115 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 • 108 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.

    115: Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman

    115: Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman

    "The tragedy of this world is that no one is happy, whether stuck in a time of pain or of joy. The tragedy of this world is that everyone is alone. For a life in the past cannot be shared with the present. Each person who gets stuck in time gets stuck alone.”
    Welcome back to another episode of Made You Think! In this episode, we explore the concept of time through the lens of one of the most imaginative books of our time, Einstein's Dreams. The novel portrays Albert Einstein as a young scientist grappling with his dreams as he works on his theory of relativity. This episode promises to spark deep reflection, ignite your curiosity, and challenge your perception of time.
    We cover a wide range of topics including:
    The hidden costs of immortality Contemplating a world where every day is a fresh start Why it’s easy to forget to appreciate the things you have How death ultimately gives our life meaning Our most obnoxious literary opinions 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: Click (4:32) Books Mentioned: Einstein’s Dreams Tao Te Ching (1:33) (Book Episode) (Nat’s Book Notes) The Sovereign Individual (12:59) (Book Episode) (Nat’s Book Notes) The Fourth Turning (13:01) (Book Episode) Logicomix (22:41) (Book Episode) East of Eden (30:30) (Book Episode) (Nat's Book Notes) The Unbearable Lightness of Being (32:11) The First World War (34:50) The Brothers K (34:51) Musashi (34:53) Infinite Jest (37:34) (Book Episode 1) (Book Episode 2) (Nat’s Book Notes) Atlas Shrugged (37:58) (Book Episode) (Nat’s Book Notes) Gödel, Escher, Bach (43:45) (Book Episode) (Nat’s Book Notes) People Mentioned: Alan Lightman John Steinbeck (18:31) Werner Heisenberg (23:29) Milan Kundera (32:23) David Perell (44:29) Show Topics: (0:00) In today’s episode, we're covering Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman. Adil shares his experience going through the book for the 3rd time, noting its unique approach devoid of traditional characters yet filled with intense emotional resonance across the theme of 'time'.
    (2:43) The stories challenge the way we think about time, with each chapter introducing a unique time variable that initially appears distinct on the surface. However, beneath the surface, these chapters resonate with aspects of our own reality. We list off a few chapters that were top of mind for us.
    (6:10) Death is what gives life meaning. We explore this concept by diving into one of the short stories where nobody dies. If you know that time is infinite, how would you spend that time? 
    (8:45) Which chapter(s) of Einstein's Dreams did we connect with the most? 
    (11:16) We discuss the concept of sleep training, contemplating the ideal scenario where babies would sleep according to their natural rhythms. However, balancing the baby's freedom to sleep spontaneously with the demands of a structured work and life schedule can be a struggle.
    (12:32) Nat, Neil, and Adil ponder the scenario if everyone were to just live one day. You wouldn't know seasons, and all you'll ever know is what the current day brings.
    (16:08) Connections between Einstein’s Dreams and a previous read on the podcast, The Fourth Turning. 
    (17:51) Despite not having main characters (aside from Einstein and Besso), this book still manages to drive a lot of emotions. We admire Lightman's ability to write in a soft, empathetic way, while painting the picture for readers very effectively. 
    (19:59) Were these short stories from the book thoughts that Einstein may have had in real life as he worked towards his theories on time and relativity?
    (23:45) We touch on a story from the book where every day is truly a fresh start, and there is no knowledge of the past or future. 
    (26:45) Doing everything as if it’s for the first time will give you excitement, but it’s also meaningful to act as if you’re doing something

    • 47 min
    114: Book vs. Big Screen: 3 Body Problem on Netflix

    114: Book vs. Big Screen: 3 Body Problem on Netflix

    "But if science tells you that something’s impossible, and it happens anyway, it means one of two things. Either the science is wrong, or it’s a scam.”
    Welcome back to another episode of Made You Think! Today, we're exploring the 3 Body Problem TV series on Netflix, inspired by Cixin Liu's acclaimed novel. Listen in as we discuss Season 1's adaptation from book to screen, analyzing character shifts, narrative changes, and the portrayal of scientific concepts. If you enjoyed The Three-Body Problem book series or consider yourself a sci-fi fanatic, this one is for you!
    We cover a wide range of topics including:
    What narrative changes and expansions were made for the TV adaptation The show's production costs compared to Game of Thrones How the creators translated the scientific aspects from the book series Our main praises and critiques of the show Book or series - is there a clear winner? 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:
    3 Body Problem on Netflix (0:39) Costs of 3 Body Problem (1:08) Dune (14:28) Game of Thrones (15:50) Breaking Bad (40:35) Primer (41:15) Books Mentioned:
    The Three-Body Problem (0:39) (Book Episode) (Nat’s Book Notes) Dune (14:28) The Road (28:40) Blood Meridian (28:46) No Country for Old Men (30:06) People Mentioned:
    Cixin Liu John Bradley (26:09) Cormac McCarthy (28:35) Martin Gilbert (30:40) Shane Carruth (42:01) Show Topics:
    (0:31) Welcome to our first TV show episode! Today, we’re covering the TV series based on one of our previous reads, The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu. Go check out the episode on the book if you haven't already! We dive into our overall thoughts on Season 1 and how it measured up to the book.
    (4:09) *Spoiler alert!* If you haven’t watched the show or read the book series, we suggest you do that first before continuing this episode. We talk a bit about the depth, or lack of depth, of the characters in the book and TV series.
    (6:55) Neil talks about the pivotal scene in Episode 5 that changed his mind about the show, and how the shows portrayal of something can be completely different than what you had pictured in your head.
    (9:38) From character shifts to the order of events, how did the show differ from the book series? 
    (13:48) How the creators of the show had a unique challenge of keeping the intriguing scientific elements from the book series in the show while maintaining a pace that keeps the viewers interested.
    (15:43) The cost per episode in 3BP was higher than the final season of Game of Thrones. Which aspects of the show and scenes may have taken up the largest pieces of the budget?
    (21:24) We talk about the relationships between the heroes of the books and how they're all close friends. It sets you up to think there might be a happy ending... but is there?
    (25:36) Nat, Neil, and Adil share their thoughts on a character addition that wasn't in the books. 
    (28:45) From Blood Meridian to The First World War, many books have some grotesque elements to it. It's interesting to see how authors capture the emotions and events from something that actually happened and put them into a book. 
    (32:55) Our thoughts on the scene where the universe blinks, and how it was shown in the movie vs. in the book. 
    (34:50) We list off one major criticism of the show, as well as many things that we felt the producers did a great job on.
    (39:03) How effective was the show in portraying scientific aspects from the book? We share our final thoughts 3BP Season 1.
    (42:10) That concludes this episode! Make sure to check out our episode on The Three-Body Problem and check out the Netflix series if you haven’t already. We highly recommend it! Next up is Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman. Pick up a copy of the book and read along with us!

    If you enjoyed this episode, let us know by leaving a review on iTunes

    • 43 min
    113: Too Much of a Good Thing: Bad Therapy

    113: Too Much of a Good Thing: Bad Therapy

    "We’ve never had a generation more focused on its feelings and, frankly, not one more tyrannized by their feelings.”
    Welcome back to another episode of Made You Think! Today, we're delving into Abigail Shrier's Bad Therapy, a thought-provoking book which highlights the impact of therapy on individuals, especially younger generations. Join us as we explore the nuances of therapy, its incentives, and its effects.
    We cover a wide range of topics including:
    Challenges of parenting in a therapy-centric culture Unintended consequences of therapeutic incentives The fine line between taking thoughts too seriously vs. dismissing them Why boundary-setting is crucial as a parent Implications of having an external locus of control 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:
    Arnold (15:37) Spiritual bypassing (23:21) Washington Post on birth control (46:55) How We Feel (54:01) Coach Carter (57:47) How to Understand the Well-Being Gap between Liberals and Conservatives (1:25:31)  Books Mentioned:
    Bad Therapy The Body Keeps the Score (07:09) (Book Episode)  Irreversible Damage (40:44) The Fourth Turning (1:08:32) (Book Episode)  People Mentioned:
    Abigail Shrier Show Topics:
    (0:00) In today’s episode, we’re covering Bad Therapy by Abigail Shrier, who discusses the impact of therapy on individuals, particularly younger generations, and questions the efficacy and motives behind widespread therapeutic practices. 
    (1:57) We provide an overview of the book, examining the sense of loneliness and sadness prevalent in today's youth. It poses the question of whether therapy-related interventions are actually a part of the problem rather than the solution. 
    (5:32) How incentives in therapy can sometimes lead to unintended consequences. Shrier highlights that therapists often prefer patients with milder mental health issues, as these sessions can be more relaxed. This raises questions about the subjective nature of screening and diagnostic tools in mental health care.
    (10:15) The distinction between chronic and acute treatment, noting how the medical industry often favors chronic cases for their profitability. We touch on various types of therapy, noting that the results of physical therapy, for example, are much more tangible than talk therapy.
    (12:42) Nat, Neil, and Adil talk a bit about their personal experiences with therapy.
    (15:55) Why going to the gym and being physically active can improve well-being, and how it offers a sense of control and measurable progress in various aspects of life.
    (21:12) Shrier emphasizes the lack of agency children have in deciding to continue or end therapy. We also discuss how dwelling on problems, or forced rumination, can exacerbate issues, especially in the context of depression and anxiety.
    (25:19) We discuss how therapy can often lead us to give undue weight to passing thoughts, turning them into more significant concerns than they should have been.
    (29:33) It can be a challenge for parents to know when to seek therapy for children or teens. The author suggests exploring all alternatives before turning to therapy. We also dive into the theme of internal vs. external locus of control, where the fear of making mistakes can lead to seeking external validation.
    (34:25) Are doctors too quick to prescribe medications in non-serious cases?
    (39:51) Where is the balance between taking every thought and emotion seriously vs. dismissing them? We discuss generational differences, stoic parenting, the importance of discussing feelings with a trusted friend or partner, and the impact on children who feel unheard.
    (45:30) Similar to therapy and mental health, public sentiments on various topics can evolve over time. Nat, Neil, and Adil draw parallels with the changing views on vaccines, from widespread acceptance to increased skepticism post-Covid

    • 1 hr 38 min
    112: Thou Mayest: East of Eden by John Steinbeck

    112: Thou Mayest: East of Eden by John Steinbeck

    “I believe that there is one story in the world, and only one. . . . Humans are caught—in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity too—in a net of good and evil. . . . There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well—or ill?”
    Welcome back to another episode of Made You Think! In this episode, Nat, Neil and Adil dive into John Steinbeck's masterpiece, East of Eden. Following the lives of two families, the Trasks and the Hamiltons, this novel ultimately reflects on the timeless struggle between darkness and light within the human soul.
    We cover a wide range of topics including:
    The timeless battle between good and evil Why having a fixed worldview can lead to hurt Parallels between East of Eden and the story of Cain and Abel A glimpse into what life was like at the start of the Great War How parents' actions impact their children's lives 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:
    East of Eden movie (1:02:47) East of Eden Netflix series (1:03:21) Three-Body Problem series (1:03:46) Shantaram (TV series) (1:07:21) Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts (1:10:41) Books Mentioned:
    East of Eden (Nat's Book Notes) Flowers for Algernon (0:02) (Book Episode) Grapes of Wrath (0:59) Infinite Jest (4:23) (Book Episode 1) (Book Episode 2) (Nat’s Book Notes) The Three-Body Problem (6:32) (Book Episode) (Nat’s Book Notes) Atlas Shrugged (7:52) (Book Episode) (Nat’s Book Notes) Shantaram (1:06:46) Einstein’s Dreams (1:32:12) The Moon is Down (1:33:20) Lying (1:47:43) The Fountainhead (1:57:59) Bad Therapy (2:00:04) People Mentioned:
    John Steinbeck John Gray (1:29:34) Ayn Rand (1:58:30) Show Topics:
    (0:00) Today, we're diving into John Steinbeck's East of Eden, a novel that stood as a pinnacle in Steinbeck's illustrious career. We kick off the episode by exploring Steinbeck's candidness as shown in his accompanying journal.
    (2:57) Nat, Neil, and Adil share their experience reading the book for the second time, each finding deeper connections to its major themes and characters this time around.
    (6:27) We draw parallels between East of Eden and The Three-Body Problem contrasting their narrative styles. While East of Eden is emotionally impactful with rich characters, The Three-Body Problem unfolds in a flatter, more plot-driven world. Check out our episode on The Three-Body Problem if you haven't already!
    (9:31) Discussing Steinbeck's immersive writing style, we explore how he vividly paints the environments and characters of the book, making us feel as though they are living within its pages.
    (13:43) We delve into the characters of the novel, particularly Cathy, and how she shaped the narrative. Cathy doesn't always see the good, and often fails to take reponsibility for the things that happen to her. 
    (16:04) The book follows two main families, the Trasks and the Hamiltons. There is a major parallel of "two sons" as Adam has two sons, Steinbeck has two sons, and Cain and Abel are two sons. 
    (21:06) It wasn't the plot that drew us into the book, but rather the characters, and how they demonstrate the lessons taught in the novel. One of those lessons is the power of choice, and how you must take responsibility for your choices. 
    (26:31) Listen in as we read an excerpt from Chapter 34 on the topic of good vs. evil, and how humans are caught in their lives, thoughts, ambitions. “Have I done well or ill?” 
    (34:07) Adam has two sons, Aron and Caleb. Though theoretically, could Caleb be Charles’ son? We talk about the similarities between Charles and Caleb, and Adam and Aron. 
    (37:38) Examining the allegory of Cain and Abel wi

    • 2 hr 2 min
    111: Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth

    111: Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth

    "All the facts of science aren't enough to understand the world's meaning. For this, you must step outside the world."
    Welcome back to another episode of Made You Think! In this episode, we're adventuring into the world of Logicomix, a graphic novel that takes us on a journey through the intricate life of mathematician Bertrand Russell. From the quest for precision that borders on madness to the historical events Russell was embroiled in, we'll explore the complexities of logic, philosophy, and mathematics.
    We cover a wide range of topics including:
    Why seeking precision in understanding the world can drive one mad Bertrand Russell's historical involvements and achievements The rapid progress of aviation and technology How mathematics, logic, and philosophy remain connected Discovering the lives and contributions of various mathematicians 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:
    Prolific (1:06) Agrippan Trilemma (12:33) Münchhausen Trilemma (13:04) Kate Middleton photo (30:48) House of Lords (32:06) The Flaw in Gödel’s proof (57:59) Arnold (1:03:50) Political ETFs (1:13:49) Books Mentioned:
    Logicomix East of Eden (0:03) (Nat's Book Notes) Of Mice and Men (0:21) The Grapes of Wrath (0:22) Watchmen (6:10) V for Vendetta (6:11) In Praise of Idleness (7:12) (Book Episode) (Nat's Book Notes) Gödel, Escher, Bach (12:01) (Book Episode) (Nat’s Book Notes) The First World War (36:16) The Second World War (36:16) Banana King (1:00:45) Chip War (1:01:01) The Prize (1:01:23) Bad Therapy (1:02:46) Kon-Tiki (1:08:17) Endurance (1:09:40) People Mentioned:
    Apostolos Doxiadis Christos Papadimitriou John Steinbeck (0:01) Bertrand Russell (6:51) Kurt Gödel (14:46) Ludwig Wittgenstein (20:49) Jordan Peterson (53:03) Show Topics:
    (0:00) We kick off the episode by sharing John Steinbeck's journal writing process for East of Eden, his collaborative relationship with his publisher, and how he landed on the title. 
    (5:25) Though we are not talking about East of Eden today (but...stay tuned for that episode up next!), we're covering Logicomix, a graphic novel by Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos Papadimitriou.

    (8:16) We give an overview of the book and how it shares different intricacies and stories from Bertrand Russell's life. From his parents being in a throuple to schizophrenia running in his family, we try to decipher which parts were real vs. fabricated.
    (10:36) Why you shouldn't necessarily look for precision and formal rules about how the world works. We tie this idea into Taoism which we’ve seen commonly in a few of our other recent reads. In short, no system can fully explain itself. You need to step outside of it.
    (13:42) Is it possible to build a perfect map of everything that mathematics entails? We talk about the connection between logic, philosophy, and mathematics. 
    (20:25) There were several mathematicians in the book. How many of them are you familiar with?
    (23:36) Russell's involvement in a variety of historical events from the Cuban Missile Crisis to JFK's assassination, as he was not convinced that Oswald was guilty of the crime. 
    (28:34) If you've been up-to-date with the news lately, you may be just as interested in the Kate Middleton conspiracies as we are. Tangent time!
    (31:38) Russell was sat in the House of Lords, a chamber of UK Parliament which is generally not up for election. Plus, we brainstorm some ideas of who would be considered Bertrand Russell’s equivalent in the US.
    (36:48) We dive in to some different historical events and wars. The Ottoman Empire, World War 1 and 2, the Persian Gulf War, and how warfare and aircraft carriers changed during these ages. 
    (41:26) Aviation and its rapid improvements in technology in such a short span of time.
    (45:07) "Shouldn't we get back to the book?" Nat, Neil, and Adil discuss some of the

    • 1 hr 20 min
    110: Fear of Oozification

    110: Fear of Oozification

    "Oozification is the process of recursively replacing systems based on numerous larger building blocks, governed by many rules, with ones based on fewer, smaller building blocks, governed by fewer rules, thereby increasing the number of evolutionary possibilities and lowering the number of evolutionary certainties."
    Welcome back to another episode of Made You Think! In this episode, we're discussing Fear of Oozification, an article by Venkatesh Rao. Get ready to explore the concept of ooziness in technology, learn the signs of oozification, and uncover why the ooze should (or should not) be feared.
    We cover a wide range of topics including:
    How oozification applies in technology, nature, and more The contrast between progressification and oozification Challenges in preserving our knowledge over time Humans' natural fear of unpredictability and uncertainty Why authority and trust may be victims of oozification 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:
    Fear of Oozification Chrony Beliefs (0:32) (Book Episode) Oozy Intelligence in Slow Time (7:32) Sopranos Autopsy blog (30:44) StumbleUpon (31:27) The Honey Diet (35:57) Vesuvius Challenge (45:24) Phorevr (49:05) The Gervais Principle (51:48) The Premium Mediocre Life of Maya Millennial (51:51) Books Mentioned:
    The Three-Body Problem (1:42) (Book Episode) (Nat’s Book Notes) Permutation City (1:44) (Book Episode) Flowers for Algernon (1:48) (Book Episode) East of Eden (1:52) Logicomix (2:01) Seeing Like A State (23:30) (Book Episode) (Nat’s Book Notes) The Anthology of Balaji (38:22) Flatland (58:14) Watchmen (58:30) V for Vendetta (58:55) People Mentioned:
    Venkatesh Rao @anabology (32:06) Show Topics:
    (0:00) Welcome back to Made You Think! We kick off this episode by sharing our reading progress for the upcoming books on the podcast as well as anything else we’re reading (or re-reading) outside of it.
    (5:32) Nat notes his experience with re-reading The Three-Body Problem series, the different pacing of each of the books, and other minor details that stuck out while going through it a second time.
    (6:43) Today, we're covering Fear of Oozification, an article by Venkatesh Rao. Nat, Neil, and Adil dive into the author's definition of oozification, and more specifically, how it applies within certain technologies such as the computer and phone.
    (10:52) What makes something more or less oozy? We think of the ooziness of nature where we frequently envision stable environments such as a forest or meadow. However, when a major change or catastrophe takes place, the landscape has to evolve and its trajectory changes.
    (14:36) Progressification vs oozification: In contrast to oozing, you can make steady and predictable progress within technology, for example.
    (16:50) We share our main takeaways from the article, debate what the author's view on oozification is, and how the author got his argument across. 
    (23:18) How oozification will happen regardless of the natural linear progression that we're on in the world of technology. As we progress and create new technologies, each new piece of tech will ooze in its own way.
    (26:27) Naturally, we fear the unpredictability of the future. What is it about oozification that we are more fearful of than just the unpredictability of the future? Plus, the new era of the internet vs. how things used to be in the world of blogging and social media.
    (31:43) Decentering and simplifying. We talk a bit about an individual health blog written in just plain text. Check it out here if you're curious!
    (37:39) Trust and authority, and how that links in with oozification. Nowadays, it's nearly easier to verify truth and accuracy in individuals rather than in large accredited institutions.
    (41:06) When something is oozed so far away from the fundamental state that we won’t know how to recrea

    • 1 hr

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
108 Ratings

108 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!

INDYMADE ,

What’s episode 100 gonna be?

Love this show. Like a private book club.

paulycalzone ,

Nerds ideal pod

Perfect amount of tangents

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