Thursday, March 26, 2009

The weekly social science stop - BBC's Thinking Allowed

Listening to BBC's Thinking Allowed is slowly beginning to become a weekly delight. In addition to the large variety of social science subjects, there is also a feel of community, as the host Laurie Taylor relates to the subjects personally and takes time each week to report listeners' reactions and respond to them.

A number of interesting subjects have been touched in the past weeks. This week had a coherent feature of the politics of climate change and a new capitalism. The week before that I was surprised how interesting the subjects rugby and magic could be. Then there as a show in which among others the idea of America's Wild West was historically pin-pointed. And last but not least, a show already mentioned earlier this week in my review of a lecture at the RSA. Laurie Taylor spoke with James Boyle about the way intellectual property rules are hurting culture.

As a result of the rapport with the audience there can be unexpected twists in the chain of shows. Laurie told the joke of a white horse entering a bar. The barman exclaimed: what a coincidence, we have a drink named after you. To which the horse replied: "What, Eric?" This joke triggered so many reactions and suggestions, that the origins of the joke and the reason why the horse must be called Eric, became a subject of ongoing interest. To which Taylor added more jokes.

More Thinking Allowed:
Substance and Sociology,
Hole in the Wall,
Moral relativism,
Male Immaturity.

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