Social Distance
Social Distance
Nov 18, 2020
How to Cancel Thanksgiving (Because You Should)
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The coronavirus, in addition to being dangerous and terrifying, also makes everything socially awkward. But now is a time to make hard decisions and have hard conversations. Jim and Katherine answer listener questions about the holidays, and explain how to say no.

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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Mike Pence is a pedophile who has been replaced by a clone.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
KQED's The California Report
KQED's The California Report
The Search for California's Next Top Prosecutor Heats Up
Who Will be the Next California Attorney General?Other than Governor, being California’s Attorney General is arguably the most coveted political job in California. It makes you the Golden State’s top prosecutor, you get tons of attention, and the job can serve as a launching pad to higher office, like it did for Vice President Kamala Harris. The Attorney General’s position will soon be vacant and lots of people want the job. Reporter: Katie Orr, KQED This will mean more regular beds and ICU beds at Pacifica Hospital of the Valley in Sun Valley. And the state is reopening Pacific Gardens Medical Center in Hawaiian Gardens, which had closed four years ago. Reporter: Jackie Fortier, KPCC San Jose Senator Dave Cortese says despite the fanfare around Newsom's goal to start re-opening next month, plenty of disagreements remain. That includes a proposal for weekly testing of students. Reporter: Guy Marzorati, KQED Just over three thousand inmates have gotten their first dose of the vaccine so far, but it still takes a few weeks for it to take effect. Health experts fear the worst is yet to come. Reporter: Marco Siler-Gonzales, KQED COVID-19 has spread like wildfire through California’s prisons and jails. To reduce caseloads and deaths, the state has prioritized certain groups of inmates for early release. Reporter: Lucy Copp The California Report Magazine: The History of 'Amazing Grace' and U.S PresidentsFor years, there’s been this link between Amazing Grace” and U.S. presidents all along the political spectrum. Reporter: Chloe Veltman, KQED
15 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
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