On Friday, January 9, NPR is premiering a new show called “Invisibilia,” all about the “invisible forces that control human behavior”: ideas, assumptions, beliefs, and the like. It’ll be hosted by a pair of voices that will be familiar to public-radio podcast nerds: Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel, who’ve contributed to shows like “Radiolab” and “This American Life.”
NPR sent Science of Us a clip of the first four minutes of its very first show, which is about thoughts — dark, scary, unwanted thoughts, in particular. The short clip ends abruptly and at a somewhat-maddening point, piquing my curiosity with the story of a man who, after watching the violent film City of God, can’t stop imagining harming his wife, though he has no history of violent thoughts or behavior. “About midway through the movie, I started getting just inundated with violent thoughts,” he says. “What if I were to brutally stab someone? Or shoot someone? Or harm my wife?” Creeeeepy.