4 min read



You can tell a lot about a person by the podcasts they listen to.

Chapo Traphouse - I told a friend once that I listened to Chapo and she replied, "Well, that is deeply problematic." Chapo has gotten press for being the voice of the so-called dirt bag left. It is irreverent, leftist, materialist, and makes me laugh without fail. I pay for the premium feed. I want it in my veins.

Five Four Pod - Supreme Court coverage is terrible because it comes with the presumption that the court is apolitical and the justices are uniquely brilliant. This podcast attempts to remedy that by pointing out the absurdity of the Roberts court and doing episodes on historic cases that the court got wrong. I pay for the premium feed because it is cheaper than the therapy I would otherwise need to process my decision not to attend law school.

Know Your Enemy - This is some real political nerd shit where two leftists cover the intellectual history and trends in the American right. It is quite good.

Making Sense - This is the first in a list of podcasts that fall into the "I listen to in order to increase the ideological breadth of my media consumption," category. The slant of this podcast is centrist, liberal, and technocratic. Honestly, Sam Harris is the writer who has had maybe the biggest impact on my thinking in the decade of the 2010s. I've seen him speak live. Unfortunately, his mind has been completely poisoned by anti-woke hysteria. He would probably say the excesses of the right are obvious and therefore do not require illumination. Whereas, the problems on the left are less obvious. But that's where he loses me because in that line of thinking I hear an assumption of equivalence that is just not the case. Harris's intellectual bread and butter has been topics that he believes are not getting due attention. And yet there is no shortage of buffoons, imitators, and charlatans making careers out of demonizing left wing politics. Finally, he seems unable to at all examine his potential blindspots with respect to the experiences of people of color. I no longer pay for the premium feed in silent protest to this trend, but I still consume the free content.

Lever Time - David Sirota, former Bernie Sanders speech writer, produces a decent podcast that traces the influence of dark money in politics. When Washington does "X", Sirota tries to follow the money. I pay for the premium feed.

Smartless - Jason Bateman, Will Arnet and the other guy are too funny and charismatic not to listen to. I don't even care that they basically never speak to a guest I am interested in.

The Dishcast - Another entry on the list of podcasts I consume as an anthropological exercise in order to better understand the right in this country. I actually can't think of anything insightful I've heard from Sullivan who is like a moth in a light whenever the subject of wokeness arises. He can draw pretty high profile guests though.

The Remnant - This was the first podcast I started listening to specifically to add variety to my political diet. What appealed to me at the time, and this was back in maybe 2015, was that Jonah Goldberg often spends more time criticizing Republicans than Democrats. Typically that criticism is for hypocrisy and lack of conservative ideological purity. Goldberg also respects the classics - Dune and Lord of the Rings. That said, I listen to maybe a tenth of what this guy puts out. Most of it is immediately dismissible as utter garbage.

The Ezra Klein Show - I hate Ezra Klein. I hate how seriously he takes himself. I hate his pretense at non-ideology. I hate his caution. I hate his nerd voice.

Hardcore History - Honestly, the quality of the show has declined a bit. But, if you journey into some of the canon you will be rewarded (Khan, Eastern Front).

The Ruby on Rails Podcast - I'm a fan of Brittany Martin who does a solid job hosting the Ruby on Rails Podcast. I'm less impressed by Brian Mariani who ghosted me in a recent job search. Jemma Issroff is a beast. I don't listen to every episode, but as far as ruby podcasts go, this is the gold standard in my opinion.

Tangle - I started listening to this podcast on recommendation of my father in law, who also takes seriously the idea of casting a wide ideological net when it comes to media consumption. I'm a very recent subscriber to this one, so the jury is still out. I have some fundamental issues with the notion of bothsidesism, which is basically the point of this podcast as far as I can tell.

Dungeons and Daddies - This is a D&D podcast that I'm very new to, but am already really enjoying. It's pretty funny.

The Jet Kingdom - This is one of the first podcasts I started listening to back around 2007. The feed has gone quiet for a while, which is not surprising given the state of that franchise. Still these guys were great.

Common Sense - Another silent feed. This is the political podcast produced by Dan Carlin, who also does the Hardcore History podcast. He's pretty libertarian, but the election of Trump sort of broke his brain so he stopped doing this podcast regularly.

Beneath the Surface - A podcast on infrastructure with good production value. Full disclosure I have an affiliation with the publisher.

The Rework Podcast - I miss Wailin. Some of you may remember the Basecamp controversy of 2021 where roughly a third of their small team left because Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson issued a "no politics at work" policy. As a result, host Wailin Wong resigned. The remaining host is a sniveling sycophant and the quality of the show has declined. I recognize how arrogant these two guys are, but their business and tech takes are not wrong. Some of their other takes are quite cringe. This podcast was less insufferable in the before times.

Tech Won't Save Us - I sample this podcast when a topic of interest comes up. I appreciate the techno-skepticism.

The Dig - I have a tough time listening to this Jacobin podcast on politics, history, and economics. I'm probably going to unsubscribe.

Have You Heard Podcast - I like the subject matter of this podcast - education in this country, but I don't particularly like how it is produced. It listens very journalistically where the hosts read some stuff and then cut in a clip from their guest as opposed to more of a traditional podcast style conversation or interview.

Ruby Rogues - Seven dudes talking about Ruby. Neat. I've been a guest.

Hello Turing World Podcast - I co-host this one. Pretty meh.