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Episodes

George Gilder Is Excited about Life After Google and You Should Be Too

8/16/2018
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Google's dominance in so many aspects of our digital lives is "creating a walled garden that's basically controlled by two nerds in Silicon Valley," says George Gilder, the author who more than anyone else predicted today's imperfect online utopia in books such as Life After Television: The Coming Transformation of Media and American Life and Telecosm: How Infinite Bandwidth Will Revolutionize Our World. Of course it's not just Google (which owns YouTube), Gilder says in a Reason Podcast...

Duration:00:43:37

Can 'Conscious Capitalism' Make Business a Heroic Enterprise? John Mackey Is Betting Yes

8/14/2018
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In 2013, Whole Foods co-founder John Mackey co-authored a business history-cum-manifesto titled Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business. Drawing on his experiences with Whole Foods, Mackey outlined an unapologetically free market approach to commerce that also stressed far more than simply maximizing returns to shareholders. "We believe that business is good because it creates value, it is ethical because it is based on voluntary exchange, it is noble because it can...

Duration:00:30:36

The Great Deplatforming War Rages On

8/13/2018
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"It's implausible," David Harsanyi recently wrote in this space, "to imagine a future in which liberal activists don't demand that Republican groups be de-platformed." Conservative activists, too, will happily whip out the ban-hammer, in the name either of fair play or righteous indignation/responding to market signals. So where does that leave libertarians? Arguing amongst themselves, as usual. At least that was the case in today's editor-roundtable version of the Reason Podcast, featuring...

Duration:01:01:37

Why Would a Mother Throw Her Kids Off a Bridge?

8/10/2018
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In 2009, Amanda Stott-Smith dropped her children off a bridge in Portland, Oregon. Her 7-year-old daughter lived, screaming until she was fished out of the freezing river by a good Samaritan. Her 4-year-old son drowned. Writer (and occasional Reason contributor) Nancy Rommelmann read about the story the next morning over a cup of coffee, and spent the next seven years chasing down every detail. The result is To The Bridge: A True Story of Motherhood and Murder, a reported work of non-fiction...

Duration:00:40:29

Chapman U. President Doesn't Want His Campus 'UnKoched'

8/9/2018
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"The demand that research funding be declined because of its origin poses a grave threat to academic freedom," wrote Daniele Struppa, the president of Chapman University, a private school about 90 minutes south of Los Angeles, earlier this year in The Wall Street Journal. "I am being asked to turn down donations from the dreaded Koch brothers, even when...the proposal for funding was inspired, developed and fully fleshed out by my faculty, in the most important exercise of their own academic...

Duration:00:23:23

Popehat's Ken White: 'Free Speech Is in Just as Much Danger from Conservatives'

8/8/2018
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"When we buy into this narrative that free speech is a conservative value and censorship is a liberal value, we basically invite this chasm where the First Amendment and free speech values steadily get less and less support," says attorney Ken White, who's the proprietor of the legal blog Popehat, the host of the Make No Law podcast, and a contributing editor at Reason. "Saying that the First Amendment is conservative is historically completely illiterate. It's [protected] mostly...

Duration:01:13:43

'It's Not About Donald Trump Being Crappy, It's About the Government Being Crappy'

8/6/2018
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Over the weekend, Donald Trump tweeted that "tariffs are working big time" and said that his trade war would help us pay down the national debt. On today's Reason Podcast, special guests Eric Boehm and Robby Soave join Katherine Mangu-Ward and Peter Suderman to talk about the latest escalations in Trump's trade war and how Trump's bad trade policies are enabling cronyism. Also on this week's podcast: Medicare for all costs how much? Will 3D-printed guns doom us all? And what are we supposed...

Duration:00:59:51

Michael Shermer on Why Even Scientists, Transhumanists, and Atheists Want To Believe in Heaven

8/3/2018
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In Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality, and Utopia, Michael Shermer seeks to explain why so many of us are deeply invested in the idea of a world beyond the one we're already living in. Shermer isn't just talking about religious believers. He also chronicles the ways socialists and others have tried to create paradise now, and the obsessions of transhumanists trying to create a secular version of immortality. One of the world's best-known "skeptics,"...

Duration:00:34:41

'It Became Normal, It Became Hot, to Be Alternative' — Reason 50th Anniversary

8/2/2018
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Reason magazine was founded 50 years ago, in 1968, by Lanny Friedlander (1947-2011), who was then a student at Boston University. As part of Reason's ongoing 50th anniversary celebration, Nick Gillespie has been interviewing past editors of the print magazine for the Reason Podcast. Previous episodes include conversations with Robert W. Poole, Marty Zupan, Virginia Postrel, Matt Welch, and Katherine Mangu-Ward. A few weeks ago, it was Gillespie's turn to be interviewed about his time at...

Duration:01:14:26

Cultural Appropriation Tastes Damn Good: How Immigrants, Commerce, and Fusion Keep Food Delicious

8/1/2018
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The late Jonathan Gold wrote about food in Southern California with an intimacy that brought readers closer to the people that made it. The Pulitzer Prize–winning critic visited high-end brick-and-mortar restaurants as well as low-end strip malls and food trucks in search of good food wherever he found it. Gold died of pancreatic cancer last month, but he still influences writers like Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times columnist and author of Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America....

Duration:00:13:55

Meet Bari Weiss, the Conservative New York Times Columnist Who Is Pro-Choice

7/31/2018
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By the time she arrived last year at The New York Times to help write and edit its Opinion section, 34-year-old Bari Weiss had already done stints at the online magazine Tablet and The Wall Street Journal. She had also made a number of enemies who accused her of being a narrow-minded, right-wing, pro-Israel, anti-Arab bigot. Far from bringing some fresh ideas to The Gray Lady's leftish commentary section, her hire, wrote The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald, emodied the paper's "worst...

Duration:00:52:57

Are Plastic Straw Bans Just Late Socialism?

7/30/2018
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President Donald Trump's current lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, spent the weekend calling Trump's previous lawyer, Michael Cohen, a liar, while Trump continued to make false statements about the Russia investigation. On today's podcast, Reason's Nick Gillespie, Katherine Mangu-Ward, and Christian Britschgi try to sort out who and what, if anything, we should believe. In the moderator's chair, Peter Suderman—that's me!—fills in for Matt Welch, who is still on vacation. Later on, the gang discuss...

Duration:01:03:10

Randy Barnett on the Secret History of SCOTUS Confirmation Hearings

7/27/2018
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When President Donald Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, Randy Barnett—a libertarian legal scholar, Georgetown Law professor, and Volokh Conspiracy blogger—praised the choice, writing that "Kavanaugh's appointment would move the Court in the direction of textualism and originalism. He's very interested in the separation of powers in general and with respect to the administrative state in particular." In a new Reason Podcast recorded at FreedomFest, the annual gathering...

Duration:00:37:54

George Will Is Worried About 'The Big Flinch'—And You Should Be Too!

7/26/2018
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The Pulitzer-winning columnist George Will has been in Washington, D.C. since the 1970s and he's basically seen it all. But at a special Reason Podcast recorded at FreedomFest, the annual gathering of libertarians held every July in Las Vegas, he admits to be being frightened of what he's calling "the Big Flinch" or "a recoil against the churning of an open society, against the spontaneous order that is the alternative to statism, against the frictions of economic growth that becomes more...

Duration:00:24:57

Rep. Thomas Massie on Shakedowns, Cronyism—and Why He's Sticking With the GOP

7/25/2018
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Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) is a thorn in the side of the GOP establishment. He has voted against so many bills, including measures championed by his own party, that in 2013 Politico dubbed him "Mr. No." Reason sat down with Massie at FreedomFest in Las Vegas to discuss his battles with the Republican establishment, how Trump's tariffs are breeding cronyism, why federal marijuana prohibition will come to an end, and the impact that he and his fellow libertarians in Congress are having on...

Duration:00:33:34

Larry Kudlow Is Bad. So Is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Chartreuse Is Good

7/23/2018
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"Yeah, gigantic deficits are not good," says director of President Trump's National Economic Council Larry Kudlow in a clip at the top of today's Reason Podcast, before he goes on to make ridiculous excuses for gigantic deficits. Matt Welch is somewhere in a French chateau, so today's pod features special guest star Managing Editor Stephanie Slade, plus the usual gang of Nick Gillespie, Peter Suderman, and Katherine Mangu-Ward. After digging into the deficit darkness, we turn our thoughts...

Duration:00:53:05

Should Facebook Ban Holocaust Deniers and Professional Trolls?

7/21/2018
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Reason's Nick Gillespie, Robby Soave, and Mike Riggs debate whether Mark Zuckerberg's should de-platform haters to improve the user experience at the world's largest social-media service.

Duration:00:59:56

Sen. Mike Lee on Brett Kavanaugh, Trump's Tariffs, and Congressional Dysfunction

7/20/2018
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Congress is "given a pile of papers, sometimes a couple thousands pages long, a few hours before the expiration of a spending deadline," says Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah). "When there's no opportunity for debate, for discussion, for amendment, for individual members to improve [legislation], you've effectively disenfranchised almost 300 million Americans." Since toppling longtime incumbent Bob Bennett in a 2010 primary and then riding the Tea Party wave to become the junior senator from Utah,...

Duration:00:22:24

Is Bitcoin the Future of Money? Peter Schiff vs. Erik Voorhees

7/19/2018
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On July 2, 2018, Reason and The Soho Forum hosted a debate between Erik Voorhees, the CEO of ShapeShift, and Peter Schiff, CEO and chief global strategist of Euro Pacific Capital. The proposition: "Bitcoin, or a similar form of cryptocurrency, will eventually replace governments' fiat money as the preferred medium of exchange." It was an Oxford-style debate in which the audience votes on the resolution at the beginning and end of the event, and the side that gains the most ground is...

Duration:01:22:10

Judge Andrew Napolitano on Trump, SCOTUS, and the Return of Freedom Watch

7/18/2018
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No legal commentator on cable news is more energetic, constitutionally minded, or libertarian than Andrew Napolitano, who has served as Fox News' senior judicial analyst for nearly two decades. A former New Jersey Superior Court judge, Napolitano is a nationally syndicated columnist—you can read him at Reason—and the author of a shelf full of books about law, history, and race in America. Reason's Nick Gillespie caught up with the judge at FreedomFest, the annual event held every July in...

Duration:00:22:47