here at the HACKS Initiative we ask the questions everyone else is too shook to: what is technology? why is everything so bad? what's my passphrase again? how do I get the header image to work? is the NSA agent watching me through my webcam my friend?
January 17th, 2019 | 27 mins 9 secs
black mirror, interactive storytelling, netflix, podcast, what if phones but too much
rob and simon ponder the impact and implications of netflix's foray into interactive storytelling
January 10th, 2019 | 35 mins 29 secs
apparently we're humorists now, futurism, podcast, politics, profit, technology
in an ill-advised attempt at combining humor and prognostication, the gang looks back on 2019, the strangest year in our living memory
December 21st, 2018 | 46 mins 25 secs
movie magic, netflix, podcast, spotify, streaming, wot if your computer could play you a song
the gang ponders the impact of the streaming economy, both financially and creatively, on the artistic class.
December 7th, 2018 | 49 mins 33 secs
hashtags, important, journalism, much impact, podcast, pulitzer prize, very serious, writers
the gang ponders the role and place of journalism in the internet age. #important #vital #criticism #impactful #awards
November 29th, 2018 | 1 hr 4 mins
amazon, failed thought experiments, hq2, jeff bezos, more like jeff bozos am i right, nerd shit, oppression olympics, urban planning
we return to the amazon well to ponder the specifics of both the winning and losing bids, before wondering what people are after when they talk about "nationalizing amazon"
November 22nd, 2018 | 47 mins 35 secs
23andme, ancestry, blood blood blood, elizabeth warren, podcast, race science, skulls skulls skulls
the gang takes on 23andme, ancestry.com, their methods, and the dubious meanings ascribed to their services
November 8th, 2018 | 53 mins 19 secs
alt right, cats, class war, fascism, guillotines, podcast, social media
can our social media platforms be disentangled from the reactionary right? plus, a grim survey of "alt-tech" social media platforms...
October 26th, 2018 | 21 mins 38 secs
alphabet, asphalt, google, pavement, sidewalk labs, smart cities, which shape is the strongest?
we return to the toronto smart city initiative and examine its new controversies, as well as its slick-but-sleepy podcast
October 18th, 2018 | 57 mins
alcohol, ecstasy, lsd, marijuana, nicotine, podcast, pot, tech, valium, vicodin, weed
in honor of pot legalization (in canada), the gang takes a sightly supersized look at the the new law's implications, as well as the culture of microdosing in tech
October 11th, 2018 | 45 mins 12 secs
adbusters, culture jamming, podcast, politics, tech, telephone poles
In a very scattered but hopefully not altogether unenlightening episode, the gang ponders the properties of modern attempts at cultural disruption.
October 4th, 2018 | 45 mins 29 secs
dating apps, ethics, podcast, politics, realdolls, tech
we touch on some of the peculiarities of the internet pr0n industry, before taking a deep dive into a (very) wide variety of niche dating apps.
September 27th, 2018 | 19 mins 57 secs
amazon, nike, podcast, politics, silicon valley, tech
On a quick stopgap episode, we ponder "tech centrism" aka "solutionism" and the myth of Silicon Valley as the land of solutions.
September 23rd, 2018 | 48 mins 12 secs
bitcoin, capitalism, ethics, greenwashing, podcast, the rim
maral rejoins us for a wide/free-ranging discussion about sustainability, b*tc**n, and the inevitable death of our species (and other fun subjects!)
September 13th, 2018 | 47 mins 11 secs
elizabeth holmes, elon musk, joe rogan, john mcafee, podcast, tech, tesla, theranos
once again we debase ourselves, this time by engaging with tech celebrities in the dim hopes of piggybacking off of their notoriety. look, it's a hustle out there
September 6th, 2018 | 47 mins 8 secs
bofa, law enforcement, technology, waving the black flag
two recent examples of local police departments going buck wild with new technologies, and we tackle the open source community's relationship with ICE.
August 30th, 2018 | 43 mins 38 secs
alphabet, amazon, childbirth, google, hq2, podcast, savory snacks, sidewalk labs
simon and rosemary go on a field trip and the Initiative measures the value of "smart cities" and a potential new Amazon headquarters.