KQED’s Forum

Follow KQED’s Forum
Share on
Copy link to clipboard

KQED's live call-in program presents balanced discussions of local, state, national, and world issues as well as in-depth interviews with leading figures in politics, science, entertainment, and the arts.


    • Sep 26, 2023 LATEST EPISODE
    • daily NEW EPISODES
    • 45m AVG DURATION
    • 2,323 EPISODES

    4.3 from 481 ratings Listeners of KQED’s Forum that love the show mention: must listen radio, bay area, sf, callers, giggling, larry, balanced, anywhere, fair, politics, informed, interviewing, whenever, wide, opinions, guests, relevant, intelligent, format, current.

    More podcasts from KQED

    Search for episodes from KQED’s Forum with a specific topic:

    Latest episodes from KQED’s Forum

    Finding ‘(More) Delights' with Ross Gay

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 26, 2023 56:04

    “I've completed another year of delights. Or maybe I should say another year of delights has completed me.” So writes poet and author Ross Gay at the end of his new book, “The Book of (More) Delights,” which once again celebrates life's daily joys, wonders, gifts and surprises, both small and all-defining. As he did in 2019's New York Times bestseller “The Book of Delights,” Gay unearths the profound in his quickly written daily odes, each praising friends, everyday items, natural wonders and personal joys, like that of turning around before reaching a hike's summit. We'll talk with Gay about the pleasure of continuing this project and hear from you: Whether it's a coworker's pear tree or a compliment from a friend, what's one recent delight from your life? Guests: Ross Gay, poet; essayist; author, "The Book of (More) Delights" - His previous books include "Inciting Joy," "Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude" and "The Book of Delights"

    Kashmir Hill Confronts the Ugly Side of Facial Recognition Tech in ‘Your Face Belongs to Us'

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 26, 2023 56:02

    Everyday people share millions of photos on websites and social media networks. For decades, tech companies have been trying to figure out ways to make the faces in those photos searchable – and monetizable. While that technology has practical uses, it also raises serious privacy questions and has led to problematic cases of mistaken identity. In her book, “Your Face Belongs to Us,” New York Times tech reporter Kashmir Hill investigates the perils of facial recognition software. She chronicles the trajectory of Clearview AI, a company that prioritized speed and profits over ethics, putting millions of unsuspecting people at risk. We'll talk with Hill about the rise of facial recognition and how to reduce its harms. Guests: Kashmir Hill, tech reporter, New York Times; author, "Your Face Belongs to Us"

    Utopia or Sprawl? Tech Group Pushes Plans for New Solano County City

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 25, 2023 55:58

    For years, Solano County residents wondered who was secretly spending hundreds of millions of dollars to buy up family farms in their community. The rumors swirled: was Disney planning a new theme park? Was it some sort of Chinese government land-grab? In August, the mystery was solved: the New York Times reported that a group of tech moguls including billionaire venture capitalist Michael Moritz, philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs, and LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman and were making the purchases as part of a plan to build a city from scratch, on 50,000 acres of agricultural land. They've now gone public, under the name California Forever, and are promising to bring benefits like good paying local jobs, solar farms, and open space. But many questions remain. In this hour of Forum, we'll talk to the group's CEO as well as one of the local lawmakers raising concerns about the plan. Guests: J.K. Dineen, Bay Area housing reporter, San Francisco Chronicle Jan Sramek, Founder and CEO, California Forever Catherine Moy, Mayor, Fairfield

    Do Lower Rents Mean The Bay Area is Becoming More Affordable?

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 25, 2023 56:02

    Rental rates for homes are dropping across the Bay Area. They first fell in 2020 during the pandemic and never fully recovered. Some renters are spending less on rent, but nearly half of Bay Area residents are considered rent-burdened. That leaves housing advocates and experts doubtful the region will become more affordable in a meaningful way. We'll talk about what lower rents could mean long term and how renters can take advantage of the current market.   Guests: Ben Metcalf, managing director, Terner Center of Housing Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley, former director of California Department of Housing and Community Development Shanti Singh, communications and legislative director, Tenants Together Chris Salviati, senior housing economist, Apartment List

    Rosanna Xia on California's 'Vanishing Coastline'

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 22, 2023 56:01

    California's coast is vanishing, surely and no longer so slowly, writes LA Times environment reporter Rosanna Xia. By the end of the century, climate change and storm and tidal patterns could cause sea levels in California to rise by as much as seven feet, destroying coastal towns and causing billions in damages. But Xia says it's not too late to chart a different course. We'll talk to Xia about California communities that are managing sea level rise successfully and about strategies – like seawalls and sand replenishment – that may need to be reconsidered. And we'll learn why Xia wants us to adopt a deeper way of thinking about our coastline, one that would reframe sea level rise as “an opportunity to mend our fractured relationship with the shore.” Xia's new book is “California Against the Sea.” Guests: Rosanna Xia, staff writer, Los Angeles Times. Her new book is "California Against the Sea: Visions for Our Vanishing Coastline"

    Naomi Klein's Doppelganger Is a Conspiracy Theorist. It's a Problem.

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 22, 2023 56:03

    What if you had a doppelganger – someone who you're routinely mistaken for – but that double is someone whose politics and worldview are diametrically opposite of yours? That's what happened to writer and intellectual Naomi Klein. At times in her career, Klein has been mistaken for writer Naomi Wolf, which was sometimes funny and sometimes annoying. But when Wolf evolved into a conspiracy theorist and a regular commentator on Steve Bannon's podcast, the mix-up became more troubling to Klein, a climate activist and anti-capitalist. The quandary of having a double who stands for ideas that are the polar opposite of your own is the subject of Klein's new book, “Doppelganger: A Trip into the Mirror World.” We talk to Klein about her work…and her double. Guests: Naomi Klein, author and columnist with The Guardian. Klein's latest book is "Doppelganger: A Trip into the Mirror World"

    In Transit: The Joys — and Risks — of Being a Pedestrian

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 21, 2023 56:00

    Walking instead of driving to work, school or the store is good for the environment and our physical and mental health. But being a pedestrian isn't easy in California's car-centric culture. Our infrastructure is built with cars in mind, and that means that walkers and wheelchair-users can confront serious safety risks in a state where an average of three pedestrians are killed every day. This hour on Forum, we'll look at how the state is addressing pedestrian safety issues and we'll hear from you: What do you notice when you don't use a car? Guests: Ethan Elkind, director of the climate program at the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment, UC Berkeley School of Law; host of the podcast "Climate Break" Tim Weisberg, deputy director, marketing and public affairs, California Office of Traffic Safety

    iNaturalist, A Cultivator of Community and Collector of Crucial Wildlife Data, Goes Solo

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 21, 2023 56:01

    Have you ever seen a weird bug or plant and thought, “Oh my God. What is THAT?” Then iNaturalist, a Bay Area invention, is the social platform for you. Begun as a graduate school project at UC Berkeley, it now receives hundreds of thousands of monthly submissions from nature enthusiasts across the globe. Users post photos of what they have seen and where they found it, and fellow citizen scientists, and often actual, scientists help identify the flora, fauna and habitat. Some iNaturalist aficionados have even identified new species. Now the site is going independent with the help of a $10 million grant. We'll survey the past and future of this remarkable Bay Area contribution to our collective understanding of the world. Guests: Ken-ichi Ueda, co-director, iNaturalist Scott Loarie, co-director, iNaturalist Jennifer Rycenga, professor emeritus in the Humanities Department, San Jose State University; former president of the Sequoia Audubon Society in San Mateo. Prakrit Jain, student of evolutionary biology, University of California, Berkeley

    Bettina Love on How Black Students are 'Punished for Dreaming'

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 20, 2023 55:55

    Brown v Board of Education, the landmark civil rights decision banning racial segregation in public schools, was supposed to give Black children greater educational opportunities. But instead, according to Columbia Teachers College professor Bettina Love, it marked the beginning of an anti-Black educational agenda, characterized by low academic expectations, excessive suspensions, surveillance and physical violence. Love grew up in the 1980s and 90s, a period when the Reagan and Bush administrations pushed ideas of “school accountability” and “school safety” that she says were used to justify punishment of Black children and that have harmed a generation. We talk to Love about her and her peers' experiences in school as “eighties babies” and why she thinks reparations are essential to repair public education. Guests: Bettina Love, William F. Russell professor, Teachers College, Columbia University; author, "Punished for Dreaming: How School Reform Harms Black Children and How We Heal"

    How the San Quentin Marathon Changes Lives, One Lap at a Time

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 20, 2023 56:01

    It's hard enough to train for a marathon. But what if you could only train in a crowded prison yard, with borrowed running shoes, on a small track with potholes and six 90-degree turns? That's what the members of the San Quentin 1000-Mile Club running group face – on top of the harsh living conditions in California's oldest prison – as they prepare for their annual marathon. A new documentary, 26.2 to Life, goes inside the prison to tell the story of the San Quentin Marathon, its participants, and why they run. We talk with the film's director as well as the club's running coach, and one of its former members. Guests: Christine Yoo, director, the new documentary "26.2 to Life" - Opens Fri (September 22) at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco, the Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael, Rialto Cinemas Elmwood in Berkeley and Rialto Cinemas Sebastapol Markelle Taylor, former member, San Quentin 1000-Mile Club Frank Ruona, coach, San Quentin 1000-Mile Club

    The Atlantic's Jenisha Watts on Hiding — Then Sharing — Her ‘Childhood in a Crack House'

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 19, 2023 56:00

    “I've spent my whole life trying to belong, to show people that I'm not like ‘them,' not a Black person living in poverty, not a Black person with an addiction.” So writes Atlantic senior editor Jenisha Watts in the magazine's October cover story, “I Never Called Her Momma: My Childhood in a Crack House.” When Watts began her career in journalism, she hid her roots while further developing her love for words and storytelling. She's telling her own story now for the first time. We'll talk with Watts about her family, the transformative power of Black literature and what it means to write about — and share — the trauma we're used to keeping private. Guests: Jenisha Watts, senior editor, The Atlantic

    Climate Fix: How Electrification Can Cut Your Home's Greenhouse Gas Emissions

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 19, 2023 56:04

    Homes in California produce about 8 percent of the state's total greenhouse gas emissions. As the Golden State looks to significantly cut down emissions, one strategy is to electrify homes by, for example, replacing a gas stove with an electric one or installing a heat pump instead of gas-powered cooling and heating systems. Congress recently approved funding for tax rebates to encourage more people to recharge their dwellings. These electrification strategies could also have a major impact nationwide given that homes produce 20 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. For our next installment of Climate Fix, Forum's monthly collaboration with KQED's Science team, we'll talk about electrification as a growing strategy for addressing climate change. Guests: Laura Klivans, climate reporter, KQED Sam Calisch, chief scientist, Channing Street Copper - a Berkeley-based company that makes induction stoves. He is also a founding staffer and advisor to Rewiring America and is known as Mr. Heat Pump, a persona who educates people about heat pumps Mark Hall, CEO and founder, Revalue.io - a company that helps homeowners transition to clean energy sources for their homes Alejandra Mejia Cunningham, senior building decarbonization advocate, Natural Resources Defense Council

    Peter Baker and Susan Glasser on What to Expect from a Second Trump Term

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 18, 2023 56:00

    In their bestselling 2022 book on the Trump presidency, “The Divider” journalists Peter Baker and Susan Glasser wrote that the January 6 insurrection “was the inexorable culmination of a sustained four-year war on the institutions and traditions of American democracy.” That was then. In a new afterword to the book, they write that Trump has now “shunned any remaining voices of restraint within his own party”. With the former president leading the pack for the GOP nomination, Glasser and Baker join us to talk about their book and to help us answer the question: What would a second Trump term look like? Guests: Susan Glasser, staff writer, The New Yorker; co-author, "The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021" Peter Baker, Chief White House Correspondent, The New York Times; co-author, "The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021"

    CARE Court is Coming to San Francisco. Here's What We Can Expect

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 18, 2023 56:02

    San Francisco is one of eight counties that will be piloting California's new CARE Courts program ahead of a statewide rollout next year. Beginning next month, people with schizophrenia or psychosis can be referred to the new court and, if they meet certain criteria, receive a court-ordered care plan that can include mental health treatment, housing and medication. Critics warn that the system could violate the civil liberties of people with disabilities and lead to harmful coercive care, but proponents say the measure will assist unhoused people living with severe, untreated mental illness by getting them the attention they need. We'll get into the details and the debate. Guests: Susan Talamantes-Eggman, state Senator representing California's 5th District; co-author of SB 1338, the legislation which established CARE court in California Rafael Mandelman, represents District 8 on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors Scott Shafer, senior editor, KQED's California Politics and Government desk and co-host of Political Breakdown Tal Klement, Deputy Public Defender in the Mental Health Unit, San Francisco Public Defender's Office Eric Harris, director of public policy, Disability Rights California

    Jane Goodall Looks to Future of Conservation Movement With Those She's Inspired

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 15, 2023 55:56

    It was more than 60 years ago that a 26-year old Jane Goodall entered the Gombe Stream National Forest in Tanzania with a notebook and pen and observed a chimpanzee she'd named David Graybeard use a twig to coax termites up from their nest. The discovery, along with others she made about how chimps play with toys and care for each other, erased for her the divide thought to separate humans from the animal kingdom. Her scientific work has also led her to a lifetime devoted to animal conservation, redefined to include the needs of local people and the environment. Goodall, along with two international conservation champions she's inspired, join us to talk about the future of the movement. Guests: Jane Goodall, primatologist, anthropologist and conservationist. She's co-founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, which is devoted to the protection of great apes and their habitats. Her books include of "In the Shadow of Man" and "The Chimpanzees of Gombe: Patterns of Behavior." Jean-Gael "JG" Collomb, chief executive officer, Wildlife Conservation Network, which connects philanthropists with a global network of field-based conservation leaders Jeneria Lekilelei, Samburu warrior; director of community conservation, Ewaso Lions

    Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao, Interim Police Chief Respond to Concerns Over Crime

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 15, 2023 56:00

    “I don't have any hope,” said one Oakland resident attending a town hall this past weekend on the city's rising crime rate. According to the city's police department, violent crime is up by 17% over last year and as of August, 68 people had been murdered in Oakland. Indeed, since 2019, car break-ins are up over 40%, vehicle thefts have more than doubled, and reported robberies are up by 30%. And while East Oakland has borne the brunt of criminal activity, no part of the city is immune. We'll talk to Mayor Sheng Thao, interim Oakland police chief Darren Allison, and chief Kentrell Killens, interim head of the city's violence prevention program. And we'll hear from you. What are your questions for the mayor and her team? Guests: Sheng Thao, mayor, Oakland Darren Allison, interim police chief, Oakland Police Department Kentrell Killens, interim chief of violence prevention, Department of Violence Prevention for the City of Oakland

    How We Can Change Our Roads to Help Our Wildlife

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 14, 2023 55:59

    “Name your environmental ill—dams, poaching, megafires—and consider that roads kill more creatures with less fanfare, than any of them.” That's according to conservation journalist Ben Goldfarb, who says that the problem's only getting worse as traffic increases. Roads have also forced animals to evolve, adapt and change their migration habits. Goldfarb's new book “Crossings” examines the impact of our planet's 40 million miles of roads on the natural world and how, through the study of road ecology, we can find ways to minimize noise and habitat destruction and engineer a system with bridges for bears, tunnels for turtles and other accommodations for our fellow creatures. Guests: Ben Goldfarb, conservation journalist; author, "Crossings: How Road Ecology is Shaping the Future of Our Planet." He also wrote the book "Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter."

    Point Reyes Residents Push for Darker Skies

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 14, 2023 56:03

    Point Reyes may be known for its cows and lighthouse, but locals also want it to become a destination for darkness. Residents have petitioned to certify part of Marin County as a Dark Sky Reserve. But, persuading some people to dim their lights has turned out to be a challenge. Those efforts are just one part of an international movement to reduce light pollution and preserve dark skies. While the invention of the lightbulb – less than 150 years ago – changed the course of human history, excessive use of artificial light has become a nuisance that disrupts the wellbeing of humans, wildlife, and the planet. We'll talk about light pollution, stargazing and the benefits of darker skies. Guests: Josh Riedel, author of the novel "Please Report Your Bug Here" and the recent article "Saving the Night Sky," which was published in Esquire magazine John Barentine, astronomer and founder, Dark Sky Consulting, LLC; former director of public policy, International Dark Sky Association Peggy Day, Point Reyes Station resident and dark-sky advocate; cofounder, DarkSky West Marin Don Jolley, astronomy teacher and storyteller, DarkSky West Marin

    What DOJ's Landmark Antitrust Case Against Google Could Mean for Consumers…and Big Tech

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 13, 2023 56:02

    Google spends more than $10 billion per year to maintain its monopoly control over internet search, a U.S. government lawyer alleged in a Washington, D.C. courtroom on Tuesday. In what is being called the most important antitrust trial in nearly 25 years, the U.S. Department of Justice is accusing Google of harming consumers and stifling competition by cutting deals with smartphone makers to be their default search engine. Google, which controls about 90 percent of the U.S. search engine market, said in court on Tuesday that dissatisfied users can simply switch web browsers “with a few easy clicks.” We'll preview the rest of the trial and examine what is at stake for tech companies and consumers. Guests: Sheelah Kolhatkar, staff writer, The New Yorker - where she writes about Wall Street, Silicon Valley, economics, and politics Bill Baer, visiting fellow governance studies, Brookings Institution; former director, the Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission; former assistant attorney general, the Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice

    All You Can Eat: Unique Ice Cream Flavors Flourishing in the Bay

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 13, 2023 56:03

    Summer may be over, but the Bay Area's hottest days may still be ahead. To manage the heat (and let's be honest, the fog), two scoops of your favorite local ice cream could come in handy. For our latest installment of “All You Can Eat,” KQED's Alan Chazaro and Luke Tsai join Forum to talk about the Bay Area's best cold desserts. We'll discuss decades-old mainstays like Its-It and Mitchell's, talk to business owners making cold confections infused with strong cultural influences, and hear from you: What's a unique and tasty ice cream or cold dessert that you've encountered in the Bay Area? Guests: Stephanie De La Cruz, owner, De La Creamery Priti Narayanan, co-owner, Koolfi Creamery and Cafe Luke Tsai, food editor, KQED Arts & Culture Alan Chazaro, food reporter, KQED; poet; educator

    What Do You Collect?

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 12, 2023 55:31

    Why do we collect things like Pokémon cards, old tea sets and comic books? According to Daniel Krawczyk, a behavioral and brain scientist — and pinball machine collector — collecting can help to connect us to our childhood selves, relive prior memories or recall happy moments. And coming together with fellow collectors in conventions or online forums can provide the mental health benefits of community, a chance to revel in shared expertise and share tips. Collecting may even have an evolutionary basis. We'll hear more from Krawczyk and from you: What do you collect, and why? Guests: Daniel Krawczyk, professor of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, University of Texas at Dallas Vicky Chung, social media associate in audience development, KQED - who collects postcards

    Why Pharmacists Say Working Conditions Threaten Patient Safety

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 12, 2023 55:34

    Pharmacies in California make about 5 million errors every year, according to state regulators. That's just an estimate, since pharmacies aren't required to report mistakes, and the big chains are fighting to keep them secret. Meanwhile, pharmacists say they are overworked and underpaid, with many leaving the profession. We'll hear about a new Los Angeles Times report on pharmacy errors, talk with pharmacists about burnout, and find out what patients can do to protect themselves. Guests: Christopher Atkins, pharmacist, an independent pharmacy in LA; former pharmacist, CVS and Vons Richard Dang, assistant professor of Clinical Pharmacy, USC; immediate past president, California Pharmacists Association Melody Petersen, investigative reporter covering healthcare and business, Los Angeles Times - Petersen's latest piece is titled "California Pharmacies Are Making Millions of Mistakes. They're Fighting to Keep that Secret"

    Some School Boards Argue that Parents Should Know if Their Children are Trans. California Says That's Wrong.

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 11, 2023 55:29

    Several California school districts, mostly in more conservative pockets of the state, have recently passed policies requiring that schools notify parents if their children identify as transgender. California is suing the first district to pass the policy, Chino Valley Unified School District, by arguing that the rule violates state privacy laws. But that hasn't stopped other districts from adopting similar rules, even after a judge barred Chino Valley from implementing its own policy until after the legal case plays out. We'll look into the fight between California and local districts and how it fits into the conservative parents' rights movement changing how schools are run nationwide. Guests: Carolyn Jones, education reporter, CalMatters Nicole Carr, Atlanta-based investigative reporter, Propublica Jordan Darling, city reporter, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin Robert Marx, assistant professor of child and adolescent development, San Jose State University

    How to Say Goodbye to the Dying

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 11, 2023 55:32

    In 2017, illustrator Wendy McNaughton completed an artist-in-residency at the Zen Hospice Guest House in San Francisco. She got to know families, caregivers, staff, and the dying. What emerged is her new book, “How To Say Goodbye.” Drawn-from-life illustrations are paired with gentle advice on how to let someone go. “The person dying is in charge,” reflects MacNaughton, and her book offers simple ways to be witness to a loved one's last moments. And when mutual peace and understanding matters the most, she writes, simple declarations like,“I forgive you. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you. Goodbye” can offer closure. We'll talk to MacNaughton and a hospice caregiver. Guests: Wendy MacNaughton, illustrator; artist; graphic journalist - McNaughton's latest book is "How to Say Goodbye." She has illustrated or authored eleven books, including "Salt Fat Acid Heat," and "Meanwhile in San Francisco," and is the creator of DrawTogether, the educational drawing program for kids and adults Ladybird Morgan, co founder Humane Prison Hospice Project - Morgan is a registered nurse and clinical social worker and has worked in end of life care for over 20 years. She is currently a palliative care consultant with Mettle Health.

    How Would You Change California's Referendum Process?

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 8, 2023 55:27

    California Gov. Gavin Newsom is considering whether to sign a bill that would change some of the language you see on the referendum portion of your 2024 ballot. AB 421 would ask voters whether they want to “keep the law” or “overturn the law” and eliminate “Yes” or “No” choices. It would also require the top three sponsors of a referendum to appear on the Secretary of State's voter information guide. But the final legislation is far more modest than its original version, which would have strengthened government oversight of signature collection, mandated more robust disclosures about the funders of referendum campaigns and required unpaid volunteers to obtain at least 10% of petition signatures. Those failed proposals, backed by labor groups, were favored by a majority of likely California voters, according to a June poll by the Public Policy Institute of California. We'll talk about what you'd like to change about our state's referendum process and check in on the measures that have already qualified for the 2024 ballot. Guests: Kim Alexander, president and founder, California Voter Foundation Guy Marzorati, reporter and producer, KQED's California Politics and Government Desk Mia Bonta, state assemblymember representing the 18th assembly district in the East Bay

    What This Year's Muddy Mess Means for Burning Man's Future

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 8, 2023 55:32

    For decades, it seems, people have been complaining that Burning Man has sold out, lost touch with its original values, or simply jumped the shark. The annual images of hedonism and drugs and glamping tech billionaires has made the week-long celebration in the Nevada desert an easy target. And social media mockery of the festival came to a head this week when attendees got stuck in the mud after a rainstorm. Yet for many, the Burning Man experience continues to be life-changing and transformative, and the event's influence on arts and culture in the Bay Area and beyond is undeniable. Still, even some longtime Burners are saying the festival needs to change –to become more inclusive, more sensitive to the environment, and more prepared for an extreme weather future. As attendees finally make their way home from the muddy Playa, we'll get a report back from this year's event and assess the future of Burning Man. Guests: Steven T. Jones, journalist and author of the 2011 book "The Tribes of Burning Man: How an Experimental City in the Desert is Shaping the New American Counterculture" Favianna Rodriguez, artist and activist; co-lead of a Burning Man camp for people of color, Que Viva camp; co-founder and president, The Center for Cultural Power David Boyer, director of programming, KALW; producer and host of the podcast "The Intersection," which devoted its third season to Burning Man. Anna Vignet, social video producer, KQED

    What Does ‘Utopia' Mean to You?

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 7, 2023 55:31

    Amid the climate crisis, growing isolation and increasing economic disparities, many of us feel trapped in a doom loop — one where it feels more natural to imagine a dystopian future than a utopian one. But envisioning ways the world could be better can be an antidote to despair, say proponents of utopian thinking. “Depending on what is going on in the world, humanity has always looked to utopias for inspiration,” writes Kristen Ghodsee, author of “Everyday Utopia.” We'll talk about how past utopian experiments can inspire future social change and hear about the benefits of using utopian thinking in our daily lives and communities. Guests: Kristen R. Ghodsee, professor of Russian and East European Studies, University of Pennsylvania; author, "Everyday Utopia: What 2,000 Years of Wild Experiments Can Teach Us About the Good Life" William Paris, assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy, University of Toronto; author, the forthcoming book “Racial Justice and Forms of Life: Towards a Critical Theory of Utopia”

    Doing Democracy: Pride, Reckoning and Reimagining Our Nearly 250 Year Old System of Democracy

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 7, 2023 55:34

    As we march toward another long frenzied election season, we at Forum have launched a new series, Doing Democracy, to step away from the fray and consider what democracy means, how it's practiced, and other ways it could be done. For our first show, we'll dive into the Us@250 project, which is urging us to approach the coming semiquincentennial – that's the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, starting in 2026 – by reimagining the American narrative with pride, reckoning and aspiration. What parts of our democracy should we protect, what should we change, and what do we hope to become in the next 250 years? Guests: Ted R. Johnson, senior adviser, New America, leads the US@250 initiative; contributing columnist, The Washington Post. He's also a retired U.S. Navy commander and the author of "When the Stars Begin to Fall: Overcoming Racism and Renewing the Promise of America."

    Trump Faces Four Concurrent Lawsuits. Will They Impact His Presidential Aspirations?

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 6, 2023 55:33

    For a conventional candidate, facing a criminal indictment might preclude a run for public office. But for Donald Trump, at least up until now, litigation, both criminal and civil, has done little to change his political aspirations or his base's support. But are the cases filed in D.C. and Georgia, which allege interference with the 2020 election and an attempt to subvert the election's outcome, different and do they place Trump in legal peril? How do the facts in these cases diverge from those brought up in Trump's second impeachment for conduct related to the January 2020 insurrection? We'll talk to experts and hear from you. Guests: Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor, Slate - covering the courts and the law. She also hosts the podcast Amicus. Her New York Times Bestseller "Lady Justice: Women, the Law, and the Battle to Save America" is available in paperback on September 19th. Andrew Prokop, senior politics reporter, Vox

    Feature Film ‘Fremont' Captures an Afghan Refugee's Efforts to Make a New Life in the Bay

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 6, 2023 55:35

    Fremont is home to the largest Afghan population in the United States, with over 66,000 people of Afghan descent in the city according to 2019 census figures. That number has likely grown since the withdrawal of U.S. forces from the country as tens of thousands fled Taliban rule. In his new feature film ‘Fremont,' director Babak Jalali tells the story of a refugee and former translator for the U.S. military who recently settled in the Bay Area after fleeing her home. Donya struggles with guilt, insomnia and questions of what to do with her new life. We'll talk about the film, the limits of a community's ability to heal and how to move on from a traumatic past. Guests: Joseph Azam, board chair, Afghan-American Foundation - a non-partisan non-profit focused on advocating on behalf of Afghan American community Babak Jalali, director and co-writer, "Fremont" Anaita Wali Zada, actor, "Fremont" Eddie Tang, actor, "Fremont"

    How California's Cities are Addressing Homeless Encampments

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 5, 2023 55:25

    An estimated 172,000 people are homeless in California, according to a study this year by UCSF, and the most visible symbols of the state's homelessness crisis are its tent encampments. Citing public health and safety issues, cities across the state are increasingly “sweeping” encampments on city sidewalks, forcing campers to move their tents and belongings to other areas if they refuse offers of shelter. But homeless advocates say those shelter options are often inadequate and that sweeps are unconstitutional. Those issues are at play as the Ninth Circuit considers whether San Francisco needs to offer more housing before it can carry out sweeps. San Diego, meanwhile, is starting to enforce a no-camping ordinance on public property. And Los Angeles has approved increased funding for its Inside Safe program, which gives tent dwellers temporary housing. We'll talk about how California cities are addressing homeless encampments, the controversies at hand and who's most affected. Guests: Marisa Kendall, reporter covering California's homelessness crisis, CalMatters Aldo Toledo, city hall reporter, The San Francisco Chronicle Blake Nelson, reporter covering homelessness, The San Diego Union-Tribune

    California Expands Program That Pays People to Stop Using Drugs

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 5, 2023 55:30

    California is the first state in the country to use federal funding for a controversial approach to reducing drug addiction: paying people to stop using. The state has been testing the strategy, known as the recovery incentives program, in San Francisco and a few other counties, for two years and is now rolling it out more broadly.The program specifically targets people who abuse meth and cocaine at a time when stimulant addictions and fatalities have skyrocketed. We'll talk about how the program is working and discuss the ethical considerations for policymakers, taxpayers and drug users. Guests: Héctor Hernández-Delgado, staff attorney, National Health Law Program Nicholas King, associate professor in the Biomedical Ethics Unit, McGill University Brad Shapiro, professor of Psychiatry, UCSF School of Medicine Jaramiah Fitts, participant in the recovery incentives program, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center

    ‘Never Enough' Examines the Toxic Achievement Culture Overtaking Kids' Lives and What to Do About It

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 1, 2023 55:32

    In a national survey conducted by journalist Jennifer Wallace, a vast majority of parents responded that getting their child into a selective college was the “most important ingredient for later-life happiness.” In fact, more than 80% of parents believe that their parenting is judged by the metric of their children's academic success. This mindset is at the core of the toxic achievement culture which Wallace says we must combat. As one student she interviewed noted, “It's ironic that adults wonder why there's so much anxiety and depression in my generation, when they're the ones who have created this crazy environment for us.” We talk to Wallace about her new book “Never Enough” and how to offer families a different definition of what success can look like. Guests: Jennifer Breheny Wallace, author, "Never Enough: When Achievement Culture Becomes Toxic -- and What We Can Do About It" Mahi Jariwala, senior, Monte Vista High School; member, KQED's Youth Advisory Board

    How Journaling Can Help Us Make Sense of Our Lives

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 1, 2023 55:35

    Keeping a written account of your thoughts, feelings and observations can be a powerful habit – a source of healing, growth, and even creativity. We explore the art and practice of journaling, from stream-of-consciousness writing to gratitude lists to revisiting your most cringe-worthy teenage poetry. We'll talk with an author, a comedian, and a therapist about the many ways we can document our lives and stories, and we'll get started during the show. Grab a pen and notebook – we're journaling. Guests: Thaisa Frank, author, "Finding Your Writer's Voice" and five books of fiction; writing instructor, the San Francisco Writers' Grotto; winner, the 2023 Pushcart Literary Prize Scott Lifton, host and producer, "Mortified" Jenna Robinson, professor of Psychology, CIIS and the Wright Institute; licensed marriage and family therapist; expressive arts therapist

    ‘Black Folk' Centers History and Activist Legacy of Black Working Class

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 31, 2023 55:31

    “Our national mythos,” writes historian Blair LM Kelley, “leaves little room for Black workers, or to glean any lessons from their history.” Kelley's latest book “Black Folk” offers a corrective, focusing on the lives of Black working people after the Southern Emancipation, the challenges they faced bringing their skills to bear and the networks of resistance they formed. Kelley's book is also personal, grounded in the stories of her own ancestors, including her great, great grandfather, a highly skilled blacksmith who was enslaved. We'll talk to Kelley about the origins of the Black working class and about the people who animate it, then and now. Guests: Blair LM Kelley, Blair LM Kelley, author, "Black Folk: The Roots of the Black Working Class." She is the Joel R. Williamson Distinguished Professor of Southern Studies, director of the Center for the Study of the American South, and co-director of Southern Futures at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

    Bernie Krause's 'The Great Animal Orchestra' Showcases the Sound – and Growing Silence – of Ecosystems

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 31, 2023 55:34

    Bernie Krause has spent more than 50 years capturing the sounds of nature and examining how animals make harmonious ecosystem soundscapes. His art installation, The Great Animal Orchestra, combining Krause's audio recordings with stunning visuals representing the frequencies of animal sounds is on display at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. The exhibition features rich soundscapes of dozens of animal species from across the globe, including the Amazon Rainforest and the depths of the Pacific Ocean, but Krause says the silences in the recordings also tell a story– of populations in decline, nearing extinction, or being drowned out by encroaching human-made noise. We'll talk to Krause about the sounds and silences in the natural world. Guests: Bernie Krause, soundscape ecologist; author, "The Great Animal Orchestra: Finding the Origins of Music in the World's Wild Places"

    How Safe is California's Tap Water?

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 30, 2023 55:30

    The tap water in Southern and Central California's urban areas are among the U.S. regions most exposed to PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals,” according to a recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey. Almost half the tap water in the United States contains one or more PFAS, high levels of which are linked to health issues like infertility and cancer, the study found. It's raising questions about water quality in a state where more than 1 million people already lack access to safe water, especially in low-income, disadvantaged communities. Still, “drinking water across California is largely safe,” according to the Pacific Institute. We'll look at the state of tap water in California and talk with experts about how to make sure your drinking water is safe. Related link(s):  EWG's Tap Water Database: Look up your local water system to find out which pollutants might be of concern, and find suggestions on the best kinds of home filters to remove those chemicals EWG's Water Filter Guide Guests: Susana De Anda, co-founder and executive director, Community Water Center - a nonprofit environmental justice organization based in California's San Joaquin Valley E. Joaquin Esquivel, chair, California State Water Resources Control Board Gregory Pierce, director, Human Right to Water Solutions Lab - UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation Tasha Stoiber, senior scientist, Environmental Working Group

    San Francisco Catholic Diocese Bankruptcy Filing Leaves Clergy Abuse Survivors in Limbo

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 30, 2023 55:32

    Faced with more than 500 lawsuits stemming from clergy sexual abuse, the San Francisco Catholic diocese last week said it had no choice but to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone wrote, “the bankruptcy process is the best way to provide a compassionate and equitable solution” for abuse survivors. But victims say the bankruptcy is just a ploy to deprive them of justice and their day in court. San Francisco's move to seek bankruptcy relief follows similar filings by the Oakland and Santa Rosa dioceses, following multiple clergy abuse lawsuits. Across the country, more than 30 dioceses have have sought bankruptcy protection. We'll talk with experts about what it all means for the church, its faithful, and abuse survivors. Guests: Sophia Bollag, reporter, San Francisco Chronicle Michael O'Loughlin, national correspnodent and associate editor, America: The Jesuit Review - O'Loughlin has covered the Catholic church for both the Boston Globe and Crux. He is the author of "Hidden Mercy: AIDS, Catholics and the Untold Stories of Compassion in the Face of Fear" Joey Piscitelli, northwest group leader, SNAP (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests) - Piscitelli, a survivor of clergy abuse, won a judgment against the Salesian order following a trial in 2006 in Contra Costa County Marie Reilly, professor of Law, Penn State University - Reilly is an expert in bankruptcy. Her published work includes studies of Catholic dioceses in bankruptcy Rick Simons , attorney, Simons is counsel or co-counsel on 75 individual clergy abuse lawsuits filed in Northern California. He also serves as the Northern California court liaison for the 1,600 clergy abuse cases filed against various Northern California dioceses

    How Do We Live in an Ever More Fire-Prone World?

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 29, 2023 55:28

    Every wildfire has at least two stories, according to writers Justin Angle and Nick Mott. One story is about the devastation exacted on humans, their lives and property. The other story, sometimes at odds with the first, is about fire's positive impacts on ecosystems. Fire is “something we need to suppress and control,” they write, “yet it's a natural force we need more of.” Angle and Mott's new book “This is Wildfire” is about reconciling those perspectives and finding practical ways to live healthily and sustainably in an increasingly fire-prone world. We'll learn about advances in U.S. forest management and get tips for protecting yourself, your home and your community. Guests: Justin Angle, professor, University of Montana College of Business; co-author, "This is Wildfire: How to Protect Yourself, Your Home and Your Community in the Age of Heat" Nick Mott, journalist; podcast producer; co-author, "This Is Wildfire: How to Protect Yourself, Your Home, and Your Community in the Age of Heat"

    Novelist Cristina García's 'Vanishing Maps' Revisits the Cuban Diaspora in Sequel to 'Dreaming in Cuban'

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 29, 2023 55:32

    Cristina García's new novel, “Vanishing Maps,” is a sequel to her widely acclaimed debut, “Dreaming in Cuban,” published 30 years ago. The novels follow the del Pinos, a Cuban family disconnected by political allegiances, borders, and immigration. In “Vanishing Maps” the family has scattered beyond Cuba and New York to distant corners of Berlin, Los Angeles, and Moscow. The younger generations are far removed from Cuba, but the island remains a central force in their longings for home and family. García, who was recently a visiting professor at University of San Francisco and resident playwright at Central Works Theater in Berkeley, joins us to talk about how her characters forge bonds and confront borders –- both real and imagined. Guests: Cristina García, author of eight novels including "Dreaming in Cuban," "A Handbook to Luck," "The Lady Matador's Hotel," "King of Cuba," and "Vanishing Maps."

    What Happens to our Online Shopping Returns?

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 28, 2023 55:31

    Americans are doing a lot more of their shopping online, and thanks to generous return policies we're also sending back more of the stuff that doesn't fit, doesn't work or just doesn't look like its JPG. Many of us even regularly buy clothes in multiple sizes and colors and simply send back anything that we don't like the look of. But very little of what we return, from bathing suits to defective barbeque grills, is repaired or resold as new. Returned inventory created 9.5 billion pounds of landfill waste last year, according to one estimate. And the shipping of returned inventory in the US, to retailers, resellers and repairers, emitted over 24 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2022. We'll talk about the logistics of the reverse supply chain and the environmental consequences of all the stuff we buy and don't want. Guests: Amanda Mull, staff writer, The Atlantic - who writes the column “Material World” on American consumerism Tobin Moore, co-founder and principal, Optoro - a returns technology company

    How Scientists are Decoding Brain Activity to Help People Regain the Ability to Speak

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 28, 2023 55:34

    Researchers at UCSF have developed a digital avatar to convey the words and facial expressions of a woman with severe paralysis by transmitting her brain activity. They published their results a week after scientists at UC Berkeley announced that they successfully recreated music by recording the brain waves of patients while they listened to songs. We'll talk with researchers on both projects about the rapidly developing advances in our ability to decode signals in the human brain and the promise of neuroprosthetics to help people regain the ability to speak. Guests: Robert Knight, professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, UC Berkeley Alex Silva, MD-PhD student of Medicine and Bioengineering, University of California San Francisco

    Claim KQED’s Forum

    In order to claim this podcast we'll send an email to with a verification link. Simply click the link and you will be able to edit tags, request a refresh, and other features to take control of your podcast page!

    Claim Cancel