Future of labour governance – a podcast with Jennifer Bair

Glitched Rosie the Riveter poster


From the really interesting Futures of Work journal(?)/project/website…

In a world dominated by the emergence of global supply chains, where the state-based system of labour governance has struggled to deal with the expanding influence of transnational corporations, how can workers resist exploitative labour practices and organise a future (or futures) of regulation that would guarantee decent work for all?
Jennifer Bair joins Huw Thomas in the studio to discuss the challenges and opportunities of cross border labour governance and organisation in the contemporary global economy.

Jennifer Bair – Futures of Work

Some podcasts…

cartoon of an old fashioned microphone

I blogged about the BBC’s unpopped podcast a while ago, and in reply Scott kindly made a further recommendation (below). I’ve also recently begun to listen to a few more podcasts and so I thought I’d do another quick post that recommends some podcasts that some of the readers of this blog may find interesting…

99% invisible podcast

Scott Rodgers recommended the podcast 99% Invisiblewhich is ostensibly about design but covers all sorts of things and I’ve enjoyed listening to this over the last couple of months. They have a website with lots of additional info and articles based on the topics of each show. The show is part of the Radiotopia stable, which has quite a few well-regarded podcasts.

Everyone Else podcastOne of the recommendations that I’ve been incredibly thankful for, actually from the BBC’s Podcast Radio Hour, is the sublime Everyone Else – a podcast ‘telling the stories of strangers’. One of the many things I love about the podcast is the sound design – there are all sorts of wonderful atmospheric effects and incidental music. The stories themselves are fascinating, often moving and always evocative of a very human experience of life.

the Tip Off podcastAnother recommendation from Podcast Radio Hour is The Tip Off – a podcast concerning investigative journalism.  Maeve McClenaghan from The Bureau of Investigative Journalism takes you through the processes of investigative journalism. Again, some really evocative audio production and some gripping stories.

Whilst I’m thinking about it, and maybe I’ll blog about this another day – one thing I am beginning to find a little frustrating about the majority of recommendations from the BBC’s Podcast Radio Hour and other folks who are, for want of a better word, podcasting ‘insiders’ is what I’ve come to think of as a weird kind of fetishisation of a privileged position as a listener being party to some kind of apparently authentic or intimate story or truth. These sorts of podcasts are becoming the norm – a presenter, often a comedian for some reason, talks to someone else and apparently intimate or frank conversations ensue. Either that or we are invited into an otherwise hard-to-access or ‘edgy’ context, such as a prison, and allowed to gawp. Most of the time, in my limited and partial experience, recommendations of podcasts (and sometimes the podcasts themselves) presuppose a white middle-class audience, who most likely are metropolitan and/or university-educated – one might look at the winners of the recent British Podcast Awards and ask questions along these lines. The fact that many are hosted by women often performing either/both of what comes across as earnest concern or compassion or a confessional revelation of intimacy also seems worthy of critical reflection. I’m just sort of uncomfortable about the aesthetic that seems to have become a norm in British, perhaps BBC-favoured, podcasting. Maybe I’m wrong. I hope so.

If you’ve read this far and have any thoughts I’d be really happy to hear from you – especially with other podcast recommendations!

City Road – Digital Cities [podcast]

A huge array of overhead wires on a street

I’ve been listening to the City Road podcast for a little while now, since seeing a link on twitter to an excellent conversation with Desirée Fields, and I think Dallas Rogers et al. are doing a fantastic job with this podcast. It is an academic podcast but presented and delivered in, I think, a really accessible way. To that end, I really think there are episodes that make good teaching resources. In particular this episode on ‘digital cities’ with Robyn Dowling and Sophia Maalsen will feature in the next iteration of my third year option about technology – it’s excellent.

Bougie Coffee [podcast]

Freshly roasted coffee beans cooling in the roasting machine tray

A podcast episode of Some Noise on speciality coffee :

Since the turn of the millennium, the percentage of U.S.-based specialty coffee drinking folk, like those who have a cup everyday, has quadrupled. Travel to any major or minor city in the country, and you’ll see an offering of coffees that transcends the uniform Starbucks experience that’s on every block.

But the image that reflects after you place a mirror in front of any craft coffee company or cafe is a bit more clear, albeit unsettling. Stare at it long enough and you’ll come across matters like gentrification, the rise of the millennial-inspired yuppie wave and the old act of global economics, power dynamics and capitalism all at play.

This podcast episode explores the intricacies of coffee and attempts to answer two simple questions about one very complex drink. What makes specialty coffee special and who is it really for?

Unpopped – the podcast you should be listening to

Mary & Marina from Bristol in Gogglebox

I’ve been expanding my podcast listening. I still listen to a mix of tech-related stuff and pop culture. I’ve also begun to listen to the very helpful Radio 4 Extra Podcast Radio Hour. I don’t always get on with the contents, sometimes fast-forward but blimey does it give you an intro to a much bigger range of podcasts!

Anyway, one of the podcasts that I turned to from that show was Unpopped (via Geoff Lloyd). It’s a podcast hosted by Hayley Campbell in which she gets a panel together to talk about a particular subject/aspect of pop culture. The most recent (at the time of writing) was an excellent discussion about the roots of Grime and representation. Other episodes I have really enjoyed include one about Paris Hilton and the nature of celebrity. The only other podcast experience I have had that is analogous was a great OUP podcast episode about Rihanna and representations of black women.

I am starting to think, after listening to around five episodes, that you could almost build a module from the podcast. The discussions are (mostly) brilliant – insightful, politically astute and often funny. In many ways this is the cultural studies of Stuart Hall, Paul du Gay and others alive and kicking in a medium they may have studied.

Rather than over-coding the descriptive and analytical detail with “big” theory (in the ways of which social & cultural geographers are, I fear, terribly guilty) —it’s not always reducible to affect, neoliberalism and subjectivity 😉 — most episodes of unpopped offer specific and nuanced discussions of a particular phenomenon/subject/topic.

I recommend listening to it…

Reblog> Angela Walch on the misunderstandings of blockchain technology

Blockchain visualisation

Another excellent, recent, episode of John Danaher’s podcast. In a wide-ranging discussion of blockchain technologies with Angela Walch there’s lots of really useful explorations of some of the confusing (to me anyway) aspects of what is meant by ‘blockchain’.

Episode #28 – Walch on the Misunderstandings of Blockchain Technology

In this episode I am joined by Angela Walch. Angela is an Associate Professor at St. Mary’s University School of Law. Her research focuses on money and the law, blockchain technologies, governance of emerging technologies and financial stability. She is a Research Fellow of the Centre for Blockchain Technologies of University College London. Angela was nominated for “Blockchain Person of the Year” for 2016 by Crypto Coins News for her work on the governance of blockchain technologies. She joins me for a conversation about the misleading terms used to describe blockchain technologies.

You can download the episode here. You can also subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher.

Show Notes

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 2:06 – What is a blockchain?
  • 6:15 – Is the blockchain distributed or shared?
  • 7:57 – What’s the difference between a public and private blockchain?
  • 11:20 – What’s the relationship between blockchains and currencies?
  • 18:43 – What is miner? What’s the difference between a full node and a partial node?
  • 22:25 – Why is there so much confusion associated with blockchains?
  • 29:50 – Should we regulate blockchain technologies?
  • 36:00 – The problems of inconsistency and perverse innovation
  • 41:40 – Why blockchains are not ‘immutable’
  • 58:04 – Why blockchains are not ‘trustless’
  • 1:00:00 – Definitional problems in practice
  • 1:02:37 – What is to be done about the problem?

Relevant Links

Podcasts I’m listening to ~ how I spend my commute

cartoon of an old fashioned microphone

I’ve tweeted and blogged a little about podcasts and so I’m just going to do a list of what I’m listening to, in case its of any interest to anyone else… I suppose I am recommending them, but maybe some more than others…

Maybe you can make recommendations for things I should listen to… I’d welcome them!

UPDATE: I stumbled upon another podcast today… The Economist has a podcast concerned with computing called “Babbage“. Also: the Institute of Network Cultures Zero Infinite podcast looks interesting too.

Africa Today – the BBC’s news and analysis with a focus on Africa.

Algocracy and Transhumanism – in spite of the modish keywords of the title, this is a really well presented and interesting podcast by John Danaher on interesting research about digital tech.

The British Dream – a highly irreverent  podcast from Vice on British politics, becoming more regular through the GE2017 campaign.

Data & Society – a podcast of the talks from visiting speakers to the Data & Society institute in NYC.

The Digital Human – the Radio 4 programme with Aleks Krotoski (a bit too disciplined by psychology but interesting).

Fifty things that made the modern economy – A Beeb programme that explores what the title says.

Fortunately – Jane Garvey and Fi Glover make irreverent comments and recommendations about the week’s programming on Radio 4.

Four Questions – geographer Alice Evans talks to other researchers.

The Guardian’s Audio Long Reads – does what it says on the tin.

London Review Podcasts – the LRB podcast.

The Ruck – the rugby podcast from The Times.

Podcasts that were finite (now finished) and worth checking out:

Cargoland – behind the scenes at America’s largest port complex with KCRW’s Lu Olkowski.

Containers – Alexis Madrigal looks at containerisation through the lens of the Port of Oakland and how this relates to global capital and automation, amongst many things. Recommended!

Cultural Technologies – a podcast by media theorist Bernard Geoghegan with some interesting guests.

Culture Machine Live – a podcast related to the excellent open access journal.

Some podcasts I don’t subscribe to but pick from:

Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything – a look at interesting issues in America, from surveillance to drones to gentrification.

The Oxford Comment – OUP staff talk to authors about stuff being published by them.

Talking Politics – David Runciman does some politics wonking…

Team Human – Douglas Rushkoff “intervenes on behalf of humans” as only he can… I don’t always make it through an episode but there’s been some good guests.

Four Questions – a geography podcast

It’s taken me a while to get to this, somehow(?!), but I’ve been listening to Alice Evans‘ podcast “Four Questions“. Alice talks to interesting colleagues from across the discipline about their research for around 30 minutes. There are now seven episodes on soundcloud you can listen to, so maybe have a listen…

Here’s the first episode with Graham Denyer Willis:

I am aware that with Alice’s prodigious Twitter following some of the few folks who read this site may well have heard the podcast already – which is good 🙂