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Extremely Offline

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It's time to admit it: when we argue online, we’re not actually trying to persuade anyone. We’re not even trying to ‘win’ a debate. We’re trying to “dunk” on our rivals, “own” our political enemies. We’re just performing for our followers, who are usually people who share our politics, our attitudes, and our biases. That kind of discourse might be entertaining, but it doesn’t get us anywhere. We don’t learn from each other or about each other. We don’t sharpen the arguments we make for our favored policies. All we do is widen the divisions of our politics. We harden our alliances with people like ourselves, while increasing our contempt for people who think differently. We feel even more certain of our own opinions, while becoming even blinder to their shortcomings. It’s an unhealthy, dysfunctional way to approach our disagreements with others. It’s profoundly harmful to our democracy. On this podcast, we aspire to be the opposite of “extremely online.” What does that mean? It means we want to bring people from warring political tribes together to have substantive, respectful conversations about both their common ground and their differences — the opposite, in other words, of a Twitter flame war. Extremely Offline is our small contribution to combating political polarization in America. On this show, we’ll bring together people from the populist left and the identity-based left, the center left and the far right, paleoconservatives and socialists, and every other permutation we can think of. We’ll have far-ranging discussions that do not elide our political differences but that are rooted in mutual respect.

It's time to admit it: when we argue online, we’re not actually trying to persuade anyone. We’re not even trying to ‘win’ a debate. We’re trying to “dunk” on our rivals, “own” our political enemies. We’re just performing for our followers, who are usually people who share our politics, our attitudes, and our biases. That kind of discourse might be entertaining, but it doesn’t get us anywhere. We don’t learn from each other or about each other. We don’t sharpen the arguments we make for our favored policies. All we do is widen the divisions of our politics. We harden our alliances with people like ourselves, while increasing our contempt for people who think differently. We feel even more certain of our own opinions, while becoming even blinder to their shortcomings. It’s an unhealthy, dysfunctional way to approach our disagreements with others. It’s profoundly harmful to our democracy. On this podcast, we aspire to be the opposite of “extremely online.” What does that mean? It means we want to bring people from warring political tribes together to have substantive, respectful conversations about both their common ground and their differences — the opposite, in other words, of a Twitter flame war. Extremely Offline is our small contribution to combating political polarization in America. On this show, we’ll bring together people from the populist left and the identity-based left, the center left and the far right, paleoconservatives and socialists, and every other permutation we can think of. We’ll have far-ranging discussions that do not elide our political differences but that are rooted in mutual respect.
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Location:

United States

Description:

It's time to admit it: when we argue online, we’re not actually trying to persuade anyone. We’re not even trying to ‘win’ a debate. We’re trying to “dunk” on our rivals, “own” our political enemies. We’re just performing for our followers, who are usually people who share our politics, our attitudes, and our biases. That kind of discourse might be entertaining, but it doesn’t get us anywhere. We don’t learn from each other or about each other. We don’t sharpen the arguments we make for our favored policies. All we do is widen the divisions of our politics. We harden our alliances with people like ourselves, while increasing our contempt for people who think differently. We feel even more certain of our own opinions, while becoming even blinder to their shortcomings. It’s an unhealthy, dysfunctional way to approach our disagreements with others. It’s profoundly harmful to our democracy. On this podcast, we aspire to be the opposite of “extremely online.” What does that mean? It means we want to bring people from warring political tribes together to have substantive, respectful conversations about both their common ground and their differences — the opposite, in other words, of a Twitter flame war. Extremely Offline is our small contribution to combating political polarization in America. On this show, we’ll bring together people from the populist left and the identity-based left, the center left and the far right, paleoconservatives and socialists, and every other permutation we can think of. We’ll have far-ranging discussions that do not elide our political differences but that are rooted in mutual respect.

Language:

English


Episodes

Bill Scher and Richard Eskow on Round 2 of the Democratic Debates

8/3/2019
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July's Democratic primary debates were an opportunity for the progressive and more establishment factions of the party to hash out their differences and present voters with different visions going into the 2020 presidential elections. Bill Scher is a veteran of liberal politics who has been involved in left-of-center organizing since the early 2000s. Today, he's a regular columnist at Politico Magazine, where he often writes in defense of the Democratic Party establishment's approach to...

Duration:00:16:16

Daniel Marans and Joe Simonson on the 2020 Democratic Presidential Campaign Trail

7/27/2019
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There's no one who knows the mood of voters who attend presidential campaign events more than the political reporters who are on the trail. While pundits in DC and New York opine on what voters are supposed to care about, these reporters are actually on the ground taking the temperature of the electorate in realtime. Daniel Marans, a reporter at the left-of-center Huffington Post, has attended events with nearly all of the Democratic presidential candidates, and his reporting offers unique...

Duration:01:18:06

Onkar Ghate and Austin Hayden Smidt on Ayn Rand, Objectivism, Capitalism, Selfishness and Altruism

6/18/2019
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One of the most influential novelists in the United States is the late Ayn Rand. The Russian-born author's works inspired generations of right-leaning intellectuals, from former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan to former Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Rand's popularity stems from her simple creed that selfishness is a virtue. In her philosophy, called Objectivism, the highest moral calling is to pursue your rational self-interest. This puts Objectivism in a unique corner,...

Duration:01:34:59

Special announcement: Summer scheduling

6/6/2019
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Over the next month, we're going to be slowing down a bit, as both of us who host, produce, and promote Extremely Offline plan to spend a bit of time with our families and attend to some personal matters during the month of June. We're hard at work booking future episodes, and we hope to get back up to speed by July. It's been a real pleasure producing this show for all of you, and we apologize for the slower pace over the summer. But we've gotten great feedback on the show across the...

Duration:00:00:47

Charlie Eaton and Daniel Friedman on the Higher Education Racket

5/23/2019
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With more and more Americans going to college every year, there are increasing demands that the federal government step in and make higher education more affordable and tackle burgeoning student debt. But some on the conservative side argue that increasing federal aid will only make the problem worse by contributing to runaway inflation of tuition and other costs related to going to college. Daniel Friedman, a novelist based in New York City, takes that point of view. He has argued in his...

Duration:01:01:26

Jesse Singal and Andy Ngo on Multiculturalism, Diversity and Assimilation in the West

5/13/2019
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We live in an increasingly diverse country, and history shows that diversity often introduces challenges that are difficult to overcome, ranging from increased social tensions all the way up to violence. But it has long been argued that diversity is our strength and that with meaningful contact between heterogeneous groups we can break down barriers and learn from each other. One of the responses to increased racial and cultural diversification is to embrace multiculturalism, where we can...

Duration:01:19:19

Peter Daou and Nomiki Konst on the Divided Democratic Party

5/6/2019
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During the 2016 Democratic primaries, political strategist Peter Daou was one of Hillary Clinton’s most vocal and prominent boosters, especially on social media. In addition to his relentless advocacy on Twitter, Peter was the co-founder of “Hillary Men,” a website that purported to serve as a “safe space” for male feminists who supported Hillary Clinton — and, by implication, to fend off her sexist rivals in the Bernie camp. To Clinton supporters, Daou was a diehard on the front lines of...

Duration:01:02:52

Sarah Haider and Shadi Hamid on Islam in the Modern World

5/1/2019
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Contrary to popular belief, Islam has been present in the United States since its founding days. Thomas Jefferson even owned a copy of the Quran, Islam's holy text, which Congressman Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, used during his swearing-in ceremony. The reality is, we live on an increasingly Muslim planet, as the pace of the growth of the religion means that it may very well be the most common religion on Earth by the end of the century. To many Muslims, this growth...

Duration:01:40:19

Glenn Greenwald and David Klion on the Mueller Report: Russiagate Part 2

4/19/2019
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This episode began with a spat on Twitter. Glenn Greenwald, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and co-founder of The Intercept, is famous for his deep, long-standing skepticism of Russiagate. After Attorney General Barr’s summary of the Mueller Report came out, announcing to the world that the special prosecutor had found no basis for bringing charges against the President for collusion in Russia’s 2016 election interference, Glenn was not shy in pointing out that for two years, the media...

Duration:00:55:01

Mike Cernovich and Katie Herzog on Trolls, Social Media Mobs, and the Fever Swamp Outrage Machine We Call the Internet

4/12/2019
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Mike Cernovich is notorious on the left because of his past behavior as a social media troll, beginning with Gamergate, and continuing on through Pizzagate and countless other Twitter flare-ups. He's often lumped in with the alt-right, even though his actual politics are a mixed bag of economic populism, anti-interventionism, border restrictionism, animal welfarism, and mild support for Trump, putting him somewhere slightly to the left of David Frum. In the era of Trump, however, it's not...

Duration:00:57:44

Cenk Uygur and Michael Tracey on the Mueller Report and Media Accountability: Russiagate Part 1

4/8/2019
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With the Mueller Report completed, many are still left wondering what exactly occurred in the 2016 election. Did the Russian government work with the Trump campaign to hack Clinton campaign emails? Did the Trump administration engage in collusion with the Russian government to impact the election? While we don't have the full text of the report, the answer appears to be no. But many political watchers are still skeptical. Cenk Uygur, the co-founder of The Young Turks, is one of those...

Duration:01:22:49

Batya Ungar-Sargon and Omar Baddar on Palestine, Israel, Anti-Semitism, Zionism, and Ilhan Omar

4/5/2019
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It's unusual for a freshman member of Congress to draw as much attention as Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar. In just a few short months in Congress, she has been the center of numerous media firestorms after making repeatedly making remarks her supporters believe are exposing the influence of a powerful lobbying group and what her detractors would say is anti-Semitic. On Capitol Hill, her own party's leadership has condemned her remarks on the influence of the pro-Israel lobby. Omar Baddar,...

Duration:01:09:55

Jonathan Blanks and Rafael Mangual on Criminal Justice Reform

4/1/2019
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When President Trump signed into law the First STEP Act, a wide-ranging federal prison reform bill passed this past December, he marveled at the wide bipartisan vote that got it across the finish line. Indeed, everybody from the Koch Brothers to former Obama adviser Van Jones helped build the wide bipartisan coalition that passed the legislation. But while most of America now agrees on some form of criminal justice reform, there are still major divisions. On issues like how we tackle...

Duration:01:13:38

Bhaskar Sunkara and Adam Green on the Left's choice for 2020: Warren or Sanders?

3/20/2019
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With Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren both offering their own form of challenge to the Democratic establishment, which candidate would have a better shot at succeeding? Which candidate would ultimately make a better president? To answer that question, on this episode we'll ask two of their strongest supporters. Adam Green is the co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, an organization that helped elect Warren to the Senate in 2012 and that quickly endorsed her...

Duration:01:21:07

Lee Fang and Kmele Foster on the Market vs. the State, and Race/Wokeness

3/4/2019
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This week, we have two guests on opposite sides of our debates about what should be done with the economy. Lee Fang is a reporter for The Intercept and a long-time journalist who has been critical of the structure and function of American capitalism. He looks around the world and sees democratic socialist policies as those which best promote human prosperity and freedom. With rising health care costs and student debt, many Americans are coming around to his point of view. Kmele Foster, on...

Duration:01:02:46

Elizabeth Bruenig and Jonathan Chait on the Pinko Left and the Mushy Middle

2/18/2019
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This episode features two guests from opposite sides of the debate over the state of the Democratic Party and the left. First, we have Jonathan Chait, a long time left-of-center writer who argues that the Obama years were a stunning success and form the trajectory the party should pursue in the future. Opposite Chait we have the Washington Post’s Elizabeth Bruenig, who argues that the Obama presidency’s shortcomings are part of why democratic socialism is the path forward. On Twitter and...

Duration:01:26:46

Briahna Joy Gray and Coleman Hughes on What We Get Wrong About Race In America

2/11/2019
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It's time to admit it: when we argue online, we’re not actually trying to persuade anyone. We’re not even trying to ‘win’ a debate. We’re trying to “dunk” on our rivals, “own” our political enemies. We’re just performing for our followers, who are usually people who share our politics, our attitudes, and our biases. That kind of discourse might be entertaining, but it doesn’t get us anywhere. We don’t learn from each other or about each other. We don’t sharpen the arguments we make for our...

Duration:01:01:52