Big questions about technology, science, and culture, hosted by The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson.

Introducing New Atlantic Podcasts
Apr 2 • 3 min
The Atlantic has launched three new podcasts this year: Social Distance, Floodlines, and The Ticket. Subscribe to keep up with Atlantic journalism. Subscribe to Social Distance: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Pocket Casts Subscribe to Floodlines: Apple…
How Has Netflix Changed Entertainment?
Jun 26, 2019 • 28 min
The numbers are staggering: thousands of titles for 160 million subscribers in 190 countries. Netflix has changed where we watch — that’s obvious. But has it also changed what we watch, and how? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit…
Should We Be Afraid of AI in the Criminal Justice System?
Jun 20, 2019 • 29 min
Algorithms pervade our lives. They determine the news we see and the products we buy. But most Americans don’t understand how they are transforming every part of the criminal justice system—from policing and bail to sentencing and parole. Could computers…
Influencers: Frauds or the Future of Online Commerce?
Jun 6, 2019 • 24 min
Instagram influencers are beloved by fans and mocked by critics, but is there more to influencing than meets the eye? A look at what a growing industry can teach us about the future of life online. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit…
The U.S. and China: A Tale of Two Surveillance States
May 30, 2019 • 28 min
From Beijing to Brooklyn, facial recognition is on the cutting edge of surveillance technology. But does the threat of this tech outweigh its benefits? A look at two communities living under the microscope. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit…
How Did the Far Right Take Over the Web?
May 23, 2019 • 27 min
From Charlottesville, Virginia, to Christchurch, New Zealand, the last few years have been filled with examples of online hatred spilling over into offline violence. How did the Web become one big media channel for the far right, and how can we make the…
What Is Pornography Doing to Our Sex Lives?
May 16, 2019 • 26 min
Young people are having less sex, and access to digital pornography has never been greater. Coincidence? In this episode, we wade into the debate over pornography and determine what, if anything, can be said about its effect on our relationships. Learn…
Why Should We Care About Privacy?
May 9, 2019 • 32 min
Admit it: You have no idea what privacy means anymore. These days, virtually all online activity—searching, shopping, browsing—requires giving away our personal information to tech companies. In this episode, we review the 200 year history of privacy in…
Season 3 Trailer: Unbreak the Internet
May 2, 2019 • 1 min
Ten years ago, “Move fast and break things” was the clarion call of the world’s tech giants. Well, they moved fast and broke stuff, alright. Lots of stuff. Whether it’s Facebook privacy scandals, YouTube’s radicalization of the far right, or China’s…
Tech Was Supposed to Be Society’s Great Equalizer. What Happened?
Sep 28, 2018 • 25 min
In a special bonus episode, computer scientist and data journalist Meredith Broussard explains how “technochauvinism” derailed the dream of the digital revolution. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Can Artificial Intelligence Be Smarter Than a Human Being?
Sep 27, 2018 • 30 min
AI can beat human geniuses at Jeopardy, chess, and complex mathematics. But surely, these machines don’t have anything that even closely resembles human imagination. Or do they? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Will We Ever Stop Eating Animal Meat?
Sep 20, 2018 • 28 min
Americans eat more meat now than ever. That’s a problem for the planet’s future. Animal farming takes up 30 percent of the earth’s landmass (the equivalent of Asia), and livestock causes one-sixth of global greenhouse gas emissions. We need more than…
Can We Extend Human Lifespans to 150?
Sep 13, 2018 • 28 min
Some scientists see aging as a disease that can be cured—but what would immortality mean for humanity? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
How Will Self-Driving Cars Change the World?
Sep 6, 2018 • 28 min
Over the last 130 years, the automobile shaped the modern world—it redefined the city, filled the suburbs, and revved up pop culture. With autonomous technology, everything about our relationship to cars is about to change. Then what? Learn more about…
Should We Dim the Skies to Save the World?
Aug 30, 2018 • 24 min
Climate change could be the most important problem facing humanity. To address it, scientists are thinking seriously about an idea that might sound like something from a sci-fi dystopia: Spraying the skies with sulfuric acid to partially block out the…
Season 2 Trailer
Aug 23, 2018 • 1 min
Crazy/Genius is back with a new season featuring five ideas to save the world. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Should We Go to Mars?
Jun 28, 2018 • 23 min
It’s our best hope for life after earth—and a freezing, irradiated desert more than 30 million miles away. In our season finale, scientists and writers debate whether colonizing Mars is the most important mission in the history of the human race, or an…
Why Haven’t We Found Aliens?
Jun 21, 2018 • 24 min
“Where is everybody?” That’s the question physicist Enrico Fermi asked in 1950. Nearly 70 years later, we’re getting tantalizingly close to solving the riddle known as Fermi’s Paradox: If the universe is so large and so old, why haven’t we found life on…
Who Killed Local News?
Jun 14, 2018 • 24 min
Since the Internet exploded journalism’s business revenue, local newsrooms around the country have been in free fall. We speak to The Denver Post’s former managing editor and other experts to debate how to save the news—and, just possibly, democracy…
Is Online Dating Destroying Romance?
Jun 7, 2018 • 23 min
Finding love on the Internet can be awkward, annoying, or downright scary. In this episode, two sociologists debate the merits of online dating and discuss their research on the history of romance in America. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit…
Are Smartphones Ruining Our Lives?
May 31, 2018 • 25 min
Digital devices rob us of our attention, creativity, and, some studies show, our mental health. We ask psychologists and authors if smartphone and social media usage has triggered a national health crisis — and what we can do to free ourselves from the…
Blockchain: The Next Internet, or the Next Beanie Baby?
May 24, 2018 • 23 min
Silicon Valley and Wall Street are obsessed with Bitcoin and its underlying technology called blockchain. Boosters say it’ll fix everything from elections to shipping to identity theft. But what exactly is blockchain, how is it being used, and is the hype…
Should We Break Up Amazon?
May 17, 2018 • 23 min
Amazon might become the first trillion-dollar company in the history of the world. Has the Everything Store become a dangerous monopoly threatening the U.S. economy? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Why Can’t Facebook Tell the Truth?
May 10, 2018 • 23 min
In the last 18 months, Facebook has gone through one of the worst public relations crises of any major tech company. In this episode, two guests debate whether Facebook is fixable, or whether its business model is designed to sell us lies. Read more here.…
Introducing Crazy/Genius
May 1, 2018 • 2 min
On Crazy/Genius, host Derek Thompson asks big questions about everything from online dating to blockchain to space exploration. Is technology moving us forward or backward? How did we get here — and where are we headed? Starting May 10. Music by…