Podcast by Princeton Alumni Weekly
PAWcast: Jennifer Howard ’85 Explains the History of Clutter and What To Do About It
Jennifer Howard ’85 has just released a book called “Clutter: An Untidy History.” Faced with the daunting task of cleaning out her elderly mother’s chaotic and jam-packed home, Howard began to ask herself: “Why is this scenario so common? And what drives our need to acquire and accumulate so many things? And what becomes of our belongings when we, or often our loved ones, finally dispose of them?” Howard is a former contributing editor at The Washington Post and a former senior reporter at The Chronicle of Higher Education, whose writing has also appeared in Slate and Humanities magazine.
PAWcast: Bart Gellman ’82 Discusses the NSA’s Unlawful Surveillance of Americans
This month Bart Gellman ’82 discusses his work on the Edward Snowden disclosures, the subject of his new book, Dark Mirror: Edward Snowden and the American Surveillance State. Gellman discusses the drama that unfolded around receiving and publishing the news about the NSA’s unlawful surveillance of Americans, and weighs in on his opinion of Snowden and tips for how to keep your data safe.
PAWcast: A Republican and a Democrat Take a Road Trip and Search For Common Ground
Jordan Blashek is from the Class of 2009, and his co-author, Chris Haugh, is a UC, Berkley graduate; the pair met while in law school together at Yale. Blashek served for five years as an infantry officer with the United States Marines and is now part of a new company called Schmidt Futures, founded by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Class of 1976, which works on a wide array of public-interest projects. Chris has served as a speechwriter for the State Department and is a journalist who has written for The San Francisco Chronicle and The Atlantic. In their new book, ”Union: A Democrat, a Republican, and a Search for Common Ground,” Jordan, a Republican, and Chris, a Democrat, describe a series of road trips they took throughout the last four years, arguably some of our country’s most politically divisive. During these cross-country journeys, the two friends worked at finding common ground in their political differences while also meeting with people from all over the nation — and even in Mexico — who are the most impacted by United States policies and its politics.
PAWcast: Valedictorian Nicholas Johnson '20 on Making History and Pursuing Science for Good
In this Commencement episode of the PAWcast, valedictorian Nicholas Johnson ’20, an operations research and financial engineering concentrator, reflects on his time at Princeton. Johnson’s achievement is especially notable because he is the first black valedictorian in the University’s 274-year history. “It’s extremely overwhelming and a lot to take in, but also very empowering at the same time,” Johnson said. He will be heading to MIT in the fall to pursue a Ph.D. in operations research. Johnson spoke with Carlett Spike over Zoom about his historic achievement, the impact of the pandemic on his last semester at Princeton, and the message he hopes to send to his peers in the Class of 2020.
PAWcast: Paul Wapner *91 on Reviving Connections to the Natural World (May 2020)
Most people in the developed world can control the amount of wildness in their daily lives by simply shutting the door and adjusting the thermostat. But the COVID-19 outbreak has reminded us that the uncertainty and discomfort of the biological world is never completely locked away. Limiting our interactions with the nature has consequences, according to professor and author Paul Wapner *91, including a tendency to “put the burden of our comfort … onto the lives of those who are less fortunate.” The use of fossil fuels and destruction of natural habitats has also increased wildness in a global sense through climate change and extinction, and bold scientific interventions aimed at curbing those threats could push us further from the natural world. In his new book, Is Wildness Over?, Wapner advocates for a different path: “re-wilding.” (Photo by Sylvia Renick)
PAWcast: Professor Ashoka Mody Explains How Lower Trade Due to COVID-19 Will Affect World Economies
As the COVID-19 pandemic began to seize the globe in late March PAW revisited a podcast conversation from 2019 with Ashoka Mody, a visiting professor in international economic policy. In his book, EuroTragedy, Mody detailed the fragility of the European single currency. Now, amid global economic distress, he weighs on what the coming months will entail.