Once in a while you reach the end of the road. You have no more podcasts to listen to because you're an addict who listens while driving, running, at the gym, cleaning, cutting the lawn, doing dishes, before bed, i.e. ALWAYS. In this sad moment you start looking for a new podcast to teach you new things, i.e. stop your withdrawal symptoms. Today was my lucky day. Actually yesterday was because I got engaged, but today was also my lucky day because in my search for new podcasts I stumbled upon the Cautionary Tales Podcast written & hosted by Tim Harford.
You never know what your return is going to be after investing time into a new podcast. For the first 10 minutes I was at the gym doing squats listening to Episode 8 - You Have Reached Your Destination and I thought to myself "meh, this started with a cool idea, but it's going nowhere." But, I gave it more of a chance and was happy I did. After setting the stage by taking about the oracles of Delphi, which included some cartoonish narrative voices, Harford's podcasts gets into interesting stuff and you find out that there is good reason for why he spent so much time explaining Delphi.
The podcast argues that humans need to stop and take note of the day-to-day information they are processing (or omitting to process) and provides some interesting examples for why technology can be both good and bad in this regard. The example he gives that is relatable to most people is utter reliance on GPS with the consequence that nobody can really get around competently without it anymore. He makes the point that we are relying on the little black box without question and that, as Harford shows with examples, has been our downfall in different ways, both gargantuan and small. The cautionary tale here is: rely on our systems, but now without due regard to what is actually going on.
Having listened to only this one episode so far I cannot say with complete confidence that this podcast stands with the greats in this genre such as Revisionist History and Freakonomics; however, if I were a betting man, I would bet that it does. This is why we love podcasts; so many hidden gems!
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See for yourself check out Episode 8 - You Have Reached Your Destination today!