Episode 9

Published on:

27th Oct 2022

Catastrophism and media

This week we discuss what's making everyone feel so pessimistic. Plus Lex, Ye, the Coffee Lady, TikTok and rebranding Jesus.

Brian's intro: "This is our ninth episode of this show. We started out with a rough idea of what it would be, and we'll continue to evolve it as we go. One big help to us as we think through how to improve is to get your feedback.

This week we're talking about catastrophic. I was a history major and I still love reading history. Part of that is because there are patterns that exist in history.

The old saying is that history doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes. Mark Twain probably said that, and even if he didn't, he'd get credit for it on Twitter. Now, reading history helps you put what's happening around you, and it always seems like you're living through particularly chaotic and challenging times in some perspective, and I often feel.

Though what is now called the discourse is unhelpfully catastrophic? Yes, I know. There's war in Europe. Hundreds are dying every day of Covid still. We have political instability and retrograde forces. The economy is overheated and heading into perilous territory. Climate change is moving from uh, cause to a possible extinction event.

I could go on in short, it is not a good time if you are naturally inclined to anxiety. Yet this catastrophic warranted in areas like climate change for sure is likely counterproductive in the long run. You just need to go back to Cassandra.

She warned of impeding doom so much through her prophecies that when she warned of a real impending disaster, nobody believed her. We run that risk in our fragmented and tribalized media culture where it's popular to throw around terms like late capitalism and hellscape. Now ignoring problems is in the answer, but perhaps a bit of humility is, after all, none of us has all the answers to life's riddles."


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About the Podcast

People vs Algorithms
A podcast for curious media minds.
Uncovering patterns of change in media, culture, and technology, each week media veterans Brian Morrissey, Alex Schleifer and Troy Young break down stuff that matters.
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