Welcome to the Hurt Your Brain internet playlist from September 11, 2016. It's a collection of podcasts, videos, and other links for people who love to learn online and are fascinated by the world. Click here to get playlists emailed to you as they come out. PODCASTS When I see an article called 27 podcasts to make you smarter, of course I'm going to click on it immediately and proceed to add a half dozen more subscriptions to my overstuffed Pocket Casts app. I must learn about a new BBC podcast about once a week, because apparently they have a million different shows. All of them are full of wonderful information so expect to see them creep into the recommendations over the next few weeks. Burning Man – BBC Witness Aug 29, 9 mins (listen) Learn: the origin story of the Burning Man festival from the guy who started it, Larry Harvey. Thoughts: I've become an instant fan of BBC Witness. Short, first hand accounts, that are interesting and informative. Larry Harvey started Burning Man 30 years ago as a fun, impulsive idea and says it only became a thing because of people he didn't know. Quote: “You know, you’re often affected by a stranger’s enthusiasm, more than maybe even a loved one’s. Had it been a private affair, and only people we knew, I doubt if we would have done it again.” The Mexican American War – BBC Witness Sep 1, 9 mins (listen) Learn: what the mood was like during the Mexican American War from first hand accounts. Thoughts: Hearing the thoughts of U.S. soldiers from 150 years ago highlighted to me how differently war can be internalized culturally, depending on the time and place. Quote: "For the United States, the Mexican American War isn’t really remembered, particularly with any great clarity. It’s really a forgotten conflict, overshadowed by the civil war. When it’s remembered, it’s seen as a dishonorable conflict, but it’s rarely seen at all.” Why Smart People do Dumb Things – The Art of Manliness Aug 9, 36 min (listen) Learn: about Malcolm Gladwell and his thoughts on curiosity, processes, how to fight peer pressure, and why trying to get into the best possible college probably isn't a good idea. Thoughts: For anyone who hasn't checked out Revisionist History, this interview provides some highlights from the season and lots of extra insight from Gladwell. I know he does a lot of interviews on podcasts but this is a strong one if you are a Gladwell fan or if you are on the fence about him. Quote: “I’m not an expert in anything, I move horizontally through ideas, not vertically. [...] I don’t go deep, I go wide.” The New Telenovela – Planet Money Aug 31, 20 min (listen) Learn: how a new type of soap opera started dominating Spanish language TV and brought down a drug lord. Thoughts: Do you vaguely remember news stories last year about Sean Penn going to visit El Chapo with an actress friend, and thinking, "um, what the hell?" Well, this episode explains exactly what the deal is and it's fascinating. Quote: “Yeah. And when they searched his hideout, they found what you would expect from an international criminal - weapons, cell phones, hair dye for his signature mustache - and, of course, several DVDs of "La Reina Del Sur." VIDEOS The Simple Solution to Traffic – CGP Grey Aug 31, 5 min (watch) Learn: what is truly holding back our busy roads from running efficiently. Thoughts: All of CGP Grey's videos are worth checking out for his well thought out arguments, but if you want to be spoiled for this video, here you go. The simple solution to traffic is....self driving cars. Quote: “Coordination, not cars, is the problem, because we are monkey drivers with slow reaction time and short attention spans.”
ARTICLES AND OTHER LINKS
I have two recommendations for those of you out there who love subscribing to interesting things. Hardbound (read) This website/app is exactly the type of stuff I love to stumble upon. It's a fresh take on the "explainer" genre, and each topic is an easy to follow, colorful, and informative story that you click through. You'll be delighted as you learn. Check out their most recent one, What is fire?, and subscribe at the end. Daily Overview (look) I've followed this for a while now, and the simplicity of it is brilliant. If you sign up, every day you'll get an overhead view of something beautiful. Most are satellite shots of fascinating architecture, but you'll get anything from awesome drone shots to my favorite in recent memory, a jaw dropping photo of the Space Shuttle Challenger rising through the sky. I'll end with this great quote from their mission page: "Our project was inspired, and derives its name, from an idea known as the Overview Effect. This term refers to the sensation astronauts have when given the opportunity to look down and view the Earth as a whole. They have the chance to appreciate our home in its entirety, to reflect on its beauty and its fragility all at once. That's the cognitive shift that we hope to inspire." That's all for this week! 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!