The Hidden Brain and Underground Crime

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

On today’s show, Mike Pesca fills in as guest host. Science writer Shankar Vedantam explains how our unconscious minds help us make all kinds of decisions. Then, we’ll trace the evolution of cybercrime and learn why it’s become so popular with Russian and American gangsters. And we’ll look back at the landmark 1977 documentary “Word Is Out.” Plus, our latest Underreported segments look at Mexico’s increasingly violent war on drugs, and how tropical diseases like hookworm are destabilizing some of the world’s poorest countries.

The Hidden Brain

Shankar Vedantam, author of the Washington Post’s "Department of Human Behavior" column, explains the brain functions, emotional responses, and cognitive processes that happen without conscious awareness, but that control our behavior. In The Hidden Brain: How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars, and Save ...

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Fatal System Error

Joseph Menn describes the underground world of computer hackers. In Fatal System Error, he describes the evolution of cybercrime from small-time thieving to sophisticated, organized gangs who steal financial data from consumers and defense secrets from governments.

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Word Is Out

“Word Is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives” is the first feature-length documentary about lesbian and gay identity made by gay filmmakers. When it was released in 1978, it made a huge impact and became an icon of the emerging gay rights movement of the 1970s. Veronica ...

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Underreported: Tropical Diseases and Poor Countries

Today, nearly all of the 1.4 billion people who live below the World Bank’s poverty line are infected with hookworms or related parasites. We’ll look at the impact neglected tropical diseases, such as hookworm, has had on the world poorest countries with Dr. Peter J. Hotez. He is President of ...

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Underreported: The Mexican Drug War

Mexico’s war against drugs has accelerated in recent years—with deadly results. For today’s second Underreported segment, we’ll speak with Ken Ellingwood, a correspondent for the Los Angeles Times based in Mexico City and author of the book Hard Line: Life and Death on the U.S.-Mexico Border. You ...

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