We all want to know if we’re normal—do I have enough friends? Should it take me this long to get over my ex? Should I move or stay where I am? Endlessly curious data journalist Mona Chalabi NEEDS to know, and she’s ready to dive into the numbers to get some answers. But studies and spreadsheets don’t tell the whole story, so she’s consulting experts, strangers, and even her mum to fill in the gaps. The answers might surprise you, and make you ask: does normal even exist? Am I Normal? with Mona Chalabi is produced in partnership with Transmitter Media.
How to predict the future | The TED Interview
Future forecaster and game designer Jane McGonigal ran a social simulation game in 2008 that had players dealing with the effects of a respiratory pandemic set to happen in the next decade. She wasn’t literally predicting the 2020 pandemic—but she got eerily close. Her game, set in 2019, featured scenarios we're now familiar with (like masking and social distancing), and participant reactions gave her a sense of what the world could—and eventually, did—look like. How did she do it? And what can we learn from this experiment to predict—and prepare for—the future ourselves? In this episode, Jane teaches us how to be futurists, and talks about the role of imagination—and gaming—in shaping a future that we’re truly excited about. This is an episode of The TED Interview, another podcast in the TED Audio Collective. For more episodes on the future of intelligence, the future of work, and much more, follow The TED Interview wherever you're listening to this.
The secret Somali mixtapes | Far Flung
It’s 1988, and Somalians are fleeing the city of Hargeisa. People are trying to get out, trying to save their families and sometimes their things. But in the city’s radio station, staff are packing cassettes and reel to reel recordings into a secret underground bunker. What's on them? A slice of the country’s musical heritage, to remain for years in an underground room—until now.
This is an episode of Far Flung with Saleem Reshamwala, another podcast in the TED Audio Collective. If you want to hear more episodes exploring ideas in Caracas, Barcelona, Puerto Rico, the world of dreams and beyond, follow Far Flung wherever you're listening to this.
Breaking Up with Perfectionism | WorkLife with Adam Grant
Perfectionism is on the rise–and not just in job interviews when people claim it’s their greatest weakness. But the desire to be flawless is not always productive—or healthy. As a recovering perfectionist, organizational psychologist Adam Grant dives into how he managed to abandon the quest for 10s while holding onto his drive for excellence. This is an episode of WorkLife with Adam Grant, another podcast in the TED Audio Collective. To hear more episodes, follow WorkLife wherever you're listening to this.
What question is on YOUR mind?
The first season of Am I Normal? centered around the questions of data journalist Mona Chalabi. In Season 2, launching in September this year, we want to answer the questions on YOUR mind. If you’ve ever wondered if something’s normal–whether that something is about you or the world AROUND you–or you just have that nagging question you simply NEED the data on, then Mona’s excited to figure it out with you (or to at least try to)! Leave a voicemail at (919) 446-5131 OR drop us an email or voice message at email@example.com
Is it really that bad to marry my cousin?
Charles Darwin. Edgar Allen Poe. Albert Einstein. What do all of these men have in common? Yes, they’ve made major contributions to science and literature. Buuuut they also all married their first cousins. Mona looks at the genetic consequences of cousin marriage, and what taboos really tell us about the social norms and power.
Should you break the law?
The obvious answer: no. Though you haven’t exactly committed to a life of crime if you jaywalk on an empty street. But if we bend the law on jaywalking, why not drunk driving? Well, there was a time when people thought drunk driving didn't really matter either. So what changed? How do we decide to follow a law or not? What even IS a law? Mona meets with social psychology of law professor, Kenworthy Bilz to understand how laws can (and can’t) shape our behaviors.
You can find the full text transcript along with studies cited in this episode at go.ted.com/AIN7