Podcast Roundup

I have a podcast problem… Too much audio and not enough time. This usually results in me listening to podcasts whenever I can, just to keep up with my growing feed. This summer I added to the problem by listening to the whole (and brilliant) History of Rome which led me to fall even further behind on my listening.


Then yesterday – the horror – my app crashed. This led to a frantic scrambling for the last backup – which naturally was way too old to be interesting. Thankfully, and with the wonderful twitter support my issue with RSSRadio Podcast Downloader was fixed by the developer himself and my listening could continue. So today, after the fact, its time to do a backup. And since I am doing that I may as well list the podcasts that right now have my ears. Here are the names and their rss feeds. 


The History Hour – – – Analysis – – – Great Lives – – – Drama of the Week – – – The Moth – – – From Our Own Correspondent Podcast – – – Friday Night Comedy from BBC Radio 4 – – – Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review – – – Spanarna i P1 – – – Comedy of the Week – – – This American Life – – – The Infinite Monkey Cage – – – Revolutions – – – 99% Invisible – – – BackStory with the American History Guys – – – TED Radio Hour – – – Serial – – – The Why Factor – – – Thinking Allowed – – – A Point of View – – – In Our Time – – – Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything – – – Radio Diaries – – – The Truth – – – Fugitive Waves with The Kitchen Sisters – – – the memory palace – – – The Allusionist – – – Reply All – – – TLDR – – – Four Thought – – – Death, Sex & Money – – – Gastropod – – – Lore – – – No Such Thing As A Fish – – – Us & Them – – – Criminal – – – Life of the Law – – – Vox’s The Weeds – – – Intersection – – – Imaginary Worlds – – – KCRW’s UnFictional – – – The New Yorker Radio Hour – – – Radiolab – – – Invisibilia – – – Planet Money – – – Hidden Histories of the Information Age – – – Results May Vary Podcast Podcast: Design Thinking for Living – – – Popaganda – – – KCRW’s Here Be Monsters – – – The Philosopher’s Arms – – – Note to Self – – – Strangers – – – Esquire Classic Podcast – – – The Documentary – – – Moral Maze – – – The Heart – – – Radio Motherboard – – – 2 Dope Queens – – – Codebreaker – – – Longform – – – Call Your Girlfriend – – – For Colored Nerds – – – Imagine Otherwise – – – There Goes the Neighborhood – – – Monocle 24: The Urbanist – – – Audio long reads – – – Code Switch – – – The History of Rome – – – Bildningspodden – – – Radiolab Presents: More Perfect – – – Reasonably Sound – – – Flash Forward – – – The Nerdist – – – The History of English Podcast – – – The New York Public Library Podcast – – – You Must Remember This – – – Philosophize This! – – – PhDivas – – – Revisionist History – – – LIFE101.audio – – – ReLearning Podcast

Some of these I have been following for a long time, others I have gone back to listen to their whole back catalog (some may not longer be coming out with new episodes and I really need to delete them). Then there is some new stuff for me like PhDivas, of which I have only listened to one episode so far. And some I have just been released – like Life101 which is Mike Wesch’s new podcast project.                                                                                                file5                                               file4file6







The post crash and end of summer is a good time to go through my feed and begin prepping for the start of term – even when it comes to podcasts.



What I listen to – the best podcasts around

There are people who don’t listen to podcasts – often these are the same ones who surprise me by buying and downloading public domain books. It’s like we live in different realities. Parallel universes. So the sad truth is that most of my listening is not to music but I much prefer lectures and podcasts. I cannot listen to music while I run or go to the gym, so I am the one grunting to some obscure point being made by a speaker. And since I was asked what I listen to, I thought that I would make a list. Feel free to recommend stuff to me.

For a shorter podcast try A Point of View it’s just what it says in the title. My recent favorite was Adam Gopnik explaining his indifference to Twitter. But no matter the topic, it’s always worth the 15 minutes. BBC Analysis is an in-depth discussion on a current affairs. An Australian version of this is  RN Big Ideas.

The Naked Scientist produced by the University of Cambridge its a light look at whats on in the science world. Big Picture Science is similar light hearted nerdy fun. For more science fun I highly recommend The Infinite Monkey Cage.

Little Atoms is about ideas, Crossing Continents is world affairs with a human touch, From Our Own Correspondent is a personal observation by a foreign correspondent somewhere in the world. The latter is a favorite even if it does overlap crossing continents at times. File on Four is analytical and deeper, really good with the right topic but less so when the subject matter doesn’t connect. The Forum is all about ideas and thinkers and is really worth listening to.

Radio Dude by Wrote CC BY NC

My fiction list includes Drama of the Week which is a classic type of radio theater, Radio 4 Comedy of the Week, Friday Night Comedy (both make lifting heavy weights difficult) and the Swedish witty show Spanarna. While not fiction but the storytelling of This American Life and The Moth seem to fit into this category.

For history I listen to Great Lives where a guest and expert discuss the impact of a historical person, History Extra usually interviews the author of a recent historical work of non-fiction, The History Hour plays interviews of survivors of historical events (both great and obscure), In Our Time is a panel of distinguished academics dissecting an event or concept, and   Revolutions has gone through the English Civil War and has now begun on the American War of Independence.

For long distance running, light humor, heavy banter, occasional rants and film reviews Mark Kermode & Simon Mayo’s Film Review is a must have. More or Less looks at statistics gone wrong in the media (more interesting than it sounds), Philosophy Bites is a 15 minute bit of depth, The World Book Club is a long interview with a well established author (always want to go and buy books after this).

The Why Factor looks at the meaning behind everyday objects and, saving the best for last, my absolute favorite podcast is Thinking Allowed sociological discussions of current thoughts and ideas. Brilliant.



Is Spock a Professor of ethics at Oxford?

Podcasts are the best thing since sliced bread. So why is it that so few actually know what they are or how to use them? Strange. Or is it just difficult to break ingrained behavior? But this is not about trying to persuade those who don’t get it but I just want to push the amazing series of podcast being sent now on the BBC Arts & Ideas show.

With a focus on the theme of Change the show presents lectures and a following q&a session from people like Landscape architect Charles Jencks, Neuro-scientist Sarah-Jayne Blakemore (listening to her now), Psychotherapist Susie Orbach & Economist Aditya Chakrabortty.

All these were great but the lecture that really blew me away was by Professor Julian Savulescu who spoke about the duty of change and the case for human enhancement and genetic selection. What I liked was the way in which he, like some philosophers seem to do, took a logical thinking to its consequences. Most of the time we find it difficult to accept a logical chain of thought. Well ok, I do… I get to the beginning where I can lay out the foundations. A is true, B is true… (and so on) but when drawing out the consequences I often shy away from the obvious as I am steered by an irrational emotion. What a philosopher can do is to dare to think the unthinkable.

With his bold logic, I suspect that Julian Savulescu may actually be Spock.



Free Knowledge

Let me begin by admitting that I really cannot stand working out to music. It bores me to no end. Particularly if I am running, if the wrong song shows up I just lose the will to jog.

Sad as I am I really enjoy listening to lectures while working out. Sad I know. That’s why I really become happy when I find more free courses online. This happiness increased when I came across 250 new course online (via PhilosophyBytes)  after browsing a few minutes I was already downloading:

  • HannibaliTunes – Patrick Hunt, Stanford.
  • Introduction to NonviolenceiTunesStream Audio and Video – Michael Nagler, UC Berkeley
  • GlobalizationiTunesFeedMP3s – Robert Acker, UC Berkeley
  • European Civilization, 1648-1945 – iTunes – YouTube – Download Course – John Merriman, Yale
  • The Roman EmpireiTunesFeedMP3s – Isabelle Pafford, UC Berkeley
  • Theories of Law and SocietyiTunesFeed – David Lieberman, UC Berkeley
  • History of InformationiTunesFeed – Paul Duguid, UC Berkeley