86 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
    • 4.5 • 160 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

    Progressives Are Silly (w/ Nellie Bowles)

    Progressives Are Silly (w/ Nellie Bowles)

    Nellie Bowles is back! The journalist, writer of the TGIF newsletter, and co-founder of The Free Press (along with her wife Bari Weiss) returns to discuss her new book, Morning After the Revolution. In it, she chronicles the unfortunate series of events that led her to leave The New York Times in 2021. We get into that in this conversation, too (diving into the backlash she received for covering the more violent 2020 protests in Portland and Seattle) — as well as the stories of Progressive absurdism that pepper the book. And before we wrap, we get into Nellie’s thoughts on being a newly converted Jew in the wake of October 8th.  
    Uncertain Things is a reader-supported publication. To support this rag-tag podcast crew of two, consider becoming a paid member.
    On the agenda:
    -Surviving the NYT in 2020 [1:40-23:41]
    -Absurdity and anarchy [23:42-37:18]
    -The joys and pains of becoming Jewish [37:19-51:06]
    Mentioned in this episode:
    -Our previous conversation on San Francisco’s lunacy
    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

    • 51 min
    The Indoctrination of Elite Education (w/ Bill Deresiewicz)

    The Indoctrination of Elite Education (w/ Bill Deresiewicz)

    William Deresiewicz — author of (the newly updated) Excellent Sheep, The Death of the Artist, and The End of Solitude — returns to the pod! This time we dive into one of the institutions we love to hate: elite universities. We dwell on and debate the protests at Columbia (et al.), the reasons why it’s all gone so wrong, and whether or not the solution is just to raze them to the ground.
    Check out our ‘Uncertainty’ newsletter for updates and rants. To support us and gain access to exclusive content, consider becoming a paid member of Uncertain on Substack. Follow @UncertainPod on your social media of choice.
    On the agenda:
    -The context for Excellent Sheep, c. 2014 [2:39-12:21]
    -The student as customer / PC police officer [12:22-27:32]
    - The emptiness inside [27:33-40:02]
    -To fix or ruin the elite reputation? [40:03-49:54]
    -Getting into the protests & elite failure [49:55-58:58]
    - What exactly went wrong [58:59-1:08:08]
    -The answer isn’t yoga [1:08:09-1:29:36]
    Mentioned in this conversation: 
    -Our last conversation with Bill
    -Vanessa’s newsletter on solitude/friendship
    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 30 min
    Down the Saddam Rabbit Hole (w/ Steve Coll)

    Down the Saddam Rabbit Hole (w/ Steve Coll)

    Pulitzer-prize winning journalist, author, and former Columbia Journalism School dean (to us!), Steve Coll, takes us deep into the conspiracy-plagued mind of Saddam Hussein, the subject of his latest book The Achilles Trap: Saddam Hussein, the C.I.A., and the Origins of America's Invasion of Iraq. We go deep into the wonky journalism weeds — including what it took for Coll to get his hands on the Saddam tapes. And we ask our former dean the eternal question: Is J-School worth it?
    -What it takes to put a book like this together [0:00-19:15]
    -The Saddam tapes [19:16 -23:46]
    -Inside the conspiracy rabbit hole [23:47-29:52
    -Behind the conflicting perceptions [29:53-41:12]
    -Oil, Israel, and failed policies [41:13-49:46]
    -The U.S.-Israel relationship [49:47--53:32]
    -How the media is covering the conflict [53:33-57:43]
    -Objectivity and the rifts in journalism today [57:44-1:06:44]
    Check out our ‘Inscrutable’ blog and ‘Uncertainty’ newsletter for thoughts and rants. To support us and gain access to exclusive content, consider becoming a paid member of Uncertain on Substack. Follow @UncertainPod on your social media of choice.


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

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Three Drunk Jews Refuting Jonathan Glazer (w/ Batya Ungar-Sargon & Eli Lake)

    Three Drunk Jews Refuting Jonathan Glazer (w/ Batya Ungar-Sargon & Eli Lake)

    With Vanessa off for the weekend to explore the world of psychedelics, the podcast has been hijacked by a cabal of furious, loud, and lubricated Jews. Adaam, 3 martinis and a Laphroaig in, is joined by Newsweek opinion editor and author of Second Class Batya Ungar-Sargon, and Free Press reporter and host of The Re-Education podcast Eli Lake. The three have gathered to refute Jonathan Glazer’s Jewishness being worth hijacking by anyone. In proper Talmudic engagement, Batya spits fire, Eli plays devil's advocate, and Adaam speaks up for the grammar Nazis. Be warned, this may be our most petty, potted, parochial, and problematic episode yet.
    Check out our ‘Inscrutable’ blog and ‘Uncertainty’ newsletter for thoughts and rants. To support us and gain access to exclusive content, consider becoming a paid member of Uncertain on Substack. Follow @UncertainPod on your social media of choice.


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

    • 49 min
    What the Left Gets Wrong About Black History (w/ Charles Love & Wilfred Reilly)

    What the Left Gets Wrong About Black History (w/ Charles Love & Wilfred Reilly)

    Authors and co-hosts of the Cut the Bull podcast, Charles Love (Race Crazy) and Wilfred Reilly (Taboo, Hate Crime Hoax) join us for a lively conversation/debate about race, history, and K-12 education — and Vanessa gets put in the hot seat. Questions covered include: Should Black history be separate from American history? Are we over-indexing on sex and gender in the classroom? Is social media an “environmental toxin” — or just another misdirection from the left? And, of course, what are the biggest blindspots on the left and the right?  
    -Where we’ve been [0:00-4:47]
    -Eric Adams, “environmental toxins,” and the Left [4:48-10:43] 
    -1619 and documenting history [10:44-30:54] 
    -Black history vs. American history [30:55-42:43] 
    -Sex and gender in the classroom [42:44-59:29] 
    -Diagnosing the misdirection [59:30-1:03:36] 
    -The failings of integration [1:03:37-1:09:20] 
    -How to fix education [1:09:50-1:13:18] 
    -Blindspots on the Left and the Right [1:13:19-1:18:39]
    Check out our ‘Inscrutable’ blog and ‘Uncertainty’ newsletter for thoughts and rants. To support us and gain access to exclusive content, consider becoming a paid member of Uncertain on Substack. Follow @UncertainPod on your social media of choice.


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

    • 1 hr 18 min
    Zionism and the Refugee Machine (w/ Dr. Einat Wilf)

    Zionism and the Refugee Machine (w/ Dr. Einat Wilf)

    Dr. Einat Wilf is an Israeli writer, speaker, former (and future?) politician, podcaster (We Should All be Zionisists), and co-author of The War of Return. In this episode, we dive into some historical context for the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Vanessa asking all the ignorant questions you were too afraid to ask: What/who was there in Israel before 1948? Was displacement a part of the Zionist vision? Why did displacement happen? Then we pivot to the subject of Dr. Wilf’s book: The right of return, and the fundamental reason why peace, until this day, has been impossible. We conclude with a deep dive into UNRWA — the UN agency responsible for Palestinian refugees — and explain the role it’s played in perpetuating the conflict, to this day. 
    On the agenda: 
    -Zionism’s Parents and the Land of Israel [3:22-11:33]
    -The Disappointment of Emancipation/The Possibility of Self-Determination [11:34-21:21]
    -On Sovereignty and Displacement [21:22-53:29]
    -The Refugee Question [53:30-1:02:37]
    -UNRWA & Palestinian Identity [1:02:38-1:33:58]
    -Where do we go from here? [1:33:59-1:42:30]
    Check out our ‘Inscrutable’ blog and ‘Uncertainty’ newsletter for thoughts and rants. To support us and gain access to exclusive content, consider becoming a paid member of Uncertain on Substack. Follow @UncertainPod on your social media of choice.


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

    • 1 hr 40 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
160 Ratings

160 Ratings

M. Caravaggio ,

Unique, on point, intellectually honest

A refreshingly sincere inquiry into important topics, with a good dash of much-needed courage to explore controversial topics without pandering to any particular crowd. Highly recommend, keep up the good work Uncertain Things!

Addaloria ,

I wanted to like it

Sounded promising, unfortunately just screeching sound bites and name calling. The world already provides this type of discourse at every turn. I desire and crave more substance.

MustBTrouble ,

“The Left Hates Jews”

Yall good ?

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