Interviews By Topic

dogtags

Revenge is a major theme in Elliot Ackerman’s debut novel “Green on Blue.” The novel is told from the point-of-view of an Afghan boy named Aziz who’s seeking to avenge his brother Ali.More

Mark Art, Not War

Is war inevitable? Leymah Gbowee loudly and strongly says no. And she’s got proof.More

Jazz sax

Steve Paulson sat down with Bishop King, founder of the Church of St. John Coltrane, and with Ashley Kahn, author of “A Love Supreme: The Story of John Coltrane’s Signature Album” to dig a little deeper.More

Still from  "The Glass Castle"

It's a rite of passage to find our parents embarrassing, particularly as we start to carve out distinct identities in those early years away from home. For Jeannette Walls, the moment was a bit more extreme. More

Are we too reliant on phone apps?

Robots that clean the bathroom, cars that drive themselves, computers that diagnose disease. They may sound appealing, but technology writer Nicholas Carr warns that the new age of automation could mean we'll lose basic life skills.More

Jaquet Droz automatons

Androids may seem like a modern idea, but there were life-size androids in the 18th century — beautiful robot women who could look around and even play the harpsichord. Historian Heidi Voskuhl tells this remarkable story.More

the next great novel

Will a computer ever write a great novel? Absolutely, says the pioneering software developer Stephen Wolfram. He believes there's no limit to computer creativity.More

New York

Garth Risk Hallberg's "City on Fire" is a sweeping 900-page story about New York City in the mid-1970s, chronicling everything from the punk music scene to the rise of Wall Street's runaway hedge funds. Hallberg says he's fascinated by the idea of creative destruction.More

A light in the dark (from a phone)

Filmmaker Astra Taylor wants to reclaim the democratic potential of personal technology.More

Traveling into the phone

Doug Rushkoff believes personal technology is having an insidious effect on our relationship with time. He calls it “present shock.”More

American flag

If you want to know what a state-of-the-art election system looks like, you won't find it in the United States. Pippa Norris runs the Electoral Integrity Project at Harvard and the University of Sidney, which monitors elections in 153 countries. She told Rehman Tungekar that most of our democratic neighbors do a better job.More

markets

Glen Weyl is an economist at Microsoft Research and he’s invented a whole new formula for collective decision making. It’s called quadratic voting — it sets up a marketplace where you can trade your vote, based on what you care about most.More

baby yawns

Political scientist Jonathan Bernstein makes the case for lowering the voting age considerably. Like, to birth.More

Fun outside on election day

Eric Liu, founder of Citizen University, tells us why citizens are more powerful than they think and how he's trying to reinvigorate the culture of voting — by making it more fun.More

Targeted person

Cathy O'Neil, data scientist and author of the blog mathbabe.org, warns that politicians are perilously close to being able to tell voters only what they want to hear.More

Consider that the average American voter doesn't understand basic political facts like who their local representatives are. Should they still be allowed to vote? Philosopher Jason Brennan makes the case for an epistocracy: the rule of the knowledgeable.More

Fire eating

For decades, Todd Robbins has been entertaining audiences with his sideshow act, first at Coney Island and later with several off-Broadway shows. He demonstrated a few tricks of his trade.More

Magic Kingdom

John Jeremiah Sullivan reads an abridged version of his essay, "You Blow My Mind. Hey, Mickey!" about getting high at Disney World.More

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