A Long List of Podcasts You Might Enjoy

This is the first of a three-part series of useful online resources, covering podcasts, YouTube channels, and Chrome extensions.

So, I think it'd be accurate to call me a prolific e-explorer: during the past years I've amassed quite a library of internet resources that perhaps not everyone is aware of. As such, I'd like to share the best stuff I've found. The podcasts span a very wide variety of topics of interest to me, but they're centred around my main interest of ethics, futurology, Effective Altruism, rationality, philosophy of mind, natural sciences (especially biology and physics), social sciences (especially economics and psychology), politics, geopolitics, world events, history, self-improvement and more.

My podcast habit is to a large extent responsible, for those of you that know me, for my incessant trivia dropping and ability to say something about a pretty large variety of topics. I'm not entirely sure how useful knowing a little bit about a lot is, but it functions as quite good intelligence signalling, if that's your thing. Not doing it intentionally most of the time of course, but it has that as a side effect. I mainly just listen to podcasts because I'm curious about most everything.

I listen to a metric ton of podcasts: because of my previous employment, which allowed me to listen to podcasts for about 4.5 hours every day, combined with the fact that I always listen to podcasts at somewhere between 2.0x and 3.7x speed, I got through at most ~16.5 hours of audio content every work day (most of the time I feel lazier and listen to speeds closer to 2.5x, so not quite as much), not factoring in the time I spend listening to podcasts in my free time. With such an appetite I've had to be on the lookout for new stuff all the time: subsequently, I'm subscribed to more than 70 podcasts.

I don't actively follow all podcasts and I'll suggest some podcasts that I don't listen to much, or don't get that much value out of, but that maybe you would. Also, podcasts recommendations are not necessarily endorsements of the views expressed in them.

I'll provide a link for each podcast so you can get a quick overview of the episodes, and then from there, you can usually find links to subscribing to them through whatever podcast service you use. I'll default to the iTunes page if the podcast doesn't have its own website.

I would recommend that you take a quick look at the webpage of a podcast that seems interesting and quickly browse through their latest episodes.

I've done my best when it comes to classification; it's quite hard, as the majority of podcasts cover many different fields, so there's some overlap in the categories.


Favourites:


Rationally Speaking: rationalist Julia Galef conducts superb interviews with experts on everything from quantum physics to Stoicism to cybersecurity to moral uncertainty. It's actually the thing that got me into philosophy and Effective Altruism. If telling you that I've listened to all (at the time of writing) 219 episodes doesn't convince you to give it a try, I don't know what will.

80,000 Hours Podcast: director of research at 80,000 Hours Robert Wiblin interviews experts on all things related to Effective Altruism.

Review The Future: This one really is a hidden gem. "The podcast that takes an in-depth look at the impact of [future] tech on culture". The two hosts discuss, either with or without a guest, all manner of futurologically relevant topics, such as attention economics, AR/VR, genetic enhancement, AI, privacy, etc. They sometimes do reviews of sci-fi films and dissect the plausibility of the technologies and worlds depicted in them.

TED Radio Hour: "Guy Raz explores the emotions, insights, and discoveries that make us human. The TED Radio Hour is a narrative journey through fascinating ideas, astonishing inventions, fresh approaches to old problems, and new ways to think and create." A brilliant podcast that each week selects a topic, such as "Adaptation", "Animals and us, "Transparency" or "Becoming Wise", and then interviews TED speakers on that subject, with passages from their on-stage talk.

Future Strategist: economics professor Dr James Miller looks at the macro-strategic picture of the 21st century and beyond, covering topics such as the genetic modification of humans for higher intelligence, the Fermi paradox, sexbots, cryonics, political correctness and more.

The Wright Show: journalist Robert Wright speaks with experts about politics, social science, natural science and much more.

EconTalk: economics professor Dr Rusell Roberts tackles pretty much anything under the sun of societal importance, through interviews with experts on everything from food waste to baseball to megaprojects to tribal politics.

The Ezra Klein Show: Vox.com's editor-at-large's podcast, mainly interviews about American politics, but also about topics such as digital technology, ethics, global poverty, psychology, economics, etc, from a liberal (in the American sense) perspective.

Waking Up with Sam Harris: philosopher and neuroscientist Sam Harris interviews experts and commentators on ethics, religion, technology, philosophy of mind, political correctness, meditation, American politics, and all manner of scientific and philosophical fields.

Sean Carroll's Mindscape: cosmologist Sean Carroll interviews experts about all of scientia.

Anatomy of Next: a futurology podcast all about future technology.


Not classified, but generally in-depth interviews:


The Wright Show: journalist Robert Wright speaks with experts about politics, social science, natural science and much more.

Waking Up with Sam Harris: philosopher and neuroscientist Sam Harris interviews experts and commentators on ethics, religion, technology, philosophy of mind, political correctness, meditation, American politics, and all manner of scientific and philosophical fields.

Conversations with Tyler: economist Tyler Cowen interviews influential people about most everything.

TED Radio Hour: "Guy Raz explores the emotions, insights, and discoveries that make us human. The TED Radio Hour is a narrative journey through fascinating ideas, astonishing inventions, fresh approaches to old problems, and new ways to think and create." A brilliant podcast that each week selects a topic, such as "Adaptation", "Animals and us, "Transparency" or "Becoming Wise", and then interviews TED speakers on that subject, with passages from their on-stage talks.

Sean Carroll's Mindscape: cosmologist Sean Carroll interviews experts about all of scientia.

Long Now: Seminars About Long-term Thinking: "Explore hundreds of lectures by scientists, historians, artists, entrepreneurs, and more through The Long Now Foundation's award-winning lecture series, curated and hosted by Long Now co-founder Stewart Brand (creator of the Whole Earth Catalog)."

TED Talks Daily: if you don't have time to watch TED talks, here's an easy way to digest the content anyway.

Pangburn Philosophy: Travis Pangburn sits down with intellectuals, mainly people affiliated with the so-called "Intellectual Dark Web", to discuss secularism, religion, politics, culture and society.

The Joe Rogan Podcast: Rogan self-stylises as your everyday ignoramus who has conversations with influential people from a wide range of fields. Hosts discussions with scientists, commentators, comedians, athletes, philosophers and many more.

Stuff You Should Know: a podcast about, well, stuff you should know. Want to know about everything from archaeology to ocean currents to nuclear forensics to voting systems? Then this is the podcast for you.

Long Now: Conversations at The Interval: "[...] this series has presented artists, authors, entrepreneurs, scientists (and more) taking a long-term perspective on subjects like art, design, history, nature, technology, and time."

In Our Time: Science: A BBC podcast about all matters scientific. Learn about cephalopods, Micheal Faraday, P vs NP, behavioural ecology, Pauli's exclusion principle and much more.

99% Invisible: 99% Invisible is about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about — the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world." Covers history, technology, architecture, and design.

WorkLife with Adam Grant: "Organizational psychologist Adam Grant takes you inside some of the world’s most unusual workplaces to discover the keys to better work."

What's The Point: FiveThirtyEight's podcast about eclectic topics.

Arms Control Wonk Podcast: A podcast all about "nuclear arms control, disarmament and nonproliferation", for all you nuclear weapons wonks out there.

Pessimists Archive Podcast: "Highlighting technophobia, alarmism, protectionism and puritanism of the past. The best antidote to fear of the new is looking back at the fear of the old." A creative and clever podcast all about all the times we freaked out about some development we now take for granted.

The Guardian's Science Weekly: The Guardian's coverage of various scientific topics.


Rationality:


Rationally Speaking: rationalist Julia Galef conducts superb interviews with experts on everything from quantum physics to Stoicism to cybersecurity to moral uncertainty. It's actually the thing that got me into philosophy and Effective Altruism. If telling you that I've listened to all (at the time of writing) 219 episodes doesn't convince you to give it a try, I don't know what will.

The Knowledge Project with Shane Parrish: "The Knowledge Project Podcast explores the ideas, methods, and mental models, that help expand your mind, live deliberately and master the best of what other people have already figured out." Centres on interviews and discussions around rationality, technology, psychology, business and much more.

The Bayesian Conspiracy: rationalists discuss everything related to rationality and the rationality community.

Slate Star Codex Podcast: if you prefer to consume the latest Slate Star Codex posts in audio form and you're not content with text-to-speech, this is the "podcast" for you.


Futurism:


Review The Future: This one really is a hidden gem. "The podcast that takes an in-depth look at the impact of [future] tech on culture". The two hosts discuss, either with or without a guest, all manner of futurologically relevant topics, such as attention economics, AR/VR, genetic enhancement, AI, privacy, etc. They sometimes do reviews of sci-fi films and dissect the plausibility of the technologies and worlds depicted in them.

Future Strategist: economics professor Dr James Miller looks at the macro-strategic picture of the 21st century and beyond, covering topics such as the genetic modification of humans for higher intelligence, the Fermi paradox, sexbots, cryonics, political correctness and more.

The Future of Life: podcasts about future studies, existential and global catastrophic risks, emerging technologies, ethics and more.

Algocracy and the Transhumanist Project: philosopher John Danaher talks to experts about transhumanist topics and the ethics of them.

Future Left: "Future Left is a podcast about all things at the intersection of left politics and “futurism.” We’re explicitly interested in topics revolving around technology, climate change, and alternative economic and social arrangements. We aim to articulate the failures or the current system while proposing new paradigms toward a more sustainable and egalitarian society."

Emerge: Making Sense of What's Next: "A podcast based inquiry into the emerging paradigms shaping the next phase of the human experiment. Features interviews and discussions on social technologies, culture, metamodernism, emerging technologies and more."

Anatomy of Next: a futurology podcast all about future technology.

Future Thinkers Podcast: a podcast all about social technologies, psychedelics, emerging technologies, transhumanism, existential risk and more.

Cosmic Tortoise: "Propagating the Transhumanist Hivemind. Longform chats on Tech, Science, Society and Culture."

Flash Forward: each episode asks us to imagine some future scenario, such as the development of artificial wombs, Calexit, UBI or exo-skeletons, and writer Rose Eveleth walks us through that future.

a16z: "The a16z Podcast discusses tech and culture trends, news, and the future — especially as ‘software eats the world’. It features industry experts, business leaders, and other interesting thinkers and voices from around the world."

Exponential View: analyst Azeem Azhar discusses futurological topics with interviewees.


Economics:


Freakonomics Radio: journalist Stephen J. Dubner takes on every economics and economics-tangential topic imaginable.

50 Things That Made the Modern Economy: "Tim Harford tells the fascinating stories of 50 inventions, ideas and innovations which have helped create the economic world." Fuses technology, economics and history.

EconTalk: economics professor Dr Rusell Roberts tackles pretty much anything under the sun of societal importance, through interviews with experts on everything from food waste to baseball to megaprojects to tribal politics.

Planet Money: "Using "creative and entertaining" dialogue and narrative, Planet Money claims to be "The Economy Explained"."

The Economics Detective Radio: "Economics Detective Radio is a podcast about markets, ideas, institutions, and all things related to the field of economics. Episodes consist of long-form interviews and are generally released on Fridays. Topics include economic theory, economic history, the history of thought, money, banking, finance, macroeconomics, public choice, Austrian economics, business cycles, health care, education, international trade, and anything else of interest to economists, students, and serious amateurs interested in the science of human action."


Effective Altruism:


80,000 Hours Podcast: director of research at 80,000 Hours Robert Wiblin interviews experts on all things related to Effective Altruism.

Future Perfect: Vox's recently launched podcast about the big issues.

Doing Good Better: a short-lived and introductory podcast to Effective Altruism.

The Life You Can Save: a podcast about the ins and outs of Effective Altruism, more specifically global health and poverty.

Global Optimum: in this recently launched podcast, "host Daniel Gambacorta shares insights, advice, and stories designed to help make you a more effective altruist."


Psychology:


The Psychology Podcast: a podcast with a pretty self-explanatory name. Features interviews with top psychologists and intellectuals about all things mental.

Hidden Brain: "Shankar Vedantam uses science and storytelling to reveal the unconscious patterns that drive human behaviour, shape our choices and direct our relationships." A podcast about neuroscience, psychology and behavioural economics.


Philosophy:


The Very Bad Wizards: philosopher Tamler Sommers and psychologist David Pizarro discuss everything you might think a philosopher and a psychologist would discuss.

The Partially Examined Life Philosophy Podcast: "The format is an informal roundtable discussion, with each episode loosely focused on a short reading that introduces at least one "big" philosophical question, concern, or idea." Centres around continental and ancient western philosophy.

Political Philosophy Podcast: I think you can figure this one out for yourself. Listen to conversations with professors about topics relevant to political philosophy.

Conversations From The Pale Blue Dot: the now discontinued podcast by Luke Muehlhauser described itself as "an interfaith interview show, featuring experts from all religions and worldviews, but focusing on the divide between Christianity and atheism."

Science, Ethics and the Future: Brian Tomasik reads some of the Foundational Research Institute's posts.

Waking Cosmos Podcast: a podcast about philosophy of mind, consciousness, psychedelics, etc.

In Our Time: Philosophy: "From Altruism to Wittgenstein, philosophers, theories and key themes." Discusses philosophers and philosophical topics.


World affairs/Geopolitics:


The Compass: the state of the world today, stories from around the world, about politics, geopolitics, demographics, economics, technology.

Carnegie Council Audio Podcast: hosts lectures and discussions by experts on world affairs, international relations, geopolitics and more.

Rear Vision: human geography, history, geopolitics, politics.

LSE: Public lectures and events: listen to the talks held at the London School of Economics. I think you can make an educated guess what topics might be included.

The Inquiry: "The Inquiry gets beyond the headlines to explore the trends, forces and ideas shaping the world."

Worldly: "We live in a confusing time, bombarded every day with news stories from around the world that can be hard to follow, or fully understand. Let Worldly be your guide. Every Thursday, senior writer Zack Beauchamp, senior foreign editor Jennifer Williams, and staff defence writer Alex Ward give you the history and context you need to make sense of the moment and navigate the world around you." Focuses on world events and trends and lends more context to them.

The Economist Radio: one stream of all the Economist's podcasts, including "The Secret History of the Future", "Money Talks", "The World Ahead", "Babbage" and more. Covers topics you would find in The Economist magazine.

Knowledge@Wharton: listen to commentators discuss business, economics, scientific and societal issues.


Society, news and American politics:


Vox's The Weeds: a Vox podcast about US policy, including healthcare, immigration, housing and everything in between.

Today, Explained: Today's news, Voxsplained.

The Guardian's Audio Long Reads: if you'd rather like to listen to The Guardian's longer pieces of journalism.

The Ezra Klein Show: Vox.com's editor-at-large's podcast, mainly interviews about American politics, but also about topics such as digital technology, ethics, global poverty, psychology, economics, etc, from a liberal (in the American sense) perspective.

More or Less: Behind the Stats: "Tim Harford and the More or Less team try to make sense of the statistics which surround us". Most things of societal importance.

FT Tech Tonic: "A weekly conversation that looks at the way technology is changing our economies, societies and daily lives. Hosted by John Thornhill, innovation editor at the Financial Times."


Self-improvement:


The Mating Grounds Podcast: evolutionary psychologist and EA Geoffrey Miller, along with co-host Tucker Max, interview experts and provide tips on dating for a male audience through an evolutionary-psychological lens.

The Tim Ferriss Show: Ferriss interviews top performers in a swath of fields to try to figure out their secrets to success.



Thank you for reading, and please, share it with people who you think could benefit from a list like this! Also, if you have some recommendations, please let me know!

To find more podcasts, here are some links: 1, 2, 3, 4.





Comments

  1. Do you actually listen to all of these continuously? Great list, thanks for sharing. I'd appreciate to have your favorite episode of each listed, too (not sure it makes sense to add that still). It would be more informative than the descriptions, I don't know where to start otherwise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Konrad! No, I don't, but I catch most if not all episodes of my favourites, as well as having listened to the backlog. That's a good idea that I considered, I just found that to be pretty subjective and would require a lot of work, but I might do so for some of them!

      Delete
  2. Dear sugars instead of mating grounds i say!;p but amazing list otherwise
    also the rich roll podcast!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Impressive.looking set of listings: now I know what you were getting upto during the long night hours working at Ica :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. The After On podcasts would be right up your alley, it's become on of my favorites

    ReplyDelete

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