The super-sized happy hour episode
23 min

Look: It’s Friday, we’re having beers and talking about the news. Much like Kai’s prospective RV trip, this episode covers a lot of ground. We’ll talk about the latest early voting numbers, Bay Area property taxes and get a crash course in why direct democracy is — and this is the poli sci term — “stupid.” All that and much more on this super-sized episode. Have a great weekend everybody!

As always, you can find links to all the stories we talked about at makemesmart.org. Thanks to everyone who joined us for the livestream! Subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss the next one.

Update (Oct. 26, 2020): This episode misidentifies Sheila Krumholz, executive director at the Center for Responsive Politics.

Science Friday
Science Friday
Science Friday and WNYC Studios
Roman Mars, Disinformation, Ancient Female Big Game Hunters. Nov 20, 2020, Part 2
Exploring The Invisible Architecture Of Cities With Roman Mars On a walk through your city or town, there are all sorts of sights and sounds to take in—big buildings, parks and patches of green space, roaring vehicles, and people strolling around. But according to Roman Mars, host of the 99% Invisible podcast, you need to look at the smaller, often unseen details to decode what’s really going on in the city. In the new book The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design, co-authors Mars and Kurt Kohlstedt show that you can learn a lot about the place you live in by taking a closer look at tucked-away architecture and pavement markings. There’s meaning behind the etchings on the covers of maintenance holes and water lines, and the cryptic spray painted symbols on the street that signify network and telecommunication cables. These signs and structures can tell stories about a city’s past and present. Ira chats with Mars about the overlooked details built into our cities and how our urban environments are adapting to the pandemic. Big Tech Can’t Stop The Lies As the dust continues to settle from the 2020 presidential election, unfounded rumors persist about stolen ballots, dead people voting, and other kinds of alleged fraud—all without evidence. But as slow results trickle in, President-Elect Joe Biden has won by large but plausible margins, and investigations into the process have held up the results as inarguable. Anticipating a wave of misinformation, Twitter and Facebook both took unprecedented steps in the weeks leading up to the election to put election claims in context, marking questionable posts as misinformation. And yet large numbers of Americans continue to disagree about reality. How did this happen? And why have we seen so much of other kinds of misinformation this year—like anti-mask beliefs, or other COVID-19 hoaxes? Or take the QAnon conspiracy theories, all of which are completely baseless, yet somehow still spreading? Ira talks to New York Times reporter Davey Alba, and misinformation researcher Joan Donovan, about the patterns of media manipulation and how misinformation succeeds in our digital world. Ancient Big Game Hunters May Have Included Women In ancient hunter-gatherer societies, it’s been predominantly thought that men were the hunters and the women were the gatherers. This narrative has persisted for centuries. But researchers say the story might be more complicated. In Peru, a team of anthropologists uncovered a burial site containing 9,000-year-old remains of a possible female big game hunter. Their findings were published in the journal Science Advances. Producer Alexa Lim talks with one of the authors on that study, anthropologist Randy Haas from UC Davis, about what this can tell us about the social structure of hunter-gatherers.
48 min
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