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A Point of View
A Point of View
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qng8

Weekly reflections on topical issues from a range of contributors including historian Lisa Jardine, novelist Sarah Dunant and writer Alain de Botton.


Trust in Voices
April 2017

A L Kennedy commends paying attention to voices as a way to discern truth telling.

"Listening to our media, our public voices, as if we're listening to people in our everyday lives, holding them to that standard and not their own can help us to know when we're being driven towards the sound of a faked emotion or spun a tale."


An audio podcast in MP3 format.



The Past in the Present
April 2017

A L Kennedy reflects on the way our past shapes our present and our future.

"As groups we get trapped in our pasts, not quite repeating them, but sometimes forcing our futures out of shape for the sake of their ghosts."


An audio podcast in MP3 format.



The Power of Reading
April 2017

AL Kennedy extols the virtues of reading and its power to encourage respect for the value and sovereignty of other people's existence.

"It allows you to look and feel your way through the lives of others who may apparently be very other - and yet here they are - inside your head."


An audio podcast in MP3 format.



Bad News is Good Business
April 2017

AL Kennedy says we should reject the media outlets that peddle only bad news whether real or fake in ever shriller voices, depicting a world of unremitting awfulness.

"Fake facts - let's just call them lies - and deceptively selective coverage have to be peddled with greater than average outrage and shock just to keep their frailty from being examined too closely."


An audio podcast in MP3 format.



Dementia Rights
April 2017

Tom Shakespeare argues that viewing dementia as a disability could help those suffering from the condition win greater rights. In the last few decades, he writes, we have seen many impairment groups unite to demand a better deal from government. "But when it comes to dementia, we are still thinking in terms of disease and tragedy and passivity". He believes treating dementia as a disability - with all the legal ramifications that involves - may help us change our attitudes and our policies.


An audio podcast in MP3 format.



The Power and Peril of Stories
March 2017

Tom Shakespeare reflects on how all the political populists who now occupy our imaginations are master story tellers.People need stories and these stories appeal to us, he says. But he argues that as well as persuasive stories, more than ever we need facts.

"The plural of anecdote is not data, as a professor used to tell me", he writes.


An audio podcast in MP3 format.



Sic transit
March 2017

Tom Shakespeare on why - in today's world of uncertainty and fear - it may give us some political consolation to remember that while everything positive in life is short-lived, so too is everything negative. He argues that believing that the best is behind us stops us making the most of present opportunities.

"To wallow in the past is to be sentimental, to seek an impossible return", he writes. "Our task is to create something different but equally fulfilling in future".


An audio podcast in MP3 format.



The Screensaver of Life, or the Idling Brain
March 2017

Stella Tillyard looks at the phonomenon of the "idling brain" - when the brain is supposedly at rest.

She ponders what it means that we have no idea what's running through the minds of the people closest to us and argues that - in an increasingly fractured world - knowing what's going on in each other's minds might help us understand each other.

Scientists, she points out, have taken up the challenge. One group of psychologists estimate that people spend somewhere between 25 and 50% of their waking hours engaged in thoughts unrelated to the here and now.


An audio podcast in MP3 format.



Flying Saucers and an Uncertain World
March 2017

"Human beings shape their perceptions according to their beliefs", writes John Gray, not the other way round.

He says people "will persuade themselves to believe almost anything, no matter how far-fetched, if it enables them to preserve their view of the world".

He asks how we can best come to terms with the realisation that the world is frighteningly unpredictable.


An audio podcast in MP3 format.



The Spectre of Populism
February 2017

John Gray look at the history of populism. He argues that modern-day populism has largely been created by centre parties who have identified themselves with an unsustainable status quo.

He looks at how populism is likely to play out in the upcoming elections in France and Holland.


An audio podcast in MP3 format.


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Whilst all the podcasts listed in this directory are selected in line with our criteria, we do strongly recommend that the contents of all podcasts, podcast feeds and channels are regularly auditioned to ensure that they are suitable and appropriate for the age range of the children and young people.

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