Mind Fixers, Inkblots, Icelandic Bitcoin, Nuclear Containment, Raptor Patrol
Constant Wonder - Radio Archive, Episode 347
- Jan 24, 2020 7:00 pm
- 1:41:18 mins
Why, After a Century of Research, We Still Know Very Little About Curing Mental Illness? Guest: Anne Harrington, Professor of the History of Science, Harvard University, Author of“Mind Fixers: Psychiatry’s Troubled Search for the Biology of Mental Illness” We talk about outer space as the last frontier. Maybe we have another yet to conquer. Let’s call it inner space. Few of us, today, have not been touched in some way by mental health crisis, and few have not been beset with fears about what we could or should have done differently. Just like the families of those affected, the mental health profession has struggled for over a century to figure out causes and cures for depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, autism, and other brain maladies. The brain has still not yielded its secrets. And we still aren’t even really sure how the mind and brain –and even the soul connect. Even the human genome still mocks our futility on this front. At some level, we know that mental illness has biological roots. But we still don’t know what this means or what to do about it. The Iconic Inkblot Test and Its Creator Guest: Damion Searls, translator and author of "The Inkblots: Hermann Rorschach, His Iconic Test, and the Power of Seeing" The Rorschach test is a legitimate test, and is also fascinating for the approach it takes to the human mind. The little known story of Hermann Rorschach himself is the story of a wonderful person and brilliant scientist. The Digital Currency Gold Rush Guest: Philip Salter, Head of Mining Operations, Genesis Mining Company This years largest single consumer of electricity in Iceland is not all the residents heating their himes, but instead companies that mine an electronic currency called Bitcoin. Bitcoin is what is called a crypto-currency that is digitally "mined" by massive network computers, and can be used to buy things just like dollar bills can be exchanged to get you a fancy new television. Iceland is a bitcoin paradise because of the low cost of its electricity and cool temperatures that keep the computer processors from catching on fire! How to Preserve the Future Guest: Peter Galison, physicist, historian of science, and filmmaker at Harvard University, where he is the Joseph Pellegrino University Professor The issue of warning future generations about the dangers of stored nuclear waste is complicated. Thankfully, there are some very bright people on the job. Raptors Keep Jersey Gulls in Line Guest: Erik Swanson, Master Falconer, East Coast Falcons; Animal Control Officer and Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator Patrolling raptors may be the solution to the Jersey shore’s seagull problem.