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.