Someone once observed that if Howard Stern and Krista Tippett had a love child, it would be Scott Jones. Scott liked that.
At "Give and Take,” Scott Jones talks with artists, authors, theologians, and political pundits about the lens through which they experience life. With empathy, humor, and a deep knowledge of religion, current events, and pop culture, Scott engages his guests in a free-flowing conversation that's entertaining, unexpected, occasionally bizarre, and oftentimes enlightening. He likes people, and it shows.
Past interviewees include Mark Oppenheimer, Melissa Febos, David French, Miroslav Volf, Dan Savage, Nadia Bolz-Weber, Rob Bell, and (yes) Krista Tippett.
Scott is the former host and producer of the popular Mockingcast podcast (https://themockingcast.fireside.fm) and an in-demand consultant on all things “pod.” He’s also the co-host, with Bill Borror, of New Persuasive Words (https://npw.fireside.fm). Scott is also a prolific writer, a frequent conference speaker, a PhD candidate in Theology, and an ordained minister.
Episode 248: Human Work in the Age of Smart Machines, with Jamie Merisotis
As computer technology advances with dizzying speed, human workers face an ever-increasing threat of obsolescence. In Human Work In the Age of Smart Machines, Jamie Merisotis argues that we can—and must—rise to this challenge by preparing to work alongside smart machines doing that which only humans can: thinking critically, reasoning ethically, interacting interpersonally, and serving others with empathy. The president and CEO of Lumina Foundation, Merisotis offers a roadmap for the large-scale, radical changes we must make in order to find abundant and meaningful work for ourselves in the 21st century. His vision centers on developing our unique capabilities as humans through learning opportunities that deliver fair results and offer a broad range of credentials. By challenging long-held assumptions and expanding our concept of work, Merisotis argues that we can harness the population’s potential, encourage a deeper sense of community, and erase a centuries-long system of inequality.
Special Guest: Jamie Merisotis .
Episode 247: The Very Last Interview: with David Shields, Nick Toti, and Rachel Kempf
My guests are David Shields, Nick Toti, and Rachel Kempf. We talk about The Very Last Interview (Shields' forthcoming book), film-adapted by Toti and Kempf and released this month. Shields is the author of over twenty books including Reality Hunger, Other People, How Literature Saved My Life, The Trouble with Men, That Thing You Do With Your Mouth, etc. While The Very Last Interview will not be released until early 2022 by New York Review Books, Toti released the 30 minute short earlier this month via Vimeo.
Special Guests: David Shields, Nick Toti, and Rachel Kempf.
Episode 246: 6 Spiritual Truths that Won’t Change with the Election, with Frederick Schmidt
My guest if Frederick Schmidt. He holds the Rueben P. Job Chair in Spiritual Formation at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL. He's also an Episcopal Priest. He recently wrote a piece entitled "6 Spiritual Truths that Won’t Change with the Election." It's a timely piece for reflection and discussion.
Special Guest: Frederick W. Schmidt .
Episode 245: Presidential Playbook 2020: 16 Nonpartisan Solutions to Save America, with John Burke
My guest is John Burke. His newest book is Presidential Playbook 2020: 16 Nonpartisan Solutions to Save America. “And sometime, at some point, do something for your country.” That quote from Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough resonated so deeply with Trek Bicycle President John Burke that he set out to write a book laying out his vision for the country, an America that can once again be a shining city on a hill.
Burke says it’s time to cut through the political fog and deal with the facts: The U.S. is facing serious, long-term problems, and politicians in Washington, D.C. are ignoring them. These critical issues can be resolved, he says, with the determination and shared sacrifice of the American people. From battling climate change to saving Social Security, from reducing the risk of nuclear war to rebuilding crumbling roads and bridges, from campaign finance reform to improving the health of Americans, John Burke offers his 16 Nonpartisan Solutions for putting the United States on a stronger foundation. This is his Presidential Playbook, a plan for America’s future—and a call for all Americans to come together and … do something for our country.
Special Guest: John Burke .
Episode 244: Healing Politics: A Doctor’s Journey into the Heart of Our Political Epidemic, Abdul El-Sayed
My guest is Abdul El-Sayed. His new book is Healing Politics: A Doctor’s Journey into the Heart of Our Political Epidemic. From a rising voice in progressive politics, a combination of memoir, science, and public policy, diagnosing the challenges facing America and laying out a way forward
A child of immigrants, Abdul El-Sayed grew up feeling a responsibility to help others. He threw himself into the study of medicine and excelled—winning a Rhodes Scholarship, earning two advanced degrees, and landing a tenure-track position at Columbia University. At 30, he became the youngest city health official in America, tasked with rebuilding Detroit's health department after years of austerity policies.
But El-Sayed found himself disillusioned. He could heal the sick—even build healthier and safer communities—but that wouldn’t address the social and economic conditions causing illness in the first place. So he left health for politics, running for Governor of Michigan and earning the support of progressive champions like Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez-Cortez and Senator Bernie Sanders.
In Healing Politics, El-Sayed traces the life of a young idealist, weaving together powerful personal stories and fascinating forays into history and science. Marrying his unique perspective with the science of epidemiology, El-Sayed diagnoses an underlying epidemic afflicting our country, an epidemic of insecurity. And to heal the rifts this epidemic has created, he lays out a new direction for the progressive movement. This is a bold, personal, and compellingly original book from a prominent young leader.
Special Guest: Abdul El-Sayed.
Episode 243: Breaking Bread With The Dead, with Alan Jacobs
My guest is Alan Jacobs. His newest book is Breaking Bread with the Dead: A Reader's Guide to a More Tranquil Mind. W. H. Auden once wrote that "art is our chief means of breaking bread with the dead." In his brilliant and compulsively readable new treatise, Breaking Bread with the Dead, Alan Jacobs shows us that engaging with the strange and wonderful writings of the past might help us live less anxiously in the present--and increase what Thomas Pynchon once called our "personal density."
Today we are battling too much information in a society changing at lightning speed, with algorithms aimed at shaping our every thought--plus a sense that history offers no resources, only impediments to overcome or ignore. The modern solution to our problems is to surround ourselves only with what we know and what brings us instant comfort. Jacobs's answer is the opposite: to be in conversation with, and challenged by, those from the past who can tell us what we never thought we needed to know.
What can Homer teach us about force? How does Frederick Douglass deal with the massive blind spots of America's Founding Fathers? And what can we learn from modern authors who engage passionately and profoundly with the past? How can Ursula K. Le Guin show us truths about Virgil's female characters that Virgil himself could never have seen? In Breaking Bread with the Dead, a gifted scholar draws us into close and sympathetic engagement with texts from across the ages, including the work of Anita Desai, Henrik Ibsen, Jean Rhys, Simone Weil, Edith Wharton, Amitav Ghosh, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Italo Calvino, and many more.
By hearing the voices of the past, we can expand our consciousness, our sympathies, and our wisdom far beyond what our present moment can offer.
Special Guest: Alan Jacobs.
Customer ReviewsSee All
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Love this podcast! Highly recommended!
was hard to listen to the guest, laura briggs, with all the interrupting by host scott jones.
Long form interviews at their best
Scott’s conversational style and breadth of knowledge leads to some really amazing conversations with his guests. It’s fantastic!