This Week in Podcasts

Relative to last week’s, and compared to the week prior’s, another relatively short list this time around, unfortunately. But, as I have said before, volume and quality are rarely linked: I will never pad these out with shows of dubious value just to reach an arbitrary length. This is a curated list of the best podcasts I discovered within the last week, and so it will forever remain.

The only thing better than waking up to a new episode of Roderick on the Line is realizing that I somehow erroneously marked last week’s episode as read, and so I now have two to listen to; such was the case this week, and boy did it make for a great Tuesday afternoon:

Roderick on the Line Episode 109: #SuperVan. Different nonsensical approaches to education, and how you don’t actually have to be good at school to take the tough classes: just strike a deal with your teachers until you get to Junior High, then recite the Declaration of Independence. Also, many of the aspects of democracy that make it so great also make it very, very hard.

Roderick on the Line Episode 110: The Dignity Police. John deals with big infrastructure, and decides to become the Secretary of Transportation. It’s shows like this one that makes me wish I knew more about The Beatles, music in general, and my parents’ generation.

Exponent Episode 02: The Missing Episode. The lost second episode of Exponent, recorded right after the first and before the show even had a website. Like its predecessor, this is yet another remarkable show: this time Ben Thompson and James Allworth talk about the culture of Silicon Valley, the type of person it attracts, and the genre of problems this atmosphere encourages those within this hotbed to solve. Unsurprisingly, truly fantastic and incredibly insightful — a must.

Systematic Episode 96: Economic Audiophilia with Matthew Ward. Brett Terpstra has Mathew Ward on to talk about an alternative approach to audiophilia, and then programming languages in academia. Personally though, I found the former portion much more intriguing: I strive to have the best I can in every area, and in the real of audio equipment that pursuit becomes very pricey very fast; that doesn’t always have to be the case, though, thankfully, as Mathew explains here.

Technical Difficulties Episode 32: Blogging Platforms with Bob VanderClay. Gabe and Eric have an interesting conversation with Bob Vanderclay on the various sites, services, and methods you can use to build and deploy a website these days. A must if you plan on starting your own site anytime soon, and doubly so if you — like me — have any desire to build your own platform: taking the greatest aspects from the best blogging solutions and then rolling them together into your own, personalized approach is by far and away the best way to go.

Technical Difficulties Episode 33: What Happened when Gabe Set Himself on Fire. This time around, Eric interviewed Gabe in an interesting talk about Gabe’s journey from a childhood making things explode to becoming a professional chemist to working in technology. Then, in the last half hour, Gabe regained control over the reigns and the two spent some time talking about Eric’s career as a pilot. I love these more personal shows.

Welcome to Nightvale Episode 47: Company Picnic. I apologize for not linking to an official site for this episode, but it seems Commonplace Books does not host their episodes of Nightvale online anywhere except in iTunes. Nevertheless, I had to post a link here: although as a first time listener the significance of this episode will likely be lost on you, as someone who has listened from the beginning I found this one haunting. The writers over at Commonplace Books do a really fantastic job with this show.

For the podcast super fans out there and anyone else who wants to read some more about this medium, look for my upcoming article on podcasting’s so-called “blogger moment”, due tomorrow afternoon. Until then, though, you have your work cut out for you.