Today we have a rollicking, thought-provoking romp through questions of meaning and purpose. The conversation touches on nihilism, existentialism, absurdism, religion, science, and the ultimate meaning of life. We explore the possibility of macro-meaninglessness in an indifferent universe, coupled with micro-meaningfulness - the possibility that our everyday lives are in fact very meaningful. We ponder the question of how we can wrap our heads around that seeming paradox. Perhaps, both the micro and macro in combination may reflect a more wholly accurate assessment of the human experience. Or perhaps not.
Gill Sorg, with a background in science, chemistry, biology, ecology, ranching, teaching, and government, joins us today with a wide array of considerations. The conversation touches on largely science focused questions about human and other biology, evolution, what constitutes "Life", the origins of life on earth, and the potential for life elsewhere. Climate change, microorganisms, antibiotics, pollution, plastics, personal and global equilibrium/homeostasis, history of the geology of the earth, species diversity, fragility, and artificial intelligence, all get a little attention in this exploration about "Life".
We're joined today by intermittent co-host and always delightful guest, Keith Whelpley. Our conversation spans considerations of Artificial Intelligence, censorship, free speech, hate speech, unpopular but protected speech, and cancel culture. We touch on journalism, media. social media, human intelligence, biological non-human intelligence, and of course machine or artificial intelligence. This exploratory conversation points to the chilling adverse effects of cancel culture censorship upon our thinking, our language, or democracy, our very sense of humanity and community. We give some attention to the intersectionality of artificial intelligence and free speech, how it affects our critical and nuanced thinking, our tribal and cult thinking, and how we interpret, think, feel and speak about events past and present.
Video - "The AI Dilemma"
Book - "Impromptu" on AI -Reid Hoffman and GPT4
Video - "Commonwealth Club - "The Canceling of the American Mind"
Book - "The Canceling of the American Mind" - Lukianoff and Schlott
Book - "Nadine Strossen - Hate: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech Not Censorship
In today's conversation, Vietnam war veteran and Zen Buddhist priest, Harvey Hilbert, shares his experience, thoughts and feelings about war. The conversation explores history, curated narratives, how we think about war, and why after thousands of years, we still do it. We touch on how the emotions of fear, hate and anger are intentionally stimulated in order to drive people to war - and why the practices of compassion, humility, and love are most often disregarded. The conversation touches on media, misuse and distortion of language. Harvey offers as a possible measure for improving the future of humanity, learning how to talk to each other and how to teach ourselves and our children to value open and respectful conversations; how to get to know and accept those who are different.
Today, guests Nia Rucker and Trisha McCaul share their observations after hosting a "Death Over Drafts" event in Las Cruces. Death Over Drafts is a setting for casual community discussion about death and dying, over beers and snacks. Held at a local brewery with about 25 people in attendance, the group conversations spanned a broad spectrum of death and dying related experiences, thoughts and feelings. Trisha and Nia offer their insights as individuals and as conveners of the event. From his vantage point as a family therapist, Jack Turney made some carefully considered inquiries and shared some relevant perspectives as well. Welcome to a fun and thoughtful conversation about how we think (or avoid thinking) about death in our culture.
Death Over Drafts
Alua Arthur - TED Talk - Thinking about Death
The Death Deck - A Lively Party Game
Today's conversation with Jack Turney focuses on asking why we think we know, what we think we know. The exploration includes considerations of awe, wonder, gratitude, science, religion, and humility in relationship to knowing and not-knowing. We talk about distinctions between ideas of truth, perspective, and reality. We ask if individuals and society benefit more from holding on to what we think we know, or perhaps benefit more from what we might learn in a posture of not-knowing. As a default practice of thinking, where might the greatest potential for wisdom exist?
Jack Turney joins us for a conversation about the ancient Chinese philosophy known as - Tao-te Ching. The oldest known copy of the text predates the birth of Jesus by 300-500 years and is second only to the Bible among the most published books in history. Using the Stephen Mitchell translation, we open an initial exploration of some aspects of this book of revered Chinese wisdom and what it may or may not mean for humanity today.
Stephen Mitchell Reads Tao-te Ching aloud
Tao-te Ching text - Chapter by Chapter
David Foster Wallace on the Tao
Plato Not Prozac
KTAL LP 101.5 fm - Roadrunner Revue
After an extended delay, stuck behind an overturned semi-truck on I-10, Shahid Mustafa and Tameika Hannah join us for a brief look at their thoughtful and informative new show on KTAL - entitled Black-English-Vernacular. The show airs and streams from 9:30-10:30 pm - Monday nights on KTAL; treating our community to a whole lotta' good history, with an emphasis on Black History.
Before our guests arrived, family therapist Jack Turney and I explored a little about co-operatives, food as related to the mental and physical health of families, and community in general. Upon their arrival, Shahid and Tameika treated us to a brief but insightful conversation about their new show. And, as this month is National Coop Month, they introduce us to the fascinating untold history of original Black owned and operated farming/food cooperatives.
Jack Turney returns for an encore conversation about how as a millennial he perceives the challenges we face in our country and around the world today. The exploratory process touches on some external considerations like technology, climate change, media, social media, and cultural norms. Some of the internal elements that get attention are expectations, critical thinking, attitudes, adaptive processes, and the differing values contained in differing stories of the consumer industrial complex that shape our lives. He gives some focus as well to how awareness of our predicament may bring both appropriate and inappropriate despair and how to bring realistic hope into the equation.
It was January 20, 2020. That day we celebrated Martin Luther King Jr's birthday. That day, the rapid collapse of many of our country's fundamental political and social norms was fully evident. That day, we were unknowingly staggering into the abyss of Covid 19's deadly embrace of humanity. On that morning, we had a conversation with millennial, Jack Turney. Now, nearly four years later, he joins us again.
With a master's degree in social work and a background of working with underserved members of our community, Jack currently works as a practicing therapist and family counselor. As a member of the millennial generation, he shares how the views of he and his peers have changed. He shares on his perceptions of our country's skyrocketing mental health issues and the unconscionable shortage of care providers - and much more. A lot of the conversation centers around Jack's reversion to a closer personal practice of Catholicism, how and why that's happening for him, and how it informs his life in these trying times.
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