Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What I've Been Listening To

I've noticed that in the basket of mediums that comprise my information stream (blogs, books, magazines, websites etc.), podcasts play a surprisingly large role. As such, I think they deserve a nifty new sidebar to accompany my other lists. A quick rundown of some of the podcasts that I attempt (in vain) to keep current with:

Math Mutation: A fantastic little podcast that covers a wide variety of math-related topics. It's short and read from a script, which usually entails tons of awkward but endearing jokes that fall utterly flat. (2-5 minutes, monthly)

On Point With Tom Ashbrook: The single greatest current-events interview show ever. Covers everything, with an emphasis on policy, authors on book tours, and trends. I get a lot of reading list ideas here after listening to interviews with the author. Definitely worth checking our regularly. (45 minutes, weekdays)

EconTalk: GWU economist Russ Roberts interviews economists about their specialities, with an emphasis on epistemology and the limits of economic inquiry. Roberts, who also blogs, is a fairly ardent libertarian but manages to keep the interviews mostly impartial. (60 minutes, weekly)

Scientific American: This magazine has a number of super-short factoid-podcasts that I absolutely love. There's one for psychology/neuroscience, earth sciences, space exploration/astronomy, health/medicine, and technology. It's probably the single best way to stay updated on interesting new scientific research papers. (60 seconds, weekly)

Science Friday: An interview show covering obscure topics in science. It's fun because it's probably the only major public exposure for many scientists (outside of the 'ol academic journal, that is), which means everybody is always super-excited. (100 minutes, weekly)

It's All Politics: My guilty pleasure, and a political scientist's nightmare. This podcast is devoted solely to horserace politics and predicting outcomes. (23 minutes, weekly)

Political Gabfest: This politics podcast is actually really terrible, and I only listen to it in order to remind myself of the importance of rigorousness in studying political topics. (50 minutes, weekly)

Surprisingly Free: A great interview show about the economics of technology. Associated with the Technology Liberation Front, a great blog. (30 minutes, weekly)

Philosophy Bites: Interviews with academic philosophers about their specialities. Sometimes it's great, but more often than not I walk away thinking many contemporary philosophers are excellent wordsmiths, but end up saying very little. Rarely does a guest argue against accepted public wisdom on any topic of importance. (20 minutes, monthly)

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