First off, I actually am listening to CBC Vancouver’s On the Coast, just not on the radio. I’m listening to it via their podcast [see image], because listening to them at the job would require either an actual radio, or an ‘all you can eat’ data plan for my mobile phone that I cannot afford; and I don’t get home until 5:45 pm at the earliest. So, it’s their podcast that means once a week or so I get to hear about ten minutes of their show and that’s all. As a result, I make do with listening to oodles of podcasts loaded on my iPhone. Sorry about the click bait.
The noise cancelling headphones I used to use have suddenly developed a super-crackley loose connection that makes me willing to gouge out my ear canals instead of using them (so I wisely have set them aside until they get replaced). Previously I had been listening to music (and “live tweeting” as I worked my way through the careers of people like David Bowie and The Beatles, including information relevant to the albums), but the headphones I’m using now are Apple’s earPods and aren’t all that great for music so I’m going with the simpler sound demands of the human voice: podcasts.
A bunch of them I think enough of to actually babble about here, and if you’ve not heard of Any of them I recommend you check them out for yourself.
The first, Serial, was the buzz of the entire world¹ at the end of last year. It was/is about the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee and the subsequent trials of Adnan Syed who was found guilty by the second jury to consider the matter, the 1st time the matter ended in a mistrial. He claims to be innocent not merely because it didn’t happen the way it is claimed to have, but it didn’t happen at all. Everyone’s got their idea in reaction to the details of the case, including me² [SPOILER ALERT: reading the footnote will reveal a fair few things and/or ruin your own unadulterated opinion of the case if you have not heard all twelve of the episodes], but the real fascinating part is the minutiae of the case being gone through at the time of the original investigation as well as hearing so many versions of the same story from so few people. Additionally, should the wheels of justice spin equally, no matter the end result, or not, and who really knows what ever happened ever? Do you know exactly what you did six weeks ago today (seriously, try to remember right now and try to avoid saying something like well, I probably was _______, but it was a normal day so I don’t really recall if you think you can). Intelligent crime reporting that isn’t really Crime Reporting. They’re coming back with a new season sometime this year, with a whole new story which hasn’t been revealed. Great stuff.
Next, Invisibilia, is the one everyone’s buzzing about now³, from the people who formative in creating This American Life and Radiolab. It’s ‘science without the science,’ or ‘science that focuses on the sociological impact of things you don’t think have any. It’s not your high school physics class, nor is it a watered down version of the latest findings of cool technical research; it’s about
how scientific things have no… um… it tells you about things you’ve never noticed before that have no… It’s… oh for pity’s sake; JUST LISTEN TO IT AND IMPROVE YOURSELF, ALREADY, OKAY?!
Then there’s one from several years ago called The Invisible Hand, (which is sadly no longer available). Having listened to it at least twice now since it originally aired, then having heard a bunch of episodes of NPR’s Planet Money, I really do not understand why The Invisible Hand wasn’t renewed. I know it got a shit-load of criticism of the “how dare you shove economics at me, you bunch of Capitalistic Pig-Swine!” variety, but that sort of narrow-minded, knee-jerk, low-rent, ‘protect me from questioning anything I already think is right or wrong’ reactionism is exactly what’s wrong with the world today.
Frankly, if people want something to be irate about, NPR’s Planet Money should cause a good number of seizures: they’re investing money on the New York Stock Market right now, and they’re actually investing on the basis the stock market will go down! They’re betting that America will fail! They’re not making any money with this strategy, obviously, they’re illustrating how ‘sorting a stock’ works in practice. However, imagine a CBC programme trying anything close to this as a way of explaining how stuff works: people would shit themselves! Personally, I love the fact the people at the show are doing it, as it totally clarifies things, and the notion of getting people to understand how that there Economy stuff works is exactly what this show does and the CBC’s 12-week summer experiment actually did. For some unfathomable reason, we’re happy to let the ‘experts’ do it for us instead, which strikes me as being damned dangerous.
I wish The Invisible Hand had continued, as I really enjoy where they were going philosophically: questioning pre-conceived notions of what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ about the economy – even challenging what the economy is for that matter – is both an intelligent and interesting way into any topic, especially this one. The fact it was able to do so without shoving ‘egg-heads’ at the listener made it all the more appealing to me. The economy doesn’t need to be as complicated as it is made out to be, unless you’re dealing with the really big stuff that the Governor of the Bank of Canada explains to people (with the hopes that some experts actually understand what he’s said, with the usual result of ‘no, no they didn’t’).
There’s a bunch more podcasts I am listening to, but those will do as recommendations for now.
- …if your world is full of white liberal people and is limited to North America.
- First off, Adnan did it. Maybe it was an accident, maybe not, who knows. The State Prosecutor’s case shouldn’t have seen the light of day, never mind the Jury in the courtroom, it’s so much of a joke; there are holes you could drive several buildings through. The right guy was found guilty, just not at all in the right way. The real mystery here is this: there’s way more that happened that day which probably involved Jay, more than likely all of this un-known stuff took place sometime between 1:30 and 8:00pm when the cell phone seems to have moved all over Hell’s half-acre, and neither Adnan nor Jay are talking about it. I predict revelations about this eventually, but everyone in society will have forgotten by that time and no longer care.
- op. cit.