First Contact with Laurie Segall

First Contact with Laurie Segall

iHeartRadio & Dot Dot Dot
May 04, 2020 1 hr 22 min

Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Jared Geller on Creativity in Chaos

You probably know Joseph Gordon-Levitt as an actor from films like Looper, Snowden, and 500 Days of Summer. But he’s also an entrepreneur. In 2005, Joe and his brother started HitRECORD -- it was a simple website where he could post things he was making. In 2010 he opened it up. He and his friend Jared Geller turned HitRecord into an online platform where people from all over the world could come together to collaborate. Since then, they’ve pivoted from a production company to a tech company, with a vision to help us move away from aimlessly scrolling, towards creating together. We’re in a moment filled with anxiety and fear. It’s hard to find any kind of silver lining. But if we had to, it might be this: moments of pain and uncertainty have historically led to incredible art and creativity. So what will be the legacy of the technology built in this age? In this episode of First Contact, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and co-founder Jared Geller talk to Laurie about finding creativity in difficult times. ——————————————— Show Notes Laurie’s interview with Joe at Web Summit 2016 HITRECORD Jaron Lanier (author) Tristan Harris Learn more about your ad-choices at
Apr 27, 2020 1 hr 12 min

TaskRabbit Founder: Finding Opportunity in Uncertainty

The 2008 recession was a devastating time for many Americans. But amidst the chaos, it was also the breeding ground for a new creative class: Developers who coded their visions into reality. Uber and Lyft redefined transportation, Airbnb shook up the travel industry, and TaskRabbit helped pave the way for the gig economy. In many ways, the uncertainty we face today mirrors that crisis. TaskRabbit’s founder Leah Solivan joins the show to explain why she believes founding her company in harsh conditions was key to her success, and why the pandemic provides a similar opportunity for innovation. —————————————— Show Notes Codecademy Pro Scholarships Frontline Foods COVID Coach Sign up for the Dot Dot Dot newsletter Learn more about your ad-choices at
Apr 20, 2020 52 min

Covid-19 Has Made Us Slaves to Tech: Will We Ever Escape?

For a long time, we tried to limit our screen time. But now we’ve gone all in. We’re living in isolation, more reliant than ever on technology for human connection. So let’s look at technology through a more philosophical lens: Are we now slaves to our devices? Could tech companies use the same persuasion tactics they use to get us to click... to help save lives? How will we balance protection and privacy? Aza Raskin is the co-founder of The Center for Humane Technology. There’s no one better to talk about the intersection of philosophy and technology. Aza returns to the show to chat with Laurie about the long-term ramifications of our newfound digital lives. ——————————————— Show Notes Reboot Facebook voter study GeoCities Doughnut Theory of Economics Figma Style Transfer: Photo, Text Xiaoice Replika Earth Species Project Songs of the Humpback Whale Invisibilia: Two Heartbeats A Minute First Contact: The Weaponization of Loneliness Learn more about your ad-choices at
Apr 13, 2020 51 min

Let’s Talk About Sex (During a Pandemic)

All around the world, people are now living in isolation. Many of us are confronting this experience alone. Physical interaction is now a liability. What does this mean for one of humanity’s most important forms of connection — sex? And how can we continue to meet our fundamental need for intimacy during these times? Laurie looks at what all this on-screen interaction will mean for the future of sex. Could tech eventually replace human touch? Will people develop relationships with machines? From teledildonics to virtual girlfriends, sextech expert Bryony Cole talks sex in isolation and the future of love. ————————————— Show Notes O.School End of Life Care Machine Wheel Of Foreplay Sex Hacker Kenneth Play Esther Perel OMGyes Mend (chatbot) Replika Roman (chatbot) Slutbot Learn more about your ad-choices at
Apr 06, 2020 1 hr 0 min

"People Ahead of Profit:" How to Lead in Uncertain Times

Jerry Colonna is fondly known as the CEO whisperer. He coaches some of the world's biggest entrepreneurs - like the former CEO of Etsy and the folks who started Gimlet Media. He helps business leaders navigate uncertainty and chaos. At a time when the coronavirus crisis is devastating the economy and millions of people's lives have been changed forever, the future is nothing but uncertain. Jerry's whole ethos is centered around the concept: better humans make better leaders. And there's never been a more critical time for humanity or leadership. Jerry is the expert. His message is simple: Show up. Show Notes Mostly Human: Silicon Valley’s Secret Comfortable With Uncertainty - a book by Pema Chödrön Old Maps No Longer Work - a poem by Joyce Rupp Reboot Peer Circles: Tips for Launching Your Own Support Group Polyvagal Theory Bodhisattva Learn more about your ad-choices at
Mar 30, 2020 43 min

Quarantine Diaries

While we all stay inside, each one of us is living our own story. Many of us are coping with the painful realities of a society in isolation. Jobs lost. Weddings canceled. Loved ones sick, or worse. We are confronting a new reality, and an uncertain future. First Contact host Laurie Segall has been in quarantine for weeks, and she’s been thinking a lot about community. Human connection. And then she had an idea: What if we cold-called strangers in quarantine, and just listened to what they had to say? About life, isolation, their hopes, and fears? Here’s what happened... Learn more about your ad-choices at
Mar 19, 2020 42 min

It’s "Boss Level Mode” Time: Remote Work Pioneer Matt Mullenweg On Staying Productive

Workouts between calls. Meditation apps. A desk candle to boost productivity. Work-from-home hacks for all of us, as we self-isolate and practice social distancing to slow the spread of Coronavirus. Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress and Automattic, was an early evangelist of remote work. Back in the early 2000s, many of his first hires at Wordpress were people he had never met in person. Today, Automattic has nearly 1,200 employees spread across 75 countries around the globe. With the pandemic now forcing many companies to unexpectedly adopt similar policies, Matt gives Laurie advice on transitioning to this new lifestyle and answers listener questions on the best ways for employees and employers to stay productive. ———————————————— Show Notes Dance Fitness with Jessica Fitbod (fitness app) Waking Up with Sam Harris (meditation app) Calm (meditation app) Sennheiser headset Zoom videoconferencing Days Without You (Crussen Remix) by Satori Dancing by Kiley Minogue Qbserve (time-tracking app) Momentum (Chrome extension) Tomato One (timer app) Learn more about your ad-choices at
Mar 16, 2020 1 hr 15 min

Ev Williams on Coronavirus and the 'Extreme' Tech of the Future

Ev Williams is the entrepreneur behind Twitter, Blogger, and publishing platform Medium -- three companies that helped shape the modern Internet. As we grapple with the impact of Coronavirus, these digital platforms are playing an even larger role in our ability to connect with one another. Ev weighs in on how all our lives could change in the short term and what the longer term future may hold for technology and media… Will Augmented Reality project images onto our eyeballs? Will Silicon Valley ever move beyond the attention span economy? Will our lives start to resemble more of a video game than real-life? There's a lot to explore. And no one better than Ev Williams to help make sense of it all. ———————————————— Show Notes Laurie and Ev’s first contact Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a book from Ev’s childhood Full Episode Transcript Learn more about your ad-choices at
Mar 09, 2020 52 min

Coronavirus: The Rise of Isolation Tech

The rise of “cloud clubbing” from your living room, as people are ordered to stay inside. Digital raves. Virtual connection as a means to deal with an isolation bubble. As people in China grapple with an uneasy reality, isolation, and the uncertainty around the Coronavirus, a new trend is emerging: the rise of Isolation Tech. Concerts are canceled. People are rethinking physical interaction. Nightclubs are shut down. So millions are meeting in digital clubs in the cloud where they can watch live DJ sets on Chinese apps. Welcome to The Matrix. Instead of finding ways to depart from their devices, people have gone all in, living life in a digital bubble. Entrepreneur Zander Shapiro, who has lived in Beijing for nine years, describes his new reality in "the bubble" -- days beginning with virtual work outs, afternoons filled with remote meetings, and evenings where he joins a virtual concert, meeting other avatars for connection. He calls this moment an excellent "experiment" of what's to come in tech. Expect more extremism, less humanity, and money pouring into the business of virtual connection. Learn more about your ad-choices at
Mar 02, 2020 1 hr 5 min

Inside the minds of trolls

Who are the people who spread online disinformation? The so-called trolls you hear about in the news whose jobs are to distort facts and create chaos? Camille Francois knows them well. She’s the chief innovation officer at Graphika - a social media analytics firm hired by major companies to identify and fight online disinformation. Her team was a big part of uncovering the extent of Russian influence during the 2016 election. She spends her time in the darkest corners of the Internet taking on one of the most extraordinary digital threats of our time… But it might just be her humanity that gives her an edge. Learn more about your ad-choices at
First Contact with Laurie Segall
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