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The Next Big Idea

The Next Big Idea is a weekly series of in-depth interviews with the world’s leading thinkers. Join our host, Rufus Griscom — along with our curators, Malcolm Gladwell, Adam Grant, Susan Cain, and Daniel Pink — for conversations that might just change the way you see the world. New episodes every Thursday.

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  • 30.06.2022
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    BICYCLES: Are They the Future of Transportation?

    Jody Rosen is a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine and a bike nut who has just published a rousing (and sometimes arousing) book called “Two Wheels Good: The History and Mystery of the Bicycle.” Today, he takes us on a rollicking ride through the two-wheeled revolution, revealing the surprising ways bicycles have shaped the world in which we live.This and That: » Download the Next Big Idea app » Learn more about Transportation Alternatives » Check out the plans to build pedestrian and cycling bridges in NYC

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  • 23.06.2022
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    01:09:59
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    BIG DATA: Cracking the Codes of Love, Happiness and Success

    “You can make better life decisions. Big Data can help you.” So begins “Don’t Trust Your Gut,” a new book by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz. Seth, a former Google data scientist, has mined massive data sets in order to answer some of life’s most vexing questions: “What predicts a happy marriage?” and “How do you get rich?” and “What really makes us happy?” The answers may surprise you.Download the Next Big Idea app today at nextbigideaclub.com/app/

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  • 16.06.2022
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    Susan Cain & Daniel Pink: Writing, Longing, and the Search for Meaning

    What do we lose when we avoid sorrow and chase empty delights, when we mask our pain and feign cheerfulness, when we profess to have no regrets and insist on turning every frown upside down? Those questions are at the heart of two new books by our curators Susan Cain (“Bittersweet”) and Daniel Pink (“The Power of Regret”). Today on the show, they sit down with Rufus to swap notes on the writing process, share what they’ve learned from each other, and imagine what the world might look like if we all learned how to embrace negative emotions. Show Notes: » Check out our previous interviews with Susan and Dan » Use the code PODCAST20 at nextbigideaclub.com for 20% off an express membership

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  • 09.06.2022
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    RELATIONSHIPS: Why Everything You Know About Them Is (Mostly) Wrong

    Eric Barker is not a people person. “Getting me to write a relationship book,” he says, “is like asking Godzilla to improve the infrastructure in your city.” But he did it anyway. Guided by leading social psychologists, Eric went on a journey to understand what he was getting wrong about relationships — and what he could do to turn things around. The result is “Plays Well With Others,” a guide to friendship, intimacy, loneliness, and belonging that our curator Daniel Pink says will “revitalize your life.”THIS AND THAT: Check out Eric’s blog, “Barking Up the Wrong Tree” Try out Arthur Aron’s intimacy building questions Download the Next Big Idea app

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  • 02.06.2022
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    How To Be a Grown-Up

    In this special episode, Daniel Pink delivers a commencement address, Stanford-dean-turned-bestselling-author Julie Lythcott-Haims shares her manual for being an adult, and Arthur C. Brooks provides his roadmap for finding success, happiness, and purpose in the second half of life.Next Big Idea App: Download our app today at www.nextbigideaclub.com/app

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  • 26.05.2022
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    IMAGINABLE: How Anyone Can Predict the Future (Yes, Even You)

    In January 2020, when the coronavirus started making headlines around the world, Jane McGonigal’s inbox was flooded with emails from Silicon Valley execs, government officials, and non-profit leaders. They all had the same question: “Jane, didn’t you run a simulation of a respiratory pandemic?” Yes, she had. All the way back in 2010. Jane is a game designer. She builds simulations that help players imagine the unimaginable. And in 2010, she invited nearly 20,000 people to immerse themselves in a future world besieged by a global pandemic. “How would you change your habits?” she asked. “What social interactions would you avoid? Can you work from home?” A decade later, when COVID went from nascent threat to full-blown crisis, Jane started hearing from folks who had participated in the simulation. “I’m not freaking out,” one of them said with relief. “I already worked through the panic and anxiety when we imagined it ten years ago.” According to the latest research in psychology and neuroscience, we can all learn to make the shift from panic to poise by training our brains to think about the unthinkable. But what does that training look like? In her new book, “Imaginable” — and on today’s episode — Jane shares evidence-based techniques you can use to see the future coming.URGENT OPTIMISTS: Want to participate in one of Jane's Simulations? Visit urgentoptimists.org NEXT BIG IDEA CLUB: Want to hear hundreds of authors summarize their books in just 12 minutes? Download The Next Big Idea app today at nextbigideaclub.com/app

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  • 19.05.2022
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    CULTURE: How Successful Groups Work

    The filmmakers at Pixar. The servers at Union Square Cafe. The badasses on SEAL Team Six. What do these super successful groups all have in common? Strong team culture. But what exactly is culture, and how do you build it? Daniel Coyle has spent the last few years searching for answers. In this episode, he shares what he’s found.NEXT BIG IDEA APP: Download our app today at www.nextbigideaclub.com/app

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  • 12.05.2022
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    GET IT DONE: How the Science of Motivation Can Help You Achieve Your Goals

    University of Chicago professor Ayelet Fishbach has spent the last two decades studying the science of motivation. She has developed a framework for turning idle ambition into forward-moving action. That framework is the subject of her new book, “Get It Done,” which our curators chose as one of the best non-fiction titles of the year. Today, one of those curators, Daniel Pink, chats with Ayelet about sure-fire techniques you can use to achieve your goals.Next Big Idea App: Want to hear Ayelet summarize her new book in just 12 minutes? Download the Next Big Idea app and check out her Book Bite!

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  • 08.05.2022
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    Bonus: The Not-So-Great Resignation (WorkLife with Adam Grant)

    Over the past year, the Great Resignation has been all over the news. Many people are celebrating quitting their jobs — but it’s a decision some will come to regret. So when’s the right time to leave? How do you quit without burning bridges? And how can workplaces encourage people to stay? This is an episode of "WorkLife with Adam Grant," a podcast in the TED Audio Collective. If you want to hear more episodes, you can find and follow "WorkLife" wherever you listen.

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  • 05.05.2022
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    FUN: How to Have More of It

    Are we all so busy doom-scrolling and binge-watching that we’ve forgotten how to have fun? Catherine Price thinks so. But don’t despair. Her latest book, “The Power of Fun,” is jam-packed with research-backed hacks for finding meaning, forging connections, improving your health, and living life to the fullest ... all while having a darn good time.To learn about Catherine’s books & courses & sign up for her newsletter: ScreenLifeBalance.comNEXT BIG IDEA APP: Download it today at nextbigideaclub.com/app

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  • 28.04.2022
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    TWITTER: What Elon Musk’s Acquisition Means for the Future of Social Media

    Why did Elon Musk buy Twitter? What does he plan to do with it? Is this the end of big social or a chance to reinvent it? This week, we’re interrupting our regularly scheduled programming to answer those questions with two of the smartest internet commentators we know: Eli Pariser, co-founder of Upworthy and author of “The Filter Bubble”; and Steven Johnson, writer, podcaster, and TV host.RECOMMENDED: Subscribe to Steven’s newsletter, Adjacent Possible: adjacentpossible.substack.com Follow Eli on Twitter: @elipariser Listen to our interview with Jill Lepore about Elon Musk’s sci-fi fantasies.GET IN TOUCH: What did you think of this episode? Send us your thoughts: [email protected] BIG IDEA APP: You know what’s better than mindlessly scrolling through Twitter? Reading an entire book in just 12 minutes. Impossible, you say? Well, clearly you haven’t downloaded the Next Big Idea app, the only place in the world where you can hear book summaries read by leading authors themselves. Download it today: nextbigideaclub.com/app

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  • 21.04.2022
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    EMOTIONAL: Do Your Feelings Make You Smarter?

    We all strive to think rationally. But it doesn’t always do us much good. Cutting-edge science has revealed that if we want to sharpen our thinking, we need to feel our feelings. That science is the subject of “Emotional,” a new book by theoretical physicist Leonard Mlodinow. In this episode, he sits down with science writer Annie Murphy Paul to discuss where emotions come from, how they motivate us, and what we can do to control them.Episode Recommendations: RATIONALITY: Steven Pinker’s Love Song to Critical Thinking FEELING & KNOWING: Unlocking the Secrets of Consciousness (with Antonio Damasio) EXTENDED MIND: Want to Get Smarter? Try Thinking Outside of Your Brain (with Annie Murphy Paul)Next Big Idea Club: Download our app today at https://nextbigideaclub.com/app/

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  • 14.04.2022
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    ORIGIN: How Did Humans Migrate to the Americas?

    Thousands of years ago, humans crossed a land bridge from Siberia into Alaska. They tried to move south, but a two-mile-high, coast-spanning ice wall stood between them and the rest of the continent. How did they get past it? Scholars have fought over that question for decades. But in her book, “Origin,” Jennifer Raff says breakthroughs in genetics have given scientists an entirely new understanding of how the Americas were peopled and what happened in the millennia that followed.Next Big Idea Club — Want to hear 12-minute book summaries written and read by the authors themselves? Download the Next Big Idea app today at www.nextbigideaclub.com/app

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  • 07.04.2022
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    BITTERSWEET: Susan Cain on the Beauty of Sorrow and Longing

    Are you elevated by sad songs? Have you ever been brought to tears by a TV commercial? Do you relish rainy days? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you know the power of the bittersweet. Yet chances are there have been times when you’ve struggled to square your melancholic disposition with our culture of counterfeit cheer. Well, you won’t feel that way after you’ve heard Susan Cain discuss her new book, “Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole.” She argues that longing, sorrow, and grief are the wellsprings of connection, creativity, and hope. Download the Next Big Idea app today at www.nextbigideaclub.com/app

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  • 31.03.2022
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    Regrets: Daniel Pink Has a Few (And So Should You)

    “Embedded in songs, emblazoned on skin, and embraced by sages, the anti-regret philosophy is so self-evidently true that it’s more often asserted than argued.” So writes Daniel Pink in his new book, “The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward.” There’s just one problem, he adds. The “no regrets” philosophy? It’s hogwash. Regrets may churn our stomachs, but they also improve our decisions and strengthen our values. They’re a photographic negative of the good life. Download the Next Big Idea app at www.nextbigideaclub.com/app

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  • 24.03.2022
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    REALITY+: Are We Living in a Simulation?

    Philosopher David Chalmers reckons there’s a 25% chance that we are living in a simulation. And he’s OK with it. David's new book is "Reality+: Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy." To hear an extended version of this episode, download the Next Big Idea app: https://nextbigideaclub.com/podcast

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  • 17.03.2022
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    HURT SO GOOD: The Pleasures of Suffering (Paul Bloom & Susan Cain)

    Some people think humans are natural pleasure seekers. But not psychologist Paul Bloom. In his new book, “The Sweet Spot,” Paul says we’re pain seekers, too. Just think about all the uncomfortable things we do for fun — eating spicy food, climbing treacherous mountains, watching scary movies, engaging in BDSM. Why do that stuff? According to Paul, it’s because pain can enhance pleasure, chosen suffering can make you more resilient, and adversity can suffuse your life with meaning. We can all benefit from a little discomfort, and in this intimate conversation with Next Big Idea Club curator Susan Cain, Paul explains how to fit more of it into our lives.Next Big Idea Club: Get 20% off an express membership when you use the code PODCAST20 at www.nextbigideaclub.com

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  • 10.03.2022
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    EMPIRE: Why Ray Dalio Thinks We May Be Headed for Civil War

    History, in the eyes of legendary investor Ray Dalio, is a perpetual motion machine. Nations rise and fall according to an inevitable cycle where peace and prosperity are always followed by depression and war. And in his new book, “Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order,” Ray says the United States is now in the downward part of that cycle.Next Big Idea Club: Get 20% off an express membership when you use the code PODCAST20 at www.nextbigideaclub.com

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  • 03.03.2022
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    TIME MANAGEMENT FOR MORTALS: Malcolm Gladwell and Oliver Burkeman

    “The average human lifespan is absurdly, terrifyingly, insultingly short.” So begins Oliver Burkeman’s new book, “Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals.” Make it to 80, and you’ll get about 4,000 weeks. And so, as the poet asked, “What will you do with your one wild and precious life?” For most of us, the answer is obvious: Get busy. Why squander what little time we have? But in this conversation with Next Big Idea Club curator Malcolm Gladwell, Oliver proposes an alternative. If you want to make the most of your time, he says, you have to stop chasing pointless productivity and embrace life’s finitude.

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  • 24.02.2022
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    EVENING ROCKET: Decoding Elon Musk’s Sci-Fi Visions of the Future

    When it comes to Elon Musk, it can be hard to separate the man from the myth. But in her new podcast, “The Evening Rocket,” Harvard historian and New Yorker writer Jill Lepore manages to see through Musk’s mystique, explain his worldview, and decipher his visions of the future by going back to the sci-fi stories he grew up on — stories, Lepore says, that Musk sometimes misread.

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  • 18.02.2022
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    Book Bite #1: You Get Around 4,000 Weeks on Earth. How Should You Spend Them?

    Well, folks, we’ve reached the end of the line. Today, we’re pleased to share our most popular book bite of 2021, as chosen by the ravenously curious users of the Next Big Idea app: “Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortal” by Oliver Burkeman. It’s a book that urges us to resist the siren song of pointless busyness and embrace life’s finitude. The Next Big Idea returns on February 24th with a big batch of new interview episodes featuring Jill Lepore, Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Ray Dalio, David Chalmers, and other brilliant thinkers. Special thanks to Mike Toda, who mixed, mastered, scored, and worked magic on every episode in this miniseries. Want to satisfy your ravenous curiosity? Download the Next Big Idea app today: www.nextbigideaclub.com/app

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  • 18.02.2022
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    Book Bite #2: Can You Get Ahead by Making Things Easier?

    Does life really have to be so hard? Not according to Greg McKeown it doesn’t. In “Effortless,” he says the path of least resistance is the one we should be on. Episode Recommendation: EFFORTLESS: Embrace the Easy Option Next Big Idea App: Want to get smart ... effortlessly? Download our app today: www.nextbigideaclub.com/app

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  • 18.02.2022
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    Book Bite #3: How Do You Get Where You Want to Be?

    Today, at #3 in our countdown, “How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be” by Katy Milkman. It’s a deeply researched primer on how to defeat temptation, procrastination, and all the other little demons that stand between you and your best possible self. Episode Recommendation: HOW TO CHANGE: Science-Backed Tips for Becoming Your Best Self (Katy Milkman & Daniel Pink) Next Big Idea App: There’s only one place in the world where you can hear hundreds of bestselling authors summarize their books in their own words. Download our app today: www.nextbigideaclub.com/app

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  • 18.02.2022
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    Book Bite #4: Is Your Inner Child Your Truest Self?

    Today, at #4 in our countdown of last year’s most popular book bites, “The Child in You” by Stefanie Stahl. Is your inner child your truest self? Clinical psychologist Stefanie Stahl thinks so, as do the one-and-a-half million readers who have snapped up her book. But sometimes childhood traumas, big and small, can keep us from becoming happy, fulfilled adults. In this book, Stefanie uses examples and exercises to guide readers through a process of working through past injuries to become more alive — and childlike — in the present. Next Big Idea App: There’s only one place in the world where you can hear hundreds of bestselling authors summarize their books in their own words. Download our app today: www.nextbigideaclub.com/app

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  • 18.02.2022
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    Book Bite #5: Is It Time To Rethink Everything You Know?

    Adam Grant needs no introduction, but we’ll give him one anyway. He’s an organizational psychologist at Wharton. He hosts the chart-topping “WorkLife” podcast. And to top it all off, he is one of our curators here at the Next Big Idea Club. In his latest book, Think Again , Adam makes a nuanced case for the power of rethinking things. If you can learn how to check your ego, question your opinions, admit to being wrong, and demilitarize your dinner-table debates, then you’ll be on the way to a healthy, joyous, more enlightened life. Check out Adam’s full interview with Rufus: THINK AGAIN: Adam Grant on the Power of Changing Your Mind Next Big Idea App: Want to hear hundreds of other Book Bites? Download our app today: www.nextbigideaclub.com/app

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  • 18.02.2022
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    Book Bite #6: Want to Know the Secret to Getting Smarter?

    Keeping up with the cognitive demands of modern life has pushed our brains to their limits. But if the world around us won’t change, then we have to. And to do that, according to science writer Annie Murphy Paul, we need to stop being so brain-bound. Episode Recommendation: EXTENDED MIND: Want to Get Smarter? Try Thinking Outside of Your Brain Bonus: Adam Grant and Annie Murphy Paul Next Big Idea App: Want to hear hundreds of other Book Bites? Download our app today: www.nextbigideaclub.com/app

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  • 18.02.2022
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    Book Bite #7: Why Won’t the Voice in Your Head Stop Talking?

    Today, at #7 in our countdown of last year’s best Book Bites, “Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It” by Ethan Kross. The voice in your head can speak at a rate of 4,000 words per minute. When it gets going like that, not everything it says is particularly helpful. Luckily, there are tools you can use to change the conversation. Get in Touch: How do you like this daily dose of Book Bites? We’d love to know your thoughts. Send us an email at [email protected] Listen to This: CHATTER: Learning to Love the Voice in Your Head Download Our App: Want to hear hundreds of other Book Bites? Download our app today: www.nextbigideaclub.com/app

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  • 18.02.2022
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    Book Bite #8: What if Being Delusional Is Good for You?

    We tell ourselves lies in order to live. We believe our marriages will last, even though we know half of them end in divorce. We trick ourselves into thinking our children are extraordinary, because if we saw them for who they really are — average, disobedient, smelly — the body blows of parenting would be more than we could bear. But here’s the thing: these wide-eyed delusions aren’t bad for us. In Useful Delusions, Shankar Vedantam says that the occasional self-deception can actually contribute to your overall well-being. Turns out lying to yourself is part of being a well-adjusted human. Episode Recommendation: DELUSIONS: How Self-Deception Can Help You Flourish (Shankar Vedantam & Daniel Pink) Next Big Idea App: Want to hear more great Book Bites? Download our app today: www.nextbigideaclub.com/app

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  • 18.02.2022
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    Book Bite #9: Can You Upgrade Your Brain?

    In her new book, “Smarter Tomorrow,” neuroscientist Elizabeth Ricker says just 15 minutes of neurohacking a day can sharpen your mental skills, supercharge your creativity, and improve your life. You’re probably thinking, “Sounds great. But what’s neurohacking?” Listen and you’ll find out! Next Big Idea App: Want to hear more great Book Bites? Download our app today: www.nextbigideaclub.com/app

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  • 18.02.2022
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    Book Bite #10: Is Ownership Just a Story?

    What if ownership isn’t a fact but a story? That’s the tantalizing premise of “Mine! How the Hidden Rules of Ownership Control Our Lives.” Its authors, Michael Heller and James Salzman, who teach law at Columbia and UCLA, respectively, use their combined wisdom on the subject of property to show that the way we handle our personal tugs of war over parking spaces, fence lines, and reclining airline seats says a lot about how we can handle big social problems like wealth inequality and climate change. Episode Recommendation: MINE: How the Rules of Ownership Control Our Lives Next Big Idea app: Want to hear more great Book Bites? Download our app today: www.nextbigideaclub.com/app

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  • 18.02.2022
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    Book Bite #11: What Would the World Be Like Without Email?

    In “A World Without Email: Reimagining Work in an Age of Communication Overload” (#11 in our countdown of last year’s most popular Book Bites), Cal Newport doesn’t just dare to imagine a future where new forms of streamlined digital communication replace endless email threads and haphazard messaging. He says that future is inevitable. The question is: Will you be ready for it? Episode Recommendation: EMAIL: Would the World Be Better Without It? Next Big Idea App: Want to get smart fast? With the Next Big Idea app, you can enjoy hundreds of book summaries written and read by the world’s leading authors.

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  • 18.02.2022
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    Book Bite #12: Where Does Consciousness Come From?

    Today, at #12 in our countdown of last year’s most popular Book Bites, The Hidden Spring: A Journey to the Source of Consciousness by Mark Solms. Mark, who’s the director of neuropsychology at the University of Cape Town, draws on cutting-edge neuroscience and his interactions with hundreds of patients to present a new theory of consciousness that might just help you better understand the inner workings of your mind. Next Big Idea App: If you want to hear more Book Bites, you can download the Next Big Idea app at www.nextbigideaclub.com/app. Episode Recommendation: FEELING & KNOWING: Unlocking the Secrets of Consciousness

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  • 18.02.2022
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    Book Bite #13: Is There Such a Thing as Good Conflict?

    Today, #13 in our countdown of last year’s most popular Book Bites: “High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out” by Amanda Ripley. Amanda says the best way to stop a minor spat from becoming an all-consuming feud isn’t to avoid friction but to fight with dignity, smarts, and humility. Check out Amanda’s interview with Susan Cain. And if you haven’t already, download the Next Big Idea app at www.nextbigideaclub.com/app.

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  • 18.02.2022
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    Book Book #14: Are You a Binary Thinker in a Complex World?

    Do you see the world in black and white? You may not think so. You may think your perceptions are nuanced, your opinions technicolored. But research psychologist Kevin Dutton, who’s spent the last two decades teaching at Oxford and Cambridge, says we are evolutionarily hardwired to think in black and white. We sort our experiences into reductive frames: Fight or flight. Us versus them. Right and wrong. These simple mental divisions may have served us in our ancestral environments, but Kevin says they’re too rigid to do us much good when we try to handle the complexities of modern life. To learn more about Kevin’s work, visit www.drkevindutton.com. Want to listen to more Book Bites? Download the Next Big Idea app, visit www.nextbigideaclub.com/app. If you enjoyed this episode, check out our interview with Antonio Damasio.

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  • 18.02.2022
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    Book Bite #15: Is a Little Pain a Good Thing?

    Here’s something weird about humans. We like pain. Think about it. We eat spicy food, watch scary movies, run marathons, and take polar plunges. In today’s Book Bite — #15 in our countdown — psychologist Paul Bloom gets to the bottom of our predilection for sorrow and explains why it might be a pathway to meaning. Stick around to the end of the episode to hear a sneak peek of Paul’s interview with our curator Susan Cain. Their full conversation will be part of our new season, which starts in February. Visit paulbloom.net to learn more about Paul’s work. And if you want to check out the Next Big Idea app, head over to nextbigideaclub.com/app.

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  • 18.02.2022
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    Book Bite #16: How Would You React to a Life-Changing Diagnosis?

    After Suleika Jaouad graduated from college, she moved to Paris, found a tiny apartment with a giant pink bathtub, and set out to become a foreign correspondent. But then she got a diagnosis that changed everything. Leukemia. Instead of covering conflicts overseas, she started writing a New York Times column from her hospital bed. Four years later, after leaving the cancer ward for the last time, she set out on a 15,000-mile road trip across the United States, meeting with strangers who’d been touched by her column. She shares their stories and her own in “Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted,” which was a New York Times Notable Book of 2021 and is #16 in our countdown. To learn more about Suleika, visit www.suleikajaouad.com. And to hear other great Book Bites, download the Next Big Idea app by visiting www.nextbigideaclub.com/app.

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  • 18.02.2022
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    Book Bite #17: Why Do Funny People Live Longer?

    Drum roll, please. Today, #17 in our countdown of the top 22 books of last year: “Humor, Seriously: Why Humor Is a Secret Weapon in Business and Life (And how anyone can harness it. Even you).” For years, Stanford professors Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas have been researching the benefits of having, and cultivating, a sense of humor. They’ve found that clowning around inspires creativity, disarms tension, and strengthens relationships, while also making you happier, healthier, and richer. Seriously. To learn more about “Humor, Seriously,” visit humorseriously.com. And to hear more great Book Bites, download the Next Big Idea app at nextbigideaclub.com/app. We’ll be back with a new season of interviews in February, featuring Jill Lepore, Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Ray Dalio, David Chalmers, Paul Bloom, and a bunch of other brilliant thinkers.

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  • 18.02.2022
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    Book Bite #18: Would You Pass the CEO Test?

    Today, #18 in our countdown of the top 22 books of last year: “The CEO Test: Master the Challenges That Make or Break All Leaders." In the decade he spent writing the “Corner Office” column for the New York Times, Adam Bryant interviewed hundreds of CEOs and learned what separates good leaders from great ones. In "The CEO Test" Adam and his co-author, Kevin Sharer, the former CEO of Amgen, share what they’ve learned about staying nimble, handling a crisis, and creating cultures that work. We’ll be back with a new season of interviews in February, featuring Jill Lepore, Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Ray Dalio, David Chalmers, Paul Bloom, and a bunch of other brilliant thinkers. To learn more about “The CEO Test,” visit adambryantbooks.com. And to hear more great Book Bites, download the Next Big Idea app at nextbigideaclub.com/app.

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  • 18.02.2022
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    Book Bite #19: What Do da Vinci, Einstein, and Steve Jobs Have in Common?

    Today, #19 in our countdown of the top 22 books of last year, as chosen by users of our Next Big Idea app: “The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race” by Walter Isaacson. In this Book Bite, Walter reflects on the brilliant people he’s written about and shares the five lessons they’ve taught him about how to be creative; how to be imaginative; and, as Steve Jobs put it, how to “think different.” Check out Walter’s interview with Rufus: https://apple.co/3nSbIi8 To hear more Book Bites, download the Next Big Idea app: nextbigideaclub.com/app

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  • 18.02.2022
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    Book Bite #20: Can We Look to the Stars to Improve Life on Earth?

    In her debut book, “The Disordered Cosmos,” Chanda Prescod-Weinstein says that although the right to know and understand the night sky should be universal, the scientific community often limits who can learn and disseminate the story of the cosmos. Chanda, a Harvard-trained physicist, experienced that firsthand as she fought to become the first Black woman in history to receive a tenure-track appointment in theoretical cosmology. In this Book Bite, Chanda says that if we want to make the night sky truly accessible, then we need to reimagine how our society is structured here on earth. You can learn more about Chanda’s work at www.cprescodweinstein.com. And if you want to hear more Book Bites, you can download the Next Big Idea app at www.nextbigideaclub.com/app. This episode is part of a special series: “22 Book Bites to Ignite Your Curiosity in 2022.” We’ll be back with a new season of interviews in February, featuring Jill Lepore, Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Ray Dalio, David Chalmers, Paul Bloom, and a bunch of other brilliant thinkers.

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  • 18.02.2022
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    Book Bite #21: Is Devotion to Your Job Ruining Your Life?

    If you caught yesterday’s episode, then you know we’re running a little experiment here at the Next Big Idea. We put together a list of the 22 Book Bites our app users listened to more than any others last year. (Book Bites, for the uninitiated among you, are audio summaries of the best new books, read by the authors themselves.) For the next few weeks, instead of weekly interview episodes, we’ll be posting a new Book Bite from that “best of” list every weekday. Don’t worry. We have a whole bunch of interviews coming your way in February — Jill Lepore, Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Ray Dalio, David Chalmers, and a bunch of other brilliant thinkers. It’s going to be great, if we do say so ourselves. Until then, we hope you enjoy these 22 snappy invitations to supercharge your curiosity in the early days of 2022. Today, at #21, we have “Work Won’t Love You Back: How Devotion to Our Jobs Keeps Us Exploited, Exhausted, and Alone” by Sarah Jaffe. When it comes to our jobs, Sarah says, many of us are trapped in unhealthy relationships. Even if you’ve found a job you love, ask yourself: Does it love you back? Or does it devour your waking hours, pay you less than you deserve, force you to attend team-building events, and refuse to punish the bandit who strolls around the office brazenly sipping from your personal mug? To put it another way, “the labor of love,” Sarah writes, “is a con.” But all hope is not lost. If we can untangle the knotty relationship between work and love, we might just find ways to be fuller versions of ourselves, both in and out of the office. To learn more about Sarah's work, visit www.sarahljaffe.com. And if you want to hear more Book Bites, you can download the Next Big Idea app at www.nextbigideaclub.com/app.

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  • 18.02.2022
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    Book Bite #22: Racism Costs Everyone. How Can We Prosper Together?

    Last year, we worked with some of the world’s best non-fiction writers to create audio summaries of their books. Until now, these summaries — we call them Book Bites — have only been available in the Next Big Idea app. But for the next few weeks, we’re going to share the 22 most popular Book Bites with you. Does that mean we’re pausing our usual interviews? Yes. But only for a bit. We’ll have a fresh batch ready for you in February! In the meantime, we’ll be posting a new Book Bite on this feed every weekday. Think of it as 22 opportunities to stimulate your curiosity in the early days of 2022. First up, at #22, we have “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together” by Heather McGhee. This New York Times bestseller is animated by a deceptively simple question: Why can’t we have nice things? By “we,” Heather means Americans; and by “nice things,” she means good schools, roads that aren’t pitted with potholes, jobs that pay enough to live on. Her conclusion? We can’t have nice things because “white people … resist policies that could benefit them, just because they might also benefit people of color.” In the hopes of finding ways to break that cycle, Heather embarked on a cross-country journey to understand how institutional racism can cause economic harm to everyone and how ending discrimination will benefit all of us. To learn more about Heather’s work, visit www.heathermcghee.com. And if you want to hear more Book Bites, you can download the Next Big Idea app at www.nextbigideaclub.com/app.

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  • 18.02.2022
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    GOOD ANXIETY: Can You Turn Worrying Into a Superpower?

    To fret is human. That’s according to recent estimates that suggest 90 percent of the population experiences anxiety. And because anxiety, even in mild forms, can zap our confidence, squelch our sex drives, isolate us from friends and loved ones, most of us have concluded that anxiety is pretty much always a bad thing. But not neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki. In her new book, “Good Anxiety: Harnessing the Power of the Most Misunderstood Emotion,” she argues that we should treat anxiety like a form of energy. “Think of it as a chemical reaction to an event or situation,” she writes. “Without trustworthy resources, training, and timing, that chemical reaction can get out of hand—but it can also be controlled and used for valuable good.” Today, Wendy sits down with Lauren Miller Rogen (she's a filmmaker and the co-founder, along with her husband, actor Seth Rogen, of the non-profit Hilarity for Charity, which provides a range of free services to support families impacted by Alzheimer’s) to discuss the science-backed tools you can use to worry well.

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  • 18.02.2022
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    HACK YOUR HABITS: The Science of Making Changes That Stick

    Why is it so hard to break bad habits and replace them with good ones? You may think it all comes down to willpower. But social psychologist Wendy Wood says that if you really want to change your life, you need to tap into your unconscious mind. She would know. Wendy is the world’s foremost expert on habits and the author of “Good Habits, Bad Habits: The Science of Making Positive Changes That Stick.” Today, she chats with Next Big Idea Club curator Adam Grant about harnessing the science of habit formation to improve your life for the better. This conversation was among the first that we aired on this podcast, and we left a lot of great moments on the cutting room floor. Today, we’re restoring them. What follows is an extended version of Wendy and Adam’s conversation with new insights about overcoming chronic lateness, developing sustainable exercise routines, and making New Year’s resolutions that last past February.

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  • 18.02.2022
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    TOGETHER: The Surgeon General’s Prescription for Health and Happiness

    When Dr. Vivek Murthy became U.S. Surgeon General in 2014, he went on a listening tour. What he heard surprised him. Americans were lonely, and it was killing them. In this deeply personal conversation with Next Big Idea Club curator Susan Cain (author of “Quiet”), Murthy makes the medical case for love and friendship.

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  • 18.02.2022
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    SPIRITUAL TECHNOLOGIES: Two Scientists Debate the Benefits of Religion

    The science is clear: people who engage in spiritual practices live longer, happier, healthier lives. For the past few years, two researchers — Dave DeSteno, who runs the Social Emotions Lab at Northeastern, and Lisa Miller, founder of the Spirituality Mind Body Institute at Columbia — have been trying to figure out why. They’ve found that treating religious rituals as tools we can adapt to our individual needs and values can help all of us — staunch atheists and devout believers alike — live more meaningful, successful, and connected lives. In this episode, Dave and Lisa share what they’ve learned, discuss the fraught relationship between science and organized religion, and offer tips for making the most of your holiday rituals.

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  • 18.02.2022
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    DAWN OF EVERYTHING: The True History of Humanity

    What if everything we think we know about the history of our species is wrong? That’s the provocative question at the heart of a new book by today’s guest, David Wengrow. Hailed as fascinating, brilliant, and potentially revolutionary, “The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity” debuted at no. 2 on the New York Times bestseller list. Drawing on the latest research in archeology and anthropology, it suggests that the lives of our ancient ancestors were not nasty, brutish, and short. On the contrary, they were playful, collaborative, and improvisational—and there's a lot they can teach us about how to improve the world as we know it.

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  • 18.02.2022
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    DOPAMINE NATION: Why the Modern World Puts Us All at Risk for Addiction

    In “Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence,” Dr. Anna Lembke says today’s superabundance of pleasurable stimuli makes us all vulnerable to overindulgence. But don’t lose hope. Anna, the medical director of addiction medicine at Stanford, says that by understanding how modern stimulants — from Instagram to masturbation machines — prey on our primitive brains, we can find ways to overcome the unhealthy dependencies that prevent us from leading balanced lives.

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  • 18.02.2022
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    AMBITION: How to Achieve Success on Your Own Terms

    From the time she was in high school, Shellye Archambeau had one dream: she wanted to run a business. Ultimately, she pulled it off, becoming one of Silicon Valley’s first Black female CEOs. But getting there was far from easy. She had to learn how to assemble a network of mentors, overcome imposter syndrome, and challenge herself in ways she could never have imagined. The story of how she did it is the subject of her inspiring book “Unapologetically Ambitious: Take Risks, Break Barriers, and Create Success on Your Own Terms,” which was named one of the best of the year by our Next Big Idea Club curators. Today, one of those curators, Susan Cain, chats with Shellye about developing resilience, overcoming adversity, cutting yourself a break when it comes to work-life balance, and pursuing your ambition even if you’re an introvert.

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  • 18.02.2022
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    FRIENDSHIP: The Science Behind Life’s Deepest Bond

    Friends aren’t just fun to hang out with and handy in a pinch. They’re also a biological necessity. Rufus talks to journalist Lydia Denworth, author of the book "Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond," about why friends — even the online variety — make us happier, healthier, smarter, and more successful.

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