A look back at the second year of the show, through the lens of the topics covered and the things discussed.

In the now-customary year roundup episode of The Private Citizen, we will take a look back at the year 2021 as seen through the lens of this podcast.

The Year 2021 in Review

After releasing 50 episodes in 2020, this episode you’re listening to right now marks 53 episodes for this year. Thus, I have reached my goal of releasing an episode a week for the second year running.

The show’s listenership has increased from around 2000 - 3000 listeners in 2020 to around 4000 - 5000 during 2021, which I am pretty happy with. I am very thankful for all of the producers who send me information, feedback and who support the show monetarily. Please consider telling people about the show – or specific episodes thereof – if you think they might be interested.

Prof. Francois Balloux on being realistic about the pandemic going forward

With that in mind, here’s a recap of the 52 episodes that made up this year’s run of The Private Citizen:

Censorship & The Culture Wars

Problematic EU Legislation

Off the Grid

Privacy Legislation Analysis

The SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic

Hacker Attacks & Cyber War

Surveillance Capitalism


The New German Government

In-Depth Explainers

Discrete Topical Episodes

Special Episodes

Producer Feedback

Catching up with some feedback on episode 99 first.

Evgeny Kuznetsov (aka. nekr0z) commented:

Living in a country like Russia, it’s very easy to lose faith in democracy and start believing that government can not be influenced by “ordinary” people, that oppression can only ever grow, and that the only remediation is a civil war that is a cure worse than the disease in many situations. Hearing that you have a real perspective to have those insane “digital” laws reversed was very heart-warming. My compliments (and envy) to Germans!

The pandemic hysteria and the green insanity are another matter, of course, and I can only wish you (and by “you” I mean the country, if not the whole Europe) start making sound decisions in these regards before the economy is wrecked beyond any repair and the civil society is reduced to shambles.

Barry Williams (aka. Bazzawill) said:

With regard to cyber bullying, I agree it should not equate to physical violence and as an adult I agree that cyber bullying would have little effect on me. Like you I have experience with bullying and I have figured out the best way to fight bullies, is to not give a shit about what they say and I can turn off from cyber bullying.

The problem however is young people today do not see it like this. As a teacher I see this all too often. I try to educate them to my way of thinking but I have not yet figured out how to make them see. The trouble is if the bullies were just targeting you by personal messages I think it would be easier to switch off. However, because they do it on a public forum kids worry about what is being discussed about them. The other issue with cyber bullying compared to what we faced in our youth is it relentless. We got a break when we came home from school, students today do not.

About episode 100, racoon says:

It is interesting to learn something about your background. Much of what you tell seems familiar to me. Especially as far as working is concerned or the relationship thing. I am also someone who prefers to work from home, but during the pandemic I realized how important it is to have some people around you in everyday life. I have been in the home office situation for almost two years…

I’ve been reading the articles from heise and c’t for many years and I can’t believe they thought you didn’t work enough. WTF?! As a reader, I didn’t get that impression. I perceived you as a very productive person. I don’t know all the names of the editors, but the fact that I remembered yours says a lot. I wondered at the time why you weren’t there anymore.

I don’t remember exactly when I started listening to your podcast, but I look forward to listening to a new episode every time. I also think it’s cool that you live stream it. It’s is one of those podcasts where I feel like I’m learning something new because others often just tell me what I already know. I guess it must be a challenge to balance knowledge with a relaxing talk. I hope you produce much more episodes.

I wish you much success on your way and a happy new year!

Now for some comments on episode 101.

Evgeny wrote:

Re trees not being a carbon neutral source of power: dude, you’re full of shit! Plants don’t source carbon from the soil (well, some do, but that’s a miniscule percentage). Plants, by virtue of photosynthesis, capture carbon dioxide (CO₂) from the air, separate the carbon atom (C) from it and release the resulting oxygen (O₂) back into the air. Other chemical elements they need plants usually do get from soil, but not carbon. So when you burn a tree, you’re returning what carbon it has captured from the atmosphere during its whole life back into the atmosphere, which is exactly why it is considered carbon neutral.

astralc chimed in with:

Pollution is important, and is local (region/country). Putting it with GLOBAL WARMING makes pollution seem not important to people (thanks, Greta). The alarmism of the model (we’re gonna die in 10/15/50 years), and not changing the way of drumming the idea for the last 30 make it all seem fruitless (and just reason to have more taxes).

From talking/hearing to several people over the years, it seem lot of them don’t know what global warming is (whatever definition there is), and don’t know how the green laws suppose to help with it (including elected government people). The ‘Not in my back yard’ is bigger influence than “how it be done”/“how much it will cost” – rolling problem to future generations or moving the problem to other countries.

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’d like to credit everyone who’s helped with any aspect of this production and thus became a part of the show. 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, Sandman616, Fadi Mansour, m0dese7en, Joe Poser, 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, Noreply, John Chandler, Zach and Filipe Carvalho.

Many thanks to my Twitch subscribers: Mike_TheDane, jonathanmh_com, Galteran, Halefa, violet_hummingbird, BaconThePork, m0dese7en_is_unavailable, l_terrestris_jim, indiegameiacs, redeemerf, Sandman616 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 Vintage Dream by Mathilda June.