Episode 85

Ethics of True Crime, Pickleball, Musk Loves Twitter Again, NYU Professor

Ravi and Rikki start with a quick chat on the whimsical sport that seems to be taking over the country: pickleball. Then they return to the neverending Musk-Twitter saga, now that the deal seems to finally be going through. Finally, the hosts discuss the ethical quandary of true crime as entertainment as well as the recent dismissal of an NYU professor criticized for being too hard a grader. 


 Rikki calls in an expert opinion from her father while she and Ravi discuss a unique cultural flashpoint all over the country: pickleball.

Ravi and Rikki update us on Elon Musk, who now appears poised to buy Twitter after all, before turning to how Musk might handle a free speech controversy playing out on the platform right now over an antisemitic rant from Kanye West.

The hosts try not to worry about the collective mental state of our society as they dissect the rabid popularity of true crime and the many ethical questions that form of entertainment poses. 

Ravi and Rikki take a closer look at the recent firing of an acclaimed NYU professor of organic chemistry after students complained his class was too difficult. 

Pickleball [1:11]

Blame, threat and clash: the war between pickleball and tennis players is escalating (The Guardian, 10/6)
Move over… Everything? Here Comes Major League Pickleball. (New York Times, 10/3)
Against Pickleball (Club Leftist Tennis, 2/23)
2022 Pickleball Fact and Media Sheet (USA Pickleball, 2022)
Can Pickleball Save America? (The New Yorker, 7/15)
‘Utter takeover’: Pickleball invasion prompts turf war in West Village (Gothamist, 10/7)
Rant Against Pickleball (Twitter/Club Leftist Tennis, 9/21)
Ya Burnt: Cologne, Quiet Quitting and Aaron Judge (YouTube/Late Night with Seth Meyes, 1:40, 9/28)

Musk/Twitter [11:28]

Musk offers to proceed with Twitter deal (Axios, 10/4)
Elon Musk offers to buy Twitter for original price, weeks before trial (Washington Post, 9/4)
Musk, Twitter could reach deal to end court battle, close buyout soon (CNBC, 10/5)
Elon Musk wants to buy Twitter again, spam bots and all (Vox, 10/6)
The unbearable lightness of Elon Musk’s texts (Washington Post, 10/1)
The NYPost & Twitter Crash Into ‘The Streisand Effect,’ ‘Censorship Envy,’ and ‘the Slippery Slope Tendency’ (Fire, 10/15/2020)
Special Report: Elon Surrenders? (The Prof G Pod with Scott Galloway, 10/5)
Elon Musk can’t fix Twitter because no one can (Vox, 10/5)
Elon Musk revives deal to buy Twitter at original $44 billion price (YouTube/CNBC Television, 2:02, 10/7)

Ethics of True Crime [26:48]

The Beast of Jersey by Joan Paisnel (1973)
The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker (1997)
What do true crime series like Dahmer owe the victims? (Vox, 9/28)
True Crime Is Rotting Our Brains (Gawker, 10/12/2021)
‘Real People Keep Getting Re-traumatized.’ The Human Cost of Binge-Watching True Crime Series (Time, 4/24/2020)
Sleazy, bloody and surprisingly smart: In defense of true crime (Salon, 5/29/2014)
True-crime fanatics on the hunt: inside the world of amateur detectives (The Guardian, 3/28/2021)
The Bloody Bubble (The Ringer, 7/9/2021)
DNA or It Didn’t Happen (The Ringer, 6/28/2017)
‘Dahmer’ Just Had Netflix’s Biggest Series Debut on Record (IndieWire, 9/27)
Violence in Popular U.S. Prime Time TV Dramas and the Cultivation of Fear: A Time Series Analysis (Cogitatio, 6/17/2014)
Murder Show – SNL (YouTube/Saturday Night Lives, 2/28/2021)
Jena Friedman: Women Don’t Watch True Crime, We Study It | CONAN on TBS (YouTube/Team Coco, 0:33, 9/17/2019)
True Crime: Behind America’s Growing Obsession | Cracking the Case (YouTube/TODAY, 7/21)

NYU Professor // Freshman Grading [44:11]

At N.Y.U., Students Were Failing Organic Chemistry. Who Was to Blame? (New York Times, 10/3)
NYU Chemistry Professor Fired After Students Said His Class Was Too Hard (Reason, 10/3)
Momentum builds for helping students adapt to college by nixing freshman grades (Hechinger Report, 10/1)
Maitland Jones Jr. Score (RateMyProfessors)