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Online Great Books Podcast

Jul 30, 2020

This week, Scott and Karl discuss A Canticle for Leibowitz, the post-apocalyptic science fiction classic by Walter M. Miller Jr., first published in 1959.

Scott says, “It's a story about how fragile civilization is, how fragile knowledge is, and what people’s responsibility to that may or may not be." 

As the plot...

Jul 23, 2020

12 years ago, an anonymous person using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto published Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. This week, Scott and Karl discuss this revolutionary concept of how Bitcoin set out to change the way the world views currencies. 

At just ten pages long, Nakamoto’s original paper is still...

Jul 16, 2020

What are fairy-stories? What is their origin? What is the use of them?

This week, Scott and Karl read “On Fairy-Stories” and “Leaf by Niggle” by J. R. R. Tolkien. Both works offer answers to these questions while providing the underlying philosophy of Tolkien's own fantastical writing, such as The Lord of...

Jul 9, 2020

This week, Scott and Karl read Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry. The role of community in the shaping of character is a recurring theme for Berry, who is the author of more than forty books that largely serve as an extended conversation about the life he values.

Berry is a writer, a novelist, an essayist, but also a poet,...

Jul 2, 2020

This week Scott and Karl read Storm of Steel by Ernst Jünger, the memoir widely viewed as the best account ever written of fighting in WW1. Printed in 1920, this book illuminates not only the horrors but also the fascination of total war, seen through the eyes of a German soldier. "Ernst is a generous soul who can see...