Eclecticist

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Synopsis

Eclecticist is an exploration of everything, one topic at a time. Based in London, we take a very British perspective with a heavily colloquial bent on topics that either interest us or we feel warrant investigation. Our mission is to educate ourselves while researching and discussing a spectrum of interesting and mostly contemporary areas with the fringe benefit of distributing the value to any and all listeners. Please spend a little time, have a conversation with your friends and if you will, give us some feedback. Our method of operation is as simple as we could engineer: agree and research a topic then discuss our findings through the filter of our viewpoints. After each show, we publish the working document. Eclecticist.co.uk.

Episodes

  • ECLECTICIST 48: Harris and Adams on Trump

    ECLECTICIST 48: Harris and Adams on Trump

    28/08/2017 Duration: 01h17min

    Sam Harris has spent the last God knows how long railing against Donald Trump. He’s had many people on his podcast who are in as much disbelief as he is. And he’s one heck of an atheist I can tell you. Concerned his Waking Up podcast was becoming an echo chamber, he asked his audience to suggest a Trump defender for his stated reasons of providing ‘balance’ and to try and understand how on earth someone not completely insane or a completely ignorant ‘low information’ type can support a man like Trump. The resulting conversation was interesting and fairly depressing. That’s what we’re going to attempt to unpack here today. Eclecticist.co.uk.

  • ECLECTICIST 46: The Migrant Crisis

    ECLECTICIST 46: The Migrant Crisis

    11/07/2017 Duration: 01h02min

    How much of a hard time can you give a person if all they were doing is trying to improve their life? One on side of the polarizing European Migrant Crisis debate, that is their argument and reason enough to rally together to help these poor people and get them back on their feet with all the milk and honey that those of us fortunate enough to be born in the west, take for granted. What of the other half? And what are the measurable consequences of the crisis beyond the United Kingdom becoming two distinct tribes? Eclecticist.co.uk.

  • ECLECTICIST 47: Multiculturalism

    ECLECTICIST 47: Multiculturalism

    11/07/2017 Duration: 58min

    'If there were only one religion in England there would be danger of despotism, if there were two, they would cut each other's throats, but there are thirty, and they live in peace and happiness'. So said the writer, philosopher and all round clever clogs Voltaire (as he liked to call himself) during the European 'Enlightenment' period. Multiculturalism as a strategy is largely a European invention designed to produce an all inclusive bazaar of human difference housed in the internally borderless EU superstate. Create a suitably non-interventionist, non-religious, socialist-leaning liberal progressive democratic framework and you will appeal to the all those who live in countries that don't share these sets of principles. In the case of European countries, add a generous welfare system, a commitment to aiding those fleeing war or persecution and a large scoop of the 'guilt of empire' and you get a virtual mania of xenophilia. Is it to be 'united in difference' or 'competition for the dominant culture'? Eclect

  • ECLECTICIST 45: Social Media

    ECLECTICIST 45: Social Media

    11/01/2017 Duration: 01h19min

    "Please, for the love of all that's glorious in the world, look at these cat pictures." So says the global conversation according to that mass interactive communication platform: Social Media. One can scarcely bear to imagine what life might have been like before the brow dampening joy of tweeting one's whereabouts to the indelible archive that is the Internet. "Validate me now, you sods." So says the unflinchingly self aggrandizing mode of standing before the precipice of the infinite echo chamber. Possibly the perfect manifestation of Aestheticism, we are as Dorian Gray—made monstrous bipolar narcissists forever shoveling coal into the furnace of negative feedback, built from an advertisers wildest fantasy. "You blocked me on Facebook, and now you're going to die." Eclecticist.co.uk.

  • ECLECTICIST 44: Political Correctness

    ECLECTICIST 44: Political Correctness

    08/12/2016 Duration: 01h19min

    What can we not say this week? Who will I offend if I speak disparagingly about potatoes? The Irish? Christ. Oh wait, oh jeez-louise, son of a sea-cook. Can I say that? Has the increasingly thin skin of the younglings given rise to the Trump phenomenon, the sensible minority are all terrified about? A natural reaction to the eggshells we've all been forced to hover over. Social Justice warriors: happy now? Eclecticist.co.uk.

  • ECLECTICIST 43: AI

    ECLECTICIST 43: AI

    25/10/2016 Duration: 01h14min

    Intelligence is generally defined as an ability to obtain and accumulate knowledge from which skills are developed and applied. The exclusive purview of the Human race currently. However, futurologists and increasingly, prominent scientists, industrialists and fear mongers would have you believe that credible machine intelligence is only around the corner, given our present rate of technological sophistication. Complex mathematics, Chess, Go, language comprehension and parallel computation - skills already attendant to the growing repertoire compiled into the Artificial Intelligence canon or AI as it has become better known. Are we on the cusp of delivering the greatest aide to human flourishing ever conceived or will we unleash a hostile replacement? What of the ethics upon considering arguably conscious electronic neighbours? Eclecticist.co.uk.

  • ECLECTICIST 42: American Conservatism

    ECLECTICIST 42: American Conservatism

    20/10/2016 Duration: 01h22min

    Avoiding godless communism. This is done by promoting prayer in school, believing climate change is a hoax, opposing abortion, supporting American exceptionalism, and generally only caring about one's own needs. Screw everyone else, it's all about me. Perhaps American Conservatism is actually a personality disorder like sociopathy. And how can we so reliably predict what a person's stance on climate change is by knowing where they stand on same-sex marriage? Isn't this tribe mentality? How far have we regressed? And since when was Jesus a conservative for Christ's sake? Eclecticist.co.uk.

  • ECLECTICIST 41: Racism

    ECLECTICIST 41: Racism

    05/10/2016 Duration: 01h20min

    Discussing race is never easy. It’s quite possibly the most divisive topic of our current era. A fair skinned person of european descent needs a lot of caveats before discussing anything pertaining to the lives and cultures of peoples of a different ethnic persuasion. And had better acknowledge his or her ‘privilege’ and apologise sincerely and profusely for his or her’s part in the exploitation of all non-white races since time immemorial. Otherwise, this person is a racist. Eclecticist.co.uk.

  • ECLECTICIST 40: Gambling

    ECLECTICIST 40: Gambling

    12/08/2016 Duration: 01h07min

    Probability theory is only really fun when money is involved. From a whimsical flutter on the outcome of mechanical race horses at the arcade to shorting airlines to slapping down a barber pole at a top carpet joint—nothing gets the brain opioids pumping like the glamourised institution that is gambling. We all want to be publicly validated for being right, lucky, blessed, smart or right. The rush of winning big when backing the underdog, the agony when your dead cert team fumbled the ball and cost you the lot, ten million pounds on the EuroMillions lottery going to a syndicate of twenty neighbours of yours, your last ten quid in change gone in three minutes on your favourite one arm bandit only to hear pound coins pumped into the winnings tray when your back is turned at the change cashier. The chance to fill your boots, to corral some well deserved karma, to pull back a little lady luck in times gone sour. Gambling is entertainingly additive. How does it work and what does it want? Eclecticist.co.uk.

  • ECLECTICIST 39: Television

    ECLECTICIST 39: Television

    15/07/2016 Duration: 02h33min

    Something that’s happening over there, displayed over here. Better yet, something that happened over there now displayed over here. Increasingly, something that never happened, displayed. There’s nothing not to like about the concept of television. We’re a highly visual species and the ability to see things that we have not witnessed (or are not witnessing) is a magic trick that in a just world, we should never get over. Ever since that great Scot, John Logie Baird managed to force his brain to accept the incredible abstraction that is the transmission of moving pictures, there has been nothing to slow the torrential adoption of the One Eyed Monster. We are now friends with Friends, tearful at the deaths of strangers, exhilarated at the feats of the brave and in thrall to the sway of advertisers. How great a part in our shared culture do the luminaries of television form? How fares their art? How might the wondrous technology itself change going forward? Eclecticist.co.uk.

  • ECLECTICIST 38: American Politics

    ECLECTICIST 38: American Politics

    18/06/2016 Duration: 01h18min

    American politics as seen from the UK, particularly during the ‘election season’ (a ‘season’ being a few years), is essentially one big sitcom...Palin, Bush, Gore, hanging chads, God, guns, gays, etc. Not a funny sitcom. There’s a kernel of truth to the BBC’s reporting, but it’s more often ‘Isn’t America dumb? Aren’t we wonderful?’ Living in the United States and seeing how the sausage is made, it’s more complicated than a one-note show with an obnoxious laugh track. America is a big country so you’re bound to have huge swaths of smart people along with equally huge numbers of ignoramuses. The latter is the low-hanging fruit, ripe for UK sensational headlines. That being said, Trump really exists. Eclecticist.co.uk.

  • ECLECTICIST 37: YouTube

    ECLECTICIST 37: YouTube

    13/06/2016 Duration: 01h24min

    How-tos, vlogs, gaming, fails and reviews—popular categories currently best represented by: how-to play Minecraft, Isn't my cat/makeup/life fabulous, watch as I play Minecraft, near fatalities during Darwin award bids and look at this latest smartphone. We are of course talking about the most viral destination on the web—YouTube. Since the mid-naughties, the Google-owned platform has accumulated over a billion users, streams hundreds of millions of hours of content daily through localised portals in 88 countries and 76 languages. In every dimension, YouTube is a massive going concern. What social needs does it fulfill? How has it changed us as a species and what meme might best speak to its future? Eclecticist.co.uk.

  • ECLECTICIST 36: Watches

    ECLECTICIST 36: Watches

    19/05/2016 Duration: 01h04min

    A watch is a general term for a small, wearable clock. After centuries of admirably telling the time of day, they soon expanded into various other time based arenas such as informing its owner of the day of the week, the month, moon phases, an alarm and even a stopwatch. In the 1970s the humble watch jumped on the digital bandwagon and went stratospheric. The ‘clockface’ gone; instead an array of futuristic numbers that dance and sparkle and even more time-themed features. Soon; a calculator of all things. Through the 80s, 90s and 2000s, watches got better and better and just when we thought we had a fully developed understanding of ‘the watch’, BAM! The smartwatch happened. This is all well and good but let’s not forget: a watch is wearable that is to say, it can be clothing or jewelry. Not only can it tell you the time, it can tell you that the person wearing it has good taste or should be killed. Eclecticist.co.uk.

  • ECLECTICIST 35: Mobile Phones

    ECLECTICIST 35: Mobile Phones

    02/05/2016 Duration: 59min

    Imagine a world where you forgo any plausible claim to privacy by paying for-profit companies in other lands to collect and analyse your personal data. Imagine further that the means with which said companies acquire your data is through a portable computer bristling with sensors that you literally wear on your body, most of the time. The portable device, communication and data services are so important to your life that you’re driven half mad with worry and misery when parted just for a short period. Welcome to the reality of 21st century mobile telephony, where everyone lifelogs into their very own portable telescreen. Eclecticist.co.uk.

  • ECLECTICIST 34: Scottish Cuisine

    ECLECTICIST 34: Scottish Cuisine

    09/04/2016 Duration: 46min

    Jings, crivens, help ma' boab have we got a braw topic for ye, Jimmy. If we were to reduce a country down to a few specific food items, Scotland would be 'haggis', 'porridge' and 'mutton'. There are probably others and we may mention them in the show. 'Shortbread' is another. References to Scottish cuisine in the media will almost certainly be derisory; often for comic effect. The natives' penchant for deep frying is a particularly familiar canard, but there is a serious tone when talking about Scotland's habit of combining a terrible diet with their tradition of getting dangerously drunk all the time. The BBC reports that 'Scottish mortality rates among working age men and women have been the worst in Western Europe since the late 1970s'. But maybe it's worth it though. Eclecticist.co.uk.

  • ECLECTICIST 33: Volkswagen

    ECLECTICIST 33: Volkswagen

    26/03/2016 Duration: 01h11min

    Devised during the frenetic interwar years in Germany, Volkswagen, the 'People's Car' manufacturer was envisaged to be an affordable, usably efficient and family oriented means of transport that every ordinary German could own and enjoy. Now, nearly an octogenarian, Volkswagen has given us the original hipster camper van ride, the Love Bug, a near continuous succession of grey, drab saloon cars, high profile acquisitions, massive expenditure on lobbyists and a share price sinking scandal. Volkswagen - endearingly generic. Do we still want to lovingly lever off the badge? Eclecticist.co.uk.

  • ECLECTICIST 32: Sport

    ECLECTICIST 32: Sport

    22/03/2016 Duration: 01h05min

    Two men who have never met each other before, might even be from different social classes, might be different races, different species even. What they have in common is sport. They can talk to each other about a recent game or the consequences of an upcoming game, how an England manager is somehow a turnip, how it’s been a good season for something or other and so on and so forth. Etc. And on it goes. And why not? Coverage of sport is top billing stuff. Literally teams of millionaires running around a field kicking, or hitting or carrying a ball can create headlines all around the world, often reducing grown men to tears of anguish, in some cases transforming groups of men to rise up and engage in armed conflict with other groups of men in an orgy of tribal violence. What about those of us that couldn’t give a rat's ass about what a bunch of rich infants get up to on or off the pitch? Those of us that have better things to do than shout 'nice one Rooney!' when we see a diamante encrusted pink Bentley GT or a

  • ECLECTICIST 31: Robots

    ECLECTICIST 31: Robots

    29/02/2016 Duration: 01h12min

    We’re living in an age where otherwise normal people prefer to deftly caress glowing rectangles than exchange more than a few sentences with their kin. We’re locked in our homes cosseted with the convenience of online purchasing and large screen televisions. Technology seductively iterates in an ever tightening stranglehold. The tremor in a surgeon's hand, a customer service representative’s botched order, palliative bathroom duties - the writing’s on the wall for human labour. It is only a matter of time where, from the shoulders of giants, we summon the machines that will ultimately replace us. Are we soon to relinquish control of our own destiny? Is this the time of peak human? Eclecticist.co.uk.

  • ECLECTICIST 30: Creationism

    ECLECTICIST 30: Creationism

    05/02/2016 Duration: 01h20min

    Creationism is the belief that life, the universe and everything, began when God said 'go!'. He apparently did this mere thousands of years ago and we have record of this in the first book of the Old Testament. 'What kind of chump would believe something simply because a book says it is so?' Well according to high profile 'creationists' such as Ken Ham and many others, there is actually a massive body of scientific evidence that confirms the truth of the book of Genesis. If you dig deep into the ground you will find 'billions of dead things buried in rock layers laid down by water all over the earth'. You would have to have a lot of faith in the Gods of secularism, immorality and cannibalism to believe such a fact isn't solid proof of Noah's Flood. Eclecticist.co.uk.

  • ECLECTICIST 29: East Germany

    ECLECTICIST 29: East Germany

    16/01/2016 Duration: 01h52s

    The Deutsche Demokratische Republik otherwise known as East Germany was a significant slice of post war Deutschland administered by the Soviet Union for over 40 years. During that time, the population endured an ever dwindling economic output. Goods and services taken for granted by those in the perceived American puppet state over The Wall were unimaginable. The people were largely trapped in a state where the suspicion of dissent or insurrection was punishable by harsh personal levies and on occasion, beatings and execution. After Reunification and much needed investment, the vestiges of the Eastern Bloc persist and the region suffers from slow and patchy development and a decline in population. What must it have been like living with secret police, citizen informants, variable rationing, no bananas, free childcare and all the best museums? Eclecticist.co.uk.

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