Thursday, April 28, 2011

Listening ideas for 28 April 2011

Africa Past & Present
Zulu Intellectual History
Hlonipha Mokoena (Anthropology, Columbia U.) on her new book: Magema Fuze: The Making of a Kholwa Intellectual (2011). Explains the rise of a black intelligentsia in 19th- and early 20th-century South Africa through the remarkable life of Fuze, the first Zulu-speaker to publish a book in the language: Abantu Abamnyama Lapa Bavela Ngakona / The Black People and Whence They Came.
(review, feed)

Thinking Allowed
Craft & Community and Hunting
Does making things really make us happy? How does craft contribute to bringing people together? David Gauntlett and Richard Sennett join Laurie to discuss
(review, feed)

In Our Time
Cogito Ergo Sum
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss one of the most famous statements in philosophy: "Cogito ergo sum" or "I think therefore I am". With Susan James, John Cottingham and Stephen Mulhall.
(review, feed)

Stone Pages Archaeo News
Archaeo News Podcast 190
In collaboration with British Archaeological Jobs Resource. With a.o. 'Gay caveman' is not gay and is not a caveman
(review, feed)

Mahabharata Podcast
Cutting the Muster
Episode 55 - As if intending to seal his fate, Duryodhana warms up the Pandavas by sending over an odious gambler Uluka as a messenger to goad them into fighting. Then Bhisma kindly gives us an inventory of the fighters who will take place in the coming battle.
(review, feed)

Center for Near Eastern Studies
Humanitarian Action in the Middle East and North Africa Under Scrutiny: Criminalizing Humanitarian Engagement
A lecture by Naz Modirzadeh, Harvard University
(review, feed)

The Economist
Threats to the Syrian regime
David Lesch, a professor of Middle East history, offers a deeper look at Syria's president as the country teeters on revolution
(review, feed)

Het Marathoninterview
Job Cohen, politicus
Voordat hij als politicus actief werd had Cohen al een staat van dienst die een Marathoninterview rechtvaardigde. Aan de vooravond van zijn burgemeesterschap van Amsterdam nodigde A.J. Heerma van Voss daarom Job Cohen uit voor een goed langdurig gesprek op 29 december 2000.
(review, feed)

Ian Morris at SALT Seminars (The Long Now)

We have encountered Ian Morris before on this blog when I reviewed his appearance on Radio Open Source. Also his lecture at SALT Seminars (aka The Long Now Podcast) comes forth from his book Why the West Rules for Now.You will get the same point again, how geography shapes history in general and how in particular the West profited from the circumstance it was closer to the Americas than China. Morris is a great speaker, so even if you are not immediately drawn to this subject, you are bound to enjoy this audio (feed). You can also see the lecture in video, which comes at a premium, but in my opinion not much is gained by the visuals.

What you can learn from this lecture by Ian Morris is not just how the West pulled ahead of the rest of the world and what the set of circumstances were to trigger this and how this in his opinion worked. His view is a general theory of history and therefore the approach, with such a prominent role of geography, can explain much more than just the rise (and impending fall) of the west. For example, as you can learn from the Q&A session at the end, it also explains how the peoples of the steppe rose to become dominant and what next development neutralized their relative advantage.

Mind, this theory is not just about geography. People's scientific, technological and cultural achievements are also crucial, yet Morris claims that every human advance is rapidly copied all over the world, neutralizing the social advantages and setting the balance back to a geographically determined stacking of the cards. However, the new technologies do cause certain geographic criteria to become more or alternatively less important. As to the main point, not until ocean travel becomes technically available, the distance to the Americas is not a relevant factor to set the west apart from the east.

More SALT (Long Now):
Quick podcast reviews,
Disappearing cultures - Wade Davis,
Ran Levi about The Long Now,
The Long Now Podcast.