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Extremely Offline

A Society, Culture and News podcast
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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.


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Recent Episodes

Bill Scher and Richard Eskow on Round 2 of the Democratic Debates
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 achieving legislation.Richard Eskow was a staffer on the Bernie Sanders campaign in 2016, and hosts a radio show where he discusses a number of issues including retirement security and his belief that the Democratic establishment is seriously out of touch.On this episode, they'll offer their reactions to the debate and their views on where the Democrats should go in 2020.Due to technical difficulties and limited time on the part of our guests, this episode will be short and sweet, but we hope you enjoy yourself and look forward to future episodes, where we'll do our best to retain our full-length format.Support the show
Daniel Marans and Joe Simonson on the 2020 Democratic Presidential Campaign Trail
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 perspectives about what voters actually care about versus what we're told they care about on cable news shows. Joe Simonson, of the right-of-center Washington Examiner, is doing the same thing, flying around the country following candidates around and talking to the voters who will decide the Democratic nominee. These reporters disagree on plenty of things politically, but they share a desire to report out the ground truth of the 2020 presidential election. On this episode, they offer their insight as to what the mainstream media is missing about the Democratic presidential primary.Support the show
Onkar Ghate and Austin Hayden Smidt on Ayn Rand, Objectivism, Capitalism, Selfishness and Altruism
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, as most of the world's schools of moral philosophy and religion preach that selflessness and self-sacrifice are the most noble qualities. But Rands philosophy has sustained its following long after her death in 1982. In 2009, in the aftermath of a financial crisis many blamed on the selfishness of Wall Street, her novel Atlas Shrugged, which preaches the virtues of the self interested titans of industry, surged to a bestseller position on Amazon.com.What makes Rand so popular? And is there any merit to her praise of selfishness as a virtue? To discuss that question we have two guests with us on this episode. Onkar Ghate is the chief philosophy officer at the Ayn Rand Institute and a leading Objectivist. He believes this philosophy is not only relevant but ultimately a guide for living a moral life. Austin Hayden Smidt is a political philosopher who cohosts the philosophy podcast Owls At Dawn. He's skeptical of Objectivism's claims, and believes that altruism is worth fighting for. On this episode we will discuss core philosophical issues that help drive our approach to politics, life, the universe, and everything. Support the show
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Podcast Details
Feb 11th, 2019
Latest Episode
Aug 3rd, 2019
Release Period
No. of Episodes
Avg. Episode Length
About 1 hour

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