Wed, 28 December 2016
Why people tell the truth -- or lie -- is this week's topic.
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We begin back in the past, when we first became aware of truth and lies. Find out if we were honest or liars as children...and how we fare as adults. We also devote some time to whether or not the people we know (or whom we're even close to) tell the truth.
Truth in media has become a hot topic of many conversations. Does truth in media exist anymore? Also: has truth always been nebulous, or is that a recent development?
Then we get a bit deeper and talk about whether it's even possible to know the truth about anything at all.
Do people in power sometimes have to lie? We devote some time to that before moving on to whether or not there is a Real Ultimate Truth™ in the universe.
And we wrap it up by discussing if there will ever be a time humans are truthful...or if some form of lying will always be with us...
Fri, 23 December 2016
In the year 2000, flying cars will take us to work and robots will babysit our children and walk our dogs. We will vacation on the moon and Mars; all our needs will be taken care of. Our only fear is an attack from Galagaxian-7...or maybe a portal opening from a fantasy realm and dragons loose in the streets. Lines blur between Macondo, City of Mirrors and our world; somewhere in northern Wisconsin, an English bulldog controls the forces of gravity.
Speculative fiction is often viewed as the genre of pulps, but so many classics we're used to are speculative works -- even though we do not see them as such.
This week, we devote an episode to speculative fiction...
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We begin by defining what speculative fiction is to us, and then talk about the first speculative work we fell in love with. After that, it's on to why people love speculative fiction so much...while others hate it.
Find out if we have ever written speculative fiction...and if we think there's room for speculating in literary novels (or if here are already speculative literary novels out there).
Next, we discuss the differences (or similarities) of speculative fiction and magical realism...and whether or not we should consider all fiction speculative fiction.
We run through some of our favorite works of speculative fiction before chatting about what speculative fiction does that other forms of fiction can't.
Finally, after devoting a bit of time to things we've not seen done with speculative fiction that we'd like to see, we speculate about what the future of speculative fiction looks like.
Feel free to speculate all you want in the comments below...
Thu, 15 December 2016
"Where you headed?"
"Gonna get me an Orange Julius and then wander Spencer's Gifts..."
"Awesome. I'll catch up with you after I pick up the new Van Halen album at Camelot Music..."
This week, we're talking about malls!
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We kick it off with our first trips to mall and our impression of the places as kids. After that, we talk about our main memories of 80s mall culture.
Find out if we were those kids who hung out at the mall (spoiler: we were!) and which malls we considered our home bases for rampant consumerism.
We chat about the best places to hang out in malls...as well as some of the more ridiculous mall stores we've encountered.
Malls come and go; in honor of that, we devote a little time to chatting about dying malls and what it's like to be inside an abandoned mall. After that, we talk about some of the reasons why malls shut down.
But there are places where malls are still a thing. We discuss why that is before moving on to out favorite malls ever.
If you listen to the show regularly, you know that Shawn volunteers quite a bit this time of year...and sometimes, his volunteering takes him to malls. We chat about how often we find ourselves in malls before wrapping it all up with the future of the shopping mall.
Wed, 7 December 2016
We live in hurried times. Text messages, email, and many other things vie for our attention. At work, managers ask, "How's that coming along?" sometimes just hours after you've given them an update about a task.
It would seem to many that patience is a thing of the past. But is it really?
People still wait for things. Granted, in many instances, we've figured out ways to make those waits shorter, but if you are human, you've probably waited for something this week. And even if you turned to your smartphone or some other distraction...really, that's another form of patience. (You've still accepted the wait.)
But then there are those weird people like Christopher, who still take pleasure in simply sitting and waiting. He'd argue, though, that there's not much difference between the thoughts in his head and someone going to their phone to pass the time. Some might say, "Well, he's patiently waiting and thinking about story ideas, instead of wasting time on his phone," but Shawn has written multiple novels on his phone.
This is all getting a bit off topic...
This week, we talk about patience (and the need for immediacy).
* * *
We begin by talking about the first thing we remember "needing" right away...and whether or not we were patient kids. Also, we discuss whether or not we are patient adults.
Has the Internet affected patience and people's need for immediacy? We chat about that before moving on to how patience and immediacy have affected trends in productivity.
Next, we talk about how patience and immediacy factor into the work most people do. After that, find out if we prefer a slower or faster pace of life.
We often talk about Millennials on the show. Many older people say Millennials lack patience, but is that lack of patience truly real; and if so, is it truly the domain of that generation...or has the urge for immediacy affected other generations as well?
We discuss whether or not patience and immediacy are mutually exclusive ideas, and whether immediacy ever has its place and if patience isn't always such a virtue.
And we wrap it all up in the future: will we find more ways to do all the things right now, or will we become more patient for some reason?