Cover image of Benjamen Walker's Theory of Everything
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Rank #92 in Personal Journals category

Society & Culture
Personal Journals

Benjamen Walker's Theory of Everything

Updated 2 months ago

Rank #92 in Personal Journals category

Society & Culture
Personal Journals
Read more

Personally connecting the dots. All of them. Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Learn more at radiotopia.fm.

Read more

Personally connecting the dots. All of them. Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Learn more at radiotopia.fm.

iTunes Ratings

1304 Ratings
Average Ratings
801
330
61
46
66

Someone who does not take himself too seriously

By Boondocks birder - May 07 2020
Read more
And has a lot of fun

Brilliantly observed

By Toabester - Dec 18 2019
Read more
Walker is a unique voice. It’s not all fact, but it’s all true. The world is a weird place.

iTunes Ratings

1304 Ratings
Average Ratings
801
330
61
46
66

Someone who does not take himself too seriously

By Boondocks birder - May 07 2020
Read more
And has a lot of fun

Brilliantly observed

By Toabester - Dec 18 2019
Read more
Walker is a unique voice. It’s not all fact, but it’s all true. The world is a weird place.
Cover image of Benjamen Walker's Theory of Everything

Benjamen Walker's Theory of Everything

Latest release on Jul 08, 2020

Read more

Personally connecting the dots. All of them. Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Learn more at radiotopia.fm.

Rank #1: This Is Not A Drill (False Alarm! part i)

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Our New ToE series on the battle between the real and the fake begins with a text alert sent out to everyone in Hawaii on a balmy Saturday morning. We also hear from the man who has written the text alert that will go out to all New Yorkers in the event of a real emergency. Photographer Stan Douglas shows us how to reconstruct a future that makes sense, and your host turns to fellow podcaster Jody Avirgan for advice on how to own the “real-ish” podcast genre. Plus the little boy who cried wolf meets the Emperor with no clothes!

Read our Medium page for details on the entire episode

Illustration by Jordan Crane and new series logo by Val Dorito.

Apr 03 2018

36mins

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Rank #2: Stages on Life’s Way

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A few years ago your host took a pilgrimage to Copenhagen to walk the streets the great Dane Søren Kierkegaard once walked. He wanted to understand  the meaning of Kierkegaard’s religious stage so he decided to ask the experts at the Kierkegaard research center. Also Photographer Dina Litovksy tells us about the history and some of the secrets of the modern bachelorette party. And Michael Holmes tells us about life’s final stage – death.

*********Click on the image for the whole story about this week’s installment**********

<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/TOE/~4/yWXh5dzP-j4" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

Jun 13 2014

34mins

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Rank #3: Red, White, Blue & Orange

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A torture expert records an imaginary criterion commentary track for the torture scenes in Zero Dark Thirty. We learn about Umarov Muhibullah, one of the first innocent men to be released from Guantanamo. And your host ponders why Guantanamo is still open.

**********Click on the image for the whole story about this week’s installment********

<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/TOE/~4/gD3WX2ol4wk" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

May 14 2013

40mins

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Rank #4: Man Without a Country (2 of 3)

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What happens when you curse your own country? In this version of the classic Americana tale your host is sentenced to live out the rest of his days in a hot air balloon.  In part two of the story your host has his first human interaction in ten years. Plus radio host Glynn Washington tells us what it was like to grow up black in a white-supremacist Christian cult.

Aug 08 2014

46mins

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Rank #5: Man Without a Country (3 of 3)

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What happens when you curse your own country? In this version of the classic Americana tale your host is sentenced to live out the rest of his days in a hot air balloon.  Our story concludes(?) when your host attempts to turn bread into wine. Plus learn about the origins of the tale of the Man without a Country and the various versions that have been produced over the last hundred years.

Aug 08 2014

33mins

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Rank #6: 1984 (the year not the book)

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In 1984 your host was twelve years old and like George Orwell’s protagonist Winston Smith, he kept a diary, for the citizens of the future. For this special installment of Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything we travel back in time and give this diary a soundtrack. TV commercials, radio spots, movie clips – all sound from 1984 (the year, not the book). Find out what totalitarianism really sounds like.

*********Click on the image for the whole story about this  installment**********

<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/TOE/~4/K8LBLrP_11Y" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

Apr 04 2014

53mins

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Rank #7: When You’re Lonely, Life is Very Long

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After moving to New York alone, writer Olivia Laing discovered the truth about loneliness. She says it is a gift.  Eric Klinenberg explains why more and more people are choosing to live alone and why cities like New York must invest in housing stock that singletons actually want to live in, the type of housing they have in Scandinavian countries.  In Denmark when someone dies alone, and no-one claims the body, the authorities put an ad in the newspaper calling for Possible Relatives. This is also the title of a photo-book by Danish photographer Tina Enghoff.  She tells us about the pictures she took of the apartments after the dead were removed. Some of these bodies went undiscovered for months.

*********Click on the image for the whole story about this week’s installment**********

<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/TOE/~4/SAdQ4Dp8Cfw" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

Mar 03 2014

28mins

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Rank #8: The things we do for money

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Allen Ginsberg tries his hand at Market Research,  Walter Benjamin goes on the radio and ToE’s Chris drops in on a new bar in DC called the Freedom Cock. Also visit radiotopia.fm and become a sustaining member today!

image: Celeste Lai

Oct 31 2015

29mins

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Rank #9: Honeypot

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Your host decides to follow back a Joy Division T-shirt that is following him around the internet. Plus the surveillance that powers behaviorally targeted personalized advertising.

Oct 25 2016

29mins

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Rank #10: New York After Rent (I of III)

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The financial crisis of September 2008 overshadows one of the most important events in recent New York History: the arrival of Airbnb. And while your host wasn’t paying attention back then either, today he is fed up with the commodification of every square inch of the city. But what if the Airbnb economy is also changing the way New York City dreams and makes art? Can it be stopped? Housing Activist Murray Cox gives us a tour of his insideairbnb project, Sociologist Richard Ocejo takes us on a jaunt through Hell Square, and legendary performance artist Penny Arcade shows us around “the big cupcake”.

*********Click on the image for the whole story about this week’s installment**********

<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/TOE/~4/innaVJw4GZA" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

Apr 08 2015

27mins

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Rank #11: The Clouds (part 3 of 3)

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Our series concludes with some revelations. Metahaven uses the story of Wikileaks to show us the infrastructure of the cloud and its super-jurisdictional powers. The BBC’s Paul Mason takes us on a wild tour of China in his novel Rare Earth. And a pile of iPhones brings your host a moment of clarity.

*********Click on the image for the whole story about this week’s installment********

<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/TOE/~4/iIy8juheXVw" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

May 06 2013

23mins

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Rank #12: Useful Idiots

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Your host discovers you can’t beat the Russians at the fake game and ToE’s Chris reviews Oliver Stone’s Edward Snowden. Plus: Vladislav Surkov and the Potemkin Panopticon.

Dec 12 2016

35mins

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Rank #13: Making it Happen

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For this special installment of the Theory of Everything we explore Maker Culture. Makerbot co-founder Bre Pettis gives us a tour of his new venture: Bold Machines. Plus we go to China to learn what the next generation of Chinese makers have planned for the future.

Nov 04 2014

20mins

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Rank #14: Backspace to the Future (the dislike club part I)

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Paul Ford is a technologist and a writer, sometimes these two things blur. For example, he’s currently working on a book about webpages, but he’s also building a content management system for webpages –  because you know it could help with the writing.  (yeah his book is late) Its not like he’s trying to procrastinate, this is just what life is like when you are Paul Ford.  A couple of Monday night’s ago he was sitting on his couch drinking some rye whisky and chatting with his friends on twitter  and he accidentally a brand new webpage community.  This is the true origin story of his tilde.club. Yours truly also started a new thing it is called dislike.club. We also check in with Librarian and community manager Jessamyn West for advice on how to start an online community that doesn’t suck.

The Dislike Club is  a story-in-progress, it will play out on the podcast over the next few weeks and then culminate December 21 on Radiotonic, from ABC RN’s Creative Audio Unit.

Nov 14 2014

22mins

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Rank #15: Deep State Revisited

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On this episode we dig down into the substratum of the ToE archive to better understand the true meaning of the Deep State.

Oct 24 2019

24mins

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Rank #16: Enchanting By Numbers (2015 version)

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We take another look at algorithms. Tim Hwang explains how Uber’s algorithms generate phantom cars and marketplace mirages. And we revisit our conversation with Christian Sandvig who, last year asked Facebook users to explain how they imagine the Edgerank algorithm works (this is the algorithm that powers Facebook’s news feed). Sandvig discovered that most of his subjects had no idea there even was an algorithm at work. Plus  James Essinger and Suw Charman-Anderson, tell us about Ada Lovelace, the woman who wrote the first computer program (or as James puts it – Algorithm)  in 1843.

Oct 09 2015

26mins

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Rank #17: Enchanting By Numbers

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When I was in Beijing last summer I dropped by the Microsoft research campus to talk with  Dr. Yu Zheng. He studies the air pollution in his city, and the noise pollution in mine. Using algorithms he is able to predict what kinds of noises New Yorkers are most likely to hear in their neighborhoods, take a look at his Citynoise map. His algorithms could one day help city planners curb air pollution and noise or as Christian Sandvig notes they could be used by the GPS apps on our mobile devices to keep us from walking through neighborhoods perceived to have loud people hanging around outside.

Christian Sandvig studies algorithms which is hard to do, most companies like Facebook and Google don’t make their algorithms public. In a recent study he asked Facebook users to explain how they imagine the Edgerank algorithm works (this is the algorithm that powers Facebook’s news feed). Sandvig discovered that most of his subjects had no idea there even was an algorithm at work. When they learned the truth, it was like a moment out of the Matrix. But none of the participants remained angry for long. Six months later they mostly reported satisfaction with the algorithms that determine what the can and can’t see. Sandvig finds this problematic, because our needs and desires often don’t match with the needs and desires of the companies who build the algorithms.

“Ada’s Algorithm” is the title of James Essinger’s new book. It tells the remarkable story about Ada Lovelace the woman who wrote the first computer program (or as James puts it – Algorithm)  in 1843. He believes Ada’s insights came from her “poetical” scientific brain. Suw Charman-Anderson, the founder of Ada Lovelace day, tells us more about this remarkable woman.

Oct 06 2014

25mins

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Rank #18: Influencers (part II of II)

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Frankie isn’t a real Media Influencer but the Government saw the 500k followers he bought for his Instagram profile back in the day and arrested him anyway. Now he’s in a Media internment camp. This is PART TWO of a special collaboration with the Truth podcast. Head over there to get part one. This is our contribution to Radiotopia’s new crossover series. We all investigate Doing Time to mark the arrival of the new Radiotopia Podcast Earhustle.

Jun 28 2017

15mins

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Rank #19: Fake Nudes (False Alarm! part ii)

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The future of face-swapping! The REAL deepfakes speaks! Artist Lynn Hershman Leeson tells us how technology has transformed the way she plays with fact and fiction. Dipayan Ghosh warns us about AI powered ad-targeting. Criminal’s Phoebe and Lauren drop knowledge on the untrue in true crime. Plus your host meets STORMY DANIELS!

Apr 17 2018

44mins

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Rank #20: The People have Spoken

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Filmmaker Astra Taylor asks "What is Democracy?" and YouTube creates the most disliked video in the history of the platform. Chapter One in the new ToE Failure miniseries.

Jan 09 2019

27mins

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Man Without A Country (2020 remix)

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Curse the USA and America will strike you up. That’s what happened to the Man Without a Country. They stuffed him in a hot air balloon and sentenced him to ride sea to shining sea for  the rest of his days.  I made my own version of Edward Everett Hale’s classic tale back in the early aughts. It was one of the first long form audio fiction pieces I ever wrote. Sadly, like many items in the ToE vaults the relevance is increasing with age. Here is a condensed remix for your summer 2020 travels, whether it's a trip across the country or a back and forth from the kitchen to the bedroom. You can find the original 3 part series in the ToE archive

Jul 08 2020

1hr 31mins

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New Statues

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As statues of slaveholders and Confederate War losers come down, we imagine what could go up in their stead, revisiting a conversation with artist and rememorialization expert Chris Vargas. And since the Trump administration has banned any official raising of the rainbow flag to commemorate Pride month we revisit our audio memorial to the artist Henry Darger.

Jun 23 2020

25mins

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Herd Immunity (Social Distance Learning part v of v)

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As the island (and the world reopens) your host tries his best to join the celebrations, Dr. Lauren Powell explains the risks of protesting during a pandemic and ToE’s special correspondent Chris brings us inside the COVID19 task force!

Jun 11 2020

29mins

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Making The Best Of It (Social Distance Learning part iv)

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As the weeks turn into months, one man decides to learn how to cook for himself even though he can no longer taste or smell. ToE’s Andrew Callaway decides its time to get in shape, and your host and Arthaud try to figure out Computer school.

May 22 2020

27mins

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Lurking (a conversation with Joanne McNeil)

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Just before the Coronavirus upended our lives I recorded a conversation with writer Joanne Mcneil about her new book Lurking, a book about the internet. Its actually one of my now favorite books ever written about the internet. I had the show all ready to go for the week of March 15th and then… well everything changed, even our dependence on the internet. Joanne Mcneil’s book feels even more relevant now. Get Lurking here from Bookshop.

May 06 2020

36mins

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Countryside (Social Distance Learning part iii)

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Urbanites are fleeing cities for beach communities and small country towns! Tensions are spreading faster than the Coronavirus. Your host turns to the last exhibition he saw in New York (Countryside the Future! from Rem Koolhaas) and the first dystopian film he watched in confinement (Michael Haneke’s Time of the Wolf) for answers. Plus a beach to beach chat with Helen and Martin from the Allusionist!

Apr 17 2020

26mins

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14 days later (Social Distance Learning part ii)

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Your host keeps a diary for his first 14 days of Coronavirus confinement. Special appearances from the family, Andrew Callaway, and a old ToE standby!

Apr 01 2020

33mins

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Escape From New York (Social Distance Learning part i)

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Coronavirus Evacuation! Your host decamps New York for a quiet isle in France and ToE’s Andrew Callaway flies home to San Francisco to look after Mom. Is this the end? No! Just the beginning of a new Theory of Everything series: Social Distance Learning.

Mar 23 2020

28mins

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The longest shortest flight of Rudolf Hess

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On May 10th 1941 Rudolf Hess flew from Germany to Scotland. He hoped to bring the Nazis and the British together. He failed. But the details behind his flight remain one of the greatest mysteries of World War II. Historians and Amateur scholars have spent decades trying to unravel this mystery. On this episode we look into one of the strangest theories of them all.

This episode is part of a network-wide project to welcome Over the Road, Radiotopia’s newest show, into the family. Over the Road on Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/31AvmCJ

Feb 28 2020

59mins

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The Cultural Marxism Industry (Russia Hospital 2020 Update)

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Jordan Peterson’s daughter took to YouTube to announce that her father, Jordan Peterson (one of the subjects of our 2019 Failure Maxiseries) is convalescing in a Russian Hospital. We check out her video and return to Martin Jay and his attempts to debunk the Cultural Marxism conspiracy theory.

In the 1930’s, Theodor Adorno fled Nazi Germany. In America, he studied the Authoritarian Personality. On
YouTube, he’s the object of study in a massive conspiracy theory that many have tried (and failed)  to debunk.

Feb 11 2020

30mins

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Desert Lies

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Benjamen Walker the podcaster often receives emails meant for Benjamin Walker the actor. A few weeks ago your host received an email inviting Benjamen Walker to Saudi Arabia.

Jan 22 2020

32mins

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The Great Divide

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Man on the street divides couple in a car. Your host is triggered by a flag pole and writer Chris Arnade explains why America is so polarized. PLUS Joseph Roth on the difference between great and mediocre talents.

Make your mark. Go to radiotopia.fm to donate today

Dec 20 2019

24mins

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ToE 2019 Radiotopia Fundraiser Spectacular!

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Every Radiotopia podcast created a special episode for the 2019 Fundraiser. Many of these gems focus on the idea of a dream show as in what would your dream show be? well I am already making my dream show and that is thanks to you dear listener.  Yes, sometimes there are sponsors but the majority of the support for this podcast comes from listeners who donate to the Radiotopia annual fundraiser. In fact it is thanks to you that I have the freedom to say no to particular brands and products who would like to connect with you. So for our special episode we dive into the rejected sponsor pile - hear the best of the worst! **

Make your mark. Go to radiotopia.fm to donate today.

Dec 18 2019

13mins

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Wake up and smell the coffee!

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Your host chases a great cup of coffee from Paris to Copenhagen and Kenya.

Make your mark. Go to radiotopia.fm to donate today

Dec 04 2019

33mins

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Guided By Voices (r)

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 Philosopher Daniel Heller-Roazen tells us the story of Pythagoras and the fifth hammer and how Kant and Kepler both tried (and failed) to record the universal harmonies Pythagoras once heard. Your host sets out to make some money doing experimental medical testing, and gets the chance to record the voice in his head.

Nov 12 2019

33mins

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Deep State Revisited

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On this episode we dig down into the substratum of the ToE archive to better understand the true meaning of the Deep State.

Oct 24 2019

24mins

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Going Karura

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While reporting in Nairobi, Kenya a group of striking Uber drivers turn your host on to a revolutionary strategy of resistance. Plus: stuck in a broken elevator!

Oct 10 2019

29mins

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The boy who cried wolf

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The boy who cried wolf crosses paths with the Emperor with no clothes and little red riding hood. Plus Computer Pinocchio. A remix of the Fairy tales from last year’s False Alarm series.

Sep 24 2019

21mins

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Epstein's funeral

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A million conspiracy theories are launched when Jeffrey Epstein is found dead in his jail cell on August 10th 2019. Your host wonders if this is “the big one.” ToE’s special correspondent Chris attends a secret Coney Island funeral. PLUS: Epstein Brain.

Sep 12 2019

30mins

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1984 (the BOOK not the year)

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Your host has always wanted to talk to someone about 1984 the book and Dorian Lynskey totally delivers. He just published The ministry of Truth a biography of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. Dorian tells us why and how this book has helped generations of readers to decode the world.

Aug 20 2019

33mins

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iTunes Ratings

1304 Ratings
Average Ratings
801
330
61
46
66

Someone who does not take himself too seriously

By Boondocks birder - May 07 2020
Read more
And has a lot of fun

Brilliantly observed

By Toabester - Dec 18 2019
Read more
Walker is a unique voice. It’s not all fact, but it’s all true. The world is a weird place.