January 10th, 2019
Aristotle, the Alien:
Is it ethical to believe in conspiracy theories?
In this episode, we challenge our basic notions of conspiracy. What about conspiracies are good? What about them are bad? Are we exercising our intelligence or indulging our ignorance?
Tune in and join the conversation!
January 17th, 2019
Same Wifi, Different Worlds:
Are we living in separate realities?
Fake news, the internet, rhetoric and political agenda; how to tell what is true and what is not?
In this episode, we discuss the modern problem of perspective - is it possible to think and see things from someone else's point of view? In our time in history, is this easier or harder than its ever been?
January 24th, 2019
Helen's Paris Vacation:
What is an “act of war,” anyways?
Spies, poison, border conflict, election-hacking...in this world of grand geopolitical struggle what qualifies as an 'Act of War'?
In this episode, we discuss warfare in our modern political context. When can a government declare they have suffered an act of war? What is at stake - in our modern world - when world powers flirt with or threaten war?
January 31st, 2019
Oh, Caption My Captain:
Should there be limits on political speech in government?
Politics in the age of mass media, the internet, and social media; what is at stake? What happens when presidents and prime ministers have Twitter accounts?
In this episode, we discuss the nature of rhetoric in politics and whether its possible to guard against the worst excesses of political speech. Incensed by the speech of a certain president, Aaron attempts to make a case for rhetorical censorship, while Mike puts up a redoubtable defense.
February 7th, 2019
What makes an ideal leader?
"Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them". Who leads us, who ought to lead us, and why? What qualities identify someone has a good leader...a good representative...a good head of state?
In this episode, we discuss political leadership and what is at stake when choosing a leader for both political parties and as heads of state. Mike and Aaron take each other to task on their list of ideal political leadership traits...and on what they believe is at stake.
February 14th, 2019
Got Me Socrates in Love:
Does politics need love?
"Trust...but verify". Can love possibly exist in politics - either in whole or in part? When our western political systems are founded on debate, ideological conflict, and political contest...what possible room is there for love?
In this special Valentines Day episode, Mike and Aaron discuss the nature of love and human affection. Does it have any place in the conflict of ideas? Are there things we can learn from the expression of love between private individuals to improve politics?
Is politics doomed without love?
February 21st, 2019
A Remembrance of Things Trash: Should we own more than 30 books?
With her new show Netflix streaming series "Tidying Up," Marie Kondo espouses her philosophy of "sparking joy" by ridding oneself of unnecessary clutter; and, in this simple act of cleaning, she's taken the world by storm. Marie Kondo takes a thoughtful, empathetic approach to her clients, recognizing that their attachments to belongings comes as much from a sense of real need as it does from emotions and sentimentality.
In the age of moral empathy, Kondo's style has won her many adoring fans -- but has also attracted a number of critics. Bibliophiles were scandalized when she told a couple to keep not more than 30 books in their home. An internet debate quickly brewed. This week, Aaron and Mike ask, "Was she right?" Should there be a hard cap on how many books you keep? Tune in to hear what they think.
February 28th, 2019
Let Them Eat Shake n Bake:
What is the Value of Elites?
Populism is popular -- like really, really popular. Voters throughout the developed world have been energized by politicians who claim to champion the cause of the 'little guy'. They might announce themselves as standing up to those who wish to uphold a system which keeps all but a select few down and under. In this age of rage, Mike and Aaron take a minute to ask, "What is the value of elites?"
After all, if they have existed for so long, surely it must be that they bring something to the table, right? The topic's thorny; the conversation, heated. Tune in this week as Mike and Aaron wade into one of the most important political questions of our time.
March 7th, 2019
All Along the Ivory Tower:
Is De-Platforming Ethical?
You've likely seen the story before: an academic or public intellectual on a speaking tour makes a scheduled stop at a university, somewhere in North America, to give a talk on his or her particular vision of the world. Feathers are ruffled, a protest is organized, and the talk becomes a battleground (literal or otherwise) of ideas.
Disruptors then manage to delay or interrupt the talk with such effectiveness that it's closed down early, and the guest speaker is whisked away by campus security. The guest speaker has just been de-platformed. Was this action ethical? This week, tune in as Mike and Aaron debate the morality of this act, and find themselves arriving at some pretty surprising conclusions.
March 14th, 2019
Beware the Guys in March:
Has the Internet Benefited Politics?
Lying facedown on the floor of the Roman Senate, one wonders if Julius Caesar spent his final moments reconsidering his decision to champion 'the common people', rather than the Senate class. He wanted to rule Rome, but his participation in public life lead him to a bloody end. One gets the feeling that 'Sic Semper Tyrannis' would surely have become a viral tweet...
Democracy demands public participation; public participation invites public inquiry; and, in the internet age, public inquiry often manifests itself in malicious online attacks that can threaten one's very way of life. Is individual democratic participation - a life in politics, so to speak - worth the risks that often come with it? Has the internet enabled greater public participation... or simply encouraged many a Brutus and Cassius? This week, political junkies Mike and Aaron debate the problem. Tune in to hear their thoughts, in one of their most introspective episodes yet.
March 21st, 2019
From Russia with Shrugs: Is a nation’s government responsible for the rest of the world?
In a democracy, leaders are ostensibly elected on their ability to deliver results to their own constituents. But if no man is an island, so it is that no nation is truly isolated; what happens if one affects another?
Are an elected official's responsibilities confined to the jurisdiction of their voters? Or must they go farther? This week, Mike and Aaron take sides on this issue and hash it out.
Coming up Soon...