The Power of Categories

While Invisibilia continues to be well produced and researched, but the “wow” factor is diminishing with each passing show.

And the fifth episode, The Power of Categories doesn’t change that.

The episode focuses on how our minds need to put things in categories. People, places, things are all categorized. However, as Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel point out, if something doesn’t fit, our minds have a hard time understanding what it is.

It’s an interesting concept. It’s how our mind organizes things. You’d think it would lead to an interesting episode.

For me, it didn’t. The Power of Categories was the weakest story so far. I can’t say worst, because it’s not bad. Miller and Spiegel research the topics and come across confident in every episode.

But this specific episode just fell flat.

The first segment is the most interesting part of the episode. It focused on a transgendered woman, but one who didn’t have a typical backstory. This individual, who didn’t use their real name, claimed to mentally switch between male and female. The switch came at random, but it happened.

If you haven’t listened to this episode yet, then go and listen to the first half. It is interesting, but questionable. To me, it sounded like bull. A load of hog wash. Even the show’s hosts said some experts in sex/gender studies thumbed their nose up at the persons’ claim.

The second half of The Power of Categories was..well, it was there.

To be clear, I still think Invisibilia is one of the better podcasts out there. The show is an hour long human interest piece, broken up into two to four sub stories. They have the chance to go in depth to fully explain a theory or event.

But going deep on everything is high risk, high reward. It grabs the audience or it doesn’t. Unfortunately, this episode doesn’t. I’d love shower the show with praise.

But three of the first five episodes have missed the mark and that’s maddening. How To Be Batman and the first episode are prime examples of how powerful the stories can be.

But The Power of Categories isn’t one of those examples.

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