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Newsletter: David Brooks on the Art of Seeing and Hearing Others

David Brooks

David Brooks

Op-Ed Columnist for The New York Times;

Author of “How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen”


John Donvan

Host and Moderator-in-Chief



Here is what we have in store this week:

  • A new conversation with David Brooks on building deeper connections in our daily lives and “seeing” the person you’re conversing with
  • A closer look at the danger of lacking social connections
  • Our latest debates you can listen to now



How good of a listener are you? I ask because, if you’re a fan of Open to Debate, I’d guess you’re pretty good at it. It suggests you’re open to hearing ideas — and not just those you already agree with.

We can all be better listeners, however (I know I can!), which I think our next episode may help us do.

It’s not a debate, but a conversation with New York Times columnist and PBS commentator David Brooks. He’s just come out with a book titled “How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen.”

David has debated with us a number of times, and is quite candid about how much it pains him that one time, he lost. One time! But I have to admire the candor, which he also brings to this conversation. As he tells it, it was only later in life that he began to learn how to connect truly with other people, and how much of that required the exercise of qualities like humility, patience and curiosity.

I found it a refreshing and useful conversation – perhaps perfect for all the impromptu meetups coming up for you this holiday season, and perfect for people who like to listen. Give it a try!





This Year, the U.S. Surgeon General Declared An Epidemic on Loneliness. What Can We Do To Help Stop the Spread?



David Brooks on Skills You Should Know For Any Conversation


David Brooks

“We’re living in a crisis of connection. The thing I focus on is skills: how to know how to treat each other with consideration in the complex circumstances of life. How to listen well, how to argue well, how to ask for an offer of forgiveness, how to host a dinner party and include everybody. These are skills just like learning carpentry is a skill, just like learning how to sail is a skill.”



Four Debates to Test Your Skills

From AI’s impact on the arts to presidential candidates in the 2024 election, these four debates will help you stay informed for the critical year ahead — listen now.


How Would A No Labels Presidential Candidate Change the Outcome in 2024?

Arguing that No Labels does not have a path to win:

Rahna Epting, Executive Director of MoveOn

Arguing that No Labels has a viable path to win the White House in 2024:

Ryan Clancy, Chief Strategist of No Labels



Will AI Kill the Future of the Creative Arts?

Arguing YES: Jonathan Taplin, Author of “Move Fast and Break Things”; Director Emeritus of the Annenberg Innovation Lab at the University of Southern California

Arguing NO: Rebecca Fiebrink, Professor at the University of the Arts, London’s Creative Computing Institute



Should Congress Pass the Secure the Border Act?

Arguing YES: Jessica Vaughan, Director of Policy Studies at the Center for Immigration Studies

Arguing NO: Kristie De Peña, Senior Vice President for Policy and Director of Immigration Policy at Niskanen Center



Will the Future Be Abundant?

Arguing YES: Peter Diamandis, Founder and Executive Chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation; Author of “Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think”

Arguing NO: Peter Zeihan, Geopolitical Strategist; Author of “The End of the World is Just the Beginning: Mapping the Collapse of Globalization”

Guest Moderator: Xenia Wickett, Principal at Wickett Advisory and Geopolitical Strategist

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