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Benjamen Walker's Theory of Everything

Benjamen Walker & Radiotopia

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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.

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Real costs extra (False Alarm! part v)

42:08 | Jun 6th, 2018

Many of us are struggling with the real and the fake – but if you’re willing to pay enough, you don’t have to worry about it. Your host collaborates with 99% Invisible on a story about the Emeco Navy chair (the real one and the knockoffs).  Artist Sa...Show More

Utopia (part i)

33:28 | Nov 16th, 2017

A new ToE mini series on technology, society, work, art, love (the ToE basics) but this time your host dons a pair of Utopian tinted glasses, and sends Toe Producer Andrew Callaway on the road to visit Utopian communities. Plus Basic Income. ********...Show More

The Cultural Marxism Industry

36:38 | Feb 12th

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. Chapter two in the new ToE Failure ...Show More

The People have Spoken

27:04 | Jan 9th

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.

Failure (prelude)

37:06 | Dec 25th, 2018

After Meghan Daum’s marriage falls apart she meets some new friends on YouTube. Also, reporter Paris Martineau tells us about a new game changing online harassment tool: the thotbot. Meghan wrote about her journey for Medium and Paris’s reporting is...Show More

Bonus 2018

21:52 | Dec 20th, 2018

Earlier this summer at a listener meet up in Vancouver your host learned the difference between Listeners and Fans. Find out why this distinction matters. And if you are a fan or a listener donate now to the 2018 Radiotopia campaign! Also: Benjamen a...Show More

Victory is ours

36:20 | Dec 11th, 2018

Mark Galeotti takes us into the Soviet Gulag to tell us the brutal history of the Bitch War, ToE's Andrew Callaway checks in on the war on smoking and P.W. Singer explains how #likewar works. Plus Sleeper Net?

Fake it till you make it (False Alarm! part xv)

31:10 | Nov 28th, 2018

The grand finale of False Alarm! This one has it all, the little boy who cried wolf, your host’s AI plant, the paintings of Hilma af Klint, the blockchain powered SingularityNet, and Nuclear Armageddon!  Centuries in the making plus a message from th...Show More

Night Wolves (False Alarm! part xiv)

39:28 | Nov 6th, 2018

The Night Wolves are a Russian biker gang. Their rallies and bike shows run on state TV and Putin gave members medals for their contributions to the annexation of Crimea. The Kremlin outsources violence, propaganda, and intelligence gathering to grou...Show More

JK After The Fact (False Alarm! part xiii)

36:05 | Oct 24th, 2018

A handful of tech barons now own the news but only one can rule the fake news. A chat with the comedy team behind the CBC’s This is That satirical news show turns into breaking news about Elon Musk.

Wolfgang (False Alarm! part xii)

34:09 | Oct 12th, 2018

The Hoaxers took over the Conspiracy Theory Championship Title from the Truthers in December of 2012 in response to the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary. Eight years later the hoaxers are everywhere, the pizzagaters, the climate deniers, the nation...Show More

Mistakes were made

37:54 | Sep 25th, 2018

We’re taking a short break from False Alarm! because your host made a big big mistake. More on that when we return to False Alarm next episode… In the meantime, we raid Benjamen Walker’s audio vaults for a show about making mistakes and being wrong.

True Lessons (False Alarm! part xi)

32:14 | Sep 12th, 2018

I set out on this False Alarm! journey with a quest to figure out how to better deal with this blurry line between fiction and reality. Phase Three of False Alarm! begins with a return to this question… can fiction help us see the truth? Jeffery Lewi...Show More

Second time as fake (False Alarm! part x)

42:39 | Aug 23rd, 2018

The Nazis believed the secret to turning a lie into a truth was repetition, for the Spiritualists it was denial, have computers come up with something new? Phase two of our mega-mini series concludes and we return from our tour of the 1930s and 1880s...Show More

Heavenly Truths (False Alarm! part ix)

41:52 | Aug 7th, 2018

A postmodern prehistory of post-truth and an alternative history of the Civil War. Our exploration of the Nazi Supernatural concludes with Werewolves and Mass Suicide. Plus: another installment in our False Alarm! fairy tale, the little boy from part...Show More

Pseudoscience (False Alarm! part viii)

25:12 | Jul 24th, 2018

As the border between border science and science dissolves we continue our examination of two other time periods when science tried to account for both the real and the unreal. In the 1800’s, so much new technology was revolutionizing the world… why ...Show More

The Power of Magical Thinking (False Alarm! part vii)

30:44 | Jul 11th, 2018

Magic! That’s what alt-right face-punchee Richard Spencer claims brought Trump to the White House. Esoteric historian Gary Lachman investigates and discovers an unholy alliance of memes, chaos, and positive thinking. Michael Hughes, author of Magic f...Show More

It is happening again (False Alarm! part vi)

30:14 | Jun 22nd, 2018

Little girls who can talk to ghosts! The Nazi Supernatural! The legacy of artist Iris Häussler’s first fictional character Joseph Wagenbach. Plus America’s Greatest Lie! 2018 is not the first time truth, fiction and lies have merged together. In the ...Show More

The Fake in the Crowd (False Alarm! part iv)

28:51 | May 21st, 2018

The power of the fake person, multiplied! Curator Karen Patterson puts a fake outsider artist in the museum and artist David Levine puts on a museum show about the fake crowd. We hear from a 1937 radio play that featured both Orson Welles and the fir...Show More

S-Coin (False Alarm! part iii)

45:24 | May 1st, 2018

Our investigation of the real and the fake continues as your host hunts for a way to monetize it! We ask Alex Goldmark from Planet Money and Bitchcoin artist Sarah Meyohas for advice and author David Golumbia explains how bitcoin really works. Lyn Je...Show More

Fake Nudes (False Alarm! part ii)

44:04 | Apr 17th, 2018

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 dr...Show More

This Is Not A Drill (False Alarm! part i)

36:02 | Apr 3rd, 2018

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 ev...Show More

Utopia (part v)

28:02 | Mar 22nd, 2018

Our search for Utopia comes to an end at Christiania, an Anarchist haven in the heart of Copenhagen. In 2012 this Utopia went legit, the squatters become property owners. But now they must figure out how to preserve their alternative community, prese...Show More

Utopia (part iv)

21:41 | Mar 6th, 2018

Our search for Utopia takes Andrew far from Mundania to the magickal Den of Iniquity in a pagan community called The Valley of The Dragons. Plus, your host takes a tour of FDR’s New Deal Utopias in search of a future that is possible. ********* click...Show More

Time Travelin’ Trump

19:12 | Feb 14th, 2018

Donald Trump says all his ‘nuclear knowledge’ comes from his favorite uncle John G Trump. According to ToE special correspondent Chris, Uncle Johnny also gave Donald a time machine ring. Learn all about how John Trump acquired this ring (from Nikola ...Show More

Joe Frank

22:20 | Feb 2nd, 2018

Radio Genius Joe Frank recently passed away. At joefrank.com Joe’s wife Michal Story has posted a number of wonderful tributes. Here is mine, a recording we did together in 2005. It was an absurd situation. Joe was hooked up to a dialysis machine, he...Show More

Utopia (part iii)

26:07 | Jan 22nd, 2018

Artist and Filmmaker Ruth Dusseault tells us about how the internet has changed the American Commune. Plus ToE’s Andrew Callaway lets us in on an internet joke about  Socialist Dolphins. ***********Click on the image for details about this episode **...Show More

False Flags

18:22 | Dec 30th, 2017

Underneath a giant American Flag in a Midwest Airport Your host takes a knee in order to tie his shoe. Trouble. Big Trouble. Plus False Flag meets Dictionary.com

Utopia (part ii)

29:58 | Dec 20th, 2017

Our series continues with ToE’s Andrew Callaway reporting from an off the grid fully sustainable little piece of heaven called Earthaven. Plus Will Wilkinson on Libertopia and the limits of Ideal Theory. **********************Click on image for more ...Show More

Influencers (complete version)

24:22 | Nov 28th, 2017

A couple of months ago I wrote a story for the truth podcast, Radiotopia’s one-of-a-kind audio fiction show. Part One ran on the Truth and Part Two ran here. I thought I would run the complete version before the whole thing becomes documentary.

CthulhuCon (Revisited)

35:42 | Nov 3rd, 2017

A special Halloween week fall treat! We’re revisiting a segment from my old podcast Too Much Information. I’ve always wanted to share it here, but this thing I dreamed about in 2010 (Cthulucon, a gathering dedicated to the writings and memory of the ...Show More

Bad Science

18:05 | Oct 20th, 2017

When ToE’s special corespondent Chris told me about Russian Gay Bashing Drones onstage during my performance in London I was certain he was once again putting me on – or this was Satire. I forgot that in 2017 anything is possible – except Satire! A f...Show More

Iron and Lies (Wisconsin part II of II)

27:34 | Oct 16th, 2017

The ToE  family Wisconsin road trip wraps up with a visit to the House on the Rock. Even though Alex Jordan’s tourist attraction is one of the most visionary unique places in the world you still won’t find it on any of the official Wisconsin art envi...Show More

Concrete and Respect (Wisconsin part I of II)

42:20 | Sep 21st, 2017

Benjamen, Mathilde and Arthaud head off on a family trip to Wisconsin to see art environments built by immigrants out of concrete and to discover what’s going on in rural America today. Plus: making Pawn America great again!

Illicit Objects

39:25 | Aug 8th, 2017

Rob Walker and Josh Glenn have a long history of getting writers to share stories about their objects, but when they told me the would be curating an audio collection of stories, and asked if I wanted to collaborate I said absolutely. So here we have...Show More

Private Ear

26:39 | Jul 19th, 2017

Lawrence Abu Hamdan is an internationally celebrated artist who works with sound and an internationally recognized expert forensic listener. He likes to call himself a Private Ear. Your host visits Lawrence in Beirut to hear more.

Influencers (part II of II)

15:05 | Jun 28th, 2017

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 Tru...Show More

Emergency

24:01 | May 29th, 2017

A special ToE emergency pod: Chris explains the Orb,  Andrew dives into the mystery of Twin Peaks and your host tries attempts SpaCasting.

Protest

27:48 | May 16th, 2017

Direct action saved the gardens in your host’s neighborhood, activist and author L.A.  Kauffman explains why it is once again time for more good old fashioned American Radicalism. Plus ToE’s Andrew Callaway maga-ups with the Alt-right on Mayday.  Fin...Show More

Droning for Dollars

14:52 | Apr 27th, 2017

Can a Self-Droning drone start up save the Trump Presidency? Our special correspondent Chris fills us in on YouFired!

Art Districts

29:00 | Apr 12th, 2017

Empty buildings, run down neighborhoods and cheap rents. This is the bait you need to attract artists, speculators and urban revitalizers. But in order to attract pioneers you also need illusion and myth. We tour the art districts of New Orleans, Los...Show More

1984 (the year not the book) r

1:06:08 | Mar 20th, 2017

Wrote a short piece on my 1984 “where’s the beef” record collection for Hilobrow’s Political Objects series and thought I would re-up this episode. In 1984 your host was twelve years old and like George Orwell’s protagonist Winston Smith, he kept a d...Show More

Nothing to Hide

37:20 | Mar 10th, 2017

Potemkin apps, Fake ads, and the return of little pepe the frog. Your host busts out all his best deep state moves for the grand conclusion of our Surveillance miniseries. Plus Finn Brunton pitches AdNauseum and Siva Vaidhyanathan gives us a tour of ...Show More

The Rainbows of Inevitability

36:08 | Feb 23rd, 2017

We take a tour of the sprawl with Metahaven to learn about the propaganda of propaganda and we travel beyond the Facebook wall to learn the real truth about targeted advertising. Plus Project Madison Valleywood!  

Doomed to Repeat

32:32 | Feb 8th, 2017

Your host examines the targeted advertising and fake news that some say put Donald Trump in the White House. Plus: the colonial history of Biometric Surveillance. Thanks to Mira Waits, Ethan Zuckerman and Hannes Grassegger

The Twentieth of January

21:32 | Jan 20th, 2017

A spy novel from the 80’s gives Donald Trump and his Russian friends some ideas. PLUS your host inspires the youth with cowardice.

Entrapment

36:00 | Jan 16th, 2017

The FBI builds more surveillance traps that don’t work, and your host shares a few of his earliest adventures in surveillance.  

The fairest of them all?

17:27 | Dec 28th, 2016

Our Surveillance miniseries continues with a special holiday episode. Your host visits both the glass room ( a fake pop up store) and the Google pop up store (a real pop up store).  

Useful Idiots

35:30 | Dec 12th, 2016

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.  

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum

20:50 | Nov 23rd, 2016

Donald Trump promises women he will make Surveillance great again. Plus Digital Security Training!

Targeted

33:20 | Nov 8th, 2016

Your host tries his hand at targeted advertising and he dooms his child to a life of exclusion with the simple gift of a stuffed frog. Plus the truth about Facial Recognition.

Honeypot

29:49 | Oct 25th, 2016

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.

Burning down the Panopticon

24:33 | Oct 11th, 2016

Our new miniseries on Surveillance begins with your host tripping over the corpse of Jeremy Bentham, the man who gave us the Panopticon.

You are so Pretentious

19:00 | Sep 20th, 2016

Writer Dan Fox wants to reclaim the word pretentious. Take it back from those who use it like a stick to beat down the curious and the adventurous.

revolutionary slogans will be written by the winners

14:44 | Aug 25th, 2016

As the 2016 American presidential election heads into the final round – we are featuring a story your host stumbled upon during the last election in October of 2102. Radio producer Silvain Gire tells us about an impossible encounter between Mitt Romn...Show More

pass (r)

09:26 | Aug 16th, 2016

Your host dreams the future of Self Driving Cars.

The art of the deal

20:50 | Aug 4th, 2016

The secret history of ISIS from ToE’s special corespondent Chris. PLUS Donald Trump is ready for sacrifice.

Something will happen, eventually

13:05 | Jul 21st, 2016

Your host opens his file of near misses and close calls. Joe Mazur examines the math and myth behind the stories we call coincidences.  Plus a grasp at the law of truly large numbers.

Because there’s nothing else to do

16:52 | Jul 6th, 2016

Your host wanders London just before and after Britain’s historic vote to leave the European Union.

sudculture (part II of II)

29:17 | Jun 21st, 2016

Part two of your host’s craft beer drinking adventure. As the battle over shelf space intensifies we meet a couple of brewers who are doing things differently?

sudculture (part I of II)

26:39 | Jun 6th, 2016

Your host sets out to better understand America’s craft beer scene. The latest food trend? Or oppositional culture?  And can it survive the attention from Megabrew? image: http://www.beercapmaps.com  

Analog Time

28:18 | May 29th, 2016

Your host explores the transition from UFO to Drone on stage as part of Radiotopia Live! and pinpoints the date he crossed his own personal digital divide (Feb 21st 1997). Also filmmaker Alix Lambert tells us about a group of people who are still on ...Show More

Transformers (r)

36:38 | May 13th, 2016

Yvette Gonzales tells us a first person story about what its like to be transgender in Prison. Gender theorist B. Preciado tells us about what happens when a person takes testosterone without the intention of transitioning from one gender to another....Show More

Platform of the Real

25:25 | Apr 28th, 2016

A look at the most revolutionary media format that has ever existed and a trip back to 1968 when video became real. Plus Virtual reality!

The Future

28:19 | Apr 13th, 2016

Your host has a chance encounter with the supposed inspiration for a cult TV show that predicted the future of tech and media. Plus the end of Moore’s law?

A light touch and a slight nudge

33:38 | Mar 28th, 2016

Is Donald Trump actually a CIA asset with implants in his small hands or are our brains just wired for paranoia – or both! Rob Brotherton, author of Suspicious Minds, explains how our cognitive biases push us to see Conspiracies everywhere. Plus a lo...Show More

Paris

31:55 | Mar 7th, 2016

Luc Sante takes us on a tour of “The Other Paris” Benoît Peeters shows us Paris of 22nd century and your host learns why there is so much Brooklyn in the 10th arrondissement image by Celeste Lai

After Work

26:14 | Feb 10th, 2016

ToE instaserf Andrew Callaway gets invited to do a TED ALPHA Talk on the sharing economy.  Mary Gray (a real sharing economy expert) explains why we are anxious about the future of work and Ignacio Uriarte leaves his cubicle to make post-office art. ...Show More

The Escapers

27:08 | Jan 28th, 2016

Artist Gary Panter packs up and sizes down, Alix Lambert explains the new computer trap. Plus your host on Gordon Comstock (the escaper protagonist of Orwell’s novel Keep the aspidistra flying).  

70×7 (Holy War part II of II)

29:26 | Dec 29th, 2015

The second half of our  sly-fi story about redemption, forgiveness and torture.  Margo hopes to leave Christian America with Ali Baba ( a terrorist clone she was given as recompense for the death of her husband). But can they escape before evil Fredd...Show More

Alaska Is Closer (Holy War part I of II)

39:22 | Dec 22nd, 2015

As 2015 winds down we offer you a story about redemption, forgiveness and torture. When Margo’s husband is killed in a terrorist attack, she is given Ali Baba, a terrorist clone. This is how it works in Christian America in this piece of speculative ...Show More

New York After Rent (post prop f director’s cut)

1:12:05 | Nov 25th, 2015

Now that Airbnb has proved it can beat regulation we return to the post-gentrified city. Two! new segments:  we meet a landlord (named Benny) who built an illegal artists space in Bushwick, and we visit Astor Place, the embodiment of the New New York...Show More

The things we do for money

31:34 | Oct 31st, 2015

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

Secret Histories of Podcasting

40:10 | Oct 22nd, 2015

It turns out there are (at least) three ways to tell the secret history of podcasting: it is a story about technology, it is a story about a business model for audio, and it is also a story about the birth of a new art form. What’s really cool is tha...Show More

Enchanting By Numbers (2015 version)

31:16 | Oct 9th, 2015

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 Edg...Show More

Resolution

29:06 | Sep 7th, 2015

Your host attempts to write a description for the Podcast. He seeks assistance from an old book, and the plot whisperer.  

Artifacts (redux)

25:28 | Aug 12th, 2015

Photographer Robert Burley takes pictures of the end of analog for his book The Disappearance Of Darkness. Christine Frohnert and Christiane Paul explain why it is difficult to care for digital artworks and Social Media theorist Nathan Jurgenson want...Show More

Instaserfs (III of III)

38:53 | Jul 7th, 2015

“This is part of the sharing economy, I am sharing myself” Our instaserfs series comes to a crushing conclusion, Hear Instapoder Andrew attempt to manserve…  Plus we meet two former Uber drivers! Also this Thursday July 9th 3pm EST a live online ToE ...Show More

Instaserfs (II of III)

33:42 | Jun 24th, 2015

Instaserfs II: “Chipolte Strikes back” or “Seriously, in the sharing economy no one can hear you work”  Either tagline works for our second installment in our future of work series. Andrew (our ToE instapoder) continues with his task of working for a...Show More

Instaserfs (I of III)

38:11 | Jun 17th, 2015

In the sharing economy no one  can hear you work. This is because companies like Uber, Lyft, Postmates and others only employ “partners” or independent contractors. So your host decided to partner with Andrew Callaway, a 25 year old San Francisco nat...Show More

Art De Vivre (II of II)

39:03 | Jun 2nd, 2015

Benjamen and Mathilde continue exploring the intersection between France and China over wine. In this installment they traverse China talking with winemakers, wine enthusiasts and drinkers to find out what the emerging middle class of China, one of t...Show More

Art De Vivre (I of II)

38:12 | May 26th, 2015

The voice of the ToE episode announcer revealed! (her name is Mathilde)  and she joins our host for this two part series about the intersection between France and China and wine. The story of the red obsession of Wealthy Chinese has been told many ti...Show More

The Dislike Club (finale/ABC version)

39:05 | May 12th, 2015

In this program (which originally aired on the ABC last December) your host makes his final attempt to build the ultimate anti-social-media-social-platform. Things continue to decline: the phone in the hand becomes the phone on a stick in the hand. A...Show More

New York After Rent (III of III)

24:32 | Apr 30th, 2015

Our series concludes with an attempt to examine the suburbanized commodified inner cityscape of New York. Author and activist Sarah Schulman tells us about the Gentrified Mind, plus we hear from one of the first Airbnbers of New York. PLUS  a sneak p...Show More

New York After Rent (II of III)

33:00 | Apr 22nd, 2015

Our series continues with a journey from Avenue B to Bushwick: Kathy Kirkpatrick tells us about the final days of her Life Cafe in the East Village and essayist Tim Kreider tells us about his exile in Bushwick. Plus your host tries to make sense of t...Show More

New York After Rent (I of III)

30:46 | Apr 8th, 2015

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 ...Show More

Dark Karma

37:44 | Mar 17th, 2015

“G.S.” was one of the first friends I made when I moved to Bozeman, Montana many years ago. The story he told me about how bad karma brought him from Devon, England to the C.U.T. bomb shelters in Gardiner, Montana still haunts me. A few years ago we ...Show More

Radio WIFM

22:14 | Mar 2nd, 2015

Decades before the first shot was fired in the American revolution a band of runaway slaves known as the Maroons living in the mountains in Colonial Jamaica took on the British Empire and won.  I’ve long been obsessed with the Maroons and so last sum...Show More

An Illumination

21:14 | Jan 27th, 2015

Cédric Villani won the prestigious Fields Medal for his work in 2010.  He wrote a book about his experience called Birth of a Theorem: A Mathematical Adventure. It is a book about where ideas come from. There is something spider like about Villani, a...Show More

Occupy Siberia (dislike club prequel)

58:38 | Dec 29th, 2014

Yours truly is recuperating from 2014 in France but wishing you a happy holiday. Hope you enjoyed the programming this year. The dislike club series pretty much contains everything I have ever wanted to say about social media. Been thinking about all...Show More

Logical Fantasies (the dislike club part V)

25:57 | Dec 22nd, 2014

In the penultimate episode of our series, Kathy Sierra tells us how one tweak could fix everything and ToE’s Chris tells us the secret origin of Facebook. PLUS #marksbros (as in Zuckerberg)  #marxhegel (as in Groucho) ***ALERT*** the DISLIKE CLUB Fin...Show More

Wishful Thinking (the dislike club part IV)

29:08 | Dec 9th, 2014

In 2007 writer, programmer, and horse trainer Kathy Sierra quit the internet because of misogynist hate trolling. She stayed off the social web for 7 years but last year she came back to see what Twitter was like. She tells us why she only lasted a f...Show More

If you dislike like, then you will… (the dislike club part III)

25:56 | Dec 3rd, 2014

This week Anthropologist Gabriella Coleman tells us about the internet’s original Dislike Club, Anonymous. Biella has spent the last eight years hanging out with Anons both on IRC and in IRL. Her new book “Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: the many...Show More

Paying For It (the dislike club part II)

29:13 | Nov 25th, 2014

Our mini-series about the internet continues. This week we take a close look at the fundamental business model of the web – advertising. In 1993  your host was a founding member of an international monkey wrench gang that fought billboards in outer s...Show More

Backspace to the Future (the dislike club part I)

24:27 | Nov 14th, 2014

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 writin...Show More

Making it Happen

22:31 | Nov 4th, 2014

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 ...Show More

Enchanting By Numbers

27:25 | Oct 6th, 2014

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 Yorker...Show More

It will always be hard

30:11 | Sep 16th, 2014

Three reminders that being an artist will always be hard

Man Without a Country (3 of 3)

33:58 | Aug 8th, 2014

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 le...Show More

Man Without a Country (2 of 3)

46:22 | Aug 8th, 2014

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...Show More

Man Without a Country (1 of 3)

32:59 | Aug 8th, 2014

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 one we hear the story of what happened when he fought the "three strike...Show More

Recent, Relevant, Random

22:05 | Jul 25th, 2014

We don't have metrics to measure what happens when we read something that changes our life. So this episode is an attempt to deal with that.

Guided By Voices

34:32 | Jun 30th, 2014

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 med...Show More

Stages on Life’s Way

36:14 | Jun 13th, 2014

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 rese...Show More

A Better Tomorrow

24:00 | May 18th, 2014

This week we examine the legacy of The Work of Art in the Age of Technological Reproducibility by Walter Benjamin.  Media Theorist and Benjamin scholar (and translator) Thomas Levin explains why this essay resonates today and what Benjamin has to tel...Show More

The Bootlickers

27:36 | Apr 25th, 2014

Andrew Rubin opens up his Archives of Authority to tell us the story of how George Orwell's Animal Farm and 1984 became global phenomenons. Melissa Gira Grant tells us about her new book Playing the Whore and the complicated relationship between sex ...Show More

1984 (the year not the book)

54:50 | Apr 4th, 2014

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 dia...Show More

Prêt-à-Portable

33:05 | Mar 24th, 2014

Technology consultant Sarah Slocum loves social media and her Google Glass, she wears them everywhere. But when she walked into Molotov's, a bar on Haight Street in San Francisco, she discovered that not everyone shares her love for wearable tech. Al...Show More

When You’re Lonely, Life is Very Long

29:26 | Mar 3rd, 2014

Writer Olivia Laing didn’t plan on moving to New York alone, but after a few lonely months in the city she discovered the truth about loneliness. She says it is a gift. Laing wrote an essay on loneliness for Aeon magazine. She is also the author of T...Show More

F is for Fake

26:49 | Feb 11th, 2014

To Bot or Not? That's the big question for Data Scientist Gilad Lotan. His research suggests we may be damaging our online reputations if we choose not to play the game. Jason Q Ng, author of the book blocked on Weibo, tells us why the Chinese govern...Show More

Artifacts (2 of 2)

22:44 | Jan 16th, 2014

Nathan Jurgenson wants us to understand what is really revolutionary about ephemeral photographs and platforms like Snapchat, Fred Ritchin says we are going to get our minds blown "After Photography" and Finn Bruntun explains why we need to preserve ...Show More

Artifacts (1 of 2)

25:31 | Jan 1st, 2014

Photographer Robert Burley takes pictures of the end of Analog for his book The disappearance of darkness. Christine Frohnert explains how conservators must care for Art with a Plug. Curator Christiane Paul tells us how the Whitney Museum of American...Show More

Not Soon Enough

23:51 | Dec 11th, 2013

This week your host tries to break through to the other side using the art of John Singer Sargent as a... jumping off point. Also we get an update from our corespondent Peter Choyce. When we last heard from Peter (in "admissions of defeat") he was he...Show More

Waiting In Line

25:59 | Oct 23rd, 2013

Even though waiting in line is an essential part of the human experience, there is no such thing as a Universal Queue. The most famous Queue is the traditional serpentine queue. First in, first out. It’s fair and democratic. The priority queue is s...Show More

Out Of The Office

26:52 | Oct 14th, 2013

Programmer David Heinemeier Hansson tells us about his Out Of Office experience, David is a partner at 37signals and a co-author (with Jason Fried) of REMOTE: Office Not Required. We also meet Ignacio Uriarte, he left his cubicle for a career in Offi...Show More

Admissions Of Defeat

30:33 | Oct 3rd, 2013

We check in with a few of our TOE regulars: Peter Choyce has is one of my oldest friends and a listener favorite, but he has a secret we've never addressed until now. We also check in with our D.C. correspondent "Chris" who tells us about the NSA's d...Show More

Hacked

28:54 | Jun 11th, 2013

These days, it seems that everyone is getting hacked. Fast Food companies, News Organizations, everyone living in the United States... The highlight of this week's installment is a conversation about hackers with Anthropologist Gabriella Coleman. Sh...Show More

Red, White, Blue & Orange

40:02 | May 14th, 2013

The torture scenes in Zero Dark Thirty were extremely controversial. Supposedly, they even cost the film an Oscar, Argo, the CIA’s other propaganda effort for 2012, trounced ZDT at the Academy Awards. There is no factual evidence that connects any i...Show More

The Clouds (part 3 of 3)

23:10 | May 6th, 2013

The landing from the digital onto the material is hard; it comes with a cruelty and intensity we haven’t even begun to properly understand. - Metahaven I got the chance to meet Metahaven (Daniel Van Der Velden and Vinca Kruk) when they were in NYC t...Show More

The Clouds (part 2 of 3)

29:40 | Apr 29th, 2013

Over the years, technology has become more and more invisible. But all of that invisible technology is really based on increasing use of more and more exotic materials like rare earths - and its the rare earths that make it all work. - Dr. Alex King...Show More

The Clouds (part 1 of 3)

24:49 | Apr 19th, 2013

In many ways the cloud is just another Internet Buzz Word: Interactive, Web 2.0, Social Media, the cloud. But we now spend most of our time living and working in the cloud, and most of us have no idea how it works, what it does, what's different, or ...Show More