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Society & Culture
Technology
Documentary

Soonish

Updated 12 days ago

Society & Culture
Technology
Documentary
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We can have the future we want—but we have to work for it. Soonish brings you stories and conversations showing how the choices we make together forge the technological world of tomorrow. From MIT-trained technology journalist Wade Roush. Learn more at soonishpodcast.org. We're a proud member of the Hub & Spoke audio collective! See hubspokeaudio.org.

Read more

We can have the future we want—but we have to work for it. Soonish brings you stories and conversations showing how the choices we make together forge the technological world of tomorrow. From MIT-trained technology journalist Wade Roush. Learn more at soonishpodcast.org. We're a proud member of the Hub & Spoke audio collective! See hubspokeaudio.org.

iTunes Ratings

75 Ratings
Average Ratings
71
1
1
1
1

Thought provoking and easy to listen to

By KGListens - Jun 18 2019
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I love the topics In Soonish. Science in a format that makes it accessible to everyone.

Insightful and well-done

By Tyrrell McAllister - Oct 12 2018
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Every episode of this thought-provoking podcast has been very much worth my time.

iTunes Ratings

75 Ratings
Average Ratings
71
1
1
1
1

Thought provoking and easy to listen to

By KGListens - Jun 18 2019
Read more
I love the topics In Soonish. Science in a format that makes it accessible to everyone.

Insightful and well-done

By Tyrrell McAllister - Oct 12 2018
Read more
Every episode of this thought-provoking podcast has been very much worth my time.
Cover image of Soonish

Soonish

Latest release on May 12, 2020

All 31 episodes from oldest to newest

Brittle, Anxious, Nonlinear, Incomprehensible: How One Futurist Frames the Pandemic

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Futurists—who sometimes prefer to be called scenario planners or foresight thinkers—specialize in helping the rest of us understand the big trends and forces that will shape the world of tomorrow. So here’s what I really wanted to ask one: Is a cataclysm like the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 the kind of event we should be able to see coming? If so, then why didn’t we do more to get ready? Why has the federal government’s response to the spread of covid-19 been so inept? And above all, what should we be doing now to get our political and economic institutions back in shape so that they can cope better with the next challenge?

This April I had the opportunity to speak about all things coronavirus with my favorite futurist, Jamais Cascio. Jamais is widely known for his work with the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, and he has a bit of a reputation as the “dark futures” futurist—the one who isn’t afraid to dwell on how things could go wrong. It turned out he’d been thinking about many of the same questions, and that he’d been developing a new analytical framework for just such an occasion. It’s called BANI, and it offers new insights into our strange historical moment, when institutions left brittle by years of deliberate neglect now face shattering stresses. 

In this episode, Jamais and and I tour the BANI concept and discuss how we could come out of pandemic with some new tools for confronting catastrophe.

Chapter Guide

00:00 Hub & Spoke Sonic ID  

00:08Soonish Theme

00:22 Futurism in a Time of Pandemic

02:03 Introducing Jamais Cascio

04:12 Explaining VUCA

08:32 Meet BANI

10:43 How BANI Fits Our Moment. Part I: Brittleness in the Pandemic

13:48 Part II: Anxiety

14:17 Part III: Nonlinearity

15:10 Part IV: Incomprehensibility

16:01 Pandemics as Wild Cards

18:48 Planning for Pandemics

19:56 The War Against Expertise

21:44 Responding to Brittleness and Anxiety

23:50 Responding to Nonlinearity

26:03 Responding to Incomprehensibility 

27:46 Paths Forward: Thinking More Like Futurists

30:30 Muddling Through

32:36 End Credits, Acknowledgements, and Hub & Spoke Promos

May 12 2020

36mins

Play

Making Moonrise

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Fifty years after Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins went to the moon, it’s hard to shake off the afterimage of the Saturn V rocket rising into the sky on a column of flame, and remember that the astronauts' bold adventure was also the product of decades of work by engineers, politicians, propagandists, and even science fiction writers. That’s the gap Lillian Cunningham of the Washington Post set out to fix in her podcast, Moonrise. And she’s here with us today to talk about how the show got made, what she thinks the Apollo story can teach us about the power of imagination, and how the stories we tell help us to write the future.

Cunningham has been at The Washington Post for nine years, and in addition to creating Moonrise, she produced and hosted the limited-run podcasts Presidential and Constitutional. She spoke with Soonish from the Post's studios in Washington, D.C., on October 29, 2019, and in this episode we're sharing a version of the conversation that's been edited for length and clarity.

See the episode page on the Soonish website for full show notes. And for an even deeper dive, including a chat about Lillian's writing process, the music for Moonrise, and the new Apple TV+ series "For All Mankind," check out this bonus segment at our website.

Chapter Guide

0:00 Hub & Spoke Sonic ID

01:31 Soonish Theme

01:45 The Golden Age of Limited-Run Podcasts

02:48 A World-Changing Podcast about the Moon Race

05:08 Welcoming Lillian Cunningham to Soonish

05:45 Lillian’s Journey to Podcasting

08:53 Why Make a Show about the Moon Race?

12:21 Beginnings: Why Start the Moon Story in 1933?

17:58 The Role of Science Fiction and Futurism in the Moon Program

20:52 The Soviet Side of the Moon Story

24:10 Midroll Message: Recommending Words To That Effect

26:07 What Makes an Expert an Expert?

31:14 The Story Never Stops

35:19 Will We Ever Go Back to the Moon?

39:14 End Credits and Patreon Thank-Yous

41:38 Promoting Hub & Spoke Newest Show, Subtitle

The Soonish opening theme is by Graham Gordon Ramsay.

Additional music is from Titlecard Music and Sound.

If you like the show, please rate and review Soonish on Apple Podcasts / iTunes! The more ratings we get, the more people will find the show.

Listener support is the rocket fuel that keeps this whole ship going! You can pitch in with a per-episode donation at patreon.com/soonish.

Give us a shout on Twitter and sign up for our email newsletter, Signals from Soonish.

Please check out Subtitle from Patric Cox and Kavita Pillay. It's the newest addition to the Hub & Spoke audio collective. The premiere episode Not So Anonymous is about the remarkable power of forensic linguistics software to unmask writers who'd probably rather stay unknown.

Nov 14 2019

43mins

Play

Election Dreams and Nightmares

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The moment in the voting booth when you put your pen to your ballot (or put your finger to the electronic touchscreen, as the case may be) is democracy distilled. It’s the act that makes America a republic. But while the casting your vote is critical, it’s everything that happens before, during, and after that moment that makes up the larger election system. And these days there are whole armies of people working to influence and disrupt that system—and opposing armies working to protect it and make it safer and more accessible.

In this special Halloween 2019 edition of Soonish, we look at the scary vulnerabilities in the U.S. election system that were exposed after the 2016 presidential election, and we meet a company working to make it possible for everyone to vote securely on their smartphones. 

We hear from a retired U.S. Air Force major general who’s deeply worried about the lack of good “cyber hygiene” within state election agencies, and national security experts who fear the 2020 presidential vote could once again be manipulated and distorted by social media misinformation and disinformation. 

And we meet a science fiction author who says democracy is always a work in progress, but argues there’s an urgent need now for better media literacy and clearer thinking about how to strengthen the key beliefs, norms, and institutions behind democracy.

Check out the complete show notes, including a full episode transcript, at soonishpodcast.org

Chapter Guide

00:00 Hub & Spoke Sonic ID

00:13 Opening Theme

00:22 A Scary Story from the Senate Russia Report

02:49 E-Voting Machines Without Paper Trails

03:38 The Nightmare Scenario

04:28 Maj. Gen. Earl Matthews on Cyber Hygiene

06:33 More Money for Election Security

07:23 The Big Question: Can We Achieve Fair Elections?

07:52 The Anti-Sikh Riots of 1984

09:47 Nimit Sawhney at SXSW

10:58 The Founding of Voatz

13:58 How to Vote on Voatz

22:03 Baby Steps and Criticisms

24:19 Meet Centenal Cycle Author Malka Older

27:58 Elections as Systems, and the Dangers of Disinformation

30:59 Adapting to New Communications Platforms

32:32 The Fragility of Legitimacy

33:45 End Credits, and a Shout-Out to Open Source

Notes

The Soonish opening theme is by Graham Gordon Ramsay.

Additional music is from Titlecard Music and Sound.

Episode logo photograph by Element5 Digital on Unsplash.

Sound effects / foley from Freesound.org.

If you like the show, please rate and review Soonish on Apple Podcasts! The more ratings we get, the more people will find the show.

Listener support is the rocket fuel that keeps this whole ship going! You can pitch in with a per-episode donation at patreon.com/soonish.

Give us a shout on Twitter and sign up for our email newsletter, Signals from Soonish.

Please check out Open Source, one of the newest additions to the Hub & Spoke audio collective. Try the episode Do we want democracy or two-day shipping? with Matt Stoller from the Open Markets Institute.

Oct 31 2019

35mins

Play

The Great Blue Hill Heist

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In this short bonus episode, hear the bizarre story of a college student who scaled a New England weather tower on a dare, stole a curious scientific instrument as a trophy, and inadvertently disrupted a series of climate observations going back more than 130 years.

I made this four-minute, non-narrated piece in 2018 as part of the 24-Hour Radio Race from KCRW’s Independent Producer Project.

To view the show notes, a photo gallery, and a full transcript visit soonishpodcast.org/307-the-great-blue-hill-heist

The Soonish opening theme is by Graham Gordon Ramsay.

Additional music is from Titlecard Music and Sound.

If you like the show, please rate and review Soonish on Apple Podcasts / iTunes! The more ratings we get, the more people will find the show.

Listener support is the rocket fuel that keeps this whole ship going! You can pitch in with a per-episode donation at patreon.com/soonish.

We need your ideas to make the show better! Please take a few minutes to fill out our listener survey at soonishpodcast.org/survey.

Give us a shout on Twitter and sign up for our email newsletter, Signals from Soonish.

Aug 19 2019

6mins

Play

I Have Seen the Future of Displays

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Apple used the opening keynote presentation at its annual World Wide Developers Conference in San Jose in June to roll out the usual array of software updates and new computer hardware. But tucked into middle of the keynote was one the event's most consequential and underappreciated pieces of news: For the first time in more than three years, Apple will offer its own LCD computer monitor, the Pro Display XDR.

It's a serious piece of gear, with 20 million pixels and new techniques for handling light and heat that deliver extremes of brightness, contrast, and color. And it comes with a serious price tag: $4,999. But it delivers image quality on par with professional "reference monitors" that typically cost tens of thousands of dollars, meaning it could put ultra-high-quality imaging capabilities into the hands of many more film and TV producers, graphic designers, photographers, and other professionals. (And—eventually—consumers. "All of the things that are in the Apple Pro Display XDR that make it unique right now are going to eventually become standard features five to 10 years from now, in displays that are going to be at Best Buy," veteran video engineer Michael Isnardi told us.)

Soonish was there to cover the conference. And today's episode argues that when the Pro Display XDR goes on sale this fall, it could be one of those moments—similar to the introduction of HDTV in the late 1990s or Retina screens in 2010—when innovations in image-reproduction technology converge to alter the way we see the world.

For the complete show notes please visit https://www.soonishpodcast.org/306-i-have-seen-the-future-of-displays

Chapter Guide

00:00 Hub & Spoke Sonic ID
00:08 Content Warning
00:24 Soonish Opening Theme
00:44 The Principle of Good Enough
01:46 The Ceiling and the Floor
02:22 A Very Deep Dive into Displays
02:59 WWDC 2019
04:02 Announcing the Pro Display XDR
05:51 Spoiled by the Garage Door Opener
07:13 Resets in Visual History
07:39 Color and Light and Pixels
10:51 The Future’s So Bright
14:11 Roy G. Biv
16:28 The Battle of Winterfell
19:32 Hollywood Is Leaving You Behind
21:23 Picture Optimization Mode
22:29 What Would Walter Benjamin Say?
24:38 A New Art Form
26:01 End Credits and Acknowledgements
26:44 Culture Hustlers
27:32 Thank You to Our Top Patreon Supporters

The Soonish opening theme is by Graham Gordon Ramsay.

All additional music is by Titlecard Music and Sound.

Listener contributions are the rocket fuel that keeps this whole ship going! You can support the show with a per-episode donation at patreon.com/soonish.

Give us a shout on Twitter and sign up for our email newsletter, Signals from Soonish.

Aug 07 2019

28mins

Play

How to Fix Social Media

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Earlier this year Soonish took on social media in an episode called A Future Without Facebook. In that show I explained my own decision to quit the troubled platform and talked with friends and colleagues about their own reasons for staying or going.

But the story of how these platforms are confounding earlier hopes for social media—and are instead blowing up our democracies—was never just about Facebook. In today’s special follow-up episode, I speak with national security expert Juliette Kayyem and former Twitter engineer Raffi Krikorian about the challenges spanning all of our social media platforms—Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, and many others.

Algorithms designed to serve personalized content and targeted ads, for instance, have ended up fueling political polarization, aggravating radical-fringe resentment, and accelerating the spread of misinformation and disinformation. “The aspect that's different now is…the extent to which the guy sitting alone, who has these horrible thoughts, is able to find a community or a network to radicalize him and give a sense of community for that anger,” Kayyem observes. YouTube’s autoplay feature, which can lead viewers down rabbit holes full of conspiracy-theory videos, “might be one of the most dangerous features on the planet,” Krikorian comments.

How can we fix it? Both Krikorian and Kayyem say what’s needed is a combination of citizen pressure, technical and business-model changes, education for individuals (so they’ll know how to judge what they see on social platforms), and legislation to make information sources more transparent and hold platforms liable for the harassment they facilitate.

My chat with Kayyem and Krikorian was recorded at Net@50, a celebration of the 50th birthday of the ARPANET (the precursor to today’s Internet) organized by the World Frontiers Forum and Xconomy. Thank you to both organizations for permission to share the session.

For more background and resources, including a full episode transcript, check out the episode page at the Soonish website.

Chapter Guide
0:00 Hub & Spoke Sonic ID
00:08 Special Announcement: The Constant Joins Hub & Spoke
01:59 Soonish Opening
02:15 Audio Montage: Social Media in the News
03:43 The Problem Is Bigger than Facebook
05:29 Meet Guests Juliette Kayyem and Raffi Krikorian
06:04 Question 1: How Did You Get Interested in the Problem of Social Media?
12:39 Question 2: Shouldn’t We Have Noticed This Earlier?
16:22 Question 3: Micro or Macro Solutions?
22:54 Question 4: Can Individuals Make a Difference?
24:42 Audience Question: What’s Really New Here?
27:59 Audience Question: Should We Eliminate Anonymity on the Internet?
29:17 Audience Question: Making Us Smarter
31:21 Final Credits
32:14 Check Out the “Plymouth Rock” Episode of Iconography
33:35 Thank You to Our Patreon Supporters

The Soonish opening theme is by Graham Gordon Ramsay.

All additional music is by Titlecard Music and Sound.

If you like the show, please rate and review Soonish on Apple Podcasts / iTunes! The more ratings we get, the more people will find the show.

You can also support the show with a per-episode donation at patreon.com/soonish. Listener contributions are the rocket fuel that keeps this whole ship going!

We need your ideas to make the show better! Please take a few minutes to fill out our listener survey at soonishpodcast.org/survey.

Give us a shout on Twitter and sign up for our email newsletter, Signals from Soonish.

Jul 24 2019

34mins

Play

The Art that Launched a Thousand Rockets

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The adjective “visionary” gets thrown around a lot, but it’s literally true of Chesley Bonestell and Arthur Radebaugh, the two illustrators featured in this week’s episode. Both men used their fertile visual imaginations and their artistic skills to create engaging, influential depictions of human space exploration and our high-tech future. Their work was seen by millions of magazine and newspaper readers throughout the 1940s, ‘50s, and ‘60s—boosting public support for space exploration and industrial R&D at a critical time for the U.S. economy. Now, both men are the subjects of documentary films.

Chesley Bonestell was born in San Francisco in 1888, survived the earthquake and fire of 1906, and went on to become an accomplished and high-paid architect, artist, Hollywood matte painter, and illustrator of book and magazine articles. From the mid-1940s onward, he specialized in painting stunning views of space vehicles and views other otherworldly locations like the Moon, Mars, and the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. He lived to see humans set foot on the Moon in the 1960s and visit the gas giants via robotic probes in the 1980s, finally passing away in 1986.

Arthur Radebaugh lived from 1906 to 1974 and built on his early career as an illustrator for Detroit-based advertising agencies to become a “funny-pages futurist,” producing the syndicated Sunday comic strip Closer Than We Think for the Chicago Tribune—New York News Syndicate from 1958 to 1963.

In this episode we meet Douglas M. Stewart Jr. and the other producers of Chesley Bonestell: A Brush With the Future, a 2019 documentary about Bonestell, as well as Brett Ryan Bonowicz, maker of Closer Than We Think, a 2018 documentary about Radebaugh. And we hear from veteran science journalist Victor McElheny, who lived through (and documented) the era when Bonestell and Radebaugh were creating their visions of space and the future.

The episode argues that futurist art, done well, can become a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy. It can teach consumer and citizens what to want and expect—whether that’s moon bases or self-driving cars or talking refrigerators—and it can inspire at least few people to become the scientists and engineers who actually go out and build those things.

For more background and resources, including images by Chesley Bonestell and Arthur Radebaugh and a full transcript of the episode, check out the full show notes at soonishpodcast.org.

Chapter Guide

0:21 Under the Golden Gate Bridge
1:18 A Glimpse Into the Future
3:56 How Come I Never Heard of Chesley Bonestell?
4:37 Meet Arthur Radebaugh
6:45 Round Table Interview with Douglas Stewart, Christopher Darryn, and Kristina Hays
9:43 Mars as Seen from Deimos
11:50 Chesley Bonestell: A Brush with the Future Trailer
13:30 Destination Moon
15:13 Working with Wernher von Braun
17:03 Commercial Instinct
18:03 Romantic Rockets
20:20 Midroll Announcement: Support Soonish on Patreon
22:09 Brett Ryan Bonowicz
25:12 Influencing the Jetsons
26:21 Extremely Fast and Incredibly Closer Than We Think
29:54 Imagining Catastrophe
31:21 Conclusion: Competing Styles of Visual Futurism
32:45 End Credits and Announcements

The Soonish opening theme is by Graham Gordon Ramsay. All additional music is by Titlecard Music and Sound.

Soonish is a proud founding member of Hub & Spoke, a Boston-based collective of smart, idea-driven nonfiction podcasts. Learn more at hubspokeaudio.org.

If you like the show, please rate and review Soonish on Apple Podcasts / iTunes! The more ratings we get, the more people will find the show. See https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/soonish/id1185234753?mt=2

You can also support the show with a per-episode donation at Patreon. For a limited time, contributors who sign up at the $5-per-episode level or above get a Soonish coffee mug! But act now, because after June 8, 2019, the coffee mug will only be available at the $10-per-episode level or above. Listener contributions are the rocket fuel that makes this ship go, so get on board now!

We need your ideas to make the show better. Please take a few minutes to fill out our listener survey at soonishpodcast.org/survey.

Give us a shout on Twitter at @soonishpodcast and sign up for our email newsletter, Signals from Soonish.

May 14 2019

34mins

Play

A Future Without Facebook

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Every technology has its growing pains, but Facebook, at age 15, has matured into a never-ending disaster. Here at Soonish, I'm fed up, and I'm closing my accounts. In this episode, you’ll hear how I reached this point, and how other Facebook users are coming to grips with the chronic problems at the social network. You might just come away with some ideas about what to do to limit Facebook’s power over your own life!

The first signs that something was seriously wrong at Facebook surfaced in—well, when?

  • Was it 2014, when the company acknowledged it had experimented on users by altering the content of the news feed to see how it would affect their moods?
  • Was it 2015, when misinformation about alleged Muslim attacks on Buddhists in Myanmar spread on Facebook, leading to anti-Muslim riots?
  • Was it 2017, when evidence began to emerge that Russian hackers had influenced the US presidential election by promoting divisive content designed to mobilize Trump voters and demotivate Clinton voters in swing states?
  • Was it 2018, when the world learned that Facebook had allowed the British political data firm Cambridge Analytica to acquire Facebook data on 87 million users in the U.S.?
  • Was it last week, when a white-nationalist gunman in New Zealand live-streamed his terror attack on Facebook, and hundreds of thousands of copies of the video ricocheted around the network for hours?

No matter when you start the clock, we’ve now had plenty of time to perceive Facebook’s failures in all their depth and breadth. And we’ve been able to pinpoint some of the root causes—including a fundamental disregard for user privacy and a fixation on a business model that surveils users and manipulates the content of the news feed to foment outrage and maximize opportunities for targeted advertising.

Some Facebook users, like me, have decided that enough is enough. Many others are staying, but unhappily. Should you keep using Facebook, but more advisedly? Cut way back? Walk away? All of these are valid strategies that will send a message to Facebook and make your own life happier. Doing nothing probably won’t. This episode is designed to help listeners make a more conscious choice.

Thanks to all of of this episode's featured guests: Tova Perlmutter, Rudi Seitz, Kip Clark, Tamar Avishai, Peter Fairley, Nick Andersen, Mark Hurst, Ashira Morris, Victor McElheny, and Deborah in Minneapolis.

For more background and resources, including a full episode transcript, check out the episode page at the Soonish website.

CHAPTER GUIDE

0:07 Cold open (audio montage)
1:27 Soonish theme and introduction
1:51 An unwise choice at Ford
4:06 The Ford Pinto of the Internet
7:53 Meet our special advisory panel
9:44 Facebook does have its uses
13:48 A community designed to encourage dependency
15:14 Constant surveillance
20:00 Waiting for more data
23:55 Leaving is painful
26:14 Ex-Facebookers who never looked back
29:53 Exit strategies
32:03 Conscious unfriending
33:52 The reducetarian approach
35:40 We don't have to wait for Facebook to fix itself
36:47 Sensing intrusion
39:35 The opposite of Facebook
40:12 End credits and announcements

The Soonish opening theme is by Graham Gordon Ramsay. All additional music is by Titlecard Music and Sound.

Soonish is a proud founding member of Hub & Spoke, a Boston-based collective of smart, idea-driven nonfiction podcasts. Learn more at hubspokeaudio.org.

If you like the show, please rate and review Soonish on Apple Podcasts / iTunes! The more ratings we get, the more people will find the show. See https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/soonish/id1185234753?mt=2

You can also support the show with a per-episode donation at patreon.com/soonish. Listener support makes all the difference!

We need your ideas to make the show better! Please take a few minutes to fill out our listener survey at soonishpodcast.org/survey.

Give us a shout on Twitter and sign up for our email newsletter, Signals from Soonish.

Special thanks to Kip Clark, Joseph Fridman, and Mark Pelofsky for reviewing drafts of this episode.

Mar 22 2019

44mins

Play

The Track Not Taken

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The Meigs Elevated Railway—one of the world’s first monorail systems—looked like something out of a Jules Verne novel. But it was very real. In this week’s episode, hear how nineteenth-century Bostonians missed their chance to build a steam punk utopia.

The monorail system was the brainchild of Joe Meigs, a Civil War veteran and tinkerer who had political and financial backing from Massachusetts governor Benjamin Butler. Meigs envisioned a system that would soar above the streetcar traffic clogging Boston’s streets. Beginning in 1884, thousands of people boarded his distinctive cylindrical train cars for 20-mph rides around a test track in East Cambridge, MA. The system was a technical success, and eventually Meigs obtained a charter to build miles of monorail track around Boston. But a fateful attack one winter night in 1887 dashed his hopes—and proved that the best technology isn’t always the one that wins widespread adoption.

Featured guest: Charles Sullivan of the Cambridge Historical Commission. Charlie also provided key historical perspective in Soonish 1.09, A Tale of Two Bridges.

Featured voice: Charles Gustine, producer, Iconography

To browse an extensive gallery of images of the Meigs monorail, check out our show notes.

A full episode transcript is available in the Extras section of the Soonish website.

Related episode: Soonish 1.02, Monorails: Trains of Tomorrow?

We need your ideas to make the show better! Please take a few minutes to fill out our listener survey at soonishpodcast.org/survey.

CHAPTER GUIDE

0:55 Opening

1:58 The Unknown Railway

2:49 Monorail Fanboy

3:37 225 Bridge Street

5:42 Readings from The Meigs Railway

6:42 Untangling the Streetcar System

8:32 Light and Air

10:10 Who Was Joe Meigs?

11:42 One Little Problem

12:18 Building the Demonstration Track

13:09 Four Wheel Drive

14:20 Sausage on a Stick

15:58 Two Ways of Moving People

16:37 Foul Play

18:05 A Stubborn Guy

20:01 Parallel Universe

21:49 How We Choose the Future

22:22 End Credits and Announcement

The Soonish theme is by Graham Gordon Ramsay. Additional music from Titlecard Music and Sound. For complete details on this episode go to soonishpodcast.org/302-the-track-not-taken.

Soonish is a proud founding member of Hub & Spoke, a collective of smart, idea-driven nonfiction podcasts. Learn more at hubspokeaudio.org.

Don't forget to fill out our listener survey at soonishpodcast.org/survey.

If you haven’t already, please rate and review Soonish on Apple Podcasts / iTunes! The more ratings we get, the more people will find the show. See https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/soonish/id1185234753?mt=2

You can also support the show with a per-episode donation at patreon.com/soonish. Listener support makes all the difference!

Give us a shout on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and sign up for our email newsletter, Signals from Soonish.

Nov 09 2018

25mins

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When Minds and Machines Converge

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Can thought-power control the world outside our heads? Thanks to new brain-machine interface technology, the answer is yes. But the real question is whether it can it help us control the world inside our heads. In the Season 3 opener of Soonish we meet Ariel Garten, co-founder of Interaxon, a Canadian startup that’s one of the first to offer a consumer neurofeedback device. Interaxon’s Muse headband reads brainwaves to help people with the sometimes vexing task of meditation. It points toward an era when may be able to control our brain states and share our thoughts directly with our computers, and with each other. And there are startling implications—not just for our capabilities as humans, but also for our privacy and individuality.

Featured guests: Ariel Garten, Sam Langer, Mary Lou Jepsen.

CHAPTER GUIDE

0:00 Opening

0:33 Meditating by the Lake

3:06 Introducing Muse and Interaxon’s Ariel Garten

3:56 Electroencephalography

4:24 Interaxon Goes to the Winter Olympics

8:22 Measuring Brainwaves with EEG

11:36 An Introduction to Meditation, with Sam Langer

14:51 Using Muse to Strengthen the Muscle of Attention

17:02 The Consciousness Club Tries Muse

18:12 A Controlled Study of Muse

18:59 Thinking Through Brain-Machine Interfaces

22:18 The Coming Wave of Neural Interfaces, with Mary Lou Jepsen

25:09 The Center for Responsible Brainwave Technologies

26:28 Extending Our Agency

27:37 End Credits and Announcements

The Soonish theme is by Graham Gordon Ramsay. Additional music from Titlecard Music and Sound. For complete details on this episode go to soonishpodcast.org.

Soonish is a proud founding member of Hub & Spoke, a collective of smart, idea-driven nonfiction podcasts. Learn more at hubspokeaudio.org.

If you haven’t already, please rate and review Soonish on Apple Podcasts / iTunes! The more ratings we get, the more people will find the show. See https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/soonish/id1185234753?mt=2

You can also support the show with a per-episode donation at patreon.com/soonish. Listener support makes all the difference!

Give us a shout on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and sign up for our email newsletter, Signals from Soonish.

Oct 01 2018

30mins

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