This is True’s Podcast, Uncommon Sense, first debuted 7 July 2017 — with the first issue of the publication’s 24th year. In September 2018, it relaunched with a new focus; episodes from the first series are no longer available. A new episode comes out most every week.
To See a List of All Available Episodes, scroll down or click here to jump there.
How to Subscribe
Search for Uncommon Sense in your podcast app or on iTunes, or manually enter this feed URL into your app: https://thisistrue.com/feed/podcast
You Can Also subscribe to email notifications in the sidebar (see the form labeled “Blog Post Notifications” on any episode page) which will send you an automated email notification of all new blog posts, including podcasts.
Too complicated? You can also listen by going to each episode’s “Show Page” and clicking on the Play button at the very top.
What’s a Podcast?
Podcasts are how I listen to my favorite radio show, NPR’s Science Friday, as well as several other high-quality shows with information I want or need. With iTunes on an iPhone or iPad tablet, you can subscribe to any of thousands of different titles that automatically download to your phone. You can listen to the shows at your convenience, and that way you can hear shows you really want to hear, rather than what happens to be on the radio when you are on the road needing something to listen to. I don’t like brain-rot shows that are interrupted every three minutes by strings of even more brain-damaging commercials; I want to listen to what I really want that makes me smarter, or is at least intelligent entertainment.
Not an iPhone/iPad Person? Actually, I’m not either: I use an Android phone myself; there are plenty of podcast apps you can get free that will download, manage, and play the shows you subscribe to. I now use Podcast Addict since it’s highly configurable and flexible, but not terribly complex to figure out how it works. Like many such apps, it can be set to only download shows when connected to WiFi (to not use up your mobile data plan).
The True podcast is a “live to tape” show (read: very light touch on the editing, like removing technical snafus). It will decidedly not be a recording of me reading stories. I’ll be going into what “uncommon sense” is, how it’s demonstrated in real life, and, yes, from time to time you’ll be able to hear some of my “rants” about various issues, in my voice, coming to you for 12-20ish minutes each week, on Mondays. In other words, it’s completely separate from the newsletter, not an audio version of the newsletter. It’s also free, with sponsor and/or reader support.
- 054: Pre-Silicon Valley - Digging into the idea that the smartphone was invented in 1953. The back story is even more impressive: it nicely demonstrates that you don’t need a college education to have Uncommon Sense (11 minutes) Podcast/transcript. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast54
- 053: Leveraging Uncommon Sense - Sometimes people are forced into thinking up solutions because of an emergency. But when they practice Uncommon Sense, they can leverage their thinking into, once in awhile, saving millions of lives. This is the story of a married couple who did just that (11 minutes) Podcast/transcript. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast53
- 052: Uncommon Sense the Easy Way - Can you quit a bad habit with willpower? Allen Carr thought that was the hard way, but he had an 'Easy Way' and saved perhaps millions of lives by quitting his day job to help teach others how. (14-1/2 minutes) Podcast/transcript. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast52
- 051: Out of Thin Air - The Uncommon Sense behind vodka made from 'thin air' and water (10-1/2 minutes). Show Page: https://go.thisistrue.com/podcast51
- 050: The Mother of All Demos - One person with Uncommon Sense can have a profound effect on the world. Wait until you hear the story of Doug Engelbart: he’s the visionary behind many of the technologies you use most every day (13-3/4 minutes) Podcast/transcript. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast50
- 049: Mind Triggers - Here’s another tool in what I call the Thinking Toolbox: a way to learn how to think better, unlike most of the people in This is True’s stories. Or, if you’re already an accomplished thinker, a way to help others learn how to think better because trust me: most people need the help. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast49
- 048: A Competitive Advantage - We’ve been hearing about “diversity” in the workplace for years now, but many companies are doing something so radically different on the diversity front, it’s very surprising for a lot of people. Yet what it really comes down to is Uncommon Sense. https://thisistrue.com/podcast48
- 047: Standing in Line - How does a man use his years of experience working for IBM as they introduced computers to business, leverage that experience to invent a worldwide phenomenon that you have used many, many times? He uses Uncommon Sense. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast47
- 046: ‘An Ethic of Compassion’ - It’s a conundrum in the business world, but this idea really is about living in general. And that is, how can businesses encourage their employees to be more productive, healthier, and provide better customer service? University researchers applied some Uncommon Sense to this age-old question, and came to some surprising conclusions. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast46
- 045: Right Place, Right Time - Being in the right place at the right time helps, but it often takes Uncommon Sense to step back to consider the big picture. This is the story of how someone did that — and leveraged his luck to help millions (13 minutes). Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast45
- 044: The Rants Get Serious - Do you want to know what TRUE is really about? Then listen to this one if you can — don’t read the transcript. You’ll hear the true passion behind one of my written rants, because now it’s literally in my voice. If you don’t have a podcast player, you can stream it from the Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast44
- 043: The $100 Education - Warren Buffett says the biggest impact on his massive success was one particular class he took. But it wasn’t part of his college or graduate school education. I’ll tell you what it is, for free. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast43
- 042: Pushing the Uncommon Sense Envelope - Uncommon Sense facilitates some pretty out-of-the-box thinking that not only improves the thinker’s life, but sometimes improves or even saves countless other lives. Doug Lindsay’s story pushed the envelope pretty far — there really is no limit to Uncommon Sense, as you’re about to hear for yourself. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast42
- 041: What is Thinking? - The question is harder to answer than you ...think! But really, what IS thinking? Plus, if you use the "Dunning-Kruger Effect" to judge other peoples' thinking, you're doing it wrong — says Dr. Dunning. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast41
- 040: Undaunted - Can anything be done to stem the decline in bookstores from Amazon's relentless domination? Yes: Uncommon Sense is already reversing the trend, and in a surprising way. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast40
- 039: Failure is Not Optional - Humans don’t like to fail. Sure, sometimes failure has catastrophic results, so surgeons work hard to ensure their operations are successful. But when we don’t allow ourselves, or our children, or our employees to fail, they can’t reach their full potential. Here’s why you should actually embrace failure. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast39
- 038: The Giant Leap for Mankind - If you think it maybe took an extraordinary amount of Uncommon Sense to get to the moon, you’re right, and this episode talks about some of the details that you may not have heard about before. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast38
- 037: You Were Never Created to Fit In - Uncommon Sense can be found in very unusual places. In this story, a janitor at one of the plants at a multinational corporation had the cojones to call the CEO with an idea. And the CEO was smart enough to listen. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast37
- 036: The Stakes are High - In This is True, I rail about obliviocy, using real people and their stories as examples. Uncommon Sense talks about the opposite: the cure for obliviocy ...using real people and their stories as examples. The two sides are actually at war, so let’s define our terms — and think about what the stakes are. It really is worth 6-1/2 minutes to talk about it. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast36
- 035: To Boldly Go - To Boldly Go? No, this isn’t about Star Trek, but rather something even better: real life. This is the story of a 9-year-old with Uncommon Sense who was inspired to reach for the stars — and years later inspired a bunch of other kids growing up behind him. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast35
- 034: I Have a Scenario For You - A reader tells how she was inspired to change her life. And that leads to a powerful thinking tool: running scenarios can save your life. I’ll show you how, and tell the story of how they probably saved my life. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast34
- 033: Taking Control of Your Attention - “Your attention please!” is what everyone seems to want online — they call you “eyeballs”. And “they” say our attention span is getting shorter. But I don’t think that’s true: here’s why (12 minutes). Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast33
- 032: “Give Me a Shot at It. I’m an Engineer” - The story of a man who wasn’t satisfied with mere success. He took Uncommon Sense to a new level in order to help others, yet refused to get rich from it. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast32
- 031: Boosting Creativity the Easy Way - There’s a proven way to boost your creativity, open-mindedness, thoughtfulness, and more. The best part: it’s also fun, interesting, and can even be done while working, or on vacation. Show Page; https://thisistrue.com/podcast31
- 030: I Learned There Are No Boxes - An unthinking This is True reader was shown Uncommon Sense — and adopted the practice for himself. A profoundly moving episode that shows how even terrible humans can change. John's story is one of the most powerful ever told by a reader. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast30
- 029: 32 Glasses of Water Go Down the Black Hole - I love watching others and recognizing signs of Uncommon Sense. I’m going to tell you about another friend of mine (who has no idea I’m going to talk about this), since it’s a great example of taking something you see with a grain of salt, and calling B.S. when it’s necessary. And then, I take on the universe. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast29
- 028: Reading TRUE to Kids - The question: should you consider reading This is True 'weird news' stories to your kids? Lots of parents do — or let the kids read it themselves. Here’s why (12-1/3 minutes). Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast28
- 027: Think… or React? - One of the This is True mantras is ‘Think first, react later ...if at all.’ But what does that really mean, and how can we learn something from an example of doing it ‘wrong’? Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast27
- 026: What a Talking Ape Can Teach Humans - It’s easier for young children to learn basic sign language than to speak, and what a head start they can get on learning! Proof of concept: a gorilla. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast26
- 025: Finding Your Purpose and Mission - Some know their life's purpose and mission. Others don't know how to apply them to their lives. Here's how to get clarity on both, even if you're retired. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast25
- 024: Extending Thinking Beyond Humans - Thinking about thinking that might occur in machines — for the betterment of humanity. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast24
- 023: Why Uncommon Sense Matters - Whether you “need” a monkey (wait… what?!) or “want” something for nothing, scammers are eager to take your money from you. Here are a few stories of those who fell for it and (more importantly) how you can reduce your chances of being conned. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast23
- 022: The Little Things - The "little things" matter -- a lot. Right down to making the world a better place for generations to come, and they're easy to do. And really: if a 5-year-old is obviously starting to develop Uncommon Sense, anyone who puts their mind to it can develop it too. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast22
- 021: Uncommon Sense at Work - Uncommon Sense isn't just for your day-to-day life. Here's the story of a guy who not only runs his life with Uncommon Sense (even if he doesn't call it that), he does it on the job, too: "tiny little things" that bring huge financial results. Here are a few examples of what he does. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast21
- 020: How to Lose Everything, Instantly - More on the story about the loss (to fire) of the Hewlett-Packard archive of papers about their early formation, with a special guest connecting in from the coast to talk about how that could have been prevented. Because H-P's loss has a lesson for all of us: it's a real "Wake-Up Call". Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast20
- 019: How to be Happier - A 'secret' to Uncommon Sense used to be passed down from generation to generation, but has started to die out — which explains a lot. Learn it to reduce stress and fear, and increase satisfaction and happiness, in just over 14 minutes! Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast19
- 017: Developing Uncommon Sense - Can you really develop Uncommon Sense? From none to some, and from some to more? Yes: it can grow, get stronger, and help you in your life -- or even save your life. Here's how. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast17
- 018: Big Brother and the “Online Challenge” - The 'Big Brother' privacy implications with Facebook's '10 Year Photo Challenge' -- are they training their facial recognition systems to identify you even as you age? Spend 13 minutes to hear this out. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast18
- 016: Barking Up the Right Tree - Dogs may or may not have Uncommon Sense, but how its owner reacts to a dog might be an interesting indicator of their thinking ability. A really cool story. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast16
- 015: Keeping Your Eyes on the Prize - An interesting story of achieving a big life goal: how Uncommon Sense played a role, and how it may help you. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast15
- 014: Expect the Unexpected - Just how much impact one person can have by refusing to be stymied by those who don’t have it. In fact, you might owe this guy your life. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast14
- 013: How ADD Made TRUE Possible - Is ADD/ADHD a curse? No! When properly managed, it provides 'superpowers' that are an absolute gift! It actually helped me in my job at NASA, and then in going solo as an entrepreneur. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast13
- 012: Dreaming Big - I like to make fun of the lottery, but if you are going to play, here’s how to apply some Uncommon Sense to the mix, whether you win or not. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast12
- 011: We Need Better Heroes - Some people — usually people with Uncommon Sense — aspire to something greater than the whims of the masses and can make a huge impact on the world. This episode looks at what we as a society pay a lot of attention to, at the detriment to the much more important things we pretty much ignore. The difference: mind-blowing. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast11
- 010: “I Just Don’t Have Time” - “I just don’t have time” is the modern mantra. And I’m here to tell you why that’s total B.S. Because if you apply Uncommon Sense to the time problem, that turns out to not be the problem you think it is. I’m going to tell you how to get more out of putting time in. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast10
- 009: The Headlines Lied - There’s a lot of talk about accuracy in the media these days, up to and including frequent accusations that the mainstream press publishes “fake news.” The REAL “fake news” isn't what you may think — and it starts even before you click. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast9
- 008: The Man with the Golden Arm - I had heard about the man I’m going to tell you about several times over the past several years, but I didn’t know the whole story of “The Man with the Golden Arm”. It’s a bit of a medical mystery and, as I researched all of this to understand what the heck it was that he did, I discovered he started displaying Uncommon Sense even as a child. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast8
- 007: A Second Opinion - A very different kind of episode: a story that's not from the newsletter, but rather one that's too long and complex to be shortened to 100ish words plus a pithy tagline. It's an amazing story of despair, hope, and renewal, with a wild twist at the end. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast7
- 006: The X Factor - How two men inspired others to change the world in a massive display of Uncommon Sense. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast6
- 005: The Last Stroke of Midnight - Feel-good stories can go viral online, but let's apply the Uncommon Sense filter and see what we can take away long after the viral story is forgotten. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast5
- 004: Full Circle - When sizing up someone in a modest profession, don’t make the mistake of thinking the job title defines the person or their abilities. They might just surprise you with an overabundance of Uncommon Sense. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast4
- 003: Cassini: The Bigger Picture - From California, where I came to see and reflect on the End of Mission for the Cassini spacecraft — its so-called Grand Finale. This isn't about the mission per se, but rather the thinking behind it: The Bigger Picture. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast3
- 002: Reverberating for Decades - Three amazing stories of medical professionals going outside protocol to do the right thing: to be fully human in the face of death — all in just 9 minutes. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast2
- 001: The Best of Humanity - While the stories in This is True usually point out the pitfalls of not thinking, the Honorary Unsubscribe holds up the best of humanity, which often means someone who exhibited Uncommon Sense on a regular basis. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast1
- 000: Podcast Relaunch Introduction - An introduction to This is True, and the Uncommon Sense Podcast. Show Page: https://thisistrue.com/podcast0