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Ask HN: What were your most impactful podcast episodes from 2019?
444 points by rajesh-s on Jan 12, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 200 comments
Invest like the best and For Your Innovation are two great podcasts that I came across last year.

For me it's got to be the podcast "On The Metal" by the guys over at Oxide Computer Company. I was a big fan of a lot of the talks by Bryan Cantrill and Jess Frazelle, but hearing these two talk to people who worked on such interesting problems at some amazing points in history makes me so happy.

It was also such a good reminder of why i wanted to do software, and re-ignited my love of working closer to the metal.

In terms of a single episode though, I would have to go with the interview with Jeff Rothschild. The guy had such an interesting career with some hilarious problems. Also, the most recent one with Kenneth Finnegan, while from 2020 not 2019 is honestly an amazing listen.

Link for those interested: https://open.spotify.com/show/4GDUravTUbvTrdJ2oWnzJp

We're so glad you like it! As stupid as it might sound, we're big fans too: these conversations have been incredible, and a great reminder to everyone about the singular joy of computers. We have some amazing ones in the pipeline (i.e., already recorded). In the next few weeks, look for security researcher Rich Altherr (discoverer of the USBAnywhere vuln), microprocessor aficionado Jon Masters -- and then our longest episode yet (!) with the incomparable Jonathan Blow.

Right now, I'm trying not to drop to my knees like Wayne in front of Alice Cooper!!!

I love the enthusiasm you guys have for this though, it's so palpable. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for these coming episodes, they all sound amazing.

I second “On the Metal”. My favorite episode thus far is Kenneth Finnegan on starting the Freemont Cabal Internet Exchange. A well told and empowering story of grassroots community building. Makes me want to get an ASN.


I'll second this recommendation. Every episode so far has been top notch! I really hope they are able to keep the quality bar high as they continue to make episodes.

Agreed. The content recently on the Titan was super interesting. I'd like to here more from Jess! As much as I love Bryan, his incredible enthusiasm (awesome) dominates a lot of the convo.

So this probably isn't quite what you're looking for, but my favourite podcast discovery in 2019 was Off Book: The Improvised Musical Podcast.

Each week Jess McKenna, Zach Reino, and their band are joined by a special guest and together they improvised an entire hour-long musical from scratch without anything prepared ahead of time, including the music.

It's just utterly remarkable how good and clever and funny it is given it's entirely improvised and off the cuff. In my opinion it's one of the most astonishing demonstrations of human creativity I've ever seen, and it's doubly impressive when you remember they do it every single week and still never run out of ideas.


I would also HIGHLY recommend the Futility Closet podcast and website. The podcast is described as "forgotten stories from the pages of history" but it's so much more than that, and so is the website. Anyone who enjoys logic puzzles, mathematics, chess, history, old books, and interesting stories will love it.



If you ever get the chance to see them, the Improvised Shakespeare Company does something in the same vein, and it’s absolutely incredible.

Thanks for the recommendation, I'll check them out!

Basically all of The Anthropocene Reviewed: https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/anthropocene-reviewed

Beautiful essays by John Green. I only started listening at the end of December.


I've also been checking out the Political Philosophy Podcast, and I've liked what I've heard till now: https://www.politicalphilosophypodcast.com/


Again, I can't choose specific episodes, but Heavyweight is pretty amazing too: https://gimletmedia.com/shows/heavyweight

I discovered The Anthropocene Reviewed last year. My favorite review is Tetris: “Tetris is a game about time and space. Time is always speeding up, with blocks falling faster and faster, and space is always filling in. There is no winning, Tetris always ends the same way, no matter how expertly you place the blocks. You play until you die. It takes five minutes to learn Tetris. It’s not grand or ambitious. It’s merely perfect.” — https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/anthropocene-reviewed/e...

Special mention for the Kauaʻi ʻōʻō: https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/anthropocene-reviewed/e...

What an excerpt! I have to check this out now.

If you're a history geek you should definitly check out Dan Carlin's Hardcore History. This year he only made 2 episodes. 'Supernova in the east' II & III. At a whopping 4 hours each these feel more like an audiobook crammed with history rather than a Podcast. But I can definitly recommend them both & the complete works of him of course.

I have these downloaded and ready to go, but I know it's quite involved and I haven't yet set aside enough time to concentrate and enjoy it.

I listen to an episode of In Our Time every day though. It's fantastic.


+1 for In Our Time

You absolutely don't have to be a history geek to appreciate Hardcore History. I'm not, but I absolutely love it. You don't have to be a history geek to be able to love a good war movie, and this is very similar.

I want to like Dan carlin, but their is something weirdly alex jones about his voice and mannerism. However thehistoryofrome.com and revolutionspodcast.com are fantastic alternatives.

>> their is something weirdly alex jones about his voice and mannerism

They are both passionate people whose articulation is rife with some distinct regional and broadcast (ie. radio) shibboleths.

Only one of them is a post truth raving lunatic dangerous populist performance artist shill.

You're doing a disservice to Dan Carlin and giving Alex Jones way too much power/credit by justifying a knee jerk bias based on superficial resemblances.

Emotions aren't always practical.

I once came across a podcast that seemed interesting. I was enjoying the content, but I couldn't shake the feeling that the narrator's voice sounded like a friend who committed suicide. I had to turn it off.

When I first started listening to his podcasts, I got a strong AM radio talk show vibe from him. But the material, in my case, The Wrath of the Khans, was too intriguing to stop listening. After a few hours the negative association I had with his voice went away. Glad it did because his material really is high quality and an enjoyable listen.

Mike Duncan for President!

And an episode of In Our Time, every once in a while.

So good. The Wrath of the Khans episodes are some of my favorites.

Agreed. I named my cat Ogodei because I got her while listening to that series. In fact, I just went and paid for those 4 eps to re-listen.

I really can't recommend HH enough and that series in particular.

I ran into, by total chance, his episode "King of Kings" (which traces Achaemenid Persia and the various sources that describe them) and thought I had found a new favorite but I haven't been able to get into any of the other episodes.

I still highly recommend this episode which has nice details even if you know something about the topic and would be very illuminating about quite a lot of ancient history.

For a less revenant view of history, I enjoy ray & cam



Every episode of Darknet Diaries[0]. Episode 49 and the two Xbox Underground episodes are excellent, but regardless of where you start you cannot go wrong with Darknet Diaries.

0: https://darknetdiaries.com/

I just finished listening to "Episode 49: Elliot" and I must say, I'm quite upset by the host's reaction.

He doesn't seem at all to be someone in the security research field.

Either he has those reaction because this is a mainstream podcast and purposely tries to have a "dumb" reaction for his audience (like in a children's film) or he doesn't seem to understand hacker culture at all.

He acts surprised as part of making the podcast available to a broader audience. It's silly, but the episodes are usually so good I can get over it.

I think I had a similar reaction to you for this episode. I've listened to all of them, and love them, but episode 49 rubbed me the wrong way too. I actually asked him about it and got a response that made me feel better about it: https://twitter.com/mknox42/status/1184533813185130502?s=19

I've listened to almost every episode and I really like the podcast but I admin I share this criticism. His tone seems pretty unnatural at times and the longer you listen the more it bothers you. Still worth listening for the great stories.

I just inhaled several episodes of this podcast. I recently realized I liked true crime podcasts, and had an interest in cyber security...searched my podcast app and boom, I’m hearing about ransomware and Xbox bios hacking :)

I was going to mention the same two episodes of this outstanding podcast that deserves a much wider audience. With those two episodes taken, The Beirut Bank Job is next in line. Crazy stuff.

BTW, you might want to check out /r/darknetdiaries/ on Reddit for discussion of the episodes. Jack drops by now and then to participate.

I can second this. Even though I stumbled upon this podcast only 2 weeks ago. Just after the first episode I knew I had to hear more stories, so I started listening these back to back from the start. I can highly recommend this.

A friend of mine also likes this podcast. I guess I'll really have to get around to checking it out now, thanks for sharing.

xbox underground was batshit insane. I loved it

The really crazy part is it all started with two fairly small things, finding a supply of dev kits from an e-waste facility and a dump of passwords that didn't seem that significant at first, and all the antics depended on those two things really.

Tyler Cowen interviews Sam Altman — https://medium.com/conversations-with-tyler/tyler-cowen-sam-...

Naval’s “You Won’t Get Rich Renting Out Your Time” (and the whole series) — https://nav.al/renting-time

The Portal: Werner Herzog — https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Eua5iPUKw6Y

> “You Won’t Get Rich Renting Out Your Time”

This meme is pretty popular among certain circles, but it bears some examination. For a lot of people, "rich" means "financially independent". And depending on your particular lifestyle choices, you can certainly become financially independent by working for a tech BigCo or as a quant, and that path has enormously lower risk than entrepreneurship.

Working for BigCo definitely throws a lot of things off balance. Making a million dollars over 5 years in tech is very possible. Lots of companies are throwing around that kind of money in RSUs/options that vest over 5 years. It’s quite a bit crazy.

Agree there are lower risk paths to what most people would consider “rich” than Naval lets on. Still, his points on leverage and ownership are important ones I don’t hear elsewhere. Certainly not as concisely— each episode in the series is only a few minutes long, but full of insights. Give it a listen!

Other podcasts come and fall by the wayside, but I'll always look forward to the next episode of In Our Time ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/iot ).

I'm excited to try others listed here that are new to me, though.

I also listen to In our time. But maybe it is because I am not native English speaker, but I find the host quite rude to the experts, often interrupts them unnecessarily etc?

I know what you mean, but I think it’s more down to the fact that it’s broadcast live on BBC radio, and they have 45 minutes to cover as much as they can of the week’s topic. The host, Melvyn Bragg, has to run a tight ship to keep the guests from drifting from the topic or going in to too much detail. (The opposite problem — a poor chairperson — is often why meetings at work can drag or seem unfocused.)

I love In Our Time. Broadcast since 1998, a podcast since 2004, over 800 episodes. And almost every single one is pure gold.

I agree with you. I find Melvyn Braggs rudeness quite useful. (And it doesn't seem like the quests mind. I mean, they're adults, they can handle some pressure to be succinct.)

I definitely know what you mean, and you can see it mentioned in reviews on Apple's podcast app quite frequently. I think it's mostly a cultural difference.

It feels like he conducts the show sort of like a stern professor at storied British school or something along those lines. Very concerned with concision and clarity. I don't tend to mind it but I can see why it would seem odd or off-putting to people.

That's interesting. Without a doubt, he directs the conversations forcefully. I've never thought of him as rude or interrupting, but now that you point it out it's easy for me to imagine him coming across that way.

He's from the north of England. They are known for being a big abrupt. ;0)

I recently discovered iot, and good lord is that the best podcast. I adore how the host wrangles academics on his show to keep them on topic. Just hilarious. And the topics are all over the place, making each week a real undiscovered gem.

I love IOT and appreciate Melvin Bragg, but I’ve increasingly felt he tends to arbitrarily challenge (and even bully) some of his guests - typically younger women. On the other hand, he has “regulars” who, suave as they may be, invariably get a pass to ramble - and they are all old English men. He also clearly has much less patience for scientific topics than the humanities, and on literary subjects he pushes his own biases pretty strongly (which is a bit of an abuse of power). I have this feeling that he’s turning into a latter-day John Humphrys, it might be time for some rotation.

Yes to all this. I think he has gotten more curmudgeonly over the last couple of years, and definitely seems to let the "emeritus" set hold court for awhile, while being much more curt and critical of others.

I think part of his sharpness with scientists is rooted in a commitment to making specialists speak plainly and understandably for the audience, without jargon or insider-y concepts.

I'm happy to see Naval mentioned a bunch, bummed that no one has mentioned the 'After On' podcast by Rob Reid [1]. Rob Reid interviews Naval, ep. 44 & 45, the 2 part interview/discussion focuses on X-Risks, whether the long-term is going to exist for our species, automated assassination markets, drone swarms ending commercial air travel as we know it, fucking awesome. My dad is a 71 year old doctor, a little aspy, loved the podcast so much he shamed me into supporting it on Patreon. The podcast is on a hiatus at the moment, the back catalog is well worth exploring. The Fermi's Paradox episode with Stephen Webb, the Aubrey de Grey episode, and Rick Doblin (of MAPS) episodes are magic. I also highly recommend Rob Reids sci-fi book named 'After On', particularly if you work in tech in the bay area.

[1] https://after-on.com/

Thanks for mentioning the 'After On' podcast with Naval! I was unaware, I'll give it a listen as I always find his talks fascinating.

Artifical Intelligence - AI Podcast with Lex Fridman has been great. In particular the Donald Knuth, Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig episodes were great.

There is a podcast called Physical Attraction that has done a series on nuclear fusion that have also been terrific.

The Omega Tau podcast where the host Marcus got to live his childhood dream and fly an F-16 was also wonderful.

Podcasts were terrific last year. So many great conversations with experts in various fields.

People often bang on about how internet bubbles deleteriously impact political conversation with bubbles but don't remark often enough on how experts in various fields are able to have a direct conversation with thousands of people for a trivial cost.

There's two FoundMyFitness podcasts that positively impacted my life. I've been telling everyone I know to try a broccoli sprout smoothie because of the outstanding effect it's been having on my health. I suspect a fair number of HN readers might also benefit from giving it a try. Since this is still an active research topic I think it prudent to remind readers to take all health or medical claims with a grain of salt.

My first smoothie caused a physiological reaction and it lit up something in my brain. A while after drinking it I messaged a few friends to tell them that I value our friendship. It appears to make you less autistic, or something along those lines. There appear to be additional positive effects, although I hesitate to describe them because they even sounds like bullshit to my own ears.

"Sulforaphane and Its Effects on Cancer, Mortality, Aging, Brain and Behavior, Heart Disease & More" [0]:

> Isothiocyanates are some of the most important plant compounds you can get in your diet. In this video I make the most comprehensive case for them that has ever been made. Short attention span? Skip to your favorite topic by clicking one of the time points below. Full timeline below the fold...

"Jed Fahey, Sc.D. on Isothiocyanates, the Nrf2 Pathway, Moringa & Sulforaphane Supplementation" [1]:

> Dr. Jed W. Fahey is a nutritional biochemist with broad training and extensive background in plant physiology, human nutrition, phytochemistry and nutritional biochemistry. He is the director of the Cullman Chemoprotection Center at Johns Hopkins.

> The reason I've asked him to join us today, in particular, however, is because he has been researching isothiocyanates like sulforaphane for over 20 years and is an exceptional expert in this arena.

> Dr. Fahey and his colleagues have been, in a big way, at the absolute center of what is a staggering amount of research on these very powerful compounds. > There is hardly a topic which we can discuss in which he doesn't have an anecdote about a study he was involved in, or, in some cases, tribal knowledge that may not even be published but is nonetheless interesting and an important part of the story that is unique to his particular vantage point.

[0] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zz4YVJ4aRfg

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0lBVCpq8jc

Could I just eat the sprouts in a salad of sorts? Smoothies aren't really my thing.

Yes, you absolutely can. They make a sharper alternative to cabbage in a slaw. I tend to slice then fairly thin, as they can be tough to chew, but having done that you can use them in a lot of raw applications.

Can you provide the link to the broccoli sprout smoothie?

I've been following this guide [0] to increase the sulforaphane content of the broccoli sprouts. After heating them up I throw em in a blender with a bit of water and a sprinkling of ground mustard seeds to help further increase the sulforaphane content or its bio-availability. The taste is pretty bad, so I can only stomach around 4oz of broccoli sprouts. I've bought my sprouts at either Whole Foods or Sprouts.

In the video interview with Jed Fahey, he mentions that the supplement Avmacol is being used in numerous trials and it has pretty good bio-availability. I switched over to that at the start of the year because the though of having to drink one of those smoothies every day fills me with sorrow. But prior to that I'd been drinking the smoothies for a few months.

[0] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7buU-PK7_I

As a guy trying to build something while still in Uni I'd have to name most episodes of the indiehackers podcast. It's incredibly valuable for me to listen to established "normal" founders telling their story. It feels like I'm at a table with them.

One of the best ones was the one with the hotjar founder David Darmanin: https://www.indiehackers.com/podcast/036-david-darmanin-of-h...

It proves that failing at previous projects doesn't mean that you are a failure yourself.

I'm from southern Germany and the startup scene here is basically non-existent. So listening to indiehackers is sort of like a replacement for other meetups.

Peter Thiel on Eric Weinstein's The Portal.

John Carmack on Joe Rogan - not really impactful but still a really good episode.

Eric Weinstein's The Portal really is amazing. A top 5 highlight of 2019 as far as I'm concerned.

His interview with Vitalik Buterin is probably one of the most insightful podcast episodes I've ever heard. I kind of wish a lot more of my own conversations were like that one.

This guy is such an intelligent speaker. The podcast is excellent.

I love listening to Carmack babble.

Dr David Burns' Feeling Good podcasts: https://feelinggood.com/list-of-feeling-good-podcasts/ on the subjects of therapy for depression, anxiety, panic disorders, OCD, self-defeating thought patterns, guilt, shame, empathy, why traditional therapy models are broken, and what to do about it all - how to actually feel good in a couple of hours - such that people can make major inroads into decades of problems in one or two sessions of therapy.

He was in at the start of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, developed methods for using it, and spent years wondering why it doesn't work for about half of all patients - and now developed his answers to that into a thing he calls TEAMS therapy. Understanding why people don't change their mood during months and years of normal therapy sessions, and coming up with ways to get past that leads to him claiming massive differences in effectiveness compared to traditional therapy styles.

The podcast is somewhere as close to "free therapy" as you're likely to get on the internet, discussing different parts of the TEAMS model, explaining and justifying them, demonstrating them, there's a few recordings of therapy sessions with patients, and a lot of anecdotes of putting it into practise. (It's quite slow and chatty if your mood is "I gotta skim read this in point 2 of a second to extract just the important bits!").


And, for an episode, Sir Roger Penrose interviewed on Joe Rogan, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEw0ePZUMHA because it's an hour and a half of Sir Roger Penrose talking about interesting things, which wasn't from 2019 either but that's when I saw it.

The Jocko Podcast [1]. Hands-down has changed my attitude and life for the better. It’s about daily disciplines, leadership, human nature, history, and BJJ. Discovered it before 2019 but it’s definitely been the most impactful.

[1] http://jockopodcast.com

I also recommend Jocko podcast. I’ve truly enjoyed the perception shift of leadership and discipline.

I enjoyed Tyler Cowen’s interview with Larissa MacFarquhar:


She writes for the New Yorker and has spent plenty of time around unusual notable people. She also wrote a whole book about extreme altruists. Here is the first bit of the podcast (both transcript and audio are at the link):

> COWEN: First set of question about altruism and extreme altruists. Are very virtuous people easy to dislike?

MACFARQUHAR: Not to me, but to many others. And this was actually news to me when I embarked on the book. I went into it wanting to simply understand the drive and the motives of people who could sustain the kind of extraordinary sense of duty and altruism that some of us have some of the time, moved maybe by a poignant photograph or somebody in front of us, but can’t sustain without those cues in front of us. But there are other people who can, and I wanted to know what made them tick. But in my first foray into this field, I was writing about people who donated one of their kidneys to a stranger, and I discovered . . . I was talking to people about the people I was meeting, and they would say, “Well, those people surely are all mentally ill, right? Or they have some problem, or they are probably very, very censorious or judgmental.” It was very surprising to me. I understand, of course, that not everyone is going to be an extreme altruist, but I didn’t realize the extent of the hostility and suspicion of them until I started writing about them. And I became fascinated by that. It became a major part of the book, trying to figure out where this comes from because I don’t think it exists in every time and place in the same way.

I've got two: Andrew McAfee on Econtalk [1] and Margaret Atwood on Conversations with Tyler [2].

[1]: https://www.econtalk.org/andrew-mcafee-on-more-from-less/

[2]: https://conversationswithtyler.com/episodes/margaret-atwood/

Love EconTalk. I can't find anything else that is as consistently thoughtful and thought-provoking. Any suggestions?

However, my impression is Andrew McAffee's research didn't take into account how outsourcing would affect the data! So I'm taking it with a grain of salt.

Someone shared this article with me recently that looks at how trade affects CO2, but I haven't dug into it yet: https://ourworldindata.org/consumption-based-co2

I really like The Writer's Voice, stories from the New Yorker read by the authors. This episode was about political repression in China. I felt like listening to this story gave me much more of a feel for it than any reporting I'd read.


Also on a literary note, the London Review of Books had an amazing series on the lives and work of selected American and British poets. Each of them is good; the Larkin one might be my favourite.


The episode of Michael Taft's excellent 'Deconstructing Yourself' podcast featuring Douglas Tataryn was definitely a 2019 highlight.

Excellent exploration of the intersection of psychotherapy and meditation. With bonus Circling practise and Integral theory talk thrown in.


CoRecursive by Adam Gordon Bell is fantastic. I especially liked the episodes with Hal Abelson (SICP) https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/corecursive-software-e...


Phillip Waddler https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/corecursive-software-e...

Bryan Cantrill episode was good too. Lots of variety and Adam Gordon Bell interviews very well.

I would say Naval Ravikant in Joe Rogan Experience [0]. A bit preachy (similar to Osho whom he quotes) but there is some things that are actionable and is an interesting point of view.

I'm catching up on Knowledge Project (which is quite a listen) so these are not from 2019, I just happened to listen to them last year. The ones that had the most impact are:

- Is Sugar Slowly Killing Us? My Conversation with Gary Taubes [1]. I got interested in this subject following the NYT expose on how sugar lobby shifted blame onto fat [2]. This builds up on that for me.

- Survival of the Kindest: Dacher Keltner Reveals the New Rules of Power [3] This may be a selection bias as I had a feeling "survival of the fittest" is perhaps productive in short run but would end with species of one. Imho, the way to succeed is to collaborate and share knowledge else we may never have survived hunter gathering phase. So this episode resonated with me.

A16Z's Incenting Innovation Inside Loonshots to Moonshots [4]. Having been through a significant cultural shift at my organization, the analogy of water freezing at 32F and hysteresis to explain how company culture could change dynamically or how in the same organization there are pockets that could be at two extremes on a spectrum, was quite spot on.

[0] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qHkcs3kG44

[1] https://fs.blog/2017/11/gary-taubes-sugar/

[2] https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/13/well/eat/how-the-sugar-in...

[3] https://fs.blog/2018/03/dacher-keltner-power/

[4] https://a16z.com/2019/03/24/loonshots-moonshots-incentives-o...

Naval Ravikant on Joe Rogan. Probably the highest wisdom per minute piece of media I've ever consumed.

I just listened to the JRE clip from that ep(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2AbxWr6I4s) - Everyone Can Be Rich. And based on the below excerpt in which he misses the mark by a million miles, I'm doubting his wisdom.

from 02:13 on ..

> okay imagine if tomorrow we could wave a wand and everybody was trained as a scientist or an engineer everybody, even if you weren't very good, you had enough understanding computers you could write some code. You could build some hardware and don't tell me people can't do it because they can that's just a tyranny of soft expectations. That's just you looking down on somebody else they can't do it they just have to be educated. Now if they're educated all this hardware software engineers scientists biologists technicians hard sciences not the social sciences we would all be done within five years. Robots would be doing everything from cleaning toilets to cooking food to flying airplanes and driving goobers and what would we be doing? We would be doing all creative jobs to entertain each other and researching science and technology we would have wonderful lives so it is really just a question of Education nothing else is this a scale issue

Can you explain what's wrong in that excerpt?

My (rushed, sorry) take is that Naval expresses a rather naive take on the future.

I've seen this sort of scenario promised for 5 decades now, and while the technological benchmarks get met, most people are still slogging away in boring office or technical jobs, just the same.

This dream would also require a different form of government and economy. As I see it, it will require some heavily state-controlled economy or a substantial Universal Basic Income.

Capitalism isn't exactly going to thrive under the pseudo-gig economy that Naval's take suggests. Most people will continue to have regular, necessary monthly expenditures. And, they are not going to be saving money as a cushion, they're going to be buying the new iPhone/Watch/AirPods/TV/Shiny Thing over and over again every year.

And while I love Naval, I see these naive takes of his , quite often. But that's OK, because it still provides me with food for thought and hey, sometimes I find I'm wrong myself.

All Killa No Feminism. A crossover episode between The Guilty Feminist and All Killa No Filla (crime podcast): http://guiltyfeminist.libsyn.com/the-guilty-feminist-crossov... - Hilarious and eye opening.

I think that one was the episode that really drove home some of what women go through daily. I'd known before, but somehow that particular episode managed to highlight things in a way that really clicked with me.

Matthew Walker, PhD on sleep - part I and II on The Peter Attia Drive podcast.

It was really a wake up call for sleep hygeine, and prompted me to get a sleep study, which has changed my life after getting a sleep device.

I really enjoyed his book Why We Sleep, but I think it important to inform people about the criticisms that have been been raised against some of his claims [0]. If you listen to him remember to take claims with a grain of salt. HN discussion from two months ago [1].

The thesis is still solid though: sleep is incredibly important for your health.

[0] https://guzey.com/books/why-we-sleep/

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21546850

I take most claims by experts with a grain of salt or two. If you listen to the podcast, he basically covers the fundamentals of sleep hygeine (which are not controversial) and provides references for further study. He is also very careful to point out speculation vs evidence, and correlation vs causation.

>sleep is incredibly important for your health.

do you have a citation on that? Sleep deprivation makes people sleepy and it does seem to have negative cognitive effects, but I'm not aware of evidence of negative health effects of lack of sleep.

Right, this is more controversial than people think. I've seen studies that you don't actually see a higher rate of mortality until the hours are ridiculously low. Like less than 4 hours, on average

Has walker responded to this?

The answer is sort of ambiguous; see this Andrew Gelman post for details: https://statmodeling.stat.columbia.edu/2019/12/26/whassup-wi...

If you don’t mind me asking, what sort of sleep device did you get and what has it done for you?

Matthew Walker of Why We Sleep fame, on Joe Rogan https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pwaWilO_Pig

I think this story would make for a great movie:

Radiolab's "The Punchline" https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/articles/radio... (starts at 3:19)

"John Scott was the professional hockey player that every fan loved to hate. A tough guy. A brawler. A goon. But when an impish pundit named Puck Daddy called on fans to vote for Scott to play alongside the world’s greatest players in the NHL All-Star Game, Scott found himself facing off against fans, commentators, and the powers that be. Was this the realization of Scott’s childhood dreams? Or a nightmarish prank gone too far? Today on Radiolab, a goof on a goon turns into a parable of the agony and the ecstasy of the internet, and democracy in the age of Boaty McBoatface."

I enjoyed this episode greatly and learned a whole lot about the NHL that I did not know (or intend to know).

The first episode of "the portal" was great. In that episode Eric Weinstein and Peter Thiel deeply discussed a variety of topics.


I like Eric Weinstein and he is obviously brilliant, but sometimes he comes across as liking the sound of his voice a little too much--or too theoretical. For that reason, I really enjoyed the interview with Tyler Cowen--Tyler challenged Eric on some things that made for an overall excellent conversation.

But, yea - there are not a lot of interviews out there with that kind of access to Thiel, so it was greatly enjoyed.

Sean Carroll's solo podcast where he explains how the plank lenght is relative and how we should arrive at quantum gravity through the means of quantum physics, not by quantizing relativity. Blew my mind several times over.


Andrew Yang on the Joe Rogan Experience

+1 for this. They had a great discussion about the effects automation and AI will have on the workforce. It's long but worth a listen, even if you're skeptical about UBI as a solution.

This was definitely the most impactful podcast that I listened to this year. It changed how I think and for the first time in my life I have a political candidates that I truly respect and support. Glad to answer any questions.

Tulsi Gabbard on Joe Rogan. I don't agree with her on everything but listening to her ideas on US policy was a like getting into a plunge pool.

Waypoint (aka, Vice Games) -- A games podcast that takes a very lefty, critical lens towards the games industry. Covering a wide variety of topics from organizing to reviews of what's happening. It's nice to hear people talk about games as a medium that deserves some thoughtful critique.

Barbell Medicine- you might think sports medicine is not for you if you’re not a weight lifter or powerlifter but it completely changed my diet, injury recovery and my understanding of how to talk to doctors and interpret all kinds of medical research and understand the limits of medical knowledge. The themed episodes are generally much more information dense than the q&a episodes, for a start the heart disease episode completely changed my understanding of blood lipids and risks of saturated fat.

All of SED... learn so much every time I click play. https://softwareengineeringdaily.com/

I quite liked these ones:


I wish podcast clients had social features builtin. As much as I dislike Spotify moving into the podcast space and challenging the current free landscape of RSS feeds. Not one client has the simple ability to add an episode you liked to a playlist to share.

I have to share the link to myself on Telegram and than bookmark it myself..

> I wish podcast clients had social features builtin.

> As much as I dislike Spotify moving into the podcast space and challenging the current free landscape of RSS feeds

Seems like Spotify (as a podcast client) does what you want it to. Why you then dislike it?


Aside from above. I dislike the idea of a podcast being available on only one 'platform'.

Yeah, I don't use Spotify (I use a competitor that I think is a lot better) and am always annoyed when people use it to link songs.

Services like YouTube let everyone view everything, even if you don't log in. That might be your best bet for creating playlists of any kind of audio or video, though of course there are a lot of copyright infringement concerns if you're uploading podcast episodes yourself.

You should try Breaker for IOS/Android. It's not perfect, but it has the much needed social features.

Episode 3 of the 1619 Project's podcast: The Birth of American Music: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/06/podcasts/1619-black-ameri...

And generally Why Is This Happening is fantastic. Here are three of my favorite episodes from the past year:

Michael Lewis of Moneyball fame: https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/how-break-federal-gove...

David Wallace-Wells on climate change: https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/fighting-climate-actio...

Jesse Eisinger from ProPublica on the challenges of taxing the super-rich: https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/can-we-tax-rich-jesse-...

I'd recommend episodes 4/5 (one story split over two episodes) of the 1619 Project as well, learned a lot about how finance works in an agriculture setting.

Yeah, that absolutely blew me away. The whole podcast series is fantastic, and Nikole Hannah-Jones is a national treasure.

The Assembly Line[0] is a podcast from the NES Home brew scene. Was fun to learn that NES development continues using 6502 assembly. Can be supported via Patreon[1]

[0] https://open.spotify.com/show/2VsQ6qauI2R8yqbfNTnIk7 [1] https://www.patreon.com/nesassemblyline

So this is cheating a little bit, but we listened to it on a road trip in 2019, and it was by far the most impactful podcast we heard last year:

Radiolab: From Tree to Shining Tree


It's from 2016, but it's about the underground network of roots and organisms that connects a whole forest together and how it functions. And it's amazing. And it keeps getting more and more amazing as it goes on. My wife and I were giving each other WTF looks as we were listening.

Just a taste: "Apparently, bears park themselves in places and grab fish out of the water, and then, you know, take a bite and then throw the carcass down on the ground. The fungi, you know, after it's rained and snowed and the carcass has seeped down into the soil a bit, the fungi then go and they drink the salmon carcass down and then send it off to the tree. ... And the tree has evidence of salmon consumption. ... Salmon rings in trees."

Highly recommend watching this documentary called 'Trees will save our planet', if this is what fascinates you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjDWLaGjGi0

Fighter Pilot Podcast -

1) B-52 Stratofortress 2) Mig-29 Fulcrum 3) SR-71 Blackbird

The Seen and The Unseen -

1) Our Colorful Past 2) The 2019 Elections 3) The India-Pakistan Conflict 4) Kashmir and Article 370

Lapham's Quarterly -

1) William Dairymple

The Joe Rogan Experience -

1). Edward Snoweden

NPR Throughline -

1) The Dark Side Of The Moon

Podcast series -

1) 13 Minutes To The Moon 2) The Chernobyl Podcast

There's a fighter jet podcast?!

My inner jet-obsessed child is very excited for this.

The excellent Omega Tau podcast also has lots of interviews with people who flew or fly various planes including the F-16, F15, Tornado, F-14 and others.


There is also an excellent episode where the host Markus, got to live his childhood dream and fly an F-16!

It's also excellent on science and engineering generally.

URL: https://www.fighterpilotpodcast.com/

Nice find OP! Would love to find a podcast that covers WW2 battles (e.g. Battle of Midway)

Oh, you should go play DCS World too then

Yes! And a very good one at that.

Seconding "The Dark Side of the Moon" - I'd heard the story of Wernher von Braun before but this painted a much richer and more detailed picture.

13 Minutes was incredibly well done. A limited series best listened to from start to finish, so fair to recommend it in its entirety. For those in this audience looking for a gem: Episode 5 is about the Apollo Guidance Computer.

The Roman Mars Mazda Virus from Reply All and 99% Invisible.

This joint episode is an engaging and hilarious tale of debugging an overly ‘smart’ car stereo, as well as going above and beyond the call of duty out of sheer love for podcasting.


Reply All is a good reminder to keep everything... unserious. :)

My friend Jana recommended this one to me, and it was absolutely hilarious. Great episode.

Sam Harris speaking to ex-muslim Yasmine Mohammed about the West's double standard on women's rights and the unique difficulties of leaving Islam.


It's a major social/political issue of our time with no obvious/imminent end in sight and I recommend the episode to everyone.

This American Life: Before things went to hell


An epic immigration compromise was in the works in the 90s... So what happened?

I really appreciate that this was episode 665.

In what way did things go to hell?

Immigration went from an issue that was hard to make progress on (e.g. come to a compromise) to an issue where that is impossible.

Invest Like The Best Podcast. “The search for the truth with the anonymous master - Jesse Livermore”


Jesse talks at length about making decisions with intuition vs analysis. He breaks down when and why each of these work. It seems simple but it feels groundbreaking.

They also dig into an alternate valuation model for the stock market which I found interesting.

I'm not sure what is meant by impactful, but for me the most interesting podcasts this year have all been miniseries, namely

* 13 Minutes to the Moon (13 episodes) - a documentary about the 13 minutes leading up to the first moon landing

* The Drop Out (8 episodes) - a documentary about Theranos/Elizabeth Holmes

* The Missing CryptoQueen (10 episodes) - a documentary about the OneCoin scam and how far it has reached, along with the disappearance of its founder.

In terms of stand out episodes:

* Supernova in the East III (Hardcore History) - a continuation of the 'Supernova' series, I recommend listening to the first 2 though.

For the Dutch speakers among us:

The Universiteit van Vlaanderen and -Nederland episodes are frequently very interesting and while the titles are clickbait, the speakers are from academia and often tell interesting things. I regularly talk about this with friends and family. As an example, today I learned new things about palliative care that would apply to anyone who contracts a terminal illness, which is a lot of us. Another impactful episode was (translated) "Was the holocaust a predetermined plan?" (from UvNL) which was about how it developed from the Jews being the blame of everything through multiple intermediate steps to attempting to kill all Jews. Rather than having been a single man's hate for those people, it was more about society's mindset combined with that those people were seen as highly likely to be saboteurs. I think that's good to know about to try and recognize similar signs, if any, in today's life.

Met Nerds Om Tafel is another general recommendation, though the quality depends on the episode's topic and the "guest nerd", so I recommend looking at the title before listening. I liked S05E21 with Mux about electric driving a lot and it was quite inspiring to see what he does with hardware hacking while still daring (and being allowed to) to drive the modded car on a public road, as well as the general mindset of someone who is not just good with tech or software but also knows electronics really really well. Everything that I take for granted (motherboards, cars, whatever) is a development board for him.

Almost all Jocko podcasts if you ask me. Some tell great war stories while others go into military leadership lessons. I think these lessons generalise well to outside the military since bad leadership receives harsh and direct feedback, that is, bad leadership gets people killed. Also a big pro of the podcast is Jocko. He might be a bit too much pro-America at times, but he seems like a down to earth, humble and hardworking person.

I love the 80,000 hours podcast [1] which goes into depth about how a career can be used to have a positive impact on the world. They have 2-3 hour conversations with interesting people like David Chalmers, Peter Singer, Bruce Schneier, Vitalik Buterin, Glen Weyl, Phil Tetlock, etc.

It‘s quite amazing actually, highly recommend!

1: https://80000hours.org/podcast/

Impactful for me in terms of making my daily 1h commute actually enjoyable...a bunch of funny, crazy, sad, happy stories about drugs, homelessness, prison and lots more called "It's All Bad" https://www.instagram.com/itisallbad/?hl=en

Came across it on a Marc Maron WTF episode..which is also great (WTF podcast)

Motherboard's interview with thegrugq: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/qv7wmv/former-exploit-bro...

The podcast is otherwise rather unremarkable (I've listened to maybe 10 episodes) but that episode is a real gem.

"The Fight for a True Democracy," from 1619. I've felt recently that feeling patriotic for my country (America) doesn't line up with my moral views. This podcast convinced me otherwise.

The series as a whole is about the history of chattel slavery in America. It does an amazing job of blending the personal and economic narratives together into a cohesive story.

This might be pretty unconventional, but I have two favourites. One is called 'The Exploring Series', and is essentially a podcast researching and summarising mythical stories, DnD lore, SCP lore, Lovecraft lore, etc. The other is Sleep With Me, which is just incessant rambling about a story or an episode of a TV show.

I don't listen to the for the content. I listen to them because they help me sleep better in the winter, when I can't open the window to hear the ambient noise outside without making myself ill. I can't sleep in pure silence, it's too quiet. Both podcast authors have very warm and soothing voices and it's so easy to fall asleep with a nice bed time story like that.

We're still children inside, after all.

The playwright John Cameron Mitchell was on RuPauls podcast and that episode really stood out for me. There’s a part in particular about finding your place in the world and it was a totally different way than I think about it, but it was really beautiful

Behind the bastards - history of concentration camps

It could happen here - first episode

The foreign American - indigenous people

Behind the Bastards -- "The Birth of American Fascism" is an excellent 7 part series as well.

Two hours and no one mentioned Lex Fridmans podcast on AGI? Interesting.

Hard to pinpoint a specific episode, here is last weeks episode [0] with Stephen Kotkin, on "Stalin, Putin, and the nature of power".

Fridman has a lineup of one-of-a-kind guests, each providing an individual perspective on -to me- interesting topics, mostly in the scope of artificial general intelligence. I'm looking forward to check the other references here!


Agreed, Lex Fridmin was a standout podcast for me this year. I didn't have any idea who he was before the podcast but he has been getting some insanely famous guests on his show in what seems like the very year it was becoming popular.

My favourite episode of the podcast was his interview with Geohot I think because I just like hearing Geohot speak and when he's speaking to someone that's not asking easy questions you end up with George giving some very interesting answers to questions about AGI and self driving.


Geohot was great. I immediately bought a comma ai eon kit after listening to it.

My fav was Gary Marcus though. Really showing what breakthroughs we’d need to make to truly have intelligent AI. Without it self driving cars and conversational AIs are always a decade away. I immediately bought his book “Rebooting AI” afterwards too.


Wow, if your Eon is installed and everything, how is it? Would love to buy a full eon and everything but I don't have a compatible car yet, will definitely make sure that my next car is 100% comma compatible though.

Thanks, will check out that episode!

Love the Eon. Use it almost every day. Does what it says it does. Keeps the car dead center on a lane.

Think about Eon as a device that turns the car into a train that follows rail tracks. In this instance, the rail tracks are the road lanes. Works amazing on highways.

I second the AGI podcast. Listen to it on my commute. Very interesting since it’s just not about computer science but all sorts of fields and a diverse array of experts that he interviews.

Another podcast on diverse thoughtful topics that's done in a similar vein: Sean Caroll Mindscape

There are plenty, but fount his to be a gem!

SuperFastBusiness: https://www.superfastbusiness.com/list-all/

Episodes which I think will stick with me, because they helped me to better understand the motivations and histories behind political perspectives that I disagree with:

- "Citations Needed" ep. 96: The Christian Cinema-GOP Persecution Complex. (CN is maybe my fave podcast of the year overall, too.) -- Why does the American religious right align itself with politicians who seem to go against core 'Christian' values?

- "Behind the Bastards"' serialization of Robert Evans' audiobook "The War on Everyone," which started with the episode "Part One: The Eternal Fascist," released August 13th 2019. -- How did Neo-Nazism get started in America, how does it work, why are people attracted to it? How does the behaviour of current far-right pundits and terrorists connect to earlier history of that movement?

Episodes which, similarly, let me see the world through the eyes of a different community:

- All of "Crackdown," but particularly episodes 1-3. -- What is life like for illicit drug addicts, particularly in Vancouver's Downtown East Side? What are their needs, what political moves could help them (what political moves have failed them)?

- "Canadaland" ep. 396, "Two Centuries of Blackface" -- What can Trudeau's scandal teach us about the history and current experience of racism in Canada?

Podcasts I just enjoyed a lot:

- "99% Invisible" episode 376, "Great Bitter Lake Association" -- a little bit of Suez Crisis history, and some sailors who got bored enough to start a post office.

- "S-Town" (seven episode series) -- an incredible piece of journalistic storytelling about an unhappy man, his small Alabama town, and an apparently consequence-free murder.

- "No Such Thing as a Fish" (weekly) -- the best comedy-and-trivia show I know.

I really enjoyed this lecture about low back pain by Dr Austin Baraki - its causes, risk reduction and management. It's a really good, accessible introduction to the modern biopsychosocial model of pain and is well-worth an hour of your time: https://soundcloud.com/user-344313169/episode-82-dr-baraki-o...

Scriptnotes #403: How to Write a Movie[1], where screenwriter Craig Mazin (Chernobyl, The Hangover 2/3) meticulously lays out one approach to crafting a screenplay around thesis and antithesis. (TLDR: put your characters through agony.)

It’s the most impactful episode this year because I’ve been keeping these ideas in mind lately whenever I’ve watched a movie, and it has really given me a different way to understand what’s going on.

1: The episode itself requires a premium subscription by now, but the transcript is still free to read: https://johnaugust.com/2019/scriptnotes-ep-403-how-to-write-...

Scriptnotes in general is a good one for anyone wanting to get a better understanding of movies, television, and storytelling. Bonus points because John August builds modern tools for screenwriters including apps for reading and writing screenplays (Weekend Read & Highland), a new markup and file format (https://fountain.io), and they even designed a new version of the Courier font (Courier Prime). Lots of interesting crossover between the world of making movies and the world of software development and startups.

Ear Hustle.

“13 Minutes to the Moon” by the BBC World Service.

Startups For the Rest of Us #449: Let's talk about Bluetick [0]

Co-host Mike Taber is asked hard questions by Rob Walling about his startup Bluetick, which is not performing as hoped. (First in a series)


JRE #1330: Bernie Sanders [1]

Someone else mentioned Tulsi and Yang. But there is also Bernie! Did not know much about him and definitely found the episode interesting.


[0]: https://www.startupsfortherestofus.com/episodes/episode-448-...

[1]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2O-iLk1G_ng

The 80,000 hours podcast probably had the largest intellectual impact on me of any media in 2019, not only in terms of actual content but pointers to other thinkers / ideas.

My favorite episode was probably: https://80000hours.org/podcast/episodes/glen-weyl-radically-...

The first time I listened I noped out after the first 20 minutes due to all the terminology being slung around and (seemingly) ungrounded anti-capitalist rhetoric. But I gave it another go after the episode with Vitalik Buterin and I'm very glad I did. Once they get going it's a fascinating introduction to collective action problems, public goods, and bleeding edge ideas of what we might do to solve them (pairs well with "Vitalik Buterin on The Portal" first as a gentler intro to the idea of public goods).

The charter cities institute episode was also great as an exploration of new ideas that might really move the needle on human suffering


I really enjoyed that 80000 hours episode with Vitalik Buterin. It gave me some new mental models.

I'll tack on another unrelated suggestion: Leslie Kaelbling's interview on Lex Friedman's AI podcast. It's probably my favourite from that podcast so far. She is an exceptionally clear thinker.

Those were probably my two favourite episodes of the year.

The Ottoman History Podcast has taught me so much. It's helped me make a little more sense of the Middle East. It's also introduced me to some broader, more universal issues that are relevant now but presented within a specific historic context.

Can't think of a specific episode, but all the controversial ideas discussed in the Red Scare podcast have really twisted around my brain (and put words to things I thought only I were alone in observing) recently.

ideas about what? i'm dimly familiar with it, or at least the hosts, but haven't listened to it.

Tbh, some anti-tech ideas (essentially eloquently presenting steelmanned ideas I'd only had at the periphery of my mind). All their ideas which goes against the grain, that I find valuable. (Warning tho: there's a lot of dopey-ness, amateurishness, and ideas in the podcast that I don't agree with. It's not for everyone. But I've found a lot of value in it the last month of listening to it.)

Attachment Theory Deep Drive from Psychology in Seattle (Dr Kirk Honda). 15+ hours long, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ji2QKcKqY7U)

Schema Therapy Deep Dive from Dr Kirk Honda. 3+ hours long (https://player.fm/series/psychology-in-seattle-podcast/schem...)

They are behind a patreon paywall (sorta like how Hardcore History by Dan Carlin is)

If just attachment theory: John Bowlby (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LM0nE81mIE), Ainsworth, Cindy Hazan, Mikulincer, Shaver, Sue Johnson. If you like Bowlby you probably will like Winnicott: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaZkvvB367I (he influenced Bowlby)

History Time, the occasional superb Rogan Podcast when it's not MMA, Fitness FAQs (calisthenics from a licensed PT), some Alan Thrall podcasts about form and nutrition, PBS Eons and of course Kurtsgesacht.

Certainly the ones I appreciated the most were two related episodes from Benjamin Walker's Theory of everything [1], very informative, very personal:

  - 1984 The Book [2]
  - 1984 The Year [3]

[1] https://theoryofeverythingpodcast.com/

[2] https://theoryofeverythingpodcast.com/2019/08/1984-the-book-...

[3] https://theoryofeverythingpodcast.com/2019/08/1984-the-year-...

For me, Tiesto's "Club Life" 650 and 654 were the best of 2019

Those of you who like the business side of things should check out the Acquired podcast. They’re excellent story tellers and do a great job of covering a company’s history from founding to IPO or acquisition

Reading Marx's Capital with David Harvey -- The People's Forum

It's an academic deconstruction of the text of Karl Marx's Capital. It covers a lot of the foundational language used in contemporary discussion of Socialism/Neoliberalism/Economics.

It's a 12 part series, and it really helped me understand what people meant when they said value/commodity/labor/etc. And it's presented in a dry, academic lecture that I found accessible but not 'pop', if that makes sense.


Weinstein's The Portal with Kasparov <3

"The level-up engineering" podcast had some really valuable insights on engineering management

for me, all of heavyweight season 4 https://gimletmedia.com/shows/heavyweight/episodes

the relentless picnic

episode 21

no world


* Cliff Stoll on Numberphile podcast

* Megan phelbs-roper on sam harris

* Max tegmark on sean Carroll’s Mindscape

I really enjoyed Chapo Trap House's interview of Bernie Sanders.

The Hidden Forces podcast is excellent

Megan Phelbs-Roper on JRE

Scene on radio, men, #7.

a16z Podcast: The Environment, Capitalism, Technology, where Marc Andreessen and Andrew McAfee, author of More from Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources — and What Happens Next is participating.


Eric Weinstein interviews Sam Harris on The Portal.


This is entirely off-topic, but if you're going through and downvoting people for posting their favorite podcasts in a thread like this, you should take a break from here, or the internet for a while, it's not that serious.

That's one way to view it, certainly.

The other way is that downvotes are a great tool for ensuring high quality discussion, and if the thread is about podcast episodes, then downvoting full podcasts helps keep the thread organized. Downvotes aren't necessarily bad, they may just mean - hey, this doesn't belong as much in this thread, so I'm voting on it to help organize the thread for other readers.

Although they wrote "episodes" in their title, the OP then listed two podcasts as examples to start the discussion ( Invest Like the Best https://investlikethebest.libsyn.com/ , and FYI https://open.spotify.com/show/0xOdWuktBQKWCv2mlVjizn ). As such, it seems quite a stretch to conclude they want us to limit our responses to specific episodes of podcasts.

HN’s rules seem like they fall in line with positive psychology tenants. In the spirit of HN, downvotes seem like something reserved for mean spirited or inaccurate posts. If everyone downvotes for differences in purely subjective opinion, well, I’d just stick to reddit in that case.

dang and sctb have stated several times that it's OK to downvote for disagreement on HN. On the other hand, on Reddit it goes against Reddiquette (as published by Reddit) to do that - though of course it's very common.

Agreed. I wish everyone who posted an entire podcast would have at least recommended a single impactful episode, especially as a place to start for those of us who haven't listened to the podcast at all.

Many podcasts are now released as a limited series or as seasons, best consumed from start to finish. “13 Minutes to the Moon,” “Man in the Window” and “In the Dark.” Come to mind. No less impactful and would be strange to recommend anything but the entire podcast, particularly since OP suggested full podcasts.

Agreed. I wish everyone who posted an entire podcast would have at least recommended a single impactful episode, especially as a place to start for those of us who haven't listened to the podcast at all.

"What's your favorite podcast" is a vastly less interesting and different question to answer. Impactful episodes can even appear in podcasts you generally dislike or don't agree with.

The OP lists two examples of podcasts (not episodes) to open the thread. I think you misunderstood their intention.

or just don’t vote on things you don’t like and you get the same effect

This. As far as I know, on HN downvotes are supposed to be for non-constructive comments and a moderation tool more than a "I disagree" or "I dislike this" button. That is probably why you only get the option to downvote after you gained >1k points.

Exactly. "Back in the day" I remember that on HN if your post wasn't a 3 paragraph story with a well-defined point and arguments you would be downvoted into oblivion.

I get your point, that the subject matter here isn't worth downvoting. It's like arguing whether chocolate is better than vanilla.

But I would say that failing to describe a podcast and why you like it (or specific episodes) is poor communication. It would be like a thread about food and someone saying, "Italian cuisine is great. It's delicious." I know nothing from that type of comment about what makes Italian cuisine distinctive and what attributes stand out for the commenter. There are a number of comments like that in this thread.

There's a reason "downvotes" are called "flags" on HN

No they are not. Downvotes and flags are different things, and have different rules about them. (Flags mean "this breaks the rules/needs moderator attention", downvotes are a lot more general "negative sentiment")

EDIT: downvotes probably aren't available to you yet, NilsIRL, I think the karma threshold is higher (500?).


To be fair, though, the flag button is hidden. You have to click on the comment time stamp to find it. Some people seem unaware of this. It appears to be a minor source of confusion around here.

Digital Minimalism with computer scientist Cal Newport was one of my favorite episodes of all time. https://www.richroll.com/podcast/cal-newport-447/

I don't do podcasts. I can read faster - and more importantly - easily skim articles. I can't listen to something in the background, because I end up tuning it out if I'm concentrating on work or whatever. I live somewhere where I don't have an awful commute.

I take long walks to listen to podcasts and get a bit of mild exercise.

Walking is a great time to listen. Also when doing (mostly) mindless work, like washing up or cooking familiar meals or watering the garden. As for speed, that's controllable -- I find that I sometimes like to listen at real speed, other times up to 2x or occasionally faster, often somewhere in between. (This doesn't just depend on the speed of the original, but also its information density, how important the social/emotional human element is, what I'm doing, and what mood I'm in.) Faster speeds can actually aid concentration, because they give your mind less reason to drift away whenever there's a pause or a predictable sentence or a dull bit. This all goes for audiobooks, too.

An incredible contribution to the topic.

IDK, I think it's worth pointing out that they're a crappy format for sharing knowledge for a lot of people.

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