The Idealect

A project featuring interviews, profiles and wonderings about the "why?" It's a journey of exploration about the values, principles and stories that compose the human condition.

Latest bits of curiosity cultivation:

Podcast: Gradients of Complexity

A conversation with Susan Du, a staff writer at City Pages newspaper in Minneapolis, MN. We talk about reporting dynamically on the complexity of people, the changing nature of our social expectations, the pursuit of truth, which defines her work, her background as an immigrant from China, Confucian values, and more.

cultivating agency

We need an active freedom. Not simply freedom from shackles, but a freedom to create and construct... 

the problem with voting, politics and democracy

I voted early this year but didn’t feel good about my vote. In fact, I’ve never felt good after casting my ballot. Here’s why.

audio + video:

The process of seeking the truth is just as or more important than finding the truth. What if truth isn't a place we arrive at? What if it's found entangled in the journey? How does our idea of the nature of evil fit into this?

The Idealect Podcast

What values underlie our actions and expressions? What do we believe and why do we believe it? This podcast is an exploration of why we as people do what we do. Each new person interviewed is an opportunity to see the world in a new light.

Around the Corner Podcast

In our quest to understand the world and our place in it, we seem to make the assumption that if we all had uninhibited access to the unadulterated facts, our problems would disappear. But it shouldn't be surprising that even two individuals encountering the same facts might arrive at starkly different conclusions. So perhaps there's a way to understand what's happening around us without relying so firmly on facts, and facts alone. Welcome to Around the Corner.

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Sitting down

*Exploring values and principles*

We talk a great deal about what we do but less often about why we do it. What are the values that inform our actions? Where do our beliefs and convictions come from and how do they shape our actions? Exploring these questions is vital to understanding ourselves and the world around us. Shifting the conversation from the “what?” to the “why?” is an opportunity to take a deeper look into what it means to live in the current day.

Here I sit down for conversations with people about why they do what they do.


The Big Picture

*Exploring the individual in context*

Exploring the "why" behind what we do is the first step toward anything good. But how does this understanding relate to the bigger picture- the world around us?

Here I'll look at the happenings in the world, the ideas and beliefs behind those events, and what they say about us as people.



*Seeing people (and the world)*

Part of any thorough exploration involves looking. With so many interesting people and places in the world, there's something about seeing that empowers us to remain curious. Seeing reminds us of experiences we've had and people we've met, but also shows us those we haven't yet encountered.

Here you'll find portraits of the individuals I've interviewed and the world they (and we) live in.


Through different lenses

*Exploring through creative fictional storytelling*

We're so quick to label people, ideas, events...: Good. Bad. What about grey? What happened to nuance? If you've ever read a book or watched a movie where you found yourself rooting for an unlikely person, perhaps an unsavory one, you've embraced the grey. We can root for these characters because we see them as complex, as neither simply good or bad. But we often fail to realize that real people are like this. In fact, we're all like this.

Here you'll find experimental fictional stories from the perspective of a wide range of individuals. These stories and individuals are in part based on real situations and real people. The hope is to, if only briefly, view the world in a different way than we normally do. What does the world look like with a different set of values?

The creator: Nick Theisen

I'm a Minneapolis-based storyteller, photographer, people-meeter, question-asker, and curious inquirer who loves exploring the depth and complexities of the world. Reading’s my favorite. Anything to do with podcasting, my other favorite. Tasting good beer's up there too. Traveling, thinking, wondering, discussing, listening, biking... I'll call those favorites as well.

I'd love to hear from you so drop me a line!