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Ten Great Conversations (Selection 2018)

Ten Great Conversations (Selection 2018)

Ten Selected Conversations - Paradigm Standards of Debate and Civility

Germain Greer and William F. Buckley plus two Cambridge Union members debate women’s rights in the first wave of modern feminism 1968.

Episode 143 of Firing Line. William F. Buckley in conversation with Noam Chomsky, recorded on April 3, 1969.

In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Thomas Metzinger about the scientific and experiential understanding of consciousness.

George Galloway, an opponent of the Iraq War caught up in an anti-journalist/anti-protestor sweep, testified to the US Senate Washington, DC on Tuesday, May 17, 2005. The Senators expected another acquiescent apologist, cowed by the surroundings and the spotlight. Galloway as a bad choice, as a man cut from the same cloth as the Senators: narcissistic, loving centre stage, carpe diem modus operandi. Look up the subsequent career of Senator Norm Coleman for an illuminating and objective scorecard on this combative exchange.

Author Will Self and Slavoj Zizek in conversation, part of Zizek’s press junket in support of his 2017 book 'Disparities'. Zizek is a smart fellow but often interviewed by sycophants or hostile contrarians so the conversation degenerates. Will Self comes armed with well-formed opinions but a genuine respectful interest in Zizek. This is fertile ground for good discourse.

WTF Podcast with Marc Maron - one of the seminal podcasts.

In this pair of WTF examples, Marc Maron interviews comedy legend Mel Brooks and erstwhile best friend Louis CK.

Mel Brooks is always good value but this conversation is from the golden year of the WTF Podcast where Maron is engaged and attentive. Mel is prodded out of solo anecdote mode early on - this was Marc Maron’s unusual superpower, in those days - and opens up to a sincere, sprawling, fascinating conversation. It remains a paradigm for all aspirant interview-focus podcasts.

Louis CK and Marc have a long history stretching back decades and the interview breaks the last of the conventions shackling podcasts to moribund old formats. The conversation is deeply personal, ranging over Louis CK’s long career - including his rise to the top of the comedy tree - fortuitously timed with Marc Maron finally enjoying his own success with WTF and therefore comfortable enough in his own skin to lay himself open to Louis; who uncharacteristically responds in kind.

“Henry Rollins met me [Ari Shaffir, comedian] in a hotel cafe in Edinburgh… to talk about travel. Henry goes all over the globe. He really likes to get off the beaten path and explore new places. I thought I liked seeing things, but Rollins takes it to a whole new level.”

“Graham Hancock is an English author and journalist, well known for books such as "Fingerprints Of The Gods" & his latest book "Magicians of the Gods".

Randall Carlson is a master builder and architectural designer, teacher, geometrician, geomythologist, geological explorer and renegade scholar.”

Joe Rogan is an American podcaster, stand-up comedian, UFC commentator and martial artist. His podcast Joe Rogan Experience is one of the most popular and influential crossover forces in the modern media landscape.

Michael Shermer is an Americn science writer, historian of science, sceptic and self-professed truth seeker. He’s a popular curator of interesting subjects and has a history of bringing authentic experts to the mic, to share some of their subject insight with the world.

Shermer has brought Carlson and Hancock to the JRE table to discuss Eygptology and, more fundamentally, the apparent conflict between entrenched academic orthodoxy and potentially ground-breaking outlier theory that challenges these comfortable conventions.

The conversation here is excellent and authentic and, particularly with the inclusion of academics in the field [later in the podcast] and Rogan’s protective support for Hancock and Carlson, it’s a rare of example of how we’d all like debate to be: passionate, considered, sincere and ultimately capable of advancing the needle (in some way) so the discourse wasn’t merely a performance or a waste of everyone’s energy.


Yanis Varoufakis

How To Construct A Global Revolution?

"Endangered Echoes" - Ten Selected Voices (November 2018)

"Endangered Echoes" - Ten Selected Voices (November 2018)

Top Thirty Standup Comedians By Poll (2018-2019)

Top Thirty Standup Comedians By Poll (2018-2019)