85 episodes

Made You Think is a podcast by Nat Eliason, Neil Soni, and Adil Majid where the hosts and their guests examine ideas that, as the name suggests, make you think. Episodes will explore books, essays, podcasts, and anything else that warrants further discussion, teaches something useful, or at the very least, exercises our brain muscles.

Made You Think Neil Soni, Nat Eliason, and Adil Majid

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.4 • 97 Ratings

Made You Think is a podcast by Nat Eliason, Neil Soni, and Adil Majid where the hosts and their guests examine ideas that, as the name suggests, make you think. Episodes will explore books, essays, podcasts, and anything else that warrants further discussion, teaches something useful, or at the very least, exercises our brain muscles.

    84: The Tangent Episode

    84: The Tangent Episode

    Welcome back to another episode of Made You Think! In this episode, Neil, Nat, and Adil give you a full 70 minutes doing what they do best: Going on tangents. Originally set to continue with the next book on their Great Books Project, the energy and caffeine took over as they dive into a variety of interesting discussions, stories, and ideas. This is an episode you don't want to miss!
    We cover a wide range of topics including:
    Our favorite virtual reality video games and table games How new leadership at Twitter has impacted the app recently The strengths and limits of GPT-3 Preventing burnout in longer-term or creative projects Being under-employed (on purpose) And much more. Please enjoy, and make sure to follow Nat, Neil, and Adil on Twitter and share your thoughts on the episode.
    Links from the Episode:
    Mentioned in the show:
    FTX (0:26) SuperHot (2:07) Satisfactory (4:54) Terraforming Mars (9:18) Catan (9:34) Klask (10:27) 7 Wonders (11:38) Monopoly Deal (12:11) Epic Gardening (17:12) FAMA (30:05) Tweet Deleter (33:21) Twitter employees quit in droves (37:33) Github (50:39) LEX AI (59:38) GPT-3 (1:00:33) All-In Podcast (1:09:15) Books Mentioned:
    Tao Te Ching (0:03) (Nat's Book Notes) Enders Game (7:12) The Pathless Path (21:51) People Mentioned:
    Elon Musk (9:22) Kevin Espiritu (17:18)  Paul Millerd (21:50) Marc Andreessen (31:53) Show Topics:
    (1:44) “Should we talk about the book?” This question answers itself as Nat, Neil, and Adil dive into conversations about their favorite virtual reality video games and board games, as well. 
    (7:05) A lot of games out there actually help you develop business and life skills. Although video games encourage high amounts of screen time, there is a lot of skills you can learn from them. There are also physical board games representative of the real world but with some fictional elements to it, making it very appealing and educational. 
    (14:22) It was at this point that the co-hosts decided they're too full of tangents to do a book episode. Nat, Neil, and Adil go back to talking about board games and the fun of strategic games.
    (18:00) Preventing burnout in longer-term projects. You can’t be on all the time. Creative work is also hard to do for extended periods of time because it can be limited by your energy and mental output. We may even have certain parts of the month or year where we’re extra productive and wonder why we can’t always be that way, but it’s important to remember that resting is just as important as being productive.
    (21:48) The idea of being under-employed purposely. If you've worked for a larger company or consultancy, you often have the feeling that you always have to be "on". When you work for yourself, it’s easy to fall back into the thought pattern that you have to be working all the time.
    (28:26) Social media and podcast presence while also having a job. There are now ways for employers to check the online behaviors of their employment candidates and screen them using AI-powered tools.
    (34:01) Some educational or funny content we save or bookmark for later tend to get lost in our library of likes. Platforms should create a better system for organizing and saving likes and bookmarks so they can be useful when you need to visit them again.
    (37:31) The mass quitting and letting go of employees at Twitter. Workplaces that are solely digital and how it compares to companies with a real-world product. The margins are very tight in retail and operating expenses have to be considered. Can these big tech companies run with only a small percentage of their workforce?
    (43:03) The operating expenses of Twitter and how the new leadership has impacted the app over the past couple weeks. 
    (47:52) Twitter never became the main social media app, which gives it a certain appeal. Human communication is very context based. Tweets can often taken out of context because you're limited in how much you can explain yourself in a series o

    • 1 hr 9 min
    83: The (Anti) Hero's Journey: The Odyssey

    83: The (Anti) Hero's Journey: The Odyssey

    "Tell me about a complicated man. Muse, tell me how he wandered and was lost when he had wrecked the holy town of Troy, and where he went, and who he met, the pain he suffered in the storms at sea, and how he worked to save his life and bring his men back home. He failed to keep them safe; poor fools, they ate the Sun God’s cattle, and the god kept them from home. Now goddess, child of Zeus, tell the old story for our modern times. Find the beginning."
    Welcome back to another episode of Made You Think! In this episode, Neil, Nat, and Adil continue with the next book on their Great Books Project: The Odyssey by Homer. This book begins at the end of the Trojan War as Odysseus embarks on his journey home. Listen along as we talk about Odysseus' adventures, flashbacks, and of course, plenty of tangents.
    We cover a wide range of topics including:
    The argument of Odysseus as a hero vs. anti-hero Crypto, market cap, and the downfall of $BIRD AI and the future of how we write The reunification of Argos and Odysseus How guests are valued in different cultures And much more. Please enjoy, and make sure to follow Nat, Neil, and Adil on Twitter and share your thoughts on the episode.
    Links from the Episode:
    Mentioned in the show:
    Socratic dialogue (3:33) 300 (6:29) Chesterson’s Fence (17:46) Bicameral mind (22:07) Domestication of dogs (33:51)  Bird Founder’s Stake Now Worth Less Than His Miami Mansion (47:05) Episode 7: A Crash Course in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Cryptocurrency(1:07:58) Carthage (1:13:41) Lex (1:18:20)  The Infinite Article (1:22:04) Blinkist (1:23:40) Books Mentioned:
    The Odyssey The Iliad (1:08) (Book Episode) (Nat's Book Notes) Dante’s Inferno (8:39) The Fourth Turning (17:29) (Book Episode)  The Lessons of History (36:10) (Nat’s Book Notes) The Hobbit (40:45) Ulysses (47:58) Gödel, Escher, Bach (49:10) (Book Episode) (Nat’s Book Notes) Infinite Jest (49:10) (Book Episode) (Nat’s Book Notes) Atlas Shrugged (49:11) (Book Episode) (Nat’s Book Notes) On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (55:48) Tao Te Ching (1:04:05) (Nat's Book Notes) Seeing Like a State (1:05:52) (Book Episode) (Nat’s Book Notes) The Art of War (1:06:04) The Peloponnesian War (1:06:16) The Pioneers (1:07:30) The Epic of Gilgamesh (1:14:09) (Book Episode)  People Mentioned:
    Ian McKellan (0:50) Plato (3:43) Eminem (4:18) Will Durant (34:53) Ryan Reynolds (43:38) James Joyce (47:59) Daniel Tosh (51:14) Stephen King (55:48) Brett Favre (58:01) Show Topics:
    (0:36) In this episode, we’re continuing from where we left off on our Great Books List diving into The Odyssey by Homer. In case you missed our previous episode on another great by Homer, The Iliad, make sure to go check that one out! The Iliad and Odyssey differ in the way the narrative unfolds, despite being written by the same author.
    (5:17) The Odyssey is an oral story meaning that it’s been passed down by word of mouth. Nat, Neil, and Adil talk about some of the main differences between the Iliad and the Odyssey where the Odyssey was more story-driven and the Iliad presented more lessons and takeaways.
    (7:21) Odysseus: Was he a hero or an anti-hero? In some contexts, he’s portrayed as ‘god-like’ and admired for his strength and achievements. In other cases such as in Dante’s inferno, Odysseus is deep in hell for his crimes.
    (10:49) Where the story begins, it come years after the end of the Trojan War. There’s multiple layers to consider when recognizing the reliability of the narrator: Which of Odysseus' stories were dramatized by the author and how would it be different if told in Odysseus' exact words? 
    (14:56) In short, the story is about Odysseus’ journey home from the Trojan War and all the adventures that happened along the way. One theme along his journey home was the idea of 'don't assume you know better', and to respect the wisdom of the gods or your elders.
    (18:49) Although the Greek gods are supposed to be listened to and r

    • 1 hr 30 min
    82: The Wrath of Achilles: The Iliad

    82: The Wrath of Achilles: The Iliad

    “Like the generations of leaves, the lives of mortal men. Now the wind scatters the old leaves across the earth, now the living timber bursts with the new buds and spring comes round again. And so with men: as one generation comes to life, another dies away.”
    Welcome back to another episode of Made You Think! In this episode, Neil, Nat, and Adil continue with the next book on their Great Books Project: The Iliad by Homer. This book explores the themes of fate, gods, and the glory of war. Listen along as we dive in to the stories of the Trojan War centering around the greatest warrior, Achilles.
    We cover a wide range of topics including:
    The consequences of Achilles' rage and wrath Bicameral mind and the development of consciousness How war and battles were depicted at this point in time  What differentiates us from animals? Why gaining new experiences can expand your viewpoints And much more. Please enjoy, and make sure to follow Nat, Neil, and Adil on Twitter and share your thoughts on the episode.
    Links from the Episode:
    Mentioned in the show:
    Episode 81: The Book of Exodus (0:28) Episode 80: The Book of Genesis (0:39) Riverside (1:18) Clubhouse (1:40) Twitter Held Discussions for $4 Billion Takeover of Clubhouse (2:05) Nat Chat episode featuring Neil (13:21) Bicameral Mentality (26:20) Achilles and Patroclus (55:49)  Nat’s Ethics notes (59:36) Godfather movie (1:09:28) Books Mentioned:
    The Pioneers (5:16) The Peloponnesian War (12:13) Prometheus Bound (14:26) The Odyssey (26:16) The Mahabharata (38:21) The Qur'an (56:20) (Book Episode) The Epic of Gilgamesh (57:56) (Book Episode) Infinite Jest (1:06:30) (Book Episode 1) (Book Episode 2) (Nat’s Book Notes) East of Eden (1:09:07) (Nat's Book Notes) The Three-Body Problem (1:10:16) (Nat's Book Notes) Atlas Shrugged (1:12:27) (Book Episode) (Nat's Book Notes) People Mentioned:
    David McCullough (5:16)  James Patterson (8:34) Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (45:04) Jason Momoa (45:18) Russell Crowe (45:33) Brad Pitt (45:50) Tom Hiddleston (46:00) Vladimir Putin (49:57) Joe Biden (50:02) Nassim Taleb (1:06:16) Show Topics:
    (6:08) In today's episode, we're discussing The Iliad by Homer, written around 8th century BC. We’ve moved forward ~500-1000 years from where we started on our book list. Make sure to check out our Great Books List and follow along with us as we put out new episodes every 3 weeks!
    (11:00) Homer included a lot of data on the ships back then, and The Iliad stores that historical information. There’s some element of using stories to record historical information.
    (13:16) Reading about history makes you reflect on the accuracy of the narrative as it could have been written to serve the story they would most like to portray. As we read more of these books written in the same era, we may see some of the same historical events happening and spoken about in different ways, similar to how news outlets report the same events or world issues in much different ways.
    (16:29) Very rarely does everyone objectively agree that something or someone is good or bad. Most conflicts will have people on both sides of the coin who have different backgrounds, values, and opinions.
    (19:47) These gods are depicted as very human-like, and they do not closely resemble gods in the way that we typically think about gods. They are imperfect, and they also get urges and emotions just like we do.
    (21:18) The stories of Achilles and the consequences of rage. Not only does he lose his bride, but also his best friend. On top of that, he loses his honor and dignity. As the story ends, it’s all about how he regains that honor and dignity and is able to move on from his mistakes.
    (26:20) Bicameral mind: Humans back then were lacking what we call consciousness today. They heard and obeyed demands they heard in their minds from what they identified as gods. They didn’t hear their own mind as their own thoughts and urges, but rather as gods telling them to do

    • 1 hr 17 min
    81: Out of Egypt: The Book of Exodus

    81: Out of Egypt: The Book of Exodus

    "The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land."
    Welcome back to another episode of Made You Think! In this episode, Neil and Nat discuss the next book on their Great Books Project: the book of Exodus. We pick up from where we left off in Genesis and dive into the many key themes of Exodus as Moses leads the Israelites out of Egypt.
    We cover a wide range of topics including:
    Exodus as the origin story of Judaism Exclusionary vs. inclusionary nations  Operating systems for building a successful community Connections between the Code of Hammurabi and Exodus Early human civilizations in the 2nd millenium BC And much more. Please enjoy, and make sure to follow Nat, Neil, and Adil on Twitter and share your thoughts on the episode.
    Links from the Episode:
    Mentioned in the show:
    Cleopatra lived closer to the computer age (3:44) CrowdHealth (14:48) Babylonia (44:34) Göbekli Tepe (46:18) 2nd Millenium map (46:27) Notre Chico - Caral-Supe civilization (47:50) Easter Island heads (48:55) Angkor Wat (49:46) How Exodus revises the laws of Hammurabi (1:01:49) Books Mentioned:
    Epic of Gilgamesh (0:22) (Book Episode)  Genesis (0:43) (Book Episode) The Iliad (1:03) (Nat’s Book Notes) The Qur'an (1:42) (Book Episode)  The Network State (8:55) The Odyssey (24:37) (Nat's Book Notes) People Mentioned:
    Hammurabi (31:45) Marco Polo (50:43) Show Topics:
    (0:12) In today's episode, we're continuing the Great Book Series with Exodus. If you haven't checked out our previous episodes from our book list, make sure to go check out Epic of Gilgamesh and Genesis!
    (4:23) When reading stories that have stood the test of time, there has to be some reason for their significance. Even without the religious aspect to it, they wouldn’t have been passed along or written down if they weren’t important in some way. 
    (8:52) What is a nation? Some nations are very closed and exclusionary where you can’t become a member or citizen. The U.S. is a more missionary-type nation that allows people to become citizens even if they were not born here.
    (12:36) A more exclusionary type of nation can often lead to a higher quality of life. Conversely, if you let more people in, there would be less resources for all. An open society that is also highly supportive with enough resources, is it possible to have both? 
    (17:13) Genesis ends with all the sons of Israel going to Egypt and settling there, however they’re living there enslaved. God communicates to Moses to get his people out of Egypt. When we think about why the story of Exodus has persisted through the years, one of the main themes that gets discussed is the fear of God aspect that was shown to the Israelites and Egyptians through the plagues.
    (20:04) The 10 plagues. There were locusts, hail, and disease which were likely interconnected as one thing leads to the next. However, at this particular time there may not have been a realization that these are connected, and instead, the people saw them all as individual plagues. 
    (25:58) Much of the story has a narrative style until we reach the chapters stating God's law. When we go back to thinking about how this was passed down orally for potentially hundreds of years, these stories and laws may have been told differently at one point and these were the parts that settled and got written down.
    (31:22) The Old Testament provides a layer of ethics for others to follow, and it was a huge advancement to not take one wrongdoing and kill someone over it but rather to punish them for what it is they’ve done. If you have a society that escalates violence, it will always become more and more violent.
    (34:57) There’s an element of the story where God is a protector to the Isra

    • 1 hr 21 min
    80: From Eden to Egypt: The Book of Genesis

    80: From Eden to Egypt: The Book of Genesis

    "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
    And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light."
    Welcome back to another episode of Made You Think! In this episode, Neil and Adil discuss the next book on their Great Books Project: the book of Genesis. The book begins with the story of creation and wraps up with the lives of Jacob and Joseph, with numerous stories, lessons, and genealogies in between the 50 chapters.  
    We cover a wide range of topics including:
    Science and religion: Do they conflict or complement each other? The beginning of time and formation of Earth How depictions of God, or a higher power, differ across religions The stories of Adam, Eve, Jacob, Joseph, Abraham, Isaac, and more Whether the Bible should be interpreted literally vs. allegorically And much more. Please enjoy, and make sure to follow Nat, Neil, and Adil on Twitter and share your thoughts on the episode.
    Links from the Episode:
    Mentioned in the show:
    Jordan Peterson’s Bible series (1:17) Aaron Rodgers on the Aubrey Marcus podcast (10:58) Ayahuasca (11:05) Unicellular organisms (26:32) Fermi paradox (29:59) Idiocracy (37:26) Idiocracy opening scene (37:42) Islamic attitudes towards science (39:55) Unmoved Mover (1:07:40) Watchmen (1:13:35) Books Mentioned:
    Epic of Gilgamesh (0:58) (Book Episode) The History of God (7:45) The Bible (Karen Armstrong) (7:49) Bhagavad Gita (19:10) (Nat's Book Notes) Rare Earth (28:04) Vehicles (31:25) East of Eden (58:30) (Nat's Book Notes) Of Mice and Men (1:00:44) The Grapes of Wrath (1:00:52) Biocentrism (1:11:16) People Mentioned:
    Jordan Peterson (1:14) Karen Armstrong (7:24) Nassim Taleb (41:15) Jennifer Lawrence (58:55) Steven Spielberg (59:28) John Steinbeck (1:00:30) Show Topics:
    0:28 We continue the Great Book Series with the book of Genesis from the Old Testament.
    3:30 Adil and Neil talk about their familiarity with Genesis before they read it for the show. The book was passed down through the oral tradition, and wasn’t written down until hundreds of years after it was spoken. It has also been translated into over 700 languages. It poses the question, who wrote down the story, and how much of it has changed being passed down orally? 
    7:11 Adil talks about books he has read previous to Genesis by Karen Armstrong. One thing he notes is that the Bible was not meant to be read literally. Of course, there are parts that can be taken literally, but many of the stories are allegorical and symbolic in meaning.
    12:45 Jacob's story: Jacob wrestles with someone who is unnamed, though interpreted as God. At one point, they touch hips and he walks away injured, but he has that injury for the rest of his life. This story, if not taken literally, can allude to the internal scars that you have battling and wrestling with your inner demons.
    14:01 The structure of Genesis. First comes the story of creation, followed by the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. The term Toledot meaning “generations” or "descendants. The last section of Genesis is dedicated to Jacob, which sets up for the following book in the Bible, Exodus.
    15:27 The story of Joseph and Jacob. This story resonates on a moral level with people because it serves as a reminder that the journey is just as important as the destination. Your journey may not always go as planned. Even if you have everything you want, you may still have regrets about how you got there.
    19:00 Neil makes a connection to the Bhagavad Gita. One of the morals of this story is very similar. In the end, the good guys got what they wanted and won the war, but lost everything in the process. Was it worth it? It’s a similar message that Jacob’s life represents in Genesis. 
    20:05 The redeeming arc for Jacob came through his brother Esau and how he forgave Jacob for his wrongdoings. When they

    • 1 hr 16 min
    79: The World's Oldest Story: Epic of Gilgamesh

    79: The World's Oldest Story: Epic of Gilgamesh

    “Humans are born, they live, then they die, this is the order that the gods have decreed. But until the end comes, enjoy your life, spend it in happiness, not despair. Savor your food, make each of your days a delight, bathe and anoint yourself, wear bright clothes that are sparkling clean, let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand, and give your wife pleasure in your embrace. That is the best way for a man to live.”
    Welcome back to another episode of Made You Think! In this episode, Nat, Neil, and Adil begin their Great Books Project starting with the oldest book on their list, Epic of Gilgamesh. This piece has been regarded as one of the oldest written stories to exist. It follows the story of Gilgamesh, who is two-thirds god and one-third man, as he searches for the secret of immortality following the death of a loved one.
    We cover a wide range of topics including:
    How written stories have been passed down through centuries Parallels between Gilgamesh and other religious texts
    An assortment of theories such as the flood myth and the Black Sea hypothesis Should you interpret ancient texts literally? Why not all science is necessarily good science And much more. Please enjoy, and make sure to follow Nat, Neil, and Adil on Twitter and share your thoughts on the episode.
     
    Links from the Episode:
    Mentioned in the show:
    The Ancients (7:02) The Library of Alexandria (7:59) Sumerian Kings list (10:17) Images of the tablets (23:11) Flood myth (35:35) Black Sea Hypothesis (34:51) Letting children choose their diets (41:32) Masa Chips (42:11) Definition of Europe in early- to mid-antiquity (52:43) Nat's essay - Church of Science (55:04) Remote Viewing (57:22) Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Lab (59:16) Princeton ESP lab must have foreseen its end (59:24) Sleep paralysis (1:00:40) Books Mentioned:
    Theogeny (1:13) Works and Days (1:17) (Nat's Book Notes) The Iliad (1:19) (Nat's Book Notes) Tao Te Ching (1:29) The Egyptian Book of the Dead (6:41) The Three-Body Problem (8:09) (Nat's Book Notes) The Hero with a Thousand Faces (12:22) (Nat's Book Notes) The Power of Myth (12:23) (Book Episode) (Nat's Book Notes) The Denial of Death (14:24) (Book Episode) (Nat’s Book Notes) Socrates (21:52) (Nat's Book Notes) Magna Carta (26:02) The Prince (26:08) First Bite (39:32) People Mentioned:
    Confucius (1:33) Plato (21:50) Aquinas (26:15) Dante (26:16)  
    Show Topics:
    0:05 We start the Great Book Series off with with The Epic of Gilgamesh. From order of oldest to most recent, we will be reading this list of books and creating new episodes every 3 weeks until the list is complete. Follow along, and read the books with us as we go!
    5:34 This book is estimated to date back to as far as 2100 BC. With how old the writing is, it's fascinating to think about how much of the story has changed along the way from the original text. The way a culture recorded its information determines how we think about it today. In the time and location of Gilgamesh, everything was rich in clay so they used clay tablets to record everything. 
    8:58 With stories that are orally passed down, it's similar to a game of telephone where details get changed along the way. This leads to different areas of the world telling the same story in very different ways.
    11:49 There are several themes to the story, and many of these themes and stories are told throughout history. They’re not new by any means. One of the main themes talked about in this part of the episode is immortality.
    14:50 At the opening of the story, Gilgamesh is portrayed as almost villain-like. As the story goes on, he ends up redeeming himself on the journey to find immortality. In this book, even the superhuman are very humanized, and they still fall into impulses and desires that all of humanity faces.
    17:48 For the stories that stand the test of time, why did they last among the potentially thousands of stories that didn'

    • 1 hr 4 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
97 Ratings

97 Ratings

RiskyRawr ,

Rediscovered after hiatus

I had downloaded the episodes on “Infinite Jest” quite a while ago and had honestly forgotten about then until the most recent update episode popped up and I’m definitely enjoying the commentary. I’m not sure if it has been suggested before for a fiction book but “House of Leaves” is a other heavy read with a ton of nuance and an excessive message board with all those details. It would be interesting to hear your take!

soichit ,

My favorite podcast!

This is my favorite podcast. No one else is doing a podcast like this where they read this many books and talk about them. They are all very knowledgeable so make lots of good connections and insights. At first, I was annoyed by the tangents. But after about 3 episodes, I started to love them!

KentChen1014 ,

Love the podcast!

A great podcast! Thank you for these great contents, love it!

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