I've Decide to Stop Listening to Podcasts
I love podcasts; you can find one on almost any subject, from technology news and thinking to pens and making, and you can listen to them whenever you want. You can start listening anytime, pause them anywhere, rewind them all you want, or skip over parts if you're not interested. Podcast are great while doing a meanial task or working out, they give you tonnes of information while doing other, more boring stuff. Which is great.
After watching West World I got thinking about my own mind, about my own consciousness, what it means and how it works. What is consciousness? What is feeling? What is thinking? Do I hear my own voice in my head, some else's, or no voice at all? Am I a subvocalist?
I hear my voice when I'm thinking, when I'm reading or writing. I hear myself having an argument with myself while doing everyday tasks. And sometimes I hear nothing at all; times when I'm not thinking, just noticing.
It feels like being conscious means hearing myself speak in my own head, these are thoughts I believe?, and acting (or not acting) upon them.
But, I'm not alone in this world, there are other people, you for example, and you are also consciousness, and sometimes decided to vocalise your thoughts out into the world around us*. Speaking is what we decided to call this. It's a way to get our thoughts out of our minds and into the heads of different people. This doesn't always succeed, but that's the goal.
And since I started to pay attention to my own thoughts I noticed something strange; when hearing somebody else speak clearly and loudly enough, I couldn't think... By hearing a voice, somebody else's voice, it broke my brain in such a way that it kills the possibility for my own voice to speak up. I can still pay attention and notice things and do things, but I can't think anymore.
When somebody asks me a question, but then keep talking, I can't even start thinking about the answer until they've stopped. This actually explains a lot about me being 'a good listener', I can't help it, because there is no way for me to even think, let alone talk.
When I listen to a podcast, I use my AirPods, which place the voices of other people directly in the centre of my head. It sounds, and feels, like I have voices in my head; which is true.
It completely breaks my brain. I can't even do simple math like 11 x 3 - 5 = blank... Crazy right?
I can listen to music without doing this happening though...
The question is: Am I consciousness when hearing somebody else speak?
But here's the problem, because I listen to around 20 shows a week, I am not thinking for about 35 hours a week. Which is a little less than 1/3 of my waking life any given week! This means I'm only consciousness for 2/3 of my life...
So I've decided to stop listening to podcasts. Just to detox from my habits and wanting to hear from people I've come to know intimately. Maybe someday I will listen to a few podcasts once again, but this time only for the real mind dulling tasks.
But maybe your mind is different, so here's a list of all the great shows:
- 99% invisible
- Accidental Tech Podcast
- Appels en Peren Show (Dutch)
- Design Matters
- Free Agents
- Glitch (Dutch)
- Hello Internet
- The Incomparable
- The Journal
- Mac Power Users
- Mixed Feelings
- Modern Maker
- The Pen Addict
- Reconcilable Differences
- Reply All
- Robot or Not
- Six colors
- The Talk Show
- Thoroughly Considered
- Top Four
- Under the Radar
- Waking Up
I'd love to know if any of you experience this as well!
* Yes, there is also writing and reading, which is way more freaky if you think about it.