A lot of us run away from tough conversations. Anna Sale runs toward them. For nearly a decade, as the host of the podcast “Death, Sex & Money,” she has been having searching conversations about “the things we think about a lot and need to talk about more.” Now, in her new book, “Let’s Talk About Hard Things,” she blends reportage and memoir to reveal how speaking openly (and listening attentively) can fortify our relationships. That may sound simple, but as one of the book’s reviewers observed, “As vaccinated people begin to have joyous reunions with friends and family, after a year of isolation and Zooms, many of us are realizing that we’ve forgotten how to talk about the easy things, let alone the hard ones.” In this conversation, Anna — with her trademark warmth, curiosity, and candor — reminds us how to have those difficult conversations.
Join The Next Big Idea Club today at nextbigideaclub.com/podcast and get a free copy of Adam Grant’s new book!
Listen ad-free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad-free listening. Available in the Wondery App https://wondery.app.link/thenextbigidea
Support us by supporting our sponsors!
Noom — Sign up for your trial at noom.com/BIGIDEA
Peloton — New members can try Peloton classes free for 30 days at onepeloton.com/app
Malcolm Gladwell’s extraordinary new book, “The Bomber Mafia,” tells the story of a group of pilots who met on a muggy airbase in central Alabama and hatched a plan to revolutionize warfare. This was in the 1930s, the era of the bomber, a new breed of aircraft that could supposedly drop a bomb from six miles up and land it in a pickle barrel. If you could do that, you wouldn’t have to level cities, rack up casualties, or send a single soldier onto the battlefield. Planes could win wars all by themselves. Or so the young pilots thought.
“The Bomber Mafia” is about how that dream unraveled in World War II, but because this is a Malcolm Gladwell book, it’s about a lot of other things, too, like a Dutch computer genius, a British psychopath, and pyromaniacal chemists at Harvard. It also dares to ask a vexing moral question: what happens when a piece of technology that heralds positive change is driven off course?
Listen ad-free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad-free listening. Available in the Wondery App https://wondery.app.link/thenextbigidea.
Netsuite — Head to netsuite.com/bigidea
Coors Pure — Go to coorspure.com/bigidea to learn more
To listen to “The Bomber Mafia,” visit thebombermafia.com
“One Hundred Percent with Marcus Lemonis” is a masterclass, cocktail party, and Sunday drive all wrapped up into 30 minutes with an audience invited to listen in.
Marcus values family, community, character, and ethics — and he helps small business owners who need his guidance and investment. For years, he has transformed the trajectory of businesses and the lives of their founders. Now listeners will get to enjoy fun and unfiltered conversations between Marcus and the entrepreneurs he mentors, folks who are creating products or services that will change the world for the better.
In each episode, listeners will meet some of the most exciting owners at work today, including Charles Barkley, Kathy Ireland, Al Roker, and Nicole Miller. Marcus talks to CEOs, entrepreneurs, inventors, and all kinds of new leaders in the only way he knows how. It gets personal. They also talk about something successful people rarely reveal: what they need to take their success to the next level.
Listen Here: wondery.fm/OHP_NextBigIdea
Teddy Roosevelt once said that nothing is worth doing “unless it means effort, pain, and difficulty.” And to that bestselling author Greg McKeown says, “Baloney!” There’s no denying that hard work often leads to positive results, but it can just as easily lead to exhaustion, apathy, and burnout. In his script-flipping new book, “Effortless: Make It Easier to Do What Matters Most,” Greg asks: “What if instead of pushing ourselves to — and in some cases well past — our limit, we sought out an easier path?” In this easy-going conversation with author Jon Acuff, he shares some of the answers he’s come up with.
Talkspace — Go to talkspace.com and get $100 off your first month with the promo code BIGIDEA
Coors Pure — Go to CoorsPure.com/BIGIDEA to see where you can find Coors Pure
Have you ever lain awake at night obsessing over a conflict with a colleague or a relative or a politician you’ve never met? If you have, you were probably experiencing what journalist Amanda Ripley calls high conflict. If good conflict is the kind of friction that is serious and intense but ultimately leads somewhere useful, then high conflict is the kind of friction that only gives you rope burn. It’s bitter, all-consuming, unproductive — and worst of all, once you find yourself embroiled in high conflict, it’s almost impossible to get out. Luckily, Amanda has been studying the techniques you can use to break free, and in this episode, she shares what she’s learned with Next Big Idea Club curator Susan Cain.
Streak — Visit streak.com/bigidea and get 20% off your first year
Modern life has not been easy on our brains. Average IQ scores rose steadily throughout the last century. Now they appear to be leveling off. The problem, according to neuroscientists, may be that we have reached our neurobiological limits. Our brains simply can’t work any harder. Luckily, science writer Annie Murphy Paul has a solution. In her bold new book, “The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain,” she draws on a wealth of scientific research to show that we’re smarter when we get out of our heads. By offloading our memories onto our phones, making decisions based on our bodily sensations, using tactile tools to solve abstract problems, drawing inspiration from our surroundings, and arguing with our friends, we can access intelligence that exists beyond the confines of our craniums. In this episode, Annie explains how to do it.
Listen ad-free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad-free listening. Available in the Wondery App wondery.app.link/thenextbigidea
Mack Weldon — For 20% off your first order, visit mackweldon.com/bigidea
LinkedIn Learning — Try free for 1 month at linkedInlearning.com/freemonth
Coors Pure — Go to coorspure.com to see where you can find Coors Pure
Is it really so bad to be a little bit delusional? Not according to Shankar Vedantam. In his new book, “Useful Delusions: The Power and Paradox of the Self-Deceiving Brain,” he argues that we tell ourselves lies in order to live. We believe our marriages will last, even though there’s a fifty-fifty chance we’re headed for divorce. We trick ourselves into thinking our children are extraordinary because if we saw them for who they really are — average, disobedient, smelly — the body blows of parenting would be more than we could bear. In this candid conversation with Next Big Idea Club curator Daniel Pink, Shankar says wide-eyed delusions aren’t all bad for us. In fact, self-deception is part of being a well-adjusted human being.
NetSuite — Head to NetSuite.com/BigIdea
In 1958, a psychologist named Frank Rosenblatt took a five-ton computer, fed it a steady diet of punch cards, and taught it how to recognize the letter “A.” He called his creation the Perceptron, and his belief in its potential was like that of a deliriously proud parent. One day, he thought, the artificial intelligence he’d built would learn to recognize faces, speak like a human, translate languages, reproduce itself on an assembly line, and even fly to space — at which point, it would no longer be a computational marvel but a fully conscious being.
The fact that you’ve never heard of the Perceptron tells you that none of Rosenblatt’s predictions came to pass — not in his lifetime, anyway. But a small band of brainy rebels never lost faith in the potential of AI to change the world. Thanks to their perseverance — along with dramatic improvements in computing power — they managed to make Rosenblatt’s prophecies a reality.
The AI they built is what enables Facebook to recognize faces in the photos you upload. It’s the reason Siri and Alexa can (sometimes) understand what you’re saying, and Google can translate anything you write into 109 languages. Cade Metz has spent years chronicling the rise and rise of AI, first as a reporter at the New York Times and now in his new book, “Genius Makers.” In this forward-looking conversation, he tells Rufus what AI can do, where it’s headed, and whether we should be worried that supercomputers will wage war against humanity.
Support us by supporting our sponsors:
Talkspace — Go to talkspace.com and use the code BIGIDEA to get $100 off of your first month
Fiverr Business — Get one free year and save 10% on your purchase by using code BIGIDEA at fiverr.com/business
Think bigger. Create better. Live smarter. Ideas are coming at you every day from all directions. Where do you even start? Hosted by Rufus Griscom, and featuring Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Adam Grant, and Daniel Pink, THE NEXT BIG IDEA brings you groundbreaking ideas with the power to change the way you see the world.
Podcast hosts use Anatomy to get constructive comments on their show from other podcasters.