Monday, November 21, 2016

CBC Radio Archive (Part2)

The Orwell Tapes

CBC Radio, Ideas, Part1, Part2, Part3, March 2016

He was a brilliant, eccentric, complicated man; a colonial policeman, a critic and journalist, a dishwasher, a fighter in the Spanish civil war, a teacher and a shopkeeper - and one of the most influential writers of our time. His name was Eric Blair, better known as George Orwell. Who was the man who gave us 'big brother', 'thoughtcrime', 'doublethink', whose name looms so large in this era of mass surveillance? Steve Wadhams delves into recordings he made with the people who knew Orwell from his earliest days to his final moments.

CBC is the only media organization with a comprehensive archive of recordings of people who knew George Orwell from his earliest days to his final moments. There are fifty hours of recordings. Some of this oral history was included in "George Orwell, A Radio Biography" which aired on CBC radio on January 1, 1984 - the first day of Orwell's famous year. But much of it is being aired now for the first time.

Mining Science (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, March 2016

Cultural Anthropologist Stuart Kirsch spent decades working with native peoples living along the ok Tedi River, in Papua New Guinea, trying to oppose the social and environmental threats posed by an enormous open-pit copper mine situated near the river's source. He tells Paul Kennedy about what they learned in the process of taking on a multi-national mining giant; and what the people of PNG taught him

How is it possible that despite spending tens of millions of dollars on environmental research and monitoring, the consultants and other scientists employed by the Ok Tedi mine failed to predict the impending environmental catastrophe, or even to accurately report on it while it was occurring? Their failure calls into question the way science is deployed by mining companies, and by extension, how corporations strategically exploit science.

Allison's Brain

CBC Radio, Ideas, March 2016

In 2011, Allison Woyiwada -- a retired music teacher -- was told that she had a giant brain aneurysm. After surgery, she experienced severe cognitive and physical defects. But then she began a programme of music therapy: this is the remarkable story of her brain's recovery

When Allison went into rehab, the speech pathologist told us that she didn't understand she had communication difficulties. She said it wasn't possible to get Allison to work, because she didn't know there was a problem. She was talking to Allison, and it was like she was in the middle of China. No one knew what she was saying…. But then time passed, and Allison became aware of the shortcomings. She became more aware of them, and she worked harder. It was a long road in the beginning. She worked on really basic vocabulary—like what are body parts. What are their names? What are clothing article's names? I can remember being at sessions with the speech therapist where Allison would insist that her shoes were T-shirts. It was a long process. But as time passed, she became more fluent. Even by the time she was discharged from rehab—though she had very rudimentary vocabulary, when she came home, she didn't know the names of anything in the house.

The Dream of Brother XII

CBC Radio, Ideas, March 2016

Edward Wilson -- Brother XII -- became the de-facto king of his Aquarian Foundation colony in the woods near Nanaimo, the first outpost of which he dubbed "Cedar by the Sea." At his peak, he had over 8,000 followers in Europe, Canada, and The United States. Swamped with donations from wealthy fans eager to fund this worthy social experiment, he hired crews of local builders, and expanded the colony onto nearby De Courcy & Valdes Islands.

Wachtel On The Arts - Bjarke Ingels

CBC Radio, Ideas, March 2016

​Denmark's Bjarke Ingels, the "world's hottest architect" (Globe & Mail), sits down with Eleanor Wachtel to talk about why power plants should come fitted with ski hills and blow rings of steam into the air, why a downtown Toronto apartment block should look more like a "pixellated mountain range", what skyscrapers have to learn from igloos, and why the final tower to be built on the site of the World Trade Centre in New York City will include large outdoor gardens on the 50th floor.

The Ultimate Simplicity of Everything (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, March 2016

Neil Turok is the director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and former Massey Lecturer.

We live in very pessimistic times in spite of the massive discoveries that are being made. It's one of the great ironies that at the moment where at the time the Large Hadron Collider discovered the Higgs Boson fifty years after it was predicted. When LIGO discovered the gravitational waves from black holes a hundred years after they were predicted. When we have mapped the entire visible universe using the Planck satellite, everybody -- well, not everybody -- some people are wringing their hands and saying this is the end of science. It couldn't be more absurd. What underlies it, I think, is the fact that to a large extent over the last nearly hundred years, the great revolutionary ideas of the early 20th century have been playing out. To a very large extent, the entire history of physics since the 1900s, the 1910s, the 1920s, it's been more or less working out the consequences of the great ideas of that time which were relativity -- meaning what is space and what is time -- and quantum mechanics -- the laws of physics, how things work within spacetime. And so I think, to some extent, what these people are expressing is that there haven't been radically new revolutionary ideas. Physics is a pretty conservative field. You know, it's about absolutely secure knowledge -- that is physics. It's our most secure knowledge. Maybe behind logic, closely behind logic. Logic can be very secure, I mean mathematical logic, but it can be irrelevant to the world. Physics is all about the world. Our most secure knowledge about the world, about the natural world, is physics.

And I think what people are sort of expressing is that we haven't had a big revolution in physics. String theory was hoped for to be that revolution in the 1980s but it hasn't really panned out in the sense that it hasn't given a single prediction. Instead it's given us a huge collection of theories where, if you like, there's no overarching theory to tell which particular version of string theory is the one that describes the world. It's almost self-destructed, I would say because it turned out to be not just one theory but this vast collection of theories which could all give different descriptions of the world.

So I think that sort of theoretical catastrophe, as I view it -- meaning the logical pursuit of quantum mechanics and relativity over a hundred years was tremendously successful at some level but finding its own successor theory, it hasn't been successful. I think that is also laying the ground for some sort of revolutionary change in the sense that we basically will have to go back to the founding principles. It looks like the founding principles of modern physics -- quantum theory and relativity -- have played out and they have not given us the answers we need. And so we have to go back and question those founding principles and find whatever it is, whatever new principle will replace them. So matching these great puzzles posed by the observations are equally great puzzles in our fundamental theories. And so that is just a wonderful thing to contemplate in itself. I mean, partly people become very pessimistic and say, oh my god, I've devoted 50 years of my life to studying this incredibly technical and difficult theory and now I find it's blown up in my face, it's not giving any predictions at all...and so some people talk about the multiverse where the universe would be wild and chaotic on large scales and almost anything you could imagine would actually exist somewhere in the universe. I mean, this is literally a scenario which became very popular among a category of physicists, that there is a multiverse out there. Yet the evidence is exactly the opposite. That, as we look around us, things could not be simpler. There's no evidence for chaos on large scales in the universe. It's totally the opposite. It's pristine, elegance, minimalism is all we see. So, I think this is a very, very exciting time to be doing theory. The challenge is enormous. The clues are enormous. We're waiting and we're preparing and we're encouraging people to take radical leaps.

The Discovery of Democracy (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, March 2016

Everywhere we look in the world, there are challenges to the idea of a society: Syria is only the epicentre of a global battle about how societies organise themselves, and where it is that legitimacy lies -- in the hands of people, or the hands of God. Everywhere there are questions around the idea of shared values.

The borders in Europe are breaking down; many societies, including our own, are welcoming thousands of new people. What do we have in common? How will we live together? In Canada, our First Nations people are asking us to re-examine the nature of the society and the shared space we're in. Very old and very new ideas leave us rethinking what we thought we knew.

Francis Fukuyama proposed that western liberal democracy was at the end point of thousands of years of political debate, in his famous 1989 essay The End of History?. There was no better system to be devised. More recent events ask questions about all that.

Recorded at the Stratford Festival in 2015.
John Ralston Saul, novelist, essayist, philosopher and the 1995 CBC Massey Lecturer
Doug Saunders, journalist, author and columnist for The Globe and Mail
Angela Sterritt, Gitxsan Nation journalist, writer, and artist

The Enright Files - What makes terrorists tick? (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, March 2016

Ever since 9/11, it feels as though the West has been living through the Age of Terror. For the past 15 years, the West has been preoccupied by security and how to deal with the threat posed first by al-Qaeda and its offshoots, and now by ISIS. Michael Enright asks what makes terrorists tick and is it possible to divert them from their violent ideology.

Paul Rogers, University of Bradford Professor of Peace Studies
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, best-selling author and critic of Islam
Syed Soharwardy, Islamic Supreme Council of Canada President
Loretta Napoleoni, economist, author and government adviser
Jonathan Powell, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair's long-time chief of staff

The Scapegoat (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, Part1, Part2, Part3, Part4, Part5, March 2016

According to French thinker René Girard, human beings copy each other's desires and are in perpetual conflict with one another over the objects of our desire. In early human communities, this conflict created a permanent threat of violence and forced our ancestors to find a way to unify themselves. They chose a victim, a scapegoat against whom the community could unite. Biblical religion, according to Girard, has attempted to overcome this historic plight. From the unjust murder of Abel by his brother Cain to the crucifixion of Christ, the Bible reveals the innocence of the victim. It is on this revelation that modern society unquietly rests. He founded the idea of mimetic desire (mimetic rivalry).

René Girard's ideas fit no academic niche but they've attracted many followers during his long career as a teacher and writer. A large annual conference called The Colloquium on Violence & Religion is devoted entirely to his ideas, as is a journal called Contagion. Many of those who take part believe that Girard's insights are an intellectual breakthrough.

Deceit, Desire and the Novel, 1966
Violence and The Sacred, 1977
The Scapegoat, 1986
Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World, 1987
Job, The Victim of His People, 1987
The Girard Reader, 1996
I See Satan Fall Like Lightning, 2001

Like I Was Talking to Myself in the Mirror (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, March 2016

Early in the twentieth century German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin travelled to Indonesia to see how mental illnesses there compared to what he knew back home. Transcultural psychiatry was born. Today McGill University is a world leader in the research and practice of a branch of psychiatry with links to anthropology, cultural studies and family therapy. David Gutnick steps into a world where treatment relies less on medication and more on talk and understanding.

In a letter from 1904 Dr. Kraepelin wrote: "...apparently the occurrence of mental diseases is much lower amongst the primitive peoples than amongst us, where the burden of the mentally ill increases year by year at an incredible rate. Therefore it seems urgent to find out whether the forms of mental disease, which cause this increase, occur similarly in completely different races, who live in totally different regions and conditions."

"So it is very much a social perspective, it puts the person in their context, in the context of their life world and it insists that those dimensions that are part of how we live with each other in communities that have a history, that have a tradition, and have a direction are inseparable from the phenomenon we call mental health and mental illness that are the purview of psychiatry." - Dr. Laurence Kirmayer

"... many people from ethnic minorities have to hide their real self. They have to hide what is authentically their family of origin, because they have to work in a world that has nothing to do with that world. So they may anglicize their names or they may accommodate who they are speaking to like a chameleon. It gives them a presentation of the social self and how complex that is. Because if you are doing psychotherapy with someone in a language other than their maternal language and you actually want to reach their inner world, and this often happens when you are doing psychotherapy with someone whose maternal language is definitely not the language you are doing the psychotherapy in, they may be hearing or wanting to respond or telling you about a dream that they are actually hearing in their internal world in another language and they will get blocked. So you say please say it in the language that you are thinking, and as soon as they say those thoughts and those words, all of the emotions that are connected start to surface and are accessible. Just like when you hear music that you heard when you were a child, or the songs that your mother sang when you were on her lap, or in mass or in any number of contexts, it can bring a phenomenal amount of emotion to you because that memory is tied to your emotional life. That is the first thing thing that we would teach in cultural psychiatry." - Dr. Jaswant Guzder

Dr. Laurence Kirmayer, Professor of Psychiatry, McGill University
Dr. Jaswant Guzder, Professor of Psychiatry, McGill University
Dr. Fahimeh Mianji, Iranian psychologist and PhD student at McGill University

Hope Within Horror: Marina Nemat (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, March 2016

Marina Nemat was born in Tehran in 1965 to Russian parents. She watched the Iranian revolution from her apartment window. During her imprisonment she was repeatedly tortured and forced to marry one of her interrogators. She was released after completing just more than 2 years of her life sentence. She came to Canada in 1991.

Her memoir Prisoner of Tehran has been published in 28 countries. She now teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto's school of continuing studies and she speaks out against torture of any kind. She's a board member of the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture.

This episode is based on a lecture she delivered as part of the International Issues Discussion series at Ryerson University in Toronto.

Famine, Shelter, War - Surviving the Next 50 Years and Beyond (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, February 2016

The sense that the human species may be facing "the end" is all around us. Environmental collapse. Global financial meltdown. Interethnic bloodshed. Not to mention the possibility of a sixth extinction. How will we survive? Will there be enough food? Will we all be crammed into dystopian megacities? How will we escape our long history of bloody conflict?

Evan Fraser, Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security at the University of Guelph and author of Empires of Food: Feast, Famine and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations.

Jennifer Keesmaat, Chief Planner and Executive Director of the City of Toronto.

Payam Akhavan, Professor of International Law at McGill University, Visiting Fellow at Oxford University, author of Reducing Genocide to Law: Definition, Meaning, and the Ultimate Crime and the CBC Massey Lecturer for 2017.

Climate Hope (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, February 2016

News about climate change is almost always alarming, depressing, or both. But Tim Flannery believes there is qualified hope that things may get better. Mammalogist, paleontologist and novelist, he's also a world authority on climate: he led Australia's first federal commission on climate change (since disbanded), and now leads an independent climate council. Tim Flannery was in Toronto as part of a wider Spur speaking series, and later joined host Paul Kennedy in conversation.

There are dramatic changes that we're seeing in terms of renewable energy. And they are real game changers. If you think about my own country of Australia, back in 2007 – does anybody have a guess as to how many grid-connected solar panels we had on houses in Australia? It was about 8,000. Today... there are about 1.3 million. That's 15% of Australian houses run directly from the sun. That's something no one predicted. You should see the government projections for this. They were thinking we might have that many by about 2030. That's how badly wrong they were.

The Illusion of Money (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, Part1, Part2, February 2016

Anthropologist Joris Luyendijk describes the consequences of saving the financial system from its near-collapse in 2008. Money is something we no longer understand. Because it describes a claim on future goods and services, but it's also a store of value, it's used as a productive resource. It's all sorts of different things. And I think it's terrifying because if our economy is the body, then money is the blood and the financial sector is the heart. And if we no longer understand the blood that's keeping our body alive, we're in deep trouble.

What money is, how we treat it, and how we've come to regard it has changed a great deal since it was invented. Perhaps then, money is not a thing but an idea. Yet it seems not a day goes by when we don't hear about money: downturns, growth, rising tuition fees, unstable stock markets, real estate markets with skyrocketing prices.

Rogier Eijkelhof places great stock in cryptocurrency, specifically in Bitcoin. Bitcoin has received a lot of press lately. It's been touted as "the future of money". But it's not the only way people are rethinking money. There's living in a home for cheap rent in exchange for work, or there's the idea of everyone receiving a basic income. When you talk about money, most people still have this image about physical coins and paper bills. But the money in your bank simply doesn't exist, it's just not there. It's just a number, and if I log into my bank account and I see my balance is 100 euros, there is no 100 euros, there's no 100 or anything anywhere, there's no gold, there's no paper bills, there's just one number in a computer that says 100. So money is already purely virtual.

Serge Onnen - multi-disciplinary artist based in Amsterdam, and author of The Lost Cent.
Felix Martin - macroeconomist and fund manager, and author of Money: The Unauthorized Biography.
Isabel Rupschus - experimenting with living without money
Joris Luyendijk - journalist and author of Swimming with Sharks
Rogier Eijkelhof - programmer, software developer and Bitcoin entrepreneur
Reggie Middleton - entrepreneur and founder of Veritaseum, a trading platform using Bitcoin
Henk van Arkel - director of the Social Trade Organization (STRO) and developer of community currency software
Marcipanis - the work/living collective where Anik See lives
Evelyn Forget - economist at the University of Manitoba
Yannick Vanderborght - Professor of Political Science, Saint-Louis University, Brussels, and author of The Instrument of Freedom.

The Eminent Dr. Nurse

CBC Radio, Ideas, February 2016

"Scientists need to be creative. They need to be skeptical. They need to be honest and transparent. And in my mind they need to be courteous. In scientific dispute, it's very important that you argue and disagree. It's fine to say that somebody's idea is stupid. It is not fine to say they are stupid."

Sir Paul Nurse has been the President of prestigious Rockefeller University, in New York, and of the venerable Royal Society, in Great Britain. He's won the Einstein World Award for Science, and is a foreign academician at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is the Chief Executive of the Francis Crick Institute in London.

Wachtel On The Arts - Karim Rashid

CBC Radio, Ideas, February 2016

As a boy aboard a ship to Canada, Karim Rashid won a children's art contest—with a picture of luggage. Today the Egyptian-born, New York-based Rashid is one of the best known figures in the world of industrial design, creating products that are unusual, stylish and functional. His distinctive playful approach has won him many awards, but he argues above all for design that's democratic and relevant to our lives today. Eleanor Wachtel talks to Karim Rashid about his passion for design and its place in our lives today: from snow shovels to teacups, couches to martini glasses.

Rashid has been profiled in Time magazine, The New Yorker and Psychology Today. He's been dubbed the "poet of plastic" for his use of inexpensive, contemporary materials in the design of everyday products that are both functional and beautiful, with sensual curves and dazzling colours. The best-known example is the elegant waste basket, called the Garbo, that became a hit in the mid-1990s for the Canadian housewares firm, Umbra. It's sold more than eight million.

Blood and Earth (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, February 2016

Paul Kennedy talks with the author of Blood and Earth: Modern Slavery, Ecocide and the Secret to Saving the World. Kevin Bales argues that slavery is not only morally unacceptable and bad business, he also says there is proof that slavery is a major contributer to climate change

Americans energy-rich lifestyle and the by-products of livestock farming contribute the most to global warming. But every slave holder cutting down mangroves for shrimp or fish camps in the protected forest is increasing the likelihood of that catastrophe as well.

Kevin Bales has spent decades travelling the world meeting with slaves and slaveholders. He is the co-founder of Free the Slaves, the largest abolitionist organization in the world, and lead author of the Global Slavery Index which estimates the number of slaves in 167 countries. It seems almost impossible that today more than 35 million people are slaves.


Nothing to Wear

CBC Radio, Ideas, February 2016

What does what we wear tell about who we are? And how do we read others because of their clothing choices? Class, gender, culture: clothing signals a lot about all these important things. And these things never change. Advice about dressing properly is as important now as it was in 1600.

This episode is one a series recorded at the Stratford Festival. Thanks to Melissa Renaud, Robin Cheesman and David Campbell, with special thanks to Ann Swerdfayger and Antoni Cimolino. At the Festival Archives, special thanks to Liza Giffen, who organized all the costumes from past productions for Charlotte Deane and Philip Coulter to look at.

The Enright Files on Barack Obama (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, February 2016

As the race for President Obama's successor heats up, Michael Enright looks back at his election and early years in office.

Ideas from the Trenches - Crazy in Love

CBC Radio, Ideas, January 2016

PhD student Elissa Gurman draws out the roots of a very powerful narrative, the Crazy Woman In Love, as it developed in 19th-century novels, and asks why even the best novelists of the time struggled to avoid its clichés, such as the way it gave fictional heroines only two options: thankless marriage or death. Elissa argues that the depictions of women falling crazily in love and leaving their rational selves behind continue to haunt our culture today, especially when dealing with issues of sexual consent.

The Oldest Hatred (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, January 2016

Anti-semitism has deep roots in France. Jews have been living there since the Middle Ages, coexisting in relative peace but never far removed from persecution or expulsion. The French Revolution gave Jews full civil rights, but within one-hundred years, the hatred was back. An anti-semitic book called La France Juive became widely popular in the late-19th century. Recent anti-Jewish demonstrations, and the Charlie Hebdo and HyperCacher murders, show that anti-semitism is still a potent force in contemporary France. Philip Coulter talks to scholars, historians and Jewish community leaders in Paris.

Contrarians - Ideacity (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, January 2016

(This lady knows how to get things done.) - Dr. Amy G. Lehman, MD, MBA, is the founder and CEO of the Lake Tanganyika Floating Health Clinic. The LTFHC is an international organization addressing the problem of health care access for millions of people who live in the isolated, but strategically critical Lake Tanganyika Basin/Great Lakes region of Central Africa.

(This guy is a lier.) - Dr. Patrick Moore has been a leader in the international environmental field for over 40 years. He is a co-founder of Greenpeace (false claim) and served for nine years as President of Greenpeace Canada and seven years as a Director of Greenpeace International. As the leader of many campaigns Dr. Moore was a driving force shaping policy and direction for 15 years while Greenpeace became the world's largest environmental activist organization. In recent years, Dr. Moore has been focused on the promotion of sustainability and consensus building among competing concerns. -- update -- He loses credibility on desmogblog. There is a video interview where he claims that a pesticide is "safe to drink", then upon being offered some to drink, he storms out. I would say he can be easily debunked. For example, desmogblog has a sample video and transcript for ”What They Haven't Told You About Climate Change” in which he repeats the Ideacity claim that "Temperatures and carbon dioxide levels do not show a strong correlation. In fact, over very long time spans – periods of hundreds of millions of years – they are often completely out of sync with each other." While that may be true, it is certainly misleading. A quick google search shows obvious correlation between CO2 and temperature in the last 400k years.

(This guy has good intentions but is wrong. His assumptions oversimplify the real world.) - Alex Epstein is an expert in energy and industrial policy. His writings on energy and energy policy have been published in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Investor's Business Daily, and dozens of other prominent publications. He has become the leading free-market energy debater, having debated Bill McKibben, Greenpeace, Occupy Wall Street, and other environmentalist groups. He is a Principal blogger for MasterResource, the leading free-market energy blog. Mr. Epstein's monthly podcast, "Power Hour," features discussions with leading energy thinkers.

Making Marco Polo

CBC Radio, Ideas, January 2016

Almost everything we think we know about Marco Polo - traveller, explorer, the man who brought the wonders of the East to the West - is being questioned. Tony Luppino searches for the real man and story behind the legendary wanderer, and discovers someone even more interesting and unexpected.

The Truth About Lying (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, May 2002

Everyone agrees that lying is, generally, a bad thing to do. But it's actually quite hard to figure out what's wrong with it! In this IDEAS Classic from 2002, philosophers Michael Blake, Samantha Brennan, Arthur Ripstein and IDEAS host Paul Kennedy tell us the truth about lying.

Wachtel On The Arts - Sir Nicholas Hytner

CBC Radio, Ideas, January 2016

British theatre director and filmmaker Sir Nicholas Hytner talks to Eleanor Wachtel about his new movie, The Lady in the Van, starring Maggie Smith. It reaches Canadian movie theatres this week, and tells the real-life story of a homeless woman who ended up living for fifteen years in the driveway of one of England's most famous playwrights, Alan Bennett. Hytner and Bennett teamed up to make the film, as they did twice before, for The Madness of King George and The History Boys.

Born to Lie (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, January 2016

No one wants to be called a liar. Or worse, to be caught lying. Yet lying is something we all do, often without even realizing it. IDEAS producer Nicola Luksic looks at our instinct to lie, why we do it, how we teach children to do the same -- and why it can sometimes be a good thing

Brad Blanton - Founder of Radical Honesty, psychotherapist. Author of Radical Honesty: How to Transform your Life by Telling the Truth. Watch his TEDx Talk.

David Livingstone Smith - Professor of Philosophy, University of New England. Director of The Human Nature Project; and author of Why We Lie: The Evolutionary Roots of Deception and the Unconscious Mind, and Less than Human.

The Lady and the Unicorn

CBC Radio, Ideas, January 2016

In the Musée de Cluny in Paris hang six stunning and enigmatic medieval tapestries. Known collectively as The Lady and the Unicorn, the tapestries feature a lion, a unicorn, and a beautiful young woman. Five of the tapestries seem to tell a story of the five senses: Touch, Taste, Smell, Hearing and Sight. But what is the story? And the sixth tapestry, Mon Seul Désir, My One Desire, with the young woman, a tent, and a box of jewels: what to make of that? Philip Coulter investigates a 600-year-old mystery.

Gun Crazy (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, January 2016

Even President Obama cries about it: that's how entrenched mass shootings in the U.S. have become. Yet gun culture remains stronger than ever, both in America and in Canada. A.J. Somerset is a Canadian journalist and gun enthusiast, and a critic of what he calls "nutty" gun culture. His book is called Arms: The Culture and Credo of the Gun. He joins host Paul Kennedy in conversation, together with Mohawk thinker Dr. Taiaiake Alfred, who directs the Indigenous Governance Program at the University of Victoria; and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, activist and author, Christopher Hedges.

The Enright Files - Understanding the terror attacks in Paris (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, January 2016

We spent much of the past year puzzling over the rise of ISIS and how best to prevent them from raining more terror and carnage on the Middle East and the West. This edition of The Enright Files looks back at some of our conversations from 2015 with people who tried to help us understand the terror attacks in Paris and the questions that flow from them.

Michael Enright speaks to Adam Gopnik, writer for The New Yorker; Syrian-born Church of England priest Nadim Nassar; University of Toronto expert on Islamic law Mohammed Fadel; and Paul Rogers, Professor of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom.

The Struggle Over Mein Kampf

CBC Radio, Ideas, June 2014

What should be done with Hitler's autobiography Mein Kampf? Scholars in Munich have just finished a new, heavily annotated version of the book before the copyright expires on December 31, 2015. They want to pre-empt neo-Nazis from being the sole bearers of the Führer's message. But they're facing a barrage of criticism. Sean Prpick explores the debate.

Global Justice (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, Part1, Part2, December 2015

Global Justice is rooted in the aspiration to make the world a better place. It seeks to help us understand how human beings – no matter who they are or where they live – can be treated fairly. But who decides what justice really is? And what happens when human values and interests collide? IDEAS in partnership with the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto presents a new two-part series about these very tough issues confronting all of us today.

The Honourable Louise Arbour, former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and international prosecutor of war crimes; Michael Blake Professor of Philosophy and Public Affairs, and Director of the Program on Values in Society at the University of Washington; Catherine Dauvergne, Dean of the Peter A. Allard School of Law at UBC; and moderator Stephen Toope, Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs, untangle the moral, legal, and political arguments that inform what we think and do about cross-border human migration. Readings by RH Thomson.

Democracy and Knowledge (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, December 2015

How can democracies encourage and utilize the kinds of knowledge necessary to make them sustainable? Is it really possible to speak truth to power? A Royal Society of Canada symposium considers such questions, with a keynote address from Sheila Jasanoff.

Knowledge and Democracy (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, December 2015

Is there a direct connection between knowledge and democracy? What kind of knowledge is required to sustain a healthy democratic society? How can we guarantee a solid foundation for sound policies and social practices? Does democracy help or hinder scientific progress? Can science contribute to the evolution and maintenance of a healthy civil society? A recent Royal Society of Canada symposium, at Memorial University of Newfoundland, considered such questions, with a keynote address from Harry Collins.

Wachtel On The Arts - Anish Kapoor

CBC Radio, Ideas, December 2015

As one British art critic put it, "If anyone's going to create the eighth Wonder of the World, odds are it'll be Anish Kapoor." The sculptor is known for his iconic works of 'public' art in major world cities, although the works themselves are often introspective, speaking to the most private questions of the self, the unconscious, and the mystery of existence.

Rumbling and Reckoning

CBC Radio, Ideas, December 2015

Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo delivers the inaugural Indigenous Speakers Series lecture at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo. Atleo is a Hereditary Chief of the Ahousaht First Nation in British Columbia and a past Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. The lecture series was announced in June 2015 to mark the release of the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

The 2015 Sobey Art Award

CBC Radio, Ideas, Part1, Part2, December 2015

In today's art, we often see the future. The Sobey Art Award celebrates the best in Canadian contemporary art by artists aged 40 and under. Each year a total of $100,000 is awarded to five selected artists -- of which half goes to the winner. Over two shows, IDEAS profiles the five regional finalists: from the West Coast: Raymond Boisjoly. Prairies and the North: Sarah Anne Johnson. Ontario: Abbas Akhavan. Quebec: Jon Rafman. The Atlantic: Lisa Lipton.

The Discovery of Human Rights (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, December 2015

The modern concept of human rights has profoundly changed our world: genocide, slavery, famine and the oppression of women are no longer acceptable. But what exactly have we achieved, and how do we move forward? Featuring diplomat and humanitarian, and CBC Massey Lecturer Stephen Lewis, with journalist and human rights activist Sally Armstrong, and former UN prosecutor in Rwanda and international human rights lawyer Payam Akhavan.

Line Drawing (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, December 2015

In January 2015 in Paris, terrorists invaded the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. They were looking for cartoonists to kill. In June 2015 in Toronto, several political cartoonists at Moses Znaimer's ideacity Conference pondered the role and limits of satirical cartooning. Where do they, and society, draw the line?

Terry Mosher (better known as Aislin), dean of Canadian political cartoonists, cartoonist for the Montreal Gazette, with 47 books published, including The Hecklers: A History of Canadian Political Cartooning and a Cartoonists' History of Canada, written with Peter Desbarats, published in 1979.

Wes Tyrell, editorial cartoonist for Yahoo Canada, president of Association of Canadian Cartoonists, and the cartoonist behind Prophet of Zoom, for Zoomer magazine

Patrick Chappatte, editorial cartoonist for the International New York Times since 2001, also contributor to Swiss newspapers, pioneer of comics journalism, and co-founder of Geneva-based foundation Cartooning for Peace

Dan Murphy, editorial cartoonist for the Vancouver newspaper The Province, numerous magazines, and writer for Cartoonists Rights Network International

Ann Telnaes, cartoonist for The Washington Post, winner of 2001 Pulitzer Prize for print cartoons, former designer for Walt Disney Imagineering

Kevin (KAL) Kallaugher, editorial cartoonist for The Economist magazine and The Baltimore Sun, has toured with the Second City comedy troupe

The Enright Files on Lewis Carroll & E.B. White

CBC Radio, Ideas, December 2015

Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and E.B. White, the author of Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little, are among the most-read authors in the English language. Their books are considered literary masterpieces. Michael Enright talks to Vanessa Tait, the great-granddaughter of the real-life Alice; David Day, the Canadian author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Decoded; and Martha White, the granddaughter of E.B. White, who edited a book of her grandfather's voluminous letters.

The Discovery of Other Worlds (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, December 2015

What are the other worlds of human knowledge that might help us navigate the uncertain future? In the sciences, the new things don't fit with what we already know; in politics and human affairs, the norms of how we might live together are challenged and cracking. This episode is one of a series recorded at the Stratford Festival. It features CBC Massey Lecturer and Founding Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs Janice Gross Stein; physician-scientist, author, and deep-sea explorer Dr. Joe MacInnis; and science broadcaster and writer Jay Ingram.

Is France Burning? (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, November 2015

In one part of his 2009 IDEAS series about France, Gilbert Reid explored the riots in 2005 that spread from the high rise suburbs outside Paris across the country, leaving thousands of people arrested. In the aftermath of the recent Paris terrorist attacks, IDEAS rebroadcasts that documentary, asking: why, in the country of liberté, égalité, et fraternité, is there still so much conflict with its newest, and youngest, citizens?

Ideas from the Trenches - Refuge (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, November 2015

The sense of a moral duty to give refuge to a stranger in need resonates across human cultures and deep into our history. However, as PhD students Kiran Banerjee and Craig Damian Smith argue, the values of the nation state can clash with our profound moral beliefs, creating big problems when we try to apply and honour international human rights. To get beyond this clash, they propose a radical re-thinking of the institutions that shape how nations respond to the voices of refugees.

Mary Jo Leddy -- Founder and Director of Romero House . Romero House has provided temporary housing to more than 1,500 refugees.

Alexander Betts -- Director of the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford. He recently co-authored an article in Foreign Affairs magazine called Help Refugees Help Themselves: Let Displaced Syrians Join the Labour Market.

Joseph Carens -- Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto. His most recent book is The Ethics of Immigration.

The Best Is Yet To Come? (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, November 2015

History suggests that humanity has achieved great things in medicine, democracy, and human rights. We live longer, eat better and have a more equitable world than at any other time. But what about the future? Do terrorism, weapons and the environment, for example, present more profound challenges? In the most recent Munk Debate, Steven Pinker and Matt Ridley square off against Malcolm Gladwell and Alain de Botton.

In my view the pro-future destroyed the con-future, but that's because the failed to explore the argument that although the future is better on-average, the potential for calamity is increased and thus that average has been falsely calculated because the pending rare but expensive calamity has not yet arrived.

Women and Peacemaking (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, April 2015

Women are peaceful. On this basis, women have worked for peace as mothers and moral guides to the world. But this stereotype limits women - and their peacemaking - as much as it empowers them. In 1986, psychologist Adrienne Harris first brought this to light for IDEAS. In conversation with producer Sara Wolch, she now sees what's held up, what hasn't and how feminists and peace activists view their roles today.

Peace In Their Time (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, April 2015

In 1915, more than a thousand women gathered in The Hague, Netherlands to find a way to end the First World War. They were social and labour reformers, suffragists and peace activists and they were determined to create a plan they could take to the world. Marilyn Powell traces the remarkable story of their achievement and defeat.

Wachtel On The Arts - Corneliu Porumboiu

CBC Radio, Ideas, November 2015

Corneliu Porumboiu is one of the youngest and most recognized names in what's been dubbed the "Romanian new wave." Since his debut film in 2006 -- 12:08 East of Bucharest -- all of his work has won major awards. His latest film, The Treasure, is no exception: unusually uplifting, it's been described as a "delightful fusion of contemporary fairy tale and political parable." Eleanor's conversation with the filmmaker is accompanied by a discussion about new Romanian cinema, with critic and curator Andrei Tanasescu.

Heroes and Anti-heroes

CBC Radio, Ideas, November 2015

What makes a hero? Five of Canada's top writers share their stories inspired by the theme of this year's CBC Massey Lectures by Margaret MacMillan. From the ugly underbelly of our deification of celebrity to the beautiful simplicity of small, often overlooked acts of heroism.

Katherena Vermette finds heroes among those who are often overlooked. Read her poem pieces of moon. Katherena won the Governor General's Award in 2013 for her collection of poems, North End Love Songs.

Raziel Reid doesn't believe in heroes. He thinks we put too much stock in their perfection. Read his short story The Youngest Most Sacred Monster. Raziel Reid won the Governor General's Award in 2014 for his young adult novel When Everything Feels Like the Movies.

Paul Yee likes heroes who are complicated. In his short story, he revisits the history of the Chinese labourers who built the Canadian Pacific Railway. Read Each Era Has Heroes. Paul Yee won the Governor General's Award for his children's book Ghost Train.

Jordan Tannahill finds heroism in one of the more seemingly weak characters in the Book of Genesis. Read Jordan's retelling of the story of Lot's Wife. Jordan won the Governor General's Award in 2014 for his drama, Age of Minority:Three Solo Plays.

Kate Pullinger digs into her family's history to bring a charismatic and troubled uncle to life. Read her story, The Trees. Kate won the Governor General's Award in 2009 for her novel The Mistress of Nothing.

Going Forward - Ideacity

CBC Radio, Ideas, November 2015

We like to believe we're moving steadily forward, progressing as a species, thanks to technology and human ingenuity.

Paul Robinson, historian, former military officer, and author of six books, mostly on military affairs.

Peter Nowak, journalist, and author of Humans 3.0, The Upgrading of the Species wordsbynowak.com

Nicholas Carr, journalist, and author of The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, and The Glass Cage: Automation and Us

Andrew Keen, executive director of the Silicon Valley innovation salonFutureCast, and author of three books, including The Internet Is Not The Answer

Talking Philosophy: War and Peace (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, Part1, Part2, November 2015

We all know that 'war is hell' but does this mean that peace -- at any price -- will do? Philosophers Michael Blake, Simone Chambers, Arthur Ripstein and IDEAS Executive Producer Greg Kelly grapple with the nature, the rules, and the challenges of war and peace, yesterday and today.

Why Grow Up? (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, October 2015

In her new book Why Grow Up? Subversive Thoughts for an Infantile Age, Paul Kennedy talks with philosopher Susan Neiman, who believes that "Having created societies that our young want to grow up into, we idealize the stages of youth."

The Coming Zombie Apocalypse (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, October 2015

Native Studies scholar Dr. Cutcha Risling Baldy explains that Indigenous peoples have been facing the apocalypse for generations. For her nation, colonization was the end of the world and she sees parallels in The Walking Dead TV show.

Afrofuturist sci-fi writer Nalo Hopkinson says that for people of colour, the apocalypse is already here, with unemployment, marginalization and deadly police violence.

Complex systems theorist Brad Werner has run models on possible future scenarios. He asks: "are we Fucked?" and looks at how resistance can slow down the destruction of the planet.

So many have dreamed of changing the world. Now they're just trying to survive its end. Megan Adam is a community activist, working for social justice, but she has an escape plan in case that doesn't work out.

And Thea Munster identifies with the undead. It's the heavily armed survivors she fears. So she started Zombie Walks, to unite the horde.

East Vancouver comedian Charlie Demers and I both feel torn between paralyzing despair and cautious optimism. He talks about Thatcher's notion that there is no such thing as society and how we must rebuild one.

The Road to Damascus (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, October 2015

The ancient city of Damascus has been destroyed in history and mythologized by holy scripture. Damascus is also a character: elderly, unyielding and vital, but overcrowded, tired and in danger of destruction in Syria's civil war. Nelofer Pazira captures the sounds of war and moments of resilience, as well as the fears -- and the hopes -- of a city whose past is far more certain than its future.

High Culture (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, Part1, Part2, Part3, November 2015

LSD. MDMA. Magic Mushrooms. The demonized drugs of the 1960's, some of them banned over four decades ago, are back. But now they're on the front-lines of medicine, as scientists around the world explore their healing properties. LSD for alcoholism. Psilocybin (magic mushrooms) for anxiety. MDMA (Ecstasy) for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Barbara Monk Feldman / Christopher Alden

CBC Radio, Ideas, October 2015

As the Canadian Opera Company prepares for the world premiere of Pyramus & Thisbe, Eleanor Wachtel speaks with the opera's Canadian composer, Barbara Monk Feldman, and the show's American director, Christopher Alden.

The Discovery of the Self (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, October 2015

How do we get the idea of ourselves as individuals? And, how does our sense of ourselves shape how we function in the world? The idea of the self, as we understand it today -- after the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution and Sigmund Freud -- seems quite different from the way in which people of a previous era might have thought of themselves.

It features 2011 CBC Massey Lecturer and staff writer for The New Yorker, Adam Gopnik; Adam's father and literature professor Irwin Gopnik; and psychologist and author Susan Pinker.

Uncommon Knowledge - Ideacity

CBC Radio, Ideas, October 2015

Tim Clark, writer for The Old Farmer's Almanac, which is based in Dublin, New Hampshire. Stephen "Dr. Freeze" Morris, J. Tuzo Wilson Professor of Geophysics, University of Toronto. John McQuaid, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of Tasty: The Art and Science of What We Eat.

Ideas At 50

CBC Radio, Ideas, Part1, Part2, Part3, Part4, October 2015

For 50 years, IDEAS has been delivering the best in contemporary thought for an hour, five times a week to the homes, cars and computers of listeners across the country and beyond. To help us celebrate this milestone anniversary, we invited listeners to tell us about programs that inspired them to make major life changes, altered their world-views or simply piqued their intellectual curiosity.


Jane Goodall's Hope (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, September 2015

In a lecture at the University of Winnipeg and in a follow-up conversation with Paul Kennedy, pioneering primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodall discusses the evolving relationship between humans and animals, saving the planet and the role the next generation can play in both.

Global Migration and Finding Home (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, September 2015

In a time of accelerated global migration and communication, lifelong traveller and writer Pico Iyer finds pathways to adventure and connection by making time to sit still. This episode of IDEAS is based on his inaugural Global Diversity Exchange Lecture at Ryerson University, as well as his latest book The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere.

Doing the Right Thing (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, September 2015

This was the refrain shooting through the talk that Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi gave at the 2015 Lafontaine-Baldwin Symposium in Stratford, Ontario. In that talk, and in a follow-up conversation with host Paul Kennedy, Mayor Nenshi explains why his vision of Canada necessitates confronting ugly realities, as well as celebrating its highest ideals.

Eureka! Mapping the Creative Mind

CBC Radio, Ideas, September 2015

Revolutionary ideas don't come out of nowhere. Or do they? Starting with Archimedes' original "eureka" moment, producer John Chipman dissects "aha" moments both big and small, and draws a road map to understanding Big Ideas. He looks at how our brains come up with them, and whether we can train ourselves to be better at making them happen

How I Understand the World (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, September 2015

The New York Times has acclaimed Russell Banks "the most compassionate writer of fiction in the world today". He has written more twenty books -- most of which have been both critically acclaimed and widely read. His work captures the lives and dreams of working-class Americans, and has been translated into more than twenty languages. More than a few of his novels have also been turned into movies, like The Sweet Hereafter, Affliction, and Rule of the Bone. At the 2015 Blue Met/Metropolis Bleu Literary Festival, in Montreal, Russell Banks discusses his most recent collection of short stories -- A Permanent Member of the Family -- with IDEAS host Paul Kennedy. They focus particularly on one story that perfectly reveals how he understands the world.

Catalogues of Culture

CBC Radio, Ideas, September 2015

​Every culture tries to answer a fundamental question: What does it mean to be human and alive? In the Milton K. Wong Lecture, anthropologist Wade Davis explores some of the diversity of human culture, and considers what knowledge and expertise we lose by obliterating, or at best ignoring, traditional cultures.

Wachtel On The Arts - Edmund de Waal

CBC Radio, Ideas, September 2015

British ceramicist Edmund de Waal was only five when he made his first pot and found his calling. Today he is recognized as an extraordinary talent in the field of ceramics, combining artistry with intellect. Subtle and surprising, his imaginative work in porcelain is exhibited internationally, including a permanent installation at London's Victoria and Albert Museum. De Waal is also an award-winning writer, best known for his poignant, best-selling memoir, The Hare with Amber Eyes -- an exploration of his European family heritage. Now his new book, The White Road: A Journey into Obsession, takes up another dramatic quest -- this time, through the complicated and, at times, dark history of porcelain. A teacup may never look the same.

The Death of Alexis Grigoropoulos

CBC Radio, Ideas, September 2015

Yesterday, Greeks elected a new government. Five years ago, they learned that for years the books had been cooked, and that the national deficit was out of control. "Austerity" was imposed, and Greece exploded in uproar and nationwide strikes. In 2011, we broadcast a documentary about the Greek crisis. This is an updated version of that programme, including an interview about the Greek struggle for national identity from writer Nikos Papandreou -- brother, son, and grandson in a dynasty of Greek prime ministers.

The Struggle Over Jihad (important)

CBC Radio, Ideas, September 2015

For many non-Muslims, jihad is synonymous with violence. We've all seen images of ISIS and other extremists using the term to justify their butchery. But jihad is traditionally defined as a noble endeavour -- more about how to live than how to die. Contributor Naheed Mustafa looks at the origins of jihad, how it's been transformed into a narrowly defined call to fight -- and what can be done to reclaim it.

Abdullah Anas - was one of the first foreign fighters to join Afghan mujahideen during the Afghan-Soviet war. Currently lives in the UK.

Niamatullah Arghandabi - a former Mujahideen fighter now living mostly in Afghanistan.

Yasir Qadhi - Resident scholar at the Memphis Islamic Center and assistant professor in the department of religious studies at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee.

Mohammad Fadel - Associate Professor & Canada Research Chair for the Law and Economics of Islamic Law, University of Toronto. Main area of research is Islamic law, liberalism, and political theory

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