Tag Archives: The Skeptics Guide

September’s Top 10 Podcast Episodes (2015)

And so begins year two of collecting my favorite podcasts together! I listen to a lot of audio in my life: during my commute, while shopping, while eating, while traveling… I felt that I frequently shared with individuals what was so great about this or that episode I just heard, but that the conversation would be lost but a week from then, and the creations unrecallable, unrecognized.

This posts are a mixture of chronicling what occurs in my life, recording big events in the podcast world, and sharing what audio I enjoy in my subset of ever-evolving taste. I’d love for these to spark conversations or get people to listen to things outside their normal sphere of influence, just like I enjoy when someone else tells me to try out something new.

If you’ve never listened to a podcast, I’d encourage you to give it a try. Find half an hour, or if that seems a lot, just take a 10-minute walk and try one of these out if any catch your interest. Just grab an app like Stitcher for your phone, or go directly to the page I’ve linked on your browser and hit play! I also enjoy putting something on while doing chores, cooking, or completing some other monotonous task. It can be just like talk radio.

I’ve got comedy, human interest, science, film, design, interviews, and more this month. Here’s September’s list:

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August’s Top 10 Podcast Episodes

This month’s top 10 list marks a full twelve months of creating them! Hurray! It’s sometimes a lot of work in the last few days as I try to remember what was so great about a particular episode, but overall I’m happy to be making these lists. They’ve always been a blend of my personal life and preferences with what are objectively big events or great episodes in the podcast world, but I’m pretty comfortable with that.

As always, I’m interested in hearing what other people listen to. What suits your fancy? I had a conversation with a new friend the other day where we shared what podcasts we loved. We only overlapped on one, even though we both loved storytelling and comedy. There’s so much out there worth hearing that I know my lists can’t fully capture.

Regardless, here’s what I enjoyed for this month of August, 2015:

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Destin Podcast Playlist – 24-27 August

I don’t know exactly why I want to do this, but it feels simple enough to try and might be nice to look back on with time. Today I took a 5-hour drive from Atlanta to Destin, Florida for work. On the way down I-85 and various state and US roads, I was listening to a playlist of podcast episodes I put together before starting off. Here’s what it was, if you’d like to imagine my journey…

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Including Social Justice in Skepticism

Jamy Ian Swiss, a prominent member of the skeptical community and magician, was interviewed recently for premium content for The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe podcast. The conversation moved to several topics in its fifty minutes. Much of it was focused on the skeptical movement as a whole and its past, present, and especially future. Some great, high-minded ideas on what the movement lacks and where it needs to focus its efforts were brought up and played with, like the need to form permanent resources, and organizations that are respected and known enough to be called upon by government or outside of skepticism.

One subject that bubbled underneath the conversation was whether the meaning of “skepticism” should be broadened or kept narrow. For example, should the definition of a “good skeptic” include the requirement of atheism? Swiss says no, in order to broaden the tent of people allied against the real enemies: pseudoscience, mysticism, conspiracy theory, misinformation, and all manner of bad thinking. To require nonbelief would exclude otherwise helpful individuals.

I’ll acknowledge that Swiss has been in this movement for quite some time, and so he likely has a long-term perspective on this that I don’t. It doesn’t make sense to me to embrace skeptics who don’t exercise their skepticism on all areas of their life, since that’s one of the core aspects of the promotion of critical thinking, but I won’t pursue that point right now. It’s not only not the point of this post, but it’s also me deferring to a person who might know a thing or two about what works and doesn’t in capital-S Skepticism.

Still, like me, he is someone who does not have mastery of all perspectives. And this is where I think he’s truly mistaken.

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July’s Top 10 Podcast Episodes

July was another special month for the podcasting world. This last week featured a delightful event called Cast Party, which I mentioned one part of in my post about Reply All. The stage show included many podcasts I adore, like Reply All, Invisibilia, Lauren Lapkus, and Radiolab. Every part of it was great, each taking a step in a new direction that isn’t normally seen in an audio-only podcast. I especially enjoyed seeing so many people fill the theater that the show was being broadcast to from New York. I would have loved more of an opportunity to chat with these fellow listeners as the podcasting world is too often a solitary experience.

I did plenty of driving for work this month, giving me ample time to listen to many shows. Here’s the list:

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