IDEAS is a deep-dive into contemporary thought and intellectual history. No topic is off-limits. In the age of clickbait and superficial headlines, it's for people who like to think.
Peace, Order, and Good Geometry
The story of geometry is bound up in the Renaissance, the rise of nation states, and the expression of absolute power. Geometric designs came to represent order in the universe. But order’s war with chaos continues — just compare the geometric plans for Washington, D.C., with the lived reality. Historian Amir Alexander traces the rise of geometry from Euclid to the United Nations.
The Cult Movie Canon
They’re weird. They break the rules. They’re kinda bad. They are cult movies. Dive into the stories of films from ‘Troll 2’ to ‘The Last Dragon’ to the ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ to learn what drives people to watch these oddball films again and again. Producer Matthew Lazin-Ryder looks at the history, future, and function of cult movies. *Originally aired on May 19, 2020.
The Complexity of Cuteness
The charms of cuteness seem obvious. Yet, from the Japanese fear of adulting to universal attractions of indeterminacy, the new field of Cute Studies reveals layers beneath a fluffy surface.
Thucydides, Part 2: Lessons from the plague of Athens
The plague of Athens struck in 430 BC, violently killing up to half of the Greek city's population. Thucydides was on hand to document the grim symptoms, as well as the social and psychological fallout. His vivid account holds enduring lessons for us during pandemic times today.
Thucydides, Part 1: The First Journalist
About 2,500 years ago, Thucydides travelled ancient Greece, gathering stories about a brutal war that plunged the ancient world into chaos. He set high standards for accuracy, objectivity and thoroughness in his reporting. IDEAS producer Nicola Luksic explains why his account of the Peloponnesian War is relevant today. *Originally aired on Jan. 7, 2011.
Render Unto Caesar: Render What? Unto Whom?
"Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's." It's a lasting phrase that has touched off church-and-state and tax debates. This riposte to the religious authorities transcends mere matters of money, and agitates the hearts of believers: What ultimately belongs to God, and how does that question resonate in a secular age?