Episode 84

Snowden Debate, Redshirting Boys, Microtargeting, Generation COVID

Ravi and Rikki begin by discussing the proliferation of social media data in campaign ad targeting, before turning to two recently renewed debates: the legacy of Edward Snowden, and whether boys should start school a year later than girls. Finally, the hosts finish with a conversation around a recent Newsweek cover story on the growing number of “disconnected” Gen Zers. 


The hosts examine political microtargeting through ad targeting on Facebook and Instagram, as they consider how this practice affects the political landscape today.

Ravi and Rikki get into a fiery debate over whether Edward Snowden is a hero or traitor for providing journalists with massive troves of classified documents detailing NSA surveillance.

The hosts engage with an education proposal picking up renewed steam lately: whether boys should “redshirt” and start school a year later than their female counterparts.

Ravi and Rikki attempt to find the silver lining as they bullet point some concerning data on college dropouts and joblessness among Gen Z.

Politicians’ Ad Targeting [1:57]

The Lie Factory (The New Yorker, 9/17/2012)
We Regret to Be Informed by You (The Dispatch, 8/24)
How political candidates are targeting you on social media based on your music tastes, shopping habits and favorite TV shows (CNN, 9/23)
This Ad’s for You (Not Your Neighbor) (New York Times, 9/15)
In every voter, a ‘microtarget’ (Washington Post, 4/23/2008)
The Evolution of American Microtargeting: An Examination of Modern Political Messaging (Butler Journal of Undergraduate Research, 2015)
A Lie Just for You in 2020 (Brennan Center for Justice, 9/21/2020)
How ‘microtargeting’ works in political advertising (YouTube/PBS NewsHour, 2:27, 2/18/2014)

Edward Snowden [12:22]

NSA Files: Decoded (The Guardian, 11/1/2013)
The NSA spying debate, explained (Vox, 6/6/2015)
The Snowden Legacy, part one: What’s changed, really? (Ars Technica, 11/2018)
The Snowden Effect, Six Years On (Just Security, 6/6/2019)
Government Surveillance: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (YouTube/LastWeekTonight, 4/6/2015)
Reality Winner and the debate over the Espionage Act (CBS News, 10/5/2021)
Rashida Tlaib is Trying to Fix the Espionage Act, but Whistleblowers Are Probably Out of Luck (The Intercept, 7/12)
Debate: Was Edward Snowden Justified? (NPR, 2/18/2014)
Oxford Union Debate – Snowden a Hero (Hedges/Machon/Binney/Huhne v. Vaughan/Toobin/Baker/Crowley) (YouTube/LeakSourceTV2, 3/26/2014)
This is everything Edward Snowden revealed in one year of unprecedented top-secret leaks (Insider, 9/16/2016)
Edward Snowden Speaks Out: ‘I Haven’t And I Won’t’ Cooperate With Russia (NPR, 9/19/2019)

Redshirt Boys??? [34:00]

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (2008)
Redshirt the Boys (The Atlantic, 9/14)
Who redshirts? (Brookings, 9/13)
Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten? (Education Next, 4/11/2017) 
Boys and Men Are in Crisis Because Society Is (New York Times Op-Ed, 10/3)
Opinion | The data are clear: The boys are not all right (Washington Post Op-Ed, 2/8)
Book Review: Richard Reeves’ “Of Boys and Men” (Slow Boring, 10/5)
A Nation of Boys at Risk (American Compass, 9/30)
Why American boys are failing at school—and men are losing in life (New York Post, 10/1)
Dads matter, period. (Substack, 10/1)
Of Boys and Men: Why the Modern Male Is Struggling, Why It Matters, and What to Do about It by Richard V. Reeves (2022)
Carole Hooven: ‘It’s obvious that men are much more driven by sex than women’ (El Pais, 9/30)
Should boys start school a year later than girls? (YouTube/CNBC Television, 0:51, 9/16)

COVID Generation [45:47]

Generation COVID: Record Numbers of Youth Opt Out of College, Work (Newsweek, 9/28)
Why I joined the college exodus (Spectator World, 8/1)
Question the Quo (ECMC Group, 5/2022)
New Report: The College Enrollment Decline Worsened This Spring (Forbes, 5/26)
Georgetown Report Highlights Widening Gap Between Workers Earnings and Cost of College (Diverse Issues in Higher Education, 11/4/2021)
Gen Z ABANDONS College, Education NOT WORTH Tuition Costs Anymore: Emma Camp (YouTube/The Hill, 2:48, 8/17)