The After On Podcast

By Rob Reid

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A Podcast Republic user
 Jul 8, 2018


A collection of unhurried conversations with world-class thinkers, founders, and scientists.

Episode Date
34: Ancient DNA | David Reich

The genetic code of Neanderthals, archaic humans, and other elders is reconfiguring much of our understanding of human history. And it could just save hundreds of thousands of modern human lives per year.

Jul 31, 2018
33: The Evolution of Beauty | Richard Prum

A bold and brilliant refutation of the common wisdom about sexual attraction, aesthetics, and more. Rick Prum is an evolutionary heretic. And the wellspring of his unorthodox ideas is ... Charles Darwin himself.

Jul 16, 2018
Announcement | On the Future of this Podcast

The full lowdown on where this podcast is going from here.

Jul 01, 2018
31: Expanding DNA's Alphabet (by half!) | Floyd Romesberg

Floyd Romesberg added two letters to DNA's ancient four-letter alphabet. He got this running in cells. And coding proteins. His cell lines have passed it down hundreds of generations. Now what?

Jun 26, 2018
30. Stewart Brand | De-extinction, The Whole Earth, and Way More

Over six consecutive decades, Stewart Brand has impacted society, tech and science in outlandishly diverse ways. This truly unhurried conversation explores the scope of his intensely original American life.

Jun 12, 2018
Jordan Harbinger | Bonus Episode

An examination of the science of psychopathy from my buddy Jordan Harbinger’s terrific podcast. This bonus episode is in addition to the two new original episodes I’m creating this month.

Jun 08, 2018
28: Exponential Medicine | Daniel Kraft

Key aspects of medical technology are improving even faster than computers. What are the ramifications for our health? For our lifespans? Dr. Daniel Kraft has tremendous insights into all of this - particularly as it relates to cancer.

May 29, 2018
27. Depression: The Psychedelic Cure? | Katya Malievskaia & George Goldsmith

The largest-ever clinical trial of a psychedelic drug will soon begin in Europe and North America. The drug is psilocybin - the active ingredient in magic mushrooms. The target is treatment-resistant depression.

May 15, 2018
26: Reality Isn't (?) (!) | Don Hoffman

Quantitative Psychologist Don Hoffman has a head-spinning take on the true nature of reality vs. what our senses report to us. Is it the most counterintuitive insight since Pythagoras figured the Earth is round?

Apr 30, 2018
25. A Night at the Battery

In this very atypical episode, the tables turn and I'm the interviewee! We discuss all of my creative projects, including this podcast series. Recorded live at The Battery in San Francisco.

Apr 17, 2018
24: George Church | BioEngineering

George Church helped found 22 companies, and co-invented the paradigm-shattering gene editing technique CRISPR. In our interview, he delivers a sweeping survey of the world of synthetic biology, and makes some astounding predictions

Apr 03, 2018
23: Rodney Brooks | AI & Robotics - Their Present and Future

Rodney Brooks is a founding luminary of TWO vital domains in tech: robotics and AI. He's the father of the Roomba, the long-time head of MIT's AI lab, and a serial entrepreneur. Few can rival his breadth & depth in technology.

Mar 20, 2018
22: David Eagleman | Creating the 6th, 7th & 8th Sense?

Neuroscientist David Eagleman has done groundbreaking work on how we perceive time. Now he hopes to radically expand the pantheon of human senses.

Mar 06, 2018
21: Mary Lou Jepsen | Neural Imaging and ... TELEPATHY?!

After stints at Google and Facebook, serial entrepreneur Mary Lou Jepsen is ready to upend the worlds of medical imaging and ... telepathy. Yup, TELEPATHY. Give it a listen!

Feb 20, 2018
20: Aubrey de Grey | Radical Life Extension

Aubrey de Grey is a highly credentialed scientist who believes it's within our grasp to REVERSE human aging in the next few decades. Dozens of scientists are now executing on his plan, funded by extremely smart backers including Peter Thiel.

Jan 17, 2018
19: A Lightning Tour of the After On Universe

A wide-ranging set of excerpts from the After On audiobook, read brilliant folks including John Hodgman, Felicia Day, Jesse Cox, Tom Merritt. Back to "normal" episodes next week, promise! :-)

Jan 02, 2018
Episode 18: It's Really After On

This week, Broadway's own January LaVoy and legendary fantasy writer Patrick Rothfuss read/perform the the opening of the After On audiobook (plus quite a bit more). With some notes & observations from the author.

Dec 22, 2017
17: Coinbase Co-Founder Fred Ehrsam | The Past Present & Future of Cryptocurrency

Whether you’re a cryptocurrency novice or expert, this episode will teach you a ton. My guest, Fred Ehrsam, founded the world’s largest platform for storing & trading Bitcoin and more. Just us for a full crypto education!

Dec 13, 2017
16: Robert Green | The Promise & Peril in YOUR Genes

You will soon have access to a dizzying battery of facts about your health. Some could be horrid or positive on a life-changing scale! But most will be wildly ambiguous. Should you peek? NOTE: This is NOT just hypothetical.

Nov 29, 2017
15. Music Piracy | The Extraterrestrial Threat

A vast alien civilization is so into American pop music, it recently committed the biggest copyright violation since the dawn of time. Against us! How should humanity respond? A special (and rather playful) episode with John Hodgman.

Nov 21, 2017
14: Andy McAfee | The Future (if any!) of Jobs

Andy McAfee of MIT is a leading thinker about how robotics and other automation will influence the future of work and jobs. We touch on some scary stuff - plus some delightful notes of optimism!

Nov 14, 2017
13: Ev Williams | Medium, Twitter, and Networked Words

Ev Williams co-founded and ran both Twitter and, and is now the founder/CEO of Medium. He’s a deep thinker about ideas morph & travel, and is carving out a place for thoughtful, serious writing online.





Oct 31, 2017
12. Chris Anderson | TED Talks + Organization

You've probably seen a TED Talk or two (or 500!) online. Chris runs the TED organization, and has some fascinating thoughts both on how we're wired to process oratory, and how we might build a better world.

Oct 24, 2017
11. Sarah Parcak | Space Archaeology

Sarah Parcak is a pioneer in the emerging field of space archaeology. In 2016 she won the TED Prize to launch a “citizen science” platform, which is finding lost sites and fighting archaeological looting throughout the world.



Oct 17, 2017
10. Tim O'Reilly | Tech's Past & Future

Technology’s pre-eminent publisher, Tim O’Reilly helped trigger the rise of the commercial Web, the open source community, the Web 2.0 era, and the maker movement. I discuss tech’s past and future with one of its most original thinkers.

Oct 10, 2017
9. Chris Anderson of Wired & 3DR | Drones

Chris Anderson was Wired’s editor-in-chief for 12 years, then started one of the world’s great drone companies.

We discuss all this – and his origins as a high school dropout living in a squat and playing bass for a band called REM (no, not that REM).

Oct 03, 2017
8: Stephen Webb | Fermi's Paradox (or, where are all the aliens?)

Our universe’s vastness and age has given alien intelligence ample space and time in which to arise. Why can we detect no sign of it? 

This is actually a momentous and scientifically serious question. Yes, really! With British astronomer Stephen Webb.

Sep 26, 2017
7. James Barrat | Dangers of Superintelligence

James Barrat’s book “Our Final Invention” helped touch off a public debate about the possible dangers of superintelligence, which continues to this day. We discuss these dangers in depth in our interview.

For those who are reading the novel After On, Tom Meritt and I discuss pages 380-464 in the very last section of the podcast.


Sep 19, 2017
6. Sam Harris | On Terrorism

Sam Harris is one of the most visible and controversial commentators on terrorism and its roots. Our interview dives deep into this subject, as well the personal journey that made Sam into the public intellectual he has become.

For those who are reading the novel After On, Tom Meritt and I discuss pages 289-380 in the very last section of the podcast.


Sep 12, 2017
5. Steve Jurvetson | Quantum Computing

Quantum computers could be almost farcically powerful compared to classical computers. Venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson and I discuss how & why this is – and whether this potential will ever be realized.


For those who are reading the novel After On, Tom Meritt and I discuss pages 241-288 in the very last section of the podcast.

Sep 05, 2017
4: Andy Hessel | Synthetic Biology

It took 13 years and $3 billion to read the first human genome in 2003. Now it's $999 a takes just hours. What happens when we can WRITE DNA as easily as we now read it?

For those who are reading the novel After On, Tom Merritt and I discuss pages 180-241 in the very last section of the podcast.


Aug 24, 2017
3: Cindy Cohn (EFF) | Privacy + Govt Intrusion

In this episode, we discuss patent trolls, government hacking, privacy in the digital age, and other vital issues with Cindy Cohn, who runs the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

For those who are reading the novel After On, Tom Merritt and I discuss pages 110-180 in the very last section of the podcast.

Aug 17, 2017
2: Adam Gazzaley | Consciousness & Neuroscience

In this episode,we discuss the roots of consciousness and other vital topics with UCSF neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley.

For those who are reading the novel After On, Tom Merritt and I discuss pages 51-109 in the very last section of the podcast.

Aug 10, 2017
1: Meron Gribetz|Augmented Reality

In this episode, we discuss augmented reality (AR) with the CEO of AR pioneer Meta, Inc. Meron Gribetz. 

For those who are reading the novel After On, Tom Merritt and I discuss pages 1-51 in the very last section of the podcast.

Aug 03, 2017