The Literary Imagination with Jonathan Lethem and Kim Stanley Robinson

We may not often think of the role imagination plays in our society and in our everyday lives. Without imagination, would the internet exist? Would Edison have invented the light bulb? Would primitive man have invented the wheel?

Literature is a field where the imagination is encouraged to run freely. Science fiction in particular pushes the imagination to its limits. UC San Diego recently created a center devoted to this creative aspect of our minds, dedicated to the very imaginative author of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Arthur C. Clarke.

Watch “The Literary Imagination with Jonathan Lethem and Kim Stanley Robinson” to hear these two science fiction authors discuss the literary imagination in honor of the grand opening of UC San Diego’s Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination.

See what other literature programs are available on UCSD-TV.

The Psychology of War Criminals

What does it mean to be evil?

When considering the evil events in history, the Holocaust remains one of the most notorious.

Dr. Joel Dimsdale, professor of psychiatry at UC San Diego, began his work 40 years ago studying survivors of Nazi concentrations camps, uncovering strategies of coping that helped these victims survive. However, after a visit from a Nuremberg executioner, Dimsdale began to study the perpetrators of these crimes instead.

In “The Anatomy of Malice: Rorschach Results from Nuremberg War Criminals,” Dimsdale searches for the answers to questions like: How could the Nazi’s do what they did? Were they criminally insane? Psychopaths? Suffering from delusions, or some other mental disorder?

In this presentation, part of the Holocaust Living History Workshop, Dimsdale examines archival data of Rorschach ink blot tests administered at the Nuremberg trial in an attempt to uncover those answers.

Watch other programs in history and the Holocaust on UCSD-TV.

Climate Justice: A Humanitarian Approach to Environmental Equality

We have all heard about climate change, but did you know that there is a fight for justice within this claim?

Climate justice is more than just a demand for the stop of wrongful damage to the environment. It goes deeper into the tangible effects of climate change and the way they are unequally effecting the world’s population.

According to the Center on Global Justice at UC San Diego, “Climate Justice links human rights and development to achieve a human-centered approach, safeguarding the rights of the most vulnerable and sharing the burdens and benefits of climate change and its resolution equitably and fairly. Climate justice is informed by science, responds to science, and acknowledges the need for equitable stewardship of the world’s resources.”

Mary Robinson was the first woman president of Ireland and has served as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. She has been a long standing icon for social justice and has recently devoted her attention to campaigning for climate justice.

In “Pursuing Climate Justice with Mary Robinson and V. Ramanathan,” presented by UC San Diego’s Center on Global Justice, hear Robinson discuss climate justice with V. Ramanathan, distinguished professor of Atmospheric and Climate Sciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

If you like this video, check out V. Ramanathan’s series “Lifting the Blanket:The Pursuit of a Climate Change Solutions.”

Inside Iraq with Hamid Al-Bayati

Ten years have passed since the United States and allies invaded Iraq. Get an eye-opening look at how those ten years have shaped Iraq’s history, presented by Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UC San Diego.

Hamid Al-Bayati, Iraqi Ambassador to the United Nations, gives an insider’s perspective on life in Iraq through Saddam Hussein’s reign. Hear Al-Bayati explain what it was like to live amongst the shocking violence and war crimes while in opposition of the dictatorship. He describes the consequences of war that Iraqis faced and warns against the reality of war.

Watch and you may learn some surprising things about Iraq in Iraq’s Journey from Dictatorship to Democracy:

To learn more, check out these videos on Iraq.

Larry Smarr, Gretchen Rubin Get into Health(care) & Happiness

Our presentations of “The Atlantic Meets the Pacific” forum continue into the New Year, but first we’re wrapping up 2012 with two stellar presentations from the three-day forum held at UC San Diego in October.

Premiering tonight (Dec. 17) at 9pm (and online now) is “The Human Laboratory: One Researcher’s Quest to Personalize Medicine,” a fascinating conversation between Calit2 director Larry Smarr, the subject of a recent piece in “The Atlantic,” and author Mark Bowden, who wrote the screenplay for Katherine Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty” and riveting works of non-fiction like “Black Hawk Down.” In this program, Smarr and Bowden talk about Smarr’s determination to understand everything about his own body, and how that kind of knowledge will become standard in the future of healthcare.

And what better to way to complete the year than with a look at the science and philosophy of happiness with none other than Gretchen Rubin, author of the bestseller “The Happiness Project.” In “Don’t Worry, Be Happy Now: The Science and Philosophy of the Happiness Movement,” Rubin chats with James Fallows, National Correspondent for The Atlantic, about finding contentment in everyday life. That program premieres Dec. 28 at 7pm, but you can start your happy journey early by watching it online now.