WNYC Studios’ "Note to Self" Podcast Presents "INFOMAGICAL"

WNYC Studios’ "Note to Self" Podcast Presents "INFOMAGICAL"

 A Campaign to End Information Overload, Find Focus, and Discover the Magic of Clearer Thinking! 

Listeners Invited to Participate in a Week of Challenges to Manage Their Information Overload 

Campaign Kicks off with Interactive Live Event on Wednesday, January 20;
Challenge Week Runs February 1-5 

Podcast Guests include Marie Kondo and Sherry Turkle

(New York, NY – January 11, 2016) –Each new year brings a fresh resolve to accomplish big goals. But the reality of modern life is that we are expected to be constantly informed, reachable and in-the-know. Before we even know it, our attention is derailed away from our grand plans into the minutia of the latest story, the newest tweet, or yet another email. We come home, exhausted, and yet we remain tied to our phones and screens throughout the night.

This January, Note to Self – WNYC Studios’ weekly podcast about maintaining our humanity in the digital age – presents "INFOMAGICAL,” an audience engagement and podcast series that looks at the consequences of FOMO (fear of missing out) and information overload on our brains, our relationships, and our ability to generate new ideas. Through interactive challenges and interviews with experts, “INFOMAGICAL” will help participants experiment with ways to regulate their information diet, find focus and discover the magic of clearer thinking.

"INFOMAGICAL" kicks off on Wednesday, January 20th at 7pm with “Infomagical: Find Focus and Make Information Overload ...Disappear!, a live event that 

will bring together a neuroscientist (Dr. Daphna Shohamy, Associate Professor of Psychology at Columbia University) and a magician (Adam Cardone, escape artist and ventriloquist) for a lively, fun and interactive evening with just the right amount of information to make it unforgettable. The event takes place at WNYC’s event venue, The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, and will be available to audiences nationally on January 25th. Tickets and on-demand access are available at www.thegreenespace.org.

Note to Self  will provide further context for “INFOMAGICAL” on Monday, January 25 with a podcast featuring Dimitrios Tsivrikos, Consumer Psychologist at UCL; Dr. Daniel Levitin, Cognitive Psychologist at McGill University and author of The Organized Mind; and Genevieve Bell, Intel technology anthropologist laying out the societal causes of information overload.

During Challenge Week, which runs Monday, February 1 – Friday, February 5, Note to Self will release daily podcasts that include anthropological, scientific and anecdotal evidence, special guests, and activities designed to get participants to only consume information that brings them closer to accomplishing one of five possible personal goals: be more creative, more up-to-date on news, more in touch with family and friends, more in tune with one’s self, or more knowledgeable about a particular topic.

Daily text messages will guide participants through the exercises and keep them on task. Listener responses will turn into a data set revealing which challenges have the greatest impact. In the end, Note to Self will present what they learn to neuroscientists, technologists, and data scientists, in order to start a long term, cross-sector conversation about the ever-growing onslaught of information and how we can better manage it going forward.

The challenges are as follows:

  • Monday, February 1 – "A Magical Day" – No multi-tasking, only single-tasking with Gloria Mark, Professor of Informatics at UC Irvine
  • Tuesday, February 2 – "A Magical Phone" – Tidy up your apps and enjoy a calm, motivated mindset with author Marie Kondo of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Wall Street Journal tech columnist Christopher Mims    
  • Wednesday, February 3 – "A Magical Brain" – Avoid a meme, trending topic, or must-read today with BuzzFeed writer Cates Holderness and Ann Blair, Harvard historian and author of Too Much to Know
  • Thursday, February 4 – "A Magical Connection" – Discuss something you've consumed today for at least 7 minutes, with Sherry Turkle, Professor of Psychology at MIT
  • Friday, February 5 – "A Magical Life" – Write a personal information mantra with Dr. Daniel Levitin, author of The Organized Brain, and Silicon Valley consultant and author Greg McKeown

The results of the challenges will be announced on February 10th. The challenges will remain online at wnyc.org/infomagical for people to experiment with on their own after the official boot camp is complete.

“We read dozens of articles, tweets, posts, and texts every single day, but how much can our brains really process and retain?” said Zomorodi. “Is it even possible to ‘keep up’ without feeling constantly overwhelmed? We’re excited to bring people together as we face these questions and hopefully consume less information, and yet become better informed.”

"INFOMAGICAL" is the follow-up to Note to Self’s 2015 "Bored and Brilliant" campaign, in which more than 20,000 participants engaged in a week-long challenge to rethink their relationship to their phones and jumpstart their creativity.

Registration for the challenge period is open at wnyc.org/infomagical.

Information and tickets for the "Infomagical" live event available here: http://www.thegreenespace.org/events/thegreenespace/2016/jan/20/wnyc-note-self-live/ 


WNYC Studios is the premier producer of on-demand and broadcast audio. Born from the team that created some of the most critically acclaimed and popular podcasts of the last decade, WNYC Studios is leading the new golden age in audio with high-quality storytelling that informs, inspires, and delights millions of intellectually curious and highly engaged listeners across digital, mobile, and broadcast platforms. WNYC Studios creates some of the most beloved audio series, including “Radiolab,” “Freakonomics Radio,” “Death, Sex & Money,” “Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin,” “Note to Self,” “On the Media,” “The Takeaway,” and “Studio 360.” Their programs include personal narratives, deep journalism, interviews that reveal, and smart entertainment as varied and intimate as the human voice itself. For more information, visit http://wnycstudios.wnyc.org