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gofrogs152

Podcasts

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A few other good 'uns I've come across recently:

 

Throughline -- A new NPR production that takes a topic that has a big impact on the world or America today and goes back through the history of that topic to understand how we got here.  The hosts are Muslim-Americans, so the shows talking about Islam-specific things are particularly informative for some one who doesn't live in that culture ... e.g., I think their first episode was about Iranian-American relations; and then they did another one more recently on the Sunni-Shi'ia conflict and how it is more a Arab-Persian conflict than it is a schism over doctrine.  They also did a good episode on the tendency for people to fear the "next big thing," like artificial intelligence and driverless cars by going back and looking at coffee, tractors, and telephones as examples of similar culturally transformative things in the past and how society responded to them.

 

Behind the Bastards -- I just started this one, but it is a guy with a rotating cohost (often a comedian) going through some of the details of the lives of some of history's worst people and trying to extract how and why they became the people they became.  Despite the subject matter, it's actually pretty funny.

 

Against the Rules -- Michael Lewis' (of Moneyball fame) just started a podcast about the declining role of referees in society.  In a world that seems to increasingly reject expertise and the need for regulation, it goes into some of the ways people on the wrong side of a power imbalance get screwed when there are no referees to help make sure the powerful follow the rules of law and common decency.  His episode about how the banks allow someone to steal your identity and then put the onus on the person whose identity was stolen to fix their phuc up was particularly angering ...

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