Prompt 92: Learning through podcasts

“Something more you’d like to know about”

I’ve started listening to podcasts on my way to work. What used to be 20 to 25 minutes of silent transition between one place and another is now filled with informational ramblings about interesting things that I would never have known to investigate. I started with Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History. If you haven’t listened to it yet, I sincerely recommend it. His soft tone is soothing, for one, but the connections he makes between seemingly random things that then build together to a powerful message–be it about inequality, distribution of power, or simply why something is the way it is–is amazing. I can’t wait for the third season.

In the meanwhile, I’ve started listening to the Freakonomics podcast, which also targets topics not usually explored. Today’s topic was the Esperanto language. Have you heard of it? It’s a language created by Dr. Ludwig Zamenhof as a proposed ‘second language for everyone’. The concept being that it is an easy-to-learn language that everyone–people from any country–would be able to speak among each other as human beings, building on that shared experience. His original albeit ambitious vision was to have the language spread across the world. Instead, what the language has done is create a community of 2 million people that speak it and share in a collective wonder over what the world has to offer and wanting to know as much about it as possible.

Isn’t that a wonderful concept?

Anyway, that is the thing I learned today that I would love to learn more about!


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