100 episodes

Quick Note: I'm currently doing a Master's degree in Computer Science, so my release schedule will be intermittent depending on my coursework.

Todd Nief is the owner of downtown Chicago's #1 CrossFit gym and the coach to multiple CrossFit Games athletes. He has been featured by Men's Fitness, WGN Radio, and NBC Chicago among others. His background in chemical engineering and as a musician in multiple death metal bands gives him a unique lens with which to unpack the models that people use to solve problems in complex areas like fitness, business, nutrition, music, economics and psychology.

Todd Nief's Show Todd Nief

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.9 • 32 Ratings

Quick Note: I'm currently doing a Master's degree in Computer Science, so my release schedule will be intermittent depending on my coursework.

Todd Nief is the owner of downtown Chicago's #1 CrossFit gym and the coach to multiple CrossFit Games athletes. He has been featured by Men's Fitness, WGN Radio, and NBC Chicago among others. His background in chemical engineering and as a musician in multiple death metal bands gives him a unique lens with which to unpack the models that people use to solve problems in complex areas like fitness, business, nutrition, music, economics and psychology.

    Paul Bearer (Sheer Terror | Joe Coffee)

    Paul Bearer (Sheer Terror | Joe Coffee)

    Paul Bearer is the vocalist for one of the most influential and underrated New York Hardcore bands of all time: Sheer Terror. Sheer Terror came out of the very strange New York Hardcore scene of the 80s — before the music became codified into the metallic, bouncy mosh parts we think of as NYHC today. While Sheer Terror is certainly no stranger to blending metal and punk, their sound is much more Tom G. Warrior plus Oi! rather than syncopated, single-string riffs. Nothing against bouncy mosh parts, but Sheer Terror is much more my cup of tea, personally.
    Paul and I talk not only about the weird world of punk and hardcore in New York in the 80s, but also about Paul’s cooking and his aggressive and comical pet Russian tortoises.
    Learn more from Paul and Sheer Terror here: Instagram: @djdontlikeu | @officialsheerterror Facebook: @sheerterror | @joecoffeeband Merchandise: Dead City Merchandise | Socks at Omerta Mia If you're enjoying the show, the best way to support it is by sharing with your friends. If you don't have any friends, why not a leave a review? It makes a difference in terms of other people finding the show.
    You can also subscribe to receive my e-mail newsletter at www.toddnief.com. Most of my writing never makes it to the blog, so get on that list.
    Many of these interviews are posted in video format on YouTube as well.
    Show Notes: [02:36] Paul’s DJing and the dangers of developing a habit collecting Northern Soul records
    [13:36] How to get into Northern Soul. And, artists finding out they’re unexpectedly famous.
    [27:20] The difficulty of being creative during the pandemic. And, Paul burned all his old, unused lyrics notebooks.
    [37:42] Paul’s specialty dishes
    [43:51] Obsessive music collecting and getting into punk. Plus a meditation on aging and hard living.
    [56:19] Paul’s thoughts on fitness (Don’t miss this…)
    [58:50] New York was a weird place during the 80s and New York Hardcore was a weird scene. Plus, the violent, sketchy world of skinheads and the evolution of anti-establishment politics.
    [1:15:51] New Sheer Terror music and how to buy Sheer Terror socks
    Links and Resources Mentioned: Northern soul The Jackson 5 Lee Charles Eunice Collins Northern Soul: An Oral History | Red Bull Music Academy Daily Throbbing Gristle Industrial Records Major Lance Keisha Lance Bottoms Searching for Sugar Man Russian tortoise Polish Hunter Stew The Sweet & Savory Spot Humble Pie Alice Cooper Sabbath Bloody Sabbath Mott The Hoople David Bowie Bruce Springsteen Nancy Spungen No Wave Compilation The Dickies The Stranglers “Bring On The Nubiles” The Plasmatics Red Hot Chili Peppers “One Hot Minute” Craig Setari Antidote Bad Brains MDC Crass Thin Lizzy “Baby Please Don’t Go” Infanterie Sauvage Bowling For Soup

    • 1 hr 22 min
    Christopher M. Russo (Mercatus Center) on Monetary Policy, The Fed, and Inflation

    Christopher M. Russo (Mercatus Center) on Monetary Policy, The Fed, and Inflation

    Monetary policy is confusing. What even is The Fed? How do they control interest rates? Is The Fed different than the Treasury? Why do different cities have different feds? And, most importantly, do people with laser eyes on Twitter actually know anything about inflation?
    These are all things that I've wondered about — fortunately, my friend Chris Russo is a post-graduate research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and an expert on monetary policy. And, he lifted some weights at South Loop Strength & Conditioning while pursuing his education at the University of Chicago.
    Chris does a great job of breaking down how monetary policy impacts our daily lives, and gives an enlightening explanation of some of the plumbing that keeps our monetary system functioning. Plus, we discuss a zoomed out perspective on how to think about the inflation numbers in the news.
    Learn more from Chris here: Website: www.russoecon.com | Mercatus Profile Twitter: @RussoEcon If you're enjoying the show, the best way to support it is by sharing with your friends. If you don't have any friends, why not a leave a review? It makes a difference in terms of other people finding the show.
    You can also subscribe to receive my e-mail newsletter at www.toddnief.com. Most of my writing never makes it to the blog, so get on that list.
    Show Notes: [02:06] What is the US Treasury? What is The Fed? What do the Treasury and the Fed have to do with inflation?
    [13:36] A history of the organization of The Fed including: why cities have their own Fed, how the fed regulates monetary policy, and what it means to “print money”
    [27:44] How does the money supply impact prices and inflation? And, the importance of the equation of exchange: MV = PQ
    [33:10] Paul Krugman’s babysitter club analogy and how it explains monetary policy
    [45:40] Why does The Fed target 2% inflation?
    [51:02] Interest rates, full employment and the Fed’s mechanisms for inflation targeting
    [01:02:11] How should people think about inflation numbers in the news?
    [01:12:11] Summary of key takeaways on monetary policy
    Links and Resources Mentioned: United States Department of the Treasury Federal Reserve United States Treasury security Full Employment Definition Federal Funds Rate Hamilton vs. Jefferson on Monetary Policy Why Does Missouri Have Two Federal Reserves? Federal Open Market Committee Why Does The Fed Buy Mortgage-Backed Securities? The Great Depression According to Milton Friedman The Equation of Exchange “Baby-Sitting the Economy” by Paul Krugman The Impact of Interest Rate Changes by the Federal Reserve Why Is Deflation Bad for the Economy? Helicopter money Neo-Fisherism vs. Conventional Central Banking Wisdom The Fisher Effect “Inside the Black Box: The Credit Channel of Monetary Policy Transmission” by Ben Bernanke The Taylor Rule: An Economic Model for Monetary Policy Consumer Price Index

    • 1 hr 20 min
    Spenser Mestel on Voting Rights, Election Reform, and Writing a Book with Mat Fraser

    Spenser Mestel on Voting Rights, Election Reform, and Writing a Book with Mat Fraser

    I first encountered Spenser’s work through his writing for the Morning Chalk Up, and at some point I clicked on enough links to realize that the majority of his work is on voting rights and election reform.
    I’ve been a subscriber to Spenser’s voting rights newsletter, so I wanted to get his take on how things went with New York City’s experiment in ranked choice voting in their Democratic mayoral primary.
    While election fraud and voter suppression are hot-button culture war issues, there are also a lot of low-hanging fruit for bipartisan election reforms. Spenser’s understanding of the voting rights landscape is deep and nuanced, so I’m thrilled that he decided to indulge my questioning.
    We also discuss Spenser’s forthcoming book with Mat Fraser, in which Mat finally spills the beans about his training, his injuries (that he didn’t want competitors to know about), and more. You can pre-order Hard Work Pays Off here.
    Learn more from Spenser here: Substack: spensermestel.substack.com Website: www.spensermestel.com Book: “Hard Work Pays Off” by Mat Fraser and Spenser Mestel Twitter: @SpenserMestel Instagram: @spensermestel If you're enjoying the show, the best way to support it is by sharing with your friends. If you don't have any friends, why not a leave a review? It makes a difference in terms of other people finding the show.
    You can also subscribe to receive my e-mail newsletter at www.toddnief.com. Most of my writing never makes it to the blog, so get on that list.
    Show Notes: [02:35] How has ranked choice voting gone in the New York mayoral primary? And, what’s the deal with the New York Board of Elections?
    [10:57] Did any of the theoretical benefits of ranked choice voting show up when it was tested in New York?
    [27:42] What is the “steelman” case for voting rights restrictions? What is the prevalence of voter fraud?
    [34:02] There is a history of political machines and electioneering. How concerned should we be with these kinds of manipulations?
    [39:32] What’s the deal with voter ID requirements? And gerrymandering?
    [52:50] Writing a book with 5 time CrossFit Games champion Mat Fraser — and the mental challenges of being an elite athlete
    [1:05:55] Learn more from Spenser and subscribe to Spenser’s Super Tuesday
    Links and Resources Mentioned: Ranked-choice voting 2021 Georgia runoff election Vote Tally Mistake Causes Confusion In New York City Mayoral Race | NPR First-past-the-post voting Voter Fraud Map: Election Fraud Database | The Heritage Foundation Machine Politics Study: voter ID laws don’t reduce voter fraud — or voter turnout | Vox Leaked Audio: Trump Adviser Says Republicans Rely on Voter Suppression | Business Insider Gerrymandering Mathew Fraser How I Conquered 'American Ninja Warrior' by Spenser Mestel | Rolling Stone

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Dave Bland (Full of Hell | Jarhead Fertilizer)

    Dave Bland (Full of Hell | Jarhead Fertilizer)

    Dave Bland is one of the most creative drummers currently playing extreme music. While technical wherewithal with blindingly fast blast beats is always appreciated, the ability to adapt to the varied styles present on Full of Hell records as well as the more straightforward death metal of Jarhead Fertilizer requires much more perspicacity.
    I first met Dave over 10 years ago when he was a high school student who left to go on tour with Full of Hell without his parents’ permission. Since then, Full of Hell has grown into one of the best bands in extreme music, and Dave’s drumming has become unbelievably impressive.
    Dave’s death metal project Jarhead Fertilizer finally released their debut full length album this year on Closed Casket Activities after letting it marinate for several years.
    In this interview, Dave discusses his difficult upbringing as well as his late father’s run ins with the law — and how those experiences shaped him as well as proving inspiration for Jarhead’s music.
    Dave also discusses his best tips for smoking meats (he works as a chef while not touring) and whether he prefers small or big sunglasses.
    Learn more from Dave, Full of Hell, and Jarhead Fertilizer here: Bandcamp: Jarhead Fertilizer | Full of Hell Instagram: @davebland | @fullofhell | @jarhead_fertilizer If you're enjoying the show, the best way to support it is by sharing with your friends. If you don't have any friends, why not a leave a review? It makes a difference in terms of other people finding the show.
    You can also subscribe to receive my e-mail newsletter at www.toddnief.com. Most of my writing never makes it to the blog, so get on that list.
    Show Notes: [02:10] Dave’s tips for smoking meats and wearing shades
    [10:54] The evolution of Jarhead Fertilizer
    [13:51] Dave’s late father’s wild life story — and how that comes out in Jarhead’s lyrical content.
    [26:00] Lessons learned from Dave’s upbringing
    [33:50] Meeting Spencer and joining Full of Hell as a child
    [41:40] Dave’s skills as a guitar player and how he writes Jarhead Fertilizer songs
    [46:00] Dave’s forthcoming solo record — and how he things about collaboration, improvisation, and writing songs with a focus on drums
    [56:20] Creating a cohesive vision from disparate influences
    [01:06:30] All of Dave’s upcoming releases — and starting a YouTube channel
    Links and Resources Mentioned: Like Rats Kung Fu Necktie Louisiana State Penitentiary Globe Gastro Theatre Bolt Thrower Britney Spears’s Python Do snakes have ears? Kool Keith Tony Williams Billy Cobham John Caution Machines with Magnets Seth Manchester The Body Daughters Lightning Bolt Kurt Ballou Developing Nations Recording Closed Casket Activities Sepultura “Inner Self” Eloy Casagrande Igor Cavalera

    • 57 min
    Matthew O. Jackson, PhD on Human Networks and Microfinance

    Matthew O. Jackson, PhD on Human Networks and Microfinance

    Humans have an intuitive sense for who is important and well-connected. We like knowing “movers and shakers,” and we regularly engage in complicated social machinations — conscious or otherwise — to position ourselves close to the seat of influence.
    But what about the formal study of the spread of information through human networks? Matthew O. Jackson is a professor of economics at Stanford, and his book “The Human Network” is a fantastic primer on the complex dynamics of human relationships. He’s also done fascinating work on the spread of microfinance in southern India with Arun Chandrasekhar and Nobel Laureates Abhijit Bahnerjee and Esther Duflo.
    In this podcast, we discuss the spread of microfinance in villages in rural India — as well as some unintended consequences that that came as a result of disrupting the social structures of these villages. And, as sometimes happens, we also had a brief detour to discuss Frank Herbert’s “Dune.”
    Learn more from Matthew here: Website: Stanford Homepage Books: The Human Network | Social and Economic Networks Twitter: @jacksonmmatt Coursera: Instructor Page If you're enjoying the show, the best way to support it is by sharing with your friends. If you don't have any friends, why not a leave a review? It makes a difference in terms of other people finding the show.
    You can also subscribe to receive my e-mail newsletter at www.toddnief.com. Most of my writing never makes it to the blog, so get on that list.
    Show Notes: [02:08] “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”
    [05:56] The spread of microfinance in southern India provides a natural experiment for tracking the flow of information through social networks — and the consequences of altering the social graph in communities.
    [20:17] How did companies try to spread loans in India? What types of people best spread information about microfinance in their communities?
    [26:30] Information spread “decays” the further out in the network it gets. What causes this?
    [38:00] A quick detour into Dune and Lord of the Rings
    [42:26] The consequences of microfinance on the social networks in villages — and externalities on those who already have week social ties
    [55:40] Does disrupting the social networks of rural villages cause any positive externalities like less caste segregation?
    [01:00:17] Using “policy cocktails” to help counteract the unintended consequences of interventions.
    [01:10:00] How to learn more from Matthew, follow his research, and purchase his books.
    Links and Resources Mentioned: Eigenvector centrality Centrality Abhijit Banerjee Esther Duflo Arun Chandrasekhar Microfinance Dune Twitter’s main character Def Leppard Dune (1984 film) J.R.R. Tolkien Marxism and the theory of “Long Waves” Sericulture Robert D. Putnam Bowling Alone WEIRD Psychology

    • 1 hr 11 min
    Kayhan Vaziri (Yautja)

    Kayhan Vaziri (Yautja)

    Yautja plays lurching, uncomfortable music, so it is fitting that their new album is called “The Lurch.” I first met Kayhan back in approximately 2010 when I was on tour with Weekend Nachos and we stayed at Kayhan’s place in Birmingham, Alabama. At the time, Kayhan was in a band called Legion (funny enough), and since then has gone on to play in several excellent hardcore and metal projects like Coliseum, Die Young, and — of course — Yautja.
    Yautja’s most recent record is fantastic, so I wanted to get Kayhan on the podcast to discuss how they write such weird but catchy songs. The conversation also took a detour into some of Kayhan’s wild experiences working at his family’s convenience store during a pandemic, so stick around for that as well.
    Learn more from Kayhan and Yautja here: Bandcamp: yautja.bandcamp.com Instagram: @yautjagram Facebook: @YautjaTN If you're enjoying the show, the best way to support it is by sharing with your friends. If you don't have any friends, why not a leave a review? It makes a difference in terms of other people finding the show.
    You can also subscribe to receive my e-mail newsletter at www.toddnief.com. Most of my writing never makes it to the blog, so get on that list.
    Show Notes: [01:29] The power of naming things “Legion”
    [06:50] Being viewed as an off-the-rails weirdo due to an interest in extreme music — and the differences between music, sci-fi, and fantasy fandoms
    [15:04] Getting into hardcore and punk, and the benefits of a mid-sized scene on creativity in Birmingham, Alabama
    [20:28] Straddling genre lines with Yautja and being the misfit band on most concert bills
    [29:17] The impacts of the country music industry on the Nashville underground music scene
    [35:07] Yautja’s songwriting process — and the importance of rhythm, variations, and other subtleties in their compositions
    [47:17] Yautja plays difficult and weird riffs, but is not really a “technical” band
    [57:55] Yautja’s plans as the US emerges from the pandemic
    [01:03:29] Kayhan’s comical and frustrating experiences working in his family’s convenience store during a pandemic
    [01:14:14] How to purchase “The Lurch” and support Yautja
    Links and Resources Mentioned: Weekend Nachos Legion Deicide “Legion” Integrity “Dawn of a new Apocalypse” Legion in popular culture Birmingham Legion FC The Home Despot Wish Machine Head “Burn My Eyes” Keep Staring I Might Do a Trick T-Shirt Doctor Who The Lord of the Rings Robert Jordan George R. R. Martin Darkman Virus (1999 film) In Defence Revocation Exhumed Rivers of Nihil Voivod “Dimension Hatröss” Morbid Angel “Formulas Fatal to the Flesh” Morbid Angel “Gateways to Annihilation” Hella Gnarwhal Mutilation Rites Alraune Steve Cloutier and Luc Lemay of Gorguts guitar lesson Gorguts “Obscura”

    • 1 hr 22 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
32 Ratings

32 Ratings

Bozmonaut ,

Great

Todd brings on a range of guests sure to pique anyone’s interest. Great interview style that is obviously rooted in genuine curiosity.

Binjimin ,

Wow yes amazing content

Top notch audio jam

bh778 ,

Soliddddddsaaa

In depth and good questions.

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