Ideas from CBC Radio (Highlights)

Ideas from CBC Radio (Highlights)

www.cbc.ca/radio/podcasts/documentaries/the-best-of-ideas
Ideas is all about ideas \x96 programs that explore everything from culture and the arts to science and technology to social issues.


When Hong Kong felt like the middle of the world: Paul Kennedy
Jun 26 • 54 min
In the decade before he became host — between 1990 and 1999 — Paul Kennedy spent a lot of time in Hong Kong. The Crown Colony was scheduled to be handed back to China in 1997, after more than a century of British rule. With special guest Lady Lavender…
Ken Lyotier: How to handle garbage
Jun 25 • 54 min
When Paul Kennedy first met Ken Lyotier he simply called himself a ”dumpster diver.” Lyotier organized street people, who were collecting refuse on the streets of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, in order to obtain bottle deposits. Those same people…
Is It Too Late To Find Hope In The Anthropocene?
Jun 24 • 54 min
In Paul Kennedy’s final week at IDEAS, he looks back at his four decades with the program. We begin the series with an episode inspired by the Muskoka Summit on the Environment, an event Paul has moderated since 2010. For this episode, Paul invited three…
Language, Land and Laughter: The power of Gwich’in storytelling
Jun 21 • 54 min
The Gwich’in language — like too many Indigenous languages in Canada — is seriously endangered. Paul Kennedy recently spent some time in Whitehorse, co-hosting a series of radio plays with people from Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, in Old Crow and with the…
The Recurring Case of ‘Recursion’: a vital pattern for making sense of the world
Jun 20 • 54 min
Some call it “self-similarity.” Others define it vaguely as “wheels within wheels” or refer to the image of nesting Russian dolls. For such a fundamental concept, recursion is strangely less famous and more often overlooked than it deserves to be. With…
The Coffee Chronicles: The story of the world’s most popular drink
Jun 19 • 54 min
An ordinary cup of Joe just won’t do anymore. It’s now gourmet, fair trade and organic. Whether the method is pour over, French press, or vacuum pumps, coffee is now described with terms like “mouthfeel”, just as fine wines are. Contributing producer…
The Portuguese Model: Lessons for dealing with a drug crisis
Jun 18 • 54 min
Two decades ago, Portugal was in the grip of a nation-wide drug epidemic. The dire situation led the country’s leaders to a radical solution: the decriminalization of all drugs and a health-care approach — rather than a criminal law approach — to deal…
The Invention of the World: Diderot and the Art of Thinking Freely, Part 2
Jun 17 • 54 min
French philosopher Denis Diderot was one of a small group of 18th-century thinkers who began to explore a radical new way of thinking about the totality of human knowledge. In his magisterial Encyclopédie, he proposed a new way of organizing everything we…
Marxism for the New Age
Jun 14 • 54 min
The absurdities and humiliations of late capitalism — social atomization, the gig economy, brutalizing inequality — have given new life to Karl Marx. While known best for his economic theorizing, Marx has found new favour for his rigorous humanism. Those…
The Good Society in our Genes: Nicholas A. Christakis
Jun 13 • 54 min
In his acclaimed new book, Nicholas A. Christakis argues that genes influence not only who we are, but also what our society can be. The physician and sociologist says natural selection has given us many laudable features — not just the well-studied,…
Woke Washing: the problem with ‘branding’ social movements
Jun 12 • 54 min
Since the invention of public relations, companies have championed progressive values as a way to sell their products. Some call this tactic brilliant PR. Others call it ‘woke washing,’ arguing that these companies are merely adopting the veneer of…
The Anthropology of Bias
Jun 11 • 54 min
In Victorian England, the Brontë sisters published under male pseudonyms. They did so to have their female-centred work (Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights) taken seriously. Two centuries later, when Canadian playwright Jordi Mand came to write about the…
The Invention of the World: Diderot and the Art of Thinking Freely, Part 1
Jun 10 • 54 min
French philosopher Denis Diderot was one of a small group of 18th-century thinkers who began to explore a radical new way of thinking about all knowledge. Fear of prison kept Diderot from publishing much in his own lifetime, apart from his magisterial…
Pierre-Esprit Radisson: The 17 Century’s Forrest Gump
Jun 7 • 54 min
At a time when most Europeans died within a day’s journey from where they were born, Pierre-Esprit Radisson criss-crossed the Atlantic 10 times, was adopted into an Iroquois family and was kidnapped by pirates. Historian Mark Bourrie documents the…
Drug Use for Grown-Ups
Jun 6 • 54 min
What’s wrong with responsible adults using psychoactive drugs in the pursuit of happiness? Nothing, according to Carl Hart, Chair of the Department of Psychology at Columbia University. He is a neuropharmacologist and believes healthy adults have the…
Ideas from the Trenches: The Encroachment Game
Jun 5 • 54 min
One of the most powerful types of resistance to authority is also barely perceptible. To catch sight of this ‘hidden resistance,’ PhD student Safaneh Mohaghegh Neyshabouri pores over journals-recently discovered and never seriously studied before-written…
The Enright Files on Irish Literature and Samuel Beckett
Jun 3 • 54 min
The Irish may just be the most literary of peoples. Only a few million people live in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, but that island has produced four winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature. The Enright Files explores Irish writers with…
Public Morality in the Ages of Caesar and Trump
May 31 • 54 min
What is our common ground — and common benefit — when everyone in society has their own strong set of opinions? How do leaders lead or represent us? This episode takes a philosophical look at the interaction between morality and the public good, with…
The Munk Debates: Is China a threat or an ally?
May 30 • 54 min
Highlights from the most recent edition of The Munk Debates. On one side, H. R. McMaster and Michael Pillsbury argue that free and open societies must push back against the policies of the Chinese Communist Party to preserve a rules-based international…
Contemplating the End: Paul Kennedy in conversation with Annie Proulx and Bruce Pascoe
May 29 • 54 min
In his final appearance at the Blue Metropolis Literary Festival in Montreal — after twenty years of hosting on-stage interviews and panel discussions that were later broadcast on IDEAS — Paul Kennedy talks with American novelist Annie Proulx (The…
Finding meaning in the universe with astrophysicist Hubert Reeves, Part 2
May 28 • 54 min
Hubert Reeves is one of the world’s foremost experts on the Big Bang and the origins of time. He lives in France, where the acclaimed astrophysicist has the status of a rock star. In Quebec, where he was born, he is called their Einstein. And yet he’s…
America’s Other Civil War
May 27 • 54 min
The term “coup d’état” usually applies to the violent takeover of a nation. But the phenomenon has occurred within American cities as well. In the decades after the Civil War, four American cities over four decades saw white civilians — and officials —…
Confronting the Disinformation Age
May 23 • 54 min
Fake news. Foreign meddling. Fraud. Deliberate deception: the list goes on. And we consume all of it, sometimes not knowing the source or what is truth. What can we do to confront the epidemic of disinformation? A recent panel discussion presented at…
How good can we really be without God?
May 22 • 54 min
Is atheism getting too big for its britches? And why is that a problem? Christian Smith is Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame. In his new book “Atheist Overreach: What Atheism Can’t Deliver”, he argues that contemporary atheists are…
Finding meaning in the universe with astrophysicist Hubert Reeves, Part 1
May 21 • 54 min
Hubert Reeves is one of the world’s foremost experts on the Big Bang and the origins of time. He lives in France, where the acclaimed astrophysicist has the status of a rock star. In Quebec, where he was born, he is called their Einstein. And yet he’s…
Exploring the eighth continent with Canopy Meg
May 20 • 54 min
Trees and forests could hold the key to the survival of life on our planet. Meg Lowman started climbing trees when she was still a painfully shy primary school student, in a small town in upstate New York. They became her closest companions whenever her…
The Dangers of Denialism
May 17 • 54 min
“Denial is about hiding from the truth. Denialism builds a ‘new and better’ truth.” Keith Kahn-Harris, a researcher and lecturer at the University of London, says the challenge of confronting denialism is that denialists don’t see themselves as rejecters…
The 1919 Winnipeg General Strike: 100 years later
May 15 • 54 min
It was the biggest labour action in Canadian history: on May 15, 1919, over 35,000 workers took to the streets of Winnipeg for six weeks. It began peacefully and passionately; it ended in lethal violence, and disagreement over what it meant. Contributor…
Cata$trophe: Adam Tooze tells the real story of the 2008 financial meltdown
May 14 • 54 min
Historian Adam Tooze wrote Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World as the decade was unfolding. The giant waves from the crash of 2008 are still hitting shore, both politically and economically. The 2019 Gelber Prize-winner talks with…
Old Masters: Decoding prehistoric art with Jean Clottes
May 13 • 54 min
The songs and stories of prehistoric humans are gone. All that remains of their culture is their art. It’s the one thing that can bridge the vast, silent chasm of time between then and now. IDEAS contributor Neil Sandell introduces us to the French…
Things fall apart: The origins and future of American democracy
May 10 • 54 min
Harvard historian James Kloppenberg traces the long and tortuous tradition of American liberal democracy. He argues that the United States has arrived at such a precarious place in its political evolution that the very conditions that make democracy…
Remembering Jean Vanier: The Rabbit and the Giraffe, Part 2
May 8 • 54 min
“Community is a sign that love is possible in a materialistic world.” Jean Vanier, who founded the l’Arche movement in 1963 for people with profound disabilities, quickly learned that “normal” people have much to learn about being human by watching those…
Remembering Jean Vanier: The Rabbit and the Giraffe, Part 1
May 7 • 54 min
“Community is a sign that love is possible in a materialistic world.” Jean Vanier, who founded the l’Arche movement in 1963 for people with profound disabilities, quickly learned that “normal” people have much to learn about being human by watching those…
The Enright Files on moral challenges faced by Christianity
May 6 • 54 min
Some of the crises facing contemporary Christianity are obvious, such as the ever-widening revelations of sexual abuse perpetrated by Catholic clergy and the role of bishops in covering it up. Some are less obvious, such as the embrace of anti-immigrant,…
The Invisible Shoes of Stutthof Concentration Camp
May 2 • 54 min
n 2015, the poet-musician Grzegorz Kwiatkowski made a strange discovery at the site of the former Stutthof concentration camp in Poland - something he calls “a carpet of abandoned shoes”. But these were more than shoes: they’re both artifacts and symbols…
The Written City: Dany Laferrière’s Paris
Apr 30 • 54 min
Dany Laferrière is one of the most celebrated writers in Canadian literary history. He has over 27 books to his name, and a raft of awards and honours - including the Order of Canada, and the Prix Medicis. In 2013, he was elected to the prestigious…
Paul and Ed’s Excellent Adventure (Encore January 15, 2019)
Apr 25 • 54 min
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…
True Crime Bloodline
Apr 23 • 54 min
From the inventive journalism of “Serial”, to the sexual horror of “The Keepers”, to the chatty storytelling of “White Wine True Crime”, we appear to be obsessed by tales of murder and mayhem. It’s a darkly popular form of entertainment in this era of…
The Sudbury Effect: Lessons from a regreened city
Apr 22 • 54 min
They said it couldn’t be done, but Sudbury did it! Forty years ago, nickel mines and smelters around a relatively small city in Northern Ontario had created one of the most dramatic examples of environmental devastation in the history of this planet. The…
The First Stone: Jesus, the Accused and Us
Apr 18 • 54 min
Variously called ‘Jesus and the Woman Caught in Adultery’, ‘Jesus and the Accused’, and the ‘Pericope Adulterae’, this story, found in the Gospel of John, still throws off reflections and refractions today. Jesus’ message is stark: “Let anyone among you…
What to expect when you’re expecting …. Climate Change (Encore Nov 21, 2018)
Apr 16 • 54 min
Young couples face a complicated decision at a time when the dire consequences of climate change are becoming clearer, is it ethical to bring a child into the world? Science journalist Britt Wray talks with parents, prospective parents, ethicists and…
Stealing Home: A tribute to Jackie Robinson
Apr 15 • 54 min
The National Baseball Hall of Fame quotes trailblazer Jackie Robinson: “a life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” Robinson’s life had a huge impact, especially when he broke down the colour barrier in Major League Baseball and…
Five Freedoms: Freedom from Lies
Apr 12 • 54 min
Freedom of the press is a Holy Grail in western societies, supposedly giving us the facts about what’s happening in the world. But in an era of fake news, post-truth and a 24-hour news cycle, what are journalists to hang onto? A discussion with…
Five Freedoms: Freedom from Want
Apr 11 • 54 min
Poverty has always been a defining issue in the quest to build a better world. How do we go about making things more equitable, making sure that wealth is distributed to those in need and creating opportunity for the weak to become strong? Journalist…
Five Freedoms: Freedom from Oppression
Apr 10 • 54 min
Oppression takes many forms. It can be political or cultural, or even social. There’s the weight of inherited oppression, and there’s the question of how oppression shapes who we are - both individually and collectively. This episode features a discussion…
Five Freedoms: Freedom of Speech
Apr 9 • 54 min
Fanned by the Internet, the war over our right to say anything at all has created silos of intolerance. Fewer people are listening to differing points of view. And with less dialogue, nothing changes. But are there things that should not be said? A…
Five Freedoms: Freedom to Believe
Apr 8 • 54 min
Faith and spiritual traditions have always shaped our ideas of right and wrong, both in the private and the public sphere. How do the values that come from faith shape secular society - and should they? And are social values necessarily secular?…
How rethinking capitalism may save the planet
Apr 4 • 54 min
The evidence is in: if the earth is to survive catastrophic climate change, the economies of the world can’t continue to grow infinitely. Maintaining the status quo makes ecological viability impossible. But imagining a world without capitalism also seems…
The Enright Files on the transformative, confounding power of poetry
Apr 2 • 54 min
Poetry may not have the same place in our culture that it once had, but it remains an art form of singular power to those who immerse themselves in it. It has the capacity to inspire and enthrall, and to befuddle and infuriate. It can electrify a society,…
The Audience Talks Back: The 2018 CBC Massey Lectures
Apr 1 • 54 min
On the CBC Massey Lectures tour, each lecture concluded in an audience discussion with Tanya Talaga - most of which was never broadcast. In the original broadcast of the Massey Lectures, we invited you -the radio audience - to send in your questions for…