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Last update: 2015-09-13

ECLECTICIST 18: Feminism

2015-09-13 :: us@eclecticist.co.uk (Geoff and Ben)
Length: 1m 32s

Since time immemorial and throughout the world women continue to struggle against sexism, sexual violence, misrepresentation, economic inequality and social exclusion. The term 'feminism' appears to many as a collective term for the fight against these affronts. Should all gender designations in the West become feminists or has it become a victim propaganda gone too far? Eclecticist.co.uk.…


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ECLECTICIST 17: Extraterrestrial Life

2015-08-30 :: us@eclecticist.co.uk (Geoff and Ben)
Length: 59s

From the most corpulent blue whale down to the tiniest viral particle-everything that has ever lived has done so on our very own tectonically plated, watery shrouded, iron cored four billion year old mote of dust. Or maybe not. Perhaps, despite the disappointing lack of findings from the SETI programme, there is a single planet or moon orbiting one of the 200 billion or so stars in the galaxy harbouring what we would recognise as life. Are we alone? Will we ever detect alien life given the distances involved? What are the odds? Eclecticist.co.uk.…


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ECLECTICIST 16: Dinosaurs

2015-08-16 :: us@eclecticist.co.uk (Geoff and Ben)
Length: 58s

Over 200 million years ago, terrestrial and oceanic reptiles known collectively as Dinosaurs appeared and dominated Earth's fauna for approximately 135 million years. Fuelled by lush forests, warm temperatures and a conducive atmosphere, the diversity of clade Dinosauria ranged from rodent size carnivores, building size herbivores, seafaring goliaths and airborne hunters. Contemporaneous for much of their reign with birds and mammals, environmental changes conspired to tilt the balance of power towards these competitors ending their dominance and ultimately leading to their extinction. What do we know about the epoch in which they lived? What is the appeal of their enduring legacy and will we ever see their like again? Eclecticist.co.uk.…


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ECLECTICIST 15: Podcasting

2015-08-02 :: us@eclecticist.co.uk (Geoff and Ben)
Length: 1m 16s

Podcasting as a broadcast medium has now firmly established itself as an advertising channel amenable by all product categories. No greater validation exists for the confirmation of a new method to draw a crowd of potential consumers than to have paying sponsors vying for the most compelling players in the market. Podcasts, syndication mechanisms, listening hardware and the pervasive behemoth that is the internet is the ecosystem in which personal broadcasting has taken off and is threatening traditional sources by outreaching them in terms of convenience, niche and hardware support. Are we headed to a better informed, more meritocratic future where everyone wields a microphone with intent? Eclecticist.co.uk.…


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ECLECTICIST 14: Anti-Americanism

2015-07-19 :: us@eclecticist.co.uk (Geoff and Ben)
Length: 50s

'Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free' said the Statue of Liberty to the world, at least in the words of Emma Lazarus, a 19th century American poet. Let's also not forget those 'inalienable rights' from the Declaration of Independence 'Life, Liberty and pursuit of happiness'. The United States of America has, since its inception, been a refuge for the world's ravaged, a land of opportunity for those oppressed in war-torn and heavily statist regimes. Today, it has a larger influence than any other nation in the categories of food, science, culture, weaponry and democracy. So why all the hate? Why does the American in a pub feel the need to defend his own country from derision while his Belgian and Korean friends remain unaccosted? Eclecticist.co.uk.…


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ECLECTICIST 13: Climate Change

2015-07-11 :: us@eclecticist.co.uk (Geoff and Ben)
Length: 1s

It is a hostile universe. The near vacuum of space separates us by 25 trillion miles from our nearest star. In the 3.8 billion years of life on our planet, only 24 individuals (all human) have travelled beyond low earth orbit. It is safe to say, this world is all we know--It has provided everything we have needed to evolve and survive for aeons. It is however, a cooling rock prone to core and surface changes. Catastrophes have been known to happen. Armed with scientific methodology, we are now confirming our suspicion that it is human activity driving up global temperatures. Can anything be done? Is it too late? Or is it a tissue of lies spun by vested interests and the media? Eclecticist.co.uk.…


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2015-06-28 :: us@eclecticist.co.uk (Geoff and Ben)
Length: 1s

The British Broadcasting Corporation is the largest, oldest, most innovative and most revered media broadcasting organisation in the world. From its royal charter inception in the early 1920s, the BBC has steadfastly remained a publicly owned and financed service with national and international commercial reach. How will modern day attitudes change regarding its unique funding, allegations of bias and increasing competition from a disruptive and distributed internet? Do we love Auntie enough to continue funding her unfair advantage over the best of the rest? Eclecticist.co.uk.…



ECLECTICIST 11: Michael Jackson (King of Pop)

2015-06-21 :: us@eclecticist.co.uk (Geoff and Ben)
Length: 1s

At one time, in virtually every walk of life, the name Michael Jackson was synonymous with pop, superstar, band-aids. As is so often the way with these mega global icons, it didn't take long for the extravagant not-of-this world facade to slip and make fertile soil for scrutiny every bit as extreme as the strange creature himself. You see what I did there? It's all too easy to forget that Michael Jackson was a human being. What's also seemingly easy to forget is just how talented he was. Just compare the two Kings: Jackson was a songwriter that actually wrote all his biggest hits. Elvis Presley didn't write anything. Jackson also invented the phrase 'sho-mo'. Both men, however, were white, went weird and died prematurely. Michael Jackson: Bad? Eclecticist.co.uk.…


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ECLECTICIST 10: The British Monarchy

2015-06-06 :: us@eclecticist.co.uk (Geoff and Ben)
Length: 1s

Rulers recognised as monarchs appear in recorded history as early as 757AD when Offa became the king of Mercia, the then principal kingdom of Anglo-Saxon England. Throughout the following 1200 years, Kings and Queens have inherited, usurped and returned to the top of the social order to establish a gnarly tree of competing dynasties. Today, the royal family is virtually a political institution able to deftly negotiate its holdings with the largely secular government and increasingly secular church. As the rest of the world maintains a keen fascination with the celebrity and colourful lives of the extended family, are they managing to stay relevant in the shrinking world of the modern era? Eclecticist.co.uk.…


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ECLECTICIST 9: Smoking and Smokers

2015-05-23 :: us@eclecticist.co.uk (Geoff and Ben)
Length: 1s

The deliberate consumption of smoke from burning organic matter pre-dates recorded history and endures as one of the most popular forms of recreational poisoning humans enjoy throughout the world. From analgesic self-medication and spiritualistic ritual to overt displays of status and peer group inculcation, smoking finds friends in those willing to justify the practice despite the increasingly well evidenced detrimental effects on health. In the West, full prohibitions in public places are becoming commonplace and social tolerance of smokers is diminishing in tandem. Is there value in seeking to preserve the practice or right of smoking? Is it destined to go the way of lead-based makeup and leeches? What accounts for smokers' cognitive dissonance? Eclecticist.co.uk.…


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ECLECTICIST 8: Cenk Uygur Interviews Sam Harris

2015-04-25 :: us@eclecticist.co.uk (Geoff and Ben)
Length: 1s

An analysis of the conversation between Cenk Uygur and Sam Harris and a wider discussion of the reflexive Harris bashing (and bashing of anyone) in certain liberal circles being critical of Islam. Is it fair to be marginalized for making similar noises to right wing bigots? Hitler may have been right regarding certain tenets of evolution by natural selection, but for the most part, intelligent people don't reject that evolution is a fact. What's with this double standard? Also, How big a part does 'white guilt' play into this? Criticising islam is tantamount to criticizing a race of dark skinned people. Harris and others often preface their comments with reminding us that Islam is a collection of ideas and that any criticism leveled at it applies just as much to white converts. It just so happens that the vast majority of Muslims aren't white so you just can't say these things, honkey. Wait, Ayaan Hirsi Ali isn't white and she gets a heck of a lot of pushback, particularly from Uygur who's thrown a fair few barbs in her direction. Uygur says a lot of nasty ass stuff about Pat Robertson and Ken Ham and many other Christian lunatics with no restraint or sensitivity but stops short of going too heavy on any particular Muslim. What is going on here? Eclecticist.co.uk.…


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ECLECTICIST 7: The Music Industry

2014-01-16 :: us@eclecticist.co.uk (Geoff and Ben)
Length: 1s

Music is the art form most concerned with precision wobbling of the air in order to produce pleasing sounds. Since time immemorial, the motivations to achieve such auditory delights have included religious exultation, regal salutation, military motivation, sexual stratagem, social ascent, poetry and whimsy. As with any human endeavour, over the course of time, an industry is formed through the natural selection of assembled componentry—codification, methodology, agreed nomenclature, commonality of goals to name but a few. Music is one of the oldest common pursuits for which arguably, the most conspicuous industry has arisen. Beautiful sound can transport us; does knowledge of the machine behind the curtain spoil the magic? Eclecticist.co.uk.…


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2013-10-29 :: us@eclecticist.co.uk (Geoff and Ben)
Length: 1s

When the automobile became a commodity, manufacturers felt pressure to not only improve function, but to 'improve' appearance. There are a number of contributing factors in determining a car's aesthetics—the style of the age and technological advances are just two obvious examples. Even with that in mind, manufacturers appear to burn a lot of energy creating generations of cars which bear as little (superficial) resemblance as possible to their predecessors—so much so that any car plucked out of the automotive timeline is essentially a snapshot of the zeitgeist. Why is this necessary? And despite the steep ramp in change over time across the board, why does it appear that so many manufacturers collectively churn out the same car? Laziness or perhaps cars are now fully evolved? Who knows. There was a time when cars didn't all look the same. For example in the 1970s a Citroen looked like a spaceship, a Mercedes a breezeblock, A Jag E-type a phallus. These days if you gaffa tape over the badge, it could be anything. Eclecticist.co.uk.…


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ECLECTICIST 5: Gun Ownership

2013-10-03 :: us@eclecticist.co.uk (Geoff and Ben)
Length: 1s

Gun control is a vital component of any society that values the rule of law. However, the availability of weapons and the freedom to defend oneself and one's property using firearms could be equally vital. Is it possible to maintain a safe and just society with free and easy access to ballistic weaponry? Should gun possession be criminalised and wielded only by democratic governments? In this show, we will discuss the polarising dilemma of gun ownership. Eclecticist.co.uk.…


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ECLECTICIST 4: Alternative Energy

2013-08-30 :: us@eclecticist.co.uk (Geoff and Ben)
Length: 1s

Bodies of ancient biological organisms buried, compressed and cooked over billions of years have produced Petroleum, a complex, hydrocarbon rich, liquid fuel. As a species, we have been burning fossil fuels on an industrial scale for centuries and it has benefited us in terms of standards of living immeasurably. However, there is only so much petroleum underground. It's getting increasingly harder to extract and will one day, completely run out. There are consequently, environmental, socio-economic and political implications to our dependence. There are many initiatives across the globe dedicated to raising public awareness of our potentially worsening energy situation and an increasingly fruitful effort to make renewable energy solutions realistic. Eclecticist.co.uk.…


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ECLECTICIST 3: New Atheism

2013-08-22 :: us@eclecticist.co.uk (Geoff and Ben)
Length: 1s

Since the religiously motivated terror attacks on America in 2001 subsequently known as '9/11', a wave of animosity towards structured religions in general and Islamic nations in particular has produced the meme 'New Atheism' and the many volumes that undergird it. In this show we discuss the derivation of the term, key players, effects on religious communities and the potential trajectory of an inflammatory vocal attack on faith. Is there anything new about atheism? Eclecticist.co.uk.…


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ECLECTICIST 2: Professional Critics

2013-08-12 :: us@eclecticist.co.uk (Geoff and Ben)
Length: 1s

Everybody's a critic. In essence, review is criticism which is judgement. We all do it and we all commonly listen to the criticism by others. In our day to day lives we develop opinions and judge the merits and demerits of virtually everything with the intention of basic discrimination. In this show, we will talk about criticism in the celebrity sense as used by those in the trade, we're criticising professional critics, their motivations, values, weaknesses and utility. Eclecticist.co.uk.…


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ECLECTICIST 1: Apple Design

2013-08-07 :: us@eclecticist.co.uk (Geoff and Ben)
Length: 1s

Apple Incorporated is an American computer hardware and software manufacturer founded in the 1970s that has grown steadily and then explosively into the largest company in the world (in terms of market capitalisation). Designers at Apple are renowned for agonising over every aspect of functional and aesthetic design, an attribute that has garnered them respect from the design community at large and discerning consumers in equal measure. Our discussion ranges from the rationale of their design ethos, effects on hardware design and technology and how the Apple 'design DNA' formula may propagate into the future. Eclecticist.co.uk…


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Eclecticist is an exploration of everything, one topic at a time. Based in London, we take a very British perspective with a heavily colloquial bent on topics that either interest us or we feel warrant investigation. Our mission is to educate ourselves while researching and discussing a spectrum of interesting and mostly contemporary areas with the fringe benefit of distributing the value to any and all listeners. Please spend a little time, have a conversation with your friends and if you will, give us some feedback. Our method of operation is as simple as we could engineer: agree and research a topic then discuss our findings through the filter of our viewpoints. After each show, we publish the working document. Eclecticist.co.uk.


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