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Author: The Atlantic

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Big questions about technology, science, and culture, hosted by The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson. On Season 3 (launching May 9): Unbreak the internet.

29 Episodes
The numbers are staggering: thousands of titles for 160 million subscribers in 190 countries. Netflix has changed where we watch -- that's obvious. But has it also changed what we watch, and how? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Algorithms pervade our lives. They determine the news we see and the products we buy. But most Americans don’t understand how they are transforming every part of the criminal justice system—from policing and bail to sentencing and parole. Could computers make the legal system more fair? Or is it inherently unjust to put a person’s life in the hands of an algorithm? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Instagram influencers are beloved by fans and mocked by critics, but is there more to influencing than meets the eye? A look at what a growing industry can teach us about the future of life online. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
From Beijing to Brooklyn, facial recognition is on the cutting edge of surveillance technology. But does the threat of this tech outweigh its benefits? A look at two communities living under the microscope. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
From Charlottesville, Virginia, to Christchurch, New Zealand, the last few years have been filled with examples of online hatred spilling over into offline violence. How did the Web become one big media channel for the far right, and how can we make the Internet safe from extremism? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Young people are having less sex, and access to digital pornography has never been greater. Coincidence? In this episode, we wade into the debate over pornography and determine what, if anything, can be said about its effect on our relationships. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Admit it: You have no idea what privacy means anymore. These days, virtually all online activity—searching, shopping, browsing—requires giving away our personal information to tech companies. In this episode, we review the 200 year history of privacy in America and explain what the new age of “surveillance capitalism” means for all of us who have to live in it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Ten years ago, “Move fast and break things” was the clarion call of the world’s tech giants. Well, they moved fast and broke stuff, alright. Lots of stuff. Whether it’s Facebook privacy scandals, YouTube’s radicalization of the far right, or China’s brutal use of surveillance gadgetry, digital technology seems to be a relentless force for greed, bad faith, and tyranny these days. Let’s talk about it. “Unbreak the Internet” is the theme for the third season of Crazy/Genius, The Atlantic’s podcast on tech and culture. Over the course of eight weeks, we’ll expose the surveillance states in both western China and East New York, ask if digital platforms are an accelerant for right-wing nationalism, tell you why privacy is the climate-change crisis of the internet, and more. The third season of Crazy/Genius returns on May 9. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
In a special bonus episode, computer scientist and data journalist Meredith Broussard explains how “technochauvinism” derailed the dream of the digital revolution. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
AI can beat human geniuses at Jeopardy, chess, and complex mathematics. But surely, these machines don’t have anything that even closely resembles human imagination. Or do they? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Americans eat more meat now than ever. That’s a problem for the planet’s future. Animal farming takes up 30 percent of the earth’s landmass (the equivalent of Asia), and livestock causes one-sixth of global greenhouse gas emissions. We need more than moral arguments against meat. We need a technological revolution in better, cleaner food.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Some scientists see aging as a disease that can be cured—but what would immortality mean for humanity? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Over the last 130 years, the automobile shaped the modern world—it redefined the city, filled the suburbs, and revved up pop culture. With autonomous technology, everything about our relationship to cars is about to change. Then what? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Climate change could be the most important problem facing humanity. To address it, scientists are thinking seriously about an idea that might sound like something from a sci-fi dystopia: Spraying the skies with sulfuric acid to partially block out the sun. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Season 2 Trailer

Season 2 Trailer


Crazy/Genius is back with a new season featuring five ideas to save the world. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Should We Go to Mars?

Should We Go to Mars?


It’s our best hope for life after earth—and a freezing, irradiated desert more than 30 million miles away. In our season finale, scientists and writers debate whether colonizing Mars is the most important mission in the history of the human race, or an absurd daydream. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
“Where is everybody?” That’s the question physicist Enrico Fermi asked in 1950. Nearly 70 years later, we’re getting tantalizingly close to solving the riddle known as Fermi’s Paradox: If the universe is so large and so old, why haven't we found life on other planets? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Who Killed Local News?

Who Killed Local News?


Since the Internet exploded journalism’s business revenue, local newsrooms around the country have been in free fall. We speak to The Denver Post's former managing editor and other experts to debate how to save the news—and, just possibly, democracy itself. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Finding love on the Internet can be awkward, annoying, or downright scary. In this episode, two sociologists debate the merits of online dating and discuss their research on the history of romance in America. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Digital devices rob us of our attention, creativity, and, some studies show, our mental health. We ask psychologists and authors if smartphone and social media usage has triggered a national health crisis — and what we can do to free ourselves from the allure of modern technology. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Comments (41)

Paja Storec


Jan 16th

Franco M

this podcast comes across like it's HS Drama class.. not much genius .. so what's in a name I guess.. smh

Oct 13th

Franco M

I remember Katruna... Seeing a looter holding a stolen big screen TV above three feet of flood water was searing.. no electricity or dry land, no brain either. "racism" --- no it's not.. it's stupidity.

Oct 13th

Franco M

This is simple AND as old as mankind... Porn is only proliferated by the lack of satisfaction in sexual relationships.. SAME AS FOREVER -- like before the internet was even a thought.. Fyi,,, I'm old, ok.. to me it's obvious that these folks do not know what great sex is or can be like... I doubt they've PROPERLY explored the abstract ideas either.. I would encourage couples to experiment and if ya liked it,,, do it more often..

Oct 2nd

Anita Burke

So would you say that Amazon has tall poppy syndrome? weird to think about it like that, though .... what independent seller seriously thinks to or wants to take on Amazon? seems just evil

Feb 9th

Travis Chang

Taste, texture are important. So many ways to cook beef, only one way for cricket : fry, which has ill effects on health? These need to be overcome unless there's a catalyst for change one day. I'd eat cricket over beef but not a common supply in my part of the world.

Dec 21st

Adrian X

FFS I thought this is an objective podcast. Why would you politicize science channel? Just cover facts not opinions.

Oct 11th


sometimes the easiest solution is not the best solution

Jul 21st
Reply (1)

Tyler Fewings

I guess I won't be listening to this as I see incorrect information on the description before even starting.

Jul 10th
Reply (1)

Casey Mullarkey

Your political agenda came out.. you're not subjective.. you're now persuasive and not presenting facts or all perspective's of an issue.. therefore I cannot in good conscience support your podcast anymore.

Jun 6th

Michael McAllister

Wow.. This lady sounded more like a theorist than knowledgeable. This podcast felt more on the subjective end with political jabs thrown in. This could manipulate to people who simpler minds. I'd pass on this one.

May 16th

Tom Whittaker

it was until our government found a way to use it against us to control every man woman and child

Jan 21st

Tom Whittaker

for the same reason our government can't from the top to bottom lies so they can line their pockets

Jan 21st

Jung-Hoon Ser

Thanks for the good topic. I was moved.

Jan 20th

Juan LR

there needs to be more from this podcast! I absolutely love this!

Dec 14th

Ekta Vyas

This is simply amazing!

Sep 27th

F. Gregory

Excellent! Very Much Appreciated! 😉

Sep 6th

Kathy Reed

I don't feel so bad about glazing over every time Bitcoin comes up in discussions.

Sep 1st

Dinesh Gaur

I have just started it ....but I would say this would be great to hear☺☺☺☺

Aug 13th

Diaz Diandra

I'm listening via Castbox on Android. i don't know why, some part of this episode plays in something like 2x speed.

Jun 29th
Reply (2)