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



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Latest Episodes

#46: Some Form of Ballast

February 23rd, 2017 · 110 minutes

Main topic this week is Valentine’s Day. Why Merlin hates it, and why John thinks it has its purposes. Why is tonight’s Holy Day of Obligation different from all others, and why exactly did John have a mat?

#45: The Blood is Normal, Right?

February 8th, 2017 · 111 minutes

Main topic this week is John's Cautious Tech Optimism. How does John see technology's role in potentially bringing out our better angels? Why is dystopian sci-fi so depressingly myopic? How much does technology ever really change human nature?

#44: Assistant Manager Material

January 26th, 2017 · 131 minutes

For the main topic, your hosts address Money on the Internet. How have technological and cultural changes altered our idea about what's valuable and how much people are willing to pay for it?

#43: Pack Mule with a Checkbook

January 12th, 2017 · 117 minutes

The main topic this week is Dad Stuff. Dad Jokes, Dad Hats, and Dad…everything. In particular, when did Dad Jokes become a thing, and exactly what part of that label is supposed to be so bad and insulting?

#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).