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Radically Human

Radically Human

By Frieda Vizel
- - Critical perspectives on our techno-capitalist age. - -

Frieda lives and works in Brooklyn, New York City. She is a tour guide in the ultra-orthodox Jewish neighborhoods of her roots. But her focus here is on the greater modern city, which is now morphing into a technological mega-machine.

This podcast is an effort to understand these dystopian trends from radically human perspectives.
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Simon Elmer on Bio-security, Crisis and Revolution

Radically Human

With Simon Elmer - "The Ghost of Christmas Past!"
In the summer of 2021, I had a second conversation with Simon Elmer from Architects for Social Housing. Our first conversation was on biosecurity, crisis, and revolution. Here we talked about the need to fight for a world that is free, that is meaningful and the dangers of living in the digital spectacle. Many thanks to all of you for being there, writing, sharing, listening, during another year of the institutionalizing of a terrible new normal. Send a voice message @
December 15, 2021
Addison Reeves on the Need for a New Political Typology
Another conversation with the wonderful Addison Reeves, on the need for a new political typology, which she wrote about for her blog Check out Addison's other powerful writings like her essay “It’s just...” – Why I Won’t Submit — modernheretic, Imperialism: The Antecedent of Contemporary Illiberalism — modernheretic and Progressive Hypocrisy, White Supremacy: How the Pandemic Revealed Progressive Pharisaism. Blog post with links and transcript:
September 02, 2021
From forced head-shaving to forced injections
A trip down memory lane, remembering my struggle for bodily autonomy within the Hasidic community. What does it mean to be forced? Is coercion force? Blogpost with links and transcript:
August 26, 2021
Part 2 / Conversation with Addison Reeves on the Vaccine Mandates and Apartheid coming to NYC
This is Part 2 of my conversation with Addison Reeves from Modern Heretic.  In Part 1 we talked specifically about the vaccine mandates in NYC. In part 2 that conversation is continued, but we also talk about modern life in general, what we define as success, what we consider a meaningful life, and what drives us. Blogpost with transcript:
August 18, 2021
Conversation with Addison Reeves on the Vaccine Mandates and Apartheid coming to NYC
I have another conversation with Addison Reeves from Modern Heretic about the introduction of medical apartheid in NYC. We talk about how shocked we are by the city's embrace of these measures, which disproportionately discriminate against minority communities. Blog post with links and transcript:
August 11, 2021
In conversation with David Cayley on Ivan Illich and the pandemic response
I talk to David Cayley about Ivan Illich and where the response to the pandemic comes from. David Cayley is a Toronto-based Canadian writer and broadcaster, who is known for documenting the philosophies of prominent thinkers of the 20th century - among them, the work of Ivan Illich. Recently, Cayley has been written several powerful works on the Pandemic, including the Prognosis, which was published in Literary Review Canada. He joined me on my podcast to discuss the philosophy of Ivan Illich and how it might be understood in light of recent developments. Blog post with transcript and links:
August 04, 2021
Addison on Technology, Illich, Class and the Loneliness of the City
I talk to fellow NYC radical Addison from Modern Heretic about technology, class, dating, leaving the city, and much more. Blog post with transcript and links:
July 28, 2021
Simon Elmer on Bio-security, Crisis and Revolution
In this episode I talk to Simon Elmer, who is critical of the biosecurity state from what I'll call a left perspective. We talked about why he uses the term revolution to describe what we are experiencing, why he prefers not to use the term fascism, and much more. Transcript of episode here.
July 21, 2021
Movies, Indoctrination and 'My Dinner with Andre'
Returning for a new season with thoughts on the root question: how is this technological society shaping our ever-more-dystopian world? This is the central question in the movie 'My Dinner with Andre', which makes for a really good shmooze. Blogpost with transcript and links:
July 14, 2021
That's a wrap for the first season of my podcast!  It was a great joy to make - I hope I shared links, articles, books, and more resources that you might find enlightening. I've listed some of my favorite episodes that flesh out some of my important foundational thoughts - here they are: #1: My background in the Hasidic community #2: Hasidim versus Safetyism - an analysis #4: Flaws in our modern thinking #6: The myth of the success story #7: How conformity works #9: The attention economy #10: Transhumanism #12: On empathy and masking #13 & 14:Shannon Kuta Kelly #20: Seth Vizel
June 09, 2021
Conversation with Teacher and Radical Andy Libson
In this episode I talk to Andy Libson, who got in trouble with his school for organizing an in-person event with his students. Andy Libson is a science teacher of 21 years from Mission High School in San Francisco.  He is active in his union (United Educators of San Francisco). He is a Marxist and revolutionary socialist who hosts his own podcast with a couple of friends called "What's Left?" Link to post:
June 02, 2021
Conversation with Writer Alex Klaushofer
In this episode I talk to Alex Klaushofer, a great essayist on culture, authoritarianism and the lockdowns. Alex Klaushofer is a British writer newly-based in Lisbon. Her books are a blend of travel writing, reportage and one or two other genres. She’s fascinated by the relationship between people and places and is currently working on a book about Europe through the lens of three of its lesser-known cities. Link to blogpost for episode:
May 26, 2021
The Luddite Bookshop
An update on covid in the city + then a proposal for a little Luddite Bookshop in NYC.  Links here:
May 19, 2021
Propaganda of the WW2
I’ve been reading on the rise of Nazism, in an effort to understand the mindset that gave rise to such great evil. Blog post with links:
May 12, 2021
Relocating to Ireland during the pandemic: a convo with Shannon Kuta Kelly
Shannon Kuta Kelly is an exceptionally talented poet, writer, editor and a PhD student at Queen's University Belfast. She also edits my work and runs my social media. Shannon's been between locked down Northern Ireland and fairly-open Nebraska, Lincoln during the pandemic, so I invited her on the podcast to talk about that - and other things! Blog post with photos and Shannon's poetry:
May 05, 2021
Interview with NYC High School Student on Changes in Education
In this episode, I talk to my high school age son about his schooling. The education system is undergoing profound changes since the first covid-19 related closures. Here Seth shares a bit what school is like as a student. Post on podcast:
April 28, 2021
Psychological Lessons from the Onion
Who knew -- while I have decided that the mechanical mindset (ie "scientism") can offer no insight into the human condition, I've decided there is salvation in the onion. See what satire can tell us! Blog post with episode notes:
April 21, 2021
Are We Getting Stupider?
A comparison of two dystopias that predict human decline: The film Idiocracy vs the short story: The Machine Stops Blogpost for links:
April 14, 2021
The Big Picture
A year into covid19, it's becoming clearer that this period is transforming the very structure of society. In this episode, I discuss the big picture, which I believe to be a transformation into a techno-medical society. Blog post with links to articles mentioned:
April 07, 2021
In a bit of a squeeze, this last minute podcast is a bit of reflection on the question: do I regret leaving the Hasidic community? Link to post:
March 31, 2021
Journal from the year NYC Cancelled Humanness
Bits and pieces from the year that felt like a bit prank was played on humanity. Post with links and images:
March 24, 2021
Conservatives vs Leftists
Where I tell you everything I know on the subject, and that tells you everything I don't know as well.  Post with links:
March 17, 2021
Political Boxes / Part 1
Biting off more than I can chew in an attempt to articulate what various political/philosophical terminologies mean to me. Part 1 covers liberalism, neoliberalism and libertarianism. // Link to blogpost with notes:
March 10, 2021
Where Are Their Feelings
A Hasidic family is kicked off a plane because the very young kids weren’t properly masked. I talk about what this saga means to me, how I understand empathy and my fear that petty tyrants are exercising power unchecked. Notes in blogpost:
March 03, 2021
BONUS I: Yiddish-English episode on Veker’ Covid article
This podcast is a discussion on the Hasidic covid data. Since it's in response to a Yiddish article, the recording is in Yiddish and English. Send a voice message @ Link to post with mentions:
February 25, 2021
Extremely Offline
A weeklong audio diary -- charting time spent "detoxing" from my ipad. Send a voice message @ Blog post with mentions:
February 24, 2021
Mazel tov, it's a transhumanist!
I won’t be focusing on tech ideology forever, but this is what’s fascinating me now. So reading all about technological influences led me to the question: what’s a transhumanist? Links to mentions here:
February 17, 2021
Your Attention is their Profit
A global economy provides opportunity for the winner to take it all; if only he can get your attention. What does that lead to?  Links to mentions in post:
February 10, 2021
Tech-dystopian Future
I see in my crystal ball a future of faces buried in screens, everything and always tech mediated. Tech-capitalism is now the most important shaper of the future, and it’ll be a Brave New World. // Links and Image Attribution —
February 03, 2021
Conforming to Individuality
Why do people stay in repressive societies? Are they too dumb to know better? Would you ever be sucked in by one? Send a voice message @ See here for sources mentioned in the episode: ‎
January 27, 2021
Netflix Unorthodox Part II
Should we criticize entertainment? Should we criticize our common narrative tropes? What’s wrong with the coming-of-age fantasy story? For links to things mentioned in the podcast, see my blogpost on the episode:
January 20, 2021
Netflix Unorthodox - Part I
Netflix’s mini-series is an ex-hasidic cliched fairytale that is problematic on many, many levels.  Part one is a takedown of the show (be forewarned, I am not a fan) and part two will be analysis of if and why it all matters.  MENTIONS:
January 13, 2021
The Cult of Logic
Discussion on the problems with logic when it is mixed up with intuition. I talk about how this type of logic has led us astray in the past (ie in the NYC urban planning scene) and how it applies to Hasidic married women shaving their heads, and how this is now playing out in the scientism of covid19 measures. Send a voice message @ REFERENCES: - On Jewish Dybbuk forlklore see: Dybbuk | Jewish folklore | Britannica - On Jane Jacob's and Robert Moses I drew from The Battle for Gotham by Roberta Brandes Gratz and The Life and Death of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs - On the traffic patterns of more highway space see here: What's Up With That: Building Bigger Roads Actually Makes Traffic Worse | WIRED - On the construction of the BQE in Williamsburg, Brooklyn: Brooklyn-Queens Expressway - s. Williamsburg bk ( The excellent article on the Frankfurt school from which I quote extensively: How the Frankfurt School diagnosed the ills of Western civilisation | Aeon Essays - I must mention John Steppling, whose essays have all been eye opening and have introduced me to the Frankfurt School, esp Dialectic of Enlightenment.
January 06, 2021
Lockdowns as Religion
Here I compare my former Hasidic community with the 2020 lockdown situation and argue that the two have something in common: a religiousness. Send a voice message @ REFERENCES: Learn more about my experience in the Hasidic community in my pilot podcast episode. Also a full podcast episode on TLST podcast where I talk about growing up Hasidic: The Longest Shortest Time. Must read mentioned in this episode: The Prognosis by David Cayley in Literary Review Canada. I also talk about David Cayley's writing on his blog on Ivan Illich & quote from him on religion and the lockdown. For the philosopher Giorgio Agamben's translated work and commentary see everything by Simon Elmer like this and this. PS: upon request, I am working on removing the musical background from the podcast for easier listening. Please stick around for future podcasts. -Frieda
December 30, 2020
Why Hasidim Don't Do Lockdowns Masks
Hasidim have gathered by the thousands and publicly burned masks. Why are they not following orders? In this episode, I dispel myths and put forth new theories. Discussion on the technocracy, community, safetyism, the whole delicious smorgasbord.
December 24, 2020
Autobiography of a Non-Conformist
In this episode I tell you a bit about my Hasidic upbringing, not fitting in, leaving and my hard education in the modern normal.
December 22, 2020