Radio, curiosity, podcasting, health, and becoming smarter.
Cody is a radio host, producer, and audio editor. For over a decade he worked as a producer and content creator with WGN Radio, GonnaGeek Network, and Curiosity.com.
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Sim Salis (host): Cody wearing many hats can be a double-edged sword like when you need to you have so many different skills and you need to market yourself or you take part in a project that you either end up doing everything or a little bit wanting to control.
Cody Gough (guest): It’s tricky especially when I walk into a job interview somewhere because I've been at WGN Radio part-time for 10 years.
C. Gough: So, you look at read my resume you go okay consulting from the last three years and then a marketing agency for a couple years before that and then WGN Radio since 2008
C. Gough: What how does that work? And I have to go into every interview and say look I've done this part-time for fun I’ve studied Radio-TV production in college, I've had a show and I've always done it on weekends it's never gotten in the way of my day job so, it's weird on one hand I consider it a great asset, because how many marketers or podcasters defined who have been working in major marketing radio for decade, right. But at the same time I kind of also have to make sure that they understand it's not going to get in the way,
C. Gough: And it's always a weird tension that you kind of have to address..
Sim: Right, yeah.
C. Gough: So, I you know I've always felt even back in the day when I first started taking classes at Second City at IO doing some Improv stuff. I was always told, oh it looks great on your resume everybody wants to know that you've done this on your resume. The more well-rounded you are and the more skills you have we've actually written about this on curiosity.com. I’s called The Temin Effect after a Professor Temin who won a Nobel prize and his scientific colleagues were like hey Temin loves reading literature and fiction and all these other things and has lots of interest in Philosophy and things,
C. Gough: And the most successful scientists the ones who are cited the most with their by their peers are ones with the most outside interest of their jobs. So, this is a scientifically proven thing that the wider of a plate of talents and interests you have basically the better you're going to be as an employee so...
Sim: Not just as a human being I mean.
C. Gough: Any human being you know, I mean sure there's a human being part but being in America. This is capitalism you know
Sim: So, you started with WGN a decade ago this year, right? How did that happen because you what did you study? Where did you go to college? did you plan through this what did you plan to do?
C. Gough: It’s kind of one thing led to another deal. I studied Radio-TV production that was great, I got a couple job offers in Rockford my hometown.
C. Gough: I loved radio and TV but in Rockford maybe I don't want to live with my parents for the next several years on minimum wage, so perhaps I'll try a major market and I got my first job interview at WFMT Radio Network, a classical music station.
Sim: Which should be the One Way Stud Terkel.
C. Gough: Yep
C. Gough: One Way Stud Terkel is. I actually I work that way
Sim: I know it.
C. Gough: Yeah, I know it’s great I worked on some production stuff with Stud Terkel Radio archive.
Sim: Ha; ha; ha
C. Gough: Things like that and when I sat down for the interview I had my resume and I'm all proud of all my accomplishments in University and I was Program Director of our Radio Station and I had these internships. And he mentioned Adobe Audition I have that on a resume and the guy hiring the Chief Engineer kind of guy looked at me and he was like yeah that's why you're here because you have Adobe Audition on your resume the funny thing was I didn't use it our College didn't use it.
C. Gough: It wasn't a thing I was even trained on in my university, so with all the radio classes, all the audio production, all the editing the only reason I got this interview for this job and got hired was because my friend had given me a pirated copy of Cool Edit when I was 12 and I had been using the software for 10 years I still use them on my personal computer in college and that's how I got through all my radio stuff with all the you know with all with all my classwork so it was weird anyway I was there for about a year and then realized this is not a non-air thing this is not an on the mic thing. Where can I go to maybe be talent quote-unquote? And I left a full-time job there to take an internship at WGN. Which was quite tumultuous time because I ended up working like two jobs so long story I'm working with a long time I worked my butt off as an intern I asked all the previous interns what did you do to be the best intern you could be. One of the people said you literally run if Jim asked you to go cut some audio you don't just get up and kind of wander over to the production booth you literally get up and you run over to the production booth out of sight and I did that every time. That was only a four-month stretch
C. Gough: Then after that, the way that most part-time producers started was they would pull from the intern pool
C. Gough: Oh did the intern do a really good job are they interested in producing okay give him a shot he tried me out in this overnight show with Brian Noonan, and out of the three or four producers they had kind of trying out for that part. You thought I was doing the best so I started and did overnights with him for a couple years and then what Brian for ten years ago. I was doing second cityBrian has it back on and stand-up he knew on the overnights that first of all overnight shows don't have a lot of commercials, and you can only talk non-stop for three to five hours sometimes six hours with you know two or three minutes of breaks in those hours
C. Gough: Until 5:00 a.m. it's kind of challenging
Sim: Yeah it is
C. Gough: So, back in the day he knew he could rely on chatting with the news guy or chatting with me his producer.
Sim: so it was also .......
C. Gough: so I was on air pretty much from the get-go with Brian.
C. Gough: And he knew he could trust me.
C. Gough: And by just focusing and paying attention to that role and coming up with ideas. We came up with all these bits I came up with this thing we should we should fight each other at the end of every show literally have like a boxing brawl just to determine who would close each show. He'd be like okay, Cody and I are going to fight now he's got a steel chair in his hand so I can see it right now we're going to take a break and then see who closes the show and then I would play a bunch of sound effects of chair shots and Street Fighter sound effects and this cheesy cartoony.
C. Gough: Just wacky little 30-second montage and then when we come back he would come back out of breath and like acting like we had just gotten in a big fight he's like well I just threw Cody through a table I guessI'm going to close the show again and then once every couple months I would close the show and say something like oh yeahBrian slipped on a banana peeler. Just wacky little 30-second montage and then when we come back he would come back and these are these moments that they weren't all me I mean Brian had to buy into them, but when there was an opportunity I went for it and traditionally at the station producers were not they were kind of meant to be well neither seen nor heard because its radio but they weren't meant to be an active part of the on-air program. But I here's what I think we could do, and we just kind of went for it so I I've essentially been on there I mean I sell myself and I bill myself as being an on-air talent for 10 years which I think is it accurate even if I'm not driving a show and the first time I filled in for an air shift at WGN Radio would have been 20 set February 2017.
C. Gough: So, I didn't get my own air shift for nine years and for the behind the scenes stuff I like to throw Easter eggs in there on WGN Radio all of my music productions used either video game or wrestling music like we have we called Florida news and I do this cheesy voiceover and I'm like there's a blip onBrian's Florida this is Florida news and it's the Chocobo music from Final Fantasy 7.
Sim: What do hosting in production do they go in tandem for you like is it important for you to have an eye also in the production part when you host in vice versa?
C. Gough: Yeah, I consider myself very lucky in that not only have I again been doing on-air stuff and working with on our talent for a number of years but the thing with me as producer in an editor and a guy who will post a podcast of every airship that we do. I have had to listen back to it, and that's an important thing there was a news guy at WGN.
C. Gough: Close to 6or 7 years ago and I asked him what does it take to be really good on air and he said here's what you got to do sit down in front of a microphone and talk for 30minutes, and then here's the hard part listen back to it and I have listened back to everything I've done for 10years. There are very few radios or even non-camera talents who can say that they have not only reviewed it but also had to edit it. They've had to get through all those verbaltics.
Sim: So, it gives you a different perspective on yourself the way you present yourself and also how to work towards a good production quality
C. Gough: I know when I do something wrong I can actually identify it in real time
Sim: This is what happened I'll cut it out so I'll have to say now a truck drove by and they honk twice and Cody automatically repeated the last sentence so I could cut it. And that is the best thing that can happen to anybody editing recently that's that kind of mindfulness.
C. Gough: Yeah
Sim: That is great so that's the added value that gives to you like being conscious of ahh what happens in the technical part of it so you can be a better host life.
C. Gough: And what people don't realize is the curse of radio and I think this is really true is that the best talkers make it looking incredibly easy, they make it look effortless. This has actually been my curse working with Brian Noonan, he is one of the best radio talent I have ever heard just objectively not just because I've been working with him. I mean I wouldn't have continued working with him for barely any money from the station for 10 years and look forward to those hours every single week if he wasn't exceptionally good at what he does he'll make jokes like he's a goofball but the amount of preparation he puts into every show I mean he's if he has a guest he'll print out six different articles they've written her been mentioned and highlight through them write a bunch of questions and he'll prep three hours for a two-hour show it seems like such a simple thing but it's not and most people who sit in front of a microphone can't just switch it on and beyond and be at a hundred percent I can't do it. And I'm nowhere near his level even with all my experience and there are some people that'll come more naturally to and there some people won't and you can be a great conversationalist you can be a great interviewer, you can be a really smart person but it doesn't mean that you're suited for audio really I truly believe is an art and it takes time to own a craft so I respect it, I respect people who put a lot of time and energy and effort into podcast I respect that you have a really cool setup here that will help improve the quality and everything like that's a thing I can respect and I go okay this person is trying just trying to do something and is working to, to own it and you're going to get better and better
Sim: Yeah **C. Gough **: And just like I'm trying to get better all the time, and we'll all get better and it'll be great and we'll have really great products and yeah
Sim: So, we're great?
**C. Gough **: So, I am saying
Sim: Hello I am Simone Sails and this is The Hoomanist support for this show comes from you if you would like to keep enjoying new episodes regularly please become a supporter now visit hooman.ist/support.
I am Simone Salis and this is The Hoomanists today with guest Cody Gough, Radio Host, and Producer from WGN and curiosity.com so when did you start to take classes at theatres like the second city the IO or the annoyance if you ever did? I think the first time I've ever met you was at the annoyance but maybe you weren't taking classes or doing a show there.
C. Gough: First time I met you was can we tell that story
Sim: Yeah... Let’s do that that was awkward
C. Gough: Dude that was the best story ever
Sim: Yes it is! Yes, it is!
C. Gough: Oh, so I was actually I was dating this girl up very close to where we are now actually right and by the annoyance theater she live a few blocks from the annoyance theater which at the time was by the Green Mill always.
Sim: It was.
C. Gough: Old jazz club ancient like Sinatra, Ki Capone went killed people there and stuff but we're right by the Green Mill and I had just left this girl's place and we were thinking we weren't dating yet but I was into her and I didn't know what to do so I'm on this like weird soul-searching thing so I go to lunch with her right by there and then I get my left over’s to go and I get outside she goes home and I'm pondering what to do next with my life so I go over and profess my love to this woman I had this extra food and I decided I didn't want it so here's the funny thing go by two homeless dudes in this neighborhood and I offer them both my food and they both said no thanks I'm full I'm not hungry and I was like are you kidding me and I was only upset because like for context, I was in my mid to late 20s I didn't have a lot of money at the time.
Sim: Okay; yeah, yeah.
C. Gough: I was in a situation where usually I wouldn't work you know yeah you should go by a homeless person I'd say hey do you have money and I'd be like no cuz I literally don't have a disposable income.
C. Gough: That I you know it so finally I'm in this position andI've got this extra food and it's like cool I can like I can give back rightI've got a little extra wiggle room I've got some food I can help feed somebody that maybe hasn't eaten in a while a good meal is just like Dee is like half us it was it was good food whatever It was.
Sim: I still remember what it was.
C. Gough: What was it?
Sim: It was like a sourdough sandwich and French fries in this like plastic PS container.
C. Gough: Yes thank you
C. Gough: So, yeah I've got yeah it'snot like I just have like five French fries in a cup of mayonnaise or something like that this is like legit food and so much said the annoyance theater still pondering what to do with my love life at the time and feeling rejected not only by this girl who I wasn't able to explain my feelings to but also by literally homeless people who wouldn't take the food I was trying to give them so it's like okay I'm at the bottom of the barrel and then you come strolling up but.
Sim: You just I think it just happened that I was waiting outside of the bar because it was too early for a show and maybe you don't know this part I don't know if I texted you or and then I find you but this is what happened it was either the first or second year that I was visiting from Europe I had a weird card that I could use here in the US to put money on and there would it was and has been blocked for like fraud or something from Europe so I had to wait until the morning after since that day and I literally couldn't buy things and I decided do I get the annoyance ticket or food and I decided to buy the theater ticket and you walk by like hey do you want this I will take that.
C. Gough: Yeah
Sim: And so that was my dinner
C. Gough: You was great very grateful
Sim: I was really happy.
C. Gough: Yeah you introduce yourself and you explain that you are in town from Europe and I was like oh do like Chicago we get this little chat so hey if you're listening and you ever have extra food you and this was like six years ago.
Sim: Yeah *C. Gough *: You were really grateful dude.
Sim: Yeah; yeah I was really happy *C. Gough *: I appreciate that but
Sim: you made me think you know that Chicagoans or people in Chicago are really are good people like from that point on I got a beer the day after for free *C. Gough *: Oh
Sim: I know I was like be more just really much nicer than I thought it would be yeah, yeah *C. Gough *: And now you’re here in Chicago I'm glad it could be a part of it I haven't seen you since then so this is the first just in case listeners like oh these guys were like old buddies no I literally randomly ran into him
Sim: Second time I have seen you in my life *C. Gough *: Gave him food and then like six-seven years later he's back he's got this like killer setup in a podcast he's got this like cool place of video game stuff everywhere.
Sim: We just got connected and you know I noticed that you were doing interesting things and now you have been working on this curiosity.com project for about a year.
*C. Gough *: I was working at a marketing consulting firm, a management consulting firm rather I manage their global social media because I kind of been a social media marketer, and I get this message from out of nowhere. It's the CEO at the time of curiosity.com, he goes hey all these people have been talking to us about starting a podcast it looks like from your profile you are have a lot of experience with that could I give you a call and talk to you about some podcast stuff. I was sure I'm into this stuff that's fine, why not by the end of the phone call he made it pretty clear he thought that I would be a good host of a podcast for them and then a few days later I'm in their office talking to him in their CEO and the CEO is trying to figure out all right I got pumped the brakes on this guy he's still hot in this podcast but like is it a full-time thing what are your other skills.
C. Gough: What do we do if you figure it out I've got this background and as we've discussed earlier tons of other stuff from marketing that STO to social media and stuff and he's like yeah I think we can we can make a role for you and they made a role and within two weeks at a job interview for a job offer for literally just a cold LinkedIn message I wasn't looking for jobs. It was like I like hit the lottery like a CEO hits you up he's like hey do you want to do a podcast and like have a salary job doing that and it's like what who did this just happen to, so we do the curiosity podcast. We don't have it's a start-up so it's a small screw you know we don't have 30 production people like radio lab or whatever.
Sim: Right yeah; yeah.
C. Gough: So, we come up with what's realistic for our production time I say look I can interview experts professors I've got contacts and over the years at WGN
C. Gough: I've got PR people I know let's get some people in here I'll interview them build a little podcast studio and then our managing editor Ashley Hamer who is now my co-host.
C. Gough: She's been there since a little bit before I started and she's I picked up really early on that she is pretty much aware of every article on curiosity.com everything we've written any live in our car he studies he is a science she's passionate about science. And she's smart and she's just incredible to work with so I figured let's bring her in also, and if there's something on the podcast I missed an opportunity to maybe mention one of our articles or we referenced something.
Sim: She will know
C. Gough: She will know, and she can kind of drop in so she was all post-production so I would cut the raw interview sent it her away and then she'd script some stuff and then pop it in there I'd put it altogether voila there it is its kind of like a straight interview podcast but with drop-ins we have a person page by the way patreon.com/curiosity.com all spelled out and then around early 2018 our management is like look we're not growing, we were doing great, but we weren't growing as quickly as they would have liked. It's not like what if we did a Daily Show is the whole point of curiosity.com is get smarter in just a few minutes every day,
C. Gough: Learn something new we push out five new stories every morning and their five, six hundred words written and very much like the skim the news, the newsletter you can get that's very millennial style yo here's up with Trump this week. Here’s the DL you know lol
C. Gough: Yeah very snapchatty, very millennial Jen C whatever come on millennial
Sim: Sure you sold the alphabet
C. Gough: so that's us but we're writing about like particle accelerators.
Sim: Yeah so the parties are in ten minutes long showish right
C. Gough: Yeah and that was the idea it's like if people are going to curiosity for brevity and then why are we doing a 45-minute interview style
Sim: Right, right.
C. Gough: so let’s it less than ten minutes a day Daily Show
Sim: And it's going wonderfully oh yeah it's going great
C. Gough: one best science and medicine podcast at the 2018 podcast Awards
C. Gough: So I was pretty excited about that
Sim: Nice, nice um you guys do five episodes per week right?
C. Gough: Six
Sim: Six you do Saturdays
C. Gough: We do Sunday's
C. Gough: Yeah, yeah that was I don't know based on analytics or something they were like let's do a Sunday one I'm like okay
Sim: What would you do like going insane? Infinite budgets. no time restraint
C. Gough: Oh, boy
Sim: Have you ever had something like...? C. Gough*: It’s tough because I find myself pull in many different directions okay I just subscribed to a magazine called The Point Intellectual Literary magazine in Chicago and I learned about it at a Literature Festival on in the loop or something a few months ago not the type of thing I would ever think I'm interested in but I started reading it and I love thinking about things, and I love reflecting on things, and what I see in America I think particularly is this anti-intellectual move away from thinking if people don't like to really think or have their ideas challenged everything is ideological on the left and on the right it's very much less about what is right and more about whois right that's something that bothers me and I think I could perhaps find some way of doing a podcast or I can take thoughts from people smarter than me this is the key, this is where my role becomes journalists, not leader, not thinker like you know I don't podcast because I wanted to be the Cody Gough show.
I podcast because how I want to tell people something or I want to help people communicate things to one another or entertain people that's my role soit's not about me being front and center maybe it's be sitting in a radio studio with two or three academics on opposite side of the political spectrum or three experts in one particular fieldof science and saying hey what's the deal with this and kind of conducting and directing from there and helping, helping with the give-and-take and kind of moderating that a little bit that I think is something that I've actually started to kind of start to ideate in thelast couple weeks how can I make this happen, how can I utilize WGN Radio toget smart people into the studio but the trick is finding the right people and the trick is finding the right people who are able to communicate ideas in a somewhat objective way, but most importantly people who can you can get in front of mic talk comfortably and interestingly and engage in aback-and-forth and not let their emotions kind of dominate the conversation or the ideologies or people trying to push from one or the other.
Sim: So, you're pushing away the ego a little bit?
C. Gough: Yeah
Sim: Can I put in that word, because it sounds like that when you say I am not interested in Cody Gough show necessarily, but I want to promote these ideas why do you think this is if this has happen in America why do you think it's happening right now, is there any driving force for that? And how do you think that the sentiment that you have of creating and just diffusion of thinking and culture can help correct adjust or integrate this problem?
C. Gough: Yeah, the reason it I think it's happening now I think there's probably lots of actors that historians or other academics you say better equipped to answer but I do think part of it is our constant information overload and then it's become such a cliche right it's such a throwaway oh there's too much information there's information overload the media's everywhere but scientifically this is true Interviewed David salvo the author of what makes her brain happy and why you should do the opposite and it's a book about our cognitive biases and he's like look your brain takes shortcuts your brain you cannot.
Sim: You statistics.
C. Gough: Yeah I can't have to I can't look at this table right I can't look and touch this table and have to consciously think oh if I touch it will it be solid oh is it really there, is it really brown like no your brain has figured out this is table okay I am looking at table I am hitting table now for no reason which I don't know whyI'm doing that, but this is a this is one little thing that our brain does and our brains are doing this all the time and information overload is part of that when you are confronted with information there's confirmation bias you more likely to believe it if it's something you already believed there's motivated reasoning even if you're confronted with, with information that you don't agree with or is contrary to what you believe you will now do mental backflips to justify and rationalize why what you believe is what you believe there and there's the backfire effect which is sometimes when you present it with contrary evidence your you believe in your point of view more strongly. And some of these are evolutionary some of these are just the way we were built to protect our egos are to protect brains and the social media and the internet human evolution has not been designed to adapt us to this world we have created an environment of information and technology and constant communication that literally doesn't work with the human brain so on one hand being aware of these biases can help a lot of people because you can't just switch off away your brain works right, and I think the more people are aware of them the better I mean people are leaving Facebook and that's in no small part to the fact that more people know that they're doing things with your data that are not very Clear.
Sim: And your brain cognitive science.
C. Gough: Yeah they're hacking; Smartphone are literally designed like gambling machines.
Sim: Yeah there are you know like a slot machine.
C. Gough: I mean yeah exactly like a slot machine if I pull out my phone right now maybe I'll have a notification cha-ching I win, maybe I won't oh I lose.
C. Gough: But if I pick up my phone right now I'm gambling and that gives you the same exact dopamine.
Sim: Dopamine yes sure yeah especially you know that's because you're designed to whine if you're not satisfied and hardly anybody is ever. But you know not be that cynical, but if you use this lot machine checking the email, checking notifications maybe something better will come maybe a job offer from curiosity.com will come you.
C. Gough: You never know.
Sim: Yeah, you never know right, but that's exactly what happens and in some cases it can be amazing but most of the times it's just an app trying to get your attention so you use it so there is data gathering and so there is a business behind it. I'm always interested if in growing up sometimes we are we have things that we inherit or live in our family that we do not choose, because we're kids so I'm always interested if you grew up with any religious or spiritual background from you’re from the part of your family?
C. Gough: Oh, yes I was raised Catholic
Sim: you were raised Catholic okay and are you are you religious are you a spiritual person?
C. Gough: I would say overall.
Sim: Okay overall. On a scale from one to overall.
C. Gough: I am bit Treister which I go to church on Christmas and Easter.
C. Gough: I don't go to Mass regularly but I believe in...
Sim: You’re willing to find.
C. Gough: We'll say, we'll say generically.
Sim: Yeah, yeah
C. Gough: I believe in God.
C. Gough: With many asterisks and that's an evolving belief that and by evolving I mean that what exactly do you mean by God can change and has changed over time what the kind of pillars of Catholicism are important to me I did a pre-can or pre-can a class with my wife before we got married. We didn't get married in a Catholic Church which in order to complete the sacrament of marriage in the Catholic Church you have to get married in a Catholic Church.
C. Gough: We chose not to but I have told her and I haven't followed up yet we've been married a year this month but I haven't followed up but I do want to go to a Catholic Church and...
Sim: And complete
C. Gough: and have complete the sacrament of marriage in the Catholic Church, so that's important to me perhaps its ritualistic thing I don't know. I don’t think it really drives a lot of my day-to-day decisions.
C. Gough: it's more kind of lingering in the background but I can appreciate some of the lessons of religion. I actually saw a headline the other day on Twitter someone wrote an article called forgiveness is overrated and I read it even though I vehemently disagreed with it.
Sim: Yeah, even from the title.
C. Gough: And it was talking about than me to think and I get it like you know not everyone is always ready to forgive their attackers or perpetrators or whatever, but when I was in high school I briefly dated a girl who ended up becoming a minister actually, she was very religious really involved with her youth group and for a couple years forgiveness became kind of a central latching on point for me in a religious context and forgiveness its really important to realize that forgiveness is not about saying what you did to me is okay or what you did is okay..
Sim: What is it about it's?
C. Gough: It’s about saying I’m not going to let what you do rule my life or I'm not going to let this hate or anger or bitterness control me andI'm going to let go that.
Sim: That can be so hard though
C. Gough: It can be very hard, and I'm not saying like hey if you get if you got me to like you should just forgive your attack I'm not saying that.
Sim: No; no
C. Gough: I am not going there
Sim: We're taking the me two out
C. Gough: Yeah yeah yeah
Sim: Of the equation, but for my life
C. Gough: oh yeah it is it is hard but you know what for me personally for those couple years when instead of just harboring these bitter thoughts and being angry and upset with people instead of that I just said oh I forgive that person and stop thinking about it, I was happier I was probably healthier, I was more optimistic it did wonders for me.
Sim: Hello Simone Salis here this is The Hoomanists honest conversations for technologically aware contemporary humanists get new episodes as soon as they are released on Apple and Google podcasts, Spotify, Alexa or on hooman.ist. I am your host Simone Salis and this is The Hoomanist with today's guest Cody Gough. Cody is a Producer and Radio Host with over a decade of experience at WGN Radio and he's also the host of curiosity.com podcast and Social Media Marketer so far we have discussed his work and life. Cody I wanted to ask you something that is fairly intimate through suggestions you know the social networks are connected to each other so if you're friends with someone on facebook then on Nintendo's which you might see your friend and vice versa and I think that that happened a few years ago I saw that you were on Korrauh?
C. Gough: Oh yeah, yeah
Sim: and I remember reading something really interesting from you, which was explaining how sometimes in life we can be overwhelmed so much by personal events that reflects in our bodies emotions can be so strong in a ceremony of life that your body goes like I'm gonna trigger this thing and I have very vague memory of you describing something similar I don't want to push you to talk about it I want to ask you about it?
C. Gough: Sure no that's fine.
C. Gough: No it's true the mind-body connection is very under appreciated I think some people say it's either mind or body but our mind and body are it's both in the body right. So, it's all thing and I went through what was to be a very traumatic breakup at one time which is kind of stupid in retrospect because I didn't.
Sim: But you don't get to decide that at the moment how much it matters to you?
C. Gough: Very true
Sim: Otherwise you would
C. Gough: Very true very true um I went through this really, really horrible breakup and I remember distinctly laying in bed I felt like I was in physical pain, actual tangible physical pain just my whole body I didn't know what was wrong I eventually fell asleep whatever fast-forwarded month or two and I lost 50 pounds I went from to around 200 maybe 190, 200 to less than 150 pounds I'm 6 feet 4 inches tall. I'm very tall 150 pounds is extremely not good and finally I went to the doctor and I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes no one in either side of my family extended family even has any history of not only diabetes but any autoimmune disease. So, this is extremely odd type-2 diabetes I don't know anything about type 2 diabetes,
Sim: Yeah of course.
C. Gough: Because it's not what I have so I don't care that can develop because of various decisions I guess or certain things can happen to you over time.
Sim: Its research
C. Gough: Yeah do you know type 1 diabetes also called juvenile diabetes which usually is or juvenile onset diabetes which usually comes early in life and is more genetically linked if I recall correctly I'm not a healthcare professional do not.
Sim: Of course
C. Gough: Quote me on this, but
Sim: Google it
C. Gough: Yeah yeah it was odd to be 26, 27 years old when I would suddenly got it out of nowhere and my parents found some literature that suggested and I don't know what literature this was but they told me this so again this is not like a curiosity.com science tidbit but they said that it could be triggered quote-unquote by an event a traumatic event or dramatic event in life. And they kind of blamed my ex-girlfriend forgiving me diabetes basically.
Sim: How do you approach something like that in life? because knowing that something happens to you physically is a thing and then connecting it to your mental state can trigger some kind of guilt towards yourself or especially towards another person if there is a traumatic event how do you go through something like that with yourself how do you did you compare time and now maybe doesn't matter it looks silly to you but it is a process isn't it?
C. Gough: For like 3 to 5 years every time I inject myself with insulin I thought of that ex-girlfriend which not because I cared about her just this weird lingering kind of blame I think. But I hate being categorized as diabetic and...
C. Gough: Because there's, there's because that's the least interesting thing about me I think,
C. Gough: And the first few years after I got diagnosed I did not want to talk about it it's just because I was doing things in my life ask me about the improv groupI'm in, ask me about the podcast I just launched, ask me how my really cool radio job
Sim: That doesn't matter you know doesn't matter.
C. Gough: Like my sister or somebody would introduce me to a friend and they'd be like oh yeah heard you got diabetes huh yes I know where this conversation is going you're going to tell me about a relative that got it you know tell me some stupid story I don't care about I don't care like literally leave me alone I don't want to talk about it.
C. Gough: And I didn't want to talk about it because up until that point in my life I was the funny guy, I was the interesting guy, I was the cool guy, like I'm not saying I was really awesome and I've always been a nerd I've always been the oh look at Cody he's playing Smash Brothers for the 30th hour this week right like I'm not like Mr. popular like high school football star or whatever but I was a person that there was more than just this thing that I just do
Sim: So this thing took it away from you a little bit?
C. Gough: It did, it did briefly and I just didn'thave any interest in and I still really and I'll bring it up now just in case anyone out there is wondering or curiousI mean I like to entertain slash informpeople and maybe this is important for them to know but if you're being introduced to somebody and your brother or sister says oh I'm dating this guy he's really great, he's got diabetes, he hopes, he was a rock musician in a band blah blah blah don't go up to him and belike oh so how many units of insulin are you taking like they don't care like that that's the worst thing you can do to a person it's so awful it really likeit really bothers me at a core level and I wouldn't talk about it on the Radio even after I got diagnosed the weekend I got diagnosed I got a I was at dinner with this girl and she goes to the bathroom I checked my phone I got a voicemail from my Doctor yeah the results came back from the Hospital the blood test it looks like your blood sugar is around 400 so you should probably go to the emergency room a normal blood sugar range is 80 to 120ish sometimes you go up a little bit if you go 180 or something I've heard much worse people have gone to the Hospital with like blood sugar a thousand so for 400 comparatively is not like I'm going to die. When your blood sugar is very high for an extended period of time that can do damage to your internal organs very broadly speaking again I'm not a medical professional.
C. Gough: But my Endocrinologist and Doctors have informed me that very high blood sugar for a long period of time is very bad so I go to the ER missed a couple radio shows and even when I got back Brian had said yeah Cody's got some medical thing when I got back I did not say yeah I've been diagnosed with diabetes; I didn't talk about on WGN for at least five years because I didn't care, like I didn't want people to...
Sim: To define and recategorize and reframe you as a person interests passions your daily life and everything in the frame or something like that.
C. Gough: This actually gives me a great deal of empathy for survivors of rape and sexual assault, because I have talks I've spoken with a survivor of sexual assault, who specifically told me the same thing she said I didn't report it because I didn't want to be defined as a survivor. She didn't want that to be her tag this is an extraordinarily accomplished woman who has a PhD and all these accolades and she's like my worst nightmare is being labeled a survivor asher primary thing.
Sim: Yeah because then he becomes like because it almost feels like if it's just small chat but instead of the weather is your blood sugar[Laughter] I don’t know.
C. Gough: It becomes your title and your label
C. Gough: And it's like
C. Gough: You know I wake up I inject a couple units.
Sim: I even you know in my brain I was like this is insane and then I read that experience and I thought huh the guy that gave me sourdough sandwich where the things that you do with your wife you got married about a year ago. How did you guys meet what are the interests that you guys share together there are positive ones good ones things that you guys do together?
C. Gough: Yes, we were introduced through a mutual friend basically in a bar actually at headquarters beer Kade, and she was finishing up her PhD at Northwestern University and she was subletting a room from a co-worker of mine she introduced me, where at the bar I spent a lot of time with this girl and every time we hung out I love to talk into her I just loved everything she said I was interested in curious on what she had to say I liked when she told stories she cracked me up like it was just it was just really fun and she became like kind of an instant best friend, and we also I mean she was awesome gorgeous so we...
Sim: Yeah, that helps
C. Gough: And yeah it helps, we had a really really amazing chemistry and kind of hit it off this is a very smart girl with a PhD in comparative Literature teachers University courses at very good Universities and she speaks at the very high educated registers he's read tons of philosophy and knows a lot about history. And she films she's a huge film buff she's a very; very smart person, and I love being intellectually challenged I guess is the thing and just being able to have a conversation with her at any register there's just so many different registers and we just adapt to each other really well and it works for a while I thought I would only be able to marry a girl who was into video games and she's like never played a video game it's not her thing at all. What I realized it's not so much about what you have in common but it's more about like it's not about the specific interests you have in common but it's more about the mindset you have with the person I think it would be very difficult to marry somebody who is significantly smarter or less intelligent than you at least for me personally that that's kind of where we're at we're at this level where we can kind of get each other but like I had an ex-girlfriend who I took her to an Improv show at IO and after the show she literally turned to me and said I had no idea what was going on.
C. Gough: Like you see she couldn't like conceptualize characters people you know actors changing to a different character and it's like dude like what do I do with this you know and so to say I'm like way smarter than her but like there's this intellectual disconnect where I can't talk to you about a show now because you don't get it and I want to talk to somebody gets things I don't get everything.
C. Gough: That Casey shows me we watched David Lynch's Eraserhead it's like good God.
Sim: Maybe he can't either
C. Gough: Right
Sim: Yeah, probably.
C. Gough: You know so it was that it's register and that's and that's what we have in common and now we just started taking swing dance lessons I got to tell you every good probably half the girlsI've seriously dated in my adult life have told me at one point or another we should take swing dance classes.
Sim: Huh ah
C. Gough: I always blew it off because I'm like what every girl yeah right like girl thing okay it's like a thing I can do to you know with my girl or whatever and she'll bein to it is whatever we start taking classes I'm so into it I go we go at least once a week outside of class just for fun I am loving it.
Sim: That nice it's great.
C. Gough: We've made friends in the swing dance community so moving around and you know make some small talk.
Sim: Did she read the point?
C. Gough: She does.
Sim: She does okay
C. Gough: I actually arrived in the mail the first issue that we got and she read an article and she's got a little notes all around
Sim: Ah love that the marginal’s
C. Gough: All the margins and yeah and then I read the same article it started that we discussed it.
Sim: What resources do you I find that really I'm very much interesting that I started mailing list called the weekly digest because I think that it's really hard you know the internet is a super resource of content and we were blessed with but it's getting harder and harder to find any meaningful content in the buzz of social media in the noise of social media sharing and those kind of things so it's becoming hard for me to find good articles since so I have my resources where I go regularly and religiously to find things and you have the point andI'll check that out for sure but do you have any other resources for yourself that you check out that you are passionate about lately you go like oh I'm probably going to find something cool here?
C. Gough: I mean curiosity.com
Sim: Oh, my God yes yes of course you guys I come and you know what and the podcast which is available every day.
C. Gough: Sunday through Friday.
Sim: Sunday through Friday that's how you get okay Sunday through Friday it's about 10 minutescuriosity.com on every major podcast platform I guess,
C. Gough: Yeah curiosity daily yeah
C. Gough: And actually am if you have anAmazon echo is on our flash briefing it depends on what I'm kind of in the mood for honestly I'm a Twitter guy,
C. Gough: I'm on Twitter all the time.
C. Gough: I read what people share.
C. Gough: I like to read conflicting and contrasting opinions I think Joe Rogan is an excellent resource and I know some people don't like him I know that.
Sim: You just need a lot of time.
C. Gough: You do need a lot of time here's the thing though you need a lot of you need a variety of sources, and this is something that anyone hard on the left or hard on the right fails miserably at doing is lots of resources it's a
Sim: That confirmation bias right?
C. Gough: It is confirmation bias when MiloYiannopouloswas active on Twitter I followed Milo, I followed Donald Trump for a while. I am not a Republican I'm not a Conservative but I followed them because I want to know what they're saying I actually unfollowed Donald Trump because I kept getting these insane political ads. And I was so annoyed by that ads I'm like who do these people think I am so I unfollowed him but like follow everybody I think following Joe Rogan is smart. I think you should follow everyone on the intellectual dark web there was a New York Times article about that it's called the intellectual dark web it's this like kind of offhand for basically a handful of what you can label them as intellectuals or pseudo-intellectuals depending but lookup the New York Times piece on the intellectual dark web it includes people like Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro who I don't care for it all at all but I still follow him Ben Shapiro, Jordan Peterson and...
Sim: But it's not connected to the actual dark web right?
C. Gough: No.
Sim: it is just use for the...
C. Gough: Yeah it’s a nickname, but this is a handful of either professors or former professors or academics or people who would label this some thinkers who don't really you the means many people in the media would paint them as hard left or hard right but they're not they're more let's not be right about things let's think about things and talk about things. Sam Harris is another one he's neuroscientist who hosts a podcast called Waking Up with Sam Harris, and he has very frank discussions with people there are many things that I agree with him in and there are very many things he... I don't agree with him on he is you know he interviewed Jonathan Haidt. Jonathan Haidt is a University professor at University of New York some University in New York. He's a social psychologist and he wrote a book called the righteous mind why good people are divided by politics and religion and is a fascinating look at why we are divided by politics and religion, there are smart people on the left and smart people on the right, believe it or not listener there is smart people across the spectrum.
And he did this amazing, amazing book and he's been publishing about some of the shortcomings of academia and how our Universities are no longer doing a service of teaching people and he had some really interesting points and it's all backed by research he was interviewed on Sam Harris if you just listen to that episode of waking up with Sam Harris. You might think oh this guy is way far right because it sounds conservative but no it's all science-backed you need to listen to their search, Science is not inherently biased unless it's a poorly conducted study. When there's research you listen and then two episodes later he's talking toBill Maher on his podcast and he opens with a 10 minute rant about how Kavanaugh should not by any means in any reality beyond the supreme court which is far left so these are people that tend to I think transcend the left-right ideology a little and that's what I like about them what where are the numbers what's the data and if the data doesn't make sense to you or there's conflicting data look at all the data look at all the studies figure out what's right it's in today's world if you want to know anything you've got to work to know anything it's not like oh I want to be educated I'll crack open a book and read it now I'm educated;. You have to crack open a book and then crack open a criticism of that book and then crack open a criticism of that criticism, it’s exhausting.
Sim: It is a little bit exhausting.
C. Gough: And those capitalism is in such overdrive in the US, and we're all working a hundred hours a week, no one has the time to do it. So creating a society where information doesn't work the way it should and no one has time to compensate for information not working the way it should, so we're kind of screwed unless you want to really actively fight against that. It’s exhausting it's tough but there's ways to do I'm optimistic I know I sound negative and pessimistic, but I'm optimistic we can do it it's just people just have to realize that it's not just going to happen overnight you're not going to be an expert on X or Y overnight..
Sim: And the first step to start is curiosity.com
C. Gough: First step, curiosity.com, we stay away from all politics and we're all science-based, so we do what we can.
Sim: So, start with that, Cody Gough today on The Hoomanist, thank you so much, Cody, for being here today.
C. Gough: Thank you, this was far-reaching.