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Note to Self

Author: WNYC Studios

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Is your phone watching you? Can texting make you smarter? Are your kids real? Note to Self explores these and other essential quandaries facing anyone trying to preserve their humanity in the digital age.
WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other leading podcasts, including Radiolab, Death, Sex & Money, Snap Judgment, Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin, Nancy and many others.
© WNYC Studios
202 Episodes
The tech show about being human returns with an all new season. Host Manoush Zomorodi kicks things off with the latest on the battle between kids and parents over their screens: do we know how kids are impacted by tech? Does it make them less empathetic? Are they being constantly bullied online? Even if we can help kids figure out their digital habits, are we adults totally screwed? Researcher Elizabeth Englander joins Manoush to share new findings and give the most pragmatic advice about how kids and adults can build better relationships with their tech and each other.
Note to Self is Back!

Note to Self is Back!


Note to Self helps you navigate the digital age by making sense of its most undervalued component: humans! With all new episodes coming every Tuesday, host Manoush Zomorodi investigates the very personal role technology plays in our lives and how we can live better with it. Because you are so much more than an algorithm.
This week we’re discussing government censorship in China, #metoo and cryptocurrency.Endless Thread is hosted by Ben Brock Johnson and Amory Sivertson, and is made by WBUR.You can listen to the show at
Dear (Data) Diary

Dear (Data) Diary


Long-distance friends Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec spent a year tracking the little things in life. Thanks yous, coffees, complaints, street sounds. And each week, they turned their small-scale data collections into whimsical hand-drawn postcards.On a minute level, they may not say much. But look at them together and they tell an intimate story. This week, Giorgia and Stefanie talk us through three weeks of data, and all the big lessons in our most mundane moments.Look at more postcards by Giorgia and Stefanie here. 
With former Google designer Tristan Harris, who explains how far Silicon Valley will go to capture and control your eyeballs. And Snapchat artist CyreneQ, who makes her living drawing on her phone all day. For real.
Your Metadata is Showing

Your Metadata is Showing


We asked you guys to send us photos. Then we gave them to Andreas Weigend, veteran of Xerox Parc, former chief scientist at Amazon, to see what he could deduce. A lot, it turns out.A little Google image search, a little metadata, and we can find where you are. Maybe who you are. What color phone you’re using to take the shot, and how many SIM cards you have.Reading photos is more than a digital parlor trick. It’s the future of commerce, marketing, policing, lending, and basically everything else. 
Bot armies are taking over Twitter. But they’re not necessarily trying to advance a point of view, according to Phil Howard, a bot researcher. They’re aiming to sow chaos and make dialogue impossible. At the extreme, the goal is to destabilize our very sense of reality.  “Their strategy is to plant multiple conflicting stories that just confuse everybody," Howard says. "If they can successfully get out four different explanations for some trend, then they've confused everybody, and they're able to own the agenda.”This week, why someone would sic a bot army on Manoush. And what her bot brigade can teach us about how bots are shaping democracy, from the 2016 election to Brexit to the recent French election.You can check if a Twitter account following you is real or fake, with Bot or Not, an aptly-named tool from Indiana University's Truthy project.
This week, Note to Self gets in our time machine, back to the Supreme Court cases that defined privacy for the digital age. Stories of bookies on the Sunset Strip, microphones taped to phone booths, and a 1975 Monte Carlo. And where the Fourth Amendment needs to go, now that we’re living in the future.The amendment doesn’t mention privacy once. But those 54 little words, written more than 200 years ago, are a crucial battleground in today’s fight over our digital rights. That one sentence is why the government can’t listen to your phone calls without a warrant. And it’s why they don’t need one to find out who you’re calling.But now, we share our deepest thoughts with Google, through what we search for and what we email. And we share our most intimate conversations with Alexa, when we talk in its vicinity. So how does the Fourth Amendment apply when we’re surrounded by technology the founding fathers could never dream of?With Laura Donohue, director of Georgetown’s Center on Privacy and Technology. Supreme Court audio from the wonderful, under a Creative Commons license. 
The Dark Web conjures images of gothic fonts and black backgrounds, like a metal fan’s MySpace page circa 2001. But this section of the internet looks surprisingly normal. Accessible only through the TOR browser, there are Google-style search engines and Amazon-style marketplaces. Except what they’re selling are mostly illegal things—stolen passports, hacked account numbers, and drugs. A lot of drugs.This week, we stress out WNYC’S IT department and venture onto the Dark Web. Where you can get heroin, fentanyl, or oxycontin shipped right to your door via USPS. And we talk to Nick Bilton, author of American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road, about how Libertarian philosophy and tech-bro hubris combined to spark an online drug revolution—and an opioid crisis.And the Dark Web community is starting to recognize the role they're playing. Since we recorded this episode, Hansa Market - the very site we visit in the show - has banned the sale of fentanyl, according to the New York Times. 
How To Have No Filter

How To Have No Filter


Today, listener stories and tips: we wrap up our No Filter series of conversations about how women live online.From YouTube megastar Lele Pons to iconic artist Barbara Kruger, we heard a joyous mix of vulnerable confessions, utter defiance, and (for once) a mostly positive vision of what being a woman on the web can look like. To wrap it up, stories from you. About how you’re reconciling the IRL you with the online you. Plus, The Cut’s editor-in-chief Stella Bugbee is back with her greatest hope for the next generation of women in the workplace. 
Comments (23)


I wish she had at least touched on Shays' Rebellion and other reasons the Bill of Rights was created in the first place. That's an important, but often forgotten tidbit of US history.

Jun 7th


Come on now, this is just silly. As with astrology, anyone can be any combination of these "types" from day to day. Awfully Jungian...

Apr 30th


Insightful and important to talk about

Apr 17th

Lisa Lawson

10 NEON 20.18. GOD

Jan 18th

Renee Zamora

consumer mentality towards relationships.... So True, So Powerful

Jan 3rd

Renee Zamora

So True....was watching a Ted Talk yesterday about Empathy and how they've done studies with College students... results have shown Empathy is continuously declining in this modern age... Dun Dun Dun!!!😲

Jan 3rd

Thomas Bosnakovic


Dec 24th

انا الاسمر I am Asmar


Nov 8th

Sherri Baldwin Wooldridge

Manoush, where are you? I'm missing your podcast!

Oct 15th

Frank Davis

The U.S. military has occupied Afghanistan since 2003. In 2003 Afghanistan was producing only 4% of the opium in the world, and today they produce an incredible 90%. To be clear, out of all the opium in the world today 90% of it comes from poppy plants grown in Afghanistan. This huge increase in production happened over the past 17 years while the US military has been there. I'm not saying that our military presence there is or is not causal because that is a deep rabbit hole for another day. I am just saying I think it's something very important to consider in the quest for a solution to the opioid epidemic. And hardly anyone knows or talks about it.

Apr 21st

David Thorbeck

Frank Davis ppppo

Feb 4th

Jon Gose

a little more about your mailman being your drug dealer is a Mitch hedburg joke,that author needs to recognize that

Apr 18th


i love google calendar too

Mar 26th

Manoj Kumar Prusty

very interesting

Mar 2nd

Kaoula Channoufi

loved it

Jan 9th

Jude Muoki

By far one of my favourite podcasts. Keep up the excellent work and thanks for resharing the black mirror episode!

Dec 25th

Calvin Lam

great podcast

Nov 28th

Staurt Ingram

Great pod cast!

Nov 20th

Natalie Hughes

very interesting. Thank you

Oct 6th

Jessica Brown

Great listen!

Oct 5th

iTunes User

Love listening to this show and the story telling format. It keeps it interesting while tackling complicated topics in the tech scene that are off the beaten path.

Aug 30th
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