This page collects the Podcasts I listen to, tracking their rise and fall.
I’m listening to another podcast while I wait for my wife to get up…
As I’ve listened to nearly all the episodes of Robin Pierson’s History of Byzantium podcast (after listening to all the episodes of Mike Duncan’s History of Rome podcast, naturally) (and all the while listening to all the episodes of Scott C.’s The Ancient World podcast) I’m starting to look for the next podcast with exciting history material to listen to. Currently I’m enjoying the first few episodes of Sharyn Eastaugh’s History of the Crusades. We’re living in a great time for history lectures when we’re walking around town and doing our chores. Yay!
20’000 peasants including women and children walking from Germany to Turkey? Who needs a zombie apocalypse if you can have a starving families apocalypse.
Today, though, I’m listening to Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History. I listened to many of Dan’s episodes, but I didn’t go through his entire archive.
I guess I’m fascinated by podcasts that, taken together, form an ongoing narrative from the ancient past to the present.
Mike Duncan’s Revolutions podcast does just that. The English, American, French and Spanish American revolutions all belong to a continuity. It’s great.
As for another history podcast that doesn’t fit this linear model, I recommend Laszlo Montgomery’s Chinese History Podcast.
(Based on a G+ post.)
I learned about it when I heard the episode on Medieval Podcasters on The History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps. The other two recommended podcasts where History of the Crusades and The British History Podcast. They were also added to my list but I can’t listen all of them at once and my old iPhone 4 is running out of space, so I’ll get to them later.
When I started listening to podcasts, I felt that there was a world of fan made audio content out there, and it was new and exciting, news for the people, by the people, on the topics I cared about. Mostly: gaming.
But then I started noticing that these people were rambling. Editing was poor. People just do not like to cut material, I guess. I felt like I was reading long and rambling blog posts. And I was. How refreshing to have professional radio programs that are live. The need to end at the exact second. And the skill these people have! Thinking Allowed. In Our Time. British progammes by the BBC. I was unhappy. Why was Switzerland not doing something similar? Why did I know more about the Royal Society than about whatever we are doing here in Switzerland?
Later I started to notice the longer podcasts by the American National Public Radio, and the Public Radio Exchange, via podcasts such as This American Life and 99% Invisible. These programs are longer. They are scripted, cut, edited; there are pauses for emphasis; and the emptiness between the words is filled by music. A background music that elevates the mere spoken words to something else. They add poetry. They push the emotional buttons. They add another layer to the stories told. I love those low hums, drones, those electronic blips and bloops. A pause. A zone. A sound.
In Our Time and Thinking Allowed are from BBC4 and one thing I love about them in particular is that they are live and they are short. It’s wonderful to see the moderators care about timing.
These are also good:
The music on Swiss radio sucks except for the two hours on weekday evenings, so I just download their podcast:
Podcasts I just don’t have the time for:
Podcasts that I recommend, even though they’re no longer adding new episodes:
I have occasionally linked the podcasts I listen to both as an effort to remember and as an attempt at recommendation. It has been more than a year since my last update. These days, I mainly listen to history and philosophy podcasts, and I download a bit of music via podcasts. No more RPG podcasts.✎
Podcasts I just don’t have the time for:✎
Podcasts that I recommend, even though they’re no longer adding new episodes:✎
Some people commented and said they agreed. I wrote that from what I heared Germans in Switzerland say, many like it here as well. I love the Swiss system. And the weird thing is: the Swiss Federal Constitution of 1848 “was influenced by the ideas of the constitution of the United States of America and the French Revolution.” (Emphasis mine.)
I just finished listening to the latest bunch of episodes about the American Revolution and the drafting of the United States Constitution, and the List of amendments to the United States Constitution, at the Revolutions Podcast. Excellent material if you’re into podcasts at all.
When I read the FP article, I felt disappointed because of its shallow analysis. What about Exportweltmeister and the price the Germans paid, stagnating wages? What about the discussions of the 5% hurdle after recent elections? What about the historic justifications for the Senate in order to convince smaller entities to join the federation? These can be an important issue in heterogeneous federation like Switzerland (there was a time when each canton had its own currency)—and possibly also of interest for nations after a civil war (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lebanon, Syria) or countries where so many regions strive for more autonomy and the state is always in fear of breaking apart (Spain, Italy). So yes, the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany is great. But the US has its United States Bill of Rights, and a Constitutional Court, and that’s great. In contrast, Switzerland allows its citizens to easily amend the constitution, but there is no constitutional court, so sometimes issues linger for years before appropriate laws get passed! So it would seem to me that the US has all the tools it needs. I suspect it has mostly a broken process. Something needs reform, but I’m not sure that the German system is a good place to start looking.
I listen to podcasts while walking. I find walking to be ideally suited to listening because it is neither too strenuous to require much attention nor is it too light to let the mind wander.
Looking at iCatcher! on my phone, I see the following podcasts:
Any podcasts you are listening to you’d like to recommend?
Once you have listened to this overview, perhaps you’ll be ready for The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire— there’s an old recording on archive.org, or various readers on librivox.org.
Update: If you’re a podcaster, check out this EFF effort: Help Save Podcasting!
A while ago I read a comment by Wilhelm on my blog. A bit later I saw a comment by Wilhelm on Google+. A few weeks ago I saw a call for gamers from across the globe on his blog. I left a comment and soon enough I made an appearance on one of his English podcast episodes.
“We discuss the Swiss gaming scene, old school gaming, indie games and building gaming communities.” – Avsnitt 14 / Episode 6 – Alex from Switzerland
Check it out if you want to hear my German accent. ;)
Some links for stuff we mentioned:
Games mentioned: Labyrinth Lord, Swords & Wizardry, M20, Solar System RPG, Western City, FATE, Spirit of the Century, Der Geist Mesopotamiens, Mountain Witch, Kagematsu, Montsegur 1244, Poison’d, Fiasco, Burning Wheel, Zombie Cinema.
What I did not mention is the One Page Dungeon Contest. Gaah!
It has been a year since my last podcast list. I still walk to work and back, each trip taking maybe half an hour. I enjoy listening to podcasts while I walk.
Any podcasts you are listening to you’d like to recommend?
I’d also like to promote the One Page Dungeon Contest 2011 via podcasts. Should I just mail a host for each of the RPG shows I enjoy and ask them?
I want to like Pathfinder. It’s large, it has adventure paths with long stories, it has more traditional modules, it has background material, colorful art – and yet the products are often awfully long. I used to appreciate that, but these days I often think that the material takes me longer to read than to think up myself. I’m still subscribed to their adventure path line, however, and I still listen to 3.5 Private Sanctuary.
In Known Direction 31 they discussed “interesting” encounters and Ryan says: “Basically if every player feels like they have something they can do on their turn, and not just something they can do but something that they’ve put into their character, some part of their character build that they can use, then they’re going to feel better about it.”
I feel torn. On the one hand, I absolutely understand it. On the other hand, this leads to “my precious encounter design” and railroads and quantum ogres (otherwise players will miss on these carefully designed encounters). I prefer games where as a player I have more freedom, where builds are not that important, where encounters can be incluenced by player ingenuity at the table and don’t server to reward choices made during character creation.