TWIN FALLS — When Patrick Farnsworth isn’t working as a barista at Twin Beans Coffee Co., he’s interviewing locals and experts from all over the world about hard-hitting topics.
Farnsworth, a 28-year-old Magic Valley native, launched his own podcast, “Last Born In the Wilderness,” three years ago. He produces one episode — ranging from 30 minutes to two hours — nearly every week.
Some episodes feature local topics such as BASE jumping. Many episodes, though, delve into complex topics on a national and international scale, including human civilization, politics, the Hobbesian worldview, the roots of Antifa resistance in America, the psychedelic roots of Christianity, habitat destruction, private military corporations and climate change.
The bottom line for Farnsworth: He wants to produce compelling episodes worth listening to. He said he wants to talk with more people who have unusual and compelling perspectives.
He also wants to reach out to more community members to feature on his podcast and have more high-profile guests.
But ultimately, it doesn’t matter how famous the interview subjects are, Farnsworth said. He’s happy if an episode impacts a listener.
“If you do it right, you feel like you’re in the room with that person and part of the conversation,” he said.
The episodes feature scientists, university professors, activists and philosophers from all over the world who are experts in their field. Recent interview subjects include conservation biologist Guy McPherson about climate change and John Mark Dougan, a former Florida police officer who fled to Russia.
Farnsworth also interviewed Samra Culum, student development coordinator at the College of Southern Idaho, on the topic: “Our Humanity In Times Of Peril: War, Community, & Revisiting Trauma.”
Starting as a teenager, Farnsworth immersed himself in books and following the news. He decided to start a podcast to delve into topics and talk with experts.
“I need to go to the source,” he said.
Also, “it’s sort of like a form of therapy,” he said, and a way to connect with others who care about the same topics he does and want to figure things out. “It’s a way for me to not feel so alone.”
Farnsworth grew up in the Buhl/Castleford area and dropped out of high school at age 17. He said he hated the structure of school and was depressed as a child.
The name of his podcast, “Last Born In the Wilderness,” has roots in his childhood.
He grew up as the youngest child in a Mormon family. Farnsworth said his father used the phrase as a term of endearment. It’s also used in the Book of Mormon.
Now, Farnsworth has come to appreciate the depth and ambiguity of it. “It resonates with a lot of people in a very unique way,” he said.
After dropping out of high school, Farnsworth later earned a high school equivalency certificate and immediately afterward, enrolled at CSI and took classes for a few semesters.
He said he didn’t like the college experience — particularly, doing homework and jumping through hoops set by someone else when he didn’t know what he wanted to do for a career.
But he loved listening to engaging speakers and delving into conversation in his classes.
When it comes to podcasting, Farnsworth is self-taught, and has learned about audio recording and interviewing through his own experiences.
Within the last year, “I really started taking it seriously,” he said, and that included upgrading his audio equipment.
Farnsworth said he hears comments from his podcast listeners about wanting to go back and hear his earlier episodes. “There are a few gems, but there’s mostly crap.”
He said he doesn’t have a huge follower base, but some individual episodes end up having a wider reach.
As he continues to produce episodes, Farnsworth is starting to see new opportunities crop up. For instance, he was accepted to speak at TEDx Twin Falls this year.
And he’s looking for feedback on his work, he said. “I’m open to having a conversation with the community.”