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Unknown  I have a simple screening question for possible a drug or alcohol problem. I ask “Have you lost control of your drinking?” Applying this to myself makes me worry I am close to an addiction of podcasts.

Urs Truly has an insatiable penchant for learning. It started in my youth and has never let up. Somewhere in the penetralia of my cranium lurks a network of neurons continuously on and never satisfied. [1]  Podcasts are my drug of choice. They are cheap, numerous, and oh so satisfactory – like my men.  I have subscriptions to nearly thirty. [2] They cover a variety of learning topics such as grammar, history, philosophy, the bible, politics, sexual advice, and psychology.[3]  Like pistachio nuts I find it impossible to have just one. I feel like Lucy and the chocolate wrapping sketch. They continually put out and I can’t seem to keep up. Podcast episodes are like that last piece of pizza: you know you are full and you don’t want it but you eat it anyway as it is simply there.

The continual listening to podcasts doesn’t sound as detrimental as some other habits I could mention, but they do interfere with some activities that are neglected. My free reading takes a hit, as does sitting in silence. Perhaps it is my inner-Protestant that finds not learning a sign of indolence and leading to temptation.  Alas, I don’t seem to retain much content other than the basic ‘gist’ or each podcast episode. Perhaps this is because i am over 50 or maybe my cortex decides it ain’t having any more thank you.

Mrs Reagan advised just say no but I haven’t had success with that. It is very hard to delete podcasts or their episodes for I feel obliged to hear all of them, even when Ted-talks is again going on about world politics. If I were to delete one I may miss something crucial. Next weekend at happy hour someone will bring up quantum mechanics or The Trail of Tears and I won’t have enough to keep up. Oh the horror; oh the embarrassment.

The first step to treating an addiction is admitting you have a problem. The second step: eliminating podcasts and episodes you are realize you are hearing just for the sake I feeling obliged to finish it. The third step is stop asking friends for ‘new and fabulous podcasts”. [4].  The forth step may be eliminating The Tim Ferriss Show.  I forget what step #5 is but I think The Art of Charm did a podcast episode on this a few weeks ago.

I can think of worse problems than attempting to cram as much learning as I can into my craw. Someone once pointed out there isn’t much need or point to knowing every thing there is to know about the thirty years war or the origin of the term “sanctuary cities” as one can just pull all this stuff up on the cellphone.

I guess my metanoia into a mentat or a walking Wiki isn’t appreciated by anyone but myself.



[1] I suspect my nucleus accumbens, the Messalina of the mind.

[2] Names given upon request. There is not a dull one among them.

[3] Not all of my thirty podcasts are educational. A few of them are just jolly good fun.

[4] I will make an exception for Spo-fans who know of any fabulous podcasts. Please pass them onto me !

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