Podcasts and More for February 23

Weekly podcastsThis week’s podcasts cover a wide range of topics from should people be forced to govern, the true nature of Christmas, ISIS, vaccinations and much more.

Podcasts

Don’t Let it Go … Unheard: Comparing the Language of Creators and Destroyers – As Amy Peikoff described it at the start, the integrating idea for this week’s show is the choice of language and the consequences that choice has in creating or destroying values. The main concrete discussed is ISIS and the failure of our government, and of all Western government in general, to identify the actual nature and identity of the enemy and the effects this failure on our ability to defeat them and protect the rights of Americans. They recommend that everyone read an article from The Atlantic by Graeme Wood titled What ISIS Really Wants┬áto get a clearer picture of the enemy. The touched briefly on Ayn Rand’s statement on why it is very important to clearly define your terms, an issue that comes up again in Yaron Brook’s show.

You can find Amy’s show notes here.

Philosophy in Action – Each week Diana Hsieh and Greg Perkins answer listener submitted questions in quite a bit of depth, usually getting through only 2 or 3 questions each episode. This week they answer questions on:

  • Is it proper to force people to govern if no one wants to? I found this was a pretty fun question in a lot of ways. It was very rationalistic (i.e. being detached from reality) and avoids the fact that if no one wants to govern, who exactly will force others to work for the government?
  • Should people be forced to vaccinate their children to improve herd immunity?
  • How can you avoid interruptions at work?

Peikoff.com Episode 361 – This episode is a special 45 minute presentation for Dr. Peikoff’s radio program on the history and meaning of Christmas as it is practiced today, especially in the United States. Very interesting information. I find these special presentations from his old radio show interesting as you get to hear the behind the scenes discussion that take place during commercial and station identification breaks.

The Yaron Brook Show – Yaron’s show is a great program to listen to as he is very passionate about the issues he talks about. Before getting to the topic of the Objectivist virtues from the homework, reading chapter 1 of The Virtue of Selfishness, he covered a number of topics from current events.

  • A pretty lengthy discussion of Rudy Giulianni’s statements over the weekend that Obama does not love America. This was a great topic as it brought out in a lot of detail on the topic covered briefly in Amy Peikoff’s podcast, that of being clear about what is meant. Yaron discusses first what America means, what is the fundamental, defining characteristic of America. Once you know that then you can move on to understanding what it means to Love and only then can you determine whether Obama loves America.
  • A fairly lengthy discussion of ISIS primarily relating to Obama’s comments about the nature of the enemy, or rather his refusal to discuss the actual nature of the enemy. Yaron also recommends reading the article in The Atlantic that was discussed on the Amy Peikoff show.
  • Scott Walker
  • He ended his show, as he tries to do each week, with good news. This week he discussed the Oscars, pleased that Whiplash won 3, and also recommended watching The Grand Budapest Hotel, which he found to be a highly stylized movie with a great sense of life.
  • He announced that there will be a special broadcast of his show on Friday, probably at 12:15pm EST from CPAC in Washington, DC. That will make a great bookend to the week.

And More

After completing the “homework” for Yaron Brook’s show this week I remembered that there is an audio version by Ayn Rand of the Objectivist Ethics on the Ayn Rand Institute’s Soundcloud feed. If you didn’t know they had one, you’ll want to check it out as there is tons of material there, not only current recordings of podcasts like the Debt Dialogues but also a good number of talks and Q&A sessions by Ayn Rand.

After completing the first two volumes in the thee volume series A Self Study Guide to Political Islam by Bill Warner, I am continuing my study of Islam with Questioning Islam: Tough Questions and Honest Answer About the Muslim Religion by Peter Townsend. I am not very far into it yet but the set up so far leads me to believe it will be an objective look Islam. My sense so far is that this book will deal more with the religious side of Islam whereas the Self Study series dealt with more the political side, though the two cannot be completely separated.

Along the same lines, I also read over the weekend the article in the latest The Objective Standard by Craig Biddle titled Islamic Jihad and Western Faith. You need to be a subscriber to read the entire article and I recommend subscribing as there is a ton of good material in each episode and your subscription gives you access to the back issues as well as current ones.