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A listing of the podcasts I’m listening to in spring of 2024.

Podcasts I’m Listening To: Spring 2024

Seven years in a row! Here’s the latest annual1 list of podcasts I’m listening to in spring2 of 2024.

As I’ve done in past iterations, the list is broken down into ‘Currently Subscribed’ and ‘Previously Subscribed’3 sections. Podcasts that are new to the list are in bold and paid podcasts are marked with a 💰emoji.

Happy listening!

Currently Subscribed

  • 22 Goals: After more than a year, I remain deeply in love with Brian Phillips’s history of the World Cup. I still haven’t been able to get anyone to listen to it but love springs eternal so I’m keeping it in the ‘Currently Subscribed’ section regardless of the fact it’s well and truly over.

  • Accidental Tech Podcast: I feel similar to how I did last year: the show has fallen off a bit since the glory years of the late 2010s but it’s still the best Apple tech podcast out there. You don’t have to pay for the show but if you become a member, you get your episodes without ads and with an extra bonus segment.

  • Against the Rules: This, perhaps unsurprisingly, transformed over the past year into something approaching a rolling advertisement for Michael Lewis’ book on Sam Bankman-Fried, Going Infinite. I skipped most of the episodes but have stayed subscribed in the hopes it will return to its classic format in future episodes.

  • Astral Codex Ten Podcast: I love listening to the pseudonymous Solenoid Entity’s cultured Australian accent as he recites the entries of blogger Scott Alexander.

  • Cautionary Tales: It felt like a lot of filler in this feed for the past 12 months. I remain of the opinion that economic journalist Tim Harford would be better served by just recording a season’s worth of episodes a year and not updating the feed until the next season. Alas, dear reader, this will be a recurring pattern for Pushkin Industries’ shows.

  • CoRecursive: This is still my favourite programming podcast (although Software Unscripted is an extremely close second). Adam Gordon Bell crafts each episode into a satisfying tale about a piece of software.

  • Decoder Ring: Willa Paskin records a ‘season’ of five episodes or so about cultural mysteries every few months and releases them on a weekly schedule. It’s great. All the cross-promotion for Slate’s other shows? Not so great.

  • Dithering 💰: Brevity makes the heart grow fonder? John Gruber and Ben Thompson’s paid podcast consistently makes me wish the episodes were longer.

  • Greatest of All Talk 💰: I worried last year that my interest in basketball, and hence this show from Washington Post NBA correspondent Ben Golliver and former Sports Illustrated feature writer Andrew Sharp, would wane when the 2023 NBA play-offs wrapped up. Sure enough, that’s what happened but then the 2024 play-offs started and guess who added it back to their podcast player?

  • Hi-Phi Nation: I’m worried I gave the kiss of death to this philosophy show when I celebrated its return last year. It subsequently wrapped season 6 a fortnight before last year’s entry and nary a whisper since then. Come back, Barry Lam!

  • Hit Parade: I’m impressed all over again every time I listen to an episode. Host Chris Molanphy takes the listener on a fascinating journey each month to a different cranny in the history of the U.S. pop music charts. My only wish is for the accompanying playlist for each episode to be made available on Apple Music.

  • Land of the Giants: I’m a little reluctant to put this long-form journalistic podcast about tech companies on here because while I did listen to a few of the ‘seasons’ of the show (each season focuses on a different company), I wasn’t that impressed. But you know what I am impressed with? No filler! When the season is finished, they just leave the feed alone. More like this, please!

  • Molly White’s Citation Needed: As devoted readers4 of this series know, if there’s one thing I love even more than podcasts with seasons, it’s podcasts that involve someone reading blog posts! Blogger Molly White records her newsletter (which is a 2020s way of saying ‘blog’) focusing on AI, cryptocurrency and the world wide web.

  • One Year: Josh Levin’s series on contemporary American history (every season is about a different year) hovers very close to the edge of unsubscribe territory for me. I do often enjoy the episodes when I listen to them but when I see an episode in my queue, I frequently want to listen to something else instead. It might not be here next year.

  • The Party Room: I can’t believe this show was new to my list last spring; it’s become such an integral part of my week that it feels like I’ve been listening to it for years. ABC journalists, Patricia Karvelas and Fran Kelly, discuss the big political issues in Australian federal politics each week.

  • Panic Podcast: It was the reverse kiss of death! I pronounced this podcast gone last year but wouldn’t you know it, it looks like they’re coming back with a second season!

  • The REPL: This podcast from Clojurist Daniel Compton is pretty close to being cut if I’m being honest. I still love Clojure but it’s a slow-moving ecosystem and there’s not that much to talk about. Fortunately, Compton seems aware of this and so only records episodes sporadically.

  • Revisionist History: Last year I said that this podcast needs to leave longer gaps between its seasons. It didn’t do that but to his credit, author Malcolm Gladwell did maintain a pretty healthy output of new episodes. As mentioned about other podcasts, I do wish there were a lot fewer cross-promotional episodes.

  • Serious Trouble 💰: Similar to The Party Room, I can’t believe this was new to the list last year. Journalist Josh Barro and lawyer Ken White do an excellent job breaking down the legal troubles affecting those at the centre of American politics.

  • Sharp Tech 💰: I mentioned that Andrew Sharp of Greatest of All Talk was a former feature writer for Sports Illustrated. He’s now a professional podcaster and in addition to basketball, discusses technology with Ben Thompson. I do sometimes wish for a better foil for Thompson but Sharp is at least excellent at ‘keeping things moving’ as he likes to say.

  • Slow Burn: The most recently completed season was about Justice Thomas’ journey to the Supreme Court and it was great. Unfortunately, like so many of Slate’s other shows, the Slow Burn producers don’t have the courage to lay low in between seasons and instead stuff the feed with a staggering number of episodes from affiliated shows.

  • Software Unscripted: I’ve long enjoyed watching the conference talks of host Richard Feldman on YouTube. What makes this show work is that Feldman is working on his statically-typed programming language, Roc, but has a background in front-end web development. This makes him comfortable discussing topics from compilers to web pages. My favourite new podcast.

  • The Stratechery Podcast 💰: Another one of my beloved ‘blogger reads blog posts’ podcasts. Analyst Ben Thompson presents his view on the tech world from a business perspective. I don’t always agree with him but his arguments are always worth considering.

  • Talk Easy:I guess this is why there’s so much cross-promotion. I came across an episode of this in one of the Pushkin Industries’ feeds and liked it enough to try another episode. The main draw for me is how impressive host Sam Fragoso is as an interviewer. He’s extremely well-prepared for his interviews and that causes each subject to speak more freely than you (or often they) expect.

  • The Talk Show: I said last year that there were fewer classic episodes for John Gruber’s long-running Apple-oriented podcast and I still feel the same way. Maybe Merlin Mann will come back.

  • Under the Radar: iOS developers Marco Arment and David Smith discuss topics relevant to indie development on Apple platforms. It’s never great but it knows not to overstay its welcome.

Previously Subscribed

  • Econ 102: I really wanted to like this show. Economist Noah Smith discusses an article from his blog with co-host Erik Torenberg. Unfortunately, Torenberg is too ill-informed about the world to make the discussion interesting.

  • Cold Takes Audio: I said last year that Holden Karnofsky was doing what I wanted other bloggers to do and then he promptly stopped blogging (or at least has effectively stopped blogging).

  • Exponent: I’ve kept this on the Currently Subscribed list for a while but it’s time to admit it’s gone. Farewell, James! May you long avoid barbed-wire fences!

  • MusicalSplaining: I stopped listening to this and then, just when I was feeling guilty, hosts Angela Meehan and Kaveh Taherian announced the show was ending. I’ll always have fond memories.

  • Philosopher’s Zone: I think I need to admit that I’ve stopped listening to this podcast. I’m technically still subscribed but I have a huge backlog of episodes that I periodically go through and delete rather than listen to. David Rutledge did a great job making philosophy accessible to the layperson and my dropping it reflects more on me than it does on the show.

  • The Rewatchables: Like the Philosopher’s Zone, I have a lot of fond memories but the reality is that I only have so many hours in the day and in the end, I’d rather spend that time watching movies than listening to Bill Simmons and friends talk about them.

  • Slow Boring: I was hopeful that Matt Yglesias would get someone to read his blog posts but that’s not the direction he’s gone. He sporadically has interviews but I don’t find them especially good; interviewing people isn’t Yglesias’ strength.

I can’t believe I’ve been writing these for the better part of a decade but I guess it’d be a waste to stop before I get to 10 so see you all again next year! ✺

  1. Previous years: 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019 and 2018.

  2. Technically.

  3. Extremely alert readers may notice that the ‘Previously Subscribed’ includes podcasts that weren’t in last year’s list. This is the dirty little secret of these lists: they’re really about what I listened to in the previous 12 months.

  4. It’s just me, isn’t it?