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Pulling the Strings

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Claims that “The Revolution will be Tweeted” may not always be the case. On today’s show, Evgeny Morozov looks at whether the Internet may turn out to be more of a boon to authoritarian governments than to democracy. Then, comic Pat Cooper talks about his life and career. Also, we’ll look at the many cliches in professional sports with a behavioral economist and a writer for Sports Illustrated. Plus, James Miller discusses his collection of short biographies of twelve influential philosophers.

The Dark Side of Internet Freedom

Evgeny Morozov argues that the Internet and social media are not as liberating and democratizing as some have claimed, and he shows how authoritarian governments are effectively using the Internet to suppress free speech, hone their surveillance techniques, and disseminate propaganda. In The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom Morozov shows how the Internet entrenches dictators, threatens dissidents, and how it can make it harder to promote democracy.

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Pat Cooper on His Life in Comedy

Comic Pat Cooper talks about his career in comedy and tells about his experiences working with stars such as George Burns, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and Bobby Darin. His new memoir, How Dare You Say How Dare Me! discusses his Brooklyn roots, getting his big break on The Jackie Gleason Show, his inspirations, and his motivations.

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Scorecasting

University of Chicago behavioral economist Tobias Moscowitz and veteran Sports Illustrated writer L. Jon Wertheim reveal the hidden forces that shape how basketball, baseball, football, and hockey games are played, won, and lost. Their book Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won overturns some of the most cherished truisms of sports—from home-field advantage, to the biased umpires exhibit, to the myth of the "hot hand" in sports.

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Examined Lives: From Socrates to Nietzsche

James Miller talks about the lives of twelve famous philosophers and the answers they offered to the most fundamental questions about who we are and what makes for a life worth living. Examined Lives: From Socrates to Nietzsche looks at the lives and beliefs of philosophers from Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle to Kant, Emerson, and Nietzsche—and explores questions about what it means to live a good life.

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