Podcasts, videos, and links to make you think
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Welcome to the Hurt Your Brain newsletter. Every two weeks I send out a playlist of podcasts, videos, and other links that will make you think. 

Guess what? I'm pretty stoked to have my first challenge coin. It's from pre-ordering the 99% Invisible book. Books that spring from podcasts are becoming quite the thing and it's making my reading list even more difficult to make progress on.
This is how I would make heads or tails out of it. 

Planetary Radio: Katie Mack and The End of Everything [interview | cosmology]

Driving the Green Book [narrative non-fiction | US history, storytelling]
  • The first two and very excellent episodes have been released for this narrative journey around the Green Book, which was a travel guide for Black Americans popular in the late 30’s through the late 60’s.
  • Host Alvin Hall and producer Janée Woods Weber travel from Detroit to New Orleans in order to capture stories and the history around the Green Book from those who depended on it. 
  • 99% Invisible did a great episode in 2016 about the Green Book around the same time the popular movie came out.

Context: All Things Being Equal [single-host non-fiction | global history, economics]
  • Brad Harris is a PhD from Stanford University who studied history and technology.
  • This episode argues that wealth inequality has historically only been reversed via revolution, deadly pandemics, or war, and that political policies have never successfully made a long-standing dent.
  • It also argues inequality itself is a symptom of good times and is largely unavoidable in prosperous peace times. 
  • I didn’t agree with everything Harris argues, but this episode is pretty thought-provoking and well-researched, which is my favorite kind of episode. 

The Happiness Lab: Happiness Lessons of the Ancients — Aristotle. [narrative non-fiction | Greek history, philosophy, happiness research]
  • The Happiness Lab started a new series of episodes about happiness lessons from the ancients. Some great advice here from Aristotle with some very practical tips.

Bio Eats World: The Biology of Aging [discussion | biology, medicine]
  • A new show from Andreessen Horowitz, home of the A16z podcast.
  • Marc Andreessen is behind the oft-quoted idea that software is eating the world, and this show takes a look at how biology will be the next thing that eats the world.
  • This first episode is a great overview of where we are with research on the biology of aging. 
  • Each Tuesday will be an episode that anyone who is science-curious will enjoy, and Thursdays are journal club episodes, which are great for anyone with more than a surface-level understanding of biotech research and medicine. 


Over the next several issues I would like to highlight some of my favorite non-podcast industry newsletters that I have found excellent for various reasons, but mainly that they are thought-provoking Each issue will focus on a different type of newsletter. First up: 

These are my favorites newsletters that use visuals as their center-piece:
  • Sketchplanations. Wonderful one-panel illustrations that explain a concept. I loved the most recent on about healthy (and unhealthy) relationships. Subscribe here.
  • Visual Wisdom. Excellent curation on interesting things to check out, but within each newsletter is at least one original drawing that explains a topic. Subscribe here.
  • Drawing Links. This popular newsletter from Edith Zimmerman is full of interesting thoughts and musings from Zimmerman’s life, and has an always great selection of links to check out at the bottom. Subscribe here.

You think there’s no podcast criticism? Think again. A thousand times yes. A great read from Galen Beebe.

Universe in a Nutshell. A GREAT new app from the combined efforts of two of my favorite things on the internet, Wait But Why and Kurzgesagt. It let's you zoom all the way into the planck length and all the way out to the observable universe, and everything in between. Worth the three bucks. Wait But Why post launching the idea, Kurzesagt video launching the idea. 

That's all for this week!

For fun: The world's largest devil's toothpaste explosion

Click here for a Listory list of all the links in this email.

Connect with me @erikthejones on twitter and if you've learned anything interesting, please forward this link to any curious natured friends or family so they can subscribe. Many thanks!

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