show episodes
 
We can have the future we want—but we have to work for it. Soonish brings you stories and conversations showing how the choices we make together forge the technological world of tomorrow. From MIT-trained technology journalist Wade Roush. Learn more at soonishpodcast.org. We're a proud member of the Hub & Spoke audio collective! See hubspokeaudio.org.
 
The world’s leading innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors share their insights on what’s next in technology and the life sciences, and why their companies’ products and ideas will rule the world. Hosted by Wade Roush, a contributing editor at Xconomy, the authoritative online network for news about the high-tech economy.
 
How do we understand the places we visit (and even the places we’ve never been)? As a shorthand, we use agreed-upon touchstones - famous places, famous people famous foods, and, of course, dreams. Dreamed-up people and dreamed-up places and dreamed-up things. This podcast looks at a culture's icons - real and imagined - to see what they say about the culture itself, as well as the outsiders who've elevated those icons above all others.
 
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show series
 
Venture capital is the fuel powering most technology startups. Behind every future Google or Uber or Snapchat is a syndicate of venture firms hoping for outsize financial returns. But the vast majority of venture money goes into Internet, mobile, and software companies where consumer demand and the path to market are plain. So what happens to entre…
 
In this episode of Soonish you'll meet Stanley Crooke, the former CEO of Ionis Pharmaceuticals and the head of a new nonprofit called N-Lorem, which is working to make mutation-correcting "antisense oligonucleotide" drugs available free for life to people with uncommon genetic diseases. These are conditions so rare they often don't have a name. But…
 
The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on education on schools around the world, often rendering in-classroom instruction too dangerous for both students and teachers. But one reason the effects of the pandemic haven’t been even worse is that, in education as in many other fields, a few new technologies were ready for broader deploym…
 
In honor of the inauguration of Joseph R. Biden—a day of long-awaited endings and new beginnings—I'm republishing my Season 2 opener, "Shadows of August," which I first released a little more than three years ago. during the the fiery early months of the Trump presidency. On a road trip to southern Illinois to witness the total eclipse that sliced …
 
In 1973, there was only one man who believed everyone on Earth would want and need a cell phone. That man was a Motorola engineer named Martin Cooper. “I had a science fiction prediction,” Cooper recounts in his new memoir, Cutting the Cord: The Inventor of the Cell Phone Speaks Out. “I told anyone who would listen that, someday, every person would…
 
As we hunker down for what will be a very unconventional Thanksgiving, it seemed like the right time to re-release our 2018 episode exploring how the holiday is actually a strange mashup of two distinct celebrations. Whether you're spending this holiday longing for Thanksgivings of old or wondering why on earth this holiday matters so much, this ep…
 
Soonish's six-month detour into electoral politics finishes where it started, with a conversation with our favorite futurist, Jamais Cascio. We talked late on November 6—when it was already clear that Joseph R. Biden would win the presidential race, but before the networks had officially called it—and we explored what Biden's unexpectedly narrow wi…
 
Welcome to a special two-part series about the looming clash over the future of America. In Part 1, we looked at the tattered state of our democracy and searched for peaceful ways through an election season in which one candidate—Trump—has threatened violence and disruption if he doesn’t win. Here in Part 2, we look at the work waiting for us after…
 
Welcome to a special two-part series about the looming clash over the future of America. In Part 1, we look at the tattered state of our democracy as the election approaches, and we assess nonviolent ways to respond to the twin threats of political polarization and President Trump's thuggish behavior. Part 2 is coming October 12. These are probably…
 
This episode, a deep dive into the 45 year old proto-blockbuster that has dominated the conversation in this lost pandemic summer - Jaws. That deep dive takes us to the island where Jaws was shot, Martha's Vineyard, as well as Nantucket, the nearby island where Jaws might have been shot if snow hadn't forced the ferry Production Designer Joe Alves …
 
Donald Trump will not be president forever. Whether he leaves office in 2021 or 2025; whether he steps down peacefully or not; whether he’s replaced by a Democratic president or a Republican one—he will leave. And then the country will face the immense task of restoring democratic norms and facing up to the failings that allowed a populist, white-n…
 
Voters, hold on to your hats. The U.S. election system could face an unprecedented array of challenges in November, from the coronavirus pandemic to the prospect of cyberattacks to the depradations of President Trump himself. And that means there’s a non-zero chance that the election will misfire, leaving us with the wrong president—or no president…
 
Futurists—who sometimes prefer to be called scenario planners or foresight thinkers—specialize in helping the rest of us understand the big trends and forces that will shape the world of tomorrow. So here’s what I really wanted to ask one: Is a cataclysm like the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 the kind of event we should be able to see coming? If so,…
 
Iconography started three years ago with an episode about two neighboring bridges in the heart of London. Now, for our third birthday, Wade Roush of fellow Hub & Spoke show Sooinsh brings us the story of two Boston bridges that share a similar story, though that story has a very different ending. Stick around after Wade's story to hear him and me c…
 
The moment in the voting booth when you put your pen to your ballot (or put your finger to the electronic touchscreen, as the case may be) is democracy distilled. It’s the act that makes America a republic. But while the casting your vote is critical, it’s everything that happens before, during, and after that moment that makes up the larger electi…
 
In this bonus interview episode, Brian Logan, Communications Director for the Plymouth 400 organization gives us insight into what goes into planning a quadricentenary commemoration. Transcript here: https://iconographypodcast.com/articles/interview-w-brian-logan-communications-director-s1!677aeBy Charles Gustine
 
Apple used the opening keynote presentation at its annual World Wide Developers Conference in San Jose in June to roll out the usual array of software updates and new computer hardware. But tucked into middle of the keynote was one the event's most consequential and underappreciated pieces of news: For the first time in more than three years, Apple…
 
Visitors to Plymouth Rock tend to find the icon... underwhelming - a small, scarred rock in a cage. Maybe the reason Plymouth Rock is so frequently seen as underwhelming is because all the fascinating stories of how people who love the Rock have hurt it aren’t well known enough. People love telling stories about cool scars! Maybe if we all knew mor…
 
The adjective “visionary” gets thrown around a lot, but it’s literally true of Chesley Bonestell and Arthur Radebaugh, the two illustrators featured in this week’s episode. Both men used their fertile visual imaginations and their artistic skills to create engaging, influential depictions of human space exploration and our high-tech future. Their w…
 
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