Earlier this week, one of our readers, Scott Dumont, offered up some excellent thoughts on a few podcasts that we've previously overlooked. Since he put things so well, I figured why not pass along his thoughts directly to you. Here they go, and thanks Scott ...
I'd like to make three suggestions for additions to your library. Two political podcasts and one historical one. For the political ones, you're lacking in the more independent department; you've got Democracy Now, which is good enough but I'd suggest adding Common Sense with Dan Carlin (iTunes - Feed - Web Site) and My History Can Beat Up Your Politics (iTunes - Feed - Web Site). Common Sense with Dan Carlin is a true independent news show, putting the current politics in perspective and analyzing the disconnect between what is propaganda and what is truth. His description is:
Common Sense with Dan Carlin is a blend of audio commentary and news analysis by one of the leading thinkers among today's politically independent crowd. Author, reporter and talk show host Dan Carlin takes a look at the issues in the news through the prism of his traditional American "forward-thinking pragmatism" while pushing a fiscally conservative, socially liberal approach to solving problems. Whether he's railing against the "Fat Police", explaining the existence of "The Chicken Little Gene" or continually bringing up historical events no one has ever heard of, Carlin manages to be entertaining and informative in a uniquely non-partisan way. His style has been compared to Seinfeld's George Costanza on steroids. Whether that's true or not, he does often talk really fast. You'll have to keep up.
If I had to recommend a few from the ones currently in his feed, I'd say take a listen to the following shows before you decide: "137- A Vote For None", "143- The Black Dog", "146- The Continuity Of Errors""154- A Conflict of Interest", "157- Read It and Weep", "161- Shhh!". I know it's a lot, feel free to pick any of those, but those are probably varied enough for you to get a taste of what he means.
My History Can Beat Up Your Politics is exactly what it sounds like; it puts current political events in a historical perspective and analyzes the history to allow us to understand our politics. For a good sampling, just take a look at this most recent stuff. He's not schizophrenic like Dan Carlin and his show is fairly formulaic, but that's not to say it's not informative.
In "Hardcore History" the very unconventional Dan Carlin takes his "Martian", outside-the-box way of thinking and applies it to the past. Was Alexander the Great as bad a person as Adolf Hitler? What would Apaches with modern weapons be like? Will our modern civilization ever fall like civilizations from past eras? This is a difficult-to-classify show that has a rather sharp edge. It's not for everyone. But the innovative style and approach has made "Dan Carlin's Hardcore History" a New Media hit.
If you want to take a sample of this one, just listen to the "Ghosts of the Ostfront" series he just completed from beginning to end. It'll take approximately six hours, but it's an excellent, chilling overview of the forgotten battles between the Soviets and Nazis on the Eastern Front of the Second World War.
I want to reiterate that I absolutely love your website and have just started binging on your archives. I'm a knowledge junkie, and I suppose there are worse things to be a junkie of. You might have close to a lifetime's worth of content up already, and I better get started.
As a quick postscript, these podcasts can be found in our Ideas & Culture Podcast Collection.