Why it’s vital to switch that podcast off occasionally and let yourself get bored

Excerpt from this article:

It has become part of my daily routine to slip headphones on as I leave the front door. I don’t take them off until I reach my destination, unless I’m buying something in a shop or giving directions – as the writer Lucy Prebble has remarked, “taking off headphones is the new removing your hat”. I sometimes listen to music, but mainly I listen to talk.

Perhaps the biggest cost, though, is that I’m listening to myself less. When I’m riveted by the narrative of a real-life murder mystery, my thoughts don’t wander, and it’s only when thoughts are allowed to wander that they become interesting.

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Whitney Phillips explains how Trump controls the media

Description of this podcast episode:

Here’s a fun fact: The best training for understanding the president’s media strategy is to have studied internet trolls for years and years.

Okay, maybe that fact wasn’t so fun. Maybe it’s incredibly depressing.

At any rate, Whitney Phillips did exactly that. She was one of the earliest scholars of online trolling (yes, that’s a job). She was studying trolling when it was a tiny sideshow. And she was there, studying it, as online trolling got amplified by algorithmic platforms and a click-hungry media. As Gamergate made it a political movement. Then, most importantly, she was there, watching, as the media manipulation tactics that she had seen perfected by the trolls became the playbook for how Trump controls the media’s agenda, and the national conversation.

How Podcasts Became a Seductive—and Sometimes Slippery—Mode of Storytelling

Excerpt from New Yorker this article:

Podcasting is a peculiarly intimate medium. Usually transmitted through headphones to a solitary listener, or played over the car stereo during a commute, an audio narrative can be immersive in a way that a radio playing in the background in a kitchen rarely is. Podcasts are designed to take up time, rather than to be checked, scanned, and rushed through: they are for those moments when you can’t be scrolling on your phone. For a digital medium, podcasts are unusual in their commitment to a slow build, and to a sensual atmosphere. At the conference table, people were eager to discuss ways in which audio could deepen the story, as well as the visceral experience of the listener.

Podcasts Are the New Xanax

Excerpt from this article:

Unlike the time sink of binge-watching a TV series, podcasts actually made me more efficient. Practically every dull activity—folding laundry, applying makeup—became tolerable when I did it while listening to a country singer describing his hardscrabble childhood, or a novelist defending her open marriage.

…Last summer, I discovered the most important advantage of podcasts over people: You can doze off in the middle of a podcast conversation without offending anyone.

We need an internet of unmonetisable enthusiasms

Excerpt from this article:

We should be cheered that these deep pools of detail are emerging in podcasting. It’s been around since 2004, after all, maybe this exploration of qualities other than surface and scale is what happens in a mature digital medium. I’m looking forward to Deep Twitter and The Decline and Fall of The Roman Empire on Snapchat.

Podcasting Is the New Soft Diplomacy

Excerpt form this article:

The idea, she explained over lunch this week, is simple. Haultain always maintained a relationship with America. For decades, that relationship was forged through watching The Wire and reading books like The Art of Fielding and stacking up back issues of The New Yorker next to her bedside. Haultain’s husband and daughter can recite every line from the Australia episode of The Simpsons.

But around the time Donald Trump announced he was running for president, podcasts began to elbow their way into that relationship. These days, the person explaining the wonders and outrages of America is as likely to be New York Times podcast host Michael Barbaro as it is Homer Simpson.

“I listen to The Daily,” Haultain said. “I listen to Up First on NPR. I listen to Trumpcast. I listen to Ezra Klein on Vox. I listen to Mike Pesca on The Gist. Then I have a whole bunch of historical ones. I just listened to Slow Burn on Slate.”

She has also listened to This American Life, Serial, and the Bela Lugosi–Boris Karloff episodes of You Must Remember This.

Haultain works for an Australian foundation that focuses on legal issues, so her media diet can’t be totally American. She listens to local news while riding the light rail to work each morning. But on the way home — and at night, and on weekends — the voices in her ears are Barbaro’s and Pesca’s and Steve Inskeep’s.