Video Conversation Starters with Ken

We’re always trying to find new ways both to get more conversations started and to deepen existing ones. In that spirit, Ken has recently teamed up with LightGrid Studios—a high tech, partially automated production studio in San Carlos, California that is devoted to the democratization of content production—on a project they are calling the Discursive Media Commons. As an appetizer of things to come, Ken spent some time experimenting in the studio with the LightGrid team, and we're pleased to share with you the following results of that experiment. We’re calling them Conversation Starters with Ken.  

Our Conversation Starters consist of very short video clips, some no longer than 30 seconds, in which Ken initiates conversation about topics near and dear to his philosophical heart. We encourage you to use them in a few different ways. You can share them with a friend and use them as a basis for conversation between you and that person. You can make a comment below and help us get a conversation going right here, on our webpage. Or if you want to just listen and think more about the topic in question, we’ve provided links to a few of our episodes in which we ourselves dig deeper. 

Conversation Starters about the Nature of Conversation

In our first set of Conversation Starters, Ken talks about why conversation is important, barriers to effective conversation, and the difference between conversation and debate.

The philosopher Habermas was a huge fan of rational conversation and some of Ken’s thoughts are actually inspired by his philosophy. If you want to hear more about the distinctive nature of conversation, we give you our episode on Habermas and Democracy to spur your thinking: 


Conversation Starters about Race and Identity

In these Conversation Starters, Ken kicks off conversations about race and identity. He focuses on our tendency to “otherize” one another, the complexity of identity, and how conversations across these divides can help us come together.

If you want to dig deeper into questions of race, identity and seeing, we’ve done MANY episodes on such topics. Two you might like and learn from are Black Solidarity and Identities Lost and Found in A Global Age:


Comments (1)

Harold G. Neuman's picture

Harold G. Neuman

Saturday, October 21, 2017 -- 11:55 AM

conversation starters...

All good. I'll offer a part of something I am currently composing. Just a paragraph:
During a lifetime that began in the twentieth century and has extended, now, into the twenty-first, I have heard a continuing litany regarding ethics. We know that ethics has been a preoccupation of humankind since (at least) ancient times. Greek and Roman scholars and philosophers labored over its' intricacies and pitfalls; struggled with natural and man made paradoxes; and, generally made themselves crazy over the entire notion. Ethics has probably been around longer than we know---at least as long as sapiens has been sapient (or as long as we have been conscious of, well, consciousness). It is simply that things of this nature often arise/emerge before we have a name for them. We do not, at first, need names for such. Not until we seek to study, analyze and evaluate them.