Ken Jennings

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December 7, 2017

I almost managed to vanish from the ol’ blog for an entire calendar year! In part that was because I was working overtime on a book deadline; in part it was just an effect of my unhealthy and all-consuming Twitter addiction, which is not a problem I ever had with blogging.

So I didn’t update this blog in April when my episode of The Simpsons aired, on which I played quiz show champion “Ken Jennings.”

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I didn’t update it in May when Fox and Friends was coming after me for a pretty solid Twitter joke about the president. It was an irritating couple of days, waiting for a million of the dumbest people and bots in America to get bored with hating me and move on to someone else.

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I didn’t update it in June when I finally turned in a draft of my next book, on shelves next May. This is not a final cover and I’m not 100% sure I should be showing it to you but oh well.

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I didn’t update it in the fall when I made a couple ads for FleetWit, the real-time trivia app I consult for, including one in which Seahawks cornerback and future Hall of Famer Richard Sherman schools me on sports trivia.

But today, I’m ending the dry spell to tell you about Omnibus, a new podcast from musician John Roderick (the Long Winters) and myself that launches today.

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John and I are both tireless and determined polymaths, curious about just every field of human endeavor. We are also increasingly convinced that the end of human civilization looms in the near- or medium-term. Will it be global warming that finishes humankind off? Nuclear war? A zombie pandemic? A meteor? Hard to say at this point, even for hard-thinking futurists like ourselves.

But we have a plan! John and I are compiling a massive, authoritative reference work called the Omnibus, which will catalog and explain everything that was once valuable and interesting about human history and culture. We don’t know if the post-collapse inhabitants of Earth–the fish-men, the cockroaches, the robots, the sentient moss, the alien colonists, whoever–will discover and decrypt our recordings. It’s a time capsule, a podcast-sized message in a bottle. But we hope someone finds it.

Every Tuesday and Thursday, John and I discuss some weird and fascinating footnote from the “Before Times” of human history, culture, or science for Future Earth. We might explain the Defenestration of Prague in one recording, then try to visualize four-dimensional geometries in the next, and then jump over to take a closer look at “the Rachel,” Jennifer Aniston’s ubiquitious 1990s hairstyle. Explaining these phenomena to people (???) of a different era allows us to see them through fresh eyes.

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Whether you’re a mole-man, a super-intelligent coral reef, or the villainous global computer network that launched the missiles in the first place, we hope that you are somehow seeing this blog post and will do whatever it takes to unearth the Omnibus. It’s the last podcast you’ll ever need.

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Posted by Ken at 12:03 pm