67 episodes

Made You Think is a podcast by Nat Eliason and Neil Soni 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 Nat Eliason and Neil Soni

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.4 • 91 Ratings

Made You Think is a podcast by Nat Eliason and Neil Soni 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.

    66: Making the Navalmanack: Interview with Eric Jorgenson

    66: Making the Navalmanack: Interview with Eric Jorgenson

    On this episode of Made You Think, Nat and Neil sit down with author of The Almanack of Naval Ravikant, Eric Jorgenson.

    • 1 hr 3 min
    65: Seek Wealth, Not Money or Status. The Almanack of Naval Ravikant by Eric Jorgenson

    65: Seek Wealth, Not Money or Status. The Almanack of Naval Ravikant by Eric Jorgenson

    On this episode of Made You Think, Nat and Neil discuss The Almanack of Naval Ravikant. This book contains insights to wealth and happiness according to investor and entrepreneur, Naval Ravikant.

    • 1 hr 22 min
    The Universal Currency: Energy and Civilization by Vaclav Smil

    The Universal Currency: Energy and Civilization by Vaclav Smil

    In this episode of Made You Think, Nat and Neil talk about Energy and Civilization by Vaclav Smil. This book provides an explanation of energy in its relation to society, with discussions into the deep history of energy.

    • 1 hr 50 min
    The Universal Laws of Growth. Scale by Geoffrey West

    The Universal Laws of Growth. Scale by Geoffrey West

    In this episode of Made You Think, Nat and Neil talk about Scale by Geoffrey West, a book examining the growth of organisms, cities, and companies, and the laws of growth across these different systems.

    • 1 hr 32 min
    We're Back! A Catchup Episode Full of Tangents

    We're Back! A Catchup Episode Full of Tangents

    We're back with an off-topic episode of Made You Think after almost a year and a half hiatus. The plan was to catch up on what's been going on, but that didn't happen and we ended up talking a lot about COVID, the economy, politics, some books we'd read, and a whole lot more.


    If you've missed us or are new to the pod, this is a great way to dive back in before our next real episode which should be out in a week or two.

    • 1 hr 49 min
    61: Infinite Discussions. The most Credible and Incredible Theories behind Infinite Jest

    61: Infinite Discussions. The most Credible and Incredible Theories behind Infinite Jest

    Infinite Jest is a book meant to be an actively read –it’s meant to take a certain amount of work to finish it and try to figure out what’s going on. While David Foster Wallace, the author, spends words and words in beautiful descriptions, he purposefully omitted, exchanged, and told through the characters lenses parts of the story. In this episode Nat and Neil are going through some of the theories people have created to help understand the book.
    We cover a wide range of topics, including:
    Hal's relationship with the mold and DMZ Mario's ascendance References to Hamlet, 1984, and other books and authors If Infinite Jest will become a film A MYT classic: Aquatic Apes Theory! And much more. Please enjoy, and be sure to grab a copy of Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace!
    If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to check out the previous episode on Infinite Jest for more in-depth review of the book. Also, Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, another of the longest books we read, that ended up filmed for a movie.
    Be sure to join our mailing list to find out about what books are coming up, giveaways we're running, special events, and more.

    Links from the Episode Mentioned in the show


    Reddit [3:20] Creative Commons [3:30] What Happens at the End of Infinite Jest? (or, the Infinite Jest ending explained) – Aaron Swartz Blog [3:40] Futurama [11:33] Pineapple Express [11:35] Aquatic Apes Theory [16:02] The Wraith – The Ambiguities Blog [20:11] Lost [23:40] John Wayne and Avril Conspiracy Theories [25:28] Medusa [33:36] Atlas Shrugged (film series) [40:30] Game of Thrones [43:00] The Office [45:10] Books mentioned Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace (book episode) Hamlet by William Shakespeare [5:23] The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka [7:48] 1984 by George Orwell [26:50] The Pale King by David Foster Wallace [36:50] Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand [46:38] (book episode) The Romance of The Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong [47:07] Les Miserables by Victor Hugo [47:10] War and Peace by Tolstoy [47:29] People mentioned David Foster Wallace Aaron Swartz [2:25] 0:00 – Spoiler Alert: this a commentary to Infinite Jest book. We discuss theories about those parts of the book that were left without There will be spoilers. Refer to the previous episode for more deep book review.
    3:55 – Theory #1. The ghost/wraith is pretty obviously Hal’s father, the guy who made the Entertainment. He’s spirit was kind of resurrected by the radiation coming from the garbage dumped in the are he was buried. Allusions to Hamlet. JOI created Infinite Jest to take Hal out of his shell of silence. Unreliable narrators.
    6:49 – Theory #2. DMZ or Madam Psychosis. The wraith steals the drug to give it to Hal via the toothbrush. Parallel with Kafka’s Metamorphosis. Hal’s experiences with the mold. He couldn’t communicate → Eats the mold → Communicates, but emotionless and stoic → Gets DMZ → Can’t talk again, but gains emotional complexity.
    9:55 – Theory #3. Effects of marijuana withdrawal. Hal’s collapse and Gately’s help in the hospital. Digging up Hal’s father’s head. Connection with Gately’s vision. Hal, Gately, Joelle and John Wayne looking for the anti-Entertainment cartridge but it’s not there anymore. The suspect falls on Orin. How he new about it? Probably because of Joelle (they were dating).
    13:21 – Weird theories around Avril, Hal-Orin-Mario’s mom. Apparently Avril is modeled after DFW’s mom. Theory #4. She is an A.F.R. or O.U.S. member, the secret terrorists or intelligence organizations. Affairs with John Wayne, Charles C.T. (stepbrother?).
    16:10 – Theory #5. Orin, the oldest brother, fathered Mario with Avril. Avril can be the hand model. Orin doesn’t go to his father funeral. Other stories of parents abusing their sons. Who was in the car with Avril?
    18:59 – Why was ghost

    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
91 Ratings

91 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!

KentChen1014 ,

Love the podcast!

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

Louis Shulman ,

Thanks for reading hard books for me - Louis

Neil and Nat read hard books and make them easy to understand. I appreciate this! This show helps me decide which difficult books are worth taking the time to read and which I can probably succeed with just a summary of. Great hosts and great energy. Highly recommend.

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