Indirect Message

Episode Guide

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18. Why Are We So Polarized?

feat. Lee Drutman, Breaking the Two-Party Doom Loop
November 11, 2020

 Americans are more polarized than we have been since the civil war. Data shows growing numbers of people feel political violence is justified. How did we get into this hellscape? And how do we get out of it?

17. Your Attention, Please!

feat. Ben Parr, Captivology
October 9, 2020

The internet is flooded with attempts to grab our attention. So what gets us to click?


Laci and Ben discuss the booming attention economy and how it is changing the world, from parasocial relationships to politics. They discuss 7 common tactics used to capture (and sell) our attention.

16. The Stoic Challenge

feat. William B. Irvine, A Guide to the Good Life
September 4, 2020

How do you handle the setbacks in your life? Laci and Bill discuss a variety of practical Stoic techniques to find greater resilience and strength in the face of life's challenges. 

Conversation topics include our need for social approval, righteous anger and victimhood, dealing with failure and rejection, declining civility, an unusual approach to grief, the trappings of consumerism, and what it truly means to embrace our circumstances.

15. Mask Hysteria

feat. Dr. Steven Taylor, The Psychology of Pandemics
July 22nd, 2020

Perhaps the biggest threat in a pandemic is not the virus itself...but how we react to it.

Last year, Dr. Steven Taylor predicted what would happen in the next pandemic with astonishing accuracy. In this episode, Laci and Steve discuss media distortion, the politicization of masks, backlash to mandates, American individualism vs. collectivism, the upcoming anti-vax crisis, personality types prone to mask hesitance, depressive realism vs. optimism bias, and what the past predicts about the future. 

14. Anonymity vs. Cancel Culture

feat. Scott Alexander, Slate Star Codex
July 8th, 2020

Anonymity is blamed for some of the worst behavior online. Should everyone be forced to reveal their true identity instead?

 

In this episode, Laci contends that anonymity isn't the boogeyman it's made out to be. She is joined by Scott Alexander from Slate Star Codex to discuss his crisis over a forced doxxing at the New York Times, the double edged sword of cancel culture, China's censorship problem, internet trolls, group think, and why we struggle with self control online.

13. The End of Policing?

feat. Mecole Jordan-McBride
June 19th, 2020

Is policing as we know it on the way out? In this episode, we discuss the militarization of the police, whether we should defund police departments, and what it will take to move forward in the wake of so much state-sanctioned violence and trauma.

12. It's a Conspiracy!

feat. Dr. Joe Uscinski
May 22nd, 2020

Are we living through the golden age of conspiracy theories? Laci Green takes a closer look at the psychology of conspiracy theories, the internet rabbit hole, and what we can learn from real conspiracies. 

11. Till Death Do Us Part

feat. Dr. Jeff Greenberg
May 8th, 2020

Laci Green explores the myriad ways that existential anxiety may affect human behavior. She is joined by Dr. Jeff Greenberg, one of the original researchers behind Terror Management Theory. She explores what Terror Management Theory is, and how our closely held beliefs and self esteem help us to live forever.

SEASON 1

10. Disagreeing Better

feat. Peter Boghossian

January 22, 2020

As mass media infiltrates our lives, our communication skills are waning. Laci is joined by Peter Boghossian to discuss methods to navigate political disagreements.
 

Topics include:
The psychological functions of virtue signaling, belief hygiene, if and when to draw the line with friends, how to change minds, justice vs. kindness, silencing dissidents, managing anger, and letting others be wrong.

9. Confessions of an

Ex-Mormon

feat. John Dehlin

January 8th, 2020

Faith crises have gone viral. Laci explores the stories of three ex-mormons who learn more than they bargained for, and the creative ways they communicate their differences with devout loved ones.

She is joined by John Dehlin of the Mormon Stories Podcast.

8. (Cam) Girl Power!

feat. Ginger Banks

December 18th, 2019

What happens when girl power unites with the household webcam? Meet the modern cam girl.

Chapter 1: Girl Power

Girl power grew out the 90s punk rock scene and eventually dominated pop music. Nearly 30 years later, it continues to make an impact in unexpected ways.

Chapter 2: The Sex Work Revolution

A heated feminist debate about sex work churns online. Laci explores how the blurred lines between private and public life creates new relationships and career options. 

Chapter 3: The Secret Life of Cam Girls
Laci chats with Ginger Banks, a well known cam girl. They discuss her foray into camming, the problems facing performers, and what it all means for girls and the internet.

7. Facing The Camera

feat. TomSka / Thomas Ridgewell

December 4th, 2019

Laci is joined by YouTube's TomSka, creator of asdfmovie, to discuss the joys and horrors of baring your soul to millions of strangers online.

Among other topics, they discuss ego and social justice activism, asking fans for money, the ethics of oversharing, and what it means to turn the camera on yourself.

6. Rumor Has It

feat. Dr. Taylor Carlson, PhD

November 20th, 2019

Juicy gossip has entertained us for centuries. But what happens when the rumor mill comes for you?

 

Chapter 1: The Rumor Mill

Laci traces the origins of the gossip industry and shares some of her own experiences with rumors online.

 

Chapter 2: #SaveMarinaJoyce

Mass hysteria broke out online after Marina Joyce posted a video with an unblinking stare and bruises on her arms. Laci recounts the bizarre story.

 

Chapter 3: The Info Warp 

Laci is joined by Dr. Taylor Carlson to discuss the psychology of rumor and misinformation. They explore how a story gets changed from person to person. They discuss why we spread rumors, what type of person is prone to gossip, and why we tend to gravitate toward negative information. 

5. Did Apps Kill Dating?

feat. Michael Bruch

October 30th, 2019

Online dating is here to stay. Dating should be easier than ever. And yet...it feels more exhausting. Where did we go wrong? 

Chapter 1: Woman Seeks Man
Laci shares her crazy first experience with online dating. She pays tribute to the old school dating services that paved the way to the future.

Chapter 2: Failure to Launch

I got 99 problems and most of them are dating apps. Laci explores the pain and pleasure points of today's dating tools.
 

Chapter 3: The Matchmakers
Laci interviews Michael Bruch, creator of the independent dating app Sweet Pea. They discuss gender differences in online dating, how to find dating success, and some of the more insidious aspects of the dating biz.

 

4. Dangerous Speech

feat. Jillian York of the Electronic Frontier Foundation

October 16th, 2019

Online censorship is increasing around the world. What kind of speech (if any) goes too far?

Chapter 1: Your Video Has Been Removed
Laci recounts the escalating censorship of her sex education YouTube channel.

 

Chapter 2: The Biggest Influencer
F**king algorithms. How do they work? The brutal reality of the codes that govern the internet.

 

Chapter 3: The Great, Grey Area
Laci discusses free speech online with Jillian York of the EFF. They discuss an array of topics: increasing censorship around the world, hate speech, harassment, the cases of Milo Yiannopoulos and Stephen Crowder, sex work, neo-nazi speech, Twitter’s not-so-free-speech policy, and how to save the internet.

 

3. There's No "I" In Meme

feat. Tay Zonday

October 2nd, 2019

Memes are the language of the internet. What can they teach us about society? And what happens when you accidentally become one?

Chapter 1: What Do You Meme?

Laci discusses the concept of a meme. Why do some memes spread while others die immediately?

Chapter 2: The Very First Internet Meme

Laci speculates on the first meme she encountered online and the curious virality of Godwin's Law.
 

Chapter 3: Becoming A Meme

Laci chats with Tay Zonday about his early viral hit, Chocolate Rain. They discuss why the song went viral, its message about race, and the existential crises of being a meme.
 

2. The Death of Expertise

feat. Dr. Tom Nichols, PhD

September 18th, 2019

The post-truth era has arrived. How do we address mass misinformation and deception online?

Chapter 1: The Death of Expertise
Laci reflects on the promise of the internet to bridge the information gap...and the messy reality we got instead.

Chapter 2: *Fake News Intensifies*
Laci and Tom share their perspectives on why fake news is so pervasive. Should social media companies intervene? They discuss the anti-vax movement, the 24/7 news cycle, and activist websites that pose as news sources.

Chapter 3: A Capitalist Education
Dr. Nichols lays out his case for the role of higher education in the fake news crisis.

 

1. Internet Kids

feat. Ms. Green, MSW

September 4th, 2019

Welcome to the Super Official First Episode!

Chapter 1: Internet Kids
Laci takes a trip down memory lane and discusses the early internet and digital identity.

Chapter 2: Trouble on the Playground
Youtube drama, the psychology of public humiliation, and the pros and cons of cancel culture.

Chapter 3: Age of Anxiety
Laci chats with her sister, a therapist, about the rise of social media related mental health problems and how to have a healthier relationship with your screen(s).

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© 2020 by Laci Green