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HELLO & WELCOME back! Today on the pod, we are talking about HARDWARE SECURITY, and what that means for the future of personal privacy. Even though hardware pervades every nook and cranny of our lives, most people (us included) have no idea what those little devices can do, and what someone else can do when they secretly control them. We talk backdoors and exploits, Apple and Huawei, Snowden and the NSA, and so much more! (PS in case the title isn't clear, these is a TWO-PARTER! Next week, we will be delving into the software and mass-privacy side of this story, so stay tuned!)
SEASON 3 IS HERE!!! John and Zach could not be more excited to be back on the airwaves. This week, we are talking CARBON CAPTURE, maybe the only true way for us to fix our CO2 emission problems at scale. We delve into the promising methods of how to capture the carbon (CO2), what to do with the CO2 once capture is complete, what Silicon Valley and the governments of the world have to say about it, and much more!
The FDA has approved two mRNA vaccines for mass-distribution, a milestone for the "new" type of vaccine tech. So, John and Zach want to know more! We run through the history of vaccination tech in the US, as well as the state of distrust in vaccines. After that, we work through how a virus invades the body, how vaccines are used to combat it, and how mRNA is used specifically. Then, we hop over to Today, and highlight the advantages and nuances of mRNA vaccines; how it affects manufacturing, how it might scale, and what incremental improvements are being worked on right now! This gives us a perfect launchpad to ponder our future with mRNA vaccines, including Tesla-made mRNA microfactories and universal vaccines! Lastly, we discuss how this tech might impact our society, before saying "au revoir" to We Are Here Tomorrow Season 2!!
Zach and John ride the rails of train technology. Societies rarely abandon a technology only to readopt it decades later. City-to-city trains might be one of these outliers in America! But why? How have trains changed? Or how has society changed? What might be the downstream effects of trains? And, of course, what about other communities around the world? We attempt to answer these questions and help you navigate our future better!
The U.S. Presidential election has dominated the news cycle. With the politicized pandemic and the prevalence of multiple ways of voting, John and Zach needed to ask: what IS the best way to vote? What have we done in the past, where are we heading in the future, and does cutting-edge technology play a role?
The world had a population boom after World War II. Now, that age wave is crashing into retirement and projected to need daily living care in the next couple of decades. Elder and disabled care seems bound for a care crunch! No surprise, some think technology is poised to address this problem. But can it? John and Zach discuss this situation, our technology projections, and how “carebots” might impact our world and culture.
You've heard the word "quantum" probably thrown around a lot, especially when it comes to the future of computing. But, what is quantum computing, exactly? Hint: it's not as complicated as you might think, but it's also not the sci-fi Easy Button to every computational problem, either. In fact, there are only a few niche areas that QC will really be better than classical computers; one of them is chemistry! So, what's the story of quantum computing? Why is it so good for chemistry? Why is Google claiming the quantum supremacy crown for the simulation of a simple molecule? And, what does being better at chemistry do for us in the future?
Some consider psychedelics as a perceptual rollercoaster ride. The histories of these mind-altering agents are in themselves a rollercoaster of methodical traditions punctuated with shooting star experimentation (2:20). But the ride isn’t over! John and Zach cover what these compounds do to us (23:15), the current standing of psychedelics (35:30), the still-bright future of psychedelics (56:05), and how they might impact our worlds (71:15).
Billions of global citizens attend many business meetings and other events every year. Attendee satisfaction isn’t exactly 100%... John and Zach discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic is transforming the business event industry generally (36:30), why that transformation was overdue (19:30), and how the virtualization of these events forecasts to our business and event futures (53:50).
In this week's electrifying episode, Zach and John channel their inner Jimmy Neutron (BRAIN BLAST!!!) and delve into the mad-science-inspiring world of "neuromodulation through electricity". Since the 1800's, physicians have experimented with electrocuting the brain as a cure for various maladies. We've even figured out how to do this using only magnets! Just as shockingly, this magnetic treatment is used effectively to this day; it's an FDA-approved treatment for clinical depression! By altering the electromagnetic state of the brain, we are actually able to have some effect on how it's wired. BUT, what happens when you electrocute a healthy brain? Current research seems to promise enhanced cognition, more effective athletic training, and maybe a lot more! Will a neuromodulation headset be a common household appliance by 2040? Or will it only exist on the coffee table of the DIY neurologist? We discuss that and a whole lot more, come join in!
Sleep is 1/3 of our lifetime. But does it have to be? Why do we sleep? Can we just, like, not? This week on the pod, Zach & John take a swing at the science of sleep!
Zach and John don’t know much about pharmaceuticals except that they’re important and usually quite expensive. So when the cheaper generic drugs are starting to have issues (4:10, 6:15), they dive in and find a world of bad drugs (13:00, 19:10, 26:55) that may be assuaged with hardware (47:15) and hard policies (58:45).
Society is partially defined by our education systems (1:45). We explore tutoring as a premier education method (7:50) and how technology is trying to mimic it (16:45, 20:30, 32:00). We attempt to project the future of technology-based tutors (43:15, 55:20) and how it might impact students (1:04:00) and teachers (1:06:10) and society (1:11:10).
#09 - Gone Fission

#09 - Gone Fission


Many people (present company included) view nuclear energy as a enigmatic, dangerous relic from the past. But is it really? Like a 76 year old Keith Richards, can nuclear fission make one more farewell tour to go out on top? Come listen, and join in on the discussion after!
Rather than listen to Zach and John, we want you to take the normal 60-90 minutes for our episodes and instead listen to the black voices and experiences in our country and act to help overcome these deep problems! We ask that you try to understand more about white privilege, about our nation’s racist history, and how it shapes our society today. Additional website for these resources:
Technology frequently frames our world’s biggest problems as also the greatest opportunities. To consider how technology will change our world, we must look at these trying, complex problems. Cancer is no exception. John and Zach explore the new world of *Liquid Biopsy* for cancer. This episode covers some cancer basics (4:20), the history that brought us liquid biopsies (16:30), what liquid biopsies can do today (31:05) and tomorrow (33:48), and the revolutions it might cause in cancer care (35:55, 49:55, 52:10, 1:02:10) and more! --------- Join the conversation via our interactive email newsletter! Subscribe at our website and explore past episodes and conversations while you’re there. Website: Podcast: Newsletter: Facebook: Twitter: Conversation Archive: Send Us Email:
How often does sci-fi and pop culture shape our tech future? If there's any causation there, then we should have Augmented Reality glasses balanced on our noses in no time! Think Terminator-vision, Tony Stark's glasses, and just about all of Season 3 of Westworld. Today, Zach and John take a look at this technology to try and determine just how much of it is fictitious. Consequently, then we ponder: how long we think it'll take for AR to truly become a real thing?
John knows nothing about cars. But then he gets addicted to Formula 1 car racing. Zach has studied engine mechanics a bit, so he swoops in to rescue the day. John and Zach find themselves researching a “dying” technology: internal combustion engines. But as they find out, the all-electric vehicle future is further out than expected because Formula 1 is pushing out some surprising innovations. GIF 1 - Engine Cross-Section GIF 2 - Engine Spark Slomo Classical music courtesy of Saint-Saëns as performed by Seattle Youth Symphony Show
This week on the pod, Zach and John talk about the commercialization of the nearest part of the Final Frontier: Low Earth Orbit! First, off, we discuss how we get there, and just how deep your pockets need to be to pay for a trip. Really, is it even worth it? Since John and I weren't asked to comment (for some reason) NASA instead consulted investment and aerospace firms alike to ponder that question. And finally, once we get to LEO, what kinds of dangers to we need to look out for?
Zach and John spend ~50% of their “social” time online (100% of the time during COVID-19 lockdown 😬). We simply want to post, chat, and video-message freely while avoiding unsavory content from others! Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube (among others) try to balance all of our interests through rules enforced by “Content Moderation” that can remove content and users as necessary. But content moderation has a seriously dark underbelly. The human employee and user costs are severe. And social media companies hope technology can save the day. John and Zach explore the current and emerging state of content moderation. Can social media companies boost moderation sufficiently before users or governments reclaim the powers?
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