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Preview: PRI: To the Best of Our Knowledge Podcast

To the Best of Our Knowledge

To the Best of Our Knowledge cracks open the world and the ideas that fuel it through interviews with the world's luminaries, from experts to cultural icons. Each show revolves around a theme where we explore these ideas and the people who consider them.

Last Build Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2018 17:05:50 -0600

Copyright: Copyright 2018 by Wisconsin Public Radio

Magical Thinking

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 12:00:00 -0600

"Magical thinking" gets a bad rap these days. It suggests losing your grip on reality or being so gullible that you'll believe anything - from ghosts to miracles. But what if magic isn't pure fantasy? Maybe it's the gateway to wonder.  

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Imagining Climate Change

Sat, 10 Feb 2018 12:00:00 -0600

“The climate crisis is a crisis of culture and thus of imagination,” says writer Amitav Ghosh. So what changes in our conversation about global warming when we tap into the imaginative worlds of novelists and artists?

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What's Wrong With Men?

Sat, 3 Feb 2018 12:00:00 -0600

The right-wing politics and bro culture of The Proud Boys is attracting young, white men nationwide. Founder Gavin McInnes believes “95% of American women” would be happier at home. Where does his vision of “being a man” fit in 2018?

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In The Company Of Wolves

Sat, 27 Jan 2018 12:00:00 -0600

While their domesticated cousins sleep on our beds, Congress debates wild wolves’ survival. This hour, we’ll explore our complicated relationship with our canine cousins, and the feelings they evoke – fear, hatred, and also love.  

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Can An Evil Man Be A Decent Person?

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 12:30:00 -0600

How can someone be a monster — a brutal dictator, a mass murderer, a serial killer — and up close seem like a decent, caring person? What happens when you find yourself liking someone who’s done terrible things?

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Who's Watching Us?

Sat, 13 Jan 2018 12:00:00 -0600

Ever had the nagging suspicion that you’re being watched? You are. We all are.

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Sat, 6 Jan 2018 12:00:00 -0600

Ah, January. Season of diets and fasts and cleanses, of "Drynuary" and "Veganuary." Why does being virtuous always seem to mean giving up pleasure?

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Ending With A Flourish

Sat, 30 Dec 2017 12:00:00 -0600

We don’t handle endings well, in general. So this hour, let’s learn about how to make a good ending — whether leaving a lover, quitting a job, or getting ready for the end of life itself.

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Is Capitalism Broken?

Sat, 23 Dec 2017 12:30:00 -0600

Who really runs the world? Presidents and prime ministers, or CEOs and bankers? And who’s responsible when everything falls apart?

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The Art of Reinventing Yourself

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 21:15:00 -0600

Do you ever wish you could reinvent yourself? This hour, we hear from four noted artists who experienced pivotal turns in their own lives: artist Rashid Johnson, writer/photographer Teju Cole, singer Nikka Costa, and musician Michael Nesmith.

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Taking Comfort in the Sound of Silence

Sat, 9 Dec 2017 12:00:00 -0600

Do you ever crave silence? Maybe some can’t stand to hear themselves thinking, but others go to great lengths to find respite from a blaringly loud world.

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Harassment In The Lab

Sat, 2 Dec 2017 12:00:00 -0600

Sexism has no boundaries, as we're quickly discovering. But what impact does it have on scientific discovery if sexist behavior drives women out of science entirely?

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Worshipping Waterfalls: The Evolution of Belief

Sat, 25 Nov 2017 12:00:00 -0600

Do chimpanzees have spiritual experiences? A remarkable discovery in West Africa suggests they might.

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Extra: Making Peace With Monsters

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 15:45:00 -0600

This is the story of a lonely, disturbed teenager desperately in need of a friend. His name was Jeff. Or as you know him, Jeffrey Dahmer — the serial killer.

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Working For A Weekend That Never Seems To Come

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 12:00:00 -0600

Across professions, half of Americans surveyed say they’re exhausted from work. More and more of us feel scrambled, tired and drained. Are we facing daily lives more prone to burnout? And what can we do about it?

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A New Clash Of Civilizations?

Sat, 11 Nov 2017 12:00:00 -0600

When we hear from politicians and activists that "the West is at risk, that a clash of civilizations threatens Western culture," what does that mean exactly? And who do we think is coming for it?

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Extra: Discovering the Hidden Roots of Koreans Living In Japan

Thu, 9 Nov 2017 20:00:00 -0600

One of the finalists for the National Book Award this year is Min Jin Lee, for her novel "Pachinko."

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Beyond the Echo Chamber

Sat, 4 Nov 2017 19:30:00 -0500

We live, work and play in Red and Blue tribal bubbles, filling our social media feeds with news sources that affirm our place in that order, rather than challenging it. What is that isolation doing to us? What can we do to escape it?

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Even Stranger Things

Sat, 28 Oct 2017 11:00:00 -0500

Did you know that the U.S. military has a long history of working with psychics to try to discover enemy secrets? We examine this history and take a deep dive into the paranormal.

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Extra: Virtually Anywhere

Thu, 26 Oct 2017 11:30:00 -0500

Remember virtual reality? Back in the 1990’s, it was going to be the technology of the future.  Today, it’s here. But we're still figuring out what to do with it.

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You Had To Be There

Sat, 21 Oct 2017 16:30:00 -0500

Home entertainment options have never been richer, but public places like movie theaters and performance spaces are suffering. What do we lose when everyone stays home?

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Center of the World

Sat, 14 Oct 2017 11:00:00 -0500

Amidst economic devastation, producer Charles Monroe-Kane asks what it takes to survive in the Rust Belt.

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Is the Universe a Number?

Sat, 7 Oct 2017 14:00:00 -0500

For centuries, mathematicians have been looking for the deep design, the mathematical code to explain everything from microorganisms to spacetime. But it’s a dangerous quest.

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What is School For?

Sat, 30 Sep 2017 18:15:00 -0500

Why do we have schools? To build a workforce? To create democratic citizens? 

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Could Psychedelic Drugs Save Your Life?

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 16:15:00 -0500

Psychedelic science is back — and they could help heal people with addictions, PTSD and end-of-life anxiety.

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Rethinking The Reviewer

Sat, 16 Sep 2017 11:15:00 -0500

If everyone’s a critic online, does it mean that cultural criticism doesn’t matter anymore?

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Why We War

Sat, 9 Sep 2017 11:00:00 -0500

Armed conflicts. Insurgencies. Civil Wars. Invasions. Syria. Iraq. Afghanistan. Nigeria. Ukraine. South Sudan. Gaza. Yemen. The world is at war. Why?

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Sentimentality for Silicon

Sat, 2 Sep 2017 15:00:00 -0500

Do you love your laptop? Feel affection for your phone? Some of us spend more time with our devices than our families. How deep do those attachments go?

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Striving To See In A Vast, Invisible Universe

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 11:00:00 -0500

The latest total solar eclipse will cross the US for the first time in a hundred years. But besides chasing eclipses, how else can we see what's out there, beyond our skies?

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When Is A Road Trip Something More?

Sun, 9 Jul 2017 17:15:00 -0500

We take road trips and endless highways for granted, but there are other countries where people can pay a heavy price just for getting behind a wheel.

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