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Idea Channel
Idea Channel

Idea Channel

Join host Mike Rugnetta in this critical look at pop theory and modern culture.

7m 32s

Why Do We Love Zombies?

Zombies are EVERYWHERE!! Wait, don't panic- we mean in pop culture, not outside your window. But why is that? Bad guys and monsters seem to go through phases: one decade there's a dozen movies about aliens, ten years later it's vampires. And right now, it's zombies. There must be something that makes us fixate on one antagonist trope. So what are we afraid of now? It might just be technology.

8m 9s

Is the Universe a Computer?

The universe is made up of information, similar to a computer, and physics (you know, the basis of the universe) certainly is based on computational principles. But is it running some grand program? Will the answer be 42? Make sure you have your towel, and watch the episode!

7m 7s

Is Developing Artificial Intelligence (AI) Ethical?

From R2-D2 to the Jetsons, our future robot companions promise to be helpful and handy! But many people have their concerns: will the development of artificial intelligence end up REPLACING humans in the work force, pushing already high unemployment through the roof?!?!

8m 44s

Does Math Really Exist?

Math is invisible. Unlike physics, chemistry, and biology we can't see it, smell it, or even directly observe it in the universe. And so that has made a lot of really smart people ask, does it actually even EXIST?!?!

8m 32s

Is a DOS Attack a Weapon?

Denial of Service (DOS) or Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks take down servers by distracting them with meaningless traffic until basically they can't take it any more. The way we talk about the result of a software program reflects the way we view "online", and the value we place on its content. But what does it do to our comprehension when we lump violent acts online with real life?

7m 18s

Is Sad Music Actually Sad?

Be it Elliott Smith or Queen, classical or dub step, there's usually a clear understanding that some songs are sad, and some songs are happy. But what is it about the music that makes us feel these feelings we're feeling?

4m 15s

A Visit to Mr. Monfre's Class

Every week, Mr. Monfre's class in Milwaukee, Wisconsin watches Idea Channel, has a great discussion and posts an awesome comment. We were lucky enough to surprise them with a visit to their classroom!!! So come watch as Mike meets the illustrious Mr. Monfre and hangs out with his amazing students.

7m 40s

Is Buying Call of Duty a Moral Choice?

If you play video games, you've shot a gun. And those guns are REALISTIC. So real that many are actually LICENSED by IRL arms dealers. Which means that when you buy a video game, you're also putting money in the pockets of those gun manufacturers. That's fine and dandy if you're a fan of guns, but if you are someone who considers themselves anti-gun, this creates quite the moral quandary.

8m 27s

Is Community a Postmodern Masterpiece?

Though the TV show Community has never achieved huge ratings, it has a passionate cult following, including us here at Idea Channel. The show plays with genre and narrative in such a creative way that it brings to mind the cultural and artistic theory of Postmodernism.

8m 39s

Will Kickstarter Replace Hollywood?

Although it's funding is nowhere NEAR the amount Hollywood invests in moviemaking each year, crowdfunding is a way better indicator of what the audience wants to see, the one area Hollywood has failed in time and time again. Will Kickstarter put an end to the Hollywood system?

7m 54s

Is Piracy Helping Game of Thrones?

A huge amount of viewers of the HBO series Game of Thrones (not us of course, no no no) are downloading the show illegally. But despite being the most pirated show of 2012, the Game of Thrones DVDs are top sellers, breaking HBO's own sales records!! Could it be that piracy is actually HELPING the show?!

7m 38s

Do Knock-Offs Prove the Value of a Brand?

We're willing to pay hundreds or thousands more for a specific brand name item, but sometimes it can be tempting to go the way of the knock-off for a fraction of the price. The counterfeit industry is huge and isn't going anywhere, and companies spend huge amounts to dissuade people from buying "fakes". But are knock-offs REALLY a negative for the brand?

5m 56s

Is Minecraft the Ultimate Educational Tool?

Some experts have brought Minecraft into the classroom, allowing teachers to customize lessons and students to engage with concepts in new ways. And while educational games aren't new, Minecraft has some unique advantages that could usher in a new direction in education. In the future, students across the world may spend their class time punching trees.

4m 0s

Russian Meteorites and Surveillance Culture

A meteorite crashed into earth!!!! This wasn't the first time and it won't be the last, but it is the first time such an event was captured by SO MANY CAMERAS! But besides providing the world with some hilarious, frightening, and amazing footage, the dash cams also make us think about surveillance, and what role it will play in the future.

4m 41s

There's No Such Thing as Online?!?

From Facebook to bank accounts, you always have some sort of online presence, whether you're actively engaging in front of a screen or not. Yet this is still a word we use to describe our engagement with the Internet. So we have to ask, is this online/offline distinction even worth making? Because we may need to re-evaluate the very word "ONLINE"...

6m 0s

Is Futurama the Best Argument Against Transhumanism?

Transhumanism is a scientific philosophy that says technology will solve all our human biological constraints and that immortality is right around the corner (well not RIGHT around the corner, but WAYYY closer). They envision a world of endlessly euphoric robo-humans that represent the next step in evolution. And while this sounds super awesome, we had to ask, will this really make us happy?!

5m 17s

Are MP3s & Vinyl Better than Live Music?

If you've ever talked to a vinyl purist (or are one yourself) you know that people can be pretty passionate about what format is king when it comes to music. And based on how much people like to brag about what band they saw live and how many times, we clearly value the authenticity of the live performance above all else. So which is the most authentic, recorded music or live performance?

Fascinating. Entertaining.

Yours.

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