HACKS | a tech podcast
doggedly zeroing in on the intersection of technology, politics, and culture
About the show
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?
episode 018: incognito sicko mode (ft. justine smith)
February 19th, 2019 | 57 mins
adult entertainment, funny pictures, n00dity, podcast, pr0n, secks work, skin
the HACKS institute opens its doors to its first guest, Justine Smith, who helps us get the lay of the land when it comes to the internet pr0n industry.
minisode 004: the woke, the horny, the sentient
February 14th, 2019 | 24 mins 27 secs
advertising, brands, hell, help us we are in hell, podcast, twitter
on a pared-down quickie, simon and rob dive into the dark heart of Sentient Brand Twitter for some reason
episode 017: the quadriga affair
February 7th, 2019 | 1 hr 11 mins
bitcoin, cryptocurrency, innocence, it's illegal to sue podcasters, quadriga, scams, schroedinger, true crime
in which we "playfully" skirt libel laws and plain old ethics in order to dig into a deeply strange recent case of financial calamity in the cryptocurrency sphere.
episode 016: the algorithmic eldritch odyssey
January 24th, 2019 | 1 hr 1 min
ben shapiro, fascism, food is bae, horrors beyond belief, pranks, qanon, the storm, thomas the tank engine, time travel, treats, youtube
what do thomas the tank engine, QAnon, ben shapiro, fancy desserts, """fun pranks"", time travel, ghosts, and the secret service have in common? you'll wish you never found out.
minisode 003: banderscratch n' sniff
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
episode 015: the 2020 holographic apology tour
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
episode 014: islands in the stream
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.
episode 013: you news, you lose
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
episode 012: hq2 pt. ii — the search for shatner
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"
episode 011: 23andme and you and everyone we know
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
episode 010: future's so right I gotta wear shades
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...
minisode 002: betrayed in the hexagon (sidewalk labs pt ii)
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
episode 009: blaze it pal, the weed episode 420 hell yeah bro
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
episode 008: lightweight jammin'
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.
episode 007: a touch too much
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.
minisode 001: eine klein nachtmusik
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.