About 3 months ago I discovered radiolab. An awesome, fascinating radio program (that you can listen to over the internet). Having a job that is primarily handwork leaves a lot of opportunity for listening. It makes the day go faster.
I listen to educational things too- deutsch welle, and voice of america in thai, and thai lessons, german lessons, etc.
After exhausting the entire radiolab archive (about a month of listening for me); I started looking for something else.
And rediscovered This American Life, which I haven’t listened to since maybe high school or college.
So I’ve been listening to the episodes in reverse chronological order. I just finished 2009, so that means in the past two months I’ve listened to all of 2010, any new shows from 2011, and all of 2009.
the economics shows are best. Particularly the shows dissecting the economic crisis, which was even more current in 2009. But what I’m realizing, traveling backwards through the shows, is they are also making predictions. Early 2009 isn’t far-distant enough past to be able to gather much from their predictions (as far as long term accuracy.) But having just listened to this episode regarding the stimulus and keynesian economics I’m reminded of how strange the stimulus package was, and how illogical it still seems. Moreover, I doubt anyone would call it a success. If anything, we’ve all just become more accustomed to a sluggish economy. The most irritating thing about it- the stimulus- and a keynesian approach- was, according to this slice of historical podcast at least- viewed as the only option.
Another thing— before listening much, I was under the impression that This American Life would be left-wing. But it really has seemed pretty balanced.