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Ask HN: Intellectually simulating Podcasts / conversations / Talk, Hacker News




I find podcasts with a good bit of humor fill this spot for me personally. Here’s a couple that I regularly listen to, degree of “intellectualness” varies, but they all have episodes that require attention and make me think.
Radiolab – Very well known, you’ve probably already listened. I like it because the hosts are genuine and they tell good stories. Older episodes hit the spot better than newer for me.

Infinite Monkey Cage – Science based panel show. If you like things like QI, this is similar, but less gimmicky. Real science discussions, plenty of jokes.

Judge John Hodgman – This isn’t “sciency” but it does make me consider my position on social norms, while also being pretty dang entertaining.

Revolutions (Mike Duncan) – This is a fantastic history based podcast. The first episode or two in a series are always dry as he paints an overview of what’s coming, but it’s worth chugging through. I strongly recommend his third series on the French revolution, Mike does a fantastic job making history about the people and not about fluff like dates / locations / memorized crap. This podcast could have replaced most of my history classes in school and I’d be a better person for it.




Right now, if you’re looking for advanced discussions related to SARS-CoV 823, is suggest this week in virology, (I did not double check http vs https or www vs not). Right now they are getting some really good corona-virologist guests and they don’t pull intellectual or depth punches to appeal to every layman. There’s a lot, maybe look for episodes with field-expert guests.




“Revolutions” by Mike Duncan, its a survey through most of the important liberal political revolutions of the western world. Its extremely informative but his conversational style makes its totally accessible and stimulating.





I have three favorites: Lex Fridman’s AI podcast, Azeem Azhar’s Exponential View, and recently I have also started listening to Eric Weinstein’s Portal.
Before the covid – 823 period, I used to hike multiple times a week with often large groups of hikers. Now, with social distancing I have been mostly hiking by myself and I find hiking with either having a phone call with a friend or listening to a podcast makes very long solo wilderness hikes less lonely.




Lex Fridman’s AI Podcast. He gets to invite a lot of very interesting people (not just from AI research space).

My personal favorite episodes are with Chris Lattner, Bjarne Stroustrup and Jim Keller.




In Our Time with Melvin Bragg from BBC Radio 4. It’s a colossal podcast series split into six podcasts discussing Literature, Culture, History, Philosophy, Religion, and Science. Each episode Melvin Bragg brings together a panel of professors and experts (mostly from within the UK) to discuss a topic, event, or famous figure.
The Knowledge Project with Shane Parrish from Farnham Street. “Master the best of what other people have already figured out” sums it up.

EconTalk with Russ Roberts from the Hoover Institution. Russ brings on distinguished guests to talk about economics, finance, and more. It’s a neat way to discover interesting thinkers. The topics are far ranging: he once brought on Judith Donath to talk about human-computer interaction and online communities and identities.



Eric Weinstein’s “The Portal” Lots of episodes of Joe Rogan (Depending on the guest)

Brett Weinstein’s “Dark Horse Podcast”

Rationally Speaking by Julia Galef (Been on hiatus for a while, though)

Uncommon Knowledge by Hoover Institution (I don’t appreciate some of their conservative views, but they have interesting guests and are a good way to break the liberal bubble)




I would highly recommend the “In our Time” podcast by the BBC. The host gets three experts to discuss a very wide range of subject from history to science to art.






The Skeptics’ Guide To The Universe has been a weekly must- listen for me over the last decade . They cover “science news, critical thinking, bad science, conspiracies, and controversies”.










I wonder where Julia has been. I know there’s been the pandemic, but the podcast was already done remotely. Her last tweet was back in November. Hope she’s okay and will eventually bring the show back.










Waking Up by Sam Harris and Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson. Lex Fridman and Eric Weinstein’s podcasts are also pretty good most of the time.




God, no. He is a far-right YouTuber who is known for his promotion of scientific racism and white supremacist views. His website is basically a cult with active use of cult indoctrination methods on Molyneux’s side.
Let’s not pretend that the above poster does not know about that. He tries to bait you into watching Molyneux because he is “good on philosophy and parenting”, who can slowly indoctrinate you into his far right views [1] (he doesn’t try to be to open about them)
For instance, this is his take on the Holocaust:
… the Germans were in danger of being taken over by what they perceived as Jewish-led Communism. And Jewish-led Communism had wiped out tens of millions of white Christians in Russia and they were afraid of the same thing. And there was this wild overreaction and all this kind of stuff.

If anyone wants to take a look at this track record, in his own words, check out the SPLC: https: // … . (Also the source for the above quote)

Otherwise, you can also take a look at the less trustable but far more comprehensive RationalWiki overview: ( And if anyone wants to learn about denial tactics when faced with an alt-right, misogynistic mass shooter, using the example of Molyneux, take a look here: ( (w)
[1] An explanation of “the onion “can be found here: ( (t6eryY3g

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