Season Three: Episode Directory



Is hope worth hoping for?

Kieran Setiya with Greg Fried

February 27, 2023

The conventional wisdom is that hope is a good thing. Hope is valorized, especially in the face of hardship and the many challenges of life. However, in this episode, Kieran Setiya offers us reasons why we ought to be skeptical of hope as a pacifying force, especially in comparison to the motivation elicited by other emotions like grief, rage, and fear. Tune in to consider how we might rehabilitate our understanding of hope.

photograph: tile mosaic with the word "hope" in the middle


Can coding make us more human?

Marina Bers with David Goodman

March 6, 2023

Coding is usually understood as a neutral tool that we use for practical purposes and to solve technical problems. However, in this episode, Marina Bers offers an alternative vision of coding as an ethical enterprise, which provides an opening to better contemplate our own humanity - our values, relationships, and understanding across differences.

illustration of a laptop with coding windows open


What's the risk of avoiding risk?

Eduardo Duarte with Jessica Harless

March 13, 2023

Eduardo Duarte has often been labeled an "adrenaline junkie" by his friends given his interest in activities like mountain biking and skiing. However, this label raises some dominant assumptions about what activities and domains "count" as risky. Join us as we explore how we might expand our understanding of risk and be more open to experimentation in our every day experience.

illustration of a meter pointing to a red area, with a "caution" sign


Is the search for authenticity futile?

Lauren Bialystok with Regina Bendix

March 20, 2023

Most of us have been inundated with the seemingly well-intentioned advice to "be authentic" or simply, to "be yourself." In this episode, Lauren Bialystok troubles this fascination with authenticity to ask, what does it really mean to be "true to ourselves"? And is authenticity really even possible? Tune in to consider why it might be misleading to strive toward our most authentic selves.

illustration of an award ribbon that reads "authentic, 100%"


Does the medium override the message?

Michael Serazio with Chip Zuckerman

March 27, 2023

In an era where accusations of fake news run rampant, it might provide us with some comfort in knowing that we at least hold conscious control over choosing our media sources and what information we are critically consuming. In this episode, however, Michael Serazio desettles our assumptions by proposing that the medium is even more powerful than the content of the message itself.

illustration of cameras, movie reels, microphones, and other representations of media


Have we ignored the individual in assessment?

Richard Lerner with Carol Lee

April 3, 2023

We think we know a good deal about human development, based on our current research and measurement about people. There's an assumption that we measure "individuals" - a given person's standardized test scores, grades, sleep habits - but in reality, most of our research obscures the very individuality of a person. In this episode, Richard Lerner offers us a more holistic understanding how to better center the individual in research.

illustration of a line graph trending upward


Should teachers indoctrinate their students?

Douglas Yacek with Caitlyn Bolton

April 10, 2023

Since the start of common schooling, indoctrination has remained a central concern. Today, cries of "liberal brainwashing" undergird moves toward incorporating Critical Race Theory into the curriculum, and people continue to worry about the undue influence of teachers' political opinions on students' own stances. However, Doug Yacek pulls us up short in this episode to consider how indoctrination might actually be a central educational goal for teachers.

minimalist illustration of a face with a large spiral in its head


Can boredom lead to flourishing?

Kevin Gary with Jeffrey Frank

April 17, 2023

"I'm bored" is a phrase often met with disdain from parents, teachers, and friends alike. It seems obvious that we should do our best to avoid boredom, instead working toward being engaged in school, staying curious in work, and seeking enjoyment in life. In this episode, Kevin Gary shortcircuits our negative associations with boredom to consider how boredom could instead lead to thriving and flourishing.

illustration of a person asleep at their desk


Does collaboration have a dark side?

Amy Shuffelton with David Blustein

April 24, 2023

In schools and workplaces, people are often encouraged to be “good collaborators” or "team players." However, in this episode, Amy Shuffelton problematizes this virtuous skill to claim that collaboration can also be understood to describe a particular kind of treachery. Join Amy in considering how to reimagine the role of collaboration in our lives and communities.

abstract illustration of five people joining hands, making up a pentagon shape


Why isn't utopia ideal?

Micah Lott with Daniel Groll

May 1, 2023

Science fiction books and movies help us to imagine what a utopian society may look like. Though many representations have been offered, one common theme is the absence of challenge and hardship. In this episode, Micah Lott considers why a “good” life might need some non-ideal conditions.

abstract illustration of five people joining hands, making up a pentagon shape