Archive for category: Skepticism

State of Podcasts – 2019

27 Mar
March 27, 2019

State Of Podcasts 2018

I’m doing this on an annual basis. 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. One thing I noted from last year were reader comments about this host or that host supporting positions the readers disliked (particularly when the host was anti-gun). I’m trying to incorporate diverse voices in my podcast consumption, both to understand those I normally oppose and find out when my side is wrong.

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. 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 use three playlists:

  1. Daily – 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 I go through them 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.
  2. Writing – I use this as a warm-up for when I’m going to write as well as general knowledge to improve my writing
  3. History – Podcasts on History.

My podcasts as of March 2019:

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. It’s a promotable podcast on my Daily playlist.

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

Penn’s Sunday School – Penn prognosticating on the world with a few of his friends and/or guests. It’s a promotable podcast on my Daily Playlist.

Unjustly Maligned – This one is currently ended (the host hints he’d like to do more), but I’d recommend going through the back of episodes.

Economics / Libertarian Theory / Free Speech

The Bob Murphy Show – Bob Murphy discusses different concepts with in Austrian economics. Some of it is a little too far off mainstream for me, but it’s still intellectually interesting.

Cato Events Podcast – Recordings of various panels put on by the Cato Institute. I’ve heard a lot of very interesting discussions and arguments. This one I use as filler on my “Daily” playlist. I will delete if the topic doesn’t interest me, as these can be pretty long.

Econtalk – Economist Russ Roberts does great interviews with a wide variety of guests and topics. I’ve been learning a lot. This is a promotable podcast on my Daily playlist.

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

GAO Podcast – GAO discussing some of their reviews they’ve done on federal agencies. This one I use as filler on my “Daily” playlist

Make No Law – Ken White delves into the case law around the First Amendment and free speech. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist

The Pursuit – Not sure if this was just a limited series or if there will be a second season, but a great overview of government seizures of private property. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist

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 a filler on my Daily playlist.

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 a promotable podcast on my Daily playlist.

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 on my Daily playlist.

Guns & RKBA

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. This is a promotable on my Daily playlist.

Black Man With A Gun Podcast – Kenn’s podcast was one of the first I started listening to, and then I wrote Zombie Strike for him. It’s filler on my Daily playlist.

Civilian Carry Radio – I just subscribed to this one and haven’t made up my mind about it. It’s a filler on my Daily playlist

Down Range Radio – Right now, this is promotable, but it may get downgraded to filler. Some of Bane’s nonsense and glad standing is getting on my nerves. On my Daily playlist.

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

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

Gun and Gear Review – Another new (to me) podcast I’m evaluating. Currently, it’s a filler on my Daily playlist.

The Gun Nation – This one I’m pretty sure is defunct, but I’m keeping it on the list just in case it isn’t. It’s promotable on my Daily playlist on if it drops.

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

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.

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

Pro-Arms Podcast – This one hasn’t been updated since 2017, but I recommend any serious shooter (new or old) go through the back episodes. If it ever updates again, it’s a promotable on my Daily playlist

Riding Shotgun With Charley – Interesting, but sometimes hard to follow the conversation due to road noise. It’s currently filler on my Daily playlist

Rifleman Roundtable – Not sure if this one is defunct, but it hasn’t updated in a while. Hosts from other gun podcasts discuss the gun issues of the day. It’s filler on my Daily playlist

Safety Solutions Academy– This one hasn’t updated in a while, but I still think everyone should go through the back episodes, Real good information. This is also one I recommend to new shooters. Paul is one of those trainers I’d like to learn from if I could scrape together the time and money. This one is promotable on my Daily playlist.

The Second Is For Everyone (2A4E) Podcast – Tony Simon’s been doing great work up in New Jersey spreading gun culture. His podcast with his friend Sean often has a different take than most gun podcasts.

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 a promotable on my Daily playlist.

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 on my Daily playlist.

This Week In Guns – It’s the week in gun issues. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist

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

History

Clear and Present Danger -A History of Free Speech – This is a filler podcast on my “Daily” playlist. It’s okay from a history perspective, and I might move it over to that playlist and refresh all of the episodes.

Hardcore History – Dan Carlin’s storytelling on various historical events is spellbinding. This is promotable on my History playlist 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 on my History Podcast.

The History of Byzantium – This is a sequel to the History of Rome podcast and the host tries to keep the same style. I would highly recommend listening to the History of Rome before jumping into this one. It’s filler on my History playlist.

A History of Europe, Key Battles – Haven’t actually listened to this one yet, but I’m keeping the first episode on my History playlist until I work through the backlog of History of Byzantium and Revolutions

The History of Rome – This is a great overview of Rome from its founding until the fall of the Western Empire. It’s a finished series. I’ve listened to all the episodes, but I’m keeping it on the list as a recommendation for others.

History On Fire – This one came highly recommended, and I have the first episode downloaded. I’m waiting to get through my backlog on my History playlist before getting into it.

Omnibus! With Ken Jennings and John Roderick – The conceit of the show is the hosts are leading an audio time capsule of odd bits of history for some far-future civilization. The choices are interesting bits of historical trivia. It’s filler on my History playlist.

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 filler on my History playlist.

Slate Presents – The first season was a history of Ruby Ridge. It’s Slate, so it came at it from a different perspective. It’s filler on my History playlist.

Slow Burn – The first season dealt with Watergate and the second with Bill Clinton’s impeachment. I’m fairly certain the producers were hoping the third season would be the Trump impeachment. Still, it’s a compelling podcast. It’s filler on my History playlist

War Stories – Good military history podcast. It’s in filler on my History playlist.

Politics

Cato Daily Podcast – A good quick bit in various topics from a libertarian viewpoint. This one I use as filler on my “Daily” playlist.

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

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 podcast on my Daily playlist.

The Editors – Editors from National Review discussing the issues of the day. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist.

The Federalist Radio Hour – Editors of the Federalist website interviews guests about the issues of the day. It’s a filler on my Daily playlist.

The Femsplainers – Christina Hoff Summers and her sidekicks discuss free speech and free thoughts issues of the day. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist.

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 on my Daily playlist.

The Long Game – Long interview form podcast with different former and current politicians. It’s filler on my Daily playlist.

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. I’m impressed with the other host, I may pick up the parent podcast “Left, Right, and Center.” It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist.

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

Neal Boortz Daily Commentaries – I loved listening to Boortz when he was on syndicated radio, and now I get two minutes of him. It’s interesting to see how I’ve diverged from him over the years. It’s promotable on my Daily playlist.

Ordered Liberty – This is a National Review podcast that started mainly discussing liberty from a traditional conservative side, but it’s meandered into daily politics. A bit heavier on the freedom of religion and abortion than I’d like, but understandable from the hosts’ perspective.

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

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 on my Daily playlist.

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

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

Reason Podcast – Reason’s weekly podcast with their editors is promotable on my Daily playlist. The others are filler. Some good content and some that just don’t interest me. The latter might get deleted if the subject doesn’t sound interesting.

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

Something’s Off With Andrew Heaton – Take the Daily Show, except with a libertarian bent. Funny and thought provoking. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist

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

The Tom Woods Show – I found this one when Tom interviewed Larry Corriea, and I like his take on many issues. It’s a filler on my Daily podcast.

Unregistered with Thaddeus Russell – Thaddeus interviews a varied list of guests. Some were very interesting, some less so. It’s a filler on my Daily playlist.

War College – This is a promotable podcast on my Daily playlist. An interesting look at politics and military issues.

Wrongspeak – Another one devoted to the issues of free speech and SJWs. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist

Science and Skepticism

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

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

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

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

Stories / Writing

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 on my Daily playlist.

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 on my Daily playlist.

Writing Excuses – If you are a fiction writer, I can’t recommend this one highly enough. It’s currently the only one on my Writing playlist.

Tech

Clockwise – This is a promotable podcast on my Daily playlist. I like the format and it helps keep me up to date on tech issues and trends.

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

Friday Quote – Aldous Huxley

11 Jan
January 11, 2019

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.

Horoscopes for Professionals

25 Oct
October 25, 2018

Reason has a review up on the new book The Personality Brokers: The Strange History of Myers-Briggs and the Birth of Personality Testing by Merve Emre.

Probably one of my favorite quotes of the article:

The test has been most influential among the kinds of businesses given to weekend “success seminars” in Ramada ballrooms. Today you’ll still see people putting their Myers-Briggs type on their LinkedIn pages, the way others might mention their astrological sign on a dating profile.

My coworkers are big into this stuff, to the point that we need to talk about what style we are. Well, they do. I just answer sarcastically and remind them it’s all bullshit.

Which they say is typical of my type.

Not a Good Few Weeks For Peer Review

22 Oct
October 22, 2018

Okay, three academics getting papers they knew where utter bullshit published and considered great scholarship was one thing. Now, we have a respected journal publishing a horrific paper on homeopathy. The peer review process and the issues with p-hacking are undermining the current scientific process. What to do then?

I lean to not publishing without duplication. I always said that if I hit the lottery, particularly one of those big payouts, I’d start a lab for the purpose of just duplicating experiments. Kind of a UL for experiments.

First Question

20 Aug
August 20, 2018

If I’m going to debate someone, one of the first questions that need to be addressed is this:

Do you believe, or are you willing to concede that I believe, that I want you to have the best life you can according to your needs, wants, and desires?

If the answer is “yes,” then we can have a civilized conversation about the best means of bringing this about. If the answer is “no,” there is real doubt we can even have a conversation. Because there are very few people that I want them to have less than the best life possible. Those generally fall into those who willfully and maliciously harm others.

Junk Science – Forensics Edition

05 Jun
June 5, 2018

I call anti-vax arguments as junk science with a body count. Homeopathy does as well, too a lesser degree. Another field of bad science that ruins lives is the current forensics “science”.

A few techniques, such as DNA analysis were developed by traditional scientific processes and stand up to rigorous testing. There are many more – such as hair analysis, bite analysis, and fiber analysis – that were developed by crime labs for crime labs. They have not had the rigorous double-blind studies that would affirm their effectiveness. In all too-predictable manner, people are being wrongly accused and convicted.

From a recent Reason article on the issue:

quote”If you think that maybe even 1 percent of convicted defendants may be innocent,” replied Fabricant, “we have 2.6 million people in prison today, (so) we are talking about tens of thousands of (innocent) people!”

quoteFabricant works with the Innocence Project, a group that works to get innocent people freed from prison. Through DNA evidence, the project’s lawyers have helped free 191 people.

IMHO, many of the forensics people really think that they are doing good work to the rigors of science. Of course, so do many naturopaths and chiropractors. Further, I believe that many cops and prosecutors are relying on these

State of My Podcasts

07 Mar
March 7, 2018

I’m going to try and do this on an annual basis. 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’m going to 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 use four playlists:

  1. Daily – This is a playlist of what I want to listen to during my commutes, work, and other times. Some of the podcasts are put to the top on certain days. Some are “promotable”, which means they go to the top behind that day’s podcasts. The rest are filler, and I’ll get to them when I can.

  2. Writing – I use this as a warm-up for when I’m going to write as well as general knowledge to improve my writing

  3. Roman History – This one has two finished podcast series I’m listening about the history of Rome from its early beginnings to the fall of the Byzantine Empire

  4. History – Self explanatory

My podcasts as of March 2018:

Liberty

Cato Daily Podcast – A good quick bit in various topics from a libertarian viewpoint. This one I use as filler on my “Daily” playlist.

Cato Events Podcast – Recordings of various panels put on by the Cato Institute. I’ve heard a lot of very interesting discussions and arguments. This one I use as filler on my “Daily” playlist. I will delete if the topic doesn’t interest me, as these can be pretty long.

Clear and Present Danger -A History of Free Speech – This is a Friday morning podcast on my “Daily” playlist. Still a little uncertain about this one.

The Good Fight – Formerly “The Liberty Files”, this one is a promotable on my “Daily” playlist. This is one I like using for hearing the conservative side of civil liberty discussions. A bit heavier on the freedom of religion than I’d like, but understandable from the hosts’ perspective.

Reason Podcast – Reason’s weekly podcast with their editors is promotable on my Daily playlist. The others are filler. Some good content and some that just don’t interest me.

Short Circuit – From the Institute of Justice, this one discusses notable cases that IJ is a part of. This is a promotable on my Daily playlist.

So To Speak – FIRE’s podcast discussing free speech issues. This is a Friday morning podcast on my Daily playlist.

Economics

Econtalk – Economist Russ Roberts does great interviews with a wide variety of guests and topics. I’ve been learning a lot. This is a Tuesday morning podcast on my Daily playlist.

GAO Podcast – GAO discussing some of their reviews. This one I use as filler on my “Daily” playlist

History

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

Hardcore History: Addendum – New one from Dan Carlin. The first two were interesting. This will be promotable if he continues.

The History of Byzantium – I only listened to a couple of episodes. It’s on my “Roman History” playlist to go after the “History of Rome”

The History of Rome – This one is on my “Roman History” playlist. Good for amateur historians like me. It’s a finished series.

Revolutions – Really good series on various revolutions. Each season goes through one of the more pivotal revolutions in history, starting with the English Revolution. I’ve listened to the first four seasons. This is on my History playlist.

War Stories – Good military history podcast. It’s in my “History” playlist.

Guns

Black Man With A Gun Podcast – Kenn’s podcast was one of the first I started listening to, and then I wrote Zombie Strike for him. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist.

Down Range Radio – Right now, this is my Wednesday morning podcast, but it may get downgraded to promotable. Some of Bane’s nonsense and glad standing is getting on my nervesz On my Daily playlist.

Geeks Gadgets and Guns – A recent addition after they discussed Pathfinder with Erin Pallette. Right now it’s a promotable on my Daily playlist.

The Gun Nation – This one is promotable on my Daily playlist on the rare occasions it drops.

Handgun Radio – This one I’ve been enjoying. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist.

Handgun World – This one might go from promotable to fuller on my Daily playlist. Bob has good information, but sometimes his views annoy me, particularly when he goes off on rising evil.

Polite Society Podcast – Good information, but often too long. This one is filler on my Daily playlist

Riding Shotgun With Charley – Interesting so far, but currently filler on my Daily playlist

Safety Solutions Academy – Real good information. Paul is one of those trainers I’d like to learn from if I could scrape together the time and money. This one is promotable on my Daily playlist.

Self-Defense Gun Stories – I like the analysis of what went right and wrong from a variety of professional trainers. This one is a promotable on my Daily playlist.

Politics

The Economist – This is a Friday morning podcast on my Daily playlist. It provides a different perspective and reports on areas that barely hit my normal feeds.

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 on my Daily playlist.

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

Neal Boortz Daily Commentaries – I loved listening to Boortz when he was on syndicated radio, and now I get two minutes of him. It’s interesting to see how I’ve diverged from him over the years. It’s only considered promotable on my Daily playlist because I get it daily.

The One With Greg Gutfeld – Only listened to a couple of episodes, but it feels similar to Greg’s Redeye days. Currently promotable on my Daily playlist.

Part of the Problem – Rabid anti war libertarian comedian Dave Smith is interesting. He’s certainly challenging some of my ideas. Promotable on my Daily playlist.

War College – This is a Friday morning podcast on my Daily playlist. An interesting look at politics and military issues.

Tech

Clockwise – This is a Friday morning podcast on my Daily playlist. I like the format and it helps keep me up to date on tech issues and trends.

Daily Tech Headlines – Good summary of big tech stories, and the weekend history segments are interesting. It’s considered promotable on my Daily playlist only becuse it comes out every day.

General

Friendly Fire – New one about three guys watching and critiquing war films. It’s a Friday afternoon podcast on my Daily playlist.

The Incomparable Game Show – Often hilarious, sometimes dangerously so when driving. It’s a Friday afternoon podcast on my Daily playlist.

Penn’s Sunday School – Penn prognosticating on the world. It’s a Tuesday and a Thursday morning podcast on my Daily Playlist.

Squirrel Report – It’s not a Friday afternoon drive without this one.

Unjustly Maligned – On hiatus, but I’d recommend going through the back of episodes.

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 on my Daily playlist.

Science & Skepticism

Skeptics Guide to The Universe – This was my first science podcast and really helped forge my skepticism. It’s a Monday morning podcast on my Daily playlist.

Skeptoid – Another one that helped in developing my skeptical outlook. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist.

Writing

Writing Excuses – If you are a fiction writer, I can’t recommend this one highly enough. It’s currently the only one on my Writing playlist.

Going To Do My Civic Duty

27 Aug
August 27, 2017

I got something that I haven’t gotten for about fifteen years – a jury summons. It’s been even longer than that since I sat at the courthouse waiting to be called. That got me to thinking of what has changed in my thinking since the last time I sat in the pool.

1. I started carrying a gun on a regular basis. That alone has radically shifted my worldview, but then I attended trainings and started learning about the legalities of self defense – and the intricacies of the legal system.

2. I don’t have the automatic deference to police that my younger self had. Because of the powers that a police officer are granted, I’m more likely to hold them to a higher standard.

3. I don’t trust forensics as much as I used to. Some forensic tools, such as DNA testing, were developed through rigorous processes, and are generally reliable. Others, such as handwriting and hair analysis, were developed in crime labs, and are less reliable. Then there’s the small item of the numerous lab scandals.

4. I no longer expect the heroic prosecutors and scumbag defense attorneys. If anything, I don’t trust either side. Probably about as much as I trust MSNBC and Fox to present their cases.

And now I have to go through my EDC and start yanking out stuff that is not allowed at the courthouse. That may take a bit.

Friday Quote- John Locke

20 May
May 20, 2016

“To love truth for the truth’s sake is the principal part of human perfection in this world, and the seed-plot of all other virtues.”

John Locke

Friday Quote – Christopher Hitchens

08 Apr
April 8, 2016

“Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence.”

Christopher Hitchens