42 episodes

Everything is broken. Adaam James Levin-Areddy and Vanessa M. Quirk, two jaded journos, interview people far wiser than themselves and ask: "now what?"

uncertain.substack.com

Uncertain Things Uncertain Things

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.4 • 136 Ratings

Everything is broken. Adaam James Levin-Areddy and Vanessa M. Quirk, two jaded journos, interview people far wiser than themselves and ask: "now what?"

uncertain.substack.com

    Escaping the Content Machine (w/ Lindsay Ellis)

    Escaping the Content Machine (w/ Lindsay Ellis)

    Film critic, YouTube influencer, and sci-fi auhor Lindsay Ellis joins us to talk about her new novel and the complexities of human-alien relationships. But, in typical Uncertain Things fashion, we couldn't help but ask Lindsay about the f*ed up nature of today's social media landscape — one that cripples artists and rewards very bad behavior indeed. Plus, Lindsay gives us her guide for distinguishing between good and bad faith criticism, diagnoses Hollywood's TV problem, and hints that the future is books.

    Find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podcast Addict, and Stitcher. Check out our Patreonfor behind-the-pod updates. Follow @UncertainPod on your social media of choice.

    On the agenda:

    -Aliens vs. transhumanism [06:33-11:10]

    -Dealing with bad faith critics [11:11-19:04]

    -The algorithm effect [19:05-22:51]

    -The artist/audience disconnect [22:52-28:11]

    -Hollywood's TV problem [28:12-30:35]

    -Scarred by the content machine [30:36-35:07]

    Check out Lindsay’s novels Axiom’s End and Truth of the Divine. And as promised, here’s Lindsay’s take on Mel Brooks and satire and The Beauty and the Beast remake.

    Uncertain Things is hosted and produced by Adaam James Levin-Areddy and Vanessa M. Quirk. For more doomsday rumination, subscribe to: uncertain.substack.com.

    Get full access to Uncertain Things at uncertain.substack.com/subscribe

    • 35 min
    We're Addicted to Destruction (w/ Nancy Rommelmann)

    We're Addicted to Destruction (w/ Nancy Rommelmann)

    Nancy Rommelmann is a fiery (but mostly peaceful) writer and reporter. She’s also the co-founder (along with Matt Welch) of Paloma Media — a home for "the growing number of misfit creators who no longer fit neatly in our cramped categories of media, politics, and culture." Nancy made the trek to Queens for an in-person (!) conversation where she shared her journalism war stories, her ire about Donald MacNeill, Jr., and her musings on beauty as a commodity.

    Find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podcast Addict, and Stitcher. Check out our Patreon for behind-the-pod updates. Follow @UncertainPod on your social media of choice.

    On the agenda:

    -Intro to Nancy [00:00 - 4:00]

    -Our anti-natalist debate w/ Jacob Siegel, to be continued [4:01 - 6:00]

    -Settling in [6:01-16:27]

    -Deconstructing Portland [16:28 - 35:40]

    -The NYT vs. The Donalds [35:41 - 1:02:06]

    -Creating Things in the Chaos [1:02:05 - 1:11:14]

    -The Beauty Blindspot [1:11:15 - 1:32:09]

    -Blindspots on the Left & Right [1:32:10 - 1:39:24]

    -People Will Surprise You [1:39:25 - 1:44:17]

    Uncertain Things is hosted and produced by Adaam James Levin-Areddy and Vanessa M. Quirk. For more doomsday rumination, subscribe to: uncertain.substack.com.

    Get full access to Uncertain Things at uncertain.substack.com/subscribe

    • 1 hr 47 min
    Genes, Germs, & Justice (w/ Nicholas Christakis)

    Genes, Germs, & Justice (w/ Nicholas Christakis)

    We live in a society enamored with divisions, but Nicholas Christakis lives by the outlandish idea that humans are fundamentally similar — and has devoted much of his career to uncovering the universals of social experience. (He's a lumper, not a splitter.) The Yale professor and author of many books — including Blueprint and Apollo's Arrow — unpacks his fascinating findings in evolutionary biology, describes the price we pay for the spread of ideas (namely, germs), and reflects on that now infamous moment on the Yale quad six years ago.

    Find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podcast Addict, and Stitcher. Check out our Patreon for behind-the-pod updates. Follow @UncertainPod on your social media of choice.

    On the agenda:

    -The asymmetry of celebrity [5:46-13:41]

    -The perception and reality of inequality [13:42-23:24]

    -Against the ascendant emphasis of difference [23:25-43:21]

    -Lumpers and splitters [43:22-49:50]

    -The social suite: How genes shaped our societies [49:51-1:07:10]

    -Why utopias and other intentional communities fail [1:07:11-1:14:16]

    -Prestige hierarchy and teaching [1:14:17-1:18:24]

    -Reflecting on the Yale incident, six years later [1:18:25-1:31:03]

    -On Covid (the price we pay for the spread of ideas) [1:31:04-1:37:42]

    -Distrusting institutions [1:37:43-1:45:26]

    -Blindspots on the left and the right [1:45:27-1:49:22]

    -Bonus: Can culture change our genes? (On exophenotypes) [1:49:39-2:01:35]

    Uncertain Things is hosted and produced by Adaam James Levin-Areddy and Vanessa M. Quirk. For more doomsday rumination, subscribe to: uncertain.substack.com.

    Get full access to Uncertain Things at uncertain.substack.com/subscribe

    • 2 hr 1 min
    Escaping the Gospel of Guilt (w/ Jacob Siegel)

    Escaping the Gospel of Guilt (w/ Jacob Siegel)

    Tablet Magazine senior writer and irresistible baritone Jacob Siegel finds it impossible to be in America and write about America. He gave up on New York, his former haven, and moved to the provinces of the Empire (namely, Israel). What changed? We talk about fancy buzzwords — from gentrification to critical race theory — and how they all played a role in his disillusionment. Adaam and Jake also fly into a tangent argument about parenthood, child-rearing, and anti-natalism. Oh, yeah, and Afghanistan. Plenty of gloom and existential angst to go around.

    Find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podcast Addict, and Stitcher. Check out our Patreon for behind-the-pod updates. Follow @UncertainPod on your social media of choice.

    On the agenda:

    -Why not have kids? (Intro)

    -Why have kids? (Jake’s argument)

    -The ubiquitous Brooklyn

    -Guilt, race, and elementary schools

    -Who does CRT benefit?

    -Goodbye, Afghanistan

    -Hello, bad media

    Uncertain Things is hosted and produced by Adaam James Levin-Areddy and Vanessa M. Quirk. For more doomsday ruminations, subscribe to: uncertain.substack.com.

    Get full access to Uncertain Things at uncertain.substack.com/subscribe

    • 1 hr 42 min
    F*ck Zeus (w/ Tomer Persico)

    F*ck Zeus (w/ Tomer Persico)

    In honor of our one year anniversary, our first ever guest, religious scholar Tomer Persico, returns to the pod for another intellectually and spiritually satisfying conversation — this time IRL. (Check out our original convo first if you haven't already). This time Tomer, author of Man in God’s Image, dives right into the ancient concept of the self, jumps to the creation of interiority/individuality, expounds on the isolation of America, and comes for a landing on the old, new, and ugly of Israeli politics.

    Find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podcast Addict, and Stitcher. Check out our Patreon for behind-the-pod updates. Follow @UncertainPod on your social media of choice.

    On the agenda:

    -Happy anniversary, us! (Adaam’s Ishiguro essay)

    -Two Jews. One mic.

    -Recap: The Image of God

    -The birth of the inner world

    -But, science! (My physics friend dissents)

    -Bye bye, Empire

    -Loneliness and totalitarianism

    -So what did I miss (in Israel)?

    -The flattening of our politics

    -Arthur Koestler

    Uncertain Things is hosted and produced by Adaam James Levin-Areddy and Vanessa M. Quirk. For more doomsday ruminations, subscribe to: uncertain.substack.com.

    Get full access to Uncertain Things at uncertain.substack.com/subscribe

    • 1 hr 41 min
    EXTRA: The Journey to Jaded (w/ Adaam and Vanessa)

    EXTRA: The Journey to Jaded (w/ Adaam and Vanessa)

    The tables are turned! Kyle Huber of the Adventure Creator Podcast interviews your jaded journo hosts, Adaam and Vanessa, to learn more about our backgrounds, the origins of Uncertain Things, and to pick our brains on (what else) the fall of liberal democracy. Enjoy and, if you want to hear more creatives talking about their passion projects, subscribe to the Adventure Creator Podcast.

    Find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podcast Addict, and Stitcher. Follow @UncertainPod on your social media of choice.

    On the agenda:

    -Vanessa's back story [7:22]

    -Adaam's back story [15:55]

    -The Uncertain Things story [27:01]

    -The issues with media & media consumption [33:40]

    -Liberal democracy: why it matters, what's at stake [53:13]

    -Blindspots on the left, blindspots on the right [1:05:19]

    -On Covid, freedom, and human connection [1:10:38]

    Uncertain Things is hosted and produced by Adaam James Levin-Areddy and Vanessa M. Quirk. For more doomsday ruminations, subscribe to: uncertain.substack.com.

    Get full access to Uncertain Things at uncertain.substack.com/subscribe

    • 1 hr 26 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
136 Ratings

136 Ratings

bspeiser ,

Great, thoughtful podcast

Quality open minded intellectual conversations

anar49 ,

Great podcast

Love the sophistication and intelligence of the hosts! Currently my favorite podcast.

B.A.1186 ,

Yo super good

Where’s the 3 hr version of the theme song?

This is super chill; current favorite podcast.

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