On Being with Krista Tippett takes up the big questions with scientists and theologians, artists and teachers — some you know and others you'll love to meet. Each week a new discovery about the immensity of our lives.
Could we learn to talk about whiteness? The writer Eula Biss has been thinking and writing about being white and raising white children in a multi-racial world for a long time. She helpfully opens up words and ideas like “complacence,” “guilt,” and something related to privilege called “opportunity hoarding.” To be in this uncomfortable conversation is to realize how these words alone, taken seriously, can shake us up in necessary ways — but also how the limits of words make these conversations at once more messy and more urgent.
Eula Biss is a professor in the English Department at Northwestern University. Her writing includes "On Immunity: An Inoculation" and "Notes from No Man's Land: American Essays." This conversation was inspired by her New York Times article “White Debt.” This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Eula Biss — Let’s Talk About Whiteness." Find more at onbeing.org.
A wildly popular blogger, tech entrepreneur, and Silicon Valley influencer, Anil Dash has been an early activist for moral imagination in the digital sphere — an aspiration which has now become an urgent task. We explore the unprecedented power, the learning curves ahead, and how we can all contribute to the humane potential of technology in this moment.
Anil Dash is the CEO of Fog Creek Software. He also founded Makerbase, Activate, and the non-profit Expert Labs, a research initiative backed by the MacArthur Foundation and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which collaborated with the Obama White House and federal agencies. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Anil Dash — Tech’s Moral Reckoning." Find more at onbeing.org.
Silence is an endangered species, says Gordon Hempton. He defines real quiet as presence — not an absence of sound, but an absence of noise. The Earth, as he knows it, is a "solar-powered jukebox." Quiet is a "think tank of the soul." We take in the world through his ears.
"Prayers are tools not for doing or getting, but for being and becoming." These are words of the legendary biblical interpreter, teacher, and pastor Eugene Peterson. Frustrated with the unimaginative way he found his congregants treating their Bibles, he translated it himself, and that translation has sold millions of copies around the world. Eugene Peterson’s down-to-earth faith hinges on a love of metaphor and a commitment to the Bible’s poetry as what keeps it alive to the world.