The Pondering Primates Podcast
By UoE AthHumSecSoc
The podcast's very own Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ponderingprimates/. Read the page details for information on the team and more!
All views the hosts'/guests' own, not necessarily the Society's.
The Pondering Primates PodcastFeb 05, 2020
S2: Summer Special: Dr. Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens on Anwar al-Awlaki's western jihad
In this unexpected addition to the series, Daniel speaks to Dr. Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens. Meleagrou-Hitchens is a lecturer in Terrorism and Radicalisation at King’s College London and Research Director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University. He is an expert on extremist movements whose research on jihadism has taken him as far afield as Iraq and East Africa and whose articles have appeared in Foreign Policy and The Wall Street Journal among many other outlets. His first book, Incitement: Anwar al-Awlaki’s Western Jihad was released last month; it is an analysis of perhaps the foremost English-language jihadist recruiter and propagandist of recent years, and the book, Awlaki, and jihad are the main topics of this episode. You can follow Alexander on Twitter here.
NOTE: The last five minutes-ish of the audio in this episode is a bit dysfunctional, which means both Daniel and Alexander's tracks play over each other a little and there are a few awkward seconds of silence where there weren't any. It is still audible, though, and the rest of the episode is fine. Just in case anyone was wondering!
S2: A Coda and a Farewell
In which Daniel concludes the series, and his tenure as president of the Society, with a farewell message.
S2 E21: Finale with a Philosopher- A.C. Grayling on Brexit, coronavirus, humanism, the history of philosophy, and more.
Professor A.C. Grayling is a British philosopher and writer and Master of the New College of the Humanities in London. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Society of Arts, a Vice-President of Humanists UK, and an honorary associate of the National Secular Society, he is a frequent contributor to magazines and newspapers such as Prospect and The Guardian. He has written over 30 books on topics ranging from philosophy and politics to ethics and friendship. Some of his most recent books include Towards The Light, Ideas That Matter: A Personal Guide for the 21st Century, Liberty in the Age of Terror : A Defence of Civil Society and Enlightenment Values, The God Argument, Democracy and its Crisis, and The History of Philosophy. He has just recently released a new book on constitutions and reform, The Good State: On the Principles of Democracy. In this episode, the final regular one of this run, Daniel speaks to him on a variety of subjects ranging from humanism and philosophy to Brexit and wine-drinking.
S2 E20- Andrew Copson: Humanism, Humanists UK, secularism, and writing
Andrew Copson is the Chief Executive of Humanists UK and President of Humanists International. Andrew has represented humanist organisations to places such as the House of Commons and the United Nations and has contributed to many outlets including New Humanist, The Guardian, and New Statesman and has appeared on TV and radio many times. He is the author of Secularism: A Very Short Introduction and, with A.C. Grayling, he edited The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of Humanism. With Alice Roberts, he has authored the upcoming The Little Book of Humanism which relates wisdom from thousands of years of humanist thought. Visit his website here for more, including information on his previous books, and see here to preorder The Little Book of Humanism. You can also follow Andrew on Twitter here.
S2 E19: Peter Hitchens: coronavirus, dissent, conformity, Scotland, history, and literature
Peter Hitchens is an English journalist and author who writes for The Mail on Sunday. Once a revolutionary socialist, he has long since been a Burkean conservative and Anglican Christian who believes that Britain has lost its way over the past century. He views British society as irredeemably fallen thanks to the decline of Christianity, marriage, and traditional values. Once a foreign correspondent in Moscow and Washington, he has travelled widely and written on a multitude of topics. His books include The Abolition of Britain, The Abolition of Liberty, The Rage Against God, Short Breaks in Mordor, and, most recently, The Phoney Victory. In this episode, recorded not long before Boris Johnson's announcement of a national lockdown on 23rd March 2020, Daniel speaks to him on a variety of topics including coronavirus, dissent, conformity, Scotland, history, and literature.
S2 E18: Conrad Hamilton part 2- a long digression on China (and some more on Jordan Peterson)
In this episode, Daniel and Conrad discuss China and the Chinese Communist Party, the rights and wrongs of Chinese policy, democracy, freedom, revolution and much else. This second part of the discussion was an unplanned digression so it made sense to separate the conversation into two episodes; in the notes for the previous episode can be found details about Conrad and his work, and that episode deals primarily with Jordan Peterson.*
*Disclaimer- I should add that the figures I cited for the Uighur demographic shift in Xinjiang were unfounded. I read them in an article but couldn't find the source to back the figures up, so I retract that. -Daniel
S2 E17: Conrad Hamilton part 1- critiquing Jordan Peterson
*Conrad and I went on a rather wide tangent debating China and the CCP; since that seemed suited to being part of a separate episode, this conversation has been divided into two parts. This first part mostly deals with Jordan Peterson, while the second part features our enjoyable debate on China. As a disclaimer I should also say I didn't get the chance in either part to respond to Conrad's point about Mao's China which appears in this episode- needless to say, his views are his own as my views are my own! Perhaps another time, Conrad; there was much we didn't get to discuss... -Daniel
S2 E16: Psychology, fear, and more from Los Angeles with Dr Patrick Lockwood
Daniel talks to Dr Patrick Lockwood, a Los Angeles based psychologist who’s lectured on trauma, neuroscience, critical theory, and many other topics. He offers science-based psychological help for those at risk of or dealing with burnout and makes YouTube videos in which he discusses psychology, politics, and culture. He’s also the author of the book The Fear Problem: How Technology and Culture Have Hijacked Our Minds and Lives and is working on a new book entitled The Mind Diet. Patrick discusses the psychology of fear and its effects on society and culture, among other things.
The Psychology Checkup- Patrick's YouTube channel, with many videos addressing mental health issues.
S2 E15: Seth Andrews- atheism, activism, politics, Trump, Game of Thrones, and more!
Seth Andrews was a Christian fundamentalist and radio host for decades before he left faith behind and founded The Thinking Atheist in 2009. TTA is an online community, YouTube channel, website, and podcast and is one of the biggest communities of nonbelievers online. Seth has been actively engaged in atheist activism in the US for a decade and has authored the books Deconverted: A Journey from Religion to Reason, Sacred Cows: A Lighthearted Look at Belief and Tradition Around the World, and Ghost Stories: Original Tales & Ghostly Urban Legends. Here he discusses his personal journey, his activism, US politics, the Game of Thrones finale, and much more. He lives in Oklahoma with his wife Natalie and enjoys gaming (badly, by his own admission).
S2 E14: Ben Sixsmith discusses conservatism, agnosticism, literature- and much else besides!
Daniel talks to Ben Sixsmith, an Englishman living in Poland and writer of fiction, poetry, essays, articles, and reviews among other things; his writing has been featured in an array of publications, including Quillette, The Spectator USA, The American Conservative, Areo, and Arc Digital. He’s also the author of the book Kings & Comedians: A Brief History of British Polish Relations. He writes from a self-described conservative, agnostic perspective. You can find out more about him and his work at his website and on Twitter.
S2 E13: Dr Nathan G. Alexander on the history of race and atheism
Daniel is joined by Dr Nathan G. Alexander, a Canadian historian who specialises in the history of race and racism as well as the history of atheism and secularisation and often combines the two, as in his recent book Race in a Godless World: Atheism, Race, and Civilization, 1850-1914- the subject of this episode. Nathan is working on a new book about the history of the word ‘racism’ itself. See his website for more details about his work, including books and articles.
S2 E12: Prof. Matthew McManus on Postmodern Conservatism and Jordan Peterson
Matt McManus is Professor of Politics and International Relations at TEC de Monterrey. He is author of the books Making Human Dignity Central to International Human Rights Law and The Rise of Post-Modern Conservatism: Neoliberalism, Post-Modern Culture, and Reactionary Politics. His upcoming books include the edited version of essays What Is Post-Modern Conservatism: Essays On Our Hugely Tremendous Times and, with others, Myth and Mayhem: A Leftist Critique of Jordan Peterson. He has written for outlets such as Merion West, Areo, and Quillette, and in this episode he talks to Daniel about the idea of postmodern conservatism and Jordan Peterson.
Follow Matt on Twitter here if you want to find out more about his articles and books.
S2 E11: Aayushi Gupta on the Philosophy and Practice of Photography
S2 E10: Prof. Richard Wiseman- science, skepticism, psychology, and more.
S2 E9: Maryam Namazie- Apostasy, Blasphemy, Dissent, Islam, and Dancing
Maryam Namazie is a famed British-Iranian human rights activist and secularist, spokesperson for the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and One Law for All, and hated enemy of the regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran. In this episode, Daniel speaks to her about these, and other, matters. Please find her website, with links to all of her associated organisations among other things, here.
S2 E8: Adam Ramsay- Open Democracy, fascism, and fundamentalism
Adam Ramsay is a journalist and writer at Open Democracy, and is co-editor of its UK branch. He tweets @adamramsay and his articles for OD can be found here. In this episode of the podcast, Daniel talks to Adam before his talk to the Society about OD and Adam's recently co-authored report into US Christian fundamentalist funding of the European far-right, among other things, and then Adam takes audience questions after the talk (the talk itself was not recorded).
S2 E7: Helen Pluckrose
Daniel talks to Helen Pluckrose, writer, editor of Areo Magazine, self-described "exile from the humanities", one of the trio behind the Grievance Studies sting (with Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay), and with Lindsay co-author of the upcoming book 'Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity--And Why This Harms Everybody'. In this podcast Helen discusses the sting and the problems with critical theory in academia among many other things.
Pre-order Helen and James Lindsay's upcoming book here.
S2 E6: A Chat with Duncan Sutherland on Film and TV
In which Daniel and his dear friend Duncan Sutherland, an aspiring filmmaker and connoisseur of that art form, have a pleasantly rambling conversation on film and TV.
Duncan's Twitter can be found here: @DuncanSLand
S2 E5: Halloween Special: Professor Chris French on ghosts and science
S2 E4: A Conversation with Josep Martí Bouis
Daniel talks to Josep Martí Bouis, a theology student at the University of Edinburgh, in a wide-ranging discussion on science, faith, religion, atheism, morality, and more.
S2 E3: Prof. Frank Cogliano on Thomas Jefferson- Live!
S2 E2: Truth, Beauty, and Goodness: an open discussion between believers and non-believers- live!
Season 2 (2019-2020) Episode 1: Dr Iona Italia- India, migration, Areo, and much more!
Iona's website: www.ionaitalia.com/
Two for Tea podcast: soundcloud.com/user-761174326
Iona's Twitter: @IonaItalia
S1 Episode 7: On Spirituality with Rev Dr Liam Fraser- Live!
S1 Episode 6: Milan Marcus of the Jewish Society
Adam and Sam sit down with Milan Marcus, president of the University of Edinburgh Jewish Society for a conversation centred around his thoughts and personal experience with Judaism, antisemitism, Israel, and much more.