#180 Thanks a Thousand. Gratitude: A.J. Jacobs

Just in time for Thanksgiving, we speak with best-selling author and "immersive journalist" A.J. Jacobs about his extraordinary gratitude project and brand new book, "Thanks a Thousand".

He decided to say "thank you" to every single person involved in producing his morning cup of coffee. "It turned out to be thousands of people," A.J. tells us. "I thanked the barista, the lid designer and the coffee bean farmer, but also the truck driver who delivered the beans. The idea is to show the interdependence and interconnectivity of our world."

We hear useful insights about gratitude, including tips that can be helpful and fun at Thanksgiving Day gatherings. 

This episode is a joint "simul-pod" with our friends at "Half Hour of Heterodoxy" podcast. Deb Mashek, Executive Director of the Heterodox Academy is the co-host  along with Richard and Jim. 

In our confrontational and troubled times, this episode is a reminder that cooperation plays a vital role in many of the most basic human rituals. "To make a cup of coffee, you need dozens of countries, and so it's partly an argument against this rise of nationalism and tribalism to show that we are so interconnected," says A.J.

Several books and lectures are mentioned, including "Enlightenment Now" by Stephen Pinker and "I Pencil" by economist Milton Friedman. A.J .recommends a worthwhile charity: Dispensers for Safe Water, an innovative low-cost approach to increase rates of household chlorination in East Africa.