Dialogues with Richard Reeves

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The motto of Dialogues with Richard Reeves is "thinking together in relationship". Illuminating conversations on big topics with deep thinkers.

Richard V. Reeves


    • Dec 20, 2021 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekly NEW EPISODES
    • 1h 8m AVG DURATION
    • 30 EPISODES


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    Latest episodes from Dialogues with Richard Reeves

    Roland Betancourt on queer Byzantines

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 20, 2021 82:17

    “I am less interested in showing that the Medieval world was modern, than in showing how Medieval, in many ways, the modern world is.” That's Roland Betancourt, my guest today and a truly fascinating scholar of history, art, theology, sex and gender, liturgy and much more. We discuss his book Byzantine Intersectionality: Sexuality, Gender, and Race in the Middle Ages, including the history of the later Roman Empire, the “slut shaming” of Empress Theodora, the importance, today as much as 1,500 year ago of the Hagia Sophia, the fascinating lives and deaths of trans monks, the significance of Mary's consent to be the Mother of Christ, the messiness and ambiguity of human life, frailty and identity. (Note that there's inevitably some pretty adult content in this episode). Dialogues will be back on Jan 10th, Merry Christmas to those who celebrate, Happy Holidays to all.  Roland Betancourt  Roland Betancourt is Professor of Art History at the University of California, Irvine. In the 2016-2017 academic year, he was the Elizabeth and J. Richardson Dilworth Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. See his faculty page here. We mostly discuss his book Byzantine Intersectionality: Sexuality, Gender, and Race in the Middle Ages) (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2020)  More Betancourt Performing the Gospels in Byzantium: Sight, Sound, and Space in the Divine Liturgy (Cambridge University Press, 2021) See his edited volume Byzantium/Modernism: The Byzantine as Method in Modernity (Leiden: Brill, 2015). Also Sight, Touch, and Imagination in Byzantium (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018) "Why Sight Is Not Touch: Reconsidering the Tactility of Vision in Byzantium," Dumbarton Oaks Papers 70 (December 2016): 1-23. "Faltering Images: Failure and Error in Byzantine Lectionaries," Word & Image 32:1 (2016): 1-20. The Dialogues Team  Creator: Richard Reeves Artwork: George Vaughan Thomas Tech Support: Cameron Hauver-Reeves Music: "Remember" by Bencoolen (thanks for the permission, guys!)

    Oliver Burkeman on surrendering to time

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 13, 2021 66:27

    “Productivity is a trap. Becoming more efficient just makes you more rushed, and trying to clear the decks simply makes them fill up again faster.” It took a moment of epiphany on a Brooklyn park bench, and becoming a father, for my guest today, recovering productivity hacker and Guardian journalist Oliver Burkeman, to see the truth. We're all going to die. And soon: in fact, after about four thousand weeks. That's the animating idea of his new book, Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals. But facing our finitude frees us to give up on the myth of a stress-free future, embrace the discomfort of failure, focus on the present, and make more thoughtful trade-offs. Maybe even start to allow time to use us, rather than the other way round. We talk about parenting, the role of religion, to-do lists, the regulation of time by states and churches, the pleasures of hiking, the Northern Lights, the sabbath, and much more. Oliver Burkeman Oliver Burkeman is a writer and recovering productivity hacker. His new book, Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, is about making the most of our radically finite lives in a world of impossible demands, relentless distraction and political insanity (and 'productivity techniques' that mainly just make everyone feel busier). More Burkeman  Oliver is also author of The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking (2012) and Help! How to Become Slightly Happier and Get a Bit More Done (2011), a collection of his Guardian columns. Follow Oliver on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/oliverburkeman. Sign up for his twice-weekly newsletter, The Imperfectionist, and check out his website here: https://www.oliverburkeman.com/ Also Mentioned  See Krista Tippett's project, On Being I mentioned Jon Elster's work on “willing what cannot be willed”, this appears in his chapter on “Sour Grapes”, available here.  Oliver referred to Alison Gopnik's book The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and Children We mentioned Time and Despondency: Regaining the Present in Faith and Life by Nicole Roccas Oliver referred to the book Personal Kanban by Jim Benson and Tonianne DeMaria Barry We discussed research on vacations in Sweden, for more see Terry Hartig's work on “restorative environments” The Dialogues Team  Creator: Richard Reeves Artwork: George Vaughan Thomas Tech Support: Cameron Hauver-Reeves Music: "Remember" by Bencoolen (thanks for the permission, guys!)

    Bill Kristol on holding the center

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 6, 2021 69:23

    What should sensible Republicans do now? That's the question Bill Kristol has been wrestling with since the nomination of Donald Trump - and it's not going away. A veteran of Republican politics, scholarship and journalism, Bill's view is that for the foreseeable future, the Republican party at a national level seems like a lost cause. The best hope is to build new spaces in the political center, and work with moderate Democrats, like Joe Biden, to actually, you know, govern the country, keep democracy safe, and all that good stuff. But Biden's performance so far gives cause for concern. We talk about Bill's own journey from working as a teen for Patrick Moynihan to the H.W. Bush White House and beyond; what Liz Cheney will likely have to do next; the warped politics of the Covid vaccination campaign; the bungled exit from Afghanistan and troubling signs of more isolationist thinking on both sides of the aisle; and the best and worst plausible scenarios for U.S. politics over the next three years. Bill Kristol  William Kristol is editor-at-large of The Bulwark, having been a founder of The Weekly Standard, and is a regular guest on leading political commentary shows. Read his Bulwark columns here. He also has his own podcast, Conversations with Bill Kristol. From 1985 to 1993, Kristol served as chief of staff to Education Secretary William Bennett in the Reagan Administration and as chief of staff to Vice President Dan Quayle in the George H. W. Bush administration. Before coming to Washington, Kristol taught politics at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University. Bill tweets from twitter.com/billkristol. Kristolisms I referred to a few of Bill's Bulwark columns in particular: American Conservatism, b. 1955, d. 2020? A Tale of Three Possible Outcomes Springtime for Moderate Democrats The Birth of the Biden Doctrine?  Also Mentioned  Michael Oakeshott, in his essay "On Being Conservative" (1956), wrote that: "To be conservative ... is to prefer the familiar to the unknown, to prefer the tried to the untried, fact to mystery, the actual to the possible, the limited to the unbounded, the near to the distant, the sufficient to the superabundant, the convenient to the perfect, present laughter to utopian bliss." Bill mentioned the rise of “affective polarization”. This paper is a good place to start on that topic. I mentioned Arthur Brooks on when our opponents become our enemies. See his oped here. The Dialogues Team  Creator: Richard Reeves Artwork: George Vaughan Thomas Tech Support: Cameron Hauver-Reeves Music: "Remember" by Bencoolen (thanks for the permission, guys!)  

    Anne-Marie Slaughter on progressive patriotism

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 29, 2021 68:08

    Anne-Marie Slaughter is an optimist, and a patriot, and an advocate for both personal and national renewal. We talk about the difference between renewal and both reinvention (out with the old) and restoration (back in with the old), and what it means for our politics. We also discuss her work on women, men, families and equality, almost a decade on from her famous essay “Why Women Still Can't Have it All”; the need for more grace in both our public and private life; why we should be “calling in” in private, rather than “calling out” in public; the lessons in leadership from her role as head of the New American think-tank; the past and future of feminism; our long overdue reckoning on racial justice; how to prepare for the 250th birthday of our country; and the unique power of women after the menopause. Enjoy!    Anne-Marie Slaughter  Anne-Marie Slaughter is the CEO of New America and Bert G. Kerstetter '66 University Professor Emerita of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University. From 2009–2011, she served as director of policy planning for the United States Department of State, the first woman to hold that position. Prior to her government service, Anne-Marie was the Dean of Princeton University's School of Public and International Affairs (formerly the Woodrow Wilson School) from 2002–2009 and the J. Sinclair Armstrong Professor of International, Foreign, and Comparative Law at Harvard Law School from 1994-2002.   In 2012 she published the article “Why Women Still Can't Have It All,” in the Atlantic, which quickly became the most read article in the history of the magazine and helped spawn a renewed national debate on the continued obstacles to genuine full male-female equality. Her books include Unfinished Business: Women, Men, Work, Family (2015), ​The Chessboard and the Web: Strategies of Connection in a Networked World (2017)​, and her latest, Renewal: From Crisis to Transformation in Our Lives, Work, and Politics (2021). Foreign Policy magazine named her to their annual list of the Top 100 Global Thinkers in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. She received a B.A. from Princeton, and M.Phil and DPhil in international relations from Oxford.   The Dialogues Team  Creator: Richard Reeves Artwork: George Vaughan Thomas Tech Support: Cameron Hauver-Reeves Music: "Remember" by Bencoolen (thanks for the permission, guys!)

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the price of liberty

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 22, 2021 63:37

    My guest today, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, is one of the most important intellectuals working today on issues of free speech, human rights, feminism and foreign policy. She is no stranger to either controversy or danger, not least because of her fierce criticism of Islam and Islamic culture. We discuss her own journey from Somalia to Saudi Arabia, via asylum in Holland to escape an arranged marriage, and finally to an academic career in the U.S. We also trace her psychological journey from a tribal mindset to a zealous religious worldview, and finally to a fiercely-held liberalism. We discuss the limits of Islamic liberalization, the contest for free speech, critical race theory, the state of intellectual and academic debate, the risks of self-censorship, and much more besides. We also discuss her latest book, Prey: Immigration, Islam, and the Erosion of Women's Rights (2021). We don't agree on everything, of course, but as she says: “That's the whole point!”  Ayaan Hirsi Ali Ayaan is a former Member of the Dutch Parliament (2003-2006) and is now a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and Founder of the AHA Foundation. She has written several books including Infidel (2007); Nomad (2010); Heretic (2015); and The Challenge of Dawa (2017). Her newest book Prey is available now. She also has her own podcast, the Ayaan Hirsi Ali Podcast. More Ayaan  Prey: Immigration, Islam, and the Erosion of Women's Rights (2021) See this NYT profile, “Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Muslim Men and Western Women” In January 2020, Ayaan spoke at The Benson Center for the Study of Western Civilization on “The Market for Victimhood” Also Mentioned We talked quite a lot about Mustafa Akyol's views on liberalizing Islam. Listen to my dialogue with him here (Apple) or here (Spotify). If you're interested in truth and truthfulness, you might enjoy my essay for Aeon, “Lies and honest mistakes” The Dialogues Team  My guest today, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, is one of the most important intellectuals working today on issues of free speech, human rights, feminism and foreign policy. She is no stranger to either controversy or danger, not least because of her fierce criticism of Islam and Islamic culture. We discuss her own journey from Somalia to Saudi Arabia, via asylum in Holland to escape an arranged marriage, and finally to an academic career in the U.S. We also trace her psychological journey from a tribal mindset to a zealous religious worldview, and finally to a fiercely-held liberalism. We discuss the limits of Islamic liberalization, the contest for free speech, critical race theory, the state of intellectual and academic debate, the risks of self-censorship, and much more besides. We also discuss her latest book, Prey: Immigration, Islam, and the Erosion of Women's Rights (2021). We don't agree on everything, of course, but as she says: “That's the whole point!”  Ayaan Hirsi Ali Ayaan is a former Member of the Dutch Parliament (2003-2006) and is now a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and Founder of the AHA Foundation. She has written several books including Infidel (2007); Nomad (2010); Heretic (2015); and The Challenge of Dawa (2017). Her newest book Prey is available now. She also has her own podcast, the Ayaan Hirsi Ali Podcast More Ayaan  Prey: Immigration, Islam, and the Erosion of Women's Rights (2021) See this NYT profile, “Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Muslim Men and Western Women” In January 2020, Ayaan spoke at The Benson Center for the Study of Western Civilization on “The Market for Victimhood” Also Mentioned We talked quite a lot about Mustafa Akyol's views on liberalizing Islam. Listen to my dialogue with him here (Apple) or here (Spotify). If you're interested in truth and truthfulness, you might enjoy my essay for Aeon, “Lies and honest mistakes” The Dialogues Team  Creator: Richard Reeves Research: Ashleigh Maciolek Artwork: George Vaughan Thomas Tech Support: Cameron Hauver-Reeves Music: "Remember" by Bencoolen (thanks for the permission, guys!)

    Philip Collins on how words can save democracy

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 15, 2021 73:55

    If you find yourself saying, perhaps of a political speech, “Well, that's just rhetoric”, you are getting things exactly wrong. That's according to my guest today, Philip Collins, former chief speechwriter to Tony Blair and author of “When They Go Low, We Go High: Speeches That Shape the World - and Why We Need Them”. Phil is an old friend of mine and irritatingly good at very many things: he's a philosopher, lecturer, policy wonk, journalist (now for both the New Statesman and the Evening Standard), and much else besides. I think of him now as “Mr. Rhetoric”. Phil believes that rhetoric is essential to the functioning of democracy and, now, to its saving. We talk about Donald Trump, Tony Blair, Boris Johson, Barack Obama, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, Pericles, sophistry, the role of emotion in political persuasion, the need for enchantment - and the importance of paying our respects. Philip Collins Philip Collins is a British journalist, author and academic. He served as the chief speechwriter for Prime Minister Tony Blair from 2004-2007, after serving as the director of The Social Market Foundation, an independent think tank in the UK. Collins is the founder and writer-in-chief at The Draft, a writing and rhetoric agency, and he also teaches a course on rhetoric at the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University. He is a contributing editor at The New Statesman, and a columnist for the Evening Standard.  More Collins We discussed Collins' vastly interesting book, “When They Go Low, We Go High: Speeches That Shape the World - and Why We Need Them” He also authored “Start Again: How We Can Fix Our Broken Politics” and “The Art of Speeches and Presentations,” among other books.   You can follow more of his work on Twitter: @PhilipJCollins1 Also Mentioned  I mentioned the book, “The Liberal Mind,” written by Kenneth Minogue Collins mentioned JP Stern's book “Hitler: The Führer and the People”  Collins also referred to the book “How Democracies Die” written by Levitsky and Ziblatt  The Dialogues Team  Creator: Richard Reeves Research: Ashleigh Maciolek Artwork: George Vaughan Thomas Tech Support: Cameron Hauver-Reeves Music: "Remember" by Bencoolen (thanks for the permission, guys!)

    Ron Daniels on how to fix America‘s colleges

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 8, 2021 64:14

    I'll be honest. I didn't expect a book from someone leading a university to say anything terribly interesting. Maybe my view of higher education has become too cynical. I rather like the description from Clark Kerr, builder of the University of California system, of the modern American university as “a series of individual faculty entrepreneurs held together by a common grievance over parking.” But my guest today (from whom I learned that quote) proved me wrong. He is Ron Daniels, President of Johns Hopkins University, and author of the new book What Universities Owe Democracy. Daniels argues “the fates of higher education and liberal democracy are deeply, inextricably intertwined”, not just in the sense of universities needing democracy, but the other way round.  Daniels is the son of Jewish refugees to Canada before World War II, and a committed educationalist and institutionalist. We talk about his family background and how it has influenced his views of liberalism, democracy and education, and then discuss the four main contributions of universities: social mobility, democratic education, the production of knowledge, and dialogue across differences. We spend some time on his decision, at first quietly and then proudly, to end the practice of legacy preferences at Hopkins, and whether more colleges and universities will follow suit. We discuss his ideas on reforming admissions; on instituting a democracy requirement for college graduation; on the need for more openness and humility in academic research; and on ways to promote what he calls purposeful pluralism, including fostering more debates rather than just lectures, and the importance of allowing roommates to be random, rather than chosen.  Ron Daniels  Ronald J. Daniels is president of The Johns Hopkins University. He has previously served as vice-president and provost at the University of Pennsylvania, and dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto. Daniels received his B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Toronto, and his LL.M. degree from Yale Law School. In December 2016, Daniels was invested into the Order of Canada at the grade of Member. He was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2018 and is also a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He is the author of What Universities Owe Democracy (Johns Hopkins Press, 2021). Also Mentioned  I'm reading this biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas (a touch over-written in places for sure but still a great narrative) Amherst College just ended legacy preferences in college admissions  I've written a fair amount about legacy preferences, including in my last book Dream Hoarders and this Brookings piece.  Affirmative Action for the Rich: Legacy Preferences in College Admissions is a book edited by Richard Kahlenberg (Brookings, 2010) “Getting In” by Malcom Gladwell in the New Yorker (2005) contrasts college applications and admissions in Canada and the US   There is a campaign to end legacy preferences, #LeaveYourLegacy run by EdMobilizer Ron and I both raved about Jonathan Rauch's new book impressive new book The Constitution of Knowledge: A Defense of Truth (Brookings, 2021). Check out my podcast with Jon too: Spotify https://spoti.fi/3pr13KG; Apple https://apple.co/3fWHExX The Dialogues Team  Creator: Richard Reeves Research: Ashleigh Maciolek Artwork: George Vaughan Thomas Tech Support: Cameron Hauver-Reeves Music: "Remember" by Bencoolen (thanks for the permission, guys!)

    Fiona Hill on Trump, Putin and populism

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 1, 2021 85:12

    “People should not underestimate Donald Trump's abilities as a retail politician", says my guest today, fellow Brit-American Fiona Hill. "He knows how to connect with people, he knows how to get people riled up, he knows how to pit people against each other so that they can't push back against what he's doing”. Fiona is a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and former deputy assistant to the president and senior director for European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council from 2017 to 2019. In November 2019, she testified in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump. In very personal terms, we discuss the class system and social mobility in the UK, and her childhood in the North East of England, which lost its economic heart as coal mining collapsed; as well as her experience in the Soviet Union and Russia, American academia, and the White House. Fiona compares and contrasts the authoritarian style of Trump and Putin (with some discussion of Erdogan too); the need for more aggressive social and economic policy for places devastated by the shift away from industry; and the real and present danger posed to so many nations by political populism. We conclude, as her book does, with a discussion of what we can do as individuals and our own communities to build a stronger infrastructure of opportunity.  Fiona Hill Fiona Hill is a senior fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution. She is a foreign policy expert on Russian and European affairs, and has served under three presidents: Donald Trump, Barack Obama, and George W. Bush. Hill is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has held numerous positions directing research at Harvard University, where she obtained her PhD in History.  More Hill Hill's book, There Is Nothing for You Here: Finding Opportunity in the 21st Century, is an exceptionally honest tale of dwindling opportunity in the UK and the US.  You can read more of her work at Brookings, the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, and Politico Her testimony at Trump's first impeachment trial is also worth watching (starting at 3:08:43)    Also Mentioned  I mentioned Joseph Fishkin's book, Bottlenecks: A New Theory of Equal Opportunity, which if you haven't read by now, you really should!  Fiona mentioned The Fifth Risk, written by Michael Lewis and Angrynomics co-authored by Mark Blythe.  I quoted G.A. Cohen, “social justice isn't just found in structures and institutions, it's found in the thick of everyday life,” in his book If You're an Egalitarian, How Come You're So Rich? Fiona also mentioned the group Wider Circle and Dress for Success The Dialogues Team  Creator: Richard Reeves Research: Ashleigh Maciolek Artwork: George Vaughan Thomas Tech Support: Cameron Hauver-Reeves Music: "Remember" by Bencoolen (thanks for the permission, guys!)  

    Sheryll Cashin on white spaces and Black hoods

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 25, 2021 60:28

    “Residential segregation not only affects opportunity, it alters politics”. That's one of the claims of my guest today, Georgetown scholar Sheryll Cashin. In this episode, we discuss Cashin's new book, titled White Space, Black Hood: Opportunity Hoarding and Segregation in the Age of Inequality. She describes her own upbringing as a daughter of civil rights activists and how this has animated her own work; how affluent white spaces are not only separate to low-poverty areas, but require them; the group of people she calls Descendants, whose ancestors were enslaved, and who live today in low-opportunity spaces; and what it means for white people to have “cultural dexterity”. We end up talking about what love has to do with pretty much all of this.    Sheryll Cashin Sheryll Cashin is a Professor of Law, Civil Rights and Social Justice at Georgetown University working on topics including race relations and inequality in the United States. She is the author of several books and numerous articles including commentary for the New York Times, the Washington Post, and is currently serving as a contributing editor to Politico. Cashin is also a board member of the Poverty and Race Research Action Council. Previously, she was a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and worked in the Clinton administration as an advisor on urban and economic policy.    More Cashin  In this episode, we discuss Cashin's new book, titled “White Space, Black Hood: Opportunity Hoarding and Segregation in the Age of Inequality”  Cashin is a contributing editor of Politico Magazine, and she recently wrote a piece on this same topic, titled “It's Time to Dismantle America's Residential Caste System” She is also the author of Loving, Place Not Race, The Failures of Integration, and The Agitator's Daughter.  You can follow more of Cashin's work on her website or on her twitter, @SheryllCashin   Also mentioned Cashin referenced Richard Rothstein's book, “The Color of Law”  We discussed the work of Raj Chetty that looks at the socioeconomic composition of neighborhoods. This paper on housing vouchers illuminates the issue: “The Effects of Exposure to Better Neighborhoods on Children”  We mentioned the work of bell hooks, particularly her book “All About Love”   The Dialogues Team  Creator: Richard Reeves Research: Ashleigh Maciolek Artwork: George Vaughan Thomas Tech Support: Cameron Hauver-Reeves Music: "Remember" by Bencoolen (thanks for the permission, guys!)

    Nick Gillespie on canceling yourself

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 18, 2021 71:47

    What does “cancel culture” really mean, and how big a problem is it? Nick Gillespie, editor at large at Reason, has given these questions more thought than most. Nick is one of the leading lights of libertarian public intellectual life, and just wrote an essay, “Self-Cancellation, Deplatforming, and Censorship” that we dig into here. Nick is worried about the shift towards censorship in politics, in our organizations, including corporations, and in our own lives. We differ on whether the problem is more personal or political, but in the end we do agree that a healthy liberal culture is one that welcomes a robust exchange of diverse views. Along the way, we get into Nick's particular beef with Facebook, some similarities in our backgrounds as journalists, and how his view of the world has some Marxist traces.  Nick Gillespie Nick is an editor at large at Reason, the libertarian magazine and host of The Reason Interview with Nick Gillespie. “Nick Gillespie is to libertarianism what Lou Reed is to rock ‘n' roll, the quintessence of its outlaw spirit,” wrote Robert Draper in The New York Times Magazine. A two-time finalist for digital National Magazine Awards, Nick is co-author, with Matt Welch, of The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America (2012). More Gillespie  “Self-Cancellation, Deplatforming, and Censorship” (Sep 2021) The Reason Interview with Nick Gillespie (including his latest here with Steven Pinker) “A Different Approach to Anti-Racism” (Nov 2021) “From Russiagate to the MyPillow Guy, Let's Stop With Electoral Conspiracy Theories” (Sep 2021) Also mentioned My Guardian essay, “Capitalism used to promise a better future. Can it still do that?” The narrator of Adam Thirlwell's 2015 novel Lurid and Cute exclaims of capitalism: “‘Late? It had only just got started!” (I quote the line here). Nick's podcast with Steven Pinker in how “Rationality Has Made Us Richer, Kinder, and More Free” I mentioned Abigail Shrier's controversial 2020 book, Irreversible Damage: Teenage Girls and the Transgender Craze. (Nick's had Abigail on his podcast). Nick mentioned Common Sense with Bari Weiss, on Substack I referred to MIT's cancelation of University of Chicago professor Dorian Abbot who was to give the prestigious Carlson Lecture, which is devoted to 'new results in climate science'. Now Princeton is hosting it online instead.  I quoted John Stuart Mill from On Liberty: ““Society can and does execute its own mandates: and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with it ought not to meddle, it practices a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression, since, though not usually upheld by such extreme penalties, it leaves fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself.””  Nick mentioned Michel Foucault's Discipline and Punish, published in 1975. I mentioned Bernard Williams's last book: Truth and Truthfulness: An Essay in Genealogy (2004); I also wrote an essay in truthfulness drawing heavily on Williams, “Lies and honest mistakes” (July 2021) The Dialogues Team  Creator: Richard Reeves Research: Ashleigh Maciolek Artwork: George Vaughan Thomas Tech Support: Cameron Hauver-Reeves Music: "Remember" by Bencoolen (thanks for the permission, guys!)

    Kathryn Paige Harden on genetic egalitarianism

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 11, 2021 68:00

    What have genes got to do with inequality? It's a thorny question. But it one that Kathryn Paige Harden squarely addresses in her book and in this episode of Dialogues. She explains the new science of genetics and how it can help understand outcomes like college completion. Along the way we discuss the importance of the disability rights movement, the nature of meritocracy, what luck has to do with it, designer babies, regional inequality, and how one byproduct of her Christian upbringing is an appreciation for the unique and equal value of every person.  Kathryn Paige Harden Kathryn Paige Harden is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas, where she directs the Developmental Behavior Genetics lab and co-directs the Texas Twin Project. Harden is also a fellow at the Jacobs Foundation. Having received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Virginia, her work has focused on genetic influences on complex human behavior, including child cognitive development, academic achievement, risk-taking, mental health, sexual activity, and childbearing.  More Harden Her thought-provoking new book, The Genetic Lottery, can be purchased here.  Harden's previous New York Times op-ed is a great starting place for learning more on this topic.  Read her recent profile in the New Yorker, “Can Progressives Be Convinced That Genetics Matters?” For more, check out her website and follow her on twitter: @kph3k Also mentioned I referred to my paper “The Glass Floor: Education, Downward Mobility, and Opportunity Hoarding”.I write a NYT oped on the same theme, too. I mentioned Joseph Fishkin's book, Bottlenecks: A New Theory of Equal Opportunity  Harden referred to the work of Pamela Herd, specifically on the topic of Genes, Gender Inequality, and Educational Attainment  I referred to Caroline Hoxby's work of mapping cognitive skills by region in the United States.  Harden mentioned a study by Abdel Abdellaoui on the geographic distribution of genetics in the United Kingdom. (See Twitter thread here).  Harden referred to Dan Belsky's study in Dunedin, New Zealand.  I mentioned an article written by Toby Young, the son of Michael Young, and what he calls “Progressive Eugenics”  The Dialogues Team  Creator: Richard Reeves Research: Ashleigh Maciolek Artwork: George Vaughan Thomas Tech Support: Cameron Hauver-Reeves Music: "Remember" by Bencoolen (thanks for the permission, guys!)

    Evan Osnos on America‘s fire and fury

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 4, 2021 72:24

    What made America into a tinderbox, ready for Donald Trump's spark? That's the question Evan Osnos, staff writer for the New Yorker, set out to answer in his book Wildland: The Making of America's Fury. Having lived overseas for many years, mostly in China, Evan returned to the U.S. in 2013 and felt something of a stranger in his own land. The events of the next few years added to this sense. So he set out to find out what had happened to make his home country feel so foreign, by returning to the places he knew best: Greenwich CT, where he grew up, Clarksburg WV where he started his reporting career, and Chicago where he covered city politics for the Tribune. The book is already a bestseller and being heaped with critical acclaim. The story is of a country that was ever more divided by class and geography and politics, but ever more connected by the ties of the modern economy. Evan and I talk about the financialization of the economy, and the transformation of the culture of his home town of Greenwich into the hedge fund capital of the country; the battles over the coal industry; the rise of Trump; the potential for Joe Biden to bring the nation back together; the cleavages of race and wealth in cities like Chicago. Although he is worried about what he calls the "seclusion of mind" of many of America's tribes, Evan ends on an optimistic note: that the pandemic has shown that whether we like it or not, we're all in together. Evan Osnos Evan Osnos is a staff writer for the New Yorker, contributor to CNN, and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution covering politics and foreign affairs. A graduate of Harvard, Osnos started his journalism career in West Virginia and Chicago, before being stationed in the Middle East to report on the Iraq War. He then moved to Beijing for eight years and wrote, “Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China” which won the National Book Award. He now lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and two children.  More Osnos  Read his "novelistically gripping" book, Wildland: The Making of America's Fury Find more of his writing at The New Yorker  Follow him on twitter: @eosnos Also mentioned We briefly discussed the book “The Sum of Small Things: A Theory of the Aspirational Class”, written by Elizabeth Currid-Halkett. Osnos referred to Michael Sandel's work, specifically what he calls "The Skyboxification of American Life" We discussed the saga of Varsity Blues, and the very notable quote from Gordon Caplan: “To be honest I'm not worried about the moral issue here.”  Osnos referred to the documentary-style photography of Walker Evans Osnos spoke in depth about Patriot Coal  I highlighted the racial disparity in wealth pre- and post-recession, which you can learn more about here.  Osnos mentions a political movement in West Virginia, called WV Can't Wait  The Dialogues Team Creator: Richard Reeves Research: Ashleigh Maciolek Artwork: George Vaughan Thomas Tech Support: Cameron Hauver-Reeves Music: "Remember" by Bencoolen (thanks for the permission, guys!)  

    Erika Bachiochi on sex, equality and abortion

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 27, 2021 76:05

    Should feminists be pro-life? Should conservatives support more welfare for families? Who is Mary Wollstonecraft? What did RBG get right and wrong? I dug into these questions with my guest today, the legal scholar Erika Bachiochi. Our discussion centers on Erika's new book, The Rights of Women: Reclaiming a Lost Vision, which argues for a form of feminism that takes into account natural differences between men and women, especially in what she calls “reproductive asymmetry” i.e. that having sex and having children carry different implications for men and women. We talk about her journey from a Bernie Sanders supporting kind of feminist to a Roman Catholic kind of feminist, including a strong pro-life moral basis. Her intellectual heroine is the 18th century thinker Mary Wollstonecraft, who had a feminist vision that was about the equal pursuit of the good, which Erika John Stuart Mill's feminism based on a perfect equality.  We talk about what Ruth Bader Ginsburg got right and wrong, whether conservatives should be supporting President Biden's big pro-family welfare expansions, the Texas abortion law, family-friendly policy, and much more.  I should say that at the very beginning Erika candidly describes her troubled childhood and early adulthood, which in her darkest hours ever led her to thoughts of suicide. Erika Bachiochi  Erika Bachiochi is a legal scholar specializing in Equal Protection jurisprudence, feminist legal theory, Catholic social teaching, and sexual ethics. She studied at Middlebury College and got her law degree from Boston University. Erika is now a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a Senior Fellow at the Abigail Adams Institute, where she directs the Wollstonecraft Project. She lives in Boston with her husband and seven children.  More Bachiochi  Bachiochi's new book, The Rights of Women: Reclaiming a Lost Vision, is a thoughtful and provocative read.  Her previous article in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, titled Embodied Equality: Debunking Equal Protection Arguments for Abortion Rights, served as a basis for her book.  Bachiochi has also written a few op-eds for Newsweek Follow her work on twitter: @erikabachiochi Also mentioned  Bachiochi quited Mill in On Liberty: “misplaced notions of liberty prevent moral obligations on the part of parents from being recognized, and legal obligations from being imposed” She also quoted Wollstonecraft in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: “A truly benevolent legislator always endeavours to make it the interest of each individual to be virtuous; and thus private virtue becoming the cement of public happiness, an orderly whole is consolidated by the tendency of all the parts towards a common center”  We referenced my work on the economic and social status of American women.  We discussed the work of my colleague, Isabel Sawhill, and her book Generation Unbound  I referenced Scott Winship's work on the dynamics of marriage and childrearing  Bachiochi spoke about Mary Ann Glendon, a leading thinker in this space and a professor at Harvard Law.  She also referenced Joan Williams' op-ed in the New York Times, titled The Case for Accepting Defeat on Roe.  I quoted Margaret Mead who wrote, “We won't get equality between groups by ignoring the differences between them.”  Earlier this summer, Josh Hawley tweeted that he was against including women in the draft because he didn't want to “force [service] upon our daughters, sisters, and wives.” We mentioned Heather Boushey who currently serves on the White House Council of Economic Advisors, and her work on family policy, for example in her Finding Time: The Economics of Work-Life Conflict (2016). The Mary Wollstonecraft twitter account I referred to seems to have gone quiet lately. As an alternative. As a replacement may I suggest: https://twitter.com/womenpostingws.  The Dialogues Team Creator: Richard Reeves Research: Ashleigh Maciolek Artwork: George Vaughan Thomas Tech Support: Cameron Hauver-Reeves Music: "Remember" by Bencoolen (thanks for the permission, guys!)

    Emily Oster on COVID, kids and parenting

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 16, 2021 64:13

    How should we approach decisions about children, especially our own? That's the question that motivates my guest today, Emily Oster. She is a Professor of Economics at Brown University and currently a visiting Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. Through her books and newsletter, Emily has become something of a data guru to many parents confused by the torrent of conflicting advice and "studies show" headlines; she describes her work as "part memoir, part meta-analysis"  We talk about Emily's new book, “The Family Firm: A Data-Driven Guide to Better Decision Making in the Early School Years”; how to go about decisions such as bedtimes, extracurricular activities, and of course, when to buy your child a phone. We spend some time on how to evaluate risks, opportunity costs and counterfactuals in the parenting enterprise, and in particular the trade-offs between risk and independence. We also discuss her recent work on the impact of COVID on children and education; Emily has assembled a unique dataset on this question, and became a strong advocate on the need to return quickly to in-person learning, not just for or even mainly for education reasons, but for mental health ones.  I found this a thoroughly stimulating and enjoyable conversation - my only regret is that I wasn't able to read Oster's work when my own kids were younger! One of the things I like is the way she explodes lots of myths about the impact of various decisions on your children; which has the effect of lowering the stakes, and hopefully giving parents the chance to relax just a bit.  Emily Oster Emily Oster is a Professor of Economics at Brown University and currently a visiting Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. Previously, she held a position at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. Her expertise is wide ranging, but is best known for her work on the economics of family and parenting. Oster's newest book, along with her book Cribsheet, are New York Times bestsellers, not least because of her expert ability to translate economic data to the public.  More Oster:  Her new book, “The Family Firm: A Data-Driven Guide to Better Decision Making in the Early School Years”, is out now!  Previously she wrote, “Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool” and “Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong-and What You Really Need to Know”  For more of her writing, Oster is often featured in the New York Times, the Atlantic, and Slate. Additionally, she has a weekly newsletter, ParentData, which offers really interesting and informative discussions of parenting.  You can also follow Emily on twitter, @ProfEmilyOster, or on her website.  Also mentioned I referred to the book “How Not to be a Hypocrite: School Choice for the Morally Perplexed Parent,” authored by Adam Swift.  Although I don't suggest watching it, I referred to this video which captured the angry response of parents in Franklin Tennessee, following a decision to require masks in schools.  We also discussed Oster's dashboard which started collecting data on schools and childcare early on in the pandemic.  The Dialogues Team Creator & host: Richard Reeves Research: Ashleigh Maciolek Artwork: George Vaughan Thomas Tech Support: Cameron Hauver-Reeves Music: "Remember" by Bencoolen (thanks for the permission, guys!)

    David Brooks on how the elite broke America

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 9, 2021 61:48

    Who broke America? Quite likely, you did. David Brooks, my guest today, describes how the new elite, the "bobos" as he once labelled them (bourgeois bohemians) have created a hereditary meritocracy, failed the leadership test, condescended to the less successful, and actively contributed to inequality and segregation. We talk about what class means today, why David now thinks economics is more important than he did, his advice for both the Democrats and the Republicans, the culture wars, and much more. We end with a discussion of his work on a new book on the importance of social recognition, of being seen.  David Brooks David Brooks is a prominent social and cultural commentator writing regularly for the New York Times and the Atlantic, and previously for the Wall Street Journal. He also appears on “PBS NewsHour,” NPR's “All Things Considered” and NBC's “Meet the Press” to discuss politics and culture. Brooks teaches at Yale University and belongs to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  More Brooks Read his Atlantic piece, How the Bobos Broke America, building off his 2001 book, Bobos In Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There His previous books include The Social Animal, The Road to Character, and The Second Mountain.  For more, check out his column at the New York Times and his column at the Atlantic You can follow more of his work on twitter: @nytdavidbrooks Also Mentioned We chatted about my book, Dream Hoarders. We mentioned several scholars who work on social and/or economic inequality, including:Robert Putnam, specifically referring to his work on extracurricular activities.  Raj Chetty and how geography plays a role in mobility.  Sean Reardon, specifically his point that racial diversity is more common than class diversity. Richard Fording and his work on occupational segregation. We also mentioned Jonathan Rauch and his work on the cognitive regime - which you can learn more about in this episode of my podcast.  Brooks mentioned the book “Privilege: The Making of an Adolescent Elite at St. Paul's School” written by Shamus Rahman Khan. We discussed Brooks' infamous deli meat anecdote in his 2017 piece “How We Are Ruining America” Brooks referred to the work of Pierre Bourdieu, a French sociologist who studied power dynamics and the importance of cultural capital, linguistic capital, symbolic capital, and more.   I mentioned Michelle Margolis' research on religion and politics, which you can learn more about in her book “From Politics to the Pews.”  I also referred to the book “The Sum of Small Things: A Theory of the Aspirational Class”, written by Elizabeth Currid-Halkett.  Brooks mentioned Ibram Kendi. Brooks referred to this scene in Good Will Hunting (specifically starting at minute 3:06) I mentioned Michael Young's pivotal book “The Rise of the Meritocracy,” which I've spoken about previously here.  My previous work on respect, including this Brookings essay, has focused heavily on the importance of eye contact as an assertion of civic and moral equality.  I cited Thomas Jefferson's original draft of the Declaration of Independence, in which he wrote “we hold these truths to be sacred.” The Dialogues Team Creator: Richard Reeves Research: Ashleigh Maciolek Artwork: George Vaughan Thomas Tech Support: Cameron Hauver-Reeves Music: "Remember" by Bencoolen (thanks for the permission, guys!)  

    Tyler Stovall on white freedom

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 26, 2021 61:28

    “To be free is to be white, and to be white is to be free. In this reading, therefore, freedom and race are not just enemies but also allies”. That's my guest today, the historian Tyler Stovall on the idea that animates his new book White Freedom: The Racial History of an Idea. It was an idea, Tyler says, that “kept him awake at night”. We talk about whether the most important racial line is between white and others, or between Black and others; the startling true history of the Statue of Liberty (“the world's most prominent example of the racialization of modern ideas of freedom”, Tyler says); the controversy surrounding the 1619 Project and specifically the extent to which retaining slavery motivated some of the colonies in the War; the fight over school integration; the use of reason and rationality as gatekeepers to enlightenment ideas of liberalism; the decolonization movement; and the fights over both voting rights and Critical Race Theory; and much more besides. It's a topical conversation but also one that reaches across history. I found this a stimulating and challenging conversation. Tyler Stovall Dr. Tyler Stovall is a lauded historian of modern and twentieth-century France, with a specialization in transnational history, labor, colonialism, and race. His work has covered topics ranging from the suburbs of Paris to Black American expatriates in France and the French Caribbean. He has written numerous books, including the widely-popular “Paris Noir: African Americans in the City of Light.” This summer, Stovall was appointed as the Dean of Fordham's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Previously, he was the Dean of Humanities at UC-Santa Cruz and served as the President of the American Historical Association from 2017 to 2018. Stovall currently lives in Berkeley, California with his wife Dr. Denise Herd.  More Stovall In this episode, we discussed Stovall's new and thought-provoking book “White Freedom: The Racial History of an Idea” He recently wrote an article in The Nation titled “Liberty's Discontents” While serving as President of American Historical Association, Stovall gave an address on “White Freedom and the Lady of Liberty”. You can watch it here.  Also mentioned  Stovall mentioned the book “Men on Horseback”, written  by David Bell  We discussed the iconography of the broken chain on the Statue of Liberty  The hat that was given to former slaves in Ancient Rome is known as a ‘Pileus'  Stovall referred to the famous painting by Delacroix, “Liberty Leading the People” We discussed the New York Times 1619 project which you can learn more about here.  Stovall mentioned Crispus Attucks, an African American man killed during the Boston Massacre and believed to be the first casualty of the American Revolution.  Here's a clip of The Allman Brothers Band performing their song ‘Whipping Post'   We discussed Phyllis Schlafly and her role in opposing the Equal Rights Amendment In On Liberty, J.S. Mill wrote that “Despotism is a legitimate mode of government in dealing with barbarians, provided the end be their improvement, and the means justified by actually effecting that end.” (p. 19)  After WWI ended, Black American soldiers returned home to a violently racist society and were threatened with increasing riots, lynchings, and additional brutality.  Stovall mentioned Julius Nyerere, the former President of Tanzania.  A man in Texas, after waiting in line for hours, now faces a 40-year sentence for voting while on parole.  I referenced Amartya Sen on the concept of meritocracy and its central conflict of who gets to define merit. Read more of his work on this topic here.   In his book, “Excellence: Can We Be Equal and Excellent Too?”, John W. Gardner writes, “The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.” The Dialogues Team Creator: Richard Reeves Research: Ashleigh Maciolek Artwork: George Vaughan Thomas Tech Support: Cameron Hauver-Reeves Music: "Remember" by Bencoolen (thanks for the permission, guys!)

    Carole Hooven on testosterone and masculinity

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 19, 2021 70:50

    What makes a man? My guest, Harvard evolutionary biologist Carole Hooven, has a one-word answer: testosterone. She is the author of the new book T: The Story of Testosterone, the Hormone that Dominates and Divides Us. Carole describes her own difficult educational journey, her own suffering as a result of male behavior; how an obsession with human behavior led her to the a chimpanzee colony in the jungles of Uganda; and ultimately to a focus on testosterone in explaining not only physical but psychological differences between men and women, especially in terms of aggression, sex drive and status-seeking. Carole talks about how the debate over sex differences has become over-politicized, leading to bad science. As you'll hear, one of my takeaways from Hooven's reality-based approach is that it makes culture even more important, not less. We end with a discussion about the importance of not pathologizing the male desire for sex. This episode gets quite personal at times, which seems appropriate given the subject.    Carole Hooven   Carole Hooven teaches in and co-directs the undergraduate program in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. She earned her BA in psychology from Antioch College in 1988 and her PhD at Harvard in 2004, researching sex differences and testosterone, and has taught there ever since. She has received numerous teaching awards, and her Hormones and Behavior class was named one of the Harvard Crimson's "top ten tried and true." Carole lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband Alex, son Griffin and cat Lola. She loves watching birds, running and biking, Belgian beer, salty snacks and freedom of speech. She tweets from @hoovlet and has a website: http://www.carolehooven.com.  More Hooven Read her new and informative book, T: The Story of Testosterone, the Hormone that Dominates and Divides Us She also recently wrote an interesting article for The Telegraph, The real reason men are more likely to cheat? Science has the answers, as well as a piece for Stylist Magazine: How understanding testosterone will help you understand yourself (and everyone around you) better Also mentioned  We mentioned the book, Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence, co-authored by Richard Wrangham I referred a 1998 piece by Francis Fukuyama titled Women and the Evolution of World Politics Learn more about the Guevedoces in the Dominican Republic who are born with 5-alpha-reductase deficiency syndrome.  Check out Carole's recent appearance on Andrew Sullivan's podcast I mentioned Melvin Konner's book, Women After All: Sex, Evolution, and the End of Male Supremacy I quoted Margret Mead who once said: “I do not believe in using women in combat, because females are too fierce.” Last year, Jeffrey Toobin was suspended for masturbating on a Zoom video chat.  In the movie City Slickers, Billy Crystal's character says: “Women need a reason to have sex, men just need a place.” (I wrongly attributed the quote to Seinfeld) I referenced research from Pew that shows that “masculine” is seen as a negative trait for both men and women.  In an earlier article, I quoted the Stowe headmaster J. F. Roxburgh who said: I am trying to produce men who are “acceptable at a dance and invaluable in a shipwreck.”  Learn more about the Carnegie medals awarded to those who exemplify physical bravery.  The Dialogues Team Creator & Host: Richard Reeves Research: Ashleigh Maciolek Artwork: George Vaughan Thomas Tech Support: Cameron Hauver-Reeves Music: "Remember" by Bencoolen (thanks for the permission, guys!)

    John Gray on why cats are wiser than philosophers

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 12, 2021 38:59

    "I do not believe the United States can now claim to be a liberal political culture". That's just one of the big claims made by the philosopher John Gray during our wide-ranging discussion of the history of philosophy, liberalism - and of course, cats. John does not think liberalism has “gone astray”; he thinks it contains the seeds of its own destruction from the beginning. We argue about this first, before turning to his new book Feline Philosophy, which I see as a natural extension of his earlier work.  Gray points out that "cats are happy being themselves, while humans try to be happy by escaping themselves." Inspired in part by observations of the life and death of his own cat, Julian, Gray urges us to pursue a cat-like ethical position. This means abandoning the search for meaning outside of ourselves, and instead seeking to live in a way that aligns with our own nature. Here Gray suggests we can draw on Taoism, Spinoza and other strands of thought. Self-consciousness and a fear of death have cursed humans with the need to make a story of our lives, rather than to simply live it.Our goal should not be to create ourselves through projects, he argues, so much as to realize our own nature, and live by it. Philosophy is not the answer, says this philosopher. "Posing as a cure," Gray says, "philosophy is a symptom of the disorder it pretends to remedy". Along the way, John and I discuss the rise of what he calls "hyper-liberalism"; the impact of 1989; Joseph Conrad; the Genesis myth; American libertarianism, the impact of the lockdown on our our ability to distract ourselves, liberalism foundations in Christianity; life after Covid; and of course, our cats - Julian (his) and Cookie (mine).   John Gray John is one of the leading and one of the most provocative philosophers of our age, having retired from his position as School Professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Gray is a prolific contributor to and reviewer for the The Guardian, Times Literary Supplement and New Statesman.   Works  Feline Philosophy: Cats and the Meaning of Life (2020) “Two faces of On Liberty” (2020) Mill on liberty: a defence (1983, 1996) "The crisis is a turning point in history", New Statesman, 23 April 2020 “The problem of hyper-liberalism”, TLS, 30 March, 2018 Postliberalism: Studies in Political Thought (1993) Two Faces of Liberalism (2000) Gray's Anatomy: Selected Writings (2009) False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism (1998)   The Dialogues Team Creator: Richard Reeves Research: Ashleigh Maciolek Artwork: George Vaughan Thomas Tech Support: Cameron Hauver-Reeves Music: "Remember" by Bencoolen (thanks for the permission, guys!)

    David French on how judges are saving the republic

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 5, 2021 71:40

    America is either a plural republic or it dies. Right now, the judiciary is keeping pluralism shielded from attacks from both the political left and right. David French, one of our most thoughtful conservative public intellectuals, describes his own journey from partisan to a man without a tribe; how fighting in real war changed his view of the so-called culture war at home; the central importance of the Bill of Rights; the remarkable strength of religious liberty protections in our nation; why white Evangelicals flocked to Donald Trump ("white protestants have lost power and gained liberty and haven't liked the exchange”, he says); how the judges, especially on the Supreme Court became "the only adults in the room"; the pros and cons of more federalism in public policy; and how the overturning of Roe v. Wade could de-escalate the culture wars. And much more.  A mini-rant from me This conversation really made me realize how much liberal pluralists like me have come to rely on the courts now, with politicians on both sides proposing or even passing laws that are anti-pluralist and unconstitutional - and probably knowing that they are when they do it. Laws become signals of whose side you're on, rather than of actual policy intent. The dangerous point we've got to is of an illiberal, performative politics held at bay only by the judiciary, which is holding the line and maintaining our liberal republic, much to the frustration, depending on the day, of the culture warriors on both sides but to the enormous relief and eternal gratitude of all liberals. The judges are keeping the Republic safe, for now. But we can't ask the courts to do this job forever, they can't remain in DF's phrase, the only grown up in the room. Also there is growing pressure to appoint more politically reliable judges in the future, rather than the constitution-loving, liberty-protecting, precedent-respecting bunch we have at the moment. We need a grown-up politics rather than the pantomime we have been subject to in recent years.  David French David French is a leading political thinker and commentator focusing on the intersection of law, culture, and religion. He is currently a senior editor of the Dispatch and a columnist at Time. Formerly, he was a senior writer for National Review and served as the President for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. French holds a law degree from Harvard Law School and has worked on numerous religious-rights issues. Additionally, he served as senior counsel for American Center for Law and Justice and the Alliance Defending Freedom. In 2007, French was deployed to Iraq and served as a squadron judge advocate.  More French-ism Read his new and prominent book “Divided We Fall: America's Secession Threat and How to Restore Our Nation” Subscribe to his newsletter, The French Press, and read his work on The Dispatch or his column at Time. Be sure to check out his piece “Decency Is No Barrier to Justice or the Common Good” which sparked the debate between French and Ahmari. Watch French debate Eric Metaxes on the question “Should Christians vote for Trump?”  Also mentioned I referenced Margaret Thatcher's infamous question, “Is he one of us?”  We discussed Sohrab Ahmari's piece, “Against David Frenchism”  In 2016, Donald Trump promised to restore power to Christianity, saying that it was “under tremendous siege.”  And in 2020, Trump claimed that if Biden became president “There will be no oil. There will be no god. There will be no guns.”  Last month, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of religious liberty in the Fulton v. City of Philadelphia case  Recently, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a law to fine social media companies that permanently bar political candidates. A few years ago, Jonah Goldberg characterized Congress as a “parliament of pundits”  We mentioned Scott Alexander who ran the blog Slate Star Codex until 2020 In 1992, Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivered the Madison Lecture at NYU School of Law. On the topic of Roe v Wade, she said that “a less encompassing Roe, I believe . . . might have served to reduce rather than to fuel controversy.” (p. 1199)  The Dialogues Team Creator: Richard Reeves Research: Ashleigh Maciolek Artwork: George Vaughan Thomas Tech Support: Cameron Hauver-Reeves Music: "Remember" by Bencoolen (thanks for the permission, guys!)

    Joseph Henrich on how religion changed sex, families and culture

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 28, 2021 63:12

    What made some societies so individualistic, so democratic, and so rich? The short version of Joe Henrich's answer is: religion. By undermining kin-based networks, universalizing religions (especially Western Christianity) prompted the “big innovation” of impersonal trust, altered the Western brain and laid the foundations for free markets, geographical mobility and democratic institutions. In other words, some people became WEIRD (Western, educated, industrialized, rich, democratic). We discuss how the concept of coevolution helps to get us past the tired nature v. nurture distinction, the role of culture in shaping our biology, how polygamy causes a “math problem of surplus men”, the rise of the incel movement along with feminism, how monogamous marriage lowers testosterone (and why that's a good thing), The Life of Brian, morality and politics and much more.   Joseph Henrich Dr. Joseph Henrich is Chair of the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology and Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology at the University of Harvard and Principal Investigator of the Culture, Cognition, & Coevolution Lab.    Joe's research focuses on evolutionary approaches to psychology, decision-making and culture, and includes topics related to cultural learning, cultural evolution, culture-gene coevolution, human sociality, prestige, leadership, large-scale cooperation, religion and the emergence of complex human institutions. His latest book is The WEIRDest People in the World: How the West Became Psychologically Peculiar and Particularly Prosperous (2020).  More Henrich The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter (2015). “Do Markets Make Us Fair, Trusting, and Cooperative, or Bring out the Worst in Us?”, Evonomics (August, 2016)   Also mentioned Michael Tomasello's work on humans as “imitation machines” especially his book The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition (1999) Here is a good summary of Auguste Comte's “religion of humanity”  “Longitudinal evidence that fatherhood decreases testosterone in human males”, Lee T. Gettler, Thomas W. McDade, Alan B. Feranil, and Christopher W. Kuzawa (2011) “What have the Romans ever done for us” sketch from the 1979 Monty Python movie The Life of Brian  My previous episode on liberalizing Islam with Mustafa Akyol The Upswing: How America Came Together a Century Ago and How We Can Do It Again Book by Robert D. Putnam and Shaylyn Romney Garrett For a good introduction to the politics of moral foundations theory see “Liberals and Conservatives Rely on Different Sets of Moral Foundations” by Jesse Graham, Jonathan Haidt, and Brian A. Nosek (2009) “Moral Values and Voting” by Benjamin Enke (NBER, 2018)   The Dialogues Team Creator: Richard Reeves Research: Ashleigh Maciolek Artwork: George Vaughan Thomas Tech Support: Cameron Hauver-Reeves Music: "Remember" by Bencoolen (thanks for the permission, guys!)

    Jeremiah Johnson on the new neoliberalism

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 21, 2021 83:26

    What is the difference between a liberal, a neoliberal, a new liberal, and a progressive? In this joint episode with The Neoliberal Podcast, hosted by Jeremiah Johnson, you'll get all the answers you want and probably a few more besides. This is a pretty wide-ranging discussion on the state of liberalism in the world today, how to lean into identity politics, the threat from authoritarianism, what the term "neoliberal" means both historically and in contemporary politics, the case for race-conscious policies, why right now liberals basically have to be Democrats, politically speaking. Enjoy! Read more about the Neoliberal Project, the Center for New Liberalism at the Progressive Policy Institute and listen to The Neoliberal Podcast. Also check out their magazine and newsletter, Exponents. Jeremiah Johnson Jeremiah is the Policy Director at the Center for New Liberalism and host of The Neoliberal Podcast. Jeremiah has worked as a consultant for Ernst & Young and as the Director of Innovation for The NPD Group, specializing in predictive modeling and advanced analytics. He holds a Bachelor's in Economics and a Master's in Statistics, both from the University of Georgia. More reading Jeremiah and I mention and recommend some books along the way, including: A Thousand Small Sanities by Adam Gopnik The Neoliberal Mind by Madsen Pirie All Minus One - Chapter 2 of On Liberty, edited by Jonathan Haidt and me, and illustrated beautifully by David Cicirelli The Idea of Justice by Amartya Sen Anti-Pluralism by Bill Galston John Stuart Mill, Victorian Firebrand. My biography of the great man, written before the world fell apart Also mentioned Steve Pearlstein's column on Dream Hoarders: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/07/01/is-it-inequality-of-income-we-care-about-or-inequality-of-opportunity/ My review of Gopnik's book for the Literary Review. Matt Yglesias - Stop marketing race-blind policies as racial equity initiatives My paper with Scott Winship on multigenerational race income gap, Long shadows: The Black-white gap in multigenerational poverty The Dialogues Team Creator: Richard Reeves Research: Ashleigh Maciolek Artwork: George Vaughan Thomas Tech Support: Cameron Hauver-Reeves Music: "Remember" by Bencoolen (thanks for the permission, guys!)

    Jennifer Morton on creating a better elite

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 14, 2021 68:19

    Societies always have an elite - but my guest today thinks we need a better one. Philosopher Jennifer Morton says we draw our leaders from too narrow a pool of institutions, especially educational ones, and that affirmative action does little or nothing to improve genuine representation. In what is at times quite a personal conversation, we discuss the ethical costs of upward mobility, animated by Jennifer's own story of growing up in Peru before attending Princeton as first-generation student; as well as how to balance personal success against the dangers of complicity in unequal systems and institutions. She argues that less advantaged students face sharper trade-offs between different goods, and that as a society we under-value the ones related to associational life - family, friends, and hometowns. This conversation, and Jennifer's work generally, has really shaped and challenged some of my own thinking - and I really enjoyed the conversation. Jennifer Morton @jennifermmorton Jennifer Morton is an associate professor of philosophy, currently at UNC Chapel Hill but she will be taking up a position at the University of Pennsylvania this fall. Her work focuses on the philosophy of action, moral philosophy, philosophy of education, and political philosophy.  She is also a senior fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Center for Ethics and Education.  More from Morton Read her insightful book, Moving Up without Losing Your Way: The Ethical Costs of Upward Mobility. Morton recently wrote this reflective piece on being a first-gen student and now educator: Flourishing in the Academy: Complicity and Compromise. She also published The Miseducation of the Elite which we discussed quite a bit.  You can follow her work on twitter, @jennifermmorton, and on her website Also mentioned Joseph Fishkin's book Bottlenecks: A New Theory of Equal Opportunity. I actually liked this book so much I ran a blog series on it over at Brookings! I referred to this study that shows that low college application rates for Hispanic youth can be explained in large part by their desire to stay close to home Morton's approach to ethical good bundles is in some ways similar to Amartya Sen's capability set Using data from The Equality of Opportunity Project, made interactive by the New York Times, here is the breakdown of economic diversity at these institutions: At CUNY, the median household income for students is $40,000, 15% of the students came from the top 20%, and 23% came from the bottom 20% At UNC Chapel Hill, the median household income is $135,000, 60% of the students come from the top 20%, and only 3.8% from the bottom 20%. At UPenn, the median household income is $195,500, 71% of the students come from the top 20%, and only 3.3% come from the bottom 20%.  At Georgetown, the median household income is $229,000, 74% of the students come from the top 20%, and only 3.1% come from the bottom 20%. We referenced Anthony Jack's work, including his book The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students The Dialogues Team Creator: Richard V. Reeves Research: Ashleigh Maciolek Artwork: George Vaughan Thomas Tech Support: Cameron Hauver-Reeves Music: "Remember" by Bencoolen (thanks for the permission, guys!)

    Jonathan Rauch on how to know what's true

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 7, 2021 79:50

    How do you know what's true? Who do you trust? These are questions that are no longer academic, philosophical ones, but at the heart of our politics and society. My friend and colleague Jonathan Rauch has a brilliant new book out, The Constitution of Knowledge: A Defense of Truth, and that's the basis for our dialogue here. He describes the CoK as "liberalism's epistemic operating system: our social rules for turning disagreement into knowledge" - and describes how it works - or should work - in the four cornerstones of academia, journalism, government and law. We discuss the threats to the CoK from the "troll epistemology" of the political Right and the "cancel culture" of the political left, and how institutions, groups and individuals can work to defend and restore our truth-generating systems. As Jon writes: "Both constitutions rest, ultimately, on versions of what the American founders thought of as republican virtue: habits and norms like lawfulness, truthfulness, self-restraint, and forbearance. If anything could ruin the American constitutional experiment, they believed, a failure of republican virtue would be the most likely culprit".   We also discuss the most important philosopher you've likely never heard of, Charles Sander Pierce (and why his name is pronounced so weirdly), as well as how lockdown has been for a man famous for his introversion...  Jonathan Rauch Jonathan is a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution working in the Governance Studies program. He has written numerous books and articles on politics, economics, government, sexuality, and free speech. He also serves as a contributing editor of The Atlantic. Among other awards and nominations, Rauch is the recipient of the 2010 National Headliner Award and the 2005 National Magazine Award. More Rauch Read his impressive new book The Constitution of Knowledge: A Defense of Truth, which builds upon his previous work Kindly Inquisitors: The New Attacks on Free Thought His popular 2003 essay, Caring for Your Introvert Follow him on twitter here: @jon_rauch Also mentioned For more on the greatest philosopher you should know about: Charles Sanders Peirce In 2018 Steve Bannon was quoted saying “flood the zone with shit”  PolitiFact's scorecard on the truth value of Trump's statements shows that he lied the majority of the time.  A new Yahoo News/YouGov poll shows that 44% of Republicans believe the conspiracy theory that Bill Gates is implanting microchips in the COVID-19 vaccine.  Read more on the concerning election audit currently happening in Arizona  We spoke about the case of Brandon Eich, the former CEO of Mozilla, who was fired for his previous political contributions against gay marriage.  Cato reported that 62% of Americans have political views they're afraid to share I mentioned the story of the Ku Klux Clowns that appeared in Knoxville, TN in 2007.  Four lions, the satirical movie we mention. We referenced this video of a Georgetown Law professor making racist remarks. Rauch referred to the grass-roots organization Braver Angels which adopts counselling techniques to reduce political polarization in communities.    I quoted Martin Luther King Jr.'s statement that “11 o'clock on Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in American life”  Rauch referred to Abraham Lincoln's Lyceum Address I quoted Mill in On Liberty (Ch V): “The worth of a State, in the long run, is the worth of the individuals composing it” The Dialogues Team Creator: Richard Reeves Research: Ashleigh Maciolek Artwork: George Vaughan Thomas Tech Support: Cameron Hauver-Reeves Music: "Remember" by Bencoolen (thanks for the permission, guys!)  

    Nick Clegg on Facebook's Trump decision

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 4, 2021 62:19

    Facebook just imposed a two-year ban on Donald Trump for inciting the Jan 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. I talked to Nick Clegg, VP for Global Affairs and Communications at Facebook, about the decision - and how the company will handle public figures on the platform from now on. We also discuss the challenges of striking a balance between free speech and protection from harm; the mistake I think the company made in banning some content about the possible origins of COVID-19; how “frothy techno-utopianism” has curdled into a form of “techno-pessimism”; the choice between open and closed politics; the paternalism implicit in many critiques of social media; the urgent need for government regulation; how the company's Oversight Board could be an embryonic regulator for the industry as whole; how JS Mill got it right about when to curb speech that could lead to violence; elitism in politics; why he's really not an aristocrat; the pros and cons of life in California; and much more.  Nick Clegg Nick has been Vice‑President for Global Affairs and Communications at Facebook since 2018, having previously served as Deputy Prime Minister of the UK from 2010 to 2015, as Leader of the Liberal Democrat party from 2007 to 2015, as Member of Parliament (MP) for Sheffield Hallam from 2005 to 2017, and as a member of the European Parliament from 1999 to 2004. He was appointed a Knight Bachelor 2018 for political and public service. Fun fact: he used to fact-check Christopher Hitchens at The Nation. More Clegg  Read his important Medium piece from March 31st: You and the Algorithm: It Takes Two to Tango Here's an opinion piece in which he calls for more regulation: Facebook's Nick Clegg calls for bipartisan approach to break the deadlock on internet regulation A good interview here with the Decoder podcast, Facebook's VP of Global Affairs doesn't think the platform is polarizing In October 2017, Nick wrote How To Stop Brexit (And Make Britain Great Again) Also mentioned This line was published in the New York Post: “What was the point of the American Revolution if some aristocratic British nerd can decide which Americans get to speak?”  Nick referred to Facebook's Community Standards (just updated), which define hate speech and other rules of content on the platform. We talked a lot about Facebook's Oversight Board. In its Charter, the purpose of the board is described as being “to protect free expression by making principled, independent decisions about important pieces of content and by issuing policy advisory opinions on Facebook's content policies.”  After Facebook banned Trump indefinitely, the Oversight Board was critical: here is the  case report in which they wrote, “In applying a vague, standardless penalty and then referring this case to the Board to resolve, Facebook seeks to avoid its responsibilities. The Board declines Facebook's request and insists that Facebook apply and justify a defined penalty.” Nick released a statement in response to this news. I referred to the UK's Social Mobility Commission More details on the recent reversal of the decision to ban content suggesting that Covid could be man-made Mark Zuckerburg said in a speech at Georgetown in 2019: “I'm proud that our values at Facebook are inspired by the American tradition, which is more supportive of free expression than anywhere else.” Additionally, in May 2020, he said Facebook should not act as an “arbiter of truth”  I referenced this passage from On Liberty (Ch III): “An opinion that corn-dealers are starvers of the poor, or that private property is robbery, ought to be unmolested when simply circulated through the press, but may justly incur punishment when delivered orally to an excited mob assembled before the house of a corn-dealer, or when handed about among the same mob in the form of a placard.”  The Dialogues Team Creator: Richard Reeves Research: Ashleigh Maciolek Artwork: George Vaughan Thomas Tech Support: Cameron Hauver-Reeves Music: "Remember" by Bencoolen (thanks for the permission, guys!)  

    Cass Sunstein on Noise and nudges

    Play Episode Listen Later May 31, 2021 68:31

    If bail decisions were made by an Artificial Intelligence instead of judges, repeat crime rates among applicants could be cut by 25%. That is because an AI is consistent in its judgements: human judges are not.   This variation in in bail decisions, as well as in sentencing, and many medical diagnoses and underwriting decisions are all examples of what Cass Sunstein calls "Noise" - unwanted variation in professional judgement, which is the theme of his new book Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgement, co authored with Danny Kahneman and Olivier Sibony. Professional judgement and discretion sound great in theory - especially to the professionals themselves - but in practice they end up creating a lottery in some high-stakes situations. He tells me why there should be statues of the legal reformer Marvin Frankel all across the land; how we can reduce the "creep factor" of AI decision-making; how early movers influence opinion especially through social media, and much more.  Cass Sunstein Cass Sunstein is a professor at Harvard Law School, as well as the founder and director of the Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy. He has written hundreds of articles and numerous books, ranging from constitutional law to Star Wars. He has also served in several government positions, formerly in the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in Obama's first administration and currently in the Department of Homeland Security to shape immigration laws. Sunstein's influence is wide-reaching, most notably from his work on advancing the field of behavioral economics, making him one of the most frequently cited scholars. He is also a recipient of the Holberg Prize and has several appointments in global organizations, including the World Health Organization.  More from Cass Sunstein Read “Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgement” co-authored with Daniel Kahneman and Olivier Sibony Read his widely influential 2008 book “Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness,” co-authored with Richard Thaler, as well as his later book “Why Nudge? The Politics of Libertarian Paternalism”  Dig into his work on “norm cascades”, as well as how group polarization works in jury pools  Check out his previous work on jury behavior with Kahneman including “Assessing Punitive Damages” or “Are Juries Less Erratic than Individuals?”  Also mentioned Cass mentioned the 2007 asylum study by Schoenholtz, et al. titled “Refugee Roulette: Disparities in Asylum Adjudication” I referred to this NBER paper by Eren & Mocan showing that the behavior of judges can be influenced by arbitrary factors, including by the outcome of local sports games.  Cass brought up the work of Sendhil Mullainathan, which includes a study on “Human Decisions and Machine Predictions” and another on “Who Is Tested for Heart Attack and Who Should Be” We discussed the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 which imposed guidelines for criminal sentencing but was essentially dismantled in a 2004 Supreme Court ruling  Learn more about the APGAR infant score  Jim Surowiecki, the author of “The Wisdom of Crowds,” discusses the weight of the cow parable on an episode of Planet Money Yet the wisdom of crowds phenomenon is often diminished when the group discusses their judgements and are exposed to social influence, as demonstrated by the study: “How social influence can undermine the wisdom of crowd effect”  In 2006, Duncan Watts, along with two co-authors, explored how early downloads were instrumental in predicting popularity in their article “Experimental Study of Inequality and Unpredictability in an Artificial Cultural Market”  I quoted John Stuart Mill in Utilitarianism, “Men often, from infirmity of character, make their election for the nearer good, though they know it to be the less valuable”  Cass referred to Mill's harm principle, something he expands upon here. We also discussed Patrick Deneen's book “Why Liberalism Failed”  The Dialogues Team Creator: Richard Reeves Research: Ashleigh Maciolek Artwork: George Vaughan Thomas Tech Support: Cameron Hauver-Reeves Music: "Remember" by Bencoolen (thanks for the permission, guys!)

    Mustafa Akyol on liberalizing Islam

    Play Episode Listen Later May 24, 2021 66:58

    Is Islam compatible with liberal values, like human rights and gender equality? Mustafa Akyol, my guest today, believes so: but only if Islam itself becomes more liberal. In other words, there is a theological argument to win first. I think Mustafa is one of the most important Islamic intellectuals at work today. In our conversation, we focus on his brand-new book, Reopening Muslim Minds: A Return to Reason, Freedom, and Tolerance.  We talk about the "road not taken" towards Islamic Enlightenment after the “Islamic golden age”, marked by a strong sense of cosmopolitanism and Greek philosophy; meet some   some of the key liberal figures from liberal Islamic history, especially Ibn Rushd, the man who introduced Aristotle to the West; and discuss how to interpret the three key strands of Islamic teachings, namely the Qurʼān, the hadiths (sayings attributed to the Prophet Mohammed) and Sharia Law.  But we start with how Mustafa's work has impacted him personally, including in his home country of Turkey, and how after giving a speech in Malaysia arguing that you can't police religion, he was arrested and jailed: by the Religion Police. This led to what he says was the worst night of his life.  Mustafa Akyol Mustafa Akyol is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute's Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity and a contributing writer to the New York Times. Previously, he was a Senior Visiting Fellow at Wellesley College's Freedom Project and has written three books exploring the intersection of Islam and modernity. Originally from Turkey, Akyol spent many years as a journalist for two popular newspapers.  More Mustafa Read his new book Reopening Muslim Minds: A Return to Reason, Freedom, and Tolerance Check out his Freedom in the Muslim World report from Cato Explore his opinion column at the New York Times  Watch his Ted Talk on Islamic faith and tradition  See more on his website  Also Mentioned Our joint article in Foreign Policy on the Hagia Sophia, which we also did a podcast on Watch the talk he gave in Malaysia on the topic of apostasy, after which he was arrested by the Malay religious police.  Learn more about Ibn Rushd and his contribution to Islamic jurisprudence  Raphael's famous fresco The School of Athens  I mentioned Thomas Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration of Independence, in which he wrote “We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable”  The Romans 2:15 passage that God's law is “written in their hearts”  In 1947, President Muhammad Ali Jinnah spoke to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan and said, “You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed -- that has nothing to do with the business of the State.”  The Dialogues Team Creator: Richard Reeves Research: Ashleigh Maciolek Artwork: George Vaughan Thomas Tech Support: Cameron Hauver-Reeves Music: "Remember" by Bencoolen (thanks for the permission, guys!)

    Martha Nussbaum on #MeToo, Title IX and sexual assault

    Play Episode Listen Later May 17, 2021 74:56

    My guest on this episode is an intellectual giant, the philosopher and legal scholar Martha Nussbaum. Her work has been kaleidoscopic in scope, covering Greek and Roman philosophy, especially Aristotle, as well as liberalism, feminism, human rights, forgiveness, justice, the arts, the role of emotions and much, much more.  Our conversation is mostly about her new book Citadels of Pride, which tackles the issues of sexual assault and harassment and how to create systems for what she calls forward-looking justice, rather than backward-looking revenge. It is a timely book, covering the controversial issue of Title IX which governs the treatment of assault and harassment claims on college campuses, as well as the strengths and limits of the #MeToo movement. We also talk about the corruption of Division 1 college sports; the problems caused by the legal drinking age; why public shaming is a bad idea (and one that feminists especially should be especially wary of); and how the sin of pride lies at the heart of sexist views of women. We discuss Martha's own experience of being assaulted in 1968 by Ralph Waite, the actor made famous for his role as the father in the The Waltons, her guilt at not naming him earlier, and how much progress has been made in law in the decades since. We also touch on her forthcoming work on animal rights. Martha Nussbaum Martha Nussbaum is a Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago working across the Law School, the Philosophy Department, the Classics Department, the Political Science Department, the Divinity School, as a member of the Committee on Southern Asian Studies, and as a Board Member of the Human Rights Program. She has numerous appointments and honorary degrees around the globe and is renowned for her work in Ancient Greek and Roman philosophy (especially Aristotle), feminist philosophy, political philosophy, philosophy of the arts, and animal rights. Most recently Martha was awarded the Holberg Prize which recognizes scholars for their work in the arts, humanities, social sciences, law, and/or theology.  More Nussbaum  Read her new book “Citadels of Pride: Sexual Assault, Accountability, and Reconciliation” and her piece “Why Some Men Are Above the Law” in which she first draws attention to her own personal experience.  Watch her Holberg Lecture “Justice for Animals: Practical Progress through Philosophical Theory” on June 8, 2021.  Read Martha's animal rights pieces, “Legal Protection for Whales” and “The Legal Status of Whales and Dolphins”, both co-authored with her daughter Rachel.  Also mentioned Check out Jake Heggie's opera “Dead Man Walking”, based on Sister Helen's book of the same name  Read more about pride as a vice in Dante's Purgatorio and the story of Emperor Trajan  In 1955, Mamie Till-Mobley told her son Emmett to not “look the white folks in the eye” before he travelled to Mississippi  Martha referenced Ishmael Reed's book “Reckless Eyeballing” Read more about Pauli Murray  Mechelle Vinson; and Cheryl Araujo  Read Dan Harmon's public apology to his coworker Megan Ganz  Martha referenced St. Paul in Romans 12:20 in which he said "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head"  Read the Parable of the Prodigal Son Check out this data sheet on D1 Football Sexual Assault Events  Read Obama's “Dear Colleague” Letter and the changes that Secretary DeVos made  Visit the Friends of Animals website, where Martha's daughter Rachel worked The Dialogues Team Creator: Richard Reeves Research: Ashleigh Maciolek Artwork: George Vaughan Thomas Tech Support: Cameron Hauver-Reeves Music: "Remember" by Bencoolen (thanks for the permission, guys!)

    Chris Mason on the moral case for Mars and beyond

    Play Episode Listen Later May 10, 2021 59:24

    Chris Mason is a Professor of Genomics, Physiology, and Biophysics at Weill Cornell Medicine, and works with NASA on the impact of space travel on the human genome. Chris is a really big and really interesting thinker and has a book out, The Next 500 Years: Engineering Life to Reach New Worlds, in which he argues that humans have a moral duty to escape not only planet earth, but ultimately the solar system in order to save our species. He also suggests that genetic engineering will be needed in order to give us what he calls "armor on the inside" in order to survive on different planets. It's a good time to dive into these questions, given that we're in a new era in space travel, with helicopters flying around Mars and missions to both the moon and Mars being planned. We discuss the why, when and how of his 500-year plan to save humanity, which starts with establishing settlements on Mars. We also talk about his unusual twin study, examining the genetic impact of astronaut Scott Kelly's year in space by way of comparison to his now earthbound identical twin brother Mark Kelly, who is a former astronaut and now of course a Senator for the State of Arizona. We also debate the ethics of genetic research here on earth right now, and the risks that it will worsen social inequalities. And obviously we talk about the sci-fi TV series The Expanse - what it got right as well as what it got wrong. It's a wide-ranging conversation - I hope you enjoy it. More from Chris Mason  Read his new book “The Next 500 Years: Engineering Life to Reach New Worlds” (2021) and his op-ed “On Exploring Mars and Saving Endangered Species.”  For more, see his ten phase plan of achieving life on Mars and check out the work that his laboratory - The Mason Lab - does.  Follow him on twitter: @mason_lab  Also mentioned In his book, A Tract on Monetary Reform, Keynes wrote “In the long run, we're all dead” (p.80).    In his speech, Existentialism is a Humanism, Sartre claimed that “existence precedes essence.”  Read The NASA Twins Study by Mason and Endurance: A Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery (2017) by Scott Kelly  Klara and the Sun (2021) by Kazuo Ishiguro The Rise of the Meritocracy (1958) by Michael Young  The Fall of Meritocracy (2015) by Toby Young  Watch The Expanse The Dialogues Team Creator: Richard Reeves Research: Ashleigh Maciolek Artwork: George Vaughan Thomas Tech Support: Cameron Hauver-Reeves Music: "Remember" by Bencoolen (thanks for the permission, guys!)  

    Liz Bruenig on the return of the death penalty

    Play Episode Listen Later May 3, 2021 69:08

    The federal death penalty returned with a vengeance at the end of Donald Trump's term, with 13 of the 17 executions of the last 60 years taking place in 2020. The New York Times opinion writer Liz Bruenig has been reporting and reflecting on this shift in policy. Here she shares her experience of witnessing the execution of Alfred Bourgeois in December 2020. We also talk about the politics and policy of the death penalty, the moral and theological arguments against it (St Augustine and Pope Francis feature here), and what the future holds for the death penalty in the U.S. Liz also describes how a murder of a close family member influenced her work in this area.    Elizabeth Bruenig: Twitter @ebruenig   Elizabeth Bruenig is an opinion writer for the New York Times, with previous positions at the Washington Post and the New Republic. She writes at the intersection of theology, ethics, and politics and in 2019, she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing for her piece “What Do We Owe Her Now.” Bruenig co-hosts a podcast with her husband, Matt, called The Bruenigs, where they discuss family, politics, and current events.  Check out her opinion columns at the New York Times, including her emotional compelling piece “The Man I Saw Them Kill” discussed in this episode.  Also mentioned: Liz quoted this famous monologue from Hamlet: “What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world. The paragon of animals.” Here's the St. Augustine's Sermon on the Mount (paragraph 64): “But great and holy men… punished some sins with death, both because the living were struck with a salutary fear, and because it was not death itself that would injure those who were being punished with death, but sin, which might be increased if they continued to live.” Pope Francis' statement against LWOP The Reuters piece uncovering the identities of the pharmaceutical companies that produced pentobarbital for the federal government.  We also made references to the Anti-Drug Abuse Act (1986) and the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (1996) The National Registry of Exonerations keeps track of exonerations on the basis of false confessions; showing that 70% of those with a reported mental illness or intellectual disability falsely confessed.  Liz also referred to some prior litigation which focuses on the change in procedure from the use of the three-drug cocktail to the use of a single drug (pentobarbital) in lethal injections. And I mentioned the Ta-Nehisi Coates piece: “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration” The Dialogues Team Creator: Richard Reeves Research: Ashleigh Maciolek Artwork: George Vaughan Thomas Tech Support: Cameron Hauver-Reeves Music: "Remember" by Bencoolen (thanks for the permission, guys!)

    Jonathan Haidt on making free speech better

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 20, 2021 78:34

    My very first guest is NYU Professor and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, best known for his books The Righteous Mind in 2012 and The Coddling of the American Mind with Greg Luckianoff, in 2018. Jon and I talk about what has been described as a crisis of epistemology -  in the very ways in which we discover and generate knowledge and truth. Why has this epistemic crisis hit so many liberal democracies? What lies behind it, and more importantly, what we can do about it? We discuss why Jon hates twitter; how combining the insights of the 18th century philosopher David Hume and the 19th century philosopher John Stuart Mill can give you "social superpowers"; the way Gen-Z has driven a change in the culture of college campuses and subsequently the corporate world; why kids born in 1996 had such "fundamentally different childhoods" to those born in 1990; and what he sees as a "gravitational change" in the information ecosystem from around 2009.  + Here is our Mill for the modern age: All Minus One (2021)  + Some of Haidt's related work: Although Jon doesn't much like Twitter you should still follow him here. The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion (2012) The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure, with Greg Lukianoff (2018) (Or you can read the Atlantic essay here.) The Dark Psychology of Social Networks, with Tobias Rose-Stockwell, The Atlantic, December 2019 Here's his 2016 Duke lecture on the "Two incompatible sacred values in American universities" (i.e Truth U versus Social Justice U). Also check out Heterodox Academy + Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life by Annette Lareau (2011) Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis by Robert Putnam (2015) Civilization and Its Discontents by Sigmund Freud (1930)  Conversation: How Talk Can Change Our Lives by Theodore Zeldin (2000) “The Market for Goods and the Market for Ideas” by Ronald Coase (1974)   The Dialogues Team Creator: Richard Reeves Research: Ashleigh Maciolek Artwork: George Vaughan Thomas Tech Support: Cameron Hauver-Reeves Music: "Remember" by Bencoolen (thanks for the permission, guys!)    

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