Theory of Everything
Recent, Relevant, Random07/25/14
We don’t have metrics to measure what happens when we read something that changes our life. So this episode is an attempt to deal with that. We begin with writer Rob Walker who tells us about his “New Old Thing,” a regular feature he produces for...
Guided By Voices
Philosopher Daniel Heller-Roazen tells us the story of Pythagoras and the fifth hammer and how Kant and Kepler both tried (and failed) to record the universal harmonies Pythagoras once heard. Your host sets out to make some money doing experimental...
Stages on Life’s Way
Søren Kierkegaard is one of your host’s personal idols. A few years ago he took a pilgrimage to Copenhagen to walk the streets that the great Dane oncewalked and ask the experts about the meaning of Kierkegaard’s religious stage. Also Photographer...
A Better Tomorrow
This week we examine the legacy of The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproducibility by Walter Benjamin. Media Theorist and Benjamin scholar (and translator) Thomas Levin explainswhy this essay resonates today and what Benjamin has totell us...
Andrew Rubin opens up his Archives of Authority to tell us the story of how George Orwell's Animal Farm and 1984 became global phenomenons. Melissa Gira Grant tells us about her new book Playing the Whore and the complicated relationship between sex...
1984 (the year not the book)
In 1984 your host was twelve years old and like George Orwell’s protagonist Winston Smith, he kept a diary for the citizens of the future. Find out what totalitarianism really sounds like.
Technology consultant Sarah Slocum loves social media and her Google Glass, she wears them everywhere. But when she walked into Molotov's, a bar on Haight Street in San Francisco, she discovered that not everyone shares her love for wearable gadgets....
When You’re Lonely, Life is Very Long
After moving to New York alone, writer Olivia Laing discovered the truth about loneliness. She says itis a gift. Eric Klinenberg explains why more and more people are choosing to live alone and why cities like New York must invest in housing stock...
F is for Fake
To Bot or Not?That’s the big questionfor Data ScientistGilad Lotan. His research suggests we may be damaging our online reputations if we choose not to play thefake followergame.Jason Q Ng, author of the book Blocked on Weibo, tells us why the...
Artifacts (2 of 2)
Social Media theorist Nathan Jurgenson wants us to understand what is truly revolutionary about ephemeral photographs and platforms like Snapchat, Fred Ritchin says we are going to get our minds blown “After Photography” and Finn Bruntun explains why...
Artifacts (1 of 2)
Photographer Robert Burley takes pictures of the end of analog for his book The Disappearance Of Darkness. Christine Frohnert explains how conservators must care for Art with a Plug. Curator Christiane Paul tells us how the Whitney Museum of American...
Not Soon Enough
This week your host tries to break through to the other side using the art of John Singer Sargent as a… jumping off point. Also we get an update from our corespondent Peter Choyce. When we last heard from Peter (in “admissions of defeat”) he was...
When Private Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison she announced her desire to transition from male to female. Yvette Gonzales tells us a first person story about what its like to be transgender in Prison. Gender theorist B. Preciado tells us...
Waiting In Line
About a year ago I travelled across America for the BBC. I visited Airports, Amusement parks, Highways and Community Colleges in order to understand how the priority queue is changing the American experience of waiting in line. Aversion of this...
Out Of The Office
Programmer David Heinemeier Hansson tells us about his Out Of Office experience, David is a partner at 37signals and a co-author (with Jason Fried) of REMOTE: Office Not Required. We also meet Ignacio Uriarte, he left his cubicle for a career in...
Admissions Of Defeat
We check in with a few of our TOE regulars: Peter Choyce has is one of my oldest friends and a listener favorite, but he has a secret we’ve never addressed until now. We also check in with our D.C. correspondent”Chris” who tells us about the NSA’s...
Anthropologist Gabriella Coleman tells us about her book Coding Freedom and the time she spent among the Hackers, “Chris” makes his TOE debut with a story about the alleged hacking of the New York Times by the Chinese, and your host wonders if it...
Red, White, Blue & Orange
A torture expert records an imaginary criterion commentary track for the torture scenes in Zero Dark Thirty. We learn about Umarov Muhibullah, one of the first innocent men to be released from Guantanamo. And your host ponders why Guantanamo is still...
The Clouds (part 3 of 3)
Our series concludes with some revelations. Metahaven uses the story of Wikileaks to show us the infrastructure of the cloud and its super-jurisdictional powers. The BBC’s Paul Mason takes us on a wild tour of China in his novel Rare Earth. And a pile...
The Clouds (part 2 of 3)
We continue our journey to the center of the cloud, by way of the earth: Rare Earth. China controls 95% of the market for the 17 Rare Earth elements that power our invisible technologies so your host decides to pay a visit to the Ganzhou region, to...
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