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David Foster Wallace
Air Dates:
  • September 08, 2018

On the tenth anniversary of his suicide, David Foster Wallace faces renewed criticism over his treatment of women, in his life and work. Fans and critics are re-reading his work, struggling to reconcile genius with misogyny.

Workers of all stripes
Air Dates:
  • September 01, 2018

It's not easy in America today to find work that matters, that’s meaningful, and that pays enough to live on. Which is the one thing we don’t talk about. What’s wrong with work — and how do we fix it?

Niki poses with some of her staff. She makes accommodations for employees struggling with prior convictions or legal status.

A few years ago, Niki Okuk started a tire recycling company in Los Angeles. Run along the lines of a worker-owned cooperative, the employees are people who would ordinarily have a hard time finding any job. 

punch the clock

When we talk about reforming work, fixing work, creating new kinds of work — author and historian James Livingston thinks perhaps we’re not going far enough. 

man walking to work

The anthropologist David Graeber says “BS jobs” are an epidemic. Especially in that circle of hell known as middle management.

man moving steel

Alissa Quart spent the last few years traveling around the country, talking with all kinds of people about work. What she found is a lot of people with jobs that look good on paper but who feel — in a word — squeezed.

A ray of hope
Air Dates:
  • March 09, 2019
  • August 11, 2018

Why is the world so damn cynical? Rather than surrendering to corrosive, hopeless snark, we look to some unexpected sources to make the case for sincerity.

Pop culture's constant barrage of ironic detachment

In 2012, Princeton University professor Christy Wampole wrote a New York Times column that every hipster everywhere instantly hated it — but it struck a chord with people who had grown tired of pop culture dominated by self-awareness and snark.

A screenshot from "One Hour, One Life"

In "One Hour, One Life," you start as a naked newborn. The only way you can survive even the first three minutes is if another player — a stranger — adopts you. It’s a surprisingly powerful experience – but that’s what Jason Rohrer is famous for designing.

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