Crazy/Genius

Crazy/Genius

Big questions about technology, science, and culture, hosted by The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson. On Season 3 (launching May 9): unbreak the internet.... Show More

Episodes

April 2, 2020 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 Podcasts | Spotify | Pocket Casts Subscribe to The Ticket: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Pocket Casts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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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 megaphone.fm/adchoices
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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 make the legal system more fair? Or is it inherently unjust to put a person’s life in the hands of an algorithm? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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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 megaphone.fm/adchoices
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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 megaphone.fm/adchoices
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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 Internet safe from extremism? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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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 more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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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 America and explain what the new age of “surveillance capitalism” means for all of us who have to live in it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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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 brutal use of surveillance gadgetry, digital technology seems to be a relentless force for greed, bad faith, and tyranny these days. Let’s talk about it. “Unbreak the Internet” is the t...
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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 megaphone.fm/adchoices
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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 megaphone.fm/adchoices
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September 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 moral arguments against meat. We need a technological revolution in better, cleaner food.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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September 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 megaphone.fm/adchoices
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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 your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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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 sun. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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August 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 megaphone.fm/adchoices
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June 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 absurd daydream. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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June 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 other planets? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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June 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 itself. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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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 megaphone.fm/adchoices
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