Episode 115

#SpyBalloonGate, Deepfakes, Nuclear Power

Ravi and Rikki start by unpacking what’s been a mysterious week of spy balloons, UFOs, and global power tensions. Then we take a look at how quickly deepfake technology has improved, further complicating our online lives. Finally, Rikki sits down for an interview on the nuclear power industry with journalist Jonathan Rauch.


The Canceling of the American Mind (Greg Lukianoff and Rikki Schlott, 10/17/23)

#SpyBalloonGate [04:05]

This wasn’t the first Chinese balloon over the U.S. Why were the others ignored? (NPR, 2/6/23)
China says at least 10 U.S. balloons have flown in its airspace since 2022 (Washington Post, 2/13/23)
A Timeline of the U.F.O.s That Were Shot Down This Weekend (The New York Times, 2/14/23)
A Rising Awareness That Balloons Are Everywhere in Our Skies (The New York Times, 2/14/23)
The U.S. Overreacted to the Chinese Spy Balloon. That Scares Me. (Foreign Policy, 2/13/23)
Objects shot down in Alaska, Canada less advanced than Chinese balloon (Washington Post, 2/13/23)
On our radar: House unanimously passes resolution condemning China for spy balloon (Washington Post, 2/13/23)
Blinken postpones China trip as suspected spy balloon detected over U.S. (Washington Post, 2/3/23)
U.S. declassifies balloon intelligence, calls out China for spying (Washington Post, 2/9/23)
Chinese Balloon Carried Antennas, Other Equipment to Gather Intelligence, U.S. Says (Wall Street Journal, 2/9/23)
As Mystery Objects Get Shot Down, U.S. Sets Up New Task Force on UFOs (Wall Street Journal, 2/13/23)
What’s Going On Up There? Theories but No Answers in Shootdowns of Mystery Craft. (The New York Times, 2/14/23)
Chinese Spy Balloon Tracked Over U.S. This Week (Wall Street Journal, 2/2/23)
Old-School Balloons Emerge as Possible High-Tech Spy Tools for China (Wall Street Journal, 2/3/23)
The U.S. Overreacted to the Chinese Spy Balloon. That Scares Me. (Foreign Policy, 2/13/23)

Deepfakes [19:00]

Rise of the post-truth sex tape: Deepfake pornography is making women’s online lives even more frightening (Independent, 2/8/23)
AI porn is easy to make now. For women, that’s a nightmare. (Washington Post, 1/13/23)
How deepfakes undermine truth and threaten democracy (Ted, 9/11/19)
She discovered a naked video of herself online, but it wasn’t her: The trauma of deepfake porn (USA Today, 2/14/23)
They appeared in deepfake porn videos without their consent. Few laws protect them. (NBC, 2/14/23)
‘You Feel So Violated’: Streamer QTCinderella Is Speaking Out Against Deepfake Porn Harassment (Vice, 2/13/23)
We Haven’t Seen the Worst of Fake News (The Atlantic, 12/20/22)
The People Onscreen Are Fake. The Disinformation Is Real. (The New York Times, 2/7/23)
These newscasters you may have seen online are not real people (CNN, 2/11/23)
What are deepfakes – and how can you spot them? (The Guardian, 1/13/20)
What is a deepfake? Everything you need to know about the AI-powered fake media (Insider, 8/10/22)
Deepfakes, explained (MIT, 6/21/20)
The Increasing Threat of Deep Fake Identities (U.S. Department of Homeland Security)

Interview with Jonathan Rauch [33:39]

The Real Obstacle to Nuclear Power (The Atlantic, 2/7/23)

Voicemail [49:12]