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Ask HN: What are some good podcasts?
73 points by aml183 on Dec 24, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 49 comments

Many of the others mentioned here, as well as...

- Risk! (http://risk-show.com) Kevin Allison's own version of The Moth, with more risque, embarrassing, or otherwise scandalous topics than you usually see on other storytelling podcasts. Generally humorous, with some intense moments.

- Death, Sex, & Money (http://www.wnyc.org/shows/deathsexmoney) Intense real-life stories that somehow relate to death, sex, and/or money. Often interview-based, with occasional investigative elements.

- Planet Money (http://www.npr.org/sections/money/) Entertaining, creative stories on financial topics, in a broad sense.

- Heavyweight (https://gimletmedia.com/heavyweight/) Jonathan Goldstein's new podcast, featuring stories from a "moment where everything changed" in someone's life.

Can't say enough good things about My Brother My Brother and Me. Three super clever dudes who just riff on advice questions and posts from Yahoo Answers.


They also do a D&D game with their dad that they call The Adventure Zone which is some of the best entertainment I've found this year.


Kiss your dad square on the lips.

What topics are you looking for? Tech related? General interest? Sports? Science? Crime and mystery?

A couple I really enjoy:

- Dan Carlin's Harcore History [1] An infrequent but well done pod on various history stories. Well worth the listen.

- The West Wing Weekly [2] One of the actors from The West Wing and another guy watch and discuss and episode of the West Wing each week.

- RadioLab [3] A good podcast with various topics of interest.

- The Lowe Post [4] My favorite NBA podcast.

- EconTalk [5] A longer podcast that touches on various subjects. The name is quite deceptive.

[1] http://www.dancarlin.com

[2] http://thewestwingweekly.com

[3] http://www.radiolab.org

[4] http://m.espn.com/general/cast?id=10528553&src=desktop

[5] http://www.econtalk.org

+1 for Dan Carlin, his WW1 series is incredible, astounding, it should be played at school.

Yeah, Hardcore History is amazing. Wrath of the Khans is the HH series I enjoyed the most. Blueprint for Armageddon is also good, and Death Throes of the Republic had a fantastic beginning.

I go to bed to EconTalk almost every night. I think I've gone through the entire catalogue (10 years of weekly episodes) a couple times. I find Russ Roberts an engaging interviewer.

Top Pick:

- 99% Invisible (http://99percentinvisible.org/) : Well-produced radio stories about the designed world.

Software development:

- Hanselminutes (http://hanselminutes.com/) : "Fresh Air for Developers". A weekly discussion with web developer and technologist Scott Hanselman (well-known blogger, podcaster, and Microsoft employee).


- Jordan, Jesse Go (http://maximumfun.org/shows/jordan-jesse-go) : A free-form discussion-based podcast hosted by two funny dudes, Jordan Morris (@midnight) and Jesse Thorn (Bullseye, Judge John Hodgeman), that is quickly becoming my favorite podcast.

- Spontaneanation (http://www.earwolf.com/show/spontaneanation-with-paul-f-tomp...) : A free-form improv comedy podcast hosted by the great Paul F. Tompkins.

- The Dead Author's Podcast (http://thedeadauthorspodcast.libsyn.com/) : A live show in which H.G. Wells (Paul F. Tompkins) brings another deceased author (played by another comedian) to the present day for a discussion loosely based on the author's work. (This show is now defunct, but there are 50 good episodes)

Notable mention:

- Reply All (https://gimletmedia.com/reply-all/) : A well-produced, interesting, and often funny show in which the hosts investigate stories about or originating from the internet.

EconTalk is the one podcast I don't miss each week.

London School of Economics generously podcasts its events. It leads its peers by doing so. This talk remains a favorite: http://www.lse.ac.uk/website-archive/newsAndMedia/videoAndAu...

The storytelling podcasts are a pleasure: Snap judgment, the moth, radiolab, StoryCorps.

Chapo was one of my favorite things to have this year. Can recommend the premium content as well.

A good primer is their first episode after November's election: Episode 58 - We Live in The Zone Now https://soundcloud.com/chapo-trap-house/episode-58-we-live-i...

Another great starting point is their episode where they first take on the writings of pundit Ross Douthat: Episode 3 - Freeway Ross Douthat Sailboat Dope (3/27/16) by Chapo Trap House https://soundcloud.com/chapo-trap-house/episode-3-freeway-ro...

I think the Adam Curtis interview, though the obvious choice, is a really good listen even if you don't think you fit the typical listener's mold: https://soundcloud.com/chapo-trap-house/episode-65-no-future...

The Ross Douthat episodes are great, and the "Chapo Traphouse Book Club" at its finest. But nothing can top the Ralph Douthat Twitter account: https://twitter.com/ralphdouthat?lang=en

Thanks for pointing out the Curtis interview.

If you cannot handle the ~3 hour running time of Hypernormalisation, Curtis was able to concisely summarise the message in the interview. I don't quite know how to feel about that.

FWIW, I'd highly recommend 'Waking Up' podcast by Sam Harris. He has this rare combination of eloquence and substance. The specific episodes I liked are with the following guests:

David Deutsch[1][2]; Paul Bloom[3] -- he has two other episodes, too; Stuart Russell[4]; David Chalmers[5]; William MacAskill[6]; and Douglas Murray[7].

[1] https://soundcloud.com/samharrisorg/surviving-the-cosmos

[2] https://soundcloud.com/samharrisorg/52-finding-our-way-in-th...

[3] https://soundcloud.com/samharrisorg/56-abusing-dolores-a-con...

[4] https://soundcloud.com/samharrisorg/the-dawn-of-artificial- intelligence

[5] https://soundcloud.com/samharrisorg/david-chalmers

[6] https://soundcloud.com/samharrisorg/being-good-and-doing-goo...

[7] https://soundcloud.com/samharrisorg/on-the-maintenance-of-ci...

+1 for the No Agenda podcast, by John C. Dvorak and Adam C. Curry.

They watch the news (so you don't have to!) and each week they de-construct the biggest stories from around the world, revealing the truths behind - and the motivations for - the news that's given to consumers.

This is by far the best podcast Ive personally enjoyed besides maybe Waking Up with Sam Harris. The "old friends" chemistry the hosts have cannot be understated. In the morning!

I like the Tim Ferris show: http://fourhourworkweek.com/podcast/

He's a great interviewer and has very interesting guests.

Though you're right that he's a decent interviewer and does have interesting guests, I'm going to reluctantly give a vote against Tim Ferris. It's hard for me to put my finger on exactly why I don't like him. It's like he's a modern-day snake-oil salesman, but that doesn't fully capture what's off about him. It's the name-dropping, the self-aggrandizement, the uncritical support for every new thing that's sciency, seemingly just so he can lay claim to being on the forefront. He just rubs me the wrong way.

Yeah, I am put off by his zen shtick too.It bothered me a little since so many people I respect swear by the altar of Tim Ferris™ and I decided to listen to some of his stuff but I couldn't shake off the snake-oil salesman vibe.He just comes off as a relentless self-promoting machine whose main 'product' is himself and his public image.I assume it's a taste thing and his stuff might be useful for other people.

I second this.

On the surface the topics and guests are impressive however to me he also has the air of a snake oil salesman, devoid of real substance.

glad I'm not the only one ;)

I started podcast listening from the Tim Ferris show. It was interesting in the beginning, but not so much recently. You may like my current favorite - James Altucher show. It feels a bit whacky in the beginning, but grows on you. He prepares well for the podcasts and seems to engage the guests well.

BBC Radio Four has a bunch.

In Our Time : http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qykl

The A-Z of topics shows how broad it is: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qykl/topics

Inside the Ethics Committee: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007xbtd

> Joan Bakewell is joined by a panel of experts to wrestle with the ethics arising from a real-life medical case.

In Business : http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006s609

> Series of programmes about the whole world of work, public and private, from vast corporations to modest volunteers

The Bottom Line : http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006sz6t

They take a bunch of people in business and have a group chat about stuff.

The Reunion : http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007x9vc

> Series which reunites a group of people intimately involved in a moment of modern history

Anything Merlin Mann works for me :

- back to work http://5by5.tv/b2w

- roderick on the line http://www.merlinmann.com/roderick/

- you look nice today http://youlooknicetoday.com/

http://noagendashow.com award winning media assassination. Best news podcast. No advertising, fully listener supported (value for value).


I think Cortex (https://www.relay.fm/cortex) is particularly interesting. The hosts are Myke Hurley (makes podcasts) and CGP Grey (makes YouTube videos) and they mostly talk about the unique challenges of and strategies for creating stuff as a living, and also Apple products.

I enjoy Sam Harris, https://www.samharris.org/podcast .

If you're into this sort of thing "The History of Rome" by Mike Duncan is an excellent podcast. It's a complete chronological history of Rome that Mike Duncan does a great job of keeping interesting.

We Had A Good Life

Two brothers who tell us stories about current events, interesting history and their lives.


A good intro to their style is The Thickening video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdvpMYwlKn8

Recently, I caught Beautiful Anonymous. Comedian Chris Gethard talks to anonymous phone callers for 1 hour. Some interesting stuff pops up on the lives for Americans.


I always recommend The History of Rome and the Revolutions podcasts by Mike Duncan. Really incredibly interesting history podcasts.

I also have been really enjoying the History of English podcast as a neat hybrid linguistics / history podcast hybrid.

The Amp Hour - Chris Gammel and David Jones from the eevblog talk to interesting guests about electronics

Reconcilable Differences - As it says on the tin: John Siracusa and Merlin Mann try to figure out exactly how they got this way.

Omega Tau - Interviews with people who know things about science and engineering, lots of interesting aviation related content, but also the only podcast I know of where there are interviews with people who make or work with instruments like mass spectrometers, electron microscopes, lasers, synchrotrons, XFELs.

I enjoy "Programming Throw-down" http://www.programmingthrowdown.com/

Exponent: fantastic analysis and discussion of tech, society, trends, strategy. One of my favorites.


BBC Documentaries, Intelegence Squared, Big Ideas by ABC's RN, Freakonomics, Selected Shorts, Guardian Live, The history hour, From Our Own Correspondant

Conversations with Tyler (Cowen)

uhh yeah dude. the only comedy podcast worth listening to.


Accidental Tech Podcast


Casual discussion about tech (especially Apple)

Radiotopia would be the place to begin. Just give each show a try, and you've sampled the best available.

* The Data Skeptic: a data scientist and his wife (that has no knowledge of statistics) discuss data science and skepticism;

* Dan Carlin´s "Common Sense" is pretty good if you're jonesing from "Hardcore History";

* Freakonomics is pretty decent too.

Health & In General on YouTube Jay Rogen Time Ferris Bulletproof Radio Self Hack Radio

- Invisibilia

- 99% Invisible

- RadioLab

- StartUp

Others: This American Life, Hidden Brain, The Weeds

the infinite monkey cage by Brian Cox and the other guy

no such thing as a fish by the qi elves

in our time

James Altucher Show (interviews, founders) http://www.jamesaltucher.com/category/the-james-altucher-sho...

Software Engineering Daily (technical software topics) https://softwareengineeringdaily.com/category/podcast/

Soft Skills Engineering https://softskills.audio/

NPR: How I Built This (innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists) http://www.npr.org/podcasts/510313/how-i-built-this

Developer Tea https://developertea.com/

Cognicast (Clojure Ecosystem) http://blog.cognitect.com/cognicast/

Descriptive (Programmer Origin Stories) http://descriptive.audio/

Reactive Podcast (thoughts on modern software engineering) http://reactive.audio/

Turing Incomplete (Podcast about programming)http://turing.cool/

Accidental Tech Podcast (tech talk, heavy on apple stuff) http://atp.fm/

The Web Platform (all things web) http://thewebplatform.libsyn.com/

Freelancers Show https://devchat.tv/freelancers

5 minutes of Javascript http://fivejs.codeschool.com/

Entreprogrammers (Programmers entrepreneurs) http://entreprogrammers.com/

The Gently Mad http://avclark.com/tgm/

Hansel Minutes (Life, Business and entrepreneurs) http://www.hanselminutes.com/

Lets make mistakes (Web and Designers) http://www.muleradio.net/mistakes/

Node Up (Node.js) http://nodeup.com/

Javascript Jabber http://javascriptjabber.com/

ShopTalkShow (web development, mostly front-end) http://shoptalkshow.com/

Techzing (General Tech, Founders, Dev) http://techzinglive.com

I love audio drama, these are the good ones.

Sayer | If AGI ran your space station/life. http://geeklyinc.com/category/sayer/

EOS-10 | Space Sci-fi comedy, great acting. http://www.eos10.com/

Wolf 359 | Space Sci-fi comedy with well executed high drama. http://www.wolf359.fm/

Limetown | unusual conspiracy thriller. http://www.limetownstories.com

Alba Salix | Fantasy comedy. http://www.albasalix.com/

Wooden Overcoats | Competitive undertaking. http://www.woodenovercoats.com/

Tanis | Conspiracy mystery thriller. http://www.tanispodcast.com/

The Black Tapes | Creepy ghost stories. http://theblacktapespodcast.com

Especially Noteworthy:

Our Fair City | my favorite, a work of genius, the highest production values, actually better than the BBC.

We're Alive | entertaining zombie drama horror, terrific use of sound. http://www.werealive.com/

Genre Specific (usually short stories):

Escape Pod | science fiction. http://escapepod.org/ Pod Castle | fantasy. http://podcastle.org/ Pseudo Pod | horror. http://pseudopod.org/

I find the best new material from Radio Drama Revival


These are also good leads:

The Audio Drama Directory | http://theaudiodramadirectory.com/sciencefiction/

The Parsec Awards | http://www.parsecawards.com/

Non-fiction, most of the usual suspects.

ABC's Future Tense 99% Invisible Hardcore History Joe Rogan (guest specific) Radiolab Robots Podcast NPR's Planet Money Green Building Advisor The Building Performance podcast The Tiny Life podcast (on Tiny Homes)

I also listen to Lovecraft when I want to get to sleep (/s).

Lovecratian horror is not what most people think of when they think of horror. It is more existential.

Sebastian Orr does a great narration:

http://www.ourfaircity.com/2011/12/the-rats-in-the-walls-pt-.... http://www.ourfaircity.com/2012/01/part-two/

Inspired by Lovecraft, A Colder War by Charlie Stross is also a favorite.

Tanis completely changed my opinion about audio drama! Got the recommendation through Reply All and I'm now on my third listen-through. It's insanely compelling and I can't get it out of my head. Gonna look into some of your recommendations here, thanks!

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