Podcast by Ari Stein
#6 Bryan Fogel - 'Money and power take precedence over human rights.'
Bryan Fogel is probably one of the most important filmmakers alive today. The Academy-Award winning documentary maker ventures into deeply unchartered territories where no one else dares to go. Following up on his enormous success with the 2017 documentary Icarus, here Ari Stein discusses his latest offering, an examination into the heartbreaking assassination of Saudi Arabian citizen and a well-known writer for the Washington Post, Jamal Khashoggi.
#5 Lisa Feldman Barrett - The Irrational Human
You get a hunch when moving through the world, that we’re an incredibly irrational species. You only have to look around us to see that almost everything around us is made up. However, It's nice to see this irrationalty laid out in such empirical terms through Lisa Feldman Barrett's ingenious work. A rigorous explorer of the brain, she is a distinguished professor at Northeastern University, among the top one per cent most cited scientists in the world for her revolutionary research in psychology and neuroscience.
Two books have brought her widespread acclaim, her 2017 book, How Emotions Are Made which laid out the theory that emotions have no more intrinsic value than say a nation-state or the currency you possess printed on paper. That emotions are merely just another fabricated narrative that we as humans hang onto so potently.
In 2020, she followed this up with another, challenging assertion in her masterful small but insightful guidebook, Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain. She challenged us to overturn centuries of assumptions about the brain's evolution, one that postulated its sole evolutionary function was to think. This, she asserts is not the case, much the very opposite, rather its function to this very day is to calculate and manage the energy tradeoffs that our bodies are making day in and day out, makes sense, right?
If only we could really listen to the counter-intuitive wisdom found in Feldman Barrett’s profoundly important work, then we might not be walking around the Savannah holding ourselves to such high regard. This is a profoundly important discussion which again reminds us of our earnest place in the world
#4 Ayaan Hirsi Ali - The Dangers of Wokeism and Cancel Culture
Considered by some as one of the most urgent threats to democracy in the West, cancel culture and the growing radicalism behind wokeism has created a liberal vacuum. Dutch/Somalian and American intellectual Ayaan Hirsi Ali is intent on fighting back, using her fearless voice to rally against the antics of this new ideological machine. We discussed with her why this issue bares consequences for us all if left unchecked and why there is more to the Black Lives Matter movement than you think.
#3 Nina Schick - Is Seeing Still Believing?
We live in a time where technology has become so incredibly powerful that it can corrupt any type of media you consume including video and audio. The most sinister of these instruments, deepfakes.
We sat down with the political-technology author Nina Schick to discuss why this tool could just be the most dangerous threat we have in our society today and why she thinks this tool has the potential to turn reality as we knew it upside down.
Original image: Phil Sharp
# 2 Francis Fukuyama "I think he is the first truly racist President."
He formulated one of the great intellectual catchphrases of the 20th century, The End of History, now the legendary American political scientist Francis Fukuyama is back to the drawing board trying to explain this new global resurgence in populism and identity politics. His reasoning for this new disturbing issue? Find out in this exclusive audio interview.