World War Stream
28 min

The "streaming wars" are here, but they're not what you think—or rather, where you think. While competitors are duking it out in the US, Netflix wants to take over the world.

Hosts: Peter Kafka & Rani Molla

This podcast is a production of Recode by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network. This episode was produced by Zach Mack, Bridget Armstrong. Our editor is Charlie Herman. Gautam Srikishan engineered and scored this episode. Nishat Kurwa is the Executive Producer.

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Wine for Normal People
Wine for Normal People
Wine for Normal People
Ep 353: Women in Wine and the Subtle Symphony of Quiet Misogyny
This is a transcript of the first part of the podcast. The second part of the show discusses these points in more detail. Women in Wine and the Subtle Symphony of Quiet Misogyny After mulling over the various scandals in wine lately, and thinking about my position in the wine world, I have a perspective to add beyond just a social media post to call out the behavior of those in the wine business, those who have minimized the situation, and the hollow calls for change that likely won’t happen. Part I: What’s in the news, and what I have seen… If you missed it, in the past few months, a spate of “scandals” has broken out in the wine world regarding women in wine. First, it was the #winebitch scandal in the United Kingdom. This occurred when a well-known TV wine personality from the “Wine Show” in the UK and his cronies passed around text messages debasing young female and “softer” male wine influencers. I didn’t see these messages before they were removed from the web, but I’ve heard from those who did that the threads were raunchy, rude rants. They were also far-reaching – covering everything from the lack of value of these people’s contributions to the wine world (one could say that topic is at least ok to discuss although not in the manner raised) to criticizing their looks, children, and families (not even remotely ok). On the heels of this, an exposé in the New York Times revealed that the highest-ranking men of the cult of Master Sommeliers, as I like to call it and have written about before, have been demanding sexual favors and even raping (young) women in exchange for guaranteed career advancement. I have made the argument for a long time that the Court of Master Sommeliers is an exclusive in-crowd of people who know each other and who dictate membership based not only on skill but on favoritism. Apparently, that favoritism stretches far beyond the run of the mill BS that I had speculated about. Is this surprising? No. When I worked at the big hulking winery in the mid-2000s, executive assistants who had been there for 35 years told me that the senior executives and owners used to say wildly inappropriate things to them, and kiss and grope them while they were trying to work. Although these women tried (literally) to run away from these predators, this mistreatment was acceptable behavior and the women’s silence was the only way to maintain employment. I’m not excusing the behavior, but maybe this legacy means we need to take a historical view to understand the issues. Wine in the United States is an old school industry. Its very structure is based on something that was set up in 1933 after Congress’s failed attempt to ban alcohol through a constitutional amendment. Doubting the public could handle itself properly, Congress encouraged states to set up roadblocks and a three-tier system that treats adults as children with choices made for them about what, when, and how they can buy wine, gives certain huge producers and distributors power over markets, and in certain states, despite Supreme Court rulings, denies citizens the ability to procure the wines they prefer to drink. Further, for those in the industry, if you don’t drink copious amounts with your customers and co-workers, and if you are a woman not willing to be a good old boy and listen to piggish talk and smoke cigars, you’re a pariah. It’s an industry based on power in the hands of the few (like many industries). The deification of sommeliers, who completely disconnect with the very people they are supposed to serve in pursuit of a title that will give them power, is another outgrowth of this. The conclusion: the wine industry is based on other people who apparently know better than you (whomever you are), making decisions for you that you may or may not agree with. The recent scandals prove that little has changed since the incidents of the “Mad Men” era the women at the big winery told me about. And as more women have entered the industry, the opportunities for this kind of behavior have just multiplied. Sexism in the wine industry is a subtle symphony of quiet misogyny. As for me, I can’t count the number of times I have been ignored when I am in a group of industry men talking about wine. I am usually invisible to them and generally have no value. When I am with MC Ice in a setting that is not for podcast fans and listeners, men ask him the questions about wine even after he tells them what I do. And although I was too old and not cute enough to be a candidate for sexual harassment when I entered wine (I’m not sad about this, don’t worry!), the invisibility factor and belittlement factor was high with my male colleagues and bosses. Women in high positions in wine are also guilty of this type of behavior – ignoring those they feel are unimportant or who lack status (men and women at conferences will ignore me until someone else tells them my audience is large and then there’s huge interest on their part, huge disgust on mine). Plenty of women in wine are just about self-preservation. In fact, an article by Jancis Robinson is nothing short of a “there’s nothing to see here” rant about how the younger generation has social media to make “a fuss” as she puts it. She argues that change should come for the economic viability of the wine industry, not for the absolute immorality of the acts of misogyny and inequality. I fear that her stance and that of those who support her show us that many women of the old guard are equally at fault for ignoring what goes on in the real world with normal wine people, AKA, the unwashed masses. Part II: The Solution -- No, it’s not more women’s only groups or women’s scholarships I don’t really consider myself part of the industry -- I chose to blaze my own path and work with what I consider to be the best sides of wine – producers and wine drinkers – and abandon the business for the very reasons I just described. Because of that I often stay out of these debates. But this is one that I need to discuss. Because like everything else in wine, the issue has been framed in a way that just doesn’t work and won’t bring structural change. So now I’d like to talk about the fix. Because the fix is not letting the men and women with stale ideas in the wine industry and financial interest steer this ship. And this is what is happening now. The wine industry LOVES to take the issue of the day, elevate it, and sweep it under the rug, or marginalize it so it becomes a splinter group. That’s what I see happening now: women’s initiatives! Let’s create a group to forward the cause of Women in Wine! Let’s make it so that women get promoted and we have our own safe space! Let’s give scholarships to women! This tack lacks imagination and accomplishes nothing: We’ve already done this and it doesn’t work. The large corporations become sponsors of these “women-first” organizations so the problems they themselves create in the industry can’t be discussed in an open forum. Further, often the events are too costly and in places where the people who would benefit most can’t afford to get to (Napa and New York ain’t cheap). And frankly, once these organizations are off the ground, the women form their own in-crowd and never reach the people who may need the most help; Think of the young woman starting out in wine in Alabama who may be getting harassed but has nowhere to turn, or the sommelier in Omaha who has been told she can’t advance because men won’t take her seriously at a steakhouse. The elite women’s groups and scholarships for the few lucky enough to get them do nothing to help the majority of women. And while I applaud the people who are trying to lift up other women (unlike many in the old guard who feel they need to keep rising stars down to maintain their own status), we do not and cannot operate in a bubble. These organizations that are…
43 min
City of the Future
City of the Future
Sidewalk Labs
Flexible Streets
The pandemic has forced us to reexamine and reimagine how we use one of our most precious public spaces: our streets. From outdoor dining to expanded bike lanes, cities have been re-designing streets so they can be better shared by all — drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians alike. But could we take this idea even further? What if we could use design and technology to make our streets more flexible? So they could change use according to the season, the week, or even the hour? In our season finale, we explore a future where city streets can do just that — and better respond to all of our needs. In this episode: * [0:01 - 6:44] We meet with transit guru Gridlock Sam to talk about the history of political battles over New York City streets and the recent changes in response to Covid * [6:54 - 11:18] Aspen Director of Parking & Downtown Services Mitch Osur and Coord Head of Policy & Partnerships Dawn Miller explain how data is allowing cities to solve problems like traffic and curb congestion * [11:43 - 14:40] We visit Sidewalk Labs Senior Creative Technologist Nick Jonas to test out Pebble, a new technology for vehicle occupancy detection * [16:23 - 23:43] Associate Director of Planning & Delivery Siqi Zhu and Director of Mobility Willa Ng imagine how our streets can adapt to be shared more equitably To see images and videos of topics discussed in this episode, read the link-rich transcript on our Sidewalk Talk Medium page. City of the Future is hosted by Eric Jaffe and Vanessa Quirk, and produced by Benjamen Walker and Andrew Callaway. Mix is by Zach Mcnees. Art is by Tim Kau. Our music is composed by Adaam James Levin-Areddy of Lost Amsterdam. Special thanks to Sam Schwartz, Mitch Osur, Dawn Miller, Nick Jonas, Siqi Zhu, and Willa Ng.
25 min
Gadget Lab: Weekly Tech News
Gadget Lab: Weekly Tech News
Ride Share’s Road Ahead
Uber and Lyft had it pretty good in the beginning. The companies could roll out their services to new cities, entice a bunch of drivers and riders to their platform, and "disrupt" transit before regulators were able to stop them. It was a playbook that worked for a while, until the people who made the rules started to catch up. Now, city officials and regulators have been less than enthusiastic when new transportation startups start to move in. In many ways, rideshare companies have made life difficult for the scooter companies trying to follow in their path. This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED transportation writer Aarian Marshall joins us to talk about the future of Uber and Lyft, and whether all those micromobility startups will be able to keep scooting along. Show Notes:  Read Aarian’s story about how ride-hail companies have made life difficult for scooter startups here. Read more about California’s Assembly Bill 5 here. Read more about Prop 22 here. Also, follow all of WIRED’s coverage of scooters and the gig economy. Recommendations:  Aarian recommends starting a regular yoga practice, and investing in some yoga blocks. Mike recomments A Year With Swollen Appendices by Brian Eno, which has just been re-released in a 25th anniversary edition. Lauren recommends the Sway podcast from The New York Times, hosted by Kara Swisher.  Aarian Marshall can be found on Twitter @AarianMarshall. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys. If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
33 min
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