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Season 13 | Episode 6

To See Or Not To See

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Should the last moments of life be captured, seen, and shared? This hour, we ask that question from three very different perspectives: through a window and across a street; face to face in a hospital room; and in the green glow of a night-vision-goggled camera lens half a world away.

The Living Room

Producer Briana Breen brings us the story: Diane’s new neighbors across the way never shut their curtains, and that was the beginning of an intimate, but very one-sided relationship.

Comments [37]

Sight Unseen

What happens in this story happens all the time, but this time it was captured, picture by picture, in excruciating detail.   

Comments [11]


We continue our meditations on seeing, with a reading from poet and writer, Mark Doty.

Comments [2]

Comments [14]

SimonJames2020 from London, UK

Discovered this only now thanks to its recent broadcast and download availability via BBC Radio 4 extra. And what a discovery!

Talk about an emotional journey. Cannot remember a time when a podcast has caught me quite so by surprise and knocked me sideways, like this did.

First podcast in a long while to impact quite this much: managing to stop me from doing anything else but listen (beyond rare for me) and move me to tears on more than one occasion. (Never a good look, when commuting to work on the tube.)

Powerful, haunting and impossible to not be moved as these stories unfold...think it should come with a warning that you'll be distracted for days! I've been reliving each story, again and again, as if they were my own.

Oct. 30 2017 09:48 AM
b riggs from Grand Turk, T.C.I. (listening online to WBEC Chicago...

Damn you, Radiolab! And thank you, Radiolab! I've spent the entire afternoon staring at the tree outside my door and silently crying after these three incredibly powerful stories. We couldn't possibly ever know anything more about the people in these stories, both the living and the dead. My heart feels broken for them all, but also strangely alive.

Jun. 25 2017 02:14 PM
Jeff Lynch from Osprey, Florida

My previous comment concerns the story about the loss of the soldier, Jonathan Taylor, and the interview with the photojournalist Lindsey Endario and the soldier's family. It truly was very powerful. I meant what I wrote. It touched my heart.

Jun. 25 2017 12:23 PM
Jeff Lynch from Osprey, Florida

One of the most powerful pieces of broadcast journalism I've ever heard. Didn't need the visuals to evoke the tears. Thank you for this work, it's crucial to our freedom....

Jun. 25 2017 11:53 AM
sharon austin from NJ

Please give us info about the article about the soldier...was it in Time?

Jun. 24 2017 12:54 PM
Jesse from Utah

I have to say the story about The Living Room Window profoundly affected me. I listened to it before bed time and I woke up the next morning literally in tears. I had some sad dreams. The woman telling this heartfelt story was innocent,although she was intrusive and selfish. I found this story to say a lot about the human condition and how we view ourselves and our very nature.

Jul. 21 2016 12:33 AM
Richard L

I was quite disturbed by the Living Room Window segment - partly this sounded like something from a particularly unethical/sensationalist episode of This American Life, rather than Radio Lab, but mainly because I'm surprised it was broadcast at all. Did the makers not try to contact the family of the young man who died? I would be quite unhappy if I were the young man's girlfriend or mother, to have this story told by the rather narcissistic voyeur next door, for whom the events were sad, mainly to the extent that they reflected on her own lost youth, own mortality, etc.

Feb. 23 2016 02:13 PM
R CAPITANO from Columbia, MO

While a slight departure from your usual punchy timeline. It was one of the deepest shows I've heard. Had me thinking a lot. Especially "The Livingroom Window". While incredible touching and heartbreaking to listen to from all perspectives what I pull away is that we are never alone. Some one, some where, is feeling what your feeling even then you don't know.

Feb. 22 2016 08:30 PM
RebeccaRL from San Francisco

What was the incidental music? There was one piece that is usually orchestral but was played on solo piano.

Feb. 20 2016 10:19 PM
Jeannie from Colorado

What is the title of the poem that was read at the end of the show? The program was a departure from the usual light interruptions, comments, and asides. I appreciate the gravity of your approach.

Feb. 20 2016 05:10 PM

The downhill adventure for Radiolab continues with three segments that teach us nothing about anything.

Feb. 18 2016 10:44 AM

How dare you not warn us about how sad that Mark Doty reading was going to be. Holding off tears at work! So beautiful.

Jan. 26 2016 09:21 PM
Suburban Dad from Suburbs

>Finding the show archives on my iPad was frustrating.

I found the show archives on your iPad in no time.

Jun. 11 2015 11:58 PM
Randy R

Finding the show archives on my iPad was frustrating.

Jun. 11 2015 03:02 AM

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