CBC Radio Archive (Part4)
Decoding the resistance to climate change (important)
"No one wanted to pay attention to the implications of a world four degrees warmer… It's too horrendous to think about. And no one talked about it. Then a few scientists said let's have a conference and actually talk about it. They held this conference in Oxford and I went along. As the conference started, there was a kind of suppressed emotional intensity, except in the coffee breaks. It was then that I would buttonhole a couple of scientists and say: 'Well, you know we're speculating about this. But what do you really think is the situation?' And one of them just looked at me and said: 'We're f--ked.'" – Clive Hamilton
The art of crime fiction & what it says about human nature
To begin a new season of The Enright Files, we take a look the art of crime fiction and what it says about the ills of society, life on the margins and the stormy heart of human nature.
- Henning Mankell, the late Swedish author of the Kurt Wallander detective series.
- Howard Engel, the Canadian author of the Benny Cooperman detective series.
- P. D. James, the late English author of the Adam Dalgleish detective series.
- Louise Penny, the Canadian author of the Armand Gamache detective series.
Canada's original promise: Still waiting to be realized
Roberta Jamieson believes Canada is at a make-or-break moment where it has a chance to recast its historically troubled relationship with First Nations for the next 150 years. She sees the hope for that renewal in the very moment of contact between settler Europeans and her ancestors.
Fighting at the table: Conflict as successful integration (important)
Sociologist Aladin El-Mafaalani sees anti-immigrant cries to build walls, and hate-fuelled politics counter-intuitively: a sign that integration is working. Conflict, he argues in his talk delivered in Berlin, is the necessary consequence of new arrivals at a metaphoric dinner table. The more people taking their place at the table, the more jostling and arguments there inevitably will be. While conflict can of course lead to violence, or even war, conflict in and of itself is neutral. It's simply a necessary stage of maturing societies. And those which have no conflict tend to be top-down authoritarian states which coerce their populations into obedience.
What happens when we stop asking questions: Why India must be secular (important)
Political scientist Neera Chandhoke makes a heartfelt argument for a secular India at a talk delivered in Mumbai. Against the growing tide of Hindu nationalism and India's history of inter-religious strife, she draws on Western and Indian thinkers to make the case for diversity — not simply a social nicety, but as a condition for civilization itself. According to Neera, diversity means that a society is continually questioning itself. Those that don't embrace diversity cease to grow and eventually ossify. Yet Neera isn't against religious worldviews. In her vision of a secular state, all religions have a legitimate place. Because all religions seek the truth, none can fully lay claim to having all of it, and therefore there is space left for all: "The opposite of secularism is not communalism. It is theocracy".
The new tribe of Israel: The immigrant underclass (important)
Anthropologist Galia Sabar has devoted her professional life to what she calls the "new tribe" of Israel: Jewish-African and non-Jewish labour migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees. Galia believes that Israel must be vigilant about its security. But it also has a moral duty, as a state established for Jews persecuted as the ultimate "other", to be humane and welcoming to the disadvantaged.
Eyes on the back of our heads: Recovering a multicultural South Africa (important)
Journalist and activist Sisonke Msimang speaks at a former prison complex in Johannesburg which once held Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. The setting is apt: Sisonke believes that post-apartheid South Africa has become imprisoned by its own past — a past which whites cannot recall and which blacks cannot forget. With both a mischievous sense of humour and sharp historical analyses, she pulls down the old binarism of black versus white to make way for a truly multicultural South Africa, one that welcomes other African migrants as it embraces its own racially diverse past.
Go with the flow: Using nature to help fight climate change
Since the 1990s, the Netherlands has been looking at softer approaches to help fight climate change, mainly by using the forces of nature. The Room for the River project involves 30 different interventions along the major rivers flowing through the Netherlands, and is essentially a flood control project that allows rivers to flood, instead of forcing the water to go where it wouldn't naturally go.
When to tear down and when to preserve buildings in our city cores was the topic of a discussion held in Halifax at the recent annual meeting of the International Council on Monuments and Sites.
CBC Radio One in partnership with the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, considers what it means to police and be policed in these complex and anxious times.
Counter-terrorism, fighting cybercrime, policing highly diverse societies: Can the police do it all? Should the police do it all? Do the police want to do it all?
Interesting perspective from inspector Shawna Coxon, Toronto Police Service, and member of the TPS Transformational Task Force
Distant Future Warnings: The challenges of communicating with eternity
Radioactive waste and toxic mining byproducts will remain deadly for thousands of years – maybe forever. Generations in the distant future will need to know about about the places this stuff is buried, and to stay away. Deep in the arsenic-contaminated underground at Giant Mine near Yellowknife, contributor Garth Mullins wonders how we can warn the distant future. Is it even possible to send messages that can outlast governments, languages, cultures, nations – maybe even humans?
Newfoundland Jam: Shakespeare's "As You Like It"
The way Shakespeare's plays sounded in his own time, on his own stage, wasn't quite the way it sounds today — the accent, the way words were pronounced, was different then. Today we're used to a kind of standard "British" pronunciation, and veerings into Canadian and American accents work too: Shakespeare, and what he's trying to share with us about human nature, generally gets through.
Ben Crystal: artistic director, Passion in Practice theatre company, Original Pronunciation specialist.
Lady and Lord Macbeth on trial: guilty or bewitched?
What in fact might happen in a modern Canadian courtroom if the Macbeths were put on trial? Let's assume there's already been a trial, and they've been found guilty. Now of course, in the great legal tradition, there has to be an appeal. On the bench, three Supreme Court justices — Russell Brown, Andromache Karakatsanis, and the chief justice- Beverley McLachlin. And the star witness, former leader of the Liberal Party of Canada Bob Rae.
Orchids: A Love Story
Wily, deceptive, manipulating: get ready to travel between history and science, how we humans think about orchids and who they really are in nature among themselves. A celebration of all things orchid with contributing producer Marilyn Powell.
The 2017 Killam Prize (important)
John Borrows (Social Sciences) — John Borrows holds the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous law at the University of Victoria where he teaches constitutional, Indigenous, and environmental law. He is Anishinaabe and a member of the Chippewas of the Nawash First Nation in Ontario, where he grew up on the family farm east of the reserve. Over the decades, his work had a major influence on the broader recognition of Indigenous legal systems and legal rights within Canada.
Molly Shoichet (Engineering) — Molly Shoichet holds the Canada Research Chair in Tissue Engineering and is Professor of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry, Chemistry and Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto. Her innovations in designing hydrogels promise to have a major impact on cancer research, spinal cord rehabilitation, and restoring lost vision.
Thomas Hurka (Humanities) — Thomas Hurka is the distinguished chair in philosophical studies at the University of Toronto. His main area research is moral and political philosophy, zeroing in on normative ethical theory. He is interested in understanding what makes a 'good life.' Knowledge, achievement and friendship play strong roles in that understanding.
W. Ford Doolittle (Natural Sciences) — W. Ford Doolittle is professor emeritus in the department of biochemistry and molecular biology at Dalhousie University. He's also been awarded the Herzberg Gold Medal for science and engineering, which is Canada's highest honour. His work in molecular genetics includes the study of lateral gene transfer, a key driver of microbial evolution and the proposition of an alternative "web of life" theory. He jokes that his revived enthusiasm for philosophy means that he's now 'practicing philosophy without a license.'
Dr. Julio Montaner (Health Sciences) — Dr. Julio Montaner is the Director of the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. Originally from Argentina, he immigrated to Canada more than 30 years ago and his innovations in HIV/AIDS treatment helped save millions of lives. He is a strong advocate of 'treatment as prevention' as well as safe injection sites and needle exchange programs.
Fail Better: What baseball can teach us about failure and community
Baseball may have inspired more books than any other sport -- but none quite like philosopher Mark Kingwell's recently published, Fail Better: Why Baseball Matters. It's the first book-length philosophical meditation on what has been called America's national pastime. Paul Kennedy takes him out to a ballgame, and discusses everything from RBIs, to the metaphysics of failure, and how Kingwell borrowed the title for his baseball book from a work by Samuel Beckett.
The Challenge of Words: What is the future of literary writing in the digital age?
In our hyperfast, overcaffeinated, 140-character, social-media-blasted, Facebook-overloaded age, there are still people writing serious books. The novel -- an art form that's centuries old -- still has the capacity to hold our attention from subway commute to library chair. But we tell ourselves we're in a different era now. What's to become of serious writing in the digital age? From the 2016 Stratford Festival, a discussion featuring writers Shani Mootoo, Charles Foran and Monia Mazigh.
Subversive thoughts for an infantile age (important)
In her new book Why Grow Up? Subversive Thoughts for an Infantile Age, Paul Kennedy talks with philosopher Susan Neiman, who believes that "Having failed to create societies that our young want to grow up into, we idealize the stages of youth."
Nine minutes that changed the world
In 1876, the poet Stéphane Mallarmé published a poem entitled The Afternoon of a Faun. He doubted anyone could set it to music successfully. But composer Claude Debussy did exactly that. The resulting music -- Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun -- runs only about nine minutes long, but it helped give birth to the modern era as we know it. It's more than just a famous piece of music. It stands at the beginning of the world we still live in. It's a guide, in sound, to the political, social, moral and geopolitical changes that ended the nineteenth and created the twentieth century. And it remains an existential and culturally shape-shifting work of art that offers us clues into who we are today. Contributor Robert Harris and Tafelmusik's Ivars Taurins bring us inside the spellbinding magic of Debussy's imagining.
Bringing up furbaby: The evolution from family pet to pet family (important)
There are now more pets than children in North American homes, and lavish dog beds and catnip mice are taking the place of bassinets and rattles. Is this turn from traditional to furry families simply a passing fad, or a response to the stresses of modern life?
History Derailed: Understanding the messy Middle East (important)
The Arab Spring was supposed to be a turning point for the Arab Middle East. And it was. But history appears to have taken a wrong turn. Again. American journalist Robert F. Worth joins Paul Kennedy in conversation about his book, A Rage for Order: The Middle East in Turmoil, from Tahrir Square to ISIS.
Robert F. Worth is a former correspondent for The New York Times. The travels he underwent in Egypt, Libya, Syria -- and elsewhere -- make up a journey into an idea of the Arab world itself. Not into the revolutionary promises of the 2010 Arab Spring. But into the sobering, and tragic narrative that took shape just a year later.
Does public broadcasting have a future?
It seems the idea of public service journalism is under fire everywhere. So three major public broadcasters came together to talk about their collective future at a forum held in Toronto by the Canadian Journalism Foundation: Jennifer McGuire, General Manager and Editor-in-Chief of CBC News, James Harding, Director of News and Current Affairs of the BBC, and Michael Oreskes, Senior Vice-President of News and Editorial Director of NPR. The discussion was moderated by Simon Houpt of The Globe and Mail.
Ideas from the Trenches - The problem of bad referendums (important)
From Brexit to Turkey, the use of referendums is on the rise around the world. They're seen as a way of getting politicians and experts out of the way to let 'the people' decide on major policy decisions, and making democracy work more directly. Leah Trueblood is a PhD student at Oxford University. She warns that ill-conceived referendums are actually dangerous for democracies.
Jason Brennan — professor of Strategy, Economics, Ethics, and Public Policy at Georgetown University and author of Against Democracy and The Ethics of Voting.
The Myth of Victory (important)
Some people argue that World War One was just the opening act for the Second World War, and perhaps World War Three is just around the corner. And what about wars of ideology? The Soviet Union doesn't seem to be dead yet, and nor is Communism. Even if we defeat ISIS, does that mean the idea of an Islamic state is finished? Stephen Toope, Janice Stein and Hugh Segal in conversation from the Stratford Festival.
How art shapes history
Toronto CBC Radio host Matt Galloway talks with architect Sir David Adjaye, visual artist Christi Belcourt, author Junot Díaz and filmmaker Paul Gross. The group met onstage at Toronto's Massey Hall as part of the Creative Minds series, produced in partnership with CBC, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Banff Centre and Massey Hall. Their focus: current global politics and how art shapes our understanding of place, history and progress.
Why "Buffyworld" still matters
It's been 20 years since a midriff-baring California cheerleader leapt onto our television screens and became a riveting woman warrior — slaying vampires, demons and monsters. Her fantastical enemies were subversive metaphors for a corrupt and authoritarian culture. Today, Buffy the Vampire Slayer remains the most-studied show in television history. IDEAS producer Mary O'Connell revisits the legacy of "Buffyworld".
The program's prevailing messages: life can be hell, so expect it. In a society that medicates sadness and quirks of temperament, Buffy the Vampire Slayer asks us to consider emotional pain as a part of being human. And to be alive to the dangers, and joys, around us — and inside us. It invites us to be engaged, to strive towards good. It does not leave apathy as an option. In the words of British theatre critic Ian Shuttleworth, it's a "program more relevant today than ever".
How a 900-year-old Arabic tale inspired the Enlightenment (important)
Our contemporary values and ideals are generally seen as the product of the Enlightenment. Individual rights, independent thinking, empiricism and rationalism are traced to the debates and discussions held by the great European thinkers of the 17th and 18th century: Locke, Rousseau, Voltaire, and Kant among others. But these thinkers owe a debt to a figure from 12th century Spain: a philosopher-physician named Ibn Tufayl who wrote a story called Hayy ibn Yaqzan -- which may be the most important story you've never heard.
The Munk Debates on the decline and fall of the liberal international order (important)
For decades, global affairs have been moulded by ideas about the mutual benefits of an interdependent world. But the pillars of liberal internationalism are cracking under the rise of nationalist politics and other challenges. Is this the beginning of the end of the liberal international order? In a head-to-head Munk Debate, historian Niall Ferguson says Yes, the old order is collapsing, while commentator Fareed Zakaria argues No, there's life yet in liberal ideals.
The Enright Files: fifty years after the Six-Day War (important)
That pivotal 1967 conflict that shaped so much of Israel's subsequent history has become known as the Six-Day War, but the outcome was effectively decided in the first 45 minutes. On the morning of June 5th, two Israeli squadrons of jet fighters destroyed hundreds of Egyptian aircraft as they sat on the ground. Less than a week later, the war was over.
According to historian Tom Segev, it was a Pyrrhic victory. In the decades that followed Israel faced more wars, two Intifadas and countless missile attacks and suicide bombings. What has not happened has been a resolution to the plight of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians living in the occupied territories. A two-state solution seems as distant as ever.
- Tom Segev, Israeli historian.
- Michael Oren, Israeli historian and politician.
- Margaret MacMillan, Canadian historian.
- David Shulman, Israeli academic and peace activist
- David Grossman, acclaimed Israeli novelist.
Don't shoot the messenger: The value of whistleblowing (important)
Recorded at Ryerson University's Centre for Free Expression, Paul Kennedy hosts a panel on why whistleblowers are vital to the public interest...and how their exposure of wrongdoing can ultimately be helpful, even to their workplace. Investigator Sandy Boucher, international expert Anna Myers, and Canadian advocate David Hutton join forces to explain why they believe whistleblowers should be heard and protected.
The accident at Chernobyl remains the worst nuclear accident in history, worse even than what happened in Fukushima. Thirty-one people died as an immediate consequence, and a great many more were treated for radiation poisoning, but what is less-well understood are the long-term consequences: who is sick today, more than 30 years later, as a result of Chernobyl? Around Chernobyl itself there's a 30 km zone, where no one is supposed to live, and nothing should be harvested. But many have returned to the zone, and many others are marked forever by their time there 31 years ago.
The Motorcycle is Yourself
Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance has been called the most widely read book of philosophy ever written. Forty years after its publication, contributor Tim Wilson revisits an extraordinary interview he did with its author, for still vital advice on how to live.
The rise of the extreme right in France (important)
The French go to the polls April 23 to begin the selection of their next president. In the volatile world of French politics, the stakes seem higher than ever, as National Front leader Marine Le Pen is poised to make history. After decades in the political wilderness, the extreme right just might pull off an upset. She's promised to take France out of Europe and to end immigration, as per her motto: "One community, one culture, one language".
Francois Picard, host of Debate and The World This Week on the Paris-based TV network France 24.
Nonna Mayer is research director at the Centre for European Studies at Sciences Po in Paris. She's written extensively about the roots of right-wing politics in France.
Jeremy Ghez -- professor of economics and international affairs at the Hautes Etudes de Commerce in Paris, Director of the HEC Centre for Geopolitics.
Jean-Yves Camus -- political analyst at the French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs (IRIS) and director of the Observatory for Radical Politics, author of Far-Right Politics in Europe.
Pierre Larti, from the extreme right youth political action group Génération Identitaire.
Lucile Schmid, president of the non-profit Foundation for Political Ecology, former diplomat and politician.
The Rise of the Anti-Establishment: Where do we go from here? (important)
"It is a deep tragedy, bordering on calamity, that we have come to this point," says Robert Reich of the Trump presidency. In a lecture at the University of British Columbia, followed by an interview with Paul Kennedy, the former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at University of California at Berkeley details how understanding the circumstances that led to the election of Donald Trump can help shape a new democratic political sensibility.
Globalized Anger: The Enlightenment's Unwanted Child (important)
Trumpism. Hindu nationalism. ISIS. Chinese expansionism. People everywhere seem fed up with the status quo, and their anger and intolerance are finding political expression. But why? Pankaj Mishra believes that the current unrest isn't about any so-called "clash of civilizations" between the enlightened and unenlightened. He thinks the globalized anger is the legitimate offspring of the Enlightenment itself. He speaks with Paul Kennedy about his provocative book, The Age of Anger: A History of the Present.
Islamist Persistence: The rise and reality of political Islam (important)
It's a provocative argument among Islamic Scholars: was Islam founded on political principles? Is the rise of Islamism, after the Arab Spring, a natural evolution in Muslim-dominated countries? Many would say no. But author Shadi Hamid, an American Muslim and self-described liberal, says the rise of Islamist parties is inevitable. He also argues that mainstream Islamist parties that gain power through democratic, free elections should not be de-legitimized by secular liberals in the West and the Middle East.
Ireland 1916: how 800 years of British rule led to violent rebellion
On Easter Monday, April 24, 1916, the streets of Dublin were transformed into a war zone. About 1,200 Irish rebels rose up against 20,000 British troops in a doomed attempt to throw off centuries of British colonial rule. The Easter Rising may have failed in that moment, but the brutality of the British response so disgusted and angered the people of Ireland that Irish independence became inevitable. On this edition of The Enright Files, we revisit some highlights of a two-hour special commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising last year.
The Return of History: Your Questions
Jennifer Welsh's 2016 CBC Massey Lectures: The Return of History is a stunning tour-de-force survey of the world we live in. Francis Fukuyama made his ill-fated proposal that history had ended in 1989. As communism was collapsing it looked like Western liberal democracy was here to stay. Fukyama argued that no new or better political system could possibly emerge, and that peace and international stability were definitely here to stay. Well, we know how that worked out. Jennifer Welsh's elegant essays explored what went wrong with those expectations, and why.
Saving Syria: Keeping war-torn culture alive
Destruction and displacement -- that's the story of Syria today. Paul Kennedy talks with three Syrians who believe in other Syrias, with stories about love, and laughter, and the smells of jasmine and tarragon. Maamoun Abdulkarim risks his life rescuing stolen ancient artefacts. Ghada Alatrash translates the work of poets still coping with life in Syria. And journalist Alia Malek writes about the history of Syria through the story of her family. Each talks about the responsibility they feel toward saving the Syria they know, and their fears that those stories might soon disappear.
Return of the Michif Boy: Confronting Métis trauma (important)
PhD student Jesse Thistle was once a high school drop-out who spent more than a decade in and out of homeless shelters, consumed by drug and alcohol addiction. By reconnecting with his birth mother and spending time with his Métis elders he came to understand the effects of intergenerational trauma. His award-winning historical research shines a light on the struggles and the resilience of Métis 'road-side allowance' communities in northern Saskatchewan.
Expletive Repeated: Why swearing matters
Profanity was once considered rude and crude — a linguistic last resort. Not so these days. Younger generations use swearing as everyday slang, and academics study it as an ever-evolving form of creative and cultural expression. Cognitive scientist, linguist, and author Benjamin K. Bergen (What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves) explains why cursing is so %$#* fascinating. Also featured: writer Roxana Robinson, who traces the subversive path of a sexist slur against women, and performer/activist Jess Thom explains what it's like to live with coprolalia — involuntarily swearing out loud.
The Rise of the Extreme Right in The Netherlands (important)
In 1642, Rembrandt painted a masterpiece featuring Dutch men preparing for military duty at the height of the war of independence from Spain. Its an icon of democracy in The Netherlands, the reminder of a founding moment in history, of the values of tolerance and nationhood. But now, approaching this year's national elections, the Netherlands -- like many countries -- is experiencing an explosion of right-wing populism, fueled by the anti-immigrant rhetoric of Geert Wilders. And the nation is torn.
Rabin Baldewsingh came to The Netherlands as a 13-year-old, a Hindu from the Dutch colony of Surinam in South America. Today he's Deputy Mayor of The Hague, responsible for Social Affairs and Integration. It's an immigrant story with a happy ending, but it's not a track most new immigrants might be able to follow -- the Dutch are struggling with a rise of right-wing, anti-immigrant sentiment on the eve of national elections.
How Existentialist and Conservative Philosophers Think About Freedom (important)
While the study of philosophy may seem more peripheral to everyday culture than ever in the 21st Century, the past hundred years saw a proliferation of schools of philosophical thought. None had the popular reach of existentialism, and few had greater impact on politics and debates on social issues than the various branches of conservatism - in many ways, the opposite of existentialism. On this month's edition of The Enright Files, conversations about, and with, existentialist and conservative philosophers.
- Sarah Bakewell, author of At the Existentialist Café; Freedom, Being and Apricot Cocktail.
- Claire Messud, acclaimed novelist and author of New York Review of Books article on Albert Camus.
- Roger Scruton, English conservative philosopher and author of more than 30 books.
Beyond the Huddled Masses (important)
From the 2016 Stratford Festival, a discussion with three fighters for human rights, three people whose families arrived on the shores of North America with next to no thing. Today, all three are deeply involved in fighting for human rights around the world.
Flora Terah works for women's rights in Canada and elsewhere- she was a political activist in Kenya before her son was murdered in retribution.
Harold Hongju Koh is professor of law at Yale and has worked as an advisor to the State Department -- his parents were refugees from North Korea.
Payam Akhavan and his family were refugees from Iran. He's worked extensively with the United Nations and as a UN prosecutor at The Hague; now he teaches law at McGill. He's also this year's CBC Massey lecturer.
Downloading Decision: Could machines make better decisions for us? (important)
Humans like to let others make decisions for them. But what happens when those decisions are made by machines or artificial intelligence? Can we trust them to make the right choices? Contributor Scott Lilwall explores how we might program robots to make ethical choices. Assuming, of course, we can ever figure out just how humans make those same choices.
Sir Peter Gluckman on the proper role of science (important)
The Harper government muzzled scientists. Donald Trump's administration is now doing the same. But a better relationship between science and government is possible. Sir Peter Gluckman is the Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand. This episode draws on a conversation he had with host Paul Kennedy and a talk he gave organized by Canadian Science Policy Centre, and hosted by the Institute for Science Society and Policy at the University of Ottawa. His point: science's proper role is to help decision-makers make scientifically-informed decisions.
From Tolerance to Tyranny (important)
Christians, Muslims and Jews lived together in relative harmony in medieval Spain. Then the Spanish Inquisition came along with its use of terror and racism, turning a pluralistic society into a police state. Writer Erna Paris first explored this history for IDEAS in 1995. In a new take, she calls what happened in Spain "a cautionary tale for today."
Wachtel On The Arts - Phyllis Lambert (important)
Eleanor Wachtel speaks to Canadian architectural activist, Phyllis Lambert, in celebration of her exceptional career on her 90th birthday. Phyllis Lambert's deep commitment to architecture and the city has won her international renown. In 2014, she received the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Architectural Biennale.
Back in the 1950s, Lambert became deeply involved in the construction of New York's landmark Seagram Building designed by Mies van der Rohe. It's often called a turning-point for modern architecture, a moment when social responsibility, beauty and truth counted for more than egotism or commercial interests.
The Marriage of True Minds
More than thirty years ago, Paul Kennedy prepared a series that celebrated famous intellectual marriages. These relationships were consummated at various times, from the early Middle Ages to the late-twentieth century. We revisit that classic series from a more contemporary perspective, and wonder what might be learned, and what could be lost from looking for lessons from relationships in the past.
Surviving Post-Capitalism: Coping, hoping, doping & shopping (important)
The signs are troubling: the ever-widening chasm between the ultra-rich and everyone else. Mass protests. Political upheaval and social division. It looks as though the rocky marriage between capitalism and democracy is doomed, at least according to Wolfgang Streeck, who directs the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne, Germany, where he is also a professor of sociology. In conversation with Paul Kennedy about his book How Will Capitalism End?, he makes the unnerving case that capitalism is now at a point where it cannot survive itself.
The Challenge of Peace (important)
We have the best communications in history, except for the kind that matters — nations and states understanding each other. What values might we agree on? What ideas about society do we have in common? Has there been progress of any sort? Jennifer Welsh, Paul Heinbecker, Peter Boehm, Arne Kislenko and Daniel Eayrs in conversation from the Stratford Festival.
"Peace" is a tricky concept — everyone agrees that war is a bad idea, but when someone lays siege to you, it's hard not to resort to conflict. We'd all like to have peace, but in an unequal world, where resources are finite and unequally distributed, its hard to see how conflict can be avoided, and how peace can be maintained.
The Enright Files on humanizing Canada's penal system (important)
Politicians and governments call it getting tough on crime, part of a law and order agenda. A government focus on victim rights, longer sentences and stripping away services and programs meant to improve the lives -- and life chances -- of inmates, has left Canada's penal system much more equipped to punish than to rehabilitate offenders.
The result is overcrowded, violent jails and penitentiaries. Mentally ill prisoners are often placed in solitary confinement instead of receiving the treatment they need. Minorities are vastly over-represented, particularly Indigenous and black people.
Howard Sapers, Reverend Carol Finlay, Kate Johnson, Sister Elaine MacInnes, and Marianne Vollan, the Director General of Correctional Services of Norway.
Ecology of Sound: Hildegard Westerkamp
Paul Kennedy joins sound ecologist Hildegard Westerkamp on a sound-walk through Vancouver's downtown eastside, and explores how opening our ears to our surroundings can open our minds.
After Guantanamo: Dennis Edney on defending Omar Khadr (important)
In 2002, a 15-year-old boy was caught by American forces in Afghanistan after a firefight, and imprisoned in Guantanamo for the next 13 years. The boy was Omar Khadr, and his then little-known lawyer was Dennis Edney from Edmonton. From the Stratford Festival, Dennis Edney talks with Paul Kennedy about a life-changing experience that contains a challenge for us all
"In all the years I went to Guantanamo, he was always chained to the floor. And so I saw my job as trying to keep him alive, and I talked to him about hope. And I used to keep pointing to the steel door and I said 'behind that door is light.'"
Media in the Age of Terrorism: Mohamed Fahmy (important)
For 438 days, Mohamed Fahmy was locked away in an Egyptian jail, including solitary confinement in the brutal Scorpion wing of Cairo's Tora Prison, living side-by-side with members of the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda and ISIS. He was accused of being a terrorist, when in fact, he was simply being a journalist. The Egyptian-Canadian's arrest, trials and eventual release in 2015, garnered international attention.
The importance of being ethical with Dr. Janet Rossant (important)
Dr. Janet Rossant argues that recent revolutions in genetic medicine demand comparable advances in our understanding of the underlying morality and ethics. "How do we draw the line between fixing a terrible disease and enhancing the human condition?"
After spending years studying the genetic development of mouse and human embryos, Dr. Rossant paved the way for important new possibilities in medical science -- particularly in the area of stem cell therapy. Much of this research was conducted at the Hospital for Sick Children, in Toronto. She is now President and Chief Scientist for the Gairdner Foundation. We hear highlights from her 2016 Henry G. Friesen Lecture, in Ottawa, as well as an interview with Paul Kennedy.
The Causes and Consequences of Brexit: Timothy Garton Ash (important)
The election of Donald Trump. Brexit. The turn towards the hard right across Europe. We're in a new era, according to celebrated historian and political writer, Timothy Garton Ash. One in which populist, anger-fueled movements are gathering increasing momentum, not only in the West but throughout the world.
"Let me immediately put my cards on the table, and tell you where I stand on this question of Brexit. I said the day after the referendum that the best day of my political life was the 9th of November 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall. And the worst day of my political life was the 23rd of June 2016 [Brexit vote]."
Reconciliation Before Reconciliation with Dr. Tracey Lindberg
Dr. Tracey Lindberg explores the importance of reconciliation with self, with community, and with Indigenous peoples in advance of reconciliation with Canada.
The truth about "post-truth" (important)
The election of Donald Trump has ignited talk that we're now living in a "post-truth" era. But are we? Where does the idea that the truth no longer exists come from? Or the notion that the truth doesn't matter anymore? Host Paul Kennedy talks to thinkers who argue that the story began years earlier, with a kind of collective identity crisis: authoritarianism can become attractive when you no longer remember who you are.
"'Post-truth' is often understood as involving people's emotions rather than their critical abilities to make distinctions. And I think that might be true but i think it's important to keep in mind that emotion and truth are not two different things. Emotion has to do with what we care about and truths have to do with things that are the case. The two have to work together." -- Kathleen Higgins
Wachtel On The Arts - John Neumeier
John Neumeier has been at the cutting edge of dance for more than fifty years. When he was studying English Literature and Theatre at university in Milwaukee, the head of the drama department recognized his talent and connected him with modern dance pioneer Sybil Shearer in Chicago. Before long, John Neumeier was studying at the Royal Ballet Company in London, England. There, another chance encounter landed him a contract at the Stuttgart Ballet, led by the influential John Cranko. At the age of 27, and very much to his surprise, John Neumeier was invited to become the artistic director of the Frankfurt Ballet. Then, in 1973, scarcely 30 years old, he became Artistic Director of the Hamburg Ballet. And he's been there ever since.
Screened Off: The dangers of an insular web
Corporate control, and the "tyranny of the popular." Fake news, filter bubbles, and apps as "walled gardens." Have we lost a free and democratic internet? And did we do this to ourselves? Sue Gardner, ex-of the Wikimedia Foundation, writer Hossein Derakhan, and Brodie Fenlon of CBC Digital News join Paul Kennedy onstage at Ryerson University's Centre for Free Expression, in Toronto.
The Enright Files - Ideas to make a better world (important)
Many of the things we take for granted in Canada -- universal health care, public pensions, a five-day work week -- were once considered utopian pipe dreams. The same is true of a lot of current ideas to make a better world and improve our quality of life: they endure ridicule and pushback until some brave souls flout conventional wisdom and try them out. This month on The Enright Files, ideas to improve our communities, our countries and our quality of life.
Rutger Bregman, the author of Utopia for Realists: The Case for a Universal Basic Income, Open Borders, and a 15-Hour Workweek.
Janette Sadik-Khan, the former Transportation Commissioner for New York City and the co-author of Street Fight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution.
Pasi Sahlberg, the Director General of the Centre for International Mobility and Cooperation in Helsink and the author of Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland?
Karyn McCluskey, the Director of the Violence Reduction Unit of the Glasgow police.
The 2016 Sobey Art Award
Over two shows, IDEAS profiles the five regional finalists: from the West Coast & Yukon: Jeremy Shaw; Prairies and the North: Brenda Draney; Ontario: Charles Stankievech; Quebec: Hajra Waheed; The Atlantic: William Robinson.
Reflections on Global Affairs: Is the world really falling apart? (important)
The news has been bleak: Brexit, populism, terrorism and, an America divided. The war in Syria continues to rage and the number of refugees and other migrants world-wide is soaring. Then, there's economic inequality and a host of other big concerns. It's tempting to think that everything is falling apart. But is that really true? IDEAS in partnership with the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto reflects upon the state of the world, along with a razor sharp panel.
Michael Blake, Professor of Philosophy, Public Policy, and Governance at the University of Washington; Randall Hansen, Director of the Centre of European, Russian & Eurasian Studies at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Professor of Political Science; Janice Stein, the Founding Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs and an internationally renowned expert on international conflict and global governance; and moderator Stephen Toope, Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs, take the global view in a time of disruption and change.
Seed Banks: Re-sowing paradise
For their potential to be awakened hundreds -- if not thousands -- of years later, seeds have captured our imagination. Seeds that have been entombed with Egyptian mummies, seeds that have sat dormant in mud banks for a generation, seeds that have been tucked into 18th century letters -- all sit expectantly for humans to rediscover them and bring them back to life.
While individuals have always saved seeds, with global warming and with so many plant species now threatened, seed banks have become a strategy to preserve biodiversity. Seed banks might be low-tech operations run out of an individual's home, or high-tech facilities dug into the Norwegian permafrost. The orientation of these collections might vary (a seed "bank" or a seed "sanctuary") but the impulse is the same -- to guard these potentially vibrant objects against extinction.
The Sea Women
South Korea's "sea women" have been harvesting commercial treasures from the ocean floor since the 4th century. With only a few tools and fishing baskets slung over their shoulders, these sunburnt and wrinkled grandmothers can dive up to 20 metres on a single breath. Their dives mix dexterity, desire and death. Vancouver writer and broadcaster Gloria Chang returns to the country of her birth for an intimate portrayal of these cultural icons and to unravel a matriarchal mystery: Why do only women take to the waters?
Writing in worried times: GG Award winners share their anxieties
They may be successful writers, but that doesn't mean the 2016 Governor General's Literary Award winners are immune from worry about the world around us. Five authors share some brand new work on that theme, and explain how they grapple with the cultural issues that make them most anxious.
Steven Heighton is a novelist and poet based in Kingston, Ontario. Martine Leavitt is an Alberta-born fiction writer living in Vermont. Bill Waiser is a historian in Saskatoon. Madeleine Thien is a Montreal fiction writer. Colleen Murphy is a playwright based in Toronto.
Cracking our moral code: How we decide what's right and wrong
We all have a moral code -- a clear sense of what is right and what is wrong. But the reasons why we make certain decisions can quickly get fuzzy. Producer John Chipman explores why some people stick to their moral codes more stringently than others, and delves into the latest neuroimaging research to find out what it can tell us about what guides our moral decisions.
Decoding Death: The science and significance of near death experiences (debunk)
People have reported "near death experiences", or NDE's, over centuries and across cultures. The nature of them has historically been the territory of religion and philosophy. But now science has staked its claim in the discussion. And the questions are profound: where is consciousness produced, in the brain, or somewhere else? Can consciousness continue to exist even after the heart and brain have stopped working? Contributor Ashley Walters explores the science and the meaning of near death experiences.
The Enright Files on William Shakespeare & James Joyce
On the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, Stratford Festival veterans Colm Feore and Seana McKenna talked to Michael Enright to describe what Shakespeare demands of his actors; how his characters embody the essential qualities of humanity, and why despite the barrier of Elizabethan language, Shakespeare in the 21st century is more relevant than ever.
One hundred years ago -- on December 29, 1916 -- James Joyce published his first novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Michael Enright talks to Irish politician and Joyce scholar Senator David Norris, Irish cultural historian and Joyce scholar Declan Kiberd, and Canadian professor of literature and Joyce scholar Jennifer Levine.
Rear View Mirror: Has the future ever looked like the past?
Why does history matter? The conventional reason we're given is that in order to comprehend the future, we need to know the past, that there are lessons in history -- that the mistakes of the past can teach us what to avoid in the future, that unbridled political power leads to dictatorship, that war is a bad way to settle things. But does the past really have anything to teach us -- has the future ever looked like the past?
Bob Rae, Margaret MacMillan, Karin Wells.
The dangerous game: Gamergate and the "alt-right" (important)
Emma Vossen's love of gaming started when she was a kid growing up in small-town Ontario. Now as a PhD candidate at the University of Waterloo Games Institute, she looks to gamer culture as a microcosm of how sexism is seeded and replicated within broader society, and she draws connections between gamer culture and the rise of the political extreme right.
Kishonna Gray -- visiting scholar and associate professor at MIT and founder of the Critical Gaming Lab at Eastern Kentucky University. She's also the author of Race, Gender, and Deviance in Xbox Live.
"All of a sudden it became completely normalized that the king of all Internet trolls [Donald Trump] became the president." — Anita Sarkeesian, director of Feminist Frequency, a non-profit organization exploring the representations of women in pop culture.
Jennifer Jensen -- York University professor of pedagogy and technology, and director of the Institute for Research on Digital Learning. She is also the president of the Canadian Games Studies Association.
Is That All There Is? Exploring the meaning & future of science (important)
Science helps us understand ourselves and our own place in the cosmos. But how far does the math take us? And what do science and the humanities tell us when we look at the same questions from different points of view? From the Stratford Festival, a discussion between physicist Neil Turok, science writer Margaret Wertheim and philosopher Mark Kingwell.
"We've seen these incredible advances in our basic knowledge of the universe, at the same time the discipline itself is in a crisis. So what's the crisis? Essentially nothing new has been predicted in fundamental physics for three decades" -- Neil Turok, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo.
The Matter of Meat: A history of pros and cons
Eating meat: some say we've evolved to do it. It's in our DNA. It's how we got our big brains. Yet others, as far back as Pythagoras, have argued that eating meat is bad for our bodies, cruel to animals, and toxic to the planet. Now -- perhaps more than ever -- when it comes to the matter of meat, clear-cut answers can be hard to come by. Kevin Ball serves up the arguments.
The Tedium is the Message
It's never been easier to banish the feeling of boredom -- at least for a moment. But some fear our weapons of mass distraction could lead to an epidemic of ennui and ADD. Contributor Peter Mitton examines boredom and discovers a little-understood universal state of mind. From its obvious downsides and unexpected upsides, to its evolutionary origins and the way it's shaping our future.
The uncertain future of journalism and why it matters
Whether it's radio, television, print or online, anyone who works in journalism can feel the ground shifting under their feet. The business model of news has been radically disrupted by the Internet age, and yet, the mandate of journalism remains the same: to uncover and report the truth and hold power to account. In this month's edition of The Enright Files, Michael Enright explores the mandate of journalism and how to maintain the integrity and craft even while it faces an uncertain future.
Wachtel on the Arts - Ai Weiwei (important)
Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has been called "the most powerful artist in the world" and "a contemporary icon of resistance." He's reached an almost unprecedented level of international fame, both for his powerful work and his tough political criticism. He talks to Eleanor Wachtel about his beautiful and subversive art and about his fight for freedom and democracy in China.
Together with volunteers he gathered through the Internet, Ai Weiwei went town to town and door to door in Sichuan, talking to the families of the children who had been killed. Then he published their names, birthdays, and other information on his website. This is what ultimately led to his arrest and detention.
Nominating Leonard Cohen for a Nobel Prize
In the fall of 2013, we broadcast several programs celebrating Paul Kennedy's 15 years as host of IDEAS. Nominating Leonard Cohen for a Nobel Prize was one of the episodes we revisited. This lively open forum was recorded at the 2005 Blue Metropolis Literary Festival in Montreal. Panelists include critic, Ed Palumbo; poet, translator and broadcaster, Michel Garneau; jazz singer, Karen Young; and poet George Elliot Clarke.