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Jun 7, 2020Last updated: Sep 5, 2021

ℹ️ Also see Periodicals. For individual writers, see Thoughtful Essayists.

I think podcasts are great for passive content consumption. Here's a few I'm listening to.

Talking Machines - Relevant to anyone who's connected with the Machine Learning community and wants perspectives beyond just research. It starts with a conversation between the hosts Katherine Gorman and Neil Lawrence followed by the conversation with a guest who is at the front line of data-driven problems.

The Numberphile Podcast - Podcast on all things numbers (and often mathematicians).

The Joy of x - Interviews with a diverse set of scientists hosted by Steven Strogratz for the Quanta Magazine. Discussions around interesting concepts from all the sciences and their impact on society.

Learning Bayesian Statistics - A podcast on Bayesian inference - the methods, the projects and the people who make it possible, by Alexandre Andorra.

News / Analysis

ThePrint - Podcast by the news publication of the same name focusing on India, founded by reknown journalist Shekhar Gupta. The series "Cut the Clutter" by Shekhar Gupta and "Politically Correct" by D. K. Singh are the only ones I listen to.

More or less: Behind the stats - Tim Harford explains the story behind the numbers that popular media just throws around and the average population just gobbles up for the sake of watercooler conversations. It only discusses UK but highly recommended!

Exponent - In-depth discussions on business and strategies by Ben Thompson and James Allworth. A nice supplement to Stratechery.

a16z Podcast - A podcast from the famed tech investment firm by the same name. Often helpful for a 30000 feet view of technological development.

Economics / Social Science

Ideas of India - Through conversations with top thinkers in the social sciences and beyond, economist Shruti Rajagopalan explores the ideas that will propel India forward. Their most recent work is The 1991 Project which is a deep dive into economic reforms in India starting 1991.

The 80000 Hours Podcast - Largely revolving around the idea of "effective altruism" led by Robert Wiblin. Focuses on how one can build careers aimed at maximal social impact.


99% Invisible - about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about led by Roman Mars.

Build for Tomorrow (formerly Pessimists Archive) - Jason Feifer takes us through stories of pessimists in history. It is funny to look at things that are the norm now being demonized, downplayed or outright rejected in yesteryears.

Nice Try! - Narrations by Avery Trufelman telling the stories of the world's most fascinating attempts at utopian communities. Highly recommended for insights into behavorial patterns of communities with grandiose visions. As the title suggests, they unfortunately failed.


Wine For Normal People - For someone interesting in the academic and social aspects of the wine industry without the "snobbery". Discussions are hosted by Certified Sommelier Elizabeth Schneider with a supporting role by her husband M.C. Ice. There are usual excursions to wineries across the world, but mainly the US.

SOMM TV Podcast - Another fun wine podcast led by Jason Wise, known for the widely popular SOMM films. Involves conversations with the heavyweights of the wine industry (like Fred Dame) and some fun historical perspectives. I really admire Jason for the fact that he was a nobody in wine industry just a few years ago but wanted to bring wine to the center of film-making.

Extremities - Why and how people live in earth's most isolated and extreme settlements.

Everything else...

The Knowledge Project - Insights into mental models of people in various walks of life, interviewed by Shane Parrish. Some interviewees have had interesting backgrounds, yesteryear careers and been successful in their new lives with some common sense principles (and luck of course).

© 2023 Sanyam Kapoor