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:
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.
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.
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
Special mention for the Kauaʻi ʻōʻō: https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/anthropocene-reviewed/e...
I listen to an episode of In Our Time every day though. It's fantastic.
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.
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.
And an episode of In Our Time, every once in a while.
I really can't recommend HH enough and that series in particular.
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.
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.
BTW, you might want to check out /r/darknetdiaries/ on Reddit for discussion of the episodes. Jack drops by now and then to participate.
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
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.
I'm excited to try others listed here that are new to me, though.
I love In Our Time. Broadcast since 1998, a podcast since 2004, over 800 episodes. And almost every single one is pure gold.
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.
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.
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" :
> 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" :
> 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.
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.
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.
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.
John Carmack on Joe Rogan - not really impactful but still a really good episode.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 . I got interested in this subject following the NYT expose on how sugar lobby shifted blame onto fat . This builds up on that for me.
- Survival of the Kindest: Dacher Keltner Reveals the New Rules of Power  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 . 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.
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.
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.
The thesis is still solid though: 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.
Excellent exploration of the intersection of psychotherapy and meditation. With bonus Circling practise and Integral theory talk thrown in.
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
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.
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."
But, yea - there are not a lot of interviews out there with that kind of access to Thiel, so it was greatly enjoyed.
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 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..
> 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'.
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.
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-...
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."
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
My inner jet-obsessed child is very excited for this.
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.
Nice find OP! Would love to find a podcast that covers WW2 battles (e.g. Battle of Midway)
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.
It's a major social/political issue of our time with no obvious/imminent end in sight and I recommend the episode to everyone.
An epic immigration compromise was in the works in the 90s... So what happened?
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.
- SleepWalkers, https://podcasts.apple.com/in/podcast/sleepwalkers/id1449757...
- Meditative Story, https://podcasts.apple.com/in/podcast/meditative-story/id147...
* 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.
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.
It‘s quite amazing actually, highly recommend!
Came across it on a Marc Maron WTF episode..which is also great (WTF podcast)
The podcast is otherwise rather unremarkable (I've listened to maybe 10 episodes) but that episode is a real gem.
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.
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.
It could happen here - first episode
The foreign American - indigenous people
- "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.
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-...
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 
Someone else mentioned Tulsi and Yang. But there is also Bernie! Did not know much about him and definitely found the episode interesting.
Hard to pinpoint a specific episode, here is last weeks episode  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!
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.
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.
Thanks, will check out that episode!
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.
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'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.
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)
- 1984 The Book 
- 1984 The Year 
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.
* Megan phelbs-roper on sam harris
* Max tegmark on sean Carroll’s Mindscape
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.
"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.
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.
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.