Better Thinking Through Podcasts

ipodwithclass_2.jpgYes­ter­day it was sci­ence pod­casts; today it’s pod­casts that encour­age bet­ter, deep­er think­ing.

The CBC (Cana­di­an Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion) has post­ed a fea­ture that high­lights pod­casts (scroll down the page) that will take you beyond sound bites and into the realm of deep­er think­ing. The list, which has a notice­able Cana­di­an bent, men­tions pro­grams that are cer­tain­ly worth your time. (Our Uni­ver­si­ty Pod­cast Col­lec­tion gets a very small men­tion, by the way.) But, to be sure, many oth­er great pod­casts could also have been list­ed here — ones that you can find in our col­lec­tion of Ideas & Cul­ture Pod­casts. Some of the hon­or­able men­tions on our list include the fol­low­ing:

1) SALT — Sem­i­nars About Long Term Think­ing (iTunesFeedWeb Site): This pod­cast grows out of an award win­ning speak­ing series host­ed by Stew­art Brand and orga­nized by the Long Now Foun­da­tion, which is ded­i­cat­ed to pro­vid­ing a coun­ter­point to today’s “faster/cheaper” mind­set and pro­mot­ing “slower/better” think­ing. The pod­casts fea­ture many well known thinkers, and, at least in my view, it’s one of the more thought-pro­vok­ing col­lec­tions you’ll find on the Net.

2) NPR: Intel­li­gence Squared (iTunesFeedWeb Site): Intel­li­gence Squared brings Oxford-style debat­ing to Amer­i­ca – one motion, one mod­er­a­tor, three pan­elists for the motion and three against. Past top­ics have includ­ed reli­gion in Amer­i­ca, Hamas, and Hol­ly­wood. A new sea­son begins with a dis­cus­sion of undoc­u­ment­ed immi­grants in the US.

3) Bill Moy­ers Jour­nal (iTunesFeedWeb Site): Vet­er­an jour­nal­ist Bill Moy­ers returns to PBS with Bill Moy­ers Jour­nal, a week­ly pro­gram that takes a deep look at a wide range of sub­jects, includ­ing pol­i­tics, arts and cul­ture, the media, the econ­o­my, and impor­tant issues fac­ing democ­ra­cy today.

4) Start the Week (iTunesFeedWeb Site): A BBC pro­duc­tion, Start The Week “sets the cul­tur­al agen­da for the week ahead, with high-pro­file guests dis­cussing the ideas behind their work in the fields of art, lit­er­a­ture, film, sci­ence, his­to­ry, soci­ety and pol­i­tics.”

5) Pub­lic Radio Fan (Web Site): This is not a pod­cast, but rather a web site that fea­tures links to over 900 pub­lic radio pro­grams (includ­ing many out­side of the US) that are avail­able via pod­cast. Name your favorite pub­lic radio show — Fresh Air, Talk of the Nation, or what­ev­er — and you are like­ly to find it here. This page hits the moth­er lode.

Bonus: France Cul­ture — Répliques (iTunesFeedWeb Site): A French lan­guage pod­cast, this pro­gram, led by the well known philoso­pher Alain Finkielkraut, fea­tures an engag­ing pan­el dis­cus­sion on a dif­fer­ent cul­tur­al top­ic each week.

Final­ly, I should men­tion that Eliz­a­beth’s piece yes­ter­day includes a cou­ple of pod­casts that are also par­tic­u­lar­ly rel­e­vant here, includ­ing WNYC’s Radi­o­Lab and In Our Time. And, in at least my view, I think you can give your mind a good work­out with our col­lec­tion of free uni­ver­si­ty cours­es. And why not through in there our list of 100 Cul­ture Blogs. That’ll make for some smart read­ing.
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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.