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To The Best Of Our Knowledge

Wisconsin Public Radio

”To the Best of Our Knowledge” is a Peabody award-winning national public radio show that explores big ideas and beautiful questions. Deep interviews with philosophers, writers, artists, scientists, historians, and others help listeners find new sources of meaning, purpose, and wonder in daily life. Whether it’s about bees, poetry, skin, or psychedelics, every episode is an intimate, sound-rich journey into open-minded, open-hearted conversations. Warm and engaging, TTBOOK helps listeners feel less alone and more connected – to our common humanity and to the world we share. For more from the TTBOOK team, visit us at ttbook.org.

Location:

Madison, WI

Description:

”To the Best of Our Knowledge” is a Peabody award-winning national public radio show that explores big ideas and beautiful questions. Deep interviews with philosophers, writers, artists, scientists, historians, and others help listeners find new sources of meaning, purpose, and wonder in daily life. Whether it’s about bees, poetry, skin, or psychedelics, every episode is an intimate, sound-rich journey into open-minded, open-hearted conversations. Warm and engaging, TTBOOK helps listeners feel less alone and more connected – to our common humanity and to the world we share. For more from the TTBOOK team, visit us at ttbook.org.

Twitter:

@TTBOOK

Language:

English

Contact:

6082625263


Episodes
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In Journalism We Trust

6/15/2024
Americans used to believe that news anchors were basically reporting the truth. But in recent years, trust in journalism has largely evaporated. And that’s not an accident as the news media have been weaponized. So what can journalists do to regain the public trust? Original Air Date: June 15, 2024 Interviews In This Hour: Journalist Ezra Klein on podcasting, pundits and when to take yourself out of the news — Reclaiming journalism in a fast-changing media landscape — How a hyperlocal newsletter is redefining the ‘news’ Guests: Ezra Klein, Deborah Blum, Rob Gurwitt Never want to miss an episode? Subscribe to the podcast. Want to hear more from us, including extended interviews and favorites from the archive? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Duration:00:51:51

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The Hidden Geometry of Everything

6/8/2024
The human brain is naturally mathematical. But there’s one particular kind of math people have surprisingly strong feelings about — geometry. It's the secret sauce of mathematics — different from everything else, and applicable to everything from gerrymandering to human evolution to romance novels. Original Air Date: May 28, 2022 Interviews In This Hour: The 14th dimension, AI that writes romance novels, and other things explained by geometry — Did shapes make us human? Guests: Jordan Ellenberg, Stanislas Dehaene Never want to miss an episode? Subscribe to the podcast. Want to hear more from us, including extended interviews and favorites from the archive? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Duration:00:51:55

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Avian Obsessions

6/1/2024
It’s summer, and you might be pulling out your binoculars, filling your bird feeders, and looking up as you hear a melodious song. But for many birdwatchers, it's not just a simple pastime. Identifying bird calls, tracking rare breeds through marshes and waters, and watching our feathered friends as they watch you has turned into true love of birds — an avian obsession. Original Air Date: June 17, 2023 Interviews In This Hour: 'Utterly unlike other birds': The inscrutable brilliance of owls — Mark Obmascik on Competitive Bird Watching — The Indelible Myth and Meaning of Ravens — Christopher Benfey on 'A Summer of Hummingbirds' Guests: Jennifer Ackerman, Mark Obmascik, Charles Monroe-Kane, Christopher Benfey Never want to miss an episode? Subscribe to the podcast. Want to hear more from us, including extended interviews and favorites from the archive? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Duration:00:51:53

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Tasting the Past

5/25/2024
Maybe it’s your grandmother’s cinnamon cookies, the garlicky tomato sauce your spouse cooked when you were first dating, or the chicken noodle soup you made every week when your kids were little. The sights, smells and tastes of certain foods can instantly remind us of a person or transport us back to a certain time in our lives. In this episode, we’ll meet kitchen ghosts from Kentucky, hear how religion and food are intertwined, and talk about how flavor evokes emotion – from grief to joy. Original Air Date: May 25, 2024 Interviews In This Hour: The comfort and community of ancestral food — Slow down and take a 'flavor trip' — The perfect french fries of Kewaunee, Wisconsin — The surprising intersections of food and faith Guests: Crystal Wilkinson, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Christina Ward, Joe Hardtke Never want to miss an episode? Subscribe to the podcast. Want to hear more from us, including extended interviews and favorites from the archive? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Duration:00:51:44

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Being Body Conscious

5/18/2024
When you look at your body in the mirror, do you love what you see? Do you pick out the things you don’t like? Maybe you’ve heard of body positivity. But what if we just felt neutral about our bodies? In this episode, we talk about our bodies — how we move through the world in these fleshy vessels, how it feels to exist in our bodies in a world that asks so much from them. How do we live full and embodied lives? Original Air Date: September 30, 2023 Interviews In This Hour: Finding Peace in Neutrality: Jessi Kneeland on Rethinking Body Positivity — The Body Speaks: Rae Johnson on Reconnecting with Ourselves to Transform Society — Multiple Identities, One Body: Sami Schalk Discusses Black Disability Politics Guests: Jessi Kneeland, Rae Johnson, Sami Schalk Never want to miss an episode? Subscribe to the podcast. Want to hear more from us, including extended interviews and favorites from the archive? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Duration:00:52:04

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For The Love Of Moms

5/11/2024
We celebrate Mother's Day with a collection of stories from our archives, by and about moms. Stories about care and about courage — about the work of mothering. Original Air Date: May 13, 2023 Guests: Stephanie Land, Eula Biss, Jacqueline Horner Plumez, Amanda Henry, Ayelet Waldman

Duration:00:51:54

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Reframing the Portrait

5/4/2024
Before family photos, or school pictures or Instagram, there were hand-drawn and painted portraits. Throughout the ages, portrait artists have captured expressions and personalities on canvas or paper, and those who view the picture interpret this “likeness” in their own way. We talk with a philosopher, a musician and a novelist about the role of portraits through history, and how we see ourselves —and others — through these deeply personal images. Original Air Date: September 23, 2023 Guests: Peter Brathwaite, Maggie O'Farrell, Steven Nadler, Thijs Gerbrandy, Norbert Middelkoop

Duration:00:51:41

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Giving Up

4/27/2024
We get the message before we’re out of training pants – when the going gets tough, look on the bright side, make lemonade out of lemons and just do it. We’re gonna consider the exact opposite – the wisdom of giving up and letting go. Because sometimes, the strongest and most courageous thing you can do is walk away. Original Air Date: April 27, 2024 Interviews In This Hour: The power and boundary-breaking of fasting — How do we know when to call it quits? — Escaping the tyranny of certainty Guests: John Oakes, Adam Phillips, Maggie Jackson Never want to miss an episode? Subscribe to the podcast. Want to hear more from us, including extended interviews and favorites from the archive? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Duration:00:52:06

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Deep Time: How Earth Keeps Time

4/20/2024
Are you ready to think in centuries instead of seconds? Eons instead of hours? It’s time to make thousand-year plans and appreciate how Earth keeps time. Original Air Date: August 19, 2023 Interviews In This Hour: Shifting your mind to 'geologic' time — Discovering the wonders of ancient cave art — Making art inspired by the ancestors Guests: Marcia Bjornerud, Stephen Alvarez, Dustin Illetewahke Mater Never want to miss an episode? Subscribe to the podcast. Want to hear more from us, including extended interviews and favorites from the archive? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Duration:00:52:09

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Luminous: Your Brain on Shrooms

4/13/2024
Can neuroscience explain what happens to the brain on psychedelics? And even if we map the brain while it’s tripping, does that tell us why these experiences can be so transformative? We’ll talk with some of the pioneers in psychedelic research — from Amanda Feilding’s boundary-busting work to Robin Carhart-Harris’ theory of the "entropic brain." Also, renowned neuroscientist Christof Koch goes down the rabbit hole on 5-MeO-DMT, also known as toad venom. Original Air Date: July 15, 2023 Interviews In This Hour: Exploring consciousness on toad venom — The godmother of the European psychedelic revival — How therapeutic psilocybin could help heal long-buried trauma — Magic mushrooms and the 'entropic brain' Guests: Christof Koch, Amanda Feilding, David Nutt, Robin Carhart-Harris Never want to miss an episode? Subscribe to the podcast. Want to hear more from us, including extended interviews and favorites from the archive? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Duration:00:52:38

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Total Eclipse and Other Wonders

4/6/2024
From our narrow vantage point on Earth, how can we see what's out there, beyond our skies? We look to how scientists and scholars have studied eclipses, dark matter, deep-space transmissions from intelligent life and more, all in the hopes of painting a clearer picture of a vast and invisible universe. Original Air Date: August 19, 2017 Interviews In This Hour: How Eclipse Chasing Inspires Generations of Scientists — How Do We Investigate The Invisible Parts of the Universe? — Search For Life In All The Wrong Places — What Can You Hear In Space? — The Universe Is Under No Obligation To Make Sense To Us Guests: David Baron, Priya Natarajan, Seth Shostak, Don Gurnett, Neil deGrasse Tyson Further Reading: NASA: 2024 Eclipse Explorer Never want to miss an episode? Subscribe to the podcast. Want to hear more from us, including extended interviews and favorites from the archive? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Duration:00:52:10

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Does AI dream?

3/30/2024
AI can do amazing things – write your term papers, sequence your genes, maybe replace your therapist. But even super-intelligence has limits. So, does AI really have a mind — or a soul? We'll explore the frontiers of artificial intelligence — from robots painting masterpieces to software engineers trying to create god-like machines. Original Air Date: March 30, 2024 Interviews In This Hour: Stop worrying about deepfakes — Does AI have a soul? — Can robots paint a masterpiece? Guests: Walter Scheirer, Meghan O’Gieblyn, Sougwen 愫君 Chung Never want to miss an episode? Subscribe to the podcast. Want to hear more from us, including extended interviews and favorites from the archive? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Duration:00:51:59

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Let's Celebrate Crying

3/23/2024
We all feel better after a good cry. In fact, humans are the only animals who cry emotional tears. But what about people who don't cry? And have you ever wondered why a sad song or movie makes you cry? Original Air Date: August 05, 2023 Interviews In This Hour: Hip-hop artist Dxtr Spits on teaching men to cry — The evolution and neuroscience of tears — What happens when an actor cries Guests: Dxtr Spits, Michael Trimble, Jen Plants Never want to miss an episode? Subscribe to the podcast. Want to hear more from us, including extended interviews and favorites from the archive? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Duration:00:51:53

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Taking Pop Seriously

3/16/2024
Pop music is a gazillion-dollar industry that churns out hits and creates celebrities. It seems like the definition of ephemeral – today’s chart topper is gone tomorrow. But pop music is a powerful vehicle for bringing people together, and fans - from K-pop to the #FreeBritney movement — have something to teach us about community and hope. Original Air Date: March 26, 2022 Interviews In This Hour: When we're disconnected, can we reconnect through K-pop? — From pop to punk: Shaping our musical identities — How a fan movement freed a pop star from her gilded cage Guests: Regina Kim, Kyla Nicole, Kelefa Sanneh, Samantha Stark Never want to miss an episode? Subscribe to the podcast. Want to hear more from us, including extended interviews and favorites from the archive? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Duration:00:51:54

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One Nation Under God?

3/9/2024
In 2020, Donald Trump won 84 percent of the white evangelical vote.). Lately, he’s been leaning even more deeply into the rhetoric of Christian nationalists. Who are they, and what’s their role in the evangelical church? We talk with some Southern Baptists today, whose views may surprise you. Original Air Date: March 09, 2024 Interviews In This Hour: The 'simmering violence' of Donald Trump and Christian nationalism — Examining the Role of Southern Baptist Women — Why One Black Pastor Left the Southern Baptists Guests: Jeff Sharlet, Beth Allison Barr, John Onwuchekwa Never want to miss an episode? Subscribe to the podcast. Want to hear more from us, including extended interviews and favorites from the archive? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Duration:00:52:06

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Decolonizing the Mind

3/2/2024
Colonization in Africa was much more than a land grab. It was a project to replace — and even erase — local cultures. To label them inferior. Music, arts, literature and of course language. In other words, it permeated everything. So how do you undo that? How do you unlearn what you’ve been forced to learn? In this hour, produced in partnership with the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI) and Africa is a Country — we learn what it means to decolonize the mind. Original Air Date: March 20, 2021 Interviews In This Hour: Reckon with the Past To Decolonize the Future — Reclaiming the Hidden History of Blackness — Never Write In The Language of the Colonizer Guests: Adom Getachew, Simon Gikandi, Ngugi wa Thiong’o Never want to miss an episode? Subscribe to the podcast. Want to hear more from us, including extended interviews and favorites from the archive? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Duration:00:51:52

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In Your Dreams

2/24/2024
What’s the last dream you remember having? Some of us dream every night. But we’re in too much of a hurry to remember our dreams or think about them the next day. Others of us are dream-deprived. What if we embrace our dreams — and our night selves — as a way to understand ourselves better, to connect to each other, even to lead a better life? Original Air Date: February 24, 2024 Interviews In This Hour: Why dream life matters — The lives we live inside our dreams — A dreaming mind, illustrated — Embracing your night self Guests: Rubin Naiman, Kelly Bulkeley, Roz Chast, Annabel Abbs-Streets Never want to miss an episode? Subscribe to the podcast. Want to hear more from us, including extended interviews and favorites from the archive? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Duration:00:52:01

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Luminous: What Can Psychedelics Teach Us About Dying?

2/17/2024
In the first episode of "Luminous," our series about the philosophy and the future of psychedelics, how can psilocybin ease our fears about dying? And how can psychedelics change the way we approach the end of life? Original Air Date: April 08, 2023 Interviews In This Hour: How a pioneering psychedelic researcher 'leaned in' to his terminal cancer diagnosis — Dying without fear: How psychedelics can ease the anxiety of terminal illness — The terror and the ecstasy of psychedelics Guests: Roland Griffiths, Lou Lukas, Anthony Bossis Editorial note: Roland Griffiths passed away on Oct. 16, 2023. The conversation with him in this episode took place in January 2023. Never want to miss an episode? Subscribe to the podcast. Want to hear more from us, including extended interviews and favorites from the archive? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Duration:00:52:04

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To All The Dogs We've Loved

2/10/2024
The bond we share with dogs runs deep. The satisfaction of gentle head scratches or a round of playing fetch is simple and pure, but in other ways, the connection we have is truly unknowable. How do dogs make our lives better? How do they think? And how do we give them the lives they deserve? Original Air Date: February 05, 2022 Interviews In This Hour: Adventure, goofiness and trail snacks: Stories from the dog musher's journal — Getting inside the mind of a dog — Nothing makes losing a dog easy. But a bridge dog can help. — Joy and peace, high up on Dog Mountain Guests: Blair Braverman, Quince Mountain, Donna Haraway, Sarah Miller Further Reading: Pet Loss Resource Center: Resources for animal loss and grief Never want to miss an episode? Subscribe to the podcast. Want to hear more from us, including extended interviews and favorites from the archive? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Duration:00:51:54

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Listen to this: The What, Why and How of Intellectual Humility

2/7/2024
Today we're bringing you a conversation from "Kelly Corrigan Wonders." As a podcaster, Kelly is a kindred spirit – curious, genuine, caring — and this conversation is from a series about one of TTBOOK’s own core values – intellectual humility. It’s about the magic that happens when we stop trying to be right all the time. In this episode, Kelly talks with researcher and academic Daryl Van Tongeren about how we come to conclusions and what, if anything, can interrupt the creation of overconfident, under-researched, ironclad, and divisive by nature convictions. Daryl teaches at Hope College in Michigan and researches the social motivation for meaning and its relation to virtues and morals.

Duration:00:33:06