Episode 100: Let Me Tell You a Bit about Myself

For the one-hundredths episode of this show, I’m telling the story of who I am, where I was born and how I was brought up, in the hope that it will help you understand my place in the world and my biases as a basis for further episodes.

This is the 100th episode of The Private Citizen! That’s a special occasion that doesn’t happen that often in a podcaster’s life. As far as my own podcasts are concerned, it’s the second time I managed to achieve this. And it’s a first when it comes to solo podcasts for me. So today, we’re going to have a bit of a different episode to mark the occasion.


This podcast was recorded with a live audience on my Twitch channel. Details on the time of future recordings can usually be found on my personal website. Recordings of these streams get saved to a YouTube playlist for easy watching on demand after the fact.


Where I’m Coming From

You’ve now listened to my opinions for a hundred episodes (well, actually ninety-nine), so I thought it might be helpful to tell you a little bit about my life. Things you might have previously only gleaned between the lines and in offhand comments. I think it’s only fair and should serve to enable you to understand my peculiar biases an opinions better. So please allow me this indulgence for once.

I’ve also called for participation in the forum to give you the ability to ask questions of your own which weren’t covered in my previous AMA episode. And this indeed unearthed some interesting questions.

Evgeny Kuznetsov (aka. nekr0z) asked:

You have been criticizing fellow journalists for sloppiness in their jobs (rightfully so). I also remember you complaining about the lack of professionalism in general that you experience in everyday life. I have also been noticing the lack of professionalism and sloppiness in people I contact in my everyday life, from bartenders to members of parliament and everywhere in between. Do you think this marks the beginning of demise of our society and our species as a whole? Are we doomed? Is the world heading for a disaster? Or do you think it’s just our gray hair talking?

Also, what do we do about it? Encouraging people and being an example in diligence only works to a minor extent. How do we make sure my daughter gets to live in a world not much worse compared to the one you and I live in? Do we even have to care? Do we have an obligation to make this world a better place?

You obviously do your part in making the world a better place with your journalism, your blog, the podcast, the novel you’re writing. Anything else? What else can we do – each one individually, and as a community – to facilitate a better future? Are mass shootings absolutely not an option?

Barry Williams (aka. Bazzawill) asked:

I would like to hear more about your time in Australia. Any funny stories or interesting insights about the difference in the two cultures? How did that early experience of a different culture shape your world view?

Also how would you teach a teenager who is being bullied not to care what the bully is saying and not react. I am not sure if there is an answer here because I had the same experience and as much as I can tell my students to only care about comments from people meaningful in their life it never gets through.

SteveB asked:

I could be completely wrong, but I think I remember you saying that your parents were active and slightly left on the political scale growing up. I know you currently identify as possibly right of center, as I also do. So my question would be: how do you think your parents political/social ideologies influenced you growing up?

Fadi Mansour (aka. RedeemerF) asked:

I started following your activities since Linux Outlaws, as I was interested in Linux as well. And while you are not of a computer-science/engineering background, you seem to be comfortable with the technical stuff. So can you talk more about this aspect of you, you seem to be curious to try different stuff?

The second question: you alluded several times about how the general political climate has caused some friendships to break. I got the sense that this was behind the discontinuation of an older podcast. For me this is sad, and I would like to know more (sorry for being to curious).

I have the belief that people should be able to discuss their differences and come to some agreement. But probably we all have our examples where it was no longer possible to achieve a common understanding. This topic fascinates me, and I would love to understand how this happens, and try to find ways to over-come it. So I’m curious about your experience

astralc asked:

How you see the current state of journalism (generally, and tech/infosec journalism specifically)? In the trustworthiness, professionalism, general industry behaviors, etc.

Also, if you had time machine, what one thing would you say to yourself from 10 years (“Invest in bitcoin” not allowed)?

capn. egghead asked:

You mentioned that you have changed you views about certain topics in the past. If you have some specific topics for which you remember the crucial turning point – whether it was some event that happened, something you discovered, or something you were told – it would be interesting to hear. Such turning points often come with interesting stories, and we might learn something as well from them. Of course, changes of opinions can come gradually, but even then we sometimes have some moments that were more significant and remember afterwards.

Producer Feedback

If you have any thoughts on the things discussed in this or previous episodes, please join our forum and compare notes with other producers. You can also contact me in several other, more private ways.

Toss a Coin to Your Podcaster

I am a freelance journalist and writer, volunteering my free time because I love digging into stories and because I love podcasting. If you want to help keep The Private Citizen on the air, consider becoming one of my Patreon supporters.

You can also support the show by sending money to via PayPal, if you prefer.

This is entirely optional. This show operates under the value-for-value model, meaning I want you to give back only what you feel this show is worth to you. If that comes down to nothing, that’s OK with me. But if you help out, it’s more likely that I’ll be able to keep doing this indefinitely.

Thanks and Credits

I like to credit everyone who’s helped with any aspect of this production and thus became a part of the show. This is why I am thankful to the following people, who have supported this episode through Patreon and PayPal and thus keep this show on the air:

Georges, Steve Hoos, Butterbeans, Jonathan M. Hethey, Michael Mullan-Jensen, Dave, Michael Small, 1i11g, Jaroslav Lichtblau, Rhodane the Insane, Jackie Plage, Philip Klostermann, ikn, Vlad, Bennett Piater, tobias, Kai Siers, Fadi Mansour, m0dese7en, Joe Poser, Sandman616, Dirk Dede, Rizele, David Potter, avis, Mika, MrAmish, Cam, Dave Umrysh, RikyM, Barry Williams, Jonathan, RJ Tracey, Captain Egghead, Rick Bragg, Robert Forster, Superuser, D, astralc and Noreply.

Many thanks to my Twitch subscribers: Mike_TheDane, jonathanmh_com, Sandman616, Galteran, Halefa, violet_hummingbird, BaconThePork, m0dese7en_is_unavailable, l_terrestris_jim and StardewLisa.

I am also thankful to Bytemark, who are providing the hosting for this episode’s audio file.

Podcast Music

The show’s theme song is Acoustic Routes by Raúl Cabezalí. It is licensed via Jamendo Music. Other music and some sound effects are licensed via Epidemic Sound. This episode’s ending song is Sudo Modprobe (The Linux Outlaws Theme) by Fabian A. Scherschel & Dan Lynch.