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.

Is it time for animals to "lawyer up"?

Under the eyes of the law, animals that live in our homes or on a farm are 'property.' But there's a growing movement to grant some animals like chimpanzees, elephants and dolphins 'non-human persons' status. Harvard Law School doctoral candidate Jessica Eisen thinks the law could do even better than that. This episode is part of our ongoing series, Ideas from the Trenches.

Download Is it time for animals to "lawyer up"?
[mp3 file: runs 00:55:03]


Shepherds or Scapegoats: Gay priests in limbo

Gay priests are often rolled into the blame game in the Catholic Church's sex abuse crisis. There's a Vatican prohibition on gay men entering seminaries, even as the stories swirl about how many high-level clerics are sexually active. Producer Sean Foley explores the psychological, historical, and pastoral paradoxes of clerical sexual identity at a pivotal time for the Church and the world.

Download Shepherds or Scapegoats: Gay priests in limbo
[mp3 file: runs 00:55:04]


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
[mp3 file: runs 00:55:03]


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 00:55:03]


Turn it off: Music to drive you crazy

One sound invented two centuries ago was said to drive all those who heard it insane, even to to the point of suicide. Contributor Chris Brookes in St. John's takes us into the astonishing history of the glass harp, from the parlour to the paranormal - and even to death metal - and shows how the sounds we create shape our understanding of the world.

Download Turn it off: Music to drive you crazy
[mp3 file: runs 00:55:03]


Lonely Together: The plight of urban isolation

There have never been as many cities across the world as there are right now, nor with such high populations. Yet urban loneliness is a virtual pandemic, and one with huge social, medical and financial consequences. Why are cities the new capitals of isolation?

Download Lonely Together: The plight of urban isolation
[mp3 file: runs 00:55:03]


Tech's Moral Void

Lawyers and doctors have a code of ethics. Teachers have them. Even journalists have them. So why not the tech sector, the people who create and design our very modes of communication? Coders and designers make products that allow to us communicate with each other, across cities and nations and borders. As these giants grow at breakneck speed, and the chaos of their unfettered impact becomes more obvious, the call is coming for a reckoning. Contributor Tina Pittaway explores whether the time has come for tech to reckon with its moral void.

Download Tech's Moral Void
[mp3 file: runs 00:55:03]


Freeze: Rebecca Belmore's memorial to Neil Stonechild

Neil Stonechild was an Indigenous adolescent who was picked up by police in downtown Saskatoon in mid-winter, driven to the industrial suburbs late at night, and intentionally abandoned. He ultimately froze to death. Anishinaabe artist Rebecca Belmore produced a piece called "Freeze: Stonechild Memorial" in commemoration of of the event. It's a sculpture, made of ice, installed outside the Remai Modern Gallery in Saskatoon since February 1st, when a major retrospective of her work opened there. Paul Kennedy in conversation with Rebecca Belmore.

Download Freeze: Rebecca Belmore's memorial to Neil Stonechild
[mp3 file: runs 00:55:03]


Guardians vs. Gardeners: Relocating wolves to help balance ecology

How much should humans try to "fix" nature? That question gets at the heart of our relationship with the entire natural world. Contributor Brad Badelt travels to isolated Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior, where a controversial decision has been made to relocate wolves from the mainland to help sustain the island's dwindling pack. The world's leading wolf researchers and environmental thinkers debate that decision - and what our idea of wilderness means.

Download Guardians vs. Gardeners: Relocating wolves to help balance ecology
[mp3 file: runs 00:55:03]


The Music of Matter: 150 years of the Periodic Table

The world, the universe, is a mess of molecules and muck. Within the chaos, though, a cosmic harmony plays the secret song of nature, and the music of matter. You just have to be able to read the music. Contributor Ian Wilkinson unravels the universal chords as the world honours the 150th anniversary of Dmitri Mendeleev's creation of the Periodic Table of the Chemical Elements.

Download The Music of Matter: 150 years of the Periodic Table
[mp3 file: runs 00:55:03]


The Stolen Revolution: Iranian Women of 1979

After finally ousting the Shah, and just mere weeks after Ayatollah Khomeini took power, Iranian women marched to show their fury at the revolution, which now seemed to be turning against them. On the 40th anniversary of their protests, CBC Radio producer Donya Ziaee spoke to three Iranian women who were there - on the streets of Tehran, fighting to to turn the tide of history.

Download The Stolen Revolution: Iranian Women of 1979
[mp3 file: runs 00:55:03]


Dignity down the toilet: Dignity down the toilet: Public bathrooms as a human right

Public bathrooms are something we all need, yet they are a public amenity few of us talk about openly and that cities often get wrong. How should governments and businesses provide for this most basic bodily need and what does it mean for citizens when they have no place to go? IDEAS contributor Lezlie Lowe flushes out the answers on a road trip, with many bathroom breaks, across North America.

Download Dignity down the toilet: Dignity down the toilet: Public bathrooms as a human right
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:24]


On the Move: Commuting, work, life

Seven years ago, a large group of interdisciplinary scholars from all parts of Canada (and beyond) started to examine issues connected with 'work-related mobility'. How are new technologies changing the nature of employment? Some people now find it desirable - or even necessary - to work from home. Others are expected to spend more time travelling to and from the workplace than they actually spend doing their job. How do these changes in the way we work affect every other aspect of 21st century life? As the project nears completion, participants approach conclusions.

Download On the Move: Commuting, work, life
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:24]


Slavery's long shadow: The impact of 200 years enslavement in Canada (Encore July 5. 2018)

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 Part 2 of his 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 (Encore July 5. 2018)
[mp3 file: runs 00:55:00]


Manufacturing Discontent: The Perils of Populism, Part 2

Polarization in Poland. The success of Sweden's far right. In Turkey, "the supremacy of the people" reigns. And Brexit threatens Britain's economic and social order. Everywhere, populism is winning big. The question is why? Part 2 of a 2-part series.

Download Manufacturing Discontent: The Perils of Populism, Part 2
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:37]


Beyond Tragedy: The living history of Native America

The massacre of over 150 Lakota at Wounded Knee in 1890 is often taken to be the "end" of Native American history - a notion unintentionally reinforced by Dee Brown's groundbreaking 1970 book, "I Buried My Heart at Wounded Knee". This idea of history as tragedy is something that Ojibwe writer David Treuer tries to undo in "The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee". He argues that both before and after contact was made with colonizing Europeans, Indigenous peoples have always found ways to adapt, survive and thrive -- and that's exactly what they're doing now.

Download Beyond Tragedy: The living history of Native America
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:38]


Game, Set and Match: Celebrating spy novelist Len Deighton

Love, fear -- even office politics -- are what drive the world of espionage in Len Deighton's great novels. To celebrate his 90th birthday, Philip Coulter profiles one of the masters of the modern spy thriller.

Download Game, Set and Match: Celebrating spy novelist Len Deighton
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:38]


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 00:54:38]


The Amorous Heart: Why we love the ? symbol (Encore February 14, 2018)

You might think that the heart symbol ? and romantic love have always been bedfellows. But you'd be wrong. At times, the symbol was just a decoration. At others, it meant spiritual, chaste love. At still others, romantic and carnal. Marilyn Yalom the author of "The Amorous Heart: An Unconventional History of Love". In it, she traces the astonishing, centuries-long journey of how the symbol took on all the meanings it has today.

Download The Amorous Heart: Why we love the ? symbol (Encore February 14, 2018)
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:40]


Wrestling with the Stoics: Tips from a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu philosopher

Michael Tremblay holds a black belt Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and competes at world championships. He is also a PhD student in philosophy at Queen's University, who's studying Stoicism. In fact, he hopes to become a Stoic 'sage' himself, and focuses his work on the 1st-century Greek philosopher, Epictetus, whom he sees as a kind of life coach.

Download Wrestling with the Stoics: Tips from a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu philosopher
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:41]


Kent Monkman: Playing tricks with awesome art

It's easy to identify a painting by Kent Monkman. His work is almost always monumental. Some of his canvasses as so big that buildings need to be built around them. Beyond that, Monkman often works with historical subjects -- either quoting famous images from the history of art, or playing with real historical events by situating them in paintings that reflect obvious artistic references. Kent Monkman talks with Paul Kennedy about his life and work, and how to have fun while making serious statements about the world we live in.

Download Kent Monkman: Playing tricks with awesome art
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:41]


Reading Montaigne: Why a 16th century writer still matters today

Michel de Montaigne was many things: a 16th century French writer, bureaucrat, and self-defined accidental philosopher. He's also the inventor of a new literary form we now call the essay. His Essais - various "trials" or "experiments" in ideas - have touched centuries of readers and writers. Flaubert once exhorted us to "read him in order to live." Contributor Tony Luppino opens the writings and life of Western literature's original 'free thinker', who wrote on everything from idleness and liars, to wearing clothes and punishing cowardice.

Download Reading Montaigne: Why a 16th century writer still matters today
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:41]


The Sewers of Paris and the Making of a Modern City, Part 2

Sewers are a relatively modern phenomenon. For centuries, people in cities lived intimately with their waste. The price paid for that lack of awareness about hygiene was of course disease and plague - as well as unbearable stench. Understanding how germs and diseases are spread led to sanitation and sewers - and to the modern city. The rebuilding of Paris in the mid-19th century was a great civic achievement and a new idea of society only made possible because it was built on sewers. Philip Coulter goes underground in the City of Light to visit the City of Smells.

Download The Sewers of Paris and the Making of a Modern City, Part 2
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:42]


Journalism's Knife Fight: Fact vs. Truth

While the idea that we're living in a post-truth era is still highly contested, there is greater agreement that facts themselves have also become contestable. Belief and feeling have sideswiped facts, especially when it comes to news stories about politics. IDEAS producer Naheed Mustafa examines the increasingly elastic and unsettle relationship between facts and truth.

Download Journalism's Knife Fight: Fact vs. Truth
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:42]


The New Masters: The 2018 Sobey Art Award, Part 2

Producer Mary Lynk in conversation with Sobey Art Award finalists Jeneen Frei Njootli (West Coast & Yukon), Joi T. Arcand (Prairies and the North) and winner Kapwani Kiwanga (Ontario).

Download The New Masters: The 2018 Sobey Art Award, Part 2
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:42]


The Enright Files on Pioneering Female Poets

It doesn't seem strange that the best-loved and best-selling English language poets should be women, but that wasn't always the case. In fact, arguably the greatest American poet of the 19th Century - Emily Dickinson - wrote in total obscurity during her life. But by the middle of the 20th Century, Dickinson, and the generations of female poets she inspired, were beginning to get their due. On this month's edition of The Enright Files, conversations about Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath and Adrienne Rich - women who inspired poets of the last few decades.

Download The Enright Files on Pioneering Female Poets
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:42]


Re-imagining Reconciliation and the Future of Canada: Doug White

A powerful, simple and essential message is delivered by Doug White, presenter of the fourth annual Vancouver Island University Indigenous Speakers Series. He challenges us all to begin and end our relationships with each other with one thing: love.

Download Re-imagining Reconciliation and the Future of Canada: Doug White
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:42]


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
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:42]


The New Masters: The 2018 Sobey Art Award, Part 1

Mary Lynk in conversation with the 2018 Sobey Art Award finalists Jordan Bennett and Jon Rafman.

Download The New Masters: The 2018 Sobey Art Award, Part 1
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:42]


The Sewers of Paris and the Making of a Modern City

Sewers are a relatively modern phenomenon. For centuries, people in cities lived intimately with their waste. The price paid for that lack of awareness about hygiene was disease and plague - as well as unbearable stench. Understanding how germs and diseases are spread led to sanitation and sewers - and to the modern city. The rebuilding of Paris in the mid-19th century was a great civic achievement and a new idea of society only made possible because it was built on sewers. Philip Coulter goes underground in the City of Light to visit the City of Smells.

Download The Sewers of Paris and the Making of a Modern City
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:42]


Whisky: The Water of Life (Encore January 25, 1996)

To Highlanders, it was "uisage beatha," the water of life. Scottish poet Robert Burns proclaimed: "Freedom and whisky gang thegither!" Single malt whisky has captured the imagination, as well as thirst: it remains one of Scotland's most popular and poetic exports, appreciated by successive generations in turn. In this encore presentation of a 1996 documentary, Paul Kennedy celebrates single malt Scotch Whisky, as conveyed in the loving words of the men and women who make it.

Download Whisky: The Water of Life (Encore January 25, 1996)
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:42]


Manufacturing Discontent: The perils of populism

Polarization in Poland. The success of Sweden's far right. Brexit threatens Britain's economic and social order. But populism got an early start In Turkey, where "the supremacy of the people" reigns. Everywhere, populism is winning big. The question is why. Part 1 of a 2-part series.

Download Manufacturing Discontent: The perils of populism
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:42]


All the drugs that are fit to take

Each day in Canada, the government effectively puts a dollar value on people's lives by deciding which medications to cover. The issues of coverage and cost are magnified exponentially when it comes to expensive drugs for rare diseases. On one side, we have the rights of sick people to access medicine; and on the other, companies saying they have a right to make profit. Can we resolve this challenge fairly without accepting the prospect that some Canadians are just too expensive to help?

Download All the drugs that are fit to take
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:42]


Ross King on the art of history

Ross King is one of the most popular historians Canada has ever produced. Yet originally, he wanted to be a novelist. And after researching his doctoral thesis on T. S. Eliot, he published his first book, which fictionalized the story of a castrato singer in 18th century London, as seen through the eyes of an aspiring painter. Then he became fascinated by Italian architect, Filippo Brunelleschi, who designed and built the famous cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, in Florence. King says he discovered that it was more fun to write when you didn't need to "make up the facts." IDEAS host Paul Kennedy talks to the man who's also written non-fiction books about Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Machiavelli, Edouard Manet and Claude Monet, and about Canada's Group of Seven.

Download Ross King on the art of history
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:42]


Reporting from War: Janine di Giovanni

War reporter Janine di Giovanni approaches her work like an anthropologist by embedding herself in conflict zones. Her goal is to understand how war, disease, and poverty have impacted human lives in war torn communities. In the 2018 Peter Stursberg Foreign Correspondents lecture, she details her experiences covering disease outbreaks, genocides and sieges in the Balkans, Africa and the Middle East.

Download Reporting from War: Janine di Giovanni
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:43]


The Case for Populism

Trump was just the tip of the iceberg. Since his election in 2016, populism has blazed a disquieting trail across Europe, North America and around the world. While many of these movements are marred by racist and nationalistic rhetoric, they also represent a grassroots effort to challenge the political status quo. In this public debate, presented by the Battle of Ideas festival in London, England, a panel argues over whether this new era of political disruption should be embraced, rather than feared.

Download The Case for Populism
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:42]


Paul and Ed's Excellent Adventure

World-famous environmental photographer Edward Burtynsky and IDEAS host Paul Kennedy both grew up in St. Catharines, Ontario. In fact, their childhood homes were less than 300 metres apart, and paper-boy Paul delivered a daily dose of newspaper comic strips to eventual visual artist Ed. They return to their old home town and revisit their roots, including the site of the now-dismantled GM Plant # 1, where both of their fathers worked; and the new subdivision that's recently replaced Meadowvale School, where they both started kindergarten, so many decades ago

Download Paul and Ed's Excellent Adventure
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:42]


Mythologizing Empire

For people of Shakespeare's time, the idea of "empire" was something new. As Britain's power spread, the eternal questions remained: what makes a great empire successful, and what pitfalls need to be watched out for? No ancient empire offered more lessons than the Roman Empire - which had, of course, conquered Britain. In his plays set in the Roman Empire, Shakespeare explored themes of leadership, human frailty, political downfall, while at the same time mythologizing the birth of a new Rome in Britain. A discussion from the Stratford Festival, featuring artistic director Antoni Cimolino, theatre critic Robert Cushman, and Royal Ontario Museum researcher Kate Cooper.

Download Mythologizing Empire
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:42]


Utopian Dinner Table: How to feed the world in 100 years

A hundred years from now the planet will have 3-billion more people to feed. Global food security expert Evan Fraser considers possible solutions by contrasting two distinct visions of utopia -- one found through embracing science and technology, and the other arguing for overthrow of capitalism.

Download Utopian Dinner Table: How to feed the world in 100 years
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:43]


Is Neoliberarlism Destroying the World (Encore September 26, 2018)

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 Neoliberarlism Destroying the World (Encore September 26, 2018)
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:42]


Appropriation, Collaboration, and Representation: Telling Indigenous Stories

Theatre artist Jani Lauzon, documentary filmmaker James Cullingham, and CBC host and journalism teacher Duncan McCue discuss the realities of working in teams with Indigenous and non-Indigenous professionals, and how they view the idea of collaboration in telling Indigenous stories in their fields. This panel was recorded at Ryerson University's Centre for Free Expression in Toronto in late 2018, and is moderated by writer and broadcaster Rachel Giese.

Download Appropriation, Collaboration, and Representation: Telling Indigenous Stories
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:42]


The Enright Files on the role of poetry in the world today

It may well be that poetry has rarely had a lower profile than it does today. It may be that poetry is simply not all that relevant to a digitized, hyperconnected world in which we spend our reading hours churning through a blizzard of information. But if Robert Frost was right when he defined poetry as a "momentary stay against confusion," perhaps we need poetry today more than ever. On this month's edition of The Enright Files, conversations with poets about the role of poetry in the world today and what poets have to say to the rest of us.

Download The Enright Files on the role of poetry in the world today
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:43]