Let's Know Things

Let's Know Things

letsknowthings.com
Putting current events into context
Sex Dolls
Dec 12 • 67 min
This week we talk about the Uncanny Valley, the sex toy industry, and the age of consent.
The Cloud
Dec 5 • 47 min
This week we talk about room-sized computers, fog computing, and hackers.
Opinions
Nov 28 • 52 min
This week we talk about intelligence, the limits of language, and belief change.
Human Migration
Nov 21 • 78 min
This week we talk about Terra Australis, Puerto Rico, and the Free State Project.
Organizing the Internet
Nov 14 • 58 min
This week we talk about Melvil Dewey, Peppa Pig, and algorithmically generated content.
National Parks
Nov 7 • 52 min
This week we talk about George Catlin, porcupine caribou, and the Bogd Khan Mountain.
Universal Basic Services
Oct 31 • 55 min
This week we talk about scarcity, nationalization, and the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Young People & Smartphones
Oct 24 • 55 min
This week we talk about sleep debt, extended adolescence, and the psychic cost of everyday things.
Stress
Oct 17 • 39 min
This week we talk about non-sexual arousal, environmental perception, and chronic stress.
Artificial Womb
Oct 10 • 44 min
This week we talk about IVF, premies, and artificial wombs.
Tulip Mania
Oct 3 • 49 min
This week we talk about cyborgs, the Curse of Knowledge, and Tulip Mania.
Asset Tokenization
Sep 26 • 50 min
This week we talk about liquid and illiquid assets, ICOs, and commodities.
Cassini-Huygens
Sep 19 • 60 min
This week we talk about rovers, probes, and the moons of Saturn.
Governments
Sep 12 • 57 min
This week we discuss Republics, graham crackers, and treason.
Water Rights
Sep 5 • 52 min
This week we talk about human rights, robo-toilets, and Malvern Holy Water.
Doxing
Aug 29 • 52 min
This week we discuss VPNs, Charlottesville, and the Paradox of Tolerance.
Plastic Bags
Aug 22 • 66 min
This week we discuss bag bans, immortal sponges, and polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride.
Hacking the System
Aug 15 • 61 min
This week we talk about QR codes, security theater, and hacking HBO.
Electric Cars
Aug 8 • 80 min
This week we talk about the GM EV1, the Chevy Volt, and the Tesla Model 3.
Corporatocracy
Aug 1 • 75 min
This week we discuss an array of -ocracies, the smartphone patent wars, and Google’s Project Zero.
Evidence
Jul 25 • 53 min
This week we talk about faking Obama, Photoshop for audio, and the US Civil War.
Incentives
Jul 18 • 58 min
This week we talk about net metering, reproducibility, and the Laffer Curve.
Background Technologies
Jul 11 • 62 min
This week we talk about domestication, exoskeletons, and biometric tattoos.
Impulse Control
Jul 4 • 51 min
This week we discuss tetraethyllead, alcoholism, and irresistible impulses.
Hegemony
Jun 27 • 47 min
This week we discuss China, Tesla, and The Fate of the Furious.
Bitcoin
Jun 20 • 63 min
This week we talk about counterfeit rupees, the blockchain, and cryptocurrency.
Cultural Appropriation
Jun 13 • 62 min
This week we discuss privilege, cochlear implants, and who should sell burritos.
Boycotts
Jun 6 • 56 min
This week we talk about Sean Hannity, Media Matters, and ethical consumption.
Sanctions
May 30 • 56 min
This week we talk about Smart Power, Iran, and little green men.
Analogies
May 23 • 51 min
This week we talk about neuroscience, Descartes, and neural laces.
Kodi
May 16 • 59 min
This week we talk about 3D TVs, the Aereo, and fully loaded Kodi devices.
Conflicts of Interest
May 9 • 60 min
This week we talk about business ethics, revolving doors, and Halliburton.
Whataboutism
May 2 • 33 min
This week we talk about ad hominem, Soviet propaganda, and red herrings.
Moral Revulsion
Apr 25 • 54 min
This week we talk about chemical weapons, North Korea, and misspeaking on camera.
Bots
Apr 18 • 51 min
On this week’s episode we talk about chatbots, social media cheats, and robot lawyers.
Coal
Apr 11 • 47 min
On this week’s episode we talk about fossil fuels, the EPA, and the yoga industry.
Terror & Memes
Apr 4 • 47 min
This week we talk about terrorism, acronyms, and Doge.
Influence Marketing
Mar 28 • 49 min
This week we talk about authenticity, Rookie magazine, and PRIZM.
At What Cost?
Mar 21 • 47 min
This week we talk about blackballing, #DeleteUber, and the spirit of the law.
Criticism
Mar 14 • 50 min
This week we talk about chronological snobbery, signaling theory, and the Chicken Connoisseur.
Global Community
Mar 7 • 54 min
This week we discuss dark patterns, Facebook, and the tycoon monomyth.
Suckerpunch
Feb 28 • 47 min
This week we talk about the Harlem Hammer, COINTELPRO, and punching nazis.
Pugs
Feb 21 • 44 min
This week we discuss brachycephalic dogs, maize, and birth control.
Political Omnivores
Feb 14 • 42 min
This week we talk about enemies who are friends, globalization, and non-polarized opinions.
Intellectual Exhaustion
Feb 7 • 43 min
This week we talk about noble lies, compassion fatigue, and addiction.
Journalism-ish
Jan 31 • 48 min
This week we talk about smart mobs, reddit, and Kompromat.
Imitation
Jan 24 • 38 min
This week we discuss hackers, video games, and Project Xanadu.
Obsolete
Jan 17 • 54 min
This week, we talk about self-driving trucks, Malthusian catastrophes, and human obsolescence.
Protests
Jan 10 • 59 min
This week we discuss protests in several different contexts.
Frontiers
Jan 3 • 48 min
This week, we talk about the net-casting spider, space junk, and Kessler syndrome.
Loot & Morality
Dec 27, 2016 • 49 min
This week we talk about the German kunstschutz unit, the Venus de Milo, and slavery reparations.
Prejudged Substance
Dec 20, 2016 • 54 min
This week we talk about raves, the Opium Wars, and the Barbie Drug.
False Prophets
Dec 13, 2016 • 56 min
This week, we discuss the five main philosophical theories of truth, the concept of post-truth, and how both play into political polls and journalism.
New Normal
Dec 6, 2016 • 52 min
In this week’s episode we talk about hurricane names, allergy shots, and thunderstorm asthma.
Digital Lives
Nov 29, 2016 • 40 min
On this week’s episode, we discuss cutting the internet umbilical, both intentionally and against one’s will.
Upsetting Norms
Nov 22, 2016 • 66 min
Today we talk about societal norms, how they’re maintained, and why it’s so uncomfortable and difficult to imagine a world without them.
Copyright & Fair Use
Nov 15, 2016 • 65 min
On this week’s episode, we get into the muddy, blurry worlds of Copyright, Fair Use, and Public Domain in an attempt to understand whether some modern tech company logos were stolen from a design book published in the 80s.
What We Don’t Say
Nov 8, 2016 • 62 min
This week, we talk about doublespeak and political scandals that make sense, but also don’t.
Wear This Label
Nov 2, 2016 • 63 min
On this week’s episode, we talk about logotypes and brands, alongside social psychology and sexual fluidity.
Freedom & Restriction
Oct 25, 2016 • 43 min
On this week’s episode, we talk about freedom, the restriction of freedom, and the very thin line between the two.
Nuclear Diplomacy
Oct 18, 2016 • 63 min
This week, we talk about nuclear weapons and how they’re often more useful as threats and geopolitical chess pieces than as actual munitions we intend to use.
Hands-Free
Oct 11, 2016 • 72 min
This week we talk about the burgeoning hands-free audio movement, the technologies that are depending on and amplifying this progression, and why it’s being promoted as a next-generation UI.
Magic That Works
Oct 4, 2016 • 54 min
In this episode we talk about magic that works: forces that grant us additional powers here in the real world.
Colossal & Connected
Sep 27, 2016 • 47 min
Great big events, the interconnectedness of everything, and why it’s so difficult for us to perceive outsized happenings.
Population
Sep 20, 2016 • 74 min
This week, we talk about population, and why we drown in think-pieces every time it goes up or down worldwide or in a given locale.
Problematic
Sep 13, 2016 • 60 min
On this week’s episode, we talk about words: their use, overuse, the watering-down of their meaning over time, and how they eventually attain definition-baggage.
Cyberspace & Meatspace
Sep 7, 2016 • 64 min
On today’s episode, we talk about the increasing number of ways the real world and the online world overlap, and what that means for how we exist and interact in these spaces.
Biases & Perception
Aug 30, 2016 • 48 min
On this episode, we talk about how perception can influence our decisions, whether we’re choosing a wine or a presidential candidate.
Look Away
Aug 23, 2016 • 55 min
On this week’s episode, we touch on the idea of shunning, then deep-dive into empiricism versus faith, trust and journalism, and how politicians are like magicians.
Non-Human Intelligence
Aug 16, 2016 • 59 min
On today’s episode we discuss intelligence, and in particular the types of intelligence we find outside of our own species.
Tourism
Aug 10, 2016 • 42 min
Today we’ll talk about tourism, what it means and where it started, and how it’s being usurped by companies like Airbnb.
Click
Aug 3, 2016 • 88 min
On today’s episode, we’ll talk about the history of remote controls, before segueing into an exploration of the history of modern advertising.
Interstitial 1
Jul 30, 2016 • 17 min
A quick update about the show, what’s coming next, and some answers to common questions from the audience.
Grays
Jul 26, 2016 • 54 min
Today we talk about beliefs, the increased polarity of them in recent years, and some of the causes of that polarization.
Barbarians at the Gate
Jul 20, 2016 • 44 min
Today’s episode is about the seemingly ceaseless surge of the new against the ostensibly sturdy walls of the established.
Privilege
Jul 10, 2016 • 45 min
A discussion about privilege in context, and how awareness of our own privilege is valuable to society, and to ourselves.
Shoulds & Ares
Jul 4, 2016 • 45 min
Ego depletion, billionaires versus the press, actions and consequences, political sightedness, and the gulf between here and where we could be.
Big Data & the Apocalypse
Jun 28, 2016 • 55 min
This week, we’ll talk about end of the world scenarios from around the world. We’ll also talk about Big Data: what it is, how it’s collected, how it’s used and by whom, and why it’s worth understanding.
Suburbia
Jun 15, 2016 • 38 min
We talk about how suburbia came to be, where it’s taken us, where it’s going, and why it tends to suck.
Artificial Intelligence and Automation
Jun 3, 2016 • 42 min
A discussion about AI and automation, the differences between them, and how they related to things like post-scarcity economics and the end of the world.
Free Speech
Jun 2, 2016 • 30 min
A discussion about free speech in universities informs the discussion of a bigger picture discussion of the same
Contextualism and China
May 23, 2016 • 44 min
A story about China leads to a discussion about American hegemony and the usefulness of The Other