Gweek 111: Smarter Than You Think

Gweek is a podcast where the editors and friends of Boing Boing talk about comic books, science fiction and fantasy, video games, board games, TV shows, music, movies, tools, gadgets, apps, and other neat stuff.

This episode's guests:

Clive Thompson is a science and technology journalist, whose new book just came out: Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (website). He’s a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine and Wired, and blogs at Collision Detection, and can be found on Twitter as @pomeranian99. (Photo of Clive by Tom Igoe)

Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and semiotician. He is co-author of Significant Objects, published by Fantagraphics, and Unbored, the kids' field guide to serious fun. He edits the website HiLobrow, which as HiLoBooks is now publishing classics -- by Jack London, Rudyard Kipling, Arthur Conan Doyle, and others -- from what he calls science fiction's Radium Age.

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iOS game: Dodonpachi Resurrection. "I am a huge fan of fast-paced japanese “bullet hell” games, where the screen is filled with a simply ridiculous amount of adversaries and projectiles. I’ve recently been trying to figure out what it means that I love these so much …"

Book: Robert Fagle’s 1997 translation of The Odyssey. Hilariously, the last time I was on Gweek I was reading Mitchell’s translation of The Iliad, which I’d never before read. After I finished that I decided that I should read The Odyssey, which I’d never read either … so I started on it about a month ago and am about halfway through now.

Gadget: Google Glass: I just spent two months wearing them for a story I wrote for the New York Times Sunday Magazine.


Book: The HiLoBooks edition of E.V. Odle’s 1923 sf novel The Clockwork Man (Introduction by Annalee Newitz). Official pub. date is September 23, but it’s available now.

Essays: HiLobrow’s recent series on Old-School (pre-1984) hip hop: “Herc Your Enthusiasm.” 25 hop hop scholars and critics and fans each writing about one favorite track from before hip hop’s New School era.

Books: I’ve just posted a list of my favorite 32 adventure novels from the 19th century to HiLobrow. Many of them famous, some of them obscure. It’s the first post in a series I’m running this month where I’ll list the top 21 adventure novels from each of the 20th century’s first eight decades. I recently did a lot of thinking about the best adventure novels of the past 200 years because of a digital publishing project I’m planning to Kickstart later this fall.


Book: Fooling Houdini: Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks, and the Hidden Powers of the Mind. Boy did Ricky Jay ever hate this book. But I enjoyed it, and I found author Alex Stone’s chapters about the psychology of deception, memory, sleight of hand, and perception to be interesting.

Gear: Otterbox Defender iPad case. After dropping my iPad on a tile floor and shattering the screen, I sent it to a guy on eBay who replaced the display for $100. He told me to buy an Otterbox Defender iPad case, which I did. It is heavy, but I like it. It also nice built-in stand.