It’s been so long! First how I’m listening, then what.
The built in iOS podcast app is junk. I currently use Pocket Casts from Shifty Jelly. Before that I used Overcast. I’d recommend either one, though Overcast is currently free (wasn’t when I got it), and Pocket Casts is like $4. They both have a feature that skips past silence (lulls in speech) without you even noticing. This feature alone has saved me over 2 days of listening time. That’s crazy.
And now for what I’m listening to, in the order they appear in my app – which is to say in no particular order.
Security Now – Computer Security. Nerd!
StarTalk Radio – Splitting off into different shows… I only listen when NdT is on now. It’s an interesting format but the rotating comedian guest hosts are often guilty of celebration of ignorance, and that gets really old.
The Tim Ferriss Show – Long format, check the guest. Pretty informative generally.
Adam Ruins Everything – The podcast version of the TV show. Goes deeper.
The Journal by Kevin Rose – Founder interviews. Very Good.
Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History – Redefines long-form. Seriously. Very educational.
The Tobolowsky Files – Ned Ryerson! Show is back from a long hiatus.
Planet Money – Economics. More interesting than you might think. If this doesn’t matter to you, it should.
the memory palace – Storytelling. No, I mean that in a good way.
Radio Diaries – “Extraordinary stories of ordinary life”. So more storytelling.
Love + Radio – This completes the storytelling trio. These 3 are hard to explain. Just listen.
Science Vs – Tackling the hard topics is hard.
No Agenda – Straddling the alternate universes. In the morning.
Freakonomics Radio – “The Hidden side of everything”
Geologic Podcast – Rantings of a musician and skeptic named George.
The Alton Browncast – Pops up on occasion, I guess when Alton is bored.
Waking Up with Sam Harris – Sam chats with a guest for a long time. Very guest-dependent.
DH Unplugged – Investing.
99% Invisible – The way things are designed matters.
Here’s The Thing with Alec Baldwin – Alec goes deep with the assistant sound designer of your favorite play.
Triangulation – Tech interviews.
How I Built This – Founder interviews.
This American Life – Quintessential podcast.
Penn’s Sunday School – Now on Wednesdays, too!
Radiolab – See This American Life
Surprisingly Awesome – surprisingly interesting.
The Way I Heard It with Mike Rowe – Mike Rowe does a Paul Harvey kinda thing. Short and interesting. Binge.
Revisionist History – Malcolm Gladwell.
Embedded – Tough stories to hear, but they should be heard.
Dirty White Belt Radio – Broadcasting from the center of the known universe.
The Sporkful – It’s not for foodies, it’s for eaters.
50 Things That Made the Modern Economy – Short, educational. Binge.
Slate’s The Gist – I don’t watch the Daily Show any more, I listen to this.
Twenty Thousand Hertz – It’s about sound. Binge listen.
Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly – Just started listening, we’ll see.
S-Town – New show, just out today. First episode was interesting.
These last two are long shows that come out too frequently to listen to every episode. I subscribe to but don’t auto download so I can see the guest name. If I’m interested I dl. I might hear one show a month from each.
For the third time in about a month I heard someone described their process of skimming a book. Seth Godin told Gary V he reads a book until he “gets the joke”, and then he puts it down. I heard someone else describe their process of reading the beginning, the one chapter with the meat, and maybe the conclusion. If you do this can you really say you read the book?
I have a point of no return with books. It’s somewhere around a third. If I’m a third of the way through and I realize I don’t like the book, I’m stuck. I’m in it until the end. In fact it’s rare for me to stop reading a book at all. I think I can name all of the books I’ve read only part of in the last ten years – A Game of Thrones, The Great North Road, and The Satanic Verses. When I gave up on that last one I tweeted, “I’m halfway through the Satanic Verses. It’s beautifully written. Every paragraph is like a poem. I have no idea what it’s about.”
I don’t normally read biographies but I picked one up because it was about a person I’m interested in and it’s by an author I know I like. I don’t know exactly when I started reading it but I know I’ve moved three times since then. I never read one book at a time so I’ve read a bunch of other books since then. I’ve read at least one other book on the same topic in that time. But this one is dragging on. It just won’t end. Sitting down to read it feels masochistic at this point. But I’m more than halfway through… just stick it out.
I mentioned this to Chrissy last night and she made a radical suggestion. “Stop.”
Well I’ve thought about it, and I decided to give myself permission to stop reading this book. I don’t feel good about it, but there’s a stack of books on the table I really do want to read. Time to move on.
I was walking down the street passing the courthouse and there was a black guy with dreads walking straight at me. He was wearing a NY Rangers home jersey. As we approached I raised one hand and pointed at him, and pulled the zipper of my hoodie down with my other hand to reveal my NYR t-shirt. His face lit up and he put one hand straight up in the air. I matched his smile and slapped his hand as we passed wordlessly. So much was communicated but not a word spoken. It was this perfect moment.