Social Distance
Social Distance
Jul 8, 2020
The Sun Belt Spike
Play • 28 min

What does the surge in cases in the south and west mean for the country’s chances of containing the pandemic? Staff writer Alexis Madrigal explains.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

The Harper’s Podcast
The Harper’s Podcast
Harper’s Magazine
Mike Pence is a pedophile who has been replaced by a clone. But Mike Pence also had the power to reject Electoral College votes and overturn the 2020 presidential election results. In April 2020, the U.S. military liberated 35,000 sexually abused children from hidden tunnels beneath Central Park. There’s a video of Huma Abedin and Hillary Clinton ritually killing a child for its adrenochrome. The pandemic isn’t real, and Bill Gates has created a vaccine that will change your DNA and control your mind. This is just a sample of QAnon supporters’ many beliefs, some of which openly contradict each other. As Hari Kunzru observes in the January issue of Harper’s Magazine, QAnon is less concerned with finding the root cause of society’s purported ills than it is with laying out, in ever more intricate terms and with ever more involved symbols, how entrenched those ills are. If the guesswork and speculation surrounding the Kennedy assassination provides a benchmark of popular American suspicion, then Q has “the feel of something new, a blob of unreason against which the Kennedy narrative seems quaint, almost genteel,” Kunzru writes. Various preconditions figure into the rise of Q at this historical moment—the aesthetics of contemporary political theater, the accelerant nature of the internet—but beneath them all is a human yearning for simplicity, for an incomprehensible world to make sense according to our preferred terms. In this episode, Violet Lucca talks with Kunzru, a novelist and Harper’s new Easy Chair columnist, about the antecedents and present-day mechanics of QAnon. They discuss the myths of its origins, its fraught internal logic, and its “impoverished understanding of how power actually works.” Read Kunzru’s column here: This episode was produced by Violet Lucca and Andrew Blevins
56 min
The Munk Debates Podcast
The Munk Debates Podcast
Antica Productions and iHeartRadio
Be it resolved: We are living in a simulation
The Matrix, The Truman Show, and now more recently Westworld. Popular culture has long been captivated by the notion that our lives and the world we inhabit in are nothing more than an advanced computer simulation. But it’s also an argument that is being given more credence by world renowned philosophers and scientists. The leading proponents of the “simulation hypothesis” believe that the mathematical nature of the universe is itself the strongest proof we exist in an artificial reality. They point to human DNA and string theory in particle physics as but two of a growing number of so-called naturally occurring phenomena that behave remarkably similar to computer code - too close to be an accident. The mainstream scientific community is taking exception to these claims. They say the simulation hypothesis is based on overly complicated hypotheses that verge on circular reasoning. They argue the universe can be beautiful, even harmonious, mathematically and empirically down to the smallest atom or strand of DNA. Occam's Razor or the maxim that the simplest explanation is usually the right one, is all the proof we need that the universe is real and not a computer program. Arguing for the motion is Rich Terrile, Director of the Center for Evolutionary Computation and Automated Design at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He is a voyager scientist and has discovered moons on Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Arguing against the motion is David Kipping, Assistant Professor of Astronomy at Columbia University where he leads the Cool Worlds Lab. His research focuses on extrasolar planets, the search for life in the universe, and astrostatistics. Sources: HBO,, The New York Academy of Sciences, Google Zeitgeist, IGN Entertainment Inc., Gave Dev Guide, FragHero The host of the Munk Debates is Rudyard Griffiths - @rudyardg.   For detailed show notes on the episode, head to Tweet your comments about this episode to @munkdebate or comment on our Facebook page To sign up for a weekly email reminder for this podcast, send an email to   To support civil and substantive debate on the big questions of the day, consider becoming a Munk Member at Members receive access to our 10+ year library of great debates in HD video, a free Munk Debates book, newsletter and ticketing privileges at our live events. This podcast is a project of the Munk Debates, a Canadian charitable organization dedicated to fostering civil and substantive public dialogue - The Munk Debates podcast is produced by Antica, Canada’s largest private audio production company -   Executive Producer: Stuart Coxe, CEO Antica Productions Senior Producer: Christina Campbell Editor: Kieran Lynch Associate Producer: Abhi Raheja
48 min
Boston Public Radio Podcast
Boston Public Radio Podcast
WGBH Educational Foundation
BPR Full Show 1/21/21: 'The Best Cracker I've Ever Tasted'
Today on Boston Public Radio: NBC “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd talks about Wednesday’s inauguration, what he’s expecting for vaccine rollout under President Biden, and weighs in on an upcoming NFL playoff game between his team, the Green Bay Packers, and Tom Brady’s Buccaneers. Next, we open lines to talk with listeners about your hopes for the America’s future under President Biden. Former Suffolk County sheriff and secretary of public safety Andrea Cabral talks about the significance of yesterday’s inauguration. She also discusses Suffolk County D.A. Rachael Rollins being placed on the shortlist for US Attorney for Mass., and whether recent allegations about a road rage incident ought to be disqualifying. Food writer Corby Kummer discusses some of the flaws still lingering in U.S. food supply chains, 10 months into the pandemic. He also talks about the concept of “humanewashing” at Whole Foods supermarkets, and best tipping practices for services like Instacart and Uber Eats. Medical ethicist Art Caplan weighs in on issues with America's vaccine rollout, and seniors who are dropping out of new vaccine trials to get already-approved vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer. He also talks about why it’s so difficult to accurately determine whether someone who’s been inoculated can still infect others with COVID-19. Travel guru Rick Steves offers thoughts on Wednesday's inauguration, and discusses his hopes for travel in 2021. We close out Thursday’s show by talking with listeners about the concept of “ugly Americans,” and whether you’ll feel better about traveling to other countries with President Trump out of office.
2 hr 44 min
More episodes
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu