The End of Everything

A Partnership with Scientific American Magazine

Everything ends some time, but why are we so obsessed with apocalyptic narratives? All week long, The Takeaway is partnering with our friends at Scientific American to talk about The End. We’re talking about the mass extinctions the planet is facing, how we can keep ancient cultures alive, what happened when Scientific American’s editors asked their contributors how the world would end – and our listeners will weigh in with what inventions they wish had never been created in the first place.

Recently in The End of Everything

The End: What We Would Be Better Off Without

Friday, August 27, 2010

All week long, in partnership with our friends at Scientific American, we’ve been talking about "the end" on The Takeaway. The end of the world, the end of our own lives, or, today, the end of things that we could do without.

From Daylight-Saving time to the Space Shuttle, landfills to human drivers, we talk to Scientific American editor Michael Moyer about an eclectic mix of things that the world — and humans — might be better off without.

What do you think? What are some of the things we'd be better off without?

Comments [5]

The End of the World As We Know It?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

All this week, we've been talking with our friends from Scientific American about endings — how cultures fade, and natural resources dwindle. Today, we’re focusing on something even bigger: the end of human life as we know it — in other words, the apocalypse. The question of course, is how will it happen? Nuclear war? a killer virus, or perhaps an environmental disaster?

Comments [2]

The End: The Line Between Life and Death During Organ Donation

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

All this week we’re talking with our friends from Scientific American about endings: in nature, culture and science. For most of human history the clearest, most black and white ending in our lives was death. However, in recent decades, life support technology has made death a gray area, leading to right-to-life debates, as in the case of Terri Schiavo. But the question of when someone is dead becomes especially important when dealing with the process of organ donation.

We asked you, our listeners: If you are are an organ donor, what made you agree to it? If not, what's your reason against it? Let us know in the comments or call 877-8-MY-TAKE and we'll play the responses on the air.

Comments [21]

'The End,' Tree Frogs and Zachary

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

We talked this morning about the loss of so-called “indigenous cultures” in our series, "The End." The fact that industrialization is driving certain cultures to extinction isn't new. However, in our globalized world, what constitutes preserving cultural traditions that are under threat? Is the world to embark on a kind of super sequestration of everything indigenous to keep it isolated from what might change it? Under this model the planet becomes a giant museum, with walls between gawking real people and the preserved “exhibits.” There is also a second model where the changing and mixing of cultural identities becomes a kind of preservation. We may lose certain tribes in the Amazon, in that they no longer live there, but do we lose everything about them?

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What We Lose When Cultures Vanish

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

All week long, in partnership with our friends at Scientific American, we’re talking about "the end" on The Takeaway. Whether it’s melting glaciers, the falling water table, or even how the world itself will end, we’re exploring our fascination with endings.

Today, we examine the stunning evidence of how Western civilization is changing and, in some cases, eliminating indigenous cultures. Half of the world’s 7,000 languages are endangered, and when language dies, whole cultures can disappear. Vital, ancient wisdom can be lost.

So we ask you: What traditions or wisdom do you think is worth saving? And what do you do to preserve them?

Comments [13]

The End: How Much is Left?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Is it the end of the world as we know it? This year, we’ve seen terrible flooding, glaciers melting, and deep oil wells breaking. In light of these catastrophic events, we're launching a series this week about whether our modern age is coming to an end along with our friends at Scientific American.

For the first installment of the series, we talk with Michael Moyer, staff editor for Scientific American, about the world's dwindling resources. He recently wrote about this in his article, "How Much is Left?"

Comments [2]

A Week-long Discussion on The End

Thursday, August 19, 2010

All week long, we'll be talking with our friends at Scientific American about things ending – good things, bad things, materials, animals, people and more – and how all of our lives will be affected as a result. We're asking you, our listeners, to weigh in: What's something that you'd be happy to see come to an end? What's something you'd be sad to see go?

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Comments [5]