The Trouble With Changing Your Mind

21 hours ago
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Changing our mind on an issue is something we're all free to do. But that doesn't mean it comes without a cost. What would it cost a lifelong liberal to suddenly turn conservative, or a career scientist to suddenly start denying climate change? As we typically associate with others of like mind, chances are the costs could be high.

The second Democratic debate was a subdued affair, where even the slights felt polite. Sanders and O'Malley attacked Clinton's — and by extension the Obama administration's — record on foreign policy but when it came time to talk about how to fight the Islamic State, the separation felt a matter of semantics. "This cannot be an American fight, although American leadership is essential," said Clinton. O'Malley said he disagreed: "This is America's fight, but not America's alone." Sanders pivoted quickly from foreign policy to the economy.

For the first 30 minutes of the Democratic debate, the attacks in Paris loomed large, starting with a moment of silence and continuing with the opening statements.

The candidates were asked to address the attacks and what they would do in their opening statements, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spent her entire opening statement talking about them.

On Friday, coordinated terrorist attacks struck the French capital, killing more than 120 people.

Deadly attacks hit multiple sites simultaneously. There were explosions outside a massive stadium. Scores of people were held hostage inside a concert venue. Diners at several cafes and restaurants faced volleys of gunfire.

The incident has prompted anger, grief and an outpouring of sympathy from around the world.

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According to Yale Philosophy Professor Shelly Kagan, many of today's political issues are actually philosophical ones. Kagan says no one ever asks philosophers to weigh in.

Wouldn't a deeper understanding of the day's news -- including why people think what they think and hold the positions they hold -- be beneficial?

One reason for the lack of philosophical commentary in the media might be the relatively short attention spans many Americans have for absorbing information. Who has time for philosophy? And are political debates real outlets for philosophical argument?

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The Back9Network has been on life support since February, having burned through the millions of dollars it raised from the state and private investors. Now another group of people is being squeezed by Back9’s demise: unpaid contractors who built the network’s downtown Hartford studio. 

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U.S. Senator Chris Murphy is condemning a radio ad that supports Republican presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz.

The presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., announced Sunday that it will begin airing its first campaign ads on television in Iowa and New Hampshire starting Tuesday.

Known for its talented writers and in-depth reporting, ESPN's sports and culture website, Grantland, was suddenly shut down early Friday afternoon.

The sports media giant released a statement, saying Grantland was suspended, "effective immediately." The statement reads, in part:

"After careful consideration, we have decided to direct our time and energy going forward to projects that we believe will have a broader and more significant impact across our enterprise.

The pundit world is still trying to decide which of the 10 Republican candidates for president won the third Republican debate of the 2016 race.

But it didn't take long for there to be consensus on one thing: CNBC was the night's "biggest loser."

Greg Howard is a staff writer at Deadspin, a Gawker Media site that covers sports and culture, and has written and reported on everything from the Black Lives Matter movement to the shortcomings of boomerangs. But he's become best known for his writing over the past year about the behind-the-scenes turbulence at a planned ESPN site called "The Undefeated," which meant to focus on issues of sports and race.

Football's popularity has made it among the most lucrative business franchises. So it should come as no surprise that the NFL and other organizations holding the broadcasting rights to games felt very strongly about Deadspin and SB Nation, popular sports publications, attracting readers by posting highlights on Twitter.

What came next were complaints of copyright violations. Then came Twitter's suspension of the accounts. Now comes the question: Do GIFs of sports highlights qualify as fair use?

Tonight, as you plop down on the couch to watch the Democratic presidential debate or the baseball playoffs, consider for a moment what you're waving your remote at. If you're like millions of Americans, your cable box sits on a shelf under your flat screen, gathering dust, easy to overlook.

It's also easy to overlook the rent you're paying for that box month after month.

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America has seen a renaissance in storytelling of various forms, especially on the radio. This hour, we talk with two producers who are telling very different kinds of stories. Joe Richman has been putting tape recorders in the hands of people for nearly two decades as part of his Radio Diaries series heard on NPR. He's speaking at Quinnipiac University this week.

Updated at 4:10 a.m. ET

Imprisoned American journalist Jason Rezaian has been convicted, according to an Iranian Judiciary spokesman who appeared on state TV Sunday night. The spokesman did not say on which charges Rezaian had been convicted or whether a sentence had been imposed.

It's the latest development in a case that's been marked by secrecy and uncertainty. Rezaian, The Washington Post's Tehran bureau chief, was arrested in Tehran in 2014 and accused of espionage, a charge the Post denies.

"On FanDuel I've won over $62,000 — try FanDuel today."

"This is DraftKings. Welcome to the big time. You can play when you want with the team you want. Just pick your contest, pick your team, and pick up your winnings."

It's all too raw: the grieving of survivors, the images of carnage, the way we learn of events and the way we consume them.

Viewers of the morning show for WDBJ-TV in Roanoke, Va., actually watched the deadly shootings of reporter Alison Parker and videographer Adam Ward. And they watched it live, unexpectedly, without warning. So did the program's anchors, who were themselves shocked, initially uncomprehending, appalled.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The state’s transit administrator admitted this week that he used a screen name other than his own to comment on The Hartford Courant website. Governor Dannel Malloy said the official shouldn’t have done it – but said he doesn’t think the state has a social media policy for its employees, either.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

As the $567 million bus-only corridor between Hartford and New Britain began operating this spring, state officials worked behind the scenes to shape public opinion of the project that has been a lightning rod for criticism because of its cost.

The public relations campaign to rally support for the 9.4-mile CTfastrak involved Michael Sanders, the Transportation Department's transit administrator, who suggested in an email that he would use a "stage name" to post a comment on a newspaper website.

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Earlier this summer, we spent a full hour listening to candidates for "song of the summer." Now that summer is winding down, we’re still trying to figure out the winner. Was there a song you just couldn’t get enough of recently? We talk to someone who says for the first time in a long time, there was no "Call Me Maybe," "Blurred Lines," or "California Gurls" (for better or worse).

Also, one popular retailer for music (and everything else) is under harsh criticism. The New York Times reported on the working conditions at "The Everything Store."

In the final segment, we address tall person guilt. Should they feel obligated to stand in back?

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So we know that everyone in the world is covering the end of Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show today. We know that you’ve probably already listened to an hour or two of radio about Jon Stewart on this very station today.

But the thing is, we’re gonna miss Jon Stewart too.

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I have seen the future of music.

I think.

I’m speaking here of Apple Music, the new music streaming service just introduced by our good friends out in Cupertino.

This post was updated at 7:15 p.m.

The final polls are in and the stage is set for Thursday night's first Republican presidential debate.

Those who made the cut, according to Fox News: businessman Donald Trump, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, neurosurgeon Ben Carson, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Last week, the Internet exploded after an episode of the WTF! Podcast with Marc Maron went online. The guest was the comedian Wyatt Cenac, who talked about being a writer and correspondent on The Daily Show for several years. He recalled getting into a heated argument with Jon Stewart over the host's impression of Herman Cain, which Cenac had found troubling:

Patrick Breltenbach / Creative Commons

Podcasts weren't born last year with the arrival of Serial, the wildly successful story of an unsolved 1999 murder that you could hear solely on podcast.

Serial likely provided the first encounter with podcasts for a lot of listeners, but podcasts first entered the consciousness and our iPods ten years ago last weekend, when early adopters saw in them the next great media revolution. The New Oxford American Dictionary even named "podcast" the word of the year in 2005. What wasn't to love?

What if there were an app where a user could have all of the news he was interested in, from the outlets he trusted, all in one place?

That's the goal of Apple's new iOS 9 feature, called, simply, News. It will be a permanent fixture on the iPhone and iPad home screen, just like Calendar, Maps and Weather.

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When NPR launched a network-wide “diversity project” in 2012, the aim was for the network to sound more like America. Three years later, race and diversity issues are in the news like never before –- from stories about immigration, to police conduct, to how we interact on social media. 

This hour, two leaders of NPR’s project join us to look more closely at how the media covers diversity, and how we talk about it in society.

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Charter Communications, which just announced a $55 billion deal to buy Time Warner Cable, has been based in Connecticut for just a few years.

Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications announced Tuesday that they had reached a merger deal.