Invisibilia

Invisibilia

NPR
Science>Social Sciences
71 episodes
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.
  • Let's get slow. Producer Abby Wendle picks up the gauntlet that was thrown down in the last episode "The Great Narrative Escape." Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.
    Play41m 21s
  • Imagine a TV show with no plot, no characters, no tension... and yet, it went viral! In this episode, we have a story that questions storytelling as we know it. Plus, co-hosts Kia Miakka Natisse and Yowei Shaw take a spectacularly unspectacular train ride.
    Play58m 3s
  • Is 209 Times helping or hurting the community it claims to serve? What does the site mean for the future of local news in America? And what can be done about it? In the final installment of "The Chaos Machine" series , Yowei finds herself in the middle of a long-standing tug of war over who owns the...
    Play47m 56s
  • The man behind 209 Times is not who you'd expect. In Part 2, co-host Yowei Shaw discovers the website's surprising origin story, and ends up at the frontlines of a revolt against the mainstream media and a fight over who gets to own the truth.
    Play50m 25s
  • Yowei gets a tip about Russian trolls in Stockton, California and falls down a hole of swirling conspiracy theories. At the center is a scrappy, controversial website that has become one of the most popular sources of local news in town. Some say it's doing important investigative journalism while o...
    Play40m 6s
  • Invisibilia explores a social experiment with money, focused around a contentious topic: reparations. What happens when you demand white people give up their wealth?
    Play52m 28s
  • Invisibilia is back! Stories that help you see the world differently, with new hosts Kia Miakka Natisse and Yowei Shaw.
    Play4m 10s
  • 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...
    Play47m 39s
  • 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 go...
    Play1h 8m 29s
  • 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 fier...
    Play1h 2m 31s
  • 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 futu...
    Play52m 2s
  • 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 thi...
    Play53m 43s
  • 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 se...
    Play45m 35s
  • 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 h...
    Play45m 52s
  • 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.
    Play1m 39s
  • An original animated video in two parts!
    Play8m 19s
  • What happens when you treat artificial intelligence with unconditional love?
    Play30m 15s
  • Producer B.A. Parker started recording her calls with her father because she was concerned about the care at his nursing home. But the recordings gave her a window into something very different: their relationship. So she started recording her calls with her grandmother as well. A story of relations...
    Play16m 40s
  • As a parent, what do you do when your four-year-old starts telling you about memories that can't possibly be his? Memories that he says are from a past life?
    Play20m 23s
  • Alix presents a new episode from NPR's Rough Translation about residents of an immigrant neighborhood in Marseille, France who considered their local McDonalds to be a home of sorts, so when the owner tries to sell it, they take extreme measures to try and save it.
    Play46m 5s
  • A mysterious profile pops up on a dating app - leading to a bubble of chaos and confusion. A story about trying to sort fact versus fiction, how destabilizing that can be, and a very strange confrontation with the truth. NOTE: Since this story was originally published, we have added some background...
    Play23m 20s
  • Richard Kraft was in a fog of grief when he bought his first Disney collectible at an auction. But once he started, he couldn't stop. In the first episode of our new fall season, we explore the role of positive distraction in the face of adversity.
    Play27m 3s
  • Invisibilia is a show that runs on empathy. We believe in it. But are we right? In this episode, we'll let you decide. We tell the same story twice in order to examine the questions: who deserves our empathy? And is there a wrong way to empathize? If you or somebody you know might need help, the Nat...
    Play52m 13s
  • A young woman discovers a pattern in her dating habits that disturbs her - a pattern that challenges her very conception of who she is and what she believes in. The realization sets her off on a quest to change her attractions. But is this even possible? And should we be hacking our desire to match...
    Play1h 1m 0s
  • What would it be like if you could control your mood with a hand held device? Literally turn the device to different settings and make yourself happier and sadder? Alix Spiegel talks to a woman who has that power. If you or somebody you know might need help, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline...
    Play46m 50s
  • In this episode of Invisibilia, we explore our relationship with uncertainty through the eyes of a chief meteorologist. We wonder: what do you do when you don't know what to do? And how do we handle it when that question has no answer?
    Play43m 11s
  • What is the relationship between the version of you that lives online and the one that walks around the earth? We think of our online selves as shadow versions of us which we can control. But in this age when facts are malleable, something strange is happening: our online selves are sometimes eclips...
    Play52m 2s
  • We look at how our culture's massive effort to address pain has paradoxically increased it. And we follow one young girl as she struggles through a bizarre and extreme treatment program. NOTE: The treatment in this episode is administered by trained professionals in a hospital setting (and should no...
    Play1h 45s
  • This moment in our culture can feel fraught. From 'fake news' to the opioid crisis, there's a lot of uncertainty about the future. So this season, Invisibilia helps you discern truth from fiction, cure your pain, and find your true love with conviction. It's your very own Emotional Survival Guide!
    Play1m 21s
  • When truth becomes stranger than fiction.
    Play32m 46s
  • How one prayer changed a life.
    Play14m 44s
  • Who do you let in and who do you keep out?
    Play24m 36s
  • Why would you leave a message when you can just send a text?
    Play11m 35s
  • On April 19, 2018 Invisibilia co-hosted our first-ever live event with our friends at Story District.
    Play47m 46s
  • When someone in your community transgresses, do you banish them in an attempt to make the community safer for everyone? WARNING: This episode contains obscenities and descriptions of sex and violence.
    Play55m 3s
  • We're living in a polarized world, where picking a side is almost a requirement. But what happens in the space in between?
    Play48m 44s
  • Are we destined to repeat our patterns or do we generally stray in surprising directions? CONTENT WARNING: This episode contains descriptions of sexual abuse.
    Play57m 48s
  • We examine how leaving things unsaid with our intimates can lead to misunderstandings and missed connections.
    Play48m 4s
  • Can a reality show - and telling a certain kind of story - call a different kind of reality into being?
    Play50m 23s
  • What happens when you lose something so central to your life that you no longer understand who you are? How do you find yourself again?
    Play40m 50s
  • We're living in a black and white world, where the stories we tell ourselves lock us into one side or the other. These stories define us – imprison or liberate us. In their fourth season, co-hosts Hanna Rosin and Alix Spiegel map the grey areas.
    Play2m 12s
  • What happens when you have to choose between having an open mind, or a moral backbone? Listen to the original episode here: http://apple.co/2DoRC5X
    Play12m 28s
  • In a special podcast bonus, co-host Hanna Rosin checks in with Bill Millar, who we met in Season 2's "Flip the Script." They talk about dating, cats, and how love can look different for everyone. Listen to the original episode here: http://apple.co/2x0aWE3.
    Play10m 44s
  • It feels like emotions just come at us, and there is nothing we can do. But we might have it backwards. We look at an unusual legal case and examine a provocative new theory about emotions.
    Play55m 48s
  • An anthropologist discovers an emotion, and after a tragic event, comes to understand it. And a young woman does the one thing guaranteed to ruin a date, and learns something about her emotional life.
    Play37m 0s
  • What happens when we can't agree on reality? In Eagle's Nest Township, Minnesota, residents have been grappling with that question since long before the polarizing presidential election of 2016.
    Play44m 1s
  • The concept of social bubbles has become popular lately as people grapple with the unexpected outcomes of the 2016 election. We meet two people making radical attempts to break out of their bubbles.
    Play29m 52s
  • Is there a part of ourselves that we don't acknowledge, that we don't even have access to and that might make us ashamed if we encountered it?
    Play56m 22s
  • We all have a better self, a version of us that is better, more successful. It can inspire us to achieve our dreams, or mock us for everything we have failed to become.
    Play46m 15s
  • What happens when you discover a part of yourself that is so different from who you think you are? Do you hold on to your original self tightly? Do you explore this other self? Or do you just panic?
    Play35m 59s
  • Season 3 has ended but we're hard at work on Season 4! We'll see you soon, but in the meantime, we wanted to share Invisibilia's tips for a successful road trip.
    Play4m 8s