Darts and Letters is about ‘arts and letters,’ but for the kind of people who might hack a dart. We cover public intellectualism and the politics of academia from a left populist perspective. Put simply: we love ideas, but hate snob culture. Each week, we interview thinkers about key debates that are relevant to the left. We discuss politics, arts, culture, and ideas. But the show is for everyone. That means sometimes you'll hear from the usual suspects, like that authoritative old professor; but just as often, you'll hear from the young iconoclastic scholar, the crass podcaster, the journalist, the activist--even so-called 'ordinary working people.' We're here to discover exciting intellectual life, wherever that might be.
Mutual Aid & the Anarchist Radical Imagination (ft. Elif Genc, Payton McDonald, Max Haiven, & Alex Khasnabish)
There's a story you can tell about the post-Occupy left gravitating towards a more state-oriented kind of politics. However, this misses how autonomous and anarchist-inflected social movements have brought enormous energy, and enormous change. In this episode, we examine the theory and practice of anti-statist organizing, including the Kurds within the area formerly known as Rojava.
Big Psychedelic (ft. Erika Dyke and David Nickles)
Psychedelics have gone from the counterculture, to the mainstream. However, can you turn take such an ineffable thing -- personal revelation, cosmic oneness, spiritual enlightenment, whatever people have called it -- and make it just another commodity? We look at the deep rifts in and around psychedelic medicine, as different camps vie for the future of these drugs.
The WEF is Actually Bad, But Not Like That (ft. Raj Patel, Joel Bakan, and more)
The WEF is yet another example of the scrambled ideologues of our moment. Conservatives condemn the WEF, and news organizations like Rebel cover it doggedly; at the same time, left-leaning NGOs speak there, and progressive news organizations say little. On this episode, we examine the shifting politics around our global financial elites.
The Texas Two-Step and Johnson & Johnson's Baby Powder
What's safer than baby powder? Parents have been using it for over 100 years to powder their baby's bottoms, and they've found one brand especially trustworthy: Johnson & Johnson. Yet, numerous studies have revealed the presence of trace amounts of asbestos in this talc-based powder. Thousands of parents now claim that this asbestos is responsible for their cancers. In settling these claims, J&J is using a proposing a bankruptcy move called the Texas Two-Step. Critics say is nothing more than a scheme to limit their liabilities. We examine the messy medical and legal history behind the beloved brand.
Introducing Academic Edgelords & Reading the Unabomber
We're excited to announce Academic Edgelords. This is a scholarly podcast about scholarly provocateurs. Gadflys, charlatans, and shitposters sometimes get tenure, believe it or not. This is a leftist podcast that takes a second look at their peer-reviewed work, and tries to see if there’s anything we might learn from arguing with them. We start with the ultimate academic edglelord: Ted Kacynski, the domestic terrorist.
Dr. Ex Machina (ft. Casey Ross & Ben Chin-Yee)
Could an artificial intelligence diagnosis what ails you? Medical futurists offer a vision of perfect personalized risk assessments, diagnoses, and treatment recommendations. Yet, recent stories belie this optimism. Many of these robot doctors are rather stupid, and they seem more interesting in cutting costs than providing care.
I’m already missing Cited, but this podcast is also excellent. Great interviews and interesting topics. Always logical with a healthy dose of reality that can often be missing in the idealism of the progressive wing. If you’re looking for a podcast to make you think, this is it.