This Week in Podcasts (2016/5/08)

I listen to a lot of podcasts in a week, at least one during my commute to and from work everyday and I listen to them on my runs. Since I’m training for the SF Marathon I’m adding about 4-5 hours a week in podcasts. It’s adding up. I figured I would write up about what I’m listening to!

I’m trying out an approach where I break down each episode into three important things: Summary (the summary of the episode without major spoilers), Impressions (thoughts I had on the episode), and a Grade (Listen, Solid, or Skip)

This week, I’m still going to be catching up on the archive of “Reply All” keeping up with them as I’m almost 20-30 episodes behind. In case you aren’t listening, Reply All is a Gimlet Media podcast about “The Internet”. It’s usually stories that involve some form of internet website or social media. It’s not as startup oriented as you’d imagine though.

47 Quit Already! (5/14)

Summary: This podcast episode follows the story of Lucia Medizabal’s most amazing summer. Lucia is a unknown person on the internet, she spends most of her time playing Farmville and running a small real estate business. She does have one hobby that most of us would shy away from, talking politics on Facebook. The podcast covers her start from a small protest to the peaceful resignation and imprisonment of the president and vice-president of Gauetmala on corruption.

Impresssions: Probably one of the more interesting Reply All episodes only because Lucia isn’t mentioned in any of the Wikipedia articles. It’s one of those untold stories that happen in the crecvices of the bigger picture of larger historical change. The episode might occasionally exaggerate her role in the protests as she was just one part of a rising tide of movement as opposed to the actual inspiration for the movement.

Grade: Listen!

46 Yik Yak Returns (5/14)

Summary: This episode covers the scandals both at Colgate University and across the nation as a new generation of young people utilize anonymous social media to voice their hateful viewpoints. It talks mostly in the viewpoint of a small minority rights group that protested at Colgate University but covers stories at other universities and the viewpoint of an accomplished journalist who has been covering race relations for a period of time.

Impressions: If anything, I’m most impressed by the actions of the Colgate Faculty. Not only showing that they cared and are attempting to make change but how they did it. Listen to the episode.

Grade: Solid

45 The Rainbow Pug (5/14)

Summary: The episode is our podcasters covering a story and trying to help out. A couple gives up their precious family dog after he gets a serious injury but their attempts at trying to get him back from the rescue group prove to be a disaster.

Impressions: I think this story is probably the more “no winner” stories I’ve heard. Both sides have valid points: the shelter knows that the owners gave up their pup and they’d rather place the dog in a family that can take care of him. Jade’s family couldn’t afford a surgery and have two kids and another ailing dog to take care of, her husband even said so in the form. Maybe the dog would do better in a new family that can afford to take care of him as he gets older?

Grade: Solid

44 Shine On You Crazy Goldman (5/14)

Summary: A small podcast about Goldman and another coworker’s experience with microdosing on LSD at work. The experiences differ and both have never had ANY experiences with the drug before which give an interesting highlight to the experience.

Impressions: The discussions about the research on LSD proved to be the most interesting.

Grade: Skip

43 The Law That Sticks (5/13)

Summary: A story about the prosecution of a young man who let Anonymous hack the LA times for about 30 minutes and how the proseuction used the Fraud and Abuse Act to prosecute him. It’s a bigger dive into the details of the case and the consequences for it’s most publicly tragic offender, Aaron Schwartz.

Impressions: I knew most of the material in this podcast as well as the story of Schwartz so it doesn’t hold as much for me but it’s an interesting podcast if you haven’t.

Grade: Skip

42 Blind Spot (5/10)

Summary: A young woman’s journey about dealing with migraines and other medical issues. Her doctors proved to be not helpful and she ended up turning to a resource called CrowdMed, a crowd sourced attempt at finding a cure for people.

Impressions: The inndividual story into how CrowdMed was fascinating. Not only because of how her doctors treated her but on how effective crowd sourced medicine can be and how different models might work.

Grade: Solid

41 What It Looks Like (5/9)

Summary: A writer who talks about photographing and instagraming when she was depressed. A “Yes, Yes, No” about Gamer Gate.

Impressions: Somewhat interesting, but nothing to write home about. 

Grade: Skip