The following have been guests on Social Thought from March 1988 to June 1998.

Where transcripts exist they are indicated: Transcript of Interview (click here)

For a list of transcripts


Henry Aaron, policy economist.

Medicine Swamps Us With New Technology and We Keep Wanting More.

Jonathan Adler, Environmental Analyst.

Environmental Teaching To Children is No Longer Science, It Has Become Ideology.

Joel Achenbach, columnist, Washington Post.

There Are More Books Of Trivial Lists and One Sentence Wisdom Than Ever Before.

Margo Adair,facilitator social change agent.

American Cultural Norms Cause Individuals To Filter Out That Which is Most Meaningful -- Leaving Alientation Fragmentation.

Irma Adelman, professor of economics and agriculture.

To Change From a Developing Agrarian Nation into a Newly Industrial Country Requires That Farmers Be Consumers of Domestic Industrial Output.

Robert Aitken, Zen Abbott.

Social Action and Affinity Groups Are Part of Buddhist Tradition.

Jeffrey Alexander, sociologist.

'Civil Society' is Returning to the Center of Discussion in the United States and Displacing 'Economic Man'.

Walter Truett Anderson, writer and political scientist.

Americans Readily Sense the Post-Modern View That We Create Reality With Our Religious Diversity.

Joyce Appleby, historian, UCLA Transcript of Interview (click here)

Much of Our Perception of the Contemporary Economic World is Based on Ideology That Pre-Dates Adam Smith.

Scott Armstrong, National Security Archives.

Several Hundred Congressional Staffers Inadequately Oversee One Million Secret Employees.

Tom Athanasiou, writer.

The Ecology Movement Is Full of Distractions: Population, Pollution, Technology -- The Real Issue Is The Global Division of Rich and Poor.

George Ayittey, African economist

The Nation-State Is Imposed On a Well-Developed Earlier African Structure That Was Better Suited To Decentralized Democracy and Free Markets.

Rachel Bagby, writer-composer.

The Notions of Community and Diversity Have Different Origins That Are Obscured By Careless Use of The Term Community.

Ronald Bailey, environmental writer.

The Environmental Movement Has Been Making False Predictions for Thirty Years, Starting With Erlich's Population Bomb.

Kenneth Baker, art critic.

The Role of Art Critic in The Civil Dialog About Art Is To Be a Public Example of An Art Viewer.

Benjamin Barber, political philosopher, Rutgers University.

American Democracy is a Poor Example of Democracy.

Eugene Bardach, policy analyst.

Reform Proposals for Existing Legislatures and Politicians May Result in Worse Behavior.

Mary Catherine Bateson, anthropologist.

Many People Compose Their Lives Like a Musician Composes a Symphony.


Diane Beeson, sociologist and bio-ethicist.

The Reason Bioethics Presents Many Dilemmas Is Our Refusal To Confront Underlying Social Forces That Create Dilemas.

Daniel Bell, social scientist.

The Social Role of Economics Has Decreased Significantly in the Past 50 Years.

Robert Bellah, sociologist.

(1) Managing Money Should Not Be the Same as Managing People.

(2) The U.S. Has a Civil Religion That Shapes Much of Our Public Policy For Better and For Worse.

Charles Benbrook, agricultural advisor.

Tomatoes From Florida Use Ten Times the Pesticide as Those From California.


Thomas Bender, Dean of Humanities, New York Univ.

There is a Tension Between the Needs of Intellectuals and the Values of Democracy.- A heirarchy of truth or knowledge is undemocratic, but it is real .

James Beniger, sociologist.

In Our Society More Effective Controls Mean More EconomicGrowth.

Peter Berg, environmentalist, Planet Drum Foundation.

(1) Redesigning Cities is Fundamental to Sustainable Bio-regions.

(2) It is a Wonderful Surprise to See Many Bioregional Prophecies Coming True.

Morris Berman, social critic.

From an Early Age, Our World view is Shaped by Our Identity as We See It Reflected in Mirrors.

Paul Billings, professor of medicine.

Ethical Problems Arising From Genetic Engineering Are Already Apparent and Are Built Into Our Social Values. We already believe in genetic determinism.

Norman Birnbaum, social theorist.

The Intellectual Landscape of Politics and Sociology Cry Out For A New John Dewey.

Ian Boal, historian of culture and technology. Transcript of Interview (click here)

The Modern Mega-Machine That Threatens Our Survival Is Propelled By Metaphors in Science and Technology.

Sissela Bok, ethicist.

Secrecy Has Some Good Qualities and Many Bad Ones.

Kate Bornstein, performance artist.

The Bi-Polar Classification of Gender Based on the Biology of Genitals is on the Way Out.

Paula Bottome, Gestalt trainer.

It Is Increasingly Difficult for Couples Over 45 to Marry and Stay Married.

Stewart Brand, independent intellectual.

Over a Hundred-Year Period, Homes and Commercial Buildings Change At a Rapid Rate. The Forces of Change Are the Market and Functionality.

Wendy Brown, professor of women's studies.

The End of Modernity Has Brought With It Great Cultural Confusion. The End of Confusion Requires Understanding Power.

Dorothy Bryant, fiction writer

The End of The Cold War May Have Left Us With a More Complex World To Deal With -- We May Become Nostalgic For the US-Russia Polarity.

Jerry Burman, attorney and Benton fellow.

Our Rights of Privacy Are Being Protected Because of the Profit Needs of Electronic Mail Companies.

Gene Burns, sociologist.

The Catholic Church Appears to Contradict Itself On Social Welfare Issues and Sexual Politics.

Daniel Callahan, Hastings Center.

Our Society Is Constantly Converting Private Behaviors Into Public Issues.

Ernest Callenbach, environmentalist.

(1) The Environment Needs a Tax on Consumer Sales to Cover Recycling and Renewal.

(2) We Shouldn't Elect Our Congress,We Should Choose It Like a Jury.

William Calvin, neuro-biologist.

Human Intelligence May Be the By-product of Nature's Wanton Wastefulness.

Norman F. Cantor, professor of history and sociology.

An Incipient Women's Movement Can Be Found in 12th Century Europe With Clear Ideology and Political and Economic Demands.

David Card, economist.

Hard Data Shows That Traditional Beliefs About Labor, Minimum Wage Laws and Affirmative Action Laws Are Wrong.

Chris Carlsson and Med-O, Anti-Economy League.

Most of the Work We Do Is Wasteful, Trivial and Irrelevant.


Glenn Carroll, sociologist, and business school professor.

Looking At Business Survival Over 200 Years We Find The Determinants Are Mostly Historic Accident and Inertia.

Carl Casebolt, minister and environmentalist.

The Environmental Movement Isn't Large Enough to Have Sufficient Political Effect.

Sherri Cavan, sociologist.

Graffiti is Everywhere, Even Rural Egypt, and Its Presence Reflects Social Conflict.

Alfred Chandler Jr, business historian.

Modern Corporate Conglomerates Are Not a Sound Idea, Historically Speaking.

Lawrence Chickering, independent intellectual.

Successful Community Organizing in Public Housing Projects in the U.S. Has Many Similarities to Organizing in Third World Countries.

John Brown Childs, sociologist.

The Multi-cultural Idea Is Preferable To The Melting Pot But It Is Far Short of the Idea a National Community With Genuine Diversity.

Mary Clark, biologist.

Our Political and Economic Systems Don't Reflect the Cooperative Nature of Our Biological Heritage.

Walt Clark, researcher.

National Attitudes Exaggerate the Negatives of Alcohol and Ignore the Positive and Historic Roles.

Polly Cleveland, resource economist.

One Percent of Americans Own 26% of Our Wealth, But earn Only 8% of our Income.

James Clifford, cultural critic.

Most Cultures Borrow From Each Other While They Interact.

Sarah Coakley, professor of divinity.

Underlying the Earliest Christian Church Consideration of the Trinity is a Fear of the Sexual-Orgiastic Role of the Spirit in Prayer.

Clifford Cobb, economist.

Classical Economics is Based on Assumptions About a System in Equilibrium. We Live in an Economic System That is in Disequilibrium.

Darlene Cohen, Buddhist teacher and Leader of Pain Seminars for Medical workers.

Efforts to Ignore Pain and to Cover it with Distraction Are Counter -Productive, and So Is the New Age Motif of "Accepting" It.

David Cohen, Advocacy Institute.

There Is a Timing Pattern in the Public Pressures on Congress.

Lee Coleman, child psychiatrist.

Mental Health Experts in the Courtroom Have Perpetrated Greater Punishments On Many Defendants and Convicted Innocent Citizens.

Don Conroy, priest and community organizer.

To Save the Environment, We Need New Religious Symbols.

Joe Corn, professor of history.

The Way Society Provides Maintenance for Technological Products Teaches Important Lessons.

Fredrick Crews, English professor.

The Recovered Memory Movement is Part of The "Blame Someone" Movement. There Is No Recovered Memory.

Clifford Cobb, economist.

Classical Economics is Based on Assumptions About a System in Equilibrium. We Live in an Economic System That is in Disequilibrium.

Drucilla Cornel, professor of womens studies and law.

Feminist Theory Has Trouble With the Concept of Privacy. Privacy Supports the Status Quo but Personal Sexuality Requires Privacy.

Philip Cushman, professor of psychotherapy.

Psycho-tharpy Has Gained Power and Status Promoting Itself as Science-- But It Is Moral Dialog That Supports The Status Quo.

Robert Dahl, political scientist.

Russia and Other First-time Countries May Have Trouble Using Democracy Because The Citizens Lack Tolerance For Differences.

Arthur Danto, art critic for The Nation magazine and philosopher.

There is a Geography of Art. The Mainstream is identifiable and it includes Specific Cities, Museums and Living Artists.

Robert Darnton, historian.

The Pornography of Pre-Revolution France Was a Primary Vehicle for Transmitting Enlightenment Ideas.

Ronald David, MD and lecturer in public policy.

The Primary Determinant of Individual Health is Social Fabric -- Friends and Family. More Medical Technology Does Nothing.

Stan Davis, business advisor.

Waste Products in the Information Economy are Valuable, More Valuable Than Similar Industrial Waste Products.

Gary Delgado, community organizer, Oakland California.

It Is Frivolous to Consider the End of Affirmative Action -- Basic Protection Against Racial Discrimination Has Not Been Enforced in Housing or Work

David Denby, film critic and journalist.

In a Media Saturated World We Have Become Dwellers In a Permanent Spectacle -- A Giant Circus.

William Domhoff, sociologist.

The Elite Who Rule America Believe That Wealth and Power Are Rewards for Their Competence.

Wendy Doniger, Indologist.

India's Religions Have Much to Teach About the Meaning of Evil.

Mary Douglas, sociologist, England. Transcript of Interview (click here)

(1) The Right, Left and Invisible Hands are Market Metaphors that give Validity to Business.

(2) Knowledge and Society are the Same; Each Defines the Other.

Michael Doyle, management consultant. Transcript of Interview (click here)

Consensus Comes From Having a Common Memory.

Stuart and Hubert Dreyfus, professors U. C. Berkeley.

The Widely Touted Idea of Artificial Intelligence in Computers Is a Misconception.

Troy Duster, sociologist.

We Are Putting African-Americans in Jail in Record Numbers and at Great Enough Tax Cost to Directly Harm University budgets.


Ned Eichler, mortgage banker.

The Savings and Loan Debacle Displays America's Historic Inability to Centralize Credit.


Catherine Elgin, philosopher.

Without Religious Certainty, We Can Still Know What Is Right.

Richard J. Ellis, political scientist.

The Liberal Concept of 'Equality Based On Results' Has Illiberal Consequences.

Amitai Etzioni, economist.

The American Consensus About Our Common Good Has Fallen Away Over The Past Thirty Years: It Was Too Exclusive and Tyrannical.

Thelma Farley, educator.

In Education, Emotional Insight Can Become Direct Intellectual Insight.

Rolf Faste, engineering professor.

Engineering Students Need to Learn the Skills of Improvisational Theater.

Lyn Fine, peace educator in New York City.

We Would Do Well To Think of American Teenagers Killing Each Other As an Environment of War -- There Are Similar Causes.

Claude S. Fischer, sociologist.

The Idea That Technology Is a Driving Force in Shaping Social Behavior Is Wrong Based on the History of the Telephone. In 1909 AT&T Advertised the New Telephone "Highway".- Early forecasts about the phone match current exaggerated forcasts about the internet.

Norman Fischer, Abbott of San Francisco Zen Center.

Zen Practice Can Make a Contribution To The Way We "Work" in Contemporary America.

Stanley Fish, Duke University. Transcript of Interview (click here)

There is No Way to Be Objective, One Always Has a Standpoint.

Helen Fisher, anthropologist.

Cross-Cultural Studies and Animal Behavior Studies Suggest That Human Couples Are Most Likely To Break Up After Four Years.

Bernard Foure, religion professor.

There Is a Distinct Structure To The Academic and Civil Dialogues Of Our Era And We Are Capable Of Discerning It.

Kenneth Frampton, professor of architecture.

The Architectural Dream of Building Housing on Production Lines Like Automobiles is Fading- A house is site specific.

George M. Frederickson, U.S. historian, Stanford.

The Ideology of Race is Very Different Between African-Americans and South African Blacks -- Identity/Separation vs. All One People.

Bernard J. Frieden, professor of urban studies. Transcript of Interview (click here)

Downtown Cities Were Nearly Destroyed in the 1950's By the Metaphors of Slums as Cancer and Surgical Renewal.

Lawrence M. Friedman, professor of law, Stanford University.

The Law Is Continually Adapting to the Values of Contemporary Society. Sometimes Rapidly, Sometimes Slowly.

Milton Friedman, economist.

Alternative Policies are Only Implemented in Times of Crisis.

Robert H. Frowick, U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia.

Multiple Goals of: Human Rights, Democratization, A Muslim Self Defense Force and Maintaining Political Stability May Not Be Possible.

Francis Fukuyama, professor of public policy.

Economic Productivity is Closely Related to Social Characteristics, Most of All: Trust.

William Galston, professor of public affairs.

The American Concept Of 'We The People' Has Changed and Now Reflects a Political Disintegration.

Howard Gardner, educator.

1. The Best Students Can Graduate Without Understanding Their Core Material.

2. A Successful Leader, Such as Gandhi, Has a Story/ a Narrative That Draws Followers and The Leader Exemplifies the Story.

John Gardner, founder of Common Cause.

One of the Knottiest Problems in Our Society Is the Financial and Political Independence of Suburbs From Their Core Cities.

Joel Garraeu, Washington Post.

The Metropolis of America Has Taken a New Edge-City Form in the Past Twenty Years: a Core Surrounded by a Circle of Smaller Cities.

Gary Gaumer, Abt Assoc.

Our Definition of What Health is and What Health Needs Are Is Steadily Expanding.

Clifford Geertz, anthropologist.

In Today's World, the Natives Read Books Written About Them.

Kenneth Gergen, social psychologist. Transcript of Interview (click here)

Entering-Level College Students Already Accept a Relativistic World Without Truth, Progress or Certainty.

Michael Gerlach, professor of business and public policy.

The Japanese Business Structure Isn't Becoming More American --Meanwhile More Asian Countries Are Copying The Japanese Model.

Kathleen Gerson, sociologist, New York University

With Mothers at Work, Their Children are Benefiting.

Richard Gilbert, economics, business professor.

The Economic Implication of Information Is The Main Issue in Economic Theory -- It Determines Firm Size and The Nature of Competition.

Todd Gitlin, sociologist. Transcript of Interview (click here)

Each Person's Generation Shapes His or Her Perspective on the Current World.

Jerry Glenn, futurist.

Technology Is Increasing Our Awareness and Acceptance of Social Diversity.

Robert Gnaizda, public interest attorney.

(1) Dumping Government Cheese Was Stopped by One Public Interest Attorney.

(2) Some Regulated Industries Are Often More Efficient and More Responsive to consumer Needs Than Unregulated Industries.

Dick Godown, lobbyist for the biotechnology industry.

The Battle for Legislative and Regulatory Victory is Carried Out With Metaphor. The Biotechnology Lobby Has Prevailed.

Steven J. Gould, evolutionary biologist.

(1) Fate and Destiny Are Not Ideas in Evolutionary History.

(2) Evolution is Not a Ladder With Humans at The Top, it is a Bush with Humans as a Branch. There is No Progress Nor Improvement Over Evolutionary Time.

Herman Gray, sociologist.

Television is a Cultural Arena in Which Social and Political Values Vie for Position.

Archie Green, labor folklorist.

Workers in America Do Not Belong to a 'Class' as Conceived By Marx.

Albert Greenberg, actor.

Television and Suburban Life Are Stealing the Personal Stories of Most Americans.

Stephan Greenblatt, professor of English. Transcript of Interview (click here)

Columbus Set Sail with Concepts and Metaphors that Gave Him and Spain Rights in the New World.

Rita Gross, professor of religion.

Buddhist Teaching Uses Images of Androgyny, but Men Have Held Power for Centuries.

Jerry Hagstrom, contributing editor, National Journal.

The TV Campaign Techniques Used By Political Candidates in the U.S. Are Spreading Around the World.

Chris Hardman, theater producer.

New Theater Uses Stereo Earphones For Each Member Of the Audience, The New Magic Removes Nearly All The Traditonal Boundaries Between Producer, Actor and Audience.

Julia and Nathan Hare, black scholars.

Industrial Concepts are Being Applied to Child Rearing and Black Children are Prime Targets.

Paula Harrell, professor of Asian history.

The Vital Chinese-Japanese Relationship Is Being Ignored By The U.S. Government Despite Its Importance For The Coming Decades.

Rich Hayes, environmentalist.

Environmental Predictions in the Early 1970's Were Wrong About Dire Resource Scarcity.

Robert Heilbroner, economist.

Economics and Politics are Intimately Connected Ideas.

Agnes Heller, professor of philosophy.

America Was Born Modern, Without A Great Narrative History and with Future of Free Choice --- Post-modernity Fits America.

Hazel Henderson, economist.

Running the U.S. Economy by the GNP Is Like Flying a 747 By the Oil Gauge.

Linda Hess, Indologist.

When We Talk About the 'West' We Use a Word With Many Meanings and No Real Content.

Howard Hersh, composer.

The Reason We Don't Have Names and Categories for the New Music is That the Living Composers are Creating from a Wide Context that Itself is too Complex to Name.

Judy Heuman and Ed Roberts, founders of the disability rights movement.

Many People Prefer Death to Disability.

Arlie Hochschild, sociologist.

Public Images of Corporate Life and Parenting Have Left Many Working Mothers With More Work and More Unhappy Marriages.

David Hollinger, intellectual historian. Transcript of Interview (click here)

Multiculturism, Based on Ethnicity and Race, Is Now An Accepted Fact of American Life, Replacing The Idea of a Universal Society With Only Religious Differences.

Gerald Holton, historian of science.

Einstein Made An Arbitrary Assumption That the Speed of Light Was Constant.

Irving L. Howe, sociologist and publisher of Society magazine.

Genocide is a Creation of the State --- It is the Secularization of Death.

Thomas Hughes, technology historian.

Technology Has Been the Central Cultural Artifact of American Society.

Vivian Hutchinson, employment activist in New Zealand.

Unemployed People Have a Greater Need to Understand Our Economic System Than Most People.

Lewis Hyde, professor of art and politics.

The Mythical Character of the Trickster (Coyote to American Indians) Is Found As the Traveling Con Man in Contemporary Literature and Pop Culture.

John Irwin, sociologist.

Crime Becomes a Political Focus When More Important Issues Are Too Difficult For the Electorate to Face.

Ira Jackson, former State Tax Collector.

Government Employees Can Be Enthusiastic and Very Competent.

Mark Jacobs, sociologist.

The Juvenile Justice System is Chaotic and Unable to Change the Outcome of the Lives Entrusted to It: Some Get Out Well and Some Get More Dangerous.

Russell Jacoby, writer and intellectual.

The Campus Debate on 'Politically Correct Curriculum and Behavior' Occurs Primarily on Campuses with Activist Law Schools.

Jennifer James, cultural anthropologist.

Sentimentality Can Be Harmful --It Clouds One's Ability to Learn From History Which Makes Understanding the Present Impossible.

Kenneth Jowitt, political scientist.

The Post-Cold War World Has Frontier Qualities. Nation States and National Boundaries Are Disappearing Rapidly From Liberia, Somalia and Serbia to Russia and, Possibly, China.

Jack Kaplan, Israeli historian.

Ethiopian Jews in Israel are Not Acting Like a Lost Tribe.

Jack Katz, sociologist, UCLA

Emotional Needs Are Often The Driving Force in Violent Crime.

Paul M. Kennedy, historian.

The U.S. is Economically Suffering the Result of Over-Extension of Its Military in the Cold War.

Leonard Koren, graphic arts visionary.

The Potential for Learning Through Graphic Arts Is Only Beginning to be Explored.

Alan Krueger, economist, Princeton Univ.

Research Economists Agree That U.S. Incomes Diverged Over the Past Twenty Years. Rich are Richer, Poor and Middle Income Americans are Poorer.

Paul R. Krugman, economist.

New Economics in the Past 20 Years Rejects the Premise of Free Trade. Historic accident and the theory of increasing returns to scale suggest that protectionism can be wisely used to increase economic growth.

Nadja Kreelov, management consultant in Russia.

Russians Don't Stay Up Late at Night Discussing Philosophy; They Get Up Early to Work and They Want to Talk Business.

George Lakoff, linguist. Transcript of Interview (click here)

The Metaphors We Live By.

David Landes, economic historian.

Some Nations, Such as Switzerland, Benefit From Technological Change More Than Others.

Gavin Langmuir, medieval historian.

Anti-Semitism Is a Part of the Larger History Anti-Judaism.

Michael Lerner, publisher of Tikkun magazine.

The Belief That Success Comes From Merit and Talent Is Debilitating to Most People.

Michael Lerner, environmentalist.

The U.S. has Behaved Like an International Outlaw for the Past Forty Years.

Rabbi Alan Lew, Congregation Beth Shalom.

When Judaism Faced an Historic Chasm, New Rituals and New Institutions Were Developed and Then Cloaked in "Tradition".

Richard Lichtman, Marxist psychologist.

Psychology Has Many Ideas That Need to Be Integrated Into Marxist Theory Such As The Defense Mechanism.

Seymore Martin Lipset, political scientist. Transcript of Interview (click here)

America Is as Different From Canada as Revolution Is From Counter-revolution.

Leslie Lipson, political scientist and ethicist.

Ethical Systems Exist Without Religions, But Amero- European Societies Mistakenly and Unfortunately Confuse the Two.

Bonnie Loyd, landscaper.

The Landscape Humans Inhabit Reflects Our Unconscious Social Practices.

Douglas Lummis, Japanese political historian.

The Japanese People are Overwhelmingly Against Their Government on the Issue of Militarism.

Edward Luttwak, strategic thinker.

The U.S. Already Looks Like a Third World Nation, An It Could Soon Become One.- Economic competition has replaced war.

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