One of the reasons I love podcasts so much is because I often learn that my initial judgement based on the title alone is way off.
There is usually something in the content that catches my attention, or I learn something I did not expect to, a little gem hiding in the rough that deserves some further thought.
I remember needling my former step-brother Chris about the time he “wasted” on his skateboard. We’d go back and forth about whether skateboarding was a sport, which he was certain it was, or a pastime. I was truly agnostic on it but, as his antagonist, I knew it got under his skin.
Admittedly, this episode of the 99% Invisible podcast about the incredible impact that skateboarding has had on urban design and the creative expression of those boarders, which I have often passed judgement on, changed my opinion. Chris, two decades later, skateboarding has moved in my mind from a pastime (sport) to an art form.
The 99PI episode magically connects bored kids, the kidney bean shaped pool, a drought in Southern California, Finnish architecture, the evolution of skateboarding and video camera technology.
What became clear to me as I was listening to this series of seemingly disparate parts of society strung together in this podcast is that it is better to be open than closed. Even though my judgement of skateboarding culture was in part contrived, there was an aspect of it which was real but I still had a huge blind spot about it. It’s in those blind spots where the disrupters mine their gold. In the end, you never know which one of your actions will change the world. If it’s in the blind spot then you might have missed it!