Episode Date September 23, 2021
Featured Guest Sara Hendren
Featured Book "Life as We Know It" by Michael Bérubé

Episode Summary

Sara Hendren reading from Michael Bérubé’s Life as We Know It, and discussing evolving your thinking to become more accommodative.

Now I’m in my fifties, I’m no longer calling myself ‘young’. That time has come and gone. Being this age, I’m starting to feel the slight insults of my body breaking down. All in all, I’m fine. I adapt, and try to make things easier to accommodate my new limitations. However, all of this is happening to me within the bounds of what you’d call ‘normal.’ I’m cognitively and physically in the middle of the bell curve. What happens when you find yourself on the end of the bell curve? What deep adaptation is asked of you? More importantly, how might or should the world better accommodate and welcome who you are?

Sara Hendren grew up in a highly conservative, religious, small town in Arkansas. Now, she’s a professor at Olin College of Engineering, just outside Boston, in the liberal North East of the United States. Just as she has a foot in each of these geographical worlds, her work also finds her straddling two worlds: humanities and technology. In her life, there have been many instances where she’s had to adapt after being thrown a curveball, and she joins me today for a conversation about humanism, accommodation, and adaptation.

Sara reads two pages from ‘Life as We Know It’ by Michael Bérubé. [reading begins at 12:20]

Hear us discuss:

  • “Nothing human is alien to me.” [9:02]
  • The effect and reliability of expert opinion: “Expertise, in many cases, is very well-meaning, but it’s driven by a really powerful idea of ‘the average.’ Statistics and averages are useful to us at population scale, but they fall away when they try to describe our individual lives.” [18:12]
  • Navigating the line between general statistics and individual needs. [22:36]
  • Shifting your perspective. [27:03]
  • The evolution of common space. [32:31]

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Sara Hendren | Website

Sara Hendren’s book | What Can a Body Do?: How We Meet the Built World

Michael Bérubé | Life as We Know It: A Father,a Family, and an Exceptional Child 

Follow Michael on | Instagram | Twitter | YouTubeLinkedIn | Facebook

Michael Bungay Stanier

Michael Bungay Stanier

I'm the author of five books that have collectively sold more than a million copies. I'm the founder of Box of Crayons, a learning and development company that helps organizations move from advice-driven to curiosity-led. I'm the host of the *2 Pages with MBS* podcast.

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