Thursday, July 25, 2013
MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast talks about service improvements and interruptions as the MTA prepares its budget. Plus: Slate’s Emily Yoffe, aka Dear Prudence, offers advice on the work life / private life divide; NY1’s Errol Louis continues the conversation he’s been having on our website all week, answering the question: did Bloomberg make us richer?; and a summer tradition continues – Brian is about to leave for vacation, so we open the phones to take your recommendations on what he should read while he is away.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
This week we'll talk about the relationships between adults and their parents. One listener asks what to do when your mother posts comments on your blog. If you have a thorny question for us to consider, ask it here.
- Have advice about this situation? Post it below!
- Need advice? Post your own dilemma here and maybe you'll join Emily on the air next week!
Thursday, July 11, 2013
Former Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) is here to analyze national politics and to talk about his new novel, Gridlock. Plus: Emily Yoffe, the Dear Prudence advice columnist for Slate, is back for marriage week to offer advice to listeners on monogamy, infidelity and open marriages; the Bradley Manning trial and the latest out of Guantanamo Bay; and crowdfunding civic projects.
Thursday, June 27, 2013
The Supreme Court struck down DOMA and same-sex marriage is legal again in California. Troy Stevenson from the group Garden State Equality is here to sort out what that means for New Jersey, a state that currently allows same-sex civil unions, but not marriage. Plus: Adam Liptak of The New York Times on how the business community will benefit from recent Supreme Court decisions; Chilean playwright Antonio Skarmeta; and the next installment of our advice series with Slate’s Emily Yoffe.
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Slate contributor Seth Stevenson gives an update on the trial of mobster James “Whitey” Bulger and describes what it was like growing up in Boston during the Bulger era. Then, Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, talks about the mayoral candidate the UFT endorsed. Plus: cities may be the solution to the world’s problems; Alvaro Vargas Llosa’s take on the current immigration debate; and advice columnist Emily Yoffe, who writes the Dear Prudence column for Slate, offers advice to listeners.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Flea markets, casinos, bars, and the internet search engine all tap into what Emily Yoffe of Slate Magazine calls the 'human motivation to seek'. Studies done on lab rats and humans revealed an area of the brain called the 'seeking center' and that we are driven to search as a reward in itself.
Yoffe spoke with guest host Andrea Bernstein on The Brian Lehrer Show. An excerpt of the interview:
Andrea Bernstein: So there is this incredible human motivation just to search or to seek or to hunt?
Emily Yoffee: The brain is over-wired for this, seeking, curiosity, exploration...If you think of it in evolutionary terms, it all makes sense. If you have a creature that is very easy satisfied and is just sitting there being happy, it’s probably going to be eaten pretty quickly. We are strongly, strongly motivated to get out of our beds, our dens, our holes and go out and seek and search.
Bernstein: Is that is what is happening when you are reading a mystery or a thriller? You love the hunt and maybe why you feel a little let down when you get to the end?
Yoffe: Yes, this is why flea markets are so great, gambling, going to pick up bars. It is not that we don’t feel the reward, but the reward only lasts a little bit of time and then the seeking urge is renewed again. It’s not just that we are compelled to seek to in order to get the reward to feel good. Seeking, wanting, feels good itself...It feels great to be in that aroused, excited state. Drugs, like amphetamines, and cocaine stimulate that system. It’s the dopamine system. It feels good to be excited. It feels good to feel “I can do anything.”
Bernstein: Is Googling really changing anything or is it just helping us do what we would do anyway?
Yoffe: Googling, and all our electronic devices that help us search or find or get constant tweet updates from people, it hasn’t created a new sensation in the brain.
'If humans are seeking creatures, we have now created the perfect seeking machines.'
The dopamine system is the neurotransmitter for the seeking system, it is also believed that it controls our sense of time. That is why you can sit down to find one thing and you find it is an hour later. Where did that hour go?