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-- ATTEND A LIVE RECORDING OF THE PODCAST -- 

Our Possession of the Classical Past
Panel Discussion and Q&A

Thursday March 21 at 7pm

Watson Hall, Queen's University
Kingston, Ontario

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What on Earth is Going on? is a podcast for the curious, where small talk is banned and tangents are prized. Strap yourself in for genuine dialogues with people who think deeply and are ready to tackle the big questions, such as playwright Nicolas Billon, economist Miles Corak and chemist Cathleen Crudden.

Join Ben Charland to peel back the headlines and ask, what are the forces, people and ideas that shape the human story today? Have things always been this nuts, or are they getting crazier by the day? From the Mafia to the Beaverton, from women in politics to women in leadership, from history to artificial intelligence, and from entrepreneurship in the digital age to the art of wheelchair fencing, just what on Earth is going on?

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Jul 13, 2018

"We live in the age of the individual. Every day, we're bombarded with depictions of the beautiful, successful, slim, socially conscious, and extroverted individual that our culture has decided is the perfect self, and we berate ourselves when we don't measure up." So begins the publisher's description of Will Storr's new book, Selfie: How We Became So Self-Obsessed and What It's Doing to Us. It's a fascinating and timely read about the whole notion and history of the self, and how our cherished individualism seems to be getting way out of control.

Ben goes to Calgary to discuss the book with communications professional Jody MacPherson.

About the Book

We are supposed to be slim, prosperous, happy, extroverted and popular. This is our culture’s image of the perfect self. We see this person everywhere: in advertising, in the press, all over social media. We’re told that to be this person you just have to follow your dreams, that our potential is limitless, that we are the source of our own success.

But this model of the perfect self can be extremely dangerous. People are suffering under the torture of this impossible fantasy. Unprecedented social pressure is leading to increases in depression and suicide. Where does this ideal come from? Why is it so powerful? Is there any way to break its spell?

To answer these questions, Selfie by Will Storr takes us from the shores of Ancient Greece, through the Christian Middle Ages, to the self-esteem evangelists of 1980s California, the rise of narcissism and the selfie generation, and right up to the era of hyper-individualistic neoliberalism in which we live now.

It tells the extraordinary story of the person we all know so intimately – our self.

Learn more about Selfie by Will Storr.