I listen to a few podcasts on my morning and afternoon commutes and while taking in the evening air. The subject, a brief overview, and my reasons for enjoying them are as follows:
- AnandTech Podcast — Subject: Technology and Computer Hardware. A relatively new podcast that has quickly become one of my favorites. They are typically long (recent ones have been ~2 hours) which I’m fine with, and it has the great benefit of the presenters having deep knowledge about what they’re talking about. For those that don’t mind a bit of a technical discussion and want to hear smart guys discuss hardware news of the day.
- Freakonomics Radio — Subject: Economics and Sociology. I enjoyed both of the Freakonomics books (vanilla more than Super-) and the podcast doesn’t disappoint either. Steve Levitt said something along the lines of “You can tell if somebody’s an economist by how they respond to repugnant ideas,” which seems to be the underlying theme of the show (though you end up finding that seemingly repugnant ideas having diamonds in the rough).
- Rationally Speaking — Subject: Philosophy, Rationality, and Scientific Skepticism. Approaches skepticism more from the philosophy side (see next item). My own training in philosophy is pretty paltry, so I enjoy being exposed to new ideas in topics that I thought I had down reasonably well (particularly in regard to the philosophy of science).
- The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe — Subject: Science, Rationality, and Scientific Skepticism. Approaches skepticism more from the science side (see previous item). The standout is the host, Steven Novella, who I think is worth reading and listening to on pretty much every topic. There are various segments on the show, some I care about more than others, but I think the real treats are Steve doing what essentially mounts to an auditory essay on some topic (example). There’s also a companion, much shorter podcast called 5×5 that doesn’t get updated too often but is still worth checking out.
I’m still playing catch up with all of the above (I’ve caught up with AnandTech and Freakonomics but am still pretty behind on SGU and Rationally Speaking since I started from the beginning) but once I reach temporal parity and have room for more I’ll investigate others to add to the list.