It looks so peaceful up there.

Enlarge / It looks so peaceful up there. (credit: alxpin / Getty)

Welcome back to Ars on your Lunch Break! It’s been a while since we’ve done this, so I’ll start with a brief orientation. This series is built around the After On Podcast—which itself is a series of deep-dive interviews with thinkers, founders, and (above all) scientists.

Often exceeding 90 minutes, After On episodes run longer than the average busy Ars reader’s lunch break. So we carve these unhurried conversations into three to four 30-ish minute segments, and run ‘em here around lunch, Ars Daylight Time. You can access today’s segment via our embedded audio player, or by reading the accompanying transcript (both of which are below).

We’ve presented two seasons of these episodes so far and are planning a third one in the fall. As for this week’s run, it’s sort of a summer special. The impetus is a talk I gave at April’s annual TED conference, which TED will debut on their site’s front page tomorrow. I was asked to speak as a direct result of a two-part podcast interview I ran in late March. Some quick cocktail napkin math may tell you this gave me about 10 days to prepare my talk.

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