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Beware of billionaires: 'Their vision is fundamentally incompatible with democracy'

11 Jul 2020

Author Anand Giridharadas investigates the hypocrisy of flamboyant billionaire do-gooders, and says the neoliberal idea of benefits trickling down was a "fraudulent ideology from the beginning". Audio

Saturday 11 July 2020

Available Audio (7)

Bill Gates

Bill Gates Photo: AFP

8:10 Anand Giridharadas: beware of billionaire "do-gooders"

No caption

Photo: supplied

Described by a Guardian reviewer as "superb hate-reading", writer and columnist Anand Giridharadas's latest book Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World investigates the hypocrisy of billionaire "do-gooders".

He questions how and why we have become reliant on the philanthropy of the super-rich to help solve our biggest global issues, and their role in eroding the public institutions that should be leading the way.

Giridharadas is an editor-at-large for TIME and was a foreign correspondent and columnist for The New York Times from 2005 to 2016. His two previous books are India Calling: An Intimate Portrait of a Nation's Remaking and The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas.

9:05 Virologist Dr Chris Smith: Covid-19 unknowns

Cambridge University consultant clinical virologist Dr Chris Smith returns to digest emerging Covid-related science and research.

This week, a growing understanding of the widespread (and sometimes long term) damage that Covid-19 can do to the body.

We'll also have the latest on the hunt for a vaccine, whether Covid-19 should be considered an airborne disease (and why this matters), and what the current state of our knowledge is about important issues like mutation and post-infection immunity. 

A health worker puts a swab into a tube after collecting a sample for Covid-19 coronavirus testing in Gombak on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur on April 22, 2020.

A health worker puts a swab into a tube after collecting a sample for Covid-19 coronavirus testing in Gombak on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur on April 22, 2020. Photo: Mohd Rasfan / AFP

9:35 Celebrating trans experiences: Rūrangi director Max Currie

Max Currie

Max Currie Photo: supplied

Formerly a writer on Shortland Street, director Max Currie is bringing his acclaimed web series Rūrangi to the big screen as part of this year's New Zealand International Film Festival.

Billed as a trans-celebratory drama, the plot revolves around the return of transgender activist Caz Davis to the remote dairy community of Rūrangi where he grew up, and where he hopes to reconnect with his estranged father.  

Rūrangi gets its world premiere at Auckland's ASB Waterfront Theatre on Sunday 26 July. It then screens in select cinemas nationwide, and as part of Whānau Marama: New Zealand International Film Festival online streaming programme from 27 July.

10:05 Novelist David Mitchell on his new book Utopia Avenue

The author of Cloud Atlas, Black Swan Green, and number9dream, David Mitchell, has just released a new novel: his first in five years. 

Utopia Avenue, is a magical, musical story about '...the strangest British band you've never heard of…"

With a TV series in the pipeline, Mitchell discusses his hopes for the book, the creative process, how he approaches historical fiction, and how he deals with negative criticism.

Two of Mitchell's previous novels, number9dream (2001) and Cloud Atlas (2004), were shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

David Mitchell / Utopia Avenue cover

David Mitchell / Utopia Avenue cover Photo: supplied / Paul Stuart / Hodder & Stoughton

10:35 Adventurer Kathy Sullivan: from outer space to deep under the sea

Astronaut, oceanographer and adventurer Kathy Sullivan recently became the first American woman ever to have walked in space and to have travelled to the deepest point of the world's oceans.

She's just returned home to Ohio, having ventured more than 10 kilometres under the waves to Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench.

11:05 Playing Favourites with Dennis O'Brien from Slow Boat Records

Dennis O'Brien

Dennis O'Brien Photo: supplied

Slow Boat Records is a Wellington institution, a magnet for musos and vinyl heads.

As the city’s longest surviving independent record store, it was named one of the world’s finest music shops back in 2017.

Over the years it’s welcomed famous shoppers like Radiohead and The Beastie Boys through its doors, and also hosted some big international and local names for instore performances.

After decades at the helm, its founder, head honcho, and former musician Dennis O'Brien has decided to take a back seat in the business: he joins us to play some of his favourite music.

Slow Boat Records in Wellington's Cuba St

Slow Boat Records in Wellington's Cuba St Photo: CC BY-SA 2.5

 

Books mentioned in this show

Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World
by Anand Giridharadas
ISBN: : 9780141990910
Published by Penguin Press

Utopia Avenue
by David Mitchell
ISBN: 9781444799439
published by Hodder & Stoughton

 

Playlist

Song: Moanin'
Artist: Art Blakey And The Jazz Messengers
Played at 10:35

Song: Met Her on a Plane
Artist: Jimmy Webb
Played at 11:15

Song: Time´s Caught Up On You [New Edit]
Artist: Gerry Rafferty
Played at 11:25

Song: Any Other Face in the Rain
Artist: Dennis O'Brien
Played at 11:38

Song: Fear and Loathing
Artist: Noah Gundersen
Played at 11:54