November 10, 2014
Hollywood never fails to remind us that we only use 10% of our brains. That statistic is bullshit, but it’s true that around 90% of the activity in our brains is completely unconscious. We make most of our decisions without even knowing it. Our brains are constantly making decisions for us before we even know it, and it’s our conscious mind that fills in the rest of the details, crafting this decision into a narrative. That’s how a guy like Dennis Rodman could know where every ball was going to go as soon as it left a player’s hand — it’s also how most racism happens, and the reason why “when the judge ate last” is the best predictor of how he’ll rule.
This week on the podcast, Cracked editors Jack O’Brien and Jason Pargin (aka David Wong) discuss the conscious and unconscious sides of human decision-making, how they’re tied together, and the unexpected biases they produce. They’ll also talk with writer and improvisational comedian Ali Farahnakian to learn how these theories can be applied to comedy.
Listen now to get some solid advice on improvisational humor — and to learn why your political preferences might be less the result of your own decisions than of how your brain is hardwired.
January 26, 2020
Freedom sucks…and that is why we have to defend it. Because our democracy involves doing a lot of stuff that takes energy, takes time, and lacks that Michael Bay Quality that only a surprise missile launch can provide. So on this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt and special guest Jason Pargin (who writes for Cracked as David Wong) are exploring the ways being afraid of everything (an easy action) can stop us from being free. Discover the decades-long tradition of some Americans wanting to give up everything in exchange for not needing to think, the centuries-long tradition of people inciting fake panics, and the reasonable ways you can help change things for the better.
January 19, 2020
How’s your local shopping mall doing? Have you checked on it lately? Swing by sometime, because its department store might’ve turned into a call center or a hospital or a go-kart track. On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by the one and only Kai Ryssdal (Marketplace, Make Me Smart) for a look at surprising, strange, and shocking stories from all over the U.S. economy. Discover an international pig flu, a 26-word statement that built the modern Internet, and more amazing ways cash is ruling everything around you. By the way, if you’re an American listener, you spent the past few years funding an astonishingly huge bailout. Surprise! Listen for details!
January 12, 2020
Movies, TV, gaming: three things that are theoretically a waste of time. Oh sure, they deliver value in the art sense, and comfort in the goofing-off sense. But what if they’re more valuable than that? What if consuming shows and playing video games (accidentally) turns people into real-life heroes? On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by comedians/writers Caitlin Gill and Alex Watt for a look at the surprising number of times that exact thing happened. They’ll explore stories of regular people who saved a life thanks to skills gained randomly from cartoons, sitcoms, ‘World Of Warcraft’, and more silly entertainment.