Philosopher John Searle on 'Seeing Things As They Are'
UC Berkeley philosopher John Searle is no stranger to challenging authority. After all, he was the first tenured professor to join Berkeley's Free Speech Movement. Today he is one of our leading philosophers and in his new book "Seeing Things As They Are," Searle takes on icons like Rene Descartes and Immanuel Kant, and outlines his own theory of perception. Searle joins us to talk about why Western philosophy is all wrong about how we experience reality.
San Francisco's Goldman Prize Honors Six Environmentalists With 'Green Nobel'
Every year, activists from six continents are awarded the San Francisco-based Goldman Environmental Prize. Known as the "green Nobel," winners each receive $175,000 for their commitment to the environment. We talk to three of this year's recipients about their work, which includes great personal risk.
Discipline for Officers in SFPD Texting Scandal Hits Roadblock
San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr's efforts to hold officers accountable for racist and homophobic text messages may be in jeopardy. Suhr has said he would fire eight officers over the offensive texts. But on Friday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that a two-year delay by the police department's Internal Affairs Division in informing Suhr about the texts could jeopardize the chief's attempts to discipline the officers. We'll discuss the latest developments in the texting scandal.
Navigating the 'Blurred Lines' Between Musical Inspiration and Theft
Last month, a jury ordered artists Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams to pay Marvin Gaye's family $7.3 million. The duo had been accused of ripping off Gaye's 1977 hit "Got to Give It Up" for their song "Blurred Lines." Now, hip-hop mogul Jay Z faces his own copyright infringement trial. We'll examine one of music's age-old questions: when is a song a homage, and when is it simply a ripoff?
Report Uncovers Flaws in California's Oversight of Foster Youth Group Homes
More than half the investigations of group homes for foster youth in California go unresolved, according to a new report from ProPublica. Between 2009 and 2014, the state's Department of Social Services left complaints as serious as physical abuse, improper sexual activity and incorrect use of restraints by staff go unanswered. We discuss the report and look at the challenges facing California's group home system. What reforms may be appropriate?
Homophobia Still Alive and Well in U.S., Warns 'Queer in America' Author
Public support for same-sex marriage is rising in all 50 states, even in states where it is banned, according to a new UCLA poll. By that and other measures, American society appears to be more accepting of gays and lesbians than in decades past. But in his new book "It's Not Over," journalist Michelangelo Signorile warns that complacency threatens the LGBT rights movement's future success. Signorile joins us to talk about the book and the fight for LGBT equality.
Confirming what many air travelers already know, more planes were late, more bags were lost and more passengers were bumped from flights in 2014 than the previous year. That's according to the annual Airline Quality Rating report released this week, which also found that passenger complaints across all airlines were up by 22 percent. We discuss the report, survey recent trends in the industry and get tips on how to find the best fares and flights.
In Drought-Stricken California, How Much Water Does Agriculture Use?
Agriculture consumes about 40 percent of the state's water, or 80 percent of water available for human use. Critics question the viability of growing water-intensive crops like almonds and rice, but others argue the state's water woes are too complex to pin on a single industry. In the first installment of Forum's Drought Watch series, we look at agriculture's water consumption and conservation practices, and how the industry may need to adapt to a hotter and drier climate.
Are you getting everything you are entitled to from Social Security? PBS Newshour journalist Paul Solman was not. But after getting a tip from his economist friend Laurence Kotlikoff a few years ago, Solman collected nearly $50,000 in spousal benefits he didn't know were available to him. Solman and Kotlikoff have written a new book "Get What's Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security," which explains how to optimize spousal benefits and offers other ways to get smarter about Social Security.
British author, poet and naturalist Helen Macdonald's new book is a memoir about her father's unexpected and sudden death. It's also a detailed look at how she learned to overcome her grief by training a goshawk, a bird with a reputation as "murderous, difficult to tame, sulky, fractious and foreign." Macdonald joins us to talk about her acclaimed book, "H is for Hawk."