This week we're talking about gangstalking. If you haven't heard of it before, you're not alone, but it's a bit on the fringe, and it's a concerning concept. People who believe they're victims of gangstalking feel harassed and threatened by seemingly everyone -- at home, in the store, at work -- and they see themselves as the targets of a coordinated campaign of trouble. And when they find each other online to discuss this phenomenon, there can be real consequences. This episode exists not to target or demonize people who see themselves as victims of gangstalking, but as an expression of concern for them and as a look into the ways in which the internet can exacerbate problems rather than make them better.
This week we're talking about the spoopy abandoned town known as "Helltown" Ohio. A small part of a larger surrounding town, it's been abandoned for about 40 years. It was roped off and inaccessible, and spawned several legends about what happened that made the town close up. We talk about the rumors and lore, as well as the truth of what really happened in this small plot south of Cleveland in Summit County.
This week, we're celebrating the month of spooptober with special guest Kerstyn, talking about something truly terrifying. An ancient and evil force, which neither man nor god could contain. The torturer of untold billions of souls, it knows no country and is unbound as it sweeps the globe in search of those to twist into its hideous grasp. Grab your blankets and tuck into your couches as we discuss our spookiest subject yet!
This week, we're kicking off Spooptober with an episode about our amazing, weird, creepy brains. The brain is a long-lasting mystery and spoop symbol. Mad scientists with brains in jars or putting them in monsters' heads hasn't helped. But today we're talking about the odd ways the brain works, the ways in which it breaks, and some of the amazing things you can do with a brain (or can't, as it may turn out).
This week, we're talking about Ted Kaczynski. But not necessarily the Ted Kaczynzki story you know. Our special guest Kerstyn is here to talk with us about some of the more formative experiences that may have contributed to his development that are a lesser known part of the story, as well as breaking down some of the elements of his well-known manifesto. The nature of meaningful work, the changing nature of our society and technology, and both physical and mental isolation are core themes to his story and we find them worth exploring.
This week, we're talking about a few people who are local legends. The kind of people who are interesting, eccentric, or just radiate personality. We're talking about Cleveland's own "Superpimp" a fixture of the club scene, as well as the late 19th century self-appointed "Emperor of the United States" and the two dogs associated with him. This episode is a trek into what happens when people decide to just go with something, without cynicism. It's kinda nice.
This week we're talking about predictive text AI models, specifically the new kid on the block: GPT-3. Most of us are familiar with chat bots: smarter child, Tay, and others that have been accessible for humans to interact with. Historically, they haven't been all that convincing, but all of that is beginning to change. While still not necessarily fully human, the capabilities inherent in the latest predictive text models are astounding, and spell out a future where humans are not the only (or best) writers around.
Disclaimer up front: This is a very sad, disturbing, and explicit episode. It all starts in 2010, when Sarah Lawrence student Talia Ray informs her dorm mates that her dad is getting out of prison and will be coming to stay with them. In the dorm. It would be the first instance in a decade-long campaign of manipulation, abuse, and tragedy. Lawrence Ray was introduced to his daughter's friends as a truth teller, a hero, and a great man. But their lives together would develop into an entirely different story. This is a painful story, but we think it's an important one, and with much appreciation and credit to Ezra Marcus and James D. Walsh, who are heavily to credit for justice being sought in this case.
This week we're talking about 5G, the latest wave in cellular evolution that is bound to make it to your phone within a few years. Every time there's a new "G" there's some kind of fear and paranoia around it, and 5G is already feared in this particularly uncertain time. We talk about what 5G is, what the conspiracy theories are, and also what you should really be paying attention to as the cellular wave of the future is being built city to city and country to country.
This week we're talking about some cryptography, hacking, and the crazy days where the phone company in the US was practically a god. We're joined by our most excellent guest and friend Kerstyn, who set out to answer the question: Does it ever really happen where those crazy scofflaw hackers are so good they get recruited by the feds? The answer to that ended up being hard to pin down, but we took a nice meandering goose walk instead, learning about the women that led cryptographic efforts in WWII, the "world's most famous hacker" Kevin Mitnick, and the weird and wild days of phone phreaking.