Category Archives: Podcasts

Info about the podcasts I’m listening to.

Space Trilogy, Hunting Elf

I’ve been forcing myself through C. S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy, AKA Cosmic Trilogy, AKA Ransom Trilogy in audio. I’ve finished 1938’s Out of the Silent Planet and 1943’s Perelandra so far.  I’ve been stalling before starting the final bit, That Hideous Strength (1945).  The story really isn’t bad, but I think this one might be a little easier to read than to listen to.  For some reason it’s awkward to listen to these books. One thing I have to admit, other than some bits of the language here and there you can hardly tell these stories were written in the ’40s, which is pretty amazing for science fiction.

As a break before tackling That Hideous Strength I listened to the Podiobooks version of Hunting Elf.  I guess I didn’t remember the description properly, because I went in expecting a juvenile.  It wasn’t until after a couple of murders and some sex that it occurred to me that this was not at all a juvenile.  The Podiobook version is read by the author, and it’s a great production.  It’s a fantastic story,  and was a well timed diversion from the sci-fi bender I’ve been on.

Anyone who has spent any time around the dog show and / or dog training scene will really appreciate this.  Really anyone who has or has had a dog will probably appreciate it, in fact.

In addition to the free podiobook it’s available in print from Lulu.

Just as the Eastern Standard Tribe Podiobook introduced me to Cory Doctorow, Hunting Elf has introduced me to Dave Donelson. I’m adding Heart Of Diamonds to my Goodreads list.

How vs Why

Chrissy’s cousin David and I were climbing a hill to go deer hunting one November afternoon and we stopped to take a break.  It was a chance for me to catch my breath, and for him to smoke a cigarette.  He pointed out a tree that had a single stand of barbed wire running directly through the trunk.  I looked at it for a while, thought of a few ways people could have done this, and finally said, “Why did someone do that?”

David laughed and took a drag of his cigarette, but didn’t say anything.  I asked what was so funny and he replied, “I was standing right here this morning with another cousin.  He saw that tree, looked at it for a while, and asked me, ‘how did someone do that?'”

The answer, of course, is that nobody did that, they just ran the wire around a sapling 50 years ago, and over time it cut into the tree and tree healed around it.

I heard an interesting interview with Dr. Jeffrey Schweitzer, author of Beyond Cosmic Dice: Moral Life in a Random World on Point of Inquiry today.  At one point in the interview Dr. Schweitzer made the observation that science tends to ask “How?” while religion asks “Why?”  I thought about this for a while, and found it hard to disagree with.  I created an odd sort of dissonance in my head, as I’ve always thought of myself as someone who asks, “Why?”

TWiST

Jason Calacanis, CEO of Mahalo.com, founder of Weblogs, Inc, and former editor and CEO of the Silicon Alley Reporter started a new podcast, This Week in Start Ups.  It’s a video podcast, but I subscribed to the audio feed.

So far I’ve only listened to the first episode, an interview with Brian Alvey, CEO of Crowd Fusion.

There were two quick hits I was still thinking about when the show wrapped up.

The first was a quote from Guy Kawasaki, a venture capitalist who was an important factor in Apple’s early success. In his blog, How to Change the World, he made an entry a few years back called, “The Art of Innovation“.  It’s worth taking a few minutes to read the whole post, but the particular quote was,”Don’t worry, be crappy.”

Don’t worry, be crappy. An innovator doesn’t worry about shipping an innovative product with elements of crappiness if it’s truly innovative. The first permutation of a innovation is seldom perfect–Macintosh, for example, didn’t have software (thanks to me), a hard disk (it wouldn’t matter with no software anyway), slots, and color. If a company waits–for example, the engineers convince management to add more features–until everything is perfect, it will never ship, and the market will pass it by.

Simple concept.  Microsoft made billions pushing utter rubbish out the door while Apple struggled to perfect every aspect of each product.  If you’re making a new product, get the product out.  Refine, re-release, keep pushing forward.

The other interesting bit was something Jason said – there are 3 ways to make money – entertain people, save people time, or save (or make) people money.

Media

I used to do regular (roughly monthly) updates on what I’m watching, reading, listening to, etc… Not sure why I got away from that.

TV
Without actually checking the DVR I’d guess this hasn’t changed much since my last update.  We watch Bones, House, Fringe, Numb3rs, Lie to Me, The Mentalist, Time Warp, Family Guy, Dollhouse, Leverage, and Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.  This sounds a lot worse than it is, really.  We DVR this stuff and squeeze in episodes where our schedule allows.  Plus, not all of these shows are in season at the same time.

Books
Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal by Ayn Rand
The Art of Learning: A Journey in the Pursuit of Excellence by Josh Waitzkin
Hammer of God by Arthur C. Clarke

Podcasts
The Adam Carolla Podcast
Astronomy Cast
Backstory With the American History Guys
ExtraLife Radio
Fightworks Podcast
FLOSS Weekly
Geologic Podcast
The Math Factor
No Agenda
NPR: Science Friday
Point of Inquiry
Robert Llewellyn’s Machine of the Week
Search Engine
Security Now!
The Skeptics Guide 5X5
Slacker Astronomy
Some Other Castle
Tech5
TEDTalks
This Week in Tech
365 Days of Astronomy