Cover art for podcast The Hub for Important Ideas

The Hub for Important Ideas

47 EpisodesProduced by Stephen James and Ken SwainWebsite

The Hub for Important Ideas is a podcast about the serious issues of our time, hosted by cultural critics Stephen James and Ken Swain. They challenge conventional thinking about contemporary problems including Mental Health, Economic Inequality, the Environment, Bigotry, and War in intelligent conve… read more

episodes iconAll Episodes

Temperament and Type - Episode 47 – The Hub for Important Ideas

July 4th, 2022


What is temperament and how can it help us to better navigate our lives? This episode features a kitchen table conversation about understanding …

A House Divided Part 2 featuring Sheldon Solomon - Episode 46 – The Hub for Important Ideas

May 31st, 2022


How do we go beyond the divisions in our society? This episode features part two of a conversation with social psychologist Sheldon Solomon who …

A House Divided featuring Sheldon Solomon - Episode 45 – The Hub for Important Ideas

April 28th, 2022


How can we get a better understanding of the divisions in our society? This episode features a conversation with social psychologist Sheldon Solomon …

Ukraine War - Episode 44 – The Hub for Important Ideas

March 31st, 2022


What does the War in Ukraine mean to us in America? This episode discusses the war in Ukraine from a different perspective, its implications, and the …

Mortality in this Diverse Culture featuring Dan Liechty - Episode 43 – The Hub for Important Ideas

March 24th, 2022


How do we face up to our Mortality in this Diverse Culture? This episode discusses mortality and human flourishing in a diverse culture from a …

Free speech - Episode 42 – The Hub for Important Ideas

February 25th, 2022


What is happening to free speech in America? This episode discusses free speech, cancel culture, book banning, wokeism, lies, post-truth, the equal …

The Abortion Issue featuring Miriam Piven Cotler - Episode 41

January 29th, 2022


How do we get a handle on the complex issue of abortion? This episode discusses the abortion issue, pro-choice, anti-abortion, and the ethical problem from the discerning standpoint of clinical bioethicist Miriam Piven …

Beyond a Recap

January 14th, 2022


What were some of the important ideas from 2021? This episode, sums up some of the most thought-provoking ideas from our guests, who included Jack Moscou, Lyla Rothschild, Henry Richards, Jerry Piven, Pelin Kesebir, …

Critical Race Theory featuring Henry Richards - Episode 39

December 20th, 2021


How do we understand the problematic reaction to Critical Race Theory in America? This episode discusses Critical Race Theory, wokeism, racial prejudice and discrimination in our society and internationally from the …

The Psychology of War featuring Jerry Piven - Episode 38 – The Hub for Important Ideas

November 26th, 2021


How do we understand the complex psychology of war? This episode wrestles with a distinction between the realistic danger and the fantastical nature …

War and Violence featuring Jack Moscou- Episode 37 – The Hub for Important Ideas

October 30th, 2021


Is there more war and wholesale violence in our future? This episode considers the prospect for war in our future from the unique perspective of …

Feminist Existentialism featuring Tomi-Ann Roberts- Episode 36 – The Hub for Important Ideas

September 21st, 2021


What is feminist existentialism, and how does it impact the lives of both men and women? This episode discusses objectification theory, and related …

Immersion featuring Merlyn Mowrey- Episode 35 – The Hub for Important Ideas

August 24th, 2021


What is immersion and how does it help us understand our lives? This episode explores the notion of immersion, how it helps us defend against death anxiety, and the many related ideas that notion leads us to. It …

Death positive featuring Sheldon Solomon - Episode 34 – The Hub for Important Ideas

July 23rd, 2021


How can focusing on death improve our lives and the world around us? This episode discusses death reflection, mindfulness, meditation, what is called …

Examining Important Ideas featuring Dan Liechty - Episode 33

June 25th, 2021


How do we use important ideas to help change ourselves for the better? This episode examines the intrinsic value in some important ideas that can improve our functioning in the world and convey genuine self-knowledge. …

The Quiet Ego featuring Pelin Kesebir - Episode 32

May 27th, 2021


How do we improve our lives and our society by practicing humility? This episode discusses humility: its many aspects, and ways it offers hope for …

Political Fantasy and Illusion featuring Jerry Piven - Episode 31

April 29th, 2021


How do we improve our lives and our society through a better understanding of political fantasy and illusion? This episode discusses rationalization, …

One Year Anniversary - Episode 30

April 14th, 2021


This episode discusses a sense of history, gun violence, and celebrates
the one-year anniversary of The Hub for Important Ideas podcast.

Mental Health featuring Jerry Piven - Episode 29

April 7th, 2021


How do we understand mental health in America? This episode discusses sanity, psychopathology, our society, and possibilities for hope. It features …

Unconscious Bias featuring Henry Richards - Episode 28

March 28th, 2021


What role does unconscious bias play in our society? Psychologist Henry Richards discusses the unconscious basis of racial bias and what it means to …

Social Media featuring Lyla Rothschild - Episode 27

February 28th, 2021


What is the impact of social media on our existential concerns? This episode discusses social media and the less than obvious effect it has on our society.  


January 19th, 2021


In America today, is our goal to be right, or to make a better country? This episode responds to the January 6 upheaval in Washington, DC. It works toward a perspective on what’s been happening and how to move forward. 

Important Ideas from 2020

January 8th, 2021


This episode sums up our first season and recalls some of the seminal ideas from our guests. Our intention is to bring into public discourse the most inspiring ideas
we’ve got, in an attempt to find the best way forward …

Unity featuring Dan Liechty - Episode 24

December 29th, 2020


How do we unite our divided country? This episode looks
at the differences between the liberal and conservative alignments in our
culture and explores …

Humility - featuring Dan Liechty Episode 23 – The Hub for Important Ideas

December 8th, 2020


How do we make the world better for each of us and for our society in this age of individualism? This episode further explores the dual theme of humility and
gratitude. This is an area that not only addresses our …

Misogyny - Episode 22 featuring Jamie Goldenberg

November 16th, 2020


How do we explain misogyny in this supposedly
enlightened era? This episode discusses misogyny and the role of
women in our society -- what our culture …

Pre-Election Special - Episode 21

October 30th, 2020


How do we select our leader in this incredibly hostile environment and
divided country? This episode continues a discussion about
politics in America …

Election 2020 - Episode 20 featuring Jack Moscou

October 16th, 2020


What have we learned from the past that helps us make sense of American politics in the present and know what to expect in the near future? This …

Narcissism and Hope Episode 19 featuring Sheldon Solomon

October 3rd, 2020


Where do we find hope for our society that is caught up in an epidemic of narcissism and self-destructive behavior? This episode advances the …

Narcissism Part 2 featuring Sheldon Solomon

September 12th, 2020


How do we find a way forward in a society that is mired in an epidemic of narcissism and struggling with radical economic inequality? This second of …

Narcissism Episode 17 Featuring Sheldon Solomon

September 3rd, 2020


Where is there hope in this age of Narcissism? This episode discusses narcissism, the unexpected dangers it poses for our society, and possible antidotes that we believe have far reaching potential.

Episode 16 Dan Liechty on Leadership

August 26th, 2020


What is leadership and how do we get better leaders? This episode discusses leadership and the psychological forces at work in our selecting people …

Episode 15 Inequality

August 14th, 2020


This episode talks about radical economic inequality and the problems it creates in our society.

Episode 14 Jerry Piven on Child Development

July 31st, 2020


How do the complexities of child development help us understand what is happening to ourselves and our culture? This episode discusses the vital role …

Episode 13 Jamie Arndt on Money

July 24th, 2020


Why is it always about money? This episode discusses the symbolic power of money and how it affects our society and our individual psychological …

Episode 12 Sheldon Solomon on Self-esteem

July 17th, 2020


What is the pivotal role self-esteem plays in our culture? This episode discusses the key concept of self-esteem, why it is psychologically …

Episode 11 Jamie Goldenberg on Sex and the Body

July 10th, 2020


What has sex got to do with it? This episode discusses sex and the human body. What our culture proscribes about our bodies to shield us from death …

Episode 10 Merlyn Mowrey on Religion

July 3rd, 2020


How do we explain the many problems seemingly caused by religion in our society? This episode explores the purpose of religion, and the difficulties …

Episode 9 Jamie Arndt on Health

June 26th, 2020


How is it that in this wealthiest of countries we have so many health problems and such unhealthy behaviors? This episode discusses health from a …

Episode 8 Kirby Farrell on Conflicts

June 19th, 2020


How do we overcome the conflicts at the heart of our society and in ourselves? This episode discusses conflicts, from the way we cope with our individual anxieties to our society’s militarization and attempts to …

Episode 7 I Can't Breathe

June 15th, 2020


Why is there wholesale dissatisfaction in our society? Is the answer thinking the unthinkable? This episode follows up our discussion of Kirby …

Episode 6 Kirby Farrell on Thinking the Unthinkable

June 9th, 2020


How do we make sense of the many contradictions in our culture? Is the answer thinking the unthinkable? This episode explores our culture’s paradoxes …

Episode 5 Jerry Piven on War and Violence

May 28th, 2020


How do we understand war, violence, and evil in the twenty-first century? This episode features an interview with Dr. Jerry Piven who explores …

Episode 4 Illusion Part 2

May 22nd, 2020


How do we relate the apparent illusions at the heart of society to the realities of life? In this episode we further explore the psychological human …

Episode 3 Merlyn Mowrey on Illusion

May 15th, 2020


How do we make sense of the apparent illusions at the heart of society? In this episode we explore the deep rooted psychological human need for …

Episode 2 Sheldon Solomon on Bigotry

May 10th, 2020


Why is there bigotry? In this episode Dr. Sheldon Solomon offers a unique perspective on prejudice, the psychological underpinnings for it, and the …

Episode 1 Getting to Know Us

April 14th, 2020


In this, our first episode we introduce ourselves and give you some idea of where we’re coming from.

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