At its core, The Hoomanist is a series of genuine conversations between human beings. It's about taking the time to talk and reflect on stories and ideas far from the noise of social media. It's a self-produced, self-hosted project available here and on the Public Radio Exchange. It takes me lots of time and it makes me happy. The first person I ever did this with is Mr. David Pasquesi.
I started interviewing human beings about why they do what they do, not what. Why do we take certain decisions, why do we look at something in a specific way. I want to have real, honest, intimate conversations about our main existential drives. Audio seemed to be the most natural medium, so The Hoomanist was born as a produced audio program. I apply all the skills that I learned during the past decade working for TV and radio, doing my best to craft a product that I can (sometimes) be proud of.
I am convinced that we can learn a lot from solitude, except from what we can only learn by listening to others. I do all I can to host conversations in person because I prefer to look into someone's eyes. Guests from Pixar, The Second City, and Google have been kind enough to share their life and ideas with me. But everyone deserves to tell their story.
The Hoomanist is a solo project. I am the only one taking care of guests, web servers, graphics, audio editing, and publishing. It's fun, it's therapeutic, and it's far from the bullshit of "niches" and "marketing" content. It's also far from the noise of social media and requires strong attention from the listeners. I don't try to sell anything, this is my exercise in listening. The Hoomanist is the name that I gave to sharing the process with you.
We see a lot of material shared with the intent to provoke a clash of extreme views. While I love discussion, we should always keep in mind that we are more similar than different. The Hoomanist is my active contribution to bridge different views through conversation. To remind myself that tough arguments are a great tool to grow—when accompanied by reciprocal respect.
True to the Self
Social media turned perpetual micro-bragging into the norm. Friends share wonderful cityscapes from a work trip, but no sign of the 9 hours spent in a poorly-lit office room. We only feel pressure to share positive highlights, yet both sides have dignity. No human experience features only positive highlights. If it looks like that, then the opposite is likely true. I don't mean to glorify hardship, but it's important to acknoweledge it. We all share those feelings as humans, and claiming them back is a challenge to our true self. You should listen to Jen Ellison explaining how and why you should challenge your true self.
Why "Hoomanist" and Not "Humanist"?
I sit and talk with a person for a certain amount of time (say, 60 minutes, or 180). Before our meeting, I research and learn about them as much as I can. When we sit, I do my best to listen their story. After talking, we take their photo for the cover picture.
During the following weeks, I edit the audio to create a radio program. Every episode features on average 1100 cuts of pauses and silences. That's a lot, what's the goal? To improve the listening experience while keeping the guest's intentions almost intact. The show is newscast-compatible and formatted accordingly to the public radio's Special Programming Clock. It's distributed by Public Radio Exchange to college, community, and public radio stations. When it's time for publishing, I also share it on this website and on all the major podcast platforms.
I upload backups of masters and unedited versions on many remote servers. I am a host in two ways: for the show and of this website, interacting both with guests and web servers. I manage the Linux server, code, audio editing, graphic design, writing, and distribution.
I'm not trying to steal your attention by implementing dark patterns. Like Prof. Linnea Gandhi explained to me: "attention is the most valuable currency of our times". I want my attention to be respected, so I do my best to respect yours. I prefer to ask you to stop, take some time, and choose to listen to whatever words a guest might have to share with us.
No promo codes for mattresses or toothbrushes. Want a new mattress, or a semi-okay toothbrush? Great, go buy it. I hope you sleep better and that your teeth get cleaner and cleaner, but that's not my responsibility. I'm asking other people about their lives, not trying to make a living by making you use promotional codes. But to make everything look and sound polished and not wasting your time still costs money. Even if it looks or sounds good, it's still only one person making this: me. I need your support.
With your help, I can keep doing this indefinitely.
I need to sustain the basic infrastructure for the show, and I want to add more features in the future. One of them is human-curated transcripts, to make the archive accessible to everyone. Want to see new episodes released regularly? If you have enough resources available, please support my work now by becoming a patron. Otherwise, you can help by letting a friend know about The Hoomanist. This is the one important thing I am asking your help with.
I don't track you. That's it. There's a voluntary, total absence of tracking scripts on this website. Not even through fair, certified or anonymized systems—like Matomo. No server logs. This is crucial because I work alone. I have to guarantee to myself (and to you) that my focus and attention will not be dictated by numbers. Only then I can devote my mental energies to creating. It's our pact, so relax: no one's watching you, but I hope you will be listening.