24 Episodes Refresh
May 19, 2020
The NewsMay 19, 2020
I’ve always had a problematic relationship to the news, and I’ve struggled to navigate that even more since this pandemic began. I talk to my father about the night I yelled at him over his insufficient fear of the virus, and I look back on a 1954 essay by E.B. White about the disparity between his experience of a hurricane and the coverage he hears of that hurricane on the radio. Subscribe (or write a...
Apr 28, 2020
ContagionApril 28, 2020
Like most people, I imagine, I've been having a lot of anxious thoughts these days. And I’ve been wishing I could get those thoughts out of my head. Then I remembered that I used to have a podcast called Anxious Machine. So here’s my first episode in three years, part of a planned, ongoing audio journal. This episode starts with some thoughts about how this virus first entered my consciousness, how it felt to watch the movie Contagion with my daughter, and trying to stay...
Nov 08, 2018
New Show AnnouncementNovember 08, 2018
I'm announcing a whole new podcast, and giving you a listen to the first episode. The podcast is called Before It Had a Theme, and on it, Britta Greene an I discuss and deconstruct old episodes of This American Life. On this episode, we discuss the very first episode of that show, as well as why the show is worth discussing, how we and others became fans of the show, and why we love Ira Glass’s mother. Clips from following were used in this episode: ...
May 11, 2016
If You Could Do Anything?May 11, 2016
Sometimes in your life, you reach a crossroads, go on a men’s weekend, spend too much time alone in the forest, have a mid-life crisis, and start thinking you can change the world with your podcast. This episode is about that happening to me. Part one of a three-part series. Support Anxious Machine on Patreon Subscribe (or write a...
Sep 28, 2015
Pay Attention All the TimeSeptember 28, 2015
Parents of young children have an especially fraught relationship with their smartphones. On the one hand, these devices are indispensable tools for getting things done and staying connected to the adult world while in the midst of childcare. On the other hand, the culture is constantly telling parents, and particularly mothers, that they’re too distracted by these devices, that smartphones are stealing precious attention away from our kids. But the idea that parents should...
Sep 14, 2015
Do You Feel More Like Gods?September 14, 2015
This past week, my kids went back to school. Summer vacation has come and gone. And that’s gotten me thinking about the very idea of summer vacation because every summer, for the past several years, my wife, her sisters and our families have had this tradition of going to a cabin for a few days to get out of the city. We don’t own a cabin. We have to rent one. And this year, the process of finding it, looking at pictures of all the possible cabins on all the possible lakes, made me wonder...
Aug 31, 2015
Bringing Wes HomeAugust 31, 2015
Since the wide-spread adoption of embalming in the United States, most Americans have turned the process of handling the deceased over to experts in the undertaking business. On this episode, the story of one family who decided that they wanted to be the ones to wash and prepare the body of the son and brother they’d lost. This episode was previously aired on the podcast Neighbors, one of the podcasts in ...
Aug 17, 2015
A Horrible ExperienceAugust 17, 2015
My older brother Scott lives almost completely outside the network of modern life: he has no internet, no email address, no cable TV or satellite, not even an antenna for his television. Until recently, he didn’t even have a bank account or a telephone. In this episode, I try to get to the bottom of why he hates computers, and especially the internet, even though the internet helped him solve a question he’s had since the day he was born. ...
Aug 03, 2015
Teleportation DeviceAugust 03, 2015
Humans have been reading for thousands of years, but ever since the invention of television, people have been worried that reading is in decline. The latest worry is that, even if the Internet has caused an uptick in the quantity of our reading, we're reading on screens instead of paper, and this seems to degrade the quality of our reading. On this episode, technology writer Clive Thompson talks about the history of reading as a technology, why we’re worried about...
Jul 19, 2015
These Things Is MiraclesJuly 19, 2015
When she was growing up, Adrienne didn’t want to believe she was losing her hearing, and she didn’t want to wear hearing aids. This is the story of how she decided to embrace the technology that restored her hearing, and what happened when she did. Support Anxious Machine on Patreon Subscribe (or write a review) in iTunes Patrons:...