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.

Why journalist Emily Bell is calling for a civic media manifesto

With the free press under attack, a civic media manifesto is needed now more than ever, according to acclaimed scholar and journalist Emily Bell. She negotiates this critical crossroad for the media in her dynamic 2019 Dalton Camp Lecture —and in conversation with IDEAS producer Mary Lynk.

Download Why journalist Emily Bell is calling for a civic media manifesto
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


Myanmar, the Rohingya people & genocide: Inside the International Court of Justice

* WARNING: Content in this episode may be disturbing. Listener discretion is advised. * On Thursday, the International Court of Justice will announce whether it will proceed with allegations that Myanmar has committed genocide against the Rohingya people. IDEAS shares some of the evidence presented in the courtroom during the December hearings — evidence collected by human rights observers and by a UN investigative commission.

Download Myanmar, the Rohingya people & genocide: Inside the International Court of Justice
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


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.

Download The resistance of Black Canada: State surveillance and suppression
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


Reconciliation can't happen without reclamation of land, argues Max FineDay

What does reconciliation mean to Max FineDay, a young Indigenous leader? It means freedom, prosperity and giving back land to Indigenous people. It is the way forward for young people to have meaningful and prosperous lives, he says in his Vancouver Island University's Indigenous Speaker Series lecture.

Download Reconciliation can't happen without reclamation of land, argues Max FineDay
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


Machines that can think: real benefits, the Apocalypse, or 'dog-spaghetti'?

Stephen Hawking thought that artificial intelligence could spell the end of humanity. But Roger Melko of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics thinks that maybe, just maybe, we're on the cusp of a wonderfully transformative age.

Download Machines that can think: real benefits, the Apocalypse, or 'dog-spaghetti'?
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


Education without liberal arts is a threat to humanity, argues UBC President

UBC President Santa J Ono is a renowned biologist. But he says it was the liberal arts education that he had as an undergraduate gave him the wisdom he needed to flourish. Ono argues that the values imparted by a liberal arts education are crucial for humanity to thrive.

Download Education without liberal arts is a threat to humanity, argues UBC President
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


A chair is never just a chair: A social history of a ubiquitous household item, Part 2

In part two of our series, Machines for Sitting, Witold Rybczynski focuses on the modern chair. The Canadian architect and Nahlah Ayed visit the Design Within Reach furniture store in New York, to look at some of the most important designer chairs of the 20th Century.

Download A chair is never just a chair: A social history of a ubiquitous household item, Part 2
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


A chair is never just a chair: A social history of a ubiquitous household item, Part 1

Architect Witold Rybczynski, author of Now I Sit Me Down, explores the social history of chairs, the stories chairs tell, and how they've changed through history in a two-part series. Part one focuses on ancient chairs with a tour through the historical collection of chairs at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

Download A chair is never just a chair: A social history of a ubiquitous household item, Part 1
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


We must recapture the lost 'art' of scripture: Karen Armstrong

Former Catholic sister Karen Armstrong describes herself as a freelance monotheist. She focuses on the sounds, rituals and power of scripture, all of which she fears is endangered in our secular, digital age. She joins Nahlah Ayed to talk about recovering what she calls “the lost art of scripture.”

Download We must recapture the lost 'art' of scripture: Karen Armstrong
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


Animals under the law: What options are there 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.

Download Animals under the law: What options are there for animals to 'lawyer up'?
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


Bright IDEAS for 2020: Our annual New Year's levee

There's a custom that started in New France where the colonial governor opened the doors of his mansion to people every New Year's Day, to share holiday cheer and listen to concerns and hopes for the future. So IDEAS has thrown open the studio doors, to hear from producers who are preparing shows for the next season.

Download Bright IDEAS for 2020: Our annual New Year's levee
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


Writers on a mission — 3 high-stakes stories from award-winning authors

Three Canadian writers read and reflect on the theme of troubled missions: Joan Thomas on her childhood as an evangelical Christian, Erin Bow on the self-sacrificing dedication of scientists, and Don Gillmor on the whys of suicide. All are winners of 2019 Governor General’s Awards.

Download Writers on a mission — 3 high-stakes stories from award-winning authors
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


Human rights advocate Shirin Ebadi says the current protests hint at an eventual collapse of Iran’s regime

As protests erupted in some 100 cities across Iran last month, Nobel Peace Prize winner and human rights advocate Shirin Ebadi urged the international community to support the Iranian people. The former chief justice in Iran and longtime human rights advocate says the protests – which have cut across classes and regions of Iran - hint at an eventual collapse of Iran’s regime. She speaks to CBC Ideas’ Nahlah Ayed.

Download Human rights advocate Shirin Ebadi says the current protests hint at an eventual collapse of Iran’s regime
[mp3 file: runs 00:17:56]


How to avoid conflict: Lessons from 16th century Italian duels

It's only when disputants are so 'pig-headed' as to not accept a sensible process of mediation that the duel takes place, according to York University PhD student and master fencer, Aaron Miedema. He's researching over 300 cases of duels from the 16th and 17th century. Turns out there are lessons for us from 500 years ago which may prove useful in today's climate of public blaming and shaming.

Download How to avoid conflict: Lessons from 16th century Italian duels
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


Get thee behind me, tech: putting humans before social media

Douglas Rushkoff witnessed the initial promise of the internet ⁠— a ‘social medium’ for thoughtful encounters and the democratizing of knowledge. It’s since become ‘social media’; a system that colonizes our minds and enriches a handful of ethically challenged developers. Rushkoff says we need to reaffirm that we are social beings and reappropriate technology to support and cultivate what he calls ‘Team Human.'

Download Get thee behind me, tech: putting humans before social media
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


If we abolish prisons, what's next?

Prison abolitionists say prison is a failed social policy. Ultimately what it does is address the expected consequences of inequality and marginalization. So, maybe, the time has come to get rid of prisons altogether. If that's the case, how do we move forward?

Download If we abolish prisons, what's next?
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


The Unconventional Diplomat: Standing Up For Principles

In Part 2 of The Unconventional Diplomat, former UN Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein continues a fascinating tour through the backrooms of global diplomacy. He explains why he refused to go on bended “knee in supplication” before the UN Security Council and shares his advice on how to be a good citizen.

Download The Unconventional Diplomat: Standing Up For Principles
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


The Unconventional Diplomat: Breaking The Rules

In a well-known speech in diplomatic circles, as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein called out powerful world leaders. But he laments a “fearfulness” currently within the UN. IDEAS producer Mary Lynk sits down for a rare feature interview to reveal the story behind the moment when breaking conventional rules was imperative.

Download The Unconventional Diplomat: Breaking The Rules
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


CBC Massey Lecture # 5: Shifting Power | Toronto

The irresistible force meets the immovable object: the long fight for women’s equality with men is perhaps nearing a conclusion. Women all over the world are demanding a better, more equitable place with men — and they need men to stand by their side. That’s the final message of the 2019 CBC Massey Lectures, Power Shift: The Longest Revolution.

Download CBC Massey Lecture # 5: Shifting Power | Toronto
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


CBC Massey Lecture #4: When the Patriarchy Meets the Matriarchy | Montreal

Populism is bad for women — so much of the rise in authoritarian governments is based on the dream of returning to an idealized past, when a woman knew her place was in the kitchen. Populism also targets women’s rights and their push for equal status. In the fourth CBC Massey Lecture, Sally Armstrong shines a light on how women are seizing opportunities for a new kind of social mobility.

Download CBC Massey Lecture #4: When the Patriarchy Meets the Matriarchy | Montreal
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


CBC Massey Lecture # 3: A Holy Paradox | Fredericton

Most religions try to explain what the universe means and why we’re here. More often than not, many of these explanations entail women having lower status than men. Award-winning journalist, Sally Armstrong focuses her third CBC Massey Lecture on the place of women throughout the history of religion.

Download CBC Massey Lecture # 3: A Holy Paradox | Fredericton
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


CBC Massey Lecture # 2: The Mating Game | Vancouver

In Sally Armstrong's second lecture, she explores sex: the history of sex for procreation, for pleasure, for business. In our time, monogamy is the norm, but evolutionary biology suggests that in prehistory, it wasn't. Throughout history, we've seen increasing control of women — and as a result, the domination of women's bodies by men.

Download CBC Massey Lecture # 2: The Mating Game | Vancouver
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


CBC Massey Lecture # 1: In the Beginning(s) | Whitehorse

“There’s never been a better time in human history to be a woman,” says Sally Armstrong in the first of her first 2019 CBC Massey Lectures: Power Shift: The Longest Revolution. The acclaimed journalist and activist argues that women are closer to gaining equality than ever before. She examines how over the centuries women lost power and status to men — right up to today.

Download CBC Massey Lecture # 1: In the Beginning(s) | Whitehorse
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


“You Might Need Some Richard Rorty”

"He is a nemesis to many, and is claimed as a friend by only very few," wrote Eduardo Mendieta about Richard Rorty, the most quoted, most criticized, and most widely read of recent U.S. philosophers. Rorty died in 2007, but a passionate crew of 'Rortyans' now devote themselves to keeping his name alive, challenging what they see as the many misinterpretations of his work. Thanks to Rorty's politically centrist views, his praise for patriotism, and his disdain for talk of 'objective truth,' he succeeded in enraging progressives and conservatives alike. But his friends and fans believe the rage is largely misplaced. The real Rorty was a subtle, empathetic, moral thinker whose ideas could be the most useful contribution U.S. philosophy has to offer today's polarized and fractured democracies. To find out why, IDEAS goes to Pennsylvania for the second-ever meeting of the Richard Rorty Society.

Download “You Might Need Some Richard Rorty”
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


Ought vs. Is: Reclaiming nature as a moral guide

Throughout the centuries, politicians, theologians and philosophers have pointed to nature as a way to guide our actions and beliefs. The equivalence between "unnatural" and "bad" seems to be as durable as ever. But philosophical anthropologist Lorraine Daston doesn't think using "nature" as a guide is necessarily all bad.

Download Ought vs. Is: Reclaiming nature as a moral guide
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


The Pulpit, Power and Politics: Evangelicalism's thumbprint on America

The grip conservative evangelicalism has on American social and political life is hard to overestimate. Committed Christian and author Jemar Tisby was joined by historians of religion John Fea and Molly Worthen to help answer the question: what exactly is the relationship between conservative evangelicalism and America today?

Download The Pulpit, Power and Politics: Evangelicalism's thumbprint on America
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


The Relativity Revolution: Albert Einstein and the making of the modern world

In 1905, when Albert Einstein worked as a patent office clerk, he published a series of academic papers that revolutionized physics and our thinking about space and time, mass and energy. His ideas were a great leap forward. Panellists at the Stratford Festival discuss how Einstein revolutionized how we live our lives today.

Download The Relativity Revolution: Albert Einstein and the making of the modern world
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


How To Feed The World

David Nabarro, a longtime advisor to the UN on sustainable development, says climate change is forcing us to rethink how our food systems work and figure out the best way to get people the food they need without further degrading the environment.

Download How To Feed The World
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


In the Sweet By and By: Atheist Edition

What happens when atheists engage sincerely with Christian apologists and evangelical creationists -- and vice versa? A lot, in fact; and most of it is good.

Download In the Sweet By and By: Atheist Edition
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


Canada as a middle power in an upended world: Time for a foreign policy reset?

As chaotic and unpredictable as the world can be, there was — at least for a time — an international rules-based order, underpinned by US leadership that ensured at least a semblance of stability. That order is in decline. So what's a middle power like Canada to do? What can it do? The Canadian International Council and Global Canada convened a discussion in Toronto, where some answers were found, both by looking back through history and in imagining a possible future.

Download Canada as a middle power in an upended world: Time for a foreign policy reset?
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


The Desert: a well-spring of the imagination

Deserts cover nearly one-third of the earth's landmass of the earth, but we're still unsure what to make of them. Sometimes we consider them empty wastelands fit only to build on or test atomic bombs. Other times, we see them as beautiful landscapes, whose tranquil, isolated features inspire us to reach towards the divine. IDEAS producer Matthew Lazin-Ryder explores our historically complicated, and yet intimate, relationship with deserts.

Download The Desert: a well-spring of the imagination
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


Machines of Chance: How casino culture plays with us

Casinos: if the house always wins, why do we play? How the universal temptations of both vice and risk — not to mention the language of Brexit — feed into the 24/7 slot machine of our “casino culture.”

Download Machines of Chance: How casino culture plays with us
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


Does the deep state exist?

The term 'deep state' has been used by both the political left and the right. In broad strokes, it means official leaders of a country aren't the real leaders — that hidden away in bureaucracies or other corridors of power are the real lever-pullers. Investigative journalist, Bruce Livesey examines the origins of the conflicted term, and where it's in operation today.

Download Does the deep state exist?
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


Debate| Do baby boomers owe millennials an apology?

British sociologist Jennie Bristow debates U.S. author Bruce Cannon Gibney over the baby boom generation and its legacy for the world. Should boomers be held responsible for high house prices, the climate crisis, national debts, insolvent pension funds, and the woes of millennials?

Download Debate| Do baby boomers owe millennials an apology?
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


'We continue to be feared': Kamal Al-Solayee on why being brown matters to everyone

In a compelling conversation, acclaimed journalist and author Kamal Al-Solayee discusses all things brown, from the psychology of the colour, to why he says, it’s always 'a bridesmaid, never the bride,' in the constructed hierarchy of human skin tone. 

Download 'We continue to be feared': Kamal Al-Solayee on why being brown matters to everyone
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


Wishful dreaming: Freud and the discovery of our inner life

Sigmund Freud had many radical ideas about our inner life and how mental illness or trauma might be treated. Perhaps his most radical idea was that the patient should be listened to. This episode features a panel discussion at the Stratford Festival about the current state of Freud's legacy on self-knowledge.

Download Wishful dreaming: Freud and the discovery of our inner life
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


Introducing Hunting Warhead

A new investigative series from CBC Podcasts and the Norwegian newspaper VG. Hunting Warhead follows an international team of police officers as they attempt to track down the people behind a massive child-abuse site on the dark web. Listen at hyperurl.co/huntingwarhead

Download Introducing Hunting Warhead
[mp3 file: runs 00:04:16]


Psychologists confront impossible finding, triggering a revolution in the field

In 2011, American psychologist Daryl Bem proved the impossible. He showed that precognition — the ability to sense the future — is real. His study was explosive and shook the very foundations of psychology. Contributor Alexander B. Kim in Vancouver explores the ‘replication crisis’ and what it means for the field and beyond.

Download Psychologists confront impossible finding, triggering a revolution in the field
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


Monster buff Leonardo da Vinci would have loved Halloween

Leonardo da Vinci would have loved Halloween. The renaissance artist and engineer was also a monster buff. Writer and historian Ross King unveils da Vinci’s sketches and stories of monsters, beasts, giants and dragons, and explains how the artist’s views on fantasy were in contrast to an increasingly rational age.

Download Monster buff Leonardo da Vinci would have loved Halloween
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


'Shouldn't there be a law against that?': Facing our fear of genetic innovation

Professor Bartha Knoppers is the 2019 recipient of the Henry G. Friesen International Prize for excellence in health research. Once a scholar of surrealist poetry, she has now become a world-renowned voice and a prolific researcher in the field of medical ethics. Her Friesen lecture is called: "Scientific Breakthroughs: The Prohibition Reflex."

Download 'Shouldn't there be a law against that?': Facing our fear of genetic innovation
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


What psychiatrists still don't know about mental illness

How can it be that psychiatry still doesn’t know what causes major mental problems such as depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia? Historian Anne Harrington and writer Marya Hornbacher explore psychiatry’s messy medical past and surprisingly uncertain present.

Download What psychiatrists still don't know about mental illness
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


Forty years on, Edward Said's 'Orientalism' still groundbreaking

Edward Said's seminal book, Orientalism (1978), proposed one of the most influential and enduring analyses of the relationship between the West and the Middle East. In many ways, his ideas seem uncontroversial, perhaps even obvious today. But four decades ago, what Said proposed was radical. It still is.

Download Forty years on, Edward Said's 'Orientalism' still groundbreaking
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


Why too much logic leads to irrationality: Justin E. H. Smith

The Parisian-American philosopher Justin E. H. Smith argues that attempts to impose the victory of reason always lead to explosions of irrationality, whether in our individual lives or at the level of society. His book is called Irrationality: a History of the Dark Side of Reason.

Download Why too much logic leads to irrationality: Justin E. H. Smith
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


Fighting for democracy from the bottom up | Astra Taylor, Pt 2

Filmmaker, writer and activist Astra Taylor sets out to answer a question we rarely ask: what is democracy? Her conclusion: democracy doesn't exist — at least, not quite. And yet, she says, it's still worth fighting for. Taylor takes us on a walking tour in New York searching for the meaning of democracy. Part 2 of a two-part series.

Download Fighting for democracy from the bottom up | Astra Taylor, Pt 2
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


What is Democracy? Astra Taylor says it's worth fighting for

Canadian-American filmmaker and writer Astra Taylor admits that for most of her life the term "democracy" held little appeal. But when she took on the what-is-democracy question, her inquiry turned into a belief that while it may not fully exist, democracy is still worth fighting for.

Download What is Democracy? Astra Taylor says it's worth fighting for
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:08]


'Global Trumpism': Bailouts, Brexit and battling climate change

**Warning: Explicit language in this episode ** With panache, humour, and a dash of outrage, political economist Mark Blyth explains how the 2008 bank bailouts led to Trump, Brexit, and a whole new era of populism. He also sheds light on how a tiny percentage of the 1% got even richer after a decade of austerity — and yet he remains hopeful about combating climate change.

Download 'Global Trumpism': Bailouts, Brexit and battling climate change
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


Our fractured, fractious age in one sentence: Lucy Ellmann

Lucy Ellmann's Booker-nominated Ducks, Newburyport, captures our fractious, fractured age through the eyes of a likeable, pie-baking housewife in Ohio in an epic running one thousand pages long in one, single sentence.

Download Our fractured, fractious age in one sentence: Lucy Ellmann
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


If you support human rights you're obliged to be an anti-colonialist, argues scholar

Author of Insurgent Empire, Priyamvada Gopal on why everyone should be an ‘anti-colonialist’ — and what that means for Canadians.

Download If you support human rights you're obliged to be an anti-colonialist, argues scholar
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


Olive Senior delivers prestigious 2019 Margaret Laurence Lecture: A Writer's Life

With wit and heart, Olive Senior delivered the 2019 Margaret Lawrence Lecture to a packed audience. Born in Jamaica in 1941, the seventh of 10 children, she went on to become one of Canada’s most acclaimed writers. Hear excerpts from her lecture, readings from her work and a conversation with IDEAS producer Mary Lynk.

Download Olive Senior delivers prestigious 2019 Margaret Laurence Lecture: A Writer's Life
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


'In my great and unmatched wisdom': Donald Trump's new world order

As disruptors go, Donald Trump is the world's most powerful one right now — disrupting everything from national politics, to social issues, to international relations. How far will his disruptions go, and what will remain once he's gone? IDEAS convened a panel at the Stratford Festival to discuss the Trump era and its aftermath.

Download 'In my great and unmatched wisdom': Donald Trump's new world order
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]


Lessons off Broadway: Princeton professor dissects zeitgeist in musicals

The Broadway musical is an art form both beloved and maligned. Whether you love it or hate it, the Broadway musical has the power to tap into the zeitgeist, capturing and propelling social change. Princeton musical theatre scholar Stacy Wolf takes host Nahlah Ayed on a tour of the hidden power of musicals from the 1950s to today.

Download Lessons off Broadway: Princeton professor dissects zeitgeist in musicals
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:09]