Evan Ratliff, a co-host of the Longform Podcast, discusses "The Mastermind,” his new 7-part serialized story in The Atavist Magazine.

“On several occasions [sources] didn’t want to go into the details of how they were identified. They were just like, ‘My safety is in your hands. Just be careful.’ And I didn’t really know what to do with that. I was sort of trying to balance what to include and what not to include and trying to make these decisions. Will Paul Le Roux know it’s this person? It’s impossible to know. I tried to err on the side of caution, but there’s no ethics hotline you can call and be like, ‘What do I do in this situation?’”

 

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Direct download: Bonus_Episode_-_Evan_Ratliff.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:57am EDT

Susie Cagle is a journalist and illustrator.

“I don’t really know what it was that made me not quit. I still kind of wonder that. There have been many times over the last couple of years even, as things are taking off in my career, things are going well, I’m writing about wonderful things that are interesting to me, and I still wonder—should I be doing this? What the hell is next year gonna look like?”

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Show Notes:

Direct download: Ep._190_-_Susie_Cagle.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:44pm EDT

Maciej Ceglowski is the founder of Pinboard. He writes at Idle Words.

“My natural contrarianism makes me want to see if I can do something long-term in an industry where everything either changes until it's unrecognizable or gets sold or collapses. I like the idea of things on the web being persistent. And more basically, I reject this idea that everything has to be on a really short time scale just because it involves technology. We’ve had these computers around for a while now. It’s time we start treating them like everything else in our lives, where it kind of lives on the same time scale that we do and doesn’t completely fall off the end of the world every three or four years.”

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Show Notes:

Direct download: Ep._189_-_Maciej_Ceglowski.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:58pm EDT

Nate Silver is the founder of FiveThirtyEight and the author of The Signal and the Noise.

“I know in a perfectly rational world, if you make an 80/20 prediction, people should know that not only will this prediction not be right all the time, but you did something wrong if it’s never wrong. The 20% underdog should come through sometimes. People in sports understand that sometimes a 15 seed beats a 2 seed in the NCAA tournament. That’s much harder to explain to people in politics.”

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Show Notes:

Direct download: Ep._188_-_Nate_Silver.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:23am EDT

Elizabeth Gilbert has written for Spin, GQ, and The New York Times Magazine. She is the author of several books, including Eat, Pray, Love.

“I call it the platinum rule. The golden rule is do unto others as you would have them do unto you, but the platinum rule is even higher: don’t be a dick.”

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Show Notes:

Direct download: Ep._187_-_Elizabeth_Gilbert.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:19pm EDT

Gabriel Snyder is the editor-in-chief of The New Republic.

“I had a new job, I was new to the place, and I came to it with a great deal of respect but didn’t feel like I had any special claim to it. But in that moment I realized that there were all of these people who wanted to see the place die. And that the only way The New Republic was going to continue was by someone wanting to see it continue, and I realized I was one of those people now.”

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Show Notes:

Direct download: Ep._186_-_Gabriel_Snyder.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:48pm EDT

Ben Smith is the editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed.

“I do think as a reporter in general, most of what we deal in is ephemera. And I love that. I mean that’s the business, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. In fact, I think that’s a plus and something that shapes how you succeed at the job because you realize that this thing you’re writing is about this moment and right now, and about its place in the conversation. It’s not some piece of art to hang on the wall.”

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Show Notes:

Direct download: Ep._185_-_Ben_Smith.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:44pm EDT

Daniel Alarcón, a novelist and the co-founder of Radio Ambulante, has written for Harper's, California Sunday, and the New York Times Magazine.

“I’m a writer. I’ve written a bunch of books, and I care a lot about my sentences and my prose and all that. But would I be willing to defend my book in a Peruvian prison? That’s a litmus test I think a lot of writers I know would fail.”

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Show Notes:

Direct download: Ep._184_-_Daniel_Alarcon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:36am EDT

Jia Tolentino is the deputy editor of Jezebel.

“Insult itself is an opportunity. I’m glad to be a woman, and I’m glad not to be white. I think it’s made me tougher. I’ve never been able to assume comfort or power. I’m just glad. I’m glad, especially as you watch the great white male woke freak-out meltdown that’s happening right now, I’m glad that it’s good to come from below.”

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Show Notes:

Direct download: Ep._183_-_Jia_Tolentino.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:53am EDT

Heather Havrilesky writes the Ask Polly advice column for New York and is the author of the upcoming How to Be a Person in the World.

“I don’t give a shit if I succeed or fail or what I do next, I just want to do things that are strange and not sound bitey. I don’t want to be polished. I want to be such a wreck that no one will ever say ‘let’s put her on her own talk show.’”

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Show Notes:

Direct download: Ep._182_-_Heather_Havrilesky.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:29am EDT