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GRIFTONOMICS

GRIFTONOMICS

By Jackson Palmer
We are living in a time where a JPEG can sell for a million dollars, celebrities openly endorse Ponzi schemes and when what you've invented doesn't matter nearly as much as what you say you've invented. As snake oil increasingly becomes our new currency, regulators and lawmakers are asleep at the wheel while pay-to-play journalists pump out puff pieces from their slurp juice-induced hangovers. Join us as we explore the dizzying, unending roster of these 2020s-era rackets. Welcome to the age of GRIFTONOMICS.
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Currently playing episode

The Road to Nowhere (w/ Paris Marx)

GRIFTONOMICS

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The Cancel Culture Con (w/ Katelyn Burns)
The notion of being “canceled” online is a fear held by many, often associated with consequences such as losing your job, friends and reputation. But increasingly, so-called “canceled” individuals seem to be fairing OK, and those consequences are becoming harder to find. So what does “cancel culture” mean in this day and age, and is it really a ticket to being exiled from society, or the road to getting your very own comedy special? To help explore this topic we’re joined by Katelyn Burns, MSNBC columnist and co-host of the Cancel Me, Daddy podcast. Follow Katelyn: Twitter Cancel Me, Daddy Follow GRIFTONOMICS: Website Twitter YouTube
55:34
August 29, 2022
The Road to Nowhere (w/ Paris Marx)
Electric cars, underground tunnels, and autonomous vehicles are just a few of the fantastical ideas you’ve probably heard about when it comes to news coverage of the transport industry. But how did we get here? Are these sci-fi concepts really the future of our society, or should we rethink more than just the dominance of the automobile as we consider the future of transport? To help us explore this topic, we’re joined by Paris Marx, author of the book "Road to Nowhere: What Silicon Valley Gets Wrong about the Future of Transportation" and host of the "Tech Won't Save Us" podcast. Follow Paris: Twitter Road to Nowhere (Book) Tech Won't Save Us (Podcast) Follow GRIFTONOMICS: Website Twitter YouTube
58:07
August 22, 2022
Life According to Longtermism (w/ Émile P. Torres)
If you’ve been following the tweets and interviews of our billionaire class lately, you may have noticed a recent interest from this group in topics such as global birth rates, colonizing far away planets and downloading your brain to a computer. Some billionaires have gone as far to share what they call a “longtermism” philosophy; endorsing, and in many cases, donating to organizations aligned with this belief system. But what is longtermism, and does it really have humanity’s best interests at heart? To help explore the topic we’re joined by philosopher and writer Émile P. Torres. Follow Émile: Twitter Follow GRIFTONOMICS: Website Twitter YouTube
56:21
August 15, 2022
The Reality of Virtual Real Estate (w/ Jathan Sadowski)
We’re living in a time where a large portion of the population can only dream of owning their own house or land due to increasing prices and stagnant wages, but alas, something called “virtual” real estate is a hot new market, raking in billions of dollars in sales in the last year alone. But why would anyone want to own virtual real estate and who are the driving forces behind it’s sudden popularity? To help us explore this topic, we’re joined by Jathan Sadowski, Senior Fellow at the Emerging Technology Lab of Monash University and host of the This Machine Kills podcast. Follow Jathan: Twitter This Machine Kills Podcast (Twitter) This Machine Kills Podcast (Patreon) Follow GRIFTONOMICS: Website Twitter YouTube
01:02:34
August 08, 2022
The "Buy Now, Pay Later" Bubble (w/ Siddharth Venkataramakrishnan of FT)
If you’ve made a purchase online recently, you’ve probably encountered the option to “Buy Now, Pay Later”. In the last few years, dozens of tech startups have sprouted up and have been successful in convincing merchants to offer their service to consumers.  With a market already estimated to be in excess of $100B, the industry is growing quickly and now bigger players such as PayPal and Apple are jumping on the bandwagon. But how do these services really work, are they safe, and how do they differ from just using your credit card? To help answer these questions, we’re joined by Siddharth Venkataramakrishnan, the Financial Times' banking and fintech correspondent. Follow Siddharth: Twitter The Financial Times Follow GRIFTONOMICS: Website Twitter YouTube
45:06
July 04, 2022
Mapping The Manosphere (w/ münecat)
In recent years you may have heard of something called the “Manosphere”. Existing across a range of mediums and levels of cringe, content focusing heavily on embracing one’s masculinity, quickly descending into misogyny, has acted as a pipeline for radicalization - especially amongst younger men. But who are the people running this, what are their real motives and are they making a buck from their disciples?  To help us unravel these questions, we’re joined by video essayist and musician münecat. Watch her video on "The Manosphere" here. Follow münecat: YouTube Twitter Instagram Follow GRIFTONOMICS: Website Twitter YouTube
36:59
June 29, 2022
Crypto Energy Crisis (w/ Ketan Joshi)
The crypto mining space is a very contentious space - some people will tell you the industry are burning as much electricity as a small country while others will tell you that it’s actually pushing forward the revolution of renewable energy. To help us untangle all of this, we’re joined by Ketan Joshi, climate analyst and communications expert. Follow Ketan: Twitter Website Follow GRIFTONOMICS: Website Twitter YouTube
01:00:43
June 20, 2022
Debunking DeFi (w/ Bennett Tomlin of Crypto Critics' Corner)
DeFi, short for “Decentralized Finance”, has been a popular buzzword of late - you might have had a friend or family member tell you about this hot new technology that can make you massive returns each week. At its peak, the DeFi ecosystem has come close to a reported $100B invested. But what really is DeFi and is it everything it’s cracked up to be? In recent months, the industry has suffered from hacks, market crashes and increased regulatory attention. Is this the future of finance, or just an elaborate get-rich-quick scheme on a course for disaster? To help us explore the wild world of DeFi, we’re joined by Bennett Tomlin, data scientist, consultant and co-host of the popular podcast Crypto Critics' Corner. Follow Bennett: YouTube Newsletter Twitter Follow GRIFTONOMICS: Website Twitter YouTube
01:02:38
June 13, 2022
Carbon Credit Cards (w/ Polly Hemming of The Australia Institute)
You might have heard more and more recently about carbon offsetting - with companies labeling their products as carbon neutral or airlines allowing you to offset the emissions of your ticket with a one-time fee. Carbon credits, the financial market behind this movement are becoming big business - with billions of dollars in credits traded last year alone. But how much oversight do these markets have, and can you be guaranteed that your carbon is actually being offset when you pay that extra airline fee? To help us answer these questions, we’re joined by Polly Hemming, Advisor to the Australia Institute for their climate and energy program. Follow Polly: Twitter The Australia Institute Follow GRIFTONOMICS: Website Twitter YouTube
01:00:00
June 07, 2022
That's So Meta (w/ Maxwell Strachan of Motherboard)
It’s been just over 6 months since Facebook rebranded their company to Meta, and in the process reignited mainstream interest in the concept of a Metaverse. Since then, billions of dollars of investment across the tech industry have poured into Metaverse-related projects, and many established companies have quickly jumped on the bandwagon to stay relevant and published some form of Metaverse strategy. But what exactly is a Metaverse? Is it something entirely new and groundbreaking, or just a rehash of the 3D worlds and video games that have existed for decades?  To help us try and define this new buzzword and explore how it’s panning out for companies who have gone all in, we are joined by Maxwell Strachan, Senior Features Editor at Motherboard, a VICE Media publication.   Follow Maxwell:  Twitter VICE Website Follow GRIFTONOMICS: Website Twitter YouTube
50:33
May 30, 2022
Selling Free Speech (w/ Eugen Rochko of Mastodon)
Since the early 2000s, social media and social networking has played a key role in how internet users across the world interact with one another. But in more recent years, major privacy concerns and the approaches to moderating content on these platforms has become an on-going debate. Some argue for so-called “free speech absolutism”, regardless of the consequences, while many others see the inherent dangers of letting these systems run unchecked… meanwhile, behind the scenes, big money and influence can create interesting dynamics when it comes to who is running these platforms. To discuss where things might be headed, we’re joined by Eugen Rochko, creator and CEO of Mastodon - an open source, federated social media platform based on open web protocols. Learn about Mastodon: Mastodon Website Mastodon on Twitter Eugen on Mastodon Follow GRIFTONOMICS: Website Twitter YouTube
46:48
May 24, 2022
What in the Web3?! (w/ Molly White of "Web3 is going just great")
In the last year or so you might have heard a lot about something called "Web3" and how it’s going to change everything we know about the internet. A lot of bold claims have been made and a lot of money invested - but what exactly is this supposedly revolutionary new technology? Is it going to change the world, or is it just another grift? To help us answer those questions, we’re joined by Molly White - software engineer, longtime editor of Wikipedia and maintainer of "Web3 is going just great". Follow Molly's work: Web3 is going just great (website) Web3 is going just great (twitter) Molly on Twitter Follow GRIFTONOMICS: Website Twitter YouTube
51:12
May 17, 2022