The Atlas Project

The Atlas Project

atlasproject.fireside.fm
Conversations That Navigate The Now


26: The King’s Two Bodies
Nov 21, 2019 • 51 min
For this episode we got some inspiration from an essay from Isaac Ariail Reed. In an essay about political mythologies titled The King's Two Bodies and The Crisis of Liberal Modernity he describes what happens when we lose powerful symbols that unite the…
25: The Resurrection of the Truth…?
Nov 14, 2019 • 59 min
In this episode, inspired by an article in the Hedgehog Review, we talk about the complex relationship between democracy, pluralism, and the idea of shared truth. Many claim we live in a post-truth world, laying the blame at new technologies like social…
24: Truth isn’t the problem…It’s the the truths!
Sep 12, 2019 • 59 min
Chris and Scott are back from their summer travels and decide to start September out light. We're talking about the nature of truth. Is there a truth crisis? Is it the media's fault? Fake news? Social media? We think the truth crisis has one source: our…
23: Conversion and Social Change
Jul 11, 2019 • 49 min
A lot of people are talking about things like “systemic change.” People feel an urgent need to “fix things in the world.” But there is a tendency to talk about societal realities that we long to change as if we’re not a part of them. It’s a lot like how…
22: Are We Stuck or Liberated?
Jul 8, 2019 • 70 min
In this episode of the podcast, recorded the day after America's 243rd Anniversary celebration, we consider the nature of freedom, whether it's a static or dynamic thing, and a host of other questions! There's a little something for everyone (and maybe…
21: Žižek vs Peterson…Our Thoughts on the Debate
Jul 8, 2019 • 51 min
In this episode we discuss a debate between two controversial public intellectuals: Slavoj Žižek and Jordan Peterson. The debate took place in Toronto on April 19, 2019. The origins of the debate go back to the previous year. During an event at the…
20: The Limits and Possibilities of Storytelling (and some other big questions)
Jun 21, 2019 • 50 min
This episode is based on a recent piece Chris wrote and sent to the community that usually recieves his "maps." In his own words these field notes are, "Rougher, faster than my carefully crafted 'maps.' Big provocations that I can't see through to the…
19: What Don’t You Know?
Jun 14, 2019 • 60 min
The real world is complex. It is changing very fast. So the optimal solution probably doesn’t exist. If it does exist, it doesn’t stay the optimal solution for long. To the extent that Artificial Intelligence focuses our choices and behaviors on the…
18: Trust Me?
May 13, 2019 • 53 min
In this episode we look at the most recent Edelman Trust Barometer numbers. Surprisingly (at least to one of us) China blows the West out of the water when it comes to its citzens trust in public institutions. Why is this? How does an autocratic state…
17: The Art of the Possible
May 6, 2019 • 53 min
We're in the golden age of television, with dramas like Game of Thrones capturing the attention of millions. In fact we're increasingly critical of our favorite shows, as the critical reception of a recent Game of Thrones episode, "The Battle of…
16: What Do We Do When The Cathedral’s Burning?
Apr 27, 2019 • 34 min
In this episode Chris and Scott talk about the fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and the reaction to it in the media and in Europe and North America more broadly. We also consider what it means to cherish the past and be open to a future that…
15: Through The Looking Glass
Apr 5, 2019 • 65 min
In this episode we talk the Mueller Report in the U.S. and Brexit in the U.K. We then talk about the recent horrific shooting in New Zealand (where Chris was at the time). We consider how our filters color the reception of all these events and why it…
14: Weird Science?
Mar 16, 2019 • 33 min
In this episode we talk about science, the transcendent moments it can evoke, and how we integrate those moments in to the rest of our lives. We reference a piece in the New Yorker entitled "A Different Kind of Theory of Everything." You can find it here:…
13: Is Humanity on the Right Track?
Mar 6, 2019 • 63 min
In this episode we consider the question: Is Humanity on the Right Track? But we do it with a twist. We discuss it as a motion, Oxford debating style. The idea came from a recent talk Chris gave at Oxford, at the great Oxford debating hall. He had the…
12: Is the Truth a Lie?
Feb 18, 2019 • 50 min
It’s time to critique “critical thinking”…“Critical thinking” has become a new panacea—society’s go-to antidote to the spread of fake news, the rise of populism, and the AI-driven atomization of our social media feeds. If no one should control which…
11: To Redistribute or not to Redistribute?…That Seems to be the Question!
Jan 31, 2019 • 64 min
In this episode we talk about income inequality and the impact it's having on today's political conversations. We also consider whether or not income inequality stifles upward mobility. And we talk a little Max Weber. We mention a paper by two prominent…
10: An Empty Space?
Jan 29, 2019 • 57 min
In this episode we talk about social media and its effects on public discourse and communal life. We also take some time to look at some of the week's headlines, offering our own less than expert but always interesting insights and analysis.
9: It’s All About The Currency Baby!
Jan 18, 2019 • 57 min
In our first episode of the new year we try to figure out which country's government looks more dysfunctional right now: The United State's or the UK's? We found ourselves talking about democratic values and norms as things comparable to currency. Their…
8: Does Democracy Need Religion?
Dec 20, 2018 • 52 min
In this our Christmas episode, inspired by Andrew Sullivan (and a few others), we think about the soul of democracy and the relationship of democracy and religion. Faith in the democratic project seems to be waning in many places in the West. Is politics…
7: Broken Societies—And The Post-Truth Reconstruction
Dec 17, 2018 • 46 min
Social media, and the fake news that spread across it, no doubt played a role in delivering the “Brexiteers” their surprise victory in the UK’s May 2016 referendum on EU membership. If the benefit of letting social media run amok is that doing so lays…
6: Leadership Then And Now
Dec 14, 2018 • 50 min
In this episode, recorded shortly after the death of America's 41st President George H.W. Bush, we talk about his legacy, and what leadership, politics and service meant to his generation and what they mean now. We also talk about the possibilities of…
5: The Live From The Toronto Basecamp Edition
Dec 11, 2018 • 70 min
We recorded this episode of the podcast in Toronto, where we were there for Basecamp Toronto, a remarkable gathering which Chris Kutarna conceived and convened. This Basecamp was an enabling environment. It is a room of fellow pathfinders—explorers,…
4: The Unstoppable Forces Versus The Indomitable Will
Nov 4, 2018 • 50 min
In this episode of the podcast we consider a number of hot button words thrown around in public discourse today: nationalism, tribalism, globalism, identity, populism…the list goes on. Inspired by a podcast discussion one of us heard recently, we wonder…
3: The Power of Doubt
Nov 3, 2018 • 39 min
When too many people believe they have found truth, democracy breaks down. Once truth has been found, the common project of discovery is complete. There is no more sense in sharing power with those who don’t realize it…To rescue the possibility of groping…
2: Finding The Real In A Post-Truth World
Nov 2, 2018 • 30 min
Enterprising minds have spotted our discontent with disintegration and turned reintegration into an industry. Grocery delivery services here in London emphasize, variously, ‘fresh’, ‘simple’, ‘organic’ or ‘mindful’. Meditation apps are booming. Yoga makes…
1: Has China Got It All Figured Out?
Nov 1, 2018 • 36 min
These days, the commentariat is talking a lot about China and what China’s rising confidence means for the world—and for the democratic world in particular. In almost all these conversations, at some point someone will mention Francis Fukuyama and his…