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Festival of Dangerous Ideas

A daily Society, Culture and News podcast
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Episodes of Festival of Dangerous Ideas

It’s been over 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union and 22 years since Vladimir Putin came to power. Now in the throes of a Ukraine invasion, the Russian regime combats any conflict with an utter di
We may not want to admit it, but there is a spectrum of perversion along which we all sit. Whether it’s voyeurism, exhibitionism, or your run-of-the-mill foot fetish, we all possess a suite of sexual tastes as unique as our fingerprints—and as
A playerless piano performs a repeating piece of music in which every note of a scale is played on every beat of the bar. The melody is absorbed into chaos, as the words of Noami Klein and Waleed Aly speak of our interconnectedness and entangle
On the precipice of a new age, what are the forces that will bring us together, and what is driving us apart? Simon Longstaff sits between Waleed Aly and Naomi Klein as they discuss the decline of meta-narratives in society and politics, reconc
CellF is a cybernetic musician and the world’s first neural synthesiser, created by Perth-based artist and researcher, Guy Ben-Ary. Its ‘brain’ is made of biological neural networks bio-engineered from the artist’s own cells, that grow in a pet
From the ancient tale of Gilgamesh to Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, the dream of immortality has long captured the imagination of writers and scientists. But how close are we to conquering death? In a conversation moderated by Simon Longstaff, ne
Tongues is an explicit, potent musical manifesto, exploring having your voice taken away, in response to Roxane Gay and Kate Manne’s discussion. Tongues is written and performed by Tanya Tagaq, a Canadian Inuk improvisational singer, avant-gard
Roxane Gay and Kate Manne speak to this moment in time, the nature of progress, and their hopes and fears for the future. In a conversation moderated by Ann Mossop, they discuss modern feminism, online communication and social media, and the “l
A text-generating AI that has been trained with FODI transcripts speaks in conversation with a deepfake AI about violence, conspiracy theories and what it means to be human. Our FODI-trained AI was created using Max Woolf’s simplified version o
By the year 2062, it is predicted that we will have built machines that are as intelligent as humans. Modern weapons will become more autonomous, machines will further infiltrate our daily lives, and the way we think of humanity will be permane
Recording art for a post-human world, a machine attempts to describe a human dance. The piece responds to Eleanor Gordon-Smith and Slavoj Žižek’s discussion, the power of words to create reality, and the experience of emotion between the digita
Against the pillars of Enlightenment, how can we make sense of conspiracy theories, tribalism, and deepening divisions between our beliefs? In a conversation moderated by Simon Longstaff, Eleanor Gordon-Smith and Slavoj Žižek discuss the prolif
During Sydney’s most recent lockdown, sound artist Alexandra Spence submerged a 15 minute-long piece of cassette tape in seawater. The cassette tape contained a field recording of waves, and a recording of Alex’s voice offering a non-definitive
Lee Vinsel and Tyson Yunkaporta speak with Ann Mossop about the passing age, apocalypses, and the cyclical nature of eras. Their conversation is anchored in language: both speak of systems, entropy, the roles of maintainers or custodians, and t
We hear the recorded sound of the invisible electromagnetic landscape that humans created unintentionally, allowing us to tune in to what our environment has to endure. Against a backdrop, we hear the voices of anonymous FODI listeners, recordi
A conversation between business sustainability advisor Sam Mostyn and moral philosopher Peter Singer, moderated by Simon Longstaff. Sam and Peter discuss the role of business in sustainability and climate action, the discrepancies between our v
Sydney-based writer Tasnim Hossain records her written take on the meandering histories of Enlightenment discussed by Joya Chatterji and Stephen Fry, and the experimental sounds of the first known recordings of the human voice. Music is compose
In a conversation moderated by Simon Longstaff, historians Joya Chatterji and Stephen Fry discuss whether the age of Enlightenment is truly coming to an end. They share varying Enlightenment narratives that cross geographical, cultural and clas
FODI: The In-Between is an audio time capsule recording this moment in time. It asks: Are we in-between two eras? And if so, what does this mean about the past and the future? 8 conversations between 16 of the world’s biggest thinkers, featurin
When it comes to good governance, conventional wisdom has it that less corruption would translate into more economic growth, a healthier body politic and reduced likelihood of conflict. But what if this isn’t always the case? Although there are
A.C. Grayling says “to read is to fly”. The distinguished philosopher who has dedicated his life to examining knowledge believes we need a revolution in education. But many of us grapple with the question: what is education for? And is this the
In our current state of the world, are scientists the new gods? Do we increasingly rely on science to solve our problems, and are we stretching the scientific method to mystique? If we can’t trust scientists, is it possible to still trust scien
If we don’t think our fellow citizens are capable of making the right choices about what they eat and drink, why do we think they are capable of voting? Since researcher Chris Berg presented this 2015 FODI talk, this question rings eerily true
When someone commits a crime, we want them punished. If wrongdoers go to prison more often and for longer, everyone seems happy. But we live in a system where people do eventually come out of prison and rejoin the community. And this is where w
With more people coming out as gender fluid, transitioning or on a spectrum of gender identity, it's clear the biological constraints of gender today have loosened. But how do we deal with enduring gender-based social inequality and injustice?
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