Thursday, November 30, 2017

Water Your Garden

Water Your Garden

As much as anyone subscribes to any philosophy in a mundane life, I try to live out the teachings of the stoics. One of the central concepts to stoicism is the acceptance of what you can and cannot control. In an age of over consumption of media and information, taking control of your inputs is an important step towards more gratifying, less stressful, and (perhaps) a richer life.

I'm in a place in my life where I drive a lot and most of the media I consume comes in the form of podcasts. I easily listen to 5 or 6 a work day. Originally I was going to write a comprehensive list of things I like, but I settled on just podcasts because I feel I have more authority to give a recommendation on them. I've avoided mentioning the trite and well known shows in favor of lending some spotlight to some more modest gems.

The format is as follows: Title, Host/Studio/Station: Brief description, and game-ability score (1-5)

99% Invisible, Roman Mars: A look at all things design and applying design based principles to real world problems. 1

Gastropod, Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley: Food through the lens of science and history, often with a specific food for each episode. 2

Heaven's Gate, Glenn Washington: Examination of American cult of the same name, lots of interviews with surviving members and hosted by a former cult member. 4

Hidden Brain, Shankar Vedantam: NPR's psychology podcast. Lots of great guests and examples of psychological principles in society. 1

Imaginary Worlds, Eric Molinsky: Multifaceted look at modern fiction and its interface with other parts of our culture. Has a lot of modern authors on. 4

LeVar Burton Reads, LeVar Burton: Short stories read by a classic reader. The stories vary in content, but all are pretty excellent. 3

Love and Radio, Nick van der Kolk: Raw stories told in a stream of consciousness format. These are all utterly captivating. 3

Mission to Zyxx, Audioboom: Improv comedy, in space! Its actually really very funny. 5

More Perfect, Radiolab: Deep looks into specific US Supreme Court cases. Not very gameable, but very well researched. 1

Myths and Legends, Jason Weiser: Stories researched, adapted, and retold. Some of which annoy me, but its part of keeping old stories alive. so thats cool. 3

Open Source with Christopher Lydon, Christopher Lydon: Sometimes really boring, sometimes wonderfully insightful interviews. His interviews about artists specifically are great. 1

The Allusionist, Helen Zaltzman: A hard look at language. 2

The Heart, Kaitlin Prest: Intimate stories about life and love. 1

The Memory Palace, Nate DiMeo: Vignettes about characters, places, or events from history. Lovingly crafted and brief. 4

The Sporkful, Dan Pashman: Food show centered on interviews with celebrity chefs/not chef celebrities. Actually really delightful. 1

1 comment:

  1. I get a lot of gameable ideas from The Dollop, a history podcast by two comedians that focuses on more obscure topics (or obscure details of well-known topics). Maybe start with episode #376 about the history of meat pies. They cover a lot of stuff involving colonialism, warfare, and animals, which all fit pretty well into OSR-type stuff.