A Critique of My Podcast

Starting your own podcast drives your speech flaws to extinction. You notice the annoying patterns in your speech.

For example, I say “right, right” and “ok, I see” after someone speaks. And I bring up Antifragile with every single guest.

People don’t notice their own speech flaws. It’s impolite to point them out.

When you’re listening to yourself, write down the issues you notice. Then, write a sticky note with what to avoid. For example: “don’t say right, right.” Put it in front of your eyeballs when you’re recording your next guest. These micro changes will eventually become habit. Your speech won’t be annoying for long!

You’ll have systemic issues too. Things like podcast philosophy. For example, how I should be talk with guests? Should I befriending them? Cross-examining them? How should a guest feel as they go through the podcast? Should they feel like they’re getting to know me? Does my identity matter at all? To what extent should I be injecting my own views into the subject?

Now, normally I’d start to answer these questions in a blog post, and then leave it unfinished. But this time, I’m going to do something different. I shall provide fodder for any troll who wishes to make a meme out of my podcast. Below are some of my verbal habits which annoy me:

  • “Have you read Antifragile?”
  • “You mentioned _____(name drop a book or person)_____”
  • “um”
  • Just generally starting a sentence and then adding in an independent clause in the center of it but then forgetting to finish the original sentence.

There’s Via Negativa and then there’s storytelling. Via Negativa means that cutting away all of the ugly bits from above will make it above. No need to add anything. For storytelling, I’m just not as interesting as Joe Rogan.

My podcast goal is, instead, to draw out someone’s story – to see why they believe the things they do. If there’s something I disagree with or which makes me uncomfortable, I will say so as a matter of fact, but I won’t use the space to ‘prove someone wrong.’

My conversations should be a model for how conversations work. And I think that this is the only model which would allow me to speak with a Nazi or an Islamic extremist. The listener should be the judge, first and foremost. I should help them by doing some digging.

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