22 episodes

It's the question of our times: How is technology impacting our humanity? "Should This Exist?" invites the creators of radical new technologies to set aside their business plan, and think through the human side: What is the invention’s greatest promise? And what could possibly go wrong? Show host Caterina Fake (Partner, Yes VC; Cofounder Flickr) is a celebrated tech pioneer and one of Silicon Valley’s most eloquent commentators on technology and the human condition. Joined by a roster of all-star expert guests who have a knack for looking around corners, Caterina drops listeners into the minds of today’s ingenious entrepreneurs and guides them through the journey of foreseeing what their technology might do to us, and for us. Should This Exist? is a WaitWhat original series in partnership with Quartz.

Should This Exist‪?‬ WaitWhat

    • Technology
    • 4.8 • 24 Ratings

It's the question of our times: How is technology impacting our humanity? "Should This Exist?" invites the creators of radical new technologies to set aside their business plan, and think through the human side: What is the invention’s greatest promise? And what could possibly go wrong? Show host Caterina Fake (Partner, Yes VC; Cofounder Flickr) is a celebrated tech pioneer and one of Silicon Valley’s most eloquent commentators on technology and the human condition. Joined by a roster of all-star expert guests who have a knack for looking around corners, Caterina drops listeners into the minds of today’s ingenious entrepreneurs and guides them through the journey of foreseeing what their technology might do to us, and for us. Should This Exist? is a WaitWhat original series in partnership with Quartz.

    Can we trip our way to better mental health?

    Can we trip our way to better mental health?

    You’d be forgiven for being surprised if your doctor wrote you a prescription for ecstasy, ayahuasca, magic mushrooms, or LSD. But a recent resurgence in psychedelic research shows that a number of mental health conditions can be treated directly and effectively with potent psychoactive drugs. Dr. Dave Nichols has been studying the chemistry of these drugs for over 40 years, and he’s convinced of their therapeutic potential — and aware of the dangers of abuse. After a long psychedelic winter, are we ready to welcome these drugs back into the psychiatric fold?

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    • 32 min
    Nuclear power in a six-pack

    Nuclear power in a six-pack

    Small-scale nuclear reactors could help wean us off fossil fuels, but first they need to overcome the public fear shaped by nuclear accidents.

    • 34 min
    Cloud brightening for climate fever

    Cloud brightening for climate fever

    Kelly Wanser is a climate activist who wants to use a strategy called cloud brightening to fight climate change, using a naturally occurring process to bounce rays from the sun back out to space. She and others have described it compellingly as “emergency medicine for the earth’s climate fever,” and suggest it could buy us more time to implement policies addressing the root causes of climate change. But climate change is a planetary problem – so who gets to decide what countries or groups are allowed to take the risk of geoengineering to fix it? How can one country pursue a risky mitigation strategy if neighboring countries would be the most adversely affected if things went wrong?

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    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 34 min
    The promise of a bioartificial kidney

    The promise of a bioartificial kidney

    UCSF bioengineer Shuvo Roy and his team have created the world’s first bionic kidney. The coffee-cup-sized device includes a silicon nanotechnology filter to cleanse the blood, while living kidney cells grown in a bioreactor perform the other functions of a natural kidney. A bioartificial kidney could save kidney patients from being stuck on a dialysis machine for life – or dying while waiting for a rare transplant. But is the promise of such a life-changing device enough to convince investors to bring such a thing to market? We talk through the ethics of artificial organs. 

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    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 34 min
    A world without our devices

    A world without our devices

    Could you, would you, go one full hour without your phone? The average American spends one-third of their waking hours on a smartphone; we’ve been told our devices make life better, faster, and easier. What happens when we choose to live without them – or when we are forced to? In this episode, we’ll talk to media studies professor Douglas Rushkoff, get the down low from a U.S. senator who sat in a “digitally sequestered” hearing for three weeks (guess which one) – and travel to the WiFi-free town of Green Bank, West Virginia, to find out exactly what happens when we unplug.

    Listen to Douglas Rushkoff’s podcast Team Human: http://teamhuman.fm

    Get Douglas’ book Team Human: https://rushkoff.com/books/team-human-book

    Find more resources about this episode at shouldthisexist.com

    Subscribe to our excellent newsletter at http://eepurl.com/gnZTf9




    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 34 min
    Could this game replace the SAT?

    Could this game replace the SAT?

    Standard college admissions tests are:

    a. based on an outdated model of intelligence;

    b. exclusionary;

    c. a lucrative business and a near-monopoly;

    d. all of the above.

    28-year-old Harvard dropout Rebecca Kantar is disrupting the paradigm of pencil-and-paper tests like the SAT and ACT by designing interactive scenarios that play like video games, and that test for qualities like grit and creativity. But is another test the answer? Given the spotty history of aptitude tests, maybe it’s time to completely reevaluate how colleges evaluate prospective frosh.

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 32 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
24 Ratings

24 Ratings

Hbrown86 ,

This should exist

Podcasts like this are important in ensuring we stay mindful, not only as inventors of tech but also as end users. I loved the composition and the way Caterina helps us to embrace new tech concepts with our eyes and ears open. really thought provoking - good job.

Devlinmorrow ,

Mostly great but cut the awful sound effects

Intelligent discussion about interesting new technologies.

HOWEVER the cheesy, incessant sound effects make it almost unbearable to listen to the actual podcast! Please for the love of god stop with the sound effects!

vvilleger ,

Refreshingly intelligent approach to challenging tech.

This podcast strikes a perfect balance of challenging tech in a way that is informed and well-iintentioned, rather than systematically paranoid and confrontational.
I love the moments when Caterina asks the questions which the inventors themselves hadn’t yet got round to considering.
A new firm favourite for me, congrats to the team involved.

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