When given the chance to create a podcast for his capstone project, Cornelio Jaimes saw it as his opportunity to help others understand how philosophy can be applied to everyday events.
As a senior philosophy and broadcasting double major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, it’s a relationship that’s often on his mind.
His podcast, “POPwCORN,” focuses on recent pop culture events from the perspective of different philosophical theories.
“I definitely want to develop the podcast into something to discuss politics and pop culture and media overall through the lens of a particular philosophical theory each month,” he said. “The second episode was about the Fyre Festival, so it is something that people have heard about. But when I add the philosophical theory, they also get to engage and learn something new.”
The first episode was released on Jan. 31, and new episodes are posted monthly on SoundCloud.
On each episode, Jaimes welcomes guests who can add input and knowledge to the topic at hand. While his College of Journalism and Mass Communications independent study capstone instructor Michelle Hassler suggested inviting faculty members or more decorated guests onto the podcast, Jaimes stuck with his idea of having students as guests to show the distinction between academic philosophy and everyday philosophy.
“People think certain things are deep, and I think it’s not that it’s deep or superficial, it’s just philosophy,” Jaimes said. “I want to show people that when they think, ‘Oh, that’s just a thought I had, it might be a little stupid,’ [I say], ‘No, your thought is legitimate. It’s just that academics like to fill their theories with jargon, while in reality, we all have the same thoughts and we aren’t all that different.’”
Joe Aguirre, a junior broadcast production major, met Jaimes in a broadcast cinematography class last semester, and the two have since become friends. Aguirre was a guest on the second episode of “POPwCORN,” on which they discussed Fyre Festival in relation to the philosophical idea of simulacra — or the creation of an image of a person or object.
Aguirre said the way Jaimes makes technical philosophy terms easy to understand is what makes his podcast stand out from other philosophically focused podcasts or shows.
“Everybody goes through and analyzes these things, and you’ll see different things on YouTube,” Aguirre said. “But what makes [Jaimes’ show] different is how he brings this dialogue of just feeling more relaxed. The terms are very technical, but I think he nails it down to the point where you can understand what he is talking about, and if you want to learn more, you can learn more.”
According to Aguirre, Jaimes’ philosophical knowledge and Socratic approach make him a fitting host of a podcast because of how deeply he digs into guests’ opinions to figure out why they subscribe to a certain philosophy or ideology.
“He is a little bit confrontational but not to an extent that is mean or rude, but it is kinda more like ‘Can you explain it to me more?’ in order to pick apart an argument and understand it better,” Aguirre said.
While the podcast is still young with only two episodes out, the third is in the works and is set to be released April 5. But Jaimes has more ideas to keep the podcast going beyond his capstone project.
“I definitely want to continue this and even get more episodes in, so instead of doing a monthly episode, I want to be able to produce one every two weeks,” he said. “I already have episodes lined up for this summer, and as far as I have planned, at least for this year, I have six or eight more episodes. So I definitely do see this going long term.”