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Ideas

 

Ideas

Ideas is CBC Radio's program of contemporary thought.

Updated: Daily
Download episodes from this podcast for: 3 months
Visit Show Site: http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/

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Featured Podcast

Listen to the entire series

Hillary McBride and her clients want to help demystify mental health. No actors. No auditions. No artifice.

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Featured Podcast

The housing crisis

A CBC Vancouver original podcast that explores how foreign investment in real estate divides community, class and culture.

To download a file, right click and save.Download Podcast: The housing crisis
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Featured Podcast

Panic in Toronto

There are still a lot of unanswered questions about what happened in Toronto on Monday.

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Featured Podcast

Get a taste of Mic Drop

Teens have a lot to say about this complicated world -- are you listening? Check out the trailer.

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All podcast episodes

Use the links below to download a file.

The hidden power of food: Finding value in what we eat (Encore November 23, 2017)

In Canada we waste about a third of the food we produce. And yet four million Canadians experience food insecurity. In partnership with the Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph, we hear from Dawn Morrison whose work focuses on Indigenous food sovereignty and Bryan Gilvesy, a long-horn cattle rancher who puts sustainability first. Part 2 of a 2-part series.

Download The hidden power of food: Finding value in what we eat (Encore November 23, 2017)
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Playdoh's Republic: Children as natural philosophers (Encore December 19,2017)

Why were we born? Is life just a dream? What makes something wrong or right? Children often ask questions like these — sometimes to the exasperation of their parents. But children really want to know why the world is the way it is. And they want to know how we know. Maybe that's because they're open, curious and inquisitive — they're natural philosophers.

Download Playdoh's Republic: Children as natural philosophers (Encore December 19,2017)
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Roaming Imagination: What the stories we tell about bears say about us (Encore November 22, 2017)

Bears hold a powerful place in the human psyche. From early cave drawings and myths as old as language itself, to modern scientific research, the family Ursidae has captivated the imaginations of humans around the world. At the heart of our obsession are contradictions: a magnetism that draws us in and fear that pushes us away. Contributing producer Molly Segal explores the stories we share about bears, what they say about us and our future.

Download Roaming Imagination: What the stories we tell about bears say about us (Encore November 22, 2017)
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Who are you? Five stories of how gender shapes identity

How does gender drive identity? And what do we mean by gender anyway? We live in an age of something far more fluid than the standard male/female dichotomy. It's not surprising many people are feeling confused. From The Stratford Festival, a discussion featuring "Radical Reverend" Cheri DiNovo, writer Rinaldo Walcott, artist Syrus Markus Ware, and trans activists and educators Kim Katrin and Tiq Milan.

Download Who are you? Five stories of how gender shapes identity
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It's Alive! - Frankenstein at 200

In 1818, the world was introduced to an entirely new kind of monster. Mary Shelley published Frankenstein: or The Modern Prometheus and for two centuries her creation has stalked the stage, then the screen; inspired art, and filled the pages of countless sequels and comic books. Frankenstein's creature has become the most famous monster of the modern era.

Download It's Alive! - Frankenstein at 200
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The Verdict on Sir John A. Macdonald: Guilty or innocent?

Part 2 of John A. Macdonald on Trial. As celebrations of Canada's 150th birthday continue to fade into the background, the controversy around Sir John A. Macdonald's legacy continues to build. This special episode of IDEAS puts Canada's first Prime Minister on trial for 'crimes against humanity.'

Download The Verdict on Sir John A. Macdonald: Guilty or innocent?
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Sir John A. Macdonald on trial for crimes against humanity, Part 1

He's seen as the father our nation. Without him, Confederation might never have happened. And as the celebrations of Canada's 150th birthday continue to fade into the background, the controversy around Sir John A. Macdonald's legacy continues to build. This special episode of IDEAS puts Canada's first Prime Minister on trial for "crimes against humanity".

Download Sir John A. Macdonald on trial for crimes against humanity, Part 1
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Is Liberalism Doomed?

By the end of the Cold War, liberalism had emerged triumphant around much of the developed world -- until the recent rise of populism in Europe and the U.S. Suddenly, the political landscape is looking ominous. What is liberalism's future? A debate among public intellectuals from London's "Battle of Ideas" festival.

Download Is Liberalism Doomed?
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How Martin Luther invented the modern world (Encore November 29, 2017)

It has been 500 years since Martin Luther supposedly nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. There's no proof he ever did that — and it may not matter. We're still living in the aftershocks of the religious, political and social revolution that he began. This program looks at Martin Luther's legacy, and why he still evokes impassioned debate today.

Download How Martin Luther invented the modern world (Encore November 29, 2017)
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Why democracy depends on how we talk to each other (Encore November 28, 2017)

Does democracy have a future? It's a question is being asked in democracies everywhere. People are frustrated with politics and politicians. And politicians appear weary of democracy. Now populist uprisings to protect the status quo are threatening the foundations of democracy itself. Michael Sandel, world-renowned political philosopher at Harvard University, delivers the 2017 LaFontaine-Baldwin Lecture.

Download Why democracy depends on how we talk to each other (Encore November 28, 2017)
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The enduring power of Albert Camus' L'Étranger (Encore December 8, 2017)

It's been 75 years since Albert Camus published "L'Étranger". And it continues to be the most translated book from French into English. Radio Canada producer Danny Braun speaks with a novelist, a rapper, some academics and a former death row inmate to delve into the enduring appeal of L'Étranger — both to the intellect and to the heart.

Download The enduring power of Albert Camus' L'Étranger (Encore December 8, 2017)
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Philiosophers on politics in the age of Trump

On this month's edition of The Enright Files, some of North America’s most astute political philosophers discuss the perplexing and troubling political trends of our times.

Download Philiosophers on politics in the age of Trump
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How can we better understand our world & make it a better place?

How can we fix our broken world? And what does it actually mean to love your neighbour? Just some of the questions raised by Payam Akhavan in the 2017 CBC Massey Lectures — on air, and on tour. We also invited you, our listeners, to send us your questions. In this episode, excerpts from the audience discussions after the five lectures, along with Payam Akhavan in conversation with Paul Kennedy answering questions sent in by listeners.

Download How can we better understand our world & make it a better place?
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Lecture 5 - The 2017 CBC Massey Lectures by Payam Akhavan (Encore Nov 10, 2017)

In the horrors of the Iraq war and the depredations of ISIS, basic human dignity collapsed: people did unimaginable things to each other, the abnormal became normal. And Payam Akhavan saw this human disease everywhere- Congo, Uganda, and here in Canada too. Much of the evil we do, he argues, comes from mistaken ideas of religion and what we think God wants of us; the reality is that we need new ideas about our responsibilities to each other, and to listen better to that inner spirit we all have, the spirit of human rights.

Download Lecture 5 - The 2017 CBC Massey Lectures by Payam Akhavan (Encore Nov 10, 2017)
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Lecture 4 - The 2017 CBC Massey Lectures by Payam Akhavan (Encore Nov 9, 2017)

The collapse of the Soviet Union, the falling of the twin towers, and ultimately the implosion of Afghanistan, were momentous events that divided families, destroyed and created friendships, and showed the human spirit in its worst and best aspects. We live in a unitary world, and Payam Akhavan’s travels through the wreckage of the post 9-11 wars show him that there’s only one way forward.

Download Lecture 4 - The 2017 CBC Massey Lectures by Payam Akhavan (Encore Nov 9, 2017)
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Lecture 3 - The 2017 CBC Massey Lectures by Payam Akhavan (Encore Nov 8, 2017)

In the 1990’s the world watched in horror as the Hutus of Rwanda massacred their neighbours, the Tutsis. There was no great will to intervene, but Payam Akhavan was part of the creation of the International Criminal Tribunal that might bring war criminals to justice in the aftermath of the killings. What causes such atrocities, and who are the people who do these things to each other? And what can we learn so these things don’t happen again?

Download Lecture 3 - The 2017 CBC Massey Lectures by Payam Akhavan (Encore Nov 8, 2017)
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Lecture 2 - The 2017 CBC Massey Lectures by Payam Akhavan (Encore Nov 7, 2017)

At least as far back as the American Civil war, people were trying to figure out some rules for war. Right through the two world wars we were sorting out what seemed morally acceptable in international conflict. But by 1995, and the war in Bosnia, the rules seemed to have gone out the window. Payam Akhavan walked the streets of Sarajevo with the UN, among the first working to bring justice into the aftermath of that bloody conflict.

Download Lecture 2 - The 2017 CBC Massey Lectures by Payam Akhavan (Encore Nov 7, 2017)
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Lecture 1 - The 2017 CBC Massey Lectures by Payam Akhavan (Encore Nov 6, 2017)

Payam Akhavan tells the story of how, in the 1970’s, his family was forced to flee from the Iran of Ayatollah Khomeini. It was a time when the world realized that “democracy” wouldn’t naturally take root everywhere. A story of an awakening to human rights, of friends and families broken and destroyed, of ideals crushed, and of the growing realization he had, as a young man, that Canada offered the possibility to participate in the making of a better world.

Download Lecture 1 - The 2017 CBC Massey Lectures by Payam Akhavan (Encore Nov 6, 2017)
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Alcohol: Tonic or Toxin?

As we move towards legalization of cannabis, we look at that other drug that many of us already have in our homes and use on a daily basis: alcohol. How did we start using it? How does it affect our health and society? And given the latest scientific research, should we still drink it?

Download Alcohol: Tonic or Toxin?
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Beyond Words: Photographers of War

From the Civil War to Iraq, photographic images of conflict sear themselves onto our consciousness, and reside in a psychic space that lies beyond words. Yet we so rarely hear from the people who create the images of some of the most definitive events in modern history. This documentary features over twenty of the world's most prominent photojournalists and photo editors, and does so in their own voices.

Download Beyond Words: Photographers of War
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Can we save Rosemary's Baby?

It's a horror classic from the 1960s that still unnerves us. It’s influenced generations of filmmakers. It's part of the exclusive Criterion Collection of world cinema. And it turns 50 this year. But director Roman Polanski is a convicted rapist. Film experts and cultural historians explore good and evil in Rosemary's Baby, discover eerie parallels between 1968 and 2018, and debate the movie's surprising treatment of women, all to answer the question: can we save Rosemary’s Baby?

Download Can we save Rosemary's Baby?
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Steven Pinker and Ken Dryden: "Where there's a way, there's a will"

When NHL legend Ken Dryden was about to publish his book, "Game Change", he got in touch with Harvard psychologist and linguist, Steven Pinker, who was about to publish "Enlightenment Now". Their common ground: what does it actually take to change someone's mind? The two talk to Paul Kennedy about the relationship of rhetoric and reason.

Download Steven Pinker and Ken Dryden: "Where there's a way, there's a will"
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Into the Gray Zone with neuroscientist Adrian Owen

We've usually thought that people in comas or 'vegetative' states are completely cut off from the world. But groundbreaking work shows that as much as 20 per cent of patients whose brains were considered non-responsive, turn out to be vibrantly alive, existing in a sort of twilight zone. Neuroscientist Adrian Owen guides Paul Kennedy into that “gray” zone, in conversation and in a public talk.

Download Into the Gray Zone with neuroscientist Adrian Owen
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Censorship and Identity: Free speech for me but not for you

Whether it’s redressing historical wrongs, new hate speech legislation, or safe spaces as a human right: when does the desire to accommodate aggrieved groups become censorship? And what's truly at stake? A debate from London’s “Battle of Ideas”.

Download Censorship and Identity: Free speech for me but not for you
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The Human Factor: Hannah Arendt (Encore April 23, 2014)

Was Adolph Eichmann not ultimately responsible for the destruction of six million Jews? Or were Jews themselves partially to blame for their own fate? Fifty years ago, the political philosopher Hannah Arendt published a famous book that seemed to imply these things, and created an instant uproar that has never ended. Roger Berkowitz, Adam Gopnik, Rivka Galchen and Adam Kirsch debate the reality behind Hannah Arendt and her ideas.

Download The Human Factor: Hannah Arendt (Encore April 23, 2014)
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The Enright Files:Your brain on digital technology

Our relationship with technology has intensified in this century with a rapturous embrace of Internet technologies and the gadgetry put in our hands by big technology companies. But even as we've made these technologies an extension of ourselves and experience the world and ourselves through them, our culture is starting to take a step back to re-examine the impact they're having on us. Interview with Nicholas Carr, Franklin Foer, Jean Twenge, and Clive Thompson.

Download The Enright Files:Your brain on digital technology
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Is There a Culture War Against Populism?

Is it a positive wave or a troubling pattern? In this age of anxiety over joblessness and immigration, populist leaders in Hungary, Poland, Turkey, Sweden and the Philippines are tapping in. Is populism, as the 1960's American historian Richard Hofstadter called it, "a paranoid style of politics"? Or is it what others describe as "the essence of democratic politics"?

Download Is There a Culture War Against Populism?
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Good Cheer is a Great Idea!

Samuel de Champlain’s “L’Ordre de Bon Temps” kept early French colonists at Port Royal, Nova Scotia alive through the brutal winter of 1606. Recently, Paul Kennedy invited Chef Michael Smith from the famous Inn at Bay Fortune, near Souris, Prince Edward Island, to discuss the merits of the meal. Together they make a modest proposal to elevate this quintessentially Canadian event into a national winter holiday.

Download Good Cheer is a Great Idea!
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The resistance of Black Canada: State surveillance and suppression

Canada's history of suppressing Black activism is coming to light like never before, thanks to researchers like PhD student Wendell Adjetey. Wendell's historical research uncovers evidence of clandestine government surveillance in the 20th century, while also bringing to life overlooked parts of this history. His work helps put in context the experiences of Canadian Black Lives Matter activists today.

Download The resistance of Black Canada: State surveillance and suppression
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The Anatomy of Tyranny - Timothy Snyder

Authoritarianism is on the rise around the world. And Timothy Snyder wants to push back against this tide. A history professor at Yale University who's written widely on Europe and the Holocaust, he takes an unusual approach in his little book, "On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century". This episode features the lecture he gave in Toronto and a follow-up conversation with host Paul Kennedy.

Download The Anatomy of Tyranny - Timothy Snyder
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A book lover, his library and the Scottish Enlightenment

An Edinburgh bibliophile takes Paul Kennedy through his library of amazing books that were published in Scotland in the late 18th century, during the heyday of the Scottish Enlightenment. At the time, Adam Smith, David Hume, James Boswell and The Encyclopaedia Britannica were runaway bestsellers.

Download A book lover, his library and the Scottish Enlightenment
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The Illusion of Money, Part 2 (Encore February 25, 2016)

We think we know what money is. We use it every day and our lives are unimaginable without it. But look more closely and you find that coins and dollar bills aren't "real". They're promises, symbols, ideas. And exactly what money is has evolved enormously over the ages. IDEAS contributor Anik See explores how we're rethinking one of the most basic features of human society.

Download The Illusion of Money, Part 2 (Encore February 25, 2016)
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The Illusion of Money, Part 1 (Encore February 24, 2016)

We think we know what money is. We use it every day and our lives are unimaginable without it. But look more closely and you find that coins and dollar bills aren't "real". They're promises, symbols, ideas. And exactly what money is has evolved enormously over the ages. IDEAS contributor Anik See explores how we're rethinking one of the most basic features of human society.

Download The Illusion of Money, Part 1 (Encore February 24, 2016)
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Less work and more leisure: Utopian visions and the future of work (Encore Sept 27, 2017)

Technology was once believed to be our deliverance. We'd be working shorter hours, and about the only stress we'd have would be to figure out what to do with all our leisure time. But technology hasn't quite delivered on that promise. We're working longer hours, there are fewer jobs and and a lot less job security. In Part 3 of her series on the future of work, Jill Eisen looks at the promise of technology — and how it can lead to a better world.

Download Less work and more leisure: Utopian visions and the future of work (Encore Sept 27, 2017)
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Gabrielle Scrimshaw on liberating the past and embracing the future

Gabrielle Scrimshaw delivers the third annual Vancouver Island University Indigenous Lecture on the challenges Indigenous youth face, what reconciliation looks like, and how people can engage on that journey.

Download Gabrielle Scrimshaw on liberating the past and embracing the future
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Whose Lives Matter?

Why does the colour of someone's skin seems to trigger prejudice? Why do black people get carded by the police more often than white? Why does Black history seem marginalized in the story of our country? The Black Lives Matter movement demands serious answers from our society to all of these questions about race, culture and prejudice.This episode features Janaya Khan, d'bi Young and Sandra Hudson in a panel discussion from the Stratford Festival Forum.

Download Whose Lives Matter?
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Decoding the resistance to climate change: Are we doomed? (Encore September 14, 2017)

Global warming is "fake news", or a "Chinese hoax". So says a richly funded conservative movement that's become a world-wide campaign. In her book, "The Merchants of Doubt", Harvard historian of science Naomi Oreskes traces how this propaganda war started and how to fight it. Part 2 of a series on the resistance to climate change science.

Download Decoding the resistance to climate change: Are we doomed? (Encore September 14, 2017)
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Imagining the singularity: What happens when computers transcend us?

As computers and Artificial Intelligence grow in power and capability, it seems ever more likely that we're approaching "the Singularity": the point where machine intelligence exceeds human intelligence. Could this be the dawn of a technological paradise? Or it could trigger humanity's doom? What kind of an intelligence will this be — benign or terrifying — a guru, a god or a monster? And is the idea of uploading the human mind the promise of immortality or just another dream of religious transcendence?

Download Imagining the singularity: What happens when computers transcend us?
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Why is there so much poverty in a rich country like Canada?

With so much wealth in the world, why is there so much poverty? In the end, we're all better off when everyone has a chicken in the pot. Poverty slows the development of all societies, and it seems obvious that we should try to eradicate it, but it seems like an intractable problem. How can we put poverty behind us, and what does our attitude towards poverty and social mobility tell us about who we are? A discussion from the Stratford Festival.

Download Why is there so much poverty in a rich country like Canada?
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Platform capitalism, digital technology and the future of work (Part 2, Encore Sept 20, 2018)

Digital platforms have been well received by customers, but for workers, they often have a dark side. And they present a major challenge for governments who are grappling with how to regulate them. Part 2 of a 3-part series.

Download Platform capitalism, digital technology and the future of work (Part 2, Encore Sept 20, 2018)
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Are We F--ked? Decoding the resistance to climate change (Encore September 7, 2017)

The evidence is everywhere: forests retreating, glaciers melting, sea levels rising. Droughts, floods, wildfires and storms have increased five-fold over the past 50 years. And we’re only just beginning to feel the strain of climate change. It's estimated that rising sea levels will threaten 30 million people in Bangladesh alone. Miami could disappear within a generation. Despite all of these dire events and projections, the attacks continue — on climate scientists. Part 1 of a 2-part series. This episode features Clive Hamilton.

Download Are We F--ked? Decoding the resistance to climate change (Encore September 7, 2017)
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Physicist Neil Turok explains the ultimate simplicity of everything

Some physicists now claim that we may have reached the end of what physics can discover about the origins and structure of the universe. Neil Turok is definitely not one of them. The director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics believes that the universe "invites" us to figure it out, by giving us clues about its composition. And when we follow its clues, we discover that it's ultimately quite simple.

Download Physicist Neil Turok explains the ultimate simplicity of everything
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Writer Heather O'Neill finds wisdom in her father's eccentric life advice

Acclaimed writer Heather O'Neill's father was a janitor, but listed his occupation as professor of philosophy, and he offered a series of unusual rules for life as she grew up in Montreal. In her Henry Kreisel Lecture at the Canadian Literature Centre in Edmonton, and in conversation, she talks about unexpected muses and mentors, being a 'problem' reader, and how some idiosyncratic lessons prepared her to cross the class divide.

Download Writer Heather O'Neill finds wisdom in her father's eccentric life advice
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Artificial intelligence, robots and the future of work (Encore September 13, 2017)

AI and robots seem to be everywhere, handling more and more work, freeing humans up -- to do what? Contributor Jill Eisen takes a wide-angle lens to the digital revolution happening in our working lives. What will happen when robots and algorithms surpass what our brains can do? Part 1 of a 3-part series.

Download Artificial intelligence, robots and the future of work (Encore September 13, 2017)
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Andrew Feinstein exposes "the shadow world" of global arms

In a UBC Wall Exchange talk from Vancouver, former South African politician and current U.K. corruption researcher Andrew Feinstein argues that the arms trade does not make us more secure. In fact, he contends that it fuels conflict, undermines economic progress and democracy, and — with its unintended consequences — endangers citizens everywhere.

Download Andrew Feinstein exposes "the shadow world" of global arms
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When Scotland saved the world

Approximately 250 years ago, the windswept and unwelcoming capital of a Edinburgh became a beacon of intelligence for the entire world. Paul Kennedy walks up and down 'The Royal Mile', and through the planned streets and elegant squares of Edinburgh's 'New Town', in search of places once occupied or visited by the likes of Adam Smith, David Hume, James Boswell and Robert Burns.

Download When Scotland saved the world
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