August 26, 2018
When you fire up Netflix, you’re looking at it…and it’s looking back at you. Which is weird, right? Even though you already paid for Netflix’s entire service, and even though it shouldn’t matter to Netflix how you spend your time there, every image you see is calibrated to sell you what they’ve decided you want. Did you know that process is going on? And did you know they might know some things about you that’d surprise you?
On this week’s episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt sits down with Jason Pargin (better known as David Wong) to explore Jason’s latest column, their shared Netflix histories, and what that system means for every one of us. They’ll examine the burgeoning new-ish field of data science, its laughable limitations, and its about-to-explode future. They’ll dig into businesses that already stick entire segments of the population with lousy choices, just because the businesses decided those people are A Specific Segment. And they’ll consider the inevitable world of number-crunched choices we could all get stuck with if companies don’t treat us like actual people.
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.