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Factually! with Adam Conover on Smash Notes

Factually! with Adam Conover podcast.

December 31, 2019

Comedian Adam Conover talks to exceptional experts, revealing shocking truths and thought-provoking new perspectives. It’s an investigative comedy podcast for curious people who never stop asking questions.



Episodes with Smash Notes

Is artificial intelligence a problem, or is the real problem how we’re using the term in the first place? Linguistics professor Emily Bender joins Adam to discuss why we should resist the urge to be impressed when it comes to big tech’s AI promises, and how our belief in the fantasy of A.I. could be worse than the reality. You can follow Emily on Twitter at @emilymbender.

Despite our efforts, we seem to be no better at treating mental illness than we were hundreds of years ago. Desperate Remedies author Andrew Scull joins Adam to explain why, on the way touching on the history of lobotomization, the collapse of psychoanalysis, and why our current regime of pharmaceutical intervention might not be all it’s cracked up to be. You can purchase Andrew's book here: https://factuallypod.com/books

Despite our efforts, we seem to be no better at treating mental illness than we were hundreds of years ago. Desperate Remedies author Andrew Scull joins Adam to explain why, on the way touching on the history of lobotomization, the collapse of psychoanalysis, and why our current regime of pharmaceutical intervention might not be all it’s cracked up to be. You can purchase Andrew's book here: https://factuallypod.com/books

In 2020, America went through a national reckoning about our racist criminal justice system. Just under two years later, has all that progress evaporated? Pulitzer winner, professor, and author of Locking Up Our Own, James Forman Jr., joins Adam to discuss the return of “tough on crime” politics and building a movement for criminal justice reform locally can lead to progress nationally, as well as how community organizers and “violence interrupters” are a key part of the restorative justice movement. You can purchase James’ book here: http://factuallypod.com/books

When we picture robots, we normally think of an artificial being created in our own image. But what if this were deeply misleading? Author of The New Breed, Kate Darling, joins Adam to separate fact from science fiction and discuss the potentials and perils of real life robots. They get into the ethical issues involved with autonomous weapons systems and vehicles, why robots don’t need to look like people, and why robots might be better thought of as animal companions, rather than human replacements. You can purchase Kate’s book here: http://factuallypod.com/books

Our criminal justice system gives the impression of being impartial and fact-based, but in reality, it’s anything but. Innocence Project lawyer and author of Junk Science Chris Fabricant joins Adam to break down why pseudoscience is allowed into the court room, the influence of the Ted Bundy trial on mainstream forensics and the impact of the criminal justice system on marginalized people. You can purchase Chris’ book here: http://factuallypod.com/books

Adam’s new series The G Word is out this Thursday on Netflix! To commemorate the premiere, this week The Fifth Risk author Michael Lewis turns the tables on Adam, interviewing him about how made the show. In the second half, they explore Michael's own reporting on how the CDC bungled COVID-19, and how Michael goes about writing his best-selling works of journalism.
 You can purchase The Fifth Risk at http://factuallypod.com/books, and watch The G Word on Netflix starting May 19th!

Do we really own the devices we buy? ‘The Right to Repair’ author Aaron Perzanowki joins Adam to explain how companies are using their power to control the products we buy from them, even after they’ve left the store, and prevent us from repairing them ourselves. They discuss how this affects the environment, the livelihood of farmers, and the longevity of AirPod, and Aaron shares resources on how we can take power back and do our own repairs. You can purchase Aaron’s book at http://factuallypod.com/books

Instead of debunking religious beliefs, what if we investigated where religion comes from, and why it’s virtually universal across human cultures? Anthropologist and “How Religion Evolved And Why It Endures” author Robin Dunbar joins Adam to discuss the origins of religion. He describes how touch, laughter, and song bonded people together, and the social role of religious rituals such as sin-eating. You can purchase Robin’s book here: http://factuallypod.com/books

The IPCC Report is one of the biggest, most important scientific projects ever undertaken by humankind, bringing together thousands of scientists from around the world to collect and evaluate our most up-to-date knowledge on climate change. Today on the show, Adam speaks with one of the lead authors of that report, Sarah Burch. Sarah explains where we are, where we’re headed, and what we can do to stop it, straight from the horse’s mouth; and she shares why she is optimistic about humanity’s future. You can follow her work at @SarahLynnBurch.

We’ve known about climate chance since the 80s. So why has action been so slow? Journalist and author of Fire and Flood, Eugene Linden, joins Adam to discuss how climate change went from an issue of non-partisan agreement to one that is highly politicized. They explore 30+ years of climate inaction, and how the novel idea of “going core-ward” could be one solution to carbon emissions. You can order his book here: http://factuallypod.com/books

The 1960’s are often depicted as the the golden age of air travel, but the reality for the stewardesses who worked the skies was far from gilded. “The Great Stewardess Rebellion” author Nell McShane Wulfhart joins Adam to explain the ludicrous conditions that flight attendants worked under, and how their effort to unionize and fight back sparked changes that still benefit working women today. You can pre-order her book here: https://bit.ly/3vgyjaM