24 April 2016

Best Podcasts 2016

It's a great year in politics so let's start there. Slate's Political Gabfest is still going strong. Co-host John Dickerson has moved up in the world of US politics, he now moderates presidential debates and interviews the candidates on CBS's Face the Nation (don't miss his FTN Diary). However, the Gabfest faces formidable election coverage competition from the Five Thirty Eight elections podcast, which has a great, geeky ambiance and a fresh, numbers-based approach to punditry. Vox's The Weeds, The Econonist's various podcasts, and shows like The Glenn Show on Bloggingheads TV do good analysis of news and society. BBC's Newshour is still the go-to podcast for big complex stories like the Panama Papers.

Long-form interviews can be extraordinarily good when done right. WTF with Marc Maron, CNN's The Axe Files with David Axelrod, and The Ezra Klein Show frequently hit the mark.

Very Bad Wizards is the best podcast. Period. Social psychology, moral philosophy and great banter. I own the T-shirt. Repugnant. Space Time Mind, another philosophy podcast was really picking up steam (the Transhumanist Hot Tub episode is absolutely genius) but has been silent for months.

When it comes neuroscience, Neuroscientists Talk Shop wipes the floor with the competition. Try it (the episodes with Kreizer and Canavier are two recent highlights) and then try something like Nature's Neuropod or the Brain Science podcast and decide for yourself. (That said, yesterday I discovered Brain Matters, which looks like it could be really good. Fingers crossed.)

At the end if the week, relax with BBC's Friday Night Comedy podcast The News Quiz. Sandi Toksvig left to host QI and has been gloriously replaced by Miles Jupp.

Finally technology. Leo Laporte is still king. This Week in Google is pretty much always very good. Security Now, This Week in Law and This Week in Tech can be good if the topic and panel are. Non-TWiT podcasts worth keeping an eye on include Robohub's Robots podcast, the Gillmor Gang, and of course Seminars About Long-Term Thinking.

And don't forget In Our Time.

I use the paid-for version of Podcast Addict on Android.

Please let me know about any podcasts you think I would like.


Wernicke's Area, where podcast do their magic.
Polygon data were generated by Database Center for Life Science(DBCLS)[2]. Polygon data are from BodyParts3D[1], CC BY-SA 2.1 jp, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32534031

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