Category: episode 2

BBC Radio 4 – Seriously…, Seriously… – Piers Plowright introduces a collection of his favourite documentaries for Seriously…:

Not so much a lunchtime lecture as a link to a full on audio binge.

Piers Plowright is a radio legend. During his time as a BBC radio drama and feature maker from 1968 to 1997 he won the Prix Italia for radio documentaries three times as well as three Gold and two Silver Sony Awards and a Sony Special Award for Continual Dedication and Commitment to the Radio Industry. Since then he has been made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, an honourary doctor at Bournemouth University and a ‘Radio Luminary’ at the prestigious Chicago Third Coast Radio Festival.

If anybody knows about great radio, Piers does. We are honoured and delighted to present his personal picks from the Radio 4 archive, all of which are available for you to listen to right now…


Digital Human, Series 17, Ep 2: The Analogue Human

Amanda Palmer and Damon Krukowski talk analog vs. digital:

Bring back the noise.

Such was the prescription from indie musicians Amanda Palmer and Damon Krukowski ’85 during an animated discussion about digital creativity Tuesday night at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts.

Krukowski, who came to the Consumer Research Center/store to kick off the tour for his new book, “The New Analog: Listening and Reconnecting in a Digital World,” used “noise” to describe the ambient sounds such as air conditioning or breathing that found their way onto analog audio recordings, but he was also speaking of life in the pre-digital world before social media giants’ content streams.

Krukowski, who was the founder and drummer for Galaxie 500 in the late ’80s, worked on the idea of analog versus digital as a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society in 2015-16. By eliminating noise, he argued, digital technology has isolated authentic sound, though he hoped the debate would not be seen as old versus new, or good versus bad.

But Palmer, a rock ’n’ roll performer who has cultivated an intimate relationship with fans on and off social media, wasted no time lamenting the loss. Instead, she commiserated with Krukowski over a shared displeasure with Facebook. She quoted from Krukowski’s book: “Social media have no content to offer other than what their users provide. Yet that information, too, is limited to isolated signal as defined by the platform — a neat trick.” Then she made her own supporting argument.

“I also hate Facebook, and I hate Facebook more and more every day,” she said, bemoaning the algorithms it uses to determine what is signal and what is noise for its 2 billion users.

“Noise is necessary. If we’re going to stay human, visual, audio, emotional noise, it’s what makes life. If you don’t have it, you don’t really even have the conditions for living. If things are signal only, that literally means there is no room for coincidence, synchronicity, kismet, randomness — the things that make life feel realistic,” she said.

Digital Human, Series 17, Ep 2: The Analogue Human

Capturing the beauty and emotion of London’s young men:

Rosie Matheson’s Boys series is, in this humble digihuman research monkey’s opinion, bloody gorgeous. The light is beautiful, and somehow in each shot she captures something with simmering intensity and yet an overriding intimacy and sensitivity throughout the whole series. She has an incredible talent for getting touching the heart of her subject in each shot. Beautiful example of why film is still such a beautiful, vital medium.

Digital Human, Series 17, Ep 2: The Analogue Human

Rosie on Instagram: “@shanecoonie and Earl”:

You guys really should follow Rosie Matheson  on Instagram, always a good idea to get more beauty in your life.

Digital Human, Series 17, Ep 2: The Analogue Human

Say Hello to Your Future Self: Imagining your future self can reduce risky choices:

Each year, approximately 7 million people worldwide die from the consequences of tobacco use. That is as much as the entire population of Bulgaria. Smoking has an eye-watering long list of negative health consequences, and while cigarette sales have decreased since their peak in the second half of the 20th century, one in three adults continues to smoke. Chances are that you, dear reader, are a smoker yourself.

How can we explain these exorbitant numbers? Are people unaware of the dangerous health threat tobacco poses? While denial may play a role, mere misinformation is unlikely to be the reason. Anti-smoking campaigns continue to increase, and with cigarette packs featuring printed warnings like “smoking kills”, it’s hard to ignore the fact that fags simply aren’t good for you.

The reason that millions of people choose to inhale toxic fumes every day—against their better knowledge—is the strong temptation of instant rewards such as the relaxing effects of nicotine or social acceptance from peers. The human drive for immediate gratification and the challenges this imposes on our self-control are powerful factors affecting our choices. While little tricks can help us overcome the emotional pull of tempting rewards, long-term success in abstaining from negative habits crucially relies on our level of future-orientation, i.e. the extent to which we consider future outcomes.

Digital Human, Series 17, Ep 2: The Analogue Human

David Sax talking at more length about the power and necessity of analogue tech in our lives.

Digital Human, Series 17, Ep 2: The Analogue Human

The Digital Human – Signal and Noise – where does meaning lie? – BBC Sounds:

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It’s our 100th episode today (cue squeaky wee geeky squeal). So Digital Human flipped the script and we’re bringing you the Analogue Human! Edited and broadcast from TAPE!

With the help of artists, musicians and photographers Aleks asks if the endless possibilities we’re offered by digital tools are as liberating as we think or paradoxically are they paralysing, making it impossible to choose one product, picture, tindr date over another.

In this sneak pic, musician Damon Krukowski explains the difference between the clean, perfected sound of the digital world, compared to the organic noise in analogue world. And how in cutting out the messiness of noise, we may risk losing layers of complexity, beauty and meaning in the world.

Be sure to listen to the full podcast here Digital Human, Series 17, Ep 2: The Analogue Human or download it from iTunes any time after it’s broadcast.

Desperate teens of anti-vaxxers are turning to Reddit for vaccination advice:

The infrastructure of social media can spread a lot of bad medical and scientific information but there are times when it can help cut through the quackery.

As a kid, Ethan wasn’t allowed to be vaccinated. Ethan’s parents are one of the up to 10 percent of Americans who are against some form of vaccination, often believing that preventing disease in children is a government conspiracy.

But Ethan is not his parents. When he turned 18, he decided to take matters into his own hands. He wasn’t sure where else to begin, so he turned to Reddit.

“Where do I go to get vaccinated? Can I get vaccinated at my age?” Ethan asked his fellow redditors in December.

Ethan’s post flooded with over 1,000 comments from users offering their encouragement and support, along with practical advice.

“Good on you for getting your vaccinations,” one user responded. “It’s never too late and you’re not only protecting yourself but those around you who truly can’t get vaccinated.”

Ethan told the Daily Dot that some redditors even offered to give him money via GoFundMe or PayPal if insurance didn’t cover the shots. “People were really supportive, and that was really cool,” he said. “I had the blessing of Reddit. They were supporting me on a decision my mom freaked out about.”

Digital Human: Series 16, Episode 2, Snake Oil

Desperate teens of anti-vaxxers are turning to Reddit for vaccination advice:

The infrastructure of social media can spread a lot of bad medical and scientific information but there are times when it can help cut through the quackery.

As a kid, Ethan wasn’t allowed to be vaccinated. Ethan’s parents are one of the up to 10 percent of Americans who are against some form of vaccination, often believing that preventing disease in children is a government conspiracy.

But Ethan is not his parents. When he turned 18, he decided to take matters into his own hands. He wasn’t sure where else to begin, so he turned to Reddit.

“Where do I go to get vaccinated? Can I get vaccinated at my age?” Ethan asked his fellow redditors in December.

Ethan’s post flooded with over 1,000 comments from users offering their encouragement and support, along with practical advice.

“Good on you for getting your vaccinations,” one user responded. “It’s never too late and you’re not only protecting yourself but those around you who truly can’t get vaccinated.”

Ethan told the Daily Dot that some redditors even offered to give him money via GoFundMe or PayPal if insurance didn’t cover the shots. “People were really supportive, and that was really cool,” he said. “I had the blessing of Reddit. They were supporting me on a decision my mom freaked out about.”

Digital Human: Series 16, Episode 2, Snake Oil

Britt Hermes: Confessions of a (former) Naturopathic Doctor:

A good interview with Britt Marie Hermes on the backlash she got for speaking out against naturopathic medicine, we couldn’t get into how she’s been targeted by the naturopathic community for her work and her blog – https://www.naturopathicdiaries.com/.

Digital Human: Series 16, Episode 2, Snake Oil