A comedian and the former president of Ireland have a new podcast about women and climate justice

Comedian Maeve Higgins is the host of the amazing Maeve In America podcast in which Higgins, an Irish immigrant to Brooklyn, discusses the immigrant experience in America with other immigrants (as an immigrant to the USA myself, I find this a consistently fascinating and uplifting listen); Mary Robinson was the first woman elected President of Ireland (1990-1997), and after a tenure marked by much-needed, groundbreaking liberalization and secularization, she served as the UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997-2002 -- she was forced out by opposition from George W Bush's UN delegation!). Read the rest

Talking copyright, internet freedom, artistic business models, and antitrust with Steal This Show

I'm on the latest episode of Torrentfreak's Steal This Show podcast (MP3), where I talk with host Jamie King about "Whether file-sharing & P2P communities have lost the battle to streaming services like Netflix and Spotify, and why the ‘copyfight’ is still important; how the European Copyright Directive eats at the fabric of the Web, making it even harder to compete with content giants; and why breaking up companies like Google and Facebook might be the only way to restore an internet — and a society — we can all live with." Read the rest

Theodore Gray, co-founder of Wolfram Research, talks about his favorite tools

Kevin Kelly and I interviewed Theodore Gray the co-founder of Wolfram Research, makers of Mathematica and Wolfram|Alpha. He’s also the founder of App publisher Touch Press and the author of many books that Kevin and I own and love, including The Elements, Molecules, Reactions, and Mad Science. He’s also the proprietor of periodictable.com.

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Show notes:

GU Eagle BF-1309 Laser Cutter

"I used to have a lot of different tools that I really liked. I like tools. I'm kind of tool guy. But once I got this laser cutter, it's like everything else has fallen by the wayside, because this thing is just so much more fun and more enabling of things that any other tool I've ever had. ...Their smallest and cheapest model is a 130 watt CO2 tube with a 51 by 35 inch working area. I mean, this thing is the size of a grand piano. And it's like it's huge. It's way, way bigger than I had any intention of getting, and frankly more than I had planned to spend on a laser cutter. … . It's just huge, and it's very powerful, and it's very fast, and it can cut half-inch acrylic like butter. You can actually cut inch-thick acrylic if you're willing to go a little slow."

Milwaukee M18 Fuel Deep Cut Band Saw

"A handheld bandsaw. This was probably, I don't know, more than 20 years ago when I was building a house. Read the rest

Interview with Stewart Brand on the 50th anniversary of the Whole Earth Catalog

Many people have equated Stewart Brand to the mythical “World’s Most Interesting Man,” who was featured for years in those Dos Equis commercials. Enough people that the comparison’s a bit of a cliché. But like many clichés, there is something to it.

Stewart was among the most culturally catalytic people in the turbulent years of the late 1960s - although back then, he did a lot of his catalyzing behind the scenes. He went on to become a rather visible founding figure of the environmental movement of the early 70s. Later, he created one of the earliest and most influential online communities, which he named The Well. He convened history’s first hacker’s conference, then later co-founded one of the world’s premiere centers of truly long-term thinking. He’s still running that today, and is also helping the renowned bioengineer and genomicist George Church resurrect extinct species, like the wooly mammoth.

If this makes you think Stewart might be something of a historic figure, you’re not alone. He showed up for his interview at my apartment with a production crew, who were filming a documentary about his life. Meanwhile John Markoff - who for decades at the NYT was among the world’s most influential and well-regarded tech journalists - is writing a biography about Stewart.

For the same reasons that Stewart attracts this sort of attention, I’m taking an unusual approach to this episode. Rather than focusing solely on a single deep and complex aspect of his work, Stewart and I speak broadly about the sweep of his experiences, and the unique perspective they’ve given him on technology, the environment, and our prospects of navigating the coming century. Read the rest

Enjoy the psychedelic sounds of West Coast Fog Radio

West Coast Fog Radio is the absolutely wonderful podcast of garage psych, avant-rock, desert drone, loner folk, ambient cut-ups, spoken word, and other far-out sounds hosted by Erik Bluhm, former editor of the greatly-missed "Great God Pan," a killer 1990s 'zine about outré California culture and news. Turn on, tune in, burn out.

Your host Erik Bluhm takes you on an audio tour of the West you might be unaware of, visiting obscure moments in musical history along the way. You might hear folk rock and proto-raga rock 45s from the mid ‘60s, rural psychedelic private LP meanderings, self-released audio poetry and sound collage, obscure history lessons and readings, New Age/ambient/ethno-honky visionaries, DIY art/synth, punk, and post punk sides, and/or experimental nothingness in tape form.

West Coast Fog Radio (Thanks, Jess Rotter!)

Read the rest

Podcast: Petard, Part 03

Here's the third part of my reading (MP3) of Petard (part one, part two), a story from MIT Tech Review's Twelve Tomorrows, edited by Bruce Sterling; a story inspired by, and dedicated to, Aaron Swartz -- about elves, Net Neutrality, dorms and the collective action problem.

MP3 Read the rest

A free internet is a configurable internet

I appeared on the O'Reilly podcast this week to discuss my upcoming keynote at the O'Reilly Fluent Conference. Read the rest

Announcing "Petard," a new science fiction story reading on my podcast

Here's the first part of my reading (MP3) of Petard, a story from MIT Tech Review's Twelve Tomorrows, edited by Bruce Sterling; a story inspired by, and dedicated to, Aaron Swartz -- about elves, Net Neutrality, dorms and the collective action problem. Read the rest

Podcast: The Man Who Sold the Moon, Part 08: the FINAL INSTALLMENT

Here's the eighth and final part of my reading (MP3) (party seven, part six, part five, part four, part three, part two, part one) of The Man Who Sold the Moon, my award-winning novella first published in 2015's Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future, edited by Ed Finn and Kathryn Cramer. It's my Burning Man/maker/first days of a better nation story and was a kind of practice run for my 2017 novel Walkaway.

MP3 Read the rest

Podcast: The Man Who Sold the Moon, Part 07

Here's part seven of my reading (MP3) (part six, part five, part four, part three, part two, part one) of The Man Who Sold the Moon, my award-winning novella first published in 2015's Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future, edited by Ed Finn and Kathryn Cramer. It's my Burning Man/maker/first days of a better nation story and was a kind of practice run for my 2017 novel Walkaway.

MP3 Read the rest

Podcast: The Man Who Sold the Moon, Part 06

Here's part six of my reading (MP3) (part five, part four, part three, part two, part one) of The Man Who Sold the Moon, my award-winning novella first published in 2015's Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future, edited by Ed Finn and Kathryn Cramer. It's my Burning Man/maker/first days of a better nation story and was a kind of practice run for my 2017 novel Walkaway.

MP3 Read the rest

Pounded in the Butt by My Own Podcast: Chuck Tingle comes to your earbuds

The good folks from Night Vale have launched Pounded in the Butt By My Own Podcast, a new audio treat in which guest-readers read the extremely NSFW and utterly delightful erotic fiction of Chuck Tingle (previously). Read the rest

Teacher who hosts white supremacist podcast suspended

According to The Hill, a Florida middle school teacher who moonlighted as a hate-spewing white nationalist podcast host has been removed from the classroom by the school board she worked for. Her suspension from shaping young minds was put in place by school board officials while they investigate exactly how shitty a person she might be:

On Friday, March 2, 2018 the Citrus County School District was made aware of a concerning podcast by a Huffington Post reporter. The reporter indicated they believed one of the persons participating in the podcast was a teacher at Crystal River Middle School. The Human Resources department was notified and an investigation was initiated immediately. The teacher has been removed from the classroom and the investigation is ongoing. Pursuant to Florida Statute an open investigation and materials related to it are exempt from public record and cannot be discussed until the investigation is complete.

Last week, the Huffington Post reported that Dayanna Volitich, a 25-year-old social studies teacher at Crystal River Middle School, located just north of Tampa, was hosting a white supremacist podcast, using the name "Tiana Dalichov.” to separate her racist bullshit from her life as a teacher. Given that Volitich bragged on a recent about podcast about bringing white nationalist ideals into her classroom, her being kicked to the curb, even on a temporary basis, is a win for anyone who doesn't want the next generation of Americans raised with a head full of hateful bullshit.

Image via Wikipedia Read the rest

Podcast recommendation: Good Christian Fun

The only downside about one of my new favorite podcasts, Good Christian Fun, is that it’s a little hard to describe exactly what it is. It sounds like the kind of show that’s designed to proselytize to non-believers or to speak only to Christians, but neither of those are the case. Instead, the podcast features two funny people discussing Christian pop culture with a loving but still-critical eye. Hosts Kevin T. Porter (Gilmore Guys) and Caroline Ely grew up in Christian households and describe themselves as “tour guides through the weird and hilarious world of faith-based entertainment.” Each episode features the duo and a guest discussing a specific element of Christian pop culture, from movies like Kirk Cameron’s Fireproof to musicians like Steven Curtis Chapman.

Whether you’re a Christian familiar with the pop culture in question or someone like me who’s just curious about strange subcultures, there’s something to enjoy in Good Christian Fun. Porter and Ely both bring affection, empathetic points of view to the show. They’re curious and non-judgmental about the topic of faith, but they’re also more than happy to criticize the Christian culture they examine—both from an artistic standpoint and from a moral one. Ely, in particular, is interested in the way mainstream Christian culture treats women and the podcast is currently running a series focused on the (often problematic) notion of “Biblical womanhood.”

Mostly, however, Good Christian Fun is just a fun, funny examination of a weird subset of pop culture. Read the rest

Podcast: The Man Who Sold the Moon, Part 05

Here's part five of my reading (MP3) (part four, part three, part two, part one) of The Man Who Sold the Moon, my award-winning novella first published in 2015's Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future, edited by Ed Finn and Kathryn Cramer. It's my Burning Man/maker/first days of a better nation story and was a kind of practice run for my 2017 novel Walkaway.

MP3 Read the rest

Podcast: The Man Who Sold the Moon, Part 04

Here's part four of my reading (MP3) (part three, part two, part one) of The Man Who Sold the Moon, my award-winning novella first published in 2015's Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future, edited by Ed Finn and Kathryn Cramer. It's my Burning Man/maker/first days of a better nation story and was a kind of practice run for my 2017 novel Walkaway.

MP3 Read the rest

Hear Douglas Rushkoff and David Pescovitz talk about the Voyager Golden Record

I was honored that old-school Boing Boing pal Douglas Rushkoff, author of numerous essential books for happy mutants, invited me onto his Team Human podcast to talk about the Voyager Golden Record, the iconic message for extraterrestrials that my friends Tim Daly, Lawrence Azerrad, and I released on vinyl for the first time. As always, Doug masterfully connected the dots between media, art, culture, and science and kept me on my toes with wonderful provocations and observations. I hope you enjoy it! Listen below.

From Team Human: "Music for Aliens":

Playing for Team Human today is journalist, Boing Boing editor, Institute for the Future research director and recent Grammy Award Winning record producer David Pescovitz. Douglas spoke to David just days before he won the Grammy, with collaborators Tim Daly and Lawrence Azerrad, for best boxed or special limited-edition package for The Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition. The Voyager vinyl is an incredible artifact to hold and hear. The original Voyager Golden Records were launched on board the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft in 1977. Today these phonograph records are floating in interstellar space on Voyager 1 and at the edge of our solar system on Voyager 2. The records contain greetings, messages of peace, recordings of the “Sounds of Earth,” as well as an arresting collection of music from across the globe. The Voyager project continues to resonate as both a time capsule and a beacon of hope. Pescovitz, Daly, and Azerrad’s meticulously sourced and documented 40th Anniversary vinyl release pays homage to the wonder and hopeful spirit that animates this space project.

Read the rest

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