Podcast Reccs Part 8

80,000 Hours Podcast

The signature Effective Altruism podcast, produced by a YC-backed non-profit and named after the goal of a meaningful career (40 hours x 50 weeks x 40 years). Releasing episodes twice a month and running since summer 2017. A recent episode brought up most of my EA criticisms (though didn’t fully answer or debunk them, it’s nice that we have awareness):


My Chicago-branded Urbanize Media recommended an interview with a Syrian architect, and you might see it through your own city’s Urbanize. Running since mid-2019 and recently releasing episodes on a weekly basis.

Fat Leonard

A story of bribery, corruption, and quashed investigations in the US Navy, with one kingpin at the center. The podcast ran in 2021, but recently came back into the headlines when Leonard escaped medical / house arrest in San Diego and got arrested in Venezuela almost 3 weeks later. The podcast has a new episode about his escape, but only on feeds (i.e. I don’t see it on the main website).
Bradley Hope and Tom Wright, authors of Billion Dollar Whale have enough Malaysia experience to explain to the audience and to convince Leonard to be interviewed (maybe hoping to get a movie — but instead torpedoing his deal to turn state’s witness). Getting his side of the story is enlightening, but also plays to his talent of manipulating people. His perspective is that all of the shipping tenders and food/fuel provisioners play this game, and he was just the highest-up when a few of his guys screwed up.


Monthly series on linguistics running since December 2016 (with an early episode on Arrival). They recently had a fun episode with Randall Munroe of XKCD.
I’ve tried to get before I had a regular podcast subscription app, and while catching up I learned a few things about the Rosetta Stone and stuff. But if you’re embedded in the linguistics web through learning languages, English class, working on NLP, etc., much of it is familiar (e.g. the map of words for ‘tea’ based on trade routes, an episode on plurals in non-European languages).

The Loudest Girl in the World

As a kid, Ober frequently got in trouble as a kid for talking too much or talking out of turn. Now a radio personality, she is getting an autism assessment and revisiting some moments from her childhood, home life, and the pandemic in that light. When Ober first mentioned autism, some friends laughed in her face. She doesn’t fit the ‘typical’ profile, but that’s part of the problem in even many doctors’ understanding of autism. Ober sought ought an expert who could help women and non-binary patients get a diagnosis, so that’s part of the story. Summer 2022 and ongoing.

The Screenwriting Life

Screenwriting podcast which got recommended by the Scriptnotes subreddit. Started in March 2020.

The Unsolved Mysteries of South-east Asia

Stumbled on this podcast when doing a write-up on my reading blog post. Ghost ship and missing treasure stories from a lesser-known part of the world. It looks like The Straits Times made these 5 episodes in spring/summer 2022 and unfortunately may not add more.

Tooth and Claw

Weird dive into biology, revolving around newsworthy animal attacks. Started in September 2020.
If when you were a kid, you wondered the right way to find and avoid being killed by different animals, this will be a good fit. I knew everything about hippos when I was a kid, and still learned a few things from their episode (elephants and crocodiles are more dangerous, and most hippo attack figures on the web are off by an order of magnitude). It does have a certain problem where some podcasters are giggling about someone getting mauled, but it’s what you sign up for.

A Perfect Storm: The True Story of the Chamberlains

Breaking protocol to follow up ‘Tooth and Claw’ with the long-form podcast where they sourced their episode on the 1980 dingo/baby case. In late 2019, a former news desk director put together all of the archive audio clips and added present-day interviews with witnesses, experts, and a lead detective. They cover all of the efforts to prove the Chamberlains’ innocence, including blood analysis, lab notes, and research into similar cars, even though most of this got ignored or left out of court until a final piece of clothing was found.

Updates to previous podcasts

  • Muslims Doing Things returned for Season 2.



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