Your Undivided Attention - Centre for Humane Technology: This is a new podcast from CHT, a nonprofit organisation set up by a bunch of ex-silicon valley dudes who have seen the error of the former was and are now on a mission to reverse the evils of technology and "realign it with humanity". Episodes 1 and 2 feature Natasha Dow Schüll, the author of Addiction by Design. Schüll's book looks at the addictive nature of pokies - she's spent years studying how they hold people in an endless loop of play. The parallels with social media and smartphone design are quite terrifying.
Audiocraft Podcast Festival is the most important event of the year for audio makers and podcast fans seeking to connect and collaborate with Australia’s passionate audio community. At the 2019 I festival, I chaired a panel titled Stories and squiggly lines with multi-disciplinary artist and musician, Becky Sui Zhen, and Sam Haren, artistic director of Sandpit.
My Mother's Kitchen is a kind of deconstructed podcast cum roll-a-ball game mashup that centres on stories from the childhood kitchens of eight LGBTQI+ individuals. I produced it in partnership with Maeve Marsden’s Queerstories and Google’s Creative Lab.
Is America Ready to Make Reparations? - The New Yorker Radio Hour: This podcast is one of few that I am actually subscribed to and have set to automatically download and enter my queue. In my view, the New Yorker consistently publishes some of the best writing in the world and their podcast is usually of an equally high calibre - albeit less carefully crafted than the magazine. This short series on the case for reparations to African-Americans includes the voices of Ta-Nehisi Coates and a bunch of other, lesser-known clever people, as well as the particularly interesting story about the history of Georgetown University and how students voted to pay reparations to the descendants of the enslaved people who built it.
Itch - Pitt Medcast: This eight minute episode of the University of Pittsburgh's medical school podcast explains the interesting relationship between pain and itch, as well as some interesting recent breakthroughs in this surprisingly complex matter of neurobiology. Thanks to Caroline Crampton's podcast recommendation feed The Listener for this one.
Sound and Health Cities - 99 Percent invisible: I'm writing this recommendation from a Hong Kong hotel room where I'm hiding from the incessant barrage of jack hammers, pile drivers, heavy hands on car horns and loud, hissing busses one is subjected to on or near street level (19 floors up I have relative quiet). This episode examines how little attention has been paid to sound in cities and the impacts of this neglect. There's a ray of hope in words from people championing good sound design but I remain pessimistic and sometimes want to run away to live in the wilderness. Then I realise I lack survival skills and this is a terrible idea. Maybe just a country town?