Navigating

05.17.2017 - By State of the Human

Download our free app to listen on your phone

Ants navigate to and from food using pheromone trails; the stronger the pheromone trail, the more ants following it, like some kind of highway map. Humans use similar mapping strategies as we navigate through life, but how do we know that the paths we’re on will lead us to where we want to be? Today’s show is about navigating, with four stories and a poem about various ways that humans are moving through the world, with unique answers to these questions: How do we navigate through life without any instructions, or with instructions that might be wrong? How do we know which way to go to get whatever we’re going for? And how do we decide when to stop moving?

Host: Connie Xiao

Producers: Will Rogers, Alec Glassford, Rosie La Puma, Yue Li, Cathy Wong, Virginia Drummond, Katie Wolfteich, Aparna Verma, Jenny Han, An-Li Herring, and Connie Xiao

Featuring: Chris Leboa, Deborah Gordon, Julie Sweetkind-Singer, Glen McLaughlin, Saptarshi Majumdar, Jennifer Johnson, and Louis Lafair

Show Music: Noelle Li Syn Chow, Melina Walling, Sarah Jiang, Gillicuddy, Doctor Turtle, Podington Bear, Polyrhythmics

(Links to this show's music and sound sources can be found at storytelling.stanford.edu)

Image via Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisinplymouth/3601032456

Story 1: California as an Island
When the Spanish explorers set out to discover the Americas, they came to find wealth and a new start. In this story, we hear about how the Spanish explorers navigated through these unfamiliar territory and how a myth turned into a reality that passed around for centuries.
Producers: Yue Li, Virginia Drummond
Featuring: Glen McLaughlin, Julie Sweetkind-Singer
Special thanks: G. Salim Mohammed, of the David Rumsey Map Center at Stanford
Music and sound: Original music by Latifah Hamzah, "Rain Stops to Play" by Ketsa, "mutanterrante remix" by toiletrolltube, additional sounds from freesound.org

Story 2: In Transit
“Once you decide something, you kinda have to destroy everything else right? Your other options? You gotta let em go.” We spend an entire day at the Oakland Greyhound station and ask people where they are going. Mark Mendoza chases a cameraman. Cathy Wong learns when not to own a skeleton key. Hollie Kool talks to a Japanese pizza lover. Mimes are involved.
Producer: Cathy Wong, Hollie Kool, and Mark Mendoza
Featuring: Cathy Wong, Hollie Kool, and Mark Mendoza
Music: "Night Owl" by Broke For Free, "Freak Mode" by Fleslit, "Dollar Theatre" by Jalen Warshawsky, "Unknown Variables" by Jalen Warshawsky, "El Fuego" by Polyrhythmics, "Cold Feet" and "I'll Miss You" and "Looking For That Moment When Time Stands Still" by Will Bangs

Story 3: It's not a Sap Story
Live the life of a savage adventurer. It’s a motto that Saptarshi Majumdar lives by as he travels across the globe, whether it’s from one continent to another or one coast to another. Sap’s journeys are wild and crazy, and the stories that he picks up even crazier. Why not sit back and enjoy the ride?
Producers: Aparna Verma and Jenny Han
Featuring: Saptarshi Majumdar and Aparna Verma
Music: "Hex (Instrumental)" by Forget the Whale, "We'll Get Ourselves in TV-News" by Break the Bans

Story 4: A Speck in the Ocean
When she was 25, Jennifer Johnson sailed out of a Japanese harbor on a 27-foot boat with sights set on Hawaii. Sit in the cockpit with her as she charts her way through storms, fish colonies, and nearly capsized boats with only her partner for company, and re-experience the newness and stillness of land. “Adventure? Oh, I don’t know, adventure has too many positive connotations to say it was an adventure.”
Producers: Katie Wolfteich
Featuring: Jennifer Johnson
Music: Weaves of K

Story 5: If There Were a Manual
"May I please have a manual for life?" Louis Lafair reads an original poem.
Producer: Alec Glassford
Featuring: Louis Lafair

More episodes from State of the Human