This is Not a Safe Space

Resistance to political correctness at the University of Chicago. Last September it’s incoming freshmen received a letter from the administration that said, “We do not support so-called ‘trigger warnings.’ The university’s position, the letter insisted, was based on the administration’s “commitment to academic freedom” and their dedication to “fostering the free exchange of ideas” and “diversity of opinion and background.”

Earlier this month libertarian political scientist Charles Murray, derided by many as a racist take on the relationship between genetics and intelligence, was invited to speak at Middlebury College in Vermont. Murray only made it a couple of words into his talk when more than half of those crowding the hall stood up, turned their backs on him and proceeded to read a long prepared remark, en masse. When Murray and the liberal professor who was to interview him after his talk were walking to the car, the crowds jostled him, and injured her.

Little Atoms

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The Limits of Freedom

Is too much freedom paradoxically debilitating? Neuroscience shows and history suggests, we are less content when we have more choice. Do we need constraints to thrive, and might our chains be key to our freedom? Or is this a dangerous conceit of the privileged and free? Psychiatrist Theodore Dalrymple, Blair’s former Senior Policy Advisor Julian Le Grand, and author of “I Find That Offensive!” Claire Fox interrogate choice.

Philosophy for Our Times

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Lucky Country?

Are Australians really that angry and divided? What do they tell you, when you talk to Australians in their living rooms? Social researcher, Rebecca Huntley has done that. Apparently ugliness of political and social media discourse is not a true reflection of Australia. On average, Australians still believe they live in the ‘lucky’ country, even if their desirables have far exceeded the lot they are getting. Rebecca Huntley speaks to Paul Barclay.

Big Ideas – ABC Radio

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“The Complacent Class” with Katherine Mangu-Ward

Today, Americans are working harder than ever to avoid change. In this episode, Editor-in-chief of “Reason” Katherine Mangu-Ward grill Tyler Cowen about “The Complacent Class”, a follow-up to his previous book “The Great Stagnation”. Tyler has found out that Americans are moving less, starting fewer businesses, marrying people more like themselves, and relying as much as they can on algorithms that wall them off from anything that might be too new or different. As a result, we could see a version of America that is more segregated, more unequal, and no longer the leader of tomorrow’s greatest achievements.
According to Malcolm Gladwell, “His brilliant new book…has been on my nightstand after I devoured it in one sitting. I am at round-the-clock Cowen saturation right now.”

Conversations with Tyler

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Britain Divided: 1642-2016

The perils of politics in Britain. In his latest book, “The Road to Somewhere: The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics”, David Goodhart looks at the new division: between the mobile ‘achieved’ identity of the people from Anywhere, and the more marginalised, roots-based identity of the people from Somewhere. For the last few decades Anywhere interests have dominated in everything from mass higher education to mass immigration and the EU. Tables are turning.

The playwright Richard Bean reaches back to another time of internal conflict, the beginning of the English Civil War, and finds humour in the desperate attempts of one man to retain power. Teach them a lesson.

Machiavelli is associated with unscrupulous scheming, but his latest biographer Erica Benner argues that, believe it or not, he was a man devoted to political and human freedom.

Start the Week – BBC Radio 4

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The Mind of a Terrorist

When suicide bombers blow up crowded marketplaces, or a lone shooter attacks a nightclub, one question is why. What ideology or belief or loyalty would compel someone to do something so horrific? This hour, a look at the underlying psychology of political violence. The Reformed Radical; The Psychology of Terrorism; What Can Americans Learn from a Norwegian Massacre?; Let’s Change the Way We Think About Thinking; The Buddhist Master Who Went On A Four Year Wandering Retreat.

“It’s not hate that’s at the bottom of intergroup violence, it’s love… it’s love for the ingroup.”

To the Best of Our Knowledge

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How Trauma Lodges in the Body

Human memory is a sensory experience, says psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk. Through his longtime research and innovation in trauma treatment, he shares what he’s learning about how bodywork like yoga or eye movement therapy can restore a sense of goodness and safety. What he’s learning speaks to a resilience we can all cultivate in the face of the overwhelming events.
Bessel van der Kolk is a professor of psychiatry at Boston University Medical School, and he helped found a community-based trauma center in Brookline, Massachusetts. As medical director there, he works with people affected by trauma and adversity to re-establish a sense of safety and predictability in the world, and to reclaim their lives.

On Being with Krista Tippett

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Consuming Our Future

Only lowering our living standards will achieve sustainable growth. That’s the message from Satyajit Das, a former financier who anticipated the GFC. Debt, energy consumption, housing affordability or superannuation – it’s all based on a financial system that’s in fact a completely fictional model. This model was always doomed to fail – eventually.

Big Ideas – ABC Radio

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Resisting Tyranny: Learning From 20th-Century Europe

 

Totalitarian Europe in comparison to contemporary America is the subject of Timothy Snyder’s talk and his new book, “On Tyranny”. He sees America’s political institutions in great danger of slipping into autocracy and possibly fascism. From the examples of the twentieth century, Snyder has distilled twenty essential points that should guide the current struggle. They are as simple as “do not obey in advance” and “beware the one-party state,” and as inspiring as “contribute to good causes” and “learn from peers in other countries.” Questions from the audience follow.

Live at Politics and Prose

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