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Important, Not Important

Important, Not Important

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Science for people who give a sh*t. The 6-time Webby nominee delivers deep conversations with the world's smartest people (scientists, doctors, CEO's, farmers, and more!), and digestible news updates every single week. Get Action Steps you can take to feel better, and build a better future for...

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    Issue #250: Drastic Decarbonization, Dirty Diapers, Data Disasters

    <p>This week: How to reduce methane; America’s out of diapers; COVID questions; A new day against malaria; Food systems examined; How you’re tracked</p><ul><li>Find links from...

    The First Black Female Space Pilot

    <p>We’re bringing back one of our all-time most popular conversations, and not <em>just</em> because it kicks ass. When this interview was recorded back in 2018, Dr. Sian Proc...

    Issue #249: Climate Up in the Air, COVID Study Hall, Where’s the (Lab Grown) Beef?

    <p>This week: It’s Climate Day; How to defeat the next pandemic; Telehealth in red states; Is lab-grown meat a myth; Facebook’s very bad month continues</p><ul><li>Find links ...

    Issue #248: Viruses Just Wanna Have Fun, Electric Boogaloo, Facebook Funtimes

    <p>This week: Manchin wields a dirty pen; Our new COVID rules; Fighting for expanded telehealth; 200 million climate migrants; Even more trolls</p><ul><li>Find links from this...

    How We Deal With Drought: From NOVA Now

    <p>I’m very excited to share an awesome show with you today, from the fine folks at PBS! God, I love PBS.&nbsp;</p><p>The show is called “NOVA Now” and I’m a longtime huge fan...

    Issue #247: Here Comes the Sun, a Clinical Trial on Your Wrist, Florida Finally Does Something Right

    <p>This week: Solar’s wilding out; $65 billion for the next pandemic; Better, cheaper, more inclusive clinical trials; Protecting farmworkers; Biden’s AI board</p><ul><li>Find...

    Issue #246: Enter the Matrix, Billions, Face/Off

    <p>This week: Climate tech billions; COVID goals; A new hope for neurodegenerative diseases; An IPCC for food; Facial recognition knows no bounds.</p><ul><li>Find links from t...

    Mixtape Vol 2: "When was the first time you had the power of change?"

    <p>If we're going to make this world a better place, things have to change. That's why we talk with the changemakers who have the power – and the courage – to get things done....

    Issue #245: Hello Nurse, Wind-Power & Whales, Securing Cyberspace

    <p>This week: Wind NIMBY’s; More nurses, stat; Diabetes on the rise; Evictions; Cybersecurity commitments.</p><ul><li>Find links from this newsletter and more at <a href="http...

    Mixtape Vol 1: “Why are you vital to the survival of the species?”

    <p>Each week we kick off our conversations with the smartest people in the universe with one humble question: “<strong>Why are you vital to the survival of the species?”</stro...

    Issue #244: These Are The Easy Wins

    <p>This week: Operate from a place of self-awareness; God, we are so bad at math; A half-century later; Drive pediatric cancer research; What’s the future of meat work? TikTok...

    122. We Are The Algorithm

    <p>In <strong>Episode 122</strong>, Quinn has big questions about AI ethics and, like many other situations, is left wondering: was Dr. Ian Malcolm right all along?</p><p>Our ...

    121. QueerBrownVegan

    <p>In <strong>Episode #121</strong>, Quinn’s got a fantastic new guest to help answer his favorite question: “<strong>What can I do?</strong>”</p><p><strong>Isaias Hernandez</...

    Issue #242: Facebook Fuels Misinformation, Putting the AI in Fail, Can TikTok Make Vaccines Cool?

    <p>This week: 50% isn’t good enough; Facebook fossil fuel ads; How to get shots to Africa; Oysters!?; Why has AI failed to help during COVID?</p><ul><li>Find links from this n...

    120. Welcome to the Discontinuity

    <p>In <strong>Episode 120</strong>, Quinn discusses <strong>retraining our mind to understand and operate in the discontinuity we are in.</strong> Let’s get META.</p><p>HIs gu...

    119. How to Protect Yourself from Wildfire Smoke

    <p>In <strong>Episode 119</strong>, Quinn asks: <strong>what’s in wildfire smoke, what does it do to your body, and how can you stay safe?</strong></p><p>Our guest is <strong>...

    Issue #241: A Different Kind of Thirst Trap, Back to the Mask, Where’s Smokey the Bear when you need him?

    <p>This week: FDA got next?; Flooded subways; Delta's a game-changer; Epic (AI) fail; Fire predictions; Food stamp groceries delivered.</p><ul><li>Find links from this newslet...

    Introducing "A Matter of Degrees"

    <p>I don't have to tell you folks – climate change is the story of our time. There’s been a sharp rise (like last week) in people are anxious, angry, and want action – and the...

    Issue #240: The Pizza King of Vaccines, Beef: It’s (Still) for Dinner, Investors on Notice

    <p>This week: The climate crisis kicked down the door of the west and global north this week; The Pizza King of Vaccines; Mental health care now available everywhere; The Huma...

    118. F*cking Mosquitoes

    <p>In <strong>Episode 118</strong>, Quinn discusses: <strong>the big mosquito problem</strong>.</p><p>Our guest is <strong>Dr. Omar Akbari</strong>, one of the world’s pre-emi...

    Issue #239: Go to Farmers’ Markets, Climate Reparations, Held Hostage by Hackers

    <p>This week: deep breath; COVID all around the world; there are two Americas and it’s obvious why; the global hungry jump to 768 million; call your doctor!; money for nothing...

    117. Keep ‘em Accountable

    <p>In <strong>Episode 117</strong>, Quinn discusses: how accountability works – and doesn’t – in the climate movement, how you can get involved, and how the best in the world ...

    Issue #238: Seattle in the Oven, Vaccine Money Grab, Building Biased Robots

    <p>This week: To understand Africa, look to India -- or not; Reverse course; Don’t believe everything you read -- especially Best Buy food labels; New headline, who dis?</p><u...

    Introducing HERO, from Foreign Policy

    <p>This week, Quinn is proud to share a new favorite podcast: “The Hidden Economics of Remarkable Women (HERO).”&nbsp;</p><p>Could empowering women in the workplace be the sim...

    Issue #237: Do the Dew Point, Thanos SNAP Benefits, Putting the AI in Ethical

    <p>This week: What’s a dew point, anyways?; The COVID Delta variant is here; And then there were six; An all female Justice League of social media.</p><ul><li><a href="https:/...

    116: What Really Happens When You Just Give People Money?

    <p>In <strong>Episode 116</strong>, Quinn wants to know: <strong>why is simply giving people money the most effective way to 1) help them make positive changes to their lives ...

    Issue #236: Amazon Held to Ransom (Not That One), COVID Doesn’t Discriminate (But We Do), Vaccinate the 99%

    <p>This week: it’s Bolsonaro all the way down; the 99%; 44 thousand patients can’t be wrong; “fire beats water” should be relegated to D&amp;D;</p><ul><li>Find links from this...

    Best of the Best: Do We Really Know What’s in that Moisturizer (& Where the Hell Did it Come From?)

    <p>In light of new research on toxic ingredients, it looks like America might finally start regulating cosmetic products, so it’s a great moment to re-run one of our most popu...

    Best of the Best: Legalizing the Other Weed

    <p>In celebration of New York state passing Bill S6532A, permitting underwater kelp cultivation, we’re re-playing one of our coolest (and most entertaining) episodes. Kelp cou...

    Issue #234: Tripping Over Our Bootstraps, Cover My Crops, AI is as Bad as Us

    <p>This week: “Do not come”; The pandemic is not over for everyone; We can do better, can’t we? Cover crops; Language barriers in AI.</p><ul><li>Visit <a href="http://importan...

    115: Fossil Fuel Propaganda

    <p>In <strong>Episode 115</strong>, Quinn &amp; Brian discuss: How to stop fossil fuel advertising.</p><p>Our guests are <strong>JaRel Clay and Jamie Henn.</strong></p><p>JaRe...

    Issue #233: Big Renewable Energy, AI Isn’t All That (Yet), Hot Vax Summer

    <p>This week: bigger doesn’t mean better; COVAX has got next, finally; a brand new day… and vaccine; AI and medicine – so close, and yet so far.</p><ul><li>Visit <a href="http...

    114. Carbon Offsets: Not A Get Out of Jail Free Card, TBH

    <p>In <strong>Episode 114</strong>, Quinn asks: <strong>What are carbon offsets, and do they even work?</strong>&nbsp;</p><p>Our returning guest is <strong>Akshat Rathi</stron...

    Issue #232: These Shrooms Aren’t Fungi, Climate Change Is Costly, Keep the Vaccines Rolling

    <p>This week: a brutal day for oil; fungi on the move (not great); wastewater: so hot right now; paying for climate protection; vaccine inequities; and facial recognition on t...

    Do Better Better #18: Back to the Future

    <p>Synopsis: We can time travel to the past to understand how we got to where we are today. But the past doesn’t dictate the future - not anymore. So we have to look forward. ...

    113: Lessons from Plants

    <p>In <strong>Episode 113</strong>, Quinn asks: <strong>What can we learn from plants?</strong></p><p>The answer, it turns out, is: A whole heck of a lot.</p><p>Our guest is t...

    Issue #231: Electric Truck Boogaloo, Get Your Colon Checked, What’s Your Beef

    <p>This week: An electric truck for the masses; India’s vaccine production stays home; Better cancer screening; Beef emissions.</p><ul><li>Find links from this newsletter and ...

    112. The Next Pandemic

    <p>Oh, when we were young and so naive.</p><p>In <strong>Episode #9</strong> (!), Quinn and Brian got to know<strong> Dr. Nahid Bhadelia</strong>, an infectious diseases physi...

    111: When Your Government Runs on Windows 95

    <p>In <strong>Episode 111</strong>, Quinn &amp; Brian discuss <strong>the past, present, and future of government IT infrastructure. ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED???</strong></p><p>...

    Issue #229: Fossil Fuel Funding, MDMA Magic, Leaky Legislation

    <p>This week: fossil fuel financing under the microscope, India’s COVID summer, MDMA to the rescue, how to fix our water pipes.</p><ul><li><a href="https://tim.blog/2021/03/31...

    110. The End of the Universe

    <p>In <strong>Episode 110</strong>, Quinn’s talking about <strong>the end of the universe.</strong></p><p>His guest is <strong>Sarafina Nance</strong>, Ph.D. candidate at Berk...

    Issue #228: Carbon Offset Upset, the COVID Baby Bust, Man vs. Mosquito

    <p>This week: AI is going backwards; carbon offsets are a mirage; falling birthrates and COVID; the end of malaria?; Jordan’s out of water.</p><ul><li>Find links from this new...

    109. Introducing “What Can I Do?”

    <p>In <strong>Episode 109</strong>, Quinn &amp; Brian try to help answer the eternal question: <strong>What can I do?</strong></p><p>Our guest is <strong>Frank Buncom IV</stro...

    Issue #227: Building a Better Battery, It’s Covid Crunch Time, I Was Promised Waterworld Wouldn’t Suck

    <p>This week: Batteries 101; too many vaccines, not enough takers; new antibiotics, but are they the right ones?; water disputes grow; AI gets the crack down</p><ul><li>Find l...

    108. Data for Progress

    <p>In <strong>Episode 108</strong>, Quinn &amp; Brian discuss: <strong>Data for progress.</strong></p><p>Our guest is <strong>Julian Brave NoiseCat</strong>, the Vice Presiden...

    Issue #226: Show Me Receipts, I Like Those Odds, The Next Frontier in Your Fleshbag

    <p>This week: Biden’s climate disclosures; Johnson &amp; Johnson on pause; Odds of being infected post-vaccination; Biotech’s next decade; The EU draws up AI rules… and just i...

    107. Start a Sustainable Fashion Revolution

    <p>In <strong>Episode 107</strong>, Quinn &amp; Brian discuss: <strong>How to buy clothing that lasts while not polluting the oceans or exploiting low-income workers.</strong>...

    Issue #225: The Cost of Climate Change, Skeptical Evangelists, Algorithms for the Win

    <p>This week: Climate finance remains unregulated; God vs Vaccines; AI antibiotics are coming; New data on food waste since the 1960s</p><ul><li>Find links from this newslette...

    Do Better Better #17: Start Over

    <p>Synopsis: Starting over sucks. But, like in Contra, maybe starting over is just the thing that’ll save the world.</p><p>Do Better Better essays help you build mental models...

    #106: Black Moms Matter

    <p>In <strong>Episode 106</strong>, Quinn &amp; Brian ask: <strong>Why is it so dangerous to have Black babies in America?</strong></p><p>Our guest is <strong>Congresswoman La...

    Issue #224: Biden Steps Up, The Take-Home Test You Hope to Fail, Why Green is Good

    <p>This week: Biden’s plan, explained; financial climate risk, uncovered; at-home COVID tests, approved; pesticide poisonings, revealed</p><ul><li>Find links from this newslet...

    Best of the Best: “‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens”

    <p>Hi. Hello. Americans are leaving their living rooms again, which means we’re shooting people again, too. As such, we’re re-running our conversation with Fred Guttenberg, fa...

    Issue #223: Summer’s About to Get a Whole Lot Longer

    <p>This week: The Western drought grows; China’s vaccine exports; menthol cigarettes on the run; bacon and Alzheimer’s; croissants and cancer.</p><ul><li>Find links from this ...

    #105: Your Smart Fridge Just Overturned Democracy

    <p>In <strong>Episode 105</strong>, Quinn &amp; Brian ask: How safe is your data (and can your wine fridge take down democracy)?</p><p>Our guest is: <strong>Dr. Carissa Véliz,...

    Issue #222: Low Hanging vs Game Changing: Why Not Both?, a Strong Cup of Joe, Waiting is the Hardest Part

    <p>In brief: The most powerful Joe; when you’re really clear on COVID; Black maternal outcomes; how to understand the AI internal war</p><ul><li>Find links from this newslette...

    #104: Global.Health: Big Data for Good

    <p>&nbsp;In <strong>Episode 104</strong>, Quinn &amp; Brian discuss: the future of data and medicine.</p><p>Our guests are: <strong>Robel Kassa &amp; Dr. Sam Scarpino</strong>...

    Issue #221: Lab Trial & Error, Finding a Pain-Free Way to Treat Pain, How to Lose a Crop in 10 Days

    <p>In brief: Batteries are cheaper and increasingly everywhere; the best COVID treatments; a possible opioid alternative; cabbage is off the menu</p><ul><li>Find links from th...

    #103: Black Hearts Matter

    <p>In <strong>Episode 103</strong>, Quinn &amp; Brian ask: Why do so many more Black people die after heart transplants than everybody else?</p><p>Our guests are: <strong>Dr. ...

    Issue #220: Sunk Costs are Sinking Cities, Finally the Food Chain is Essential, & Putting the “AI” in “Racist”

    <p>This week: Miami kicks the can down the road, relief for farmworkers, poor Twitter, how not to waste food, how not to do ethical A.I.</p><ul><li>Find links from this newsle...

    #102: Put Your Money Where Your Future Is

    <p>In <strong>Episode 102</strong>, Quinn &amp; Brian discuss: <strong>How to invest in defeating climate change.</strong></p><p>Our guest is: <strong>Boris Khentov</strong>, ...

    Issue #219: The Social Cost of Carbon, Not Enough Nurses, & Even Trump’s Corporate Bailouts Were Racist

    <p>This week: the price of climate change, how to re-open your office, a new wave of nurses, bailing out Black farmers.</p><ul><li>Find links from this newsletter and more at ...

    Do Better Better #16: The Hard Work Starts Yesterday

    <p>Synopsis: Where does America keep paying clean up costs, instead of doubling down on prevention?</p><p>Do Better Better essays help you build mental models and ask question...

    Issue #218: How to Help Texas, Catching Our Breath, & Creating Equitable Education

    <p>This week: How to help Texas. Air pollution and infertility. A drastic life expectancy gap. A big test for higher education. And AI rethinks pesticides.</p><ul><li>Find lin...

    Issue #217: Capitalism Gonna Capitalism, Vaccines Are Working, & The Secrets Hidden in Your Poop

    <p>This week: Your gas stove and water heater are hiding a dirty secret; where COVID goes from here; and all the good your poop can do.</p><ul><li>Find links from this newslet...

    Issue #216: Downsides of Living in the Future, Sustainable and Enjoyable Retirements, & Why You Should Upgrade Your Mask

    <p>This week: The economic choices that have led us to a climate breaking point (and why the last year has prepared us to do something about it better than before, if we take ...

    Do Better Better #15: Overwhelm The System

    <p>Synopsis: If we're going to defeat the systemic issues of today, we need to Overwhelm The System. Here's how.</p><p>Do Better Better essays help you build mental models and...

    Issue #215: Biden isn’t Throwing Away His Shot, COVID-19 Version Control, & Climate Change Christmas

    <p>This week: Joe Biden has been president for about eight and a half days and the man’s not throwing away his shot when it comes to climate, environmental justice, COVID, or ...

    Do Better Better #14: A Safety Net for America

    <p>Originally published to our community through our newsletter and blog, the Do Better Better essays are now available in audio for the first time. You’ll learn how to ask qu...

    Issue #214: Some Honest-to-Goodness Optimism, Keeping Up With COVID, Giving Up the Vape

    <p>This week: Giving it all we got; 25 doses; Tobacco is the new tobacco;</p><ul><li>Find links from this newsletter and more at <a href="https://slack-redir.net/link?url=http...

    Issue #213: Our COVID predictions for 2021

    <p>This week: Why’s COVID so bad in Los Angeles?; How the next few months will go; Go deeper on clean tech; IVF might get a lot more effective thanks to AI; All the way down t...

    Do Better Better #13: Flailing, Perfected

    <p>Originally published to our community through our newsletter and blog, the Do Better Better essays are now available in audio for the first time. You’ll learn how to ask qu...

    Issue #212: How Ossoff and Warnock will help fight climate change

    <p>This week: Context is everything; Back to your regularly scheduled pandemic; COVID has rightfully distracted a lot of science funding, but the train hasn’t stopped entirely...

    Do Better Better #12: 20% For the Future

    <p><em>This episode was originally published in print on December 14, 2020.</em></p><p><strong>For more information on 20% For The Future or to get involved, email us a questi...

    Do Better Better #11: The Trick to Unlocking Every Problem

    <p><em>This episode was originally published in print on December 7, 2020.</em></p><p>Originally published to our community through our newsletter and blog, the Do Better Bett...

    Do Better Better #10: “Even the smallest person can change the course of the future”

    <p><em>This episode was originally published in print on November 22, 2020.</em></p><p>Originally published to our community through our newsletter and blog, the Do Better Bet...

    Do Better Better #9: Georgia On My Mind

    <p><em>This episode was originally published in print on November 9, 2020.</em></p><p>Originally published to our community through our newsletter and blog, the Do Better Bett...

    Issue #211: The 80/20 Problem of Our Time

    <p>Happy Holidays! In brief, this week: how to breathe in India.&nbsp;</p><ul><li><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/12/17/world/asia/india-pollution-inequality...

    Do Better Better #8: One Choice Determined the Last 400 Years

    <p><em>This episode was originally published in print on October 11, 2020.</em></p><p>Originally published to our community through our newsletter and blog, the Do Better Bett...

    Do Better Better #7: Let's Measure How Exposed You Are, Shall We?

    <p><em>This episode was originally published in print on September 20, 2020.</em></p><p>Originally published to our community through our newsletter and blog, the Do Better Be...

    Do Better Better #6: How to Spend The Next 10 Years

    <p><em>This episode was originally published in print on September 7, 2020.</em></p><p>Originally published to our community through our newsletter and blog, the Do Better Bet...

    Do Better Better #5: How to Spend Your Time Right Now

    <p><em>This episode was originally published in print on August 29, 2020.</em></p><p>Originally published to our community through our newsletter and blog, the Do Better Bette...

    Issue #210: Checking Your Clean Air Privilege, Fighting COVID Misinformation, & Starving for Capitalism

    <p>This week: Justice for Ella Kissi-Debrah; fighting COVID misinformation on Facebook; how often should your kids be on antibiotics?; and what hunger does to a nation (during...

    Do Better Better #4: How To Pass A Test

    <p><em>This episode was originally published in print on August 29, 2020.</em></p><p>Originally published to our community through our newsletter and blog, the Do Better Bette...

    Do Better Better #3: This Is What Makes Us Exceptional

    <p><em>This essay was originally published in print August 2, 2020</em></p><p>Originally published to our community through our newsletter and blog, the Do Better Better essay...

    Do Better Better #2: Why Do We Exist?

    <p><em>This essay was originally published in print July 26, 2020</em></p><p>Originally published to our community through our newsletter and blog, the Do Better Better essays...

    Do Better Better #1: Who Do You Want To Be? And Why?

    <p><em>This essay was originally published in print July 19, 2020</em></p><p>This week, we’re introducing Do Better Better: essays to plan for the future, today. Originally pu...

    Issue #209: This is Definitely Important Probably, Guy Fieri Rescues the Restaurant Industry, When Water Meets Capitalism

    <p>This week: The 80-20 Rule works both ways; The incredibly timely importance of probably; We can learn a lot on how to think from a survey of 700 epidemiologists by the New ...

    Issue #208: Something new

    <p>We’re moving the audio version of our Webby and Shorty-nominated newsletter into our main podcast feed and we can’t wait to share it with you today.</p><p>If you’re new to ...

    #101: Code Blue: Arizona Goes to The Emergency Room

    <p>In <strong>Episode 101</strong>, Quinn &amp; Brian ask: How did all of America end up in the emergency room?</p><p>Our guest is: <strong>Dr. Hiral Tipirneni.</strong> She i...

    #100: A Conversation With (A) Future President of the United States

    <p>In <strong>Episode 100</strong>, Quinn &amp; Brian discuss: Why state elections matter not just for your state but for the future of our planet.</p><p>Our guests are: <stro...

    #99: How You Doin’?

    <p>In <strong>Episode 99</strong>, Quinn &amp; Brian, with help from Inverse.com, ask: how are YOU feeling?</p><p>Our guest is: <strong>Ali Pattillo</strong>, a health and sci...

    #98: How to Stop School Shootings in the USA

    <p>In <strong>Episode 98</strong>, Quinn &amp; Brian discuss: common sense solutions to prevent gun deaths and destroy the gun lobby.</p><p>Our guest is: <strong>Fred Guttenbe...

    #97: How Do We Rebuild Capitalism in a World on Fire?

    <p>In&nbsp;<strong>Episode #97</strong>, Quinn digs into&nbsp;<strong>how&nbsp;we&nbsp;can rebuild capitalism for the world, for your company, and for yourself.</strong></p><p...

    #96: A Just Alternative to Climate Disaster *and* Gentrification

    <p>In <strong>Episode 96</strong>, Quinn &amp; Brian ask: How do we orchestrate a just energy transition for frontline low- and middle-income communities — from the inside out...

    #95: How to Upgrade Your Microbiome

    <p>In <strong>Episode 95</strong>, Quinn &amp; Brian ask: how can we upgrade our microbiome (also, what’s a microbiome (also, why does it need upgrading))?</p><p>Our guest is:...

    #94: Wait. Is Climate Science...Fashionable? It Is With Allbirds!

    <p>In <strong>Episode 94</strong>, Quinn &amp; Brian discuss: the most comfortable and sustainable shoes on the planet.</p><p>Our guest is: <strong>Hana Kajimura</strong>, who...

    #93: All The Fun Stuff (That Shouldn’t Be) in Your Drinking Water

    <p>&nbsp;In <strong>Episode 93</strong>, Quinn &amp; Brian ask: <strong>What can we do about all of this not-water in our water?</strong></p><p>Our guest is: <strong>Imari Wal...

    #92: Your Invitation to Climate School at Terra.do

    <p>In <strong>Episode 92</strong>, <strong>we're headed off to climate school!</strong></p><p>Our guest is <strong>Anshuman Bapna</strong>,<strong> </strong>the creator (and h...

    #91: Why is Drinking Water So Unaffordable for So Many Americans?

    <p>We’re back!</p><p>In <strong>Episode 91</strong>, Quinn &amp; Brian ask: Why is drinking water so unaffordable, or unavailable, or just filthy for so many people?</p><p>Our...

    GOOD NEWS: What The Hell Is CRISPR?

    <p>Back in <strong>Episode 51</strong>, Quinn &amp; Brian asked: <strong>Are we thinking about CRISPR all wrong (and what the hell is it)?</strong></p><p>This is one of our mo...