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.

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"
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:39]


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)
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:53]


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
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:53]


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)
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:53]


Panpsychism and the Nature of Consciousness

What is consciousness? Why does it even exist? It has long been treated as the byproduct of biological complexity. The more complicated the brain, the more self-aware. Other thinkers have seen consciousness as totally distinct from the body -- dualism. But maybe consciousness, like space and time, mass and energy, is just a basic characteristic of the universe. Maybe it's a fundamental property of matter. Welcome to the concept of "panpsychism". IDEAS producer Naheed Mustafa in conversation with philosopher Philip Goff.

Download Panpsychism and the Nature of Consciousness
[mp3 file: runs 00:55:01]


The Restaurant: A Table Divided (Encore May 21,2018)

There's a lot more happening at a restaurant than simply ordering from a menu and getting your food. Restaurants are sites of self-expression - spaces in which status and distinction are performed and lines between class, race, and gender are reflected and reinforced. Contributing producers Michelle Macklem and Zoe Tennant explore how we've gone from dining in to dining out, and what dining out reveals about our identities.

Download The Restaurant: A Table Divided (Encore May 21,2018)
[mp3 file: runs 00:55:01]


What can Shakespeare teach us about Donald Trump?

Political institutions in disarray, brutal behaviour on every side, narcissistic leaders lying to the public - sound familiar? It certainly was to Shakespeare. His plays reveal the toxic psychology that fuels a despot, as well as those who enable them.

Download What can Shakespeare teach us about Donald Trump?
[mp3 file: runs 00:55:01]


Creative Minds: Can art speak truth?

Truth and lies. Ideology and imagination. Politics and polarization. Novelist Salman Rushdie, performance artist Andrea Fraser, filmmaker Charles Officer, and musician Iskwé wrestle with making sense of our chaotic world through their work. This AGO Creative Minds event was recorded earlier this year at Toronto's Massey Hall, and was moderated by CBC's Anna Maria Tremonti.

Download Creative Minds: Can art speak truth?
[mp3 file: runs 00:55:01]


Michael Crummey on writing and the relationship between fact and fiction

What does a novelist owe to the past? How does a writer walk the tightrope between telling a story and accurately reflecting history and geography? Acclaimed novelist Michael Crummey reflects on these questions in the annual Henry Kreisel Lecture in Edmonton, presented by the Canadian Literature Centre at the University of Alberta.

Download Michael Crummey on writing and the relationship between fact and fiction
[mp3 file: runs 00:55:02]


Internal Hard Drive: What's lost when we forget to remember

We rely on our handy smartphones to remember everything from phone numbers to our friend's birthdays. Those sleek devices serve as a type of 'external hard drive' for our memory. Contributor Jess Shane explores what happens when the art of memorization is lost.

Download Internal Hard Drive: What's lost when we forget to remember
[mp3 file: runs 00:55:02]


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.

Download Yuval Harari: Hacking Humanity
[mp3 file: runs 00:55:02]


The Enright Files on the state of democracy in 2018

These are anxious times for liberal democracy's true believers. They've seen the rise of strongman autocrats and xenophobic populists across a full spectrum of democratic countries, not to mention the disruptive force of Donald Trump. Cyber attacks, big data, social media, and voter indifference, anger and disillusionment all seem to leave the future of liberal democracy looking rather uncertain. On this month's edition of The Enright Files we explore the state of democracy in 2018.

Download The Enright Files on the state of democracy in 2018
[mp3 file: runs 00:55:02]


The Politics of the Professoriat: Political diversity on campus (Encore September 8, 2017)

Universities are supposed to be dedicated to the exchange of ideas. But according to social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, campuses now skew so far to the left that they've become "political monocultures".

Download The Politics of the Professoriat: Political diversity on campus (Encore September 8, 2017)
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:55]


The 2017 CBC Massey Lectures: In Search of a Better World, Q&A (Encore April 2, 2018)

How can we fix our broken world? And what does it actually mean to love your neighbour? Those are 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, we hear excerpts from the audience discussions after the five lectures, along with Payam Akhavan in conversation with Paul Kennedy answering questions sent in by our listeners.

Download The 2017 CBC Massey Lectures: In Search of a Better World, Q&A (Encore April 2, 2018)
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:53]


The 2017 CBC Massey Lectures: In Search of a Better World, Lecture 5 (Encore November 10, 2017)

In his final lecture, Payam Akhavan looks through the eyes of a suicide bomber to chart the rise of extremism and the decline of 'basic human dignity'. He concludes the series explaining how we can end hate and see how interconnected we all are.

Download The 2017 CBC Massey Lectures: In Search of a Better World, Lecture 5 (Encore November 10, 2017)
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:55]


It's Alive! - Frankenstein at 200 (Encore April 16, 2018)

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 (Encore April 16, 2018)
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:54]


Can we save Rosemary's Baby? (Encore March 15, 2018)

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? (Encore March 15, 2018)
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:57]


Canada's original promise: Still waiting to be realized (Encore June 30, 2017)

As Canada turned 150, the final talk brought the series back home, with Indigenous education advocate Roberta Jamieson. Roberta was the first woman chief of Six Nations of the Grand River, the first Indigenous woman to earn a law degree in Canada, and she holds an astounding twenty-five honorary degrees. She 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: "Our people consciously decided to share. And we had a choice. We were the majority then. And we made a conscious decision to share. And to help people survive. So I think we still have that choice as Canadians. And I'm very optimistic and very hopeful -- and I'm going to work very hard to see that we live up to that promise."

Download Canada's original promise: Still waiting to be realized (Encore June 30, 2017)
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:57]


Generation Mars, Part 2 (Encore October 27, 2016)

The day might well be approaching when humans set foot on Mars. Stephen Humphrey and a crew of authors, astronauts and Mars scholars confront the hazards and challenges of getting humans to Mars, and then of surviving - and living - on the Red Planet.

Download Generation Mars, Part 2 (Encore October 27, 2016)
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:58]


The 2017 CBC Massey Lectures: In Search of a Better World, Lecture 4 (Encore November 9, 2017)

Payam Akhavan's fourth Massey Lecture focuses on how the world can move forward after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the implosion of Afghanistan and the deadly 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Download The 2017 CBC Massey Lectures: In Search of a Better World, Lecture 4 (Encore November 9, 2017)
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:56]


The Self-Taught Philosopher: How a 900-year-old Arabic Tale Inspired the Enlightenment (Encore May 16 2017)

Naheed Mustafa tells the story of philosopher-physician Ibn Tufayl who wrote the first Arabic novel "Hayy ibn Yaqzan". It may be the most important story you've never heard.

Download The Self-Taught Philosopher: How a 900-year-old Arabic Tale Inspired the Enlightenment (Encore May 16 2017)
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:57]


A Peasant vs The Inquisition: Cheese, Worms and the Birth of Micro-history (Encore March 21 2017)

Celebrated historian Carlo Ginzburg uncovers the past by telling the stories of the marginalized, the forgotten, and the suppressed.

Download A Peasant vs The Inquisition: Cheese, Worms and the Birth of Micro-history (Encore March 21 2017)
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:58]


World on fire: What wildfires teach us about living in the forest and a challenging climate (Encore May 16, 2016)

They're bigger, faster and hotter than before, torching more of our world: wildfires, like those now ravaging British Columbia, the one that ripped through Fort McMurray in 2016, or through Slave Lake, Alberta in 2011, leveling a third of that community. What's fuelling this increase in fire power? Adrienne Lamb explores the factors altering how we have to live with wildfire. New technology and new ways to think about fire and its behaviour could save lives.

Download World on fire: What wildfires teach us about living in the forest and a challenging climate (Encore May 16, 2016)
[mp3 file: runs 00:55:17]


Fighting at the table: Conflict as successful integration (Encore June 29, 2017)

Sociologist Aladin El-Mafalaani sees anti-immigrant cries to build walls, and hate-fuelled politics counter-intuitively: a sign that integration is working. Conflict, he argues, is the necessary consequence of new arrivals at a metaphoric dinner table

Download Fighting at the table: Conflict as successful integration (Encore June 29, 2017)
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:58]


Generation Mars, Part 1 (Encore October 20, 2016)

The day might well be approaching when humans set foot on Mars. Stephen Humphrey and a crew of authors, astronauts and Mars scholars confront the hazards and challenges of getting humans to Mars, and then of surviving - and living - on the Red Planet.

Download Generation Mars, Part 1 (Encore October 20, 2016)
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:58]


The 2017 CBC Massey Lectures: In Search of a Better World, Lecture 3 (Encore Nov 8, 2017)

In his third Massey Lecture, Payam Akhavan revisits the genocide in Rwanda, talks about the work he did there, and what can be done to prevent such abuses from happening again.

Download The 2017 CBC Massey Lectures: In Search of a Better World, Lecture 3 (Encore Nov 8, 2017)
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:58]


Precarious Work: David Weil on the disappearing company job (Encore December 5, 2017)

For most of the 20th century, everyone, from the janitor on up to the CEO, was employed by the company. But now large corporations are outsourcing work to small companies. A lecture and interview with scholar and former Obama appointee David Weil.

Download Precarious Work: David Weil on the disappearing company job (Encore December 5, 2017)
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:58]


Into the Gray Zone with neuroscientist Adrian Owen (Encore March 12, 2018)

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 (Encore March 12, 2018)
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:56]


The 2017 CBC Massey Lectures: In Search of a Better World, Lecture 2 (Encore Nov 7, 2017)

In his second Massey Lecture, Payam Akhavan details just how hard it is to punish war criminals, recalling his time with the UN as a prosecutor at The Hague and on the streets of Sarajevo, among other conflict zones.

Download The 2017 CBC Massey Lectures: In Search of a Better World, Lecture 2 (Encore Nov 7, 2017)
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:58]


Less work and more leisure: Utopian visions and the future of work (Sept 27, 2018)

Technological change has always provoked both utopian and dystopian visions of the future. Part 3 of Jill Eisen's series on the future of work looks at the promise of technology - how it can lead to a world that's environmentally sustainable and one in which we have the time and the financial security to do what really matters to us.

Download Less work and more leisure: Utopian visions and the future of work (Sept 27, 2018)
[mp3 file: runs 00:55:01]


2017 CBC Massey Lectures: In Search of a Better World, Lecture 1 (Encore Nov 6, 2017)

In the first of his CBC Massey Lectures, human rights lawyer and scholar Payam Akhavan describes how fleeing Iran and watching his homeland from afar helped him discover human rights. This lecture is called "The Knowledge of Suffering".

Download 2017 CBC Massey Lectures: In Search of a Better World, Lecture 1 (Encore Nov 6, 2017)
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:52]


Platform capitalism, digital technology and the future of work (Encore Sept. 20/17)

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 (Encore Sept. 20/17)
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:54]


Decoding Death: The science and significance of near death experiences (Encore Dec 7/16)

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.

Download Decoding Death: The science and significance of near death experiences (Encore Dec 7/16)
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:54]


How filmmakers and fishers saved Fogo Island (Encore December 14, 2017)

A little over fifty years ago, the friendly folks on Fogo Island - most of whom were fishers - were ordered to abandon their homes and resettle in larger communities on the larger island of Newfoundland. Memorial University's Extension Department invited the National Film Board of Canada to visit Fogo, and interview people about their future. At the end of what is now called The Fogo Process, they voted to stay put, form a cooperative, and take over the fish plant. It became a model for alternative democracy around the world.

Download How filmmakers and fishers saved Fogo Island (Encore December 14, 2017)
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:57]


Artificial intelligence, robots and the future of work (Encore Sept 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? Some say digital sweatshops -- repetitive, dull, poorly paid and insecure jobs -- are our destiny. Others believe that technology could lead to more fulfilling lives.

Download Artificial intelligence, robots and the future of work (Encore Sept 13, 2017)
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:58]


Making a better world with a culture of 'citizen eaters' (Encore Dec 1, 2017)

Michael S. Carolan is the author of No One Eats Alone: Food as a Social Enterprise. He gave a public talk in Toronto in the autumn of 2017, and made the following provocative argument: we can change our relationship to food - how's it's made, distributed and even consumed - by changing our relationships with each other, and maybe open up the possibility of creating a better world.

Download Making a better world with a culture of 'citizen eaters' (Encore Dec 1, 2017)
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:58]


Pasta: The long and short of it (Encore September 3, 2010)

Pasta, a simple amalgam of wheat flour and water, is one of the world's most popular foods. It's Italy's gift to humanity? or maybe the Arabs', or China's. With its hundreds of shapes and sizes, its infinite variety of sauces, pasta is the foundation of one of the world's great cuisines. Contributor Megan Williams is based in Rome. In this documentary, which won the James Beard Award for Best Radio Broadcast on food in 2011, she explains how and when pasta was invented, where it got its shapes, and why it's so beloved.

Download Pasta: The long and short of it (Encore September 3, 2010)
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:57]


Meat on the table: Can we justify consuming animals? (Encore October 27, 2017)

If you typically eat three meals a day, then it's a choice you make more than one thousand times a year. And if you're like most people, that choice probably involves meat or dairy, or both. On top of that, many of the clothes we wear are made from animals. But can something that nearly everybody on the planet is doing ? and has been doing for millions of years ? be immoral?

Download Meat on the table: Can we justify consuming animals? (Encore October 27, 2017)
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:57]


The Matter of Meat: A history of pros & cons (Encore November 23, 2016)

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.

Download The Matter of Meat: A history of pros & cons (Encore November 23, 2016)
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:58]


Master of his own design: Becoming Frank Gehry (Encore Oct 13, 2017)

Canadian-born Frank Gehry has been called the greatest architect of our time. And yet he's still a rebel in his field. His sensual, sculptural buildings reject the cold minimalism and glass boxes of Modernism, and the ornate flourishes of post-modernism. Gehry, now 88, became famous in his late 60s, when his extraordinary design for the Guggenheim Museum became a reality twenty years ago in Bilbao, Spain. A complex and engaging man, who's been open about his disdain for the media, gave IDEAS producer Mary Lynk a rare chance to talk with him in California. Part 2.

Download Master of his own design: Becoming Frank Gehry (Encore Oct 13, 2017)
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:56]


Master of his own design: Conversations with Frank Gehry, rebel architect (Encore Oct 6, 2017)

Canadian-born Frank Gehry has been called the greatest architect of our time. And yet he's still a rebel in his field. His sensual, sculptural buildings reject the cold minimalism and glass boxes of Modernism, and the ornate flourishes of post-modernism. Gehry, now 88, became famous in his late 60s, when his extraordinary design for the Guggenheim Museum became a reality twenty years ago in Bilbao, Spain. A complex and engaging man, who's been open about his disdain for the media, gave IDEAS producer Mary Lynk a rare chance to talk with him in California. Part 1 of a 2-part series.

Download Master of his own design: Conversations with Frank Gehry, rebel architect (Encore Oct 6, 2017)
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:58]


Gabrielle Scrimshaw on liberating the past and embracing the future (Encore February 16, 2019)

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 (Encore February 16, 2019)
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:56]


Slavery's long shadow: The impact of 200 years enslavement in Canada

Is there a connection between the enslavement of African-Canadians and their overwhelming presence in the criminal justice system today? The United Nations has sounded the alarm on anti-black racism in Canada, stating it can be traced back to slavery and its legacy. In the second of his two-part series on slavery in colonial Canada, Kyle G. Brown explores the long-lasting ramifications of one of humanity's most iniquitous institutions.

Download Slavery's long shadow: The impact of 200 years enslavement in Canada
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:57]


First Nations in the first person: Telling stories & changing lives

Canada's 150th anniversary highlighted its evolving relationship with Indigenous people. Too often in that history, voices other than those from First Nations did the talking for them. In this episode, Brielle Beardy-Linklater, Sandra Henry, and Theodore Fontaine tell their stories of struggle and resilience in their own words.

Download First Nations in the first person: Telling stories & changing lives
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:57]


Maximum Canada: How big is enough?

Acclaimed Globe & Mail journalist Doug Saunders argues in his book "Maximum Canada: Why 35 Million Canadians Are Not Enough" that Canada has had trouble keeping the immigrants it attracts. This "minimizing impulse", as he terms it, has to be jettisoned if Canada is to take its rightful place on the world stage.

Download Maximum Canada: How big is enough?
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:42]


Canada's slavery secret: The whitewashing of 200 years of enslavement

Why is it common knowledge that we saved runaway slaves from the United States, but few know that Africans and Indigenous peoples were bought, sold and exploited, right here? In the first of a two part series, contributor Kyle G. Brown asks how slavery was allowed to continue for some 200 years, and be one of the least talked-about aspects of our history. Part 1 of a 2-part series.

Download Canada's slavery secret: The whitewashing of 200 years of enslavement
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:42]


Overlooked: Photography and the Smartphone

Just over a decade ago, the iPhone was created, and its built-in camera soon sparked a photography revolution. We now use our smartphones to take an estimated 1.2 trillion images a year globally. We've gone from capturing "special" moments, to documenting virtually every aspect of our day. Printed photos in treasured albums have been replaced by intangible images -- casually shared on social media, and stored virtually in the Cloud. What are the upsides, and what are we losing? Photographers, curators, and thinkers reflect on how this new image culture affects us, as well as its surprising links to earlier eras of photography.

Download Overlooked: Photography and the Smartphone
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:42]


Restoring our relationship with nature from lake beds to treetops

IDEAS host Paul Kennedy moderates the fifth Muskoka Summit on the Environment, a panel discussion about "Restoring our Relationship with the Natural World." Six guests join Kennedy in a discussion about the environment.

Download Restoring our relationship with nature from lake beds to treetops
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:42]