Paradox Project Podcast

The official podcast for the Paradox Project

Jordan and Matthias talk about where they are with creativity this week, their current projects, and their Better Selves vs. Fantasy Selves. First, Matthias interrupts your scheduled creativity-themed programming for a brief look at the current Twitter debate: what defines real "conservatism." Jordan is soclose to being done with The Artist's Way, finishing up Week 10. We talk about "better but attainable" versions of ourselves (Jordan wants to write more consistently) vs. fantasy versions of ourselves that will never happen (neither of us has ever been able to get into YouTube culture). 

Jordan and Matthias talk about coins, creativity and the universal need for some sort of tangible hobby or project, whether it's coin collecting, cooking or working a puzzle. We all need to get off Twitter and do something real once in a while. The Terrible Opinions segment returns this week.

Can the wide world of streaming sustain itself, or will we eventually max out on how many stories we can consume? In this week's episode, we talk about the upcoming Disney+ streaming platform and the pros and cons of Netflix. Matthias makes a prediction about how long the current "content bubble" can last as streaming services compete to get people to watch something, anything, for hours. Jordan had a tough creative week. She talks about Week 5 of The Artist's Way, which involves no reading, and why it was eye-opening.

Jordan and Jonathan try to carry on without Matthias this week as the Paradox crew continues their journey in creativity. We cover an unexpected link between exercise and daily creativity, Jordan's first two weeks of going through Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way, and Jonathan's theory that humankind's endeavors in math, literature, science and art are more interconnected than we realize.

Matthias, Jordan and Jonathan talk about the Atlantic article on "workism" that was a hot topic on Twitter. Is "workism" making Americans unhappy, and are we trying too hard to find our identity and purpose in our jobs? We also discuss the dangerous lure of the "side hustle" and (try our best to) explain the importance of pursuing creativity for its own sake. 

The Paradox Project Podcast is back with a new direction: focusing on creativity. Jonathan Crabb joins Matthias and Jordan to talk about their creative journeys and (as always) to share some Terrible Opinions. 

Tech veteran and Pixar fan Doug Stewart joined us this week to talk about why the church desperately needs to address the idol of accomplishment; whether Facebook regulation will follow the European model; and exactly how excited/nervous we all are for "The Incredibles 2."

"The act of working itself is meaningful."

The tech industry specifically and our society in general have made an idol of success. We think working long hours is a virtue, and we don't value work itself, only the material "success" that comes from work. Where is the church on this issue? Too often, Christians as a culture also encourage the view that successful people must also be morally good because they've been rewarded.

Will Regulation Benefit Anyone Besides Facebook?

If we're discussing privacy and data regulation, shouldn't we look at the regulation that is already happening? Matthias pointed out that despite Mark Zuckerberg's hearing in Washington last week, very few people are talking about the regulation crackdown happening in the European Union. Will something similar to the General Data Protection Regulation come to the U.S.? What would that mean for Facebook?

'The Incredibles,' Then and Now

Doug is the only one who has watched the trailer for "The Incredibles 2," and he thinks it looks promising. "I'm going to trust Brad Bird on this one," he says. He talks about how the original film has rich layers that he better understood after becoming a parent and why he thinks Bird can bring the same nuance and subversive messaging to the sequel.

Terrible Opinions

Matthias: Our society's faulty view of God makes us want to administer our own justice, which is why we are all so terrible to each other. Jordan: Jury duty is a good thing. Doug: The complementarian debate isn't getting enough attention from the church.

Futurist Jonathan Crabb returned this week to talk about the growing market for a transhuman retirement plan as well as the role of ethics in the world of social media.

"The future is coming very quickly."

Jonathan shares some insights on transhumanism, the idea that people will eventually merge with technology and evolve to become a new form of humanity. We talk about the startup that promises to one day upload your brain and give you a kind of second existence, and Matthias points out that there's a "crisis of the dignity of human life" in our culture. The pro-transhumanism community is looking for this kind of service as part of an ideal retirement plan because they want to be on the cutting edge of the next evolution of humanity ... but at what cost?

The Ethics of Facebook

Does Facebook have a moral obligation not to keep changing its algorithm and pulling the rug out from under businesses that use the platform? We debate if and how ethics should be part of the business model when it comes to Facebook, YouTube and other platforms that work with content creators. People depend on Facebook reach and YouTube views for their livelihood, so tweaking an algorithm or demonetizing videos with certain topics can be devastating.

Terrible Opinions:

Matthias: The best tech industry regulation to start with would be a data audit that lets each user see exactly what information is being collected.

Jordan: A lot of conservatives were yelling about Kevin Williamson this week, but David French's opinion was the only one that I cared about.

Jonathan: American evangelical churches aren't celebrating Easter right.

Kate Bryan returns this week to talk about Saturday's March for Our Lives rally, millennials' political party affiliations (or lack thereof) and movies.

Acknowledging a Broken World

Matthias talks about his pastor's thoughtful and apolitical comments on the March for Our Lives, and he and Kate discuss a more nuanced angle on the gun control rally: how it exposes our cultural problems and the brokenness of the world we live in.

Millennials Going Rogue?

The Pew Research Center recently released this startling statistic: The number of millennial women who identify as Democrat or lean Democrat has jumped from 56 percent to 70 percent in only four years. Jordan isn't a bit surprised at this trend, but she also doesn't think Democrats are guaranteed that vote forever since millennials don't have the same loyalty to party branding that their parents did. We discuss the Obama campaign's effect on millennials and their cynicism toward politicians.

Nothing New in Hollywood

We ask Kate, a fellow movie fan, to weigh in on the discussion of violence in movies and specifically, violence toward women. Do you need to portray violence to tell a story? At what point are we simply glorifying and celebrating violence in say, a Quentin Tarantino fashion? We talk about Uma Thurman's account of filming "Kill Bill" and (according to her) sustaining long-term injuries under Tarantino's direction as well as the tragic story of Taylor Hickson, a young actress who was pressured to bang on a glass window during filming and sustained a permanent facial scar after the glass broke.

Terrible Opinions

Jordan: Being sick as an adult is awesome.

Matthias: Churches need to tell Christians to stop worshipping the idol of accomplishment.

Kate: I now love having my phone in black and white.

Jordan and Matthias do a post-Oscars recap after "The Shape of Water" won at last night's 90th Academy Awards.

"Will millennials watch the Oscars?"

If you missed last night's ceremony, Jimmy Kimmel hosted and it was ... meh. Jordan and Matthias critique the overall show and mention some of their favorite Oscar hosts from past years. They also discuss an important question: Will millennials and their kids watch the Oscars and make it a tradition? That doesn't seem likely when it's almost impossible to watch the awards ceremony without cable. The Academy doesn't seem interested in preserving the small audience it has or in building the next generation's interest in movies. (For more of our analysis of this year's nominees, check out our big pre-show episode here.)

Inclusion vs. Exclusion

We talk about some of the great examples of promoting diversity in last night's show as well as moments that fell flat or seemed way too heavy-handed. Tl;dr ... we need more Kumail Nanjiani and Greta Gerwig. Both of them showed an appreciation for movies and talked about how they wanted to build on film history and bring more to the table instead of trying to erase the past or edge anyone out.

Terrible Opinions:

Jordan: That article claiming you can magically read a lot more by swapping in social media and TV time was pretentious and wrong. Matthias: Conservatives hate too many movies and paid critics have a responsibility to curate the ocean of films, helping readers find stuff they might like rather than simply being Another Movie Person On The Internet.

Older Episodes »