Tag Archives | Debate

Detroit’s Alter Road divide

alter road and brooks street

A fence erected just past the Alter Rd and Brooks St intersection, preventing travelers by foot and vehicle from getting into Grosse Pointe Park by that road

Michigan’s 8 Mile road became world famous with the rise of Eminem. We all know the story. One side is in the city of Detroit, one side is the city of Warren. One side is mostly white, the other mostly black. Both sides of 8 Mile are poverty stricken neighborhoods yet the locals see 8 Mile as more than a divide between cities, they see it as a divide between cultures and peoples. Less famous is Detroit’s other Berlin wall of a road, Alter road. Unlike 8 Mile it runs completely within the limits of Detroit but residents view it as a dividing line of cultures and lifestyles between the poverty stricken blight of Detroit and an affluent predominantly white Grosse Pointe Park.

The divide is more visible here than it is at 8 Mile.… Read the rest

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The Ideological Babelfish

Are you tired of the communication problems endemic to political or religious dialogue? Frustrated about talking past each other in political debates? Have no fear… Our wizards of innovation and science have a solution for you! This product promises to revolutionize the way that we pedantically micro-analyze eachothers linguistic choices for the rest of all time! It will save the world!

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The Voice of Openness: Does social media aid Democracy? [Debate]

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Social media had all the appearance of a democratic revolution, hailed after the Arab Spring as the power of the people. But there’s now a growing army of government and corporate propagandists seeking to control and influence opinion. Has social media become a threat to democracy? Or is it still the voice of freedom? Lyse Doucet, Carl Miller, Steve Richards and Caspar Melville discuss.

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Beyond Reality – Does Science Really Have A Clue? [Debate]

117 - Beyond Reality

From trees to houses, atoms to stars, we assume our senses and instruments reveal the truth about the world. But could our picture of reality be radically incomplete? Is this hocus pocus best reserved for fools and philosophers, or does it open a world of infinite potential?

The Panel

Award-winning novelist Joanna Kavenna, mathematical physicist Roger Penrose, and post-postmodern philosopher Hilary Lawson get real about reality.

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New Gods: Should We Banish Faith Forever? [Debate]

234 - New Gods
Evidence and reason are supposedly the basis of our beliefs. Yet religion continues to flourish, and new gods conquer even the most rational minds. Is unjustified, groundless belief an essential part of human nature? Or can we banish faith forever?

The Panel: American anthropologist Scott Atran, Cambridge philosopher Simon Blackburn and humanist Pavan Dhaliwal examine the foundations of thought.

(Find more debates like this at IAI TV)

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Do Doctors Really Know Best? [Debate]

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Despite the recent bad press, most of us still think doctor knows best. Yet with medical intervention now the third biggest killer after heart disease and cancer, is it time to call a halt to our trust? Should we end the monopoly on prescription? Would this give us ownership over our own health, or risk lives and return us to Victorian quackery?

The Panel

Former health minister Gisela Stuart, radical psychiatrist David Healy and former Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners Clare Gerada put the medial profession on trial.

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The Chemistry of Freedom: Is Free Will an Illusion? [Debate]

 

The cry of democrats and revolutionaries, we value freedom above almost anything. But neuroscientists claim they can predict decisions seven seconds before we act. Might free will be an illusion? Do we need to reimagine what it means to be human, or does freedom win over bad science?

The Panel

Neuroscientist Patrick Haggard, Templeton Prize winning physicist George FR Ellis and philosopher of mind and action Jennifer Hornsby consider where choice begins and chance ends.

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After Evolution [Debate]

 

Everything from criminality to love of gossip is in our genes according to some biologists. Yet behaviour varies dramatically between cultures. Does this cultural variation mean that evolutionary psychology is flawed? Can it be rescued with a new theory or is culture beyond genetics?

The Panel — Julian Baggini explores the limits of evolution with philosopher Janet Radcliffe Richards, anthropologist Daniel Everett and Oxford evolutionary psychologist Oliver Scott Curry.

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Do Women Make Better Leaders? [Debate]

From the boardroom to politics we look to increase the representation of women. But if women were dominant what impact would it have? Might women be best suited to 21st century culture and create a productive economy and less conflictual politics? Or is this utopian and sexist nonsense?

The Panel

Darwinian philosopher Helena Cronin, Labour politician Diane Abbott, and Morgan Stanley Vice-President Niamh Corbett consider a change of culture.

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Understand the Mysteries of Spacetime

New Adventures in Spacetime - Eleanor Knox

For the online-education-interested, the Institute of Art and Ideas has started updating their free online courses with short teaser videos that give a feel for what a course will be like.

One of these is “New Adventures in Spacetime“, a fascinating course by philosopher of physics Eleanor Knox from King’s College in London. Why not spend a few holiday hours wrapping our heads around what physicists talk about when they talk about spacetime?

The details of the course can be found here – or see the whole list of IAI Academy courses here.

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