The Know-It-All and The Optimist

A Symposium of Pedagogy and Eudaimonia

About the show

A Know-it-All and Optimist make a show about being friends with Walther, yes Jason.

Two friends sit down to talk about how to live the good life and how to best educate people. Inevitably one of them makes an ass of himself with mansplaining while the other remains forever positive about the future.


  • I Have Thoughts on Zelda

    23 July 2023  |  13 mins 57 secs
    princess trama, rpg, zelda

    A quick mussing on what I think of the new Zelda game.

  • This is how you get THACO!

    14 July 2023  |  12 mins 24 secs
    alterity, d&d, game design, rolyplaying games

    Walther muses about how to set up a RPG system so that it is not to crunchy, but still respects his design requirements. Also how to avoid reinventing THACO.

  • Dice Talk With Walther

    10 July 2023  |  14 mins 6 secs
    dice, mastodon, roll playing games, threads

    Walther Spends 15 Minutes talking about dice and dice rolls for RPG. Mainly musing over how a dice roll system should work.

  • Keeps Us On Our Toes

    14 August 2022  |  47 mins 16 secs
    culture, education, eudaimonia, pedagogy, science

    Walther and Jason record again, Ya! They talk about what they have been up to, summer school, and big life changes.

  • I’ve been under there recently.

    17 July 2022  |  1 hr 34 mins
    culture, education, eudaimonia, pedagogy, science

    Jason brings on his brother, Anthony, to join us as we talk about home repair, State contest, and (most importantly) Anthony's off-road build. Walther's audio is messed up, and this episode is way late, so I hope you stick around for the next one.

  • Our Jaw's are made of Bone?

    5 April 2022  |  1 hr 25 mins
    culture, education, eudaimonia, pedagogy, science

    In this brief episode there is a bunch of follow up about covid, tree rig and chainsaws. The rest of the episode revolves around how to make a podcast, a death in the family, and our houses.

  • Learning Is Hard

    7 March 2022  |  1 hr 47 mins
    culture, education, eudaimonia, pedagogy, science

    After a lot of catching up and follow up. Walther tells a tail of Covid, and then Jason and Carl launch into a deep discussion of personality, classroom management, and grades.
    I am a little light on the show notes this time, and the audio is not great, but I wanted to get this epopsid out there for your enjoyment. It has been delayed enough.

  • A Large Fist Size Rock

    29 December 2021  |  1 hr 52 mins
    culture, education, eudaimonia, pedagogy, science

    Jason and Carl sit down to discuss self doubt and standard based grading right before Thanksgiving. The episode had to recorded in two parts, but covers a lot of ground with the underlying questions of "Did I do good?" and "How do I do better?"

    This is a good one, and leaves a lot for follow up for the next episode.

  • A Party Trick Know to the Ancient Greeks

    23 November 2021  |  1 hr 16 mins
    culture, education, eudaimonia, pedagogy, science

    We are back for Season Three!!!!

    In this episode, Walther spends a lot of time talking about how Magnets work, and trying to get Jason to try out Craft. We finish up talking about video games and arguing about the merits of capitalism.

  • Bank Job

    5 October 2021  |  1 hr 26 mins
    apple arcade, hobbies, plc, swtich, video games

    In this episode the Know-It-All and the Optimist are joined by two guests to discuss video games, and it becomes a love fest to all their favorite games they are currently playing.

  • There are Bigger Truths in the Butterfly.

    6 May 2021  |  1 hr 35 mins
    culture, education, eudaimonia, pedagogy, science

    After some lengthy follow up about the cars, video games, and trees, Walther gives an update from February on how he fared in the cold Weather without power. Then the conversation gets on to self-reliance and, in part, what role the government should play in our lives. There is of course some talk of video games Jason and Carl where playing back in February, don’t worry there is follow up to come, as well as what exactly is transcendentalism.

  • Tee Time was at 7am, The Car Talk Episode

    26 April 2021  |  1 hr 29 mins
    culture, education, eudaimonia, pedagogy, science

    In this episode Jason and Walther are joined by their friend and colleague Dave to discuss what cars each of them show and have owned. There is a lot of ribbing and surprises along the way, so sit back and enjoy the banter.
    Also this episode was recorded back in January.