This week on The Upgrade we talk with Hector Monsegur, Director of Assessment Services at Rhino Labs.
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Meditation (and specifically mindfulness meditation) has become increasingly popular, thanks to apps such as Headspace and studies touting the lasting effects of mindfulness on the mind and body. But are these apps really as effective as serious meditation training? And do these studies’ findings have any basis in reality?
How do you deal with a psychopath? What if you realise you married one? This week on The Upgrade we’re joined by Jen Waite, author of A Beautiful, Terrible Thing: A Memoir of Marriage and Betrayal, and Dr Michael Stone, professor of psychiatry at Columbia University and author of The Anatomy of Evil, to talk about psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists: How to recognise them, how to avoid them, and how to disentangle yourself from them.
You know how some people seem to have some kind of inner strength that helps them bounce back when things go wrong? Those people who, even though the world sometimes feels like a scorched hellscape, seem to carry on with grit, even gratitude? Our guest in this week's episode is Buddhist psychologist Rick Hanson.
For our first Livehacker event, we hosted an evening with therapist, author and podcast host Esther Perel; divorce lawyer James J. Sexton; and multi-talented performer Donald Shorter, Jr. We had posed this question to our guests: "How should a man be?" Their exploration of this topic was as entertaining as it was illuminating.
Our guest this week is Outside magazine columnist Alex Hutchinson, author of Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance. We discuss how endurance is a skill that involves drive and belief just as much as muscle - and how we all have the potential to go farther, push harder and achieve more.
In this episode we're talking about the lost art of conversation-making. Joining us is podcaster and raconteur Ken Plume, who has conducted extensive interviews with the likes of Mel Brooks and John Cleese. We discuss how Ken got his start feeling comfortable talking to just about anyone, how he handles the awkwardness of a cocktail party (hint: It involves a fern) - and then we invent an acronym that will help you handle any conversational challenge. (Sort of.)
This week on The Upgrade, we spoke in front of a live audience at On Air Fest with journalist Jill Abramson, the first female executive editor of the New York Times, and the co-author of Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas. Jill is currently a political columnist for The Guardian as well as a Senior Lecturer in the English Department at Harvard. Her next book, News Wars, will be out in 2019.
In this episode we talked with author and psychiatrist Mark Epstein, whose books include Thoughts Without a Thinker, and Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart. His latest book, Advice Not Given: A Guide to Getting Over Yourself, uses Buddhism's Noble Eightfold Path as a roadmap for spiritual and psychological growth. According to Mark, Buddhism and psychotherapy arrive at the same conclusion: When we give the ego free rein, we suffer, but when the ego learns to let go, we are free.
On the latest episode of The Upgrade, we're talking about the self-proclaimed "front page of the internet", the massive online community known as Reddit. For some, Reddit is a second home, a place to hang out, post links, chat and trash talk with like-minded friends and foes. For others, it's a confusing rabbit warren with its own weird rules and etiquette, a teeming hive of enthusiasts and trolls, an overwhelming curiosity that they might visit every now and then, but who has time to learn to navigate what's essentially a complex system of message boards?
In this episode we discussed cults: How they operate, how you identify one, what it's like to be in one, and how to get out. To that end, we spoke with author Rebecca Stott, whose book In the Days of Rain: A Father, a Daughter, a Cult details her childhood in the Exclusive Brethren, a cult that believed the world is ruled by Satan. We also talked to Rick Alan Ross, the founder and Executive Director of The Cult Education Institute. And we talked with Elizabeth Yuko, a bioethicist and journalist who's written extensively about cults.