Important If True

Three friends try and figure everything out.

Three friends try and figure everything out. Join Chris, Jake, and Nick as they delve into the weirdness of life, pop culture, and technology—and do their best to explain it as absurdly as they can. Write in to with your own questions and observations.

Weekly, publishes Thursday.

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Episode 40:
Tactical Turtle and the Songsmith

December 10, 2017 Sorry for the late episode—it took us a bit of work to figure out how to record Nick remotely without a quality hit, but we're happy with where we ended up!

With Nick Breckon now contained within the computerized realm, this week's Important If True takes an algorithmic bent as we soldier on to discuss the issues that matter most. For instance: If you blast Billy Idol from a boombox while covering your body in memes, will the Terminator let you in the front door? If DeepMind doesn't know who you are, can you ever really know yourself? And are corn and maize the same thing? Nope, that's a trick question, asshole. Welcome to Memeland.

Discussed: Nick Breckon, podcasting, bitcoin mining, Patreon postcard update, the gross seductive power of screens that is proven by the very fact of all of our existences, Toyota dashboard bizarre universe "Chris Remo", machine learning interpretation of cats as memes, Italian pop song with gibberish English lyrics, The Great Microsoft Songsmith Rapture of 2009, "White Wedding" by Billy Idol feat. Microsoft Songsmith, "White Wedding" by the Rivertown Skifflers, "We Will Rock You" by Queen feat. Microsoft Songsmith, Microsoft Songsmith as classical muse, maliciously hacking Google AI to misidentify a turtle as a rifle, World War I-era dazzle camouflage, camera-defeating fashion, infiltrating the Terminator base while decked out in internet meme garbage, fractal DeepMind memeland, high-tech modern corn maze production, Petaluma Pumpkin Patch and Amazing Corn Maze, Maze Wars, the Great Wikipedia Editor Corn vs. Maize War, pro-maize arguments, pro-corn arguments

Send us your questions at If you enjoyed this and would like to subscribe to an ad-free feed, please consider supporting Idle Thumbs by backing our Patreon.

Chris' Endorsements: Wide-ranging BBC knowledge-enhancing podcast In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg

Jake's Endorsements: Vice article "I Made My Shed the Top-Rated Restaurant on TripAdvisor
Chris' Sub-Endorsement: New Yorker article "The Most Exclusive Restaurant in America

Nick's Endorsement: London historical site/tourist trap/surreal theatrical experience Benjamin Franklin House (also read our friend Duncan Fyfe's report on the experience, "Benjamin Franklin and Me")

Sponsored by: Quip electric toothbrushes with $10 off your first brush head refill
Shoutout by: Better Than Speed Podcast (iTunes)

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December 2, 2017 Nick Breckon is somewhere on the West Coast of North America, and that's all we know. Unfortunately we don't have an episode for you this week, as we're still sorting this all out. Listen in as we fumble our way towards that conclusion, and stick around for future episodes of Important If True!

November 23, 2017 Join us for a very special Important If True, as we celebrate the season by giving thanks. Thanks for treasured relics from childhoods long passed, for new creations from Boston Dynamics, and for the gift of humanity itself—at least for a little while longer. Along the way, we'll answer pressing questions, like: Is a clumsy and dubiously-sentient cube of metal your friend, your enemy, or a citizen of Saudi Arabia? Who will triumph in the inevitable conflict between backflipping robots and totally ripped biojackers? And if a podcaster falls in an empty forest, do their metrics reflect an uptick in engagement?

Discussed: Thanksgiving, how holidays are good but terrible, Jake's cursed Pizza Hut lamp, childhood arcade memories, trolling by eBay seller, Boston Dynamics robots SpotMini and Atlas, the slow-brewing robot revolution, Back at it Again at Krispy Kreme, Saudi Arabia granting citizenship to a robot, C-3PO's implied humanity relative to R2-D2, Rian Johnson (director of three upcoming Star Wars movies), Star Trek's Data being fitted with an emotion chip, Star Wars' R2-D2 being fitted with a speech chip, CRISPR-enabled genetic biohacking, totally ripped farm animals, injecting yourself to get totally ripped, the cyberpunkiest cyberpunk shit, Josiah Zayner, super-ripped biojacker CRISPR dudes, swiping CRISPR biojackers on Tinder, "Human Mini-Brains Growing Inside Rat Bodies Are Starting to Integrate," getting clever-girled by thirty ripped pigs, Warner Bros. Presents the Animal Farm Cinematic Universe, Planet of the Apes But Far Stupider Than Anything You Could Have Possibly Imagined, drugged out rat hippies with human brains, Organoids and the Human Mini-Brains (Executive Produced by Steven Spielberg), the ethics of growing mini-brains, an experience of self that only exists while podcasting, having no meaning except that which others see in you, Nick Breckon

Send us your questions at If you enjoyed this and would like to subscribe to an ad-free feed, please consider supporting Idle Thumbs by backing our Patreon.

Jake's Endorsement: The Good Place (Amazon, iTunes)

Nick's Endorsement: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (in theaters now)

Chris' Endorsement: Cheap reusable plastic food containers for leftovers, taking lunch to work, and so on

Additional music by: Ross Budgen

Sponsored by: Warby Parker prescription glasses home try-on, Grammarly grammar-advising browser extension

November 17, 2017 Things are starting to come together. Everything is clicking into place. But somehow…it's not adding up. The more you understand, the less sense it all makes. Fortunately, we're here to help, so ask away. For instance: Why is the number 314 omnipresent, and what does it have to do with Stephen Hawking? Can anything stop honey magnate Ray Liotta's dogged pursuit of fast food endorsement deals? And how do you convince the Taco Bell drive-through guy that you're secretly a lascivious weedlord? All this and more. Listen in.

Discussed: bits and squeezes, the number 314, a delicious hoisting, Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time, 17-hour ghosts, Benford's law, delusional self-conceptions, The Power of Books, engineering problems for children, knowledge as power, a very bad Steve Jobs joke, some other bullshit about numbers or something probably, Hawaiian shirts, children being cursed by inappropriate gifts, Chip & Dale: Rescue Rangers dressing like Magnum P.I. and Indiana Jones, inadvertently cultivating a visual motif in your home, separating the owl wheat from the owl chaff, the psychic toll of gift-giving, the stupid mall and all the stupid little stores in it, fancy-ass letterpress blank greeting cards from the frou-frou greeting card store, cash, state quarters, $2 bills, Steve Wozniak's perforated $2 bills, inadvertently cultivating a reputation as a late-night Taco Bell lascivious weedlord, cultivating a network of useless contacts, Ray Liotta's food empire, Bee Movie, the apostasy of Colonel Sanders, Foodfight!, Ray Liotta's two olives

Send us your questions at If you enjoyed this and would like to subscribe to an ad-free feed, please consider supporting Idle Thumbs by backing our Patreon.

Jake's Endorsement: Pentametron, iambic pentameter-seeking Twitter bot

Nick's Initial Really Frivolous Endorsement: Using cheap plastic squeeze bottles for your olive oil and other kitchen staples
Nick's Endorsement: Deriving holiday gift ideas based on what the recipient might be missing from their past life, such as shipping frozen lake perch to your former Michigander parents

Chris' Endorsement: Taking the time and effort to spatchcock and roast a whole chicken: butterflying the bird, dry brining the chicken a day or two ahead of time, roasting the chicken, using a meat thermometer to avoid overcooking (great but pricey Thermapen, less pricey mid-range option, cheaper alternative), making stock out of the leftover carcass and meat bits

Sponsored by: Warby Parker prescription glasses with free home try-on, Quip electric toothbrushes with $10 off your first brush head refill

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