Ideas in the Afternoon for December 2018

Ideas in the Afternoon airs Mondays at 2:05 pm on CBC Radio One.

December 2018

Monday, December 3
RETHINKING BEAVERS: Why beavers and humans have to learn to get along
Four centuries of fur-trade trapping nearly wiped beavers off the North American map. Now they're back, big time, and we're discovering that sharing the landscape with such tenacious ecosystem engineers isn't always easy. We're also learning that there are compelling reasons to try to coexist with this iconic species. Contributor Frances Backhouse explores how two control freaks — humans and beavers — can get along.

Monday, December 10
YUVAL HARARI: Hacking Humanity
Yuval Harari is a global intellectual. And the internationally bestselling author is worried: our brains are getting hacked. Artificial intelligence, biotechnology and ever-sophisticated algorithms are tapping into our values, habits, tastes, desires and the very thought patterns that define us — all to control how we shop, what we read, and whom we vote for. The notion of free will is defunct.  And the grand project of liberalism, with its focus on the individual, is worn out. But in this exclusive interview with Paul Kennedy, he explains why he remains cautiously optimistic about humanity's future.

Monday, December 17
"And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: it is only with the heart that we see correctly; what is most important is invisible to the eye." The Little Prince was first published in 1943. And since then, it's sold 200 million copies, in 300 languages. And we're still trying to figure out what it is: a children's fable, or philosophical tale, or even an autobiography of its author, Antoine de Saint Exupéry? Danny Braun of Radio-Canada brings us this documentary about the magic and enduring power of this deceptively simple, yet profound, work.

Monday, December 24
Winners of the 2018 Governor General's Literary Awards address our challenge to create an original piece of writing on the theme of borders. In forms ranging from poetry to fiction and personal essay, they reflect on the idea of divisions, and on the other side, reconciliations. They'll talk about their work, read from it, and give their views on the way borders, boundaries and limits — real and imagined, psychological and political — are at work in our world and lives now. Presented by IDEAS and CBC Books, with the Canada Council for the Arts.

Monday, December 31
Now that cannabis is legal in Canada, 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?