Lauren Hilgers is a journalist and the author of Patriot Number One: American Dreams in Chinatown.

“You just need to spend a lot of time with people. And it’s awkward. I read something when I was first starting out as a journalist in China, ‘Make a discipline out of being uncomfortable.’ I think that’s very helpful. You’re going to feel uncomfortable a lot of the time, and just decide to be okay with it and just keep going with it.”

Thanks to MailChimp, Substack, and Skillshare for sponsoring this week's episode.

 

Direct download: Lauren_HIlgers_Full_Episode_Edit_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:15pm EDT

Charlie Warzel is a senior tech writer for BuzzFeed.

“Part of the big tech reckoning that we’re seeing since the election isn’t really about the election, it isn’t really about Trump or politics. It’s more about this idea that: Wow, these services have incredibly real consequences in our everyday lives. I think that realization is really profound and is going to shape how we try to figure out what it means to be online from here on out. To keep stories relevant, we have to keep that in mind and try to figure out how to speak to that audience and guide them through that reckoning.”

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Direct download: Charlie_Warzel_Full_Episode_EDIT_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:16pm EDT

Michelle Dean is a journalist and critic. Her new book is Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion.

“There isn’t one answer. I wish there was one answer. The answer is: You just have to wing it. And I’m learning that — I’m learning to be okay with the winging it. ... I guess the lesson to me of what went on with a lot of women in the book is: You have to be comfortable with the fact that some days are going to be good, and some days are going to not be good.”

Thanks to MailChimp for sponsoring this week's episode.

Direct download: Michelle_Dean_Full_Episode_Edit_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:45pm EDT

Craig Mod is a writer and photographer. His podcast is On Margins.

“You pick up an iPad, you pick up an iPhone—what are you picking up? You’re picking up a chemical-driven casino that just plays on your most base desires for vanity and ego and our obsession with watching train wrecks happen. That’s what we’re picking up and it’s counted in pageviews, because—not to be reductive and say that it’s a capitalist issue, but when you take hundreds of millions of dollars of venture capital, and you’re building models predicated on advertising, you are gonna create fucked-up algorithms and shitty loops that take away your attention. And guess what? You need to engage with longform texts. You need control of your attention. And so I think part of what subverted our ability to find this utopian reading space is the fact that so much of what’s on these devices is actively working to destroy all of the qualities needed to create that space.”

Thanks to MailChimp for sponsoring this week's episode.

  1. @craigmod
  2. craigmod.com
  3. Criag Mod on Longform
  4. [01:15] Flipboard
  5. [01:26] On Margins
  6. [02:40] "Roden Explorer's Club," Craig Mod's Newsletter
  7. [09:30] McSweeney’s
  8. [20:30] "Embracing the Digital Book" (PRE/POST • April 2010)
  9. [22:25] Books in the Age of the iPad (PRE/POST • 2012)
  10. [25:30] Post Artifact Books & Publishing (PRE/POST • 2011)
  11. [43:10] Primitive Technology

 

Direct download: Craig_Mod_Full_Episode_Edit_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:56pm EDT

Tom Bissell is a journalist, critic, video game writer, and author of The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made. His latest book is Magic Hours.

“I kind of have come around to maybe not as monkish or fanatical devotion to sentence idolatry as I was when I was a younger writer, earlier in my career. I think I’m coming around to a place where a lot of middle-aged writers get to, which is: I tried to rewire and change the world with the beauty of language alone—it didn’t work. Now how about I try to write stuff that’s true, or that’s not determined to show people I am a Great Writer. Like a lot of young writers, you’re driven by that. Then at a certain point you realize A) you’re not going to be the Great Writer you wanted to be, and B) the determination of that is completely beyond your power to control, so best that you just write as best you can and as honestly as you can, and everything else just sort of becomes gravy.”

Thanks to MailChimp and Tripping.com for sponsoring this week's episode.

Direct download: Tom_Bissell_Full_Episode_Edit_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:22am EDT

Will Mackin is a U.S. Navy veteran who served with a SEAL team in Iraq and Afghanistan. His debut book is Bring Out the Dog.

“I wanted to write nonfiction and I started writing nonfiction. And the reason I did that was — first of all, I felt all the people did all the hard work, and who was I to take liberties? And the second reason was, I just felt an obligation to the men and women who I served with not to misrepresent them, or what they’d been through, or what it had meant to them, or how they felt about it. I kept piling these requirements on to myself: Well, if I present this particular event in this light, this guy’s going to get his feelings hurt. Or, I don’t know how this guy’s family will feel about me talking about this. And it became debilitating, all those restrictions, I kind of kept layering on myself. I was talking to George Saunders at one point about this, and I was like, ‘I don’t know if this book is going to happen. I’m just stuck’ And he pointed out, ‘You’re putting all these restrictions on yourself because it puts this perfect book off in the never-to-reach future. If you remove those and start fictionalizing things and getting at it a different way, maybe it’ll work for you.’”

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Direct download: Will_Mackin_Full_Episode_Edit_3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:11pm EDT

Nitasha Tiku is a senior writer at Wired.

“I’ve always been an incredibly nosy person—not nosy, curious. Curious about the world. It just gives you a license to ask any question, and hopefully if you have a willing editor, the freedom to see something fascinating and pursue it. It was just a natural fit from there. But that also means I don’t have the machismo, ‘breaking news’ sort of a thing. I feel like I can try on different hats, wherever I am.”

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Direct download: Nitasha_Tiku_Full_Episode_Edit_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:07pm EDT

Chana Joffe-Walt is a producer and reporter at This American Life. Her latest story is "Five Women."

“I felt like there was more to learn from these stories, more than just which men are bad and shouldn’t have the Netflix special that they wanted to have. And I was interested, also, in that there were groups of women, and that somehow, in having a group of women, you would have variation of experience. There could be a unifying person who they all experienced, but they would inevitably experience that person differently. And that would raise the question of: Why? And I feel like there is this response: ‘Why did she stay?’ Or: ‘Why didn’t she say fuck you?’ Or: ‘I wouldn’t have been upset by that. I wouldn’t have been offended by that thing.’ Which I feel like is a natural response, but also has a lack of curiosity. There are actual answers to those questions that are interesting.”

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Direct download: Chana_Joffe_Walt_Full_Episode_Edit_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:44pm EDT

Joe Weisenthal is the executive editor of news for Bloomberg Digital and the co-host of What’d You Miss? and Odd Lots.

"If I don’t say yes to this, then I can never say yes to anything again. Because when else am I going to get a chance in life to co-host a tv show? Even if it’s terrible, and I’m terrible at it, and it’s cancelled after three months, and everyone thinks it’s awful, for the rest of my life, I’ll be able to say I co-hosted a cable TV show. And so I was like, you know what—I have to say yes to this."

Thanks to MailChimp, Big Questions, and Credible.com for sponsoring this week's episode.

  1. @TheStalwart
  2. [02:30] "Joe Weisenthal vs. the 24-Hour News Cycle" (New York Times Magazine • May 2012)
  3. [04:40] What’d You Miss
  4. [05:15] "What Alaska Can Teach Us About Universal Basic Income" (New York • Feb 2018)
  5. [15:05] The Stalwart
  6. [18:55] Weisenthal’s Archive at Business Insider
  7. [54:55] "Annie Duke Explains How To Apply Poker Skills To Markets" (Odd Lots • Feb 2018)
  8. [54:05] "This Is What Stock Market Bubbles and Crashes Have in Common" (Odd Lots • Aug 2017)
Direct download: Joe_Weisenthal_Full_Episode_Edit_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:27pm EDT

Sean Fennessy is the editor-in-chief of The Ringer and a former Grantland editor. He hosts The Big Picture.

"What I try to do is listen to people as much as I can. And try to be compassionate. I think it’s really hard to be on the internet. This is an internet company, in a lot of ways. We have a documentary coming out that’s going to be on linear television that’s really exciting. Maybe we’ll have more of those. But for the moment, podcast, writing, video: it’s internet. [The internet] is an unmediated space of angst and meanness and a willingness to tell people when they’re bad, even when they’ve worked hard on something. That’s like the number one anxiety that I feel like we’re dealing with on a day-to-day basis with everybody, myself included."

Thanks to MailChimp, Mubi, and "Dear Franklin Jones" for sponsoring this week's episode.

 

Direct download: Sean_Fennessey_Full_Episode_Edit_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:07pm EDT