PLEDGE NOW
Steven Johnson And A Better Future

From Wikipedia to Kickstarter, we’ll look at the growing power of collaboration as a source of hope and progress with Steven Johnson, author of “Future Perfect.”

The internet in 1972 (photo illustration Alex Kingsbury/WBUR)

The internet in 1972 (photo illustration Alex Kingsbury/WBUR)

American politics can look hopeless.  Steven Johnson says hang on.  There’s a new way coming.  And it’s loaded with optimism and hope.  With progress.  Johnson writes about technology and society.  He’s looking at the networked life of the Internet and saying that as a model, it’s just getting started in changing our shared lives.

What markets won’t do and governments won’t do, he says, networked citizens are taking on.  Peers, empowered by connectivity, moving beyond  Left and Right, looking for solutions.

This hour, On Point:  future perfect, with Steven Johnson.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Steven Johnson, author of the new book Future Perfect: The Case For Progress In A Networked Age.

From Tom’s Reading List

Wall Street Journal “I teach at an engineering school, and in one of my courses—a kind of overview of Western civilization for freshmen—I make my students read John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address. At one point, the young president exhorts Americans to seek the end of “tyranny, poverty, disease and war itself.” When I asked my students recently if they thought these goals were realistic or just pipe dreams, all 24 went with pipe dreams.”

New York Times “Embracing semiotics came with certain costs. In my own case, I spent most of my mid-20s detangling my prose style. (It got younger as I got older.) I now spend more time learning from the insights of science than deconstructing its truth claims. I slowly killed off the desire to impress with willful obscurity.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
May 4, 2016
A voter casts her ballot in the Indiana Primary at a fire station in Indianapolis, Tuesday, May 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Results and story lines from the Indiana primary. Does it cement two pathways to the nominations?

May 4, 2016
Leslie Stahl with her grandchild Jordan. (Courtesy: Leslie Stahl)

Trailblazing journalist Lesley Stahl on her new book Becoming Grandma, and the joys, the science, the struggles, the evolution of being a grandparent today.

RECENT
SHOWS
May 3, 2016
In this photo taken Thursday, Sept. 17, 2009, fifteen-year-old Amorette Castillo has her sensor checked before starting a series of physical activities at a University of Southern California lab in Alhambra, Calif. Scientists across the country are playing with miniature gadgets and fitting them on the overweight and obese to get an unbiased glimpse into their exercise and eating habits. The cell phone for gathering data is on her hip. (AP Photo/Kim Johnson Flodin)

Weight loss lessons from the TV show “The Biggest Loser”. A study of the show’s contestants reveals why it’s so hard to keep off the weight we lose.

 
May 3, 2016
Geri Taylor, camera in tow, at the Hoover Dam in 2014. Photography had been a sideline for 30 years, but now she could really devote time to it.
Courtesy, New York Times. MICHAEL KIRBY SMITH FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES.

We look at how one women prepares for the full onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Devoured: We Are What (And How) We Eat
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

From chicken wings to kale smoothies, we look at what we eat, and how challenging it is to eat well in America.

More »
Comment
 
‘Embedded’: How Violent Gangs Are Terrorizing El Salvador
Thursday, Apr 14, 2016

NPR’s Kelly McEvers on her reporting in El Salvador for the podcast Embedded, and how gang killings brought San Salvador’s bus service to a halt.

More »
Comment
 
That Cheap Dress On Facebook? It Isn't Worth It
Monday, Apr 11, 2016

Know those shockingly cheap clothes you see advertised on Facebook? There’s a catch.

More »
Comment