I'm going to attempt better work documentation through this blog.

A Week of Media Intake

In one ear... and in the other.

14 Feb 2012 Musings Lists POC

I’m getting sick of staring at screens. Like many folks in the modern, developed world, my days often end with tired eyes, a sore neck, and sometimes even stinging inner wrists. I have to be ergonomically careful. I have a kneeling chair at all my computer workstations.

This is part of the reason why, when I moved to Cambridge, I didn’t bother to upgrade from my rabbit-eared, 13-inch, 13 year old TV with a glitchy video jack. It’s also part of the reason why I don’t spend much time reading online news. I already spend hours and hours a day writing e-mails, writing proposals, coding, building 3D models, editing visualization drafts from my collaborators.. the list goes on. And now that I’m at the Media Lab, there seems to be less time and less money to spend on media consumption.

There are other reasons I’m not a screen-based consumer of news. Back when I had a full-time employer and more nuggets of spare time, I watched TV and read news sites, but I find these time nuggets are harder to come by as a free agent. The New York Times’ changing online subscription model drastically reduced my time at that site. I don’t have a smartphone, and my free home internet was down for a few months. I’m the kind of technologist who is a real miser when it comes to consuming gadgets and tech services.

Finally, my decade of New York living led me to fall in love with New York Public Radio. I’ve been a public radio listener since I was a child, but with New York being such a media nexus, I listened to a sparkling myriad– I really do think of it as jewel-like–of thinkers, artists, scientists, and journalists, at length, on WNYC.

I’ve been listening to more Boston public radio (WBUR) since my Internet’s been down; before that, I was doing a lot of internet streaming. I’m not a huge fan; I particularly miss that WNYC has just slightly more programming for people of color– it broadcasts Tell Me More and Tavis Smiley, and while its local shows are mostly hosted by white men, the guests on the show reflect a broad multiculturalism. I’m a particular fan of Radio Rookies, a show of stories by diverse teens throughout all 5 boroughs.

Even without WNYC on my FM dial, audio still my main media consumption format. I do love listening to things. I even listen to fiction and storytelling podcasts to help get to sleep on those insomniac nights.

My media consumption list from the past week is below. Given what I’ve just mentioned, it won’t be a surprise that most of it is radio-based. Sometimes I feel a little bad about how monolithic it is– I could stand to have more news sources in my media diet. I do not feel bad that it doesn’t center on social media–I admire those who consume media that way and think there’s much to learn from it, but it’s just not my style.

One anomaly for this week is the amount of time I spent watching game trailers on Amazon.com and IGN.com– to prepare to make a game for an upcoming project, I’m dusting off my old Wii. I’ll tell you that story another time.

Feb 8: All NPR

Feb 9

Feb 10

Feb 11

  • Syria Deployment of Standby Task Force. I’m member of the crisis mapping organization Standby Task Force. They are putting together a Syria satellite data monitoring project.
  • NPR’s Wait Wait Don't Tell Me. Since I’m rather ill-informed in this first year at the lab, even Wait Wait helps keep me informed.
  • Amazon.com and IGN.com: Wii game trailers
  • Prospect Magazine: Democratic To A Fault?
  • Prospect Magazine: Murder Your Darlings

Feb 12: All NPR

  • Morning Edition
  • This American Life
  • Studio 360
  • Marketplace Money
  • All Things Considered

Feb 13: All NPR

  • BBC News
  • All Things Considered
  • Marketplace

Feb 14:

  • Newsletters: Crisismappers.com: Cyclone in Mogadishu
  • 10 minutes of Marketplace (NPR)