Invisibilia Unseeable forces control human behavior and shape our ideas, beliefs, and assumptions. Invisibilia—Latin for invisible things—fuses narrative storytelling with science that will make you see your own life differently.
Invisibilia
NPR

Invisibilia

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Unseeable forces control human behavior and shape our ideas, beliefs, and assumptions. Invisibilia—Latin for invisible things—fuses narrative storytelling with science that will make you see your own life differently.

Most Recent Episodes

Trust Fall

Hacking, phishing, surveillance, disinformation... these are tools used to silence dissidents and influence elections. But what happens when these same methods are used against an ordinary citizen? The story of a man fighting an enemy he can't see and becoming increasingly paranoid.Which makes him a lot like the rest of us. What happens when you no longer know how to trust?

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Two Heartbeats A Minute

The strange story of an unlikely crew of people who band together to take on one of our largest problems using nothing but whale sounds, machine learning, and a willingness to think outside the box. Even stranger, several of the world's most accomplished scientists seem to think they might have a good idea. | To learn more about this episode, subscribe to our newsletter. Click here to learn more about NPR sponsors.

Two Heartbeats A Minute

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White v. White?

A city council candidate says he's black. But his opponent accuses him of being a white man pretending to be black. If race is simply a social construct and not a biological reality, how do we determine someone's race? And who gets to decide? We tell the story of a man whose racial identity was fiercely contested... and the consequences this had on an entire city. | To learn more about this episode, subscribe to our newsletter. Click here to learn more about NPR sponsors.

White v. White?

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An Unlikely Superpower

What if you had a superpower that allowed you to see part of the world that was to come? At the age of 60, a Scottish woman named Joy Milne discovers she has a biological gift that allows her to see things that will happen in the future that no one else can see. A look at how we think about the future, and the important ways the future shapes the present. | To learn more about this episode, subscribe to our newsletter. Click here to learn more about NPR sponsors.

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The Confrontation

Welcome to what is possibly the most tense and uncomfortable summer program in America! The Boston-based program aims to teach the next generation the real truth about race, and may provide some ideas for the rest of us about the right way to confront someone to their face. | To learn more about this episode, subscribe to our newsletter. Click here to learn more about NPR sponsors.

The Confrontation

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The Reluctant Immortalist

Daniel Martinez discovered the unthinkable: a creature that breaks one of the most fundamental laws of life. In the wake of his discovery--which has been widely confirmed by the scientific community--all kinds of people have thrown themselves into trying to unlock the secrets of how this creature seems to cheat death. Cellular biologists, aging researchers, and the biotech industry all hold high hopes that there may be some application to slow human aging. Millions of dollars are being poured into the dream of extending the human lifespan, which looks increasingly possible. But Daniel? He trashed his experiment. He completely abandoned the pursuit of unlocking the secrets of immortality. Perhaps because he believes that dream is all wrong. Invisibilia co-founder Lulu Miller went down to visit him in California to try to find out why. Please take our short, anonymous listener survey: npr.org/invisibiliasurvey. | To learn more about this episode, subscribe to our newsletter. Click here to learn more about NPR sponsors.

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Artwork by Leonardo Santamaria. Leonardo Santamaria for NPR hide caption

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Leonardo Santamaria for NPR

The Last Sound

Bernie Krause was a successful musician as a young man, playing with rock stars like Jim Morrison and George Harrison in the 1960s and '70s. But then one day, Bernie heard a sound unlike anything he'd ever encountered and it completely overtook his life. He quit the music business to pursue it and has spent the last 50 years following it all over the earth. And what he's heard raises this question: what can we learn about ourselves and the world around us if we quiet down and listen? | To learn more about this episode, subscribe to our newsletter. Click here to learn more about NPR sponsors.

The Last Sound

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Artwork by Leonardo Santamaria. Leonardo Santamaria for NPR hide caption

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Leonardo Santamaria for NPR

Season 6 Trailer

You hear the train barreling towards you and you're tied to the tracks. It's an impossible situation. Most people would panic, and then a tiny handful would think up improbable workarounds. This season on Invisibilia: inventors in desperate times.

Season 6 Trailer

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Claudia Fung for NPR

VIDEO: The (Future) Friendship Machine

A special gift during this season of giving: An original animated video in two parts! Part 1 explores a small but strange study about a machine that could predict human friendships. Then, in collaboration with fictionalist Ian Chillag (Everything Is Alive), we ask, What would the machine have to say about all of this, if it could talk? If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can watch it at npr.org/invisibilia. And, if you want to reciprocate this little gift, don't forget to donate to your NPR station before the end of the year at donate.npr.org/invis.

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