My Podcasts list

Audio Podcasts and audiobooks are my main means of learning new things. This is for several reasons
  • Easy to take with me (Every podcast and audiobook app lets you download for offline listening on your phone).
  • Easy to use on the go (Try reading a book while standing on a bus jerking it's way through rush hour traffic).
  • Multitasking (Dishes? Listen to a podcast. Cooking? Listen to an audiobook? Basically any task not requiring my full concentration can be combined with a podcast or audiobook)
So, what podcasts do I listen to? Well, here's the list (in no particular order) with a short explanation of why I listen for each one.

This Week in Tech

As a technology consultant, this show is my way to keep my finger on the pulse of what's happening in tech. It often seems irrelevant, but if I've learned anything about technology, it's that everything is relevant eventually. The guests are world-class, literally. That said, I also often skip episodes of this if it seems particularly irrelevant. But it has never fallen off the list, the good episodes are just too good.

All About Android

I use an LG G3 Cat.6 phone, Gmail for email, and Google Apps as my Office Suite. All About Android is a natural fit, especially since I love hardware. Their comprehensive reviews of each new device in the Android world (even the China-only ones if they can get them) are fascinating. Just like This Week in Tech, they have world-class guests. The end of each episode is an "App Arena" where they live demo apps competitively. I've found my podcast player, my calendar, my alarm clock, my camera, and probably a dozen other apps I use every day from this segment of the show. It's brilliant.

The Tim Ferriss Show

Tim Ferriss is the best interviewer I've ever listened to. He might be the best interviewer of this generation. He's certainly the best famous one of this generation. He finds famous and successful people and gets them to explain, in detail, what they think makes them famous and successful. And when I say detail, I mean detail. For example, if someone says "I meditate in the morning" when he asks about their morning routine, follow-on questions include:
  • How long?
  • What kind of meditation?
  • Where do you meditate?
  • What time?
  • What do you notice when you miss it?
After you've listened to a bunch of interviews, you start to see patterns. If 2 successful people meditate daily, it could be a coincidence. If 50 people successfully meditate daily, it probably isn't. It's incredibly action oriented, which makes it an excellent source of motivation/inspiration to change whatever you want.

Waking Up with Sam Harris

Sam Harris is an incredibly intelligent person. Agree with him on a subject or disagree with him, you will learn something if you actually listen to him. I only listen to this podcast when I can give it my full attention. I use this podcast to stretch my mind.

The Art of Manliness

This podcast has interviews with a wide variety of people focused on the topic of manliness. Even if you're a woman, this one might still be worth your time. The basic premise is this: manliness is about virtues, not anatomy. Virtues like tranquility, humility, moderation, courage, and justice (plus many, many more). If you think the only people who can benefit from those virtues have giant beards and cut down trees for a living, I suggest you think again. Because of the diversity of guests, I probably only listen to half the episodes. For example, I skip most interviews about learning a martial art. Why? I already know why to learn a martial art, but that doesn't fit with what I'm doing now. The key to this podcast is selective listening.

Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff

This one is a guilty pleasure, but it's also quite fascinating. Ken Hite and Robin Laws are my two favorite RPG game developers. They're also excellent fiction writers (at least in the context of fiction for games). I could pretend like their "How to Write Good Hut" or "Politics Hut" segments are instructive and relevant to my life, but the reality is that I like games and they talk about games. If think Dungeons and Dragons is the only RPG or you think H.P. Lovecraft founded Hewlett Packard, skip this podcast. But if you like games, story telling, horror, and history (especially alternate history), have a look.

TWiT Live Specials

This Week in Tech sends reporters to major live events. CES, DeveloperWeek, Apple Announcements, Google IO, and a lot more. I use this to know what's new in tech. I skip more of these than I listen to, but it keeps me abreast of new announcements in tech.

History on Fire

A brand new podcast about history by a history professor. His accent is thick, but the content is awesome. If you like history, give this one a listen.

Dan Carlin's Hardcore History

Dan Carlin's perspective on history is fascinating. If you want crazy, crazy in-depth coverage of stories from history, give him a listen. This one comes out infrequently, but when it does... Like World War 1? There are 20 hours on the topic right now. Go through the archives and see if there are any series you like, if there are you'll have to buy them. But it's totally worth it.

Common Sense with Dan Carlin

If you thought Dan Carlin had a strange perspective on history, his perspective on current events is downright Martian. Listen to this if you want to hear oddball explanations of what's happening now that aren't crazy conspiracy theories.