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Crazy Town

Science Podcasts

With equal parts humor and in-depth analysis, Asher, Rob, and Jason safeguard their sanity while probing crazy-making topics like climate change, overshoot, runaway capitalism, and why we’re all deluding ourselves.


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With equal parts humor and in-depth analysis, Asher, Rob, and Jason safeguard their sanity while probing crazy-making topics like climate change, overshoot, runaway capitalism, and why we’re all deluding ourselves.








How to Have Sex with Yourself: The Bizarre Cult of the Singularity

Meet Ray Kurzweil, who combines Moore’s Law with nanobots in a faux recipe to cheat death. Please share this episode with your friends and start a conversation. For an entertaining deep dive into the theme of season five (Phalse Prophets), read the definitive peer-reviewed taxonomic analysis from our very own Jason Bradford, PhD. Sources/Links/Notes: The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend BiologyThe Singularity Is NearerThe smartest (or the nuttiest) futurist on...


Why the Polycrisis Is a Statistical Anomaly: The Willful Delusions of the World’s Leading Pseudointellectual

Meet Steven Pinker whose denial of limits increases the likelihood of his worst fear: the end of the Enlightenment. Please share this episode with your friends and start a conversation. For an entertaining deep dive into the theme of season five (Phalse Prophets), read the definitive peer-reviewed taxonomic analysis from our very own Jason Bradford, PhD. Sources/Links/Notes: "Steven Pinker Thinks Your Sense of Imminent Doom Is Wrong"The New York Times MagazineThe Work that Reconnects...


What the Phuck Is a Phalse Prophet?

Meet the unelected leaders of Crazy Town, who keep our collective heads in the sand while the planet burns. Please share this episode to your friends and start a conversation. For an entertaining deep dive into the theme of season five (Phalse Prophets), read the definitive peer-reviewed taxonomic analysis from our very own Jason Bradford, PhD. Sources/Links/Notes: "Bundyville: The Remnant"Bruce's BeachYes! Magazinearticle on land justiceSupport the show


Bonus: Drawing Insights with Stuart McMillen

Stuart McMillen is a systems thinker disguised as a cartoonist. His long-form comics condense important academic topics into understandable and entertaining works of art. Stuart tackles topics in the fields of ecology, economics, psychology, and sociology. With original drawings, thought-provoking narration, and expertly paced storytelling, he introduces readers to critical ideas that are often under-reported and underappreciated, including energy slaves, property rights, peak oil, and the...


Bonus: An Inconvenient Apocalypse with Bob Jensen

Bob Jensen has written a book with Wes Jackson titled An Inconvenient Apocalypse: Environmental Collapse, Climate Crisis, and the Fate of Humanity. With a title like that, Jason and Bob have lots of heavy ground to cover, including overshoot, the limits to growth, and the cascading environmental and social crises of our times. They conclude that there are no easy answers or silver-bullet solutions, but by focusing on sustainable size of the human population, appropriate scale of social...


Bonus: Human Rights and Multispecies Justice with Danielle Celermajer

Asher is joined in Crazy Town by Danielle Celermajer, author and professor at University of Sydney, for a far-ranging conversation about human rights and the more-than-human world. Dany shares how her personal relationship with the Shoah (Holocaust) set her on a path of human rights work and impacted her experience of the devastating Black Summer Fires that swept through Australia in 2019-2020. They discuss her journey towards scholarship and activism for the more-than-human world, the...


Bonus: A Climate Scientist Goes to Jail with Peter Kalmus

Climate scientist and activist Peter Kalmus returns to Crazy Town, but this time with a green badge of courage. Earlier this year, he locked himself to the entrance of the JP Morgan Chase building in downtown Los Angeles to protest their ongoing investment in the fossil fuel industry. As you would expect, he was arrested for his troubles. It was an experience he describes (paradoxically) as "scary as f**k," but also opening and wonderful. In this wide-ranging interview, Rob and Peter cover...


Bonus: Tech Bros on Acid with Douglas Rushkoff

Douglas Rushkoff revisits Crazy Town, where he and Asher discuss why so many billionaires, academic institutions, and "serious" people are drawn to longtermism - the view that our top priority should be ensuring that humanity can spread its wings throughout the physical and virtual universe. What's the suffering of a few billion people in the here and now, when there's quadrillions, no quintillions, of potential future people to worry about? Sure, the climate crisis is bad. But is it really...


Bonus: Angry Birds and Hairbrained Humans with Mary Roach

In her latest book "Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law," Mary Roach approaches the topic of human-wildlife conflict with entertaining stories, scientific insight, and a healthy dose of wit and humor. There are plenty of animal stories in this episode, from marauding mountain lions to bothersome bears, from macaques who are jerks to gulls who are dicks, and of course that most meddlesome of all species – the human being. The phrase "going out clubbing" takes on a decidedly macabre meaning when...


Announcement: Power Podcast with Richard Heinberg

Please check out our newest podcast, Power: Limits and Prospects for Human Survival featuring Richard Heinberg. How have humans become powerful enough to disrupt the world's climate, trigger the sixth mass extinction, and cause serious harm to the biosphere? And with all the abilities and technologies we've accrued, why do we so often oppress instead of uplift one another? Join us as we explore the hidden driver behind the converging crises of the 21st century. It all comes down to power -...


Bonus: Boys and Oil with Taylor Brorby

Taylor Brorby has written one hell of a memoir. It covers many critical topics that come up in Crazy Town, from fracking to civil disobedience to that most inept of policies: aiming for infinite economic growth on a finite planet. Taylor shares both thought-provoking ideas (e.g., the intimidating width of prairies versus the intimidating height of mountains) and lessons learned from growing up gay within the construct of an extractive economy. Two "bonus" topics in this episode: writing and...


Bonus: The Stench of Neoliberalism with Noam Chomsky

As a follow-up to Episode 61 of the Crazy Town podcast, Noam Chomsky, the well-known linguist, author, and social critic, joins Asher Miller in Crazy Town to discuss the failures and dominance of neoliberalism -- which Chomsky describes as "class war" -- since delivery of the Powell Memo 50 years ago. Chomsky responds to George Monbiot's critique of the political center and left for not, in Monbiot's view, developing viable alternatives to neoliberalism. Disagreeing with Monbiot's (and...


Skyrocketing Population and Carbon Dioxide: Watershed Moments Wrap-up

The astute listener will recognize the trends in population and greenhouse gas emissions over the course of our chronologically arranged episodes on watershed moments in history. Describing these trends in one word: growth. In two words: massive growth! And in three words: What the WTF? In recapping the season and considering what we learned, we hit on some common themes in Crazy Town: cognitive bias, energy literacy (really, illiteracy), human supremacy, disconnection from nature, and...


Buying and Dying: How Online Shopping Grew from a Small Weed Deal into a Global Environmental and Societal Disaster

Talk about cascading consequences: when a few nerds wanted to get high and orchestrated a small exchange of cannabis, they kicked off the age of ecommerce. Now that online shopping and the technology supporting it have ramped up commercialization and supercharged consumerism, we're facing existential crises. Exactly what nefarious internet innovation might lead Jason to unbox a trebuchet? Why would Asher consider having an Amazon truck deliver his kid to school? What's the most efficient way...


Greed over Need: Why Neoliberalism Sucks and How It Sabotages Community

Free trade, private property, and limited government – these policies might seem well-intentioned and even benign. But when a couple of colluding, power-tripping, wealthy blockheads packaged them into a political system that would become known as neoliberalism, it was like putting capitalist exploitation on steroids. Pollution and other environmental problems? Just a minor cost of doing business. Inequality and lack of opportunities for workers? Just wait for all the surplus to trickle down...


Chillin' and Killin': How Air Conditioning Has Altered Human Behavior and the Environment

For such tame technology, air conditioning really packs a punch when it comes to enabling environmental obscenities, indefensible infrastructure, and shortsighted settlement patterns. In the story of how A/C came to underpin human overshoot, you couldn't make up a better bad guy. Perhaps the most Batmanesque villain we've encountered would make a good candidate for mayor of Crazy Town (teaser: he's been called "the scientist who almost destroyed the planet"). Join Asher, Rob, and Jason as...


Throwing Superman through a Cigarette Truck: The Insidious Manipulation of Advertising

Are shameless product placements keeping you from enjoying your movie-viewing experience? Have you ever felt assaulted by pop-up ads and sidebars while trying to read something on the internet? These are some of the less insidious advertising techniques deployed to manipulate you into buying stuff you never knew you needed. Take a tour through the history of advertising, and explore the escalation of mind games and marketing mania that has fueled consumerism and the capitalist conflagration,...


Highway to Hell: How Road Infrastructure Traps Us in an Unsustainable Nightmare

Don't you wish we could power daily life on road rage, frustration, and righteous indignation? If that were possible, the U.S. highway system would be the best investment of all time. As it stands, the unintended consequences (e.g., pollution, habitat fragmentation, discrimination, town wrecking, dependency on unsustainable infrastructure, and the uglification of America) reveal how badly highways miss the mark. What a stupendous misallocation of resources! Fortunately we have some ideas...


Hippos in the Bayou: Human Hubris and the Ecological Mayhem of Introduced Species

What kind of thinking leads to the unleashing of exotic species on unsuspecting ecosystems? Hint: it's certainly not systems thinking or critical thinking – in fact, thinking may not be involved at all! Learn about three charter members of the Weirdo Hall of Fame who wanted you to eat tasty McHippo bacon burgers for breakfast. Influenced by the illusion of control and brainwashed by the industrial mindset, people have recklessly released plants and animals into environments where they cause...


The Stopwatch of Doom: How the Cult of Productivity Torpedoes Sustainability and Equity

Welcome to the dehumanizing world of scientific management, where business gurus and middle managers view workers as resources, and where a cult-like devotion to productivity has invaded almost all facets of daily life. From fairy tales about strapping steel workers who put CrossFit champions to shame, to the plight of Amazon warehouse workers who can't even get a bathroom break, we've got stories that expose the dark side of the efficiency fetish. Grab your stopwatch and a pee bottle so you...