Friday, May 2, 2008

In Our Time, Podcast Review

BBC's In Our Time is a great podcast about the history of ideas (or the history of thought as it was called in previous seasons). Recently I have found that issues of In Our Time provide great supplements for history and philosophy podcasts. Especially for more drawn out university lecture series, In Our Time can help you get acquainted and receive the head start needed in order to more thoroughly enjoy the in depth content.

A relative disadvantage with In Our Time is that it has no feed history. Only the latest issue is kept in the feed. However, all previous chapters can be heard on-line from the archives. For a 40 minute listen, not so bad after all.

W.B. YeatsI thought In Our Time would always put the latest program in the feed and by persistently downloading I would have the archive on my computer, but last week (Yeats and Irish Politics) no such thing occurred. There was a legal issue and this one could only be heard on line. Moreover, a recent computer crash wiped out my carefully built up archive and so I am stuck with listening in front of the PC.

Today there was a discussion about the Enclosures that rationalized land use in Britain, made possible an agricultural revolution and gave way to industrialization. The development was much lamented by those in love with pastoral sights, but how bad was it?

Last week Materialism was discussed and it had one of the finest quotes from an old source, but still loaded for ignition:
If we go back to the beginning we shall find that ignorance and fear created the gods; that fancy, enthusiasm, or deceit adorned or disfigured them; that weakness worships them; that credulity preserves them, and that custom, respect and tyranny support them.

Yeats I already mentioned and since my last review there has also been discussion of the Norman Yoke. William the Conqueror brought the Normans to rule England, but was it a yoke after all?

In Our Time is regularly reviewed on this blog. It can be tracked with the label In Our Time. The podcast is one of the best that is around and fit to almost all audiences. All reviews are listed here. The most recent are:
King Lear,
Ada Lovelace,
The Social Contract,
Plate Tectonics,
The Fisher King.

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