark Twain.
When someone dies, we have that person’s papers and things to look at and use to understand and create memories about the life that has left us.Sometimes, however, the person stays and the papers and tokens are lost, as in a fire.Then we have only memories without material objects to help enhance them.This juxtaposition is one of the themes in a novel entitled the “Metaphysical Touch,” by Syvia Brownrigg, an American author with roots in Mendocino County, a long experience in London, and currently living near San Francisco.
Sylvia Brownrigg recommends "Out of Sheer Rage," by Jeff Dyer.
Harvard and the Unabomber: The Education of an American Terrorist
"Harvard and the Unabomber:The Education of an American Terrorist” is a book by Alston Chase, former Chair of the Philosophy Department at Macalester University in Minnesota.After studying the life and experiences of Theodore Kaczynski, who came to be known as the Unabomber, Chase characterizes him as product of the post World War II angst.Our discussion on Kaczynski continued through two parts.
Alston Chase recommends "Pity of War," by Nile Furgeson.
Parents in Charge, Setting Healthy, Loving Boundaries for You and Your Child
Children are too often seen and treated as small adults, too often dressed as adults, and too often have their lives planned out for them to be as busy as adults.Treating children as people older than they are overlooks the child’s cognitive abilities, and can lead to unsatisfying and sometimes traumatic relationships.“Parents in Charge, Setting Healthy, Loving Boundaries for You and Your Child” is a book by Dr. Dana Chidekel, a child psychologist near Los Angeles.She asserts that the developing brain of toddlers does not give them the capacity to respond to being placed on equal ground with their parents, and encourages parents to assume their rightful role of authority.
Dr. Dana Chidekel recommends "Seabiscuit," by Laura Hillenbrand.
Prejudices exist in almost every human context, but how do we overcome them and act without stereotypes?This program’s guest is Dr. Jim Cole, who lives in Ellingsburg, Washington and is a psychologist.We discussed diversity training – the process of becoming more aware of the prejudices we have.This program was originally broadcast in November of 1993, when Radio Curious was called Government, Politics and Ideas.
The End of the Twins, a Memoir of Losing a Brother
Ever wondered what it would be like to have an identical twin—how alike would you be to that person?How much of an individual would you be?Saul Diskin and his identical twin brother Marty grew up together in New York City where Saul and Marty were inseparable.As adults, they began to live separate lives, Saul in Phoenix and Marty near Boston.In 1991, Marty, who had suffered from leukemia for 20 years, needed a bone marrow transplant, which he received from Saul.In his extraordinarily intimate book, “The End of the Twins, a Memoir of Losing a Brother,” Saul Diskin chronicles the rich relationship beginning with their early childhood and ending well past Marty’s death in 1997, shortly before their 63rd birthday.
Saul Diskin recommends “Entwined Lives,” by Nancy Segal and “Cosmology and Creation: The Spiritual Significance of Contemporary Cosmology” by Paul Brockelman.
The Body Clock Advantage: Finding Your Best Time of Day to Succeed in Love, Work, Play, and Exercise
Dr. Matthew Edlund, Director of the Gulf Coast Sleep Institute, believes that our body clocks affect us in every aspect of our lives.Dr. Edlund is the author of “The Body Clock Advantage: Finding Your Best Time of Day to Succeed in Love, Work, Play, and Exercise."
Dr. Matthew Edlund recommends "The Master and Marguerita," by Mikial Bulgakov.
Our guest in this program was Dr. William Fry, a psychiatrist who has done extensive research in the field of humor.We discussed the psychology and genetics of humor.Much of Dr. Fry's research has concentrated on Cocoa, the gorilla, and we discussed that as well.This program was originally broadcast in March of 1992, when Radio Curious was called Government, Politics and Ideas.
This program is a two-part series with Dr. Richard Gardner, a practicing psychiatrist in Ukiah, California.We discuss what do psychiatrist do, and what don’t psychiatrist do?What is the psyche?What is crazy? What are the causes of mental dysfunction?What medicines were available to assist people with mental health problems, and other resources that were available in 1997 when this program was recorded.
Richard Gardiner recommends “How Good People Make Tough Choices,” by Rushworth M. Kidder and “The Cider House Rules,” by John Irving.
Originally Broadcast: September 30, 1997 October 3, 1997
Letters to Sam:A Grandfather’s Lessons on Love, Loss and the Gifts of Life
For many of us, the desire to be known exceeds our desire to be loved.Who we are as individuals, how we reckon with our personal abilities and disabilities the topic of this edition of Radio Curious: a conversation with my friend Dr. Dan Gottlieb.Dan Gottlieb, a clinical psychologist who lives and works near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has been paralyzed from the neck down as a result of an automobile accident in 1979.He's the host of “Voices in the Family,” a weekly public radio program originating from WHYY in Philadelphia and the author of two articles a month in the Philadelphia Inquirer.Because of his physical condition, Dan thought he may not live to see his young grandson Sam grow to be man.When Sam was diagnosed with a severe form of autism several years ago, Dan decided to write a series of letters to his grandson.The book, “Letters to Sam:A Grandfather’s Lessons on Love, Loss and the Gifts of Life,” is a collection of intimate and compassionate letters sharing Dan thoughts, observations and experiences gained from his 27 years with quadriplegia and his professional life as a clinical psychologist.You may learn more about Dan and his work at www.drdangottlieb.com.Dr. Dan Gottlieb and I visited by phone from his home in near Philadelphia in mid April 2006.
Dr. Dan Gottlieb recommends “Eat, Pray and Love:One Woman’s Search for Everything, Across Italy, India and Indonesia,” by Elizabeth Gilbert and "Life of Pi,” by Yann Martel.
Boys do not have an easy time growing up and maturing in our complex world these days.The same standard of behavior is frequently expected of boys and girls, often without recognizing the special and different needs of boys.Testosterone is a prime mover in the shaping of boys' behavior resulting in their special and different needs.This is a two-part program from the archives of Radio Curious with Michael Gurian, the author of a 1997 book entitled,“The Wonder of Boys: What Parents, Mentors and Educators Can Do To Shape Boys Into Exceptional Men.”I spoke with Michael Gurian in January of 1998 from his home in Spokane, Washington.
Michael Gurian recommends "Sex on the Brain," by Deborah Blum & "Beyond the Birds and the Bees," Beverly Engle.
Originally Broadcast: January 23, 1998 & January 30, 1998
We explored the difficulties that boys have growing in American society ten years in a two part interview with Michael Gurian, author of “The Wonder of Boys: What Parents, Mentors and Educators can do to Shape Boys into Exceptional Men.”A tenth anniversary edition of “The Wonder of Boys” was released in 2006, and I spoke with Michael Gurian about his ideas and thoughts of what has occurred in the past ten years in relation to boys.The trend setting pressures of commercial advertising control the content distributed to boys and often are able to overwhelm the job of the parents to nurture to social development of children.In this interview with Michael Gurian who lives in Spokane Washington and recorded in mid-October 2006, we discuss the effects of media on the developing boy; content of what boys listen to when they have earphones on; the substitution of what comes from the earphones for what a boy would get in a relationship with parents, grandparents, or other meaningful people in a boys life.
Have you ever wondered what some body movements mean when people hear certain words or see certain images?Many of these body movements are involuntary reactions inherent to the individual or culturally based. “I Can Read You Like A Book:How to Spot the Messages and Emotions People are Really Sending with their Body Language,” a book by Gregory Hartley and Maryann Karinch, described methods of understanding what people really mean and how to gain insight to their background by watching their physical behavior.Hartley, a former Army interrogator details how to review with an open mind what you see, evaluate to know what is relevant, analyze to identify involuntary versus involuntary movements and then decide or draw a conclusion based on what you observe.
Gregory Hartley recommends “Without Conscience:The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us,” by Dr. Robert D. Hare..
It used to be that children would play with objects, be told or read stories, or perhaps listen to the radio during a significant portion of their early years.With the advent of television, videos and computers, that tactile and oral world is often left behind.Children who are frequently exposed to television, videos and computer games in the first seven years of life have been found to develop pathways in the brain that later are significantly deficient in reading, studying and socialization skills.Dr. Jane M Healy is an educational psychologist with expertise in developmental psychology, and specialist in the brain development of young children. Her recent books, “Endangered Minds,” and “Failure to Connect,” discuss how television, videos and computers affect the minds of children.
Dr. Jane M. Healy recommends "The Goddess in Older Women," by Jean Bolden.
I Want That! How We All Became Shoppers: A Cultural History
“I Want That! How We All Became Shoppers: A Cultural History” is the title of a new book by Thomas Hine.In this book he discusses why we want objects and how they change us.He looks at early forms of trading, and proceeds through the history of materialism.
Thomas Hine recommends "Refinement of America," by Richard Bushman.
Primal Healing:Access the Incredible Power of Feelings to Improve you Health
The alleviation of human angst and emotional pain or distress is the goal of psychotherapy.Dr. Arthur Janov, together with his wife Dr. France Janov believe that the traditional century old method of talk therapy is not the answer.Together they direct the Primal Center in Venice, California, and Dr. Arthur Janov, who wrote “The Primal Scream” in the late 1960s, is the author of “Primal Healing: Access the Incredible Power of Feelings to Improve Your Health.”The Janovs assert that the best emotional healing is obtained by reaching back to the point of injury that formed an initial imprint of the pain, which often occurs in the womb or in early childhood.They believe that accessing these subconscious memories is necessary for improved physical and emotional health.We began our conversation with Dr. France Janov and Dr. Arthur Janov, recorded in mid-December 2006, from their home in Santa Monica, California when I asked them to explain how initial imprints in a person’s life can be the cause of lifelong pain.
My guest in this program was Dr. David Kiersey, the author of a book called “Presidential Temperament.”Dr. Kiersey took the Meyers-Briggs Temperament inventories and developed what has come to be known as the Kiersey Temperament Sorter.In so doing, he has established and identified several different types of character and temperament of people.In his book, “Please Understand Me,” the reader may use the Kiersey Temperament Sorter to get an idea of his or her personality and temperament traits.With his history and experience, Kiersey has examined the people who have become a President of the US and set out his analysis in “Presidential Temperaments.”In this program, originally broadcast in November of 1993 when Radio Curious was called Government, Politics and Ideas, we’ll be talking about the book and some of the temperaments of the various Presidents.
Dr. David Kiersey recommends "Killer Angels," by Michael Shaara & The Hornblower Series, by Horatio Hormblower.
This Is Your Brain On Music:The Science of a Human Obsession
The understanding of how we humans experience music and why it plays a unique role in our lives is this topic of two interviews with Dr. Daniel Levitin, author of “This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession,” recorded from his home in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in late October 2006.Professor Levitin runs the Laboratory for Musical Perception, Cognition and Expertise at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.He asserts that our brains are hardwired for music and therefore we are all more musically equipped than we think and that music is an obsession at the heart of human nature, perhaps even more fundamental to our species than language.Professor Levitin believes that the music we end up liking meets our expectations of what we anticipate hearing just enough of the time that we feel rewarded, and the music that we like also violates those expectations just enough of the time that we’re intrigued. In the first interview Dr. Levitin begins by describing how the human brain learns to distinguish between music and language.The second interview begins with a discussion of what happens when people listen to music they like.
To Begin Again, the Journey Toward Comfort Strength and Faith in Difficult Times
What is prayer, how is it done, and what good does it do?The ability to mourn and grieve is one of the many things that distinguish humans from other animals, as is the ability to pray, or consciously not pray.When life is good, people often pray less than when times are tough and tough times occasionally visit all of us, with or without prayer.Rabbi Naomi Levy is the author of “To Begin Again, the Journey Toward Comfort Strength and Faith in Difficult Times.”
Rabbi Naomi Levy recommends "The God of Smal Things," by Arandati Roy.
Guiding Lights:The People Who Lead Us Toward Our Purpose in Life
Every one of us, in every social role that we play, is a teacher and a mentor.Who has influenced us, and how we pass that influence along is a question that goes to the heart of both learning and mentoring.The concepts of mentoring are set out in the book “Guiding Lights:The People Who Lead Us Toward Our Purpose in Life,” by Eric Liu.In this interview, recorded n February 2005, Eric Liu discusses his experiences a mentor, a mentee, and an observer of both.For more information see www.ericliu.com.
Concepts of reality have many levels, some of which are gained by fasting and/or the use of certain plants that allow a person to view the past, present and/or the future. This is especially true for cultures that cherish and practice oral traditions and which thrive in parts of the world which have an abundance of flora and fauna, like those located in the Amazon basin of South America. The knowledge of the use and effects of these various plants in the Ecuadorian portion of the Amazon basin is held by persons known as Shamans. Dr. Juan Martinez, our guest in this edition of Radio Curious, is a professor of History and Anthropology at the University of Cuenca, in Cuenca, Ecuador. He has studied, written and lectured about the Shamanistic practices in the Ecuadorian jungle and the medicinal and spiritual effects of the plants native to the eastern portion of the Amazon basin. I spoke with Professor Juan Martinez in his office in Cuenca, Ecuador on November 17, 2005. He began our conversation by describing relationship of the people of Ecuadorian jungle to their worlds, the spiritual world, and the world in which they live on a daily basis.
Juan Martinez recommends "Amazon Worlds," published by Sinchi Sancha.
The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs
“The Other End of the Leash—Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs”, is a recent book by Patricia McConnell, a certified applied animal behaviorist affiliated with the University of Wisconsin.In her book, she discusses how to think from a dog’s perspective, how to get your dog to come when called by acting less like a primate and more like a dog, and how dogs and humans share personality types.
Patricia McConnell recommends "The Ape and Shusi Master," by Franz DeWaal.
Hold On to Your Kids, Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers
The economic and cultural changes that have occurred in North American society in the past fifty or so years have resulted in today’s children looking to and associating with their peers instead of their parents, for direction, for a sense of right and wrong and for values, identity and codes of behavior.This peer orientation works to undermine family cohesion.It interferes with healthy development and fosters a sexualized youth culture in which children lose their individuality and tend to become conformist, desensitized and alienated.These concepts and what to do about them to develop strong families and emotionally healthy children are explained in “Hold On to Your Kids:Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers, “ by Gordon Neufeld, Ph.D. and Gabor Mate, M.D. When I spoke with Dr. Gordon Neufeld from his home in Vancouver, British Columbia we began our conversation with a discussion of the importance of the development of an attachment between the adult caregiver and the child, beginning at infancy.
The Culture Code, An Ingenious Way to Understand Why People Around The World Live and Buy As They Do
The collective unconscious may be defined as a cultural code, a set of imprinted concepts that control how members of different societies live. Dr. Clotaire Rapaille, a French born psychologist brings together the concepts of Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud in his development of the collective unconscious in the book, “The Culture Code, An Ingenious Way to Understand Why People Around The World Live and Buy As They Do.”Dr. Rapaille thrives on new ideas, which is part of the reason he chose to become American.We visited by phone from his home in New York State the last week of June 2006, and asked him to describe the development of his ideas.
Genome & Nature via Nurture: Genes, Experience and What Makes Us Human
Are we humans defined by nature or nurture?Matt Ridley, the author of “Genome,” published in 2000, has more recently written “Nature via Nurture: Genes, Experience and What Makes Us Human.”He argues that genes are enablers, rather than constrainers; thus, we are continually shaped by everyday life.
Matt Ridley recommends "Dot Con," by John Cassidy.
Born To Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture
In the past 50 years, the advent of television as a medium for advertising has had significant effects on the buying habits of everyone, and especially on children.MRI scans on the brain, and the development of neuro-marketing are used to determine more receptive ways to market a myriad of products to all of us.Studies that follow the behavior of children show that the more involved a child is in the consumer culture, the more likelihood that the child will be depressed, be more anxious, have frequent headaches and/or stomach aches.And, the most heavily advertised products are more likely to be addictive to the users of those products.“Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and New Consumer Culture” by Professor Juliet Schor, of Boston College, presents a detailed discussion of these changes in the commercialized market place that is brought into almost every home and school.
Juliet Schor recommends "For Her Own Good," by Barbara Ehreneich and Diedre English.
Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Reading Problems at Any Level
Approximately one child in five suffers from dyslexia, a condition that makes learning to read difficult and in some cases seemingly impossible.In this edition of Radio Curious, originally broadcast in August of 2003, we visit with Dr. Sally Shaywitz, a Professor of Pediatrics at Yale University and the co-director of the Yale justify for the Study of Learning and Attention.She discusses early diagnosis of dyslexia in young children, older children, and in adults, and what can be done to assist people who suffer from this disability.In her book, “Overcoming Dyslexia,” Dr. Shaywitz describes how current research, including new brain imaging studies, are uncovering the mechanics underlying this problem, and have led to effective treatments.
Dr. Sally Shaywitz recommends "Emperor of Ocean Park," by Stephen Carter & "Samaritan," by Richard Price.
Is the concept of“mother blame” a method to control women?Is motherhood really a fearsome job?Will a mother’s mistakes or inattention damage a child?“A Potent Spell:Mother Love and the Power of Fear” is a book written by Janna Malamud Smith, a clinical psychotherapist and daughter of the writer, Bernard Malamud.
Janna Malamud Smith recommends "Biography of Samuel Pepys," by Clair Tomilin.
Is He Depressed or What?What to Do When the Man You Love is Irritable, Moody, and Withdrawn
Depression often sets off different behaviors, sometimes recognized by others and not by the depressed person. Depression in men is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious, as we talk with David B. Wexler, Ph.D, who is the author of “Is He Depressed or What? What to Do When the Man you Love is Irritable, Moody and Withdrawn.” Dr. Wexler, a clinical psychologist, discusses how to recognize when you or someone you love is depressed, how to talk about in respectful and successful ways, while taking care of yourself.When I spoke with Dr. Wexler from his home in San Diego, California, we began by discussing difference categories of depression and how the symptoms of depression in men are different from depression in women.
David Wexler, Ph.D. recommends "Dharma Punx," by Noah Levine.
The Conflict Between Our Biological Heritage and the Speed of Our Lives
American Mania, When More is Not Enough
Not so long ago before the common use of devices operated by electricity our lives were generally much more calm.And as humans we have a biological a heritage of being are curiosity driver, reward seeking and harm avoiding creatures.The conflict that has evolved between our biological heritage and the demand driven economy in the United States is the essence of a book entitled “American Mania, When More is Not Enough.”Dr. Peter C. Whybrow, author of “American Mania” is our guest on this edition of Radio Curious.He is a professor of psychiatry and bio-behavioral science, and director of the Semel Institute of Neuroscience and Human Behavior at the University of California at Los Angeles. In this interview, recorded mid-February 2005, Dr. Whybrow discusses this conflict, and its consequences.
Peter C. Whybrow recommends “In Praise of Slowness,” by Carl Honore.