Week of July 27, 2014
Segment 1: Your Brain and Moral Decisions
Our brains were designed for tribal life, for getting along with a select group of others (Us) and for fighting off everyone else (Them). But modern times have forced the world’s tribes into a shared space, resulting in epic clashes of values along with unprecedented opportunities. Joshua Greene, Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them is an award-winning teacher and scientist. He works to understand how people really make moral decisions and to answer the question: How can we get along with Them when what they want feels so wrong to Us?
“When it comes to controversies - where whole groups of people are divided - that’s when your gut reactions are likely to be very unreliable and to be the source of the problem, rather than the solution.”
Segment 2: When You're the Last of Your Family
While on a car trip through Italy, Terrell Tannen's father suffered a heart attack and died in his young son's arms. Tannen was there for his older brother, decades later, as he also died suddenly of a heart attack. He tended to his aged mother as she died painfully and slowly of cancer. Terrell Tannen, When Blood is Gone: A Memoir of Time, Place, and Family is the last one of his immediate family and decided to write a memoir of his family, to serve as a "footprint" to leave behind, and to help others going throug the loss of their loved ones.
“When you’re that age, if you’ve never seen death before, you can’t accept it. You don’t know what it is; you don’t buy it as someone never coming back.”
Week of July 20, 2014
Segment 1: Double Life of an International Serial Killer
"[Jack Unterweger] was a true sadist. His sadistic desires never went away. In fact while he was in prison, without any kind of sexual outlet, they probably heightened. So he gets out of prison, he may have thought, 'I've got a lot to lose now, I will try to keep my sadistic desires in check.' But he didn't succeed."
Segment 2: Living to Tell About It
Federal prosecutor Stanley Alpert, The Birthday Party: A Memoir of Survival was kidnapped off the streets of Manhattan by gun-toting thugs on his birthday. By building a relationship with his abductors, he lived to tell his story.
"It just makes you realize, when you’re almost killed, that life is very short and very precious and you really need to do what it is that you care about the most. … Go out and do it and don’t waste time, because you don’t know how long you’re going to be alive."