Interviews

The After On Podcast

Rob Reid

+16 FANS

We dive deep into the science, tech, and social issues explored in the novel "After On." It's NOT necessary to be an "After On" reader to listen, learn & enjoy this podcast!

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8: Stephen Webb | Fermi's Paradox (or, where are all the aliens?)

1:50:02 | Sep 26th, 2017

Our universe’s vastness and age has given alien intelligence ample space and time in which to arise. Why can we detect no sign of it?  This is actually a momentous and scientifically serious question. Yes, really! With British astronomer Stephen Webb...Show More

5. Steve Jurvetson | Quantum Computing

1:08:31 | Sep 5th, 2017

Quantum computers could be almost farcically powerful compared to classical computers. Venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson and I discuss how & why this is – and whether this potential will ever be realized.   For those who are reading the novel After...Show More

1: Meron Gribetz|Augmented Reality

1:18:49 | Aug 3rd, 2017

In this episode, we discuss augmented reality (AR) with the CEO of AR pioneer Meta, Inc. Meron Gribetz.  For those who are reading the novel After On, Tom Merritt and I discuss pages 1-51 in the very last section of the podcast.

43: Ed Boyden | Synthetic Neurobiology

1:22:04 | Mar 1st

Not yet 40, Ed Boyden has already concocted a panoply of tools, which are revolutionizing neuroscience research. He tells us all about optogenetics, expansion microscopy, and more.

42: Live from Gainesville + the 2019 Plan

56:07 | Dec 30th, 2018

We start with a review of this podcast's 2019 roadmap. Then – recorded before a live audience in Gainesville, Florida – I'M the interviewee for once!

41: The Medical Potential of Video Games | Adam Gazzaley

1:29:23 | Dec 19th, 2018

Both a recap and extensive update of last summer's conversation about neuroscience, consciousness, and the medical potential of video games.

40: Our Interstellar Visit | Avi Loeb

1:10:35 | Nov 28th, 2018

Did the product of an alien intelligence make a near-Earth approach last fall? Harvard Astronomy Department Chair Avi Loeb believes this is possible.

39: Restoring Sight to the Blind | EJ Chichinilsky

1:24:16 | Nov 14th, 2018

Amazing work at Stanford could restore vision to the blind. Then later become a gateway some mind-blowing neural augmentation! We discuss the astounding neuroscience and engineering behind all this, with the professor who's making it happen.

38: Laurie Santos | The Science & Practice of Happiness

1:25:55 | Oct 24th, 2018

This spring, Yale evolutionary psychologist Laurie Santos debuted a course about happiness, almost as an experiment. It became the most popular course in the university's 300+ year history. Listen carefully, because this episode could make you happie...Show More

37. Astronomer Royal Martin Rees | On the Future

1:20:59 | Oct 1st, 2018

Can humankind survive this century? Great Britain’s Astronomer Royal Martin Rees shares some of his profoundly original thinking on this fraught question.

36. Priya Natarajan | Mapping the Heavens

1:23:44 | Sep 13th, 2018

Dark matter, dark energy, and black holes are the universe's three most massive mysteries. Literally! Yale astrophysicist Priya Natarajan takes us on a fascinating tour of them all.

35: Empowering the Acre | Andrew Youn

1:13:26 | Aug 22nd, 2018

Andrew Youn's One Acre Found is bringing food security to hundreds of thousands of families throughout Central Africa. Now THAT'S an inspiring startup!

34: Ancient DNA | David Reich

1:31:35 | Jul 31st, 2018

The genetic code of Neanderthals, archaic humans, and other elders is reconfiguring much of our understanding of human history. And it could just save hundreds of thousands of modern human lives per year.

33: The Evolution of Beauty | Richard Prum

1:25:03 | Jul 16th, 2018

A bold and brilliant refutation of the common wisdom about sexual attraction, aesthetics, and more. Rick Prum is an evolutionary heretic. And the wellspring of his unorthodox ideas is ... Charles Darwin himself.

Announcement | On the Future of this Podcast

20:59 | Jul 1st, 2018

The full lowdown on where this podcast is going from here.

31: Expanding DNA's Alphabet (by half!) | Floyd Romesberg

1:20:36 | Jun 26th, 2018

Floyd Romesberg added two letters to DNA's ancient four-letter alphabet. He got this running in cells. And coding proteins. His cell lines have passed it down hundreds of generations. Now what?

30. Stewart Brand | De-extinction, The Whole Earth, and Way More

1:42:48 | Jun 12th, 2018

Over six consecutive decades, Stewart Brand has impacted society, tech and science in outlandishly diverse ways. This truly unhurried conversation explores the scope of his intensely original American life.

Jordan Harbinger | Bonus Episode

1:27:55 | Jun 8th, 2018

An examination of the science of psychopathy from my buddy Jordan Harbinger’s terrific podcast. This bonus episode is in addition to the two new original episodes I’m creating this month.

28: Exponential Medicine | Daniel Kraft

1:08:27 | May 29th, 2018

Key aspects of medical technology are improving even faster than computers. What are the ramifications for our health? For our lifespans? Dr. Daniel Kraft has tremendous insights into all of this - particularly as it relates to cancer.

27. Depression: The Psychedlic Cure? | Katya Malievskaia & George Goldsmith

1:05:42 | May 15th, 2018

The largest-ever clinical trial of a psychedelic drug will soon begin in Europe and North America. The drug is psilocybin - the active ingredient in magic mushrooms. The target is treatment-resistant depression.

26: Reality Isn't (?) (!) | Don Hoffman

1:21:56 | Apr 30th, 2018

Quantitative Psychologist Don Hoffman has a head-spinning take on the true nature of reality vs. what our senses report to us. Is it the most counterintuitive insight since Pythagoras figured the Earth is round?

25. A Night at the Battery

1:03:40 | Apr 17th, 2018

In this very atypical episode, the tables turn and I'm the interviewee! We discuss all of my creative projects, including this podcast series. Recorded live at The Battery in San Francisco.

24: George Church | BioEngineering

1:20:53 | Apr 3rd, 2018

George Church helped found 22 companies, and co-invented the paradigm-shattering gene editing technique CRISPR. In our interview, he delivers a sweeping survey of the world of synthetic biology, and makes some astounding predictions

23: Rodney Brooks | AI & Robotics - Their Present and Future

1:22:44 | Mar 20th, 2018

Rodney Brooks is a founding luminary of TWO vital domains in tech: robotics and AI. He's the father of the Roomba, the long-time head of MIT's AI lab, and a serial entrepreneur. Few can rival his breadth & depth in technology.

22: David Eagleman | Creating the 6th, 7th & 8th Sense?

59:32 | Mar 6th, 2018

Neuroscientist David Eagleman has done groundbreaking work on how we perceive time. Now he hopes to radically expand the pantheon of human senses.

21: Mary Lou Jepsen | Neural Imaging and ... TELEPATHY?!

1:07:47 | Feb 20th, 2018

After stints at Google and Facebook, serial entrepreneur Mary Lou Jepsen is ready to upend the worlds of medical imaging and ... telepathy. Yup, TELEPATHY. Give it a listen!

20: Aubrey de Grey | Radical Life Extension

1:07:00 | Jan 17th, 2018

Aubrey de Grey is a highly credentialed scientist who believes it's within our grasp to REVERSE human aging in the next few decades. Dozens of scientists are now executing on his plan, funded by extremely smart backers including Peter Thiel.

19: A Lightning Tour of the After On Universe

1:14:04 | Jan 2nd, 2018

A wide-ranging set of excerpts from the After On audiobook, read brilliant folks including John Hodgman, Felicia Day, Jesse Cox, Tom Merritt. Back to "normal" episodes next week, promise! :-)

Episode 18: It's Really After On

1:25:25 | Dec 22nd, 2017

This week, Broadway's own January LaVoy and legendary fantasy writer Patrick Rothfuss read/perform the the opening of the After On audiobook (plus quite a bit more). With some notes & observations from the author.

17: Coinbase Co-Founder Fred Ehrsam | The Past Present & Future of Cryptocurrency

1:44:38 | Dec 13th, 2017

Whether you’re a cryptocurrency novice or expert, this episode will teach you a ton. My guest, Fred Ehrsam, founded the world’s largest platform for storing & trading Bitcoin and more. Just us for a full crypto education!

16: Robert Green | The Promise & Peril in YOUR Genes

1:36:07 | Nov 29th, 2017

You will soon have access to a dizzying battery of facts about your health. Some could be horrid or positive on a life-changing scale! But most will be wildly ambiguous. Should you peek? NOTE: This is NOT just hypothetical.

15. Music Piracy | The Extraterrestrial Threat

1:23:12 | Nov 21st, 2017

A vast alien civilization is so into American pop music, it recently committed the biggest copyright violation since the dawn of time. Against us! How should humanity respond? A special (and rather playful) episode with John Hodgman.

14: Andy McAfee | The Future (if any!) of Jobs

1:17:27 | Nov 14th, 2017

Andy McAfee of MIT is a leading thinker about how robotics and other automation will influence the future of work and jobs. We touch on some scary stuff - plus some delightful notes of optimism!

13: Ev Williams | Medium, Twitter, and Networked Words

1:17:40 | Oct 31st, 2017

Ev Williams co-founded and ran both Twitter and Blogger.com, and is now the founder/CEO of Medium. He’s a deep thinker about ideas morph & travel, and is carving out a place for thoughtful, serious writing online.

12. Chris Anderson | TED Talks + Organization

1:20:11 | Oct 24th, 2017

You've probably seen a TED Talk or two (or 500!) online. Chris runs the TED organization, and has some fascinating thoughts both on how we're wired to process oratory, and how we might build a better world.

11. Sarah Parcak | Space Archaeology

1:37:58 | Oct 17th, 2017

Sarah Parcak is a pioneer in the emerging field of space archaeology. In 2016 she won the TED Prize to launch a “citizen science” platform, which is finding lost sites and fighting archaeological looting throughout the world.

10. Tim O'Reilly | Tech's Past & Future

1:18:21 | Oct 10th, 2017

Technology’s pre-eminent publisher, Tim O’Reilly helped trigger the rise of the commercial Web, the open source community, the Web 2.0 era, and the maker movement. I discuss tech’s past and future with one of its most original thinkers.

9. Chris Anderson of Wired & 3DR | Drones

1:23:25 | Oct 3rd, 2017

Chris Anderson was Wired’s editor-in-chief for 12 years, then started one of the world’s great drone companies. We discuss all this – and his origins as a high school dropout living in a squat and playing bass for a band called REM (no, not that REM)...Show More

7. James Barrat | Dangers of Superintelligence

56:29 | Sep 19th, 2017

James Barrat’s book “Our Final Invention” helped touch off a public debate about the possible dangers of superintelligence, which continues to this day. We discuss these dangers in depth in our interview. For those who are reading the novel After On...Show More

6. Sam Harris | On Terrorism

2:16:20 | Sep 12th, 2017

Sam Harris is one of the most visible and controversial commentators on terrorism and its roots. Our interview dives deep into this subject, as well the personal journey that made Sam into the public intellectual he has become. For those who are read...Show More

4: Andy Hessel | Synthetic Biology

1:18:15 | Aug 24th, 2017

It took 13 years and $3 billion to read the first human genome in 2003. Now it's $999 a takes just hours. What happens when we can WRITE DNA as easily as we now read it? For those who are reading the novel After On, Tom Merritt and I discuss pages 18...Show More

3: Cindy Cohn (EFF) | Privacy + Govt Intrusion

1:16:45 | Aug 17th, 2017

In this episode, we discuss patent trolls, government hacking, privacy in the digital age, and other vital issues with Cindy Cohn, who runs the Electronic Frontier Foundation. For those who are reading the novel After On, Tom Merritt and I discuss pa...Show More

2: Adam Gazzaley | Consciousness & Neuroscience

1:32:28 | Aug 10th, 2017

In this episode,we discuss the roots of consciousness and other vital topics with UCSF neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley. For those who are reading the novel After On, Tom Merritt and I discuss pages 51-109 in the very last section of the podcast.