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comment by blackbootz
blackbootz  ·  349 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: NYTimes Opinion | The Podcast Bros Want to Optimize Your Life

This article falls well short of endorsement, but flirts with it throughout. I understand the tension. It can be grating to hear how un-self-aware Tim Ferriss sounds when he describes ideal Bay Area living (or drifts into rank hucksterism).

That said, these "podcast bros" have hit upon something. I am constantly surprised by the people that tell me they listen to Joe Rogan--not just the sheer number, but the variety of occupations, lifestyles, and identities. Maybe it's as the author puts it, "All this continues a long American tradition of self-help and creative, market-minded spirituality." But to highlight a commenter's words:

    I challenge anyone here to sit down and watch a ten minute CNN panel after listening to a few of Joe Rogan, Tim Ferris, or Jocko Willink's discussions with scientists, investors, veterans, or athletes for a week. It will be a nearly unbearable ordeal. More numerous than those disaffected by traditional faith are those who seek alternatives to the purely commercial and manufactured news outlets of the 80's.

    Nonetheless, this piece brings up an important point: that long-form podcasting has (surprisingly) brought evolutionary biology and psychology (among other things) into the spotlight, helping millions make peace with their inner drives by considering the potential good and evil that they can unleash depending on cultural constraints. This is far from spiritual revelation, but it is an important sphere of thought that conventional media in unable to address due to its program format.

kleinbl00  ·  349 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I read the article a few days ago and didn't find that much depth to it. This is probably due in part to my somatic hatred of podcasts: I hate the shit out of swing music yet used to mix it twice a week for money but even Jon Ronson doing a podcast is something I turn off after 20 minutes. It's probably the lack of editing, the lack of focus, the patronizing smarminess, the general "hey, guys, we're gonna sit here and shoot the shit around this microphone until we run out of things to say" aspect of it (which I appreciate and understand to be a part of the appeal for most) that drives me up the frickin' wall.

That said, the self-help podcasters are doing nothing that Deepak Chopra, Suze Orman, Richard Simmons and a long line stretching past Dale Carnegie have done: "you have questions, I have answers, subscribe to my newsletter." That "a ten minute CNN panel" has now become completely inane has more to do with the target market: if you're watching CNN you're over 50, probably over 55, and possibly over 65 while if you're listening to podcasts you're between 15 and 40. More than that, broadcasting and narrowcasting attract very different audiences. CNN is for people who will flip between whatever is on while podcasts are for people seeking out stuff they already know they like.

I cannot listen to Tim Ferriss or Joe Rogan for more than 2 minutes without wanting to punch them in the face. My roommates usually mix in some Ben Shapiro and Prager U to really make me hate my life.

user-inactivated  ·  348 days ago  ·  link  ·  

the conversational podcasts are nice because if you close your eyes it's like having friends

i can't think of an informational podcast i've ever liked - if i wanna learn i would read a book instead of having someone stumble over one for me

kleinbl00  ·  348 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    the conversational podcasts are nice because if you close your eyes it's like having friends

I worry this is painfully close to the truth. It's probably shocking to say, but I've never had trouble making friends... so podcasts probably trigger the same reaction in me that eavesdropping on a conversation I haven't been invited to does.