62 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
    • 4.3, 80 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.

    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
    60: What the f**k is water? Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

    60: What the f**k is water? Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

    “This wise old whiskery fish swims up to three young fish and goes, 'Morning, boys, how's the water?' and swims away; and the three young fish watch him swim away and look at each other and go, 'What the f**k is water?' and swim away.”
    In this episode of Made You Think, Neil and Nat discuss Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. This is a huge novel taking time in a fictitious 2010 characterized by a non-conventional timeline and a lack of a plot. Despite it’s challenging structure and the fact of being a fiction, it has a lot of philosophical nuggets about particularly on the activeness vs passiveness way of living.
    We cover a wide range of topics, including:
    Hitting goals and sense of satisfaction Letting life happen to you while watching TV Accurate visions of the world in 2020 Best porno-like book titles How Nat & Neil broke and got back together 1-on-1 sports and their secondary effect on us 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 our episode on Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman, another book that critics how media and TV are ruining our lives, and The Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Gallwey, another book that shows how tennis is not just about hitting balls with a racket.
    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 Kindle (link Amazon) [8:06] iPad [9:10] Netflix [17:50] The Office [18:36] BoJack Horseman [19:50] Cup & Leaf [40:44] A Crash Course in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Cryptocurrency (crypto episode) [42:57] AA - Alcoholics Anonymous [50:30] Ad Blocker [1:05:56] The Trouble With Facebook by Sam Harris [1:06:25] Snapchat [1:07:26] Skype [1:09:10] Mushroom Coffee [1:14:50] University of Arizona [1:18:39] The College Dropout by Kanye West [1:32:20] (album episode) The Matrix [1:33:07] Primer [1:33:14] Books mentioned Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace Gödel, Escher, Bach by Douglas R. Hofstadter [2:25] (Nat’s notes) (book episode) Ulysses by James Joyce [7:16] Finnegans Wake by James Joyce [7:17] The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus [37:59] (book episode) Cleveland is King by Brendan Bowers [38:20] The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz [45:12] Skin in the Game by Nassim Taleb [46:37] (book episode) Discipline and Punish by Michel Foucault  [46:47] (book episode) 12 Rules for Life by Dr. Jordan Peterson [46:55] (book episode) Strange Loops [47:07] (book episode) Mastery by Robert Greene [47:10] (book episode) Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman [47:16] (book episode) The Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Gallwey [52:05] (book episode) Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell [58:55] Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand [1:15:19] (book episode) Elegant Complexity by Greg Carlisle [1:15:50] Hamlet by William Shakespeare [1:22:44] People mentioned David Foster Wallace Quentin Tarantino [18:10] Michael Schur [18:58] B.J. Novak [19:36] Kyrie Irving [38:15] LeBron James [38:50] Taylor Pearson [42:57] Trump [1:04:20] Sam Harris [1:06:25] Mattan Griffel [1:19:26] David Perell [1:28:23] James Joyce [1:30:00] Martin Scorsese [1:32:00] Kanye West [1:32:20] (College Dropout episode) Joe Rogan [1:35:41] Show Topics 0:00 – Spoiler Alert: it’s a fiction book, there will be spoilers. However, this is not a normal book. There is not much of a plot, so to say. This is probably a book intended to be re-read. It’s self referential, once you reach the end it intends you to go back to the beginning.
    2:50 – The book doesn’t follow the timeline of events. If you are confused, congrats! That’s the point of the book :). The “missing” year is where most of the action takes.
    3:35 – “Fiction is about what it’s like to be a f**cking human b

    • 1 hr 42 min
    59: Eternal Human Psychology: The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene

    59: Eternal Human Psychology: The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene

    Let us call the collection of these forces that push and pull at us from deep within human nature. Human nature stems from the particular wiring of our brains, the configuration of our nervous system and the way we humans process emotions, all of which developed and emerged over the course of the 5 million years or so of our evolution as a species.

    In this episode of Made You Think, Nat and Neil talk about The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene. The author examines human behavior and suggests that it can be explained by different laws. Each law is presented and described in details: what every law means in your life, what you should do with it, how you should interpret it, and how you should use it.
    We cover a wide range of topics, including:
    How humans really behave and how one should adapt to it Historical and contemporary examples to better understand each law How to apply each law to your life Why corporations don’t give much importance to Twitter (and it’s because of Trump) The effect of context on our mood and behavior (yes, Nazis and Twitter examples) Why you may feel miserable even with 1 billion in your account And much more. Please enjoy, and be sure to grab a copy of The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene!
    If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to check out our episode on Mastery by Robert Greene, a fantastic book on sculpting your mind and your life in the pursuit of mastery, as well as Denial of Death by Ernest Becker, another book that delves into the idea that fearlessness is essential for individual success outside of a traditional path, and even within it.
     
    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 Irrationality [8:50] Self-awareness [10:37] Narcissism  [12:49] Role-playing [17:16] South Sea Bubble [32:22] Black Swan Preparation [33:05] Herd Mentality [35:16] Instagram Influencer [35:39] The Godfather [38:45] Matrix [39:25] Primer [39:42] Self-sabotage [44:01] Mueller Report [45:45] Around the Horn [46:58] Pardon the Interruption [47:08] Crossfire [47:40] UC Berkeley [49:00] Lyft [49:22] New York Times [49:50] QueensBridge Venture Partners [50:41] Nazi [53:17] College as an incubator of Girardian terror by Dan Wang [59:40] American Psycho [1:01:44] Theranos [1:05:38] Enron [1:07:41] Apple [1:06:13] Nat's Article: Increasing the Difficulty [1:09:29] Social Justice Warrior [1:12:07] Neil's Article: Entertainment Isn't Dumb [1:16:40] Netflix [1:16:51] Cup & Leaf [1:17:45] Estee Lauder [1:21:23] Taco Bell [1:22:09] Slacktivism [1:31:38] Star Trek [1:38:19] Books mentioned The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene Mastery by Robert Greene (book episode) [01:33] Antifragile by Nassim Taleb (Nat’s notes) (book episode) [1:34] Letters from a Stoic by Seneca (Nat's notes) (book episode) [1:35] The 50th Law by Robert Greene [03:00] The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene (Nat’s notes) [03:13] Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio (Nat’s notes) (book episode) [6:58] Poor Charlie's Almanack by Charlie Munger [10:11] What Every Body is Saying by Joe Navarro [17:42] (Nat’s notes) (book episode) The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells [25:12] 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson (Nat’s notes) (Neil’s notes) (book episode) [28:50] 12 Years A Slave by Solomon Northup [55:36] Skin in the Game by Nassim Taleb (Nat’s notes) (Neil’s notes) (book episode) [1:00:31] The Beginning of Infinity by David Deutsch (book episode) [1:29:26] Made in America by Sam Walton [1:32:30] The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker [1:34:45] (Nat’s notes) (book episode) The Elephant in the Brain by Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson [1:36:27] (Neil’s notes) People mentioned Robert Greene [01:15] Joe Rogan [07:55] Donald Trump [09:17] Charles T.  Munger [10

    • 1 hr 43 min
    58: Psychedelics and Self-Discovery. Food of the Gods by Terence McKenna

    58: Psychedelics and Self-Discovery. Food of the Gods by Terence McKenna

    If psychedelics are one thing we can all agree on, is that it will make a lot of people happy. There's a lot of people who could use a heavy dose of psychedelics to stop being angry. There's something about stepping outside of yourself and even up the reality that comes with these types of experiences that is getting even more useful in a culture that is becoming even more obsessed with the day to day and itself.
    In this episode of Made You Think, Nat and Mansal Denton talk about Food of the Gods by Terence McKenna. This is a fun book episode about Terence McKenna’s take on psychedelics. First of which is that because mushrooms or “shrooms” basically grow faster in Caledon it leads us to see respect and certain religious adoration towards animals and lastly, that psychedelics are originators of religion.
    We cover a wide range of topics, including:
    What are psychedelics and its misconceptions How the society take these substances into account Why animals seem keen into psychedelics How psychedelic substances are lowering the floodgates of one’s experience Terence McKenna’s TWO ideas on psychedelics How religion coincided with psychedelics Mansal’s authentic Ayahuasca experience and the hunt for a good Shaman And much more. Please enjoy, and be sure to grab a copy of Food of the Gods by Terence McKenna!
    If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to check out our episode on Smoke Signals by Martin A. Lee, a book about the history of marijuana and the war on drugs in the US. Check also The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell that talks about the origin of religions.
    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 Nootropedia [1:28] Nootropics [1:35] Psychedelics [1:39] OYASIN [1:46] Psilocybin mushroom/Magic Mushrooms “Shrooms” [4:28] MDMA for PTSD [4:30] DMT [11:43] Ayahuasca [11:59] Chacruna Leaves [13:37] N,N-DMT [13:49] 5-MeO-DMT [14:00] LSD [15:39] Stoned Ape Theory [16:20] Dominator culture [31:38] Marijuana [32:17] Vape [34:30] MAOI [36:01] Nicotine gum [36:43] Juul Vapes [37:00] Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia [38:21] Soylent [39:07] Polio [41:12] Opium [41:21] Ibogaine [44:29] Iboga [44:51] Burning Bush [49:40] Amanita Muscaria Mushroom [50:21] Aztec [54:31] Sweat Lodge Ceremony [55:06] Kundalini yoga [57:43] Ayahuasca Shaman [1:00:00]   Books mentioned Food of the Gods by Terence McKenna How To Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan [4:15] The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley [18:23] People mentioned Mansal Denton [0:33] Michael Pollan [4:15] Trump [8:15] Nixon [9:58] Timothy Leary [10:07] Dennis McKenna [17:07] Albert Hoffman [17:46] Ram Dass [17:56] Aldous Huxley [18:21] Hamilton Morris [38:21] Dr. Dan Engle [47:30] Jesus on Psychedelics [49:45] Santa Claus on Psychedelics [50:07] Show Topics 1:25 - Mansal Denton is the co-host for today’s episode! He has recently left an organization called Nootropedia, where his whole focus was helping people optimize their mental performance using nootropics. He found that some of the best nootropics were psychedelics and from that path he moved into another organization called Oyasin, which is a lifestyle brand reharmonizing people with the natural world. A high-level view of what he's interested right now: he believes that all of the external problems in the world are a manifestation of what's going on in our minds collectively at the society and that psychedelics can be a powerful tool to solve what's going on in our minds. He thinks that transformational or peak experiences are things that we all crave and could help change our perspectives someway.
    4:00 - Interesting shift of perspective in society about Psychedelics and plant medicines. “How To Change your Mind” by Michael Pollan is a great influence to this. Some of

    • 1 hr 7 min
    57: Update Episode January 2019

    57: Update Episode January 2019

    Hi guys, this is an update episode.
    After end of the year hiatus we are looking back to read more books!
    But... we need your feedback.  Listen to this episode and let us know what's your preferred podcast format.
    Tweet Nat at @nateliason or reply his newsletter.
    Excited to share with you new episodes soon!

    • 4 min
    56: What Is It Like To Be A Bat by Thomas Nagel

    56: What Is It Like To Be A Bat by Thomas Nagel

    “A Martian scientist with no understanding of visual perception could understand the rainbow, or lightning, or clouds as physical phenomena,  though he would never be able to understand the human concepts of rainbow, lighting, or cloud, or the place these things occupy in our phenomenal world.”
    In this episode of Made You Think, Neil and Nat critically discuss the article What Is It Like to Be a Bat? by Thomas Nagel. This is the most famous piece on the mind-body problem. In it Nagel explores the mind-body issue, freedom, knowledge, meaning and value of human life. This article was penned down at an era where physicalism and materialism were prevalent, the idea that you can reduce all aspects of the mind to simply firings in the brain. However, Nagel was unpersuaded that physicalism of materialism gives an all-encompassing account of human experience.
    “Without consciousness the mind-body problem would be much less interesting with consciousness it seems hopeless.”
    We cover a wide range of topics, including
    The mind-body consciousness problem Creating an objective interpretations of reality. Learning skills to overcome reporters biases Consciousness in animals Artificial intelligence (AI) and hacking of consciousness And much more. Please enjoy, and be sure to grab a copy of What Is It Like to Be a Bat? by Thomas Nagel!
    If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to check out our book episodes on consciousness like Godel Escher Bach by Douglas Hofstadter, Sapiens by Yuval Harari, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea by Daniel Dennett, and The Beginning of Infinity by David Deutsch.
    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 The Beginning of Infinity on Wikipedia [04:52] (book episode) Pod Save America Podcast [19:20] HARO Help A Reporter Out [22:14] Fox News [23:30] CNBC [23:30] Turing Test [30:53] Chinese Room [31:13] Chess [32:00] Go game [32:40] Watson AI [39:53] Joe Rogan interviews Elon Musk [47:34] The Man in the High Castle Television TV series [54:08] Hardcore History ep 62 – Supernova in the East I [54:42] Books mentioned What it is to be like a bat? By Thomas Nagel Gödel, Escher, Bach by Douglas R. Hofstadter [00:39] (Nat’s notes) (book episode) Way of Zen by Alan Watts [01:02] (Nat’s notes) (Neil’s notes) (book episode) Homo Deus by Yuval Harari [01:06] (Nat’s notes) (book episode) Darwin’s Dangerous Idea by Daniel Dennett [1:11] (book episode) The Beginning of Infinity by David Deutsch [01:16] (book episode) The Riddle of the Gun by Sam Harris [16:53] (article episode) How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff [24:30] The Elephant in the Brain by Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson [36:08] (Neil’s notes) Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari [56:40] (Nat’s notes) (book episode part 1 & part 2) Trust Me, I'm Lying by Ryan Holiday [23:01] The Man in the High Castle Novel by Philip K. Dick [54:08] Plato's Republic [20:10] People mentioned David Deutsch [05:25] (Infinity episode) Daniel Dennett [08:25] (Darwin’s episode) Bobby McMullen – Blind Bike Rider [09:44] Donald Trump [12:23] Charles Darwin [30:15] Pepper the Poochon [33:40] Sam Harris [37:19] (Guns episode) Yuval Noah Harari [37:19] Douglas Hofstadter [43:36] Nick Bostrom [43:53] Karl Marx [46:02] Elon Musk [47:34] (on this podcast) Hiroo Onoda [55:17] Show Topics 01:00 – Consciousness. The article is about the theory of mind and consciousness, looking into the mind-body problem. Aspects of the mind can be linked to how the brain responds.
    01:58 – Challenge to physicalism rather than refute reductionism. Reductionism and physicalism cannot be fully understood; thus, making these two theories flawed.
    “Every reductionist has his favorite analogy for modern science. It is most unlikely that any o

    • 1 hr 1 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
80 Ratings

80 Ratings

INDYMADE ,

Please bring this back

Great conversations on some of the most important books of today. It’s like a private book club. Found this, sub’d and listened to everything before realizing it hadn’t been updated in a year. Bring it back!

L$9 ,

<3 these guys!

Two clearly intelligent guys reviewing a bunch of books I've wanted to jump into and riding some excellent tangents. They always have poignant and thoughtful insights and seem pretty willing to call themselves out on their own bs. An excellent alternative to rogan or ferris with regards to the longform podcast. I usually listen on Spotify and never write reviews but have really been diggin these to. Keep it up yaw!

~L

Fun With Friendsss ,

New Subscriber!

Nat and Neil do a great job making these episodes fun and entertaining. Really enjoyed the Robert Greene episode and Mastery! Keep up the great work and thanks for the amazing show notes!

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