Podcast Recommendations

Podcasts to Which I Regularly Listen

  • Astronomy Cast – 30 minutes pretty well on the button and covers specific topics in astronomy.  I think it’s more accurately a physics podcast but it’s both clear and conversational.  The host is quite good at coming up with good questions as well as good metaphors and examples for tricky stuff.
  • Backstory – Podcast on American History.  Hosts are very knowledgeable, clocks in under an hour.
  • Back to Work – Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin talk about productivity.  It’s Merlin Mann so it’s good.
  • The Economist – Readings of weekly articles and a few other segments like Democracy in America, The World Next Week and Certain Ideas About Europe.
  • For Good Reason – Podcast now hosted by DJ Grothe when he moved to the JREF.  Seems to be identical to what Point of Inquiry was.  Discusses topics in skepticism.
  • Freakonomics Radio – Curious topics in economics along the lines of the Freakonomics blog and book.  Each episode is a little short of what I’d want it to be but it’s free.
  • Ihnatko Almanac – Andy Ihnatko’s diary of popular nerd culture.  I thought I’d have trouble with large doses of Andy but found his long form presentation exceptional.
  • In Beta – Show by Gin Tripani and Kevin Purdy about web apps and development culture.  Weekly, about 45 minutes.
  • Lexicon Valley – Show by Slate Magazine on language.  Sub-30 minute episodes.  Fascinating.
  • NPR: Intelligence Squared – Seasonally produced Debate netcast done in Stanford-style debate. Two or three rounds of discourse followed by limited cross-examination and questions from the audience. 45 minutes to 2 hours per episode.
  • NPR: Wait Wait…. Don’t Tell Me – Funniest show on NPR with smart folks talking about current events. Weekly hour show is a good review of the previous week and I like it much more than “What Do You Know?”
  • On Taking Pictures – One of the only photography podcasts that says it’s not about gear and indeed isn’t
  • On the Media – Fascinating coverage of news media rather than the news itself. 1 hour weekly has high production values and also shows you how the sausage is made which is welcome from the pure polish you get elsewhere.
  • Point of Inquiry – Weekly podcast hosted by various hosts out of the Center For Inquiry.  Focuses on topics of skeptical review of religion, pseudoscience and public outreach for skeptical inquiry.  After the departure of DJ Grothe the breadth of topics has expanded considerably.
  • Rationally Speaking – The host, Massimo Pegliucci is a well-spoken polymath few can touch for clarity and energy.  Too short.  Each show covers a specific topic in reasonable thinking, sometimes with guests.  Easily in my to 10.
  • Reasonable Doubts Podcast – A skeptical look at fundamentalism and excess of religion as viewed by former religious students and textual scholars lasting about 1.25 hours.  Funny.
  • Roderick on the Line – Hysterical show on adult life and music with Merlin Mann and John Roderick.  Heir to You Look Nice Today.
  • Science Talk – Scientific American and AAAS show on current science. Lots of event coverage and good interviews in each hour show.
  • Security Now! -Award-winning 75 minute-ish weekly on computer security. Host is a bit arrogant at times but he knows what he’s talking about. Every other show covers reader questions and the mailbag portion is much better than most shows.
  • Skeptoid: Critical Analysis of Pop Phenomena – Short, to the point show with themed episodes on skeptic topics. Well done, a bit funny and extensive show notes. Varying time and issuance.
  • The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe– Best skeptic news program out there. Each weekly show is over an hour and usually has a pretty good interview.
  • Story Collider – Weekly shorts pulled from live shows about people’s interface with science.  Often funny, sometimes moving.  Short episodes.
  • This American Life – The hour-long weekly flagship of NPR.  Well-produced stories of strange slice-of-life.
  • This Week in Google – The combination of Gina Trapani, Jeff Jarvis, and Leo Laporte is simply dynamite.  Everything Jeff says is insightful, funny, or both.  Gina has a strong hand on emerging software technologies and the guests are wonderful.   90 minutes, weekly.
  • This Week in Tech – Namesake of TWiT network and great technology show that clocks in usually around an hour. Nice spread of tech-people and regular panelists are sharp.
  • Triangulation – Periodic interview show with Leo Laporte, Tom Merritt and some luminary in computer technology.  Guests are amazing.
  • Weird Things – Andrew Mayne, Justin Robert Young, and Brian Brushwood talk about recent science and technology news as answer listener questions.   Quite funny.
  • Welcome to Night Vale – Bimonthly podcast about a fictional desert town.
  • WNYC’s Radio Lab – Irregularly released shows between 10 minutes and two hours on big topics like Morality and Time. While these topics are a bit touchy/feely compared to harder science fair it assumes little knowledge and is easy to get hooked by.  Stunning and compelling.
  • Andrew Kling

    You really need top add CPU magazine to your list of reading, I'll give you a past issue if you haven't seen their wisdom of computer related magazines.