7 Deadly Sins

Update: 2017-05-1923


Sinful behavior is human, and nearly impossible to avoid. In this hour, TED speakers talk about the guilty pleasure of behaving badly and the challenge of confronting sin — and avoiding it. TED speakers include psychologist Christopher Ryan, Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett, activist Dave Meslin, epidemiologist Gary Slutkin, entrepreneur Nick Hanauer, editor Parul Sehgal, and Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings. (Original broadcast date: February 6, 2015)

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support for this podcast and the following message come from C D W I T orchestration by CW brings together experts technologies and partners like Cisco to turn complexity into simplicity CW people who get it everyone its guy here just a quick note to tell you that working a whole bunch of new episodes but in the meantime here's one from archives you may not have heard it it's called seven deadly sins we get seven different had speakers to go over each one of the deadly sins it's an amazing episode hope you enjoy it this is the Head Radio Hour each week groundbreaking Ted Talk The Technology Design Design at Stanford delivered and had conferences around the world gift of the human imagination we had to believe in impossible the true nature of reality beckons just beyond those talks those ideas adapted for radio NPR guy rise and I'm a show today the seven deadly sins and in preparation for this episode we kind of fell down an Internet rabbit hole because if you spend enough time looking you'll find a surprising number of Internet conspiracy theories that claim that many of the most beloved film and TV characters are based on those seven cents the the the the for example Gilligan's Island apparently it's one long parable with Gilligan representing slot the be the man I can't fall asleep with all the snoring noise the skipper is Rafi refined oil into my arms over his body for Larry is like ginger what else she's last weekend yeah come here before so he's a priest and the professor is pride Marianne is envy because well she's sort of second fiddle to Ginger Greta of course there's that held the third his wife better known as Lovie is gluttony something is because sounds plausible doesn't it and there are lots of other theories like this Charlie and the Chocolate Factory a supposedly as Seven deadly sins metaphor shows Spongebob Squarepants The cast of friends Winnie the Pooh The true or not there is clearly something to this idea that these seven transgressions can be neatly arranged into a clean and elegant list seven behaviors that are deeply embedded into our very nature the So today I shall try something a little different seven Ted speakers each with an idea about one of the seven deadly sins so first up it's gonna be lost during the now is probably a good time to tell you just as a heads up that this segment contains some discussion about sex and sexual behaviors that exist so then the cost for Ryan I'm the co author of Sex at Dawn which I co authored with my wife to sell the jet to Chris' first idea is a provocative one and not without critics but it might change the way you think about monogamy and most importantly last last is sort of a very interesting because the others the other since I can see an argument as to how they are destructive and but with lost if you look at the famous Old Testament line now shall not covet thy neighbor's wife we all think that's about respecting is their marriage right but if you read in context that says nor his house nor his servants nor his ox nor his sheep in other words keep your hands off your neighbor's property and his wife is just one part of his property that you shouldn't interfere with so that's what sexual monogamy sexual monogamy is an institution designed to protect the property of the Father or the husband it's not a response to any sort of evolve tenets is Christopher's not only suggesting that monogamy is basically a human invention but that by being monogamous by resisting the sin of lust we might be acting in a way that undermines our very nature even our survival here's his Ted Talk Now since Darwin's day there's been what this old and I've called the standard narrative of human sexual evolution and you're all familiar with even if you haven't read this stuff the idea is that as part of human nature from the beginning of our species time men have sort of a least women's reproductive potential by providing them with certain goods and services generally we're talking about me shelter status protection things like that right and in exchange women have offered fidelity or at least a promise of fidelity now this sets men and women up in an oppositional relationship right what can sill then I've argued is that no this economic relationship is oppositional relationship is actually an artifact of Agriculture which only a rose about ten thousand years ago at the earliest so we've argued that human sexuality essentially involves until agriculture as a way of establishing and maintaining the complex flexible social systems networks that our ancestors were very good at and that's why our species has survived so well now this makes some people uncomfortable and so I always need to take a moment in these talks to say listen I'm saying our ancestors were from miss us but I'm not saying they were having sex with strangers there were no strangers right a hunter gatherer band they're no strangers you've known these people your entire life so I'm saying yes there were overlapping sexual relationships that our ancestors probably had several different sexual relationships going on at any given moment in their adult lives but I'm not saying they were having sex with strangers I'm not saying that they didn't love the people they were having sex with an I'm not saying there was no pair bonding going on I'm just saying it wasn't sexually exclusive and those of us who have chosen to be monogamous my parents for example have been married for fifty two years monogamous Lee I'm not criticizing this and I'm not saying there's anything wrong with this what I'm saying is that to argue that our ancestors were sexual on the borders is no more criticism of monogamy than to argue that our ancestors were dietary on the boars is a criticism of vegetarianism you can choose to be a vegetarian but don't think that just because you've made that decision bacon suddenly stop smelling good ok so this is my point it took a minute to sink in just to clarify you are pure few basically our unit we are designed that the humans are basically lustful promiscuous animals right well in sex ed on essentially what is that casual friendly promiscuity is the natural most deeply resonant human behavior and that's why we have so much last rated the fact that human beings think about sex so much is we're off the scale most mammals only have sex when the females of the leading when I say most I mean virtually all of the number who have sex regularly the females and not of the leading are just a handful humans chimps but no bows and dolphins which you'll notice are all highly social highly intelligent animals and in all those PCs what's happened is that sexuality has become useful for social purposes for establishing and maintaining social bonds and social networks of trust and intimacy so you know when someone says oh you know that that person is like an animal sexually no animals aren't anything like human sexual there embarrassed by us great concern of the opposite of what most people think so in a book you will be arguing that it's not only okay to feel lest all the time but also to act I've not really it's it's it's not a guidebook we're not advocating that everyone should be swingers or poly amorous or promiscuous or anything in fact that's the main complaint about sex aid on people write and say You left me hanging didn't say what I should do now because I don't know what you should do right and that's you know it's not a really sexy book it's a popular science book but what they are what's happening is that they're feeling a sense of liberation there's nothing wrong with me that I'm thinking about sex is nothing wrong with me that I love my boyfriend but I am attracted to other man right there's nothing wrong with my marriage that my wife thinks about other people and I think about other people there's a sense of forgiveness and acceptance that we're very gratified by the the So we have this list of seven cents and I guess you would argue that this one doesn't belong with me to just strike a strike it off the list you know wrath pride envy of their own harmful in some lust isn't harmful necessarily less can be lust for life who doesn't feel less for life and how can we tell someone not to feel lost her eye and his book is Sex at Dawn his whole talk is at Ted dot com on the show today the seven deadly sins and acts that define gluttony um well I think the human body needs a certain amount of nourishment and calories in which to survive and when you start exceeding those for the enjoyment of eating you're starting to invade the territory of Let Me Go the um this is make cornet he's the mayor of Oklahoma City he was elected back in two thousand and four and even though he didn't plan for it in that moment the cornet was unknowingly taking on the sin of gluttony well that explains the time the city I inherited was just on the verge of coming out of its lumbering economy and for the very first time we started showing up on the lists you know the list I'm talking about the media and the internet love to rank cities and local city we never really before so I thought it was kind of cool when they came out with these positive list and we run there we were anywhere close to the top but we're on the list we were somebody best city to get a job best city to start a business best downtown Oklahoma City and then came the lists of the most obese cities in the country where the I was just been insulted and embarrassed him but not in denial I mean I'd I knew it was an issue and if you're going to rate the city's obesity it didn't surprise me that we're on the list is are you to do is look around at the people in the next generation you can see are kids someone said in I can validate this but I don't doubt it's true that Oklahoma City has more fast food restaurants per capita than anyplace on earth the About that time I got on the scales I weighed two hundred and twenty pounds and then I went to this website sponsored by the federal government and I typed in my height typed in my way to push enter it came back and said obese what a stupid one side I'm not obese I would know if I was obese and then I started getting honest with myself about what had become my lifelong struggle with obesity the two may or may cornet came up with a plan not just to take on his own weight problems but to take on the sin of gluttony in his entire city that story coming up as we continue with gluttony the second of our Seven deadly sins and Guy rise and you're listening to the Ted Radio Hour from NPR the R O Hey Everyone Just a quick thanks to two of our sponsors who help make this podcast possible adverse to our email with all new Julie a sport sedan here's head of global design Ralph heal describing the connection Julie owners feel to the sport sedans more than hundred and five year racing heritage fuel more these cars are automatically different from anybody else and also a little more passion a little more 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things happening in our world check it out on Apple podcasts teacher or however you get your podcasts look for wow in the world and now back to the show the the it's the Ted Radio Hour from NPR and I rise and I should say the seven deadly sins so before the break we were hearing from Oklahoma City Mayor Mick cornet he was starting to confront his struggle with gluttony but we might politely call bad eating habits well the problem is everybody wants to feed the mayor in its almost like it's an obligatory move by whoever is hosting your curve is having a press conference one of aunt or an invitation that they have some sort of food there so it's it's breakfast or its pastries in between or its launcher it's cookies in the afternoon and I felt like I was saying no consistent lead all these opportunities for additional calories but obviously I wasn't you have to endanger the mayor you can't say no because the people are going to be offended well perhaps that was my you know kind of unannounced response but while I was still trying to figure out how to address the community's issue I first set I got to take care my own issues and I just stopped eating as much and I started losing weight I lost about a pound a week for forty weeks and eyes I tried to examine how we might deal with obesity was taking all of these elements into my mind I decided that the first thing we needed to do was have a conversation you see in Oklahoma City we were talking about obesity and so on New Year's Eve of two thousand seven I went to the zoo I stood in front of the elephants I said this city is going on and I were going to lose a million pounds you did not make the elephants go on diet just for the record no in fact the people at the zoo were concerned that I was implying the elephants were overweight and so are our spin on that was that the elephant size represented the gravity of the situation okay fair enough and we set up a website where people could log in with their weight in as they lost weight the website had counted on it that it would accumulate how many pounds have been lost collectively AND how many people had signed up for the program and so the pounds started to add up and the conversation that I thought was so important to have was starting to take place mothers and fathers talking about with their kids churches were starting their own running groups in their own support groups for people who were dealing with obesity we also are building hundreds of miles of new sidewalks throughout the metro area designing the city around people and not course and so you see this culture starting to shift in Oklahoma City when we reached a million pounds in January of two thousand and twelve I flew to New York with some of our participants in that afternoon I did around the media in New York and I went into the lobby of Men's Fitness magazine the same magazine that put us on that list five years before as I'm sitting in the lobby waiting to talk to the reporter I notice there's a magazine copy of the current issue right there on the table and I pick it up and I look at the headline across the top and it says America's fattest cities do you live in one well I knew I did so I picked up the magazine and I began to look and we were on the cornet is the mayor of Oklahoma City in two thousand twelve Men's Health that same magazine that named his city one of the fattest in America put Oklahoma City on its list of fittest cities the enemy still like me can occasionally like a greasy cheeseburger was like special soft rayed yet to see haven't cut out completely not completely know I probably don't go double quarter pounder with bacon and cheese and I said that that would be close to surprise the sick here in Washington DC where we produce a shelf the population is roughly six hundred and fifty thousand people and of those people about four hundred and fifty thousand are eligible to vote but of those in the last mayor's race just thirty six thousand people elected the new mayor that's five percent of the city's entire population the college apathy or floss which is our next and you're not using your body maybe not using it's a physical laziness but also maybe a spiritual laziness this is Dave Aslan he searched community organizer in Toronto and in his job he runs into political apathy all the time people don't vote they don't follow the issues they don't even know who represents them in government their slots but actually according to Dave they're not even think that like the people tune out of politics or whatever go around the world in part because the kind of lazy I think it's more of an escape I think a lot of us have a lot of negative feelings about the world I think we're angry but a lot of stuff in the world or confused about it and we deftly feel disconnected I mean we have this mythology that corporation a government has become this monstrous things and we as individuals have no role to play we can't compete with big money and when people tune out then decide to watch TV show it's not apathy to sense of like what the hell can I do that's a sense of hopelessness which is so different than apathy ok so in his Ted Talk Dave argues that what we think of is apathy is really more like a reaction to the feeling that we have no say and what happens in the world around us the media plays an important role in developing our leadership with political change mainly by ignoring politics and focusing on celebrities and scandals but even when they do talk about important political issues they do in a way that I feel discourage his engagement to give an example Now magazine from last week the progress of downtown Weekly in Toronto this is the cover story article about a future performance and it starts with basic information about where this case you actually want to go and see it after you read the article where the time the website same with this it's a movie review A Arbor View restaurant you might not want to read about it maybe want to go to the restaurants they tell you where it is what the prices are to address the phone number et-cetera then you get to their political articles here's a great article about an important election races happening talks about the candidates' written very well but no information no follow no website for the campaigns no information when the debates are where the campaign offices are here's another good article about a new campaign opposing privatization transit without any contact information for the campaign the message seems to be that the readers are most likely to want to eat maybe read a book maybe see a movie but not be engaged in their community and you might think is a small thing but I think it's important because it sets the tone and reinforce that the dangerous idea that politics is a spectator sport the adult us up together and of course people are apathetic it's like trying to run into a brick wall as long as we believe the people our own neighbors are selfish stupid or lazy then there's no hope we can open up city hall we can reform our electoral systems weaken the market eyes are public spaces my main message is if we can redefine apathy not as some kind of internal syndrome as a complex web of cultural barriers that that reinforces disengagement and if we can clearly define what those obstacles are and if we can work together collectively to dismantle those obstacles than anything is possible the news the deal I mean the world we're looking at the seven deadly sins on the show today and in after him thinking that maybe we have this whole like this whole slap thing wrong sure well this is this so little evidence that people are selfish or lazy or stupid and in fact I would argue that creed can sometimes be a cure for slot off what I mean by that is we often talk about political engagement in the context of it's a civic duty you know you should vote because it's your responsibility I think you should vote out of greed I think that's what I get people voting isn't to say it's your duty as a citizen it's to say Don't you care about the transit system that you care about your taxes don't you care about the quality of your water well if you care it's in your own self interest and selfishness and greed to participate in the system that's been set up to make sure that you have a voice I don't think that the seven deadly sins is about never doing any of them I think it's not figure out maybe when they are appropriate in some measure in and yet maybe how they can actually counteract each other the same as Len community organizer watch a stock answer to apathy at Ted that NPR dot org Next Step in graph fierce vengeful anger the emotion that can lead to violence so back in the mid nineteen nineties very slight Ken was one of the many researchers trying to figure out why certain places in America seem to be more violent way more violent than others so I spent a lot of time just looking at graphs and curves and maps maps of where gun violence was happening that Gary was not a crime expert he still isn't he's a medical doctor and epidemiologist actually at that time again this is the mid nineteen nineties Gary had just come back from working overseas he spent over a decade trying to stop the spread of diseases like tuberculosis and cholera in Africa and in other places and that's why he couldn't help but notice that those maps that charted gun violence in American cities to his eyes the patterns looked surprisingly familiar when you look at Bangladeshi neighborhoods you see where the collar clusters we look it I'm gonna re air HIV you see the same type of clusters the scary thinking maybe violence it's going from one person to another to another is more like a disease just like the flu causes more flu causes more flu is this amazingly basically saying that this is not a sin or the behavior of like bad apples that people like this is like a contagious disease doesn't like a contagious disease that is a contagious disease the idea gave Gary a second one what if we treat African violets the same way we treat other epidemics so he started up a group called Cure Violence and the group basically goes soo into rough neighborhoods and actually we hire for the people who already know everybody around from the same neighborhoods and they're very much trusted which is the exact same method epidemiologist used to fight Ebola and collar outbreaks Gary calls these workers violence interrupt years they find out what I know who's mad at who are who was shot might cause retaliation who just came out of prison or something who is looking for some rebounds and turns out good care for that kind of wrath is conversation here's Gary's Ted talk there's a way to reverse epidemics in order to interrupt transmission you need to eat after and find first cases in other words for TB you have to find somebody who is active TB who was infecting other people make sense of violence and the Raptors heard from the same group credibility trust access and trained and persuasion cooling people down buying time re framing our first experiment of this resulted in a sixty seven percent drop in shootings and killings and the West Garfield neighborhood of Chicago and the the beautiful thing for the neighborhood itself first fifty or sixty days ninety days then there was unfortunately another shooting another ninety days and the moms were hanging out in the afternoon they were using parks they were using before the sun was out everybody was happy but of course the fund or say wait a second do it again and so we had to then fortunately debt funds to repeat this experience and this is one of the next four neighborhoods that had a forty five percent drop in shootings and killings and since that time this has been replicated twenty times there been independent evaluation supported by the Justice Department and by the CDC and performed by Johns Hopkins are shown thirty to fifty and forty to seventy percent reductions in shootings and killings using this new math that this could really change not just the way we think about violence but really how we manage it right because Newt you're saying is that crime doesn't necessarily happen because somebody is back of course not because how about someone who has tuberculosis for example we use to think that people with tuberculosis had it because they were bad and we also thought this with leprosy with play with people with seizures we used to see them as bad why did we well we didn't fully understand what was going on within the biology of it
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