Cover art for podcast Benjamen Walker's Theory of Everything

Benjamen Walker's Theory of Everything

181 EpisodesProduced by Benjamen Walker & RadiotopiaWebsite

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

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Too good to be true

January 11th, 2023


Two very different tales about making stuff up about the CIA. Your host shares the story of Sylvia Press, who in the 1950s, wrote a revenge novel after she was fired during the McCarthy purges. And author Jefferson …

Listening to Noise

December 20th, 2022


As decibel levels continue to rise, threatening human existence we turn to two listening experts for help. George Prochnik and George Foy both …

American Histories

November 29th, 2022


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 …

Not going back to normal (a conversation with Jeremiah Moss author of Feral City)

November 15th, 2022


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 …

Transformers remix

October 18th, 2022


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 …

Risky Business: Hollywood and Israel

September 28th, 2022


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 …

Performance Peace (reprise)

September 12th, 2022


911 final 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.

Trouble and Travel with James Campbell

August 30th, 2022


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. …

Second time as forced

August 9th, 2022


Citizens armed only with Molotov cocktails battle with Russian tanks on the streets of… Budapest.  In November of 1956 Russian troops invaded …

The longest Shortest Flight of Rudolf Hess (remix)

July 20th, 2022


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 …

revisiting Dark Karma

June 14th, 2022


“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 …

Covid after Covid

May 25th, 2022


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 …


May 12th, 2022


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 …

Where does real art come from? (three fakes)

April 12th, 2022


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.

Even More Broken Windows

March 29th, 2022


New York’s new mayor recently announced a new strategy to fight crime. As the New York Daily News proclaims: BROKEN WINDOWS is back!  In this ToE we …

How to tell the truth about lies (part ii of ii)

March 10th, 2022


We conclude our investigation into Hollywood’s retelling of the secret crimes, conspiracies and lies that rocked America in the first half of the …

Making Trouble, Asking Questions

February 22nd, 2022


When he was 16 your host mistook the Hollywood movie The Manchurian Candidate for real life. This confusion led to decades of trouble. This episode …

How to tell the truth about lies (part i of ii)

February 15th, 2022


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 …


January 31st, 2022


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.

Art vs Commerce (Iron and Lies remix)

January 18th, 2022


*** 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 …

Herdest Immunity (New York after Rona part v of v)

December 15th, 2021


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 …

Émigration Intérieure (remix)

November 30th, 2021


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 …

Afterschool Special (New York After Rona (part iv)

November 16th, 2021


New York Schools were closed for most of the pandemic. Education reporter Anya Kamenetz explains why she calls it a stolen year. Plus we meet up …

Below and Beyond (New York After Rona (part iii)

October 27th, 2021


We visit an empty storefront in Greenwich Village to talk with journalist and curator Alex Brook Lynn about her latest immersive multimedia …

Faraway, So Close (New York after Rona part ii)

October 7th, 2021


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 incredible new book New Yorkers

That was Real (New York After Rona part i)

September 28th, 2021


We kick off our new ToE miniseries with a radical rethink on surveillance and the post pandemic city with theorist and writer Benjamin Bratton. His new book Revenge of the Real, both chronicles what went wrong during …

Charlie Brown's America

July 23rd, 2021


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 …

International Coffee (remix)

June 23rd, 2021


Now that international travel is becoming more and more a realistic possibility, I find myself dreaming and scheming about new journeys for the podcast. This episode is an audio travelogue of the last journey I was able …

Louis Menand and the Cold War

June 10th, 2021


Your host talks with Louis Menand about his new book “The Free World, Art and Thought in the Cold War”

Radiotopia is a network of creators who are …

The Return

May 26th, 2021


Your host escapes the island, and returns to New York. Plus writer Tim Kreider on Vaccine side effects.

Radiotopia is a network of creators who are …

Stages on Life’s Way (r)

April 13th, 2021


Back in the day, 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 …

UTOPIA: the Callaway Cut

March 24th, 2021


Permaculture! Anarchy! Pagan Sex Dungeons!

ToE's Andrew Callaway revisits his 2017 tour of intentional communities for our five part Utopia Series. …


March 11th, 2021


After one year of island confinement, your host joins AlamoFort -  a clubhouse alternative, and discovers a new community in the #covid1984 room. …


February 16th, 2021


This year your host wrote an original crime thriller for Audible Originals. Listen to the first chapter here, then go to search for

Only the lonely (toe remix)

February 2nd, 2021


A couple of years ago.. Long before I even knew what a coronavirus was I produced one of my favorite episodes ever.. On loneliness.

So many of us are now dealing with the long term effects of loneliness. And these long …

Émigration Intérieure

January 19th, 2021


As the Trump years finally come to an end, your host contemplates collective guilt and shame.

Exile on Pain Street

October 6th, 2020


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 …

Going Karura (r)

August 9th, 2020


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 …

Man Without A Country (2020 remix)

July 8th, 2020


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 …

New Statues

June 23rd, 2020


As statues of slaveholders and Confederate War losers come down, we imagine what could go up in their stead, revisiting a conversation with artist …

Herd Immunity (Social Distance Learning part v of v)

June 11th, 2020


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 …

Making The Best Of It (Social Distance Learning part iv)

May 22nd, 2020


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 …

Lurking (a conversation with Joanne McNeil)

May 6th, 2020


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 …

Countryside (Social Distance Learning part iii)

April 17th, 2020


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 …

14 days later (Social Distance Learning part ii)

April 1st, 2020


Your host keeps a diary for his first 14 days of Coronavirus confinement. Special appearances from the family, Andrew Callaway, and a old ToE …

Escape From New York (Social Distance Learning part i)

March 23rd, 2020


Coronavirus Evacuation! Your host decamps New York for a quiet isle in France and ToE’s Andrew Callaway flies home to San Francisco to look after Mom. Is this the end? No! Just the beginning of a new Theory of …

The longest shortest flight of Rudolf Hess

February 28th, 2020


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 …

The Cultural Marxism Industry (Russia Hospital 2020 Update)

February 11th, 2020


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 …

Desert Lies

January 22nd, 2020


Benjamen Walker the podcaster often receives emails meant for Benjamin Walker the actor. A few weeks ago your host received an email inviting Benjamen Walker to Saudi Arabia.

The Great Divide

December 20th, 2019


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 …

ToE 2019 Radiotopia Fundraiser Spectacular!

December 18th, 2019


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 …

Guided By Voices (r)

November 12th, 2019


 Philosopher 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 …

Deep State Revisited

October 24th, 2019


On this episode we dig down into the substratum of the ToE archive to better understand the true meaning of the Deep State.

Going Karura

October 10th, 2019


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 …

The boy who cried wolf

September 24th, 2019


The boy who cried wolf crosses paths with the Emperor with no clothes and little red riding hood. Plus Computer Pinocchio. A remix of the Fairy tales …

Epstein's funeral

September 12th, 2019


A million conspiracy theories are launched when Jeffrey Epstein is found dead in his jail cell on August 10th 2019. Your host wonders if this is “the big one.” ToE’s special correspondent Chris attends a secret Coney …

1984 (the BOOK not the year)

August 20th, 2019


Your host has always wanted to talk to someone about 1984 the book and Dorian Lynskey totally delivers. He just published The ministry of Truth a biography of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. Dorian tells us why …

1984 (the year not the book)

August 20th, 2019


In 1984 your host was twelve years old and like George Orwell’s protagonist Winston Smith, he kept a diary, for the citizens of the future. For this …

Influencers (complete told you so version)

July 22nd, 2019


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 …

YouTube's Inferno

June 19th, 2019


YouTube insists it is not liable for the hate speech in its platform. This is also what YouTube said about the copyrighted material back when it was a start up in 2006. We revisit YouTube’s history with Chris …

Operation Three-Eyed Raven

June 3rd, 2019


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.

Authoritarian Schizophrenia

May 16th, 2019


Right wing populists have stormed the world wide web. They even have a beachhead in China. Chenchen Zhang tells us about the racism and misogyny she …

The Greater Firewall

April 24th, 2019


China’s next generation surveillance technology is being used to build out the world’s internet. But China is also exporting new philosophical and …

Bad Recommendations

April 3rd, 2019


John Herrman EXPOSES the truth about YouTube’s paranoid style. ToE’s Andrew Callaway DESTROYS Jordan Peterson. (Must listen!!!)

Failure (interlude)

March 13th, 2019


Failure Flashback! Failure has always been a key concept for your host so this week we pull two stories out of the Benjamen Walker podcast archive. …


March 1st, 2019


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 …

The Cultural Marxism Industry

February 12th, 2019


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. …

The People have Spoken

January 9th, 2019


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 …

Failure (prelude)

December 25th, 2018


After Meghan Daum’s marriage falls apart she meets some new friends on YouTube. Also, reporter Paris Martineau tells us about a new game changing …

Bonus 2018

December 20th, 2018


Earlier this summer at a listener meet up in Vancouver your host learned the difference between Listeners and Fans. Find out why this distinction matters. And if you are a fan or a listener donate now to the 2018

Victory is ours

December 11th, 2018


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 …

Fake it till you make it (False Alarm! part xv)

November 28th, 2018


The grand finale of False Alarm! This one has it all, the little boy who cried wolf, your host’s AI plant, the paintings of Hilma af Klint, the …

Night Wolves (False Alarm! part xiv)

November 6th, 2018


The Night Wolves are a Russian biker gang. Their rallies and bike shows run on state TV and Putin gave members medals for their contributions to the …

JK After The Fact (False Alarm! part xiii)

October 24th, 2018


A handful of tech barons now own the news but only one can rule the fake news. A chat with the comedy team behind the CBC’s This is That satirical …

Wolfgang (False Alarm! part xii)

October 12th, 2018


The Hoaxers took over the Conspiracy Theory Championship Title from the Truthers in December of 2012 in response to the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary. Eight years later the hoaxers are everywhere, the pizzagaters, …

Mistakes were made

September 25th, 2018


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 …

True Lessons (False Alarm! part xi)

September 12th, 2018



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 …

Second time as fake (False Alarm! part x)

August 23rd, 2018


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 …

Heavenly Truths (False Alarm! part ix)

August 7th, 2018


A postmodern prehistory of post-truth and an alternative history of the Civil War. Our exploration of the Nazi Supernatural concludes with Werewolves …

Pseudoscience (False Alarm! part viii)

July 24th, 2018


 As the border between border science and science dissolves we continue our examination of two other time periods when science tried to account for …

The Power of Magical Thinking (False Alarm! part vii)

July 11th, 2018


Magic! That’s what alt-right face-punchee Richard Spencer claims brought Trump to the White House. Esoteric historian Gary Lachman investigates and …

It is happening again (False Alarm! part vi)

June 22nd, 2018


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 …

Real costs extra (False Alarm! part v)

June 6th, 2018



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 …

The Fake in the Crowd (False Alarm! part iv)

May 21st, 2018



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 …

S-Coin (False Alarm! part iii)

May 1st, 2018


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 …

Fake Nudes (False Alarm! part ii)

April 17th, 2018


The future of face-swapping! The REAL deepfakes speaks! Artist Lynn Hershman Leeson tells us how technology has transformed the way she plays with …

This Is Not A Drill (False Alarm! part i)

April 3rd, 2018


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 …

Utopia (part v)

March 22nd, 2018


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 …

Utopia (part iv)

March 6th, 2018


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 …

Time Travelin’ Trump

February 14th, 2018


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 …

Utopia (part iii)

January 22nd, 2018


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 …

False Flags

December 30th, 2017


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


Utopia (part ii)

December 20th, 2017


Our series continues with ToE’s Andrew Callaway reporting from an off the grid fully sustainable little piece of heaven called Earthaven. Plus Will …

Utopia (part i)

November 16th, 2017


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 …

CthulhuCon (Revisited)

November 3rd, 2017


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, …

Bad Science

October 20th, 2017


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 …

Iron and Lies (Wisconsin part II of II)

October 16th, 2017


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 …

Concrete and Respect (Wisconsin part I of II)

September 21st, 2017


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 …

Illicit Objects

August 8th, 2017


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 …

Private Ear

July 19th, 2017


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 …

Influencers (part II of II)

June 28th, 2017


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 …


May 29th, 2017


A special ToE emergency pod: Chris explains the Orb,  Andrew dives into the mystery of Twin Peaks and your host tries attempts SpaCasting.


May 16th, 2017


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 …

Droning for Dollars

April 27th, 2017


Can a Self-Droning drone start up save the Trump Presidency? Our special correspondent Chris fills us in on YouFired!

Art Districts

April 12th, 2017


Empty buildings, run down neighborhoods and cheap rents.

This is the bait you need to attract artists, speculators and urban revitalizers. But in …

Nothing to Hide

March 10th, 2017


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 …

The Rainbows of Inevitability

February 23rd, 2017


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!


Doomed to Repeat

February 8th, 2017


Your host examines the targeted advertising and fake news that some say put Donald Trump in the White House. Plus: the colonial history of …

The Twentieth of January

January 20th, 2017


A spy novel from the 80’s gives Donald Trump and his Russian friends some ideas. PLUS your host inspires the youth with cowardice.


January 16th, 2017


The FBI builds more surveillance traps that don’t work, and your host shares a few of his earliest adventures in surveillance.


The fairest of them all?

December 28th, 2016


Our Surveillance miniseries continues with a special holiday episode. Your host visits both the glass room ( a fake pop up store) and the Google …

Useful Idiots

December 12th, 2016


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.


Nolite te bastardes carborundorum

November 23rd, 2016


Donald Trump promises women he will make Surveillance great again. Plus Digital Security Training!


November 8th, 2016


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.


October 25th, 2016


Your host decides to follow back a Joy Division T-shirt that is following him around the internet. Plus the surveillance that powers behaviorally …

Burning down the Panopticon

October 11th, 2016


Our new miniseries on Surveillance begins with your host tripping over the corpse of Jeremy Bentham, the man who gave us the Panopticon.

You are so Pretentious

September 20th, 2016


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.

revolutionary slogans will be written by the winners

August 25th, 2016


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 …

pass (r)

August 16th, 2016


Your host dreams the future of Self Driving Cars.

The art of the deal

August 4th, 2016


The secret history of ISIS from ToE’s special corespondent Chris. PLUS Donald Trump is ready for sacrifice.

Something will happen, eventually

July 21st, 2016


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 …

Because there’s nothing else to do

July 6th, 2016


Your host wanders London just before and after Britain’s historic vote to leave the European Union.

sudculture (part II of II)

June 21st, 2016


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?

sudculture (part I of II)

June 6th, 2016


Your host sets out to better understand America’s craft beer scene. The latest food trend? Or oppositional culture?  And can it survive the …

Analog Time

May 29th, 2016


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 …

Platform of the Real

April 28th, 2016


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!

The Future

April 13th, 2016


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 …

A light touch and a slight nudge

March 28th, 2016


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 …


March 7th, 2016


Luc Sante takes us on a tour of “The Other ParisBenoît 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

After Work

February 10th, 2016


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 …

The Escapers

January 28th, 2016


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).


70×7 (Holy War part II of II)

December 29th, 2015


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 …

Alaska Is Closer (Holy War part I of II)

December 22nd, 2015


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 …

New York After Rent (post prop f director’s cut)

November 25th, 2015


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 …

The things we do for money

October 31st, 2015


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 and become a sustaining member today!

Secret Histories of Podcasting

October 22nd, 2015


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 …

Enchanting By Numbers (2015 version)

October 9th, 2015


We take another look at algorithms. Tim Hwang explains how Uber’s algorithms generate phantom cars and marketplace mirages. And we revisit our …


September 7th, 2015


Your host attempts to write a description for the Podcast. He seeks assistance from an old book, and the plot whisperer.


Artifacts (redux)

August 12th, 2015


Photographer Robert Burley takes pictures of the end of analog for his book The Disappearance Of Darkness. Christine Frohnert and Christiane Paul …

Instaserfs (III of III)

July 7th, 2015

“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 …

Instaserfs (II of III)

June 24th, 2015


Instaserfs II: “Chipolte Strikes back” or “Seriously, in the sharing economy no one can hear you work”  Either tagline works for our second …

Instaserfs (I of III)

June 17th, 2015


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 …

Art De Vivre (II of II)

June 2nd, 2015


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 …

Art De Vivre (I of II)

May 26th, 2015


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 …

The Dislike Club (finale/ABC version)

May 12th, 2015


In this program (which originally aired on the ABC last December) your host makes his final attempt to build the ultimate …

New York After Rent (III of III)

April 30th, 2015


Our series concludes with an attempt to examine the suburbanized commodified inner cityscape of New York. Author and activist Sarah Schulman …

New York After Rent (II of III)

April 22nd, 2015


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. Plus …

New York After Rent (I of III)

April 8th, 2015


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 …

Radio WIFM

March 2nd, 2015


Decades before the first shot was fired in the American revolution a band of runaway slaves known as the Maroons living in the mountains in …

An Illumination

January 27th, 2015


Cédric Villani won the prestigious Fields Medal for his work in 2010.  He wrote a book about his experience called Birth of a Theorem: A Mathematical Adventure. It is a book about where ideas come from. There is …

Occupy Siberia (dislike club prequel)

December 29th, 2014


Yours truly is recuperating from 2014 in France but wishing you a happy holiday. Hope you enjoyed the programming this year. The dislike club …

Logical Fantasies (the dislike club part V)

December 22nd, 2014


In the penultimate episode of our series, Kathy Sierra tells us how one tweak could fix everything and ToE’s Chris tells us the secret origin of …

Wishful Thinking (the dislike club part IV)

December 9th, 2014


In 2007 writer, programmer, and horse trainer Kathy Sierra quit the internet because of misogynist hate trolling. She stayed off the social web for 7 …

If you dislike like, then you will… (the dislike club part III)

December 3rd, 2014


This week Anthropologist Gabriella Coleman tells us about the internet’s original Dislike Club, Anonymous. Biella has spent the last eight years …

Paying For It (the dislike club part II)

November 25th, 2014


Our mini-series about the internet continues. This week we take a close look at the fundamental business model of the web – advertising. In 1993  your host was a founding member of an international monkey wrench gang …

Backspace to the Future (the dislike club part I)

November 14th, 2014


Paul Ford is a technologist and a writer, sometimes these two things blur. For example, he’s currently working on a book about webpages, but he’s …

Making it Happen

November 4th, 2014


For this special installment of the Theory of Everything we explore Maker Culture. Makerbot co-founder Bre Pettis gives us a tour of his new …

Enchanting By Numbers

October 6th, 2014


When I was in Beijing last summer I dropped by the Microsoft research campus to talk with  Dr. Yu Zheng. He studies the air pollution in his city, …

It will always be hard

September 16th, 2014


When the photographer Garry Winogrand died in 1984 he left behind hundreds of thousands of unpublished negatives and undeveloped rolls of film and …

Man Without a Country (3 of 3)

August 8th, 2014


What happens when you curse your own country? In this version of the classic Americana tale your host is sentenced to live out the rest of his days in a hot air balloon.  Our story concludes(?) when your host attempts …

Man Without a Country (2 of 3)

August 8th, 2014


What happens when you curse your own country? In this version of the classic Americana tale your host is sentenced to live out the rest of his days in a hot air balloon.  In part two of the story your host has his …

Man Without a Country (1 of 3)

August 8th, 2014


What happens when you curse your own country? In this version of the classic Americana tale your host is sentenced to live out the rest of his days in a hot air balloon.  In part one we hear the story of what happened …

Recent, Relevant, Random

July 25th, 2014


We don’t have metrics to measure what happens when we read something that changes our life. So this episode is an attempt to deal with that.  We begin with writer Rob Walker who tells us about his “New Old Thing,” …

Stages on Life’s Way

June 13th, 2014


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 …

A Better Tomorrow

May 18th, 2014


This week we examine the legacy of The Work of Art in the Age of Technological Reproducibility by Walter Benjamin.  Media Theorist and Benjamin …

The Bootlickers

April 25th, 2014


Andrew Rubin opens up his Archives of Authority to tell us the story of how George Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984 became global phenomenons. Melissa Gira Grant tells us about her new book Playing the Whore and the …

1984 (the year not the book)

April 4th, 2014


In 1984 your host was twelve years old and like George Orwell’s protagonist Winston Smith, he kept a diary, for the citizens of the future. For …


March 24th, 2014


 Technology consultant Sarah Slocum loves social media and her Google Glass, she wears them everywhere. But when she walked into Molotov’s, a bar on …

When You’re Lonely, Life is Very Long

March 3rd, 2014


After moving to New York alone, writer Olivia Laing discovered the truth about loneliness. She says it is a gift.  Eric Klinenberg explains why more and more people are choosing to live alone and why cities like New …

F is for Fake

February 11th, 2014


To Bot or Not? That’s the big question for Data Scientist Gilad Lotan. His research suggests we may be damaging our online reputations if we choose …

Artifacts (2 of 2)

January 16th, 2014


Social Media theorist Nathan Jurgenson wants us to understand what is truly revolutionary about ephemeral photographs and platforms like Snapchat,

Artifacts (1 of 2)

January 1st, 2014


Photographer Robert Burley takes pictures of the end of analog for his book The Disappearance Of Darkness. Christine Frohnert explains how …

Not Soon Enough

December 11th, 2013


This week your host tries to break through to the other side using the art of John Singer Sargent as a… jumping off point. Also we get an update from our corespondent Peter Choyce. When we last heard from Peter (in …

Waiting In Line

October 23rd, 2013


About a year ago I travelled across America for the BBC. I visited Airports, Amusement parks, Highways and Community Colleges in order to …

Out Of The Office

October 14th, 2013


Programmer David Heinemeier Hansson tells us about his Out Of Office experience, David is a partner at 37signals and a co-author (with Jason Fried) of REMOTE: Office Not Required. We also meet Ignacio Uriarte, he left …

Admissions Of Defeat

October 3rd, 2013


We check in with a few of our TOE regulars: Peter Choyce has is one of my oldest friends and a listener favorite, but he has a secret we’ve never …


June 11th, 2013


Anthropologist Gabriella Coleman tells us about her book Coding Freedom and the time she spent among the Hackers, “Chris” makes his TOE debut …

Red, White, Blue & Orange

May 14th, 2013


A torture expert records an imaginary criterion commentary track for the torture scenes in Zero Dark Thirty. We learn about Umarov Muhibullah, …

The Clouds (part 3 of 3)

May 6th, 2013


Our series concludes with some revelations. Metahaven uses the story of Wikileaks to show us the infrastructure of the cloud and its …

The Clouds (part 2 of 3)

April 29th, 2013


We continue our journey to the center of the cloud, by way of the earth: Rare Earth. China controls 95% of the market for the 17 Rare Earth …

The Clouds (part 1 of 3)

April 19th, 2013


Twitter employee #7 tells us what happened when Justin Bieber joined twitter in 2009. An Amazon Data scientist, explains how the cloud is …

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