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An intimate conversation with the creators of some of the world's most remarkable games, hosted by comedian and life-long gamer Adam Conover. This season I will talk with the developers of Portal, Assassin's Creed, Hyper Light Drifter and many more about what it’s like to make video games for a living, how they come up with their ideas, and their first memory of the medium.
 
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show series
 
Crypto is crashing, which makes it the perfect time to ask whether blockchain technology is actually — you know — useful for anything. Computer scientist Nicholas Weaver joins Adam to discuss the inherent flaws in the technology, the shockingly slow state of innovation considering that the technology has been around for a decade, and what a better …
 
Is artificial intelligence a problem, or is the real problem how we’re using the term in the first place? Linguistics professor Emily Bender joins Adam to discuss why we should resist the urge to be impressed when it comes to big tech’s AI promises, and how our belief in the fantasy of A.I. could be worse than the reality. You can follow Emily on T…
 
Despite our efforts, we seem to be no better at treating mental illness than we were hundreds of years ago. Desperate Remedies author Andrew Scull joins Adam to explain why, on the way touching on the history of lobotomization, the collapse of psychoanalysis, and why our current regime of pharmaceutical intervention might not be all it’s cracked up…
 
In 2020, America went through a national reckoning about our racist criminal justice system. Just under two years later, has all that progress evaporated? Pulitzer winner, professor, and author of Locking Up Our Own, James Forman Jr., joins Adam to discuss the return of “tough on crime” politics and how building a movement for criminal justice refo…
 
When we picture robots, we normally think of an artificial being created in our own image. But what if this were deeply misleading? Author ofThe New Breed, Kate Darling, joins Adam to separate fact from science fiction and discuss the potentials and perils of real life robots. They get into the ethical issues involved with autonomous weapons system…
 
Our criminal justice system gives the impression of being impartial and fact-based, but in reality, it’s anything but. Innocence Project lawyer and author of Junk Science Chris Fabricant joins Adam to break down why pseudoscience is allowed into the court room, the influence of the Ted Bundy trial on mainstream forensics and the impact of the crimi…
 
Adam’s new series The G Word is out this Thursday on Netflix! To commemorate the premiere, this week The Fifth Risk author Michael Lewis turns the tables on Adam, interviewing him about how made the show. In the second half, they explore Michael's own reporting on how the CDC bungled COVID-19, and how Michael goes about writing his best-selling wor…
 
Do we really own the devices we buy? ‘The Right to Repair’ author Aaron Perzanowki joins Adam to explain how companies are using their power to control the products we buy from them, even after they’ve left the store, and prevent us from repairing them ourselves. They discuss how this affects the environment, the livelihood of farmers, and the long…
 
Instead of debunking religious beliefs, what if we investigated where religion comes from, and why it’s virtually universal across human cultures? Anthropologist and “How Religion Evolved And Why It Endures” author Robin Dunbar joins Adam to discuss the origins of religion. He describes how touch, laughter, and song bonded people together, and the …
 
The IPCC Report is one of the biggest, most important scientific projects ever undertaken by humankind, bringing together thousands of scientists from around the world to collect and evaluate our most up-to-date knowledge on climate change. Today on the show, Adam speaks with one of the lead authors of that report, Sarah Burch. Sarah explains where…
 
We’ve known about climate chance since the 80s. So why has action been so slow? Journalist and author of Fire and Flood, Eugene Linden, joins Adam to discuss how climate change went from an issue of non-partisan agreement to one that is highly politicized. They explore 30+ years of climate inaction, and how the novel idea of “going core-ward” could…
 
The 1960’s are often depicted as the the golden age of air travel, but the reality for the stewardesses who worked the skies was far from gilded. “The Great Stewardess Rebellion” author Nell McShane Wulfhart joins Adam to explain the ludicrous conditions that flight attendants worked under, and how their effort to unionize and fight back sparked ch…
 
The early Internet was open, exciting, and deeply optimistic. So how did we end up, just a few decades later, with one that’s closed, exploitative, and makes most of us incredibly depressed? Longtime Internet gadfly and author of How to Destroy Surveillance Capitalism, Cory Doctorow, joins Adam to break down how the Internet has changed for the wor…
 
Why do we have such a cultural aversion to human poop, when it’s so fascinating and useful? Stay with us: in this episode, science journalist Lina Zeldovich and author of the new book The Other Dark Matter educates Adam on why poop is an awesome substance, the history of sewage and how we should rethink poop’s role in our lives. Check out her book …
 
Around the world and for most of history, human societies have been dominated by men. Why? Professor and author of the forthcoming “The Great Gender Divergence”, Dr. Alice Evans, joins Adam to explain how male governance springs from systems of inheritance, why matrilineal systems tend to convert to patrilineal ones, and why we’re seeing progress o…
 
China is now one of the world’s most powerful nations. But how did its unique and formidable language shape its rise? Jing Tsu, the author of Kingdom of Characters, joins Adam to explain the history of the Chinese language, and the amazing innovations that brought it into the modern world. Check out her book at http://factuallypod.com/books…
 
Why is housing so expensive, when other human needs like food are relatively cheap? Brookings Senior Fellow and author of Fixer-Upper, Jenny Schuetz, joins Adam to explain why our entire system is tilted to protect wealth rather than provide housing, and how we can change the system to fix that. Pick up her book at http://factuallypod.com/books…
 
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