The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

August § The Common Test / 2016-02-16 21:04:46
Robin § Unforgotten / 2016-01-08 21:19:16
MsFitNZ § Towards A Theory of Secondary Literacy / 2015-11-03 21:23:21
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 18:39:56
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 16:32:50
Matt § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-05 01:49:12
Greg Linch § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 18:05:52
Robin § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 05:11:02
P. Renaud § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 04:13:09
Jay H § Matching cuts / 2014-10-02 02:41:13


I’ve mentioned Radio Lab before, but Tim just posted about an episode I hadn’t heard and I downloaded it and IT BLEW MY MIND.

You’ve got to give it a listen if you haven’t already. Immediately, you’ll hear a huge difference from the boring march of words that characterizes every other radio show, ever. On Radio Lab, the words and sonic interjections are fragmented, tiled, cross-cut, layered. There’s just so much more to absorb; it lights your brain up. Radio Lab is DENSE.

This is how all explanatory media should feel. We’re ready for it.

P.S. I don’t want to focus entirely on the meta-method stuff, though, ’cause the ideas and the reporting are also sublime. This is a must-listen.

One comment

As I mentioned in my Short Schrift post, I really think the topic of this podcast (“Musical Language”) takes especially good advantage of Radio Lab’s unique mix of, um, music, language, and other sonic goodness.

Chris Dahlen @Pitchfork hits the nail on the head, too, about the nontraditional interview style the show employs:

We hear neuroscientists explain their latest brain scans, but the “Radio Lab” staff drag them away from their safe, published research into speculations, hunches, and dreams. Likewise, reporters file stories, but they have to give the fresh-from-the-scene version of what happened– to save them from becoming, as Abumrad puts it, “Snoozy VonSnoozy from ‘Morning Edition’.” You hear the guests wrestle with their headphones in the studio, and when a reporter quotes a source, the source’s tape is spliced in alongside them. Everyone says their piece, but nobody gets the last word.

“We’re selling a certain attitude toward the world,” says Abumrad, “which is that the world is full of possibilities, and it’s this crazy, amazing place that’s also very complicated and sometimes frightening. It’s about moving through this fluid space and trying to grasp all of it, and to see the connections. At the same time, [we don’t] ever think you can get to the bottom of it. Because it’s not a presentational, stentorian kind of situation, where we know things that the listeners don’t. It’s very much about the journey of going through and bumping into stuff and being like, ‘Oh, look at this!’ or ‘Look at that!'”

I imagine that Adumrad, who also appears to be the architect of Radio Lab’s digital experimentalism, would be a very interesting guy to talk to.

The snarkmatrix awaits you

Below, you can use basic HTML tags and/or Markdown syntax.