As someone in his mid 30s, this is the first Monday of either the entirety or the majority of my adult life in which I’ve not had a TWiT to listen to. I was hopeful that the bitcoin-related advert a while back was a one-off, but since being caught out a couple of weeks back I set my podcast client to not automatically download new episodes so I could check the sponsors first, and this week has been the first casualty of that. I am hopeful I won’t have to skip too many episodes, because it’s leaving quite a big hole in my routine, but I don’t feel like I can ethically contribute to the download statistics for something that’s promoting the use of Bitcoin in 2021.
I’ve no idea who the sponsors are, but if you don’t believe in the sponsors, you can always join Club TWiT and get the podcasts ad free…
It’s not about having to listen to the ads though, it’s about the ads being accepted and run. Paying for Club TWiT doesn’t change that fact, it may have just made me less likely to have realised. There are plenty of sponsors who are either irrelevant for me or whose products I’m sceptical of, but this is the first that I can think of where their product (either directly or just through using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies) is actively harmful to the environment without proving any real-world benefits to justify it.
(I don’t want to derail this into a discussion about one of the sponsors, I’m sure there’s plenty good to talk about in the episode! But this is a topic I feel strongly enough about to forego listening.)
Thanks for taking the time to explain your position more clearly.
I agree, Bitcoin is a very poor choice (well, most cryptocurrencies) from an environmental standpoint.
The sponsors pay for the shows. To not listen to a show because of a sponsor is, IMHO, ridiculous. With a panel of Sam Abul Samid (yes, I’m sure I misspelled Sam’s name, sorry), Doc Roc, and PadreSJ, it was a great show.
Last year there was another sponsor that IMHO made no sense sponsoring the shows, but it kept the network running during the pandemic. I didn’t stop listening due to that.
It’s a credit card that offers rewards in Bitcoin. I’m sorry it offends your religion but I don’t find it problematic.
I suspect very very few of us have any kind of an issue with this -jeez
Agreed. As I’ve said before, it’s the ads that keep TWiT on the air (or whatever the podcast equivalent of that is). Let’s be honest, I’d rather see a credit card that offers awards in BitCoin advertise (granted, I personally have no interest in it) versus Manscape.
Leo talking about manscaping himself… That’s what the skip button was made for.
Now I need some mind bleach!
But, whatever pays the bills.
Really? I mean, I am all for acting consciously and drawing lines and not trying to cross them and such. But… the line is really at Crypto? I mean it’s not like every little bit and piece of tech is produced with immense amounts of energy, cause a great consumption of energy when in use, most tech products just spin the wheel of consumerism faster and faster, many are of questionable function and / or contribution and so on and so forth. In terms of sustainability, tech feels close to the sustainability suburbs right in the middle between Eco-Sodom and Green-Gomorrah.
As for Crypto, I am wondering if the existing banking and finance system does not also consume a certain amount of energy and waste resources on perfectly mundane and bureaucratic procedures. I wonder how many have protested against the capital market on the ground of… it being… too harmful to the environment. I mean: yes, YES, YESSSS! It probably is. There should probably be something done. I just don’t think I’ve seen anyone stand up for the obvious.
I am not arguing against your stance - I think it’s an interestingly definitive and laudable position to defend.
I feel a little bit like being in a Monty Python sketch in which the sane person (you) points out something sensible (let’s not push unsustainable stuff) and the peasant walking by (me) is just baffled at the mere suggestion - as if we had not agreed, on this planet, that sensibility is not an actual option. Next you’ll suggest we stop flying planes, don’t order stuff from half way around the earth until our supply chain arteries rupture, and avoid coal rolling.
If this response reads confused, it is. Half of my mind applauds your idea, the other half is feverishly debating if I should order a Galaxy Fold 3 which I don’t really need but want really badly.
Let me check my crypto, real quick.
@Leo - I think there’d be great use for a tech ethics show. Seriously. Belated Happy Birthday, by the way!
I don’t know where it currently lies, but Bitcoin transactions are slow and processing intensive. A bank can process tens of thousands of transactions for the cost of one bitcoin transaction.
The line is somewhere before Proof of Work cryptocurrencies, but I’m not sure where it is. Life is fuzzy and hard, but Bitcoin is inherently set up to waste more and more energy as it becomes more popular. In the early days it felt a bit silly but not that important, but now you have things like Bitcoin directly causing more coal to be used. Environmental issues and the changes we have to make to avoid ruining the planet for ourselves are a tough one, but at this point Bitcoin’s only value is in allowing people to make more money for doing nothing but wasting electricity, with no actual utility to it.
I definitely have a lot of concerns about other things in the world - I cringe when people seem to be flying every few months, I hate the idea of financial companies that don’t actually do anything (e.g. high-frequency trading), it bugs me when people constantly order crap they don’t actually need, and I wish people had a bit more ability to actually follow through with things like not using Amazon, and I distance myself from all of these as best as I can with my behaviours, but I don’t think ads that encourage any of those things would be far enough across the line for me to do anything but feel a bit icky about them. Proof of Work cryptocurrencies are just so far across the line that it’s too much for me.
I’m not a believer in bitcoin. It’s uses far too much energy for proof of concept to complete transactions. So much of our energy still comes from fossil fuels, saying go crypto and abolish internal combustion engines to me comes off hypocritical. I have often found both in the same camp.
That being said I’m still a big fan of Club Twit so I don’t have to listen to the ads and I do check the Twit sponsors page regularly to find sponsors to support. I know I’m the odd man out on that.
As others have said, if you don’t like an advertiser, skip through the ad. If you don’t like a host, or the content, skip the podcast. I’ve listened to 3-4 TWIT podcasts at my peak. Realized I wasn’t getting enough content of personal interest or hosts changed and I didn’t like the changes so winnowed it down to 1-2.
TWIT is your business and you can make whatever decisions you want for whatever reasons you want. Rather than being derisive when people make comments like the poster ( “ against your religion”), you may want to find another way to respond. What May be OK when spoken may not come across the same way when read. When I sent a comment several months ago about something Ant presented on TWIG, you basically belittled the comment rather than trying to understand my point or engage. Just hope what I wrote is taken in the constructive spirit it is offered.
I feel like you’ve missed my point here. I skip most of the ads anyway because they don’t tend to be relevant to me. I do listen to them the first time around to see if they’re interesting, however skipping the ad does literally nothing for anyone but me. Nobody knows I’ve done it. Yes, I know that me personally not downloading an episode makes no difference to anything in reality, but this is an ethical position where I believe having an advert that promotes the use of Bitcoin is very much the wrong thing to do in 2021 and so I am choosing to not contribute my download to the statistics.
Logic would seem to indicate that you would send money to skip all the ads and thereby discourage advertising of any sort… but you seem to have chosen your sword to die on.
I was going to avoid the Club TWiT side of things here (I actually had a paragraph saying I was aware that not being a member significantly diminishes the value of any point I’m making, which I then deleted). I have seriously thought about being a member but have personally been unable to justify the cost - if I only listened to TWiT it would be an easy sell for me, but I support a lot of podcasts and YouTube creators and the like and so need to be somewhat careful with how much I’m spending overall. I know this is meaningless justification to anyone but myself, which is why I didn’t want to bring it up, but if it’s being suggested that I’m just generally someone who doesn’t want to pay for stuff that’s available for free, that’s definitely not the case. I know I remember Leo saying that it was reasonably priced given the lack of ads, so I’m not at all suggesting it’s too expensive. But I would still have exactly the same complaint if I was a Club TWiT member - the problem from my perspective isn’t advertising in general, or me hearing the ads, it’s the ad being run.
Well that was my point. This is a FREE service to many. Free doesn’t mean it’s free to make it, the staff still need paying even if Leo was to work for free (which he doesn’t and I don’t think anyone would suggest he should.) So, now that we established that they have to make money to provide TWiT… they have two ways to do it. They can be user pay, or advertiser paid. Whether you realize it or not, advertisers are much harder to come by these days (covid and other world problems mean less companies have advertising budgets.) In order to keep TWiT afloat, they can’t really be as picky about advertisers as maybe you’d like them to be… or else they might have to accept even more sketch advertisers… I know a lot of people were about as turned off by the manscaping ads as you appear to be by the bitcoin related ones.
I listen to many a free podcast, even a few shows that are based upon religion. While they don’t have subscription model persay I do send them money, either online or through the mail to support them. They don’t receive it monthly like TWIT does, it’s either Semi-annually or annually. My point is that those that I really enjoy I support. I also like much that have jumped on the bandwagon of Club TWIT agree the $7/monthly is very much worth the cost But complaining about how TWIT runs their free offering and refusing to support them but bragging about your support elsewhere, you’re absolutely correct in my opinion. We should simply read your suggestion and brush it off.