John Siracusa and Merlin Mann try to figure out exactly how they got this way.



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Latest Episodes

#42: The Punching in Me

December 22nd, 2016 · 100 minutes

The main topic this week is Merlin’s documentary obsession. Turns out: there are a lot of turns-outs. John and Merlin explore what’s so tantalizing (or off-putting) about some documentary films—as well as the whole genre as a thing.

#41: Jingling Keys

December 15th, 2016 · 180 minutes

Lots of follow-up on Free Will, including thoughts on Heisenberg, tail-chasing, and provocative recent scholarship on whether what we see is “reality.” Around 01:45:00, we fire off the spoiler horn for a discussion of season 1 of HBO’s Westworld.

#40: Slippery Slope to Dr. Manhattan

December 1st, 2016 · 113 minutes

The main topic this week is Free Will. While Merlin has concerns about bong talk and living in a fingernail, John quickly gets things refocused on people's garden-variety defenses of free will and where they probably come from.

#39: Rocks Aren’t Magic

November 16th, 2016 · 116 minutes

This week’s main topic covers teaching kids about technology_ When, how, and what should young students learn about computers at school? How far have things come since Merlin’s Business Administration class and the lectures John suffered on RAM vs. ROM?

#38: The Monkey God Situation

November 1st, 2016 · 108 minutes

The main topic this week has Merlin probing John’s thoughts on the idea of a thing being “wrong within normal parameters.” John calls someone a “super doof,” and both hosts share their strategy for not ending up on a desert island.

#37: A Useless Angle for Swordfighting

October 18th, 2016 · 105 minutes

The main topic this week is whether we’re living in a simulation (and how we’d know it).

#36: The Ragged Edge of What's Possible

October 4th, 2016 · 84 minutes

The main topic is solo parenting. Facing The Shoe Crisis, thrice ruining the dinosaur eggs, and finding yourself in a Staples line that’s literally not moving. Is fear and anxiety really such a smart and time-tested motivator?

#35: A Lot of Them Are Tricks

September 21st, 2016 · 118 minutes

The main topic this week is "magic and superstition." What delights (or angers) your hosts in a magic show? Why can't Cardini get rid of those cards?

#34: All These Assistant Principals are Now Dead

September 6th, 2016 · 131 minutes

The main topic this week is high school reunions. Or, at least it starts out that way.

#33: Survival Bucket

August 25th, 2016 · 91 minutes

The main topic this week is ratings and reviews. John talks about how he drinks eagerly from the fire hose of product recommendations as well as sharing his perspective on how he thinks about his epic OS X reviews in retrospect.