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Jun 25, 2020
Excellent commentary and insight.
Jun 12, 2020
Solid & creative crime podcast with high production value & a likable host covering historical cases that'll likely be new to you. She's best when focused on storytelling, bc her attempts at commentary get preachy & self-important in tone
We're back with a special, election-themed episode of The Last Archive! While reporting Episode 5: Project X, Jill spoke to Bob Schieffer, famed TV newsman of CBS, about how computers and the Internet changed the way we report on elections, and even the way they turn out. It's been sitting on the shelf here in the last archive for a little while now, but it feels eerily prescient. So, take a listen, take a deep breath, and good luck come November.
|Oct 22, 2020|
The Last Archive Presents: Brave New Planet
Introducing Brave New Planet, a seven-part series that delves deep into the powerful technologies changing our world. These technologies have amazing potential upsides, but if we’re not careful, some might leave us a lot worse off. Brave New Planet is hosted Dr. Eric Lander, president and founding director of The Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. To get the world we want, we’ll need to make wise choices. And, those decisions aren’t just up to scientists or politicians. We—all of us—are the stewards of a brave new planet. Learn more at bravenewplanet.org.
|Oct 12, 2020|
The Last Archive Presents: Into the Zone
The newest show from Pushkin Industries is Into the Zone, a podcast about opposites and how borders are never as clear as we think. In Episode 1, Hari’s visit to Stonehenge on the Solstice prompts an investigation into the gray zone between being a native and a migrant. He also tracks down an old friend, whose work with Harvard geneticist David Reich overturns centuries of nationalist thinking. Learn more about Into the Zone at https://pushkin.fm/into-the-zone.
|Sep 03, 2020|
The Last Archive Presents: The Chronicles of Now
The Last Archive presents: The Chronicles of Now. Three billion birds have gone missing in North America over the past 50 years. Or is that fake news? J. Courtney Sullivan, the New York Times bestselling author of five novels, including her most recent, Friends and Strangers, tells the stories of two sisters forever connected by birds and forever divided by politics. Narrated by Cindy Katz. Hosted by Ashley C. Ford.
|Jul 23, 2020|
For ten episodes, we’ve been asking a big question: Who killed truth? The answer has to do with a change in the elemental unit of knowledge: the fall of the fact, and the rise of data. So, for the last chapter in our investigation, we rented a cherry red convertible, and went to the place all the data goes: Silicon Valley. In our season finale, we reckon with a weird foreshortening of history, the fussiness of old punch cards, the unreality of simulation, and the difficulty of recording audio with the top down on the 101. Hop in.
|Jul 16, 2020|
For the Birds
In the spring of 1958, when the winter snow melted and the warm sun returned, the birds did not. Birdwatchers, ordinary people, everyone wondered where the birds had gone. Rachel Carson, a journalist and early environmentalist, figured it out — they’d been poisoned by DDT, a pesticide that towns all over the country had been spraying. Carson wrote a book about it, Silent Spring. It succeeded in stopping DDT, and it launched the modern environmental movement. But now, more than 60 years later, birds are dying off en masse again. Our question is simple: What are the birds trying to tell us this time, and why can’t we hear their message any more?
|Jul 09, 2020|
She Said, She Said
In 1969, radical feminists known as the Redstockings gathered in a church in Greenwich Village, and spoke about their experiences with abortion. They called this ‘consciousness-raising’ or ‘speaking bitterness,’ and it changed the history of women’s rights, all the way down to the 1977 National Women’s Convention and, really, down to the present day. The idea of ‘speaking bitterness’ came from a Maoist practice, and is a foundation to both the #MeToo movement and the conservative Victim’s Rights movement. But at what cost?
|Jul 02, 2020|
In 1966, just as the foundations of the Internet were being imagined, the federal government considered building a National Data Center. It would be a centralized federal facility to hold computer records from each federal agency, in the same way that the Library of Congress holds books and the National Archives holds manuscripts. Proponents argued that it would help regulate and compile the vast quantities of data the government was collecting. Quickly, though, fears about privacy, government conspiracies, and government ineptitude buried the idea. But now, that National Data Center looks like a missed opportunity to create rules about data and privacy before the Internet took off. And in the absence of government action, corporations have made those rules themselves.
|Jun 25, 2020|
In the 1950s, polio spread throughout the United States. Heartbreakingly, it affected mainly children. Thousands died. Thousands more were paralyzed. Many ended up surviving only in iron lungs, a machine that breathed for polio victims, sometimes for years. Scientists raced to find a vaccine. After a few hard years of widespread quarantine and isolation, the scientists succeeded. The discovery of the polio vaccine was one of the brightest moments in public health history. But a vaccine required Americans to believe in a truth they couldn’t see with their own eyes. It also raised questions of access, of racial equity, and of the federal government’s role in healthcare, questions whose legacy we’re living with today.
|Jun 18, 2020|
The election of 1952 brought all kinds of new technology into the political sphere. The Eisenhower campaign experimented with the first television ads to feature an American presidential candidate. And on election night, CBS News premiered the first computer to predict an American election — the UNIVAC. Safe to say, that part didn’t go according to plan. But election night 1952 is ground zero for our current, political post-truth moment. If a computer and a targeted advertisement can both use heaps data to predict every citizen’s every decision, can voters really know things for themselves after all?
|Jun 11, 2020|
In 1945, Ralph Ellison went to a barn in Vermont and began to write Invisible Man. He wrote it in the voice of a black man from the south, a voice that changed American literature. Invisible Man is a novel made up of black voices that had been excluded from the historical record until, decades earlier, he’d helped record them with the WPA’s Federal Writers Project. What is the evidence of a voice? How can we truly know history without everyone’s voices? This episode traces those questions — from the quest to record oral histories of formerly enslaved people, to Black Lives Matter and the effort to record the evidence of police brutality.
|Jun 04, 2020|
The Invisible Lady
In 1804, an Invisible Lady arrived in New York City. She went on to become the most popular attraction in the country. But why? And who was she? In this episode, we chase her through time, finding invisible women everywhere, wondering: What is the relationship between keeping women invisible and the histories of privacy, and of knowledge?
|May 28, 2020|
Detection of Deception
When James Frye, a young black man, is charged with murder under unusual circumstances in 1922, he trusts his fate to a strange new machine: the lie detector. Why did the lie detector’s inventor, William Moulton Marston, a psychology professor and lawyer, think a machine could tell if a human being is lying better than a jury? And what does it all have to do with Wonder Woman?
|May 21, 2020|
The Clue of the Blue Bottle
On a spring day in 1919, a woman’s body was found bound, gagged, and strangled in a garden in Barre, Vermont. Who was she? Who killed her? In this episode, we try to solve a cold case - reopening a century-old murder investigation - as a way to uncover the history of evidence itself. What is a clue? What is a fact? What is a mystery? We put the pieces of the puzzle together: photographs, newspaper articles, a private eye’s notebook, the trial record and, last but not least, a trip to the scene of the crime.
|May 14, 2020|
Introducing The Last Archive
The Last Archive: a new podcast about the history of evidence written and hosted by New Yorker writer, author, and celebrated historian Jill Lepore.
|Apr 30, 2020|