Show 604: Dr. Stephen Porges on the PolyVagal Theory

In our society, violence in increasing. Along with the violence, not incidentally, we have a growing mental health crisis which is still not getting the attention, understanding, and funding needed to help those adversely affected by this profoundly sick society (to echo the sentiment of the late philosopher, Jiddu Krishnamurti). While there are several ways we can understand what is happening, learning about human nature and how we evolved to be can help us have a better grasp on what we can do and where we might go. In 1994, Professor of Psychiatry and neuroscientist Stephen Porges introduced the Polyvagal Theory. This theory has allowed us to understand more about how the brain works, and what happens when things go wrong—and why. Stephen Porges is a psychiatrist and neuroscientist. He is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Show 603: Alfie Kohn on Education; Ted Schick on Critical Thinking and Skeptism

We live in a society where the education system is crumbling. It’s not been enough for the powers that be to dumb-down the public schools for many reasons, mostly centered around capitalism and keeping the populous from learning enough information to effect progressive social change (rather than to be merely obedient automatons). When Progressives and Leftists speak about the myriad problems in today’s society, they often think of education as a primary way to foster healthy, and sustainable change. Children will be the future of our society, our world, and their education—at least at the hands of our institutions—has been far from even adequate in many cases. So what can be done? Today we will talk with author Alfie Kohn on some of the issues involved, and more so, pick his brain about solutions.

We also live in a society ready to accept ideas and opinions without the slightest scientific evidence, nor reject scientific theories out of hand which have myriad evidence behind them. This can be seen in so many areas from science itself, to the beliefs in religion, “new age” phenomenon, the paranormal, and of course politics and economics. Americans are more often taught – in the Media, by Politicians, in our Schools, and on the Internet – WHAT to think rather than HOW to think, Critical Thinking has become an enigma in a world of “Fake News” and the complete disregard for real expertise. Dr. Ted Schick will help us navigate these ever increasingly muddy waters.

Show 602: Darcia Narvaez on Building a Healthy Human

We can point to many potential causes for the crises we currently face—from capitalism and classism, racism and right wing ideology… to just the fact that we live in a dominance-based society born of myths of rugged individualism and the idea that some lives matter more than others. And they’d all be true. But how did we get here? Has what has gone astray about economics, how we raise children, the failed education system—all of the above? Our guest today—and many others we have had on Equal Time in the past—has addressed in the past these issues and more. What she and I will discuss today very much focuses on the ways this culture raises its young, and how maladaptive this has become.

It’s not as simple as going back to the beginning of each of our lives—to the early stages of human development—but doing so sheds much light on our current multidimensional crises. And it also lets us see things do not have to be this way. We’re living in the last 2% of humanities’ existence on Earth, and we have done more damage than good in this short time. But change is possible. And it’s not hyperbole to suggest that if we don’t, we are heading quickly to the next great extinction on Earth…and it will include us.

Audio can be found below: