26 episodes

Look Both Ways is a podcast about the unsung failures of the past and the unsolved challenges of the present. Stories are told. Experimentation is celebrated. Streets are safely crossed en route to new perspectives on what it means to get things wrong. 

Look Both Ways Kin + Carta

    • History
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

Look Both Ways is a podcast about the unsung failures of the past and the unsolved challenges of the present. Stories are told. Experimentation is celebrated. Streets are safely crossed en route to new perspectives on what it means to get things wrong. 

    100 Year Leaps: The Analytical Engine & Quantum Computing

    100 Year Leaps: The Analytical Engine & Quantum Computing

    Charles Babbage is famous for two things: He invented computers and he never built them. While that sounds like an inventor’s version of “I’m invisible, but only if you close your eyes,” it’s actually true. After designing the steam-powered calculating machine known as The Difference Engine, Babbage envisioned a machine that would prove to be the unrealized would-be predecessor to the general purpose modern computer: The Analytical Engine. Dr. Doron Swade joins us to take us on a tour of the failure, triumph and speculation that have characterized Babbage’s story, including the often misunderstood story of the legendary Ada Lovelace.

    We then dive into one of the most exciting 100-year leaps being attempted today via the reality-bending world of quantum computing. Scott sits down with multi-award-winning quantum physicist Dr. Shohini Ghose to talk about the principles that make quantum computing possible, its potential to transform the world, and what it will take to bring the computing technology of the future closer to the present day.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    People Machines: The Simulmatics Corporation & Algorithm Accountability

    People Machines: The Simulmatics Corporation & Algorithm Accountability

    Did we nearly have a 50 year head start on some of Big Tech’s stickiest ethical dilemmas? Say hello to the “What If” men of The Simulmatics Corporation. As so expertly illuminated in Jill Lepore’s book IF/THEN: How The Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future, the company aimed for a radical idea: Use computers to predict and influence people’s behavior. Today we call it business as usual. But as issues of algorithmic bias, misinformation, and privacy protection continue to raise red flags about the future of predictive algorithms and artificial intelligence, what clues can we find in the past? 

    Scott is then joined by Nabiha Syed, President of The Markup, an investigative journalism startup exploring how powerful actors use technology to reshape society. Listen in for a fascinating conversation about algorithmic harm, possible roads to effective regulation, and why progress starts with the willingness to get things wrong.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Play: Ancient Rubber Balls & Toy Design

    Play: Ancient Rubber Balls & Toy Design

    Charles Goodyear may have developed vulcanized rubber in 1839, but its origins are actually much older and more playful than you might imagine. After a visit to ancient Mesoamerica, Azhelle Wade joins us to talk about her career as a toy designer, patented inventor, and her latest adventures in the business of play as “The Toy Coach.” 
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 38 min
    Community Memory & The Decentralized Web

    Community Memory & The Decentralized Web

    The first public computerized bulletin board system predates the world wide web by nearly two decades, yet might exemplify just the type of “digital space” we still have too little of. With the help of co-creator Lee Felsenstein, we travel back to 1973 to understand why.

    Josh Kramer of New Public then takes on a tour of what public digital spaces might look like in the future, and finally we sit down with Eugen Rochko, Founder of decentralized social media platform Mastodon, for a conversation about the decentralized web, restoring context online, and Mastodon’s unexpected success. 
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Ben Franklin Zaps a Turkey

    Ben Franklin Zaps a Turkey

    For a special Thanksgiving bonus mini-episode, we drop by one of Benjamin Franklin's electricity-themed parties. Franklin has promised the most delicious turkey ever tasted, cooked to perfection via electrocution. What could go wrong? 

    Plus: How not to baste your turkey, where to cook your feast over an active volcano, and what you can do to prevent hangry family members. 
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 11 min
    George Washington Carver's Kitchen Experiments & Regenerative Agriculture

    George Washington Carver's Kitchen Experiments & Regenerative Agriculture

    Is remembering George Washington Carver as “The Peanut Man” misunderstanding his legacy? Not only did most of Carver’s famed 300 uses for the peanut never make it beyond his “kitchen experiments,” but developing them as products was never his aim in the first place. With the help of Dr. Raymon Shange of Tuskegee University, we get to the root of why. We then fast forward 100 years for an illuminating conversation with Emma Fuller from Corteva Agriscience about regenerative agriculture, the economics of sustainable change, and why Carver’s love for the “man furthest down” means not forgetting the farmers tasked with feeding the planet. 
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 46 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
3 Ratings

3 Ratings

Top Podcasts In History

Goalhanger Podcasts
BBC Radio 4
Wondery
NOISER
History Hit
NOISER