A Sense of Rebellion is written, presented, and produced by Evgeny Morozov, one of Big Tech’s first and fiercest critics. He is the author of THE NET DELUSION (2011) and TO SAVE EVERYTHING, CLICK HERE (2013), both listed among 100 notable books of the year by The New York Times. In 2018, Politico named him one of Europe’s 28 most influential people.

This is the second installment in Morozov’s podcast trilogy on the “tech rebels who failed” (The Santiago Boys, on Chile’s short-lived experiment in cybernetic socialism, was the first).

Part Cold War thriller, part psychological drama, part history of AI that may have been, A Sense of Rebellion offers a whirlwind tour through the pre-history of the digital revolution.

The podcast’s soundtrack features a dozen original tracks by Brian Eno.


Drawing on a decade of archival research – including during Morozov’s doctoral studies at Harvard - the podcast sheds light on the paths not taken in the development of digital technologies. All of them (including AI) could have been more radical, subversive, and humane.

Today’s interactive technologies prize efficiency and predictability but only at the cost of making us less aware of their often detrimental effects (see mounting concerns about disinformation, filter bubbles, surveillance, etc).

But what if interactive technologies were not just about getting things done but also about broadening our horizons? What if their effects were not hidden but rather immediately made visible? And what if AI was not about cutting humans out of the loop, but, rather, about allowing us to develop new talents and sensibilities?


Forget the military or Silicon Valley: we owe our smart toothbrushes and smart beds to a wild bunch of eccentric hippies from the 1960s. Toiling in a privately funded, secretive lab on Boston’s waterfront, they sought more intimate and personal technologies a whole decade before Steve Jobs!

Yet, the military industrial complex, the resistance from corporate America, and the lab founders’ larger-than-life personalities get in the way of their ambitions.

The podcast ventures into the most unexpected territory: from the fortunes of the Cold War psychiatry to the rise and fall of far-left Maoist groups in Europe, from CIA’s adventures in extra-sensory perception to the emergence of tech libertarianism in the counterculture of the 1960.


The lab at the center of the podcast foreshadows tech startups of the 2000s, with all their excesses, flaws, and utopian ambitions.

The characters behind that secretive lab are truly fascinating. Among them:

Warren Brodey (1924- ): a 100-year-old founder of family therapy turned tech guru turned radical leftist political activist.

Peter Oser (1926-1970): a great grandson of John D. Rockefeller who’s dabbled in Scientology, black magic, and early artificial intelligence.

Avery Johnson (1932-1988): a nerdy heir to the Palmolive fortune who turned an ex-quarry of his into a cybernetic playground.


“Dramatic and illuminating...Surprisingly riveting.”
Los Angeles Times

“You can hear the care that has gone into the research...The writing is smart, stylish and contains some terrific blink-and-you’ll-miss-them details...Doesn’t shrink from complex ideas and credits its audience with intelligence, curiosity, and, above all, staying power. Like the best podcasts, it leaves you feeling a little bit cleverer for having heard it.”
Financial Times

“As gripping as a Netflix thriller... Perhaps the most important political thriller of the last years...from one of the most important and critical theorists of digitalization...”
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany)

“Particularly attentive to the hidden, secret, and violent uses of technology... - the so-called Dark Tech.”
Corriere della Sera (Italy)

“A rich podcast... a beautiful and important production that first and foremost shows how thoroughly political technology is...”
De Correspondent (Netherlands)