Logo for Benjamen Walker's Theory of Everything

Benjamen Walker's Theory of Everything

Benjamen Walker & Radiotopia

Personally connecting the dots. All of them. Benjamen Walker's Theory of Everything is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Learn more at radiotopia.fm.

Copyright © 2017. All rights reserved.

Personally connecting the dots. All of them. Benjamen Walker's Theory of Everything is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Learn more at radiotopia.fm.

Copyright © 2017. All rights reserved.
104hr 48min
Thumbnail for "Not All Propaganda is Art 2: Outsider Influence".
In 1956, New Yorker writer Dwight Macdonald joined Encounter, a magazine secretly backed by American and British security agencies. He arrived in London just as British Influencers turned a young Existentialist named Colin Wilson into England's answer to Jean-Paul Sartre. Meanwhile, the CIA incited a youth rebellion in communist Hungary. We investigate the covert propaganda behind Operation Free Youth Action and Operation Anti-Sartre and the Outsider’s influence on Macdonald’s famous critique of Mass and Middlebrow Culture.
Thumbnail for "The Imperial History of the CIA with Hugh Wilford".
Thumbnail for "Not All Propaganda is Art 9: Freedom or Death".
Thumbnail for "Not All Propaganda is Art 8: Signature Acoustique".
]Richard Wright died from a mysterious illness on November 28th, 1960. Or was he murdered? Tune in for a new listen to the final chapter of Richard Wright’s life: forged letters, fake terrorist groups, fraudulent doctors and French Radio.
Thumbnail for "Not All Propaganda is Art 7: Manufacturing Dissent".
In 1959, Anti-Americanism surged in the UK. England seethed over America’s treatment of its Prime Minister who was smacked down for daring to use diplomacy to resolve the crisis over divided Germany. In 1959 England also fretted over a new American export: the Beatnik. The British foreign office forcefully responded with a report advocating for “ an increased effort in the field of press, radio and television in the U.K. to say the right kind of things about the Americans.” This is the very moment Kenneth Tynan was commissioned to make a documentary for British Television about American Non-conformism and Dissent. We take a close look at one of the Cold War's most bizarre and inspired artifacts of Anti Anti-American propaganda.
Thumbnail for "Not All Propaganda is Art 6: The Kitsch Debate".
In the summer of 1959, Nixon and Khrushchev argued over a washing machine in a backstage kitchen in Moscow, while American Cold War intellectuals gathered in the Poconos to defend Kitsch
Thumbnail for "Not All Propaganda is Art 5: The Play's the Thing".
In the fall of 1958, Kenneth Tynan moved from London to New York and upon arrival, clashed with Hollywood mogul Samuel Goldwyn over socially engaged art and the politics of apolitical culture on live TV. At the same moment New Yorker writer Dwight Macdonald went West to report on “New” Hollywood's ambitions to create commercially and artistically successful films. We also meet two of Professor Macdonald’s former students from a Mass Culture course he taught at Bard College in 1958. Meanwhile in France, Richard Wright suffers a number of disturbing attacks, prompting him to channel his frustrations into a revealing radio play.
Thumbnail for "Not All Propaganda is Art 4: Propagande Noire".
In 1956, Richard Wright spoke of islands of free men at the first Congress of Black Writers and Artists in Paris. James Baldwin critiqued the event for Encounter, the CIA’s propaganda magazine. We take a close listen to the original recordings. 
Thumbnail for "Not All Propaganda is Art 3: The Man Who Was Thursday's Children".
In 1956 London Theater critic Kenneth Tynan helped launch a youth movement committed to exposing social and political issues on stage, on screen and in literature. We take a close look at the operators and opportunists behind England’s Angry Young Men.
Thumbnail for "Not All Propaganda is Art 1: Operation Younger Brother".
In the 1950s the CIA weaponized culture to capture hearts and minds in Europe and Africa. We meet three writers (Richard Wright, Kenneth Tynan, and Dwight MaCdonald) who got caught up in this battle both as collaborators and targets between the years of 1956 - 1960. We also meet a propagandist responsible for the CIA’s cinematic version of 1984 (Operation Big Brother) and “books that don’t smack of propaganda” aimed at European Intellectuals - including James Baldwin’s Notes of a Native Son.
Thumbnail for "Not All Propaganda is Art BONUS CONTENT TRAILER: Propaganda Notes and Sources".
Not All Propaganda is Art BONUS CONTENT TRAILER: Propaganda Notes and Sources
Thumbnail for "Wrong Way with Joanne McNeil".
One of my favorite Technology critics has just published a novel about Self Driving cars (or fake self driving cars) We talk about her new book, and the hidden human worker nestled in our technological revolution. I can’t recommend Wrong Way enough!
Thumbnail for "The Hank Show (when computers are right)".
Today we live inside data systems that contain, surveil, and judge us. In his new book, the Hank Show, author and journalist McKenzie Funk provides us with a totally unique origin story of our world: A guy named Hank Asher. We talk with McKenzie Funk about the  former Florida conto painter, drug-running pilot, alleged CIA asset, and  pioneering computer programmer known as the father of data fusion. McKenzie Funk has written many stories about the dangers of computer systems that can get us wrong, but the story of Hank Asher has turned him on to a danger even more alarming. What chance do we have when the computers know everything about us?
Thumbnail for "Too good to be true remix".
Too good to be true remix
Thumbnail for "Second time as forced (500daysplus)".
Citizens armed only with Molotov cocktails battle with Russian tanks on the streets of… Budapest.  In November of 1956 Russian troops invaded Hungary. The revolution was crushed and thousands of Hungarians fled. Will history repeat itself? We talk with Réka Pigniczky about her memory project, a film series dedicated to the Hungarian revolution. Also: Branko Marcetic compares America’s response to the events of 1956 with our current posturing over the Russian invasion of Ukraine. ps. Your host will be visiting Hungary this August to report on 1956 for our upcoming 8 part mini series, get in touch if you have any Budapest tips
Thumbnail for "Outsider Studies: Connie Converse".
The life of musician Connie Converse easily reduces down to one of those Hemingway length sad stories: Before Dylan there was Connie Converse and then she disappeared.  In his new book “To Anyone Who Ever Asks: The Life, Music, and Mystery of Connie Converse” Howard Fishman gives us the complete tale. We meet up with Howard to talk about this incredible musician who just couldn’t catch a break in 1950s New York City and his devotion to Connie’s life and art. 
Thumbnail for "How to look at America".
We hear from two photographers who are masters at showing us what is hard to see, and always has been hard to see, in America.
Thumbnail for "Venice (Ukraine redux)".
The war/invasion/fighting is still going. We revisit our program on NFTs, art and war. Your host visits the 59th International Art Biennale in Venice, the world’s most important art fair and the first since the global pandemic. Plus Digital Ukranians, Sound Art, and NFTs.
Thumbnail for "Reality is that which, when you stop laughing at it, doesn't go away (false alarm Elon Musk 4202023 remix) ".
One of the episodes in my False Alarm! Series from 2018 imagined a future where Elon Musk stepped up to help with the News. That Algorithmic Oligarchic joke is no longer funny. On 4.20.2023 Elon Musk followed through on his threat and brought Twitter to heel.
Thumbnail for "False Alarm! (Stormy Daniels 2023 Appreciation remix)".
Back in 2018 your host met Stormy Daniels as part of his 15 part investigation into America’s disinformation complex. You can find those episodes here. On this historic day, as we learn that no American is truly above the law we turn back to this historic TOE moment, a remix of episode two, featuring a profile of the artist Lynn Hershman Leeson, a conversation with writer Susan Jacoby and a meeting with Stormy Daniels!
Thumbnail for "How to tell the truth about lies (complete)".
A remixed complete version of our two part Watergate series from last year:  Journalists may write the first draft of history but Hollywood prints the legends and the myths. The 1976 film All the President’s Men remains our most authoritative account of Watergate. The film is also responsible for the myth of Deep Throat. Your host follows the myth… from 1976 to the present.  Plus a reporter from the Washington Post newsroom who never made it into All the President’s Men yet did more to safeguard the free press and American democracy than Woodstein ever did.
Thumbnail for "Lives of the Wives ".
Some books have titles that jump out right out at you, Carmela Ciuraru’s new group biography Lives of the Wives is definitely one of those books. She tells us about her five wives and the hazards of literary relationships.
Thumbnail for "Listening to Noise".
Listening to Noise
Thumbnail for "American Histories".
One of our heroes Barbara Ehrenreich passed away earlier this year. She was one of America’s best undercover journalists. We once spoke with her about her book Bright Sided, her journey into the heart of American darkness:  the  positive thinking industry. Also we hear from an ex clan member who reveals the secret of the twinkling cross. Plus your host wonders “what would the founders do”
Thumbnail for "Not going back to normal  (a conversation with Jeremiah Moss author of Feral City)".
Jeremiah Moss’s Feral City is much much more than a covid memoir. In many ways it is a continuation of his desire to understand how and why New York city has changed, and if there is still a place for outsiders or if it now belongs to what he calls “the new people.” We walked around our Neighborhood together to talk about what the city was like during covid time and what the phrase “go back to normal” really means.
Thumbnail for "Transformers remix".
Yvette Gonzales tells us a first person story about what its like to be transgender in Prison. Gender theorist B. Preciado tells us about what happens when a person takes testosterone without the intention of transitioning from one gender to another. Plus, Jim Elledge tells us about his  biography of Outsider Artist Henry Darger, and why he drew little girls with penises.
Thumbnail for "Risky Business: Hollywood and Israel".
In their new book Hollywood and Israel, film scholars Tony Shaw and Giora Goodman take us behind and beyond the screen to show how the world’s entertainment capital is an important player in international affairs and how profits always trump propaganda.
Thumbnail for "Performance Peace (reprise)".
George Bush celebrates the anniversary of 911 with some new ‘dark’ paintings. Your host marks the occasion with some high stakes performance art. Plus un-learned art lessons from the $150,000 banana.
Thumbnail for "Trouble and Travel with James Campbell".
Growing up in Glasgow in the 1960s James Campbell got into loads of trouble. At the age of 15 he left school and started work at a printing factory. But then he discovered the magic of the road and the wonderful world of “away” We talke with the author about his new memoir, “Just go down to the road”
Thumbnail for "The longest Shortest Flight of Rudolf Hess (remix)".
The longest Shortest Flight of Rudolf Hess
Thumbnail for "revisiting Dark Karma".
“G.S.” was one of the first friends I made when I moved to Bozeman, Montana many years ago. The story he told me about how bad karma brought him from Devon, England to the C.U.T. bomb shelters in Gardiner, Montana still haunts me.
Thumbnail for "Covid after Covid".
One million plus dead Americans into the pandemic and the ‘long covid’ odds are now 1 in 5. What happened? How did we end up here? And more importantly, how does one win the covid lottery? Our two favorite stories from our ‘NYC after covid’ mini series from last year.
Thumbnail for "Venice".
Does art have anything to offer us in these trying times? Your host visits the 59th International Art Biennale in Venice, the world’s most important art fair and the first since the Global pandemic. Plus Digital Ukranians, Sound Art, and NFT parties.
Thumbnail for "Where does real art come from? (three fakes) ".
Hitler and Goebbels read Walter Benjamin in the bunker, Orson Wells discovers the magic of the fake crowd. Plus, a profile of artist Lynn Hershman Leeson.
Thumbnail for "Even More Broken Windows".
Even More Broken Windows
Thumbnail for "How to tell the truth about lies (part ii of ii)".
We conclude our investigation into Hollywood’s retelling of the secret crimes, conspiracies and lies that rocked America in the first half of the 1970s. Plus a reporter from the Washington Post newsroom who never made it into All the President’s Men yet did more to safeguard the free press and American democracy than Woodstein ever did.
Thumbnail for "Making Trouble, Asking Questions".
This episode is both an extra for our How to tell the truth about lies miniseries and the official TOE contribution to the 2022 Radiotopia fundraiser.
Thumbnail for "How to tell the truth about lies (part i of ii)".
Journalists may write the first draft of history but Hollywood prints the legends and the myths.
Thumbnail for "Nightvision".
After testing positive in Lisbon, your host assesses Portugal's expat and exile scenes.  Plus! lunch with the writer Joseph Roth at a hotel on the waterfront.
Thumbnail for "Art vs Commerce (Iron and Lies remix)".
*** New ToE series debuting next week about truth, lies, American democracy and the 50 year legacy of deepthroat and trouble-making investigative journalists*** But first a look back to a road trip I took to the American heartland in Wisconsin a few yerars back. We visit the house on the Rock and the forevertron. Even though Alex Jordan’s tourist attraction is one of the most visionary unique places in the world you still won’t find it on any of the official Wisconsin art environment maps. This never bothered the guy who put it together  Alex Jordan Jr, in fact the whole place was built on the idea of sticking it to the official arbiters of culture, plus it pulls in millions of dollars a year in admissions fees! Plus the Forevertron, a place built on the idea of escape from pain, suffering, and failure.
Thumbnail for "Herdest Immunity (New York after Rona part v of v)".
Our New York after Rona miniseries comes to an end just in time for the latest Variant. The WHO turns to podcasts for a new endless stream of naming possibilities. Plus a ToE favorite playwright returns with a new musical production of Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery.
Thumbnail for "Émigration Intérieure (remix)".
As the Nazi nightmare came to an end Thomas Mann thought long and hard about collective guilt. Can Mann’s idea help America in 2021 or do we need a new theory of collective shame.
Thumbnail for "Afterschool Special (New York After Rona (part iv)".
Afterschool Special (New York After Rona (part iv)
Thumbnail for "Below and Beyond (New York After Rona (part iii)".
Below and Beyond (New York After Rona (part iii)
Thumbnail for "Faraway, So Close (New York after Rona part ii)".
March 2020, writer Craig Taylor believed he was finally done with his 11 year oral history project featuring the voices of people who live and work in New York City. He wasn’t. His new book New Yorkers provides us with a number of first person accounts of the Covid19 crisis and primes us to think about what’s next for the City. Plus: photographer Renate Aller on the social distancing pictures she took on the street outside her soho loft during the worst of the crisis.
Thumbnail for "That was Real (New York After Rona part i)".
Debut of new ToE miniseries on life in the postpandemic city
Thumbnail for "Charlie Brown's America".
Cartoonist Charles Schulz  wrote and drew Peanuts every day for half a century. In his new book Charlie Brown's America, Historian Blake Scott Ball uses the strip (and the fan mail archive at the Schulz museum) to illuminate the Wishy-Washy politics of Cold War America.
Thumbnail for "International Coffee (remix)".
Your host follows a great cup of coffee from Paris, to Copenhagen and Kenya
Thumbnail for "Louis Menand and the Cold War".
Your host talks with Louis Menand about his new book “The Free World, Art and Thought in the Cold War”
Thumbnail for "The Return".
Your host escapes the island, and returns to New York. Plus writer Tim Kreider on Vaccine side effects.
Thumbnail for "Stages on Life’s Way (r)".
A few years ago your host took a pilgrimage to Copenhagen to walk the streets the great Dane Søren Kierkegaard once walked. He wanted to understand  the meaning of Kierkegaard’s religious stage so he decided to ask the experts at the Kierkegaard research center. Also Photographer Dina Litovksy tells us about the history and some of the secrets of the modern bachelorette party. And Michael Holmes tells us about life’s final stage – death.
Thumbnail for "UTOPIA: the Callaway Cut".
Permaculture! Anarchy! Pagan Sex Dungeons! ToE's Andrew Callaway revisits his 2017 tour of intentional communities for our three part Utopia Series. We are calling this one UTOPIA: The Callaway Cut
Thumbnail for "Withdrawal".
After one year of island confinement, your host joins Alamofort - a clubhouse alternative, and discovers a new community in the #covid1984 room. Plus the true meaning of the Island of the Blue Dolphins.
Thumbnail for "Convolution".
This year your host wrote an original crime thriller for Audible Originals. Listen to the first chapter here and now.
Thumbnail for "Only the lonely (toe remix)".
A couple of years ago.. Long before I even knew what a coronavirus was I produced one of my favorite episodes ever.. About loneliness.  So many of us are now dealing with the long term effects of loneliness. And these long term effects are not going to just go away when we emerge from this crisis and our bunkers. I’ve got a lot to say about that in an upcoming episode called Withdrawal. But first, let’s revisit When you are lonely, life is very long.
Thumbnail for "Émigration Intérieure".
As the Trump years finally come to an end, your host contemplates collective guilt and shame.
Thumbnail for "Exile on Pain Street".
Six months later and still in France your host tries to make sense of his situation: Refugee? Exile? Retiree? Plus a conversation about the writing life with novelist Todd London whose new book was published just as the Coronavirus shut the world down.
Thumbnail for "Going Karura (r)".
My good friend Sean Cole guest hosted TAL this week and we spoke about my trip to Kenya for Going Karura so I am going to post the original again to the feed for the folks who may find their way here.
Thumbnail for "Man Without A Country (2020 remix)".
Curse the USA and America will strike you up. That’s what happened to the Man Without a Country. They stuffed him in a hot air balloon and sentenced him to ride sea to shining sea for the rest of his days. I made my own version of Edward Everett Hale’s classic tale back in the early aughts. It was one of the first long form audio fiction pieces I ever wrote. Sadly, like many items in the ToE vaults the relevance is increasing with age. Here is a condensed remix for your summer 2020 travels, whether it's a trip across the country or a back and forth from the kitchen to the bedroom.
Thumbnail for "New Statues".
As statues of slaveholders and Confederate War losers come down, we imagine what could go up in their stead, revisiting a conversation with artist and rememorialization expert Chris Vargas. And since the Trump administration has banned any official raising of the rainbow flag to commemorate Pride month we revisit our audio memorial to the artist Henry Darger.
Thumbnail for "Herd Immunity (Social Distance Learning part v of v)".
As the island (and the world reopens) your host tries his best to join the celebrations, Dr. Lauren Powell explains the risks of protesting during a pandemic and ToE’s special correspondent Chris brings us inside the COVID19 task force!
Thumbnail for "Making The Best Of It (Social Distance Learning part iv)".
As the weeks turn into months, one man decides to learn how to cook for himself even though he can no longer taste or smell. ToE’s Andrew Callaway decides its time to get in shape, and your host and Arthaud try to figure out Computer school.
Thumbnail for "Lurking (a conversation with Joanne McNeil) ".
Just before the coronavirus upended our lives I recorded a conversation with writer Joanne Mcneil about her new book Lurking, a book about the internet. Its actually one of my now favorite books ever written about the internet. I had the show all ready to go for the week of March 15th and then… well everything changed, even our dependence on the internet. Joanne Mcneil’s book feels even more relevant now.
Thumbnail for "Countryside (Social Distance Learning part iii)".
Urbanites are fleeing cities for beach communities and small country towns! Tensions are spreading faster than the Coronavirus. Your host turns to the last exhibition he saw in New York (Countryside the Future! from Rem Koolhaas) and the first film he watched on the island (Michael Haneke’s Time of the Wolf) for answers. Plus a beach to beach chat with Helen and Martin from the Allusionist!
Thumbnail for "14 days later (Social Distance Learning part ii)".
Your host keeps a diary for his first 14 days of Coronavirus confinement. Special appearances from the family, Andrew Callaway, and a old ToE standby!
Thumbnail for "Escape From New York (Social Distance Learning part i)".
Coronavirus Evacuation! Your host decamps New York for an island in France and ToE’s Andrew Callaway flies home to San Francisco to look after mom. Is this the end? No, it is the beginning of a new Theory of Everything series: Social Distance Learning.
Thumbnail for "The longest shortest flight of Rudolf Hess".
On May 10th 1941 Rudolf Hess flew from Germany to Scotland. He hoped to bring the Nazis and the British together. He failed. But the details behind his flight remain one of the greatest mysteries of World War II. Historians and Amateur scholars have spent decades trying to unravel this mystery. On this episode we look into one of the strangest theories of them all.
Thumbnail for "The Cultural Marxism Industry (Russia Hospital 2020 Update)".
Jordan Peterson’s daughter took to YouTube to announce that her father, Jordan Peterson (one of the subjects of our 2019 Failure Maxiseries) is convalescing in a Russian Hospital. We check out her video and return to Martin Jay and his attempts to debunk the Cultural Marxism conspiracy theory.
Thumbnail for "Desert Lies".
Benjamen Walker the podcaster sometimes receives emails meant for Benjamin Walker the actor. A few weeks ago your host received an email inviting Benjamen Walker to Saudi Arabia
Thumbnail for "The Great Divide".
Man on the street divides couple in a car. Your host is triggered by a flag pole and writer Chris Arnade explains why America is so polarized. PLUS Joseph Roth on the difference between great and mediocre talents.
Thumbnail for "ToE 2019 Radiotopia Fundraiser Spectacular!".
Every Radiotopia podcast created a special episode for the 2019 Fundraiser. Many of these gems focus on the idea of a dream show as in what would your dream show be? well I am already making my dream show and that is thanks to you dear listener.  Yes, sometimes there are sponsors but the majority of the support for this podcast comes from listeners who donate to the Radiotopia annual fundraiser. In fact it is thanks to you that I have the freedom to say no to particular brands and products who would like to connect with you. So for our special episode we dive into the rejected sponsor pile - hear the best of the worst! ** Make your mark. Go to radiotopia.fm to donate today.
Thumbnail for "Guided By Voices (r)".
Daniel Heller-Roazen tells us the story of Pythagoras and the fifth hammer and how Kant and Kepler both tried (and failed) to record the universal harmonies Pythagoras once heard. Your host sets out to make some money doing experimental medical testing, and gets the chance to record the voice in his head
Thumbnail for "Deep State Revisited".
On this episode we dig down into the substratum of the ToE archive to better understand the true meaning of the Deep State.
Thumbnail for "Going Karura".
While reporting in Nairobi, Kenya a group of striking Uber drivers turn your host on to a revolutionary strategy of resistance. Plus: stuck in a broken elevator!
Thumbnail for "The boy who cried wolf".
The boy who cried wolf crosses paths with the emporer with no clothes and little red riding hood. Plus Computer Pinochio
Thumbnail for "Epstein's funeral".
August 10th 2019: A million conspiracy theories are launched when Jeffrey Epstein is found dead in his jail cell. Your host wonders if this is “the big one.” Cara tells us about what it feels like to have “Epstein Brain” and ToE’s special correspondent Chris attends Epstein’s secret Coney Island funeral.
Thumbnail for "1984 (the BOOK not the year)".
your host has always wanted to talk to someone about. 1984. the book. Dorian Lynskey totally delivers.
Thumbnail for "1984 (the year not the book)".
in. conjunction with our new episode on 1984 the book... we are reupping our piece on 1984 the year
Thumbnail for "Influencers  (complete told you so version)".
A couple of years ago I wrote a story for the truth podcast, Radiotopia’s one-of-a-kind audio fiction show. Part One ran on the Truth and Part Two ran here. Now that there are actual camps I believe this story warrants another listen
Thumbnail for "YouTube's Inferno".
Youtube insists that it is not liable for the hate speech in its platform. This was also what the said about the copyrighted material back when it was a start up in 2006. We revisit YouTube’s history with Chris Stokel Walker author of the new book Youtubers. Plus your host takes responsibility!
Thumbnail for "Operation Three-Eyed Raven".
ToE's special correspondent Chris tells us the truth about Game of Thrones, Trump, the CIA, and the importance of stories. Chapter seven in the new ToE Failure miniseries.
Thumbnail for "Authoritarian Schizophrenia ".
Right wing populists have stormed the world wide web. They even have a beachhead in China.
Thumbnail for "The Greater Firewall".
China’s next generation surveillance technology is being used to build out the world’s internet. But China is also exporting new philosophical and business models
Thumbnail for "Bad Recommendations".
John Herrman EXPOSES the truth about YouTube’s paranoid style. ToE’s Andrew Callaway DESTROYS Jordan Peterson. (Must listen!!!)
Thumbnail for "Failure (interlude) ".
Failure has always been a key concept for your host and this week we pull two stories out of the archive. First a musical number about the loser behind Blue Suede Shoes and second a morality tale about the artist Paul Gauguin’s spectacular Paris blowout
Thumbnail for "Institutionalized".
Critic Anand Giridharadas demystifies the rise of the thought leader, artist Chris Vargas rememorializes the Stonewall riots and your host clears up where he stands on the YouTube platform. Chapter three in the new ToE Failure miniseries.
Thumbnail for "The Cultural Marxism Industry".
In the 1930's,Theodor Adorno fled Nazi Germany. In America, he studied the Authoritarian Personality. On YouTube, he’s the object of study in a massive conspiracy theory that many have tried (and failed) to debunk. Chapter two in the new ToE Failure miniseries.
Thumbnail for "The People have Spoken".
Filmmaker Astra Taylor asks "What is Democracy" and YouTube creates the most disliked video in the history of the platform. Chapter One in the new ToE Failure miniseries.
Thumbnail for "Failure (prelude)".
New ToE series begins
Thumbnail for "Bonus 2018".
Some things are extra
Thumbnail for "Victory is ours".
Mark Galeotti takes us into the Soviet Gulag to tell us the brutal history of the Bitch War, ToE's Andrew Callaway checks in on the war on smoking and P.W. Singer explains how #likewar works. Plus Sleeper Net?
Thumbnail for "Fake it till you make it (False Alarm! part xv) ".
The grand finale of False Alarm! Centuries in the making plus a message from the future!
Thumbnail for "Night Wolves (False Alarm! part xiv) ".
Russian Biker Gangs! Bikers for Trump! Is there a connection?
Thumbnail for "JK After The Fact (False Alarm! part xiii)".
What will Elon do with the news
Thumbnail for "Wolfgang (False Alarm! part xii)".
Your host travels to the heart of Hoaxer Darkness: Florida
Thumbnail for "Mistakes were made".
We’re taking a short break from False Alarm! because your host made a big big mistake. More on that when we return to False Alarm next episode… In the meantime, we raid Benjamen Walker’s audio vaults for a show about making mistakes and being wrong.      
Thumbnail for "True Lessons (False Alarm! part xi)".
  I set out on this False Alarm! journey with a quest to figure out how to better deal with this blurry line between fiction and reality. Phase Three of False Alarm! begins with a return to this question… can fiction help us see the truth?
Thumbnail for "Second time as fake (False Alarm! part x)".
The Nazis believed the secret to turning a lie into a truth was repetition, for the Spiritualists it was denial, have computers come up with something new? Phase two of our mega-mini series concludes and we return from our tour of the 1930s and 1880s.
Thumbnail for "Heavenly Truths (False Alarm! part ix)".
A postmodern prehistory of post-truth and an alternative history of the Civil War. Our exploration of the Nazi Supernatural concludes with Werewolves and Mass Suicide. Plus: another installment in our False Alarm! fairy tale,
Thumbnail for "Pseudoscience (False Alarm! part viii)".
 As the border between border science and science dissolves we continue our examination of two other time periods when science tried to account for both the real and the unreal. In the 1800’s, so much new technology was revolutionizing the world… why n...
Thumbnail for "The Power of Magical Thinking (False Alarm! part vii)".
Magic! That’s what alt-right face-punchee Richard Spencer claims brought Trump to the White House. Esoteric historian Gary Lachman investigates and discovers an unholy alliance of memes, chaos, and positive thinking. Michael Hughes,
Thumbnail for "It is happening again (False Alarm! part vi)".
Little girls who can talk to ghosts! The Nazi Supernatural! The legacy of artist Iris Häussler’s first fictional character Joseph Wagenbach. Plus America’s Greatest Lie! 2018 is not the first time truth, fiction and lies have merged together.
Thumbnail for "Real costs extra (False Alarm! part v)".
  Many of us are struggling with the real and the fake – but if you’re willing to pay enough, you don’t have to worry about it. Your host collaborates with 99% Invisible on a story about the Emeco Navy chair (the real one and the knockoffs).
Thumbnail for "The Fake in the Crowd (False Alarm! part iv)".
  The power of the fake person, multiplied! Curator Karen Patterson puts a fake outsider artist in the museum and artist David Levine puts on a museum show about the fake crowd. We hear from a 1937 radio play that featured both Orson Welles and the fir...
Thumbnail for "S-Coin (False Alarm! part iii)".
Our investigation of the real and the fake continues as your host hunts for a way to monetize it! We ask Alex Goldmark from Planet Money and Bitchcoin artist Sarah Meyohas for advice and author David Golumbia explains how bitcoin really works.
Thumbnail for "Fake Nudes (False Alarm! part ii)".
The future of face-swapping! The REAL deepfakes speaks! Artist Lynn Hershman Leeson tells us how technology has transformed the way she plays with fact and fiction. Dipayan Ghosh warns us about AI powered ad-targeting.
Thumbnail for "This Is Not A Drill (False Alarm! part i)".
Our New ToE series on the battle between the real and the fake begins with a text alert sent out to everyone in Hawaii on a balmy Saturday morning. We also hear from the man who has written the text alert that will go out to all New Yorkers in the even...
Thumbnail for "Utopia (part v)".
Our search for Utopia comes to an end at Christiania, an Anarchist haven in the heart of Copenhagen. In 2012 this Utopia went legit, the squatters become property owners. But now they must figure out how to preserve their alternative community,
Thumbnail for "Utopia (part iv)".
Our search for Utopia takes Andrew far from Mundania to the magickal Den of Iniquity in a pagan community called The Valley of The Dragons. Plus, your host takes a tour of FDR’s New Deal Utopias in search of a future that is possible.
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Donald Trump says all his ‘nuclear knowledge’ comes from his favorite uncle John G Trump. According to ToE special correspondent Chris, Uncle Johnny also gave Donald a time machine ring. Learn all about how John Trump acquired this ring (from Nikola Te...
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Artist and Filmmaker Ruth Dusseault tells us about how the internet has changed the American Commune. Plus ToE’s Andrew Callaway lets us in on an internet joke about  Socialist Dolphins. ***********Click on the image for details about this episode ****...
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Underneath a giant American Flag in a Midwest Airport Your host takes a knee in order to tie his shoe. Trouble. Big Trouble. Plus False Flag meets Dictionary.com  
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Our series continues with ToE’s Andrew Callaway reporting from an off the grid fully sustainable little piece of heaven called Earthaven. Plus Will Wilkinson on Libertopia and the limits of Ideal Theory. **********************Click on image for more li...
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A new ToE mini series on technology, society, work, art, love (the ToE basics) but this time your host dons a pair of Utopian tinted glasses, and sends Toe Producer Andrew Callaway on the road to visit Utopian communities. Plus Basic Income.
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A special Halloween week fall treat! We’re revisiting a segment from my old podcast Too Much Information. I’ve always wanted to share it here, but this thing I dreamed about in 2010 (Cthulucon, a gathering dedicated to the writings and memory of the wr...
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When ToE’s special corespondent Chris told me about Russian Gay Bashing Drones onstage during my performance in London I was certain he was once again putting me on – or this was Satire. I forgot that in 2017 anything is possible – except Satire!
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The ToE  family Wisconsin road trip wraps up with a visit to the House on the Rock. Even though Alex Jordan’s tourist attraction is one of the most visionary unique places in the world you still won’t find it on any of the official Wisconsin art enviro...
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Benjamen, Mathilde and Arthaud head off on a family trip to Wisconsin to see art environments built by immigrants out of concrete and to discover what’s going on in rural America today. Plus: making Pawn America great again!
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Rob Walker and Josh Glenn have a long history of getting writers to share stories about their objects, but when they told me the would be curating an audio collection of stories, and asked if I wanted to collaborate I said absolutely.
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Lawrence Abu Hamdan is an internationally celebrated artist who works with sound and an internationally recognized expert forensic listener. He likes to call himself a Private Ear. Your host visits Lawrence in Beirut to hear more.
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Frankie isn’t a real Media Influencer but the Government saw the 500k followers he bought for his Instagram profile back in the day and arrested him anyway. Now he’s in a Media internment camp. This is PART TWO of a special collaboration with the Truth...
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A special ToE emergency pod: Chris explains the Orb,  Andrew dives into the mystery of Twin Peaks and your host tries attempts SpaCasting.
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Direct action saved the gardens in your host’s neighborhood, activist and author L.A.  Kauffman explains why it is once again time for more good old fashioned American Radicalism. Plus ToE’s Andrew Callaway maga-ups with the Alt-right on Mayday.
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Can a Self-Droning drone start up save the Trump Presidency? Our special correspondent Chris fills us in on YouFired!
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Empty buildings, run down neighborhoods and cheap rents. This is the bait you need to attract artists, speculators and urban revitalizers. But in order to attract pioneers you also need illusion and myth. We tour the art districts of New Orleans,
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Potemkin apps, Fake ads, and the return of little pepe the frog. Your host busts out all his best deep state moves for the grand conclusion of our Surveillance miniseries. Plus Finn Brunton pitches AdNauseum and Siva Vaidhyanathan gives us a tour of th...
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We take a tour of the sprawl with Metahaven to learn about the propaganda of propaganda and we travel beyond the Facebook wall to learn the real truth about targeted advertising. Plus Project Madison Valleywood!  
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Your host examines the targeted advertising and fake news that some say put Donald Trump in the White House. Plus: the colonial history of Biometric Surveillance. Thanks to Mira Waits, Ethan Zuckerman and Hannes Grassegger
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A spy novel from the 80’s gives Donald Trump and his Russian friends some ideas. PLUS your host inspires the youth with cowardice.
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The FBI builds more surveillance traps that don’t work, and your host shares a few of his earliest adventures in surveillance.  
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Our Surveillance miniseries continues with a special holiday episode. Your host visits both the glass room ( a fake pop up store) and the Google pop up store (a real pop up store).  
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Your host discovers you can’t beat the Russians at the fake game and ToE’s Chris reviews Oliver Stone’s Edward Snowden. Plus: Vladislav Surkov and the Potemkin Panopticon.  
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Donald Trump promises women he will make Surveillance great again. Plus Digital Security Training!
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Your host tries his hand at targeted advertising and he dooms his child to a life of exclusion with the simple gift of a stuffed frog. Plus the truth about Facial Recognition.
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Your host decides to follow back a Joy Division T-shirt that is following him around the internet. Plus the surveillance that powers behaviorally targeted personalized advertising.
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Our new miniseries on Surveillance begins with your host tripping over the corpse of Jeremy Bentham, the man who gave us the Panopticon.
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Writer Dan Fox wants to reclaim the word pretentious. Take it back from those who use it like a stick to beat down the curious and the adventurous.
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As the 2016 American presidential election heads into the final round – we are featuring a story your host stumbled upon during the last election in October of 2102. Radio producer Silvain Gire tells us about an impossible encounter between Mitt Romney...
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Your host dreams the future of Self Driving Cars.
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The secret history of ISIS from ToE’s special corespondent Chris. PLUS Donald Trump is ready for sacrifice.
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Your host opens his file of near misses and close calls. Joe Mazur examines the math and myth behind the stories we call coincidences.  Plus a grasp at the law of truly large numbers.
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Your host wanders London just before and after Britain’s historic vote to leave the European Union.
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Part two of your host’s craft beer drinking adventure. As the battle over shelf space intensifies we meet a couple of brewers who are doing things differently?
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Your host sets out to better understand America’s craft beer scene. The latest food trend? Or oppositional culture?  And can it survive the attention from Megabrew? image: http://www.beercapmaps.com  
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Your host explores the transition from UFO to Drone on stage as part of Radiotopia Live! and pinpoints the date he crossed his own personal digital divide (Feb 21st 1997). Also filmmaker Alix Lambert tells us about a group of people who are still on An...
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A look at the most revolutionary media format that has ever existed and a trip back to 1968 when video became real. Plus Virtual reality!
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Your host has a chance encounter with the supposed inspiration for a cult TV show that predicted the future of tech and media. Plus the end of Moore’s law?
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Is Donald Trump actually a CIA asset with implants in his small hands or are our brains just wired for paranoia – or both! Rob Brotherton, author of Suspicious Minds, explains how our cognitive biases push us to see Conspiracies everywhere.
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Luc Sante takes us on a tour of “The Other Paris” Benoît Peeters shows us Paris of 22nd century and your host learns why there is so much Brooklyn in the 10th arrondissement image by Celeste Lai
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ToE instaserf Andrew Callaway gets invited to do a TED ALPHA Talk on the sharing economy.  Mary Gray (a real sharing economy expert) explains why we are anxious about the future of work and Ignacio Uriarte leaves his cubicle to make post-office art.
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Artist Gary Panter packs up and sizes down, Alix Lambert explains the new computer trap. Plus your host on Gordon Comstock (the escaper protagonist of Orwell’s novel Keep the aspidistra flying).  
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The second half of our  sly-fi story about redemption, forgiveness and torture.  Margo hopes to leave Christian America with Ali Baba ( a terrorist clone she was given as recompense for the death of her husband).
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As 2015 winds down we offer you a story about redemption, forgiveness and torture. When Margo’s husband is killed in a terrorist attack, she is given Ali Baba, a terrorist clone. This is how it works in Christian America in this piece of speculative fi...
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Now that Airbnb has proved it can beat regulation we return to the post-gentrified city. Two! new segments:  we meet a landlord (named Benny) who built an illegal artists space in Bushwick, and we visit Astor Place, the embodiment of the New New York,
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Allen Ginsberg tries his hand at Market Research,  Walter Benjamin goes on the radio and ToE’s Chris drops in on a new bar in DC called the Freedom Cock. Also visit radiotopia.fm and become a sustaining member today! image: Celeste Lai
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It turns out there are (at least) three ways to tell the secret history of podcasting: it is a story about technology, it is a story about a business model for audio, and it is also a story about the birth of a new art form.
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We take another look at algorithms. Tim Hwang explains how Uber’s algorithms generate phantom cars and marketplace mirages. And we revisit our conversation with Christian Sandvig who, last year asked Facebook users to explain how they imagine the Edger...
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Your host attempts to write a description for the Podcast. He seeks assistance from an old book, and the plot whisperer.  
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Photographer Robert Burley takes pictures of the end of analog for his book The Disappearance Of Darkness. Christine Frohnert and Christiane Paul explain why it is difficult to care for digital artworks and Social Media theorist Nathan Jurgenson wants ...
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“This is part of the sharing economy, I am sharing myself” Our instaserfs series comes to a crushing conclusion, Hear Instapoder Andrew attempt to manserve…  Plus we meet two former Uber drivers! Also this Thursday July 9th 3pm EST a live online ToE po...
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Instaserfs II: “Chipolte Strikes back” or “Seriously, in the sharing economy no one can hear you work”  Either tagline works for our second installment in our future of work series. Andrew (our ToE instapoder) continues with his task of working for as ...
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In the sharing economy no one  can hear you work. This is because companies like Uber, Lyft, Postmates and others only employ “partners” or independent contractors. So your host decided to partner with Andrew Callaway,
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Benjamen and Mathilde continue exploring the intersection between France and China over wine. In this installment they traverse China talking with winemakers, wine enthusiasts and drinkers to find out what the emerging middle class of China,
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The voice of the ToE episode announcer revealed! (her name is Mathilde)  and she joins our host for this two part series about the intersection between France and China and wine. The story of the red obsession of Wealthy Chinese has been told many time...
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In this program (which originally aired on the ABC last December) your host makes his final attempt to build the ultimate anti-social-media-social-platform. Things continue to decline: the phone in the hand becomes the phone on a stick in the hand.
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Our series concludes with an attempt to examine the suburbanized commodified inner cityscape of New York. Author and activist Sarah Schulman tells us about the Gentrified Mind, plus we hear from one of the first Airbnbers of New York.
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Our series continues with a journey from Avenue B to Bushwick: Kathy Kirkpatrick tells us about the final days of her Life Cafe in the East Village and essayist Tim Kreider tells us about his exile in Bushwick.
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The financial crisis of September 2008 overshadows one of the most important events in recent New York History: the arrival of Airbnb. And while your host wasn’t paying attention back then either, today he is fed up with the commodification of every sq...