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/

All podcast episodes

Use the links below to download a file.

Tom Thomson: 100 Years from Now, Part 2

IDEAS contributor Sean Foley explores the landscapes of Algonquin Park, Ont., which inspired Tom Thomson's work - while also examining Indigenous artists' perspectives of the same landscapes that Thomson and the Group of Seven may have missed.

Download Tom Thomson: 100 Years from Now, Part 2
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The People vs Democracy

Authoritarian populists have won elections across a large swath of western liberal democracies. Populist leaders have formed government through free and (mostly) fair elections by riding a wave of popular disaffection with the status quo. But once in power, these governments have gone on to dismantle the very institutions and conventions that help keep liberal democratic principles in place. So how are we to confront this paradox wherein liberal democracy serves a growing and undemocratic illiberalism? A conversation with political scientist Yascha Mounk.

Download The People vs Democracy
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Award-winning Authors on Borders, Real and Imagined

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.

Download Award-winning Authors on Borders, Real and Imagined
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The Little Prince: The Child Philosopher

"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 Exupe?ry? Danny Braun of Radio-Canada presents his documentary about the enduring magic of this deceptively simple classic.

Download The Little Prince: The Child Philosopher
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In Search of Global Freedom

What does it mean to be free? All societies place restrictions on what citizens can do, but some restrictions (speed limits) may be more important than others (limiting the right to vote.) But one-size freedom doesn't really fit all: "democracy" has many faces, and ideas of freedom are shaped by culture. A discussion from the Stratford Festival with the Munk School of Global Affairs: Randall Hansen, Joseph Wong and Lama Mourad.

Download In Search of Global Freedom
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The Art of Leadership

What makes a good leader - someone with the ability to get others to follow, sometimes into the unknown? From the Stratford Festival, a discussion about leadership three successful (women) leaders: Chief Ava Hill from the Six Nations, Anita Gaffney, Executive Director of the Stratford Festival, and Samantha Nutt, founder and Executive Director of War Child Canada.

Download The Art of Leadership
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Talking with Doctor David Naylor: Winner of the 2018 Friesen Prize

Although he's not yet officially eligible to collect his pension, Dr. David Naylor is already President Emeritus of the University of Toronto - having occupied the office itself for eight turbulent years from 2005 - 2013. Before that, Naylor was Dean of Medicine at U of T, and Chair of the National Advisory Committee on SARS. Right now, he's interim head of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. And he was recently awarded the 2018 Henry G. Friesen Prize for Health Science Research. David Naylor talks with Paul Kennedy about his life and work, and about his recent Friesen Prize Lecture at the University of Ottawa.

Download Talking with Doctor David Naylor: Winner of the 2018 Friesen Prize
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The Jezebel Problem: What 'bossy' women should know about language

PhD graduate Laura Hare taught herself Biblical Hebrew so she could analyse male and female speech patterns in the original text of the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament). She found the women characters consistently using language that shows deference to men. Some of these signs of deference exist in women's speech today in North American English. The only female biblical character who fully speaks 'like a man' also became an archetype of evil - Queen Jezebel. 'Ideas from the Trenches' producers Tom Howell and Nicola Luksic find out what Laura Hare's discoveries mean for the present day.

Download The Jezebel Problem: What 'bossy' women should know about language
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Flirting with Fascism: America's New Path?

We've heard it so much that it's almost become a cliché: America is on the road to fascism. The debate over that claim continues, but renowned scholar Henry Giroux argues that "Donald Trump is not just some impulsive rich guy who marketed his way into politics through empty Kardashian-style consumer culture". Trump needed followers. And he got them. Now what?

Download Flirting with Fascism: America's New Path?
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Rethinking the Beaver: 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.

Download Rethinking the Beaver: Why beavers and humans have to learn to get along
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Wade Davis: Light at the edge of the world (Encore January 23, 2018)

In our age, many societies look like they're hurtling towards disorder and disunity. For all of our technological sophistication, the centre isn't holding, great civilisations seem less united than ever. Wade Davis thinks we need to pay more attention to the values, the voices, and the concerns of Indigenous peoples. We have a lot to learn by listening more carefully. Wade Davis in a discussion with Paul Kennedy, with excerpts from a lecture at the Ontario Heritage Trust.

Download Wade Davis: Light at the edge of the world (Encore January 23, 2018)
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Why Environmentalism is Failing

Environmental problems are well-known and have been for decades, but we still appear to be edging towards a global catastrophe. Why? Environmentalist Graham Saul believes that part of the problem is environmentalism itself. He believes it has a message problem - mainly because it doesn't have a single, coherent, unified message that people can grasp. Graham Saul has been on the forefront of environmental thought and activism for over 25 years. In this lecture, he parses the problem and points towards a step with potential planet-saving implications.

Download Why Environmentalism is Failing
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The Accommodating Space: A Hotel Check-In

A guest checks into a Las Vegas hotel suite, and makes it a fortress, staging a mass shooting on the city below. It's a horrific act that seems to subvert the very ethos of hotels - places of hospitality and calm. Yet hotels contain multitudes. They are sites of fantasy and functionality, pleasure and trouble. Their spaces are public and private, workplace and bedroom. They exist to house us temporarily, in luxury or in squalor. IDEAS producer Lisa Godfrey explores hotels, both in reality and the imagination, with hotel workers, designers, and writers - to reveal how hotels reflect private desires and social truths.

Download The Accommodating Space: A Hotel Check-In
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What to expect when you're expecting .... Climate Change

Young couples face a complicated decision at a time when the dire consequences of climate change are becoming clearer, is it ethical to bring a child into the world? Science journalist Britt Wray talks with parents, prospective parents, ethicists and children on this thorny question.

Download What to expect when you're expecting .... Climate Change
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Christopher Hedges: Farewell America

Christopher Hedges believes that America may well be in its last act. Addiction, income disparity and hollowed-out towns and cities are becoming the norm, he argues, while the political and financial sectors increasingly merge with each other to the exclusion of anyone else's interests or needs. His vision is dark, and sobering. Its only salvation, he concludes in this illustrated conversation with guest host Rachel Giese, is mass resistance.

Download Christopher Hedges: Farewell America
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Lecture 5: "We Are Not Going Anywhere" (2018 CBC Massey Lectures)

Prize-winning journalist Tanya Talaga (author of Seven Fallen Feathers) explores the legacy of cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples in her 2018 CBC Massey Lectures series, titled All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward.

Download Lecture 5: "We Are Not Going Anywhere" (2018 CBC Massey Lectures)
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Lecture 4: "I Breathe For Them" (2018 CBC Massey Lectures)

Prize-winning journalist Tanya Talaga (author of Seven Fallen Feathers) explores the legacy of cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples in her 2018 CBC Massey Lectures series, titled All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward.

Download Lecture 4: "I Breathe For Them" (2018 CBC Massey Lectures)
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Lecture 3: "The Third Space" (The 2018 CBC Massey Lectures)

Prize-winning journalist Tanya Talaga (author of Seven Fallen Feathers) explores the legacy of cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples in her 2018 CBC Massey Lectures series, titled All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward.

Download Lecture 3: "The Third Space" (The 2018 CBC Massey Lectures)
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Lecture 2: "Big Brother's Hunger" by Tanya Talaga (2018 CBC Massey Lectures)

In her 2018 CBC Massey Lectures series, titled All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward, prize-winning journalist Tanya Talaga (author of Seven Fallen Feathers) explores the legacy of cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples.

Download Lecture 2: "Big Brother's Hunger" by Tanya Talaga (2018 CBC Massey Lectures)
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Tom Thomson: 100 years from now

IDEAS contributor Sean Foley asks one central question: does the mortal and material fascination with Tom Thomson, leave us with something enduring - something to carry us through the next century, and beyond?

Download Tom Thomson: 100 years from now
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Lecture 1: "We Were Always Here" by Tanya Talaga (2018 CBC Massey Lectures)

In her 2018 CBC Massey Lectures series, titled All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward, prize-winning journalist Tanya Talaga (author of Seven Fallen Feathers) explores the legacy of cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples. For Talaga, that cultural genocide has led to a forced disconnection from land and language by Indigenous peoples. The need now, she says, is for Indigenous self-determination in social, cultural and political arenas.

Download Lecture 1: "We Were Always Here" by Tanya Talaga (2018 CBC Massey Lectures)
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Data for Social Good

We live in a glut of data. Individually we produce vast amounts of information about ourselves simply by living our lives: where we go, what we like, where we shop, our political views, which programs we watch. Each day we produce 2.5 quintillion bytes of data and the rate is growing. In the last two years alone we've generated about 90% of the data that's out there. IDEAS contributor Anik See looks at this tremendous amount of data and how some people are harnessing it, not for surveillance or selling, but rather for the public good.

Download Data for Social Good
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Human Rights Under Attack: Gareth Peirce on The New Dark Age

For more than 40 years, Gareth Peirce has fought to expose and overturn miscarriages of justice and free the wrongfully accused. Based in London, she was instrumental in freeing members of the Guildford Four, who were falsely convicted of carrying out the IRA bombing of a British pub. More recently, she has been representing members of the new suspect community - Muslims falsely accused of being terrorists. Peirce warns eroding human rights under the questionable guise of national security, is a profound attack on democracy.

Download Human Rights Under Attack: Gareth Peirce on The New Dark Age
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Travels through Trump's America (Encore January 19, 2018)

The U.S. midterms are yet another prompt for many Americans - and people around the world - to reflect on what America actually is now, politically, socially and culturally. Contributor David Zane Mairowitz is originally from New York, and has been living in Europe for over 50 years. He returned to the U.S. in the spring of 2017 to travel through six southern states, where he recorded his encounters with everyday people at restaurants, churches - and gun shows. His aim: to gain insight into an America he's now struggling to comprehend.

Download Travels through Trump's America (Encore January 19, 2018)
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The Enright Files: The state of American democracy in the age of Trump

The U.S. midterm elections have been billed as a referendum on the presidency of Donald Trump. And many think the elections will chart the future course of American democracy at a time when anger, xenophobia, chaos and bitter partisanship and polarization have led people to despair for the future of liberal democracy.

Download The Enright Files: The state of American democracy in the age of Trump
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The Long Arm of Ayn Rand: Why she still matters, Part 2

The intelligentsia mocked her writings and lampooned her philosophy, which she called Objectivism. But Ayn Rand's books, especially her two major works, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, continue to sell millions of copies. There are Ayn Rand think tanks, academies, even dating sites. And her influence on politics and popular culture are stronger than ever. Contributor Sandy Bourque outlines Rand's improbable rise to fame and influence, and the surprising Canadian connection which helped secure her place in the history of ideas. This episode is part 2 of a two-part series.

Download The Long Arm of Ayn Rand: Why she still matters, Part 2
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The Long Arm of Ayn Rand: Why She Still Matters, Part 1

The intelligentsia mocked her writings and lampooned her philosophy, which she called Objectivism. But Ayn Rand's books, especially her two major works The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, continue to sell millions of copies. There are Ayn Rand think tanks, academies, even dating sites. And her influence on politics and popular culture are stronger than ever. Contributor Sandy Bourque outlines Rand's improbable rise to fame and influence, and the surprising Canadian connection, which helped secure her place in the history of ideas.

Download The Long Arm of Ayn Rand: Why She Still Matters, Part 1
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:42]


Conservative with Age: Why your political stripes change over time (Encore December 11, 2017)

If you're not a socialist at twenty, you have no heart; and if you're not a conservative at forty, you have no brain." The saying has been around since at least the late 19th century, and it's not entirely clear who coined it. But the fact that it's still in circulation today says something about the way many of us do become more conservative as the years pass. Producer Peter Mitton explores why this tendency exists, and what it says about the way we acquire our political beliefs.

Download Conservative with Age: Why your political stripes change over time (Encore December 11, 2017)
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Have I Got A Story For You!

Narrative thinking is how we process and understand our own story. American psychologist, Dan McAdams wrote, "We are all storytellers, and we are the stories we tell." But some of us have no unfolding internal autobiography that helps us bridge our brains and minds. Some of us experience life episodically with one event simply following what came before with no sense of any overarching continuity. If narrative thinking is what makes us human, makes us conscious of ourselves, where does that leave those who who don't tell themselves this story, and their place in the world?

Download Have I Got A Story For You!
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Avenging Empire: My time in the IRA

Bank robberies, building explosives and prison hunger strikes. These were just part of Kieran Conway's life in the Irish Republican Army. Decades later, he's a well-known criminal lawyer in Dublin. This episode from IDEAS producer Mary O'Connell looks at Conway's political transformation from British admirer to IRA fighter.

Download Avenging Empire: My time in the IRA
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Wilde Women in a Man's World

Irish-born Oscar Wilde was Britain's most famous playwright in the late 19th century. He was also famous, or infamous, for being gay. But the people who arguably had the most important influence on him and his work were women. From the Stratford Festival, a discussion featuring writer and director Peter Hinton, literary scholar Carol Tattersall and theatre director Lezlie Wade.

Download Wilde Women in a Man's World
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A book lover, his library and the Scottish Enlightenment (Encore February 22, 2018)

Two hundred and fifty years ago, a relatively remote and economically-challenged country called Scotland became the surprising host to one of the most exciting intellectual developments in the world. Magically, the best and the brightest minds were being promoted and distributed by enterprising and adventurous publishers, in places like Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen. Not surprisingly, a select group of printers with rare genius rose to meet an obvious need. Beautiful books were born! Part 2 of a 3-part series.

Download A book lover, his library and the Scottish Enlightenment (Encore February 22, 2018)
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The Life Course - trauma, migration and 'renoviction' in Vancouver

PhD student Mei Lan Fang's parents survived the Cultural Revolution and immigrated to Canada with dreams of settling in a country where human rights are protected and social mobility is possible. After years of financial struggle in Vancouver, the family verged on homelessness. Mei uses her family's own experience of migration from China to help her understand the life struggles of Vancouver's marginalized seniors in a virtually impossible housing market. Her approach is known as the "life course perspective", reflecting a shift in how many social scientists view their work, and their roles.

Download The Life Course - trauma, migration and 'renoviction' in Vancouver
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Neil Turok on the invention of innovation

"Innovation is actually built into our DNA. It's who we are. It's what makes us different". This is the provocative thesis of Neil Turok, Director of Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. Our true evolution he argues, is the result of trial and error (with more error!) played out over centuries. In this public talk and subsequent interview with Paul Kennedy, Turok expands on what he means by innovation, and how embracing the concept can open doors for the betterment of humankind.

Download Neil Turok on the invention of innovation
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The Scottish Enlightenment: The invention of modern mind and culture (Encore Jan 25, 2018)

Approximately 250 years ago, the windswept and unwelcoming capital of a relatively insignificant northern nation 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 The Scottish Enlightenment: The invention of modern mind and culture (Encore Jan 25, 2018)
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The Enright Files on Race and Racism

Decades after the civil rights era, the post-colonial movement, and the beginning of the multiculturalism project, racism that had lain in the shadows of Western democracies is out in the open and thriving. On this month's edition of The Enright Files, conversations about the history and persistence of racism and an ideology of whiteness that lies behind it.

Download The Enright Files on Race and Racism
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Is Neoliberalism destroying the world?

Deregulation. Infinite growth. Self-correcting markets. All are hallmarks of neoliberal thinking. But they're more than just assumptions about the economy. They undergird much of the most influential thinking about governance right now, and dominate political and economic thinking everywhere. The results, according to some, have been disastrous. Investigative journalist Bruce Livesey asks four experts about the rise and rule of neoliberal thought, and what it may mean for societies around the world.

Download Is Neoliberalism destroying the world?
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Shaking the snow globe: Michael Pollan on the therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs

In his book "How to Change Your Mind", Michael Pollan explores how psychedelic drugs have been used to enhance spiritual experiences and treat many conditions from depression to anxiety. He speaks to IDEAS producer, Mary O'Connell.

Download Shaking the snow globe: Michael Pollan on the therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs
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The Bison and the "B"

It was a simple file folder, enigmatically labelled "B". But it was the key to learning how a small secret society of key scientists in the federal government in the 1920s, thwarted an ill-conceived plan to move Plains Bison into Wood Buffalo National Park because it would have mixed incompatible species. But the "Brotherhood" did much more than that. Author and naturalist Briony Penn tells the story of the B, and how over the decades they quietly shaped the environmental movement and how we think about nature.

Download The Bison and the "B"
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Biocentrism: Rethinking Time, Space, Consciousness, and the Illusion of Death (Encore Oct 4, 2016)

Paul Kennedy has his understanding of reality turned-upside-down by Dr. Robert Lanza in this paradigm-shifting hour. Dr. Lanza provides a compelling argument for consciousness as the basis for the universe, rather than consciousness simply being its by-product.

Download Biocentrism: Rethinking Time, Space, Consciousness, and the Illusion of Death (Encore Oct 4, 2016)
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Planet You: The mysterious world of the microbiome

There are trillions of them on -- and in -- our bodies. Microbes have existed on earth for more than three and a half billion years. Makes you wonder who's playing host to whom, and whether we humans are merely vessels for these tiny survivors. They influence everything from intestinal disorders to mental health conditions -- and we're only just beginning to understand their power over us. Contributor Stephen Humphrey journeys into the mysterious world of the microbiome.

Download Planet You: The mysterious world of the microbiome
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Taming the Beast: Are violent urges part of men's nature? (Encore May 2, 2018)

How does a just society reconcile the desire for peace, with the desire, most often by men, for violence? How much does nature stir boys, men, to fight? And to what extent can they control that stirring? Author Daemon Fairless takes IDEAS producer Mary Lynk on a road trip to try and unlock why some men are drawn to violence. They meet up with a science teacher, a MMA fighter, and a serial killer, who are profiled in his new book: Mad Blood Stirring: The Inner Lives of Violent Men.

Download Taming the Beast: Are violent urges part of men's nature? (Encore May 2, 2018)
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