CategoryFuturism

State of Podcasts 2020

Previous Podcast Posts:

State Of Podcasts 2018

State of Podcasts 2019

This is the third year I’ve reviewed which podcasts I listen to, how I listen to them, and when I listen to them. Part of it’s my own curiosity at how my podcast habits change. I’m also curious what others think about the same podcasts and which podcasts come and go.

I list the podcasts into some broad groups, with any annotations about frequency I listen to them or general impressions. I listen to my podcasts in Overcast. I prefer Overcast because the app deletes podcasts I’ve listened to, plus it has a smart speed feature which will speed up if it hears dead air. Generally, I listen to my podcasts at 2X speed.

I used to use three playlists, but I’ve consolidated it down to one playlist. I was finding over the past year that I wasn’t listening to my history or writing playlists. So, now I’m just down to my Daily playlist. This is a playlist of what I want to listen to during my commutes, work, and other times. I used to have certain podcasts for certain days/times, but the volume and rate with which I go through podcasts makes that difficult. Some are “promotable”, which means they go to the top. The rest are filler, and I’ll get to them when I can – or just delete them if they don’t capture my interest.

My podcasts as of March 2020:

Comedy/Entertainment

Friendly Fire – Three guys watching and critiquing war films. Sometimes they get a bit too much into the art of film, or into the wokeness world, but I generally end up enjoying what they bring to the film. This is filler.

The Incomparable Game Show – Rotating panels playing rotating series of obstensibly board games. Often hilarious, sometimes dangerously so when driving. It’s filler.

Penn’s Sunday School – Penn prognosticating on the world with a few of his friends and/or guests. Hilarity ensues. This is a promotable.

The Rewatchables – Variety panel of guests discussing a movie that is considered highly rewatchable. It’s filler.

Roboskull Cast – A Robotech podcast where the hosts go through the episodes and the new comics. One has seen the series, one is watching it, and neither were old enough to watch in ’85. It’s filler.

Economics / Libertarian Theory

Cato Events Podcast – Recordings of various panels put on by the Cato Institute. I’ve heard a lot of very interesting discussions and arguments. Some, not so much. I would recommend listening even if the subject doesn’t seem interesting. I’ve been surprised by what I learned. It’s filler.

Econtalk – Economist Russ Roberts does great interviews with a wide variety of guests and topics. I’ve been learning a lot on economics, and some wildly different topics. This is a promotable.

Free Thoughts – Interview podcast on libertarian issues and theories. It’s a filler.

GAO Podcast – GAO discussing some of their reviews they’ve done on federal agencies. This is filler.

Make No Law – Ken White delves into the case law around the First Amendment and free speech. It’s a promotable when it infrequently drops.

Pop & Locke – This one looks at pop culture media (books, TV, movies) through the libertarian lens. It’s filler.

Power Problems – A Cato podcast focusing on foreign affairs. It’s a filler.

The Pursuit – The first season was a great overview of government seizures of private property, with the second going into various abuses of power by the government. It’s filler.

Short Circuit – From the Institute of Justice, this one discusses notable cases that IJ is arguing. I put it under libertarian theory rather than politics because it discusses legal libertarian arguments rather than issues of the day. This is filler.

So To Speak – FIRE’s podcast discussing free speech issues. The guests and legal theories put this more into theory although it sometimes delves into the issues of the day. This is filler.

The SoHo Forum Debates – Oxford-rules debates on a variety of issues. It’s a filler.

The Tom Woods Show – A mainstay of the Mises wing of the libertarian world interviews and discusses events and theories. It’s filler.

Words & Numbers – Two economists from the Foundation For Economic Education discuss different aspects of economics from a libertarian perspective. Sometimes dipping into issues of the day. It’s filler.

Guns, RKBA, and Prep

Assorted Calibers Podcast – The spiritual successor to the Gun Blog Variety Cast. Weer’d Beard and Erin Pallette are the real reason I listen to this, but the other segments are generally pretty good. I’m also a patron, and listen to the Mag Dump round tables, Film Tracks, and Blooper Reels. This is a promotable.

Concealed Carry Podcast – This is a good podcast that will do interviews or just discussion from the hosts. It’s filler.

Firearms Nation – Interview podcast with leading competition shooters and others to discuss both competition and practical shooting techniques and strategies. It’s a filler.

Geeks Gadgets and Guns – A couple of geeks discussing guns and other geeky stuff. It’s filler.

Gun and Gear Review – This is a good review podcast for new stuff in the gun world. I enjoy the reviews and the banter between the hosts. It’s filler, but may go to promotable in the next year.

Guns Guide To Liberals – This is a good podcast focusing on how to talk about guns and RKBA to those who don’t share our views. It’s a promotable.

Handgun Radio – This one I’ve been enjoying. Especially the in-depth histories of different firearms companies. It’s a promotable.

Handgun World – This one is filler on my Daily playlist. Bob has good information, but sometimes his views annoy me, particularly when he goes off on rising evil. This one’s filler.

Managing Uncertainty – This podcast is mainly focused on risk management from an organizational standpoint, but I find it’s useful as a prepping exercise as well. It’s filler.

MichaelBane.TV On The Radio – This is the successor to DownRange.TV podcast, with Michael opining on the gun world. It’s filler.

Polite Society Podcast – Good information, but often too long if I have a backlog. This one is filler.

Save The Second – Podcast on the current issues with the NRA and the fight to reform the organization. It’s filler.

Self-Defense Gun Stories – I like the analysis of what went right and wrong from a variety of professional trainers. This is another I recommend to new shooters and those who are thinking about using a gun for self-defense. This one is filler.

Skip’s Tactical Solutions Podcast – Avery’s a new voice in the gun podcast world, and I find some of her insights fascinating. It doesn’t hurt that she’s local. I may end up taking a class from her if I can scrape up the cash/time. It’s filler.

This Week In Guns – Three hosts talk on issues in the gun world. It’s a promotable.

Trigger Words – Just subscribed to this one and haven’t made up my mind. It’s filler.

History

Hardcore History – Dan Carlin’s storytelling on various historical events is spellbinding. This is promotable on the infrequent occasions new podcasts show up.

Hardcore History: Addendum – A companion to the Hardcore History podcast where Dan Carlin does segments outside his normal narrative style. This one is promotable.

The History of WWII Podcast – This one is going through WWII chronologically, with interview episodes interspersed. It’s filler.

Revolutions – Really good series on various revolutions. Each season goes through one of the more pivotal revolutions in history, starting with the English Revolution. This is a promotable.

Intellectual Dark Web / Interview

The Femsplainers – Christina Hoff Summers and her sidekicks discuss free speech, free thoughts, and feminism of the issues of the day. It’s a promotable.

The Long Game – Long interview form podcast with different former and current politicians. This is definitely on the progressive side of the aisle.It’s filler on my Daily playlist.

Popular Front – A look into smaller conflicts going on or unusual aspects of modern warfare. It’s filler.

Quillette Podcast – Interviews and articles focusing in on free speech issues and cancel culture. It’s filler.

The Reason Interview With Nick GillespieReason editor interviews a variety of guests. This would be an even better podcast if they had a different host. It’s filler.

The Portal – Eric Weinstein discusses a variety of subjects with guests. Very high-intelligence demanding. It’s filler.

The Rubin Report – Long form interview with an eye to free speech and social justice zealotry issues. It’s a promotable.

Unregistered with Thaddeus Russell – Thaddeus interviews a varied list of guests. Some are very interesting, some less so. It’s a filler.

War College – An interesting look at politics and military issues through interviews with specialists. It’s filler.

Politics of the Day

Advisory Opinions – David French and co-host from The Dispatch discuss legal issues and theory on the politics of the day. With some pop culture on the side. It’s a promotable.

The Argument – The New York Times takes the Left, Right, & Center format, takes one big step to the progressive left, and discusses the issues of the day. Sometimes frustrating, but a good look into the minds of on the political left. It’s a promotable.

Cato Daily Podcast – A good quick bit in various topics from a libertarian viewpoint. This is filler.

Contra Krugman – Bob Murphy and Tom Woods tear apart a Paul Krugman column using Austrian economics. It’s filler.

The Dispatch Podcast – Kind of like The Editors, but for The Dispatch. It’s a promotable.

The Economist – I listen to the Economist, because it provides a different perspective and reports on areas that barely hit my normal feeds. This is a promotable.

The Editors – Editors from National Review discussing the issues of the day. Part of my keeping an idea of the conservative side of the issues of the day. It’s a promotable.

The Federalist Radio Hour – Editors of the Federalist website interviews guests about the issues of the day. This is filler.

The Fifth Column – This is a really good roundup focusing on the issues of the day and how the media reports them. It’s a promotable.

Left, Right, & Center – This covers the week’s political events with a progressive, a conservative, a left-leaning centrist, and often some guests. This a promotable.

LRC Presents: All the President’s Lawyers – I picked this one up because Ken White is one of the hosts. It’s a different perspective on Trump’s legal issues than most of my normal feeds. It’s a promotable.

Mad Dogs and Englishmen – Charles Cooke. That’s why I listen to this podcast. It’s a promotable.

The One With Greg Gutfield – Greg does interviews in the way only Greg can do. Currently promotable.

Part of the Problem – Rabid anti war libertarian comedian Dave Smith is interesting. He’s certainly challenging some of my ideas. Particularly when he beers over to the conspiracy theories. Promotable.

The Political Orphanage – Politics of the day with a heaping helping of humor. It’s a promotable.

The Remnant With Jonah Goldberg – Politics of the day from *The Dispatch’s** Jonah Goldberg. It’s promotable.

The Reason Roundtable – Four editors from Reason discuss the issues of the day. It’s a promotable.

Squirrel Report – Three former bloggers talking over the issues of the day. Amusing with gusts of hilarity. It’s promotable.

Science and Skepticism

The Prism Podcast – A dentist and a pediatrician interview guests and discuss skeptical topics. It’s a filler.

Skeptics Guide to The Universe – This was my first science podcast and really helped forge my skepticism. It’s a promotable.

Science Salon – Michael Shermer interviews scientists, scholars, and other intellectuals on a variety of topics. It’s filler.

Skeptoid – Another one that helped in developing my skeptical outlook. It’s filler.

True Stories

Cults – This goes through various cults that have popped up. It focuses mainly on North American cults in the twentieth century, and generally covers the cult over two episodes. Generally, I wait for both parts to drop and then listen to them together. This is filler.

Espionage – This one talks about particular spies in history and some of their methods. Generally each spy is given two episodes. I wait for both parts to drop and then listen to them together. This is filler.

Hostage – This podcast goes through a particular hostage event. Most are done in two-part episodes, and I generally wait until both parts drop to listen to them together. This is filler.

This Is War – The host relates a combat veteran’s story interspersed with the veteran providing his/her own insights. This is the brutal personal side of combat and its effects on a person – both physical and emotional. It’s filler.

The Way I Heard It With Mike Rowe – After growing up with Paul Harvey’s “The Rest of the Story”, this one is a wonderful substitute. It’s a promotable.

Tech

Clockwise – Two hosts and two guests discuss four tech topics in thirty minutes. Generally enjoyable. It’s a promotable.

Daily Tech Headlines – Good summary of big tech stories. It’s promotable.

Army’s Looking For New Helicopters

The Army’s looking for a new helo to replace the venerable Blackhawk.

Bell Helicopter is submitting its V-280 Valor tilt-rotor.

Sikorsky And Boeing have their SB-1 Defiant.

Personally, I think the Defiant would fill the Blackhawk role better because of its smaller rotor-print. I can see a Defiant getting into the places troops need helos. I could see a tilt-rotor taking the heavy-lift role, such as the Chinook and the Sea Stallion.

The Army is also looking for a new scout bird. War Is Boring has a look at one of the proposals. The pick kind of looks like a Russian take on the old RAH-66 Commanchero prototype.

Living With Robots

The future is funny sometimes. We use Echoes in the house. Yes, I know the security issues and I’ve judged the risk acceptable at this time. What amuses me is some of the “human” failings of the robots.

Today’s example – We have three Echoes, which with our small house often means two will pick up the verbal command. This morning, my wife orders the bedroom Echo to turn the lights on. No problem. The living room Echo, because of sound changing as it bounces out of the bedroom misheard and proceeds to tell me that there are no alarms set.

The future is weird.

Do You Own What You Buy?

“You know all those movies you bought from Apple? Um, well, think different: You didn’t” The headline from the Register is outragey, and it’s only deep in the article the real story starts coming out.

And it’s not fair to single out just Apple either: pretty much every provider of digital content has the same rules. Amazon got in hot water a few years ago when its deal with Disney expired and customers discovered that their expensive movie purchases vanished over night. In 2009 thee was a similar ruckus when it pulled George Orwell’s classic 1984 from Kindles without notice.

In reality of course, these huge companies go to great lengths to ensure that their licensing deals with the main content companies are retained so the situation happens only occasionally. And such deals are usually worth so much to both sides that they are continually renewed.

With digital media, there’s been a long-running skirmish surrounding who truly owns their media. I don’t think it’s going to be solved anytime soon. What I do know is that if you own any digital media, it needs to be free of Digital Rights Management (DRM) code and it should be on your hard drives. Or you need physical copies.

Or just take the risk.

Diversity Is A Good Thing, As Long As You Know What To Diversify

Reason put out this article earlier this week on the dangers of Silicon Valley’s burgeoning ideological conformity. Let’s look at the first couple of paragraphs:

quote When it comes to software, Silicon Valley understands the threat of monocultures. If 100 percent of computers run the same code and malware authors discover an exploit, 100 percent of computers will be vulnerable to the same attack. Fortunately, the way to reduce such risks is straightforward: Increase diversity.

quote Alas, this insight seems limited to software. Technology executives have yet to fully recognize the risks posed by the potent political monocultures forming inside their own companies.

The problem is that so many who push “diversity” fail to understand what they need to diversify. For these tech companies – and other places pushing diversity for diversity (cough, universities, cough, literary circles) – they are mistaking the biological for the mental. In essence, they are saying because they have both golden labradors and chocolate labradors, they are diverse – and they don’t see the problem when large numbers of their dogs die off. For tech companies, the biggest threat from this failure to recognize they are not really diverse is going out of business because they’ve alienated enough customers.

However, the same issue is impacting the RKBA. I keep hearing how we do we get more women, POCs, young people, etc. involved in the gun rights battle. Too many times, I see the RKBA making the same mistake of substituting outward diversity with inward diversity. You can’t invite people with one breath, and with the next demand they immediately conform to every thing you believe outside of RKBA – such as God, abortion, economics, and/or the current issues of the day.

We’re not breeding stronger livestock, so we shouldn’t be looking for biological diversity. We’re trying to breed stronger ideas, so we need ideological diversity.

Ignoble End to an Upstart?

At the grocery store this week, The Brother and I saw a Tesla 3 in the wild for the first time. The Brother wants a Tesla for his next car, and to be honest, they tempt me as well. I wish there was a version of the Chevy Volt’s electric with gasoline backup system that was built into an SUV. Both The Brother and I believe that electric vehicles will phase out the internal combustion vehicles, but that’s going to require time for the infrastructure to be built up.

I’ve also been a fan of Tesla in its history of disrupting the market. Tesla has done a lot to “mainstream” the electric vehicle – much in the same way Apple mainstreamed the smartphone. For me, I’ve enjoyed them working to fight back against the franchise car dealership system.

Which makes this analysis of Tesla’s cash crisis from the Economist disappointing. My read is Tesla is burning through cash because there is a corporate culture of chaos and letting the better get in the way of the good.

Tesla received four hundred thousand $1,000 deposits for the Tesla 3’s. That’s an initial investment of $400 million. I can’t see any of the big car firms not being able to set up a new line for that sort of initial capital.

I’m really hoping Tesla manages to push through, but I have a suspicion that it will revert to a boutique manufacturer of innovative EVs while the big firms bring the electric car revolution to the masses.

Early Days for Self-Driving Cars

Borepatch helpfully linked to this article regarding to the pedestrian killed by an autonomous Uber vehicle in Arizona. According to the cops, who reviewed the Uber car’s dash cam, it’s unlikely a human driver would have been able to avoid the pedestrian.

I understand why Borepatch distrusts them, but I still believe that the self-driving car will be as revolutionary as the car itself was. Yes, it will destroy some industries. If history is any teacher, the technology will also lead to the rise of brand new industries.

And maybe finally kill the stupid passenger/commuter rail proponents.

Challenger, 30 Years Later

Thirty years ago, the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds into its flight. Seven were killed.

This is perhaps the first memory where I remember where I was when I heard the news. I was in sixth grade, coming back from PE, when a teacher burst into the hall to tell us what happened. We watched the coverage for pretty much the rest of the day. A friend of mine was in Nature’s Classroom and actually saw the Y-shaped cloud.

  
Image is from CBS news.

Friday Quote – J. Robert Oppenheimer

The atomic bomb made the prospect of future war unendurable. It has led us up those last few steps to the mountain pass; and beyond there is a different country.

J. Robert Oppenheimer, leader of the Manhattan Project

Friday Quote – R. Buckminster Fuller

For the last Friday Quote of the year, I give you a quote of hope for the future:

It is now feasible to take care of everyone on Earth at a higher standard of living than have ever known. It no longer has to be you or me. Selfishness is unnecessary. War is obsolete. It is a matter of converting high technology from weaponry to livingry.

R. Buckminster Fuller

I don’t think we, as a species, have quite reached this point. Still, I have hope that one day humanity will reach it.

© 2020 Derek Ward

Theme by Anders NorénUp ↑