August 10, 2017

Two dogs greeting each other. Credit: Michael Saletnik / Flickr Creative Commons

Here at Innovation Hub, we care about you. And this week, we’ve got a show that showcases empathy. But beware - it’s a more skeptical look at empathy than you might expect. We’ll also find out why we should listen to technocrats, and learn the largely-unknown story of a man who understood how to use emotions to sell things. First up, is empathy actually a good thing? The answer seems obvious: of course, empathy is wonderful. Only terrible people and psychopaths don’t care about others. And, yet, Yale psychologist Paul Bloom is against i - at least a certain kind of it. He explains how ignoring empathy can actually help more people.  

Then, technocrats have gotten a bad rap lately. A really bad rap. But researcher Parag Khanna thinks that there should be more of them in government. He says if politicians didn't play to the base instincts of their constituents, government would get better. We'll find out what America can learn from countries that embrace technocrats, like Singapore and Switzerland. 

After that, spin may have been a part of American life since the beginning, but PR began in the early 20th century. Author Edward Bernays talks about the father of public relations, and how he changed American life, from introducing women to cigarettes to reshaping the image of Calvin Coolidge.

And finally… we take a trip out of this world. Or rather, to the farthest reaches of the candy aisle. We’ll dive into the surprisingly complex history of one of America’s favorite treat companies.

Paul Bloom, Larry Tye, Edward Bernays, Parag Khanna, empathy

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