August 29, 2016
EP. 139 — How Evolution Made Us Unfit For The Modern World
Are you ever so overwhelmed by the thought of going out to socialize that you just stay home instead? And then once you stay home, you’re bummed out at yourself for not leaving the house in the first place? Is your typical party maneuver to hang out in the corner pretending to text someone? Is the slow march of time a crippling experience that can only be made bearable by drinking alcohol and seeking out progressively more dangerous experiences?
Oh. Whew. Us too!
Seems that anxiety and depression are taking a bigger stranglehold of our culture and there are actually some statistics to back that up. Suicides are at a 30 year high, drinking is at a 25 year high, rates of depression are up 800 percent over 70 years and prescriptions for antidepressants were up 400 percent between 1988 and 2011. That’s some grim shit. But we have a theory as to why this may be happening.
Around some 200,000ish years ago, the human brain stopped evolving, but our culture hasn’t. Rigorous jobs, ever-expanding social networks, complex societal problems have all made our lives more convoluted, but our brains were only designed to handle things like, “where’s the fire?” and, “hey, there are some deer over there.” Evolution has left us hanging and we don’t know how to cope.
For a multi-tiered deep-dive into this subject, Jack O’Brien is first joined by Cracked executive editor Jason Pargin (aka David Wong) to discuss the increasing role of anxiety in our population. Later, Jono Zalay, the world’s foremost comedian with a PhD in neuroscience, joins the conversation to talk about the role of drugs in this equation and some of the scientific reasons for why our brain needs anxiety.
Also, make sure to come to our next live podcast taping on Saturday, September 10th at the UCB Sunset Theatre in Los Angeles, where Jack and the Cracked staff will flip-off movies like ‘Sully’ and ‘Deepwater Horizon’ and pitch some insane true stories that should be made into big Hollywood movies instead. Tickets are only $5 and are available here: https://goo.gl/VP9riY
Cracked: Why Anxiety is the Plague of the Modern World: http://goo.gl/BOfQgE
Cracked: 5 Brain Disorders That Started As Evolutionary Advantages: http://goo.gl/US9TKb
Cracked: 5 Ways Your Brain Is Tricking You Into Being Miserable: http://goo.gl/6bivn
Cracked: 6 Logical Fallacies That Cost You Money Every Day: http://goo.gl/K7PI8
Cracked: 6 Human Character Flaws (That Saved The Species): http://goo.gl/ObLk
Cracked: 5 Logical Fallacies That Make You Wrong More Than You Think: http://goo.gl/XtQGF
Slate: Why Do American Schizophrenics Hear Threatening Voices?: http://goo.gl/oi4PVh
Quartz: Giving Up Alcohol Opened My Eyes to the Infuriating Truth About Why Women Drink: http://goo.gl/qnJPSh
‘Rat Park’ Comic by Stuart McMillen: http://goo.gl/0yst1z
Jono Zalay: http://goo.gl/mx203E
Jono’s Podcast ‘Universe City’: https://goo.gl/ocbDyh
Come see us at the Now Hear This podcast festival: nowhearthisfest.com
This episode is sponsored by Magoosh, Yoga Hosers, and Loot Crate.
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.