Curious Public

The iTunes presence and ‘branding’ for my podcast has been updated and renamed, Curious Public.

The main feed and iTunes channel contain all original audio published here on jamesshelley.com — audio essays, conversations, and public lectures.

If you would rather not subscribe to everything, these three ‘segments’ of the podcast are also available as separate, individual feeds:

In addition, there is now a separate feed for my guest appearances and contributes to others sites and podcasts. (I have not included these items in any of the above feeds.)

One more option: if you don’t subscribe and listen to podcasts with an app or client, you can also catch all of this via the email subscription.

The Name

A quick note about the new podcast name, Curious Public. The title is derived from a conversation I had with Jeremy Nathan Marks, wherein he asked if I was comfortable describing myself as a ‘public intellectual’. I was hesitant. It’s not only that the word ‘intellectual’ carries some negative cultural baggage at the moment, but most of the time I honestly feel like I am driven to participate in public discussions and debate out of sheer ignorance and uncertainty on issues. I’m much more comfortable with the idea of describing myself as ‘publicly curious’ — someone who is interested in wrestling with questions in open, community space.

At the same time, I thoroughly appreciate what Jeremy was getting at: ‘using our intellects in public’ just means thinking together; inviting and provoking one another to exercise our analytical capabilities. The concept of a ‘public intellectual’ is not principally about an elite class member, but simply someone thinking in the social sphere instead of safely locked away in a study all alone.

Another friend, Adam Fearnall, who recently chatted about income on the podcast, talks about a similar idea. Adam often describes the vulnerability that it takes to vocalize and ‘try out’ new conceptual models as ‘learning in public’. Whereas we often think of ‘broadcasting’ as having a specific message to disseminate to the world, we might think of ‘learning in public’ as broadcasting the learning process itself. Perhaps realizing the value of ‘learning in public’ comes out of the realization that the answers you get are no more important than the questions you asked in the first place.

I love this idea of embracing learning and curiosity as a communal pursuit, and so the title, Curious Public, is a loose double meaning denoting both the action (public curiosity) and the actors (people asking questions together).

I’d also like to thank my friend and YouTube pro-star Tristan Johnson for his recommendations on tightening up my podcast ‘brand’. In addition, my gratitude to London Public Library for their support and enthusiasm for podcasting as a medium for community learning.

In sum, as is quite evident, ‘it takes a community to make a podcast’. Thanks, everyone.

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You can subscribe to Curious Public via email, RSS feed, or iTunes (Preview)

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