12 things I learnt through podcasts in 2019

Hyphae
Hyphae
Dec 24, 2019 · 5 min read
Photo by Mohammad Metri on Unsplash

So, why podcasts?

As curated audio storytelling, podcasts allow frictionless topic discovery and microlearning while getting other stuff done. I listen to them daily: while walking the dog, commuting to work, straightening up the house or working out. I find them to be such an engaging and distraction-free way to immerse yourself in a topic and really connect to what’s being said.

With 2019 coming to a close, I wanted to look back at what I’ve listened to this year and pick the 12 things I’ve learnt through podcasts that resonated with me the most. No strict theme or timeline — just a selection of interesting facts and ideas I enjoyed learning about and I think you might do to.

🌱 BONUS: another plus side to choosing podcasts is that they have a much smaller environmental impact than video streaming. Tatiana Schlossberg says it best: “As crazy as this might sound, watching your favourite episode of The Office might come at the expense of clean water for someone else.”


“[…]They were loading bales of clean recycling onto shipping containers, So they could sell them to mills, who would then pulp the paper and melt the plastic. […] I just figured all those mills and plants would always be there, wherever they were, waiting to accept our stuff. How could I have known, that in the near future, this global recycling system would go off the rails?”

1) 99% Invisible, E341 “National Sword”

🎧 Play episode


“[…] Tetris is a game about time and space, time is always speeding up with blocks falling faster and faster, and space is always filling in. There is no winning. Tetris always ends the same way, no matter how expertly you placed the blocks: you play until you die.“

“ All together at least a dozen of the institute scintists starved to death during the siege. They probably could have survived on that collection of seeds, but instead the seeds survived […] When blight comes or the climate changes we turn to seed banks, including the Vavilov Institure of Plant Industry […]

2) The Anthropocene Reviewed, E10 “Tetris and the Seed Potatoes of Leningrad”

🎧 Play episode


“[…] The rise of veganism is a question less of personal taste than of generational upheaval; less about meat and fish and dairy than the systems that put them on our tables in such excessive quantities. Ultimately, the vegan wars are not really about veganism at all, but about how individual freedom is coming into conflict with a personal and environmental health crisis.”

3) The Guardian’s Audio Long Reads, “Why do people hate vegans?”

🎧 Play episode


“[…] much of what we now have as, as what we treasure as being human has been derived from those hundreds of millions of years of our predecessors that have given us what we now think of as uniquely ours but it isn't uniquely ours. It's had a long history and it's still there in the creatures who are all around us and we should respect and not be diminished by it but feel that: "thank you for fish, thank you birds, thank you frogs" because we're all connected”

4) The TED Interview “Sylvia Earle makes a case for our oceans”

🎧 Play episode


“[…] the most severe, but least understood, impact of concrete, which is that it destroys natural infrastructure without replacing the ecological functions that humanity depends on for fertilisation, pollination, flood control, oxygen production and water purification.”

5) The Guardian’s Audio Long Reads “Concrete: the most destructive material on Earth”

🎧 Play episode


“[…] Women are the primary farmers of the world. They produce 60 to 80 percent of food in lower-income countries […] They farm as capably and efficiently as men, but this well-documented disparity in resources and rights means women produce less food on the same amount of land. Close those gaps, and farm yields rise by 20 to 30 percent. […] We humans need land to grow food. Unfortunately, forests are often cleared to supply it, and that causes emissions from deforestation. But if existing farms produce enough food, forests are less likely to be lost. So there’s a ripple effect. Support women smallholders, realize higher yields, avoid deforestation and sustain the life-giving power of forests.”

6) TED Talks daily “How empowering women and girls can help stop global warming”

🎧 Play episode


“[…] Waiting is something that we all do every day. We wait for our food to come and our operating systems to update. We wait for our friends to call and our crushes to text us back. Our experience of waiting and how we feel about it varies radically depending on the context. It turns out that design can completely change whether our five-minute wait goes reasonable or completely unbearable.”

7) 99% Invisible, E369 “Wait Wait…Tell Me!”

🎧 Play episode


“[…] sometimes you might need to motivate people to do more good. [The tools that can help you with this] They just require harnessing reputations by increasing observability, eliminating excuses and communicating expectations.”

8) TED Talks Daily “How to motivate people to do good for others”

🎧 Play episode


“[…] this novelty seeking instinct that you’re talking about with slot machines. That there’s something fundamental about the way that our brains crave rewards […] and that that is being optimized for in this kind of reverse engineering the matrix level code of your nervous system, to create that perfect continuous behavior modification loop, that gets you sucked into the machine.”

9) Your Undivided Attention, E1 “What Happened in Vegas”

🎧 Play episode


“[…] as the Internet grows, it creates more and more content for us to consume, we all create more and more data. I mean, it’s just the way we live now. So what do we do? […] I think that if we transition to clean energy, that solves a lot of the problems. But I think it’s probably all of us consumers, Internet users need to be in a bigger conversation with the data hosts to make sure that this is all going in the right direction.”

10) IRL, S5 E3 “The Internet’s Carbon Footprint”

🎧 Play episode


“In 1979, James Dyson had an idea for a new vacuum cleaner — one that didn’t use bags. It took him five years to perfect the design, building more than 5,000 prototypes in his backyard shed. He then tried to convince the big vacuum brands to license his invention, but most wouldn’t even take his calls. Eventually, he started his own company. Today, Dyson is one of the best-selling vacuum brands in the world […]”

11) How I Built This with Guy Raz, “Dyson: James Dyson”

🎧 Play episode


“[…] we value conserving our mental processes and resources and that we will go out of our way to find ways to save time and effort […] this is by no means a call to action to take impulsive actions all day long the moment an impulse strikes, but this is a call to action to recognise the difference when you have a great idea […] So Mel Robins says the five seconds rule is the moment that you have an instinct to act on a goal you have 5 seconds to physically move or your brain will stop you. And physically move meaning doing anything”

12) The Mission Daily, E15 “The One Self Help Tip That Rules Them All”

🎧 Play episode

Hyphae

Written by

Hyphae

A #climatedesigner in the making. Branding, digital and graphic design services with a focus on #sustainablelifestyle, #conservation & #animalwelfare.

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