The Young Quakers’ ‘Silence Special’ and the Power of Minimalist Podcasting

One of the earliest promises I heard about the internet, growing up, was that it would make our world smaller. People all around the world would be able to create and share content that was relevant, new, or interesting to them. In that way, we could all become closer and more familiar with all the ways that lives could be lived.

So it was with the “Silence Special” of the Young Quaker Podcast. Their show is dedicated to sharing the various aspects of Quaker life and practice. The aim of this episode was to give listeners the experience of taking part in a Meeting for Worship—which typically take place in silence, unless someone feels led to ministry.

In order to get the most out of this recording, I recommend listening with a good set of headphones in an otherwise quiet environment. There is a profound, intimate feeling that comes with this, that would be totally lost or annoying in most other environments or situations.

Joe Rogan and others have said this before, but episodes like this serve only to highlight the sentiment that, even more than video, podcasting is probably the most intimate medium available today. Unlike reading or even video content, audio content puts the speaker’s voice directly in your head. In this case, the recording puts you in a specific space and time where you can observe, with your ears, what is taking place.

The “Silence Special” was included in the BBC’s season of ‘slow’ radio, which introduced a number of very interesting programs that provide more opportunities to take part in some other unique experiences. Please check out some of the above links to explore and have a listen.


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