Gweek 086: Utopian for Beginners

This was a fun episode! I spoke with John Glassie, author of A Man of Misconceptions, a non-fiction book about the unusual 17th-century polymath, Athanasius Kircher, and Joshua Foer, author of Moonwalking with Einstein, which recounts Joshua’s yearlong quest to improve his memory under the tutelage of top "mental athletes.”


In this episode:

A Man of Misconceptions: The Life of an Eccentric in an Age of Change, by John Glassie

Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, by Joshua Foer

Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder: Pronged Ants, Horned Humans, Mice on Toast, and Other Marvels of Jurassic Technology, by Lawrence Weschler

"Utopian for Beginners: An amateur linguist loses control of the language he invented," a New Yorker article by Joshua Foer

"Want to Remember Everything You'll Ever Learn? Surrender to This Algorithm," a Wired article by Gary Wolf

Atlas Obscura is the definitive guide to the world's wondrous and curious places.

Language learning apps and websites: Memrise, iAnki, Dr. Moku's Hiragana Mnemonics, Dr. Moku's Katakana Mnemonics


  1. That New Yorker article is demented enough for at least Two Bruce Sterling plots. Also, I did NOT know that about Do-Re-Mi. Instructive.

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