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58 minutes | May 17, 2022
172! Ignorance and Discomfort
Is it healthier to be a little bit more ignorant online? And how do we all build a discomfort diet? [28:26] This week, special guest Nora Mestrich joins Joey to talk about TikTok, Twitter, admitting ignorance, dopamine hijacking, ice plunges, and the benefits of pain. They don’t talk about DIIV. references MMT Armchair Expert interview with Anna Lembke Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence by Anna Lembke Seek Discomfort on YouTube Yes Theory on YouTube
35 minutes | May 9, 2022
171! Lessons Learned
Why is failure the best way to learn a lesson? This week, Joey and Jess talk about New York laundry, errant emails, the instant amplitude of the feeling of failure, "Fail fast!," biffing and flop sweat, and overlearning. They don’t talk about Sonic Youth's Washing Machine LP. references Critical Nonsense Merch! Fortune: How an NFT creator lost $34 million due to a smart contract error The Atlantic: Pandemonium and Rage in Hawaii Rube Goldberg machine
30 minutes | May 2, 2022
170! Weirder Inspiration
How can we better tap into inspiration from weirder, wilder places? This week, Joey and Jess talk about The Office, diverse sourcing, walking away, "do it now," and ... thots. They don’t talk about Chicago. references HAIM "Right Now" Corrections Department: Pronunciation Guide: HAIM Teach You How to Say Their Name Just FYI: How Caribbean People Eat Mango Corrections Department: Who vs. Whom Neuroscience News: Unique Connectivity Lets Highly Creative People’s Brains Take ‘Road Less Traveled’ to Their Destination The Extraordinary Adventures of Arsene Lupin, Gentleman-Burglar by Maurice Leblanc Fall; Or, Dodge in Hell by Neal Stephenson Simplenote
25 minutes | Apr 26, 2022
169! Nonsense VC! Cereal Cinematic Universes
Which CCU team should get our backing? In the latest installment of Nonsense VC!, Jess pitches Cereal Cinematic Universes to Joey. They talk about Kellogg's vs. General Mills, character strength, biome corners, villains, tummy troubles, and the rampant commingling of ice cream and cereal. They don’t talk about cereal commas. references The lineup card: Kellogg's vs. General Mills Yesterworld: The History & Downfall of McDonaldland and the Disney-McDonalds Happy Meal The Wacky Adventures Of Ronald McDonald: THE COMPLETE SERIES! The A.V. Club: A thorough history of Honeycomb’s bygone mascot monster "currently on leave" and "previously a dog" Teen Vogue: Ben & Jerry's Now Makes Cereal-Flavored Ice Cream See also: Fruity Pebbles, Cocoa Pebbles, Lucky Charms, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch ice creams The limited edition Cocoa Puffs Neopolitan colorway: a review Peeps cereal: a review Ice Cream Pebbles cereal: a review Look away, Joey: Cereal ice cream sandwiches
53 minutes | Apr 18, 2022
168! Malicious Compliance and Chapsticks
How far can we take malicious compliance? And what happens when a nothing turns into a need? [26:12] This week, Joey and Jess talk about Florida's "Don't Say Gay" law, rules, Originalism, lip balm, deodorant, and skin care routines. They don’t talk about Judas Priest. references A look back at Teen Beat Selena + Chef on HBO Max Selena Gomez & The Scene "Un Año Sin Lluvia" Critical Nonsense on YouTube The teacher template letter in response to Florida's "Don't Say Gay" law Baader–Meinhof phenomenon/Frequency illusion Diana Taurasi couldn’t stop making dick jokes on ESPN during the Final Four What Is Originalism? Definition and Examples Corrections Department: The questionably worded common law marriage bill in Tennessee (not Kentucky) Real, wrath of God type stuff Again, Baz Luhrmann's "Everybody's Free To Wear Sunscreen" Reuters: You may be eating a credit card's worth of plastic each week: study Wikipedia's list of generic and genericized trademarks
56 minutes | Apr 11, 2022
167! Rock Music and Genetic Identity
How dead is Rock and Roll? And how are we tied to our genetic identity? [28:31] This week, special guest Harmand Ponder joins Joey and Jess to talk about Tame Impala, Rock subgenres, Baroque Pop, genetics vs. culture, epigenetics, and beaches. They don’t talk about Bette Midler. references Hey, Dude kumquats List of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Baroque pop Brian Falduto, gay life coach, and his identity struggles after School of Rock What Is Epigenetics, and Why Is [Joey] Talking about It? Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. We remember, Joey. We remember.
55 minutes | Apr 5, 2022
[Reruns] 117! Cognitive Diversity and Office Supplies
How do you think different? And what office supplies do you miss? [45:20] This week, a rerun from Nonsense past! Again, Joey, Aaron, and Jess talk about aphantasia, internal monologues, learning styles, pilfering printer paper, binder clips, and ugly cups. They don’t talk about The Mind Palace. references Junkee on aphantasia and visualizing apples NPR on how Jess's favorite apple, the Honeycrisp, changed the world Jess's dreams as the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster Aaron's dreams as The Beast roller coaster Joey's mind as a Fast & Furious theme park ride Joey's horror: Not everyone has an internal monologue What is the corpus callosum? And, for only the sexy people: Salt-N-Pepa's "Push It"
55 minutes | Mar 28, 2022
165! Goblin Mode and Pathologies
Is Goblin Mode a privilege? And how should we feel about pathologizing our behaviors? [27:24] This week, special guest Ilana Bondell joins Joey and Jess to talk about the versions of Goblin Mode, pandemic nihilism, identity politics, repressing trauma, the western medical industrial complex, and "The Man." They don’t talk about Jareth. references "Iris" and the City of Angels The doobily-doo ... er ... link to reach our Corrections Department Revisiting Vibe Shifts in Episode 161! The Guardian: "Slobbing out and giving up: why are so many people going ‘goblin mode’?" The original meaning of goblin-ing? Sex and the City: Season 4 Ep 13: The Good Fight Corrections Department: Zen-DAY-uh "Going to the Bathroom" Is Not Normal Here Comes Old Gregg Gollum and Sméagol
42 minutes | Mar 21, 2022
164! Permeated Nonsense and Youth Culture
Why do we keep doing things that don't make any sense at all? And is youth culture always the same? [24:34] This week, Jess and Joey talk about Pi Day, songlines, dead reckoning, Billy Joel, the Flynn effect, and the global mean hat size. They don’t talk about the Tau of Pooh. references Give Me ... the Beach Boys? NPR: Ways to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine "We'll do it live!" Vihart: Pi is (still) wrong. Smart by Design: Base 12 - Why Counting In Twelves Would Make Life Easier Songlines: the Indigenous memory code Dead reckoning "TikTok is just ..." Remembering GeoCities, the 1990s Precursor to Social Media Billy Joel's "Piano Man" James Flynn's Ted Talk: Why our IQ levels are higher than our grandparents' The Flynn effect
28 minutes | Mar 14, 2022
163! That Darn Disposability Culture
What do we do about disposability culture? This week, Joey and Jess talk about fast furniture, Shein, quality-assurance signaling, direct-to-consumer mattresses, darning, and nubby sherpa chairs. They don’t talk about Dres and Mista Lawnge. references Salt-N-Pepa's here, and "here" appears to be a veterinary office NPR: Ways to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine Helen Rosner's Twitter question about fast furniture Brightly on the environmental waste of fast furniture Vox: Shein is the future of fast fashion. Is that a good thing? CNBC: There are now 175 online mattress companies—and you can’t tell them apart Corrections Department: The (possible) 18th-century New England origins of "Darn it!" ShINO vs. Sherpa
22 minutes | Mar 7, 2022
When did Instagram get so boring? This week, Jess, Aaron, and Joey talk about Facebook/Meta business strategy, The Viola Davis Orbit, positive affirmation, and creators vs. lurkers. They don’t talk about Smell-O-Vision. references THX NPR's Planet Money on sound branding (excerpted from Twenty Thousand Hertz's original two-part series on HBO and sound branding: Part One | Part Two) Eureeka's Castle Viola Davis on Instagram Path
57 minutes | Mar 1, 2022
161! The Fraud Phenomenon and Vibe Shifts
If we think of fraudsters as the hackers of social psychology, what can it teach us about the weaknesses of our society so we can strengthen them and make them better? And how should we feel about being left behind by a vibe? [28:57]This week, special guest Trevor Larry joins Joey and Jess to talk about catfishing, Inventing Anna, desperation and risk analysis, vibe shifts, "youth culture" as a construct, and Williamsburg. They don’t talk about why Nobody Beats the Biz (R.I.P).referencesNPR: Ways to support humanitarian efforts in UkraineJoey's on the radio.The Tinder SwindlerInventing AnnaCatfish: The TV ShowBusiness Insider: The rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes, the Theranos founderHow to Recognize Publishers Clearing House ScamsNew York's Vulture: Everything to Know About McMillions and the McDonald’s Monopoly Game ScamCNBC: Nigerian prince’ email scams still rake in over $700,000 a yearThe Conversation: West Elm Caleb and the rise of the TikTok tabloidTime keeps on slipping #noSpaceJamNew York's The Cut: A vibe shift is coming, will any of us survive it?8Ball SubstackDazed: WTF is Indie Sleaze and is it actually making a comeback?Grandmacore Aesthetic: Everything You Need to Know"Beefy and handsome" Nick WoosterBeef and cheese behavior (maybe with lettuce and tomato, if you like lettuce and tomato).Or, you know, in pre-vibe-shift-terms: Do you. (R.I.P., D).
49 minutes | Feb 21, 2022
160! Minding Your Business and Trash Candy
Where is the line between the honor of minding your own business and the honor of speaking up? And why do we buy things we know are trash? [28:49]This week, Joey, Aaron and Jess talk about bowling within your bumpers, preference vs. morality, misplaced concern, the persistence of old candy, utility vs. nostalgia, and fidget spinners. They don’t talk about why black licorice is actually insanely good if you don't have a ridiculous bias against it and/or are Dutch (or from a former Dutch colony).referencesEven if you don't speak Spanish, have a look at this graph!Maybe don't drink the milk, though.Revisit our wild rollerskating prognostication from Critical Nonsense 156!Ryan Ken on minding your own businessShowtime's YellowjacketsAlso, a look back at thick conversations from Critical Nonsense 121!Podcast: You're Wrong About: The Chicks vs. The Iraq War"Say It (Don't Spray It)"The Männkitchen Pepper Cannon: The greatest (but certainly not cheapest) pepper grinder of all time.Ancient(ly disgusting) necco wafers and the dusty, industrial hell from whence they comeThe Lindy EffectUm, FYI, professional fingerboarding is a thing.Tellicherry: the ultimate peppercornLegend Adam Neely breaks down the most elegant key change in all of pop music.More magic music theory nerdery from Mr. Neely: Olivia Rodrigo vs. Paramour.The cone of transcendentally delicious black licorice ice cream that Les and his obviously superior taste receptors will absolutely fight Joey over.
37 minutes | Feb 14, 2022
159! Kama Sutra and India's Sexual Repression
How do you think we as individuals can help a country like India decolonize their values and move in a direction of sexual liberation?This week, special guest Payal Pereira joins Jess and Joey to talk about British colonization, transgenerational cultural drama, kink subcultures, coded branding, sex education through dance, and the F-word. They don’t talk about the American Beekeeping Federation (or the Adult Bible Fellowship).referencesWiki: Kama SutraKama Sutra by VātsyāyanaVice: Inside the Secret World of India’s Adult Breastfeeding Community"The Psychology Behind Kinks and Seeking Pain In the Bedroom"Leeza MangaldasCorrections Department: The gospel according to Snopes: Etymology of the the ‘F-Word’The Sex Lives of College GirlsSkinsSex Education
35 minutes | Feb 10, 2022
158! Buttresses, Tethers, and Grunts
When should you keep going when all you see ahead of you are troubles? And why do tennis players grunt? [23:52]This week, Jess, Aaron and Joey talk about the ever-elusive vanilla cookie, nuance and complexity, imagining beyond your means, kinetic linking, mirroring, and tennis culture. They don’t talk about Monica Seles. Or Maria Seles. Or even Martina Seles. (They don't talk about Jimmy Connors either).referencesNot to disparage Joey's karaoke version, but Billy is the best.Critical Nonsense merchReturnalRoguelike role-playing gamesKinetic linkingMartina Navratilova is a (grunt-)haterMore power (and more grunting)A reminder: If You Can Huh! You Can HearHeilala Vanilla
25 minutes | Jan 31, 2022
157! Information Control
Are we actually passive victims to social media or do you see a future where we have some modicum of control?This week, Joey and Jess talk about the metaverse, Web3, public ledgers of information, entropy, "baroque speculative fiction," and nerds. They don’t talk about NFTs, weirdly enough.referencesNeal Stephenson's Fall; or, Dodge in Hell, in print or as an audiobookNYT's The Daily Podcast: Microsoft and the MetaverseMemeticsNew Scientist: What is Web3 and how will it change the way we use the internet?
77 minutes | Jan 24, 2022
156! Wild Prognostications 2022!
What's to come in 2022?This week, it's Wild Prognostications time again! Joey, Jess, and Aaron chime in with their annual predictions for the new year. They talk about crypto crashing [5:59], the return of rollerskating [19:59], the low-rise revival [28:53], gap-year popularity [43:15], Home-Ec classes for adults [52:19], and psychedelics [1:01:28]. They don’t talk about Vince Chase, poor guy.referencesWe can't make you love us.The New York Times: The Rise of the ClimatarianWhy Will Smith turned down The Matrix, but didn't turn down this.Oh, Disco Ball Rite Aid, you will be missedWhip ItFashion: Miu Miu Runway Show Marks the Return of the Low-Rise, Ultra-Mini SkirtJNCO JeansWhat exactly is Vaporwave AESTHETICS!?A look back at Mandy MooreBlack-ish and the gap yearAsher Roth "I Love College"The New York Times (again): I Do Things Differently From My Wife. And That’s OK.Dad, How Do I?Vice: The Battle Over Psychedelic Therapy's Future
21 minutes | Jan 17, 2022
155! Introducing: Nonsense VC!
How to make Sh*t Happens?We're back! (Kind of). We're kicking off 2022 with a quick intro to our new Shark Tank-like segment: Nonsense Venture Capital. This week, special guest Nora Mestrich joins Joey and Jess to talk about public restrooms, toilet paper, and two-dollar bills. They don’t talk about the impressively maintained public bathroom in Bryant Park.referencesShark TankNot quite a TikTok public restroom access account, but here are some sink reviewsWe want our two dollars!
45 minutes | Jan 10, 2022
[Reruns] 62! '90s Action Films and Cleaning Digital House
What debt do we owe to '90s action movies? And how can we clean digital house in the new year? [22:08]This week, one more from the Nonsense Wellspring (archive)!Again, Aaron and Joey talk about the most progressive movie genres, Atomic Blonde, Sigourney Weaver, ideas on Twitter, deep cleaning our feeds, and "the holey sock problem." They don't talk about how Joey is definitely 1000% wrong about Hitch.referencesThe 2014 MIT study on Twitter feeds and quality ideas and the full reportWhatever you feel about Malcolm Gladwell: thoughts on what guides our feelings on the law
52 minutes | Jan 3, 2022
[Reruns] 111! Your Purpose and UFO Sightings
How does purpose lead us astray? And when is it okay to talk about aliens? [24:52] This week, another rerun from the Nonsense Wellspring (archive)! Again, Aaron and Joey and Jess talk about Disney Pixar's Soul, fridge magnets, the Princess Diaries Series of novels, the Drake Equation and other UFO/UAP talk, tranches, and the science behind wombats' cube-shaped poop. They don't talk about owls relate to any of this conversation. references Elle: People react on Twitter to Soul Also, that Roger Ebert synopsis. But also, watch it! Quartz: "The Misappropriation of Corporate Purpose" Erik Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial Development '"The Princess Diaries" is a Meg Cabot literary classic—there are 10 in all, but at least read Book 1 through Jess's personal favorite, Book 3. SETI Lights in Charlotte and the blue light in Hawaii and some kinda something in LA Thanks science for explaining how wombats poop cubes
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