The Hipster, the Wowser and the Gentleman

A podcast about everything, anything and nothing

Episode 3: Discovering New Music

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While Brian is out wrangling politicians in the nation’s capital,  Chris comes in off the bench and capably fills the breach.   The boys all admit to struggling to keep up with the latest music.

Was music that much better in the “good old days” ?  Why doesn’t anyone make good music anymore ?  What were the “good old days”  anyway ?  Chris and Shourov are stuck in a time warp in the early noughties.   Abhik’s musical heyday was somewhere before the mid 90’s, perhaps even the 60’s.

Even if you resist the temptation to be a grumpy old man, how DO you go about discovering new music ?   Who or what determines what is good ?   Is there right or wrong to music or is it just unnecessary snobbery ?  Where is the guidebook ? Has anyone written the user manual ?

Ella Fitzgerald and 70s Bollywood,  taping Take 40 Australia in the 80s, Stock Aitken and Waterman,  Melbourne blues clubs, gangster rap and endless farewell  tours, narrative arc in the lyrics and weird and wonderful guitar chords – the discussion ranges far and wide over space and time and lands back in the present to a mildly satisfying conclusion.

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Episode 2: Driving without Humans

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In this strangely prescient episode that was recorded a few days before the first fatality involving an automated car, the boys discuss whether technology is now outstripping the ability of human  society and institutions to deal with it. What’s stopping self driving cars becoming mainstream and making commuting safer and faster than we could ever imagine ? Are self driving cars all they are cracked up to be or are we concentrating and magnifying the potential for error ?

Shourov expresses his frustration with self serving technologists expressing their frustration with society not changing fast enough. Abhik expresses his frustration with crap drivers. Brian expresses his frustration with nothing in particular.

In a far ranging discussion that is often only tenuously connected to the topic at hand, Brian, Abhik and Shourov talk technology, economics and philosophy. If robots end up doing all the useful jobs what is the purpose of human life ? What jobs are likely to go the way of fire watchers, blacksmiths, liftmen and television station managers into a blip on the timeline of human evolution ? And is the purpose of driving just about getting from point A or B or is there some deeper emotional need that it addresses.

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Episode 1: Walking the Dog


In this week’’s episode, Brian picks the somewhat quotidian topic of “walking the dog”. Abhik questions whether dog ownership is all it is cracked up to be.

Do you just become a slave to your dog’s habit or could it become a labour of love? Is needing to be walked a uniquely dog phenomenon or are humans creatures of habit as well?

Shourov hypothesises that we are living through an unprecedented period of change. While being adaptable and agile drives success in the new economy, should we yearn for a time when life was simpler and more stable.

Is there a place for habit and stability in a disruptive “dog eat dog” world ? And who would win a fight between a dog and a wombat? What exactly is a hyrax? And what would a world ruled by guinea pigs look like?

From the sex lives of disabled people to guinea pig recipes to mistaking manatees for mermaids, the boys leave no topic unturned in their quest for mildly amusing and vaguely plausible anecdotes.

Spoiler alert:  Don’t listen to this episode if you are planning to read George Orwell’s Animal Farm or to watch that Facebook video of a Hyena fighting a pack of wild dogs.

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