Comedian Adam Conover talks to exceptional experts, revealing shocking truths and thought-provoking new perspectives. It’s an investigative comedy podcast for curious people who never stop asking questions.
Why Big Tech is Ruining Our Lives with Brian Merchant
Express skepticism about technology and you might be labeled a "Luddite." However, the true story of the historical Luddites offers a fascinating perspective on the relationship between workers and technology. In this episode, Adam chats with tech journalist Brian Merchant, author of Blood in the Machine: The Origins of the Rebellion Against Big Tech, about the historical Luddites and their fight against wealthy elites replacing the working class with machines—a struggle made only more relevant by the state of the tech industry today.
How to Grow from Trauma with Dr. Edith Shiro
The conversation about trauma is everywhere, and it seems like our culture is finally grappling with the concept openly. But here's the thing: if we don't get what trauma really is, on a psychological or biological level, it can be hard move past it. In this episode, Adam sits down with Dr. Edith Shiro, the author of The Unexpected Gift of Trauma: The Path to Posttraumatic Growth, to talk about what trauma truly means, the misconceptions around it, and the tools required to grow from it.
Free Will Absolutely Does Exist with Dr. Kevin Mitchell
Is free will a scientific fact? Dr. Kevin Mitchell, neuroscientist and the author of Free Agents: How Evolution Gave Us Free Will, certainly thinks so. While some, like recent guest Robert Sapolsky, argue that biology and physics can explain away free will, Kevin begs to differ. Join Adam and Kevin in this episode as they dive into how evolution paved the way for free will and unravel the common misconceptions surrounding the "I" that makes choices.
Capitalism Has Mutated Into Something Worse with Yanis Varoufakis
Capitalism has changed. A century ago, capitalists amassed untold wealth by manufacturing goods, but today, our economy appears to be dominated by massive tech corporations that don't actually produce anything. Instead, these tech giants offer platforms—such as search engines, AI, or marketplaces—through which they extract profits from users. Adam speaks with Yanis Varoufakis, former finance minister of Greece, about his book Technofeudalism: What Killed Capitalism, exploring how this new form of capitalism jeopardizes our livelihoods and what measures we can take to safeguard our future from big tech.
Free Will Does Not Exist with Robert Sapolsky
Does free will truly exist, or are we merely sophisticated meat machines running our biochemical programming with sentience as a byproduct? Stanford University neurologist Robert Sapolsky, having extensively studied the topic, asserts that not only is free will a myth but also that our insistence on its reality adversely affects the world we inhabit. In this episode, Adam speaks with Dr. Sapolsky about how choice is an illusion and the impact this has on our society, from workplace meritocracies to criminal justice reform.
Comedy Censorship Used to be WORSE with Kliph Nesteroff
For as long as there's been comedy, there have been people lamenting that "you can't do comedy anymore". This sentiment feels more prevalent than ever, but is it actual censorship or a shift in our culture? Adam talks with Kliph Nesteroff, a historian of comedy and author of Outrageous: A History of Showbiz and the Culture Wars, about the history of censorship in comedy, and how the idea of audiences being "too sensitive" is propaganda pushed by the very same people who censored comedians in years past
Info you won’t get elsewhere
I watch and listen to everything Adam creates. He’s smart but modest, has great guests, and is fun and funny. I love that an episode titled FREE WILL DOES NOT EXIST was followed by an episode titled FREE WILL ABSOLUTELY EXISTS.
The episode with Rashid Khalidi
The episode with Rashid Khalidi during the week of Jan 15 helped fill in quite a few holes I had in understanding what’s going on in Israel. I just downloaded the book and I hope that will fill in more and lead me to other information. My thanks to Adam for having this conversation and being open to learning along with all of us.
Great show this week, dull topic the past two weeks.
I’m glad that there was a counterpoint to last week’s episode on the notion that free will doesn’t exist. (That whole conversation was so bad I tuned out ten minutes in to it.) This weeks guest offered a way more compelling case for their views, was more fun to listen to. I still tuned out, but it took me a bit longer to do so. These are just not personally compelling topics, for me. Maybe if they’d been framed in someway that ties into current events…maybe?