June 21, 2024
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June 21, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

As the podcast universe explodes with content, the long-form format may take getting used to. While some podcasts adopt the Quibiesque snippet length, I think 60+ minute podcasts provide the opportunity for deep dives into fascinating topics other media struggle to cover. With ample listening opportunities from commutes to workouts, grocery shopping and showers—(IPX8 bluetooth headphones do wonders—as well as high speed listening functionality, finding time to listen to podcasts is achievable. Here are some more kernels of pod-wisdom I have benefited from of late:

‘Talking Tachlis’ (E142)

Guest Dr. Rivka Press Schwartz, in expressing a value for consistent and modulated religio-philosophical evolution analogized to high fashion—“[a person] can wear a tailored navy blue Chanel blazer and white Chanel blouse or you can wear a hot pink Alexander McQueen jacket with pointy shoulders.” If you stick with Chanel, you will never be the cutting edge of fashion, but you will always look classy. If you go McQueen, you will wear high fashion for a season but look ridiculous at all other times (or until the fashion tides circle back on themselves). This example is not in my wheelhouse, but the message is clear. The entire house does not need to be gray, black and white. Brick and wood are classic choices and will work forever.

‘The Prof G Pod With Scott Galloway’ (E97)

Galloway’s podcast often focuses on his concerns about adolescent loneliness in our 21st century U.S. social framework. Two statistics cited on the podcast stood out to me. First, one in five millennials, 20%, report having zero friends. Second, amongst millennials, those who report having daily interactions with friends has been cut in half in the last 10 years.

Two thoughts on this. First, it is without question that a lack of interaction with other people, in the flesh, deteriorates mental health and results in loneliness. This is one of the tragedies of COVID-19. A larger point on the subject is that having a therapist is currently exceptional; however, adults without therapists should be the exception.

Second, it strikes me that there is so much utility to the smartphone at this point, from GPS to banking, to podcasting, to health monitoring, to Twitter being the GOAT (greatest of all time) of news resources—the list is endless. While our community is awash with movements to use smartphones less, this seems nearly impossible given the efficient utility.

I have been thinking a lot about whether the phone itself or, specifically social media, is the source of the social ills doing severe damage to our culture. (I lean social media.) The Wall Street Journal has published a series of pieces documenting Facebook’s knowledge of the societal damage its primary products, Facebook and Instagram, are doing, particularly to teens. At the same time, there are clear benefits, positive experiences and addictive properties to those same platforms. (See my comment regarding Twitter’s value above.) Sadly, this seems like the unanswerable question of the last decade and seemingly the next.

‘The Prof G Pod With Scott Galloway’ (E98)

Can you tell that I love Galloway’s wisdom?

“If I had what my kids have, I wouldn’t have what I have”—The professor is a very wealthy, successful entrepreneur and he certainly provides the luxuries of life to his children. His family “summered” in Ibiza and Cape Cod this year.

I found this quote compelling because, as parents, we always want to provide our children with a wonderful life, but sometimes that life reduces motivation. One of the professor’s solutions is that he is helping his 14-year-old son get a job at a local pharmacy. Personally, I think our community can improve our children’s opportunity for professional success, particularly in the financial services sector, if we insist that recent college graduates recognize that achievement, promotion and hefty salaries take massive time and effort commitment, significant work at junior levels doing fairly monotonous tasks, and real professional relationship development to achieve.

‘Making Sense With Sam Harris’ (E252)

Neil deGrasse Tyson and Sam Harris spoke of aliens and space for a couple of hours. In the past year, the U.S. Defense Department indicated that there is footage of what they cannot explain and cannot rule out is alien life visiting earth as a result of the speed and movement of a UFO visible in the grainy 2019 video footage. Both Harris and deGrasse Tyson, while open to the possibility of alien existence, are highly skeptical of this conclusion.

An interesting point that they raised in the discussion is the decline in personal alien abduction case trends over the last couple of decades. They pointed to the rise in smartphone availability as a driver. The inverse correlation between personal alien interactions and smartphone availability makes a lot of sense as the “I didn’t have a camera with me to film the encounter” excuse does not fly anymore as billions of people carry around HD quality cameras in their pockets.

My podcast habit includes these podcasts and many others, such as “18Forty,” “538 Politics Podcast,” “Honestly with Bari Weiss,” “Long Shot,” “Revisionist History,” “Odd Lots,” “Pivot” and “History This Week.”

I listen on 1.5x speed but aspire to achieve 2.0x+. I have recently dabbled with 2.0x on a selective basis.

By Shlomo Yaros


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