The After On Podcast

By Rob Reid

Listen to a podcast, please open Podcast Republic app. Available on Google Play Store.

Category: Society & Culture

Open in Apple Podcasts

Open RSS feed

Open Website

Rate for this podcast

Subscribers: 943
Reviews: 11

 Apr 10, 2020

 Feb 7, 2020
This is by far my favorite podcast. It's very unfortunate that Rob hasn't produced a new episode in a while.

 Jan 21, 2020
one of a handful of great podcasts. This dude is on the cutting edge! I hope the pod returns soon. but there is much amazing content to be found in the catalog. brilliant. subscribe now! ,I say! you won't be sorry if you enjoy long-form discussions on science consciousness and really far-out topics

Mark Vickers
 Sep 20, 2019
My favorite podcast. Consistently excellent!

 Sep 8, 2019
Rob always does his research and so gets the most out of each interview. Well worth your time.


We dive deep into the science, tech, and social issues explored in the novel "After On." It's NOT necessary to be an "After On" reader to listen, learn & enjoy this podcast!

Episode Date
55: Detecting Disease Outbreaks from Internet Traffic | Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

This is closely tied to a 4-hour collaboration between Sam Harris and me, which Sam is posting to his podcast's feed. I strongly recommend that episode too! But it's not "required" for you to get everything out of this fascinating conversation with Seth.

Apr 23, 2021
54: Announcing a New Season

This "episode" is just a quick new announcement of a new season of the podcast (finally)! And also of something very cool that I'm working on with fellow podcaster Sam Harris.

Feb 02, 2021
53: The Case Against Reality | Don Hoffman (classic + updated)

Quantitative Psychologist Don Hoffman has a head-spinning take on the true nature of reality vs. what our senses report to us. This is a revisitation of our original interview, expanded with lots of new material recorded last week.  

Jul 30, 2019
52: Many Quantum Worlds | Sean Carroll

Quantum mechanics – and its eerie "Many Worlds" interpretation – are explored in terms that both poets & physicists can appreciate.

Jul 15, 2019
51: On Consciousness | Annaka Harris

The baffling and fascinating mysteries connected to the phenomenon of consciousness are explored in this conversation with the deeply thoughtful science writer, Annaka Harris.

Jun 25, 2019
50: About that TED Talk | Kevin Rose

This morning, TED posted a talk I just gave at their annual conference (on 11 days notice!). Kevin Rose interviewed me about my talk for his podcast. I’m posting his interview here as well.

Jun 18, 2019
49: Canceling PTSD with MDMA (part 2) | Rick Doblin

The drug known as Molly, Ecstasy and MDMA may soon get regulatory approved for therapeutic use, thanks to a 34-year campaign waged by Rick Doblin. Rick and I discuss all of this, plus his own unique story.

May 28, 2019
48: Canceling PTSD with MDMA (part 1) | Rick Doblin

The drug known as Molly, Ecstasy and MDMA may soon get regulatory approved for therapeutic use, thanks to a 34-year campaign waged by Rick Doblin. Rick and I discuss all of this, plus his own unique story.

May 21, 2019
47. AI Boom, or Doom? | Stuart Russell

Stuart Russell’s textbook is used to teach AI in over 1,400 universities and 120 countries. If AI scares him, it should scare you too.

Apr 30, 2019
46: Defeating Food Allergies | Kari Nadeau

The food allergy epidemic is mysterious, volatile, and growing fast. Kari Nadeau and her Stanford team are trying to halt it.

Apr 09, 2019
45: End Games (part 2) | Naval Ravikant

A rampage killer with a knife can kill a few. With a gun, dozens. With a jetliner, way more. What might future tech enable? In Part Two of our conversation, Naval and I discuss "The Ender."And how to preclude this monstrosity.

Mar 21, 2019
44: End Games (part 1) | Naval Ravikant

Naval & I discuss a horrifying risk. We questioned whether to post this. Might it give someone ideas? Well, the bad guys already HAVE ideas. And cataclysms are only averted if we face them. There’s still time.

Mar 19, 2019
43: Synthetic Neurobiology | Ed Boyden

Not yet 40, Ed Boyden has already concocted a panoply of tools, which are revolutionizing neuroscience research. He tells us all about optogenetics, expansion microscopy, and more.

Mar 01, 2019
42: Live from Gainesville + the 2019 Plan

We start with a review of this podcast's 2019 roadmap. Then – recorded before a live audience in Gainesville, Florida – I'M the interviewee for once!

Dec 30, 2018
41: The Medical Potential of Video Games | Adam Gazzaley

Both a recap and extensive update of last summer's conversation about neuroscience, consciousness, and the medical potential of video games.

Dec 19, 2018
40: Our Interstellar Visitor | Avi Loeb

Did the product of an alien intelligence make a near-Earth approach last fall? Harvard Astronomy Department Chair Avi Loeb believes this is possible.

Nov 28, 2018
39: Restoring Sight to the Blind | EJ Chichinilsky

Amazing work at Stanford could restore vision to the blind. Then later become a gateway some mind-blowing neural augmentation! We discuss the astounding neuroscience and engineering behind all this, with the professor who's making it happen.

Nov 14, 2018
38: The Science & Practice of Happiness | Laurie Santos

This spring, Yale evolutionary psychologist Laurie Santos debuted a course about happiness, almost as an experiment. It became the most popular course in the university's 300+ year history. Listen carefully, because this episode could make you happier!

Oct 24, 2018
37. On the Future | Astronomer Royal Martin Rees

Can humankind survive this century? Great Britain’s Astronomer Royal Martin Rees shares some of his profoundly original thinking on this fraught question.

Oct 01, 2018
36. Mapping the Heavens | Priya Natarajan

Dark matter, dark energy, and black holes are the universe's three most massive mysteries. Literally! Yale astrophysicist Priya Natarajan takes us on a fascinating tour of them all. 

Sep 13, 2018
35: Empowering the Acre | Andrew Youn

Andrew Youn's One Acre Found is bringing food security to hundreds of thousands of families throughout Central Africa. Now THAT'S an inspiring startup!

Aug 22, 2018
34: Ancient DNA | David Reich

The genetic code of Neanderthals, archaic humans, and other elders is reconfiguring much of our understanding of human history. And it could just save hundreds of thousands of modern human lives per year.

Jul 31, 2018
33: The Evolution of Beauty | Richard Prum

A bold and brilliant refutation of the common wisdom about sexual attraction, aesthetics, and more. Rick Prum is an evolutionary heretic. And the wellspring of his unorthodox ideas is ... Charles Darwin himself.

Jul 16, 2018
Announcement | On the Future of this Podcast

The full lowdown on where this podcast is going from here.

Jul 01, 2018
31: Expanding DNA's Alphabet (by half!) | Floyd Romesberg

Floyd Romesberg added two letters to DNA's ancient four-letter alphabet. He got this running in cells. And coding proteins. His cell lines have passed it down hundreds of generations. Now what?

Jun 26, 2018
30. De-extinction, The Whole Earth, and Way More|Stewart Brand

Over six consecutive decades, Stewart Brand has impacted society, tech and science in outlandishly diverse ways. This truly unhurried conversation explores the scope of his intensely original American life.

Jun 12, 2018
Jordan Harbinger | Bonus Episode

An examination of the science of psychopathy from my buddy Jordan Harbinger’s terrific podcast. This bonus episode is in addition to the two new original episodes I’m creating this month.

Jun 08, 2018
28: Exponential Medicine | Daniel Kraft

Key aspects of medical technology are improving even faster than computers. What are the ramifications for our health? For our lifespans? Dr. Daniel Kraft has tremendous insights into all of this - particularly as it relates to cancer.

May 29, 2018
27. Depression: The Psychedelic Cure | Katya Malievskaia & George Goldsmith

The largest-ever clinical trial of a psychedelic drug will soon begin in Europe and North America. The drug is psilocybin - the active ingredient in magic mushrooms. The target is treatment-resistant depression.

May 15, 2018
26: Reality Isn't | Don Hoffman

Quantitative Psychologist Don Hoffman has a head-spinning take on the true nature of reality vs. what our senses report to us. Is it the most counterintuitive insight since Pythagoras figured the Earth is round?

Apr 30, 2018
25. A Night at the Battery

In this very atypical episode, the tables turn and I'm the interviewee! We discuss all of my creative projects, including this podcast series. Recorded live at The Battery in San Francisco.

Apr 17, 2018
24: BioEngineering |George Church

George Church helped found 22 companies, and co-invented the paradigm-shattering gene editing technique CRISPR. In our interview, he delivers a sweeping survey of the world of synthetic biology, and makes some astounding predictions

Apr 03, 2018
23: AI & Robotics - Their Present and Future| Rodney Brooks

Rodney Brooks is a founding luminary of TWO vital domains in tech: robotics and AI. He's the father of the Roomba, the long-time head of MIT's AI lab, and a serial entrepreneur. Few can rival his breadth & depth in technology.

Mar 20, 2018
22: Creating the 6th, 7th & 8th Sense | David Eagleman

Neuroscientist David Eagleman has done groundbreaking work on how we perceive time. Now he hopes to radically expand the pantheon of human senses.

Mar 06, 2018
21: Neural Imaging and ... Telepathy? | Mary Lou Jepsen

After stints at Google and Facebook, serial entrepreneur Mary Lou Jepsen is ready to upend the worlds of medical imaging and ... telepathy. Yup, TELEPATHY. Give it a listen!

Feb 20, 2018
20: Radical Life Extension | Aubrey de Grey

Aubrey de Grey is a highly credentialed scientist who believes it's within our grasp to REVERSE human aging in the next few decades. Dozens of scientists are now executing on his plan, funded by extremely smart backers including Peter Thiel.

Jan 17, 2018
19: A Lightning Tour of the After On Universe

A wide-ranging set of excerpts from the After On audiobook, read brilliant folks including John Hodgman, Felicia Day, Jesse Cox, Tom Merritt. Back to "normal" episodes next week, promise! :-)

Jan 02, 2018
18: It's Really After On

This week, Broadway's own January LaVoy and legendary fantasy writer Patrick Rothfuss read/perform the the opening of the After On audiobook (plus quite a bit more). With some notes & observations from the author.

Dec 22, 2017
17: The Past Present & Future of Cryptocurrency | Coinbase Co-Founder Fred Ehrsam

Whether you’re a cryptocurrency novice or expert, this episode will teach you a ton. My guest, Fred Ehrsam, founded the world’s largest platform for storing & trading Bitcoin and more. Just us for a full crypto education!

Dec 13, 2017
16: The Promise & Peril in YOUR Genes | Robert Green

You will soon have access to a dizzying battery of facts about your health. Some could be horrid or positive on a life-changing scale! But most will be wildly ambiguous. Should you peek? NOTE: This is NOT just hypothetical.

Nov 29, 2017
15. Music Piracy | The Extraterrestrial Threat

A vast alien civilization is so into American pop music, it recently committed the biggest copyright violation since the dawn of time. Against us! How should humanity respond? A special (and rather playful) episode with John Hodgman.

Nov 21, 2017
14: The Future (if any) of Jobs | Andrew McAfee

Andy McAfee of MIT is a leading thinker about how robotics and other automation will influence the future of work and jobs. We touch on some scary stuff - plus some delightful notes of optimism!

Nov 14, 2017
13: Medium, Twitter, and Networked Words | Ev Williams

Ev Williams co-founded and ran both Twitter and, and is now the founder/CEO of Medium. He’s a deep thinker about ideas morph & travel, and is carving out a place for thoughtful, serious writing online.





Oct 31, 2017
12. TED Talks + Organization | Chris Anderson

You've probably seen a TED Talk or two (or 500!) online. Chris runs the TED organization, and has some fascinating thoughts both on how we're wired to process oratory, and how we might build a better world.

Oct 24, 2017
11. Space Archaeology | Sarah Parcak

Sarah Parcak is a pioneer in the emerging field of space archaeology. In 2016 she won the TED Prize to launch a “citizen science” platform, which is finding lost sites and fighting archaeological looting throughout the world.



Oct 17, 2017
10. Tech's Past & Future | Tim O'Reilly

Technology’s pre-eminent publisher, Tim O’Reilly helped trigger the rise of the commercial Web, the open source community, the Web 2.0 era, and the maker movement. I discuss tech’s past and future with one of its most original thinkers.

Oct 10, 2017
9. Drones |Chris Anderson of Wired & 3DR

Chris Anderson was Wired’s editor-in-chief for 12 years, then started one of the world’s great drone companies.

We discuss all this – and his origins as a high school dropout living in a squat and playing bass for a band called REM (no, not that REM).

Oct 03, 2017
8: Fermi's Paradox (or, where are all the aliens?) | Stephen Webb

Our universe’s vastness and age has given alien intelligence ample space and time in which to arise. Why can we detect no sign of it? 

This is actually a momentous and scientifically serious question. Yes, really! With British astronomer Stephen Webb.

Sep 26, 2017
7. The Dangers of Superintelligence| James Barrat

James Barrat’s book “Our Final Invention” helped touch off a public debate about the possible dangers of superintelligence, which continues to this day. We discuss these dangers in depth in our interview.

For those who are reading the novel After On, Tom Meritt and I discuss pages 380-464 in the very last section of the podcast.


Sep 19, 2017
6. On Terrorism | Sam Harris

Sam Harris is one of the most visible and controversial commentators on terrorism and its roots. Our interview dives deep into this subject, as well the personal journey that made Sam into the public intellectual he has become.

For those who are reading the novel After On, Tom Meritt and I discuss pages 289-380 in the very last section of the podcast.


Sep 12, 2017
5. Quantum Computing |Steve Jurvetson

Quantum computers could be almost farcically powerful compared to classical computers. Venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson and I discuss how & why this is – and whether this potential will ever be realized.


For those who are reading the novel After On, Tom Meritt and I discuss pages 241-288 in the very last section of the podcast.

Sep 05, 2017
4: Synthetic Biology | Andrew Hessel

It took 13 years and $3 billion to read the first human genome in 2003. Now takes #$1K and just hours. What happens when we can WRITE DNA as easily as we now read it?

For those who are reading the novel After On, Tom Merritt and I discuss pages 180-241 in the very last section of the podcast.

Aug 24, 2017
3: Privacy + Govt Intrusion | Cindy Cohn (EFF)

In this episode, we discuss patent trolls, government hacking, privacy in the digital age, and other vital issues with Cindy Cohn, who runs the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

For those who are reading the novel After On, Tom Merritt and I discuss pages 110-180 in the very last section of the podcast.

Aug 17, 2017
2: Consciousness & Neuroscience | Adam Gazzaley

In this episode,we discuss the roots of consciousness and other vital topics with UCSF neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley.

For those who are reading the novel After On, Tom Merritt and I discuss pages 51-109 in the very last section of the podcast.

Aug 10, 2017
1: Augmented Reality | Meron Gribetz

In this episode, we discuss augmented reality (AR) with the CEO of AR pioneer Meta, Inc. Meron Gribetz. 

For those who are reading the novel After On, Tom Merritt and I discuss pages 1-51 in the very last section of the podcast.

Aug 03, 2017