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Note to Self

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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 produ...Show More

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Your Metadata is Showing

20:20 | Jun 7th, 2018

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 whe...Show More

Whose Bot Army Is Following Manoush?

19:45 | May 16th, 2018

Generic usernames, no photos, no tweets. This week, we investigate the dozens of mysterious accounts following Manoush on Twitter. Plus, what makes a good bot – and a bad one. ------- For the next several weeks you'll hear the “Best of” Note to Self ...Show More

Play Video Games for Your Mental Health

28:17 | Oct 18th, 2017

You judge the person playing Candy Crush. Even when it’s you. But that mental fist pump from leveling up has real value. How to stop judging and use games for a strategic reset. With game designer and futurist Jane McGonigal, author of SuperBetter an...Show More

The Bookie, The Phone Booth, and The FBI

23:57 | Jan 18th, 2017

The Fourth Amendment doesn’t mention privacy once. But those 54 little words are a crucial battleground in today’s fight over our digital rights. This week, Note to Self gets in our time machine, back to the court cases that brought privacy from parc...Show More

Note to Self is Back and We Start with The Big One: Kids and Screens

35:59 | Apr 23rd

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 empathe...Show More

Note to Self is Back!

01:33 | Apr 22nd

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 ...Show More

Rice Bunny: The Me Too Movement Comes to China

26:11 | Feb 22nd

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.

Dear (Data) Diary

26:04 | Jun 25th, 2018

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 postcard...Show More

A Different Kind of Streaking

17:38 | Jun 20th, 2018

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. ------- For the next several weeks...Show More

The Fourth Amendment Needs Your Attention

22:31 | May 2nd, 2018

This week, the Supreme Court cases that defined privacy for the digital age. Because the founding fathers didn’t write the Bill of Rights with the internet in mind. ------- For the next several weeks you'll hear the “Best of” Note to Self in your pod...Show More

Is the Opioid Epidemic a Tech Problem?

26:54 | Apr 18th, 2018

We visit the Dark Web, where you can get heroin, fentanyl and oxycontin shipped right to your door. This week, the link between online drug markets and America’s opioid crisis. ------- For the next several weeks you'll hear the “Best of” Note to Self...Show More

How To Have No Filter

19:05 | Apr 4th, 2018

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...Show More

No Filter: Jasmyn Lawson

18:50 | Apr 3rd, 2018

The woman behind some of your favorite gifs takes us to the future. See what being a woman on the web may look like. We couldn’t close out No Filter, our series on women owning it online, without profiling Jasmyn Lawson, former culture editor at Giph...Show More

No Filter: Barbara Kruger

28:28 | Mar 30th, 2018

The iconic artist talks to Manoush about our curated selfies, owning a font, and why we all need likes. Plus, The Cut’s editor in chief Stella Bugbee. If you missed the other episodes of No Filter earlier this week, go back! Instagram megastar Lele P...Show More

No Filter: Christiane Amanpour

27:08 | Mar 29th, 2018

The CNN anchor talks to Manoush about sex, wearing a “uniform,” and staying profesh on air and online. Plus, Call Your Girlfriend co-host and Cut contributor Ann Friedman, who almost fell out of her ergonomic chair when she found out she’d be in the ...Show More

No Filter: Amy Sherald

27:39 | Mar 28th, 2018

Her portrait of Michelle Obama went viral. Painter Amy Sherald dismisses the haters. “Some people want their poetry to rhyme.” Plus, Allison P. Davis, Senior Culture Writer at The Cut, on how picking Amy was like Michelle Obama choosing her own Insta...Show More

No Filter: Trace Lysette

22:56 | Mar 27th, 2018

The Transparent star talks to Manoush about the political nude selfie, her #metoo moment, and constructing her self online and IRL. Plus, how her life as a young trans woman prepared her to confront Jeffrey Tambor and live her truth. With Noreen Malo...Show More

No Filter: Lele Pons

21:05 | Mar 26th, 2018

Every day this week, a new episode of our series, No Filter: Women Owning It Online, with New York Magazine’s The Cut. Five conversations with badass women. Some old, some young. ALL have bent the internet to their will. And trust us, you don’t have ...Show More

Why We Need No Filter

24:24 | Mar 21st, 2018

We kick off our new series, No Filter: Women Owning It Online, with New York Magazine’s The Cut. Because since the #metoo movement, we’re all rethinking what it means to be a woman in the world. But what about what it means to be a woman on the web? ...Show More

My Digital Revolution

45:07 | Mar 20th, 2018

Stories of life online, told live. We teamed up with Generation Women, a monthly event where women from their 20s to their 80s share stories on a theme. For this episode, the theme is My Digital Revolution. Tales from the wellness editor at Teen Vogu...Show More

Am I Normal?

24:49 | Mar 14th, 2018

Mona Chalabi, data editor at the Guardian, takes the numb out of numbers. She joins Manoush to talk about stats versus stories, how data defines normal, and average testicle size. That one’s an interactive iPhone chart. For real.  Her hand-drawn illu...Show More

What to Think About Before Posting Family Photos

26:17 | Feb 28th, 2018

We asked how you share personal photos. Here’s what we learned from your 1,200 (!) answers. Psychologist Guy Winch joins Manoush to untangle our mixed posting emotions. Because our grams are complex. A trans listener is thankful his parents didn’t po...Show More

Have Dating Apps Killed Romance?

24:43 | Feb 14th, 2018

Real OKCupid message: “Hi, good evening, nice photos. You are not fat.” It’s rough on dating apps. Can romance survive? Eric Klinenberg wrote Modern Romance with Aziz Ansari. This week, he joins Manoush to make the case that dating apps have killed r...Show More

Help Us Collect Political Ads on Facebook

12:45 | Feb 7th, 2018

Let’s build a database of political Facebook ads. Just in case someone needs to check on them later. Like, say, if the Russians bought thousands of ads to sway an election. Manoush’s privacy girlfriend, ProPublica’s Julia Angwin, is back with a chall...Show More

Meet an Online Emotional Escort

26:13 | Feb 6th, 2018

We all need someone to tell (or text) our stories to. Even if they’re paid to text back. This week, Manoush meets an Invisible Girlfriend, earning pennies a message to create fake love. And an utterly wonderful man using the service for an entirely v...Show More

How to Find the Right Amount of Screen Time

24:19 | Jan 31st, 2018

Screen time is a daily battle. Between kids and parents, between ourselves and our better judgment. But maybe it doesn’t have to be. There is a better way. Manoush gets the answers from Anya Kamenetz, NPR education correspondent and author of the new...Show More

Dear Manoush: The Advice Episode

31:00 | Jan 17th, 2018

Is there a secret solution to information overload? Can random accounts ever truly be erased? How do I stay connected if I break up with social media? It’s Manoush’s brain, distilled into actionable pearls of wisdom. Plus, meet the woman behind the N...Show More

Dan Harris Knows All Your Excuses for Not Meditating

27:30 | Jan 3rd, 2018

People have a lot of excuses for not meditating. Eight, in fact. Dan Harris knows them all. And he can help. ------- Subscribe to our Wednesday morning newsletter for info on new episodes, our must-reads, and the news you need to get just a little ge...Show More

Search Inside Yourself For Peace and Joy

24:22 | Dec 27th, 2017

Let’s create some calm as this year ends. It all starts with one deep breath, led by Google employee 107. This week, we revisit Manoush’s lovely interview with Chade-Meng Tan, who retired at 44 to meditate and search for world peace. Because these da...Show More

Look Into the Future with Black Mirror

37:25 | Dec 20th, 2017

The creators of the Netflix hit Black Mirror on predicting the future, Twitter as a massive role-playing game, and nostalgia for meh. As season four of the Emmy-award-winning show approaches, we revisit Manoush’s conversation with show creators Charl...Show More

Alexa, Is Amazon Taking Over The World?

23:41 | Dec 13th, 2017

The tradeoffs we don’t see when we shop on Amazon. Why the answer isn’t to cancel your Prime. And yes, I bring Alexa’s new camera into my bedroom. ------- Subscribe to our Wednesday morning newsletter for info on new episodes, our must-reads, and the...Show More

"You Deserve to Die" and Other Fun Conversation Starters

28:19 | Dec 6th, 2017

People say mean things to Dylan Marron online. He takes that as an invitation to call them up and make friends. This week, the benefits of talking to our haters, and why it’s good for the country as well as the soul.  ------- Subscribe to our Wednesd...Show More

Let’s Check The Tape

27:14 | Nov 29th, 2017

An incomplete list of the objects listening to us: Siri. Alexa. Google Home. With so many recordings, the transcribed life isn’t far off. For better or for worse.  This week, one intrepid woman records every minute of her life for three days. She cap...Show More

The Lawsuit that Could Shine a Light on Cambridge Analytica

26:32 | Nov 22nd, 2017

How a single American’s quest for his own digital marketing profile may show us all how our data travels the world. And may even end up in the hands of foreign governments. ------- Subscribe to our Wednesday morning newsletter for info on new episode...Show More

Revisiting Cambridge Analytica’s Role in the Presidential Election

26:10 | Nov 22nd, 2017

From March, the first chapter in our look at Cambridge Analytica. We asked the controversial digital marketing firm what services they provided for Trump. And experimented with our own psychometric profiles. Listen to our latest episode to learn abou...Show More

It’s Not Over Nyet

17:21 | Nov 15th, 2017

More spy terms explained, reasonable/sensible coping strategies for when democracy is under threat, and nyet more puns. This week: how to spot a botnet. How psychometrics sells sneakers - and worldviews. And how to make sure you’re not the useful idi...Show More

Spy Terms of the Internyet

14:52 | Nov 8th, 2017

Russian spy tactics have gotten an upgrade since the Cold War. This week how they work now: bad actors, active measures, advanced persistent threats. Cyberwar has its own vocabulary. So we got ourselves a tutor. Join Manoush and information warfare e...Show More

Nyet Just a Conspiracy Theory?

21:23 | Nov 1st, 2017

If talking about democracy getting hacked feels like old news, it’s time to take a fresh look.  This week, we separate fear from facts with Noah Shachtman and Spencer Ackerman of the Daily Beast. Good thing they're funny guys, or this could get reall...Show More

Where Do I Go Now?

18:45 | Oct 25th, 2017

There was a time humans were guided by stars, not satellite. Now you can beam into robots, or turn on GPS. But when we put ourselves on autopilot we may lose our minds. This week, Manoush outsources her body to a telepresence robot. And finds out wha...Show More

Talking to Myself

22:05 | Oct 11th, 2017

The Replika app chats with you, learns from you, and reflects you back. It starts to become you. And your AI self gets pretty real. Journalist Mike Murphy used the app to create his mini-me, and wrote about it for Quartz. After months of talking to h...Show More

I Didn’t See Your Text

15:52 | Oct 4th, 2017

And other fibs we tell our friends, family and lovers. Psychotherapist Esther Perel is back to call us on our bullsh*t. This is the second of our two-parter on how our phones create such intimacy and such distance. Esther’s new book is The State of A...Show More

Ghosting, Simmering and Icing with Esther Perel

24:41 | Sep 27th, 2017

Remember being dumped? Now, technology lets us delay, deflect, and disappear. Renowned pyschotherapist Esther Perel is here to help us fall in love better. Esther is the bestselling author of Mating in Captivity and the host of the podcast Where Shou...Show More

Forty Years of Coding In a Man's World

17:50 | Sep 20th, 2017

Silicon Valley is still a man's world. And Ellen Ullman, who started programming in 1978, thinks it's high time for the rest of us to infiltrate. Ellen's new book, Life in Code, is full of great and awful stories. Her love of the work. The joys of hu...Show More

Eavesdropping On Epiphany

18:29 | Sep 13th, 2017

José Cruz is a college student, research scientist, and phone power-user. He spent 6 hours in one day on his screen. So he wanted to cut back, make more time for research, reading, and mental drift. And he recorded himself doing it. It was not easy. ...Show More

Attention Please

17:47 | Sep 5th, 2017

We deleted, we unplugged, we took walks. We made choices. We made time. Two years later, we catch up with some of the original Bored and Brilliant participants - some of the 20,000 people who joined our 2015 experiment. Today, that experiment is a bo...Show More

Refresh Your Mind

07:56 | Sep 4th, 2017

To encourage you to #GetBored and find brilliance, we made a weird earworm. It's an interview about the history of boredom... sound-designed to help you space out. A brain nap. With historian Peter Toohey, and some very soothing, meditative music.

Bonus: Behind the Scenes at TED

07:11 | Aug 15th, 2017

A surprise bonus, because Manoush's TED talk is online now (!) and she has some behind-the-scenes memories to share from the main stage. To celebrate - and vent (in a good way).

Save the Planet! Part 1: I'm Gonna Take My Clothes Off

09:30 | Aug 2nd, 2017

This week, five episodes for five ways we can do better by the planet. First: warm up, strip down. Rethink the air conditioner. With David Biello, science curator for TED.

Save the Planet! Part 2: Whale Poop

10:32 | Aug 2nd, 2017

Giant whale turds. A permanent shade over the sun. One is flashier, but that's the danger of it. This is poopier oceans vs. the climate quick fix. The last episode in our five-part series, with TED science curator David Biello.

Save the Planet! Part 3: Super Powered Sweet Corn

09:04 | Aug 2nd, 2017

We’ve made our plants bigger, juicier, and sturdier. Now can we make them better at sucking CO2? And should we? The last episode in our five-part series, with TED science curator David Biello.

Save the Planet! Part 4: Suck It

08:14 | Aug 2nd, 2017

First, stick a giant vacuum cleaner onto a smokestack. Inhale the exhaust. Then what? The last episode in our five-part series, with TED science curator David Biello.

Save the Planet! Part 5: Do Over?

09:27 | Aug 2nd, 2017

We were going to have to talk about it eventually. No, not Elon Musk (although yes, he does come up). Mars. Planet B. The last episode in our five-part series, with TED science curator David Biello.

Escape From Yahoo!

18:20 | Jul 26th, 2017

It’s 2017, and Manoush still has a Yahoo account. Is her exit strategy an encrypted file in Switzerland? This week, the tech loyalties we keep past their expiration date, and how to move on - technically and emotionally.

Your Mailman Is a Drug Dealer. He Just Doesn’t Know It.

27:48 | Jul 19th, 2017

We visit the Dark Web, where you can get heroin, fentanyl and oxycontin shipped right to your door. This week, we stress out our IT department with our searches and talk to author Nick Bilton about the Silk Road, online drug markets, and the opioid c...Show More

To Post or Not To Post: Take Our (Quick) Surveys

0:00 | Jul 12th, 2017

Do your parents post pictures of you? Or did they when you were younger? Do you post pictures of your kid? We want to better understand how families are sharing information online. So we made two surveys - one for parents and guardians, and one for t...Show More

Should We Post Photos of Our Kids Online?

23:59 | Jul 12th, 2017

A third of kids are online before they’re even born, thanks to sonogram images posted to Facebook. Is there a downside to all the kid photos we share? This week, we revisit a conversation with Hillary Frank, host of the Longest Shortest Time. And we ...Show More

When Was the Last Time You Peed Without Your Phone?

16:13 | Jul 5th, 2017

Yeah, it’s been a while for us too. So let’s reset. It’s the Bored and Brilliant bootcamp: three quick challenges to make space for brilliance in our accelerating world. Maybe you’ve heard this episode before, but even if you have, a boredom refreshe...Show More

We’ve Gained So Much With the iPhone. What Have We Lost?

23:42 | Jun 28th, 2017

Address books, maps, keys. Your Walkman, your datebook. All wiped out by your phone. Along with eye contact and boredom. This week, as the iPhone turns 10, we assess our most enduring love affair: the relationship between us and our devices. With tec...Show More

We See Ourselves in Black Mirror

35:37 | Jun 21st, 2017

Netflix’s Black Mirror is a tweaked reflection of technology’s worst consequences - what show creator Charlie Brooker calls a “sarcastic version of the present.’ This week, Brooker and executive producer Annabel Jones join us for a cheerfully dystopi...Show More

Father's Day Bonus: Dad As the Lead Parent

34:32 | Jun 18th, 2017

This Father's Day, one dad on his role as lead parent, and what it means for his career, psyche, and marriage. With Andrew Moravcsik, an accomplished author, academic, and husband to Anne-Marie Slaughter (yeah, the one who literally wrote the book on...Show More

What Sen. Wyden Does When He’s Not Questioning Comey or Sessions

17:42 | Jun 14th, 2017

Besides investigating Russian election interference, Sen. Wyden is tackling government hacking, email surveillance, border device searches, and fighting for your rights online. How did a basketball-playing former gerontologist become your digital cha...Show More

Preview: Sen. Ron Wyden of the Senate Intelligence Committee

02:51 | Jun 8th, 2017

Today, Sen. Wyden hears testimony from former FBI Director James Comey. Next week, he’ll be here on Note to Self. Here’s a sneak peek at our chat about cybersecurity and your digital rights.

Meet the Humans Who Protect Your Eyes

23:07 | Jun 7th, 2017

Rochelle LaPlante keeps horrifying images off the internet, screening photos for four cents a click. Content moderators do an important job. So why don’t employers like Facebook hold them up as heroes?

What We Learned from Grandpa’s FBI File

19:26 | May 31st, 2017

Our producer discovered an FBI file on her grandfather. Back then, the big threat was communists. Today, it's terrorists, Occupy and BLM. Maybe even you. And the surveillance methods are a lot less analog.

Ed Snowden Says a 'Very Very Dark Future' Is Not Inevitable

25:34 | May 17th, 2017

With all the news of leaks, national security, and hacking, who better to talk to than Ed Snowden? So yes, Manoush and Ed tackle the NSA, privacy, and ransomware. But also identity, the self, and the “quantified spiderweb of all our worst decisions.”...Show More

Wait, What IS Reality? We Investigate.

21:42 | May 16th, 2017

Who among us hasn’t wondered, maybe in a stoned haze, if the colors you see aren’t even the same colors that I see? How do we know we’re even in the same reality, man?  That’s what the world has been feeling like, except not so chill. This week, we d...Show More

Taking the Lead Episode 1: The Pain Point

27:33 | May 14th, 2017

This Mother's Day, a surprise. To celebrate working moms, we're re-releasing all four episodes of our award-winning series, Taking the Lead. The story of two Brooklyn women and their tech idea to help harried working mothers - like themselves.  Start...Show More

Taking the Lead Episode 2: The Paradox

29:18 | May 14th, 2017

Episode two of Mother's Day series is The Paradox. Rachael and Leslie test a prototype of their app on one very eager participant: Manoush. And they run into an ironic challenge. Turns out, it's tough to build a work/life balance app without one.

Taking the Lead Episode 3: The Pressure

32:36 | May 14th, 2017

Faced with financial barriers, Rachael and Leslie join a startup accelerator. But while honing their pitch, different goals emerge. Rachael is focused on social change, while Leslie wants to create a giant woman-led company.

Taking the Lead Episode 4: The Partnership

35:02 | May 14th, 2017

The last episode in our Mother's Day special. Rachael Ellison and Leslie Ali Walker face difficult choices: Should they drop the feminist mission behind the company when they make their pitch to investors? Does Rachael need to give up entrepreneurshi...Show More

Why Are So Many Bots Following Manoush?

20:21 | May 10th, 2017

Bot armies are taking aim at our democracies, spreading garbage on Twitter from last November to Brexit to this weekend’s French election. But what do they want with Manoush?

Parents Just Don’t Understand, Tech Edition

23:53 | May 3rd, 2017

Uh, mom, the eggplant emoji is not about food. The crying-laughing emoji is not appropriate for funerals. And dad, just texting 'K' is super passive-aggressive. This week, a real live therapist tackles your intergenerational tech dilemmas. And we try...Show More

AI Learns from Us. So It Learns Bias.

18:25 | Apr 26th, 2017

We count on robots to do more and more stuff. Drive cars, water crops, diagnose disease. What happens when the robots are racist? This week, a look back at one terrible AI mistake.

Revealing Selfies. Not Like That.

20:13 | Apr 19th, 2017

Your selfies are sharing way more than your smiling face. They’re full of data. Which is being used by stores. And banks. And police. And, well, everyone. This week, you sent us your photos. We gave them to data scientist Andreas Weigend, to see wha...Show More

Spring Cleaning for the Mind

17:35 | Apr 12th, 2017

Information overload has reached an all time high. Is there a way to stay-up-to-date without losing your mind? Yes. We call it “single-tasking.” Here’s a reminder of what multi-tasking does to your brain plus a proven way to find focus.

Cucked: Defining Manhood the Alt-Right Way

25:15 | Apr 5th, 2017

How one revolting, racist, sexist word emerged from the dark corners of 4chan and Reddit. And why we should care. With slang lexicographer Jonathon Green, writer Dana Schwartz of the Observer, and Derek Thompson of the Atlantic.

Deep-Dark-Data-Driven Politics

26:14 | Mar 29th, 2017

The story goes: the Trump campaign hired consultants called Cambridge Analytica. Cambridge uses data to target voters' personalities and emotions. Trump wins. But it's not so simple.  Did the Trump campaign have a secret sauce? Or just more ketchup? ...Show More

The Man Who Invented Facebook Ad Tracking Is Not Sorry

20:13 | Mar 22nd, 2017

After building the social network’s ad system, Antonio García Martínez tried to set his career on fire with a tell-all. An inside view on Face-versaries, terrifying emails from Zuck, and the cult of changing the world. Turns out, it takes a lot to ge...Show More

Government Secrets Worth Leaking... or Keeping?

26:44 | Mar 15th, 2017

So, the C.I.A. has a back door to your phone. At least, according to the Vault 7 data dump from WikiLeaks. This week, when are these tactics really making our lives safer?

What We Know About "Vault 7"

0:00 | Mar 8th, 2017

Maybe you’ve heard, some big news hit the privacy world on Tuesday. WikiLeaks, the organization behind the DNC leak last year, released a trove of documents (ominously) called “Vault 7.” The files reveal a collection of hacking systems developed or o...Show More

Will You Do a Snapchat Streak With Me?

18:07 | Mar 8th, 2017

A little yellow ghost has joined Manoush’s home screen. This week, Note to Self takes the plunge into Snapchat. Where we find lots of opportunities for passive aggression, obligation, and shade. And that’s not a bug. It’s a feature. With designer Tri...Show More

Zapping Your Brain To Bliss

19:25 | Mar 1st, 2017

Can brain stimulation tech replace your glass of wine? Or your joint? We strap a digital potato chip to our heads, and zap our brains with electricity, in the name of science. And we accidentally over-chill.

Can Your Phone Make You Better In Bed?

23:28 | Feb 22nd, 2017

No, not by watching porn. By sharing with your partner what turns you on, and weirds you out. Through an app. Kaitlin Prest of The Heart podcast recruits two couples to test drive the Pls Pls Me app. And talk about awkward conversations, making out, ...Show More

Privacy, Data Survivalism and a New Tech Ethics

28:31 | Feb 21st, 2017

Technologist Anil Dash on mistakes he’s made, and the new ethics of tech. Journalist Julia Angwin on why we’re all losing, and her strategies as a privacy prepper. Much laughter ensues. Note to Self nerds out, live from WNYC’s Greene Space.

Privacy Paradox: Results Show

31:51 | Feb 15th, 2017

Tens of thousands of people did the Privacy Paradox challenge. And the results are in. Seven percent of you said you want to give up. (Sorry. Don’t!) Seventy percent of you want to push for big change. (Hooray! Do.) And we have ideas.  We’ll hear fro...Show More

The Privacy Paradox Tip Sheet

0:00 | Feb 10th, 2017

Many of you told us that the Privacy Paradox challenges freaked you out. But you were happy to take back even just a little control. Want to go further? Here's what you can do to protect your personal information. We also heard from you that this pro...Show More

Day 5: Your Personal Terms of Service

12:35 | Feb 10th, 2017

The last day of the Privacy Paradox challenge. We'll draw some conclusions from this week—and some boundaries for the future. With Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who invented a little something called the World Wide Web. He has a big idea for a more secure, mo...Show More

Day 4: Fifteen Minutes of Anonymity

11:46 | Feb 9th, 2017

It's day four of the Privacy Paradox challenge. We talk to Elan Gale, executive producer of The Bachelor, about how we perform for social media, and how we change when we know we’re being watched. Also, the dangers of drunk tweeting. And Stanford psy...Show More

Day 3: Something To Hide

11:13 | Feb 8th, 2017

It's day three of Note to Self's Privacy Paradox challenge. There are the things you know you share online: selfies, emails, Facebook posts. But there is so. much. more. Marketers are mining the words you use, your tone and sentence length, to profil...Show More

Day 2: The Search For Your Identity

15:52 | Feb 7th, 2017

It's the second day of the Privacy Paradox challenge. You know - as you move across the web, clicking and searching and liking, you’re being tracked. You might use an ad blocker. Or a do-not-track plug-in. But you're still leaving tiny traces everywh...Show More

Day 1: What Your Phone Knows

11:21 | Feb 6th, 2017

Your Privacy Paradox challenges start today.   What does your phone know about you? Too much, probably. And it’s even more than you think. Many apps track your location, even when you’re not using them. Others listen in via your microphone, even when...Show More

The Privacy Paradox: FAQ

0:00 | Jan 30th, 2017

Hello! If you don't see an answer to your question here, you can get in touch at notetoself@wnyc.org. We'll read all your emails and respond as best we can, even if it takes a few days. We'll be updating this page as the questions come in. 1. Questio...Show More

Introducing: The Privacy Paradox

23:53 | Jan 30th, 2017

We want control of our personal information. But even when risks to our data are high, we sign up for services and apps. We download, click, and post without being sure where that data ends up. The Privacy Paradox, Note to Self's latest interactive p...Show More

Saving Big Data From Itself

20:39 | Jan 25th, 2017

There’s so much potential. With big data, researchers can smooth social interactions and create better cities. Maybe cure cancer, and slow climate change. But the data has to come from somewhere. And that somewhere is us.

The Four Tendencies: How to Feed Good Habits

17:16 | Jan 11th, 2017

Are you an upholder, a questioner, an obliger or a rebel? Gretchen Rubin of the Happier podcast has identified four ways that people respond to expectations - the Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw of habit change, if you will. Figuring ...Show More

New Year. Same Old You.

26:55 | Jan 4th, 2017

Can we really start fresh when our every step, nap, and calorie are measured? If even a hard-core coder fails at a tech-enabled diet, maybe we need a new way to optimize our quantified selves.

Go Ahead. Miss Out.

18:47 | Dec 28th, 2016

FOMO is real. And it's amplified during the holiday season when party glam shots and scrumptious food pics are everywhere. So let's embrace a little JOMO (Joy of Missing Out) instead.

Messages From the Beyond

28:31 | Dec 21st, 2016

Ginger Johnson is battling cancer. She has three children and wants to stay in their lives after she's gone. So she's using a service called Safe Beyond that helps her make messages and then schedule them for delivery in the future. But her kids aren...Show More

Meet the Textalyzer... and Our Next Big Project

19:12 | Dec 14th, 2016

If police smell booze on your breath behind the wheel, you'll be asked to blow into a breathalyzer. But if they notice distracted driving, how do they measure clicks, taps and swipes? Plus, a sneak peek at Note to Self's next big listener project.  N...Show More

Distracted Is the New Drunk

16:27 | Dec 7th, 2016

Back in the ‘90s, health researchers planted stories against drunk driving on primetime shows. Growing Pains even killed off Matthew Perry in a crash. Now, the challenge is getting people to stop texting on the road. But we don't watch TV like we use...Show More

Tech Under Trump

31:44 | Nov 30th, 2016

We've seen the good, bad and ugly of tech this election cycle. And we all have big feelings about it. So Manoush hosted a good old-fashioned call-in, for listeners to share their thoughts and fears about our digital lives under a Trump administration...Show More

Shaking Up Your Echo Chamber. For Democracy.

10:54 | Nov 29th, 2016

We tend to click on things we agree with already. And social media networks like it that way. Bumming out your customers is a bad business model. This week, we talk with Tracy Clayton and Katie Notopoulos from BuzzFeed about why that's a problem, and...Show More

Your Facebook Friend Said Something Racist: Thanksgiving Edition

18:53 | Nov 23rd, 2016

Don't throw a turkey leg. Don't go ALL CAPS rage over racism on Twitter. This Thanksgiving, when the conversation makes your blood boil, take some deep breaths and just LARA.

Drop Your Phone, Make Your Bed, Says Gretchen Rubin

21:17 | Nov 16th, 2016

Note to Self listeners are struggling to find joy on the internet after this election. Gretchen Rubin, 'Happier' host and author of the New York Times bestseller, The Happiness Project, has advice.

A Post-Election Note to You

05:43 | Nov 9th, 2016

The nation is divided, and we're all processing. So, we curated a list of 7 episodes from the archive for your post-election reality.

Do You Really Want to Live Forever?

23:38 | Nov 8th, 2016

Americans voted. Now we can think way, way beyond 2016. The failed 2016 presidential candidate Zoltan Istvan (pretty convincingly) explains why you might live forever and vote for him and the Transhumanism party in 2040.

Mindfulness on Demand

24:19 | Nov 2nd, 2016

Can't afford a personal guru? No worries. Chade-Meng Tan, Silicon Valley's mindfulness coach, is making meditation accessible and he's got tips to incorporate it into our everyday lives. His latest book is, "Joy on Demand: The Art of Discovering the ...Show More

Come and Sit with Marina Abramović

21:32 | Oct 26th, 2016

Sure, legendary performance artist, Marina Abramović, got 750,000 people to wait in line at MoMA just to sit across a table from her. But can she get us ALL to count lentils? She just published Walk Through Walls: A Memoir and she stopped by N2S to c...Show More

Bonus: Marina Abramović’s Method Blew Our Minds

21:33 | Oct 25th, 2016

How Marina Abramović, the world’s most famous performance artist, got Manoush and producer Jen Poyant to sit in silence for 30 minutes before a "magic" performance of Bach's Goldberg Variations.

"The Problem of Caring" by Kim Brooks

0:00 | Oct 19th, 2016

The following essay was written for our episode, "If My Body is a Text," which explores how to absorb and address the flood of images, video, and information online when paying attention can be painful and exhausting. Listen here.   THE PROBLEM OF CA...Show More

"Letter Beginning, 'If My Body is a Text'" by Kiki Petrosino

0:00 | Oct 19th, 2016

The following poem was written for our episode, "If My Body is a Text," which explores how to absorb and address the flood of images, video, and information online when paying attention can be painful and exhausting. Listen here.   LETTER BEGINNING, ...Show More

If My Body is a Text

27:01 | Oct 19th, 2016

In a time of racial tension, how do you manage information overload—the storm of news online—when paying attention is painful? This week, two friends find their answer.

When Silicon Valley Takes on Elementary School

27:56 | Oct 12th, 2016

This week, Manoush visits a micro-school in her Brooklyn neighborhood where the cushions are cozy and every child is optimized. Think Montessori 2.0... and the future of education if one former Google executive gets it right.

Facing Our Weirdest Selves

25:54 | Oct 5th, 2016

After exchanging hand-drawn postcards for a year, two data designers discover how compiling and parsing the little things in life can lead to unexpected self-reflection-- and friendship. Those real-life pen pals and authors of the book, Dear Data, di...Show More

Digging Into Facebook's File on You

18:33 | Sep 28th, 2016

Algorithms are everywhere in our daily lives. But most of the time, we have no idea how they work. In this week's episode, ProPublica investigative journalist Julia Angwin explains how Facebook's algorithms categorize us. Plus, Note to Self listeners...Show More

Bonus: Chelsea Clinton Talks Global Equality and Breastfeeding

10:12 | Sep 26th, 2016

In this bonus mini-episode, Chelsea Clinton tells Manoush why she's frustrated by the gender gap in tech. Plus, the art of juggling a new baby and a hectic campaign schedule.

The Secret to Making Video Games Good for You

24:47 | Sep 21st, 2016

Games are the new self-help. Jane McGonigal, game researcher and developer explains how, with the right approach, games can be a powerful tool for unlocking our best selves.

There Is No "Off the Record"

25:26 | Sep 14th, 2016

Imagine a future where every word you utter is recorded and saved. It's not that far off. Our guest Rose Eveleth, host and producer of the Flash Forward podcast, tested out the transcribed life to see what happens when nothing is off the record.

Sext Education: Teens, Photos, and the Law

25:18 | Sep 7th, 2016

On this week’s episode, Manoush goes to North Carolina to find out why a high school star quarterback and his girlfriend were charged with felonies for sending each other racy (or romantic, depending on your point of view) photos. Turns out the U.S. ...Show More

Blind Kids, Touchscreen Phones, and the End of Braille?

19:47 | Aug 31st, 2016

Touchscreen phones work so well for blind people that Braille may become obsolete. But advocates worry this could render the next generation "functionally illiterate."

The Thing About Texts From Your Ex

20:30 | Aug 24th, 2016

If you're not one of Text From Your Ex's 1.9 million followers already, here's what you need to know: Elan Gale's brainchild is an Instagram account with pages and pages of awkwardness captured in screenshots. It turns out, reading through hundreds o...Show More

Should We Post Pictures of Our Children Online?

23:48 | Aug 17th, 2016

Nearly 92 percent of kids in the U.S. have some digital presence by the age of two. But that doesn't necessarily mean your child's face should be all over the internet. So where should we draw the line? In this episode, which is a repeat from 2015, h...Show More

The One Thing You Can Actually Do to Fight Surveillance

19:22 | Aug 10th, 2016

Security technologist Bruce Schneier, author of “Data and Goliath,” says you should stop feeling guilty about skimming the Terms of Service. Get mad instead.

Is My Phone Listening in On Me?

27:13 | Aug 3rd, 2016

Is your phone listening a little too closely to what you have to say? Author Walter Kirn tells us why you'd be crazy NOT to be paranoid about your phone.

Taking the Lead Bonus: Andrew Moravcsik

35:00 | Jul 27th, 2016

Author and academic Andrew Moravcsik dives into why he and his wife decided he would be their family’s "lead parent," how they came up with that term, and how that decision has affected his marriage, his kids, and ultimately his career.

Taking the Lead Episode 4: The Partnership

34:22 | Jul 26th, 2016

In the final chapter of our four-part series about women and work, co-founders Rachael and Leslie hear a tough critique of their pitch and make a tough decision. Plus, New America CEO Anne-Marie Slaughter explains how she thinks the culture around wo...Show More

Taking the Lead Episode 3: The Pressure

32:05 | Jul 20th, 2016

After tapping into their kids' college funds, Rachael and Leslie join a startup accelerator to compete for a cash prize. But as they prepare for the competition, the business partners feel pressure to choose between selling investors on their app's f...Show More

Taking the Lead Episode 2: The Paradox

28:37 | Jul 13th, 2016

In episode two of our 4-part series, the two moms-turned-entrepreneurs beta test their app on 20 local mothers (including Manoush). But as they get deeper into start-up life, personal differences begin to surface. Leslie, whose husband is her family'...Show More

10 Stellar Work/Life Balance Pick-Me-Ups (And Counting)

26:32 | Jul 6th, 2016

All this month, we're covering motherhood, entrepreneurship and work/life balance with our series "Taking the Lead."    What are your favorite stories and resources about finding/losing/lamenting over work/life balance? On those days when you feel SP...Show More

Taking the Lead Episode 1: The Pain Point

26:32 | Jul 6th, 2016

Welcome to the first episode of our 4-part series: Taking the Lead. This is the story of two working moms, Rachael and Leslie, who have a big idea (a tech idea) to help more women get some work/life balance and "lean in." But before they can launch a...Show More

Coming Soon: Taking the Lead

03:12 | Jun 30th, 2016

Rachael and Leslie are two working moms in Brooklyn, building an app to help more women on their quest to 'have it all.' Manoush follows them on their journey as they confront the same struggles many women face as they try to reconcile profession wit...Show More

Bored and Brilliant: BOOT CAMP 2016

16:25 | Jun 29th, 2016

Putting down your phone and letting yourself get bored can jumpstart your creativity. Tens of thousands of you helped us prove this in 2015 with our week-long project: Bored and Brilliant. Now, just in time for summer, try out the bootcamp version wi...Show More

A Beginner's Guide to International Tech Etiquette

24:46 | Jun 22nd, 2016

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley, Elise Hu and Gregory Warner share their insider knowledge regarding how people in other countries use tech.

What Happens When We Skimm the News

26:28 | Jun 15th, 2016

This week we dive deep into the modern media diet with theSkimm co-founders Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin, and John Herrman, media reporter at the New York Times.

Infomagical: BOOTCAMP

18:13 | Jun 8th, 2016

If you've been with us for awhile, you know about our Infomagical challenge to fight information overload. This week, we're giving those of you who loved it a tune-up, those of you who were overwhelmed the tl;dr version, and those of you who totally ...Show More

When To Stop Looking for a Better Date or Restaurant

20:09 | Jun 1st, 2016

Can algorithms help us eat and love better? We went on a mission to find out.

6 Algorithms That Can Improve Your Life

20:43 | May 25th, 2016

That pile of papers on your desk? That lunch meeting you can't seem to nail down? The hundreds of emails that raise your blood pressure? We're here to help.

Sexiness, Social Media and Teenage Girls

22:19 | May 18th, 2016

Author Peggy Orenstein tells us what the Internet is teaching teen girls about sexiness and desirability.

The Realities of Virtual Reality

19:14 | May 11th, 2016

We've put it off for long enough. It's time to talk about VR.

What Happens to the Videos No One Watches

22:17 | May 4th, 2016

Exploring the Lonely Web.

A Grand Introduction to the Lonely Web

0:00 | May 2nd, 2016

There are millions of pieces of content floating around the Internet with little or no views, clicks or shares. Maybe some of them are yours. Welcome to the Lonely Web — a phrase coined by Joe Veix when he wrote about it for Fusion. On one hand, some...Show More

10 Great Podcast Episodes Hosted by Women

0:00 | Apr 27th, 2016

We're obsessed with getting more female voices in our podcast feeds. Thanks to your many recommendations over the past few weeks, we've compiled a long, long list of shows. But since it can be hard to know where to start, we asked you to endorse spec...Show More

Eye in the Sky

35:57 | Apr 27th, 2016

Ross McNutt has a superpower — he can zoom in on everyday life, then rewind and fast-forward to solve crimes in a shutter-flash. But should he?

A Magnificent List of 111 Female-Hosted Podcasts (And Counting)

0:00 | Apr 20th, 2016

Listen up: On last week's show we made the case that listening to podcasts hosted by women is a feminist act. We compiled a starter list of 40 or so female-hosted shows and asked for your endorsements. After sifting through many, many recommendations...Show More

The Puppet Masters Behind Online Shopping

23:03 | Apr 20th, 2016

We head inside Etsy's Usability Testing Lab to understand the art of User Experience and online shopping seduction.

Two Dope Queens on Feminism

12:27 | Apr 13th, 2016

Phoebe Robinson—a stand up-comedian, writer and co-host of WNYC's new podcast '2 Dope Queens'—joins us to talk about finding digital feminism.

Creating a Super-Human You with Dave Asprey

14:33 | Apr 6th, 2016

The man behind the Bulletproof empire explains why sometimes in order to get results, you have to go to extremes.

Forget Edibles: Getting High on Wearables

20:06 | Mar 30th, 2016

There are a lot of tools out there that claim to train—even change—your brain. So do they work? We put them to the test and things get... interesting.

Apple's Security Debate is Everyone's Problem (Including Yours)

13:12 | Mar 23rd, 2016

If your phone was stolen, you'd most likely be concerned that the thief would now have access to your bank account...and your vacation photos. But what if the thief was the government?

Your Quantified Body, Your Quantified Self

27:20 | Mar 16th, 2016

What happens when we start thinking of ourselves as walking, breathing, calorie-consuming piles of data? We asked hundreds of people to weigh in (figuratively speaking).

Why You Feel More Productive But the Economy Isn’t

17:35 | Mar 9th, 2016

Douglas Rushkoff, author of "Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus," argues that our fixation on "growth" has made us less financially secure, with big consequences for our communities.

Wait, You're Into [Insert Kink] Too?!

22:28 | Mar 2nd, 2016

As promised! The time has come to talk about sex. Or, rather, to swipe about sex.

Why You Should Put a Post-It Over Your Laptop Camera

16:31 | Feb 24th, 2016

How much would it take for someone to hack YOUR life? And really, how worried do you actually need to be? This is what happened when Fusion's Kevin Roose asked some of the best hackers in the world to have at him.

We Tried to 'Hack' Our Diets. We Totally Failed.

10:15 | Feb 17th, 2016

We tried using apps to stop sugar cravings. It... didn't work. Now, we want to hear your stories.

What We Learned When 25,000 People Tried to Fight Information Overload

28:36 | Feb 10th, 2016

What we learned through a week of experimenting with information overload interventions.

Infomagical Challenge 4: Magical Connection

07:18 | Feb 4th, 2016

Discuss something you’ve heard, read, or watched with someone for at least seven minutes, by phone or in person. Social psychologist Sherry Turkle explains why and how. More details here: http://wny.cc/XUksG

Infomagical Challenge 3: Magical Brain

11:27 | Feb 3rd, 2016

Your third challenge: Avoid a trending topic, or “must read” today. Consume only what's valuable to you. Issued by Cates Holderness, who launched The Dress meme, and Ann Blair, historian of information overload. More instructions here: http://wny.cc/...Show More

Infomagical Challenge 2: Magical Phone

10:56 | Feb 2nd, 2016

Tidy up your apps and transform your phone into a portal of wisdom. Brought to you by "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" author Marie Kondo herself. More information here: http://wny.cc/XPaMH

Infomagical Challenge 1: Magical Day

11:12 | Feb 1st, 2016

No multi-tasking today. Work on one thing at a time, and give each task your full focus. For more information: http://wny.cc/XLutv

Infomagical Emoji

0:00 | Jan 27th, 2016

So you've listened to "The Case for Infomagical," signed up for the project, and picked a goal. Your questions have been answered. Now on to the custom emoji! Each challenge "goal" – the big, overarching thing you want to accomplish for the week – ha...Show More

The Case for Infomagical

25:29 | Jan 25th, 2016

All of the information you need about information overload. Sign up for Note to Self's Infomagical project at wnyc.org/infomagical!

Infomagical: An FAQ

0:00 | Jan 20th, 2016

Hello! If you don't see an answer to your question here, you can get in touch at notetoself@wnyc.org. We'll read all of them and respond as best we can.  1. Questions About Infomagical 2. Questions About Texting 3. Questions About the Team 4. Press I...Show More

When FOMO Meets JOMO

19:20 | Jan 20th, 2016

Caterina Fake (the person who popularized the term "FOMO") talks with Anil Dash (the person who coined the term "JOMO"). Turns out, they're good friends.

An Apology to Our Listeners. Because Two Dots.

21:28 | Jan 13th, 2016

Two Dots game director David Hohusen on what it's like to balance "caring about users' well-being" with "designing an addictive game." The brave man came back!

A Neuroscientist’s Guide to Getting Organized

16:02 | Jan 6th, 2016

If you had to guess, how many facts have you taken in today? Dr. Daniel Levitin says it's probably way too many to process.

Listen to Your Voicemail

10:25 | Dec 30th, 2015

Love it or hate it, there's at least one important thing only voicemail can do. A reprise of one of our favorite episodes from 2015.

Why You Should Care About LEGO and Creativity

20:04 | Dec 23rd, 2015

Your kid's seven new LEGO kits really do matter for the future of creative thinking.