Monday, November 15, 2010

Heads-up for 15 November 2010

Philosophy Bites
What is Philosophy?
What is Philosophy? We asked some of our contributors this question for this bonus episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast. Philosophy Bites is made in association with the Institute of Philosophy.
(review, feed)

Office Hours
Keith Hampton on Wireless Internet and Public Spaces
This episode, we talk with Keith Hampton about his research on wireless internet and public spaces. Does public wifi encourage a stronger public sphere or diminish public life by encouraging everyone to live inside their own private digital bubble? Hampton argues it’s more complicated than that, and public WiFi can, in fact, encourage many different kinds of social interaction, both online and offline.
(review, feed)

Wise Counsel Podcast
John Doe - Transformed in Prison
His first years in prison were a continuation of his earlier experience; he continued to use drugs, later giving them up for exercise as a means of self-protection. He met a woman visiting the prison and formed a platonic friendship with her. When she became pregnant (by another man) he formed a relationship with her child. This experience helped him to realize that the purpose of life is found in relationships. About ten years into his sentence, he shifted from a motivation to "do something crazy" so as to secure his "lifer" status within the prison (apparently something experienced as comforting by prisoners) to wanting a life outside the prison. Also about this time he was tricked into participating in a substance abuse treatment program involving a good deal of psychotherapy which he found very valuable. He dealt with chronic neck pain with intensive meditation which ultimately produced in him a feeling of great contentment and peace despite continuing pain. At this moment he realized that his purpose was to be helpful to others.
(review, feed)

Power struggle over Ireland - Irish History Podcast

In the tenth century Gaelic clans and Vikings struggled for dominance over Ireland and this history is in a very captivating manner told by Fin Dwyer at the Irish History Podcast (feed).

Changing Times in Ireland 902-930 is the fifth episode in this podcast that chronologically takes us through the history of Ireland. Dwyer kicks off in this episode on 902, when the Vikings for a short time had lost power in Ireland and the two major Irish power brokers the O'Neills and the Eoganacht battle it out for dominion over the whole island. As Dwyer frequently emphasizes during this chapter this internal war was to have many unexpected outcomes and would eventually see a deep change in the power balance.

Dwyer produces short episodes (around 30 minutes) with clear breaks within them to make sure the listener does not get distracted, making for a very accessible history. People who would want to learn more about Irish history should not just follow the audio of Irish History Podcast, but read the blog posts as well.

A thing that surprises me until this point in the chronology is how little connection there is between Ireland and the history outside, apart from that of the Vikings. I expected influences from England and Scotland especially, though in these ages, they were also under the Vikings. And while we talk Vikings, I would also recommend the latest issue of BBC's In Our Time, about Vikings, even if it were too short to my taste.

More Irish History:
Conspiracy Trials in Ireland,
Hidden Heritage,
Irish History in Podcasts,
Irish History Podcast.