The Neuroscience of Everyday Life [TTC Audio]
03 August 2019, 01:48
Course No 1540 | 2019 (2010) | M4B@64 kbps + PDF Guidebook | 17h 55m | 492.7MB
Your nervous system is you. All the thoughts, perceptions, moods, passions, and dreams that make you an active, sentient being are the work of this amazing network of cells. For many centuries, people knew this was true. But no one was sure how it happened. Now, thanks to the exciting new field of neuroscience, we can chart the workings of the brain and the rest of the nervous system in remarkable detail to explain how neurons, synapses, neurotransmitters, and other biological processes produce all the experiences of everyday life, in every stage of life.
From the spectacular growth of the brain in infancy to the act of learning a skill, falling in love, getting a joke, revising an opinion, or even forgetting a name, something very intriguing is going on behind the scenes.
Black Holes Explained [TTC Audio]
29 July 2019, 05:05
Course No 1841 | 2019 | M4B@64 kbps + PDF Guidebook | 6h 19m | 173.16MB
Imagine a region in space where the force of gravity is so strong that nothing - not even light - can escape. A region with physical conditions so extreme that they have not yet been reproduced in any terrestrial laboratory. A region so dense that an object as tiny as a walnut would have the same mass as our entire planet. This phenomenon is a black hole: one of the most exotic, mind-boggling, and profound subjects in astrophysics. Nearly everyone has heard of black holes, but few people outside of complex scientific fields understand their true nature and their implications for our universe.
No movie, novel, or other fictional treatment of black holes matches Professor Filippenko's absorbing presentation of the actual science behind these amazing objects. Black holes are at the heart of some of the most intriguing phenomena in the universe. Not only that, they are ideal gateways to fundamental and cutting-edge concepts in astronomy.
Understanding Russia: A Cultural History [TTC Audio]
31 October 2018, 18:01
2018 | Course No 8374 | M4B@64 kbps + PDF Guidebook | 12 hours and 56 minutes | 411.47MB
From the earliest recorded history of the Russian state, its people have sought to define their place in the world. And while many of us look to make sense of Russia through its political history, in many ways a real grasp of this awe-inspiring country comes from looking closely at its cultural achievements.
The 24 lectures of Understanding Russia: A Cultural History survey hundreds of years of Russian culture, from the world of Ivan the Terrible to the dawn of the Soviet Union to the post-war tensions of Putin's Russia. Blending history with cultural studies, they are designed to bring you closer than ever before to the Russian people - not just the authoritarian rulers like Peter the Great, the Romanovs, and Stalin but the everyday men and women who sought their own meaning in the poetry of Pushkin, the comfort of early folk tales, the faith of medieval iconography, the avant-garde films of Eisenstein, and more.
You'll discover surprising insights into centuries of cultural history, including peasant superstitions, such as avoiding whistling indoors, and the culture of queuing for goods and services that defined everyday life for ordinary Soviets. You'll also spend time in the company of novelists, painters, poets, filmmakers, impresarios, composers, revolutionaries, and intellectuals who shaped Russia in myriad ways, including The Five, a group of composers who created a distinctly national sound based in part on Russian folk music; and Sergei Eisenstein, the filmmaker whose Battleship Potemkin revolutionized the language of cinema.
In a time when the eyes of the Western world are constantly drawn to Russia, it's amazing how little we really know about its culture. These lectures will help you finally understand that complex, thrilling, and undeniably fascinating spirit.
Sci-Phi: Science Fiction as Philosophy [TTC Audio]
13 May 2018, 04:33
2018 | MP3@64 kbps + PDF Guidebook | 13 hours and 30 minutes | 389.73MB
The science fiction genre has become increasingly influential in mainstream popular culture, evolving into one of the most engaging storytelling tools we use to think about technology and consider the shape of the future. Along the way, it has also become one of the major lenses we use to explore important philosophical questions.
The origins of science fiction are most often thought to trace to Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein, a story born from a night of spooky tale-telling by the fireside that explores scientific, moral, and ethical questions that were of great concern in the 19th century - and that continue to resonate today. And, although novels and short stories built the foundations of science fiction, film and television have emerged as equally powerful, experimental, and enjoyable ways to experience the genre. Even as far back as the silent era, films like Fritz Lang's Metropolis have used science fiction to tell stories that explore many facets of human experience.
In Sci-Phi: Science Fiction as Philosophy, Professor of Philosophy David Kyle Johnson, of King's College, takes you on a 24-lecture exploration of the final frontiers of philosophy across several decades of science fiction in film and television. From big-budget blockbusters to television series featuring aliens in rubber masks, Professor Johnson finds food for philosophical thought in a wide range of stories. By looking at serious questions through astonishing tales and astounding technologies, you will see how science fiction allows us to consider immense, vital - and sometimes controversial - ideas with a rare combination of engagement and critical distance.
Athenian Democracy: An Experiment for the Ages [TTC Audio]
13 May 2018, 04:21
2018 | MP3@64 kbps + PDF Guidebook | 12 hours and 40 minutes | 361.98MB
Roughly 2,500 years ago, the Athenian people established a radical democracy in which power derived from the votes of everyday citizens. At a time when local governments ranged from oligarchy to tyranny, the elite classes of Athens gradually ceded power to the inexperienced masses, whose votes served as referendums for everything from taxation to war to welfare. The sequence of events that led to this development is astonishing, and the society that flourished under Athenian democracy is one of the greatest - even if greatly flawed - achievements in world history.
Today, when the foundations of our own democracy are under greater and greater scrutiny, the Athenian experiment in citizen rule offers a powerful object lesson in national politics. How did the Athenian system of democracy work? What were its strengths and weaknesses? And how does it compare to democracy in our world today? Athenian Democracy: An Experiment for the Ages answers these questions and more with 24 captivating lectures. Professor Robert Garland of Colgate University takes us back to ancient Greece and unpacks the development and workings of Athenian democracy. You'll witness the story of history through the lens of Athenian government, going inside the assemblies and courts to find out how democracy worked - and where it came up short.
You may be familiar with the broad strokes of Athenian history, but Professor Garland's unique lens offers a wealth of insights into everything from taxation and welfare to military structure and strategy. Go beyond the traditional "kings and battles" history to gain a sense of what life was like for the people living in the democracy. The heart of Athenian democracy is the "demos", the body of citizens who participated in public assemblies, made speeches, and voted on matters of law. But because only citizens were allowed to vote, Professor Garland also explores Athens through the eyes of women, immigrants, and slaves who could not participate.
Ancient Mesopotamia: Life in the Cradle of Civilization [TTC Audio]
14 April 2018, 09:28
2018 | MP3@64 kbps + PDF Guidebook | 11 hrs 16 mins | 356.54MB
When we imagine what life might have been like thousands of years in the past, the images we often conjure are primitive ones: reed and mud huts or plain brick dwellings, cooking pits, villagers, and simple farms. That was indeed what life was like in the earliest settlements, but by 5,000 years ago, life in some places had become much more sophisticated than we might think. Impressive achievements - like stepped temples that towered like mountains, elaborate palaces (some with bathrooms and plumbing), and complex houses - were also a part of life for people who lived in cities that arose thousands of years ago, particularly in the fertile region that emerged along the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.
Welcome to Mesopotamia, the ancient name for the region that is now Iraq, a remarkably advanced civilization that flourished for two-thirds of the time that civilization has existed on Earth. Mesopotamians mastered irrigation agriculture; built the first complex urban societies; developed writing, literature, and law; and united vast regions through warfare and diplomacy. While civilizations like Greece and Rome have an unbroken tradition of written histories, the rich history of Mesopotamia has only been recently rediscovered, thanks to the decipherment of Mesopotamia's cuneiform writing less than 200 years ago. In this 24-lecture course taught by Professor Podany, you'll fill in the blanks of your historical understanding as you witness a whole new world opening before your eyes.
Riveting stories about kings and priestesses as well as ordinary people from all walks of life transport you back in time, giving you invaluable insights into the history of a landmark region that has long been known as the cradle of civilization.
Thinking About Religion and Violence [TTC Audio]
14 April 2018, 09:27
2018 | MP3@64 kbps + PDF Guidebook | 12 hrs 23 mins | 350.15MB
In a world where violence in the name of religion can impact so many other people's lives, it's critical to understand the intersection between religion and violence. What's required is not to see religion as inherently violent but to recognize that the violence associated with religious groups and communities is worth exploring and interrogating.
In these 24 lectures, embark on a global, multidisciplinary investigation of religious violence. Delivered with honesty and sensitivity to the diversity of spiritual beliefs, these lectures examine the roots of this phenomenon and guide you toward more informed ways of thinking about it.
You'll consider how faiths like Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism view concepts like human sacrifice, martyrdom, and penitence; the ways religious violence can be directed toward specific races and genders; concepts like heresy, witch hunting, and demonology; and more. You'll probe complex ideas and concepts that will help you fashion your own interpretations, such as "religion", "Other-ing", and "cult." And you'll burrow deep into both current issues relating to religious violence - as well as their historical and conceptual sources.
Professor Bivins doesn't take a clinical or pessimistic approach to the material. Rather, he's an engaging on-screen presence with a fierce open-mindedness to the varieties of religious experience. He's also optimistic about what we can learn from a comprehensive study of religious violence. And at the individual level, it starts with approaching the topic in a way that's immersive, insightful, thorough, and important for our times.
Capitalism vs. Socialism: Comparing Economic Systems [TTC Audio]
12 April 2018, 15:36
2018 | Course No 5006 | MP3@64 kbps + PDF Guidebook | 11 hrs 59 mins | 354.07MB
Ever since we produced our course Thinking About Capitalism, customers have expressed interest in a follow-up course that could help them understand socialism in the same way. After much consideration, we determined that it actually would be more beneficial to create a course that compares and contrasts the two major global economic theories, examining them in ways that move past the polemics many of us are used to and looking at these systems as they relate to one another and the world at large.
Politics and economics are inextricable, so it can be difficult to find the right person to tackle such a complex and often polarizing subject as objectively as possible. Luckily, we found Professor Edward Stuart, an economist and teacher who specializes in comparative economics. Professor Stuart brings not only economic expertise, but personal experience gleaned from teaching, traveling, and consulting all over the world, and it is this wide lens of experience that helps make Capitalism vs. Socialism such an engaging new entry in our library of courses.
The Celtic World [TTC Audio]
12 April 2018, 15:35
2018 | Course No 3733 | MP3@64 kbps + PDF Guidebook | 12 hrs 52 mins | 371.64MB
Following the surge of interest and pride in Celtic identity since the 19th century, much of what we thought we knew about the Celts has been radically transformed. From the warriors who nearly defeated Julius Caesar to druids who, contrary to popular opinion, definitely did not worship at Stonehenge, get to know the real Celts.
In The Celtic World, discover the incredible story of the Celtic-speaking peoples, whose art, language, and culture once spread from Ireland to Austria. This series of 24 enlightening lectures explains the traditional historical view of who the Celts were, then contrasts it with brand-new evidence from DNA analysis and archeology that totally changes our perspective on where the Celts came from. European history and culture have been profoundly affected by the Celts, from the myth of King Arthur to the very map of the United Kingdom, where the English confronted the peoples of the "Celtic Fringe."
With a wealth of historical expertise, Professor Jennifer Paxton (PhD Harvard University), Director of the University Honors Program and Clinical Assistant Professor of History at The Catholic University of America, guides you through each topic related to Celtic history with approachability and ease as you unearth what we once thought it meant - and what it may actually mean - to be Celtic. Professor Paxton's engaging, often humorous delivery blends perfectly with the facts about the Celts to uncover surprising historical revelations. The ancient Celts are very much alive in the literary and artistic traditions that their descendants have both preserved and very deliberately revived. All facets of Celtic life, past and present, are addressed by Professor Paxton, who demonstrates a masterful knowledge and carefully separates fact from myth at every turn. Come along for a ride through history to discover your inner Celt.
Why You Are Who You Are: Investigations into Human Personality [TTC Audio]
03 February 2018, 23:41
Course No 1648 | MP3@64 kbps + PDF Guidebook | 12 hrs 52 mins | 379.68MB
To understand the roots of personality is to understand motivations and influences that shape behavior, which in turn reflect how you deal with the opportunities and challenges of everyday life. That's the focus of these exciting 24 lectures, in which you examine the differences in people's personalities, where these differences come from, and how they shape our lives.
Drawing on information gleaned from psychology, neuroscience, and genetics, Professor Leary opens the door to understanding how personality works and why. Throughout his illuminating lectures, five important personality traits come into focus, traits that form the foundation of how psychologists approach the topic of personality: extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness.
Combining psychology with neuroscience and behavioral genetics, this exploration will open your eyes to the myriad ways our traits, motives, emotions, beliefs, and values are shaped by things like our genes, environment, experiences, and evolutionary history. Why is it so hard to change our behavior? Why do people develop different values and morals? Does personality change as we age? Is personality passed down through genes?
Designed as a fascinating, accessible scientific inquiry, these lectures will have you thinking about personality in a way that enriches your understanding of the complex psychological processes that make you who you are.