Washington, D.C. (May 10, 2018)—Today The Atlantic premieres Crazy/Genius, the latest addition to its suite of podcast programming. Hosted by senior editor Derek Thompson, the new eight-episode series asks consequential questions and arrives at provocative conclusions about how technology is changing our lives. From blockchain to online dating to space exploration, the series will debate whether technology is moving us forward or setting us back, how we got here, and where we’re headed.
The first season of Crazy/Genius is exclusively sponsored by HBO’s Westworld. It is now available to subscribe to at iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and Spotify; new episodes will be released on Thursdays for the next eight weeks.
In the first episode, Thompson asks a question that affects the nearly two billion Facebook users around the world: "Why can’t Facebook tell the truth?" Thompson argues that the social media giant has merely adopted a business model with origins in the 1830s, when newspapers first discovered their own readers were a means of turning a profit. As papers sought to maximize revenue, stories became increasingly sensational to attract readers—and the early days of fake news emerged. Now as Facebook charts a new path in the wake of scandal, Thompson questions whether the company is just a simple newsstand—another place where gossip triumphs over truth. And if this is the case, can it be fixed or should Facebook be broken in exchange for something better?