Radiolab call for pitches part 2

That last post from Radiolab got cut off before it was finished. Here’s the rest.


Radiolab topics, continued (email Brenna Farrell,, with stories or ideas)


Each year, The Loebner Prize for artificial intelligence is awarded to the “most human-like computer.” And the competition consists of computers talking to humans and trying to fool the humans into thinking the computers are human too. Very blade-runner. This got us think about the sad life of Alan Turing and about people who fall in love with their machines. Or people who get fooled or out-smarted by their machines. We’re set on the big thinkers, what we’re looking for are small, surprising, personal stories of people engaging with their boxes.

There’s an invisible world war raging below our feet— for the last hundred years, a giant super-colony of ants have been systematically murdering competition and taking over huge swaths of the world. And yet we don’t see them. Unless you happen to live Escandido and keep finding ants in your fridge. We find this whiplash of scales really cool, how you can go global to invisible in split second. We also find the downright evilness of these ants interesting. So we’re also investigating “rank bulls” ( the practice breeding the best bucking bulls in rodeo).
Ideas we’d like to explore:
Warrior classes—ants, bulls…are their other examples of born warriors?
The idea of tiny empires—especially characters who are the master of small domains…maybe bullies, maybe self-styled benevolent dictators…who hold absolute sway over little worlds.


Hey you people,
This is an attempt to wriggle out the ideas in loops. Please give it a quick once-over in the next couple minutes and let me know if you have anything to add/remove, and then we can shoot it out to the world.


We’re working on a story about how when a whale dies, it’s carcass falls to the ocean floor and creates an ecosystem that can last for 100 years.

This got us thinking about things recurring, cycles of creation and destruction, Phoenixes rising from the ashes, feedback loops, periodicity…this could be on a personal level, or in music, or nature. After repeating however many times does something start to subtly change? What does it feel like to be caught in a loop? This show is very wide open.

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