Interesting, thought-provoking, intellectual podcasts - 2012 version - recommendations?
April 11, 2012 6:56 AM   Subscribe

Interesting, thought-provoking, intellectual podcasts - 2012 version - recommendations? I have seen the past threads on MetaFilter about this very topic, but they are a bit old, and I was wondering if anyone had discovered some great podcasts over the last few years. For me, I love Marc Maron, Answer Me This! is fun, big on Joe Rogan's podcast. But there are some gaps over the course of the work week, and I love to learn and listen to stimulating, thought-provoking conversation.
posted by MMALR to Computers & Internet (19 answers total) 77 users marked this as a favorite

Here is a recent request for philosophy podcasts from Crooked Timber and here is Kevin Drum's summary of what his readers said when he asked for favorite podcasts.

My recommendations of In Our Time and Open Yale are subsumed within these responses
posted by shothotbot at 7:03 AM on April 11, 2012

Overthinking It
posted by ephemerista at 7:08 AM on April 11, 2012

Not new, but I really love Radiolab.
posted by insectosaurus at 7:26 AM on April 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

I like Gweek , The Tobolowsky Files, Risk!, The Moth, Wired Storyboard.
posted by Siberian Mist at 7:36 AM on April 11, 2012

Here's the Thing is relatively new, with Alec Baldwin. Mostly entertainment folks, but not all. Smart and entertaining.
posted by Glinn at 7:55 AM on April 11, 2012

posted by painquale at 8:53 AM on April 11, 2012

StarTalk radio with Neil Degrasse Tyson
Omega Tau covers space-program, science and uber-nerdness like Cryptography
Twit features a whole family of tech-related podcasts like the perennial This Week in Tech

although I'd take Maron's WTF over any of those :)
posted by halatukit at 9:22 AM on April 11, 2012

I find that Judge John Hodgman has the wisdom of Solomon and the cases that cross his docket are almost always interesting. Of particular interest is the recent episode about a mother/daughter home canning argument, featuring guest expert witness Alton Brown.

Also recommended: The Bugle with John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman, an audio newspaper for a visual world.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:09 AM on April 11, 2012

CBC has a lot of good stuff. Try Spark for interesting tech stuff, try The Sunday Edition for superb interviewing, Try "Ideas" for stimulating ideas. Seconding To The Best Of Our Knowledge from
posted by PickeringPete at 10:24 AM on April 11, 2012

Agree with many of the above comments.

Other potential options that haven't been mentioned above:
* Little Atoms
* Random feeds from the New Books Network. Some of them have better selections / productions than others, so you may have to check around to see what floats your boat.
posted by RyanAdams at 10:52 AM on April 11, 2012

My fave podcasts list:

This American Life
Search Engine
Savage Love
Spark (CBC)
Vinyl Cafe (CBC)
posted by photoexplorer at 12:47 PM on April 11, 2012

Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me is one of my favorites. I don't always like the Not My Job guests, but the time they had Neko Case on to talk about Necco wafers was so much fun.
posted by i feel possessed at 5:35 PM on April 11, 2012

I stumbled upon Conversations with Richard Fidler when I was living in Australia listening to ABC. Each episode (just under an hour long) features an in-depth interview with an interesting person, sometimes semi-famous but more often than not ordinary people doing extraordinary things or holding interesting viewpoints. It's now one of my favourites.
posted by Pademelon at 8:31 PM on April 11, 2012

Slates' Culture Gabfest is amazing. Discusses High, low and middle-brow content from a fun vantage that's somehow never annoying.
posted by stratastar at 12:45 AM on April 12, 2012

Jesse Thorn has recently relaunched The Sound of Young America as Bullseye! Interesting guests and great production. Top class all round.

Find it (and the rest of the maximum fun podcasts) here:
posted by u17tw at 3:47 AM on April 12, 2012

I like Hard Core History.
posted by tarvuz at 11:09 AM on April 12, 2012

David Blight's Civil War course (from Open Yale, see the Kevin Drum post linked to above) is amazing. In Our Time is also great. Melvyn Bragg does a nice job with his scholar guests.
posted by Area Man at 6:17 PM on April 12, 2012


I second this but for two reasons - they have some pretty interesting interview subjects but also because it is fascinating to hear some of the guests politely dance around the obvious and unabashed free market/libertarian perspective of the host. There are occasional poignant moments where it seems to me guests just pretend nothing was said. Also be aware that this is part of the Koch brothers media campaign.
posted by srboisvert at 3:53 PM on April 15, 2012

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