22 episodes

Pan-Optic is a podcast featuring conversations between a critical theorist and a management consultant, cohosts (and longtime friends) Juan Pablo Melo and Jason Margaritis respectively.

They met during a monotonous work assignment at a Washington-based government contractor in 2013. Jason and Juan Pablo sought refuge in daily extended work breaks musing about the limits of knowledge, the organizations of power, the regrets of Thrasymachus, and so on.

Later, Jason received his MA in Government and MBA from Johns Hopkins University. Today, he works as a management consultant specializing in strategic communications and org change. Jason is particularly interested in affecting stakeholder beliefs, behaviors, and culture.

Juan Pablo is a doctoral candidate at Stanford University's Program in Modern Thought and Literature. His research interests span media theory, literature, architecture, art history, urban theory, and science and technology studies.

"We made this podcast to continue exploring the intersections of our respective disciplines, in a way that others might find useful. Pan-Optic relates theories of communication, power, and technology to practical institutional issues, and everyday life."

Become a part of the conversation at www.panopticpod.com.

Pan-Optic Podcas‪t‬ Pan-Optic

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 21 Ratings

Pan-Optic is a podcast featuring conversations between a critical theorist and a management consultant, cohosts (and longtime friends) Juan Pablo Melo and Jason Margaritis respectively.

They met during a monotonous work assignment at a Washington-based government contractor in 2013. Jason and Juan Pablo sought refuge in daily extended work breaks musing about the limits of knowledge, the organizations of power, the regrets of Thrasymachus, and so on.

Later, Jason received his MA in Government and MBA from Johns Hopkins University. Today, he works as a management consultant specializing in strategic communications and org change. Jason is particularly interested in affecting stakeholder beliefs, behaviors, and culture.

Juan Pablo is a doctoral candidate at Stanford University's Program in Modern Thought and Literature. His research interests span media theory, literature, architecture, art history, urban theory, and science and technology studies.

"We made this podcast to continue exploring the intersections of our respective disciplines, in a way that others might find useful. Pan-Optic relates theories of communication, power, and technology to practical institutional issues, and everyday life."

Become a part of the conversation at www.panopticpod.com.

    #18 - Reinventing Capitalism—Really? Hayek’s Theory of Prices, Technology, and the Yelp Mafia

    #18 - Reinventing Capitalism—Really? Hayek’s Theory of Prices, Technology, and the Yelp Mafia

    Today, Jason and Juan Pablo discuss political theorist Evgeny Morozov’s article, “Digital Socialism? The Calculation Debate in the Age of Big Data” (NLR, 2019, https://newleftreview.org/issues/II116/articles/evgeny-morozov-digital-socialism). In this article, Morozov critiques the idea that technology will somehow reinvent capitalism. He argues that technology-enabled capitalism (technology within the logic of markets) is STILL capitalism and thus it does not escape challenges produced or compounded by capitalism. However, what if technology enablers could be applied beyond the realm of capitalism? Morozov posits that the public sphere could apply modern technologies (e.g. social media, knowledge management platforms, advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, etc.) to efficiently coordinate and solve problems outside the markets. Fascinating! But Jason and Juan Pablo are skeptical. Maybe not for the reasons you expect... In this episode, we address: the Austrian-British economist Friedrich Hayek’s successful theory of the relationships between knowledge, prices, and human behavior; markets vs. non-markets vs. new markets; existing technology enablers and how they map across the private and public spheres; challenges associated with technology ownership and maintaining a democratic process; and the problem of turning knowledge into meaningful action. We also harken back to our ongoing debate surrounding whether massive financial incentives are required to inspire innovation or make people want to solve the world’s most pressing social challenges. For more on this, listen to our previous “listener case study” episode called, “The Protestant Ethic, Instrumentalizing Everything, and Devotion to Work.”

    The views expressed on this podcast are our own. If you enjoy what you're hearing, please follow/support us through any of the below media:

    Twitter: twitter.com/Panopticpod

    Patreon: www.patreon.com/panopticpod

    Website: www.panopticpod.com/

    Apple: podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/pan-…st/id1475726450
    Spotify: open.spotify.com/show/0edBN0huV1GkMFxSXErZIx

    • 1 hr 9 min
    #17 - Radicalization + Ideology (P3) - Notions of the Good & Strategic Communications

    #17 - Radicalization + Ideology (P3) - Notions of the Good & Strategic Communications

    Pan-Optic is pleased to present part three of our three-part series on radicalization and ideology. In today’s episode, we address: individuation and socialization; a critique of generalizable interests; existential and absurdist interpretations of the ”ideological grounding” problem; the people side of mergers and acquisitions; applications to change management and strategic communications; and more.

    The views expressed on this podcast are our own. If you enjoy what you're hearing, please follow/support us through any of the below media:

    Twitter: twitter.com/Panopticpod

    Patreon: www.patreon.com/panopticpod

    Website: www.panopticpod.com/
    Apple: podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/pan-…st/id1475726450
    Spotify: open.spotify.com/show/0edBN0huV1GkMFxSXErZIx

    • 51 min
    The Protestant Ethic, Instrumentalizing Everything, and Devotion to Work

    The Protestant Ethic, Instrumentalizing Everything, and Devotion to Work

    Today’s episode is Pan-Optic’s first ever "personal case study" response, where we react to listener Sep’s account of working in big tech and grappling with feeling intellectually and morally limited by her work requirements and the logic of the firm. In reacting to Sep’s personal case study, we explore: Max Weber on the protestant work-oriented ethic; the tendency to justify something’s existence by instrumentalizing its purpose; Jason’s aversion to divine command theory; being socialized and acculturated within neoliberal and meritocratic structures; research on what motivates high-output performers; and who should be let on the plane first. Thank you Sep for an excellent submission. We hope we did you justice. Pan-Optic is always accepting personal case study submissions. Share your story by contacting us at panopticpod@gmail.com or through any of our social media platforms. We look forward to hearing from you and reacting to your story.

    Addendum: we are issuing a correction after failing to do our homework... Sep, who we addressed using he/him/his pronouns, goes by she/her/hers pronouns. HUGE apology to Sep! We really feel bad about this and won’t make the same mistake again. Thank you for going easy on us and for making our first personal case study reaction possible and so much fun.

    The views expressed on this podcast are our own. If you enjoy what you're hearing, please follow/support us through any of the below media:

    Twitter: twitter.com/Panopticpod
    Patreon: www.patreon.com/panopticpod
    Website: www.panopticpod.com/
    Apple: podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/pan-…st/id1475726450
    Spotify: open.spotify.com/show/0edBN0huV1GkMFxSXErZIx

    • 1 hr 6 min
    #16 - Radicalization + Ideology (P2) - Values, Discrimination, & Reliably Identifying Ideology

    #16 - Radicalization + Ideology (P2) - Values, Discrimination, & Reliably Identifying Ideology

    Pan-Optic is pleased to present part two of our three-part series on radicalization and ideology. In today’s episode, we address: the moral and legal implications of ideological discrimination; the extent to which government can avoid values-oriented decision making; a clear functional definition of ideology vs. a general definition of ideology; canonical social theoretical literature on ideology (Emile Durkheim and George Herbert Mead); the so-called ”loan wolf” phenomenon; and categorizations of violent activity. Part two sets the stage for our further reflections on notions of the good and the need to ground ideology in some normative framework to reliably identify “extreme.”

    The views expressed on this podcast are our own. If you enjoy what you're hearing, please follow/support us through any of the below media:

    Twitter: twitter.com/Panopticpod
    Patreon: www.patreon.com/panopticpod
    Website: www.panopticpod.com/
    Apple: podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/pan-…st/id1475726450
    Spotify: open.spotify.com/show/0edBN0huV1GkMFxSXErZIx

    • 59 min
    #15 - Radicalization + Ideology (P1) - How to Recruit Pawns & Influence Behavior

    #15 - Radicalization + Ideology (P1) - How to Recruit Pawns & Influence Behavior

    Pan-Optic is pleased to present our three-part series on radicalization and ideology. In the knowledge age and especially in the COVID world, institutions are pressured to change the way they operate and do business frequently and rapidly. We spend much time pontificating about the need to transform workforces (us included), but often without considering the psychological precursors to attitudinal and behavioral change. To help address this problem, we consult the literature on radicalization and ideology with a mind toward the following questions: how do people fundamentally ideologically change? And how can we apply this knowledge to inspire adoption of change in the real world?

    In part one, we address: a framework for understanding how someone adopts violent ideology; why framing and frame alignment are key to making ideology stick; the case of “Boston Bomber” Tamerlan Tsarnaev; ethnographic approaches to capturing human intelligence; and the importance of identifying notions of the good or generalizable interests to differentiate normative ideology from potentially problematic ideology. Part one sets the stage for follow-on discussions surrounding the legal implications of managing ideology and uses and applications of radicalization theory for change leaders and managers.

    You may read Jason’s article, “Countering Jihadism in America: A Policy Review,” here: http://www.saisreview.org/2017/03/27/jihadism-in-america/.

    The views expressed on this podcast are our own. If you enjoy what you're hearing, please follow/support us through any of the below media:

    Twitter: twitter.com/Panopticpod
    Patreon: www.patreon.com/panopticpod
    Website: www.panopticpod.com/
    Apple: podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/pan-…st/id1475726450
    Spotify: open.spotify.com/show/0edBN0huV1GkMFxSXErZIx

    • 52 min
    #14 - Philosophers in Firms P.2 - Information Ethics & Philosophically Grounding Change Management

    #14 - Philosophers in Firms P.2 - Information Ethics & Philosophically Grounding Change Management

    Today’s episode starts off with a 30-minute, ad hoc discussion surrounding the recent murder of George Floyd and the ensuing national campaign against police racism. Please refer to Pan-Optic’s website for additional resources on how to support reputable activist groups in the fight against racism (https://www.panopticpod.com/post/pitching-in-to-fight-racism-and-police-violence).

    During Pan-Optic’s two-part series “Philosophers in Firms,” Jason and Juan Pablo investigate the mystery of why Google hired a philosopher and what this individual does. Along the way, we address the following more fundamental questions: Should firms hire philosophers? Does it make good business sense? How does the business case compare to the moral case? Do they conflict?

    Today’s episode (part two) explores: philosopher Luciano Floridi’s theory of information; how Google applied Floridi’s theory to navigate complex international legal challenges pertaining to data privacy; change management professional Paul Gibbons’ critique of the change consulting industry; how change managers might leverage the humanities to “philosophically ground” strategic recommendations and improve client outcomes; and opportunities for professionals with strong humanities backgrounds to innovate and make a difference in the consulting world.

    The views expressed on this podcast are our own.

    If you enjoy what you're hearing, please follow/support us through any of the below media:

    Twitter: twitter.com/Panopticpod
    Patreon: www.patreon.com/panopticpod
    Website: www.panopticpod.com/
    Apple: podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/pan-…st/id1475726450
    Spotify: open.spotify.com/show/0edBN0huV1GkMFxSXErZIx

    • 1 hr 37 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
21 Ratings

21 Ratings

pvscx preston ,

Patient and rewarding exploration of big thought

I really enjoy this podcast. It is smart and I enjoy the philosophical exploration. I listen to each episode. Thanks for your great work!

Its Fun Guy ,

Thought-Provoking and Easy Going Listening

This podcast does a great job of riding the line between easy going and thought-provoking. Great listen for work.

MJMoss2 ,

Golds Gym for the brain

Jason, a “villainous rhetorician who appropriates theory to make money,” and Juan Pablo, a critical theorist at Stanford, explore how philosophy and theory impact organizations. If you are interested in communications, consider this a graduate school learning experience.

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