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://cbc.ca.mevn.net/ideas/

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Featured Podcast

Solar probe set to embark on perilous journey to the sun

Humanity's first mission to touch the sun thrills NASA scientists.

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Featured Podcast

Take the survey

Want to help improve CBC Podcasts? Take the survey.

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Featured Podcast

Salesperson of the year

Digging through archives in Saskatchewan, host Connie Walker makes a shocking discovery.

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Featured Podcast

How to tell the perfect lie

Oriana can't lie and it's hurting those closest to her.

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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)
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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)
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The 2017 CBC Massey Lectures: In Search of a Better World, Lecture 2 (Encore Nov 8, 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 8, 2017)
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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)
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2017 CBC Massey Lectures: In Search of a Better World, Lecture 1 (Encore Nov 7, 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 7, 2017)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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
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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
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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?
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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
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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
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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
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A Modest Proposal About Satire

Political comedy is everywhere on TV, but contributor Peter Brown is concerned: the laughter on late-night shows seems to be giving way to the earnest partisan cheering that comedian Seth Meyers calls "clapter". Are our current politicians becoming satire-proof? Or has satire always merely preached to the choir? In search of answers Peter looks to the classic satire of Juvenal, Swift and the Arab-speaking world, as well as prominent current practitioners including Armando Iannucci, creator of "Veep" and "The Death of Stalin".

Download A Modest Proposal About Satire
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One House Many Nations: Building tiny homes to solve a national crisis

n the Opaskwayak Cree Nation (or OCN), they've come up with their own home-grown solution to a national housing crisis. Paul Kennedy made a mid-winter visit to the reserve - situated at the junction of the Opasquia and Saskatchewan Rivers, in Northern Manitoba - to see community members building the first small wooden house.

Download One House Many Nations: Building tiny homes to solve a national crisis
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A Map of the Heart, Part 2: The Icelandic Sagas

More than a thousand years ago, rebel Vikings and other settlers fleeing from Norway settled on a craggy, uninhabited island in the north Atlantic: Iceland. There they built a new world pretty much from scratch, with a new legal system, a new social order and - eventually - a new language. They also created stories about who they were. Philip Coulter time-travels into the heart of the Icelandic sagas.

Download A Map of the Heart, Part 2: The Icelandic Sagas
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Magic, Medicine and the Placebo Machine

Jay Olson performed his first magic trick when he was five years old. The former professional magician turned McGill University PhD student reveals how the power of suggestion can be used to help treat medical conditions. Central to his research is what he calls a 'placebo machine,' which he's been using to help migraine sufferers and children with disorders such as ADHD. This episode is part of our ongoing series Ideas from the Trenches, featuring innovative work by PhD candidates across Canada.

Download Magic, Medicine and the Placebo Machine
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Culture Weaponized: Ali Velshi on shutting our mouths and opening our ears

Ali Velshi is a reporter, analyst, and self-identified "double immigrant". And he's worried about what he calls "the growing weaponization of culture." In a talk he gave at the Peter Wall Institute at the University of British Columbia, Velshi says identity politics have splintered people along ever-narrower definitions of identity - and it's derailing America.

Download Culture Weaponized: Ali Velshi on shutting our mouths and opening our ears
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Creating Conscience, Part 3: A history of treating the psychopath

We're all familiar with the idea of the "bad seed". Incorrigible children and unruly adolescents who later commit terrible crimes. Over the last decade, they've increasingly been referred to as psychopaths. But unlike the way their adult counterparts are viewed, there's renewed hope that younger people with psychopathic traits can be redeemed.

Download Creating Conscience, Part 3: A history of treating the psychopath
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A Map of the Heart: The Icelandic Sagas, Part 1

More than a thousand years ago, rebel Vikings and other settlers fleeing from Norway settled on a craggy, uninhabited island in the north Atlantic: Iceland. There they built a new world pretty much from scratch, with a new legal system, a new social order and - eventually - a new language. They also created stories about who they were. Philip Coulter time-travels into the heart of the Icelandic Sagas.

Download A Map of the Heart: The Icelandic Sagas, Part 1
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A matter of life and death: Sue Gardner on public broadcasting

In a public talk at Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto, Sue Gardner argues that that we've returned to the same set of ominous social conditions which led to the creation of public broadcasting in the first place - and that now is the time to recommit to public service journalism.

Download A matter of life and death: Sue Gardner on public broadcasting
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International perspectives on the 'idea of north'

From the Blue Metropolis/Metropole Bleu Festival in Montreal, Paul Kennedy discusses the 'idea of north' with writers from Quebec's Inuit North, Denmark and Norway. They compare and contrast the North as they know it, and how they express that through their writing.

Download International perspectives on the 'idea of north'
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Shakespeare and Company

It's tempting to think only of Shakespeare when we think of the Elizabethan era - the late 1500s to early 1600s. But he was only one of many writers, and there was a whole other world of literature and ideas, and of artists thinking and writing about the society of their times. Moderated by theatre critic Robert Cushman, a discussion from the Ideas Forum at the Stratford Festival featuring actors and writers and directors with fresh perspectives into Shakespeare's life and times.

Download Shakespeare and Company
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Fail Better: What baseball can teach us about failure and community (Encore June 7, 2017)

Baseball may have inspired more books than any other sport - but none quite like philosopher Mark Kingwell's recently published, Fail Better: Why Baseball Matters. It's the first book-length philosophical meditation on what has been called America's national pastime. Paul Kennedy takes him out to a ballgame, and discusses everything from RBIs, to the metaphysics of failure, and how Kingwell borrowed the title for his baseball book from a work by Samuel Beckett.

Download Fail Better: What baseball can teach us about failure and community (Encore June 7, 2017)
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The Enright Files: Conversations with some of Ireland's finest writers

If any nation punches above its weight in literature, it might be Ireland — a small island nation that has produced four Nobel Prize winners in literature and countless other poets, playwrights and novelists of international renown. On this month's edition of The Enright Files, conversations with some of Ireland’s finest writers about the art of fiction and a literary sensibility that is both universally resonant and discernibly Irish.

Download The Enright Files: Conversations with some of Ireland's finest writers
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A politically incorrect debate about political correctness (The Munk Debates)

Does 'political correctness' impede free speech, and blockade the exchange of ideas? Or does it create a better society by confronting the power imbalances that keep marginalized groups marginalized? In this Munk Debate, bestselling author Michael Eric Dyson and journalist and commentator Michelle Goldberg argue that political correctness promotes diverse societies and social progress. On the opposing side: renaissance man Stephen Fry and controversial psychologist Jordan Peterson, who contend that "PC" throttles free thought and divides society.

Download A politically incorrect debate about political correctness (The Munk Debates)
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Foreign Policy + Feminism=?

Foreign policy is usually defined in "masculine" terms: arms trade, intervention, war, sanctions, and MAD (mutually-assured destruction). But what would international relations look like if food security, family planning, and workplace equity were also centre pieces of foreign policy?

Download Foreign Policy + Feminism=?
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The Paris Riots, 1968, Part 1: A failed revolution that changed the world

It's been said that the "revolution" of 1968 failed, but it was a failure that changed the world. Philip Coulter went to Paris to talk to some of the people who were there on May 10 1968, the day of the first big demonstration. Part 1 of a 3-part series.

Download The Paris Riots, 1968, Part 1: A failed revolution that changed the world
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On the Move from Montreal: A profile of Little Burgundy

As part of ongoing IDEAS coverage of work-related mobility issues throughout Canada and around the world, Paul Kennedy profiles the Montreal neighbourhood of "Little Burgundy". For much of the 20th century, this vibrant, overwhelmingly black community was home to many of the railroad porters who worked on coast-to-coast trains for both Canadian National and Canadian Pacific. By definition, their job description required them to be "away from home" for two weeks at a time.

Download On the Move from Montreal: A profile of Little Burgundy
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The Paris Riots of 1968, Part 3: A failed revolution that changed the world

Students taking to the streets to protest — it looked like a simple thing, fifty years ago in May 1968. But it proved to be the spark that started a conflagration. Thousands of demonstrators turned into hundreds of thousands, barricades were built, cars were burned. Then the workers joined in, and by the middle of May 1968, most of France was on strike. It was a political crisis like no other — and then it evaporated. It's been said that the "revolution" of 1968 failed — but it was a failure that changed the world. Philip Coulter went to Paris to talk to some of the people who were there in May 1968.

Download The Paris Riots of 1968, Part 3: A failed revolution that changed the world
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Creating Conscience, Part 2: A history of treating the psychopath

For decades psychiatry has been asking: what makes a psychopath? The list of possible explanations stretches back over centuries: demonic possession, trace metals in the body, bad mothering, violence on television, birth trauma. In Part 2 of this series, Mary O'Connell returns to an interview she did with a serial killer 20 years ago, to understand what motivated him and what insight can experts give us about the modern-day psychopath.

Download Creating Conscience, Part 2: A history of treating the psychopath
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The Restaurant: A table divided

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. Restaurants are also sites of aspiration and transformation. Contributing producers Michelle Macklem and Zoe Tennant discover 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
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Enlightenment Now: Why Steven Pinker believes in progress

It may be tempting to think human civilization is on the verge of collapse: environmental degradation, the rise in authoritarianism, ballooning income disparities. But Harvard psychologist and linguist Steven Pinker is having none of it. He argues that the Enlightenment has given us so much that we can hardly see it anymore. And he believes it's now time to champion Enlightenment values once again: rationality, verifiability, and above all: the ideal of progress itself.

Download Enlightenment Now: Why Steven Pinker believes in progress
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:35]


The Paris Riots of 1968, Part 2: A failed revolution that changed the world

Students taking to the streets to protest — it looked like a simple thing, fifty years ago in May 1968. But it proved to be the spark that started a conflagration. Thousands of demonstrators turned into hundreds of thousands, barricades were built, cars were burned. It was a political crisis like no other — and then it evaporated. It's been said that the "revolution" of 1968 failed. But it was a failure that changed the world. Part 2 of a 3-part series.

Download The Paris Riots of 1968, Part 2: A failed revolution that changed the world
[mp3 file: runs 00:54:34]


 

 

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