Episode Archive for November 2016

Only as Bad as it’s Ever Been: PJ O’Rourke on American Values, Politics and Culture

November 28, 2016

This week we’re dusting off a favorite Point of Inquiry episode from three years ago: Josh Zepps’ conversation with P.J. O’Rourke – humorist, cultural commentator and bestselling author of sixteen books. Originally broadcast in December of 2013, this episode’s subject matter is remarkably relevant for this current political and cultural moment, as we prepare for the presidency of a man whose campaign was based on the promise to return America to a golden age that really never existed.

O’Rourke is an early proponent of “gonzo journalism” and is a self described libertarian, he’s served as editor-in-chief of…

The Normalization of Hate: David Neiwert on Trump and the Rise of the Alt-Right

November 21, 2016

There’s no getting around the fact that the alt-right has come out of the shadows to fully embrace Trump as their candidate. From Steve Bannon to David Duke, controversial support did not wait long to rush to Trump’s side. It’s clear that for many “make America great again” may just mean to make America white again. To help us get to the root of this unprecedented following Trump has produced, we welcome author and award-winning journalist and blogger, David Neiwert.

Neiwert is an expert on the radical right and a correspondent for the anti-hate group the Southern…

Trump’s Victory and the Challenge to a Secular America, with Larry Decker

November 14, 2016

The religiously unaffiliated, also known as the “nones,” are currently the largest “faith” demographic in the country. Yet evangelicals beat them two to one in turnout at the polls. We live in an increasingly secular nation based on secular principles, but in government, the secular worldview is badly underrepresented. President-elect Donald Trump spoke to many American’s economic struggles, but his is also a victory for the religious right that rallied strongly behind him. Much of Trump’s platform and policy agenda is incredibly unpopular with the American people, which is part of what is so perplexing about his victory. Yet…

Comprehending the Incomprehensible: Samuel Arbesman on Rapidly Accelerating Technology

November 07, 2016

We live in a digital era in which science and technology have revealed new frontiers never before possible. In developing the complicated technologies that permeate our lives, is it possible that humans have failed to grasp the magnitude of the complexity they have created? This week’s guest is a complexity scientist, Samuel Arbesman, author of the new book Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension.

Arbesman explains that the rate of technological expansion is growing too quickly for our intellects to keep up, and the dangers of not understanding the inner workings of our creations are already…