THE MONTAGE is the companion podcast to MONTAG.WTF.
It’s where MONTAG writers Joe, Kathryn and Thom get under the skin of the topics explored in the magazine, and expand on some of the bigger questions raised by the articles.
It's all lovingly recorded in the Grover recording studios (OK, a very warm cupboard) in Berlin, and is the perfect accompaniment to your morning commute, a luxurious bath, or a long dark sleepless night worrying about the future of humankind.
THE MONTAGE Podcast Episode 11: are AI-written movies and music any good? PLUS - Kathryn reigns as Kwiz Kween once more
ELF AND SAFETY: - In Episode 11:
• Sunspring and It's No Game: Sci-fi by AI – Sunspring, the first film written by an artificial intelligence, opens up a lot of questions about culture and tech. Do sci-fi films written by AI pass the Turing test? And more importantly, are they any good? Kathryn pops some corn and lets us know;
• Automatic For The People: why musicians should welcome automated music making - The whole “humans making music” process seems to be working out just fine - so why are people trying to change it, and how? Joe explains how we should embrace a future of robo-penned pop hits.
• PLUS: We’re all overjoyed as Kathryn returns to her Kwiz Kween Throne - and challenges perennial fall-guys Joe and Thom to a quiz that will inevitably showcase their bone-headedness in… the Mystery Montage.
THE DECAHEDRON! - In Episode 10:
IN EPISODE 10:
• Consume young blood, live longer: It's time to embrace your inner vampire: Joe finds out that in the search for youthfulness, researchers may have found a magic potion: young people's blood - we’ll find out how other people’s blood can actually reverse your aging process, you wrinkly old husk.
• The power of music and soft brain hacking: Kathryn discovers that our brains are hard-wired to respond to music in certain predictable ways – and we’ll learn how we can hack our brains with sound. But will it involve listening to burps, as in episode 9 of the MONTAGE?
• PLUS: For the second episode in a row Kathryn is reluctantly dragged off her throne but this time Thom becomes KwizMaster, pitting Kwiz Kween Kathryn against serial loser Joe in an Extremely Special Mystery Montage.
EPISODE 9: Have your remains turned into a diamond and fired into space; PLUS: antique burps!
NINE! NINE! NINE! - In Episode 9:
• Turn me into a diamond and shoot me into space. Being buried is boring. Kathryn explains to Joe - and an especially interested Thom - new ways they can dispose of dead bodies.
• Joe explains which replacement body parts can be grown in a lab right now and then implanted in our bodies - and reveals which part of his body he'd have replaced (no, it's not that one);
• Kathryn's Kalamatous Kwiz: Kwiz Kween Kathryn becomes Kontestant as Joe makes her and Thom listen to gross body noises and then guess what they are, courtesy of the BBC SFX library.
EPISODE 8: How to become a cyborg right now, and how robots will steal your creative job
BETTER EIGHT THAN NEVER! - In Episode 8:
• The Wild World Of Human Augmentation Who has already added things to their body? What do they do? Why did they do it? Kathryn peers under the skin to find out what it takes to become a cyborg.
• Joe argues that we should be grateful, not fearful, for the advent of automation, which is already replacing the most repetitive of human jobs – and is coming for the ones you might not think can be automated... (including his writing job).
• Kathryn's Kalamatous Kwiz: Kwiz Kween Kathryn tests continual fall-guys Thom and Joe on their ability to (in)distinguish between clickbait headlines created by humans and bots.
EPISODE 7: How much of your body could you sell and still survive (and how much would you make?)
SEVENS ABOVE! - In Episode 7:
• Sell your unwanted body parts: You can sell much more of your body than you might think, and Kathryn calculates which body parts and secretions make the most cash.
• Live forever, become super-intelligent, turn into "smart gas": Ray Kurzweil is a modern-day Nostradamus, except his predictions are correct. He says that Transhumanism - when humans mesh with machines and live forever - is only just around the corner. Joe looks into his most outlandish (and viable) theories.
• Kathryn's Kwiz: with buying and selling in mind, Kwiz Kween Kathryn makez Thom and Joe look like the dunces they are as she poses them questions about weird celebrity items that were bought and sold.
PLUS: Thom invents Smart wigs! Joe reveals his ambition to make cheese in the grossest possible way! Kathryn manages to maintain decorum amidst a barrage of terrible dad-jokes!
EPISODE 6: Eating Panda meat and getting filthy rich off your own data
SIX APPEAL - In Episode 6:
• Cruelty-free beef: You can now go to restaurants and buy a burger that costs $13 and is made of real beef that has not come from a cow. Will eating meat that has never been alive become normal? And how does this affect vegans?
• How much is your personal data worth?: Companies are buying up swathes of data that we have produced - often without us realising. So are we missing out on a payday bonanza? Kathryn finds out.
• Kathryn's Katchiest Kwiz Yet: Kathryn poses Thom and Joe questions about "Forbidden Foods" - can Joe possibly catch Thom, who is leading 4-1? (No.)
EPISODE 5: Talking in emoji and Arthur C. Clarke's The City And The Stars
THE FIFTH ELEMENT - In Episode 5:
• Talking in emoji: Is emoji a language unto itself? Why is the poop emoji so poopular? How is emoji a lot more nuanced than you think? Kathryn explains all.
• The City And The Stars: Thom re-reads Arthur C. Clarke's classic Sci-Fi novel and finds out that it's seemingly far-fetched story (humans becoming mind-readers) is not too different to today...
• Kathryn's Kontroversially Komplicated Kwiz traps Thom and Joe again as they guess which proposed emoji are Korrect and which are Koncocted.
EPISODE 4: How to disappear completely from the internet, and making rude drawings in VR
FOUR HEAVEN'S SAKE: In Episode 4:
• Disappear completely from the internet: Kathryn explains how it's harder than you think, is not quite as beneficial as you might assume;
• Tap into a wild new world of creativity, as Joe tries to explain how amazing using Google's Tilt Brush VR-painting tech is without hyperventilating;
• Be Kaptivated by Kathryn's Kriminally Komplicated Kwiz, and mutter darkly at how bad Thom and Joe are at getting Korrect answers.
EPISODE 3: Is 2017 basically "The Handmaid's Tale"? Would you keep a dead relative alive in VR?
TRIPLE TROUBLE! In Episode Three:
• Kathryn explains how, even though 2017 is terrible, we're still not completely in the dystopian world of The Handmaid's Tale (but are still pretty close.)
• Joe tries to justify how recording your loved ones as a VR object and re-animating them after they die is actually a great idea (and Kathryn spots an opportunity for fiendishness)
• Thom proves frighteningly adept at guessing the answers to Kwizmaster Kathryn's quiz on how Victorians used flowers to throw some old-time shade.
EPISODE 2: Are we really alive? Can you be friends with your device? PLUS: Robot philosophy!
Quiver with fear, as it's EPISODE TWO of the MONTAGE podcast!
And in episode two, get ready to clutch your robo-pearls, as:
• Thom digs a comically deep philosophical hole on the topic of "reality" and then adroitly climbs out of it again as he asks, "Are we alive - and does it even matter?"
• Kathryn explores the world beyond the Internet of Things when we form relationships with our devices and interact with the Internet of Friends
• Joe and Thom Kompete for Kwizmaster Kathryn as she tests whether they can tell the difference between genuine philosophical quotes and ones made up by bots.
Episode 1: SexTech, Food in a bottle, and UFO sightings vs Marijuana consumption
IN EPISODE ONE, grasp your wearables and swig your meal replacement fodder, as:
- Joe probes the world of SexTech - the industry of wearables that are rather more invigorating than fitness trackers
- Kathryn explains the unexpected impact on her social life when she shunned food's taste, texture, joy, and sense of wellbeing and gulped down Soylent instead
- Thom does some #bluesky #brand #strategising around meal replacement powders, fake foodstuffs and teledildonics.
BONUS FEATURETTE: Kathryn investigates the data around reported UFO sightings in the USA.