The start of the new year sees some changes to the podcast. This episode provides an outlook of what is coming down the line.

Taking the Show in New Directions

Happy 2023! I hope you are doing well. I’ve decided to start the fourth year of the podcast with a bang and give the show a whole new look with a new website and fresh album art.

I’ve also decided to double down on the civil liberties aspect of the show and make the whole thing more focussed on these issues. I will still report on privacy issues and relevant tech news, but I feel that our freedoms are very much under assault at the moment and that these issues underpin everything else. I feel that, should we not be able to get this rampaging erosion of our civil liberties under control, we might lose it all. Therefore, I have decided that the show should reflect this. And I thought that a fresh start into a new year and a fresh look for the website would provide clarity in this respect.

I’ve also updated the Patreon levels to better reflect your support for the show. For now, there are no special perks attached to being a patron. I might revisit merchandising ideas in the future, but those will stay separate of Patreon for now.

Many things will not change, however. Including my pledge to release an episode for every week of the year and attempts to catch up to the releases I’ve dropped in 2022.

Please let me know what you think about these plans!

Producer Feedback

I value your input greatly. If you have any opinions or remarks on the things discussed in this, or previous episodes, or ideas for future ones, please contact me.

In response to episode 137 and my comments on the seemingly worldwide problems with education, Barry Williams and Evgeny Kuznetsov had an interesting discussion on the forum.

Barry started off by saying:

I am chiming in here half way through this episode where you are discussing the problems (that you think) are caused by education. I am an ex high school teacher. I agree the problem is education. However, the exact cause within the education system is more complicated.

I think one issue lies with the students. No matter how great the teacher or education system, students sometimes “just don’t learn good”. I am not sure about your view on teachers being university rejects. Teaching as a profession is increasingly becoming more complex not only dealing with teaching your subject but also raising and supporting children of diverse needs etc. Not to mention dealing with children. I think the majority of teachers are in the profession because they believe in what they do. However it is becoming increasingly difficult.

The education system (at least in Australia) is becoming more and more like a business. Losing sight of the purpose of education is to better the populous and the benefits this brings. The business of education is focused on reducing operating costs (at the expense of good education), implementing KPIs (that are not always focused on the best educational goals). Good teachers do their best to implement great education while the business of education does everything it can to undermine their efforts.

Evgeny replied:

Being a (medical) university teacher, I wholeheartedly agree with every point you’re making. Still, it’s hard not to quote a common Russian saying (in my rough translation): “I you can’t do the job, go teach it. If you can’t do anything at all, go teach at a Pedagogical.”

To which Barry responded:

I do agree that the teachers of teachers (pedagogy) are by and large useless.

And Evgeny closed the discussion with:

Funnily, I think I disagree. To teach at a medical university in Russia you have to be both a doctor and a teacher - not only by calling, but also by formal education. After I was offered the position, I (being a doctor at that point) had to take a course in pedagogy and get a diploma in that, too; also, every five years I have to take courses both in my medical speciality and in pedagogy, and take exams to confirm I’m still good for both trades.

I must say, all these courses in pedagogy I’ve taken through the years weren’t completely worthless. Of course, nothing I learned there could be readily applied in my daily work, but it gave me a lot of food for thought and base for building up my own teaching techniques that fit my particular area and conditions of teaching.

In the feedback thread for episode 135, Evgeny added:

Re: the sorry state of education: it is indeed mind-boggling how we all have this same issue despite having very different education systems. I try to resist conspiracy theories (on the basis of Hanlon’s Razor), but I can’t really think of any other reasons for the sorry state of education in the department of the critical thinking than the combination of two facts: a) every education system is funded by either the government or the people otherwise in charge (even if “in charge” means “in charge of assigning municipal budget spendings”), and b) it is widely acknowledged that critical thinkers are a more difficult type to manage. Systems differ, and in every system it works differently, but the result is the same: those in charge (subconsciously, perhaps, in many cases) want the educational system to produce manageable citizens, and the system follows suit (in line with the (sexist and heteronormative, but true) Russian saying: “he who dines the girl is the one who dances her”)…


This podcast is provided free of charge and free of obligations under the value-for-value model. However, as a freelance journalist volunteering my time to produce this show, I need your support. If you like my work and want to make sure The Private Citizen keeps going, please consider joining my Patreon.

Special thanks to Patrick Wieland for his Christmas gift to the show!


  • Sir Galteran
  • IndieGameiacs

Executive Producers

  • Butterbeans
  • Jaroslav Lichtblau
  • Rizele
  • Sandman616

Supervising Producers

1i11g, avis, Bennett Piater, Dave, ikn, Jackie Plage, Jonathan M. Hethey, krunkle, Michael Mullan-Jensen, Robert Forster


astralc, Cam, Captain Egghead, David Potter, Dirk Dede, Florian Pigorsch, Joe Poser, Michael Small, Mika, MrAmish, Rick Bragg, RJ Tracey

Associate Producers

Barry Williams, D, Jonathan, Juhan Sonin, Kai Siers, RikyM, Steve Hoos, Vlad

Thanks to Bytemark, who are providing the hosting and bandwidth for this episode’s audio file.

The show’s theme song is Acoustic Routes by Raúl Cabezalí, licensed via Jamendo Music. This episode’s ending song is The Shiny One by Big Girl, licensed via Epidemic Sound.