Powerful conversations and interviews about real life psychology, philosophy, psychedelics, spirituality, social dynamics and much more.
Our mission is to entertain, provoke, inform, and make you question everything you think you know.
Have you ever been on the wrong end of “office politics”?
Or lost out to less talented people who are better at “playing the game”?
Join us as we our explore Robert Greene’s provocative and compelling study of the 48 Laws of Power, in which he lays bare the psychological principles that ultimately shape all human relations.
Often seen as a handbook for the ‘modern Machiavelli’, we take a closer look at how understanding and implementing these Laws can actually enrich your life personally, professionally and spiritually.
The 7 Primes of Life
We live in a culture that prizes youth and tells us that, once our wild 20s are over, we're basically on the slow train to decay and death. But modern science tells us otherwise, as we set out to explore in this episode.
Given the cultural narrative of decline and fall, do we even have a sense of what the stages of life are beyond child–teenager–worker–pensioner–dead?
New research suggests that there are seven distinct 'primes of life', each with their own strengths, which call into question the narrative of inescapable decay. We look at what we gain as well as what we lose as our years increase – but not without questioning how the scientists came to these conclusions!
The studies prompt us to ask what we should prioritise at different stages of our life – when's the time to go all-out, to study something deeply, or to be hitting the gym on the regular?
The story of our physical and psychological development is complex and sometimes paradoxical. But beyond the science of it all, how can (and how should) we conceptualise all this so we can say we've led a Good Life?
We dig into:
the different strengths we gain as we grow older the power of myth to make sense of and value our different primes what we actually lose and gain how Jungian Psychology can reframe our dismissive, mocking attitude to having a 'midlife crisis' Jon riffs on what Carl Jung called the 'Individuation Process', the ancient concepts of the Daimon and the Genius, and we ask how these theories can help us to grow and become who we truly are.
The scientist whose creativity was unleashed after having a stroke is Dr Jill Bolte Taylor. Check out her TED talk here.
Be Silly. Be Kind. Be Weird.
(Economic) Apocalypse Now – Are We Weeks Away From Global Financial Meltdown?
Jon’s been getting disturbing dispatches from Andrea.
Is the economy about to crash like never before? Was 2008’s Big Short just a dress rehearsal for an incoming apocalypse that will shred the stock market and rewrite the future of society?
More importantly, should we all be investing in GameStop?
Andrea’s been going incredibly deep into this very confusing world and he’s back to fill the rest of us in. Jon’s not convinced the end is nigh, but there’s definitely something disturbing going on in the financial heart of our ‘civilisation’.
Whatever happens next, we need to arm ourselves with better information and think about the kind of society we’d want to build in the prospective ruins of the current world order.
Be Silly. Be Kind. Be Weird.
Righteous Anger – A New Beginning?
Andrea returns for a live, YouTube-streamed episode as we finally get back in the recording saddle!
And we're back with anger. Or at least, a certain kind of anger: the channelled variety which Andrea says is essential to making a true connection with and impact on the outside world.
We've decided to shake things up a bit, so we're putting aside our coverage of 'The Laws of Human Nature' and, starting with this episode, will be focusing on issues that fire us up and which need to be talked about.
What better place to start than a global conspiracy that continues to put the blame and responsibility for global warming and natural destruction on the shoulders of individuals rather than the true culprits... No, this isn't a 5G conspiracy – it's much worse than that...
Be Silly. Be Kind. Be Weird.
Solo Cast & The Conspiracy on Pushkin Street
This episode is an experiment.
Jon turns on the mic for a solo cast – to reflect on what life in the pandemic means and the challenges of finding meaning and direction in a world where it feels impossible to plan for the future.
We've also go an update for you on the state of the podcast, and Jon's inviting you to get in touch with him via his websiteto offer some feedback, questions, and prompts for future episodes like this.
Jon then shares an article he wrote for the Los Angeles Review of Books which was published a few months ago: The Conspiracy on Pushkin Street: The Costs of Humour in the USSR. The piece reveals the long-lost story of five students who found themselves sentenced to the Gulag just for telling jokes and chewing the fat in their dormitory... it's a tragic tale which you'll see has more than a few unsettling parallels with modern-day Cancel Culture.
Thanks for listening – we appreciate you.
Be Silly. Be Kind. Be Weird.
Are You Conscious? Westworld, Neuroscience, And Living In The Virtual – With Special Guest Michael Garfield
Here's a hidden treasure from the VITD archives for you – our interview with the brilliant and fascinating Michael Garfield! Michael's the host of the Future Fossils podcast, an artist, musician, and a 'sense-maker' of what it means to be having this strange human experience.
We spoke to Michael some years ago and for reasons lost to history the episode got mislaid but has now resurfaced! So, not a whisper of Covid to be found, and Jon and Andrea might sound rather chirpier than they have during 2020 – both of which are distinct selling points for the episode.
Listening back in the editing room has been a treat that's alternately mind-melting and mind-expanding. Michael brings his unique perspective as a futurist-palaeontologist to bear on the human condition, on what he calls 'a quest to be better ancestors'.
In our chat, we dig into Big Questions: What even is reality? If we could truly grasp all its multiple layers, would we even want to, or would it simply drive us insane? Do we have souls and, if so, can they be cloned? And why is Richard Dawkins such a dick?
Andrea shares what happened when he dropped acid and watched the whole of Altered Carbon – what do that show's ideas of 'the virtual' have to teach us about our inherently subjective perspective on, well, everything?
We also talk Westworld, free will, where fantasies come from, and what it means to be insane. Frankly, there's no way to summarise the richness of this episode, so hit play and discover it all for yourself!
Connect with Michael Michael's Patreon Page The Future Fossils podcast Get In Touch! Discuss the episode over on our Facebook Discussion Group And you can find us on Instagram and Twitter Or email us: email@example.com Be Silly. Be Kind. Be Weird.
The Laws of Human Nature 12: Poison Envy
Envy is an inescapable part of the human experience. But nobody likes to feel – let alone admit to – envy. Instead, whenever we feel the stirrings of the green serpent, we rapidly turn the feeling outwards, projecting that gut churning insecurity onto the object of our desire.
So, we're not envious – that person just got lucky; they knew the right people; their stuff isn't even that good! And on and on it goes, because we'd rather demolish someone else than pause for even a moment to admit that we actually feel inferior, weak and vulnerable.
This episode quickly becomes very personal. Jon and Andrea put each other in the hot seat by revealing which envious tendencies they've detected in each other. The results are uncomfortable to say the least.
And what about the dangers of provoking envy in others? They're not going to admit to that emotion either, so we need to learn to look beneath the surface in order to root out their true feelings. Learning to read microexpressions is just one to break the envy code.
Robert counsels us against gossiping and badmouthing other people because this is often simply a mask for envy. But this troubles us. Is it really so bad to have some fun by badmouthing people we don't like? Does envy always lie just beneath the surface when we do this?
Ultimately, giving everyone else the 'benefit of the doubt' without ever revising our opinions based on their actions is a one-way ticket to getting walked all over. Some people are simply a******s, and the most toxic among us have generally become highly adept at concealing it.
The real lesson here is not that we should all try to be angels constantly beating ourselves up for feeling envy, but to become expert at understanding our own emotions. Is it envy we're projecting outwards into mean-spirited feelings, or, if we look closely, are these negative emotions justified by the actions of our target? This is delicate internal work, and we dig deep in this episode to understand the nuances between boundaries, envy, gossip, and just having some fun.
Also Including: The envious underbelly of Frankenstein's Mary Shelley First impressions and how to weaponise them Drag queens and envy The spectre of Brian Rose In our society, are dreams only for the talented? Get In Touch! Discuss the episode over on our Facebook Discussion Group And you can find us on Instagram and Twitter Or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org Be Silly. Be Kind. Be Weird.
Attention les français, un cadeau de l'autre côté de la Manche
Ce podcast donne le même savoir-faire que plusieurs œvres de la philosophie ou psychoanalyse, mais pourquoi perdre votre temps avec la soupe de mots hautes et inhumaine, quand il existe le beau plaisir de passer votre temps en compagnie de Jon et Andrea ? Le « yin et yang » de le robot aimant « l'autiste » et l'académique émotionnel est un mélange parfait pour trouver les nuances parmi les idées et se connecter les sujets pour créer les idées nouvelles. Crois ceci, la chose la plus vraie que j'ai jamais dite; il vaut la peine d'apprendre l'anglais à tout âge pour écouter Voices in the Dark !
Learning how to human
I've been listening to Jon and Andrea's incredible, fascinating and challenging podcast for about a year now, and am currently downloading all of the episodes I've missed, ready for a long plane trip.
There's always something unexpected that grabs and holds my attention, helping me continue to grow as a human.
Engaging and thought provoking
I'm so glad I came to these conversations at a time that I really needed to expand and grow as a person. Each of the podcasts is engaging and interesting in a different way, but each bringing a really understanding perspective.
You both create an open and welcoming space, discussing things in a fun but informative way that I've really been able to connect with.
Thank you! And please keep going!