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Social Physics; John Hammond Plays Live; James Scott's New Novel; the Pope and Mussolini

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Monday, February 10, 2014

MIT's Alex Pentland explains the emerging field of “social physics” - and what new research is showing us about how human ideas spread—and turn into behaviors. John Hammond performs live in our studio and tells us about his half century in music. James Scott on his novel, The Kept. And we'll find out about the complicated secret relationship between Pope Pius the 11th and Mussolini!

How Good Ideas Spread

It turns out that like bees, humans leave traceable patterns of information exchange. MIT's Alex Pentland explains how social networks large and small can be fine-tuned to increase exploration and community engagement.

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John Hammond Plays the Blues

Blues guitarist/vocalist John Hammond performs live and discusses his new album “Timeless.” He’s one of the pioneering white blues artists, and shares some stories from over 50 years recording music.  

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James Scott's New Novel, The Kept

James Scott talks about his debut novel, The Kept.  Set in rural New York State at the turn of the 20th century, a mother and her young son set out to avenge a terrible and violent tragedy that has shattered their family. 

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Mussolini, the Pope, and the Rise of Fascism

David I. Kertzer talks about the complex and secret relationship that Pope Pius XI’s had with Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. The two men both came to power in 1922, and together changed the course of the 20th-century. Kertzer’s book The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe, shows how Pius XI played a crucial role in making Mussolini’s dictatorship possible and keeping him in power. But as Mussolini moved closer to Hitler, the pope started to lash out.

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Guest Picks: John Hammond

Blues musician John Hammond performed live in our studio on February 10, 2014. He let us know what he likes to read, watch, and eat!

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