On Start the Week Emily Maitlis talks to the Executive Chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt about the digital future. A future where everyone is connected, but ideas of privacy, security and community are transformed. Former Wikileaks employee James Ball asks how free we are online. The curator Honor Harger looks to art to understand this new world of technology. And worried about this brave new world? David Spiegelhalter, offers a guide…
Tagged with “radio 4” (20)
In this BBC Radio 4 interview with Jim Al-Khalili, Professor Dawkins discusses his enthusiasm for the science that inspired the book and how he popularised the idea of the immortal gene.
Jim asks what he hoped to achieve by writing the book and finds out why he would rather be known for his science than his atheism.
Kirsty Young’s castaway is writer Brian Aldiss.
Kirsty Young’s castaway this week is the author Brian Aldiss. He is best known for pioneering, alongside JG Ballard, a new wave of British science fiction writing in the 1960s. He says science fiction is not so much a prediction of the future as a metaphor for the human condition; and for him, at least, writing it offered an escape route and a filter through which to view his own extraordinary upbringing. He grew up in a small Norfolk village in a very devout and austere home. While his father was distant, his mother was still suffering from the grief after her first child, a daughter, was still-born. He was the second child and even when he was very small, remembers feeling a strong sense of his mother’s disappointment in him.
The army finally offered a way out for him and it was on his return to England that he started writing seriously while also working in a bookshop. One of his early works was a short story describing the sadness felt by a boy who was never able to please his parents, which was turned into a film by Stanley Kubrick. While he remains best known for his science fiction writing - and has won every major award in the field - he has also written novels, poetry and biographies and short stories. Now, he says, he aims not for high sales but to become a better and better writer.
The castaway in Desert Island Discs this week is Douglas Adams, creator of the anarchic world conjured up by The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. He’ll be talking to Sue Lawley about how, as a child, he found it difficult to communicate with the adult world, and didn’t speak until he was four years old. But as his confidence grew, he set his sights on being a nuclear physicist - an ambition later replaced by a burning desire to be John Cleese in Monty Python’s Flying Circus. In fact, he has become a hugely-successful author, a passionate amateur naturalist and a rock star manque.
Bjork chats on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
Writer and documentary maker Jon Ronson returns for another series of fascinating stories shedding light on the human condition.
Jon Ronson talks to comedian Josie Long who found herself in a situation where she had to make a choice on whether to spy on someone’s life… did morality step in? Writer Danny Wallace recalls the days when a spy was sent to his home to spy on his father, a leading expert on East German literature.
Johnny Howorth, rookie documentary maker, was also in a situation where he was asked by US Marshals to spy on the couple Ed and Elaine Brown who were convicted of tax crimes. As he naively got more deeply involved, he feared another Wako and had to make a difficult decision… John Symonds, a so-called ‘romeo spy’ also tells his sometimes shocking story.
Producers: Laura Parfitt and Simon Jacobs An Unique production for BBC Radio 4.
Animator and film director Terry Gilliam joins Kirsty Young to choose his Desert Island Discs.
He first planted his foot-print on our cultural landscape more than thirty years ago - back then, it was a huge, animated foot which squashed everything beneath it and became one of the defining images of Monty Python’s Flying Circus.
In the years since, his film credits have included Brazil, Twelve Monkeys and The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus. Now aged 70, he’s directing his first opera. He says: "I’ve always liked the extremes, the edges. I like to know where the cliff is, but you only find out by stepping off."
Clive Stafford Smith calls on Sir Peter Gibson to stand down as the lead judge on the UK torture inquiry, due to apparent bias.
The most powerful maps aren’t found on paper or a computer screen. They’re the maps we hold in our memories and imaginations. Mike Parker visits a primary school in his home town to compare the pupils’ maps with his own, drawn from childhood recollection. And he takes a trip to Ambridge, home of the Archers, to meet Eddie Grundy and ask him for directions around the village.
Who needs traditional paper maps any more when you can download all the maps you need from the internet? Mike Parker looks at cartography in the digital age and asks whether internet mapping and satellite navigation are actually destroying good map-making and map-reading.
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