If you listen to the show, then you’re already part of something special: Soonish is the only podcast about the future made by a technology journalist with a PhD in history from MIT—me ;).
Soonish is the most rewarding and maybe the most important thing I’ve ever done. Each episode takes listeners on a deep dive into a field where rapid technological change promises to change the way we live in the near future.
My goal with the show is to make complex technology topics accessible, and to help everyone think more deeply and carefully about how the choices we’re making about technology today will shape the world of tomorrow.
The show's new motto for Season 2: The future is shaped by technology, but technology is shaped by us. The season opener is a special road trip edition that looks at the deep divisions in America over how to represent the country's past, but climaxes with something wholly unifying: the total solar eclipse of August 21.
In the first season, the show tackled questions such as:
- Why the real 21st century looks nothing like the future predicted in the science fiction classic 2001: A Space Odyssey
- Where we’ll get our protein in a world with dwindling resources to support livestock
- How we’ll create new jobs for unskilled and semi-skilled workers even in the face of increasing industrial automation
- How art museums can cope with, and maybe even co-opt, competition from the Internet and mobile devices
- How cities building new infrastructure struggle to balance historical preservation and innovation for the future
- Why our technologies for personal productivity so often seem to fail us
- How the next phase of space exploration will be led by private entrepreneurs
- Why countries around the world—with the exception of the U.S.—are building new monorail systems to bolster their urban transportation systems
- How a metaphor from the movie "Apollo 13" helps to explain Donald Trump's presidency.
I have lots more great content planned for Season Two, and I want to keep putting out episodes as often as possible—every two to four weeks.
Since you’re here, you must be thinking about contributing something to help keep the show going. So let me tell you why I’m on Patreon and what I aim to do with support from the community of listeners.
Soonish will always be free to download! That’s the beauty of podcasts. But it’s not free to make, and I can’t keep the show going without your help.
I produce the show completely on my own. That means I do all of my own sound recording, manage audio files and transcripts, write scripts, and use editing software to mix together narration, interviews, archival and ambient sound, and music. I put each story through a dozen drafts or more before I’m ready to share it with you. On top of that time investment, I also pay for reporting trips, audio file hosting, Web hosting, recording equipment, music licenses, and quite a few other expenses.
Up to now, I’ve been offsetting the costs of making Soonish through outside freelance and consulting work. Obviously, that takes time away from the show.
I’m working to grow the audience to the point where Soonish can begin to pay for itself through advertising. But if I receive enough additional financial support per episode through Patreon, I’ll be able to make Soonish my full-time job. That will free me up to produce more regular episodes and bonus content, interact more with the community around the show, and plan live shows where I can meet more listeners in person.
For everyone who’s new to Soonish: the show’s website and the archive of episodes and bonus content is here. You can subscribe to the show on
With your donations, we can do great things together. Thank you for listening and for supporting the show! Every dollar goes to support thoughtful reporting and storytelling about our shared future.