Ben Szymanski

Software Engineer • πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ & 🐊

Back in 2015, I discovered Podcasts. They were hardly new, and I knew it, because I remember reading about them when they were new in MacWorld articles in 2005. And I remember when iTunes added features supporting RSS feeds for automated delivery.

In 2005, I thought it sounded extremely boring, and how could it not? Listening to pre-recorded talk shows that you had to download in advanced to your iPod. Syndicated radio was already boring enough (Bob and Tom, John Tesh...), I couldn't imagine why anyone would want to listen to hours of that straight.

In 2015, I discovered Accidental Tech Podcast and the NoSleep Podcast. ATP seemed great at first. A bunch of Mac-heads/enthusiasts talking about industry news, and speculating on Apple's next move. Except, after a few months I realized that I was too wrapped up in the personal concerns of the podcast hosts, completely unimportant things.

For example, why did I care if Marco liked his Mac Pro? I didn't do anything for my own situation, I wasn't using my energy or thought to build anything, and it wasn't very entertaining, either, but I was listening to this for months. I realized what was going on... I was inviting energy draining vampires into my daily life.

Ever since then, I have mostly avoided podcasts. Even when I saw all of my coworkers sitting at their desks with windows of Joe Rogan playing on YouTube in 2018.

There's a weird religion-like cultness that's been forming around podcasts for the last few years - especially those health and wellness ones. All these talking heads endlessly preaching rituals, incantations (err, "affirmations") and various forms of piety in weekly episodes. Attentive listeners will often find confusing and contradictory advice, like no one ever heard of an editor.

I think the thing that bothers me most about podcasts is how, unlike earlier syndicated talk radio... Bob and Tom, John Tesh, Rush Limbaugh... these podcasters take more than they give their audiences. The most popular are most certainly run by producers who, from what I can tell, use the same tactics Adam DiVello used to produce The Hills (inventing drama and storylines), but use it to really sap as much of your time and attention as possible.

This shit isn't real. UNPLUG!

The NoSleep Podcast was great until they started running a lot of stories that were really just obscured lesbian fantasies. I want to be spooked, not titillated!

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