In living our lives and putting our experiences, creations and selves into the world, we also draw attention for various types of scrutiny and critique. While it's certainly valuable to have feedback - ideally constructively so - many people take an aggressive or hostile tone under the guise of criticism. This week we're joined by Amy Young to explore the distinctions between "the critical" and "the hurtful". How might typical human tendencies presume input to be negative when that may not be intended? How could we avoid the discomfort that many of us associate with criticism by proactively seeking it out? Are there certain figures or relationships which permit criticism more openly or with lower potential for conflict than others?
Many of us who pursue artistic or creative passions look to those who have succeeded in a particular field. Writers inspire the linguistically-inclined, musicians often look to top artists and bands for a model of creative success. But what about the possibility of drawing inspiration across artistic disciplines? This week we speak with Jibri McLean about the phenomenon and discuss the foundations of his creative drive. How does self-confidence help cultivate a sense of personal and artistic liberty? What are the foundations of artistic inspiration that touch something profoundly human?
As we get to know other people, we gradually filter them into distinct boxes or categories. Some we associate with work, recreation or competition. One particular social category worthy of further examination is the idea of a best friend. What makes someone a best friend? Is this title always applied mutually between or among groups of friends? How do these particular individuals shape our lives and growth. This week, we're joined by Jack Quigley to examine how we choose or evaluate friendships that may fall under this label. How do our preferences for best friends change as we grow older?
Since the September 11th terror attacks, the United States has continued to wage a "war on terror". It has been the catalyst for numerous political and ideological shifts around the globe over the past sixteen years and reflects a turning point of sorts. It is important to examine, given attacks in recent years, how democracy plays into the topic of terrorism. This week we're joined by Sam Whipple to look at a 2005 article by F. Gregory Gause III entitled "Can Democracy Stop Terrorism?" and to explore the role democracies play in combating 21st century terrorism. How are democracies organized in ways that prove especially vulnerable to terrorist aims? How does terrorism take advantages of the freedoms permitted under democracy?
When sexual topics are brought into a conversation via joke or interjection, a common response is “Get your mind out of the gutter!” Prevailing cultural attitudes discourage us from bringing up sexual topics unless they are given a substantial and specific context. What are some of the consequences of avoiding these topics and treating them as taboo? This week, we welcome Charneil Bush to examine the underlying meaning behind this common phrase and how dialogue could alter our perspectives on sexual topics. We explore how the absence of such conversations makes it more difficult to broach the subject. What does the current discourse, or lack thereof, indicate about our understandings of one another as sexual beings?