Note To Self

Note To Self

From WNYC Radio

Host Manoush Zomorodi talks with everyone from big names techies to elementary school teachers about the effects of technology on our lives, in a quest for the smart choices that will help you think and live better.More from Note To Self »

Most Recent Episodes

Should We Post Pictures of Our Children Online?

According to the internet security company AVG, 92% of children in the U.S. have a digital presence by the time they turn two. But a University of Michigan poll from March 2015 found that three-fourths of parents think another parent has shared too much information about their child online. In this episode, we bring together three people with very different approaches for a conversation about ethics, photography, and the struggle of weighing future consequences in a world we can't quite picture yet (no pun intended). Here's where our three moms stand on posting photos of their kids: Note to Self Host Manoush Zomorodi, who posts nothing. Note to Self Executive Producer Jen Poyant, who posts every day on Instagram. Longest Shortest Time Host Hillary Frank, who posts drawings and side-angles but no faces. This is a repeat episode which originally aired in 2015. For more Note to Self, subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, I Heart Radio, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or anywhere else using our RSS feed.

The One Thing You Can Actually Do to Fight Surveillance

Reading this right now? Congratulations. You're winning. Yes, all of the usual corporate and government entities know you're here. Google remembers everything you've ever searched, BuzzFeed knows how you've scored on all their quizzes, and your cell phone provider knows who you talk to and who you sleep with. Terms of Service agreements are an exercise in futility, encrypted email often takes more trouble than it's worth, and yeah, sure, go ahead and give Facebook a fake name, but don't think you're fooling anyone. Companies are collecting your data from just about everywhere, storing it through time unknown, and using it however they want. Oh, and that's where the FBI-and-friends find it. But Bruce Schneier, author of the book, "Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World," says the fact that you've taken the time to read this far means you've got the one reliable protection available to us in year 2016: awareness. Schneier also happens to be a security technologist and cryptographer and well, he's kind of a tech hero - a Chuck Norris - of the digital sphere. His cause: privacy. In fact, even before The Economist called Schneier a "security guru," a different company tried to make him into an $100 dollar action figure (he didn't like their price and proposed $40 instead). Go to the site, "Bruce Schneier Facts," and you'll find photos of Schneier's face pasted onto different movie heroes' bodies, bearing captions like: "Bruce Schneier watches Blu-ray movies by looking at the discs." Click on listen above and hear Manoush and Schneier discuss ways we can feel less helpless when it comes to protecting our data and maintaining some online privacy. PLUS: We still want your feedback on N2S and we want YOU to help us decide what we should cover in our next big project. So please, fill out this short survey - it's only 11 questions and won't take you more than 3 minutes. This is a repeat episode which originally aired in 2015. For more Note to Self, subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, I Heart Radio, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or anywhere else using our RSS feed.

Is My Phone Listening in On Me?

Do we need to be worried about our phones tracking our every move? Because it sure seems like they are. Walter Kirn wants you to know that you're NOT going crazy and maybe you should be a little paranoid with your phone. He covers privacy, tech and surveillance, and – unrelated – he wrote the book behind "Up in the Air" with George Clooney. He answers some of your most pressing questions on phone privacy and how concerned we should be about what our phones are tracking. Here's a sampling of one of the many questions we've received from listeners that captures a thought-to-be-private moment: Between Me and My Dog "So, I get out of the shower and I'm getting dressed and of course my dog is over there on his chaise and I'm looking at him and I'm feeling all sad that I'm about to go to work for a couple hours. I'm humming to myself a song... my poor dog is tortured by this, but I start singing, 'Every time we say goodbye I cry a little, I die a little,' you know... that song. I get in the car, I put on the iPhone music. I have 6157 songs. I hit shuffle randomly, and the first song to play is the song that I was just humming... I haven't heard this song in forever... So anyway, that's my question... and make sure you sing to your dog whenever you can because they love it, they absolutely love it." – Michael Grant So... should we be paranoid? Do we know whether our gadgets are passively listening to us? No. We don't know for sure, beyond what they tell us in their privacy policies. But we do know that voice recognition is what many major companies are trying to get us to start using. Google has OK Google, Apple has Siri, and Amazon has Echo, a home appliance that listens to you all the time. We know that many third party apps use location data services, and we know that personalization – especially personalized ads – rely on tracking. Listen to the our show to hear our interview with Walter Kirn and if you're interested for more phone privacy discussions, be sure to read his article in The Atlantic, "If You're Not Paranoid, You're Crazy." Also, enjoy the picture below (from listener Michael Grant) if you're feeling stressed out by all the privacy talk. Note to Self listener Michael Grant wrote in with a strange story about a private moment talking to his dog, which may or may not have been overheard by his phone. This is that dog. (Courtesy of Michael Grant and Bodhi the dog) One last thing: We want your feedback so Note to Self can get better and better. Please, fill out this survey. Your answers will help us make content that fits into your day-to-day and keeps us at the top of your playlist. This is a repeat episode which originally aired in 2015. For more Note to Self, subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, I Heart Radio, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or anywhere else using our RSS feed.

Taking the Lead Bonus: Andrew Moravcsik

We just wrapped up our four-part series "Taking the Lead." It's about two Brooklyn moms turned entrepreneurs with a big idea to revolutionize caretaking. It's also about women, work, families, priorities and relationships... and how our listeners are juggling all those things. If you missed the series, start at the beginning and enjoy the ride. It's right here: Episode 1: The Pain Point Episode 2: The Paradox Episode 3: The Pressure Episode 4: The Partnership In this bonus episode, listen to Manoush's full conversation with Andrew Moravcsik, the accomplished author, academic, and husband to Anne-Marie Slaughter (yeah, the one who literally wrote the book on women in the workplace.) Even if you listened to our "Taking the Lead" series, you'll want to hear Andy's insights into what being the lead parent has meant for his career, his psyche, and their marriage. For more Note to Self, subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, I Heart Radio, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or anywhere else using our RSS feed.

Taking the Lead Episode 4: The Partnership

It all comes down to this — we've arrived at the fourth and final episode of our month-long series about women and work: "Taking the Lead." And the timing couldn't be better: Ivanka Trump took on equal pay and affordable childcare during her speech at the Republican National Convention last week, becoming the model mother/entrepreneur for her dad's campaign. Hillary Clinton goes into the final stretch as the Democrat's presidential candidate, breaking political glass ceilings no matter which way you vote. Back in podcast land, a quick recap: our two Brooklyn moms turned tech entrepreneurs, Rachael Ellison and Leslie Ali Walker are co-founders of Need/Done, a service for backup childcare and household support. (It doesn't exist yet but think Nextdoor meets Sittercity.) If you missed the first three episodes of our four-part series, enjoy catching up here: Episode 1: The Pain Point Episode 2: The Paradox Episode 3: The Pressure In the final chapter, the women 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 entrepreneurship so she can remain the kind of mom she wants to be? Plus, we'll end the suspense and talk about the seismic shift happening to our culture around women and work with Anne-Marie Slaughter, Hillary's former advisor at the State Department. Anne-Marie is now the CEO of New America and the author of Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family, which she wrote after detailing her struggles to combine her career with parenting in a hugely popular piece for The Atlantic called "Why Women Still Can't Have it All." And yes, we'll tackle the male perspective on caretaking and professional ambitions by speaking with Anne-Marie's husband, Andrew Moravcsik. He's a professor of Political Science at Princeton University and the "lead parent" at home. Andy explains how being his family's primary caretaker has affected his career, psyche and marriage... and why he feels so strongly that the conversation about work/life balance is really about men and their role in society. A special note to listeners: Your thoughts on these issues have been a hugely important part of this series. Thank you so much for being so honest and open with your stories and struggles. We want to continue to hear what you think — any/all of your reactions. Send them to us by recording a voice memo or emailing notetoself@wnyc.org. We'd also like to make a request: Please share this episode with one person whom you think needs to know more about this topic (or needs to know she's/he's not alone!). Share and talk about the series with a colleague, boss, spouse, or friend by cutting and pasting this link here [http://www.wnyc.org/story/work-life-balance-need-done-partnership] in a Facebook post or email. Also, if you enjoyed the little bit of our conversation with father and lead-parent Andy Moravcsik, we've got great news: You can listen to his full conversation with Manoush in a bonus episode right here. For more Note to Self, and to get episodes like this one sent straight to your feed, make sure you're subscribed in iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, I Heart Radio, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or anywhere else using our RSS feed.

Taking the Lead Episode 3: The Pressure

Rachael Ellison and Leslie Ali Walker are two Brooklyn moms and the co-founders of Need/Done, a digital platform with a feminist mission to help more women make it to the corner office. How does it work? Through a crowdsourced community of parents, the service provides backup childcare and household support. Think: Nextdoor meets Sittercity. If you missed the first two episodes of our four-part series, catch up. They're right here: Episode 1: The Pain Point Episode 2: The Paradox Faced with financial barriers, this week Rachael and Leslie join a startup accelerator and pitch their idea to investors. But while honing their pitch, the business partners' different goals surface. Rachael is focused on the service's potential for social change. Leslie sees the potential to create a giant female-led company. This week the pressure is on: The pressure to deliver the perfect pitch; pressure from family; and — this is a big one — financial pressure. Under the strain, they make a strategic move that confounds Manoush. Next week, on the fourth and final episode of "Taking the Lead," Manoush shares what she learned from the investors with Rachael and Leslie. Plus, Anne-Marie Slaughter, author of "Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family," returns — this time with her husband, Professor Andrew Moravcsik — for an intimate conversation about the professional and personal sacrifices they have made for their marriage. Housekeeping Several of you have asked us how to listen to podcasts. We've got you covered here: Look! I Taught My Dad To Download Podcasts. We're also making a master resource list of articles/books/podcasts for surviving the work/life balance struggle, so please continue to add your favorites to our growing list here. In the beginning of this week's episode, Manoush labels (in a fun way!) Rachael and Leslie with a personality test called the "Enneagram Test." It's a pseudoscientific survey that categorizes people into 9 groups that represent a person's core qualities, or most primal selves. Rawr. Take it for yourself here. If you have an opinion on our series, Rachael and Leslie's strategy, or your own work/life balance story, please tell us by sending a voice memo to notetoself@wnyc.org. For more Note to Self, subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, I Heart Radio, Overcast,Pocket Casts, or anywhere else using our RSS feed.

Taking the Lead Episode 2: The Paradox

Rachael Ellison and Leslie Ali Walker are two working moms who hatched the idea for Need/Done, an app that they think could help get more working parents — especially working moms — into top-tier positions, while also being present at home. How does the app work? Through a crowdsourced community of parents, the service provides reliable childcare, meal planning suggestions, and groceries delivered to your door. Think: Nextdoor meets Sittercity. In the second installment of our four-part series, the co-founders test out a prototype of the service on 20 Brooklyn moms, including one very eager and willing participant: Manoush. She wants to check dinner off her to-do-list... but things don't go quite as planned. "They delivered sausages with pork casing which is a problem for my Jewish husband, so I took all the sausage meat out of the casings, and I'm cooking it now before he gets home so he doesn't find out about it. Except now I'm telling you." Meanwhile, one of the founders discovers that she may be ready to swap in her corporate blazer for a Silicon Valley hoodie, but the other is beginning to question if she can maintain momentum with her current day job, lead-parenting, and starting a new company. If you like this episode, you'll want to check out the first episode in our month-long series,"Taking The Lead: The Pain Point." We're also making a master resource list of articles/books/podcasts for surviving the work/life balance struggle, so please continue to add your favorites to our growing list here. Also, we'd like to thank those of you who reached out to tell us about your own experiences. We know that families come in all shapes and sizes and we love hearing your stories. If you have a work/life balance moment tell us about it by sending a voice memo to notetoself@wnyc.org. For more Note to Self, subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, I Heart Radio, Overcast,Pocket Casts, or anywhere else using our RSS feed.

Taking the Lead Episode 1: The Pain Point

Welcome to a very special month of Note to Self. For the next four weeks, we're telling the story of two Brooklyn women, Rachael Ellison and Leslie Ali Walker, who have an idea (a tech idea) to help harried working mothers who still want to rise up in their professional ranks. Why? Because of numbers like these: 4.2 percent of S&P 500 companies have female CEO's 43 percent of highly-skilled women with children leave their jobs voluntarily at some point in their careers The U.S. is the only developing country that doesn't mandate paid maternity leave. The Family Medical Leave Act gives workers a maximum of 12 weeks off unpaid per year Almost 70 percent of mothers and over 90 percent of fathers are in the workforce Caregiving is projected to be the largest occupation in the U.S. by 2020 Only 7 percent of U.S. startups that received at least $20 million in funding have founders who are women Being a working parent can take its toll. Between school lunches, conference calls, soccer practices, quarterly reviews, sleepovers, and PowerPoint presentations, many of you told us that maintaining your sanity, succeeding professionally, and being a present parent feels nearly impossible. Here's what some of you said: I am a freelancer and because of that don't have paid maternity leave. Thanks, America. We ended up in this situation where I could only really take the day I gave birth off. - Amy I am a full time high school English teacher and I have two young sons. Last year, my younger son was sick. He had some sort of fever so he couldn't go into preschool, and my husband had a meeting at work so he couldn't take him in, and I couldn't get a sub on short notice. So he came into school with me. And everything worked fine for a little while and suddenly I heard "mommy" said in the tone that all moms know is not a good sign. And it was followed by the sound of my poor child vomiting everywhere. - Serena I was schlepping a breast pump into an old bathroom of a building I used to work in that was not remotely accommodated for nursing moms. And I had an extension chord coming out of the bathroom into the stall with my laptop while I was on a conference call and pumping and staying on mute and sending out an evite for a girls night reunion at my house. - Rebecca My daughter was about three or four and she was sick and had to stay home from school, but I didn't have anyone to stay with her. So I took her to work with me. I was working in an office with cubicles, so I sort of stuffed her under my desk at the bottom of the cubicle where a couple of pairs of shoes and a lot of wires and my hard-drive were, and I kept her under the desk for the whole day. - Julia Even though we live in progressive times, some mothers still find themselves doing the heavy lifting at home. Enter Rachael and Leslie, who team up to create Need/Done, a service they think will help working mothers conquer their to-do list and concentrate on their professional ambitions. Think of it as the working mom's command center. This week, Rachael and Leslie leave their families behind in a snowstorm to visit Silicon Valley, meet the competition, and find out whether two Brooklyn moms have a shot at VC funding. We also talk to Anne-Marie Slaughter, author of The Atlantic article "Why Women Still Can't Have it All" and the book "Unfinished Business," about why there's still resistance to gender parity at the top of many corporations. For more Note to Self, subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, I Heart Radio, Overcast,Pocket Casts, or anywhere else using our RSS feed.

Coming Soon: Taking the Lead

Get ready to meet Rachael and Leslie, two working mothers in Brooklyn, who have a big idea (a tech idea) to help women "have it all." From Manoush: Hi lovely listener, For the past two years, I've been following two newbie entrepreneurs as they try to build a service to solve all our work/life balance issues... but they end up struggling more and more with those issues themselves. (Oh, the irony of being a working mother in tech. #meta) Their journey illustrates how tough it can be for women to reconcile their professional identities with their caretaking identities. The series also brings up so many broader questions: Can women find a place in the tech economy? Is society ready to radically redefine gender roles in the home? What has to change in our culture to get more women into the C-Suite? Note to Self listeners and I share our own parenting and professional horrors and triumphs. Plus, special guest Anne-Marie Slaughter, author of The Atlantic article "Why Women Still Can't Have it All," also stops by during the series to talk about work/life balance, lead parents, and the career advice every millennial needs. Tell your partner, sibling, boss, employee, mom or dad to join you and us for Taking the Lead! Let's have this conversation! Manoush

Bored and Brilliant: BOOT CAMP 2016

Bored and Brilliant is back. This time, with a special announcement: The Bored and Brilliant book is coming in 2017!!! Manoush is spending a ton of time sorting through your feedback, listening to your experiences and getting super bored in order to make this book exceptionally useful. So, now it's time for a summer refresher. Last year, tens of thousands of you took part in our Bored and Brilliant Project, a week of challenges that pushed us to rethink our relationship with our phones and jumpstart our creativity. We adapted the idea into a short, condensed version with three very doable, modifiable challenges for those of you on a beach (or stuck at the office wishing you were on a beach). This is not a digital detox. This is not an edict to lock your phone away in a drawer. This is not an ode to mindfulness. It is a way to apply what we know about constant notifications, neuroscience, and productivity to our lives. Right now. Listen above for the boot camp! And for those of you who want all of the challenges at once, here's the full, extended series: The Case for Boredom What 95 Minutes of Phone Time a Day Does To Us Challenge 1: In Your Pocket Challenge 2: Photo Free Challenge 3: Delete That App Challenge 4: Fauxcation Challenge 5: Small Observation Challenge 6: Dream House The Winning Dream Houses The Results The Personal Stories One final note: Tomorrow we're very excited to drop a preview episode of our upcoming series about work/life balance. So do us a favor — subscribe on iTunes and tell a friend. We've been working on this project for two years, and can't wait to share it with you. For more Note to Self, subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, I Heart Radio,Overcast, Pocket Casts, or anywhere else using our RSS feed.

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