120 episodes

Conversations with Coleman is home to honest conversations with leading intellectuals on polarised issues in the realm of race, politics and culture in the West.

Conversations With Coleman This Is 42 & Glassbox Media

    • Society & Culture

Conversations with Coleman is home to honest conversations with leading intellectuals on polarised issues in the realm of race, politics and culture in the West.

    Snitches Get Stitches with Alexandra Natapoff

    Snitches Get Stitches with Alexandra Natapoff

    My guest today is Professor Alexandra Natapoff. Alexandra is a law professor at Harvard University. She writes about criminal courts, public defense, plea bargaining, wrongful convictions, and race and inequality in the criminal justice system. Her new book, which is an expanded edition of her older book is called "Snitching: Criminal Informants and the Erosion of American Justice"
    In this episode, Alexandra and I discuss a phenomenon that's rarely encountered outside of shows like The Sopranos and The Wire, which is the use of criminal informants in the American justice system. Not all countries allow cops and prosecutors to reduce an accused criminal sentence in exchange for his cooperation and other investigations. However, Alexandra argues that most local and state agencies in America are allowed to do this with no documentation and no transparency. We talk about the advantages as well as the flaws of this system. We discuss the risk of informants giving false information or even planting evidence to reduce their own sentences. We talk about the triangular relationship between cops, informants, and prosecutors. We talk about the secretive nature of the informant system and how that prevents academics from studying it. I also press Alexandra on whether her proposal for transparency in the informant system would hinder the cops' ability to solve violent crimes and protect unsafe neighborhoods.

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    • 53 min
    The Death of The American Coalition with Tim Shenk

    The Death of The American Coalition with Tim Shenk

    My guest today is Timothy Shenk. Tim is a historian at George Washington University and a co-editor at Dissent magazine. He has written for The New York Times, The Guardian, London Review of Books, The Nation, The New Republic, and Jacobin, among other publications. Tim is also the author of the book "Realigners: Partisan Hacks, Political Visionaries, and the Struggle to Rule American Democracy".
    ​​​​​​​In this episode, Tim and I discuss the book that President Obama wrote in the 90s, but never published, which Tim was able to get his hands on. We discuss Obama's early influences, his critique of the left and his critique of expertise. We talk about how Obama's views have changed from the 90s to today. We talk about the legacy of Bayard Rustin, civil rights leader and writer who was a hero to both Tim and myself. We talk about how political parties used to build long-term coalitions and win many elections in a row, and why neither party is able to do that today. We discuss popularism and its critics. We also go on to talk about the midterm elections.

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    • 59 min
    The Art Of Storytelling with Christopher Paolini

    The Art Of Storytelling with Christopher Paolini

    Today I have a different kind of guest than I usually do. He's a fantasy and sci-fi author by the name of Christopher Paolini. You may be aware of his best-selling young adult fantasy book Eragon, which he wrote at the age of 15 and was also made into a major-budget film. The rest of the books in that series are Eldest, Brisingr, and Inheritance. You may also be aware of his more recent sci-fi novel called "To Sleep in a Sea of Stars". I've been a huge fan of Christopher for a very long time, and it was an honor to pick his brain. 
    In this episode, we talk about Christopher's writing process, the art of storytelling, the difference between young adult fiction and adult fiction, his strange path to becoming an author, the shortening of our collective attention spans, and much more. This was really one of my favorite recent interviews, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 
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    • 58 min
    Drowning In Debt With Josh Mitchell

    Drowning In Debt With Josh Mitchell

    My guest today is Josh Mitchell. Josh is a Wall Street Journal reporter who covers debt and finance. His book is called "The Debt Trap: How Student Loans Became a National Catastrophe" and it was named one of the best books of 2021 by both NPR and The New York Post. 
    In this episode, Josh and I talk about the history of government involvement in student loans. We discuss the reasons why college tuition has been soaring since the 1980s. We talk about the value of a four-year college degree. We talk about the similarities between the housing crisis of the 2000s and the current student loan crisis. We also go on to talk about President Biden's student loan forgiveness program, and much more.
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    • 1 hr 7 min
    The Art Of Meditation with Samaneri Jayasāra

    The Art Of Meditation with Samaneri Jayasāra

    My guest today is Samaneri Jayasāra. Samaneri is a Buddhist nun and spiritual teacher. Her YouTube channel where she shares her lectures has over 80,000 subscribers. 
    In this episode, Samaneri and I discuss the purpose of meditation, the true nature of emotions, the core teachings of Buddhism, the illusion of boredom, the difference between Buddhism and the Abrahamic religions, the possibility of enlightenment, the cycle of pleasure and pain, and much more.
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    • 58 min
    Music, Movies, And Innovation With Ted Gioia

    Music, Movies, And Innovation With Ted Gioia

    My guest today is Ted Gioia. Ted is a musician and an author. He's written 11 books including his latest, which is called "Music: A Subversive History". He's been on the faculty at Stanford, and he's been published in the New York Times, the LA Times, the Wall Street Journal, and many other newspapers. 
    In this episode, Ted and I talk about why human beings enjoy music from an evolutionary perspective. We discuss the evolution of recorded music from the analog age to the present. We talk about Ted's unique approach to music history. We talk about the increasing market share of older music compared to newer music. We talk about the current state of music criticism and music writing. We discuss how the streaming model has affected the music industry and the strange phenomenon of fake artists on Spotify. We also talk about Hollywood's shift towards doing remakes and sequels and brand extensions as opposed to new stories, and much more. 

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    • 1 hr 8 min

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