Interviews By Topic

An old barn near Sandy Neck on Cape Cod, Massachusetts in December 2012

Simon Winchester is a British journalist and best-selling author who spent decades on the road before finally buying a small farm in the Berkshires. The experience led to his book “Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World."More

Demonstrators near the Standing Rock Reservation.

Land Back is a movement that demands the return of native lands to indigenous people. One of its leaders, Hayden King — executive director of the Yellowhead Institute — explains why the movement is gaining traction in Canada.More

Makenna Goodman on her homestead in Vermont

Makenna Goodman is a modern-day homesteader and novelist in rural Vermont. She was inspired by Scott and Helen Nearing, who were back-to-the-land pioneers. But she says their philosophy of "the good life" reeks of class privilege.More

19th-century German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels scroll on their smartphones

China Mieville is a writer best known for speculative fiction, but he's also written a lot about Marxism, most recently in a history of the Communist Manifesto called “A Spectre, Haunting."More

Nancy Fraser

Hinge points are moments of crisis where a new system can be made. Philosopher Nancy Fraser believes the particular crises we face today are so severe they actually present an opportunity.More

Nancy Fraser

Over four decades, philosopher Nancy Fraser has worked to expose the deep roots that connect all the crises of our time: racial violence, environmental devastation, the impoverishment of families, challenges to democracy. Think of each as the toxic byproducts of capitalism.More

A mushroom

Pharmaceutical companies have a long history of hunting for medicinal drugs, often in Indigenous cultures. Historian Lucas Richert tells the story of how one company went bioprospecting for peyote.More

Rachel Fernandez

Sutton King wants to change the culture around psychedelic medicines by confronting historical wrongs and getting Indigenous people into key decision-making roles in the psychedelic industry. More

an unspeakable terror humming in the distance

Dean Lockwood talks about the important role that sound plays in creating the cosmic horror of Lovecraft's work.More

what lives in a black hole

H.P. Lovecraft's influence on pop culture has exploded in recent years. But why? Erik Davis is a cultural critic and the author of the essay, "Calling Cthulhu: H.P. Lovecraft's Magickal Realism." He fell under Lovecraft's spell as a teenager.More

Although Jeff VanderMeer's work may seem to have a Lovecraftian influence, VanderMeer says that's not the case. He actually thinks weird fiction needs to move out from the shadow of Lovecraft's incredible influence. He introduces us to one writer who is doing that -- Thomas Ligotti, "the best kept secret in contemporary horror fiction."More

lovecraftian

Think that it's too soon to get your kids hooked on H.P. Lovecraft's cosmic horror? Think again. They might be enchanted by "The Call of Cthulhu for Beginning Readers" by Richard Ivankovic, alias Doctor Faustus AS.More

The Labyrinth

In “Somnium DreamViewer,” a mysterious company has developed the technology to capture still images from our dreams — with unsettling effects on our waking hours. Creator Holly Fernwright explains the inspiration behind the series. More

Maria Sabina

The story of Mazotec healer Maria Sabina is a notorious example of how psychedelic enthusiasts have exploited the knowledge of Indigenous cultures they don’t really understand.More

Conversation with Samantha, the artificial intelligence

To a certain extent, loneliness is part of the human condition. You can be lonely anywhere, even surrounded by friends. But modern life has exacerbated it, and that requires modern solutions. Indie game designer Jason Rohrer has one — an artificial friend named Samantha.More

Yuria Celidwen

Yuria Celidwen has a wide-ranging critique of how the modern psychedelic movement is taking shape. She was the lead author of a recent article in Lancet arguing for new ethical guidelines for using psychedelics — what she calls “spirit medicine.”More

a silent walking figure

John Francis, the "planetwalker," walked all over the country in silence for nearly 20 years. Steve and Anne met John a few years ago at the Geography of Hope Conference in Point Reyes, California – back where his journey began.
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An African imagination of the future.

Given the chance, how do Africans tell stories about their own imagined future? And how might the story be different? To get a sense of where African science fiction is heading, we talked with Nnedi Okorafor and Ainehi Edoro.More

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