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TLDR

A listing of the podcasts I’m listening to in spring of 2022.

Podcasts I’m Listening To: Spring 2022

The fifth annual1 list of podcasts I’m listening to in spring of 2022.

This list is broken down into ‘Currently Subscribed’ and ‘Previously Subscribed’ sections.2 Podcasts that are new to the list are in bold.

Happy listening!

Currently Subscribed

  • Accidental Tech Podcast: I became an ATP member upon hearing host John Siracusa had quit his job to be a professional podcaster. I like the show even more now I can listen to it without ads. King of the Apple tech podcasts.

  • Against the Rules: The third season has focused on experts and it hasn’t disappointed. Not sure if Michael Lewis will be able to keep it going for a fourth season but my fingers are crossed!

  • Astral Codex Ten Podcast: This is my favourite new podcast. Scott Alexander was a must-read blogger for me but with three kids and no commute in 2021, I had to give up his blog. After wishing more bloggers would read their posts like Ben Thompson does with Stratechery, I was delighted to discover someone (the pseudonymous Solenoid Entity) records all of Alexander’s podcast. The cherry on top is the host’s Australian accent.

  • The Book of Basketball 2.0: This podcast has evolved from an audio companion to Bill Simmons’ book of the same name to a place for the Ringer to stick long-form audio projects related to basketball. The most recent was Jackie MacMullan’s ‘Icons Club’ and I enjoyed it more than I expected.

  • Cautionary Tales: Like a lot of the podcasts from Pushkin Industries, this show has settled into a familiar formula by this point. This will sound like a back-handed compliment but it’s to host Tim Harford’s credit that he nevertheless manages to make each episode compelling.

  • ClojureStream Podcast: Host Jacek Schae renamed his ClojureScript podcast and started interviewing people in the broader Clojure community. It’s a bit of a hit and miss show and I’m always in two minds about unsubscribing.

  • CoRecursive: My Currently Subscribed list has a lot of programming interview shows but Adam Gordon Bell’s is the only one that heavily edits the interviews to trim out all the fat. That style isn’t for everyone, but I appreciate how tight Bell makes each episode.

  • Decoder Ring: This is the show that convinced me to sign up for Slate Plus. I said that the podcast for Astral Codex Ten was my favourite of the year but this was a very close second. Host Willa Paskin makes it look effortless to go from an episode on a single shot in the movie Tootsie to an episode about the history of rat extermination in the Canadian province of Alberta.

  • Dithering: Absence makes the heart grow fonder for this paid podcast by writer/podcasters John Gruber and Ben Thompson. There are only two episodes a week, they’re precisely 15 minutes each and I’m always wishing there were more.

  • Exponent: There were only six episodes across all of 2021 (and only two in the second half of the year) but I’m still subscribed. I’m not sure if Ben Thompson and James Allworth intend to do any more but I keep following just in case.

  • Hi-Phi Nation: Given that I pay money to Slate to listen to their podcasts ad-free, it’s a little strange I didn’t give this philosophy podcast a go until hearing host Barry Lam interviewed on the Philosophy Zone (one of my other subscriptions). It’s excellent. Barry Lam has one of those voices I could listen to for hours.

  • Hit Parade: Another one of the Slate podcasts that I started listening to this year. I’m not especially interested in pop music but these episodes are so well put together that I enjoy Chris Molanphy’s monthly exploration of the songs that have topped the U.S. billboard charts.

  • Hollinger & Duncan: This one slipped in at the last second and might be dropped as soon as the NBA Finals are over. Hosts John Hollinger and Nate Duncan take a weekly look at things in the NBA from an analytical perspective. I’ve listened to Duncan’s Dunc’d On podcast on-and-off again for years and I think he pairs especially well with Hollinger.

  • More Or Less: Last year, I’d said that this was a 10-minute podcast but that’s only true for the episodes that come out in between its ‘seasons’ (that is, when it’s being broadcast on the radio in the UK). In-season episodes are 30 minutes as host Tim Harford goes behind the numbers in the news.

  • MusicalSplaining: When Lindsay Ellis decided to take a (permanent?) break from her online life, I didn’t expect this to keep going but I’ve loved her replacement, Angela Meehan. Ellis was clearly burnt out and Meehan brings an excitement to each episode that’s infectious. Kaveh Taherian continues doing an excellent job playing the role of musical naïf.

  • On Margins: I wrote in the previous post that it wasn’t clear if this show was still going and it’s not a great deal clearer after a further 12 months. There’s been precisely one episode since last May. Time to pronounce it dead? I’ll give it another year.

  • One Year: I really enjoyed listening to Josh Levin’s season on Slow Burn and started listening to this when I heard it cross-promoted on another podcast. The conceit is that each season of episodes focuses on events that happened in a single year. So far the show has covered 1977 and 1995.

  • Panic Podcast: This is beginning to feel like a bit of a trend but this is another podcast that might have ended. There was one episode in 2021 and that was in July. A shame because I’m always excited to hear what the software developers at Panic are cooking up.

  • Philosopher’s Zone: I said last year that I’m always glad whenever I listen to an episode and that remains the case. Host David Rutledge is consistently excellent.

  • Pop Culture Detective: Audio Files: One of the first creators I ever supported on Patreon was Jonathan McIntosh for his work making video essays as the Pop Culture Detective. This year he branched out into podcasting and if you enjoy (arguably over-)analysing your media, is well worth a listen.

  • The REPL: I thought this interview show about people in the Clojure ecosystem was back when there were a flurry of episodes in September and October but it’s gone dark again. Maybe it’s just sleeping?

  • Revisionist History: Host Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast about overlooked and misunderstood historical incidents lacks the zing it had when it first launched but is that such a problem? Sometimes you just want something reliably, if only moderately, interesting.

  • The Rewatchables: I’m technically subscribed to this but I now only listen to episodes for films that pique my interest. The format of a rotating crew of guests from Bill Simmons’s Ringer Podcast Network does help keep things relatively fresh.

  • Slow Boring: Matt Yglesias is another blogger whose work I now ‘read’ via a paid podcast (available to his Substack subscribers). While this is like Ben Thompson’s Stratechery, Yglesias unfortunately doesn’t follow Thompson’s approach and record each post himself. Instead, paid-podcast platform Curio records some of his posts and then permits Yglesias to make these available to his subscribers. I’d pay extra for a podcast that included all of them.

  • Slow Burn: I admit I wasn’t particularly interested in the LA Riots of 1992 that formed the basis of season six but, if anything, that makes it all the more impressive that it drew me in. Season seven is about to begin and will look at Roe v Wade.

  • Software Sessions: I said last year that this was my favourite programming interview show but that might have been the kiss of death. The episodes over the past year haven’t really hit for me and while I still like host Jeremy Jung, this might fall off the Currently Subscribed list by next year.

  • The Stratechery Podcast: I began listening to this last year as a way to follow Ben Thompson’s writing and it was one of my favourite podcasts of the year. So much so, in fact, that I wish more of the bloggers I want to follow recorded their posts as podcasts. I should note that it is a members-only perk so you do need to pay to listen.

  • Swift by Sundell: I mention below that after the birth of our third child, I’ve just found I don’t have time for programming and that’s led me to wonder multiple times if I should unsubscribe from this podcast. I’ve kept it around because iOS is the platform I’m most interested in developing for and John Sundell does a good job using these interviews to document developments in Swift and the Apple development ecosystem more broadly.

  • Swiftly Speaking: This is another podcast that may be with us in name only. Host Paul Hudson conducted one interview since last year’s post and that interview was in June. Not a great sign.

  • The Talk Show: Sometimes I wish host John Gruber were more consistent with his schedule but perhaps part of the secret of this show’s longeivity is that he doesn’t record regularly enough for it to feel stale?

  • Thrilling Tales of Modern Capitalism: I’m not sure what’s happening with this series. Seth Stevenson last released episodes in July of 2021. Light and easy infotainment.

Previously Subscribed

  • All the Presidents’ Lawyers: A casualty of host Josh Barro leaving public radio for the greener pastures of Substack. He and co-host Ken White are apparently working together on a project but as of this writing nothing has come of that publicly.

  • The Anthropocene Reviewed:I mentioned last year that I was still subscribed to this even though host John Green had ended it in September of 2020. Well, it’s May 2022 and it doesn’t look like it’s coming back. I’ll leave it in Overcast just in case but I don’t have high hopes.

  • The Bike Shed: At the start of 2022, I went through and culled a number of podcasts and this was one that didn’t make the cut. With the birth of our third kid, I just haven’t had much time for development work of any kind.

  • Hemispheric Views: This was another victim of my podcast diet and as such more of a ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ kind of break-up. If you are looking for a tech podcast with a bit of a twist, I’d recommend giving it a go.

  • Off Menu: I am a huge fan of James Acaster but his comedy interview podcast with friend Ed Gamble was one of the podcasts that only lasted a couple of months before I cut it. I enjoyed it more than any other comedy podcast I’ve tried, but I just couldn’t find a way to squeeze this into my podcast listening schedule.

  • TECHnical Foul: I’m technically still subscribed but given the most recent episode was in 2017, I’m going to say this one has made its way to the great Podcast Directory in the Sky.

  • Undisclosed: This one almost made me tear up. The Undisclosed team decided to call it a day and ended the show after seven years. Rabia Chaudry and Susan Simpson are continuing to make podcasts but will do so with different people (third co-host Colin Miller has hung up the mic for now). I took a listen to Susan’s new show, Proof, but it wasn’t for me. I’ll always treasure the memories from 2015 of devouring that first season of the show.

What will next year bring? A longer list? More dropped subscriptions? Until then! ✺

  1. Previous years: 2021, 2020, 2019 and 2018.

  2. As I did last year, I include podcasts in the unsubscribed section even if they weren’t listed in the previous year. These are shows I started listening to after last year’s post but that I stopped listening to before writing this one.