New episode on fixes to democracy

Dear blog readers, this week’s episode is out now on your podcatchers and here

It is about two proposals to fix the current state of the democracy in the west, compulsory voting, or epistocracy, the view that only the knowledgeable and rational get to vote. We investigate the arguments and go into democratic schools that do both in order to learn about the costs and benefits of giving the vote to children, who many believe are too ignorant and irrational to get to vote. Enjoy!

Episode 4 on the Forever War in Afghanistan

Episode 4 of Season 3 is out now and it is a retrospective on the war in Afghanistan. Recent reports once again indicate that peace talks with the Taliban are making progress, but we’ve been here before. We take a thorough tallying of the staggering costs of the forever war, and talking to veterans who served at each stage of the war. Journalist Doug Wissing and Neta Crawford help me see where all the money went, and philosopher Seth Lazar and I talk about moral sunk costs and our inability to quit this war.

Upcoming live appearances

Dear Hi-Phi Nation listeners,

I will be making some public appearances this coming week to give some talks, about the wishes of the dead, about turning stories into ideas, and more. If you are in the New York area, this is your chance to meet me!

On Friday, November 30th, I will be presenting at The Strand bookstore for ThinkOlio, 828 Broadway at 7pm. ThinkOlio is like a college course, but for one night. Information is here, and the charge is $20.

On Saturday, Dec. 1st, I will be a guest at a live taping of the Happier Hour podcast, with Monica McCarthy. This will be at 4pm at Caveat, NYC 21A Clinton Street. Tickets are $15-$20.

On Saturday, Dec. 8th, I will be giving a Tedx talk at TedxPrinceton University. The talks begin at 1:30pm, and I’ll be one of the first. The event is free and open to the public.

Barry in the media today

Hi everyone, just a couple of announcements today. I’m appearing in two pieces of media today. Clifford Sosis’ series “What its Like Being a Philosopher” is an interview series talking about the life and times of people who work in philosophy. I’m the subject today here. Also, Episode Party is a British podcast about podcast, hosted by Jack Chutner and Freddie Harrison. This week, I’m the guest on the show and we review three shows, Mothers of Invention, Love + Radio, and Science Vs. Check it out here.

Big news for Hi-Phi Nation

Dear Hi-Phi Nation followers and listeners,

At the end of last season, I promised big news.

But first of all, let me say that I am deep into production of Season 3. After trips to Australia, LA, Boston, and elsewhere, I’m planning out 10 full episodes to be released every other week, starting in the last week of January. So if you haven’t subscribed to the show yet, please do so on your mobile device. Just follow the instructions on the homepage,

So here is the news. For Season 3, Hi-Phi Nation has been picked up by Slate. Hi-Phi Nation will be distributed by the Slate network, added to Slate’s daily podcast feed, and will be a featured show at Slate in the winter season. This does not mean any changes for you, you’ll keep getting the show the way you’ve been listening, but it means that a big-time podcast network will help me publicize the show in a way that I just couldn’t do on my own. This marks the very first philosophy podcast, and indeed the only narrative philosophy show, that exist on ANY major podcast network, public or private. Its a major and important step in making philosophy accessible to everyone.

The partnership with Slate makes it much likelier that I can sustain the show. Nothing changes on the production side. I am still sole producer and host, and I am still making the show from the attic of Rockefeller Hall at Vassar out of pocket, with total freedom but also little budget. But it does mean less concern about how to advertise and increase listenership, and it means better access to potential guests.

Thank you for your ongoing support and be on the lookout in the next month for more news and trailers for Season 3.

Season Finale and special message

My dear blog followers. It has been a very challenging season to produce, but I got through 10 episodes. The latest is available in your podcast feeds, or by clicking below. Note that there is also bonus content for this episode.

I am writing to you from Canberra, Australia, where I have resided for the past month to bring your stories and philosophy from down under for Season 3. The next season will bring you a big surprise, one so surprising that I may not want to wait to tell you, so make sure you subscribe to the podcast on your mobile devices so you’ll get the message. Short of that, you should know that Season 3 is in full production and will come out in late January 2019 on a more regular and closer schedule.

The most important thing you can do to help the show is to write to journalists, teachers, publishers, and other podcasters and tell them how much you love the show and why they should listen. Hopefully one of them will write, teach, or podcast about the show. This helps me promote the show to a larger audience and keep growing. I’d also love to hear from you, so if you have story tips, ideas, or just want to say any words of thanks, you can email me through the contact page on the website.