A podcast series about the choices we wish we could undo

A podcast series about the choices we wish we could undo

A podcast series about the choices we wish we could undo

Each week, philosopher Eleanor Gordon-Smith interviews real people to revisit a moment in their life when they felt they didn’t do the right thing. What unfolds are honest stories of lying, cheating, consent, blame and forgiveness that ultimately reveal the complexities of being human.

“Most of the interesting stuff doesn’t happen under ideal circumstances – it happens in the dark, with the little lapses we’re taught to be ashamed of, to forget, or to write off. Little Bad Thing and the people who shared their stories with me bring those things to the surface.

“We’re all so busy concealing our mistakes for fear of judgement that we forget that other people have made the same ones and that there can be insight and connection in talking about them,” says Eleanor Gordon-Smith.

Smart, dark, wry and surprising, this is a podcast for anyone who’s ever experienced the conflict of a hard decision – or is still haunted by a small one.

Each episode runs 20 minutes and features a mix of narration, interview and general discussion.

Listen to the Little Bad Thing Trailer

WHERE TO LISTEN

SEASON ONE EPISODES

All In One Basket

Georgina was sub-letting an apartment and took a few items when she moved out – with the full intention of returning them to the owner when they came back. She just never told them she’d taken them, even when they returned home. Then on a night out, Georgina received a text from the owner, branding her a thief. At first, she thought it was an overreaction – she wasn’t a thief…was she?

Listen to Ep 1 on Apple or Spotify now.

Read more about the ethical themes of this episode: 
Ethics Explainer: Moral imagination
Ignoring the people we don’t see
Why learning to be a good friend matters

Bystanders Standing By

Thomas was working as a checkout kid when it happened. His boss and fellow shelf-stackers had always had a problem with shoplifters. But that day was different. The culprit was a mentally handicapped shoplifter who they chased down, and Thomas’ boss did something terrible to him. Thomas spent years wondering why he just stood by. In this episode, he realises why.

Listen to Ep 2 on Apple or Spotify now.

Read more about the ethical themes of this episode:
Ethics Explainer: Akrasia – an Ancient Greek term for knowing the right thing and choosing not to do it.  
Bystander intervention in Hannah Arendt’s article about the trial of Adolf Eichmann and coined the term “the banality of evil”.   

Do The Right Thing

Lucia Osborne Crowley was raped when she was 15 years old. As an adult she decided to do something about what had happened – something that helped thousands of people, but changed her life forever. Some days she wishes she could go back to the world before she made that decision – even though she thinks it was the right one. If doing something is right, why does it sometimes feel so bad?

Listen to Ep 3 on Apple or Spotify now.

Read more about the ethical themes of this episode:
Lucia’s book
Denis Gentilin’s discussion of victims “finding their voice”. 
Oscar Schwartz’s piece about what justice requires after sexual violence. 

The Art of The Scam

David was just out of university, deep in debt, and eager for the chance to make money. He scored an internship at an investment firm which he quickly thought was fishy. But he would get a cut of any investment that he managed to source for them. That’s when he went to someone he already knew – and told them about an exciting business opportunity…  

Listen to Ep 4 on Apple and Spotify now.

Read more about the ethical themes of this episode:
Sell out, burn out. Decisions that won’t let you sleep at night by Fiona Smith that looks at whether the business world has different codes of moral conduct from the ordinary world. 
Why do good people do bad things by social psychologist Samuel Effron.

Two Kinds of Bully

Dan was trained in combat and having a bad day, so when he saw a stranger harassing a woman on the street, he went over to him ready to throw a punch if he needed to. At the time he thought he was on the side of justice – but when he got to the stranger, something happened that changed his mind. Months later he reflects on self-deceit and the perils of vigilante justice.

Listen to Ep 5 on Apple and Spotify now.

Read more about the ethical themes of this episode:
Shadow Values to find out more about the ways we can be guided by values that aren’t always visible to us. 
Let’s unpack the notion of courage for more discussion of courage and what bravery involves. 

The Sincerest Form of Flattery

Lukasz is a Polish font designer. He’s made some of the biggest fonts in the world. He fell in love with one particular font, but buyers kept abandoning it at the last minute. He was bereft at the thought of not finishing it until one day – a major company presented a way to get it finished – that would involve theft of another fellow font designer’s work.

Listen to Ep 6 on Apple and Spotify now.

Read more about the ethical themes of this episode:
Watch Michael Walzer explain “the problem of dirty hands” to learn more about the moral challenge of doing something wrong in exchange for something bigger. 
The ethics of Damien Hirst’s use of indigenous art for more on art, theft, and ethics of design.

And a Toy Xylophone

Michelle Brazier broke up with her partner of 7 years by arriving home from a work trip, taking her toothbrush and leaving with a carry-on suitcase containing a couple of things. The break up took 5 minutes. Years later Michelle wonders why she didn’t feel able to have That Conversation.

Listen to Ep 7 on Apple and Spotify now.

Read more about the ethical themes of this episode:
Michelle Brazier’s comedy and music.
Ethics explainer on Vulnerability to explore the key themes of care, separation, and gently rejecting others in this episode.  
A guide to having a difficult conversation.

All's Fair in Love and War

Simon Kennedy Jewel was in charge of distributing rations in a refugee camp in Central America. One day, he was given orders to stop providing food to people who didn’t have their ID card. Dozens went hungry. There was a riot. Back in Australia, Simon reflects on when trying to do good leads to a lot of bad, and how to rebuild when you lose your moral compass. 

Read more about the ethical themes of this episode:
Ethics Explainer: Deontology – a school of ethical thought which emphasises principles for their own sake instead of because of their good effects. 
A guide to making tough moral decisions.
How employers can help when their employees have to make these decisions.
Find out more about Ethi-call – a free counselling service. 

Whats inside the guide?

WITH THANKS

Supported by donations from The Ferris Family Foundation and the Charles Warman Foundation.

If you like what we do and you want to help us make more, donate here or sign up to hear about our events and articles.

A production of The Ethics Centre. Mix and Sound Design by Bryce Halliday. Music by Breakmaster Cylinder & Blue Dot Sessions. Hosted and produced by Eleanor Gordon-Smith. Sound edits by Colin Ho, Executive Producer Danielle Harvey.